Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

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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!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

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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.

Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

This past Saturday was spent at the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun up in the Cheyenne Mountains. Originally, we were supposed to go elsewhere much higher, but we missed our train! I’ve wanted to come here for a long time anyways, so it wasn’t a major disappointment. Will Rogers Shrine was quite delightful and very peaceful. If there ever was a place that I’ve ever been to that made me feel like a princess overlooking my kingdom down below, it’s this place. I can only imagine a fantastic and beautiful wedding photograph up in the balcony. It does look like a castle, no? The day was windy yet sunny, but the lens flares were all over the places. Sorry about that.

In order to get up to this beautiful place, you must pay the zoo entrance fee and get specific instructions by someone by the gate to drive up there. The ride is about 10 minutes long and the road snakes up the mountain. From below, you wonder how you could possibly get up there without rock climbing, but once you drive, you realize that the roads have several hairpin turns with dizzying views below of how high you actually are from the zoo. Once you arrive, there is a nice parking area where you can also have a picnic at. The shady walkway leading up the shrine is gorgeous and to hear nature all around you is just so relaxing.

You may notice in the video I was zooming in the lakes a lot, that is only because it was my first time up there and I didn’t realize how many small lakes there were in Colorado Springs. You might have thought I never saw a lake before in my life, but I just got carried away-as usual. I’m always interested in discovering lakes were we can picnic and relax by, so this gave me an idea of where the lakes were. Most of them were on golf courses and hotel areas.

There are several security cameras all around and a nice older man who will answer any questions you may have regarding the shrine. Inside the shrine, there are floors with rooms that have pictures of Will Rogers. It is believed that some of his remains are buried there. I missed the chapel, but I’ll take a picture of that next time I go up there. It’s only a few miles away from where I live anyways so coming back is just a short car ride down the highway.

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One more thing I wanted to add about the music. The two songs I used were put in my video for specific reasons. The first song is called “Romantic Love” and I thought I’d add it because it’s one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard and this place, the shrine, is pretty romantic. I wasn’t on a date with anyone, but I can imagine how special it would have been if I was on one up here, hence the song. The second song is more about the mood of the place and how special it is. I take a long time choosing the right songs for each of my videos because I want to reflect in the video what I’m also feeling about where I’m at.

Hope you like the video! Just showing interesting places of my new home. Have a great day everyone!

Blogger’s Note: You can find more information here: Information of Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

Will Roger’s Shrine of the Sun from JavaGirl on Vimeo.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

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Oh look at that! It’s a self portrait of myself after drinking too much carrot juice. I took this picture a few weeks ago with my Sony camera when we went to Old Colorado City and have wanted to post it on WordPress for the longest time. I’m so behind on my Weekly Photo Challenges, I feel as though I am running behind the Weekly Photo Challenge bus and waving my camera shouting, “Wait for me! I’ve got pictures to share! Let me catch up!”

One of the first stores we visited had the coolest sculptures and Mexican artwork. This was a garden wonderland of weird shaped animals with a hint of Picasso deformity in their anatomy and South Western Indian art craft. I did take several videos of it, but I have to put it together. I saw this face and admired the paintwork on it; there were others, but this was a bit spooky, but beautiful at the same time. We did end up buying a handmade circular Mayan calendar and hung it up on our wall, but during the night, it fell and smashed into four parts. Gluing it together did no justice to it, so this means another lovely trip through the Garden of the Gods (a lot of orange there) to this cool and quirky store to pick up another Mayan calendar.

Bloggers Note: If you’ve noticed I haven’t been around to your blog for the past weeks, it’s because my email notifications of hundreds of bloggers I follow were being sent to my bulk folder and not my regular inbox.  I only was getting 8 notifications a day when in reality I follow several hundred bloggers. I think it’s fixed because my inbox is back to overflowing with notifications once again. Another blogger mentioned to me that with WP always updating, perhaps it was a glitch. I seriously thought the unthinkable happed; the Blog apocalypse happened and everyone I was following simply just vanished due to no notifications of new posts. And that, my friends, would reflect a very orange face!

