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ALBERT LEA

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

magazine

BE FIT IN LIFE THIS YEAR GET ORGANIZED WITH THESE

FINDS

MOMS MEET THE

BEHIND THE ATHLETES


A PASSION

FOR

DESIGN

Since 1946, we have been a lumber yard geared towards design. The ability to design is that simple little piece of value-added service that not just everyone has. The experience and process planning knowledge we have cannot be matched. Many clients we talk to are unsure how to start the whole design process. That’s what we’re here for! Whether it’s a remodel or a completely new design, we will walk you through the process step by step. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you avoid common pitfalls and fit a plan to your budget.

Our Process Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6.

Initial meeting Ideas to paper Paper to CAD drawing Modifications Estimate and product review Final review and permit ready

Freeborn Lumber Co. | 917 Plaza Street W | Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-4284


INTRODUCING OUR NEWEST AGENT

Celeste Krause 507.377.8904

Call Celeste today for your commercial, personal, life and health insurance needs.

www.cafourek.com


EDITOR’S NOTE

There are many incredible women in area

Editor Sarah Stultz lives in Albert Lea with her husband, Jason, and son, Landon. She loves interior decorating and gardening.

Got ideas?

This is our seventh year! We at Albert Lea magazine want to hear what you think, and we need your brightest ideas for coming issues. Favorite musicians? Finest artists? Goofiest pranksters? Best storytellers? Local nightlife? We are open-minded. Call Sarah Stultz at 379-3433. Feel free to write a letter, too. Our address is on the right.

2 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

I’ve always been amazed at the moms who travel all over the place for their children’s sporting events, particularly wrestling and hockey. One weekend they’re in one city cheering on their child — the next, they’re in another city. They’re running them to practice here, a game there. Some even have additional extracurriculars that their children are involved in, such as musical instruments or a dance class. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like their lives are busy, running from one thing to the next, and I’ve thought to myself, “Wow, how do they get it all done?” And what’s even more amazing is they often do it for multiple children. From a non-sports inclined family, I was interested to read in this issue more of what goes on behind the scenes for these dedicated sports moms, who raise amazing athletes and who are probably some of the most organized, time-efficient people in our community. We spoke with four of these moms a little about their schedules, how their children got into sports, what their children get out of participating and what kind of fans they are. These are some pretty awesome moms, and Albert Lea’s youth sports programs could not function without them. Speaking of strong women, in this issue we also feature some of the area members of the Minnesota Southbound Rollers, a roller derby team that plays at Packer Arena in Austin. These women not only have to be strong physically, but they have to be strong mentally, too. Members of the team said there are skaters who come from all walks of life — single moms, stay-at-home moms, career women, doctors, educators and students. They have felt a sense of empowerment by taking part on the team. It was fun to see that anyone with any background can be on the team, and members don’t even have to have any experience. Aside from these two features, we have some fun seasonal articles in this issue about Valentine’s sweets to make for your sweetheart and five fun things to do in the winter in Freeborn County. In the spirit of the new year, we also offer different storage items from area businesses that can help you stay organized. We hope you bundle up and stay warm this winter. Remember, Albert Lea is a fun place to be in the winter, too! — Sarah Stultz

PUBLISHER Crystal Miller EDITORIAL Editor Sarah Stultz Contributing Writers Shannon Bordeaux Linda Evenson Colleen Harrison Sarah Kocher Michelle Nelson Emily Schmidt Sarah Stultz Contributing Photographers Colleen Harrison ART Art Director Kathy Johnson Graphic Designers Susan Downey Kim Ehrich Colby Hansen SALES & PROMOTION Sales Representatives Renee Citsay Jessica Glassell Terri Green Daniel Gullickson JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 Volume 7, Number 1 EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE: Editor, Albert Lea Magazine, 808 W. Front St. Albert Lea, MN 56007 ONLINE: albertleamagazine.com or facebook.com/ albertleamagazine © 2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. For comments, suggestions or story ideas call 507-379-3433. To purchase advertising, call 507-379-3427. To subscribe, call 507-379-3422.


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ALBERT LEA | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

on the cover HEY THERE, SPORTS MOMS Area women behind student athletes hope sports give children lasting memories, relationships

36

features THEY’RE ON A ROLL Local women find community, empowerment through roller derby team

42 A HOME FULL OF CHARACTER Personality and class combine in A.L. twin home

48

4 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


ALBERT LEA | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

contents

14

From our mailbox:

Seen 8

18

“THE ADDAMS FAMILY”

10

FESTIVAL OF TREES OPEN HOUSE

12

BLUE GRASS CHRISTMAS

14

GOBBLE WOBBLE

Departments 18

DAZZLE: STORAGE IDEAS

22

DIY: PINECONE BIRD FEEDERS

28

SAVOR: PARTY BUNS

All the rest

24

30 54

BOOKS: GREAT READS

56

DIETITIAN’S DIGEST

60

EVENTS CALENDAR

64

WHY I LOVE ALBERT LEA

Dear Ms. Stultz, This might be the first time you have gotten a ‘fan’ letter about your magazine. Let me explain. My son travels a lot for business, and he brings me newspapers from all the different cities and towns. He knows I like to see what is going on in other parts of the country. I tease him about the fact that I missed a strawberry social in this place, or the county fair in t hat place. It also gives me an insight into what is going on in other parts of the country. They all seem to have most of the same problems, just on a different scale. I have made a friend, through one of the papers, and gotten a lot of recipes from others (some of your soups will be tried). “I have seen a lot of magazine-type inserts about various cities, but I have never seen a book put together like yours. It really looks like a magazine that should be on the newsstands. A lot of work and care went into your supplement. You should be very proud of it. It is a keeper. The magazine makes people want to move to Albert Lea. … Thanks for an enjoyable magazine. Yours truly, Rowena Lachant Brooklyn, New York

LOOKING BACK

ALBERT LEA

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

magazine

BE FIT IN LIFE THIS YEAR GET ORGANIZED WITH THESE

60

On the cover: Sports mom Sarah Ball. Photo taken by Colleen Harrison.

FINDS

MOMS MEET THE

BEHIND THE ATHLETES

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 5


We are in

LOVE

With everything

ALbErt LEA hAs tO OffEr anD We hOPe yOU are tOO.

this publication wouldn't be possible without partnerships with our advertisers. Please support local business and support advertisers in this magazine. Let them know you saw their ad in albert Lea Magazine!

tO AdVErtisE cALL 507-379-3427.


Healthy

HAPPENS WHEN COMES WITH A

COACH JANUARY 1-11

– JOIN FOR $1 –

& GET A FREE JUMP START TRAINING PACKAGE ($100 VALUE)

New Classes • Zumba • Yoga • Strength & Conditioning NEW Interac

Like us on Facebook: Anytime Fitness-Albert Lea (Northbridge Mall)

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507-377-8451 | OPEN 24/7


SEEN | “THE ADDAMS FAMILY”

1 Albert Lea High School presented “The Addams Family” musical from Nov. 8 through Nov. 10 in the ALHS auditorium. (1) Natalie Day, Dayna Edwards and Theresa Wolfe (2) Brayden Boettcher, Ethan Eriksmoen and Eric Maier (3) Amelia Pagel and Jayden Anderson (4) Travis and Jackie Olson (5) Kathy and Don Anderson (6) Paige Monson, Mary Matthes and Kay Goodmanson (7) Ellie Reichel and Noah Hanson (8) Eric Anderson, Nikki Anderson, Makayla Hansen and Justin Miller

5

8 8 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

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3

4

6

7


Highly anticipated and by the

treasured

community

Our 2019 Progress Edition theme is “Small steps, giant leaps” and content will focus on the tangible effects of local people who come together for the greater good. Uplift your image by being associated with these positive stories.

It’s the solution you need to be successful.

