What an exciting and humbling start to 2023!
On January 25, 2023, we needed to make a trip to visit my 98-year-old mom (my other mother) in San Francisco, after seeing her in October for her 98th birthday! We were unable to get there at Christmas and were so grateful she was still healthy, living on her own and well enough to anticipate a visit with us!
When we started off on our adventure! Little did we know how much our lives would change for the better!
Our journey rolled out (figuratively and literally) like a red carpet of blessings everywhere we put our foot down.
Learn More About Maggie, but stay tuned for some super exciting news coming soon! https://angelislandferry.com/captain-maggie/.
- Day 3 Afternoon Jan 27 -Until the morning of Feb 1 it was a ton of fun! We arrived home to our San Francisco Family- Really, it’s Palo Alto but all the same to us! We were here until we left for LA Feb 1! However, walking Rhylee the dog, cooking for the family, learning to make candles (thanks to the inspiration of my pseudo daughter Teresa) and putting together gift bags for our event in LA, it was wonderful to go for walks with my sister, going out for dinner, while Jim who brought his tool kit, fixed the various items in the home! This time he brought his tool kit to help with lights, ovens, stoves, electrical outlets and more! We get to stay in beautiful Palo Alto at our family home, with our own master bedroom king suite for free! Its the least we can do is to give back!
Rhylee the dog… walking the neighbourhood in Palo Alto with Aunty Candace
Jeff also gifted me with a hand drawn picture of my favourite character, Tinker Bell!!! 🙂 Thank you !!!
- Day 7- Jan 31, 2023- Last night before leaving for LA. Dinner with family at Tamarine Restaurant in Palo Also- Freezing Cold!!! But no seats so we had to sit outside!! Bar none, the best modern Vietnamese cuisine I have ever had! https://tamarinerestaurant.com/about/
- Day 8- Feb 1- LA and our Beverly Hills B&B- and planned luncheon here we come!! Finally some awesome weather, even though the grapevine into LA was layered with snow! First we have ever seen and that was before March 1 when it super snowed in LA. So glad we missed it!
Feb 1- of course we couldn’t stop in LA without first dropping by my sister and producing partner, the 2 Time Emmy Award Winning Producer, Ms. Neisha Cohen and her puppies, Bella Luna and Matza Ball!
Feb 1- Evening!! Getting together with our wonderful friends, actors and film makers, Lisa and David Bailey. They had come to visit us in Vancouver at Christmas and now we were visiting with them. We went to their house, shared a glass of wine and they treated took us to Musso and Franks, a Hollywood Historical Hang out! Fabulous food, historic Hollywood and of course, I got the collectors plates!! They turned down a well known celebrity the night before when he asked for a plate.. seems I still get favour!! https://mussoandfrank.com/ See more pictures of our fabulous dinner at Musso and Franks with dear friends!
David (Bing) Bailey is a talented film producer, writer, director and creative genius with some pretty awesome Feature Film scripts (outside of his usual horror, zombie genre). It’s not my cup of tea but the one he gave me to read, well, in my humble opinion its a “home run” rivalling some well known and cult classics! His lovely wife Lulu (Lisa) Bailey is just as briliant in her skills of acting, drawing, writing, makeup and so much more!! What a dynamic duo!! https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5146714/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_lkThis leads to feature film # 1! Stay tuned!!
* Day 9- Feb 2- Beverly Hills Hotel- Polo Lounge Here we come!!! I waited an entire year to reconnect and party with my girls!! Gift Bags Galore!! What an adventure as we were only sitting down for 15 minutes in a beautiful room overlooking the courtyard, when we were subjected to the announcement of the a notice that the Entire city of Beverly hills just experienced a power outage and that no hot beverages would be available!! Well, with a table full of actresses, what do you think happened??? We sat for several hours enjoying each others company, face timing with Terry Fator https://terryfator.com/to introduce him to our Hollywood Royalty of our beautiful sisters, Dyan Cannon, Stepfanie Kramer, Dee Wallace, and Neisha Cohen. Of course, we had to face time Leilani https://sweetleilani.com/and Deb Herman https://jeffherman.com/profile/deborah-herman/to thank them all for the gifts!! Jim stayed the entire time and the girls loved him!!! 5 hours later, we decided we should think about leaving! The power came back on in plenty of time to grab coffee before our next adventure in Marina Del Ray that evening!!
