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reflections Rosemary Joles

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.-W.E. Johns


ou can take the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl. Or so they say. For 14 years we lived in the village of La Mesa at the very first wee humble cottage. It was a sweet little 1930s Spanish bungalow with living room windows that opened out and had no screens. I loved drinking my morning coffee while peering out at my garden with no visual hindrance. The front patio was our dining room. Yes, it was that wee. 565 sq. ft. wee. We lived in a tiny house before it was cool! There, I created a lovely garden with a vine that looked like butterfly wings in the breeze, a plethora of succulents, a rescued fig tree, and a beautiful old rose that was planted during the early 70s. Shade was provided by a volunteer, yet gorgeous Jacaranda. I even miss its horribly messy flowers and leaves. Stepping out onto the sidewalk from under its leafy branches would automatically mean you were 10 degrees warmer. People would stop, thinking we were a restaurant and ask for menus. During Octoberfest people would rest their weary selves at the dining table to eat and enjoy their bratwurst while enjoying the sounds of a trickling fountain and polka music or the dreaded chicken dance for the umpteenth time in the background. We tried our hand at a variety of tomatoes and had various degrees of success, along with green beans which did fairly well. Carrots and cucumbers, my favorite veggie, were both dismal failures. Rosemary, grown in two containers, did well in one, but crashed and burned in another just five feet away. Although it was a small garden, it was a form of connecting to the earth as I did in my days on the farm. I will always have wonderful memories of gardening there. We now live in the second wee humble cottage and have upgraded to 875 sq. ft. Still pretty wee by North County standards. The garden at our new cottage was uninspiring. Rock everywhere and no trees doomed many of my plants because they were accustomed to being in shade. I’ve had to retrain my gardening gene completely. Our yard has stayed the same because not only was my life full, but it really did not stimulate my creativity. That is until I found the San Diego Gardener Group on Facebook. Created by Nan Sterman of PBS’s “A Growing Passion” and John Clements of, a tree and orchid expert, it has stimulated my creative process, and a garden plan has ensued. Inspiration has flowed easily because of the passionate gardener/ urban farming experts who are willing to let their knowledge flow freely. I’ve learned about insects, vermin, plant diseases, what will grow here in our microclimate and what won’t. It’s opened my eyes to wonderful resources here in North County, such as Grangettos Farm & Garden Supply in Escondido, Clausen Nursery in Vista, Waterwise Botanicals in Fallbrook, Anderson’s in La Costa, and Weidners and the Solana Center in Encinitas. We’ve learned how to prune and care for our fruit trees and roses, and create compost using red worm wigglers (vermicomposting) with free classes that were offered. Whether you’re from the farm or not, if you have an interest in gardening, I promise you won’t be disappointed by joining. Should you decide to participate, make sure to answer the three questions, otherwise no entrée pour toi into the group. Happy urban farming! FROM THE FRONT PORCH JOURNAL april/may/june contributors:

Front Cover Photography Scott Carmello


Staged Today Sold Tomorrow

Copyright ©2010- 2018 From The Front Porch Journal

Reflections: Rosemary Joles A Note from Rosemary: Rosemary Joles Mortgage Memo: Carolyn Plummer On Our Porch: Rosemary Joles Feels Like Home: Lisa Vasey Transforming Spaces: Cheryl Starbuck Nitty Gritty: Susanne Romo The Nibblers Digest: Marco Sawrey & Karin Zonis Sawrey The Cork Connoisseur: Beth Fraitag Scripps Pier: Scott Jones | Upcycle: Gail and Jim Hallemeyer Travel The World: Beth Taylor Travel San Diego: Susanne Romo Useless Knowledge: Todd Joles Bravo and Mia Bites: Todd Joles Books or Blogs: Todd Joles Podsibilities: Todd Joles Photo credits if not noted: & Rosemary Joles Editing for Rosemary’s Articles: Barbara Allen






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18 From the Front Porch Journal Published by and compliments of:

Rosemary Joles

REALTOR®, Cal BRE # 01095314

619·405·7673 258 N. El Camino Real, Ste. C Encinitas, CA 92024

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reflections the real estate brief a note from rosemary the mortgage memo home on our porch –kensington home feels like home –creating an entry nitty gritty organize it –4 tips for decluttering insurance 411 –vacation rentals bon vivant the nibbler digest –pizza the cork connoisseur –wine numbers time-out –museum of making music et cetera where’s rosemary delish –naked persian turkey burger around our town –scripps pier voyage travel the world –magical ireland travel san diego –barrio logan minutia useless knowledge bravo and mia bites rosebud’s garden –nectaplum upcycle –industrial to farmhouse bits and pieces ponderings podsibilities books or blogs park exploration –embarcadero sd word find –native plants two lifestyle sd theatre sd adventures sd concerts domiciles from east county to the coast tidbits front porch wisdom out of the mouths remember when –ken cinema


a note from rosemary “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” -John Ed Pearce


