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Cary House Hotel

Mar 31, 2009 ● By Super Admin

The historic Cary House Hotel on Main Street in Placerville is more than just another place for an overnight stay. It is known as the “Jewel of Placerville.” Standing with its original brickwork, the Cary House’s interior includes antique furnishings, such as an 1876 Chickering Square Grand piano with its original strings, and a stained glass piece representing the seasons of the Gold Country, crafted by local artist Wendy Wythe at age 17. In a cabinet nestled between the winter and fall stained glass piece is an old radio, which guests may explore and travel back in time. The Cary House’s 40 rooms, many of which include kitchenettes, are each uniquely decorated and have an original theme complete with historic memorabilia and vintage décor.William Cary founded the Cary House in 1857. The hotel originally had 77 guest rooms with luxuries of its time like a bathroom on each floor, hot and cold running water, and a brick exterior which was the safest due to its fireproof quality. During the historic building’s early years, the Cary House served as a stage stop for the Wells Fargo Lines and welcomed pioneers traveling through old Placerville. During the Washoe silver excitement, $90,000,000 in bullion allegedly passed through the doors, and $600 worth of gold was discovered in the basement in the early 1900s. The blue crystal displayed behind the front desk is actually locked, as it is poisonous and for decoration only. The original logbook for the hotel hides money from the Civil War underneath and includes Mark Twain’s signature. Other famous past guests include President Grant, Betty Davis, John Studebaker, and politician Horace Greeley whom reportedly addressed the miners in Old Hangtown from the Cary House iron balcony in 1859. Brooke Shields and Lou Diamond Phillips are more recent famous visitors.The Cary House saw many different owners and in 1915 the original building was completely rebuilt and renamed Hotel Placerville. In 1926, it became the Raffles Hotel and it was not until the late 1970s when Doug and Peggy Milton began a restoration process that the name was changed back to the original Cary House.Visitors can ride the famous old elevator, the second oldest operating elevator west of the Mississippi, built in 1926. There is also a mysterious safe in one of the hallways with a missing combination. Even the hotel owners do not know what hides within it.The hotel has two meeting facilities that are able to accommodate about 60 guests each; one of which is an elegant outdoor courtyard called The Fountain Plaza, which is draped with 90-year-old ivy. The Cary House Hotel sits at the end of the now busy and narrow Main Street, and is a hop, skip and a jump away from many specialty boutiques, cafés, beer and wine tasting rooms, books, and ice cream. For more information on the Cary House Hotel, visit caryhousehotel.com.

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Indoor Herb Gardens

Mar 31, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. These savories might call to mind that old song by Simon and Garfunkle, but have you ever considered growing these herbs yourself? This year, many of us are looking for ways to shave the dollars off our grocery bill. By growing your own herbs, you can do just that, without having to sacrifice freshness, quality or taste. An indoor herb garden is just the project for spring. Getting StartedVery few things are needed once you decide to grow an indoor herb garden – just pots, seeds or plants, a little soil, and a sunny window. Don’t feel like you have to stay with the traditional terra cotta, either. If you plan to keep your garden in the kitchen, choosing fashionable planters to complement your décor can add to the fun. Home and garden stores like Wild Plum in Grass Valley offer an assortment of containers to suit your tastes. Proper Conditions for CultivationEven though growing herbs inside is fairly simple, there are a few conditions that need to be in place to cultivate your harvest. According to Renee Towan, horticulture manager at Smith and Hawken in Roseville, “Most herbs need a lot of light – at least five to eight hours of sun, per day.” She recommends putting the pots in front of a south or southwest facing window, which allows the most light into the house. If your garden is not receiving enough light, you’ll find long stems and fading leaves on your plants, as well as leaves that fall off unexpectedly. However, even if your home doesn’t receive enough natural light, Towan says, “You can supplement it with a grow light.” Grow lights differ from standard light bulbs in that they shine the full spectrum of light required for plants to grow. They are sometimes sold already attached to pots; or, buy them separately and set them up directly above the garden.While the plants will need plenty of light, it is important to keep them away from places where they’ll experience temperature extremes, such as too close to the stove or directly beneath a heater vent. Also, be sure not to over water, which will rot the roots of the plants. It is advisable to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Towan also adds, “If you have the room, a six-inch pot would give the plant optimal room to grow.” In no time you’ll be ready to harvest your herbs and season your favorite dishes to tantalize the taste buds of your guests. For more about maintaining Indoor Herb Gardens, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  [email protected], or call 916-988-9888.

