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BIRDING

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Liveit! MAGAZINE

Can’t Live without it! A publication of the West Central Tribune

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Birds of a feather... “We believe in the power of birds to ignite discovery and inspire action.” – Cornell Lab of Ornithology Why are people so fascinated by birds? I know people who love seeing bald eagles soar through the sky. On our recent trip to Alaska, we saw plenty of eagles, sometimes as many as five in a single tree and up to 10 or more in one area. People were amazed and in awe at the sight. We tend not to get as excited about eagles, likely because we see eagles soaring over on a semi-regular basis. For me it is the cardinal that is awe-inspiring. Especially seeing a pair of them together at the feeder, or a dark red cardinal in a bright green evergreen tree against the sparkling white snow in winter. Cardinals are the focus of many keepsakes, and if you take a look on Pinterest, there is an abundance of verses with variations of the significance of a cardinal sighting. Doing a quick search on the internet you will find many sites discussing the meaning of a cardinal making its appearance. Here is the most popular: A cardinal is representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. I’ve always loved spotting a cardinal in our yard, but especially so since losing both of my parents in recent years. My husband bought me a cardinal snow globe after my mom passed away. My goddaughter and I have exchanged garden stones of cardinals, and we each have a special necklace with a cardinal and message on the back. She, too, loves the cardinals which remind her of her grandparents and show how special they were in her life. Today we share the stories of several readers dedicated to watching birds, as well as some fall comfort ideas and tips for the upcoming winter. All that and much more in this issue of Live it! Magazine. If you have a topic you’d like to see in Live it!, send your story ideas to liveit@ wctrib.com. We love to hear from our readers. You can also “like” us on Facebook and leave comments there. Life in west central Minnesota … it really is a beautiful thing …

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Watch for our next issue out December 6, 2019. May we publish your letter?

Sharon Bomstad Live it! Editor

On the August cover story (Nolan’s Place):

Today I found time to peruse the latest issue of Live it! The featured story is very touching. One of my friends (also a client) has a child who is severely autistic, so Autism Speaks is dear to me. The story is well done. Great work by the staff. I’m happy I was able to contribute to this issue. - Craig Popp, via email

Editor’s note:

“Like” us on Facebook, send us a tweet with your comments or even a new story idea, or email us at liveit@ wctrib.com. Watch for our next issue due out December 6, 2019.

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October 2019, Volume 8, Issue 5

WHAT’S INSIDE FEATURING

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6 Fastest growing hobby 12 Songbirds like the seeds 28

Winter wellness tips

36 Spread your wings and fly

DEPARTMENTS

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3 READER’S MAILBAG Tell us what you think 12 Q&A Tips for feeding your bird friends 14 MONEY MATTERS Funding college education 26 DIY Get creative with feeders 28 HEALTH & FITNESS: Stay active this winter

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30 READ IT! Libraries serve the community 31 LIFE HAPPENS Adequate mental health care 32 STYLE IT! These boots are for fall 33 BAKE IT! Lovin’ the oven 36 SPIRITS The feeling of flying 38 WHAT’S HAPPENING? Mark your calendars

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A bird’s eye view YOUNG AND OLD ENJOY ‘SIMPLY WATCHING BIRDS’ By Carolyn Lange clange@wctrib.com Photography by Erica Dischino edischino@wctrib.com Bird photos by John Kellen Little Crow Photography Club

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t’s a beautiful September afternoon and Bev Kelbing is filling the bird feeders in the backyard of her rural Lake Lillian home. “There’s always activity at the feeders,” she said. “It’s something to watch.” During the summer months there are goldfinches, hummingbirds, orioles, chickadees “and, of course, sparrows and blackbirds,” Bev said. As fall and then winter weather start to edge in, she will continue to fill the feeders every day and watch for the cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers and nuthatches – some of the tough Minnesota birds that don’t fly south for the winter. Bev said she’s able to identify most of the birds that frequent her backyard, but she really doesn’t care what species come to enjoy the bounty at her bird feeders. It’s just fun to watch the birds, especially during the drab winter days, she said. “And it gets me outside the house at least once a day.” Bev isn’t alone when it comes to watching birds. According to a 2016 survey produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 45 million people watch birds around their homes and away from home. The National Audubon Society puts the figure at 47 million. Some published reports say it’s 50 million. Watching birds, also known as birding, is one of the fastest growing hobbies. It includes people like Bev who simply enjoy watching the birds that come to her feeders – and people like Josh Wallestead. On a recent walk through Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar, Josh perked up as he heard the familiar call of a bird in the thick trees. He lifted his binoculars to his eyes and locked onto from where the song was coming. After determining that it was a double-breasted cormorant, he pulled out his phone, logged onto a mobile app called eBird and recorded what bird he saw and where he saw it. The app not only keeps a record of the birds Josh has seen, but the information can also help other avid birders who will now know they could also see a double-breasted cormorant at Robbins Island Park.

Josh Wallestad

The hunt Josh, who lives in Willmar and teaches math in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, is a competitive birder who travels across Minnesota and the country to find an elusive species of bird to add to his list. The 40-year-old had only a mild interest in birds until his young son became fascinated with the birds he saw. Josh chronicles his birding journey in an informational, entertaining and well-written blog called “A Boy Who Cried Heron,” launched in 2013.

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Randy Frederickson Birding, he said, “changed my life, honestly.” The network of birders with which Josh connects is both local and vast. Josh said he’s met “tons and tons of friends in every nook and cranny of Minnesota” and other states who share the same interest in birds, and the same desire to put another bird on their list. “It’s been a lot of fun. A lot of adventures,” he said. In August, Josh traveled to central Iowa with his dad to see a yellow-billed loon, a species that originates in the Arctic. “It was exciting,” he said. “It was one of those species I never thought I’d see in my life.” In the world of birding, Josh is doing very well. He’s recorded seeing 508 different species of birds over the years and has tracked down all 19 types of owls found in North America, which he said included trips to the “far corners” of Minnesota and Arizona.

It’s on the list Lists are important for birders. The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union has a list of all 430 Minnesota birds, including one that’s now extinct. It also has a list of birders from each county that notes how many species each birder has seen and recorded. In Kandiyohi County, the top birder on that list is Randy Frederickson, a retired Willmar science teacher who works

part-time selling bird feeders and bird seed at the Wild Bird Warehouse in Willmar. He spends much of his free time looking for rare birds. Of the 313 birds listed in Kandiyohi County, Randy has seen and recorded 296 of them. “There’s no birder that’s seen more birds in Kandiyohi County than I have. Period. That, to me, is what I concentrate on,” he said. Randy began watching birds when he was a kid growing up on a farm, and kept a journal of the birds he saw. That interest was encouraged by his grandmother, who bought him a bird identification guide book. Birders can have all sorts of lists, including birds they’ve seen in their backyard, county, state and throughout the country. Randy sticks primarily with finding birds in Kandiyohi County, but he’s been known to hop in the car and drive to neighboring counties when the word goes out that a prize bird has been spotted – so he can add it to his life list. “Listing is kind of fun because you’re competing, in some respects, with other birders,” Randy said. “It’s all on your honor system. Whoever has more time and more money is going to have a bigger state list because people travel. But you have to have knowledge, too.” Making the transition from the casual hobby of just watching birds for fun to searching out birds to add to a list can be addicting. “Once you start down that path, you can really get infatuated,” Randy said. Ron Erpelding has definitely gone down that path. The retired Willmar educator and conservationist has been birding since he was a young boy when his mother gave him a guide book. He started serious birding around 1999 and since then he has attained a significant status in the Minnesota birding community. Ron currently has recorded seeing more than 200 species of birds in all 87 counties in Minnesota – including 291 in Kandiyohi County – and he has recorded lengthy lists of bird sightings in 45 states. He is 20th in the state for the number of species (390) he has seen and identified, according to the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union data. That means a lot of traveling with his binoculars and a notebook.

