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The Newtown Bee’s

Fall HOME &

Garden 2017

A SU P P LEMENT T O T HE N E W T OW N BE E • SE PT E MB E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 7

2 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

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Home & Garden - 3

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

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4 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

Before Winter Hits, Take Steps To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes deposits that have started to form By Andrew Gorosko within pipes. It suggests periodically Although it will be weeks before susturning on the water at all the fautained cold weather occurs here in cets fed by pipes exposed to cold air, Newtown, it is best to be prepared and when there have been external subtake steps, if needed, to prevent the freezng temperatures for several many problems that can happen when days. interior plumbing pipes freeze and The water company urges that then burst, leaking out water and caushomeowners never use a torch or ing significant property damage. open flame to thaw a frozen pipe, but According to the Aquarion Water instead contact a licensed plumber. Company, a private firm that provides the public water supply for central Hardware Newtown, it is much simpler to preJoe Summo, the manager at Newvent pipes from freezing than to town Hardware, suggests a preventareplace pipes that freeze and then tive measure for water pipes that burst. may freeze during extended cold Besides the pipe replacement costs, weather. The store sells a product there can be considerable costs called Easy Heat, a version of heat involved in repairing the water damtape that comes in precut lengths age to a residence and its contents ranging from 3 feet to 30 feet. caused by a burst pipe. Costs can run The heat tape employs an electrical into the thousands of dollars and cable that produces heat to keep the include the need to remodel, perform water running through pipes which mold remediation, get emergency subare susceptible to freezing. The unit stitute housing, and replace belonghas a thermostat that starts heating ings, according to Aquarion. “It doesn’t take much. Even a tiny A comparable few dollars for foam insulation wrap, heat tape, or other means of the pipes when their temperature split in a pipe can spew hundreds of protection can offset thousands in damage if even one small water line freezes and falls to 36 degrees. Ron Dufner, owner of Stony Hill gallons of water into your home or springs a leak during the winter months. Hardware, said provided that the business in one day,” according to users follow the directions for heat tape products, the devices will perform well. Mr Donna Parlatore, Aquarion’s director of utility operations. If they are exposed to cold air or to drafts, water pipes and water meters can freeze Dufner recommends that specialized pipe insulation be used in conjunction with heat tape. within hours after subfreezing conditions occur, according to the firm. It is recommended that heat tape which is regulated by a thermostat be used to It is important for the residents of a home to know where the main water shut-off valve is located in their building so that the valve can be shut off if a pipe bursts due prevent pipe freeze-ups. The thermostat will control and limit the time that pipes are being heated, thus limiting electricity usage. Thermostatically controlled heat tape to freezing. The water company lists many measures that people can take to keep plumbing should be used both on metallic and plastic water pipes. Plumber Rob Rossomando, who does business as Rob Rozz Plumbing and Water pipes from freezing. “The pipes most likely to freeze are those nearest an uninsulated wall, door, win- Service, recommends that people who have homes with living space located above the dow, garage, attic, basement, or along an uninsulated floor,” according to Aquarion. building’s garage space limit the time that garage-bay doors are open to the elements As a safeguard, the firm urges that insulation be added to exterior walls, when pos- during cold weather to deter any water pipes in those attached garages from freezing. sible, and that pipes be wrapped with insulation. Heat tape works well to prevent pipes from freezing, but, at times, getting access to Aquarion advises that if a kitchen sink or bathroom sink is positioned near an exterior wall of house, that wall and the adjacent pipes should be insulated. Also, any pipes susceptible to freezing can pose problems, he said. After heat tape is positioned cabinet doors that provide access to such pipes should be opened to allow the warm along the bottom of a pipe, insulation should be placed over that pipe, he said. If no air inside the residence to circulate around the pipes. Rooms with pipes that are sus- insulation is used, heat tape should be spirally wound around a pipe, he said. Mr Rossomando said that before people depart for a vacation, especially during cold ceptible to freezing should have their interior doors left open to allow warm air to weather, they should shut off the water service to their house as a precaution against reach the pipes, it adds. The firm also suggests allowing a faucet to drip when that faucet is fed by pipes a pipe bursting and then leaking water. Burst pipes can cause much property damexposed to very cold weather. Aquarion explains that flowing water can break up ice age, he warns.

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Home & Garden - 5

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

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6 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

Consider A ‘Rainy Day Fund’ For Unexpected Major Home Expenses By Kendra Bobowick At some point during the life of a home, its owners will have to consider adding high-priced items to the shopping list of necessary improvements like a new roof, septic repair, drainage, and driveway repairs. “A home is an investment, just like anything else,” said resident and self-employed builder Bill Clark. Keeping a home in good shape “could be costly, but spend wisely,” he said. “Don’t bandage, fix permanently,” he said. Proper maintenance of household systems, such as the furnace, is also a necessary expense, said Jeff Shantar of Shantar Construction. Both men recently spoke to Home & Garden about home

maintenance. Replacing windows or a roof would be among a homeowner’s most costly projects, Mr Clark said. But they are often necessary because roof or window leaks will create problems that grow. “You’ve got to keep the house dry,” he said. “Water damage can be a money pit. Every house is different, but the most important thing is to keep the water out of them.” Priorities are a roof, windows, and siding, he said. He advises residents to also keep in mind their well and the septic, which are also “of utmost importance. You have to pump [the septic] every two to three years.”

Bill Clark says when he replaces windows on vinyl-sided houses, he often finds rotted sills. He said parts of a house can still decay behind any surface that is not waterproof, and suggests homeowners consider wood shingles instead of vinyl — if is within their budget.

Driveways, especially steep ones, may require money spent to prevent washouts, he said. Flat driveways must also drain well to stop any damage from heavy water runoff. In his experience as a builder, Mr Clark has also noticed that “some houses are too tight, and they don’t breathe, but a 200-year-old house that is well built breathes.” Although an old house may be poorly insulated, it has been around for 200 years, he said. Newer homes “don’t breathe at all. I think houses should breathe, that’s what I have experienced.” Siding and windows may need to be replaced every 12 to 20 years. Regarding siding, Mr Clark said, “I have never seen vinyl siding not leak… to me it pretties up the outside, but if you want water-tight, you want wood siding, you want structure there.” When he replaces windows on vinyl-sided houses, he said, “I find rotted sills.” He said parts of a house can still decay behind the surface if not waterproof. Mr Shantar noted some of the more costly repairs he sees homeowners in the area facing. Pumping the septic “every couple of years is the best preventative measure, and [a septic] lifespan depends on a lot of things,” such as the number of people living in the house, which can determine how often to pump it out. Other maintenance? “Definitely the roof,” Mr Shantar said. An average shingle roof lasts 30 years, and every layer

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According to local builder Bill Clark, replacing windows or a roof would be among a homeowner’s most costly projects, but they are often necessary because roof or window leaks will create problems that grow. “lessens the lifespan.” Roofers may lay a new roof over the previous layer of shingles, but stripping the old roof is preferable, he said. “If you don’t strip, it decreases lifespan of new shingles because heat causes the shingles to decay, and a second layer creates more heat on the roof. It also costs more to replace because have to strip two layers not one… it’s always better to strip,” Mr Shantar said. A ranch-type house roof replacement can cost between $8,000 and $10,000, he said. Delays in repairing or replacing a roof can lead to additional water damage or mold getting into the structure of a house, he said. What about smaller interior leaks? “Bathrooms are another area where water can cause damage over time,” he said. Tile will need to be replaced, he said. Bathrooms are “moist all the

time and generally eventually have to be addressed or renovated,” Mr Shantar said. Proper ventilation — that’s key, he said, advising homeowners to use ceiling vent fans year-round to take the moisture out of bathroom from steamy showers.” Heating systems also all have a fixed lifespan “that can be a big expense out of the blue,” Mr Shantar said. How can homeowners budget for repairs? “Make sure you have a credit card on standby,” he said, adding that homeowners should, “budget some money as a rainy day fund for these issues.” Knowing how old certain features of one’s home can help owners anticipate what may need repairs in the future. “That’s how you might budget for it,” Mr Shantar said. Knowing the age of a roof or furnace could help residents anticipate when it might need to be replaced, he added.



