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Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran

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Erik Nilsson
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May/June 2010
A Historical Home That's
In Mansion Park
A Salute To
Create A Personal
Made For Summer –
Military Style
In Blair County
Open For Enjoyment
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 1
4/14/10 1:15:42 PM
PAOAGHIC: 006877
Two locations to better serve you
851 Plank Road
Duncansville, PA 16635
(814) 695-1111
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 2
121 McFarland Road
Tyrone, PA16686
(814) 684-1234
To keep our
environment healthy we
recycle our used
padding and cardboard.
4/14/10 11:11:34 AM
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 3
4/14/10 11:11:39 AM
Mother’s Day, Military Style
We salute the women in uniform,
especially those from Blair County
Magnificent in Mansion Park
This home remains a beautiful part of the region’s
history thanks in part to a restoration that’s both
perfect and practical
Your Personal Paradise
Creating outdoor environments to live in and enjoy
Getting Your Pool Ready
In the Garden
Get your money’s worth — this year and next
Welcome spring with a variety of ideas
Healthy Office Makeovers
The Battle Royale
Increase your productivity, comfort and overall
well being
Choosing the best flooring options for your home
10 Room Makeover Ideas
Petite Powder Rooms
Adding some pizzazz to these small spaces
Creating comfort and beauty on a budget
A Sanctuary Masterpiece
Welcome to Our Home
Creating the perfect refuge for two busy professionals
Creating casual curb appeal
continued on pg. 7 >
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 4
4/14/10 1:16:41 PM
Aaron Garland
Connie Himes
Mary Ford
Lynn Weyandt
Linda DelGrosso
Brad Dodson
Virginia Reed
Archie Hamer
Dan Ferrell
Donna Ricche
Tammy Amrhein
Rick Rush
Susan Greenwood
Anthony Carnicella
3119 Pleasant Valley
Boulevard, Altoona
Jan Criswell
Strayer & Assoc., Inc.
Susan Peterman
Scott Strayer
518 N. Center Street
506 Main Street
(814) 472-4761 (814) 886-2961
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 5
4201 Crawford Ave.
1207 2nd Street
(814) 948-2000
(814) 886-2100
4/14/10 11:11:49 AM
Is A
in your sight...
Let us help make it
within reach!
• Purchasing • Refinancing • Construction
101 Zee Plaza North Juniata St., Hollidaysburg
Low Rates!
Licensed by PA Dept of Banking
501 Howard Avenue, Building A-107
Blair Medical Center, Altoona, PA 16601
(814) 946-0721 [email protected]
Crystal K. Causer, Au.D., Audiologist
Dr. Crystal Causer is a current resident of West
Decatur. She received her doctorate degree from
the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and has
been licensed to practice Audiology in
Pennsylvania for over ten years. Dr. Causer is a
member of the American Speech Hearing and
Language Assoc. (ASHA), the American Academy
of Audiology (AAA) and the Pennsylvania
Academy of Audiology (PAA). Dr. Causer and Dr.
McPherson see patients here and in the
Philipsburg office.
Kristin A. Kline, Au.D., Audiologist
Kristin A. Kaiser, Au.D., graduated from the
University of Pittsburgh with her Doctorate in
Audiology. Kristin completed her undergraduate
degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders
at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Kristin
is a member of the American Academy of
Audiology (AAA) and the Pennsylvania Academy
of Audiology (PAA). She currently lives in Altoona
and looks forward to many years in the practice.
Diane E. McPherson, Au.D., Audiologist
Dr. Diane McPherson joined our practice in 2008.
She completed her undergraduate work at the
Pennsylvania State University and received her
doctoral degree from AT Still University in
Arizona. Dr. McPherson has been licensed to
practice Audiology in Minnesota for the last 14
years. She currently moved back home to PA and
is now licensed to practice here.Dr. McPherson is
a member of the American Speech Hearing and
Language Association (ASHA). Diane is currently
residing in Philipsburg with her son and is
looking forward to resuming life back in
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 6
Offering Digital Open-Fit Hearing Aids
Hearing Aid Sales and Service • Complete Hearing &
Diagnostic Testing
Balance Evaluations
• Digital Hearing Aids
Assistive Listening Devices
• Ear Molds
• Security Blue • Medicare • UPMC
• Freedom Blue • Geisinger Gold • And Others
Additional Payment
Options Available
4/14/10 11:11:53 AM
> continued from Table of Contents pg. 4
R efresh, R evive, & R estore
Sleep Well
Organic bedding provides
more than ecological harmony
At Home in the Spa
Everything you need to know
about buying the correct spa
Carpet & Area Rug Cleaners
1401 Valley View | 814-944-4561
In-plant area rugs 20% discount on cash &
All Hands on Deck
How to maintain your deck’s
appearance and longevity
Flora and the Fantasy
An unconventional
approach to gardening
Grilling Season Begins
Your taste buds won’t want
to wait for these flavorful recipes
3221 Rt. 764, Duncansville • 949-4060
Paint by Numbers
10 steps to achieving
professional results
Now a
Full Line Dealer
Familiar faces, places
and events around town
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 7
4/14/10 11:11:56 AM
Blair Living
Published and distributed by
the Altoona Mirror
301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602
Time to
This issue of Blair Living is all about living outside. As the weather turns
warmer, the natural beauty of Central Pennsylvania is even more obvious;
and there are so many different ways to enjoy it. From gardens to pools to
spas, we’re all glad to be outside and end our annual hibernation. Even if it’s
just to laze on the deck, it’s somehow much more enjoyable to be outside.
In this issue you’ll find plenty of advice on outdoor living. We know our
readers enjoy an active lifestyle, and this magazine is geared to getting the
most out of your home from the outside — pools, spas and gardens, to
name a few.
But more than anything else, this magazine is yours. We want it to
reflect your interests and serve your needs. That’s why we want to hear
from you. So please feel free to email us at [email protected]
and tell us what you want (and don’t want) to see in Blair Living. We want
this publication to serve you and the best way we can do that is to know
what you want.
We look forward to serving you.
Edward W. Kruger
General Manager
Raymond M. Eckenrode
Advertising Director
Robert S. Eger
(814) 946-7261
(814) 946-7547
[email protected]
Retail Manager
Lucy Ritchey-Weiss
(814) 949-7022
[email protected]
Photo Editor
J. D. Cavrich
Lori Blake
Production representative
29200 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 114
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 436-4080 / FAX (248) 436-4058
Ed Kruger
Ray Eckenrode
General Manager
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 8
Blair Living is published by the Altoona
Mirror. Copyright© 2010 Altoona Mirror.
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole
or part without permission is prohibited.
While every effort is made to ensure
accuracy, Blair Living cannot be responsible
for content, opinions, practices or how
the information herein is used. All
materials submitted, including but
not limited to images, logos and text that
appear are assumed to be the property of
the provider and Blair Living is not
responsible for unintentional copyright
infringement. Blair Living reserves the
right to refuse any advertisement.
4/14/10 11:11:57 AM
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 9
4/14/10 11:12:00 AM
Ha other’s Day,
M Military
By S. E. Barber
This year, Mother’s Day is a real celebration for Samantha and
Robert Robinson — the Altoona natives are together, with their three
children, 4, 2, and 1, at their new home in Fort Drum, New York.
More often during their 5½-year marriage they have been far distant,
with Robert twice-deployed to Iraq as part of the Army’s 88 Mike
motor division and Samantha staying with family awaiting his return.
“Of course we missed him,” says Samantha, “but we kept up family
traditions. Robert sent me flowers when he could, and the kids and
I made cards that we mailed to him.” Even though Robert couldn’t
attend the births of two of his three children, Samantha mostly enjoys
the role of military wife. “Robert is really proud of what he does and
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 10
4/14/10 11:12:03 AM
Often, female soldiers
perform roles that men,
because of cultural
restrictions, cannot.
From House
Holly O’Connor
Homes of
Distinction Agent
so am I. We’re so fortunate that he is
able to serve our country.”
That kind of pride is evident
throughout the Altoona/Blair County
area, which has several military
installations, and according to Ginny
Legros, a strong military tradition.
Ginny is a military mom and active in
the local U.S. Armed Forces Mothers
support group (see sidebar). Her
husband, father and brother are all
veterans; and daughter, Kimberly, spent
eight years in the Army Reserve, part
of the time running trucks up and
down country in Iraq. Ginny’s daughter,
Laura, has been with the Air Force
since 2002 and is currently stationed
in England, preparing to ship out to
Bagram, Afghanistan. “Both Laura and
her husband are F-15 fighter jet crew
chiefs,” explains Ginny. “They can
literally take that plane apart and put it
back together. Their job is making sure
it’s safe to fly.”
Ginny says it takes a particular
type of women to go into the military.
“She has to be able to stand on her
own two feet, take care of herself,
and get along with people, even in
challenging situations.” The advantages
include learning leadership and getting
an education. “Laura has already
completed her associate’s degree
and is doing college online. And the
specialized training — she could not get
that anywhere else.”
In fact, Laura’s role, and that of
the more than 356,000 women who
presently make up 16% of the armed
forces, is crucial. Lizette Alvarez, in
The New York Times (G.I. Jane Breaks
the Combat Barrier, August 16, 2009),
reports that as solders in Iraq and
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continued on pg. 12 >
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 11
4/14/10 11:12:14 AM
Fresh Makes All The Difference!
Everything You
Need for
“Women in uniform
today are not just
invaluable, they’re
30% & MORE!
