Friday, July 31, 2015

9 foot umbrella from Orchard Supply

This week I got a 9 foot forest green umbrella from Orchard Supply Hardware.  We put it up in our backyard on July 29th, and had a spaghetti dinner underneath!

These are some of the features of this umbrella:

*Light weight aluminum construction
*Opens with easy to use crank
*Includes auto tilt feature
*Fade and mildew resistant olefin canopy
*Rust resistant
*Powder coated frame


9 FT. Umbrella
Forest Green

Sunday, July 26, 2015

California Train Museum in Sacramento, CA

Located next to Old Sacramento, and walking distance from the Amtrak station, is the California Train Museum.  This place is fantastic - a must-see for train-lovers young and old.  The place is enormous, and holds a large number of vintage train cars.  Steam engines.  A diesel.  A mail car from the era of mail delivery by train.  A sleeping car.  A dining car.  A caboose.  An exhibit about the Pullman labor riots over a century ago.  And exhibits featuring hundreds of model trains.

Recommended child friendly hotel near the train museum that is also walking distance:
Embassy Suites Hotel, Old Sacramento
This place is wonderful, as you can take the train to Sacramento and walk to the Crocker Museum, the Train Museum, dining, Hornblower boat ride, and the Embassy Suites, all car free!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Old Sacramento Historic Foundation, Sacramento, CA

We've taken Amtrak train to get to Old Sacramento from Martinez, Emerville, or Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.  Also, there is limited parking around Old Sacramento.  

My son loves the Sacramento train museum, a block away from the train station.

Old Sacramento is a fun place to wander around and eat lunch or dinner.

The Delta King hotel is actually a river boat, and you can spend the night on the boat, or dine in the restaurant.


Old Sacramento Historic Foundation
(916) 808-7059

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How do we remove mice and rats in an old bungalow?

Having an occasional mouse or rat squeeze into an old bungalow is common, I have heard!  It is somewhat frightening to hear their scurrying....   There are so many holes that they can crawl through in an old bungalow, and other critters have been known to find a place to crawl in too!  We keep a look out for holes on the side of our house and cover them with wire.  Also, there are a few rat trappers that work too.  We've tried most of them.  Glue traps are effective but inhumane.  The standard mousetrap works, but those are sometimes tough to set.

A series of electrical traps seem to work more humanely than other traps.


Raticator Plus
Humane and poison free
There are no poisons involved, so is more environmentally friendly and is safe for pets.
Made in the U.S.A.

Rat Zapper
The Power Tool for Rodent Control
Poison Free
made in China

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Exploring: John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, CA- Muir's Victorian home for 24 years!

This past Saturday night I took my son to a free campfire at the John Muir House in Martinez, CA.  There were several volunteers and rangers who told stories, led songs, did a rain dance, and took turns leading an amazing campfire program that I couldn't have exactly recreated myself.  Then, at the end, there were marshmallows to roast!

John Muir's lived in a 17 room Victorian Italianate home built in 1882.  It's a beautiful home where Muir lived the last 24 years of his life.  This is a great summer adventure for all ages!

Layout of the Muir's home:

First floor:  west parlor, east parlor, kitchen, dining room, sun room, conservatory

second floor:  5 bedrooms, Muir's scribble den

Attic and Cupola:  Attic filled with Victorian furniture, my son loves ringing the cupola bell and seeing the 360 degree view of the property and Martinez from the top of the stairs.


John Muir National Historic Site
4202  Alhambra Avenue
(925) 228-8860

Summer and fall activities:

Roadmap to the Sky
Stargazing adventure:
July 18th, 9:15PM
August 15th, 8:45PM
September 12th, 8:15PM
October 10th, 7:30PM

August 8th, 7PM
September 5th, 6:30PM

Full Moon Walks on Mt. Wanda:
August 29th at 6:45PM
September 27th at 6:00PM
October 27th, at 5:45PM

John Muir's Biograph

Mountain Day Camp for children
Camp Director, Jill Harcke
(925) 680-8807

Nearby cafe for excellent coffee and espresso drinks:
Mountain Grounds Cafe
Martinez, CA
3750 Alhambra Ave.
Martinez, CA  94553