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Home & Garden - 7

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

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8 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

Hollandia Gift & Garden, 95 Stony Hill Road in Bethel, encourages container gardens for fall plants like cabbages, mums, vinca vine, ornamental grasses, and pepper plants. —Bee Photos, Silber

Agway, 74 South Street in Bethel, has a variety of patriotic items perfect for Veterans Day on November 11. —Bee Photo, Silber

Shakespeare’s Garden, 25 Obtuse Road South in Brookfield, shows how to add fall themed items like pumpkins to a fireplace mantel. —Bee Photo, Silber

Prepare Your Home With These Autumn Decorating Ideas By Alissa Silber Falling in love with autumn is easy to do. Everything from the deep earthy hues to the pumpkin-everything incites the childlike anticipation of the season’s holiday cheer. Do not miss out on the chance to make your home stand out with these fun, creative autumnal items and ideas. Mums The Word What is one of the most popular flowers to choose for fall? Chrysanthemums — known more commonly as “mums.” Mums come in a wide range of colors perfect for autumn like oranges, yellows, reds, and purples. Agway of Bethel store manager Keitha Salemme says mums are great for the season because they are hearty enough to withstand a frost. For extended periods of frost, though, the best way to defend a mum from dying is to bring it inside or to cover it up. Another important aspect to know about mums, Ms Salemme said, is that “if Mother Nature waters them from overhead that’s perfect, but we should not. We have to water from the pot... if we water over the top of the plant it actually causes it to bloom out prematurely, and it can cause a premature wilt.” Since mums are a very full, blooming plant, she recommends carefully pushing back the plant from its sides to expose the soil underneath when watering. Similar, and complimentary, to mums are asters. Ms Salemme says asters are smaller than mums and resemble a daisy, but also come in a variety of fall colors perfect for fall. Either of these potted plants would show well on bails of straw on a front porch or garden. The straw can add elevation and depth to a flower arrangement or be strewn around the ground for a rustic texture. Veterans Day Salute Fall has the good fortune of hosting many nationally celebrated holidays, including

Veterans Day, which honors those who have served in the United States’ wars. When decorating the home for Veterans Day it is important to focus on paying homage to the servicemen and women who have fought for freedom. Many items are geared toward showcasing the country’s flag or using a lot of red, white, and blue colors. Ms Salamme said, “We have a few armed forces concrete pieces scattered throughout our nursery and showroom.” These specific statues depict a service members from each branch of the military holding an American flag and saluting. Other items that give a patriotic ambiance that can be used to decorate the outside of the home are solar lights and large gazing globes. Make The Most Of The Mantel For those that have a fireplace, fall is one of the best times to spruce up the mantel place. Owner Mark Fancher of Shakespeare’s Garden in Brookfield has a love of autumn that inspires him to make new arrangements frequently at the store. With so much variety of artificial and natural items to choose from, a mantel can be ever-evolving to showcase something new all the time. The nice part about choosing artificial objects, Mr Fancher said, “is you don’t have to worry about rotting and can stick it in a box and use it next year.” A unique design element Mr Fancher recently found are dried pods and mushrooms. With an earthy look, they can be sporadically placed among small- and medium-sized pumpkins and gourds on the mantel along with candlesticks. Those extra embellishments can make all the difference making a mantel as warm and inviting as the fire crackling below it. A Table Set For All Thanksgiving is not only a holiday to express what one is grateful for, but it is also about feeling the joy and the ease of the season.

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Mr Fancher said, “It’s more about the family getting together. It feels like you’re playing hooky from school.” With that mindset, there is no right or wrong way to add items to a table display. Playing around and trying new designs to be creative is part of the magic. The centerpiece is the quickest way to draw in people’s attention to a table design. Some like to keep a year-round neutral piece, like a swan, then add in more festive accent items. “I always tell people: you can build around it,” Mr Fancher said. He recommends incorporating some bittersweet and even scattering some miniature, quarter-sized artificial pumpkins or acorns around the centerpiece. To complete the table setting, simply place the centerpiece and accent items on top of a fall-themed ribbon and runner for more texture and length. If designing a freestanding arrangement is not something someone has time to do, there are also options of premade arrangements attached to boards that can be easily moved while intact to different areas and stored after the season is over.

A Welcoming Entrance The first thing guest will notice when coming to an entryway is its decorations. During the fall, there are a number of great ways to invite guests in with seasonal pieces. Eugene Reelick of Hollandia in Bethel said the design “can either be whimsical or sophisticated, and it can start with your container gardens on your front porch.” Instead of the average pot, place items in a half barrel to give room for a lush fall assortment. It can include everything from cabbages, colorful mums and vinca vine to ornamental grasses, viburnum, leucothea, and pepper plants. The vegetation does not have to end there and can be extended to the festive wreath on the front door. “Doing wreaths around doors are always big... It’s always beautiful,” Mr Reelick emphasized. Adding some ivy, maple leaves, and/or bittersweet can make for an eye-catching design. Each wreath can be customized by harvesting items from the garden and yard or they can conveniently be bought premade. Treats Without The Tricks Halloween decorating does not have to be all ghouls and spiders. “There’s a lot of fun, creative things that you can do. It just takes that imagination,” Mr Reelick said. Cornstalks can be tied to lampposts and everyday light bulbs can be changed to an orange-hued bulb so add some whimsical elements. Scarecrows are also a great autumn piece to incorporate in Halloween decorating. They can even be done with hay and some everyday items around the house. “It’s fun and enjoyable to do that with your family,” Mr Reelick said. Of course, above all else, you can never go wrong with pumpkins and gourds of any shape and size, as they are the epitome of autumn holiday decorating.

Home & Garden - 9

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

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10 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

Get Cookin’ With The Bee: Favorite Staff By Nancy K. Crevier Autumn’s harvest affords those who like to cook — and those who like to eat — opportunities galore. The tomatoes and summer squash that hung heavy on vines in August give way in the following months to treasures like the thick-skinned winter squashes, Cincinnati-Style Chili “Five Way” is “a family favorite, especially when cooler weather comes along, and for watching TV football,” said A&A’s Will Demers. “It’s got heat, but also some subtle overtones thanks to a myriad of spices and the all-so-important addition of cocoa and molasses. Five Way refers to the fact that accompaniments — you can pair it with spaghetti or rice — include kidney beans, onion, cheddar cheese, and oyster crackers,” he said. The recipe is adapted from a Gourmet recipe, October 1984.

