Weekend Coffee Share

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Please come in and have some coffee, or tea! It’s been so windy today, did you get here OK?

So many things have happened since last weekends coffee share. My zen trip to Mojave National Preserve last weekend was fabulous. I hope you got a chance to enjoy the photos (part 1, part 2.) My German Shepherd Gretchen had so much fun! I took some photos of her exploring in the desert, that I kind of like.

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How was your week? Christmas? Was it everything you wished for?

My daughter arrived safely on Christmas morning, and my world is complete. I am very happy.

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We took a trip to Mount Charleston, with the family I work for earlier this week. It was beautiful, and everything was covered with snow.

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The two little angels I take care of, with their mom and dad. It was easy to see that the boys were thrilled to get some extra time with mom and dad. Such a beautiful family.

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We even saw some wild horses. They were behind some trees, and not eager to be in the photo, as it should be. It makes me happy when wild horses actually are wild, and not approach people.

It’s been a fun and intense week. I hope your week has been magical. Any fun plans for the weekend? I can’t believe it’s almost New Year! I have three days off this weekend, and I’m looking forward to give my daughter some attention. I’m sure the weekend will be filled with lots of spontaneous fun. I like to have unplanned time, just free.

Feel free to grab another cup of coffee on your way out!

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

Thankful And Grateful

When I was a young adult in my early 20’s, having recently started out on my own path, my minimalistic values were a lot like they are now. I knew that I found peace in owning less, and experiencing more. Every purchase I made had hours of work behind them, and hours of care for the item ahead of them. I’m only telling you this to highlight the significance of me buying two items (in the story I’m about to tell,) when I only really needed one. 

I was at a sporting goods store in southern Sweden, looking for a cooler bag for some hiking adventures, I had planned for that summer. My eyes was drawn to some medium sized, cooler bags, made out of a soft material, that would fit easily into my hiking backpack. There was two designs, I so wish that I had some photos, but I’m afraid they are long gone by now. One of the designs said I am GRATEFUL. The other design said I am THANKFUL. I decided to splurge, and purchased both. For many years to come they were conversation starters, and enjoyed by several of my friends.

Each time I took one out to use, it reminded me about how blessed I am. No matter where I was on the roller coaster ride that life often takes us on, especially as young adults. I was reminded of how much I have to be thankful for, to be grateful for. I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, since I did not grow up in the US, but I did grow up feeling thankful. Having the importance of this message imprinted from birth by my mother. She was a wonderful role model, and example when it comes to showing gratitude in every aspect of life. That is one of the things I am thankful for today. I know that if it hadn’t been for her consistent expressed gratitude, my thought patterns had been very different from the way they are now. If you have children, how do you instill an attitude of gratitude in them? This is something I spend a lot of time thinking about, when it comes to  my own daughter. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving 2018?

I read a statement written by one of my friends on Facebook this morning. She said that she had never been this thankful ever, like she is now. And I know she means it. She just lost everything she had, her business, job, and her ranch in one of the fires in northern California, but she still has all her loved ones. On top of that her friends came together and raised nearly 20k to help them out these first months. My friend says that she can feel the love that surrounds her.

I’m especially thankful for all the love that surrounds me this Thanksgiving. That includes you! …and after the holidays it will include my daughter living with me full time again. I am eternally grateful for that blessing! So much have happened since Thanksgiving last year, it feels like at least ten lifetimes. I spent last Thanksgiving on the top of a mountain. This Thanksgiving will be spent in the middle of the city. The only thing constant in life is change. It took me a while to fully understand that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Ms Zen