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Enjoy our Arts & Thoughts creative writing: SPRING POEMS by Janet Grace Riehl and Marcel Toussaint RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel A ROAD TRIP with John Drake Robinson

FEATURE ARTICLES: What To Do if You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Fitness Goals An Auction Can Maximize Your Selling Price for Real Estate How to Lower Your Property Taxes

For more resources, visit us online CountyLivingMag.com

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SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 3


what’sinside SPRING 2016





8 RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel 34 SPRING POEMS by Janet Grace Riehl 42 A ROAD TRIP with John Robinson 44 SPRING POEMS by Marcel Toussaint


10 The Pleasure and Beauty of Professional Landscape Lighting 12 Discover A Better Alternative to Painting or Siding 14 Home Additions that Bring Families Together 16 Great Room Glory: Protecting Your Home from the Sun 18 Enjoy A Natural Water Feature in Your Own Yard 20 Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? 21 Do You Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? 22 You Can Have a Garden that Deer Won’t Destroy 24 Keeping Wooden Roofs Beautiful


26 If You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss, A Medical Exam Can Determine the Cause 27 Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change 28 A Personal Trainer is the Key To Achieving Your Goals

22 34


30 The Advantages of Design/Build Construction for Remodeling 32 Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Year 33 How Is Your Home Performing? 35 Custom Closet and Home Office Solutions 36 The Basement Egress Window 37 Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout? 38 Custom Bathroom Remodeling Doesn’t Have to be a Mess or Cost a Fortune



40 Spring/Early Summer Activities & Events Calendar 43 Reclaim Family Time at Innsbrook


46 If Your Business Accepts Credit Cards, A Broker Can Save You A Lot of Money 48 How to Lower Your Property Taxes 49 A Book that Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis 50 If You Have Real Estate for Sale, An Auction Could Maximize Your Results SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 5


Publsher’s Message

For Your Reading Pleasure


We enjoy providing readers with useful information about home and landscape enhancement, as well as information to keep you healthy and fit. All with the purpose of helping you solve problems and find new enjoyment in home, body and the world around us. For example, if you are experiencing hearing loss, the article by Dr. Jacques Herzog provides valuable advice about what to do about it. And if you have deer destroying the plantings in your yard, you will find solutions in the article by Steve Calloway. Some additional experts in this issue share ways to save money on major expenditures: on your real estate taxes by Steven Weber, and if you have a business that accepts credit cards, saving in what you pay for charge processing by Laura and Ed Abilez. Also, if you have property that you would like to sell, Bill Ziercher shares the advantages for some properties of selling through auction rather than traditional listing. On our Arts & Thoughts pages, I know you will enjoy the latest from our columnists – Random Musings from Gerry Mandel and a Road Trip with John Robinson. And in this issue we feature two local award-winning poets, Janet Grace Riehl and Maurice Toussaint. I would especially like to thank my long-time friend and colleague Gerry, who introduced me to John, Janet and Maurice.



staff PUBLISHER/EDITOR Todd Abrams CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fran Sherman GRAPHIC DESIGN Eric Null PRINTING ADVISOR Creative Printing Services DISTRIBUTION DATABASE Target Marketing Technologies FOR INFORMATION REGARDING ADVERTISING CALL County Living Publications 314-432-1171 phone 314-569-3380 fax P.O. Box 411036 St. Louis, MO 63141 www.CountyLivingMag.com

Todd Abrams

on the cover

This entryway waterfall sets off the landscape as you pull into an exclusive country club. The pondless waterfall was built with repurposed weathered limestone boulders. A strong flow aerates the water, for a pleasing sound that draws your eye from afar to this showpiece. This waterscape was designed and built by Nature’s Re-Creations, nationally recognized as a Certified Aquascape Master Contractor and first place winner of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition. See their ad on page 15 and an article about them on page 18. To discuss a water feature project on your property, you can contact Chris Siewing at 314-220-3841, or check out their portfolio at www.re-createnature.com. 6 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

County Living Magazine is published quarterly by County Living Publications and distributed to select homeowners in the St. Louis area. Articles are selected to provide useful information about home, lifestyle, health, travel and recreation. Opinions expressed in articles and editorials are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of County Living Publications. While every effort is made to assure accuracy, we are not responsible for how information found in County Living Magazine is used. We are very interested in reader comments or suggestions. Correspondence should be sent to the address above or to editor@CountyLivingMag.com.

Reproduction of content of this magazine without permission is prohibited. All submitted materials, including images, logos and text for advertising, articles and editorials are assumed to be the property of the contributor, and County Living Publications does not take responsibility for unintentional copyright infringement. County Living Publications has the right to refuse advertising and content not deemed appropriate for this publication. Circulation is verified by U.S. Postal receipts.



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Arts & Thoughts



Welcome to the Dog Days of Spring


t’s all in their eyes. They know when Spring has arrived, that the gray days of snow and ice and slippery slopes are past. I can tell they know, because of the way they look at me. This is non-verbal communication at its most advanced.

Sadie and Lexi, my golden retrievers, have this way of talking to me. They silently compel me to think in terms of “walk” and “ride” and “hike” and “get the tennis balls and let’s go outside.” Dogs, I’m convinced, have some sort of sixth sense, a cosmic canine calendar. As a side note, they also have an internal clock, which tells them when it’s 10 p.m. and time for their walk. I can be watching TV, “live” or recorded or DVD - doesn’t matter - and they will stroll over, sit in front of me and stare. I try to explain, “There’s only ten minutes left in ‘House of Cards’; I can’t stop now.” They don’t care. They always get their way. When you have a dog, any kind of dog, Spring takes on an added dimension. It’s physical, it’s mental, it’s extremely social. Dogs have a way of urging you to make friends with other dog owners. It never fails. I like to take Sadie and Lexi for walks in Queeny Park. Invariably I’ll meet people also enjoying the fine weather, leash in one hand, poop bag in the other. We’ll stop and talk. “How old is he?” “Where did you get her?” “Does that kind of dog shed?” “Does he always drool like that?” And so it goes.Yes, these meetings also happen in winter, but the conversations then are brief and to the point: “Pretty dog,” a quick smile, “Enjoy your walk,” and you’re gone. I tend to evaluate people on two basic attributes: if they have a sense of humor, and whether they have a dog. Either one works for me, with the dog thing taking preference. Well, mostly. If it’s a little dog that yaps the entire time we’re talking, I tend to be in a hurry to move on. Don’t be offended if you own a vocally demonstrative dog. “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” I think Plato said that. He probably owned a quiet, philosophical dog. But I’ll tell you who my real heroes are. It’s those men and women who own rescue dogs. These are dedicated

people who understand how special dogs are, then take the next step. They save these dogs to hike and play another day. As I stand there talking to them, my two breeder-bought goldens next to me, and they tell me “This is a rescue dog,” they are suddenly elevated in my eyes. They took the risk of adopting a dog often with unknown origins, sketchy background, questionable treatment and health, and committed their time and energy - and, often, expenses - for an indeterminate number of years. Somewhere, in a dog park or at the Dog Museum in Queeny, there should be a statue in honor of The Rescue Dog Owner. True story. On a mild day in late March, I took Sadie and Lexi for a hike in Weldon Spring State Park. Afterwards I felt like having a cold beer. So we headed for Defiance - to the biker bar where 94 makes a hard cut left and right. As I stood outside with a bottle of Busch in hand, surrounded by manly men and cool chicks, feeling a little out of place, a large guy and his girlfriend approached me. He was probably in his mid-forties, muscular, bearded, tattooed, owner of a Harley. Oh-oh, I thought. He knows I’m not a biker and don’t belong here. “Pretty dogs,” he said. Twenty minutes later we were still talking. He and his girlfriend told me all about their dogs, five of them, all rescue. Lesson learned: You can’t judge a book etc. There’s a lot more I could say on the subject, but it’s a pretty day, the dogs are looking at me, and you know what that means. Happy Spring. Gerry Mandel is a free-lance writer and video/biography producer. He also writes two blogs, which he invites you to enjoy. HeyYouHoser.blogspot.com, and TimeWithCharlieChaplin.blogspot.com. Your comments are welcome. clm



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SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 9

Landscapes & Exteriors

Discovering the Pleasure and Beauty of Professional Landscape Lighting


alph Damiano Properly placed lights showcase the distinctive home, and how up-lighting and his up-lighting trees creates a beautifully shimmering effect. them instead would family have create a beautifully lived for diffused shimmerfifteen years in their ing effect. Ralph is home in Ladue that still amazed by the is over 100 years results, which he old. They have done feels adds real beauextensive remodeling ty to their home. and renovation over Jeff showed the the years to create possibilities in the home of their increments, and the dreams, and they plan final installation to be there forever. achieved was very Shortly after they different from what moved in, they used they had planned. an irrigation company They are delighted recommended by with the results, and the previous owner as time goes by they to provide some enjoy it even more. outdoor lighting, a few They have received lampposts in the large many compliments circular driveway, and from guests on some pathway lights. the beauty of their Last year Ralph home and grounds was too busy to put at night. The new up his own Christcontrols that were mas lights, and so installed are actihe decided to have vated by light, and them installed proare much easier to fessionally. A friend use than what they had recommended had before. Next Jeff Mitchell Lightthey plan to have ing for that work. Ralph was impressed by the job Jeff Jeff convert the landscape lighting in their back yard to did on the Christmas lighting, his approach to the work, achieve the same up-lighting effect in the trees. passion for lighting and the professionalism of his crew. So Ralph then asked Jeff to take a look at his landscape Jeff Mitchell Lighting is the St. Louis area’s most expelighting. The Damianos like to entertain at their home, rienced professional outdoor lighting provider. Since 1997 and with the minimal lighting on their driveway it was they have installed and maintained lighting systems at difficult for their guests to navigate their way. many of the finest homes and most visible public attracRalph considered other providers of landscape lighttions in the St. Louis area. They also provide turn-key ing, but says that Jeff listened to what the Damianos service installing, removing and storing custom Christmas wanted, and gave them different options to achieve lighting. They have excellent references from their enthutheir goals. He was also impressed by Jeff ’s passion for siastic customers, and their passion for providing quality lighting, and his knowledge of the business. Jeff pointed products, creative designs, professional installation and out that from the street the lighting of their home was customer service continues to show year after year. You spotty, and he showed how properly placed lights could can learn more about them at www.jeff-mitchell-lighting.com. showcase the distinctive architecture of the house and If you would like to schedule a design consultation or simfully light the driveway. Ralph was thinking of adding ply need information, you may call Jeff Mitchell Lighting down lighting from the tall trees, but Jeff showed him any time at 314-665-2500. TS6 clm 10 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

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www.marblelife-stlouis.com 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 11 email:SPRING stlouis-office@marblelife.com

Landscapes & Exteriors

Homeowners Discover A Better Alternative to Painting or Siding Ceramic Coating Provides Fresh Look, Ends the Cycle of Repainting.


oe and Jeanene Dugan live in a distinctive frame house in Sunset Hills built in 1929. In 1976 they had their home sandblasted to remove many layers of paint, and then painted their home. Since then they have had to have the house painted every five or six years which took two to three weeks every time. The Dugans got tired of the inconvenience and expense of this frequent painting routine, so in 2009 they looked for other options. They considered siding, but ruled that out because it would not be consistent with the home’s Bavarian architectural style and clay tile roof. Around this time, the Dugans received an issue of County Living Magazine, and read an article about a different process for exterior finishes, a very durable ceramic coating called Rhino Shield. They appreciated that it forms a thick protective coating that blocks out 100% of moisture and 90% of UV rays from the sun, the two most destructive issues in deteriorating exterior surfaces. They found the 25 year warranty very appealing. The Dugans were also impressed with the Rhino Shield team here, which serves Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Northwest Arkansas. They called several of their previous customers and all were unanimous in praising the Rhino Shield product and also their workmanship and integrity. Once the Rhino Shield team started on their home, the Dugans really gained an appreciation for the Rhino Shield difference. First, they completely power-washed the exterior, replacing boards as needed. They then coated every crack with a 60 year elastomeric caulk. They thoroughly masked all of the non-wood surfaces before applying an adhesive prime sealer that waterproofs and bonds to the coats of durable ceramic finish.

