Machel's Ranch

Five-year anniversary of ‘Machel’s Ranch’

The cast of “Clue On Stage,” a classic whodunnit that will play at the Escondido Grand Tea Room beginning March 5. Left: Courtesy photo; Right: Photo by Christyl O’Flaherty PhotographyTomme Arthur is the co-founder of The Lost Abbey, a San Marcos-based brewery that plans to open its fourth tasting room in East Village this summer. Courtesy photoThe San Diego Loyal has signed Major League Soccer veteran Eric Humberto Avila for its upcoming USL Championship season.  Photo courtesy Ryan Young/San Diego Loyal

Five years ago I began writing my column “Machel’s Ranch,” in the Rancho Santa Fe News. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful residents in the Ranch. I have uncovered some little gems that might have been missed because not every story needs to be a feature. Some can be short with much impact.A story may reveal a child who was honored at school or local friends celebrating their friendships poolside under the eucalyptus trees. You see, writing and working for the newspapers in Rancho Santa Fe has added so much inspiration and joy to the normalcy of my life here in San Diego. Nothing gives me more pleasure than meeting and connecting with others.So thank you dear readers for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for making a point in telling me you enjoy reading my column. Life is can be magical when you open your heart and share what’s inside. So please keep me in mind if there is a moment you would like featured. I enjoy hearing and writing about your lives here in Rancho Santa Fe.Around Town

On Feb. 7, I heard some wonderful news from one of the most popular and prettiest bartenders in town. Besides running triathlons and adding her memorable personality to Mille Fleurs, Jill Drouin is also an amazing cook. Jill will be participating in a “Cooking Harvard Girl Competition” in La Jolla Feb. 28. I will keep you posted with an update.

On Feb. 8, many Rancho Santa Fe residents left town to enjoy “ski week” at nearby Californian ski resorts like Mammoth. Featured here is a pristine photo straight from the ski resort of Tony and Jill Sorge, featured with their three children, Matthew, Lauren and Anthony.

The picture looks like it could be used as a Ralph Lauren ad — it’s so beautiful! You can tell by the smiles that it looks like they enjoyed a fabulous week off together as a family.

On Feb. 14, I found out local dating agent Elle France was contacted to be interviewed for the cover feature story for “The Reader,” about old fashion matchmaking. She is one of five chosen to be featured in this story. Elle also writes and posts a popular blog on her website in which she gives dating advice at

So if you are newly single and are looking for love, try old-fashioned matchmaking with Elle. Meet someone for the first time again in person without meeting them online. I hope you had a romantic Valentine’s Day.

Later that day, I could be found dipping more than 1,000 chocolate covered strawberries at Lemon Twist Gift and Produce Shop. Customers stood in line to buy floral arrangements, gifts and bouquets for the special someone that day. I must say my back had a dull ache on my left side when we closed up shop that evening. Luckily for me, I spent all day with my sweetheart. My husband just happens to manage the store.

If you have a story you would like to share with Machel, you can contact her at