Whether you’re wearing sparkling glass slippers, designer flats or walking sneakers, a proper shoe fit can alleviate or prevent many foot problems. Several factors play a role in how comfortable a shoe will be. 

According to local experts, important considerations for women are that their shoes or shoe products fit properly and provide appropriate arch support. Their knowledge and services can be your “bibbidi- bobbidi-boo” to having healthy, happy—and sometimes bare—feet.


Why are supportive shoes and products so important? “Supportive shoes will appropriately distribute the weight and pressure created by your body over the entire plantar, or bottom of your foot,” says Loring Stead, DPM, an expert in podiatric medicine and surgery at Olmsted Medical Center. “Without appropriate support, many people may develop foot pain.”



Women Veterans: Community Events Honor and Support

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Written by Brittney Marschall

Women are an essential part of our armed forces and our community of veterans. Throughout history, women have served in various capacities in the military. The first American female soldier, Deborah Sampson from Massachusetts, cross-dressed as a man, disguising herself in order to fight alongside men.


Women have served in America’s conflicts and wars throughout history, including America’s War of Independence, also known as the American Revolution. Wives, mothers and daughters followed their male loved ones into battle serving as cooks, seamstresses, launderers and nurses. 



She grew up watching her grandmother make rugs, and now Lori owns her grandmother’s loom as well as her great-grandfather’s loom. Lori is the chosen one in her family to carry on the rug making tradition. 

“I am proud of my heritage, proud of my rugs and proud to be a farmer,” she says.



Besides her rug making business, Lori is the owner-operator of Feltis Farms in Stewartville. She grows corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats and wheat—not to mention she has French Charolais cattle, chickens, peacocks, ducks, pheasants and geese. She also runs a CSA that provides eggs, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, rhubarb and nine different herbs for her customers. “We are a working farm, not just a hobby farm,” Lori says. “Martha Stewart doesn’t live here.” 


If you’re on social media, you’ve seen it: a single piece of furniture, surrounded by shiny white walls, with nothing else in the room but a perfectly placed lamp and fur throw—free of clutter and distractions. This phenomenon taking over your news feed is what some people refer to as “minimalism.” When put into tiny little pictures sprinkled across your screen, it looks attainable, even simple. That’s what I thought anyway, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.


Before I share my minimalism journey, I suppose I should start from what I consider to be the reason I’ve gotten myself into this situation. I was in eighth grade and out with my parents, when we ran into my best friend’s mom. After a bit of small talk, she said, “So did you hear what our daughters have been scheming?” Fear filled my eyes. What was she going to say? 


Every year for Mother’s Day and my birthday in October, I get to pick what we are going to do as a family. For a few years, in both the spring and the fall, I took my kids biking in Lanesboro. We’ve gone to Duluth to visit my mom and grandma and, one year, stayed at The Edge waterpark. We’ve also gone to the Mall of America. Last year, I took my sons to a Twins game. Spending time in the car with my older son is rare since he got his driver’s license. At the baseball game, we had fun food for lunch, and both of my boys bought souvenirs. It was a fun way to spend the day together. 

This year for Mother’s Day, I’m going to take my boys on a date night and help them learn how to dance. My older son is graduating from high school this spring, and I think it’s my responsibility to help him learn how to lead a dance partner. I’ve arranged for Eric Hoyer, owner of Med City Dance Center, now located at 1115 7th Street NW, to teach a mother and son dance class for boys ages 10-18 on Friday, May 12 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. If you would like to join me, along with Emily Watkins, owner of Empowered Wellness, and her two sons for an hour of rumba, waltz and swing, please contact me via email or RSVP on Facebook. Its only $30 per mother and son pair, plus $10 for each additional son. Make it a night out, and take them out to eat afterwards or pick up a $5 Pizza.



Health, Wealth and Happiness: What is Happiness?

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Written by Emily Watkins

I vividly remember a moment, driving home from a date with my high school boyfriend, when I felt a physical wave of happiness sweep over me. That's an elusive feeling, one that is reserved for only the really special moments in life: walking down the aisle toward my love and holding my newborn sons, ranking the highest of those moments.


Things that make me happy: naps, reading good books, red wine, fluffy TV shows, watching my kids play sports, dates with my husband. But not many things bring that visceral feeling of happiness. 