– Secretary of the Army
John M. McHugh
• Variety of Wings
• Marinated Turkey Filets
• Deli Cheeses & Meats • Salads
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• Cookies & Pies • Produce
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> continued from Military Style pg. 11
Poultry Specialists for
Six Generations
3421 Beale Ave., Altoona • Phone 944-8296
Open Tues.-Fri. 8-5 & Sat. 8-3
Dr. Karen Lemme
Audiologist, & Associates
Complete Hearing Aid Sales & Services
Karen R. Lemme, Au.D. FAAA,
Doctor of Audiology
Board Certified in Audiology
with over 21 years experience
• All Models Including 100% Digitals
• 60 Day Trial
• Most Major Insurance Plans Accepted
Area's exclusive provider of Complete
Hearing Healthcare which includes:
Heather Nackley, M. Ed., CCC-A
Certified Audiologist
• Extended Warranties
• Free Quarterly Checks & Cleanings
• Free Batteries for Life of Hearing Aid & more.
*some restrictions may apply
Dr. Karen Lemme, Audiologist
941-7770 • 1-800-992-6723
601 Valley View Blvd. • Altoona, PA
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 12
& s&
ir ake s
p M
Re All ode
Afghanistan, women have done nearly
as much as their male counterparts:
patrolled streets, served as gunners,
disposed of explosives, headed convoys.
“No one envisioned that Afghanistan
and Iraq would elevate the status of
women in the armed forces. The allvolunteer military required more soldiers
and a different approach.” Often,
female soldiers perform roles that men,
because of cultural restrictions, cannot,
such as interacting with indigenous
women to gain intelligence, search for
weapons and lend medical aid.
Today, more than 90% of all military
job categories are open to women.
While filling only 6% of the top ranks,
nearly 60 women are generals or
admirals. Decorations for valor are
increasingly common. All of this led
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh
to conclude, “Women in uniform
today are not just invaluable, they’re
A recent report by Iraq and
Afghanistan Veterans of America
indicates that 40% of service women
are mothers who, like mothers
everywhere, juggle parenting and the
job. Additional factors like potential
danger and long separations can,
according to Donna Miles of the
4/14/10 11:12:20 AM
American Forces Press Service (Deployed
Moms Prepare to Celebrate Mother’s
Day Away), make Mother’s Day both
poignant and rewarding. “Many
are planning their own celebrations
thinking of their children and calling
home, and for some, taking comfort
in knowing they’re helping make their
children’s futures more secure.”
Ultimately, it’s family bonds that
matter most. Altoona CPA Penny Orr
watched her daughter Jayme graduate
from West Point in 2005 and deploy for
15 months to Afghanistan, where she
served as platoon leader in an engineer
battalion. Now a captain assigned to
Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington,
“Jayme came home on Mother’s
Day 2008 and surprised me. Despite
everything she’s accomplished, she’s still
my kid. Having her back was the most
wonderful gift ever!”
Area Professionals Install Tankless
Water Heaters provided by
Penstan Supply of Altoona
For more information on
U.S. Armed Forces Mothers, call
President Lou Ann Leamer
at 814-943-7122
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 13
4/14/10 11:12:24 AM
Photo courtesy of Tussey Mtn. Mulch Landscape Center
Your Personal
By Paul Stenquist
Landscape your way to a
lifestyle enhancement, right
outside the kitchen door
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 14
For most homeowners, landscaping once meant those plants
in front of the house that hid the foundation. But with today’s
emphasis on outdoor living, designing the exterior of the home has
become as important as outfitting the interior.
“We create outdoor environments for people to live in and
enjoy,” said Jim Wertz of Wertz Landscaping.
The kind of outdoor environment Jim is speaking of is much
more than a patio. Today’s outdoor entertainment area frequently
includes an outdoor kitchen with grille, cook top, refrigerator, sink
and bar. Plenty of seating for guests is important, and a fire pit to
take the chill out of cool evenings is a nice addition. Most often,
the outdoor kitchen is situated just outside the kitchen doors on a
patio of colorful pavers.
The good times and great looks don’t have to end at the edge
of the patio. Among the most popular additions to an outdoor
living space are ponds and waterfalls.
4/14/10 11:12:26 AM
“The sound of water is a great
accompaniment to a relaxing evening,”
added Bryant Martin of Tussey Mtn.
Mulch Landscape Center. “A lot of
customers want water features.”
The most common water feature
is the pondless waterfall. Invoking
the feeling of a mountain stream, the
waterfall cascades from atop a pile of
boulders. The water passes through
more rocks below and disappears. An
underground box collects the water,
and a pump returns it to the top of the
waterfall. Nearly maintenance free and
safe for kiddies, pondless waterfalls are
gurgling merrily in many backyards.
Ponds combined with waterfalls
are popular as well. The typical pond
consists of a thick rubber liner in an
appropriately sized hole. Rocks and
gravel cover the liner, giving the pond
a natural look. Water is pumped from
the pond to the top of a waterfall
of stacked boulders, from where it
runs back down to the pond. Many
homeowners stock their pond with
goldfish or koi. Beneficial bacteria can
be added to help control algae and
promote a natural ecosystem. Water
lilies, hyacinths, and other plants can
make the pond a beautiful focal point
for the outdoor living space.
“We like to border the patio with
flowering plants,” said Jeff Adler
of Adler’s Landscape Nursery Inc.
“A combination of fragrant shrubs
and flowers enhances the outdoor
Homeowners with expansive
properties can extend their outdoor
living space with more plantings
beyond the borders of the patio.
“A lot of folks come in not knowing
what they want,” Jeff told us. “I often
ask them to find pictures of shrubs,
trees and flowers that they like on the
web. Then we choose plantings that
will complement the environment and
thrive in our climate.”
Ultimately, the best outdoor living
space is the one in which you and your
family are most comfortable: your own
little bit of paradise, just outside the
kitchen door.
For all your real estate needs,
Call on US!
Leah Geissinger EXIT REALTY JOHN HILL Sylvia Geissinger
219 East Plank Road
Altoona, PA 16603
Marianne Templon
Mary Kay Parrish
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 15
4/14/10 11:12:29 AM
Getting Your
Ready for Summer
By Paul Thompson
So, when is the official kick-off to summer? Memorial Day weekend? First
barbecue? First picnic? How about the first pool party? Swimming pools are
made for summer, but they don’t take care of themselves, especially in a northern
climate where they have to hibernate for the winter. Getting your pool ready for
the season doesn’t have to be difficult.
Don Wertz of Bill Wertz and Sons recommends the earlier the better in getting
a pool ready. “The earlier you start the better shape the water will likely be.” Of
course, the shape of your pool will be dependent on how well you closed it up
last fall. In an area like Altoona, where the pool sits dormant for the winter, one of
the keys to protection is the cover you use. “The most important thing about the
cover is that it protects the water from sunlight,” says Bob Sutton of Holiday Pools
and Spas in Duncanville. “Sunlight is what causes algae to build up, and the more
algae you have, the longer it will take to get your pool ready.”
continued on pg. 18 >
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 16
4/14/10 11:12:32 AM
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 17
4/14/10 11:12:43 AM
The condition of
your pool will be
dependent on how
well you closed it up
last fall. Sunlight is
what causes algae
to build up, and the
more algae you have,
the longer it will
take to get your
pool ready.
> continued from Getting Your Pool pg. 16
Opening Your Pool
Of course, the easiest way to get
your pool ready is to have a service do
it. But if you want to save a couple of
hundred bucks, here are things to keep
in mind:
Remove the Cover – The key
here is to find a good place to store
the cover and keep ants and rodents
away. A good plastic trash can is
one idea.
Remove Anti-freeze – If you
have any left in the lines, be sure it is
drained properly.
Check Chemicals – The way to
know for sure is to have your local
pool dealer run a test.
Clean Home Dealers
1400 Valley View Blvd. Altoona
Off I-99 at 17th Street Exit
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 18
We Honor
All Oreck
630 N. 4th Avenue
Juniata - Altoona
Ongoing Maintenance – The
opening of the season is a good time
for regular maintenance, such as
changing filters, making sure the
O-rings are greased and void of
cracks and abrasions. Also, check
electrical connections to be sure
there is no cracked or frayed wiring.
Be sure skimmer baskets are free of
debris. This is also a good time to
inspect ladders, handrails and diving
Depending on the condition of your
water from the winter, getting your
pool ready for the season could take
anywhere from a day to a week.
Your swimming pool will give your
family and friends hours of quality
time this summer. It also represents a
significant investment for you. Properly
opening the pool, and then continuing
to maintain it during the summer will
ensure you get your money’s worth.
4/14/10 11:12:47 AM
Call Tom Kling, CKD
for a design
Photo courtesy of Bill Wertz and Sons
10630 Fairgrounds Rd.,
Huntingdon, PA
The Opposite
of Pools
In many ways spas or hot tubs
are the opposite of swimming pools.
Spas are usually used more in colder
weather than pools and their “off”
season is likely to be the summer.
Unlike swimming pools, most people
don’t shut down their hot tubs for
months at a time, which makes
maintenance a lot easier because
there’s no “down” season. “For a hot
tub, you really just need to be sure
your chemicals are at the right levels
all the time,” says Bill Klaban, owner
of Tubbie’s, which sells a lot of spas
and spa equipment. “You shouldn’t
have to worry about opening and
closing a spa. There are people who
drain their spas during the summer,
but I don’t recommend it, because it
means you don’t have access
year round.”
