Blood Pressure

Hand Exercise to reduce BP?
Started March 1st.


  • Hold – 2 minutes on one hand, switch to other hand for 2 minutes. Do this for a total of 12 to 16 minutes. 3 X/week.
  • Hold – 2 minutes – rest for 4 minutes – do 2 times and then switch to other hand. 3x/week
  • Some training lists 3 to 5 times per week.

NIH – 1

NIH – 2



Dr. Greger – Salt increases blood pressure.

Dr Greger – 98% of Americans eat a potassium deficient diet.

Dr Greger – Potassium Chloride can reduce blood pressure.


Chocolate – ?


Weight Loss – ?



Hypertension Journal

Cleveland Clinic
“Loss of fluid is felt everywhere in your body — including blood volume. Low blood volume leads to low blood pressure.”


Cronometer – keep track of nutrients

If you’d like to see what nutrients, protein, fats etc, that you get in a day, Cronometer is a great free program to try out.
They do have an upgrade you can buy, but it seems like the free version does most of what I need.

I’m using this on my chromebook browser, but it seems like it will work on just about every platform.

It takes a while to enter your data, but once it is entered, you can copy it for the next day and you will just need to edit it to keep it accurate for a new day.

I also like that it shows me what nutrients I am deficient in so that I can concentrate on foods that I need.

This is only my 2nd day, so I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but I’m impressed with the program.

Microbiome Diversity

According to the Stanford study from 2021, people who had seven servings of fermented foods per day increased their microbiota diversity from 100 to 125 (note – these were just the microbes that the researchers could find) and decreased inflammation for ALL individuals.
Of the 25 new microbes found only 5% came from the fermented foods. The other 95% came from somewhere else. They don’t know from where at this point. The fermented foods seemed to create an environment favorable to new microbes.

Here is another link from Stanford with study results.

This was tested against a group who ate a high-fiber diet which did not increase microbiome diversity.
The high-fiber diet did have a number of benefits, increased number of microbes, increased nutrients, lowered detrimental molecules, but the immune status was complicated. Some participants had lower inflammation, but some participants had higher inflammation. If they had lower initial microbiota diversity to start they had higher inflammation and vice versa,

Here are some relevant notes from the paper.

“Although the total number of fermented
food servings consumed per day was positively correlated with
alpha diversity, the number of servings of yogurt and vegetable
brine drinks were each more strongly correlated (Figure 5C).
Yogurt and vegetable brine drinks were consumed at higher
rates relative to the other types of fermented foods, which may
contribute to the stronger correlation.”

These data suggest that the increase in microbiota diversity in
the high-fermented-food-diet arm was not primarily due to
consumed microbes but rather a result of shifts in or new acquisitions to the resident community.

These data support that fermented food consumption has an indirect effect on microbiota
diversity, rendering the microbiota receptive to the incorporation
or increased representation of previously undetected strains
within the gut.

It is unclear whether these ‘‘new’’ taxa were newly
recruited to the microbiota from the environment or were already
present but undetected and increased in relative abundance to
detectable levels during the intervention.

Whether a diet composed of both
high-fiber and fermented foods could synergize to influence
the host microbiota and immune system is an exciting possibility
that remains to be determined.

Below are the foods they ate.

Probiotics Study

There was NO increase in microbiome diversity overall.

There was NO decrease in inflammation overall.

There was NO change in insulin and glucose overall.

BUT – there seem to be two different groups in the Probiotic group.

Groups A – 13 people – had worse results because they were eating the typical American diet.

Group B – 12 people – had better results. They were eating more plants than Group A.


Blending high fiber and fermented food together might have the best benefit.
And – if you eat a plant based diet, probiotics might help.

Oatmeal versus Cheerios

While I usually eat 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal, I wondered how they compared with Regular Cheerios.
Note – I do add raisins, ground flax seed and cinnamon plus soy milk.

Interesting that it appears that they may take the 1/2 cup of unprocessed oatmeal and turn it into 1.5 cups of Cheerios.
Most of the numbers are similar.

