Happiness Project

Start toTransform Your Life Before 2020

“This is the key to life: the ability to reflect, the ability to know yourself, the ability to pause for a second before reacting automatically. If you can truly know yourself, you will begin the journey of transformation.” Deepak Chopra

Are you looking to transform your life? Looking for ways to get to know yourself better? Well, I am going to include a worksheet that you can print for free. This little daily sheet ask you questions about water intake, fruits and veggie count, calories consumed, exercise, as well two aspects of life we now know are very important to your overall wellbeing. Listening to music can have a profound effect on your mental health. Studies have shown that music can alter your mood right away. This is why we are inundated with music in so many places. Music plays in the background while we are shopping, getting coffee, and sports venues to name a few. Music Therapy can help people with anxiety issues and even PTSD. Art Therapy can also help people. It is something you can start doing today. Add some art into your life each and every day.

When my children were younger we used to go upstairs to my bedroom where I had three boxes of colored pencils in the closet. Each of us got our boxes, and then we got our coloring books. We used the Dover Coloring Books, because the Dover collection has so many books with educational material as well. After dinner, the three of us would go upstairs and color together. I would ask them questions about why they were using that color. Then, that would get them talking about more of what they were going through. It was such a great experience for all of us.

I have also included an area for people to write what they want to share and or write what they would like to remember what they want to be grateful for that day.

Happy Transformation!   Daily Schedule pdf

Happiness Project

Traveling to Tahoe

Recently, my husband and I set off for a little trip to Lake Tahoe. When we lived in the SF Bay Area in only took us about 3 hours to get there, but now we live in Southern California, we have to spend more time in the vehicle to get there.

During this time of the year there is no snow, but the little towns are all a buzz with activity. It has been at least 19 years since we have been up to Tahoe. Our kids have never been in snow. NEVER!

I grew up in the snow, and I just don’t care for it. Ok, ok, I do like when it is falling from the sky. I do like when there’s a light dusting outside, and how the cup of coffee or cocoa feels extra special between my two hands. I do LOVE the sound the sound makes…crunch, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. MMM! I do love the way the moon light hits the snow and the snow seems to twinkle. What was I saying about not liking it? Oh, I remember, when the car is stuck in the driveway, and the only way out is to shovel the snow out of the way first. The weight of the snow is so heavy it has to be removed the roof. It’s so cold outside that the hair inside your nose freeze. It’s so cold that your eyelashes are frozen. It’s so cold that organs in the body are starting to harden…ok, that one might be going a little too far. I really don’t like being cold.

I did forget how damn beautiful the lake is, even if there is no snow. Lake Tahoe is such a pretty blue color. The backdrop of the mountains behind the lake is pretty exquisite too. If the water was just a wee bit more still, the photo would have been even more fantastic with a reflection of the mountains.

I love living in California, even with our crazy broken system, it’s pretty damn gorgeous here.

Wish you were here….

Kimberly

farming, Happiness Project, Throwback Thursday, vacation rental

Terreni D’ Oro

“You can’t have the family farm without the family.” Gilbert K. Charleston

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We have a little farm with a vacation rental on our property. We came down to San Luis Obispo to allow our children live a cleaner life in the country. Once we found the farm land that we were dreaming about we decided to work on building it the way we wanted. The children had ideas of what they wanted to accomplish and what they were willing to do, and of course what kind of animals would end up being a part of the farm. We all agreed that we would not have any pigs. As much as all of us love the taste of bacon and prosciutto, I just don’t like their evil wailing. EEK! Not a fan! I don’t mind some great pork shoulder wrapped in herbs and bacon though, or the taste of prosciutto and some cantaloupe on the side. Yum, I love the salty and sweet after taste of the cantaloupe. The two are really a great pairing…Oh crap, I really got a little sidetracked.

Anyway, I have a real fear of birds. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of a beautiful songbird, or the screech of red tail hawks, but the seagulls…NO! Maybe that is precisely where I obtained this fear. It really is not as bad these days in contrast to the early days of collecting our chickens.

So, being the ever concerned husband that he is, my husband asked me “How the hell are we going to have chickens when you’re afraid of birds.” I reassured him that I had a plan. What is the plan, Kimberly? He asked of me. Well, I believe that if I am exposed to them at an early age I won’t be as frightened of them. I told him, and he replied with “Seems plausible.”

We purchased all the materials that the books told us to buy. We got stainless steel feeding troughs, warming lamps, and small feeding tubes and water tubes. We also purchased the wood shavings that don’t contain any pesticides or chemicals. We ordered chicken houses from Amish builders, so when the chicks got older they would have a little home. We were all set for purchasing our chickens.

Have you seen how damn cute chicks are? Well, we were super weak! Every time we would visit a hatchery we would buy more chicks. I would come home with 6, and then my husband would come home with 10. This went on until we ended up with 100 chickens. All the chickens grew up to be healthy and happy. They would run around all 42 acres of the farm. I wasn’t crazy about having poo on the front porch or the back porch, but I really did love seeing them run. It’s pretty funny that they look like tyrannosaurs rex in tiny size. Then, the dances that the roosters perform. The Bantam roosters were the best little dancers. They would hold one wing stretched out, and go around in a circle. Then, they would outstretch the other wing and move in the other direction. They would even do a step forward, and two steps back dance, it was really elegant. As I would watch them I would image our ancestors may have learned some of the dances from the chickens. It’s not too far fetched…more than likely we learned from observation…termites had great structures underground that kept themselves cool, even in hot places. The pulse and heart beat of our mother was there precursor for percussion instruments. The song birds were inspirational in learning to whistle, and make calls. I could just watch them all day. They’re so clever and hysterical.