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A Quest for Clues

Mar 31, 2009 ● By Super Admin

We crested the hill and paused under the old black walnut tree. I passed the water bottle to my wife for a drink and accepted it back for a deep draught of my own. While she reviewed the clues, I surveyed the horizon. We were looking for “a grandfather and four little maidens” – a big old tree with four young saplings nearby. I saw a copse at the base of the valley that I thought fit the description, so onward we pressed. After my brave wife, my stalwart beagle/dachshund (or “Doxle”) and I searched for several minutes; we decided this was not the place, so back we went to the instructions. We followed the fence-line around the hill for another quarter mile and came upon another small grove of trees – this time obviously the one. My wife, a.k.a. “The Finder of Things,” walked directly to the base of the second sapling, found a stack of medium sized rocks behind it, and, lo and behold, there was our bounty! This time a small five-by-five-inch Tupperware box, disguised with camouflage duct tape. Within the box were a hand-carved rubber stamp and a logbook that held impressions of about 60 stamps with dates and notes.The Letterboxing LegacyOur treasure hunt was one that hundreds of local adventurers pursue every weekend. It is called letterboxing and it is a burgeoning outdoor activity in California’s Gold Country. The game originated in England in the Dartmoor National Park over 150 years ago. The activity stayed quietly in its homeland with an exclusive group…until a 1998 Smithsonian article, which immediately and vigorously transplanted it to US shores.And therein lies the conflict with writing an article about it; much like in Fight Club, the first rule of letterboxing is “You don’t talk about letterboxing.” There is a sort of quiet secretiveness about it. We do not want non-letterboxers disturbing our treasures. We go to a secluded place to put our stamp into the letterbox’s logbook and to put the letterbox’s stamp in our own. The etiquette of letterboxing is quite strict about not letting others, outsiders, see what you are up to. You do not want “them” disturbing the letterbox just to see what is there. It is a private treasure that you have discovered and that you are replacing for the next brave adventurer. To me, letterboxing is an excuse to take a hike in the country, though not all letterboxes are located in wilderness. “Bookboxes” are stowed among the collections of cooperative libraries in hollowed-out books. Other letterboxes are cleverly hidden in the inner city, and some are travelers – tiny letterboxes hidden within other letterboxes that travel with letterboxers to their next destination.Getting StartedTo begin the adventure, it is economical and easy. Pick out your trail name – this is your identity in the logbooks you visit and online. It is something that identifies you and your interests in common, though I know a long-time letterboxer who just goes by his first name. You will need a logbook, usually pocket-size, for the stamps from the letterboxes you visit, a personal stamp, usually hand carved but not always, to leave in the boxes you visit, a stamp pad, a writing implement and a simple base-plate compass. Additionally, basic outdoor supplies are useful, including, but not limited to, a canteen, a first-aid kit, a pair of stout gloves, a hiking staff and a flashlight. Letterboxes that require special equipment will include a listing of that equipment in the clues.The CluesThis leads us to the most important requirement in letterboxing: the clues. Letterbox clues range from simple directions to the box, taking you for a tour of the countryside, to complex riddles or mathematical formulae. The variety is limited only by the imagination of the box placer. These clues may be found various places, but the best place to start in our area is at the Letterboxing North America Web site: letterboxing.org. On that site you will find thousands of clues. In addition, you may find clues in published books, hidden on other Web sites, and in letterboxing newsletters.We found a relatively flat boulder and prepared for the stamping ritual. We spread out our materials and the contents of the box, carefully placing impressions of our vined and monogrammed stamp, and the paw-print for our Doxle in the letterbox’s log; we then placed the hand-carved waterfall from the letterbox in our own log. We noted our experience in both logs and packed everything carefully away for the next letterboxer to find. We re-hid the box carefully in its cubby and placed the rock pile, mussing the leaves so it looked as it had before we arrived. It was a beautiful spring day’s adventure and another letterbox for our ever-growing collection!

