Beauty

Yosemite Winter 2016

Beautiful, beautiful Yosemite we meet again. I can recall seeing Yosemite semi-snowy back in 2010 and 2012. When the drought started taking a toll on the west, Yosemite just appeared in need of precious moisture. My friend, Saries, has experienced one proper snowfall in Yosemite in the 90s, but I had not experienced it myself. Cold, cold nights, wind, rain, but never a proper snowfall in my home state, California. We both wanted to experience a wonderful proper snowfall, a snowfall that actually stuck. The forecast was not promising a few days before my arrival. We arrived in Bass Lake where Saries’ timeshare is located. There were patches of snow on the ground. Still, we did not get too excited quite yet. The next day, we drove to Yosemite Valley, it was mostly cloudy, cold, and some low clouds. The air was extremely brisk…

The following day, I woke up extremely ill, unfortunately. I was so disappointed as I was looking forward to exploring much more of the park. I could hear the relaxing pitter-patter of continuous rain upon my room’s window. Though I was completely weak and unmotivated to move, hearing the simplicity of rain put a pleased smirk on my face. I exhaled in bliss, “Finally…” Resting in my room the entire day, the rain continued into the depths of the night. The next day, I felt a surge of energy and less fevered. I was not going to allow illness ruin our trip. We left early AM since sundown came early. We gassed up and headed onward from Bass Lake. I vaguely noticed two men dressed in bright yellow, but my mind did not want to comprehend the possibility. I did not say anything to Saries because I didn’t want to cause excitement then it was nothing spectacular. As soon as we hit around 4,000-4,500 feet, “Are these… flurries?” Saries asked. “Yes…” I could feel the tension of childlike excitement between the both of us. As we climb higher in elevation, the road starts to steadily turn white. The flurries were transitioning into snow flakes. Up ahead, there was a highway patrol vehicle and a ranger directing traffic to put on snow chains! Remember those two men dressed in bright yellow attire I mentioned earlier? They were who I thought they were. Chain installers. We headed back down that way so they could install chains upon her car’s tires. After the successful installment, we headed back up. We were super quiet for a few minutes, and if we are both quiet while together, something is brewing. Saries finally let out a high-pitched scream of excitement. I could literally feel it brewing and was not surprised by her exclamation. She screamed enough for both of us, honestly. I laughed so hard. Snow flakes. Large small hand sized snow flakes falling. I pictured us in this snow globe. It was completely dreamy…

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A Year Without Jamie Hartley

 

Beautiful Jamie Hartley

A year without our amazing Jamie Hartley here on earth, but she is still very much remaining in our thoughts and hearts. I am in awe how a year has passed already. Trying to continue life without that person can be so challenging. Some days, it can feel almost impossible, but it is possible. Holidays and birthdays; the special events that bring people together, those memories you have to hold dear. Even in the midst of problematic moments in your life or theirs, remember how you had each other. My plethora of thankfulness to know such a genuine soul—had I not known Jamie, my life would be certainly different, in a negative way. The rawness of Jamie’s passing is still there for me, but each day what felt like a non-healing wound is slowly healing. I have reminded myself how I know Jamie would not want me sad, but it does not lessen the fact I miss her, immensely. If I hear any version of Ave Maria (follow the link to hear her version), I usually have to switch the song because I will weep right there, no matter what the location. It is one of my favorite songs Jamie covered with her beautiful singing voice. It’s just too bittersweet. I have not been a big flower person, but now I appreciate poppies and orchids as they were Jamie’s favorites. Any time I spot one in the wild, I smile.

 

Gifted with a huge part of Jamie’s life this April, was her dog she affectionately called “Poochini” also known as Ali. For me to have her, I cannot put into coherent words, just endless feelings of love. My dog, Luna, has known Ali since Luna was a puppy. They have been bonded for years, so the transition went exceedingly well. Ali has her own wonderful persona, but there is the likeness of Jamie’s gentleness, concern, intelligence, and joyous smiles instilled within Ali. Jamie did well training such a faithful dog. I thank Taylor and Jamie for putting more joy into my life. I hope Jamie would be proud of how I am caring for her Poochini.

Exploring poppies with Jamie

Although I miss you, Jamie, I am happy you are no longer in pain. You fought hard. You never gave up. I am so happy you are no longer suffering. You were just called to the next chapter of something wonderful.

We all love you, Jamie.

Beautiful date with Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is beautiful. I am often taken back how close I live to such surreal beauty and mystery. Places like Bryce Canyon I could stare willing for hours especially the hoodoos which are pictured below. Photos don’t do justice. I happily captured a photo of the intelligent raven. Some were a bit too friendly because of people feeding them over the years. Please, I know those lovely pleading eyes may be irresistible, but refrain from feeding the wild.

 

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Moments in the Southwest

Enjoying the Southwest as the summer is coming to an end. The nighttime is already nearing the high 40s, and my tomato plant can’t remain outside much longer. Mr. Tomato Plant has grown to nearly 4ft tall, and has given plenty of sweet tomatoes!

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Delicious rich mud!Never fear! That brown remnant is poo of the Earth, not of a mammal.

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Lunadog

Luna loves baking herself.

Luna loves baking herself.

Bath & Body Works itty bitty HAUL!

Guess where I went last week?

Yay!

Yay!

They are having their seasonal sale of amazingness, and I haven’t shopped at B&B for years. I usually keep my skin products mild, natural, and healthy. However, in the drier winter months, there aren’t a lot of lotions that help me stay moisturised while smelling good. I LOVE smelling good without the overwhelming scent. As a rule of thumb, I am very picky with perfumes and body mists. It is sometimes hard to find more natural products that stays smelling fresh and clean all day. So… my weakness: BATH & BODY WORKS SCENTS! Some scents are very potent, and others are light and fresh. My FAVORITE:

Buy 3, Get 3 FREE

Buy 3, Get 3 FREE (stores/online store may vary)

Signature Fragrance Collection
Triple Moisture Body Cream
Japanese Cherry Blossom
$12.50

Signature Fragrance Collection
Fine Fragrance Mist
Japanese Cherry Blossom
$14.00

My local Bath & Body Works in the mall was having a buy 3 and get 3, and you could buy a mix of different scents, I believe. I decided on four body creams and two body mists. I think it’ll last me until I am 100 years old. Japanese Cherry Blossom scent works well with my chemical make up. The fine mist fragrance is light and fresh smelling; I use 1-2 spritz, and it lasts ALL day without a weird faded scent! Yeah, buddy!