Cincinnati-Style Chili Five Ways is a great way to warm up a chilly evening. —Will Demers photo

Cincinnati-Style Chili “Five Way”

2 large onions, chopped 3 tb vegetable oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 lbs ground chuck 4 tb chili powder 2 ts ground cumin 2 ts sweet paprika 3/4 ts cayenne 1/4 ts ground allspice 1/4 ts cinnamon 1/4 ts turmeric 1/4 ts ground coriander 1/4 ts cardamon two 8-oz cans tomato sauce 2 tb unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tb molasses 2 c canned beef broth 1 c beer 2 c water 2 tb cider vinegar In a heavy dutch oven, cook onions in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until transparent; add garlic, and cook mixture, stirring, for about one minute. Add the chuck and cook it, stirring and breaking it up until it is no longer pink. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, allspice, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, and cardamon, stirring for one minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, cocoa powder, molasses, broth, water, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours or until it is thickened but soupy enough to be ladled. At this point I usually add one can each of dark and light red kidney beans, drained, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. To serve, ladle over spaghetti or rice and top with onion, grated cheddar cheese and crackers. “It’ll be even better the next day after being in the fridge overnight,” Will assured. A soup recipe to warm one up this fall comes from the Sundays At The Moosewood cookbook, shared Doreen Kelleher, from The Bee circulation department. Doreen doubles this recipe, and adds a few options: “For the potatoes I use sweet, white, or a mixture of both. Sometimes I use canned yams in syrup,” she said, which allows

plump pumpkins, hardy kales, apples, pears, and sweet potatoes. The palate is painted with flavors as rich as the colors of fall. At The Bee, there is always an excuse to share a favorite recipe, be it sweet or savory. The delicious treats often reflect the flavors of the season, and warm

her to eliminate the sugar from the recipe “and they don’t need to be cooked down as long.” She substitutes chicken stock in place of the vegetable stock if that is what’s on hand, and replaces the tomato juice with V8 juice or a can of diced plum tomatoes. Chunky peanut butter, she noted, works as well as smooth peanut butter.

West African Peanut Soup 2 c chopped onions 1 tb peanut oil or vegetable oil 1/2 ts cayenne 1 ts grated peeled fresh gingerroot 1 c chopped carrot 2 c chopped sweet potatoes (up to 1 cup white potatoes can be substituted) 4 c vegetable stock or water 2 c tomato juice 1 c smooth peanut butter 1 tb sugar (optional) 1 c chopped scallions chives Saute the onions in oil until just translucent. Stir in the cayenne and ginger. Add the carrots and saute a couple more minutes. Mix in the potatoes and stock. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetables with the cooking liquid and the tomato juice. Return the puree to the soup pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Sweetness will depend on the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes. If it is not naturally sweet, add just a little sugar to enhance the other flavors. Reheat the soup gently, using a heat diffuser if needed to prevent scorching. “As garnish I use chopped peanuts and scallions and a swirl of peanut butter,” said Doreen. “Leftover soup is diluted with water or stock and tastes delicious. I steam fresh green beans and serve on the side then use the steam water to dilute the soup.”

us from the inside out. We have sampled so many delights over the years, it seemed a shame to keep them to ourselves. Without ado, then, here are recipes that have won the hearts and stomachs of friends and families of Bee and Antiques and The Arts Weekly staff members.

warming fall casserole, one of Linda Baur’s favorites from Garden Way’s Zucchini Cookbook.

Gourmet Zucchini Casserole 2 medium zucchini, diced 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound beef or sausage or combo, cooked 2 cloves garlic minced 1 can tomato paste 1 cup dry red wine 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 ts pepper 1 8-oz can tomato sauce 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded Saute onions for three minutes in oil; add green pepper, garlic, zucchini, and eggplant; saute five minutes, until a little tender. Brown ground beef and drain; add to squash and eggplant mixture. Add tomato paste, pepper, wine, and ricotta and heat thoroughly. Turn into 2-quart baking dish and top with tomato sauce and cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees Serves four “The original recipe for these whole wheat banana muffins was discovered on, where I find a lot of my baking recipes,” said Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck. “I changed a few things to the original recipe. For instance, my husband, Fred, does not like knowing that baked goods are whole wheat. I added chocolate chips to the recipe to make these more likely to be eaten. I love them with or without chocolate chips. With maple syrup, light brown sugar, and cinnamon, these muffins make our small apartment like fall when they bake. Having a prepared breakfast option in the fall really helps to get me out the door to cover all those school events for The Newtown Bee,” she added.

From Advertising Sales Manager Ellen Therrien comes this recipe that she guarantees is “quick and easy.”

Hamburger Stroganoff 2 tb butter 1 pound of ground beef 1 onion, chopped 1 tb of all-purpose flour 1 pkg of fresh sliced mushrooms (or substitute 4.5 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained) 1 ts garlic salt 2 — 10.75 oz cans cream of mushroom soup 1 c sour cream 1 — 16 oz pkg of egg noodles (or you can substitute 2 cups of white or brown rice) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped onion (about 5 minutes). Add ground beef, stirring until meat breaks into small chunks and cook until brown (5-7 minutes). Sprinkle flour over meat mixture, stir and cook for about another minute. Add mushrooms and garlic salt to mixture. Pour mushroom soup over meat, stir and cook until soup is thoroughly mixed in and hot. Add sour cream, stir until smooth and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice. Serves a family of 4-6, depending on appetites! Late summer vegetables segue into a

Whole wheat banana muffins are a warm start to cold mornings. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins 1½ c whole wheat flour 1/2 c all purpose flour 1 ts baking powder 1/2 ts baking soda 1/4 ts salt 1/2 ts ground cinnamon 3 large ripe bananas 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/3 c pure maple syrup 1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar 1/3 c buttermilk, room temperature 1/3 c vegetable oil 1 ts pure vanilla extract Roughly 2 teaspoons of sugar and an

extra sprinkling of cinnamon for garnish. 1/2 c chocolate chips — I tend to use dark chocolate, because I normally have them in the cupboard. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack placed in the center of the oven. Line a 12-muffin cup tray with paper liners. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. In another large bowl whisk the eggs until frothy, then stir in the mashed bananas, maple syrup, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. When just combined, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup whenever I make muffins.) Sprinkle a bit of the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of the muffins. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan. “I prefer waiting for these to cool before eating, but they can be eaten warm right out of the oven. One tip I always follow when making muffins,” said Eliza, “comes from Newtown Bee Editor Nancy Crevier, who told me to tip the muffins on their side within the muffin tin to cool. This prevents soggy bottoms.” Lynn Remick’s family turns autumn’s splendors into sweet treats. Pumpkin bread, a recipe from Lynn’s mom, and an apple crumb cake have great appeal for all ages.