ere we are at article 9, of the home-buying process. When I started this process, I had no clue it was going to take so long, but we are coming to a conclusion on the purchasing process, at least where the agent is concerned. In the last issue, I shared the disclosures that are given to a buyer and seller by the brokerages and/or agents that represent the buyer and/or seller. We are going to continue with the final few documents that are required in a purchase. So are you ready? Let’s get started. The SBSA (Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory) is generally signed with the purchase agreement or shortly thereafter. It is a 57-paragraph, 12-page document educating the buyer and seller of what they should be aware of in the purchase or sale of a home. Some of it is a reiteration of other documents, but is definitely worth the time to read through so that both parties are fully versed on what to look for in the process of a home sale. There are two final disclosures that happen during the buyer-contingency period of a transaction. The first disclosure is the LAD (Local Area Disclosures for San Diego County.) This document is important to read as it discloses numerous things to a buyer, such as if the home is in a flight path. While it is redundant to the Natural Hazards' Disclosure, it is much more specific to what is in any given neighborhood within San Diego County. For example, Tierrasanta’s canyons were once used for military ordinance. The final disclosure form given separately by the buyer’s agent and listing agent is an AVID (Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure.) This form covers exactly what it sounds like. The agent walks through the home and writes down anything that he or she visually sees, hears, or smells at the property. Note: This is not to be replaced by a home inspection by a qualified CREA certified home inspector. Agents are not home inspectors! The agent will generally note things like stains in the carpet, scuffs in paint, or it could note that the seller installed new flooring in the living room, etc. So that’s it, can you believe it? Of course in the real estate world things are constantly changing. Laws and forms change affecting the process and the real estate market. The recent tax reform is a good example. (Note: There is a video that I did on this subject on, if you want to know how the tax reform affects you. It’s great information and worth the watch.) By this time next year, there will be additional changes, guaranteed! This is why it’s important for both buyers and sellers to work with an agent who treats their real estate career as a business. It’s not a hobby, or a way to make some extra cash while one is working another job. Your largest asset needs to be done through someone who knows the most recent laws, who keeps up to date on the latest disclosures, and who has their hand on the pulse of the current market. In other words, you’ll want an agent who is focused on real estate full time! I say this often, and I will keep on saying it San Diego County Market Update until homeowners and buyers finally realize Home Type Inventory Supply Median Sold Price Days on Market what they are doing. Why would anyone place their largest asset or purchase in the Detached 1.7 Months $614,000 30 hands of someone inexperienced? DON’T Attached 1.3 Months $426,000 28 DO IT! I don’t care if they are related to you, your best friend, or you want to help a new, young agent out. The only person you are hurting is yourself when you don’t choose wisely.

In the next two issues, we will have experts from both title and escrow companies to inform you about what goes on in their world when a home purchase is happening. In the meantime, if you are considering buying or selling this year or next, it’s never too early to seek the advice of a real estate professional and lender. I can be reached at 619.405.7673 or at


the real estate brief

carolyn’s mortgage memo make sure you have the right pre-approval


s most of you know, in today’s real estate market, it is crucial to be pre-approved before you start shopping for a home or investment property to purchase. When the real estate meltdown happened in 2008, and lending guidelines became more stringent, it became the norm for the seller to require a preapproval letter from a lender confirming the buyer is qualified for financing under these tighter, more stringent guidelines. Ten years later, this is still an important practice. What you need to know is not all mortgage loan preapprovals are the same and vary from lender to lender. Some lenders charge for a pre-approval. This cost will later be applied towards your closing costs once you are in escrow. However, the pre-approval is only good for 90 days and you must pay another fee for an updated pre-approval if you go past the 90 days. Some lenders only do a “pre-qualification” not a full pre-approval. What is the difference? A pre-qualification is usually just verifying your credit history and fico score, but does not review income, assets or debt-toincome ratios based on loan program guidelines. This is the least appealing of the pre-approval options as it is not a complete pre-approval. It leaves you susceptible to financing issues once you are in escrow. It is best to figure out the financing hurdles before you are in escrow when time is short and tensions are high. The best pre-approval options are with a “direct” lender, meaning a lender that isn’t a third party mortgage broker and has in house loan programs and underwriters. A direct lender will usually verify credit, income, assets and debt-to-income ratios according loan program guidelines. This usually includes the lender obtaining a Desktop Loan Approval. Even better is the lender that takes the pre-approval process a step further and obtains what is known as a “TBD” loan approval. This type of loan approval is a complete credit/income asset approval by an underwriter based on a “To Be Determined” property. With this type of pre-approval, the buyer can write an offer without a standard loan contingency period making his/her offer more competitive then the next buyer’s offer. When working with a lender for a pre-approval, be sure to ask the questions as how complete your pre-approval will be and if there is a cost. If the lender isn’t asking for income and asset documentation, you won’t be getting a thorough pre-approval. Amerifirst Financial, Inc. is a direct lender. There is no cost for the pre-approval. The TBD pre-approval is always an available option. For more information on my pre-approval process, please contact me at 619-813-8934 or

Carolyn lives in Rancho San Diego with her husband and 2 dogs. Her daughter is in her first year of college in Northern CA. She has lived in East County for the past 22 years and loves the sunshine and sense of community. Carolyn can be contacted at or at 619.813.8934. Equal Housing Lender. I am a licensed mortgage originator, NMLS# 256447, and am licensed to originate mortgage loans in the State of California.

