– Marla’s World –
I was born in a small town near Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I remember spending a lot of time at my Grandparents’ farm, just a few miles from my home. Theirs was a different world than today; a simple house without running water or even electricity. Their lives followed the sun – waking at dawn, working throughout the day and sleeping at dusk. I still carry precious memories of my Grandmother with me today; seemingly always in the Kitchen making rice and beans or coffee over a wood-fired stove. In the mornings, I would go to the barn with my Grandfather and watch him milk the cows. Sometimes I’d even have a glass of foamy milk – unheard of in today’s modern life but part of a simple and honest life.
I would leave the Countryside when I married a Brazilian Airforce Pilot and we would have a beautiful family of our own. We traveled a great deal and as the children grew up, I was able to pursue my own entrepreneurial dreams. I owned a chain of high-end fashion stores in the Sao Paulo area. After a divorce, my daughters and I finally came to America to carve out a life for ourselves here. Having a thriving business in Brazil while charting a new course for myself here in America was challenging to say the least. The frequent travel and other challenges helped me prioritize what was truly important to me as a person.
I have always enjoyed healthy, organic food but the hectic life I lived for decades was not in harmony with those choices. Finally, I decided to do something about it. I began to listen to what was important to me. I simplified my life.
Now – I once again find myself in a small village…this time in Pinckney, Michigan. Once again I’m surrounded by Nature – my own 10 acre farm that butts up against 2000 acres of State Land. My newest children are of the furry variety; Fiona and Rutherford – both rescued dogs. Fiona is my princess – a very well behaved and intelligent Australian Shepherd. Then there is Rutherford. He’s a bit headstrong but that’s in line with the English bulldog in him…. and he’s our adorable little boy.
I’m best described as an eclectic artist. I love recycling and some of my favorite places to shop are local Estate Sales, Garage Sales or even a local Charity Shop. I’ve decorated with the expensive Italian Furniture in the past; I’ve filled my Townhouse with it in Brazil… but there is nothing quite so satisfying than to find that exquisite Persian Carpet under a stack of other carpets, priced at $10! Or – just give me that old broken furniture, a few other treasures, some paint and a few hours. A new work will occupy the Grounds of the Lodge. My home is adorned with art from the most simple to the complex. Whether it comes from my hands, hands of a friend – or someone I’ve never met, if it speaks to me, chances are it will be on display at The Lodge!
My love of animals and nature has led me to become vegetarian and I’m always testing new recipes to add to my already full cookbook. Whenever possible, I use natural, organic local products for cooking and I also use natural products for cleaning and cosmetics whenever possible. I make my own soap, laundry soap, softeners and other products. I learned a lot from my Grandmother and from my own life choices – I’m forever curious and I have a whole book of recipes and practices that are part of my lifestyle. I look forward to sharing that knowledge with you!
The World by Marla