Baseball Art, Lavender and Animals!


I read about a baseball exhibit and was very excited. Then saw it was at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.  I automatically assumed it was going to be some hippie weird hemp rope odd something not very baseball-like exhibit.

THANK GOD! I was wrong!  Not one to pass up trying something new, I drove over to the museum to check it out. The museum entrance fee is already dirt cheap, but is even cheaper with a KCRW card. ($5!) Yay!

Up to the 3rd floor I ran. No. I am lying. I totally took the elevator. ZOOM to the 3rd floor. So, it’s dead silent up there. I am the only visitor. No weirdo museum people analyzing anything next to me! I could stare at things as long as I wanted and NO one was there to pressure me into moving on. It was a Thursday in the early afternoon. Good time to go, folks. Good time. A security guard appeared exactly when I realized I didn’t bring my regular camera with the timer.  I got this awesome picture.


The exhibit are all items owned by a collector named Gary Cypres. His sports memorabilia collection is one of the largest in the world. There were quilts, cigar boxes, drawings (from the 1800s, yo!), a roulette wheel table (sweet!), old bats (no, not your mother-in-law) and

In 1903, this bat was
presented to the
Boston Red Sox for
winning the first
World Series.

lots of other cool items.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       IMG_4567I really dug the art made of unraveled sock and shoelace threads. A man named Ray Materson was imprisoned (drug-related thing) and decided to get all artsy by making these little squares of baseball players. I am only putting up one here.

Look at the detail. Dang!

This exhibit runs through September 9, 2012.


New Oak Ranch is a lavender farm in Ojai, California. They also have walnuts, olives and tangerines. During the summer, their ranch is open to the public. Since I adore lavender, it made sense to take the hour drive for the experience. I fantasized about running through the lavender fields and rolling around with the wind blowing through my hair.  Maybe Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton John and the Muses rollerskate with me. . .

You are given clippers and a twisty tie and are set free into the fields to cut your own IMG_4603batch. You can cut some for cooking (Provence) or go for the aromatic lavender (Grosso!) IMG_4604There are bees all over. I am not a fan of being around stingy things so was a bit concerned. They have a sign up stating that the bees won’t bother you and I decided to just believe them and waltz through. One with the bees. . . one with the bees. .

Won’t even lie. The bees were so into their pollinating that I felt a bit bad cutting down their fine work, but did it anyway.  They did not bother me once. Err.. okay. One seemed to yell at me until I moved a little bit.

After gallivanting about in the fields, it was time to check out the products. One of the owners, Karen Evenden, was standing by to help me decide what to buy. Lavender everything. Lotion, spritzer, body wash, sea salts, jams, scones, honey.  Karen let me try the jams and honey. I grabbed as much as I could. I am really looking forward to making the scones. The lavender buds for cooking and tea are fantastic. Been throwing them in my vegetable saute´ and loving it!  Make sure to check out the above video. A really cool woman named Brooke explained everything about the ranch to me and Karen describes some of the products. Great people!

Again, the lavender fields are only open in the summertime, but their products are available through their website  all year ’round.

The Gentle Barn is an animal rescue sanctuary for farm animals. They rehabilitate animals. IMG_1334Poor things were abused, neglected or meant for butchering. A few people posted about it on Facebook so I looked into it and found out it is very near Los Angeles. Just a 25 minute drive. There are cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, donkeys, cats, dogs, turkeys, IMG_1344and llamas. And you can pet every one of them. Okay, not the llamas. So I just stared at the pretty eyelashes on one of them.  It is a $10 donation to get in and well worth it! The animals are adorable (duh) and very mild mannered.  Some of the animals were bred to be food and were genetically modified. Poor things. IMG_4631                                            There is a cow (their therapy cow) that has bow legs and arthritis. She can’t stand up for very long. She’s the one I pet the most.

When you feed the carrots to the horses, make sure to visit the ones a little further back.

Yay! Carrots!

One was making a lot of noise to make sure I stayed put and gave her attention.  Definitely pet the turkeys. Was pretty cute to have one look at me like I was the best thing ever for doing that!

Gentle Barn is definitely a family-oriented place. Great to teach your children to be kind to animals.

Ellen and Portia DeRossi are big fans of this place. It was even on Ellen’s show. I visited with the turkey named after Portia. So, I guess that means I sorta met a famous turkey. If you can’t get there, you can donate through their website. They would sure appreciate that!

I finally got to feed Ostriches and Emus in Solvang at Ostrich Land.

I seem to goIMG_4716 to Solvang an awful lot these days (sssh!) and have always wanted to visit this place but never did for some reason (wine.) It is $4 per bowl of food.  The birds are all behind fences and reach their heads over to eat.  They all had the best expressions on their IMG_1364faces and walked like Big Bird. Fine. Maybe they aren’t really “expressions” but, whatever.  Hit this place up before you make it to the wineries. That would be my advice. Very silly fun.

Don’t forget about us! We are past the ostriches. We like the food, too!


Thanks for reading!!  – Jenn

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