Weekend Coffee Share – Gratitude, Parenting, And Minimalism


Good morning! It’s Friday morning 5am. I don’t really have to get up this early today, I’m not preparing lunch for my daughter, and walking her to school before work. That usually takes up a big chunk of my weekday mornings. We had a scare earlier this week. Let me grab you some coffee, or maybe tea? And I’ll tell you all about it.

Last Sunday we cut our hike a little short, because my daughter was tired. Very tired. I thought that was natural, considering that she’d just finished a long week of important tests at school. We went back to the house, and she voluntarily took a nap. That is unusual, but it happens occasionally. There’s a lot of pollen in the air, and it sometimes bother her, I thought maybe that plays in as well. I especially thought so when she woke up on Monday morning still being very tired. She was due for am immunization shot  later that day, and I decided to let her stay in bed.

I worked during the day (downstairs, in our house.) She did some arts and crafts in the middle of the day, and slept through the afternoon. I got off work a little late. (That is the one thing I HATE about my job, not having my time respected, I love everything else. This happens a lot. I grew up in a culture were respecting other peoples time was crucial. Not respecting other peoples time by being late, was the worst form of disrespect you could show another person. Since time was considered everyone’s most valuable asset.) I had to rush, and put my daughter straight in the car, and drive to her Doctor’s appointment. She was a little red in her face when we got into the Doctor’s office, and felt hot, but it was almost 90 degrees outside, and we had stressed to get to the appointment on time.

She didn’t look too good. We got called in immediately, and she had over 103 in fever. The Doctor heard a wheezing sound from her lungs. She told me that it must hurt for your daughter to breath, but my daughter who has an insanely high tolerance for pain, said that it didn’t. She looked worse and worse by the minute. She got medicine to take the fever down, and was diagnosed with a bad case of bronchitis. She’s had a little bit of a cough for a couple weeks, but everyone around us has it, and she never complained about it. It’s extremely dry here in the desert. Cough is common. For the first time in her life she’s on antibiotics (she never needed it before,) and steroids. We left the Doctor with 8 prescriptions. I felt so bad for her.

There was a couple sleepless nights, and challenging days. She started to feel slightly better yesterday, but I am making her take it very easy. On top of that I’ve worked 24/7, since the parents of the boys I’m taking care of had a planned trip Tuesday-Thursday. I’d say everything went very well, juggling the care of a sick daughter, and two energetic little boys. Everyone was in good spirits the majority of the time. Can’t ask for much more. It’s been extremely windy, and it was an OK week to play indoors. I could not have taken the kids to play outdoors, like I usually do every day,  even if I wanted too. I’m happy it’s Friday! And I am so grateful for my daughter’s normally very good health. I’m not easily worried for anything, but I was slightly worried this week.

Can I get you a refill on that Coffee? Or maybe some tea?

It’s going to be very comfortable temperatures this weekend, a high of 69 today, 74 tomorrow, and 83 Sunday. Well, 83 is stating to get a little too hot for my taste, but the other days sounds fabulous.

I reread The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own (Hardcover) by Joshua Becker. I’ve been living a minimalistic lifestyle for several years, and even before that I enjoyed sleek lines, without clutter in my home. All my homes have been inspired by a Scandinavian touch. However, I feel that an important part of being able to live a free life, where possessions doesn’t own my time and energy, is to go through my things on a regular basis. I usually do this 3-4 times/year, donating and selling things I no longer use. As I felt it was time to do that again, I reread Becker’s book, to get inspired. It is truly liberating to not drown in “stuff”. A minimalistic lifestyle is an important zen strategy in my life. Minimalism should be customized to each persons needs. It can not be the same thing for everyone.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, theminimalists.com

For me this means that I choose to live in a smaller space, and own less physical things. Since I purchase less things, I can choose higher quality things that last longer. That goes for clothes, outdoor equipment, and even food. For me personally minimalism means that being debt free, is a priority. I barter when possible, and keep my monthly expenses low. Caring for my loved ones, educating my daughter, living a stress free life in close connection to nature and animals, while keeping track of my family’s ecological footprint, is important to me. It’s a lifestyle.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller

Are you still good on coffee? Can I get you anything else? How is your week? Any fun plans for the weekend?


Photo from last weekend’s hike in Red Rock (NV.)

The birds are singing outside my window right now, and it looks like it’s going to be a very beautiful day. Have an amazing day!


Ms Zen

Signs Of Spring


When a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back. It flies.
― Kelseyleigh Reber

We were so blessed to see hundreds and hundreds of butterflies during our hike in Red Rock Canyon last weekend. I didn’t catch any of them with my camera, we were just too busy admiring them. We did see some caterpillars on their way out, which also was pretty cool to see.



We were looking for signs of spring, and saw many, including more Joshua Trees in bloom. The last time we went out to Red Rock, they were only just starting to bloom, now they were at their peak. It was quiet the sight. 




The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. – Harriet Ann Jacobs

What sign of spring can you see in your area? Tell me in a comment!


Ms Zen



Yellow Squash Seedling

squash seedling

This is an 11 day old Yellow Squash seedling. Watching a tiny seed grow a few days, getting roots like that, is like magic, said my (then) 5 year old daughter. I agree.

This was last year. The $2.75 package of seeds we bought in the spring, gave us over 300 squash! Yes, over 300! I stopped counting after 300. It was in northern California, in the Sacramento Valley, the soil was perfect, and we had enough sun, but still..I don’t have a big enough garden for that this year, but we do have a garden. I frequently write gardening posts on the blog. Do you have a garden? What is growing in your garden this year?

I have some repotting to do in my container garden today. It turned out that the biodegradable pots made out of fabric, that I LOVED in northern California, don’t work as well here in the desert. It is extremely dry here. My tiny fruit trees need pots that retain water a little longer. They look miserable at the moment. Something I love about gardening is that there’s always more to learn. Fabric pots have helped me immensely in my previous garden ventures, but now I need something else. I’m going to do some research before heading out on a hunt for new pots. I have 12 tiny tiny fruit trees. I’d be thrilled if the pots didn’t cost a fortune. I do believe my plants will perk up again with some TLC. I like to have my fully grown container fruit trees in 15-20 gallon pots, so that I can move them myself. These little trees are so small that I’m thinking that 3-5 gallon pots will hold them over to next summer. That way it will be easy to protect them next winter (seem very far away..) because they would fit in my tiny greenhouses.

Last, but not least, I want to thank everyone that liked my new Facebook page these past few days! Thank you! It means a lot to me, to be able to share my zen strategies with you.

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!!


Ms Zen