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He wouldn’t say how many miles he puts on in a year looking for birds but acknowledged it was “too many.” But he said you don’t have to travel farther than your backyard to watch birds, which he does at his home. He keeps a set of binoculars in the house, garage and the car. Ron said he goes birding “a little bit every day” to see what he can find. “It’s great fun and anybody can do it.”

It’s what the cool kids are doing Randy started birding when he was in college and he realized he had a knack for identifying birds. It was a quiet hobby he kept mostly to himself until he met Ron about 20 years ago. “I realized that I wasn’t the only nerd out there,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh. “There are other people out there that do this. “At the time it was pretty easy to live in your own little isolated reality and not realize that birding is really a mainstream hobby.” Technology and social media have played a big part in drawing a growing number of young people to birding. There are multiple Facebook groups, like the “Birders of West Central Minnesota,” where people post photos of birds they’ve seen in the region along with information about what kind of bird it is and where it was spotted. These types of social media groups help people connect with others who share a love of birding, said Josh, who uses the eBird app, as well as his blog, to stay connected with other birders. He said eBird has “tapped into the gamification” of birding

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by making online maps color-coded with bird lists and ranking birders with their stats. That inspires people to get more birds on their list. A free app called Merlin, which is produced by Cornell University, helps new birders identify more than 3,500 different species of birds through a series of five questions or by analyzing a photo of a bird the user takes. There are also several apps that can identify birds by their sound that involves recording the song and letting the app analyze it for an ID. Randy and Ron agree the new technology is a great asset for birders and it has helped increase the popularity of the hobby with a new, younger crowd. But they still like the oldschool method of studying the appearance, sound and activity of a bird and looking for answers in a trusted guide book. Ron recommends “The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America.”

It’s just fun LeRoy Dahlke, a retired wildlife manager with the Department of Natural Resources, is well-steeped in bird knowledge and conservation practices that benefit birds. But when he stops at the Wild Bird Warehouse to buy a 50-pound sack of seed for his backyard feeder, he’s doing it just because he enjoys the birds. He has no lists of birds he has seen. LeRoy said he has about a dozen feeders in his yard that he fills year-round and he’s looking forward to seeing the winter birds, like the brilliant red cardinals, at this feeders. “When the sun shines on them in the winter with snow


in the background – man, that’s pretty,” he said. “And the chickadees are just plain fun to watch. They’re just so polite.” He knows he’s not alone in his love of simply watching birds. “I think there are more people that feed and watch birds than ever,” he said. “I can’t imagine having a place that didn’t have birds around. It just makes the day better,” he said. “It’s life all around you, and that’s what makes it that much more interesting, is having that life around you.” Carolyn Lange is a features writer for Live it! Magazine, and a reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar.

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Q&A SHARING A LOVE FOR BIRDS C

By Carolyn Lange clange@wctrib.com

raig Radel has always had a keen interest in nature and feeding wild birds. It’s an interest that started while he was growing up on his family’s farm and eventually grew into a successful business that’s focused solely on feeding wild birds. Wild Bird Warehouse, 1101 High Ave. N.E. in Willmar, is chock full of bird feeders, bags of seeds and customers who are passionate about feeding their backyard birds. The store features about 200 different styles of bird feeders – including some that are made exclusively for the store, 15 different types of seeds and eight different seed mixes. Craig said they blend most of the seed mixes them-

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selves and they also make and sell their own suet cakes. During his 35-plus years of being in business, Craig said the customers who share his love of birds are the “most enjoyable” part of the work. “Meeting and becoming friends with so many folks with common interests has been a highlight,” he said. As the summer birds leave and winter weather starts to move in, Live It! thought it would be a good idea to get some bird-feeding advice. Craig provides us with some tips about feeding wild birds in your backyard. What kind of seeds are best for attracting birds in the fall and winter?


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Craig: Our fall and winter songbirds are mostly seed-eating birds. The two types of seeds are grains, like cracked corn and white millet, and oil seeds that include sunflower hearts and chips, safflower and peanut halves. Seeds, and seed mixes containing these products, will attract the widest variety of colorful songbirds. Birds that eat grains include sparrows and doves, along with a few others, that usually feed on the ground or in open tray feeders that are on, or near, the ground. What are the benefits of offering birds high-energy suet cakes? Craig: Birds in the woodpecker family are attracted to suet products. They are not grain eaters, with a few exceptions. High-quality suet choices with peanut halves and sunflower hearts are a favorite with no waste. What style of bird feeders do you recommend? Craig: Post-mounted feeders with open eating areas attract the widest variety of birds. Wire mesh feeders for feeding seeds without hulls have become very popular the last several years as a “no mess” way to feed. What factors should be considered when selecting a location for a feeder? Craig: Putting feeders close to bushes and shrubs provides good cover for birds and helps them find the food quickly. They will get accustomed to feeding in more open areas, which makes it easier for people to view birds. What are some tips for keeping squirrels out of bird feeders? Craig: Most of us who feed birds don’t mind seeing the other wildlife it can attract. But there are a variety of post baffles and feeders to limit access to seed for squirrels and others. Why should bird feeders be cleaned? What method and how often should they be cleaned? Craig: During warm and wet weather, bird seed can get musty and moldy. We don’t give birds enough credit. If there’s something bad in the feeders, they won’t eat it. It is important to clean bird feeders periodically. You can use warm soapy water until clean and then rinse. seed?

Will birds be harmed if you stop putting out bird

Craig: I sell bird seeds, so I should say yes, but I think that’s highly overrated. Birds do have wings and they do know where to get another lunch. For our customers who go south for the winter, or go on extended trips, we recommend they fill their large-capacity feeders with white or golden safflower. Not many birds eat these seeds but cardinals, chickadees, purple finches, house finches, doves and a few others do, so these filled feeders can last a very long time. What’s the best way to provide water for birds in the winter? Craig: Heated bird baths containing fresh water in winter can offer an extra way to attract birds and help them through the cold season. Most are thermostatically controlled to limit energy usage. We do recommend putting a flat rock in the bird bath for birds to land on to help them figure out how deep the water is. What do you enjoy about feeding birds? Craig: I like to see the variety and the activity in my backyard. It brings nature up close. What kind of people do you see in your store that enjoy birding as a hobby? Craig: There is a very wide variety of bird enthusiasts. One lady who has been coming in the store for over 30 years always says she has lots of LBBs (little brown birds) and does not care what they are. A few other avid birders will travel hundreds of miles to see a single bird. Some people keep life lists of all the birds they’ve ever seen and others keep track of spring bird arrivals in the margins of their bird identification books from year to year. Non-native species, such as house sparrows, are not welcome at some folks’ feeding stations, even though they’ve been in the U.S. for over 150 years. But other people, who live in apartment buildings and feed with suction cup feeders stuck to their windows, are very happy to have them. I guess that’s what is great about this hobby: No one is ever wrong.