Day 9 Feb 2- Evening- After the Beverly Hills Hotel- (we stayed for 5 hours) so MUCH fun) on to Marina Del Ray! The always lovely, Rick Schirmer invited us to celebrate his best friend, the sweet and precious, Heidi Tuttle’s birthday after our Polo Lounge afternoon! It was the perfect way to end the day to see Heidi, Rick and his beautiful wife, Rachel McCord and their precious boy Jude!!https://schirmermccord.com/
As usual, it’s not just about the party, and being able to give Heidi a big hug, we were blessed to meet many amazing people and connect with even more amazing people! I was honoured to meet and chat (with who I can now call my new friend), Joshua Nadler, Director of Acquisitions & Development at AFFIRM Films. Sony Pictures Entertainment. We also met his sweet girlfriend, Tilly who we have now invited to come hang with us as they make some possible Hollywood North Movies! https://compass.edu/stories-in-film-joshua-nadler/.
If that wasn’t enough, that same night, I introduced myself and Jim and I shook hands to a super cool guy, Mike Manhardt! https://anaheimstudios.com/cpt-team/mike-manhardt/mikenew/ As I asked Mike, “tell me about you”? It opened up an exciting opportunity to video tape a message to my producer partner and his dad, Eric Hannah and David Hannah (the founder of Athletes in Action-AIA)https://athletesinaction.org/about/history-and-finances/ as Mike began to tell me about his work with AIA!! Right then and there I sent a video message to Dave from Mike and they connected!! What a small world??
Then Mike goes on to tell me about his two Super Bowl commercials, for hegetsus.com https://hegetsus.com/en (remember that name not only for the Super Bowl but how it creates a connection with some new friends later in this blog). Our providential conversation with Mike, led to some very exciting conversations that lead up to Feature Film # 2 for Unlocking Secrets Productions https://unlockingsecretsproductions.com/film-projects/and our producing partners. More on that later!
This turned into an exciting conversation with Mike as I felt to share a zoom link with him for a zoom call coming up in the following weeks, after the Super Bowl held in Arizona with our AOC life team! Little did we know, what else it would lead to!! We were anticipating a phone call coming up Feb 27 with the Ambassadors of Compassion Team, https://ambassadorsofcompassion.com/ and the owner of the (not yet known) Super Bowl Winners, The Kansas City Chiefs!! https://www.nationalworld.com/people/clark-hunt-net-worth-kansas-city-chiefs-owner-4024976
Everyone at Heidi’s party that we met, exchanged numbers and very soon, we found incredible connections and started texting introductions all over the place!!!
then…. the next day.. more magic!
- Day 10- Feb 3, 2023- Finally a day off!! Or so we thought!! We love to meet people but we needed a break from our whirlwind few days. Little did we know what was coming! We decided to take a leisurely later morning walk down to downtown Beverly Hills from our Air BnB to many of the places I had filmed at, enjoyed meals and hanging with the crew. Of course this meant the iconic Rodeo Drive, which we love to come back to since, 2006-2008 when I first met, Neisha Cohen, Dyan Cannon, Stepfanie Kramer, Dee Wallace, and Terry Fator on our set of our celebrity Biography show called, Unscripted- shot in the Montage in Beverly HiIls, now known as The Maybourne. https://www.maybournebeverlyhills.com/ Not to mention popping in to CUT to reminisce of the kind Wolfgang Puck who signed and gifted me with his dinner plates from CUT. at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel. https://wolfgangpuck.com/dining/cut-beverly-hills/
We were super fortunate, that after hanging on the pier, they had a Friday night fireside, ocean view patio seat so we could enjoy what was to become an extraordinary sunset. We got there at 3:30 pm and left at 8:30 pm!! In another amazing, turn of events, beside us was a couple taking a sunset photo of themselves with an Iphone. Jim offered to take the photo with his Samsung that he began to share, in all honesty, was far superior to the Iphone! As Jim went on to explain, the quality of the photo and photo taking skills made the Samsung camera, the superior choice. The couple smiled, thanked him and sat down again beside us to enjoy the same view and warming fire. Shortly a conversation struck up. It turns out the sweet couple, just returned from an adventure in Antartica! “Antartica”? we asked.
