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"We hope readers will recognize the western values we lived by,
the satisfaction of jobs well done and the fun we had along the way."

Cover of Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans

FOR: Readers of all ages

SIZE: 408 pages, 8" x 10.5"

PHOTOS: Over 260

Published by
Flying Diamond Books

Printed in USA


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Image of authors Anne Krickel, Jeanie Thiessen and Francie Berg

Anne Brink
Sallgren Krickel


Jeanie Brink


Francie Brink

Anne is an international award winning harp jazz and pop performer. She entertains on a wide variety of musical instruments—the dobro, banjo and antique instruments such as the dulcimer, zither and psalmodican. She teaches music and private harp lessons as well as harp workshops in Montana and Georgia.

She received a BA degree in medical technology at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, with internship in Portland, Oregon, and post graduate courses in the fields of music and health including special courses at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She worked as Bacteriologist at the Montana State Health Microbiology Laboratory for ten years. She taught Microbiology at Carroll College and bacteriology workshops for training laboratory technologists in hospitals throughout Montana.

With her husband, John, she taught many adult education classes on a variety of subjects—her favorite, wilderness backpacking. Anne continues her love of nature and the outdoors in the Rocky Mountains.

Her strong sense of volunteerism has led to service on boards of many community non-profit organizations. She is a recipient of the Dean Day Smith Award for community service. The mother of three daughters, she has four grandchildren, spends winters in Portal, Georgia, and lives in Phillipsburg, Montana.


An elementary teacher for forty years, Jeanie taught in Montana, New Mexico and California. Her degree in education is from the University of Northern Colorado and her master’s from California Polytechnic Institute.

Of her many years teaching, Jeanie says her most memorable was the year she taught three ranch children in a designated Isolated School north of Miles City. She lived alone far from any ranches. Her one-room school had no water supply, no indoor plumbing and no electricity. She carried coal, built fires for heat and had no car, but kept her saddle horse in a shed in the school yard.

During her teaching career, she received numerous awards and distinctions, including acceptance into Phi Kappa Phi and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honorary of women educators.

Always an innovator, Jeanie’s was one of the first classrooms to use computers. She paid for computers for her ten-year-old students around 1979, and they quickly became proficient, also designing their own web page.

Jeanie was named Woman of Distinction of her Senatorial District for her pivotal role in shaping the economic, educational and social fabric in Hacienda Heights. On weekends she continued her outdoor activities as volunteer in the California Ski Patrol. Jeanie has two sons, three grandchildren and lives with her husband Mac in Hacienda Heights, California.

The author of thirteen books, Francie has written in the fields of western history and health for over forty years. She graduated from Montana State University, Bozeman, in family consumer science, and holds a master’s degree in family social science and anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Born during the depression at home on their ranch in the Missouri River Breaks, she has worked as a county extension agent in Scobey, Montana, and taught high school and college. 

Her books on western history include:  North Dakota Land of Changing Seasons, South Dakota Land of Shining Gold, Wyoming Land of Echoing CanyonsEthnic Heritage in North Dakota and the Last Great Buffalo Hunts: Traditional Hunts in 1880-1883 by Teton Lakota.

As founder, editor and publisher of Healthy Weight Journal and author of Women Afraid to Eat, Children Afraid to Eat, and Underage and Overweight: What Every Family needs to Know (, Francie reported the scientific research on weight issues and eating disorders to health professionals and consumers worldwide for 25 years.

Through her educational work with wellness, she has presented seminars at international and national conferences, and been a guest on national television, including Oprah, Lezza and Inside Edition. She has four children, nine grandchildren and lives in Hettinger, North Dakota.
Image of four sisters on the rocks above the ranch headquarters.
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