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MONEY MATTERS

PLAN AHEAD FOR COLLEGE TUITIONS Submitted By Jeanne Ashburn

N

ow that summer has come to a close “back-toschool” time is now a routine. When children are young, your logistics for the new academic year may involve little more than a trip to buy school supplies. But if you’d like to send your kids (or grandkids) to college someday, you need to plan far ahead to meet the financial demands. And, as part of your planning, you also need to be on the lookout for all opportunities to help pay those sizable college bills. Specifically, you’ll need to be ready to take action in these areas:

Financial aid You should start thinking about financial aid at least a year before your child heads off to college. For example, you can begin submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on Oct. 1, 2019, for the 2020-21 academic year. And if the past is any guide, you’ll always need to remember that Oct. 1 date for the next school year. The FAFSA helps colleges and the U.S. Department of Education evaluate your financial need and determine how much financial support your child requires. And since a lot of financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s a good idea to submit your forms as soon as possible once the application period opens.

Scholarships Colleges and universities offer their own scholarships, but you’re not limited to them. In fact, you might be surprised at the number and variety of college scholarships available to your child or grandchild – but to find them, you may need to do some digging. Find out what’s offered from foundations, religious, ethnic or community organizations, local businesses and civic groups. Also, ask the high school guidance office for information. Your own employer might even offer small scholarships.

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You can find more information on scholarships on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

College-specific investments You might also want to consider an investment designed to help you save for college. You have several options available, each with different contribution limits, rules and tax treatments, so you’ll want to consult with a financial professional to choose an investment that’s appropriate for your situation.

Community colleges Not every bachelor’s degree needs to begin and end at an expensive four-year college or university. Many students now fulfill some of their “general” education requirements at affordable community colleges before transferring to a four-year school – often saving tens of thousands of dollars in the process. Paying for college is challenging. After all, for the 2018-19 academic year, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, and room and board) was $21,370 for in-state students at public four-year colleges or universities; for four-year private schools, the corresponding expense was $48,510, according to the College Board. And college costs will likely continue to rise over the next several years. But, as we’ve seen, by being proactive and having a plan in place, you can go a long way toward coping with these expenses and help your loved ones enjoy the benefits of higher education. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Jeanne Ashburn is a financial adviser with Edward Jones in Willmar. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estateplanning or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.


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WORK TO HOME

You work hard all day and it’s time to make a house a home. Jane Vikse Real Estate has been committed to providing you with the highest quality level of service since 2012. Jane started her office in downtown Spicer with her daughter JaLanny as an assistant. Through JaLanny’s hard work, experience and education she went on to get her realtors license. It wouldn’t be long and Jasmine would join the team starting as an assistant and then becoming a realtor as well. Jane and her daughters are a family-owned and operated business who are well known for their honesty, professionalism and ability to produce satisfying results. Jane Vikse Real Estate team would like to offer steps to become a homeowner. 1. Set a budget Start at looking at your current income and expenses, figure out how much you can afford to pay for a new home. You will not only have the mortgage itself, you will have other expenses to consider, such as property taxes, home insurance, utilities and repairs. 2. Start saving for the down payment In some cases when you buy a home you will need to put down a large amount to secure your purchase. 3. Discover the mortgage that’s right for you Depending on the amount you can pay upfront (the down payment) and the amount of time you will have to pay back the loan will determine the amount of your mortgage. Get pre-approved before you start house hunting. 4. Choose a Real Estate Agent Your real estate agent is your mentor/guide through this process, make sure you meet with them and they are a good fit in terms of your personality and needs. 5. Let the house hunting begin It is a good idea to make a list of features you are looking for, what features you are willing to possibly forgo and what you are not willing to. 6. Make an offer You finally find the home of your dreams and your agent will prepare a written offer to the current owners. 7. Finalize the deal Once the offer has been accepted, the start of the closing process begins, such as the payment and the mortgage terms. Jane Vikse Real Estate take pride in everything they do and value honesty and integrity with all their clients. So whether you are buying or selling your home feel free to contact Jane Vikse Real Estate, they will be happy to help you with all your real estate needs!

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ARE YOU WORKING TOWARD RETIREMENT?

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As a working woman, we work hard to succeed at work and like most women, we want to look our best while doing that. Women have been coloring their hair for years, some because they want a certain look perhaps they are striving to get that professional, adventurous or sleek look. At Salon J, we value our services and products, by first helping you understand the difference between the products and services we carry, and which ones will help achieve the look you are envisioning. We also understand life gets busy and you can’t always stick to the strict maintenance schedule of four to six weeks. Here are two tricks that will keep your color looking great as you succeed at work and at home. Wash with cooler water. Keep your color longer by turning down the water in the showers, hot water can cause your hair shaft to enlarge causing a dissolution to your hair color. By washing and rinsing your hair with cooler water it will keep that color locked in longer. Protect your hair against the sun. The sun can cause premature fading from the Ultraviolet light. The perfect way to protect your hair is to wear hats when out in the strong sun or we can help you find products that can help prevent fading. You work hard everyday, supporting your family and we want to help you look good doing just that! 180 Progress Way • Spicer, MN (320) 796-6843

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GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD

Kristine Fladeboe Duininck became a professional auctioneer in 1995, REALTOR in 1999, and Broker in 2007. Her love for the auction business started nearly 20 years earlier as she listened to her father sell everything from cattle to collectibles to real estate. As a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, Kristine specializes in selling farmland and recreational land across MN and fundraising auctions worldwide. In January 2006, Kristine was named the 2006 Champion Auctioneer by the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association. She placed as a finalist in the same contest in 2004 and was also named a finalist in the International Auctioneer Championship in 2005, 2007 and 2009. She is also a 1995 graduate of the World Wide college of Auctioneering and holds the designation of Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS). With her obtaining the title of the 2010 International Auctioneer Champion from the National Auctioneers Association, Kristine is actively appearing as a featured speaker. Her “Becoming the Leader in You” is one of her favorites along with “Taking the Next Step: How to Become a Real Estate Auctioneer.” She resides in Spicer, Minnesota, with her husband, Jamie, and two children, Elsie and Harris. Outside of home and work, Kristine loves running in the outdoors!

THE RIVERS FAMILY RESTAURANT

We all cherish a good meal, we appreciate the time we can share a good meal with family and friends no matter what the day of the week is, there is never a good excuse to enjoy a great meal. At The Rivers Family Restaurant you find just that. You will find appealing choices for every type of appetite on their menu. The Rivers Family Restaurant is happy to serve you and your loved ones, with food that will delight your taste buds. The Rivers Family Restaurant also understand how busy people are in their community offering a convenient pickup/takeout service. Jamie and Jason Olson, owners of the Rivers Family Restaurant and their staff make sure you get a warm welcome and serving you and your loved ones in the attentive service.

The Rivers Family Restaurant

610 W. Hwy. 212 • Montevideo, MN 56265

Fladeboe Auction Minnwest Campus 1700 Technology Drive, Suite 210 Willmar, Minnesota 56201 (320) 212-9379

NATURAL RELIEF FOR PAIN

In 2018, Chandie Kraus owner of Timezone-CBD, took a trip to Texas where she met the owner of a dispensary. She was looking for a natural relief for pain for a family member. Chandie, knew about CBD but did not know enough about it. After talking with the dispensary in Texas, she came home and started doing more research and decided she wanted to offer her community members the same option. It took Chandie a year to open a store, find great multiple brands with great testing. What sets the Timezone apart from everyone else is the education for their clients on CBD. Chandie invites you in today for more information on how CBD can work for you

Timezone-CBD

1630 HWY 12 • Willmar, MN 56201 320-262-5172

My family and I specialize in selling agricultural land and fundraising through auctions. My passion is to “make a difference” in the lives of others through auctioneering and motivational speaking.