Friends say happiness is family, children, God, being a source of healing for others, being a mom and wife, being part of a church community. Others say that keeping their minds and bodies engaged in meaningful pursuits and being able to control their own activities and change their minds are what make them happy. 



Did You Say Something? Dementia or Hearing Loss

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Written by Dr. Amy Swain, Audiologist

Summertime brings family members together for reunions, weddings and graduation parties. During these events, we might notice our parents aging and sense some changes in their cognition or memory. You may begin to wonder if they have a memory issue. Researchers are now saying we should not assume it is a memory issue because it is possible they just didn’t hear the whole conversation.


Many studies show a link between Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss. The reality is that hearing loss has a bigger impact on our health than we realize.

Frank Lin, otolaryngologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has completed multiple studies that reveal the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. In his 2011 study, results showed that seniors with hearing loss were significantly more likely to develop dementia than their counterparts who had normal hearing. The reason for the link is unknown, but researchers have suggested that dementia and hearing loss might have a common underlying pathology. Dementia may be exacerbated for seniors with hearing loss because it takes more effort for that individual to hear and understand conversations, putting more stress on the brain.  


Cassie Fohrman enjoys her role as mom to the fullest. She enjoys taking her two daughters out for coffee (or hot chocolate) at Cafe Steam regularly and has a fun Sunday night routine of popcorn and ice cream. Now, isn’t that the coolest mom you’ve ever heard of? 


Cassie was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from Kasson-Mantorville High School and says she has a “big reunion this year!” After high school, she attended Rochester Community and Technical College. 

“I started out doing general classes to get my associate’s degree at RCTC. I was working at Hy-Vee as an assistant manager. I went to the Hy-Vee Career Day in Des Moines, Iowa and met a girl who worked in the pharmacy. When I went back to Rochester, I found out that RCTC had the pharmacy technician program, so I took that opportunity,” Cassie explains. She started working at Mayo Clinic pharmacy and obtained her associate’s degree. She has worked in a few areas of Mayo within the pharmacy and says, “I just love the people I work with.” 



Zoey Jantsan: The Dreamer Who Got Her Tiara

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Written by Renee Berg Portrait by Erin Young Portrait Design

When Zoey Jantsan strolls into Dunn Brothers Coffee, she’s wearing a plaid shirt from South Korea, a black pencil skirt and boots. She wraps her hands around her cup of tea and says she’s nervous because she hasn’t done many press interviews yet.

It isn’t long before Jantsan is talking about her dogs, her boyfriend and her decision to act on some lifelong dreams during recent years. At age 25, Jantsan realizes she’s carried out some passions from childhood these last few years, including her goal to secure a crown.


Yes, a crown. Jantsan officially became Miss Minnesota U.S. International in October in Big Lake, Minnesota. As a child, Jantsan would wrap her mother’s mint green blanket around her waist and add a belt to keep it in place as her “poofy dress,” and adorn her head with a plastic tiara to complete her pretend pageant winner look. This last fall, her childhood dream came true.

Good thing, too, as she only has two years left before reaching the age limit of 27 to compete in Miss Minnesota U.S. International. “So I had to do it now, or I wasn’t going to do it at all,” she says.



Stages of Motherhood: Who Am I?

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Written by Cheri Deruiter

When you were born I asked myself—who am I? God has blessed me with your presence, and I promise I will care for you, keep you safe and cherish every moment I have with you. I am your mother, and I will love you with all of my heart.


You soon grew into a toddler, and I had a new role to learn. Again, I asked myself—who am I? I am your teacher of all things new. I am your doctor when you are ill. I am your guardian, always keeping you safe. I am your playmate, your first best friend. You can always count on me. I promise I will never give up on you. Together we can conquer any challenge. I am your momma who loves you with all of my heart.


I had tears in my eyes as I sent you off to a place I would only know through the stories you would tell me at the end of the day. I had to ask myself—who am I? I am your fashion designer, your tutor for reading and math, your event coordinator, your lunch lady, your personal baker, your hair stylist, your dentist, the enforcer of rules. I am your protector when you are scared or insecure. I am trying to be a good role model. I am so proud of you. You are my life. I am your mommy who loves you with all of my heart.


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