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Robin Tomlinson

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

In a world of galleries, museums, and art in public places, the average person is exposed to plenty of art. But it’s not every day that such exposure moves someone so deeply that they decide to become an artist themselves. Robin Tomlinson, a Placerville artist, did just that. Four years ago, Tomlinson visited the Navy Pier in Chicago, where over 200 stained glass pieces from all over the world are on display. “The pieces are enormous and beautiful and breathtaking, and when I saw them, I wept,” says Tomlinson.Upon her return home, Tomlinson knew she wanted to devote her time to learning and creating art. At first, art was therapeutic for her, but it quickly evolved into something more. “When family and friends began to see what I’d made and asked me to create pieces for them, I thought maybe there was potential for me to make a profession of it,” she says. “I thought that if I could love what I do and make money doing it, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”Tomlinson’s pieces exhibit skills of a veteran artist as opposed to a woman who is new to the art scene. New though she may be, Tomlinson’s work, also known as “Pieces of Ra Ra,” is capturing some major attention. In fact, she recently sold custom pieces to Red Hawk Casino to display in its High Stakes room. Her art will be permanently featured as part of Red Hawk’s décor. Tomlinson’s art can also be seen and purchased at Artist Edge Gallery, Sacramento (beginning in April); Mia Sorella, El Dorado Hills; and Rocky’s Art Gallery, Placerville. She not only sells her art, but donates 5-10 pieces per year to organizations such as the SPCA, the Lymphoid and Leukemia Foundation, and the El Dorado County Fair. Fun, yes. But easy? Certainly not. Tomlinson reveals a time-consuming, intricate creation process. All her pieces are mixed medium, and she hand cuts glass, rope and other materials for each piece. Her first step is to cover her canvas in clay, which takes 24 to 48 hours to dry. She then must paint the clay, and wait 24 to 72 hours for it to dry again. Next, she lays each tiny piece of rope, glass or beads into her desired design. Finally, she covers the whole canvas with an acrylic material, which can take up to 24 hours to dry. She blow dries the acrylic to smooth out thousands of tiny bubbles, and if her canvases get even the tiniest particle of dust on them while they’re drying, they will be ruined.“It takes a very long time to create each piece. I always have ideas and I just want to create, but I won’t start a new project until I’ve finished the previous one,” she says. Despite the long process, however, Tomlinson is thoroughly enjoying her newfound passion as evidenced when she says, “I’m having a great time. If I could do this for the next 30 years, I’d be in heaven.”

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Scott B. Otsuka

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Next time you marvel at the growing art community in Roseville, you can thank Scott Otsuka and friends. As Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Roseville, Otsuka also serves as chairman of the Cultural Arts Committee and works with four other members to serve the community as an art ambassador. “We have served as judges for...competitions throughout the community. We also recently reviewed panel recommendations for an exciting public art loaner program that the City is undertaking. There will soon be some great pieces, done by local artists, placed in key locations throughout Downtown and the Historic District,” says Otsuka.With his hard work on behalf of the committee, you’d think Otsuka would be too busy for much else. To the contrary, he has quite a list of other activities to his name. In addition to owning Infinity Financial Mortgage in Roseville, Otsuka coaches his daughters’ soccer teams, serves on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Roseville, and was recently elected to the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District board (to name a few). How does he juggle so much? “Everything I do is related to a passion, so it’s a pleasure to do it,” he says. Fortunately for the City of Roseville, Otsuka has a passion for bettering his community.For more on Scott B. Otsuka be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email [email protected], or call 916-988-9888.

