Drift on a banana-shaped raft. Meet a kissing cow. Pull potatoes from beds. Each an activity you could do at the California ranch of Barbara Jaekel Lackovic.
Lackovic's home is a magnet for all ages. Each ranch visitor has a favorite pet. Most popular are Lucille, the kissing cow; Sushi, the coffee-drinking cat; and Lucky, the Barbados sheep, who thinks he's a dog.
Day-time activities might include exploring the garden for bugs and butterflies. Lackovic asks guests to pull out a plant she says is a weed -- what guests find to their surprise are potatoes in shades of purple, gold and red. If the weather is warm, guests head to the creek to drift on banana-shaped rafts.
Bedtime is popular at the ranch. That is when Barbara makes up stories and encourages listeners to add in their ideas.
Lackovic, a retired TV/radio newscaster and corporate public relations consultant, is an award-winning poet.