still so much to be done…

I get asked on a daily basis, “how is Montecito doing?”  The short answer is, they are working hard and moving forward but there is still so much to do. The cost of digging out the mud for one home can be upwards of $200,000!  Unfortunately, insurance does not often cover it.  Then, there is the difficult job of finding contractors who will remove the mud.  Enter the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade.  It was conceived over the kitchen table by Abe Powell and Tom Cole which they started with their own personal funds.  Costs per week are $25,000 for equipment, storage, food, porta-potties, and more to keep the hundreds of volunteers going.  They have done so much already but there is so much more to do.

Some of the Bucket Brigade volunteers

My dear friend Connie Smith who has volunteered with the Bucket Brigade passed on this letter to me:

Friends, I had a great picture and because I am so not tech, I accidentally deleted it…but imagine homes covered in mud, whole neighborhoods.  Covering yards, oozing through rooms, gardens and precious belongings, tragic, completely overwhelming.  Unimaginable.  And who will help you “dig out”?  Can you afford the resources?

Then see a crew of volunteers, shovels, gloves and masks, wheel barrows and a spirit to act.  They are shoveling your yard, sorting your home, clearing your garage.  All on a volunteer basis.  Boots on the ground, organized, delegated, allowing privacy for homeowners but hard at work.  Cleared through legal channels to be there and do what needs to be done.

But there may be a halt to the hundreds of volunteers doing this essential work because of lack of funds for the minimal support needed.  Everything helps, 20, 25, 30, or add zeroes…

Please go to   Please do what you can.  It is tax deductible.  And share.  I am reaching far and wide because this is so essential and neighbor to neighbor.

Last Saturday of digging was a spirit experience…hard work, shovel in hands and duct tape for blisters, but when a child’s bike was cleared?  And his dad said, “he will be so happy to see that.” Tears in my eyes.  They are there still.

Love Healing Resilience


Connie may not have been able to share a picture, but this is what many neighborhoods look like.  It is a daunting task that the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade is tackling!



too much

Too much rain, too fast, and too soon.  I can not believe I am sharing another disaster in our community on the heels of the Thomas Fire.  On Tuesday January 9th,  at around 3:45am, unprecedented heavy rain fell at almost an inch per hour and caused the recently burned mountainside to give way.  It sent a torrent of mud, boulders, and debris careening through many parts of Montecito, a suburb of Santa Barbara.  Experts estimate the damage lies over a 30 square mile area.  As of this writing, 17 lives have been lost and over 600 homes destroyed or badly damaged.  It is overwhelming.  Our main artery from North to South, the scenic Highway 101 is closed down in both directions, stranding many. Continue reading

escaping thomas

Most of the time living in Southern California is paradise…beautiful weather, friendly people, the mountains, and the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.  That is why we live here.  Unfortunately, even paradise has it’s dark side and for us it’s the wildfires. Continue reading

favorite shop: scout

You all know by now how I love to shop local.  This past weekend while my daughter was visiting, she was going on about this new shop she had passed downtown but wasn’t open when she had walked by.  Luckily, quite accidentally, we stumbled upon SCOUT while doing some Christmas shopping the next day. Continue reading

mystical magical san ysidro ranch

When my friend and makeup magician, Fredericke Grillitz (IQ Beauty…see blog),  suggested I meet her at San Ysidro Ranch to pick up my cosmetics, I didn’t have to be asked twice.  She visits the Ranch for tea and a bite whenever she’s in town meeting her Santa Barbara clients. I haven’t been to the Ranch in years so I jumped at the chance, as Fredericke promised to take me on a stroll through the gardens. Continue reading