Weekend Coffee Share – Coffee By The River

The American River Photograph by Sagittarius Viking

The American River

Last week we had our virtual coffee date on the top of a mountain, this week I felt like having coffee by the river. Are you up for a coffee by the river? The photo above is from the north Fork of The American River, in northern California. Even though I’m not there physically right now (I’m in Las Vegas,) I’m fairly sure you don’t have to worry about it being too cold. Would you like some coffee? Or maybe tea?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, we had a ranch only minutes away from where I took this photo. I’d say that there’s a special kind of people that thrive in mountain areas. Just like there’s a certain type of people that are drawn to the ocean, and a completely different type of people that are drawn to the desert, not to mention the people that want nothing but being surrounded by peaceful, tall forest. Do you think the landscape kind of shapes people into who they are? At least partly? I think it does, if you stay long enough in a place.

When we lived close to the river in the photo, our 80 acres was right by Eldorado National Forest, and it was possible to ride your horse all the way up to Lake Tahoe. I saw black bears most every day. There was mountain lions in the forest. The abundance of edible plants, berries, fruits, and mushrooms in the Sierra Nevada’s was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It was extremely appealing at the time, and I did a lot of exploring with my favorite horse Trigger. Actually all the way up until I was 7 months pregnant. The photo is of Trigger, and a very pregnant me, in Eldorado National Forest.

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I’m not exactly sure what kind of horse Trigger was ( I found him emaciated tied up behind a trailer, with his tongue almost completely cut off in the middle.) My best guess is that he was a Quarter/Mustang Cross. Or maybe just mustang? Anyways, he was pure awesomeness. Trigger was sure footed, and had an exceptionally smooth gait.

Most people that I met in Gold Country, was laid back, and hard working at the same time. They had some kind of day job, but their life was at home. Home was usually by the end of a backroad, maybe several back roads. Their was no trespassing sign on every fence, and don’t thread on me flags everywhere. It might sound hostile, but it didn’t feel like that. It was more like people had integrity, they wanted respect, and they respected your space as well. I kind of liked it. It had similarities with the little mountain town I grew up next to, in northern Sweden. If you had to run into Sacramento, the nearest big city (usually a once a month thing,) and got delayed, you could call the local feed store and ask them to drop off a bale of hay in your horse pasture, and you knew that they would. Shaped by the beautiful, and somewhat harsh landscape, and a shared sense of survival?

How is your coffee? Do you need a refill? How is your week so far? What’s the weather like? The extreme cold chills that part of the country is experiencing are scary. I hope that you’re staying warm. Speaking of weather, I’m sure spring feels very far away for some of my friends, but I’ve started to go through my collection of heirloom seeds this week. In 2-3 weeks time we could realistically have perfect temperatures for starting some seeds here in southern Nevada. I will most likely do a smaller garden this year. I’ve ordered two very small green houses earlier this week, basically like two bookshelves, to start seedlings in. When they are bigger, I’m going to plant them in pots, that I’ll spread out along the fence line of the backyard. It’s kind of sad to not have a big garden and my own space, but I’m happy to be able to do some gardening. Even if it’s on a much smaller scale. I see it as a temporary setback, benefitting the bigger picture. I’m going to make the most out of it. Do you have any plans for a garden this year?

What’s going on in your universe? Any fun plans for the weekend? Thanks for enjoying some coffee by the river with me. Feel free to grab a refill 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share – The Calm Before The Storm

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Welcome to this weekend’s coffee share! How would you like your coffee? Or maybe a cup of tea sounds more tempting? I actually have almost any tea that you could imagine. I drink a lot of tea during the day, hot in the cold season, and cold in the hot season. I have a great variety of herbal teas, but also some traditional black ones. I do believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I’m not fanatic, but I do a pretty good job eating healthy. When you feel the benefits in your body, the decision gets easier. I prefer a good herbal tea, and a plant based diet as medicine, compared to taking prescription drugs. (If possible. I’m not a Doctor, I appreciate a good health care system well accessible to everyone…but if I don’t need to use it – I’m very happy.)

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Speaking of health, it’s been a long work week, with both of the kids I’m caring for being sick. There’s a lot of colds and flus going right now. I had a little bit of a cold a few days ago, but nothing like the people around me. The air is very dry in the area, and I have a humidifier with eucalyptus oil going a few hours every day. It helps keeps my airways feeling good.

I had a conversation with another teacher earlier this week, about children and teenager’s of today not mastering the art of cursive writing. Is it a lost art? After talking to my friend, I realize that I haven’t practiced any cursive writing myself in a long time. I was never brilliant at it, like my little sister. A hand written note, or letter from her was pure art. I so wished that I had some of the hundreds of letter she wrote me. I saved them for many years in a box, but it got lost during a move out of state. I actually wrote a first draft to this post by hand (that I’m completely ignoring as I am writing this..lol,) and decided that I should practice cursive writing on a regular basis. Do you use pen and paper on a daily/weekly basis?

