Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Even if you don't got it, flaunt it!!!

When visitors come to town, the first thing to see is Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, next is a stroll along the sea and port side.  Barcelona is unquie in the fact that it is an old urban, bussling city that sits right on the Meditarian Sea.  
You can visit historic Placa Sant Jaume...

or have Tapas on the top floor of the W hotel, then walk a few steps and be soaking in the rays on the beach.  

Luke, Faith and my friend Julie from USA, on the boardwalk
Since we now consider ourselves local, we know a few secrets about life on the Mediterranean Sea that the average tourist doesn't.  One, the beach can be the most dangerous place at night, contrary to the inner city.  Two, the water is freezing most of the year, and three, nudity is normal and even flaunted.  The first time I stumbled upon a group of naked men playing paddle beach ball I thought I had accidentially wandered into some private section of the beach.  

"Mom, quit starring," Cambrie said.  

Oh my gosh, I thought to myself, I am starring and I can't stop.  My mind is racing with curiousity and questions. First, why isn't anyone else starring? Second, how could a society ever get used to this spectacle?  One naked man pops up from his towel and runs into the water.  He splashes around jumping over little waves.  This is when I should really look away, but I am facinated.  Third question: How could someone possibly be this comfortable with their body, especially when they would look so much better clothed; like completely clothed.  I am surprized this man even has the confidence to go out with his shirt off with that much back hair, let alone....butt naked.  


OK so when my friends came to visit last week, of course we went to the beach.  I was wondering if they would notice all the naked people on their own, they didn't, so I took the liberty of pointing a few out.  

"I think they think: Even if you don't got it; flaunt it," says Luke.

"That is a great idea for a marketing campain ," I say.

This is such a liberating way to be.  OK being naked and hairy on the beach is extreme, but how often do we not wear something or do something because we aren't confident in what God has given us?

Sometimes I have turned down a dance with Ricky because I have no new moves since the early 90's (neither does he), or I have sat watching my kids swim at my neighbors house because I feel like I look bad in a bathing suit.  Ok well my neighbor is a Victoria Secret super model, so I have a good excuse.  Anyway the point is, embrace who you are, and don't let anything especially yourself hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest.

So this past week my friend and I after being inspired from our brush with fashion in Paris, decided to put on a fashion show for a bedding company.  We made clothes out of bedding and organized groups to represent the company.  "Do you want to be one of the models?' my friend asked.  "No way," I said as anxiety flooded my body.  "Why not, it would be fun?' she urged.  "I need to be back stage getting the models ready."  It was true, there was a lot of work back stage with the outfits and I was needed there, more than I was needed on the runway.

Later that night, I suddenly thought, "I am going to do it, when am I going to have this chance again?"  I thought of what Luke said strolling along the beach...."even if you don't got; it flaunt it."  So I have never walked a runway or been able to keep a good beat to music, but I decided not to let fear hold me back.
Stage Mom takes the stage herself.  If you want to be a model, make your own fashion show and put yourself in it.  Luke and I represent CoCo Mat's first store in America.  
Cambrie and friend representing CoCo Mats shops in China.
Faith and a friend modeling bedsheet and pillow case creations.
A real model in a wedding dress we created from a feather duvet.  Ricky is the background filming.

So go ahead, take the stage in your own life, and don't be afraid to flaunt it.

P.S. In Memory of....
This post is dedicated to Daniel, our friend who passed away in Topanga recently.  Some would say that Daniel had little to flaunt, but whenever we pulled up to the general store, he flaunted his big smile and proudly read his own cowboy poetry from his tatered notebook.  Thanks for being confident in sharing your soul with us Daniel, we will miss you when we return.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Confessions Of A Stage Mom

"Mom, Sophie, Digby's girlfriend asked me if I could model in this fashion show in Paris," Luke mentions as he kicks off his snowboard boots one day this winter.

I had been complaining of feeling low with PMS the last couple days, but with the mention of "fashion show in Paris",  I feel of sudden rush of seritonin hit my brain.

