MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH

It has been 7 months since I’ve been back at the ranch–since Christmas. A lot has happened in that time–fun things, exciting things, challenging things, too. I started blogging and tweeting for one thing. Now I’m back and it feels so good. There has been rain almost twice a day. This wouldn’t be good right now if you’re a New Yorker, but here in New Mexico it’s manna from heaven and as a result, the ranch has welcomed me back dressed in its most resplendent greenery.

View from my bedroom across the river

View from my bedroom across the river

I’ve been hiking an hour or more every day, swimming, getting back into a semblance of shape. Saw a bear yesterday from my office window on the other side of the river, ambling lazily through the grove of box elders. I camped out on various parts of the ranch back in 2000 when I got it and was trying to decide where to build my home. One reason I decided on this spot is because I like looking across the river at the tall cliffs with that dense grove of box elders at the base that turn bright yellow in the fall.

I’ve seen bear there quite often as well as coyote, fox, bob cat, and ring-tailed cat. I look out from my bedroom and office across the river to those trees and it makes my heart sing. I identify with bear. They are social, playful creatures who love to frolic and cavort. But then, they need to be alone. Being here for me is a form of hibernation when I replenish. So much (too much?) of the rest of my life is public, moving around, being ‘on.’ I need this place to fill back up and be reminded of who I am behind the public persona. I have a wonderful crew of guys–Gilbert, Miguel, Rudy and Julien-who take care of the land and the equipment. It’s big so it takes a lot of caring for. Something’s always going wrong: rabbits or gophers have eaten through the electric lines; I am unable to get internet service (the case right now which is why I am writing this on my Blackberry); the roads get washed out; dogs get bitten by rattle snakes which are particularly abundant this year. This doesn’t happen to Tulea because she’s always at my side. A horse gets colic or goes lame. Carole who was helping me out in L.A. post op, is here now with her husband Tommy. I especially need them when my family’s here and right now it’s Vanessa, her 2 children and next week Matt Arnett, their Daddy, arrives along with the James Andrews family. James is the one who persuaded me to start blogging last January and his 2 children go to school in Atlanta with my grandkids. Still, we can hold a lot of people so it’s far from a full house.

And then there's my definitely urban friend, Richard Perry, in his recording studio. What will he think of the ranch? Stay tuned

and then there's my definitely urban friend, Richard Perry, in his recording studio. What will he think of the ranch? Stay tuned

I’ve finally begun to tackle the chapter on sex. As of now, I begin it with my interview with 101 year old Ben Burke who told me how he had developed a fondness for 95 year old Edith who lives in the assisted living floor of his senior living center. He called her and asked if he could come up and share a banana and animal crackers with her. On the 2nd visit things progressed from there…the slow, titillating unbuttoning of flannel pajamas… It’s nice to know that skin time never gets old even if the bodies do.

I will now got back to that chapter.

See you next time.

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38 Comments
  1. As a 52 year old woman who’s husband died 4 years ago, I’ve really thought sex was in my past.

    But if Edith and Ben can find it surely I can too!

  2. I live in Denver, have never written to anyone on her blog before, and wanted you to know how much I am enjoying listening to “My Life So Far,” recommended to me by an attorney/poet friend because he thought I (his attorney/writer friend) would like how open you are about your transformation and life’s journey. I am loving listening to you read your audiobook, learning YOUR side of YOUR story from YOUR voice. I am used to being a resource and inspiration to young women. It is rare for me to find the same in another woman. Thank you for sharing your inspirational self. I wish you much healing from your knee surgery. (Where is that stinky chrysanthemum salve when you need it?)

  3. you wrote…… … It’s nice to know that skin time never gets old even if the bodies do. This is such a lovely thought…….

    May we all be blessed with love throughout our lives!

  4. Hi Jane,

    This is your December 21st birthday buddy in Birmingham, AL.

    So glad to read you are healing from the surgery. And, also glad to read about your new relationship with such a talented man. What an amazing couple you make.

    The ranch is beautiful. I don’t know how you are able to stay away so long.

    If I were writing my autobiography, I would entitled the chapter on sex this way:

    “I have seen enough to know I have seen too much!”

    πŸ˜‰

  5. Richard Perry….didnt he work with Streisand? Also, interesting thoughts I had when you mentioned manna…I just read something about manna in a book called what would jesus eat that my cousin gave me. Intriguing.

  6. Adorning you view Jane,your time is forever, everywhere her place.
    Sounds like your open to a new start,
    “The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
    And drinks, and gapes for drink again;
    The plants suck in the earth, and are
    With constant drinking fresh and fair.”
    from Anacreon~
    As from The Prophet~ Words that weep and tears that speak.
    Looks like a place to call home, I hope it becomes a creative time in your life. We find Discourse in nature more truth than the foolish whistlings of men at times. In simple things one finds Hope, more Hope of all that some men endure, it is this that is our only cheap and universal cure.

  7. With this view, you must be wonderful to wake up. Sure you put up with the training. From Uruguay with love.

  8. Your ranch sounds wonderful. I love New Mexico…my mother lived in an adobe house in Santa Fe for awhile. Enjoy your rejuvenation time.

