A Tall Tarryall Tale

An improbable tale about my life at The Rolling OM Ranch on Hay Creek in the Tarryall Valley, Colorado.

Latitude: 39,160265

Longitude: 105,487794

Altitude: 9000

Attitude: Grateful

Lionshead Rock, Rolling OM Ranch

There have been detailed histories written about the old homestead ranches & families along the Tarryall Scenic Byway. As our homestead is off the beaten path in a box canyon beyond the Gold & Sprague Ranches it has remained a hidden gem. It is a good time to tell our unique story. Continue reading “A Tall Tarryall Tale”

Peet’s Coffee Tea & Spices



One of my strong memories growing up on Rose Street & Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California was the smell of roasting coffee from Peet’s Coffee Tea & Spices just one block south on the corner of Walnut & Vine Streets. Little did I know that I grew up in Berkeley in a neighborhood known as the Gourmet Ghetto.


January 27, 2019

Searching for filters for my Christmas gift of a coffee pot I decided to return to Peet’s & I am so glad I did. What a treasure! There is an addition of a small side room with a few tables and a museum display of  historical artifacts & equipment, including the original roaster. The beauty of wood and the smell of coffee is a delight to behold.

So the next time you are in the Gourmet Ghetto be sure and stop by Peet’s for a cup of coffee to knock your socks off!

Full Circle

January 2019 –  It is a New Year, a New Life & a New House. We have moved into my old neighborhood. It is late & I am overindulging myself by celebrating the final class I have taken to sharpen my skills with a light meal at my favorite restaurant called Rivoli in North Berkeley. Delightful! A classic 3 star eatery holding fond memories of our 40th wedding anniversary & birthday celebrations hosted by family & friends. I have come full circle.

After a lifetime of traveling I find myself living just a few blocks from my old neighborhood. I have traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua, England, France & Canada where I took the train from Montreal to Vancouver.   I have moved with my family into an incredible house with a 3 bridge view of the San Francisco Bay. It brings back so many memories.

San Francisco Bay & Berkeley Marina with Cesar Chavez Park

I grew up in Berkeley. My mother met my stepfather John in Santa Rosa on a blind date. As fate would have it she vowed to never remarry. Famous last words. When they first met my stepfather said they would  be married in a year.  Must have been love at first sight! They tied the knot in Kenwood, CA in the Community Church down by the creek.

I was the flower girl. Later there was a reception at Grandmother Nellie’s house which stands at the corner of Jessie & Clyde Streets.  To this day I remember my Mother Madeleine’s wedding dress. It was a shimmery sky blue gray silk taffeta with a row of covered buttons from top to toe. But most of all I remember the radiant smile on her face. Pure joy & happiness.

Photo of vineyards near Kenwood Community Church in Kenwood, California.
Valley Of The Moon
Photo of a wedding at Kenwood Community Church in Kenwood, California.
Kenwood Community Church Our Motto – Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.


My stepfather attended UC Berkeley on a GI scholarship after serving in the Navy during WW2. He majored in Public Health. He contracted TB during the war & was drawn to that field due to his personal experience. He traveled up and down California on business.

As he was recuperating we lived on Virginia Street just off Shattuck in a 2 story house with a large front yard & fish pond. I had my first bike there. My brother Eric had a turtle. Turtle was his first word. I went to Whittier Elementary School just across the street. See Spot Run was my first book.

“Whittier, one of the City’s original schools, was built as a six-room school house in 1892 with funds from the City’s first school bond. The original architect was A.H. Broad and first principal was Miss Juliet H. Lumbard. The original property was smaller than the present site.”

I used to visit a neighbor who had the most delightful cut out paper doll books. Each doll had a wardrobe of outfits with little rectangles you folded to hold the clothes onto the dolls. Fascinating! Working on those motor skills. I used to love to hear the sound of the train at night.

This house is gone, replaced by a stucco 2 story apartment building.

My elementary school is now an arts magnet school.

During the 4 years of study at UC Berkeley we lived on Rose Street in a lovely classic Victorian. I have fond memories of that beautiful house. Being a Victorian it had lots of rooms with very high ceilings and sliding wood doors separating each room. There was a very steep stairway up to the attic. The kitchen was at the back of the house near the attic stairs. Sadly the house is gone replaced with a 2 story apartment stucco building.