AmeriFirst Financial, Inc., 1550 E. McKellips Road, Suite 117, Mesa, AZ 85203 (NMLS # 145368). 1-877-276-1974. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. This is not an offer to enter into an agreement. Not all customers will qualify. Information, rates, and programs are subject to change without prior notice. All products are subject to credit and property approval. Not all products are available in all states or for all loan amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply. CA: Licensed by The Department of Business Oversight under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act



ensington has always been one of my favorite mid-city urban neighborhoods. Known for its original Spanish-tiled homes, well-manicured gardens, and winding streets, it was developed in 1926 by the Davis Baker Company of Pasadena. Many of the homes were designed by famous local architect Richard Requa. Requa designed Alcazar Garden and the Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park. Adams Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Kensington, is a bustling, yet small, business district filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, a library, and a park. For unique entertainment, the Ken Cinema is one of the last single-screen movie venues in the county. This 1928 furnished two-story, Mediterranean-inspired Spanish home offers the rare opportunity to be leased. Located on a canyon, the home has been modernized for today’s lifestyle and even includes a theatre room and a naturally cooled wine cellar. The backyard features a terrace with vegetable beds and a citrus garden. To find out more about this home, call Rosemary at 619.405.7673.

on our porch Details Year Built: 1928 Architecture: Mediterranean Spanish Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 2.5 Square Feet: 1992 Sq. Ft. Lot Size: 8841 Sq. Ft, Address: 4653 E. Talmadge Drive For Lease Furnished: $4000 Bennion Deville Homes Courtesy of Rosemary Joles Watch the video of this home at:



feels like home


don’t know about you, but I’ve lived in a lot of apartments and houses throughout my life and one of the perplexing challenges in small spaces is how to create an entry when one doesn’t really exist. Not only does it feel weird to just walk into a room when entering from outside, where do you put your keys, umbrella, etc.? This month, I thought I would tackle that problem with some suggestions about how to solve this issue with style. If you’re lucky enough to have a coat closet that is near the front door (and you can spare the storage) an easy trick is to remove the door and create an entry alcove. A small table, a piece of art, some accessories – and voilà- instant atmosphere! If there’s no closet nearby, installing a shelf and wall hooks, plus a small ottoman or bench and a place to store needed items can be stylish, as long as you don’t overcrowd it. There are even some small coat racks that have built-in benches that can be a repository for stuff when you first walk through the door. How you arrange the furniture in the room can also help create a separate entryway. If it’s possible to utilize the back of a sofa (and a sofa table, if space allows) you can create an entry “hall” as you walk through the door. Using a bookcase can also be a great divider – I would recommend one that is open-backed so that you can still see through it – and it’s a great place to showcase some of your decorative items as well as providing storage.

Installing a “landing pad” of different flooring can instantly make the space feel separate – just be sure that everything is level and flows seamlessly. But even if you’re in a rental, utilizing a small area rug to define the entry helps to create a visual divider and define the space – not mention keeping the floors a little cleaner!

Photo Credit:

If it makes sense in the space, building a pony (half) wall is a great way to separate the entry from the rest of the room without making everything feel smaller.

Use your imagination – and don’t let lack of space keep you from finding your keys!

Lisa Vasey, lives in El Cajon with her husband and two pugs. When not staging or redesigning, Lisa likes to try new restaurants and recipes, travel, read, and enjoy live music. You can find Lisa on the web at Reach out to Lisa at 619.335.8550 or email her at for help with your redesign or staging project.


transforming spaces

four easy tips to decluttering your computer


lutter in our office and in our home and on our computers can cause us to be less productive and even anxious. How you set up your computer can promote efficient productivity and bring clarity to your time at your computer and while away from your computer. These are four key areas to focus on that will help you declutter your PC and create more storage space. #1 Email Delete, Delete, Delete! People have no idea how many emails they have until they have to transfer them all to a new PC. Delete daily, and create folders, so mail can be sorted and stored efficiently. For instance, folders for family, “to do”, online purchases receipts, and kid’s school are a few examples. Be sure to delete your Deleted Folder from time to time as these emails take up PC storage. #2 Digital Documents Delete any documents/downloads that are no longer relevant. Ask yourself if you really need to keep it? Then double check with yourself. If you have not already created folders for your documents, take the time to do so now.