Delft Apple Crumb Cake 1¼ c sifted enriched flour 1/2 c and another 1/2 c sugar 1½ ts baking powder 1/2 ts salt 1/4 c and another 1/4 c Instant Ralston hot cereal 1 egg 1/4 c milk 1/2 c melted butter or margarine 2 c thinly sliced apples 1/4 ts cinnamon 3 tb softened butter or margarine Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch cake pan or baking dish. Sift together flour, 1/2 c sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in Ralston. Beat egg, milk, and melted butter together and stir into flour mixture. Spread batter in pan and top with apple slices. Blend 1/2 c sugar, 1/4 c Ralston, cinnamon, and softened butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 45 minutes or until apples are tender (40 minutes if using a glass pan).

Pumpkin Bread 4 c flour 3 c sugar 2 ts baking soda 1 ts baking powder 1 ts cinnamon 1 ts nutmeg salt 1 14.8 oz can of pumpkin pie filling 1 c oil 2/3 c cold water 4 eggs Combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and pour in pumpking, oil, and water. Blend well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Pour into two well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 — 60 minutes.

Home & Garden - 11

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

Recipes For The Cold Months Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Don Miner also makes use of autumn’s pumpkin and apple harvests, sharing two of his (and the staff’s) favorite recipes. Don has also made the apple cake with another fall star — pears — or a combination of pears and apples.

Crust: 2 c gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 32 cookies) 1/4 c butter or margarine, melted Filling: 4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened 1½ c sugar 4 eggs 1 c canned pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling 1½ ts ground ginger 1 ts cinnamon 1/4 ts nutmeg Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 9-inch springform pan. Wrap foil around pan to catch drips. In a small bowl, mix crumbs and butter. Press mixture in bottom and up 1 inch on sides of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool for five minutes. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Spoon three cups of cream cheese mixture into pan; spread evenly. Stir pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix with whisk until smooth. Spoon over mixture in the pan. Bake 1 hour 25 minutes or 1 hour 30 minutes, or until edges are set but center still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off. Open oven door at least four inches. Leave cake in oven 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Without released sides of pan, run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on rack another 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least six hours but no more than 24 hours. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake again; carefully remove sides of pan. Place cheesecake on serving platter. Store

Autumn’s top fruit, the apple, stars in Don Miner’s Fresh Apple Cake recipe. —Bee Photo, Crevier

Fresh Apple Cake 4 c apples, cored, peeled, and cubed 2 c sugar 2 eggs 1 c melted shortening or oil 3 c flour 1 ts salt 1 1/2 ts cinnamon 1/2 ts nutmeg 2 ts baking soda 1/2 c chopped nuts 1/2 c raisins Pour sugar over apples in medium bowl and let stand ten minutes. Add eggs and oil and mix well Mix in flour, salt, spices, soda, nuts, and raisins. Pour into greased tube pan, bundt pan, or 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Top cooled cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or a cinnamon glaze.

covered in refrigerator. 16 servings Kale is one of those greens that thrives when frost is on the pumpkin. I’m a fan of curly kale that has been massaged into tenderness for salad, and tossed with dried fruits and nuts.

Kale Salad With Sundried Tomatoes

Kale combines perfectly with nuts, cheese, and dried fruits for a hearty autumn salad. —Bee Photo, Crevier

1 large bunch curly kale, washed and stems cut away; ripped into pieces juice of half a lemon 3 ts extra virgin olive oil 1/2 ts Kosher salt 2-3 ts raw sugar 1/4 c Turkish sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips 1/4 c golden raisins 1/4 c toasted walnut pieces 1/4 c crumbled bleu cheese

Place kale in large bowl. Add lemon, oil, salt, and sugar and rub leaves between fingers until the kale is very tender and broken down, about five minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings: salt, sugar, or lemon. Remember that the sundried tomatoes and bleu cheese will add a salty flavor. Toss with sundried tomatoes, raisins, and walnuts. Sprinkle bleu cheese over the top. Makes enough for three side salads. —Nancy Crevier

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The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

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Home Lighting Trends—

The Latest Interior And Exterior Illumination Ideas Will Help Light Up Your Life By Andrew Gorosko The way you light up your life, and your home, should be both aesthetically pleasing, economically practical, and whenever possible environmentally friendly — elements that make up most of the lighting products currently being offered and installed in homes throughout Newtown. According to Decorator’s Wisdom (DW), a website keyed to do-it-yourself home decorating, the use of LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs for home interior illumination is the top current residential lighting trend, and expected to remain a top trend in lighting for years to come. In fact, the US Department of Energy predicts that LED lighting will represent about 75 percent of all lighting sales by the year 2030. “When total energy costs are considered over the long term, LED lighting is both more affordable and more practical than other alternatives. While the upfront costs for LED lighting do tend to be higher, the overall energy costs associated with LED lighting are considerably lower, when calculated over an entire lifespan of use,” according to DW. Another lighting type that has gained popularity are vintage Edison-style light bulbs, which are available either as an incandescent or LED-based light source. Also, both traditional and contemporary styles of pendant lights are popular, with bowl pendants, drum pendants, and multilight pendants now in fashion DW also lists industrial-style lighting as a popular product category, with indoor/ outdoor galvanized steel barn lights lending a fashionable industrial look to a property. Also becoming more popular in residential settings is the downward-pointed light or downlight, which fixtures DW

notes are designed for use in restaurants, shopping centers, hotels, and warehouses. These fixtures direct undiffused light downward to the place where illumination is required. Such fixtures may be mounted on the wall, on brackets, or in pendant fixtures. The goal of such designs is eliminating “light pollution” by eliminating the wasteful use of light where it is not needed, according to DW. Decorator’s Wisdom also lists four other popular trends in home interior lighting: hanging chandeliers in unexpected places, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and walk-in closets; placing lighting inside drawers and cabinets to make stored items easier to find; installing suitable lighting in showers; and placing lighting in home security systems. Outdoor Lighting The Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah website notes that bistro lights have risen in popularity, providing a light source for outdoor spaces. Bistro lights have grown in favor, as solar-powered lights have lost their appeal due to technical problems. Bistro lights, also known as string lights, are suspended and arrayed along swags to provide illumination. They are versatile when connected to a dimmer switch, allowing their brightness to be controlled, according to the website. Also popular are core-drilled lights, which are upward-facing light fixtures placed within large holes drilled into concrete ground surfaces. Such lights may be placed in driveways to accentuate residential architecture or positioned near pillars and walls. When placed along walkways, coredrilled lights help pedestrians find their



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Among top lighting trends this year are the integration of vintage Edisonstyle light bulbs, which are available either as an incandescent or LEDbased light source. The website for Decorator’s Wisdom also lists industrial-style lighting as a popular product category, with indoor/outdoor galvanized steel barn lights lending a fashionable industrial look to a property.

