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reflections Rosemary Joles


Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom’s homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past.” - Homaro Cantu

his month’s cover could be from anyone's childhood. For me, it creates nostalgia of summers as a youngster in the Midwest. It almost makes me wish I was Benjamin Button, growing younger instead of older! Although my childhood summers in Wisconsin were humid, they were divine. There was so much to look forward to. No school for one! The season started with mayflowers growing in the woods and along rural roads. Running around barefoot, or at least in flip flops, was the norm and we always looked forward to watermelon season. Grandma would slice big slabs and we would eat it at the picnic table or in the grass, spitting out the big black seeds that were in nearly every bite. Grandma never served a seedless watermelon that I can recall. June would bring strawberry picking from your own patch or the local pick-your-own strawberry farm. On those days dessert would be strawberries with freshly skimmed cream from the milk can and a touch of sugar. Grandma would also mash the strawberries with sugar and freeze them so that we could have it over vanilla ice cream in the middle of winter. This was always a welcome treat during our bone-chilling Wisconsin winters. Summer days were long, as it didn’t grow dark until at least 9 p.m. Lightning bugs captivated us with their evening light show. Windows stayed open as there was no air conditioning and the whip-poor-will song would lull us to sleep on humid breezeless nights. Summer storms often brought the furry of high winds. Although these were scary when tornados threatened, we loved the slow, gentle rain with lightning and thunder. Those rains would nourish our vegetable garden filled with potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, peas, lettuce and, of course, colorful zinnias and marigolds for garden eye candy. The hay, corn and oat fields, the garden and the woods that surrounded our family farm would drink in those life-giving drops. The combination of rain and sunshine would create some of the most amazing produce in a short 3-4-month harvest period. I have yet to find a grocer who can beat the taste of a homegrown cucumber that is fresh out of the garden. Maybe it’s because I can no longer wipe the prickly spines on my jeans and eat them right there in the garden. Shelling the plump peas was a family affair in which we were all guilty of sneaking some as we worked. It was amazing that Grandma had any left for supper after all that my sister and I consumed. When the sweet corn finally ripened, suppers consisted of fresh corn on the cob, smothered in butter, with salt and pepper sprinkled on it. That would be it, and it was certainly enough! The woods would give us apples, hickory and black walnuts in autumn, as well as blackberries, blackcaps and raspberries in summer. I was always startled, scared silly really, then enthralled by the walking sticks taking their jaunt through the bushes as I picked those yummy berries. Even though I have now lived in San Diego County longer than Wisconsin, you can see the summertime memories of food linger and Homaro Cantu’s quote still rings true for me. FROM THE FRONT PORCH JOURNAL july/august/september contributors:

Front Cover Photography Becky Lang Copyright ©2010- 2018 From The Front Porch Journal

Reflections: Rosemary Joles A Note from Rosemary: Alix Kammeyer and Shawn Harris Mortgage Memo: Carolyn Plummer On Our Porch: Rosemary Joles Feels Like Home: Lisa Vasey Transforming Spaces: Cheryl Starbuck Insurance 411: Susanne Romo The Nibblers Digest: Marco Sawrey & Karin Zonis Sawrey The Cork Connoisseur: Beth Fraitag Oceanside Pier: Scott Jones | Upcycle: Gail and Jim Hallemeyer Travel The World: Beth Taylor Travel San Diego: Rosemary Joles 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





departments 2 4/5





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14/15 16/17



19 20/21

16 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 –becky lang’s grandchildren feels like home – nitty gritty organize it – tour to declutter insurance 411 –trucks bon vivant the nibbler digest –cucina basilica the cork connoisseur –bubbles time-out –living coast discovery center et cetera where’s rosemary delish –cucumber caprese salad around our town –oceanside pier voyage travel the world –family reunion cruise travel san diego –harper’s topiary minutia useless knowledge bravo and mia bites rosebud’s garden –mimosa tree upcycle –kitchen utensil planters bits and pieces ponderings podsibilities books or blogs park exploration –point loma lighthouse sd word find –native plants three lifestyle sd theatre sd adventures sd concerts domiciles from east county to the coast tidbits front porch wisdom out of the mouths remember when –north park theatre


a note from rosemary That is the heart and soul of the American dream, homeownership, the idea of being able to buy a house and start to build your family. -Wendell Pierce


his month I’ve invited Fidelity Title’s team of Shawn Harris and Alix Kammeyer to a note from Rosemary to share what a title company is doing behind the scenes when a buyer is purchasing a home. They will also share why title insurance is so important! Shawn and Alix it is my pleasure to welcome you to the porch.