Also see related article
"At Home in the Spa"
on page 48
...covering your business from Top to Bottom
• Office Furniture
• Window Treatments
• Design Services
• Floor Covering Including:
• Carpet • Vinyl • Ceramic • Laminate
415 Orchard Plaza, Altoona, PA
2 LOCATIONS — Altoona & State College
Smart Now. Smart Later.
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 19
4/14/10 11:12:50 AM
Photo courtesy of Top to Bottom Interiors
for Your
By Mindy Kroll
Well organized and tidy office space will not only be safer,
it can boost creativity.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 20
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American
spends 8.8 hours at work per day. That’s 44 hours per week or 2,288
hours per year. It’s not any different for hardworking Blair County
residents, either. In fact, many would argue we spend much more time
at the office than the national average. So it should make sense that
since so much of our time is spent at work, shouldn’t the atmosphere
be as healthy as possible?
4/14/10 11:12:55 AM
Improve Air Quality
“Studies show that workspaces with
improved air quality have fewer health
complaints and better attendance,”
says Betsy Garach, a designer with
Altoona-based Top-to-Bottom Interiors.
“We work to help our clients reduce
pollutants — also known as VOCs.”
One way is to incorporate live plants
and air purifiers within the space, but
a better way is to use some of the new
products that have little or no VOCs
to begin with. The increased focus on
energy conservation and a healthier
lifestyle are bringing a vast number of
innovative products to the marketplace.
Three such products with “green”
versions include carpeting, furniture
and paints. All can provide little or
no VOCs and that means a healthier
environment for all.
Photo courtesy of Top to Bottom Interiors
Here are a few tips on “making
over” your workspace to increase your
comfort and well being.
Shared spaces, such as this eating area, should
be safe, clean and inviting to employees and
visitors alike.
Get Organized
Many Blair County residents find
that disorganization interferes with
their productivity. Garach takes it a step
further: it can also be a hazard to your
In the most severe cases, various
cords and cables can become tripping
hazards. “We recommend panel
systems and desk solutions that
organize data jacks, power sources,
files, notes, pens, and more. It’s
amazing how much work you can do
— and will want to do — once things
are de-cluttered.”
Focus on Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of designing
tasks, equipment, and workplace
layouts that fit a particular employee
versus fitting a particular employee to a
specific task. Studies show that officerelated musculoskeletal disorders can
cost U.S. business up to $60 billion per
year. Long hours of sitting in the same,
oftentimes awkward, position can take
a toll on a person quickly.
There are several products Blair
County workers can consider to
improve ergonomic safety. These
include keyboard trays and monitors,
task chairs or bariatric seating, and LED
Go “Green”
Reports show that most businesses
have 20% wasted space — that’s space
that’s consuming energy to heat and
“There are a variety of spaceplanning techniques Blair County
workers can use to reduce their cost
and produce efficient work spaces,”
says Garach. “It’s also important to
use non-toxic or natural cleaning
products, which not only benefits the
environment but all who work in or visit
your office.”
Other Considerations
Make sure your workspace is clean
and devoid of dust, dirt, and outdoor
inhalants. Consider commercial
carpeting manufactured without
padding, which results in less tripping
and fewer concerns regarding bacteria,
molds, and mildew. Use window
treatments and wall coverings, and pay
attention to acoustics. Finally, consider
workplace perception. If other people
wouldn’t consider your workspace
safe, clean, and inviting, chances are, it
needs a makeover.
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 21
4/14/10 11:12:57 AM
© tanir
Room Makeover Ideas
For the Budget Decorator
By Michael Holland
Decorating on a budget doesn't mean that your
home will be less comfortable or attractive than one
with lots of show pieces.
It just means that you'll have to "roll up your
sleeves" to complete certain tasks and be a bit more
creative in your interior decorating approach. The list of
ideas presented below will help you add comfort and
beauty to any space without breaking the bank.
1 – Paint Those Walls
Painting a room gives you the most decorating bang
for your money. Warm colors (red, yellow and orange)
make a room cheery and energetic. Cool colors (blue,
green and violet) convey a cozy, more laid back feel.
Paints are fairly inexpensive, ranging in price from
$10-$30 per gallon.
2 – Lower the Lights
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to
only use one type of lighting in a room. And the choice
is usually "general" lighting which illuminates the
whole room.
It's okay to have general lighting available, but only
use it when necessary.
Instead, think about lighting specific areas in a room.
Use floor or table lamps with low wattage bulbs to
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 22
provide lighting near seating areas. Keeping the light at
a low level creates a cozy and warm environment.
You'll find low priced lamps at goodwill stores, garage
sales, consignment shops and discount department
stores. You can even visit your local crafts store for the
components to make your own decorative lamps.
3 – Rearrange the Furniture
This idea won't cost you a dime. However, before
you start moving furniture around, lay out the new
design on paper. Try positioning some of the furniture
pieces at intriguing angles.
For example, my living room is narrow, so I arranged
the sofa at a diagonal angle. This makes the room
appear wider. Feel free to take a risk. Just make sure
that you don't block doorways or walkways.
4 – Hang Prints or Mirrors
Prints and other artwork add character to your home.
Just viewing a piece that you enjoy can brighten your day.
Mirrors are also popular because they serve two
purposes. First they come in many decorative frames
to suit any decorating style.
Second, they can make a room appear larger. When
you hang a mirror, try to position it so that it reflects
an attractive view, such as a garden or a dramatic
architectural element.
4/14/10 11:12:58 AM
5 – Decorate with Plants
The natural beauty of plants will enliven any room
and are inexpensive. And if you don’t have a green
thumb, check your local crafts shop for inexpensive
and low maintenance silk plants.
6 – Add a Stenciled or Wallpaper Border
Wall stencils are a great way to add depth and
texture to your walls. Stencils are basically plastic
templates with the design patterns cut out.
You hold or tape the stencil in place, apply paint
to the cut out areas, and a clear sharp design remains
when the template is removed. Stencils are durable
and can be used over and over, even on furniture,
lamps, etc.
A wallpaper border is just as easy to apply as a
wall stencil. And there are an endless number of
7 – Add or Change Slipcovers
Furniture can be very expensive, so rather than
replace that sofa or chair use slipcovers. They are
washable and come in many colors and patterns.
8 – Display Keepsakes In Groups
Perhaps you have collectibles or keepsakes that
are similar in some way, i.e., color, theme or material
(e.g., porcelain). Display them in groups of threes
or fives in an artful way. This captivates the eye and
adds drama to a room.
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 23
9 – Use Spray Paint
Do you have an old table that could use
refurbishing? Does the metal headboard on your
bed lack something? Did you find a ceramic bowl
at a garage sale, but now you think it won't work?
Before you toss an item aside, ask yourself
one question. Could the item be enhanced with
spray paint?
10 – Try the Unexpected
Just about any object can be used for a purpose
other than for which it was originally intended.
For example, my coffee table became outdated.
But instead of replacing it entirely, I kept the glass
top and placed two large, inexpensive earthy pots
beneath it. The effect was surprising, wonderful and
So keep your eyes open for the unexpected.
Perhaps that old steamer trunk you saw at a garage
sale would make a great coffee table. Maybe that
incomplete set of three colorful, rustic dinner plates
would add texture and color to your walls if they
were displayed together.
Michael J. Holland is author of "The Awaken Your
Interior Designer! Collection". To learn more home
decorating tips and ideas, visit Michael's websites
at and
4/14/10 11:12:59 AM
Geometric glass inserts add a pleasing balance
to the roughness of the stone detailing.
Potted flowers bring splashes of color and greenery.
welcome to
our home
a casual, tranquil greeting
For more design and decorating ideas, visit the
Get Decorating website at
where you can browse more than 17,000 professional
photographs, searchable by rooms or complete homes.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 24
A quiet tranquility greets visitors to this home, a casual
nature where daffodils, wildflowers and ornamental grasses
seem to spring up almost unexpectedly from amid the
rockery. Clusters of flowerpots nestle around the doorway
and ledgestone columns bring vibrant splashes of color
and greenery to the home's essentially earth tone palette.
Exterior and interior photos for traditional to contemporary
styled homes can be seen at
The double front door's sleek, geometric glass inserts
add a pleasing balance to the roughness of the stone
detailing and upper shingles. Tall, narrow windows that
4/14/10 11:13:01 AM
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Water bubbles
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bring an abundance of natural lighting
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two heights to create visual interest
and subtly echo the pitched roofline
while retaining the overall angular
Water bubbles softly across irregular
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4/14/10 11:13:08 AM
The classic Adirondack
lawn chair is anything but
ordinary at Archie’s Island
Furniture. Offered in an
array of self described
“kicky palette of knockout-mood-altering changeyour-life colors,” like frosty
lime, surf blue and mango.
These fun spirited chairs
were created to turn the
corners of your mouth
Made of stainless steel, this
watering can puts sophistication
into an otherwise mundane
daily chore
Colorful additions to any
garden are these whimsical,
glass butterfly feeders.
These handblown pieces
of garden art are approximately
7 inches in diameter. Although
butterflies seem to prefer
purple, they are available in
a rainbow of colors.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 26
4/14/10 11:13:12 AM
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Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 27
4/14/10 11:13:17 AM
Trees need a gardener’s loving care, too.
And, these drip irrigation bags provide the
care, while saving you time and trouble.
Perfect for newly planted or established
trees with branch heights at least 36 inches
off the ground. Available in a variety
of sizes
These charming metal fungi have caps
that are on springs so they quiver in
the breeze. They’re perfect accents in a
shade garden, particularly among ferns
and mosses. A variety of shapes and
sizes are available.