Size½ cup dry1.5 cups
Protein6 g5 g
Fiber4.5 g4 g
Sugar1.1 g 2 g

Chocolate Benefits

Would you like a slimmer waist, lower LDL, lower total blood cholesterol, and lower triglycerides?
Me too!!!!

There was a recent study that investigated the effects of eating dark chocolate with high flavonoids for 6 months and those were the exact benefits. Click Here for the Study.

I used to find the best APPROVED dark chocolate.
While you can buy this on Amazon, the price is high.
Walmart had the same chocolate for half the price.
I found the best way to eat this for me was to break it up into four pieces and let it melt in my mouth.

Below are more sites with dark chocolate information.

WEBMD – shows numerous positive benefits for dark chocolate.

Dr. Greger – Dark chocolate improves blood flow

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

While there are lots of good smoothie recipes, here’s one that is great and is pretty close to having a chocolate shake, but it has about 20 grams of protein.

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder. I use one scoop for myself and 2 scoops if I make this for two servings.
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • Cinammon, tumeric, ginger.
  • 1 ripe banana If you put in a frozen banana you don’t need the ice cubes.
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 3 T yogurt
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • Soy milk – half cup
  • Option #2 – we use an Oat milk with probiotics
  • 2 T ground flax seeds

Microbiome Notes

The Microbiome is a figuratively and literally a large topic to contemplate, so I’ll be putting my insights from the experts on to this page.

Here is a good basic video to explain the microbiome.

Erica and Justin Sonnenburg are authors of “The Good Gut.” It has LOTS of information on the microbiome. Here are some insights.

  • Probiotics might help, but you will have to experiment and see which ones have an effect. They might also help with infections.
  • Fermented foods – try one at a time and see which you like and what effect each has. I started with three and was having some bad effects – I’m going back to one at a time.

The video below is an overall explanation of some of their studies and especially how and increase in either fiber or fermented foods affect the microbiome.

Results from tests below.

Fermented foods:

  • Had a 25% increase in microbiotic diversity. From 100 to 125.
  • The fermented foods only added 3 new species that were already in the fermented foods. . The other 22 new species were not from fermented foods. Fermented foods seems to have an indirect effect on microbiotic diversity.
  • There was a decrease in inflammatory markers.

  • Probiotic Study of people with Metabolic Syndrome
  • Did not see an increase in microbiome diversity.
  • No difference in inflammatory response.
  • Insulin, glucose and lipids were unchanged.
  • One sub-group call “responders” did show improvement in their insulin and trigycerides. They were eating more plants than the non-responders. Conclusion was you need to eat more plants if you are going to benefit from a probiotic.
  • It’s best to blend fiber rich foods and fermented foods.

Here is a response from Christopher Gardner about the study above.

“We encouraged study participants to eat as much of five things as frequently as possible:






On their own they found “gutshots” and various pickled (fermented) vegetables to add this list that qualified as having live bacteria.

There was no standard amount for study participants to eat.

If they liked yogurt but not kimchi, then they weren’t required to eat kimchi and ate more yogurt.

On average, they ate ~6 servings/day for 6-10 weeks.

On the hand, that probably sounds like a lot.

On the other hand, we had our study dietitian come up with various combinations of fermented food items that totaled 6 servings, and checked out what the calorie contribution of what this was.

Answer: ~300 calories for a TOTAL of 6 servings.

Keep in mind a typical bottle of kombucha sold in stores qualified as two servings, and only had 50 calories total for the two servings.

A half cup of sauerkraut or kimchi counts as a serving, and these are both relatively low-calorie foods.

300 calories would be 10% of the calories of someone eating 3,000 kcal/day, and 15% of the calories for someone eating 2,000 kcal/day. I suspect the “6 servings a day” sounds more reasonable if you know it was ~10-15% of their calories for the day.”

Dr.Will Bulsiewicz recommends

  1. Coffee with spices – tumeric, cinammon, ginger.
  2. Fermented foods – sauerkraut, tempeh,miso – 10 week trial – try this.
  3. Sprouts –
  4. Super Seeds – omega 3’s – ground flax, chia and hemp seeds
  5. He recommends taking an algae based omega 3.
  6. Kiwis – two per day – good for constipation.

Dean Ornish
I notice that he does include a probiotic in the list of pills he is giving people.

