Opps I did it again


You may have noticed that my blog posts have been a bit sporadic.  
We have been busy with fall projects, work 
and of course the usual hours of weekly garden chores. 

Life in the fall is usually a slower simple rhythm 
 the days grow shorter
 the sun dips lower and thankfully the temperature has fallen a bit 

But then...."change" 
that crazy little devil 
 knocked on my door 
and I knewI was really in for it

 About a month ago I got a call from a friend and neighbor who happens to be a realtor.  She asked me if  we would consider selling our little ranchette here in Ojai.

Now let me say this....we have thought about selling a few times before
 but never really got too carried away with the notion.

The allure of the land and my love of the gardens
was just too much of a tug at my heart.
Owning a large property with orchards, oaks and gardens of all sizes can be wonderful but it can seem at times, a never-ending to-do list.  It has definitely kept us busy!
 And loving a house like this is really quite easy,
 especially when it gives back great rewards
 I have become the gardener that I never knew I could be...without really knowing it and learning the do's and don'ts along the way.
Its not really hard, it just takes time to find a good balance of
time, energy and enjoyment

 I have also become a florist of sorts
mostly arranging the simplest of things...sometimes even weeds

I have found much solice in clipping and arranging and just walking this property to find a bloom or two to put in an old jar...it is truly a therapy for me 

 I can't seem to have too many flowers in this house 
and  always find time to create another, however simple 

 Birds and animals have been my constant companions and have taught me a love of nature I will never be without

 I will always view birds, animals and insects with fascination and enjoyment

Having a dog like Millie here has been wonderful and I will never forget her!

She had become a country dog for sure!
Never with out dirt, fleas or something weird and mossy attached to her fur and her paws which...
well who knows what they are... but in the house they come....
riding long with Millie

 The garden and fruit trees have provided an incredible opportunity to test my skills as a cook and to truly learn the lessons of stainable growing and how to use vegetables and fruit in more creative ways than I ever thought possible

Eating from the garden will turn you into a cook
even if you think you aren't one!

Some of my very best meals have been created using the hodgepodge of little orphans
that pop up on a daily basis
If you have a garden...grow what you like to eat
 and cook what you grow

Let the harvest shape the meal and let the flavors do their thing
with out over cooking and seasoning

 The very best chefs know that great food is simple food
and simple is easy

 eating a warm tomato right off the vine is my favorite snack
 along with a fresh peach, a crunchy radish, a green apple, a juicy lemon....etc

 and herbs have become much more than a savory seasoning
I have learned to use them as a treat for breakfast
an appetizer for lunch
and the star of a salad at dinner

 The compost bin has been a great inspiration to us and we have learned from start to finish about soil, and all of the good things that can be found right under your nose
if you look hard enough

Soil preparation is the backbone of a great garden
It's also the most labor intensive part of gardening

Talking about gardening is great but the process is quite a bit harder

Most of our weekends are spent working the soil to make sure we don't over water
and to nourish the plants in the most beneficial way possible

worms and all the living soil dwellers are our friends
and the trees and shrubs
thrive on the rich healthy compost we churn out each month

It  takes time to get it right but when you do great things happen 

 The daily swing on the old gliders with a glass of wine or cup of coffee is something of a ritual for us

even though we don't sit to long 

 The gravel drive became more of a path...leading the way to beautiful trees,  grassy lawns
and large pots and tables with flowers 

 places to linger and watch the birds and squirrels

 Dining outside is alway so wonderful and I wish
 we had more long lunches and breakfast like this one

Decorating this little house....often using cast off treasures and 
quirky collections has been tons of fun 

used "stuff" 
much of it not at all valuable or actually needed
found a home here
 camp blankets and quilts
 bottles and books
 wicker and wood
 much just a mish mash of little things, not an important antique but well loved 
and cherished none the less

 and the holidays always bring in more color and green 
than my usual daily arrangements

 the tangerine trees are loaded this time of year and so orange 
becomes a yearly part of my holiday decor

Re imagining a county kitchen was a joy
and I love this small kitchen with its simple plan and useable features 
and best of all it is wonderful to cook in

 what I like most about this kitchen is that even though many of the elements are very different they all blend nicely together

and I must t certainly thank those that have come through the front door...slammed the screen  and helped create this home

many are friends and
many are family

 we have enjoyed the company of new guests and interesting people who happen to have found their way here for what ever reason

thats what a country house does
it open its doors and shares wonderful memories

you come in
you sit down
and it just feels like home

thank you to all of the stylists and photographers who seemed to like this house
and for giving us an incredible opportunity to share it with others

so now we are giving it to a new family
someone who is starting fresh on her own new journey....a bit more polished than when we first began 
but there is still much to do here

  the new owner has purchased the house furnished and much of the little collections, old pillows and small treasures 
 will stay with the house too

so what is next for us....?

right now we are taking a breather and have rented a very modern condo 
in a down town city location....and we don't have anything to sit on!!!!
Does that sound familiar?
I don't even have a house plant yet!!

  I hope to share that journey too
something different yet similar
because it's a house story

it will have gardens and tress....just not so many!
And it might not be in the country but we will shape it into something unique
and comfortable
no matter where it is

as always....thanks for stopping by
 a new adventure begins!


  1. Wow! Congrats on your new adventure! How exciting and sad at the same time!! Happy Holidays!

  2. What about Millie? Is she a city dog now?

    1. Yes ! Millie has happily found a nice sunny spot on the floor and seems quite happy. I'm sure she misses chasing squirrels but she hasn't complained to me yet ; o)))

  3. Speechless....I'm happy for you! I'll miss seeing the beauty of your land, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter in your book.

    1. Thanks so much Sharon! Always look forward to seeing your comments! xx K

  4. Congrats on your new journey!! I sure will miss seeing your wonderful home and gardens. I know your new home will be beautiful!! Good luck with everything. Keep all of us posted.


