Archive for the 'Whimsy' Category

Halloween on the Streets of Grass Valley, CA

said on October 31st, 2017 filed under: Grass Valley, Localism, Whimsy

A typical Halloween Tuesday on the streets of downtown Grass Valley, California.

I love the small town life.

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Life in a Small Town Post Office at Lake of the Pines, CA

said on September 6th, 2017 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Whimsy

The Post Office just outside of Lake of the Pines is a trip.  It opens at 10 and closes at 4.  The post ladies know your name.  You can buy handmade jewelry.

Take a closer look at the photo.  How many post offices sell farm fresh eggs?  Ah, I love life in my small town!

In case you don’t know, Lake of the Pines is between Auburn and Grass Valley in the California foothills NE of Sacramento.



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Golf Cart Parade at Lake of the Pines

said on July 2nd, 2016 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Localism, Whimsy

Corny, Fourth of July Fun at Lake of the Pines.  Our Tammy Anderson took Second Place in the “Action Figure” theme Golf Cart Competition.


Tammy Gold Cart

(That’s Clark Kent out front in the white shirt.)


Here’s the First Place “Batmocart.”

Bat Golf Cart


And my favorite.  I don’t know what it is, but I like it.

Golf favorite


Nobody does the FOURTH better than Lake of the Pines (even when it’s on the SECOND!)


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Duplex for Sale, Really Cheap

said on May 2nd, 2015 filed under: Whimsy

This cozy duplex is for sale, cheap.  It’s somewhere in the desert, but I got lost so I don’t remember exactly where it was.  Rustic design, air conditioned through windows, rattlesnakes mostly re-located.


Beautiful Granny Unit.  Buyer to verify permit.


Bonus feature!  Low maintenance swimming pool included!



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A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Dog

said on April 15th, 2015 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Whimsy



Real Estate Dog

Dharma eyes

Daily Checklist

  •  Wait for mom and dad to get up
  •  Say good morning
  •  Get first treat from mom
  •  Get morning pills from dad
  •  Eat breakfast
  •  Pee
  • Wait for dad to get ready
  • Go for ride in the truck
  • Get special treat at Starbucks
  • Go for long walk in a favorite place
  • Pee
  • Poo (2 times)
  • Pee
  • Help dad with real estate
  • Get a bite of dad’s doughnut
  • Nap in the truck
  • Check on grandma
  • Get TWO treats from grandma
  • Go home
  • Munch ice cubes
  • Nap in the shade
  • Get afternoon treat
  • Pee
  • Play with dad
  • Get evening pills from dad
  • Eat Dinner
  • Get secret treat from mom that dad doesn’t know about
  • Go for night patrol in the neighborhood with dad
  • Pee
  • Poo (2 times)
  • Munch ice cubes
  • Get rubs
  • Fall asleep

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Lake of the Pines Easter Egg Hunt

said on March 30th, 2013 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Lake of the Pines, Localism, Whimsy


Lake of the Pines Easter Egg Hunt, or . . .


I Married the Easter Bunny!

There must have been a record number of children at the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

By the time I arrived, the first wave of toddlers had already completed their mad dash to egg satiation, and the second wave, the middle-aged ruffians were lining up.

The star of course is the Easter Bunny herself.

Hmmm, those ears . . . ?

That nose . . . ?

It all looks so familiar.  If only I could get a look at that cute little cotton tail, I would know for sure.

Yes!  It is her.  Shhhhhhh!  Do not tell a soul under 14 years old.  That’s CJ Jenkins handing out sweets and hugs.

I married the Easter Bunny!

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Getting Rid of Aphids on your Crepe Myrtles

said on October 17th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Whimsy

Our friend Anne Frank at Lake of the Pines called in to ask “how do I get rid of Aphids on my Crepe Myrtles?”

After a bit of research, I divided my answer into  manual, organic,  or synthethic treatments.  Synthethic is an euphemism for “chemical,” or course.

The two most highly recommended treatments are below indicated in bold italics.



Spay ‘em off with your hose or pick ‘em off by hand



Neem Oil spray or Safer’s Soap




Ortho Systemic Insect Killer (spray to get rid of them instantly)

Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed (mix it and pour at the base of the plant)


I might start by spraying the aphids off with water, then putting a bag of ladybugs at the base (sounds entertaining!), then pouring the Bayer Advanced at the base.


If that doesn’t work, nuke ’em with the Ortho.

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Bear River Clean Up

said on September 15th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Whimsy

Bear River (Rio Oso) divides north Placer and south Nevada counties in the lower foothills of California.  Each year volunteers from the nearby communities gather at the one-lane bridge where Dog Bar Road crosses the river to clean up our little “Bear.”  For the past decade local high school teacher, Jeff Carrow, who coaches and teaches at Bear River High School (appropriate, isn’t it?) organizes a crew of students to come out on a Saturday morning with trash bags and gloves.

Frequently I attach myself to Jeff’s group.  He taught English to my son, Luke, and pretends to know who I am.  Anyway, he seems happy with the extra help.  This year I brought along a friend and client, Rich Gregerson.  Do I know how to show my clients a good time or what?

Dharma, of course, loves to come along, though as she ages, it’s more supervisory than particpatory.

Here are some of Jeff’s kids performing a “sweep” of the shallows.

