Gorman School

“You Can Do ANYTHING!”

I was given the opportunity to present the Commencement Speech for the SEVEN graduating 8th Graders at Gorman School, the smallest school district in Los Angeles County. In fact my own daughters attended this tiny yet effective school many years ago.

The speech centers around my Dad’s philosophy in life. He lived it. And he wanted us all to know that we could live it, too. He’d give a little laugh and say: “You can do ANYTHING!”

Went online and found some AWESOME recordings of DAD’s music! (Links below.) Very emotional to hear – takes me straight back to a simpler time . . .

The 8th Graders seemed to enjoy this. I hope you do, too!

Gorman 2013 8th Grade Grads

Gorman School Commencement Speech 

By Dawn Jenkins, Lady Farrier

8th Grade Graduation
June 6, 2013

Congratulations – you’ve studied, worked hard – and now you’re OUT OF HERE!

You’re moving on to the next four years of High School – and that’s an exciting place to be.

My girls attended Gorman School when they were young, and I have lots of fond memories here. Like the Halloween we brought our little white pony dressed up as a Unicorn with a cardboard horn. And my daughter, Ella, on this very stage reciting Shell Silverstein’s poem “My Beard” in 2nd Grade.

Gorman Hopscotch

I want to share with you a few things that I’ve learned in life that I hope will help you on your journey. About the good in life, and about the bad.

I had an extraordinary family – a loving Mom and a Bigger than Life Dad. You could say he was a Disneyland Dad – because my Dad worked at Disneyland! He was hired by Walt Disney, himself.

My Dad was the Disneyland Bandleader! He stood on the Bandstand at the end of Main Street and made Big Band music that filled the nighttime hours at the Park. (Dad always referred to Disneyland as “the Park”.)

Twinkling lights, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the smell of popcorn and sound of Dad’s music still permeate my childhood dreams.

[For more Disneyland memories, read my post It’s OK to Scream!]

My Dad (foreground, Saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (Trombone ) on the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland

My Dad (foreground, saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (trombone) at the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland (mid-50s). The Elliott Brothers Orchestra (also called The Disneyland Date-Niters)


Listen to Dad’s music here – Date Night At Disneyland, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra


I didn’t see much of my Dad growing up – he worked two jobs and was rarely home.

Dad worked Disneyland at night, and played music (saxophone and clarinet) for movies and TV during the day – Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, South Pacific, Dick Van Dyke Show. Stuff from the ’50s and ’60s at 20th Century Fox.

It was a DREAM JOB. And my Dad believed in LIVING YOUR DREAM! Finding your PASSION IN LIFE and GOING FOR IT!

Dad had a philosophy:  He’d say: “Just be the BEST at what you do and you can’t help but make good. There’s always room at the top.”

That's Dad, Bill Elliott (Ulyate) next to Walt Disney, Uncle Lloyd, also in white coat, with Music Greats (Les Brown)

That’s Dad, Bill Ulyate (stage name, Elliott) next to Walt Disney. Uncle Lloyd Ulyate, also in white coat, with Music Greats (Les Brown)


Cousin Holly, Lloyd’s daughter, tells her story at Daveland website  pictures



And Dad lived his philosophy. He worked both jobs which enabled him to make more money. I grew up in a house on the Beach in Malibu – with the sand and waves and sea crashing outside my back door! Sea gulls squawking. Pelicans diving for fish. The smell of salt air . . .

Dad loved music. He loved the ocean. And Dad loved to fly.

Grandfather had been a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Service, WWI, and Dad saw his old photographs as a kid, and always dreamed he’d, too, learn to fly.

Dad got his flight training through the GI Bill after he got out of the Army, after WWII.

He bought his own airplane, which he flew every evening to get to Disneyland for work. He’d fly over the traffic from Santa Monica to the airport at Fullerton. There he kept a “band truck” and drove ten minutes to get to the Park.

Bill Elliott - 1963 News Article

I loved flying in the plane with Dad – and I dreamed someday that I, too, would learn to fly.

It’s starting to sound like we were all spoiled. But we weren’t.

Dad didn’t grow up rich. His parents were immigrants who worked hard. And they taught their boys to work hard, just like you’ve worked hard here at Gorman School.

But Dad learned how to make the most out of life, and that’s what I want to share with you.

Dad had a saying – he’d pat me on the back and say:  “That a girl, honey, you can do anything!

How awesome is that, to have your Dad say that to you.

But let me ask you, how many of you think that I actually believed him?

I DIDN’T! I didn’t believe him at all.

But Dad believed! He believed it for me, because he believed it for him. He worked hard, and became the best at what he did. He learned that he could do ANYTHING that he wanted badly enough.

And he wanted me to know that I could do anything I really wanted. That I, like him, could live my dream.


Watch Dad here –The Elliott Brothers Orchestra with the YOUNG Osmond Brothers



But then our lives changed, quite literally, overnight. Dad died one night of a heart attack when I was just 16.

For the next ten years, basically, I floundered. I graduated high school, dropped out of University, moved out of state, took odd jobs waitressing, as a maid, even milking cows on a dairy farm for a couple years. I finally went back to school and got my two-year Community College AA Degree, which was fabulous. But I still didn’t know what I wanted to do.

You see, when you don’t know what you want from life, you flounder.

Then one day, at age 26 – ten years after Dad died – I decided I’d had enough. I moved back to California, back to the beach – this time, near San Diego. I drove to the airport – and I looked into flying lessons.

And then I did one of the most frightening, challenging, amazing things of my life. I signed up for lessons and I learned how to fly!

Now, flying isn’t so hard, but LANDING is! And the navigational skills involved in flight required MATH – which I’ve never been good at.

But I studied! Really hard! Because I REALLY wanted this. I applied myself.

And in three months I got my pilots license! (A BIG accomplishment!!!)

After that I started my own fashion business – and in the next two years I got a full-blown hands-on business education.

I hired employees, manufactured silk flower hair accessories, and sold my products nationwide to 400 retail accounts. I hired an attorney, applied for a US Design Patent and Federal Trademark Registration.

And the best part, I got to fly my rented airplane 300 flight hours all over Southern California. Over the snowy mountains here in Gorman, over the emerald coves off Laguna Beach, over the rolling grasslands of Santa Ynez and San Luis Obispo.

You see, it took me ten years, but I discovered that DAD was RIGHT! I CAN do ANYTHING – as long as I apply myself – as long as it’s something I REALLY WANT TO DO.

My life changed when I followed my passion and learned how to fly. It forced me to stretch myself. And I realized that I’m capable. I’m a human, and I can learn ANYTHING that a human can learn how to do.

So you know what that means? I’m looking around – you guys are human. And you are capable! You can learn ANYTHING that a human can do!

If you know what your passion is – if you can envision what you want, you can achieve it!


That's me with my Breyer plastic horses in Grandfather's back yard

That’s me with my Breyer plastic horses in Grandfather’s back yard

Now I ALWAYS wanted to work with horses. I begged for a horse ever since I was a little kid. Dad picked up on this and got me my first horse when I was 13. So years later when I got a horse that had to have special horseshoes – done JUST SO – to keep him sound and moving well, I decided to learn how to shoe him myself!

My Uncle Ink was a farrier. Who knows what a farrier is? It’s a person who nails the shoes onto horses’ hooves.

Honest to goodness, if I hadn’t learned to fly an airplane, if I hadn’t realized that I’m capable, and that I can learn whatever a human can learn how to do, I would NEVER have learned how to NAIL SHOES onto my horse’s hooves!!!

But because I needed to, because I WANTED to, I learned how to shoe my horse from my Uncle. (I then went on to a more formal and complete education.)

And you know what I do for work now? Who wants to guess?

I’m a farrier. I nail shoes on horses’ hooves.

But the coolest part about what I do – remember I always loved flying, always loved the ocean.

I work in Hawaii every six weeks – HAWAII! I fly there on a big jet out of Los Angeles International Airport, and I stay for two solid weeks shoeing horses in Paradise! How cool is that!!! And I’ve been traveling there, shoeing horses, for the last ten years.

I’d call that a Dream Job, wouldn’t you!

I discovered my Dream Job. And you can too.


As you go on to High School, be looking, searching for your passion in life! Search for what it is that you LOVE to do.

And don’t wait. Don’t flounder like I did. Find your passion and pursue it. There are so many ways.

When considering College and Career, and University – consider learning a Trade – and you can start learning in high school.

Horseshoeing is a trade. I wish I had realized this option sooner. Talk with your high school counselor – go online – see what’s available. Take advantage of all that you can in the next four years.

Many potential skills and vocations await you. Woodworking, welding, glass-blowing, sculpture.  Fire science, electrical, agriculture, computer tech. Skin, hair, make up, culinary. The list is endless.

And don’t forget the film industry. We’re really close to LA. And so many exciting skilled crafts are associated with the film industry.

Also Community College is a fantastic education.

