2023 Summer County Living Magazine

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To request an appointment or receive more information, call us at 636.519.POOL or visit www.bakerpoolconstruction.com We look forward to hearing from you! Baker Pool Construction

The Courtyards at BaratHaven Luxury Living Single Family Detached Villas with Private Courtyards

Enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with attractive views from the entirety of your home. Choose from three distinctive floorplans that offer 9-foot ceilings and ample room dimensions.

Experience the private attached courtyard and outdoor recreation at The Courtyards

at BaratHaven, with the nearby Dardenne Greenway Trail system, a 15+ acre recreational lake and August A. Busch Conservation Area. The HOA takes care of maintaining your lawn, landscaping, irrigation and snow removal.

Experience a sense of community with neighbors and lock & leave convenience. Sit back and relax in your beautiful new home and throw away your “to do” list at the Courtyards at BaratHaven.

Low-Maintenance. Privacy. Community. You can have it all. Just a few of our Quality Standard Features:

n James Hardie® fiber cement siding and trim

n Pella® windows

n Brick per-plan elevation

n High-efficiency heating, cooling and hot water systems

n Architectural shingles roofing

For a private tour or more information, call us anytime or fill out the form on our website.

www.barathavenvillas.com (636) 888-1046 The Courtyards at BaratHaven 108 Haven Ridge Ct. Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368
SEE EVEN MORE ON OUR WEBSITE COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM HEALTH 30 A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals 31 Using Your Mind to Help Get Over Grieving 34 Breathe Easier with Salt Room Therapy BUSINESS & FINANCE 49 Interest Rates Are Up –Can I Even Sell My Business? 50 Seamless Wi-Fi and High Speed Make a Happy Household COLUMNS 8 (mis) Adventures with J. Elinor Lerch 40 A Place in the Country with Bill Ziercher 44 On the Road with John Drake Robinson GETAWAYS 36 Activities & Events Calendar 38 Wine Grapes Do Get Better With Age 42 Every Day is the Weekend at Innsbrook 45 Finding Beauty in Found Objects 46 Turning Trees into Art 48 The Focal Point: St. Louis’ Premiere Listening Room COUNTY LIVING What’s Inside HOME 10 The Green Home Coach 13 Getting Your Floors to Look Their Best 14 Hardwood Floors: Beauty, Elegance and a Sound Investment 15 Simon Homes New Villas in Frontenac/Westwood 16 Kitchen Cabinets: Reface Instead of Replace 17 Waterproof Surfaces Transform Your Basement 18 What Boomers Want in Their Next Home 19 Decorating with Custom Glass Looking for something fun to do this Summer? Look at our Activities & Events Calendar on page 36. EXTERIORS 20 All About In-Ground Swimming Pools 22 The Perennial Professional's Water Feature 24 Native Plant Conversion for Problem Landscapes 26 Services to Restore Your Pool Deck 27 If Your Home Is Settling, Don't Panic 28 Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? 29 The Look of Real Wood, Without its Problems
Established in 1990. Our Experience Is Set in Stone. Office and showroom: 9475 Dielman Rock Island Drive, Olivette, MO www.epoxystoneinc.com WE MAKE UGLY CONCRETE BEAUTIFUL! THE EPOXY/PEBBLESTONE RESURFACING SYSTEM IS: n An affordable solution to repair or improve old concrete n Requires no tear-out n Provides dramatic improvement without yard damage n Natural river rock in 12 color options n Ideal for residential or commercial, exterior or interior DRIVEWAYS STEPS/WALKWAYS/PORCHES POOL DECKS/PATIOS GARAGE/BASEMENT FLOORS FREE ESTIMATES 314-279-7820 SUMMER SALE RECEIVE $350 TO $1500 OFF Savings relative to size of project Minimums apply. Excludes jobs in progress. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 8/31/23. POLYCHIP GARAGE FLOORS Available in Multiple Colors


This beautiful pool setting is a showpiece of lighting design that dramatically enhances the appearance of the backyard. The homeowners were looking for a resort style getaway to escape to at the end of the day. The festive feel provided by the bistro string lighting over the pool and grotto help to set the mood. The resort feel is further accentuated with the custom bollards and unique glasstopped path lights amongst the trees in the landscape.

The creative use of uplighting on the ornamental trees in the grotto further bring the backyard to life. Subtle use of uplighting frosting the evergreens at the back of the yard provides a beautiful backdrop for these homeowners, inviting them to escape to their backyard oasis.

This lighting design and installation were provided by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Their lighting designs are considered to be Best in Class in the outdoor lighting industry in the St. Louis area. They are proud of their success in meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations with their focus exclusively on lighting – not only architectural lighting for the front of the home, but they also offer landscape lighting designs for pools, patio and deck lighting, gardens and water features.

You can call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of St. Louis for a free design consultation for custom outdoor lighting at your home at 636-220-6612. To see more of their work, you can visit their website at OutdoorLights.com/ St-Louis




Todd Abrams


Michael Kilfoy, Studio X


Carol Kindinger


Walsworth Fulton


Insight Marketing

For information regarding advertising, call:


314-443-3024 phone 314-569-3380 fax P.O. Box 411036 St. Louis, MO 63141

To see this issue and archived articles online with links to resources, visit COUNT YLIVINGM AG.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.

Todd Michael Carol

Bring nature home with your own Water Garden

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

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

For an on-site consultation or private water feature tour, please call Chris at 636-223-2330.

Visit our portfolio at www.re-createnature.com Facebook.com/ NaturesReCreations



Travel, parenting, grandparenting, dating, or just life – the gaffes and the goofy are wasted if not shared. Especially if they are self-inflicted. I hope these narratives make you laugh (or at least smile). And I promise – they are all absurdly true.

Confessions of a Lifelong Groupie D

r. Ruth, John Davidson, Heather Locklear, Eddie Albert, Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill. An unlikely collection, but genuine, I promise.

Many claim that we live in a “celebrityobsessed culture.” Even if you aren’t a fan of the K sisters (you know…the ones who are famous for being famous?), you may have had a celebrity encounter of your own, and perhaps a fun story to go with it. (You know where this is going, right?)

Let’s begin with John Davidson, a boyishly adorable heartthrob from a few decades ago. He was starring at the Muny Opera, and I was a lovestruck young teenager in the free seats. After the show, my friend and I went backstage to meet the cast (you could do that, back in the day). Chatting with cast member Vicky Lawrence, on hiatus from The Carol Burnett Show, we inquired oh-so-casually about John. Looking around, she said “I’m not sure where he is – but that’s his car over there,” pointing to a nearby limo. That was all we needed to know. What better way to meet our crush than being IN THE CAR upon his arrival? So yeah, we got in and locked the doors. We never did meet John Davidson, but we did meet Muny Security.

About Mr. Albert. I was in New York City with my parents, meeting with Eileen Ford, the founder of the famous modeling agency. Later that evening, we had dinner at Sardi’s, because where else would you go as a star-struck wannabe model hoping to catch a glimpse of Christie Brinkley? After a star-less and expensive dinner, my mom

knew I was disappointed, and then we encountered Mr. Albert on the walk back to our hotel.

Now, I had no understanding that he was a two-time Academy Award nominee. I only knew him as Oliver Wendell Douglas, the bemused farmer on the TV series “Green Acres” with Eva Gabor. And my spirited Irish Mom was not going to let him just walk by. “Eddie!” she exclaimed, holding up her hands in delighted surprise. “How have you been? It’s Florence!”

picture, I felt like an Amazon, even though I’d spent two days on an exercise bike, not sweating.)

Always obsessed with all things figure skating, I was gobsmacked when I spotted Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton in front of me at a Denver gas station, filling up his Porsche. Of course I had to say hello, and commented that I didn’t think Porsche owners pumped their own gas. The famously nice skater laughed and said, “That’s how we afford them!” Back in St. Louis at a Clayton literary fair, I snagged a front row seat at Dorothy Hamill’s talk, visiting with her and her husband, and thanking her for popularizing short haircuts in 1986, because I had been sporting a particularly unfortunate post-surgical haircut at the time. She is just a joyful, lovely person.

The gracious Mr. Albert indulged her, perhaps because she was quite pretty, or maybe he thought they really did know one another. In any event, after she introduced me to him, he wished me good luck, and we all went on our way. (And I resisted the urge to squeal “Greeeeennnn Acres is the place for me!”) Remember infomercials? Golden Globe nominee Heather Locklear was starring in a fitness club promotion and yours truly was one of the extras pedaling away on an exercise bike behind her. (Just to keep it realistic, we were in full “hair and make-up” mode, and a production assistant made sure our brows never got sweaty…) Our star was not just stunning, but funny and friendly without an ounce of pretense in her size 0 body. (Posing with her for a

And finally, my London encounter with – well, not exactly the prince I was hoping for in the halls of Buckingham Palace, opened to the public for the first time in 1993. Approaching the gates with my small group from a New York ticket agency, I heard a very distinctive voice behind me. Giving our guide a raised eyebrow, he nodded and confirmed my guess. The happy, high-pitched chatter was the famous psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Like me, she was in London alone, and we spent a lovely afternoon together, even shopping for trinkets in the BP gift shop. (She was kind enough to pose for a photo with me, where I experienced the same towering concern I felt standing next to Heather Locklear a few years prior.) She’s charming and kind, and many people recognized her, so I felt sort of “famous by proxy” throughout the day. And while these things can’t usually be planned, I do have a few more notable individuals on my wish list. Stay tuned.

J. Elinor is “All the Muse You Need” for writing short copy, long-form storytelling, speeches, or just proofing and editing. You can reach her at STLWriter@sbcglobal.net.

Photo: Michael Kilfoy, Studio X

The Green Home Coach

MARLA ESSER CLOOS, NAHB Master Certified Green Professional, Wellness

Within Your Walls Certified Professional and LEED AP, is the principal of Green Home Coach where she uses her "superpowers" to help home professionals and inhabitants discover and create better homes for healthier, more comfortable lives. Making simple swaps to green and sustainable choices helps create better homes – a bit at a time in existing homes or all at once for new and remodeled homes. Find more at GreenHomeCoach.com and @greenhomecoach on FB and IG

Home Inspection: Not Just for Buying or Selling a Home M

ost people only think about having their home inspected when they are buying or selling a property. However, the truth is that you can benefit from a proper home inspection because it will allow you to live in a healthier and more comfortable home environment and can also help avoid the most costly repairs.


