Outdoor Kitchens Provide Your Murphy, NC Home with All-Season Entertaining Options

When it comes to fun summer get-togethers, grilling hot dogs and burgers with family and friends just can’t be beat. You fire up the family bbq, smokers, charcoal or propane grill in the backyard, fill a table with tasty sides and desserts, and sip sweet tea or a cold one while you relax in a comfortable chair.

After Labor Day Weekend, however, the summer bbq often winds down and everyone moves inside for the season. But with a nicely equipped outdoor kitchen, you can enjoy many meals outside for most of the year. Learn how to give your Murphy, NC home a pleasant backyard cooking and entertaining space that still fits within your budget.

Modern outdoor kitchens and grills are a relatively recent phenomenon, gaining prominence during the 2008 recession. Cash-strapped consumers, who started cooking at home to save money, often enjoyed a cookout on the deck or patio. At that time, a grill and basic serving amenities comprised a simple outdoor kitchen. Then, as families sought ways to enhance their home’s value while providing more of a “vacation feel,” they gradually transformed their outdoor kitchens into extended living and entertaining spaces.

Today, new construction and remodeled homes often include some version of an outdoor kitchen. Although the bbq and grills remain popular, this coordinated cooking complex often features stylish countertops and cabinets, plus refrigeration and an onsite sink. Specialty equipment can include a built-in smokers, food warmer, ice maker, and even a nicely equipped bar center. Continue reading “Outdoor Kitchens Provide Your Murphy, NC Home with All-Season Entertaining Options”

Guide to Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse in Murphy, NC

Total Solar Eclipse | Monday August 21, 2017

If you’ve constructed a personal “bucket list,” you might have listed such items as “spend a months time in Australia” or “travel to all 50 states before you turn 50.” Chances are, crossing off some goals would take considerable time, and might also require a healthy budget.

However, you can easily achieve one of your “bucket list” goals on Monday August 21, 2017. If you’re in Murphy, NC (or nearby) on that afternoon, you’ll be a visible spectator for a not-to-be-missed celestial event for the ages: a total solar eclipse. Even better, you’ll be in one of the best viewing spots on Earth. Read on for your guide to this once-in-a-lifetime eclipse.

Because most of us haven’t ever seen a solar eclipse, here’s an easy-to-understand explanation of what will happen on August 21, 2017. First, let’s note the timeframe, as the most exciting action will occur in less than 20 minutes. At 2:33 p.m. EDT, the total solar eclipse begins in North Carolina. At 2:49 p.m. EDT, this spectacular cosmic event comes to an end.

In a nutshell, here’s what happens during a solar eclipse, according to NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). First, it’s common knowledge that the Moon orbits the Earth. Sometimes, the Moon’s orbit places it between the Sun and the Earth, preventing (at least some of) the Sun’s light from reaching the Earth. When this happens, a solar eclipse takes place. On August 21, Nasa has confirmed that most of North America will experience a 2-3 hour partial eclipse, in which the Moon partially blocks the Sun’s rays.

Halfway through this total solar eclipse event, millions of people who live within a 70-mile-wide swath from Oregon to South Carolina and peeking into Georgia, will experience a very short visible total eclipse, in which the Moon, in it’s path, will completely blocks the Sun’s rays from view. Depending on your location, the total eclipse will only last a maximum of 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Continue reading “Guide to Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse in Murphy, NC”

Active Murphy, NC Seniors Invited to Senior Games and SilverArts Competitions

With our region’s popularity as a retirement destination, you’ll find plenty of active seniors hiking our mountain trails and strolling the Murphy, NC River Walk with their friends. Others engage their creative spirits with activities such as quilting, painting, or writing.

The annual Cherokee/Clay County Senior Games/SilverArts competition celebrates our older residents’ athletic and artistic accomplishments, and encourages them to keep their bodies, minds, and spirits active. The 2017 Senior Games/SilverArts events will be held from April 29 through May 20, and will take place at several Cherokee and Clay County venues.

When our Senior Games/SilverArts participants compete in their individual events, they’ll have plenty of company statewide. From February through June, you can attend 53 annual Senior Games competitions throughout North Carolina.

These popular events are the brainchild of sponsoring organization North Carolina Senior Games, Inc., launched in 1983 to create an integrated health promotion program for adults 50 years and older. Participants enjoy a sport or art form, culminating in an annual regional competition that’s supported by family, volunteers, and spectators. Continue reading “Active Murphy, NC Seniors Invited to Senior Games and SilverArts Competitions”

8 Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: April and May

April’s arrival means our planting season is ramping up, and our Murphy, NC gardeners are immersed in seed starting and vegetable transplanting activities. And with the May 10 “last frost” date fast approaching, planting warm-season veggies is just around the corner. Best of all, dedicated gardeners might already be rewarded with nicely growing cool-season vegetables, planted during February and/or March. To give your plants a good start, and keep them healthy and thriving, here are 8 tips that will set you up for gardening success. 


Gardening in April can be like playing a roulette wheel. Much of the time, you can expect warm, sunny weather or spring showers – perfect for growing your vegetable crops. However, a sharp cold front can change everything, giving you freezing temperatures and maybe even a touch of snow. By planning for these wild weather swings, and protecting your garden accordingly, you’ll help your plants survive until May brings more predictable conditions.

Continue Seed-Starting Work: Until mid-April, keep planting your pepper, tomato, and other warm-season vegetable seeds indoors. If you miss that window, plan to direct seed these vegetables right after our region’s May 10 “last frost” date.

Plan Tomato Crop Rotation: Pinpoint a new spot for this year’s tomato crop. By switching up your planting location, you’ll minimize the chances of soil-borne diseases affecting your vegetables. Continue reading “8 Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: April and May”

Visit These 4 Scenic Picnic Spots Just a Stone’s Throw from Murphy, NC

Springtime’s warmer weather makes you want to kick up your heels in the great outdoors. Maybe you like hiking in the woods or playing some softball with your friends. Or, you might take the kids for a stroll along the Murphy River Walk. And if you’d enjoy a good old-fashioned family picnic, with a cooler full of sandwiches, sides, and cookies, you’ve got your choice of destinations.

You’ll find one enticing picnic spot in Murphy, NC, and two more in Cherokee County. Just a short drive away, neighboring Clay County offers another option. So get ready to hop in the car and enjoy some fresh air and good food.

Konehete Park: 699 Connehetta Street, Murphy, NC
This expansive community park borders the scenic Valley River, and is jointly operated by the Town of Murphy and Cherokee County. Besides the baseball and soccer fields, you’ll find a nicely maintained picnic area along with a kids’ playground.

After you finish your feast, stroll down to the river and relax on a bench under the trees. Or, burn some calories by exploring the Murphy River Walk, a beautiful 2-mile wooded walking trail that winds along the Valley River and Hiwassee River. Continue reading “Visit These 4 Scenic Picnic Spots Just a Stone’s Throw from Murphy, NC”

3 Fun-Filled Summer Camps for Murphy, NC Kids and Teens

Now that spring is finally here, Murphy, NC students will soon be counting down the weeks until their summer vacation. Although kids and teens might plan to become experts at their favorite video games, or spend weeks hanging out with their friends, their parents would likely choose more constructive activities. In other words, the parents want their children to get off the couch and exercise their bodies and minds during the summer. So, why not send them to summer camp? If that sounds like a good plan, check out three popular camp choices in and near Cherokee County.

Murphy, NC. 828-494-2859.

Kids who enjoy horseback riding (or would love to learn) gravitate to this weeklong horse riding summer camp adventure. North Sungate Farms is nestled among beautiful woodlands and meadows near Murphy, North Carolina – a perfect setting for a fun-filled midsummer session. Continue reading “3 Fun-Filled Summer Camps for Murphy, NC Kids and Teens”

6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine

With spring’s arrival just a few weeks away, you’ve got the urge to give your Murphy, NC home a big cosmetic makeover. In other words, you’re gearing up for some serious spring cleaning. To keep from getting overwhelmed by the project ahead, break the work into manageable chunks. Plan to begin with tasks common to each room, and then put the finishing touches on specific parts of the house.

Next, gather your cleaning tools and supplies, plus plenty of paper towels and/or rags. Include a set of sturdy rubber gloves to protect your hands, along with a mask if you’re sensitive to chemical smells. Then, crank up your favorite playlist and give your home some timely TLC before warmer weather begins. Continue reading “6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine”

Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March

With this season’s delightfully mild winter (so far, anyway), Murphy, NC gardeners are increasingly focused on the upcoming growing season. In fact, they might even be tempted to till the soil and get a jump on their vegetable planting work. Although waiting until the last frost date (May 10 in Cherokee County) might be a safer course of action, gardeners can take some important steps with these Tips for Prepping Your Vegetable Garden during February and March. Continue reading “Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March”

Fun Activities For Seniors In Murphy, NC and Cherokee County

Local fun activities for seniors are as diverse as the folks who enjoy them. For starters, you’ll often find ladies and gentlemen enjoying biscuits or waffles at their favorite Murphy, NC breakfast eatery. Next, some seniors might hit the grocery store or make the rounds of the local thrift shops. Other residents browse through books and DVDs at the Murphy Public Library, while hobby fans stock up on supplies for their latest projects.

Seniors who prefer group activities also have some attractive options. Whether they engage in gentle exercise with like-minded workout buddies, or socialize with friends and neighbors at a favorite gathering spot, they can enjoy those pastimes right in their local community. Looking at the big picture, Cherokee County offers some enticing choices for every taste. Continue reading “Fun Activities For Seniors In Murphy, NC and Cherokee County”

7 Energy Efficient Tips For Murphy, NC Homes

Energy efficient log homesAs winter’s cold temperatures make your home a bit chilly inside, you’ve been cranking up the heat to keep your family warm. And because winter isn’t the best time for outdoor activities, everyone has been spending extra time watching shows and surfing on the computer.  Thus testing how energy efficient your home really is.

Your family’s increased power consumption often means a higher electric bill, and you’d like to begin reversing that trend right now. By making your Murphy, NC home more energy efficient, you’ll save money over the long term. As an added bonus, you’ll reduce the demand on your power generation company’s resources. To get the ball rolling, follow these simple strategies that contribute to positive results.


During our region’s colder months, you’re focused on keeping your home comfortably warm, without spending a fortune in the process. You’ve tried to be conservative with the heat pump, and maybe you’ve been running the gas fireplace as well. So, don’t allow subpar windows and/or doors to sabotage your efforts.

Button Up Your Drafty Windows. If your home’s windows have gaps larger than ⅛ inch, seal those leaks by placing adhesive-fitted closed-cell foam onto the window sash’s bottom. Or, tape bubblewrap over the entire window, creating a plastic barrier that’s surprisingly effective.

Seal Your Home’s Leaky Doors. To decrease cold air intrusion through your doors, apply foam strips on each door’s top and sides. To finish the job, place a door sweep on the bottom.


Keeping your home toasty warm in the winter, and pleasantly cool in the spring and summer, just makes life more enjoyable. And when you’re relaxing inside with your family, you create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere with your interior lighting and accent lamps. However, your comfortable, well-lit home could be contributing to a higher electric bill. Fortunately, you can make several small changes that will help to get your electric expenses under control.

Fine-Tune the Climate Control System. To stay warmer during the winter, set your ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. Reversing the air flow helps to push warm air downward toward your living space. And while blades are stopped, wipe them down to eliminate any dust. Also, turning the thermostat down to 55 degrees at night will give your heat pump (and your budget) a break.

During the warmer months, minimize your air conditioning expenses by setting the thermostat at 78 degrees, especially when you’re away from home. Or, if it’s not excessively warm, run your ceiling fans instead to maximize air flow without placing demands on the heat pump.

Turn Down Your Light Consumption. To quickly and painlessly decrease your lighting costs, simply turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you’ve been leaving lights on when you’re away from home, consider putting them on easily managed timers.

In addition, consider trading your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the curly-shaped bulbs derived from tube-shaped fluorescent lights. An Energy Star-compliant CFL uses one-fourth the energy, and lasts ten times longer, than a similar incandescent bulb that emits the same amount of light. Although each CFL costs more than an incandescent bulb, you’ll typically recoup that cost in less than nine months,


Powering up your computer, TV, and household appliances is as easy as flipping a switch. When you’re finished, you hit the “Off” button and walk away, assuming that the device’s power consumption has stopped.

However, if each piece of equipment is still plugged in, it’s racking up charges on your electric meter. This “standby power” usage costs you more than you realize. In fact, standby power makes up 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy usage, with the average American household shelling out $100 per year. However, here’s some good news: you can easily reduce your standby power consumption, which will translate into savings over time.

Use a Switch-Equipped Power Strip. Install a power strip with On/Off switches for your electronic devices and other equipment. In your living room, for example, use a power strip for the TV and DVD player. Place another power strip near your computer, printer, paper shredder, and desk lamp. By plugging all equipment into an adjacent power strip, and turning off the power strip switch when those devices are idle, you’ll stop their electrical power consumption.

Unplug Your Power-Consuming Products. By simply unplugging your household devices when they’re not needed, you guarantee that they won’t add to the electric bill. While you wouldn’t want to unplug the refrigerator or home alarm system, for example, consider using this tactic on the microwave or bread machine.

Run Full Loads in the Washer and Dishwasher. Washers and dishwashers are the epitome of convenience. Several times a week, you hit the “On” switch, and clean clothes, dishes, and flatware appear in a couple of hours. However, if you run your appliances without full loads, it reduces their efficiency and costs you considerable money.

First, let’s say you throw a few things into the washer, and choose the appliance’s “Small Load” setting. Surprisingly, the machine will use almost as much water and energy as a full load of clothes. By running full laundry loads rather than half loads, your household could save up to 3,400 gallons of water annually, according to the United States Department of Energy. Speaking of energy savings, running one large load of laundry saves you roughly 25 percent to 50 percent of the energy used by two small loads. Even better, these water and energy savings translate into extra cash for your family.

Use a similar strategy to operate the dishwasher more efficiently. Although one full load consumes more water and energy than a half load, that single large load uses considerably less water and energy compared to two half loads. So, consistently pack the dishwasher full, and you’ll gradually reduce your water and energy expenses over time.

With this easy-to-follow blueprint, you can make your Murphy, NC home more energy efficient. Over time, you’ll likely see a smaller electric bill, giving you extra cash for home projects and enjoyable family activities.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team