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When my children were young, we would often go to the library, Market, and a local toy store. Actually, my husband and I went to the toy store before we even had our first baby. It was a special toy store, and there was never a time that we entered the store then left the place empty handed.

My husband had to leave for a business trip, so I took the kids to the toy store. I took the stroller since my daughter was still young. We went to the bakery and purchased  fresh cup cakes. The kids ate the cup cakes as we listened to BART roar over us. Our little outing then ended with our toy store visit. There is a car track that is set up for children to play with while their parents shop, but my kids like to look at whatever I was viewing. Out of all the beanie babies, lego’s, and balls, my kids wanted brooms. I promise! It is true. I have photos!

We stroll back home with the brooms, and the kids can’t wait to use them. They sweep the sidewalk going home. My daughter wants to sweep as she is pushed in the stroller. She was under three, I did not push anyone in the stroller past three years of age. Logitech Exif JPEG

Once we got home…I fed the children, and then they wanted to sweep the house. I started taking photos of my daughter, and she got so mad. She kept saying “NO MORE PHOTOS”, but she looked so cute I could not resist. She would not let go of her broom. I know the kids had those brooms for a long time. They even graduated to vacuum cleaners. Hey, they were amazing little helpers. It was fun aggravating them every once in a while. Don’t judge me!

New Views

I must admit, I really love doing something different. My husband knows I really love taking the back roads to get to a destination. He tries to plan ahead to take us for a nice drive when we are traveling, and I so appreciate it. One of my favorite things to do is take photographs of our travels. IMG_2125

As we were on this road a bee got into the cab of the truck. My daughter saw the bee right beside her on the seat. She ask me “Momma, do you have a hankie that I use to pick up this bee so I don’t kill him?” First, I looked for a tissue so we could let him go out the window. My husband in the mean time got his hankie out so she could use his. I found my hankie in my purse, and handed that one to her. I did not want his hankie to get dirty. She picks up the bee, and I gently take the hankie with the bee inside and let him go out the window.

We don’t like to kill insects. OMG! I have gone CALIFORNIA!

Moooving

Oh, yes I did. Moving is such a pain in the behind. As I cook dinner in the evening trying to remember where I put a pasta tool used to be easy. Now, I have to remember is it up North or down South? UGH! Of course there are beautiful aspects to moving. The new hope that comes with a new address. The new adventures, seeing and exploring new areas. IMG_1880

A couple of days ago we saw the cattle on the move. At our big ranch, we had a cattle breeder  using our land to move some cows, and he had a real cowboy and cowgirl move them. Each of them were on horseback. My most recent encounter with cattle moving was watching young people (too far for my eyes to make out if they were male or female) guide the cattle to another ranch with ATV’s. They were driving them on the road. I was acting like a little kid. I put down my coffee ran upstairs and told the kids to come and look at what they were doing. Oh, it was so exciting to me. I like seeing the cows from a distance. I really like watching them run. OMG! I did not know that they were so adorable running on the ranch. Honestly, I have no idea how fast they run, but it looks like they can really get up and go!

 

One of Cane Corso’s is obsessed with the cows. I take her for a walk and she just loves watching them move at the ranch next door to us. There are also some cattle across the street on a large hill. She just looks at them as though she was studying them. It is so adorable. The

Valerie Story

When I first started collecting art the one thing I wanted to make sure of was that collecting the art had an impact. I wanted to spread the word about gifted artists, and make sure that other people had the ability to collect art from these gifted people too. Since I was very young I loved art, going to the museum was like going on a mini vacation. I always knew once I had the money to buy real art, not posters or prints, that is something I wanted to invest my money, time, and effort. Help support artist by buying their paintings, spread the word so others could buy their art, and get to know the artist on a personal level.

Just like friends come and go from our lives, alas sometimes I lose touch with an artist. Valerie, was one of the artist that I emailed, and we even spoke to each other on the phone. Each of us had a love for horses, and that was the subject matter for several of the paintings that I commissioned from her.

I saw  couple of painting that she did of horses, and I knew she would be able to paint the horse of my dreams. Here is one of the paintings where she brought my vision to life. IMG_2096

Morgan horses are my favorite, and I really want one that is this color with these markings. I was telling Valerie, and she said “I know exactly what you want.” She really nailed it. When Valerie were talking and emailing each other we were just looking for our dream ranch. Well, now we have the ranch, however I have to wait just a little longer to have my horse. I already have his name picked out…Adonis! What do you think?

Spectacular Saturday

Here we have Sunrise at the ranch…IMG_2039

J & J Cellars

Just the other day as we were driving home we stopped at one of the many wineries around our home in San Luis Obispo. There was a case sale. While living in the Bay Area we often went to visit the Napa Valley, and there we would go to visit wineries. I so enjoyed hopping to a new vineyard and taking a relaxing country drive. Now, we are living in SLO. This was our first winery since living in SLO. IMG_2072

We were greeted immediately by people, and even the dog was happy to see us. We chatted with the owners, and there were others visiting. My husband I enjoy a nice rose’ in the summer. The Rose’ they had to offer was crisp, and would be perfect for a hot summer day or even some excellent chicken dishes.

We also tested a Cuvee. I really enjoyed the Cuvee, and we ended up buying a case of that wine too. I walked around and took a few photographs of the establishment.

