Pompeo Massani

One of my favorite subjects for art is reading and writing. Just think about it for a second…it has mystery, and intrigue. The sitter is usually looking at something we don’t have the privilege of viewing. We don’t know what they are reading or writing about, it could be anything. Some artists give us clues, yet others leave it to our imagination.

I buy art that speaks to me, and this little old man reminds me of my father in law. This little old man is writing in a ledger. He may own a business. He has a map in the background, and a calendar. Maybe he owns a travel service. Much of the page is blank so he is just starting on the book and page that he has before him. He is old, and looks like he is lost in thought. The artist Pompeo catches  him at just the opportune time. He is looking up at the artist, and we are in turn making eye contact with him. His wrinkled skin is a testament to the skill of Pompeo to allow us to see such great detail.


random, Uncategorized

Mouse In The Toilet

If there is one thing I can’t stand it is MICE. I really hate them. When we lived in the SF Bay Area we went through 10 months of renovation. The kids were small, and everyday we needed to be out of the house by 9am. I would take an activity outside for the children to do, and pack a little lunch so we could have a picnic everyday, Monday through Thursday. Since my husband got to work from home he stayed home while I took the children to a zoo every Friday was zoo day.

There was a time during the construction that our house had to be up on stilts. We were having the basement, and a third story added to the house. When the house was on stilts vermin (mice) found their way into the house. My husband did not believe me. I put up surveillance cameras. He told me that the rodents don’t hold themselves, there is no evidence of their little mess anywhere. I told him, I can feel that they were here. I proved it to him with the video. I was bleaching everything, I was a MAD woman. Since we lived in the SF Bay Area we could not get the regular mouse traps that snap their dirty little necks. No! We had to get the HUMANE traps. They are little grey tubes that catch them, and then you can release them. Well, HELL NO! I am not going to catch the damn things then free them for them to come back into my house.

house on stilts
house on stilts

This is the graphic part of the story that some of you may need to stop reading….I give you a second to leave.


I would catch them, and flush them down the toilet. One of them…decided he wasn’t going to go down that way. It tried to jump out of the toilet. I was freaking out, so I slammed down the lid, ran to get a trash bag. I taped the trash bag over the toilet. I called my husband at work to tell him what I had done. My son was three, and was telling me in the background….call papa, call papa. My husband started cracking up laughing. I wasn’t amused at all, this was also our only toilet. UGH!

I finally could no longer hear it splashing around in there. I got up the nerve to take a peek at what had happened to it. It was dead. I then had to bleach the toilet. That was the last one that got into the house. We had every crevice in the house filled by our construction crew. Since I was sickened by the thought of those diseased animals being around the house, every hole that was the size of a pencil was closed.

No, I am not ashamed of killing the mice.

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Uncategorized

Clarity Of Thougths

After three week of working out, I have to tell you…I feel so much better. My thinking is clearer, until the dogs start barking. 🙁  I have finally given myself permission to workout first, and then help all the other people that need me during the day. Managing property is something that does not have regular business hours. I am usually the one that runs to Home Depot or Lowes or the anywhere else that needs my attention. I have been working out right after I take my daughter to school I go work out. I do it just for me. I am making it a habit, and I know that the secret to staying with it is to make it a habit. I started with baby steps. Just telling everyone that I can meet them after x time. Instead of running straight to getting stuff done, most things can wait. I also have the option to send a professional to get the job done. I don’t have to do everything myself. I have learned to delegate some things to others.

Right after I workout I feel like a new person, and every time I do it, it is easier to get right back to the gym.


Color Scheme

One of my favorite aspects of owning property is the renovation. When someone moves out, I like to make the rental look new and fresh for the new family that will live there. After I view the layout of the place I select colors that I believe people will enjoy. Gone are the days of “navajo white” for everything. People that are renting want something fresh and new. I try to put myself into the place of a perspective tenant. A modern, clean, and updated place is something desirable. I want tenants to be happy, and enjoy their space. Here is my latest updated space…

Contessa Grigia Condo
Contessa Grigia Condo                                     The gray going up the staircase may look like two different colors, but this is one color. It is just the lighting coming in the window that gives it the variation. 
Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, San Luis Obispo Sites, Uncategorized

Dating Again

Before my husband and I were married we vowed that our family would always come first. We would do things as a family, and not leave our children for other to babysit. Since I was the one that was home with the children, my husband was kind enough to give me some time alone. He also gave me time to spend with my friends. I needed that time around other grown ups.

The first time we decide that we would try to go on a date was when my son was eight. We just got an antique curio cabinet the same day. We were taking baby steps to get the mammoth piece up each step our flight of steps leading to the house. We had one more step to go from the foyer to the living room. It was a big step! My husband took a misstep, and the whole cabinet landed right on top of him as he fell. It was crushing his stuff. How could I get this off of him, and not damage the curio? I found a step that was perfect to wedge in, so he could squeeze out from under the curio. He got out from under the curio cabinet. He did not feel like going out after the crushing incident.

This year we finally got to take a date. Our first date in years. We went out with our dear friends. Going to Il Cortile in Paso Robles, California. We had so much fun, we had to do it again. We had another date alone. Our friends brought a bottle of wine from their private collection. We always have a great time with them, and wonderful conversation.