The Past Can Determine Your Future. Generally, a person thinks of insurance in terms of the payment of future loss due to the occurrence of some future event. For instance, a party obtains automobile insurance in order to pay for future loss occasioned by a future “fender bender” or for the future theft of the vehicle. Title insurance is a unique form of insurance. It provides coverage for future claims or future losses due to title defects which are created by some past event (i.e., event prior to the acquisition of the property.) These risks are far less obvious than those protected against by automobile insurance, but can be just as devastating. Unlike other forms of insurance, the original premium for your title policy is your only one-time cost as long as you or your heirs own the property. There are no annual payments to keep your Owner’s Title Insurance Policy in force. Will You Get Clear Title? It is of utmost importance that you receive clear title to the property when you purchase real estate. In order to do so, you must first be informed of any existing rights or claims that may, in the future, threaten your title and possession to the property. Title insurance provides you with this twofold protection. How Do You Find Out What Claims May Exist? In order to determine the status of title, Fidelity National Title conducts a diligent search of the public records for those documents associated with the property. We then examine the recorded documents in order to determine if there are any rights or claims that may have an impact upon the title to the property. The title search may reveal the existence of recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title such as unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments and tax liens against the current or past owner(s), easements restrictions and court actions. These recorded defects, liens and encumbrances are reported to you prior to your purchase of the property. Once reported, these matters can be accepted to you prior to your purchase of the property. Once reported, these matters can be accepted, resolved or extinguished prior to closing. In addition, you are protected against any loss or damage resulting from recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title that are unreported to you and which are with the scope of coverage of the particular policy issued in the transaction. This is the first benefit you receive from title insurance. What About Undiscovered Claims? The title to the property that you have purchased could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered “hidden risks.” Hidden Risks are those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records. Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after you have purchased the property. In order to protect you against this possibility, Fidelity National Title provides insurance coverage for such claims. This is the second benefit you receive from title insurance. How Does a Title Insurance Policy Protect You? If a claim is made against your insured title, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company protects you by: (1) Defending your title, if necessary; and (2) Bearing the cost of settling the case, if it proves valid, in order to protect your title and maintain your possession of your property. Title Insurance Protects Your Asset. Title Insurance gives you the assurance that possible clouds on title to the property you are purchasing-which can be discovered from the public records –have ben called to your attention that such defects can be corrected before you buy. Additionally, it is insurance that if any undiscovered claims covered by your policy arises out of the past to threaten your ownership of real estate, it will be disposed of, or you will be reimbursed exactly as your title insurance policy provides. Shawn Harris and Alix Kammeyer, Sales Executive Team Fidelity National Title San Diego With over 9 years as Director of the Internationally recognized business coaching division of By Referral Only, Inc., and 16 years as a Title Executive, Shawn understands the common challenges real estate and lending professionals face when moving through all points of a real estate transaction. Shawn is one of the top Title Executives in San Diego, CA and in the prestigious Top1% Nationally. Alix is a certified escrow officer with over 25 years of executive level experience in both the title and escrow industry. Alix has earned the loyalty and commitment as a trusted adviser to her business partners and brings an uncompromising service standard to all her clients. Recently Alix earned the prestigious standing of Top 1% Title Executives Nationally.


the real estate brief

carolyn’s mortgage memo


consider a condo

he San Diego real estate market can be a tough market for first time home buyers right now. Inventory is low, the median price home in San Diego county is $570,000 and the interest rates continue to rise. I have worked with many first time home buyers as they try to navigate how to purchase in this market. I can identify with the concerns and struggles of first time home buyers as this reminds me of when my husband and I were trying to purchase our first home. It was the summer of 1990 and very much a seller’s market like today. Inventory was so low that a property would come on the market in the morning and be in escrow that evening. Prices were continuing to go up and interest rates were high…11.75% high! However, we wanted a home of our own. Isn’t that the next step in adulthood, in building our financial portfolio and the American dream? Yes, of course, but really we just wanted a home to create memories, celebrate events and maybe someday start a family. We had to get realistic on what we could afford and in what area. We were living in the Mission Valley area at the time and loved the central location. We also wanted a yard or at least some outdoor space. Based on what we could afford, it quickly became apparent we had to move further east to La Mesa and consider a condo instead of a single family home. We purchased a 1100 square foot, 2 bedroom/2 bath condo with two balconies and a community swimming pool. We did FHA financing with 3% down and a rate of 11.75%. That was 28 years ago and one of the best decisions we have ever made. Not only did we celebrate our first California Christmas in that condo along with many holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, but it was the first home for our daughter. We lived there, very happily, for 10 years. However, the baby/toddler paraphernalia overtook the space and we had plans for more children. It was time to purchase a single family residence. And guess what, it was a seller’s market again, 18 years ago, the prices were increasing and rates were high…7.5%! But this time we were a seller and not just a buyer. We had skin in the real estate game. Financing terms for condos today are significantly better than they were 28 and 18 years ago. You have other low down payment options beside just FHA or VA and the rates, even though are on the rise, are still historically low. The condo review process has become more streamlined as is the financing process. So if a single family residence is out of reach, consider a condo.

