food, Galleria, Happiness Project, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Rhone Rangers

“Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased.” Earnest Hemingway

As a winery owner it is my job to get out there and experience what other wineries are doing. So, I was happy to dive in and taste wine for two days at the Hospice du Rhone. I attended one of the lectures, two days of tasting, and Farewell Dinner.

I enjoyed the lecture, and the wines were delicious as well. Jeb Dunnuck, was the moderator, and he really gave us extra insight on the St. Joseph area of France and the wines that are crafted from the region. After a taste, I was sold, so delicious, and vibrant. The minerals of the area are in the background notes of the wine too.

I met one celebrity wine maker. I had never heard of him until that day, and just made it a goal to have a photo taken with him.

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He wasn’t thrilled to have his photo taken with me. Geez, I didn’t ask him for his autograph. Whatever, I got a photo with him. It was a fun challenge.

These were the stand outs for the weekend. The 2010 was my absolute favorite. So smooth, and had such a long decadent finish. Chateau St. Nabor, Cotes Du Rhone, is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault.  Raspberries, and blackberries immediately hit the nose, and the palate is clean and so damn refreshing. I was so bewitched by this Rose.

At the end of the evening of the 2nd day, I met a couple from the area. I so enjoyed their conversation and shared wines and food. I even ate a cricket. IMG_0767

It was crunchy, and super spicy. Not really sure I will ever have another one, but at least I did it once.

 

bounty, Collections and Obsessions, country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, organic, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

2nd Round of Chickens

“Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn’t hiss or boo me.” James Dean

We have been country people for 5 years now. When we lived in the city we had lists of all the things we wanted to do once we lived in the county. One of our goals, was to have free range chickens. We went big too, we purchased beautiful chicken houses from the Amish. They are big, and they have room for the chickens to roost, two windows, big door, and a door to collect eggs.

We did everything the books told us to do. We raised them for the first three months in the garage. They had little waterer, and it was changed twice a day. The had a feeder that we filled twice a day, and they had a heating lamp. For the first few months the heating lamp was on all day and night to keep the little chicks warm. By the third month, we unplugged the heating lamp during the day, but turned it on in the evening.

After the third month we kept them in their new homes for two weeks, checking on the them, feeding them, and giving them water. Once their feathers were grown in, we allowed them to go outside their house. During the day, they would stay just outside the door, some of them didn’t even want to leave the house. For the first couple of weeks they would stay close to their house, and not go far from it.

As they grew, they became more bold. Since they were free range, they would go all over the place, but mostly like to be close to our house. Which created a disaster…poo everywhere on the porch. I spent so much time cleaning the front porch, and the back porch. Sometimes, we would even see the chickens way down the hill. This is 42 acres, and they have tiny legs. By evening, all of them would come back home, and get inside their homes.

Then, football season started. We would go to the football games with the kids. They were in high school, so they would hang out with their friends and my husband and I would go for romantic walks downtown holding hands. We would come home, and it was late…we would lock the chicken doors. In the morning we would let the chickens go free. Since we had 100 chickens, it was hard to tell that some were missing. It was only after a few games later we discovered…every time we go to a game, there are fewer chicken.

There was one fox that boldly came right by the house. He had the most beautiful red fur coat, and a black peak on his tail. He was super healthy looking, and just strutting right by the house. I thought to myself, honestly, if he came to the door, knocked and asked me for a chicken, I would give it to him. Anyway, a couple of times there were even coyotes that would stalk the chickens during the day.

We finally lost all of our chickens. They were captured by the foxes and coyotes. If we have raccoons near by, I have never seen one in our area. So, now we are starting all over again. We still have the houses. This time, we are building them a lovely fence to protect them from predators. The eggs that come from farm chickens are just so much better than grocery store eggs. I’m always a little embarrassed when I shamefully have to carry a dozen eggs to the check out. By July, I won’t have to carry eggs to the check out, because we will have our own eggs.

