Slow down and make time for blessings and gratitude this holiday

I am drinking a hot cup of green tea on Thanksgiving morning. The sun is shining with intensity and about 50 cyclists just rode past Lemon Twist in Rancho Santa Fe. Right now at this moment my husband is working on an Apple laptop computer. And just now a jogger with a fanny pack and a red baseball cap is making his way up Del Dios toward the Ranch. The road is quiet and the air is still. A sunny haze is adding texture and inspiration to this day. Later, I shall eat turkey with my loved ones.But for now the world is quiet. Most of those traveling have made it to their destination. There are only the fit cyclists and hikers out today. Two customers came in asking for a pear. I’ve never heard that before. You know, two customers coming in and asking for only a pear. I found that sort of bemusing I am writing to you in the moment of this splendid day.I am telling you that simple moments like this are worth savoring, worth enjoying because it’s good to experience life at a slower pace. We move so fast each week with our schedule, so it’s important to find luxury in the art of doing nothing and the art of simplicity. My husband shared a quote from Albert Einstein regarding technology recently: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” The viral e-mail shows generations of younger kids spending time together, while checking their smartphone for recent updates on social sites, while texting their friends.

However, today is not one of those days. I am only enjoying the sunshine, the sounds around me and the slow, drawn-out pace of the morning slowly unfolding around Lemon Twist. So today is a day in which we recognize what we feel for in our lives. Have you counted your blessings today? Do you know? Do you know what matters most in your heart? If you don’t, find time to look deeper.

Make time for quiet moments that require soul searching. Sit with yourself and practice deep breathing. Observe life and study nature when you can. The simple moments we miss are sometimes the most precious we let slip through our fingers. This holiday season, slow down and make time for gratitude and love.

Around Town

On Nov. 9, Robin and I were blessed by spending dinner with his fabulous grandfather, Ed McCrink. It was last minute and I must say, my black sweats and ponytail look just didn’t quite fit the regal atmosphere of the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club. Spotted at the club was none other that two of the loveliest sisters in town: Holly and Heather Manion. These two beauties were out with friends at the club after a working at the real estate office in the Ranch.

I actually met Holly 13 years ago when I first moved to San Diego. Holly and Heather have always been two of the most energetic, exuberant sisters I have ever met. I just love both of them to pieces. I have included a fun shot of the two of them that night with their great friend. I also included one of Robin with one of his favorite persons walking the planet — his grandfather.

On Nov. 13, I managed to find a local bed and breakfast near Rancho Santa Fe that looks absolutely charming. Century Rose Bed and Breakfast can be found on the well-known bed and breakfast website. I happened to find it when I was doing some research on local boutique hotels in San Diego. Since my birthday is a few months away still, I could not contain my excitement of at least checking it out in person. The Century Rose is located in the heart of Old Town Escondido, which is right near local restaurants only a couple of blocks away.

Enjoy a mini-vacation by getting away from it all just down the road at this beautiful, authentic bed and breakfast. Bill and Nancy Benson are the innkeepers. I have my tentative reservation already booked for earlier next year. While many boutique hotels lack that authentic appeal of a real bed and breakfast, Century Rose is the real deal, as my sister Tracy likes to say. Visit for more details.


On Nov. 18, I received an email from my good friend Jill Drouin alerting me to a little boy that needs our help. His name is Drew Fowler and he is only 4 years old. His family just found out he has a rare brain tumor known as optic glioma. A fundraiser page has been set up in Drew’s honor if you would like to add a donation, here is the link:

Thank you Jill for letting me know about Drew. I hope you as a reader will visit this link and add your prayers and donations for Drew this Christmas. On a side note, I want to congratulate Jill on competing in a recent triathlon. I have included a photo from the recent San Diego Triathlon event. Please remember to keep Drew Fowler in your prayers.

On Nov. 19, I received word from the president of the Animal Rescue Resource Foundation, Bernice Friedman, that two of the recently rescued dogs had been adopted: Indigo and Shayle. Recently I have been writing on my website to help bring awareness to rescued animals that are looking for a home each day here in Southern California.

I love receiving the updates from Bernice when another animal has been adopted! In this issue I have included a photo of Peaches, a cute Terrier mix that is still under a year old. And the best news is Peaches is almost house trained!

This holiday season surprise your loved one with a pet (only if they are deemed worthy of being a loving owner of course) or soothe your soul with adding more love to your life by rescuing an animal that could make your life perfect today. If you would like to meet Peaches, please call her foster parent Pam at (760) 522-7836.

If she has already been adopted by the time you read this, check out for many more wonderful choices.

If you would like to share a holiday party event with Machel, you can email her at



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