Homes & Lifestyles August 2016

Page 1

$2.95 • August 2016 • Volume 12, No. 6

page 28 of South-Central Indiana

Living in


Tough Little

Lavender Farm

Lake Lemon home has an old soul

with (re)purpose

Lavender Mooresville’s Willowfield

and Old

Treasure Couple builds a camper

Also inside: • WildCare Inc. • Maiolica artist • Autism foundation • Interior designer



























3695 S. Sare Road fax 812.332.3015 • cell 812-325-1290

2 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

8 Willowfield Lavender Farm Monroe County

16 Autism Foundation 20 Maiolica Artist Susan Snyder 26 At Work with Lisa Smith


28 Lake Lemon Home Q&A 36 WildCare Inc. 42 Artist Gallery 44 Musician Amanda Biggs Eastern Heights

50 Neighborhood


54 A Camper with (Re)purpose 62 Travel to Real-Life Mayberry 66 Color Corner: Front Doors Recipe: Lavender

67 Grapefruit Cheesecake $2.95 • August 2016 • Volume 12, No. 6

page 54

of South-Central Indiana

Living in


Tough Little

Lavender Farm

Lake Lemon home has an old soul

with (re)purpose

Lavender Mooresville’s Willowfield

and Old

Treasure Couple builds a camper

ON OUR COVER: Mooresville’s Willowfield Lavender Farm, featured on page 8, inspired a recipe for Lavender Grapefruit Cheesecake. Find the recipe on page 67.

Also inside: • WildCare, Inc. • Maiolica artist • Autism foundation • Interior designer

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54 PUBLISHER Cory Bollinger

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WRITERS Jackie Sheckler Finch, Joel Pierson, Michelle Ann Crowe, Pete DiPrimio, Alexandra M. Lynch PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Howell, David Snodgress, Jonathan Streetman ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Dennis Laffoon


Contact Laurie Ragle at (812) 331-4291 EDITORIAL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS:

Contact Jackie Sheckler Finch at or Brooke McCluskey at (812) 331-4289

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 3

Homes & Lifestyles

Contributors Jackie Sheckler Finch became a Hoosier more than 25 years ago when she moved to Indiana from Massachusetts for a newspaper job. She covered city government and other areas for The Herald-Times until leaving to become a full-time freelance writer. Editor of Homes & Lifestyles since its inception in 2004, Jackie is also an award-winning travel writer and author of 20 travel books. She was named the Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year a record six times. Jackie enjoys finding the fascinating people and places that wait over the hill and around the next bend. Growing up in Spencer taught Michelle Ann Crowe to love John Mellencamp, the joys of driving country roads and the value of looking past any exterior to see what character lies underneath. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three children. Michelle is also an independent marketing consultant who enjoys writing for Homes & Lifestyles because it gives her a reason to look inside interesting houses and the people who make them a home. Pete DiPrimio is a Bloomington transplant who was born near Pittsburgh. His favorite part about writing for Homes & Lifestyles is meeting the various homeowners and personalities. He’s an award-winning sports columnist who has written three books on IU sports, plus 21 children’s books on topics that include Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ancient Rome, Ancient Sparta and more. In 2016 he was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, which he says reflects the fact that he covered his first sporting event shortly after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden.

4 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Chris Howell has been a full time senior photojournalist for Hoosier Times publications since 1998. Born and raised in Bloomfield, Chris’ passion is documenting the everyday lives of people in local communities and wherever his travels take him. Away from work, Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing softball and grilling in the summertime. When not designing the pages of Homes & Lifestyles, Dennis Laffoon is the creative services manager for Hoosier Times. He is also an ordained minister and pastor at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and winner of the City of Bloomington’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. Dennis is married, with three children who bring him and his wife Rochelle much joy. Alexandra M. Lynch thoroughly enjoys writing for Homes & Lifestyles because she gets to meet wonderful people and see fascinating homes. Alexandra has been a writer most of her career, mostly newsletters and magazines. Now, in retirement, she finds the H&L gig suits her fine. In her leisure time, she likes to travel and take photos. Brooke McCluskey is the content and layout coordinator for Homes & Lifestyles. She assists the editor, develops layouts and guides the production process — and does the same for several other magazines published by Hoosier Times. In her free time, she is renovating a fixerupper home in rural Bloomington with her husband. They have two children, a dog, a cat, a snake and many woodland friends.

A lifelong Hoosier, Shaylan Owen grew up near rural Delphi. He has a background in fine arts, photography and graphic design and is the marketing director for Hoosier Times. Shaylan is a self-described food nerd who has created and photographed dozens of recipes for Homes & Lifestyles since April 2009. When not working, he enjoys cooking, reading, running, traveling and the outdoors. Joel Pierson has been a resident of Bloomington for more than a decade and is still finding things to love about the area. In addition to writing for H&L, he is a regular contributor to The Herald-Times. His interests include theater, writing, editing and audio production. He is the author of two books, both published locally. In his rare free moments, he enjoys relaxing with wife and fellow journalist Dana and their three lovely hounds. David Snodgress was born and raised in Bloomington. He has journalism and political science degrees from Indiana University and a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio University. He is the photography manager at The Herald-Times. He shares a log home with his wife and three children and can often be found camping and canoeing.

Kathy Truss and Jonathan Streetman also contributed photos to this issue. Andy Lehman provided graphic design for this issue.

Homes & Lifestyles

From the Editor Comments The cover photo for your June issue was beautiful. It looks like the kind of peaceful place I would like to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book. It makes me happy just to look at it. Thank you! -Caroline Marshall Editor’s note: Thank you, Caroline. Taken by photographer Chris Howell, the photo is of the artfilled 1849 home of retired schoolteacher Bill Hays.

Thanks so much for the lovely photographs and article. I always look forward to your magazine. It’s a treat. -Bill Hays

The latest issue is great. You guys do great work. Very impressive. -David E. McArdle Editor’s note: McArdle & Co. Builders was highlighted in our June issue. In this issue, David takes us on a tour of a Lake Lemon home that features reclaimed materials. Correction: In the June issue of Homes & Lifestyles, we incorrectly stated in an article about YMCA trainer Helen Siek that one of her students, Craig Simpson, has myopathy. Craig has peripheral neuropathy, which is tingling and numbness in the feet resulting from minor nerve damage. It has never affected his ability to do physical labor. He mentioned the condition in his interview to emphasize that training with Helen would be invaluable to anyone interested in improving strength and balance, regardless of one’s learning curve. H&L regrets the error.

Have something to say?

Maybe it’s a comment about a home or a recipe. Whatever you’d like to share, we want to hear, so drop us a line!


ile this under the “It’s a Small World” category. Laurie Ragle and I were sitting at lunch discussing plans for the newest issue of Homes & Lifestyles. When I mentioned that the travel story was going to be about Andy Griffith’s hometown in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Laurie pulled out her cellphone. In a smiling photo, there is Laurie and her husband Brad. Last October, the couple visited the same destination we are featuring in this issue of H&L. What a coincidence! “The museum is a must-see for Andy Griffith fans. It has not only Andy Griffith Show memorabilia but also Matlock,” Laurie said. “We especially enjoyed the collection of Barney Fife items like his ‘salt-and-pepper’ suit. I think there was also his famous bullet on display.” The Ragles timed their visit to the Andy Griffith Museum for a Saturday because that was when actress Betty Lynn – who played Barney’s “one true love” Thelma Lou — would be greeting visitors to the museum. Our story in this issue tells how Betty came to be a Mount Airy resident. “She is a truly warm person who asked questions about us and listened carefully to our answers,” Laurie said. “She was genuinely interested in the people who were there to see her. She kissed my cheek and hugged before we left.” While waiting to chat with the actress, the Ragles had another one of those small world encounters. “There was a couple in front of us and we noticed the man with an IU cap and started a conversation with him,” Laurie said. “Turns out they came from Vevay, Indiana, and we had a mutual friend.” We have run travel stories from near and far almost since H&L was born nearly 12 years ago. In my many years of traveling, I have had those unusual experiences time after time. Going through airport security, agents have noticed the Hoosier address on my passport and mentioned that they, a friend or someone in their family had attended Indiana University and loved Bloomington. In talking with fellow travelers around the world, I’ve had so many of them say they had been to Bloomington for one reason or another. One woman in Germany said she knows the city from the movie “Breaking Away” and wants to visit someday because she is an avid biker. She wants to see the house where the main character Dave lived in the movie and to ride the roads he did. One of my strangest experiences happened two months ago when I was in Zagreb, Croatia. Walking around the historic city, I saw an unusual museum tucked away near an ancient church. The Museum of Broken Relationships sounded like it might have an interesting story and it certainly does. When the lady at the entrance desk asked where I was from, she said the museum has a couple of items from my hometown. Seemed hard to believe but she was right. Among the often-heartbreaking items on display were two from Bloomington — a teddy bear and a lake photograph, each with its own individual tale of love lost. That is a story I am going to write for a future issue.

Letters c/o Homes & Lifestyles P.O. Box 909 • Bloomington, IN 47402 Or e-mail

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 5

The results are in for House & Home! Thanks to Homes & Lifestyles readers for selecting local favorites. Interior Design— Lisa Smith Interiors

616 S. College Mall Rd., Bloomington • 812-334-1944 For more than a decade, Lisa Smith Interiors has designed elegant, livable spaces for her clients — and Homes & Lifestyles readers gave it first place in the Interior Design category. Meet Lisa and see her workspace in a two-page feature in this issue.

Garden/Landscape/Lawn Care— McClaren Lawn and Landscape/ Turf Masters

812-335-2663 McClaren Lawn and Landscape/Turf Masters may have won the Garden/Landscape/Lawn Care category, but their services go far beyond lawns. The company also handles insect, rodent and other pest control, pool maintenance, mosquito prevention and more.

