Death and grief is something we all must deal with during our lifetime. As we get older, death and grief from losing our loved ones become more and more prevalent in our lives. It seems we are attending more memorials than weddings and grief and depression start to set into our psyche telling us soon death will also come to us. These past couple of weeks, I have experienced a few deaths and grief and depression have been setting into the core of my psyche showing itself more prominently in my life.
We had to put down our beloved family dog after adopting her over a decade ago. Watching her quality of life disappear over the past year has been difficult to witness and making the decision to end her life wasn’t easy for any of us. This was a first experience for me and to see the vet euthanize her to sleep was heartbreaking. I felt I was going to have to be strong for our daughters and my husband who she favored the most loving with, but during the ordeal, it was me who cried the hardest. Her life was so brief and in an instant her life was gone and cremated to dust in a beautiful box with her paw print for us to remember her by. I started feeling depressed thinking of how fragile life truly is and how each and every single day is a beautiful gift we get to experience as we watch another sunrise, rainfall or sunset.
After losing our dog, we were shocked to learn of the death of a beloved friend and renowned fashion designer, Laura Biagiotti. It was so sudden and so shocking to lose someone as near and dear to my heart as my own mother and at the age of 73, which seemed far too young to die. I knew our dear Laura had heart issues and had some close calls in the past, but hearing of her death made me feel completely depressed and sad for days. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone and cried helplessly knowing that that I would never get to see her again. Time to reflect on that relationship we shared was consuming me as my thoughts were only on Laura. Only two days passed before another shocking death of another close dear friend became bad news. We had only seen just seen him looking dashing and happy a week prior at the LA Science center giving back to charities that were near and dear to his heart. The loss of one of my closest friend’s husband, one who I indirectly put together to begin with has just passed away at age 67 only a couple years older than my own husband! OMG!! They say these things do come in threes, but I just can’t handle any more grief in such a short period of time! It’s just too much to deal with and I start sobbing uncontrollably. Bob Lorsch was a prominent businessman who had connections from Hollywood to the white house.
It can’t be true? Bob Lorsch dead? Must be a mistake, we were just with him, just saw him laughing and having a great time! But the fact remained Bob Lorsch was indeed dead and died just a couple days after our beloved Laura Biagiotti. Facing death and grief for me was in full swing and it was making me sick so sick that I actually started having cold symptoms. This surprised me because I just recently got over a horrible bout of the flu that lasted nearly a month! I’m always eating healthy and trying to take care of myself by keeping life in balance within my mind, body and spirit. I feel it’s the key to handling all that life throws at us. So I try and take the time and focus energy into my home, health, career, relationships and finances on a daily basis. So when my focus turned to my own health given I had a sore throat in the throws of 80 degree sunshine with stuffed up ears, a headache and chills that turned into a cough, it was apparent I had another full blown cold to deal with. Perhaps my immune system was worn down from the past week of grieving? All I knew was that I needed to get back in balance in the health department first and foremost. I started my Thinessence routine of the helix machine, sauna and massage bed to sweat out the toxins plaguing my body. I also started to consciously drink my water quota that would help hydrate my body and get rid of this cold. Doing this routine 3 days this past week has helped tremendously and I’m finally starting to step out of the depressed state of mind I was in from grief. Thinking the storm of bad news was over only to learn my 90 year old aunt has just passed away leaving my 92 year old uncle after 70 years of marriage. She had lived life to the fullest and raised 8 children and a slew of grandchildren and passed on a legacy of love and commitment to all that knew her.
I knew it was time for me to book a flight to Houston and go visit my uncle who is my mother’s oldest brother and one of the last living relatives I have other than a mess of cousins I don’t really know. I can see how fast life is passing us all by and how precious human connection is in today’s fragile society. Death is just as much a part of life as life itself and it is indeed coming for us all someday, but it’s not here for me today and I’m grateful to see another sunrise. I know that gratitude is the key and that I have so many blessings on a daily basis to relish. Friends, family and even our furry animals are all part of this journey called life and so far life has been bountiful and simply amazing! I’m blessed for all the moments I had with Laura and Bob, my aunt and our dog and I know that the adventure of life continues with times of grief and sorrow and so we must be in gratitude for the joys and laughter because they too are coming in this cycle called life. The song Ronn just released with Pope Francis called, “Our Father” has a special meaning for these beautiful souls that have departed us here on earth and who we hope to someday see again in heaven.
This has truly been the most magical birthday ever for me and I’ve been celebrating it the entire month of June. Kicking it off with the success of the Canyon Club’s Player performance and extending it to our seconda casa in Roma, Firenze and Venezia with some of our most cherished friends. 50 was always a number I was afraid of in the past because my mom died of breast cancer at that age. I had times when I thought I wouldn’t make it in life to see that number and now I’m so happy and vibrant with my life that it’s indeed just a number to me. I think I will truly love my 50s and will never forget all the love and celebration surrounding this birthday.
