Fight ♥ Love ♥ Live

I’ve been meaning to share these images with you all for almost two months now. I have shown a few of them as individual posts but I just haven’t had the time, up until now, to go through and process all the images.

This is Filoli Gardens located in Woodside, CA. Filoli was built in 1915 for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose wealth was acquired during the gold rush period in Northern California. Mr. Bourn arrived at the unusual name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.” I think I would have liked this guy.

Filoli is composed of an extraordinarily beautiful mansion, some guest and service quarters (I would imagine was the original purpose) and breath-taking gardens. If this mansion looks familiar to you, it is probably because you may recognize it from the many TV shows and movies it has been featured in (here). And at the risk of dating myself, this was the mansion in the opening scene of the very popular 1980’s TV show Dynasty.

If you used to watch Dynasty, remember the infamous “pond” scene between Alexis and Krystal? This pond below was the scene of the crime. Somehow I’m guessing they had stunt doubles as I can’t really see Joan Collins or Linda Evans diving into this algae filled pond.

There are many small structures located throughout the grounds of which I am not sure what they were originally used for, but here are some of the images of these buildings and the beautiful detail that has gone into every aspect of this property.

Today the property is open for tours of the mansion and grounds, they host tea luncheons, jazz concerts and many other events. As beautiful as the mansion is, it is the gorgeous gardens that draw most tourists to this location.

I have to be honest, I’m quite jealous of this little guy that gets to live here rent free!

This is a gorgeous location and I’m sure to go back soon as they are constantly changing the gardens with the seasons. Enjoy your Friday!

There are a few more additional images in the slide show if you care to see them.

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I Am My Mother’s Legacy

May 9, 2012

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s ascent to Heaven. There is a part of me that feels like I should be so sad, and of course part of me is, but my mother filled my life with such love, laughter and joy that she will always be alive inside of me and what I am really feeling today is gratitude.

I am so grateful to have been shaped and guided in life by this beautiful, loving spirit that I call Mom. My mother was a dichotomy of herself in that she was an exceptionally strong woman who could accomplish anything she set her mind to, and yet at the same time, she was a soft, kind, tender and loving woman who truly cared about everyone around her.

My mother’s greatest legacy is not how successful she was in her career, not how she cared and loved for her family, not her zest for life, love of dancing, silly jokes or unbridled spirit; I am my mother’s legacy…my sister is my mother’s legacy…and all of those whose life she deeply touched and affected are my mother’s greatest legacy.

My mother gave anyone who knew her the gift of love, strength, compassion and courage. This was not an intentional act forced upon us, it was something she taught us by example in the way she lived her life each and every day. It is now our honor to carry on her legacy by living our lives to the fullest and to the best of our ability. I take great pride in celebrating her legacy in living my life by her standards and in what she taught me.

To steal Dan Fogelberg’s Lyrics (and filling in appropriate gender) ~

“…her blood runs through my instrument and her song is in my soul…my life has been a poor attempt to imitate the woman…I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.”

So Mama, I hope you’re up there in Heaven dancing with Daddy and, as always, being the life of the party! I’m sure Dad’s playing your song for you….

(She loved Tom Jones!)

♥ With all my love ♥ ~ Susan

“From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.” Unknown

Celebrate the love in your life. Enjoy your Tuesday!