Kristine Fladeboe Duininck

International Auctioneer Champion

Call today for a complimentary consultation!

Time Zone CBD

Stop in and let us make you something delicious!

Oils, Topical, Bath, Edible, Pet Supplements, Information Classes. Third Party Tested and Multiple Brands. "Time Zone can help you make the change. Call or Stop in!"

1630 Hwy 12 East Willmar, MN 56201 320-262-5172 timezonecbd@gmail.com

320.212.9379 www.fladeboeauctions.com

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Jamie (Owner)

Jess

(320) 269-8662 610 W. Hwy #212 Montevideo, MN

riversfamilyrestaurant.com

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THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THAT NEW HOME

When it comes to buying or selling a home, you shouldn’t go it alone. You need someone in your corner – a home pricing expert, a skilled negotiator and a networking powerhouse. Our office has local experts and skilled support staff backed by the market-leading visibility and networking capabilities of Edina Realty to help you achieve your real estate goals. Edina Realty, is here to help support you in any way they can, your real estate agent is key to unlocking your new home. There are three suggestions to keep the relationship running smoothly, and on track to find the home you are looking for. Be upfront with your agent. Let them know what you can afford are looking for. As tempting as it is to visit luxurious homes, only do so if you are truly interested and it is in your price range. When you are out looking for your new home here are four key questions. 1.When was the house last updated? This is a good question to ask about features like electrical, plumbing, windows, roof etc. You do not want to pay for major repairs when you move into your new home. 2. How much do utilities cost? This helps distinguish if the house fits into your budget and gives you an idea if it is an energy-efficient house. 3. What issues does the home come with? Regardless of how recent renovations took place, every home has their issues. It is better to know right off the bat before your home inspection or when you move it in. 4. Was there a change in price? If there was a change in price, ask why that was. Make sure there are no issues with the house. However, at times a new price can be due to the buyers becoming impatient to sell the home. Edina Realty is here when you are ready to buy or sell. Contact us and we would be happy to get you into your new home.

YOUR GOAL IS OUR GOAL

When the bank opened in 1884, the founders had a clear vision: safeguarding people’s money so they could realize their dreams, and contributing to the community, making it a great place to live and work. In 1951, Russell Bauman joined the State Bank of Kerkhoven. He purchased the bank in 1976 and carried the vision forward with unwavering dedication. The bank has been built on solid values: financial strength, integrity and commitment to the community. Today, the vision of our founders still inspires everything we do. In July 2005, we changed our name to Financial Security Bank — a name we believe reflects heritage and our promise to our customers. Today, we’re proud to serve Kerkhoven, Albertville and the surrounding communities. We’re proud that we can help our friends and neighbors achieve their dreams. We’re proud to help local businesses and farmers thrive. We are a community bank, locally owned, and dedicated to providing the resources and services designed to make your financial dreams come true. We will always be willing to take the time to understand your financial needs and offer solutions that will help you achieve your dreams and goals.

Financial Security Bank

1011 Atlantic Ave • Kerkhoven, MN 56252 320-264-2161

Jen Amdahl

Kristi Jo Block

Barbara Chrisianson

Nicole Dahl

Jolene Ervin

Naomi Koenen Office Administrator

M ‘ Michele Mead Office Assistant

Kyle Parker

Rose Pitzen

Phyllis Rieppel

Brenda Rouse

Dawn Witt

Edina Realty

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2320 1st Street S • Willmar, MN 56201 320-235-7887 Angela Paffrath Jodi Severson

Terri BarreTT Vice PresidenT

BeTh ellioTT loan officer

At Financial Security Bank, we work hard to be a When it comes to choosing a banking partner different kind of bank. we know you have a lot of choices. We believe it’s all about relationships... 1011 Atlantic Avenue not just accounts.

Kerkhoven, MN 56252 320.264.2161 www.financialsecuritybank.com

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Our staff builds relationships to help you reach your goals!

Nicole Kaiser

As Realtors we have many years of combined experience. We are committed to bringing our customers and clients the professional service they deserve. There are a lot of technological changes taking place in our industry, but we are finding that Buyers and Sellers still need Real Estate professionals. We feel fortunate to live in an area where we have so many truly wonderful people to work with.

2320 S. First St., Willmar

235-7887

www.edinarealty.com


WHY BE BASIC?

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

Simply Blessed Boutique

Design West Ltd

When you purchase clothing at a chain store, you are wearing the same clothing as those across the country. When you purchase clothing from a boutique, you receive special hand-picked products personally. The love for clothes, shopping and desire to be her own boss, seemed like a perfect fit to start her own boutique for Miranda Gilbertson, owner of Simply Blessed. The boutique offers women’s clothing that is comfortable and affordable in sizes small through 3XL. The boutique offers shipping directly to you as well. One of the best perks of shopping at Simply Blessed, is the personal relationships we offer, the opportunity to meet Miranda and hear her story. We invite you to come take a look at what we have hand-picked for you. 306 N 1st Street • Montevideo, Minnesota 56265 320- 321-1329

For more than 30 years, Design West has been the place where color meets design. Design West is an established interior design firm in West Central Minnesota. Carla Miller, interior designer, collaborates with architects, builders, homeowners and business owners. From concept to completion, each project is handled with personal care, building a relationship which clients trust. Design West teams up with superior tradespeople to complete quality workmanship and products with stunning end results. The world of design is an ever-changing place. Correctly arranging and designing a room is difficult. Let Design West show you how to make it easy and get the results you are looking for. Design West is a great resource for business owners. Trust Design West to create a functional and beautiful interior for your commercial space that can be enjoyed by your customers and employees. Trust the designer your neighbors and colleagues choose for design work. Spicer, MN 56288 320-796-2888

Miranda Gilbertson

Your Trusted Interior Designer

Owner/Operator Stop in and shop my selection of clothing and gifts.

(320) 321-1329 306 N 1st Street Montevideo, Minnesota

Carla Kahle Miller

Mon - Fri 10:00AM - 6:00 PM Saturday 10:00AM - 3:00PM | Sunday Closed

www.facebook.com/Simply-Blessed-Boutique

MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE WHILE ‘BANKING YOUR WAY’!

Many dream of being their own boss, making their own decisions by starting their own business in something they are passionate about. Thriving in business requires perseverance, audacity, passion and, of course, a lot of hard work. In spite of the challenge, more and more women are choosing to start their own business adventure. Possibly, you are one of them? Have you asked yourself, the question about starting your own business? There is a lot of fear

INTERIOR DESIGNER

RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN

Tel/Fax 320.796.2888 DesignWestLtd.com

in starting your own business, and here at Concorde Bank we understand that, that is why we are here to help you by lending our experience and services. At Concorde Bank, we are your hometown bank committed to nurturing the growth and success of our community’s small-mid- and large-size businesses through our superior services, competitive rates and expert advice, while making banking done your way.

Concorde Bank

16 Main St. • Blomkest, MN 56216 320-995-6111

1102 1st St. • Willmar, MN 56201 320-222-6111

Banking Your Way! Blomkest: 320-995-6111 16 Main Street

Willmar: 320-222-6111 1102 1st Street, S

www.concordebanks.com Mobile Banking Now Available!

