Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Uncategorized, Wine Wednesday, Winery


Appreciation goes a long way…I love to find beauty in all places. Just the other day, I was walking around the campus of San Marcos Creek. I was walking over by the pond, and up in the willow tree was a nest. It is magnificent! I see the little birds walking around picking up feathers from the ducks and peacocks, and then they weave them into their own nest. Just as we collect items that make our places more like home, they do too.


Family Friday, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Genaolgy, Happiness Project, Uncategorized

James Johnston

James was my 8th great grandfather from my grandfather Gray’s line, through the Willis line. He was baptized in 1655, and was the 4th son of Lord Warriston  Archibald Johnston, who was executed in 1663 by Charles II, for serving under Cromwell.

The Johnston family fled to Holland to escape persecution. James would go on to study law.  He would not return to England until about 1688. Later he would go on to become Secretary of State for Scotland.

He married Catherine Poulett in Salisbury in the year of 1696. She was the daughter of John the 2nd Baron and Catharine Nee Vere. This marriage brought no children. His second marriage was to Lucy in 1716. Lucy was the daughter of Thomas Claxton of Dublin and Mary Pearce.

The King (George I), and Queen Caroline, were his guests at home at Twickenham. James was one of the first to construct a home on the Thames river. John James was the architect of the mansion that took 35 years to build. It was known as Orleans House after 1813. The grounds were very involved as well with canals, an icehouse, kitchen garden, wilderness, grotto, and a fruit garden. A special room was added for entertaining Queen Caroline, James Gibbs was the architect for the addition which was a baroque octagonal room.






Johnston was on the House of Commons of Great Britain for Lichester from 1708 to 1710, and for Calne from 1710 to 1713. Johnston died in Bath in May of 1737. His eldest daughter Lucy was baptized at Twickenham on July 7th, 1717. She married General George Preston, Colonel of the Scots Greys. His son James Johnston born May 21 1721 was an army officer, Colonel of Royal Horse Gurads then Colonel of the Scots Greys following the death of his brother in law. James, married Charlotte, daughter of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. After Charlotte’s death he married his own first-cousin, Frances Carter, widow of Philip Twysden and mother of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey.

Collections and Obsessions, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized

Lambretta Load

This time three years ago we were loading up our collections on Lambretta scooters. One of our Lambretta scooters is from the 1960 Olympics that was held in Rome. We even have a collection of rare photographs of the Lambretta helicopters. One of our other Lambretta scooters has a bambino side car.

We moved trailer load by trailer load to the Central Coast. Oh, it was such a long journey, from 2008 to 2011. From the time we started looking for a space, we went through 5 realtors. Our gem of a realtor was David Crabtree!  We looked and looked,  for just the right space. Then in 2011 we found the perfect 300 acres. We purchased a few other pieces to add to the collection, before we found our current home. It took us 90+ moves every weekend to move our itemes from the SF Bay area to our current location.


We could not be happier with the way things have gone! Cheers to many, many more years her on the Central Coast, and with some patience we will open our museum within the next few years.

bounty, Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Uncategorized, Wine Wednesday, Winery

New Release…

We have been very busy at the winey, I believe the last time I blogged about the winey, I was about to join the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, which we have done. Gone to meeting at San Miguel Chamber, and planning on visits to other places to showcase our wines. IMG_7930.jpg

Just this past weekend we released our new Grenache Rose, so very yummy with a nice dry finish. Oh My, I really love it. This weekend was the 11th anniversary of the tasting room. There was a nice turn out for our party too.


country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday, Uncategorized


This is the time of year we separate the moms and babies. It’s tough to listen to them cry. The momma goats cry so much for the babies that they almost go horse from the constant crying, and I really just want to go down to the  pasture and allow them all to go back with their moms.


This photo is of Jasmine (the bottle baby), and her mom Misty. Since Misty can no longer have babies we are going to have her become the nanny goat for all the other babies. All the other babies are ready to be away from their moms, but it is tough for all the animals to leave their mom. It is tough on the momma goats too. Sabrina and I try to remain strong while listening to them cry. It’s one of those aspects of farming that doesn’t get any easier.

Collections and Obsessions, Design, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Uncategorized

Paolo Sala

A wonderful watercolor of nuns gathering for the day. I imagine they are gathering during the heat of the day. A time of the day they talk, knit, and maybe listen to family stories. They tell each other about the lives and families they left behind. The good times and the bad times, and why they were the ones that were chosen to join the church. I imagine that a few of them at least, have had crushes or pursued crushes or lustful tryst.

I am sure the conversations were more diluted when Mother Superior was around, and maybe when the initiates are around they may not want to tempt them to go back to city. Possibly even be the one to corrupt the initiate into sneaking out to pursue something less than innocent. IMG_7689.jpg

I’m sure the life of a nun was not an easy one. So many young women were sent to be nun’s because their families could not afford a dowery. Scrubbing floors, faming, and tending animals in the commune with other women. Gathering when you are told to do so…yikes!  Reading about the life of a nun is much different than living a life of a nun.

Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday, Uncategorized

Spring Break

Last week, was spring break for the kids. Anytime that I get to spend time with family is most rewarding. Even doing the smallest of things. I just love spending time with them. We talk, laugh, and I sing annoying songs I make up on the fly opera style. They will then reply “Do you have to make up songs about everything?” I do! They they laugh, and that makes my singing more bearable. LOL

We had lots of driving classes this past week, and discussed narrowing down the field of Universities the kids want to attend. My son has his really narrowed down, and a real plan of action. My daughter has three schools on her list for now. I am pretty certain she wants to do something in the medical field, but not sure she has it narrowed down yet. She will be looking for an internship so she can ascertain if she would rather work on people or animals.

Right now, I am working on a research project that has me OCDing late into the wee hours. So, if I am not back in a few days, you will know…I’m on the net, but doing some research for one of our projects.

So, here are some photos from the farm I took while we were in Spring Break mode…