The soothing sound of cascading
water makes any terrace or garden
a relaxing sanctuary. Made of
lightweight fiberglass, the fountain
sits atop its own scrolled iron pedestal.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 28
4/14/10 11:13:19 AM
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 29
4/14/10 11:13:20 AM
Here’s a creative alternative to a
downspout. Draining water from
the roof follows a heavy gauge
copper chain into a variety of
containers — even complementing
an existing water feature. The
manufacturer claims the chains can
accommodate a light rainfall to a
heavy downpour.
Brighten up any part of your
landscape with these elegant
wrought iron plant stands. The
possibilities are endless.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 30
For those of us who know
what we like in a garden
but have a difficult time
knowing how to get there —
landscape design software
promises to help. Unlike other
software, Landscape Vision uses a
picture of your own home. Designing
begins with real photos of over
1,000 plants. Complete with
“plant bios”, you’ll know what
to expect before you walk
outside. There’s even a resize
option to see how your design
will change over time. You may
never leave the house!
4/14/10 11:13:22 AM
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Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 31
Pouring concrete basements
takes considerably less time
than block construction.
“Roughing in’’ can begin sooner.
Ready-Mixed concrete can also
adapt to cold weather
construction, giving builders an
extended construction season.
Poured concrete doesn’t cost as
much as you think. Controlling
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Efficient modern construction
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4/14/10 11:13:26 AM
The 6’ x 8’ Enthusiast greenhouse
is perfect for home gardeners to
start seedlings, extend the growing
season or protect favorite plants
from harsh weather. The easy-toassemble frame is made of rust-free
These well-made tools of the trade
are decorated by mentally — and
physically — challenged children and
then sold — with some of the
proceeds donated to children’s
charities. Many patterns and other
items to choose from.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 32
Who cares about rain when wearing
bright, sunny garden boots? Made of
waterproof, watertight, vulcanized
rubber, this hardy footwear resists
splitting and tearing. They’re designed
to lift the spirit with a burst of colorful
dahlias from top to bottom. You might
even be tempted to wear them on a
sunny day too!
4/14/10 12:17:57 PM
Altoona 5.10 1-33.indd 33
4/15/10 6:24:31 PM
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 34
Mansion P
4/14/10 11:56:11 AM
This historic Mansion
Park home has been
treated to a restoration
that’s both perfect
and practical
n Park
It was in 1914 that Elias Baker’s
great grandson, Fred Woods Beckman,
assumed management of his family’s
Pennsylvania business, an enterprise
that had declined significantly after
Baker’s iron-smelting furnace had gone
dark. With considerable foresight,
the Sweden-born, Yale-educated Mr.
Beckman decided that the best way
to preserve the family fortune was
to develop their extensive property
In the years that followed Fred
Beckman built many homes on the
Baker Estates acreage and contributed
significantly to the development of
Altoona. Perhaps his finest achievement
was the meticulously well-planned
neighborhood called Mansion Park.
Within that development and just a
couple of hundred yards from the Baker
mansion that his great grandfather had
built, Fred designed and constructed
continued on pg. 36 >
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 35
MAY/JUNE 2010 •
4/14/10 11:56:17 AM
> continued from Mansion Park pg. 35
> continued from Magnificent Mansions pg. 35
a beautiful grey-stone home for his
The Beckmans remained in the
residence until 1936, but the depression
ruined their business, and the family
was ultimately forced to abandon their
home. Over the years a number of
prominent Altoona families occupied
the house, but time and some poorly
planned renovations took their toll, and
the house gradually fell into a state of
Today, thanks to an extensive
renovation project undertaken by
Altoona’s F.A.F.A. Partnership, that
magnificent pillared colonial is as
impressive as it was when it was home
to the Beckmans.
Rather than attempting a
conventional restoration, the
Partnership decided to restore the
appearance of the home and preserve
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 36
the layout of the interior to the greatest
extent possible. But in a departure from
the norm, they also modernized the
building, making it much more livable
and family friendly than it would have
been if it were restored to exact original
The home’s exterior walls are
constructed of large stone blocks
that were quarried from a location
near Altoona. Two columns flank the
entrance, and red Spanish tiles grace
the roof. During renovations, care was
taken to maintain the appearance of
the exterior. Although new windows
were constructed with thermal glass,
they were fitted to the original frames.
All of the roof tiles were removed
so that the wood underneath could
be repaired. Once the roof was sound,
the tiles were replaced. Fortunately, a
supply of new roof tiles was found in
the basement, so damaged tiles were
replaced with authentic originals.
The home’s front door opens to
a large foyer. Much more than an
entryway, the foyer is a room unto itself
and is much like the reception parlors
that are sometimes seen in much larger
homes. A stylish fireplace, which is in
near perfect original condition, warms
visitors to the stately home. An identical
fireplace graces the family room. Also
original are the foyer’s dark wood
ceiling beams and woodwork.
Because one of the home’s previous
residents owned a department store
that sold carpeting, many of the
hardwood floors had been covered.
Once the carpeting was removed,
it was discovered that the flooring
underneath had been strip nailed to the
joists. Consequently, all the floors had
to be replaced.
Today, most of the downstairs
rooms, including the foyer, feature new
4/14/10 11:56:21 AM
wide-plank cherry floors, while the
upstairs rooms are floored with narrowplank hardwood.
From the foyer, a staircase of wood
and wrought iron rises to the second
floor. The wood is original; the wrought
iron replaces wooden spindles and
contributes to a decorating theme
that includes numerous wrought iron
fixtures and accessories.
The original kitchen was small but
had been expanded at some time in the
past. To make the kitchen a focal point
of the house, it was made even larger
and is now approximately 20 feet wide
and 30 feet in length. An adjacent area
that was once a butler’s pantry became
part of the kitchen and now houses the
side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator and
freezer. Other top-line appliances were
installed, including a Viking commercial
range and Bosch dishwasher. Cabinets
were custom made to complement the
room’s many windows, and a centerisland workstation was built.
The home originally included five
bedrooms, two full baths and a powder
room. During renovation, one bedroom
and closet were eliminated, and a
master bedroom and fabulous master
bath were constructed.
The master bath is resplendent with
an abundance of marble and a walk-in
10- by 5-foot shower, with a Kohler
body spray system and an 18-inch
Moen showerhead. A large soaking
tub is flooded with light from a row
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 37
of windows. A private water closet
The homes utility systems were
completely modernized. Because all
wiring and plumbing was replaced,
most walls had to be opened up, then
restored when the utility work was
Dual heat pumps provide
summer cooling and winter heat at
temperatures above 30 degrees. When
the temperature drops below 30, two
high efficiency boilers come into play.
A radiant heating system is installed
under both the bathroom floor and the
kitchen floor. The other rooms feature
baseboard hot water heat. Seven
different temperature zones ensure that
every room is consistently comfortable.
Comfort was obviously a
determining factor in this restoration.
While this Mansion Park residence
remains a beautiful part of the region’s
history, it is now a very livable home
as well.
Pragmatist that he was, Fred
Beckman would undoubtedly have
MAY/JUNE 2010 •
4/14/10 11:56:25 AM
Solid Wood vs.
Engineered Wood vs.
By Melinda Kroll
In this corner, composed of 100 percent wood, priced at
$3 to $10/square foot, and adding as much as $10,000 in value
to the value of your home is… hardwood. In another, consisting
of fiberboard and a durable wear layer, priced at $3 to
$7/square foot, but adding considerably less value to your
home is… laminate. And in still another, boasting elements of
pure wood coupled with almost as much stability of laminate
is… engineered wood. Each has its positive and negative
attributes. Before outfitting your home in one over another, it’s
important to understand the differences. Only then can you
make a truly informed decision regarding what material is right
for you. Durability depends more on the finish one puts on the
base wood than the makeup of the base itself.
Photo courtesy of
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 38
Solid Wood
Solid wood floors are just that — 100 percent solid wood.
Not only are they stunning and elegant but they’re also one
of the best ways to increase a home’s value. In fact, a recent
survey of U.S. realtors revealed that installing hardwood floors
can increase your home’s value by as much as $10,000!
4/14/10 11:56:31 AM
Photo courtesy of
Wood floors are versatile — they
can complement virtually any aesthetic
— provide acoustic insulation, and can
be refinished multiple times. They only
improve with age, as solid wood acquires
a desirable shine over time. Solid wood is
among the longest lasting of all flooring
types but normally cannot be installed
directly over concrete. However, the
flooring expands and contracts due
to changes in humidity. The wider the
wood the more expansion or contraction
will occur. Although installers try to
compensate for this movement by
leaving an expansion gap between
the floor and the wall, most experts
agree that you may be better off going
with engineered wood for kitchens,
bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Engineered Wood
Engineered wood has a top layer of
solid wood, which varies in thickness,
depending upon the quality; the balance
is high quality layered hardwood. They’re
available either unfinished or pre-finished
in a range of colors and provide the
same design flexibility and style as solid
wood; unfortunately, they also carry the
same price tag. The better makes of
engineered wood have a slice cut face
and are longer, up to 7 feet in length.
Although all hardwood floors will
expand and contract due to moisture,
engineered wood fares much better. And
while solid wood floors may expand or
contract slightly with age, engineered
floors won’t. All things equal, engineered
flooring has a slight advantage over
solid — particularly in regions where
humidity changes are a constant, as
they’re dimensionally stable. In addition,
they may be installed above, on, or even
below ground level.
continued on pg. 40 >
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 39
• Hundreds of countertop choices
• 14 different kinds of wood
• 21 different stain colors
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• Bathroom cabinets
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4/14/10 11:56:36 AM
Mohawk Hardwood
True or False:
How Much Do You Know about Wood Floors?