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


on our porch


n our porch is slightly different in this issue of From The Front Porch Journal. Not only is this cover shot not a local porch (it’s actually in a completely different state!), but the image really isn’t even about the porch. Instead, we’re highlighting the best thing about porches - what happens on them. In this case, it’s children enjoying watermelon on a warm sunny day. These little ones are the Washington grands of local Lakeside residents Becky and Larry Lang. I’ve known Becky since I sold her parents’ historic home in Lakeside in 2009. During that time, I discovered that Becky has a killer sense of humor, loves music and instruments and has a special place in her heart for youth. For over 40 years, Becky has worked with youth in the San Diego region. Her biggest challenge has been raising funds to allow them to attend youth camps and community service trips.

Details Mission Orchard Jellies & Jams Jelly is not just for breakfast anymore! Owner : Becky Lang Address: 10914 El Nopal, Lakeside, CA Phone: 619.504.6965 Email: Instagram: @missionorchard Facebook: groups/1559874530959343/ Look for Becky all around San Diego County at craft fairs and vendor events.

As part of her effort to assist these financially strapped families, Becky began making her Grandma Opal’s pomegranate jelly for bake sales. The jellies would quickly fly off the table so she also started making Grandma Opal’s apple butter. As you can imagine, this also disappeared quicker than you can say PB&J. From this experience, Mission Orchard Jellies and Jams was born. Today, San Diego youth are given kits of Mission Orchard jams, jellies and salts that they can sell themselves to earn money for their trips. Mission Orchard now sponsors a variety of youth causes and projects. They are currently sending guitars, ukuleles and Cajon drums to youth who were affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Mission Orchard’s jellies, jams, salt blends and other seasonal items are crafted in a home kitchen one batch at a time. It’s always a surprise as to what seasonal creation will fill the jars of Mission Orchard. For instance, their latest Facebook post featured sunflower petals steeping for sunflower jelly. Learn more about this amazing organization and how you can help by visiting their Facebook or Instagram page.

home Youth in Texas with their new ukuleles and Cajon drum.

Becky Lang with her California Grands and her

Washington Grands learning the

Mission Orchard Jellies and Jams

fine art of pickling cucumbers.


feels like home


love summer. I love everything about it…the morning air, the night air, how the light changes, and (most importantly) spending time outdoors. Even on a really hot day, there’s usually at least one opportunity to spend some time enjoying time outside my house. And since summer in Southern California really lasts 6 months or more, expanding our living spaces to include outdoors only makes sense! Whether you have a tiny balcony or an expansive yard, there are plentiful ways to create a space that will allow you to revel in the seasonal warmth – but it’s essential that you consider how much space you have before purchasing outdoor furniture. As with any design decision, form should follow function. Take some time to think about how you will use your outdoor space – will it be for dining, lounging, or both? Do you long to have a spot to sip your morning coffee in the breeze, before starting your hectic day? Once you have defined the use of the space, the first thing to do is measure the space – but not just the exterior dimensions. If you want both seating and dining areas, you will want to map out how much space you can devote to each function. And you will need to allow room around your outdoor furniture for easy access and flow. Now that you have your space(s) allocated, you will have a sense of the scale of the furniture that will be appropriate. One of the unfortunate mistakes I see people make is purchasing items that are too large for a space – which, ultimately, makes it less enjoyable. It’s really not going to be comfortable for you, or your guests, if it’s difficult to get up from a table or it’s hard to squeeze between chairs to retrieve a drink.

Some things to keep in mind while your shopping for that perfect dining or seating set: 1) review the diagram for table dimensions – and then add at least 24-26 inches from the outside dimension for chairs (and people in chairs). 2) Allow about 18 inches between a sofa or chairs and a coffee table – this is crucial space for the comfort of knees! Photo Credit:

And to finish off your new usable space, include an outdoor rug, which will add additional element of definition and color.

Photo Credit: and

Fortunately, many stores are now offering a variety of sizes and options for outdoor furniture – some even have a “small space set” filter to search by.