JESSICA GLASSEL (507) 379-3427 jessica.glassel@ albertleatribune.com

RENEE CITSAY (507) 379-3430 renee.citsay@ albertleatribune.com

DANIEL GULLICKSON (507) 379-9851 daniel.gullickson@ albertleatribune.com

TERRI GREEN (507) 379-3429 terri.green@ albertleatribune.com

PROGRESS SMALL STEPS, GIANT LEAPS

201 9 808 W. FRONT STREET • ALBERT LEA MN 56007 • 507.373.1411


SEEN | FESTIVAL OF TREES OPEN HOUSE

2

1 The opening of the Festival of Trees was Nov. 25 at The Albert Lea Art Center. Various local businesses, groups and individuals took time to decorate a tree and have it displayed during the event. (1) Terry Fox and Bonnie Wedge (2) Lea Nolting, Pat Mangskau and Ladonna Seipp (3) Carol and Dave Wolter (4) Colleen Jacobson and Sharon Brua (5) Hanna and MaChar Kingstrom

4 10 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

3

5


When life offers the gift of time...

how will you spend it?

W

e’re a senior living community with a big heart, a welcoming smile and a single purpose. We exist to help you write the very best next chapter of your life. Whether you are looking for a place with activities and friends close by, or you need a helping hand, we have what you need.

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Independence when you want it. Assistance when you need it.®

Call 507-373-5600 to schedule a personal tour. 1615 Bridge Avenue Albert Lea, MN 56007 www.OakParkPlace.com/communities/albert-lea

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SEEN | BLUE GRASS CHRISTMAS

2

1

3

Bluegrass group Monroe Crossing returned to Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Nov. 30 for some fiddle, some ‘fa la la’ and their first Christmas show of the season. The Minnesota group played bluegrass renditions of popular Christmas songs, as well as a handful of their own holiday tunes, finishing the show with audience requests. (1) Steve and Jinny Nielsen and Melody and Tim Randall (2) Wayne and Judy Thorson (3) Bob and Diane Anderson (4) Beverly Harpel and Lily Neitzell (5) Don and Wendy Nickel (6) Lita and Dennis Nelson (7) Jean Bailey, Duane Wheeler, Nicky Wheeler, Craig Wheeler, Amy Wheeler, Ryan Rickerl, Bryon Meyer, Angela Meyer and Emily Wheeler

5

6 12 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

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4


R O B E RT H O F F M A N

DANIEL GULLICKSON

BROKER | REALTOR® | PROPERTY MGR. 507.402.4692 | 212 Broadway Ave. S. | Albert Lea, MN robert@roberthoffmanrealty.com Licensed in Minnesota | #40230933 • #40229984

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 13


SEEN | GOBBLE WOBBLE

2

1 The Albert Lea Education Association hosted the third annual Gobble Wobble Nov. 17. The fun run/walk/wobble took place the morning after the season’s first measurable snowfall. (1) Christine Frederich, Krista Kahle and Stephanie Lenway (2) Anna Bordewick and Makenzie Kenyon (3) Lori Krueger and Ann Sorenson (4) Rich Murray and Lola Hanson (5) Barb Beseman and Kacey Pagel

4 14 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

3

5


7

6 (6) Karen Mowers and Vanthany Tate (7) Jackie Cromwell-Olson and David Ware (8) JJ and Chris Teskey (9) Rhonda Schmidt and Michelle Kluender (10) Maria Schoepf and Dawn Ware (11) Tierney Murtaugh and Sydney Collins

8

9

10

11 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 15


16 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


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BY SARAH STULTZ

DAZZLE | STORAGE IDEAS

THINGS

YOU

DIDN’T KNOW

2

YOU

WANTED

1

The beginning of the year is a good time to organize. Whether it’s papers, photographs, desk supplies, toys or clothes, here are some great finds from downtown Albert Lea businesses to help bring a little order to your life.

3 1. An organizer with multiple uses | Whether it’s office or kitchen supplies, this PD Home & Garden tin organizer features three sections of various sizes that would be perfect for housing pens, markers, scissors and other supplies in the office or items like silverware and napkins in the kitchen. Addie’s Floral & Gifts, $24.99 2. A farmhouse classic | These three mason jars with chalk tags sit in a small tin tray and would work great for organizing utensils in the kitchen or supplies in the office. When you’re ready to change it up, simply erase the tags and re-label them. The Color Wheel, $30 3. Hanging art in style | If you’re one to end up with lots of photographs or children’s art pieces, this 34-by-33-inch sliding door wall panel provides a classy way to showcase the work. Use magnets on the tin panels, and the center can be used as a chalkboard. The Color Wheel, $150 18 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


4 6

5

7 4. Repurposing an old machine | Store candles, decor or other items in a vintage sewing machine drawer. The drawer would even look like nice out on display. Junktion Market, $10 5. Get crafty | If you enjoy being creative and making new projects, this red tin tray organizer can help you keep all your supplies straight. It is divided into 10 sections and features a splash of vintage red color on the outside. Junktion Market, $30 6. Tin is in | These tin storage bins could be used in practically any room in the home, such as in the kitchen for fresh fruit or snacks, in the office for bills or supplies or in the bathroom for hand towels or decorations. The Color Wheel, $59 7. Handcrafted storage | Have a lot of children’s toys or other items that need a place to be stored? This handcrafted design by Uttermost is based on an original Matthew Williams design and provides plenty of space to put things away. Brick Furniture, $599 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 19


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contact Brenda Reed, Family Service Coordinator blreed@alchildrenscenter.org 507-373-7979 20 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

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BY ANGELA MOLLER

DIY | PINECONE BIRD FEEDERS

PINECONE

BIRD FEEDERS This simple, family-friendly activity is a win-win for wildlife and people alike. The birds love a tasty mid-winter treat, and we can enjoy watching the different varieties that come to visit. Once the birds learn your yard is a good place to find a snack, they’ll tell their friends. Feeding the birds can become a fun hobby. Albert Lea Audubon Society is a great resource for ideas and advice.

What you will need:

Angela Moller is the designer and artist at Homestead Design, a handcrafted home decor business she and her husband, Matt, operate from their local acreage. A few of Angela’s favorite things include graphic design, home decor, nature and learning activities for children.

1

Gather a few pinecones from your yard or a city park. The large, round ones from our state tree, the Norway pine, are perfect for this project, but you can make do with smaller, narrow pinecones if needed. Pinecones that are closed can be baked on a pan in the oven for 10 minutes at 300 degrees (under close supervision) to open the petals. 22 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

Birdseed (choose a variety based on which birds already frequent your yard or which types you’d like to attract) Peanut butter (in case of allergies, sunflower butter can also work) Twine or jute string Pinecones Scissors

2

Spread peanut butter or sunflower butter between the petals of the pinecone using a butter knife or popsicle stick.

3

Spread or roll the coated pinecone in birdseed.


4

Tie a length of twine or jute string around the pinecone, leaving a long enough end to tie a loop.

5

String together multiple pinecones to make a garland.

6

Hang pinecones and drape garland around trees and shrubs in your yard. Place some near your windows so you can enjoy the view when the birds come to visit!

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 23


24 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


VALENTINE’S SWEETS FOR YOUR

SWEETIE

Valentine’s Day is undoubtedly one of the sweetest holidays of the year. If you or your loved ones enjoy delectable treats, consider checking out these recipes. They not only look delicious, but are tasty, too. RED VELVET BROWNIES Ingredients

1 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped 3/4 cup butter 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 (1-ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt Cream Cheese Frosting White chocolate curls, optional garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition. Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides as handles; gently remove foil. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top of brownies, and cut into 16 squares. Garnish, if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese,

softened 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. — Recipe from www.myrecipes.com

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRIES Ingredients

Container of strawberries Semi-sweet chocolate chips or Wilton dark cocoa melts 1/2 cup Wilton bright white chocolate melts 1/2 cup Wilton pink chocolate melts Assorted sprinkles

Directions

Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and set aside. Rinse strawberries and dry completely. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the semi-sweet chips for 45 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Repeat as necessary. Dip one-third of the strawberries into the melted chocolate, covering completely accept for the stem. Place on the lined sheet. Before the chocolate hardens, add sprinkles if desired. Set aside. Repeat with the white chocolate melts and the pink chocolate melts.

Use remaining chocolate to drizzle a different color over the strawberries, as desired. Place the chocolate-coated strawberries in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow chocolate to harden. Store in an airtight container, in a single layer, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until ready to serve.