Front Row: Doris Richter, Glennyce Iiams, Janet Konieczny, Colleen Thorpe Last Row: Jacquelyn Jensen, Paulette Ascheman, Michelle Goltz, Lois Kennard, Kjerstin Baker, Lori Somerville, Loydene Bernhagen

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DRIVEN BY SKILL AND PASSION

Is there any better feeling in getting a fresh hair color or cut? Whether you are dreaming of voluminous curls, a stylish bob or shimmer of highlights, our team at Hair and More is here to help you. As time seems to fly by and our time is occupied with work, children, grandchildren, errands and so forth. At Hair and More we are passionate about staying up to speed with the stylish trends. We are more than a place of business, we are a salon that supplies an escape from the ordinary- at Hair and More we are a place to come to leave the everyday life stresses from the past week and relax at the hands of one of our passionate, skilled stylists. We will help you unwind and when you walk out you will feel ‘more empowered than when you walked in’.

Hair & More

1305 1st St S Suite #3 • Willmar, MN 56201 320-231-2082

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GET PREPARED TO FILE - IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY

Although we are months away from tax season, it is never too early to begin preparations for filing income and businesses taxes, and that is exactly what Pamela Mansfield, CPA firm encourages individuals and businesses to do and she offers a helping hand in doing so as well. Pamela Mansfield, CPA firm would like to offer some helpful tips on how to prepare for tax season and help get your individual and or business tax items organized: 1.Create a document folder. In January your mailbox will soon fill with tax forms from employers, charitable organizations, banks and other financial institutions. It should be noted that business and individuals should keep an eye out for these items and store these documents in a folder. 2. Receipts and itemizing expenses. Keep your receipts and documentation altogether. 3. Save money. The goal is to get a refund but sometimes it does not always turn out that way and we end up owing money, which can be troublesome for individual and business budgets. Whether you are an individual or a local business in or around Kerkoven, Pamela Mansfield, CPA, has years of valuable experience as an IRS registered tax preparer and she would be happy to assist you.

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Pam Mitteness Mansfield, CPA, PA 108 N 10th Street • Kerkhoven, MN 56252 320-264-0070 L-R: Jane Stassen, Kim VanHeuveln, Paula Grace, Pam Mansfield

Kathy, Jeanne, Angie, Lisa, Christine, Sydney

Call today to make your appointment!

• Cuts • Colors • Perms • Waxing • Manicures • Pedicures • Formal Up-do’s • Make-up • Massage Therapy

FULL SERVICE SALON

OPEN MONDAY THRU SATURDAY

320-231-2082 1305 First Street South, Willmar

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Pam Mitteness Mansfield, CPA, PA Certified Public Accountant Pam Mansfield, C.P.A. | Dwayne J. Riley, C.P.A. | Jane Stassen, QuickBooks Pro Advisor

MEMBERS OF: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

P.O. BOX 318, 108 N. 10TH STREET, KERKHOVEN, MN 56252 PHONE: 320.264.0070 FAX: 320.264.0200 E-MAIL: OFFICE@PMMANSFIELDCPA.COM


TRUSTED & PROFESSIONAL

MAKE SENSE OF YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE

Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and partner in Rekow Management. His passion is helping clients successfully navigate life’s challenges while pursuing the goals they have established. Mark also believes that it takes a team to make sure your financial planning is a success. He could not do this without his business manager, Shari Malecek and client service representative, Melanie Gades. Shari joined Rekow Management, LLC, in 1999 and enjoys working with clients and business associates, and handling a variety of responsibilities at the office. She has over 30 years of experience working with small businesses around the community and appreciates the commitment individuals make to effectively manage their businesses and plan for their and their employees’ financial success. Working with individuals and families as they plan and save to meet their goals, as well as watching retired individuals enjoy the benefits of adhering to their financial plan, has been a very rewarding part of her experience with the company. Melanie is a client relationship associate for Rekow Management. She provides internal administrative support and client management, and attends to the company’s day-to-day operations. With over 20 years of financial and client services expertise, Melanie feels that each client’s needs are unique and important. Her focus is on helping individuals with all aspects of their financial lives by providing them with exceptional service and advice. She believes in treating every client as an individual, with caring attention, respect, accessibility, and responsiveness. Together, the team appreciates unique opportunities each client brings to the financial planning and investment management process, and together they will help you develop a financial plan and investment management process that will help you live the life you have hoped.

Legal Advice & Representation is important to us at Waechter & Gustafson. Make sure your legal matters are in experienced hands. With more than 30 years experience, Ann a partner with the law firm Waechter & Gustafson, is involved in the general practice of law, primarily in the family law area. We work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

Waechter & Gustafson

328 5th St SW • Willmar, MN 56201 320-235-0000

Rekow Management, LLC

101 S 1st St #50 • Montevideo, MN 56265 320-269-7889

?

Want to advertise in the next publication of

Investment Management and Advisory Services

Contact me today!

Christie Steffel Advertising Manager csteffel@wctrib.com 320-214-4317

We Work Hard for the Justice You Deserve. Shari

Office Manager

Melanie

Customer Service Representative

101 South 1st Street, Suite 50 | Montevideo, MN 56265

P: 320-269-7889 | F: 320-269-3220 | E: mwrekow@rekowmanagement.com

Waechter & Gustafson ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW

328 SW 5th St. • Willmar, MN •320-235-0000

General Law Magazine

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SOLVING PROBLEMS FOR RURAL BUSINESSES & FARMERS

Growing up on a Minnesota farm, John Christianson understood the challenges that his neighbors faced. Using his talents for accounting and business, he set out to help others successfully grow their businesses and protect their assets. Whether working with a small, local company, an ethanol production startup, or a large corporation, Christianson, PLLP brings you the quality and expertise you depend on. Businesses have many moving parts Our worry-free accounting services are designed to keep your back-of-office operations running smoothly so you’re free to focus on the rest. With both limited purpose and full service options, our accounting solutions simplify your business situation and scale to meet your needs. FLEXIBLE: To help you manage business growth or get assistance with specific issues. TRANSITIONAL: To get you through personnel changes or help you adjust to expanding responsibilities. ONGOING: To keep your operations lean and keep your limited staff resources available for other responsibilities. Whether you lack the resources to handle the complexity of multijurisdictional tax law and the ever-changing nature of industry regulation on your own, or would rather spend time and resources elsewhere; we’re here to help. Over the years, new challenges and opportunities for the rural and agricultural industry came to light and Christianson, PLLP has risen to the challenge, developing new skills and expertise to meet your needs. Accuracy, confidentiality, and fast response are all built in to our culture. New business development and new industries keep us on the cutting edge while rural, small town values keep us rooted in our tradition of service.

Christianson CPAs & Consultants 302 SW 5th St • Willmar, MN 56201 320-235-5937

Creating clients for life

Willmar Office Back left to right: Melissa Knott, Lenora Churchill, Sheila O’Meara, Carly Kloster, Courtney Litzau, Sara DeRoo, Toni Sing, Kari Buttenhoff, Jen Engel, Karla Olinger, Lorrie Gottwald, Christina Boike Front left to right: Kathryn Fristad, Charisse Hoffenkamp, Sandy Holtberg, Sarah Snyder, Jen Doering

Litchfield Office Left to right: Teresa Carlson, Kathy Koepp, Michelle Larson, Kaitlyn Lecher, Terri Anderson, Lindsay Kranz, Andrea Wimmer Willmar 302 SW 5th St Willmar, MN 56201 Call 320-235-5937

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Litchfield 194 S Litchfield Ave Litchfield, MN 55355 Call 320-373-1040

Paynesville 212 W James St #200 Paynesville, MN 56362 Call 320-235-5937

www.christiansoncpa.com


i n s u e s B s n i n e Celebrating Wom

CIRCULATION: (L to R) Stephanie Schroeder, Samantha Godfrey MAILROOM: (L to R) Erica Christensen, Cassandra Green, Ann Johnson, Debrah Barrios, Ashley Trisoline.