Years ago, my brother went to Community College to learn how to become a Recording Engineer. Today he has his own studio in Topanga. He works with Rock Legend Tom Petty. And he’s actually recorded Paul, George and Ringo – ever heard of the Beatles?

Dream Big! Pursue your passion!

And don’t waste time floundering. Don’t worry about your future. If you can’t find the job you want, create your own job. You can start your own business, like I did.

Remember, you are a human. And if a human can do it, YOU can do it.

You can do ANYTHING!


Now, I have a couple things I want to give you.

I’m going to give each one of you a bell. A Graduation Bell!

One of the ways I deal with the challenges of life, I have a bell collection. And when something REALLY GOOD happens, I RING MY BELL.

I figure too much attention is paid to the BAD STUFF. We humans tend to focus on the bad and overlook the good that surrounds us most of the time.

So I like to give special recognition to all the GOOD STUFF in life!

Whenever something good happens, I ring my bell!!! (You can even light a rubber duck :))

Ringing a bell makes life fun. It keeps life exciting.

It helps get you through the bad stuff that happens.


Next, I’ve gotten each one of you a notebook. This is for exploring your thoughts, feelings, goals, passions, and desires in life. Think of it as a wish-list of what you’d like your life to be.

Get creative! If you don’t like to write, you can draw. You can RAP. You can scrapbook.

But use this little book to gather up your thoughts and create a vision of what you’d like from life.

I did an exercise like this that summer after Dad died, while at Church Camp in Colorado. They called it Alone with Your Thoughts, and they gave us each a notebook.

They instructed us to go outdoors, somewhere by ourselves, without anyone else around us. We were to write – we were to be very real with ourselves.

I walked outside, away from the buildings. Down the slope to the open meadow, surrounded by pine trees. I looked out to Nature, to the big valley below and the distant Rocky Mountain peaks beyond.

At first I didn’t know what to write. But then, after a while, the words began flowing.

I realized that I wanted to live my life in Nature. With trees and sky and fields rather than cities and suburbs. I wanted to hear the wind in the pines, not the cars on the freeway.

I realized that I needed to hike and horseback ride and keep my life as ‘outdoors’ as possible.

And I believe that without setting those guidelines, I might not have achieved the marvelous life I live now. I might have compromised and settled for less than what my soul yearned for.

And that’s what’s so wonderful about being up here in the Mountain Communities. We have so much Nature around us. I live in Pinon Pines and I ride my horses in the vast Los Padres Forest. It’s AWESOME!

So use this book.

Take some time, sooner rather than later, and reflect on your life and where you want it to take you. Dig within to find your passion, and write it down. Keep it with you. You can add to this book and use it throughout the weeks and years to guide you.

Because you truly can do whatever you really want. You truly can live your Dream.


My Dad was right. Even though I didn’t believe him at the time.

Turns out, I’m human. And if a human can learn to do it, I can learn to do it. I just have to want it badly enough.

Everything has worked out beautifully in my life. Just as it shall in yours.

I look for the good in life. I ring my bell. I light my duck. And I celebrate :))


So, you’re graduating from Gorman School tonight!

This is it! Probably not the last time you’ll come on this campus, but definitely the last time as a student at this school.


Now everybody – grab hold of your bell – and we’re all going to give them a good SHAKE!!!!

Mariachi Legs and Feet


Mariachi Band, Gorman School Graduation Party 2013

Mariachi Band, Gorman School Graduation Party 2013

Mariachi Soulful Trumpet

Dad would have LOVED these guys!

Dad would have LOVED these guys!

Graduation Party -- hot dogs and soda!

Graduation Party — hot dogs and soda!


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2013

Malibu Lightning 2008

But . . . do you ever feel like a Fake?

Life presents us with such beautiful challenges.

We start out young. Eager.

“You can do it! You can do ANYTHING!”

(Hopefully we are encouraged by our elders . . . I was :)) Read my Dad’s philosophy on Life and success here: You Can Do ANYTHING! )

So we set out in Life.

We Fake it Til we Make it :))

We search for an interest, a spark.

For something that stands out from all the other options . . .

What on Earth do I want to do???

Sisters and Cousins

(Remember the faces of these little 1950’s kids: What will they grow up to do?)

And how do I make that pay, so that I can live and eat and drive a car and . . . find my true love. And marry.

“Happily Ever After . . . ” Remember?


Easy vs. Rough

Yet, some sections of what Life dishes us, appear easier than others.

Sometimes the sun seems to shine through every opportunity, like a perpetual Spring. Early morning in July. What could possibly go wrong???

Then the seasonal job ends. The funding dries up. Then comes Summer’s heat. Winter’s cold. Snow. Ice . . .

Some pockets of Life are rough, tough, and downright depressing.

Yet our job is to keep getting back up. Dust off our knee.

Keep learning. Searching. Trying . . .

One day, we’ll get “there”, right?


Feeling Like a Fake

One of the observations I’ve made over my years, has been a nagging inner doubt — feeling like a fake. A fraud — even after years of schooling; training; success. Even after countless volumes of productive accomplishment.

(Yet I’m not a fake! Honest!!! Even if a small part of me still thinks I need to stomp my foot and glare to get you to believe me:))

One of the things that helped me deal with this, was reading about a very accomplished woman who confessed in her autobiography that she felt the same way.

The gal was a high-falutin Wall Street financial analyst with all kinds of fancy training and university degrees. She had years and years of experience. She was legit and fit for her work as anyone on Earth possibly could be.

Yet she and I shared something in common.

Despite her all training, experience, expertise . . .

Sometimes, she felt like a fake!!!


Human Foibles

I remember thinking about her description over and over.

It went something like: “I find myself sitting at the conference table with all these men, looking at me, wanting to know what I think. And I look at the pages of graphs, charts, and numbers in front of me, and I think, ‘Why are you looking at me??? What do you think I know???‘”

And I wondered: Is it just women who feel fake in the “Real World”? Or do all humans suffer from this, from time to time.

Maybe it’s a human trait . . . to doubt ourselves.

And I’m human, remember?

So maybe I’m normal after all :))

And maybe I’m not really a fake . . .

And maybe I am really well suited for what I do.


It Will All Work Out :))

And this has helped me over the years. When I come to an obstacle in my work, in my Life. I tell myself: “I really can get through this. I really can figure this out.”

So I wanted to post this for you younger people out there. Who are struggling.

As a reminder from one who’s gone a similar Life path before.

You’re OK.

Your Life will all work out :))

(See:  Will it All Work Out???)

Be the best person that you can.

Make the very best decisions you know how.

Get back up, dust off your knee when you fall down.

Apologize to those you hurt.

Try, try, try again.

A different approach. A fresh angle . . .

Keep adjusting. Keep trying.

Pray, keep the faith, look up.

And you will get “there”.

The road is long. Hot. Rough.

But you are tough.

And in this Life of yours, you are not a fake.

You are a rich, complex creature. A human!

And you truly can do ANYTHING!!!

(See:  “You Can Do Anything!”, great advice from my Dad.)


Now look, again, at the family photo of these kids.

Sisters and Cousins

The kids in this photo will go on to have many future accomplishments:

(At least one) self-made multi-millionaire; three pilots; Tom Petty’s recording engineer/co-producer; several accomplished musicians; several entrepreneur-artists; Getty Museum Gallery Instructor; CPA; Speech Pathologist; two horse endurance trail riders/breeders; and a farrier (horseshoer). All successful. Rich in Life’s adventures. How about that!!!

(Grandma would be proud! See: You Gotta Wanna)

Just remember, when you look at what seems like a dumb little kid, you could be looking at the next ________________ (Elvis, Elan, Edison, Einstein :))

Because if we’re human, we can do what humans do.

We can do ANYTHING!!!

Kissing Cousins


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Side Saddle (watermark)


Copyright 2017

Grandfather’s vintage family photos courtesy of Cousin Andy












White Horse in Green

You Gotta Wanna

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my Grandmother these days, as my daughter expects her first child, and I’m preparing to move into the first-time Grandmother role.

Through her wisdom and calm demeanor, Grandma Warby instilled values and confidence in me even beyond what my parents could. Let’s hope I succeed in carrying the tradition on :))


You Gotta Wanna 

Grandma had a saying

I still can hear her tell:

Talent alone won’t make you great,

But an inner quality will.

Holiday at Grandma's

She said: You gotta wanna,

What ‘ere you do in life —

And that your burning passion 

Overcomes obstacles and strife.

Hula Cousins

My Dad was a musician,

I thought I’d be one too.

But then I found I didn’t want

It bad enough, thank you!

That's me with my Breyer plastic horses in Grandma's back yard

That’s me with my Breyer plastic horses in Grandma’s back yard

My very first love was horses —

They filled my heart with joy.

I thought about them day and night

As if a favorite toy.


Whenever we’d drive by one,

I’d get all excited and shout:

“Oh mommy, there’s a horsey!”

My sisters wanted to throw me out!

Pink Horse

I day-dreamed during lunchtime

At junior high each day —

And finally my dad and mom

Got me a horse: Hurray!!!

