Machel's Ranch

The Country Friends Fashion Show and the other lunch bunch

Over a hot muggy day in Rancho Santa Fe, I hung out with my husband at Lemon Twist and read a book silently behind the counter as he helped customers choose their selections of fruits and vegetables. 

I have never rated a book under a three on until that weekend. As a writer myself, I like to critique a book and add my review. But I don’t personally get into slamming other authors when I am disappointed with a book that I read by them.

“Did you know that the temperature is a 107 degrees in Rancho Santa Fe today?” I heard one resident ask Robin, while I laid my head against a pillow and read “Handle With Care,” by Jodi Picoult. The terracotta tiles were cool against my body that day. I felt hidden and safe, a book in hand as life had melted around the Lemon Twist property.

However, just like in life, one is never safe even in fiction. As an avid reader, I can tell you the reaction I had to this book is one I’ve never encountered. While furiously turning the pages as the day drifted slowly by that Friday, I was unaware of the ending that would soon feel like I had been sucker punched as the reader. Let’s just say the heat rolled off my body at Lemon Twist as I fumed inside by the outcome of investing my entire day tucked safely inside this novel.

I had become angered by a book, which in essence is ridiculous because it is a book. So, what do you do? Realize the risk of reading fiction can be just about as hazardous as real life when you risk investing your heart and soul briefly, with the hopes of seeing the characters achieve something.

I’m not going to give you the ending here or induce spoilers at this point. I am just going to urge you to discover Goodreads as website. I am going to urge you to download that app to your smart phone so you can enjoy this site at your fingertips.

I am going to urge you not to read this one particular book by Jodi Picoult. I feel as a reader I have the duty to share with you that some books just aren’t worth the heartache. Do investigate the content before reading. Do take time to reading the ratings. Books can be just like life; a book can break your heart on the hottest day under the sun. Luckily for me, I am able to return this one back to The Rancho Santa Fe Library.

Around Town

On Sept. 20, The Country Friends Fashion Show closed down all of the roads near The Inn so fall fashion, charity and beautiful ladies could mingle together for an important cause: raising money for charities in San Diego. I had the wonderful delight of attending this year. I met two of my good friends, Elaine Gallagher and Oxana Colbbald, at Mille Fleurs for a lovely lunch at one my favorite restaurants in the world.

From the exquisite Dutch tiles that hang on the walls in the dining room to the intimate seating next to the French doors overlooking the courtyard, you can’t go wrong with your seating arrangement there. When we finished lunch we walked across to the fashion show. Under the tent, women and men fanned themselves with a complimentary fan in their take-home bag.

My favorite fashions of the day were Donna Karan. My favorite moment of the day just happened to be hanging out with my girlfriends at The Inn after the show ended. I have included a few photos from that day. Congratulations to The Country Friends team who worked so hard to make this event such a success. For more information on The Country Friends, visit their website at

On Sept. 21, just around the corner in Del Mar, another “Lunch Bunch” met at the Brigantine next to the world famous Del Mar Race Track. One of my best friends, Meredith MacDonald, enjoyed meeting her other wonderful mom friends who had just enough time to squeeze in a solid two hours of girl time while their children were tucked in safely at school.

There is nothing desperate about theses women. They are definitely not arguing like the “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Yes, believe it or not, most women don’t bicker and backstab one another. Most women support each other with friendship and love. The smiles tell what real friendships look like in San Diego.

On Sept. 22, Krista Lafferty married Michael Confer at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club under the gazebo. The day felt like a dream, as I watched one of my best friends say “I do” to the man she fell in love with five years ago. I sat next to Lisa and David Corban and Becky Roland from The Coast News.

Look forward to next issue’s column when I share a beautiful photo of the wedding party. Right now as I write this, Krista and Mike are basking in the sun down in Aruba! How wonderful. Congratulations to Mike and Krista and to both of their families that were just beaming with pride on their special day.

On Sept. 24, I discovered a wonderful place to work out that is just around the corner from Rancho Santa Fe. Due to the heat and the dustiness of the trails and rattlesnakes, let’s just say I am seeking refuge inside an air condition facility that won’t have me washing my running shoes every two weeks.

Total Women’s Gym and Day Spa is like no other gym I’ve seen in the area. Ladies, you must take a tour of their location in Encinitas when you have a chance. Now I can run again on a treadmill, spin with the other in shape women at 6 a.m. and best of all sit in the steam room, while the toxins and sweat pour out of my body. I met Floretta Love there for my tour. She is the general manager there. As a married woman, I am thrilled to find a place that has that ladies only signature. Here is the website if you would like to know more about their gym,

Zsa Zsa Gabor takes a few tips from the “Mother of Western Yoga,” Indra Deva, far right, during a 1960 session at Golden Door.   Courtesy photo/Golden DoorTri-City Medical Center has introduced the Zilver PTX drug-eluting peripheral stent — a self-expanding, small, metal, mesh tube that helps prevent the clogged artery from narrowing again. Courtesy photoThe theatrical biography “Zora” is part of the Oceanside Public Library Big Read program centered around “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Cheryl Howard, of The American Place Theatre Company, plays Zora Neale Hurston in “Zora.”  Photo by Promise YeeMural artist Linda Luisi demonstrates live painting during the fundraiser. Paintings were auctioned off to raise funds for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Photo by Promise YeeDavid Zito

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