Bunnies!

When I was at the ranch I got up at 5am every morning. We had all kinds of wildlife playing in the front yard. Here are the bunnies I saw at 6 ish.IMG_1947

Super Special Aunts

Yep! This is the 1970’s. I am in the photo, the little one in the blue dress. My Aunt Sharon is getting married, the tallest one in the blue is Aunt Tink, and Aunt Mary is the lady that is the second to the end. So, what is so special about them? Well, just sit back and allow me to tell you. scan0006

We were lucky that we lived pretty close to Aunt Mary, so we saw her at least once a week. Many Sunday dinners were eaten at the kids table. We spent many weekends with Aunt Mary, my sister and cousin would all sleep on the fold out couch. Sometimes we would break the rules and watch “Mission Impossible” I hated that show, but those were the days that we only had 4 channels. We would laugh so hard at the hair styles of the actors. Sometimes Aunt Mary would have to get up and tell us to stop laughing so hard. She would remind us that Uncle E would have to get up for work really early. He did get up early. I don’t know about my cousin or sister, but I would peek in the morning as Aunt Mary would lovingly make breakfast and coffee. She would talk softly to Uncle E, thinking we were asleep. She would pack his lunch, and send him to work with a peck on the cheek. I would just sigh. Longing to have a sweet relationship when I got old enough to get married.

We did some apple picking with Aunt Mary too. We were in the back of a pick up truck (when it was still legal) we stopped on the road side and picked green apples. Oh, they were so good. The sweet tender taste would just explode in your mouth. I could not get enough, and quickly learned why eating a crap load of green apples is not good. No apples I have had since that time have ever measured up to those.

To this day a sun symbol still reminds me of Aunt Mary, she used to have one of those giant sunburst clocks from the early 70’s. She is still super crafty, and can make just about anything.

Aunt Tink, I think my other cousins refer to her as Aunt Tink too. Why Tink? Okay, I am not 100% sure of the validity of this story or if I made it up over the years…When she was a baby she was so adorable that my grandfather referred to her as “Tinkerbell”, it was then shortened to Tink by her brothers and sisters. Sounds good to me.

We would get to spend two weeks of our summer with Aunt Tink. She lived in West Virginia, and out in the country. We had to use our imaginations while staying in the country. There was still no cable in those days…We caught frogs, made things from the clay soil, helped hang clothes out on the clothes line, went swimming, horseback riding, and hiking.

One time we went hiking in the woods, it was my sister, and two other cousins. We happened to see a baby skunk. We took a stick and poked at the skunk, and he was alive. We ran off, and were pretty proud of ourselves for making sure that the skunk was alive. Aunt Tink told us that we were lucky that the skunk did not spray us. She said we would have had to stay in the garage in a tub of tomato juice. Eeek! The thought of being in tomato juice that I could not drink was too much for me. I did not want to go around another skunk again.

Aunt Tink was super inventive too. She took a huge sheet of plastic and put it on her hillside. We had more fun sliding down that plastic. Slip and Slide was freaking lame!!! We had a whole hillside to enjoy. My sister would never go down the hill. The rest of us ran and dove on the plastic. Damn, that was fun.

Then there is Aunt Sharon. Every time I see a fast car I think of her. She was the dare devil! She drove fast, and did things that other Aunts would not dare do. We went to see the fireworks for the fourth of July one year, and it was hot an miserable. All of us kids, there were 5 or 6 of us in a Jeep. We were starving. We went to McDonalds, and drive throughs were not very advanced back then. We waited and waited for the people to get our order correct. They could not get our order correct, and Aunt Tink and Aunt Sharon were trying to hand the food out to us, but they gave us fish fillet. There was more whining, and Aunt Sharon lost it. She went into the food establishment and cussed those people out in the there. We were not suppose to be listening to all the words Aunt Sharon was saying when she was telling Aunt Tink what happened. Aunt Sharon then said she was going to get some resolve. She did, and it was super funny. We were not allowed to talk about it again. Sometimes passing a McDonalds brings a chuckle up into my chest about the whole ordeal.

She also had the coolest house with buttons. Everyone else had regular lights, but she had buttons all over her house. She moved to Tennessee, and married a man she loves very much. Now, she is probably out speeding in her boat, so watch out if you live in Tennessee.

My Aunts have helped formed me into the person I am today. The experiences I had with them when I was in my most formative years are treasured moments of my life that no one can ever take away from me. I have only shared a few of the stories that have made such an impact on me. My kids love hearing the stories, and there are those I can share now, then there are some that will have to wait until they are much older. When the kids are too old to do some of the things I did when I was young.

Spring Break

The last few weeks the whole family has been in the stages of prepping for Spring Break. Since we are also in the process of moving to the country we all know it is going to be a change. We want the kids to transition into being country kids instead of city kids. We want them to be respectful of the environment and understand how important it is to not be a wasteful person. Since the kids were young we have had worm composting in our backyard. My son has got into worm composting so much he has plans to make it his first business. I am a proud mom. IMG_1794

 

With views like we have it is not too hard to appreciate the beauty. Seeing all things as beautiful is not that hard either. Worms have a special place in our delicate ecosystem. Even though we worked all of Spring Break we had a wonderful time being together as a family. Now, we have to find a way to transport our worms and allow them to have some transition time. LOL!