Side Saddle (watermark)

So what do you s’pose I do in life?

I work with them each day.

Lots and lots of horses —

Chestnuts, grays and bays.

Shoeing Gear

I nail on the horseshoes.

I trim up the toes.

I make sure they’re balanced to

Stride their best where ‘ere they go.

Soul Horse Riding

And now all these years later,

What Grandma said holds true.

You really gotta wanna

For your dreams to come to you!

Self-shadow shot


For more about Dad and his music, see: You Can Do ANYTHING! , and Aviation: Family of Flying

For more on shoeing horses, see: HoofCare Services


Shadow Dawn &amp; Angel

Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2014

(Vintage family photographs courtesy of cousin Andy)

Making Your Custom Depression Emergency Kit


Action is King

I have a saying: Action is King!

Because taking Action – doing something – shifts energy. And in order to kick Depression, we need a shift in our energy.

Sounds simple, right?

The problem is, when we’re Depressed, we can’t think of what to do. We get cloudy. We get stuck.

Energy Gone Awry

In my previous posts on Depression I shared my discovery: Depression isn’t what we think it is. It’s not really caused by the circumstances we attribute to it.

Depression boils down to one thing: Energy. Depression is Energy gone awry.

In Depression, energy spirals Inward.

Our goal in Overcoming Depression: Reverse it – send our energy Outward.

(If you haven’t already read When Down is Up, and Understanding Depression: Thermostats, Automobiles and Airplanes, please do so, as these previous posts set the stage for this next step.)

Bellanca Beckons

Apply Energy Outward – Full Thrust!

As noted in my previous post, we can learn something from pilots about airplanes. In order for an airplane to fly, the pilot must apply all of its throttle, all of its thrust.

In order to kick Depression we must apply all of our energy into an Outward endeavor, thus shifting our energy – and freeing ourselves of the “gravity” of Depression.

Depression Emergency Kit

Several years ago I came up with an idea. Just like we have a First Aid Kit on hand for when we get scrapes, cuts and bruises, I designed my own Custom Depression Emergency Kit. I’ve worked with it since, and it’s really helped.

I’m sharing my Kit with you now, so that you might make one, too.

Your Kit is your tool, your Solution for Depression. Your very-own List of ready-to-go Strategies and Action-steps designed to pull you Up when you are Down.

Bellanca Dash

The Purpose of your Kit is Threefold:

1) Shift your Energy – from Inward to Outward

2) Propel you into Action

3)  Raise You Up and Out of Depression

It’s best to work on your Kit before you need it. However, this is rarely the case. So go ahead and work on your Kit while you’re Down, but remember – keep working and adding to your Kit when you feel better.

An Earthquake Kit still does good after the quake – it prepares you for the next one. And since the experience is recent, you’ll have even better ideas about what you’ll need to include…

Making Your Custom Depression Emergency Kit

Begin by gathering up a List of Strategies, ideas, activities, pep talks, affirmations, sayings, resources and quotes… that you can turn to when you’re Down.

Shadow Prop

Here we go, pilots. It’s time to prepare our Check List!

The List:

1) Make a List of the things you like to do:

* Write a poem
* Read a book
* Take a hike
* Ride a bike

Brainstorm a big long List of stuff that speaks to your soul:

* Sketch
* Journal
* Paint
* Dance
* Sing

This becomes the backbone of your Kit.

Engin Rolling

2) Save The List!

* Store your List in a Folder on the Desktop of your Computer (My Desktop Folder is labeled: DEK – Depression Emergency Kit)

Having it on the Desktop is important, because when you’re falling down the rabbit hole you’ll need to find it easily, without a lot of distractions that even opening a program can bring…

* Print it out in case of Computer Failure! Keep the Print-out where you know you’ll easily find it.

My friend, “J”, keeps his as a written scroll, rolled and tucked into his curtain blinds. He knows his pattern. When he gets into a Funk, he curls onto the couch and pulls down the blinds to shut out the light. That’s when his scroll falls onto the floor, and his Kit helps lift him into action and out of despair…

And his Kit really works!

“J” told me that since working with his Kit in this way, he’s avoided the depths of despair he previously would have gone to. Pretty Cool Awesome Fantastic stuff!

Red Wing, Red Dirt

3) Continue adding to your List

As more ideas come, Brainstorm the things that will help get your attention Off Yourself and Shift your energy Outwards.

* Listen to uplifting music
* Pray for someone else
* Clean the house
* Cook (something healthy…)

Wings over Oahu 2

4) Add pep talks, quotes, wisdom, sayings, affirmations – anything that might speak to your soul and pull you Up when you’re Down.

* Just do my best. The rest will take care of itself…
* God is with me!!!
* Everything always works out!!!! (Note personal examples from my Life of this ~ like, I didn’t die on Molokai (near-head-on accident), and all the close-calls and near-misses that I’ve been saved from . . . See: My Miracle Book)
* Work within the realm of Quantum Physics! (see what I want, not what I fear)

* Telepathic communication is REAL. God is REAL
* Prayer works! God is Good ~ ALL THE TIME!!! (See: My Yoda Story)
* It isn’t all about me! There is always a bigger picture!
* Reach out and help someone else!!!


5) Add an “Emergency Call List” with names and numbers of a few safe people you can call when you’re down. Be very careful here – write only the few select people you really trust to listen and be there for you!

(If you think it’s best, call these people in advance. Tell them what your plan is – that you’re working on overcoming Depression. Ask if it’s OK to call them when you’re Down. This, in itself, is a very powerful, wise – and vulnerable – thing to do!)

Warning: There will be people who are NOT safe to be on your Call List. You might want to make a list of who to AVOID CALLING so you won’t fall into the trap of calling someone for support who will offset you, instead of Uplift.

6) Keep working and updating your List. Add ideas and inspirations as the come…


Some of the things I’ve included in my list:

Add foods and/or supplements – both those to consume and those to avoid, that cause a bad reaction

* B vitamins
* Calming herbs and formulas (Ashwagandha, Kava kava, maca, etc.)
* Wild yam progesterone (hormone) creme (for women)
* Feel-good foods: smoked salmon, avocado, walnuts, coconut oil…

* Avoid caffeine (coffee)
* Avoid sugar, wheat, carbs…

Add healing modalities

* Acupuncture
* Massage
* Hot Tub
* Chiropractic

Taxiway to Reef Runway

Add self-help strategies

* Breathe!
* Stretch
* Detox – internal cleanse
* Detox – foot bath (Bentonite clay)
* Mineral Bath

Add other good ideas

* Go outside!
* Exercise
* Don’t isolate – reach out to someone else
* Take care of my work!
* Read this list and do it!

Red Wing, Aqua Water, Palms

Add more words of wisdom

* Accept the inevitable
* Remember, I’m a human on Planet Earth – “stuff” happens!
* Everybody struggles, everyone has to find their own way
* It could be worse – I could be _________________
* Know that Life is for learning – see what I can learn from these difficult times

Research and Add more files to your Folder

* Brainstorm your own ideas, analogies, insights into Depression
* Be on the lookout for cool blogs, websites, resources
* Copy online articles, posts, links, photos, inspirations
* Label and store these as files in your Folder, so you can continue to gain inspiration from them…


When you’re Down:

* Call Up The List, read it over, and take some form of ACTION!

* Pick something from The List and Do It!

* Taking Action will help you shift your energy – that’s the goal – shifting your energy from Inward to Outward. Kicking Depression in the proverbial arss!

Airport Overview

* Keep note of what works for you. Keep updating, upgrading, re-working your Kit.

* Make it real – let it assist you.

* Know that Depression is a choice. An energy choice. And you do have say-so in the matter!

* Research Near Death Experiences – I’ve found these fascinating stories inspirational as to how to live my Life. The Other Side is closer than we think!

Taxi way

So that’s been my process. I hope your Kit helps you like it’s helped me.

Thanks to what I’ve learned from using my Kit, I’ve found myself actually stopping mid-way into an emotional-meltdown and thinking – Oh, my energy is going Inward right now. I have to take Action and shift my energy OUTWARD.

And I’ve succeeded in thwarting the meltdown!!! Pretty cool stuff!


So now that I’ve shared some of mine, what’s on your List? What works for you?

When you get your List up and running, let me know how it goes. I can’t wait to hear!

(Be patient, though, as it may be a couple of weeks before I’m able to post or moderate comments. High Ho, High Ho! It’s off to work I go!)
Ready to Roll

OK pilots  what’s stopping you now?

Climb Up into the cockpit and get ready to roll.

You have Clearance from the Tower…

Hands on the throttle.

Prepare to push it all the way.

Ready  Set – (In the words of Peter Pan at the ride at Disneyland . . .)

“Come on, everybody! Here we gooooo!”

Up in the Air!


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2013

Mom's Leaf Heart :))

Mom’s mysterious “Leaf Heart” created by the wind, 2007 — my Talisman — DawnSeeker

“The 3 G’s” (Given to me in a Dream) — Greatness. Goodness. Gratitude.

