Tuesday, January 28, 2014

♥ Painted Desert Ranch-Satin Kisses ♥


"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. 
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. 
Being willing is not enough; we must do." 
 ~ Leonardo da Vinci


Since Michael Jackson’s death the Lord has placed me in the most surprising, blessed situations meeting the most interesting people. This recent invitation and adventure proved to be no exception.


Debbie Rowe minces no words and made it very clear that her home is her HOME... NOT a tourist attraction where MJ fans go Michaeling. I respect and honor that and ask all MJ fans everywhere to do the same. I share this story about visiting Debbie in her home, the Painted Desert Ranch, with her permission and in the hope it will bring to light a wonderful and brilliant charity she supports. 



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A visit to the Painted Desert Ranch changes you, there is LOVE and a energy level for living life not found just anywhere. If the dog barks and licks of love and appreciation don't touch your heart then the horses, birds, chickens and roosters will definitely win you over. With so many of God’s creatures around you exuberantly sharing the joy of life it’s simply impossible to walk away unchanged. Everything that happens on the premises of this property relates to care and love for the animals, family and friends. There is no time for fussing or drama... simply... it’s an oasis of “Life.” 



The latest addition to PDR: Calypso the beautiful white cockatoo
Debbie is the spirit and soul of the Painted Desert Ranch and without a doubt one consistent about Debbie Rowe is you never have to question where you stand with her. She grabs life and lives it with gusto, unconventional, putting on no airs. The media presentation and some of the fan perceptions of her bluntly stated... are bull. She is a contradiction; a lovable, big, sweetheart with manicured nails; yet a brash, kick ass, straightforward, ‘tell it like it is’ cowgirl. A boundless bundle of energy and joy, she swears and cusses like a sailor as she describes the antics of the animals and happenings around the busy ranch. Then in the same breath fondly caresses a bird, dog or horse. Debbie laughs with her whole body a deep belly laugh which starts with a twinkle in her eye. There is no holding back with Debbie and I love that about her. I find it hilarious and refreshing as do the two other friendly visitors who are also in town for the Grammy show. The three of us immediately fall under the spell of The Painted Desert Ranch.
Backyard doggy area. PDR is like Noah's Ark for dogs... two by two:
Corgies, German Shephards, Dachsunds and so many other breeds.
Total heaven for the happy, healthy dogs and those who love dogs.
Arriving to thunderous barking, there is no need to knock as the herd of dogs announce my arrival. I go around the back escorted by Debbie’s sister, Nancy, to find the other visitors a brother and sister, Jeffery Billinger and Deb Betz, standing with Debbie. Jeffrey is a Remax realtor in Beverly Hills and his sister Deb has joined him for this special trip.

Debbie greets me with a big wave and large, friendly hug as if we’d been friends forever. I immediately felt at ease... at home. We shared small talk as I gave her my gifts... a bird calendar in honor of, Calypso, her newest Cockatoo, fresh lemons from my tree and because I have seen so many people gift her with homemade chicken soup recently... my kind of homemade chicken soup... a can of Progresso. She laughs heartily, thanks me appreciating my weird sense of humor. 

Debbie stands on no formalities... she is who she is... barefoot in the dry, desert, ranch sand with a bright shiny pink pedicure. It isn’t long before the mom in me tells her she needs to have some shoes on. We laugh and she asks her ranch manager, Shane, to bring her some slippers on his next trip out to the corrals. He laughs too and happily obliges.



I found Debbie to be a salt of the earth, honest to a fault type person. It is... what it is... with Debbie you don’t have to agree with her... she just is what she is and she has no time for apologies or drama. You are free to be who you are... just don’t disrespect who she is or invade her privacy... most especially do not invade the privacy of her children. It’s simple... it’s called respect and boundaries. After all she was the one who originally asked Michael to cover their faces with veils. I can clearly see why Michael was attracted to Debbie with her sense of forthrightness and quick, witty sense of humor. 


