Sierra Lifestyle Team Wishes You A Happy Holiday!

Sierra Lifestyle Team Wishes You A Happy Holiday!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah & Kwanzaa!

Alisa Johnson, Dennis Geare, Kendra Del Rio, Julie Davis, Julie Cleek, Neta Ham, Mary Cornell & Chris Nichols wish simply to thank you all for your business and friendships. We know that you, like all of us, are doing the holiday dance or should we say dances!! And we want to give you a tiny bit of time back.

So no lengthy Newsletter this month. Just a sleigh full of THANKS from The Sierra Lifestyle Team!


Mark Your Calendar For Our Client Appreciation Celebration February 27, 2020!

We will gather at Casa Las Katerina across the street from our offices for some good Mexican finger food and libations, from 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Look for our formal notice after the new year.

Now How ‘Bout A Holiday Recipe:

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I’m not calling this dish Pozole because the chiles used are smoked Spanish paprika and I have a hunch a lot of people would not go for calling this Pozole. So instead, it’s a stew! I doubt this kind of thing exists in Spain but it sure was a hit at my house so I think it will be in heavy rotation for a while, especially while we have this incredible Spanish paprika.

I think shrimp and celery are a terrific combination. Four stalks might sound like a lot, but it cooks down and makes the shrimp very happy.

  1. Saute the celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the oregano, paprika, and thyme. Stir and continue cooking for a few minutes until a thick paste is formed.
  3. Slowly add the liquid while stirring constantly. Start with 4 cups and add more later if you prefer it soupier. Allow it to warm through, about 5 minutes or so. Add the hominy. Once the soup is warm and you’re about ready to serve, add the shrimp and cook through, about 5 minutes. Add the last cup of liquid if it seems too thick for your taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls and allow guests to add parsley and lemon juice to taste.

Serves 4 to 6

We thank our friends at RANCO GORDO!

About Shrimp and Hominy Stew From Steve Sando at Rancho Gordo-
For Christmas Eve, I like to take a cue from the Italians who often have a fish dish, most famously the Feast of the Seven Fishes. My idea is to make a sort of seafood pozole but instead of traditional chiles, I season the pot with Spanish pimentón (paprika). Our new shipment of Burlap & Barrel pimentón will come in handy. Of course, this dish would not please an Italian, Spanish, or Mexican grandmother, but if you have a sense of adventure, I think you’ll find it a keeper. 

We Love Growing Organic Fruit!

We Love Growing Organic Fruit!

One of my favorite things about living in Browns Valley below the snowline is growing a variety of organic food.

It’s like an adventure, what can we grow now? We have planted over 15 fruit trees and many berries since moving here in 2016, including Pomegranate, Fig, Nectarine, apple, Variegated Pink Meyer Lemon, and Lime. Since it can take a few years to get a large fruit production I try to plant something new each year. This year I’m planting pineapple guava, hardy kiwi vines, and avocado.January is the perfect time to purchase bare-root fruit trees. The local nurseries are receiving shipments and with all the sunny weather we are having it’s great to get outdoors and plan your crops for the coming years. There are a number of great local nurseries that offer a variety of fruit-bearing trees or berries. Some of my favorites are, Prospector’s Nursery located in Nevada City, Weiss Brothers Nursery located in Grass Valley, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply located in Grass Valley, Eisley Nursery located in Auburn and  Bald Mountain Nursery located in Browns Valley.

There is a large orange tree in my yard that was here when we moved in. Much to our family’s delight, we get a great amount of juicy, tasty oranges and every year we make candied orange peels, yum.

Each type of tree has an ideal time to prune. Pruning benefits the size and quantity of fruit production and pruning for shape can allow for an easier harvest. Mid-Winter is ideal for citrus, once the citrus trees have reached hibernation, usually in January. I started practicing my pruning technique with the orange tree in my yard. Every year I wait not so patiently for the right time to trim back the branches. It’s important to wait for a period of time where there will be no rain. I want the fresh cuts to have a chance to seal. I start with trimming any crossing branches. Anything that grows in is cut out. The goal I have for all of my fruit bearing trees is to keep them short to enable easy fruit harvest. A general rule for pruning is, don’t cut more than 1/3 of a tree per season. The first season I cut all crossing branches and started to trim back upper branches. The following season I did maintenance cuts, eliminating any new branches I didn’t want and cut more of the upper branches to ensure I would be able to reach all of the fruit. I’m currently planning my next plan of attack. As soon as I see the blossoms appear signaling hibernation I’m going in.

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Lately, I have really started evaluating my life, life choices and how I choose to live my life.

I realize I give a lot of myself away to all the people around me. Giving of myself is a joyful experience and an expression of who I am and I love to give to all those around me. However, it also has a draining effect on me as well.

For so long, I have, in a way, prided myself on the ability to continue to give of myself and not take time to replenish my energy supply or to take minimal time to just bring myself back to functional. Taking time for myself felt selfish. I would continue to give to all those around me and pretend I didn’t also need anything.

Refill your pond!

Recently someone gave me a great analogy that our life is like a pond. It provides life to the plants and animals around and in it.  As we give, the water goes down. if we do not refill the water in the pond, we end up having nothing left to give but the mud at the bottom of the pond. I realized my refusal to take care of my inner desires and spiritual well-being has left me giving away “mud” to all those I care about.

This weekend I refilled my pond at the Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City put on by 4 Elements. Normally, I would feel so guilty about spending money, and time away from my family that I wouldn’t even tell my family I wanted to go and just silently wish to myself that I could. This time I recognized the need for “refilling” in my life and asked “how can we make this happen?” My husband was so supportive and loving. He even took the kids to visit grandparents so I could have the whole weekend to myself.

