Mt. Lassen Sunrise


For this week’s photo challenge, explore the vibrant, hopeful colors of your favorite sunrise or sunset.


These three sunrises have something in common, even though they are captured at different locations, they all feature our volcano Mt.Lassen (CA,) in the background.


I took the first photo in this post, while driving to work one morning. I just stopped by the side of the road to admire the glorious sunrise.

The second photo is taken at a friend’s ranch, while checking on some rescue horses, that I had at a pasture there for a while.

The last photo, featuring the Sacramento River, with Mt.Lassen in the background, is taken while standing at Sundial Bridge, in Redding (CA.)

Mt. Lassen, and Mt.Shasta, our two volcanoes, are like magnets. It’s like they’re forcing you to pay them attention. Especially during sunrise, and sunset. Since I’m a morning person I catch more sunrises than sunsets. I’d love to see a sunrise/sunset from your favorite location!



Ms Zen

My Organic Garden 2018

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If you hoped to see some beautiful lush, green photos, or colorful vegetables in this post, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. We’re not there yet! Be patient, those photos will come, sooner than later. We’re in California after all 😉 I started my seeds indoors today. It’s little late (but not too late,) for our part of California. I could of started them indoors a month ago, and have them in the ground by the beginning of April.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that my longterm goal is to be as  self sufficient as possible, having a small homestead that provides the food my family needs, and a little extra. We’re not there yet. It’s my goal, and I will get there, but it’s a few years into the future. The progress might seem slow to some people, but it is a steady progress. I’m coming a little closer to my goals every passing month. These past six years I’ve been trying to learn as much as I possibly can about organic gardening, working in different places, in Nevada, and California. It’s starting to pay off.

I’m not ready to start my own homestead yet, but (drum whirl …) we just signed a lease on a property with ample space for a big garden. We’re moving to our new place in two weeks. Before last weekend I didn’t know if/how/where I was going to have a garden, that’s why I didn’t start my seeds until today. I am excited about this new place. It has an exquisite house, and plenty of room outdoors, including a big pasture (with a little barn.) I see us living in this place 1-2 years, at least. Time to further improve my gardening skills, before starting my own homestead.

There will be lots of work to make it “our place”. Starting up is somewhat challenging, but rewarding. The best part is that I get to bring Ghost (my horse) home. Right now I’m boarding him at a very nice boarding stable, but there’s a 25min drive, one way. Almost one hour both ways, (more during rush hours.) I always go there twice a day, that’s almost two hours, every day. I can’t wait to have him outside my door, being able to go out to the pasture anytime I want. I have started to look for a friend for him. It would be cruel to have only one horse (in many countries it’s even illegal to have only one horse,) they are herd animals. Ultimately I would like to give a home to a horse that really needs it, there’s so many of them out there.

As you can imagine there’s many thoughts swirling around in my head right now, so much to do, and so exciting! I guess this post wasn’t only about gardening, but for me, my gardening journey this year started today, when my daughter and I planted the first seeds. We started lots of cherry tomatoes (because we love eating cherry tomatoes,) eggplants, pepper, and squash. We will plant other vegetables as well, directly into raised garden beds, in a few weeks.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day! I would love it, if you’d share your gardening plans!



Ms Zen

Favorite Place – Castle Crags

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Yesterday I was supposed to go snowboarding with a friend. I had been looking forward to it for a while. I haven’t done much snowboarding this winter, and my new snowboard is barely broken in. (Getting 100+ days/year is a fading memory.) I’d just finished packing my stuff, and some yummy lunch, when my friend discovered that his snowboard was stolen, he had it in a storage place. Slightly disappointed we decided to enjoy the day outdoors anyways.

We decided to go snowshoeing above Heart Lake. We rented snowshoes, and drove up there…or almost up there. Two miles from Castle Lake, the trailhead you park at, to hike to Heart Lake, there was so much snow on the road that we decided it wasn’t worth the risk of getting stuck. It had been lots of snow for a few miles, but as we gained elevation the snow depth increased even more. It was only two weeks ago since my last visit there, but there was considerably more snow now, and the temperatures were dropping. The road started to become very icy.

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Of course we couldn’t give up on the day yet, there was still a few hours of daylight left. We decided to visit Castle Crags. It was marvelous, as always. It was the first time I visited Castle Crags National Park that I didn’t see any bears. There’s lots of black bears in this National Park, I usually see them, but I’ve never been bothered by any of them.

I think the majestic granite spires of Castle Crags, in northern California, is one of the coolest places around. I enjoy feeling small, in comparison to the awe inspiring nature in Castle Crags wilderness area. I keep returning. Sometimes to enjoy the view, or show visitors these amazing creations, sometimes for a hike, a picnic, or some silent meditation. It’s definitely one of my favorite places.  Despite everything, it was a great day.


Do you have a favorite place that you keep returning to?

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, and that the new week started in the best possible way for you 🙂



Ms Zen