A week after our first date in 16 years we went out again all by ourselves. We realize the kids are going to be gone from the nest in just a few short years. We went to a gallery opening at “Just Looking Gallery” we had a wonderful dinner at Palazzo Giuseppe , I had the Sea Bass and caviar, and the vino… Perfecto! We had an excellent evening. We will have to do it more often. Even the walk to the car was special.

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project

Dream Big

What is the one piece of advice I would give? Dream BIG! Believe in your dreams. When I was young, I dreamed of having my own town. I wrote down what it would look like, how we would utilize sun, wind, horse manure.

I dreamed of a place where people could try different careers so they could pursue what they really wanted to do. An internship, is really what the people would do. It would be an agreed upon amount of time for each internship that a person would want to try. If they loved that subject matter they would be asked to sign a contract to give their time before they became specialized in said field. One other possibility would be that the town would become a partner in the business with said person. The person would be able to buy their own business back, and the town would make a profit for investing in said person.

An organic orchard is a must, and that is exactly what we have right now. Olives, apples, plums, pears, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pomegranates, nectarines, oranges, lemons, and limes. A place where food could be plucked from the trees, and sold to some select restaurants. Later we will have our own restaurant.

A museum where people can come to visit. Not just the farm, and the railroad, but the fine art, vehicles, and scooters.  Later there will be fashion, pottery, and Murano glass. A gift shop connected to the museum, and gifts that have an influence that yells Italian.

The animals on the farm would be chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, and horses. We would have bees, and worms. The visitors of the farm can pet all the animals except the bees, and worms. Maybe even adopt a couple of barn cats, and a few outdoor dogs. We most defiantly would have to have some owl boxes.

Many of the dreams I had a little girl have come true. We do have serval hundred of acres. We have income property, an orchid, chicks, ducks, and worms. Our bees are on order. We will also have our worms for composting.



Estate Farm

We are at 40 chickens, and six ducks. We have olive, apple, pears, plums, peaches, and more that we are growing. We will be a farm that people can visit, and take rides on our trains. We will also have a museum that people can visit. Paths are going in and around the ranch so our visitors can walk around to destinations. The chickens are growing like crazy. Their little coops are all ready for them to be happy and start laying eggs.

I have our order in for our bees, and I have one bee box in the garage. Got my bee veil, and gloves. I am super excited about everything that is growing. I want to make sure we have lots of flowers throughout the year for the bees. I will get to meet them late March or April.  Terreni D’ Oro Estate Farm is here…

Ducks and chicks
Ducks and chicks

Ironing Clothes

Every week usually on Tuesday I iron clothes. I used to iron only the clothes that I needed when I was going somewhere important. All that changed when I married my Italian husband. He is an only child, and his mother told me that one thing Italian wives would not allow is for their husbands to leave the house in a wrinkled mess.

When I first started ironing clothes, it took me so long to finish. Monday, I wash all the clothes, and then I take all the clothes out that need to be ironed. I used to iron the sheets, towels, and pj’s. I don’t do that any longer.

One thing that makes a difference is a great iron. For the past 10 years I have had the same Rowenta. It got the job done, and I loved the steam that came from it. About a month ago, I saw the newest Rowenta, and I had to have it.

Getting the job done.
Getting the job done.


As much as I loved the other one, This one really gets around the buttons like nobody’s business. The steam really does the work, instead of passing over the same wrinkled area over and over. This new iron…one pass gets the job done.

I also can get caught up on my History shows I love while I iron. Vikings and ironing can go together! 🙂


Bloggy Boot Camp, San Diego

On Thursday after the kids got out of school I flew down to San Diego. I didn’t get to San Diego until 9:30. Going from San Luis Obispo to San Diego is a two plane trip. Not only is it a two plane trip it, they are turboprop planes. This was my first time, and I had no idea what to expect.  Of course their were the naysayers, telling me how loud the plane would be, and scary. It really wasn’t bad. It was loud, but I got over it.

I stayed at the Bahia Hotel Resort and Spa, it is really nice. My room was very spacious, and the sheets were good quality.  I love great sheets! I had a great view of the bay, and the paddle boat.  Had free tickets to ride the boat, but too busy to use the tickets.

Since I arrived early to the conference I had a little time to go see some sites. I decided to go to the oldest Mission in California. It was so great to go take photos without people that are ready to go. It was a great time to go too since there was no rain at the time. The rain was the first time we had so much rain in four years. So, my timing was perfect.

first mission of California
first mission of California

Finally, it was time for the conference. Tiffany, Francesca, were great as usual. I love that we are assigned seats on the first day. We get a chance to meet new people, and make new connections. We share glances of our lives with each other before the dynamic speakers. Wow! Every speaker that was there had something to take away from the conference that anyone with a blog can utilize. I made new connections. My head is still swimming with information, and   reeling through all the conversations that I had with so many women.

Honestly, I had only had time to clean my house, and get the laundry done. If you are questioning if you should go…I am telling you…GO! It is fun, informative, and connecting with the people behind the blogs that we read is transformative.

Go a little early, and stay a little later.