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COUNTY LIVING

What’s Inside 8 Random Musings from Gerry Mandel

H E A LTH & F ITN E S S 10 Strengthen Bones and Muscles and Improve Balance 12 A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals 14 Delaying that Hearing Exam May Be Welcoming Dementia 16 Breakthrough Technology Improves Elder Care 18 Better Healing and Better Health with Natural Oxygen Therapies 20 Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change Open Upright MRI: A Rare Experience in Missouri 22 Dry Salt Therapy Provides a Powerful Healing Experience One of the best investments you’ll ever make.

23 The Advantages of 3D Mammograms

H O M E R E M O D E LI N G

Reach your desired weight, strength and appearance.

24 Is Home Automation Delivering on its Promise? 26 Create an Oasis in Your Own Back Yard 27 Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? 28 The Basement Egress Window 29 Radon is a Silent Killer 30 Custom Closet and Home Office Solutions 31 The Most Advertised Windows May Not Be The Best Choice 32 These Homeowners Have Found the Easier Way to a Cleaner House 34 If Your Home Is Settling, Don’t Panic 35 A Beautifully Designed and Hand-Built Entry

L A N DSC A P E S & E X TE R I O R S 36 Professional Landscape and Architectural Lighting: They are really enthusiastic about vacuuming.

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37 Keeping Wood Roofs Beautiful

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38 A Natural Water Habitat in Your Own Back Yard 40 Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? 42 Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? 43 Save Money by Renewing Your Outdoor Furniture 44 You Can Have a Garden that Deer Won’t Destroy

G E TAWAYS 46 Spring Activities & Events Calendar 47 John Robinson: Churchill, Church and Charm

FO R YO U R I N FO R M ATI O N 48 When Is the Best Time to Sell Your Business? 50 This Book that Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis 51 How to Lower Your Property Taxes – Still Tax Deductible? Today’s business acquisition market is very strong.

To view this issue and archived articles online with links to resources, visit COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

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COUNTY LIVING

VO LU M E 1 8 / E A R LY S P R I N G 2 01 8 PU B LIS H E R /E DITOR

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Nestled in Town and Country, this private retreat provides all the necessary elements one requires; fire, water, food and shelter. Baker Pool Construction unequivocally delivered their client all of these essentials. Anchoring this retreat is an elegant pool and spa clad in warm tone masonry stone, including native boulders, a substantial swim up bar, as well as fire/water bowl features. Custom in-pool and landscape lighting provide for a soothing evening atmosphere. A well executed patio deisgn provides for specific activities such as dinning, lounging and sun bathing and is capable of supporting the occasional large gathering while maintaining its intimate feel. An impressive custom outdoor fireplace provides visual screening from the adjacent property. The fireplace also features a stainless steel grill, refrigerator and pizza oven. All elements of the yard are brought together harmoniously by a sophisticated landscape design, displaying Baker Pool Construction’s holistic approach to backyard design. Baker Pool Construction has enjoyed delivering breathtaking projects in the St. Louis area for over 50 years. For more in-depth information, see their ad on page 4 or visit them at www.bakerpoolconstruction.com.

Robert Mankoff For information regarding advertising, call: COU NT Y LIVING PU B LICATION S

314-432-1171 phone 314-569-3380 fax P.O. Box 411036 St. Louis, MO 63141 COU NT YLIVING MAG .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, 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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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 welcomed.

RANDOM MUSINGS FROM GERRY MANDEL

In your hands, the continuation of a proud legacy.

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ou are holding one of the most ubiquitous information and communication devices ever created. You can do things with it that you can’t do with a smart phone or a laptop. You don’t need a password, facial recognition or a finger print to enter its realm. A Wi-Fi connection is totally irrelevant. There’s no screen, a rarity these days. You never have to charge it, and it never crashes, deletes or suggests an update. Yes, that flexible compendium of stapled was permanently shaped and twisted by or glued pages known as The Magazine the monthly exploits of Batman, Captain remains one of the enduring components of Marvel, Pogo Possum - among many our culture. Not many years ago, I thought others - and my favorite line of comics, EC, the world of magazines was doomed. In published by William Gaines, an Amer2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle. That, ican literary hero. These included Weird said many experts, presaged the end of the Science, Tales of Horror, Two-Fisted Tales, printed word as we knew it. People would and the brilliant humor of Mad comics. flock to digital books. After all, you could They’re all gone today, except as reprints carry dozens of books in your purse or jack- and at collectors’ shops. et pocket. Barnes and Noble came out with But real magazines prevail. Even old ones. the Nook. Independent book stores began Every year during the Christmas shopping disappearing faster than Rams fans. season, a vendor sets up shop on the main Recent figures, however, show that the pop- floor of West County Shopping Center, ularity of digital books has dropped off and with hundreds of maga“real” books have surged back. I’m pleased zines, including Life, Look, with that. To me, a book isn’t a book unless Rolling Stone, Sports you can actually turn a paper page. Illustrated, and even Prom Magazine (Where did you Which brings me back to magazines. go to high school?). These Amazing as it may sound, magazines are date back to the 1930’s. He more prolific than ever. Just take a look at does a booming business, the magazine racks in stores around the especially in issues with area - Barnes and Noble, and World News covers of idols such as the in Clayton. Walgreen’s and CVS display a healthy array of publications. And you can’t Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Musial, Frank Sinatra, get through any major airport in America Elvis and even Ronald without passing several opportunities to Reagan. buy a magazine for your flight. Today about 7,000 magaI think my fascination with magazines zines are published. That began with the Great American Comic number has remained fairly Books, back in the 1950’s. My young mind

constant over the years, even through the Kindle invasion. Spend an hour or so at a Barnes and Noble or World News. You’ll be dazzled by the variety of subjects, the use of color, design and photography, by editorial content and geographic reach. The past, present and future are all covered every month. Finally, here are other attributes of magazines. Like an article or photo? Tear out the page and stick it in your pocket. Highlight an article. See a spider on the wall? Smack it with a rolled-up magazine. You can even smell good by testing the perfumes and fragrances embedded in magazines like Vogue. Here’s a sample of the transcendent descriptions accompanying these scents. Tom Ford for men: “The duality of the noir man mirrors the dynamic tension between contrasts, where the high-shine glare against grey metal and the black veins of Macassar pour into primal night.” Wow!!! Or this for women from Ralph Lauren. “Fearless yet feminine. For the woman who strikes an alluring harmony between audacious power and feminine grace.” I don’t care what they smell like. I got to get me some. Which brings us back to this magazine in your hands. It may not be the final word on national issues or the upcoming pennant race, but it is a proud member of a distinguished family. Treat it with honor.


NOW OPE N IN O’ FALLON In Fall 2017 OsteoStrong O’Fallon opened at 44 Crossroads Plaza, on Hwy K just north of Hwy 364 in O’Fallon, MO. You can call them at 636-238-8696 or email ofallon@osteostrong.me to schedule your first free session, with a complimentary Hydro-Massage.

Strengthen Bones and Muscles and Improve Balance

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ecent research shows that standard exercise isn’t nearly as effective as had been traditionally believed for strengthening bones. A peer-reviewed study in 2012 determined that to increase bone density faster than one is losing it requires osteogenic loading, which is resistance of at least 4.2 times one’s body weight. Based on this research, Dr. John Jaquish muscles. Developing skeletal strength and in 2011 designed devices to create the ideal bone density enables you to get more out of set of resistance triggers to achieve these re- strength training. sults. His patented machines provide brief In 2012, wellness company OsteoStrong osteogenic events that together take less began offering Dr. Jaquish’s patented than 10 minutes a week, yet are powerful osteogenic loading system in centers across enough to stimulate new bone. the US. To date thousands of people have When done properly, osteogenic loading experienced the benefits. A also triggers muscle development that is ten-minute sweat-free session qualitatively different than from convenin four different positions — tional exercise. Myofibrils are proteins loading the chest, leg/hips, within muscle cells that are responsible core and spine - triggers an for contracting muscles. Only structural adaptive flexing response in fatigue of muscle cells through high-resisbones and connective muscles. tance loading stimulates increased density This is done in safe positions of myofibrils, thereby strengthening the self-imposed for maximum structure of muscle cells. impact. The system improves overall strength, balance and The relationship between bone and muscle posture, without fatigue or strengthening is important, because the soreness. This system can central nervous system will not allow musyield improved bone density, cles to become stronger than the skeletal muscle strength and balance. system can handle. When you strengthen the skeletal system with osteogenic loading, What’s more surprising is that it works for people of all ages. you also unleash the true potential of your

World-famous author and philanthropist Tony Robbins has taken a big interest in OsteoStrong and is convinced it will become a global phenomenon. He has personally experienced this system and at age 57 says he’s in the best shape of his life after adopting it. He is convinced that nothing else can develop strength of bones and muscles with such minimal effort. He has contracted to open three OsteoStrong facilities of his own. Athletes, weekend warriors, and those well into their senior years are all benefiting greatly from the OsteoStrong system. For those looking to increase bone density and prevent fractures, it may be the answer. The first OsteoStrong center in the St. Louis area is in Creve Coeur at 12333 Olive Blvd, just west of Highway 270. You can call them at 314-300-6902 to schedule your free first session, which includes a complimentary HydroMassage. You can learn more about OsteoStrong, view members’ testimonials and schedule your complimentary session at www.osteostrongstlouis.com.


