Weekend Coffee Share

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Come and have some coffee with me! How do you like your coffee? I’m sitting here contemplating what kind of nature adventure to go on this weekend. We always (with very few exceptions) go for one day trip in the weekend. We do some research, usually over the internet, and set our sails towards an amazing destination in northern California. We drive there, and enjoy the nature for a day. Usually by going for a hike, and having a picnic lunch. If it’s a longer hike we might try some local restaurant for dinner. I’d say that we try a couple new spots every month, and return to a couple favorite spots every month.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. — Rachel Carson

There’s an endless supply of hikes that are totally doable with a young child. I’m usually the one with the ideas about where to go, but not always. Sometimes we bring friends, but often it’s just quality time for our family. The thing with favorite spots that we return to, is that besides the obvious pleasure of getting to know a place better, and enjoy it more than once, I turn it into a homeschooling project for my daughter. The first time we visit it’s usually like today, a spontaneous decision, to a destination we decide around breakfast time. I believe in learning by doing. Lessons that you experience with all your senses; smell, feel, taste, sight, and hearing really stays with you for a life time. Before we return a second time to a place, my daughter and I read everything that we can find about the place, and the places we will pass on the way there; history, legends, traditions, and local flora & fauna. Since the places we visit are at the most 3-4 hours from our home, usually 1-2 hours from home, we get to know our area well. Both my daughter and I like to know our surroundings. It feels good to be familiar with, and experience a sense of belonging to the place where you live, even (or maybe especially?) if you weren’t born there. My mom taught me this approach to life. I’ve explored every place I’ve lived in like this, and I’m so grateful for the memories, and life lessons this have given me.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. – John Muir

I have a couple ideas for today’s adventure. One is about an hour drive away, and includes a waterfall. My second adventure idea that I’m going to suggest is 3 hours away, and a bigger adventure. We’ll see what my family votes for. I’ll be sure to tell you next weekend. Last weekend we ended up going to one of our favorite places; Lassen Volcanic National Park. You can read about that adventure here. So this weekend both my ideas are places we haven’t experienced before. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Need a refill on that coffee?

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Homemade tomato cage, made out of old field fencing.

It’s been a little windy here this week around 15 mph, and temperatures in the mid 80’s. Pretty pleasant weather. The days are beautiful this time of the year. (Before the heat arrives.) My garden is doing good. Noting spectacular have happened since last week, but everything is growing as it should. I added some more herbs to my container garden; sage, parsley, and dill. The herbs that I already planted (from seed) earlier; cilantro, lavender, basil, and oregano are starting to come up. Especially the cilantro is thriving. Cilantro seem to like it here, I usually have lots of it in the summer. I also planted a mix of organic greens in a big container this week. I’m already eating my baby spinach, so I’m going to need more greens soon. Some of the fig cuttings, the ones that I planted directly in soil, are starting to show some new growth. That’s exciting.

I have started to make tomato cages out of old field fencing, that I got for free off Craigslist. I love repurposing materials. It feels good to do that. I still need to make more cages. My tomatoes are growing, and it is going to be a priority this coming week. I have around 20 tomato plants, in a couple different varieties. I choose two smaller types of tomatoes this year. For two reasons, my daughter loves cherry tomatoes, and our heat often crack the bigger varieties before they have a chance to get any where near being ripe. Last year I grew lots of heirloom rainbow tomatoes. They were big, juicy, sweet, and absolutely delicious, but a bigger number than I would of liked got cracked by the sun. The year prior to that, I only grew cherry tomatoes, and did not encounter that problem. I have some more tomato seedling on the way. I’m going to plant those in containers. The 20 plants I Have now are planted in the ground. 

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Fancy helping me keep the grass down around my garden.

My horses, Ghost and Fancy, had an interesting week. I’ve been continuing going out to their pasture for around an hour a day (besides the regular care/training,) to read a book, just hanging out with them, to get Ghost to come on more friendly terms. He’d been acting very jealous of my time with Fancy. It started with him throwing a fit whenever I worked with her, later he started to distance himself from me, and now it actually escalated a bit further with him biting and chasing Fancy. It has been a tough week for her. A few days ago Ghost took a big bite out of Fancy’s shoulder. He took a lot of skin off, and it was bleeding, but was not very deep. I’m taking care of it myself, since it wasn’t deep. It’s healing good. This unexpected thing with Ghost is heavy on my mind. Luckily it’s the only cloud on my horizon, so I can deal with it. 

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Ghost’s summer coat is gorgeous. Those dapples are more defined in his summer coat. I’ve always been amazed with how much a horse can change in appearance from winter, to summer. The first mustang I adopted had a bay (brown) winter coat, and black mane/tail. In the summer he turned silver, still with black mane/tail! That’s the most extreme color change I’ve seen. 

