Weekend Coffee Share – Gratitude

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As I am sipping the black magic brew this morning, my daughter is snoozing from the other side of the room. It’s a long weekend, and I’m looking forward to spend three days with her. A feeling of deep gratitude fills my chest this Saturday morning. I am safe, my daughter is safe, the coffee is delicious, bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, I have a working vehicle, I know I’m going to have food to eat today, I have wonderful people in my life, and this gift of a new day is amazing.

Truly every day is surely worth a prayer of gratitude from all of us, but today the feeling is extra intense in my chest. Mixed with compassion, and a deep sadness. Yesterday several of the most amazing people, that welcomed me into their life when I first moved to California, lost everything they have in the Camp fire. The last thing I saw before going to bed last night was video footage of the fire blazing on both sides of the main highway going through the city of Chico (a bigger college town near Paradise, where the fire started.) Someone posted a video on Facebook of horses running down the highway as well, trying to get away from the fire. One of my friends who has ten horses, was forced to leave two behind, because the fire was moving so fast.

I spent this summer, with my bags packed, and living in fear of fires most of the time. I still feel affected by the smoke I inhaled, despite wearing a mask. The more I think about it, the more grateful I feel for the unexpected changes that more or less forced me to move away from the area. A decision that would of been hard to make otherwise.

How are you this Saturday morning? Can I get you some more coffee? How was your week?

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I have not used my Canon a lot this week, but I am going to use it this weekend. I did take the photo above when picking up my daughter last night. Night photography is not my strong suit. Something I would like to change, but of course…I would have to be able to keep my eyes open at night. LOL. I’m usually up very early in the morning, and by dark all I’m dreaming of is my bed, and maybe a good book.

Speaking of books, I have been reading a lot lately. I have far exceeded my goal on Goodreads, of 52 books this year. I really like reading adventurous books about the western states, of place I’ve been to, and colorful people that once lived there (real or fiction.) I also like reading self improvement books, that challenge me to become a better person. I’d say that the books I read is a nice mix of those two, with some completely different books every once in a while, to spice things up a little.

Last night I started a new book A High Sierra Christmas. Naturally the title got my attention, as I love the high Sierras. The Sierra Nevada’s are magical, scary, intimidating, and absolutely fantastic. I love hiking, riding horses, and snowboarding there. In fact one of the photos I posted on Instagram earlier this week, was taken at a ranch I leased there, a few years back.

The book is exciting so far. I’ve read many of William W. Johnstone’s books, since he write about places I love. I know his characters well, and that adds to the value of the book. Are you reading something exciting at the moment? I’m sure there will be a lot of reading, arts and crafts, and probably some baking this weekend.

My daughter and I also saw a cave, from a distance, during a hike in Red Rock last weekend, that we are going to try to climb to, at some point. That will be the adventure this weekend.

Any exciting plans for the weekend? I hope your weekend is everything you wish for. My heart and prayers goes to northern California, and all the good people affected by the fires. ❤

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!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Our Most Valuable Asset

If I put a question mark after the statement in the title of this blog post. What would your answer be? What is our most valuable asset? What do we really need? If we have shelter, clean water, air to breath, food to eat – what else do we really need after that?

My mom taught me that time is our most valuable asset. I believe that to be true, along with good health. Good health, so that we are able to enjoy that time. To be able to learn, thrive, give, live, and love. What do you think? The memories we make with our loved ones, the time we spend with them, there’s no price tag on that.

This morning as I was meditating over all the good things I’m grateful for, time with my daughter came up. It always does. I’m so eternally grateful for that little voice that told me work part time when your daughter is little, and spend as much time as you possibly can with her. I’m grateful for my moms example, that showed me what’s possible, and truly important.

My daughter is 6 years old, and in school now. She has her own connections, friends, interests, hobbies, and opinions. I know she won’t remember the 48 states we visited, all the adventures, the books we read, the conversations we had, the horses we rode, and experiences we shared during her first years. Deep down in her subconscious, I know it is making a difference in her life. It sure had a huge impact in my life, still does. I’m so much more humble, grateful, and thankful now. But being a single mom in a new country, also taught me to stand up for myself, on a completely different level.

I’ve started to put together a book for my daughter. It’s not a book I’m planning on publishing, for the public to read. It’s just my thoughts, and photos from our adventures. It starts right after her birth, and ends when she starts school. I’m hoping to have it in print for her this Christmas. Her first years was as far from traditional that one could have, and I don’t think she realizes that. I think she is big enough now to appreciate a collection of stories, and photos of her first years. I’m thinking that it might help her, maybe now,  but also later in life, to understand who she is, and where she comes from. I’ve just started this project, but working with it fills me with gratitude.

I took the photo in the beginning at a 7000 acres ranch I worked at for almost a year, when she was 2-3 years old. It was in the middle of nowhere, in Nevada’s desert. We lived in a very comfortable RV, just my daughter and I. It was very peaceful. Once a week, or every ten days we drove in to town for supplies, and that was a big happening! Looking back at that time, I’m so happy we had it, challenges and all. I learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of, and what I need, to be able to be my best. I felt that I had all the time in the world, to breath, to feel, to just listen to my daughter, and follow her explorations around the sage brush.

Just some thoughts for your Saturday 🙂 I hope you’re having an awesome weekend so far!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Faithful Friend

 

I certainly wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that the past four months of my life have been very intense.

First the Carr Fire, that raged only minutes from my house in Redding (CA,) forcing us to have bags packed, and evacuation plans constantly updated for a month. There’s no words for that kind of stress, when the air is difficult to breath, even with a mask.

Then there was my sweet daughter’s wish to live with her dad and his new family.

Then there was my decision to sell my horses, and move closer to my daughter. The only alternative after saying yes to her.

Then there was adjusting to living in a city for the first time in my life. Not any little city either, but Las Vegas.

New job. New friends. New favorite places. BUT in all these changes, my faithful German Shepherd have been there, every second.

There is no words for how much it means to me to have her in my life. Her constant zest for life, joy, love, and beautiful eyes watching me wherever I am.

It’s definitely one of my greatest blessing to be able to bring her with me to work every day. I miss the horses I had to say goodbye to, like crazy, but she does make it easier.

Gretchen is four now, or thereabout. The vet estimated that she was two years old when I got her. That was two years ago. It’s been two colorful years, that’s for sure. Everyday I do feel that she rescued me, and not the other way around. Gretchen’s soul is old and wise. I feel blessed to have her in my life.  I finally feel that the pieces of the puzzle is coming together (better than I could of imagined,) and it would be wrong to not give her credit for the fact that I still have my sanity. LOL.

I hope your week is absolutely fantastic so far, and continues to be so!

Love,

Ms Zen