The Big Move

After saying goodbye to all the horses at work this morning (yes I cried,) and a short stop at a very special friend’s house, I started to drive towards Las Vegas. My partner in crime (my dog Gretchen) and I, enjoyed many stops at amazing places. All are places we’ve been to many times, but that doesn’t make them less special. They are probably more special because of that.

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We stopped for a hike in Tahoe National Forest.

I’ve done the first half of this road trip many times. (The one we drove today, and the first part of the drive tomorrow.) The second half of the drive, I’ve only done a couple times, and not recently. That second half of the trip, before reaching the outskirts of Vegas, is pretty much through the desert, and some very rural small towns. I hope I get to see some wild horses. I think it’s very possible. 

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I did a lot of experimenting with my new camera. I’m very happy with it, and looking forward to experiment more tomorrow. 

While we were waiting in line at a store today, Gretchen was laying next to my feet, and all of a sudden she jumped up, and placed herself in front of me, with her hair standing straight up. A second later an agitated woman with a very inappropriate language, and two children walks by. Gretchen looks like she wants to eat her, but she stands still in front of me, without moving. The women drags her kids out of the store, and starts slapping the youngest girl.. I very much wanted to let go of Gretchen. Instead Gretchen and I just walked by, very slowly, both of us staring at the lady until she stopped slapping the poor child. That little girl needs a German Shepherd of her own. Besides that little incident it’s been a pleasant trip. I enjoy road trips very much. The new car drives smooth.

Just a short post, to keep you updated. I’ve stopped for the night, and planning on starting really early tomorrow morning. I hope you’re having an awesome day 🙂


Ms Zen

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”!


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 🙂


Ms Zen