In January of 2008, the rain seemed like a ominous sign to go home. Sitting at a traffic light in Encinitas, while the turn signal flashed on my dashboard, I had the distinct feeling that if I didn’t make that appointment, I might be missing out on a golden opportunity. That meeting just happened to be with the publisher of The Rancho Santa Fe News. Luckily, my instincts served me well. I remember sitting with Jim Kydd discussing my column. We bounced ideas back and forth to each other, and he liked the idea and wanted to run the column, if the editor approved.
As you might have guessed, two weeks later, “Machel’s Ranch” appeared, and I’ve been sharing stories with you ever since that almost ill-fated rainstorm moment. I’ll never know what might have happened if I hadn’t made it. I do know that sometimes you can’t make up a for moment and if you miss it, it’s gone for good. Seven years in Hollywood taught me that lesson all too well.
Four years later and many things have changed with time but there are a few constants that have stayed the same — those few women who appear regularly in my column. These women have been making an appearance in “Machel’s Ranch” since the beginning. After really thinking about it, I figured out Rancho Santa Fe has the making of its own reality show that doesn’t have anything to do with the word “desperate.” This town is full of winners, families, moms and moguls. Only the eucalyptus trees are privy to the secret lives of some of the Ranch locals — unless you happen to be a girl with a camera and a pen and paper to document these happenings. After four years of “Machel’s Ranch,” I am introducing the cast of these chic women that bring verve and flavor to the inside pages of the Rancho Santa Fe News.
4th Anniversary “Around Town”
In 1999, I met Jill Sorge. Big, fat and pregnant, I wasn’t one of those beautiful skinny women that could show a bit of their mid-drift with a black pair of leggings. Due to some complications, I ended up looking more like a linebacker in a jean jumper. Needless to say I was horrified. Just when I thought fatness and loneliness had taken me down the black hole, I met Ranch resident, Jill Sorge.
A former model and soap opera actress, Jill and I hit it off immediately. Her beautiful face, and kind words of “Don’t worry, you lose the weight,” helped me see the light. Jill had had three kids and looked fabulous. If she can do it, I can, too, type attitude bonded us together for life. Jill has been appearing in this column from the beginning. From her many activities associated to Santa Fe Christian — all three of her children go there — and other events, Jill’s schedule of running two homes in San Diego could give any of these featured reality show regulars a run for their money. A consummate friend and an amazing human being, God answered a prayer when I met Jill.
In 2001, I met Meredith MacDonald at a Gymboree class in Solana Beach. As each mom went around in the baby circle describing their day, when Meredith spoke up about her wants and needs, “I can’t wait for my baby to go to sleep and have some fun again.” You could say my ears perked up immediately. “Me, too!” I thought. Well since then, Meredith and I have had some fun times, laughs and silly moments.
With a personality like Elizabeth Taylor, you know the type that attract the attention when they enter the room, you could say being friends with Meredith was like being back in Hollywood again. Everywhere we would go felt grandiose and exciting. Always dressed glamorously with the perfect Prada bag and her million dollar smile, Meredith MacDonald has more zest and flavor than Kyle or Kim. (If you watch these show, you will know the reference.)
In 2005, I met Krista Lafferty, while working in the newspaper publishing business. Krista is tall and has a slender build with deep blue eyes. With her can-do attitude, she has always been a “force to be reckoned with” in personal and professional settings. I was immediately drawn to her ambitiousness and dedication the the newspaper industry. Krista has been featured in “Machel’s Ranch” as one my closest friends and co-workers around town.
From Thyme in the Ranch lunches to our Mille Fleurs moment, Krista’s youth and vibrant attributes have added much delight to these pages and excitement along the way. At my bridal shower, I credited Krista for helping me meet my husband Robin. I was with her when we met at Mille Fleurs in 2006. And, in case you didn’t know, Krista will be getting married in September of this year, too!
In 2006, I met Karian Forsyth at Mille Fleurs with her husband Tom. I can still remember thinking, “Who is that glamorous couple out on the patio?” Well you could say that Karian and I became fast friends. From her impeccable style to her powerhouse personality, Karian Forsyth when you meet her gives you the feeling she stepped off a chartered jet from Aspen and you can’t wait to find out what’s been going on in her glamorous world.
The featured spa parties that have become one of my favorites in Rancho Santa Fe are hosted by Karian at her house in The Crosby. Rumor has it around town that she recently turned down Matchmaking reality show because her life is already filled to the brim. Karian Forsyth has been a constant since the very beginning of “Machel’s Ranch.”
In 2008, I met Elaine Gallagher at Delicias. I remember thinking, “Wow a beautiful blonde with a perfect smile, who is she?” Well, we soon became friends. I do think I pursued Elaine you could say. Her beauty is actually second to her kind spirit and good heart-warming soul. Her stories have added heart and glamour to these pages.
As a savvy real estate agent—Gallagher & Gallagher—and a mother of a successful son that directs movies in Hollywood, Elaine makes it all look so easy, with upbeat attitude and sweet soul. I’m sure you’ve seen her zooming around town in her beautiful Black convertible Bentley. I instantly loved Elaine from day one. I am so glad we are such good friends.