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Spring Cleaning

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Spring has just about sprung, which can only mean one thing. No, not allergies! Time to get your house in tip-top shape! Not only does home maintenance help your curb appeal if you decide you want to sell, but even if you’re planning on staying put for a while, a few simple chores can prevent damage, and even save you some cash. As Ken Patterson, realtor with Keller Williams in Roseville suggests, “starting off your spring with a maintenance checklist can correct any problems before they get worse and cost a lot to fix.” So as we shoo those gray days off until next year, Style offers nine tasks that won’t break the bank to help maintain your home’s aesthetic, safety and cleanliness...just in time for the season’s change. 1. Clean Gutters Whether you climb the ladder yourself, use an attachment on your hose, or hire a professional, cleaning your gutters might be the easiest preventative thing you can do. Be sure to check that your downspouts carry rainwater at least five feet away from the foundation. Any closer than that can lead to water damage. 2. Power Wash Walls and DrivewaysPower washers can be rented for fairly cheap and are a cinch to use. Spray your outside walls, driveways, and paths to clear dirt, grime, moss and cobwebs from your home.3. Sweep ChimneyOnce the weather warms up and you’re finished with fires, have your chimney swept. Dangerous deposits of creosote build up during the winter and can be highly flammable next year when you light it up again. A simple sweep can keep your family safe. 4. Check Roof                                           Judy Black, Folsom realtor with Coldwell Banker, says, “Depending on the age of your roof, homeowners should evaluate and repair damaged, missing or loose shingles as needed.” Look over the roof for any damaged, missing or loose shingles and replace them.5. Wash and Weather-proof Windows and DoorsRain can leave dirty spots, particularly behind window screens, and cold weather can wear down weather stripping. Remove screens, and befriend a bottle of Windex. While washing, if you notice the weather stripping is cracked or worn, re-caulk. 6. Fix Your AC                                           “Spring is a good time to have a service check of your air conditioner to head off any problems before the summer heat waves.” Patterson says.7. Paint                                                 Simple enough to DIY, painting the interior and/or exterior of your home gives you the most bang for your buck. “It is cheap and will keep everything looking fresh and clean,” says Black. 8. Clear the ClutterMake it a clean sweep. Purge your cabinets, your drawers, your closets and under your bed. Placerville realtor, Suzy Allen of ERA Realty Center suggests clearing clutter outside, too. “Move trash cans behind fences,” she says. Garbage should never be seen from the street, unless it’s trash day.9. Mow, Prune and Plant Yard “Keep lawns green, mowed and maintained,” Allen adds. “First impression is most important,” she says. Planting flowers, spreading new bark and keeping bushes trimmed will drastically improve your curb appeal.With just a little motivation and a touch of elbow grease, keeping your home maintained through the spring should be a snap.

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Batter Chatter

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Hey, how ya doin. I’m a backstop. Yep, that big metal thing behind home plate at a ballpark near you. I know...I’m not supposed to be able to talk. Well, your kids aren’t supposed to climb on me, so we’re even. Tom was a little too busy (i.e. he couldn’t think of anything to write) so the editors asked me to step in and share a few of my thoughts on a national treasure that’s about to come back around again, youth baseball.I’ve been a backstop for a long time. The parks department put me up in ‘83. I’m 20 x 16 panelized feet of galvanized steel. I’ve seen a lot of kids playin’ ball and there’s nothing I love more. I guess you could say it’s my reason for being. Over the years I’ve noticed that a few certain elements seem to be the keys to success for everything from boy’s hardball to girl’s softball – both of which I love, by the way. Hey, backstops don’t play favorites (and neither do the umps, but no one ever believes me on that one).One: The parents gotta not only care, but care for the right reasons. If their six-year-old doesn’t poke a homer off the tee, they still oughta get a trip to the ice cream shop after the game. I’m happy to report, most parents get that. But I think the same should go for a 12-year-old. Yeah, they may look like a big-leaguer when they step up to the plate or onto the pitcher’s mound with their game face on, but in the dugout they’re still having burp contests and arguing over who would win in a fight, Batman or Spiderman. Come to think of it, so are a lot of the players in adult recreational softball leagues. Two: Hopefully your kid is out there because they love the game, because there’s no doubt they’re out there because they love YOU. They want you to be proud of ‘em – even the little tyke doing the pee-pee dance in right field. Never stop letting them know how great you think it is that they lace up their cleats – even if they’re tying them on their own now. Three: They’re learning a game – how to hit, throw, run it out to first, all that stuff. But they’re also learning life lessons like fair play, good sportsmanship and making a commitment to others. If you’re tryin’ to stack a team in the pre-season draft, or yellin’ at a 15-year-old ump for missing a call at second, or always missing practices or getting your kid there late, think about the message that sends. It sure ain’t one they’re gonna run on the scoreboard between innings at Pac Bell Park. Four: Winning is great. It’s awesome. It makes me quiver right down to my anchor blocks. But win with class – clamp down on any smack talk or in-your-face celebrations (and that includes some of you parents in the stands). And while you’re at it, teach them how to lose with grace. Sure, it’s fine to kick a little dirt, but losing a little league game shouldn’t be anything that ruins a weekend, or even the ride home. Five: Teach ‘em to support their teammates. Parents and coaches are one thing. But there’s nothing better to the ears (or heart) of a kid who just struck out for the fifth time in a row than to get some encouragement and a pat on the back from a teammate. When they finally do uncork one, it’ll be tough to tell who’s got the bigger smile.Six: Countin’ on your kid to be the next Jenny Finch or Dustin Pedroia? Great, but don’t push ‘em too hard or else you run a real risk of burning them out or wearing them out before they even reach high school. Let your kid’s drive lead you...not the other way around. That’s not to say don’t push a little, but never let that push become a shove.Seven: The most important – enjoy these moments. Once they’re gone, that’s it. You wanna come away with some great memories, right? Well, so does your child. Support, teach, and support some more. It’s pretty simple. Oh, and don’t forget the ice cream. •Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.