This is the Diving Pool where the more adventurous hurl themselves from the rocks into the deep (ish) waters below.  I have, myself, performed this feat of deering-do on many occasions.

I am pleased to report that the river and riverbanks were much cleaner than in years past, and by the time we left, the Bear was, once again, pristine and clean.

My haul?

plastic water bottles (3)

bottle caps (several)

broken glass (a small handful)

cigarette butts (thousands, so it seemed)

and the piece d’resistance . . .

a pair of men’s briefs (royal blue)

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McCourtney Transfer Station Correction

said on August 21st, 2012 filed under: Grass Valley, Neighborhood Profiles, Whimsy

The McCourtney Transfer Station

Last week I reported incorrectly the hours of operation. 

“Hours:  8 am to 3:00 pm every day of the week.  I thought McCourtney was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but I am looking at the new brochure and it plainly says, “every day.”

I was right the first time.  Drove out there today, Tuesday, and the dump was closed.  The sign on the gate says plainly that it is open “5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday.”

The McCourtney Transfer Station brochure is incorrect.


Maybe I saved you a useless trip.  You would have been mad at me, I bet.

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A Tale of Two Dumps (part 2)

said on August 16th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Grass Valley, Localism, Whimsy

Herein lies a tale of two dumps, Auburn and Grass Valley.  Actually, we no longer call them “dumps” as we did in olden times.  Now they are known by high-faluting titles such as Waste Reclamation Sites, or Transfer Stations, or Recology Facilities.  Are you impressed?  I’m not.  They are still dumps to me, delightfully stinky, dusty places where you take your garbage and unwanted detritus and dump it.

I am going to compare the Auburn Transfer Station with the McCourtney (Grass Valley) Transfer Station.  Sorry, ladies, these articles are, as CJ calls them, “icky boy stuff.”  I enjoy going to the dump, and I just can’t understand why CJ doesn’t get it.  Go figure.

The McCourtney Transfer Station

Hours:  8 am to 3:00 pm every day of the week (I thought McCourtney was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but I am looking at the new brochure and it plainly says, “every day.”)

How to get there:  From Grass Valley head southwest on McCourtney Road. Turn left just past the Animal Shelter a couple of miles out of town.  From south Nevada County, go with someone who knows how to get there on the back roads (Wolf to Duggans to Lime Kiln to McCourtney without getting lost out on Perimeter Road)

It’s a beautiful drive no matter how you go.

And it’s friendly at McCourtney!

Before you even go into the main Transfer Station, there is a little dirt road to the left that will take you down to the Green Waste area where you can dump leaves, brush, branches, lawn clippings, small trees (less than 18″) and untreated and unpainted wood.  By the way, your wood waste can still have nails in it,  I don’t know how that works, but it’s OK by me.  Supposedly, you are charged $2.25 per cubic yard, but it usually works out to about $5 to $8 for a pickup truck full of green stuff.  The guy at the shed looks at your load, scratches his beard, and says “Six bucks” or something like that.

Now, buckle up kids, it’s time to enter the best dump in the foothills, The McCourtney Transfer Station!

Un-like the Auburn Transfer Station, at McCourtney you start at the “Kiosk” for registration then get in the left lane for the “Scale.”  Cost is determined strictly by weight.  Residential waste is currently $70 per ton.  That’s a lot of garbage, a ton, a couple of pick up trucks usually.  By the way, I heard a rumor that with the recent “take-over” by Waste Management, the rates had gone up.  Not true.  So far, anyway.

Sometimes there is a line to weigh in at the Scale  Here’s a trick:  if you have scrap metal, recycle materials, appliances, or hazardous waste, go unload those items first, then you can wedge back into the Scale line.  The first station you will come to on the “tricky” route  is the Buy Back Shack.  You can sell your bottles, cans and so forth.  Unloading scrap metal is FREE at McCourtney (shame on Auburn for charging us for something they are going to sell) and, get this, there is always someone at McCourtney to help you get the heavy stuff off your truck.

There are stations to rid yourself of oil and paint, and other stations to get rid of  batteries and electronics.  FREE!  Yep.  That’s what I said.

You can unload your old refrigerators and air conditioners for $20 each.  Why does this cost twenty bucks?  A technician has to dismantle the unit the remove the refrigerants and/or oils.  Tires cost between $2 and $10 depending upon size.  Batteries are free.

At McCourtney, they will take almost anything.  Hazardous waste disposal is FREE.  It makes sense if you think about it.  The county would rather absorb the cost of proper disposal than encourage you to dump it out in the forest where the land will have to absorb the toxins.  So you drive through this shed and a technician in a white cover-all will unload your weird chemicals and unknown bottles of whatever.  Do NOT get out of the truck unless instructed, or you WILL get scolded.  By the way, you do NOT get any containers back.  There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds.

So, having dropped off your weird stuff for FREE and butted back in line, you weigh in at the Scale and head to the C&D station (construction and demolition) or the big Garbage Pit for mixed garbage.  The photo below is the construction debris area.  It costs slightly less than the mixed garbage rate.  I thing it is currently $60 per ton for construction debris.

This is the big pit.  They probably have a fancier name for it, but big pit works for me.

Notice how open and airy it is?  Not icky at all.  Back your truck up and get dumping!

Isn’t this fun?

Bulldozers!  Yay!  Boy stuff!

I love the McCourtney Transfer Station!

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