  5. No one on this Earth does it the way you do, Kelley. My most favorite blog, ever, you enrich your reader's lives on so many levels and in so many ways. I'm sad too, but know that your next adventure will be just as rich as this one, and I hope you continue to allow us to travel with you. All the best.

    1. Thank you Suzy and I am blessed to have wonderful readers such as your self who have inspired me to continue to write and take pictures of the mundane things that somehow present themselves so beautifully. K

  6. What an adventure for you. I don't know if I could sell my house with everything in it, but I sometimes dream about where it would lead me if I did.

    1. I bet you would do it if the time was right and yes it does become something of an adventure!

  7. dear kelley,

    what an incredible post. the photos of your home and garden paired with you words are just gorgeous. i've always loved what you did to this property. you really made the place a beautiful home. i can't wait to see what your next adventure will be...


    1. Thank so much Janet! It has been wonderful having you as a follower and I always love your comments. I was hoping to see you knock on the door one of these days too! xo

  8. I remember when you sold your last home and I was so sad...then you started this one and I loved seeing you create it. I know the next will have your fabulous style. I met a woman today that does the same as you redoes and designs her house and then sells it with all the furnishings. Oh...I don't think I could give up my stuff and move all the time. But so glad you can so we can keep seeing your creations.

    1. Thank you Nita! Its so funny but I really feel like I know all of you when I read your comments. I hope to find another great house soon. Also getting some furniture might be a good idea!

  9. no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not again!!!!!! no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    haha. actually i wish I had the cajones to do this. must be such a freeing feeling. did you sell the condo you were lving in in the city too? can't wait to see what the adventure. someone was very lucky to get all this. very very very lucky!!!!

    1. I bet you do have the cajones! It is really an interesting feeling. I like the idea of starting with a clean slate actually Joni. I think the new owner knew exactly what she was getting and she really wanted the house. 'She really is a perfect fit. I spent about 3 hours with her so I think she has the energy to tackle the garden and will love this house too! Thanks so much for your support and wonderful comments! XO Kelley

  10. should have said - can't wait to see what the new adventure looks like!! Still Joni

  11. Whoa....again? Letting go must not have been easy.....it was an awesome place, but I know you will do it again and hopefully we will get to enjoy the process! Congrats:)

    1. Thanks so my Sherry! I hope to share what I can. I many never own a house quite like this one but there are lots of things I will be able to do just on a smaller scale, I hope
      cheers Sherry! kelley

  12. There was no question in my mind that the new owners would buy your house with everything in it. That is what makes it so fabulous. Lucky people. Lucky you to find the strength and energy to do it all again. I for one cannot wait to see what magic you create.
    All the best...Victoria

  13. Kelley,
    I loved your Ojai house, as did anyone who read your posts. That said, life is an adventure and I'm sure the new family that will call it home will take very good care of it. I also know you and your husband will make a new home that we can all admire, no matter where you end up. Best of luck to you. This final look at your home and the charm you created therein will forever be one of my favorite country homes.
    Best to you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  14. Your home is just beautiful....as was your previous one. I can totally understand why someone would want to buy your home furnished....I know I certainly would. I wish you, Millie and your husband all the best in your new adventure.....I can't wait to tag along!

  15. I do believe this was your love letter to your home. Such a gorgeous post for such a wonderful home. Best wishes for your new adventure. I really think a small bed an breafast inn somewhere would be a good fit for you...decorating, gardening, cooking, and entertaining. Can't wait to see what your are doing next!

  16. Wow! You are so brave and adventurous. I don't know how you do it, it would be hard to leave such a lovely home and location. I've enjoyed watching you turn it into a truly beautiful place and been so inspired by all your gardening skills. I can't wait to see what you do next. Best of success!

  17. Wow, what a surprise! It will be fun to start over, but it's clearly a loss as well. Blessings on the next stage of your journey!

  18. I actually gasped when I read you were moving again! You and your husband created such a charming home. I loved what you did with your previous home as well, and just thought your home in Ojai was a great place to unwind after a long day. I admire that you have the gene that lets you take on these adventures. I have been in my home over 20 years. We talk about selling and moving on, but it is just talk (I think) .Funny where life leads you. I so look forward to reading about your next journey. I know it will be fantastic. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.

  19. I just came across your blog. What a fabulous home! Please tell me where I can get a kitchen island like yours. I love it!

  20. Life is an adventure. We did that…moved from our beach cottage to a 1920's apartment building in SF. It's hard to leave things behind…but freeing. Our dog has adjusted well, too. Enjoy!

  21. I can't wait to see the next phase. I totally understand where you are coming from. I was you for many years with this house. I too am ready to move on. I want a very small garden and a medium size house!! Email me and we can chat!!!

  22. oh what a wonderful post! I could look at each photo for hours. Best to you on your new adventure. The family that bought your house and treasures are so lucky! Marcy

  23. What a TRIBUTE to a gorgeous home. I find it so refreshing that you can just up and leave...everything. Again. I wanna be you when I grow up!

  24. I'm so excited for you Kelley, and what a great lesson you keep teaching your readers about not getting too attached to our material stuff. You've got a great attitude about letting go and moving on and I'm sure it serves you well in life. I've enjoyed watching you transform your homes into warm, beautiful places and I'm sure you will continue. It's who you are. Hey ...as long as we've got our health, our sweet dogs, the love of family and friends...everything else falls into place. Best of luck to you!

  25. So very exciting! I am all for new adventures and simplifying. Cannot wait to see what you do next!

  26. I love everything about this home and garden, so full of wonderful ideas for my kind of living - thank you for sharing!

  27. Your home is absolutely amazing....love your garden


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