Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Montana Woman New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolution: Resolution
By: Sarah Griffith

“So Sarah, whattya think your New Year’s resolution’s gonna be?” asked my friend, who had obviously been thinking of nothing else. Umm, what? Honestly, the thought of creating a new, probably unnecessary task made my cortisol levels go all orange alert. A New Year’s resolution? To be really honest, I had barely even noticed it was December.

I was stumped. Well, let’s see, I suppose I could always go with the old stand-bys: lose weight, sign up for some new class, spend more time with family… oh right, the same resolutions that I make every single year. It seems like we all tend to make these grandiose plans for starting this promising new year off right, when in all reality the only way we start it is hungover as all hell.

Making New Year’s resolutions is so ridiculous. The holiday is just a holiday, it does not transform the next 365 days into fascinating little portals wherein you may drop 15 pounds, become an excellent cook, or be the best friend/mother/sister ever instantly. Sorry, team.

Instead of making a new resolution, I vote we resolve to have more resolution. Tie up loose ends, wipe the slate clean, finish what we started, and whatever other relevant cliché phrase suits your fancy. To me, the best resolution is deciding to start the new year fresh and clear of any unrealistic, vague, half-hearted wishful thinking. Just focus on the things you still need to get done that have accumulated throughout this year.

Then, once you’ve finally wrapped up most of your unfinished business, make a list of the goals that really are important to you. Make them realistic, be very specific, and set mini ‘check-in’ dates so you can experience little successes to spur you on. After all, how many “awesome ideas” have you had or great decisions have you made in the middle of the night, with people shouting around you, cocktail in hand? That’s what I thought. So, trust me, goals are a good thing, but resolutions are nothing of the sort. Indulge, have fun, be safe, and then identify and get serious about the things you really want to change- at any time of the year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Issue of Montana Woman Magazine

December issue is on the stands. Check it rocks.
The November issue is on the website:
Both very inspiring.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Wishes from Montana Woman

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with joy, peace and abundant laughter. May your blessings be to numerous to count! God bless you all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Montana Woman Treasures - Hollis McCartney

Montana Treasures




by Cindy Branch


Hollis McCartney has recently moved her business, Hands on Studio, to a new home in Amoreʹ Salon and Spa located in Kalispell, Montana.  Hollis is a permanent makeup artist who for the past eight years has enjoyed helping women look their best. 

     Hollis explains that permanent makeup is also known as cosmetic tattooing.  It is a method of applying pigment into the dermal (second) layer of the skin.  This technique has been medically developed and specifically designed for safe application.  Cosmetic tattooing is most frequently done for adding color to eyebrows, as eyeliner, and for full lip color.  Hollis is enthusiastic about her profession and working with women to enhance their beauty.  “Permanent makeup artistically applied will enhance natural features, and restore what time has washed away.”

     Hollis, who has a background in nursing and art, also shares, “Some of my most rewarding work has been with cancer patients.  For patients who have lost facial hair (eyebrows and eyelashes) I have achieved natural looking results with eyelash extensions and eyebrow impigmentation.  In addition, I have done areola restorations, post mastectomy reconstruction, and scar camouflage.  I have had patients come to visit me after they have had mastectomies or breast reduction surgery.  There are several different procedures (depending upon the surgery and reconstruction) that can restore color and camouflage scars.  This ensures that the end result is as natural as possible, helping each woman gain confidence as she adjusts to the change in her body.” 

     For women who have undergone mastectomies or other breast surgery, this re-pigmentation procedure is nothing less than a miracle.  “It is a way to restore the natural beauty of  patients’ breasts and helps them regain confidence in their femininity.”  For many breast cancer survivors, the recovery process can be an uphill battle.  After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, some women choose to have breast reconstruction surgery.  The areola restoration procedure is performed in the final stage of a complete breast reconstruction.  The main advantage is that it is a relatively quick and simple outpatient procedure that requires no more than a topical anesthetic, and does not create an additional scar.  In fact, the procedure can also be used to camouflage the color and even soften the texture of existing scars left behind after the initial breast reconstructive surgery.

     For those who did not have nipple reconstruction after their primary breast reconstruction, the appearance of the nipple itself may be recreated using only tattooing.  Hollis can create a most realistic looking and 3-dimensional appearance of a nipple and areola. 

     Hollis helps patients choose colors that complement their skin tones and/or match the remaining nipple.  Achieving the perfect shades may require more than one visit, and as with any tattoo, the pigment will fade in time, necessitating an occasional return visit for a color refresh.

     Hollis is physician referred and is a member of SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals).  Locally, Hollis works on a referral basis with Dr. Brentley Buchele of Buchele Plastic Surgery Kalispell.  Dianne of Dr. Buchele’s office says, “Our patients report to us that Hollis has provided them with outstanding results.” 

     Hollis stresses that all consultations are complimentary.  “I want to know that the potential client is comfortable with me and knows what to expect.  I have a ‘less is more’ approach to cosmetic tattooing.  My personal style is a natural, understated approach.  During the consultation the client’s expectations will be discussed and with  clear communication she will know how the end result will look.”   