SWEETHEART BUDDIES Ingredients

5 ounces white almond bark or white chocolate chips 5 ounces red candy melts 1 teaspoon shortening 5 cups Chex cereal 1 cup strawberry cake mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar Valentine’s colored chocolate candies, such as Sixlets or M&Ms

Directions

Start by dividing the Chex mix into two bowls, 2 1/2 cups in each. In a microwave safe dish, melt 5 ounces of white almond bark or white chocolate chips. Add 1/2 teaspoon of shortening so the almond bark will spread evenly. Microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. Pour in the first bowl and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Melt the red candy melts after adding 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to the candy melts. Check and stir the mixture in 30 second intervals. When completely melted, pour mixture over the second bowl of Chex mix and stir until evenly coated. In 2 gallon-size plastic baggies, put 1/2 cup of the strawberry cake mix in each bag JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 25


along with 1/4 of powdered sugar. Add a bowl of the Chex mix to each bag and shake until coated.

Turkey baster or something with a small spout

VALENTINE’S DAY FRUIT KABOBS

Mix your batter to your liking, and then add a few drops of food coloring. Start with 2 drops, mix well and then add until you get the color you like. Add batter to turkey baster or bottle with a spout. Carefully pour your batter into the pan while making your heart shape. To make it super easy, buy a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookie cutter on the pan and pour the batter directly into it. Cook to perfection.

Ingredients

Fruit solid enough to be skewered (melon, apples, pears, pineapple) Short bamboo skewers Small heart-shaped cookie cutters

Directions

Thinly slice your fruit, and then take the cookie cutter and cut out the hearts. Thread fruit onto the skewers and serve.

VALENTINE’S PANCAKES Ingredients

Pancake mix 1 medium mixing bowl 1 large egg Red food coloring

Directions

— Recipe from littlegrayfox.blogspot.com

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Ingredients

4 egg yolks 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons vanilla extract For garnish: Shaved chocolate Whipped cream

Directions

Beat egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for 3 minutes until thick. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Heat 1 cup of cream in a small sauce pan until hot. With the mixer on, stream half of the hot cream into the eggs. Once combined, pour the mixture into the pot with the remaining 1/2 cup cream. Turn the heat to low, and cook until thick, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, and then add in the chocolate in 3 batches, stirring over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour the mix into a large bowl, cover and place in fridge for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes. Once no longer warm, remove from the fridge and whip up the remaining 1 1/2 cups heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Pipe or spoon the mousse into small glasses. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate. — Recipe from lilluna.com

VALENTINE’S BARK Ingredients

1 1/2 packages vanilla candy coating Pink or red food coloring Cherry chocolate M&Ms Sprinkles

Directions

Melt 6 cubes of candy coating in a small pot on low heat, stirring constantly. When all melted, add pink or red food coloring. Pour over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in fridge for a half hour. Melt an additional 6 cubes of candy coating in a small pot on low heat, stirring constantly. When all melted, pour over first layer and spread. Top with cherry M&Ms and sprinkles. Refrigerate for an additional hour. — Recipe from lilluna.com


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 27


SAVOR | PARTY BUNS

28 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

BY BRYAN CUNNINGHAM


AN ENTERTAINER’S

FAVORITE Bryan Cunningham has been a chef for 20 years. He loves learning new skills in the kitchen and experimenting with different ingredients. When he’s not in the kitchen, he is watching shows featuring his favorite chefs or spending time with his wife and three children. He is proud of living in his native town of Albert Lea and is working on building his new catering business, Yankee Catering.

Looking for a new Super Bowl snack? Sweet, salty and filling, these sandwiches are an excellent addition to any party, or even as a meal. Each batch makes two 9-by-13-inch pans.

Party Buns Ingredients 24 cocktail-size buns Thin-sliced ham Swiss cheese

Sauce:

Melt together 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup butter 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons mustard

Directions

Place 12 cocktail buns in each pan. Put ham and cheese on each bun, pour the sauce over and cover with foil. Refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. Bake covered for 25 minutes at 350° F. Uncover, and bake 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 29


BOOKS | GREAT READS

BOOKS YOU

CAN’T

LIVE WITHOUT “Wine to Water” By Doc Hendley

Review by Sara Obermeyer More often than not, I am a person who picks up a book that is fiction. But sometimes you have a book recommended that is nonfiction, and then you read it and not only enjoy it, but learn something, too. These are quickly becoming a favorite for me and one of the best I’ve read recently is “Wine to Water.” This is the story of Doc Hendley. On the cover of the book it says, “How one man saved himself while trying to save the world.” That was enough to get me intrigued. Doc got it in his mind that there are so many parts of the world that need clean water. Sure, there are a lot of other humanitarian projects going on all over, but water is a basic human need, and he wanted to make sure people were going to get it.

Doc’s story takes you from Darfur to Haiti (and several other places). I could actually visualize the entire experience: from getting shot at by the rebels in Darfur, to the beautiful landscapes he saw in the mountains of Darfur, to the unrelenting heat of the dessert, to the friendships he made with the local people and the help he had from other aid agencies to get his program off the ground. This entire story is truly an inspiration. Doc not only lets us travel with him to these places, but he is also very real about his life in general. We get to see where he has been and watch as he grows into the kind, caring, generous man he has become.

Angel Hawkinson, Elaine Wieser, MaChar Kingstrom and Sara Obermeyer work at St. John’s Lutheran Community.

“From Freeborn to Freetown and Back” By Patrick R. O’Leary

When 22-year-old Patrick O’Leary stepped off the plane in Sierra Leone in January 1967, he was smartly dressed for another visit to extended family in his rural Catholic farming community in Freeborn County. It didn’t take him long to realize that his Peace Corps training — for a country other than the one he was assigned to — and one road trip to Key West — in a Cadillac hearse — had prepared him only so well for two 30 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

years of living on his own on the outskirts of Binkolo. Before being evicted from his village, O’Leary was befriended by the local chief. In spite of time, distance and war, they maintained a relationship for over 40 years. Still working to interpret his intense Peace Corps experience, O’Leary traveled to Sierra Leone again in 2004. He was pleased to see old friends, but dismayed by what had become of their country. “From Freeborn to Freetown and Back” reflects on treasured memories and divergent, but connected lives.


5 READS YOU

SHOULDN’T MISS “The Terrorist Son”

“The Sandman”

By Zak Ebrahim

By Lars Kepler

Review by Sara Obermeyer

Review by Elaine Wieser

“The Terrorist’s Son” is the story of the son/family of a convicted terrorist. Ebrahim tells a fascinating tale about what his family experiences in America after his father is arrested and convicted of planning the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. I know many people jump to the conclusion that if the father could do something like that, his sons must be just like him because that is how they were raised. That is not necessarily the case. Everyone needs to understand life is about choices. We can choose to do good, or we can choose to do bad. But it is always our choice.

This a thriller crime novel set in Stockholm, Sweden. Mikael and his sister were kidnapped 13 years ago. They were thought to have been victims of Swedish serial killer Jorek Walters and they were declared dead. But one cold winter night, Mikael is found wandering outside Stockholm. He tells police his sister is alive and being held by the sandman; he has no other details to offer. Jorek is in jail, and the police feel he is the only one who knows where Mikael’s sister is, and somehow they need to get him to talk. There were a lot of twists and turns. It keeps you guessing, and I did not see the ending coming.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain”

“Understanding Trump”

By Garth Stein

By Newt Gingrich

Review by MaChar Kingstrom

Review by Angel Hawkinson

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty and hope — a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life, as only a dog could tell it. After reading this book, I can never look at another dog in the same way! The story made me laugh and cry. The imagery makes you think, “Do dogs think that way?” I am not interested in car racing or dogs, but I would recommend everyone read this book. It is a book that makes you really feel anger, joy and love.

“Then She Was Gone” By Lisa Jewell

Review by MaChar Kingstrom Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was 15, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now, her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together. It has been 10 years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters — and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away. Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she has tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl? This book is a gripping twisty plot that really makes you think about the people around you, how you treat them and how that affects your own life and others. A well-written book that was a bit scary and makes you think and reflect on what we take for granted.

