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October 2010, Volume 12 Number 5


SUNDAY DEC 5 TREE LIGHTING—SNOW—SANTA CLAUS—Marine Avenue Fire Station Starts at 3:30 pm Tree Lighting at 5:30 pm

SHOOTING THE BREEZE.  . . . . Carolyn Carr

Last month I omitted a very important ‘thank you’ from my newsletter—to Gary Cohen owner of Integrity Handyman Service and a long time neighbor of mine on Balboa Island.

Gary has helped me many times over the years with all kinds of problems—the latest being the ceiling in the infamous bathroom downstairs.

He replaced and textured the ceiling to match the rest of the room—you cannot tell where we had the leak.  Thank you Gary.  And thanks for aligning my bathroom window that a recent house inspector had indicated was “broken”.

Gary, I think you are in the wrong business if these inspectors make good money.  Besides the “broken” window, the person who was here couldn’t even find the valve for the gas fireplace in my living room.  It was on the hearth—if it had been an alligator it would have bit him!

In conjunction with the sale of the house I was handed a $42,000 complete replacement deck estimate from a well-known local deck company.  Because of Gary’s integrity and professional affiliation he was able to provide me with a licensed contractor who specializes in waterproof deck coating systems.  This company provided me with an estimate that was $22,000 to perform all necessary repairs and recoat the deck.
Gary has used this contractor to redo my neighbors decks to her immense satisfaction.

Gary’s motto is he “can fix just about anything except a broken heart and a empty wallet.” I love that.  Give Gary a call today at 714.914.6615 or e-mail him at

I feel like I am living in a different dimension during the sale of this house from when I bought it.  Things couldn’t possibly be more different. 

I have never owned a piece of property prior to 118 Agate and probably would not have bought this one had I not tired of hauling my stuff from place to place on Balboa Island as one owner after another passed away or sold the property. 

We first rented half the office here in 1995 from Joan McNair, the original owner.  In 1997 she asked me if I would like to buy the property for a certain price.  I said sure.  I would sell the property my father left me in Wyoming and use that money as a down payment..  Easy.  So I thought.

I hired a real estate agent in Cheyenne Wyoming and a sign went up—next thing I knew I was served papers—for an adverse possession suit. My land sat in the middle of acres and acres of land owned by an adopted woman about my age.  She had no idea I owned the land.  But I did. 

I spent a couple of years going back and forth to Wyoming and finally won the suit because I had papers signed by her father acting as my father’s agent.  Long story—I sold the land to her for less than I could have gotten on the open market.  I was tired of Wyoming, good old boys and knew when she appealed I COULD lose.  The details of the case—like everything else in my life—make an interesting story.

So in 2000 I went back to Joan and asked her if the price was still the price—it was—even though the market had changed.  She was a woman of her word.  I hesitated.  I am a free spirit and I believe that property owns you not the reverse.  (Strangely enough I am reading the same thing in Walden Pond right now).

So I was more than slightly reluctant to buy the property.  A couple of friends of mine said I was crazy if I didn’t buy it, but . . . .  I asked Joan if they could buy it—sure but not at the price she had given me.  So I went ahead.  I gave her the down payment and went to an escrow office and transferred the house ownership.  Painless and simple.  This real estate stuff isn’t so bad after all.

And I loved redoing the house.  Decorating is fun.  Especially when it becomes an investment in your future.  Or so I thought at the time.  This was my retirement and a beautiful place to live all rolled up into one.

Flash forward to 2009.  I want to sell the house.  Both Mike and I are challenged by the many sets of stairs we have to climb every day.  I loved them until recently—they were a mindless way of keeping weight off—but I AM, unfortunately, getting older. And the combination of a stroke, knee replacement and back surgery means I will have to find a new kind of exercise.  I also have three books on the burner and need to spend time with them. 

But it isn’t nearly as easy to sell a house today.  Everyone wants to get the best deal.  The price is the price—for a minute—until it is the next day’s price.  Things drag on and on.  Inspections, forms—all things I’ve never had to deal with before.  Things that would be hard to deal with if I was healthy—but these days I can’t keep the days of the week straight—let alone anything else. I look at my bills and think—these are due on Wednesday the 22nd—tomorrow.  Then tomorrow I find out Wednesday was yesterday.

I can write—but I cannot focus for very long.  Filling out forms with myriad questions about the property was challenging beyond belief.  I was told ‘do the best you can.’ Later I was told I lied because I missed a question about a water leak. Did they REALLY think I was dumb enough to put it on the front of my newsletter if I was trying to hide it smile

This is residue from my stroke.  I know it will pass and I will move on.  I just thought I had.  We found a house on a quiet street for reasonable rent, some storage and were ready to go.  But the universe apparently has other things in mind for me. 

I love the saying on a plaque at Heart of the Island on Marine Avenue—”When God Closes One Door He Always Opens Another—But it’s Hell in the Hallway” These days the Hallway seems more like the Lincoln Tunnel!! Today I am going to try something new—renting my present house (see the next column ) Let’s see if that is in part of my path in the world smile

ISLAND FITNESS . . . . . Marjie Page

Island Fitness opened this past March in the Stone Building, (121 Agate #3), on Balboa Island to offer individual and group workouts to fit the personal goals an fitness needs of those living on or near Balboa Island.

The studio offers Pilates mat and reformer workouts, TRX Suspension training (Think weight training without the weights) and senior specialty classes to improve balance and strength.

Island Fitness’ owner, Marjie Page, has lived on Balboa Island for 14 years with her husband Craig who grew up right here.  Marjie retired in June after teaching 37 years at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point.  27 years as a Physical Education teacher.

