A County Fair with Ocean Air...and an Awesome Booth!

It was my absolute pleasure to work the California Coastal Horse Rescue (CCHR) booth recently at the Ventura County fair.  

Our California Coastal Horse REscue Booth won the blue ribbon!

I made some new friends, was entertained by live bluegrass music, sampled some delicious local beef...pot roast...yum, and heard some remarkable cowboy poetry.  

My friend Andria Kidd won second place in the Cowboy Poetry contest

I sampled delicious Harris Beef pot roast, served up by the Ventura County Cattlemen's ASsociation

Even the author of salad Joy has to get a smile from this!

Fun bluegrass

Underwood Farms always has a beautiful display

Future Farmers of America booth...Maybe this little guy is one!

A blue ribbon day!

And all just in the agricultural hall.  I love this fair, and am so proud of CCHR for winning the blue ribbon for our booth design.  

How about you -- have you visited a county fair this summer? Would love to hear about your experience too!

Viva La Fiesta!

What is your idea of heaven?

Well, my horse-loving friend Carolyn B. invited me to go to what she called the horse parade in Santa Barbara recently. 

It’s part of Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days and this year marked the 92nd Fiesta Historical Parade.  This is one of the nation’s largest equestrian parades with more than 600 horses as well as many antique carriages, wagons and coaches. 

The day was perfect and the parade route is along Shoreline Drive right by the ocean.  We were in horse heaven!

The Marshall Water Fowl Sanctuary

Almost four years ago a pair of mallards arrived in our pool.  I named them George and Gracie. 

 Handsome George

Handsome George

The first spring they were here, Gracie had nine chicks that she proudly showed off to us. 

 Here's Gracie with her 9 chicks a few years ago

Here's Gracie with her 9 chicks a few years ago

Since then George and Gracie have kept coming back to our pool and yard, and now seem to be with us year-round. 

On Thanksgiving morning when John was outside on the patio, a coot or mud hen, literally dropped from the sky landing unceremoniously on our patio – almost on John!  I named him Cecil (as in Beanie and Cecil, for those of you who are old enough to remember the cartoon). 

 Cecil the coot

Cecil the coot

Although coots are common, I find him extraordinary, particularly by the mere fact that he chooses to remain here instead of finding his cover or raft (large group). 

I did research on coots and found that they have been around a few hundred thousand years – and indeed, Cecil looks like his ancestors – dinosaurs.  His feet in particular. He doesn’t eat out of my hand yet, but if he continues to hang around here with George and Gracie, I’m sure he will soon!

 George Gracie and Cecil

George Gracie and Cecil

Holiday Shopping Season Kick-Off

Recently I made my annual trip to Brentwood for what I consider the start of my Christmas season. The primary purpose is to order our Christmas cards from Crane & Co. but also to spend some quality time browsing and shopping in one of my all-time favorite stores: Haven & Co. 

 One of my all-time favorite stores

One of my all-time favorite stores

Owner Cindy Williams offers an overwhelming array of the loveliest gifts for the holidays and year-round.  I was pleased to learn of their recent expansion so now I can order my cards from their stationery boutique right next door.

 Right this way for some of the best holiday gifts of the season!

Right this way for some of the best holiday gifts of the season!

 Haven & Co's gift wrapping is elegant

Haven & Co's gift wrapping is elegant

 Be warned: you may just want everything in the store!

Be warned: you may just want everything in the store!

What Christmas traditions do you keep?