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

Lambretta Scooter

“Give me a museum, and I will fill it.” Pablo Picasso IMG_0851

This is another vintage poster in our little cafe at San Marcos Creek. We have a collection of Lambretta Scooters, and wanted to personalize our little cafe so people that visit could learn a little more about us.

Roberto started collecting Lambretta Scooters when he was younger, but they became so hard to find that he held off from obtaining any more until after our children were in elementary school. Roberto would give each child a ride around the park that was right by our house in Oakland. He would even have meets for people as far away as Australia. When visitors would come they would ride over on their Lambretta, but they would also want to see Robertos’ collection. This was usually an all day event. They had lots to talk about with each of their scooters.

I loved the stories they would tell. Stories of them getting stuck somewhere in England or  Italy. We even have a scooter with personal history. The lady wanted to find the right buyer. Her and her husband had been admiring a Lambretta in the window of a department store in 1950’s or 60’s. They finally had the money to buy it, and they took off to Italy.

The couple boarded a plane with their dog, and once they arrived in Italy, they purchased their Lambretta. Their baby blue TV175 had all the extra’s on it too. The windshield, the back rack, and chrome mirrors. The two of them and their dog went all over Italy and all over Europe on the back of the scooter. They shared a few of the photos with us, and they even included the journal of their days out on their adventures with the dog and each other.

So, everyday I pass the poster at the winery I think of all those people that must have had the times of their lives on the back of their scooters. What a joy to own a piece of history that conjures up great memories as well as thoughts of how others had fun.

Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Morelli Family Sunday, San Luis Sunday

Community Giving

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” Booker T. Washington

Sundays are usually family days. We like to cook all day, and do whatever we feel will be enjoyable for that day. The third Sunday of every month is a special day at the winery. We allow people that are artists and makers of items come in, set up their booth or table and tell other people in the community about their projects or art.

The first one we had two ladies, and this last time we had three artists. I hope this continues to grow, and the community comes over to the winery to participate. This give us a chance to help out others in our community help themselves.

Our next “Artisanal Market” will be June 18th, 2018.

The ladies do such a nice job putting together their tables.

Collections and Obsessions, country, Design, farming, Happiness Project, Photography, Saturday Special

Nearly Complete

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” Wayne Dyer

I am still busy with loads of paperwork and finishing touches on the “little house” at Terreni D’ Oro Estate Farm.

Now, I just need to double check the status of internet, and make sure I get Direct TV to set up their systems, and I am all set to have guests for the rest of the summer. I am pretty excited to see people having fun, and we can give them some of our luscious goat milk soap that we make here on the farm. IMG_7433

They have so much later, and they are so creamy. We milk the goats, and we utilize it to make soap and or body butter.

Here is our newest baby goat with her mom (Jasmine). We haven’t named this little guy yet. Mufassa is one of our little black barn cats. Belle gets outside the gate every single day. We hear her crying as soon as we get home. Crazy little goat!

Here’s to the hope that everything comes together and next week is a most productive week.

Collections and Obsessions, Family Friday, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Genaolgy, Happiness Project

Family Ancestors

“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it’s part of a tree.” Michael Crichton

I started researching my family history before I was in high school. We had always been told that we had Native American ancestors. I even wore moccasins to school for the longest time. Even in the snow, I would wear my little moccasins because I was so convinced that my people were trodding in the snow with their moccasin…I should do the same.

Recently, I took the DNA test and was super disappointed that no Native American blood was found. My 4rd great grandmother did have a Native American partner, and had several children with him. Since, at the time, it was illegal to marry a Native American, and the children that resulted from a relationship with a Native American were not recognized she could not share her relationship with anyone but her family. Was she raped by the non Native American contributor that resulted in my 3 great grandfather?

If my 3rd great-grandfather was not a Native American, yet all the other children were. I am not sure there is another conclusion. She was feisty, but she wouldn’t have been able to fend off a man that thought he had rights to do what he wanted. In those days, women barely had any rights at all, and were subjected to the men that “kept” them. If your father thought a young woman should get married, she would be obligated to marry.

