Prepare the Runway for Takeoff

Prepare the Runway for Takeoff!

I recently starting thinking about obstacles that were in my way for me to go to the next step in my career. I have been feeling stuck and frustrated; impatient for things to “happen”. I know that there is a process and I know that there is timing in all things. There is also preparation. We must prepare in order to be able to takeoff.

So how do we prepare? I started to think of an airstrip or runway that planes use for take off. There are no boulders, rocks or holes on an airstrip. The path is wide and clear. There are also no hills or valleys. The surface is flat. Who wants a plane to struggle up a hill in order to get enough speed? The pilot knows he needs to go straight and fast to get in the air. There are no people, animals or even other planes to get in the way during takeoff. A good airstrip WANTS the plane to take off without any problems and is designed to help the plane get enough speed to get up in the air as fast as possible. A larger plane holding more “cargo” needs a longer airstrip than a small plane does; more preparation. So, too does a big career need more runway length (or preparation) to takeoff with no obstacles.

I started to think then that planes could be compared to our bodies. Planes need to be in top working order. We don’t want to see rust, we don’t want bad fuel and especially no cracks on the wings that are used to hold the plane and all that it is carrying. Pilots and mechanics work hard to make sure that the plane itself is in perfect working order before it heads to the runway. We need our bodies in top working order filled with good fuel (food) and fit muscles to be able to stand the pressure of takeoff.

Communication is also needed because the pilots need to communicate with the ground or air traffic controllers. The pilots are TUNED IN to the right channel to talk to the ground controllers knowing that the right channel helps guide the pilots to where they are going. We too, need to have good communication. Friends and family and business partners that help us prepare our takeoff. We also need good traffic controllers to help guide us to where we need to go to. Pilots wouldn’t listen to a flight crew that speaks negative or bad advice in their ears steering them in the wrong direction when they are up in the air flying. What good does bad advice do anyone? 

So, for a final check, we need to make sure flight plans are filed, the plane checks out and that the runway is clear for takeoff. Are you ready to fly or do you need more time to prepare? Get your body in top working order and clear your runway, making sure you have enough room to takeoff. Then it will be time to fly!

Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack Chairs

My husband bought me unfinished, Adirondack chairs the other day to paint and put in our front yard. They were the kind that came in a small box and you had to assemble, then paint before you could enjoy them.

He put them together set me up in the backyard with a tarp and an area to paint and a chair for him to watch me paint them!
I love to paint. He knows that and was wonderful enough to buy me something and watch how I made them come alive with color.

I started with 2 coats of Killz primer. I was amazed at how much paint these chairs absorbed. No matter how much I put on, there were bare spots or streaks. Some of the wood was rougher than other spots and required more time and pushing harder on the brush to get the paint in all the little rough spots.

After the primer was on, I decided one chair was to be a navy blue base so I started in on the dark, rich paint, happily painting away. I had the chair positioned one way and would paint all of the areas that I could see that were exposed white primer. As the paint dried, I noticed streaks and areas where the blue wasn’t as covered as other areas. My husband would sit and gently remind me that I missed a spot here and there. Since he always has good intentions for me and such a source of strength for me I don’t take offense but instead look for his point of view to fix whatever it is.

Have you ever painted an Adirondack chair? There are many sides and slats and angles. When I thought the chair was painted in its regular position and had approval from my husband that I got all the spots, I turned it over and saw the ugly unpainted side still in its primer stage.

I got to thinking that many times we are viewing “Chairs” in life and we only see the one side’s angles and planes and think that we are totally “covered in our beliefs”, when in reality, if we reposition the chair or turn over the chair (or problem) we see a whole other side that hasn’t been brought to light.

It reminds me to be more graceful to other people and their opinions no matter how strong and bare (ugly) they may seem. I have to remind myself that they may be looking at the underside of the chair not realizing that the other side is totally painted.

What problem or opinion of someone else do you need to “turn over” to see the other side and then come along and help them finish the paint job?

My Trip to the Pound

My Trip to the Pound

“Wow, there are so many dogs”, was one of many thoughts going through my head as I walked through my first “dog pound” visit.

My husband and I had just been to the dog park with our two Briard females. They were still in the back of the car when my husband took a detour and didn’t head straight home. It was December and everyone was getting ready for Christmas. It was cold and I knew our dogs would be fine in the car as we pulled up to the Maricopa County animal shelter.

I knew never to set foot in a place like this as I have a huge heart and “out of sight; out of mind” was a better way for me to deal with helpless animals that just wanted a home.

As we opened the door, the smell of urine and the sound of barking dogs assailed me first. What were we doing here and “NO, darn it, I didn’t want another dog!”

