(StatePoint) Between books, toys and years of accumulated “stuff,” a home can feel cluttered. And most families quickly run out of available storage space.
However, with a few smart tweaks, you can create new storage solutions for much-needed space, and dramatically alter the feel, flow and look of your home.
“There are a number of simple, quick and low-cost solutions that can truly open up space in the home,” says John J. Isch, principal at RWA Architects and co-chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Custom Residential Architects Network.
Furniture can be used for dual purposes to create extra storage space. Beds, for example, can be built into walls to open up a room. Drawers and other types of storage units can be added into or placed underneath bed frames.
Instead of chairs, use benches with storage underneath or inside to save space and create an extra area for storage. Like beds, benches can also be built into walls.
Consider thickened walls or hidden spaces between rooms that can be opened and carved with shelving or closets. Just be sure your plans don’t pose a conflict with your electrical wiring or plumbing.
Adding shelves to closets will give you more storage flexibility and make the most of your space. In some cases, you can even remove the doors to those closets for more reach.
The added shelves will appear built-in and part of your room. If you have a basement, think about installing shelving units.
Rethinking Your Needs
Take a look at how you currently use your home and consider how rooms might be reworked to create spaces that meet your needs in smarter ways. For example, do you really need to use a spare room as an office? Does your dining room go unused because of seating in the kitchen? Take a look at your home more holistically and determine how each room should and could function.
Don’t forget about spaces under stairs. Carve outs or shelving can be added to spots along the wall or staircase, or under the staircase.
If you have high ceilings, an architect can help you identify options for building in a completely new storage area.
Creating accessory outdoor storage can help you organize and bundle more cluttered items, such as tools and yard equipment. With these types of projects, one must consider zoning regulations and other elements, such as pest, rodent and environmental and temperature controls. Ensure that the storage area will serve its purpose and keep your items safe.
An architect can help visualize storage opportunities that people might not consider or think are feasible. He or she can help you apply many of these storage building solutions. To find one in your area, visit: http://architectfinder.aia.org/.
Most importantly, before you purge your precious belongings, take some time to create some space.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:57
(StatePoint) Now is the time to plan and decorate your home for fall. This autumn, consider trying your hand at do-it-yourself home projects that add seasonal warmth and color to the home — while creating fun for your whole family.
“A great way to add excitement to seasonal décor for fall is with timely crafting projects with a theme or consistent color scheme,” said Nicole Long, manager of inspiration at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. “This year, accenting traditional autumn colors like orange and brown with teals and purples can visually transform your home and will also liven up any seasonal party.”
If you’re having trouble getting inspired, here’s an ideal project for teens and adults from the experts at Jo-Ann:
Paisley Floor Pillows
(Approximate crafting time: 2 1/2 hours)
Supplies and Tools (for one pillow):
• 2 yards corduroy
• 1/2 yard corduroy in contrasting color
• 9x12-inch felt squares, two each in coordinating colors
• One package glitter buttons
• Approx. 1 3/4 lbs. polyester fiberfill
• Sewing machine
• Basic sewing supplies
• White glue
(Note: 1/2-inch seam allowance throughout)
1. Cut one strip main color corduroy 6x72 inches.
2. Cut two large paisley shapes of same corduroy.
3. Cut one small paisley shape of contrasting corduroy.
4. Glue or sew small paisley on one main color paisley for top.
5. Embellish top with felt shapes of choice and buttons. Sew or glue in place.
6. Sew the 6” edge of the long strip to make a large circle, leaving 1/2” open at top and bottom.
7. Place seam of strip at the point of the paisley top and sew all around.
8. Repeat with bottom, leaving a 6” opening for turning.
9. Turn and stuff.
10. Slip stitch opening closed.
And there’s no better way to celebrate a new season than with a party that not only brings friends together, but inspires with something beautiful that you and your family created .
In addition to seasonal thematic decorations, now’s the time to also break out some fall fare, like corn bread, pumpkin pie and apple cider, and play music at home that evokes autumn. Timely project ideas, such as embroidered cup sleeves and a paisley peacock cake, are available online at www.joann.com/holidays-autumn.