Periodic home inspections are a complement to regular home maintenance and can help catch issues before they become big repair problems. A home inspection every few years is like going to the doctor for a wellness check. Inspections can reveal things such as active leaks, moisture build-up between windowpanes, and overflowing condensate lines. These and other water issues can lead to wood rot, termites, mold, and other problems that are expensive to fix if not caught early enough. A home inspector can also thoroughly check a major repair after it has been discovered and fixed, to ensure the repair was done properly and there are no remaining issues. The health and safety of the people living in your home are the most important reasons for a home inspection. Home inspections can catch issues which may impact health and safety and help you to have a healthier home. Our homes are usually one of the biggest investments we make, and home inspections help to protect that investment. Home inspection can be dirty and uncom-

fortable, with hazards such as pests, dark attics or crawl spaces and other less than ideal environments. Just like any other “dirty job” there are ways to protect oneself, such as wearing coveralls, booties, and gloves. Despite encountering some dirty

thing. Because then you can make your home even better.


We are a first time-cost culture and often have a challenge taking into consideration how much time, money and convenience taking care of something will be. We especially see this with homes. We often see incidents of small issues like failing caulk in a bathroom turning into big problems from water damage or even flooding. Remedying water damage is a much bigger ticket item. A “wellness check” for your home can help catch these issues long before they cause hundreds or thousands of dollars damage.

and unpleasant situations, there are the benefits of inspecting amazing homes, too.


It can be kind of overwhelming to think about home maintenance. That’s because the average home has about 75 different components to keep track of, maintain and operate. Fortunately, much of home maintenance is pretty simple to manage, but it helps to learn from a home inspector what to do and how to do it all correctly. Think of home maintenance as opportunities to uplevel. Every time you maintain, repair, or replace anything in your home, you have the opportunity to make it better. You can do something that’s easier to take care of, needs less maintenance, is more durable, provides more healthful living, or is more efficient. When you have to do any home maintenance, think of it as a good

To prolong the life of your systems - HVAC system and water heater especially - It pays to have a professional check and tune up your systems annually. Regular maintenance helps to prolong the life of these systems and helps to balance the long-term costs of operating and maintaining a home. A periodic “checkup” home inspection can help you learn more about home maintenance and better understand your home. It is important to know how to take care of your home to ensure the health and safety of the people living in it.


I recently interviewed a woman home inspector. There are not many women in the occupation, but as in many fields there is a different perspective to be gained from diversity. She believes that many women feel intimidated by home inspection due to the male-dominated construction industry. There also seems to be a perception that women have less knowledge about home maintenance and operation. Ironically, over 90% of the decisions about homes are typically made by a woman, so that is changing. To learn more about home inspections, you can visit the website of the American Society of Home Inspectors, www. homeinspector.org.


Let Us Design & Build Your Custom Deck

Since 1991 Aesthetic Design & Build has been building beautiful decks throughout St. Louis and St. Charles counties. We work with each client to create a unique design that fits their home and lifestyle. Wrap-around custom decks and staircases can be built with a variety of low-maintenance decking and railings.

The DryPro under deck ceiling system is a cost-effective way to expand your living space by providing shade and rain protection for outdoor seating areas or bars.

The louvered roof and opening pergola are innovative solutions for residential and commercial outdoor living spaces. These sturdy, fully motorized systems offer protection from the rain, while allowing the flexibility of adjustable amounts of shade and light.

UNDER DECK CEILING LOUVERED ROOF Call today for a Free Estimate at your Home 314-350-3330 See our photo gallery of other projects at AestheticDesignandBuild.com
. . .That You Can Enjoy Above or Below, Rain or Shine
Responsive Readers
Your Business Todd Abrams Publisher toddabrams1@gmail.com 314-443-3024 Carol Kindinger Account Executive carolkindinger@gmail.com 314-452-3576 For over 18 years County Living has presented quality products and services for home, health, recreation and businesses, as well as nearby destinations to upscale homeowners in St. Louis County and nearby St. Charles County. We are delighted with the response from both readers and our long-time advertisers. If this audience is important to your business, we would like to show how we can help you drive new high-value customer relationships and sales. Please email or call to set an appointment to discuss this opportunity for 2023. Don’t Replace – Reface Your Kitchen and Save! Cabinet Refacing * Custom Countertops * Tile Backsplash Refacing costs less than half of tear out remodel. Hundreds of door styles and colors to choose from. Add a custom counter top and tile backsplash for a totally updated kitchen. Call now for a FREE in-home Design Consultation and Quote 314-470-5010 Try our KITCHEN VISUALIZER at www.ClassicKitchenRefacing.com 20% OFF A Full Kitchen Remodeling Expires 8/31/23

Getting Your Floors to Look Their Best



Plain, stained, chipped or cracked concrete on porches, pool decks, in garages or basements is subject to further staining and damage. But it can be made to look spectacular.

MARBLELIFE EnduraCrete can densify, seal, polish, grind, color and design concrete to look like premium flooring, much easier to maintain than untreated concrete. They can also be treated to be anti-slip without sacrificing design or appearance.


Stained grout and tile are frustrating to clean and can be unhealthy. If your shower or floor seal or grout fails, it is soaking up dirt and bacteria with each mopping.

More than just looking better, a new, uniform color for tile and grout can be healthier. Marblelife provides a clean gloss appearance that will not harbor mold or mildew, and provides a layer of protection across grout lines.


Marble, granite, terrazzo, limestone, travertine and other natural stone are luxurious and durable surfaces, but not indestructible. Foot traffic and inappropriate cleaning products make it susceptible to stains, spills, scratches and damage. They need proper periodic maintenance to keep their natural beauty.

Dull and damaged stone surfaces can regain their natural appearance with professional cleaning, restoration and protection that also minimize potential for future damage.


Wax buildup on wood floors traps dirt and yellows, but it can be removed with a professional cleaning. Light wear within the protective finish is screened and re-coated, usually in one day. Damaged, heavily worn or deeply scratched floors call for sanding, re-staining and re-sealing, taking a few days.

Regardless of what problems you encounter with concrete, tile, stone or wood floor surfaces, there is a solution. You can call the professionals at MARBLELIFE St. Louis at (314) 501-9080 for a free at-home estimate, or visit their website marblelife-stlouis.com.

Like Grass, But Better. Attractive, durable low-maintenance artificial grass is a great solution for your yard. PET RUNS Withstands heavy wear, easy to clean with no mud tracked into the house. AROUND SWIMMING POOLS Always looks good, safe to play on, no mowing or grass in the pool. PUTTING GREENS Perfect your putting and chipping whenever you want, right in your own yard. Mention that you saw this in County Living and receive 5% off. Call us to discuss one for your yard 314-463-0093

Hardwood Floors: Beauty, Elegance and a Sound Investment

Hardwood floors have always been at home here in the Midwest, providing very livable, understated elegance. Their warmth, color and natural feel enhance your home and complement any room, any décor. Traditional hardwood flooring patterns have always been a popular choice, but there are many design approaches that can provide truly distinctive looks. They can be installed with traditional squared orientation, or laid diagonally for a more contemporary look that adds a new dimension to a room. Patterns in hardwood flooring can range from the simple to the complex. Herringbone pattern adds an elegant touch, and the inclusion of custom inlaid designs or medallions incorporating different varieties and shades of wood add an elegant and personalized touch. In addition to aesthetics, hardwood floors are a very good investment in timeless

beauty. Unlike other flooring, hardwood can be repaired and refinished to look like new again, making wood flooring a very affordable lifetime investment. That’s why homes with hardwood floors generally sell faster and at a higher asking price. Significant advancements have been made in wood floor finishes that greatly enhance their beauty, durability and ease of maintenance. Ceramic finishes stand up to the everyday wear and tear of foot traffic considerably better than previous finishes. And their beauty is easy to maintain. No waxing, scrubbing or polishing is needed. Just use a damp cloth and wipe to a sparkling shine. Even if your home already has hardwood flooring, you can still protect it with a ceramic finish applied in the refinishing process.

And there have been significant advances in the hardwood floor refinishing process. It takes less time, creates less intrusion and eliminates mess. Environmentally friendly water-based finishes are now used that are harder and longer lasting, don’t change color and dry to the touch in about an hour Whether you are choosing to personalize a new home or update the look with a floor renovation, be sure you use an experienced installer that also has expertise in sanding and finishing. When a wood floor is installed, sanded and finished by expert craftsmen, your new custom hardwood floor will instantly become a focal point in your home, providing a personal statement that will pay back in everyday enjoyment and enhanced home value. Just Around the Corner Inc. has been serving St. Louis homeowners for over 30 years. You can reach them by phone at 314-487-9909 or learn more at www. JATCWoodFloors.com.

International Institute of St. Louis Leads the Way in Welcoming Refugees

The International Institute of St. Louis provides opportunities for immigrants and refugees to thrive, in order to create a welcoming, prosperous, and healthy region for every individual in our community. These opportunities span all facets of life, family, health, community, career, culture, and much more. We know that when our

neighbors thrive, our region thrives and when our region prospers, we have even more chances to prosper.

We aspire to make St. Louis an inclusive, diverse, welcoming, and prosperous region – a region that provides equitable opportunities for everyone whether they be

from Afghanistan, Ukraine, or anywhere around the world. For more than 100 years, the International Institute of St. Louis has strived to serve, advocate, connect, diversify, and build community for the future of St. Louis and beyond. 2021 was a historic year, welcoming nearly 200 families to the St. Louis region.

Plan to attend the International Institute’s Festival of Nations on August 26 & 27 in Tower Grove Park.

To learn more and to support our efforts supporting refugees, visit us at www.iistl.org.

Simon Homes New Villas in Frontenac/Westwood

One of the region’s most respected custom builders, Simon Homes offers an unparalleled lifestyle to the privileged villa owners in The Enclave located in Frontenac and the Village of Westwood. Only minutes away from everywhere - near shopping, fine dining and country clubs. For directions, Google 11411 N. Forty Drive, off Spoede Road at the former B’nai El Temple site. The Villa portfolio showcases an array of elegant, free-standing unattached single-fam-

ily homes on large homesites offering five ranches and a 1.5-story plan. All homesites will accommodate up to 3-car garages and nine of the eleven homesites will accommodate private side-entry garages. This prestigious collection offers up to 4,090 square feet of living space, with a master suite and secondary bedroom suite on the main floor of all plans. All their homes have a minimum of 10’ ceilings on the main level, full masonry exteriors and deep-pour foundations. They also allow for completion of the lower level and as much

as 2,000 additional square feet of finished area.

The Enclave private cul-de-sac is complete, and construction of their display home is already under roof. Several villas are already spoken for with pre-construction pricing from $1,213,900 to over $2,000,000.

As a custom builder, Simon Homes accords you exceptional freedom to personalize your residence to suit your lifestyle. Working with their architects and staff, owners can expand and make structural changes, as desired.