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A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals

S O LV I N G T H E T H R E E B A R R I E R S T O R E A C H I N G YO U R D E S I R E D W E I G H T, S T R E N G T H A N D APPEARANCE BY B RET KLIETH E RM ES

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 Bachelor’s 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 both private and semi-private training to fit all budgets and schedules. For a no obligation, no pressure consultation to discuss your goals and programs you can call Bret at 314-691-9040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com, or visit www.stronghumanfitness.com. Bret works with clients at The Fitness Partner Inc., a boutique gym located at 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 23 years, the Fitness Partner has offered members a more 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. The Fitness Partner is also a proud supporter of the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a grassroots 501c3 that provides long term support to severely wounded veterans and their families from the greater Saint Louis area.

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here are important reasons why people want to start an exercise and nutrition program. To lose weight, get strong and healthy, look and be their best for an upcoming event, or to simply be a positive role model for their family. These reasons take on personal importance that is unique to each individual. What is not unique, however, are the three major barriers to success that my clients faced when they tried to reach these goals on their own. These issues are exactly why they turned to me to achieve the success you see in the examples on this page, and why you may consider doing the same if you are having a hard time reaching your health and fitness goals: NOT KNOWING HOW TO PUT A COMPLETE PROGRAM TOGETHER. A com-

prehensive health and fitness program should consist of all the following with the proper amounts/ratios related to your specific goals: Nutrition, Supplementation, Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Exercise, Flexibility or Mobility Work and Proper Rest. If this seems a little overwhelming, you’re not alone.

NOT HAVING A WORKABLE PLAN OF ACTION. You can try the latest and greatest

diet and exercise program known to man, but if it doesn’t fit into your schedule or physical capabilities, as well as integrate all the components listed above, then you’re simply wasting your time. A health and fitness plan must be “doable” for the individual - otherwise it is useless. NOT HAVING A PROPER SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE. Making changes in

your routine necessary for achieving specific health and fitness goals can be extremely challenging. It’s inevitable that you will come up against frustrations, uncertainties and questions along the way. Having someone there to guide, motivate, educate, support and hold you accountable to what you have committed to do for yourself will prove to be one of the best ways to reach your goals. If you are struggling with one or all of these problems on your path to improved health and fitness, then I would recommend not to waste another single day. I have helped dozens of clients achieve their goals and I can help you as well!

CARRIE SHAUGHNESSY, down 25

JOHN BOYLE, down 15 lbs and 3 inches in

pounds so far and still losing!

waist - and not finished yet!


FREE TV HEADSET For all St. Louis area seniors who struggle to hear their television or other media, this premium hi-fi device can help amplify the television, music device, computer, or radio wirelessly up to 20 feet away and through walls. This offer is provided courtesy of your local Miracle-Ear center, as one of their community outreach initiatives. Just visit FreeTvHeadsets.com, and enter Promo Code CL100

Delaying That Hearing Exam Maybe Welcoming Dementia

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ou’re active, you’re healthy, and you’re adventurous. You’re hip, you have an iPhone! You go out to the Symphony, the Movies, the Zoo, attend clubs and lectures. As active, healthy and adventurous as you are, you may find that you strain to hear others talk. Like most Baby Boomers and especially on the telephone or in noisy environments, you may be beginning to notice difficulty hearing in different environments. You are convinced that others are mumbling when they speak. They tell you that you have the TV or radio turned up too loud, and that too often they must repeat themselves when talking with you. If you, or someone you know, strains to hear conversation, or needs to watch a speaker’s lips more closely to follow along, then it may be time to consider a hearing test. The fact is that one in six Baby Boom-

ers have a hearing problem. In fact, hearing loss is the third largest chronic health condition in America, so you are not alone. If you’re like most people who care about their health, every year your get your vision checked by an optometrist. You may get your teeth cleaned by the dentist. Many people get a physical by their primary care doctor, but less than 10 people out of 100 will ever get their hearing tested. HE ARING LOSS CAN LE AD TO SE RIOUS HE ALTH PROB LE MS

At first, a slight hearing loss seems like a minor inconvenience. But two studies by John Hopkins Medical School reveal that people with a hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop dementia or other cognitive conditions. Your brain can lose a cubic centimeter or more of brain tissue each year your hearing loss goes untreated. And hearing loss can cause social isolation from avoiding conversation, sometimes leading to depression.

“Think of the pathways from your inner ear to your brain as a road,” said Nathan Bush, Marketing Director at Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers. “If a road is no longer driven, weeds grow over it and it becomes deteriorated. With your ears, the nerves in the cochlea (inner ear) need to be stimulated and exercised to effectively transmit sound waves to the brain. The roads to the brain should be very highly valued.” THE FIRST STE P – A PROFESSIONAL HE ARING TEST

If you haven’t had a professional hearing test, or it’s been a long time since you have, it is a very easy process. A hearing test, tests all three parts of your ear. The three parts of the ear are the outer, middle, and inner ear. To test the outer ear your Hearing Health Specialist will use an otoscope to check for wax buildup, they display this on the television monitor for you to see. To test the middle ear, the specialist will check the eardrum and the three bones (three smallest in the body) for proper functionality and to ensure you are not in need of an emergency medical referral. Lastly, they will check your cochlea. In fact, the Specialist will test 12 different areas of the cochlea. This is to measure how much and at what frequencies you are experiencing loss. For over 70 years, Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers have been helping St. Louisans improve their lives by improving their


hearing. No other provider can match their history in providing the latest hearing aid technology and service to meet individual hearing health needs. TODAY ’ S HE ARING AIDS ARE NOT LIKE PREVIOUS G E NE R ATIONS

Today’s hearing aids don’t just amplify sound. The Miracle-Ear device actually has a brain. It can identify your voice and the voice of others. When trying to have a conversation, when you’re out to dinner, it will keep your voice natural, amplify the voice of your conversation partner while reducing background noise a full six decibels below speech. Just like your own brain, it helps you tune out the clutter and focus on what you want to hear. Today’s hearing aids are made to sync with your iPhone. You can adjust the volume, programs, and when synced knows when you are moving and relaxes the directionality of the hearing device for a more natural sound in your environments. With today’s devices you can direct stream and still have and hear conversation. Conversation, natural sounds, and stimulation of the nerves in the cochlea are important for your health. A Miracle-Ear hearing aid offers you crystal clear conversations, improved spatial auditory perceptions, and nerve stimulation. All this will curtail loss of brain matter, and keeps you connected to other people. Miracle-Ear Centers are located throughout the St. Louis metro area. They provide free comprehensive hearing tests for everyone. If you need a hearing aid, they offer a full range of discrete behind-theear and in-ear options that allow users to enjoy more natural sound quality, wherever life takes them. And, they provide ongoing services for the life of the device for free. To schedule a free hearing screening, you can Call 314-230-8005, or for more information visit Miracle Ear at www.CountyLiving.info/miracle-ear.


Breakthrough Technology Improves Elder Care

ALLOWS CLOS E R M O N ITO R I N G F O R T H E E L D E R LY O R V U L N E R A B L E

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ow could caregivers or family get early warnings that an elderly person is having difficulty in their living environment, or that a health- or lifethreatening incident must be attended to right away? Ideally, they would be alerted about changes in behavior that indicate an imminent problem or sudden emergency. Warning systems for an elderly person usually bring to mind emergency call buttons or video monitoring. But emergency pendants, pull cords or belts are inconsistently worn and activated by those too feeble or absent-minded to do so. Video monitoring can be an invasion of privacy and, to really work, would have to be watched around the clock to detect an emergency. For St. Charles technology expert Bryan Jefferson, finding solutions for seniors and others is personal. His brother suffers from schizophrenia. His father has battled multiple serious illnesses all his life. But it was his grandmother’s death that propelled him to find a more effective way to monitor the elderly. Jefferson said his grandmother died alone in her room at a nursing facility because she was unable to call for help. After her death, Jefferson drew from his extensive knowledge of “smart” technology and created SmartCare Consultants to provide around-the-clock transparent care. His first client was his dad, who had

become wheelchair-bound. His father lived 2,000 miles away, and Jefferson wanted to be able to monitor him without being intrusive. Jefferson and co-founder Scott Moser started with the goal of using monitoring technology to keep elderly adults safe in their own homes longer. Data-collecting sensors throughout the living environment allow care providers and family to passively track daily activities in homes or care communities, and be alerted to emergencies. The SmartCare system proactively reports if movement or activities seem out of the ordinary. Wireless sensors in beds, couches, toilets, on wall posts and doors are triggered by changes in motion, heat, pressure, water, and light. They collect and transmit information on the person being monitored. Are they in bed? Did they eat? Did they go to the bathroom? Significant changes in behavior patterns that could suggest serious issues trigger warnings. The system can detect if a stove was left on when the senior left the house, or the garage door is open while the resident is asleep. Cloud-based SmartCare is personalized to each client and can be monitored from anywhere in the world.

Jefferson and Mosher have been deploying the system in hundreds of retirement community rooms since early 2015, and this year they are making it available for installation in private homes. In less than two years, SmartCare has added components that track changes in sleep patterns, temperatures in the home and bathroom usage, which can indicate side effects of medications, dehydration, pneumonia, or falls. Participants select the notifications they want and to whom they will go. Mosher said the goal is for the technology to cost all users less than a dollar a day. “Imagine caring for an elderly loved one, helping them live safely in place, with dignity and independence,” Jefferson said. “SmartCare provides true 24-hour transparent care through non-obtrusive, intuitive devices that monitor daily activities, reporting anomalies and helping caregivers respond to problems, making sure they are eating, drinking, bathing and remaining active. A light that comes on when they get out of bed immediately reduces falls by over 50%. SmartCare Consultants is also looking to serve other vulnerable individuals such as the developmentally disabled or mentally ill. For a schizophrenic, aberrations to normal behavior patterns might alert a family member that their loved one has gone off their medications. If someone starts making eight trips to the bathroom every night instead of their normal four, it may warn of a urinary tract infection or dehydration. To learn more about implementing SmartCare for your loved one, or to see a demonstration, you can call SmartCare Consultants at their St. Charles headquarters at 855-878-3762, or visit www.smartcareconsultants.com.


