Oh Man: Because Guys Inspire Too! Dan Mimnaugh: The Dearest Camp He Knows
by Jamie Christensen | Submitted Photos What is the dearest camp you know? For hundreds of former counselors, staff, volunteers, and campers, the answer is Elks Camp Grassick—and those very lyrics are sung each morning during the wake-up song around the camp flag pole. Dan Mimnaugh has been singing that song for 45 years. What began as a fun-sounding summer job for the Valley City State student, became a life-long passion. In fact, after his first summer at camp, Dan went back to school and changed his major to elementary education. For the next seven summers while he finished college and taught school, he spent his summers as a counselor at the camp. In 1978 he met another counselor, Kim Pladson, who became his wife the very next year. Then in 1980 the camp governing board combined the camp director and the superintendent positions, and they brought Dan on board full time. Living and working at the camp year-round “was a dream come true” for Dan. He and Kim raised their two daughters at camp. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to raise a family and instill in my girls the values of kindness, compassion, empathy, and treating all people with the utmost of respect and dignity,” Dan says. The camp first began in 1928 as an anti-tuberculosis camp for undernourished children. In 1947, the North Dakota Elks Association purchased and ran the camp with several other organizations until the Elks took over sole operation in 1968. Elks Camp Grassick is a nonprofit organization that survives through charitable contributions and donations. Its mission is to provide therapeutic and recreational camp experiences for children and adults with special needs. “Elks Camp Grassick is a magical place where children and adults with various disabilities and special needs can just be themselves,” explains Dan. “I have seen tears of rejection turn into tears of happiness because they are finally accepted, without being bullied, teased, or ridiculed because of their special needs. Out here they make true friends with the other campers and staff, and they learn and practice skills that will help them be less dependent on others for their daily needs.” The campers grow in self-confidence, pride, and skill in almost a magical way. “Camp Grassick has never professed to be a miracle camp, but we know through the years that small miracles have happened out here,” says Dan. “They happen because the staff loves and works relentlessly with the campers. The consistency with how we work with them and the great results we see year after year is one of the camp’s greatest accomplishments.” This is the only camp of its kind in North Dakota, and campers and families are grateful for it. For many who have experienced camp in any way, shape or form, it has been a life changing experience. As for Dan, he says it has been a humbling experience. “I have met hundreds of individuals and gained lasting friendships through the years with campers, staff, and families. I don’t know of too many other jobs that give you such great personal rewards as this one has for me,” he says. “I thank the good Lord every day for the blessings He has given me and my family, and I have learned never to take anything for granted.” And while it’s true for so many others who have spent time there, Elks Camp Grassick truly will always be the dearest camp he knows. For more information about opportunities for campers, employment, or contributing, visit www.elkscampgrassick.com. Jamie Christensen is full-time licensed real estate agent, a communications and marketing professional, wife to Kai, and mom to Kaitlynn, Grady, and Cooper.
Look What She Did: Joelean Lowman
Joelean Lowman’s HOSA Future Health Professional students from Legacy High School in Bismarck have done something no other group of North Dakota students has ever done: they are the first in the state to receive the Outstanding HOSA Chapter award. HOSA is a student organization for future health professionals. “To even be eligible for the award the students had to meet certain criteria and do activities throughout the school year. Then they had to document all those activities in a scrapbook that was judged at the national meeting in Dallas, Texas,” explains Joelean. Students Sydney Seamands and Megan Anderson put together the scrapbook and presented it to judges at the national meeting. “We stood in line for a long time, and then just had to hand over our book to the judges and hope we did everything right,” says Sydney. “It was fun putting the scrapbook together because we got to look back at photos of all the activities we did throughout the school year. We had to show several different things we did throughout the year, including community service, publicity, career awareness, presentations, and more.” More than 10,000 students from around the world attended the conference. Legacy’s HOSA chapter was one of just 67 chapters to receive the Outstanding HOSA Chapter award. This was the first year the Legacy HOSA chapter entered the competition, but they say now that they know they can do it, they’ll be entering again.
Look What She Did: Becky Freidt
Becky Freidt believes all women should be able to shop the racks and find a few items of clothing they love and that make them feel beautiful and confident. The only problem is, for plus-size women that can be a hard to find experience. Until now. In July, Becky opened a new boutique in Mandan called Curvy Flamingo Boutique. The store is filled with clothes for women sizes XL to 3X. Opening a storefront was the next logical step for Becky, who has been operating the Curvy Flamingo Boutique online since 2016. “I have been running my online store and doing vendor shows and pop-up events in Bismarck, Mandan, Dickinson, and Minot for two years, and I had a lot of customers locally who wanted to try things on before buying, so when the space became available on Mandan’s Main Street, I decided it was time to open a store,” says Becky. “Everyone deserves to be comfortable, to feel good in their clothes, and to wear cute clothes. I love to shop, and I love clothes, so opening this boutique just makes sense for me,” explains Becky. The boutique is a side business for Becky; she still works a full time job. You can find the Curvy Flamingo Boutique at 500 Main Street West in Mandan; the store is open Fridays from noon to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. Becky also posts inventory on her Facebook page, Curvy Flamingo Boutique.