Carefree living is, of course, another significant asset in The Villas. Home security systems are included, as are attractive landscaping and irrigation systems. Yard care services and snow removal from driveways, sidewalks, and porches are provided to owners - relieving you of the tedious responsibility of exterior maintenance and ensuring the year-round beauty of your fashionable villa.

Serene, sophisticated, and stress-free - your villa lifestyle in The Enclave is a new dimension in prestige living. For information you may contact Tracie Baum at (314) 469-4888 or (314) 713-6050.

TILE & GROUT BEFORE CONGLOMERATE MARBLE BEFORE TILE & GROUT AFTER CONGLOMERATE MARBLE AFTER Marble | Granite | Tile & Grout | Terrazzo | Travertine | Stone | Wood | Concrete 314-834-7256 Call Now for a FREE Quote! www.MARBLELIFE-STLOUIS.com IF YOU ADORE IT, WE RESTORE IT JUST LIKE NEW! 6 Month After Care Cleaning Supply FREE 200+ HHHHH Google Reviews

Authentic Mexican Cuisine Served in the Heart of Maplewood.


Consider Refacing Instead of Replacing

If you’re looking for a fresh new look for your kitchen, you may not need to go to the expense and mess of tearing out and replacing your old cabinets. If they are structurally sound, you can get a completely new look in a much less time and at a fraction of the cost by refacing all visible surfaces of the cabinets instead of building new ones.


In refacing, doors are replaced and all exposed surface are covered with matching ¼ inch hardwood or panels. Additional cabinets can be added. With all new doors, new soft close hinges and all new handles

or knobs, your kitchen will be completely updated.


You will have literally hundreds of door styles and colors to choose from, and many options to explore. A few of the most popular options include crown molding, pull out storage in the base cabinets, glass door

fronts, and undercabinet dimmable LED lighting. Ask about the build-up option that allows us to add to the top of your cabinet to make a standard 30” cabinet into a 42” tall wall cabinet.

Custom counter tops and tile backsplash combine to offer a complete package. A totally new and updated kitchen.


Cabinet refacing provides a neat, clean installation, and is usually less than half the cost of a total tear out remodel. In most cases the cabinets can be refaced, counter top replaced, and a new backsplash installed in one week. Many of us have friends that have had total tear out remodels. Ask them how long it took for the remodel. Then ask the cost.

Classic Kitchen Refacing LLC has been the St. Louis area’s leader in cabinet refacing for years. They can help you make all the decisions in design and selection of coordinating countertops and hardware to give your kitchen a completely new look. You can call them for a free in-home estimate at 314-470-5010.

Amazing Food. Delicious Margaritas. Wonderful Atmosphere. Outdoor Dining on 2 Patios. (314) 282-0408 2726 Sutton Blvd. Maplewood, MO 63143 casamayastl.com

Waterproof Surfaces Transform Your Basement into Finished Living Space You Can Enjoy

If you have been hesitant to remodel your basement to more livable space for your family because of dampness and discomfort, there is a set of solutions that you should know about. The EverLast System from Total Basement Finishing. Their wall panels, flooring, and ceiling tiles are all specially designed for comfort and beauty in the basement. All EverLast products are warrantied to resist water, moisture, and mold. They provide insulating qualities, dampen noise, and can be customized to fit your basement finishing decor.

EverLast wall panels provide solid, durable and long-lasting surfaces. They come with 2 ½ inch high-density foam insulation, ½ inch of hard cement board, and a decorative vinyl covering that will never need to be painted. EverLast flooring isolates your floor surface from the cold, hard, damp concrete, making basement floors dryer and more comfortable. Total Basement Finishing has a ceiling system uniquely suited for basements. Their drop ceiling tiles are non-sagging and mold resistant and come with a 30-year warranty.

You can transform your unfinished, or previously finished basement into a comfortable living space with the award-winning Total Basement Finishing basement remodeling system installed by Woods Basement Systems, Inc. They are the highest-rated, most reviewed contractor in their industry and your source for “All Things Basementy.” Their experts will give you a free estimate for improving your basement at your home. You can call Woods Basement Systems at 866-735-1890 to discuss your basement remodeling plan with their specialists or learn more about their services at betterbasementvalue.com.

Wax buildup traps dirt and yellows. We remove it with proper stripping. Light wear within the protective finish is honed, color tinted and re-coated, usually in one day with no dust and minimal odors.

AFTER BEFORE Call Now for a FREE Quote! www.THEWOODWIZARDS.com 314-916-6778
1 Day Wood Renew! Sandless Wood Refinishing, Color Enhancement & Rejuvenation Stripping – No Mess – Kid & Pet Friendly – 5 Year Warranty

What Boomers Want in Their Next Home M

ost boomers, now ages 59 to 77, are empty nesters or retired, and look for homes that will meet their current and future needs. Many are ready to move from the larger homes where they raised their families, and now want amenities that meet their new lifestyles. They seek one-story homes with higher efficiency that will be easier to maintain as they age, in walkable neighborhoods.

A new highly sought after neighborhood in Dardenne Prairie designed to meet these needs is The Courtyards at BaratHaven, offered by Reisch Sansone Communities. This low maintenance lifestyle community offers three floor plans of luxury ranch style homes with inviting courtyards. The homes are designed by Epcon Communi-

ties, a national leader whose mission is to provide homes, neighborhoods, and lifestyles that offer remarkable experience. Their homes integrate smart, innovative designs with the most desirable of modern amenities.

The home styles offer bright, open floorplans designed around their unique large courtyard outdoor living areas, which offer privacy and an outdoor living extension of the home for relaxation and entertaining. Carefree living with low maintenance is key. The homeowners’ association takes care of maintaining lawns, landscaping, irrigation and snow removal, relieving residents of the tedious responsibility of exterior maintenance and providing year-round stress-free beauty.

If you are among those who live in the area but are tired of the steps and maintenance of a big house and yard, and are looking for something simpler, but still with the style and quality you are used to, then you may want to check out this private courtyard community.

Within walking distance from the Dardenne Greenway, a beautiful trail system with two parks and a 15+ acre recreational lake, as well as the August A. Busch Conservation Area, The Courtyards at BaratHaven is located at 108 Haven Ridge Ct., Dardenne Prairie, MO. They are open every day 11am – 4pm and private showings are available by calling (636) 888-1046.

Wildlife and Native Landscaping

GARDEN GREEN provides landscape design and installation of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, stone and mulch. Offers maintenance and renovation of residential and commercial properties; spectacular gardens, identification and removal of invasive plants, rainscaping, deer-resistant gardens and more.

Summer is a great time to plant. Call or email today for a free consultation.

Bring the delight of perennial wildflowers and native grasses to your own yard. Butterflies, hummingbirds and migratory birds will follow. GARDEN GREEN HORTICULTURE SERVICE 314-288-5036 garden_green@live.com

Decorating with Custom Glass


Glass is an appealing, versatile surface that can be used in many ways often overlooked in updating a home’s décor.


Using glass as railing balusters indoors or fence railings outdoors has increased in popularity as alternatives to traditional or solid wall or baluster systems. Glass railings indoors on balconies and staircases expand a sense of interior space and flow.

Outdoors, glass railings are attractive architectural accents that provide clear, unobstructed views from decks, balconies and outdoor staircases, and also serve as wind breaks. Glass panels can be clear or tinted, and framing components are available in stainless steel, brass and aluminum in a great variety of durable color finishes. The systems are strong and provide safe barriers indoors and out.


What draws the eye immediately to frameless shower doors is the way they seem to float in place. They are visually striking because while they look and feel substantial and solid, there is the elegance of seeming that they almost aren’t there. The airy openness of these enclosures also makes the space seem larger than it is.

Frameless shower doors enable you to showcase attractive tile, granite or marble surfaces, as well as distinctive fixtures, faucets, towel bars and other bathroom features. Quite simply, there is no better way to create a distinctive bathroom than with a frameless shower enclosure.


Beyond their practical function, mirrors are elegant and useful decorating tools. Applications that can enhance different areas of the home include creative mirrored artwork above fireplaces, entire mirrored walls and closet doors. Glass or mirrored cabinet fronts are great solutions for kitchens.

One of the most versatile and interesting applications in decorating is movable mirrored screens. These are simply large vertical mirrors that are hinged together to form a screen. You can change their location and fold angles to provide new views in your home. The mirrored screen reflects, magnifies and brings new light wherever it is placed.

Dana King Design Build Remodeling excels in cohesive and collaborative design, managing the details and eliminating the hassles of remodeling. Projects range from home furnishings to home additions. They can answer your questions about which improvements create the best value, phasing the project and funding options. Visit DANAKING.COM to view our projects and to schedule an inspiring in-home or virtual consultation, or call 314-914-2840 NARI Certified Remodeler – committed to excellence in design, quality, on-time delivery, cleanliness and communication. Over 200 online reviews.
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So You’ve Decided to Install an In-ground Swimming Pool… Now What?

Installing an in-ground swimming pool is a considerable investment. In fact, for many people, an in-ground pool will be their second largest expense, following the purchase of their home. For this reason, it’s extremely important for homeowners to understand the different options available to them so that they can select the type of pool and builder best suited for their needs. Of course, if you’ve never installed an in-ground pool before, this can be a daunting prospect. Where should you even begin?


The first step in any pool construction project is determining if it’s even possible to install a pool on the property in question. Pool construction requires the use of heavy machinery, so it’s imperative to confirm that the site has adequate access for this equipment. Typically, a 10- to 12-foot-

wide path is sufficient for this purpose. In some cases, the only available access is through an adjacent property, meaning that you’ll need permission from your neighbor to encroach on their lawn.

The topography of your backyard also certainly plays a factor, but this alone rarely prohibits a pool. With a little bit of grading work and some strategically placed retaining walls, even steeply sloped yards can usually accommodate a pool. The more significant factors to consider are those that can’t be seen with the naked eye – e.g., buried utilities, setbacks, easements, and green space requirements. Utilities can sometimes be relocated (at a price of course), but easements and setbacks may

restrict where a pool can be built or, in some cases, may prevent it entirely. Likewise, many St. Louis municipalities also have green space requirements, meaning that a certain percentage of the yard must remain free of any type of hardscaping. Reputable pool contractors are well versed on these requirements, but educating yourself in advance will give you a better idea on what your municipality does and does not allow.


The best way to gather pertinent information on your own backyard is through a property survey. These surveys are customarily generated by the builder at the time of the home’s construction. If you aren’t the original homeowner and you’re unable to locate an accurate survey, you may need to have a civil engineering firm create one for you.


There are three different types of in-ground swimming pools – vinyl liner, fiberglass, and concrete. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s crucial for potential pool buyers to understand the differences so they can make the best choice for their home and lifestyle.

