Friday, October 26, 2012

Is it over now?


Review of Immortal by Cirque du Soleil

Did you ever go to a fantastic party where the guest of honor never shows up?  As much as I loved the Cirque du Soleil show last night, this is the feeling that lingers... The anticlimax...

Now let me explain - because obviously I owe you an explanation after starting out on a negative note like that -  and I think the best way of doing so is by taking you back to last night to let you experience what I experienced.

I arrived at the arena about 45 minutes before the start of the show and as the arena slowly filled up below me (I was up high on the upper level), I spent my time keeping my impatience at bay by looking (dreamily, no doubt) at the oak tree displayed on the curtain, which clearly was a rendering of and a tribute to Michael's giving tree and the sheer musical genius that sprang from him when he sat up high on his platform. Consequently, I missed the two MJ impersonators and had it not been for my husband, I do not think I would have noticed them at all. It was not that they made a great show of themselves either, they just sat quietly on their seats all dressed up to the nines in a Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal outfit, and only when someone tapped them on their shoulder did they get up to pose for pictures. The one in the Billie Jean outfit, complete with Fedora and a glittery glove - and with his long, curly hair in a sloppy pony tail - was really convincing, but it was the other one that got most of my attention. And mostly because it was a man at least my age - ie. somewhere in his forties. Somehow I had not expected that.
Well, in fact I had not expected any impersonators at all, but I guess my fellow Danes can still surprise me. It seems that when Michael is the source of inspiration anything can happen.


The use of cell phones and cameras was strictly prohibited,
but I did manage to take one picture right after we arrived.
 

When the show finally started - it was slightly delayed for some reason - the intro left me a little worried about the rest of the show, because I had expected more somehow. And especially more volume... And boy, I got just that! When Michael's image suddenly filled the entire background and all the bright spotlights came to life to an explosion of sound, all I could do was go "Whoa! Wow!" and hold on to my seat... Oh, and gape, of course. In fact, I ended up doing that a lot.
I totally loved it. It was goosebumps all over from that point on and pretty much through the rest of the show.

It is hard to name any favorite parts, but I will try anyway.
I loved the Jackson 5 part right at the start of the show, because although it clearly was not the real deal and little Michael looked more than a litte chubby, it still gave an idea of what it must have looked like and the rest of the audience must have felt the same. They were cheering on the dancers as if they really were the young brothers.


I loved the detail with the Neverland gate. However, I was also a bit relieved to find that
it was a guilded copy and not the original wrought iron one with the gold ornaments.
Had it been the original one, I think it would have killed me.
 

The female pole dancer during "Dangerous" was a jaw dropping
experience. I have no idea how they defy gravity like that.



Another favorite moment was the "Is It Scary" intro to "Thriller." The female contortionist
looked more like a piece of soft rubber than a human being. Really, really impressive...



I also loved the reaction of the audience when "Thriller" started playing. Everybody applauded and cheered right away - and it was not the artists that made them do it - it was the sheer fact that it was "Thriller." It was one of those moments, where I really felt that we were all there for the love of Michael as much as we were there for the show.
The dance segments during "Thriller" made it hard for me to remain in my seat and most of all I just wanted to get up and dance along. So much so that I think I might have to let off some steam later by playing MJ Experience  - no doubt completely embarrassing my daughter as I do so.
"Mommy, seriously..."


Human Nature turned out to be the first emotinal moment for me. For some reason all those glittering stars on the night sky and the little boy sitting on the cresent moon just got to me.
 

"I Just can't Stop Loving You" turned out to be an unexpected high point for me and quite an emotional one too. Normally, I am not that much into aerolists, and the song is not among my favorites either, but this certainly changed everything... Wow... There they were, one dressed in black and one in white, just like Ying and Yang, man and woman, performing the most elegant, weightless and subtle act of love in the air I have ever seen - and probably will ever see. It just worked so well with the song that I forgot about the fact that I was surrounded by 15.000 other spectators. They took me to another time and place and God, I loved it there...
I am not sure I remembered to breathe at all during that performance.



"They Don't care About Us" used some of the imagery produced for "This Is It." It was an emotional link to 2009 and as my eyes accidentally drifted towards the drummer Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett, I could not help but remember what he had said in the interview I had read earlier that day in a Danish news paper. "We were on the stage in the Stables Center, waiting for Michael, ready to go back to rehearsing again after a great performance the night before, but...he never came."