The Dugans said that when the job was finished, they noticed a real difference in the look of Rhino Shield. There is a clean sparkle to the finish, a richer look then they remembered from having their home painted. They also got favorable comments from friends who noticed their home as they drove by.

Lake of the Ozarks

In the fall of 2014, the Dugans faced a similar need at their condominium at The Breakers at Lake of the Ozarks. The Homeowners Association was looking at alternatives to painting the buildings every six years. Because the job required multistory scaffolding, frequent painting had become very costly. Dugan encouraged the homeowners to consider Rhino Shield ceramic coating as an alternative to siding. The Breakers decided to try Rhino Shield on two of the 14 buildings. The Rhino Shield team did the same very thorough job they had at the Dugan home, and the results speak for themselves – owners were pleased with the process and workmanship, and many commented on the rich look of the beige and dark brown ceramic coated cedar. Four buildings at The Breakers were completed in 2014-2015, with three to be done this spring and three more in the fall. A total of 14 buildings are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. When it’s time for an exterior finish for your home that will really last, you can call the professionals at Rhino Shield for a free inspection and estimate at 877-257-4466. They are rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau, and consistently win Super Service awards locally and nationally. You can visit their website www.87725RHINO.com for videos, photos and testimonials from other homeowners in this area who have discovered the difference Rhino Shield makes on their homes and also commercial properties. clm


SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 13

Landscapes & Exteriors

Home Additions that Bring Families Together


new home addition brings very enthusiastic responses from the homeowners. But what about after families have had a few year to spend in their new living spaces? Heartlands Building Company was curious, and asked Hugh and Diana Bissell about the outdoor addition Heartlands completed on their Wildwood home in 2011. When asked about personal memories from years spent in their outdoor living areas, the Bissells did not come up short. “We remember an evening when out-of-town family came to visit. The adults were gathered on the patio around the fire pit enjoying a glass of wine and good conversation. The children were above in the outdoor living area watching television and playing games. Later the children came down to roast some marshmallows. The entire addition has become the center of our fun activities.” Completing the project was also remembered as a positive experience. “We had a great crew, professional and friendly. You could tell they enjoyed their work. When we had questions they were ready to provide answers. Construction went so smoothly - no drama, a great feeling,” says Hugh. “We had received several proposals from contractors for our project. Larry Brost, founder of Heartlands, provided a design that really integrated the addition into our home, and that was why we decided to go with Heartlands.” Heartlands living areas are created for frequent high traffic use. “We use it all the time. We have gatherings all the time, including our family BBQ for 30. It’s like having another living room. We are very happy with our addition. It has more than met our expectations.” Bissell attests. To help keep that worry-free expectation long after completion, Heartlands uses very durable exterior rated products. After five years, they were pleased to hear the Bissells continue to appreciate the quality. Hugh notes, “There

is very little maintenance to do. We clean the deck flooring about twice a year. It is very easy.” Originating in 2002, Heartlands Building Company has evolved into a renowned designer and builder of custom outdoor living areas with over 2,000 satisfied customers. Their success is fueled by their passion for delivering quality. Larry focuses on listening to customers and working with their ideas for using the outdoor living areas. “Customer thoughts and desires are compiled into a design document and eventually building plans. Common goals include family time, entertaining friends, and date nights. Customers are pleasantly surprised that their design is exactly what they wanted. Listening to a customer and tailoring the design are critical. Continual success is then about the team and delivering quality.” The passion for quality and family is shared by co-owners Dick O’Brien and Adam Twellman. Dick joined Heartlands in 2003. At Dick’s 10-year anniversary party, Larry’s wife Stacie exclaimed, “Larry could not have done without him!” Recognizing the wisdom of those words, Adam was invited to purchase an interest in the company since he had been performing like an owner for years. Helping families come together to create memories is what Heartlands is most proud of. Larry reflects, “Most heartwarming are comments from customers about how their outdoor room has brought back the family dinner, and quality time spent with their teenagers.” To learn more about how Heartlands Building Company can create your outdoor living dreams, and to see photos of completed projects, you can visit their website at www. heartlandshome.com, or their attractive showroom at 680 Crown Industrial Court in Chesterfield. You can also call them to arrange a consultation at 636-728-0003. clm


Bring nature home with your own

water garden We provide expert custom design and installation of ponds, streams and waterfalls. These Sustainable ecosystems can be used to harvest rainwater and control storm water runoff.

We are Master Certified Aquascape Contractors, 1st place winners of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition and St. Louis’ first Certified RainXchange Professionals. Named by Aquascape as the 2012 Artist of the Year, and ranked #4 among all Certified Aquascape Contractors Worldwide.

For an on-site consultation, please call


Visit our portfolio at www.re-createnature.com Facebook.com/NaturesReCreations SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 15

Landscapes & Exteriors

Great Room Glory Protect Your Home from Heat, Glare and Damage from the Sun


reat rooms, discreet, overhead cassette. with their large The smaller screens are windows and fully wind resistant and the beautiful views, larger ones are rated for provide a wonderful open winds of 40 miles per hour feeling and their large (and winds seldom exceed windows provide great 40 mph on sunny days). views of the outdoors. For Adding to the convenience many homeowners the is the option of having SEE-THROUGH great room was the feature a sun sensor that autothat convinced them to matically extends the solar purchase their home, and screen during times of MAX. 25’ is the room they enjoy intense sunlight and then the most. However, many retracts the solar screen homeowners with great during dim lighting or rooms complain about cloudy conditions. excessive heat from the sun You can reduce air and glare they experience conditioning and fading of during hours of direct furnishings and woodwork sunlight. And the problem by blocking undesirable is not only during warm heat and ultra-violet light. weather months. During During cooler weather you winter the sun is actually can retract them to allow lower in the sky, meaning the warmth of the sun to that it shines more directly enter your home, keeping into the great room. your heating costs down. Now there is a new genSunroom Covers protect eration of exterior shading interiors and also add shade products that dramatifor sunrooms and greenSUNROOM COVER cally reduce heat and glare, houses. They are easy to use especially in great rooms, and can be opened or closed without requiring a change as needed, allowing you to to the beauty of the interior control temperature and craftsmanship. These solar light in these glass rooms. screens shade from the For more information outside. If you can stop the on this new generation of harmful rays from passing Great Room Glory, you through your window with can contact Shade Your an outdoor solar screen, World. Entering their 24th you will eliminate the summer of business, this inside greenhouse effect company has provided which captures and retains more retractable awnings the excessive indoor heat. Outdoor Shade is so much more than any other company in this area, as well as a full range effective that the best windows, tinting, or blinds. You will of outdoor shading products. Their mission is to Shade stop the heat, stop the glare and stop the fading. Your World and Brighten Your Day. Each product is cusGreat Room Solar Screens cover windows from the out- tom designed to your individual specifications and will be side, while still permitting light to come through, maintain- built and installed within three weeks. Now you can shade ing outdoor views. They are motorized and easy to operate your windows like never before. with either a hand-held remote control or a wall-mounted To learn more about shading products from Shade Your remote control. When the sun is not blazing through the World, or for a free in-home estimate, you can call them at window, you can simply retract the solar screen into its 314.740.5100 or visit their website at ShadeStL.com. clm




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American Made

Landscapes & Exteriors

Enjoy A Natural Water Feature In Your Own Yard


f you are thinking about having a water feature installed on your property, this provides some considerations that should be helpful in your planning. First, you need to realize that a water feature isn’t just landscaping, it is a way of life, a lifestyle. It is, after all, a living thing. It changes with the seasons, it matures, and it becomes a retreat when life becomes stressful. A water feature becomes the centerpiece of a backyard paradise that can breed biodiversity, attracting wildlife including birds, frogs, butterflies and hummingbirds. LINER POND WITH FALLS Your budget will directly affect the type and size of your water feature. Spending a little more at the beginning will save you much more in the long run. Not just money, but time. Think it through and plan well. In the end, it will save you time and frustration. By designing it well, you will also reduce your need LINER POND WITH FALLS AND KOI for maintenance. For the purposes of this discussion, we are focusing on water gardens, those features that have a natural look and feel – where you can have plants and rock that look like the outcropping of a natural spring. While pre-formed ponds and container water gardens are inexpensive and fairly easy to set up, they are very limited in what you can do to dress them up to look natural with fish and plants, and they are not easily upgraded. Similarly, a formal water feature like a fountain is usually stand-alone and not part PONDLESS FALLS of a natural setting.

Water Garden Options to Consider A “liner” pond uses a fish-safe rubber liner, giving you the most versatility of any of the features. Because of its flexible membrane, the design possibilities are endless. They are easy to customize and if constructed correctly, require significantly less maintenance than a pre-formed pond. This is the most commonly chosen style of water feature. A Pondless® Waterfall is the way to achieve a natural-looking feature without having a body of water. It provides the sparkling visuals and sounds of a natural fall, and allows for many varieties of plants at the margins. This is one of the fastest growing segments in waterscaping today. It is especially appropriate where children are present or liability is an issue. The one thing to keep in mind during the design phase is that you want to create something that appears to have been placed there by Mother Nature herself. The most common complaint that pond owners have is that their feature is too small. You want to design a pond that allows for growth and expansion. Remember that fish grow and plants will mature and spread – give them the room they need!


