Weekend Coffee Share

Wow it’s already Sunday afternoon! I apologize for being so late with the coffee this weekend. How is your weekend?

Everything is good here. I admit that I am a little tired. There’s a lot of things to process inside my head right now. Everything is ready for tomorrow. THE BIG MOVE! In fact after posting this, I’m going to give my dog a bath, and start organizing everything in the car. Phew. It is dawning on me that this is it. I am ready, but still, it is going to be a big change.

Got a new #haircut today, since I’m heading towards new #adventures. #blonde #selfie

A post shared by MJ (@sagittariusviking) on

I figure that a big change like this requires a new haircut. Don’t you think?

Speaking of new…I bought a new camera yesterday, a Canon EOS 6D Mark ii. (The Instagram selfie above, is only a cellphone pic.) I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a full frame, ever since mine was stolen, four years ago. That camera wasn’t insured, so it was a hard hit for a single mom. The first camera I could afford after it happened was a $79, point and shoot camera from Walmart. I worked it as well as I could, and I’ve been able to do smaller upgrades, every year since then. Yesterday I was finally able to get a full frame camera again. It’s big for me.

I only have one lens that fits this camera, but I will make the very best use of it, until I can compliment it with a good telephoto zoom lens. The lens I have is a fixed 50mm lens, so I’m going to become the new 50mm expert..LOL. I’m very excited. I was happy with my last camera, which was a good camera, a Canon EOS 80D. I bought it when it came out and I’ve been very happy with it. It didn’t take very long before it paid for itself. I was actually considering purchasing the same camera again (I had used up most of the shutter counts on the one I had.) If you’re in the market for a good camera under $1000, I can recommend investing in a Canon EOS 80D. (I’m telling you this as a friend, I’m not an affiliate..there is nothing in it for me other than the pleasure of seeing my friends being happy with a good camera.) It’s a lot of camera for the money. However, I went with my full frame dream yesterday. I’ve waited a long time for this. Now it’s the perfect time, with a long road trip, and plenty of new, exciting vistas to explore. When you print/sell photos, there is a big difference between a camera with a cropped sensor, and a full frame camera. Which is the most significant difference between the Canon EOS 80D, and the Canon EOS 6D Mark ii.

I took my new camera out for some test shooting today, of course I had too.. I was so excited that I skipped going through all the menu settings before I started. I only used the manual settings on the top of the camera, as I took the pictures. When I came back home I discovered that I’ve only shot everything in RAW format. Which basically means that the files are HUGE. When you’re shooting RAW, the camera saves every little ounce of information in the photo. Later you can edit the photo in any way you want, and it will look more natural, and not take any quality away from he photo. However that takes a long time. I think this is only for special occasions, like weddings, or exotic vacations etc. Once in a lifetime things. For every day photos it’s more practical to shoot JPEG, where the camera do some processing by itself, and the photos comes out looking good, and in reasonable file sizes.

When I came back from my photo excursion today, I read (part of) the manual to the camera, and experimented more with the camera. Now I know how to switch between JPEG, and RAW easily. You can even choose to shoot in both modes at the same time, having the camera save two files of every photo you take. Naturally it would eat up a lot of space on your memory card. I’m so excited about being able to move forward with my photography again. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, no matter the camera, but it is a thrill to take it to the next level. I might even start up my photography business again. Not as a full time thing, but maybe part time, (a few months, and a few more lenses, from now.) Maybe. Either way,  I am super happy and excited. And slightly tired..

I’m going to go to bed early tonight, heading to my last day at work tomorrow morning, and then hitting the road to Reno. I’m not driving the whole distance in one day. No need to rush. Gretchen (my dog,) and I are going to enjoy this.

I hope your weekend is fabulous! If you don’t want another cup of coffee, I have some delicious Pomegranate Ice Tea. I promise to share the first photos from the new camera somewhere along the way to Las Vegas. See you soon my friend ❤

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday August 17 th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday August 21 st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Love,

Ms Zen

Four days and counting…

.. until I move to Vegas. Funny how it was only 12 days ago since I was planning my fall garden, and stayed busy propagating citrus trees! The very same day my daughter told me on the phone (she was visiting her dad,) that she wanted to start school with her step sister, in her dads city. It feels like in another lifetime.