Newt Gingrich starts out by proclaiming his support for President Trump. He then goes into some background on him. President Trump grew up in Queens with four other siblings. He attended military school for five years. He grew up in a large home, and his father was the bread-winner. His mother stayed home; however, she remained busy all the time. She did her wifely duties, took care of the children and volunteered at a hospital. His family stayed close to one another and understood the value of a dollar. Gingrich goes into detail on many of Trump’s accomplishments and future projects. President Trump’s children’s accomplishments were also mentioned. His children really do look up to their father as a great role model. He is very proud of his children. One example of how proud President Trump was is when Eric Trump renovated Turnberry Golf Resort in Scotland. Eric was also credited for the Trump Winery. The president’s daughter, Ivanka, was also well accomplished. She designed and renovated an old building and turned it to a world class hotel. According to President Trump, Ivanka always dreamed of building things. She started building with Legos. President Trump is a pragmatist and a builder. He will learn what he wants to learn, not what someone will teach. Knowledge is a tool to achieve something. President Trump is also an entrepreneur. He encourages others to be entrepreneurs, too. He sees the best in people and then wants to help them fulfill their destiny. It wasn’t easy for Donald Trump to become president, and he has a long road ahead. He has many enemies who want to see him fail. However, he doesn’t let them stop him from trying to make America great again. Back in the ’80s, Ronald Reagan wanted to make America great again, and he did a great job. Donald Trump did get to meet Ronald back in the ’80s. Just think, at that time Trump had no idea he would be president someday. The book also goes into detail on all the projects President Trump will be working on — there are at least 35 projects. His goals are to create jobs, have global stability, lead Congress and establish a better future. He would also like to change the health care system. One thing he would like to change is to make sure there are non-addictive pain killers. If we are able to do this, we may save thousands of lives. I really enjoyed reading this book. There was so much information about President Trump. There was also information on other presidents who President Trump could relate to. I admire him for standing for his own convictions. If you don’t understand Trump, I would recommend this book. My favorite part of the reading was his projects he will be working on. He wants to improve the workforce and create more construction jobs and train more Americans to do those jobs. I could go on about other projects that interest me, but you will have to read to find out what those projects are. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 31


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One of the events that took place during the Big Freeze in 2018 was a display by the Minnesota Kite Society.

34 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


5 THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTER IN

FREEBORN COUNTY BY SARAH STULTZ

Winter is sometimes a challenging season for people to make it through in Minnesota, but there are actually lots of events and activities to help keep you busy — both indoors and outdoors. Check out some of the area’s greatest: 1. Celebrate winter at The Big Freeze

We can’t do anything to change the weather, so you might as well celebrate it at the annual festival known as The Big Freeze. Bundle up and come out for the 10th year for the event, which will be Feb. 9 at Edgewater Bay Pavilion and Three Oak Winery. The Big Freeze features several family-friendly events, including the Blue Ice Plunge, a medallion hunt, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a chili cook off and other outdoor activities. New this year will be pond hockey, as well as an ice fishing contest hosted by the Albert Lea Anglers. There will be additional events at the winery.

2. Get your workout in at the state park

Fun at the state park doesn’t only take place in the summer. There are also other activities to do there in the winter. The park offers 1 1/2 miles of winter hiking trails, 7 miles of snowmobile trails and snowshoeing throughout the park, except on the 5 miles of cross country skiing trails. Park-goers who don’t have their own snowshoes can rent them at the park office for $6 a day.

3. Perfect that double salchow

Whether you like to ice skate indoors or outdoors, there are several options in Albert Lea. Indoor ice skating and ice skate rentals are available at City Arena, and the Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Department maintains outside skating rinks at Hayek, Academy, Hawthorne and Lakeview parks. The arena is open for public skating from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sundays. The fee for public skate is $4, which includes skate rental during the week. On the weekends, there is an additional $1 charge to rent skates. Open hockey is $6. At the outdoor rinks, there are ice and lights on

during the week. The Hayek Park warming house is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Warming houses at Academy, Hawthorne and Lakeview are open on the weekends.

4. Check out a concert or play at Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

Don’t like the cold but still like to stay busy? Marion Ross Performing Arts Center hosts a variety of concerts and performances. Whether it’s Albert Lea Community Theatre, The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD or other concerts from local, regional and national performers, the theater offers opportunities for anyone who enjoys music and acting. ACT’s big play in February is “The Mousetrap,” a murder mystery and is sure to keep you on your toes.

5. Snuggle up with a book from the library.

One of the city’s greatest gems, the library has something for every reader. With a total circulation of 170,210 as of the end of November, the library offers both traditional paperback and hardback books along with digital versions of many, as well. While stopping in for a book, don’t forget there are DVDs, too, along with magazines and newspapers. In addition to allowing people to check out items, the library offers computers for its patrons, along with classes for adults, book clubs for adults and children, and activities and story time for children. Too busy to read? Reading has many benefits, including stress reduction, stronger analytical thinking skills and even memory improvement. You can expand your vocabulary, improve your focus and help keep your brain strong. The library is open six days a week.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 35


HEY THERE,

SPORTS MOMS Area women behind student athletes hope sports give children lasting memories, relationships Photography by COLLEEN HARRISON Story by SARAH KOCHER

36 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 37


H

alfway up one wall in an Albert Lea basement, a slice thinner than it is long mars the uniformity of tan paint and solid drywall. On the opposite wall, divots and black streaks sporadically decorate below knee-height. The door next to the net looks good — but that’s because they replaced it recently, Albert Lea mother Sarah Ball said. The old one had holes in it from pucks and sticks and a dozen sweaty boys on their knees wielding miniature hockey sticks. “If it’s a snowy day, we can have 10 or 12 high school boys down there playing knee hockey — like, for hours,” Ball said. Ball’s basement walls are not the first sports-related casualties caused by sons Jake, Ethan and Liam Ball. “Especially when Jake and Ethan were little little — even before they were in school — we had grass worn away in the backyard from where they had bases and, like, a broken window in the basement from baseball, because they would just play together all the time,” she said.

Our main thing is that they’re having fun. …We talk to our kids and we say, ‘No one is going pro, so let’s just go out there and have fun. — Sarah Stay

Jake Ball, a senior; Ethan Ball, a sophomore; and Liam Ball, a sixthgrader, all play baseball and hockey. Sarah Ball is on the youth baseball board, active in high school boosters and runs the concession stand at Hayek Field. Her husband, Brian Ball, coaches baseball. Starting their boys in sports was mutually instigated by parents and children, Sarah Ball said. Brian Ball was one of six boys and in a lot of sports himself growing up, his wife said, so their children grew up playing sports with their cousins and dad. “It was just kind of a natural progression, and they wanted to and we encouraged it as well, so it was just kind of a mutual thing,” she said. Parent Nichol Sevcik, whose four children are or have participated in sports at various levels, said putting her children in sports was important to her. She wasn’t in a lot of sports as a child — she played volleyball through middle school — and saw what participating in

38 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

Sarah Ball is an Albert Lea hockey mom.

those activities could teach her children. “I think it just, it’s good to learn to work as a team,” she said. “It’s good to lose as a team, and I’m pretty competitive.” Sevick’s oldest, Jonathan Sevick, stuck with football in high school, but when he started they also tried soccer and baseball. “My older son, who’s 20, we put him in everything,” Sevcik said. Evan Sevick, 14, and Isaiah Sevick, 9, play hockey and baseball, and Madalynn Sevick, 12, plays volleyball both for Southwest Middle School and for a traveling winter team based out of Mankato. She also plays softball, and Evan Sevick also plays football. Sometimes — especially in the summer — they could all have a game on the same night, Nichol Sevick said. That’s when reinforcements come in. “I feel like it’s important that I rotate where I go, or someone is here,” she said. “I have to make sure there’s like a grandma there or a family member there, cheering them on. ... I rely heavily on my family to help out.” And when she’s cheering them on, she’s cheering hard. She’s hoarse during hockey season. “I’m a crazy kind of fan,” Nichol Sevick said. “If you ask anybody they’ll say, ‘Well, there’s Nichol’ or ‘I can hear Nichol’ or if I make a comment about I’m their biggest fan, they’re like, ‘We had no idea.’ It’s almost like I can’t sit down. I’m standing up and I got my coffee in one hand and I’m yelling ‘Move your feet’ or — I just like it. I love it. Some people don’t love it. I like to be cold in an arena, and I like to be hot on the ballfield. I always say I’m going to not be the crazy mom that cheers like that, but I just can’t help it.” Nichol Sevick also relies heavily on Google calendar. “Our whole lives are planned around sports,” she said. For the household to function, her children have to understand the whole house is busy. “They have to be willing to compromise with us as who’s attending what and then where we’re going,” she said. “We can’t go shopping and we can’t run you to your friend’s because we’ve got all of this going on.”