Chris Siewing is owner and president of Nature’s Re-Creations, nationally recognized as Master Certified Aquascape Contractors, first place winner of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition, and named by Aquascape as Artist of the Year in 2012. Nature’s Re-Creations stays on the cutting edge of technology and installation techniques to continually improve their projects and the environment. To discuss a water feature project, you can contact Chris Siewing at 314-220-3841 or check out their portfolio at Facebook.com/ NaturesReCreations. clm


We have been transforming plain and boring concrete to beautiful, durable surfaces for over 32 years. Let us design and install a masterpiece at your home.

Here’s what our customers say about working with Decorative Concrete Resurfacing: “Wow! We came back from vacation yesterday and were so pleased with the work you all did while we were gone. Makes us wish we had done it years ago!” – Cathy Milton

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Call for a FREE estimate: 314-558-6955 • www.PrettyConcreteSTL.com SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 19

Landscapes & Exteriors

Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail?

A Consumer Advocate works for you, not the insurance company.







Consumer Advocate gives you a voice in the claims process by assessing and informing you of the true condition of your home’s exterior, before you file a claim. They also offer assistance when you believe the insurance company has missed damage, or if they have devalued or minimized your claim. Homeowners in the St. Louis area are certainly aware of the severe weather we have experienced over the past few years. It is important to understand that damage to homes and businesses is not always obvious and may not be easily detected by the average homeowner – especially high on the roof. Damage from hail and severe windstorms Photos on this page show typical damage that can occur from hail and severe windstorms. Impact holes and tattered edges of cedar shingles, denting on a roof vent cap, a dented gutter downspout and a torn window screen help verify hail impact. Hail damage to asphalt roof shingles includes tattered edges, shingle loss, extreme granule loss and penetration holes. Damage from severe winds to asphalt roofs includes lifting, tearing and even missing shingles. A driving hailstorm can also dent the fins of an air conditioning unit. When the wind gets under asphalt shingles and lifts them, it can pop the glue tabs and nails, causing shingles to tear, not lie down and re-adhere. Damage to shingles can reduce their useful life and also expose cracks where water can penetrate, making the roof vulnerable to future leaks and more severe exterior and interior damage. If the roof is compromised in this way, it is important that it is completely replaced rather than patched or partially replaced, since there are very likely other areas where the damage is not as obvious. Damage to gutters can cause leaks that rot the soffits where they are attached or cause water to pour down to the founda-



tion or fill window wells, causing further problems. Damage to air conditioning fins can impair operation, reducing airflow and raising the refrigerant temperature, leading to lost performance and reliability. Importance of a second opinion To determine damage, insurance companies will send an inspector to your home, right after the storm or up to several months later. Inspectors often miss these signs of damage, causing claims to be denied or limited to only what the inspector has seen. It is important that homeowners have an advocate who can provide a “second opinion” in the event that their insurance company denies or limits their liability to lesser damage than actually exists. Someone who can guide you through the claim process to make it easier, and assist in getting the maximum benefit your policy allows. Aspen Touch LLC Restoration Consulting & Design is a local, third-generation contractor and the advocate for homeowners with expertise in storm damage and repair, including not just roofs but also siding, gutters, windows and more. Aspen Touch helps homeowners streamline the insurance process, while assuring that you get the maximum benefit your policy allows. Many homeowners have found that damage to their roofing; siding and gutters have met their insurance company’s criteria to authorize full replacement. Before contacting your insurance company, you can contact Aspen Touch for a free evaluation and consultation on your home’s exterior and any storm damage. They are fully insured, and have helped numerous homeowners acquire new roofs, siding, gutters and repairs to their property affected by storms. You can reach their experienced inspectors at 636-458-8878 or by email at aspentouch.rick@gmail.com. You can learn more on their website www.aspentouch.com. clm


Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete SurfacesWalks, Steps, Patio, Pool Deck or Driveway? These are unsightly and also tripping hazards that could cause injuries.


ou may have tilting concrete steps or sidewalks, driveways or patios where a seam has turned into a step, or repeated cracking in sections of concrete slabs. These problems are often the result of a shifting or a weak soil base or erosion. In the past, contractors relied upon mud jacking or slab jacking to level concrete that had settled over time. This involves pumping concrete slurry under the settled slab to raise it, hoping that the settlement won’t continue. But that requires large holes in the concrete - about the diameter of a soda can. It can take an entire day to cure and the mixture itself is heavy – about 100 pounds per cubic foot, which can lead to further sinking. There is now a great alternative called PolyLEVEL™, which uses a lightweight polyurethane mix that expands to fill the void beneath sunken concrete. This not only results in a solution that lasts longer, but also it looks better because it is less destructive to the applied surface. PolyLEVEL requires a much smaller hole – about the diameter of a penny, cures in 15 minutes and weighs much less – about two pounds per cubic foot. It lifts concrete slabs to a level position with less weight and disruption than the legacy mud jacking or slab jacking process. The result is a safe, secure and level concrete slab. In the St. Louis area, Woods Basement Systems is the authorized contractor for PolyLEVEL concrete lifting. They will inspect your concrete walk, steps, pool deck, patio or driveway and provide an estimate to have your sunken concrete slab lifted with PolyLEVEL. To meet with one of their concrete repair experts, you can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more at www.betterbasementvalue.com. clm SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 21

Landscapes & Exteriors

You CAN Have a Garden that Deer Won’t Destroy


ore homeowners rattlesnake master, showing unique spiky white flowers these days complain that attract orbiting skipper butterflies. BY STEVE CALLOWAY about the prolifFalse dragonhead is a hardy plant with good, whimeration of deer sical growth and pink flowers that bloom in late sumin their communities, and how every year they turn mer and early fall. Lilacs and American beautyberry their lavish colorful perennial gardens into half-eaten, are also deer-resistant colorful flowering shrubs. run-down patches. They are discouraged seeing their Beautyberry has its greatest effect in the fall. Glossy beautiful hostas, day lilies, roses, black-eyed susans metallic purple berries retain their color until winter, and even evergreens and deer just don’t like eaten or stomped into the way they taste. the ground. There are also Based on research deer-resistant grasses and years of experithat are attractive all ence, I would like to year long, like sedges, share with you ways beak grain, prairie that my company Gardropseed, bottle brush INDIAN GRASS BOTTLE BRUSH den Green is planning and Indian grass, all and planting attrachardy native plants in tive colorful gardens different heights with that can minimize the beautiful seedpods. devastation from deer Another way to in your yard. deter the damage from There are two ways deer is in selecting we approach the the size of trees and problem. First, for shrubs. It is better established perennial to buy those that are MONDARDA JACOB KLEIN BRADBURIANA AND QUININE gardens of vulnerbeyond saplings, with able plants including good bulk. Deer like those mentioned to feed on the juveabove, we place deer nile growth of smaller deterrent plants along saplings, and they are borders, or at entry more easily trampled. points to discourage This is just a small deer from entering. sampling of our soluBEAUTYBERRY For instance, Native tions for lavish, colorAmerican flowering plants in the genus monada give ful gardens even where the deer seem to be feeding on off a bee balm, a powder that deer don’t like to brush everything in sight. up against. Monarda bradburiana has a pink flower that blooms in late spring. Monarda dittima blooms in Steve Calloway is owner of Garden Green Horticulture early summer; monarda fistulosa is a taller plant that Service. They help homeowners select the plants, trees and can tolerate more sunlight, and blooms in mid-summer. shrubbery that best meet their aesthetic desires and that Strategically planting these around your garden can will thrive in their sunlight, soil and moisture conditions. keep deer away. They also work to revitalize and restore gardens, to help Then there are deer resistant plants; those that have homeowners with the changes that will make their yards a fragrance or taste that deer are known to avoid, or better year after year. berries that don’t agree with them. These include native You can call or email Steve for a complimentary consultaAmerican plants like quinine, with serrated leaves and tion in your yard, to identify your plants and advise on how white flowers that bloom in late spring, skullcap, whose to keep them healthy and looking their best. You can reach elegant bluish white flowers bloom in late summer, and Steve at 314-288-5036 or garden_green@live.com. clm 22 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 23

