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LOCAL Kids Participate in the 2018 Fed Cup in Asheville NC!

 

We're delighted that the children of two of our agents earned a spot along with 17 other amazing young people to be the ball boys and ball girls that will be working the courts at the Fed Cup matches this weekend featuring the USA vs. the Netherlands! These young men and women survived two rounds of cuts with over forty kids from the area trying out. They are junior high and high school students from over a dozen schools in Buncombe, Henderson, and Haywood Counties. These young people have been training hard for 5 weeks to represent their community and the USA in this international event. The training for this has been intense to say the least, these kids are incredible!

 
Left to Right.  
 
Front Row: Drake Gallian, Dominique Grant, Julia Reed, Kirina Shah, Andrew Tashie, Henry Kelso
 
Second Row: Carli Stiles, Kennedi Green ( Daughter of our own Kishaun Green, REALTOR!), Rylan Tuten ( Son of our own Chris Tuten, REALTOR!), Hamrick Perry, Ella Lewis, Caleb Owen
 
Third Row: Lola Lee, Addi Moyers, Sid Shah, Emilee Mosso, McCullough Perry, Xander Barber, Jay Wright.
 

From: www.citizen-times.com

By:

It's finally Fed Cup week in Asheville. 

The women's international tennis tournament gets underway Feb. 10-11 at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. The weekend's tennis action pits the Fed Cup defending-champion U.S. team, featuring all-time tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams, against the Netherlands. 

The United States Tennis Association announced Asheville as a Fed Cup venue in November, just days after the U.S. team defeated Belarus to win its first title since 2000. Tickets went on sale in November and event sold out late last month, shortly after the Williams sisters signed on to participate.

It is expected to generate more than $3.5 million in economic impact for the city, the USTA said last week. 

Here are a few things to know before this week's tennis action:

What is the Fed Cup?

The Fed Cup dubs itself the "The World Cup of Tennis." Formerly known as The Federation Cup, it is the largest annual women's international team sports competition, similar to the Davis Cup for men's tennis. 

The Fed Cup, the Davis Cup and the mixed-team Hopman Cup are organized by the London-based International Tennis Federation, which governs the sport.

This weekend's action between the defending-champion U.S. team and the Netherlands kicks off the nearly yearlong Fed Cup tournament as part of World Group I. Besides Asheville, other World Group I play this weekend includes Belarus and Germany in Minsk, Belarus; Czech Republic and Switzerland in Prague in the Czech Republic; and Belgium and France in La Roche-sur-Yon, France.

Nobody has more Fed Cup titles than the U.S. The team collectively has won 18 titles including the most recent in 2017, under Captain Kathy Rinaldi. It was the U.S.'s first title in the tournament since 2000.

Behind the U.S. is the Czech Republic with 10 Fed Cup titles. The country was a three-time defending Fed Cup champion before being knocked out by the U.S. last year in the semifinals in Tampa....

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UPDATE!!

Kennedi Green was just chosen Friday Feb. 9th, 2018 to do the first round draw for the Fed Cup in Asheville, NC!! She was so excited to meet everyone and even had the chance for Serena Williams to sign her shoes that she will be wearing during the match!!

 

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    When Art Is A Force But Also A Saving Grace

    From: www.ashevillemade.com

    By:

    Adding even more color to Depot Street, the mural is splashed across Pink Dog Creative’s stacked shipping containers. A brightly dressed woman leans gently forward as she works. She stitches a quilt that bears the blues and greens of Earth, seen from space.

    The mural is hard to miss but most people don’t know the artist behind it, even though Irene “Jenny” Pickens has spent her life tirelessly making art in and for Asheville, including designing T-shirts for the Goombay festival. Now, the high-visibility public artwork is putting her in the spotlight. Pickens strikes up conversations with viewers of Zolas Embrace (peaceful earth) both on site and online. They voice their support, or ask the meaning behind the artwork.

    This connection between artist and viewer, as well as between art-makers, drives her. In her earliest memories — when she was no older than three — she is alone, drawing on walls and paper, using old soda- and shoeboxes to make dollhouses, and making doll clothes from old fabric. In those years, when her parents went to prison and her grandmother took custody of her and her siblings, she says her “escape was to make things.” Throughout her life, art has brought her peace, and she strongly believes that it can do the same thing for anyone.

    The artist’s emotionally expressive dolls, a popular item at biannual event The Big Crafty, are made using recycled materials.

    Pickens makes art where she is and shares it with her neighbors. This includes drawing behind the counter at Greens Mini Mart, and making quilts for babies and the elderly with homeless Ashevilleans. Though she may not be able to save the world like the figure in her mural, she’s adamant about using art to make others’ lives better.

    Now that the mural is completed, Pickens is excited to turn back to acrylics. Her large-format portraits, which she’s done for years, usually depict women and often feature family members. One is her niece, Candace Pickens, who was killed in 2016 in a domestic-violence case that received national attention. (Candace’s toddler son Zachaeus survived the close-range shooting.)