We were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Nevada County as our outdoor classroom. We learned emergency/survival skills like how to make a debris shelter, how to start a fire with a bow drill, plant identification, food foraging, water purification and so much more. We also took time to really get connected with our intuition and nature as well as get in touch with our playful side by playing games together. It was such a magical time connecting with other women and learning and playing together.

Now that I am back to work and life has resumed as normal, I feel so energized and ready to take on so much more. No longer do I feel there is pride in depriving myself of my needs. I am a better person when my pond is full! And I delight in being able to be more present for my family, and to give more and better service and care to my clients buying and selling real estate in Nevada County.

Kendra Del Rio


BRE# 01975305
(530) 559-7995
All That Glitter’s Is Not Gold

All That Glitter’s Is Not Gold

Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society

EARTH’S TREASURES Gem & Mineral Show is held each year in early October at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley . This year’s show, October 6 & 7,  featured twenty vendors offering gems, minerals, fossils, florescent minerals, lapidary supplies, beads and supplies, jewelry, gold prospecting supplies and metal detectors and more.


Attendees were treated with cool displays of Mineral and Fossil Collections and Demonstrations of bead making, cabachons, wire wrapping, gold panning and intarsia. The club ensures fun activities for kids, too, including a kids corner and scavenger hunt included free with admittance (free for those under 13 years of age).


Featured was Gold Extravaganza, a display of local gold that included a bear carved from gold bearing quartz from the Original Sixteen to One Mine, the oldest operating gold mine in North America. Mike Miller, owner of the 16 to 1 gave fascinating talks about the history and workings of the mine. The mine produces beautiful quartz shot through with gold that jewelers, local and far and wide, fashion into rings and other jewelry items.

Silent Auctions and Raffles

Silent auction items, refreshed every hour, and raffle tickets drawn throughout the day afforded enthusiastic attendees the opportunity to grab some awesome rocks and minerals at some awesome, affordable prices!

The Club

The Nevada County Gem and Mineral Society meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at Golden Empire Guild, 11363 Grange Court, Grass Valley, CA. All are welcome to come to meetings. Membership dues are $25.00 annually for individuals and $30.00 for families. Persons under 18, living at home may be included in a family membership. $5 may be subtracted from the dues if you take the newsletter via email only. Members are treated to informative programs at meetings and can participate in field trips to collect specimens, often in partnership with other clubs.

Nevada County Lifestyle

Our rock club is one of numerous opportunities to enjoy the lifestyle of the foothills. Folks come from Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, South County and all parts of the greater San Francisco Bay Area to enjoy the many shows, events, and activities that abound here in Nevada County.

Come on down and enjoy this amazing place where we are so fortunate to live and play!



Fall Celebrations in Nevada County

Fall Celebrations in Nevada County

A Beautiful Celebration Of Our Ancestors


With fall now here in Nevada County, and our love of pumpkin spiced everything. Our thoughts start to move toward Halloween. Pumpkins and skeletons everywhere! There is another, lesser known holiday (by most Americans), celebrated after Halloween on November 2nd and 3rd called Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). Yes. It sounds scary and maybe sounds inappropriate for young children but it’s really quite the opposite. In our home, ever since our oldest was about 2 we have celebrated Day of the Dead. This is a time to celebrate all of our loved ones (pets too) who have passed on. We put up pictures of those who have passed and make their favorite foods. We invite friends to join us and bring pictures, food and stories of their departed loved ones as well. We have a feast and share all the wonderful memories we have of those who are no longer with us. We are able to pass their memory on to our children. Our children are able to share the memories they have of their grandfathers, grandmothers and aunts as well as their goats, chickens, cats and other treasured pets. They benefit from hearing stories the adults have to tell, too. In a sense, it seems to take away some of the mystery of death and makes it more of a celebration of that person’s life. It also normalizes the conversation of the circle of life and keeps their memory alive. 

Every year in Grass Valley, Nevada County Fairgrounds holds an Alter Show. This is a time people can, in a very creative way, put a memorial together of loved ones who have died. It’s a great way to see an aspect of this celebration. And it is one of many celebrations we have in Nevada County that makes living here in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Alta Sierra, Penn Valley and surrounding communities such a blessing. 

The recent Disney movie, COCO, is a grand celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. It is appropriate for all ages and a wonderful family experience that illustrates and educates us about this wonderful and meaningful cultural experience!

Cool Weather Gardening in Nevada County

Cool Weather Gardening in Nevada County

Fall Gardening in Nevada County

Harvesting from the garden can be so rewarding, especially when you know what to look for.

One of our favorites in Nevada County this year is watermelon. You can tell when the melons are ripe by the small leaf that grows in the V of the stem that comes off of the melon. When this is dried and crispy you can be assured that your melon will be ripe and juicy. My seven-year-old son goes out to the garden daily to check. I’m lucky I was even able to get a picture before he picked it.

Ground cherries are another thing that have done really well in our garden. We’ve had hundreds of them, not only do the kids like to munch on them, but the chickens go crazy over them. They kind of taste like a sweet tomato. You know they are ripe when the wrapper turns brown and it falls to the ground. We discovered that letting them sit on the ground for a few days makes them even sweeter.

As the temperatures get cooler in the foothills, and the summer crops are starting to fade, we are preparing for our cool weather garden. I love to visit local nurseries and plant sales to see what is available.

If you would like to pick up some great veggie starts for your cool weather garden the Master Gardeners of Nevada County will be having their Fall plant sale coming up on Saturday, September 22 from 9-12, at The Demonstration Garden, 1036 W. Main Street in Grass Valley (on the NID grounds).  Hope to see you there!