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ith every breath n Carbonic Acid/CO2 Therapy – increases we take we energy production, improves circulation absorb oxygen n Whole body Hyperthermia – detoxifies from the and cleanses the skin atmosphere n Far Infrared & Steam Sauna and combine n Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) it with glucose, which is what allows our Therapy – stimulates regenerative processes bodies to create energy. When that happens, it keeps us alive. What a miracle! With the n Electro/Rife Therapy – electronic resoefficient use of oxygen, we have good health. nance to promote healing In youth, our cells perform exquisitely. n Exercise With Oxygen Therapy (EWOT) However, as we age cellular function can – increases oxygenation of tissues and cells become impaired and we can experience A session in the HOCATT is not only relaxdiminished health. ing, it increases metabolism and heart rate, So what is the key to good health throughwhich simulates a cardiovascular workout. It out a lifetime? Certainly a big key is to be improves oxygen utilization and respiratory fit and active, which provides a bountiful efficiency. Additionally, the increased blood amount of oxygen to our tissues to maintain and lymph circulation enhances mitochongood function. drial function and increases production An innovative new way to provide our bodies of ATP, which means more energy. Other with ample oxygen is through the use of a benefits include slowing the aging process cousin of oxygen – ozone. Oxygen is O2 and by increased cellular oxygen levels, stimulaozone is O3. Oxygen is very stable, while tion of collagen synthesis and reduction of ozone is unstable. That doesn’t make it inflammation and swelling – reducing pain. harmful, it means that ozone (O3) wants To experience all the benefits of increased to return to its more stable state of O2 . It’s oxygenation in St. Louis’ only HOCATT, in that movement back to O2 that singlet you can call Wildwood Integrative Healthoxygen molecules become highly absorbable. care at 636-489-2000 to schedule a session. More available oxygen means better healing And be sure to ask about special pricing. and better health. Patricia Bauer is a Board Certified Adult The HOCATT is a bio-chamber that Nurse Practitioner. Her passion is the study delivers a combination of powerful natural and use of gentle natural therapies that protherapies, including ozone. All therapies are mote health. She received both her BSN and perfectly sequenced to boost energy, enhance MSN from BJC-Goldfarb School of Nursing circulation, strengthen the immune system in St. Louis. and detoxify the body at a cellular level. Bauer is the owner and lead clinician of WildWith just 30 minutes inside the HOCATT wood Integrative Healthcare, located at 16111 you get seven therapies simultaneously! HOCAT T THE R APIES n Transdermal OZONE Therapy – promotes metabolism and detoxifies

Manchester Road, just west of Clarkson. To learn more or schedule an appointment call 636-489-2000 or visit her website at wildwoodintegrativehealthcare.com.


Open Upright MRI: A Rare Experience in Missouri

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or some, the feel pain. The scanner also accommoconfined space dates patients who weigh up to 500 inside the MRI pounds. “tube” can make “An MRI is a crucial step to providing a doctor-ordered doctors with all of the diagnostic inforprocedure mation needed to deliver the best care impossible to complete. possible to their patients,” said Kishan Claustrophobia or even panic can bring Yalavarthi, M.D., Open Upright MRI of a traditional MRI scan to a halt. But Missouri medical director. “For patients now there is an alternative. The Open who are claustrophobic or who otherUpright MRI is the only one of its kind wise would not fit in a traditional MRI, in Missouri. Patients travel hundreds the ability to sit comfortably and relax of miles to the heart of St. Louis to get by watching television makes all the their MRI at Open Upright MRI of difference in helping them get through Missouri. their exam.” This unique scanner is visibly different Appointments at Open Upright MRI of than a traditional MRI, with nothing in Missouri are available Monday through front of the patient’s face for most exams. Saturday at 11737 Olive Blvd., Creve Often patients can complete their MRI Coeur, MO 63141. Patients with a docwhile watching TV. In addition to being tor’s referral may schedule an appointopen, the Open Upright MRI also offers ment by calling 314.291.6736 (OPEN). positional imaging capabilities – paYou can visit Open Upright MRI of tients can be scanned sitting, standing Missouri’s website, myCDI.com/MO for or in other positions in which they won’t more information.

E X T E R I O R S

Hypnosis Can be Your Key to Change

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BY J OA N K R U E G E R , CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST

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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 Krueger 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. 

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 part of your mind contains the information that you act on. The unconscious is like a big filing cabinet that holds a record of everything you’ve ever experienced. 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 communicatof working from the old information. ing with the subconscious mind. Before With hypnosis you can’t make someone a hypnosis session, your therapist should do something they don’t want to do. ask specifically what behavior you would For hypnosis to work, the subject must like to change. This identifies the file be willing to accept the change, because that you are currently working from. the conscious mind is still very aware Hypnosis gets the subconscious part of of what is going on. At all times, the your mind to open up so that a new file subject has complete power of selectivity, can be added about how you want to reacting only to suggestions that are function. For instance, if you want to be reasonable and pleasing to them. a non-smoker, would like to have different eating habits, or be more confident. After the session, your mind has new information to begin to work from instead


Dry Salt Therapy Provides a Powerful Healing Experience N AT U R A L A N T I - B A C T E R I A L , A N T I I N F L A M M AT O R Y T R E AT M E N T T O I M P R O V E B R E AT H I N G , S K I N A N D W E L L - B E I N G . The human body needs oxygen to survive and function properly. Red blood cells in the lungs collect and distribute oxygen throughout the entire body. People with allergies, asthma, COPD and other breathing difficulties are affected by mucous in the lungs that makes it more difficult to absorb oxygen. This affects not only their quality of life, but also others around them. Purifying the respiratory system can resolve some of the most common, annoying and even vicious breathing problems people face, including sinusitis, bronchitis and a host of other respiratory illnesses. Dry Salt Therapy, also known as halotherapy, is a method of inhaling pure, dry, micronized fine salt particles. It disperses fine salt particles in the air that are com-

fortably inhaled. Halotherapy is 100% natural, drug-free complementary therapy that works with medications taken by those with respiratory and skin issues. It offers the natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and absorbent properties of sea salt to provide relief for respiratory, and also skin conditions, by attracting moisture and absorbing bacteria and other impurities responsible for many skin issues.  Scientific studies show that people who suffer with asthma or other ailments breathe easier after halotherapy. The calming and detoxifying effects also help support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems. Additional benefits are reduced stress and headaches, increased energy, and better sleep patterns. And there are no reported negative side effects.

Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the American Lung Association, says, “When fine salt particles are inhaled, they fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning mucous and making it easier to raise, thus helping people feel better,” said Dr. Edelman. “Also, these salt air environments are allergen-free and thus good for people with allergies affecting their lungs.” The Salt Box, at 11628 Old Ballas Road in Creve Coeur, offers private concentrated 15-minute halotherapy sessions in their cozy salt room. Sessions are comfortable, at room temperature and require no change of clothes. To book a session you can call or text them at (314) 691-1693, and for more information you can visit their website stlSaltBox.com.


The Advantages of 3D Mammograms

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f you are a woman over 40, your medical provider will probably recommend a yearly mammogram. Many health care providers are offering 3D mammography to help find breast cancer at an early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.

WHAT IS 3D MAMMOG R APHY (AK A TOMOSYNTHESIS)?

A 2D mammogram takes 2 pictures of each breast – one from the top and one from the side. For every one picture in a 2D, the 3D captures 40-50 images from many different angles. It takes a millimeter-by-millimeter look through your breast tissue and any masses that may be associated with breast cancers. With 3D mammography, breast cancer detection rates, especially in women with dense breasts, has increased up to 40% according to research presented to the Radiological Society of North America. 3D may be your best choice and the best chance of detecting small cancers. HOW SHOU LD I PRE PARE FOR A 3D MAMMOG R AM?

You would prepare in the same way you would prepare for regular mammography. WHE RE CAN I G ET A 3D MAMMOG R AM?

Paula George, MD

Valerie Reichert, MD FACR

Midwest Breast Care, an affiliate of St. Luke’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) and a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, offers 3D mammograms. They also offer 3D breast biopsies; whole-body ultrasound; minimally invasive breast procedures; consultation on outside breast imaging studies; and bone mineral density screening (DXA). Midwest Breast Care’s board-certified diagnostic radiologists Dr. Paula Y. George and Dr. Valerie C. Reichert are experienced in all areas of breast imaging and intervention. According to Dr. George, “It’s advisable if you have dense breasts or a personal or family history of breast cancer to do

3D mammography.” HOW CAN I SCHE DU LE AN APPOINTME NT ?

You can call Midwest Breast Care at 314-567-4449. They are conveniently located at 450 N. New Ballas Road, Suite 250 in Creve Coeur. Screening mammograms do not require an appointment or a physician’s order.


