Mount Charleston (NV)

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I know that I mentioned during our coffee date last weekend, that I felt a need to get out of the city. Not that unusual..LOL. A day trip during the weekend really does the trick for me. I’d say that I can handle city living pretty good, if I get that thrill most weekends. To be addicted to nature can’t be all that bad. Right?

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It snowed in the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, on Saturday night. We headed up to Mount Charleston, (one of our closest places to enjoy the snow at,) on Sunday. This time it was even more fun than usual, because we didn’t go by ourselves. We went with a great family from Vegas, that both my daughter and I love very much. It was a blast.

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The kids were so happy to play in the snow.

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Both two legged, and four legged kids!

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I’m so grateful that we have the mountains nearby. It really doesn’t matter what mountain it is, the mountains feels like home to me.

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, This is what it is to be happy. – Sylvia Plath

That is exactly how I feel when I get out of the city. Alive. There’s endless studies showing that people who lives close to nature (park/forest,/beach/mountain,) and frequently spend time there, is less likely to get depressed, or suffer anxiety problems. Not that I ever had a severe reaction like that, but still. I can totally understand that relation.

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My German Shepherd shares my opinion. I never see her as happy, as she is when she’s in the mountains.

You already know who my favorite poet it..I feel the power of this well known quote in my soul.

The mountains are calling and I must go. – John Muir 

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Sledding, and snowshoeing are popular winter activities at Mount Charleston. We had a great time playing, and doing some lighter hiking with the kids. I think it was exactly what we all needed to be able to start a new week at our best. (A pretty important week that is. My daughter started a new school, closer to my new home yesterday. Her first day went well. She made some new friends, and said that the school was OK.)

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Where earth meets the sky. 

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It was cold and beautiful.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. – John Muir   

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I love the challenge of taking photos of a snowy landscapes. Everything looks so clean, and soft.

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I was so surprised to see a Prickly Pear Cactus peek up through the snow. I didn’t know that they thrived on this elevation. The contrast is rather stunning, don’t you think?

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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. – John Muir 

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I hope you enjoyed this little winter adventure, and some inspiration for your Thursday morning. I can’t believe that it’s almost weekend again!

Not all adventures makes it here to the blog, but I usually post something on Instagram, feel free to follow my explorations in mindfulness there.

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Weekend Coffee Share…… All good things

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Yesterday I went to Target to pick up a few things for my daughter, and saw this cup that screamed my name. I love it when my everyday items reminds me about my dreams, and priorities. This cup does so in two ways; One, the good things in life aren’t material things (even though I appreciate all the money that keeps coming to me. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.) Two, I definitely need more wild horses in my life.

The other night I was talking to one of my friends, who out of the blue claimed that surfing is better than sex. The statement took me by surprise, but I’m not a surfer. My mind started to go haywire, and the first thing I thought about was the adrenaline I experience the first time I go into the round pen with a wild horse. It’s an unearthly experience, every first time, with every new horse. First the horse is scared, and a scared horse is dangerous. Some horses are in a fight mood. Fight, and flight moods are equally dangerous, if you ask me. 1000lbs of uncontrolled, raw muscle power. The magic, the feeling of oneness, happens the instant the horse understands that you want to communicate with them. It often happens in the blink of an eye. That’s when the dance begins. The part I enjoy the most.

Naturally I’m talking about those unfortunate, former wild horses, that have lost their freedom. When they already lost their freedom it’s directly connected to their quality of life, that we can figure out a good system of communication with them. (Just like we humans learn new skills in different ways, so does horses.) I prefer seeing them running completely wild and free on the range, but when that isn’t an option anymore, the beauty of that new dance is enchanting. When they are wild and free, it’s one of my favorite things to watch them play, and photograph them, to be able to share their zest of life with anyone not fortunate enough to experience it first hand. The spirit of the wild horse can teach us so much about living in the present. For me, that is the most intense form of zen, of oneness, that I ever experienced.

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I’m sure you understand why I was thrilled to find this cup! What could be better than starting your day with a reminder of that thrill?

So how would you like your coffee today? How was your week? Is life coming back into normal now after the holidays?

I’d say that it’s been very busy since Christmas. I love having my daughter full time, and I’ve paused most of my regular activities, temporarily. I want to enjoy every second with her. Easing her into her new life, new routines, new friends, and on Monday a new school. My daughter is sweet, kind, and somewhat sensitive to changes. I’ve been focusing on making her feel that she’s at the right place, and surrounded by love. I’d say it’s going very well. 

What’s the weather like where you live? Do you have snow? We don’t have snow, but there was some flurries, softly singling down from the sky on New Years Eve. It is cold for Las Vegas. Early Thursday morning it was 29 degrees, coldest so far this season. As long as the strong sun is shining, it’s lovely, just perfect.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I’m actually having lunch with one of my blogging friends today, Terri from Second Wind Leisure Perspectives. Terri is from Sacramento (CA,) but currently on a road trip with her husband. I’m so excited about our lunch today! Funny that we’re having lunch in Las Vegas, we never did when we lived a couple hours from each other (in California.) LOL

I need to get out of town at some point this weekend, to recharge for next week. I also have a new pair of hiking boots to break in. Very important business. I have a hike, not super far away, that I’m very curious about. We’ll see.

I’ve ordered a new bed from IKEA for my daughter. It’s a loft bed, and It’s supposed to be delivered today. I’m guessing that I will spend a fair amount of time putting it together tomorrow. I imagine making a magical forte under the loft, with some beautiful textiles, a chair, a desk, and some of my daughter’s personal things. The theme will be unicorns…she’s totally into unicorns.

Did you make any New Years Resolutions? I wrote about mine in my last post prior to this one. My workout routine have changed slightly since I moved to the city, and have less space for my everyday exercise, and no horses to ride. You know I miss my horses terribly, but I do my best to embrace the change.

The difference between those who succeed and those who fail isn’t what they have-it’s what they choose to see and do with their resources and their experiences of life.
– Anthony Robbins

I’m lifting more weights now, since I moved to the city, and I do feel stronger. I know without stepping on a scale, something I haven’t done in years..that I have gained weight, muscle weight. I feel that my body is changing. I like feeling strong and I’m definitely keeping that part up. I do need to add more cardio. Something new. Walking in the closest city park is getting boring. I’m looking into different alternatives. Are you planning on trying some new type of exercise this year?

I hope that your weekend is getting off to an amazing start! Feel free to grab a refill on that coffee on your way out!

Love,

Ms Zen

Cheers to 2019 – the best year of our lives!

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I can’t believe it’s the last day of 2018 already! It’s been a totally unpredictable year. Not at all as I imagined when it started.

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I started out purchasing a future Tevis Horse, that wasn’t even halter broke. I worked with him thousands of hours, literally.

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I had the biggest garden I’ve had so far. I should say the biggest that I designed, planted, and managed by myself. In the process I made it a priority to learn more about propagating fruit trees, that was incredibly rewarding, and something I’m definitely doing more of in the future.

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Then there was this crazy Carr Fire, raging close to the house I lived in. Living with my bags packed the whole summer, and constantly updating myself of the best escape routes was stressful. Somewhere around July it started to become a challenge to live a zen filled life.

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It was about this time my daughter visited her father, and his new family, and expressed a wish to spend more time with them. Which lead me to move to Las Vegas. Since her father lives in the area.

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I am doing my very best to find the right balance in the city. The first two months I barely slept at all, not being used to the noise of the city, and I worked way to much. I have a better balance now, and make sure that I get out in nature every week. I am the glass is always half full kind of girl, when I’m not happy with something, I believe it’s my responsibility to change that. The close proximity to amazing nature helps me handle the fact that I’m constantly surrounded by the buzz of the city. I don’t know where my garden is going to be this spring, or how big it’s going to be. I don’t have a horse right now, and I’m definitely going to have to do something about that….when the time is right.

It’s been an intense year, in some ways. I would say that I am proud over myself for overcoming the challenges I faced, while staying happy. Because as I am ending this year I am immensely happy. Happy and hopeful, feeling that 2019 is going to be the best year ever.

Do you make new years resolutions? Do you keep them? For how long do you keep them?

I like to have written goals to work towards. Challenging, but realistic. I’m going to keep my resolutions simple. They are not new resolutions, I just fine tuned the ones that I found most important to me. Here we go;

Exercise 5 times/week.

Eat healthy (lots of organic fruit and vegetables.

Start growing my own food again.

Explore at least 3 brand new hiking trails/month.

Improve my photography, make time for it every day.

Write a minimum of two blog post/week.

Be the best mom I can be to my amazing daughter, whatever that means.

 

I have more goals, and wishes for the new year, but they are more difficult to put down on paper. I’d love to here about your resolutions, if you have any. Or your expectations, and dreams for the new year.

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I took the photos in this post yesterday, at Exploration Peak Park, here in Las Vegas (NV.) With exception of the first photo of me, that photo is from a Christmas lunch last week.

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With this I’ll leave you to your New Years celebrations. Cheers to 2019, the best year of our lives!

Love,

Ms Zen