New Little One.

At 10:55 on Sunday November 4th. We had a new addition to our extended family. Our best friends Kristen and Jay Sanders delivered a new healthy baby boy named Cooper James Sanders. Both mom and baby are doing great and we’ll hopefully have pictures up very soon.

Picking out a new front door

I think we’ve been pondering the idea of replacing our front door since the day we moved into this place. If you live in an old house you know there is no such thing as Low Maintenance. Because our front door faces the west, it gets beat with late afternoon sun, which has caused cracking and a constant need for painting.

Last weekend we went to Viking door in san jose (www.vikingdoor.com) because they were having a parking lot sale. We found some great finds, but of course got upsold on a NEW door.  But here’s the issue…apparently, according to my friends, I’ve become quite a “house snob” and am quite opinionated about details of homes. My gut tells me that a proper wood door is the RIGHT door for our home. Not that we have the perfect example of a california bungalow but it just feels right. But there is something to be said about a fiberglass door that never needs paint or upkeep and has a lifetime warranty. I know what your thinking “fiberglass?” You’re envisioning some awful white front door with rediculous floral leaded glass ala Home Depot. But when you see it you might change your mind…I know I did. I’m still having an internal struggle for sure but I may be leaning toward the fiberglass door. Am I crazy. What do you think?

IWP Craftsman front door

Imagine it without the stained glass. I think it’s a pretty nice door. And of course my real estate mind is kicking in with “…upgrading your front door is the single most effective thing you can do to improve curb appeal…” Maybe I watch too much HGTV.

New Investment in San Luis Obispo

The Fucillo Family recently purchased a Condo in San Luis Obispo as a rental investment. I think it’s a great place. Something I would have been really happy to live in while I was at CalPoly. Only three blocks from downtown and a quick bike ride to school. It made me a little nostalgic for my school days there. I love San Luis….now I just need to figure out how to make money there.

670 Chorro Street

Late Summer in the Vineyard

Things are really picking up in the vineyard. A few weeks ago we put out nets to keep the birds off of the fruit. And talk about fruit – It’s going to be a big year this year. The vines are covered in fruit this year. At the current pace we should be harvesting sometime in the last two weeks of september.

Netting

Networking for life

So recently I finished reading a book by Keith Ferrazzi called “Never Eat Alone” that really changed my whole way of thinking about networking. (http://nevereatalone.com) I had always viewed networking as the stuffy, annoying, networking meetings with people running around having very shallow conversations just to get their business card out to as many people as possible. But this books changed my viewpoint. My goal in meeting new people is to try and make a connection with the people I meet. One that could ultimately lead to a real relationship. This book really boiled it down for me. That it shouldn’t be difficult, even for someone like me who leans more to being an introvert.  Although he does a much better job of describing it:

 To some, “Networking” has become a dirty word – and rightfully so. It conjures up rooms of unemployed job-hunters desperately and frantically searching for a quick way in to a position. Or, it’s smarmy salespeople collecting business cards that they toss away when the quick buck doesn’t appear as quickly as hoped. Together, we will do something very different with the word Networking. We will define it as forming genuine relationships and building genuine community — a community of relationships that helps everyone’s well-being and success.

 Hopefully I’ll find more time to write on the subject. But for now I’m still diggesting all the details from the book and putting them to work.

200 miles to Santa Clara.

So Jaimie and I have started a new “Locavore” diet. Our main goal really is to be conscience of where we spend our food dollar. And also to eat a little heathier. Here in California we are blessed with a wide variety of food options, but that does not prevent Safeway from stocking tastless peaches and tomatoes even in season. What got us started on this was a trip to southern oregon, which seems to be very much for Local food, and the trip back listening to the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver on tape during the trip home. When we arrived home we decided to give it a try.

Why 200 miles you may ask? Why not 100 miles like I’ve heard so many people talk about recently. While we most certainly have great food and products in the greater bay area, I am a Central Valley Kid at heart. The majority of food produced for consumption not only in california but for the whole of the US is produced in the 99 corridor of the central valley of california. This is also where the greatest push for Conventional Big Ag business is occuring and why we get tasteless produce at our local supermarkets. So in my mind, it’s easy for a farmer in the Bay Area, say Santa Cruz, to go organic and sustainable. It’s trendy and there is a client base here that will pay for their products. It’s a whole different thing for a farmer in the central valley to go against the grain and start growing food based solely on taste. Farmers in Merced and Fresno counties are hooked on the cycle of Monsanto seeds and chemical fertilizers and pesticides like a bad drug. I want to support the small family growers who look at sustainable farming practices as the right thing to do, for their clients, their families and the environment.  

Landcaping Complete…sort of.

So we’ve finally completed the landscaping of our home in Santa Clara, for the most part. And boy are we glad it’s over. The project as a whole was a big success, although I think most of it had to do with our tendency to get really involved. We can’t say enough good things about our landscape designer Alison at Botany of Design (www.botanyofdesign.com). She’s got a great eye for design and super easy to work with. I wish we could say the same about our installer LandGro, or as Jaimie says “LandSlo”. We’ve found an all to common trait among certain contractors that have apparently no understanding of customer service. And LandGro was no different. They’d show up for two days and then we wouldn’t hear from them for a week and half. Interestingly enough though when it came time to pay the bill we heard from them on quite a regular basis.

Overall though we’re very happy with the end result. Everyone who walks buy complements how it looks and after 5 years in the house we will finally be able to have guest out in the back yard.

Major Update

Well it’s been a while since I updated the site so this one will be a doozie. Hopefully I will make a better attempt to keep this updated more regularly. On the home front, we’ve pretty much finished the landscaping on the front and back yard so that’s good. Also Jaimie and I have started a more “eat locally” food kick. We’re trying our best to eat food produced less than 200 miles from our home in Santa Clara…more on that later.