Then sit back, relax, and enjoy! 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


tour your home to declutter

e think about de-cluttering our cupboards or our drawers or our closets, yet how often do we think about de-cluttering the surfaces of our home? Studies show that clutter creates chaos and confusion and it can make it hard to relax, both mentally and physically. Clutter in our lives creates anxiety and that produces wasted energy. Frustration is a by-product of clutter and that stirs up anger at ourselves and our environment. Yes, clutter has a definite undesirable impact on our lives. We can change the clutter in our environment. So let’s start helping your home have more open space, fewer distractions, and more simplicity. As you enter each room in your home, ask yourself, does everything in the room bring me joy or do I keep it out of guilt? Does everything in this room work? Do I use every item? If not, let it go, pass it along to someone who will be thrilled to have it, or get it fixed. Get a paper bag for recyclables and a bag /box for donations. Use a different color bag for trash and a box or basket for take backs. Now let’s take a tour of your home. First stop Bathroom: Old toothbrushes stored in the toothbrush holder, empty bottles of shampoo or conditioner, dirty clothes and towels, lotion you will never use, and aged-out kid toys can all easily clutter the space. Next stop Bedroom: How many books are piled on the nightstand? Find a home for the ones you are not currently reading or return read books to the library. What else is on your nightstand that does not absolutely need to be there? Extra water bottles, pens, paper, old ear plugs? If your laundry basket is in the bedroom consider finding a new space for it. Dirty piles of clothes, even in a basket, can clutter your mind and interfere with your sleep. The dresser can be a catch all for things we need and things we procrastinate on. Yes, go through each item and place it in one of the bags, bins, or boxes. Leave on top of the dresser only those things you will need for the next day. The Kitchen can hold many things that we don’t ever think about as clutter. If you have items on your counter that you use only occasionally, find a cupboard to put them in. Things that get daily use, or are used several times a week, are useful (convenient) to have on the counter. However, if you have counters full of stuff, it will distract you from focusing and completing tasks efficiently. Open space helps us feel less burdened and less anxious and more relaxed... Living Rooms and/or family rooms have a lot of activity and are a challenge to keep orderly. Piles of magazines, papers, or toys contribute to our feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Store the toys and remotes when not in use, fold blankets, and take care of the mail and papers every day. Check the bookcase or the entertainment center. Do you need everything you see, do you use everything you observe? Ask yourself - why do I have this item? It is possible to turn down the visual noise by asking these questions. Clutter costs us energy, time, anxiety, confusion, forgetfulness, and our ability to focus and more. For every minute we spend de-cluttering we will receive enormous benefits in our lives. Let it go! Feel the joy! 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


snugtops®, trailers and tonneau covers

mericans love their trucks. We bought 17.6 million of them in 2016, and 17.5 million of them the year before. That’s over 46, 575 trucks purchased every day. But, not all trucks are the same. Some trucks are basic, while others are as luxurious as the highest-end automobile. Which can create a potential challenge when it comes to your insurance coverage. If you add a SnugTop® or other type of camper/shell to your auto, or if you purchase a truck with one already installed, let your agent know. These are not factory-installed parts, and as a result, they do not show up in the truck’s description via the VIN number. Which means that, if you don’t tell your agent about it, you probably do not have coverage for it. And, since these tops can cost into the thousands of dollars, you want to make sure you are protected.

any vehicle) needs to be endorsed onto your policy. The cost is usually minimal. What about that trailer hitch? The key here is liability. What are you towing, and how are you insuring it? Is it a travel trailer, or a utility trailer? If your agent does not know what you are towing, they cannot protect you properly. Trailers can be endorsed onto your auto policy for not only liability but also for physical damage (comprehensive and collision coverage) but you should also consider a stand-alone policy, which has more extensive coverages than just an endorsement. This is important if you have a large amount of personal property in your trailer or it gets stolen while parked in a campsite. Personal property in a vehicle or trailer is NOT covered on your auto policy. It is covered by your home/renter’s insurance. In general, it is much better to make a claim for damage or theft against a trailer policy than your home or renter’s policy.

Few people realize that these items are NOT covered by their standard auto comprehensive coverage, and it can cause great Schedule a policy review with your agent and explore all your heartache when a claim is denied. Anything added to a truck (or options. 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: 619.200.3594 or at


Marco Sawrey & Karin Zonis-Sawrey

Cucina Basilico the fork-blossom 3755 Murphy Canyon Rd., Ste. I San Diego, CA 92123

La Mesa Location 7200 Parkway Dr. La Mesa, CA 91942

Ink fettucine with seafood

Spinach Radiatore Ragu alla Bolognese

his unassuming northern Italian restaurant hits all the right notes when it comes to satisfying our craving for pasta. Basilico makes fresh pasta daily making us linger over the linguine, rave about the ravioli, and love the lasagna. You are free to select a sauce to match your fresh pasta from the long list of delicious options. Sauces cover the standards like Pesto, Bolognese, Vodka and Alfredo, but there are unique ones too, like Polpette (meatballs) and Pantera Rosa (meaning pink panther: Alfredo and marinara with bacon!). There are vegetarian as well as dairy and gluten free options.

that there is squid ink pasta… we recommend ordering it and salivating over the slight sea flavor and seafood. Lastly, dessert. These are always changing, but there are consistently cannoli and tiramisu. The cannoli are made to order: still crunchy with a creamy ricotta filling. Perfect until the last bite when you realize you should have ordered two.