Look What She Did: Sue Hamilton
Sue Hamilton is quick to tell people she is not a writer. But the reviews of her book “Carried by Faith: From Substance Abuse to a Life Filled with Miracles” tell a different story. “It’s getting reviews like a fiction book. People are writing things like, ‘I couldn’t put it down.’ To me, that’s not a review of a nonfiction memoir, which is what my book is,” says Sue. “I always tell people this was God telling my story the way He wants to because I am not a writer. “ “Carried by Faith: From Substance Abuse to a Life Filled with Miracles” shares the personal and candid story of the desperate and dangerous journey into drugs and alcohol. The book begins and ends with the story of Sue’s motorcycle accident, which she says should have taken her life. Instead, the accident changed her life and set her free. Sue says her story is for everyone. “I shared my story in this book with the hopes that people who are substance abusers will relate and see that there is hope and that their families will see that too. Family members can feel so hopeless. I want them to know there is hope.” You can purchase Sue’s book on her website, www.suelhamilton.com, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, as well as in stores in Minot, Bottineau, and Garrison. Sue will be sharing more of her story at the TEDx Talks in Bismarck on August 16.
Waffle Irons: Not Just for Waffles
Article and Photo by Pam Vukelic Our microwave recently crashed and I thought, “Oh well, I won’t miss it that much.” Then I wanted to make popcorn, heat frozen vegetables, melt butter, and warm up frozen taco meat. I ended up scrapping the popcorn idea, prepared a salad instead of frozen peas, melted butter in a preheating oven, and used a saucepan to heat up the taco meat. Having the microwave on the fritz was a bigger inconvenience than I anticipated. It made me think about other kitchen appliances I have and how much I (don’t) use them. Many of them are nestled in the back of a cupboard in a state of hibernation. I found it was easy, however, to transition my waffle irons into versatile pieces of equipment with just a little online research. Puff pastry browned in a Belgian waffle iron is simply delightful! I cut one sheet, which had been thawed overnight in the refrigerator, into nine squares and toasted one square at a time. The toasted pastry, called a Puffle, can be a base for creamed chicken, which is a little reminiscent of southern chicken and waffles. It also was delicious topped with a little syrup and eaten as French toast. Imagine it with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with caramel. Yum! It’s a great way to use up leftover puff pastry. Gadettes are cookies made in a waffle iron. If you use a flavored brandy, such as the Slivovitz I mention in the recipe on the next page, the flavor comes through beautifully. Not as far back in the cupboard, but not routinely used, is my Norwegian heart-shaped waffle iron. I remember the first time I ate these waffles. Gerd Tønjum had invited several of her friends to her backyard for coffee. She served the waffles with cream and berries. At the time, I was an employee of Gerd’s at Fleischer’s Hotel in Voss, Norway, where I had a summer job in the dining room. It was 1977. Much more recently, when Gunnar and Feli were here from Oslo for Meredith’s wedding, Gunnar mixed up a batch of the waffles for breakfast, no recipe needed. This time I “baked” brownies in that waffle iron. I found the batter needs to be quite thick to work well. They are delicious simply topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, but they, too, could accommodate ice cream, whipped cream, berries, mini chocolate chips, or chopped pecans. A few years ago, at the Høstfest in Minot, I purchased the recipe book “We ‘Love’ Waffles” by Stine Aasland. A quick online search revealed dozens of cookbooks devoted to the humble waffle. I also found it appealing to use my standard waffle iron as a panini press. Grilled cheese sandwiches are delicious. Why a waffle iron? There is approximately three times as much surface area, which adds a whole bunch of extra crispy texture. All the little indentations are perfect for collecting sauces and holding cheeses. You don’t have to heat up your oven. A few waffle iron tips: Be sure to preheat it. Most recipes for cookies, brownies, and puff pastry call for medium heat. Do NOT spray the grids with cooking spray, but do rub lightly with an unflavored oil as needed. You can transition other appliances, too. Use your panini press to grill chicken breasts. A pizzelle iron can make cookies, but the cookie can be turned into a bowl or cone if molded while still warm. This is true of krumkake, too. Spiced nuts can be made in a slow cooker. In fact, you can make Play Doh in your slow cooker, or you can heat scented towels for a soothing break after a run or long bike ride. I’m determined to revamp my kitchen cabinets in order to have easier access to the small appliances tucked inside them. Quick internet searches will yield all kinds of suggestions for you to transition some of those not-so-often-used tools into frequently-used favorites. Waffle Iron Brownies ½ cup butter ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ cup white sugar 2 eggs 1 tablespoon water 1 ¼ cup flour ¼ teaspoon salt Preheat waffle iron. Melt butter in saucepan, remove from heat and stir in cocoa. Mix in the sugar, eggs, and water. Add the flour and salt, beating well. In each segment of the waffle iron, add one well-rounded spoonful of batter. Cook as you would a waffle. Dust with powdered sugar. Gadettes 1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled 2 eggs 1 tablespoon bourbon or brandy* (optional) ¼ teaspoon vanilla ½ cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup flour dash of salt powdered sugar (optional) Place butter in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with electric mixer after each addition. Beat in brandy, if you like, and vanilla. Beat in sugars until well combined. Gradually add flour and salt. Cover and chill dough at least two hours or until firm enough to scoop. Preheat waffle baker. Drop dough from a small cookie scoop into center of each waffle grid. Close lid. (Make four at a time.) Bake about three minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes about 25. *I used the wonderful Croatian plum brandy called Slivovitz. Pam Vukelic and her husband, Jim, have attended two class reunions this summer, which reminded them how fortunate they are to have grown up in small town North Dakota. Pam says catching up with classmates is a study in transitions.