Home Furnishings/Décor— ETC for the Home

3333 S. Walnut St., Bloomington • 812-369-3333 When ETC for the Home opened a 17,000-squarefoot store several years ago, Bloomington gained a decorating treasure. The store carries such variety it is almost like a décor museum — but everything is for sale. Our readers gave it the top spot for Home Furnishings/Décor.

Paint/Wall Coverings— Bloomington Paint and Wallpaper

1150 S. Walnut St., Bloomington • 812-337-2468 Homes & Lifestyles readers will recognize Bloomington Paint and Wallpaper’s Laura Brzegowy from her “Color Corner” column. With Laura’s expert help, the store offers clients custom color solutions that put them in the top spot for Paint/Wall Coverings.

Pools, Patios and Decks— Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

1958 S. Walnut St., Bloomington • 812-333-6136 “Nobody ever has a bad day when it ends in the hot tub.” This is one of Aqua Pro Pool and Spa’s mottos— and our readers must agree, because they gave Aqua Pro top billing in the pools, patios

and decks category. The company is known for installing high-quality hot tubs, pools and spas and providing excellent long-term customer support.

Builder— John Ingram Builders, Inc.

3050 S. Rockport Rd., Bloomington • 812-332-4655 Described by a nominator as “the nicest you’ll ever meet,” John Ingram Builders Inc. focuses on quality work and craftsmanship. Homes & Lifestyles voters gave the company top billing in the Builder category.

Remodeling/Home Improvement— Bailey and Weiler Design and Build 700 North Rogers St., Bloomington • 812-330-1169 When they launched Bailey and Weiler Design and Build in 2005, Craig Bailey and Don Weiler each brought more than 20 years of custom home building experience. The company specializes in highly detailed building design that incorporates clients’ personal style. They won the top spot for Remodeling/Home Improvement.

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6 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

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Photos by Chris Howell. 8 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Living in Lavender

Willowfield Lavender Farm is all-organic and Indiana’s oldest By Jackie Sheckler Finch


hen he was crawling through the smoke-filled hallway of a burning building, Kieran O’Connor had no idea that one day he would be quietly tending lavender plants in a serene wooded wonderland. At Willowfield Lavender Farm, Kieran and his wife Elizabeth, who goes by Libbe, have created a natural sanctuary where they welcome family and guests to make lasting memories. “I think it was meant to be,” Kieran says. As retirement neared for the 35-year Indianapolis firefighter, Kieran and Libbe thought they might start growing flowers for their next adventure. Libbe had worked at Eli Lilly and Company and operated the Tea Cosy in Greenwood. But fate has a way of intervening — just as it has throughout the couple’s lives. To start with, Libbe and Kieran had known each other for almost half a century. “She dated my best friend for a while in the early 70s,” Kieran says. “We were just always good friends.” Years passed. Relationships started. Relationships ended. Kieran and Libbe’s friendship endured. Then one day, Kieran recalls, Libbe phoned and suggested they take a picnic lunch and go out in the country where Kieran owned some property. “We never ever thought about romance,” Kieran says. “But that’s what happened that day. Something sparked in both of us.” In 1978, they married in Libbe’s back yard. The new bride picked a wedding bouquet of flowers

from a friend’s garden. That loving experience would later become part of what brides-to-be can do at a Willowfield Lavender Farm wedding. But first came the house. “That’s how it all started — with the house,” Kieran says. In his firefighter days, Kieran liked to collect discarded building materials, home furnishings and architectural elements.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 9

“Back in the 60s, I had read an article in Mother Earth magazine about a house made of recycled materials,” he says. “I thought that was a great idea … Our house was 50 years in the making.” Once word got around that Kieran was interested in items destined for destruction, “I never knew what I was going to get from day to day. People started calling me or leaving things for me … When they built Victory Field and tore up those old brick streets, a guy told me to take whatever I wanted. That’s where I got the brick for the wall and chimney in our home.”

Taking Shape

For their dream home, the O’Connors found an ideal location on 28 acres in Mooresville. Then, 24 years ago, they started building their vision — the hard way. “Libbe and I lived out here without any formal electricity or water … It was quite an adventure but we knew what we wanted to do,” Kieran says. With no architect or formal plans, the house built of 60 percent recycled material slowly took shape. “A lot of the material dictated what it would be,” Kieran says. “You feel like something is guiding you.” The 50-foot-long oak timbers from a barn that was going to be burned became part of the O’Connors’ front porch. Two eye-catching leaded-glass windows that once graced the sides of a fireplace are now focal points alongside a loft window in the home. Two salvaged 1883 pocket doors fit right in as a room divider. A Hoosier cabinet that was in pieces when Kieran found it is now a work of art, decorated with delicate stencils painted by Libbe. 10 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

The O’Connors’ home incorporates reclaimed timbers, windows, doors, floorboards and furniture – plus Libbe’s handcrafted creations.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 11

“Libbe is constantly surprising me with what she can do,” Kieran says. “She didn’t start painting until her late 30s and it is amazing what she is doing with painting and pottery.” As a child Libbe was interested in art, but that fell by the wayside over the years. Now those talents are on display throughout the O’Connor home and in their boutique. Paintings, sketches, home décor and pottery all attest to Libbe’s expertise. Entering the home’s front door, there are a dozen adorable sketches Libbe made of the O’Connor grandchildren when they were babies. The couple has three sons —Nathaniel, Darby and Chris — all of whom live in Indiana. As Indiana’s oldest lavender farm, Willowfield is a treasure house of memories and traditions. When the grandchildren were little, “Father Christmas” would magically appear and guide them to a crèche in the woods to celebrate the birth of Christ. Then each child would be given a handmade wooden ornament and a sprig of thyme or some other greenery. “Maybe when we have great-grandchildren, Father Christmas will have to come back again,” Kieran says.

Lavender Dreams

As for how the O’Connors decided to become lavender farmers, that also seems to be an instance of serendipity. “Libbe woke me up one early morning about 15 years ago

12 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

and said, ‘How about lavender?’ Sounded good to me, so we put 100 plants in the ground and we were off and running.” Of course, lavender is primarily a Mediterranean plant. “It’s really a challenge to grow it in the Midwest,” Kieran says. “We are just coming out of a three-year loss because of the weather. Last year, we had 13 ½ inches of rain in June and July. It ruined the plants in the field.” Tending to the organic lavender is time-intensive, especially during blooming season in June and July when blossoms must be harvested — as Libbe is doing this sunny afternoon. “We don’t use machines. We hand weed and use no sprays, herbicides or pesticides,” Kieran says. To learn more about cultivating lavender where corn once grew, the O’Connors traveled to the famed lavender fields in Provence, France. In their Willowfield shop, they carry lavender-related products including plants, lotions, pottery, fabric and lavender tea, which Libbe creates. The farm also hosts a summer concert series and is a popular wedding site. As part of a wedding, the bride and her attendants get to use the O’Connor home to prepare for the trip down the aisle. The groom and his groomsmen have special quarters in the shop. The greenhouse can be transformed into a lovely dining hall. “They get to choose where they want to get married on our farm and the bride gets to pick her own flowers if she wants,” Libbe says. One bride hoped to be married in a woodland cathedral so Kieran obliged, showing her a special spot where three tall trees have formed a natural sanctuary.

Above, lavender dries in bunches. At left and below, the farm’s 28 acres of charming vignettes, including a space framed by tree branches.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 13

“That was my private place,” Kieran admits. “It’s where I would go to have time for myself.” When he was 18 years old, Kieran entered a monastery where he spent two years, the first in complete silence. Although he decided the monastic life wasn’t for him, Kieran still finds grace in solitude. He and Libbe consider Willowfield Lavender Farm a magical place where people can enjoy peace and rejuvenation in an often-hectic world. As the fragrant scent of lavender drifts on a summer breeze from the nearby meadow, Kieran ends a visit by reading words written by his granddaughter, Emma Grow, when she was 13 years old. Capturing the spiritual essence of Willowfield, her poem concludes, “Almost too good to be true. My sweet, purple heaven.”

14 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Purple Heaven By Emma Grow, granddaughter of Libbe and Kieran O’Connor

As the vehicle zooms on the rocky driveway Crunchy gravel gets smothered below My excitement cannot be withheld For I know the purple heaven awaits I spring out onto the ground Breathing in a deep breath The aroma of nature greets me I rush to the field Where purple sprouts of life pop out of the soil I feel welcomed by the fresh lavender My feet being pricked by the evergreen grass And the pleasant birds humming their song The old trees swishing in the breeze The comforting wooden gazebo centering the field Full of memories of weddings and star-gazing The vivid colors of the fire-red butterflies And the buzzing sun-yellow bees Flutter and float around Almost too good to be true My sweet, purple heaven


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August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 15

Kevin Andrews and his son K.J., who has autism, swim for therapy at Bryan Park Pool in Bloomington. Photo by Chris Howell.

Because it Helps Monroe County Autism Foundation fills local needs By Michelle Ann Crowe


t’s easy enough to imagine the scene. A dad launching out of a water slide. The immediate clearing of contacts and scanning of the pool. An expression of small relief when he locates his son and sees all is well. The look on Kevin Anderson’s face is likely the same mixture of pride and simple satisfaction many parents feel when they see clear evidence they have met their child’s needs. It is these moments, many claim, that balance all of the more trying times of parenthood.