Artist of the month: Gustavo Silva Nunez

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you will know that I love blogging about painting and artists. I oil paint on the side for fun and once in a while I’ll write about them. I must note though that I can only oil paint nature and not people or animals. The way I draw people rivals that of a five year old, and the five year old would win hands down in a draw off. So, I will stick to painting snow capped mountains, trees, lakes and modern art.

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I came across this amazing Venezuelan artist, Gustavo Silva Nunez today. When I saw his paintings, I was positive I was looking at a photo. His creations of hyperrealistic paintings are so real you have a to do a double take. This painting below of the woman in the pink bathing suit coming out of the water is my favorite. I could look at this photograph for the longest time. As an artist, you can recreate a person or imagine a place or person in your mind and make them come alive. That’s what I see here. Is she a real person? Is this woman someone from his imagination? Only he knows. It’s almost like his painting is coming to life, being curious and looking at the artist who created her. Truly a spectacular painting and photo.

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More of his paintings.

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So I choose Gustavo Silva Nunez as my artist of the month for his impeccable, brilliant and realistic way of painting people in water. To learn more about Gustavo Silva Nunez, check out his Facebook page.

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Grounds for Sculpture: Part 4

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In the 42 acre fantasy land, you will come across many sculptured couples enjoying the outdoors. I couldn’t capture every single one, but they have many interesting people you can interact with (via photographs).

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This boat is part of a famous painting.

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Captured this man in a secret room/garden by the Peacock Café. There is a chair across from him so you can pretend to play along. All the sculptures are interactive which makes it fun for photos.

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Just another view.

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Who doesn’t like to hop across a small stream on these rocks?

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Just an organic picture. I wanted it to look like something I would hang in my own home.

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My son took some pictures and he wanted me to include this one on my blog.

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How fun was this frame? I took some good shots of Adventure Boy with this sculpture.

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I had a good time taking pictures of this artist.

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You can see here what he is painting.

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Love this view!

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Another view of what he was painting.

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I had seen these bright pink flowers on these branches and initially thought they were fake. Looking at them closer, I realized they were real. Maybe I’m sheltered, but I had never seen these types of flowers or blooms on a branch before…at least in clusters. It was fascinating to me!

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Breaking up or just saying goodbye before a long travel destination?

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A pretty setting. A lot of women sat around the table and had their pictures taken at this one.

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A secret garden brought us to this little trail which lead us to this interesting, yet colorful sculpture.

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Another trail led us towards this couple in an alley.

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I was looking forward to this sculpture all day and was relieve we finally came across it. The map we had had so many dots of sculptures, I didn’t have the patience to look this one up. But I love surprises so that’s what ended up being to us as we turned out heads to the left and noticed another entrance to another garden.

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Another view of the men.

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This place right here took my breath away. I had seen it on the brochure and vowed to see it in person. This is something you see in movies or some magical mythical place. This garden is cleverly hidden from the rest of the area, but once you enter it you are transported to another world. There were three people in there, but once they left it was only Adventure Boy and I. It was like time stopped. We were in own little world and I first took a few minutes to just enjoy it. I turned around and took everything in. They have many weddings here and from the pictures I’ve seen, it is very magical.

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This was hidden and could only be found by a trail.

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The Scream is a famous painting and I had taken a picture earlier of one inside a building, but this one was outside of the building (notice the branches). This is the one I posted on instagram on the right side of my blog. Instagram crops everything in sight, so you can’t see the entire picture on there as you can here.

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We came across a giant who appeared to be in the process of being swallowed up by New Jersey grass. Poor dude.

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If you would like to see this place in person, go to Grounds for Sculpture Official Site

Here are some tips:

If you take a camera that only takes batteries, make sure to take at least 8 batteries, especially if you are a shutterbug like myself.

