Julie Anne Rhodes

I’ve often wondered if the people who have touched my life in passing, or indeed in the present, really know how special they are to me? It never dawned on me, until now, to think about whether I had impacted their lives too? Do you know how much you really matter in your friends lives? Can you feel it?

Two of my newest friends, Lifechangers television producer Tammi Fuller, and international author/lecturer on spiritual, personal, and political issues… Marianne Williamson, have taught me one of life’s most valuable lessons. To let the love in.

Tammi and youngest daughter Courtney

Tammi asked me to put together an email list of friends, so that she could contact everyone periodically while I recover from surgery. The idea was to take some pressure off my family, keep my friends up to date without their needing to worry about being intrusive, and coordinate so that 10 people didn’t show up to visit on one night, and none the next.
My reaction was “no one wants that much information, most my friends are spread across the globe, and the friends that are here are too busy with their own lives.” I’ve always been such a fiercely independent person, it is scary for me to need help, and to ask for it.

A couple weeks before surgery Marianne invited me to dinner. I spent an hour slapping on my “I’m happy-everything-is-fine face” before trundling off to a local chi chi restaurant to meet her. Within 5 minutes the mascara was streaming down my face as she confronted me with “What is your greatest fear?” The answer… “that no one will show up for me.” She helped me shrug the fear off by simply pointing out “I’m here for you, and I know others are too.”

Marianne Williamson with Jimmy Demers who introduced us, and has also been an angel visiting and calling me regularly

Miraculously, from that night on… I felt absolutely no fear until the night before the surgery when fellow ex-Duran Duran wife Giovanna Cantone showed up on my doorstep to keep me company until my family arrived the next morning. We had so much fun reminiscing, I completely forgot about my immediate future.

Julie Anne Rhodes and Giovanna Cantone (Taylor)
Meanwhile Tammi did start sending out emails, and I was showered with the kind of love usually reserved for funerals. I had no idea that I mattered or even registered in so many people’s lives. People I don’t even know held prayer vigils for me around the world at friend’s requests, and healers were asked to send energy. It has been a constant flow of cards, flowers, emails, friends offering to look after me, showing up on my doorstep with dinner or a red velvet cupcake, walking my dog for me, even picking my mom up from the airport, and giving me a precious vintage cookbook given to them by a mutual friend long since passed away. I am feeling the love. What could possibly heal a heart faster???

Tammi gave me a bigger gift than she will ever realize with that email list. I am filled to the brim with gratitude for my family and friends! Thank you for all the help, beautiful flowers, gifts, and messages. Thank you, for caring enough to show me that I make indelible impressions too. I love you, and hope you know how special you are to me too.

Julie Anne Rhodes and Tatjana Rhodes, my rock

I also want to thank all of the readers that have shown their support here and on the FB Jewels from the Roving Stove fan page. I know I’ve departed a bit from my usual social-fashion-art-music-mommy-foodie thing, and I thank you for indulging me briefly. You have really helped buoy me through this! As my appetite slowly returns, this hits home every time. It’s a twist on one of my favorite English comfort foods. Consider taking one to someone you know that is a bit under the weather.

Turkey-Mushroom Cottage Pie

Servings: 4 (but recipe can easily be doubled if feeding a crowd)


  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


1). In a large pot of boiling water, boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and place back in pan with 2 tablespoons of butter while potatoes are still hot. Begin mashing and slowly add milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2). Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet, add and brown the ground turkey, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3). In another large skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, cook another minute. Add mushrooms and thyme, cooking until moisture is released and evaporated. Add the teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, stir well. Add tablespoon of butter, stirring until melted. Add tablespoon of flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth while stirring constantly to prevent clumping, until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in turkey.

4). Spoon turkey mixture into casserole dish. Top with an even layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and use a fork to make ridges in the potatoes for better browning. Place casserole on a baking pan for easier handling and to prevent it boiling over (making a mess in the oven).

5). Bake casserole for 25 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Place under broiler for 2 minutes to get topping nicely golden brown. Remove from oven, and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions: This is really a one dish meal, but great served with any steamed green vegetable, or serve with a green salad if you desire more.

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  • March 1, 2010
    2:57 am

    Jewels, I am glad to hear you are on the mend, and also glad to hear you had much love poured out on you as you recovered from such major surgery. you sound like me…when I went under the knife last year, I wasn't expecting the love and the practical help from those around me, and i didn't want to ask for fear that no one would want to help me. I've always done that kind of thing for others (especially bringing meals to anyone who has had a baby, had a surgery, or who needed some chocolate love), but I guess I didn't think anyone would for me. I spent a few weeks before my surgery making meals and freezing them so my husband wouldn't resort to the golden arches or a pizza joint while I recovered. Instead I was treated to meals and pans of brownies by pretty much everyone around me (I'm still trying to work off those brownies). It may be more blessed to give than to receive, but receiving is also pretty blessed.

  • March 1, 2010
    8:38 pm

    OmgJust read the blog-you touched my heart my friend-funny, u r right- you never really do know how things will be received- I really didn’t think I did very much til I read the way it affected you-and I am so happy about that Thank YOU my friend…love you lotsTammi

  • March 1, 2010
    8:42 pm

    Man are you producing the righ show Ms. Lifechangers."It may be more blessed to give than to receive" is right Kimmie, but I have to admit… receiving rocks!Hugs,Jewels

  • March 1, 2010
    8:44 pm

    I remember having surgery about 10 years ago. What a blessing (in more ways than physical) the surgery was. It was a very routine procedure but there is a certain catharsis that takes place when you are facing your own mortality. You really learn who your friends are…the good ones that you never want to grow distant from. I was very much a transformed person. I had a clarity on my beliefs in heaven/hell, God, the afterlife, etc. I saw the world differently.I would love to hear how having your heart physically opened has changed you. I bet it's been more dramatic than you anticipated.Alison Sherman

  • March 1, 2010
    8:51 pm

    Not sure I have enough distance or perspective on it yet Alison, but I'm sure I will one day. I will say it was a much bigger deal than I ever could have conceived of beforehand. Profoundly so.

  • March 1, 2010
    8:54 pm

    Wow, I would love to be a fly on the wall when you and Giovanna are reminiscing. You two must have stories that are insane! I admit, I've been a hard-core Duranie since age 12 (and I'm pushing 40 now) and I KNOW the craziness you two must have dealt with! I'm glad you're feeling better and please, feel free to share a crazy story or two! 🙂 I really enjoy your blog AND I whipped up two of your recipes this weekend, which were absolutely delicious!!! You're doing a great job…. :)Kim Phillips Cuccia

  • March 2, 2010
    12:00 am

    Hi Julie Anne,What can I say…….WOW! What an emotional piece of writing and how so true.How could you have under estimated how loving and special you are to so many of your family, friends and ever growing fan base all over the world. Never underestimate the power of LOVE.You are a truly special person Jewels, just remember that.In the words of widom and teachings of the Buddha I leave you with this….."Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion".Stay strong and remember that universal love is with you.Aussie Mum

  • March 7, 2010
    4:40 am

    We all leave an impression in the lives of those we meet. — The difference being whether we leave it in cement or in sand.