My 2016 Summer Song

Every year during the summer, I choose a song that reflects how I am feeling or what I am going through up to that point. This year I chose the song “The Sun is Shining” because of the lyrics. This song just makes me feel good, the video is filmed flawlessly and it just is special to me. It’s great to remind people that no matter what they are going through, they will get through it. I remind myself how I have dreams and goals and I won’t allow something to ruin my aspirations and determination. I have to work hard to get there. Speaking of which, I ‘ll be starting up kickboxing very, very soon. More on that later, but until then, please enjoy my summer 2016 song “Sun is Shining”. I dedicate this to all my newest subscribers and to all my blogger friends who have stuck by me through the years. Thank you. I love you! xoxo

Video credit: Axwell Ingrosso

Song: Sun is Shining

I dance in the car, do you?

Hey guys!

I found this gem of a video a while ago and shared it on Twitter. I love this song and video so much I wanted to blog it to my subscribers. As you know, blogging on WordPress allows me to look back at a certain time of my life and remember the good times. I work with adults with disabilities (Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy etc) and I absolutely adore them; I wake up and am excited to know I will make a difference in their lives and help them with their goals. I also like to have fun with them when we go out into the community. Those special moments I cherish so much. I’m making memories with them AND they see how fun it is to hang out with me such as dancing to music in the car, hehe. When I first saw how they were dancing in the car, I thought, “Omg! That’s exacty what I do with my hands too! The head shake, the rolling of the shoulders etc” So much fun!

Video credit: Superfruit

Song: This Girl by Kungs X Cookin’ on 3 burner

Downtown Brazilian Olympic Party 2016

When I heard there was going to be a Brazilian themed partay downtown Colorado Springs, I knew I just had to go. One, I love me some Brazilian music (it enlivens my soul and spirit) and secondly, it sounded fun! So, we headed down around 5:35 pm and didn’t leave until 10:30 pm. Here are some things we saw while there.

WPamandascamelotpic1

Leaving the public parking lot, we walked down this little alley way and saw this. Seeing three colors on a wall is just pure eye candy for anyone with a camera. Hence, this picture.

WPamandascamelotpic2

I love architecture and looking up is always something I must do when walking around. This was on our way to the festival or partay as I like to say.

WPamandascamelotpic3

There were a good 100 people already walking towards the road block and the roads weren’t quite filled yet. This was my first time walking around downtown and I’ve lived here 19 months! I live up Northeast which is a good 25 minutes away, so I hang around up there most of the time. It was nice, I should come down there more often, there are tons of cool restaurants and shops. My kind of town baby!

WPamandascamelotpic4

The way they had it set up was kind of funny. There were several things going on, so you would hear yells, shouting and clapping from different parts of the road. There were set times for performances and dances, so people would be like herds of cattle moving from one area to the next; it just made me laugh in a weird way to see a huge crowd move like schools of fish, haha. Anyways, here were some lovely ladies performing a typical Northeastern Brazilian dance.

WPamandascamelotpic5

This samba dancer was not only gorgeous, but she wore my favorite color and her outfit was the closest to what the samba dancers in Brazil wear. Sometimes the feathers they wear is so extravagant, it weights up to 50 pounds or more!

WPamandascamelotpic6

WPamandascamelotpic7

WPamandascamelotpic8

Here are some players from a Boulder Samba school. They did a fantastic job and I felt right at home when they did their performance. I was impressed! They are called Bateria de Alegria.

WPamandascamelotpic9

Oh, to be flexible like that once again. I used to be able to do that when I was in middle school taking gymnastics.

WPamandascamelotpic11

Flowers are sprinkle around town. Nothing makes a town more attractive than gardens of flowers on the sidewalks.

WPamandascamelotpic13

It was soon getting dark and people were watching and cheering the Olympians as they walked into the opening ceremony. The loudest cheers from the crowd that night was, of course, when the team from the USA came. Did you know there are 19 Olympians from Colorado? Pretty cool.