We had just arrived in France to ski with our friends from Barcelona.  They brought and their son Digby  and his girlfriend, Sophie, with her family.  Sophie, with her thick french accent was living my teenage girl fantasy. She is a student at Parson School of  Fashion Design in Paris.
Sophie and I after skiing in back in February
As a young girl I would sketch patterns for fabrics, shop at vintage stores and then make clothes out of curtains, purses out of baby pajamas and necklaces out of wire hangers.
Here I am as a teenage wearing a thrift store vintage find.
I remember my first day of highschool making a tight skirt out of a vintage chenille bedspread with fringe.   My sister told me that it wasn't middle school anymore and the older highschoolers would not think my outfit was cool.  That was 1986.

"Oh my gosh Luke this is so exciting, tell me all about it, when is it, please say yes, this is such a cool opportunity, this is such a dream," I say bubbling with excitement.

It wasn't long before Holden too was asked to be in the fashion show.  Not long after that, they went off to Paris for the weekend for wardrobe fittings.

"Mom, we just finished the rehearsal, there we tons of photographers, the show is in this cool circus building,  and the clothes we are wearing are pretty cool." Luke calls and tells me the day of the show.

Cambrie, Faith and I have spread outfits out all over the hotel room and are busy trying to make sure we wear something high fashion, when my friend calls and says we need to leave in 5 mins (2 hours early) because there is a huge line outside the venue of the show.
Lines forming hours before the show begins.
"You can't go wrong with black, " I say to the girls as I brush my teeth.  Wait, I was just reading in a fashion magazine that red is the new black.  Wearing black might make me look so last season.  Crap.  There is a knock on the door before I have time to rethink my all black Marc Jacobs dress I got on sale last summer.

"What, why aren't you guys dressed up? I gasp as I see my friend Anke and Sophie's mother standing outside the door wearing basic jeans and a scarf. "Oh it's super casual Andrea," they say.

By the time I walked 10 plus blocks to the show in my super high heels, my feet are killing me.  We then wait in line with masses of people for over an hour to make sure we get seats.  It is funny how events imagined actually really play out.  Like for example our year in Barcelona. It has been so different than I had thought.  My mind never imagined that learning spanish would be so hard or that I would crave Duck Con Fi, or own a hedgehog named Wiggly Puff.  I couldn't imagine the wonderful people I would meet or especially that I would be here in sitting in the Bon Marchais Circus building watching my boys model.  Each day, each new event, is unpredictable.   I have learned to become keenly aware of the present and to live in the moment, because time moves quickly.

"The boys are on next," my friend says in my ear.

Then BAM, just like that Holden and Luke are in the middle of the Circus ring modeling in a fashion show in Paris.  I can't restrain my excitemet.
Would you believe gypsy pants?
"Holden, Luke, woah!!!!" I scream at the top of my lungs waving my arms like a crazy person.  "Holden, Luke....," I keep screaming.

Sophie and her models, Luke, Digby, and Holden
After the show I pace outside on the street waiting to greet the boys.  Some of the designers and models walk out.

"Bonjour," I say, trying to act like I am part of the scene.

"Mom, you were like one of those crazy hockey parents who shake milk jugs filled with marbles, when their kid scores a goal," Holden says.  "It was kind of embarressing."
At that moment I am quickly reminded that it's a been a long time since 1986. I give the boys a big hug and thank them for letting me live viacaroiusly through them for just a moment.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In Memory Of....

This last year we have experienced a few losses of people we cared deeply for, but last week was a loss that hit us very hard.  Brent Thurgood, a friend and our ranch manager for many many years, died suddenly, but peacefully of a hear attack at age 49.
A tough cowboy with a heart of gold.
Sharing his love for nature with the kids...


I can't remember a time in my life without Brent. He has always been there since I can remember. When I think of fishing, Alaska, a true county boy or a real cowboy, I will always think of Brent. I remember learning he always wore jeans, nothing else. He even wore his jeans and hat in the lake when he tried to water ski behind the jets skiis on the ranch. He offered such practical wisdom and a contrast to the face pace of life in LA. Being in Spain, it doesn't seem real that Brent won't be around this summer on our annual trip to Alaska.
"Brent was so funny and I always felt myself laughing around him. One of our funniest memories of Brent was when he brought dogs to Los Angeles to help my Dad track some Lions for the LA County State Park. Before we went home we stopped at a shopping center in Malibu to get some food. We parked his big truck next to a local pet store that sells 2,000 dollar diamond collars for mini poodles, furry leopard dog beds and pink cupcake looking dogs treats. It wasn't long before the dogs in the back of the truck started fighting, Brent walked over to his truck and started yelling shut the f**k while hitting the dogs to break up the fight. The locals at the shopping center gasped in shock while Brent broke up the fight, he could care less what people thought of him, he loved his dogs and i loved his straight shooter personality.
Brent was always supportive of Ricky and I.  I was always grateful that he had Brent as his closest true friend. Brent and Ricky bonded in their love for the outdoors and animals. I always loved how much love and attention Brent gave each one of my kids. He had a real and separate relationship with all of them and he was a positive influence on each one of them. He taught them about nature and this has been a nice to balance them growing up in Los Angeles. Brent will be deeply missed by all of us.
Dear Julie and Family,
It was 1992 and I was talking hounds with this guy from Utah named Brent I had never met. I'm not sure who found who, but I'm glad we found each other. We would talk for hours about the benefits of one breed versus another. We finally made a plan to meet up and go for a hunt. Brent drove thru the night after work and arrived for an early morning lion hunt. We were immediate friends and Brent made many trips to MesaMood ranch over the early years to hunt. He and I caught several lions in the canyons your looking at. Ladder Canyon was very good to us. We walked the bottoms of those canyons and listened to the sweet sound of our hounds trailing and then treeing. His red hound was the best hound I'd ever seen. Some times we'd get stuck and spend most of the day cursing as we dug the vehicle from the mud. Brent and I would push each other as hunters. We laughed alot, shared alot for guys, and loved each other like brothers. Brent is my best friend and always will be. Brent loved Mesa Mood and took care of it like his own. He loved my kids, especially my boys. Going to Alaska and fishing wasn't the same without Brent and my boys would always ask if Brent was going before agreeing to go. Brent made everything more fun. I love you Brent...I never told you that...but I know you knew it. I knew you loved me. Brent was one of the good guys. He had values, his word was solid, he loved his kids and adored his wife.

Your buddy forever,

Brent J Thurgood 1960 ~ 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Here you are at 8 years old inThe Champ
Co-Star Jon Voight, Director Franco Zefferelli and Producer Dyson Lovell are still your friends today.
"Dear Ricky,
Don't get to swollen-headed when you will receive my warmest and most    affectioned wishes for this dramatic 40 ieth. I am  twice as much and still find lovers and friends as attractive as ever before...I must confess my very private passion for you, quite simply I fervid wish that you remain for at least another century the adorable friend, actor, husband and father that I have known !!!"


Franco Zeffirelli

"Ricky, I remember so well when we celebrated your birthday at MGM. A blessed day for The Champ! Happy 40th. I love you Ricky,  Dyson"
At 9 you were the youngest person to win a Golden Globe.
Your parents who raised you and taught you so many great things.
"Rick, wishing you a blessed 40th birthday. It was such adventure growing up together. On your 50th, you'll be getting the karate video we did in our back yard with Andy.
Love you brother, Chris"
(childhood friend)
At 14years old you were every teenage girls "dream boat" including mine.
"Dear Ricky,
Here we are, face to face,a coupla silver spoons, hopin' to find, we're two of a kind, makin' a ...something, takin' a ... something... TOGETHER! We're gonna find our WAAAYYY!!! Ha! Oh man the good ol days huh?! How's THAT for makin' you feel your age?! Heehee!

If someone had told me the day I met you at the Youth In Film awards when you were TEN looking truly irritated in the photo I managed to get with you (what I'd give to find that one!), to popping in and out of each others lives as teenagers in the awesome 80's.  Cut to now THIRTY freakin' years from the day we met and you and I have managed to form a beautiful, deeply rooted, hopefully life long friendship with our families! I LOVE that!!!!  I love and adore your family and am anxious for you guys to come back! Enough already! You've been gone mucho too long!Anyway Ricky, I'm proud of you. You're only 40 and look at all that you have... in every sense you truly have it all! Happy Happy Birthday Dear Friend!!!!!!!!
Love always,
Robyn Lively-Johnson"
(childhood friend and Silver Spoons Co-Star)

"Dear Rick,  Wishing you great years ahead.  Have a sweet 40th birthday with your wonderful wonderful family. Love looking at the pictures of your adventures, and my oh my what adventures they are!!  I am thrilled you are enjoying and enhancing your life with your treasured companions in life in such an amazing way. 
Love you all.  Sheila Kendall" 
(Childhood friend and news reporter)

At 19 you starred in the best western ever made Lonesome Dove. 
You and Robert Duvall are still close friends.


Many people have turned 40 in the last several centuries
Few have been as cool as you!
Let's shoot!
(film AND guns)
John Fasono
(friend and screenplay writer for 20 years)

In 1990 at age 20, you starred in another Western in my hometown Calgary, Canada.
We met and have been inseparable ever since. 
I have been going through photos of your life before we met and then photos of our life together.  What an incredible journey you have been on.  I feel like as I have gotten older, I have gained so much wisdom about life and the way things happen, to only feel gratitude for all the blessings and look at the hardships as growth opportunities.  I understand now that weathering the hardest times have made the many more good times even better.  We joke all the time that when wake up I pinch myself that I have you beside me. How could I not be happy waking up each day next to my best friend, the father of my amazing children, a person who is my biggest advocate, a gifted artist, a fearless hard working man, a dedicated husband and family man?  I am blessed to have you to share this journey of life together....

P.S. A reminder of a poem I wrote for you a fews years ago..
Sleepy Love

Your love to me is sleepy,
sleepy like our soft bed-
comfortable like your warm body
next to my mine.
Your love to me is sunny,
sunny like a shiny ocean-
bright like your face when you are happy
to see mine.
Your love to me is jumpy,
jumpy like a black trampoline-
bouncing me into your open world
that is shared with mine.
Your love to me is happy,
happy like a dog on a walk-
knowing I've got a true friend
that loves me.
Your love to me is crazy,
crazy like a speedy jet plane-
racing into the unknown parts of you
that become a part of me.
Love Andrea
In 1996 I gave birth to our 3rd baby Cambrie who was born during our time in Colorado.
"Happy 40th Rick!
     Hard to believe it’s been 15 years that we’ve been friends. Our children are growing up and life is always changing! I want you to know that you have been a great friend and no matter how far apart life takes us I’m thankful for our friendship and all you’ve done for us!   I was at a cross-roads and couldn’t decide what to do with my career. It was the start-up help loan that you gave us year ago that helped me get Budget Blinds off the ground. Thank you for believing in me, it was that event that started things in motion to get us to where we are today. When Stace and I talk about all those years ago we laugh remembering how much fun we had playing cards everywhere we went together. Our trip to Cayman was the first real vacation we ever took and it was awesome! Do you remember all the hours and hours we spent talking about life and religion? We’ve come a long way Rick! You’re a great friend and I’m glad to call you one of mine. Happy Birthday!
Tor and Stacey"

Ricky is a conservationist and won Colorado Land Owner of the year for his efforts on behalf of wildlife and their natural habitat.  He has shared his love of nature with all of us.
"Hey Rick,
Happy Birthday !! We are close to 10 years apart and in November I turn 50. So, 40 doesn't sound so bad!! 
From Your Fat Little Buddy,
Brent Thurgood"
(ranch manager for over 10 years and friend for many more)

In 2007 in Emmy nominated Adromeda Strain.
"Dear Ricky,
You have already, at the young age of 40, lived a life so full of joy and giving and caring ~ I can't wait to see what the next 40 years brings!  
Thank you for being part of all we do to honor the families of America's Fallen Heroes, and thank you for giving a voice to those who serve this great nation of ours.  
Your patriotism is humbling, your sense of duty is inspiring, and your spirit is contagious. We love you! Happy birthday!

Bonnie CarrollTragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
1777 F Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006

In 2007 playing Mike Doyle on 24.
Happy Birthday to one of the nicest and most talented actors I
was privileged to represent.As I write this I am looking at a lucite clock on my desk that says,
"Flo, We Love You The Schroders 1984"
Back at you, Ricky. Happy Days.
Love,  Flo

You have continued to grow and challenge yourself and have managed to prove yourself as an accomplished Writer and Director also.  Here you are in 2008 directing Hellhounds for Sci Fi in Romania.
 Just want you to know how much I value our friendship and that I think you are a really great guy, a great friend and someone I  really respect quite a bit in my life! I really miss having you around since you have been in Spain. We miss our Sunday visits to the Schroder's! We miss you guys so much. We have  some time to catch up on when you get back! Maybe another trip to Mexico!? Bike and Surf? And fish!?!? 
Your friend, Bart
(fellow actor, director, writer and friend)

