Saturday, March 23, 2013

Moraga House Update - Final Week

Hi All

Well - we are finally in the last week of the sale of my Moraga house. I have moved out to a condo in Walnut Creek and signed the escrow papers yesterday. I was there this morning to get the carpets cleaned and took some pictures of my camellias. They are just beautiful and leaving them right now feels wrong.
Japanese Maple
Camellia and Loropetalum

Last week Nick was here to help me move, thank God! Or it never would have happened... We got a container and filled it up with things to go to Mokehill and then the movers came and moved me to Walnut Creek.
It is so small this new place, but it is in a really good location and a nice, secure complex. I have signed a year lease so I have to stick it out and see what I can do. Now, if I can just find room for all my kitchen things, that would be a miracle!

Hopefully, I will make it back to Mokehill by Mid-April... Julie

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Moraga House Update - 3/10/13

Did you remember to turn your clock forward?

Welcome to Daylight Savings Time! Man, I hate turning the clocks forward or backward... it feels worse than jet lag to me for some reason. Why can't we just leave it alone? It works itself out eventually.

Moraga House Sale Update 

The buyer of my house in Moraga had so many inspections done it was unreal...even sewer line inspection when seriously, this place was built in 1984 and doesn't have the same issues as older homes. Even though the buyer signed an "As Is" offer, after the inspections there were some requests that I take care of some things. The first thing was a few windows where the seals were broken and the windows damaged. I spent the morning talking to people about that, those that were open on Saturday, and got a really good guy to come out and give me an estimate. He is owns a franchise of a company called the glass guru, and come over and spent a lot time explaining the process to me. (Glass Guru of Concord) The other glass shops weren't open or gave me a ridiculous quote over the phone. I am going ahead and scheduling him to fix the windows. I will let you know how he does with this, so far he has been way ahead of the others in the business.
The other items on the list were: 
Minor Roof repairs - I said "no" to that one since the roofs are maintained by the homeowner's company.
Money to fix up the chimney and towards the repair of the A/C. I said yes to those.... I had disclosed the A/C not working so was aware of it.
Here is the funny part - my realtors (yes I have two of them) came by to see me about 1:30pm on Saturday to see how I was doing with the requests. They came prepared with measuring tape to measure the windows and to discuss the strategy for reply. When I told them the windows have been quoted and ordered, the AC repair guy has come and gone, and here is what we are going to do, they were dumbfounded. They couldn't believe that in half a day I had taken care of everything... my guy realtor says, I have barely decided what kind of coffee to have today! They were also impressed with how well I negotiated the purchase and this amendment, they didn't believe that what I was asking for would be accepted. I said the buyer is a lot like me (she is very similar,  but just an older version) and I know what I would consider reasonable. They kept saying you are just wonderful to work with, etc....whatever. 
The last thing to happen is the appraisal which is Tuesday. If that doesn't have any surprises we should be closed by the end of the month. 
Nick is driving from Tucson today to spend the week helping me pack... so hopefully we get everything done before the movers show up on Saturday. (Movers! There is another story all together!)

BTW - The grapefruit soda recipe was good, but the stevia made it taste flat. I need to use real sugar next time.

Here is the recipe from " Organic Gardening" magazine - you can use it for almost any citrus;

1 grapefruit
1 cup sugar

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of the grapefruit. Juice the grapefruit and put in a measuring cup, add water to get to 1 cup of liquid.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together the zest, liquid and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring to make sure all the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool. (Letting it sit like this helps the flavor get stronger as well.) Strain the liquid and put in a container in the refrigerator.
3. To make soda, use 3 tablespoons of syrup with  8 oz of cold carbonated water.
Keeps for  2 weeks...

Try it and let me know what you think...


