Sponsored: A Mediterranean beauty in Piedmont

This majestic five-bedroom, three-bath Mediterranean is set on a magical street across from Dracena Park.

This home features a master bedroom retreat with a sitting room and spa-like bathroom.

The enchanting home at 116 Dracena Ave. features a beautifully appointed chefʼs eat-in kitchen with adjoining family room. French doors produce a wonderful flow to the patio and surrounding gardens, creating an indoor-outdoor sanctuary to relax and entertain guests.

Price: $2,795,000
Listing agent: Jane Stauch, 510-388-6841, jstrauch@grubbco.com, www.janestrauch.com

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Sponsored: History, updates and convenience in Berkeley

This updated three-bedroom home is one of two on the property. The second home includes one bedroom, one bathroom and a two-car garage.

Originally built in the 1880s, 1208 Virginia St. welcomed extensive remodeling and the addition of two bedrooms and one full bathroom in 1992. There are big windows, gleaming hardwood floors, and tall ceilings in the living room and dining area. Thereʼs a bar and large breakfast area in the kitchen, and laundry hookups in a convenient closet close by. The deck off the kitchen makes for perfect al fresco dining.

The main floor offers one bedroom and one bathroom while the upstairs offers one large open master bedroom with a large closet space, skylights and views of the Berkeley hills; the third bedroom has a stained glass window and some views of the hillside. These updates also included an improved new foundation, higher ceilings, updated systems and plumbing, insulation and extra storage space and large garage. There are also plans available to build another bedroom if needed.

Other 1990s improvements: Across the yard is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom wood-shingle home that was built with a two-car garage. This home boasts a fireplace, wraparound windows and entry deck. A long driveway, carport, and garage provide ample storage and parking space. A newer roof was installed in 2016.

The property is near Virginia Gardens, Ohlone Greenway biking trail and West Street biking trail. Enjoy food from Acme Bakery, Bartevil Café, Whole Foods and Monterey Market. Easy access to UC Berkeley and San Francisco, three blocks to North Berkeley BART Station, two blocks to Cedar Park.

Visit www.1210-1208VirginiaSt.com for more information.

Price: $1,730,000
Open: Sunday, October 7, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Listing agent: Bita Azizi, Coldwell Banker/Global Luxury, 510-501-1192, Bita_berkeley@yahoo.com, www.BitaAzizi.com, bitaberkeley.cbintouch.com.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

John Muir Land Trust asks Animal Life readers for help

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DEAR JOAN: I’m writing to ask your help.

We’re hoping you and your readers will help John Muir Land Trust (jmlt.org) raise $100,000 by the end of this year toward the acquisition of Almond Ranch. Two years ago, your readers generously helped us reach the $7 million needed to purchase Carr Ranch, a stunning 604-acre addition to the Upper San Leandro Watershed that helps keep intact 15,500 acres of essential wilderness habitat.

Almond Ranch — the long sought-after “missing piece” in Martinez — is vitally important. Preserving these 281 acres is the only way to connect a critical segment of the 550-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail and bring together three enormous conserved landscapes — the combined Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline and Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline, Briones Regional Park, and Franklin Ridge Wildlife and Trail Corridor — altogether, a glorious 18,000 acres of protected open space.

This is a haven for wildlife. Grasslands, scrub, oak-bay forests and riparian areas all support native, rare and special-status species such as the Alameda whipsnake and the California red-legged frog. The ridge is home to mountain lions, American badgers, gray foxes and other mammals that keep the ecosystem in balance.

Skies are patrolled by golden eagles, white-tailed kites and various species of hawks. Keeping these wildlife corridors intact is essential as the booming economy puts increasing development pressure on our shrinking natural landscapes.

So far, gifts from early donors and an extraordinary lead pledge of $1 million by the East Bay Regional Park District means that we have raised half of the $4 million needed to complete the acquisition of Almond Ranch by the end of 2019. Here’s the best news: Gifts received by the end of 2018 will be doubled thanks to a generous …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Carolyn Hax: Girlfriend uses chore list to inflict suffering

DEAR CAROLYN: When my girlfriend “Claire” and I moved in together, we split the chores down the middle. It seemed fair to me at the time but — despite rejigs to the list — Claire always seems to feel shortchanged. She says it isn’t fair that she has chores she hates (laundry) while I do stuff (cooking) I enjoy.

I’m the oldest of six siblings, and I don’t really hate any basic domestic tasks. Even cleaning toilets isn’t that bad: two people, a lot less horrifying than eight.

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Claire has now tried to ban me from listening to music while I clean, and gets frustrated if I don’t clean up to the schedule she has in her head. For example, I vacuum once a week, on Friday, unless something gets spilled or someone is coming over. Once I put it off for a couple of days because I was sick as a dog, and now she won’t let it go and harps on about it if I don’t start cleaning the minute I get in the door.

At this point I feel like she’s a client more than a girlfriend, and I’d break up with any client …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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