♥ Smudgie!!! ♥
Smudgie, a cute, friendly, scruffy mix is the only dog that roams the corrals. She loves on everyone and runs about the property at our feet with a free lightness of spirit that is infectious. She clearly loves to keep tabs on all the horses. I try numerous times to catch a photo of her but just end up laughing as she turns her head and body away every time she senses the camera pointed in her direction... and she can’t be fooled. Given the history of pap in the area this to me is totally understandable. Camera shy and resistant to pics Debbie gives an assist and holds her sweet little face in place for an up close pic. For Smudgie there is no Gloria Swanson, “Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close up” and as soon as she releases Smudgie’s little face... she is happily romping away. 

Standing in Joker's stall. Joker aka Paintball Machine.
Through his beautiful, crystal-blue eyes you can clearly
see his sweet soul and fun spirit.
Debbie and colt Joker
Jeffrey, Joker and Debbie
We stood in the middle of the pipe corral areas with horses surrounding us on all sides. The perfume and scent of horses and hay in the air, ‘eau de toilette of horse’ for me is sheer happiness greeting my senses. I love that scent. It ignites feelings of fond personal childhood memories. As I breath in the horse atmosphere my eyes are drawn to the far stalls. I’d seen pictures of the mares and the babies recently this year. There were several beautiful babies born this past year. I’d watched the process online of separation and weaning. A process which brings heart wrenching pangs for both the babies and the mothers and those who care for them. A feeling Debbie I’m very sure is deeply familiar with in her own life as a mother. I too know that feeling and deeply identify for I realize it takes more love to give a child in perfect love than to hold on to one to gratify ones heart. Yet they are always and forever apart of your soul and heart. I admire Debbie deeply for her most generous heart and all she gave to Michael in bearing him the most precious gifts he ever received on this earth, two of his children, Prince and Paris.

Here on her ranch each breeding season, with her tender leading, the babies are successfully weaned and fine on their own away from their mamas in no time. I was thrilled to be standing there looking at some of the mares and the babies I’d seen online. The babies had grown so much.

Scanning the acreage I notice the ranch is very practically set up with no wasted space over the full two and a half acres of land. Well thought out and constantly evolving and changing for the needs of the ever fluctuating number of occupants. One by one she introduces us to many of her beautiful ranch horses and her hands and helpers on the property who are considered family as well. She has so many horses she has lost count as they are always in flux, being moved from one skilled trainer to another. Although there are many animals who will live out their lives happy and content on the ranch some inevitably will be sold as that is the business of horse breeding. Her level of knowledge and love for her horses is immense and mind boggling for an average horse lover like me; however, I’m ready to listen and try to absorb everything possible.

I’m in paradise... in the recesses of my mind I recognize horse verbiage she rattles off and am catapulted back in time to many long, lovely hours of time spent with horses as my best friends. I feel so blessed to be standing in this spot at this moment in time. 

As we meet each horse, they are each so different, each with their own personality. I fall in love over and over, one by one. Debbie warmly invited us into several stalls for an up close and personal hello, pet and talk with several horses. It’s been a very long time, since 1982 that I last hugged or rode a horse. However, there is to be no riding today as my main mission, all I really want to do is hug a horse... but I contain my excitement so as not to startle them.

I was thrilled to meet Joker, Jett and Matika all paint horses. I have a love of paint horses which goes back to my childhood and the first horse I learned to ride, English style in Virginia at the age of eight. A spirited, beautiful, yet gentle Painted horse much like the many Paints that Michael Landon rode as Little Joe in the classic, Bonanza, TV series many years ago. 

Joker aka Paintball Machine, we learned was conceived at the same time as Jett, Paris‘ horse and given that name because he was born on April 1st. My heart melted as I fell into his brilliant, blue eyes. Yes, Joker an adorable colt has brilliant, crystal-clear, blue eyes coincidentally just like Debbie and Paris and is a paint pony but with not quit as much white marking on his face as Jett. What a beautiful sweet personality he has as well. 



Matika! The Queen does her Marilyn Monroe impression
while Debbie serenades with "Happy Birthday Mr. President!"
Matika's beautiful profile
Next we meet, Matika, Debbie’s Queen. She is one of her first and favorite horses. She of course as with all start ups started her ranch with just one horse and grew from there one or two horses at a time. Matika, a sweet lady, was one of those firsts. She is Queen of the stable and clearly knows it. Debbie says, “Do you want to see the Queen do her Marilyn Monroe impression?” We are looking side ways at one another like, “What?” but respond, “Sure!” She begins to give Matika a good rub down, scratching her in just the right spots, she moves her lips like she is talking while Debbie sings the iconic, “Happy Birthday Mr. President.” It is hilarious and awesome! We are thoroughly entertained and I must say Debbie has a terrific voice as well.