#3 Photos Go through your photos. Delete duplicates and any deemed unworthy. Create folders for various trips, special occasions, Holidays, and other milestones. Folders are a great way to make photos easy to find and share with others. It is annoying when you want to show someone certain photos, then waste 20 minutes as you try to retrieve the right ones. #4 Desktop Your desktop is like a welcome mat for your PC. As such, it should be welcoming. Having it cluttered with an overabundance of files defeats the purpose of having a beautiful picture of where you vacationed, or an adorable picture of your grandchildren’s art. Again, folders are your friend. Group items, drop them in a folder, and tuck them to the side of the screen. This is a small change on your PC and it really makes a big difference. You can start by being more relaxed, and reminded of what great kids and grandkids you have! These are just a few simple things we can all do to make our work, and home PC environment more pleasant and efficient. It’s a great feeling to have confidence that we know where things are, and that we can get to them easily. This saves time, money, and most importantly, peace of mind.

Cheryl is passionate about helping people enhance their space. Whether helping people de-clutter and organize, or assisting seniors getting ready to move their belongings, her enthusiasm for the project brings enjoyment to the process. Cheryl is patient, calm and flexible allowing her to meet her client’s needs in a way that supports them in the process. Allow Me specializes in assisting people who are chronically disorganized. When needed, Cheryl is knowledgeable in holding Estate Sales.


nitty gritty

insurance 411

vacation rentals and your insurance policy


ebsites such as Airbnb®, VRBO®, HomeAway® and others have become extremely popular ways for travelers to enjoy a more affordable, comfortable vacation than in a hotel environment. There are over 1 Million properties available for travelers, giving them the ability to choose from sleeping in a shared room, a carriage house, or using the entire house. Travelers can rent for a few days to several months. This has provided homeowners who have not been able to earn an income from their home the chance to earn several hundred to several thousand dollars a year.

landlord policy. The homeowner policy is meant for the primary family who lives in it, with the expected risks that a family can have. Once you add renters into the mix, the risks change and potentially increase. For example, if you rent out your home/bedrooms, and the renter gets hurt or causes damage, not only is there possibly no coverage, but you also face the cancellation of your policy and the difficulty in purchasing another one.

Even landlord policies generally do not cover short-term rentals (less than 30 days). They are designed for the minimized risk However, there is a dangerous side to this when it comes to associated with having long term renters. insurance. If you are a homeowner living in your primary residence and you have friends visiting and they get hurt, that’s Your home insurance and landlord policies are not created to generally not a challenge to your insurance company. However, if function as if your home is a hotel. You need to get specialized these are people who are paying you to stay in your home, even if insurance that covers you for the combination of homeowners you are still occupying it while they are there or are renting it to and short-term rental coverages. them while you stay elsewhere, your home insurance policy may become invalid and provide no coverage whatsoever at claims When in doubt, call your agent and schedule a policy review. Let time. your agent know what is going on so they can properly protect you. Why is this? Because you have a home-owner policy, not a Susanne Romo, LUTCF has been working in insurance since 1986. Her passion is showing her clients that there can be a vast difference between just ‘having’ insurance…and being properly insured. She can be reached at: 858 751 0956 or at


Marco Sawrey & Karin Zonis-Sawrey 4046 30th Street San Diego, CA 92104 619.282.3000

3077 North Park Way San Diego, CA 92104 619.450.4505

Sicilian-Tomato Garlic


veryone thinks they’re an expert on pizza. Whether deep dish, New York style or wood-fired, we all have an opinion. We found two dynamite pizza places in North Park that we can't get enough of. Of course, we wouldn’t be satisfied with plain ol’ pizza though. Both these restaurants bring something different to the comfort food you love.

If you are more inclined to the thin wood-fired crust variety, then try Tribute Pizza. Let's talk about comfort with some elegance. Tribute Pizza is no ordinary wood-fired pizza joint. Have you ever tried sesame crust on your pizza? We now fully understand the saying "open sesame" because our mouths open and start drooling at the mere hint of this dough. It’s a fun eatery with lots of people and buzz, and a great variety of microbrews. While you can take out, it's probably best to enjoy the space. What’s with the name? Tribute pays tribute to famous pizzas and people, such as the Kevin McCallister, for the young Home Alone character’s line "a lovely cheese pizza, just for me." Another good one is the biancoverde, which pays tribute to the Pizza Bianca in Phoenix, AZ.


