Machel's Ranch

Great summer reads, and more from around the Ranch

With summer only one week away, I must share with my readers one of my private joys. One that allows me to lighten-up during my own weekly routine: When in doubt, pick up a book and find the ultimate escape at your fingertips. (For you technology savvy individuals like my son, this suggestion can also include a Kindle or a Nook.) Recently, I discovered a remarkable writer that has had quite a run of success — Sophie Kinsella.
From her popular series, “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” to one of her recent novels, “Twenties Girl,” I haven’t had this much fun reading in ages. Laugh-out-loud funny is the best way to describe one of her books. I seriously ponder how I can manage to squeeze a day in my room with the drapes open to the outside world, while drinking my coffee and reveling in one of the novels with hours of undisturbed reading time.
Trust me, if you are looking to find a marvelous quick read for an upcoming beach excursion, you must check out her website for more of her novels. Here is the link: And, just in case inquiring minds want to know, Sophie Kinsella began her career as a financial journalist in London. Happy reading this summer!
Around Town
On May 22, I received an e-mail from Tracy Williams regarding the Olivenhain 4-H Club.  As a past president of a 4-H group in Southern Missouri, I know first-hand how wonderful this club is for members and the families involved. The officers of the Olivenhain 4-H club woke up early to help serve breakfast at Father Joe’s Village in downtown San Diego. How does 5 a.m. sound as the meeting time? Now that’s impressive.
I’ve included a photo of all of the local 4-H members that dedicated their early morning Sunday to helping serve the less fortunate here in San Diego.  They did everything from serving breakfast to stocking the food areas, to packing treats, and even cleaning up and taking out the garbage. Tracy, thank you for sharing this wonderful accomplishment with the RSF Community.  If anyone deserves to have their photo in the paper this week, it’s this inspiring group featured here in my column.
On May 28, I attended the Yankees game at Richardson Field in Rancho Santa Fe. My son plays on the team, and one of his teammates I have featured here, Lucy Rickerson. The reason I am featuring Lucy is because she simply rocks in baseball! From playing first base to pitching to hitting triples, she is one of the star players on the Yankees team. She was the only female playing in the Rancho Santa Fe Majors this year. I have featured a beautiful photo of Lucy with her mom, Nancy Rickerson, for this issue.
They were kind enough to allow me to photograph them that day. This will be Lucy’s last year to play baseball, because she is focusing more on soccer for next year. Well, let me tell you Lucy, the game of baseball will miss you and don’t forget what a true pro you are at this sport, too.  I loved watching you excel in baseball this year and doing justice to the female gender when it comes to women competing with men. Excellent job Lucy!
On June 1, The Rancho Santa Fe R. Roger Rowe School held its open house on a glorious sunny day in the Ranch. Parents and students enjoyed the beautiful new campus as everyone walked around meeting teachers, while checking out the classroom work. I ran into Lisa McVay and snapped this really exceptional photo of her with her son Nick that day. I have also featured my son with his 5th grade teacher, Jennifer Easbey. Also, thank you to all of the parents that donate their time to help out at the school. Your hard work is much appreciated.
On June 4, The Helen Woodward’s elegant Broadway Tails event took place in the arena area of the Woodward center. I helped Lemon Twist owner (and my mother-in-law) Katie Shull make over 800 chocolate covered strawberries that day prior to the event. Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite events of the year. This is my fourth year to help out. Her business was just one of the many sponsors that donated their time and effort in helping raise money for Helen Woodward’s amazing organization.
At the event that evening I loved seeing everyone in the Ranch. Rosie Gross, Dixie Courtney, Tricia O’Brian, and the Fetzers from Cielo are just a few of the familiar faces I featured here from that night. I have also featured a photo of Laurel McCrink with her sister Katie Shull. Thanks for including me Katie! I always end up having so much fun on this special day. And, to Dixie Courtney, thank you for being one of my readers! Please contact me with any fabulous stories you might want to share for this summer. It was a pleasure meeting you that evening.
Photo caption correction from last week: My sincerest apologies to Deana Carter regarding her name not being mentioned underneath the photo she was in last issue. Deana is dynamite and a wonderful Ranch resident that has her own financial office right here in town. Check out her website at She is also a Rancho Santa Fe Rotarian. Thanks, Deana, for not minding the error too much.