El Patron

Also known as J.S.A.
Most comfortable in the saddle riding the wide open range of the Arizona territory ~ 
 Among friends, he can summon up tales of the past like they were yesterday, cite small gestures that meant the world to him, and show gratitude to those who have helped him along the way.
There is so much more to the man than this image of a roughhewn cowboy. He is also right at home playing Santa on Christmas Eve and reading stories to a family room filled with his six grandchildren at his knee. 
My story with J.S.A. is not so much about his horses, but more about the land. We enjoy our discussions about the progress of his Arizona citrus and the well being of my climbing rose ~ Which, by the way, he gave to me to plant in honor of my Grandfather's passing. 
 We are so fortunate to have a man of his character in our lives. Happy Father’s Day El Patron!

The Other Side

If you're a regular visitor here, then you probably know that instead of writing about the latest & greatest of the moment, I prefer to write from my heart about the other side of the moment ~ the quieter side. You also may or may not know that I write this blog from our home, in the heart of the Bluegrass ~ Lexington Kentucky.

Man-O-War, Photo courtesy of The Kentucky Horse Park

Horses are my husband's business and the reason we are here ~ 

He comes from out west, Arizona to be exact. Raised in a horse loving family, he started early, mucking stalls, cleaning tack and riding Western on a Porter saddle ~ made by his great-grandfather, Newton Porter.

Early morning on the back side with Barkley at Keeneland Most mornings he is on the other side, the barn side, with only one thing on his mind, helping horses to breathe easier. To have a healthy & happy horse though, takes the dedication of many ~ Breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, and grooms who always, always put the horse first.

The Amazing RAUL RODRIGUEZ never far from his best friend, California Chrome, await their turn to board the plane for Maryland. Photo | Barkley Porter

Speaking of…I love this photo that he snapped of groom Raul Rodriguez and his best friend, California Chrome ~ Taken after his Derby win, they were waiting to board the plane for the flight to Maryland.

Out of the limelight, on the other side, Raul is the private groom to California Chrome and plays a vital role in the daily health and well-being of this sweet & often smiling horse.

California Chrome after his Derby win waiting to board the plane for Maryland Photo | Barkley Porter

This morning I was reading the Twitter feed of Claire Novak who is the Online Features Editor at BloodHorse.com and I was moved by her wonderful video below. The short film beautifully documents my message about the vital role that Raul Rodriguez plays, out of all the limelight, on the other side, in the daily life of California Chrome.

 Claire Novak (@ClaireNovak) May 17, 2014

If you are unable to view this video on your mobile device, click here. I'd hate for you to miss it! 


After the video, I'd love to tell you a more personal story that I published 4 years ago about how lovingly these gentle animals give back. Our daughter will tell you, "There is nothing better than hearing a rider speak their first words while on horseback, or sharing the amazement of a student as they touch the soft nose of their equine partner for the very first time."

Read more of her story on The Quiet Side.


Happy trails ~

signature LP


Thinking about California this morning ~


Giannetti Architects | Photo | Lisa Romerein

Giannetti Architects


Family & friends, new & old, all up & down the coast ~


California Map Vintage 1930 Original Picture Map by SaturatedColor. via Etsy



Praying for calm ~


Giclee print on canvas of an original painting by Steve Giannetti



Keeping you all in our hearts as you battle the forces of nature & the unkind hand of man ~


Signature 2014


Interiors | Giannetti Architects   Photo | Lisa Romerein

Water and Air Series, No.81 Painting by Steve Giannetti
Courtesy of Brooke & Steve Giannetti

To learn more, visit Brooke Giannetti at Velvet & Linen

A Mother's Day ~ A Day for Remembering

 Thinking about our mothers today.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
Family & friends who have lost their mothers, some in a long battle & some in a moment ~ Others who's mothers are living, but have walked away. My heart aches, deeply for all of them.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
As you know, Mother's Day is tomorrow. When it seems like everyone in the whole wide world is celebrating over brunch with cards & flowers, I hope you'll also celebrate with someone who has lost their mom.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
Hold their hand. Let them pour tears into your lap or laugh loudly about the time she… Plant flowers in her name, or make that dish she was famous for. Bring the good wine & decadent dessert. Look through the photo albums & let them tell you all about her ~
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
As I write, I'm thinking about family, friends & my own mother ~ They are all so strong and brave ~ Wise beyond words and filled with grace. They somehow manage to quietly tuck their heartache away, long enough to love, laugh, "like", and listen when we write about our own.
Today's post is written in their honor ~ Celebrating mothers who are with us & those who have passed.  
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
She is in you & with you & taught you more than she ever had time to share.
Happy Mother's Day
Signature 2014


When I talk about her life ~ I'm really talking about our life.

She was everywhere ~ Still is.

Her favorite place ~ The cool grass at the top of Spring.

The unfathomable knowledge behind her silver face.

She grew into her name ~

Our gentle girl named Grace.

Grace Spring 2013

It's Spring again Gracie.

We sure do miss you. xo

Signature 2014