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Enjoy our Arts & Thoughts creative writing: SUMMER POEMS by George Bilgere RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel GOOD NEIGHBOR, BAD NEIGHBOR? by John Robinson

FEATURE ARTICLES: A Revolutionary New Approach to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis Improve Your Performance and Enjoyment of Sports Great Room Glory: Protecting Your Home from the Sun

For more resources, visit us online CountyLivingMag.com

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 3

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8 RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel 46 SUMMER POEMS by George Bilgere 49 GOOD NEIGHBOR, BAD NEIGHBOR? by John Robinson


10 Fiberglass Doors Provide Great Benefits to Your Home 12 Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Year 14 How Is Your Home Performing? 15 Custom Closet and Home Office Solutions 16 Custom Bathroom Remodeling Doesn’t Have to be a Mess or Cost a Fortune 17 Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout? 18 The Basement Egress Window


20 A Revolutionary New Approach to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis 22 Improve Your Performance and Enjoyment of Sports 23 Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change 24 Fun and Fitness In Your Own Backyard 24 If You Take Natural Supplements . . . Do You Know What’s In Them?

22 30


26 The Pleasure and Beauty of Professional Landscape Lighting 28 Discover A Better Alternative to Painting or Siding 30 Coming Home to Enjoy Outdoor Living in Their Town & Country Dream Home 32 Great Room Glory: Protecting Your Home from the Sun 34 Enjoy A Natural Water Feature in Your Own Yard 36 Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? 37 Do You Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? 38 Planting a Thriving Garden in Clay or Rocky Soil 40 Keeping Wooden Roofs Beautiful



42 If Your Business Accepts Credit Cards, A Broker Can Save You A Lot of Money 43 Get Dramatic Cost Savings on Your Cell Phone Bill 44 How to Get the Most Money for Your Property in the Shortest Period of Time


48 Late Summer/Early Fall Activities & Events Calendar 51 A Book that Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis


Publsher’s Message

Summer on the Upswing We always look forward to summer here in St. Louis. The season for families to spend more time outdoors, open up our homes and enjoy more recreation and relaxation. It’s nostalgic to remember all those great summers we lived as kids, enjoying barbecues, outdoor sports, hiking and biking in our neighborhoods. This year, I am happy to report that the economy is continuing to improve, both in the US and in the St. Louis region. Companies are expanding and hiring here, and home values are coming back. In fact, according to a report from the St. Louis Association of Realtors, the median home sales price in the St. Louis area increased 17% in April compared with April 2015. As a result of these positive trends, more homeowners are starting those remodeling and landscaping projects they have put off the last few years. And that means that many of the companies whose work you see featured in these pages are getting busier. So, if you are looking to get your kitchen or bathrooms updated, refresh you exterior, put on a new roof, garage door, patio or landscape lighting, you may want to make your call sooner rather than later. Have a great summer.




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

An outdoor room provides not only space to entertain, but as shown on the cover, it also offers a relaxing retreat after a long day. Heartlands Building Company captures that serenity in a newly completed outdoor living area at a home in Town & Country, complete with comforting fireplace. The room overlooks the nearby outdoor grilling and beverage area and additional bar seating, making it easy to picture oneself dozing off on an armchair with the savory scent of summer BBQ filling the air. Creating custom outdoor living areas in the metro St. Louis area for almost 15 years, Heartlands has received numerous awards and recognition from institutions including NARI, BBB, and Houzz. For more in-depth information, see their article on page 30, and their ad on page 35. Their portfolio can be viewed at www.heartlandshome.com, or you can contact them at 636-728-0003 to discuss what Heartlands can do for your home. 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



Missouri In The Middle t started with a trip my wife and I took to Marceline, Missouri in May. Walt Disney grew up on a farm there, honed his imagination, then moved to Kansas City to discover a mouse. After visiting the Disney Museum in Marceline, we headed south to Independence and spent the next day at the magnificent Harry Truman Library. If you think politics is ugly today, know that Harry had his share.


Jump forward three weeks now, to the third floor outdoor balcony of Lewis and Clark Restaurant in historic St. Charles. That’s where I had the good fortune to have lunch with distinguished author and adventurer John Robinson, whose column appears regularly in this magazine; and the publisher of County Living, Todd Abrams. Sometime between the arrival of my Arnold Palmer and my pulled pork daily special, a fascinating subject came up: The unique position Missouri holds in America. It’s a combination of the yin and yang of America, along with a diverse crop of men and women who had roots here, either by birth or residency. Putting it together, I realized we live at the cultural, historic and geographic crossroads of America. Let’s start with St. Louis and Kansas City, a contrast separated by more than the width of the state. St. Louis belongs to the East. Traditional, established, seasoned, energetic yet cautious. The Arch may be the Gateway to the West, but Kansas City is actually The West. Rugged, contemporary, confident, dotted with daring architecture and visionary endeavors. The contrast continues with the Civil War. The Blue and Gray not only battled here, but divided the State in sentiment and struggle. Sure, we voted to stay with the Union, but a large contingent of rebel-minded folks cheered for Robert E. Lee. We’re a Northern state, we’re a Southern state. It depends where you get off the train. Missouri is also home to the many faces of Nature: tornadoes, blizzards, bitter cold, sweltering heat; graceful springs and colorful autumns; streams, lakes, and rivers (the nation’s 3 greatest rivers meet here: the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio); flatlands and low mountains and gentle hills; and a plethora of wildlife. (I’ve always wanted to use “plethora” in a column). Now to mention some distinguished Missourians. This is where Mr. Robinson jumped in enthusiastically. I already told you about Truman and Disney. When it comes to literary lions,

