California In My Heart

It’s not the weekend, and not time for the weekly coffee share, but I am indeed sitting here sipping my morning coffee while writing this. My dreams last night took me to all my favorite places in northern California. Approximately 85-90% of them burned this year, first in the Carr Fire (raged five minutes from the house I lived in four months ago,) and now in the Camp Fire. My dream was very real. I was surprised to be in Las Vegas when I woke up.

The first thing I did when I woke up was to read the news about the Camp Fire. It has become the deadliest in the state history. At the moment at least 42 people have died in this fire alone. The likelihood of that number going up is big. The town of Paradise is completely gone. In my mind I can still see the town very well. I can feel the generosity of my first friends in California, as they opened their hearts and homes to me, when I was a stranger. Paradise was a relatively poor town, compared to the rest of California, surrounded by beautiful ranch land. I have not spent so much time in the town, but more in the outskirts. The views used to be stunning. I went on a couple trail rides in the vicinity, and those were very memorable rides.

I hate not being able to do anything to stop this madness. The helplessness eats me alive, as I think of the people I know, and all their neighbors. Some who have lost everything. As I start my day, being safe and warm, with ridiculous good coffee next to me, my heart is there. My heart is in California. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t ever see myself living there again, but a piece of my heart is there. Will always be. So many good memories. ❤



Ms Zen


Weekend Coffee Share – Gratitude

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As I am sipping the black magic brew this morning, my daughter is snoozing from the other side of the room. It’s a long weekend, and I’m looking forward to spend three days with her. A feeling of deep gratitude fills my chest this Saturday morning. I am safe, my daughter is safe, the coffee is delicious, bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, I have a working vehicle, I know I’m going to have food to eat today, I have wonderful people in my life, and this gift of a new day is amazing.

Truly every day is surely worth a prayer of gratitude from all of us, but today the feeling is extra intense in my chest. Mixed with compassion, and a deep sadness. Yesterday several of the most amazing people, that welcomed me into their life when I first moved to California, lost everything they have in the Camp fire. The last thing I saw before going to bed last night was video footage of the fire blazing on both sides of the main highway going through the city of Chico (a bigger college town near Paradise, where the fire started.) Someone posted a video on Facebook of horses running down the highway as well, trying to get away from the fire. One of my friends who has ten horses, was forced to leave two behind, because the fire was moving so fast.

I spent this summer, with my bags packed, and living in fear of fires most of the time. I still feel affected by the smoke I inhaled, despite wearing a mask. The more I think about it, the more grateful I feel for the unexpected changes that more or less forced me to move away from the area. A decision that would of been hard to make otherwise.

How are you this Saturday morning? Can I get you some more coffee? How was your week?


I have not used my Canon a lot this week, but I am going to use it this weekend. I did take the photo above when picking up my daughter last night. Night photography is not my strong suit. Something I would like to change, but of course…I would have to be able to keep my eyes open at night. LOL. I’m usually up very early in the morning, and by dark all I’m dreaming of is my bed, and maybe a good book.

Speaking of books, I have been reading a lot lately. I have far exceeded my goal on Goodreads, of 52 books this year. I really like reading adventurous books about the western states, of place I’ve been to, and colorful people that once lived there (real or fiction.) I also like reading self improvement books, that challenge me to become a better person. I’d say that the books I read is a nice mix of those two, with some completely different books every once in a while, to spice things up a little.

Last night I started a new book A High Sierra Christmas. Naturally the title got my attention, as I love the high Sierras. The Sierra Nevada’s are magical, scary, intimidating, and absolutely fantastic. I love hiking, riding horses, and snowboarding there. In fact one of the photos I posted on Instagram earlier this week, was taken at a ranch I leased there, a few years back.

The book is exciting so far. I’ve read many of William W. Johnstone’s books, since he write about places I love. I know his characters well, and that adds to the value of the book. Are you reading something exciting at the moment? I’m sure there will be a lot of reading, arts and crafts, and probably some baking this weekend.

My daughter and I also saw a cave, from a distance, during a hike in Red Rock last weekend, that we are going to try to climb to, at some point. That will be the adventure this weekend.

Any exciting plans for the weekend? I hope your weekend is everything you wish for. My heart and prayers goes to northern California, and all the good people affected by the fires. ❤

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!



Ms Zen