Kathy Neset: Rooted & Revolutionary
by Jody Kerzman | Photography: Photos by Jacy Listening to Kathy Neset talk about her love for North Dakota, it’s easy to assume she was born and raised in the Peace Garden State. But Kathy grew up nearly 2,000 miles away in Washington, New Jersey. It may as well have been a different world. “I graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. That’s a far cry from North Dakota. I started as a math major but changed my major to geology, but still took classes in math and education,” Kathy recalls. After graduating from college in 1978, Kathy took a job as a seismologist in Gaylord, Michigan. “There were not a lot of women in my field, and I hadn’t a clue what I was getting into.” She stayed there for just three months. “Turns out, it wasn’t what a young girl from New England was ready for,” Kathy says. Kathy took a job in New York City with Core Laboratories and was once again sent to the oil fields as a mudlogger, this time to Dallas, Texas. “I worked in east Texas in 1979, and I remember it was so hot. I begged them to send me somewhere cooler. I loved the work, I had found what my passion was. I asked to be sent north, so that’s what they did. My next position was in Casper, Wyoming.” From there, she was sent to a well southeast of Bismarck, North Dakota. It was the summer of 1979, and Kathy fell in love—with North Dakota and with a man. “In the summer of 1979 I met this good looking guy named Roy Neset. He was the core hand on that rig,” recalls Kathy. But by that winter, she was reassigned again, this time to a rig outside Tioga, North Dakota. Oil was booming in northwestern North Dakota, and Kathy was on her own. “There I was, a young, single girl from New Jersey living in Williston. It was a different world than where I came from,” she says. “I am the middle daughter of nine children—I have eight brothers, yet I’m the one who ends up in the oilfields of North Dakota. I think back now, and I wonder why they let me come here. My brothers were all doing nice, normal jobs like joining the military, law school, air force academy, and then there’s me—working in the oil fields in North Dakota.” SETTING ROOTS It wasn’t long before Kathy and Roy reunited. Roy’s family homestead was near Tioga, and he heard rumors of a woman working on the a rig there. “He happened to hear there was a ‘girl’ working on the rig. Not a geologist or a mudlogger. Just a girl. So he came and looked me up, and we started dating. We got married in September 1980 and moved onto his family’s homestead outside Tioga. The rest is history.” In 1980, Roy and Kathy formed Neset Enterprises; Roy worked as a wellsite supervisor and Kathy as a wellsite geologist. Thirty-eight years later, the company is now known as Neset. Kathy explains the mission of Neset is soundly rooted in wellsite geology and mudlogging, but has continued to meet the needs of the industry—adding engineering, completion, workover, project management, and many geology and engineering services to meet the industry needs. Neset continues to expand and reinvent itself to stay at the forefront of current technology. REVOLUTIONARY WOMAN “I was never planning to build an entire company. But I saw there was a need for the work Roy and I did, and we met that need. We kept building and innovating and keeping up with the demands of the industry,” explains Kathy. Her secret to success? Kathy says it’s likely her willingness to accept change, and her unwillingness to say no to any challenge. “People say, ‘Why fix it if it’s not broken?’ I have been in this business for 38 years and have done just fine, but you know what? That’s the worst thing to say. If I’ve been doing the same thing for the last 38 years, something is wrong with that picture. I need to be looking ahead, I need to be reinventing. When someone tells me they do something because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’—that is a red flag in my book. That is actually a marker to say we need to look at this and see if there’s a better way. I am learning there is always a better way.” EVEN BETTER While Kathy Neset is not one to stop looking for ways to do better, in 2016, when a client suggested she become a certified woman-owned business, Kathy hesitated. “I said, ‘I haven’t been certified for the last three decades and we’ve been okay. Why do I need to do that?’ But here we are, two years later, and I’m a certified woman-owned business. Still, my initial take was that it wasn’t significant, and it wasn’t something that was worth my time and effort. It was a rigorous process financially and legally.” There was also documentation that had to be provided, and Kathy had to host a team for onsite interviews at her business. The team visits in person to make sure applicants truly are a woman-owned business and not in name only. “You have to talk the talk, and you have to be able to show them hands-on, face to face, I am the owner and the principal of this company,“ explains Kathy. There is a non-refundable $1,500 fee just to apply for the certification. And that’s not a guarantee of certification. “They could come and do all the interviews and then decide not to certify you. They’ll just say, ‘Sorry. You didn’t meet our standards.’” NO LOOKING BACK Kathy’s company did meet the standards