It seems they were newly engaged on their recent trip and just got back. We offered our congratulations and the conversation blossomed into asking them, ” what do you do”?
I found out the woman, Laurie, was a dietician living in San Diego, now newly engaged, belonged to the same private Facebook group that I was apart of. The Leslie Vernick group, is a unique group of women coaches focusing on women’s empowerment in the faith community. Our instant connection moved into learning about her new fiancee
Jeff, whom, like us, met on a dating app and were excited as their relationship was progressing to marriage!
Jeff asked what I did and I stated “production, and too long to get into”. I returned the question and to our delightful surprise, he turned out to be this guy!! https://www.makeanoriginal.com/photographer/jeff-mitchum/Jeff Mitchum- National Geographic Photographer, renowned photographer and gifted artist. He sold one of his photos to the Griffith Observatory – https://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/columnists/2021/09/23/watching-stars-come-out-hollywood-pat-hickey/5830898001/ which we had plans to go to the next morning with Bing and Lulu our producer friends. Upon hearing of our plans to go in the morning, he stated ” you might want to take a look at the 32 foot x 10 foot” photo I sold to them when you get there.”
He pulled out his phone to show us the photo and I asked him if we could take a “photo of the photo” in his phone before we headed up there the next day! At the same time, I told him, about our my new friend, Mike Mandhart from the night before, who owns Anaheim Studios, leads hegetsus.com and so much more! I shared that maybe I could them as Jeff told me about his amazing new project seeking funding. Some of his most amazing work- Third Day- is seen here:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/renowned-photographer-jeff-mitchums-masterpiece-third-day-sells-for-18-million-254725471.html
When Jeff learned that Mike was also behind “He Gets Us.com” he was so excited as he had seen the commercials pre Super Bowl. When I told Jeff and Laurie about the Ambassadors of Compassion, Mike’s commercials and Athletes in Action connection and the upcoming call with (not yet winners of the Super Bowl) Kansas City Chiefs owner, Clark Hunt, the excitement was beyond surreal!
So of course, an immediate text introduction happened with Mike and Jeff and we exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch! Of course a introduction to Terry Fator was also warranted as we learned that Jeff had a gallery in Las Vegas, and a star on the Las Vegas walk of fame, where Terry resides and Terry also has the love for the He Gets Us.com campaign!
Lastly, Laurie was interested as was Jeff in the work that Ambassadors of Compassion is doing, with a woman’s division planned out of San Diego (did I mention Laurie lives in San Diego) and a subsequent zoom call /text and excitement as we were all going to watch and chat about Mikes two Super Bowl commericals now that we were all “new friends”. It was so much fun Super Bowl weekend to text back and forth with all of our old and new connections and watch the exciting win of the Super Bowl by the Kansas City Chiefs, knowing that a call with the owner was also eminent! The zoom, post super bowl call video was exchanged recently! The connections remain amazing! Jeff has asked me to help with a few of his projects and I am honoured with the opportunity! If you are interested in some outstanding art and wanting to buy- contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to connect!
* Day 10- Morning Feb 4, 2023- We were so excited to join, once again our good friends Bing and Lulu Bailey who treated us to a lovely breakfast, bought us some beautiful preserves, chocolates and planned a visit up to Griffiths Observatory on Saturday morning to see our new friend from the night before, Jeff Mitchum’s photo on display! After a fabulous and fun experience in the Alcove Cafe https://www.alcovecafe.com/near the observatory, we made our way up! What we didn’t know, is that particular day, at the Griffiths Observatory there was a HUGE memorial for a mountain lion. Yup.. a mountain lion! The parking was closed and the entire mountain side was SOO packed that there was NO way we could get in!! So we will have to wait for another day to explore this extraordinary site, the stunning photograph and views!! Can’t wait for our next trip!