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Landscapes & Exteriors

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has a distinctive look that improves with age. However, come true. to keep wood exteriors looking their best and prevent deterioration that can lead to costly repairs, it's imporCOURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ - Andrew LetCarter HOMECOURT SPORTStant make to yourperiodically backyard dream come true.wood surfaces that start to dull treat COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ 30’ Inc. Plan your own backyard game court now. Homecourt SportS COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ signs of mildew or have lost COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ or darken with mold, show “Installing a game court in my back yard is one o COURT SIZE: 30’ theyard elements. SIZE: 30’X X50’ 50’ “Installing a protection game court infrom my back is one ofCOURT the best Our decisions I’ve ever made. children enjoy countl COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ decisions I’ve ever made. Our children enjoy countless hours COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ Wood surfaces that are unprotected degrade from expoof outdoor athletic play. Although the primary f COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ of outdoor athletic play. Although the primary focus was we’re also able to use itrays for tennis, h sure to the sun. These harmful basketball, we’re alsoultraviolet ablebasketball, to uselight it forfrom tennis, hockey and “Installing a game court in my back yard is one of the best COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ The surface provides a softer than solid provides a softer impact SIZE: 30’ X 50’ rollerblading. Theuneven surface decisions rollerblading. I’ve everCOURT made. Our children enjoy countless hoursimpact turn bare wood dark, dull and in color. Rain penconcrete is less the traumatic for your and joints. COURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ of outdoor athletic which play. Although primary focus waskneesis concrete which less traumatic Working with Jeff Ott and Homecourt Sports made the entire basketball, we’re also able to use it for tennis, hockey and COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ etrates the wood, causing it to swell. Then blisteringfor heatyour knees a BEFORE Based in Waterloo, IL rollerblading. The surface provides softer impact thanwith solid Working Ottabove and Homecourt Sports project a breeze. Theyawere professional and Jeff delivered COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’made concreteILand whichbeyond is less my traumatic yourdries knees and joints.cycleBEFORE from theforsun it.aThis wood to warp, and delive Based in Waterloo, expectations.â€? project breeze. can Theycause were professional Working with Jeff Ott and Homecourt Sports made the entire COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ 314-374-3030 618-939-1542 - Darin Lee splinter Based in Waterloo, IL and and crack. Moisture can make cedar and other project a breeze.BEFORE They were BEFORE professional and delivered above beyond myalso expectations.â€? BEFORE WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM toLL Collinsville High School Varsity Basketball Coach COURT SIZE: 30’ X and 50’ and beyond my expectations.â€? Free 866-51-court 314-374-3030 618-939-1542 2011 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee 314-374-3030 618-939-1542 woods conducive to mold and mildew. Darin Lee Darin Lee BEFORE BEFORE Tennis Court Renovation BEFORE WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Collinsville High School Varsity Basketball Coach and BEFORE WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ Collinsville High School Varsityhowever, Basketball Coach WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM 866-51-court Unlike most building materials, exWe repair cracks and fill toLL low spots, then resurface2011 with Illinois Basketball COURT SIZE:wood 30’ X and 50’ Coaches Association Hall ofother Fame Inductee WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Free 866-51-court Tennis Court Renovation 2011 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame new tile which looks Renovation and plays great, ideal for older tennis Tennis Court WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM teriors can be restored and maintained through proper care We repair cracks and Renovation fill Court low spots, then resurface with Tennis Renovation WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Tennis Court BEFORE courts. This surface reduces aches with and Wetile repair cracks and fillgreat, low joint spots, resurface Tennis Tennis Court Renovation new which looks and plays idealstress forthen olderand tennis Tennis Court Renovation Tennis Court Renovation WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM We repair cracks and cracks filljoint lowstress spots, then resurface with then resurface and treatment. Preserving wood protects it from moisture pains. Water drains through tile and off thespots, court. Court Renovation We repair and fill low with BEFORE courts. This surface reduces aches and newrepair tile which looks and plays ideal for older tennis 8F SFQBJS DSBDLT BOE žMM MPXgreat, TQPUT  UIFO SFTVSGBDF XJUI WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM We cracks and fill low spots, then and resurface with Tennis Court Renovation new tile which looks and plays great, ideal for older tennis We repair cracks and fill low spots, then resurface with Eliminates constant repairs with aJEFBM 15and year limited pains. Water drains through tilejoint and off the court. OFX UJMF XIJDI MPPLT BOE QMBZT HSFBU  GPS PMEFS UFOOJT and sunlight, and helps it last twice, even three times as courts. This surface reduces stress aches and ideal for older new tile which looks and plays great, ideal for older tennis 8F SFQBJS DSBDLT BOE žMM MPX TQPUT  UIFO SFTVSGBDF XJUI new tile which looks and plays great, tennis WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM new tile which looks and plays great, ideal for older tennis courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with aJEFBM 15 year limited warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, DPVSUT 5IJT TVSGBDF SFEVDFT KPJOU TUSFTT BOE BDIFT BOE OFX UJMFThis XIJDI MPPLT BOE QMBZT HSFBU  GPS PMEFS UFOOJT courts. surface reduces joint stress and aches and pains. Water drains through tile and off the court. WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Tennis Court Renovation courts. This reduces joint stress and aches and long. This extended life makes BEFORE cedar roofs, wood siding and warranty andsurface 25-30 year lifethrough expectancy, BEFORE DPVSUT 5IJT TVSGBDF SFEVDFT KPJOU TUSFTT BOE BDIFT BOE BEFORE courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and pains. Water drains tile and off the court. QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT pains. Water drains through tile and off the court. We repair cracks and fill low with Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with a the 15 court. year spots, limited then resurface Tennis Court Renovation BEFORE BEFORE pains. Water drains through tile and off QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT DPOTUBOUSFQBJSTXJUIBZFBSMJNJUFEXBSSBOUZBOE Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with awith 15 year limited Eliminates constant repairs a through 15resurface year spots, limited We repair cracks and fill low then off resurface with decks cost-effective building solutions. pains. Water drains tile and the court. We repair cracks and fill low spots, then with warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, DPOTUBOUSFQBJSTXJUIBZFBSMJNJUFEXBSSBOUZBOE Eliminates constant repairs with a 15 year limited new tile which and plays forSFTVSGBDF older tennis 8F SFQBJS DSBDLT BOE žMM MPX TQPUT ideal UIFO XJUI We repair cracks and fillyear low spots, then resurface with great, ZFBSMJGFFYQFDUBODZ warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, warranty and 25-30 lifelooks expectancy, ZFBSMJGFFYQFDUBODZ newtile tilewhich which looks and plays great, ideal for older tennis warranty and 25-30 year lifeconstant expectancy, new tile which looks plays great, ideal for older tennis new looks plays great, ideal and for older tennis The experts at Aspen Touch Cedar Restoration & InstalEliminates repairs with aJEFBM 15and year limited WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM OFX UJMFand XIJDI MPPLT BOE QMBZT HSFBU  GPS PMEFS UFOOJT WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM courts. This surface reduces joint stress aches and courts.This This surface reduces joint stress and aches and courts. surface reduces joint stress and aches and WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and warranty and 25-30 life expectancy, lation have more than 25 years of experience in preserving, DPVSUT 5IJT TVSGBDF SFEVDFT KPJOU BOEthe BDIFT BOE pains.Water Water drains through tileyear and off the court. pains. drains through tile and off the court. Tennis Court Renovation Tennis Court Renovation pains. Water drains through tileTUSFTT and off court. BEFORE BEFORE Eliminates constant repairs with awith 15resurface year limited pains. Water drains tile aand off thelimited court. and replacing wood roofs, We repair cracks and fill low spots, then with limited Eliminates constant repairs a through 15resurface year QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT We repair cracks and fill low spots, then with natural wood siding and Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with 15 yearrepairing warranty and 25-30 year lifeplays expectancy, new tile looks and plays great, ideal for older warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, new tilewhich which looks and great, ideal fortennis older tennis DPOTUBOUSFQBJSTXJUIBZFBSMJNJUFEXBSSBOUZBOE Eliminates constant repairs with a 15 year limited decks on St. Louis’s finest homes. Their restoration process courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches andexpectancy, We repair cracks and fill low spots, then resurface with warranty and 25-30 year life courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and AFTER ZFBSMJGFFYQFDUBODZ pains. Water drains through tile and off the life court.expectancy, warranty and 25-30 year AFTER uses a high pressure wash to remove algae, moss and lichen, pains. Water drains through and off thegreat, court. ideal for older new tile which looks tennis Eliminates constant repairs with atile 15and yearplays limited WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Putting Green Eliminates constant repairs with reduces a 15 year joint limited warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, returning its natural color. Shingles are repaired, courts. This surface stress and aches and wood to AFTER Putting Golfers, we’ll help designGreen your own Bullseye Homegolf professional AFTER AFTER warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level nailed of difficulty we’ll Green pains. Water drains through Putting tile and offwe’ll thereplaced court. Golfers, help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional AFTER Tennis Court Renovation and asandneeded. Finally, a quality sealer/stain is Putting Green build it. we’ll Golfers, help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional Putting Green withwith Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’ll Putting Green Eliminates constant repairs with awe’ll 15 year limited We repair cracks and fill low spots, then resurface applied. This restoration is also effective for asphalt roofs. Golfers, help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’ll Putting Green build it. Golfers, help Select designthe your Bullseye Homegolf professional Putting Green with we’ll Astroturf. levelown of difficulty and we’ll build it.ideal AFTER warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, We repair cracks and low spots, then resurface with new tilefillwhich looks and plays great, for older tennis Aspen Touch also inprofessional installing new cedar Golfers, we’ll help design yourSelect ownisBullseye Homegolf Green with Astroturf. the levelexpert of difficulty and we’ll build it. Putting Putting withand Astroturf. Select the leveldecking. of difficulty and we’ll new tile which looks and plays great, ideal for older Putting tennis build it. Green AFTER Green courts. stress and aches shake roofs, siding and They can help you make Putting Green This surface reduces joint build we’ll helpit.design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional (PMGFST  XFÂľMM IFMQ EFTJHO ZPVS PXO #VMMTFZF )PNFHPMG courts. This surface reduces joint stress and achesGolfers, andand A pains. Water drains through tile offAstroturf. the court. informed decisions about Putting Green with Select the level of difficulty and we’ll preserving the beauty and value QSPGFTTJPOBM1VUUJOH(SFFOXJUI"TUSPUVSG4FMFDUUIFMFWFMPG Putting Green Putting Green AFTER pains. Water drains through tile and off the court. ElimiEJGžDVMUZBOEXFÂľMMCVJMEJU build it. a Golfers, Eliminates constant repairs with 15 year limited we’ll help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional of your wood exteriors. You can call them at 636-458(PMGFST repairs XFÂľMM IFMQ EFTJHO PXO #VMMTFZF )PNFHPMGand nates constant with a 15ZPVS year limited warranty PuttingPutting GreenGreen with Astroturf. Select the level Green of difficulty and we’ll QSPGFTTJPOBM1VUUJOH(SFFOXJUI"TUSPUVSG4FMFDUUIFMFWFMPG Putting AF and 25-30 year life expectancy, AFTER 8878, email aspentouch.rick@gmail.com or visit their 25-30 yearEJGžDVMUZBOEXFÂľMMCVJMEJU life warranty expectancy. Golfers, we’ll help build it. design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional Golfers, we’ll help design your own Bullseye Homegolf prA Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’ll website www.aspentouch.com. clm build it. Putting Green Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level of difficult Putting Green Golfers, we’ll| help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional 24 | COUNTY LIVING magazine WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM Putting build help design your own Bullseye Homegolf pr Putting Green with Astroturf.Golfers, Selectit. thewe’ll level Green of difficulty and we’ll Golfers,Green we’ll help yourSelect own Bullseye build it. Putting with design Astroturf. the level Homegolf of difficultyp toLL Free

YOUR HOME DESERVES A GREAT LOOKING DRIVEWAY Patch • Repair • Overlay • Complete Tear-Out • New Construction

Since 1976, Fontana Paving has provided complete asphalt paving services for the finest homes, schools, churches and clubs in the St. Louis area. • Driveway replacement and repairs • Patching, crack filling and sealing • Embedded river and trap rock option • Subdivisions • Surface, subsurface drainage For free on-site quote, call or email us:



Wildlife and Native Landscaping Bring the delight of perennial wildflowers and native grasses to your own yard. Butterflies, hummingbirds and migratory birds will follow. GARDEN GREEN provides landscape design and installation of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, stone and mulch. Offers maintenance and renovation of residential and commercial properties; spectacular gardens, identification and removal of invasive plants, rainscaping, deer-resistant gardens and more. Spring is a great time to plant. Call or email today for a free consultation.


Horticulture Service


garden_green@live.com SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 25

Health & Fitness

If You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss, A Medical Exam Can Determine the Cause BY JACQUES HERZOG, M.D.