And from that point on, things just kept getting increasingly emotional for me...
When at the end of "Will you Be There" a shadowy hologram of Michael appeared, the audience once again reacted as if this was the real deal and not a computer produced image and broke out into a loud cry of love that quickly died out when Michael's voice started reciting the last few lines:
"In Our Darkest Hour, In My Deepest Despair, Will You Still Care?, Will You Be There?..."
And then something happened... Do not ask me what it was but suddenly everybody rose to their feet and as I found myself speaking the words with him, I realized that the woman next to me did exactly the same. It felt like a collective prayer and I swear that I had a feeling that we were all answering Michael's questions with a "yes, we will be there." And then, when everything went silent for a few seconds, a "I love you Michael" rang out in the arena, shouted with a cracking male voice.
A really emotional and magic moment.

 
 
Something similarly magic happened, when at the end of the show, they filled the entire curtain with the footage of little Michael performing "I Will Be There." First, a soft chuckle reverberated through the audience when he sang "Look over your shoulders, honey" and then, when he was done, we all rose to our feet and gave him a standing ovation. Not Cirque de Soleil, but little Michael. That brought tears to my eyes. I hope he felt the love. I really, really do.


And then, after "Man In The Mirror" it was all over and it was time to go home.
It was then that I started to feel not dissatisfied, but strangely unfulfilled... Of course I knew that Michael would not be there and yet, he was the one I missed. I missed more of his magic, which we had felt in glimpses, but most of all I just missed him... Michael. The man.
It was like there was a void inside of me that could not be filled.
As we drove home, I wondered why I felt this way, if the little girl deep inside of me had somehow naively hoped for a miracle, that it would be the same without him. Or had I  perhaps hoped for the ultimate miracle; that he would have sat down next to me wearing one of his silly disguises...
"Shhhhh... Don't tell anyone, gurl..."
No...

And then I recalled the little girl, who right after the intro, asked a question, which I am sure that half of the people in the arena heard: "Is it over now?" (And boy, would Michael have loved hearing her little voice ask so innocently.) Of course, she was wrong. The show had just got started, which I am sure she found out a few seconds later.
However, she was right too.
The real show is over. It stopped playing on June 25th, 2009.
I think I finally realized the full implications of that fact last night.








Friday, October 19, 2012

A defining moment


When a good friend of mine posted the copy of People magazine from October 1987, which contains Michael's letter, the memories of that time - where I first saw the letter, how I reacted - came flowing back to me in an unstoppable stream and I realized with some surprise that 25 years down the line I still know every word by heart...

"Like the old Indian proverb says, do not judge a man until you've walked 2 moons in his moccasins.
Most people don't know me, that is why they write such things in which most is not true.
I cry very often because it hurts and I worry about the children, all my children all over the world. I live for them.
If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written.
Animals strike, not from malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with those who criticize. They desire our blood, not our pain. But still I must achieve. I must seek truth in all things. I must endure for the power I was sent forth. For the world. For the children.
But have mercy, for I've been bleeding a long time now.

MJ"

Wait, I am getting ahead of myself…
Let’s start at the beginning, which was way back in 1987, when the only music magazine worth reading in Denmark was the German “Bravo.” No other magazine had so many huge posters and so many colorful pages dedicated to the leading artists of that era. In short, it was the thing if you were a teenage girl like me in the 1980s.  


Every week – or was it every second – I do not remember anymore, I would make my way down to my “waterhole” – the small shop in downtown “Hicksville”, which was the only place to get the magazine.

It was no different that rainy day in late 1987, where I picked up the latest issue, and then raced home on my bike on wet streets, eager to devour what was inside the magazine. I knew there was going to be an article on Michael – as always in those years it seemed – and since he was the main object of my interest, my excitement was probably so big that I did not even care about the fact that I got soaked. All that mattered was taking my “booty” home as fast as possible. And you all know that rain gear is for old people - at least when you are young.
  
Anyway, then came the moment when I got to the page, containing the letter. It was only a single page and I remember that the copy of the letter was not very big, because they had put in some more stuff on the page as well, including a German translation - and a picture of Michael.
I also remember the almost reverent feeling had inside, when I bent forward and began reading Michael’s handwriting. It was a big moment for me. It was my first encounter with something from his hand that was neither music nor dance, but something endlessly more personal.