and in May 2016 became certified as a woman-owned business. Kathy spent the next year attending trainings and conferences, learning everything she could about the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). “The first course I signed up for was a training program at the Shell training facility in Roberts, Louisiana. I was so excited. I thought it sounded fabulous. When I got there I realized it wasn’t really about oil and gas at all, but rather a business school. We got a crash course in economics and finance. I did get some oil field training in, but I was in the minority of women there who work in this business. Most were there because they work in careers like medicine and IT.” The more she learned about the certification she’d received, the happier Kathy was she had gone through the process. “There is a shift in how I do business. I have completely embraced this certification, and I see so many benefits. It’s a huge advantage to a business owner like me. For example, let’s say you are Shell Oil and you put out a bid for a military fuel oil contract. Shell’s diversity and inclusion score will play a role in whether or not they get that contract. That score is determined by the company’s diversity and inclusion, meaning how many minorities, veterans, women, racial diversity, ethnic diversity that company employs. The more diverse they are, the bigger their competitive advantage. So having a certified woman-owned business like mine working for them increases their score and increases their chances of getting that contract.” WOMAN TO WOMAN Although the contracts are important, they are not Kathy’s only motivation to succeed. For nearly 40 years she has strived to not only be the best, but also to keep improving and to help others. “If I could be a mentor to one woman it would absolutely make it worthwhile to me. I would love to give a hand to the next gal in line because I just think it’s so important that we work together and help one another as professionals and especially as women. There are enough tough things that come with being a woman in this world and in this oil and gas business. As a certified woman-owned business, I want those bright, talented young ladies to come and work at Neset. “You have an engineer or a geologist and their mom and dad and brothers are saying to them, ‘Are you safe in that oil field, are you okay?’ And I can look them in the eye and tell them, ‘Yes, you are young lady, you are very safe.’ I tell them it’s up to us women to prove ourselves. I ask them, ‘How do you present yourself in the work environment? Are you professional?’ It’s important to take the job seriously. I truly believe the same thing is true for young men. If you want to be taken seriously in that new job, then show it.” FACE THE FACTS Kathy has faced the controversy in the oil business head on, and has made it her personal mission to educate the public about some of those controversial topics, including fracking, salt water disposal, and pipeline placement. “It’s important to educate people about the facts and then let them make up their own minds as to whether they want to embrace it or not. North Dakotans are well-educated about oil and gas. We do events with the North Dakota Petroleum Council, and people are always there listening, learning, and asking great questions.” As oil once again picks up in the Bakken, Kathy says this is an exciting time. But she’s been here before. “We need to look not just at the needs of our state or the needs of our nation, but at the global energy needs, in whatever form that might be. The United States, and specifically North Dakota, is the perfect place to do this energy development. We are so well regulated here. We need to do it right, and that means doing it here at home.” FIRMLY ESTABLISHED While oil and gas has been a huge part of Kathy’s life, there is more to her than just her business. She and Roy raised two sons, farmed the family homestead, and Kathy even spent a year teaching science at Tioga High School. She served on the school board for 10 years. In 2012, she was appointed to the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education—she served as chairperson. She is also a member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Executive Board, the Williston API, Dickinson API, Bismarck State College Petroleum Technology Advisory Committee, University of North Dakota Petroleum Engineering Advisory Committee, Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Board of Directors, Tioga Golf & Country Club board, and St. Thomas Parish council secretary. There has been talk of Kathy one day making a run for political office. “It is something I’m interested in. I love the entire concept of trying to do something bigger, better, for our state—number one, for our nation—of course. Yes, it absolutely interests me, but the time has not been right yet. I certainly think we have a fabulous look ahead in the political landscape here in North Dakota.” Kathy’s beloved North Dakota has been her home for nearly 40 years, and she can’t imagine living anywhere else. “I go back east and visit and love it, but my home is Tioga, North Dakota.” To learn more about Neset, visit nesetconsulting.com. And to see more photos of Kathy by Photos by Jacy, visit photosbyjacy.com.