. . . and identify treatment options to help you adapt

s Baby Boomers age, many of us find that we have to strain to hear when others talk, especially on the telephone or in noisy environments. We think others are mumbling when they speak, or they complain that we have the TV or radio turned up too loud, or that they have to repeat themselves. If you or someone you know has to strain to hear when someone talks or needs to watch a speaker’s lips closely to follow a conversation, then it is time for a hearing evaluation. Significant advances in treatment options underscore the importance of visiting a medical specialist who can make an educated diagnosis of your specific hearing issues and prescribe appropriate treatment. For instance, hearing loss in the middle ear can often be corrected. If hearing loss is greater in one ear, there may be a growth in that ear that is affecting hearing. Hearing loss associated with aging, known as presbycusis, initially begins with loss in the high frequencies, with eventual progression to include lower frequency loss. Thirty to thirty-five percent of 65 year olds have some hearing loss, and this figure rises to 40-50% of individuals over 70 years. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more advanced than ever before. They can be programmed to fit your particular hearing loss and automatically adjust for a variety of listening environments. Some work with rechargeable batteries, and there are even hearing aids that can connect to your smart phone. A physician who treats hearing disorders will have a qualified audiologist available to recommend the best hearing aids for you. This audiologist will also be able to program them correctly and teach you how to use the devices. Patients with severe to profound hearing loss who are unable to hear with traditional amplification may benefit from a cochlear implant, an electronic device that bypasses the damaged parts of the inner ear by stimulating auditory nerve fibers directly. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and works in conjunction with an external device worn behind the ear.

Advances in electronics and programming technology and research with patients have shown that a growing range of hearing-impaired individuals can take advantage of the benefits offered by cochlear implantation. Although cochlear implants do not restore natural hearing, most individuals with cochlear implants have achieved significant gains in sound awareness and speech understanding. While 500,000 patients worldwide have received cochlear implants, this number represents only a small fraction of those with hearing impairment who may benefit from implantation and can be identified through testing. If there are no medical contraindications, candidates of any age may be implanted. Unlike hearing aids, Medicare often covers cochlear implants for qualified candidates. If you or someone you know is not hearing as well as you once did, your first step should be consulting a health care specialist with experience in diagnosing and treating the full range of hearing disorders. Jacques Herzog, M.D. established the Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders at St. Luke’s hospital in 1993. He is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a Fellow of the American Neurotology Society and the American Academy of OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery. Dr. Herzog is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine. He has previously served on the Board of Managers at Central Institute for the Deaf. Currently, he is a member of the Editorial Board of Otology and Neurotology, the world’s leading scientific journal of the specialty. Dr. Herzog has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally on various disorders of the ear and related structures. You can learn more about Dr. Herzog’s practice at www.stlouisear.com, and to arrange for a consultation, you can contact the Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders at 314-453-0001. clm


Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change would like to take the mystery out of hypnosis as an effective therapy for enabling behavior change, by explaining how it works. Your conscious mind contains your active thoughts, and the subconscious mind contains information that you act on. The unconscious is like a big filing cabinet that holds a record of everything BY JOAN KRUEGER, you’ve ever experienced. CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST All your habits, behaviors, responses, reactions, memories and emotions are stored there, as though there is a file for each. Hypnosis is the process of communicating with the subconscious mind. Before a hypnosis session, your therapist should ask specifically what behavior you would like to change. This identifies the file that you are currently working from. Hypnosis gets the subconscious part of your mind to open up so that a new file can be added about how you want to function. For instance, if you want to be a non-smoker, change your eating habits, or be more confident. After the session, your mind has new information to begin to work from instead of working from the old information. With hypnosis you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. For hypnosis to work, the subject must willingly accept the change, because the conscious mind is still very aware of what is going on. At all times, the subject has complete power of selectivity, reacting only to suggestions that are reasonable and pleasing to them.


Joan Krueger has a private practice with an office in Kirkwood. Many individuals have achieved their goals, both personally and professionally, through guidance they have received in her hypnosis sessions. About 80% of people who Joan hypnotizes to stop smoking will quit after just one session. You can contact Joan to discuss how hypnosis could help you achieve positive change in your own life by calling her at (314) 962-7558, or visiting her Web site at www.jfkhypnosis.com. clm SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 27


Health & Fitness


A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals

Solving the Three Problems Keeping You From Reaching Your Fitness Goals


here are achieving specific imporhealth and fitness tant goals can be exreasons tremely challengwhy people want ing. It’s inevitable to start an exerthat you will cise and nutrition come up against program. To lose frustrations, weight, get strong uncertainties and and healthy, look questions along and be their best the way. Having for an upcomsomeone there to ing event, or to guide, motivate, simply be a posieducate, support tive role model and hold you for their family. Robin Loevy Lost 32 lbs and dropped 6 pant sizes in 18 weeks! Gary Stein lost 22 lbs & 7 inches in 12 weeks! accountable to These reasons what you have take on personal importance that is unique to committed to do for yourself will prove to be one of each individual. the best ways to reach your goals. What is not unique, however, are the three major barriers to success that my clients faced when they If you are struggling with one or all of these problems on tried to reach these goals on their own. These issues are your path to improved health and fitness, then I would recexactly why they turned to me to achieve the success ommend not to waste another single day. I have helped dozyou see in the examples on this page, and why you may ens of clients achieve their goals and I can help you as well! consider doing the same if you are having a hard time reaching your health and fitness goals: Bret Kliethermes is a Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelors of Science in Health & Wellness Promotion from Missouri 1. Not knowing how to put a complete program toState University who provides complete fitness programs to help gether. A comprehensive health and fitness program his clients reach their personal health and fitness goals. should consist of all the following with the proper Bret offers both private and semi private training to fit all budamounts/ratios related to your specific goals: Nutrigets and schedules. For a no obligation, no pressure consultation tion, Supplementation, Resistance Training, Cardioto discuss your goals and a program designed for you, you can call vascular Exercise, Flexibility or Mobility Work, and Bret at 314-691-9040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com, or Proper Rest. If this seems a little overwhelming, you’re visit www.stronghumanfitness.com. not alone. Bret works with his clients at The Fitness Partner Inc., a boutique gym located in the Corporate Plaza Building at 2. Not having a workable plan of action. You can 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 22 years try the latest and greatest diet and exercise program the Fitness Partner has offered its members a more private known to man, but if it doesn’t fit into your schedule alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and or physical capabilities, as well as integrate all the overcrowded. Owner/operator Randy Stone has more than 25 components listed above, then you’re simply wasting years of personal training experience, knows all members by your time. A health and fitness plan must be “doable” name, and can be found in the gym 6 days a week. The Fitness for the individual - otherwise it is useless. Partner is also a proud supporter of the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a grassroots 501c3 that provides long term support to 3. Not having a proper support system in place. severely wounded veterans and their families from the greater Making changes in your routine necessary for Saint Louis area. clm 28 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM



edar siding, roofs and decks can lose virtually all of their natural preservatives and oils in as little as five years in the Midwest weather. Oak and pine log homes and redwood decks can also show premature aging from the effects of the weather.

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Home Remodeling



Design/Build Construction Is a More Satisfying Approach to Home Remodeling

f you have been thinking about remodeling your home, but have concerns about time, money and sanity that are holding you back, you may change your mind when you understand the advantages of the design/build approach to home remodeling. This is an integrated process. Five important facets are combined to achieve a successful project: innovative design, material selections, constructive coordination, budget considerations and experienced craftsmanship. More and more homeowners have found that design/ build streamlines the remodeling project and empowers them in the process. With the design/build approach, design and construction services are contracted by a single company in which there is one point of contact overseeing the entire remodeling process. Rather than having to find and deal with a designer, engineer, architect and contractor separately, a design/build firm manages the entire process and is responsible for bringing all components into play and unifying a team. This reduces the stress on the homeowner. The design/build approach puts the burden of performance on one company, minimizes the risks, reduces costs and synchronizes the schedule by coordinating design and construction. The process begins with a meeting between the design/ build contractor and the homeowner to discuss what they want to accomplish and their budget parameters. Then an Existing Conditions Report is developed which includes measurements, photographs, structural elements and mechanical systems of the home. Based on this report and the goals established, a general budget range is determined and a Design Agreement is signed. The next step is to develop conceptual floor plans and elevations using ‘real time’ design. This computer based

collaborative process makes it possible for the architect, designer and builder to meet with the homeowner to show realistic color renderings of how the remodeled space will look and blend into the rest of the home, before the investment is made in detailed drawings and plans. Three-dimensional visuals are shown on a computer screen that illustrates room layouts, surface materials, location of built-in elements and furniture pieces in the remodeled space. Real time design is a participatory process for the homeowner, making it easy for them to compare options and allowing for changes to be made right on the spot. It also enables discussion of budget implications for changes that are considered. With agreement on conceptual drawings, work is then begun on detailed plans for the project. Once the design phase is completed, but before construction begins, the client is given a construction package that includes project specifications, material selections, cabinetry drawings, on-site mechanical specifications, budget controls and trade-contractor coordination with a guaranteed cost of construction. Construction begins, and the end result is a homeowner’s dream living space! Steve Scheipeter is owner and principal at S.W. Scheipeter Construction, one of the most reputable design/build firms in St. Louis. They specialize in kitchen, bathroom and basement remodeling as well as additions and outdoor living spaces. They have won numerous awards for professionalism, craftsmanship and service including the 2012 Chrysalis award for the best whole house remodel. Steve Scheipeter has attained the Certified Graduate Remodeler certification and the Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification. You can view their work by visiting www.scheipeter.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter or call 314-962-7073 to discuss your next home remodeling project. clm


SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 31

Home Remodeling

Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Year Now is a great time to tackle those needed home improvement projects


f your tile shower “Our customers AFTER BEFORE is dated, some love the look and they of the grout is love the money they missing, the pan save over replacement is leaking, or your even more.” fiberglass unit is Most customers are faded or cracked, opting for the Natuyou don’t necesral Accents™ stone sarily have to tear finishes for their tile it out and replace and fiberglass shower the entire shower. walls. This designer There are proprietary look creates the upprocesses to repair a dated impact homeleaking shower pan owners are looking for without removing in a makeover. and replacing the As the nation’s largtile. This will save est surface refinishyou time and money ing network, Miracle and the end result Method has been will be both beautiful helping St. Louis and durable. area homeowners Loose tile grout save on remodeling can be repaired costs for over twelve BEFORE AFTER and you can also years. Whether it is a replace dated colors porcelain, fiberglass, with high-tech cultured marble, surface refinishing acrylic, Formica or instead of expensive even Corian® surface, replacement Miracle Method can or re-grouting. fix it, update it, and “Having your have it looking like tile re-grouted is a new. “It takes just a temporary soluday or two and our NATURAL ACCENTS COLOR CHOICES CAN BE SEEN AT tion,” says Terry work is guaranteed.” WWW.MIRACLEMETHOD.COM/NATURAL-ACCENTS-SAMPLES.HTM Kavanaugh, owner says Kavanaugh. of Miracle Method of St. Louis. “If grout is not To see just how good refinishing can be, you can read routinely sealed, it can deteriorate and absorb water, reviews from satisfied customers by logging on which can cause leaks and possibly black grout and www.miraclemethod.com/stlouis. mold.” The process Kavanaugh recommends permaThe Natural Accents™ stone finish color choices can be seen nently seals grout, eliminating potential leaks, and it at www.miraclemethod.com/natural-accents-samples.htm. is also easy to maintain. Miracle Method of St. Louis is a member of the Do you have problems with a fiberglass bath or local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business shower unit? Miracle Method has an answer for faded Bureau (BBB) and the national Kitchen and Bath Asand cracked showers and pans. “Cracked fiberglass sociation (NKBA). does not need to be replaced. We can fix the cracks and You can call 888-819-4399 for a free estimate, or refinish the dull surface, and it will be stronger than schedule an appointment to visit their new showroom at new,” adds Kavanaugh. 414 Gravois Rd in Fenton 63026. clm 32 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

How is Your Home Performing? Solutions for Increasing Comfort and Reducing Energy Bills


chieving these improvements starts with proper evaluation and testing. A Home Energy Evaluation identifies causes of comfort problems and high energy consumption, and suggests cost-effective remedies. A Blower Door Fan draws outside air into the house to detect and diagnose air leaks. Thermal Scanning with an infrared camera that “sees through walls” can measure how effectively your insulation is working..