Home & Garden - 13

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

One type of lighting that is becoming more popular in residential settings is the downward-pointed light or downlight. These fixtures direct undiffused light downward to the place where illumination is required. Such fixtures may be mounted on the wall, on brackets, in pendant fixtures, or cleverly integrated into shelving to highlight everything from collectible art to cherished bric-a-brac. way in the nighttime. The website adds that “moonlighting” remains a popular effect for outdoor social spaces. Through the careful placement of lights at high positions, the effect of bright moonlight can be simulated to create a pleasant atmosphere., which is the website for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, notes that while outdoor lighting adds visual appeal to a property, such nocturnal illumination also provides practical benefits. “The installation of welcoming ground lights along walkways ensures that your family and guests can safely and easily find their way to your front door. Security is another benefit of outdoor lighting. A welllit property discourages intruders by giving them little room to hide,” it states. The association’s website explains that several different types of outdoor lighting

maybe employed for different purposes. Task lighting is relatively bright lighting, such as the lighting needed to illuminate a cooking grill, an outdoor kitchen counter, or a bar top. Area lighting is mid-intensity illumination that provides a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere without being too bright. Wayfinding lights include path lights, step lights, and also post lights that are positioned at gates and fences to aid in nighttime navigation. Accent lighting is used to highlight distinctive features of the landscape, such as a sculpture or a notable plant. String lights, also known as fairy lights, can be strung among trees to create a softly lit space, according to the association. The National Association of Landscape Professionals urges that property owners acquire quality lighting hardware for outdoor use for the sake of reliability.



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The use of bistro lights have grown in favor for exterior lighting applications. Bistro lights, also known as string lights, are suspended and arrayed along swags to provide illumination. They are versatile when connected to a dimmer switch, allowing their brightness to be controlled.

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14 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

Outdoor Enclosures Let Cats Safely Walk On The Wild Side By Alissa Silber What do lions, panthers, lynxes and cheetahs have in common with your domestic kitten gazing out the window? They all long to bask in the sun and taste the freedom of fresh air. However, unlike the big cats of the wild who rule their domain, the reality for small feline pets is that there are a plethora of life-threatening circumstances they could face when stepping outside their home, far greater troubles than their favorite jingly ball rolling under the refrigerator. Domesticated cats have few defenses against larger outdoor predators and are also vulnerable to being hit by cars and exposed to dangerous chemicals like antifreeze if brought outside. When immersed in the elements with unvaccinated ani-

mals, they even run the risk of contracting diseases like feline distemper and parasites like ringworm. For those reasons, many national animal organizations, including PETA, suggest keeping cats indoors to help ensure pets live the longest and healthiest life possible. Many owners, though, feel a sense of guilt that they are suppressing their cat’s natural desire to explore nature, especially if they know their cat had been outside in the past. The solution more people are turning to are protected outdoor cat enclosures, which can be customized and installed or purchased premade. The concept is even becoming a trend at animal shelters looking to give their high volume of cats some variety away from the

Inside the outdoor cat enclosure at the Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center of Newtown cats are able to be immersed in nature, while remaining safe from predators.

Danbury Animal Welfare Society, 147 Grassy Plain Street in Bethel, calls its outdoor enclosure the “catio.” It is attached to the building’s two cat rooms, giving easy access in and out of the enclosure.

cages. Two local groups, the Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center of Newtown and Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS), have already incorporated outdoor cat enclosures on their properties to give their cats something to purr about. Blending In With Nature When the Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center of Newtown moved to its new facility at 21 Old Farm Hill Road in 2012, Animal Control Officer Carolee Mason was excited to offer the cats an outdoor enclosure. The structure was built by town employees, who Ms Mason says did “a wonderful job,” and has been able to endure the New England weather throughout the years. It is located in front of the shelter, nestled between tall shrubbery, and overlooks the lush landscape from atop the hill. “It’s a beautiful structure, and we’re very proud of it,” Ms Mason said. It features a sturdy roof with shingles, heavy-duty metal wiring for the walls that is shaped in rectangle openings, thick wooden support beams, and a door for people to walk in and out of the structure comfortably. The overall design prevents cats from gaining access outside the enclosure and stops large animals from coming in. “I’m sure coyotes have been around, but they can’t get in,” Ms Mason assured, adding they have never had an issue with the wildlife there. Inside the enclosure, it has a very natural feel as if the cat is actually in the wild. The rich greenery has coiled itself onto the walls and the ground is primarily dirt with some vegetation spouting up. There are also cat houses and towers lined with hay for insulation, as well as cat litter boxes. Any food that is brought in the enclosure for the cats during the daytime is taken back inside at night so as to not attract animals. As for the cats who spend their time in the structure, most are those who are not adoptable and/or feral. Ms Mason says the cats are “so content out there, they love it,” and even jokes that if she could, she would put her chair and desk inside it to work out there. Many people have traveled to the shelter specifically to look at the outdoor cat enclosure,

The Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center of Newtown, 21 Old Farm Hill Road, has an outdoor cat enclosure on its property made primarily of sturdy wood beams and wiring. Pictured is the shelter’s cat Bob in the lower right hand corner enjoying the sights and smells of the outdoors. —Bee Photos, Silber expressing their compliments for it and saying they have an interest in building something similar for their home. Ms Mason encourages people to view the structure and, having seen the positive benefits it has on the cats at the shelter, she says she would love to have another one for the cats in the future. An Extension Of Shelter Not all outdoor cat enclosures have to be a solitary structure. At DAWS, 147 Grassy Plain Street in Bethel, its building has two rooms for the adoptable cats with a large outdoor enclosure attached to them, known as the “catio.” Leslie Roe has been volunteering with DAWS for a decade, primarily with the shy cats that need extra attention after previously being abused or suffering a trauma. She understands the importance of working with individual cats to help them find their forever homes, and says the outdoor enclosure at DAWS helps many of the cats make an easier transition to life at the shelter. “This environment is extremely stressful for them. Just imagine waking up in the morning, having your breakfast, sitting in your favorite sunny spot, and then being put into a carrier, [and surrendered],” Ms Roe said. Some cats adjust better than others to their new surroundings, but for many it can be difficult going from a home to a cage with strangers and other cats around. Outdoor enclosure can alleviate cats’ stress, giving them an opportunity to be in a calmer setting with more freedom. The original layout for the

catio was much smaller that it is today and was solely attached to the main cat room. When DAWS made a variety of renovations six years ago, Ms Roe says she believes it was updated by two dedicated volunteers, Doug Wilson and Chris Souppa. Not only was it extended and divided into two areas, but it also became accessible to both cat rooms. The enclosure itself has a chain link fence perimeter and roof, so that no predators can get in and no cats can jump out. Secured tarps cover most of the roofing to allow for areas of shade and relief from rain, while the ground is gravel for easy upkeep. Inside it is embellished with cat towers, wooden shelves, tree branches, outdoor litter boxes, and wooden benches. There are even bird houses hung right outside the enclosure that captivate the cats’ attention and prey instinct. Overall, Ms Roe says there is “minimal maintenance” for the design DAWS chose, but that staff and volunteers actively check to make sure the wood does not develop any jagged pieces, surfaces are washed down, and litter boxes are maintained. At her own home, Ms Roe has a enclosed area on her porch for her pets to enjoy the outdoors and recommends outdoor enclosures for those interested. Premade enclosures online typically cost between $150 to $500, depending on the size and materials used. “It is an expense and depends on your means, but it’s a lovely thing to have if you can afford it,” said Ms Roe.

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Home & Garden - 15

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

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From simple to ultra extravagant, outdoor cat enclosures are becoming more practical and necessary for owners in communities like Newtown, with its share of bobcats, fisher cats, bears, and coyotes that could threaten our beloved felines, even in their own backyard.