AD program that Dean Ornish is trying.

Blue Zones also recommends fermented foods.

Fermented Foods I’m trying. Starting Jan. 6th

Non-Dairy Yogurt – Almond Milk – Schnucks

Sauerkraut – Costco

Kombucha – Costco – note – I like to mix it with grape juice.

Daily Dozen

Here’s an app I have and look at almost every day.
It’s Dr. Gregger’s Daily Dozen.
It shows the 12 recommended foods and habits to do on a daily basis.

I like it since it’s easy to use and doesn’t require any sign in.

Cataract Operation Notes

I’m at that age where I need a cataract operation and thought I’d annotate what I have learned.

  • I decided to have the standard monovision lens put it. It’s only for distance and I need correction for closeup, mid distance and far distance. It appeared to me that I’ll still be wearing glasses after the operation so there’s no need to have fancy lenses put it that might reduce the amount of light and not correct my vision to 100%.
  • My co-pay was $160, and my 3 prescriptions cost around $150.00.
  • I checked out my surgeon and he received a lot of positive reviews in the past.
  • While he did not “knock me out” for the operation, he did give me a valium and a anesthesiologist gave me a drug to keep me in a very relaxed state. As I recall, after I got the drug, I don’t recall the operation or anything that went on.
  • I woke up easily and walked with a bit of help and got a cup of coffee.
  • The eye that was worked on was never good, but was even fuzzier when I went home.
  • My memory must have been somewhat affected since I apparently took some pills after coming home, but don’t remember taking them.
  • After 12 hours, I noticed my eye was clearing up and things were sharper.
  • At my 24 hours visit, I could see 20/30.
  • 48 hours – it appears that my left eye distance vision is BETTER than my right eye without glasses.
  • Laptop computer vision is good.
  • When you choose a monovision lens, they say that this is just for distance vision. What I have observed is that my vision is sharp from 12″ and out. I can use the laptop computer and also watch TV without glasses. Closeup vision – 12″ and closer is blurry.
  • I’m hoping that I might be able to go without glasses except for reading – fingers crossed.
  • No exercise for one week.
  • Eye Drops – you need 3 types of drops and have a chart to follow. If you’re single, you might practice ahead of time with regular eye drops. I usually wait 5 minutes in between drops.

2nd Operation Notes

  • I noticed that I was aware of what was going on during the operation this time, but I was not uncomfortable.
  • I remembered everything after the operation.
  • I had a slight irritation after the operation, but it was not painful.
  • I did notice how much brighter things were. I turned down the brightness on my computer and the lights in my bathroom seem too bright.
  • I might be able to do without glasses for long distance and just use glasses for close-up reading – we’ll see how that works out.

Dean Ornish Supplements

I’m trying to figure out the supplements that Dean Ornish is giving to his AD test participants.

As I have more information, I will post it here.

Here is the information from his online study notes.
He is now doing an Alzheimers reversal study… are some of the details….note the extra supplements.
Diet: A low fat (10-15%) whole foods vegan diet, high in complex carbs and low in refined carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy, seeds & nuts). Calories unrestricted. Multivitamin, fish oil, curcumin, vitamin C, B12, CoQ10, lion’s mane, probiotic, and magnesium.”

On his website, he adds this advice…
“We recommend a low dose multivitamin and mineral supplement with B-12 (without iron, if not of childbearing age), fish oil and, possibly upon the advice of a physician, calcium supplements.”

He also seems to like Omega 3’s for most people.
Nordic Naturals is what he recommends.
“For heart health, the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease recommends 2-4 grams of Omega-3 a day with an approximate ratio 600 mg EPA and 400 mg DHA per 1000 mg. It’s important to read the labels since fish oil supplements contain fish, and some can be relatively high in cholesterol.

Curcumin article – he recommends – Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600mg, 3 times per day

Lions Mane is a mushroom supplement that Dr. Ornish recommends.
This is also part of a supplement that Matt Fraser used when he was part of Cross Fit.
I’ve added this to my list. I’m taking 1 gram/day – no noticeable effects after 2 weeks.

Video where he says what supplements he takes, but I’m pretty sure he leaves a few off.