The original Peet’s Coffee (established 1966) is just a few blocks south in the Gourmet Ghetto along with The Cheese Board Collective, a worker owned co-op since 1971 & across the street is Chez-Panisse (established 1971) made famous by Alice Waters. A food paradise!

My mother had the most amazing Halloween party one year.  It was such fun. We had scary noises, apple bobbing, cupcakes, hand puppets reflected on sheeting, ghosts hanging around, slimy grape eyeballs, etc.

My brother started a small fire during a science experiment in his bedroom. I had a musical rocker. Out of curiosity my brother disassembled it & could not get it put back together try as he might. He saved money from his paper route & bought me a lifesize doll.

My father sent the TV packing because we argued so much about which programs to watch. Now we have the cellphone problem. Hard to resolve that one.

We had a lovely Christmas tree. There was a woodcutter in the lot next door and he sold trees during the holidays. We used to visit Swedish family during Christmas & I got to eat the very plump raisins from the hot Glug, a powerful drink made with Aquavit.

My grandmother used to give me coffee with condensed milk. I never liked the lutefisk or the boiled potatoes filled with bacon & served with cream sauce. Mom used to make delicious apple fritters on a special griddle which covered two burners. One year Mom threw the Turkey out the kitchen window into the neighbors yard. We had dinner out that night. Our neighbor returned the turkey roaster the next day, no questions asked.

There was Live Oak Park up the street behind our house for after school play.

Live Oak Park is a public park and recreation area of the city of Berkeley, California, it lies in the center of several North Berkeley neighborhoods, 5.5 acres of nature juxtaposed with facilities that form the beating heart of the area. It’s a place where play areas, basketball and tennis courts, an indoor theater and the Berkeley Art Center share space with native oaks and California Bay Laurels, quiet shady picnic areas, a spacious grassy knoll and the lovely Codornices Creek, which flows through the park. Live Oak Park is one of Berkeley’s oldest and most naturalistic public parks.
Live Oak Park
Live Oak Park, Berkeley CA

We often went to Tilden Park for picnics & rides on the old hand carved Merry Go Round which still operates to this day. There were pony rides too!

Merry Go Round

Later during my high school years we moved to the Berkeley Hills just off the Arlington on the Kensington border. My father loved the incredible view of the SF Bay and the beautiful lights from the City. My parents were very happy in that house.

I graduated Berkeley High School in 1962. There were 800 people in my class alone.

History of Berkeley High

Berkeley High School

In 1884, with a graduating class of four, Berkeley High became the first high school to be accredited by the University of California.

I attended San Francisco State College as an art major. I loved art. My first roommate lived in SF. One late night she invited me to a club to met Bob Dylan. I passed on that. I was more interested in a long term relationship & I found Jim! Or he found me. Oh well!

During that time I met a friend and we moved into a big Victorian in San Francisco. There I met Bob. We decided to leave Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement in the late 1960’s. It was a time of change and upheaval.

Driving across the USA we stopped in New Mexico to visit friends, then Colorado to visit Parlin (maybe the most isolated place in Colorado) and onto Lake George to see Jim & the Rolling OM Ranch. From there we traveled to Pittsburgh where we met Bob’s family. We had dinner with my parents in New York City at the Plaza Hotel who were there on business. Soon we traveled on to Europe.

Just by serendipity we ended up in New Paltz, NY where next we found ourselves at Woodstock, NY! We were advance crew and helped Wavy Gravy with the kitchen serving volunteers.

Contrary to popular belief I was not one of those infamous nude flower type girls. I was way too shy to frolic around wearing only flowers in my hair! I do love flowers, music & dancing.

Image result for wavy gravy woodstock
Woodstock Music Festival

Long story short I ended up in Colorado with Jim for 25 years. When the kids went to college we moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon for another 25 years. Thanks to the energy & vision of my late husband Jim, a master marketer,  I continue to own & rent my beautiful house on Upper Klamath Lake which is a very popular birding hot spot, attracting a variety of film crews from around the world who come to document the amazing Western & Clark’s Grebes. In early springtime they fly into the basin to mate & breed before returning south to winter. The “Dancing Grebes” run across the water & are very photogenic. This year we are hosting a crew filming for “Amazing America”. Stay tuned!

Also in my travels I have sailed the full length of Upper Klamath Lake up & down at least 2 times on races with the Klamath Yacht Club. Each leg is 30 miles!



Grebes, food, bar sailing & sunset photos by Stephanie Carpenter



Opening Magnolia


As the year 2018 comes to a close I reflect upon the many friends & family who have lent me a helping hand & given me support these last few years as I journey on in my new life.

There are so many wonderful memories to share. I have been blessed beyond anything I could have imagined. I am a visual being so I express myself best through my photographs. I thank my kids for gifting me a camera to replace the one I passed onto my brother for his trip to Nepal.  Since I love taking photos I took a plunge to expand on my love of art to start a photo greeting card business. That nourishes my creative sense of well being. Of course I am also learning the art of bookeeping to help in the more practical matter of making a living. Ho, ho, ho, merrily on we go.

It all started here in 1970 at this homestead ranch, a  2 room log cabin in Tarryall, Colorado when I began my 48 year marriage to Jim, the love of my life.


Both our children, Quintana & John, were born and raised here far from the maddening crowd until elementary school when we moved to Manitou Springs, Colorado. It was a unique upbringing and looking back those were the golden years. At the end of the road, surrounded by paradise we were free to enjoy life at our leisure. No city life for us! Funny that both kids ended up on the west coast in major cities, educated & hard working. I could not be prouder!


We had many fun times both indoors & outdoors. Ist & 2nd generations continue to play.


A few more activities.


Last I want to thank the other people who have lent a helping hand by being there for me through thick and thin. Family & friends!


Thanks for the helping hands.

Dog Blog

“Once you have a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished.” Dean Koontz

This is a story about dogs & their companions or “The People” in their lives.




When I first met Jim he had his faithful Labrador Liza, his childhood companion, by his side. Liza loved to nap in the doorway of the log cabin in the Tarryall, basking in the sun.

She sat patiently watching the dirt road for his return from town when he went for supplies.

We have had many wonderful visits to the ranch by brave friends who did not mind going to the “Wilderness” to visit. Here is a picture of dear friends Chuck, Sue, Missy & Erin with a perfect Liza look alike named Polly on the left & her Labrador friend.

People love Labs!

Once Liza jumped out of the truck at the toll gate to the Bay Bridge. We did not realize she was gone until the other side. Of course we turned around, drove back across the bridge & found her waiting for us to pick her up.


The last dog we had was a Labrador named Shred. For those not familiar Shred is a snowboarding word meaning to conquer the mountain. Our kids grew up in Colorado & skied every possible run on their school trips during ski season.

This dog was layered with handfuls of fat & fur. He was very vocal as he circled 3 times to lay down, never far away. Jim was too heartbroken to ever get another dog when he passed.


Since I have been living in Berkeley with family I have had the pleasure of dog sitting Stella during the day when everyone is off to work & school. Stella, a rescue dog, is the total opposite of Shred. Where Shred would lunge out the front door, run across the street & up the hill in search of adventure, Stella is always by my side. She prefers to be close. She is petite but ferocious when it comes to squirrels. She lives for a game of ball. I am not sure if she is excited to see me or the delicious prospect of chasing the ball. Maybe both. We tried to train her to fetch a ball shot out of a machine but she never mastered the art.


My friend Sue lives in Berkeley, has 2 dogs & spends many hours walking her pets. There are countless places to hike & walk, from dog parks to wild mountain trails.

This is Cha Cha. This is the humorous part of the story! Sue’s contribution was this video. I’m not sure how she did the voiceover but it is very funny. Cha Cha means business & she deserves it because after all she is a senior citizen & deserves our respect.

Translation: “Well let me tell you something. Don’t get in my way. I’ll bite your stinking hand off. Anyway I can just say what I want to. So like I said, don’t get in my way!”

Her story is more along the lines of a review by The New York Times Book Review of A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle.

“Ingenious…a take on dog life that collides with the sweet mythology of Man’s Best Friend.”