At the Peacock Café, the food is great! Adventure Boy got a cheeseburger and gave a big thumbs up for it (kid approved). I got a grilled cheese and it was delicious! However, if you want to enjoy the outdoors, you can ask for a picnic basket and take your food outside to eat on one of the many spacious lawns. There are many picnic tables scattered everywhere and plenty of shade too.

Come early because the crowds start coming at 11 AM. We arrived at 10:15 AM and it allowed us to walk around in the quiet and cool air.

It will take all day to see most of the place. We walked around for 7 hours and still didn’t get to see all of it!

If you can’t walk for that long, they have tours on tram cars which are nice, but you have to call ahead of time to reserve a spot. The only downside of those is that you wouldn’t be able to explore the tiny gardens up the hills, down the hills and enter secret passages here and there.

Other than that, just have fun!

Grounds for Sculpture: Part 2

groundsforsculptureballerina Such a pretty sculpture!

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Something about a girl running in a long skirt is boss to me! I just like this one… a lot.

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These witches were scary! Even scarier was what was in the boiling pot.

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This pathway is pretty popular with photographers. Many married couples or couples have their pictures taken here. Walking down this pathway is very magical. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite childhood stories and this entire place is like a wonderland, filled with hidden pathways, secret gardens and forests. This is just one of them.

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This sculpture is from a famous painting. Very cool.

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Feeling zen with this one.

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Once again, I love this picture.

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There were many little tables next to this sculpture from a famous painting. Behind them there is a pond and lots of bamboo trees.

**These pictures were taken with my Nikon camera because my Sony was exhausted.

JavaGirl’s Life in the comics

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This happens a lot during the week. My keys somehow always find themselves elsewhere, making my morning life difficult…especially since I am always still waking up.

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This actually happened last Wednesday. My alarm didn’t go off and I woke up 2 hours late. I did lay in bed thinking how nice it was to finally sleep in during the weekend. Then fear filled my mind when I realized it was only the middle of the week!

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Busy, busy, busy!

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The storage I am renting was just big enough for everything I needed to store. I had to calculate how big of a storage I needed. Hopefully my cousin will come and pick up her stuff that she inherited alleviating the room to drop off more stuff. Most of it is furniture and my mom’s boxes.

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I’m looking forward to getting away. To refresh my soul.

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The potential buyers for my mom’s house decided yesterday that they didn’t want to buy the house anymore due to the living room being “too small” for family gatherings. Yes, I was very disappointed and still am.

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I am trying. I try to water them everyday. So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Not much.

JavaGirl’s Life in the comics: Week 9

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Hello my name is Amanda and welcome to my “weekly” life in comics. Yes, you saw right. I got my hair back to its brown color once again. Sorry, for my absence, but not much has happened enough to put comics up on here. But I thought it was time since I’m bored!

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The snow just won’t let up! How is everyone else out there? I’m hoping it will dump much more snow Sunday night so we get another “inclement” day off from work. Lol.

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Adventure Boy has been playing pranks on me lately and it’s been fun! You can also see he got his haircut too. He got a “faux hawk” cut which he can wear spiked up or as a flip (my favorite). When he’s feeling adventureous, he adds blue hair chalk to the front and it looks cool. His grandmom used to think it was rad because she was rad and seeing her grandson with blue hair didn’t phase her. So, no more calling Adventure Boy John Oliver anymore, woo! Yeah, you know who you are, hehe! 😉

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Haha. Well. I tried…

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Guess which film I’m rooting for? A movie I have yet to see! Perhaps tomorrow will be my lucky day?!

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So my neighbor upstairs has a new boyfriend…with 2 dogs. He’s too lazy to walk them downstairs like a normal human being to let them do their business, so he lets them have their way on her patio. Their “way” then drips down to MY patio and has splashed into my back glass door! This has infuriated me so much I wrote a complaint letter to the office because it’s making my patio smell! Who does this?

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Urrgggggghhhh! I can’t wait to have my own place without any upstairs neighbors!!!