Would you like a refill on that coffee/tea? Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? I’m going to enjoy time doing all the little things that I’ve been way to tired to tackle this week, and enjoy some quiet, relaxing time. There’s definitely going to be some reading as well. I’m reading one exciting novel Winter Study, by Nevada Barr. All Nevada Barr books takes place in amazing places, this one is no exception, it takes place at Isle Royale National Park (an island in Lake Superior.) I just finished High Country, that took place in Yosemite. I love Yosemite! The book was fabulous, and very intersting. I love reading books about places I’ve been to, and plan on revisiting one day.

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I usually donate the novels I read to other book lovers, or goodwill, but then there’s books that define who I am that I like to showcase in my home. Books that I often pick up and read passages from. This garden-homesteading-nature section is frequently consulted. I’ve narrowed this section down to the books I actually read, it use to have about 100 more books. As the minimalist I am, I did not like it, even though those were all good books, they collected too much dust.

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This is a section of self empowering books that helped me through the years, also narrowed down to the ones I’ve actually read more than once, and will read again.

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I also have a horse section, that one is a work in progress, and I am currently missing several of my favorite pieces. They were too big to bring when I moved, so I donated them to a little horse girl (very much like the little girl I once was.)

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I had my favorite photo, from my birthday adventure earlier this month, printed on canvas. It arrived earlier this week, and I am very pleased with the result.

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Horses have always, and will always be, a very important part of my life.

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Winston S. Churchill

I’ve read a few beautiful posts lately, where bloggers showed details from their home that meant something to them, explaining why it meant something. I liked that idea, and borrowed the concept. If you consciously create a space that you thrive in, it says a lot about who you are. For me, less is more, but it has to be the exact right things. I am not very materialistic, something I constantly get reminded about here in Las Vegas LOL, but I am very picky. I think everyone should be picky. If something isn’t the way you like it to be, do what it takes to change it.

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These are purposely laying well visible next to my bookshelf, as a reminder that I should pick them up every day. I do, most days.

I am not content with living in the city, but I am happy. I love my job, and I’ve met some fantastic people since I moved here. I am actively working towards my dream of a small homestead; minimalistic, a zen paradise, that is what I imagine. Filled with fruit trees, and a year around green house, providing an abundance of fresh food. There are still question marks about some practical details, but I am going to take things one step at a time. I have the property now. I live relatively close, which gives me an opportunity to learn more about the property before I’m ready to actually live there (likely years into the future.) My dream is very much alive, and it feels awesome to work towards the image in my head. I felt that I needed to add that last paragraph, to not contradict my own words; If something isn’t the way you like it to be, do what it takes to change it. I am very much enjoying the process! I might get a greenhouse somewhere in the area I live now, to do some gardening meanwhile. My green fingers are starting to itch. LOL. 

I named this weekends coffee share, The Calm Before The Storm for several reasons;

It’s ten days until I get my daughter living with me full time. I’m going to be busy. I am super happy, but I also realize that there’s going to take some effort on my side to find a good balance in our life. Allowing new good things to enter, without taking away what’s important to our little family. I’m working on saying NO more firmly, I don’t want to have every second of my life scheduled. I need some unscheduled time to get my creative juices flowing. It feels like city people are a different species, compared to the country people I’m used to. I’m not saying it as a bad thing, just different, different priorities, different cultures. I’ve felt completely at ease bringing my daughter up in the country. I know how things work. Here it feels like a bigger responsibility.

It’s also the calm before the storm of Christmas. I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. Still waiting on some items to arrive, so that I can wrap them, but that’s so easy, and not stressful at all.

It’s also the calm before the storm in nature. I’m thinking a lot about gardening, and what kind of gardening I will be doing come spring. The initial work of setting up a garden is intense, and there’s some cost involved. It’s draining to put that work into someone else’s place. I’ve said to myself more than once that this is the last time I’m doing this. On the other hand, there’s some work that I can do partly as a preparation for my own place, like propagating fruit trees, that I can plant on my homestead. Fruit trees takes years of growing before they start producing. Then there’s the pleasure of that act of gardening. How much of that pleasure is taken away by the noise of the city, and lack of privacy? Questions I spend time thinking about. It’s like a waiting period sort of.

I don’t have any problems filling my time with interesting things in the meanwhile. It’s not like that at all! I just have to practice patience on some aspects of my life, like we all do, in order to make the good result last. I hope you got a chance to enjoy the photos from my road trip to Mojave last weekend. It was wonderful! That’s exactly the sort of revitalizing things I want to fill my free time with.

How are things in your world? Grab another cup of coffee, or tea, and tell me all about it!

Love,

Ms Zen

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