  9. Wow, gorgeous ranch. I have ranch envy. Funny, my name is Vanessa and I’m about the same age as your daughter.

    Love your blog and tweets. Keep it up.

  10. Your ranch is lovely-what a spiritual place to relax and create. Allah willing I can retire to such a place as well. Blessing and peace-Haleema

  11. What a great blog Jane!
    How great to feel in your words how in tune you are with your surroundings. And your love of all things in nature.
    Your bedroom view is lovely with a bluish purply
    glow in the sky surrounding the box elders. Its as if the colors are rising from those wise old stones and flowing out the tree tops.

    Wish more people could rattle off the trees, plants and all surrounding them.
    What a gift to hold these in your heart.
    Enjoy the quiet time to breath it all in.

    May you find all the words your looking for with the new book……

    earthkeeper
    P.S. Love that part about camping to find the perfect spot for your home. Nice!
    Glad your knee is moving steady with your vigorous
    lifestyle.

  12. Hahahahaha, sounds like a good chapter! I also love the view from your window. Looks like a beautiful place.

  13. I love the fact that your blog brings a smile to my face every single time I read it.
    Thank you for that…
    πŸ™‚
    Lauri
    PS…that picture of your view made me say “aaahhhh…” right out loud. The Big Island of Hawaii has the same effect on me….I guess I will have to visit New Mexico at some point! πŸ™‚

  14. Jane,

    What a beautiful view surrounded by nature, no wonder your heart is singing. Solitude is a necessity for you to replenish, and be filled to overflowing, as you give 110%of who you are all the time.
    Enjoy your time with the family, and good friends.
    As for Mr. Perry I think he will love just being with you,and sharing what makes your heart sing.
    Keep on going with that amazing new knee.

    Here’s To A Time Of Refreshing

  15. well, thank you James Andrew for getting Jane Fonda interested in blogging!

  16. Welcome back to the Land of Enchantment. I live a bit southeast of your ranch and have deeply enjoyed your stories from Broadway. In fact, I enjoy most of the posts, which you so generously provide. Glad you’re back to your writing, enjoy the peace.

  17. Thank you for sharing such a lovely place with photos and descriptions. We bloggers get to share your journeys vicariously and I, for one, appreciate it.
    It has been a revelation to discover the private persona from the public persona; imagine the decision as to where to ‘draw the line’ is not easy and hope you continue as you have.
    A picture can say a thousand words anyway!

  18. Jane,

    It’s good to see you are here in New Mexico and enjoying the rain which you know is a blessing here. We live in Cedar Crest (the east side of the Sandias) but occasionally take a drive up to Santa Fe and surrounding area. Have a wonderful, restful time while you’re here. We love New Mexico also! Good to hear you have one of your homes in this territory.

  19. The photo from your bedroom is heavenly! I travel to the Taos/Santa Fe area every December. I recommend you take a drive up the high road to Taos and have dinner in Penasco at Sugar Nymphs. You will be so surprised by the amazing eating delights found in restaurant hidden away in this small village. I just googled it and found the following write-up.
    http://www.nmgastronome.com/nm/american/nymph.htm
    Enjoy!

  20. Man can I relate to the alone time thing. As a mother of two young boys, it seems like a lost wonderland – alone-ness. Mind you this is a double edged sword. I want them with me, I want to be alone, ahhhhhghhhh.

    Anyway the view out your bedroom looks right. And to ponder the lifestyle of bears is very cool.

    Stay happy. Get skin time.

  21. It sounds like your ranch is quite beautiful. I’m more of a city girl myself, but living on peaceful land like that also sounds exhilarating, except for the rattlesnakes. I would definitely not want to run into one of those…ever! The rest seems lovely.

    You book is going to be awesome! I really cannot wait to read it. That’s so sweet that that elderly couple found love once again.

    Enjoy time with your family and friends!

    Best,
    Amanda

  22. well I have been keeping a close eye on your progress. I am going to Alb. on the 17th and having my left knee replaced! you seem to be doing wonderful. I am going this Thursday to speak with my dr, about a study knee, I am not real sure about it guess i will know more then. it is called a Vangard Rotating Platform knee it is suppose to give you more freedom. hmmmm what type did you have put in? love the view from your bedroom I live in NM but i live close to the Tx. boarder its flat and you have to drive for miles to see water but i love NM. well hope your time at the ranch is nice hope you keep doing well with your new knee!!!! also just wanted to say I think you are an amazing woman, and what they did to you in the 70′ was bull. and as soon as i am on the road to recovery I am buying your tee the one with the peace sign!!! very cool,

  23. I’ve always wanted to visit New Mexico, I’ve been to Sedona though and hear that the energy and spirit is similar to parts of NM. Sounds like it will be a much needed three weeks of family, friends, and writing…enjoy!