Sarah Stay’s son, Sam, and daughter, Lucy, are both multisport athletes who are in the middle of hockey season. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 39


Sarah Ball’s sons Jake, Ethan and Liam all play hockey. 40 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


For the Stay family, mom Sarah Stay said it’s usually an even split in the winter: her husband, Matt, coaches the hockey team for their sixth-grade son, Sam Stay, so they two of them are often together while Sarah Stay travels with her daughter, freshman Lucy Stay. “That usually means we’re split, like, all winter pretty much,” Sarah Stay said. Lucy Stay also participates in soccer, hockey and track, while Sam Stay also plays baseball.

I love it. Some people don’t love it. I like to be cold in an arena, and I like to be hot on the ballfield. I always say I’m going to not be the crazy mom that cheers like that, but I just can’t help it.

— Nichol Sevcik

The family can enjoy hockey together when they go to Wild games. “As a family, that’s our favorite — hockey’s our favorite,” she said. It wasn’t always that way for her, though. Sarah Stay said she wasn’t much into hockey before her children began playing it. Now, she’s into it. She loves seeing the progression her children made and the skills they’ve developed on the ice. But she tries not to be too into it. “I cheer and yell, but, you know, try to keep it appropriate,” Sarah Stay said. “My kids have told me, ‘We don’t want to hear you yelling.’” She knows her children are learning sportsmanship from sports, but they’re learning it from her, too. “I don’t want to go to a game and embarrass my kids because I freaked out on someone, she said. “It’s hard to tell my kids to be a good sport when I’m over there yelling and screaming.” Angie Nelson didn’t grow up loving hockey, either. Her school in Glenville didn’t have it. But both she and her husband did sports through high school. “It was just kind of exciting when our kids wanted to, and we all like it,” she said. Now, her sons Gavin, 15, and Emery, 12, both play hockey. Gavin Nelson also plays baseball and Emery Nelson also plays volleyball. Her husband, Jeremy, is a coach for Gavin’s team and an assistant coach for Emery’s. For both her children, having sports in common can bridge any gap caused by different school work and activities. If both play on a weekend, the family gets home and the children will ask each other for a play-by-play of how things went. “They kind of have something major to talk about that’s in common,” Angie Nelson said. “... It’s kind of their middle ground.” Angie Nelson also helps with managerial duties for the team: booking hotel rooms for away tournaments, managing worker shifts for home games and tournaments, organizing team meals, coordinating team photos. “A lot of it would fall kind of on the coaches if there wasn’t parents that help, and they spend so much of their time not only on the ice

during practice but prepping for practices, making plans, whatever, I don’t feel that they should have to call and make hotel reservations,” she said. Nichol Sevick is active in high school football boosters and, like all traveling hockey parents, works so many concession shifts or college games. Nichol Sevick, Sarah Ball, Sarah Stay and Angie Nelson all said the time they spend following their children’s sports and helping out has given them friendships and relationships with other parents and families. Sarah Ball said she hopes sports give her children those same relationships. “I hope that they just remember it as good times with good friends,” Sarah Ball said. For Angie Nelson, the reward for all the work and effort is seeing her children enjoy what they’re doing. “We don’t even have to fight with them to go to practices,” Angie Nelson said. “I mean, they love it. It’s fun for me to see them having so much fun and spending time with their friends and becoming good teammates and good friends with the kids that they spend so much time with.” Participation in sports is also a chance for her children to learn persistence, try their best and not give up — that’s all they ask, Sarah Stay said. “Our main thing is that they’re having fun,” Stay said. “... We talk to our kids and we say, ‘No one is going pro, so let’s just go out there and have fun.’” AL

Sarah Stay’s daughter, Lucy, plays hockey for Albert Lea High School. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 41


42 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


THEY’RE ON

A ROLL

Locals find community, empowerment through roller derby team Story and photography by COLLEEN HARRISON

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 43


F

or love of the game. Talk to any member of the Minnesota Southbound Rollers about how they got into roller derby, and you’ll hear a variation of that answer. “I fell in love with the sport,” said Alisa Bawek, known as “Ms. Behave” on the track. Bawek, now a coach with the team, was first introduced to the sport when she came to see a friend of hers about two years ago. That friend was Albert Lean Marie Karow, “Loca” in the derby world. Friends since high school, Bawek became a non-skating official as well as a timer with the team. In 2017, Bawek decided she wanted to be even more involved with the sport. “Even though I was nervous to skate, I wanted roller derby in my life,” she said. So Bawek started watching bouts on YouTube and different training videos. She read any derby article she could find and printed out the rulebook. “I learned as much as I could about roller derby,” she said. In May 2017, she bench-coached her first bout. While she’s not sure if she helped much, Bawek said she learned a lot.

According to six-year referee Toby Leonard, one-third of derby athletes get injured each year, forcing a number of them to drop out. Leonard himself has broken both legs. Thus the reason for refs and officials, as well as for the insurance policies each member must have when competing in the league. “Our main purpose is to keep it safe, and then it’s to keep it fair,” he said. Bawek said a common misconception for those unfamiliar with roller derby is how athletic the sport really is. “(Skaters) make it look easy on the track because they put in the work off skates and on skates,” she said. “You need a really strong core and legs. Cardio is key. Jams last up to two minutes, which doesn’t seem like a long time, but you are skating hard and fast or pushing and hitting the entire time. “Not only do skaters need to be physically fit, but mental preparedness is just as important. You need to be present at practice and focus on what you can do.” Founded in 2013, the team is a B-level roller derby team. A-level is considered more professional with highly experienced skaters, whereas B-level has a broader range of experience levels, including beginner skaters. While they don’t play every single team each season, there are about 15 or 16 teams the Southbound Rollers have competed against. Something the team also partakes in is fostering — hosting other skaters or loaning their own skaters out to help a team fill its roster spots in order to be bout-eligible. The team has fostered with teams in

It’s empowering, being with other females and defending a team together. Seeing others come out and meet their personal goals, it’s a fun thing to be a part of. — Marie Karow, also known as “Loca”

Now, she’s in charge of planning practices and lineups for the team’s bouts, and schedules bouts with other teams. Karow, on the other hand, is entering her fifth season with the Southbound Rollers, and hopefully her third as the team’s captain, she said. Karow brought her sister, Savanna “Baby-D” Bangs, as well as another sister and a cousin, onto the team with her. Bangs has mainly coached during her four years on the team, as she is recovering from a broken leg suffered during a tomahawk attempt — a 180-degree move. She said she’s looking forward to getting to skate, though. As derby is a full-contact sport, injuries come with the territory. 44 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

Karow said roller derby, for her, is empowering.


Marie “Loca� Karow will start her fifth season with the Minnesota Southbound Rollers roller derby team in the spring.


Mason City, New Ulm and Mankato, and has traveled as far as Brookings, or Watertown, South Dakota, to compete. Karow and Bangs live in Albert Lea, with other team members hailing from Hollandale, Osage, Mankato and Austin. The team calls Packer Arena in Austin its home during the regular season, which typically runs from late May/early June through late September/early October. The team starts meeting for regular practice sessions in March. The team is always looking to add to its roster, and no experience is necessary. The Southbound Rollers will set up training for those getting used to the rules of derby, and once they’re ready will integrate them in with the team. They also will loan out gear to first-timers, so people can see if it’s a good fit for them without putting down the money for equipment right away. “Every time you put on skates is an improvement,” Bangs said. Those interested in getting involved can find out more through the Minnesota Southbound Rollers Facebook page. Why should people consider getting involved? “Derby people are amazing people,” Bawek said. “Skaters come from all walks of life — we have single moms, stay-at-home moms, career women, doctors, educators, students, shy or outgoing, loud or quiet. We are inclusive and welcoming. We are always looking for new skaters, (non-skating officials), refs and volunteers.” What’s the best part of being involved with roller derby? “It’s empowering, being with other females and defending a team together,” Karow said. “Seeing others come out and meet their personal goals, it’s a fun thing to be a part of.” AL

Toby Leonard has been a roller derby referee for about six years.