The profound synchronicity of events, people and places that we have experienced during this trip is too much to put in mere words. I feel like the universe has bestowed an array of beautiful gifts, new friendships and love that I just can’t explain. Only to say it’s been pure magic. The fact that we had a huge full moon to boot with me being the ultimate Cancer moon child was no coincidence. It was meant to be a sign that my thoughts, passion and love of life will continue to flourish and I plan to give even more of myself to this world with great eagerness and compassion.
It’s always been my desire to make my life have meaning beyond mere success of just what I’ve chosen to do in this lifetime. I want to leave something behind that is much bigger than me and nothing is more important to me than giving back to those in need. I so admire women like Audrey Hepburn who did that in spades during her lifetime. So I believe this birthday of my turning a half of a century will mark what my new clear path is from now on and that is to continue to inspire and enlighten others through example. This is a true blessing to have my life take this new path now.
Because of this new path I have developed a new website for women that is about other dynamic women of this world that are making a difference and it’s called woman to woman. I’m happy to launch it with two amazing women that have already made such great marks on society in this world, supermodel, Kelly Emberg and Hollywood icon, Mamie Van Doren. So please take a look at www.womantowoman.tv and leave a comment on what you think.
Here are a few photos from our trip to gorgeous Venezia and our stop in Firenze for the Laura Biagiotti Doll Collection presentation, which was absolutely amazing! Always the perfect ending to our stay in Roma is when we spend time with our beloved Lavinia and Laura Biagiotti, whom we think of as family. Thank you as always for your wonderful hospitality and for the birthday blessings you have given to me on this milestone. A new Ronn’s Garage is coming with more details from our trip!
The past few days spent with our Italian friends who are very much family to us felt so surreal. Our last days in the gorgeous countryside of Tuscany was set in a quaint “Eco-chic” Boutique farm , TENUTA CHIUDENDONE .Our host was Francesco Cavallini, owner of Emilio Cavalliniwho has been the premier fashion tights company to many designers all over the world since 1972. We got to tour the factory where they make them and was given so many designs to take home. Lori was in sheer pantyhose heaven and Francesco’s father is a true artist in the unique world of fashion tights.
We were treated to the finest Tuscan wines at a wonderful wine tasting compliments of, Varramista Winery and then the highlight of our trip there was a visit to the local supermarket with Ronn. I wanted Francesco and his girlfriend Isabella to show me how to cook a whole fish Tuscan style, so we stopped at the market and even the butcher wanted a picture with Ronn! Lori and I laughed so hard at the reaction from everyone, including grandmothers and children who seemed to be drawn to Ronn for photos. I will show you guys what I learned about cooking a whole Sea Bass later on Ronn’s Garage. We traveled Saturday by train back to Rome for our final two days in Italy so that we could spend some quality time with the lovely Laura Biagiotti and my Italian sister Lavinia.They always make us feel so at home at the Biagiotti Castle. We topped off our evening with champagne at the Biagiotti boutique. Katherine Kelly Lang joined us and then went back to the castle for an amazing home cooked dinner with Laura. It was such a pleasure to introduce KKL to Laura and turns out, it was a special holiday for Italy was honoring St. Raffelle. The moon was so bright and full that we all felt the aura of excitement and anticipation deep into the night as a flutter of rain drops softly kissed us. Soon a pouring rain storm washed away the smoldering heat and humidity of the summer, and a change of season seemed to happen before our eyes with the breeziness of fall that is so welcomed now. I started to feel a bit of a cold coming on so I decided to rest in between lunch and dinner on Sunday. Ronn and Lavinia went for a walk and to my surprise, Ronn came back with a perfectly small heart shaped rock he found on the Biagiotti property from their afternoon stroll. I was so amazed and surprised to get this from him and took it as an omen to all the wonderful things that are happening in our lives now.
It’s my gratitude rock, a symbol of our rock solid love that has conquered so much in the past few months. As some you may remember, Ronn found a large heart shaped rock walking on the beach in Malibu a few years ago, so now I have that one next to me in our bedroom and this little one with me at all times. I showed Laura the rock and she said with great flair, “Now, let’s go find a Picasso at the flea market!” Because I admire so much Laura’s wisdom, knowledge and sixth sense, I knew our trip to the flea market was something special she wanted to share with us. And there I found the cutest outfit in the latest fashionable color of deep green for this fall that I will can’t wait to wear with pride. Lavinia wanted to take us to the wedding of chef Filippo La Mantia and his bride, Stefania, which was hailed the most elite party in Rome, and such a glamourous end to our awesome trip. Lori and I got dressed up for the party and made quite an entrance with Ronn, who epitomized Rock Star.
There we met some of the most prestigious people in Rome, including ballerina, Eleonora Abbagnato. Lavinia grew up watching Eleonora dance and to meet her was an honor, especially since I’ve never seen a ballet. So she invited me to see her dance in Paris! Being at this party was like seeing a fashion show of the most beautiful people, each designer dress prettier than the next and the most delicious food. It was hard to move because everyone was coming to meet Ronn for photos, but Lori and I watched the whole scene in awe of every minute. Lavinia was so proud to introduce Ronn to everyone there and thus put a thrilling end to another memorable trip in our second home. This change of season is looking very promising and bright, so I’m sure another trip to Italy will be happening very soon!
It feels like a dream being here on the most beautiful Island of Capri. I didn’t even know much about this area except that most of the elite come here to vacation and it’s one of the most unique places to visit. So being here feels surreal right now because we are still a bit tired from the trek here. No one is as tired as Ronn. He is like the energizer bunny who can keep going till his battery needs charging again, which is now. He always handles everything and everyone so gracefully and professionally and it’s sometimes hard for me to keep up with his pace. Between interviews, fans wanting photos, shootings and dinners, he hardly ever stops when visiting Italy. So it’s a rarity to just relax and enjoy. I’m watching my friend Lori embrace the whole experience with child-like eyes and wonder. It’s a beautiful present for me to share this with someone like her. Ronn is so loved here and it was great to see him reunite with Katherine Kelly Lang. She’s always so sweet and fun to be around. They started the commercial shoot today very early, so it was bit of day for them both. So much so, that we are staying in and not going to dinner tonight. Just want to chill in our room and relax so that he’s fresh for tomorrow. The Biagiotti fashion show yesterday was truly amazing and we loved the whole collection! Bright vintage 60’s colors and fun flowing prints made it so special and right up my alley. We went behind the scenes and watched Laura choose some of the models the day before the fashion show and it was an education to watch how much preparation goes into doing a collection for 15 minutes on the runway. Now Laura and Lavinia will start working for the next few months to prepare for the fall fashion show in March. As you know, Ronn and KKL did an appearance in Naples the night before so poor Ronn got no sleep and manage to fly back to Milan for the Biagiotti fashion show before Lori and I joined him and flew right back to Naples. Getting to Capri, we had to take this hydrofoil boat for 45 minutes and I felt a bit nauseous. Needless to say, after dinner with the clients for the commercial shoot, we were all dead tired. Then Ronn had to start today with only 3 hours of sleep. He and KKL are re-enacting a scene from Jackie O and Aristotle Onassis’ honeymoon here in Capri. They were in a million dollar wooden boat on some rough waters today filming. Ronn is playing a dashing boatman that catches Kelly’s eye during chance meetings and there is someone else playing Aristotle. So it’s a very cute and interesting campaign that I am excited to see. Tomorrow is our 3 year wedding anniversary, so it’s extra special that we are just here in the same spot that so many interesting people have vacationed and enjoyed for centuries, including ancient Romans. I feel blessed to have had a second wedding a few months ago in gorgeous Puglia and now to experience our original anniversary in Capri is unique and special. And we are so grateful to be here to celebrate our special day and I’m so proud of my husband and embracing every moment of our short time here.
Now that Summer is here we are celebrating outdoors with friends and you know what that means? Lots of“Devin’s Kickass Cajun Seasoning” to share at your BBQs. Speaking of BBQs, we have a few that are coming up with friends this weekend to celebrate Ronn getting his purple belt in karate and my now belated birthday. Since I wanted a quiet birthday this year, Ronn and I spent it alone in Lake Arrowhead being creative. I started working on a new novel and he worked on the upcoming Ronn’s Garage that I know you guys will absolutely love. It features a part of the jam party we had with friends like Joel Berliner, Peter Beckett and Player, along with surprise guest Ray Parker Jr on drums. I think it shows how much fun Ronn and the boys have in the garage. Then of course we have behind the scenes of the Puglia B&B shoot and peaks of the the press that Ronn and Peter did in Italy. We end this month’s Ronn’s Garage with our personal surprise, our wedding vow renewal in Puglia.
It was so romantic at the Borgo Egnazia Villa and I had teased Ronn about how many times he’s been married to Brooke so much that he and I spontaneously decided to renew our vows there. Since we had some of our Italian family visiting the B&B set like German artist, Michael Mobius and fashion designer, Lavinia Biagiotti we thought it would be perfect to have them celebrate with us. Our dear friend Robin Krasny, of Robin and Eddy officiated our ceremony and sang as I walked down a gorgeous staircase for our sunset vows. The owner of the beautiful “Borgo Egnazia” resort and spa provided us with a harpist and his mother made our wedding cake! My wedding dress was a gift from Laura Biagiotti who provided all of our wardrobe. It was an absolute dream and I didn’t plan any of it, which if you know me, know is very weird for me. The flowers were also a gift from Aldo and Camilla who own the Borgo Egnazia and Ronn’s Italian manager, Gianluca was in attendance, helped arrange an amazing dinner for us. Ronn and I have always wanted a wedding in Italy, so this couldn’t have been more romantic or special and to have it be so spontaneous was wonderful for me to experience. Now we have the 4th of July bash at the Playboy mansion coming up and then Ronn will be on vacation from B&B until August. We have been asked to be guests on Marie Osmond’s new talk show next month and have some other exciting projects in the works to share with you later as they develop. We think it’s going to a be a fabulous summer and we plan on having fun. So have a safe and happy 4th to you all and we hope you’re having a great summer too!
