Storybook Book Ranches In The Valley


I apologize that the photos to accompany the text did not upload as planned. I only just realized it!–to see the text, but with the house photos I refer to, please go to my blog “Tarzana Is My Heroine,” where the full post can be found:

Thanks and sorry for the confusion! — Coco


Here are a selection of storybook ranch homes I’ve seen out in Encino, where we live the rest of the time when we’re not in Redlands. These homes epitomize what my favorite retro home blog, Retro Renovation (, would call “mid-century modest” homes.

Fortunately not too many of these homes have been torn down to build Spanish-style McMansions–as happened to one very lovely barn-red storybook ranch home on the corner of Hayvenhurst and Adlon a few years ago. If any of you are familiar with Encino, you may remember the house I’m talking about.

I love the pale yellow exterior of this first house below, and of course the diamond-pane windows on the garage too!

Look at the mix of horizontal and vertical batten boards here (behind the white picket fence!)

I love storybook ranches in barn or carriage red with white trim

Look at the little dovecote tucked just under the eaves

This house below is so attractive with its row of diamond-paned windows, pale green exterior, and the peeling bark of the gum or melaleuca tree in front.

I have in mind starting a project of photographing of every storybook ranch in Redlands–and of course I have a special interest in the ones around Caballero Lane and Crescent Ave., since these were the houses my dad helped Ed Caballero build!

Maybe you can help?


New Years + Fleur de Lis

Happy New Year from Tiger Tail Terrace!

I’ve had a cold, so my first short outing since 2012 was to have coffee with Patti, a family friend since childhood. She and her family live in the house my dad and Grandpa Plinke built for my grandparents a mile away from where dad later built our house.

Tiger Tail Terrace was built from the same blueprints Ed Caballero drew up, except that he made our kitchen somewhat bigger.

Patti and I had coffee at what used to be Cafe Royale and is now called Cafe Linne, in the Fox Theatre building.

Here are a couple of views of the building from across the street



After coffee, I peeked into Fleur de Lis Gift and Home, a charming, cozy shop just a few doors down from the cafe. The boutique is owned by Monika, who is also an interior designer. The store carries fun accessories like costume jewelry and handbags, as well as stylish items for the home (many with a Parisian or country French theme).


Here are some things Monika features




I’m not a big shopper, but I get a kick out of the hand-written sign that’s always posted on the sidewalk out front. It reads, “Your husband called and said ‘Buy anything you want’.” I like that she notes, “Shop Local” and “Shop Small” too!


It got too dark to take any more photos, so I came back again today and this time am having a tasty basil, pesto, and mozzarella sandwich at Cafe Linne.

Then I got this pic of the Fleur de Lis entrance in the noontime light


You can visit Fleur de Lis at 115 Cajon St. in Redlands.

(Store: 909 798-5363)

State St. & 5th

This weekend we made a quick trip out to the house, but ended up spending the night. Sunday morning we went downtown to, for the adults, try Augie’s Coffee House, the new cafe and roaster on 5th Street in Redlands. We had a good macchiato made with their house espresso.

Once we were awake, we took the kids to Martha Green’s for a hearty, homestyle breakfast. Their mueslix with pecans, chunks of grapes and melon, and heavy cream is “the bomb,” as my friend Maeve would say.

Here are some scenes from State St., which was the original Main St. of Redlands long before the (now defunct) Redlands Mall went in, let alone the much newer Citrus Plaza shopping center that’s anchored by Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Barnes & Noble.

The old ads on the side of the building facing the little plaza are originals, restored after they they came to light when a couple of buildings came down to create the little park here.

This downtown beautification and redevelopment project happened after I moved away, so enjoying this spot with my own kids isn’t a flashback for me–it’s more like discovering a cool new spot in my own backyard!



Here is the Christmas tree at the corner of State St. and 5th.


A big planter at the same corner with an old citrus packing label as decoration. The citrus label motif recurs throughout downtown and is a quaint historical touch.


A look inside Martha Green’s restaurant where they also sell some neat reproduction citrus label gifts such as coasters, trivets, and soaps. I bought a few coasters for the house!



Goodbye, Thanksgiving

We enjoyed five days of gorgeous, warm, clear fall weather for our Thanksgiving vacation at the house. The gold and yellow leaves on the deciduous trees seemed to magnify the sunlight’s brilliancy and to give it depth.

Here is the view from the kitchen and front yard, looking up toward the San Bernardino Mountains, with Mt. San Bernardino being the peak to the left. Though it appears to be the tallest, the mountain farthest back on the right that looks grayish white is Mt. San Gorgonio, or Grayback, the tallest mountain in Southern California.


Here are a few more scenes that capture the rich light….

A corner of the master bedroom, with afternoon sunshine (the little stuffed owl on the chair is from Pier 1).


Looking west through our old persimmon tree (no fruit this year) and its last leaves.


With sunset coming on, looking across at what we called the Lippmann place, built in the early 20th century to the same plans as a villa in Italy.


And back to the mountain view, now late afternoon.


Redlands Sunset

I took these two photos as twilight began when we were at the house three weeks ago. The view up to the San Bernardino mountains is always sublime at that time of day (on a clear day). Mt. San Bernardino is the large peak to the left and Mt. San Gorgonio or “Greyback”–actually the tallest peak in southern California–is far at the back to the right.


A little later toward sunset, the view north out over the valley and up Cajon Pass is inspiring too. Sad, but the layer of smog does make the sunset colors more dramatic — it actually looks like a mai-tai, doesn’t it?