consider Twain, T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Eugene Field and Mort Walker (writer AND cartoonist!). Key military leaders dating back to the Civil War include Grant, Sherman, Sterling Price, Pershing, and Omar Bradley. Let’s talk shopping. J. C. Penney was born on a farm in Caldwell County. There is no truth to the story that his first words were “Attention, J. C. Penney shoppers.” Harlow Shapleigh, an astronomer, was born on a farm in Nashville, Missouri, and a student at U. of Missouri. He correctly estimated the size of the Milky Way galaxy. And that was without any help from Google. Speaking of Google, I used it to find “Famous Missourians.” Here are a few favorites of mine I pass along - some familiar, some not. Josephine Baker, Susan Blow, Dale Carnegie (I should have read his book years ago), Walter Cronkite, George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Hart Benton, Edwin Hubble, Dred Scott, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Buck O’Neill, Stan Musial, Emmett Kelly, and, finally, two of my favorites, Betty Grable and Robert Heinlein. I’ve had a weakness for blondes and sci-fi authors. Okay, add Ginger Rogers. I’ve left out a lot of familiar names and influential people, especially politicians. Here’s what you can do to broaden your horizon, not that anything is wrong with your horizon. Google your way through the State’s history; take a trip to a small town; buy one of John Robinson’s entertaining and informative books; send me a check for $20 to further my literary career. (Just kidding about that last item.) On behalf of John, Todd and myself: Welcome to Missouri. 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


SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 9

Home Remodeling

Fiberglass Doors Provide Great Benefits to Your Home


re you looking for something that will add beauty, quality and value to your home? An attractive front entrance adds curb appeal and has been ranked the number one home improvement project for return on investment. An attractive front door which is also low maintenance and high performance would be even better! In 1983, Therma-Tru invented the fiberglass door. Fiberglass is the most advanced material for entryways because it offers the look of wood and the strength of steel without the limitations of either. The grain and stain of a traditional wood door can be very beautiful but over time, the wood can absorb moisture, bow, warp, fade or peel. On top of that it’s not the most energy

efficient and a nice one can be quite expensive. A steel door is lower maintenance and less expensive, but is easily dented, needs to be painted, and does not provide the look of a quality fiberglass door. A fiberglass door can be wood grain or smooth and painted or stained. It resists denting and scratching, won’t rot, deteriorate, or rust, and has five times the insulation value of wood. Because an entry door is a barrier between you and the elements, a frequent issue with entry doors is rotting of the frame. Not to worry, from the rot resistant jams to multi-point locking systems, each door from Heartlands Building Company is custom designed for your home. You can see displays of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors and other fine products in the Heartlands showroom at 680 Crown Industrial Ct., Chesterfield, MO 63005. clm

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2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 11

Home Remodeling

Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Summer 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 12 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 13

Home Remodeling

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. 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 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 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

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 SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 15

Home Remodeling


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

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.

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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

give your home a facelift • Kitchens • Bathrooms • Basements • Fitness Rooms • Fireplaces • Game Rooms • Entertainment Centers • Bars • Offices

Other Services We Provide: Hourly Projects & Repairs Tile, Drywall, Plumbing, Electric, Carpentry, & Much More

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 17

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 18 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Small-Duct A/C & Heating: Comfort and Efficiency for New and Old Homes



For homeowners who want to add central air to an older home, or who are designing a custom home, there’s an alternative to traditional metal ductwork. Small-duct systems are growing in popularity due to the comfort, efficiency and space-saving benefits they provide. The system can be installed with minimal disruption to a home’s architectural integrity. Architects love the design freedom and not having to build drop ceilings or soffits to hide bulky ductwork. Round, flexible tubes -- 2 or 2.5-inch diameter -- can be snaked above ceilings, below floors and in between walls, delivering air through round or slotted outlets. The outlets come in wood and metal finishes and can be painted to match any décor. The leading small-duct HVAC company, The Unico System, is headquartered right here in St. Louis (www.unicosystem.com). For a free in-home estimate, click on their Preferred Unico Contractor page to connect with one of these top local installers:


Dawson Dodd Heating & Cooling (South County) Martin-Jetco Heating & Air Conditioning (Fenton) Premier Heating & Cooling (St. Charles) Unique Heating and Cooling (Richmond Heights)



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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 19

Health & Fitness

A Revolutionary New Approach to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis New Treatment Center Now Open in Creve Coeur


steoporosis causes bones to become so weak or brittle that even a minor stumble can cause a bone fracture. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in three women and one in five men over age 50 will suffer from an osteoporotic break in their lives. At a microscopic level, healthy bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding, but the rebuilding process slows dramatically with age. People reach peak bone mass in their early 20s, and beginning in middle age bone density plummets because bone deteriorates faster than it can rebuild. For years, doctors have told patients that exercise such as walking, climbing stairs and lifting weights can help build bone density. However, recent research shows that exercise doesn’t build nearly as much bone density as was once thought. While it is good for overall health, exercise alone does very little to reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Intense weight bearing exercise does build bone mass, but the results are only notable with very high amounts of weight. The general thinking has been that the greater the pressure on the bone, the more the bone will respond by rebuilding itself. In 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General published a report saying in order to increase bone density an individual requires the pressure of multiples of their body weight. A peer-reviewed study in 1999 found that for a person to increase bone density faster than they are losing it requires resistance of at least 4.2 times their body weight. Based on this research, Dr. John Jaquish in 2011 designed a device that could create the ideal set of triggers to safely build new bone. His patented machine provides brief, safe osteogenic events that take less than 10 sweat-free minutes a week, yet are powerful enough to prevent osteoporosis—and even

reverse it. Osteogenic loading goes beyond the minimum established trigger for building bone, and when done properly, it can improve bone  density, strength and balance. Back Pain Osteoporosis International, a global Joint Pain multi-discipline journal, sponsored Loss of Flexibility by both the International Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Loss of Joint Motion Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA, Nerve Damage  published Jaquish’s 2013 study showLoss of Reaction Time ing that bone density improved 7.34 percent between the spine and hip Change in Posture _-m] over one year of treatment. Decreased Balance Another study conducted by the government of Great Britain includLoss of Strength ed 52 post-menopausal women who showed an average increase in bone density of over 9% in the lumbar region. This study showed far greater increases than any other bone-building approach in an analysis of 152 studies. Wellness company OsteoStrong began offering Dr. Jaquish’s patented osteogenic loading system in local centers across the United States in September 2012, and to date thousands of people have experienced the benefits. A ten-minute session is primarily Osteogenic loading in four different positions — loading the chest, leg/hips, core and spine which triggers an adaptive response in bones and muscles. This loading is in safe, optimal positions and self-imposed for maximum impact. OsteoStrong also uses a vibrating plate before and after for stimulation, muscle memory and stretching. The first OsteoStrong center in the St. Louis area is now open in Creve Coeur at 12333 Olive Blvd, just west of Highway 270. You can call them at 314-300-6902 to schedule your first free session, which includes a complimentary bone density scan. For those looking to prevent fractures and increase bone density, OsteoStrong may be the answer. You can learn more about OsteoStrong, view members’ testimonials and schedule your complimentary session at http://www.osteostrongstlouis.com. clm