16 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

For Kevin, the feeling is magnified. As the father of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, meeting the needs of his nine-yearold son often requires exceptional effort — not that Kevin is complaining. “When we talk about my child, I get emotional,” he says. “K.J. is a great kid and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.” According to the website for the Monroe County Autism Foundation, autism is a complex neurobiological disorder typically appearing in the first three years of life, affecting one in every 88 children. Autism is

a spectrum disorder, meaning that although it is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children and adults with autism can exhibit any combination of these behaviors in any degree of severity. Managing those behaviors is why this father and son can be found splashing around Monroe County. “We go to the pool every day. When K.J. swims, his behavior is modified,” Kevin explains. “He listens to me more. He is more patient. He uses his words. It’s the swimming that makes a difference.”

Equine therapy is another activity that makes a big difference for K.J., as do inclusion-based summer camps. However, these extracurricular activities come with a cost — on top of the additional $17,000 a year AutismSpeaks. org reports it takes to cover expenses related to the healthcare and education necessary to raise a child on the autism spectrum. Kevin says it simply: “There are always gaps.”

Filling the Gaps

For the six people sitting around a boardroom table, filling gaps is the name of the game. In the last five years the Monroe County Autism Foundation has quietly provided thousands of dollars in individual support to parents like Kevin. All volunteers, the group is small and streamlined, with no formal office to maintain. That means, according to treasurer Dwayne McCoy, that 90 percent or more of donations are directly funneled to families. Referring to their work he says, “The more families you can help, the more people you can touch — that makes it just more impactful.” The foundation hosts four fundraising events throughout the year. Each one is carefully considered to reach a different group of supporters. Foundation President Andrew Lambert explains the strategy they have in mind.

Board president Andrew Lambert has made it his mission to find fun activities that also raise funds for families in the autism community. Photo by David Snodgress.

The Board of Directors of the Monroe County Autism Foundation includes, from left to right, Debbie Wheeler, vice president; Andrew Lambert, president; Sarah Kenny, secretary; Dwayne McCoy, treasurer; Jeremy Dilts, board member. Some board members are not shown here. Photo by David Snodgress.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 17

Above, a July fundraiser at the Village Inn offered a welcoming social environment and raised money for local families. Photo by David Snodgress. Below, Kevin and K.J. spend time together at Bryan Park Pool. Photo by Chris Howell.

“What we are trying to do is give back to the community by doing interesting things while also raising funds. We say, ‘Let’s have a good time, and hopefully raise money in the process.’” To reach businesses, the group hosts an annual golf scramble in the spring, Tee it Up for Autism. For a younger demographic, Andrew organized Stand Up for Autism, a night of comedy at the popular Comedy Attic. For families, the group’s signature sponsor event — Move for Autism — is a 5K walk hosted at the Monroe County YMCA. This year’s fun is slated for Saturday Oct. 22. A summer breakfast fundraiser is also family friendly, and this year it got a boost from Kevin. His pride is obvious as he tells the story. “I try to help. I want to give back because MCAF is so vital to me. We lost the breakfast sponsor this year and I was able to help them find a new one. I saved that event and it’s something I am really, really proud of.” The breakfast — hosted at the new Village Inn restaurant in 2016 — is a great example of how the fundraising works. At $10 a person, guests enjoy a full breakfast buffet. The Village Inn donates 100 percent of the price back to the foundation, covering all related expenses. In addition to providing an important funding boost, the breakfast creates a safe social environment so important to children experiencing autism. The fall 5K walk is another place where families make connections, according to Debbie Wheeler, foundation vice president. “It’s just a nice social atmosphere,” she says. “People are hanging out, making friends and enjoying the time with their families.”

More than Fundraising

For the Foundation, meeting the needs of Monroe County’s autism community is always about more than fundraising. The feeling at the regular board meetings is personal. For example, Kevin and K.J. benefit from some foundation funding for K.J.’s equine therapy. “I couldn’t get K.J. on a horse without MCAF,” says Kevin. However, a change in programs left Kevin with funding from MCAF and still no horses for K.J. to ride. Debbie took the next step, made some calls and delightedly reported to the board, “I found a source for him.” Other matters discussed at the June meeting paint a picture of advocacy. The foundation uses referrals and negotiations to meet specific and individual needs for variety of families and situations. Accessing foundation support requires a family

18 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

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to submit an application found through While not every request can be met exactly as submitted, an atmosphere of flexibility and persistence pays off. The foundation treasurer writes checks directly to organizations to cover expenses and the payments have gone to therapy, emergency relief of bills, and complimentary programs like K.J.’s YMCA membership. “People tell us stories of where they have to stop services because they simply can’t go on, financially. We are here to make sure they can,” says Andrew. After three years of ongoing summer activity support, Kevin is positive that Bloomington is the best place to be for a family experiencing autism. “This is a very accepting community. We have great providers here, and we have people that donate money and give their time. I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” he says. Kevin is speaking on behalf of many when he shares that even with insurance, even with all of the programs available in Bloomington, meeting the needs of a child diagnosed with autism is difficult. A self-described “prideful guy,” he is grateful he got over his fear and asked for help. The foundation’s impact is evident as Kevin focuses on enjoying his summer with his son. “My favorite thing about K.J. is just being his dad,” says Kevin. “He’s a great kid and I love him so much.”

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 19

Photo by Jonathan Streetman. 20 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

“There’s always an element of surprise. You never know if it’s going to be Christmas or Halloween when you open up the kiln.” — Susan Snyder

Maiolica Magic Local artist specializes in colorful Italian ceramics by Joel Pierson


ome pottery is destined to be placed in museums; some finds its way to theaters or malls or civic centers. But Susan Snyder is equally happy when her pottery is found under some mashed potatoes or a nice salad. The self-employed artist and teacher has been creating works of art that are right at home in a dishwasher, microwave oven or family dining table. She uses an Italian technique called maiolica, and in the comfort of her home studio, she told Homes & Lifestyles about the art form that brings her happiness every day. Susan was born and raised in Bloomington, attending University Elementary School. Her college education began at Earlham College in Richmond, where she attended for two years — the first in her family to go to college. However, a desire to major in art history caused her to seek out a larger school, so back to Bloomington she came to get her degree at Indiana University. Her formative years featured extensive exposure to

international cultures, and one place that caught her attention and affection was Italy. “I was always interested in Italian art,” she explains. “When I was at IU, I studied Italian, and I was fortunate enough to go on the Bologna program for a year. Being in Italy and traveling, I saw maiolica. I liked color, and I’d taken some ceramics classes at IU. I wanted to have brighter pieces. When I went to Italy and saw more maiolica, I fell in love with the designs, the colors and the warmth.” She shares memories from her early days training in ceramic arts. “When I trained in Italy in 1994, I was the second American to attend the trade school in Faenza, a town of 70,000. Back then, there were over 100 ceramic studios. Now that number has dropped by half. It was a fantastic opportunity, and it was paid for by funding of the European Union. I received 1,100 hours of ceramics training. At the end, we got to apprentice with an artist. I apprenticed with a countess. She had me paint the

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 21

Inside her garage-turnedstudio, Susan creates a maiolica plate that is both beautiful and intended for daily use. Photos by Jonathan Streetman.

same design over and over and over again for two and a half weeks. Looking back, that was a great opportunity to try to master the craft.” Maiolica is one of those artistic techniques that people often see but seldom know by name. It refers to a style of art that applies a tin glaze on top of earthenware pottery. The tin makes the finished glaze quite white, an ideal color for the type of dinnerware and serving ware that are Susan’s specialty. Years ago, maiolica used lead, but that practice has gone away — for much the same reason people no longer give their children mercury to play with. Maiolica ceramics come primarily from Italy, Spain, and Portugal and they are the predominant style Susan uses. “I also love to do sgraffito,” she says — which sounds like it involves writing on buildings, but actually describes a style that builds contrasting layers on an unfired piece of pottery and then uses scratching to uncover part of the layer underneath. “I’ve also started doing things that are very different, like magnets and ornaments with lace pressed into the clay. It’s a more relaxed style, and I enjoy having that balance.”

Scottish Opportunity

One of Susan’s proudest moments involved working on a project in a school in Aberdeen, Scotland. She and her family were living there at the time, and she received a grant that allowed her to teach ceramics there for a year.


22 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

“The idea was to end up with three four-by-four-foot murals. To show the kids how to work with the clay, each child made a fish. When we were done, we took the fish and created a huge school of fish swimming up the wall.” This mural is the first thing visitors to the school see when they enter, and complements the four panels depicting the cultural diversity and international connection of the school and the city of Aberdeen. When Susan and her family left Bloomington in 2006 to live in Scotland, she had no idea they would be coming back after two and a half years. She even sold her kiln — a prize possession for any potter. “Then,” she says, “my husband was offered the opportunity to work at IU. My husband is from Bologna; my parents are from Bloomington. Living in the UK is very expensive, and coming back allowed us to have a house and more space.” Back in her hometown, Susan oversaw the creation of a mural at University Elementary School with the sixth graders, on the theme “Naturally Global.” The students created internationally-themed designs for the large, decorative mural. “It’s nice to be able to leave something like that behind,” Susan reflects. The murals were powerful and inspirational, but the majority of Susan’s work these days encompasses functional pottery — things created to be used. She explains her calling.

Bloomington Paint & Wa allpaper 1150 S. Walnut Stre eet Bloomington, IN 474 401 812-337-2468 Weekday ys 7:30-5:30 and Sa aturdays 8-4 August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 23

Below, and on previous page, Susan helps young artists understand pottery techniques during a pottery camp at her studio. Photos by David Snodgress.

“I love the functionality of the work, but I also love to create work that is both artistic and beautiful, that you can look at for pleasure, but it also serves a purpose, too. The Italian maiolica is meant to be functional as well. There’s nothing like having a beautiful set of dishes to enhance a meal. If the piece was made with care, it has a different feel.”