NEWS: Standing (L to R) Erica Dischino, Linda Vanderwerf, Sharon Bomstad, Shelby Lindrud, Donna Middleston. Seated (L to R) Anne Polta, Susan Lunnenborg.

BUSINESS OFFICE: (L to R) Suzanne Kuehnast, Debi Shelstad.

ADVERTISING: Standing (L to R) Allyson Wittman, Christine Riemersma, Suzanne Kuehnast, Angie Richardson, Rhea Yeadon. Seated (L to R) Lu Fransen, Christie Steffel.

CREATIVE: Jill Shaw

www.wctrib.com PO Box 839 | Willmar, MN 320.235.1154 or 800.450.1150


Do- it-yourself BIRD FEEDERS AND MORE Birds are one of life’s delights By Lu Fransen

A h h h … b i rd s ! They are one of life’s most delightful attractions, bringing hours of entertainment. What better place to watch them than from the comfort of your home or patio. Now, there are many birdhouses and bird feeders to purchase in stores and online. Some are simple and do the job nicely; some are quite decorative.

I love these old fluted cake pans so my husband and I scrounged around his workshop with pieces and parts to put this feeder together.

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However, if you are a crafter like me, the challenge is on to create your own unique homes and feeders. Oh, and don’t forget they need water so add a birdbath to your list. Here are several examples for different skill levels. Now, look around you to see what you have to make your own one-of-a-kind bird treasure!

Many years ago I put this yard decoration together for my patio. The really fun part of this is several times birds have decided to build a nest in it so we were able to watch their babies hatch.


A simple pile of rocks with small metal watering bowl I picked up for $5 at Runnings on top of the rocks works perfect for a bird bath. I enjoy browsing Pinterest and saw this idea. I had everything at home to make it and whipped it up in about a half hour.

If you have young children or grandchildren there are many simple ideas for you to create feeders together

using peanut butter and bird seed. Check the internet or ask if the kids have fun ideas they learned in school.

Here’s a look at a cone feeder a co-worker and her son made recently:

Lu follows in her mother’s footsteps of unwinding and relaxing by crafting and creating. Creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

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HEALTH & FITNESS WINTER WELLNESS TIPS TO STAY ACTIVE By Melissa Wentzel

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uring the cold winter months, it’s easy to let your exercise routine go into hibernation, especially in Minnesota. As the cold weather approaches, it’s so important to stay motivated and think of winter as an opportunity to try new fitness classes or winter sports.. By keeping your exercise routine fresh you will not only prevent boredom, but also challenge your body. It can get tough in the winter to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week so try mixing it up as much as you can. Here’s five tips to help you stay on top of your health this winter:

Take up a winter sport

Winter is a great time to experiment with new activities. This will create excitement and hold your interest longer than the same old workout you’ve been doing for months. Get outdoors and try cross country skiing, ice skating or snowshoeing. The fresh air will be invigorating and provide a great change of pace.

Back: Darla Quimby, Julie Molacek, Wendy Kolling, Allison Warne, Jill Kack Front: Margo Miller, Chris Rieckman (owner), Tamara DeKraai

Professional Staff, Services and Product! We Are a Full Service Salon

1809 S 1st St. Willmar, MN | 320-235-5963

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Get a workout buddy

Having a friend to exercise with is one of the best ways to increase accountability. You are less likely to skip a workout when you know someone is at the gym waiting for you. It’s also less intimidating trying out new classes when you have each other’s support. Pick a workout buddy who will motivate, support and push you to reach your fitness goals.

Overhaul your diet

When it’s cold and dark outside, we tend to gravitate toward comfort foods – carbs. That doesn’t mean that you should drop your healthy eating habits with the dropping temperatures. Instead load up your freezer with frozen fruits and vegetables. Try some new recipes to mix things up a bit and keep those taste buds guessing.

Stay hydrated Most people give little thought to staying hydrated when it’s cold, but staying hydrated is important all year long. Being hydrated helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs. It even gives your immune system a boost and prevents you from getting sick during peak cold and flu season.

Go to the gym straight from work If you pack your gym bag the night before your workout, you’re putting yourself in the right mindset. Then, when you head straight to the gym after work you have no time to sit down and contemplate skipping. Melissa Wentzel is the Wellness Director at Bethesda in Willmar.

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Read it!

Libraries play an important role in community

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By Syrena Maranell

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One Book Willmar The Willmar Public Library will be hosting the third annual One Book Willmar at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. This year’s featured title is “Vacationland” by Minnesota author Sarah Stonich. One Book Willmar offers area residents a wonderful opportunity to read, think, talk, listen and grow together. For this event, everyone reads the same book and then gathers to discuss it, bringing individuals in the community together through a shared reading experience that is certain to enrich the lives of those who participate. “Vacationland,” the first book in Stonich’s Northern Trilogy, is a collection of linked stories centered around a once-thriving fishing resort in northern Minnesota. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune review, Stonich writes with “… storytelling gifts reminiscent of our most holy mother of the frozen north, Alice Munro. She has a similar flair for ferrying readers back in time for several pages, deepening our regard for the character, then softly dropping us back into the present without a moment’s confusion. … her lovely, multilayered writing proves that even the most imperfect nights around the campfire are worth every moment of March yearning.” Stonich is a 2019 Minnesota Book Award Winner in the Novel/Short Story category for her most recent novel “Laurentian Divide,” the second book of her Northern Trilogy. She was also short-listed for France’s prestigious Grand

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Prix de lectrices d’Elle for her first novel, “These Granite Islands.” Since there is limited seating, it will be necessary to have a ticket for the event. Tickets are free and may be picked up at the Willmar Public Library check-out desk. This program is sponsored in part with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and by the Friends of the Library.

National Library Card Sign-Up campaign

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The Willmar Public Library has joined the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for a Library Card Sign-Up campaign, a time to remind parents, caregivers and students that a library card is the first step toward academic achievement and lifelong learning. A library card opens a world of infinite possibilities through resources and services that give students the tools to succeed in school and beyond. From STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programs to makerspaces and family storytimes, libraries transform lives through education. Libraries offer free and fun educational resources and activities that bring families and communities together, and libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up campaign has been held each fall to mark the beginning of the school year. The ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit please the Willmar Public in person or online at willmarpubliclibrary.org.

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Syrena Maranell is the Adult Services Librarian at the Willmar Public Library. For more information on these audiobooks, swing by the Willmar Public Library. The librarians are there to help you find your new favorite author. Check out the library’s blog at turningpages.areavoices.