    Pickens says she hopes to spend more time painting male subjects, and also wants to explore other media, including a series of small dolls she recently began. Inspired by her niece, “they’re made with used, recycled, and new materials,” she says. “It’s a way to remember love ones who have passed by using some of their clothing.”

    She says she challenges herself constantly — “if someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m going to see if I can” — and she’s beginning to envision a craft book for other artists and “anyone, really, who has an idea of things they want to do, but not a place to put it or do it,” she explains. People like her younger self...

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      6 Misconceptions Millennials Have About Home Buying

      From: www.liveavl.com

      By: Grace Barron-Martinez, REALTOR®

      Buying your first home can seem intimidating. Many Millennials are under the false assumption that it isn't even possible for them to become homeowners. Sure, our generation hasn't been handed the easiest deck when it comes to the economy, but home ownership is well within reach for many. In this post, we'll look at 6 common reasons Millennials believe they can't buy. As a Millennial home owner, I tackle each misconception and show you home ownership is possible for you!

      6. “I don’t know the first thing about buying a house!”

      One of the biggest failures of our education system in the country is the lack of basic personal financial education we receive in school. I graduated high school and college having received no formal education on anything from credit scores, to the process of buying a home, or even how to write a check. Fortunately, I am extremely passionate about home ownership for my generation and can help you with every step of the way. The process may seem daunting at first, but with the right education and support, you too can learn this important life skill.

       

      5. “Home ownership will tie me down!”

      Our generation loves to travel and explore the world. Many of us hate the idea of being tied down and stuck in one location. Home ownership doesn’t have to mean you stop your dreams of exploration! In fact, it can help along the way. You can always rent out your home or a room or two while you’re out fulfilling your need for wanderlust. If I were to rent my home out now, I could actually have money in my pocket to spend on travel because my mortgage payment is lower than what I could charge short-term renters.

       

      4. “My credit sucks! / I don't even know my credit score!”

      Having good credit definitely helps when you’re buying your first place. Maybe you had medical bills that you fell behind on or a credit card you opened years ago that you neglected to pay and have avoided thinking about. You may even have no credit at all, as was the case with my husband when we first got married. The first step to addressing your credit is to know where you stand. I recommend downloading the CreditKarma app or getting your free monthly score from your bank, which many are offering these days. You can also run a completely free credit report once per year through annualcreditreport.com. Once you know your score, you can begin to work on improving it. I am happy to help with guiding you on how to build and improve your credit!

       

      3. “Renting is cheaper.”

      This is just downright false. Asheville has high rents and low vacancy. A mortgage on a $175,000 can easily be less than $1,000 per month*. The average 2 bedroom unit in Asheville is averaging $1,180 per month, which is the highest rent in the entire state! Worse yet, rent prices continue to rise. Every month you give rent to your landlord, you’re helping them build equity on your dime!

      *Many factors go into determining mortgage payments. I can connect you with a mortgage professional to find out your true cost of monthly payments and how much you can afford.

       

      2. “I’m not married.”

      Millennials are saying “no” to marriage in record numbers. If we do decide to tie the knot, we are doing so later in life. Recent studies suggest that as many as 25% of Millennials will never marry at all. Maybe you haven’t found that special someone just yet, or the idea of marriage just isn’t for you! Either way, your relationship status doesn’t need to impact your financial future. Having two incomes certainly helps on a home mortgage application, but there are no rules that say you have to be married to someone to buy a house with them. I have several friends who have purchased homes with their long-time partners. You can even buy a house with a close friend! Obviously, there are lots of things to consider regarding your relationship when you make such a big decision. Single people can certainly buy houses too. I was single when I purchased my first home. It’s just a matter of finding a home that fits within your budget!

       

      1. “I can’t afford a down payment!”

      It’s hard enough paying the bills to get by in a town where wages are way out of line with living expenses. Saving $10,000 or more is a daunting task that causes many Millennials to assume home ownership is out of reach. The truth is, the proper education about available financing is what has been out of reach for our generation. In 2018, there are many creative lending options available with down payments from 3.5% all the way down to nothing! With options like FHA and USDA loans along with down payment assistance programs, Millennials have plenty of options to choose from to make buying a home a reality. Closing costs are negotiable and can sometimes even be financed by the seller. Buying a home could mean putting out less cash than first and last month’s rents and security deposits that you’re already spending to move into a rental!

       

      Now that you know YOU CAN buy your first home, why not reach out to learn more about how you can prepare yourself for that next big step?

      Read More

      Grace Barron-Martinez, REALTOR®

      Town and Mountain Realty

      grace@townandmountain.com

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        TONIGHT December 21st, 2017 - Asheville Community FUNdraiser in Support of 5 Local Non-profits!

        Join us and share the love as we celebrate the season by supporting local non-profits that concentrate on the homeless population and those in crisis throughout our Asheville and WNC community. Your gift will go a long way to help members of our community have a place to call HOME.