- Day 10- Afternoon Feb 4, 2023- After another extraordinary night before and a rest in the afternoon, our very good friends 2 time Emmy award winning, Officer on Judge Judy, Petri Hawkins Byrd https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bailiff_Byrd and his beautiful wife, Makita Bond Byrd, https://www.ghgossip.com/makita-bond-wife-of-petri-hawkins-byrd-biography/asked us to join them in their movie premiere, for Petri’s project he acted and produced in, called- Amy’s F-It List, on Netflix https://screenrant.com/amys-f-it-list-movie-confrontation-clip/, being held at The Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills-https://fineartstheatrebh . Apparently Steven Spielberg premiered a movie there the week before so the sound and theatre were prepped for this fun night! It was Jim and I’s very first movie premiere and as guests of Petri’s and Makita’s they graciously took us out for dinner prior to the premiere, to the Ocean Prime Restaurant https://www.ocean-prime.com/locations-menus/beverly-hills/where the food was divine!!
- Day 11- Feb 5, 2023- Morning: Time to leave LA and move on to Palm Springs and Vegas, but before we did, we wanted to stop and hang around and since it was “Sunday”, church with our good friends, Sammy Maloof and family!! Sammy, Jen, Hannah, Megan, Kaitlyn and Janeen and Josh have a show on Netflix called “Drive Hard the Maloof Way”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR4KZeAnKbc. This amazing, family friendly, series is a must watch for the whole Family!! We love them all so much! We stayed just for a quick visit then headed to Palm Springs overnight to visit good friends.
We shared a bottle of Dyan Cannon’s fabulous wine and their appy’s before heading out for a wonderful night of food, friendship and good talks!!
So good to catch up with them and are excited to see them in April when they are here in Vancouver! Thanks for your kind hospitality Dennis and Brenda!!
Oh and she graciously bought a bunch of my cards to give out to her clients. If you are interested in any of my cards email me at email@example.com see them here: email me for wholesale prices and shipping! http://unlockingsecrets.com/the-spirit-series-greeting-cards/
- Day 12- Feb 6, 2023- Off to Vegas!! Driving from Palm Springs to Las Vegas was our very first experience. We have never been to Vegas (true story) either of us have never been and we were excited about our drive to stay with our good friends, Terry and Angie Fatorhttps://terryfator.com/ and join our production partner and friend Eric Hannah! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=759028621566610 . Terry graciously invited us to stay at his beautiful 10,000 square foot home for 4-5 days!! We hoped we would still be friends by the end of it! Our drive up the mountain pathways between Palm Springs and Vegas was gorgeous, windy, snowy and full of incredible desert vegetation, snow capped mountains,, lots of trucks and wind.. so much wind!!
Day 12: Feb 6, 2023 -Feb 9, 2023- we finally arrived in the early afternoon to Las Vegas!! We arrived and it just so happens that my niece and nephew who have also never been to Vegas were there on their last day, so we celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary, our nephews birthday and Jims which was the next day, at a healthy restaurant recommended by our friend and Vegas, Medical Dr, Chantelle. In the shops next to Caesars Palace, we enjoyed a great lunch together, finally joined by our good friend, Eric Hannah who just flew in from Redding to join us for the next few days of filming, friends and fellowship with Terry and Angie. After lunching with our niece and nephew, we headed for Terry and Angies house in Vegas for the next few days! For Jim who has never been to Vegas, Angie and Terry, and myself, organized a surprise birthday party for Jim the next day, for dinner, Paid for by Eric and the team, then headed to Terry’s show, where Terry surprised Jim and myself, by making us a part of the show! It was hilarious!! Then we heading back to Terry and Angies, after a full house show, where Angie had made a divine German Chocolate Cake for Jim, and we got to watch The Chosen in Terry’s theatre, all while in our PJ’s. But first things first, after Terry and Angie showed us around their beautiful home, (which hosts Christmas all year round) and led us down a long hallway to our own private guest suites, Terry made us a batch of his famous chicken wings using his “special S_it” sauce!! So much fun!! We then gave Terry and Angie the gifts we had brought for them including, an autographed copy of The Shack- who Terry is a big fan of William Paul Young, who I had the honour of introducing them to each other, and a copy of Deb Hermans, Spiritual Writing, a huge bag of vinegars, oils and mustards from The Olive Pit in California and finally the “custom designed Light Sabre, hand painted by our Sunset Waiter and Marvel Comic illustrator, Jeff!! Who made it especially for Terry as a surprise! Terry and Angie loved the gifts and we shared a bottle of Dyan Cannon’s delicious wine with them! Later on we had Dyan and Terry meet by phone and connect! They have established their friendship! So many amazing moments were shared with all of us as a group. We connected many new and established resources to help Terry full fill his dreams!! Our bond and connection is forever and secured by the commitment to remain good friends! Upon leaving, Terry and Angie gifted us with some amazing books, prayer and loving friendships.. oh and a connection to Amazon for that Special S_it” that makes the best chicken wings ever! Love you guys!!!