In addition to pastas, they have delightful appetizers from Bruschettas (fancy toast) to Calamari, Caprese and wonderfully refreshing salads. You can also go for Chicken dishes if you are all pasta’d out, but we have been so laser focused on the pastas and all their glory that we have not tried the other mains despite our best intentions to do so. They also offer sandwiches on homemade Piadina bread if you make it there for lunch instead of dinner. The Polpette sauce with penne pasta and the Ragu alla Bolognese with linguine both tasted as advertised: “our family recipe”. Those sauces taste like they’ve been on the stove all day in grandma’s kitchen. The specials are great too. If you are fortunate enough to be there on a night

The restaurant is always packed to the gills for lunch so plan to reserve unless you are getting takeout. Dinner gets quite busy as well most nights but the friendly welcoming atmosphere and approachable wines encourage you take a breath and relax as you enjoy your meal.

“Those sauces taste like they’ve been on the stove all day in grandma’s kitchen.”


bon vivant the wonderful world of bubbles!


hen it comes to celebrations, very few beverages bring more happiness than bubbles. With so many kinds of sparkling wine to choose from, the question becomes not just what to buy, but when I buy it, will I like it?

Sparkling wine has many names and those names denote from where the wine originated. Champagne and CrĂŠmant come from France, Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain and sparkling wine is made here in the United States. So how do you choose? Look to both your palate and your budget. First determine what flavor profile appeals to you: Extra Brut - Extra Brut is a bone-dry style with only 0-6 grams of sugar per liter. Brut - Meaning "dry, raw, unrefined" in French, Brut style wines taste quite dry with sugar levels less than 15 grams per liter. Extra Dry - While the name seems to say the wine would be drier than a Brut Champagne, this is not typically the case. Extra Dry is usually slightly sweeter than Brut with sugar levels between 12-20 grams of sugar per liter. Sec - French for "dry or lean", sec styles typically have a slightly sweet taste with sugar staying in the 17-35 gram per liter range. Demi-sec - Literally "half-dry" or semi-sweet, demi-sec styles have 33-50 grams of sugar per liter. Doux - "Sweet" in French, this style is quite sweet and quite rare with a whopping 50 grams or more sugar per liter (over 5% sugar). Now that you know what you like, what do you choose? Here is where your budget will play a role. Champagne: Quality Champagne is expensive, typically $40 or more a bottle. A good Champagne will have yeasty, bready notes with apple and melon characteristics with no residual sweetness. Look for Extra Brut and Brut styles. CrĂŠmant: One of the best values for Champagne lovers, CrĂŠmant will typically have all the characteristics of Champagne, but because it originates outside of the Champagne appellation, pricing is much gentler. My personal favorite comes from the Alsace region. These wines have beautiful floral aromas on the nose, and delicate, citrus notes on the palate. Great values can be had for $20-$30 per bottle and styles range from Extra Brut to Extra Dry. Cava & Prosecco: Both wine styles are steadily gaining traction because they tend to be very inexpensive and taste delicious. Sweetness levels are readily available for every palate from Brut to Doux. Flavor profiles run the gamut, but typically these wines will have beautiful fruit and creamy little bubbles that make a bottle disappear fast. If you love Mimosas, these are the wines to choose. Look for values $25 and under. Sparkling Wine: Made here in the United States, the sparkling wine scene is diverse and exciting. You can find wines that rival the Champagnes of France. As with Champagne, budget a little more for these wines. The best ones are in the $35-plus range.

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

Photo Credit: Living Coast Discovery Center

Photo Credit: Cindy Knoke

Why Kid Friendly? Mystery Animal Encounter Shorebird Feeding Sharks and Lobster Feeding Overnight Adventures Field Trips So Much More!!!!