  24. Keep writing! I will be one of the first people in line to get your next book! And I for one, think having sex at any age and being able to do so successfully is not a bad thing. I don’t know why our society fears aging so much. Age is a state of mind and an insurance plan, that’s what I say. People under the age of 50 shouldn’t be the only people having sex ( 50 isn’t the drawing point) and they shouldn’t be the only ones who people pay attention to either. Ever see the movie Something’s Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton? It’s a great movie that deals with age and sexuality. Their sex scene is hot and hilarious, and not because they are two people over 40 having sex either πŸ˜‰

  25. Not sure this will transmit, but I’m gonna try! I work for Richard’s Mom, Sylvia, and as a result have got to know Coach over the years.

    Jane, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seem Coach look more happy and relaxed. Whatever you are doing, you are definitely GOOD for my adopted brother.

    Sooooooo, keep up the good work! Especially since YOU also look very happy!

    All best,
    Cak Marshall

  26. Looks like a wonderful place to hang your hat for a bit.

  27. just like a little treasure of peace and heaven isn’it Jane? keep on blogging, interesing an driving a lot of people reading it with great interess an d pleasure!frederique dhenein

  28. Stumbled upon your blog site while trying to find information about Emma Willard School (a former friend’s daughter is a sophmore there). This is my first time to comment on a blog, and it was the beautiful photo along with the comments about all the wildlife. I miss that, as I had to move back to the city to get a job. (Oh, well I don’t miss the rattlesnake issues!). Any way, I’ve enjoyed reading all the back blogs as well as this current one. How “down home” they truly are. And lastly, the sex thing never dies…if it did, we’d all be raving lunatics! Can’t wait for your next book. Enjoy your ranch.

  29. What a beautiful picture of the view from your bedroom! I’m so glad that you have a place like your ranch to get away from the public and to get in touch with yourself again! You need that! The ranch is definitely a haven for you! Everyone should have a restful place like the to go to when they are weary or need a break from their day to day lifestyle! I know you must get so tired of being “on” all the time! That would get tiring! What a treat to see the wild animals!! I can see why you built your house where you did! That mountain with the trees at the base would be a wonderful thing to look up and see every day! Richard looks so happy and relaxed in his studio! I can understand why that would be one of his favorite places to be! It’s hard to believe you can hike for an hour every day on your “new” knee! From what I hear the surgery and recovery time is so much better than it was a few years ago! Have fun with your full house! I enjoyed reading about the elderly couple….very sweet! It sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of research for your book! I know it’ll be good! Take care!

  30. Beautiful view! Wish you a quick and easy recovery from the surgery! Gotta tell you, “The Morning After” is one of our favorite movies. Watch it once every six months. Always kid that it’s a “take along” when we retire and downsize. Best of luck in all you do.

  31. Jane,
    I just came up with a completely wonderful idea! A remake of a movie of yours.
    Because this blog is read by others I don’t want to give out my idea and someone steal it, (know what I mean?)So you have to have your people get a hold of my people, well, that would be me LOL!
    It’ll be a blockbuster!
    Have a great day,
    Martha Dunham

  32. Looking at your ranch pictures makes me want to get back down on the farm more! I hate the city, at least this one. Unfortunately, this is where my work is at the moment so the country girl has to stay put. Have a nice time with your family and watch out for that bear!

  33. Such a beautiful peaceful spot — enjoy each and every minute — I know you will. Sending a hug your way.

  34. HI Jane
    Your ranch seems a beautiful,peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature.Hope you will really get alot of writing done,as I’m looking forward to your book.
    As always,we love your blogs.

  35. What a beautiful view, you made a good choice ! I am sure he will just love it Jane.
    Being 51 a spring chicken still πŸ™‚ hubby 57 and on high blood pressure tablets, things are a bit on the slow side but not gone and forgotten as yet πŸ™‚

  36. Jane, in reading about your time at your ranch I totally relate to everything that needs “fixin'”. We just returned after two years in London to our home in Abiquiu. I am in the process of ‘reclaiming’ my home.

    I was talking to a neighbor (by neighbor I mean someone who is 4 miles away) and we were commiserating about the electric gate, the gophers, the lack of cell service, the bobcats, high, rushing river, (which I DO love), the washed out roads, and the list goes on.

    One of her friends from Denver said, “It must be nice to live the simple life.” HA! The simple life is a condo in downtown Denver!

    But the beauty and tranquility makes up for it in a thousand ways. Enjoy your time in NM. Refresh and renew.

  37. Hello Ms. Fonda.

    My name is Isaias but my friends call me “Ike”. I somewhat stumbed upon your site and find it a sheer delight to hear of you and Richard.

    I’ve known and worked with Richard for over 20 years and feel he has one of the most intelligent, creative and sophisticated minds of the modern music era. On top of that, he’s a very charming, caring and emotionally sensitive man with a sharp, dry finely tuned wit.

    I’ve always hoped he’d find the “Right Girl” and have many a late night conversation with him about it. Richards music has in many ways been a window into his heart and being a hopeless romantic, I know he never stopped believing in LOVE.

    All the best to you both!

    Ike

    • What a nice email, ike. I have copied Richard on it. Thanks.

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