Sometimes we receive inspiration in strange, otherworldly ways. I heard myself saying these words in a dream last week, and I’ve recalled the details here.

Hope you’re thriving and more than just surviving during these frustrating, interesting times!  


Recap of my recent VIVID Dream:

I look out to a crowd, maybe 50 or 60 people, standing or sitting in small groups, gathered outside my door.

Who are these people? I wonder. What’s this all about?

I walk out to see what’s going on.


It seems they are here because of me!

I am to give some sort of a talk; address . . .

I’m being called on to inspire these people in some way!

Honolulu Fireworks


On The Radio . . .

Trying to get a better grasp on things, I sit on the lawn next to a fair-haired millennial-aged man — he clasps my hand, looks hopefully into my eyes — and tells me that he heard about “the Event” (THIS Event!) on the Radio!


“The radio,” I hear myself tell him. “That makes sense. My Dad was a radio man.”

(And he truly was. Dad’s Big Band music played live on the radio, as well as nightly at Disneyland — see my post, “You can do ANYTHING!” for more about Dad and his music.)

My Dad (foreground, Saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (Trombone ) on the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland


My Dad (foreground, saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (trombone) at the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland (mid-50s) — The Elliott Brothers Orchestra (AKA: The Disneyland Date-Niters)


“Wow,” I say to myself, “I better go get cleaned up!”

It seems I need to change clothes and get presentable for this important occasion . . .

I go inside. I see my daughter, musician EllaHarp, and ask, “Ella, you gotta help me here. Will you please go out and entertain these people while I get ready?”

I dash up to take a shower. From below, I hear Ella’s music, strong — rhythmic, upbeat. “Great,” I say to myself, relieved. “Good job!” Her harp and vocals have me covered.




But . . . What will I talk about?

Now it occurs to me, “What will I say??? They came to hear me speak — but about what?”

And then, in my dream, I hear my inner voice calmly speak: “I will talk about ‘The 3 G’s’ — Greatness. Goodness. Gratitude.”


Upon Awakening . . .

As with many dreams, I never gave the talk — my dream ended right there.

But I awoke with a very conscious recall, and found myself fascinated by “The 3 G’s” topic.

I have never heard of “The 3 G’s” before . . .

I repeated the words, so I wouldn’t forget: “Greatness. Goodness. Gratitude.”


Vibrant California Rainbow


“The 3 G’s”

Inspired by the message received from my dream, here is what I might have said for my motivational presentation.

Here is what “The 3 G’s” mean to me.   DawnSeeker


Hilltop Sunset



Since I love word searches, I opened up my trusty, well-used copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary, and found the following excerpts:

Great: Large in size, number, quantity; much higher, above the ordinary or average; existing in a high degree; intense. Eminent; illustrious; superior. Very impressive or imposing; having or showing nobility of mind, purpose, etc.

Eminent: Rising above other things or places; high; lofty. Standing high by comparison with others; renowned; exalted; distinguished. Outstanding; remarkable; noteworthy. (see famous — fame; great reputation; celebrity.


Olamana Peaks

I see Greatness as rising above the ordinary, the everyday, and applying one’s highest standard to work, thought, morals, and behavior.

Greatness calls upon each individual to tune-in and utilize our God-given gifts and talents. It’s what sets each one of us apart — our unique individual hopes, wishes, dreams and desires.

My Grandma nailed it in her philosophy about Life:

You Gotta Wanna 

Grandma had a saying
I still can hear her tell:
Talent alone won’t make you great,
But an inner quality will.

She said: You gotta wanna,
What ‘ere you do in life —
And that your burning passion
Overcomes obstacles and strife . . .

To read the rest, see my post: You Gotta Wanna 
Holiday at Grandma's

Big extended family :))


Inventory Time:

What are you best at? What do you gravitate towards?

What are your special interests, loves, desires?

For me:

Writing and keeping a journal
Brainstorming & problem-solving
Animal Communications
Mountains, Beaches, Tropics, Outdoors . . .

Golden Tree

These are the ongoing themes of my Life.


What Lights Your Fire?

I suggest you take an inventory of the driving forces in your Life, and see how these line up with how you are living today.

Re-align. Resolve. Re-work those priorities into the forefront of your activities — and see how they can guide you into fulfilling your highest dreams.

(Sounds like: “The 3 R’s” to me :))

Get creative! Go for it!

See what you can turnaround, fine-tune, enlighten — and how you can infuse your Life with the magic you’ve always hoped for!


Classy Cosmo


More from Webster’s:

Goodness: Virtue; excellence; kindness; generosity; benevolence. The best part, essence, or valuable property of a thing.

Virtue: General moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness of character. Excellence; merit; value; good quality or feature.

Generosity: Nobility of mind; magnanimity; willingness to give or share; being unselfish.

Magnanimous: Noble in mind; high-souled; generous or overlooking injury or insult; rising above pettiness or meanness.

Benevolence: Inclination to do good; kindliness; charitable activity; gift.


Lani Kai

“My Goodness Project”

Goodness is a topic dear to my heart.

I’ve researched it for many years, and I actively do my best to remain true to Goodness. To honor it. Cultivate it. To raise myself to it’s lofty heights.

I practice what I refer to as “My Goodness Project” where I give out mementos — usually horse shoe nails, often to strangers — and tell a small story of their importance.

I also practice a habit of “Ringing The Bell” when something Good happens.

Here is an excerpt from my post on the topic:

Ring The Bell!

Here’s a little ritual I’ve done for many years:  When something Good happens, I ring a bell!

Cow bells, large and small. Jingle bells. Hand bells. Hanging bells . . .

Enjoy this little poem about the magic released by this small, humble act.

Heaven’s Bells!

When ‘ere a Good thing happens,
I like to ring a bell!
So something Good gets recognition
Just for being swell.

All kinds of chatter follows
Those things that are bad.
But when a Good thing happens,
We must show just how glad

We are Good joined us —
And dropped in for a spell.
Heaven knows there’s far too much
Attention paid to hell

To read the rest, see my post: Ring The Bell!

Hummingbird Bell

What’s Your Goodness Project?

I suggest you be on the lookout for your custom-fit “Goodness Project” distilled from what you have gleaned in Life.

Poetry. Music. Art. Spontaneous conversations. Smiles. Reaching out to strangers.

Sharing whatever quirks or artifacts your lifestyle, your persona, stands for — that adds to the greater good. 


Round Rainbow

Circular Rainbow – known as a Glory – made by an airplane when the shadow hit a cloud flying en route Honolulu to Molokai 2014 :))


Gratitude: A feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received; warm, appreciative response to kindness; thankfulness. (Excerpt, Webster’s New World Dictionary)


What better way to move our energy forward in Life, than to embrace and exude gratitude!

Actions, of course, speak louder than words. Gifts, cards, calls, visits, texts, can all exhibit gratitude. 

For really, we have far more to be grateful for than we often remember.

Grateful Squirrel

Gratitude Is . . .

In looking through my Journal I discovered this colorful, long-ago Gratitude List.

I smile in reading it now — and hope you will do the same. :))   DawnSeeker

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is a wavelet glinting aqua kaleidoscopes in an endless sea.
Gratitude is a cottonwood leaf dancing in the morning breeze.
Gratitude is a tall cloud, puffy white and gray, tinged with pink at the end of the day.
Gratitude is a nicker from your favorite horse. And her soft muzzle in your hand.
Gratitude is a healing balm that melts away life’s sorrows.

To read the rest, see my post: Gratitude is . . .


What’s on Your Gratitude List?

So what are you grateful for? Grab a journal; start a list.

Write a card to thank someone who has helped you along Life’s journey.

Come up with a ritual to refresh your Gratitude memories, and meditate on all the Good in your Life.

(This is a very productive strategy! Mentally rehearsing and re-living previous successes triggers readiness for achieving fresh new ones. It fine-tunes your intuition and provides an heads-up for when you are in range of a great idea, connection, or experience.)

Brainstorm the ways you can express more Gratitude to fill your reservoirs to overflowing :))


Kids at Play

Dream On! 

In reading over my journal entries on the preceding topics, it would make sense that “The 3 G’s” would appear in my dream, drawn from the depths of my soul, for my impromptu motivational speech.

Turns out I’ve been doing my best to live “The 3 G’s” for many years now — and they’ve served me well.

(Yet, in writing this, the biting reality hits: I can — and will! — strive to do better in accomplishing my lofty goals. We imperfect humans shall always remain a “work in progress” . . . see my post, Self-Talk.)

Best to you in these endeavors! Please feel free to share your experiences. And may your dreams, as well as mine, continue to come true :))




Copyright 2020

Photos: Dawn Jenkins


Crystal Horse

Dawn’s a Life-long Horse Girl —

Please visit Dawn’s Horse Blog:  Soul Horse Ride :))

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Soul Horse Ride :))

Join Dawn for a Soul Horse Ride!  Experience the thrill of becoming one with your Horse . . . Meet Dawn and her homegrown herd for a  Soul Horse Ride in the Frazier Park Outback!

