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Leaving home…

Posted by on August 27, 2013

AUGUST 27, 2013


Our “Wise Old Owl Ranch” in Deerhorn Valley, California. June, 2013.

Leaving our “Wise Old Owl Ranch” in Deerhorn Valley near San Diego wasn’t easy to do. It’s a beautiful spot. People ask: “What’s it like to live out there?” Here’s how I  describe it , as Summer fades, Fall approaches and our Journey is about to begin:

“Just when you begin to think it’s so hot that summer has lasted too long, a welcome shift occurs. The air turns cooler, presenting us with short warm days, crisp evenings and downright cold nights. This is our Deerhorn Valley. By Thanksgiving, folks have quit complaining about the shorter daylight hours. We go about our early evening walks taking in the smell of oak burning in our neighbors’ fireplaces.

Our home in San Diego.

Our home in San Diego’s back country.

In December the evening air is so crisp I can see my breath while hanging Christmas lights on the roof.  The horses munch their hay and the dogs lie curled up nose-to-rump to keep themselves warm. Houselights are sprinkled throughout the hillsides surrounding the Valley, twinkling like pinpoints of light. The barn owls awaken and prepare to soar from our Oak Grove in their nightly search for rodents. I ponder how one could possibly ignore the beauty of our starry, starry nights.


This is just a part of our front lawn area. The whole area is about the size of a football field. I loved mowing all day on my little tractor.

Come morning, watching a new day dawn as the sun comes up, the magic of our Valley continues.

We were recently blessed with a resident family of mule deer meandering across the north 40 twice each day. We witnessed the lanky walk of the Great Blue Heron, strutting from our pond as it looks for its next meal, always keenly aware of the distance between itself and the dogs.



Our property is completely surrounded by beautiful mountains and we have an old established grove of oak trees as well.


The view across the valley from our front fence line.

Our adjacent 40 acre field has been tilled and seeded and awaits the winter rains. I look forward to the day when the green tips of the emerging oats will begin to poke through the rich brown soil. For now the dogs and I will enjoy our walks around the field without the threat of rattlesnake bites.  Soon, the holidays will have come and gone, but the brilliant glint of sunlight on the frosty fence rails every morning fills me with a sense of peace, causing me to be genuinely thankful of how fortunate I am to live here in this wonderful place I call home.” So, that’s what it’s like to live here.



There is a seasonal creek running through the stand of old oak trees. Our home is accessed by driving over the bridge that covers the stream.




A little path through the trees behind the house.

A little path through the trees behind the house.





I grew tomatoes in the greenhouse all the way through Thanksgiving every year.







Florence used to kid me, saying I was the only grown man she knew who collected dolls! It’s actually true, in a way. An artist by the name of Mark Roberts creates one of a kind hand made Christmas figures and Florence bought me one for each of the 12 days of Christmas. I displayed them in this case in my office. Click your mouse on this picture to see in better detail how intricate these pieces actually are.


A Mark Roberts numbered original Christmas Fairy. There are only 200 of these in existence.


Florence and I are going to have the adventure of a lifetime on this Journey.

Florence and I are going to have the adventure of a lifetime on this Journey. I no longer have my beard…I didn’t like it at all. It didn’t make up for the lack of hair on the top of my head!

Rather than mourning our departure from this magnificent spot, we’ve chosen to be thankful for all the years we had there together, and anticipate with excitement the Journey we’re about to begin. It’s simply time to move on and begin the next chapter in our book of life.


Our library on White Wing Drive in Deerhorn Valley. This was my favorite room in the house.Click on the picture with your mouse and you may be able to see that 50 percent of my books are cook books! The next time we talk, ask me about that “blob” on my dictionary stand!


My home office. We had a huge oak tree outside the window and I loved hearing the wind rustle the leaves. When the barn owls had babies each Spring it got a bit noisy but it was fun watching Nature all around our property.


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