There were four aisles filled with dogs on both sides. Rows and rows of dogs in all different conditions. Most were Pit Bulls in as many sizes, shapes and colors imaginable! Some were barking furiously, others were cowering miserably and still some were trying to get through the cage. 

My husband had worked with people on the Maricopa Co animals control years ago so he knew what to expect. He and I also have a pinky promise to each other never to bring home an animal without the others consent as we are both softies and can’t be trusted to make a decision alone about bring home extra animals. 

As we were walking down these aisles I kept saying to myself, “It’s okay. He cant get another dog unless I agree and we DON’T need another dog!” Then I see a dog that is not a Pit Bull, quiet with huge brown eyes that just wanted to be loved through the cage wire. He didn’t seem concerned with the other furiously barking animals. His only focus was to be petted. We looked at his information tag on his cage (#208) and saw that he had been picked up the day before and was on the 72 hour wait list for his owner to come claim him at the shelter. After the 72 hours, he could be released and adopted.

We left the shelter soon after that and I thought we were done. We had two dogs already and I didn’t see how I could add another one. For the next 2 days though, I couldn’t get him out of my head and I even named him. Since he was mostly Rottweiler with some German Shepherd mixed in with no tail, I named him Stump.

So after the 72 hour hold with no one coming to get him, back to the pound we went and brought him home. He had kennel cough and had to be fixed so he is still apart from the other two dogs. Hopefully they all learn to play together and he becomes the best dog imaginable.

I was impressed with the animal shelter and how they took care of the dogs. If you need a companion, head to your local animal shelter or the ‘pound” and find your Stump!

Life is Unfair!

But it’s unfair!!! Have you even said these words to yourself or others? Life is unfair, unfortunately. I was recently laying on my bed thinking how unfair life can be when suddenly I heard, “When life is unfair, that means God is teaching you.” 


Teaching me what is the question. So, let’s say that something is unfair. DO I sit around all day feeling sorry for myself? Do I hide my head like a turtle pulling into it's shell? Well, maybe for 5 minutes. Then I think I have to ask the question, “What am I supposed to do now?” There are ways to handle unfair situations and one of them it to fight back and take back what is mine. My time, my health, my money…The other is to sit back and trust that things will work out and all good things rise to the top.


Dwelling on the unfairness of life can literally make you sick. That would be unfair in my opinion, so I choose to fight and trust at the same time!


When I fight for what I think is right then it clarifies what I want and believe. If I really want something then I will fight for it. When I have fought as much as I can, then it is time to sit back and wait and watch!


So next time you find yourself in an unfair situation, choose to look at it as a learning lesson and figure out what you need to learn from it. We are always learning and growing…


How DO I Look?

I grew up in a small town, was a good student and swam competitively from the age of 6 on. I never focused on my body weight, body shape or foods that I ate. I was CONTENT with myself!

Then, I was discovered and swept up into the New York scene right when I graduated high school. All of my friends were at beer parties and eating pizza in their new college campuses and I was in New York City in an apartment wondering how many carrot sticks I could have for dinner. One night my roommate Kelly Emberg came home and caught me eating a whole head of iceberg lettuce. She laughed at me and I started to cry because that was all I was eating that day. “It’s only 50 calories”, I sobbed.

I had to learn quickly at 18 years old how to maintain my weight and still have enough energy to “look good”. It took years of trying new diets to figure this out. I even wrote an eBook on Amazon called DIETING LESSONS.

One day working with VOGUE and Irving Penn, a famous photographer, I decided that I was too fat and boycotted breakfast and actually stood up through lunch, waiting to go on set to shoot the clothes. I stood as I didn’t want to wrinkle the clothes and Mr Penn had called a quick lunch when I was already dressed in the outfit. It was easier to stay dressed than change in and out of the clothes. When it came time to go on set, Mr Penn took one look through his famous lens and declared that I had no life in my eyes. I was banned from the set and never worked with him again. So much for not eating, huh?

I thought being thinner would mean I was more desirable as a model and to be honest, I still struggle with that. I still worry that I am not good enough.

Many of us struggle with body image. I look back on growing up and realize that it was a good thing to be so ignorant about how I looked. A part of me envies that innocence in certain people. They just have no idea or don’t care how they look walking around. I was content living that way as I didn’t know any better. Now, I see myself through others eyes from years of being trained. I know how I look to others from each angle and how to present myself to the camera. I learned from feedback how to stand or sit and how to relax my face to look my best from each angle. Sometimes it is kicking a leg out casually or putting my hand on my hip. It may look natural but it is from years of other people telling me what looks good and what I should never do again.