Letting your home’s décor change with the seasons doesn’t need to stress you out. Make it fun by doing it yourself!
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:54
(StatePoint) Nothing says “welcome to my home” quite like an impressive entryway. Attention to detail and some added extra touches of hospitality can transform any ho-hum entry into a warm and inviting approach to a home.
“A front door should have good energy efficiency features, a snug fit to the frame and an appealing color,” says Mark Clement, a professional contractor and host of the home improvement radio show, MyFixItUpLife. “If you’re missing any of those elements, consider investing in a new front entryway.”
Start with the basics. Evaluate the look and condition of your front door. Determine if your current door needs to be replaced or just enhanced with a decorative urethane pediment, crosshead and pilasters.
If you’re replacing your door, consider one made of secure fiberglass that resists denting and scratching, is easy to maintain, energy efficient and quiet, such as one from the Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Canvas Collection, which is a “Consumers Digest Best Buy” recipient. The smooth, paintable finish on this door allows you to select any accent paint color for your home.
Quality products are important, so don’t forget to add a touch of appeal to your home’s entryway. Start with decorative glass for the doorlites and potentially your sidelites. You can select from privacy glass or designer elegant features and colors in attractive glass packages to create a warm, welcoming entryway.
To enhance your door and protect it from rot, mold, insects and decay, select moisture-resistant trim products. Those from Fypon, for example, are made of urethane and are lightweight and easy to install.
“For most entryways I recommend a set of pilasters that stand up next to both sides of your door and attach to the surface siding,” says Clement. “Then add a crosshead and pediment that can ‘sit’ on the top of the entryway and act as a key focal feature. These simple and relatively inexpensive additions can truly transform the look of a home.”
Find a retailer that carries low-maintenance synthetic products in dozens of designs, so you can showcase your own personality. Urethane millwork products are long-lasting, since their surfaces are not subject to chipping and peeling as you’ll find with many wood trim pieces. The pieces also resist humidity and warping, making them ideal for all climate conditions.
For the final steps, consider new exterior lighting fixtures to complement your new door, along with a colorful welcome mat and planters of bright flowers. Together, these all add up to create an inviting entryway for you and your guests.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:52
HELENA – As construction season heads into fall, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry wants to remind businesses and homeowners to use caution when choosing a contractor.
Warning signs to watch out for include: the contractor will only accept payment in cash; is pressuring you into making a hasty decision, requiring you to pay in full up front, using high pressure sales tactics, arrives in an unmarked car or van, or refuses to give you a written estimate, contract or references.
Also, verify the contractor is registered with the state of Montana and check with the State Construction Contractor Registration Unit to be sure that the contractor is in compliance.
• Find out if the contractor belongs to an industry association
• Check for proper insurance (Liability, Workers’ Compensation)
• Call references; look at past projects
• Have a contract detailing every aspect of the project.
including how and when paid
* Communicate. Assure each of you have a complete understanding of expectations
* Visually inspect each part of the project
Consumers who believe they have been scammed by a fly-by-night contractor who has taken their money but not performed the work promised, should contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500.
For more information on hiring the right contractor or to find a list of local contractors in your area log onto www.mtcontractor.com or call 406-444-7734.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:51
By ARI LEVAUX
When Steve Cooksey was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a registered dietician advised him to eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Rather than follow that advice blindly, Cooksey read the available scientific literature and decided to do roughly the opposite of what he’d been advised. He proceeded to lose 78 pounds on a high-fat, low-carb diet that was nearly absent of processed foods.
Cooksey’s blood-sugar level dropped into the normal range, and he was cleared by his doctor to stop taking insulin. Three years later, Cooksey remains slim and healthy, but now finds himself with a different sort of diet problem, thanks to a letter he received from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. It accused him of practicing nutrition counseling without a license, and threatened to charge him with crimes that could result in jail time if he refused to make changes to his blog, diabetes-warrior.net.