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Living Coast Discovery Center

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91910 619.238.1233

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


Summertime Cucumber Caprese Salad Ingredients

    

where was rosemary? Love Locks Sculpture Downtown Vista Artist: Randall Art Ranch Winner Neil & Ellen Cadwallader Vista, CA

1 Tab Olive Oil 2 Tab Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tab Dried Oregano 1 Tab Dried Basil Dash Salt

    

Dash Pepper 1 Cucumber peeled, sliced thin and diced 1 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes quartered 4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Balls quartered 1/2 Small Red Onion thinly sliced and diced


1. In a small bowl mixt together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. Set aside. 2. Prepare tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, and onion and place in medium bowl. 3. Pour marinade over vegetables and cheese; mix well.

4. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving Recipe and Photo Credit:

around our town


voyage why cruising makes an ideal family reunion Beth Taylor


amily reunion vacations should be time well spent strengthening the ties that bind you together. But too often, the daily grind of cooking, cleaning, and keeping everyone entertained is exhausting for everyone involved. That’s why a cruise is the perfect solution: simply select the destination, step onboard, and let the crew take care of the rest. Endless food and drinks, entertainment galore, luxurious pools and lounges, and well-planned shore excursions — what more could you ask for? Perfect for families of all shapes and sizes, cruises offer plenty of space, whether you want to spend time together or need some quiet time. Planning special events is also a snap with the help of the onboard concierge, who can arrange everything from a celebratory dinner in a private dining room to a group excursion in one of the exciting ports of call. And if you plan far enough in advance, your cabins can be placed near one another, with connecting rooms specially designed for families. The diverse range of onboard activities is also perfect for multi-generational groups. From zip-lining and ice skating to wine tasting and cooking classes, cruise ships cater to all ages and interests. Even better, most of these activities are included in the price of your fare — as is the food, drinks and nightly entertainment, like movies and Broadway shows — making a cruise an incredible value. Depending on the size of your group, you may even get a group discount! Whether your group numbers six or 60, planning a family reunion cruise can be tricky business. That’s where the help of a professional travel agent will be extremely beneficial. They will help you with the decision making and other logistical questions. If your family is spread all over the United States, Canada, Europe or the world, coordinating can be difficult. Your travel agent will work with individual family members to book their flights and make arrangements for transportation to and from the ship. Even if one person in the family has been designated the “leader”, a travel agent is the one they’ll call instead of you when plans change, making cruising a beautifully stress-free way to vacation.

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-harper’s topiary Rosemary Joles


hat do a surfer, dinosaur, elephant and Buddha have in common? They’re all peacefully cohabitating in the fantastic foliage menagerie that is Harper’s Topiary Garden in Mission Hills.

This hidden gem is located on the property of Edna and Alex Harper, a local couple who several decades ago decided to transform the landscaping in their front yard into artwork for the entire community to enjoy. Although I’m often in the area, I had no idea that this mythical and peaceful spot existed. After recently learning about the attraction, I decided to make a trip up Union Street to check it out for myself. Upon exiting my car to snap a few shots of the Harper’s collection, I was in awe of all the different shapes and figures hidden in the hillside. I marveled at their tranquil space for several minutes – it was the perfect spot to take a mid-afternoon break from the hustle and bustle of a busy week! The hillside display includes more than 50 life-sized plant shapes designed by Edna “Scissorhands” (a sign in the garden even refers to her by this catchy moniker!) and maintained with the help of her husband and gardener. In addition to the hodgepodge of characters listed above, the garden also includes a serpent, whale, rooster, frog and a bunny rabbit walking a dog. The Harpers draw inspiration for their shrubbery sculptures from their travels throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, Hawaii and other exotic locations. Harper’s Topiary Garden is located at 3549 Union Street at the intersection of Vine Street. There is plentiful street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. If you’re captivated by unique hidden gems like this one, I highlight recommend checking out Hidden San Diego ( It’s an excellent resource for planning spontaneous adventures to little-known local spots that you likely never knew existed!


minutia A jiffy is an actual unit of time, not just an expression. In computer engineering, it is the length of one cycle of







milliseconds). In chemistry and physics, a jiffy is the amount of time it takes light to travel a distance of one

centimeter — about 33.3564 picoseconds.

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

useless knowledge

“Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car, he sticks his head out the window.”

Photo compliments of: Rebecca Johnson

— Steve Bluestone

Bravo and Mia are the fur-children of Rebecca Johnson. They are the grand puppies of Rosemary and Todd Joles.

botanical name: Alibizia julibrissin common name: Mimosa, Persian Silk Likes: Full sun to partial shade Needs: Moist to dry soil Blooms: Pink or Rose Note: Drought tolerant

Photo credit:

rosebud’s garden

I like gardening - it's a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself. -Alice Sebold

Photo credit: Mary Shephardson 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– succulents in vintage kitchen utensils


At Upcycled Home and Garden, we focus on “what can be” rather than “what it was”.’ Gail and Jim Hallemeyer

hat’s not to love about succulents? These colorful and unique plants grow practically anywhere as they require very little water. They are also easy to propagate and they make the most brown-thumbed person feel like their thumb has become green. You can pair them with vintage kitchenware to help keep things out of landfills and save water, too! It’s not hard to get happy about that. Ready? Here is a list of items that you will need for this project.   

