Weekend Coffee Share

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Imagine. You’re sipping coffee under the big fig tree, in the center of my back yard. The birds are singing away. The last of the roses in the rose garden are still smelling as lovely as ever. The horses are neighing their welcome, as they see you walk in. My dog gets up from her regular place next to me, to give you a greeting suitable for a most important celebrity. Why don’t you come on in? Take a 15 min break out of you busy day, and have that amazing dark liquid rejuvenate your soul. I have all sorts of tea as well, if that’s sound more appealing. Sitting down for a while sounds pretty good, don’t it? You know you’re dying to tell me about your week. 

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Pomegranate trees in my container garden.

How is you week? Spring is in full bloom? My favorite time of the year. I think I might say that about every season, depending on where I am, but it is true every time I say it. I usually feel like it is the best day ever (one of my daughter’s favorite phrases right now,) every day when I wake up. The weather is perfect right now, around 85 degrees. We’re having a high of 103 later today. yeah..it’s here, the heat. We had the first three digit day earlier this week. I’ve been spending  a lot of time organizing in my vegetable garden since that first really hot day. My garden has two fenced in areas/rooms. I prepared the container part of the garden with extra mulching, so that my plans and trees will be able to handle the heat better. They all got a layer of used tree shavings, from the barn. The container garden area, is closest to the house ( and closest in the photo.)

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The area furthest away, has plants planted directly in the ground. With one small exception, of kitchen herbs in containers. This is what the garden looked like 6 weeks ago, when I moved in to this place. I’ve done all the work by myself, by hand, with help of my 5 year old daughter.

My garden is organized by the amount of sun hours that each plant needs, and by age. Have you tried succession planting your garden? In my area, the gardening season is long, and I hugely benefit from succession planting. It helps keeping my garden in harvest, and producing all through the growing seasons. I’m sure there’s as many ways of doing this as there are gardeners. I practice three varieties of succession planting;

1. Crops that only harvest one time, gets completely cleaned out after harvest, and replaced with a new type of plant. The space will not remain empty.

2. Some crops like different types of salad greens, I plant a few seeds every two weeks. In that way I have fresh greens longer. (Until it gets too hot to grow them here.)

3. The third method is similar to the second method, but more extended. I use it for plants like tomatoes. I start all my tomato seed indoor in March/April. (I only grow my vegetables from seeds. I never buy seedlings to plant.) During April-June I plant the seedlings I raised outside, with a few weeks intervals. My upper garden contains the tomatoes that I transplanted first. They are planted directly in the ground, and will produce the first harvest. This is the biggest harvest, of around 30 tomato plants. Planted within three weeks of each other. In my lower garden, I have big containers with tomatoes (among other vegetables.) The containers are just planted this week, and are tiny at the moment. When my harvest in the upper garden is finished, they will start producing. I mainly apply the third method to tomatoes, and squash.

If you have a garden, do you have a method to maximize your harvest? As silly as it may sound, the harvest is not my only priority. I know that there’s things that I could do to work less, like install a drip system for watering my garden. I have done that in some gardens I’ve built. However, when I don’t hand water every day, I miss so much of what’s going on. I enjoy the process, even if it’s not the most efficient. Our weather is extreme and changes fast. I’m more in control when I water my garden every day. I notice the little sign of distress, or need of one thing, or another. I don’t use any chemicals, or pesticides, which forces me to be on top of the game with pests. I need to notice all the little bugs before they get to established. What’s your thoughts? Do you enjoy the convenience of having your garden irrigated? Or do you prefer watering by hand? I definitely see pro’s and con’s with both methods. 

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Mini corn field, with tomato plants in the background.

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The fig tree cuttings I planted  almost a month ago, got repotted in bigger pots earlier this week. 

There’s a wonderful peace settling in between my horses, Fancy, and Ghost. From time to time Ghost is a little rascal, and chases Fancy around, but for the most part it’s very peaceful. I couldn’t be happier. They both have glossy summer coats. I’d like Fancy to gain a little more weight, and muscle up, but that’s going to take time. Her hooves can only take light work at the moment. Slowly she’s tapping in to her potential. Fancy is showing more and more of her personality. She is a highly intelligent horse. More so than I thought in the beginning. I’m starting to see a more powerful horse. A horse that still chooses to be gentle with my daughter. This new discovery only makes her more valuable in my eyes.

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This is a close-up photo of Fancy’s face. Fancy has two swirls/whorls/cowlicks close together, placed high up in her face, far above her eyes.