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mokelumne River Movie Fundraiser 3/24/13

I got a really nice comment on the post I did when EBMUD decided to not go ahead with raising the Pardee Dam and I wanted to share it with you. Also, there is a fundraiser at the end of the month which is a movie showing in Sutter's Creek. Sutter's Creek is a famous town where the original gold find was, and it has Sutter's Fort as the main tourist attraction. But there are also things like wineries and cute shops and other things to see. 
Here is the comment -

Hey, Julie: I just ran across your blog. Thanks for the nice write up on the Mokelumne. Yes, in this case the river won -- and it won because of people like you who stood up and said, "Enough. This river gives enough, and we need to protect what's left of it." Those of us who led the charge for the Moke at the Foothill Conservancy were gratified by all of the local support, happy with the legal victory, and yes, really pleased when EBMUD dropped the dam from its water plan entirely. Now we're trying to secure Wild and Scenic designation for the river. If your readers want to know more, they should see the Moke section of our website at Thanks !

And here is the information on the moving showing - and if you can't make it but are interested in the group and what they are fighting for, please visit their website for more information. They will do rafting trips sometimes as well although that never worked out for me date wise yet.. 

March 4, 2013
Wild and scenic Mokelumne
Support the effort to protect and preserve the Mokelumne River:
Donate to Foothill ConservancyJoin Foothill Conservancy
Have you signed our endorsement list?
Go online!
 E-news from the Mokelumne River Wild & Scenic Campaign  
Special film showing in Sutter Creek
Green Fire focuses on the teaching, life and legacy of legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold.
Greenfire_web 2Join your friends at the historic Sutter Creek Theater at 4 pm on Sunday, March 24 for a showing of Emmy Award-winning film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time. Director Steve Dunsky will introduce the film and answer questions afterward. 
Green Fire explores legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold’s life in the early part of the 20th century and the many ways his land ethic idea continues to be applied around the world by ranchers, city dwellers, and biologists working to bring back endangered wildlife.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.
You can order tickets online.
For more information on the film showing, see the Foothill Conservancy's website.

See you at the theater on March 24! Then we hope you'll enjoy dinner out in Sutter Creek.

Chute_mainweb 2
Foothill Conservancy welcomes new executive director, Cecily Smith
Join us in welcoming Cecily Smith as the Conservancy's new Executive Director. Her experience and skills will help us Save the Moke! You can meet her at the office, call her at 209-295-4900 or send her a welcome e-mail.

It's time to Save the Moke for Good

Permanent protection of the Mokelumne River depends on securing National Wild and Scenic River designation. Please share this message with your friends and neighbors and urge them to sign on now!

Join the Foothill Conservancy
Even though there are many people who love the Mokelumne, protecting and restoring the river depend on having a strong nonprofit organization that speaks for the Mokelumne and jumps into action when needed. Without dues-paying members, we cannot continue our good work with you to Save the Moke. Please join the Foothill Conservancy and make sure the Moke continues to have a strong voice based right here in the upper Mokelumne watershed.
Foothill Conservancy
P.O. Box 1255  Pine Grove, CA 95665   209-295-4900


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Moraga House Update - Under Contract!


I am under contract to sell the Moraga house! Now I am trying to get my stuff packed and arrange movers. Because I am doing 2 moves it is a little harder to find someone... there are in this world, local and long-distance movers. Since MokeHill is 120 miles away, it is considered long distance and only a few will do that move.
My plan is to move the bulk of the furniture, kitchen and clothing to the new WC condo the weekend of the 16th.. and then the next weekend move the rest to MH. 
In preparation for that I am selling my big, comfy couch and ottoman set and the full-size bed in my guest room.

This weekend is about packing and purging and hopefully my back holds out! I am trying to make something creative today, grapefruit soda. I have a Blanco d'oro grapefruit tree which is the really sour grapefruit. I got my 'Organic Gardening' magazine yesterday and they have a recipe to make a simple syrup that you add to cold carbonated water. So I did it with my grapefruit and Stevia, because I am not big on sugar stuff.
First you take off the peel from 1/2 of a grapefruit and juice 1 whole one. I juiced 1 and 1/2 and ate the other 1/2 for breakfast. You add enough water to make 1 cup and boil it in a pan with 1 cup of sugar until it dissolves.

Strain and cool it. I have it in my fridge right now cooling and will add some tonic water and ice to it later to see how it tastes. I really enjoy these kinds of experiments - just gives me a break from my everyday tech job that is all about computers and stress! Will let you know how it tastes.... Julie