It’s been over a week that we have been in our beloved second home, Italy. As always, we feel the love instantly especially with Ronn, as he has always had a big love affair with beautiful Italia. It seems since, “Ballando con le Stelle” he is more recognized as Ronn instead of Ridge, which is quite nice. After all of the press he did for his PLAYER album with Peter Beckett, we celebrated the release of Lavinia Biagiotti’s book, which is a cute and colorful book that displays tips on fashion. Lavinia is like my sister and she and her mom, Laura always makes us feel at home with them. I’m happy to announce that I will be helping them bring back the beloved fragrance, “Venezia” to America. The fragrance has many fans and requests in America and right now isn’t currently distributed there. I love the smell and right away started getting compliments since I’ve been wearing it. Jacqueline MacInnes-Wood who plays Steffy on B&B fell in love with it instantly also. So we are excited to relaunch “Venezia” in the US now. Since we have said goodbye to our friends in Rome, we are now in beautiful Puglia among the olive groves, which feels like heaven. There is an amazing spa that I’m looking forward to trying and the food has been spectacular. Seems like the vegetables are so fresh and flavorful that is all I want to eat right now. The seafood is also amazing and so is the wine. Needless to say we never go hungry in Italia. The B&B shoot is going very well, quite relaxing with gorgeous days and beautiful nights spent with the cast and crew. There are more of our Italian friends coming later this week to visit with us and Ronn and Katherine Kelly Lang are shooting a cute and funny commercial at the end of the week. Italia is always busy for Ronn with shoots, press and trying to fit so much in with friends in such a short period of time. But, we love Italia and their culture and really do think of it as our second home. A home we hope to spend more and more time in future years.
So far it’s been a fun week for us. We had a blast at the Laura Biagiotti fashion show and Ronn presented Laura with flowers at the end of the show. We stayed at the beautiful and prestigious Principe Di Savoia hotel and had a romantic dinner cooked at our table. Dan McVicar joined us at the fashion show and for lunch at Bice with Lavinia and some of her friends. We then headed back by train and stopped in Florence where Sara DiViara picked us up to drive us to her hometown, Bulgheri. This cutest little town I’ve ever seen and we were greeted by the entire community upon arrival. Then we had the most delicious tuscan food and stay in a sweet little hotel, woke up to a beautiful breakfast overlooking the scenic view of the town and Ronn signed autographs and took pictures with just about everyone.A Ballando crew was on hand to capture the moments as Sara gave us a tour of the vineyard and we stopped at her home to have lunch, compliments of her mother’s cooking. Their wine DiVaira is one of the best Italian wines we have had and the meal was complete with homemade lasagna and home grown vegetables that were so tasty and fresh. We continued walking through the town greeting everyone. I felt like I was campaigning for Ronn to run for Italy’s next president, as I took pictures with people, was kissed by a lot of grandmothers and held a lot of babies along the way. I got a lot of compliments on what I said to the jury in Italian last week on the show and the whole town had flyers and banners up that said, “Vote for Ronn and Sara.” We went around to several houses when “Beautiful” was on air and surprised a few people when they saw Ronn and Sara the their door. The day ended at the beach with a beautiful sunset and Ronn and I got a wonderful invitation to vacation at the prestigious Tombolo resort, which has the most amazing spa and view of the sea. We headed back to Rome and Ronn has been focused on dance lessons the rest of this week. He didn’t want the cast and crew from Ballando to do anything special for his birthday and it’s a usual work day of rehearsals for him. We will go out to dinner later to celebrate with a DiVaira bottle of wine, a present from Sara’s family. I will return home on Sunday after show number 8 and Ronn will stay until next Sunday so that he can get some more dance lessons in before the finals. I think it’s so cute how much he wants to win this competition now, considering I had to kick his butt to get him to do the show to begin with! Personally, I think they have an excellent chance of winning and predict that they will take home that huge trophy!
Check out this magazine article on Ronn and I here. It’s an article we did from the rooftop of Laura Biagiotti’s apartment in Rome two years ago when Ronn first appeared on “Ballando con le stelle.” Hopefully some of you can read Italian.