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Preventing Child Abduction

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Ask almost any mom, and she’ll remember a time when her son or daughter went missing – if only for a moment. She’ll likely describe the aching panic in the pit of her stomach at the thought her child might have been kidnapped. But for parents who have actually experienced the reality, they say the nightmare is indescribable.While child abduction cases are thankfully rare in our community, local law enforcement leaders say it’s important for parents and children, from toddlers to teenagers, to stay educated, prepared and alert. New Tools and Old Beliefs Over the past decade, the child safety playing field has changed considerably. Advancements in technology have led to the AMBER Alert notification system and an international database for missing children. Yet, we’ve also witnessed the growing popularity of a dangerous new tool for child predators – the Internet.Unfortunately, old myths about kidnap prevention remain, such as teaching “stranger danger,” and the need to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing child – two mistakes that could be deadly.Detective Sergeant Dennis Walsh with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department says that statistically, the vast majority of child abductions are perpetrated by someone familiar to the child or the family. That’s why national experts say the “stranger danger” message gives children a false sense of security around familiar faces, while at the same time promotes a fear of strangers whom actually could be rescuers. Kidnap Prevention TechniquesThe key to reducing the risk of child abductions, say authorities, is a combined effort on behalf of parents, children, law enforcement and the community, focused in three areas – education, awareness and preparation. They offer the following tips:For Parents of Younger Children:Make sure your child knows their address, full phone number and parents’ full names.Don’t put your child’s name on the outside of clothing, backpacks or lunch boxes. Warn children about approaching a vehicle or giving out personal information, such as name, address or school, to strangers. Remind children that adults should ask other adults, not children, for things like directions, or help finding a lost pet. Role play other scenarios with examples of common enticements such as candy or ice cream.Watch for teachable moments where you can practice “what if” scenarios and point out “strange” adults (security officers, other parents) your child might safely approach if lost.Have your child’s picture taken yearly and keep a photo and their fingerprints with you at all times. Consider purchasing a GPS-enabled wristwatch or bracelet, or child-locating device.Never leave children unattended in a vehicle. Have your child practice the Buddy System, even in public restrooms. Establish a family code word for emergencies.Screen babysitters and caregivers carefully. Be aware of others who may live or work at the same facility.Teach your child that if a stranger tries to grab him, he should yell loudly for “HELP!” or “I DON’T KNOW YOU!” And then run.Without a doubt, one of the best tools for prevention is community involvement, says El Dorado County Sheriff Sergeant Bryan Golmitz. He says over the last year his office received multiple calls reporting strangers approaching young children, and they thoroughly investigated every one. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to identify and report suspicious circumstances immediately to law enforcement,” Golmitz says. “We can’t help if we don’t know about it.”

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