Energy Evaluation at no charge – totally free - to help you discover where your home is using, losing, and wasting energy. Dr. Energy Saver also can perform the critical home energy-saving services needed to address the specific problems identified, such as adding insulation, sealing air leaks

Solving the Problems Based on the findings, a proposal is developed that identifies steps to reduce energy use and increase comfort. Recommendations are provided that can have the biggest impact on energy use, comfort and savings. Common recommended improvements often include: Air Sealing - Your home may be leaking air, resulting in drafts and rooms that don’t heat or cool effectively. Air sealing is the first step to a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. Insulation is also important to an energy-efficient home. Find out how much insulation you have, how it’s performing and whether you need more. Crawlspace Sealing - Cold floors, poor air quality and energy inefficiency can be caused by unsealed crawlspaces below. Sealing prevents moisture and air infiltration. In the St. Louis area, one long-established company is helping solve home performance problems. Dr. Energy Saver STL, part of the Woods Basement Systems organization, performs the Home SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 33

in your home, crawl space encapsulation and more. The results will show up in lower energy bills. To schedule a no-obligation Home Energy Evaluation in your home, you can call Dr. Energy Saver at 866-7351890, or you can learn more about them at www.betterbasementvalue.com. clm

Arts & Thoughts


(as seen from the bluffs above the Mississippi)



Resting in my bed, I look up through the high window.

Out the window beyond my left shoulder: The moon sets over the sandbars.

An eagle slides Over the tree top Bare branches sway Waving at the eagle.

Out the other window beyond my right foot: The sun rises over blue hills.

THEN EVENING COMES Then evening comes. Soft winds brush my cheeks. The wet earth gives comfort. Birds fly in silence, but tootle and twittle on the branches to the East and to the West. The tenor of the geese. The soprano of the robin. The alto of the sparrows. I turn. The sun has tucked earthwise. Evening is here. Now night comes.

NIGHT SOUNDS Coyotes howl like police sirens. Train whistles and chugs. Coal to the power plant. Power always on, humming. Traffic starts up on the River Road. My heart beating. My lungs breathing. Animals. Machines. Me. Awake. In the middle of the night. Then, quiet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janet Riehl is an award-winning artist and writer living on the bluffs above the Mississippi. Her book “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary” is a memoir told in 90 story poems. The companion audio book “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music” is available on cdbaby.com. Riehl’s short stories, personal essays, and poetry have been published in national literary magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her work at Riehl Life: Village Wisdom for the 21st Century at www.riehlife.com. 34 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Custom CLOSET AND HOME OFFICE SOLUTIONS For better-organized storage and work spaces


t seems that when most homes were built, little thought was given to wardrobe, storage or at-home work needs of families who were going to live there. Maybe that’s why most of us have closets where there never seems to be room to put everything or ways to find anything. And according to the National Association of Home Builders, a walk-in closet rated number one in the amenities builders planned to include in homes they were building in 2015. Fortunately for homes built before 2015, today there is the opportunity for closet systems and other space solutions that are custom-designed to meet specific and changing needs of each member of the family. For closets and workspaces that are more functional and enjoyable to use, it pays to consider a custom system. A professional designer can provide a solution that will work best for your specific needs, and flexibility to adapt as needs change over time. The process starts from scratch with the designer creating an organizational portrait of family members who will use the space, asking about their needs, accurately measuring and inventorying items that need to go in it. And to make it your own, offering choices of hardware, materials, specialized accessories and finishes. The leader in custom-designed storage and workspaces for the home is Closet Factory. They emphasize customization in every step of their process, which begins with a free in-home consultation by an experienced designer. You’ll be presented with a selection of drawers, shelving, handles and knobs in an extensive array of the finest materials and finishes, from basic laminates to dramatic solid woods. Once you’ve approved every feature and finishing touch, each piece is manufactured to specification in their own factory. For your own custom consultation, you may call Closet Factory at (314) 227-1936. clm SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 35

Home Remodeling

The Basement Egress Window Adds safety, appeal and value to your home


inishing your basement is the most efficient way to add useable space to your home. If you have or are planning sleeping rooms downstairs, you need to make sure that there are two exits for emergencies. If your home does not have a walk-out basement, this usually requires an escape, or egress window. It is important to know your local residential building codes for egress. St. Louis County building permit requirements state that all basement bedrooms must have one window for emergency escape with a sill no more than 44 inches above the floor and a minimum clear opening area of 5.0 square feet. The emergency escape window must be operable from the

inside without need for special knowledge, tools, or extra force beyond that required for a normal window. But don’t just think of the basement egress window as a requirement. It can also add natural light and ventilation and with an expanded window well it can be an attractive feature, with flowers and plants on the terraced steps. The overall enhancements of safety, light, ventilation and more attractive appearance add to the value of your home. One company that is expert in structural basement improvements is Woods Basement Systems. They will be happy to give you a free estimate to install a basement egress window in your home. You can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more at betterbasementvalue.com. clm

Who Knew that Concrete Could be




MARBLELIFE’s EnduraCrete craftsmen can transform your dull and dusty concrete into an attractive, functional floor that adds beauty and value to your home or business.


EnduraCrete concrete services include honing, polishing, staining and sealing, to deliver a customized floor designed to meet your desired look and feel.

GARAGES • PORCHES • BASEMENTS • SUNROOMS • DRIVEWAYS • POOL DECKS Call today for a free in-home estimate

636-639-1304 www.enduracrete-stlouis.com


Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout?


ost stone or tile damage can be corrected. Whether it’s dull, stained, suffering water spots, cracks or chips, the problem can be addressed. A true stone professional will work with you to assess the root cause and to formulate a strategy to avoid a recurrence. For the stone or tile surfaces in your home, it makes sense to contact a local specialist to discuss what can be done to restore them, and how to maintain them day-to-day. A brief dialog can extend the life of your stone and tile and save you from costly errors. The good news is that most problems are repairable and cost substantially less than replacement. Proper selection and application of a sealer can reduce or prevent damage from stains and water.

A ColorSeal treatment of your sanded grout can not only restore your original grout color but also topically seal it to better resist future stains. Many glass and tile cleaners will actually dissolve grout, leaving a rough spot. Fortunately, even this can be repaired. Grout repair and sealing are part of the repair and restoration process. Experienced stone and tile craftsmen can provide pointers on how to maintain your stone and tile surfaces to keep them looking like the day they were installed. Your ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, terrazzo, limestone or travertine will look new when your great-grandchildren come to visit generations from now. Don’t give up on your stone, tile or grout. For expert advice and restoration, you can call the professionals at MARBLELIFE-Groutmasters at 636-639-1304 or visit their website at www.marblelife-stlouis.com. clm



Design Build Remodeling

well-crafted fontanapaving@sbcglobal.net SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 37

Home Remodeling

Custom BATHROOM REMODELING A Whole New Look Doesn’t Have to be a Big Mess or Cost a Fortune


ike many homeowners, you may have a bathroom that looks worn and outdated, or doesn’t really meet your needs or desires. For instance, if you rarely take baths, you might much prefer a walk-in shower instead of that tub with a shower curtain. Converting an old tub or shower to an attractive, safe, convenient new shower can add enjoyment and utility for years. With a built-in seat, well placed grab bars and easy to clean, grout-free walls, you can have the safest and most convenient bath environment possible. If you still prefer a bathtub, you can upgrade to a beautiful, durable tub that is attractive and warm to the touch. Or, there is the option of a walk-in bathtub, offering easy entry, comfortable seating and easy-to-reach faucets. To complement your new shower or tub, you can outfit your bathroom with attractive shower and wall surfaces and select from many varieties of flooring, as well as upgraded vanity or pedestal sink and toilet. One company that can cost-effectively complete your new bathroom with minimal interruption is ReBath of St. Louis. A custom ReBath conversion transforms your bathroom from dull to dramatic, adding value to your home. And they offer the best warranty in the business. ReBath of St. Louis will help design your bath to be a statement of your own personal style and taste, and their own installation crews complete the conversion. Their designers bring everything to your home for the selection process - no wasted time or extra trips to find all of what you want. For a free in-home consultation you can call Mid-America Re-Bath and Remodeling at 314-272-4688, or visit www.rebathstl.com. clm


Finest Custom Table Pads at Factory-Direct Prices

Give New Life to the Furniture You Love

The way to assure perfect fit for table pads is for the provider to visit your home to accurately measure and show you sample colors and textures to match your table and décor. Custom Table Pads & Linens, an independent St. Louis dealer, provides the finest custom American-made table pads at factory-direct prices. They measure at your home or business, and show you a choice of 23 vinyl tops and 5 velvet bottoms. Perfect fit is guaranteed. Pads are heat resistant to 550o, moisture and warp resistant. Patented hidden magnets minimize separation and slippage on your table. Custom Table Pads & Linens also sells country club quality table linens and accessories in hundreds of colors and textures, with the look and feel of cotton linen at a fraction of the cost.

Do you own quality furniture, but are ready for a change? Or does a favorite piece need restoration? Experienced craftsmen can repair and refinish fine wood, and skilled upholsterers can fashion the look and feel you want in your choice of fabric and trim. Custom Furniture Works has twelve experienced craftsmen on staff to provide quality work in a timely manner, taking your job from planning to completion. They also create custom furniture from scratch. Pickup and delivery services are available. Call today for a free estimate, or visit their website to see examples of their work.

Custom Furniture Works 314-644-0460 6727 Manchester (just east of McCausland) www.customfurnitureworksstl.com

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Beautiful modern colors

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Valid only at participating locations.

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Each Miracle Method franchise independently owned and operated.

ly at participating locations. Each Miracle Method franchise independently owned and operated.

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SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 39

Weekend Getaways

County Living Magazine Spring/Early Summer Activities & Events T

ake advantage of these wonderful annual events. Make this the year you get out beyond your own neighborhood and enjoy the special festivals and entertainment events across the St. Louis metro area.