Multi-vitamin, CoQ10. Magnesium, Algae Omega 3, Quercetin, True Niagen – which is a NAD Plus supplement, Vit C, Vit D,

Health Gurus – WFPB

When you first start your journey toward a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB), it’s a bit confusing when you get into the details and different doctors and advisors. My main focus is to get advice from people that are science based and not just their opinion. Here’s my list and notes about particular doctors and their advice.

Dr. Neal Barnard – 69 years young in 2022
Part of the group. Lots of good advice – based on science. Little oil or alcohol. Small amounts of nuts and grape juice are advised.

Dan Buettner – not a doctor.
Author of the Blue Zone books – “The Blue Zones Kitchen” has a lot of good recipes. Olive oil is ok.
Here is a good interview.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell – 88 years young in 2022
Wrote “The China Study.” Went to China
“Heart disease can be reversed with diet alone – and in doing so, reducing animal protein is more signifnicant than reducing saturated fat.”
The above is a bit controversial, but the end result is the same – WFPB.
“I learned….they had never seen a heart disease fatality among their patients who had blood cholesterol levels below 150 mg/dL”
I wonder if this might be true also for types of dementia?

Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. – 88 years young in 2022
WFPB – his studies with heart patients brought cholesterol down to 132 and in the following 11 years they only had one coronary event and that was from a patient who strayed from the diet for two years. Blockage in arteries was reduced by 7% in the first 5 years – blood delivery is improved by 30%. He doesn’t like oils, and is ok with people without heart disease eating nuts,

Rip Esselstyn – same as his father above.

Dr. Dean Ornish – 69 years young in 2022
He has done great working that heart disease can be reversed through a WFPB diet. He now allows some seeds, nuts and possibly avocado.
He is now doing an Alzheimers reversal study… are some of the details….note the extra supplements.
Diet: A low fat (10-15%) whole foods vegan diet, high in complex carbs and low in refined carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy, seeds & nuts). Calories unrestricted. Multivitamin, fish oil, curcumin, vitamin C, B12, CoQ10, lion’s mane, probiotic, and magnesium.

Dr Joel Kahn cardiologist – sells some stuff which makes him a bit suspect. He has an interesting email that you can subscribe to – it have the links to back up the advice. He also agrees that protein advances aging.
– You can deviate at times.
– Get blood test for Lip protein A –
– Animal based saturated fat promote high cholesterol –

Dr. Michael Greger – 50 years young in 2022 Nutrition Facts YouTube Channel
Good videos with lots of science studies.
He has a list of 11 foods to eat plus exercise and he recently added mushrooms.

Dr. Gil Carvalho
Science based doctor which weighs a lot of evidence.

Chuck Carroll – not a doctor, but interviews great guests from the PCRM podcast.

Dr. Will Bulsiewicz – gastroenterologist

Dr. Jim Loomis

Plant Chompers – he does LOTS of research and is a bit hard to follow on YouTube as he speaks very quickly with lots of data.

Dr. Kim Williams – Cardiologist – seems very much science based
Video interview with Rich Toll

Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai –
Alzheimers Disease but other diseases also. – video interview

Oats Five Ways

As I was watching Dr. Esselstyn on YouTube, I discovered a new way to eat oats. He just puts the raw oats in a bowl with berries and oat milk. I have tried it this way and like it just fine. It’s a bit chewy. but I like it and it’s certainly easy. I add a Tab of ground flax seed and don’t even notice it. I prefer soy milk for the protein. He eats oats like this two times a day…..note he is currently 88 years young.

The 2nd way is to combine oats and soy/almond etc milk and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
I just tried that today and I like the texture and taste. Even after two days, the oats are good. Add cinnamon in the overnight oats.

The 3rd way to eat oats are oatmeal cookies. Below are GF – Vegan cookies made with maple syrup…….delicious.

The 4th way to eat oats are granola bars. I like the Nature Valley oats n honey bars.

The 5th way to eat oats is the old fashioned oatmeal that you cook on the stove.

Rice – a Complicated Grain

One of the grains which is recommended on a Whole Foods Plant Based diet is rice – either white or preferably brown rice.
The complicating factor is that rice tends to pick up arsenic from the soil and water – not good.