Is Home Automation Delivering on its Promise? T H E B A R R I E R S TO AC H I E V I N G A S M A R T H O M E , A N D H OW TO OV E R CO M E TH E M . B Y B R YA N J E F F E R S O N

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he promise of Smart Home automation is that homeowners can control their thermostat, audio/ video, locks, cameras and lights from their smart phone or tablet. The SOHO Shop promises that not only can homeowners control their

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Bryan Jefferson, Jennifer Jefferson and Scott Mosher are owners of The SOHO Shop, a locally Veteran-Owned wholehome automation company. The SOHO Shop provides comprehensive sales, installation and ongoing customer service for automation of home and offices. They are the only Control4 dealer in Missouri backed by the manufacturer’s warranty. They were recently awarded the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for exceptional ethics and service to their employees, customers, suppliers and communities. The SOHO Shop has exceptional ratings on Angie’s List and is a member of the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce. For a no-obligation consultation in your home or office, you can call The SOHO Shop at 636-234-9004 or for more information visit countyliving.info/SOHO.

home functions from their phone or tablet, but that with Control4 integration, The SOHO Shop can create an automation system with one brain, where all functions and devices can be controlled with one simple application. This one major change has given The SOHO Shop rise in the industry of home automation. However, as the industry grows, so does consumer feedback about other features of home automation that cause struggle. The same way that The SOHO Shop combatted the need for excessive applications, they are combatting recent problems that are causing most of the dissatisfaction homeowners have with their systems. SE RVICE AND SU PPORT: WITH SMART HOME DEVICES FROM M U LTIPLE MAN U FAC TU RE RS , OWNE RS AND POTE NTIAL BUYE RS ARE U NSU RE WHE RE TO TU RN FOR SE RVICE AND SU PPORT

Smart Home technology is offered by hundreds of manufacturers, and trying to find the support you need can be a headache. Most homeowners surveyed said they prefer to purchase home automation through a single service provider who services and supports all components. The SOHO Shop works with the customer from conception to project completion, and service and upgrades well after the initial “ job” is finished. Rather than mixing and matching your equipment from different manufacturers, it will make finding support much easier and more efficient in the long run if you utilize the unique skills of a company that can sell, install, and support your equipment. In addition to professional installation, it’s

critical to find a professional installer who takes the time to educate customers on the systems, and ongoing help in learning what they can do. Educational documentation and a knowledgeable customer support team are key to customer satisfaction. Each technician working for The SOHO Shop is a representative of the best in the industry, and as such, works intently with each customer to provide information to fit each specific need as it comes. POOR APPLICATION FU NC TIONALIT Y: APPLICATIONS THAT DON ’T HOLD U P

There is a gap between consumer perception of Smart Home devices (door locks, thermostats, light switches) and the apps or software that control them. Some apps are failing to deliver the promised functionality and usability of the devices they control. Users of professional integration apps such as Control4, generate considerably greater satisfaction over apps provided by individual device manufacturers like Nest and Philips. STARTING WHE REVE R FITS YOU B EST: G ROWING YOU R AUTOMATION AT YOU R PACE

Many home automation companies offer strict packages that begin with a complete automation overhaul. The SOHO Shop offers personal consultations with a trained professional who is ready to start with the set up that best suits each customer. The unique system utilized by The SOHO Shop allows each customer to grow at their own pace and build up their personal system where and when they see fit. HOME AUTOMATION DESIG NE D FOR YOU

As the home automation industry continues to grow, the need for personalized development and reliable upgrades becomes more and more of a necessity to the customer. While there are individual challenges in each home automation project, The SOHO Shop is a prepared professional that is excited to take your next home automation steps with you!


WHEN THERE’S A CHILL IN THE AIR A N D YO U N E E D A P L ACE TO S N U G G LE , THERE’S NOTHING MORE ROMANTIC THAN SIT TING BY A FIRE.

Create an Oasis in Your Own Back Yard

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dding an outdoor living area to your home will be one of the best investments you ever make. Not just because it increases the value of your home, but because it will increase the value of the time you spend there. Furniture and landscaping are important, but building thoughtfully designed areas for relaxing and entertaining is the best place to start because it will expand the time you are able to spend outdoors. In the St. Louis area, it is practical to cover your outdoor living area with an insulated roof for relief from sun and rain, but also to have the option to add screens to protect your family from insects. If you don’t like the idea of closing off your space with screens, consider retractable screens. They roll up with the touch of a remote control, giving you the versatility of a screen room when you need it and a more open space when you don’t. If your property allows for a patio, you don’t have to settle for a plain gray surface. There are many decorative concrete possibilities to give character to the space. If your lot is sloped, maximize your outdoor space by building a low maintenance composite deck and creating an outdoor room

underneath, utilizing an under-deck drainage system. Water is captured and diverted into your gutters, providing a covered dry space for a screened room, sitting/TV area, grilling area, and/or hot tub adjoining your yard or pool deck. An outdoor kitchen takes your entertaining possibilities to the next level. It gives you the opportunity to cook for and serve your guests without missing any of the fun. Friends and family always gather in the kitchen and your outdoor kitchen will be no exception. Imagine a stone-faced, built-in barbeque area with features such as a refrigerator, ice maker, storage and a granite counter top. There are so many products now that are rated and warranted for the outdoors, that you’ll have a hard time choosing! When there’s a chill in the air and you need a place to snuggle, there’s nothing more romantic than sitting by a fire, whether it’s a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. A fireplace is the most requested feature in an outdoor room and a beautiful focal point, but there are many outdoor heating options that are practical and attractive that will extend the use of your outdoor room. In the St. Louis area, one company that has been leading this trend in creative outdoor living spaces is Heartlands Building Company. Since 2002, Heartlands has become

known as a designer and builder of custom outdoor living areas, with over 2,000 satisfied customers. Their success is fueled by their passion for delivering quality. Larry Brost, founder of Heartlands, focuses on listening to customers and working with their ideas for how they would like to use outdoor living areas. He says, “Customers can’t always visualize the final product, but they can describe how they plan to enjoy their outdoor areas, ranging from date nights to barbecuing to entertaining family and friends.” Customers are pleasantly surprised that their design is exactly what they wanted. Larry believes in fully integrating outdoor living spaces into the existing home. These outdoor retreats are constructed for frequent high traffic use, and, to be worry-free long after completion, Heartlands uses the most durable exterior rated products. This passion for quality is shared by co-owners Dick O’Brien, Adam Twellman and Jake Halloran. Heartlands Building Company has enhanced many of the finest homes in St. Louis County and surrounding areas, and will work closely with you to develop a design, work plan and a fixed price for your dream project. You can call Heartlands for a free at-home consultation or an appointment at their showroom in Chesterfield Valley at 636-728-0003. You can learn more about them and view a gallery of their screen rooms, decks, homes and additions at www.heartlandshome.com.


Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? H AV E U G LY G R O U T ?

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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 1-888-254-9488 or visit their website at www.marblelife-stlouis.com.

BEFORE

AFTER

C L AY T O N

GET YOUR

DREAM HOME A Veteran Owned Business TOTALLY CONTROL YOUR HOME FROM YOUR FINGERTIPS

Systems Control • Home Automation • Lighting Control • Climate Control • Pool & Spa Control • Irrigation Control • Motorized Shading

Commercial Services • Business Automation • Conference Room Systems • Networking Services • Commercial Audio/Video • Video Surveillance • Security

“MAKING ONE BUTTON DO IT ALL”

Video/Audio • High Definition Video Distribution • Custom Theater Design • Music Distribution

Additional Services • Electronics Concealment • Wired & Wireless Networking • Central Vacuum • Garage Flooring

CONTROL YOUR OFFICE TECHNOLOGY, WITHOUT CALLING THE IT GUY BE A CONFIDENT CUSTOMER 3565 Franks Drive St. Charles, MO 63301 636-234-9004 www.countyliving.info/SOHO


The Basement Egress Window

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inishing your basement is from the inside without need for special the most efficient way to knowledge, tools, or extra force beyond that add useable space to your required for a normal window. home. If you have or are But don’t just think of the basement egress planning sleeping rooms window as a requirement. It can also add downstairs, you need to natural light and ventilation and with an make sure that there are two expanded window well it can exits for emergencies. If your be an attractive feature, with home does not have a walkflowers and plants on the BASEMENT out basement, this usually terraced steps. The overall requires an escape, or egress EGRESS enhancements of safety, window. WI N DOWS light, ventilation and more It is important to know your A D D S A F E T Y, attractive appearance add to local residential building the value of your home. APPEAL AND codes for egress. St. Louis VA L U E T O YO U R One company that is expert County building permit in structural basement imrequirements state that all HOME. provements is Woods Basebasement bedrooms must ment Systems. They will be have one window for emerhappy to give you a free esgency escape with a sill no timate to install a basement more than 44 inches above egress window in your home. the floor and a minimum You can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn clear opening area of 5.0 square feet. The more at betterbasementvalue.com. emergency escape window must be operable

Wildlife and Native Landscaping

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

GARDEN GREEN

Horticulture Service

314-288-5036 garden_green@live.com


Radon is a Silent Killer YO U C A N ’ T S E E , S M E L L O R TA S T E I T . . . A N D I T M AY B E I N YO U R H O M E .

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adon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is drawn into homes from the surrounding soil, through foundation cracks and other openings. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. These particles can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of

your lifetime. It’s estimated that radon causes over 21,000 deaths each year in the U.S, and it is now the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. About one in three homes in the Midwest has detectable levels of radon, but you can protect the future of your family’s health by addressing radon risks now.

RADON TESTING You can purchase a do-it-yourself testing kit, or hire a radon measurement specialist to do it. If you are buying or selling a property, it is recommended that a licensed professional conduct the test to furnish a certified radon level report.