Our go-to is Sicilian Thing for their Sicilian style pizza. If you're not familiar with this style, think old school square mama's pizza. Thick airy fresh crust with the right amount of crunch. It's satisfying and comforting. Choose from different toppings, but if you want to stay traditional, order the Tomato Garlic. You get the best of both worlds with the crunchy edges and soft middle pieces. The sauce tastes like it's been cooking all day, with that delectability you expect from mamma. The space is small and cozy Whether Sicilian or wood-fired, these two pizza joints will leave and is more suited for take-out. They also serve thin crust round you both satisfied and planning your return visit. pies with all the toppings we're accustomed to, but for us, the Sicilian is the star without equivocation. It is, after all, a Sicilian Thing.’


bon vivant


what’s in a number?

ometimes, when I make a wine recommendation, a client will ask, what is the rating? Is it higher than 90 pts? This you see, has become their benchmark if a wine is considered ‘good’. It all started back in the 1970’s with a man by the name of Robert Parker. Parker, a consumer advocate, originally started his 100-point rating system to combat reviews and prices by critics who had a vested interest in the wine industry. Parker wanted to provide an objectivity and unbiased relationship with every wine he tasted and give consumers an honest review of that wine. As noble as this original intent was, many will argue it has created a system of standardized wines. Robert Parker is also known for creating The Wine Advocate, a global bimonthly wine publication featuring his consumer advice of wine. His objective was to provide a guideline for quantifying a wine's quality in a standardize format. The influence of The Wine Advocate on the demand and commercial interest of wine has met with much criticism, with wineries being accused of making wines tailored to Parker's tastes in order to receive a higher point. Parker has always argued his advice comes from ethical standards, independence & impartiality to guarantee his valuations are pro-consumer and not pro-industry.

One of my personal favorite wine writers is Alice Feiring. Alice is an American journalist and author, & for several years, a wine and travel columnist for Time magazine. She is commonly known as an advocate for "natural wine". Alice Feiring wrote The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization. She believed Parker’s point system was driving prices and wine sales to such a degree that vintners all around the world were changing their wines to please his palate. Her theme is one I personally live by: “Authentic wine: Find it. Drink it. Buy it. Don’t let it disappear.” I can say from personal experience that once you know what you’re looking for and start drinking that kind of wine, it’s hard to go back to “formula wine”, i.e. industrial wine constructed to taste a certain way year after year. You know what I mean if you’ve ever compared the taste of tomatoes grown in the sun in a backyard garden to the ones from the supermarket that are sold in the dead of winter. By allowing Mother Nature to dictate flavors, texture, color & aromatics, we humans really have little to do but to coax her gently along. Be cognizant of the wines you consume. Look for variations from vintage to vintage, region to region, grape to grape. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the rewards found in every bottle. And remember, some numbers are just that, a number. Beth Fraitag is a lead wine consultant with Quigley Fine Wines. Wine is her passion and she works one on one with individuals who also enjoy popping the cork from time to time. Her specialty is small production wines from around the globe where sustainable farming practices have been the norm for generations. Her belief in biodynamic methods to bring mother nature's bounty into our lives is the basis for the wines she represents. She can be reached at 619.742.0245 or Check out the QFW website at for additional information.

time-out family-friendly places to go with kids in and around san diego

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Why Kid Friendly? Science Exploration IMAX Theater Junior Science Club Young Scientists Spring Camps Fleet Night of Science Science Club for Girls 1875 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101 619.238.1233 Photo Credit:

where’s rosemary? In every issue of From the Front Porch you’ll find a photo of different places that I’ve been in San Diego County. Your goal is to figure out where I took the photo. Be specific and submit your guess as fast as you can (You have competition!!!) The first correct answer will win movie tickets for two! You can email,, or call us at: 619-405-7673.

et cetera


Naked Persian Turkey Burger Ingredients

where was rosemary? Rancho Guajome Adobe 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave. Vista, CA 92083 Winner No winners. Keep guessing!

     

3/4 cup grated zucchini 11/4 pounds 93% or 99% lean ground turkey 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion 2 garlic cloves 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

     

1 Tab finely chopped fresh mint 1 Tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. ground coriander 1/4 tsp. chili powder 1/4 tsp. kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper


Squeeze any liquid out of the zucchini with a paper towel. Put the zucchini in a large bowl and add the ground turkey, red onion, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, mint, cumin, coriander, all spice, chili powder, salt, and black pepper to taste. Form into 5 equal, flattened patties about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate until ready to cook. Cook on grill until done. Recipe Credit: Skinnytaste Cookbook, Photo credit:

around our town


voyage magical iceland


Beth Taylor

celand has been a trending destination for some time now and was recently named the top emerging destination for 2018. The name itself conjures up an image of a land of imposing ice formations, and while that isn’t too far off, Iceland is more than just arctic temperatures and shining glaciers. And don’t let the cold deter you at all. Iceland might be at the top of the world, just below the Arctic Circle, but its winter temperatures are often warmer than those in New York! Iceland is one of the best places in the world to witness the wonder that is the Northern Lights. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the mystical green lights dancing in the sky on a cold, clear winter night. Even the hunt for the lights can be memorable as you bundle up for an adventurous 4x4 Jeep excursion in search of the best nightly sighting, or test your luck waiting for the lights to appear on your evening dip in one of the country’s many geothermal pools.

self-driving isn’t for you, there are plenty of guided tours, in small groups or large, to introduce you to all the beauty that Iceland has to offer. No trip to Iceland would be complete without a dip in the Blue Lagoon’s steamy, crystal-blue, geothermal water. It hovers between 98 and 102 degrees year-round with views of spectacular, snow-covered lava rocks in every direction. Known for its age-defying healing powers, you’ll emerge feeling like a new person, and looking like one, too! Even though Iceland is now frequently traveled to, it still feels like an exotic, off-the-beaten-path destination. With so many new flights being added all the time, and various options to choose from for exploring this country, Iceland should move up on your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed!