Below are some links related to rice. Unfortunately, it seems to be a bit complicated.

Rice is Good.

In China, white rice did NOT increase the prevalence of diabetes when they mainly ate plants and rice. When the diet started to Westernize, the diabetes risk increased.

Long term consumption of total rice, white or brown rice was not associated with risk of developing cancer in US men and women.”

Dr. Barnard – rice studies don’t show any increase in cancer. Brown or white rice doesn’t matter. Califormina, India and Paskitan rice has less arsenic.

Here is what Consumer Reports says about arsenic and how to reduce your risk.

Rice is Bad

Rice causes CVD and death.

Dr. Greger moves white rice to a red light food and brown rice to a yellow light food.

Best way to cook rice…..from Dr. Barnard, Con. Reports. and others.

  • Choose rice from California, India or Pakistan – they have less arsenic.
  • Rinse rice
  • Soak rice in water over night and get rid of that water.
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Cook rice in 6 to one ratio and throw off excess water after the rice is done.
  • Rinse again with hot water.
  • This procedure gets rid of 80% of arsenic.

Reducing arsenic technique

Strength at 75

Change #1 – I hurt myself after just a couple of weeks. I’ve healed up and decided to cut back on the weight and not go to failure. I attempting to find a weight that is slightly heavy, but won’t cause me to pull a muscle. I’m exercising twice a week. Push ups have increased from zero to 4 in seven weeks.


  • Easy Pushups –
  • Squats –
  • Lay of side – leg lifts –
  • Situps –
  • Lay down one leg lift –
  • Lift on side of body
  • Overhead lift –
  • Curls
  • Reverse Curls
  • Bent over row
  • Shoulder shrug –

I was visiting a friend who recommend a book – The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution by Fredrick Hahn. It’s a way to increase strength at home with limited weights and a small time commitment. I was impressed with my friend’s results, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The Basics – for each exercise, lift the weight very slowly – 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down. Exercise for 60 to 90 seconds. We are starting with lighter weights and 60 seconds. If the exercise is too easy, increase the weight. We started out using a metronome app on the phone, but have stopped that and just use the Timer function on the phone and try and exercise for 90 seconds.

Sept. 19 – We are starting with hand weights two times a week – Mon. and Thur.


Strength Training and Aerobics are best for reduction in death – 41%.

As I researched the topic, I found a lot of people with this approach to strength training. Below are some of the other advocates.

Wayne Wescott seems to have a lot of evidence for the benefits of strength training.

Increase muscle by one pound per month and decrease fat one pound per month. He found the same muscle gain for twice a week versus three times a week. I don’t believe he tested once a week. He also shows many other benefits to strength training. I like that he uses scientific references.

Strength Training for Baby Boomers and Beyond by Wayne Westcott

Dr. Mercola

Doug McGuff is also well known in this area. He wrote the book Body by Science.

His main tenant is the same as Frederick Hahn. Train once a week – 60 to 90 seconds of slow lifting to the point of failure. He says, “move the weight as slowly as you can.”
I didn’t find anything new from this book.

Soil and Gut Connections

This is a hypothesis as to how the mechanisms in the soil and gut are similar and what I can learn from each.

As a gardener for over 30 years, I have seen the shift from gardeners taming their dirt and garden with the use of tillers, fertilizers, mono-culture, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. The philosophy used to be, “I have to manage the dirt to get a good crop. ”

There is a shift today to a more natural way of gardening. If you go into a forest or natural area, no people are needed to manage the land. Mother Nature is in charge and seems to do a fine job without any need for human intervention. She creates her own nutrients from the soil, fungi, bacteria and other living creatures. One tsp of soil contains 100 million to 1 billion bacteria. The soil contains an army ready and willing to work for you and bring the plants the nutrients it needs.

As a result, there are a number of proponents of No Till, Cover Crops, Plant Diversity and No artificial fertilizers. Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta, Charles Dowding, Scott Woodbury and Dave Brandt are all experts in this area with lots of YouTube videos.

The gut of every human seems similar to this soil model. It contains millions of bacteria and the particular type of microbiome is complex and somewhat different from person to person.