I made it through the first two lines, but then my patience I fell victim to the combined effect of the small print and Michael’s handwriting and I resorted to the German translation, so eager to find out what the rest of his message was that I suddenly did not care what language I got it in. So much for reverence… At least for a while…

Because once I had an idea what the letter was all about, I understood that it was of such importance that I just had to turn back to Michael’s own handwriting again. I had to read it in his own words, in his own language and in his own handwriting and assisted by the German translation and a great deal of stubbornness, I finally got his “hieroglyphs” deciphered.


Was I shocked? No. Surprised? No. Bewildered? No.
I felt enlightened. His letter – as sad and desperate as it was – was a revelation to me. It was the illusive piece of the puzzle that I had been searching for ever since the day that I had realized that there was a constant hint of sadness in Michael’s eyes, which did not seem to fit into my picture of someone, who was hugely popular and successful.

Well, actually it was more than that… It was my first glimpse of a man, who was driven by pure, unselfish love and a deep desire to make a difference, but who was also haunted and hurt by misunderstanding. 
 

I did not know it then, but these few lines really represent Michael’s life in a nutshell.

Still, as I said, I understood the importance of the letter and I began studying every word, every hastily scribbled letter, every spelling mistake and grammatical error, learning, feeling and drawing from them secrets, which had hitherto been so secret that I did not know they existed. In fact, I think it is safe to say that I studied his letter as meticulously if I was a nun studying the Holy Scriptures. I could barely wait to come home from school and when I did, I locked myself in my room, put on “Bad”, and started reading again, only leaving my room when my mother yelled “dinner” for the fifth time. I even believe that for the first time in my life, there may have been a few days, where I did not do my homework.
 
So, this is how I learned the letter by heart.
Soon I would also learn, in my own small way, that every word he had written was true. When confronted with my mother’s question about the reason for my sudden asocial behavior and absentmindedness (she probably thought I was in trouble), I told her the truth, knowing only too well that she thought Michael was the most outrageous and least understandable of my teenage interests, but naively believing that his cry for help would make a difference.
She could not have cared less. She had made up her mind about him and the simple wisdom of not judging someone until you know them was totally lost on her. Weeks later, I saw a similar reaction in a Danish magazine, which simply wrote off most of the letter’s content as crazy ramblings. And just look how relatively little attention his letter got in the article in People, which prompted me to write this post: http://amichaelappreciation.com/2012/10/michaels-first-epistle.html?spref=tw

“They desire our blood, not our pain…”
So true…
All he got in return was ridicule or people shrugging their shoulders, saying "whatever..."


For me, this was a defining moment. His letter changed everything for me. Everything…
From this moment on, I was no longer just a fan, but also a young woman, who was driven by love and a budding mother’s instinct, both directed at a man so many years older than her, but so worth loving and protecting nonetheless. 
 

And in all fairness…
My mother has since come around.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tour of Neverland - The Sycamore Valley Ranch real estate brochure - part 4














GUEST HOUSE AND RECREATION
The expanse of the lower lake is the major focus of the front garden. It is designed for one to walk around it or sit nearby. The boulder outcroppings are good places to rest – a clump of daisies may be at your feet. A view of home or mountain or wild lands is one’s choice to make. As with the clump of daisies, there is the quality of ordered randomness, of the right natural event occurring at just the right place. Lichen covered rocks add an element of interest to the landscape. To the right of the center of the photo on the north shore is the masonry boat dock. The “Fishing Rock” with the felled tree trunk is seen to the left of it. The Guest House on the peninsula features four separate guest rooms, each isolated from the other, each with its own unique interior style and private garden.


The William and Mary Room of the Guest House expresses the light, civilized ambience of that period. A typical period floral pattern covers the window seat. The view looks out over the flower beds and across the lake toward the stone bridge. The four poster bed, the tilt-top table and the chair are all William and Mary period pieces. The ceilings, windows, door and floors are of dark stained white oak in contrast to the light linen-covered upholstered walls. The ceiling surface is plaster between the boxed oak beams. A Heritz rug lies on the Bordeaux patterned floor.


Seen through the open French doors of the Pine Room, the lower lake reflects in the short-lived, magenta glow of twilight. The Pine Room of the Guest House is a favorite of younger guests. The ceiling, posts and floor are made of Idaho pine. Pine is the wood in the Victorian-American chest and in the French doll cart seen through the doorway. A reupholstered American turnpost chair sits on a cotton braided rug. The chandelier was converted from an old brass kerosene fixture of the Victorian-American period.