Aside from the Northern Lights, people are drawn to Iceland for its steaming geysers, drifting icebergs, black lava beaches and erupting volcanoes. You can take a self-guided driving tour of Ring Road, the main national route that circles the country. No international driver’s license is needed and you’re free to explore the 4,500 square miles of glaciers and impressive waterfalls. If

Beth Taylor is a local travel consultant who has been in the travel industry for over 30 years. She specializes in group and family travel. Her experience has taken her to places around the world. She’d love to help you plan your own unique vacation or simply “talk travel” with you! She can be reached at or 619-303-8771. Visit her website at for more tips about travel and some of the latest travel specials.


destination-barrio logan


Susanne Romo

here is a colorful, vibrant secret neighborhood hidden under the intersection of the 5 Freeway and the Coronado Bridge. Rosemary and I recently paid a much-overdue visit to Barrio Logan, and it did not disappoint. From local restaurants, temping bakeries and markets, to colorful, Instagram-worthy murals, this area of San Diego was a fun day of exploration.

We started our day by joining the seemingly unending line for delicious Mexican food at Las Cuatro Milpas, (The Four Cornfields) located at 2196 Logan Avenue. Authentic, hand-made tortillas are served with steaming bowls of chorizo con huevos, rice and beans, rolled tacos and crunchy street tacos filled with chicken breasts. Know what you want to eat --the line keeps moving. It is an efficient, bare-bones operation that has perfected the process of serving an overwhelming amount of people quickly. It makes sense that Las Cuatro Milpas has an overall YELP 4.5-star rating and over 1600 reviews. BRING CASH. If you have room after your meal, there is a bakery two doors down that teases with enticing smells of yeast, sugar and cinnamon. We strolled over to Chicano Park, famous for the colorful murals created by renowned artists covering the freeway overpass. The murals were originally created in 1973 and have been restored several times. They are not just to make a drab area pretty --- they were created as a celebration for the formation of the park and the reclamation of the neighborhood after the community was displaced in order to build the Coronado bridge. Each mural represents a different part of Chicano culture, from mythology to historical events. Chicano Park and its mural are part of the National Register of Historic Places We finished our day visiting the Barrio Logan sign, checking out the whimsical mural at Bread and Salt, which is a former bakery turned art gallery at 1955 Julian Avenue Their hours are 11-4 Tuesday – Saturday and by appointment. Susanne Romo is a freelance writer who blogs at & She is the co-author of Pebbles in the Pond: Wave 4 and Your Big Idea Book, both available on Amazon.


minutia Samantha and Darren’s house on the sitcom Bewitched, was also Gidget’s house, I Dream of Jeannie’s house and Dennis the Menace’s house.

The Kravitz house,

“next door” was actual down the street, and it also the home of the Partridge family. Photo Credit: Detroit Public Library Todd Joles is now known as Mr. Useless Knowledge (this is an affectionate title), is a business associate of his wife Rosemary, a passionate woodworker by night, mandolin/bluegrass aficionado by choice, chief cook and bottle washer because he loves his wife and a purveyor of this useless knowledge.

bravo & mia bites Photo compliments of: Rebecca Johnson Bravo and Mia are the fur-children of Rebecca Johnson. They are the grand puppies of Rosemary and Todd Joles.

useless knowledge

“There’s just something about dogs that makes you feel good. You come home, they’re thrilled to see you. They’re good for the ego.” -Janet Schnellman

botanical name: Prunus ‘Spicezee’ common name: Nectaplum ‘Spice Zee’ Likes: Full Sun Needs: Hardy to zone 6, 200-300 Chill hours Blooms: Pink Note: Self-fruitful

Photo credit:

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden -Jim Rohn

rosebud’s garden Photo credit: To see more SD plants go to:

Rosemary Joles is passionate about low-water gardening in San Diego. She loves creating gardens that look like lush water thirsty gardens, yet need very little moisture to maintain them. Her other passions include real estate, lattes, spending time with family and friends, reading, music and laughter!


upcycle upcycled- industrial chic meets farm house style At Upcycled Home and Garden, we focus on “what can be” rather than “what it was”.’ Gail and Jim Hallemeyer


Photo credit:

t started with an old metal workbench stool that had an adjustable seat that was falling apart and joining that to an old rusty metal tractor seat. The tractor seat was from an earlier trip to a farm and the old chair was from a friend who was ready to toss it in the trash. The stool was still in good mechanical condition as the seat was spring-loaded and the ball bearing swivel was in good working order. It required only some cleaning and lubricating. The metal platter that the seat attached to was still strong and the holes allowed us to create a wood base that could then attach the tractor seat. The seat was designed with a center-mounting hole and it had been rusty for quite sometime. However, we were able to find a huge washer that was really thick to provide enough coverage to give the seat the strength to be reconnected. With a bit of orange oil on the rusty seat, the project turned out looking great and this new heavy-duty seat will be functional for many more years.

