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I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to stop here, but we did drive by several times. Our timing was just off. Playa Islita is lovely stretch of white sand and swaying palms trees, with carts selling fresh coconuts (coconut water out of a coconut is the only way to go), families picnicking, and people walking the long arc of beach. A few hours there are definitely part of our plans for the next trip.

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Playa Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Quote of the Day: “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” — Anita Desai

Daily gratitudes:
Baffling the doctor
A tiny girl on a tinier bicycle
A tropical color palette
A clean bill of health for Mr. Man
Chicken noodle soup

 

It’s Stock Show weather here in Denver – meaning it’s soooo cold and the 110th National Western Stock Show kicks off tomorrow.  (At least we are not at Denver’s record low for this date, set in 1913, of -21.) You’ll get some photos and details over the next two weeks. We’re still sticking with beach images, since MKL and I are landlocked for another month, and the winter blues are getting a bit overwhelming for us both. On a lighter note, am I the only person who immediately thought of “Married With Children” when I read about the Bundy crew barricading themselves in a BLM office in Oregon? I actually thought it was a joke at first. But I’ll say no more, as I seldom get political here, unless I feel exceptionally passionate about something, and this is not one of those things.

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Tulum, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.” — Robert Byrne

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
The fostered cats at The Happy Beast
My orange earrings
A brand new blue bus for my daily commute
Shedding tears at the loss of a friend of a friend

 

 

While we’ve had two gorgeous days here in Colorado, I find myself missing Exuma and Anegada. Missing Anegada, the home of my heart, is nothing new, but missing Exuma is. When we were there for the first time (November 2013), the water was amazingly warm and buoyant. I could float standing straight up. I could carry MKL around in the water. There was no beach there that was not brilliant white sand and dazzling azure water. We could walk out 1/4 mile from the shore and still be only knee deep. And it was a place which neither of us had been to before, so our memories are just that – OURS. Without any shadows or ghosts of the past. I liked that. And so, I continue to share these images. Because I love to remember.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Ghosts don’t haunt people–their memories do.” — Alexandra Bracken

Daily gratitudes:
Walking
My mini-workout today with Christine
Beautiful days
Leashed bird dogs approaching sitting pigeons
Big storms

 

This has been a week of happiness. My darling cousin has been here, and I love having a sister in the house. We are identical in so many ways. I’m coming to the end of one large project. MKL and I have Valentine’s Day weekend at Cottonwood Hot Springs to look forward to. I bought my wedding dress yesterday. It is not at all what I expected, but it made me cry in a true “Say Yes to the Dress” moment.

So as part of the continuation of happiness, I will share this beautiful image of deep blues and whites. My wedding will be ivory and cobalt and on the beach, similar to these colors. I’m looking forward to starting my new life with MKL.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: ““There is no choice more intensely personal, after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily Gratitides:
My sister-cousin
Commitment
A beautiful day for a walk
Having a lovely family
Downton Abbey night

I love diamonds on the water . Because life is too short not to sparkle.

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Little Cayman.

Quote of the day: “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Daily gratitudes:
Kelsea, Kelsea, Kelsea
Travel planning
Downton Abbey
Traditions
My scrambled eggs with lox
Versaries

I know I’m a little late, but that’s me. Yay me! It has been a very busy new year so far, and it hasn’t slowed at all. I do have a plane ticket which makes me feel much more content – though it’s for the Pacific Northwest in March to do a whirlwind two-state tour of colleges with my college-bound baby. We’ll have fun. Even if it’s not a trip to sunny somewhere, it feels good to know I’ll be going. Always need to be going. Especially to places like here.

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Bodden Town, Grand Cayman. (Off the reef there are at least half a dozen wrecks for diving. This was a beautiful spot.)

Quote of the day: “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” —  Audrey Hepburn

Daily gratitudes:
Slightly warmer weather
Broncos in the playoffs
Getting the dishes done
Sleeping in today (just a little bit)
Sloths

It is a night for positive prayers and intentions:

That people and animals less fortunate than I will find a warm and caring place to survive the projected cold and our current -7 degree night

That my sweet friend at work’s family finds strength and peace in their time of approaching loss

The MKL and I can successfully accomplish our tropical sabbatical to fend off winter for just one week longer

That this cold snap is gone before we return

That Mr. Man is well looked after by his caretakers in my absence (it’s his birthday on Friday)

That I can accomplish the long list of to-dos before departure time

That my physical not-rightness improves and is healed by rest and rum

I have always found my prayers more powerful when I turn my eyes to the sky and speak to the Great Spirit as a friend. This church in the Bahamas inspired me to do that. It was lovely inside and out, and a visiting orb accompanied me during my solitary explorations there.

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Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Straight roads and green lights
Loving my daughter
Feeling blessed by my relationship with my parents (and missing them daily)
A warm nightgown and bedsocks
The kindness of strangers, experienced twice today

They say it will get down to -30 tonight with the wind chill. I know that I came close to frostbite on my fingers and toes today, even in boots and gloves. So, let’s look at this picture, shall we, and know that places like this actually exist.

MKL and I have both about had it with cold weather. We are starting to discuss more temperate options for our future together. It’s so lovely to have a true partner to plan with. Tonight, I comfort myself with polar bear pajamas, Mr. Man, and re-watching Season One of Downton Abbey. Oh, and packing swimsuits, but I don’t want to rub that part in.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the Day: “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.”  — Oscar Wilde

Daily gratitudes:
Anything warm
Green chile soup
Discussions of religion with Kelsea
A tot of rum on a cold night
The man at O’Reilly Auto Parts who fixed my windshield wiper for free
The pretty girl who left a warm scent of vanilla behind in the elevator

 

The sky was blue today, but it is still freezing outside. I made the child shovel the snow before she went to a Super Bowl party – isn’t that why we have children in the first place? Although she did ask me if she would still have to take care of me in my old age if she went out to shovel in the bitter cold. I told her she did.

The countdown to warmth continues.

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Stocking Island, Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.” — Marianne Williamson

Daily gratitudes:
My Broncos, win or lose
Books
The relief I felt from finding Mr. Man hidden beneath the bedclothes
Folger’s instant coffee
Loving someone enough to miss him when you don’t see him every day (that’s you, MKL)

 

NEED MORE WARM. NEED MORE BEACH. NEED MORE BLUE WATER.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Some of the choices you make might not always turn out to be the best ones, but at least you are learning as you go.”  — Elizabeth Berrien

Daily gratitudes:
That the rain/snow reminded me of an old folk song that I cannot quite remember
The virtual gift of a cardinal from a blog friend
Homemade Moco Loca
Counting down the days
MKL

And on a sad after-note, the world has lost a wonderful being. Colonel Meow passed away last night. Rest well, Colonel. I’ll toast you with a glass of single malt.

Colonel Meow

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