Weekend Coffee Share; Red Rock Canyon, and DNA Testing

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How was your week? Can I get you some coffee? This week we’re enjoying the magical brew in Red Rock Canyon. I got off work a little earlier on Tuesday, and enjoyed a marvelous, sunny afternoon in Red Rock Canyon National Preservation Area. I would love for us to have our coffee chat this week overlooking the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. Are you game?

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I love walking among the scattered Joshua Trees (much smaller than in Mojave National Preserve,) while breathing the fresh mountain air. Over there is a perfect place to sit down and have some coffee!

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Did you see the big herd of burros on the drive here? Actually I believe there was two different herds, just close to each other. I counted to 30+ animals. The biggest number I ever seen together. Previously I’ve only see 5-8 animals in a herd. How is your coffee?

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day earlier this week? I spent the evening doing arts and crafts with my daughter, that was what she wanted to do. If you think too much about it, it’s kind of very depressing to be single on Valentine’s Day. Something I somehow managed to be most of my life. LOL. I choose to not overthink that, and make sure my daughter’s day was special. She put a lot of effort into making individual cards to all her friends. I unexpectedly got a beautiful, Columbia fleece jacket as a Valentine’s gift from the family I work for. I thought that was very sweet. They also got my daughter a thoughtful gift.

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..and they actually got my dog a new toy for Valentine’s Day as well! (Not in the picture.)

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Do you need a refill on that coffee?

I believe I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I did a DNA test? I got the results today. No big surprises. The most interesting might be that I have 264 Neanderthal variants, which is high. Being RH negative (not having the Rhesus factor in my blood,) this was actually one of the things I was most curious about.

European 100.0% ; Scandinavian 79.6%, Finnish 8.2%, Eastern European 4.0%, British & Irish 2.2%, Broadly Northwestern European 5.4%, Broadly European 0.5%.

Have you done a DNA test? Would you?

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Well, I promised to take my daughter to the park, so I better get going before it gets dark. Thank you so much for having coffee with me. I hope you enjoyed the view!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Love,

Ms Zen

Valley Of Fire State Park

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We got our nature fix in Valley Of Fire State Park last weekend. It was my second visit, and my daughter’s first visit. She was amazed, and I totally understand why. Valley of Fire is a spiritual place, it feels like you are on another planet. Time stands still. You’re surrounded by infinity.

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The sandstones formations takes all shapes you possibly can imagine, and some more. On top of that they come in all the colors of the rainbow.

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The photo above is right in the beginning of White Dome Hike. Can you see the people coming down the trail? You feel very small and humble in this landscape.

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Transformers was filmed here, along with many other famous movies like; Star Trek Generations, The Professionals, and Total Recall (and many more, including hundreds of car commercials.)

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Part of the movie set of The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale, is still viewable for visitor that hike the White Dome’s. Seen at the right, bottom corner, of the photo above.

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The park is filled with caves everywhere you look. It’s easy to assume that the first human inhabitants of the area was cave dwellers.

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My German Shepherd enjoyed this visit a lot more than the first visit three months ago, as it was 50 degrees cooler than the last time!

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It’s so exciting to explore the narrow canyons. Valley of Fire is 60 miles north-east of Las Vegas Strip, but as far away from the craziness of the city as you can get. A one hour drive and you’re HERE. It’s surreal.

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We actually saw many horses, and some mules. (And yes, the first thing I did when I got back home was to look at horse ads..) I so want to ride here one day. I’ll add that to my bucket list. I actually stopped a cowboy that was walking next to his horse, and asked him if he arranged rides in the park. It looked like he was leading a group of riders. Unfortunately he didn’t, I would of signed up for a ride in a heart beat.

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My daughter wanted to examine every rock. Literally. I’ll probably purchase a pass for the whole year. I can see us spending many days here; exploring, hiking, taking pictures, and enjoying nature together as a mama-daughter activity.