R A D O N M I T I G AT I O N If your radon levels are found to be elevated, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor reduce your radon levels. Air drawn through cracks in your foundation that contains radon needs to be redirected. One or more holes are drilled in the concrete basement floor and connected to a PVC pipe that directs the air up to a fan unit that draws and vents it safely away from your home. Other cracks, spaces and joints are sealed to keep radon from entering. Within 30 days retesting is done to make sure that the system is effectively removing any radon from your home. A leader in radon mitigation in our area

is Woods Basement Systems, Inc. They can provide you a radon testing kit for just $22.00, including lab fees. Woods is also is certified to provide radon mitigation to make your home a healthier, safe environment. You can call them to discuss radon at 866-735-1890, and you can learn more about their radon services at www.betterbasementvalue.com.

Who Knew that Concrete Could be

Beautiful?

CLAYTON: CONCRETE STAINING

CHESTERFIELD: POLISHED, DYED & SEALED RETAIL FLOOR

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.

WILDWOOD: REFLECTOR EPOXY COATING

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

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

(888) 391-6980 www.enduracrete-stlouis.com


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Custom Closet and Home Office Solutions F O R B E T T E R - O R G A N I Z E D S T O R A G E A N D W O R K S PA C E S

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t seems that when most homes were built, little thought was given to wardrobe, storage or at-home work needs of families that 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.


The Most Advertised Windows May Not Be the Best Choice for Your Home There are a few window brands you see very widely advertised. But did you know that there are over 900 different brands of windows and glass doors available for homes and businesses? And a lot of those actually have better energy ratings and better warranties than some of the best-known brands. Because windows should last a long time, when it’s time to replace them it’s important that you make the right decision, so that you will be satisfied for a long time. Is the right choice for your home wood framed windows? Vinyl windows? Double-hung, awning or casement windows? The good news is that windows and glass doors have improved remarkably since most homes were built. So, when it is time to replace them, you will most likely get more attractive, more secure, easier to clean and more energy-efficient windows and glass doors than those you have been living with. And those improvements have been achieved in most brands offered. So, when you see

familiar brands touting improvements like more energy-efficient glass, tilt-in frames for easier cleaning, or double-gasket for a better seal, remember that you really have hundreds of choices in windows that offer the same improvements. One replacement window company here, Arch City Window, takes pride in their depth of knowledge of the brands they offer. This includes the best-known brands, and many you may not know. Their technicians use thermal technology to determine any air leaks and they will also assess any other damage to your existing windows to help you decide whether you are ready to replace them. If not, there is no pressure to buy. In fact, Arch City will happily seal all the windows in your house to help you get a few more years with the existing windows. And their experienced installers assure a secure, insulated and professional job. For a no-obligation window or door consultation at your home, you can call Arch City Window at 314-296-2983, email them at info@archcitywindow.com. For more information or to schedule an appointment, you can also visit www.archcitywindow.com.


These Homeowners Have Found the Easier Way to a Cleaner House

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or some homeowners, their least favorite task is vacuuming. Dragging a big canister or upright vacuum around the house and up the stairs. Getting the power cord tangled up with the hose and hung up on the furniture. The noise bothering others in the house. And after all that, feeling like they really haven’t gotten their house as clean as they’d hoped, because the vacuum just didn’t have enough power to remove all the pet hair, dust and tracked-in dirt. So, they must go through all of that again.

E NTH USIASTIC ABOUT VACU U MING?

And yet we have met some homeowners who are genuinely enthusiastic about vacuuming. How can that be? What they have in common is that instead of dragging around a vacuum cleaner and having to plug in and re-plug the power cord wherever they go, they have a BEAM® vacuum system built into their home, with outlets wherever they’re needed. They have amazing instant vacuum power when they plug in the hose. And they can barely hear the vacuum, because the power unit is in their garage or basement.

PET HAIR CLE AN U P IS SIMPLE

Karen Yeager in Oakville has mostly hardwood and tile floors in her home. “We have had two dogs and two cats that shed like crazy. Bulky canister vacuums – even expensive ones – don’t let you get right up to the baseboards and deep into cracks. The BEAM vacuum has so much suction that if you just get close to pet hair on the floor it will pick it up instantly. I just plug the hose into the wall and go wherever I need to, without having to drag a heavy canister around.” She also plugs a hose into the BEAM power unit in the garage, making it very easy to clean car interiors. Karen has had a BEAM system installed in three of her homes, in her two daughters’ homes and even their lake house. In her kitchen, she has the Vac-Pan, a built-in dustpan connected to her BEAM system. Just sweep dirt over to it, and everything gets whisked away, without bending over or emptying a dustpan. Recent remodeling in their home threw sawdust everywhere. And just like the glitter from Christmas, her BEAM system got everything up quickly and easily.

RE DUCE ALLE RGY SYMP TOMS WITHOUT ME DS

Crystal Younger of St. Charles has had BEAM built-in vacuums in her homes for over 20 years. Her family has allergies, and the canister vacuums they owned in the past would blow dust back out into the house. She says, “The BEAM system removes all dust from the house, and with the canister in the garage, emptying it there keeps the dust from coming back in.” Crystal has a home business that throws off lots of threads and dust in her work room. Two hose outlets in that room keep the space completely clean and dust-free. She enthusiastically recommends BEAM builtin vacuums to her friends. The passion BEAM built-in vacuum owners feel about their BEAM is clear. They all say that once you’ve had a BEAM, you’ll never want to vacuum the other way again. A BEAM whole-house cleaning system can be built into any existing home at no extra cost. For a free phone estimate, or to learn more about a BEAM system for your home, you can call BEAM of St. Louis at 314-391-9303, or visit them online at www.countyliving.info/Beam.


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If Your Home is Settling, Don’t Panic.

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nderstand the causes of foundation settlement, and what you can do about it. Foundation problems can affect your home’s safety, appearance, and value. If you have wall or floor cracks, bowing walls or doors and windows that don’t close as they should, these are signs that your home may be settling.

T YPES OF HOME SET TLING

There are three types of settling in our area: Uniform settling is when the whole structure settles as one unit without damages occurring. Tipping is when one side of the structure remains stable and while another portion of the home does settle. Differential settling occurs between two cracks in vertical foundation walls, which causes the most damage and need for repair. WHAT CAUSES SET TLE ME NT ?

Settlement is the movement your home experiences when the soil below can no longer support the weight of your home. Most likely this is caused by changes in the soil below: DRYING AND SHRINKING OF SOIL

After long droughts, clay soil dries out and shrinks. This creates empty space for your house to settle in. Also, tree root systems can draw moisture from the soil, causing it to shrink around the house. St. Louis

County and nearly all of St. Charles County have experienced severe drought this winter, causing settling problems in many communities. WET TING AND SOF TE NING OF SOIL

In heavy rain and flood conditions, clay soil gets wet, holds water and becomes very soft and weak. This can cause your home to shift or sink into it. Where there is poor drainage next to your home, soil can absorb water and weaken. COMPRESSION OF POORLY COMPAC TE D FILL SOIL

A common practice when developing building lots is removing soil from hilltops and placing it in valleys to create flat, buildable lots. If this fill soil is not well compacted, it can compress under the weight of the home, causing settlement. Even if you haven’t seen any changes in your home recently, more settlement may occur. The constant cycle of wet and dry periods means that soil goes through changes and settlement in a home is not over unless steps are taken to fix the problem. SOLUTIONS THAT WORK

The most effective way to fix a settling home is to pier it. Steel push piers are driven deep into the soil to bedrock or another stable soil layer. They can be installed from the exterior or interior

of your home and are used to lift your home back toward its original position, often closing cracks and improving the operation of doors and windows. The solution is quick, and the problem is solved once and for all. On lighter structures such as stoops or decks, a solution such as a helical pier or screw pile may be more effective because the structure may not be heavy enough to drive push piers to a sufficient depth. If you see cracks in walls or floor, inside or out, or doors or windows that don’t close as they should, don’t delay doing something about it. These could be signs of settlement, and they will get worse if you ignore them. You can call Woods Basement Systems, the highest-rated, most reviewed contractor in their industry, for a free inspection. If your foundation is cracked, buckling, or has other damage, their experts can restore your home to safe, functional condition. You can call Woods Basement Systems at 866-735-1890, or learn more at www.betterbasementvalue.com.


tions and a cost quote are accepted, the door is then put into production. All wood materials are hand selected for color and grain continuity. Doors are laminated in two pieces to add strength and prevent warping. Only the finest materials are used in their doors – oak, mahogany, cherry, and walnut. Hardware is solid brass or bronze, in a variety of finishes. They use heavy weight locksets and ball bearing hinges. The assembled door and frame are then prepped for the selected hardware. Accu-

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custom entry can dramatically enhance property value as well as create an outstanding impression. It is important that your entryway be built to last years, even decades. It is surprising that even in the most impressive new homes, standard entry doors often need to be replaced within just a few years. The Scobis Company is the custom wood door specialist in the Midwest that builds custom wood doors of enduring quality for residential and commercial projects. Their craftsmanship, combined with the beauty of their designs creates stunning and unique entries for their customers. They also create custom designs for entire entryways and interior doors. Their doors are assembled by hand from the finest hardwoods in the Old World tradition you find at the most impressive churches, universities and homes. The Custom Entry Process begins with their in-house designers, focusing on both visual aesthetic design and structural integrity engineering. Their design services assure that the door can be built to the owner’s wishes with no sacrifice in security, function, aesthetics and most important, quality. Once the design, accompanied with shop drawings, specifica-

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CAN TRANSFORM THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR HOME

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A Beautifully Designed and Hand-Built Entry

racy in this step is critical to function and performance, since these doors can weigh as much as three hundred pounds. Finally, hardware is removed in preparation for finishing. Finishing includes many steps with hand sanding between each of the stain and top coats. The controlled shop environment assures that all six sides of the door are properly and thoroughly sealed. The final step is on-site installation, where all the design, engineering, assembly and finishing come together for perfect function, security and impressive appearance. The Scobis Company has the confidence and track record to offer a warranty on their wood doors. The permanent quality and timeless beauty give them value which outlasts the monetary consideration in their purchase. The Scobis Company is the choice of custom homebuilders and institutions in the Midwest, including leading universities and distinguished churches. They understand that buying a custom door may seem overwhelming, and every effort is made to make this a pleasant experience. They are committed to always living up to or exceeding their high standards of performance and quality. They encourage their clients to take an active part in the design of their entryway because, after all, this is the portal through which homeowners will welcome friends and family for many years to come. If you would like to discuss an entry at your home or institution, or have any questions, you are welcome to visit The Scobis Company showroom by appointment at 137 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd, Chesterfield 63005. The owner, Mike Rachocki, can be reached by email at mike@scobiscompany.com, or by phone at 636-530-7545. To see more of Scobis’ work, visit scobiscompany.com.