Many knowledgeable horsemen, along with several recent studies, show a connection between a horse’s personality and the pattern/number/placement of the swirls in their face. I do believe there’s something to it, and have compared all the horses I’ve been in contact with for the past 7 years, after I first heard of this. I’ve also studies photos of my favorite horses prior to the date I read about this, for the first time. All my favorite horses throughout the years (30+,) all had two swirls a little above their eyes. Interesting, don’t you think? One swirl in the middle between the eyes is much more common, and indicates a stabile, kind, predictable horse. Swirls that are higher up in the face usually belongs to high energy horses. Up until now Fancy have been the fist exception to the rule, or rather, I have not seen her personality in full light until now. Which makes perfect sense, since she wasn’t herself when I first got her, due to prior neglect/abuse/starvation.

Many Grand Prix horses in both dressage and jumping, and successful eventers have very high, side-by-side double swirls. This type of double swirl seems to give the ability to hyper focus. These horses are challenging and gritty, like most double swirl horses, but the ability to hyper focus and not back down from a challenge can be an asset in professional hands. The side-by-side swirls do give the horse access to both sides of its brain in a flash, ‘wickedly fast thinker’ is a description often given to them.

– Charlotte Cannon, multi-World Champion trainer, who learned the study of Swirlology from NSBA Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Stanford.

Fancy has that kind of hyper focus, is a fast thinker, and is gritty.  I see more and more of this every day, as she is gaining strength, and health. If you’d like to read Charlotte Cannon’s study, I recommend this link. It’s a very interesting read.

Ghost and I take it slow, but we’re going forward. He seeks my company more and more, and I have been successful in letting go of my expectations. He is growing a lot. Arabians, and mustangs mature later, and it’s not unusual that they keep growing until they are 8 years old. He’s a cross of those breeds. I’m thinking that with the quality feed he gets now, he might make up for some growth he missed earlier in his life. Most of all, it is a pleasure to enter the pasture every time. I was going to finish this post with a flying photo I took this morning. That is rather spectacular, if I may say so. However, a bird sang in my ear that tomorrow’s Sunday Stillsis going to be Fur and Feathers, so you’ll have to check in tomorrow to see it 😉 LOL. Or (hint..) you might be able to catch a sneak peak on Instagram.  

Any fun plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear about them! Would you like another cup of coffee?

Love,

Ms Zen

37 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share

  1. I like these coffee share posts. It’s a bit like reading a letter from an old friend. I don’t even know if 30 something’s know the magic of writing letters to a pen-pal. My girl friends as I wrote letters to one another all summer long and into college. After my first year of college, everyone switched to email for the most part, but I still love getting letters. Thank you for the bit of nostalgia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Yes, you’re right. I never thought of it like that, but it is like exchanging old fashion letters, which I love! Sure it is nice to get an email from a friend, but nothing beats the extra effort from someone that writes a regular letter. The thought, the time, the idea. I could easily fall in love. LOL. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to have coffee with you in your garden – it sounds like a beautiful and calm place. I was wondering how your horses are getting along now when I saw pictures of them on Instagram. I am pleased to hear that their relationship is improving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a calm peaceful place. You have an open invitation 🙂
      It feel very good that it is more peaceful in the pasture. The heat makes them a little more relaxed and docile as well. It might help a little, but I do believe they are enjoying each others company. Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah. a true gardener. I wish I was better at it, but then again, I have no idea when I’d have the time. The growing season is short here and the tomatoes are not quite at an end when we have our first frost, so not much in succession planting. It’s nice to hear about the horses. Sounds like they are both doing well.

    I hope you are having a great weekend and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. It is nice that it is peaceful in the pasture. I was worried for Fancy for a while.

      I can relate to the short gardening season. When I lived in northern Sweden the things you could grow was very limited. If you didn’t have a greenhouse you could forget about tomatoes…and most other veggies. We had rhubarb, gooseberries, black and red currant, (and an apple tree that never got enough sun.) The surrounding woods was filled with blueberries, lingon berries, and wild raspberries for anyone to pick.

      I’m having a good weekend. I accidentally got a heat stroke, but I’m better now. It was so unexpected. It never happened before. Even though I’ve spend years in the desert, in much higher temperatures. Well…you live and you learn, right?

      I hope you’re weekend is everything you want 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heat stroke – wow, I’m glad you are doing better!

        I have three blueberry bushes out back, but they are at the edge of the woods and I have never gotten a berry from them… There are wild blueberries on some of the mountains around here and I have picked them in the past. It takes forever to get enough for more than a snack!

        I hope you have a great week. And be careful in the heat! (It was much cooler here today after the hot week, which is great for me.)