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LIFE HAPPENS DEALING WITH MENTAL HEALTH, AND SO MUCH MORE By Claudette Larson, LICSW

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he number of state hospital beds that serve the nation’s most serious mentally ill patients has fallen from more than 550,000 in the 1950s to fewer than 38,000 in the first half of 2016. That is according to a survey from the Treatment Advocacy Center. So, when President Donald Trump says we need to consider increasing the number of mental health inpatient beds, I completely agree. Those of us that work in the arena of mental health, all see first-hand that there is not enough short- and long-term care for the mentally ill who need this level of treatment. You see it in our homeless population and those who are in our jail and prison system that would be better served getting adequate mental health care. What I do not agree with is the reason behind suddenly increasing institutional care at this present time – because of the increase in mass shootings in the United States. Do I believe that mental illness is the sole and primary reason we have a mass shooting epidemic in our country? No. Mass shootings are perpetuated predominantly by males. Not an opinion but a fact. Clearly, women experience rage. Perhaps we are better at verbalizing our anger. Mass shootings can be spontaneous in that there is an element of “snapping” that occurs. Yet far more are premeditated. Often, these shootings are well planned and created through the lens of resentment and hate that has been accumulated over a prolonged period of time. This hate is needed as a validation for the acts that are to follow. Shooters are often socially isolated and perceive themselves as a victim. The means to carry out mass shootings are achieved through accumulation of weapons and thoughtful planning involving specific timing and location. This requires solid executive functioning. Most shooters act alone. This does not fit into any specific mental illness or diagnosis. To say that mass shootings are the result of mentally ill people having access to guns is truly false and misguided. While a person who commits a mass shooting may suffer from a mental health diagnosis, that alone is not the sole reason behind their committing a mass shooting. To assert this is to further push a stigma against mental illness that is hurtful and wrong. This will not be a simple fix. Is it about the easy access to

assault rifles? Yes. Is it about people becoming numb to violence due to the high use of first-person shooter video games? Yes. Is it about overall immaturity and a decrease in frustration tolerance? Yes. Is it about hate and bigotry that can be fueled with social media sites designed to inflame intolerance? Yes. Is it possible that mental health can be an issue for someone who has committed a mass shooting? Yes. But, it cannot, and should not, be the only part of this phenomena that is addressed in dealing with this epidemic because it is not the primary cause. There is no one primary cause. It is a multitude of factors that, combined, occur together to create a devastating problem of violence occurring in our country. Unless we are committed to seeing this problem from several lenses that all require attention and action, we will merely be pointing fingers and doing little to keep our children and each other, safe. Take care. Claudette Larson, LICSW, RPT, is owner of Willow Creek Counseling in New London and has enjoyed working with children, teens and adults for the past 17 years.

 Early Childhood Education  Youth Programs  Adult Enrichment  Special Needs  Adult Basic Education  Facility Scheduling  Aquatics  Wellness  And Much More

Discover something just for you! Willmar Community Education 1234 Kandiyohi Avenue SW | Willmar, MN 56201 320-231-8490 www.willmar.k12.mn.us/communityed

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Style it!

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If the boot fits: How to choose the perfect boots for fall

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By Erica Dischino edischino@wctrib.com

oots are an easy choice for fall footwear – especially in Minnesota. What isn’t easy is choosing the best kind of boot for you. There are so many types and styles. It’s overwhelming! We all have different lifestyles, activity levels and preferences. That’s why boots are great — you can wear them in so many ways. Check out your local shoe stores, like Petersons Shoes in Willmar, and ask for a consultation to best suit your needs. When it comes to finding the perfect boots, here’s how we broke it down:

Classic When looking for a fall shoe, a classic pair of boots will never go out of style. Look for clean lines and a simple black or brown color. From ankle booties to full riding boots, simple is best when looking at a pair of boots for the long haul.

also great for a more sophisticated look. You can pair them with a nice pair of slacks or tights and a dress.

Casual Boots are great for everyday wear. But, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. It you’re going out apple-picking or enjoying some hot cider with friends, wear your favorite pair of boots that have some sort of embellishment or accessory. Many boots have ropes or bands around them for a different look. Pair them with some of your favorite thick socks and you’re ready for fall.

Utility Do you enjoy fall hikes or need a good pair of shoes for bird watching? Look for boots that have all-weather material and ankle support. Many boots have earthy colors that’ll look great with a pair of binoculars.

Athletic

Trendy

Who says boots can’t look good with your athleisure outfit? Find boots with laces and look for soles with rubber sneaker-like bottoms. That will elevate your boots from classic to athletic.

Formal

Spice things up with animal print boots, embroidery or even a fun toe-shape. There are so many awesome trends! If you’re wary about spending money on something you might not want to wear in a few years, check out your local consignment shop. There are many trendy boots there for a lower price.

With formal attire or especially in a business professional environment, choose boots with higher heels. Suede boots are

Erica Dischino is the photographer for Live It! Magazine and the West Central Tribune.

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Bake it! Embrace lovin’ from the oven with hot, hearty entrees

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By Anne Polta apolta@wctrib.com

s autumn draws in and the air grows chilly, turn on the oven and turn to dinner options that warm both the stomach and the soul. There’s something satisfying about preparing a meal that can go from oven to table with minimal fuss. While the following three recipes require some up-front planning and effort, the cook’s work is done once the baking begins.

Spinach and pasta bake This can double as either a main dish for a meatless meal or a hearty side dish. 9 ounces spaghetti 1/2 cup butter, melted 16 ounces fresh spinach 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 2 cups sour cream 1/4 cup diced onion Dash of dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Break the spaghetti into pieces and cook according to package directions; drain well. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add spinach in batches and cook, without adding water, until softened and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Combine all ingredients. Pour into a lightly buttered 9-by-13-inch casserole and bake for 45 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden and mixture is slightly bubbling. Serves 8 to 10

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Red beans and rice The beans must be soaked overnight so you’ll need to plan ahead. Sort and rinse the beans, then place them in a pan and cover with cold water that tops the beans by at least an inch. Let sit overnight. Drain and rinse again before using. 1 cup dried red beans 1ž chicken stock or canned broth 3/4 cup water 1½ to 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 bay leaves 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 4 ounces bacon, diced 1 small onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups cooked white rice Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the stock, water, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt and Tabasco in an ovenproof dutch oven and bring to a boil. Drain the beans and add them to the mixture. Stir in bacon, onion and garlic. Cover the dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Bake until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving over rice. Serves 4

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Stuffed meatloaf

Homely meatloaf gets an upgrade. A package of frozen chopped spinach can be substituted for the broccoli. 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli 2 pounds ground beef 2 eggs 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs, from about 1 slice of bread 1/4 cup ketchup 1/4 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt 3 ounces thinly sliced smoked ham 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, optional Rinse frozen broccoli under cold running water to separate florets and stalks; drain well. Gently combine ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, milk, salt, pepper and oregano. On an 18-by-15-inch sheet of aluminum foil, pat out the ground beef mixture into a rectangle, 12 by 10 inches. Arrange broccoli on top, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edges. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Arrange ham slices on top of broccoli. Roll up rectangle, starting at the 10-inch side and using the aluminum foil to lift. Press the edges and ends of the roll to seal. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place meat loaf on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 1Âź hours. Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese and lay overlapping slices on top of meatloaf. Return to oven and bake until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute. Serves 8

Anne Polta may be reached at apolta@wctrib.com or follow her on Twitter @AnnePolta.

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Spir its! Flying

By Ron Skjong

I

love to watch bald eagles soar in the sky. They are so majestic with their outstretched white-tipped wings that are longer than I am tall. Their wings can be up to seven feet in length and it is so peaceful to watch them drift – seemingly effortlessly – across my vision. Every time I see one flying, I want to stop and just stand there and take in the serenity of the moment. But, one must be careful to identify the bird correctly. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re seeing a hawk or an eagle – especially when you’re not able to give the moment your full attention like when you’re driving. Hawks are also very interesting with their some time belligerent attitude but, again, when drifting above the ground, they are so beautiful. The Red Tailed Hawk with its four-foot wingspan is fun to watch. You know they are soaring up there for a reason and that reason is most likely … food. Such is life, and it doesn’t detract from their colorful beauty.

