Organic Eggplant

 

Eggplants belongs to the nightshade family Solanaceae, and is grown for its purple edible fruit. I took this photo today a year ago, in the big garden I had back then. In northern California, where I used to live, it’s time to harvest those delicious purple veggies now. I think they are among the most beautiful vegetables there is. There deep purple color is magnetic, and hypnotizing. When you’re walking through a vegetable garden, and there is eggplants somewhere there, your eyes can’t help but look at them.

Eggplants are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. They benefit the heart, brain, skin, and bones. They can control and manage type 2 diabetes and improve digestion as well.

A happy eggplant photo for your beautiful Thursday!

Love,

Ms Zen

Pink

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To honor October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there has to be at least one PINK post, right?

I lost my mom to breast cancer, when I was 12 years old. A long time ago, but it will always be a subject close to my heart, that I support, and want to help raise awareness about. It’s difficult to grasp that I’m almost at the age when her life ended. With so many dreams ahead of me. I will never know about her dreams. I’m sure she had many, she was a very strong, brave, independent lady. I would not be the person I am today without her example.

I am blessed with good health, and I am doing everything in my power to stay healthy, physically and mentally. I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body, and soul. My mom did eat healthy, and lived a healthy life without drugs, and with plenty of exercise, nutritious food etc. but was in an abusive relationship at the time when she got ill, and I know she had at least one very abusive relationship before that.

I believe that knowing that have contributed to me being extremely picky about who I’m spending time with, and how I’m living my life. This post all of a sudden got a lot more personal than I first had in mind. LOL.

I was going to write about gardening, and how awesome it feels to plant nutritious fruit and vegetables, harvest them, and know exactly what it is that my family eats. And about pomegranates in particular. Both since they have a beautiful pink(ish) color, and since recent research suggests that pomegranates actually can help fight breast cancer cells. Among all other benefits they provide.

 

Pomegranates is an amazing super food. I’ve planted more pomegranate trees than I can count these past 7 years. They thrive both in containers, like in the photo above, and in the ground. They need very little water, but a lot of sun. It’s the perfect fruit to grow in a desert landscape. My dream is to one day have an orchard full of pomegranate trees, and a few fig trees.

I hope your week got off to a great start. We’re enjoying some perfect fall weather here in Las Vegas. With wonderful “cool” (for the area) weather.

Love,

Ms Zen

Ready, Set, Go – The Art Of Packing Light

So today it’s Wednesday, and I’ve started to count the days until I leave. It’s five days. (If you’re a new friend, I’m moving from northern California, to Las Vegas. I sold most of my bigger items, and my horses. I still have a truck I’m planning to sell, but I can’t sell it until I bought a car..five days..)

I packed, and re-packed my things. I asked myself questions about everything I packed. Why did I pack this? Do I need it? Want it? Is it a sentimental item? Does it help me focus on my dreams and goals? How soon will I use (……)? Is it easy to replace? I also use these questions every spring, and every fall, to stop myself from collecting things that I don’t use. Which definitely helped to make things easier now. I enjoy living a life free from clutter (in every aspect.)

I have a couple items that helps me focus on my dreams. Things that aren’t really necessary. Like a small framed picture of my first horse. I held it in my hand today, again. I reevaluate that photo every time I move. So far it has stayed with me. Even though it may not seem very special to a guest visiting my house. Yes, I took the picture, but the quality of the photo isn’t the best. The balance in the photo is perfect, but the resolution poor. Unless my guest know that I saved ten years to be able to buy that horse, they are probably not even noticing the photo. Or, if they do see it, they probably wonder why on earth I saved that photo.

That photo reminds me that I can get anything I want, if I’m willing to work hard enough. It helped me many times already, and keeps helping me. How could I not bring it with me?

I also use the photo, and the story, to encourage children I tutor, to go after what they want. When showing a child a physical item, like a framed photo, it’s easier for them to believe,  that no dream is too big, even if it seems slightly out of reach for the moment. I often let the children hold the photo in their own hands, while I’m telling them the story. I paint it with details about this very special horse. I tell them about that time when we got chased by a big bull elk, when the horse wasn’t broke to ride yet, and that other time when a bunch of wild pigs chased us. By coincidence (?) the horse’s name was Draumur, Icelandic for dream .

