Collections and Obsessions, Design, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Evgeny & Lydia Baranov

I own several pieces from this couple. They work together on their compositions. Which results in a dynamic feeling in the painting. The passion of the couple seems to leap off the painting.  

This is one of my favorites. People attending a masquerade ball. The red cape flying behind the gentleman as he greets his fellow friend donning a beautiful shade of green. The treo seem to be caught mid stride. Actions are conveyed through heavy brush strokes. Lingering too long at the painting allows the viewer to become a part of the action. Are you ready for the ball?

Family Friday, Fountain of Youth, Genaolgy, Happiness Project

Elizabeth Woodville Consort England (17th Great Grandmother)

My 17th great grandmother is the subject of many books and movies. One of the latest that I have seen is “The White Queen”.  When she was born her father was only a knight, not of noble blood. It was expected that she would marry into a family with the means of a sheriff or someone in royal service. She was born about 1437, and the first born.  Her father, Sir Richard Woodville followed his father in the field of service of the Duke of Bedford. This is how he met Jacquetta of Luxembourg which was the daughter of Peter of Luxembourg, Count of Saint Pol and Margaret de Baux, she had been married to Duke of Bedford in 1433, when she was 17 years old. The Duke was much older than Jacquette, his second wife, and he was very sick. When the Duke died he left Jacquette childless and VERY wealthy. She was required to seek permission from King Henry VI before she could remarry, but in March of 1437 it was revealed that she married in secret to Sir Richard Woodville, a man that was far below her station, since she was wealthy and the aunt of a king. She was fined 1000 sterling pounds.


Jacquette retained her rank as Duchess of Bedford, and her dower of 7,000 to 8,000 Sterling Pounds a year. Sir Richard was honored with military ranks, mainly because Jacquette had so much influence in the royal family. When Henry VI married Margret of Anjou, whose uncle was Jacquettas brother in law. The Woodvilles were the chosen family to escort the bride to England, which benefited them further at court. Sir Richard was raised to Baron of Rivers, and their children would grow up with privilege and wealth.

Elizabeth would marry Sir John Grey of Groby, the heir to the Barony Ferrers of Groby. In 1461 he was killed at the Battle of St. Albans. Ironically her first husband fought for the Lancastrian side, and her future husband was a Yorkist claim to the throne. She had two sons from her first marriage Thomas and Richard.

Elizabeth was called “the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain”

(To be continued next week)

bounty, country, farming, food, Fruit, Happiness Project, orchard, organic, pies, sweets, Therapy Thursday, trees

New Jobs

Throughout the years I have been though many jobs. Most of which, I really enjoyed. Being a lifeguard, camp counselor, teaching, curatorial, and property management. I really never dreamed of taking a liking to managing property. I found aspects of it that were the most enjoyable. I love the renovation, meeting new people and having happy tenants. I have lived in an apartment, and remember how much I loathed the plastic countertops, plastic floor, and fluffy carpet. When I am finished renovating an apartment it is something I would live in too.

Farming is something that I do now, and never dreamed of having it as a career, but here I am with several animals, an orchard, and bees. I really enjoy it! It is a thrill to help the baby animals come into the world, collect the fruit, take care of the bees. It feels great to help nurture the area where we live.

Now, we have purchased a winery. I am a novice, but we have retained the staff. We feel as though they are already a part of their family. It is a good feeling, and now, we begin a new chapter of our lives. SMC


4 H

My daughter joined 4H last year, since we have only lived in the city all our lives, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Throughout the year, I have learned so much about lambs. Although there are many different animals to choose from, my daughter wanted a lamb. 

Every week, the children had to research an aspect of raising a lamb. Each child had to do a presentation. I really looked forward to going to the lamb meetings. The children learn so much, not only research and public speaking. They also learn how to run a business 

Each time we went to farm supply my daughter would add that to her booklet. Along with time she spent with Bruce Lee, how much he was fed, watered, exercised. She learned how to shear a lamb. Being a farmer has always been her dream, and joining 4H has helped her get closer to realizing her dream!

When it came time for the fair, she was poised and professional. She knew after the fair, he would go to slaughter. Someone was going to purchase him to make lamb chops. Bruce Lee had a great short life, and I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter for chasing her dream. 4H has been such a positive impact on my daughter, and myself! 

Happiness Project, San Luis Obispo Sites, San Luis Sunday

Mid State Fair

Mid State Fair in Paso Robles, California is something we look forward to every year. This year was even more special since my daughter entered her lamb, Bruce Lee into the 4H program. The week we were there was very long. The kids were there first thing in the morning feeding their animals, cleaning up after the animal, and taking them for walks. Then they all would huddle together to play cards while people came into the barn area to ask questions about the animals.


It was just the year before that we were the outsiders looking into the barns, and asking questions. The 4H kids and the parents made us all feel welcome, so we wanted to extend the courtesy. The rule of not checking their phones every minute was a good one, I really appreciated seeing the kids playing old fashioned games, and really interacting with each other. cows

The rides, animals, food, and the passion that goes into creating this family fun event are just so wonderful! The biggest little fair in the country is what it is called, and this year we could see the effort first hand that goes into making this so fantastic!!


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Cecily Neville Duchess Of York (18th Great Grandmother)


Born May 31st, 1415, we know so little about the personal lives of the women. I did find some interesting information about her will… (


Notes: called "the Rose of Raby" (because she was born at Raby Castle in Durham, England) and "Proud Cis" (because of her pride and a temper that went with it). She was known for her piety as well as her pride. Cecily Neville's final will - made on 31 May 1495 and proved on 27 Aug 1495 at Lambeth says: "...Also I give and bequeath to the kings noble grace all such money as is owing to me of the customs, and two cups of gold. Also I give and bequeath to the queen a cross crosslet of diamonds, a salter with clasps of silver and gilt enamelled, covered with green clothe of gold, and a pyx with the flesh of St Christopher. Also I bequeath to my lady the king's mother a portuos with clasps of gold covered with black cloth of gold. Also I give to my lord prince a bed of arras of the wheel of fortune and tester of the same, a counterpoint of arras and a tappet of arras with the Pope. Also I give to my lord Henry, duke of York three tappets of arras, one of them of the life of St John Baptist another of Mary Magdalene and the third of the passion of our Lord and Saint George...

Cecily then bequeaths gifts to Fotheringhay College, the college at Stoke Clare, the nunnery at Syon and her granddaughters (the children of Edward IV) and makes a range of bequests to the de la Pole family (John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, having married her daughter Elizabeth):

...Also I give to my daughter of Suffolk the chair with the covering, all the cushions, horses and harness belonging to the same and all my palfreys. Also I give to my son of Suffolk a clothe of estate and 3 cushions of purple damask clothe of gold.
Also I give to my son Humphrey two alter clothes of blue damask embroidered and a vestment of crimson satin for Jesus' masse. Also I give to my son William a traves of white sarcenet, two beds of down and two bolsters of the same. Also I give to my daughter Anne, prioress of Sion, a book of Bonaventure and Hilton in the same in English and a book of the Revelations of Saint Bridget


Cecily was the 18th child of Ralph Neville and Joan Beaufort. Cecily was betrothed to Richard the Duke of York before her tenth birthday, the actual ceremony did not take place until October of 1429. She would give birth to twelve children, but only seven would survive into adulthood. Anne, Edward,  Edmond,Elizabeth, Margret, George, and Richard were the ones that survived.

Cecily traveled with her husband, first to France where he was a governor, and then off to Ireland, where he was the lieutenant. In 1460 he was executed, as the conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York raged. Edward, being the eldest son was then King Edward IV. It is believed that Cecily disapproved of the marriage between Edward and Elizabeth Woodville. Since Elizabeth was of low birth. During Edwards reign in 1470, Cecily’s youngest son, George, would start a rumor that Edward was illegitimate. The story would not go away, and was repurposed by Richard (her grandson). Richard would go on to crown himself Richard the III after the death of Edward.