Your editor has been working with Marjie for the past two weeks to help with her back and strength issues.  She is a great teacher.  She is my total opposite.  She can focus and explain things in understandable terms.  Must be all those years with the children. 

Your introductory session is free so give Marjie a call at 949.230.2316


Time to start thinking about the Holidays.  Damon Burris and Mike McCluer have been installing lights on Balboa Island for longer than I have been writing this newsletter.  They have plenty of experience and lots of Island references.
Call soon to set up an appointment and get your lights shining before the Balboa Island Home Decorating starts on December 10.
Mike and Damon have been busy this summer keeping in practice with weddings and other parties—so think of them for events.
Mike can be reached at 949.903.9018.  Damon can be reached at 949.307.8613


3 BR—3 Bath w/Den
Bright and Sunny.
Gas Fireplace/Central Heating.
New Kitchen Appliances
Hardwood Floors in Living Areas.
Laundry/Car Port Parking
View of Harbor - Across from Beek Center Park
Furnished or Unfurnished w/Cable, Water
Weekly, Monthly ???? Price Negotiable depending on length of lease.n .

PUT YOUR AD HERE.  Also Uploaded to http://www.balboa-island.com

Fully Furnished 1 BDR 1BA Upper Garage
New paint, area rugs, curtains, bed covers, upholstery, flat-screen TV, Blue-Ray DVD. Granite Transitions counter, sink and faucet, shower enclosure, refrigerator w/’ ice maker, ceiling fans in BR and LR, Solar tubes skylights in BA and kitchen, dishwasher, filtered water
Newer dryer, dishwasher, gas stove, oven, microwave, recessed lighting
Included: water, electric, trash, local phone, fire alarm system, washer/dryer
$1,850 monthly, fully furnished, 1 year lease
No pets, no smoking, no drugs
Call: Kaki – (626) 396-3939 or



Unfurnished 3BR 3BA On the water !!
Cute shingled 2 story house with huge front deck on with BBQ and retractable awning
UP: 3 bedrooms – 2 full baths
DOWN: Living Room w/ fireplace, wet bar w/ refrigerator, dining area, kitchen w/double sink, refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, dishwasher, microwave, gas oven, gas cook-top, ¾ bath and washer/dryer in mini-garage
Curb cut parking $5,500/month + utilities
Includes: Water, trash, local phone, fire alarm system
No pets, smoking, drugs
Call Kaki (626) 260-3456 (626) 396-3939


Large Garage w/Remote Control
New Refrigerator and Washer/Dryer
Yearly Lease $3,200/Month.
Pier Boat Slip Available.

20-25’ Boat.  East Bayfront

2003 Western GOLF CART
Licensed—Fully Street Legal
$5000.00 949.422.8570


I have found interesting information about Cannabis after reading in the OC Register Frank Mikadeit’s article, The Mrs. Fields of Cannabis Brownies, PatiCakes.  With Proposition 19 on the Ballot this November I thought I would do some research.

I e-mailed PatiCakes to set up an interview to learn more and was very surprised at what I discovered.

Laguna Woods Village Retirement Community, better known as Leisure World, has formed a non-profit, patient-run medical marijuana collective to grow their own cannabis for those with a doctor’s recommendation. 

One woman commented, “Marijuana is the only thing that will keep me from constant pain”.  Another woman had a near-fatal reaction to pain killers after a series of surgeries and started using marijuana instead of pain medication and decided the marijuana was a far better alternative than poisoning her body with drugs!

As PatiCakes stated, “Cannabis is non-addictive, non-toxic and you cannot overdose on it.  Unless you die laughing!  Research has proven it helps cancer patients with nausea, appetite, pain and anxiety. 

PatiCakes says her patients range from 45—80 years old.  The majority are in the 60—80 year range.  She bakes Double Chocolate Brownies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Sunshine Bars.  “Patients are replacing vicodin, oxycontin, valium, xanax and other toxic medication with cannabis.  I have customers who are retired doctors, nurses, lawyers, and cops (oh yes).”

PatiCakes can be reached at http://www.paticakes.com and will be more than happy to provide you with information about medical cannabis.  She has the State of California Medical Marijuana ID Card.

Numerous studies and research has been done over the years proving cannabis to have healing properties and to be safer than cigarettes or alcohol (the #1 narcotic).  AARP did a survey which found that 3 out of 4 Americans support the legalization of the medicinal use of marijuana.

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things . . . Jean Baer

118 Agate Avenue
Balboa Island, CA 92662
949.675-4348 (Fax)
949.422-8569 (Cell)

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR LONG TIME CLIENTS - It Has Been a Tough Time for Everyone—But You Have Really Stepped Up To the Plate To Help Us—We Really Appreciate It!!

Island Flooring is a great source for ALL your Flooring Needs:

Carpet—Tuftex, Royalty, Mohawk, Smartstrand, Shaw, Royal Dutch, Catalina,, J Mish
Vinyl—Including Karndean, Congoleum, Mannington, Armstrong
Carpet Tiles
Hardwood—Garrison, Anderson, Armstrong, Bruce, Catalina, DuChateau, Mannington, Custom Floors
Hardwood Refinishing
Ceramic Tile—Dal, Shaw, Stone Peak and More
Marmoleum—Natural Linoleum from Linseed Oil—Great Colors!
Stone - Granite, Limestone, Travertine, Caesarstone
Wonderful Laminates that look hand scraped and hold up even in commercial applications—at a reasonable price
Cork—Fun Patterns, New Leather-Look Styles, Q-Cork

Anyone can sell you something, but we are here to educate you and to make sure you choose the right Floor for your home or business.

15 Years on Balboa Island
35 years in Orange County LOTS of REFERENCES ON and Off BALBOA ISLAND!!