So many unanswered questions…

Then, I have the long agony of Abigail Warner, I am not even sure she was actually married to Fizer. I do know they had a child, but I haven’t been able to find any marriage documents. Which doesn’t mean too much for that period since it was just before the civil war. Either he was killed or missing, and after she married Mr. Collins. That’s the gist of what I know about her. Where was she born? What about her family?

I want to know as much about the women as I have found about the men. I am so grateful for all my ancestors and what they had to do to make a living to get all of us where we are now. Sure, we all make our contributions too. I have read of so many of their sorrows getting to their destination, being sold at market, scratching at the ground to find food. Fighting in wars that they didn’t want to fight. Our lives are so blessed because of the sacrifices they made.

My great aunt Neil Gray was one of those people that made great sacrifices. She raised most of the children after her mother passed away from complications of child birth. Then, her younger sister (Hazel) was playing with matches, and caught on fire. She lived for three days,  screaming in agony in her little bed. Everyone did everything they could, but the doctors could not save her.

My great grandfather drank all a lot after that, an Aunt Neil went to school, and took care of the children until they were all old enough for her to move away. Move away she did, she packed up, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. She went to work for RCA. She never had any children of her own.

I loved going to her house. It was always so clean! She made homemade dinners in her big kitchen, and she even had a green house that was attached to her house. I loved going in there, and spending time with the plants. There was a Venus fly trap that provided hours of fascination for me. Her mannerism was very formal, as she would have matching gloves with each outfit. She truly was an original, until I found a Degas that looks like her twin.

Here’s a photo of my great aunt and her art twin…

 

 

Cane corso, Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Photography, Raising Montessori Kids, San Luis Obispo Sites, Throwback Thursday

American Girl Dolls

“Just don’t pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don’t. Stay open to them. It’s teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It’s that simple.” Anne Lamott

It seems like yesterday my daughter packed up her 20 American Girl Dolls. We moved to the country, and she started collecting animals.

In the last five years that we have lived in the country, we have had chickens, cats, ducks, cows, goats, miniature donkeys, sheep, and dogs. She and I have stayed the night in the barn (very cold, and very uncomfortable) to make sure the baby goats make it. Got up earlier than we ever wanted to warm up bottles and go feed the babies. She has been a trooper through it all. Embracing country life like it was something that is meant for her.

She has even saved countless little lives of birds, dogs, cats, and even a deer.

We fed it some goat milk until it was strong enough to walk, and then took it to a refuge. They wrote to us to let us know that it was getting stronger, and they would release it when it was more mature.

She graduates soon, and will be heading off to college. The years of her polo playing, powder puff, and hanging out with her high school friends will be in the rearview mirror.

Some of the animals…

I know my husband and I are so happy that her high school years have been everything that she always wished. I loved teaching her how to drive, and make soap. Now, as this chapter of her life comes to close, and she is about to embark on her next chapter. I just want to say what an honor it has been to raise you into the young lady you are now!

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country, farming, Galleria, Happiness Project, San Luis Obispo Sites, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Wine Club

“Good wine is a good familiar creature if it well used.” William Shakespeare

We like to take good care of our wine club members. At San Marcos Creek, we are showing off our second label to our club members. Usually, this label is for distribution only, but we are also doing some extra special with our second label… we are donating our proceeds to the arts. IMG_0844

We just met with some non profit organizations to start to lay down the foundation of how we will go about giving money to the arts. We want young and old to benefit from this project we are embarking on in the coming months. We know we want to start by giving to our local area in San Luis Obispo County. We want all the arts to be included in the plan, from painting, sculpture, dance and drawing. We want projects that include alzheimer’s, because we are aware of studies that have shown that the dance (learning steps), and painting help keep the mind active. Art therapy for young and the elderly, something that needs more attention and study.