Vinyl liner pools are generally the most affordable, but design options are limited, and liners usually need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

Fiberglass pools typically require the least amount of maintenance, but because they are prefabricated and must be transported in one piece, they also come with size and depth limitations.

Concrete swimming pools are at the higher end of the price spectrum, but offer unmatched aesthetics, quality, and longevity. Concrete is also the only material suitable for building a completely custom pool, so it provides a lot more freedom when it comes to design options.


While it’s instinctive to fixate on


the price tag attached to each type of pool, you should also contemplate who will primarily be using the pool and how. If you enjoy laying out and plan on doing a lot of sunbathing, a tanning ledge is a great feature to consider. If water sports are more your thing, you may want a larger shallow area so you have sufficient room for playing volleyball or basketball. If you will be mainly using the pool for exercise, you probably want to incorporate a lane for swimming laps. If you know you’ll be hosting a lot of parties, a large spa might make an appearance on your wish list. Thinking through the pool’s intended purpose can help you determine which features you want to include and, ultimately, which type of pool is right for you.

Remember that an in-ground pool is a long-term investment and your family’s needs will undoubtedly evolve over time. Taking the time to think through these changes now will help ensure that your pool will be practical for many years to come.


Once you’ve determined which type of pool you’d like to install, it’s time to select a contractor. Some pool companies offer multiple types of pools while others specialize in just one.

You should also consider other factors such as the company’s backlog and scope of work. They may promise a speedy start date, but will they have the project completed in a reasonable timeframe? Pool companies that rely on subcontractors to build their projects may not have complete control over production, leading to unexpected delays during the construction process. Does the company only install pools, or can they also handle the additional work that you’ll need to execute your backyard remodel? Remember that you’ll need a fence, landscaping, and additional hardscaping to tie everything together and make the space functional.

Don’t forget to also investigate the company’s history and reputation. Have they been in business for a long time, or did they just recently start installing pools? The COVID-19 pandemic inadvertently caused a huge increase in demand for new pool construction, which inevitably led to an eruption of new pool installers with little to no experience.


If you’re in the market for a custom, concrete pool, Baker Pool Construction is your one-stop-shop for all your backyard remodeling needs. Founded in 1968, Baker Pool

has over 50 years of experience and has successfully established itself as one of St. Louis’ leading builders in the luxury swimming pool industry.

When you sign a contract with Baker Pool Construction, you can expect a seamless, timely install. Rather than relying on subcontractors, Baker Pool has added numerous ancillary companies over the years to expand their scope of work and allow them to better serve their customers. Their meticulously assembled team of experts is knowledgeable and well-equipped to handle all aspects of pool construction, hardscaping, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, landscaping, irrigation, fencing, electrical work, plastering, deck coating, and audio and visual systems. Baker also has a service company to maintain your pool after construction has been completed and a rehab company should you need to make any repairs or modifications in the future.

This turnkey approach is hugely advantageous, as it gives Baker Pool greater control over quality and scheduling. It’s also an immense benefit for their customers, as it removes homeowners from the role of general contractor and helps to alleviate the frustrations that often come along with home remodeling projects when multiple contractors are involved.

Baker Pool Construction prides themselves in delivering quality pools that are built to last. They use only the best materials and construction methods to ensure that their pools not only meet but exceed industry standards.

Through this commitment to quality and superior customer service, Baker Pool has maintained an admirable reputation since their inception. With the vast majority of new sales stemming from word-of-mouth referrals, their many satisfied customers are a true testament to their standing in the St. Louis community.

To get more information on Baker Pool Construction or to discuss the possibilities for your own backyard, call (636)519POOL or visit their website at www. bakerpoolconstruction.com.


The Perennial Professional’s Water Feature

Barry Ritter is the owner of Ritter Perennials, growers of perennial plants for independent garden centers, landscapers and landscape architects. They focus on those customers because they offer customers education and experience that goes way beyond what the big box stores are able to provide. They have greenhouses in St. Louis County and Pacific.

Barry has been working in the business for over 50 years, since back when the business his father started was primarily growing house plants, annuals and some perennials for grocery stores, flower shops and independent garden centers. Barry’s daughter Ashley joined the business about ten years ago, fresh out of college. She is now the general manager.

Barry first met Chris Siewing of Nature’s Re-Creations about ten years ago at an event Chris hosted for landscape profes-

sionals at his home in South County. He then went on some pond tours hosted by the St. Louis Water Garden Society and others, where Barry was able to see a sampling of water features designed and built by Nature’s Re-Creations and others. In 2020 he decided that after so many years of providing plants for other people, he had to have a water feature with beautiful plantings at his own home in Ballwin. And he knew he had to have it designed and installed by Nature’s Re-Creations.

Barry realized the special nature of Chris’s talents. He is able to pick the size and character of boulders and rocks for each individual job and visualize how they will look in place to achieve the desired look and function that the homeowner has in mind. As he puts it, Chris is the best at “solving nature’s puzzle.” Barry says the process of working with Nature’s Re-Creations was very simple. He had an idea of what he wanted. Chris drew a sketch of it and took Barry to tour other water features they had done that were like what he was looking for, to give him a good idea of what the finished product would be.

Barry’s back yard was just plain grass with some bare spots, and from his patio he envisioned a water feature that would look like a natural spring coming up out of the ground near the fence at the edge of the property, flowing into a waterfall down to a pond. Barry is a water person who loves to

CHRIS SIEWING is owner and president of Nature’s Re-Creations, nationally recognized as a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor, Missouri’s first Water Garden Excellence Member, firstplace winner of the North American Pond and Waterfall Building Competition and in the elite group of Aquascape Artists of the Year. Nature’s Re-Creations is the area’s leading designer and installer of custom water features. For over 27 years, they have

been committed to high quality design, workmanship and customer satisfaction. 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 636-223-2330 or check out their gallery and fill out the contact form at www. Re-createNature.com or view their portfolio at Facebook.com/NaturesReCreations.


visit beaches and lakes and wanted some of that appeal in his own backyard, including the sound of trickling water, audible but not too loud. There was also the challenge of water runoff from a neighbor’s yard that had to be diverted around their water feature to not interfere with its flow.

The key was to build a water feature that the family could enjoy as much from the inside of the house as outside, to be able to see it out the large kitchen windows that provide a great view of the whole back yard. The idea was to bring nature indoors, so that outside and inside are one.

Barry described for Chris the shapes of beds around the feature he needed, and he and his team at Ritter Perennials took about a year to complete the plantings, filling it in to get it looking just the way he wanted.

Barry also had a business motive for his water feature that other homeowners don’t have. It serves as a trial garden to see how new perennials they are considering offering to customers do in actual outdoor growing conditions here. St. Louis is a tough environment for perennials, due to our variable rain and dry cycles and extreme heat and cold temperatures. The beds around his water feature are where they test new plants to make sure they will grow and thrive in our climate.

Plant breeders that supply Ritter

Perennials from all over the US bring new varieties of popular perennials to the market every year, offering features like longer blooming periods, greater tolerance of dry or wet conditions or improved disease resistance. For instance, ten years ago they offered very few lavender plants. About five years ago new varieties were introduced by breeders in Pennsylvania that are much more tolerant even in soil that is not so great.

Barry, Ashley and the whole family really enjoy their water feature every day, saying the effect is just amazing. It provides relaxation for them that “no doctor could prescribe.” It is lit at night, and Barry added some solar lights to showcase statuary in the garden and plants that they wanted to emphasize. They are all so busy during the daylight hours that the lights allow them to enjoy these features at night. They have added a swim spa nearby that has a perfect view of the waterfall.

Barry is the one in the family who maintains their water feature and the plantings

around it. He says he has a very good success rate with perennials coming back, which as a professional perennial expert, you would certainly expect. Ashley got to pick out and name the new koi swimming in the pond.

They heartily recommend that other homeowners consider adding a water feature to their yards, as a way to bring “nature and the feel of a resort” into their daily lives. And they certainly recommend Nature’s Re-Creations, who showed them great talent in creating the features, really seemed to enjoy their work, cleaned up and protected their work from the weather each day.

Barry is very active in the landscaping community here. He gives talks to landscaping professionals in this area and hosts an event every February to introduce new perennials for the year to their garden center and landscaper customers. Some of their perennials are in the plantings around one of the Chihuly glass sculptures in the exhibit now at Missouri Botanical Garden. In their Planting with a Purpose program, each year Ritter Perennials chooses a different plant and a portion of the sales for that year is donated to a local St. Louis charity. They tend to choose smaller, lesser-known charities with the idea of making them better known to their customers.

Various views of Barry and Ashley’s pond and garden.

Native Planting Conversions are Solutions for Dull or Problem Landscapes


If there is a section of your lawn that needs to be mowed, fertilized and weed killers applied, and after all that is still just ordinary, uninteresting lawn, there is an alternative that is worth considering. Instead, you can convert that part of your lawn to a naturescape meadow, an expanse of native plant varieties that doesn’t require mowing, chemicals or even watering. Create a diverse array of perennial plantings, including beautiful wildflowers that bloom from April through October and come back better year after year. This organic, self-managing meadow eliminates exhaust emissions, air and ground pollution, herbicides and pesticides. And your natural

prairie will absorb water and reduce erosion problems.

The result of this conversion is an ever-changing naturescape that improves your quality of life by attracting birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators, attractions that enhance your home’s connection with nature.

If you have sections of lawn under trees where grass just doesn’t seem to consistently grow, or that are over-exposed to sun where grass burns out, you can convert them to mulched perennial gardens.

You can eliminate the frustration of seeing

grass in those areas that may start out looking nice in the spring, but by mid-summer has worn away to bare dirt where crabgrass and weeds quickly fill in. Instead, you can have creative arrays of bluebells, groundcover ginger, Ohio horsemint, white anemone and other native perennials that will thrive and with just once-a year composting will burst out of the ground into a beautiful variety of colors and shapes year after year. There are also economic benefits: in those areas you have eliminated mowing, fertilizing, weed killers and upkeep. And, real estate professionals will confirm that these plantings increase property values.

If you have wooded borders that are overgrown with honeysuckle, kudzu and other invasive species, you can replace those with attractive native shrubs and flowering trees.

Eliminating these dense clusters of gnarled plants will open up areas of your yard to sunlight, providing more pleasant views and a neater appearance for your yard. You will be amazed at the difference a professional crew can make in tackling these areas, and how attractive they can become with planting of native shrubs and flowering trees.

STEVE CALLOWAY is owner of Garden Green Horticulture Service. They revitalize and restore gardens, and convert areas of ordinary lawn or problem growth with beautiful native plantings that will make landscapes better year after year. Steve also helps homeowners select the plants, trees and shrubbery that best meet their aesthetic desires and that will thrive in the sunlight, soil and moisture conditions in their yards.

