|Life on the Ranch
John Lovitz says,
"Get to know me!"
What is life like for a "Stay-at-Home CEO"?
the page where you find out!
If you're going to trust me
with business advice, I'm going to trust you with who I am.
In a nutshell:
- We live on a small ranch in the mountains of Southern California,
elevation: 5800 feet.
- Yes, we get snow. In the winter of 2000-2001 we had up to six feet
on the ground.
- It is a secluded forest setting with hundreds of trees:
80-foot pines, firs, cedars, and oaks.
- I do mean secluded. We can't see any buildings from our
home except our own barn.
- I can see almost 200 trees from my desk. (It's a dirty job,
but someone has to do it!)
- We are avid animal lovers.
- Our current menagerie consists of 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 horses, and a parrot.
- Each of our animals "talk" (through us of course) in
various voices that we have concocted for our own amusement
- Many people tell us that when they die they want to come back as
one of our animals. (Sorry, but there is a waiting list.)
Each issue of the FREE "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" newsletter
(sign up here if you
haven't already) will contain short glimpses of "Life on the
Ranch"; this is the "cast of characters"
(If you simply have to see bigger photos, click on the smaller
Chris & Keno
|This is Mrs. "Stay-at-Home CEO", Christine or, as
we like to call her, "Chris" (shown here with Keno). How
she loves that horse! In fact, that horse is the reason that we
built the ranch in the first place; so we could have him on our property
and she could hug him whenever she wanted. When we first purchased the land (1 2/3 acres), we found
out we could legally have 7 horses. I told her, "You can have 7
horses... or 2 horses and a husband." After
giving it some thought (!), she chose option #2. I'm so glad she
did! (She says I'm a good ranch hand.)
has been my assistant since 1990. She is loyal, smart, and hell-bent
on doing whatever she can to help me succeed. My wish and hope is
that each and every one of you find your own "Kate".
Frankly, I don't know where I'd be without her. A great man we know
says "Kate is great!"
|According to our veterinarian,
the "perfect dog". We couldn't agree more. She is a
black Standard Poodle born in 1994, and is 50 pounds of pure joy; always friendly, happy, and playful. She "talks" in an
outrageous French accent (after all, she IS a French Poodle). She
may look prissy, but is tough as nails. She can and does outrun the
horses when we go galloping through the pines.
|Emma is another black Standard Poodle,
born in February of 2001. Technically, she is Simone's dog because
we got her to keep Simone company when Sarah Jane
(our beloved Saint Bernard)
died just after Christmas, 2000. She is a doll and she also
"talks" with an outrageous French accent. We can tell them
apart, however, because Simone calls us "Ma-ma" and
"Pa-pa" and Emma calls us "Muzere" and "Fazere"
(that's "Mother" and "Father" as pronounced with the
outrageous French accent!).
|Keno is the
world's luckiest horse. The day he and Chris found each other was
truly a glorious one. When he came into our lives, I didn't even
know how to spell hoarse, and now I'm a fairly decent horseman!
He truly changed both of our lives, for it was because of him that we
built the ranch on which we now live. He's like a big dog, has lots
of personality, and likes to "hang around" us when we are
working in the yard; he loves to nuzzle your ear and smell your hair.
|Kelly is billed as my horse,
but technically is Keno's horse because we got her so he wouldn't have to
be alone all the time. Keno and Kelly are inseparable; in fact, it
is almost impossible to ride one and leave the other behind because they
both go nuts when the other one isn't nearby. I haven't ridden her since she ran away with
me two years ago: now when I ride, I ride Keno and Chris rides
Kelly. When Chris rides alone, she rides Keno and Kelly just follows
|AKA "The Urinator",
Lily "talks" like Arnold Schwartzenegger in "The
Terminator". Unfortunately we found out that Lily is a 3-cat
cat after we got our 4th cat. We are back to 2 cats now, but she still
has an occasional relapse. Lily is the 'character' of the family...
most of our best stories involve her. Let me put it this way:
she's on a feline version of "Prozac". I'm not kidding.
|Soft as a bunny and sweet as
can be, Phoebe's job is to lie around all day. She does it
well. She was rescued from the center divider of a freeway in Los
Angeles by a very brave friend. Phoebe "talks" in a
southern accent, and is proud to be the least trouble of any of our
|Poncho was a birthday gift to
Chris from her father in (are you ready for this?) 1957! He is
very mean to everyone except Chris. He has, does, and will bite
anyone except her, even if they feed him; we're talking about major flesh
removal here, not just little pecks. He also talks, er, uh, screams
periodically, and when he does it is advisable to leave the area in order
to protect yourself from permanent ear damage. Of course, this is
only my opinion. Chris loves him, though, because they grew up
together. Poncho loves to listen to wind-up music boxes
|Chris found Georgie wandering
on a mountain road and we fostered him for six months until Kate decided
to take him. Now Kate and her husband worship the ground he walks on and
he comes to work with her, so we still get to see him often. Because of his
amazing personality, we are convinced that he is Chris' father
reincarnated, which is why we named him "Georgie". He is
very protective of us and our property, and has made grown men tremble.
He understands complete sentences and usually walks around with a toy in
his mouth. He makes everyone smile. We call Emma his
"sidekick" because she does everything he does.
"Henry & Gladys"
are two ravens that allow us to live on their turf. We always
considered them to be rather tame, and now that they are used to us and
the food we leave for them (old rolls, dead mice, etc.) they have begun to
follow us (moving from tree to tree) as we move around the property, and
also when we walk the dogs in the forest. They even come when we
call them. About a year after Chris named them 'Henry and Gladys',
she discovered that they had been hand-raised by a neighbor whose name is,
believe it or not, "Henry"!