The Western Room is situated on the peninsula to allow a view of the lake in two directions. The vaulted ceiling is made from rough-sewn Douglas Fir; the doors, windows and floor are oak which complement the end wall of Bouquet Canyon Stone. The American four poster is a York County reproduction, the table and desk are 18th-century American maple and the chair, a reproduction of a 19th-century style. The brass lamp is a converted oil burner.




The Empire building English were once the world’s greatest collectors which allows this more eclectic room to be called the English Room. It contains a number of styles, but none so diverse as to not mix gracefully with the others.
It shows a rough-hewn timber beam ceiling and a post and beam bay. The English desk is mahogany; the chair before it is a mahogany Queen Anne. The lamp on the desk is fashioned from a Chinese cloisonné vase. The two armchairs are French Bergere. The table between them is an English tilt-top. The rug is custom-made in Thailand as a Portuguese needlepoint. Not seen in the picture are some striking pieces - a Queen Anne lowboy and two very rare Chinese-Chippendale bed boards. The floors are all oak peg and groove, and the walls are upholstered in yellow silk.


The Executive Office was designed as a retreat. It is rustic, casual and warm, an environment meant for meeting and talking to people. In addition, the location of the room allows a complete observation of all persons coming to or going from the residence. The ceiling is rough-sawn Douglas Fir, the end wall of Bouquet Canyon Stone. A fireplace is out of view behind the photographer. The partner’s desk is mahogany with inset leather top; behind it is an antique French walnut table, on the wall a pair of hunting scenes of painted enamel on copper. For conferencing, there is a long English library table with an inset leather top. Six ball foot Queen Anne armchairs in original leather sit around it. An old English work table has been cut down for coffee table use. The wing chair in the foreground is English with a fruitwood finish. Not seen in the photo is an enormous wood-cased London train station clock, which hangs to “striking” effect over the fireplace.




The antique American barn was the inspiration for the amply sized interior of the Recreation Building. To be properly weathered, the ceiling and wall boards were laid out in the elements for two years. But the boards fell short of the required number, so for three months during construction additional ceiling boards were individually weathered. The plaster grouting seen on the underside of the stairway and the wall also presented a problem by not staying in place. After three months of experimentation, a system was devised of inserting expanded metal and the plaster stayed put. The wall plaster is mixed with straw to create an uneven, wattled appearance. An antique French iron chandelier hangs over the pool table. An old French worktable holds an antique iron scale. At the foot of the stairs a meticulously fashioned, English antique house-shaped yew box holds its complete set of croquet mallets and balls. The upstairs loft provides a wide-screen television viewing area. Beyond what is visible in the picture is a bar, game table and video games. One side of the Recreation Building looks down on the Tennis Court, the other onto the swimming pool. The downward stairs lead to the Wine Cellar.



The Wine Cellar was a beguiling afterthought during construction. The basement was dug in from the walls of the Recreation Building so as not to undermine the foundation. There is something of a Hollywood fantasy in the romantic, subterranean setting. It is used for wine tastings, and dinner guests are also invited down to sample hors d’oeuvres and cheeses before the main course in the home or garden. The antique French standing candlesticks, circa 1700, are of wrought iron. The table is antique French with a walnut inlaid top. The antique French chairs retain their original upholstery. A warm Persian rug lies across the stone floor. Adjoining this somewhat medieval setting is a modern butler’s pantry kitchen with dishwasher and two refrigerators for chilling the wine, a functional asset that can be ignored when the many candles burn and friends sip their wine in soft, mellow light.



Entertaining outdoors is a feature of California's lifestyle, admirably served by the Ranch's barbeque area - a complete outdoor kitchen facility that can suit 2 or 200. It is situated between the Terrace and Autumn Gardens and shielded under a canopy structure of rough-sawn Douglas Fir. The long counter has recessed trays for salad, a sink and a gas grill. There is dishwasher, two food warming drawers, icemaker and trash compactor and two Corning cook tops. There are cabinets for linen, silverware and dishes; there is a refrigerator, electrical outlets, taps for instant cold and instant hot water and a telephone. The floors and walls are the familiar Bouquet Canyon Stone.