My brother Eric & his wife Jane are totally into animals. Jane used to work for the City of Berkeley Pound & brought home dogs, cats & turtles. I may be missing other critters in this story! This is Tyke playing with the cat, Kathmandu.


Dogs go way back in my family. Here is a picture of our very young father John when he was in the Navy during the 2nd World War. Dad is the handsome one on the left. The crew loved this dog.


Speaking of sailors here are 2 pictures of our fellow Klamath Yacht Club Staff Commodore Bob on his boat Lighten Up & a picture of his dog Megan.




This is Tom. He is lucky enough to live on a very nice boat at the Berkeley Marina, one of the best places to live here. He is a dog walker & loves his job & seems to be a natural at multitasking. He has found his calling.

This is his story.

“I have been intrigued for many years about a dog walkers life. Having lived in the mountains most of my life, all my dogs were “ranch” dogs and never needed to be leashed. (most of the time) After purchasing a sailboat in 2000, many days and weekends were spent on board in the Bay, where I now reside full time. I would see dogs being walked around by as many different types of people as there were pouches! Someday, I knew it would be a check off of my bucket list, to become a “dog walker”.

I’ve been walking dogs now for an East Bay company for about 8 months. Some days I have one customer dog. Others, I’ve had as many as 7. I only do group walks. All off leash in specific areas of the East bay. A few of my dogs have required leash’s full time, usually because of a bad foraging habit or poor recall. I like this job because it gets me off the boat 5 days a week and I get a few miles walk in with a huge dog fix! I get paid for each and every dog I walk, every time I walk him/her. All variable amounts as to the frequency. My dog Sassy is an 8+ year old Schipperke whom I rescued about the same time I started the dog job. Picking my own hours, I’m usually able to start and finish the walks after and before the morning and afternoon traffic. The walk is one hour, minimum. I have keys to all the dogs homes. However, with the driving, traffic and distance between dog houses, a 3-5 hour day is the norm.”


My friend Madeleine has returned to Klamath Falls where she grew up. She is a world traveler, photographer & artist. I am delighted that she bought our wetlands property on Upper Klamath Lake. Jim had a beautiful vision for preservation of this urban wetland & Madeleine is the perfect person to continue on the path. She plans to build a small house & contemplate the sounds & sights of the abundant bird life there. In the summer the sounds of frogs croaking is a delight.


To complete this story I am proud to be friends with Abbie & Jason. We have known them professionally & socially for many years. They have a special place in our hearts as we hosted their wedding at The Klamath Yacht Club when we were Commodores in 2000.

Here is their story. We donated funds so they could afford a companion dog for their son. If you know someone who needs such a dog please do help. Titus is a lifesaver.

“Finn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in Kindergarten and shortly after, Titus joined his medical team. Titus was professionally trained to alert to blood sugars under 80 or over 180. He is our MVP and right hand man not only because of his lifesaving medical alerts but because of his loyal companionship and the positivity he brings to a relentless diagnosis.”

P.S. I recommend reading A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle for a good laugh.


Holiday Fun

In anticipation of the Holidays I have been focusing on my new endeavor in creating a line of photo greeting cards.

My friends & family have been super duper encouraging & supportive.

As a thank you to Sue for encouraging me to pursue this business I gifted a print from a workshop I took at Looking Glass Photography. We printed out 2 copies of any photo we selected. This is printed on Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl & framed in an antique oval frame. The detail really pops!

The second print is on Juniper Baryta Rag 305, also gifted and is much softer & muted.

The question then becomes a matter of marketing. The first tool was expanding my CarpenterDesign.Blog to enable an online store complete with a shopping cart! So cool & a serious learning curve. I now see life as a series of steps in “Problem Solving 101”. Then I had to create “Followers”. Thanks to all of you Followers out there.

Well I had to create a business card! It is nice & bright with the water reflection shimmering in the background.

I read about a Buy Local Holiday Gift Fair in Berkleyside. That led to a special “Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley membership with the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce & a booth at the UC Theater & Music Hall. It was a rewarding evening & the staff & participants were wonderful.

Some of the attendees.

One lady liked my cards because they were so artistic with great light! Each card has contact info for future reference. She especially liked the Pelicans Feeding.


img_3013-1The year is ending well & I am happy to be stepping right along!