Just as you could feed your soil with fertilizers, you could also feed your gut with tilled up refined foods and then add in vitamins to try and stay healthy.

Another option is to only feed your gut with a whole food plant based diet and let your microbiome extract the needed nutrients for your body. That’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m hoping that my body will tell me what I need to eat and I can get all the nutrients I need by eating a diverse WFPB diet.

While I have taken many vitamin and supplement pills in the past, I am cutting back to just two – B12 and Vitamin D3.

Time will tell.

Free Movie DVDs

Since I recently closed my Netflix DVD subscription, I’ve found another solution with even better choices and the cost is FREE.

The or St. Louis County Library not only has a great collection of older videos on DVDs, but they are keeping up the collection and buying new movies all the time. There’s a bit of a trick to find the list of new dvds. Here is how to do it.

On the Main Page, under the “Start Your Search Here”, change the “Down Arrow” to Classic and then click on the Go button to the right.

Click on New DVDs and you will get a list of new dvds that you can request.


The Tom and Gerry Diet

While the goal is a 99% Whole Food Plant Based diet, we do use olive oil at times and are not religious and uptight if we eat a bit of “banned’ food. The trick is to find the healthy foods which work best for you and which you can eat the rest of your life. You need to personalize the diet that works best for you.

9 Month Report

  • Numbers moving in the right direction – cholesterol 102, blood sugar normal.
  • Feeling better – exercising 1 hr/day
  • Lost 20 pounds
  • Right foot more feeling
  • Reflux and stomach is better

Where’s the Protein Song
(Sung to……Take Me Out to the Ball Game)

Where are you getting your protein?
Are you getting enough?

I say Beans and Lentils and Whole Grains
Tofu and Soy they’re so good for the brain.

And there’s Oats and Nuts and Seeds
potatoes, broccoli, and rice.

Whole Foods Plant Based is my best advice.

18 g – Peanut butter sandwich

Beans -Heirloom Beans

You can buy heirloom beans at Rancho Gordo – also……Walmart has Mayocoba beans for $2.26/pound

Movies to Watch

  • The Games Changers
  • What the Health – Netflix
  • Forks Over Knives – YouTube.
  • Seaspiracy – Netflix


Dean Ornish Program – Nov. 2022

St. Louis Restaurants



Cinammon, frozen berries, banana, dates-2, ground flax, ginger, frozen kale, soy milk,


  • Baked Potato with toppings
  • Chili on top of rice
  • Hamburger and fries


  • B – alzheimers
  • C – Parkinsons Disease – 1,
  • C – early dementia
  • D – t, r, b,r
  • D – dementia, strokes, bypass, colon cancer
  • M – Diabetes
  • P – Rheumatoid arthritis

Protein Notes

  • 1 gram protein/kg/day.
  • I would need a minimum of 75 grams protein/day. 1 kg = 2.2 pounds.
  • Protein Database
  • Tofu – 4 oz – 12 g
  • Beans/Hummus- 1/2 cp – 8 to 10 g
  • Peanuts – 1/4 cp – 9 g
  • Pnut butter 2 T – 7 g
  • Soy Milk – 8oz – 7 g
  • Peas – 4 g
  • Bread – 1 slice – 3 g
  • Rice – 1/2 cup – 2 g

TVP – Soy Based Product which makes a ground beef type of base for spaghetti, tacos etc.

Below is the recipe that Gerry used.

Product Tests

Grade A-, – smooth and good taste
B – smells good and has a nice texture

B – nice coating – inside is good – heat in oven. Fried might be better.
C – has a greyish color, nice texture, but it tastes sweet.
B – good texture – slight onion flavor
F – don’t like the taste plus it’s too hot.
D – Didn’t crisp up – taste was marginal.
Grade B – nice texture, look and taste.
A – good texture and look. Cooked on a grill with smoke and BBQ sauce might be best. Big discount at Costco. These have lots of coconut oil, so we are looking for an alternative.
Grade B – I like the bread like consistency.

St. Louis County Tax Receipts

I received a recent notice enclosed with my latest County Real Estate and Personal Property notices.