Ceramic Zen

Breakage is an occupational hazard, both before and after a piece is completed, but Susan is very Zen about it. “As a potter, you get used to losing things. It’s not like a painter, where you paint on the canvas and it’s there. When you put a piece inside a kiln, you don’t know how it’s going to come out. There’s always an element of surprise. You never know if it’s

24 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

going to be Christmas or Halloween when you open up the kiln. It requires a lot of patience, and maiolica can be quite finicky. When a piece comes out that is close to flawless, that’s pretty amazing.” As for her favorite type of project to create, Susan says, “It’s usually whatever I’m working on at that moment — dinnerware, wine tops, spoon rests, serving bowls, mugs, small plates, pitchers, butter dishes. I like to do happy work. I like to make work that is going to spread happiness.” Her efforts have garnered her some fame as well. Susan has been profiled in a Russian magazine called “Home.” Its editors found her work on the internet and liked it. She’s also been featured on an HGTV program called “That’s Clever.” Upon hearing that the producers were coming to Indianapolis, she contacted the show and sent them

images of her work. They weren’t originally planning to come to Bloomington, but her art impressed them enough to make the detour. Ironically, the program aired two days after the family moved to Scotland, which was difficult because it triggered a lot of interest in her work but left her with no way to safely get it to American patrons. When she’s not creating her own artwork, Susan can be found in her home studio, teaching five pottery classes a week: two for children, a class for home-schooled children and their mothers, and two adult classes. Each class ranges from five to eight students. Susan doesn’t need towering statues to feel she’s left a legacy. The murals in the schools in Aberdeen and Bloomington are a powerful reminder of the beauty she’s shared. And something as simple as a butter dish or a bowl brings joy. “Really, just knowing that a mug I made is someone’s favorite mug — if it’s making someone’s life a little bit better, that’s all I need.” Learn more at and See her work at Oliver Winery, By Hand Gallery, Spears Gallery, the Local Clay Pottery Show and Sale, and the Bloomington Open Studios Tour. She will also have a booth at the Fourth Street Festival.

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Homes & Lifestyles

At Work with ...

Fabric sample books hold swatches from Ralph Lauren, Stroheim, Schumacher, Kravet and others. The fabrics are used in custom upholstery, window treatments, pillows and bedding.

This striking light fixture is called the Visual Comfort globe lamp. “We do a lot of permanent lighting. Done well, lighting is art,” Lisa says.

These are bedding samples from the Lively and Elegant custom bedding lines.

A Hickory Chair desk table is part of a popular line of quality contemporary and traditional wood furnishings. It is available in more than 30 finishes.

Photo by David Snodgress.

26 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

With thousands of details to incorporate into each project, a simple notebook is an indispensable tool. As Lisa says, “Note to self, please remember to do … everything.”

This is Lisa’s design board, one of four portable display boards in the studio. They’re used to explore options and present concepts to clients. This board holds constructions plans, wallpaper samples and fabrics for an ongoing project.

A handmade bone china vase and elegant gold-coated vase are available for retail sale. Smith used a nesting table — stacked instead of nested — to create a pedestal that allows light to bounce across the china vase.

Lisa Smith

of Lisa Smith Interiors Lisa Smith knows what works in a space. When the building formerly known as Framemakers came up for sale, she knew it would be the perfect home for Lisa Smith Interiors. Expanding her home design studio into a storefront allowed her to grow her business by offering furniture, rugs and accessories — in a venue that shows her design aesthetic — without an appointment. Since opening in January she’s already had to expand her staff. “I had no idea the impact of what a retail space could do for us.”

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 27

Old and New Lake Lemon home has an old soul By Brooke McCluskey


n the shore of a quiet Lake Lemon inlet, a stately new house stands — but it’s not as new as it appears. It was carefully crafted with reclaimed and recycled materials. From barn doors to vintage floors, decades-old — and even centuries-old — wood, bricks, metal and stone were pieced together to create this custom home.

28 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

David McArdle of McArdle & Co. Builders helped the homeowners build it from the ground up. Dave is passionate about using reclaimed materials and sees possibilities within every piece of weathered wood. Here, he shares tips for incorporating repurposed materials into homes.

Photos by Kathy Truss.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 29


David McArdle

McArdle & Co. Builders

Q: Why are you passionate about using reclaimed materials? A: It’s just become a part of me. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of things like this. I’m always thinking about it. For this home, the interior designers and myself were able to run with an idea. The homeowners were willing to let us do that, and it was a lot of fun to do. I think of it as almost an art form to work with this stuff. Q: How did the homeowners describe their vision to you? A: They brought a lot of pictures and once I understood what they were thinking, we could all build upon that. The homeowners envisioned something that felt like it had been there for a very long time. The goal for this house was to make it look like it had been there for 80 years. Q: What’s the first thing people notice about the house? A: The beams are the big attraction, and of course the floor is one-of-a kind. Most of that stuff came from an old barn with the help of Adam Dick at Hoosier Reclaimed Timber. 30 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Views of the main living space show reclaimed beams, a stone fireplace, carefully-selected fixtures and floors that were pieced together from barn siding. At right, a post shows its original rough-cut end.

I took the homeowner over to Adam’s shop, which is near Lake Lemon, and they fell in love with some of the things he had. Adam had a contract to take down a barn at the old Messmer family farm in Dubois County — the oldest standing structure in the county. Adam took it down and I selected the best beams out of it. Q: Those are the ceiling beams? A: Yes, they are hand-hewn, pre-sawmill-days beams. Chopped by hand. I’d imagine a lot of them were even reclaimed before they went into the barn we took down. People have always tried to save and reuse nice wood pieces like that. Q: What about the railings? A: A lot of the railings were rough-sawn and we left the original cut end from the original people who worked it. The railing tops look just as they came out of the barn. The wood is unfinished. The only part we put a finish on were flooring and stair parts. We left all the beams unfinished and untouched. Q: Is the big chandelier made of driftwood? A: No, it’s metal wrapped in twine. Everyone notices and comments on that. It was the designer’s work, Jennifer Barratt, whose business is called The Arranger. She really understood how to keep things restrained. For example, I wanted to make a chandelier out of a hay trolley that we found in a barn — the kind that would ride on a track across the peak of a barn and drop down and clamp on to the hay. But the homeowners overruled me on that one. That style chandelier would have been too much for them.

Q: There’s a lot of stonework. Is it local stone? A: Some of it is. The limestone steps out of the back door are locally-cut limestone. The house also has blue granite stone on the fireplace and other areas, all out of upstate New York.

Q: And the floors? A: We took all the siding off the old barn and then we milled tongue-and-groove flooring. There’s probably 15 different varieties and widths because we tried to get the maximum we could out of every piece. It was very time consuming but couldn’t have come out any better.

Q: What parts of the home’s structure are not reclaimed? The roof? Siding? A: The roof and siding are not. We didn’t want to go too far with it. For example, we chose not to put galvanized roofing on the home. We didn’t want to overdo it. It had to suit the homeowners’ needs and be functional. Q: How did you incorporate modern things, like kitchen appliances and lighting fixtures? A: The homeowners went after high-quality stuff, things that would function well in the home, and tried not to get too hung up on the details. In general we tried not to get too

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 31

Above, a porch maximizes the lake view. At near right, steps offer a view of Indiana limestone. A small bathroom and shelf, at right and below, show space-saving solutions for a home focused on lake living.

32 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

crazy with every feature of the house being reclaimed. That was consciously done. We all worked together as a team to make those choices and find the right fit. Q: Is that a huge patio and also a large screened porch? A: It is. There’s a logic behind that. My family owns a lake home in the northern part of the state. I grew up on lakes and near lakes. That helped me to advise them on what you need and what you don’t need. A good example of that is the size of the bedrooms. You don’t need them to be huge. They wanted to be able to sleep a large number of people. My experience is, in a lake home you don’t spend a lot of time in the bedroom. You want to use most of your square footage on your porch, your outdoor space, your space to store kayaks, fishing gear, life jackets. That garage is a popular place. Q: Is the brick room a wine cellar? A: Yes, and it started with a root cellar idea. There’s three feet of earth on top of it, so it’s completely underground. It averages about 55 degrees year-round. We have air vents to open and close to control how much humidity is wanted in there. I engineered it as a concrete bunker. The walls and ceiling are 12-inch thick reinforced concrete. The bricks are all reclaimed from a factory in Anderson that was built in 1880. Masten Masonry did the work on that. We wanted it to feel like a dungeon. The door at the bottom of the staircase — we wanted it to feel like you almost had to duck your head to get in there, like a hobbit door. The door was built by Larry Ferree out of white oak. He did several features in the house.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 33

Q: Did the property come with the sandy beach? A: We put the beach in. We’ve put 40 tons of sand on the beach to create a nice-size space by the water. I brought boulders, limestone pieces, large flat rocks so that there are places one can stand on the rock and fish from. Above, Dave helped the homeowners create a beach for fishing, canoeing and other water activities. At right, an old beam joint was reassembled with historic accuracy. Below, the garage is situated for easy lake access.

Q: What special challenges come with using reclaimed materials? A: Keep in mind that there’s a process. You can’t just take wood out of a barn and put it in your house. It needs to be kiln dried. You dry it for about five days — basically you are baking it and killing all the bugs in the wood. When you’re done with the kiln-drying the floor is covered in bugs. You don’t want those in your house! Q: Is there anything you’d tell people to avoid? A: I’d say just don’t overlook the details. There’s a certain way old mortise and tenon joints were done. Most old barns don’t have a lot of nails. So that all has to be re-created. There could be a tremendous amount of hand-carving needed. We took our time to make sure everything fit well and looked authentic. Q: What was most memorable about this project? A: Visiting the family with my wife after they had moved in. Spending time with their family and watching their kids enjoy the place was a great feeling.

