Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Colored Sand

This past weekend I visited my family in South Carolina to celebrate my Dad’s 75th birthday. It was one of those trips where you re-connect with family, friends, and many people you have not seen in years. One of my best friends in the world joined us because we met during our first year in college so she knows my family very well. She and I started out as sorority sisters, then became roommates, and over the years have traveled the world together, been through her divorce, the birth of her son, my crazy career moves, death, and much more.

Driving in the car together she shared with me that she and her 11 year son had attended an event in her hometown the day before. Buddhists were in town to create what’s called a Mandala at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC.

The Buddhists spent days meticulously creating the work of art with colored sand. They often meditate while doing it and visitors can watch the creation come to life. I had seen this done before in North Carolina years ago. I always thought it was incredible.

While that was cool, what she shared with me next made me stop and think. After the Buddhists create the Mandala, they destroy it. You may ask “Why would they do that to something so beautiful? Why would they destroy something they have invested so much time into?”

Since reading the explanation and seeing the picture below, (click on picture to enlarge) my friend and I are applying the principles to many things in our lives. We are looking at relationships, our favorite possessions, even an old sentimental t-shirt she could not let go of even though it was stained beyond repair.

My hope is that you take a minute to look at your life and what you consider your prized possessions, and just for a moment, realize, none of it is ours to own. The people in our lives are there because they want to be. If they leave, you have to let them go. The beautiful objects like jewelry, cars, even golf clubs do not make us happy. It is only a temporary thrill. We will want something else beautiful tomorrow. Letting go of our attachments, living in the now, and accepting that change is inevitable might help us live each day with just a little more gentleness.


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Honeymoon & a moment

John Lennon
Like many of us, I have always been fascinated by Beatle legend John Lennon. I love his music of course, but the way he lived, and his artistic expression has always grabbed my attention and heart.

Now his artwork, part of a series called “Bag One” goes on display this weekend here in Los Angeles. I wish I could own the lithograph called “Honeymoon.” It’s neat to think of the moment in time he and Yoko Ono experienced with one another. She is now 80 years old, and has set up a business called Bag One Arts in an attempt to keep her late husband’s legacy as an artist alive.

Here’s an article from the LA Times about Lennon’s sketches

See you there!!!!

Two of my favorite quotes by J.L.

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”


Strut with Us?

When people find out I started Lu Parker Project to help homeless animals and at-risk youth, they often ask “How can I help?” I usually answer by saying simply “Just get involved.” We need volunteers, fundraisers, artists, teachers, animal lovers, party planners, activists, and the list goes on and on…

Today I write asking you to strut your stuff with us at Strut Your Mutt The event will be held Saturday, September 24th at 10a. It is a simple one mile walk that will help us raise the much needed funds we need to keep doing our important work, but it is also a chance for adults, kids and dogs to send a message. We are in this together. The goal: No More Homeless Pets

Joining our DOG PACK and walking with us is simple. Here’s how you do it. If you are ready to commit: Log onto
Once there, type Lu Parker Project in the search box at the top right of the page.
Once on our page, click JOIN THIS DOG PACK. Sign up. You can then create your own unique webpage to raise funds with us. 100% of the proceeds go to

If you prefer to simply donate to our cause, that’s easy too.
Log onto
Once there, type Lu Parker in the search box at the top right of the page.
Once on Lu’s page, click SUPPORT ME and give what you can.

Your donation is 100% tax deductible!.

Patrick and Ana here as very very sick babies.

Ana & Patrick are parvo free and have a new forever home together!

Our latest rescue involves two 4 month old puppies that we pulled from South LA Animal shelter. The two puppies came in with parvo because their owners didn’t know to vaccinate them. Parvo is deadly and highly contagious. LPP paid for Patrick and Ana to receive medical attention, and with the help of Brent Air Animal Hospital we were able to save these two beautiful dogs that would have otherwise been euthanized on the spot.

In our effort to reach the youth of Los Angeles, Monkey and I, along with Gabe and David of Animal Wellness Centers visited Bresee Youth Center this month. The teens got a chance to discuss animal welfare issues, and we brainstormed on how they could help reach out to their own community. This is just the beginning of a strong relationship. We dream of reaching more at-risk teens to help educate them about being kind to all animals. That is why your donations are so important.

We brainstormed on how to help the community.

We believe rescuing is important, but we also believe education is key to ending overpopulation. We hope you can help us spread the word….

