I have spent the last 5 days at my New Mexico ranch with 8 wonderful women from Atlanta. Some I have known for a long time, some were new to me. Let me explain.

Every year my non-profit, The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP, which was recently renamed because we’ve expanded from an exclusive 18-year focus on teen pregnancy prevention to include health & nutrition), has a large, public fundraiser which includes a live auction and every year I auction off 5 days at my ranch with me. At this last gala, The Empower Party, when we honored Ted Turner with the Big Thinker award, I ended up auctioning 3 such trips. Last Sunday was the start of the 1st trip and it’s hard to imagine there can be a more fun one.

5 women arrived Sunday and the last 3 came on Monday. Here’s a photo of the first group hike. It was bitter cold. Left to right is Helen Izlar, Natalie (holding Tulea) works for CNN International and, coincidentally, is a consultant to Aaron Sorkin for “The Newsroom” TV series that I’m a ‘visiting guest star’ on. Ashley is the CEO of the Atlanta women’s pro basketball team, the Dream Team. Ginny is a member of GCAPP’s board of director’s among many other amazing philanthropic endeavors. Caroline chaired last year’s gala with her twin sister and came to the ranch 10 years ago with another group of Atlanta women auction winners.

Here they are sitting in the tack room on a couch that was on the set of “On Golden Pond”

Getting ready for a ride

I love this view through the barn portal towards the snow capped mountains where the Santa Fe ski basin is.

We shared a delicious dinner. Sandra McDonald, who cooks for me when I have guests, made the most delicious Corn Soup

Chicken with Mille sauce and Chili Rellenos stuffed with Creamy Polenta.”

Together at the table.

Natalie, Helen and Caroline toasting.

Robin and Natalie toasting.

After dinner we all got into the hot tub—for 2 hours of games and laughter.
Finally Emily’s in the picture. She’s the one usually taking them. That’s her in the front, the blonde with the come-hither smile. Then from left of her: Caroline, Robin, Helen, me, Natalie, Mary and Ashley.
We were prunes when we finally decided it was time to get out!

We went into Santa Fe, probably the greatest little town in the whole world for retail therapy. After visiting the fantastic Fenn-Nedra Matteucci art gallery and a very successful visit to Nathalie, my favorite clothing store on Canyon Road, we went to the best cowboy boot store in the world, Back At The Ranch.

“Check out the boots at Santa Fe’s Back at the Ranch. Have you ever seen such fascinating diversity in western foot wear?”

“Of course you can’t visit Santa Fe without stopping by the most amazing chocolate shop, Todos Santos. Here are Ashley and Mary in the doorway”

“This is the front door of the Shed where we had lunch.”

And here are Natalie, Emily and Ginny at the Shed with our exceptional waiter. Emily Giffin, on case you didn’t know, is a multiple best selling novelist. “Where We Belong,” “Something Borrowed,” “Something Blue” and “Baby Proof” among others.”

“We ended our trip into town with a scrumptious dinner at Geronimo. My friends gave me this little Indian pottery piece as a souvenir of our fun in the hot tub.
The only thing sad about these 5 days is that I didn’t see my 5 gobblers. Hope the cougars didn’t get them.”

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  1. I am a Cornell and Columbia-educated American working in Saudi Arabia as a Management Trainer for the Saudi Aramco Oil Company. My wife Cecile, who is French, and I always love your movies. This weekend I had the immense joy to see “Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding” showing in the small island nation of Bahrain, which is a short drive across the bridge in the Arabian(Persian) Gulf. I can’t tell you what it means to see such a movie living and working in this part of the world (where oppression and repression hang heavy all about). Knowing the bucolic, bohemian Upstate experience well from my days at Cornell, the film’s sense of place evoked all that, but you are the soul of the film. Beautiful, beautiful work! Though I know this was an acting role, I felt you gave a lot of yourself to that role–the recurrent life lesson of “Just love!” shone so beautifully in your portrayal, and showed so nicely when you and Caroline Keener’s character “buried” her heavy sack of anger and just “let it go”. The film made me long for the day when I can retire to our 40 acres outside of Ithaca and let down. What a pleasure to have you make such a meaningful film, and a greater joy to find your great website. Thank you for all that you’ve endured in your life, and all that you’ve taught, for those who have the clarity of vision to see and appreciate.

    • Ms Fonda,
      I am a long time admirer of the examples you have set. I did your workouts when they were on vinyl!
      Never knew you were an adoptive parent- but should not be surprised. So inspiring and uplifting. I look forward to your interview with Oprah and hope many more people will watch and come to understand the power in having a supportive, loving family. I volunteer for The Heart Gallery- which started in New Mexico. Maybe you have heard of them. I believe there is a strong connection between the support you provide in Atlanta and the mission of The Heart Gallery.
      Maybe you would be interested in adopting a portrait?
      Much success to you.