Upcycled Home and Garden is located at 4747 Oceanside Blvd, Suite I, Oceanside CA 92056. We can reached at 760-908-9800 or We offer classes in Milk Painting, Succulent Planting, Garden Art, Chair Upholstering and more, check out our website for detailed information. You can also find items we have upcycled on our site. We are open Wednesday thru Saturday, 10:00am-5:30pm. Come by and say hello.


podsibilities I’ve wondered, “What would that song Occasionally sound like in its earliest form.” Thanks to UC Santa Barbara, now we may be able to do just that! Thomas Edison first patented his cylinder phonograph in 1877 and UCSB has embarked upon a preservation project of these early recordings. Playlists include, band music, country/oldtime, dance bands, speeches, operas, musical theater and humorous recitations. I shared UCSB’s 1920 version of Life’s Railway To Heaven with a friend who I know still plays the tune. He was astonished that almost 100 years later he plays it almost exactly the same way. Other tunes are done in an antiquated style and are almost unrecognizable.

books or blogs

bits and pieces

What is the difference between living and existing?


discounted titles. is a great source for free and discounted books. Photo credit:

Recently I ran a search for free classic books on kindle and ran across Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe! I had forgotten what a great read this is. Along with Scott’s beautiful prose, it has everything one could wish for in a novel. Scandal, deceit, lust, greed, loyalty, love, integrity, and honesty. It may take a few chapters to settle into Scott’s antiquated literary style, but once you do the words fairly sing off the page!


who knows me knows I’m a frugal man, Anyonelately most of my reading has been from

park exploration

Embarcadero Marina Park 400 Kettner Boulevard San Diego, CA 92101 word search –native California plants two

Alkali Saltbush Antelope Horns Beach Coreopsis Beach Evening Primrose California Desert Milkweed California Fuchsia Desert Willow Golden Yarrow Giant Sequoia Hawthorn Indigo Bush Joshua Tree Lemonade Berry Liveforever Meadow Rue Needle Grass Orange Honeysuckle Ponderosa Pine Find the answers at



Lamb’s Players Theater

Broadway San Diego

The Old Globe

Noises Off April 6 - May 20

Les Miserables May 29 - June 3

American Mariachi April 1 - April 29

Once The Musical June 1 - July 22

School of Rock June 12 - June 17

The Wander April 6 - May 6

San Diego Rep

The King and I June 26 - July 1

A Thousand Splendid Suns May 12 - June 17

Rob Lowe Stories I only tell my friends LIVE June 29

Nature Gardens May 26 - June 24

Beachtown April 1 - April 15 Nathan Gunn FLYING SOLO May 23 - June 10 Vista’s Broadway Theater Buyer & Cellar April 5 - April 22

North Coast Repertory

The Tempest June 17 - July 22

How The Other Half Loves April 11 - May 6 The Father May 30 - June 24

Big Band May 3 - 20th

San Diego Adventures april | may | june San Diego Scottish Tartan Day April 7

OB Kite Festival May 12

Greek Festival June 8-10

SDHS Garden Tour April 7

Mission Hills Garden Walk May 12

International Beer Festival June 15-17

Oceanside Days of Art April 14-15

Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk May 20

Taste of Vista on Main Street June 20

Encintias Street Faire April 28-29 Taste of Cardiff May 3 Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo May 4-6


sd concerts

Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite

AMSD Concerts Sweetwater Union High School 2900 Highland Avenue National City, CA 91950 619.201.0520 4/7 Incendio 4/20 Miss Tess and The Talkbacks 4/21 Hot Club of Cowtown 5/4 Eric Andersen 5/19 The Nell and Jim Band Poway Center for the Performing Arts 15498 Espola Road Poway, CA 92064 858.668.4798 4/3-5 PUSD Band and Orchestra Festival 4/7 Ek Ajnabi Mil Gaya 4/8 Miss Teen Cosmos CA 2018 4/21&22 SCB’s Coppelia California Center for the Arts 340 North Escondido Blvd. Escondido, CA 92025 800.988.4253 Tickets 760.839.4183 All others 4/4 Martin Luther King Jr. Com. Choir 4/6-7 Hairspray The Musical 4/8 Envision Dance Competition 4/10 My Heart In a Suitcase 4/28 Dance Like The Animals 4/29 Tina Guo with San Diego Youth 5/2 Lisa Sanders & Brown Sugar 5/6 Civic Youth Orchestra 5/9 Deva Premal & Miten with Manose 5/13 Priti Gandhi