34 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

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36 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

To the Rescue

WildCare Inc. aims to save ‘one owl at a time’ By Pete DiPrimio

Valentino, a European barn owl, helps WildCare with its educational mission. Photo by David Snodgress. August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 37


Above, Felix, an American kestrel falcon, is a permanent resident at WildCare due to an imprinting issue that left him unable to survive in the wild. Courtesy photo. At right, this Eastern box turtle stayed at WildCare during the summer of 2007. According to the Indiana DNR, these turtles can live 30 to 40 years in the wild but they struggle to survive when displaced. It is illegal to collect box turtles from the wild in Indiana. Photo by David Snodgress.

38 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

elix puffs to twice his size. He is perched on Amanda Wrigley’s black-gloved right hand, content in the belief that he is human and all is well. He is half right. He is well thanks to Amanda, Sabrina Saylor and WildCare Inc.’s hard-working staff. But Felix is not a person. He is an American kestrel falcon and because of human ignorance and something called imprinting, he has lost his true identity. In truth, he never had it. “I feel so sad for him,” Amanda says, “because he’ll never get to fall in love, never get to raise babies, never get to hunt on his own.” Felix stares at her as if, in some way, he understands. His head and wings are slate blue, contrasting with the rusty red of his back and tail. Black markings slash across his face like a mustache and sideburns, as if he learned his grooming sense from a 19th century barber. “He is gorgeous,” Amanda says softly. American kestrels learn what they are between four and 10 weeks of age by seeing what is around them. If they grow up with other falcons, they see themselves as falcons and behave as falcons. If they grow up around humans — because they were caught and treated as pets instead of the wild creatures they are — well, things get confusing. Felix doesn’t know he’s confused. He puffs himself up again and Amanda strokes his head. “It’s his happy pose,” she says. Felix has plenty of company at WildCare Inc., a wildlife sanctuary that provides professional help for sick, injured and orphaned animals. The facility includes a two-story building that serves as a hospital and a rehab center. Some will be returned to the wild. Others, such as Felix, could never survive on their own. As such, the eightacre facility on Bloomington’s west side also has outdoor cages and enclosures to accommodate the wildlife. About half of their patients are wild birds and reptiles, and half are wild mammals. The facility rehabs up to 2,500 animals a year. The need is far greater.

Amanda Wrigley, vice president of the WildCare board of directors, talks to a group of supporters before a young bobcat is released. Photo by David Snodgress.

“We turn people away,” Amanda says. “We can’t take everything.” The hope is to someday have a larger facility. For now… “Bloomington is fortunate to have something like this in the community,” she says. “There aren’t that many centers like this in the state.”

Wild Ideas

Behind Amanda, a wood duck cries for attention. A snake slithers in a glass aquarium. Turtles do whatever it is that turtles do —

at a beat or two slower than their animal companions. “We try to make a difference,” Sabrina says, “one owl at a time.” Take, for instance, Valentino, a European barn owl. He looks like something from a Harry Potter fantasy. He is 15 inches tall with a wingspan twice that length. A ghostly white face peers with dark, worldly eyes at a pair of WildCare Inc. volunteers who offer food rewards — for a price. In the wild Valentino would rest during the day and hunt the forest at night. In this

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afternoon indoor setting, he has to fly about 30 feet from one black gloved perch to another for a tasty treat — worms. “We want to make it as close as what they do in the wild as possible,” Sabrina says. “Birds are fed while doing flight training. To get fed, you have to fly from point A to point B.” And so Valentino does. WildCare has been around since 2001 with a two-part mission — rehab and release animals, when possible, and educate the public. “So many animals we get a chance to treat

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 39

In 2013, opossum team leader Judy Beckner nurtured eight baby opossums — called joeys — for about six weeks until they could be released into the wild. Photo by Chris Howell.

are endangered or threatened,” Amanda says. “We want people to understand why it’s important to protect them. People and animals can coexist peacefully. We want people to know how they can unintentionally hurt animals.” That can be as simple as not tossing food out the car window along the highway. Crackers and french fries bring rodents by the thousands, which attract hawks and even eagles, which dive at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour to catch critters, and which sometimes get hit by vehicles in the process. Those who survive collisions often end up at WildCare. That leads us to Kenna, a red-tailed hawk. He was shot between the shoulder and the elbow. He rehabbed well enough to fly, but can’t soar high enough to survive on his own. “We would release him in a heartbeat,” Amanda says, “but he’d never make it.” She pauses. “He could live 25 to 30 years, and we want that to be enjoyable.”

40 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

A young bobcat is released in the forest near Lake Monroe by WildCare, Inc. after it recovered from surgery to repair its pelvis. The kitten was hit by a car as it followed its mother and sibling across the highway on the east side of Bloomington. Photo by David Snodgress.

Handling with Care

WildCare consists of three part-time staff members, plus about 40 volunteers during the winter — when there are fewer animals to care for — and more than 100 volunteers in the summer when capacity bursts to

the limit. Many are connected to Indiana University as students or faculty. “The animals here — something is wrong with them,” Sabrina says. “Something inhibits their ability to survive. We make sure they are stimulated physically and mentally, fed and cleaned.” Permanent residents get names such as Tank, Oliver, Winston, Bernice, Mama, River, DG, Kaos, Artimus, Val, Athena and, of course, Felix and Valentino. In February, there were 19 permanent residents and 25 animals in rehab, including bobcats. There also are 21 spiders, a colony of hissing cockroaches and plenty of other insects. “We use [insects] for food [for the animals, not the people!] and for education,” Amanda says. For much of the week, Sabrina is a life and health insurance agent. But that just pays the bills for her true passion — serving as WildCare’s education coordinator and animal care coordinator.

Found an Animal? It may be counterintuitive, but in many cases the best course is to leave wild animals where you find them. Here is more information from WildCare about how to handle — or not handle — an animal that may be sick or injured.

Laura Siegel holds great horned owl Athena during Education Day at the Monroe County Fall Festival in Sept. 2015. Athena was born with an abnormally-shaped skull, which led to losing an eye and becoming a permanent resident at WildCare. Photo by Chris Howell.

and nails. They defend themselves by “It’s not every day you get to hang out brawling. It’s the same with foxes and with an owl or work with a fox,” Sabrina bobcats. Skunks have evolved a horrible says. “I work with a group of people who smell. Possums can’t do any of that. They all love to do the same thing and share don’t have strong teeth or nails. They’re the same passion.” Amanda discovered WildCare about six not very quick and they don’t climb like a squirrel. Their defense mechanism is years ago after hitting a bird with her car. She didn’t know where to take the injured acting skills — they fool people into thinking they’re gross and disgusting.” bird until she heard about WildCare. She Amanda marvels at how a possum soon volunteered once a week, then reacts to a threat. moved up to team leader specializing “When you first approach them they’ll in water birds and ducks. She’s also on open their mouths like an alligator to try WildCare’s board of directors, and comes to make it look like to the facility five they have strong or six times a week. teeth. And they can She does this while hiss. If the scary juggling her main mouth doesn’t job as working in work, they play college recruitment dead. They fake for IU’s Kelley School death to point of a of Business. coma. If you still try “I get to teach to mess with them, people something then they fake a that I find amazing. Amanda Wrigley and WildCare’s animal ambassadors seizure and foam It’s a lot of fun.” connect with the community in educational demonstrations that increase awareness of animal at the mouth. The The fun extends issues. Courtesy photo. foam really stinks to possums, North and it makes it look like they have rabies. America’s only marsupial, which help I think it’s amazing they can survive with everybody by eating Lyme-diseaseno way real way to defend themselves. causing ticks “like they’re M&Ms.” They are our Shakespearean actors.” While possums appear to be, well, Somewhere behind her, Felix puffs in disgusting, it is all an act, Amanda insists. agreement. “Raccoons are strong with sharp teeth

Orphaned? Many baby animals are not really orphaned, such as fawns or baby rabbits found during daylight hours. Put your pets in the house and do not handle the wild animal. Do not feed it anything, especially cow’s milk. Injured or sick? If you are concerned that disease may be involved, or if the animal is aggressive, do not attempt to capture or handle the animal in any way. Put your pets in the house. Keep children at a distance. Do not feed the animal anything. Call for advice. Immediately call a wildlife rehabilitator or your local animal care and control office to report the sick or injured animal and to receive further instructions. Relocate if instructed. If you are able to get the animal into custody without injuring it or yourself, place it in any appropriate box lined with t-shirt material — no terry cloth — and air holes for ventilation. Be aware that many mammals can chew through cardboard boxes and small birds can easily escape through small openings. Call a rehabilitator for further advice. Please note that WildCare Inc. can offer advice, but they do not accept adult deer or remove nuisance wildlife. Call before bringing an animal to them. WildCare Inc. is online at and can be reached at 812-323-1313.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 41

Homes & Lifestyles

Artist Gallery Jim Grabski Watercolor impressions “Picnic in the Canyon” 19” x 12” Original paintings will be on exhibit at the Venue Fine Art & Gifts at 114 South Grant Street in Bloomington. 812-339-4200 812-345-4717

Martina Celerin

James B. Campbell

“Three Birches By The Lake”

Sculptor and painter

Martina Celerin creates wall sculptures that fuse weaving and felting techniques using reclaimed and recycled materials to tell the story of her life.

“Extras on the Set” 23.75” x 8” Acrylic on wood panels, aluminum


42 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

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Sara Steffey McQueen “Ocean 1” original watercolor Solo exhibit at the Bloomington Convention Center July 27 to Aug. 26 and Gallery Walk reception Aug. 5 at 5 p.m. 812-320-0695

Daren Redman Textiles in two and three dimensions “Colors of the Canyon” 30’ x 5’ Created while artist-in-residence at Grand Canyon National Park.