So, is it right to just accept ourselves without trying to present our best selves to the world or should we work on it daily? How much is too much, worrying about how we look to others?


I was in South Florida the other week at my hotel getting ready to film at the kitchen set for my new tv show, Food Quest. I had time before I had to be on set so I decided to head out for a run. As I pushed open the hotel front door, I realized how windy it was. I decided, like any good runner, to head into the wind on the first part of my journey and be able to take it easy on the way back.


As I ran, struggling into the wind, I felt like I was enduring it. The wind was strong with heavy gusts between the buildings along the way. It was work and not once did I forget that it was windy out.


A I turned around, my whole perception changed! All of a sudden it was quiet and almost peaceful. Very quickly I forgot about the wind and started to enjoy my surroundings.


I noticed that as I turned around, I was a grateful for a reprieve from so much wind but then I quickly forgot about it. Instead I almost had a hint of pride as my stride got longer and I felt faster with a smooth, strong gait. I had to remind myself that the wind that hindered me on the first half of the run was now my friend pushing me from behind. I became grateful for that same wind as it guided me back to the hotel.


I think we are like this in life. When we struggle, all of our attention is on the struggle. We can’t wait for the struggle to be over. Once it is over, we quickly forget and can sometimes let pride sneak in thinking we are succeeding on our own. We aren’t. We were self absorbed in our own struggles and maybe could have forgotten about them for a bit by reaching out and helping someone else in need. 


Sometimes life is calm. Calm enough to enjoy your surroundings and feel like you have things under control. Life seems easy. You have hit your stride. Remember to feel grateful during these times. It is not by your own steam. Sometimes that wind that you had to push through is the very same wind that will turn you around and get you back to your finish line.





Detoxing is all I can focus on right now. Out with the “OLD” and “IN” with the new!!!

I have done numerous detoxes over the years.I have done them one organ at a time like a liver cleanse, a kidney cleanse and of course colon cleanses…I have never done them for a whole month with easy to follow recipes, until now.

I found this company called Green Smoothie Girl and she developed a 26 day cleansing of all organs. I watched the videos on how detoxing can be good for health and decided to do one with my new husband. I am actually kind of making him do it with me, as it is easier to do with a buddy. 

For those of you who have not done any cleansing, I would recommend getting up out of your comfort zone and learning about them. Some are harsh and you are just down right miserable the whole time counting seconds until you can go back to eating the same. I have done enough over the years along with high colonics to know what a wonderful feeling it is to be cleaned out from the inside. I have left the colonic place vowing to never let junk food into my cleaned up body again. What happens? Time and slowly forgetting that clean, light feeling.

Well, I am back! I am reading up on how great cleansing and detoxing is and I am ready to take on the new challenge. I am on a trip and so excited that I decided to take out some of the bad foods that won't be allowed anyways on the cleanse like coffee, dairy, sugar, salt and animal flesh. I have been drinking teas to help get things moving like Smooth Move and found that I got a "jump" on the cleanse. Water weight is coming off and I feel better already!

I will keep you up to date when I start, which I hope is New Years Eve and how I feel so you can learn and possibly get excited to change your health also.


Winter Discipline

Well, it is still winter here in New York City. Even though it has been a mild one, I still find that I am stir crazy and waiting for spring. Little purple crocuses were just starting to bloom in Central Park and then we got hit with a ton of snow. It can be discouraging. For those of you who live in warm sunny weather year around, bear with me in this article.


I have had to find ways to keep my mind happy while being alone in the big city. Normally when it is nice outside, I can go for a long walk or head over to Central park to hang with a wonderful collection on human beings, but it is cold outside! I need a change of plans! Being self employed and having my own hours to get stuff done out of my apartment leaves a lot of wiggle time to juggle things around. I find that I am happiest when I stay on top of things and be disciplined with my time and tasks. I also have to watch what I eat while cooped up during these winter months. It would be way too easy to sit back and hibernate while shoveling in more food than I need. (Do you love that verb “shoveling”?)


I love going to my health club and find that I am spinning a lot. Not only does the fellowship of a class help me but I love the competition and also the knowledge of burning a ton of calories. Since I have to sign up a day early, I find that I look forward to working around my spin class and organize it around all my other activities. It is nice to look forward to a crazy spin class.


I also have a “spa” tip called hydrotherapy. After my work out and then the steam room, I head to the showers to get clean but also use that time to stimulate my lymphatic system. I am super hot coming out of the steam room and when I go into the shower, I put on the cold water for 30 seconds before turning it to the hot setting. During body washing, shampoo and conditioner I make sure that I turn the cold water on for 30 seconds three times in between the 3 minutes or so for the hotter water. This helps me pump and circulate my lymph system removing waste products and helps my immune system kick into action also. I feel vibrant when I come out of the showers! Our lymphatic system plays a vital role in removing waste products that we are exposed to daily. Don’t get me started in all of the toxins around us! The hydrotherapy also helps me have healthier hair, glowing skin, less stress and improved energy levels. BONUS.


When it is cold out, I also love to have a tea in the afternoon. I have found an interesting tea called Jiaogulan that claims to be the herb of immortality. I can’t make those claims and wonder who can but I DO find that I like the tea with both the taste and how it makes me feel. It doesn't have caffeine but I also don’t want to drink it late at night!


So, if you find you are struggling with winter blues, try stimulating yourself in one of the ways above, stay disciplined and let me know how you do! You are not alone!


Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

When I first moved to NYC at eighteen, I had come from a small town and a quiet family that didn't argue much. Coming from a small town, I didn't know the meaning of fighting for space. Growing up with no conflict in my home, I didn't learn to stand up for myself the way other people had to, coming from either a bigger family in a smaller house or a family that loves to argue. Yes, there are families that love and thrive on arguing!


I was timid to say the least moving from my little hometown to the big city. I was also timid jumping into a new business that I didn't understand. My only photos taken of me growing up were simple ones where I didn't even know that I should be doing certain things to make the photo look better. I had also not really worn make up and I had long, straight hair that I left alone. 


When I started working as a model in New York City I found that I stayed quiet a lot and just watched and learned from the experts in my business. I slowly learned what to do in front of the camera and how to put on my make up and do my hair and I became more confident. When I would hit the streets to either go on a casting or a new job, I found that I was always letting other people go by on the sidewalk and stepping aside anywhere else there were people fighting for space.


Years have gone by since then and I find myself back in New York City. I am back to stepping aside for others thinking I am being polite. No one seems to care. I find that I have to tell myself that I have a right to my space on the sidewalk and that I don't have to step aside or dip my shoulder in order not to hit someone. I have found that when I stand my ground, at the last minute people make way for me. It is a struggle though as my tendency is to not fight but to give way. I am finding it empowering to keep my course on the sidewalk and to not make the effort to give others more space.


You may come from being raised differently than me. Maybe you don't get the stepping aside thing. I find that some people don't even know or care that I let them go first. They expect it!

So, as a Christian woman, what is the right thing to do? My struggle is feeling that I am good enough. I always seems to come down to that. I have to tell myself that I don’t have to step aside for others but that if I chose to, then I am doing it for me, so that I feel better as a person. Who knows, maybe being polite will pay off!

Happy and Single at Christmas

Coming out of Christmas Happy!

Christmas ended up being different this year after being divorced for the last 3 years. I came back to the town I last lived in while married and raising the kids. I have moved around to different cities to live in the last 38 years since I left my parents house to move to New York City to model, so I didn't have solid traditions. Once I got married though, at 25, I always had my husband or kids with me to take care of and celebrate Christmas with. 

This year, everything was different as I was single with no husband and grown children with lives of their own. It was hard to come back to a place with so many memories, especially at Christmas time. I wanted to be with family though and 2 of my 3 sons were here as well as my sister and my parents. I have been divorced for 3 years and this is the first Christmas that I have been strong enough to come back to all the memories.

If you have not been through divorce you may not understand what I am talking about but to all of us who are trying to rebuild a life after divorce, coming back can be difficult. To "get though" Christmas, I found that I had to prepare to be alone for some of it and not really have any expectations as I knew I didn't want to be disappointed. I was trying to guard my emotions.

I came down for a week and ended up staying at 3 separate friends houses. Focusing on that right there makes me so grateful and blessed that I had those options opened and friends who cared enough to see me  even though I moved away and our friendships changed.

I tried to see my sons as much as I could and work around them and their schedules this past week. I recognized that I raised them to be independent and if they were busy, I chose to feel confident that I raised happy, healthy kids who had a life instead of feeling neglected by them. I want them to have their own lives. I didn't want to put pressure on them just because I was down for a visit. And it was Christmas. It ended up working out really well and I had a great time with both of them.

Christmas can be such a tough time for so many. I learned to enjoy each moment and situation as it comes. To tried to make plans to see people but also to understand when schedules change. It is a matter of being comfortable with yourself no matter what and to focus on the real reason for Christmas. It isn't delivering presents or getting them as much as it is celebrating the birth of Jesus and the love of family whatever the situation. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas also.