Call to book your Life-Changing Adventure today:  (661) 703-6283


Lightning off the wing over Honolulu

Splinter — A Stitch in Time . . . Travel

Lessons in Life abound.

The smallest experiences stitch us back in Time.

I found myself recently returning — from the tiniest splinter, stuck in my finger — back to my Malibu beachfront childhood. Gone, but not lost.

To Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties — so many years ago. Preserved in my memories. Preserved in my Soul . . .  DawnSeeker



The Splinter

I somehow got a slender splinter embedded in the outside edge of my index finger. Right hand. Near the joint.

It must have come from feeding my horses’ their hay (sometimes prickly weeds find their way into the bales).

When it first happened, I  tried to remove it with tweezers, but it seemed to go straight in, and the tweezers just made it worse.

So just leave it alone. Surely it will work its way out.


Over a couple days, a knobby, hard, painful welt appeared. It hurt every time my hand touched anything. Which is, basically, all day long.

Hand in gloves to do my horseshoeing work. OUCH.

Hold the reins to drive my horse and carriage. YIKES!

Something has to be done!

So I put on some wet clay and a Bandaid, as a poultice to draw it out.


Still hard. Still hurt.

Darn! I gotta dig it out. I gotta get out the sewing needle . . .


I go to my sewing kit. Open the folded tan-colored linen needle holder my Aunt Dorothea, now in her 90’s, made for me, decades ago.

Painted on the outer fabric:  Small red hearts, seven in total, surrounded by the words, “A stitch in time saves nine . . .  Dorothea”.

And now the Time Travel begins . . .


Malibu Winter Foliage!

Malibu Childhood

I remember, growing up, it was Dad who had the hand with the needle for splinter removal.

(Perhaps Mom just didn’t have the stomach for it. “We’ll have Dad get it out. He has such a steady hand when it comes to these things . . . “ )

Yes. Dad had a steady hand and a sturdy stomach for whatever needed to get done.


Disneyland Dad

His steady hands knit together the fabric of our family, until his heart attach one night, when I was 16, leaving us to proceed on in Life without him . . .

My Dad, Bill Ulyate (Disneyland show name: Bill Elliott), top studio musician. His steady hand fingered his saxophones, his clarinets — Fox Orchestra — on the leading Hollywood TV shows and movies of the day.

(Dad played on the original TV show, Batman! South Pacific, The King and I, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and countless more.)

But not only that. After he got done with his day job at Fox, he booked gigs with his own Big Band, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, with his brother, my Uncle — famous life-long studio trombonist, Lloyd Ulyate.

After the Park opened, Walt Disney searched for a hometown band to play at end of Main Street, at the then Carnation Plaza Gardens, in sight of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle :)) Walt hired The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, also known as the Date Niters, as the signature band at Disneyland!

So Dad’s steady hands entertained nightly, live at the Magic Kingdom, for more than a decade, until after Walt died.

Dad also fulfilled his love of flying and became a private pilot. His steady hands flew his own small airplane between those two jobs, escaping the torturous L.A. traffic below.

Bill Elliott - 1963 News Article

Dad lived at the top. Top of his field. Top of the world!

Dad’s famous line: “Just be the BEST at what you do and you can’t help but make good. There’s always room at the top.”

On one of those special days Dad was home — he worked constantly, and we rarely saw him — he’d pat me on the back and say:  “That a girl, honey, you can do anything!”

How great and wonderful is that!!!

Listen to Dad’ music here – Date Night At Disneyland, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra

(Read more about Dad, Disneyland in my following posts: You Can Do ANYTHING!, and It’s OK to Scream!. Read more about our family’s history of flying here: Family of Flying.)

Dad Disney Musical Pianos

Dad next to Walt Disney, and Uncle Lloyd, also in white coat.

Childhood Memories of my Bigger-than-Life Dad:

Mom, shushing:  “Dad’s sleeping. Quiet!”

Dad eating breakfast, always late, after sleeping in.

Dad’s awesome way of asking a favor: “Honey,” (Dad called everyone honey) “I sure would like something to eat. What have we got in there? Do you think you could make your old Dad a sandwich?”

(Which always involved mayonnaise. I hate it, to this day. Dad LOVED it!)

Dad with his boat. With his friends.


Holiday at Grandma's

With Grandma and Grandfather and my Uncles, his brothers. All the Aunties and cousins. Big extended family gatherings . . . musical instruments and flashlights and parading down the street Christmas caroling at the holidays.

Sisters and Cousins

Dad’s make-believe “Frankenstein” with us kids in the Garden Room at the beach house, a coat hanger turned upside down, making his shoulders square . . . arms outstretched, moaning . . . big stiff footsteps . . . all us kids screeching and hiding and running — afraid of the “monster”, yet coming back into its range . . .

Dad taking me to the Bike shop in Malibu for my my new, shinny Schwinn Bicycle,  silver and white.

. . . the only time he ever spanked me when I “got lost” and wandered off. It hurt more to have let him down, than the actual spank . . . and I never did that again . . .

Dad’s music room, filled with saxophones of all sizes. Boxes of reeds. His banged up red bongo drum. The framed picture on the wall of Dad playing his Sax, with Elvis on drums, at a studio wrap party.

Dad and Elvis

Dad on Sax, Elvis on Drums!!!

Dad taking me with him to pick up his Band coat at Disneyland’s Wardrobe . . . all the costumes, endless rows of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and every kind of character heads.

The time he enthusiastically introduced me to the original Tinker Bell, Tiny Cline, a circus performer and the first one to “fly” from the Matterhorn during the firework event.


Yet before Dad died, Disneyland was done. Studio work at Fox had shifted to more solo groups than big orchestras. And Dad, picking me up at Junior Achievement in Culver City one night, said these prophetic words:  “Honey, things are always changing. The sooner you get used to that, the better off you’ll be.” (See my post: Ch-Ch-Changes!)

Waking to the sounds of Mom sobbing, 3 am, to the phone call from the hospital:  “We lost him.” And the shocking changes that event threw us all into . . .


Splinter Removal Ritual

Now, back to the problem at hand — my little annoying painful splinter had to be removed!

And I flashed back to how it would go when Dad, and his steady hand, was called to remove my childhood splinters . . .

Location was always important:  We have to be somewhere in the light, where Dad could see:  Near a window. By a lamp.

Dad puts on his reading glasses, takes my hand, and inspects the job.

Mom goes off to find her sewing kit and brings a sharp needle.

For some reason, the needle always has a thread attached.

I remember wondering about this as a kid. We’re taking out a little splinter from a foot, from a finger. Why the thread? We’re not really sewing things, are we????

Then comes the match.

To sanitize the tip of the needle, Dad lights a match, holds the tip into the flame, turning  it a bit, tarnishing it from silver to black.

He then waits a few seconds for the needle to cool.


I remember it all now as if watching a movie . . .

In the living room at the beach house. On the little table under the lamp.

My arm extended. My hand in Dad’s.

The warmth, the feel of his huge hands. Holding me gently, but firmly, with that calm “I’ve got a job to do” look.

Like a doctor. Like a pilot. Like a bandleader, setting the beat.


My job:  Acceptance. No resistance.

This has to be done.

The anticipation of pain — This is going to hurt!

But I must not move. Must not squirm.

I can’t let Dad down.

After all, I am the one in trouble, and Dad is helping me out.


Prick. Prick.


The initial pokes, the needle going across the top to break the skin.

Slowly. Methodically. Skillfully.

Dad’s steady hand.

Mom’s confidence in him.

MY confidence in him.

I try not to watch the operation, turning my head. Closing my eyes.

Doing my best to not pull away.



Sharp twinges of pain now as Dad deftly digs under the offending matter, gently,  carefully coercing it up, out of my flesh.


“Got it!”

“Got it?”


It’s out!

Thank you, Dad!

A quick wash, a Bandaid, and I run back out to play . . .


Today’s Splinter

So when I extracted my own splinter today, I got to re-live all this.

And since I was home alone, I got to play all the roles:  Mom. Dad. Little-kid-Dawn.

Location:  By the kitchen sink, lots of light, near the window.

Reading glasses, check.

(Times have changed since the 1950s and 60s . No thread on my needle. No match — just soap and water, then rubbing alcohol to sanitize my needle tip :))

Extend my arm.

My job:  Acceptance. No resistance.

This has to be done.

I watch the steady hand of Dad’s daughter, Dawn, with that calm pilot’s “I’ve got a job to do” look.


Prick. Prick.

Take off the top skin. Not too bad. Doesn’t really hurt.

Dig. Gently. Under.

Not bad — no real stabs of pain . . .

Get it! Go under. Try again . . .

There it is! Tiny, reddish-brown.

Amazing something so small can cause so much trouble!

Yes!!! I got it!

It’s out!


Dad at the foundation of our beach house

Dad, construction site of our Trancas Beach house, Malibu 1950s

Inheritance :))

And I realize, once again, my gratitude to Dad.