In the evening, an unobtrusive lighting scheme assures a clear view of all walks and steps, and the trees are not allowed to fade into the gloom of the dark; rather, they are given a new aspect by a lightning design that seems partner to the moonlight.

The winding stone path to the Recreation Building has created a sinuous garden. Held in by a border of low lying white Sweet Alyssum, the serpentine Autumn Garden is a profusion of multi-colored snap dragons and other flowers.

 


Like a stopping place in the course of a stream, the spa seems to be a natural pool sheltered by boulders and ringed by flowers, a place favored by nature for relaxation and contemplation.



The rear of the house can be seen through the full foliage of summer. In the foreground a graceful crop of day Lilies hug the boulders through which a bubbling brook springs.



Like a pond, the swimming pool’s natural contours are a part of the garden concept while supplying fully the needs for swimming and pool play.



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THE PAGES AS THEY LOOK IN THE BROCHURE:

 
 

































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BROCHURE DOWNLOAD - VIA DROPBOX:
(Sycamore Valley Ranch PDF)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tour of Neverland - The Sycamore Valley Ranch real estate brochure - part three

THE RESIDENCE
Virtually every room of the home interior has a unique floor and ceiling detail combination. The ceilings, particularly, are a major design and craft statement reminiscent of the finest old mansions and palaces. Since modern construction does not make such emphasis, two antique furniture restorers finished the doors, windows, handrails, moldings, and ceilings. In the manner of Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the two craftsmen worked on their backs on scaffolding for over a year. After distressing the ceiling wood, they applied lacquer, then rubbed the wood down with steel wood – thirteen lacquer coats in all. Seven different floor patterns run through the house; ten months were required to complete them. The comment is made that “the floors are beautiful, even to the touch.”

The rustic and sophisticated mix in the foyer, setting a tone for the entire house. A hand-hewn structural beam spans overhead alongside the elegant and graceful Dutch 18th century chandelier. The rich, light-to-dark patina of the oak banisters reflects the red cast of the Persian carpets. The ranch logo, a Sycamore, is carved in the stairway newel posts. The larger of the two rugs is a Heritz, dates 1810, the smaller, an 1810 Caucasian flat weave. On the left a 1680 French convent table supports a pair of antique Chinese jardinières. A Queen Anne style English settle sits against the wall beneath two Gainsborough paintings. Pillows on the settle are covered in old tapestries. Old American samplers hang on the wall of the upstairs gallery.


In the library, the warmth in the richly hued oak ceiling and walls is particularly evident, while accents of green marble, bronze and leather blend their complementary qualities. Standing on the Heritz Persian rug is an 18th century drop-leaf table. Om the right is an elm and beech wood English Windsor chair, circa 1840. A leather upholstered English Gainsborough chair sits on the left. Flanking a pair of English coaching scenes are a pair of French bronze horses signed by Moignier. Hidden from view in this classic setting is an electrically-powered movie screen that drops from the ceiling at the touch of a switch and converts the library to a screening room.


The northward view, as seen from the windows to the left of the library fireplace, extends past the lawn into the golden oat field and up into the mountains. In winter, when the wild lands are green, the view suggests an enormous expanse of lawn. A French oval tilt-top table, circa 1820, sits on a Hamadan antique rug. The tabletop is cherrywood, its base oak. The foreground chair, resting here in shadow, is the English Gainsborough seen in the preceding photograph.

The spacious living room easily accommodates a 15 by 22 foot Heritz rug. The chandeliers are an important accent throughout the house; here they are French twin brass, circa 1860-70. A French, late 18th century walnut tallcase clock in perfect working order stands against the far wall. The piano is an extended keyboard, concert grand Bosendorfer, custom-made in rosewood. An array of 19th century twist candlestick of oak and fruitwood line the mantle. Through the archway against the far wall the rosewood accent is repeated by a sculpture from the Louvre in Paris, signed Raymond Bigot, Grand Prix, 1925. The drop-leaf table is exceedingly rare, of French manufacture, circa 1700, and made from yew wood. Yew is almost always exclusive to English pieces.

The Bigot wood sculpture from the Louvre in Paris sits on an antique French work table. Two 17th century French monastery wall mirrors with embroidered frames hang on the brick wall; a Chinese porcelain tobacco jar sits on the floor.