We had a fun night and I love crowds. I love walking around and taking in the sights and sounds. The entire time there I wanted to dance with all the Brazilian sounds and music pumping through the speakers. I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time. It was due time.

Here are some things we saw Friday night. I chose specific music to go along with the dances. The only one I wasn’t to do that was the Bateria de Alegria Samba school. I was having issues with my Windows Movie Maker and their sound got deleted. Luckily, I found a song similar to what they were playing. Enjoy the video!

Dear Journal: July 12, 2016 A dying yellow rose

*This blog entry is more of a self analysis of how far I’ve come and how I deal with things. This is why I write so that I can look back and learn how I handled things. ALL comments welcomed, especially from my subscribers who have followed me for years.*

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The past six months have been such a learning experience. I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger than I’ve ever thought I was. I’ve learned that I have immense patience and can perform under pressure. I’ve also learned that the truth always comes out at the end no matter how hard or sneeky my coworkers people may think they are.

Taking time off from blogging to enjoy the many adventures life offers here in Colorado has been much needed. Things are great in all areas of my life and I’m happy and content. I have great friends who are there to support me and a precious 15 year old son who brightens my day and who teaches me new things like the Pokemon Go game that has taken over the world. I’m a freakin’ dinosaur and 100 years old, so I had no clue this game was coming out and now I want to drive everywhere so he can catch some at the park. I think the game is great because it’s getting kids out to explore the parks and not be inside all day. Exploring and being outside is normal for my son and I. I love nature and I think I’ve instilled that in him because he loves taking pictures of flowers and little bugs he finds on our hikes. Watching his fascination with the smallest things in nature is marveling and inspiring.

I met this fascinating woman when I first started my new job. Cicily is one of those people who is pure sunshine when she walks into a room. We got along immediately and we bonded by discussing books (she’s an author), life in general, ping ponged sarcasm back and forth to each other and of course, our love for music. We worked side by side for a few months before her cancer returned and she had to stop working. I’ve had to deal with my own grief watching my own mom go through remission off and on in a period of ten years. That journey was long, yet it gave me time to get prepared in some way. However, when my mom passed away, it was somewhat sudden within 72 hours. With Cicily, it’s been over a course of 4 months. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was handling this the past few months. I kept thinking, “I want to help her, but am I emotionally strong? Can I do this? This is bringing me a few steps backwards from what I’m trying to do in dealing with my own grief.” I had mixed emotions. There were moments I would be driving and I would burst into tears knowing I was losing a friend. A dear friend. A single mom leaving behind 3 children. The cancer stopped, but then it came back with a vengeance that I had never seen before, even with my own mom. It was startling. My friend was so tired of all the treatments. She knew she had only a few months left. Her doctors said she would be lucky to see her birthday and this was back in late May. I was truly scared for her. Guess what? Her birthday is today. July 12th. Today we’re having a party for her at her house, but her organs are shutting down and all the signs of death is looming over her and this appears to be the right time when she has some energy left to share this day with all her loved ones. Death is so near. She knows it. We all know it. I’m so happy she’s come this far and is able to celebrate her last birthday. Over the course of the past months, I’ve sent her text messages and have visited her. Recently we discussed her funeral arrangements and about packing up her house. She knew I was familiar with this and wanted my opinion. Over the course of these months, I’ve had to mentally be strong. Not just for her, but for myself. If I was feeling emotionally fragile, I would not visit her that day. I needed to recharge and get it together. This whole situation has been tough. So recently when I was feeling great and felt like I could see her, I did fine. We talked about things, laughed and got down to business. Anyways, as my friend will say goodbye for the final time to her kids today at noon (they have to catch a plane), my heart can only imagine what she will be going through. Forever goodbyes are painful. After her party today and the days following, I am one of the people to help her with hospice and being with her for a few hours as others will be helping around the clock. I’ve never done hospice before. It’s all new to me.

People are brought into our lives for a reason. Even if it’s less than 8 months or so. What has Cicily taught me in knowing her for such a short time? I’ve come to realize that she has shown me that I am strong. Emotionally. More than I have given myself credit for. She has taught me to never settle for less and always remember I deserve better in anything and everything. She’s taught me the ability to ask myself tough questions even if I already know the answer to them.

She also wanted yellow roses for her funeral as they are her favorite flowers.

In other news, I had a detective call me a few weeks ago about something that happened 15 years ago. It was crazy because I had forgotten about this event to a certain extent, but here he was calling me on the phone discussing a past event. Without giving out too much detail, there was a perpetrator who got away with something and the detective was calling me to say they were on the hunt for him (he got out of jail for something else and with the help of technology of DNA the case was reopened) and once he was caught, they would be charging him as an adult and he would be back in the slammer again. Let’s put it this way, it was a case of obsession and stalking. Strange how justice can come around 15 years later and karma is the driver for it.

me169300

Yes, that’s me after waking up. My brain is slowly turning it’s squeaky wheels after a foggy realization that I’m taking a selfie. Probably one of my favorite selfies because I’m in a vulnerable (this what you get seeing me in the morning lmao) and natural state. My hair is messy, I’m not wearing makeup and my eyeliner from last night remains reminding me that I can still stay awake out late at 3 am. My red bed sheets keep me warm as they appear to swallow me back into dreamland. My son said I look 12. My friends say 19 or 20. Lmao. This was taken July 1, 2016.

Xoxoxo!

Hold my heart (like a newborn baby)

I think this is why I’ve been single the past 17 months. It’s not so much as guarding my heart, it’s more about finding someone who will treat you with respect. The way someone treats me gives me an enormous overview of how they see themselves. I have massive respect for myself and I do my best to value and gently hold someone else’s heart. However, in return, they may just take a quick look at my heart and toss it aside like it was nothing because there’s always someone else, like we’re all on some kind of conveyer belt of dating. Picking up my heart off the ground, because these years it’s gotten harder to break my heart (maybe a scuff here and there), I think, “Are you serious? My heart is not a football.” Sure, my heart may be bionic with self respect, but it deserves to be handled gently at the same time. Be rest assured, I have hope there’s still guys out there that will take a much longer look at my heart like an art piece that is complex with beauty and value it to protect it with all his might.

This may or may not have been inspired by true events. The characters or events in this story may be pure, uh, coincidence.

image

Denver Botanic Gardens

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC11
Walking around Denver Botanic Gardens was very beautiful and I’m happy to share some of what we saw. Now that we are in the Spring season, the trees are in full bloom. That Colorado blue sky though!

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC5

I came across a very angry orchid flower. It was screaming! Beautiful, but sassy orchids in the tropical room.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC16

Gorg plant, but I’m not sure the name of it. I love the tones in this particular plant.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC2
This stretches a long way and I just thought this angle was just so pretty. When I edited my name at the bottom of this picture, it came out huge here on WordPress. Sorry about that. But let’s take a moment and notice how all the little blue flowers look like they are yelling. Nature has a sense of humor and I’m bound to find it!

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC18

If pink is your favorite color you would be in your glory walking around here.

WPamandascamelotlakepic1

I like to find ugly or things that would normally be overlooked and make it spectacular. Here we have reeds sticking out of the water. They have nothing to offer. However, I loved how the sky reflected on the water. I was mesmerized.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC4

Blue flowers melt my heart-just like I fell in love with these flowers when I saw them.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC6

This reminded me of my childhood growing up in the Amazon jungle. Be still my beating heart.

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic115

Growing up seeing these plants all your life isn’t too shabby. I felt right at home when I saw these.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC9

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC7

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC10

I might blow up this photo in size and hang it in my bathroom. It’s got that organic, fresh and zen feel to it. I was literally standing over this plant to get this shot.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC8

My mom would have loved these flowers.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC14

I love sculptures and this certainly caught my eyes!

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC12

One of my favorite spots at the Denver Botanic Gardens! You can walk around the pond or sit on one of the benches facing the gazebo. To the far left is where we sat at the restaurant (not seen in the photo) where the service is friendly, the views are amazing and the food is delicious! I was raving about their fries and their pulled pork sandwich for days!