I also enjoy the smaller Sharp-Shinned Hawk which is easy to identify with its much smaller body shape and very quick aerial movements. Birds have been a part of my life since a child. My mother knew her birds and introduced me to them at a very early age. Robins, sparrows, swallows, blue jays, finches and pheasants were only a few of the myriad of birds I grew up with on the farm. Each bird brought a special picture of life to me and I’ve carried that birding interest to this day. We need them more than they need us. Why do we need them? Because they deliver beauty into our lives and they can do something we can’t do by ourselves. They can fly! However, during the summer and early fall months, they aren’t the only natural organism flying around us. We’re fortunate to still have monarch butterflies and other butterflies visiting us during our warm months. Butterflies are fascinating and gorgeous to watch, however, we must enjoy them quickly because, before we know it, they’re on their 3,000-mile journey

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to Mexico for the winter. Once again and even if it’s only for a short time, they deliver beauty into our lives and they can do that thing we can’t do – fly. And how about those of us who fly south for the winter months? Figuratively speaking, we spread our wings and fly, don’t we? Alright, that might be a bit of an over statement but you get the idea. As these folks fly away from those of us staying behind, what friends do we have to help us “fly” through winter? Well, how about these? How about we soar to Foxhole Brewhouse for a 4th Street Wheat Ale? This brew won the Gold Medal at the 2019 U.S. Beer Open Championship competition and that’s why you should fly to the tap house and order one of these easy session beers. As you smell the aroma of lemon and lime, the first sip will sweetly satisfy you and its crisp finish will draw you back to it. With its low 4.3% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and very miniscule 15 IBU’s (International Bitterness Units), this is one you can enjoy as you sit back and let your imagination fly like an eagle. You would rather have a wine during your winter stay? Good, because Glacial Ridge’s Zinful Bastard will get your attention and then comfort you with its cherry flavors balanced with some peppery finishing touches. It’s dry enough to cleanse your palate and sinful enough to make sure you’ll come back for more of it. It wouldn’t let you fly very far from it and that’s just fine. If you’re interested in buzzing into another beer this winter, why not try Goat Ridge Brewery’s Brother Buzz Double IPA? But, be careful because at 8.1% ABV and an IBU rating of 83, you treat this brew with respect. It’s extremely delicious with huge hop aroma and taste but rounds out your sip with a nice touch of sweetness.

And, again, treat it with respect or the buzz you hear might not come from a flying bee. Now let’s have another wine and enjoy Hinterland Vineyards Lacrescent. It pairs so well with a variety of foods from chicken to seafood, and is delicious with any pasta dish. I especially enjoy pairing it with a nice cheese appetizer. The wine is semi-dry and provides a nice grapefruit taste that ends with a good crisp finish. It’s totally enjoyable and will let you fly into a comfy conversation with your friends and family. I enjoy sitting with a beverage and watching my fine feathered friends fly around my little corner of the world. The bottom line is that our lives are filled with things and people flying into and out of it. Some things and people stay a short time – like the birds and butterflies of summer – and some stay with us forever – like our memories of loved ones who have flown away from us. We should be happy that some type of flying will always be a part of our lives because it takes us on an adventure that brings color, enrichment and enchantment to us. As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon! Cheers!

Ron Skjong writes primarily about the wonderful world of wine but likes to explore various spirits and beers, too. He is married and has four grown children. While stationed in Germany, he was introduced to German wines and from that introduction, a lifelong pursuit developed to find that perfect bottle of wine. Magazine

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Check it!Out! What’s happenin’? OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

MUSIC CONCERTS AND MORE

Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra MISCELLANEOUS Oct. 26 Willmar, 7 p.m., WEAC; fall concert Rialto Revisited Brothers2 “Halloween Hollow.” Every Sunday through November Oct. 4 New London, 1 and 3 p.m., Little Theatre, Watson, 7 p.m., Watson Town Hall; New London Roaming Cinema and the Midwest Hall of Famers Don and Lee West Central Concert Series Nov. 4 Little Theatre presents classic movies. Kanten present a fun night of music. Willmar, 7:30 p.m., WEAC; the West Central Concert series presents Timothy Fright Forest Meander Chooi, sterling violinist, with piano Oct. 25-27, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Oct. 4-6 New London, Holmstrom Haunt and Minnesota River Valley, five-county Upper accompaniment in a classical program. movies at the Little Theatre; Oct. 25-26, Minnesota River art crawl, self-guided tour 7 p.m., PG; Oct. 27, 2 p.m., low scare with of 40 individual artists and 33 studios in and Buddy Holly pumpkin carving; Oct. 31, 7 p.m., PG13; Nov. near the western Minnesota communities Nov. 9 Glenwood, 7:30 p.m., Central Square; 1-2, adults only, 18 and over. of Ortonville, Appleton, Madison, Milan, “The Buddy Holly review Not Fade Away” Dawson, Montevideo and Granite Falls. by the original cast of History Theatre’s Willmar Farmers Market Production of “Buddy! The Buddy Holly Every Saturday through Oct. 12 Trio Larsson Story.” Willmar, 6:30 a.m. to noon, YMCA parking Oct. 5 lot. Dawson, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Auditorium; the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association presents Newcomer and Walters Saturday Farmers Market international Swedish musicians Anders & Nov. 16 Dawson, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Auditorium; Every Saturday through Oct. 26 Maria Larsson of Malmo and Minnesota Willmar, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kandi Mall east Scandinavian folk musician Ross Sutter as the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association presents they create a beautiful sound with fiddle, an evening with Carrie Newcomer and side parking lot. nyckelharpa, Swedish flute, guitar and pianist Gary Walters. Midweek Farmers Market vocals. Every Wednesday through Oct. 30 Prairie Winds Concert Band Willmar, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kandi Mall east Nov. 24 ‘In the Bag’ side parking lot in Willmar. Willmar, 2 p.m., WEAC; Prairie Winds Oct. 6 Litchfield, 2 p.m., Litchfield Opera House; Concert Band presents a fall concert. Opera House tea and one-act play “In the Bag”; bring your finest tea service and reserve a table for eight to watch the play with friends.

ARTS/DRAMA

Children’s theater Oct. 25-26 West Central Concert Series Willmar, 7:30 p.m., The Barn Theatre; the Oct. 6 Willmar, 3 p.m., WEAC; the West Central Hayloft Players present “Show and Spell.” Concert series presents Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, a circus-like show starring Gregory Popovich, acrobats, ringmaster DANCE and pets. Julie Lee Oct. 20 Monroe Crossing Glenwood, 4 to 8 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; Oct. 12 Glenwood, 7:30 p.m., Central Square; the Lakeside Dance Club presents Julie Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with Lee’s White Rose Band; dance open to all. an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals; Velvet Brass Nov. 17 320-634-0400. Glenwood, 3 to 7 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; the Lakeside Dance Club presents Velvet Brass, dance lesson at 2 p.m.; open to all.

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Profile for West Central Tribune

October/November 2019 issue of Live it! Magazine  

West Central Tribune Lifestyle magazine, including a supplement on Women in Business.

October/November 2019 issue of Live it! Magazine  

West Central Tribune Lifestyle magazine, including a supplement on Women in Business.

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