Walnut Festival 2015

images
7690P

On Saturday September 19th, the 78th annual Walnut Festival kicked off with the Twilight Parade, which wen through downtown Walnut Creek on Main Street.

images-3

Following the parade, a carnival opens at Heather Farms Park, with over 30 rides and many other attractions. The 4 day event run from Thursday, September 24, through Sunday, the 27th.  This celebration of the arts will provide many hours of family fun, with kid zone, live music, beer garden, great food, and a showcase of local artists, and craftsmen

images-2The Walnut Festival has a long history in this city, dating back to 1911, which the first festival took place.  The original festival was a celebration of the grape harvest, and was called the Grape Festival.  Wine grapes were a major crop in the area until prohibition, when most of the grape vines were replaced with Walnut Trees, changing the event to the Walnut Festival in 1936._8469241

For more information about this fun festival click here.  Hope to see you there next year!

 

Through Rose Colored Glasses – Unfortunately Not!

A Rose Lining…

FullSizeRender-3
This beautiful sunset I captured is a pretty but sad reminder of the wildfires that continue to rage through the Northern California Valley.  Smoke caused by the fire has made its way out to the Contra Costa atmosphere, creating dramatic red skies and sunsets.
So far, at least 13,000 people have been displaced by the fires, leaving many families unsure whether they will have a home to go back to.  The Valley Fire has already scorched more than 75,000 acres, including 600+ homes in Lake and Napa Counties.  A 72 year old woman was also killed by the blaze.  Firefighters estimate that the fire at the time of this posting is more than 70% contained.
This dramatic video shows a family narrowly escaping the flames.
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lVPB3HI9Wg
The region has sourced 2,400 firefighters, 8 helicopters, and 232 fire engines in fighting this fire.  The weather has been a mixed blessing, one day rain, one day high temperatures and wind.
091415-ap-valley-3-img
Please use this as a reminder to think of those effected by the fire.  The American Red Cross has a shelter at the Calistoga Fairgrounds and is requesting online donations.  There were also many pets and animals lost during the evacuation.  A Facebook page has been set up to help.  

Making progress on the Newell Pathway!

collage
Per my earlier blog post on September 9th , we began work on the new Newell Ave. pathway on September 12, 2015.  After years of rain and wear, the pathway had become very eroded and dangerous.  The new pathway will allow the kids in the neighborhood, dog walkers, & pedestrians to walk to school without trudging through the potholes and mud or by-passing them by walking in the street.
To repair the pathway, the area had to be excavated with a rototiller, replaced with compacted decomposed granite, and sprayed with water.  We had many members of the community donate and volunteer their time to this project.  Thank you to all of those who came out to help.  Special recognition goes to Chris Hockett & Adam Nelkie who coordinated the effort with their knowledge, resources and sweat equity.  Chris’s company Cal Engineering & Geology, Inc., donated $200 to buy everyone lunch – thank you!
IMG_2932
FullSizeRender-8
Chris Hockett to the left in the yellow vest.  Myself & Richard West as volunteers, I primarily directed traffic and it was great hear all the positive comments from the drivers – stating they would like to help!
We have completed about one half of the pathway, but the project is not yet complete.  We still need more donations and volunteers to finish the part from Magnolia to Olympic and from the Freeway to mid-Newell.  To help, please contact parkmead@parkmead.org.
FullSizeRender-4
And, remember, kids play and walk to school here, so please Drive Slowly!

Parkmead Block/Pool Party 2015

Parkmead Community Association Block Party

IMG_2878

As a board member of the association and having lived in Parkmead for 20+ years, I’m fortunate to know many of the residents and have been active on our board with the last few years, I have coordinated the Block/Pool Party held at Dewing Park.

Our wonderful neighborhood has 620+ homes that are primarily built in the 1950s, centrally located near 680/ 24, Kaiser, and a big plus, walking distance to downtown!  Parkmead primarily attracts families who want great schools and like the idea that they can walk to the movies or a great resturant and safe enough to walk home in the dark.

IMG_2876

The Parkmead  Community Association hosts various events throughout the year with a focus on bringing the community together.  This year on the last weekend of August we held our annual Block Party. The weather was perfect in the low 80’s, with kids and adults enjoying a cool dip in the pool.  We had  burgers and dogs on the grill with neighbors bringing their best side dishes… baked beans, peach crisp and meringue pie were some notable favorites!

IMG_2847

Dave Andre from Smokin’ Jay’s played acoustic guitar in the background.

unnamed-8The kids enjoyed the pool, while the adults enjoyed beer straight from the keg!

unnamed-52 local business also participated with informational tables:  Steve Allard, from Redcard Sportswear and Screen Printing, was giving out free t-shirts and Debra Minigerode displayed her Stella & Dot jewelry.

image1-2

Hope to see you next  year!