Chinese Culture Days

Sat, Sun May 21-22 Missouri botanical Garden mobot.org Bark in the Park

Webster Arts Fair

St. Louis Water Gardening Society Pond-O-Rama Tour

June 3-5 Eden Theological Seminary webster-arts.org

various locations June 27 & 28 stlouiswatergardeningsociety.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare Festival

O’Fallon Heritage & Freedom Fest July 2-4 O’Fallon, MO heritageandfreedomfest.com Fair St. Louis

Saturday, May 21 Cricket Field, Forest Park hsmo.org/bark Taste of Maplewood June 3-26 nightly ex. Tuesdays Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park sfstl.com Garden Conservancy Open Days Program Saturday, May 21 Sutton Blvd maplewood-chamber.com

July 2-4 Art Hill in Forest Park fairsaintlouis.org Independence Day Monday, July 4 Let Them Eat Art

Memorial Day Monday, May 30 Circus Flora

Grand Center June 2-July 3 circusflora.org

Saturday, June 11 Multiple locations opendaysprogram.org

Friday, July 8 Historic Downtown Maplewood cityofmaplewood.com/ltea

Fathers Day Sunday, June 19

Contemporary Indian Art Show

First Day of Summer Monday, June 20 40 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

July 9-10 Cahokia Mounds cahokiamounds.org

Discover the lake community that St. Louis families have been falling in love with for more than 44 years. Located 30 minutes west of Chesterfield, drive out and explore today! Open houses every weekend. No appointment needed.



Arts & Thoughts




The road can lead to strange stories, none stranger than this.

t began when I left the comfort of Route 66. Driving south into the rugged hills, I entered the land of Moses. Most people are aware Moses never made it to the Promised Land, a detail that disturbs more than a few Texans. Technically, Moses Austin made it to Texas, but he didn’t stay. In 1821, Moses was the first person to get permission from the governor of Spanish Texas to establish an Anglo-American colony there, leading a group of 300 families from Potosi to San Antonio de Bexar. He returned to Missouri and died soon after. His remains rest in a cemetery in the middle of downtown Potosi. The county where he’s buried is named for the Father of Our Country. But there’s visible proof that Moses Austin is Washington County’s favorite son. And they intend to keep it that way despite the nefarious intentions of a few Texans. Encased beneath a slab of concrete the size of a carport, Moses has resisted body snatchers so far. Lone Star historians say Texas made overtures to remove Moses from a “neglected cemetery” and repatriate him with his son, Steve, in Austin. Potosi historians are a bit more blunt. They tattle on Texas undertaker Thurlow Weed, who they say drove a hearse to Potosi in the early 1930s and started chipping away at Moses’ tomb. The marshal and a posse of enraged citizens sent Weed tumbling back to Texas, bearing no pall. Texas historians say there was no posse and that Weed returned to Texas with a Potosi City Council resolution opposing the move. In 1938, both parties agree, the governor of Texas made one more attempt to get Moses. Texans say the Lone Star secretary of state came to make one last plea for the body, but instead came away recommending that Moses rest in peace in Potosi. Local tales persist that the Texas official came to apologize. But regardless

of the purpose of this final attempt, Potosi is the only American town to repel a Lone Star invasion. Moses is the grandfather of Texas, not Missouri. But among his Missouri accomplishments, he donated land for this Washington County seat of government. Named for a Bolivian silver mining town, Potosi is a South American Indian word for “place of much noise,” a harbinger to the Moses grave dispute. Backwards, the word Potosi comes one letter shy of spelling isotope, appropriate for the region’s heavy metal mining. In the realm of heavy metal, Moses Austin was a rock star. He established the first reverberatory smelter west of the Mississippi. And like most rock stars, his rise and fall was mercurial. A bank failure and recession in 1819 forced him to close his lead mining business, and he turned his attention to “the Texas Venture.” Dipping into the land of Moses’ bones, I neither saw nor smelt, nor heard heavy metal, but heavy woods stretched in every direction over these foothills to the St. Francois Mountains. Route 47 snakes down to join Highway 21, and like two old friends, they share a path for five twisting miles. The trail could be named Memory Highway, because every two miles or so, an Adopt-A-Highway sign declares “In Loving Memory of [YOUR NAME HERE].” The most intriguing dedication is “In Memory of Beef.” Well, then. Suffice it to say that this road has delivered more than one species to glory. It’s just another indication that the end is near. Moses knew that. But even as he believed the end justified his means, Thurlow Weed couldn’t dislodge the grandfather of Texas from his final resting place. You can read more of John’s travels at: http://johndrakerobinson.com/blog/ clm


Weekend Getaways

Reclaim Family Time at Innsbrook A Vacation Home Community


ake a trip to Innsbrook this weekend to explore a recreational community where cell phones and data plans are optional, but quality family time and relaxation are required. Feel the stress of everyday life melt away as you drive through the gates and mentally cross everything off your daily “to do” list and just enjoy the day. All of these things still very much exist today at Innsbrook, a recreational lake community centered on nature and family. At Innsbrook you can recapture beauty of the simple life, like going for a family hike or making s’mores around the campfire. And since Innsbrook is located less than an hour away from your “everyday life” you can stay as connected as you want to be. Make this summer the start of a new family tradition with a vacation home at Innsbrook. Many of the families that own a cabin at Innsbrook return for generation after generation. “Kids” that grew up at Innsbrook are now coming back with their own kids. Innsbrook offers more than 100 lakes, several hiking trails, horse stables and family events for all ages – truly making it nature’s playground. This year Innsbrook is opening a new amenity complex that will feature a nature-themed children’s playground, swimming pool with lazy river, fitness center and an outdoor amphitheater for concerts under the stars. Spacious and custom built or cozy and rustic, there is something for everyone at Innsbrook including unique recreational A-frame chalets that are reminiscent of tree houses to luxurious year-round or secondary homes. You can explore Innsbrook displays open daily, open houses every weekend or online at www.innsbrook-resort.com. clm SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 43

Arts & Thoughts


IT IS SPRINGTIME Is it Springtime, pear trees in bloom, clusters of petals covering the branches in a spring hairdo all white, fluffed by a lukewarm gentle wind. Apple trees, not far behind, wanting to be next in pink and white have their buds ready to explode to take over the splendor of the show. This is when we feel it is Spring, when our view scans the landscape to admire the awakening of nature dormant in the restrictions of Winter. Then, like a confetti rain of petals, the breeze scatters them around gracefully descending, festive, for it is a joyful Springtime. Marcel Toussaint © 2009

CONFETTI FOR SPRING An early Spring is here, the winds impulsive send petals pivoting down from trees in bloom taking the coloring from the branches to land in a thick carpet on the ground. We forget the chalk-white of the snow melted and gone for another year.

Revival of Spring is energizing Nature. It is a festival of new growth, of warmth. Nature designs new landscapes of green, splashes some reds, pours yellows, blends new hues across the land, the whole of space now a garden welcomes singing birds. Opening windows lets melodious whistling enchant our days, we join in with our chants in our home stage to star front center rejoiced that we are alive and well. Marcel Toussaint © 2016

SPRING IS HERE The surroundings are so elegant it is a pleasure to live here. “Go West young man,” I was told, but I was already in the Midwest. To go further never happened. It is Spring so I will forget Winter. Nature’s blossoms are everywhere. The skies are blue and clear the rains hold down the dust, all shines of youth and vigor. Streets are cheerful with trees flowering into giant bouquets, shrubs are of deep green leaves, flowers compete with the wildest colors, landscapes are pastoral in the country. Marcel Toussaint © 2014

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcel Toussaint likes to note that his life is of “chapters, each one with its own title.” With a multi-talented personality, he has been a radio-theater actor, a teacher, a novelist, a lyricist, a poet. His writing has been featured in fourteen anthologies, including America at the Millennium. Marcel remains active and writes a poem a day that appears on Facebook. He reads his poems weekly at the Wolf Public House on Clayton Road in Chesterfield as well in private readings and parties. Terms of Interment, a novel by Toussaint, is available on Amazon. 44 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

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If Your Business Accepts Credit Cards, And You Haven't Looked Closely At Your Fees Lately BY LAURA & ED ABILEZ


. . . You Could Probably Save A Lot Of Money With A Broker

f you have a business that accepts credit cards, you are probably getting several calls daily from different card processors claiming they can save you money. How do you decide which processor is the best fit for your business? Doesn't each processor offer the same thing? We are the owners of St. Louis Merchant Services, brokers with over 20 years’ experience in the card processing industry, and we work with all of the top credit card processors such as First Data, Chase Paymentech, Global, and TSYS, to name just a few. As brokers, we remain unbiased, and therefore provide a huge advantage for business owners because our loyalty is to our clients, not to one particular processor. Every processor has their advantages, their quirks, and most important, their own incentives. Why do all of the research on your own? There is no fee for our research. We will do an analysis for you and compare the rates across the top processors mentioned above and more. We can recommend the right processor that is the best fit for your needs. We can also recommend the best way to electronically capture a credit card transaction, such as a terminal, POS system, online Gateway, virtual terminal, mobile pay, pay at the pump, or “Pay at the Table” devices. Over the years, we have discovered what merchants like and dislike about the big banks, as well as the processors. We have designed our business model the way we would want to be treated: “interchange plus” pricing, consistent pricing (month after month, year after year), no long-term contracts (we earn your business every month), no leases, no hidden fees, and most importantly, secure payment transactions. If your merchant services agent is through your bank, or an affiliate of your bank, is very likely that you see significant additional fees on your credit card transactions every month. These institutions have considerable overhead, and they look to maximize charges and fees to generate more income. By contrast, an independent expert who is unbiased and more selective in choosing the processor and technology your business wants can serve your needs at a considerably lower cost. Currently, one of the biggest problems in the credit card processing industry is surcharging. St. Louis Merchant Services

does not surcharge. If you think you may be paying surcharges, or just paying too much, we are here to help. We are committed to your company’s success. We work for our merchants 24/7/365 for all customer service and technical support needs, whenever you need it. Let us help you grow your business by finding you the best processor for your company, while you focus on running your business. We are here for you. We have no exit fees, so we are earning your business every day. If you like your current processor or POS system but do not have a local representative and would like one, please call us and we will be happy to work with you! You can call Ed or Laura Abilez to schedule a no-obligation, face-to-face meeting to go over your card processing statement in order to determine potential savings by having St. Louis Merchant Services represent your company for credit card processing. You can reach Ed or Laura at (636)591-5885 or (636)541-5455, and you can learn more about their services at: www.StLouisMerchantServices.com. clm St. Louis Merchant Services offers complete payments solutions: • Credit/Debit/EBT Card Terminals • Pay at the Table Terminals • POS Systems • Virtual Terminals • E-Commerce Gateway • MOTO Transactions • Mobile Payment Devices • Check Guarantee • Franchise Pricing • Charity Pricing • Gift/Loyalty Cards • Next Day Funding • Pay at the Pump • Contactless Payments: Apple Pay/Google Wallet • Merchant Cash Advance




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For Your Information

How to Lower Your Property Taxes BY STEVEN A. WEBER

Thousands of Home Owners Receive Tax Reductions. Will You Get Yours – and As Much As You Deserve?