I may have only had 16 years with him, but Dad still flows through my blood. My being.

Thank you, Dad!

Thank you for the confidence you instilled in me.

Thank you for the example you lived.

Even though I lost you young, I HAVE you. In my attitude. In my thought process. In my very DNA.

You shine through me. Through my daughters — and now my grand-daughters.

You instilled confidence in all of us. The ability to pony up and get a tough job done.

You gave us a work ethic. A sense of humor. A love for Life!

Beyond just the ordinary. Beyond just getting by.

You found your Passion — for music, airplanes, entertainment, the family you loved . . .

You got me my first horse, and made sure I fulfilled mine.

You left us all with so much.

It’s like you’re patting me on the back again, laughing and saying:  “That a girl, honey, you can do anything!”


Perhaps I truly can :))

And just think — all of this Life re-lived, on the count of a dumb little splinter!


~ Childhood Dreaming ~


Here’s the next musical generation in Dad’s lineage — my daughter, EllaHarp, and one of her musical compositions.

Dad, you must be so proud!!!!

Yes — I hear your laughter now :))

“That a girl, honey!”

Mark Twain at Night








For insights into the lives of horses, please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Starboy in Sunlight


Copyright 2019

Dawn and Piper Tomahawk

Here I am, third generation pilot, with  (rented) Piper Tomahawk. (My Mom shot this pic.)

Entrepreneur — Lessons Learned over 40 Years — Part I

2018! As I write this date, I realize that my Self-Employment Journey began in earnest, forty years ago!

In my mid-twenty’s, ready for all that Life could offer . . . (see bio in About DawnSeeker), I started an arts and craft Business Venture: Blossoms of Dawn — Silk-Flower fashion and hair accessories.

Initial investment, a whopping $40 bucks!

It began as a solo act. Just me, hot gluing flowers onto hair combs, selling them out of baskets in beach towns to tourists and shop keepers . . .

Then, that same year, I drove to the local beachside airport, and looked into learning how to FLY!!!!!


Bellanca Beckons

1978 — Palomar Airport, near San Diego, California

I had a dream. An underlying wish that fluttered in and out of my Life — (and almost died when Dad died).

I wanted to learn to fly — like my Dad, and my Grandfather before me. (See my Family of Flying)

An unlikely dream for a girl back in those days . . . but I learned from Dad not to let that stop me!

And although we lost Dad to a heart attack when I was just 16, his legacy of Entrepreneurship and Self-Determination runs through my veins.


Dad at the foundation of our beach house

Dad — at the construction site of our Trancas Beach house, Malibu 1950s (Cousin Andy photo collection)


Role Models

I feel for those of us who lack a role model in Entrepreneurial areas — the areas of Self-Sufficiency and Grit.

I learned all this from Dad.

I watched him perform on the Stage of his Life — from enthusiastically answering phone calls from his office in our Malibu beach home (booking Hollywood film and TV music gigs), to flying his airplane . . . to entertaining the crowds, nightly (and quite literally), on Stage at Disneyland.

Upbeat. Self-Motivated. Ready to take on whatever Life had to offer him.

(Read more about my Studio Musician Dad in You Can Do ANYTHING!)

Elliott Brothers Post Card

My Dad (foreground, Saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (Trombone ) on the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland.


Nature vs. Nurture

I often wonder about Nature vs. Nurture.

Would I have learned to be Self-Employed without him?

Would I have known how to branch out and make it on my own?

Even after losing Dad at a young age, the lessons I learned from him have survived in me — even thrived.

So I figured I’d share a bit of that Magic Alchemy with you. Forty years in. Forty-eight years since his passing (at age 48!!!).

OOOOOOhhhhhh!!! Chills!!!!

View from Dad's Disneyland Bandstand

View from Dad’s Disneyland Bandstand


Find your PASSION !!! :))

What do you LOVE, more than anything else????

What sings to your Soul, inspires you — makes you hop, skip, and want to jump out of bed in the morning????



Not just surviving.

“Just be the BEST at what you do and you can’t help but make good. There’s always room at the top!”  ~  Dad’s famous quote :))

When you find that Passion:

Nurture it.

Study it.

Develop it.

Master it!

Little Dawn with Horses

That’s me with my Breyer plastic horses in Grandma’s back yard

So I loved HORSES. And I also wanted to learn how to fly.

And I loved the idea of Self-Employment. Entrepreneurship. Working for myself.

It started with “Dawncy’s Lemonade Stand” at our Beach House in Malibu the summer after the 5th grade, with friend, Nancy Carter (mostly thanks to her mom, Adelle, who did more work on the project than Nancy did :)) We sold lemonade and sandwiches and chips — I guess I just liked that I could do something to get both a few grown-up praises, and a little cash in exchange, because from then on, I was hooked. I kept searching for fresh ideas with which to generate my own income :))

Early ventures included: Dog-walking; House-cleaning; Arts and crafts (making and selling macrame choker necklaces); Baking and selling chocolate chip cookies at the  college dorms to students with the munchies (Sunday nights when the cafeteria closed early); Traveling the California Coast selling art prints, crystal necklaces; fashion items; Picking lemons (with permission) from mini-estates and selling them to health food stores; Roadside apple sales; Packaging and selling mistletoe for Christmas . . . in addition to odd jobs like milking cows, horse wrangling, and waiting tables.

I also wanted to be a Singer . . . but my daughter, Ella, ended up fulfilling that! (Ella inherited the musical genes — watch her YouTube music video here: EllaHarp) :))


Red Acrobatic Pland

Back to 1978 . . . and my Dream to FLY!

In order to get my pilot’s license, I had to get through Ground School first.

That means brainy stuff: Physics; Flight theory; Navigation; MATH! (These were the days before laptops and apps and cell phones.) So I muscled through, rose up and got it done!!!!!

Next, the actual flight lessons — as in “Here we go!!!!!!”

Take offs (easy!) Landings (hard!)



But I knuckled in. Stretched my brain/hand/eye coordination.



By concentrating my lessons over three consecutive months, I accelerated my progress, growing my skills from one flight to the next.

First, like a drunk. Searching for the necessary light touch just to fly straight and level.

Then turns and banks.

LANDINGS!!!!!! Ever working on landings!

Growing my skills. With patience. With time. And with the help of my wonderful flight instructor (Dr. Backart).

Solo. Yahoo!!!!!!

Free as a bird — hooting and hollering. HIGH as a high ever gets!!!!!!

(My first solo flight, I did about six landings in a row, my instructor standing on the tarmac, fearful I’d forgotten him!)

Then cross country.

And finally, that nerve-wracking flight with the stodgy FAA Examiner.

“Congratulations! You’ve just PASSED your exam and you are now a Private Pilot, Single Engine, Land.”


I now had my wings, and was ready for the next chapter of my new Entrepreneurial Life!

Honolulu Fireworks


Stretching, Soaring, Expanding

I’m including the airplane aspect of this story, because I think it factored into my Entrepreneurial success.

Here, forty years later, I’m finally concluding . . . I don’t think I could have soared in Business if I hadn’t soared first in that airplane.

If I hadn’t overcome the fears and frustrations of flight, I don’t know that I could have succeeded in long-term Self-Employment.



Branching out into Business on my own was actually a very similar process to learning how to fly.



I knuckled in, trusting my brain/hand/eye coordination in learning how to take up the yoke of Self-Employment without freezing up, stalling out, or crashing, out of control!

Round Rainbow



While learning to fly, I had decided to go back to school at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, as a Communications Major. (By that time, I had already completed my two-year, Associate in Arts degree.)

So after completing my Private Pilot training, I moved to the Central Coast of California and started back to school. Studied hard, and went to classes . . . still working my newly fledged Blossoms of Dawn fashion venture in order to pay my bills.

It was Springtime now, in a new region — and like my flying, my Business started taking off!

My flowers sold. And sold. And SOLD!!!

Then came the BIG BREAK!

I got in an order from a family-owned fashion chain store — for twelve dozen of my product!!!

Business Game On!

So I dropped out of school. (With my Grandma’s blessing! Read: You Gotta Wanna:))

Hired workers. Filled order(s).

Thus beginning my Real Business Education — as an Entrepreneur!


Clear Clouds

The Sky’s the Limit :))

Sales. Orders. Manufacturing. Shipping.

Hiring and overseeing employees: Bookkeeper. Production manager. Production crew.

Updating and creating new designs . . .

Working — expanding — traveling.

Most of the time out of town, on the road, rather than “safe at home”.

Flying my rented airplane on sales trips to both Northern and Southern California.

Logging nearly 300 flight hours, most flown in a tiny aircraft filled with flowers, lifting off from the bounds of Earth above twinkling runway and taxi lights, in the inky dark of night . . .

(As a pilot, they let me rent an airplane, but because I had no credit card — a more difficult thing to get back then — they wouldn’t let me rent a car!)

So I parked an extra car at Van Nuys Airport in order to get around when I would fly in.

