The Coast News Group
Machel's Ranch

The art of nothingness on a laid-back Saturday morning

I really miss journal writing. I used to do that more frequently. I think it’s important to remember the little things that make you happy. Like for instance, my quiet time used to be coffee and Saturday morning journal writing on my bed, with the curtains wide open to the trees just outside my window. The birds used to gather there and I would be just the happiest slacker on those mornings.
Now my life has become my family, the paper, and there is no more room for those glorious dull moments looking for things to do on a Saturday. Back in my 20s, I lived in these cabins in Studio City in Los Angeles, I had moments like those. I remember developing a thing for roller blading on the weekends, watching CMT country music videos and old movies in my spare time. I remember attending my UCLA writing classes and most of the students did not have computers then. The Brother Word Processor was the hot ticket. And, if you wanted your book to be considered by a publisher, you had to mail the bulk 400 pages in a big cardboard box, with a self-addressed envelope. Now everything is fast with technology.
To sit on a Saturday with rain just outside my window is exactly what I need. The air is quiet. I can hear the thoughts of days gone past. What’s funny about life is there is a tendency to always want what you do not have. I feel with age I am finally figuring out how to be in the moment. “This moment right now is all you will ever be.” You may be thinking, “What does she mean by that? What about goals? The future, the past?” What I want to tell you is this: I have learned through the last years that one dream coming true can destroy other tiny dreams. Sometimes we wish for what we want, we want it all of our lives and then when we attain it, the rest dissolves like the foamy waters across the sand. I guess the trick is remembering not to forget “you” along the way. Life cannot always squeeze in each of our dearly needed things. There is a taking and a giving, a time for what we need and don’t, and a time to grieve for what we lost along the way, or decided wasn’t what we needed to fulfill our overall destination. That book “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle might be a bit wordy, but his philosophy explains my earlier statement. I don’t want to bore you with that living in the moment commentary. It’s Saturday and here I am in my pajamas finally doing again what I loved to do, which is just journal writing to my heart’s content. Never underestimate those moments that feel dull, round and boring. They are sometimes the best of all because they leave room for thought, pondering, and self-reflection.
I want to stress to you the importance of just making time for yourself. Have you gone to the bookstore lately? If you haven’t, try it. Reading books has been my source of contentment for many years. I know this is not my usual column. Maybe the rain is drawing my spirit ?inward. This rain, the storm, the whipping palm trees have triggered these thoughts of solitude, which have reminded me to keep my Saturdays clear for moments like these. Don’t forget the “art of doing nothing” on occasion. You might find yourself smiling more during the week.
Around Town
On Jan. 16, L’Auberge hosted a canine cocktail party, which introduced their new mascot, Sofie. Thanks to Sofie fans and supporters, dogs are now welcome at L’Auberge with their owners. I managed to squeeze some time in on my Saturday (my new day to do nothing) to attend this fun event. When I showed up, it truly was a canine cocktail party. I ran into one of my favorite Ranch residents Susie Robinson with her cute terrier. We shared some conversation about the torrential downpours headed our way. I was also thrilled to run into Nedra Abramson from the Helen Woodward Center. I snapped an adorable shot of some puppies looking for homes right here in Rancho Santa Fe. Travis Burns is also featured in the photo. Nedra filled me in on some important details regarding Spring Fling this year. “Best in Show” will be held June 5 on the property of Helen Woodward. This is one of my favorite events of the year. I will be updating you on new developments in my column. Sandra D. Simpson from Second Chance Rescue was also there with dogs to adopt from their shelter. She informed me that last year they saved more than 1,000 dogs from shelters and found home for them in 2009. Thanks so much for sharing your message with me. Check out their Web site at Before I left, I had to thank Pamela Devaney, regional director of public relations, for inviting me. She is featured with her daughter Avery and good friends Kelly and Londyn Rose.
On Jan. 17, Patrick Galvin invited me to attend the International Rotary Club District Governor’s party in Rancho Santa Fe. The presidents from all over the world were there to represent their districts at the International Assembly Convention. Bill and Karla Banning hosted the party at their sprawling ranch-style home in Rancho Santa Fe. I snapped a picture of Rajyalakshmi Vadlamani, district governor from Andhra Pradesh, India, with Rob Mullally from the Del Mar Rotary. Rancho Santa Fe Rotarian Ole Prahm also paused for a photo with Torrey Pines representative Kylie McGlynn. The food and drinks were overflowing, and due to the international guest attendance, no one there would’ve ever guessed that it was the infamous day the Chargers lost in the playoffs.
Later that evening, Robin and I attended Restaurant Week at my favorite place, Mille Fleurs. Sundays are usually quiet in the Ranch, but that night the energy was buzzing inside the dining room. Host Julien Hug and Manager Marko Dedic enhanced our dining night out with all of their first-class treatment and service. I enjoyed the cream of parsley soup, followed by an exquisite beef fillet, while Robin enjoyed the grilled swordfish. Chef Martin even checked on us, making sure everything was delightful. I ended my dinner with the chocolate truffles served with raspberries. These chocolate delectables could turn any depressed maniac into a smiling individual. Another wonderful surprise, there was a guest piano player in the bar. We stayed a little longer to listen to the music at our table, which overlooked the French doors right off of the courtyard. While other restaurants are rumored to be for sale and with recent management turnover down the street, Mille Fleurs remains the premier dining place in Rancho Santa Fe. After 25 years, who can top that? Thanks Julien and everyone else for the wonderful evening.
On Jan. 20, I found out there is a local resident featured in the internationally acclaimed “Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love.” Sage Breslin’s story, “One Enchanted Evening” is featured on page 13. As a local intuitive and psychologist, Sage’s writings and practice help inspire and encourage others on how to overcome life’s daily struggles. You can visit her Web site at or go to your local bookstore to pick up this heartwarming read in the latest of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. True love stories … where do I sign up? As a hopeless cynical romantic, I will definitely be adding this to my Saturday-do-nothing mornings.
Save the date
This Feb. 6, don’t miss out on the Puppy Love 5k Run/Walk, sponsored by Helen Woodward. I will be there to participate and can’t wait to see others out at 7 a.m. The sign up is only $30 and you can help some wonderful pets find much-needed homes in San Diego. Helen Woodward is more than just an animal no-kill shelter. President Mike Arms has saved millions of animals’ lives all over the world. For more information, go and look under “events.” Until then, see you around town.