My mom was a single mom, and we were relatively poor (we only had hand-me-down used clothes etc.) We did not have money for me to take riding lessons, and having a horse of my own did not exist in the same universe that I lived in then. Still I knew that I was going to have a horse of my own. I kept that dream alive. I envisioned it. I manifested it every day. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last before I went to bed, every night. On my free time I worked hard, without pay, in all the stables within biking distance. To learn more about horses. I also read all the books there was about horses, in the three libraries closest to my home. I did this for ten years. I think of myself as a minimalist, to some degree. Things doesn’t define me. I choose to travel light, and live with a light heart. I do choose to keep a few things, like that frame, and some books that motivates me. I wouldn’t cry if I lost them, but seeing them motivates me, and makes me stronger.

I decided to leave half of the books I had packed, making my already light load, lighter. Books are important, but I decided that I could do without some of them. I also decided to give two large, framed, canvas photos, of wild horses as a gift to a friend, instead of bringing them. I decided to keep my snowboard jacket and pants, even if they take up some space. I invested in quality (I bought them in December last year,) and those are good clothes that will keep me warm, and dry for many winters. The snowboard itself, I’m not so sure. A snowboard takes up space, and I really would like to have one that is a little longer anyways. My snowboard clothes can be used in various settings (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice skating, or on a winter vacation,) since they aren’t extreme in any way. They will be useful. Unless I decide to make a bookshelf out of the snowboard. I did that in an apartment I had as a teenager. I used two snowboards that had seen lots of fun, and been replaced by newer boards. Just seeing those bookshelves made me happy. (I love snowboarding!) I almost forgot about that. I might just bring the snowboard..  (Writing really helps to get things straight in my head.)

I downsized the tools in my toolbox, leaving some I rarely use behind. I still haven’t decided wether I should bring my fencing tools…you never know when those will come in handy. I mean, I do know, but how important is it to bring them now? I also unpacked some portable solar showers, that I bring for off-grid camping sometimes…lol. I don’t know why on earth I packed these things in the beginning. The survivalist in me still think that those things are essential for a good life. I think it might of been to remind me that I can still do things like going camping in the middle of nowhere, even if I live in a big city? Maybe to feel the country connection? (Naturally I’m not unpacking my collection of rare heirloom seeds for my future homestead..those will be useful when that day comes, and they’re so tiny. I’ll always make room for those. )

Still, everything I packed from the beginning would easily fit in the trunk of a midsize car, so it wasn’t a crazy amount of stuff. I am good a packing, and now it’s even less. I took care of the horses at work this morning. That is always enjoyable, and I will miss that job immensely. All the horses there are my friends. Going there in the morning and grooming each horse thoroughly doesn’t feel like a job. I will miss the lady I work for as well. I don’t see her every day, but our conversations are always great, when I do see her. 

Besides my morning job, I had two things on my schedule today. The first was to watch a little boy, that I have been watching from time to time. I prepared healthy snacks, and fun games for him, when I was done with my morning job. However his mom didn’t feel good, so he got lucky and got some extra mommy time.  The second thing I was going to do was to test drive a new (used) car. The current owner got caught up in work, and rescheduled to tomorrow. All of a sudden I had several hours. I harvested veggies in my garden; yellow squash, cucumber, tomatoes, and figs. I also played with my dog, groomed her (twice,) and even clipped her nails. I then started to read Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people, for the 11th time! The bible is the only book I’ve read more times. Neither of those are books you can read in one sitting, or learn everything from by just reading them once. Do you have a book/books that you’ve read several times? If so, tell me about them! 

Can you tell that I’m ready to go? When I make a decision, I do everything in my power for it to succeed, and happen quickly. In most cases I’m a patient person, a very patient person, but I don’t feel patient right now. I like being busy, in the face of a big change. To work actively towards making things awesome. It’s kind of itching in me to be able to give my new job, and place to live my very best. I’m not sure if I told you what job I decided to say yes to? Did I? I’m going to take care of two little boys. I’m very excited about meeting them. I’ve talked to their mom, and I’ve seen several photos of them. They looks so happy, and full of life! It’s going to be a lot of fun!  Gretchen (my dog,) is going to to love it as well 🙂 She is very good at taking care of little kids. It just felt right. I put an ad up online, with my education, and a short job resume. I literally got more than 100 job offers. I was planning on going to Vegas, and go to interviews for a couple weeks, and then decide. In the end I choose to follow my intuition. I instantly felt for this family. (They also live less than an hour from my daughter’s father.) I love all children, but the youngest ones have a special place in my heart. I just love being there with them, when they discover new truths for the first time. 

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I kind of feel like dragging out my Halloween costume from last year, and use it to fly into next week. LOL.

I hope you’re having an awesome day 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen