Author Archive

Heather Bode

Heather Bode lives in Helena with her husband and five children. She enjoys writing nonfiction for children and adults.

Destiny Reclaimed

Building a Legacy Home with Heirloom Quality

Text by Heather Bode | Photography by Jim Wells

For centuries, there have been those who have explored the great state of Montana. Traipsing through her majestic beauty and mountainous expanses tends to leave a lasting impression that runs so deep, many return time and time again.

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SKI Great Divide

Text by Heather Bode | Photography by Jacqui Smith

Grab the Family & Get Outside!

Just 23 miles from the heart of Helena, and overlooking the former mining town of Marysville, the Great Divide ski area consists of ski-all terrain (thank you, beetle-kill) spread over 1600 acres. Kevin Taylor has owned Great Divide since 1985, but actual ownership of the slopes gets tricky. “This is mining country so it’s checkerboard ownership,” says Taylor. He owns most of the old Thomas Cruse mining claims and the remaining land is leased from various sources.

Ask anyone who frequents Great Divide to describe it and we guarantee you’ll hear the phrase “family friendly” come up again and again. Taylor says, “We’re family oriented. We have preschool programs, youth programs, terrain parks for teens, and we keep the price incredibly low.”

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SignatureMT’s Chef Challenge

Cuisine-O Royale

Text by Heather Bode |  Photography by Rhonda Adkins

Intrigue, ticking clocks, ingenuity, and sabotage. Although these may bring to mind the next James Bond movie, instead, this is SignatureMT’s Chef Challenge. The Chefs’ Challenge consists of three courses: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. For each course, chefs receive a time limit and a basket containing four mystery ingredients which must be included in the dish created. Judges taste and critique each course and eliminate chefs until there is just one winner.

First, let’s meet our judges:

Veronica “Eat with your Eyes” Ronnau of Pizazz, Janet “I’ve Never Judged Anyone” Walter of Bert & Ernie’s, Heidi “I Love Food” Reiste of Electric City Coffee, and Rachel “Keep it Basic” Shane of Rikki’s Pizza & Pasta.

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A Modern Touch to Rustic

European Influence in a Montana Home

Text by Heather Bode  |  Photography courtesy of Golden Eagle Construction and Nicole Keintz

Dream homes start with a vision, or in this case, it starts with a dream in 2001. Marty Angeli explains, “I literally had a dream about buying property in Montana. It was right before I was deployed to Saudi. I took a week of leave, came up here from El Paso, rented a car, and drove all over the state. I came back through Canyon Ferry Lake and decided on this lot.” Angeli was no stranger to Helena. In the early to mid 90’s he was stationed at Fort Harrison for a time. “That’s when I really started appreciating the area,” he says.

The land remained untouched while Marty and his wife, Beth, moved to the city of Brussels in Belgium. Marty was stationed in Kabul. They fell in love with the old farmhouses dotting the landscape surrounding Brussels and eventually purchased one for themselves, perhaps unknowingly influencing the future.

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the Doula Decision

Adding Physical and Emotional Support to the Birthing Team

Bringing a baby into the world is truly one of life’s most memorable moments. Statistics show more and more Montana mamas are searching for doulas to share their experiences.

From the ancient Greek word doulos, meaning servant, a doula is often confused with a midwife. Unlike a midwife, a doula does not deliver a baby. In fact, doulas do not replace any medical personnel. Donna Sanders, a doula in north central Montana, explains, “I am trained in breathing, relaxation techniques, and massage. It’s my job to be a tool for a mother and father whose wish is to have a natural birth (although I have been a doula for women who have undergone c-sections as well) and to give continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before, during, and just after birth.”

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