  2. The pictures of your ranch and Santa Fe remind me how much I miss New Mexico!

  3. I think your gobblers make their rounds, like many animals do, like fox, so they will likely be back, hope so. I no longer like fox, I have seen them in action.
    I looked at your web site , is that your org, or you contribute only. How do you recruit those to help you out, they all seem suspiciously long legged, pretty and young, ha. I thought maybe you were having some of the teens over. But makes sense.
    I know we did not have these things available when we were growing up. It seemed to be the elite that got everything. I think they were needed then and needed now in every town/city.
    I am appalled at the hopelessness I see among teens. There is to this day a lack of help for low and middle class whites as well.
    So, in my own way I contribute anonynously,when I am able to, at an online volunteer site, and take thousands of questions and answers from teens and others, mental health related.
    Would love to have a billion or enough to do more.
    I would have benefited in life with more support, no doubt.
    Pictures of your ranch are very nice, I love the pic through the arch at stables as well. Good for you. Thanks for sharing.

    • C, They are all very philanthropic-minded, generous and kind besides the outward beauty.

      • Don’t know them individually, made that assumption!

  4. Hello Ms. Fonda, I’m Nir and I write to you from Isreal.
    I am a huge fun of you and i saw many of your movies.
    I wish you luck and that you will continue to perform on the cinema screens. Me and my family are sending to you our love and appreciation from Isreal.
    By the way, i saw pictures from your rancn and it looks very nice there. I hope i can visit this area in the future.

  5. * In line 2 I meant to say that I am a huge fan of you, not fun.

  6. I’m glad the auction was a success. I would love to visit your ranch some day. I have a friend, Pam Westmore, of the famous Westmore family of make-up artists who lives in Taos. She loves it there. I understand the light in New Mexico is to die for.
    I did get to see Matt Arnett when I was in Atlanta and he was so gracious and kind. He gave me a tour of the warehouse where I could get drunk on the works of Thornton Dial and others. I had a splendid time.
    I’m looking forward to your daughter’s book. I was in grade school during the Bobby Seal trial in New Haven, CT. So, much stupid paranoia. I had a cousin in the BP. They really did get so much right, it’s a shame they have been relegated to the fringes of history.
    I’ll same my pennies and try for your auction next year–I would love to leave the clouds of Ann Arbor, if only for 5 days!


  7. What a coincidence about Tulea ! Rsrsrs !Unbelievable 1 in a million !

  8. Hi Jane,
    Thank you for mentioning the places you and your friends visited in Santa Fe. I live 45 minutes south, so plan on finding some. I have passed Harry’s Roadhouse so many times on my way to Seton Village and never stopped. Now I plan to try out their menu;o thank you for sharing so much information and beautiful pictures…it opens up so many places to see for myself.

  9. Tribute to You Jane:

    This is an unabashed tribute to your unwavering spirit of positive energy. You have blessed the world in so many ways that it is hard to imagine would life would have been without you. But you have left so many legacies behind for all of us to enjoy and be motivated by.

    Amazing that you are 75 and still look as beautiful, smiling and full of grace as ever. You helped many women discover and take care of their bodies. You made people thing about the Vietnam War and you you put your butt on the line doing it.

    May your bright and shining light never diminish!

    love and joy,

  10. Great pictures with all of those beautiful women and the names of the places you go for lunch and dinner in Santa Fe. The meal at the ranch looked wonderful. As always
    Joe Ross, Fort Worth

  11. >From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E’s). He spent 6 years in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’,,, the first three of which his family only knew he was ‘missing in action’. His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed and clothed routine in preparation for a ‘peace delegation’ visit.

    They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it , in the palm of his hand.

    When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man’s hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: ‘Aren’t you sorry you bombed babies?’ and ‘Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?’ Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper.

    She took them all without missing a beat.. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper..

    Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day.

    • This is a total, vicious lie and you should stop spreading it.

  12. Dear Jane,

    I am heart-broken. There are horses starving to death on the San Felipe Pueblo land just south of Santa Fe. I have called the Governor, the Pueblo Governor, Animal Control, Indian Affairs, local activists, etc. Nothing has been done. It is so terrible, i can’t sleep. Is there anything you can do? Please, call the Governor. Call San Felipe. They need hay. There is no grass there. They are skin and bones. Please help ! Susan Carter 505-466-1095

  13. Dear Jane,
    I have been reading the negative comments about your upcoming movie on Nancy Reagan. First I want you to know that I will see it because you are a great actress. Many years have past and you have endured hateful messages about the Vietnam War. Healing is painful for some people and worse some people just have the need to hate. Today we have full diplomatic relations with Vietnam and now we are helping them rebuild what we destroyed and that makes no sense to me. War is wrong Jane, and I always have been in your side and you have my most humble respect.