1.Doctors often recommend hardwood floors for
patients with allergies or respiratory problems.
True! With their smooth surfaces, hardwood floors
don’t harbor animal dander, fleas, dust, pollen, or
other allergens.
2.Hardwood floors are impractical for large
families, because they can’t handle heavy foot
False! Professional basketball courts are made from
maple, and trains run on oak rail ties. If Shaquille
O’Neal can’t damage the court, neither will your family
damage your floors!
3. Hardwood floors are difficult to maintain.
False! Whether solid, engineered, or laminate,
wood floors are easily maintained with a few simple
precautions. Simply sweep or mop every couple of
days, and make sure to mop up any spills as soon as
they happen. In addition, keep pets’ nails clipped to
avoid scratching, and take care when moving furniture
across the surfaces. (Do not use abrasive cleaners on
your floors — if you must wet mop on wood, use only
a slightly damp mop, and make sure to dry thoroughly.
Finally, it’s OK to add cleaning product to the water
you are mopping with but be sure it is a product made
for your type of floor.)
> continued from Battle Royale pg. 39
However, unlike solid wood, some
engineered wood floors can only be refinished
once or twice. Others cannot be refinished at
all. The deciding factor is the thickness of the
wear layer. In addition, it’s arguable whether
engineered wood will increase the value of
your home as much as solid wood.
Prefinished or Custom
Once you’ve decided upon solid or
engineered wood, your next dilemma is
pre-finished or custom. Pre-finished wood
arrives at your home ready to install. Custom
wood flooring, on the other hand, is installed,
sanded or scraped, and finished on site. It
affords homeowners the opportunity to create
something truly unique — something no other
homeowner could replicate. With custom
wood flooring, you can create a one-of-a-kind
floor that reflects your family’s personal taste.
You pay for this specialization, of course, but
for truly distinguishing tastes, there’s nothing
like custom wood.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 40
Photo courtesy of
4/14/10 11:56:39 AM
And the Winner Is…
On pier and beam construction:
A solid wood floor.
On Slab construction:
An engineered wood floor
For a quick and inexpensive option:
Laminate floors
Cost aside, most experts believe
that engineered hardwood is the
way to go. However, both solid and
laminate woods have their own
positive and negative attributes.
One thing’s for certain — there’s
nothing quite like the look of
hardwood floors to give beauty and
distinction to a home.
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Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 41
Photo Courtesy of
Laminates consist of a base, usually
mdf or hdf fiberboard, topped with a
print and then a wear layer. They’re
usually cheaper, and make excellent
do-it-yourself projects, as they’re easy
to install. Many are installed by placing
interlocking boards over a layer of foam,
which prevents buckling in the floor
and absorbs sound. Laminate floors are
extremely durable, scratch-resistant, and
However, laminates cannot be
refinished or recoated, add less value
to your home than solid or engineered
wood and, quite simply, don’t have the
same “character” as wood. Thanks to a
pre-printed pattern, some (or maybe all)
of the boards may appear identical. But
the best quality laminates can result in
beautiful floors that really do have the
appearance of hardwood flooring.
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4/14/10 11:56:42 AM
Add some pizzazz to
these small spaces
Written By Geraldine Bergonzi
Photography By Elisabeth Fall
A portrait window crafted with hand-blown
stained glass echoes the floor’s curving
scheme and creates a rainbow effect when
afternoon sunlight streams into the space.
The floor’s hand-cut marble and limestone
tiles form an organic pattern and, like the
plaster walls, embrace a key element: texture.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 42
Tiny by nature, the petite powder room or guest half bath is big on
decorating possibilities. Occupying little space in most household schemes,
it’s the perfect room to have some fun and take a walk on your decorator
wild side. Indulge your guests with a touch of sleek serenity and a dollop
of luxury on the side. Why not make it the jewel of your home and create
a dynamic little space that exudes drama and glamour?
While the options are limitless, the elements are few, and the
design scheme should take its cue from your home’s established décor.
Sumptuous walls are key to a simple backdrop. In 2009 San Francisco
Decorator Showcase, interior designer Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt of Marsh
& Clark covered the powder room’s walls with pale-blue Venetian plaster.
“I rely on textures and simplicity to create drama in a small space. Natural
4/14/10 11:56:44 AM
materials add texture and can lend a
more expansive feel,” she explains.
Fillbrandt suggests using synthetic
plasters as a less pricey alternative;
new products offer a similar look and
can achieve that same polished, glossy
Wallpaper, too, has proven to be a
popular choice for luxurious powder
rooms. With so many styles and new
designs available, the decision can be
overwhelming. Consider the adage
“less is more,” and go for a paper that
creates texture, such as a faux-grass
paper. Perhaps high sheen is more your
style; try the look of silver leaf. If you
crave pattern, consider a larger print
that offers more impact and a more
contemporary feel; smaller patterns
tend to crowd the space. Don’t forget
the ceiling. Painting or papering the
ceiling can lend continuity to the
Flooring often flows from attached
spaces, but if that isn’t the case, your
choices range from small patterned
surfaces, such as tiny mosaic or
iridescent glass tiles, to larger-scaled
ceramic, marble, or stone tiles. There
is also a myriad of environmentally
friendly composite floor products on
the market that offer green solutions.
Of course, central to the room’s
function are the sink and toilet. You
can have fun choosing a sink and
faucet combination that is high on
design and a little less utilitarian. A
pedestal sink or vessel sink that might
be impractical for the master bath is
perfect for a quick hand rinse in the
powder room.
Finishing touches include an eyecatching mirror, concealed storage
for toiletries, a functional countertop,
and sufficient lighting. Add sparkle
with a mini crystal chandelier or infuse
drama with a distinctive single fixture.
Fillbrandt recently completed a design
that employed a fiber-optic fixture
that pulled doubled duty and gave
the painted walls the appearance of
Venetian plaster.
Create visual
interest or drama
with something
Use contrasting elements; pair an
antique mirror with a modern vanity
Think texture, simplicity, and
organic pattern
Make walls reflective with
iridescent or metallic paints, and
don’t be afraid to go dark
Fillbrandt creates drama and interest with
an arabesque mosaic floor design that draws
the eye through the space and gracefully
upward to the Venetian plaster walls.
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Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 43
4/14/10 11:56:46 AM
The master bedroom
suite was designed
around one major focal
point: the see-through
fireplace, designed
specifically for this
bedroom and
A Sanctuary
The black-granite vessel sink highlights the custom designed
vanity that is accented with maple, which matches the paneling
used throughout the master suite.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 44
It's more than a
bathroom, more
than a bedroom
By Lin Smithwick
A move from California to North Carolina two years ago was
more than just a change of place and pace for Steve Rasnick. It
evolved into an adventure in creating the perfect refuge for two
very busy professionals.
When they moved to Charlotte, Rasnick, owner of Steven
Rasnick Interior Design, and his partner first had to find a new
home. “Neither of us had ever lived outside an urban area, so
we really hadn’t thought about anything else,” Rasnick explains.
Then they discovered Myers Park, among Charlotte’s oldest
residential areas, just five minutes from uptown Charlotte. “It
is the best of all worlds: a beautiful neighborhood with lush,
rolling hills and a sense of history and timelessness,” Rasnick
4/14/10 11:56:47 AM
“I knew we wanted
to create a refuge,
a sanctuary.”
– Steve Rasnick
There they found an architectural
treasure — an 80-year-old home
with 3,100 square feet just waiting
for creative, imaginative eyes. “We
loved everything about the house —
tall ceilings; clean, classic lines that
transcend time; and all the period detail
that makes older houses so wonderful,”
he says.
After completing the first major
remodeling project, which included
removing walls and opening up the
downstairs area and the creation of a
dream kitchen perfect for two people
who love to cook, it was time to focus
on what was to become the brainchild
of inspiration. “We both have hectic
lives,” says Rasnick. “I knew we wanted
to create a refuge, a sanctuary.”
Inspired by mid-European luxury
spas and elegant boutique hotels,
Rasnick designed a bath and master
suite area, contained in 550 square
feet, that defines tranquility and peace.
Guided by a basic design philosophy
that every space needs one major focal
point, one something that is unique,
Rasnick approached his new challenge
looking for that one feature. “I hate
making things more complicated by
having too many items competing for
attention,” he says. “I think people
tend to do that today when it comes to
design and decorating. I firmly believe
that less is definitely more.”
Rasnick found that pivotal point. The
one conversational piece that absorbs
the attention and imagination is the
doublesided, see-through fireplace that
separates the bath spa area from the
master suite.
A Zen-like atmosphere in the entire
area was created using neutral, natural
color tones. The oversize tub, designed
to comfortably fit two people, and
the areas surrounding the tub were
handmade using mosaic tiles made
from Italian Carrara marble. “You can’t
imagine how relaxing it is to rest in the
glow of the fireplace,” says Rasnick. “It
adds so much warmth and color to the
white and neutral tones.”
More than a bathroom, more than a
bedroom, it is, as Rasnick says, an oasis.
“With the warmth of the fireplace and
the relaxation of the deep soaking tub,
the bath was meant to be a new living
space in our home,” he says.
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Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 45
4/14/10 11:56:48 AM
heathered flannel
keeps you warm
in style.