Each one of our chickens had a name. Some of my fondest ones were “Vanilla Ice”. He was an all black rooster with white crown feathers. We had another rooster that was a really slow walker, and so many of the hens seems to love him. His feathers were an iridescent black. The plumage on his chest were all white feathers. We named him “Godfather”. We had another rooster that was all black and super shiny, he had an almost creepy vibe to him, so his name was “Slick”. We had a hen that was very popular and she had such a pretty “coo”, that we named her “Beyonce”.  “Goldie” was our only golden colored silky. “Pierre” was another rooster that was a little “mad”. He seemed to have an attitude about anyone that crossed the sidewalk in the front yard in a manner that disturbed him.

Once we were going to football games every Friday the coyotes and foxes seem to know that it was their turn to observe the chickens. We would often get home late, and just walk over to each one of the many chicken homes and shut the door. We would get up in the morning and unlock the door and notice to our surprise and bewilderment that there seemed to be fewer chickens. Each week that went by, more and more chickens were missing. The coyotes were getting a little bolder, maybe they had the mentality of “hey, they got a lot chickens, we can help take a few off their hands.” Well, they did just that. I wasn’t Super Pissed until we had to go back to buying our own eggs. I mean really, what kind of country people are we if we can’t even supply ourselves with our own eggs?

We got down to one little hen. “Dovie”, she was super small, and always hung out pretty close to the house. We didn’t collect her eggs because they were so tiny. We usually just gave them to the cats. She also would eat breakfast and dinner with the cats from the same bowl, and the cats never minded about eating with her, instead of eating her. I accidentally shut her in the stall with the goats, and it didn’t end well for “Dovie”.

After learning that the coyotes and foxes can do their own reconnaissance, we decided to wait to have more chickens when we had fencing around the chicken houses. At the present time we have a few chickens. We don’t have a full 100 again, that will have to wait a while, but we do have fresh eggs and that makes me happy. The dogs are even treated with an omelet every morning, so it’s in their best interest to make sure we don’t have any coyotes doing any probes on the farm.

country, farming, food, Happiness Project, orchard, San Luis Obispo Sites, trees, vacation rental, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Halter Ranch

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. Marilyn vow Savant

Recently, I was given the assignment to interview and wine taste my way through Halter Ranch for SLOW Wine. Slow Wine and Slow Food is a movement that was started in Italy, and has made it’s way over to the states. It’s really an old idea, one that our ancestors used to value… food that is good, clean and fair.

I was delighted to meet Kevin Sass, the winemaker. Kevin was extremely generous with his time, and spent so much time taking me to locations throughout the ranch, and answering questions that he has probably answered thousands of times. I was very appreciative that he met with me, and spent so much time tolerating my interrogation.

Besides the wines being beautiful, so is the property. The iconic bridge is relatively newer. I love that the bridge gives the property a distinctive old character.

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Inside one of the buildings in the corner are artifacts that were found on the site. IMG_0590

These vessels were most likely used to pound acorns. Which were a common staple food of the Native Americans in California. Maybe even some the acorns came from the Ancestor Tree. IMG_0584.jpeg

The Ancestor Tree is the largest Oak tree on the Central Coast. It is even documented in the California Department of Forestry. Halter Ranch even has a wine that is named after the iconic tree. It is such a source of pride for them that they hold special picnics under the tree, and excursions in a jeep are made to the spot. It really is a special area. One can almost feel the reverberation of ancient history the tree exudes.

Down in the caves, there is a special dining table for gatherings that are intimate. Plus, the intoxicating aroma of all those barrels that are stored in the caves. IMG_0597.jpeg

Halter Ranch doesn’t only care for the environment, their quality wines, but also their employees and the community.

The owner recently gave a BILLION dollars to conserve land around the world. The ranch includes corridors for the animals that pass on the property. Their wines are made with care from the time they hang on the vine to bottle. The ranch is SIP certified, and they won the green medal for  sustainable wine growers. IMG_0601.jpeg

The wines I tried were 2017 CDP (Cotes De Paso), it is a cuvée, that marries Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Tannat in the most elegant manner. The aroma of strawberry jam, cinnamon, lavender, waken your olfaction. One of those wines that is better when you’re taking your sweet time to really enjoy and savor. It has a long lasting finish, and is jazz smooth.

I also tried the Vin de Paille. The production of this wine is done just as it is in France. The grapes are dried on straw beds for 40 days, and then they are pressed. After pressing out this golden juice the wine is fermented and aged in neutral French oak barrels. The aroma of the honey hit me first, and the essence of orange and bergamot seem to seduce you into taking more of the wine into your nostrils for another deep inhalation. The taste lingers in your mouth, and it was instantly one of my favorites. I haven’t been able to find this kind of flavor outside of France or Hungary.

Did I mention that Halter Ranch even has several different types of accommodations? Well, they do. I am providing a link to Halter Ranch, so you can check out the website yourself.