        We have chosen 5 local non-profits to work with this year. We feel these five make efforts to help those homeless and in crisis in our community: Homeward Bound of WNC, Helpmate, Caring for Children, Eliada, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry's Transformation Village

        We have set our goal to raise $20,000 and we will be matching all donations up to $10,000!
        ______________________________________________________

        We are thrilled to have kids activities, 2 wonderful LOCAL bands, a DJ, photo booth, drinks, incredible silent auction & raffle + more!

        *Your donation is your admission, you choose what you want to give!

        Once inside, enjoy free buffet style dinner and $3 beer and cider!

        100% of ALL proceeds go to the 5 LOCAL non-profit organizations!

        Schedule:

        5pm - 7pm - Kids' activities including photos with Smokey Mountain Santa & Mrs. Claus, games, face painting with Asheville face and body art and more!

        Photo booth (ShutterBooth Asheville) for fun photo opportunities - goof off with your family & friends!

        7pm - Food will be served & Live Music Begins!

        (Amazing LOCAL food donated from all over Asheville & Western NC - PLUS Catering By Corey, LLC & MORE!)

        7pm - 8pm - Swing Step

        8pm - 9pm - DJ Mad Sci

         

        Silent Auction & Raffle with incredible finds from all over Asheville & WNC!


        9pm - 10pm - Leeda Lyric Jones



        DONATE NOW AND/OR FIND MORE INFO HERE:
        https://www.townandmountain.com/ashevillefundraiser/

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          Asheville and WNC Thanksgiving Guide 2017

          From: www.romanticasheville.com

          The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend (November 23-26, 2017) in Asheville is a feast of fun. Here are our Top 10 things to do. Of course, eating is number one! Also see our Top Holiday Outings. For Christmas Day Restaurants open in Asheville, see our Christmas Guide.

          Thanksgiving Day Asheville Restaurants

          While many restaurants are closed, there are still many great local choices for a brunch, lunch or dinner. Click on the names to go to their web sites.

          • Biltmore Estate Restaurants. Requires estate admission ticket or 12-month pass to dine.
            • Deerpark 11 AM-5 PM: Extravagant Thanksgiving buffet, $56/adult, $19/youth 10-16, reservations required (and books up fast). 
            • Bistro (at Winery) 11:30 AM-9 PM: Gourmet three-course prix fixe menu, $55/person. 
            • Stable Café (by House) 11 AM-4 PM: Menu with most popular lunch items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Phone: 828-225-6370. 
            • Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village) 11 AM-9 PM: Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course menu $40/adult. Phone: 828-225-1320. 
          • Omni Grove Park Inn Restaurants (Reserve online or call 1-800-438-5800)
            • Blue Ridge Dining Room: 12-8 PM Buffet feast with views of the mountains, Adults $62, children 2-12 $25
            • EDISON, craft ales + kitchen: 11 AM–11 PM with special menu, $26/entree, $10/dessert
            • Grand Ballroom Buffet: 11 AM-6:45 PM, Phenomenal Buffet, Adults $62, children 2-12 $25
            • Vue 1913: 5-10 PM, Gourmet Thanksgiving 3-course menu, $70/person
            • Read more about Grove Park Inn and the Gingerbread House Competition Display
          • Grand Bohemian Hotel: (Biltmore Village) Two choices: The Red Stag Grill presents an elegant, four-course dinner, 11:30 AM-9 PM, $75adult. The grand Kessler Ballroom has an elegant buffet, reservations times between 12-2:30 PM, $70/adult.
          • Roux: (South Asheville) Traditional Thanksgiving buffet including delicious selections of roasted all-natural NC turkey with orange-cranberry relish, baked ham with maple-bourbon glaze. 1–7 PM. Adults $38/person, $17/child 12 and under. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations at 828-209-2715.
          • DoubleTree Hotel's Thanksgiving Buffet features seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Biltmore Village. 1:30-6 PM. Adults $42; Children $16 (12 & under). Reservations at 828-274-1800
          • The Blackbird: Modern Southern 3-course menu at $65/adult, $15/children under 12, 11 AM-10 PM, downtown.
          • The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, buffet with seatings at 11:30, 2 and 4:30 PM. Reservations required. $40/adults, $20/children.
          • Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, downtown, 3-course prix fixe menu $45/person with choice of heritage breed turkey, beef, pork or fish. They serve from 2-8 PM and the bar will be open until midnight.
          • Isa’s Bistro, 12-5 PM, 3-course prix fixe menu $55, downtown.
          • Strada Italiano, 11 AM-8 PM, Italian family recipes a la carte, reservations and walk-ins. Social Lounge next door open 3 PM-Midnight, downtown
          • Carmels, a la carte Southern inspired menu, Grove Arcade downtown, 12 Noon-8 PM
          • Pack's Tavern, two Thanksgiving Buffets with turkey, ham, trimmings and plenty of beer choices on Pack Square Park downtown, 11 AM-8 PM. $34.99/adults, $17.99/children under 12. Good option for large groups. Reservations and walk-ins.
          • Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs, Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner served from 11 AM-5:30 PM inside historic inn. 3-Course Prix Fixe $60, 5-Course Prix Fixe $70, Children Under 12 with 3-Course Prix Fixe $25; Under 6 free.
          • Season's at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, big Thanksgiving Buffet 10:30 AM-7 PM, $50 Adults, $25 Child, 5 and under free. Live music. Local's favorite. Reservations required.
          • Tryon International Equestrian Center, buffet at Legends Grill, 11 AM-4 PM, $29.95/person. Call 828-863-1000 for reservations.
          • Cornerstone (102 Tunnel Road, Asheville) is our favorite diner in town. They will have several specials with choice of sides. 7:30 AM-9 PM. No reservations accepted. 
          • Old Europe Pastries downtown at 13 Broadway is open from 7 AM-4 PM on Thanksgiving.

