What the Heck is That – Solved

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Congratulations to Shannon from Stockton for figuring out that What the Heck is That is a grate valve aka a dairy flush valve.

Thanks to Hilmar Lumber for providing the pictures of the grate valve and the cows.

Shannon your prize is on it’s way.

Anyone know what kinds of cows these are?


Winnifred - waiting her turn at the dairy


Daisy and Donna - Dairy Cow Sisters

Delores showing off her earrings


Emigh Ace Hardware – A Sacramento Fixture

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If you live in Sacramento chances are you’ve heard of Emigh Ace Hardware. Emigh has been a Sacramento fixture since brothers James and Clay Emigh opened its doors in 1908.  Attracted by the postwar building boom in the suburbs, in 1952, the store moved to the Arden/Arcade area where its neighbor was a goat farm.

Emigh in 1910 on J Street

Emigh in 1920

What makes the customers keep coming back to Emigh?  It could be that it is the largest 4th  generation family owned hardware store in Sacramento.  Or it could be the 80+ friendly employees,  some who’ve been with the store more than 20 years.  Maybe it’s the extras Emigh has to offer such as free local delivery, or that all power equipment is set up, serviced and ready-to-go, the in-house advertising Department that contributes to the store’s custom signage, banners, displays, social media and produces the well recognized Emigh ad.

Ask the kids and they’ll say it’s the waterfall fish pond in the indoor nursery where they can feed the Koi, and the free balloons and popcorn.

Koi Pond

In the fall, children look forward to getting their hands dirty and putting their artistic skills to work at Emigh’s family pumpkin carving workshop.

Pumpking Carving

For many school groups, Emigh is a favorite field trip destination. Canines who visit the store know that a doggie treat is waiting for them at the register and if their human counterpart is also looking for a treat, Emigh’s Café, located in  front of the store, offers hot dogs, coffee drinks, smoothies and snacks.  Emigh Hardware has always done its part to improve the quality of life in the city it has called home. A longtime champion of youths, the company donates to a number of area schools and youth sports, has hosted “65 Roses Golf Tournament” to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis  Foundation for the past 10 years, and is a sponsor of “The Giving Tree” to benefit children at Christmas, to name a few.

Free Popcorn

Ask me and I’ll tell you it’s the free coffee from 7:00 am to 9:00 am every weekday.

Emigh Cafe

Besides the coffee, I shop at Emigh because when I walk in, I feel like I am the most important customer in the store.  Service starts with a smile and doesn’t end until customers find what they want and know how to use it.

Emigh Ace Hardware Now

I was also impressed to learn about the roof.  Yes,the roof. It’s not just any roof; it’s a 21,600 square foot 200 kW solar roof system that produces 50% of the facility’s electricity, which not only cuts down on utility costs but considerably reduces their carbon footprint.

Solar Roof

By the way, if you can’t figure out how to pronounce Emigh – remember their mascot – Amy.


Llamas, Bras, Guns and Weaving

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What do llamas, bras, guns and weaving have in common?  You can find all of these items at Harshbarger’s  Ace in Gridley, California.  Harshbarger’s is the epitome of the locally owned hardware store.

Store owner, Peggy, hosts Fiber Friends every Wednedsay in their conference room.  Fiber Friends gets together to drink white wine, knit,  crochet, felt, spin or weave. Some of the ladies meet before Fiber Friends for a Zumba class.   Peggy spun this beautiful yarn and it’s available in the store.  If you get something gift wrapped at Harshbarger’s Ace, you just might find it tied with some of this spun yarn.

Hand Spun Yarn by Peggy

Peggy Weaving and Spinning

Llamas?  Harshbarger’s hosted a pet costume contest and Nobel the llama won.  Doesn’t she look cute with her tu-tu and matching top.

Nobel the Llama

Mixed in with the yarn, the weaving and the llamas are  plenty of hunting supplies.  Harshbarger Ace also carries guns, ammunition, fishing rods, reels, and bait.  You can also buy your hunting or
fishing license.  There is plenty of  camping equipment too.  If you are in the area, there is room in the parking lot to pull your RV in and stock up on your supplies.

Rods and Reels

The bras – they don’t sell them, but maybe they could fit  them in their store somewhere.  The Wall of Hope was part of a fund raising event for the Pink Passion Campaign.

Wall of Hope

By the way Harshbarger Ace stocks and sells lots of hardware and paint,  along with animal feed and I think you can even get the kitchen sink too.

For hours and directions visit www.harshbargerace.com

Mountain Hardware and Sports

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These days it seems it’s more important than ever for people in the community to stick together. That’s one of the reasons more than a dozen Mountain Hardware and Sports employees spent last Saturday night camped out on the local high school track.  They weren’t just camping they were keeping a constant walk for 24 hours in support of cancer victims everywhere at the annual Relay for Life event. The team was one of more than a dozen teams that collectively raised more than $50,000 for the American Cancer Society. Mountain Hardware and Sports contributed just over $1,700 to that total so far. The night was filled with good food, good company, and good exercise all for a good cause.

Relay for Life


Interested becoming a team for Relay for Life or finding an event near you  –  visit their web-site at: http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/

One of My Favorite Stores

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Ace the cat one of the reasons why Carmichael Ace is one of my favorite stores.

I am always greeted by the friendly and helpful store staff which includes Ace, who gives me a little meow or nudge.  I feel as if I am walking into an old time mom & pop hardware store, where they have everything and anything I need.  I’ve never had to ask where an item is; a staff member greets me and shows me the way.

Ace’s favorite place to “hang” is in the Lawn & Garden department.  On his rather lazy days, which are almost every day for a cat, he can be seen lounging on the registers or on a shelf somewhere.  If he doesn’t greet me when I come into the store, I stroll each aisle trying to figure out where he is.  If you live in the Carmichael area, make sure you stop by Carmichael Ace and visit Ace the cat.


PS:  Carmichael Ace sells jewelry too!

Fairfax Lumber & Hardware – A Green Lumberyard


If you live anywhere near Fairfax California, or happen to be in the area, stop in and visit Fairfax Lumber & Hardware.    The lumber yard, located in Marin County California, has been in business since 1912 and is now 100% employee owned.  Their focus has been providing their customers with solutions to improve indoor air quality, conserve natural resources, increase energy efficiency and generate fewer toxins in the environment.    They do this through stocking many environmentally friendly products such as: Mythic Non-Toxic Zero VOC paints, FSC certified forest products and environmentally friendly solutions for dealing with weeds, bugs and fungal problems.  Click here for a PDF of Fairfax Green information.

Red bricks

Fairfax Lumber now puts true meaning into the words “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” by accepting donations of salvaged and recycled building materials for resale.  You can find old doors, barely used sinks, architectural details, light fixtures, furniture and much more.  Normally these items would be tossed into landfills, but they have also found a way to sell the salvaged materials side by side with new materials.

Old doors and doorknobs ready for use!

Their efforts at green building won them the 2007 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year Award from Home Channel News, a national trade magazine, the 2009 Small Business of the Year presented by the California State Senate, district 3 and the 2009 Sustainable North Bay Award as presented by the California State Assembly.  It may be that Fairfax Lumber is the only business selling new and used building materials side by side, along with green building products.

Salvaged sinks.

Garden collection.

Old school screen door.

Blog Launch July 6th 2011

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NorCal Ace’s official blog will launch on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011! Please subscribe so you don’t miss out on the latest events, news and happenings at the Northern California Ace stores. Not to mention, contests and giveaways – and more surprises. Stay tuned…

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