Casual comfort is the object of the family room.  A ceiling of rough-sawn decking is supported by two levels of rough-sawn beams. The rugged floors are held in place by wrought iron nails. The exposed brick and timber walls, the beam mantle and fireplace of Bouquet Canyon stone, and the chandelier of hammered iron carry through the rustic theme. A Bokana Turkaman sits on the floor. An English oval table, circa 1800, has been cut down to make the coffee table. The side table behind the English style settle is English Oak, circa 1800. The child’s Windsor rocker is made from elm and beech, circa 1860. The other chair in view is Spanish, upholstered seat and back in tooled leather. A portion of the pewter collection can be seen on the mantle. The two figures, a Bavarian man and a woman in polychrome finish, are dated 1840.

An atmosphere of country intimacy pervades the breakfast room. The ample window space frames a view of the front garden and the lake beyond. Sitting on a rustic wool braided rug is an oval English drop-leaf table, late 17th century, and made of yew wood. Four armchairs and six side chairs are yew wood low-back Windsors. The room features pewter pieces from the 17th century to the present day, part of a remarkable collection displayed throughout the house. Wedding plates, mugs and goblets are prominent in the Welch dresser, circa 1800. The antique chandelier made of pewter continues the motif. A pewter charger hanging on the wall opposite the dresser is dated 1832. The pewter is part of an extensive collection owned by William Bone. Pewter is almost exclusively made for decorative purposes today but in earlier times the malleable alloy of mostly tin was used for functional plates, mugs and goblets.

An aura of sanctuary pervades the lady’s bath adjoining the master bedroom. Dappled light streams through the cathedral-like ceiling glass and the floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside, a small enclosed garden offers the serenity and seclusion of a cloister. The Rose Aurora marble of the bath fits well with the discreet hue of the silk Tabriz rug. An 18th-century English oval cherrywood table stands beside the English style chaise. The chair is a French walnut child’s model. On the bath is a silver colored, antique English pewter vase.

The gentleman’s bath is elegant and masculine. Wood tones predominate. Brass candlesticks and fixtures accent. The counter marble also compliments the wood’s hues. A camel-hair Heritz rug lies on the peg and board floor. On the left is a mid-19th-century linen press. An antique pony stool, still with its original leather, sits alongside.  

The interior finish of the master bedroom is refined. The rough hewn beams of the ceiling are smooth and finished with many coats of lacquer. The white linen wall fabric, the classically styled white painted fireplace mantle and columns, the blue and white patterned Portuguese tiles – these all announce a more genteel sensibility. A custom-made Portuguese fine-point stitched rug picks up the blue and white floral pattern of the tiles. The four poster mahogany bed was custom-carved to match the pattern on the balustrades. The trunk at the foot of the bed is a burled chestnut coffer, and under the bed lies a custom-made wool cut-bordered rug. Against the wall to the left is an intricately fashioned, prize antique English secretary, circa 1760, with accompanying English Yew Windsor chair. The lowboy on the left wall is Queen Anne, 19th century. The brass fireplace accessories are English antiques. The windows in the bay overlook the lake. A custom made Thai rug sits in the bay.

Though the kitchen boats every modern convenience, it does not depart in either materials or style from the character of the home. It is generous in size and capacity, able to feed a small family or many guests. It boasts a commercial sized Wolfe range and oven. The range and hoods have been copper clad with and elegant brass trim. A brass rail on the hoods is intended for hanging copper pots. A diffused light pours through the obscure leaded glass of the skylights. The working table surfaces are Portuguese tile and butcher block. The cabinetry is of oak. The contents of the upper cabinets to the right in the photo are viewed through the pleasant distortions of German antique glass. The planter at the window is copper-lined and the foliage in changed with the season. Out of view are two very large walk-in pantries and a commercial glass-door refrigerator and freezer pair.  

The elegance of the dining room contrasts sharply with the informality of the family room. Here, the more formal nature of the setting begins with the Bordeaux patterned oak floor and the refines oak box beams. The large windows look out into the front garden where the trees are subtly lighted at night, and beyond to the lake where their reflections shimmer on the water’s surface. The rectangular 18th century monastery table rests on a Bidjar rug. Ten 18th-century English frog-arm high back Yew Windsor chairs provide the seating. The oval, English Yew wood, 19th-century gate-legged table seats an additional ten persons. A cross-banded oak Welch dresser base, circa 1780, serves as a sideboard. The painting by Paul Clemmens, 1978, is a portrait of Mrs. Bone and the Bone children. The Ranch logo is clearly seen on the post to the right.