  14. I don’t know who these nancy larie types are. but their lunacy and insidiousness seems to be taking over… honestly, I grew up surrounded by loving, high integrity, republican farmers (california central valley) not one of them ever went on about hanoi this or that!
    what a bunch of creeps!
    you and your ladies better hurry up finish your wine and polenta and take over. because they wont even let the 90% of us who want to restrict assualt weapons do that!!
    p.s. I dragged my feet and didn’t get a ticket to the coco peru thing. kicking myself a bit! but I’ve been a fan of yours since about 12 yrs old so I doubt anything would come up that I don’t already know.

    • Edward, I’ll tweet lots of pix of the Coco event!!

  15. Ms. Fonda,

    Recently I read a biography of which you were the subject. Though I was familiar with a good portion of the content, there were other elements about which I had known little or nothing. It was an enlightening journey about which to read.

    One of those elements of which I was aware but knew little had to do with Mary Williams (Lulu). What a fascinating human being. Certainly one can see the desire to connect with another human being who deserves better than what life has doled out to her and who is making contributions to this world that may affect positive changes.

    This evening, Mary and you were guests on Tavis Smiley’s show. I happened on this by accident, having arrived home from work and, sitting down, perusing the evening’s shows.

    I’m glad I watched the episode, though I must admit that it caused me sadness as well as happiness. Principally, it was talk of the future (of hope) that caught me. I have always done my best to be optimistic. When life is difficult, I remind myself of something my mother says perpetually: “There is someone somewhere who is worse off.” Meaning, of course, that one should shoulder his trials and do his best to get through them, and to be thankful things are not as awful as they could be.

    But with some of the events occurring presently in my life, the future is something in which I have begun to feel dread. I know: what an awful thing to write, much less think. But sometimes one becomes so depressed, he feels locked so deep in the hole, that the possibility of warmth and goodness feels unattainable. What’s more: undeserved.

    I was reading Robert Hass this evening, and by happenstance came upon the following lines:

    “Desire that hollows us out and hollows us out,
    That kills us and kills us and raises us up and
    Raises us up.”

    The first line struck me with force, as it explains succinctly what I have been experiencing. I’m not a bad person, nor am I a perfect one (a charge that has been leveled against me time and again). But I do try. I do.

    And yet, joy as I have known it in my life has begun to wane. Reading has been such a safeguard in my life, and even that has begun to seem… I don’t know… less the pleasure than it once was. The same is true with my writing. Currently, I am writing a short film that is, by loose description, a kind of modern-day Macbeth set in a rural community. When I go back and look at the pages I have written, I feel as though I am no more than a maladroit who has poured the better part of his life into a desire and passion that, to my horror, has begun to suffer from atrophy. Instead of filling me, it now seems to be chipping away at me; chink by chink, I am feeling less-than rather than more; the holes left are the broken places through which my spirit seems to be leaking.

    I hate that I sound this way. I hate that I feel I am becoming this way. Once joy was palpable; now it seems to be contorting into an abstraction — more Picasso than Van Gogh.

    Why so much determination and hard work when the result is more helpless grappling? When one feels as if he is only half-living? Given more to machination than desire?

    I have observed so much strife and sadness lately, whether it be in Massachusetts, Texas, or my own home. So desperately do I love this world and the people who fill it, and yet I cannot do the same for myself, with one eye cocked inwardly, ready to self-criticize.

    What do you do when that which defines your life becomes endangered, bled of sensation? That sense of desire hollowing us out and hollowing us out?

    I fear I am a fraud, and I despise that fear. The future is what it is; it will roll on as it does. But the fear of being half a person, of not fulfilling one’s life as one so desperately needs to… it is a terrifying, debilitating thing.

    At such times, knowledge seems both a wonderful and a terrible thing. One may assimilate and define; one may discern; yet one shudders at the result of such spiritual impotence.

    Like an old scene in a movie: the castaway thrown overboard, treading, reaching for the life preserver.

    One reaches and reaches, tries not to feel that his soul is dying a little each day, and continues to tread and tries not to lose hope that in so much emptiness lies the horizon.

    • Dear John Z, I’m wondering how old you are. I have had the feelings you describe. To me, it sounds as if, right now and perhaps for a bit of time, you should see a psychopharmacologist, a doctor who can tell if you are suffering from clinical depression. Wat too many people do and , for some reason, they don’t want to or don’t about seeing such a doctor, to see if you should be taking one of the many types of anti-depressants. They are often called SRI, Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitors. Serotonin is a brain chemical can makes us feel okay, a sense of well being. For any number of reasons, one may lose the ability to maintain a healthy level of serotonin in the brain. I took one type, Prozac, for 8 years and it made all the difference in the world. But that particular drug doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. There are many different kinds but a psychopharmacologist needs to try things out with you after a diagnosis. It doesn’t have to be a forever sort of thing. After a time, I no longer needed to take anything. Please look into it. okay? xx Jane

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