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Help Keep Your Kitties Safe

By Alissa Silber Just this year alone, Newtown residents have sighted bears, bobcats, and coyotes in their backyards. These suburban predators typically avoid humans, but can pose a threat to household animals, particularly cats that may be left to wander about the property or neighborhood Those looking to keep their cats safe, while continuing to give them some “free range” in their outdoor territory, can purchase or create their own outdoor enclosure for their pets. Pet parents need to ensure their beloved kitties cannot get out and predators cannot get in. A secure outdoor cat enclosure will give peace of mind to both you and your furry friend. Here are some helpful tips on how to protect your cat for those interested in having an outdoor enclosure in your yard: Routinely inspect the structure’s walls and roofing to make sure there are no ways for cats to escape. Keep in mind openings should be no larger than the size of the cat’s head, as they will be able to squeeze through it. Ensure all doors have a functioning lock and cannot be pushed open by cats. Bring cats inside at night and never leave them out during frigid temperatures. Remove all food and treats from the enclosure at night and whenever the structure is not being used to avoid attracting hungry animals. Make sure plants that are toxic to cats, like lilies, are removed from the enclosure area.

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16 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

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According to the Connecticut Botanical Society, butterfly weed is marvelous for attracting butterflies and other pollinators and a perfect plant for Newtown climate and soil conditions. The weed label, however, is entirely undeserved — it is not weedy in its looks or habits, and the handsome, dark green foliage is topped with bright orange flowers in July and August.

Best Native Plants For Backyard Landscape Enjoyment By k endrA BoBowick There are countless options when choosing outdoor flora to enhance your home’s landscaping — but which plants, trees, and shrubs are most appropriate for the climate and soil conditions that are most prevalent in Newtown? “Many native trees and shrubs can be used to enhance your landscape,” said resident Dan Dalton, ISA board certified master arborist and NOFA accredited organic land care professional. “These plants are often best adapted to our soils and climate, and in addition to their ornamental value can provide birds and wildlife with food and cover.” Mr Dalton named several trees: *Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), a “beautiful multi-stemmed small tree with early white flowers and showy red berries that are an important food source for many birds and animals,” he said. *The Red Maple (Acer rubrum), a medium to large shade tree that will tolerate a range of soil conditions, including very wet soils, and offers stunning fall colors, he said. *Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), a small ornamental tree with a beautiful pink flower in the early spring. When considering shrubs, Mr Dalton then turned his attention to: *Viburnums — “There are a number of viburnums that are great choices for our landscapes, including: American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum), Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago).” *Winterberry (Ilex verticulata) is a “multistem deciduous shrub in the holly family, loves wet soils and has a bright red berry that often persists into winter, providing a late season food source for overwintering birds,” he said. *Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) has “white flowers, beautiful foliage, and blueberries.” The Connecticut Botanical Society ( also lists several native perennial plants that would be optimal choices for the Newtown garden. *The wild red columbine is described as “a graceful plant with its spurred red and yellow flowers nodding on slender stems. These, like many red flowers, attract hummingbirds. The delicately scalloped leaves form a neat mound of foliage. Wild red columbine, like most columbines, tends to seed itself in the garden (though not so much as to be a nuisance). In the wild, this plant prefers growing in the alkaline soil of limestone rocks, but in the garden it will grow in anything except very strongly acidic soil.” *The Bearberry or kinnickinick is “a useful ground cover that is handsome year-round. The leaves are glossy and evergreen. Small pink or white flowers in late spring are followed by bright red berries, popular with ground-dwelling birds. In winter, the stems become red and the leaves take on a dark red tint. Bearberry grows well in exposed, rocky, or sandy sites; it also tolerates acid soil and the salt spray of seaside locations.” *Butterfly weed: “True to its name, butterfly weed is marvelous for attracting butterflies. The weed label, however, is entirely undeserved; it’s not weedy in its looks or habits. The handsome, dark green foliage is topped with bright orange flowers in July and August. Butterfly weed has a long tap root that makes the plant highly drought-resistant, but also makes mature plants tricky to transplant. Container-grown plants, however, transplant easily.” And among the many native plants listed is one familiar to most backyards: white wood aster. This perennial is described as “A good ground cover for tough situations. White wood aster thrives in dry shade, so it can be planted beneath shallowrooted trees such as maples and elms. The flowers are not especially showy, but they are long-lasting, and an individual plant may be in bloom for two months,” the site states. According to the Connecticut Tree Protective Association website, the top ten forest trees, with percentages, in the state are: Red maple – 27 percent Black birch – 10 percent Eastern hemlock – 6 percent Sugar maple – 6 percent Northern red oak – 6 percent Beech – 5 percent Eastern white pine – 4 percent Black cherry – 3 percent Yellow birch – 3 percent Pignut hickory – 3 percent Altogether, this covers about 73 percent of the native forest trees in Connecticut, the site states.

Home & Garden - 17

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

Composting Is Easier, More Popular In Newtown By Eliza Hallabeck Since Newtown’s organics food scraps drop-off program began in November 2015, Public Works Administrator Arlene Miles said it has been “very successful.” The program is run through the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA). According to Ms Miles, slightly less than 600 people are signed up for the program in Newtown. According to a description on the HRRA website,, the program is for people who are interested in separating their food scraps from other trash who do not want to compost the food scraps in their yard. Ms Miles, who is set to graduate this fall from a master composter program through the University of Connecticut, said food scraps do not belong in the garbage, which goes to a waste to energy plant, as food scraps are inefficient sources of energy at waste to energy plants. When asked why people should compost, Ms Miles said, “mostly for recycling purposes.” According to the HRRA, food scraps create methane when sent to landfills, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified landfills as the single largest source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Food scraps can be composted for organic material that can be used as fertilizer. It takes 55 tons of food scraps to create one yard of organic material for gardening, according to Ms Miles. According to a flyer for the Newtown organics food scraps drop-off program, acceptable material for composting includes meat, poultry, meat and poultry bones, fish, shellfish, dairy products, flower and vegetable garden waste, houseplants, flower bouquets, fruits, nuts, vegetables, bread, pasta, sauces, soup, gravy, coffee grounds, coffee filters, tea bags, egg shells, and plate scrapings. As Ms Miles explained it, whatever items people eat, they can include in the drop-off composting program. Getting Involved To participate in the Newtown program, people sign up to receive collection bins and compost bags. The compost material is then dropped off at the Transfer Station on Ethan Allen Road. Once to twice a year, Ms Miles said people can arrange to pick up compost for fertilizer. Ms Miles said she started composting at her home in 2014. With the Newtown program running she now composts both at home and through the program. It is advised to compost fruits and veggies, but Ms Miles

Collection bins and bags are available for Newtown residents by calling 203-270-4300 or e-mailing Arlene Miles at —Bee Photo, Hallabeck pointed out the Newtown program can compost more. She started composting after a woman visited Public Works and shared a tip on how to compost. Ms Miles said she now follows the same composting system that the visitor described. To compost fruits and vegetables at home she said to cut a the bottom off of a garbage can, dig it into the ground “so it is sturdy,” cut air holes in the sides, and use a bungee cord to secure the lid against animals. The fruit and vegetable compost should be turned over weekly, and Ms Miles said to, “keep it moist like a sponge.” If water is added when, needed the “worms will come,” she said. Doing Her Part Resident Lynn Hungaski, co-chair of the Newtown Forward Climate Change Subcommittee, said she began composting through the Newtown organics food scraps drop-off program after learning about it from Ms Miles, who participated in the subcommittee’s screening of the film Before the Flood at Edmond Town Hall in March. The film screening included presentations and local groups offering information in the lobby at Edmond Town Hall. The Climate Change Subcommittee is also working to schedule a screening this fall of the film A