When the Cookie Crumbles: There is Still Hope
By Marci Narum | Photography: Photos by Jacy It’s supposed to be her day off, but Annie (Hummel) Iron Necklace is at her bakery on a Monday afternoon baking 1,500 cookies. She will prepare two more of these weekly special orders for the Bismarck Larks baseball games—on top of her daily baking and lunch menu at Sweet Treats Bakery in downtown Bismarck. Good thing Annie has good employees and good friends to help her on days like this. Her tears reflect her gratitude. Unassuming, humble, and earnest, Annie says despite the hard work and long hours that come with owning a bakery, it has always been her dream. She points to the words on the T-shirt she’s wearing: Don’t Quit Your Daydream. “I knew at a very young age what I wanted to do, that I wanted to be a chef,” Annie shares. “I went to culinary school in Scottsdale, Arizona when I was 18. It’s a Le Cordon Bleu school now. Right out of school, I was hired by chef Christopher Gross, who at the time was one of the top 10 chefs in the nation. He still has a restaurant in the Phoenix area, and he is basically a household name. He’s an amazing chef. I worked for him for about six years.” When Chris had taught her everything he knew about pastries, he encouraged Annie to advance her skills by working alongside a pastry chef. Annie found JoAnne Berg, a pastry chef with a wholesale bakery in Tempe, Arizona. “She did everything from little mini pastries up to big wedding cakes, everything. And I learned a ton of stuff from her. Ever since then, I’ve just been baking.” Preparing sweets had become Annie’s specialty. Life was good for her in Phoenix, so the 24-year-old wasn’t prepared to taste the bitterness it was about to serve her: the death of her father in January of 1994. It was the first major loss Annie had experienced, and when she returned to Phoenix after the funeral, she didn’t know how to cope. “I felt lonely and abandoned. I didn’t have anyone, and I found comfort in substances. I did okay I think for a couple of years, but then I started dabbling a little bit in meth and other drugs.” Annie became addicted to meth, and she was involved with a man who was dealing drugs. He was violent, controlling, and abusive. Annie finally reached out to her family for help. “For the next three years I was in and out of treatment centers and stopped working in the restaurant business. I was just bartending, and I kept relapsing. I kept going back to that guy, and nothing really got better.” Annie moved back to Bismarck in 1999 to live with her mom, hoping to escape her lifestyle and addiction. Instead, she began the next long, painful chapter of her life: arrests, drug charges, and prison. “I kept getting out and going back to it. I would do okay for a couple of months and then go back to it. I had a really hard time staying clean.” Between 2000 and 2013, Annie served 11 years in state and federal prisons in North Dakota, Texas, and Minnesota. While serving time at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, Annie reached a turning point. She attended worship for the first time in several years. “I went to Catholic church, and they started singing. I started crying, and I think I cried through the whole service. All that ugliness came out of me,” Annie says, tears rolling down her face. “Everything I kept bottled up—all that toxic, gross poison came out of my body. That’s how it felt.” Until then, Annie thought she would always be a junkie, and she accepted it as her fate. But being back in church gave her the clarity she needed to believe she could turn her life around. “I started exercising and eating better. I started going to church faithfully and reading my Bible and talking to God more. Having a strong faith really helped me.” Annie says while she was locked up, she also attended programs that would help her get better—self-awareness, abuse, and grief classes. “I was just sick of it. I was so tired of living that way. My mom. I put her through a lot.” Annie wipes tears from her face. “She did put me through a lot,” says Mary Ann Carlson, as she recalls those difficult years. “There was a time I turned her in, and she was very angry with me, which is understandable in her situation at the time. But I never gave up hope. Your child is your child. And there is always hope. I just always prayed and hoped, and there were so many people praying for Annie. I think that’s part of the blessing of her life. Mary Ann considers Mo Schmidt another one of her daughter’s blessings. Owner of the Bistro in Bismarck, Mo hired Annie to be his pastry chef, and he gave Annie a second chance—many times over. “When I got in trouble, every time I got out, he would hire me back,” Annie shares. “He really liked the work I did. Mo let me write my own recipes and put my own items on the menu and do my own specials. Some people would call and see what the dessert specials were and just come in for desserts sometimes. This last time I got out, having been gone for eight or nine years, he hired me back again. But he told me I couldn’t mess up this time, or I would be gone. I told him that I really changed this time.” Annie became the owner of Sweet Treats in October 2016. Working long hours and baking 125 dozen cookies on her days off have been tough, but she wouldn’t trade those hours for what were her toughest years. “I definitely want people to know there is such an amazing life out here, and it’s worth living. Don’t give up. I know a lot of hopeless addicts out there who think there is nothing better for them, but there is. I know how hard it is. I’ve been there. But it’s not impossible.” Click here to see more photos by Photos by Jacy.
Trending: Capsule Wardrobe
Article and Photos by Michelle Farnsworth What started out as a simple clean out my closet exercise, quickly morphed into changing the way I view fashion. I have always loved fashion trends and am a sucker for any kind of fashion box, latest and greatest must-have item, and bright and shiny objects. If I won the lottery, I’ve always said I would rent a private plane, fly to Paris, and shut down Chanel. #ChampagneAndChanel But since I’m a woman from Bismarck, North Dakota with no private plane, I need to plan accordingly. I’m also a terrific impulse buyer, (I was going to say terrible, but it feels so good, so I chose terrific!) After years of impulse purchasing, my wardrobe is large and full of disposable fashions. Meaning they might be cute and trendy for one moment, but do not stand the test of time. #LatteFashions #WearOnceAndDone What is a capsule wardrobe? When I first started discussing with friends the most common response was asking if I was going to bury clothes in a tube for someone to dig up and find in 50 years. No. But it does help your future in many ways. The Wikipedia definition of a capsule wardrobe: “A term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called ‘Wardrobe’ in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.” I am in the process of selling and giving away clothes and assessing my closet. I am not a minimalist by nature, so what are my goals? Downsize and Clean-Up My Wardrobe. This means making tough editing decisions. I actually use my editing skills as a writer when standing in my closet reviewing the pieces, like so many words on a computer screen. Haven’t worn in six months? Gone. Doesn’t fit at this moment? Gone. Too