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 314-288-5036 or garden_green@live.com.


Decking that looks like wood, but outperforms it.

Meet Millboard. The board that’s hand-molded from natural wood with texture you can see and feel. With Millboard decking and siding there’s no warping or splitting, and unlike real wood or wood-mix composite decking, Millboard doesn’t rot or deteriorate. It’s easy to install, too – simply lay and screw down, with virtually hidden fixings and a compatible sub-frame.

Once installed, care is easy. No sanding or staining. A simple mop with soapy water is all that’s ever needed. Millboard is designed for people to enjoy life outside, and its no-splinter, highly slip-resistant surface makes it safe to use all year round.

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For improved appearance, safety, durability or privacy, we have the fence and gate for you

JB Fence offers a selection of top quality, low maintenance poolgrade fence and gate options. Fence material options include galvanized steel, aluminum, vinyl and wood. All are manufactured in the USA.

Montage is a leading ornamental steel fence product from Ameristar, with an E-coat maintenance-free finish and a lifetime limited warranty. Montage Plus is a heavier option. Both come in black or bronze.

Echelon is the highest quality residential ornamental aluminum

fence in the industry and Echelon Plus is their heavier option. Echelon has a maintenance free, durable finish that offers a lifetime limited warranty. Both come in black, bronze or white.

Photo in lower left is a Legends Decorative vinyl fence by Master Halco. Vinyl fencing is made in traditional picket style, closed picket and privacy fencing. Legends products have a limited lifetime warranty.

Custom fabricated ornamental iron fencing and gates can be provided upon request.






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Complete Services to Restore Your Pool Deck

Over the winter months, grit, mold and mildew stains leave your concrete pool deck looking dirty. EnduraCrete® offers a full range of services to get it looking better than ever.


EnduraCrete power washing, using their own customized cleaning solutions, powers through that black build-up and helps maintain an extended clean appearance. It also eliminates the surface slickness that can result in slips and falls. You can keep it looking its best with an EnduraCrete maintenance program and never see ugly concrete again – for

pool deck, sidewalks, and driveway with their auto-visit maintenance programs.


EnduraCrete provides a variety of transformative services capable of turning dull gray concrete into a value-added source of pride. Everyone can enjoy the pool deck safely without toasting their toes with EnduraCrete Kool-CreteTM concrete coating. Kool-Crete can reduce your concrete surface temperature by as much as 30 degrees allowing your pool deck to be the

refreshing space you envisioned it being on those hot days.

If you have cracks in your concrete pool deck, you have movement, which means any treatment is going to need to flex with your property. Most coatings systems are designed for a stable surface, and will crack, check and split with underlying movement. EnduraCrete Deck-a-FlexTM is specifically engineered for such applications with enhanced flexibility. EnduraCrete Deck-AFlex can restore that clean quality cared-for appearance free from cracks and have your patio party-ready in no time.

Their concrete repair, polishing, staining, epoxy coating, Kool-Crete overlays, sealing and anti-slip treatments deliver a customized concrete surface designed to meet your desired look and feel.

Regardless of what problems you encounter with your concrete surfaces, there is a solution. You can call the professionals at EnduraCrete St. Louis at 877-781-5651 for a free at-home estimate or visit www.marblelife-stlouis.com.

Love Your Landscape We offer a full range of professional and affordable landscaping installation and maintenance services. Hardscapes Patios, Walls, Steps & Walkways Planting Beds Water Features Waterfalls, Fountains & Ponds Outdoor Living Outdoor Kitchens, Fences, Arbors & Gazebos Call or email today 636-343-2201 rex@rexriegerlandscaping.com www.RexRiegerLandscaping.com Landscaping & Gardening Services Professional Installation & Maintenance

If Your Home is Settling, Don’t Panic.


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.


Settlement is the movement your home experiences when changes in the soil below cause it to no longer be able to support the weight of your home, or parts of it. This can be soil that is drying and shrinking, usually after long droughts; soil that remains wet and softens, usually from heavy rain or flooding where there is poor drainage; or compression of poorly compacted fill soil, often where new building lots are developed.

Even if you haven’t seen changes in your home recently, more settlement may occur. Continuing wet and dry cycles can cause soil changes, and settlement is not over unless steps are taken to fix the problem.


The most effective way to fix a settling home is to pier it. Steel push piers are driven deep to bedrock or a stable soil layer. They can be installed inside or outside your home to

lift it back to its original position, closing cracks and improving the operation of doors and windows. The solution is quick, and the problem is solved. On lighter structures such as stoops or decks, 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 floors, inside or out, or doors or windows that don’t close as they should, don’t delay doing something about it. These signs of settlement may 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. Their experts can restore your home to safe, functional condition. You can call Woods Basement Systems at 866-735-1890, or learn more at betterbasementvalue.com.

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Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces?


These 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 concreteabout 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.


The Look of Real Wood, Without Its Problems


Hand-molded from the finest pieces of oak, Millboard boasts refined timber grain that mimics natural timber but is engineered to offer an enhanced decking experience. Thanks to its unique polymer resin construction, this decking does not deteriorate like natural wood. Additionally, the unique surface provides exceptional slip-resistance, even when wet. Every board is produced using recycled materials while containing no natural timber.

Millboard has several additional key performance benefits such as sliver resistance and no exposed screws, to give the look and feel of real wood with minimal maintenance

required. The most unique material on the market, Millboard can be used in a wide range of applications including decks, docks, pathways, pool decks and now also siding.

Millboard combines the natural beauty of real wood with the high performance of

polyurethane, a material widely recognized for its strength. Polyurethane is used in many applications where durability and strength are required, eliminating the inevitable rotting, warping and deterioration of natural wood. Millboard maintains a functional and highly attractive deck for years to come.

Millboard is manufactured in the UK from environmentally friendly and lightweight recycled limestone, strands of fiberglass for strength, and a heavy-duty rubber coating called Lastene that has been molded from a real oak board by a third-generation family-owned British manufacturer.

Mold does not grow on Millboard, and it is impervious to water and insects so it will not rot or decay, yet with the feel of real wood. The installation of the deck boards is simple, and by screwing Millboard’s fasteners directly into the Lastene coating, the screw instantly disappears.  No special tools or blades are required, and it is quite easy to work with.

You can see Millboard at Outdoor Living Inc., 845 Holmes Avenue in Kirkwood. They can be reached by phone at 314-966-3325.

Call today for a free at-home estimate ENDURACRETE-STLOUIS.COM 314-350-8481 EnduraCrete’s Clean & Seal power washing system, using our own customized cleaning solutions, powers through that black buildup on plain concrete and maintains an extended clean appearance. Our concrete staining, coating and sealing bring back the like-new look of concrete pavers. BEFORE AFTER AFTER BEFORE GIVE YOUR CONCRETE A FRESH CLEAN LOOK AND PROTECTIVE COATING Decorative Concrete Repair, Stain, Kool Crete Coating and Overlays

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 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 works with clients at The Fitness Partner, Inc., a boutique gym located at 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 25 years, owner/operator Randy Stone has offered a more private alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and overcrowded. Now Bret has purchased The Fitness Partner, and Randy continues to train his clients there.

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 314-6919040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com or visit www.stronghumanfitness.com.

A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals


There 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 comprehensive 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!


Using Your Mind to Help Get Over Grieving

Irecently saw a woman who was in a period of grief and had been for approximately 10 years. She told me that she had experienced the loss of a friend who was very dear to her, and she hadn’t been able to get over it. She had been experiencing anxiety and depression. She had no enthusiasm for her job or her family. She would go to work and come home to go to bed. Nothing excited her or gave her any joy. She didn’t know how to break the cycle.

After talking about what she was experiencing and discussing her desired changes, we began the hypnosis process. I gave her a suggestion under hypnosis that her eyes would be stuck closed, and the harder she tried to open them the more impossible it would become. When she couldn’t open her eyes, that showed her that her subconscious mind was enabling her to create changes that she didn’t realize she could create.

Then I gave her suggestions about positive thinking, releasing the sadness and, using this powerful part of her mind, she felt a renewal beginning to take place in her outlook.

This is part of what she sent me the next day. “I don’t know enough about what you do, but I woke up this morning with a completely different mindset. I’m hoping it will be lasting. I feel as if I am controlling my thoughts better and letting the “cloak” of sadness fall from my fingertips.”

Grief is natural, but don’t stay there any longer than you need to. Let hypnosis help you find peace.

JOAN KRUEGER has a private practice with an office in Kirkwood. Many individuals have achieved their behavior change goals, both personal and professional, through guidance they have received in her hypnosis sessions. You can contact Joan to discuss how hypnosis could help you achieve positive change in your own life by calling her at (314) 962-7558, emailing her at jfkhypnosis@charter.net or visiting her website www.jfkhypnosis.com.


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Dr. Ayse Kilfoy was chosen by her peers as one of the Top Dentists in the St. Louis area

When St. Louis Magazine surveyed St. Louis region dentists on who they thought were the best dentists in the region, Dr. Ayse Kilfoy of Woodlawn Dental was up there again at the top of the list for the ninth year in a row.

She has been providing healthy, beautiful smiles to the O’Fallon area for over 25 years. “Whether a patient just needs some minor dental work or some long-term cosmetic improvements, we love to be a part of making changes that matter. My greatest pleasure is to see the smile on a patient’s face when we’ve completed their care. For some, it’s like they’re smiling for the first time.”

New patients are now being accepted. Come by and take a tour. Find out how much Woodlawn Dental has to offer you.



Dr. Ayse Kilfoy, DMD

608 Woodlawn Avenue

O’Fallon, MO 63366

636-240-9211 www.woodlawndental.com

Are you paying too much for your Medicare Supplement Insurance?

It could be time to save with Medicare Advantage

Regardless of your health, you can lower your monthly premium expense and still have protection for your savings with a Medicare Advantage plan. And you probably won’t have to change any doctors. Plus, the plan may include valuable benefits you don’t get with your Medicare Supplement and Part D Prescription plan.

I am licensed and certified to present all major Medicare health plan options available in our area. Let me cut through the clutter of commercial messages to find your best solution.

I can help you:

n Save money on your health plan premium and benefits

n Find a plan that includes your doctors and covers your prescriptions

n Find a plan that protects your retirement assets

n Spouse needs a plan? I offer Affordable Care Act and Short Term Medical options too.

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I am a career health insurance executive. For over 10 years as an independent broker, I have been helping my clients save on insurance and health care costs. My services to you are completely free*. I am compensated by the insurance carrier based on your plan enrollment. My impartial no obligation consultation will be at a time and place convenient to you. Call me directly at 314-249-4253

Contact me by email at TA@Thor-Anderson.com

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*This agent may be compensated by the insurance carrier based on your enrollment.