     Call today for your free consultation:  406-253-3621.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday From A Montana Woman




Happy Birthday, Glacier Park

by Suzanne McAllister

Dreaming quest, sacred places

Indian dance, noble faces

Sparkling water reflects light

Lacy ferns, dew drop bright

Dainty bear grass grips the land

Aspens humbled by cedar stand

Bitterroot, ever lady quiet

Indian paint brush, color riot

Majestic mountains, snowy peaks

Tiny rivulets, glacier leaks

Sentinel pines, strong and tall

Osprey nest where eagles call

Scent of nature, surrounding girth

Pine and cedar, rich damp earth

Flashing fish, lakes pure and deep

Cozy caves where grizzlies sleep

Leaping goats from rim to ledge

Darting bees from flower to hedge

Chirping chipmunks beg for corn

Kingly rams with curling horn

Rigid white tail, wolves attack

Whistling elk, proud antler rack

All of this is Glacier Park

She feeds our spirit and quickens the heart.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Montana Woman Magazine - Editor's Note Sept. 2010

From the Editor


Where, oh where, has this summer gone?  As I write my editorial, I cannot believe Labor Day is just weeks away.  On the brighter side, autumn is just around the corner with its  slower pace, beautiful colors and fresh crisp air that heralds the changing of the season.  September also brings to mind students returning to school.  For some it is a happy occasion, and for some of the younger set reluctant to trade the Slip-n-Slide for pencils and books, well, let’s just say that joy doesn’t consume their hearts.

     The Montana Woman Foundation has once again awarded scholarships to help three amazing women eager to pursue their dreams of a higher education.  Our 2010 scholarship winners are Leigha Hopkins of Billings, Joey Giacomo of Kalispell and Erica Mannix of Helmville.  Leigha is a junior at Carroll College studying nursing, specializing in pediatrics.  Joey is currently attending Flathead Valley Community College working towards a degree as a certified surgical technician.  Erica is part of the Environmental Science-Biology program at Carroll College (junior year).  All three are active in their schools, communities and volunteer activities.  They all also share a strong desire to use their education to help build strong Montana communities.

     The Foundation has even more exciting news to share.  It has been chosen as one of three recipients for the Women’s Expo being held November 13, 2010, at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.  Teens ‘N Crisis and the Violence Free Crisis Line will also be receiving proceeds raised from this wonderful event.  A networking group named Biz to Biz Network is the chief organizer of the expo.  The focus of Biz to Biz is that of promoting small business owners and professionals while being a positive part of the community.  This is the second year the organization has hosted the Expo and once again plans to bring together a diverse ensemble of local businesses to encourage networking while helping nonprofits in need.

     The event this year is being promoted as a “Girls’ Day Out”.  It is sure to be a big hit with a new floor plan, live entertainment featuring Andre Floyd, as well as a live service auction to drive more funds to the nonprofits.  Some things that have not changed from last year’s agenda are the live fashion show and the many fun, interactive booths.  Last year the Expo was a huge success and Biz to Biz members were able to present  $5,000 checks to the Violence Free Crisis Line and the Abbie Shelter.  If you are interested in becoming an exhibitor, donating services, or attending the event call 877-224-9224 or email

     I hope you will be able to attend this wonderful Girls’ Day Out celebration.  What a great way to have fun and support you community.  Montana Woman Magazine will have a booth at the Expo.  We hope you will stop by and say, “Hi,” while you are visiting this exciting event.

     As summer gently moves towards fall, I also hope that each of you will take time to enjoy our beautiful Montana landscapes with family and friends.  Hopefully, we will all be able to put the fast pace of the hectic summer months on hold and take a deep breath of fresh Montana air.  Take a moment to just breathe….

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where Does your Joy Come From? By Dr. Buchele


Plastic Surgery:

Facts, Fads and Fiction




by Brentley A. Buchele, MD, MBA

Buchele Plastic Surgery, Kalispell


I hope you have a joyful life.  And I hope your joy comes from many directions.  And I hope it comes to you in many sizes.

     I wish everyone could have the big joy of a spiritual epiphany and the small joy of finding the lost car keys, the big joy of pride in your child who grows up to be a wonderful adult, and the small joy of a stranger’s smile at you doing for them an unnecessary act of kindness.

     In terms of joy, I have a great job. Thanks to good training, I have the skills to help people have joys of different sizes.  I help with the small joy of getting your eyelid sutures out and the big joy of removing 35 pounds of excess skin and fat from a woman’s abdomen.  I give the small joy of information from your burn will heal without a scar, to the bigger joy that we can do a breast reconstruction which will help you feel whole again.  I’d like to think that every day I bring joy to the lives of my patients.

     I hope so, for every day they bring joy to me.

     I get the little joys of their smiles and the big joys of them referring friends to come and see me.  I get the little joys when they say, “Thank You,” and the big joys when they expound on how grateful they are that not only did I do a good job, but I listened to them.

     It is a joy to have the privilege to be a given patient’s plastic surgeon.  And a responsibility.  I am responsible to give them enough information that our collective decisions yield joy not disappointment.  To that end, I am glad we have a revamped expanded web site ( with photos, post op care instructions, brochures about procedures, and fun info about plastic surgery.

     Take a moment, and ponder where does your joy come from and where it could come from.  Then ponder a bit how you do and could create joy for others.  Take a moment to be thankful, and then do something worthy of deserving thanks.

     Now, where ARE those car keys?


‘Til next time,


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Herbal Remedies - Dr. Betty Kuffel





Lipstick Logic




by Betty Kuffel, M.D.


The thought of avoiding non plant-based medicinals and prescription drugs is commendable, but just like being a healthy vegetarian, it is important our informational sources are accurate and do not lead to false conclusions.  Traditional medicine certainly does not have all the answers, nor does alternative or complementary medicine.  The latter two complement science-based medicine.

