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Around the world to find the Santa Ynez Valley

My life has been an incredible eclectic journey, and whether it was traveling internationally or seeing my goals come to fruition right here in California, these experiences have shown me that I achieve the most by finding the connections of the heart.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. My first job as logging supervisor in Alaskashowed me that a young bear-rifle-slinging woman overseeing older saw-wielding men was not my niche. I changed careers to modeling, fostering a love for photography which led to photo journalism.
My husband at the timewas rapidly advancing his international advertising career and for the next 14 years we lived in 10 different Latin American countries in total cultural immersion. In addition to assuring my fluency in Spanish, it gave me the advantage of being able to interpret the wants and needs of otherswithout judgment.

The contrast of our lives was overwhelming at times. Imagine livinga life more akin to the television show, Mad Men, while from the lofty perch of our penthouse apartments, observing the extreme economic disadvantages of the residents surrounding us.
In Guatemala I found my heart and my voiceand founded a magazine titled "VIVA Guatemala". The publication ran for the next 14 years, improving the country’s image to outsiders and helping international readers recognize the importance of the trainable Guatemalan work force, the year round growing climate and the economic resources of the country.
In Venezuela, I became aware of the Yanomami, an indigenous group in South America. As a journalist with the Daily Journal, researching a story about the Garimperos who mine gold in the Amazon (and dump the mercury in the rivers after use, creating dead zones for centuries), I chartered a planeinto the Amazon, and spent two weeks living with the Yanomami. I treasure that time when I got to knowwho these endangered innocentsare as individuals. Their pure, original human consciousness gave them a strength and fierceness that inspired me.
Returning to the U.S. with my son. Isettled in New Mexico to work at the Light Institute of Galisteo, where I really took to heart the spiritual messages of creating a life that is only of the highest and the best.

Coming back to the US with my eight -year-old son I was fortunate to drive over the hill from Santa Barbara and witness the Santa Ynez Valley. My heart sang and I knew I wanted to live and die there. My son grew up handsomely and married his high school sweetheart Katie, My grandchildren are now 11 and 13. I feel blessed as does every other person who lives here, to be here, to experience this perfect weather of Spring and Summer only. To live in a community that really cares with values and acceptance like in the town of Mayberry. To live surrounded by 1.8 million acres of National Forest lands, but able to go to Santa Barbara in 40 minutes with no traffic leaving your home open and the keys in your car in the driveway without hesitation. Knowing that my horses are happy and thriving, experiencing the birth of my Little lady Lu’s five puppies, and having friends, who used to be clients, come over to celebrate them with me. That, for me, is true joy.