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Thankfully on days like these, I have friends who calm me down and show their love to me. It’s not been easy these past few months, but I sure do love the support and ways my friends make me laugh and gently guide me along. I’ve recently reconnected with a childhood friend of mine from Brazil and it’s been great! She’s amazing and we’re still catching up on things. She also lost her mom several years ago and is helping me deal with my loss. It’s always nice to pick up from where you left off with someone. I’m able to do that with many of my friends. When people leave your life and then return, there is always a reason and I clearly see why she entered my life again. I’m planning on sending her a big gift for her birthday in a few weeks! I love sending my friends gifts! I told her her daughters will like it as well.

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When I’m not working or getting irritated by my upstairs neighbors, I do some super hero stuff. I’m all about being clean! Really. I am. I can’t stand the smell of sweat. I don’t care how hot you are, if you smell of sweat, it’s a huge turnoff. The smell of soap and cleanliness is super sexy to me. This is my office, by the way. I’m a nontraditionalist.

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My cool ride. Eat your heart out Batman!

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The rubber duck! This is a serious mission I have to do!

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Good grief! I hate chasing sweaty men! This one is a total joke!

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There is a game on my phone that I get so caught up with. It keeps me up later than I want. It’s called “Jewels Saga”. Basically, it’s like Candy Crush. At least it’s not Flappy Bird. Ugh. What losers play that game? Lol.

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Later my loves! Oh. A big welcome to my latest subscribers!

xoxo

JavaGirl’s Life in the comics: Week 5

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Hi, my name is Amanda and welcome to my weekly life in comics. Yes, this is truly how happy I was Sunday!

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So yesterday there was this game called the Super bowl that happens every year. Guess which team I was rooting for? Take a wild guess.

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Earlier in the day, we went food shopping and got some munchies to snack on. I think I had plenty to satisfy my hunger. Even made a fort with it. Got to be creative these days.

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I would imagine what it would be like to be a quarterback out in the field.

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Then reality set in. Ooops. But the Seahawks won with a crazy score of 43-8!!!!!!!

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Nothing else new. Adventure Boy went to his two doctors and everything looked fine.

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Guess we have six more weeks of c-c-c-c-hilly weather.

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Had my usual dose of Cadbury chocolates this week. My favorite. Oh, if my wild and imaginative mind would come to life, I’d be swimming in a lake of chocolate.

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(Look at my eyes in this strip. I look so devious and cunning. Hehe.) Made Adventure Boy my French inspired chicken that he loves. My secret is White Wine for Cooking (not the actual bottle of white wine, albeit it would taste fancier), tons of herbs like sage, dill, thyme, butter, salt, pepper, onions and garlic salt. I add my own ingredients and he loves it. I serve it with homemade mashed potatoes and veggies. I was inspired by my friend, Joseph, who wrote a blog dedicated to his friend of how to roast a chicken. The recipe looked so amazing I had to try it out. Click the link below and it will take you to his blog.

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I also make Adventure Boy French Hot Chocolate, which he also loves! It’s a complex process to make, but it’s so worth it.

Did I mention that the Seahawks won the Super bowl? Ok. Just making sure!

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So, in other news. Looking forward to some cool shows coming up this week. The Winter Olympics will be starting too! I will be watching and rooting for the Jamaican Bobsled Team! I like the ice skating and ski competitions. Oh and the speed skating. That’s always fun to watch!

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Some of you may wonder why I stopped writing my weekly journal, it’s because (for those who are new subscribers) my mom passed away on Thanksgiving day and my emotions are still fragile. It’s been extremely hard, so when I’m feeling better and have more things to write, I’ll do it again. But for now, I am doing my comic bitstrips because they are silly and fun. Feel free to ask me anything though! You can always contact me privately on my contact email address on the right hand side of my blog and I’ll respond back to you. If you are from Nigeria and are trying to scam me with your stupid “You inherited gazillion dollars”, your email will be forwarded to the FBI scam department. Just a warning! Anyone else normal and being a sweetheart, I’d love to hear from you.

Much love,

Amanda