We love our parks

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There is one thing that is fun about St. Paul and that is the parks. This year St. Paul was ranked #2 for having the best parks. Washington DC was number one and Minneapolis was a close #5.

99% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. How the park score is calculated. 
This year the Parkes will have working drinking fountains too. Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy your local park or parks.
Irvine Park fountain

Best idea ever! No mow May.

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It is May and this year there is that “no-mow May” thing going around. It is better for the environment and for pollinators if we let the lawn go. Right now the yard is full of food for pollinators and I plan to let them dine in peace.

I am a fan of not mowing the lawn and a fan of not owning a lawnmower but I do own one. I am also a fan of the old school lawn mowers that do not require fuel or electricity. You know cordless mowers that never need charging.

I am also a fan of not having a lawn that needs mowing in the first place.  On one side of the house, I have hostas and no lawn. Last year I mowed four or five times. The drought caused the lawn to go dormant.

No mow May seems like a no-brainer. There are rules in St. Paul about weedy yards and long grass but only if someone calls the city and complains. I am willing to take the risk.


Herb garden

Twenty Years of fun and frivolity

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This year I am celebrating, or not, my twentieth year in real estate.  Yesterday I experienced a career first. I encountered a cat that was so terrifying that I ended up running out of the house.

The homeowners had at least one camera on that I could see so I talked to them about their cat as I ran from room to room in case they were listening too.

cat in bag

As much as I like cats and dogs too I learned long ago not to touch them when I encounter them in houses I am showing.  This animal was adorable but it kept meowing as I entered the house and then it followed me. The cat jumped onto furniture claws out hissing at me as I walked by. At one point it sunk its claws into my leg.

It didn’t follow me into the basement but was waiting claws out, teeth bared, and hissing as I tried to go back up the stairs and leave the basement. It is a good thing I was unarmed or I may have had to hurt the cat when it lunged at me and tried to bite me.

Once I got out of the basement I ran out the front door and quickly closed it behind me.  I hope the homeowners got it all on camera.

There was that one time 15 years ago or so that a client’s dog bit me while I was meeting with him about selling his house.  It left a bruise but didn’t break the skin.

There was also that time when I discovered that an entire crawl space under a house was being used as a litter box. That was something I would like to unsee but even if I could I don’t think the memory of the smell would go away.

Once when I opened a door a cat came running out. My clients chased the cat but it got away. Never chase an animal that is running away it will only run faster.

I left a note in the house. We all felt bad about it but I later learned that the cat was one of those free-range cats that is allowed to roam the streets. The cat returned home and probably got to kill some birds that are on the endangered species list that day before it pooped in some child’s sandbox.

Just like some types of housing I have many stories. I could write an entire article about door locks and the challenges of getting into people’s houses even when I have keys.

What is in my email today?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. My email is mostly spam these days. I check my spam filers every day because most of the email that isn’t spam ends up in


the spam folder.

I get 4 or 5 emails each week from people who want to write articles and put them on this site. I also get several emails each week from people who are “following up”, “reaching out”, and “circling back” about emails they already sent asking if they can write articles for this site.

There are also numerous emails about inheritances that are mine or from people who have inheritances that they need to spend right now on real estate.

There are also a few from widows of princes and kings who believe I can help them smuggle large amounts of money out of their country. So many sad stories.

Once every couple of months I get ransom notes with threats in them asking me to pay up in bitcoin of course and then they will go away. Sure they will.

Emails with invoices that I supposedly already paid arrive with links I can click on if I want to dispute the charges.

A few fake Amazon emails arrive each month. Sometimes they look so real that I check my account to make sure all is well but I never, ever, ever click on anything in these emails more do I respond to them.

There are also regular advertising emails announcing conferences, classes, and Realtor open houses. Companies that make signs and sell business cards and greeting cards send reminders of about sales or messages letting me know now is a good time to order.

I managed to get off the mailing lists of the many politicians letting me know they need money now and have deadlines. Most of them make more money than I do and when they are elected we pay for everything including their salaries. If it is up to me to donate money to save a political party that party is doomed to fail.

There are some emails that I actually want and a few that are helpful but I sure have to sift through a lot of crap to get to them.

As a rule, I won’t ever click on a link in an email. It doesn’t matter how well I know the sender and you shouldn’t either, not even for fun.

Twitter Anniversary 15

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last week was my 15 year anniversary on Twitter. I almost missed it.

15 years on Twitter

2007 seems like such a long time ago.  I still use Twitter but differently now. I don’t share as much and I lurk more. Twitter is a news source and often where I see local and national news first. Twitter helped me meet people that I wouldn’t know otherwise, including people that I don’t want to meet.

When Realtors started joining Twitter they would tweet about homes for sale because back in the late 00’s they were very hard to sell. There were tweeting houses too which was just plain weird.

There are people who use Twitter to constantly promote their products and services with “auto tweets” but I don’t follow any of them anymore. I remember when we had a president who tweeted he was entertaining but distracting and scary too.

I have made a lot of typos on Twitter over the years and would rather delete a tweet than edit one. It will be interesting to see how Twitter changes if an edit button is added.

There is one little Twitter trick that I learned and want to share and that is to mute annoying people rather than blocking them. Once someone is muted I no longer see their tweets. They don’t know that they have been muted.  There isn’t anything bullies and trolls hate worse than being ignored.

I don’t keep track of how many followers I have but just checked and I have 8100. I seem to recall hitting 10K at some point but I think that was before Twitter did a purge and got rid of some of the Twitter bots and malicious misinformation accounts.


Reluctant spring

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I was listening to the weather report on the radio and the meteorologist used the term “reluctant spring”. I think that is a wonderful way to describe the endless winter and the temperatures that are well below average for spring.

The snow rain mixture should help alleviate the drought. So far the river hasn’t risen just enough to be at a normal level for a dry fall.

For those who want to provide habitat for pollinators now isn’t a good time to rake or clean up the yard. For one thing, it is too wet and for another, the little beasties that hibernate in our yards and gardens are still sleeping. This might be a good weekend to get the bike out or to stay home and finish the taxes.