     Many people believe natural products are totally safe.  They are not.  Because of potential drug interactions, anyone taking supplements should bring the bottles with them to appointments with their physician.  Just a list is not adequate as some supplements contain numerous products

     At times, answers are clear: studies confirm and justify changes in guidelines, such as taking new products and discarding old.  However, with so much Internet information available at our fingertips, it is difficult to keep up with the changing fields of study and sort through information that may be inaccurate.

     Before recorded history, plants were used for medicinal purposes.  African and Native American cultures used herbs in healing rituals.  Ancient Chinese and Egyptian writings also described medical uses of plants.  When some ancient treatments around the world were compared, researchers found similar plants were used to treat similar health problems.  Now, with chemical analysis, the active ingredients in plant compounds can be extracted, purified and chemically formulated into pill form.

     Many plant products are marketed as herbal supplements.  Unlike prescription drugs that are manufactured under strict guidelines, supplements are sold at high prices without being tested to prove either safety or effectiveness.  Product testing of supplements has shown that levels of active ingredients vary significantly, based on where the plants are grown and how the supplements are processed and stored.  Some natural products may be far from healthy as testing of some have found contaminants of heavy metals, fertilizers and pesticides.

     Ginseng is an interesting product to examine.  For example, some studies have shown ginseng not only enhances the immune system, it may also improve mental performance and well-being, and even lower blood sugar levels in Type II diabetics.  Of the three forms labeled as ginseng, American and Asian ginseng are similar, while “Siberian ginseng” is extracted from a different plant altogether and produces different effects.

     Because American ginseng is endangered in the wild, it is now cultivated on farms in the U.S. These plants take six years to mature and are expensive to produce.  American and Asian or Korean ginseng contain “ginsenoside”, the active ingredient, but in different ratios. If you decide to take a product like this, read about it on reputable university-based websites.

     Non-prescription drugs are recommended by medical doctors daily.  Common examples include fish oil products and the B-vitamin niacin.  Both are known to lower elevated blood cholesterol.  However, for adequate effect, these products need to be used in combination with a cholesterol-lowering prescription medication.  It is important to monitor blood cholesterol levels for accurate dosing.

     Because of the increased use of herbals, medical schools and pharmacy schools now provide herbal medication information to their students.  Major pharmacies and universities also have computer data bases that can sort through lists of prescription drugs and supplements to evaluate for interactions.  For example, some herbs are linked to dangerous health risks.  Even garlic, ginkgo, feverfew and ginger may increase bleeding.  They should never be used by anyone taking warfarin (Coumadin).  Kava kava, which is  possibly helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia, can result in serious liver problems including liver failure.

     The field of herbal medicine is complex.  The products are variable and not always safe.  They should not be given to children.  Read information thoroughly and have a conversation with your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking any untested substance.


Some sites to check out:

University of Maryland Medical Center, Complementary Medicine,

National Institutes of Health (NIH) medicine/








Monday, August 9, 2010

Tea Time





by Carl Easton,

      Chris’ Tea Cottage


My last few articles have been some general, sweeping discussions on using tea generically in cooking and food preparations.  But each variety of tea possesses its own set of unique characteristics that lends itself more specifically to certain foods, dishes and types of preparations.  So I thought I might take a few issues to address several of the more interesting and useful ones.  And there is perhaps no better, nor more timely, place to start than with Rooibos tea, that wonderful red-bush “tea” from South Africa.

     Rooibos Tea is marketed globally by the Rooibos Limited, LLC marketing organization.  They have just released a limited production cookbook that features the favorite recipes from ten South African chefs that all feature Rooibos tea usage.  This book is entitled “A Touch of Rooibos”, and was voted the best cookbook in the world at the recent Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris.  A photo of the cookbook is included here, but it is not available on-line or in bookstores. As a tea book to promote Rooibos tea, it is available ONLY at tea shops.  It is a collection of soups, appetizers, salads, entrees, side dishes, desserts, cakes and cocktails... truly a wonderful collection of over 200 pages of creative recipes.

     Let’s for a moment address specifically the properties of Rooibos tea that lend themselves to food preparation.  First off, rooibos is ideal for usage in food preparation— simply use it (in its liquid tea form) as a substitute for water or milk in any recipe.  The rooibos taste complements and intensifies the natural flavors of most foods.  And, as I pointed out last month, it is also a natural tenderizer, which makes it a perfect base for meat and chicken marinades.  You can readily use rooibos tea as a replacement for any liquid you might otherwise use in stews and Dutch ovens.  It adds a rich aroma to whatever you are cooking while tenderizing the meat.  And, of course, rooibos is completely pure, has no additives and is naturally caffeine free.

     Different recipes require different strengths of rooibos tea, so we need to define the various ways that the rooibos tea needs to be prepared for usage in recipes.  There is essentially a medium strength blend, a stronger blend, and a very strong blend.  The determining factor is how much tea to add to a pint of boiling water that you let steep for 15 minutes.  For medium strength, add 3 tea bags (3 tbsp) to the pint of boiling water; for strong mix, add in six (6) tea bags; and for the super strong mix add in twelve (12) tea bags.

