Day Trip to Filoli, Part 1 – The Mansion

When we went to the Empire Mine State Park last spring, we were told that the owner of the mine also had a permanent residence in the bay area that you could also tour.  It’s located in Woodside, CA, which is the next town over from were Al grew up, and so we went to see it.  The owner, William Bowers Bourn II named it Filoli after the first letters in his motto:  Fight for a just cause, Love your fellow man, Live a good life.

Walking to the Front of the Mansion

Walking to the Front of the Mansion

He chose a site of 654 acres south of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.  The house was built between 1915 and 1917 and the Bourns lived there from 1917 to 1936 when both Mr. and Mrs. Bourn died.

Huge stove from a Sailing Ship

Huge stove from a Sailing Ship

In 1937 the estate was sold to Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth, owners of the Matson Navigation Company.  They kept the original design as much as possible, but added many nautical items such as the large stove in the kitchen taken from a sailing ship.

Dining Room

Dining Room

The carpet in the dining room was once owned by Queen Victoria, and the painting of a dead rabbit over the fireplace was painted in 1703 by Jan Weenix and is the most valuable painting in the mansion.  The screen on the left hides the entrance to the kitchen.

Drawing Room

Drawing Room

This is the drawing-room where the ladies went for tea after dinner while the gentlemen smoked cigars and drank brandy.  Al really liked the blue pillows on the sofas.

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Reception Room

This is the reception room where guests first gathered when they came to visit.  The Chinese statues were once on a temple, are made of wood, and are the God of the Sun and the Goddess of the Moon.

Library

Library

This is my favorite room, I love to read and I love that all the walls were full of books.

Ballroom

Ballroom

Finally, the Ballroom!  They had the huge paintings along the sides painted in pastels to match the color scheme of the room.  The ceiling is 22 1/2 feet high, to help keep the dancers cool in the days before air conditioning.

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Almost Argyle in Yellow and Black on my Fingernails

I wanted to wear my yellow and black argyle sweater when we went on our road trip last week.  I love the colors of this sweater and I wanted to do a mani to go with it.  I looked through all of my stamping plates for an argyle pattern, but this was the best that I could find, and I decided that it was close enough.  So I painted my pointer fingernail with Revlon Black Lingerie and the rest of my nails with Nicole by OPI Hit The Lights.  Then, on my accent nails I put a couple of stripes with It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in White, and then I stamped them with  Konad Black and Image Plate Bundle Monster BM-322.  I love how this turned out and I really like the way yellow and black look together.

Thumb and Pinky - Nicole by OPI Hit The Lights, Pointer - Revlon Black Lingerie, Accent Nails -  OPI Hit The Lights,  topped with It's So Easy Stripe Rite White, stamped with  Konad Black and Image Plate Bundle Monster BM-322

Thumb and Pinky – Nicole by OPI Hit The Lights, Pointer – Revlon Black Lingerie, Accent Nails – OPI Hit The Lights,
topped with It’s So Easy Stripe Rite White, stamped with Konad Black and Image Plate Bundle Monster BM-322

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I Made Another Jewelry Set

When Al and I went to Jo-Ann I picked out 5 strands of speciality beads, 2 mostly red and 3 mostly black.  Since I used one of the black ones for my first try at jewelry making, I thought that this time I would use one of the red ones.  This strand was just 9 large red beads and 20 small round black beads.  I tried out several different arrangements and decided that with the addition of some more of my generic red, black, and silver beads I would have enough to make a necklace, a tw0-strand bracelet, and earrings.

My New Jewelry Set

My New Jewelry Set

I think that I’m getting better at this, but not very quickly.  This set took me more than two hours to make.  I had to rearrange the necklace several times before I liked the way it hung on my neck.  But I’m really happy with the way that it turned out, I’ve worn it half a dozen times so far, and it’s perfect with my black and red wardrobe.

Necklace, Bracelet, and Earrings

Necklace, Bracelet, and Earrings

 

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Three Shades of Gray on my Fingernails

I didn’t read the books, and I’m not going to see the movie, but I have been looking at these polishes ever since they were announced last year.  I love gray nail polish, and I didn’t have anything similar to any of these three.  I had to go to both Sally Beauty and  Ulta to find them, and I really love them.  I painted my pinky and ring fingernails with OPI Cement The Deal, my pointer and middle nails with OPI Embrace The Gray, and my thumb with OPI Dark Side Of The Mood.  Then I painted my accent nails with Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted.  I love how this looks, and I will be using these again!

Pinky and Ring Fingernails - OPI Cement The Deal, Pointer and Middle Nails - OPI Embrace The Gray, Thumb - OPI Dark Side Of The Mood, Accent Nails - Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted

Pinky and Ring Fingernails – OPI Cement The Deal, Pointer and Middle Nails – OPI Embrace The Gray,
Thumb – OPI Dark Side Of The Mood, Accent Nails – Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted

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Early Spring Flowers in my Garden

While we don’t have the cold snowy winter weather here in the central valley of California, it has been cold (for us), damp, and foggy here this winter.  The sun finally came out for a few days last week, and a couple of my spring flowers were brave enough to bloom.

Early Daffodils

Early Daffodils

These are the only two flowers blooming in my garden, all the rest are waiting for warmer and sunnier weather!

Early Iris

Early Iris

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Saving my Manicure with Black French Tips

I didn’t have a lot of time, so I painted my nails all one color – OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window.  I really like this dark, military green, and I was planning to wear a skirt that had a similar green in it when we went out for dinner in a few days.  But, meanwhile, I had to cook which involves chopping a lot of veggies, wash dishes, clean the house, shower and wash my hair, and so on.  All this domestic goddess activity really did a job on my nails, and they were starting to chip along the tips.  And, by then, I didn’t have any extra time to re-do my mani before we went out.  So I painted black french tips on with Revlon Black Lingerie.  This covered up the chips and tip wear, and actually looked good!  I really like this way to extend the life of my manicures.

Base - OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window, Tips - Revlon Black Lingerie

Base – OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window, Tips – Revlon Black Lingerie

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Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

I saw this soup on Gina’s Skinny Recipes and immediately thought that we would like it.  Al and I love both kale and sweet potatoes, and with 2 chicken breasts, it would have plenty of meat for Al.  I changed it up a little, I doubled the spices and kale, and added a lot more jalapeno.  It tasted wonderful and I am definitely going to make it again.

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 crushed garlic cloves
6 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 (49 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
1 t adobo seasoning salt
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
1 t cumin
2 large bunches kale, roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Place chicken breasts, sweet potato, onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, chicken broth, and  spices in a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil, stir to mix, and lower heat to simmer.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour.  Remove chicken, cool, and shred or cut up, return to pot.  Add kale, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes.  Turn off heat, add cilantro, stir to mix, and serve.

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