trendy? Gone. You see the method, right? Donate. Although the clothing I delete from my wardrobe doesn’t fit me or this project, the clothing is good, and I want women who are in need to benefit. Donating clothing to the Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC) in Bismarck means clients can select items directly and remaining items get sent to the nonprofit’s thrift store, Seeds of Hope, to sell. Efficiency. Many capsule wardrobe experts teach people to pare down to 30 to 50 items. (I just fainted.) By my current count I have already deleted 220 items. I am simultaneously impressed and ashamed to admit those numbers, which is why I am doing something about it. I hope to maintain a wardrobe that will be easy. Instead of standing in front of clothing that doesn’t work, I will be able to quickly choose an option and get on with my day. Gretchen Bell Much of my inspiration comes from reading online articles and my friend Gretchen Bell, a stylist in Seattle, Washington. Michelle: I’m in the process of finally cleaning up my wardrobe. I know, I know…I can feel your eyes rolling right now. Gretchen: (laughing) Good! These days many of us are thinking about living with less. Less stuff, less waste. We have less time and little interest in added stress. You want to be buying pieces that will last for years to come. That is where the appeal of a capsule wardrobe comes in; European women have always shopped this way. M: I’m very European, just ask me. So does this mean no more Target runs or trendy impulse buys in my future? G: The first step in a Capsule Wardrobe is to clean out your closet and only keep the pieces you love and that fit you perfectly. Ideally your capsule will contain 20-35 pieces of tops, bottoms, dresses, and jackets. M: Hold on! Not sure I can go that low! I was hoping to eventually get to the 100 pieces mark. G: (Silence…then continues talking through my complaining.) It works best to stick with a color palette as well. Neutrals work great like grey, blue, ivory, white, and black. You can always add color and pattern with your accessories or jackets. M: Yes, that’s my plan. I’ve always admired bold accessories and will continue to add those for conversation, and to not always be that woman wearing black. G: Great quality items with interesting details can be found reasonably. Look for fun shapes, details like pleating, zippers, snaps, and flattering seaming. A capsule wardrobe is a great challenge for all of us to try. When living with less you will find getting dressed saves you lots of time and energy every day. Buying quality clothes will also save you money in the long run. M: I guess the old saying “You get what you pay for” is very applicable to this process? G: Who would object to that? For more capsule wardrobe tips, ideas, and inspiration, follow Michelle on Pinterest. Michelle Farnsworth is a local writer and owner of her own Younique Makeup and Skincare business. Two humans, one fur baby, and her husband, Richard, occupy her free time.
Women of Medora: Joslyn Reichert
Joslyn Reichert Sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation: Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora. by Stephanie Fong | Submitted Photos Life sometimes has a funny way of putting the right opportunity in front of you at just the right time. Dickinson native Joslyn Reichert had built a career in the food and beverage industry, attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, holding various chef positions on the west coast, and then transitioning to food and beverage management roles at mountain resorts in Wyoming and Montana. But six years ago, her parents had a chance grocery store encounter with Mike Beaudoin, who worked as the operations manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation in Medora. He asked if Joslyn was looking to move closer to home, knowing she’d be an asset to the hospitality team in North Dakota’s top tourism destination. “At the time North Dakota was booming, and I thought maybe it was the right time to come home to North Dakota and find something there,” recalls Joslyn. A full-time opening in Medora’s Group and Event Sales office was the perfect fit for Joslyn. “I thought that was awesome! I was just so excited to do something new.” Joslyn was no stranger to working in Medora—she had been employed by the Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Medora entrance during her college years. Now instead of simply greeting guests and helping them purchase national park passes, Joslyn was tasked with coordinating groups coming to Medora for family reunions, bus tours, major conventions, and weddings. “On the second day I was on my own and I thought, ‘I just will figure it out.’ If someone called and had a question I didn’t know the answer to, I simply took a message, found the answer, and called them back. I don’t think I’ve ever been ready for a job that I’ve taken, but it has always worked out.” On the transition back to working in Medora, Joslyn says, “I loved it. Being in North Dakota, I made so many connections because it’s such a small state. And you get to know a lot of the groups and companies that come back year after year for tours and conferences, which was so fun.” Joslyn not only loved the job, but she loved the idea of working in Medora, where she had strong family ties. She’s part of the Tescher family, known for their deep rodeo roots in the Medora area. Her great uncle was even the mayor of Medora in 1939. So, when she became engaged, and her fiance, TJ Tooz, was relocating his business in Bismarck, she was keen to find a way to continue working for a place she loved. For a while, she commuted back and forth, splitting her time between TRMF’s Bismarck and Medora offices. Then last summer, after being with TRMF for six years, TRMF President Randy Hatzenbuhler approached Joslyn about moving to the development team, a transition Joslyn has loved. “I love being a host; connecting people to Medora, making sure they have a good time, acting like a concierge of sorts for our donors and board members.” Joslyn recognizes the ways she has grown during her years and roles in Medora. “Personally, the management training over the years, and being on the leadership team has been invaluable. I’ve just gained so much work experience.” And though she never dreamed she’d be working in a fundraising role, she finds it to be a natural fit. “One thing I love about working in the development department is that I get to travel all across the state and hear different people’s Medora stories. It’s amazing how Medora touches people in different ways. “Maybe it’s working for a nonprofit, that I’m a little bit more humbled by my work. I feel like I’m doing good—not just doing my job, but doing a good thing for North Dakota.” When asked what inspires her about her work in Medora, Joslyn explains, “Just watching the wonderful things people across the state do for Medora is really inspiring. I feel as happy as the people that are giving money do. How cool and what a great experience that I get to witness some of the wonderful things people do, not only themselves, but their entire families. Their legacies are really amazing.” Stephanie (Tinjum) Fong worked in Medora during her college summer breaks and then had the privilege to work as the personnel manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation for seven years.