- Day 14 Feb 8 2023- Eric had to go back to Redding for meetings, and Terry had to do a show, we decided to take the time to explore Vegas for the afternoon, evening! What a one time experience. We don’t like the fact that everyone seems to smoke on the streets, including pot, and we even got propositioned. Altough we should have been flattered it’s just a big turn off. However, while Terry was performing at his show in New york New York, we headed to Caesars where we found a valet for $7.00 for the entire day, ending at 9:00 pm that night! Perfect for us and walking distance to all the main attractions. We headed through Cesars palace, and the shops where I bought some amethyst rocks I planned on crushing and putting in my new lavender candles I was making, then headed to Hells Kitchen where they took us straight into dinner! What fabulous food, a great experience, and maybe a souvenir! I didn’t get a plate as they don’t customize them, but I feel like they missed an experience by not shouting out “shut it down” every 30 minutes!! lol.. it would be fun!!@gordonramsey I think you should add this as a entertainment feature in your Hells Kitchen, restaurants! We then headed to the Bellagio to watch the gorgeous fountain show and saw the beautiful inside of the hotel! Gorgeous photos, but we really feel like we don’t need to see much more! If we go back, it’s to see Terry and Angie! During our time there we were fortunate enough to connect Terry and Angie to some amazing colleagues, friends! Terry deserves all the recognition for how hard he works and so does Angie! What a team! While we were there we were fortunate enough to get some footage of green screen interviews of Terry and some of his story! Future planning! What an amazing team Terry has in Tanner and Marina!! Thank you all for your help!!
- Day 15 Feb 9, 2023- Having had the time of our lives, filming in Terry’s own home studio, praying together, eating together, crying together, laughing together and planning together, it was time for us to head back to LA, finish some last minute business and head back to our family in San Fran for Valentines and family celebrations. Parting gifts from Terry and Angie were especially precious… the love note from Eric to Jim for his birthday was exceptional. Our bond is forever. Angie gifted me with a beautiful card and devotional and Terry and Angie gifted us with a fantastic book of his cartoon featured with some outstanding celebrities! He personally signed it for us before we all prayed together before headed out on our journey to LA via a different route! Jim offered a little bit of his electrical expertise to help a few things around Terry’s house before we left!
- Day 15- Feb 9, 2023- Leaving Terry and Angies, and heading back to LA- we decided to stop back in to visit Sammy Maloof and family and after Sammy prayed with us, I was invited to sing in Janeen’s studio- I hadn’t sang in an awful long time, so my voice wasn’t remotely warmed up and I didn’t know the lyrics, but what the heck.. humbling myself, I sang my heart out in her studio!! Thank you dear Janeen, from Mentoring with Music https://www.mentoringwithmusic.com/about-us for the sudden and spontaneous studio opportunity! Funny, I had the song , the “Goodness of God” by CeCe Winans in my heart for the past several days and I had the chance to sing it! What a blessing for me! It’s a good thing with not being able to hit the hight notes and with only one take, that God loves a “joyful noise”.
- Day 15- Feb 9-10, 2023- That evening, after Sammy’s we arrived at the Marriot in LA was the perfect end to a fabulous evening! We will definitely stay there again! Right outside our room was the Jacuzzi, and fire pit. We had it all to ourselves as we stay for two nights visiting friends and enjoying our down time. We connected with my dear sister, Dyan Cannon at her house and Neisha Cohen. A wonderful visit with them in the afternoon, before we headed to the beautiful home of Petri and Makita Hawkins Byrd- where they served us a fabulous home cooked curry and taught us how to play Phase 10- our new “go to game”. then we got to play with the Emmy’s and Spirit awards, before picking a lemon straight from their tree and headed back to our hotel for the last night in LA. We touched base with our former director of Unscripted, Karl Richter and hope to get a visit in next time! It was sad to say goodbye to LA but we know we have dear friends and family all long the southern coast of LA and a second home anytime we want to!
