The Life I've Lived

Personal Life


I'm originally from San Diego but grew up in Ventura County. I returned to San Diego as a young adult after residing in Shasta and Santa Barbara counties for several years. I remained in San Diego County until 1995, which is when I relocated to Portland, Oregon. I moved to the East Coast in 1997 and lived there for 19 years. I returned to my hometown of San Diego in 2016 while my daughter attends college in Virginia.

I am not a total hermit despite my tendency to go that way. I don't make friends easily, but my true friends have stuck with me for many years. I'm too uptight for my own good. I nag my daughter too much (but it's for her own good!). I'm a neat freak, an animal lover, a homebody, but also, literally, a happy camper, and relieved to be as smart as I am despite my dropout status. I'm thankful for what common sense I do have but dog myself over making some of the same mistakes repeatedly.

After decades of heavy lifting, several horseback riding accidents, and an automobile accident, my body has more than its fair share of aches and pains. I also suffer from multiple rheumatological and neurological disorders. Despite these "nuisances" I still feel rather productive on most (cool) days and keep entirely too busy.

I share personal updates, photos, and videos with trusted friends and family on Facebook. (There are nearly seven thousand photos, documents, and videos at Flickr and numerous videos on YouTube here and here.)


Schools ('60s - '70s)

 Simi Valley, CA






Organizations ('60s - '70s)



Arabian Horses

At the age of eleven, I got my first horse. By the next year, my grandmother, Rose Kennedy, bought our first Arabian; from there my life progressed to nearly full-time caretaker and trainer status. I was particularly passionate about Arabian horse research, visiting farms, and attending shows. At most, we had 13 horses. I took hundreds of hours of riding instruction for Stock Seat, Saddle Seat, and Dressage disciplines.

We boarded our horses at the old Barbara Worth Stables in Simi Valley, which was across the street from the Simi Valley Drive-In Theater. We were there when it was called the Rockin' S Ranch (1970-73) and Livingston Ranch (1975-77). We also kept the horses at Rocken (Rockin') S Ranch (1973-75) on Happy Camp Road in Moorpark.

I took riding/driving lessons from Nicki (Oppegard) McGinnis in Moorpark (1973-74), Claudia Thompson in Moorpark and Simi Valley (1974-76), and Arlene Benschoff (1976-77) in Malibu.

In 1979 I went to work at Pereira Arabians in Santa Ynez, California, with the title of Mare Manager. However, my job consisted of many different things, including, but not limited to: halter training the foals, grooming all of the horses, assisting the veterinarian and farrier, exercising and showing the stallions, communicating with mare owners, and giving tours of the ranch. In 1981 I took a full-time position at Wheeler's Arabians in Red Bluff, California, where I was involved in all horse-related areas, including feeding, cleaning, grooming, foaling detail, training, and showing. Later, I worked part-time for Stallion Oaks Arabians and lastly for North Arabians. In 1982, I left the business of Arabian horses to enjoy spending time with my own mare. I may have sold my last horse in 1997, but my heartfelt devotion to their memories remains.

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Companion Animals

Spanning my adolescent and teen years, I had goldfish, tropical fish, reptiles, hamsters, chinchillas, guinea pigs, a rabbit, cats, dogs, and horses. Even though most were labeled as mine, I ended up having little say in their remaining so. To earn money to care for my companions, I babysat and took care of other peoples' horses.

I began a 15-year career with a national animal supply retailer in 1982. During my employment, I attended a vast assortment of animal care classes, seminars, and trade shows. I trained new employees and assisted with product development and merchandising. I regularly hosted adoption and education events for several animal welfare organizations. In addition, I fostered dozens of animals of numerous species for different rescue groups. Throughout this time I had my own horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, birds, and fish.

Since retiring, I can no longer care for the numbers of animals I once did, but I am blessed with the companionship of one adorably timid Corgi. (Lizzie 09/09/2003 - 03/28/2018)

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Interests
animal welfare, camping, homemaking, photography, READING, sightseeing, traveling, veganism

Favorite Books

most sub-genres of romance, mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, maritime history, biographies

Favorite Music

alternative rock, classic rock, hard rock, indie rock, adult pop, and rhythm & blues

Favorite Movies

adventure, English period dramas, romantic dramas and comedies

Favorite Television Shows

crime dramas, forensic dramas, legal dramas, police procedurals







Favorite Quotes


"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." — Maya Angelou

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." — Maya Angelou

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." — Maya Angelou

"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies." - Albert Schweitzer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mohandas Gandhi

"To be a vegetarian is to disagree---to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars--we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one." - Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." - Roger Caras

"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies." - Shirley Abbott

"I trace my family history so I will know who to blame." - unknown

"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots." - unknown

"Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts, and a few bad apples." - unknown

(rev.11/05/2019)

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