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My daughter made up a gazillion stories about the rock formations we saw. Many of them including giant people that had a big fight there, and turned into rocks. Very intersting theories.

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Most of the sandstone formations looks so soft and smooth. That’s the work of wind and water. There’s many theories about the interesting colors of some of the rocks. I tend to believe that the colors comes from the metals and minerals in the ground, that have surrounded the rocks, during periods of time when the area have been under water.

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I’m going to end this (very long) post with a close-up of the “old woman”, in the White Dome Family.

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You can see her, right?

If you stayed with me this far, THANK YOU! I enjoyed sharing my latest experience of Valley of Fire with you. Have an amazing week!

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share – or maybe an organic super protein smoothie sounds tempting?

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Happy Friday! How is your week so far? For the first time ever I’m writing the Weekend Coffee Share on a Friday evening (actually it’s almost midnight.) I went to bed early, (it’s been a long, intense week,) but I had so many thoughts running trough my head, that it was impossible to sleep. I’ll share some of my thoughts with you, instead of pushing them away, trying to reach la la land.

How have you been? What kind of beverage can I offer you this Friday night? Of course you can always have coffee if you like, but there’s other beverages as well. Make yourself at home.

I tried a new super-protein-smoothie today. One of my friends talked about Ka’chava. It sounded very interesting, with 70  organic plant based superfood. In my head I thought about some recent hikes that took longer than I thought, where I ended up being starving along the way. What If I had a quick filling meal with me for all those emergencies?  Or when you’re spending time in places where the food is less appealing to your healthy lifestyle? It would be so awesome to bring something you could eat with a clear conscience, and stay on top of your world. So I decided to try it. It’s a powder that you can mix with any liquid (water, almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk etc.) It was as delicious as my friend told me, and very filling. I’m not associated with the brand in any way, just happily discovered something that I like, and will add to my daily diet. (And YES, my New Year Resolution workout routine is working, thanks for asking.) Maybe you want to switch your coffee, for a delicious smoothie this weekend, and try it yourself? Did I say that Ka’chava is seductively delicious?

So tell me about your week! Is it one of those super busy weeks in your corner of the universe? It has been a busy, rainy week here.

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We don’t have very many days of rain in the desert. I enjoyed our rainy days!

Today the sun cleared up the clouds, and we were back to the low 60’s again.

There’s been a big focus on my daughter’s school work this week. We’ve spent an average of 2,5 hours after school every day working on things that she needs to improve. Learning wise last semester (when she tried living with her dad) was a joke. I’m not that concerned, because I know how intelligent she is, and she has all the support she needs now. This week’s hard work paid off, and there is already noticeable improvement. I also took her to see my optometrist today, just to make sure the challenges I’ve notices recently isn’t caused by anything physical. It would be such a bummer to have her work harder, when all she needs is glasses, but that wasn’t the case. Her eyes are perfect. I’m relieved, since I have some challenges with my eyes. We’re just going to keep making education a priority, like we always have. It’s so much easier to help her now, when I have her full time again. I’ve ordered a bunch of new, exciting books for her, to make it fun.

How do you like your smoothie? I’m totally hooked. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I have some things I need to catch up with; update my online art gallery, clean up the dog area in the backyard (if it’s not too wet,) finish putting my daughter’s new loft bed together (it has hundreds of pieces..literally,) and I definitely need to get out of the city at some point. I’d like to try a new hike this weekend, I have a few on my wish list. My soul is screaming for a horseback ride this weekend. We’ll see. I still look at horse ads almost every day. While I’m sketching on garden plans for my future homestead, gotta keep the dream alive 😉

Oooo, I almost forgot! I’ve ordered a DNA testing kit. I don’t have it in my hands yet, but I’m super excited about it. I don’t know why I haven’t done it before, it’s been on my mind for a long time. I talked to a relative of mine earlier this week, and decided that I wanted to take a test myself. Have you done it? Or is it something that you would like to do?  Why, or why not?

Have an awesome, amazing weekend!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

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!