          Asheville Outlets: The 70-store Asheville Outlets Center will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 PM until 2 AM, Friday & Saturday 8-9 and Sunday 11-6. Free pics with Santa. Read more.

          Pick your Christmas Tree: Go to a "choose and cut" Tree Farm to pick the perfect one for your home on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. All are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Many farms offer hayrides and other activities. See our Asheville Christmas Tree Farms Guide.

          Downtown Asheville: Most all downtown stores are closed on Thanksgiving. But there's plenty of holiday shopping on Friday and Saturday to find those special gifts. Browse through more than 200 shops, 30 art galleries and a dozen antique stores. Free parking on streets and city parking decks on Thanksgiving Day and Friday. See our Downtown Asheville Guide.

          More Shopping: Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 shops in historic cottages and buildings. Asheville is a mecca for artists, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide. Also see our Antique Shopping Guide. Most all local stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

          Small Towns: If you prefer the quaint small towns and friendly "Mayberry" Main Streets, explore our cool small towns throughout our mountains.

          Get Outdoors: #optoutside! Take a late fall hike and enjoy views through with leafless trees, cool temperatures, and few fellow hikers. See our hiking guide for top picks. All trails and waterfalls in the National Forests and Parks are open every day.

          • Green Friday at Adventure Center of Asheville (near downtown): Ages 4+ zip at KidZip or climb at Treetops Park. Ages 10+ ride Zipline Canopy Tours as well as advanced challenges in the Treetops Park. 50% of all revenue donated for environmental causes in WNC.
          • Some ski resorts will open. Cataloochee opened Nov 20th and Beech Mtn opens Nov 24th.
          • Ranger Guided Hike, Friday at 10 AM to Mingus Creek Cemetery in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 4.2 miles roundtrip hike. Meet in the Mingus Mill parking area, less than a mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, along Newfound Gap Road. For more information, call the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at 828-497-1904.

          National Parks: Both Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smokies is open on Thanksgiving Day.

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            Asheville Volunteer Day with Eliada Home

            Check out our photo and video gallery from our day of volunteer fun! ( Make sure to watch the hilarious slow motion videos as our agents go head to head in a bouncy horse race! )

            Tuesday October 17th, 2017 was a beautiful day at Eliada Home! Our agents and staff had a great time volunteering at the corn maze where they drove kids on tractor rides, loaded the corn cannons with ears of corn, helped kids safely enjoy the giant tube slides and jumping pillow, and made sure the corn maze was litter-free. Eliada home does amazing things for the kids in our community and we love supporting such a great organization.

            Make sure to join us on Dec. 21st, 2017 at the Orange Peel in Asheville NC for our 6th Annual Home for the Holidays FUNdraiser where we will be raising funds for Eliada Home and four other non-profit organizations!

            Visit our website for more details: https://www.townandmountain.com/ashevillefundraiser/

            From: www.eliada.org

            We are WNC’s ONLY non-profit Corn Maze with 100% of proceeds benefiting the children at Eliada!  Not only does your ticket purchase come with access to family-friendly fun, memories, and adventures but it directly aids in the growth and success of Eliada and our kids!


            Dates and Times

            Eliada’s 2017 Annual Corn Maze will be open from September 30th through October 31st. Stop by and join in the festivities!

            • Monday – Friday: 9am-3pm
            • Saturday: 10am- 8pm
            • Sunday: 10am-6pm
            • Check Eliada’s Facebook Page for updates on inclement weather

            Buy your TICKETS HERE!

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              Tips for Cleaning Up After a Big Storm

              Cleaning Up Your Yard After the Big Storm

              Huge storms can wreck havoc on your beautiful yard. The months spent getting your lawn into perfect shape can be destroyed by just a few minutes of a terrible storm.

              Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to clean up your yard after the storm has died down. Here are easy ways to assess your yard in the days following an extreme weather event.

              What can you do in the aftermath of a big storm? Plenty. Check out these Top 5 Tips for Post-Hurricane Yard Clean Up. Easy ways to assess your yard in the days following an extreme weather event.

