Hello Spring, a Toast to Green and Lavender, and a Contest!

Spring began officially on March 20 with the vernal equinox, when the sun appears directly above your bathing suit drawer. Astronatomy* aside, spring is about green, which I love. I’m throwing in lavender for fun, because they are great together.


Star of Wonder, Star of Night

January 6 marks the Epiphany and the 12th day of Christmas. I took this picture a few weeks ago at the ranch and it made me think of the Star of Bethlehem and the wise men following it. Matthew is the only one of the gospels to mention the wise men, but it’s a pretty… Continue reading Star of Wonder, Star of Night


Thankful for the Harvest

We’re having a good harvest this year in the Santa Ynez Valley, and a good one from our small Oak Savanna Vineyard here at Rancho La Zaca. Last year a late frost spelled disaster. So we will toast this year to the heat and sunshine that makes these babies ripen. I will not bring up… Continue reading Thankful for the Harvest


Lessons From House Party of Painters

The nicest notes┬ácame last week from a group of gals from North Carolina who came to Rancho La Zaca to visit and to paint. I had long wanted to organize a workshop here for my awesome Aunt Gray and her painting buddies. And by dern we finally got around to it. Had a wonderful time,… Continue reading Lessons From House Party of Painters



A Barrel of Inspiration: Felipe Hernandez

Hey, want to start your Saturday off with a barrel of inspiration? Okay may I brag? Wine is beauty, harmony and joy, right? So it has a place in this blog, if only once in a while, and this is one of those whiles. A stupendous fellow named Felipe Hernandez manages the vineyard–and many other things–here at the ranch in Los Olivos where I am lucky to live part time. He also manages vineyards of some of our Santa Ynez Valley neighbors, including the well-known Koehler vineyard and winery just down the road.


Thanks for the Wineries…

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, California-While we’re in the mode of giving thanks, and heaven knows eating and drinking, let us give thanks for the harvest and for the folks who make wine from it! The beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, where I am lucky to live part of the time, is part of California’s… Continue reading Thanks for the Wineries…