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812-876-9804 August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 43

A Different Trail

Classically-trained opera singer is known for her local folk music by Joel Pierson


manda Biggs sings like an angel. From opera to musicals to folk songs to gospel, when she opens her mouth, the sound that emerges is pure magic. As it happens, she has plenty to say with the spoken word as well — about life as a musician, about the industry, and about her home and family. Homes & Lifestyles caught up with this busy and dynamic performer in her kitchen, along with her wife and two sons, for a talk about life on and off the stage.

44 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Amanda has been married to Kim Deckard since June 2014. They were one of the first same-sex couples to marry legally under Indiana law. The pair had held a commitment ceremony in 2012, Kim explains, so legalized marriage wasn’t a big change in how they lived their lives.

Photo by David Snodgress.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 45

“But,” she points out, “it is a big change outside the relationship, in terms of rights I have with the boys. Taxes are different. I can do a lot more than I could before.” The pair is raising two sons. Max is two years old and Miles Finlay, sometimes called Fin, is a year old. The children are adorable and attentive to their mommies, and they’re already feeling the influence of growing up in a musical home. “Max does so much singing,” Amanda says with the proudest of smiles. “He gives lessons, he sings scales, he sings a ton of songs with intricate melodies and he has a great sense of rhythm and pitch.” No surprise, given that mommy Amanda is one of the shining stars of the Bloomington music scene. Her self-titled first solo album is widely available, and she features frequently in local musicals and live concerts. She’s found most often beside her good friend Krista Detor, another local music legend who’s loved worldwide. The pair’s latest collaboration is a new group they’re calling Parvenu. The name, she explains, means “a person who has recently acquired wealth of some sort, but they don’t yet have the class to fit in with the wealthy.”

46 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

More than Riches

What Amanda may lack in riches, she more than makes up for in class. The life of a folk musician isn’t a road to wealth, unless

you’re in the lucky one percent who hit it big. So Amanda supplements her income by giving music lessons, while Kim works three part-time bookkeeping jobs and two part-time personal-assistant jobs. But, as Kim explains, both women’s primary profession is their sons. “When Amanda’s giving lessons, I have the boys, and when I’m working, she has the boys. They’re never with a sitter or daycare.” Unquestionably, Amanda and Kim place the welfare of Max and Miles above all else. Their upbringing in uncertain sociopolitical times is constantly on their minds. “My goal with the boys is to see what happens if we don’t interfere — keep everything on a yes basis,” Amanda says. “Max has a way with people, and people have flocked to him. His humor is off the charts. Miles is following suit. I just hope that they are good boys. It’s a chance to raise good men. That’s what I want.” Amanda’s own upbringing helped steer her love of music. She was born in Olney, Ill. and grew up in the neighboring town of Bridgeport, where she lived until she was 16. She has two brothers, both of whom are musicians, as is her father. The family moved

to the Bloomington area to attend a new church. “We grew up Pentecostal, which had a big influence on my musical style.” As for that style, it’s a bit hard to pin down. “I’m really all over the map in terms of genres,” she explains. “I sing a bit of almost everything.” Classically trained in operatic performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Amanda has a repertoire that now includes musical theater, folk, Americana, pop, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz and country. “I have a voracious appetite for creative music that calls on multiple genres to tell a story,” she says. “My mother told me to ‘leave no stone unturned’ while I was trying to figure out which direction to take musically. Her encouragement played, and plays, a large role in my exploration of musical style.” One genre has become a bit elusive for her, however. “I would love to be back on the opera stage,” she says wistfully. “There’s a sort of unspoken thing about opera singers. If you’re an opera singer, you’re mainly an opera singer — you don’t get to play around. Once I left it and released a folk album, to be taken seriously as an opera singer is laughable for many of them. But if I wanted to make an effort at it, I could make it work. I never got off the bike. I just took a different trail.”

Amanda and Kim enjoy the peace of their Bloomington home with their two young sons. Musician Amanda is shown at left. Photos by David Snodgress.

Scene Changes

The music scene is evolving with advances in technology. The rise of independent music allows many more artists to release and distribute their music, which can be a blessing and a curse. It allows musicians like Amanda to promote their albums on a global platform, but it also means that every crooner with a guitar and a dream can get their work out there too. This can make it tough to get the word out — to get your voice heard — literally and figuratively. “For me, I’ve tried to find where I fit,” Amanda says. “I fit in a unique convergence of multiple styles. I’m finding my way in the music world. I’m not Adele. I’m not Joni Mitchell. I’m not Madonna.”

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 47

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Her solo album is doing well in the folk and Americana world. Reviews are steadily coming in from Europe and America, and listeners are impressed. It’s not the kind of genre where people are buying a lot of albums, so the dream of selling a million albums is hard to reach. Partially responsible for this is the availability of free and paid streamingmusic services. How does she feel about the streaming phenomenon? “At times it bothers me, but at times it feels like it’s really good to get out there, to be contributing to the music world. But I also need to be paid for it,

because it’s my job. It’s a bit of a catch22 in my mind.” Amanda predicts that the industry will reach a tipping point in the years ahead. “It can’t keep going like this,” she says, “where music is free, and the top one percent of musicians make a katrillion dollars and the rest of us make almost nothing. I feel like a balance will come. People will buy music and want to support artists.” As for their family’s future, Amanda and Kim agree that it would be hard to leave the peace of Bloomington to live anywhere else. Still, they’ve discussed

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an alternative life scenario, in which, Amanda says, “we sell our house, and we have a mobile unit like a house on wheels that we move to different spots for a couple of months at a time, so we can stay seasonably comfortable. We home school the boys and I sing on the road. I’m a guest teacher in places. We see the world and go abroad.” What makes the Biggs-Deckard household extraordinary is just how ordinary they are. “We’re a contributing family to the Bloomington community,” Amanda says. “We’re bringing two boys onto the scene who we’re raising to the very best of our

potential. I contribute to the musical scene, to help turn the tide of the future. We are a same-sex couple, and I guess that makes us non-traditional, but I think we’re fairly traditional in all we do, living a normal life.” Kim concurs, adding, “If you had asked me ten years ago where we’d be ten years from now, I would never have pictured a wife and two boys and the life we have. I would never trade it for anything.” Amanda’s music is available through services like YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, cdbaby and Amazon, and can be purchased in local stores.

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August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 49

“This neighborhood is very quiet. You see people walking, riding bikes. There are so many trees.” — Lauren Dula, co-founder, Eastern Heights Neighborhood Association

Photos by David Snodgress.

The Little Neighborhood that Could Bloomington’s Eastern Heights builds an association By Alexandra Lynch

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about local neighborhood associations. Watch for more in future issues.

50 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016


n Bloomington alone, there are more than 50 neighborhood associations. Some are well-established; some are new. Some rely on flyers to reach neighbors and some have created their own websites. Most of these associations handle a combination of social events and neighborhood issues. Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton emphasizes the importance of neighborhood associations to the city. In fact, one of his key initiatives has been collaborating with the Council of Neighborhood Associations to boost affordable neighborhood homeownership in conjunction with nonprofits and financial partners. Most cities — Bloomington included — offer grant money through Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) for

needed neighborhood improvements. Neighborhood associations may apply for these grants. HAND provides two sorts of grants — “small and simple” and “neighborhood improvement grants.” Eastern Heights applied for a neighborhood improvement grant to deal with dilapidated entry pillars. Lauren Dula loves Eastern Heights’ relatively new neighborhood association. Since she helped launch it in 2012, it has grown and its projects have advanced to matters of neighborhood infrastructure — like improving drainage and adding sidewalks. The group also has plenty of fun, hosting holiday events for the entire family-oriented subdivision. In autumn, a Fall Festival Chili Cookout and Halloween event encourage neighbors to come together and celebrate. Block parties attract neighbors who are new or renting and many families participate in a new neighborhoodwide garage sale. The association also established a Little Free Library, a neighborhood book exchange that is part of a larger movement of free book sharing. Individuals and organizations can encourage a “literacy-friendly neighborhood” — according to — by building a small book shelter and stocking it with give-and-take titles. Lauren, her husband, and their three-year-old, Silas, moved to Eastern Heights in 2012. Lauren launched the neighborhood association soon after with the help of a neighbor. Now Lauren is nearing time to write her doctoral dissertation for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), where she teaches a course in non-profit management. She has recruited others to help out with the important duties of the association. “They’ve been very generous with their time,” says Lauren. “This

Above, Martha Sattinger strolls through her garden. At left, the neighborhood’s Little Free Library offers books to share.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 51

Lauren Dula, at left, helped launch the neighborhood association. She chats with a neighbor during a recent garage sale.

neighborhood is very quiet. You see people walking, riding bikes. There are so many trees. We have lots of deer — they are quaint at first. Then they eat everything.” The association’s first big project was renovating and rebuilding the two stone pillars at each entrance to the neighborhood. “The pillars had become overgrown, and even had trees growing out of them. Neighbors worked hard removing rocks, trees, putting down grass seed, and dealing with drainage issues.” In the process, they learned how to work with the city to resolve issues for the benefit — and beauty — of the neighborhood. Lauren says, “We asked ourselves what we can do for ourselves, and then asked what resources the city might provide.”

52 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Birth of an Association

Lauren explains how the association began. “We started with a meeting at our home — about 15 people attended. I started with a white board and asked people to list any neighborhood problems or concerns. We now have a board of directors, and have people take on different roles.” Brianna Alexander, secretary/treasurer, was there when Lauren started the association. Brianna has lived in Eastern Heights for four years and helped spearhead the group. Now, as a board member, she helps guide the group’s projects. “I see where the group wants to go and help make that happen. I love this neighborhood. It’s very neighborly,” Brianna says.