              Tip No. 1. Check your trees, lawn and shrubs for storm damage. Note fallen trees, limbs and branches in a notebook so that you can easily report these items to your tree surgeon, arborist, landscape specialist or insurance carrier, as needed. Pay particular attention to which trees or shrubs were adversely affected. It may be that you’ll need to rethink the placement of these trees and shrubs in the future, or enhance your wind barriers and drainage systems in the future. In my yard, we’re fortunate to have several outbuildings and storm fencing which shield our trees from damaging wind, rain and hail. But, we recently consulted a Master Gardener from our County to provide advice on falling limbs that may be the combined result of summer drought and hurricane force winds.

              Tip No. 2. Check your drainage systems, curbs, gutters, and storm drains for water, leaves, mud and other lawn debris. These systems can sustain damage as well during a big storm. Ask yourself several questions. Where does water tend to pool or puddle? Where do leaves collect? What’s working and what’s not? Follow up with flood and drainage specialists as needed. Or, get the shovel ready to redirect water flow or clear drains as warranted. The experts at HGTV provide easy DIY tips for installing a French Drain in your yard. But, keep in mind, no system is foolproof and most require regular maintenance, particularly after a storm.

              Storm 2

               

               

               

               

               

               

              Tip No. 3. Remove sticks, stones, and leaves from lawn and garden. The days following a storm are excellent times to remove all debris that’s collected or fallen during the course of a tropical storm or hurricane. Clearing your yard will help the sun and wind dry your water clogged lawn and garden areas a little faster than if you let the elements take care of this debris on their own. Remember to put what you can in your compost pile, separating out oak leaves and other material that may not decompose. The rest can be disposed of, keeping in mind that your local authorities may have specific regulations on proper handling of this material.

              Tip No. 4. Steer clear of damaged trees. These can pose dangerous conditions prior to and during removal. Call a tree specialist to figure out your options for your damaged trees. Some are salvageable with a little trimming. Others will need to be removed by the experts. Trees down in common areas? Across yards? For community as well as private tree advice and assistance, contact a certified arborist or Master Gardener at your local Extension office. These experts can help you develop a plan to address your damaged trees, usually at no cost to you. Extension services can also provide important tips on chain saw safety, crucial advice if you choose to clear these specimens yourself. In the meantime, best to keep you and your family a distance away from these post-storm hazards.

               

              Tip No. 5. Stay away from standing water. If there is significant flooding or water collection in your yard, this can pose significant dangers to you and your family. It may be that a storm drain has dislodged or overflowed. Or, a stream has risen substantially higher than its banks. In any event, it will be important for you to alert family members and neighbors of this standing water, and to report this water hazard to your local authorities. It may be that you’ll need to wait for water to subside. Or, in the case of creeks, streams and other waterways, authorities may need to check things out. The Centers for Disease Control provide an excellent fact sheet on what to do in the case of standing water. At a minimum, CDC cautions homeowners to wash their hands after contact with flooding or standing water. In the meantime, best to keep you and your family a safe distance away from these post-storm hazards.

               

              Smart, Safe Storm Cleanup Tips

              Getting your home back into shape after big weather may require more than a broom and a mop. Here's a collection of our best pro advice for managing the aftermath

              From:  www.thisoldhouse.com

              By the editors of ThisOldHouse.com

               

              Dealing with the Aftermath

              For many people, when a terrible storm hits, it's the aftermath that is the worst. Debris, flood waters, power outages, broken tree limbs, shattered glass, piles of snow— these are all dangerous risks once a hurricane, tornado, or nor'easter makes its way through a town or community.

              The editors of This Old House have compiled our best and safest advice for how to deal with the cleanup after a storm. Follow along to see how you can save your house from more harm—and keep yourself and your family safe as you do it.

               

              Stop a Flood

              With a heavy storm comes heavy rains, and inevitably flooding. If waters come into your home, be careful about getting it out. Turn off the power—but only if the water hasn't reached as high as any electrical outlets in the room where the main breaker lives. Otherwise you could be wading into an electrified pond.

               

              Dry Out Your House

              Once the storm subsides, hiring a professional service might be your best bet for a thorough cleanup, because they will know how to eradicate water in places you didn't even realize it had seeped.

               

              Stave Off Mold

              Even if you think you've gotten all of your goods dried out and cleaned up, dirty and contaminated floodwaters may have already laid the groundwork for mold—not just on the walls, but inside them and in floors and furniture.

              Clean Up Damaged Trees

              With high winds and heavy rains or snows come downed trees, one of the most dangerous and damaging outcomes of a powerful storm.

              First figure out how bad the situation is by following the advice in Assessing Tree Damage. If you find you'll need to remove a tree, call in a certified arborist to do any major removal; taking down trees is a scary job that can cause terrible injury if not done right.

               

              Fix Broken Glass

              High winds and flying debris might have shattered a pane or two. Follow TOH general contractor Tom Silva's advice for repairing broken glass, whether it's on a door, in a window, or only accessible from inside.