Composting food items can be done at home or through the Newtown organics food scrap program. —Bee Photo, Crevier Plastic Ocean in Danbury. “It made me feel so good to get started,” said Ms Hungaski recently. She added that it was easy to start. Ms Hungaski said she put her green compost bin on her counter, and after a couple of months her family was much better about remember what can be added to the bin. Composting, Ms Hungaski stressed is good for the environment as it reduces a person’s carbon footprint. “What kind of planet are we leaving for our children?” she asked. Ms Hungaski said her family uses two to three compost bags a week, and she brings the compost to the Transfer Station about once a week. “It is very, very, very easy,” she said. Composting, Ms Hungaski added makes her feel like a good citizen when she does it. “People need to be able to do more and feel good about it, and this is a very easy way to do that,” said Ms Hungaski. To sign up for Newtown’s organics food scraps dropoff program residents can call 203-270-4300 or e-mail Ms Miles at More information about the program is also available at

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18 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

One ‘Last Dance’ In

Before work started at the Snyders’ West Street property, the front of the house was overgrown. —Barbara Snyder photo

Barbara Snyder stands in the center of what will be the kitchen at the West Street house. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck

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Biting Off More... By mid-August Mr Snyder said he had vastly underestimated the amount of effort the home needed. When he admitted to having a lifetime habit of “biting off more than I can chew,” the Snyders smiled at one another. Mr Snyder is now readying himself for indoor aspects of the project. The exterior efforts lasted months. While contractors

Just Passing By In the course of her work as a realtor, Mrs Snyder passed by the house at 29 West Street almost daily. At the time, Danburybased Hilts LLC owner Kevin Bennett was working to restore a home on West Street. Mr Bennett, Mrs Snyder said, later learned the house at 29 West Street was in

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probate, which piqued her interest and inspired her to share the news with her husband. Eventually the idea of having the house be their retirement home came up. He told her they could walk to town from the location. They could walk to buy coffee. “I was still not on board,” Mrs Snyder said in the middle of August. Mr Snyder kept saying he thought they should pursue it, she said. The Snyders closed on their purchase on March 15, according to Mrs Snyder. Later they would discover “the river,” a leak that led to a basement full of water, roughly ten dead trees on the site, and more. When they found the house, it seemed like the right fit for the final renovation project. Mrs Snyder said there are few “great” options for senior living in the state. At roughly 1,000 square feet, the house offered a downsize from their current Walnut Tree Hill home, and it is, as Mr Snyder had pointed out to her, close to Main Street. Throughout the process Mrs Snyder has been updating her blog. In March, Mrs Snyder wrote about the demolition process. “No true renovation addict can live without it: demo,” Mrs Snyder wrote. “It is part of what hooks us, the ‘fix,’ in all of its gritty ugliness. It is exhilarating. It is the end of old and start of new. Not people to let grass grow under our feet, our first demo day began less than 5 days after taking ownership. The garage framing was woefully inadequate, the garage floor was cracked badly and the breezeway porch was falling apart. All of it needed to go.”

By Eliza Hallabeck Standing just down the street from their first Newtown residence one day this summer, residents Barbara and Tim Snyder watched their dog Ollie frolic on the front lawn of their most recent home renovation project. Mrs Snyder, who works as a realtor for Coldwell Banker, has been chronicling the journey through an online blog, as the couple’s “last dance” in home renovations. The home on West Street is planned as their retirement home. “Our first dance was over 35 years ago when we renovated a 400 sf cabin on Lake Zoar in Sandy Hook,” Mrs Snyder wrote on the blog, “...That was our initiation to the language of tool sharing, costly mistakes and design disputes. Four renovations and one design/ build later we have prepared for what we hope is our best performance.” The couple first moved to Newtown in 1984 to a house on West Street, which they rented. While they were living there, Mrs Snyder remembers being pregnant and undertaking their first home renovation project together. They have two children, Sarah and Ian. Mr Snyder, editor of Woodcraft Magazine, said the latest house appealed to him for its location. Looking ahead, he said, the home would offer the couple a chance to walk more, have more leisure time, be closer to places like the library, and interact with neighbors more than their current home. Through his writing over the years, Mr Snyder said he has become interested in green living and sustainability, so he also wanted a more efficient home.

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Home & Garden - 19

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

Renovating Homes For Local Couple worked inside, Mrs Snyder said she wanted to tackle landscaping before moving their attention inside to concentrate on design. Four weeks into owning the ranch, Mrs Snyder wrote, “We gutted the entire interior, removed all the walls, flooring, appliances, bathtubs, 3 defunct hot water heaters and a Thermopride furnace from the basement. Walls are down to studs, basement is painted with Dry Lok Extreme and we are feeling proud. The outside work continues... I am over an important hump. The rain has stopped. I am starting to take things more in my stride. We selected our contractors for foundation, site drainage and framing. That is a great feeling. We have good people and have tons of confidence in their ability.” Roughly four months later she stood looking at the landscaped backyard, with its freshly laid topsoil. Mr Snyder oversaw the fence, and Mrs Snyder oversaw the landscaping and gardening. “I’m really proud of myself,” she said. It was a warm sunny day, and she pointed out an area for a wildflower garden and how the newly formed yard contours with a hill leading up to a neighboring property. Mrs Snyder said there were rough moments in the project. At one point she thought she was done. Then on “week 13” of the effort she wrote, “I am back on the dance floor. I am in it to win it! The inherent problem with starting a blog is that it is like being on reality TV. It is living out loud in pubic view. The progress and victories are fun to share in public, but frustrations and failures are part of life’s bargain so they must be shared too.” She focused her renewed energy, they hired an attorney to help with a zoning application for a garage with an office on the site, and the landscaping began to take shape. Making Space Livable With roughly 1,000 square feet for the main house, the Snyders said they have

been focusing design ideas on making the space livable. By August they were forcing themselves to picture where everything would be to envision the space, according to Mr Snyder. “I’m trying to feel where the space will be,” said Mrs Snyder, standing in the shell of what will be the kitchen. Mr Snyder said the couple is “trying to use every small house energy-saving and space-saving trick in the book.” In what will be Mrs Snyder’s office, Mr Snyder plans to install a Murphy wallbed, for instance, for when their son stays with them. Mr Snyder will also add personal touches, like creating a custom wainscot paneling throughout most of the house. For the master bedroom he plans to build a window seat. The relatively small square footage of the house, Mrs Snyder said, also led her to make the decision to move the main entrance to the side of the house. She said people have asked her why there is no front door facing the road. The design concept was based on the layout of the space. All of the windows on the side of the house that faces the road are high and to let as much light in as possible. “This is a big open-plan living area,” said Mrs Snyder, walking passed her future office, by a space for a bathroom, and into what will be the kitchen. Beyond the kitchen a walk-in closet, a master bedroom, and master bathroom are planned. Bigger windows have been placed on the back of the house, facing the new landscaping. The kitchen will also have double glass doors leading out back. When the Snyders started the project, Mrs Snyder said she thought about writing the blog to document the process beyond the normal before and after photos. “For this one, I thought I’m going to tell the story,” said Mrs Snyder. The Snyders expect to move into the home next year, and until then, the work will continue.