It makes me feel good that we are sharing this aspect of what we are doing with our members, and allowing them exclusive access to our second label. Our members also get 20% off their stay at the inn and crush pad. Which have scored 9.6 from booking.com 2 years in a row.

 

IMG_0854 Our newest farm vacation rental at Terreni D’ Oro. It’s not online yet, but if you email me @kimberly@sanmarcoscreek.com I can set you up on the calendar.

Our Plus, a little extra gift is a notebook with our logo in their shipment this month, along with our newsletter. IMG_0845

We sell our wines online San Marcos Creek. 

 

farming, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday, vacation rental, Winery

Be Our Guests…

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Rumi

We had a pretty exciting weekend in Paso Robles. This was Wine Festival weekend, and people from all over the United States come to join our party. Some of our friends came into town from Barrel 33 . Alayna and Manny are the owners of Barrel 33, and they happen to sell our Graffino Wines. The two of them were looking for reservations for a place to stay, but since this is a popular weekend places were booked.

I suggested our little house, but prefaced it with the fact that I had not got the connection for dish tv, and I didn’t even have toiletries in the house yet. Well, since we have an inn and villa here at San Marcos Creek, I could grab toiletries to take to the house for them. I had them follow me to the house, since it is a little tricky to get to the house.

Once there, they could get comfortable and they would have a place for the dogs to run and play. Later in the afternoon, I forgot that our coffee maker stopped working, and I confiscated the coffee maker from our little house. UGH! They had no coffee pot! I texted Alayna to tell her I would drop off the coffee pot, and find some filters for it. I dropped off the coffee pot at the door, and had to find some filters. Later, I found a few filters, so I took them to the door, and stuffed them in the box, along with the scoop. Just as I was about to leave, they pulled up at the house.

The next morning Alayna texted me, and told me that they enjoyed staying at the house. I couldn’t have selected better guests…they did everything you would hope that your relatives would do…everything was super clean, they put laundry in the washer, and made the bed.

When my daughter and I went down to the house to put the laundry in the dryer, she said “I miss them already.” These are the guests that every vacation property owner dreams of, I am just sorry that the house wasn’t 100% finished for them.

The next time you head up to Big Bear, please go in and tell them we said hello. They are the beautiful couple probably working their tails off. 😉

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

Vintage Poster From Capri

“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” Christian Dior

 

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This is a vintage poster from 1952. The perfume was put on the market in 1948 after the Monastery was given permission by the Pope Pius XII to recreate the perfume. The secret ingredients were given to a chemist from Turin. He created the smallest laboratory int e world and called “Carthusia, i.e. Certosa.

The ledgend is that Queen Giovanna D’Angio was set to arrive at the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo , and preparations need to be made for her. Since she was the donor of the land for the Monastery. The monastery was built in 1371, and is one of the oldest surviving historical buildings on Capri. In 1380 the Queen was visiting, so the father prior went sought out the most beautiful flowers he could find for her room. The water was not changed for three days, he noticed the water had an aroma that was heavenly. He immediately took the water to the father alchemist who then traced the origin of the sent back to “Garofilum silvestre caprese” The water was the first perfume of Capri.

The tradition continues to this day, and the perfume is made in limited production. I can tell you from personal experience the perfume smells like a warm summer day, with the breeze gently propelling essence of a mixture of bouquets of flowers. The temperature about 75, and the sun just kissing your face in an almost seductive manner. Yep, it’s that good!

When I purchased the poster, a poster expert was giving a lecture. She asked us what the poster reminds us of…any logo? She told us that this was the inspiration for the Starbucks logo. We added the poster to our lounge area at San Marcos Creek Winery and Inn to generate conversation, and also because we love all things Italian. It’s an interesting poster for sure, and I have no idea how many of these floated around United States in the 1950’s because it seems a little too risqué for the 50’s in the States. What do you think? I absolutely love the colors, and believe it looks pretty modern. I would love to know what your thoughts are.