Rancho del Cielo - Rancho in the Sky
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The Sideboard

Most houses have it - that catch-all place just inside the main door which is the dumping ground for the mail, keys and whatever else we have in hand when we get home. In our house this snapshot of our lives is just inside our kitchen door and it’s a long white sideboard. Just like the Rancho itself, this is not an antique, and it is rarely elegant. But it does sum up who we are.

Which is why this page is called The Sideboard. We hope it will be to the website what the real sideboard is to our house - a place to see at a glance what is going on with us, with our guests, visitors, animals, gardens and lives. And we hope that you’ll return to check us out from time to time..


This is one of my favorite times of year in California. Not the barely contained freefall of the Thanksgiving to New Year slide with its crazed shopping and food and parties (although I do sort of like that) but Winter. Winter in the Santa Monica Mountains is not the overt season of the Midwest or the East. It is still, and sere. The doves call to one another in the fields of dry mustard stalks and the meadows are rich grey, the color of a wild rabbit’s tummy. In the calm last days of December and the first days of January there is time to walk the trails behind our house or go down to the winter beach and watch the ocean. Time, too to procrastinate about all those New Year resolutions -- one more chocolate before the diet, one more day before the tree comes down and everything gets put away for another year. We at Rancho del Cielo wish only good things for you and yours in this New Year. May you be happy, healthy and content and may good fortune find you always.


Top to bottom:
Newly polished silver
waits patiently to be set out for
Thanksgiving Dinner.
No wreath this year but an
espaliered berry
with a steel-drum heart
at its center outside
our front door.
The December Sideboard



No wonder Peanut’s fat...
he eats Shadow’s food while
she sits like a good girl for her
photo. Ziggy (would-be inside rooster)
is not posing. He’s just waiting for
his chance at the bowl.


Thirty plus guests for sit-down
Thanksgiving dinner in our new tent...
What was I thinking? I think everyone
had a good time, especially Red who grabbed
his rightful place by the fire while
everyone was distracted by the food.

Malibu sun


A seasonal story from
"It's All About Food."



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