     So, here is one beef entrée and one dessert that use rooibos from the cookbook:


Beef & Apricot Dutch Oven

1 large onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2½ tbsp. virgin olive oil

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 cup rindless bacon, diced

2 lbs stewing beef, diced

5½ tbsp all-purpose flour

1 can (15 oz) whole tomatoes, chopped

1 beef broth cube, dissolved in 1 cup hot, STRONG rooibos mix

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried, mixed herbs of your choice

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup red wine

1 cup dried apricots, soaked in 1 cup cold STRONG rooibos mix

1 can (10 oz) whole button mushrooms, drained



1)    Preheat oven to 340 ºF.

2)    Sauté onion and garlic in 3 tsp of olive oil until tender.  Add celery and sauté gently.  Turn into an 8-cup Dutch oven dish.

3)    Fry bacon in remaining olive oil.  Add to Dutch oven.

4)    Toss the beef in the all-purpose flour to cover.  Brown the meat, in batches (add a little extra oil if needed).  Stir in the remaining flour.  Fry gently and add to Dutch oven.

5)    Add tomatoes, beef broth, Worchester sauce, herbs, salt, pepper, wine, apricots with the rooibos and mushrooms to Dutch oven.

6)    Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.


     Serves 6.


Rooibos Crème Brulee

12 egg yolks

1 egg

1 cup superfine sugar

1 cup milk

2 pints cream

4 rooibos tea bags

Regular sugar for topping/melting


1)    Preheat oven to 230º F.  Grease 6 ramekins lightly.

2)    Cream the egg yolks and egg together with the superfine sugar.

3)    Place milk, cream and rooibos tea bags in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point (scald).  Do not bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.  Discard tea bags.

4)    Pour a little bit of the milk/rooibos mixture into the eggs and stir well.  Add remainder of milk/rooibos mixture and stir to blend thoroughly.

5)    Strain the liquid through a fine strainer, taking care to strain out any tea leaf particles that may have escaped the tea bags.  Allow to cool completely, skimming off any foam on top.

6)    Pour the combined mixture into the prepared ramekins.  Using a cooking torch, lightly burn off any remaining foam on the tops of the brulees.

7)    Place in a roasting pan filled with water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for one hour or until set.

8)    Remove from the oven and leave to cool.  Place in the fridge to cool completely. Dust with regular sugar and use a cooking torch to brown the surface.





Tuesday, July 20, 2010





According to Amy, a guide at Montana Raft Company, any day on the Middle Fork is a good day.  On a weather perfect day in July, 50 people ready to enjoy the upper part of this beautiful river were in total agreement.  The Montana Woman Foundation hosted its annual raft fundraiser on July 17, 2010.  The journey began at the Montana Raft Company located in West Glacier at 9:00 a.m.  It is amazing how sunshine, the promise of a fun day spent on the river and laughter can morph even the most “not a morning person” into a bubbly early bird.

     The fifty fast-forming friends loaded a bus ready for their 45-mile drive along scenic Highway 2 that parallels the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  After reaching their destination, they unloaded, politely listened to the safety talk, and then digressed into talking “smack” about water fights and not becoming the newest member of the Middle Fork’s swim team.  

     However, Steve Middlesworth decided he not only wanted to be a new member, but was aiming higher, i.e., the position of team captain, qualifying with two trips over the side of the raft and into the clear water.  Judy Shaffer decided once was enough for her and remained glued to her seat for most of the journey.  We discovered that the person the farthest from home (Florida) and the person closest to home (Essex) were one in the same: Sherri Conover resides in Florida for most of the year, but spends summers and holidays in Essex.  The runner-up for greatest distance was Dwight Hawley from Seattle.

     For those not familiar with the upper section of the river, I am truly sorry.  You see, the trip between Bear Creek and Paola Creek is my absolute favorite.  Yes, the lower section is more action-packed with “Bone Crusher” and other notable rapids.  However, the upper portion allows you to float past the Walton Goat Lick and under huge train   trestles.  As we had eagerly anticipated, goats were spotted high up on the mountainside; however, they were a bit more elusive around the riverbanks.  Rafters enjoyed views of bald eagles perched in trees, red tailed hawks flying along the river in search of lunch and osprey in nests teetering high on fragile looking trees.  The wonderful sunshine quickly chased away the chill of the spraying water each time the boat encountered a rapid.  Everyone ended up equally soaked... our guides made sure of it.  Every rafter had a paddle and spent the day trying to keep in sync with everyone else in the boat.  It’s not an easy task to stay focused on paddling commands while being constantly distracted by the natural beauty of Glacier’s southern tip.

     A hearty lunch was donated by Great Harvest of Kalispell.  The sandwiches were wonderful, but the cookies stole the show.  Lunch was enjoyed at the Walton Ranger Station where laughter was shared and adventurous moments relived.  Overheard were enthusiastic comments like:  “Did you see the fish in the water?”  “Wow, the water is so clear.”  “We got stuck on the rocks and had to bounce up and down to get dislodged!”  “It was awesome floating under the train trestles and seeing the trains go through the snowshed.”  “Watch out for that group of women... they have water cannons.”  After about an hour of great eats and camaraderie, everyone reloaded onto the rafts ready for the rest of the adventure that includes remarkable geological viewing opportunities between the Ranger Station and Paola Creek.

     The journey ended around 4 p.m. at Paola.  A water fight between two good friends provided the group with entertainment while the rafts were being loaded on the trailer.  Thank you, Sylvia and Rhonda, for putting on a great show!  With a group of happily tired rafters, the bus was somewhat quieter on the trip back to West Glacier.  Everyone was in total agreement that the day had been perfect and plans were already being made to participate in next year’s trip.

     The trip was a huge success in many ways.