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Professional Landscape and Architectural Lighting: How to achieve the best results.

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nce you have decided to add the beauty, safety and security of landscape lighting to your home, the next decision is selecting the company that will provide you with the best results and the best value. Here are some considerations for making that choice. First, it is important to select a provider that is really focused on landscape lighting. You can find sprinkler companies, landscapers and others who offer outdoor lighting as a sideline or to fill in months when they are not busy. But a dedicated landscape lighting company brings significant advantages. An experienced landscape lighting professional knows how to artfully showcase trees and plantings as well as the architectural features of your home, without glare or uneven illumination. The company you select should employ their own designers, installers and service personnel for maintaining your system.

Ask about the equipment they use – you want fixtures that will really stand up to harsh weather conditions, a heavy-duty transformer that will provide balanced illumination and long life, with options for automated controls and energy savings. The most experienced outdoor lighting provider in the St. Louis area is Jeff Mitchell Landscape Lighting. Since 1997 they have installed and maintained lighting systems at many of the finest homes and most visible public attractions in the St. Louis area. Their fixtures are made exclusively with corrosion-resistant materials such as hand-spun copper and cast brass. They will stand up for years in harsh outdoor settings where rain, fertilizers and sun would destroy other materials. Jeff Mitchell Lighting is leading the way with premium halogen lights in fixtures that use a fraction of the energy of line voltage systems, saving their clients as much as 75% in energy costs. Residential energy expense for their halogen lighting installations typically range around $10 per month, depending on the number of lights.

They use commercial grade multiple-volt transformers to ensure perfectly balanced illumination, and their lighting control automation allows you to set the system once and never change it again. They take pride in prompt, capable service to their customers, years after the initial installation. Following free maintenance for 12 months after your system is installed, they offer ongoing and very cost-effective maintenance programs where the lighting system is completely checked out and bulbs replaced as needed. Now that you have a basic understanding of what to expect, ask satisfied neighbors who provided and services their outdoor lighting, and check their references. Chances are that those who are most satisfied use Jeff Mitchell Lighting. You can learn more about them and see a gallery of their installations at www. jeff-mitchell-lighting.com. If you would like to schedule a complimentary design consultation or need more information, you can call Jeff Mitchell Lighting any time at 314-665-2500. TW8


Keeping Wood Roofs Beautiful

PERIODIC CLEANING AND T R E AT M E N T P R E S E R V E S A N D PROTECTS

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o other exterior building material compares with wood for its warm, natural look, resilience and versatility. Cedar shake roofs, oak or pine log or cedar walls, down to redwood decks, a wood home has a distinctive look that improves with age. However, to keep wood exteriors looking their best and prevent deterioration that can lead to costly repairs, it’s important to periodically treat wood surfaces that start to dull or darken with mold, show signs of mildew or have lost protection from the elements. Wood surfaces that are unprotected degrade from exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. These harmful rays turn bare wood dark, dull and uneven in color. Rain penetrates the wood, causing it to swell. Then blistering heat from the sun dries it. This cycle can cause wood to warp, splinter and crack. Moisture also can make cedar and other woods conducive to mold and mildew. Unlike most other building materials, however, wood exteriors can be restored and maintained through proper care and treatment.

Preserving wood protects it from moisture and sunlight, and helps it last twice, even three times as long. This extended life makes cedar roofs, wood siding and decks cost-effective building solutions. The experts at Aspen Touch Cedar Restoration & Installation have more than 25 years of experience in preserving, repairing and replacing wood roofs, natural wood siding and decks on St. Louis’s finest homes. Their restoration process uses a high-pressure wash to remove algae, moss and lichen, returning wood to its natural color. Shingles are repaired, replaced and nailed as needed. Finally, a quality sealer/stain is applied. This restoration is also effective for asphalt roofs. Aspen Touch is also expert in installing new cedar shake roofs, siding and decking. They can help you make informed decisions about preserving the beauty and value of your wood exteriors. You can call them at 636-458-8878, email aspentouch.rick@gmail.com or visit www.aspentouch.com.


P O N D LE SS WATE R FALL

A Natural Water Habitat in Your Own Back Yard BY CH RIS SIEWING

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 gallery at RecreateNature.com or their amazing portfolio at Facebook.com/NaturesReCreations.

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water feature isn’t just landscaping, it is a way of life. A well-designed water feature offers increasing pleasure as it matures. Over the years, you will notice changes in its appearance. It is, after all, a living thing. It evolves with the seasons, attracts birds and butterflies and it becomes a calming retreat from the stresses of everyday life. A well-designed water feature is planned to be interacted with. Not just outside, but from inside the house as well. This usually requires placing the feature so it is visible from inside the house, and directing the waterfall toward the house as well. By doing this, you will not only offer a line of sight, but it will throw the pleasing sounds toward the windows, so you can be serenaded by cascading water. It is important to keep your water garden to scale without going overboard. Homeowners are drawn to the idea of large waterfalls in their backyard, but if not sized properly, they can look unnatural instead of blending into the landscape. You want to create something that appears to have been placed there by Mother Nature herself. This can be a challenge when locating the pond close to the house. In most cases, it requires working against the natural grade of the lot, using retaining walls and berms to get the waterfall to the proper height. But even a minimal elevation change can produce beautiful waterfalls that are to scale with the surrounding landscape.

The pondless waterfall is one of the fastest growing options in water features today. It provides a natural-looking waterfall without a visible body of water.  It offers all the sounds of natural falls, and allows for many varieties of plants along the stream sections to adorn the water garden.  You can have a natural looking feature, without having to worry about the safety of an open body of water or pond.  This makes these great for young children, front yards or commercial settings. A natural looking pond will use different shapes and sizes of rock. To better integrate your feature into the natural surroundings, a few extra boulders or outcropping stones in the existing landscape provide good transition between the pond and your yard. The use of rock in your supporting landscape also allows you to create level beds for tall, vertical accents such as trees and shrubs. It is important in the planning phase to consider that when installing a water garden, you get two features - daytime and nighttime. Especially with a pond, when it is lit up at night, you can view your fish and other underwater features in a whole different way. Some people mostly enjoy their ponds at night because they work during daytime hours. If you want to be able to enjoy your pond at night, then you want to consider adding underwater lights to your design. Underwater lights are great for adding that extra “wow” factor to your backyard when you are entertaining friends and family.


• Driveway replacement and repairs • Patching, crack lling and sealing • Embedded river and trap rock option • Subdivisions • Surface, subsurface drainage

E X T E R I O R S

Since 1976, Fontana Paving has provided complete asphalt paving services for the nest homes, schools, churches and clubs in the St. Louis area.

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Patch • Repair • Overlay • Complete Tear-Out • New Construction

L A N D S C A P E S

YOUR HOME DESERVES A GREAT LOOKING DRIVEWAY

For free on-site quote, call or email us:

EMBEDDED GRAVEL FINISH

fontanapaving@sbcglobal.net

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DAMAGED SHAKES

DENTED VENT CAP

LIFTED SHINGLES

DENTED DOWNSPOUT

DAMAGED AIR CONDITIONER FINS

TORN SCREEN

Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? A C O N S U M E R A D V O C AT E W O R K I N G F O R YO U , N O T T H E I N S U R A N C E C O M PA N Y.

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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.

DA M AG E F R O M H A I L A N D S E V E R E 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 foundation 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.

I M P O R TA N C E O F A S E C O N D 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 is a roof restoration, consulting and design company. It is a local, third-generation contractor and 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 companies’ criteria to authorize full roof 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 properties 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.


TIRED OF UGLY CONCRETE? THE EPOXY/PEBBLESTONE RESURFACING SYSTEM IS

• An Affordable Solution to repair or improve old concrete • Requires no tear-out • Provides dramatic improvement without yard damage • Natural river rock in 12 color options • Ideal for residential & commercial, interior or exterior

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STEPS/WALKWAYS/ PORCHES

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314-279-7820

DRIVEWAYS

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SALE Receive $350 to $1,500 OFF Savings relative to size of the project

BASEMENT FLOORS

POOL DECKS

PATIOS

Minimums apply. Excludes jobs in progress. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 4/30/17.

www.epoxystoneinc.com

TORM DAMAGE F R E E ROOF INSPECTION FOR HAIL AND S

If Your Roof Looks Like This...We Have The Solution!

