Weekend Coffee Share – Proud (Human) Parent Moment ….. and being a German Shepherd Mom

c (1)

If we were having coffee together, I would first of all tell you that the coffee is extra delicious today! Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. I’ll let you decide 😉

For a week, since last Saturday, I’ve only had herbal ginger tea in the morning, in an attempt to cut my caffeine a little, and get rid of the dizziness I felt for a few days last week. It was so scary, and I think it mostly was caused by lack of sleep. It was a bad circle, the noises of the city constantly waking me up at night. (I never wake up if a coyote sings, or a dog barks, my brain doesn’t register those familiar sounds.) I’ve always been a great sleeper up until now. So this new challenge was unexpected. As a result of not sleeping enough, of course I got tired during my long workdays, and drank more coffee than usual, which affected next night’s sleep. After a week completely without coffee, and going to bed ultra early every night, I feel on top of my world again. Starting today I’m having one cup of coffee in the morning, the rest of the day I’m going to stick to tea.



I also added some more salt to my diet, after the advice I got last week, (after writing about this in my coffee share.) I’m thinking that the salt also helped me get rid of the dizziness. I’m pretty sure I did not get enough. I still wake up several times a night from noises, but I do feel much better. I’m getting earplugs today. I’m not sure how comfortable it will be to sleep with them, but I’m going to give it a try.

Do you like the coffee? It’s so good! How was your week? Any fall colors yet? I have not seen fall colors here in Las Vegas, but I posted a post with fall photos from previous years, yesterday. To get in the right mood. I love fall, and the promise of cold weather to come! I love all seasons, but fall in particular.

My daughter did not have school yesterday (teacher education day,) so I got to have her one extra day this week. I couldn’t be happier about that. Since my current job is taking care of two little boys, it was easy to let her come to work with me. She was the best little helper I could ask for, she always is, and we had lots of fun. I worked an 11 hour day, and she was a real trooper. By the end of the day she read good night stories to the oldest boy. She read books out aloud by herself! It was a very proud parent moment for me! Yes, they were children’s books, and I did help her with some more challenging words, but still. I am so happy! Reading have added so much to my life. The ability to read, and learn bout anything under the sky, and above! It certainly inspired me to a much richer life, with travel, and opportunities I would not of been able to think out myself, without a little inspiration from books. My daughter is on that doorstep now! That excites me! Definitely the highlight of my week (and it’s been a great week.)

I’ve made it a point from the moment I found out that I was pregnant with her, and every day she’s been with me (which is 99.9 % of her days,) to read to her, both in English and Swedish every day. She also sees that I choose reading a good book, before watching TV every day as well. If she is interested in a subject I try my best to find a book about it. Sure there is easier ways to find inspiration nowadays, when you can google anything and get an answer within seconds, but she will get that anyways. Of course reading is useful when she’s playing Minecraft, and other games on her Ipad as well. I’m trying to be balanced about screen time, and she does have access to my computer, supervised of course.

I’m going to keep a steady stream of books that I believe would interest her available. I remember being 6 years old, reading fascinating stories (about horses of course..my favorite series was about a girl living on a secluded ranch in Mongolia, watching wild horses struggle to find feed, fighting the elements, and evil humans..) by the light of a flashlight, under my blanket, way after bedtime. I know now that my mom knew, and happily approved, even though she pretended to not like that I wasn’t respecting lights out.

I’ve read two excellent western novels this week, Stand proud, and Eye of the hawk, by Elmer Kelton. I’m well ahead (92%) of my reading challenge at Goodreads, thanks for asking 😉 I’m looking forward to a lot of reading this weekend. Next it will be a WWII novel. Have you read any good books lately?

It’s supposed to be windy. Except one trip to the grocery store, there’s not a whole lot of plans. My daughter and her wishes, will have my full attention. She has been saving her allowance (that she gets for doing chores..yes I am a little old fashioned,) for a while, and she wanted to look at some toys today. We’ll probably do that after breaksfast, play in the pool, take Gretchen to some park.  If my daughter feels up to it, there’s a park only ten minutes away, that has a playground for bigger kids, that I think she would enjoy a lot (she haven’t been there yet,) they also have some hiking trails (that’s how I found it,) It’s not supposed to be super hot today.

Any fun plans for the weekend?



I almost forgot (selective thinking..,) I actually have an issue that I need to give attention this weekend. In the house where I live, there’s one more dog. She was here before Gretchen, so naturally this is her house. She’s an indoor dog, and super sweet. She spends her days hanging out with me and the kids, when we’re inside. Gretchen prefer to be outside, having access to the backyard, and the big pool. She loves the pool! Most of the day this keeps them separate, but when the other dog needs to go outside, everything have been fine with them getting along. I’d say mostly due to Gretchen’s laid back, patient personality. The other dog have been growling at her a lot (a sign of aggression/threat,) pawing at her face, and even jumping up on her back. Mostly during play. Most dogs would not of put up with all this, but Gretchen did, until last weekend. My daughter and I was playing in the pool. Gretchen walked up to my daughter, whom she is trained to protect (I brought my daughter to some of our personal protection lessons,) the other dog came up and growled. That was it. Gretchen drew the line and said no more.  She bit the other dog in her face. I opened the door, and let the other dog in the house. Not thinking so much about it. I didn’t see it coming. Gretchen have been treating the other dog almost like a baby, just putting up with things. And that is her usual way. I could totally understand why it happened though. The other dog, a little cute thing, have been allowed to growl even to people (and been getting attention by doing it. Now it’s a patterned behavior in her.) Later when we got inside, my daughter saw that the other dog was bleeding from her face. She had a puncture made by Gretchen’s teeth between her eyes. She’s fine now. But naturally it doesn’t work that Gretchen bites her. That’s not acceptable. The other dog’s owner (the family I work for,) and I have been talking about how to deal with it. This week I’ve kept them separate. Taking Gretchen inside every time the other dog needs to go out. This weekend we’re going to walk them, both on a leash, in a park, and let them greet on an neutral place, in a safe way. I’m thinking that we are going to have to do this many times. It’s tricky. I can’t have Gretchen bite another dog, but on the other hand she is doing everything she is supposed to do. I have never seen her initiate an aggressive behavior. She will take a lot of provoking  before she gets aggressive. Yes, she is my best friend, but the reason I choose a German Shepherd is because I’ve been a single mom for several years, and I like to spend time in places where I can’t count on anyone else for protection. I want Gretchen to take care of business when there is a threat. She has a great mind, and I’ve never seen her pick a fight with anyone, human, or animal. She is even friendly with cats. That in mind she can make a grown man wet his pants, she has. It’s definitely not an easy situation. She is a really good dog.

I have some things to think about this weekend, but definitely mostly the pleasure of spending extra time with my daughter.


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!


Have an awesome weekend!!


Ms Zen

Feel Good Wednesday


View this post on Instagram

My #bestfriend #hangingbythepool #gsd #germanshepherd #lovemydog

A post shared by MJ (@sagittariusviking) on

After my unusual (for me,) coffee share last weekend, I just wanted to put everyone at ease. Some relaxing time have done wonders, and I feel like myself again. My daughter and I spent most of the weekend in the pool, or next to it.

My dog Gretchen and I, have continued in the same relaxed way. After work every day we’ve been by the pool. I’ve almost finished a great western novel; Stand Proud.

I’ve ordered a few new books, to read these coming weeks. I’m excited about the weather getting a little cooler (still in the mid 90’s….) The weather even calls for two days of rain next week! I can’t remember when I experienced rain the last time, it must of been this spring, March maybe?

I hope YOU are having an awesome week! Is it fall where you are?



Ms Zen


Mount Charleston

morning 2

My daughter and I, have spent every weekend for the past year hiking, either in Lassen Volcanic National Park, or around Mt. Shasta, in northern California. We moved to Las Vegas in August, and we are searching for new favorite places. This past weekend we started to explore Mount Charleston. Mount Charleston is part of the Spring Mountain Range, and Toiyabe National Forest. Charleston Peak, at 11,916 feet (3,632 m), is the highest mountain in the Spring Mountains. Mount Charleston is located about 35 miles NW of Las Vegas. It’s a refreshing, green, alpine heaven. Last weekend when the temperatures peaked at 109 in Las Vegas, it was 30 degrees cooler there! Only an hour away. One hour, and several thousand feet of elevation that is. 


The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The winding roads that takes you there, climbs steadily up, up, up. It was fairly easy to drive all the way to the campgrounds without a 4×4. My daughter had begged me for an adventure, so tent camping it was. She LOVES that. She loves setting up the tent, and create a cool spot for the night. She likes decorating the outside with natural material that she finds, pine cones, rocks etc. My hope was to get us a campsite at Fletcher View Campground, based on reviews at trip advisor, and trails I found at AllTrails app. When we got there all the sites were full. You can’t make reservations in advance from July through September, due to monsoon season. It’s first come first serve only. The gentleman who served as a camp host, approach the car as I drove in to Fletcher View, and asked how he could assist us. I said that we were looking for a tent campsite. He informed us that all of the sites on the whole  mountain (several campgrounds) were taken. (In my head I started to think of a plan B, since we were already packed and VERY ready for an adventure.) He offered us a map, and pointed out a couple places for dispersed camping. Areas where we could camp by ourselves, without an organized campground. He gave us a map, and as I looked at it, I thought that if I had driven my old truck, it would of been a no-brainer, but risking to go on those roads with my Impala..no. 

ht (1)

I decided to drive by the other campsites, one by one, just in case. My second choice of campground, after Fletcher view, was Hilltop, so I started our search by driving up there. I was not alone. There was a long line of vehicles doing the same thing as I did. All sites were booked. As I drive around Hilltop for the second time, I notice that one of the double sites only have single occupancy. I see a young couple on the right side, but no-one on the left side of this double site. I take a chance and pull over on the side of the narrow road. I approach them and ask if they are expecting company, explaining that all sites are booked. This was on the very top of the hill, at perhaps the best spot of them all. We were so lucky! They were not expecting company, they just got the only site they were able to get, and sold me the other site. I was thrilled, and my daughter very happy. I was almost prepared to drive down the mountain and do something completely different. (Like going to Sedona, or Grand Canyon.) It was great to be able to unload all our things, and put up the tent. 

morning (1)

My highlight of the whole trip was that my daughter needed to go places to take pictures. Both with the camera that I got her for her birthday, and with mine. She begged me to hike up on different hills, and climb down in narrow canyons. It was a blast! She on the other hand said, that her best thing was toasting marshmallows by the campfire at night. 

hm2 (1)

hm3 (1)

It was chilly in the evening, and it felt great to put on a jacket, and long pants (compared to shorts and t-shirt, the usual summer outfit in our area.)


The whole trip was a big adventure, and I am so happy that we did it. I would consider myself an experienced camper, and I feel that my skills are solid. Still it feels extremely good when everything just works out. Not a big thing, but in a way a big thing. I want my daughter to see, and experience, that there is not a limit to what’s possible. She wants an adventure? Well, she has to make it happen, and put in the work along with the fun. Which she happily did. I feel that there’s no limit to learning opportunities when you bring a child out in nature; handling a knife, gaining knowledge about poisonous plants and animals, learning about local flora and fauna, safety, wilderness survival skills, where to find water, planning ahead, leave no trace in nature, sharing with others, being respectful etc. etc.  

mg1 (1)

My daughter took this picture of me and Gretchen, while playing around with my camera. I haven’t seen the ones she took with her own camera yet.

hp (1)

hp2 (1)

Tent camping at Mount Charleston (NV,) was a 5-star experience in my book. Nature does something to my soul, and I know my daughter feels the same way. I feel so blessed that we share this.

view (1)

I hope you enjoyed the photos, and maybe feel inspired to visit yourself? If camping is your thing, do you have a favorite camping spot? That you find yourself returning to time after time again? 


Ms Zen