Ricky and his own crew after filming scenes for a new Army based TV Series on an Army base in Texas Summer 2009
Happy 40th!  I’m confident that the next 40 years will be as eventful, gratifying and productive as the first 40!  It is a pleasure and an honor to be working with you for all of these years.  I’m looking forward to watching more of your dreams come true!
Very fondly,

You are surrounded by lots of family who give you constant support and encouragement.
Dear Ricky,
It seems that for someone still so young you have hurtled through your life with more interesting and exciting experiences than many people twice or three times your age.  It takes a special person to be able to grasp those opportunities and magnify them as you have in your life.  Here are a few of my thoughts of what I think makes you extra special..

1.     Sensitivity – so many times I have seen those big blue eyes of yours moved to tears.  Notably at the birth of your children, at the plight of someone less fortunate, at the recognition of God’s love for you, at the thought of how much you love Andrea and your children, and many other more personal times. Practical compassion.  Just this past week or so ago a homeless man, Daniel, died in Topanga and I heard how highly he thought of you – for your recognition of his value in spite of his indigent circumstances, and your kindness in giving him clothing to keep him warm or money when appropriate.That seems to lead to your never-ending generosity.  You have always worked very hard for what you have and undoubtedly deserve it and yet so many times I have seen you share your bounty with friends and family alike.  To name a few – taking kids who are less-fortunate on many family trips at your own expense, organizing and paying for family activities at a reunion etc. You have the confidence to be humble. I could go on, but I will end here. With love and blessings for an awesome son-in-law who has so many of the qualities I would love to have myself, Penelope

Dear Ricky,
Even though I’ve known you for 20 years now it’s been the last few years living here in CA (and especially Topanga) that I’ve really gotten a chance to get to know you which has been great.  You and the rest of the family have become my closest family and for that I am very appreciative.  Not being one good at saying stuff I’m just going to get straight to the point:
-          I’ve always been very impressed that you put your family first and make many sacrifices for them.
-          You’ve been an inspiration to me on how you handle finances.
Try not to have too much of a mid-life crisis!!  Happy 40th.
(brother in law)

But your most important role of all has been your role as a Father.  
"Dear Daddy,
It's your 40th birthday and it's an enormous one!!! I love the time we spend together and I will always remember it.  I like how I am growing up with a father like you.  I will never not love you because you are my father on earth and you are my love, my father, the one I depend on.  I will always love you so much and that will never change.  Love your daughter and Special Angel, Faith
P.S. Love is all you need."
Ricky has taken the boys to Alaska their whole lives. It is one of his favorite places in the world, known for is abundance of wide open space, fishing, and snow capped mountains. 
"hey dad,
 happy that sounds so old but you dont seem it. I enjoy being your buddy and spending lots of time with you hunting and fishing and i'm looking forward to our adventures in the future. we are going to be spending alot of time together this year since holden is going off to college and you're the only other guy in the house. your a great you!  Luke"

RIcky and Cambrie this month in Morocco
"Dear Dad,
I feel like of all the kids I am the most like you in looks and personality too.  You have led a life that has given me big shoes to fill and I want to fill them.  I have big dreams and you have taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind too and to also dream big.  I am growing up fast and I know you want me to stay your little girl forever, but I cant I want to fullil my dreams and goals. Sometimes I am hard on you, I just want you to be the best person that you can be and there is no other dad that I would rather have.
Love the boss lady and happy birthday,

Ricky and Holden exploring the outdoors 1992
"hey dad
 just wanted to say happy birthday, big 40.

the past 18 years of my life have been really great, you as a father have been a key role in that happiness, you have given me opportunities and experiences other kids dreamed about, these have shaped the person I am today. I am about to leave the house for college and I can say that I have nothing that I have wished I could have done while I was in the house. Thank you for that. I hope that you continue to succeed in following your passions as a writer, director, actor, and I hope I will still be included in your work, because I enjoy brainstorming with you. By example, you have given me a great work ethic and high standards of what I want my life to be. I'm excited to put them to the test in college and to make you proud.
love holden"

Ricky on the big day holding up a gift, a new Barcelona soccer jersy, just for him who during our time in Spain has become a crazy fan like the locals.
Happy Birthday Ricky....We love you!!!