My daughter and I had a fantastic week, with many interesting conversation, and spontaneous singing! She’s been starting to make up songs about people she loves, and things we do, and been entertaining me with them while we’ve been working with different projects. I love it! 

We went to an educational show with wild animals on Thursday; A Walk On The Wild Side. It’s a show featuring local wildlife, that been orphaned (or lost their captivity for other reasons,) explaining why we need them in our eco system, while showing us the animals up-close. It’s going to be a daily show, at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, over the summer. It just started this week. We enjoyed it very much. 

I hope your week was marvelous! If you are a mother, be sure to enjoy your weekend a little extra! Happy Mother’s Day!

Love,

Ms Zen

34 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share

  1. Reading the first part of your post makes me want to go hiking more… I used to hike a lot and do spend a lot of time walking in the woods these days, but I don’t consider it a “hike” unless there is a mountain involved 😉 Seeing some of your mountain pictures makes me want to go into the mountains even more. There are actually some very nice, mountainous hikes in New England, some not far from my New Hampshire home.

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      1. Every so often I do post pictures of my hikes. With the exception of visiting Colorado last year, the mountains aren’t quiet as impressive as northern California. I hope you had a great day!

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        1. Yes, I’ve seen some hiking post 🙂 I enjoy them. mountains can be impressive in different ways, they all have their secrets. Growing up I loved exploring every rock formation, and trail on “my mountain”. I always hiked alone. When I was a kid there wasn’t much people on my mountain in the summers. It was more of a winter place. In my late teens the tourists started to come, even in summertime. Mostly mountain bikers, but also some hikers. I usually hiked alone, and one day when I was 18 two guys started to follow me, in an uncomfortable way. I ran ahead on the trail, and after a couple turns I jumped off the trail, into a ditch, that wasn’t visible from the trail, it had some bushes around it. I loved knowing every inch of my mountain then. They passed by only a minute later, furious that they lost me. I was less than two feet away..not a big impressive mountain, but very special 🙂
          Have a great day!

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          1. I typically hike alone. I also hike at a relatively rapid pace. I always feel bad coming up suddenly behind a woman who is hiking alone. I don’t think I’m a scary-looking guy, but I’m sure that at least they must have had a scare. There are too many predators like the ones you saw. There is a huge advantage of knowing every rock on “your” mountain!

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  2. Poor Fancy. Is it possible that Ghost wants to be an only horse or is it his age/lack of maturity? Hope she recovers, she doesn’t need any more abuse from what you’ve told us.
    You’re a great mom to your daughter, giving her lots of learning opportunities, building a love of life and nature. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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    1. I’m pretty sure it’s a phase Ghost is going through. Like a bratty teenager sort of. Most older horses would not put up with it, in a herd its the older horses responsibility to set boundaries for the younger ones. Fancy is a very submissive horse, maybe because of her past, very likely because of her past. She just takes it, and is happy to have a “friend”. Hopefully it stops sooner than later. Ghost is trying to climb in the pecking order, but now he knows he’s on top, so maybe he won’t find it necessary to prove it anymore. That’s my hope.

      Thank you for your kind comment. Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day is wonderful ❤

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  3. Can’t wait to hear about what ever adventure you all chose for this weekend. For myself, I will mostly be catching up with things around the house although we will enjoy a nice Mother’s Day dinner out tomorrow with family. My husband is the gardener in our house. I love being outside and do some weeding, trimming and arranging of the plant life but he is the one with the green thumb. We have the most beautiful green, lush lawn thanks to his tireless effort and we do grow some fruits and vegetables as well. This year he is experimenting with a hanging strawberry garden since the ones we usually try to grow are eaten by the rabbits before we ever get any! I hope that the troubles with your beautiful horses works itself out. I don’t know much about them but have always thought of them as majestic intelligent creatures. Thanks for the coffee!

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    1. Thank you for having coffee with me 🙂 I enjoyed the conversation! I hope your Mother’s Day dinner is fabulous! I was treated to as surprise dinner out yesterday, after our hike. It was nice.

      The hanging strawberry garden sounds interesting! I’ve seen photos of some amazing hanging gardens. I would love to see some photos of the strawberries. I’m trying to get my squash to climb vertically this year, they have a tendency to spread out a lot. We’ll see how that goes. Some of the plants are cooperating so far, some not so much.

      I think my young horse, the trouble maker is just being a horse, a bratty teenager that is, trying to climb the ladder on the pecking order. It’s natural for them to do so, but most older horses would not put up with that nonsense, they would put them in their place. Fancy, with a history of abuse, is very submissive. Hope fully Ghost knows by now, that he is on top, and stop trying to prove himself.

