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Well, ok, this one is not a murderer that I know of, but this is the face of what took our flock of chickens. I know it’s so darn cute, but 100 chickens over two years? C’mon! It’s pretty cute…I might give it a chicken…nah! I only have one left. YIKES!

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Early Renaissance

My sister purchased these two pieces from a flea market about 20 years ago. They are black and white photographs. One is of the Holy Trinity, that was done by Masaccio. He was one of the first artist of the period to incorporate the  illusion of space in a painting. This painting is in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy. IMG_9043

The second photograph is of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary and saints by Mino Da Fiesole, which is in the Fiesole Cathedral. He was an artist that was believed by the Medici family. He sculpted Piero di Cosmo de’ Medici.

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Mystic Hills Vineyard

I met Judy Cox (co-owner), as she was in between doing the many other jobs that she has to do. As many people know, being a boutique winery owner requires much versatility. I just happened to catch her at the right time. She is such a warm person, and so sweet! She had the table full of displays…

She was ready for my arrival. Honestly, their winery location is perfect for their history. The rolling hills in the background of the Oscar that Joel Cox won for “Unforgiven”, an old fashion Cowboy movie starring Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.

Joel is a film editor, then in 2008, he and his wife pursued their dream of having a vineyard. They started off with 14 acres of land in San Miguel, California.

Shortly thereafter, they planted 9 of the 14 acres with Red Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  They then met their winemaker, Keith Roberts, while planting the vines.  He has such passion for wine and growing grapes it is astounding, and they connected immediately.  He has had his hand in the winegrowing and winemaking process for 39 years and when he agreed to help them. They knew their dreams become reality!  They feel very blessed with the right soil and weather for a Bordeaux wine, and, since Cabernet Sauvignon is Joel’s favorite, they couldn’t be more excited.

In 2013 they purchased a second piece of property, nine acres, just a very short drive around the bend from our original land.  They already have ideas about what grapes to plant and are thinking about making a white Bordeaux blend.

They recently won Winery of the Year for Monterey County. The 2013 Rosé was awarded a Silver at The 2015 Rosé Competition at SIMI Winery in Napa. Mystic Hills Vineyard’s 2011 Unforgiven red blend was awarded a Gold Medal, while the 2011 Sequel red blend and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon both received Silver Medals.

Mystic Hills in located in San Miguel, California. At this time, they are in the process of developing a tasting room facility. For a private tasting with the wine makers, please call (805) 610-1099 or email


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Robert White of Messing, 1617

My 11th Great Grandfather from Grandpa Gray. Robert was born in 1558 in Shalford, Essex. He was married several times, but his first wife was Bridget Allgar on June 24th, 1585, in Shalford, Essex. the two of them had seven children. His Will is included here, as well as history relating to him from his great, great grandchildren. He was 59 when he passed away, and is buried in Essex. 8f365532-0ae6-4658-8dcb-d3bfc869e41a His coat of arms.



Here is a copy of the Last Will and Testament of Robert White…


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2012 Photos

These were back in the days of going back and fourth to Bay to SLO.

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Busy, Busy…

Casa Dell Arte is coming along. We are getting the pavers all done, and the interior space is complete. We have an artist that is our lead artist. We are going to have our first class in August. We know we are going to be paining a bicycle, in front of a window. At our next meeting we are going to discuss upcoming craft classes too, so we are pretty excited. Here is a photo of our paver progress…IMG_8264

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Ducks Saved


When I set out to write about the duck and her babies it was such a happy story. Our winemaker found the ducks, lost and scared by the big house on the campus of the winery. He captured them, and put them in a nice little box.

My daughter and I came over to the winery to pick up the ducks and the babies. We put them in a dog crate, and took them home. There we put the in the container above, and added some food and water. It had been about two weeks since we had them, and they were in container that was in the stable.

My husband suggested that we let them out of the container, and allow them to have all the space in the stable. The momma duck was finally starting to allow us to the baby ducks without hissing. We tipped the container on its side, and added some new fluff (pine shavings).

My daughter thought it would be nice for them to have a little more water. She left a pan of water with pine shavings all around the dish. They were swimming around, and she told us about them getting in and out of them dish. This morning, my daughter asked “You want to go see the babies swimming in the dish?” Yes, I said, first let me take this to my office. As I was coming to the stable I could see the look on her face was pure heartbreak. I went over to peek in the stall, and all the baby ducks were in the dish DEAD.

We looked at the dish, and concluded that the momma must have drank the water from the dish, therefore the babies could not escape. Farming has real heartbreak with it, sometime bad things happen. My baby cried about the whole thing, blaming herself for the accident. I told her that the momma just didn’t know there would be repercussions from her drinking the water that the baby ducks were swimming around in.