The legal basis for the letter is a North Carolina law known as the Dietetics/Nutrition Act. It’s one of 47 state laws that criminalize the giving, by “unlicensed persons,” of nutritional advice regarding a medical condition. Such laws are in place largely due to lobbying efforts by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the professional organization that represents the nation’s registered dietitians. (Until recently, the AND was known as the American Dietetics Association).
The North Carolina law claims its purpose is “to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare and to protect the public from being harmed by unqualified persons by providing for the licensure and regulation of persons engaged in the practice of dietetics/nutrition.”
But internal memos recently leaked to Forbes via AND members concerned with the direction of the organization paint a different picture of its purpose: “Registered Dietitians (RDs) and Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTRs) face a significant competitive threat in the provision of various dietetic and nutrition services.”
The document goes on to explain that laws like North Carolina’s can be enforced only if somebody files a complaint against a violator, and encourages RDs to file complaints against unlicensed persons practicing nutrition counseling.
According to Judy Stone of the Michigan Nutrition Association, the Michigan Board of Dietetics and Nutrition used a similar tactic in 2006 to “prove” to legislators the need for a licensing law to protect the public. It ran a contest in its newsletter to encourage submissions by Michigan RDs of undocumented anecdotes of harm caused by non-RDs.
“People have to choose what they eat every day, many times a day,” Stone told me by phone. “Nutrition knowledge has traditionally been handed down by family, and healers in the community. If a husband says to his wife, ‘Hey, I think that granola is bad for your blood sugar,’ he is giving nutrition advice about a medical condition. Where do we draw the line?”
In addition to protecting the interests of its registered members, AND is also beholden to corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mars, Hershey’s, General Mills and other makers of the kind of processed foods that Cooksey, and many others, have recovered from illness by quitting. Coca-Cola sponsors continuing education courses that RDs can take to earn the credits they need to maintain their certifications. This relationship between food processors and AND sets up a conflict of interest that hinders AND’s ability to protect the public health, Stone told me.
She recalled a recent collaboration between Hershey’s and the then-ADA, in which “Hershey’s paid RDs to set up and speak at house parties, during which guests would be taught how to use Hershey’s products as part of a ‘healthy diet.’ “
Samples of s’mores, product coupons, and recipes were given out. This was followed by the RD providing the hostess a complimentary consultation, for which the RDs were paid additionally by Hershey’s.
“Hershey’s also set aside $500,000 to pay RDs up to $250 to provide 1-hour consultations to consumers who applied online for a coupon to receive one at no charge to them.”
It would be a mistake to assume that all RDs toe the party line handed down by AND. There are many outspoken critics of the organization’s recommendations who wish to keep their differing opinions on the down-low, for fear of retribution from AND, or because they are trying to work for change discreetly from within.
The latter strategy is the preference of the registered dietitian who told me via email that “corn-dogs and doughnuts” were part of her training in the early ’70s. She noticed things going off the rails in 1994, at the annual symposium for the American Dietetics Association. The National Council Against Health Fraud gave the keynote presentation.
“Instead of any lecturing, they used the stage for many skits, complete with sets and costumes. They play-acted patients going to a chiropractor, acupuncturist and other “quack” professionals and created scenes that made all alternative practitioners into money-greedy, uneducated, and dangerous charlatans. Their skits were pure mockery. They had the audience roaring and clapping. I was aghast that the crowd was so pleased with this display of unprofessional and simple-minded showmanship,” said the anonymous dietitian. “And we received continuing education credit for this!”
Fast forward to 2011, when Food Safety News reported that AND’s annual event included a presentation that downplayed the dangers of pesticides on food. It’s possible that the pesticide industry is behind this pro-pesticide agenda, but AND has been cagey about revealing all sources of its funding despite repeated requests in a series of letters from Sen. Chuck Grassley that they be revealed. The corporate sponsors that AND does choose to make public are placed on the website, which “deliberately buries” them, according to a former corporate web designer.
It seems that AND is engaging in a turf war over the right to give nutritional advice, while selling the content of that advice to the highest bidder, all in the name of protecting the public health. In other words: It’s a racket.
But while pursuing these tactics, AND is beginning to find itself on the defensive. In Michigan, laws that would deregulate dietetics and nutrition and dissolve the licensing board are sitting on the governor’s desk.
Meanwhile, Steve Cooksey has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, claiming the order to change his blog is an infringement of his right to free speech. It seems that with AND, as with many bullies, the best way to get them to leave you alone is to go after them.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 21:54
MontanaFair and Sankey Rodeo Co. are hosting the PRCA ProRodeo in a three- day event. Hosted at the outdoor Grandstands, this event takes place at 7 p.m. Aug. 16-18.
With at least 400 competitors, these rough and tumblers will be competing for almost $100,000 in prize money. The Sankey Rodeo Co. of Joliet will be providing the livestock and entertainment for the rodeo.
Trick roping stunts in between events will be performed by Tomas Garcilazo from California. Providing quality distractions while saving a cowboy’s behind will be Dusty Duba, and Joe Butler, Pro–Bull fighters.
Coming all the way from New York with slapstick entertainment will be rodeo clown Dusty Bennet. Shipton’s Big R will have giveaways at each of the three rodeo performances. Ten kids’ stick horses, 30 T-shirts, and five pair of Wranglers will be given out each night.
Be sure and check out “The Cowboy Club” on The MontanaFair website. Help support and encourage the heritage, history, and future of professional rodeo. Members of the club receive benefits that offer a “First Class Opportunity” to enjoy rodeo.
ates. Tickets are priced at $26 for premium tickets, $23 for reserved, and $16 for general admission. $12 for kids general admission. Tickets include fair gate admission beginning at noon for the day of the rodeo. A $2 off coupon for adult admission to the rodeo is available at fair sponsor locations.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:32
The Montana State BBQ Championship at MontanaFair, scheduled for August 15-16 (Wednesday-Thursday), is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned, professional BBQ cooking competition.
The competition will bring together professional and amateur BBQ competition teams from across the United States and Canada for two days of competition at MontanaFair.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society is dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of barbeque. The KCBS is the largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts in the world. There are more than 14,000 professional members around the world and over 300 sanctioned barbecue contests within the U.S.
KCBS sanctioned events provide the most respected form of judging and scoring in the world of BBQ. KCBS provides representatives for the contest and access to certified BBQ judges.
Following the judging on Thursday, Aug. 16, BBQ competitors may choose to offer samples for sale from 5-9 p.m. that evening. “MontanaFair Bones Bucks” will be available for sale and tasting
samples will be sold for one “Buck” per taste.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:30
After the drug overdose death of singer Bradley Nowell cut short the career of Sublime in 1996, just before the song “What I Got” broke through on radio and gave the group a No. 1 alternative rock single, the surviving members, Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson, didn’t try to trade on the Sublime name.
Instead, they formed a group called the Long Beach Dub Allstars featuring several other musicians that had collaborated with Sublime, such as Michael “Miguel” Happoldt (of the Ziggens), Todd Forman (of 3rd Alley) and “Field” Marshall Goodman.
That band lasted until 2002, by which time drummer Gaugh had joined the short-lived group Eyes Adrift, which also featured Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, while bassist Wilson went on to form the group Long Beach Short Bus.
So it probably caught more than a few people off guard when Gaugh and Wilson resurfaced in 2009 with singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez, billing themselves as Sublime when they played Cypress Hill’s “Smokeout Festival” in San Bernardino, Calif.
Now the trio has released its first CD, “Yours Truly,” under the name Sublime with Rome. The group adopted the new name after Nowell’s family and estate sued to prevent the trio from performing or recording under the name Sublime.
So why did Gaugh and Wilson return to music using the Sublime name, when they sought to establish their other post-Sublime projects as something separate from Sublime?
Ramirez points to two main factors in the decision.
“The dudes are clean and sober now,” Ramirez said. “They’ve been that way for years. So that’s definitely helped shape their perspective, which of course leads to my answer. Honestly, man, I think it feels right.
