the personal views, thoughts, and musings of donna d'errico

Friday, May 21, 2010

Youngblood Cosmetics

I recently discovered a relatively new makeup line called Youngblood Cosmetics. It is a mineral based makeup and is just amazing. I have melasma, and it covers it really well and makes my sin look perfect (even though it is actually pretty bad!). Just wanted to share about it because I don't usually get too excited about makeup, but this one is too amazing to keep to myself :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear, Deer

While driving up my canyon road on my way home this morning, I caught a glimpse of a doe clambering off the edge of the road and into into the thicket. I only caught a quick glimpse as I drove by, but I instantly knew something was not right by the way she seemed to be crawling rather than walking. So, I doubled back as quickly as I could and drove very slowly, trying to remember the exact spot I passed by her. When I found her, I made another u-turn so that my car was on the same side of the road that she was on. The canyon road is a two-way road with no shoulder, so I stopped in the middle of the right lane and put my flashers on.

When I got out of my car and walked around to where she was, I could see that both of her back legs were shattered to bits. She kept struggling to stand and run away on legs that were no longer there. The sight of her had me in tears instantly, but I had to act very quickly to hold her still. All of her struggling and dragging of those shattered legs behind her was causing her to rip them to shreds. The bones were so crushed that her legs looked like floppy doll legs hanging off her hind end. It was awful and the most pitiful thing I had ever seen. She was panting and bleating, and clearly in massive pain. This had obviously just happened not a moment before I saw her struggling off the road ahead of me.

I waved frantically to a large pick-up truck that appeared, and asked the man to call someone to come out and help her. She was in shock and suffering. He immediately got on his phone and began dialing the local vets, wildlife rescues, and animal control. Another person stopped, then another. They all got out of their cars and came over to help. I asked one kind woman who stopped if she had a towel in her car that I could put over the doe's face to calm her, and she retrieved one from her car for the deer. I tried to check to see if the doe had any teats that would indicate that she had fawns nearby, but she was struggling and strong so I wasn't able to see.

A sheriff eventually happened along and called the situation in over his radio. I was so happy to see so many passers-by stopping and offering to help, and being so concerned and outraged that someone would commit a hit-and-run like that. It warmed my heart to see such love and concern from so many in this day and age.

In the end, the poor thing had to be put out of her misery. Her legs couldn't be saved.

To accidentally hit a deer that jumps out in front of your car, though unfortunate and sad, is not something anyone would judge you over. I have come close to that happening to me many a time out here where the deer are numerous and always jumping into the road. But to whoever it was that hit this doe this morning, and just kept on going without any concern for her whatsoever - not only did you commit a crime by doing what you did, you are a coward and should be ashamed of yourself.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No-No, Nobu!

We won't be eating at Nobu again.

On Mar 24, 2010, at 2:17 PM, ******* ******* wrote:

JUST SAY NO TO NOBU!!! (Sorry if you don't live in LA...I am sending this to everyone I know.)

Nobu, the food is great. BUT the service is horrible. I am dumbfounded how my best girlfriend's 16 year old son was treated while picking up a to-go order for us from Nobu Malibu. He had just gotten his drivers license and was so proud. Went down to Nobu to pick up TWO things for us to eat. The bill was $63.00. (Yes, the prices are outrageous but they are specialty items and you only live once.) He had 60 bucks of his own money in his pocket and was treating us to dinner that evening. So he was short a few dollars. They completely embarrassed him. He had to give one of the extremely over priced dishes back. He came home with the wind knocked out of his sails and said "I feel silly and I even forgot to tip them". That is what kind of a kid he is...felt bad that he didn't tip the extremely insensitive NOBU staff member.

Listen, everyone that goes to that restaurant is a local. We support local businesses. All the manager had to do was say drop the 3 dollars off tomorrow. Knowing my friend's son, he would have brought it back that night. I have been to that place a billion times. I have received complimentary desserts, a drink, special appetizer from the chef. PLEASE!!! They could have let him slide on the 3 bucks. I am on a mission to let everyone I know be aware of how he was treated. If you know me, this is not stopping at an email. Go to Zuma Sushi...nice people and great atmosphere! Thank goodness for freedom of speech.

This is not the first time the staff was rude. To me is one thing, to a nice kid that has more manners in his little finger than most adults have in their entire body, is ridiculous.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Juggling Blueberries in the Kitchen

Life these days seems to just keep getting tougher and tougher - the economy is failing and jobs are scarce, people live in fear of losing their homes, our family court system is corrupted beyond repair, suicides and murders are on the rise, religion has become tainted and "uncool", and a myriad of other depressing realities. I used to watch the 6 o'clock news in the evenings with my family as a kid. Now, you can't let your kids ever watch the news because all they talk about is the latest child molestation case, murder, mass killing, etc. "Mommy, what's child molestation?" I can hear it now. Talk about inducing nightmares in innocent children!

In fact, I myself don't ever even watch the news. I don't pick up a newspaper ever, either - unless I am on a long plane flight and feel like doing the NYT crossword puzzle. But I won't read it. What's the point of reading depressing, nightmare-inducing stuff that makes me feel sad, upset, angry, outraged, or helpless? No, thanks. I get through life just fine and dandy without the daily dose of disaster fed to the public through the mass media. I can keep up with important goings-on in our country and the world through independent news sources that are not controlled by the powers-that-be.

These days, more and more, it's the simpler things in life that make me the happiest. I don't need material things to make me happy. I have everything I need. I have my children, my health, and my pets. I have my faith in God. I don't care about designer clothing, jewelry, fancy restaurants, galas, or rubbing elbows. No - for me, watching my organic vegetable garden sprout and grow, hiking in the mountains with my dogs, playing catch with my kids at the park, or just squatting down to watch a trail of ants carrying food into their anthill is what makes me the happiest. It's the simpler things now that give me the most joy. When you get to the point where juggling blueberries in the kitchen makes you feel completely content and serene - as though you have not a care in the world - you'll never want to go back to your former existence.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Great Outdoors

I have just started taking a daily hike in the mountains around my home, and I must say I am already addicted. It is simply breathtaking beauty all around me as I hike, and it takes me back to my days as a young girl in Georgia. When I was young, I used to spend most of my time on my own at the little wooded lake across the street from my home. There, I would climb trees, catch minnows and crayfish in the stream, and explore all the wildlife and nature I could in the woods. I'd catch snakes, find alligator snapping turtles and study how patient they were

while holding their mouths open awaiting unsuspecting prey, come across ducks' nests full of eggs and quietly step around them, and sit up high in a tree to observe deer drinking from the lake. I would dig my own earthworms (I got quite adept at it!) to use as bait, and then take a simple string of fishing line with a little hook on the end, wrap it around the end of the longest stick I could find, and fish in the lake. I'd usually catch several brim that way. The bass were out farther than my little homemade fishing pole could reach, and I didn't have a long enough line to reach the bottom for the catfish. But I was very content with my brim. I'm quite certain that they weren't legally "keepers", but then again I had no fishing license and I was only nine or ten at the time so I didn't care. (Photos above: alligator snapping turtle, crayfish, and the lake I spent my childhood exploring)

Hiking is bringing back some of those childhood memories. There is no lake where I hike, no stream, no woods, and the mountain terrain is much different than the flatlands of southern Georgia. But the smell of wildflowers, the sound of songbirds in the trees, and the fresh, clean air in my lungs all take me back to a sweeter, less complicated time in my life. And as I hike along, I can't help but wonder at all that God has put here for us to enjoy. But we stay cooped up in our houses or go to the gym for fitness, forgetting just how amazing and wonderful it is to be out in nature. Well, I'm back. And I'm loving every second of it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Well, it's that time of the year again. Time to clean out the sock drawers, throw out all the junk you don't really need, give away stuff you haven't used in at least a year to the needy, get back on (or start!) an exercise program, plant your Spring garden, and repair all those little things that have been needing repair around the house. Yes - it's Springtime.

Although Spring doesn't technically start until March 20th, it's close enough. I've already started cleaning out the kids' rooms. Mine is on the list, too. Isn't it amazing how much "stuff" we accumulate over time? Keep your eye on ebay over the next couple of weeks...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Trivia

Did you know that...

During Lent, consuming such things as fat, sugar, and eggs was traditionally forbidden throughout the 40 days of Lenten fasting and prayer. Since Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, that meant that everyone needed to consume all the eggs, fats, etc. that they had in their kitchens. So, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday traditionally became the day that everyone had one last feast using those foods. That Tuesday became known as "Pancake Tuesday" because they used the fats, eggs, and sugars to make pancakes and other foods in order to use up those supplies. Did you know that is how Mardi Gras - "Fat Tuesday" - began?

How about Easter eggs and Easter baskets full of goodies and chocolates on Easter Sunday? Well, since Easter Sunday marks the end of 40 days of fasting and abstinence, people would celebrate by feasting on the eggs they couldn't eat during Lent, as well as other fatty and sugary things. Hence the Easter eggs, chocolates, and sugary goodies on Easter Sunday. Many people don't know how these traditions began, or that they all came about from the Catholic observation of Lent.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


(Here is a poem I wrote a few of years ago when Bone passed away. That's her in the picture with me. I hope you enjoy it.)


With Spring in the air and my boy at my side,
in search of a dog we went for a ride
to the animal shelter..the "pound", if you will.
It wasn't that far--just over the hill.

He took his time looking, for he said he'd know
the right dog when he saw it, and then we could go.
But he didn't find one that he thought was quite right.
And so we decided to call it a night.

Just then Rhyan's eyes lit up like a light,
"How about that dog over there--she's just right!"
There was an old dog being taken away.
He said he'd like to see her, if it was okay.

He went over to her and she wagged her bobbed tail.
He could see she was old, and a little bit frail.
"She needs me," he said, "and her eyes are so kind.
I'd like to have her, if you don't mind"

It was then that I realized where she'd been being led.
I looked at the worker and she nodded her head.
"Well it looks like today is her lucky day."
She handed Rhyan the leash and sent us on our way.

Bone loved her new home--lots of kids, land, and love.
And we loved her, too, like a gift from above.
Whenever we would walk out on our property
Bone walked out in front, her mind on safety.

She always watched over the kids like a mom
with a sense for the things to protect them from.
Her eyes were not sharp, and her hearing was bad
but a keener sense of smell was not to be had.

You always knew when Bone was around
'cause her nails on the floor made a clicking sound.
You knew she was coming down the hall for a drink
(or sometimes for a snack, which were kept by the sink.)

We always felt safe with old Bone around,
and no gentler dog could ever be found.
She was there to watch all my kids grow
but as they got bigger, our Bone got more slow.

We'd go out for our walks, but she would not go.
She preferred now to sleep on her soft pillow.
But no matter how tired or how weak she felt
that bobbed tail would wag, and our hearts she would melt.

At first it was tremors, then seizures came.
Bone no longer could bark, but she still knew her name.
Toes still clicked down the hall when she wanted a snack
which we knew she loved, so we never held back.

She slept more and more. She could see less and less.
She had accidents now, but we'd clean up her mess
with a tear, for we knew the day neared
that we'd be without her. The day that we feared.

The shelter had told us that they didn't know
but that she must have been about twelve years or so
when we got her. So if that was true,
then Bone was now eighteen and her days left were few.

We got her some pills that could make her last days
more comfortable, and in less of a haze.
Every day after school Rhyan would go to her
and lay with her awhile, gently stroking her fur.

I think she must have, quite deliberately,
waited until Rhyan was not home to see
her draw her last breath, then peacefully go
as she lay sleeping on her favorite pillow.

We buried her here where she loved to run
and play with the children out in the warm sun.
I can still see her there, keeping her watchful eye
on the children she loved from up there in the sky.

I've found it so hard to let go of her
the sound of her toes, the smell of her fur.
Oh, what I would give to see her again .
Goodbye, Bone. We miss you. Sleep well in heaven.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why Bother Getting A Dog?

One of my rescues, Hank, is a great big bear of a dog. He has dark brown fur, a large, muscular body, huge head and muzzle, large ears that stand up, and is 93 pounds of solid muscle. Speeding toward you, barking and with teeth bared and ears forward, he is a frightening sight for anyone who might dare to trespass or try to break in. What they wouldn't know, however, is that Hank is the gentlest, sweetest dog this side of the Mississippi. (That's Hank with me in the photo on the left from a couple years ago helping me to promote spaying and neutering for all dogs and cats.)

Hank is somewhere around 5 years old now, and we've had him for 4 years this month. His previous owner had gotten Hank when he was a puppy, put a chain around his neck, and chained him to a tree in his backyard. He stayed that way for the first year of his life, during which time he grew from a puppy into the very large dog he is today. His owner never bothered to loosen the chain around Hank's neck as he grew. When he was finally rescued, he could barely stand up. From the neck down, he was skin and bones. From the neck up, the water retention and swelling made his head resemble a watermelon. His entire face was also mostly void of fur due to a terrible case of Demodectic mange. He was unable to swallow, and was slowly starving to death. As he had grown, his connective tissue grew completely over the puppy-sized chain, embedding it deep in his neck.

He was whisked to an animal hospital, where the vet went to work surgically removing the deeply embedded chain from Hank's neck. The vet had to cut deep into Hank's neck all the way around in order to get to the chain. Afterward, what remained of Hank's neck was beyond words. The vet had to cut down so deep to remove the chain that that portion of Hank's neck was left only as big around as a puppy's neck. But thankfully, Hank could now at least breathe better and could swallow. The swelling around his head and face began to drain, and he began to gain some weight.

On one of our routine visits to the local animal shelter (we go there to visit the animals pretty often), my son, Rhyan, noticed Hank. He still had stitches encircling his neck, his fur was not quite grown back in after having been shaved for his surgery, he still didn't have fur on most of his face due to the mange, and the swelling in his face and head was not gone. But there he was, wagging his tail and jumping around playfully trying to get Rhyan's attention.

After spending some time playing with Hank, Rhyan came and got me. We already had Molly, who Linda Blair had rescued from a kill shelter in downtown LA and had brought to us in hopes that we would take her after our other rescue, Bone, passed away. I told Rhyan we weren't getting another dog. But he insisted that I just take a look at this dog, Hank.

Hank came home with us that day.

That was four years ago. He has long since healed, and is the most amazing dog ever. The scar encircling his neck became, in time, less noticeable. He gained weight and muscle, the swelling went down in his face, and after two years of aggressive treatment he was able to get completely rid of his mange. But he isn't quite out of the woods yet.

As Hank's neck healed, it formed a thick, deep scar all the way around his neck. Over time, that scar has constricted, as scars will do. What that means is that the thick band of scar tissue encircling his neck is shrinking, giving him less and less room to breathe or swallow. It eventually got to the point where Hank was pretty much panting all the time. I had the vet take an x-ray of Hank's neck, and it was clear that the thick band of scar tissue was beginning to strangle him. He needed more room to breathe and swallow. So Rhyan and I agreed to allow Hank's vet to go back in and remove a section of the scar from one side of Hank's neck.

That was a month ago. He stitched a portion of it closed, and left a small area unstitched so as to hopefully have it heal a bit wider than before. He had to go back in for more stitches and a drainage tube, and gets the new stitches out next week (the picture at the top right is a photo of Hank's neck today). Even though this new surgery site will form a scar that will constrict as well, his vet is hoping that even after it heals and constricts, he will still be left with at least a bit more room than he had before. So far it is looking good, and that area feels much softer and looser than it did before. Hank will always have a neck that is smaller than he needs, so anything that can be done to make him even a bit more comfortable is worth it.

His previous owner was never prosecuted, by the way. So he is still out there, no lesson learned, free to do this to another dog. You know, if you are just going to take the dog you get and chain him up to a tree in your backyard, ignoring him as he lays there suffering and suffocating....why bother getting a dog?

Monday, January 25, 2010

California storms

The storms last week here in California were pretty bad in many areas. Here in my neck of the woods, they were relatively uneventful. Lots of rain and wind, and even some rare thunder and lightening - but that was about it. Some rocks fell down the cliffs onto the canyon roads here and there, but those were cleared away pretty quickly by the rock-clearing trucks that patrol the canyons during rains. The thunder and lightening reminded me of being back home in Alabama and Georgia. I can still remember back years ago when I took my former stepkids with me and my two children to visit my family back home, and there was a typical Georgia thunderstorm. One of them, upon hearing the thunder, turned to me wide-eyed and asked, "What's that?" When I explained that it was just thunder, they replied, "What's thunder?" It dawned on me that, growing up in southern California, they had never experienced a thunderstorm.

In a way, I feel fortunate to have been able to experience what it's like to live in the deep south, the west coast, and the northeastern United States. Many people here in California have never experienced what it's like to weather a tornado or a thunderstorm, caught lightening bugs in a mason jar, had fire ants swarm up your legs, watched the spread of Kudzu, or experienced "red bugs"...all common in the South. Many people in the South have never experienced an earthquake or been evacuated due to a wildfire, witnessed a mudslide or rock slide, or had ants invade their is common here in California. And many here in California as well as the South have never experienced what it's like to open their front door to a wall of snow, as is common in the northeast. I've experienced all of those things. I think it's kind of neat.

I guess if I had to choose, I'd pick the South. I grew up there, and still consider it "home". People still go to Church on Sundays, fear God, and cook the tastiest dang food you ever done et in yer life.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Palm Springs Film Festival

I attended the Palm Springs Film Festival this weekend in support of my film, The Making Of Plus One, which closed the festival. Jennifer Tilly, Michael Eklund, Amanda Plummer, and Mary McGuckian were all there as well. It was wonderful seeing all of them and hanging out with the gang. Amanda caught a ride in with us in my car, and we drove in together. After the fiasco of getting lost from LA to Palm Springs, we finally made it in hours and hours late. Nevertheless, all went smoothly at the festival once here.

Palm Springs is a lovely town - very small, but wonderful restaurants and shops. The weather was perfect all weekend. It started to drizzle this evening at the closing gala, but not too bad.

Apparently, there is to be a severe storm the likes of which California has never seen heading our way in the next week or two. I'll refrain from going into my governmental weather control theory at this time. More on that later.

Back to the festival, our film was so well received that they had to open additional theaters to show it because it kept selling out. What was to be only one showing turned into four. It was great. We all did a Q & A afterward, which was one of the best we've done. Jennifer is always really funny at the Q & A's.

I'm back at my hotel now, laying here in bed in my pajamas. I can hear the distant thumping of music from all the continuing parties. I'm glad I'm here in my cozy bed in my cozy pajamas and not out there. I made my brief appearance at the gala. That was enough.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Donna D'Errico....the blogger?

Although I've read blogs many times, I've never done one of my own. I'll just plan on writing about my own thoughts on a variety of topics from world issues to organic gardening to parenting to current events, and so on. Sometimes it may read more like a diary entry. Maybe you'll like what I have to say...maybe you won't.

Most people have no idea what I'm really like. I was on the TV show "Baywatch", so some people still think of me running around a beach in a red bathing suit, saving people from drowning. I was married for a long time to a famous rock and roll guy, so some people think I must like to party it up, drink, use drugs, and listen to rock music. I've been in multiple films and television projects, so some people think I must be a millionaire with a bunch of domestic help and nannies caring for my children. In reality, I'm none of those things.

I'm a traditional Roman Catholic, and attend Mass every Sunday. I pray the Rosary every evening. This is nothing new - I've always done this.

I'm intelligent. I know this may come as a let down to some guys out there, but I'm not actually in my 20's with a head full of air, bouncing my way down the beach looking for a new boyfriend every evening. No, in fact I got straight A's through school, graduated at the top of my class, attended college, and excelled in math and science.

I don't go out, or "party". I grow my own organic vegetables in my backyard, and cook every meal myself at home every day. I never go out to clubs or bars, and the only alcohol I ever drink is an occasional glass of red wine with dinner. I don't use drugs, ever. I don't even believe in prescription medication. I prefer homeopathic and natural remedies.

I don't use domestic help. I raise my kids myself - I don't even use any childcare. Ever. I believe that being a parent is more than just providing care for your kids. Being a parent is actually parenting your own children yourself, personally providing all their care, all the time (except obviously while they are in school or day care). Too many people out here in LA rely on hired nannies to raise their kids for them. They think that seeing their kids at the end of the day for a couple of hours (after having had them cared for all day by a nanny) is just fine and dandy, and they think of themselves as good parents. If you use a nanny every day to care for your children for you, or if you always travel with a nanny while on your "family" vacation, you really don't deserve the title of "parent". I'll refrain from saying what title you do deserve.

So there you go. Now you know maybe just a bit more about me than you knew before. Many people probably don't have any idea who Donna D'Errico is, and don't really give a hoot. This blog is for those who have some idea of who I am, and might like to read what I have to say.

As for comments, let's keep it clean, folks. No profanity or dirty talk. I'm all about free speech and anti-censorship, but I draw the line at stuff I wouldn't want my own kids to read.

And we're off!