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC13

Japanese garden.

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC15

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC17

WPamandascamelotFLOWERSDENVERBOTANICGARDENSPIC19

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1001

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1002

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1003

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1005

This bridal gown was up on the second floor of one of the plant rooms showcasing local artists work. Actually, it was in the same level as the tropical plant room. I love the skirt!

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic116

If I lived closer to Denver (I live an hour away) I’d become a member to come sit here everyday. It’s amazing how so many plants can replenish your inner soul. This woman was just sitting there enjoying the atmosphere and I don’t blame her. This particular walkway reminded me of a park by my house down in Brazil called “The Bosque”. It was here that I’d go there and run around with my friends or have picnics with my mom, exploring and hiking around the trails. Here is a short video of what the park looks like. It literally is one of my favorite places in my hometown, I have so many great memories from there. One day I’d love to show my teen Adventure Boy this park, so he can get a feel (other than the humid air) of what kind of things I did as a teen. The video is here. Check it out!

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1008

Behold a tree house! We were heading up to the top, but there were cones in the way in one of the stairs. By then, I had looked at the time and realized they were going to be closing soon so we forgot to head up the other way to go up. Maybe this coming Saturday we’ll head up to the top. Anyways, this tree house was epic! If you live near Denver, definitely check out the tree house in the tropical plant room. This is one of my favorite pictures even though it seems like any other picture. I like it!

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic1016

I love this house! Nothing brings out the romantic in me to see vines climbing up an old house with so much character. I could have sat there and come up with a short love story just by looking at this house. Yes, this is in the Denver Botanic Gardens park.

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic124

wpdenverbotanicgardensamandascamelotpic126

So there ya go. Just a few pictures that I took whilst visiting Denver Botanic Gardens. This probably is thee longest post I’ve ever done in the past 5 years I’ve been blogging here on WordPress.

VIDEO COMING SOON! STAY TUNED!

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

PictureAmandasCamelotWeeklyPhotoChallengeStateofMind

This week’s photo challenge is to choose a picture that represents our “state of mind”. What you see outwardly is not often reflected in what is going on inside, therefore, I thought this picture was a prime example of my state of mind. What is it you ask? How can I explain this? Ok. The shadow depicting wings from the man (in relation to myself) represents my goals and dreams that I’m currently working on. No one can see that unless I either tell them or they get to know me. My mind is always planning as I’m looking at the bigger picture. But on the outside I’m just another person you walk by or stand beside in the elevator. Everyone has different sizes of wings (goals), some are prime and ready for take off…others have just returned and they have teathered wings to show it so they need rest. Everyone is traveling on their own journeys in life. I don’t know if that made absolutely any sense.

This picture that I took was taken at The Fine Arts Museum here in Colorado Springs. This piece is by the Cuban artists Ron and Una Brasch. Their “Spreading Its Wings” artwork is only here until March 20th, so if you live here in Colorado Springs, make sure to stop by and check this out in person!

Visiting a castle in the mountains

This weekend we decided to check out Bishop Castle high up 9,000 feet above sea level in the mountains of Southern Colorado. The drive down there was long, but once we turned into the National Park, the drive up was gorgeous and everything you’d expect from Colorado in scenery. Each curve allowed you to peek for a few seconds how high you were going up. Even my car was running out of air it seemed as the oxygen got less and less. Once we got there, there were several other cars parked on the side of the road and then suddenly through the trees, you finally see it. The castle. A man made castle still being built by one man named Jim Bishop. If you don’t know me by now, you should know that I love castles. I just do. I love exploring them and I just love the raw and rustic feel they bring. The photographer in me just explodes with possibilities of what I can capture and my artistic side tries to find every nook and cranny that is quietly hiding its beauty. To stand there and take the time to appreciate how each stone is laid out and the endless hours it has taken and is taking to build every inch of this growing castle. One must do that. Recently I saw a video of a man on YouTube who took a very nice video of the castle, but he was practically running through it. He didn’t even take the time to just stand and admire the work. He was too busy filming and running through the castle-it was unnerving to me to watch. Here are some pictures and a short video I took during it.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