CHANCES ARE THAT YOUR PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH. All St. Louis City and County properties were reappraised in 2015. This value was used to determine your property taxes for 2015 and will be used again in 2016. This appraised value is supposed to represent the market value of your home as of January 1, 2015. WHILE 2016 IS NOT A REASSESSMENT YEAR, PROPERTIES THAT WERE NOT APPEALED IN 2015, OR THAT HAVE SOLD SINCE THE MIDDLE OF 2015 CAN BE APPEALED IN 2016. Even if the assessor lowered the value of your home in response to current market, we have found that for many properties, they did not lower the value enough to reflect the actual changes in value based on recent sale prices of homes that are comparable with yours. In fact, since 2009 we have filed over 7,500 appeals in St. Louis County alone resulting in over $5,300,000 in tax savings to homeowners. The simple fact is – assessors make mistakes. They utilize mass appraisal techniques, market averages and neighborhood models to determine property values, which may not accurately reflect your property value. These errors and miscalculations end up costing you money year after year. A NO-RISK RESOURCE FOR HOMEOWNERS. You now have the opportunity to have your appraised value reviewed to determine if you are being fairly taxed based not on mass computer modeling, but on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. Our firm, PAR Residential, does all the work and only earns a fee if we are successful in lowering your taxes. All costs of the appeal are paid by PAR Residential including legal fees (our attorney bills

us at $250/hour) and appraisal (an independent appraisal would cost you $350). Here’s what we do: 1. Information gathering. PAR will gather information from County records, including the assessor’s “appraisal”, and set up a case file on your home. 2. Valuation. Beginning in 2016 and for each reassessment cycle PAR Residential will determine a fair appraised value for your property based on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. 3. Determination of assessment equity. We will compare our appraised value to the assessor’s appraised value to determine whether an appeal is necessary. If we determine the assessor’s appraised value is fair, we will notify you in writing that you are already paying the lowest possible property taxes and no appeal will be filed. There will be no cost to you for our time and efforts. 4. File your appeal before the July 11 deadline. If we determine that your property is over-valued by the assessor, our attorney will, at our expense, file an appeal on your behalf and provide the required information to the Board of Equalization. 5. Board of Equalization (BOE) hearings will take place July through August. The PAR Residential Team will attend the hearing and argue your case. We will mail the official BOE results to you in September and let you know if your appraised value has been reduced to a fair and appropriate amount, or if we need to continue your appeal to the State Tax Commission of Missouri. 6. Fee. Only if we are successful in achieving a reduction in your property’s appraised value will we earn a

fee, sharing equally in the tax savings (50/50). All of our work is performance based: NO SAVINGS, NO FEE. There are no additional costs to you for any of our work. We pay all costs of the appeal including legal and appraisal. Our invoice will be sent to you once tax rates are set in the fall of each year arriving about the same time you receive your reduced tax bill. You can learn more about saving money on your real estate taxes, the assessment and the appeal process by visiting www. parresidential.com. Interested in signing up? The enrollment process is quick and easy, visit our website and sign up online today! Specific questions can be answered by emailing them to info@parresidential. com or by calling PAR Residential at 314-454-0505 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. clm


Steven A. Weber is Partner – Director of Valuation at Property Assessment Review and PAR Residential. His team of experts has the experience, market and legal knowledge to achieve the biggest tax reduction possible on residential properties. He has been reducing property taxes for 30 years, and before that was a Senior Appraiser for St. Louis County for five years. Property Assessment Review is the leading property tax consulting firm in St. Louis, saving over $100 million for some of the region’s largest commercial taxpayers – the St. Louis Galleria, Solon Gershman, Duke Realty, Mills Properties and US Bank. In 2007, PAR created PAR Residential to represent homeowners in St. Louis County. PAR’s residential clients have saved over $5,300,000 in real estate taxes since 2009 with over 80% of appeals resulting in tax savings.

by William Lyman Thomas


any of us who have lived in the St. Louis area our whole lives don’t know much about our own history. We learn in school about world history, US history and facts about Missouri government, but very little is taught about the history of our own county. And newcomers to St. Louis generally know even less about the area. To help all of us feel more connected to our own community, County Living Publications has re-published The History of St. Louis County, Missouri by William Lyman Thomas, a 100-year old book that documents our history from the earliest settlers through the Civil War and into the first decade of the 20th century. It documents what life was like 100 years ago here - the towns, neighborhoods, schools, churches, social societies, government, businesses, transportation and amusements of the period, and thousands of the people who were active in these endeavors. This is a quality softbound book of over 500 pages, with more than 100 historic photographs. Now available at: Amazon.com Barnes & Noble Stores Book House in Maplewood Campbell House in Downtown St. Louis The Louisiana Purchase Gift Shop at Missouri History Museum Main Street Books in St. Charles Museum of Transportation Gift Shops in Kirkwood The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves Rose’s Book House in O’Fallon St. Louis Genealogical Society in Maplewood Subterranean Books in University City Webster Groves Bookshop World News in Clayton For more information, you can visit www.StLCountyHistory.com clm

Not Your Typical Road Trip County Living columnist

John Drake Robinson won an


for his unique travelogs based on his books.

Coastal Missouri and A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart

In this age of interstates and instant gratification, Robinson took the long way around the state, with his only constant companion: his car. “. . . we’ve dodged rabbits and turtles, texters and drunks. We’ve slid sideways in sleet, jumped curbs and low-water crossings. We’ve passed every pun on every roadside marquee, every time and temperature sign, every clip joint and carny barker and corn dog vendor, every barbeque shack and Tex-Mex taco stand. And we’ve stopped at most of ‘em.” Available at: Left Bank Books and other fine bookstores. Or on Amazon.com PHOTOS BY CHERYL ROBINSON

This Book Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis

Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog

SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 49

For Your Information

If You Have Real Estate for Sale,



An Auction Could Maximize Your Selling Price, Minimize the Time and Effort Required to Sell

here is a growing trend in real estate sales today – selling by Auction or Accelerated Marketing. And there are good reasons.

Demand for homes and other property types considerably exceeds supply in certain price ranges and areas. It is common for some properties to sell before they even hit the market, and if they do get listed, multiple offers are received in the first week, with buyers paying at or over list price. These owners are likely leaving money on the table by selling via a traditional listing. If you know that you might get three or four offers in a short period of time, consider selling your property by auction. Also, a property that has been unable to sell using a traditional listing can often stir new interest with an auction. Buyers involved are likely to bid the price up; the emotion and competition of the bidding help achieve that. Auction forces the buyer’s hand. And, there are other advantages to selling by auction. First, there is no ceiling on price – it is like selling a rare piece of art or a vintage automobile - actual demand is what sets the price. When property is marketed correctly, auction will tell you what the property is actually worth, an appraisal or “comparable market analysis,” is really just an opinion. When the winning bid is selected, the buyer puts 10% non-refundable down and the sale closes in two or three weeks. There are no contingencies for buyers’ inspections or financing that can bring the price down. Auction brings finality – you know when it will sell and when you will see your cash. Certain types of property have always primarily been sold by auction: 75% of farm property, and in Australia most single-family homes are sold by auction. And 25% of properties planned for auction sell before the

published auction date, often by a neighbor, a highly interested party or someone who has wanted to wait out the seller. Large properties or mixed-use properties can be broken into smaller parcels to attract more buyers and maximize the overall selling price. Buyers can buy all, part or specific use portions of the property . . . more options and price points means more buyers. More buyers mean a better price for the seller. In an absolute auction, the property will be sold to the highest bidder, no matter what. In a reserve auction, a minimum price is set. In a reserve auction, if the property is not sold at auction, it will often sell right afterwards to self-identified and motivated buyers. A live auction has all potential buyers in a room or connected by phone or proxy. In an online auction bids are received on an auction website. In a sealed bid auction, bids are due by a stated deadline. There are also hybrid auction approaches matched to the property type. If you are looking to maximize the amount you receive from property you plan to sell, and minimize the time and effort, you owe it to yourself to consider an auction approach that can achieve your goals. Bill Ziercher is CEO of United Select Properties. A professional who understands the auction process can give you the best advice on considering auction for selling your property. To discuss your property for sale and the best way to maximize your selling price, you can contact Bill at 314-412-3966. clm


AT A GLANCE… • International real estate company with 90-year history • Global network of more than 6,000 local professionals in 8 countries • Local presence in 600 markets with local offices from Maine to Los Angeles and New York to Sydney • Enhanced Marketing Solutions® – world’s largest real estate marketing services firm


• Largest portfolio of controlled-property marketing websites and indexed pages of any global real estate company • Over $100 billion in properties sold • Over 20 Specialty Property Groups (covering all major property types) led by international directors and staffed with renowned industry experts

TESTIMONIALS “We own and operate over a half million square feet of commercial and industrial real estate and are also developers of a destination resort. We have worked with dozens if not hundreds of real estate brokers and the SCS engagement team is second to none.” Owner of Resort, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

“Our property was on the market for over 18 months before we engaged SCS. We elected to sell the property via the auction method of marketing and had it sold within four months. We sold the property prior to the auction and were very impressed United could deliver results in such a timely and professional manner.” Director of the Arbuckle Retreat, Arbuckle, OK

“Handling the sale of a lodge and a large tract of merchantable and protected timberland is complicated. The expertise United brought to bear including timberland expertise and the ability to reach both the recreational buyer and investor buyer was impressive. We wanted to sell the property before the end of the year and they delivered.” Owner of International Timber Company

To receive an engagement and property evaluation please contact us:

Bill Ziercher

CEO, United Select Properties


REAL ESTATE MARKETING, BROKERAGE AND AUCTION SERVICES United Real Estate Group is uniquely positioned to market your distinctive, investment, operating or lifestyle property. United Strategic Client Services (SCS), specializes exclusively in the sale of high-value properties only working with a select group of clients at any given time to ensure your property sale receives the attention it deserves. SCS offers extraordinary marketing expertise and services for distinctive properties around the world. Our expertise in positioning, marketing, brokering and auctioning properties covers all property types from investment, agricultural and development land to luxury residences and commercial properties. As the seller, you and your property deserve the attention of a team of seasoned professionals equipped with a process that allows you to have visibility from start to finish…SCS is uniquely positioned to deliver both.

Mike Jones CAI, GPPA, BAS

President, United Strategic Client Services

214.945.4556 SPRING 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 51

Profile for County Living Magazine

County Living Magazine Spring 2016  

County Living Magazine Spring 2016