Minnesota Southbound Rollers blockers, in purple, hold back the opposing jammer while their own jammer, with the star on her helmet, fights to get past the opposing team’s blockers. — Photo courtesy Kevin Bawek/Minnesota Southbound Rollers 46 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


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DIRECTIONS 1. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare all the toppings. 2. After 30 minutes, add coconut oil to a cast iron or favorite skillet and preheat over high heat until smoking slightly. Add steak and allow to cook, untouched, for 5 minutes on either side on medium. Allow to rest 15 minutes before dicing into 1/4- to 1/2-inch size pieces. 3. Warm corn tortillas on a flat-top or in the oven. Top with chopped steak, sprinkle of onions, cilantro, avocado and cheese. Serve with a wedge of lime. Alternatively, serve beef and toppings at the table and let everyone build their own. For more recipes, visit our website: www.venturafoods.com

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48 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


A HOME FULL OF

CHARACTER Personality and class combine in A.L. twin home Photography by COLLEEN HARRISON Story by SARAH STULTZ

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 49


W

hen Georgia and Dennis Wentzel moved to Albert Lea 8 1/2 years ago from Arizona, they had the chance to incorporate their personalities as they built a new twin home. Having purchased new furniture when they lived in Arizona, they worked with contractor Jared Dawson to choose floor plans and make accommodations in those plans to fit their furniture. Those adjustments and other design choices — combined with choices in their decor — make the two-bedroom Crystal Drive home a fun one to be in. The home, which Georgia Wentzel describes as contemporary,

Dennis and Georgia Wentzel live on Crystal Drive in Albert Lea.

50 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

incorporates a variety of art pieces — including paintings and metal sculptures. She and her husband said if they see something like they like, they try to buy it. One of those unique art pieces is a chair, affectionately named Lena by its creator, that is made of metal and depicts a seated woman.

We like Albert Lea. I think it’s a really nice community.

— Georgia Wentzel

They also have a metal art piece hanging on the wall of the master bedroom that Georgia Wentzel has named Helga. This piece doubles as a light fixture. The couple said designer Susan Smith helped with many of the


The couple found the light fixtures that hang over their dining tabe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


The Wentzels said an interior decorator who helped them design the inside of their home suggested a matching element for their kitchen cabinets and flooring.

decorating choices in the home, including the fireplace, kitchen cabinets, window treatments and color of the carpet. Instead of having a traditional hearth underneath the fireplace and a mantel on the top, the Wentzels incorporated an accent piece on the fireplace to the side of it that acts not only as a statement piece, but as a seating area, as well. Another highlight of the home stems from Georgia Wentzel’s love for asymmetry. Instead of having the home be symmetrical, she strives to make it different throughout, whether it’s the fireplace, the wavy line that separates the two colors of quartz on the kitchen countertops, the one wall with two recessed cutouts for art pieces, or the variety of colors of chairs around the dining room table. She also has a self-acclaimed fetish for eyeglasses. There is a large pair hanging over the fireplace, and the mirrors in the master bathroom make up another pair. A statute in the home has its own pair of glasses, too. These pieces show Georgia Wentzel’s personality, along with the large, red high-heeled shoe in the master bedroom next to the couple’s Danish bed and the red lip pillows on the bed. In the hallway and guest bedroom are art pieces by local man James Peterson that are made with Granicrete. One piece makes up the headboard. Granicrete was also used for the sink in the guest bathroom. The couple credited those who were a part of getting their home ready in Albert Lea. 52 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

They said Dawson was much more accommodating than contractors they have worked with in the past. Because their Arizona home sold quicker than they thought it would, they had to store their furniture in various places as their new home was completed, including their baby grand piano, which was stored at Skyline Plaza. Though Georgia Wentzel said she is not much of an outdoors person, her husband said he likes that the home offers scenic views out their back window like he was used to being near when he was growing up on a farm. They also enjoy that the home is a good one for inviting friends and family over. “We like to entertain,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of time, but we do like to entertain.” The Wentzels said they decided to move to Albert Lea to be closer to medical care in Rochester, especially since both are cancer survivors. They looked at homes in Rochester but couldn’t find something they liked. So, they instead decided to build in Albert Lea. “We like Albert Lea,” she said. “I think it’s a really nice community.” The two had been used to colder weather, having lived previously in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dennis Wentzel, who is retired, is from northern Minnesota, and Georgia Wentzel, who works part time at Ascension Lutheran Church and Fisher’s Fine Jewelers, is from North Dakota. Dennis Wentzel said he enjoys the proximity of the home to Green Lea Golf Course, as well, where he enjoys golfing.


Georgia Wentzel said they don’t buy anything for their home that they don’t absolutely love.

The Wentzels’ home has been shown as a possible layout within the housing development to those considering moving into the development JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 53


LOOKING BACK | SPORT OF BOWLING

The bowling team sponsored by American Gas Machine Co. frequently competed against the Brite-Lite team. Both companies manufactured lighting systems.

THE POPULAR WINTER SPORT OF BOWLING By LINDA EVENSON Photos courtesy FREEBORN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM In 1905, bowling was recognized as the national winter sport. That year, a new bowling alley opened in Albert Lea at 113 S. Newton Ave. Managed by Harry Gillrup, the bowling alley occupied the first floor and was equipped with three lanes. It was elaborately lighted by the American Gas Machine Co.’s system. As early as 1885, the City Council approved a bond for Nobel & Wiegand’s bowling alley and granted a license to D. E. Dwyer. Ten years later, an area newspaper ran the ad, “Cultivate your muscle and get healthy by rolling tenpins at Selbig’s bowling alley.” By 1908, five local bowling teams had formed: the Pioneers, Colts, Tigers, Cubs and Gophers. The following year, the 54 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

Albert Lea Bowling Club converted a livery barn into a bowling alley. The Albert Lea Bowling Association was organized in 1910. An interstate bowling tournament was in Minneapolis in February 1910. Two Albert Lea teams competed, the Brundin Packing Co. team, composed of George Brundin, Russell Edwards, John Larson, Frank Dills and Frank Bessenger; and the Hamm’s Preferred team of Tom Jones, West Beedle, Floyd Willard, Dr. Simonson and E. B. Frost. In 1916, Albert Lea hosted the Interstate Bowling Tournament. The event was so popular, the tournament was extended from three days to five days to accommodate all the participants.


Albert Lea Bowling Center was above the Palm Garden dance hall at 218 S. Washington Ave. It opened in September 1939 with six new 20th century Brunswick streamlined alleys. Bowling was 15 cents per line. The 1910 Brundin Packing Co. bowling team participated in the interstate bowling tournament in Minneapolis.

In 1927, John Briggs rolled a perfect score of 300. It was reported to be the first in Albert Lea. The feat was accomplished at the five-lane bowling alley at the recreation center in the basement of the Hyde building at the northwest corner of South Newton Avenue and East William Street.

The Town Club Inc. bowling alley was at 110 Water St. in 1941.

Miss Johnson (no first name included) concentrates on her bowling in this 1941 photograph. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 55


DIETITIAN’S DIGEST | BY EMILY SCHMIDT

Albert Lea resident Emily Schmidt is a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. She enjoys writing, cooking and spending time with her son and family.

What does it mean to ‘eat healthy for your heart?’