  1. We returned with the same number of folks that began the trip, thanks to the professional, highly trained and just plain fun guides of Montana Raft Company.   Thank you, Randy of Montana Raft, for helping make this trip possible.    
  2. Bee Broadcasting and the Daily Interlake did a great job getting the word out about this year’s fundraiser.  Thank you.
  3. Good food makes for satisfied tummies that make for happy rafters.  Again, thank you, Nanci, owner of Great Harvest, for the great sack lunches.  (For anyone looking for a convenient and satisfying way to provide lunch to a group, check out Great Harvest's sack lunches.  They ROCK!!)  And last but certainly not least... 
  4. We had a wonderful, delightful group of men and women ready to have fun and willing to get wet.  Thank you to everyone who participated.  We hope to see you next year!



Montana Woman Foundation Raft Fundraiser - Fun, Fun, Fun!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

July 2010 - Montana Woman Editor's Note


From the Editor


Wow!  It has been a busy spring here in the Montana Woman offices.  The magazine continues unprecedented growth.  We are grateful for the wonderful letters we receive from our readers sharing how much they enjoy our publication and from our advertisers who encourage us with reports of the positive responses they receive from their ads.  Thank you for all your kind words and support.
     The Montana Woman Foundation continues to grow as well.  We are happy to welcome new board members:  Shirley Burns, Suzie McAllister, Chris Noel, Elena Pendall, and Veronica Sunsdahl.  And other exciting things are happening!  The Spring Tea and Train fundraiser was a great success with everyone enjoying a fun-filled day spent in Essex (for more details, see p. 56).

The Golf Tournament, also an annual event, was held at the Crossroads Golf Course and hosted a record 12 teams.  Proceeds from this popular event will benefit the Montana Woman Scholarship Fund and WINGS Regional Cancer Support.  The August issue of the magazine will have some great images and special “thanks” for everyone who helped to make this one of our most successful fundraisers to date.
     We are also excited to be hosting a raft trip on July 17, 2010.  It has been a few years since our last raft trip, but due to popular demand we are bringing it back.  Our journey will begin at Montana Raft Company in West Glacier at 9 a. m.  From there we will be transported to Bear Creek (up past Essex) where we will board the rafts.  We will float the “upper” part of the Middlefork, which doesn’t get the attention it so richly deserves; the scenery is spectacular and the raft “traffic” minimal.  We will float down past the Walton Goat Lick providing a perfect opportunity to spot the nimble-footed goats (and, hopefully, a few baby “kids”) feeding off the natural minerals that “seep” through the rocks.  (Make sure to bring your waterproof camera.)  The journey will continue down the Middlefork until we reach the Walton Ranger Station where we will stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a wonderful lunch.  After about an hour of eating and relaxing, we will board the rafts and continue on to our destination, Paola Creek.  This is a full day adventure and the cost is only $65 for foundation members and $70 for non-members.  We hope you
will be able to join us.  If you would like to reserve a spot for you and your friends, please fill out the attached card and return with your check made payable to The Montana Woman Foundation.  This is a truly fun event for the entire family.
     The deadline for scholarship applications was June 1st.  Now begins the painstaking process of selecting the most worthy recipients.  Once again, we are impressed with the caliber of the women of our grand state.  And we always smile when we read applications from small communities such as Ekalaka, Two Dot, Oilmont, Hardin, and the list goes on and on.  This year’s scholarship recipients will be announced in the September issue of the magazine.
     As spring turns to summer and the sun encourages new growth, we feel doubly blessed to be enjoying continued growth for the magazine and the foundation.  None of this would be possible without support from the many fine communities throughout the Treasure State.  Thank you for your part in helping us realize our dreams.

Take Care,


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2010 - Integrated Health By Jamie Lynn

Integrated Health



by Jamie Lynn


Water constitutes about 75 percent of your body; a slight shortage can have serious effects on the overall functioning of your body. 

     Like a miracle cure, water helps the body flush out toxins, improving its performance. Water also charges up joints and promotes longevity by boosting your overall health.

Like any fine-tuned machine, when you’re well lubed you can function at your peak, mentally as well as physically. At least three-quarters of your brain is water.  Shorten the supply and you dull your senses... literally.  So not only do your muscles need water, your brain does, too.  Sufficient hydration helps keep your cognition clear and your reflexes fast.

     Water is essential for keeping your body temperature normal.  It also cushions your joints and helps get nutrients in and waste out.  If you don’t drink enough, you can become dehydrated, which will affect your performance.  It can make you tired and cause dry mouth, headaches, light-headedness and constipation.

     If you fail to take in enough water each day, your body thinks that it is entering a period of drought.  As a result, your body reacts by storing as much water as possible to get through this drought, which leads to inflammation in your body. 

     If you exercise regularly, it’s important to think not only about what you eat, but also about how much (and what) you drink.  And because exercise speeds up water loss, it’s critical to know how to stay properly hydrated.  Before you exercise, start by drinking fluids several hours before your workout.  This will promote a normal fluid and electrolyte balance.  During exercise, water is the best fluid for most people; stay away from sugar filled sports drinks.  After exercise, the goal is to replace any lost fluids.  Aim to drink within 30 minutes of working out.  Your fluid replacement needs will be higher after endurance or high intensity activities; just listen to your body. 



  • Start your day with an 8-oz glass of water, before your morning tea or coffee.
  • Drink a glass of water before you eat, even if it is just a snack.
  • Find a water bottle that you will enjoy drinking from.
  • Instead of buying water in small bottles, improve your water source at home or work; save money and the planet.