“We also get along just as friends and as brothers would,” the singer said. “So there’s a comfort level here. So when we play music and when we write music together, it’s something that feels very, very special. They’ll tell you the exact same thing.”
The story about how Sublime With Rome became reality does seem to carry a good deal of serendipity.
Ramirez, who at age 24, is some 20 years younger than Gaugh and Wilson, met Wilson while the two were working at a studio owned by a mutual friend. Ramirez (who was a major fan of Sublime growing up) and Wilson began hanging out and jamming together.
According to Ramirez, the idea of forming a new Sublime happened quite casually.
“He actually just kind of thought of it one day and just asked me,” Ramirez said. “He’s like ‘Would you be down with singing with Sublime?’ I was like ‘Hell yeah.’ So we went to see Bud and hung out with Bud for a little bit, and jammed the next week all day long.
It was awesome, man. That was the start of great things.”
Gaugh, though, decided in December to leave the group. But Ramirez and Wilson (with veteran session drummer Josh Freese now completing the trio) are continuing the task of making music and touring in the shadow of a legacy that only grew to substantial proportions after the original Sublime was no longer a group.
That edition of Sublime self-released its first CD, “40 Oz. to Freedom,” in 1992, and reached a point where it co-headlined the 1995 Warped tour and headlined the 1996 Sno-Core tour to set the stage for the spring 1996 release of its self-titled second CD. But before the CD could be released, Nowell fell victim to his drug overdose.
In the years since, the self-titled album has become an alternative rock touchstone, with its mix of ska, reggae, punk, surf rock and hip-hop influencing a host of acts that have come along since.
“Yours Truly” is an upbeat CD that retains the variety and stylistic trademarks of the original Sublime. “Panic” and “My World” are ska tunes on steroids, as blaring guitars give them an extra boost. Reggae remains a key component in the mix as well, as “Lovers Rock,” offers a straight up taste of reggae, while other reggae-based songs add in elements of rock and soul (“Murdera”) and folk (“Same Ol’ Situation”). The punk side of the group comes out on the hyper-driven “Paper Cuts,” while “PCH” finds the group successfully stepping into Jack Johnson-ish acoustic pop.
The singer said Sublime with Rome is putting several of the new songs into its live set. Rome, who has a songwriting deal with Sony and has just released his first solo effort, an EP called “Dedication,” said he has adjusted nicely to performing on the big stages Sublime With Rome will play this summer.
“I went from playing in front of 200 people to 20,000 people in two months. There was no in between,” Rome said. “So I had to (adjust). It was the only thing I had ever wanted to do since I was a child, and you usually only get one shot. I wouldn’t let fear dictate my future and ruin anything. So I just said hey, this is your shot. This is it. Just have fun … . If it’s not fun, then it no longer becomes genuine.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:26
Come learn all about agriculture at the new “Ag Sprouts” Building during the 2012 MontanaFair.
Hosted by the Montana Agri-Women, events will feature fun and educational activities to promote crop and animal production for the entire family.
Each day from Noon to 8 p.m. provides an opportunity for kids to enjoy a petting zoo, a daily rodeo, farm toys in sand and grain boxes and animal demonstrations that include a pig, goat, rabbit, chicken, a miniature donkey and horses. The “Ag Sprouts” Building Theater will feature family friendly videos of farmers and ranchers telling their stories of where our food comes from and how it is produced. In addition, horse clinics and heritage presentations will take place throughout the week.
“Learn first-hand how Montana Agri-Women promote and provide reliable information about all aspects of agriculture,” says Maggie Howley, MAW president. “We thank MontanaFair for giving us an opportunity to help continue the agriculture traditions of a county fair and to give urban kids and their parents a positive agricultural experience.”
Make a note of these daily “Ag Sprouts” Building events and times:
Horse Clinic - 1 and 4 p.m.
Kids Rodeo - 2 p.m.
Cow Clinic - 3 p.m.
Dummy Roping - 5 p.m.
Heritage Presentation – 6 p.m.
Farm Theater programming plays throughout the day.
Play area and petting zoo open from 12:30-7:30 p.m.