If you walk with us, feel free to bring your dog or plan to walk a homeless dog! Hope to see you soon!!!!

For more on Lu Parker Project visit:
For more on Lu and her efforts visit:


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What a day!!!

I typically write a blog in the early morning hours over a big cup of coffee, but today it’s the opposite. I couldn’t wait to share my day with you.

It started early with a 5am wakeup call to get ready to head to KTLA studios to do a story on a three legged dog named MONTY. This 2 year old is looking for a new home after being shot and left in the desert to die. Please spread his message of courage.

Later in the morning, I headed over to the La Brea Tar Pits for the Best Friends Pet Super Adoption. Monty and his foster met me there and we introduced Monty on stage. I also met a lot of cool people, and ran into lots of my favorite rescue groups and LA City Shelter friends. By the way, Monty wasn’t the only dog at the event with only 3 legs. I saw at least three others.

Once I left the Tar Pits, I headed to the valley to check out World Fest. I had been asked to speak there weeks ago, and thought it sounded like an event I would enjoy. It was. Everything from vege food, to eco-friendly products, rescue groups, live music and dancing. It sort of reminded me of my college days: long skirts, sandles, music, good food, and no worries. World Fest was oozing good vibes.

While I walked around with my dog Monkey, we saw some interesting things including a food booth selling BBQ, but not the kind you are thinking…Ha! As a Southern girl and vegetarian for the last 25 years, I thought, “Now that is interesting!!!” I didn’t stay long enough to taste it. Maybe next time.

Couldn't help but take a picture!


Then as I am leaving, who do I see but this little guy!!! Are you kidding me? He looks like my dog but a quarter the size. I had to stop. Joey, I am told was run over and didn’t get the proper care to help his hind legs. They are nearly paralyzed completely. In the dog pen, he sort of drags them behind him. I wanted to see him in his wheelchair. Once I did, I fell in love even more. You would too! Joey is a little sweetheart. He’s curious, gentle, and moves pretty dang fast on two legs. I’m not sure what I plan to do with his picture, but I felt compelled to share his story. There are others like Joey at a place called Dharma Rescue. They specialize in helping senior pets and animals with special needs. They seem like angels. Wanna help me find Joey a forever home? If so contact me at or Email me.


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Am I really doing this?

13.1 miles=Half Marathon

It’s the distance I used to drive as a teenager from my house (in the country) to the small SC town of Estill.

13.1 miles

It’s almost like walking from Santa Monica to Hollywood.

That’s what I’ve pledged to walk. 13.1 miles. Please JOIN me!!! If you can’t join, can you please help support me??

Why you ask? Check out the following letter and info to find out. There’s a lot of cool stuff. THANKS.


I am excited and scared!

I have committed to do something that isn’t easy, but will be very rewarding. Along with other volunteers,I will be walking 13.1 miles next month in the LA Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon to raise much needed funds for a non-profit I started this year called Lu Parker Project. Our projects are already helping homeless animals and at-risk teenagers in Los Angeles.

In the last couple of months:

*Along with local teenagers, we re-designed the entire lobby at South LA Shelter.
*We created a more appealing area outside the shelter by planting plants and gardening. (I even mowed the lawn!)
*We bathed and groomed nearly 20 shelter dogs so they would be more presentable for adoption.
*We have helped place over a half a dozen homeless dogs and cats into new homes.

South LA Shelter Lobby
Abbie, a rescue from South LA ShelterUrban Arts Crew paint murals

We did all the above with NO funding, but it’s difficult to continue this way. That’s exactly why many of us have committed to walking the upcoming half marathon.

Please help us by donating anything you can. ($5, $50,..even more if you can) We promise you will see results! Here’s my personal page:

My Fundraising Page


Lu Parker

For more info on JOINING OUR TEAM, or to sponsor a walker, click below.

To SUPPORT ME individually, please click below.

Please check out our website:

To read more about the race:

*To send a tax-deductible donation by mail, send your check to Lu Parker Project, 5042 Wilshire Blvd. Box 389, LA CA 90036


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Grateful Mama


As 2009 comes to a close, I realize how grateful I am for my dog and cat.  They bring me so much joy including laughter and comfort.  

Monkey, my dog and I did a photo shoot yesterday with an amazing photographer named Grace Chon.  I am so happy!!!  Grace worked with Monkey and me for just an hour, and was able to capture some incredible moments. Some of the pics will appear in Modern Dog Magazine in the Spring.  It will be our first time together in a magazine.  Yay!!!