              Clear Leaves

              Those on the peripheries of a terrible storm may not have had downed trees or flooded basements, but they're likely to have found themselves with a house and yard covered in leaves and twigs.

              Read More

              How to Help Hurricane Irma Victims

              As Hurricane Irma roars over the Florida Keys after causing destruction in the Caribbean, here is a guide to how you can help the people it affects.

              First, some general guidelines: The Center for International Disaster Information, a part of the United States Agency for International Development, offers useful tips on giving in the wake of disasters. Sending money is almost always the most efficient way to help, it emphasizes.

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                Asheville and Western NC Fall Foliage Outlook for 2017!

                Fall Foliage Forecast 2017, Asheville & NC Mountains

                From: www.romanticasheville.com

                 

                The fall leaf color show in the North Carolina mountains attracts visitors from around the world. With the 5,000-foot elevation change within 50 miles of Asheville, our lush Blue Ridge Mountain range puts on one of the longest-running autumn leaf color displays in the country. 

                Blue Ridge Parkway & Mountains Fall Foliage Forecast 2017

                Linn Cove Viaduct
                See our Top 20 Fall Spots Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

                Limited time: Enter to win a fall getaway through Sept 10th.

                Forecast: The number one question is: “When is the peak color?” No matter when you plan an autumn visit, in October or early November, you can take a short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or other mountain roads to find the best fall leaves color. Elevation and weather are the biggest factors in the color show. Leaves begin their color change at the highest peaks and gradually work down to the lowest elevations. An early frost speeds up the show and warm weather prolongs it.

                Where to Find Color Week-by-Week 2017

                Fall Events
                There are many festivals and events tor enjoy in September and October. See our 40 Favorite Fall Festivals.

                Find the best photo spots with our Fall Photo Journal 2016 and Fall Photo Journal 2015. Also see our favorite Scenic Drives, Motorcycle Drives, Mountain Views and Pet-Friendly guides.

                Dry Falls
                Pic: Dry Falls

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                Are you planning a trip to the mountains of Western North Carolina to view fall foliage this autumn?  If so, this map, put out by the department of biology at Appalachian State University, could be an incredibly helpful planning tool.

                Maps claiming to predict the arrival of fall foliage come a dime a dozen this time of year, but the App State map incorporates multiple variables such as elevation change and latitude, making it more accurate than similar leaf peeping predictions.

                “We constructed the map using the following assumptions,” writes Michael Denslow of the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University who created the graphic.”First, we assumed that fall color would start earlier at higher elevations. We then figured (guessed!) that for each 1,000′ increase in elevation, peak fall colors would occur about one week earlier, with the exception of those areas near the coast, where we divided the elevation into 500′ sections.”

                According to the map, fall will come first to areas like Boone, Mount Mitchell, and Grandfather Mountain, with peak season arriving around October 1, while Asheville won’t experience peak viewing conditions until mid-October.

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                From: www.smokymountains.com

                The 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.

                Read More

                 

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                  Solar Eclipse 2017 - Where to Watch in Western NC

                  From: www.romanticasheville.com

                  Don't miss the opportunity to experience a rare total solar eclipse in western North Carolina near Asheville on Monday, August 21, 2017. Jackson County, Swain County and Graham County - all located about 50-70 miles west of Asheville - are the few areas in our state where you can totally experience the extremely rare celestial phenomenon. Towns in the direct path include Sylva, Dillsboro, Cashiers, Bryson City, Cherokee, Franklin, Highlands and Robbinsville, with one to two minutes of complete darkness as the moon moves in front of the sun. Even the city of Asheville will see a 99% eclipse - but not total darkness.

                  People will be traveling to this area from around the world to experience this amazing event. At 2:36 PM, the Carolina blue sky will turn pitch black. Temperatures will drop, and stars will come out as the sun disappears. While the total eclipse is just a couple of minutes, the transition will begin about 1 PM and end around 4 PM. Since we expect many visitors, you should be at your viewing location well before noon. Other tips: Gas up and have food and water with you in case you are stuck in traffic for a while. Traffic will be heavy especially right after the eclipse. See places to watch below!

                  Weather forecast: As of 8/17, the weather forecast for Monday is looking much better with mostly sunny skies with temps in 80s (dropping 10 degrees during the eclipse)! Don't forget sunscreen and water. Even if it is cloudy, you will experience the total darkness.

                  Monday afternoon traffic: Be ready for very heavy traffic right after the eclipse, since expected sunny weather will bring larger crowds and everyone will be leaving at the same time (like one huge concert). It will be especially bad around the city of Asheville, since many will be passing through during the 5 PM rush. 

                  Across the United States, cities from Oregon to South Carolina are inside the 70-mile-wide path of the total solar eclipse. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse (last one in our area was in 1506, next one in 2153), and it is one of the few that will travel the nation from Atlantic to Pacific coasts. See viewing safety tips at bottom of this page.

                  Solar Eclipse NC Mountains

                  Best WNC Spots to Watch the Eclipse near Asheville

                  There are many places to witness the entire sun eclipse in western North Carolina, including small towns, mountaintops and lakes. Since we expect big crowds, arrive very early to get your spot! Expect heavy traffic, especially midday. If you hope to watch at a place with limited parking (like most spots in National Forests and Parks), you should arrive by 8 AM! Rangers will start closing areas as they fill up. The towns with events will have much more parking.

                  Sylva: Live music, food trucks and eclipse experts at Bridge Park (76 Railroad Avenue) downtown 11 AM-3 PM. Total time of darkness will be 1 minute 47 seconds. They are geared up for large crowds, so you'll find parking, food trucks and plenty of other things to do - including educational and children activities. Planetary walk on Main St. Go to the Jackson Website for more events and viewing locations. Dogs permitted on leashes. Park opens at 10 AM. $1 shuttle rides from extra parking at Jackson County Justice Center (401 Grindstaff Cove Rd, Sylva)

                  Cashiers: The Village Green will host food trucks, live music 12-4 PM and experts with equipment for viewing. Protective glasses available. Totality of darkness will be 2 minutes and 23 seconds. Go to the Jackson Website for more events and viewing locations. Also, the US Post Office will be on site to cancel their special solar eclipse thermal stamp, a great souvenir of the big day! Park opens at 9 AM. Bring water, chair, blanket and sunscreen. 35 Highway 64 West, Cashiers

                  Cherohala Skyway: Our top pick for roadside viewing is this National Scenic Byway near Robbinsville since it will experience the longest period of darkness (about 2.5 minutes) and there are many overlooks to park. Or hike up to Huckleberry Knob - limited parking, so you need to arrive very early morning. Bring a picnic (no food, drinks or gas on the Skyway) to enjoy the entire afternoon of mountain views. Due to expected crowds, many areas will probably close early in the day. Read more about the Cherohala Skyway.

                  Blue Ridge Parkway: The southern section of the Parkway will be in the path of total darkness (about 20-60 seconds of totality around 2:36 PM) - from around Looking Glass Rock overlook (Milepost 417) south to the end at Cherokee. While there are numerous overlooks to stop, most will fill up quickly. Portable toilets will be placed at many overlooks. Popular hiking spots to summits like Black Balsam, Devil's Courthouse and Waterrock Knob will be packed. So go early to claim a parking spot! Rangers will allow roadside parking in any grass areas - you just need to be completely off the road. Sections of the Parkway will close if it becomes too crowded. Waterrock Knob has the largest parking area with prime viewing from the lot (44 seconds of total darkness) with picnic area and restrooms. See our Blue Ridge Parkway Guide for stops along this section, Milepost 417-469.

                  Stecoah: The top spot for viewing in Graham County on Monday is the wonderful Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, located near Robbinsville and Fontana Lake. Enjoy plenty of art, picnics, special activities, food and music 11 AM until 3 PM with plenty of parking.

                  Bryson City: Join the block party downtown on Frye Street, 11-3, with music and special offerings at local shops. Food trucks and music at Swain County Event Park. Total darkness for 1 minute 57 seconds. Go to their website for details.

                  Solar Eclipse Train: Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from Bryson City, leaving at noon, to Dillsboro with a two-hour layover to explore the artsy town and watch eclipse. Returns at 5 PM. Tickets from $59/person. SOLD OUT. Go to their Website.

                  Lakes: Rent a pontoon or kayak/canoe (reserve well in advance) to watch from the middle of one of the scenic lakes in the area (Santeetlah, Glenville and Fontana Lakes). Watch from the top of Fontana Dam!

                  Nantahala Outdoor Center: Experience the eclipse while enjoying outdoor adventures in the Nantahala Gorge. Rental kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to watch from Fontana Lake. Take a guided rafting trip down the river. Zip line with panoramic views, stopping for moments of darkness. All trips include viewing glasses. Read more!

                  Gorges State Park: A 3-day celebration with free activities. August 19 is Nature Day with a series of guided hikes 10 AM-4 PM. August 20 is Fun Day with programs, exhibits, food and music 10 AM-4 PM. On Eclipse Day (21st), gates will open at 5 AM with activities 10 AM-4 PM with free solar glasses, food and music. They will close the gate when they reach capacity (1,600 automobiles). Hike to Rainbow Falls before the eclipse. They are located in the direct path (2 minutes of darkness), west of Brevard. Read more about the park.

                  Mountaintops: Hiking to a mountaintop with a view will be a very popular destination. However, most of these hikes are in the Nantahala National Forests with limited parking. Many will probably close. If you want to hike, arrive early in the morning and plan to spend the day. John Rock in Pisgah National Forest should have about 30 seconds of totality and it has a large parking area. More top spots for total darkness: Looking Glass Rock, Wayah Bald, Wesser Bald, and Devil's Courthouse.