BEFORE

Mold, mildew, fungi and algae not only make your roof look bad, but they cause premature deterioration.

AFTER

We use low-pressure power wash to clean the roof, but leave embedded granules. Mold and mildew inhibitor and sealer preserve your roof and keep it looking good for 3-5 years.

If Your Roof We Aspen Have Touch aspentouch.rick@gmail.com 636-458-8878 Looks Like This . . . The Solution! Call or email today for a no-obligation estimate.

We answer 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

www.aspentouch.com


The most leak-prone part of your roof is not a shingle ... BEFORE

AFTER

Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? it’s the flashing ! Correctly Installed

Aesthetically Beautiful

Bays Pans Hoods Aprons Cupolas Dormers Guttering Skylights Chimneys Standing Seam Counter flashing

Installing a New Roof? CALL with QUESTIONS YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM for a new roof should include new flashing. CALL NOW or Visit our website.

www.bflashllc.com

636-484-0002

– WA L K S , S T E P S , PAT I O , P O O L D E C K O R D R I V E WAY ?

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hese are unsightly and also tripping hazards that could cause injuries. You 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.

B Flash llc

Everything V

FINE CUSTOM COPPER

...it’s all we do.

BEFORE

AFTER


Save Money by Renewing Your Outdoor Furniture

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f your outdoor or patio furniture has strapping, slings or cushions that are worn, stretched or faded, you don’t have to spend the money for new furniture. Instead you can select your own fabric or vinyl strapping for a new custom look that will give you many more years of use and save the cost of new. Apple Tree Custom Sewing specializes in renewing fine outdoor furniture by custom-making new strapping, slings and upholstered cushions. They have hundreds of fabrics to choose from or you can bring in your own. They will pick up your furniture and bring it back ready for summer with a whole new look. Many of the leading outdoor furniture stores in St. Louis rely on Apple Tree Custom Sewing for their repairs. With over 30 years of experience, their expert sewing technicians can provide complete sewing repairs as well as custom designs made to your personal specifications. APPLE TR E E CUSTOM S E WING

5116 Hampton Avenue 314-752-8733

NOT ANYMORE... We have been transforming plain and boring concrete to beautiful, durable surfaces for over 34 years. Let us design and install a masterpiece at your home.

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

Garage Floors

Patios

Pool Decks

Interior Floors

See over 50 live video testimonials of our customers and their projects www.youtube.com/user/DecorConcreteStLouis

“Thanks for a job well done. We think it’s beautiful.” – Joe Stangl “Your company was easy to work with, did a great application and cleanup. Everything handled professionally, and the patio looks great!” – Steve and Ann Proscino

Our 34th Anniversary Special: Save up to $500 off your job. Savings based on 10% off of DCR work. New clients only. One offer per customer. Must be presented at time of estimate. Offer expires 4/3018.

Call for a FREE estimate: 636-256-6733 • www.PrettyConcreteSTL.com


H AV E A B E AU T I F U L , N AT U R A L G A R D E N T H AT YO U D O N ’ T H AV E TO WO R RY A B O U T.

You Can Have a Garden that Deer Won’t Destroy

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B Y S T E V E C A L L O WAY

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ore homeowners these days complain about the proliferation of deer in their communities, and how every year they turn their lavish colorful perennial gardens into half-eaten, run-down patches. They are discouraged seeing their beautiful hostas, day lilies, roses, black-eyed susans and even evergreens eaten or stomped into the ground. Based on research and years of experience, I would like to share with you ways that my company Garden Green is planning and planting attractive colorful gardens that can minimize the devastation from deer in your yard. There are two ways we approach the problem. First, for established perennial gardens of vulnerable plants including those mentioned above, we place deer deterrent plants along borders, or at entry points to discourage deer from entering. For instance, Native American flowering plants in the genus monada give off a bee balm, a powder that deer don’t like to brush up against. Monarda bradburiana has a pink flower that blooms in late spring. Monarda dittima is a hybrid species that blooms in early summer, and monarda fistulosa is a taller plant that can tolerate more sunlight, and blooms in mid-summer. Strategically planting these around your garden can keep deer away. Then there are deer resistant plants; those

that have a fragrance or taste that deer are known to avoid, or berries that don’t agree with them. These include native American plants like quinine, with serrated leaves and white flowers that bloom in late spring, skullcap, whose elegant bluish white flowers bloom in late summer, and rattlesnake master, showing unique spiky white flowers that attract orbiting skipper butterflies. False dragonhead is a hardy plant with good, whimsical growth and pink flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. Lilacs and American beautyberry are also deer-resistant colorful flowering shrubs. Beautyberry have their greatest effect in the fall, Glossy metallic purple berries retain their color until winter, and deer just don’t

like the way they taste. There are also deer-resistant grasses and evergreens that keep their color all year long, like sedges, beak grain, prairie dropseed, bottle brush and Indian grass, all hardy native plants in different heights with beautiful seedpods. Another way to deter the damage from deer is in selecting the size of trees and shrubs. It is better to buy those that are beyond saplings, with good bulk. Deer like to feed on the juvenile growth of smaller saplings, and they are more easily trampled. This is just a small sampling of our solutions for lavish, colorful gardens even where the deer seem to be feeding on everything in sight. Steve Calloway is owner of Garden Green Horticulture Service. They help homeowners select the plants, trees and shrubbery that best meet their aesthetic desires and that will thrive in their sunlight, soil and moisture conditions. We also work to revitalize and restore gardens, to help homeowners with the changes that will make their yards better year after year. You can call or email Steve for a complimentary consultation in your yard, to identify your plants and advise on how to keep them healthy and looking their best. You can reach Steve at 314-2885036 or garden_green@live.com.


If You Would Like to Downsize or Simplify Your Life

Finest Custom Table Pads at FactoryDirect Prices

I can help you sell your house and find the condominium, townhouse or villa you will love to call home.  You will have my personal attention in the entire transition.  Real Estate Professional in St. Louis since 1978.

The way to assure perfect fit for table pads is for the provider to visit your home to accurately measure and show you sample colors and textures to match your table and décor.

E DWA R D H A L L Condominium Specialist 314-952-1333 cell 314-993-8000 ofiice ed.hall@cbgundaker.com edhallstl.cbintouch.com

9651 Clayton Road St. Louis, MO 63124 Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC

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

C U S T O M TA B L E P A D S & L I N E N S Phone: 314-752-5577 Email: thetablepadman@gmail.com

Cedar Roof and Siding Restoration and Installation Specialists

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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. But all these exterior wood surfaces can be restored and protected through proper care and treatment, often doubling or tripling the remaining life.

Aspen Touch 636-458-8878 Call for a FREE Estimate

Call the experts with more than 25 years of experience caring for, repairing and replacing cedar roofs, natural wood siding and decks. We are also experts in installing new cedar shake roofs, siding and decking. Fully Insured • References Available On Request

www.aspentouch.com aspentouch.rick@gmail.com


CO U NT Y

EVENTS

LIVI N G

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

COM M U NIT Y ASSOCIATION S IN STITUTE TR ADE S HOW

G R E ATE R ST. LOU IS BOOK FAIR

Sheraton Westport Lakeside Chalet March 6 CAIHeartland.com/TradeShow

May 3-6 Greensfelder Complex, Queeny Park stlouisbookfair.org

GO! ST. LOU IS MAR ATHON & FAM ILY FITN E SS WE E KE N D

B U ILDE RS HOM E & GAR DE N S HOW

G R E ATE R ST. LOU IS JA ZZ FE STIVAL

March 8-11 America’s Center stlhomeshow.com

April 18-21 Various venues music.umsl.edu

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ART FAIR AT L AU M E IE R

May 11-13 Laumeier Sculpture Park laumeiersculpturepark.org

FIRST DAY OF S PRING

March 20 ART ON TH E SQ UAR E CIRCUS FLOR A

YO U R

I N F O R M AT I O N

Downtown, Forest Park April 7-8 gostlouis.org

WOR LD E AG LE DAY

Grand Center April 19-May 13 circusflora.org

March 25 World Bird Sanctuary worldbirdsanctuary.org

Belleville, IL May 18-20 artonthesquare.com MOTH E R ’ S DAY

May 13

CAR DINAL S HOM E OPE N E R

April 5 Busch Stadium cardinals.com ST. CHAR LE S HOM E S HOW

April 6-8 St. Charles Convention Center stlhomeshow.com/stcharles

ST. LOU IS E ARTH DAY FE STIVAL

April 21-22 Forest Park Muny Grounds
 stlouisearthday.org

H U MAN E SOCIET Y OF M ISSOU RI BAR K IN TH E PAR K

May 19 Cricket Field@Forest Park hsmo.org/bark


EVENTS Read more road tales in John’s two books – A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart and Coastal Missouri – available at Left Bank Books. And more of his stories are available at http:johndrakerobinson.com

PHOTO BY TOM PAGANO

Churchill, Church and Charm O S C A R B U Z Z I N F U LT O N , M I S S O U R I

YO U R F O R

and artifacts, along with its programs and events, was formally designated by Congress as America’s National Churchill Museum. It’s only fitting, then, that Oscar buzz filled the air at the old church, dressed up to host the red carpet debut of Darkest Hour, an intimate peek into Winston Churchill’s mind as he faced the menace of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi aggression. The film is a tour de force by actor Gary Oldman as Churchill, a riveting study of the many sides of Churchill, and the camera rarely strays from him as he transforms from a doubt-ridden has-been into Britain’s leader against tyranny, repeating the now-familiar mantra, “Never give up.” This personal glimpse of Churchill by director Joe Wright is not an action adventure film. Star Wars junkies may squirm in their seats, hoping for more pyrotechnics. But it’s a good thing Oldman didn’t squirm during his hours in the makeup chair, transforming into one of the greatest historical figures of any time. Oldman captures Churchill’s deeply conflicting moods during Britain’s struggle with its own resolve at the beginning of the war. Oldman becomes Churchill: his depression, his humor, his voice and mannerisms as he spars with Parliament, King George V, and his own family while wrestling with the impending catastrophe at Dunkirk. Like a fine wine, this movie pairs well with Dunkirk, the movie about England’s dramatic civilian armada that braved the English Channel to rescue 300,000 British soldiers from certain death at the hands of Hitler. It’s interesting that both movies came out within months of each other. Before the old church made its big leap to Fulton, it was the chapel where John Milton got married. I think Milton talks about his marriage in his autobiography, Paradise Lost. Maybe not. During an earlier visit to Fulton, I searched in vain throughout the college for a Paradise Lost and Found. No matter. Darkest Hour is a plot worthy of Shakespeare. And the movie and museum are worthy of your time.