(adults) in the barn at all times and volunteer training at Noon each day.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:23
Here are highlights of the MontanaFair schedule:
•8 a.m. 4-H Horse Show, SuperBarn
•1 p.m. Horse Show, Trail Classes, outdoor arena
•6 p.m. 4-H Pocket Pet Show, Grandstand
•6 p.m. Sneak a Peek, with gate cost of $4 and $20 for a wristband
•7 p.m. Sublime with Rome, Rimrock Auto Arena
•8 a.m. 4-H Cavy and Rabbit Showmanship and Show, Grandstands; Open Sheep Show and Open Market Lamb Show, Expo Center.
•8:30 a.m. 4-H Horse Show, SuperBarn; open wool and open crop judging, Ag Building.
•10 a.m. All Other Breeds Cattle, Expo Center
•Noon. Open Junior Angus Show, Expo Center
•1 p.m. 4-H rocket launch, Expo Center.; Horse Clinic, Ag Building
•2 p.m. 4-H Stick Horse Rodeo, Expo Center; Open Hereford Show, Expo Center; Senior High School theater troupe and improv, Community Stage
•6 p.m. 4-H Quiz Bowl, Expo Center
•7 p.m. Gavin Degraw and Colbie Caillat, Rimrock Auto Arena
•7 a.m. 4-H Poultry Crowing Contest, Grandstands
•8 a.m. 4-H Poultry, Grandstands
•8:30 a.m. Open Rabbit Show, Grandstands
•9 a.m. Open Horse Show, SuperBarn
•Noon. Open Beef-Angus Show, Expo Center
•3:30 p.m. Open Market Steer Show, Expo Center
•6 p.m. Open Swine Show, Expo Center
•7 p.m. Billy Currington, Rimrock Auto Arena
•7 a.m. 4-H Swine Ultrasound and 4-H Breeding Sheep, Expo Center
• Noon. Rope Halter Workshop, Expo Center
•1 p.m. Dog Showing Workshop, SuperBarn
•3 p.m. 4-H Swine Showmanship Show, Expo Center; Art Demos, Cedar Hall
•4 p.m. Michael Jackson tribute artist, Community Stage
•6:30 p.m. Unicycle Workshop, Heritage Building
•7 p.m. Mosaic Belly Dancers, Community Stage
•8 a.m. 4-H Market and Breeding Swine Show, Expo Center
•10 a.m. 4-H Dog Show, SuperBarn
•1 p.m. Pepper Roasting Workshop, Expo Center
•2 p.m. 4-H Beef Showmanship, Expo Center; Button Making Workshop, Expo Center
•3 p.m. Egg Carton Critters Workshop, Expo Center
•5 p.m. 4-H Beef Breeding Beef Show, Expo Center
•6 p.m. Supercross, Grandstands
•6:30 a.m. Chamber Ag Breakfast, Expo Center
•8 a.m. 4-H Sheep, Expo Center
•Noon. Cupcake Decorating Workshop, Expo Center
•1 p.m. Fun with Oobleck Workshop, Expo Center
•2:30 p.m. 4-H Market Steer and Heifer Show, Expo Center
•3 p.m. Make Your Own Stress Ball Workshop, Expo Center
•5:30 p.m. 4-H Awards, Community Stage
•7 p.m. 4-H Costume Animal Parade, Expo Center
•8 a.m. 4-H Dairy Cattle Show and Showmanship, Expo Center
•9 a.m. 4-H Goat Show, Expo Center
•1 p.m. Shooting Sports Demonstration, SuperBarn; Make It with Duct Tape Workshop, Expo Center.
•3 p.m. 4-H Archery Shoot, SuperBarn; Making Sun Shades Workshop, Expo Center
•4 p.m. 4-H Origami Workshop, Expo Center
•5 p.m. 4-H Llama Show, Expo Center
•6 p.m. Montana Barbecue Awards, Community Stage
•7 p.m. Pro Rodeo, Grandstands
•7:45 p.m. Magik City Music Group, Community Stage
Schedules for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17-18, will appear in next week’s Outpost.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:22