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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thoughts From A Frog......

People come and people go, but one thing remains the same. You can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand. In the Real Estate business it may be even fewer than that. The longer I am around Real Estate the less I find that people are able to surprise me.

Remember the story about the scorpion and the frog? No? In brief, a scorpion approaches a frog sitting by a stream one day and asks him to take him to the other side. The frog declines, expressing his concern about being stung. The scorpion promises the frog that he will not sting him and promises to protect the frog from the dangers awaiting him on the other side of the stream. Against his better judgement the frog agrees. Halfway across the stream the scorpion stings the frog. As his body becomes numb from the poison the frog asks the scorpion why he would do such a thing? The scorpion replies, "I'm a scorpion. It's what I do. I can't change what I am".

They both drown.

The moral of the story? Don't ignore your instincts. You have them for a reason-survival. Had the frog listened to his instincts he wouldn't have drowned in the middle of the stream.

Beware the scorpions who you will encounter throughout life. It is simply impossible to avoid them altogether. They come in many shapes and sizes and speak with a velvet tongue. They are not happy unless they are causing another pain and misfortune. Some people (scorpions) will sacrifice anything and everything to bring another (frog) down, even their own well-being. Scorpions may know the consequences, and not care, like the one mentioned above, or may, through vanity and denial, refuse to see the consequences.

In any event, the effect is the same: something--a life, a partnership, a friendship--ends as a result.

To all of the frogs reading this article, listen to your instincts. They will keep you from harm.

To all the scorpions, your day will come. You will eventually sting a frog that will take you down with him.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy (and HOT!!) Weekend Ahead

There is so much going on in Eastern Madera County this weekend it's going to be tough to fit it all in!! Here's the lineup:

-27th Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale at the Oakhurst Community Center 9am to 3pm
-Sierra Mountain Quilters Quilt Show at Yosemite High School

-Paso Robles Wine Festival Road Trip
-American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the Wasuma School in Ahwahnee
-Oakhurst Home and Garden Show in the Oakhurst Community Park
-Spring Wine Trail Adventure-Madera Wine Trail
-Rummage Sale-Sierra Star Parking Lot, Oakhurst. Benefits the Harry H. Baker Boys & Girls Club

-Sierra Mountain Quilters Quilt Show Continued
-Relay for Life continued at Wasuma School in Ahwahnee
-Oakhurst Home and Garden Show continued in the Oakhurst Community Park
-Blood Drive, Yosemite New Life Church of the Nazarene, Junction Drive, Oakhurst

Here's to a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Record High Temps Expected This Weekend

A strong high pressure system will build over California this weekend. Temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley and for us in the foothills will reach triple digits. Near record temps of 102 to 110 are expected both days.

If you have outdoor plans this weekend remember that mountain streams and rivers, although appearing cool and inviting, will be flowing swift and cold from snow melt. Outdoor enthusiasts are advised to use extreme caution near streams and rivers.

Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Whenever possible stay in the shade or in an airconditioned room. Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing and drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

Keep an eye on your children and pets. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THEM UNATTENDED IN YOUR VEHICLE. Make sure your pets have access to plenty of shade and water.

Notices of Default Drop

Foreclosure Radar reports in their April foreclosure report that Notices of Default dropped 18.2% in April from the record level in March. Notices of Trusee Sale also dropped by 8.5%. Properties taken to auction rose 35%, representing over $6 billion in loan value.

The number of foreclosures sold to third parties increased in April to 1,634, a 52.3% increase over March. This figure represents only 12% of the total, with 88% of foreclosed homes going back to the lenders.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relay For Life This Weekend

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is happening this weekend, May 16th and 17th, at the Wasuma School in Ahwahnee. This is a 24 hour event as cancer never sleeps. Gates open Saturday morning at 6am. Click here for a complete schedule and event list.

For further information contact Becky Morris at Oakhurst Medical Group 559-658-6400 or Christine Dragoo at Community Medical 559-683-2992.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Century 21 Ditton Realty Announces Top Agents for April

CENTURY 21 Ditton Realty would like to recognize Scott Runtzel, Julie Gerken and John Bortz for their outstanding sales performance in April. They have been listed in the top 100 agents for the Sierra Nevada by Century 21.

Way to go!!

One Less Rattlesnake In The World

Mother's Day at our house was a peaceful event.....until we found the snake.

My inlaws showed up a bit early for the bar-b-cue so they could walk around and enjoy the flowers and roses that my husband and I have been laboring over. There is one particularly beautiful rose bush on the west side of the house that my husband wanted his parents to see. I walked with them and then went to sit by the pool with the dog. Within a few minutes my husband came back around to the pool area ushering his parents and urging them to return to the house. When I shot him a questionning glance he mouthed to me "Rattlesnake", not wanting to set off any panic. Once his parents were safely inside he donned heavy jeans and boots and went in search of a shovel.

My curiousity (and skepticism) over the snake got the better of me so I went to have a cautious look. I walked by the damned thing at least four times and never saw it. My husband showed up with the shovel and saw where I was standing. He exclaimed "Get out of there!! It's right in front of you!!". I looked again, but didn't see a thing. Nor did I hear the fabled "rattle". By now I was beginning to think that he was seeing things.

I went into the house and kept his parents company for a while. After about 10 minutes I went to check on my husband. I found him standing over the snake (now in two pieces) right outside our bedroom window...... right where I had been standing and looking.....right where I had been standing just the day before tending to my roses in my bare feet.

So, he hadn't lost his mind after all.

Now, let me just say that I have never been afraid of snakes. I grew up swimming in Lewis Creek among water snakes. There were always gopher snakes, kings and garden racers around the yard. I have heard over and over the stories of people finding rattlers on their porch, under their kids toys in the yard, in their garage, etc. I guess in some weird way I thought that my lack of fear made my yard somehow unattractive to the rattlers. Well, my yard has been breached by the enemy and it has freaked me out!!

Later that evening I went outside to entice the cats in for the night. Our youngest, Stuart, refused to cooperate and instead went running down the bank into the weeds and brush. Prior to our little snake incident earlier in the day I would have followed him and rounded him back toward the house. That night I decided that he was on his own....I could picture rattlesnakes lying in wait for me everywhere.

Yesterday, Monday, my husband got home before I did. He changed into his t-shirt and shorts and headed outside to water the garden. Two steps out the door he saw a snake lying on the patio. Fortunately, this snake was only a gopher snake, although a pretty big one!! He sprayed him with the water hose and sent him slithering into the flowerbed.

So, to the snake gods, I apologize for not taking you seriously. Your message has been received and understood and I appreciate the fact that it did not include a trip to the hospital. I will no longer traipse around in the flowerbeds of my yard barefoot, nor will I walk around the yard at night barefoot. I will always look before I reach (and carry a sharp instrument). I will get my dog her rattlesnake bite vaccine and make sure that her yard is kept clear of excessive growth.

And I will spread the word to those far and wide to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. They are ever present, even when we can't see them or hear them.