"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.
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|
|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.
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!!! ♥|
|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|
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|
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.”
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|
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|
|Pic on the wall of Debbie in her Beverly Hills |
home hanging out with canine family.
|Love birds... taking a break from nesting. |
They have a baby ready to hatch soon.
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|
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.|
|Debbie and beautiful Angus aka Guinness N Guns|
|Me and the filly Remington aka Satan Kisses|
|Jeffrey Billinger and Remington aka Satin Kisses|
|This beautiful filly Satin Kisses could be yours!|
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:
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.
*** 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