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

Dante and Beatrice

This is a hand painted rendition of Dante and Beatrice on Vellum, which is believed to be from the 1700’s. Note the colors, and I have included some detailed photos.

Dante (in red) approaches Beatrice and her maidens. Dante, is a poet, and is often portrayed with a book. Notice the detail of his finger inside the book to hold his place. The maidens protect Beatrice, as she is not allowed on the common streets alone without a chaperone. Her virginity must be proceed, and to protect her honor is to protect the family from scandal.

The detail in the folds of the garments is just incredible, and the details of the buildings. The lions flanking the staircase in the background…just beautiful! The diaphanous veil that she is about to pull over her face to show that she is a modest lady. Ahh, so much to love about this small painting.

Collections and Obsessions, country, Design, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, orchard, organic

Nun Playing A Violin

Although this is a print, it is an antique print. The original was a painting from the Italian Renaissance. The painter and subject are unknown. The face of the nun appears very young. Which is not a surprise, since families often sent a daughter to the convent. Often, the families just couldn’t afford a dowery for more than one girl, and sometimes they couldn’t afford one. A young woman would go to the convent ready to serve the church. Gardening, cleaning, praying, helping the poor. Mother Superior was in charge of the fate of the young lady.

This print reminds me of an educated lady, grieving for her family. Maybe it is an evening of a full moon where the light hits the courtyard just right, and the echo of her violin playing brings tears to the eyes of the other young ladies that have come to the convent. Young ladies that miss their families, and their old way of life.

Of course, there were young ladies that came to the convent and had a better life after they were surrounded by other young ladies. There would have been young ladies that would be able to eat good food once they were in the convent. I was once told that city poor was much different than country poor. If you were poor and lived in the city it was a little tougher to obtain fresh food. If you were poor in the country one could glean from neighboring farmers, there were eggs from chickens, and one could grow some of their own food.

Looking at old images really makes me grateful to live here and now. I am so thankful, and appreciate our ancestors, each and everyone of them. The lives they had were not easy! The choices they had to make were so different, and so far removed from the world we live in today.

country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Rental Property, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Finally Done

San Marcos Creek Villa is done, and here are the results of all our hard work…

country, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, San Luis Obispo Sites

Donald B Williams

Two sketches done by a local artist Donald B. Williams. Th first sketch is Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church at Cayucos, California. It was dedicated July 14, 1900, and the little church burned to the ground on September 30th 1970.


The haunting image of the church with it’s picket fence almost has sense a looming omen. Maybe it is the black and white, or maybe the knowing that it no longer exists. The shadow that is starting to fall on the left side of the building doesn’t help to make it appear to be a place of happiness. The new church was built in 1965, and five years later this one burned to the ground, yet no one knows the cause of the fire.


The other sketch is of the San Luis Obispo Mission…


Although, this too is a sketch, it doesn’t look as “dark” to me as the other one. I notice that the fountain is not in the sketch, could be that the fountain did not exist when he did his sketch.

Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, food, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Saturday Special, Winery

One Year Anniversary

September 9th is our anniversary day, we have been winery owners for one full year. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and there was lots of work to do. We got grass added to the back patio area, bocce ball court, a beautiful fountain, and Reale Leone Inn open.

After I had it all decorated, and ready to go…Roberto tells me, “Honey, there needs to be a pressure pump for the water.” Tears started welling up in my eyes. I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone, so I went over to the Inn. I went upstairs and starting wailing like a baby. We’ve spent millions of dollars and we still can’t make money until we have the Inn open…Oh, what have we done?

I hear someone is in the Inn with me. I see our air conditioning technician. He tells me “Kimberly, we may have to open this wall to get this air conditioner to work correctly.” What? We just finished the place, and you may have to open the wall? He reminded me that it would be the last thing they would do if nothing else worked. I hid upstairs again, and cried, and cried, and cried. I’m not exaggerating when I am telling you that I cried all day long!

I have learned that it takes a little while (months) for people to spread the word about a place of interest. Before we opened, people would tell us “Oh, I can’t wait to rent the whole Inn.” Well, that hasn’t happened as of yet. We have been full for several days at a time, and now, most weekends are full. It took a while before it happened though.

We just opened our “Casa Dell Arte“, a place where young and old can learn paintings, crafts, yoga, dance. A destination where people can learn. Paint and sip classes for adults, and painting classes for children. Yoga classes in the morning, and dance classes in the evening. Craft classes for fun and exciting activities.

We are about to open villadelsole-logo-rgb

The big house on the hill that is 5,000 square feet. The last few items that need to be finished are wireless, washer and dryer need to be installed, and direct tv. The villa has a wrap around porch. Huge kitchen for several people to gather at the same time. Comfy and beautiful rooms, super spacious bathrooms.

We love our winery, and it’s even more gorgeous than it was when we purchased it. We are expanding on the dream of the original owner, and trying to preserve his legacy as well. I’m sure I haven’t spent my last day crying, but most days are fantastic. We are going to carry on, and get better with every year!

country, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Saturday Special, Winery


Want to see some goodies I found for the house?


First item I had to have for the dining room. I think this is going to look great, it is from the 1930’s, hard wood.


Corner china cabinet, although, I am not sure where I am going to put this little gem as of yet.

country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Beauty at the Winery

I thought maybe you all would enjoy some great shots at the winery. Sit back and relax for a few minutes and behold these wonderful distractions…IMG_8104

We have lots of ducks at the winery, and if they are not fed by the time everyone is leaving they will block the road so we can’t leave without feeding them. Here they are walking to the tasting room, probably because we didn’t leave at the our usual time.


One of the male peacocks on the lawn. IMG_8247

Same one different pose.


The female with her baby. It is starting to get it’s little crown on it’s head. Not sure if it is a male or female yet. I just have not been able to get close enough to the baby. IMG_8256

This guy was sneaking up on me. I was just crouching down taking photos, minding my own business. I happen to look up, and this one was coming at me. I am concerned that the thing can smell my fear.  I like birds, but I do have boundaries.


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.

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.