“For example, I exchange Christmas presents with my next door neighbors. The association puts on a fall festival and we’re considering having a neighborhood garden walk. We’re still working on landscaping the pillars by the entrances. Property values have gone up as neighbors make improvements to their homes.” Martha Sattinger and her partner add a special touch to the neighborhood. Thanks to a class she took in permaculture, or combining landscaping with edible gardening, Martha began planting cherries, plums, gooseberries, blueberries and more. She cultivated a vegetable garden — but first she addressed the deer problem by building a deer-proof fence. Her deer-free garden brought bounty, and she found that she had surplus produce. Without hesitation, she placed baskets filled with fresh produce

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out in front of the garden fence, free for the taking by her neighbors. Martha even gets donations of extra produce from other neighborhood growers to give away in Eastern Heights — eggs, corn, and even morel mushrooms. About the neighborhood association, Martha comments, “I’m delighted with Lauren and Brianna getting the association started. This was an older neighborhood, and we’re thrilled with the youthful energy of the group. The association encourages neighbors to talk to one another and get to know each other.” Kathy Street, an Eastern Heights resident for 17 years, got involved in the association project of clearing out trees around the entry pillars. She worked with neighbor Karen Crum on the project. “We have lots of young people who bring fresh ideas and see things with fresh eyes,” Kathy says. “We have quite a few first-time owners, and they are excited to hear about the association. Lauren Dula brought everyone together. Now we know more of our neighbors, and we feel safer.” Jonathan Pettit just moved to Eastern Heights with his wife and three children. They lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and missed a neighborhood where their kids could safely ride bikes. They found such a neighborhood in Eastern Heights. Jonathan recently attended his first association meeting. “It was very good,” he says. “Democratic. No one dominated the meeting. We explored common issues and heard different viewpoints. At the end of the meeting, seven people volunteered to complete various tasks.” Adds Lauren, “In a short amount of time, we’ve done a bit. Recently we dealt with pedestrian access and safety. Kids from Eastern Heights have to get on the bus to get across Highway 45 to University School. We see kids running across the highway … We’ve talked to a number of community leaders about the situation. Now we will be getting a sidewalk.” It’s a big step from a neighborhood garage sale to neighborhood infrastructure improvements. Eastern Heights is an association with gumption.

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Photos by Kathy Truss.

54 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Finding (Re)purpose Tough little camper is couple’s upcycled treasure By Pete DiPrimio

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 55


ometimes a couple has gotta take a risk. Sometimes, if you’re P.J. Abbott and Marie Canning, you find reward in patience, satisfaction in frugality, and form that very much leads to camping function. In other words, you build a camper instead of buy one, and if it meets the seal of approval of Oscar, an oh-so-friendly Border Terrier mix, who cares if you’ve never done it before. You use recycled materials, stuff you find at garage sales, at Goodwill stores, on Craigslist, even in a forest. Paint poles become awning supports. Bungee cords serve as awning stability. You turn a potential $10,000 purchase into a $1,600, 50-square-foot adventure — kitchen and bathroom included — and if it took about four months longer to do it this way, well, why rush a good thing? For P.J., it’s always about the journey. “We could have bought one and saved a lot of time and work,” he says, “but I’m a project guy. I like figuring things out. If there’s a challenge, I’m like, ‘I can do that.’”

56 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

And so he has — with Marie’s blessing and input.

Junk and Treasure

“We’ve got kids in private college and that’s expensive,” Marie says, “so instead of buying a tent, what’s the next level up without spending $10,000?”

P.J., an engineering coordinator at Cook Pharmica, had the answer. He’s “always dabbled in projects and construction,” and is comfortable working with materials others reject. “If you take something and find a purpose for it and make it work — why not?” Marie asks. “One man’s junk is another’s treasure. We figure we’re right on par with the way society

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is thinking — repurposing, upcycling, turning something old into something new, something purposeful.” Purposeful doesn’t mean wimpy. P.J. jokingly calls the camper the family’s RT-TAC, which stands for Rigid Tent-Tactical Assault Camper, which reflects a healthy sense of manly influence reinforced by his military background. He’s an ex-Marine, and looks it. “The goal was to make it tactical-looking on the outside and somewhat luxurious on the inside,” he says. In other words, he understands what matters in relationships: “Make mama comfortable.”


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Comfort finds Marie, a graphic designer for The Herald-Times in Bloomington, and a force of nature equal to P.J, with her own interior priorities. She sewed all the cushions, pillows, curtains and more. She may have been the seamstress, but she gives full credit to P.J. for the interior design. “Surprisingly, he is also good with color, fabrics and textures. We wanted it to be a little more comfortable than just roughing it,” she says, “but we didn’t want to forget the entire camping experience. I told him what I wanted — a bathroom, a comfortable bed. I did all the canvas, the drapes, and the upholstery.” The combined effort became, Marie adds, “a project that bonded us.”

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812-961-7008 August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 57

At left and below, photos show the camper under construction. Courtesy photos.

Marie says the couple is often asked if the camper was built from a kit. No — as evidenced by these photos, they pieced it together based on P.J.’s master plan.

58 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

For those who spend evenings watching “Tiny House Nation” or “Tiny House Hunters” instead of, say, “The Voice” or “Game of Thrones,” this is a must-see camper. It has comfort, frugality, style, frugality, practicality, function and, yes, frugality. “I’d tell people I wanted to build a camper for under $2,000 and people would say, ‘I don’t think you can do that,’” P.J. says. “My goal was $1,500, and we would have done it if not for the welding.” Welding was necessary because the foundation of the camper is an old trailer that was rusting away in some woods. P.J. and Marie paid next to nothing for it, but the real cost came when they brought it home and realized it needed reinforcement. Welding was one of the few things P.J. couldn’t do on his own. He estimates that 60 to 70 percent of the camper is made of recycled materials, and that’s fine with Marie. “There is so much stuff in junk yards rotting away,” she says. “Why not use it?” The result packs a size-doesn’tmatter punch. There is a hinged table that can be expanded to accommodate four comfortably for dinner and five if necessary, or shrunk into a computer

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 59

Creating a custom camper requires many small ingenuities. A view of the tail end, inset above, and a stainless steel salad bowl sink, at right, show solutions devised by P.J.

60 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

desk. A stainless steel salad bowl morphs into a kitchen sink. There’s a made-from-scratch canvas awning, small bay doors rescued from a landfill fate, a double folding closet door that also serves a bathroom privacy role, cushioned seats that convert into a bed topped by a high-density foam pad and a large door down-sized by P.J.’s ingenuity. The interior is big enough that 5-foot-9 P.J. doesn’t feel like he’s been transported into a bad Munchkin nightmare. It’s the same width as his Jeep so he doesn’t need extra mirrors to see around the camper. There is even a ceiling shelf where you can Velcro a small — of course — DVD player.

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The camper passes the size test, which means it fits into a standard garage, as long as the family kayaks aren’t attached to the roof. The total length is just under 16 feet, the height slightly less than seven feet. It weighs 2,100 pounds, which is light enough for their Jeep to pull. “Part of the design was to get it in the garage,” P.J. says. “To do that and have enough interior space, I designed a dropped floor and a bumped-up ceiling. It gives it a unique shape. “It took lots of measuring and figuring, right down to the size of the tires.” If camping in 50 square feet seems a little claustrophobic to you, well, welcome to the tiny house era. “Some people live in houses just a little bigger than our camper,” Marie says. In fact, P.J. says, the camper is, “a shower short of a tiny house.” That leads to the obvious question — could a microwave be in the future? Not necessarily. “We have a camp stove to set up outside,” P.J. says. “We don’t cook big meals.” Camping is part of the family DNA, which is what you’d expect given that sons Richard and Michael are Eagle Scouts, and son Nick and daughter Christine also enjoy outdoor experiences. With kids living in Chicago and Tennessee, the camper also could serve as a mini-hotel. “We can just park it outside,” Marie says with a smile. For now, though, that’s just part of a bigger plan. “This wasn’t about camping as much as it was the project,” P.J. says. In other words, he can’t wait for the next one.


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Take a Trip

A bronze statue of Andy and Opie going fishing is outside the Andy Griffith Museum in his hometown of Mount Airy, N.C. Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

62 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

The Andy Griffith Show was a fan favorite on television from 1960 to 1968. Here, the actor is shown in his Andy Taylor uniform circa 1963. Courtesy photo.

Real-Life Mayberry Andy Griffith’s hometown abounds with touches of TV magic By Jackie Sheckler Finch


he familiar whistled theme song floats through the air. A well-worn wooden chair where Sheriff Taylor sat waits by his desk. His typewriter, vintage phone and jail cell keys are neatly arranged nearby. And a continuous loop of “The Andy Griffith Show” plays on an old TV. Although the show ended in 1968 after eight years as a fan favorite, this place makes it seem as though you’ve somehow stepped through a time tunnel back to Mayberry and all its quirky, lovable characters. “So many people grew up with ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and when they come here, they say it feels like coming home,” says Tanya Jones, leading a tour of the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, North Carolina. “Andy used street names and people’s names from here in his show. If you walk around town, you’ll see many familiar names.” Born June 1, 1926, in Mount Airy, Andy Samuel Griffith and his parents lived with friends until they could afford to get their own place. “His family was very, very poor,” Tanya says. Without a crib, baby Andy slept in a dresser drawer.