                  Cherokee Cultural Eclipse Celebration (August 20 2-9 PM & August 21 9 AM-7 PM): The Cherokee have observed eclipses for millennia and have several names for them. The oldest is “Nvdo walosi ugisgo” with translation “The frog eats the sun/moon.” The traditional belief is the eclipse is caused by a giant frog swallowing the sun or moon. To scare the frog away, people made loud noises. Learn more at the Fairgrounds and the Museum of the Cherokee with warrior dancers, drumming, storytellers and craft demonstrators. 1 minute, 25 seconds of totality. Admission is $25/day and includes viewing glasses. 545 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee

                  Dillsboro: Park at Monteith Park (Old Home Town Road) for $2 and take a free shuttle 11 AM-4 PM into this artsy village with galleries, studios, shops and restaurants along the river. Also find extra vendors and a kid's recreation! Eclipse glasses available for a small donation to the local Merchants Association. 1 minute, 50 seconds of total darkness.

                  Brevard: West Jordan Street will be closed to traffic since it's the prime viewing spot - about a minute of darkness. Stop by the "Heart of Brevard" booth for a free moon pie! The public is also invited to Brevard College to watch near Porter Center - with viewing glasses available. The event at Brevard Music Center is sold out.

                  DuPont State Forest: We recommend staying away from this area since it's crowded already and facilities are limited. 

                  Franklin: Block Party downtown on Iotla Street, 1-6 PM, with 3 PM concert on the square. Total darkness 2 minutes 30 seconds. Free viewing glasses to first 1,000 people. Free moon pie and RC Cola to first 100 people! Try their EclipSmart binoculars in front of Town Hall. Kid's zone too. Many downtown merchants will open at 8 AM.

                  Downtown Asheville: Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square Park downtown on August 21, 12-3 PM, with the Museum of Science and UNC Asheville with music, food, and fun hands-on eclipse related activities led by local organizations. The eclipse will be 99% total here. Free

                  NC Arboretum: The first 250 cars will receive free eclipse glasses to watch from their gardens. They have plenty of parking, trails, exhibits and more to keep you busy before and after. 99% eclipse here. See our Arboretum Guide.

                  Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute: NASA scientists and hundreds of astronomers from around the world will come to this leading space research facility. Visitors can watch them at work. PARI is located deep in Pisgah National Forest and will be in total darkness for 1 minute and 47 seconds. General visitor tickets ($100/person) are SOLD OUT. They have some VIP event tickets at $750/person, a fundraiser for their outreach programs. Call Sarah at 828-862-5554. Go to their website for other star gazing events throughout the year. On August 11, 7 PM, PARI presents "Eclipse of a Lifetime" with a great overview of what to expect, campus tour and star gazing with telescopes, registration required, $20/adult. The campus will be open the Saturday before the eclipse with guided tours at 10:30 AM & 2 PM. Read more.

                  Great Smoky Mountains National Park: The road to Clingmans Dome will be closed both Sunday and Monday to all motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The park's event at Clingmans sold out in five minutes and ticket holders will take shuttles in. Newfound Gap Road (US 441) will close when traffic becomes too congested (so we recommend staying away from that area). Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains has a large field for viewing, with rangers answering questions. Expect a big crowd there. Cataloochee Valley will have a 99.7% eclipse, so the elk may come out to graze like they do at sunset.

                  Eclipse Online: Watch the NASA 360 Live Stream from Clingmans Dome on Aug 21, beginning at 12:15 PM.

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                    Downtown Asheville LEAF Festival August 4th and 5th, 2017

                    From: www.theleaf.org

                    3rd Annual LEAF Downtown AVL
                    in Pack Square Park

                    Friday & Saturday, August 4th-5th, 2017

                    LEAF Downtown celebrates communities, creativity, diversity, and families in the heart of downtown Asheville!
                    LEAF Downtown will further the goals of inclusivity, community partnership and economic vitality in the greater Asheville area, while driving the greater LEAF Community Arts mission to connect cultures & create community through music & arts.

                    Get ready to Turn It Up at the 3rd Annual LEAF Downtown AVL, taking place August 4-5, 2017 in the heart of Downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park. LEAF Downtown AVL showcases dynamic musical talent, immersive cultural arts performances and local handcraft & culinary artists. Join the LEAF community to experience funk at its finest – pulsing through stages, conversations, connections and more! Visit theLEAF.org/downtown for more info on this inclusive, family-friendly, FREE event!

                    Read More

                    Town and Mountain Realty is proud to sponsor the 3rd Annual LEAF Festival in downtown Asheville! Many of our agents have worked with and volunteered for LEAF for years and we are excited to get another opportunity to support our incredible community by participating in this event!

                    LEAF Downtown Asheville- Photo Credit Madison Link

                    LEAF Downtown Asheville 2016 - Photo & Video Credits Madison Link

                    Check out the video below with some clips from last year's downtown Asheville LEAF festival. Get inspired to come out and join in all the fun this weekend August 4th & 5th, 2017!

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