You’ll sleep better on organic bedding knowing
it’s good for the planet and your family
By Christine Holm
More and more of us are getting on the “green” train these days. That’s
because we’re learning how important it is to use “sustainable” goods. We
want to help protect the Earth by using “natural” things. We’re told that
“organic” is the way to go. But what do all these terms mean? Do they mean
the same thing?
This fair-trade bedding from Au Lac
Designs in Vietnam is a good way to add
luxury to your bedroom.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 46
What is “organic,” anyway?
According to Green By Design’s Vanessa Brunner, “While organic and
sustainable materials share the same ethical and moral roots, what many
people are unaware of is that the two terms are not entirely interchangeable.
While organic and sustainable are not necessarily mutually exclusive either, it’s
4/14/10 11:56:50 AM
‘Organic’ refers to the
methods by which foods,
cottons, woolens, etc.,
are farmed and processed
without chemicals,
pesticides, radiation,
or other artificial
Italian design plus organic comfort
equals bedtime bliss.
important as a consumer to know
what it means when an item is labeled
‘organic’ or labeled ‘sustainable.’”
( She explains
that something can be considered
sustainable when, for example, it’s
been recycled or produced according
to fair-trade standards or produced
by companies that pay all employees
a fair wage, so something can be
sustainable without being organic.
Something is organic if it meets
the criteria as defined by the
USDA’s National Organic Program
(NOP). The NOP states, “Organic
agriculture is an ecological production
management system that promotes
and enhances biodiversity, biological
cycles, and soil biological activity.
It is based on minimal use of offfarm inputs and on management
practices that restore, maintain, and
enhance ecological harmony.”
That sounds great, but what does
it really mean? You can learn more
at the USDA’s Web site, www.usda.
gov, but Susan Fullen-Yurek with
Kushtush Organics helps sort it out for
us. “‘Organic’ refers to the methods
by which foods, cottons, woolens, etc.,
are farmed and processed without
chemicals, pesticides, radiation, or
other artificial intervention,” she says.
Still a bit fuzzy? Here’s the easiest
way to know: If an item doesn’t
bear the government’s seal, it hasn’t
been officially certified as organic.
So why buy organic bedding?
For most of us, sleeping on higherthread-count cotton bedding feels
better, but what’s the big deal about
organic bedding? “First and foremost,
it’s soft, natural, and much healthier
than conventional textiles,” says
Fullen-Yurek. Even better, it naturally
resists common allergens, and “studies
prove optimal sleeping conditions
require breathable surfaces that only
organic bedding and natural sleepwear
can provide.”
“In fact,” she continues,
“recovering patients are far more
comfortable and heal more easily
with nontoxic and chemical-free
organic bedding and sleepwear in
delicate 24/7 sleeping and breathing
environments. That’s especially critical
for babies and growing children.” If
it’s especially critical for them, you
know that surrounding yourself in
organic bedding will be especially
great for you!
Images courtesy of Gaiam,
300 Orchard Avenue
Eco-Tex-certified flannel has both warmth
and charm.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 47
4/14/10 11:56:53 AM
Photo courtesy of
At Home
in the Spa:
By Mindy Kroll
Everything You Need to Know to Make
the Best Decision for You and Your Family
The American Society of Interior Designers recently
conducted a study that identified the changes Americans
planned to make to their homes as they got older. The
number-one addition on the list? An indoor or outdoor spa.
And why not? After all, spas are renowned for their
rehabilitative qualities and medical studies indicate that
spa therapy may be helpful in treating arthritis, diabetes,
lower back pain and sleep disorders, among other maladies.
Photo courtesy of
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 48
4/14/10 11:56:56 AM
Photo courtesy of
What’s more, they’re inherently relaxing
and are a favorite gathering place for
couples, families, and friends. Before
heading out to the nearest dealer,
however, there are a few things to keep
in mind to make sure you’re making the
best decision for you and your family.
Location, Location, Location
First and foremost, your spa needs
a solid, level foundation. Obviously, a
spa filled with water is heavy (experts
estimate approximately 150 pounds/
square foot), so it’s crucial that the
location you choose be able to support
the tub as well as the water in it and
those who’ll use it. Make sure there’s
room to not only get in and out of the
tub but also room for it to be serviced if
necessary. For an outdoor unit, there’s
a 4” minimum depth requirement for
a concrete pad (or patio). For indoor
units, pay close attention to flooring,
as water overflow may cause moisture
The Jets
When it comes to jets, it’s not
quantity that’s important — it’s
configuration. A combination of the
right jets targeting the right areas
will ensure a good massage. Before
you purchase a spa, make sure you
can answer “yes” to the following
1. Does the spa offer the right size
jets with the appropriate intensity to
target all muscle groups? (Big jets
are not necessarily synonymous with
a good massage; in this case bigger
may not be better.)
2. Can you turn jets on and off
individually to personalize your
massage? (This allows you to
customize your massage.)
3. Does the spa allow you to divert
water flow pressure from one seat to
the next? (Again, this allows you to
customize your massage.)
4. Does the spa have controls that
allow you to add air to the water?
(This allows you to control the
intensity of the massage.)
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445 S. Logan Blvd., Lakemont, Altoona • 943-2768
continued on pg. 50 >
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 49
4/14/10 11:57:00 AM
in the next issue of
Energy Landscaping
Choosing Colors
Garage Makeover
Outdoor Living Rooms
Romantic Bedrooms
The Great Outdoors
Summer Favorites
Call Lucy Ritchey-Weiss
at 949-7022 for
information about the
August-September 2010 Edition
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 50
> continued from At Home In The Spa pg. 49
Spas are renowned for
their rehabilitative
qualities and medical
studies indicate that
spa therapy may be
helpful in treating
arthritis, diabetes,
lower back pain and
sleep disorders, among
other maladies.
Spas are often likened to an
extension of the family room. This
makes sense once you see the variety
of seating options available:
• Lounge Seats: Many spas have
seats that simulate a chaise lounge
(or, in some cases, dual lounges
that allow you to sit with someone
• Bench Seats: As the name indicates,
these are benches that place you
in an upright position. From a
therapy standpoint, they tend to
be the most valuable, given their
jet formations.
• Pivot Seats: These allow you to
experience a variety of different
massages by simply pivoting in
your seat.
• Therapy Seats: Some spas include
seats specifically designed for
comprehensive back therapy.
It’s important to make sure the
placement of these jets
appropriately target your
muscle groups.
• Cool Down Seats: These seats do
not include jets; they’re for entering
or leaving the spa so that you can
acclimate to the warmer (or cooler)
climate at your leisure.
With so many options, it’s easy
to become overwhelmed. But when
it comes down to it, your spa is no
different than any other piece of
furniture. When shopping, get in and
try them out. Some dealers will even
allow you to do a “wet test” in the
showroom; if so, go for it — the
more informed you are now, the
more enjoyment you’ll get later.
At a minimum, ask yourself the
following questions: Where will the
water level hit you? Will anyone be
struggling to remain above water?
Is there ample room for your legs?
Where will your head and arms rest?
(Some spas actually have pillows!)
How many people will be sharing the
spa simultaneously? (Make sure there
are enough seating options to
accommodate the various users.)
4/14/10 11:57:02 AM
Most spas have a control panel built
into the shell or cabinet located near
the entry. This is standard. However,
if convenience is at the top of your
priority list, don’t settle for standard.
Floating remote controls are available
to allow you to easily adjust jets,
heaters, and lights more effectively.
For the ultimate in convenience,
consider an in-house remote that will
allow you to control the spa from any
room in your home.
How to Buy
Spas are expensive, complicated
machinery. They can range from $2,000
all the way up to $20,000, depending
on your requirements. That’s why it’s so
important to do your homework and
make sure the spa is made of quality
components and that the dealer and
manufacturer are reputable.
How much do you know about the
spa manufacturer? How long have they
been in business? Are they ISO9001
certified? (This means that the design,
development, manufacturing, and
distribution of their products must
adhere to specific standards.) Are you
familiar with the local spa dealer? Do
they have positive references? Does the
dealer have trained technicians to serve
your spa?
Finally, what kind of warranty does
the spa come with? Does it cover all
structural areas and components?
How long is the warranty applicable?
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Will You Use It?
There’s nothing worse than spending
money on something that sits idly by,
unused. Some homeowners wonder if
a spa is worth the investment — how
much use will you really get out of it?
Consumer research indicates that
won’t be a problem. Once you buy a
spa, it becomes part of your lifestyle.
Parents use the spa to spend quality
time with their kids, and couples use
it as a welcome respite away from the
daily grind. Whether relaxing in the
evenings to relieve tense muscles and
prepare for sleep to entertaining family
and friends, you’ll wonder how you
ever existed without it.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 51
4/14/10 11:57:03 AM
By M
dy Krol
The Importance
of Deck Maintenance
Photos Courtesy of Wolmanized® Outdoor® Wood.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 52
It wasn’t that long ago that
decks were novelties — outdoor
innovations that only the truly affluent
homeowners possessed. These days,
decks are still fixtures within affluent
communities — it’s just that they’ve
become must-have additions vs.
unique amenities.
4/14/10 11:57:04 AM
Why have they become so
commonplace? There are many
reasons. First and foremost, better
wood treatments make wood much
more durable. It’s also a reasonably
inexpensive way to add living space
to a home and a wonderful gathering
place for friends and family.
Although some decks are made of
traditional redwood or cedar, most are
made from pressure-treated pine. High
quality treated pine should last for 40
years or more before there’s any decay.
However, splintering and discoloration
can begin within just a few months of
completing your dream deck. That’s why
proper deck maintenance is so important.
Is Deck Maintenance
Really Necessary?