Emmett Forest, who would become his lifelong best friend. “Most of the artifacts and collectibles in the museum here were given by Andy to Emmett,” Tanya says. A September 1963 wall calendar on the museum set of “The Andy Griffith Show” promotes Mayberry character Emmett Clark’s fix-it shop, a TV nod to Andy’s old pal.

The Mayberry sheriff’s is one of the iconic set fixtures from the show, and can be seen up-close at the museum. Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

An only child, Andy Griffith discovered the heartwarming sound of acceptance and applause when he was in the third grade. Andy and one of his friends were supposed to sing in a local school program. When the curtain opened, however, the friend backed out and Andy had to appear on stage by himself. Alone in the spotlight, Andy sang “Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet” and brought down the house. The little boy never forgot that loving feeling. Andy also met the grade school buddy,

The Path to Fame

After high school, Andy enrolled to become a Moravian minister at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944. But while in college, Andy rekindled his love for theater and music, graduating in 1949 with a degree in music. Teaching high school music for three years, Andy and his bride Barbara Edwards decided to go on the road with a singing/ dancing/monologue show. One of Andy’s monologues — “What It Was Was Football” — was released commercially in 1953 and became one of the most popular comedic monologues of all time. From then on, it was all about theater, movies and television, including the popular

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 63

(Left) A visitor poses in a photo spot at the Andy Griffith Museum. (Below) Seth Young cooks pork chop sandwiches at the Snappy Diner in downtown Mount Airy. Opened in the 1920s, the lunch spot was mentioned in the show and is also where the real Andy ate as a youngster. Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

“Andy Griffith Show,” and later the legal drama “Matlock” from 1986 to 1995. Andy died of a heart attack on July 3, 2012, at his coastal home in Roanoke Island, N.C., where he is buried. For visitor Henry Atkinson of Atlanta, coming to Mount Airy is a dream come true. “I used to watch Andy Griffith’s show as a boy and really thought there was a town named Mayberry,” Henry says, sauntering through downtown Mount Airy. “I imagine this place is about as close as you can come. I almost expect to see Andy and Barney Fife walking down the street here.” Devoted fans can stay at Andy Griffith’s boyhood home at 711 E. Haymore St. The small two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow is where Andy lived until he graduated from high school. Now owned by the nearby Hampton Inn, the house has board games and tapes of “The Andy Griffith Show” for nostalgic entertainment. Then there’s the museum with its big bronze statue of Andy and Opie heading for the old fishing hole. Inside the museum is a wealth of items from all stages of Andy’s life, as well as mementos from fellow actors. A rocking chair built in 1927 by his father was where young Andy was soothed to sleep. School photos show Andy with a head of wavy hair and outsized ears. A glass display

64 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

Mount Airy is filled with references from make-believe Mayberry. Barney’s Café serves classic American dishes in a quaint, old-fashioned setting. Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

case contains Sheriff Taylor’s uniform shirt and another case has Ben Matlock’s white suit.

Mayberry Forever

Also on display is the salt-and-pepper wool suit Barney wore when dressed to impress. The slingshot Opie used to accidentally kill a bird is there, as is an exhibit on Betty Lynn, the actress who portrayed Barney Fife’s one true love — Thelma Lou. In fact, Betty Lynn fell in love with Mount

Airy after being a guest at the annual Mayberry Days held every September. “Betty Lynn decided to move here in 2007 and comes to the museum on the third Friday of every month to meet visitors,” Tanya says. “She’s in her 90s now and people just love her.” After attending Mayberry Days for the first time in 1999, Craig Deas was so taken with Mount Airy that he, too, moved to town in 2015 and opened a sports restaurant named The Loaded Goat. The name is a tribute to a Andy Griffith show episode featuring a goat that ate dynamite. Although downtown Mount Airy has such Mayberry-themed shops as Opie’s Candy Store, Barney’s Café and Floyd’s Barber Shop, the only real Mount Airy business referenced in the show and enjoyed by Andy as a youngster is the Snappy Lunch. Opened in 1920s, the popular lunch spot is famous for its pork chop sandwich — a massive fried boneless pork chop with coleslaw, chili, mustard, onion, tomato, lettuce and mayo for a modest $4.20. The Visitors Center offers information, helpful folks and free restrooms with the sign “Two Seats. No waiting.” Remember that episode about Floyd’s Barber Shop? “If it weren’t for Andy Griffith, Mount Airy would probably be a ghost town,” says Esther Johnson at the Visitor Center. “People come here because of Andy and we’re glad they do.” For more information, contact the Andy Griffith Museum at 336-786-1604 or


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Our Editor is the Travel Writer of the Year Homes & Lifestyles editor Jackie Sheckler Finch was named the Bradshaw Travel Writer of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers at its Central States conference in California.

Congratulations, Jackie! Two first-place winning stories were: Stalin Museum in the Republic of Georgia (February 2015) Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Home in Georgetown, Kentucky (April 2015) Founded in 1955, the Society of American Travel Writers represents more than 1,100 members in North America. Awards are given for stories published in newspapers, magazines and websites across the continent.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 65

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Color Corner

Six Door Colors for Instant Curb Appeal By Laura Brzegowy, Bloomington Paint & Wallpaper


othing revives a lackluster home exterior quicker than a new front door color. The beauty of it is that it’s an inexpensive, and fairly simple, project for most homeowners. A roll of good quality painter’s tape, your favorite brush or roller cover, a top-notch quart of paint, and an afternoon is all that’s required. Because there are so many to choose from, I’ve narrowed down the playing field to six of my favorite Benjamin Moore colors that will add extra curb appeal in short order. There’s something about the color of fresh cut grass that excites the senses, and Crete Countryside does just that. This medium green with a blue undertone is especially crisp when paired with lots of white trim. Refreshing and super pretty, this color is sure to become a classic. Yellow front doors are cheerful, yet very difficult to get right. What looks soft on the color chip can easily magnify itself tenfold, leaving you with something much brighter than you bargained for. English Scone is the answer to this dilemma. Providing just the right amount of pop without appearing garish, this soft yellow will be the color that your neighbors ask the name of time and time again. Here in the Midwest, homeowners with brick facades still ask for the hunter greens and burgundies of yesteryear. Instead, why not shake things up and use a rich coral color like Coral Spice? Not only will the contrast be less stark, it projects the obvious color savvy of the residents inside.

66 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • August 2016

America’s favorite color is blue, and this version is a winner. Wild Blueberry is a lovely color that brings new life to any door. Pair this royal blue with polished brass hardware, and the curb appeal you create will be the talk of the neighborhood. Red doors have been popular for years, but Dutch Tulip stands head and shoulders above the rest. What makes this hue so perfect? It reads true red without tendencies of leaning toward a blue or yellow undertone. For homes that require the sophistication that only a red can provide, Dutch Tulip will delight for years to come. Finally, glossy black doors are one of a traditional home’s best friends. Both classy and classic, glossy black paint enhances a door’s architecture like nothing else can. Benjamin Moore’s 10 Downing Street is a superior choice in this category. No matter which color you choose, reassure yourself that it’s the perfect choice by sampling it. You can purchase peace of mind for less than $10 simply by testing the color prior to painting the entire door. Once you’ve selected the color, tested it, and completed the project, sit back and wait for the compliments to roll in. After all, nothing brings out the neighbors quicker than a freshly painted front door in a gorgeous new color. Editor’s note: We’ve taken great care to reproduce the Benjamin Moore colors above as accurately as possible, but there may be variations in printing. Stop by and see Laura at Bloomington Paint & Wallpaper to find the perfect hue.

Homes & Lifestyles


Lavender Grapefruit Cheesecake Recipe and photo by Shaylan Owen

Inspired by the Willowfield Lavendar Farm featured on our cover, this lightly-lavendered cheesecake sparkles with flavors of wildflower honey, vanilla bean and summery grapefruit reduction.



Crust: 40 vanilla wafer cookies 1/2 cup slivered almonds 3 ounces butter, melted 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Brush interior of a 9-inch round baking or spring-form pan with some of the melted butter, then line bottom and sides with parchment paper to fit. For crust, combine brown sugar, almonds, and vanilla wafers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until evenly crumbly. While pulsing, add remaining melted butter until crust comes together. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and bake about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake: 20 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup wildflower honey 3 egg yolks 2 large eggs 1/3 cup whipping cream 2 3/4 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Zest of one lemon Seeds of one vanilla bean Grapefruit reduction: 2 grapefruits, supremed (peel and pith removed) 1 grapefruit, zested and juiced 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup red wine 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest 1 star anise pod

Bring water to a near-boil and pour 1/4 cup over 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds. Cover and steep 5 minutes, strain and reserve liquid, then discard used lavender. Finely grind/crush remaining 3/4 teaspoon of dried lavender and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat sour cream, cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until very smooth, scraping bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add remaining cheesecake ingredients, plus the lavender liquid and ground lavender, and mix until evenly combined. Add cheesecake mixture to cooled crust and tap pan bottom on a solid surface to release

trapped bubbles. Make a water bath by placing a pan large enough to contain cheesecake pan on the middle oven rack. (If using a springform pan, wrap the bottom thoroughly with aluminum foil to prevent leaking.) Center pan in the larger one and add hot water to about half the inner pan’s depth. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes — until outer edges of cheesecake begin to set and top is lightly brown — then turn off heat and leave in oven for one hour. Refrigerate cheesecake for 4 to 8 hours. When completely cooled, immerse pan in warm water for about one minute, then remove cheesecake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully transfer onto a serving platter. For reduction, combine all ingredients, except for grapefruit segments, in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring regularly, reduce liquid by half and remove anise pod. Add grapefruit slices and reduce again to desired thickness, by approximately half again. Serve cheesecake with cooled grapefruit reduction. One cheesecake yields 8 to 12 slices.

August 2016 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • 67



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