The Unlikely Tenant

A proud moment… I actually won an AWARD for strangest showing at our Chico Association of Realtors holiday party a number of years ago.

I met an agent (whom I shall call “Linda,” because that is her name) at  one of my listings. Her clients had not yet arrived, so we went in to turn on lights. I headed to the bedroom areas while Linda went to the kitchen.

No sooner had I walked into the first bedroom but I heard a blood-curdling scream coming from the kitchen! Running toward the sound, I saw that Linda had wedged herself between the kitchen door and the wall. “What IS that?” she shrieked.

Looking into the pantry, I saw a pair of beady little eyes staring out of a pudgy, adorably-tilted head and heard a distinctive SNORT. I realized I had forgotten that the tenant had a pot-bellied PIG as a pet!

“Well, Linda,” I said as casually as I could manage without bursting out laughing, “It’s just a PIG!”

The award at the holiday party? A gift certificate to a local RIB SHACK!


The pig in the pantry!!


Sneak attack planting in unlikely places!


Ever heard the term “Guerrilla Gardening“?  

--Guerrilla Gardeners--

This morning I experienced one of those “synchronicity” moments. I was admiring the photos of a most talented young man, Mathieu Young (from Chico originally but now of L.A. and the world) and came across a “Guerrilla Gardening” video he shot.

Interestingly, I had a related discussion over the weekend with a CSUC student who came to help with our W. Lindo GRUB Community Garden (we built compost bins).

So just what is it?  According to Wikipedia, “Guerrilla gardening” is gardening on another person’s land without permission.”  It’s not a brand new concept; witness Johnny Appleseed way back in 1800.  The earliest recorded use of the term guerrilla gardening was by Liz Christy and her Green Guerrilla group in 1973 in the Bowery Houston area of New York, who transformed a derelict private lot into a garden.

There are plenty of vacant lots in Chico that could stand a little beautifying (as there are in any town).  I happen to think edible plants and fruit-bearing trees are  as lovely as ornamental, with the added benefit of being, well, edible!


An Entire Median Guerrilla Gardened!





Guerrilla Gardening” in L.A.-Mathieu Young





A short video on Guerrilla Gardening, Directed by  Mathieu Youngon

2011 Home, Garden & Antique Show!

Cooking demo (and samples!)

DON’T MISS this year’s HOME, GARDEN & ANTIQUE SHOW, Sat. & Sun., March 19th & 20th at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds! Gate opens at 10:00, and you will be amazed at the variety of good & services, children’s activities, demos, horticultural delights and FOOD offered.

100% of your admission stays local! Each year Soroptimist International of Chico puts on this great show to raise money to help those in need in the North State.  To find out more – click here.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home and yard or just want to browse the antiques (and maybe pick up a few gems), this annual show is a “must-do”!  See you there!

Fun for kids of all ages!

Soroptimists: making the world a better place!

Bidwell Park

One Mile Swimming Area

While driving a client around Chico the other day, I was asked what my favorite things were about our little college town.  Didn’t take long for me to respond: “The people, the laid-back pace, and the PARK!”  Now, anyone who has been in Chico for any length of time knows that the “park” means Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country (at about 3700 acres, including “Upper Park,” north of Manzanita Avenue).

The funny thing is, when I moved to Chico (sight-unseen) nearly 29 years ago, I didn’t even know about Bidwell Park!  What a gem.  Being a nature lover, it’s hard for me to imagine ever wanting to live anyplace that doesn’t have an amenity like this.  I do believe having such abundant access to the gorgeous trails, creeks, trees and views is what helps keep Chico people so happy and the pace so laid back.  Thanks, Annie Bidwell, for your thoughtful and generous donation to the people of Chico, and thanks to the folks who help keep our park the gem that it is!*

*To name a few:  City of Chico Parks Department (including the Bidwell Park Volunteer Program), Friends of Bidwell Park, Chico Creek Nature Center,

Eat Local, Chico

******Doing my best to "eat local" in Chico!******

September is “Eat Local, Chico!” month, and I’ll be doing my best to do just that. (Chico, true to form, is participating in the national “Eat Local, America” campaign.)

I often marvel at the abundance of fresh, local produce to which we have access here in the North State.  In addition to our many farmer’s markets, local stores like S&S and Chico Natural Foods are great sources of locally-grown produce.  And the local GRUB movement (Growing Resourcefully Uniting Bellies) has been in full swing this season, encouraging and assisting folks in setting up community gardens.

I’ve enjoyed participating in our little W. Lindo GRUB garden with friends (see photos below) and have been loving trying new recipes with our fresh-picked produce. (Special thanks to Liz and Gene for providing the space and working so diligently to keep our garden growing, and to the lovely GRUB volunteers!)  Along with a small standard organic garden, we’re experimenting with “straw bale” gardening (no digging, no snails/slugs, less bending!)  We also compost, which I love–less stuff clogging the landfill.

Kudos to local restaurants which have gone “locavore” (buying local produce):  Sierra Nevada, Red Tavern, Spice Creek, Crush 201, Bustolini’s, Sin of Cortez, Bacio Carry Out Cuisine and Catering, Guzzetti Catering, Grilla BitesCafé Flo, Raw Bar and Tin Roof Bakery.

My Netflix copy of the documentary “Food Inc.” just arrived, so I think I’ll kick “Eat Local, Chico” month off by watching it this weekend (after a nice fresh-from-the-garden stir fry and salad).

Here’s to eating healthful, locally-grown food!

Buy Fresh Buy Local

W. Lindo GRUB Garden - in the beginning

Part of the crew: Robert, Jenny, Liz, Gene, Laura

Liz and Janet plant straw bales

Janet planting pest-deterring marigolds

Tiled stepping stone I made for the garden

Garden in full swing...Mom & friendYvonne relax gardenside

Next Page »