Kaye Burian: Western Beauty Captured on Canvas
Kaye with fellow artists Johnathan Imador and Donut Popoola. The three are featured in The Capital Gallery’s “Dakota Perspectives” exhibition through August. Article and Photos by David Borlaug “Now that’s an artist who knows horses!” That’s a common reaction when visitors to The Capital Gallery in downtown Bismarck see Manning, North Dakota artist Kaye Burian’s oil paintings on display. And for good reason. Born and raised on a western North Dakota ranch and operating with her husband and family the Lazy 77 Ranch west of Manning, Kaye need only walk outside their classic ranch home to view her subjects. From mane to tail, she knows how every horse’s strands of hair rest or rustle in the wind. Looking intently into the eyes of her equine subjects, you enter the soul of these majestic beauties. But horses are not Kaye’s only artistic interest. Her badlands and plains landscapes; ranch hands; cattle and other denizens of the West invade any gallery she fills. Her work has been shown and appreciated in Arizona, California, Montana, and Wyoming, and now, for the first time is on display in The Capital Gallery. Kaye says her interest in art goes back as long as she can remember and that “you draw and paint the things you find around you, and I had plenty of subjects, growing up in ranch country.” Her drawings of horses, cattle, and landscapes caught the attention of a high school instructor who encouraged her to pursue art, and she later majored in art at Dickinson State University. Following graduation she and her husband both taught at Mott High School, and after six years, purchased their present ranch west of Manning. Her earliest influences continue to reveal themselves in her work today: Charles Russell and George Remington. Her “Oh, About 30 Hundredths,” with two seasoned ranchers conversing from their sorrel and buckskin horses; and “A Sure Sign of Spring,” capturing the charm of a newborn Black Baldy come from both a talented hand and Dakota heart. Scores of rodeo trophies in her home attest to the family’s roots, embedded in a western lifestyle carved out of the rugged badlands around them. And all along the way, Kaye fulfilled more than her share of duties, helping manage a Hereford and later black and red angus cattle operation while raising two sons and increasing her artistic skills by painting all that she was experiencing first hand. Her work has been recognized and honored throughout the American West including participation in Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale along with the American Quarter Horse Association’s “America’s Horse in Art,” which awarded her its Steel Dust Award for Best of Show in Amarillo, Texas. Her work has graced the cover of national horse magazines and hangs in prestigious homes throughout the United States. Kaye's painting, "A Sure Sign of Spring" captures the charm of a newborn baby calf Kaye's painting, "Oh, About 30 Hundredths" depicts two ranchers discuss- ing recent rain totals Kaye’s paintings are part of the current exhibition “Dakota Perspectives,” at The Capital Gallery, which also includes two Nigerian artists and their contrasting views of the Dakota people and landscape. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday. For more info, call 751-1698 or go to TheCapitalGallery.com. David Borlaug is president of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation and director of The Capital Gallery in downtown Bismarck, owned and operated by the foundation.
Tinkergarten: Where the Classroom and Nature Meet
by Paula Redmann | Submitted Photos The classroom isn’t a traditional one. In fact, it’s far from it. There are no desks or pencil sharpeners. You won’t find a folder or a pile of papers. There’s nary a notebook. That’s because this is Tinkergarten, and the classroom is nature. Tinkergarten is a national organization that is just starting to sprout in the child enrichment scene in Bismarck. Trained leaders, like Nikki Bushaw, Beth Heyne, and Bri Weisbeck, provide the framework and guidance for the 18-month to eight-year-old students, called “explorers,” and their parents, called “guides.” It’s not a drop-off-see-you-later program, explains Bri. Tinkergarten is very much a child centered, parent—or grandparent or caregiver—participation experience. A recent Tinkergarten class was meeting in an open, green space in Sertoma Park in Bismarck. There were wee ones, mid-size wee ones, and bigger wee ones, each ready to dig in and get busy. There was painting involved. Some of the paint went on cardboard boxes. Some of the paint strayed to skin, or maybe a sibling’s sock. Even with an open and creative setting, there’s still a structure to the program. “There are five parts to each hour and 15-minute class,” says Bri. “We have an opening activity, circle time, the main activity, guided play, and a celebratory/snack time at the end. We’re good stewards of the land and we leave without a trace of us being here.” One of the main objectives of Tinkergarten is to get kids creating and exploring. “Kids are surrounded by technology,” says Bri. “Sometimes they are forgetting how to play, how to create, how to socialize with other children or adults, and how to collaborate and work with others. Tinkergarten is a way to let kids explore, learn, and have fun.” Here’s how Tinkergarten works: The Tinkergarten leaders go through a four-week, 16-hour rigorous training and interview process as well as a background check before they can officially lead a group. All the classroom materials are supplied by the Tinkergarten program and by nature. The leaders provide the guidance, but they also step back to let each child’s imagination run wild, and to let the adults both observe and engage, not only with their child, but with other kids—and adults—in the program. Once the leaders complete their training, classes can begin. “Each of the eight sessions of Tinkergarten has a theme and a purpose,” explains Bri. “The part I like as a parent is that I don’t have to plan, set up, or take down an activity for my child. That’s all done for me, so I can just show up and join in. It allows me to engage with other