Newell Avenue Pathway Repair – Sept 12th


FullSizeRender-3With the cool weather in the air and kids walking to and from school it’s time to come together as a Parkmead community and spend Saturday September 12, 2015 on the Newell Avenue Pathway Repair project.

Our treasured pathway was originally build in the late 1990’s and since we’ve been through period’s of crazy downpour and years with little more then a drop the ground has become uneven creating potholes in some areas. The path is a danger for walkers, runners and quite difficult for pushing strollers. The overall pathway leads half a mile froFullSizeRenderm Olympic to the I-680 overpass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re looking for volunteers to help on Sept. 12 as we improve the path area at the entrance to Parkmead Elementary on Magnolia Way and Newell Ave. Through donations from our neighbors we have raised $4,000 to complete this area of work. While we love to include the community, this is definitely an adults job! Come, support your neighborhood, as we need volunteers to run a rototiller, spray the path with water, rake the new decomposed granite material to level the pathway, use a vibratory compactor plate and various other responsibilities. If we can get enough people to help we’ll complete this project in one day! If you can volunteer please contact Chris Hockett at parkmead@parkmead.org.

FullSizeRender-2

Beautiful New Listing 144 Mt. Etna, Clayton

Life can be crazy sometimes!

5 6

I met Sonya in January as she was getting relocated to CA from Oklahoma (can you say sticker shock), but she was very focused and bought a home in Clayton in March. As life happens, after 8 months at her new job, a previous employer contacted her as the VP was retiring and they could not think of anybody better to fill his shoes. They made an offer she could not refuse. I get a call to say I am moving, come list me.
2    18

First Open House today from 12-4! This home is move in ready and beautifully staged by Cathy Lee. Priced at $525k: 1587 sq. ft. duet boasts 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, views of Mt. Diablo and Clayton schools.

8 9

What do you think of the home?

 

Block/Pool Party ~ Parkmead Community Association

Join us Sunday 8/30  Noon – 3 pm for our annual block party.  

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 9.12.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 9.12.33 PM

 

Located at Dewing Park and featuring the acoustic music of Dave Andre of the Smoking J’s, request your favorite 70s – 80s – 90s songs, while taking a dip in the pool or enjoying our BBQ’d hot dogs and hamburgers.  For Parkmead Community Residents only, bring a dish to share, drink a beer, relax and enjoy the day!  Look forward to seeing you there!

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 9.15.55 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-28 at 9.15.17 PM

First Showing Open House 1-4 pm 712 Buena Vista

All the Bells & Whistles!  

Charming duet situated in Walnut Creek School District is now ready to show.  2 car garage, perfect size yard, walk to Bart, LarkeyPark  or quick access to 24/680 ~ what more could you want!  A picture is worth  1000 words, so here you go!

        12   7
  

13  15 11

24 22

 

CaliCraft Brewing in Walnut Creek

logoF

When we say “taste local” we mean it! Calicraft a micro brewer is opening a taproom in the Shadelands area of Walnut Creek by 2016. Perfect timing as the entire corder of Ygnacio & Oak Grove is under construction for the new Safeway Development.   To get a head start on the tastings visit your local Whole Foods (Nugget, Andronicos, Berkeley Bowl or favorite independent market) and pick up their newly announced consumer packaged items. Best known for their Cali Coast, it’s now available in 12oz 6pack cans! Thus making it safe and easy for the beach and summer outings.

unnamed

Also now available in a 4 pack 12 oz bottles is Buzzerkeley – my favorite, a unique combination of sparkling ale fermented with champagne yeast and star thistle honey – can you say hmmmm.  This beer is unique and tasty, when champagne is not available (shout out to Dawn Stom), it is one of my absolute favorites, a definite stable in my fridge, except my son tends to drink all my beer!

unnamed (1)

 

Look forward to seeing you there!  If you have any other microbrew recommendations, post them here.  I know Alameda, Oakland  & Emeryville have many tasting rooms popping up.

Beauty in a drought!

   IMG_2743    IMG_2742   IMG_2743

I have had a potted cactus in my backyard for years. This is the first year I completely turned off watering the back. I looked out my window and saw a beautiful white flower. Thinking it was the white rose bush, I walk out to take a look wondering how it possibly bloomed. What I found is this beautiful flower, never has this cactus produced such an exquisite work of art that I had to photograph it using various processes (odd my iPhone 6 displays them differently, my favorite was the monochromatic, but it is not showing that way on my Mac). I love them all.