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.

Double Rainbow Delight

We don’t get that much rain in the Sant Ynez Valley, so when we do it’s great. Everything turns green and stays that way for a while, generally between December and March. Some days when the showers taper off in late afternoon and the sun’s rays slant across the hills, it’s like they’re shining through honey. When the light is magical like that you know there’s a rainbow about to happen somewhere. Maybe even two.

How Green Is Our Valley?

How green is our valley? Green. When the Santa Ynez Valley turns gloomy and rainy, which it does in winter though not often, everything turns green. It happens almost instantly. You go to sleep in oak savanna and wake up in Ireland. It’s a miracle. Nature is miraculous, of course, in all its heart-stopping beauty and staggering… Continue reading How Green Is Our Valley?

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

East Meets West With Designer Dede Wood in the Santa Ynez Valley

Here, as promised, is the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley home of designer and friend Dede Wood appearing in this fall’s edition of Santa Barbara Magazine, photos by Jeremy Samuelson. Dede and her husband Steve live just a few miles down the road from us out here in the wilds of Santa Barbara County, so we consider… Continue reading East Meets West With Designer Dede Wood in the Santa Ynez Valley

Country Life and the Chicken Catalog

Have I been in the country too long, or is it normal to be mesmerized by the newly arrived McMurray Hatchery catalog? “The World’s Rare Breed Poultry Headquarters,” it says. It’s fabulous. For new readers, I am a small town Southern girl who lived in Atlanta during the ’90s and in New York City since… Continue reading Country Life and the Chicken Catalog

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…