Miss Tess and The Talkbacks

Chris Thile

5/25 Natalia Lafourcade 5/30 RBHS Spring Concert 6/10 Civic Youth Orchestra 6/17 Chris Thile

5/5 Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers 5/6-7 Keb’ Mo’ 5/8 Taimane Gardner 5/11 Easy Wind and SantanaWays 5/12-13 Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite Belly Up 5/14 An Evening with Nada Surf 143 S Cedros Ave. 5/16 Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite Solana Beach, CA 92075 5/17 Pedro The Lion 858.481.8140 5/18 Vaud and the Villians 5/19 Jesse Ware 4/3 Arlo Guthrie: The RE:Generation Tour 5/24 Rufus Wainwright 4/4 Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather 5/25 Cash’d Out 4/5 AJ Froman 5/26 Kimbra & Son Lux 4/6 Circles Around The Sun 5/28 Madeleine Peyroux 4/7 Jefferson Starship 5/29-30 Xavier Rudd 4/8 Mud Slide Slim-Music of James Taylor 5/31 The Dead Milkmen 4/11 The California Honeydrops 6/1 Greg Laswell 4/13 Common Sense with Hazmatt 6/3 Calexico 4/14 The Pine Mountain Logs 6/6 The Yardbirds 4/15 The Chairman and the Board - Rat 6/12 JD McPherson Pack Tribute 6/15 The Highwayman - Waylon Jennings 4/16 Ibeyi with Mimi Zulu Birthday Show 4/17 Tank and The Bangas 6/16 Beatles vs. The Stones featuring 4/18 Kinky Friedman: Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash 4/19 Jessie Ware 6/20 Donovon Frankenreiter 4/20-21 Super Diamond 4/22 Los Lonely Boys 4/23 Bebel Gilberto 4/25 Less Than Jake and Face to Face 4/26 The Robert Cray Band 4/27 The PettyBreakers-Trib. to Tom Petty 4/29 The Weight Band Feat. Members of san diego The Band, Levon Helm Band and Rick music Danko Group from classical 5/2 John Doe & Exene to 5/3 Baths with no joy bluegrass 5/4 Khruangbin w/The Mattson 2

front porch pickin


San Marcos-Mission Park · $320,000 · 619·405·7673

Leucadia · $350,000-375,000 · 619·405·7673

Leucadia · $499,000 · 619·405·7673

Little Italy · $549,000-$569,000 · 619·405·7673

San Marcos-Santa Fe Hills · $700,000 · 619·405·7673

Downtown-Sapphire Tower · $998,000 · 619·405·7673

from east county to the coast

Del Cerro · $395,000-$399,000 · 619·405·7673

Downtown SD-M2i · $419,000 · 619·405·7673

Lakeside · $589,000 · 619·405·7673

Hillcrest-Atlas · $615,000 · 619·405·7673

Downtown-Watermark · $1,099,000 · 619·405·7673

Carlsbad-Robertson Ranch · $1,199,000 · 619·405·7673

Front Porch Wisdom

Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing when to say it.


and Company Salons



4695 Palm Avenue · La Mesa · CA · 91942

Out of the Mouths…. My 2-and-a-half-year-old set up a wall of toys around her in the kitchen and was lying down amongst them. Her stuffed giraffe kept falling on her face-first, and I just heard her saying, “ I’m not food, giraffe, I’m not food. I’m not food!” -R. Miller


Remember When

Ken Cinema

Architect: S. (Simeon) Charles Lee | Architecture: Art Moderne Style | Built 1947 4061 Adams Avenue | San Diego, CA 92116 |

Photos: & Scott Carmella



all me now to sell your home!

LEASE · $4000 ∙ 3+/2 ∙ Kensington

COMING SOON · $315,000 · 2/1 · Rancho San Diego

ACTIVE · $345,000 ∙ 2/2 · San Carlos

PENDING · $345,000 · 2/1.5 · Oceanside

SOLD · $435,000 · 2/2 · San Diego

SOLD · $650,000 · 5/3.5 ∙ Fletcher Hills

SOLD · $725,000 · 3/2.5 · Mission Valley

SOLD · $795,000 ∙ 4+/2.5 · Stonecrest Village

SOLD · $845,000 · 4/2.5 ∙ El Cajon · Hidden Mesa

Whether you are looking to sell, buy, or lease a home we have the skills to get the job done right. LETS GET STARTED TODAY! CALL 619.405.7673

Rosemary Joles Every home is a masterpiece 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 Five Star Real Estate Agent REALTOR® | Cal BRE #01095314 Residential Sales· Leasing· LUXE Director 619· 405· 7673 |

Profile for The Joles Group

From the Front Porch Journal | Issue 2 | 2018  

From the Front Porch Journal is a home and lifestyle publication published by The Joles Group.

From the Front Porch Journal | Issue 2 | 2018  

From the Front Porch Journal is a home and lifestyle publication published by The Joles Group.

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