I bought a car, and sold my truck today. The two last big things on my to do list. Not the Pontiac I was planning on buying, but a reliable Chevy Impala. Now I am ready as can be. All the question marks are transformed into exclamation points. Now when I don’t have to stress about little things (like finding homes for horses, buying a car, selling a truck etc…) that needs to come together, I’m actually happy that I am working four more days. It gives me just the right amount of time, to spend time with some special NorCal people this weekend. (Maybe even get a haircut?) I feel like I had help getting everything come together in less than two weeks.

I purposely planned my new adventure to start on a Monday. I like traveling in the beginning of a new week, somehow it feels more adult. I don’t know why.  Right now I’m just happy. I spent a couple hours with a dear friend today, that I haven’t seen nearly as much as I should of lately. I’m sure that contributes to my overall happy feeling as well. Life is pretty darn good, and I’m excited to head towards new adventures. Sometimes I just need to get things done. Yesterday I was slightly frustrated to not get anywhere. Now I’m exactly where I should be at the moment. 

I’m very much looking forward to be able to spend time outdoors again. To get away from the smoke. To be able to breath, and to take pictures of amazing things again. Get my life back in a way. Still, nothing compares to be able to give my little, big girl, a big hug…four more days..

I hope you’re having an awesome day today 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

Ready, Set, Go – The Art Of Packing Light

So today it’s Wednesday, and I’ve started to count the days until I leave. It’s five days. (If you’re a new friend, I’m moving from northern California, to Las Vegas. I sold most of my bigger items, and my horses. I still have a truck I’m planning to sell, but I can’t sell it until I bought a car..five days..)

I packed, and re-packed my things. I asked myself questions about everything I packed. Why did I pack this? Do I need it? Want it? Is it a sentimental item? Does it help me focus on my dreams and goals? How soon will I use (……)? Is it easy to replace? I also use these questions every spring, and every fall, to stop myself from collecting things that I don’t use. Which definitely helped to make things easier now. I enjoy living a life free from clutter (in every aspect.)

I have a couple items that helps me focus on my dreams. Things that aren’t really necessary. Like a small framed picture of my first horse. I held it in my hand today, again. I reevaluate that photo every time I move. So far it has stayed with me. Even though it may not seem very special to a guest visiting my house. Yes, I took the picture, but the quality of the photo isn’t the best. The balance in the photo is perfect, but the resolution poor. Unless my guest know that I saved ten years to be able to buy that horse, they are probably not even noticing the photo. Or, if they do see it, they probably wonder why on earth I saved that photo.

That photo reminds me that I can get anything I want, if I’m willing to work hard enough. It helped me many times already, and keeps helping me. How could I not bring it with me?

I also use the photo, and the story, to encourage children I tutor, to go after what they want. When showing a child a physical item, like a framed photo, it’s easier for them to believe,  that no dream is too big, even if it seems slightly out of reach for the moment. I often let the children hold the photo in their own hands, while I’m telling them the story. I paint it with details about this very special horse. I tell them about that time when we got chased by a big bull elk, when the horse wasn’t broke to ride yet, and that other time when a bunch of wild pigs chased us. By coincidence (?) the horse’s name was Draumur, Icelandic for dream .

My mom was a single mom, and we were relatively poor (we only had hand-me-down used clothes etc.) We did not have money for me to take riding lessons, and having a horse of my own did not exist in the same universe that I lived in then. Still I knew that I was going to have a horse of my own. I kept that dream alive. I envisioned it. I manifested it every day. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last before I went to bed, every night. On my free time I worked hard, without pay, in all the stables within biking distance. To learn more about horses. I also read all the books there was about horses, in the three libraries closest to my home. I did this for ten years. I think of myself as a minimalist, to some degree. Things doesn’t define me. I choose to travel light, and live with a light heart. I do choose to keep a few things, like that frame, and some books that motivates me. I wouldn’t cry if I lost them, but seeing them motivates me, and makes me stronger.