Breathe Easier Using Salt Room Therapy W

hen Clay Juracsik started The St. Louis Salt Room over 10 years ago, it was partially as a therapy for his daughter. She had severe asthma and he saw that it was taking a toll on her health. He was looking for something that could help her and make her less dependent on the drugs she needed to take. Clay had studied halotheraphy and learned of its many benefits, and even traveled to Europe and Russia to visit other salt spas to learn everything he could about them. Her breathing improved quickly and after several months, she was able to cut the need for her meds by 90%. “Halotherapy has made her lungs much healthier. It made a huge difference. It made me more of a believer than I already was,” Clay said. “She hasn't needed medication in a long time.”


Halotherapy chambers have been popular in Europe and are now seeing popularity in the United States.  Salt has been used for thou-

sands of years to treat a long list of common ailments.

It was discovered in the mid1800s that people who worked in the salt mines of Poland and surrounding countries had a remarkably low rate of respiratory illnesses. Soon a clinic was placed within one of these salt mines, which is still in operation today. In order to simulate the therapeutic effects within salt mines, spas emulating salt caves were built on the surface, where people would visit routinely to breathe the air which was saturated with beneficial salt particles and negatively-charged ions.  Recently, engineers created a device called a Halo-generator, which not only simulates the conditions in salt mines, but accelerates the effect.  A salt aerosol fills the air with tiny particles, which have been clinically proven to deliver the most optimal results.


Halotherapy is beneficial to people of all ages, and actually children often experience the

greatest results. Salt Therapy is recommended for those who suffer from respiratory ailments like Asthma, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, and even allergies. Many people use it to lower their stress and relieve fatigue and depression. Athletes use it to optimize their breathing and improve circulation.


The St. Louis Salt Room was the first Salt Spa in the Midwest (fifth the in the U.S.) and has many regular clients, including some doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. They are located at 2739 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, 3 blocks south of Manchester. Learn more about how the St. Louis Salt Room can help you.

Visit www.mysaltspa.com. You can call (314) 647-2410 to schedule an appointment.

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Late Summer Activities & Events

Take advantage of these wonderful events. Make this the year you get back out and enjoy the special festivals and entertainment events across the St. Louis metro area.

PLEASE NOTE: These events were still scheduled as of press time. Check websites for updates.


August 18-20

Main Street & Frontier Park festivalofthelittlehills.com




Wednesday evenings 7pm Missouri Botanical Garden mobot.org


Select Fridays 3:30-6:30pm thru August 4 St. Louis Zoo stlzoo.org



July 23

Kirkwood Park Runningintheusa. com


Stages St. Louis

July 21-August 20

Kirkwood Performing Arts Center stagesstl.org


July 22-23

St. Nicholas Family Life Center 12550 S. 40 Drive opastl.com



August 7-13

Historic Downtown Maplewood cityofmaplewood.com/fun


Labor Day Weekend MO Botanical Garden mobot.org


September 8-10

Downtown Clayton saintlouisartfair.com


Stages St. Louis

Sept 8-Oct 8

Kirkwood Performing Arts Center stagesstl.org



September 15-16

Central Fields in Forest Park greatforestparkballoonrace.com


Sept. 8, 9 & 10

Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood schlafly.com

September 15-17

Historic North Main Street St. Charles stcharlesmosaics.org


September 15-17

Kirkwood Park kirkwoodmo.org



Sept. 16

483 E. Lockwood oldwebsterjazzfestival.com


Sept. 16 11am-8pm

South Grand Business District




Sept. 16 12-4pm

Historic Downtown Maplewood cityofmaplewood.com/fun


Wine Grapes Do Get Better with Age

We often hear that wine gets better with age. There are a few red wines that do get better with aging in the bottle. However, most wine being sold today is ready to drink immediately. In short, most wines do not need additional aging.

Aging, however, is important in the vineyard. The clock that measures age in the


5601 High Street, Augusta 636.228.4301 augustawinery.com

Located in the Augusta American Viticulture Area (AVA), the first AVA designated in the U.S. (in 1980), this winery is a vital stop for the wine connoisseur and amateur alike. The winery specializes in estate-bottled wine, meaning the entire process, from growing the grapes to bottling the blends, takes place on the property and within the Augusta AVA. Their knowledgeable, friendly staff members take customers on a tasting tour of their award-winning wine list daily. Enjoy live music Saturdays and Sundays at their open-air Wine & Beer Garden April through October. Watch the website for events through the year like their Friday Night Live Summer Concert Series. Make a weekend of it! The winery is within walking distance to many popular B&Bs and hiking and biking on the Katy Trail.


6601 S Highway 94, Augusta 636.482.8466 balduccivineyards.com

A sprawling vineyard on 76 acres of rolling hills and vistas operating for over 20 years, Balducci Vineyards has been voted favorite

vineyard begins at flowering. Flowering in most Missouri vineyards takes place about 30 to 45 days after bud-break. Flowering is a quick event and is often complete in 3 to 5 days, depending on the weather. Pollination, the shedding of pollen onto the stigma comes next, followed by fertilization, 24 to 36 hours after pollination.

winery for the past 14 years by a local readers' poll. The winery also boasts numerous award-winning wines featuring Missouri grown grapes. Enjoy live entertainment Saturdays and Sundays Spring through Fall, life-sized games, a bocce ball court, and plenty of room to enjoy a day outdoors. Plan your special events and weddings and wow your guests in the rustic chic barn. Don't miss the craft beer options aplenty, along with a full menu of sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and handmade pizzas - order the deep dish! It's worth the wait! Visit the website for hours, directions and events including their Pasta Fridays featuring their signature pastas and live music while the sun sets over the patio.


201 Montelle Drive, Augusta 636.228.4464 montelle.com

Situated 500 feet above the Missouri River Valley within the Augusta AVA, Montelle offers a breathtaking view of rolling hills, forests and the river valley just a few minutes down the road from its neighboring historic town, Augusta. The winery café offers daily lunches with items like fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and pizzas. Melodies of live music dance on the Osage mountainous air on weekends through the

When the grape berry diameter is approximately 1/16- to 1/8-inch, these tiny little berries are extremely susceptible to infection from grape diseases. As the berries age on the vine, they develop age-related resistance to some grape diseases. Approximately five to six weeks after flowering the grape berries have developed full resistance to specific diseases.

Now for a unique twist. The green grapevine remains susceptible to diseases. Almost as if the vine is protecting their offspring from demise. But wine grapes are not grown from seeds, instead grapevines are asexually propagated, which results in each grapevine of a specific cultivar being an exact copy. Thus, we can pass all the right traits and taste from one generation to the next, insuring consumers will have exactly the right wine each time.

Be sure to visit one of the wineries featured in this issue to sample their exquisite red wines, the result of Mother Nature’s aging process!

Information courtesy of Dean S. Volenberg, Extension Viticulture Leader, University of Missouri Grape and Wine Institute

Fall. With covered and climate-controlled seating Montelle can be enjoyed year round. Their banquet room is a perfect setting for micro-weddings and other memorable events.


5634 High Street, Augusta 636.482.9463 mountpleasant.com

Mount Pleasant Estates is rich in history with more than 150 years of winemaking excellence. Experience the serenity of relaxing on Mount Pleasant’s patio with views of the sweeping vistas. Discover the charm and history of old world winemaking in the richness and variety of Mount Pleasant’s award-winning wines. Visitors to the winery in Augusta enjoy tasting wine in the spacious 4,000 square-foot tasting room. Enjoy live music on weekends in the summer and fall, cellar tours, wine dinners, holiday-themed events and more. With the rolling hills of the Augusta Appellation, beautifully landscaped grounds, historic structures, recently renovated ballroom, and impressive cellars – Mount Pleasant is an elevated event venue unlike any other. Visit for the day, the weekend, or book a private event to make memories in America’s 1st wine region.



1110 Stone Hill Highway, Hermann



Established in 1847, Stone Hill Winery in Hermann is Missouri’s oldest and most awarded winery. The historic winery was once the second largest winery in the United States until Prohibition. Reopening in 1965, it reestablished the Missouri wine industry and continues to produce wines from their own vineyards in and around Hermann. The property has been restored to showcase its original German American mid-18th-century architecture. Tours of the underground cellar system, the largest series of arched underground cellars in the country, are a must-see. As you walk through the cellars, you will see firsthand how wine is made. The Vintage 1847 Restaurant is a unique culinary destination. Focusing on German and American cuisine, it is situated within the original barn and horse stables. The Sherry House is the event space and often hosts live music on weekends. It is the perfect place to sit and relax with a glass of wine looking over the vineyards and the rolling hills of Hermann.

• Taste • Dine

A Place in the Country

Bill Ziercher is the founder of Select Properties Real Estate and is licensed with PFRG. He has been active in building, buying, selling, and managing rural real estate and income property for over 25 years. For a free consultation on marketing your rural property, you can contact Bill at 314.412.3966. and for copies of previous “A Place in the Country” Articles you can email him at ziercher59@gmail.com.

Memory Dividends B

ack in the late eighties I was working 60-hour plus work weeks and earning a great income on straight commission. One day I was listening to Dr. James Dobson on the radio, to paraphrase, “On their death beds, men do not look back and say I wish I was a better businessman. Many wish they had been better fathers.” That was an epiphany point in my life as a new dad. I made a decision to cut back my hours and take an income cut.

Two things happened as a result. I cut my client list by 75% to just the most important ones; the next year my work hours went down to 35 a week and my income doubled. The second thing is, ever since then I have succeeded in achieving life balance. One of the best outcomes of life balance is the memories I have and continue to create with family and friends at our farm, lake property, on vacations and hunting trips.

of a moment, an event, a conversation, a person, a scent or a taste, you are getting an emotional return on your previous investment 1 .

More specifically, we discussed memory dividends created by having a place on the water, in the mountains or in the country. I like to refer to them as kid and grandkid magnets. A byproduct of these types of investments is financial - when bought and maintained prudently they provide nice appreciation and a lot more memory usefulness than a larger retirement account. We all have our own best memories, and while the list is unlimited some of my personal favorites include these:

HUNTING - at the top of my list is deer camp. But there is much more. A great multigenerational family hunt is mushrooms. For kids it is like an Easter egg hunt with other things that cause childlike wonderment like shed antlers, turtle shells, unique rocks and more.

GOLF - I am not a golfer but many of my friends who love the game especially like family/friend annual trips to their family getaways. Better yet to mix in other activities like fishing and visiting local wineries and attractions.

Something to consider is to make a conscious commitment to allocate your time and resources to creating lasting memories. Block out your calendar a year in advance. Share with spouse, family and friends, get them engaged and have them block out their calendars also. If you can afford a place in the country, by the water or in the mountains choose a professional real estate agent in the lifestyle property you are wanting.

