PlayTips July 9, 2024

Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Summertime is vacation time for many of us – a chance to take a well-deserved break and enjoy the warm weather with friends or loved ones. Before you start packing your bags for a sunny getaway, spend a little time preparing your property for your absence. Here are some useful things to do in and around your home before you head out on your vacation.

Install smart security. Treat yourself to a peace of mind by installing a smart home security system. It can be controlled remotely using your phone or computer, allowing you to lock or unlock doors and windows from anywhere with a single click or tap. These systems often feature extra perks such as video footage and access logs, enhancing your property’s safety.

Unplug and turn off your appliances. Reduce the risk of electrical fire and save energy by unplugging non-essential electronics and appliances such as your stove, oven and coffee maker before you leave.

Turn off the water supply. Shut off the main water supply or individual water valves to prevent the risk of any leaks or floods while you’re away.

Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to a temperature that will prevent heat and humidity buildup in your home but won’t waste energy (and money) while you’re gone; somewhere between 80 to 85 degrees is a standard number. Smart home technology comes in handy here; you can control your thermostat remotely and tweak it as needed.

Pause mail and deliveries. Don’t let a pile of mail or packages accumulate on your doorstep while you’re away. Request a hold on your mail at the post office or ask a neighbor to collect it for you. Remember to pause newspaper or grocery deliveries as well.

Clean up your yard. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, consider hiring someone to mow your lawn in your absence. Not only will your neighbors appreciate your dedication to keeping the block tidy, but your home will also look more occupied, warding off potential intruders.

Leave a light on. Consider setting a timer on one of the lights in your house; program it to be on during the evening, which gives the impression of someone being home (and wards off potential burglars). Again, technology makes this easy; if your home is equipped with smart lighting, you can set lights to be turned on or off according to your desired schedule.

Give someone your contact info. Let a neighbor, friend or family member know about your vacation plans; if possible, ask them to keep an eye on your house and provide them with your contact information in case they need to reach you.

With a little advanced planning, you can enjoy your summer vacation and feel good knowing that your home is safe and sound while you’re away.

1530 Hillyer Robinson Pkwy
Anniston, AL 36207
StayTips May 28, 2024

How to Keep Your Lawn Superb

Top 5 lawn tips for summer

5 tips for maintaining a healthy lawn during the summer months:

  1. Proper watering: Water your lawn deeply but infrequently. Early morning is the best time to water as it reduces evaporation and allows the grass to dry before nightfall, minimizing the risk of diseases. Watering deeply encourages deep root growth, which helps grass withstand heat and drought stress.
  2. Mowing practices: Adjust your mower height to leave grass taller in the summer, typically around 3-4 inches. Taller grass shades the soil, reducing moisture loss and helping to prevent weeds from germinating. Additionally, avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height in a single mow to avoid stressing the lawn.
  3. Fertilization: Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer early in the summer to promote healthy growth without causing excessive flushes that can stress the grass in hot weather. Follow recommended application rates and timings based on your grass type and local conditions.
  4. Aeration: Aerating your lawn helps alleviate soil compaction, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots more effectively. Consider aerating your lawn once a year, particularly if you have heavy clay soil or high foot traffic.
  5. Weed control: Regularly inspect your lawn for weeds and address them promptly to prevent them from spreading. Hand pulling or spot treating with herbicides can be effective methods, but always follow label instructions and consider using organic or environmentally friendly options if possible.

By following these tips, you can help keep your lawn healthy and vibrant throughout the summer season.

PlayStay May 14, 2024

Explore the Choccolocco Creek Watershed

The Choccolocco Creek Watershed is home to some of Alabama’s natural gems.


See Choccolocco Creek Up Close!

Choccolocco Kayak is a kayak rental facility located in Oxford, Alabama. We provide kayaks and transporation for a beautiful 1.5 – 2.0 hour float down Choccolocco Creek.

Visitors will be transported by van to the kayak put-in access point near Cider Ridge Golf Club. Visitors will float Choccolocco Creek until they reach the take-out access point at the kayak rental facility.

Users must be 18 years or older to rent kayaks. Users 8-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult to float in a standard kayak. Children under eight must float in a tandem kayak accompanied by an adult.

For more information, please call (256) 847-5191

Uncategorized May 9, 2024

What do This Summer in Calhoun County?