I decided to leave half of the books I had packed, making my already light load, lighter. Books are important, but I decided that I could do without some of them. I also decided to give two large, framed, canvas photos, of wild horses as a gift to a friend, instead of bringing them. I decided to keep my snowboard jacket and pants, even if they take up some space. I invested in quality (I bought them in December last year,) and those are good clothes that will keep me warm, and dry for many winters. The snowboard itself, I’m not so sure. A snowboard takes up space, and I really would like to have one that is a little longer anyways. My snowboard clothes can be used in various settings (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice skating, or on a winter vacation,) since they aren’t extreme in any way. They will be useful. Unless I decide to make a bookshelf out of the snowboard. I did that in an apartment I had as a teenager. I used two snowboards that had seen lots of fun, and been replaced by newer boards. Just seeing those bookshelves made me happy. (I love snowboarding!) I almost forgot about that. I might just bring the snowboard..  (Writing really helps to get things straight in my head.)

I downsized the tools in my toolbox, leaving some I rarely use behind. I still haven’t decided wether I should bring my fencing tools…you never know when those will come in handy. I mean, I do know, but how important is it to bring them now? I also unpacked some portable solar showers, that I bring for off-grid camping sometimes…lol. I don’t know why on earth I packed these things in the beginning. The survivalist in me still think that those things are essential for a good life. I think it might of been to remind me that I can still do things like going camping in the middle of nowhere, even if I live in a big city? Maybe to feel the country connection? (Naturally I’m not unpacking my collection of rare heirloom seeds for my future homestead..those will be useful when that day comes, and they’re so tiny. I’ll always make room for those. )

Still, everything I packed from the beginning would easily fit in the trunk of a midsize car, so it wasn’t a crazy amount of stuff. I am good a packing, and now it’s even less. I took care of the horses at work this morning. That is always enjoyable, and I will miss that job immensely. All the horses there are my friends. Going there in the morning and grooming each horse thoroughly doesn’t feel like a job. I will miss the lady I work for as well. I don’t see her every day, but our conversations are always great, when I do see her. 

Besides my morning job, I had two things on my schedule today. The first was to watch a little boy, that I have been watching from time to time. I prepared healthy snacks, and fun games for him, when I was done with my morning job. However his mom didn’t feel good, so he got lucky and got some extra mommy time.  The second thing I was going to do was to test drive a new (used) car. The current owner got caught up in work, and rescheduled to tomorrow. All of a sudden I had several hours. I harvested veggies in my garden; yellow squash, cucumber, tomatoes, and figs. I also played with my dog, groomed her (twice,) and even clipped her nails. I then started to read Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people, for the 11th time! The bible is the only book I’ve read more times. Neither of those are books you can read in one sitting, or learn everything from by just reading them once. Do you have a book/books that you’ve read several times? If so, tell me about them! 

Can you tell that I’m ready to go? When I make a decision, I do everything in my power for it to succeed, and happen quickly. In most cases I’m a patient person, a very patient person, but I don’t feel patient right now. I like being busy, in the face of a big change. To work actively towards making things awesome. It’s kind of itching in me to be able to give my new job, and place to live my very best. I’m not sure if I told you what job I decided to say yes to? Did I? I’m going to take care of two little boys. I’m very excited about meeting them. I’ve talked to their mom, and I’ve seen several photos of them. They looks so happy, and full of life! It’s going to be a lot of fun!  Gretchen (my dog,) is going to to love it as well 🙂 She is very good at taking care of little kids. It just felt right. I put an ad up online, with my education, and a short job resume. I literally got more than 100 job offers. I was planning on going to Vegas, and go to interviews for a couple weeks, and then decide. In the end I choose to follow my intuition. I instantly felt for this family. (They also live less than an hour from my daughter’s father.) I love all children, but the youngest ones have a special place in my heart. I just love being there with them, when they discover new truths for the first time. 

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I kind of feel like dragging out my Halloween costume from last year, and use it to fly into next week. LOL.

I hope you’re having an awesome day 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen