Exploring Red Rock Canyon


It is true that I live in a big city for the first time in my life, and I’m NOT a city girl. Luckily we’re only minutes from a really cool place, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.


It offers a fascinating desert landscape. It’s an amazing place to explore now, during fall/winter. I’m thrilled that I am able to do that. The desert offers both solitude, and an excitement that is hard to match.


My daughter found an open, sandy spot that she declared was perfect for a dance party. So we danced. Without music. In the middle of the desert. By ourselves. Laughing our hearts out.





To me, the fact that she initiated this, is a victory. I love how her brain works. I pray she’ll stay this free spirited.




She is not my little girl anymore. She is her own person, and I am so proud of her.


Red Rock Canyon is amazing, and I’ve only just scratch on the surface. I’m looking forward to do a lot more exploring.



My dog thoroughly enjoyed some off leash time. When we got closer to the trail head I attached the leash again, and worked through some obedience sequences we do several times a day. To keep her tuned in.


While I was doing that, my daughter borrowed my camera and took tons of pictures. I kind of liked this one, that she took of Gretchen and me.

We saw signs of horses and burros, lots of poop, and hoofprints, but no animals. Hopefully we’ll see some next time. I love watching wild horses play. It’s one of my favorite things. From a distance, of course.

I hope your new week is awesome.


Ms Zen


Weekend Coffee Share – Mindfulness V/S Loco Guy

I was frozen in terror.

Last Wednesday night. There was a violent, crazy man harassing us, banging on our door, screaming, refusing to leave. I had just got off work, and was in the shower when it all started. Since there was other people in the house I figured that someone would open the door, and deal with it. My country brain, figured it was a neighbor or friend..(I had temporarily forgotten that I’m in Las Vegas now.) It was not a neighbor, or a friend. It was a stranger. He refused to say who he was. There was no identification on the big white truck parked sideways outside, blocking our driveway. He was getting more violent, and loud by the minute.

Can I get you some coffee? Or tea?

c (1)

We had to call the cops on him. If this would have been a few years ago that first sentence would have been true. Not now. (It was just too tempting to add some drama.) You see, my ex husband is a Marine. During rare occasions when we spent time in the same house, (that did not happen so often,) we had drill exercises. The exercises was about what to do if A happens, and what to not do if B happens..(I used to hate them. I think we covered a few hundred different scenarios. They were more like lectures, the way a bad teacher would teach a child something.)  Anyways, the number one thing he actually taught me, besides handling weapons (which I am very grateful for,) was to keep my cool in any given situation (which was very ironic. If you knew him, you would know.) The other night when the loco guy was banging on the door, I did not freeze. When I understood what was happening, I knew what to do without thinking. That felt good. The auto pilot worked. In this case the right thing to do was to lock myself in with the kids, in the safest room, where no gunfire (if there should be any,) could reach us (there never was any guns involved,) and with proper means of defense, and wait for the police to come and handle it (since we’re in a big city they are always close by.) I should probably thank my ex the next time I see him. Yes, I’ll definitely do that. No one was harmed in this incident. The loco guy was arrested.

Besides that little incident, that took up quiet a bit of time Wednesday evening, it’s been a beautiful, peaceful week.

This week have been more of the mindful kind. I’ve done a lot of meditating, and some yoga. I’m re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s The power of now. I am enjoying the read even more this time, than the last time around (probably ten years ago.) It’s an empowering book, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You don’t have to agree with everything, just read with an open mind.

I have experimented a little bit with my (newish) camera. I feel that I got off to a good start with that. I learned a couple new things.


Unedited version of a rose in our backyard.


Lightly edited version of the same photo. A little cropped, and the light slightly enhanced. I like my photos to look natural. I never add, or take things away. Enhancing the light, and cropping the photos to show the image the way I perceived it when I took it, is more my style. I want the viewer to see what captured my attention. To see what it was that made me feel good, stop a heart beat, or get the adrenaline rushing – depending on the picture.

I went to the gym three mornings, and walked 5 miles every day. I’ve been taking good care of myself, after the scare a few weeks ago. I sleep 7-8 hours every night, eat good, and feel strong.

It’s going to be 85 this weekend. A little crazy considering it’s the end of October. I have a couple wishes for the weekend; to spend time with my daughter, find a 4×4 truck, take some pictures, and do some hiking. There is going to be some baking on Sunday. I’m participating in a pumpkin carving contest on Monday, and I promised to bring cookies. I haven’t baked cookies in forever, that’ll be fun.

What do you wish for this weekend?



Ms Zen


Our Most Valuable Asset

If I put a question mark after the statement in the title of this blog post. What would your answer be? What is our most valuable asset? What do we really need? If we have shelter, clean water, air to breath, food to eat – what else do we really need after that?

My mom taught me that time is our most valuable asset. I believe that to be true, along with good health. Good health, so that we are able to enjoy that time. To be able to learn, thrive, give, live, and love. What do you think? The memories we make with our loved ones, the time we spend with them, there’s no price tag on that.

This morning as I was meditating over all the good things I’m grateful for, time with my daughter came up. It always does. I’m so eternally grateful for that little voice that told me work part time when your daughter is little, and spend as much time as you possibly can with her. I’m grateful for my moms example, that showed me what’s possible, and truly important.

My daughter is 6 years old, and in school now. She has her own connections, friends, interests, hobbies, and opinions. I know she won’t remember the 48 states we visited, all the adventures, the books we read, the conversations we had, the horses we rode, and experiences we shared during her first years. Deep down in her subconscious, I know it is making a difference in her life. It sure had a huge impact in my life, still does. I’m so much more humble, grateful, and thankful now. But being a single mom in a new country, also taught me to stand up for myself, on a completely different level.

I’ve started to put together a book for my daughter. It’s not a book I’m planning on publishing, for the public to read. It’s just my thoughts, and photos from our adventures. It starts right after her birth, and ends when she starts school. I’m hoping to have it in print for her this Christmas. Her first years was as far from traditional that one could have, and I don’t think she realizes that. I think she is big enough now to appreciate a collection of stories, and photos of her first years. I’m thinking that it might help her, maybe now,  but also later in life, to understand who she is, and where she comes from. I’ve just started this project, but working with it fills me with gratitude.

I took the photo in the beginning at a 7000 acres ranch I worked at for almost a year, when she was 2-3 years old. It was in the middle of nowhere, in Nevada’s desert. We lived in a very comfortable RV, just my daughter and I. It was very peaceful. Once a week, or every ten days we drove in to town for supplies, and that was a big happening! Looking back at that time, I’m so happy we had it, challenges and all. I learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of, and what I need, to be able to be my best. I felt that I had all the time in the world, to breath, to feel, to just listen to my daughter, and follow her explorations around the sage brush.

Just some thoughts for your Saturday 🙂 I hope you’re having an awesome weekend so far!


Ms Zen