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            1. I haven’t had any in years. They sure are special, and rare to come by. My little sister made as much in four days, picking them, as I did working in a bakery a whole summer, when we were teenagers. She got lucky and found a huge patch of them. That is very rare. She sold them to a gourmet restaurant, that was thrilled to get their hands on such a big amount of cloudberries.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Your garden has really grown! Everything looks healthy. I don’t do much vegetable gardening anymore as I have a CSA farm share, I’m more into flowers. We’re fortunate to get rain regularly, so watering is a rare thing, mostly done when the plants are just starting out. I’m excited that our farm share pick ups start this coming week – yay, fresh greens!
    Interesting about the connection to swirls and behavior in horses. Being a working breed, that makes sense for Fancy, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of CSA farms shares. Definitely something I could consider if I couldn’t grow myself. I have been looking into it when I lived in parts of Nevada, where it was difficult to grow my own vegetables. Unfortunately there was no other local farms that successfully grew anything else than lettuce. If I have a lot of produce I barter with others in the area, to get produce that I don’t have. Or purchase it directly from local farms. During harvest season many people let you help them harvest, towards a part of the produce as well. My daughter and I have harvested apples, olives, and a variety of nuts on other peoples farms. I love doing that sorts of things with her.

      The swirlology is very interesting indeed. It does makes a lot of sense with Fancy. I am so grateful that she came into our lives.

      I hope your weekend is wonderful. I really enjoy your beautiful photos of flowers, and leaves. You always use the light so beautifully. What kind of camera do you use? Do you use any kind of editing program?

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        1. Your photos are very sharp, and delightful, so it must be perfect for you. At the moment I have a Nikon. I can’t decide wether I like Nikon or Canon the best. It’s like every other camera I get is a Canon, and every other a Nikon. They have different qualities that I appreciate. Canon’s colors are more vibrant. I really like that.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi ya. You’re having a very busy life. I have to tell you, I could not live where you do. I get miserable when the temps are mid 80s (unless humidity is crazy low) but your garden sounds and looks amazing. My sisters had horses when we were all still living with our folks and I never caught the bug. My parents were always being called to help with misbehaving horses and multiple break outs. But I have had a garden. At our current home, there used to be a decent size area fenced off and secure. Our first few years living here, we did the garden think with our 3 kids and mostly things grew great, but it started getting worse and worse until I finally realized that our trees and the surrounding neighbors trees were keeping the whole area in the shade almost the whole day. Oh well, we toyed with moving to a sunny location, but work and life took all our spare energy. We home schooled our kids and they never really enjoyed gardening anyway. BTW – I always enjoy your coffee shares. You always have some of the best photos and stuff to share. Hope to see you here again next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is busy, but busy with good mindful content. I am very happy. Thank you for taking the time to share a cup of coffee. I will definitely see you next week. I hope you’re having a good weekend.

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  6. Great way to start your coffee post, I was drawn right in.

    Love your garden pictures. I never have any luck with growing corn and I gave up trying last year. Overall, my veggie garden doesn’t seem to be doing very well this year. I need to get a fence around it to keep the puppy out, she seems to love terrorizing the plants and soil.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really want to become a better story teller. It’s one of my goals. I’ve been dedicating some time to it lately. Thank you for noticing!

      I’ve never tried growing corn before. My daughter really wanted to try, so we’re trying this year. I have no idea if we’re doing it right, or not. We’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t see any corn field in our area, so I don’t know how well the outcome is going to turn out. Lol. but it’s fun to try something new. Of course we’re hoping, especially my daughter, is hoping for an enormous harvest.
      Fencing is crucial. I got most of the material for my fence for free, from the free section on craigslist. Fences can be so expensive. I spent around $1000 on fences last summer, and now I don’t even live at that place anymore. ..I decided to not care so much about looks this time, since I’m only renting.

      I hope your weekend was everything you wished for. Have a wonderful new week!

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    1. There’s a time for everything. I miss traveling 🙂 It’s tricky to combine the two. When you do have a garden, and animals you are limited to how much you can travel. Farmers markets are awesome! I love visiting them. Discovering new ones when you’re traveling to new places is one of my favorite things. it was one of my moms favorite things to. Some of my earliest memories are form farmers markets all over southern Europe. The wonderful smells are forever burned into my memory bank 🙂

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  7. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather. So have I. We’ve had temperatures of around 26 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) here, which I love. I’m so glad your horses are peaceful with each other. I love horses! Oh and I love your comment abou each day being the best day ever. That totally lifts me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Astrid, 80 sounds just perfect. That is my favorite summer weather. Comfortably warm.

      Horses are amazing animals. I’ve always been drawn to them. I’ve been told a story of when my mom “lost me”, when I was a toddler. I had simply walked to our neighbors draft horses, and fallen asleep in their feeder. I don’t remember this..of course.

      Have an awesome day Astrid!

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  8. I enjoyed both your posts tremendously!

    Your weekend coffee shares are special as it feels like I’m right there with you. I sure hope you always make more coffee as I love it and I could see us chatting away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! You have an open invitation, and there’s always coffee in this house. I’d love to chat with you, and hear more about your adventures. How is the house in Pennsylvania coming along? I hope you have time to really enjoy this beautiful season. Come back for a another cup of coffee soon 🙂

      /Maria

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