Frozen

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“Winter is coming.” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

It’s February, and still winter. At least for some of us. I have seen some snow this winter, but not as much as I usually do. The theme for this week’s Sunday Still is Frozen. I digged out four of my favorite winter photos from last year. The photo above is Lassen Volcanic National Park’s visitor center, in February last year. Lots of snow! When I found this photo I felt a stronge urge to go snowshoeing.

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A short hike up from the visitor center takes you to Sulphur Works. It’s the parks most easily accessible hydrothermal area. Very intersting to see…if you can stand the smell. I used to spend almost every weekend hiking in Lassen Volcanic National Park when I lived in northern California. I miss it, and I work hard on finding new favorite places around here.

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A frozen Castle Lake (CA.)

My second favorite area for winter hiking in northern California would be the area around Castle Lake, and Heart Lake.

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
Mary Oliver

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I know that my dog misses our snow adventures. I’m trying to make up for it the best I can. Yesterday we had a fantastic afternoon in Red Rock National Conservation Area, outside Las Vegas (NV.) I will post photos from that adventure later this week. …and yes, there was some snow on the northern slopes of the Red Rock, but nothing like the photos in today’s post. What’s the weather like where you are? I hope you’re having a fabulous week!

Love,

Ms Zen

It’s a very important day today!

It’s a very important day today! My baby girls 6th birthday  No-one have ever brought as much joy to my life as you have.

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I’d do anything for you Princess. Happy Birthday!

Love MOM

What To Do When You Have Vacationing Friends/Family Visiting

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This past weekend, I had my cousin and her boyfriend from Sweden visiting, and also my aunt from Washington. Naturally I wanted them to feel welcome to my home, and know how happy it made me that they decided to come for visit. I live a rather simple life. So how could I make them feel welcome? I thought about it for a couple weeks before they arrived.

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I decided to go for a combination of things. When they arrived I gave them a tour  of my house, garden, property, and introduced my animals (dog and horses.) It was probably ten years ago since I saw this part of the family, and we had a lot of catching up to do. It truly was wonderful to see them all.

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That first night, my cousin and I cooked for everyone. It was fun. It gave us a chance to talk. For me it was a treat to speak my native language. Even though I feel that I can make myself understood in English, my native language add more color and emotion to a conversation.

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My family had enjoyed my photos from Lassen Volcanic National Park on social media. I asked them if they wanted to go there. I go there several times a month. It almost feels like second home. They were thrilled for the opportunity to see the park themselves. The photos in this post is from our visit there.

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I really enjoyed giving them the tour of the unique volcanic landscape in Lassen. We entered through the northwest entrance, at Manzanita Lake, and took the 30 mile long, Highway 89 through the park. We stopped at many vista points to enjoy the views, talk about the landscape, and of course take photos. We enjoyed a picnic lunch along Kings Creek.

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It was a perfect day! Around 80 degrees, and very comfortable weather, happy people, and awe-inspiring vistas. We took Highway 36 back, towards Red Bluff (CA.) On the way we passed a fire.

 

They later named it the TuscanFire being near Tuscan Lookout Road. The fire is 100% contained now.

We finished the first day by going to my favorite restaurant in Red Bluff, Casa Ramos. Casa Ramos is a chain, but the Red Bluff location definitely is quiet a bit better than the other ones. (The other ones are nice as well.) I’ve been going there for years, and tasted everything on the menu. I usually bring guests there. Everyone loved the food, the service, and the cozy atmosphere.

The next, and final day I took them to see three waterfalls, and another amazing restaurant (actually in the top 100 list, in all of the US.) That will be another post. To be continued..

What do you like to do when you have faraway guests visiting for more than a day? Do you give them a taste of your world? I guess that was what I was trying to do. I know that they were curious to know what I’ve been up to, and what my life is like. That was what I tried to show them; my home, garden, animals, hiking, and our amazing corner of northern California. Tell me about how you like to treat your guests. How do you make them feel your love?

 

Love,

Ms Zen