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Brrrr… Simon & Pharis here… Talking about Winter!

 

Winter is a time when your beloved fur babies need a little extra care. So here is a little list of tips to protect your loved ones from the dangers of winter.

 If your pet spends most of the time in the backyard, you might want to keep them indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet -- they’re simply not that cuddly. But If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection during winter. Provide your dog with a warm, dry and draft free shelter outside. The shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

 

It takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold so outdoor animals will eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.Meanwhile, Indoor animals have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust their amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet!

 

Frostbite is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during their walks. Look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.


 

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly - even the smallest sip can be fatal! If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep your pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

 

If you live in an area with cold and icy winters then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws -- not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

 

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car… ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

 

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe and sooner than you can say "Spanish Terrier" we’ll all be hitting the beaches for some summertime fun.

 

Mahomet IL is One of the Best School Districts in Illinois!

by Rose Price

BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ILLINOIS

I am so happy to work in the communities that I service!  Four of the school districts that I work with clients who Buy & Sell Homes in everyday have been ranked on NICHE'S Best Public School Districts in Illinois, which ranks 8,738 school districts based on dozens of key statistics and 4.6 million opinions from 280,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly. In addition to that, Illinois has 200 School Districts in the state.  200...that means that our wonderful, albeit small in comparison to many in the state, has 4 that have ranked extremely well, in a category that is a PRIORITY for every family that is living here today and is contemplating a move to our communities in the future!

So, without further ado...let's take a look at those districts that made this coveted list!

Mahomet Seymour Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #25

Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in the Mahomet Township, Illinois. It has 2,981 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 74% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $30,358,000, spending an average of $10,454 per student. There have been 65 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Tuscola Community Unit School District #301 Ranked #38

Tuscola Community Unit School District No. 301 is centered in Tuscola Township, Illinois. It has 1,010 students attending 3 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 66% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $9,992,000, spending an average of $9,903 per student. There have been 14 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Monticello Community Unit School District #25  Ranked #63

Monticello Community Unit School District No. 25 is centered in Willow Branch Township, Illinois. It has 1,664 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 71% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $17,451,000, spending an average of $10,302 per student. There have been 55 reviews written and they have been mixed.

Mount Zion Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #85

Mount Zion Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in Mount Zion Township, Illinois. It has 2,410 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 76% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $22,448,000, spending an average of $8,968 per student.

**Some extra special news for those of you considering a move to the gorgeous Mount Zion area!  I have an incredible new, premier development...WOODBINE PARK PRAIRIE ESTATES that offers the "Peaceful coexistence between Neighbor and Nature"! An amazingly beautiful community that offers Home Buyers  Premium Lots in sizes of 1 to 10 acres....almost unheard of today!

                                  

If one of these School Districts sound like a place you'd like to live & raise your children...Give me a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at Champaignrose.com!

You can also search homes in each of these cities by clicking on the links below:

Homes for Sale Mahomet IL          Homes for Sale Tuscola IL       Homes for Sale Monticello IL       Woodbine Park Prairie Estates

10 Fall Maintenance Projects for your Champaign IL Home

by Rose Price

1. Time to Stow that Mow...errrrr!

Two Words: Fuel Stabilizer.  If your mower sits for months with gas in the tank, it will start to deteriorate and damage the internal parts of the engine.  You can protect from this with a $10 bottle of stabilizer.  This way, you can keep your mower in good condition over the winter.

Another mower tip is to cool and remove the spark plug the pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. After, pull the starter cord a couple times to distribute the oil.  This will keep the pistons lubricated and ensure an easy start in the springtime. Lastly, turn the mower on its side and clean out the grass and debris from the mower deck, finish and stow. Goodnight Mower til spring!

2.  Secure your hoses..

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and plumbing.  Doing this can result in cracked pipes, water damage and lots of "green" spent on your end! Don't gamble with the weather. If the water does freeze and expand...it's already too late.

3. Give your sprinklers a long break

Drain your irrigation systems.  Even deep buried systems can freeze, which again, leads to broken pipes and sprinkler heads. It's pretty simple:

Turn off the water to the main valve, then shut off the automatic controller. Once complete open the drain valves to remove water from the system. Once you've drained the water completely from the system, remove any above ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out.  If you don't have valves, then you may need to hire a pro to blow out the pipes with compressed air.  It may cost you a little bit of money, but it's well worth the time & money spent!  

4. Caulk your Cracks

Purchase a couple of tubes of colored caulk to match your exterior color then walk around your home and seal the cracks between the trim, window frames, door frames, and entry points of cables, pipes & vents. This is one of the simplest and most important jobs you can do to ensure you're not wasting energy this winter.

5. Get your head in the Gutter!

Clogged rain gutters may be one of the jobs you dread most, but they can be one of the costliest repairs if left undone. These can cause ice dams to form which often lead to expensive repairs, not just at the gutters & roof, but the attic, ceilings of your rooms and even the walls and floors!  So make this a priority; After all the leaves have fallen, remove the leaves, and other debris- including the gunk that forms from the gutters and flush them out with a hose. Make sure your gutters aren't sagging; tighten gutter hangers and downspouts.  If you find any colored sand or grit it is most likely from your shingles.  If you find enough of this, it may be time to replace the roof or at the very least have it inspected by a professional.  Click here for Recommended Roofers in Champaign/Urbana

*Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet from your home to prevent foundation problems

6. Raise the roof!

Look for warning signs of damage or any loose or missing shingles.  If shingles are missing, you should replace immediately.  Black algae stains are normal, but masses of moss could be a sign that a roof is decaying underneath.  If you do find moss, call a roofer for an evaluation. 

You'll also want to check your plumbing vent stack, which is usually lined with a rubber collar (called a boot) that may crack or loosen.  They will definitely wear out before your roof does.  So check it annually to ensure it's not cracked or loose.

7. Drains

Look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your home at least 6 vertical inches and ideally over ten feet away.  This way, you'll keep water from soaking the soil around the foundation, which often leads to cracks and leakage.   

8. Check your furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional before winter. These checks should take place annually.  Make sure to check the filters, which should be replaced every 2 months. If your HVAC includes a humidifier, make sure to replace this filter as well. Remember, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Don't put your lives at risk! Get your HVAC checked at regular intervals.

 

9. Prune the plants

Late fall is the best time to prune your plants.  The goal is to keep branches 3 feet from your house, so moisture doesn't continually drip on your roof and home during the winter and damage your home.  

10. Check your fireplace

This is important for safety.  Grab a flashlight and take a peek inside.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  Look into the flue to make sure it's free of birds, nests, branches and any other obstructions.  Check for missing or cracked bricks and replace damaged ones immediately. Next check for creosote buildup and clean your chimney thoroughly. Because creosote is a dangerous & highly flammable substance, using a certified Chimney Sweep is highly recommended.   

 

 More Winterizing Tips Below  

For more Home Maintenance Tips give me a call or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

 

Displaying blog entries 21-23 of 23

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