For great succulent how-to videos, YouTube San Diego local succulent designer Laura Eubanks.

Photo credit:

Containers. Teacups, colanders, old boots/shoes, ladles, frames. Potting soil that drains well. Succulents don’t like wet feet. Plants or cuttings. The San Diego Succulent Swap Facebook group is an excellent resource for cuttings. You can also make friends with someone who has a succulent addiction who might be willing to share.  Drill and drill bits. You will need to drill holes into the bottom of your containers if they don’t exist. It’s the whole wet feet thing again. If you are drilling into things like tea cups you will need a diamond bit.  Inspiration. Pinterest, Google and Facebook all have great ideas on this subject. Finally, have fun. There is no right or wrong when designing your succulent container. If you think it looks fabulous then it does. Enjoy!

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.




define Serendipity as the occurrence or development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Thunder And Rain crossing my newsfeed this morning is the perfect example. Erinn Peet-Lukes voice hooked me in and Chris Herbst on dobro made me a real fan. Their set list ranges from their own bluegrass based tunes, to classic rock covers. Their style demonstrates their own uniqueness while paying respect to the classics they cover. Check out their web page here: And on Youtube:

books or blogs

bits and pieces

What activities make you lose track of time?


Photo credit:



if J.R.R. Tolkien had based his Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings Trilogy off an old Icelandic Saga? Author Michael Ridpath’s book, Where The Shadows Lie, introduces us to Boston Detective Magnus Jonson who is sent by Witness Protection to his native Iceland after several attempts on his life to work with the local Icelandic Police until he is needed to testify. Shortly after his arrival he is drawn into a murder investigation where the motive is the location and sale of the previously unknown Gaudur’s Saga about a ring of great power...

park exploration

Cabrillo National Monument 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. San Diego,, CA 92106 word search –native California plants three

Baja California Birdbush Baker Cypress California False Indigo Bush Cambria Pine Century Plant Dusky Willow Evening Primrose Fragrant Rose Frog Flower Giant Hummingbird Sage Grape Soda Lupine Indian Basket Grass Johnny Jump Up Joaquin Sunflower Lady Fingers Matilija Poppy Mountain Blue Beardtongue Owl’s Clover Find the answers at



Lamb’s Players Theater

Blithe Spirit September 5-September 30

The Old Globe

Once The Musical June 1-September 2

The Tempest June 17-July 22

A Jewel in the Crown City August 24-September 30

Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax July 2-August 12

Persuasion September 24-October 28

Barefoot in the Park July 28-August 26

Broadway San Diego

Cygnet Theatre

On Your Feet! July 31-August 5 The Phantom of the Opera August 23-September 2 North Coast Repertory A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum July 11-August 12

Much Ado About Nothing August 12-September 16

Spamalot June 27-August 12 Every Brilliant Thing August 22-September 16 San Diego Rep Fun Home September 6-September 30

San Diego Adventures july | august | september Supergirl Surf Pro July 27-July 29