kids and other parents. Tinkergarten is very much evidence based, play focused, and available for children with varying abilities.” Brittany Kerzman enrolled her three children in Tinkergarten. Five-year-old Cora, three-year-old Thatcher, and 18-month-old Judah were busy with the paint that was provided. But they also had sticks, leaves, grass, mud, and pieces of airborne cotton at their disposal. “I love it that I can have all of my kids in one activity, in one place, at one time. There’s nothing else like this, and it fits in well with what we like to do as a family. My kids love to sing songs and love to be outside, so this was an automatic win for us. I’ve made new friends, met other parents and grandparents. I like seeing the kids interact with other adults besides me,” says Brittany. “I signed up for a free class and now we’re hooked.” Tinkergarten participants—both the kids and the adults—gather and spend time together in nature to explore, learn, laugh, and get a bit messy. Registration for fall Tinkergarten classes is now open in Bismarck. Visit tinkergarten.com to sign up for more information and to see if Tinkergarten is available where you live. SONY DSC Paula Redmann is the Community Rela- tions Manager for Bismarck Parks and Recreation District. She married her high school sweetheart, Tom. They have two grown sons, Alex and Max
Leaving Home & Finding Independence Through Opportunity
Liz at MSU orientation by Nicole Thom-Arens | Submitted Photos Liz Romanick is like many recent high school graduates: she recently voted in her first statewide election, she loves music, dancing, nachos, and she’s anxious to leave home and carve her own path. Unlike most of her peers, though, Liz has Down syndrome, so it hasn’t always been easy being like everyone else. But her mom, Roxane, knew from the time Liz was born that she wasn’t going to tiptoe around Liz having Down syndrome. “I didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for us or her . . . so the first thing we did was just announce it to the world that she had Down syndrome, and we’ve just always lived that way,” Roxane says. “I always felt she should try to learn it the same way as anybody else, and then if that doesn’t work, we add to it versus right away thinking she can’t learn that way. That’s really paid off.” In high school, Liz went on a choir trip to Universal Studios in Orlando with her peers. She cheered for hockey and football, and participated in bowling and track and field. This fall Liz will attend college at Minot State University through the ASTEP program. While she is sentimental about leaving her childhood home, Liz says she is excited, not nervous, about going to college. “I can’t wait to see what my future holds for me,” Liz says. “I kind of have multiple majors—I want to go into music education, early childhood, and a little bit of public speaking.” ASTEP—short for Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program—is coordinated by the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities and offers two- to three-year programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. The program offers an opportunity to attend college and live on campus while emphasizing careers, academics, social and community goals, and independent living. Liz is looking forward to learning independence through ASTEP and learning how to do things without her parents. “I need that right now,” Liz says, with a laugh, about getting the opportunity to learn away from her parents. “It’s very scary, but I think she has to do it because I don’t think you can learn without experience,” Roxane says in agreement. “I think it bothers me that I can’t anticipate what could happen. If something goes wrong, how’s it going to be okay? Even things that aren’t wrong, how are you (she says to Liz) going to negotiate coming home? What’s going to happen after ASTEP? Is this the right thing to do?” For Liz, ASTEP is the key to her future. She yearns to be independent—she has her permit and is hoping to earn her driver’s license this fall. While ASTEP will provide supports to ensure Liz is grasping everything she needs in the classroom, both Liz and Roxane wonder if all the built-in supports are necessary. Roxane admits special education has evolved immensely since she began in the field in 1981, and when Liz was born 19 years ago, college wasn’t an option for a person with Down syndrome, but there’s still room for higher education to evolve and be more inclusive. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword…but they don’t want people to not be successful,” Roxane says. “I heard this quote when she (Liz) was little from an African American: ‘You have to remember I’m black and forget that I’m black at the same time.’ That’s really applicable. You have to remember you have a disability and forget it at the same time, and that’s the dance.” “My disability doesn’t come first,” Liz adds. Both Roxane and Liz appreciate the availability of ASTEP, the most inclusive program in the four-state region, but both want more opportunities and more options. “This year I will try it (college) with ASTEP, and next year I will try it without,” Liz says. “We’ve (the field of special education) always had to have structured programs to break the mold, to challenge the status quo, so maybe that’s what ASTEP is,” Roxane says. “It’s the way to get on campus. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here today, but maybe in 15 years, we won’t need the federal grants because it’ll be the norm to figure out how to teach to everybody.” Liz at MSU orientation About ASTEP: Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program Started at Minot State University in 2010 For students between ages 18-26 Students audit or take classes for credit at Minot State University or Dakota College in Bottineau ASTEP is a grant funded through the U.S. Department of Education 17 students are signed up for fall 2018 Learn more at ndcpd.org/astep Nicole Thom-Arens is a writer and an assistant professor of communication arts at Minot State University where she teaches journalism and communication theory courses and advises the student newspaper the Red & Green.