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hey were the best sliders I ever ate. Smoked to a moist perfection, the brisket slices draped off the toasted bun, dripping barbecue sauce onto my plate. No doubt about it, Beks knows how to serve up sumptuous fare, inside the warm ambiance of this charming restaurant in the historic Brick District of Fulton. Beks stands across the street from Well Read Books. The bookstore, a comfy-couch addition to the eclectic mix of this college town and its history, fills its 120-year-old space with book smells and good light, easy chairs and cats. Somewhere on that bookstore’s shelves, author Henry Bellaman’s torrid-for-its-time novel King’s Row is loosely based on his home town of Fulton. And even though Ronald Reagan appeared in a sanitized version of the novel, the book is considered the blueprint for Peyton Place, and every soap opera since. Fulton tells a good story. Rising a few blocks away, the elegant lines of Sir Christopher Wren’s Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, rose from the ashes of the 1666 Great Fire of London, only to be destroyed again during the blitzkriegs of 1941. But it survived enough to jump the pond and plop at the edge of Fulton’s Brick District. Before the old church made its big leap, before the tragic fire, and the awful bombs, it was the place where William Shakespeare kneeled to pray for good reviews. Shakespeare would have loved to claim credit for the character Winston Churchill, whose speech on the campus of Fulton’s Westminster College set in motion the American visual of the cold war, which consumed the attention of an octet of presidents, including Reagan. Beneath the church is the National Churchill Museum which, “through the imaginative and innovative use of technology, brings to life the story of Winston Churchill and the world he knew.” This collection of fascinating displays

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BY JOH N DR AKE ROBINSON


When is the best time to sell your business? BY J E F F BACH

E JEFF BACH is a leading broker at the SAINT LOUIS GROUP, which for over 40 years has been by far the most successful business broker organization in this area. With access to their network of over 7,000 qualified buyers, Jeff offers the best opportunity to help you successfully sell your business. He only gets paid when you sell your business. Valuations are free and are the starting point to knowing when it is the right time to sell your business. Jeff can also help qualified buyers find and buy a business that meets their goals. You can contact Jeff for a free, confidential, no-obligation discussion about selling your business or buying a business at 314-941-8530, or by email at jeffbach@saintlouisgroup.com.

very business owner at some point needs to be prepared to move on. Whether prompted by retirement, relocation, health issues, burnout or changing markets, there is a life cycle to every business. A business broker can help you decide if selling your business is the best exit strategy for you, and when the right time to sell could be. Even if you believe that time is fairly distant in the future, it is never too early to start learning and preparing. All too many business owners wait too long to sell or put a succession plan in place. Burnout can create apathy that leads to decreased sales and profits, and a business is easier to sell and worth more while sales and profits are solid. Waiting a few years while you turn things around could yield a higher selling price, but not if the business loses value while you wait. Often decreases in sales and profits are completely out of the owner’s control. Health problems, family issues, industry downturns and a new competitive mix can change everything. Many people would have liked to sell in 2009 or shortly after but had to work as many as five additional years to recover value lost during the recession. And when the valuation of a business doesn’t match the owner’s expectations, they may be tempted to hang on too long, which also means

missing out on enjoying many of the experiences that they worked so hard for after a sale. Investment specialists can tell you how many years you will be able to afford to live at reduced income after a sale. Waiting too long can not only decrease the time you enjoy in retirement, but also the quality of how you can live. Your business broker can advise you as to what it would take and how long it would take to change the value of your company. While some industries are performing better than others, today’s business acquisition market is very strong. If you anticipate selling in the next five years or so, you should begin to research the possibilities soon. Buyers are confident, and there are more buyers than there are good businesses for sale right now. With recovering retirement accounts and home values, buyers are in an advantageous position to purchase. Banks are lending money to qualified deals. Selling prices based on multiples of sales and profits are up in many categories. Ask a business broker if your business and life situation make this a good time to take advantage of these trends and consider selling your business.


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Tickets ON SALE NOW! CIRCUSFLORA.ORG •314.534.1111


Not Your Typical Road Trip County Living columnist

John Drake Robinson

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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

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Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog

This Book Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis

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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 Book House in Maplewood Campbell House in Downtown St. Louis The Louisiana Purchase Gift Shop at Missouri History Museum Main Street Books in St. Charles Museum of Transportation Gift Shops in Kirkwood St. Louis Genealogical Society in Maplewood World News in Clayton For more information, you can visit StLCountyHistory.com


STEVEN A. WEBER is Partner – Director of Valuation at Property Assessment Review and PAR Residential. His team of experts has the experience, market and legal knowledge to achieve the biggest tax reduction possible on residential properties. He has been reducing property taxes for 30 years, and before that was a Senior Appraiser for St. Louis County for five years. Property Assessment Review is the leading property tax consulting firm in St. Louis, saving over $100 million for some of the region’s largest commercial taxpayers – the St. Louis Galleria, Solon Gershman, Duke Realty, Mills Properties and US Bank. In 2008, PAR created PAR Residential to represent home owners in St. Louis County. PAR’s residential clients have saved over $9,000,000 in real estate taxes since 2009 with over 80% of appeals resulting in tax savings.

How to Lower Your Property Taxes A R E T H E Y S T I L L TA X D E D U C T I B L E ?

With the rise in home values, we have found for many properties the increased value does not reflect the actual changes in value based on recent sale prices of homes that are comparable with yours. In fact, since 2009 we have filed over 15,000 appeals in St. Louis County alone resulting in over $9,000,000 in tax savings to homeowners.

2. DETERMINATION OF FAIR VALUE.

PAR Residential will determine a fair appraised value for your property based on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. 3. NOTIFICATION. We will notify you of the results of our review of your appraised value. If we determine the assessor’s appraised value is fair no appeal will be filed. There will be no cost to you for our time and efforts.

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You now have the opportunity to have your appraised value professionally reviewed to determine if you are being fairly taxed. We base our opinion of market value not on mass computer modeling like the Assessor does but on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. PAR Residential does all the work and only earns a fee if we are successful in lowering your taxes. All costs of the appeal are paid by PAR Residential including legal fees and appraisal costs. Here’s how it works: 1. SET UP A FILE. PAR will gather information from you and County records, including the assessor’s “appraisal”, and set up a case file on your home.

that your property is over-valued by the assessor we will file an appeal on your behalf and provide the required information to the Board of Equalization. 5. BOARD OF EQUALIZATION (BOE) hearings The PAR Residential Team will attend the hearing and argue your case. We will send the official BOE results to you in September and let you know if we need to continue your appeal to the State Tax Commission of Missouri. 6. FEE. Only if we are successful in achieving a reduction in your property tax bill, we share equally in the tax savings (50/50). All of our work is performance based: NO SAVINGS, NO FEE . There are no additional costs to you for any of our work. Our invoice will be sent to you in the fall arriving about the same time you receive your reduced tax bill. You can learn more about saving money on your real estate taxes, the assessment and the appeal process by visiting www.parresidential.com. Interested in signing up? The enrollment process is quick and easy. Visit our website and sign up online today! Specific questions can be answered by emailing them to info@parresidential.com or by calling PAR Residential at 314-454-0505 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

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A NO - RISK RESOU RCE FOR HOMEOWNE RS .

4. FILE YOUR APPEAL BEFORE THE JULY 9TH DEADLINE. If we determine

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WHILE 2018 IS NOT A REASSESSMENT YEAR, PROPERTIES THAT WERE NOT APPEALED IN 2017, OR THAT HAVE SOLD SINCE THE MIDDLE OF 2017 CAN BE APPEALED IN 2018.

The simple fact is – assessors make mistakes. They utilize computer based mass appraisal techniques, market averages and neighborhood models to determine property values, which may not accurately reflect your property value. These errors and miscalculations end up costing you money year after year.

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he new tax plan includes a $10,000 cap on the amount taxpayers can deduct in combined property tax and local and state income tax while nearly doubling standard deductions to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly. This means many people who have historically itemized to deduct things like property taxes or mortgage interest will get more by claiming the standard deduction. These changes make taking steps to minimize your property tax bill even more important than in the past. All St. Louis City and County properties were reappraised in 2017. This value is used to determine your property taxes for 2017 and will be used again in 2018. This appraised value is supposed to represent the market value of your home as of January 1, 2017.


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Profile for County Living Magazine

2018 early spring final med res  

Early Spring 2018

2018 early spring final med res  

Early Spring 2018

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