Hope you like the pics too.  BTW, if you can’t tell, I’m in love with my dog.  (Rescued from the South LA Shelter via Best Friends)  If you are considering getting a dog, but nervous that it might change your life, GO FOR IT!  It WILL change your life, your schedule, & your soul!!!!

You can find Grace’s work: Grace Chon

Thanks also to Healthy Spot 



Posted by on December 21, 2009 in Fun Stuff


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Miss CA USA Pageant

I was one of the judges for the Miss CA USA pageant over the weekend along with actor A.J. Buckley, and dress designer Tony Bowls. It was an exciting time as usual. Over 130 women competed, but only one could win. She represented Sherwood. Her name is Nicole Johnson. She will now represent Miss CA in the Miss USA pageant which will be held in Las Vegas in April.

Here are some of my pictures from the weekend in Palm Springs. Enjoy…

With Model & Former Miss GA, Tiffany Fallon

With Model & Former Miss GA, Tiffany Fallon

Getting ready to announce winner

Getting ready to announce winner

Winner: Nicole Johnson

Winner: Nicole Johnson

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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Fun Stuff, Miss USA 1994


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One at a Time

Have you ever had a moment where your heart feels so full of joy it might burst? I felt it just recently at the Jane Goodall Summit. Nearly 70 teenagers from around our state showed up to be a part of a weekend of giving back. Our focus on this day was animal welfare, and the South LA shelter.<a

It wasn't a huge event. In fact, it was quite intimate and simple in its approach. We gathered outside under the trees at Temescal Park. The students created a huge mural to be hung at the shelter, a place that unfortunately still lacks color and brightness even though the wonderful animals found there are full of color and life. They also painted signs for the cages. The students, part of a group called Roots & Shoots believe the mural and signs will serve as a reminder to visitors that animals have voices too.

If you don’t know already, the Jane Goodall philosphy is all about human welfare, the environment, and animal welfare. Young people involved with her group are encouraged to give back in all areas. The students we met at Saturday’s summit were hungry to hear what they can do next. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke to the them about the importance of service and about ways to make change. Two shelter employees touched on the daily struggles they encounter at the shelters, and encouraged the kids to spread the thought “Don’t Buy. Adopt.” Newly appointed LA Animal Services Commissioner Melanie Ramsayer spoke about finding your passion and putting it to work. Everyone had questions.

In the end, this group of 70 plus students were abuzz with ideas and thoughts on how they too can help at our city shelters. From volunteering, to simply spreading the news of the shelter’s existence, every effort helps. I often get frustrated because the problems can’t get fixed in a day, but for a moment that day I felt like we were making a difference one message at a time. Do you have a message?

Photo Credits: Sheri Mandel

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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Fun Stuff, Inspirational, opinion


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My 1st LA TIMES Blog

Halloween was fantastic as usual, but extra special this year. See blog below!!!!!

LA Times Blog

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Posted by on November 6, 2009 in Fun Stuff, Inspirational, opinion


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Don't Tell Anyone

I talked about it for months, but finally took my dog Monkey (the scruffy one) to see the beach for the first time last week. One of my best friends brought her dog Laker along too. (black one) We also had Rusty, my neighbor’s dog with us. It was an adventure to say the least. We loaded them up in her SUV and headed north to Malibu. The beach was empty, and we were stoked.
img_16121img_1610img_1601None of the dogs had ever seen the deep blue sea so it was thrilling to see them pounce onto the sand with eager anticipation. We let them off leash (not sure if that is legal), and they all simultaneously began to run full speed in one direction. For a moment we thought we had lost them, but they turned and sprinted back to us. Hilarious. Pure exhilaration for them. Not sure how to compare it to us when we get excited seeing something new, but all I can say is it brought a huge smile to my face and filled my heart.

Monkey, who I thought would be the most active and jump right in, surprised me. He was afraid of the water, and would run to the edge and slam on the brakes. Rusty and Laker dove straight ahead into the breaking waves. After 40 minutes of running and throwing ball, a beach volunteer/security found us. Oops! Dogs aren’t suppose to be off-leash. The fun was over in a flash. We packed up, and headed home.

I have to say it was like having a perfect day getaway. Driving along Pacific Coast Hwy. with the beach in full view, and your buddy and dog along for the ride. It doesn’t get much better than that! California Rules!


Posted by on May 4, 2009 in Fun Stuff


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