     Jamie Lynn is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Management Coach with Integrated Health.  She has a passion for helping individuals and families feel better and reach their optimal weight goals.  Jamie teaches monthly cooking classes, group strength training and running clinics in Kalispell, MT.  Visit her site at for recipes, workouts and other great information. 



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jewels Devine May 2010 Montana Woman Article

Jewels’ Gems




                                                                                                  by Jewels Devine

ello, my darlings!  Happy Mother’s day to all the women who play an important role in all of our lives.  Mothers come in many different forms.  A great mothering influence can come in the form of grandmother, sister, aunt, neighbor, or friend.  I often think that a mother’s role is to be a great role model and mentor.  I believe this and try to pass the mothering torch to every person I come in contact with… whether they want it or not!  

     I have been somewhat surprised to find that the art of being a mentor is no longer the “in” thing to do.  During my developmental years as a young wife, young mother, business woman and good community member, I often sought out the sage advice of women who have been in my shoes.  Not only had they survived those challenging years, they seemed to have thrived.  Why would I not seek their advice if for no other selfish reason than to make my life easier?

     According to Webster, the definition of men-tor is 1. a trusted counselor or guide 2. tutor, coach.   Mentoring is also defined as a professional relationship in which a more experienced person, referred to as the mentor, assists another person less experienced, referred to as the mentee, in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less experienced person’s professional and personal growth. 

     I am alarmed that young professionals are actually forming groups branching off from the Chambers of Commerce and setting membership age limits not to exceed 40.  I don’t know about you, but my fount of wisdom didn’t fully develop until around the age of 40.  These young professionals are excluding a business community that not only has rubbed a few blisters walking miles in their shoes, but has a wealth of valuable knowledge to share.  I remember an old saying that goes something like this: “With age comes wisdom.”  

     Mentorship has always been a big part of our nation’s success.  Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters were established for a reason.  This fine organization recently released this statement: “Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest youth mentoring organization in the United States.  With nearly 400 affiliates across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, it served 255,000 children this past year—more than twice the number of five years ago.  Independent research shows that its model of professionally supported one-to-one relationships between young people and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters has a measurable, positive impact.” 

     I question the wisdom in branching off from a group of “seasoned” individuals.  I am simply using the young professionals as an example.  There are additional groups out there doing the same thing.  Why am I so hot and bothered about this?  I am convinced that strong communities are built by our elders and maintained by our youth.  I believe that mentoring programs have proven effective by providing “real world” information, encouragement, advice, and access to networks that are otherwise often unavailable.

     Now calm down, I am not implying that we do not have anything to learn from our younger community.  It is important that both groups are willing to learn from each other.  The successful impact of mentorship is for the mentor AND the youth.  We always have something to learn... we just have to be open to gaining wisdom from those with whom we come in contact.  Wow, what a great thing to have someone invest time in your success.  That is a true gift. 



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Montana Woman Magazine April 2010 - Business on My Mind

Business on my Mind




                                                                                    by Jeri Mae Rowley


The “Golden Rule” tells us to “do unto others as we would like to be done unto.”  The Golden Rule works well in customer service only if we are serving people “just like us”. Many businesses today serve four distinct generations of customers.  As service professionals, we need to understand and appreciate the outlook and preferences of each unique generation. Then, we can customize service delivery and follow the “Platinum Rule” which tells us to “do unto others as ‘they’ would like to be done unto!”  Learn what it takes to truly “delight” the Veterans, Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennial Generations:

     Veterans are often called the “Traditionalists”. These customers were born before roughly 1945, and are currently age 62 or older.  People in this group grew up in a time when men worked and women were the primary child-care givers.  Over 50% of the men in this group were in the military.  And, because most are retired, they are willing to take the time to get to know you and what you have to offer.  When serving customers from the Veteran generation:

  • Use courteous language: “Please,” “Thank you,” “You are Welcome,” I apologize, “Mr.,” and “Mrs.”
  • Avoid jargon:  “No Problem,”  “Yeah, sure,” and “You Guys.
  • Create phone systems that immediately allow customers to speak with a person.

     Boomers represent the huge demographic born from roughly 1946-1964 who create a “boom” as they travel through their lives because there are approximately 80 million of them.  Baby Boomers are characterized as optimistic, competitive and idealistic.  Boomers prefer a friendly, more casual relationship with the businesses they patronize.  To delight a Boomer:

·    Be personable and efficient.

·    Take time to interact and establish rapport before getting down to business.

·    Customers of this generation appreciate status programs and services that recognize their loyal patronage.

     Gen Xers were born from approximately 1965-1980 are a much smaller generation of only 46 million—Gen Xers are often overlooked and overshadowed by the Baby Boomer generation.  Gen Xers have a much more conservative economic outlook.  They have grown up during times of recession and downsizing and were the first generation of latchkey kids and computer users.

     As customers, they’re not as focused on the interpersonal part of the transaction and are comfortable with online transactions.  If you are serving a Gen Xer, remember:

  • Xers prefer competence to schmoozing.
  • They are skeptical.  Be prepared with facts and figures.
  • Offer Xers choices and let them decide.


     Millennials are the generation born from 1981 to the present (currently ages 30 and younger).  With 76 million plus members, this generation is nearly as large as the Baby Boomers.  They are comfortable being involved in multiple activities, multitasking and building a portfolio of activities and achievements.  Two-thirds used a computer before they were five, and today they spend an average of eleven hours per week on-line.  Millennial customers appreciate being appreciated.

