Catch and Release - Gently

I enjoy fishing.

A couple evenings a week, I fish for  largemouth bass from our dock, and I’ve hauled some nice ones out of the canal over the past few years.  Also, when we have young visitors, I like to get some worms and show them how to catch the panfish that hang out around the dock.

Opening Soon: A Publix Store in Wilmington

The Lady* is a big fan of the Publix Grocery chain. When we lived in Florida, she did most of her grocery shopping at one of their stores - with an occasional side trip to the local Harris Teeter. Beside being well laid-out and very clean, Publix stores are known for their excellent service and, most important to The Lady, their product selection and prices. She especially likes their coupon-matching policy. Needless to say, she was more than pleased to learn that “her” Publix will open their first Wilmington store on August 10th.

Waterford Fire Raises a Question

One of our Waterford neighbors lost her home on Monday. The house burned to the ground within minutes after being struck by lightning. Her pets perished, and the structure and all its contents were destroyed. Friends and neighbors are pitching in to help her get her feet back on the ground. It's been gratifying to see how the community is rallying to support her.

Could faster emergency response have saved the home and pets? In this particular case; probably not. However, this disaster does raise some questions about emergency services in our part of the county.

More Leland Police Officers

Recently, we called the police about an incident in our neighborhood. The dispatcher told us that an officer was on his way, but nobody came. After an hour or so, the assigned officer called to say he couldn’t respond because he was at the scene of a death elsewhere in Leland. Understandable, because he couldn’t have done more than document our issue anyway.

Real Estate Trends Update

Real estate sales statistics have been updated to include June, 2016 data. Select a neighborhood from the menu bar at the top of the Home page.

If you would like to be alerted when monthly updates have occurred, sign-up for email notification. There's a gadget at the top of the sidebar for that purpose. The only time your email address will be used is when there's something new on this blog.

Best & Worst Retirement Cities


A chart on the BankRate website compares 196 U.S. cities as retirement destinations. I found the list interesting. Maybe you will too.

Mason Bees - Success!

About a year ago, I wrote about my unsuccessful attempt to lure mason bees into our yard. I promised to try again - and I have. 

And I succeeded!

Early this spring, I bought a simple mason bee house on etsy.com and attached it to a post in our yard. A few days later we noticed activity and, sure enough, the first bee was depositing eggs in the house and sealing them in with mud. In the meantime, the bees have used most of the 32 pre-drilled holes, which means we should have 80-100 of the useful creatures next year.

As noted in my earlier piece, mason bees don’t sting, they are very useful pollinators, and it’s interesting to watch them do their masonry work. We’re glad to have them.

Here are links to my earlier posting, and to an information-packed article about mason bees by Judy Beaudette that I found on ecolandscaping.org. 

Maybe you'll get the bug too.

New look! New concept!

The focus of amijohn.com is now on property values and the issues that affect them in the Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest neighborhoods.

Use the silver menu bar at the top of the page to navigate to one of the neighborhoods; then select a property type from the sub-menu that appears.

Statistics and graphics are updated once each month after I determine that all transactions for the month have been posted to the Brunswick County Tax Assessor’s database. The date can vary, depending on workload in the county office. 

If you want to be alerted when the monthly update has occurred, sign-up for email notification. There’s a gadget at the top of the sidebar for that purpose. The only time your email address will be used is when there’s something new on this blog.

Classy Rental Apartments Planned for Brunswick Forest


A luxury, 360 unit rental complex is in the works for The Villages at Brunswick Forest.

Grass Carp

The Waterford Board recently approved restocking our grass carp population. Then, the other day, I saw a good sized school of them in the canal behind our house. They got my curiosity going. 

Breakfast at Blossoms

This morning, The Lady and I had breakfast at the newly expanded and redecorated  restaurant at the Magnolia Greens Golf Club. Along with its new look, it has a fitting, new name, “Blossoms”. We found the new spaciousness and tasteful decor comfortable and relaxing.

Gates: I Was Wrong

If you read my blog, you already know that I'm no big fan of Waterford's gates. They are wide open during daylight hours and, even if they were always closed, a bad guy can walk around them anytime. I’ve posted several pieces that gripe about the cost and the amount of time and effort necessary to maintain them. 

Phew - Stinky Waterford !

We were cheated yesterday. The gorgeous weather made everyone want to get out into the fresh air and enjoy the mild temperatures, but someone else thought it was a great day to burn a stump. The irritating, stinking smoke made it impossible to enjoy the day.

After thinking about it overnight, I was fired-up enough to write an Email to the Leland Mayor to see if she can do something to prevent it happening again. You can read it below.

Aldi is Coming to Leland

A Port City Daily article this morning indicates that Aldi, the German grocery chain, wants to build a store between Ploof Road and the Westgate (Walmart) shopping plaza. The pre-construction planning is still going on and, from the sound of it, approval hinges only on some modifications to the site plan.

New Neighbors


According to WECT TV, Waterford of the Carolinas will get some new neighbors. 

The Brunswick County Planning Board OK’d the conceptual plan for a 240 unit apartment complex on Route 17, across from Waterford.

If my interpretation of WECT's map is correct, the complex will be located between Ploof Road SE and Ocean Highway East - more or less behind the Exxon gas station and Domino's.

Read what WECT had to say about it here.

Real Estate Sellers and Buyers Statistics

Peter David of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty passed along this graphic from the National Association of Realtors (Insight Magazine, Vol. 94 No. 4). Peter found it interesting and so did I. I hope you will too. These stats are for the entire nation, but are certainly pertinent everywhere if you are thinking about buying or selling your home.

Gate Reports - A Summary


The monthly Waterford Master Residential Association (WMRA) Newsletter includes a Gate Report - which is an indictment in and of itself; illustrating  that our gates are a problem area worthy of ongoing attention. 

If you read the report in each month's newsletter, you will be appalled by the amount of time and money we invest in pretending Waterford is secure and exclusive. Starting with January, 2015, I've posted copies of the reports below. I encourage you to read them - preferably in sequence.

Fiber Optic Services in Waterford?

I was very pleased to see that ATMC, a local company in Shallotte, is interested in extending their fiber optic network into Waterford if enough demand exists. 

Waterford's Gates - Continued

This morning, two postings in the General section of Waterford’s online community message board caught my attention. Each, in its own way, supports the arguments of those of us who would like to replace our gates with systems that work and don’t cost a fortune every year.