country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, orchard, random, Saturday Special

The Sounds of Living in the Country…

We moved from the city to the county almost four years ago. It took all of us a couple of weeks to learn to sleep with so much silence. In the spring, there is one refreshing sound that is heard on our farm at night. When it is silent, we know there is a predator lurking around the house, office, garage, or stalls. Most of the time, this is the sound of spring in the country…




642 Things to Write About, bounty, Collections and Obsessions, country, country, Cucina, Design, Family Friday, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Galleria, Genaolgy, Happiness Project, orchard, organic, Photography, random, renissance, Uncategorized, Winery

Christmas Blogging Miracle

No really, it is true! In 2008, I started blogging. I had a different name and many, many followers. I wanted to log our experience of trying to find a farm, winery, bed and breakfast, museum, along with sharing what I knew about our family history. I spent my nights commenting to other bloggers, every night was a competition with myself to see how many other blogs I could read and comment to each night.

The nights got away from me, and I was up until 3 and 4am. Something had to give. We were in escrow for the first place we wanted, and then it fell out of escrow. Our hopes faded a little, but my blog name had to change. I changed the name of the blog, but lost my followers. Oh sure, in hind sight, I could have emailed all my followers and told them my new URL, but I didn’t. So, I started over.

I have gone to blogging conferences, and I have had so much fun attending them. Bloggy Boot Camp is one of my favorites. I didn’t start my blog to get rich, I just wanted to share my journey. I then thought about sharing what I knew about…art, my new adventures in farming,  bee keeping, my new adventures as a winery owner, taking photographs, making Italian food, genealogy, stories of my kids growing up, gathering everyone for Sunday dinners, and life in our new county. I have many subjects of stories to share. Meeting other ladies at the conferences made the whole experience more fulfilling. Many of us started with Google blogging, and then moved to Word Press. We were meeting many of the people that were followers and friends on Twitter, Face Book, Word Press, Goggle, Tumbler, and Pinterest. We have watched others families grow.

Anyways, I blog in my spare time. I am not a professional, this is my outlet   that happens to be public. On Friday, I have “Family Friday”, it’s the day I share knowledge I have gathered about one of my ancestors. Just recently, my cousin found my site, and commented. She was given up for adoption and had been looking for her family. She knew some history, and enough that led her to find my blog posting. She then took it a step further and contacted me through direct message. I answered, and the two of us exchanged information. I promptly got ahold of my other cousin (her sister) to tell her, and she couldn’t wait to call her. The two of them talked and talked. Now, they are talking and exchanging stories It is a miracle, and a terrific Christmas present for all the lives that have been touched.

So, the moral to this story is, you just never know how you are going to touch the lives of others through your writing. My blog may not make me monetarily rich, but rich in spirit! I feel blessed, I have gained a cousin, and my cousins gain a sister! What could be better? Merry Christmas!!

642 Things to Write About, country, Happiness Project, random, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized

Being Grateful…

I am grateful for all the trials and tribulations in life, they have made me who I am today.

Thank you to all the people that have touched my life, good, bad, or indifferent.

Thanks to my parents for giving me life.

Thanks to Dolly, my neighbor, she scrubbed her porch every week, and that fascinated me to no end. She also fed me oatmeal first thing in the morning when I stopped at her house.

Thanks to my neighbor that gave me a piggy back ride everyday to my first school #49. He was like the big brother I never had.

Thanks to my dad for sitting on the porch with me, and listening to the mourning doves.

Thanks to my mom for showing me cocoons on the milkweed plant. I loved waiting for the butterflies to emerge.

Thanks to my sister and brother for always being great friends.

Thanks to the wonderful kindergarten teacher that told me she would miss me.

Thanks to my Grandma Gray for always making me feel special!

Thanks to the boys that lived down the street from me that threw a cherry bomb in our yard. From that moment, I knew I didn’t want to live in that neighborhood.

Thanks to my first grade teacher for telling me I was good enough of a teacher to teach the left handed child in our class how to use scissors.

Thanks to Aunt Mary for teaching me how damn had it is to pick bushels and bushels of strawberries.

Thanks to Aunt Tink for allowing us to spend weeks at her house in the summers.

Thanks to Aunt Sharon for teaching me that driving fast is an art.

Thanks to all my cousins for having so much fun over the years!

Thanks to the community center that I cheered at, played soccer, basketball, and was a bat girl. I also was in many plays,  musicals, and ballets.

Thanks to all the horrible babysitters that I had, you taught me that I was independent and strong. I could take care of myself and my sister and brother.

Thanks to the boys in sixth grade that felt the need to throw eggs at me on the last day of school.

Thanks to the museum I would visit that was out of the area where I was suppose to ride my bike. The visits would ignite a fire within me, that would become a part of who I am!

Thanks to the little library that ran out of books for me to check out without going into the adult section.

Thanks to the wonderful teachers I had in high school!

Thanks to all the wonderful friends I made in high school!

Thanks to my two favorite deans, Mrs Strong and Mr. Shires.

Thanks to the girls that beat the crap out of me because I was weird and they were stoned. It cemented the knowledge that doing drugs was not worth it. Thanks to the guy that helped me as I bled on the side of the street. He walked me home, and made sure I was ok before he left.

Thanks to the counselor I had in high school that told me that “with your lofty dreams, you’ll need to marry a banker.”

Thanks to parks and recreation for hiring me as a lifeguard, it was one of my favorite jobs.

Thanks to my friend that told me to enroll in college!

Thanks to all the boyfriends that were a part of my life, I’m glad we broke up with each other.

Thanks to the dean of history that told me he had never met anyone with as much tenacity.

Thanks to the professor of museum studies that told me that I was going to have a museum.

Thanks to all the friends I made through college, all those years.

Thanks to Indiana University for my degree, proof that the sacrifices I made were so worth it.

Thanks to my niece for allowing me to take you to the theatre, museums, and zoo.

Thanks to Indianapolis Museum of Art, for my first “Career job”.

Thanks to my nephew for being such a sweet baby.

Thanks to Believe it or Not of San Francisco for being my first California job.

Thanks to Yahoo for having early chat rooms, where I would meet my husband.

Thanks to my husband for meeting me that early morning in San Francisco.

Thanks to my mother and father in law for teaching me about your upbringing.

Thanks to my children, for being YOU!

Thanks to all the friends I made in Oakland and Piedmont. I am glad you are not far away from me!

Thanks to the camps that my children attended in the summers.

Thanks to all the friends I have made in San Luis Obispo county.

We are all the sum of our parts, and that includes all the experiences. There are some experiences that I have had that are not something I would ever want to experience again in my life. Even those experiences have taught me life lessons. I lived through all my experiences, and that is a miracle in itself. I am grateful I am alive, and I have the friends I do have. Live life, and learn from what your life has given you. You can grow from each one, and you will be a better person for it.

Live well

Laugh often

Love Much

Learn Always










Week In Review

Wow! This has been a long week. After two years of health issues one of my tenants left his business after many years in his career. Since he left many thing behind I had to get in there, and clean it all out of the shop. I met with the my future tenant, and got a lease put together for her.

I haven’t been home all week!

My husband and I went to a winery we are contemplating purchasing, and worked all day. I have great video of the event, but can’t share until the winery become ours.

My daughter was in the parade today. The parade was so much fun. After the parade there are free beans and read for everyone. Why, you ask? By the time the parade is over it in lunch time, and pioneers used to have beans to refuel to get back home. The pioneer parade has been ongoing for 125 years, and the big cauldrons of beans are part of the tradition.

We have decided to get ourselves babydoll sheep if we get the vineyard. They keep the rows clear without machinery disturbing the ground. We will have maremma sheepdogs watch over the sheep. We are in the process of looking for our alternative energy, and are pretty excited about helix wind turbines in conjunction with solar panels. We will utilize both for the farm and the winery.

I have some great footage, I will have to share later.

Design, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, random

How Blogging Changed My Life

I know, I know, it sounds a little dramatic, but it is true. I have to be honest. I am not the best writer. I do love doing it though, and it is the act of doing it that is so cathartic. I have been to blog conferences, and met so many people making lots of money. I am not doing this to become a millionaire. I am doing this because it is a joy for me. I love going to the conferences to meet people I have followed, and tweeted.

I started blogging in 07, when we first began our journey of discovering the Central Coast of California. What started as our family sitting around the table talking about our dreams of the future. My husband wanted at least fifty acres with nothing around him, my son wanted a hotel and a vineyard, my daughter wanted a farm, and I wanted a ag tour museum. When we would gather around the table we would share fantasies out loud about our personal dreams. The kids has some pretty funny stories. My daughter would tell scenarios of how she would protect her little pigs from my husband by enclosing the pig area by surrounding it with bulls. Then my husband wouldn’t be able to get her pigs to make proscuitto.

My son would talk about how his hotel would look, and the vineyards surrounding the hotel. The smells of the wine wafting through the air, and the guest having a grand time. The kids would then talk about how they would team up, she would deliver food to his hotel. They would even argue about contracts with one another about food costs, and how the food would be delivered.

One night I said to the family…”Why don’t we just sell all of our property here, and go for our dream?”  We started looking in Napa, Sonoma, and Petaluma. Every realtor told us the same thing…”You are not going to be able to get zoning you would need to fulfill your dream.” We then started reseaching other areas, and found that San Luis Obispo loves Ag-Tours.

As soon as we started on this quest I thought about a blog. I started one, and then our escrow fell out. It was nine long months of being in escrow. My blog name was changed, and there went my 400+ followers. Lesson learned, find a name that you are going to love and stick with it! I was very frustrated about my failed blogging attempt, but I soon revitalized myself…it wasn’t that I wanted to be rich and famous as a blogger. I just wanted to share my experience. I just wanted to be able to find a little niche, and write.

Blogging is fun for me, and having a little platform is just FUN. I am living my dream! I have a great husband, wonderful children, Yorkie, Cane Corso’s, 95 chickens, 11 ducks, 2 geese, 6 goats, an orchard, beehives, worm bins, residential property, commercial property, and 500 acres. Soon I will have my winery, and my museum. I have always wanted to make the world a better place, and I am! Having my little empire sustainable, and helping others is another part of the dream that is working too. I am a modern farmer!



Lately, I have been pretty busy with renovating apartments. We purchased some apartment buildings when we moved to here. I manage all the properties, and my favorite part is doing the renovations.

Here are some before and after shots…


Kitchen   Before



Utilizing, a more modern color palate, and updating the appliances make a big difference. We want our tenants to be happy where they are, and have modern amenities. Once the apartment is ready, I list it, and wait for the right tenant that will fit into the complex. All the other tenants want a neighbor that is considerate of others, so I factor that into the equation too.



random, Uncategorized

Mouse In The Toilet

If there is one thing I can’t stand it is MICE. I really hate them. When we lived in the SF Bay Area we went through 10 months of renovation. The kids were small, and everyday we needed to be out of the house by 9am. I would take an activity outside for the children to do, and pack a little lunch so we could have a picnic everyday, Monday through Thursday. Since my husband got to work from home he stayed home while I took the children to a zoo every Friday was zoo day.

There was a time during the construction that our house had to be up on stilts. We were having the basement, and a third story added to the house. When the house was on stilts vermin (mice) found their way into the house. My husband did not believe me. I put up surveillance cameras. He told me that the rodents don’t hold themselves, there is no evidence of their little mess anywhere. I told him, I can feel that they were here. I proved it to him with the video. I was bleaching everything, I was a MAD woman. Since we lived in the SF Bay Area we could not get the regular mouse traps that snap their dirty little necks. No! We had to get the HUMANE traps. They are little grey tubes that catch them, and then you can release them. Well, HELL NO! I am not going to catch the damn things then free them for them to come back into my house.

house on stilts
house on stilts

This is the graphic part of the story that some of you may need to stop reading….I give you a second to leave.


I would catch them, and flush them down the toilet. One of them…decided he wasn’t going to go down that way. It tried to jump out of the toilet. I was freaking out, so I slammed down the lid, ran to get a trash bag. I taped the trash bag over the toilet. I called my husband at work to tell him what I had done. My son was three, and was telling me in the background….call papa, call papa. My husband started cracking up laughing. I wasn’t amused at all, this was also our only toilet. UGH!

I finally could no longer hear it splashing around in there. I got up the nerve to take a peek at what had happened to it. It was dead. I then had to bleach the toilet. That was the last one that got into the house. We had every crevice in the house filled by our construction crew. Since I was sickened by the thought of those diseased animals being around the house, every hole that was the size of a pencil was closed.

No, I am not ashamed of killing the mice.