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“OsteoStrong’s bioDensity™ machine is a very effective modality for improving endurance, strength, and bone mass. It’s a fast and efficient way of improving muscle and bone strength. It also provides a predictable and measured change in muscle and bone mass. Functional and daily activities improve with bioDensity™ training.” – Dr. Raj M. Singh, Double Board Certified, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation “OsteoStrong’s bioDensity™ training represents a new, leading-edge approach to increase strength and bone density gains for the aging, sports performance, and de-conditioned markets. We are committed to working with Performance Health Systems to manage the evidence-based research process through accredited research institutions, both in the sports science and medical communities.” – Dr. Michael Clark, Founder, National Academy of Sports Medicine 20 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

With honesty and integrity our goal is to provide you with the very highest quality and longest lasting copper work possible. We believe it truly matters, so all of our work is done by our own team.

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 21

Health & Fitness

Improve Your Performance and Enjoyment of Sports BY BRET KLIETHERMES


A personal trainer can make the difference.

hether you are a “weekend warrior” at golf or tennis, or a serious runner, you may find you have reached a plateau where your game or times aren’t improving as you would like. Or that the weekly activity leaves your muscles more sore than when you were younger, and those extra pounds you’ve put on also aren’t helping your performance. There is an important step you can take that is guaranteed to improve your performance, and will also make you feel and look better. By adding to your weekend sports just a couple focused training sessions during the week, you can improve your strength, flexibility and balance that can drive improved athletic performance. And being in better shape can also increase your energy, alertness, appearance and enjoyment. Think about golf or tennis. As we get older, we lose muscle mass and flexibility that limit range of motion. Sometimes when you see older players they seem to chop at the ball, instead of having a smooth long stroke that requires greater range of motion. Focused strengthening and stretching routines with a trainer can meaningfully improve your strength, range of motion and balance, for longer drives, more powerful tennis strokes and greater mobility overall. Improving leg muscle strength increases endurance and ability to run greater distances. But being successful is not just about "trying" to get more exercise, joining a health club, or buying some miraculous new piece of exercise equipment or dietary supplement. What you really want is expert training that will put your through the specific motions that will improve your performance. Most people just don’t have the expertise or discipline to know how to accomplish these goals by themselves. As with any really important endeavor, many things you

don’t know can keep you from getting where you want to go. There are techniques to help you get started and to make real progress on a balanced exercise program. These will enable you to see and feel results early in the process, without becoming discouraged or hurting yourself. An effective coach gives you hands-on supervision, encouragement and also a sense of accountability that make sure you stick with your program in the critical first weeks when you will start to see and feel results. With the right guidance, you very soon get in the groove where the new habits become self-perpetuating and you have the momentum to keep going to achieve your goals. Bret Kliethermes is owner of Strong Human Fitness LLC, a personal training company that offers Complete Fitness Programs to help his clients reach their personal health and fitness goals. Bret has a Bachelors of Science in Health & Wellness Promotion from Missouri State University, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Professional member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Bret offers private and semi private training to fit all budgets and schedules. For a no obligation, no pressure consultation to discuss your goals and their programs to help you achieve them, you can call Bret at 314-691-9040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com, or visit www.stronghumanfitness.com. Bret works with clients in private and semi private training at The Fitness Partner Inc., a boutique gym located in the Corporate Plaza Building at 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 22 years they have offered members a private alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and overcrowded. Owner/operator Randy Stone has more than 25 years of personal training experience, knows all members by name, and can be found in the gym 6 days a week. They offer 3, 6 and 12-month memberships to fit your needs. 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


Champion Floor Company is the hardwood floor experts. They install the full range of new hardwood floors, and offer all options for restoring and protecting wood floors. Only Champion refinishes and recoats with UV-curing, for a durable, commercial-grade, scratch-resistant finish and immediate use – no waiting. Champion also offers eco-friendly, dust-free Bona Atomic® Dust Containment Sanding. High-powered vacuum eliminates dust.

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 23

Health & Fitness

Natural Fun and Fitness in Supplements, Your Own Backyard If You Take

Do You Really Know What’s in Them?


ore and more people are taking natural nutrition supplements. Over 35 million adults in the US take them, up 33% from 2010. And users are enthusiastic, saying that herbal supplements are a very important part of how they maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, recent investigations have uncovered surprising problems with well-known brands of herbal products sold in prominent national retailers – GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Four of the five products tested did not include ANY of the herbs listed on their labels. And hidden ingredients and contaminants that could be dangerous to people with allergies were found in some of the tested supplements. So how can you make sure the supplements you buy contain the claimed ingredients, and are safe? We are really dependent on manufacturers themselves to guarantee ingredients and purity. It is important to do your research and choose only reputable companies that do quality controls on their products. Shaklee is one company that for over 100 years has been a pioneer in natural nutrition and health. In 1915, Dr. Forrest Shaklee invented one of the first multivitamin supplements in the world. Over the years they have introduced natural supplements to address a range of health issues, weight control, skin care as well as safe, non-toxic products for cleaning your home. Before any ingredient goes into a Shaklee supplement, it goes through a stringent screening process – even beyond the standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). They conduct thousands of tests a year. Also, Shaklee products are not sold on store shelves, but are represented by individuals who believe that nature holds answers to a long and healthy life, and who offer personalized guidance to select products that can help you and your family achieve that goal. Angela Thomas has used Shaklee products since childhood, and is a Health and Wellness Consultant and Independent Distributor of Shaklee products in a business of her own. For a no-obligation consultation on natural nutrition, non-toxic cleaning, skin care or weight loss, you can call Angie at 314-3225216, or contact her by email at angelaothomas@gmail. com, or learn more about her at angelaothomas.myshaklee. com. clm


