Memories of Joshua Tree

#ThrowbackThursday

One of my favorite places to camp and hike.

Love the rocks #JoshuaTree

Hiking Mount San Jacinto

There are amazing all-season hikes to the top of Mount San Jacinto near Palm Springs high above Coachella Valley.

San Jacinto Peak is 10,834 ft. and was known to Cahuilla Indians as I a kitch (or Aya Kaich), meaning “smooth cliffs”.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway hike is the less strenuous option. My son and his friend climbed all the way up and it’s not easy, but taking the tram (which is SUPER SUPER scary) is a perfect way to enjoy what John Muir referred to as “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”

Spectacular view.

We see beauty all around.

Palm Springs

I especially love the contrast of these stark white branches against the blue sky.

(Some) Creatures Great and Small

With a nod to All Creatures Great and Small by veterinarian James Herriot, this is what my Sunday looked like.

We started off the day at the beach and I’m beyond sad that I didn’t have my good camera with me so I couldn’t capture the magic of a school of dolphin jumping and splashing in the water. I’m sure this paddleboarder was happy because they seemed to follow him wherever he went. Trust me, there are about six dolphin in this photo.

On the way home, we saw a bit of an odd sight…check out these seagulls that shouldn’t have been this far away from the beach. They usually only fly inland when there’s a storm, so I have no idea why they were flying around in circles and then perched on the telephone lines.

Today was a work project day in the garden, cleaning up around the rosemary and lavender. I sat down for a minute for a wheatgrass break and this little alligator lizard stopped by to say hi. I scratched his back with a stick and he allowed me to take these pics.

All in all, a great Sunday for creatures great and small.

“Look at the sky!”

It was one of those days where everyone was looking up and toward the horizon.

For me, looking back provided a fresh perspective of tonight’s magnificent sunset.

Photo by Enchanted Seashells.

The sky beautifully metamorphosed all day, culminating in this fiery red-orange sunset. The beach was packed at sundown with people taking pics. I found a place to park, looked in my rear view mirror, and decided THAT was the money shot.

The rest of the day spoke to me, too, in colors and textures.

(All photos by Enchanted Seashells)

Vitamin Sea

Today was the perfect day to soak up the positive energy of the ocean.

“The ocean has the ability to trigger a psychological state of calm and contentment. It can literally wash away the pain.”

I didn’t see any whales and this beach isn’t abundant with shells, but the sand was warm and welcoming.

Hearts in the sand.
A pretty little shorebird. This looks like a painting.

And a couple short videos:

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is an American national park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, eighty miles southeast of San Jose.

Could the sky have been any more blue?

#WordlessWednesday

The Fine Art of Healing with Retail Therapy

Frivolous or not, the re-opening of Nordstrom Rack sent waves of happiness through every cell of my body.

Today was almost like a pre-Covid day, with the exception of mandatory mask-wearing.

(I started sewing some Chanel and Dior masks; look for that DIY post soon.)

My day began at Homegoods where I found an adorable beaded basket for $7.99.

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I moved to TJ Maxx, where I purchased these amazing summery earrings ($9.99) and a skateboarding dinosaur t-shirt for Angel Boy 2.0.

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At Nordstrom Rack (yay, they’re open again!) I couldn’t resist these Sam Edelman Passion Red Velvet Dot Tulle heels. I might not have anywhere to wear them right now, but they are SOO me. They’re a bit pricier than my other items; on clearance, right around $50.

I LOVE doing photo shoots with shoes and jewels. It’s so much fun, especially balancing that one shoe.

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But my shopping joy didn’t stop there! Marshalls is next to the Rack. I walked up and down every single aisle and that’s where I discovered this gorgeous handpainted mandala glass bowl (I’m fascinated by receptacles). I couldn’t stop snapping pics! It’s embellished inside and out, glowing in the late afternoon sunlight. Also $7.99, unbelievable. How could I resist?

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It was a thoroughly satisfying and mentally healthy day, the best kind of retail therapy, and it doesn’t always have to be a pricey Chanel to bring pleasure.

UPDATE: While I was out, Governor Newsom ordered a new shutdown, so it seems as if it’s possible that stores and malls will once again be closed. I’m grateful I was able to experience a few hours of normalcy.

Pandemic Journal 2020: Walkin’ around my ‘hood

It’s Easter Sunday and that always meant a traditional day hike or walk to the beach or a camping trip to the desert.

This year was a bit different because of the pandemic, isolating to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19.

But the beach always beckons. Well, not exactly the beach because it’s now closed, but non one can deprive me of a view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

My round-trip walk is about 6.5 miles, maybe a bit longer because I took a detour to include pics of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

For those of you that didn’t get out for a walk today, here ya go!

It looks like an advert for a hallucinogenic (LSD) but that’s an ALTERED PERCEPTION haha. That’s just the way the light hit it. The sign really said “Beach closed.”

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And just in case you didn’t take the hint, this signage made it extremely clear…

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And if anyone is STILL clueless, this sign and caution tape is even more specific…IMG_9132

But here she is. Mother Nature. The Pacific Ocean. No waves. I bet a million dollars if there was a solid 4-6 swell, those waves would be packed. No one can keep a surfer from the water. That’s essential to life.

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I took the long way home around our Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Pretty daisies, the lagoon, and the power plant off in the distance.

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One of my favorite views; the lagoon and the ocean.IMG_9136

All the rain created a mudslide on Adams, the street around the lagoon.IMG_9137I’ve never before seen Adams closed at Park due to a landslide! Crazy times we’re in.

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And finally back home. There’s really no place like home. Dorothy was right.

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Rain and sun, wet and dry, shadow and light

The opposite of rain is sun. It rained all week here in SoCal, heavily at times. We received an official total of 6.20 inches of rain. That’s a LOT of rain for a mostly desert climate.

At times, it seemed as if it would never end. That’s the way a lot of things feel. Sometimes, you can endure so much pain and sadness that it seems as if it will never go away, that you’ll never be happy again.

I think it’s like going through a tunnel. When you enter, the light becomes dark and you are so immersed in it that everywhere you look, everywhere you turn–is darkness. It’s so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Every once in a while, someone might light a candle and you feel a momentary sharp stabbing pain to remind you of what it used to be like, but then the flame’s snuffed out and you’re thrust back into complete and total darkness. Which way is the exit? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or will I simply stay here in limbo, in pitch-black inky hopeless melancholy? What’s the point of anything?

That was a heavy detour; my mind devolved and digressed and rambled through a rabbit hole of despondency. So there’s that familiar dark night of the soul too, that black spiraling tunnel of anguish.

Maybe I hit replay too many times on Kesha’s Praying. (see link below).

All I really set out to do with this post was share some pics of how much rain we had and how flooded my gardens were, in contrast to one day later, when we enjoyed a shiny sunny blue sky.

When author Alex Banayan interviewed Maya Angelou, it is alleged that she told him to write this sentence on his notepad and to never forget it. “Every storm runs out of rain.”

I hope so. I really do.

Here ya go:

Thursday’s rain…my arroyo seco, dry river bed, wasn’t so dry anymore!

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Saturday’s sun and the birds are singing:

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Kesha Praying