A recent topic with the four men I have met with monthly for over 20 years is memory dividends. A memory dividend is a return on investment you get from the creation of memories. Every time you are reminded

BONFIRES, MARSHMALLOWS AND STAR GAZING - these activities just aren’t the same in your backyard. It is 8:30 when you start the fire and the next thing you know it is 1:30 in the morning and with more than a glow of the fire if you know what I am talking about.

If the most valuable thing you have are happy memories, you have led a rich life.
–Matshona Dhliwayo

Take a fresh road trip.

County Living columnist JOHN DRAKE ROBINSON

for his unique travelogs based on his books.

John’s Newest Book, Souls Along The Road, Is Hot Off The Press

The stories along these roads reflect life’s uneven rhythms. Fun. Fear. Breakdowns and revelations. The beauty of violent storms. The scents of September sycamores and campfires, forest fires and kitchen fires. His stories serve up tastes and touches and sounds you can’t coax from a tweet. You probably shouldn’t read this during church.

Available at fine bookstores everywhere. Or email John at cjrobin@socket.net

Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog

Photos by Cheryl Robin son

Your Piece of Paradise at Innsbrook

Imagine being able to live in a place where every day is the weekend. A place where you are blissfully disconnected from reality while naturally connected to Mother Nature and the comfort of family and friends in one central location. Welcome to Innsbrook: where your daily dreams of escape from reality actually become a reality. Whether your idea of a perfect weekend is ultimate adventure or peaceful relaxation – you can customize your experience at Innsbrook one timber at a time.

Surrounded by thick forests and over 100 lakes, this resort community offers warm sandy beaches, multiple nature trails, two pool sites, an amenity complex with fitness center, outdoor amphitheater, playground, and poolside eatery and bar; a full-service restaurant, coffee shop, boutique, a championship 18-hole golf course, and events and activities year-round for all ages. Innsbrook is the best of both worlds for those who want to be in harmony with nature, but have all the comforts of city living just 3045 minutes away.


Innsbrook’s variety of year-round recreational activities encourage digital detox and outdoor explorations. Golf is a favorite for many guests and residents. This 18-hole championship course sits amid rolling, wooded hillsides, narrow fertile valleys, and

12 sparkling lakes. New Club Car golf carts featuring a GPS system enhance each player’s experience from the first tee box to the 18th green by monitoring pace of play and providing real time information after each swing.

If unique cuisine and hand-crafted cocktails are your passion, Innsbrook proudly offers multiple places to satisfy your culinary cravings. Whether it be a casual dinner, special occasion, or post-golf get-together, the friendly atmosphere paired with the rustic, refined, and relaxed style of the Clubhouse Bar & Grille provide a savory dining experience for everyone. Situated on the golf course, the Clubhouse features a full bar, lunch and dinner menu, happy hour specials, live music events and entertainment on select evenings, and a secret Speakeasy set to open soon.

For a quick meal on the go, the casual food truck fare at the Par Bar is available to golfers, residents, and guests to pick up a cocktail and lunch on the pro shop patio. Another option for refreshing snacks and cocktails is the poolside Summerhaus at the

Charrette Creek Commons, featuring small bite menu items and delicious BBQ from Sugarfire Smokehouse.


For more than 50 years, Innsbrook has championed creative home designs for secondary and primary residences. Drawing on decades of expertise, Innsbrook is adding a new product to its portfolio in the form of a sleek and contemporary two-story monolithic home.

Introducing the next evolution of Innsbrook properties, the Tyrolean Sonnen Haus. This all-new concept combines the modern exterior of a treehouse with cozy interior elements of a cottage into one convenient and comfortable residence that can transition from a vacation home to a permanent residence, 365 days a year. Offered in three and four bedroom models, each home will display an open floor plan featuring an artist loft, sloped ceilings, and a wooden beam decorating the highest point of the interior. LP ExpertFinish vertical board and batten siding, metal roofing, decorative timber overhang details, and stone masonry will border the base of all four exterior elevations, adding a touch of Innsbrook flair to a modern home design resting in the heart of nature.

Focused on open spaces and natural light, the options of contrasting exterior and interior palettes, paired with simple, geometric lines, enhance the modern design while creating a striking visual effect. Sliding glass doors from the family room and primary bedroom will open to a composite deck and/ or patio that lines the entirety of the back elevation, while oversized windows allow for natural light to adorn the indoors. Both plans offer a designated list of upgrade opportunities for owners to choose from, including a screened in patio, corner fireplace in the family room, and much more. Located in the Tyrolean region of Innsbrook, this area offers its own security entrance, freshly paved roads, and is in close proximity to the amenity complex, multiple lakes, nature trails, and a brand new swimming pool.

The first community of its kind is made up of 21 lots that are available for purchase now. To learn more about the Tyrolean Sonnen Haus, or additional Innsbrook properties, contact one of Innsbrook’s expert agents at 636.928.3366 ext. 9199 or email property@ innsbrook-resort.com. Or, explore Innsbrook without an appointment from 9 am to 5 pm, seven days a week, or virtually at innsbrook-resort.com.

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On The Road


Read this and other stories in John’s book, Coastal Missouri, and more road tales in his other two books A Road Trip into America’s Hidden Heart and Souls Along the Road, available at Left Bank Books. More of his stories are at johndrakerobinson.com.

The Ma and Pa of the Beverly Hillbillies

On a hilltop overlooking the Osage River, a part of your history sleeps. And I’ll wager a fancy leather lunchbox full of Texas tea that most Americans probably have spent more hours absorbing this history than they did learning about Osage Chief James Bigheart or the slaughter of the bison in Missouri. Most locals can tell you about this unique history, spawned by Tuscumbia’s most famous permanent residents. You might not know them, but you know their stories. On the edge of town, Paul and Ruth Henning sleep the eternal sleep. They’re in Tuscumbia Cemetery now, their unassuming gravestones in the shade of a giant cedar tree. There’s no pronouncement carved in granite that “Here lie the Maw and Paw of the Beverly Hillbillies.”

But their stories live on in celluloid. Although they made their mark in Hollywood, they made their final resting place in the land that produced the rich fabric of their stories, some of them only a stone’s throw from this plot.

Ruth grew up here, and when she got a job at a Kansas City radio station and met her city-boy beau Paul, she enriched his life with her rural stories. As a fledgling songbird at KMBZ, Paul’s television hits were still over the horizon, and might not have happened at all if it weren’t for two important life choices.

His first key decision came after a brush with greatness. He was a child when his family moved from his Blue Ridge, Missouri, birthplace to nearby Independence.

As a student at William Chrisman High School, Paul earned extra money as a soda jerk in the hours after school. There’s a legend around the Independence square that back in 1929, Harry Truman sat at the soda fountain at Pendleton’s Drugstore, and offered advice to Henning: “Become a lawyer.”

Henning went to law school. But his heart followed another script, a path that led him to KMBZ, where he met the love of his life. Ruth Barth was a young singer who shared a microphone with Paul in those days of live radio theater.

That was Paul’s second important choice: He focused on Ruth. They eventually married, and like all good husbands, he listened to her stories and her advice. She became his inspiration, and perhaps the biggest reason for his sitcom success. Many of Paul’s television scripts spring from the Miller

County hills where Ruth spent much of her childhood.

Case in point: Hooterville sprouted from Paul’s mind, inspired by Ruth’s childhood memories.

If the Hooterville sisters’ names ring a bell—Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo— you’re already familiar with my home town of Eldon, just down the road from Tuscumbia. The long-running TV tandem Petticoat Junction and Green Acres got much of their inspiration from a hotel in Eldon, where the old Rock Island railroad would deliver Ruth for summer visits. There, Ruth and her summer girlfriends engaged in the time-honored art of attracting boys.

Of course you can sing the words to Paul Henning’s most famous song, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.” Not only did Henning write “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song, and create the TV spinoffs “Petticoat Junction” and “Green Acres,” his very first TV hit has roots in Missouri, too. The Bob Cummings Show featured a trendy photographer who migrated to Hollywood from Joplin, Missouri. Throughout his television career, Henning produced a gusher of scripts with more footprints in Missouri than a cement pond full o’ possums.

As I stood beside their graves, it struck me that more people have formed their impressions of Ozarks hill people from Ruth and Paul and their Beverly Hillbillies, than from any history of the region. That’s not surprising. Most people get their knowledge of classical music from Looney Tunes.


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Finding Beauty in Found Objects


In art, “one man's trash is another man's treasure” often holds true. One artist is navigating her way through the local art scene with her innovative approach to environmentalism. Meet Cassandra Kilfoy, a mixed media artist who utilizes recycled or found objects as her primary materials, transforming them into captivating works of art. With her emphasis on sustainability, a deep connection to her spirituality, and nature, Cassandra creates bodies of work that reflect a profound sense of interconnectedness.

She draws inspiration from her spiritual practices – Cassandra is also a Tarot reader – and the world around her. She sees potential in discarded objects that others deemed worthless. From rusty metal fragments to discarded worn magazines, Cassandra’s eye can find beauty in the most unexpected places. In her artistic process, she breathes new life into these materials,

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giving them a second chance to tell their stories. Through her creative works, she invites us to reconsider our relationship with unwanted objects and encourages us to embrace a more thoughtful and responsible way of life.

Cassandra's works have gained attention at numerous local art fairs over the last few years, including the highly anticipated LET THEM EAT ART festival, set to take place in Historic Downtown Maplewood on July 7. Her booth is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts who are captivated by her creative blend of spirituality, and sustainability.

Visitors to her booth can expect to find thought-provoking sculptures, intricate collages, and visually striking installations that showcase her mastery of mixed media.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit Cassandra and see her mixed media art at Let Them Eat

Art in July. Step into her booth, be inspired by her unique and whimsical aesthetic, and discover how discarded objects can become powerful symbols of beauty, otherworldliness, and renewal. See more of her work at cassandrasprophecies.com.

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Turning Trees into Art

After graduating with a degree in sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute, Michael Bauermeister began designing and making one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. Then, after eleven years of furniture making, his then 8-year-old son asked if he would make something as tall as he was, and Michael sculpted a wooden vessel.

“Then I challenged myself to make something my own size, and my career as a wood sculptor was born,” he says. “Ever since sixth grade art class in St. Louis I remember I enjoyed making clay figures and thought sculpting is what I was supposed to do.”


To say that his sculpting career has been successful is an understatement. Examples of where his work is displayed include two different Smithsonian Museums that have his work in their permanent collections. So does the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

as well as several United States embassies around the world. The lobby of Barnes West Hospital in Creve Coeur also exhibits a large panel of his work.

The yearly Smithsonian Craft Show, widely regarded as the country’s most prestigious juried show and sale of fine American craft, has invited him to participate ten times.

The accolades are a result of the creative technique he has developed which allows him to turn wood, which in its natural state has a limited width, into art of a larger size with unique appearance.


Each wood panel or vessel is first sketched on paper before he commences to create a sculpture. Normally he works on several pieces simultaneously, with larger works requiring many months to complete.

His vessels are built up out of layers of wood stacked horizontally to form a contemporary shape.

Wall panels are formed using the same process but remain stacked horizonal pieces that are then sculpted using chisels to form a pattern on the wood surface.

“What I do would not be possible from a block of wood,” he explains, even though the finished shape does appear as if it is a single piece of wood. His largest vessels to date are nine feet tall, and his largest wall panel he just completed is seven feet tall and fifteen feet wide.

Michael says he has not encountered any other wood sculptor working as large or using the same technique. “I have ‘carved out’ my own niche,” he says laughing.


The inspiration for each piece comes as he works when the wood itself seems to create the idea for the next sculpture. “I like the way my ideas flow from one vessel or wall panel to another with no effort from me,” he says. A plethora of ideas were inspired by the time he spent as the artist in residence at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is one of the few national parks that hosts artists, and the colors of the landscape and

Artisans AMONG US

the textures he experienced continue to be an inspiration.

When a final shape has been created, Michael adds finishes and color before he lacquers and polishes each piece. “When completed, I want that woody feel to come through. Then it all comes together like a kind of wooden poem,” he says.

While some finished pieces are beautiful for their contemporary, simple shape, often the final piece represents elements in the natural world, such as pebbles beneath the surface of the water in a stream, ripples in water, or tree branches with the first burst of growth in the spring.

If you gaze at them long enough, many of his wall panels almost seem to move.

Michael prefers to work using linden wood he purchases from a supplier in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin linden wood is different than Missouri linden wood,” he says. “It is not too hard or too soft, and easier to carve.”

He also buys wood from Lumber Logs in St. Louis, an urban log recycler that collects lumber-worthy logs that normally would end up being ground up, burned or buried in a landfill.

His work has evolved in many ways. First, the size of his largest works of art have increased dramatically. Also, he has begun to add different elements to his surfaces, such as gold, silver, and metal leaf.

In addition, instead of just being beautiful works of modern art that interpret his view of nature, he has been experimenting with incorporating messages in his sculpture that depict the fragile nature of our environment, as well as social issues prevalent in society. “These are difficult messages to convey and still create a collectible work of art,” he says.

Early in his career as a wood sculptor, Michael’s sales achieved success and acclaim on the East and West Coasts, but not so much in his hometown. “I remember being at a show in Baltimore thinking ‘this would never work in St. Louis,’” he recalls.

Now, thanks to his almost yearly participation in the St. Louis Art Show in Clayton he has been enjoying success locally and has a loyal fol-

lowing of area art afficionados.

Yearly he is invited to participate in art fairs coast to coast, and he works with independent designers across the US who commission creations to decorate banks, hotels, businesses, and hospitals.


His workshop and gallery are in the 1920 two-story Meinershagen General Store, the last remaining building in what once was the town of Nona, Missouri. The building is a stark contrast with the beautiful objects of art Michael creates. Located about forty-five minutes outside of St. Louis and four miles west of Augusta, the building sits nestled among a grove of cottonwood trees amid thousands of acres of corn and soybean fields, 100 yards off the Katy Trail. From the outside it appears to be abandoned.

But Michael says that after 36 years working in the old store it feels like “one big tool, and an extension of my body.”

Inside, the store shelves and counters remain in their original location, now full of woodworking tools and cans of varnish, all covered with a thin layer of wood dust. The floor is crowded with lathes and woodworking machines, and, no surprise, a layer of wood shavings.

Michael welcomes visitors to his studio and upstairs gallery by appointment, which can be made via email at michael@bauermeister.com or through his website at michaelbauermeister.com.

Prices for his work range from $150 for a 9”x9” wood panel to $30,000 for his most expensive and largest creations.


The Focal Point


For nearly 50 years, Focal Point has been St. Louis’ premiere roots music listening room, presenting the very best in folk music: American Roots, Blues, Cajun Zydeco, Singer-Songwriter, Irish, Celtic, British and international folk music. They feature local artists, those with national reputations and many from around the world, including Doc

Watson, Brewer and Shipley, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Tom Hall, The Rum Drum Ramblers, Geoff Muldaur, John Renbourn, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Tim O’Brien, Henry Townsend, and Robin & Linda Williams.

In January 2000, they moved from Webster Groves to their current home at 2720 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood. It is an intimate setting in a vintage 1920’s building with maple floors and vintage theater seats. The room was retrofitted for acoustics and is one of the regions’ finest


listening rooms. Performers absolutely love the space. Talented musicianship and a great sound system make for a very pleasing listening experience.

During the pandemic, The Focal Point showed their support for local musicians by providing live-stream concerts. They provided the space and technology, and all the money raised went to the musicians. The Focal Point is an all-volunteer organization. “It was important for us to support our local musicians during this time. Live music is important and we didn’t want to lose it,” said board member Paul Heirendt. The Focal Point’s popularity continues to grow. They have now more than 120 concerts a year. Local musicians love the venue and it has become increasingly popular with fans alike. It is a hub for acoustic music in St. Louis. They also make their space available to dance groups, acoustic jams, poetry and improv theater to support the arts in the community. For information on upcoming Focal Point events or rentals, to see previous concerts, or to find out how you can sponsor or help, please visit them at www.thefocalpoint.org. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel, which features more than 220 concerts.

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Interest Rates are UP! Can I Even Sell My Business?

The answer is yes, maybe… Challenges always create opportunities. Is it the perfect time to sell your business? Possibly not. Is it the worse time? Probably not. Interest rates are higher than we have seen in years. While the majority of business acquisitions are financed through banks, acquisitions are still brisk! Why? Pent-up demand. Concerns about people’s futures working at corporations. Opportunity. Rates can be adjustable.

We have been in a period for the last several years where there are more buyers than sellers in the St. Louis area market. This has created a sellers’ market. While this may be changing, the demand is still strong, and deals are happening.

Yes, higher interest rates “may” affect the value of your company. Your best bet is to have a business broker valuate your business and see where you stand. Take the unknown out of the equation. Things might be better than you think!

Slower economies always bring out buyers who are concerned about the security of their careers. People know that the only person that they can truly count on is themselves. Economic slowdowns are always the biggest periods of new entrepreneurship. This could make now a great time to sell. There are always opportunists in the marketplace. If you are in a position where you need to sell your business now regardless of maximizing the outcome, or if the end net is not your biggest concern, there are entrepreneurs ready. Frankly, this type of buyer often sits back and waits for times like these. They are ready with cash, or they are credit and asset worthy of seller financing. Don’t be shy if you are at the time in your life that you are best off selling now. Think about opportunity from your side of the fence as well. While interest rates are high, seller financing may be a big advantage to you as a seller. If you don’t need all the money today or if you want to defer taxes, why not earn these high interest rates yourself? As an investment tool, we haven’t seen rates this high on earnings in years.

JEFF BACH is part of the team of top business brokers in this area at Fusion Business Brokers. They combine the highest levels of technology, marketing and professional experience for the needs of business owners. With access to their large network of qualified buyers, Jeff offers the best opportunity to help you successfully sell your business. He only gets paid when you sell. Valuations are provided at no charge and are the starting point to knowing the right approach to selling your business. Jeff also helps qualified buyers find and buy a business that meets their goals. He is an Official Member of Forbes Business Council.

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 jbach@fusionadvantage.com.

Lastly, many qualified acquisitions are funded with SBA loans. Those rates are based on a prime + schedule. They generally adjust every 90 days. Rates will come down and there is already some discussion on the Fed level of at minimum easing increases, with declines on the horizon. From a buyer’s point of view, they know that rates, thus their payments, will decrease over the next few years. Bottom line is that educated buyers are still in the hunt!

As always, do your homework. But if you have interest in selling your business or even need to sell, investigate the possibilities. Contact an experienced and qualified business broker to understand your value and assess whether or not now is a good time for you to sell.

COMPUTER TUTORS is a local, woman-owned small business founded in 1997.

DEDE CATSAVIS is the founder and owner. For 25 years they have provided computer services to thousands of satisfied, happy customers.

Computer Tutors works on Windows and MAC computers, sets up home networks, eliminates viruses and also will help with any of your other electronic devices. You can reach them at 314-608-7920, and at www.computertutors.net.

Seamless Wi-Fi Coverage and Speed Boost Make for a Happy Household

Recently a new client reached out to our expert technician, Jeff, seeking a solution to optimize their Wi-Fi coverage. Armed with cutting-edge technology and a keen understanding of their needs, Jeff was able to transform their home network, providing excellent coverage, zero signal drops, and faster internet speeds. Upon arriving at the client’s home, Jeff quickly realized that their existing network was outdated. An eight-year-old router and modem were no match for the demands of today’s internet-connected devices, especially with multiple users

Finest Custom Table Pads at Factory-Direct Prices

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

Custom Table Pads, 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 550 o, moisture and warp resistant. Patented hidden magnets minimize separation and slippage on your table.


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spread across the house, including the poolside area. The old router struggled to maintain consistent coverage, resulting in frustrating dead zones and sluggish internet speeds.

To tackle the connectivity issues, Jeff came prepared with a state-ofthe-art mesh Wi-Fi system, leveraging the advancements of Wi-Fi 6 technology. Unlike traditional routers, mesh systems create a network of interconnected nodes or access points, ensuring a seamless and robust signal throughout the entire property. Jeff installed the new router promptly, strategically positioning the nodes to optimize coverage in all the desired areas, including the lower level, poolside, and all the bedrooms.

Jeff tested all devices, from phones and computers to TVs and printers, to ensure a consistent and fast signal was maintained by each one. The household now enjoys uninterrupted Wi-Fi access, both inside and poolside.

The benefits of the upgraded Wi-Fi system extended beyond coverage alone. The client noticed a substantial increase in internet speeds, allowing for seamless streaming, lag-free online gaming, and quick downloads. Whether the kids were watching their favorite shows, parents were working remotely, or family members were engaging in online hobbies, everyone could now enjoy a stable and high-speed internet connection.

Jeff not only resolved the Wi-Fi coverage issues but also took the extra steps of cleaning and updating the family’s computers. By ensuring that all computers were up to date, Jeff enhanced security and optimized the overall user experience.

It’s possible to do all three—without breaking the bank! Marla Esser Cloos, the Green Home Coach in her book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home provides simple steps that can save you money now, increase your home’s value, and make your home healthier for you, your family—and the environment.

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