- Day 16 -23- Feb 11-16th 2023- We said goodbye to LA and headed to San Fran to be with family and celebrate Jim’s birthday at the wine and tapas bar in Palo Alto! IT was freezing cold, but complete with our new ring flasks, Suzie and I joined the guys with a delicious tapas bar and wine!! Super Bowl Sunday, Feb 12, we texted with the LA team who did the Super Bowl Commercials in anticipation of the game!! On the Super Bowl Sunday, Sam and Sophia joined us to watch the game! Brandon, Suzie, Jim and I created all kinds of fun treats as we enjoyed the super bowl together! I predicted the win off the Chiefs after I witnessed #87 complete the first touchdown!! For the first time in my life I actually understood the game!! On Monday, we were joined by Suzie and Brandon at Sundance Steak house were Suzie and Brandon got to re-celebrate Jim’s birthday where Jeff presented him with is own personal hand created light sabre! Fabulous drinks and a wonderful night of fun and friendship and fabulous food! Once again, Jeff treated us to a fabulous appys and we received the best service! The rest of the week was filled with prepping for my class that i was to teach live upon returning home Feb 24 as well as zoom calls to chat about upcoming projects, movies, and TV shows!! I had a great visit with sister Kathy, and got to bring home fresh picked avocados from the neighbours tree that had been cut back. Walking the dog, cooking dinner and helping Jim with fixing ovens, lights and stoves around the Harker house in Palo Alto added to the fun! Thursday evening was a fantastic visit with mom, thanks to sister Kathy who went ahead and prepped it all for us in advance. Mom was funny and entertaining and gave me back my folder of all my letters and correspondence I have with her over the years, as well as a generous belated Christmas gift! as well as getting to see mom and laughing, video taping her sweet voice and laughter and exchanging funny stories with Jim. It was hard to say goodbye to her, but we promised we would come back in May to see her!
- Day 23- Feb 16- 2023- With plans to head back to Vancouver with a quick morning stop to Maggie in Tiburon and a stop in Sacramento to see Geoff, Laura and baby Jamie, before heading to see Eric and Jodi in Redding, and overnighting in Medford, we packed up and prepared for the early morning trip the next day! Our hearts were full but sad to leave our family and many, many dear friends.
- Day 24- Feb 17- We hit the road around 9:00 am and headed without traffic challenges to say goodbye to Maggie and the team, before heading to visit surrogate kids, Geoff, Laura and baby Jamie in Sacramento! What a joyful visit with the kids and loved their cute house! Onto Redding to enjoy appy’s, production conversations and Rain and Wind – love the family!!! Onward to Medford for the night to see, William Paul Young one more time to deliver a signed copy of her book to Paul as a thank you from Deb!
- Day 25- Feb 18- Leaving a wonderful nights sleep in Medford at a great hotel, we jumped in the car and headed for Vancouver washington to drop off the gift for Paul Young, The Shack Author. Unfortunately Paul wasn’t well enough to visit on the way back, but he did introduce me to a new possible client, Terry Esau, who I will be zooming with this week! Regardless, if we connect in business or not, this man does great work! Take a look at his give back! US only! https://fb4k.org/ We arrived to my brothers house in Mount Vernon to pick up some gifts before finally heading home! We had ordered all our Instacart and Costco food prior to crossing the border and it was waiting for us at home! We were able to eat, unpack and rest before hitting church the next day and starting our whirlwind week back home!
What a journey!! So grateful for each and everyone on of you who blessed us, invited us to dinners, events, house guests, prayer partners and so much more. Thank you dear friends!!
Its been a privilege and a blessing and we are so grateful for the connections, time, people, business opportunities and blessings, so many blessings. We are humbled beyond belief and so grateful! we love you all.
Please stay tuned to my new production site for all upcoming projects! https://unlockingsecretsproductions.com/