·    Be respectful.  No one likes to be talked down to just because they’re young.

·    Millennials are quickly bored by slow procedures and lines.

·    Make your website—and your facility—inviting, interactive spaces.

     The Platinum Rule of Customer Service reminds us that to delight customers, we need to: “Do Unto Customers as They Would Like to Be Done Unto.”  Remember that each generation of your customers has its own unique mindset, work values and preferences.  Each generation would like you to understand and honor how they want to be “done unto”.


     Jeri Mae Rowley is a professional speaker, master trainer and saddle maker’s daughter who delights audiences with her unique brand of Western Wit and Wisdom for the Workplace.” Please visit her website:








Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 2010 Cover Story - Queens of Comedy

Montana Woman 





                                                                               by Rena Desmond


Have you ever wondered how things come about?  I always want to know the how, why, when and where of things.  In this case my curiosity got the best of me.  It all started while reading the entertainment section of the local newspaper.  Don’t quote me on this, but I think it said, “‘Tea Theatre’ at Vivienne’s Fifth Street Café, cost of tickets, date of the two woman revue, featuring Mona Charles and Mary Reckin, better known as the Theatre Queens of Comedy.”  I immediately dialed my friend and asked if she would like to go.  She said, “I went to the first one but I would love to go again; it was fabulous.”  I then dialed the number to purchase tickets and, lo and behold, it was sold out.  I would be placed on a long waiting list.  There was another performance about six months later and my call for tickets had the same result.  Only this time the list was longer than the first time.  So, I decided to do a story about these theatre queens of comedy thinking perhaps I could get in to see their next show.

   One of the queens of comedy is Mona Charles who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.  She has one brother who teaches history and plays guitar, and a cousin with whom she is very close that visits her in Montana every year; “He loves it just as much as I do.”  Mona moved to New York at the ripe old age of 21 where she had the privilege of studying at the Actors Studio founded by the legendary acting guru, Lee Strasberg.  The studio was created to provide a workshop for actors to work on the elements of the art apart from the concerns of productions.

     Mona says, “The most important thing I learned while studying at the Actors Studio was to live ‘moment to moment’ on stage and in life.  It is so basic, but so difficult sometimes.” After three years in New York she moved to Los Angeles, CA where she worked in film, TV, a few TV pilots, live theatre, and even “industrial” in-house training films.  She also created a very successful live murder mystery company she named “Die Laughing”.  She wanted the audience to know right off the top that this was a good murder mystery… but it was supposed to be fun.  Mona would hire 25 or 30 actors in any given month and they would perform on weekends at dinner theatres. 

     After nine years in California Mona decided it was time to move on.  She left Los Angeles with the intention of driving cross-country.  Then she crossed the border into Montana—it took her only took ten minutes to realize she was home.  Mona said, “I never felt such joy.  I just started crying.”

     When she settled in Montana, Mona thought she wouldn’t be working, however, she was offered a job to write a newsletter for an International Airline Entertainment Association.  Mona has traveled a great deal internationally and always loved it, so this seemed a perfect fit.  After ten years writing the newsletter, she reached another stage in her life when she felt it was time to do something else.  Mona believed that would be retirement and finally learning to ski.  But during a conversation with a friend about real estate, she realized how much she loved going into other people’s homes.  Now, after obtaining her Real Estate license, Mona is working with Big Sky Properties of Montana.  She says, “I went with my gut, not my head, which is usually how I make decisions.  Even with the roles I play, I go with my heart.”  Mona says Montana is home now for her and her dog Newton.  When she says that, she can hear the song, “Home is Montana and Montana is my Home”.

     The other half of the queens of comedy is Mary Reckin who grew up Mary Sullivan and lived her earliest years in Cambridge, Mass.  When she was ten her parents relocated the family to Orange County, California.  Her father always wanted her to perform what he called “elocution” (a style of speaking) for the folks in the living room.  Mary thinks that’s when the drama seed was planted, and the then popular Gilbert and Sullivan and Victor Herbert Operettas promoted her love of music.  But that seed didn’t flourish until she hit Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.  Her big break came when she enrolled in Santa Ana College and was cast in the leading role of Fiona in the play Brigadoon.

     From that point on the only thing that existed for Mary was the theatre.  When she returned home from “a fling” in San Francisco she pursued her love of acting in Community Theatre.  In 1962 she was cast in the lead of Kiss Me Kate in a huge summer production at Orange Coast College.  She recalls going to Western Costumes in LA and being fitted with the dresses worn by the original star, Patricia Morrison.  In 1981 she won best actress for her performance in Born Yesterday.  She received kudos for The Great Sebastians and finished up with A Little Night Music at Laguna Playhouse.  For Mary it just couldn’t get any better than sitting on a gorgeous bed in a red gown in the spotlight singing “Send In The Clowns”.

     In 1993 Mary began another phase of her career, that of director.  Determined to be well-rounded, she chose to direct a murder mystery, a comedy and an operetta.  In time, her talent and extensive body of work were recognized when Mary was chosen “Woman of the Year” in theatre.

     Her life really turned around when friends invited Mary and her then husband to visit Montana.  During their stay they attended a performance at the Bigfork Playhouse.  Of the experience, Mary said, “I thought it was charming.  So enchanted were we that upon returning the next year we purchased a house overlooking the Bigfork Bay.”  Two years later she saw an ad in the Bigfork Eagle; the Playhouse was looking for a director.  Mary applied and was hired… all by mail.  For her directing debut she chose Born Yesterday.  It was a huge hit.  Interestingly, Frank Miele, Editor in Chief of The Daily Interlake, starred in it… but hasn’t been on stage since!  