“IMPORTANT: You will no longer receive a mailed receipt. Official receipts may be printed from our website or obtained in person at one of our offices.”

If you go to their website, nothing says anything about receipts.

I also called, but after 20 minutes on hold I gave up.
I did find a solution by doing a search.
Go to this site and put in your address for your Real Estate taxes.

Fill in the information about your property and then choose Tax Info & Receipt and the Year.

Click on the “Print 2021 Tax Receipt”

For Personal Property Tax Receipts…..

DIY Gutter Guards

This is not as flat as it looks.

If you’d like to add gutter guards to your gutters, but are put off by the high cost, usually thousands of dollars, here’s an alternative.

I bought the gutter guards from Costco, but you can also get them on Amazon. I got them for $1.53/ft. on sale. That means my two story house would cost around $300 in material cost.

Here are the main tools I used. A leaf blower to clean out the gutters, a drill with a clutch, and various pliers and cutters. I found the aluminum hard to cut and tried various options including a hack saw, Dremel and bolt cutters. Use whatever you have and whatever works for you.

I used both ladders, but the extension ladder worked well most of the time.

For the easy straight sections, I can install a four foot section in five minutes. The ends and the angles take more time.

I found the screws harder to put in than their description – “hot knife through butter,” but just used constant pressure to get them in.

In general, you want the gutter guard at an angle, so the leaves will blow off more easily. You do that by putting the gutter guard under the shingles.

The tricky parts are the end which requires you to cut off the aluminum and fold the screen down over then end to cover the opening.

When you register, they supposedly send you a brush which you can use to brush off the gutter guards when necessary.

I did pay someone to do the 2nd floor, but he only charged $225.00.

Below are a couple good videos about the process. I’d watch them to see the process.

Roofing Notes

I’ve decided to have a new roof put on, so I’m sharing my notes about the process.

Not all roofing contractors are the same.
One company never showed up to meet me twice and had incorrect information on the contract.
One contractor came by twice, talked to me, showed me pictures of the roof and a potential problem
I only contacted roofers with a BBB accreditation and an A+ rating, plus good reviews on Google.
Being trustworthy and have good reviews is very important to me.
I’d encourage you to get at least five bids and also check with friends for referrals.
I ended up using a roofer recommended by a friend.

Have them inspect the chimney – does it need tuckpointing?
Yes – I needed tuckpointing. Ideally have the tuckpointing done before the new roof is put on.
Ask if the roofer has a tuck pointer they recommend or if anyone on their crew does tuck pointing.
Are they just reusing the old flashing or putting in new flashing?

Some contracts are quite simple and some are quite detailed.
I prefer the contract which goes into the exact details of what they are going to do.

Down Payment.
One contractor did not need a down payment, one wanted $500 and many wanted 50% up front.

Drip Edge
Most places online recommend a drip edge. It appears to be part of the local code.

Flashing – Base
My old aluminum flashing is pulling out.
One roofer recommended using screws to hold it down plus a caulk on top of the screws.

Ice and Water Shield
First layer around edges, Valleys, plumbing pipes, chimney.

Nails per shingle.
Most recommend four nails per shingle, some put in five.

Nail versus staples
Most people recommend nails versus staples.

Prices have quadrupled in the last 17 years. What cost me $3000 in the past is now $12,000.00
Low cost is not the most important thing to me, but it’s a factor.
I did find a roofer I trust will do a good job for $3000 less.

Ridge Vent
Most roofer recommend this.
I have roof vents already on the roof and vents in the gables so I’m not putting in a ridge vent.

Cost of most good shingles seems to be about the same.
Most of the contractors in St. Louis recommend Certainteed Landmark.
I prefer the Owens Corning Duration brand. It has a higher rating on Consumer Reports. I also like its nailing strip.

Shingle Starter Course
They usually make specific shingles for the first row of shingles.

There are a number of options.
Most roofers use a synthetic felt. Some use a 15# felt which is the old type.
One roofer recommends 30# felt.

Vents – Air
I have roof vents installed already.
All roofers will install new aluminum vents.

Vents – Plumbing
Most install new flashing.
One installs a lead flashing versus the rubber boot most use.

Vent – furnace flue
Have them paint this.