Even though there were many changes during the conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York. Cecily was not hurt financially by the conflict because of the income from the properties she owned. She also renewed her license to export wool. She lived for 80 years.

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Really, the only word that comes to my mind when I look back at the incredible journey we have taken. We started off in a small house, with our small children.Paying bills Back then, we invested all our extra money into our property. We didn’t have money for vacations. Going to a park on Thursdays and the zoo on Friday was like a mini vacation. We would also go to museums around the SF Bay area, antique stores, and  exploring our neighborhood.

Lots and lots of cooking with the children…Cooking classes We made our own play dough, and for every letter of the alphabet we made a dish together for that week. The kids loved to cook, and later would go on to cooking camp. Our weekends were filled with wagon rides up the hills of Oakland…Wagon Along with lots of yard work…Small house Monterey Aquarium was one of the kids favorite places to go, so we visited as often as we could. The photo below, is one of my favorites of my mother in law with my son. He was a star in her eyes.

Even though we didn’t have much back then, we have always made the most of what we have had. We have been on a course to chase our dreams, and teach our children that anything is possible with hard work.

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Logitech Exif JPEG
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Anne Mortimer 19th Great Grandmother

Mortimer  My 19th Great Grandmother, she was also known as the “Countess of Cambridge”. Born on December 27th 1388 in New Forest, West, Meath, Ireland. She was born on one of her families estates. She was part of the powerful aristocratic Welsh Marches, centered around the Wigmore Castle. The surname is of Nordic origin, and roughly translates to “Stagnant Lake”


Anne is also a descendant of King Edward III, through her paternal grandparents. Anne was yet another girl that wanted to do her will. Just as her mother married the man she wished, so did Anne. She married Richard of Conisburg, second son of Edmund of Langley. The marriage took place without the consent of their parents and was finally validated by the pope on May 23rd 1408.

The two of them had a daughter and a son. Isabel of York, and Richard the third of York. Anne died soon after the death of her son Richard. She is buried at Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, which was once the site of Kings Langley Palace.

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Throwback Thursday

Princess to Polo Player

When my daughter was younger, she already knew she wanted to live on a farm. My husband and I have always encouraged our children to do what they dream of doing.

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Logitech Exif JPEG

We have always been a family that sits around the table for breakfast and dinner. Our dinners have always been fun, as we sit around the table we talk about our day, and our dreams. Our Princess, always told us about her farm. She wanted a farm with horses, lambs, goats, and pigs. Then my husband would tease her by telling her he was going to sneak on her farm and steal her pigs. He was going to make homemade salami and prosciutto. She knew the leg was used for prosciutto, so she would the tell us how hard it would be to push all the pigs in wheelchairs. She did not realize they would have to be killed to make prosciutto from the pig. She would use her imagination, and come up with the best ways to keep her father away from the pigs. She once came up with a plan to use train bulls to guard the pigs.

During the time we were exchange dreams of our near future we would laugh so hard at the stories. Now, the kids are teens, and we have our farm, no pigs yet. We have several goats, miniature donkeys, ducks, chickens, a goose, and we had a lamb. Our little city Princess has transformed into the young lady that she has dreamed of becoming.

Her ballet instructor told her she had to choose between being an equestrian or ballerina. I thought she was way too young to make such a decision. Why would a ten year old have to choose? Haven’t we learned that people can do anything they want to do? Why put such pressure on young children, and just allow them to be themselves? Needless to say…she did not want to continue to be a ballerina, even though she loved ballet.

Horses are close to her heart, she is just drawn to them like a magnet. Dreams come true, and everyone can obtain the dream they wish to fulfill. It takes moxie, determination, and ambition. You can do it! My little girl that would not leave her room without her Princess robe in the morning is now a Polo player. I couldn’t be more proud of her!