      After six years of directing and acting in such hits as Steel Magnolias, The Man who Came to Dinner, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and many small productions in restaurants, schools, and art galleries, etc., she met P.J. Barry, New York playwright and actor.  They formed a professional and private friendship when he came to Bigfork to attend The Octette Bridge Club in 1996.  Mary returned to Orange county to direct another Barry play, A Distance from Calcutta, her new mentor by her side. 

     When her marriage ended Mary returned to Kalispell looking to new horizons.  Doors began to open for her when she met Frank Morrison whose influence helped to get the Kalispell Repertory Theatre on its feet.  From 1999 to 2001, Mary Reckin, “the new kid on the block”, became the hot ticket.  Opening with The Lion in Winter with a stellar cast, Mary planned to direct, but when an accident occurred she found herself playing the leading role of Eleanor of Aquitaine opposite James Barry’s Henry.  Mary says, “To this day I meet people that remember that performance.”  The shows continued to roll along with the original, Table 7 at the Elephant, and Cowardy Custard that packed the house for four weeks.  Once again, P.J. Barry returned bringing with him his new play that had never been performed.  He stayed and directed and caused, “the best theatrical noise here in the Valley.”  The play was Blow the House Down and starred Leah Lindsay, Lisa Schlange and Mary in another of her favorite roles, that of the judgmental, catholic, old maid hairdresser, Maggie Conroy.  Mary says of her work with the Kalispell Repertory Theatre, “One of my greatest accomplishments was to get 15 men on stage for Mr. Roberts.  Everyone said it couldn’t be done.  That is something that you don’t tell a determined Sagittarius director.”

     Mary’s name became synonymous with quality theatre work.  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the doors of the Kalispell Repertory Theatre closed.  But as those doors closed, another opened for Mary.  Paul Rumelhart from Libby had come to see both Mr. Roberts and Bus Stop and offered Mary a position as the Artistic Director for the Kootenai Heritage Counsel.  Once again she knew not a soul and wanted the first show she did to be something BIG in order to get their attention.  Her friends from California, Tim Nelson and Kent Johnson, had written a musical, Robin Hood and the White Arrow that was a huge success in Orange County, “so, I thought why not?  The community rallied round and we did it.” 

     It was then that Mary’s life really changed.  Matchmakers from her church introduced Mary to Jerry Reckin.  There is a story here, but let’s just say it was an instant match.  They were married in a joint Catholic-Lutheran service on April 26, 2003.  He stayed with her through all the theatre stuff and even appeared on stage.  Her last production was Jerry’s Girls” and, of course, everyone in Libby thought it was about Mary’s Jerry.  The newlyweds located in Kalispell along with their “Fur Face”, Rosie.

     It was when she returned to Kalispell that Mary met Mona Charles.  They think they met through the Kalispell Repertory Theatre… “But then again, it might have been after On Golden Pond.”  At any rate, three years ago they performed together for First Night and then Mona appeared as Ann Richards in Notable Heroines of America that Mary directed.  Mary says of Mona, “She was fantastic and ever since then it’s been about Mona and Mary.”

     One of the places Mary enjoys frequenting is Vivienne’s Fifth Street Café.  Viv often talked to Mary about her work and would say, “One of these days you are going to perform here.” Mary would say, “Yea, Yea, Yea,” and it would be forgotten.  But one day Viv and Mary said, “Let’s just do it.”  They sat down and picked a date.  Mary’s first thought was of Mona because, “She is so good.  Mona is passionate about acting.  She loves making people laugh and she loves live theatre.”  Vivienne’s first thought was this was going to be great because it’s the perfect location.

     The “Tea and Theatre” on Sunday November 22 was sold out within a week… and all they did was put out a sign.  Forty- three people showed up and many more wanted to be put on a waiting list for the next showing.  Many came to the January 17th show knowing that it was going to be the same show.  Vivienne says, “You know, we can all see a play on stage, but a part of the charm here is the intimacy and closeness.”  Mona added, “In a theatre you can only see the audience in the first or second row.  Here there are no lights, and because so much of what we do is monologue, we get to talk directly to the people.  The audience responds; it’s an active participation.  I catch people’s eyes and the energy and excitement is just amazing.”

     There is something special about having high tea; no matter how old you are, you feel a little like you are playing grown up.  Ladies have been known to wear matching gloves and hat.  The whole thing is amazing.

     This year, the opening scene at the Tea and Theatre is from the play Cemetery Club.  Throughout the performance there is a clear message about women facing something unique.  The life events portrayed range from that of an aspiring actress to a woman making a decision about where she is going to live out her final days, to a master class given by a famous opera singer.  It’s a funny and poignant review that provides a glimpse into the lives of a wide range of women in various stages of life.

     The next “Tea and Theatre” is scheduled for April 18 at Vivienne’s Fifth Street Café at 3:00 p.m.  Come out and feel the closeness and intimacy while interacting with Mona and Mary, better known as the “Theatre Queens of Comedy”, while they present a delightful potpourri of characters.

     I hope to see you there; you see, I’m already at the top of the waiting list and have reserved a table for six.  I can’t wait to sip tea with some new friends and interact with Mona and Mary.