recent headline read: “Kids Spend Nearly 55 Hours a Week Watching TV, Texting, and Playing Video Games”. This is a real study based on Nielsen ratings and a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This means kids have less time and attention for exercise, fresh air and active sports skills development and can also lead to obesity and ADHD. If you would like to provide your whole family with fun, healthful exercise and a way to learn and play their favorite sports right at home, a backyard game court could be the answer. Families in the greater St. Louis area have discovered that installing a court in their yard promotes a healthy lifestyle, offers endless entertainment, a safe gathering place for kids and their friends to play, and quality time for families to reconnect. A backyard court provides a versatile space where many sports activities can be played, including basketball, tennis, volleyball and roller hockey. For solo practice, you can add a multi-purpose rebounder for tennis, soccer or a baseball pitch back. The courts are completely self-draining, so they dry immediately after the rain has stopped. Courts are lowmaintenance, durable and have a cushioned surface designed to prevent pain and injuries that can result from playing on a hard surface. Courts are designed in a choice of colors, custom-built to fit your backyard and come with a fifteen year warranty. To get started on your sports project you can call Jeff Ott, owner of HOMECOURT SPORTS, the St. Louis area leader in backyard game courts. You can reach Jeff at 314-374-3030, or visit them online at www.homecourtstl.com. clm




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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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. TU6 clm 26 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 27

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


SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 29

Landscapes & Exteriors

Coming Home to Enjoy Outdoor Living in Their Town & Country Dream Home BEFORE



efore purchasing their home in 2014, Paul Wirth had longed to return to those same neighborhoods where he spent his childhood. He remembers pumping gas at the family gas station off Clayton Road just east of Mason. “I grew up in Town & Country, and my wife Shannon grew up in St. Louis as well.,” says Paul. “We were looking for a ranch home in a specific location and fortunately we found both. Our home backs to park, exactly what we hoped to find.” The Wirths had many ideas and dreams about how to improve the exterior of their home. “Shannon and I wanted to create outdoor living spaces that encompassed the park-like setting we live in. Call us crazy, but being outside is just as important, if not more so, as being inside,” says Paul. The Wirths contacted a locally renowned designer and builder of outdoor living areas, Heartlands Building Company. Larry Brost, owner of Heartlands, recalls from the initial meeting with Paul and Shannon that they truly wanted something special. The scope of work was developed and refined through design meetings to capture how the Wirths wanted to enjoy their outdoors and how it also needed to complement the natural setting of their home. To create that perfect backyard setting, Heartlands designed and constructed an outdoor room to fit the available backyard space and integrate with the surroundings. The design included stone columns and fireplace, a custom wood ceiling, lighting and of course a large-screen TV and sound for enjoying the Cardinals in the Fall Classic. Finishing off their dream backyard, a stone and granite Lshaped gilling, beverage, and seating area, complete with beverage dispenser was added a few steps away. Paul and Shannon love gathering with family and friends or simply enjoying the peacefulness of the setting.

With designs for the outdoor livings areas completed, the focus shifted to redesigning the front elevation of their home. Before and after photos tell the story, but the Wirths’ goal was to evoke a special feeling when driving up to their home at the end of the day. Modifications to the front elevation included reframing and updating the roof lines with taller gables, updating the soffits and overhangs, adding natural stone and extending the front porch, which simply invites you home and, of course, a new front entry door. Choosing Heartlands for their project is a decision the Wirths do not regret. According to Paul, “The entire Heartlands team was respectful and professional, especially Adam Twellman, Project Manager and owner. Their work is first class and Adam cared as much about the end product as we did.” Adam responded by saying, “It was essential to Heartlands that the Wirths be pleased with the addition and improvements to their home and setting. As we move through any project we take the perspective – What would we do if this was our home? – as our moral compass, which keeps us focused on quality and value.” Returning to the serene grounds that surround their beloved neighborhood park, Paul and Shannon are able to say with pride that their property now contributes to the area’s true beauty. Heartlands’ work, in combination with the striking landscaping, allows them enjoy their own outdoor oasis each day. Shannon added, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the renovation,” when asked about their idyllic “stay-cation” home right inside their dream neighborhood. Heartlands Building Company can transform your house into your dream home, too. To see examples of their completed projects, you can visit their Chesterfield showroom at 680 Crown Industrial Ct. or their website at www.heartlandshome.com, and to discuss your project and arrange a visit to your home, you can call 636-728-0003 for a consultation. 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.

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 31

Landscapes & Exteriors

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


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



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Stanton Rail SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 33

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

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 35

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


SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 37

Landscapes & Exteriors

Planting a Thriving Garden in Clay or Rocky Soil . . . and solutions for areas where grass won’t grow


