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.

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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bounty, country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Morelli Family Sunday, Museum Monday

Everyday Art

“I like to convey the idea that art is important in everyday life.” Georgia O’ Keeffe

Since the day I had our children, I have tried to live my life as though every aspect of every moment is a gift. When we linger long enough to appreciate a moment in time, it can become a work of art.

Just yesterday, I spent most of the day reading, and spending parts of the day with everyone. It was fabulous! It was also very restful, I didn’t even look at my email. Remember when email was fun? Now, it is work, and I really wanted and needed a day to disengage with the rest of the world.

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My daughter made me perfect eggs, biscuits, and bacon. I love my eggs with plenty of pepper, and the biscuits pipping hot from the oven. The eggs were over medium with no hint of the whites of the eggs runny. Coffee was hot, with one sugar, and just enough milk for a hint of color. If it is black, that’s fine too, but I prefer a hint of cream.

My husband wen to the hardware store to buy me some flowers. I do enjoy flowers, but they are not necessary. I appreciated that he took the time to go and buy them for me. IMG_0813

I enjoyed a cup of tea, while I read my books in the family room. Oh, it was so delightful! IMG_0814

While I spent most of my day reading and visiting chatting. My husband washed my car. I hate washing cars, but love it when my car is beautiful and clean. He even took the time to blow it dry with the leaf blower. IMG_0815

When it came around to dinner time, we had a couple of wines. With our appetizer, we had IMG_0820

A crisp clean wine with hints of lemon zest, and green apple. Just enough acidity to have you longing for more. Delicious! IMG_0821

To accompany our dinner we had Four Brix 2015 Grenache Rose”. It paired very well with our pork lion wrapped in bacon, and rolled in herbs and delicate spices, spring veggies, and Milanese risotto, and croissants.

Citrus blossoms on the nose, clean and refreshing, medium on the acidity, with a delicate finish. One glass was not enough.

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My Mothers Day was yet another day that was so delightful from the moment I woke, to when I retired for the evening. My children and loving husband gave me a perfect day!

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

Thomas Hill Organics

We have a wonderful restaurant here in Paso, Thomas Hill Organics. I was recently invited to a private pairing. Wines from four different wineries were paired with food that the chef made. Each one of us also had the opportunity to talk to the journalist that were visiting the area. The other wineries had their wine makers there, and I was the only one that was an owner. Everyone was so engaging and it was an excellent atmosphere for the journalist and all of us. The seating arrangement was intimate, and the exchange wasn’t just about us, but about the pairing of the food. How food changes the taste of the wine, and how all the different aspects of the dish change the taste of the wine. I was the first one there, so here is what the seating arrangement looked like before everyone got there…

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Our first course was paired with an Albarino. It truly is a seafood lover wine. IMG_0304.jpg

Salmon, jalapeno peppers, olive, tomatoes, and wafer slice of watermelon. It was so delicious!

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This was paired with our Zinfandel. This is a prime cut of grass fed beef, topped with a clove of garlic. Polenta is the side dish for this course. I usually don’t eat beef, but I was surprised how well it paired with the Zin.

Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday

Another Graduate…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Elenor Roosevelt

Just a few weeks ago, my daughter ask me to send her several options of baby photos for the year book. The year book that will be her final year book as a child. As I sat at my desk with the several photo albums, I just cried. My baby is almost an adult. She will be off to college next year.

She was such a beautiful little baby too…

All these years of watching my beautiful baby become her own person. I will never forget when she was told by the dentist that she had to have braces. She said “I like the way I look, the gap in my teeth make me, me. I don’t understand why I have to adapt to what society considers beautiful.” Oh, wow, I had to dig deep to find a damn good explanation for braces.

She also was so brave to just be herself. She has never needed approval from her friends, and I always commended her for being Sabrina. Through the years she was often the friend of the newest kids in the class. She knows that her family is with her on her journey whatever it is she decides to do, we know that she will do it unequivocally her way! I love my gown up baby, and having her in our lives has been a blessing. I love the times we have spent together over the years in the Lexus talking, coming and going to volleyball games, French, cooking classes, art classes, horse backing riding, learning to drive, and picking up new animals for the farm. Every moment is special with her!

Design, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Out and About

“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity” Marty Neumeier

One of the biggest aspects of branding is making sure that people are aware that you exist. This has been an issue for a long time, but we are working hard to change all that by getting out there, and engaging with people that enjoy wine.

Recently, I was at our 2nd annual charity dinner. All of us on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, host a dinner at Hartley Farms. We hired Trumpet Vine Catering, and we were very pleased with their food. We pair the foods with the wine, and sell tickets for people to join us “Under the Estella Sky”. We then gave our money to the Pleasant Valley School, so they could have computer equipment. Here are some photos of our shenanigans after the party…

 

Then, I was off to Petaluma for a Polo Match, and pouring wine…

 

Pouring wine in Pismo…

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Pouring wine in Fresno for Wine and Wishes…IMG_0283.jpg

This next month, is full of pouring at more events, and meeting more people. We love being out there and engaging with an audience that enjoys wines!