Blog :: 11-2015

Preparing for Winter

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A beautiful colorful fall is almost at its end. The windy swirl of dry leaves and the annual fall cleanup has provided considerable focus in making our homes welcoming and safe for the wintery months ahead.

Homeowners hardly need reminding of the ritual to mulch the roses and shrubs, trimming of broken branches, and removing the inevitable debris from the gutters. Don’t overlook the need to have chimneys cleaned as our fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces do require attention too.

These reminders may be more relevant for new homeowners but equally important for all. With chores accomplished, we trust you will be able to hunker down with a good book, take in some of the amazing arts and theater offerings, and plan for the holidays to come.

If you are in the market to purchase a new residence or a weekend home, now is a very good time to be searching. If properties are appealing now, visualize how lovely the setting will be come spring. We welcome you to our office for a friendly chat and perhaps view current real estate opportunities.

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    Gratitude is the Attitude

    Thanksgiving is here again and with it the pressure to have or attend a picture perfect Norman Rockwell feast.

    Truth is, there are many ways to celebrate and express your gratitude that don’t match our childhood visions. Some of my friends work at a food pantry, others host a dinner for all of their single friends or those who can't be with family.

    Perhaps take the “holiday” to renew yourself at a spa. Whatever you do, remember that it’s about being grateful for the the things you have - not about regretting what you don’t, and not about who made the best stuffing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Grow Your Own Privacy Screen

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      Planting a privacy screen can serve several purposes and add value to your property. A living fence provides privacy from street traffic and neighbors; acts as a windbreak, and works to reduce snow drifts.

      If you are thinking of selling your home, buyers look to find properties with limited traffic noise and a degree of privacy from neighbors. Privacy screens help to achieve both effects. University of Tennessee Ag Extension Service says two or three rows of trees and shrubs can cut down noise by more than seven decibels. The ideal noise barrier hedge is dense and tall enough that you can't easily see through or over it. The design should incorporate an over story of tall trees, an understory of shrubs, and added ground cover. Here in the Northwest Corner, we have a wide variety of nurseries that also offer landscape consulting. A professional will help you choose the proper trees and shrubs, saving time and additional expense.

      Beyond the practical reasons for creating a privacy screen, they offer the added bonus of enhancing the beauty and privacy of your outdoor space.

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        The Leaves...

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        Yesterday while raking leaves for several hours, I had lots of time to ponder my dysfunction concerning fall cleanup. Every year the unmanageability of my leaves comes as a complete surprise to me. You would think that after 8 years of living in a place, I would have an annual chore like leaf management down to a fine art. But NOOOOOO, it comes as a new and mystifying experience every year. It's simply denial.

        Because we live just outside the village, there is no leaf pickup. Instead, I have to ask someone to come and get my leaves. That's the crux of the matter: I am embarrassed to ask someone to vacuum up my leaves in the country. It just feels unnatural to me: like getting a dog, and then asking someone else to walk it. Don't get me wrong, I know how to ask for help and happily do so to have mown grass and plowed snow, but vacuumed leaves ... really?

         

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