The Coast News Group
Machel's Ranch

Many exciting events happening in Rancho Santa Fe

Lately, my world has been slightly tilted, almost sideways really. I’ve been thinking about what happens after you reach your dreams. I’m a bit of an analyzer; a thinker and maybe I ponder things too much sometimes. I tend to be somber during these times. I retreat into my own skin and turn to running as a means to figure out what has me staring at the world at an angle that’s not upright.

Love is in the air for Jeffrey McCartney of Encinitas who will be marrying Anne Podgorski of Carlsbad at the end of March. Courtesy photo
Find out in my next column which charity event sisters, Katie Shull and Laurel McCrink are helping organize for a-must-attend event in Rancho Santa Fe this June. Photo by Machel Penn Shull

With much reflection can come understanding and meaning as to why we are here on this planet. It’s OK to question our motives and our meaning in this world. We should check in with ourselves to find out what makes us tick or what is our ultimate purpose.

I recently just watched “The King’s Speech.” (Yes, I’m a little behind on this amazing film.) The message I took from it seemed to be an important one: influence. One man influenced a king who in turn inspired a nation. One friendship changed not only two lives, but radically changed a country and a legacy.

When we least expect it, we could find ourselves in a moment like that. Our influence can help shape and change our own lives, too. So why not be the best person you can be each day? What I am learning as I tread into my early 40s is that who we are as a person truly counts. So tomorrow when you wake up, try to be more upbeat than normal. Speak only kind words. Don’t let the jadedness of this world affect how you act with those you may come in contact with or whom you love. Speak with confidence, grace and hope. Remember, your supportive words might be the turning point for someone else. So chin up, be happy and watch the world welcome you with a smile.

Around town

Cici Whitney is a friend of mine. If you recall my last column I introduced her separately, and said I would be sharing some exciting news with you this week regarding her recent achievement. Her daughter, Meredith, is one of the top five women in my column that I write about regularly. Our sons met in a Gymboree 11 years ago. Now I am sharing the fabulous news that Cici has her own patent that will be one of the hottest must-have items on your Christmas gift list.

Meredith MacDonald with her mother Cici Whitney, celebrating Cici's patent with me at Mille Fleurs. Photo by Machel Penn Shull

You would think being a retired teacher, raising a beautiful family and being married to a judge in Newport Beach would be enough, but Cici is still dreaming and reaching for the moon. Well, I just learned that she has the patent on a gift card that will now show the amount left on it after using it for the gift purchase. Seems obvious, right? Well, Cici has the patent, so it looks like she may be having a hoot celebrating next Christmas. We’ll have to do a Mille Fleurs celebration for sure. Congratulations Cici! Thank you for always being so kind to my family and me.

On March 2, Dr. Seuss rang in his birthday in heaven as “The Lorax” movie was released. I just happened to be working at the one gallery in La Jolla that sells his “Secret Art.” What is exciting about his artwork is the appreciation value. Starting at a cool $1,695, Dr. Seuss’ Secret Art brings in more than $20,000 for certain rare and sold-out pieces. I must say, that’s quite an investment.

Taka and Anne Kiyoizumi at Legends Gallery celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday at the art gallery with me. Photo by Machel Penn Shull

But as they say in the art world, “You buy it because you love it, right?” Well, with numbers like that, I can see why collectors flock to our gallery when the newest edition comes out. I have included a photo of some of my clients who attended the event, Annie and Taka Kiyoizumi. Anne is opening a new business this spring and I look forward to sharing that information with you, too.

On March 9 and March 10, Ranch resident Lauren Sorge made it to state finals in speech and in dramatic interpretation as a junior representing Santa Fe Christian High School. I have included a picture of Augustus Garcia, Lauren’s speech and debate coach, with a look of pride and excitement.

Lauren had never participated in speech or drama until this semester at San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League State Qualifying Tournament at Carlsbad High School. Competing with 367 of San Diego/Imperial County high school’s top speech and debate students, Lauren placed fourth in dramatic interpretation and third in speech and debate. It just goes to show you, with hard work and determination, you can begin a dream at any stage of the game. Congratulations Lauren!

Ranch resident Lauren Sorge made it to state finals in speech and in dramatic interpretation as a junior representing Santa Fe Christian High School. She is featured with her speech and drama coach, Augustus Garcia. Courtesy photo

On March 14, I ran into Virginia Dent at one of my favorite shops and found out some exciting news. Her son, Jeffrey McCartney of Encinitas, will be marrying Anne Podgorski of Carlsbad, on the March 24. Virginia shared with me that the young couple met while attending San Dieguito Academy High School in 2005 and became engaged in May 2011 in Yosemite National Park. Anne is presently a graduate student at University of Davis, California in civil engineering, and Jeff is a digital media artist in Irvine. The wedding will be held at a church in Carlsbad that weekend. How romantic and special! Virginia is a well-known realtor in North County who is married to Willie Dent from Kiwi Audio Visual.

Save the date

I received some exciting news from Brian D. Guiltinan, chief executive officer of The Guiltinan Group in Rancho Santa Fe. On March 24, Guiltinan Group is partnering with the Seal and NSW Family Foundations Fundraiser for the Seal and NSW Family Foundations. The event will be held behind the exclusive gates at The Del Mar Country Club. Congressman Brian Bilbray will be there, along with Mr. and Mrs. T. Boone Pickens, and the actors from the movie “Act of Valor.” To reserve your tickets, call Mari Stuart at (760) 212-5635 or email at

Brian D. Guiltinan, Chief Executive Officer of The Guiltinan Group in Rancho Santa Fe. On March 24, Guiltinan Group is partnering with the Seal and NSW Family Foundations Fundraiser at the Del Mar Coutnry Club in Rancho Santa Fe. Courtesy photo