      Have a wonderful, wonderful Mother’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Ms. Zen. We too home schooled our kiddos here in Calif. Lots of great memories. We even found a home school speech and debate team nearby and found it to be one of the best things we ever got our kids into. The only downside is now when they disagree with us – they are often better than me at arguing their point and I resist playing the, “because I say so” card. Anyway, so you know something about me; I write 10 minute autobiographical stories of growing up about an hour north of San Francisco, in a much smaller town – Petaluma. They are meant to be fun and I hope you’ll check out my coffee chat and a story or two. Hope to see you for coffee next week. Warmest regards, Gary

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    1. Hi Gary, so nice to meet you! I’ve been to Petaluma a time, or two. Looking forward to read your stories. I’m a little further north, outside Redding.

      Homeschooling is very rewarding. My daughter’s dad lives in another state. That’s one of the reason we choose homeschooling, it makes it easier for our daughter to spend time with both of us. I was a teacher before having her, teaching is close to my heart.

      Thank you so much for sharing some coffee and conversation. I need to do some work in my garden before it gets to hot, but I will check out your blog later today. I’m looking forward to it.

      Maria

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  5. Hi Maria,

    You are so kind. Thanks for this gracious note. If you like to share fun stories with your daughter – I offer you both my Giant Inner Tube and T-Swing stories. These have been favorites for some time now and I do love sharing a laugh – even if some of them are at my expense. I choose to think of all the lessons I survived to make it to my current 63 years of age.

    Blessings to both of you and I hope to deliver more than a few laughs.

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    1. Thank you! I hope your day was wonderful! I often use an app on my phone called “AllTrails”, to find new trails. I’ve used it for years. There’s usually lots of photos showing what you can expect from the trail. Excellent if you’re in a new place, and short of time, but still want an extraordinary experience 🙂 Have you tried it?

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  6. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day! I can so relate to making nature adventures a priority on the weekends. A fun day trip can really start your week off right 🙂 I’ve had to share our weekends with my daughter’s volleyball tournaments, but that is another type of family bonding experience. Sounds like your garden is progressing nicely. The weather is a bit cooler in the Bay Area, but everything is growing, love seeing that. Thanks for the coffee, have a great day!

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    1. Thank you! I hope your day was marvelous as well! 🙂

      Yes, a day trip can give energy for a whole week. I bet your daughter’s tournaments are rewarding in another way. Seeing her grow as a person, and conquer there world 🙂

      Let’s get another coffee soon! Enjoy your new week!

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  7. Hi Miss Zen,
    It’s now Tuesday morning and the weekend is falling well behind and tomorrow will already be hump day. If you and Trent were living around here, you’d be needing to redefine your concept of mountains. Australia is a fairly flat country along we do have the Great Dividing Range on the East Coast which rises into the Australian Alps, or should I say “dwarfs”. However, they’re mountain enough for me.
    I love reading about your horses.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rowena, thanks for dropping in. There’s always coffee here 🙂
      Mountains can be beautiful in different ways. I used to watch McCloud’s Daughters, as a teenager, and dreamed of moving to Australia. LOL. It seemed so adventurous. I’m sure it can be. You live in a very beautiful country. Thank you for your kind comment. Have a wonderful week!

      Maria

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      1. Hi Maria,
        Thank you for appreciating my country. It’s such a special place to me and I try and share a bit of that through my blog. I live walking distance to a gorgeous beach but also close to still water so you can take your pick. I particularly love watching the moon rise over the water. It’s so serene. I have seen a fair bit of Australia and have been from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific and have also driven across, although I was mostly a passenger. I marvel at the sense of space out there and the Eyre Highway stretches on and on. It goes for 146.6 kilometres (91.1 mi) without any turn. It’s quite amazing. There are eagles out there and they feast on dead kangaroos and perch on top of their meal as a road trail approaches and rise up to defend it and hopefully escape in the nick of time. I’d love to drive over to Perth and back with Geoff and the kids some time.
        Hope you have a wonderful week too.
        Best wishes,
        Ro

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        1. Thank you! I imagine it would be extremely beautiful to drive through your country. My daughter is very eager to see a kangaroo in real life, and claims that she is going to live in Australia at some point. Enjoy your day!

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  8. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day.. Sure hope Ghost grows beyond this phase and grows to love his sister..

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    1. Thank you Kathleen. It was a good day. My daughter spoiled me with so much love, and a plant in my favorite color.
      Yes, we have a truce in the pasture now. I hope that it will last, no more biting, that I’m aware of, since last weekend.

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