Well, born and raised in Calhoun County, there is so much to do in #ourbackyard and surrounding areas!  Check out the list below!


Tips April 29, 2024

Summer Honey-Do List

Summer is right around the corner!  Here are 5 House Ideas to tackle during the hot months ahead!

  1. Outdoor Space Enhancement: Utilize the warm weather to improve your outdoor living spaces. Consider adding or updating a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen. Enhance the ambiance with comfortable seating, vibrant plants, and decorative lighting. Creating an inviting outdoor environment can extend your living space and provide a relaxing retreat during the summer months.
  2. Landscaping and Gardening: Take advantage of the longer days and favorable weather to work on your landscaping and garden. Plant colorful flowers, shrubs, and trees to enhance curb appeal and create a welcoming atmosphere. Start a vegetable or herb garden to enjoy fresh produce throughout the summer. Regular maintenance such as mowing the lawn, weeding, and pruning will keep your outdoor space looking its best.
  3. Energy-Efficiency Improvements: Beat the summer heat and save on energy bills by making your home more energy-efficient. Install ceiling fans to improve air circulation and reduce the need for air conditioning. Seal cracks and gaps around doors and windows to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and installing programmable thermostats to optimize energy usage.
  4. Pool Installation or Maintenance: If you have the space and budget, installing a pool can provide endless summer fun for your family and friends. Ensure proper maintenance by regularly cleaning the pool, balancing chemicals, and servicing equipment. If you already have a pool, summer is the perfect time to give it a refresh with new landscaping, lighting, or pool accessories.
  5. Indoor Renovations and Repairs: While summer is often associated with outdoor projects, it’s also a great time to tackle indoor renovations and repairs. Refresh your home with a fresh coat of paint, update flooring, or upgrade kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Address any maintenance issues such as leaky faucets, malfunctioning appliances, or roofing repairs to ensure your home is in top condition year-round.
StayTips April 19, 2024

Buyers Final Walkthrough

A final walk-through is crucial for a buyer because it provides them with the opportunity to inspect the property one last time before closing the deal. Here’s why it’s important:

  1. Verification of Property Condition: The final walk-through allows the buyer to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when they agreed to purchase it. They can check if any agreed-upon repairs have been completed and if the property is generally in the expected condition.
  2. Identifying any Issues: Sometimes, issues may arise between the time of the initial inspection and the closing date. The final walk-through allows the buyer to identify any new issues or damage that may have occurred, ensuring they can address them with the seller before closing.
  3. Confirmation of Included Items: The walk-through provides the buyer with the opportunity to verify that all agreed-upon fixtures, appliances, and other items included in the sale are still present and in working order.
  4. Peace of Mind: By conducting a final walk-through, the buyer can have peace of mind knowing that they are making a sound investment and that the property meets their expectations before finalizing the purchase.

Overall, the final walk-through is a critical step in the home-buying process that helps protect the buyer’s interests and ensures a smooth transition into homeownership.

Play April 15, 2024

Calhoun County Young Professionals Summit

I was excited to Welcome the Young Professionals of Calhoun County at the 1st Annual Young Professionals Summit at Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Play April 11, 2024

Skirmish in the Valley

May 4-5, 2024
Come experience  living history

Skirmish in the Valley is a nationally recognized Civil War reenactment. We have been featured in The Civil War Times, The Civil War Courier, Alabama Magazine, The Abbeville Institute, and numerous other national and regional publications. We are also listed as a tourism destination with the State of Alabama Department of Tourism. Fiddler’s Green is listed as a film location as well, with the Alabama Film Comission. Come take a step back in time and experience what it was like to live back in the Civil War era.


Fiddler’s Green is a part of my Great-Grandfather’s 100 acre plus farm, which was before that, a part of a 1000 acre farm belonging to Mr. Butler Green.

Seven generations of our family have lived here on these hills and valleys. There were barns, a working gristmill and a store on this farm during the 19th century. We are proud to devote a portion of this property each year to helping others discover their very own connections to the time and era of the War Between the States, and all that that meant for people trying to carve out a living during that tumultuous time in the history of our country.

Play April 1, 2024

Chief Ladiga Trail Extension

The Chief Ladiga Trail is a rail trail in Alabama that stretches for 33 miles from Anniston to the Alabama-Georgia state line. It is the state’s first rail trail project.