Yes, although your deck’s not going
to collapse or rot away if you don’t. The
effects are more subtle. A splinter here;
discoloration there. Pretty soon you have
a dingy deck that’s riddled with splinters
and treacherous — not just slippery —
when wet.
What makes it slippery? A buildup
of organic material. Mold and algae will
grow almost anywhere given the right
circumstance — including on your deck.
Cleaning and sealing your deck kills,
removes, and wards off the return of
these organisms.
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What Does Deck
Maintenance Entail?
Proper deck maintenance includes
the following steps:
1. Remove any furniture, tools,
and toys from the deck.
2. Cover any plants.
3. Inspect the decks for loose
boards and protruding nails
and make any necessary repairs.
4. Clean the deck.
5. Seal the deck.
When it comes to cleaning, it’s
important to read the directions
thoroughly. Most cleaners require that
you thoroughly hose down the deck
before applying them. Make sure to get
rid of any dirt or debris clogging the
boards of the deck. Most cleaners can
either be brushed on using a broom or
sprayed on with a power washer under
low pressure. A word of caution: make
sure that the cleaning solution doesn’t
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Real Estate
300 Union Avenue
Bob Pennington
continued on pg. 54 >
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 53
4/14/10 11:57:06 AM
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Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 54
Many product choices face
consumers these days sealing or
restoring wood decks. There are wood
washes, wood protectors and stains,
and sun inhibitors. So which one will
work best for your needs?
Washes basically clean, brighten
and condition a dull wood deck. They
return the wood to its natural color by
removing unwanted stains caused by
dirt, mildew or algae. They are usually
applied then brushed or scrubbed
after allowing the wash ample time to
soak into the wood surface. To protect
> continued from All Hands on Deck pg. 53
come into contact with any plants.
Most solutions contain bleach, which
can be toxic to plants.
After waiting the specified amount
of time for the cleaning agent to
work, the deck should be thoroughly
hosed down once again. It’s important
to exercise caution here, as too
little power will not wash away the
chemicals thoroughly, yet too much
power can harm the softer grains of the
wood. (At particularly high pressures,
even the harder grains may sometimes
be harmed.)
Once the deck is dry, you may seal
it. Like cleaning agents, sealants can
be harmful to plants, so be sure that
any plants are well covered. Also like
cleaning agents, sealants may either be
brushed on or sprayed on. Spraying is
significantly faster, but it’s also harder
to control.
Some sealants contain stains to tint
the color of your deck. If this is the
case, make sure you start with a small
area to make sure the stain is uniform
and meets your expectations.
How often should you clean and
seal your deck? Experts say annually.
Just consider it part of your normal
spring cleaning routine — whether you
do it yourself or hire a professional to
do it for you.
4/14/10 11:57:06 AM
nearby plants use a biodegradable
wash solution. Unfortunately, washes
provide little or no protection of the
wood’s surface from fading again.
Wood sealers actually protect the
wood’s surface by creating a water
barrier. Doing so reduces damage
caused by moisture such as mildew,
warping, splitting or cracking. Some
sealers also boast to protect the wood’s
surface from harmful UV rays from the
sun. To maximize a sealer’s protection,
it should be applied every year.
Stains provide the color. Many stains
also provide a certain level of protection
too. Check the label. With the number
of color choices you have, it might be
pretty consuming trying to decide on
one that will leave you happy. Before
committing, try staining a small sample
of the same type of wood. Then use it
as a guide by placing it next to and all
around the deck. Many home centers
can also provide guidance with special
computer graphic software.
Can You Do It Yourself?
Yes, but it’s not always
recommended. If you don’t have
experience with a power washer, you
may want to hire a professional simply
to ensure that (a) you’re using enough
pressure to remove the cleaners, and
(b) you’re not using so much pressure
that you harm the wood. If you do
decide to hire a professional, make
sure you do your homework. Most
professionals charge somewhere in the
neighborhood of $300-$600, but don’t
rely solely on cost. Like anything else,
you get what you pay for, so hiring
someone at the higher end of the cost
spectrum is recommended. In addition,
don’t hesitate to ask for references.
Reputable professionals will be glad
to provide them.
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Altoona, PA 16601
Phone 814-381-0640
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All Hands on Deck!
Decks are among the most enjoyable
features of a home. They’re great for
barbecues, outdoor dining, or simply
lounging about and enjoying the
outdoors. And while most decks will
last upwards of 40 years, care must
be taken to keep them looking (and
feeling) beautiful. By making an annual
commitment to cleaning and sealing
your deck, you’ll ensure you and your
family continue to enjoy it for years
to come.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 55
4/14/10 11:57:09 AM
the flora
the fantasy
By Paul Stenquist
Many of the plants in Erik’s garden
are appealing to some of his neighbors.
Here a monarch butterfly visits a
black-eyed susan.
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 56
“I‘m not a gardener,“ says Erik Nilsson, “I’m a dreamer, and this is one of my
little fantasies.”
Erik may not be a student of horticultural science, but he does seem to
have a knack for making things grow. But he’s right on target with that
fantasy notion. This is not your everyday garden-variety garden. Packed to
the limit with a wide range of perennials planted far closer together than
any expert would recommend, this little plot of land is obviously in serious
violation of most gardening rules. It’s a far cry from conventional. Some might
call it eccentric. We call it beautiful.
While Erik’s garden, at first glance, may appear to be without a plan,
it is actually the result of some serious thought. Erik’s goals in creating this
little backyard delight were threefold. First, the garden had to be whimsical,
a spontaneous reaction to his mood of the moment. Second, it had to be
4/14/10 11:57:11 AM
Smack in the middle of the garden,
Erik has placed a copper, goose-shaped weather vane. Why? “I like it,” he says. In late summer after many of the other perennials have
faded, black-eyed
susan provides plenty of color.
extremely low maintenance. No spring
planting. Minimal weeding. Finally,
it had to look as though it had been
abandoned. Abandoned?
“Yes, abandoned,” Erik answered.
“I wanted this to be a metaphor for
the garden that remains long after the
gardener is gone. It’s all about plants
that are able to make it on their own
because they were given a nice place to
live. In my imagination, I see the plants’
perseverance as a form of homage to
the person who gave them their square
foot of earth. The garden, started by a
human being, is taken over by nature
and becomes a shared project.”
But creating this tiny tribute to the
synergy of man and nature wasn’t
really a matter of plant it and forget
it. In truth, it took quite a bit of trial
and error to find an arrangement of
perennials that could survive together
on the one hand, yet blend with the
kind of breezy, casual informality that
Erik hoped to accomplish.
“I wanted a lot of large, slender
plants that would wave in a gentle
breeze,” Erik explained. “I like plants
that seem to reach for the sky.”
He created that look by placing tall,
decorative grasses at the center of
his approximate 24-foot by 15-foot
plot. The grasses reach a height of
six to eight feet at summer’s end and
stand well above the plants on the
perimeter of the garden. Other tall,
flowering perennials, including clusters
of campion, exotic-looking, bright-red,
fragrant bee balm, and rocket flower
— a towering perennial with long
yellow blooms — join the grasses in
the center of this little landscape.
At this point some of our readers
with a lot of garden experience are
recoiling in horror at the inclusion of
bee balm, a plant that is considered a
weed by many. It is a prolific multiplier.
But that’s part of the strategy. Other
very aggressive plants, including
black-eyed susan, sundrops and even
veronica, can also be found in Erik’s
An unconventional gentleman’s
unconventional approach to
perennial gardening.
Providing the
Summer Needs
Certified Propane Dealer
Rt. 764 Duncansville
continued on pg. 58 >
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 57
4/14/10 11:57:13 AM
The beautiful and
exotic looking bee balm
spreads aggressively in
Erik’s garden. But that’s
the way he likes it.
As its name might
suggest, the fragrant
plant attracts bees,
hummingbirds and
various other critters.
> continued from Flora & the Fantasy pg. 57
Always in
Free gift wrapping!
bed. The idea is to allow these prolific
perennials to fill in every empty space.
Once the bed is full of vegetation,
there’s virtually no need for weeding,
since the light is cut off from any
seeds that might try to germinate. And
because the ground is always shaded,
the need for watering is minimized
as well. As long as the other less
aggressive perennials are tough enough
to resist strangulation, the weedier
plants don’t usually spread beyond
their space. (Erik admits to occasionally
having to rip out a few overly ambitious
varieties.) Those grasses definitely fall
into the “tough-enough” category, as
do the extensive plantings of daylilies.
The result is wall-to-wall vegetation
replete with multi-colored blooms. The
daylilies help a lot in achieving a wide
range of color. Erik’s garden includes
at least fifteen varieties of lily in colors
ranging from lemon yellow to gold,
orange, peach and red. The spiked
leaves of the lilies complement the
shape of the grasses. Around the
continued on pg. 60 >
Convenient shopping hours: 9-7 Daily, 11-5 Sun.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 58
4/14/10 11:57:16 AM
This daylily measures
almost ten inches across.
It’s one of many lily
varieties that Erik Nilsson
included in his fantasy
Sundrops, or “Sally flowers”
as Erik calls them in honor of
the friend who gave him the
plants, are aggressive multipliers
that can over take a landscape.
But bordered up against the
heavily rooted maiden hair
grass, they stay within bounds.