We were sitting on top of one of the towers here. Below you can see where the cars park on the side. It was pretty nice from up here, but the tight squeeze to get up there was nothing short of claustrophobic.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

I just like this view of the people walking up the stairs to go up into the castle. I didn’t have the nerve to do it myself.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

You can’t have a castle without a dragon, of course! This one even blows fire from its mouth during the summers. I’ll have to come back for that.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

The castle in all its glory. Can you believe one man has been working on this all these years? It’s amazing!

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This was slightly spooky yet so surreal at the same time. There was a sense of peace and tranquility in this room, yet at the same time another feeling of reflection. I enjoyed walking around this room as you can tell by the video below.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

I love these glass windows. Sometime this year, I’m going to dedicate a window panel in honor of my mom. If you ever come to Colorado and come visit Bishop Castle this year, you’ll see my real name up there too. Forever immortalized in a castle high up in the mountains, my mom, eternal Queen of my heart. I’m going to choose my mom’s favorite flower on the panel. There’s more information about how you can add your name on these window panels on their website. Visit me at the castle high up in the mountains why don’t you? Wink.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This was the cathedral area and it was gorgeous! I wasn’t able to show this part in the video because I kept getting an “error” whenever I tried uploading it. It was so beautiful!

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Adventure Boy looking out from the cathedral room. We love our adventures together here in Colorado. Can you believe he’s 14 now? He’ll be taking some Honor classes next year as he’s doing very well in his studies in High School.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Even before seeing this wizard, I told Adventure Boy that I could picture Gandalf living here. He agreed and we both gave each other a knowing look when we gazed up to see this wizard on the window panel.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This is the front of the castle when you first walk up to it. It just looms over you, it’s pretty grand.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Taking a few minutes to imagine walking through a medieval walkway. This was a fun entry way into one of many stairways into the castle.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

These skinny wrought iron stairways that clung to the side of the building scared me to death. People walked on them like they did all their lives, but I was to scared to do it. First of all, since this is an active construction site you do have to sign a liability form just in case there is an accident. Maybe next time I’ll attempt to walk on them, but seeing how high I am, it only brings out the fear of heights in me.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Upon walking up to the little gift shop on the premises, we came along this cute sign.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Until next time!

Let’s talk about my video. Yes, there was the shaky cam going on, but I was either trying to side step eager castle explorers or forgetting to aim the camera up further. At the end of the video when I reach one of the outside stairs, you can see the camera move closer to the wall; yes that was me wanting to stay as close to the wall as possible without looking down. Do you know what’s funny? Jim Bishop is also afraid of heights. He said in an interview that even though he’s scared of heights by working on the building for so long, it has helped him overcome his fear of heights in slow doses. In one of the many stairs, there were no guard rails and only small hooks. I was literally plastering myself to the wall and saying I was not walking up any further. It was scary! Visiting Bishop Castle was fun and we’re are going back sometime this year again, probably to see the window pane we plan to dedicate to my mom. There will be 3 names up there, my mom’s, mine and Adventure Boy. I know my mom would have loved this place and it’s my way to honor her memory here in Colorado. Future generations of mine can go visit and enjoy the castle like we did. Leaving our legacy up in the mountains of Colorado!

Bishop Castle from Amanda on Vimeo.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

manitouspringsartjanuary2016amandascamelotofficialpictureforwordpress

Manitou Springs, Colorado is a cool and funky little mountain town I often go to. There’s a bench with artsy designs that I pass all the time and I always love taking close up pictures of all the fun things I see on there. This photo above is just a little part of the long bench which holds art on it and I thought I’d share it with you and be part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

There’s a Super Bowl game happening next Sunday. Make sure to cheer for the Broncos to win! See? There’s even a HORSE in the picture! It all ties in together, hehe.