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Christmas lights galore!

by Mayes Harris Team

The other night, my family and I drove around looking at Christmas lights, and hit the jackpot in the MacAulay neighborhood off Stumptown Road in Huntersville.  We entered on Hugh MacAulay Road and immediately saw a house and yard decked with lights to put all others to shame, plus a sign asking people to tune in their radios to hear the accompanying music.  We decided to leave this for our grand finale, and kept driving to see other houses and their lights.  Some streets were lighted with all white lights, others were decorated with all sorts of inflatables and mechanical displays – we saw a polar bear on a see-saw with some penguins, and Santa on a see-saw with some reindeer, a carrousel with animals, a Grinch coming out of a chimney, and a stable of Santa’s reindeer.  And then we came across a house that must have a whopper of an electric bill in December, but it was all worth it: beautiful colored lights everywhere!  Next door, their neighbors were trying to keep up, and also had an amazing display of multi-colored lights, including a digital display counting down the days till Christmas (which reminded me that I better start baking and get those last few gifts!!).

On our way out, we parked across the street from the pièce de résistance, and tuned our radio to 87.9.  We watched with glee and amazement as the lights flashed in time with the orchestral Christmas music – fantastic!!  Go see for yourself -- it’ll really get you into the Christmas spirit!

Wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmases and a happy and healthy new year.

Hey, baby it’s cold outside…

by Mayes Harris Team

Wow, has it been cold lately!!  The City of Charlotte recommends a few helpful things to prepare for winter, and Deborah Snoonian, Senior Editor of This Old House Magazine, has more tips on keeping your home and yourself warm, while saving a little money in the process:

Winterize your plumbing to prevent pipe breaks:

- Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your home with materials that are available at your local hardware store.  You can reduce energy costs by insulating your water heater also.

- Safeguard against frozen pipes, and seal openings and air leaks in your crawl space or basement.  Use cardboard, plastic or newspaper to seal air vents, if needed.

- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and irrigation systems.  Make sure outdoor spigots are off and insulated.

 

Take a look at this article from This Old House that offers handy warm-up-your-house advice like, using your curtains effectively, installing a door sweep to keep out drafts, changing your furnace filter and adjusting your water heater:

 

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,214743,00.html

 

I hope these hints help you stay warm during this unseasonably cold spell we’ve been having!

 

 

 

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