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Home & Garden

East Cobbers love their homes and gardens. The EAST COBBER home and garden blog features awesome home and garden happenings, ideas, deals and tips to improve your living environment. Do you have an idea for the H&G blog? Email submissions and photos to

Free Admission, Volunteer Opportunities Offered September 27 During Georgia’s “Your State Parks Day”

Free admission, dozens of volunteer projects and family-friendly events await Georgia State Park and Historic Sitevisitors on Your State Parks Day set for Saturday, September 27. Sponsored by Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, the nonprofit dedicating to preserving and enhancing the state’s natural treasures, Your State Parks Day is Georgia’s annual celebration of National Public Lands Day. The statewide event showcases how parks enrich communities while emphasizing the importance of local volunteerism.

Throughout the day, visitors can join volunteer projects such as re-routing a trail at Cloudland Canyon or invasive plant removal at Skidaway Island. Guests can also join fun activities such as fishing and paddling. To encourage participation, Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites will pay the regular $5 parking fee and historic site admission fees for all visitors. More than 60 participating locations may be found

“Your State Parks Day is about providing opportunities to practice stewardship through volunteer projects at state parks and historic sites,” said Friends Executive Director Andy Fleming. “We welcome all Georgia residents and visitors interested joining us on Your State Parks Day; however, it is important to remember that the need to preserve our parks for future generations isn’t limited to a single day. It is our hope that the individuals and families who volunteer with us on September 27 will continue to make a difference at parks throughout the year.”

Georgia’s Director of State Parks, Becky Kelley, said that volunteers are crucial to the park system, helping with everything from landscaping and trail maintenance to junior ranger programs for children.

“We wouldn’t be able to offer the activities and facilities that we do without our volunteers and Friends members,” said Kelley. “Even those who come out for a few hours during Your State Parks Day are making a difference. Many have such a good time that they come back as regular volunteers.”

To see a complete list of events planned for Your State Parks Day, visit The statewide event is part of National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands.


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Keep Cobb Beautiful and give back

On Saturday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, Piedmont Church will host Keep Cobb Beautiful’s free document shredding and shoe collection event. Household documents will be securely shredded on site at no cost. Gently-worn shoes will be collected and donated to people in need. Please bind or tape shoes in pairs. Only paper products will be shredded.

The following items are NOT acceptable: plastics, CDs, floppy discs, electronics, cardboard and large binders with metal rings or clips.

The church is located at 570 Piedmont Road in Marietta.


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Paint any room for $99 with ProPainting and Remodeling



Paint any room in your house for $99 through January 1, 2015. Interior and exterior painting, home improvement, remodeling and more. Call 404-587-4573 for a FREE estimate.


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Your library card: ‘The Most Important School Supply’

The launch of the 2014-15 school year is an excellent time for Cobb students and parents to make certain everybody has a Cobb County Public Library System library card.

We encourage students and parents to make sure library cards are up to date. Library cards for Cobb County residents are valid for two years.

Visit any Cobb library location to get a library card. Getting a library card is easy and only takes a few minutes. Parents and guardians should visit the library with their children, bring proof of residency and photo identification, and fill out a short form. While you’re at the library, learn how libraries can be part of students’ educational and entertainment plans during the busy school year.

Classes at the Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools began this week. Classes also start soon at many area private schools and for several homeschooled students.

For more information on CCPLS library cards, please visit our website at September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, a national drive led by the American Library Association (ALA). As the ALA campaign says, “a library card is the most important school supply of all.”


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Genealogy Society of Cobb County Georgia will meet August 26

The next meeting of the Genealogy Society of Cobb County Georgia will be held on August 26, 2014, at 7pm at First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church St, Marietta.

For the August 2014 meeting the Genealogy Society of Cobb County Georgia will have a presentation by Dianne Bean Barfield on ‘Religious Records and What They Offer the Genealogist’. Dianne is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and is a lifetime member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Dianne is also a member of the Genealogy Society of Cobb County Georgia and serves as its Education Coordinator.

For more information visit or contact


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Gardeners can enjoy fun nights out


A series of evening monthly programs on gardening will start Tuesday, Aug. 12, with “The Annual Sequence of Blooms Beloved by Worker Honeybees” at the East Cobb Regional Library, Marietta. The 7 p.m. event will be led by Master Gardener Rita Buehner. The Gardeners’ Night Out series, sponsored by the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County, will be held once each month through November. The next event will be “All About Bluebirds – and More” with Master Gardener Jim Bearden at 7 p.m.Sept. 9, at the West Cobb Regional Library, Kennesaw. Then the South Cobb Regional Library, Mableton, will host “Trees of our Lives: Small Native Trees for the Landscape” with Master Gardener Dawn Hines at 7 p.m., Oct. 14. The series will wind up at 7 p.m.,Nov. 11, with “Adaptive Gardening – How to Keep Gardening on Your Lifetime Can-Do List” by Master Gardener Joe Washington at the Mountain View Regional Library, Marietta. For library addresses, visit


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Adopt-A-Stream Bacteria Monitoring Workshop

The Bacterial Monitoring Workshop will teach volunteers how to monitor E. coli levels in their streams. E. coli is an indicator organism that is often used to assess water quality. Monitoring levels of E. coli can help identify possible sources of pollution. This workshop will focus on proper collection of a water sample, transfer of sample onto plates that will be incubated and proper interpretation of results. Volunteers who successfully perform the bacterial monitoring and pass the written test with a score of 90 percent or better will be considered a QA/QC volunteer for one year.  The workshop will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, from at the Cobb County Water System Water Quality Laboratory Training Center, 662 South Cobb Drive, Marietta. To register or for questions, email Mike


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Workshop to share information on help for homeowners

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, created by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury Department, helps homeowners who are current but underwater, refinance into a more affordable mortgage at a lower interest rate. Participants often save more than $200 a month. A town hall discussion will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14, at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson St. NE, Atlanta. FHFA director Mel Watt and experts from the Treasury Department, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Regions Mortgage and others will share vital information on efforts to help Atlanta area homeowners. The town hall will be held in the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex, Assembly Hall. To RSVP for the event, click here.


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Three Apps to Keep the Family Organized

The rush of summer is almost over, and what better time to get yourself organized? Here are three great apps that can help:

  • EVERNOTE – This free app helps you remember important tasks to help you stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.
  • MINT – Track your spending and keep your finances in check. Perfect for back-to-school shopping.
  • TRIPIT – See all of your travel plans at a glance, on any mobile device!

 (Source: Shop the Avenue)

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Real Estate Market is Thriving in 2014

Reaching For A Home

For years, our economy (which hinges largely on how the housing market is doing) was sluggish to say the least. Finally, in 2014, the real estate market is thriving. That’s right: THRIVING. Did you know:

1. The foreclosure rate slid to a seven-year low in April of 2014: Only 4.3 properties per every 10,000 homes. (source: Zillow)

2. More than 310,000 homes returned to positive equity during the first quarter of 2014. (source: CoreLogic)

3. Home prices rose for the 28th consecutive month in June of 2014. (source: National Association of Realtors)

4. The average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.13% in mid-July of 2014, well below January’s 4.50% average. (source: Freddie Mac)

(Source: Lori Greenwald, Keller Williams Realty North.