A very busy time.

Long hours. Little sleep.

In my mid-twenty’s — lots of energy for all this.

Deep Darkness

Craft Fairs. Wholesale accounts. Retail stores.

Westwood Village. Newport Beach. Carmel. San Francisco.

Sales Reps across the country.

Commercial flights to service accounts outside of my region.

First-ever trip to Hawaii :)) (I ended up moving there a decade later!)

Boutique Show in NYC.

And, while I’m out of town: Doing my best to manage the employees . . . ever keeping up with the employees.


As I expand, competition invades my sales, so I develop a unique clasp design.

Hire Palo Alto patent attorney.

Apply for Federal Trademark Registration. (Blossoms of Dawn)

Apply for design patent (Patent Pending).


Malibu Lightning 2008

Burn Out . . .

After a couple years, I’m beginning to burn out . . . there has to be more to Life than just WORK! (And managing the employees!)

So, in attempt to realize my Horse Dreams, I take a day off and attend a Horse Sale at the Paso Robes Fairgrounds. I bid on (and buy) a sturdy Appaloosa yearling — my mare Fanta, matron of my current 4-generation homebred herd, and jump-start to my next Entrepreneurial career. (For more on my horses, see my Soul Horse Ride blog.)

You see, I realize in all this, that I really want to be working with Horses . . . not Fickle Fashion! (Hint: follow your Passion!)

Seasons and fashions, always change — “What do you have that’s new????”

Shifting styles, trends, colors, themes . . .

And so eventually, I land my airplane for the last time.

Shift my Life and Business out of fashion . . . into marriage, motherhood, kids. And Horses!!!

My New Venture includes:

  • Vacation horse care and feeding.
  • Scenic trail rides and lessons.
  • Swift-moving horse and carriage rides.
  • And learning the art and craft of Hoof Trimming and Horseshoeing (Farrier)!!!

Fast Forward to Today

Now that I’ve “Been there and done all that”, not only with: Flight. Fashion. Family. But a successful, thirty-year, Horse and Farrier career, I’ve plenty of insights to share.

My next post, Entrepreneur — Lessons Learned over 40 Years — Part II, contains more specific reflections and lessons from forty years of being an Entrepreneur :))


Side Saddle (watermark)


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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White Horse in Green


Copyright 2018









Disney Merlin's Hat


1969 — The year we went to the moon. The year my rusted out ’69 Chevy pick up truck was brand spankin’ new.

The year my Dad — just months, even weeks, before he died — gave me one of his greatest gifts . . .


I’m 16. It’s dark. Fall; Winter?

I’m waiting outside, under the lights, for Dad to pick me up from the Junior Achievement building in Culver City, CA.

Oh yes, here he comes — I hear the rattling engine of his black diesel Mercedes.


What makes one simple statement a parent says to a kid stand out? Stay in their memory all of their life . . . out of all the interactions and conversations of my then-sixteen-years???

I don’t know the answer to this, but I’m sure glad — somehow, it did.

Date Niters Disneyland Patch

Dad’s Disneyland Band Patch

Dad was an Entertainer. Disneyland Bandleader. Fox Orchestra Studio Musician for TV and films. (Read more about Dad, and listen to his music, here: You can do ANYTHING!)

But by the late 1960s, things in Dad’s world had changed.

Walt Disney had died.

The new management of the Park had wanted to clean house, start fresh. Dad’s twelve-year Main Street Band run was up. Gig over.

And in the Film Industry, things were changing, as well.

The big orchestras were phasing out. Songs from folk and rock artists like Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Steppenwolf, and such, were used in musical scores for films like Mrs. Robinson and Easy Rider.

There were fewer work calls for the older studio guys. Dad’s Big Band era had somewhat lapsed.

So Dad had less studio work. And he had time on his hands he’d never had before.

Instead of working insane hours every day, barely time to sleep or see his family — for the first time in his life, Dad was idle.

He still went to the airport. Still flew his plane. But less, way less.

Beechcraft Bonanza Landing

V-Tail Beechcraft Bonanza — same style as Dad’s.

Dad had always played clarinet and saxophone professionally. But in those last few years he began playing flute, figuring it would help if he could be hired to play a third instrument.

I remember his flute scales fluttering in the background of my early high school life . . . homework, phone calls, messing around in my room, to the melody of his methodically  practiced notes.

Family Band

To help with finances, Mom got a “dumb job,” as Dad called it. (I think he felt badly that she had to work; he missed her, and resented her time away from home.)

She worked at a department store, in customer service and returns.

(Mom, so fair and kind, was well suited to solving customer’s problems:)) Besides, Mom never complained. She seemed to enjoy it.)

But Dad was down. He had never, ever had so much time without constant work, and it didn’t suit his Type A, Bigger-than-Life personality.

Skid Marks


So Dad picked me up that night from Junior Achievement, and I rode in the car with him the fifteen minutes or so it took to get home.

I don’t know exactly how the conversation went, but I remember the stand-out statement:

“Honey. Things are always changing. The sooner you get used to that, the better off you’ll be.”

Question Mark

In fact, I didn’t think much about it. Just one of so many conversations in family life.

Until the following February, when Dad died of a heart attack in the night.



Is that what you meant by: “Things are always changing . . . ” !!!!???!!!!

Monstro's Mouth!


I’ve replayed that statement many, many times over the years. I still see Dad’s eyes, hear his voice. Like a mental tape recorder — words frozen in time.

And he’s right.

Things are always changing. Oftentimes when we least expect.

And our job is staying flexible. Ready.

Dad, born in the 1920s, was old school. Matter of fact.

Maybe another way of putting it would be:

“Honey. I want you to know that things are always changing. It’s our job, as humans here on Good ‘ol Planet Earth to adapt. To adjust. To find a way to thrive among Life’s shifting circumstances.

“I want you to know this, so that you will be ready. So that you can embrace change. So that it won’t knock you down. but you can continue on. Adapt and adjust to the new norms . . .”

David Bowie sings in 1971 — Ch-Ch-Changes :))


Thank you, Dad!!!

You gave me a final gift. Of wisdom. A strategy for dealing with what Life has to offer.

And it’s really helped :))

Just to know, in advance, about the changes that loom ahead. For all of us.

As sure as the hands of Time . . .

Things are always changing, still.

So rather than grumble or complain: Adapt. Adjust. Take the lead, and make changes, too.

And yes — all these years later — I still take this one to heart! ❤

Gas Cap Heart


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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White Horse in Green


Signs! Gone Surfing


Copyright 2017






Lenticular clouds

Oh the precious memories of a Life well lived :)) I think the BIG QUESTION we all have: Will my Life actually work out? Will it all go well? Will I have a house? A job? Will the kids turn out? Can I pay my bills . . . ???

In my Life, it has! Have I had my ups and downs? Indeed! Yet there’s always a Silver Lining beyond every mishap. We fall down, get back up, dust ourselves off — and learn from the venture.

We add the needed corrections to our lifestyle, to our behavior . . . And we find ourselves blessed beyond measure — living here, on this beautiful planet, Earth, that we get to call home!

Malibu Winter Foliage!


Lately I’m marveling at how beautifully Life has turned out . . . From the ashes and angst of my youth, all is well. I’ve made peace.

And realizing, one day, it will all be gone. In a flash — transformed into the next dimension.

I awoke today with these first stanzas, and the feeling accompanying this:

Bounty for the Soul
By DawnSeeker, July 9, 2017

Years ago a little boat
Set sail on Life’s vast sea —
Alas I’ve come to realize,
The little boat was me!

Searching the shores for treasures
Of all that Life unfolds . . .
Finding, now, my holds are full
Of bounty for the Soul.

Not just lovely belongings
Grace my cabin, dear — but
Friendships wrought from Life’s hot forge:
Iron. Grit. And fear.

Soft, the tender blossoms,
Outside my windows bloom.
From the soil of turbulence
My Soul contains a room

Filled to overflowing
(Feel the inner joy!)
Memories of encounters
With daughters, moms, and boys.

Time, the grand illusion,
Unwinds its iron clasp.
My little ship shifts between
The present, and the past . . .

I see again the faces,
I hear again the voice.
I realize my happiness
Truly is a choice.

And so I end my journey
Much as it had begun.
Searching Life’s shores for treasures,
I realize, I’ve won!

All I really wanted
Lays hidden in my Soul:
Not the things, the friendships,
Truly Life’s Journey’s goal.



For how this all worked out so well, philosophical posts abound:

My Yoda Story
Depression Emergency Kit


Self-shadow shot

Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2017




El Rancho Viejo

Blue Skies Tagged Ahead :))

How do you thank someone whom you’ve never “met”, but who has enabled you to gain fresh insight into who you are?

Isn’t that the reason we blog in the first place, Self-discovery and looking for those “out there” with whom we can share and connect with?

Self-Reflection is one of my favorite topics. And MrHushHush has ushered in fresh volumes by nominating me for the Blue Sky Tag — thus enabling me to answer his thought-provoking questions :))

Thank you, MrHushHush, so very much!!!

Not only has this been fun, but my own answers to your wonderful list of questions has helped me resolve a recent angst I’ve been dealing with.

Thank you for reaching out. For including me in this exercise. And for making it deep and thoughtful, rather than surface-level BS!!

End Day Cloud


Quoting from MrHushHush here:

For those of you who don’t know, the rules of the Blue Sky Tag go something like this:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
  4. Tag your 11 nominees.

(Thank you, MrHushHush, for not stringently stating the rules! We creative sorts can lose our nerve as soon the “YOU MUST” rules arise!)


Thought-Provoking Questions from MrHushHush

So here are my responses :))

1.Why do you Blog?

I’m a writer. A life-long Journal-Junkie. I don’t just want to write, I MUST write — in order to figure Life out. I created my two blogs as a format to polish my body of work and preserve what I’ve written, what I’ve discovered — (hopefully) for generations to come.

The original inspiration for my blogs came from my daughter, accomplished singer-songwriter and Celtic folk harpist, EllaHarp. In 2011-2012, I watched Ella build and blog Little Yellow, her homebuilt Tumbleweed Tiny House on Wheels. (Frankly, given our family’s aversion to computers and technology, I was more surprised at her ability to BLOG than to BUILD her own Tiny Home — with her creative example, I determined to to start a blog (or two!) of my own :))

2. What is your favorite topic to write/read about?

I love horses. They are the underlying theme of my Life. (Hence, my horse blog, Soul Horse Ride.) I work with horses as a farrier (horseshoer), I’ve raised and bred four generations of horses — I have a fantastic horse library.

But I also love business and creativity and self-employment and entrepreneurship and airplanes and flying and Spiritual metaphysics and all the Mysteries of Life . . . I have a great esoteric library, as well.

3. Are you happy in this moment of your life?

Amazingly so!!! I’m a bit older now, my kids are out of the house. I’m not working as much these days, and I have more time to enjoy the Life that God’s given me :))

My best advice: Keep striving for what you want in Life — you’ll get there! Make the best decisions you can at every junction, and TRUST. (See: My Yoda Story)

There truly are more influences at play behind what we “perceive”  this Life to be. It will all work out . . . find your happiness, do your best, today :))

4. Are you in love?

Yes :)) My husband and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary :)) We are a blended family (as in, we were both married before, had kids, and found happiness this time around, together :)) Life is LONG! Certain parts are difficult!!! But it sure helps to have someone who “gets” you (loves you) to share it with!!! :))

(I think those of us who have succeeded in long-term love have, finally, discovered that someone else can never truly fulfill us — make us happy. That’s OUR job. As humans, here on Earth, it’s up to each one of us to find and fuel our own happiness. When two people are committed to kindness and respect for one another, have shared goals of a great family life, and allow one another to follow and express their Life’s creative passions, it’s a beautiful thing.)

5. How do you cope when feeling lost or empty?

Great question! I either get out my Journal and write, or look up something I’ve already written on the topic for fresh inspiration.

I’ve found that there are many recurring themes in Life, and I can actually plan for much of the emotional ride that Life gives me. By working out a strategy in advance to what’s come up for me in my past — I can ward off much frustration in my present. And it’s  actually worked!!!

(My favorite go-to strategy to feeling lost or empty: Taking ACTION, in some form!)

6. What’s a special memory you often flash back to?

What a sweet question :)) I love to re-live my special horse rides, especially if I’m working out of town and far from my horses. Or in the winter snow season, when I can’t ride. I figure those rides are preserved for me in my very DNA, and I re-live and re-ride the nuances of Nature, the horse, the beauty of the day. I think that’s a wonderful gift of being human. We can re-live either the good or the bad in our lives. At this point of my Life, I choose to re-live the best of my experiences :))

Other memories I think back to are those of my early childhood, growing up on the beach in Malibu, my Disneyland Bandleader Dad, my Mom, Grandparents. After people are gone and certain chapters of Life have closed, it’s a treat to re-visit and still gain insights and wisdom that help with whatever I’m going through today. (See: You Can Do ANYTHING!, and You Gotta Wanna)

7. What are you looking forward to?

I can honestly say I’m looking forward to . . . TODAY :)) I’ve already traveled, lived and worked in the Tropics, acquired all that I want: Horses. Home. Kids. Husband. Health. I’m really at a good place in Life, and I want to do my best, today, with the people and opportunities that arise for me. (Taking the pick-up truck, getting hay. Shoeing a horse this evening . . . sounds like a wonderful day :))

8. Do you see an overall goal in life you’re hoping to reach? If so, what?

Again, I’m very satisfied :)) Blown away, in fact, by how wonderful it’s all turned out. In my Life I’ve discovered that Spirit is the real, the true. What we perceive as real, as the material world around us, actually is made up of consciousness. Energy. And our thoughts, our vibes, change that reality.

My dear friend, Alisa, now 85, has reminded me of what Milton said in Paradise Lost (from the 1600s): “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

I can choose to vibrate with fear, angst. Or I can change that vibration to gratitude and love. Thank God for the second option!! :)) Gratitude Is . . .

9. What is your biggest fear, and how do you rationalize it?

Money, paying the bills, earning enough, was always my biggest fear. But I’ve learned to shift my awareness from lack and limitation to up into Spirit. Wholeness. And I’m relieved to say it’s worked. 100% !!! We really do create our own outcomes in Life by what we focus on. By staying in gratitude for all I have, Past, Present, Future, it all seems to work out :)) (see my Depression Emergency Kit for fear-busting strategies)

10. If you could recommend a book to me what would it be?

Years ago, I was given a great little book by Neville Goddard, Feeling is the Secret, that has really helped me. Basically, whatever you want to have or experience, you change your vibration to FEEL how you would feel when you have it. That feeling attracts what you’re looking for, and creates it in your life. Fantastic :)) Works with health, too.

Next: The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn (written in 1925). A small Metaphysical Manual on manifesting and living Life to the fullest.

Also, I think you would like: The Stranger in the Woods, by Michael Finkel. Great non-fiction about a guy who dropped out of the everyday world and lived as a hermit for 27 years, alone, in the woods.

11. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Dawn, don’t worry! Stay in Gratitude :)) Everything will work out :))

Don’t be so uptight about it all! Enjoy your Life :)) Enjoy the folks, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandfather. Take heed the wisdom they give you. Someday, they will all be gone, and you will be the one trying to figure it out. You will cherish the wisdom they shared with you.

Love. And get over stuff that hurts your feelings quickly. Cut people slack. You’ve hurt people, too. Apologize. Forgive. Grow up! Do what Mom said :)) Be kind! Get along.

Enjoy the RIDE :))

My Horse is a River

Get out and RIDE — Dawn’s Rides

It’s OK to Scream!


What a great list of questions, MrHushHush. Thank you, again, for your depth. It really got me thinking, reflecting. And that’s always a good thing :))

Keep Santa Cruz Weird

My Nominees :))

So here is my list of great Blogs to Tag:

YOU! If you’re reading this, you’re invited (lets bend those rules :)) Please feel free to join in with this insightful exercise, even if your name isn’t on this way-too-limited list!

Wind Kisses

Global Sojourns Photography

The English Professor at Large

The Pilot Wife Life

Life and Random Thinking

Erin Gillespie Cartoons

Heart of a Horsewoman

Horse Wisdom Blog

Dictionary Dutch

Marija Smits

The Motorcycletourer


My List of Questions for You:

  1. Is your Life, today, half-empty, or half-full?
  2. How have you found goodness from the bad situations in your Life? Example, please :))
  3. Which relationships have been the most challenging for you, and what strategies have you created to improve them?
  4. What causes you angst, and how do you overcome it?
  5. Have you ever written your own jokes???? Memorized them, and tried them out in a long, boring line at the Post Office . . . Did anyone chortle??? (ie — do you have a good joke ready for a sour circumstance :)) (I had a lot of fun writing my Cow Jokes.)
  6. What challenges are you facing in your Life right now?
  7. What do you obsess over? How do you rein in your obsessions?
  8. What strategies do you employ for stress relief?
  9. What other-wordly phenomena have you experienced? (Intuition, dreams, deja vu, ET, communication with lost loved ones, etc.) What have your learned from them?
  10. How do you make new friends, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?
  11. What do you love to create? How do you motivate yourself to do more of what you love to do???


Now, when you get the time, get your blogging groove on, and enjoy.

I’m looking forward to your answers :)) and viewing your list of Nominees. It’s a great way to reflect, connect, and share.

And, MrHushHush, would you please do me the favor of answering my list of questions, too :))



(If I were to answer my own list of questions, here are my thoughts on conversation starters with strangers: Deep Philosophical Three Minute Conversations. On motivation for doing more of what I like to do: Why Ride?, and Ride for Little Dawn.)


Round Rainbow


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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…/< >\ …/< >\ …/< >\

Self-shadow shot


Copyright 2017

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