Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vina de Lestonnac Retreat Center

Fountain on grounds at Vina de Lestonnac
I'm attending a workshop this weekend with Patt Blair at the Vina de Lestonnac retreat center in the heart of southern California Temecula wine country. It's a beautiful center - so peaceful!! Vina de Lestonnac is a convent for retired nuns (and a couple priests) of the Sisters of the Company of Mary. The Company of Mary was established in 1606 in France by Jeanne de Lestonnac. You can read more about it at The retreat center helps to raise money for the convent. The rooms are quiet and the meals are good. (Although, others that have attended Patt's retreats previously, call them our "forced feedings!")

At the top of the hill below the dining hall,
overlooking the grounds and the dormitory buildings
at Vina de Lestonnac.

Tsukineko Inks (

The classroom is very large and a great place to learn all about whole-cloth painting with Tsukineko inks. I've never used them before, so this has been a new experience for me. The other members of the class are from all walks of life - doctors, TV director, long-arm quilters, just to name a few. They are open, sharing, and terrific artists! It's a very inspiring class!
Other attendees of Patt Blair's fun retreat.
Finding inspiration and much laughter from a You-tube video.

This adult jackrabbit sat
quietly feeding, until several people
 walked by on their way to Mass.
I had to take some time to walk the grounds and enjoy the wildlife. Jackrabbits abound - from tiny babies to the adults. They must be somewhat use to people, as they just come out and feed in the open and don't run unless you try to approach them. Ground squirrels are watchful in the distance. They have a burrow in the field next door where they quickly fled when a hawk flew overhead. Lizards and snails are everywhere. One lizard, bobbing his head at me, was telling me I was in his territory. The snails must find the beautiful roses all over the grounds a delightful feeding ground. They greet us everyone morning on our way to breakfast and the classroom.

The baby jackrabbit was skittish and shy. I
barely got the photo before it hopped
off  into the bushes to hide from me.
The lizard was sunning on top of wall, until
I disturbed him. Then he started bobbing his head,
telling me I was too close and in his territory. 

The roses on the grounds were just beautiful. They had many bushes from one end of the grounds to the other in a variety of colors - red, pink, white, blue, lavender - to name a few. I caught the dew drops still on these pink roses early Sunday morning. Although bushes, included a type of fairy duster. It had bright red dusters growing in the center of a cluster of 4 white petals. (However, you can't see the white petals in this photo.) It was hard to get close enough to get a good close-up of the blossoms.

Roses still with dew drops Sunday morning at Vina de Lestonnac.
Fairy Duster plant.

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