Each year, February brings awareness to heart health with American Heart Month. This is important and pertinent given that one out of every three people in the United States dies from heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. There are many important lifestyle factors that affect our heart health, including nutrition. You may have heard that you need to “eat healthy for your heart,” but what exactly does that mean? Decrease: Saturated fat. This type of dietary fat, which is solid at room temperature, can increase levels of unhealthy cholesterol if eaten in excess. When LDL or “bad” cholesterol becomes elevated in the blood, plaque can build up in arteries, contributing to heart disease. Food sources of saturated fat include meat, dairy, eggs, butter and tropical oils such as coconut oil. Although these foods are fine in moderation, it’s recommended to limit saturated fats to less than about 20 grams per day. The best way to do so is through portion control and limiting heavily processed, convenience and fast foods. Trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oils. This used to be a commonly used fat in many heavily processed foods such as stick margarine, pastries and non-dairy creamer; however, as of June the FDA labeled this type of fat as unsafe for health. The majority of food manufacturers has eliminated this ingredient from their products; however, check food labels just in case (both the “trans fat” on the nutrition facts label as well as “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients section). Sodium (AKA salt). Although required for our health in small amounts, excess sodium causes our cardiovascular system to work much harder. This can lead to elevated blood pressure or swelling/ edema depending on certain health conditions. The average person should limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams daily, and if you have any heart health issues, it’s best to stay below 2,000 mg daily. Your best bet for sodium reduction is to read nutrition facts labels, increase fresh foods and cooking at home, and cook more with herbs, 56 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

spices and other low- or sodium-free seasonings instead of salt. Refined carbohydrates and sugar. These are found in white bread and other refined grains, desserts, sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks and juices, and many other foods. Don’t confuse these less healthy carbohydrates with healthy carbs, however. Whole grains, fruit, beans, vegetables, milk and yogurt are all nutritious sources despite their higher carbohydrate count. Of course, moderation is still important but carbohydrates should not be eliminated for a heart healthy diet. Increase: Soluble fiber. This type of fiber helps your body get rid of unhealthy cholesterol. The types of plant-based foods that contain soluble fiber tend to soak up or absorb water easier. For instance, foods high in this nutrient include oatmeal or oat bran cereal, beans (such as black or navy), peas, nuts and seeds including ground flaxseed, and mangos, dried figs, Brussels sprouts, and other fruits and vegetables. Another perk of this form of fiber is that it digests more slowly in the body, helping reduce spikes in blood glucose and causing you to feel full longer. Unsaturated fats. These are the “healthy” fats. Fat is not necessarily bad; the more important factor is the quality. Unsaturated fats, either poly- or monounsaturated, are typically liquid at room temperature. These fats have been shown by research to improve cholesterol levels and decrease inflammation in the body. Food sources include fatty fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, nut butters such as peanut or almond butter, avocados, soft tub spreads, salad dressings or mayonnaise made with unsaturated fats; and olive, canola and peanut oils. Plant-based foods. There are so many small nutrients in foods — vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, antioxidants and more — that are often overlooked when heart healthy eating is recommended. Consume a variety of plant-based foods include beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and plant-based oils such as olive or peanut oil. Final advice: Don’t forget that heart healthy eating can still be enjoyable.


HEALTH & FITNESS | BY SHANNON BORDEAUX

Shannon Bordeaux is a wife, mother, lover of God and all things fitness. She has been instructing group fitness classes at the Albert Lea Family Y for the last three years.

Be fit in all areas of life as you begin a new year

It’s that time of year again — time to set goals and make New Year’s resolutions. Everybody’s goals are different. Some people have fitness goals, some people have weight loss goals, some people have goals to change their eating habits, some people want to quit smoking. The list is endless. No matter what your desires for your life are, I hope you set some goals for yourself to work toward during this new year. Today, I want to talk to you specifically about fitness — because fitness is so much more than just losing weight, than just being skinny, than just having the perfect body. Fitness is about being healthy all the way around — spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I don’t know about you, but I want to be fit in all these areas of my life. You can’t get there by simply thinking about it, you have to put in the work. A dear friend bought me a sign a couple years ago. It says, “Don’t wish for it, work for it.” As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but think about how incredibly true that statement is. I need to work on my spiritual, mental and emotional states, and of course my physical state, to be considered “fit” in these areas. I can’t just sit on my couch wishing for it to happen. I have to take action. So, how do we do this? Making smaller goals is usually the best place to start. Small spiritual goals could be as simple as praying and reading your Bible daily, or both. Mental and emotional goals could be whatever makes you feel refreshed. Coffee with friends weekly to talk, laugh and even cry is such a simple step

that can really lead to a better emotional state. As for physical fitness, there are so many things you can do to start reaching your goals. Is your goal to lose weight? Start by removing fast food, pop or candy/desserts from your diet. Start doing some form of physical activity three times per week. Join a gym if you can and ask a friend to go along with you. Accountability partners make all the difference! Don’t have your own accountability partner? Join in on a group fitness class, and let them be that for you! I joined my first group fitness class 4 1/2 years ago. I was so nervous! I thought for sure I would make a fool of myself in front of all these strangers. I couldn’t do everything as well as everyone else. But you know what? I did my best and that was enough. I kept going, and even though I continued to be nervous for awhile, I pushed through, and now I teach multiple group fitness classes a week and it has become second nature to me. You will get better. No matter what you’re working toward in your own fitness, if you keep trying and putting in real effort you will improve. And you know what else? I met one of my now closest friends from those group fitness classes. I have my very own accountability partner now, and, boy, do we hold each other accountable to attend workouts! Whatever you decide to do to better yourself this new year, I hope you’re successful. I hope you find ways to be fit in all areas of your life. I hope you find yourself an accountability partner to help you in your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical fitness. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 57


FINANCES | BY EDWARD JONES

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3 factors to consider with charitable gifts The holiday season is here, which means gift-giving is probably on your mind. In addition to making gifts to your family and friends, you also may be interested in contributing to charitable organizations. But before you donate financial assets, such as stocks, you will need to consider several factors, including taxes, your portfolio balance and the reputation of the charity. Let’s look at these areas: Taxes — Your donations to qualified charities (those considered 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service) can give you tax deductions — if you itemize deductions on your tax return. However, due to recent tax law changes, the standard deduction for 2018 has almost doubled, to $24,000 for married couples, and to $12,000 for single filers. As a result, you may be less likely to itemize deductions, so you could have less incentive, at least for tax reasons, to make charitable gifts. However, if you give appreciated stocks, you may be allowed a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the gift on the date of the transfer, even if your original cost was only a fraction of today’s value. Plus, you may not be subject to the capital gains tax you might have to pay if you eventually sold the stocks. Also, depending on your age, you might be able to use your traditional IRA as a charitable-funding vehicle. Once you turn 70 1/2, you generally must begin taking withdrawals — called required minimum distributions or RMDs — from your traditional IRA. (Roth IRAs are not subject to RMDs during your lifetime.) These RMDs from your traditional IRA are taxable, but you may be able to exclude up to $100,000 of RMDs per year from your taxable income if you transfer the funds directly to qualified charitable organizations.

58 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

In any case, consult with your tax advisor before donating appreciated assets to a charity. Portfolio balance — When you donate financial assets to a charity, you are also taking them away from your portfolio. This could be an issue, especially if you repeatedly donate the same types of assets. For example, if you’re donating some growth-oriented stocks, will you lower the overall growth potential of your portfolio? You may want to consult with a financial professional to ensure your charitable gifts will still allow you to maintain a portfolio balance appropriate for your goals and risk tolerance. Reputation of the charity – You may want to do some homework to make sure you are giving to a reputable charity. Many experts on charitable giving say that a worthwhile charity should spend at least 75 percent of its income on programs, rather than administrative costs. You may be able to find this type of information on a charitable group’s annual report and its website. You can also browse the web for the names of agencies that evaluate charitable groups. By considering the aspects of charitable giving described above, you can get more satisfaction from your generosity — because you’ll know that your gift not only supports a good cause, but also fits well into your overall financial picture. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.


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HEALTHY PETS | BY MICHELLE NELSON

Michelle Nelson is the owner of The Pet Authority in Albert Lea.

Do you have an itchy dog?

Does your dog have itchy skin? Does it chew and lick at its feet or have reoccurring hot spots or gunky ears? This signs are often attributed to allergies, but it could be a yeast infection. Yeast is a fungus that is in all dogs, living on their skin and inside the gut. But when the immune system is stressed, yeast can begin to overpopulate the gut, forcing the body to get rid of the fungus through the skin. So how do you tell the difference between yeast infections and allergies? Here are some commons signs of yeast infection. • Chewing or licking the feet resulting in dark, rusty-red hair between the toes. • Black skin, especially where there is also hair loss • Hair loss on the tail and upper back • Foul, funky smell and greasy hair (also known as seborrhea) often accompanied by heavy dandruff. • Speckles of tiny black dots on the belly or grayish or rust coloration around the genital area. • Scratching the ears or head shaking, make sure you are not dealing with ear mites first before treating for yeast. Since yeast infections start in the gut, the first step in treating yeast infections is to look at your dog’s diet. Yeast feeds on sugar. You may not be intentionally feeding your dog candy and pop, but if you are feeding a dry kibble, you are essentially feeding a diet that is about 50 carbohydrates, or sugar. Foods like corn, potatoes, rice, peas and oats are all high-carb foods. It is best to feed a biologically appropriate diet of raw meat, fruits and veggies. You can never expect to get rid of yeast in the body if you are continually feeding it. There are other things you can do to keep the gut healthy.