ANNISTON, AL — The City of Anniston warmly extends an invitation for you to join us in
making history on Friday, April 12, 2024, at 5:00 PM CT, as we commemorate the
groundbreaking ceremony for the Chief Ladiga Trail Extension at Michael Tucker Park,
situated at 6514 Weaver Road in Anniston, Alabama.

Anniston’s trail extension will stretch an additional 6.5 miles, bringing the Chief Ladiga Trail’s
total length to approximately 39.5 miles. The Chief Ladiga will then seamlessly connect
Anniston’s Multimodal Amtrak Station to the state of Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail, forming
the longest paved pedestrian pathway in the United States by becoming an expansive 105+/-
mile paved trail. This visionary initiative opens up exciting prospects for trail bike enthusiasts
and commuters, providing seamless access to convenient train services.

At this time, city leadership would like the public to know that access to the trail will be
restricted until the project is completed. It is estimated that the trail extension will take 14
months to complete, with a projected completion date in Summer 2025. Periodic construction
updates will be provided to the public as the project progresses.

About the Project:
The Chief Ladiga Trail stands as Alabama’s inaugural
extended rails-to-trails endeavor, interlinking the cities
of Anniston, Weaver, Jacksonville, and Piedmont as it
traverses Calhoun and Cleburne Counties. Offering a
safe, motor-free avenue for travel, exercise, and leisure
amidst the great outdoors, this trail showcases a scenic
journey through streams, wetlands, forests, and
mountains, catering to families and outdoor enthusiasts

Research from Jacksonville State University’s Center for
Economic Development and Business Research
anticipates that the trail’s construction will stimulate an
economic output of $11.9 million. Upon completion, the
center estimates an annual economic impact exceeding
$1.3 million, based on the trail’s substantial visitation
rate of over 34,000 visitors in 2023.

Official Press Release

Chief Ladiga

StayTips April 1, 2024

Energy-saving tips for springtime in Alabama

1. Set your thermostat to 70°F. About 68°F – 70°F is comfortable for living spaces. This temperature range is the best thermostat setting in springtime when the weather outside is erratic. For additional energy savings, consider investing in a smart thermostat or following these guidelines for setting your thermostat:

  • Away from home: 65°F.
  • During the day at home: 68°F – 70°F.
  • During sleeping hours: 65°F.

2. Let fresh air in. When the weather heats up, try opening the windows instead of switching on the AC. Creating a cross breeze by opening windows and turning on ceiling fans can keep your home cool even as outside temperatures heat up.

3. Invest in insulated window treatments. Lined or insulated curtains, also known as “blackout” curtains, are another option for reducing energy costs. If you have drafty, older windows, blackout curtains can reduce your home’s energy loss by up to 25%. Insulated curtains can prevent cold drafts and block harsh sunlight.

4. Take advantage of natural sunlight. If you have well-insulated windows, you may save more energy by opening your curtains or blinds. Many homes have increased energy usage when one or two people in the household work from home. Relying on natural light instead of artificial light is a simple way to reduce daily energy consumption.

5. Get a desk light. Using a desk light to illuminate your workspace can save electricity. An overhead light uses more electricity than a desk lamp. A desk lamp is a wise investment to reduce your monthly energy costs if you work from home.

6. Use nightlights. Nightlights aren’t just for children’s rooms. Placing a nightlight in bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms and the kitchen can reduce lighting costs. Since nightlights have low wattage bulbs — around 4 watts compared to 50- to 100 watts for regular bulbs — using them during the evening can help save electricity.

7. Change your air filters. Dirty air filters force your HVAC system to work harder. Changing or cleaning your air filters every three months can save 5% to 15% on energy costs. Regular replacement of air filters also improves your home’s air quality, which can help you breathe better and experience fewer allergy symptoms. Check out our air filter page for recommendations! For your convenience, we offer the option to purchase a four-pack set that will last all year or sign up for a subscription plan to automatically receive air filters when you need them.

These top energy-saving tips can help you take control of your utility costs this season. Check out our  Save Money and Energy page for more tips. You can learn about our energy savings programs and the best energy-efficient products available, along with additional energy-saving ideas.


Source:  Alabama Power Spring 2024 Edition