The last horse we meet this day in the ranch corrals is, Bubba, a large, impressive, gray sire with a black mane. I love his dapple gray coat and black socks, mane and tail. He has been the daddy to many foals. He immediately nuzzles up to her and shows his handsome, smiling self to us. Bubba is the only gray but carries the creme gene so produces color in babies.

 The hoof care professional is on the property today trimming some of the horse’s hoofs. There are two horses being cared for temporarily at the ranch... basically a horsy sleep over with a pedicure while the owners are out of town. These two are inseparable. One large black-brown beauty, Ruby, is stamping and neighing impatiently for her sister to be returned to the stall, each taking their turn to have their hoofs trimmed and washed and their coats curried. Debbie yells to her to be patient it won’t be long. She lifts her ears in alert response as she looks across the yard toward Debbie and then calms down a bit. 

While the sister mare is being tended to a busy, pecking flock of various colored chickens run freely clucking and pecking around the yard. Debbie tells us quickly about each breed and their special house telling us, “I want my girls comfy. The only problem I have is the roosters trip the action controlled flood lights, they think it’s morning and start crowing.” She shares there are twenty more chickens who will arrive soon to join the girls living a happy free range life at the PDR.



There were five roosters keeping the hens happy but now only four, named Ricky Martin, Fat Bastard, Billy Ray and Julio Iglesias. Bon Jovi, the fifth rooster, passed away last summer. She also shares that if you sit down the chickens will hop up in your lap to be petted and loved on. The chicken coop is not just any ordinary chicken coop but an ultra comfy tiny house, temperature controlled and aptly named, “Chicken Coop de Villa.” 




Funny hens sit lined up three in a row with their butts up in the air facing us as if in a deep coffee-klatch conversation, hiding just under the bushes that border the dog yard. All the other hens of various breeds and colors run about except these three. They do not budge. Debbie laughs and points them out to Shane wondering what on earth they are doing. They both laugh tickled by the hens conferencing and/or plotting technique. Chuckling she tells us the ladies lay their eggs which are blue, brown, white or speckled all over the barn... even in the buckets of horse feed sometimes. Seems a regular Easter egg hunt on a weekly basis to an outsider. I think to myself how I’d love to be on that hunt someday as there is nothing more scrummy than farm fresh eggs.



In the rural area of Los Angeles County, where I live, the raccoons are the pesky little rascals who cause trouble. Here I learn it’s the squirrels that wreak havoc on the chicken flock. So there is need to keep them at bay, away from the chickens and steps are taken to squirrel proof the area. No squirrels and no pap allowed. 





Chicken Coop de Villa and the girls are left to cluck and peck as we move to the front yard. I call ‘Shot Gun!’ as we pile in Debbie’s big brown truck for the drive to town for lunch, listening to country music on the way. Debbie treats us to down-home food at, Scrambles, where everybody knows your name and they are one big, friendly family. We take our time eating scrumptious country breakfast or lunch depending on our preference before returning to the ranch for a tour of the inside of the main house, which is perfectly dubbed ‘Casa de Canine.’

Deb and Jeffrey arms full of LOVE
Upon return from town Debbie graciously shows us through the front door amidst 15 dogs who exuberantly express barked greetings, licks and sniffs, some even jumping into arms of visitors. I’m in heaven with all the dogs and don’t know which one to pet first... so just put my hands out and let them decide. It’s a beautiful canine group to behold, so many beautiful pairs of breeds.

Once inside we find a homey Ranch haven in the main house, “Casa de Canine.” On the walls are antique engraved silver spurs which are too artistically ornate to wear but show nicely on the wall surrounding an ornate western, leather framed mirror. On the table in front of the mirror are beautiful flowers Debbie received and many special awards earned by precious horses who placed well in shows. Award after award, belt buckles, plaques and ribbons for Debbie’s horse show beauties.

Real horse shoes adorn the walls in the kitchen den area along with incredible artistic masks. Beautiful horse statues sit in a glass hutch, also an amazing glass etched horse picture with special lighting effects is given a place of honor in the den area.  There is one pristine adult, non doggy area in the living room, here are framed, family photos. Her house is very comfortable and homey filled with all she holds dear. I just wanted to plop down on the leather couch and pet a pooch so I did. I also went out into the doggy court yard to play with the larger dogs who unyeilding their toys taunt me to chase them... we tugged for a bit with their toys. I could have stayed out there for hours but then realized I was missing out on meeting and holding the white Cockatoo.

Deb Betz and loveable Calypso snuggling with his angel wings
Boyd's eagle wing impression
Kisses for Boyd
Calypso in his cage with all his toys
So moving back inside I recognize the new bird, Calypso, who recently brazenly shooed all 15 dogs out of the den and took ownership of the couch. Calypso, as brave as he is also has the sweetest spirit and is cuddling and hugging Deb. His wings literally spread like an angel’s as he hugs and nuzzles her neck. Such a beautiful, sweet creature. Glancing at each cage I didn’t know where to look first... Debbie opens the cages and introduces us to two of her spectacular birds. First white cuddly Calypso and then beautiful exotic gray and pink, Boyd, who does his best impression of an eagle for us as Debbie raises him high and proud. 



Pic on the wall of Debbie in her Beverly Hills
home hanging out with canine family.
We are shown throughout the house. Debbie’s room is also the dog's room as she is leader of the pack and they go everywhere momma goes. There are great pics on the walls of dogs and a wolf dog, who have gone over the rainbow bridge and Debbie together when she lived in Beverly Hills. A beautiful, long-haired, Belgian Teverun, an older dog by the name of Zoëteke, brushes my side to be petted over and over grabbing a piece of my heart which I fully allow her to keep. I learn she is one of the only dogs left who originally came from the Beverly Hills home with Debbie to the ranch so many years ago now.
Love birds... taking a break from nesting.
They have a baby ready to hatch soon.
My Doves!!!
There are three large bird cages in the den and two smaller cages in the living room. In the living room one cage holds two bright turquoise-blue Love birds who are hatching a baby in their nesting area. The other I gravitate to like a magnate as my eyes fall on two delicate, little gray doves. Quickly I relay to her the story about my taupe, ring neck doves who visit my garden. Debbie explains these two gray doves are relatives of the ring neck variety and then says, “These doves are yours!” I was shocked... frozen... speechless... did a double take looking at her, then back to the doves and back to her again realizing... yes her incredibly generous heart showing... she was not kidding... she meant it. I ran it through my mind. Oh how wonderful it would be to see these two beautiful doves daily and listen to them coo along with my visiting doves who habitat my garden. Then sigh as I respond, “I have two cats.” That is so not conducive to happy dove living. I picture Niko with gray feathers in his mouth. Sigh again... shake my head... deciding no... that would not be good at all. So the gift of the doves remains at the Painted Desert Ranch. Thank you Debbie for your incredibly kind offer, something I will never forget.



The main reason for today’s visit and the highlight of this spectacular day is meeting Remington. Yes Remington aka Satin Kisses... the diva star! Just the sweetest tempered gorgeous buckskin with a black mane. Her coloring is amazing with her dark leg markings gradually turning a buckskin and her ears perfectly outlined in black. She like all of Debbie’s horses is a Quarter Horse. 


The gang piles back into the truck with Shane along for the ride this time so I take up the third space in the back seat. Smudgy is excitedly along for the ride and very anxious to see her boyfriend, Froto, an adorable Scotty who belongs to the trainer.

On the drive we pass a large herd of fat, fluffy, sheep who have been brought down from the high country. Acres and acres of flat, Antelope Valley, bottom land stretches for miles, blocked out in giant, sandy, desert rectangles over the valley floor, separated by wired fenced lines and an occasional road. This dry, Yucca Tree spotted, tumbleweed scattered scenery is a familiar sight for me as I was born and lived in Antelope Valley for several years as a child and my mother and father who I was very close to retired in the Antelope Valley area only a short drive from where I live now. I ask Debbie if she was able to see the Endeavor fly over and identify with her completely as she tells me, “Yes! It flew directly over my house twice and I cried like a baby that day.” 



Soon we arrive at our destination and meet Don and Susan Winkler of D&D Halter Horses, one of two trainers that Debbie uses. Don is one of the top horse trainers in the country and clearly Debbie is close to the Winklers and assured her horses are in the best of hands receiving superior care.
Froto, Smudgie's boyfriend
Smudgy gleefully jumps from the truck to greet Froto, licking and kissing him hello. They entertain us all as the joy of their reunion overflows, their tails wagging their bodies. Don and his family are barbecuing dinner, the smell wafting in the air is simply scrumptious. First we meet the miniature horses Debbie boards here. These adorable, gentle, beauties are as big as a Great Dane with little hoofs as small as a goat's. 



Don leads us into a temperature controlled stable and one by one introduces us to a beautiful filly and colt; as well as very muscular show horses. He uses his skills, healthy eating and vitamins to give them rich, silky, shiny coats and large muscular legs and hind quarters. He does not use any steroids in the training process. Each one is led out and stands majestically, beautifully perking up their ears.

Jett showing us his good side
Jett and Deb Betz sharing a moment.
Jett showing us his handsome self.
Loving on Jett.
Jett aka Dunit Slidin Dirty, Paris’ colt is a Paint with white face and socks. He is a sweet tempered beauty, with beautiful speckled eyes and soft pink nose and lips, who enjoys visitors and seems to enjoy our visit.
Debbie and beautiful Angus aka Guinness N Guns
Angus aka Guinness N Guns is a big-boy, dapple gray, buckskin who loves showing himself off and having company.  He has won many awards. All the horses have two names; their stable name and performing name.
Me and the filly Remington aka Satan Kisses
Jeffrey Billinger and Remington aka Satin Kisses
This beautiful filly Satin Kisses could be yours!
Then finally Remington aka Satin Kisses the buckskin, star-diva is brought out for us to meet. She is magnificent... what a beauty! Her momma was a red roan and her daddy a gray. This is a very generous donation of this beautiful filly to Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables to help raise money for their facility and animals. Satin Kisses is a $20,000 filly which will be fully halter trained for the winner of the contest.

To learn more about Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables go this link: http://avsaddleup.org/

To enter to win Satin Kisses for your very own simply donate directly to Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables via Paypal and buy tickets. 

- Donations are tax deductible
- You can enter as many times as you like
- Tickets are $20 for 4 tickets = 4 chances to win Satin Kisses.
- The contest will run through this year, 2014.
- The drawing will be held on Debbie’s birthday, Dec. 6, 2014. 



- To enter for your chance to win Satin Kisses donate and get your tickets at this link via Paypal or Credit Card: 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/satin-kisses-tickets-9100761623


Of course if you do not have room, the knowledge or facility to care for a horse properly just remember you can always donate Satin Kisses back to Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables to bless the children and stables. I feel that would be something that Michael would do.... it is what I intend to do if I win.

So join in to 'Make That Change' in Michael's memory for the children!  

 "I never have felt that people should feel that they are better than others, simply because they just happen to possess a larger share of material items and monetary wealth than others less fortunate. I believe in sharing, assisting, and just lending a helping hand to people." ~ Michael Jackson.

My mission is complete having met Satin Kisses and given her a hug. A very full day has gone by quickly. We say our goodbyes leaving Froto and the Winklers to their barbecue dinner and make our way back to Debbie’s ranch. Feeling quiet and reflective I gaze out the window toward the distant snow-covered mountains. The purple fade laying low over the desert as the sun disappears and mountain tops become dark shadows, dusk now encroaching. Smudgy settles in quietly content and satisfied after seeing her dear buddy, Froto. There are so many animal names rolling around in my head, I smell like horses, and my heart is full.

It has been a good day... a beautiful day... a very blessed day... and yes... a very 'Mike Like' day.

Thank you, Debbie, for your generous, kind and very special
invite to visit your home, The Painted Desert Ranch. 

This breathtaking painting of Debbie and her beautiful. beloved, Magnus, who recently passed over the Rainbow Bridge was painted by my friend and MJ fan, Kathy (Mimi) O'Garren. It captures Debbie and Magnus's deep love and affection for one another magnificently. Mimi painted it especially for Debbie as a gift and then God and Michael made sure it was delivered to Debbie. Even though Debbie never receives mail at her house... it was miraculously hand delivered to her door the day Magnus left this world. Debbie was so touched and moved, literally brought to tears by this incredible and generous gift and the amazing way it arrived to her hands at the absolutely perfect moment... surely a divine appointment.
There are no mistakes... LOVE always wins. 

*** If you are looking for a kind and caring realtor in the Los Angeles area please feel free to give Jeffrey a call.... Jeffrey Billinger, Realtor RE/MAX, Beverly Hills Hall of Fame, Platinum, 100% Club QSC Platinum Award Winner HAFA & Equator Certified BRE: 01475932 Direct 310-220-5478 Fax 323-851-0547
Web site: www.jeffrealtor4u.com





14 comments:

  1. What a Truly Blessed and Unforgettable Day Betty and what an enormous privilege to have been shown around Debbie's Home. Your description of her reiterates ALL that we have always believed her to be - Caring, Loving, Loyal and incredibly Kind Hearted. Thank You for sharing this Amazing experience with us, introducing us to all her Beautiful Horses, Dogs and the rest of her animals in a place filled with Magic and Wonderment. Oh My........ this day will be forever etched in your Memory.

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    1. Magic and Wonderment describe it perfectly. Thanks.

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  2. So loved and cared animals of dear Debbie's. They all are beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharin' this with us. God bless! <3

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  3. It has been a real blessing to read about your day with Debbie, her beautiful animals and ranch. It was so kind of Debbie to open her home to you and others, and kind of you to share it with us. I wish I could have been there with all of you to spend a "Mike like day" with Debbie. I completely understand why Michael chose Debbie as his wife and Mother of his children. She has created a place of love,

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing your incredible story about your visit to Debbie's Ranch....and for bringing us with you on your visit....Most of Michael's fans knew Debbie's heart....this story only confirms that.....

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  5. What a wonderful day & bless you Betty for sharing it not just in words but also such beautiful pictures. Debbie, comes across as being exactly as I imagined her to be. If I had her funds I would be living in exactly the same way, preferring the company of animals to humans, more especially the ones you find LA way! Hopefully, for you it will be the start of a great friendship, since you appear to have so much in common.

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  6. Thank you Betty for sharing your visit with Debbie and all her animals at Painted Dessert Ranch. You described it so beautifully. Debbie sounds like such a fun loving and generous person. Anyone who loves animals like she does has a very special kind heart in my opinion. The ranch sounds like such a busy and magical place. I'm so happy she has found her calling and has such a beautiful place to call home. Thanks for the great pictures of the animals and making them come to life for us. Satin Kisses is a magnificent horse. so beautiful. I'm glad you had such a great time. I hope its the first of many visits.

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  7. that was such a lovely visit...I can see why Mike chose Debbie and your cause is very special

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  8. Lovely post. I love the stories and photos of all the animals and envy you your encounter. Happy to see Debbie doing such a wonderful job for the animals. By the way, the beautiful pink and white bird is a Galah, native to my home country, Australia. Very common in my area. They can be seen gathering in large flocks in parks and open spaces, and look like a pink cloud when they take off in unison. The screeching noise they make is quite distinctive!

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  9. Thanks Kerry, He is just beautiful. Wow I'd love to see a pink cloud of Boyd's relatives in the sky. Amazing!

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  10. Thank you so much for this wonderful post.

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  11. I thoroughly enjoyed this Betty, thank you for taking us along with you on your visit to Debbie and her sweet animals at her beautiful Painted Desert Ranch. As I read your words and looked at the lovely photos, I could almost smell the fresh air and the wonderful 'eau de toilette of horse' :-) !

    It was sweet of you to post my painting of Debbie and Magnus, and to tell the story behind it. While working on the picture I could feel the rare and special bond they shared.
    Thank you and bless you dear Betty,
    Love, Mimi

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    1. You are very welcome Mimi. Your painting of Debbie and Magnus is just beautiful! Happy you felt as though you were on the journey.

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