Does your dog suffer from

1. Limit antibiotic use. Antibiotics destroy the balance in the gut, allowing yeast to grow. 2. Use prebiotics and probiotics — probiotics are the good, beneficial bacteria that support your dog’s digestive health, and prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria. Also incorporate healing fresh foods like kefir, fermented vegetables, bone broth and coconut oil. 3. Avoid toxins that will stress the immune system. This would include unnecessary vaccinations (over vaccination stresses the body), drugs, chemicals in household cleaners, yard sprays, flea and tick preventatives (use a natural alternative). All of these products interfere with your dog’s ability to keep her intestinal flora in balance. 4. Treat leaky gut. Leaky gut means your dog’s intestinal wall is inflamed and damaged. The intestinal wall is like a cheese cloth that only lets tiny particles through, protecting the bloodstream from pathogens and undigested food. When your dog has a yeast infection, the wall becomes inflamed, causing these tiny holes to become stretched out, letting larger food particles, bacteria and toxins into the blood stream. This causes the liver to work harder, and the immune system can’t keep up as it tries to combat these invaders — thus resulting in inflammation that often leads to disease, including skin issues, food sensitivities and allergies, chronic digestive disorders, autoimmune disease and arthritis. It seems like no matter what health issue I discuss, it all starts with changing your pet’s diet. Coincidence? I think not! “You are what you eat” certainly applies to our pets also. Make 2019 a year that you will commit to making those much-needed changes to your pet’s diet. Here’s to a happier and healthier 2019 for both you and your pets!

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EVENTS CALENDAR JANUARY

11

TONIC SOL-FA When: 7 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $24 More info: The most in-demand vocal group in the Midwest and one of the most successful independent acts in America, Tonic Sol-fa was recently inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. Started at St. John’s University in central Minnesota, Tonic Sol-fa has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad — at everything from festivals and private shows to sold-out tours of theaters and small arenas.

JANUARY

12

“ADRIANA LECOUVREUR” When: 11:55 a.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20 for adults, $12 for students More info: Based on a play by Eugene Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier — and lover — Maurice of Saxony. The opera is a combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle.

60 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

JANUARY

12

THE STORY SHOW When: 7 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $15 for adults, $5 for children 10 and younger More info: An independent fundraising event for local charities, The Story Show brings storytellers to the stage for an evening of comedy and drama. The show features lives readings from the stage, centered on the theme of “Give Me Shelter.” Money raised from the show will go to the Freeborn County Humane Society.

JANUARY

18

OUTDOOR ROCK ON ICE When: 7 to 9 p.m. Where: Hayek Park Cost: Free More info: Bring your friends and family out to Hayek Park for Outdoor Rock on Ice. There will be music by DJ Abrego and outdoor activities. Bring your own skates. Hot chocolate will be available to warm you up inside.


FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY

THE BIG FREEZE

FEBRUARY

When: All day Where: Edgewater Bay Pavilion and Three Oak Winery Cost: It is free to attend, but the cost to participate varies by event.

“THE MOUSETRAP”

9

More info: The Big Freeze will return with many popular events from previous years, and some new additions, too. Take part in several activities for the whole family, including a medallion hunt, the Blue Ice Plunge, a chili cookoff, a Shinefest tractor ride, a fat tire demo, an ice fishing contest and a pond hockey tournament. After the events at the pavilion, people are invited to the winery for more fun.

14-17 20-23

When: 7:30 p.m. all days except for Feb. 17, when there is a 2 p.m. matinee Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for students More info.: A group of strangers, one of whom is a murderer, is stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. A full slate of suspects is present, and into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. To get to the rationale of the killer’s pattern, a policeman probes the background of everyone present and rattles a lot of skeletons.

FEBRUARY

21

LEON WILLIAMS When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Albert Lea High School auditorium Cost: $95 for family season ticket, $45 for adult season ticket, $15 for students under 30 More info: A versatile baritone who soars to tenor-like heights with ease, Leon Williams has wowed audiences around the globe with his impassioned interpretations of everything from the cantatas of Johan Sebastian-Bach to his performance of the leading role in the hit musical “Ragtime.” He tours the world as a soloist, recitalist and guest artist with symphony orchestras and opera companies.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | 61


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PARTING SHOT

Lens and Shutter Club member Darcy Sime took this photo titled “Winter Sunset” of a frozen Albert Lea Lake as seen from Myre-Big Island State Park on a cold winter evening.


WHY I LOVE ALBERT LEA | BY KIM NELSON

Why I

L Albert Lea Kim Nelson is the director of grants and alumni relations at Riverland Community College. She and her husband, Jeff, live on an acreage north of Albert Lea with their two children, Adam, 19, and Sydney, 17. She serves on the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce board, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau board, the leadership team for the Blue Zones, the Governor’s Fishing Opener committee and as treasurer for Albert Lea High School Girls’ Soccer Boosters. She was recently elected to the Albert Lea Area Schools board. In the fall of 1993, an amazing man from Albert Lea asked me to marry him. A year later, on Nov. 26, 1994, we were married at Trinity Lutheran Church. Who knew I would not only fall in love with the man of my dreams, but also fall in love with a community we could call home! Two years after we got married, we moved from an apartment in Albert Lea to a house we built in Hayward. Even though we lived in Hayward, we still felt connected to Albert Lea through our faith community at Trinity Lutheran Church. Early in our marriage, we started volunteering at church. I taught Sunday school and helped with the acolyte program while Jeff was an usher. Over the years, our faith family has become so vitally important to us. Jeff was baptized and confirmed at Trinity. I became a member in 1993, and as I said before, we were married there. Both of our children (Adam, 19, and Sydney, 17) were baptized and confirmed at Trinity. All four of us have stayed active in the church and its great work. We lift all we are and all we will be to our Lord and savior. Trinity has become the foundation of my love for this amazing community. As our children grew up and started school, it was apparent to us that I would not be happy working in another community while our children were in the Albert Lea school district. It was important during their early childhood years for both of us to be involved 64 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

through volunteering and supporting their early care and education. This would be more difficult if I did not work in Albert Lea. I became the director of The Children’s Center in July 2006. In a big hurry, I found myself, along with our family, completely engaged in the community. Around this same time, we purchased my husband’s grandparents’ acreage north of town. What a special time for our family as our son’s bedroom had once been his grandfather’s. My husband was able to work in the outbuildings that were once his grandfather’s, and I am able to prepare family meals in the kitchen Grandma Helen did. Family tradition and rich heritage is another reason why I love Albert Lea. Back to education — working at The Children’s Center afforded me the opportunity to work very closely with the school district, as well as other early childhood partners. I was also given the opportunity to advocate on the state level for the importance of early childhood education. Now that I worked in Albert Lea, I was able to serve on LESO (Lakeview Elementary School Organization) and volunteer in my children’s classrooms. Over the years, I have been a room mom, field trip chaperone, fun night volunteer, reading assistant and test proctor. As my children grew older and started to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, I started to volunteer with those groups as well. I was in the wrestling boosters, football boosters and soccer boosters. My love for Albert Lea grew even stronger as I was given the opportunity to work with District 241 and its schools. My enjoyment of living in Albert Lea keeps the love alive. We are given so many natural gifts in this community — the gifts of many amazing people, service opportunities, community events and beautiful parks and waterways. Our downtown is being revitalized, and people are not only choosing to visit here, they want live here as well. I love you Albert Lea and look forward to the next chapter of this amazing story as I take my place on the school board.


CARE FOR YOUR FAMILY. STILL CLOSE TO HOME.

The care you and your family use most often is still available close to home – right in Albert Lea. These are just a few of the many health care services available on our Albert Lea campus: • Family & Internal Medicine • Pediatrics • The Baby Place • Pregnancy Care • Emergency Department • Cancer Care

Get the facts and see all the health care services available to you in Albert Lea. mayoclinichealthsystem.org/albertleaaustinfacts

• Dialysis • Radiology • Laboratory • Same Day Surgeries • Orthopedic Care • Pharmacy and more


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Profile for Albert Lea Magazine

Albert Lea Magazine January/February 2019  

Albert Lea Magazine January/February 2019  

Profile for albertlea
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