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Tim and Barbara Snyder stood in front of their West Street house in mid-August. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck

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20 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017


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Home & Garden - 21

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

Keep Outdoor Furniture In Tip-Top Shape With Proper Winter Care

By John Voket There’s an old joke that goes something like this: What’s Irish and stands out on your deck all year long? `The answer: Patty O’Furniture! And while that may elicit a few chuckles, leaving your outdoor furniture — even pieces labeled as weather safe — to suffer the often intense winter weather we face here in Newtown could result in damage that could end up being expensive or nearly impossible to repair. Sears, which has been a purveyor of outdoor furniture for generations, offers a range of tips for outdoor furniture to help ensure those sturdy pieces survive each winter to provide years and years of fair weather comfort to you, your family, and your guests to enjoy. According to, when you take care of your furniture with regular maintenance and store patio furniture in the winter, your favorite dining or casual seating set will last for years to come. Here are some tips provided by the website to help keep your patio furniture in tip-top condition: Clean patio furniture before storage — Make sure to clean and dry your patio furniture at the end of the outdoor season. Dirty outdoor fabrics can accumulate mold if not regularly cleaned. Not only will cleaning scrub away the dirt and grime accumulated over the summer, but also it will help the furniture hold any protective seals or coats that you might use while winterizing your furniture. Remove umbrellas and fabric cushions — Even though the umbrella and cushion fabrics are designed to withstand many weather conditions, you can prolong their life by storing them in a dry space. If you only have room for a few small items in your storage space, make sure that the umbrella and cushions are first on the list. Coat and seal furniture frames — Once you finish cleaning your furniture and removing the cushions, apply a protective seal or coating to the furniture. Check with your patio furniture manufacturer’s suggestions for the best coating to use on your furniture. Stack chairs — After furniture is clean, coated and dry, stack chairs on top of each other to save space. This is only feasible if you have chairs that stack easily. Store furniture in a garage or shed — If possible, carry large furniture items to a storage shed or garage space for winter storage. If you have limited space, store stacked chairs and as much furniture as you can fit. Move all of the items that you cannot fit to one side of your patio or yard and bundle them close to each other. Cover furniture — Whether you are able to store furniture in a storage space or you are planning on leaving it out on your patio, you should cover the patio furniture. Outside, a cover will protect your

furniture from the elements, and inside, a cover will protect your furniture from dust, spills and other debris. Make sure to choose patio furniture covers that are designed to fit each individual piece of furniture. Tie the covers tightly to the furniture so that they stay put all winter long. Keep an eye on furniture all winter — After heavy snows, wipe accumulation off of the furniture covers so as not to weigh down the furniture or allow for leaks through the cover. Check the covers periodically through the winter to make sure that there are no holes or tears in the cover fabric.

Outdoor Furniture TLC A blog by Cheryl Khan — an interior designer and freelance writer at — states that wood patio furniture should always have a protective sealant applied to it to keep the wood from moisture damage year round let alone in winter. In the winter, the moisture can freeze in the wood causing it to crack. When properly sealed, the snow and freezing rain cannot soak into the wood in the same manner as with raw wood. While covers keep the snow and ice from seeping into this furniture, sealant still should still be applied because wood can absorb moisture from the air. Plastic furniture does not have the same issues with moisture as the wood, since it does not absorb the moisture. However, the frigid temperature in the winter tends to make plastic brittle enough for it to crack. Metal furniture for the most part should not be left out in the winter because it can rust after exposure to snow or freezing rain. When rust happens, it weakens the metal and causes it to breakdown. Galvanized metal holds up better than other metals, but over time it could also suffer from being out in the snow. And since many of the models of outdoor furniture use removable cushions, when not in use they should be stored indoors, in a shed, or a heavy-duty cushion storage box. The fabric can be easily damage by the freezing and thawing that occurs during the cold weather. Additionally, the stuffing in these cushions can mold and mildew. You should also bring these inside when it is raining — and covering them with a tarp or sheet of plastic when not in use will keep damaging dust from accumulating on them.

worry about children bouncing on or damaging your precious sofa set. Outdoor sets are typically manufactured using resilient materials that are designed to withstand extreme conditions. More importantly, the frames are reinforced with strengthened metals that provide peace of mind knowing that your kids won’t be able to bend or warp your furniture by jumping on it or rough-housing. Worried about stains or spills? For complete protection, consider cushions and other materials made from Sunbrella fabrics, which are stain-resistant, easy to clean, and machine-washable. When compared to traditional uphol-

Winter Will Come

Bring It In! Another creative way to protect your outdoor furniture according to, is to bring it — and use it indoors for fall/winter. Outdoor furniture is built to be extremely durable and as of late, it has grown to be fashionable and stylish. With these qualities, Ms Khan says you don’t have to

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22 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017



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39 S. Main Street | (Route 25) | Newtown, CT 06470 | find us on for upcoming news & sales

Home & Garden - 23

September 15, 2017 - The Newtown Bee

Your Premier Kitchen & Bath Remodelers All Under One Roof!


Kitchens ~ Baths Built-Ins ~ Pantries Cabinetry ~ Countertops Tile ~ Wood Floors Shower Doors

203-748-9000 SHOWROOMS

101 Greenwood Ave BETHEL • CT Located across from Caraluzzi’s

19 Old Doansburg Road BREWSTER • NY 594 Route 6 MAHOPAC • NY 3 East Main Street PAWLING • NY

24 - Home & Garden

The Newtown Bee - September 15, 2017

In Bloom _ All Seasons _ All Reasons®

Save the Date!

Over 50 Years

and Still Growing! The largest Family Owned Nursery and Garden Center in Fairfield County Since 1964


October 7th & 8th

It is the Perfect Time for Landscape Installation

Design & Install NOW and Enjoy in the Spring! Hollandia Offers Complete Landscape Design & Service All Year Round

A Gift Certificate from Hollandia Is ALWAYS Appreciated!

Thousands of Chrysanthemums to Choose from…


2 Great Locations • Open 7 Days • The Largest Selection of Gift, Garden & Home Nursery Landscaping Materials in the Area!

103 Old Hawleyville Rd, Bethel • 203-743-0267 8am-5pm Every Day

95 Stony Hill Rd / Rt 6, Bethel • 203-792-0268 9am-6pm Every Day

Largest Selection of Nursery Stock in the Area Complete Gardening Supplies • Nursery Stock • Trees • Shrubs Top Soil • Sod • Grass Seed • Weed and Grub Control • Perennials & Annuals • Bird feeders • Bird Houses • Bird Seed • Statuary • Fountains • Pottery • Gifts • Garden & Home Decor

Home & Garden Fall 2017  

The Newtown Bee's Home & Garden Fall 2017 supplement.

Home & Garden Fall 2017  

The Newtown Bee's Home & Garden Fall 2017 supplement.