any homeowners that hang from the stalks like wheat. It can grow in hot have the disappoint- environments that are almost completely rock. Fame BY STEVE CALLOWAY ment in the prime flower is a succulent looking plant with pink flowers. summer growing Rose verbena has long-lasting big pink blooms, one of season of areas of their property where they would like the only native plants with consistent blooms. It is a to have lush flowering gardens, but the soil is too poor low-growing plant that is good for borders or along a to get most plants to rock wall. Penstemon grow. In the St. Louis cobaea has large purple area these are primarflowers that bloom in ily due to harsh soil late spring and early that either has excessummer, with a large sive clay or too many mouth for bumblebees rocks to grow the to crawl into. same plants, shrubs or Shady areas where grasses that thrive in grass won’t grow are different soil. another problem many You have the option St. Louis homeowners GARDEN IN HEAVY CONDENSED CLAY of digging out and have in summer. While replacing the probit appears that exceslematic soil, but this sive shade is the probtakes time, disrupts lem, often the issue is your yard and can get that tree roots suck the very expensive. Based needed nutrients from on research and years the soil. An organic lawn of experience, I would treatment that uses nonlike to share with you synthetic nutrients can ways that my commake the difference that pany Garden Green has will enable grass to suchad very good results cessfully root and thrive. in poor soil by usAnother approach is ing native plants that to create a mulch bed have evolved to thrive under the trees for a in these conditions, perennial garden, using SHADY ROCKY SLOPE ROCKY CLAY SOIL providing attractive nourishing compost colorful gardens in spring, summer and early fall. instead of bark mulch to create a rich soil that enables For clay soil, here are a variety of colorful plants that perennial flowers and shrubs to really thrive. can grow successfully. Amsonia illustris produces a blue flower that is very attractive to butterflies. Liatris has Steve Calloway is owner of Garden Green Horticulture nice pink flowers. Butterfly milkweed is an orange flow- Service. They help homeowners select the plants, trees and ering plant that stands out and provides a nectar source shrubbery that best meet their aesthetic desires and that that is very attractive to monarch butterflies. Grayhead will thrive in their sunlight, soil and moisture conditions. coneflower is a tall flowering plant with yellow petals They also work to revitalize and restore gardens, to help that provides height for the garden. homeowners with the changes that will make their yards For rocky soil, threadleaf bluestar amsonia hubrichtii better year after year. is a smaller plant with thread-like foliage and a blue You can call or email Steve for a complimentary consultaflower that is great for attracting butterflies. The foliage tion in your yard, to identify your plants and advise on how takes on a nice golden color that lasts through the fall. to keep them healthy and looking their best. You can reach Sideoats grama grass is a nice short grass with seeds Steve at 314-288-5036 or garden_green@live.com.clm 38 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM


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When you need a new or replacement roof - cedar shake, slate, composite, tile or asphalt shingle – call Aspen Touch LLC Restoration Consulting & Design, the third-generation St. Louis contractor and consumer advocate for homeowners. Whether the need is from normal wear or wind or hail damage, we have the experience to determine whether your roof can be restored or needs replacing. Our company is the St. Louis expert in roof restoration, replacement, cleaning and sealing. We are consumer advocates for homeowners, helping guide you through the insurance claim process and assisting you in getting the maximum benefit your policy allows. Before contacting your insurance company, contact us for a free evaluation and consultation on your home’s exterior and any storm damage. Inspire® Aledora

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 39

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Landscapes & Exteriors

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COURTwith SIZE: 30’ Xshow 50’ signs of mildew or have lost or darken mold, “Installing a game court in my back yard is one o COURT SIZE: 30’ protection from the elements. SIZE: 30’X X50’ 50’ “Installing a game court indecisions my back yard is one ofCOURT the best Our I’ve ever made. children enjoy countl COURT SIZE: 30’ COURT SIZE: 30’X X50’ 50’ decisions I’ve ever made. Our children enjoy countless hours Wood surfaces that are unprotected degrade from expoCOURT SIZE: 27’ X 30’ of 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 sure also to ultraviolet the sun.and These harmful we’re also able to use itrays for tennis, h basketball, we’re ablebasketball, to uselight it for from tennis, hockey “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 SIZE: 30’ X 50’ rollerblading. Theuneven surface provides softer impact turn bare wood dark, dull and in color. Rainapendecisions rollerblading. I’ve everCOURT made. Our children enjoy countless hoursimpact concrete 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 your knees a etrates wood, itmade to swell. Then blisteringfor heat Working with Jeff Ott and Homecourt Sports the entire basketball, we’re also able to usethe it for tennis, causing hockey and COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ 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 from the sun dries it. This cycle can cause wood to warp, concreteILand whichbeyond is less my traumatic for your knees and joints. Based in Waterloo, expectations.â€? project a entire breeze.BEFORE They were professional and delive Working with Jeff Ott and Homecourt Sports made the COURT SIZE: 30’ X 50’ 314-374-3030 618-939-1542 - Darin Lee splinter andand crack. Moisture can make cedar and other Based in Waterloo, IL project a breeze.BEFORE They were BEFORE professional and delivered above beyond my also 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 woods conducive to mold and mildew. 2011 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee 314-374-3030 618-939-1542 - 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’ Unlike most other building materials, exCollinsville High School Varsityhowever, Basketball Coach WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM 866-51-court We repair cracks and fill toLL low spots, then resurface2011 with Illinois Basketball COURT SIZE:wood 30’ X and 50’ Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Free 866-51-court Tennis Courtlooks Renovation 2011 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame new tile which and plays great, ideal for older tennis teriors can be restored and maintained through proper care Tennis Court Renovation WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM 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 and treatment. Preserving wood protects it from moisture Tennis Court Renovation WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM We repair cracks and filljoint lowstress spots, then resurface with then resurface pains. Water drains through tile and off thespots, court. Court Renovation We repair cracks and fill low BEFORE with 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 through fill low spots, then resurface with and sunlight, and helps it last twice, even three times as Eliminates constant repairs with aJEFBM 15and year limited pains. Water drains tilejoint and off the court. OFX UJMF XIJDI MPPLT BOE QMBZT HSFBU  GPS PMEFS UFOOJT 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. long. This extended life makes BEFORE cedar roofs, wood siding and WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Tennis Court Renovation courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and warranty andTVSGBDF 25-30 year lifethrough expectancy, BEFORE DPVSUT 5IJT SFEVDFT KPJOU BOE BDIFT BOE courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches BEFORE and pains. Water drains tile and off the court. QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT pains. Water drains through tileTUSFTT and off 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 the court. QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT DPOTUBOUSFQBJSTXJUIBZFBSMJNJUFEXBSSBOUZBOE Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with awith 15 year limited Eliminates constant repairs a 15 year limited decks cost-effective building solutions. We repair cracks and fill low spots, then resurface with pains. Water drains through tile and off the court. We repair cracks and fill life low spots, then resurface with ideal warranty and 25-30 year expectancy, DPOTUBOUSFQBJSTXJUIBZFBSMJNJUFEXBSSBOUZBOE Eliminates constant repairs with a BOE 15 year limited new tile which and plays for older tennis 8F SFQBJS DSBDLT žMM MPX TQPUT  UIFO SFTVSGBDF 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, The experts at Aspen Touch Cedar Restoration & Instalnew tile which looks plays great, ideal for older tennis new looks and plays great, ideal and for older tennis Eliminates repairs with aJEFBM 15and year limited WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM OFX UJMF 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 lation have warranty and 25-30 life expectancy, DPVSUT 5IJT TVSGBDF SFEVDFT KPJOU BOEthe BDIFT BOE more than 25 years of experience in preserving, 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 and off the court. We repair cracks and fill low spots, then with limited repairing Eliminates constant repairs a through 15resurface year QBJOT8BUFSESBJOTUISPVHIUJMFBOEPGGUIFDPVSU&MJNJOBUFT We repair cracks and fill low spots, then with Tennis Court Renovation Eliminates constant repairs with a 15 year limited and replacing wood roofs, natural wood siding and 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 filland low spots, warranty and 25-30 year life courts. This surface reduces jointand stress aches and then resurface with AFTER ZFBSMJGFFYQFDUBODZ pains. Water drains through tile and off the life court.expectancy, warranty and 25-30 year uses a high pressure wash to remove algae, moss and lichen, AFTER pains. Water drains through and off thegreat, court. ideal for older tennis new tile which looks Eliminates constant repairs with atile 15and yearplays limited WWW.HOMECOURTSTL.COM Putting Green Eliminates constant repairs with a 15 year limited AFTER returning wood to its natural color. Shingles are repaired, warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, courts. This surface reduces joint stress and aches and Putting Golfers, we’ll help designGreen your own Bullseye Homegolf professional AFTER AFTER warranty and 25-30 year life expectancy, replaced and nailed as needed. Finally, a quality sealer/stain is Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’ll Green pains. Water drains through Putting tile and offwe’ll thehelpcourt. Golfers, design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional AFTER Tennis Court Renovation Putting Green build it. we’ll Golfers, help design your ownAstroturf. Bullseye Homegolf professional Putting Green with Select the level of difficulty and we’ll Putting Green applied. This restoration is also effective for asphalt roofs. Eliminates constant repairs with a 15 year limited We repair cracks and fill low spots, then resurface with Golfers, we’ll help design yourSelect own Bullseye Putting Green with the level Homegolf of difficultyprofessional and we’ll Putting Green build it. Astroturf. Golfers, help Select designthe your Bullseye Homegolf professional Putting Green with we’ll Astroturf. levelown of difficulty and we’ll build it.ideal AFTER Aspen Touch is also expert in installing new cedar 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 Golfers,Green we’ll help yourSelect own Bullseye with design Astroturf. the level Homegolf of difficultyprofessional 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 shake roofs, siding and They can help you make build it. Green AFTER Green courts. stress and aches 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 informed decisions about preserving the beauty and value pains. Water drains through tile off the court. with Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’ll QSPGFTTJPOBM1VUUJOH(SFFOXJUI"TUSPUVSG4FMFDUUIFMFWFMPG Putting Green Putting Green Putting Green AFTER pains. Water drains through tile and off the court. ElimiEJGžDVMUZBOEXFÂľMMCVJMEJU build it. a Golfers, of your wood exteriors. You can call them at 636-458Eliminates constant repairs with 15 year limited we’ll help design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional (PMGFST repairs XFÂľMM IFMQ EFTJHO PXO #VMMTFZF )PNFHPMGand nates constant with a 15ZPVS year limited warranty PuttingPutting GreenGreen8878, with Astroturf. the level Green of difficulty and we’ll QSPGFTTJPOBM1VUUJOH(SFFOXJUI"TUSPUVSG4FMFDUUIFMFWFMPG Putting email Select aspentouch.rick@gmail.com or visit their AF and 25-30 year life expectancy, AFTER 25-30 yearEJGžDVMUZBOEXFÂľMMCVJMEJU life warranty expectancy. Golfers, we’ll help build it. design your own Bullseye Homegolf professional Golfers, we’ll Putting Green with Astroturf. Select the level of difficulty and we’llhelp design website www.aspentouch.com. clm your own Bullseye Homegolf prA 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 40 | COUNTY LIVING magazine WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM Putting Green build it. help design your own Bullseye Homegolf pr Putting Green with Astroturf.Golfers, Select thewe’ll level 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

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SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 41

For Your Information

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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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

y now, everyone who needs a cell phone already has one. So the carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile – can only grow by attracting customers from their competitors. They are offering their best rates to these new customers. To prevent their own users from defecting, they are reducing some rates for them. But most customers have not received the full reductions available. So how can you know whether you are getting the best rate - to realize the greatest savings? Monthly bills are hard to figure out - complex language and excessive unneeded information don’t make clear what you are being charged for. And, calling your carrier with billing questions often means long wait times and more confusion about their offerings. Now there is a service that at no cost will review your cell phone bill and figure out the best rate – from your own provider, without extending your contract or purchasing a new phone. Our company, ReviewMyBill.com, has achieved dramatic reductions in monthly costs for businesses and individual cell phone users that customers would not have achieved on their own. Based on fifteen years of experience in the wireless industry, we have developed a proprietary and automated process for matching users’ cell phone needs with the best financial plan available for each line’s usage. The process is simple – you can just log onto ReviewMyBill. com to receive a free, no-obligation savings quote. This provides a customized rate plan with the maximum savings possible for you. We will then contact the carrier on behalf of the customer to implement the changes. Our fee is based on what we save you – if there is no savings, there is no cost to you.

Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 43

For Your Information

If You Will Be Selling Your Home . . . BILL ZIERCHER



Here’s how to get the most money for your property in the shortest period of time


oday’s technology tools have changed the way people shop for their next home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 98% of all buyers now begin their search on the Internet. As a result, the Web is now the number one source of buyer leads. A few tactics that prospective buyers use may include organic search with key terms, websites for individual homes for sale, specialty websites such as those that appeal to interests as in golfing, luxury communities by name and social media. If you’re planning to sell your home in 2016 and your goal is to achieve the best price in the shortest amount of time, it is imperative to enlist a real estate firm that masters online strategies for today’s market. In addition, one that embraces grassroots approaches and relationships. At United Select Properties we are experienced in creating customized multifaceted programs. First, we will assist you in presenting your home in the most positive way by professional photos, video, staging, and overall appearance. Secondly, we will ensure the best pricing by thorough market data research regarding supply and demand in today’s competitive market. Bottom line, we identify the most qualified buyers in order to increase competition for your property. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.” We are good at what we do; it's about putting the “real” back into real estate, and you, our client. Most of the larger national real estate firms tend to have one consistent template that applies across all offices and properties, limiting the ability of Realtors to be creative and think out of the box. The key is to

implement non-traditional approaches that most effectively address 2016 trends. One of our most beneficial listing tools that United offers is our one of a kind approach called ‘Accelerated Marketing’, which combines traditional tools and auction. This fast-paced program is all about results and achieving top dollar by increasing competitive bids in a shorter amount of time. The key to United's success is our overall commitment, innovative approach and nononsense attitude. Bill Ziercher is CEO and Janice Nolan is Managing Broker at United Select Properties. For a free consultation on marketing your distinctive estate or rural property, you can contact Bill at 314.412.3966. For residential homes you can call Janice Nolan at 314-779-6321. You can learn more about their firm at www.URESelectProperties.com. clm




Your own 371± acre secluded valley sprawling ranch house, trophy whitetail property or turnkey cattle operation, marketable timber, year round spring and water, grass airstrip and much more. $974,800

#3 Upper Whitmoor, luxury home on gated street in a 36-hole golf community. All brick 1.5 story, 6 BR, 10 BA, 11,000± sq ft on 3± acre wooded lot. $1,749,000 Traditional and auction listing



Ultimate retreat property, main lodge is over the top, guest log cabin, food plots, spring fed pond and streams, skeet/trap/long-range rifle ranges, available turnkey. $1,995,000

7.36± acres, up to 18 single-family lots, development is close to being built out, homes in the $300-500,000 range. Improvements and utilities running to site. Contract and closed prior to scheduled auction date. Auction listing



These 280± recreational acres have it all, 5± acre lake and 1/2 acre stocked pond, farmhouse, CRP and timber income, food plots are in, strong turkey and whitetail densities with good genetics. $769,000

1,680± acres, in three parcels, 683± and 315± acre turn-key bison ranches sold at auction. 680± acre tract with 70± acre lake and main lodge is available for $2,199,000. Traditional and auction listing



Gorgeous property, 220± acres with fully renovated two-story historic brick home, year round spring fed creek. Income from row crops, CRP and timber, great deer and turkey $769,000

Built in 1925, overlooking the Mississippi, 18,000± sq ft of living space, and carriage house with living quarters, contract and closed prior to scheduled auction date. Traditional and auction listing

Rural properties are co-marketed with:

Bill Ziercher, CEO, United Select Properties SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 45

314-412-3966 | Ziercher59@gmail.com | www.URESelectProperties.com

Arts & Thoughts


DOGGY DIP Each year in our town, after the public pool has had its last sad day of summer, and the umbrellas have been folded and the gods and goddesses have come down from their lifeguard chairs, we hold the annual Doggy Dip. For once the gate of heaven, with its NO DOGS sign, is open to our local beagles and boxers, our setters and spaniels, our snooty pugs, and tough, blue-collar shepherds, and the whole furry cacophony of mutts and mixes and mongrels.

ANYWHERE The boy’s been on the computer all morning playing virtual baseball, July sliding by in a huge yellow silence beyond the window as he clicks the keyboard to send the phantom players running the base paths under a virtual sky in a nameless city’s digital summer. Naturally, I brood about this as I work in the garage at fixing his bike’s out-of-whack derailleur. In my day, I find myself starting to say, before my father’s fossil phrase catches in my craw—

Every nation has its holy days, its resurrections and atonements, its feasts and fasts, its gloomy penitents flogging themselves bloody on even the nicest afternoons.

Better to speak with this tool in my hand, this old-fashioned screwdriver, its Phillips head buried in the steel crux of the material world, the torque flowing from my old-fashioned wrist

Give me the Doggy Dip any day, the public waters churning with happy pooches, purified and absolved of all their doggy sins, ready for another year of biting the postman, peeing on the rug,

so chain will rise from sprocket, and power from a boy’s legs will carry him from home and down the afternoon street to nowhere in particular, or anywhere: places I used to head for on a summer day.

howling in the middle of the night at something we can no longer see, or hear, or even remember. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins has described the poetry of George Bilgere as “a breath of fresh air in the house of American poetry.” Bilgere’s most recent book is Imperial (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014). Other books include The White Museum (Autumn House Press), Haywire (winner of the May Swenson Poetry Award in 2006) and The Good Kiss (University of Akron Press, 2002). Bilgere has received awards and fellowships from the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Society of Midland Authors, the Ohio Arts Council, the Ohioana Poetry Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He has given readings at the Library of Congress, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and at schools, libraries, and arts centers around the country. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Southern Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, River Styx, New Ohio Review, Field, Shenandoah, Sewanee Review, and many other journals and anthologies. Bilgere’s poems are often heard on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program, The Writer’s Almanac. He has been a featured guest on A Prairie Home Companion. To learn more about George Bilgere or purchase copies of his books, you can visit www.georgebilgere.com. 46 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM


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Weekend Getaways

County Living Magazine Late Summer/Early Fall Activities & Events advantage of these wonderful annual events. Make this the year you get out beyond your own Take neighborhood and enjoy the special festivals and entertainment events across the St. Louis metro area. St. Louis County Parks Food Truck Fest

7/27 - Creve Coeur Park 8/5 - Laumeier Sculpture Park 8/11 - Faust Park 8/24 - Creve Coeur Park 9/2 - Laumeier Sculpture Park 9/8 - Faust Park 9/13 - Tilles Park stlouisco.com/parks/faust

Festival of Nations

August 27&28 Tower Grove Park festivalofnationsstl.org

Great Forest Park Balloon Race

September 16-17 Forest Park greatforestparkballoonrace.com Taste of St. Louis

Japanese Festival

September 16-18 Chesterfield Amphitheater tastestl.com

Grooving in the Garden with Ashley Lusk Sept 3-5 MO Botanical Garden mobot.org

Kirkwood Greentree Festival

St. Louis Art Fair

August 12 The Magic House magichouse.org Festival of the Little Hills

September 9-11 Downtown Clayton culturalfestivals.com

September 16-18 Kirkwood Park greentreefestival.com

Loufest Webster Groves Jazz Festival

August 19-21 Frontier Park St. Charles festivalofthelittlehills.com

September 10-11 Forest Park loufest.com 48 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

September 17 Downtown Webster Groves oldwebsterjazzfest.com

Arts & Thoughts


Take the Test


e love our friends from across town. Lovely couple. But every time they visit us, they complain about their neighbors. Finally we called their bluff, and gave them the Great American Neighbor Quiz, 14 pseudoscientific scenarios we made up out of thin air to test their neighborliness. Record your numbers for each question, add and divide by 14 and see how you stack up: Your neighbor installs outdoor security cameras, and you notice that one camera is pointed at your property. You 1) say nothing, happy for the extra security; 2) tell the neighbor to point the camera in a different direction; 3) dress up in costumes and perform goofy skits for the camera. You notice your neighbor’s house is on fire. You 1) call 911; 2) run outside to turn your garden hose on the flames; 3) get ready to roast marshmallows. Your neighbors invite you to a meeting to organize a Neighborhood Watch Program. You 1) offer to host the meeting; 2) send regrets that you cannot attend, but offer support; 3) threaten to sue if somebody puts one of those ugly Neighborhood Watch signs in your yard. On the weekend you’re hosting a birthday party, your neighbor schedules a yard sale. You 1) tell them you can’t wait to get some bargains; 2) ask if you can sell a couple of items; 3) put up no parking signs in front of your house. Your neighbor builds a new privacy fence that will shut off sunlight to your garden. You 1) say nothing and move your garden; 2) write a terse note calling your neighbor selfish and unfeeling; 3) tell the authorities you think you saw somebody carrying suspicious packages into your neighbor’s house. Your neighbor fires up the barbecue grill, and it bathes your patio—and you—in smoke. You 1) retreat indoors until the barbecue is done; 2) drop a hint to the neighbor that your smoky clothes sure smell good; 3) send your neighbor the dry cleaning bill. You look out your front window at the icy street and see a car sliding out of control. It sideswipes your neighbor’s car and keeps going down the street. You 1) run outside to get the description of the car; 2) call your neighbor to report the hit-and-run; 3) go out and move your car off the street.

Your neighbor’s daughter wins the lead role in “My Fair Lady” and your daughter is crushed that she didn’t get the part. You 1) call to congratulate your neighbor’s daughter; 2) console your daughter and counsel her on being gracious; 3) call a friend on the school board to find out if the play’s director has psychological problems. A storm knocks out power to your neighborhood, but you have a gasoline-powered generator for backup. You 1) fire up the generator and invite the neighbors over to keep warm; 2) lock the doors and cook a big pot of stew for yourself; 3) fly to the Bahamas. Neighborhood kids kick a ball into your yard for the third time. You 1) cheerfully toss the ball back; 2) cheerfully toss the ball into the neighbor’s gutter; 3) release the hounds. The night before July 4th, your neighbors set off some roman candles from their driveway. You 1) join in the fun; 2) begin washing your car so you have a water hose handy; 3) call the cops. A windstorm blows the neighbor’s backyard patio umbrella into your yard, breaking your trellis. You 1) return the umbrella and reassure the neighbor that “it’s okay, stuff happens”; 2) hold the umbrella until the neighbor sheepishly shows up to apologize and offer to pay damages; 3) call the cops. Your neighbor’s daughter opens her bedroom window and turns up the volume on a Miley Cyrus song. You 1) bop to the music and continue your house cleaning; 2) call her mom and ask if she could shut her window or turn down the volume; 3) you don’t do house cleaning, and you don’t like Miley Cyrus. Call the cops. Your neighbors invite you to a party at their house. You 1) ask what you can bring; 2) send regrets that you’ll be out of town; 3) turn off all the lights and hide inside your house, peeking out the windows to make sure nobody pees on your rose bushes. Now, look at your average response. Score: 1.0-1.5 = You’re headed for sainthood; 1.6-2.5 = You’re trying, mostly; 2.6-3.0 = Run for congress, your approval rating makes you a great fit. You can read more of John’s travels at: http://johndrakerobinson.com/blog/ clm

SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 49








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ARE YOU INTERESTED IN DOING MORE BUSINESS WITH UPSCALE ST. LOUIS AREA HOMEOWNERS? County Living Magazine is an attractive resource guide, an informative publication that readers rely on to discover distinctive products, services and destinations to enhance home and lifestyle. CLM is mailed by name to the top 20% of homeowners in St. Louis County and St. Charles County, the City of St. Louis and eastern Franklin County. This publication provides considerably greater reach of upscale homeowners than any other glossy magazine. Our advertisers are St. Louis area companies providing products and services to enhance home, health, wealth and lifestyle. We provide advertiser exclusivity, limiting the number in every category. To learn more, call 314432-1171 or email publisher@CountyLivingMag.com 50 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Weekend Getaways

This Book Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis 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 Left Bank Books 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 SUMMER 2016 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 51


Bring nature home with your own

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Profile for County Living Magazine

Summer 2016 Issue  

Summer 2016 Issue