US Sand Sculpting Challenge August 31-September 3

Imperial Beach - Surf Dog Competition July 29

Summer Family Mural Project September 7

Carlsbad Art in the Village August 12

5th Annual Carlsbad Brewfest September 8

Encinitas Taste of Main Street August 14

Cardiff Greek Festival September 8-9

World Bodysurfing Championships August 18-19

San Diego Blues Festival September 10

Bike the Bay August 26

Salt Dog Classic September 22


sd concerts

Burt Bacharach

Belly Up 143 S Cedros Ave. Solana Beach, CA 92075 858.481.8140

Patti Labelle

Loudon Wainright III

7/15 Pink Martini 7/17 Chris Isaak 7/20 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 7/23 George Thorogood 7/24 Roger Hodgson 7/26-27 Joe Bonamassa 7/1 The Young Dubliners 7/29 Adam Ant 7/3 80’s Heat Bayside Summer Nights 2018 7/30 The Decemberists 7/4-5 moe 7/1 Star Spangled Pops 8/3 Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons 7/7 Tainted Love: The Best of the 80’s 7/4 America’s Birthday with Clint Black 8/5 The Gypsy Kings 7/8 Sully & The Blue-Eyed Soul Band 7/6-7 Megan Hilty 8/7 Toto 7/11 Bob Schneider 7/12 Arturo Sandoval 8/8 Hippiefest 7/12 Monarch 7/13-14 Rick Springfield 8/10 Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss 7/13 Jefferson Starship 7/26 Godfathers of Latin Jazz: A Salute To 8/16 Brandi Carlile 7/14 DJ Williams’ Shots Fired and Dizzy and Chano 8/17 Lee Ritenour Brothers Gow 7/27 Marc Cohn and The Blind Boys of 8/23 Rodriguez 7/15 Paul Thorn Alabama 8/24 The Fab Four– Ultimate Beatles 7/28 Patti Labelle Tribute 7/16 Billy Bob Thornton & 7/29 Beethoven By The Bay 8/26 George Benson The Boxmasters 8/3 Burt Bacharach 8/27 Yes 7/18-19 Toad The Wet Sprocket 8/4-5 Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire 8/31 Lost 80’s Live 7/24 The Teskey Brothers 7/25 Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore 8/9 “Bird” On The Bay: A Charlie Parker 9/7 Australian Pink Floyd Show Tribute 9/8 Jake Shimabukuro 7/26 Henry Kapono 8/10 West Side Story The Film In 9/9 The Stylistics 7/27 Atomic Groove Happy Hour Concert 9/11 Lyle Lovett 7/28 Wayward Sons 8/11 Hooray For Hollywood 9/19 Kenny G 8/2 Femi Kuti & The Positive Force 8/12 Pablo Montero 9/21 Air Supply 8/4 Dead Man’s Party 8/15 Roger Daltry and Members of The 8/9 Ace Frehley Who Band 8/10 Pato Banton 8/18 Mustache Harbor & GRACEBAND 8/17-18 Gershwin On Broadway 8/19 Robert Randolph and The Family 8/23 Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers Band 8/25 Pivit 8/22 Star Wars: A New Hope 8/28-29 Rodrigo y Gabriela 8/23 Ladies Who Jam: Women In Jazz 8/31 Black Uhuru 8/24-25 The Temptations + The Four Tops 9/1 Midge Ure & Paul Young 9/4 The Marcus King Band 9/5 Justin Hayward 9/6 The Original Wailers 9/13 ROSTAM 9/14 Rayland Baxter with trouble in the wind 9/27 Loudon Wainright III 9/29 Marc Broussard

San Diego Symphony Copley Symphony Hall 750 B Street San Diego, CA 92101 619.235.0804

Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay 2241 Shelter Island Dr. San Diego, CA 92106 619.224.3577 Tickets 7/10 Straight No Chaser 7/12 Happy Together Tour

front porch pickin san diego music from classical to bluegrass


Leucadia · $329,000 · 619·405·7673

La Costa · $450,000 · 619·405·7673

Fallbrook · $705,000 · 619·405·7673

Civita-Origen · $795,000-$825,000 · 619·405·7673

Mission Hills · $1,199,900-$1,244,900 · 619·405·7673

Historic Mission Hills · $1,888,000 · 619·405·7673

from east county to the coast

Paradise Hills · $519,000 · 619·405·7673

Hillcrest-Park 7th Avenue · $599,900 · 619·405·7673

Carlsbad West · $889,000 · 619·405·7673

San Marcos · $999,000 · 619·405·7673

Encinitas · $2,150,000-$2,350,000 · 619·405·7673

La Jolla Palisades · $2,800,000 · 619·405·7673

Front Porch Wisdom

The older you get, the more quiet you become. Life humbles you so deeply as you age. You realize how much nonsense you wasted time on.


and Company Salons



4695 Palm Avenue · La Mesa · CA · 91942

Out of the Mouths…. Soccer coach: “When you are trying to score a goal, kick the ball with the laces of your shoes.” My 4-year-old daughter: ”Ummm, we are in preschool. Dere’s only belcro {velco} walking around here.”


North Park

Architect: Quayle Brothers | Built 1929 2891 University Ave. | San Diego, CA 92104 |

Photos: & Scott Carmella

Remember When



all me now to sell your home!

SOLD · $315,000 · 2/1 · Rancho San Diego

SOLD · $345,000 ∙ 2/2 · San Carlos

SOLD · $345,000 · 2/1.5 · Oceanside

Coming Soon ∙ $360,000 ∙ 2/2 ∙ Oceanside

SOLD · $435,000 · 2/2 · San Diego

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

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

For Sale · $799,000-$850,000 · 4/4 ∙ Ranch · Lakeside

For Sale · $899,000 · 2++/2.5 ∙ Penthouse · Civita

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 2014-2018 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 3 | 2018  

From the Front Porch Journal | Issue 3 | 2018  

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