Clustered blooms of
campion rise above
the garden on tall,
slender stalks.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 59
4/14/10 11:57:19 AM
Take a Break
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Ready for launch,
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Since 1980
M & TH 10-7 • T, W, F 10-5
716 Logan Blvd.
(Rt. 36 Between Holbg & Altoona)
> continued from Flora & the Fantasy pg. 58
edges of the bed, Erik has planted
other hardy perennials that are willing
to stake a claim for their share of the
space. These include columbine, sweet
william, balloon flower, jacob’s ladder,
loosetrife, mother-in-law’s tongue and
others. One end of the garden gets
quite a bit of shade. This area is packed
with several varieties of hosta and some
hardy geraniums that Erik dug out of a
soon-to-be-bulldozed wooded area near
his home. The sum of all these parts is
garden abandonment raised to the level
of an art form.
In winter, Erik allows everything
to die back to the ground, and tree
leaves fill the bed. In spring, he cuts the
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 60
4/14/10 11:57:21 AM
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maiden hair and feather grass down
to about six inches tall, but everything
else is left to decompose into the soil.
In spring, cover of leaves and decaying
plants keep the weeds under control
until the perennials get going, push
through the natural mulch, and spread
out over the ground. Some spring
flowers make an appearance early
on. Erik has sprinkled a half-dozen
varieties of daffodil throughout the
bed. Although these are buried under
perennial leaves before the end of June,
they reappear every spring and bloom
nicely. A bleeding heart shares space
with the maiden hair grass and shoots
up ahead of the grass. After it blooms,
the grass overtakes it and covers it up
until the next spring.
Hidden behind the garden is a little
bench. On warm summer afternoons,
you can usually find Erik sitting on the
bench watching everything grow. “I
can spend hours out here,” Erik mused.
“I get a lot of visitors: bumble bees,
humming birds, dragonflies, butterflies.
Sometimes a rabbit will pop out from
under the plants. Nature is hard at work
in my little part of the world, perfecting
the garden that I started. I like to keep
her company while she works.”
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 61
718 Colgate Lane, Altoona, PA 16602
by appointment 814-941-3595
4/14/10 11:57:24 AM
Courtesy of the
National Pork
Producers Council
The Start of
Grilling Season
By Elizabeth Hemmingway
The anticipation of higher temperatures and longer
days is now here! Satisfy the urge to get outdoors and
celebrate the warmer temperatures by grabbing your
spatula and firing up the grill. Grilling is the perfect
solution for adding fresh ingredients and changing
flavors; your taste buds are sure to enjoy this month’s
recipe of coleslaw and BBQ pork chops. Ah, yes — let
food, fun and the smell of the air get you in gear for
the season.
Carolina Slaw
PDQ Barbecue Pork Chops
One 3-pound head of green cabbage, cored and
shredded, 1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced,
3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon dry
mustard, 3/4 teaspoon celery seed, 3/4 cup cider
vinegar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 pork chops, bone-in or boneless, about 1-1/4 inch
thick, 1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce, 1/3 cup
honey, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce,
1 teaspoon prepared mustard, dash of hot
pepper sauce.
Cooking Directions
Cooking Directions
Toss cabbage and green pepper together in a large
bowl. Mix sugar, salt, dry mustard and celery seed
in a small saucepan; add vinegar and oil and let
come to a boil over moderate heat; stirring until
sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; too well to
blend. Cool to room temperature and then cover
and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For sauce, mix all ingredients except pork chops
together in a small bowl. Place pork chops over direct
heat above medium-hot coals. Grill chops for about
4-5 minutes, until nicely browned on one side; turn
and brush liberally with sauce. Grill for 4-5 minutes
more; turn and brush with more sauce. Grill for a
few minutes more, turning and brushing with sauce.
Discard any leftover sauce. Serve chops immediately.
Serving Suggestions
Serving Suggestions
Serves 4
Serves 4
Paired with grilled BBQ pork chops, this salad is a
tasty Southern-style side.
Nothing could be simpler than these grilled barbecue
chops. Serve with coleslaw and baked beans.
Nutrition Facts
Saturated Fat
Nutrition Facts
Saturated Fat
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 62
490 calories
4 grams
28 grams
510 milligrams
0 milligrams
3 grams
58 grams
7 grams
290 calories
22 grams
6 grams
550 milligrams
65 milligrams
1 grams
36 grams
4/14/10 11:57:25 AM
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Rt. 36, 3 miles S. of Hollidaysburg
9835 Charger Highway, Duncansville, PA 16635
Phone (814) 695-3673
The Dawn
of Spri ng . ..
Remember Your
Hanging Baskets
by the
• Annual Flowers & Vegetables
• Perennial Flowers & Grasses
• Trees & Shrubs
• Pond Plants & Supplies
• Mulch & Topsoill
Where Quality Counts...
Your Fully Stocked Garden Center
Fully Insured • Free Estimates
Jim Beauchamp, Owner
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 63
2190 Hickory Bottom Road
Martinsburg • (814) 793-3954
4/14/10 11:57:28 AM
By Elizabeth Quaine
Painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen up
a room — in a matter of hours. However, the finished result
will only be as good as the time and effort one puts into the
preparation phase prior to applying the paint. That’s why
we have listed the process below. Not only can it save you
time and money, it will help turn that room from boring
to extraordinary.
1. Inspect. “Eyeball” the overall room and take notes
along the way. Determine what you want to do; visualize
what you want the room to look like. Next, size up the room’s
The must haves:
• Drop cloths
• Screwdriver
• Ziplock bags
• Painters tape
• Rags
• Ladder
The maybe haves:
• Paint scraper
• Utility knife
• Razor blades
• Tack cloth
• Hammer
• MAY/JUNE 2010
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 64
Wood putty
Taping or putty knife
Bucket of water,
sponge and rubber
Fine grit sandpaper
Extension pole
Your Supply List
current condition. Is there structural or surface damage?
Cracks? How dirty is the paint surface? Greasy? Are there a
lot of nail holes? When you have completed your inspection,
your notes will be helpful in gathering the needed supplies or
asking for advice from your local paint store expert.
2. Empty the room. Allow yourself ample space to work
by removing furniture and as many accessories as possible.
In larger areas, you may be able to move heavier furniture to
the middle of the room and away from the walls.
3. Cover the furniture. Use inexpensive plastic drop
cloths to cover the furniture and other prized possessions
that remain. Protect wall and ceiling light fixtures from paint
splatters or remove them altogether. (Caution: lighting
fixtures can be a fire hazard if not properly covered.)
4. Cover the floor. Canvas drop cloths should be laid
on the floor to protect the surface and keep it free of paint
droppings. Plastic can also be used, but they can be slippery
5. Free the surface. Remove all switch plates,
receptacles, nails, picture hangers, screws, door knobs and
any other obstacles from the surface to be painted. If you are
painting trim, remove all window and door hardware too.
Keep them all, including their screws, in plastic ziplock bags
and label if necessary.
4/14/10 11:57:30 AM
6. Scrape it down. Scrape or sand
any peeling paint until the walls are
smooth. (Caution: peeling paint may be
the result of some underlying problem
like moisture. Refer to an expert as
necessary.) Additionally, high-gloss
surfaces should be lightly scuffed with
a fine grit sandpaper to help with
7. Fix imperfections. Patch any
wall or ceiling cracks, holes, dents or
dings with a spackling compound.
When dry, refill as necessary, eventually
sanding smooth. Sand any other
imperfections that may be present,
such as drip marks from previous paint
jobs. When surface is smooth, clean up
and remove sanding dust. Follow same
process with the trim work. If it requires
attention use a wood filler, putty and/
or caulk.
8. Wash the surface. Paint won’t
properly adhere to a dirty or greasy
ceiling or wall. For best results, use TSP
(Trisodium phosphate) to thoroughly
wash the surface. Then rinse the
surface with plain water to remove
the TSP. Allow walls to completely
dry. (Caution: great care should be
taken washing around areas that have
recently been spackled as water can
dilute the compound. Wash around the
patched areas rather than over them.)
9. Prime time. Patched areas or
any previously unpainted surface may
require a coat of flat primer. Check
label instructions for details.
10. Mask edges. Use painter’s
tape (a.k.a. “blue tape”) to protect a
surface from unwanted paint. Things
like baseboards, trim around doors and
windows, the ceiling line, and adjoining
walls all should be taped — especially
if they are going to be a different color.
Like most steps in the preparation
phase, masking takes time. But in
the end, it's worth it. You’ll achieve
professional results and you’ll enjoy
your new room for years to come.
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Make an appointment to visit our showroom at
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To insure you complete the
preparation phase thoroughly and
completely, divide the task in two
over one weekend. Use one day
to fully prepare the room and the
other to paint it. This should help
your overwhelming desire to begin
painting before its time.
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 65
Monday thru Friday 10 am till 8 pm
Sat. 10 - 5:30 - Sun. Noon - 5:00
(814) 944-7105
Use Fiore’s Revolving Charge
or your own charge.
Fiore Fu
iture guar
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4/14/10 11:57:32 AM
Come enjoy all the delicious food
from our Lunch and Dinner Menus
Open seven days a week 11am-12pm
Rustic style dining atmosphere where you can relax and try our
Prime Rib, Broiled Steaks, Fresh Seafood, Veal,
Italian/Traditional Dinners and much, much more
Home of the Prime Rib Salad, Gourmet Sandwiches and Desserts
Enjoy Holiday Buffets including MOTHER’S DAY, EASTER,
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 66
Creekside Inn Restaurant
Exit 23 Just off I-99 East Freedom
4/14/10 11:57:34 AM
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 67
4/14/10 11:57:51 AM
Altoona 5.10 34-68.indd 68
4/14/10 11:57:53 AM

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