Weekend Coffee Share

Wow it’s already Sunday afternoon! I apologize for being so late with the coffee this weekend. How is your weekend?

Everything is good here. I admit that I am a little tired. There’s a lot of things to process inside my head right now. Everything is ready for tomorrow. THE BIG MOVE! In fact after posting this, I’m going to give my dog a bath, and start organizing everything in the car. Phew. It is dawning on me that this is it. I am ready, but still, it is going to be a big change.

Got a new #haircut today, since I’m heading towards new #adventures. #blonde #selfie

A post shared by MJ (@sagittariusviking) on

I figure that a big change like this requires a new haircut. Don’t you think?

Speaking of new…I bought a new camera yesterday, a Canon EOS 6D Mark ii. (The Instagram selfie above, is only a cellphone pic.) I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a full frame, ever since mine was stolen, four years ago. That camera wasn’t insured, so it was a hard hit for a single mom. The first camera I could afford after it happened was a $79, point and shoot camera from Walmart. I worked it as well as I could, and I’ve been able to do smaller upgrades, every year since then. Yesterday I was finally able to get a full frame camera again. It’s big for me.

I only have one lens that fits this camera, but I will make the very best use of it, until I can compliment it with a good telephoto zoom lens. The lens I have is a fixed 50mm lens, so I’m going to become the new 50mm expert..LOL. I’m very excited. I was happy with my last camera, which was a good camera, a Canon EOS 80D. I bought it when it came out and I’ve been very happy with it. It didn’t take very long before it paid for itself. I was actually considering purchasing the same camera again (I had used up most of the shutter counts on the one I had.) If you’re in the market for a good camera under $1000, I can recommend investing in a Canon EOS 80D. (I’m telling you this as a friend, I’m not an affiliate..there is nothing in it for me other than the pleasure of seeing my friends being happy with a good camera.) It’s a lot of camera for the money. However, I went with my full frame dream yesterday. I’ve waited a long time for this. Now it’s the perfect time, with a long road trip, and plenty of new, exciting vistas to explore. When you print/sell photos, there is a big difference between a camera with a cropped sensor, and a full frame camera. Which is the most significant difference between the Canon EOS 80D, and the Canon EOS 6D Mark ii.

I took my new camera out for some test shooting today, of course I had too.. I was so excited that I skipped going through all the menu settings before I started. I only used the manual settings on the top of the camera, as I took the pictures. When I came back home I discovered that I’ve only shot everything in RAW format. Which basically means that the files are HUGE. When you’re shooting RAW, the camera saves every little ounce of information in the photo. Later you can edit the photo in any way you want, and it will look more natural, and not take any quality away from he photo. However that takes a long time. I think this is only for special occasions, like weddings, or exotic vacations etc. Once in a lifetime things. For every day photos it’s more practical to shoot JPEG, where the camera do some processing by itself, and the photos comes out looking good, and in reasonable file sizes.

When I came back from my photo excursion today, I read (part of) the manual to the camera, and experimented more with the camera. Now I know how to switch between JPEG, and RAW easily. You can even choose to shoot in both modes at the same time, having the camera save two files of every photo you take. Naturally it would eat up a lot of space on your memory card. I’m so excited about being able to move forward with my photography again. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, no matter the camera, but it is a thrill to take it to the next level. I might even start up my photography business again. Not as a full time thing, but maybe part time, (a few months, and a few more lenses, from now.) Maybe. Either way,  I am super happy and excited. And slightly tired..

I’m going to go to bed early tonight, heading to my last day at work tomorrow morning, and then hitting the road to Reno. I’m not driving the whole distance in one day. No need to rush. Gretchen (my dog,) and I are going to enjoy this.

I hope your weekend is fabulous! If you don’t want another cup of coffee, I have some delicious Pomegranate Ice Tea. I promise to share the first photos from the new camera somewhere along the way to Las Vegas. See you soon my friend ❤

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! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday August 17 th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday August 21 st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Love,

Ms Zen

Sweet Memories

The theme of this week’s Sunday Stills, is Lazy Days. Well…I don’t think that I ever been called lazy in my whole life. I’ve been called a lot of things, but never lazy. I like to stay busy. Not in the nervous I can’t relax kind of way. I just feel satisfied when I work with my hands; in the garden, baking bread, grooming a horse etc.

There’s only been one exception, and I enjoyed that exception immensely. It was the first six months of my daughter’s life. The oxytocin high from nursing put me in a content emotional state, that was very relaxing, in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. I rented a house in the beautiful Napa Valley (CA.) It was nestled among vineyards, in a picture perfect setting. There was ten acres belonging to the house, (and the neighbors had a bigger property that I had access to as well.) My daughter and I went for long, dreamy walks, and spent hours on the back porch over looking the pond in the picture. Those are the closest to lazy days that I have ever experienced. I don’t want to go back to them, but I sure appreciate the sweet memory. Looking back, it feels almost unreal.

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A sweet senior dog that adopted me, on the first ranch I worked at in California, is buried overlooking this pond. Neikka was old when I first met her, around 12-13 years old. She refused to leave my side. I knew her almost two years before her time was up. She was definitely sent to make things easier for me. She had problems with her eyes when we met, and later on she became completely blind. That did not stop her from doing her duty, which she thought was to be by my side, no matter what. I sometimes tried to lock her up in my yard (3acres,) if I was planning on going for a longer trail ride, that I thought was going to be too much for her. The fence was 6 ft high. She was part greyhound, and cleared that fence, even after she became blind. One time she even attacked a black bear that she thought was too close to me. The bear wasn’t actually a threat, he was busy eating blackberries. The bear just pushed her away, and kept eating. Lucky for us. She got some scratches from the incident, but not bad. She certainly deserved the most beautiful resting place my loyal Neikka. 

How is your weekend so far? Fancy left for her new home yesterday, and I received photos of her in her new home. Her new family is very happy, and she looks happy, which makes me happy.  I know that they are going to love her a lot, and I feel extremely good about her home. Ghost’s home fell through, and I need to find him a new one. Sooner than later. I said no to several people after this family committed to him, because I really liked them, and they seemed knowledgable. I’ve started to contact the people I turned down before..It was a very emotional day. It ended in the best possible way with a visit to a Mexican Restaurant I hadn’t been to before, and the company of a good friend. 

I’m going to work hard on a home for Ghost, and finding a reliable car for me today. I looked at some cars yesterday. I’m not a mechanic, but if I find something questionable with a car, it’s probably not a good car..lol. Since I am going to drive through the desert a week from now it need to be a good one. Some places on the way have spotty cellphone reception. 

I hope that you’re having an awesome weekend! 

Love,

Ms Zen

Today’s Harvest – Working On My Dream

I am so amazed that despite the raging fires, my garden is still producing. It might be a while before I have a big garden again (maybe?) After living in northern California for a few years I feel confident that I have the skills it will take, when it comes to tending a good garden, and living a self-sufficient lifestyle. That feels awesome! One of the main reasons I choose to stay in this area as long as I did, was to learn more about organic gardening, and I have. I feel extremely good about that. I’ve done a fair share of experimenting, and learned by trial and error. Learning by doing is my favorite way of learning new skills. I need to learn things hands on, to really get it.

Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.         ― Anthon St. Maarten

What most of you don’t know, most of my closest friends don’t know either, is that a while back I purchased not one, but two, different properties for my future homestead. Neither of them are huge, but big enough. Both of them are almost paid of now. I am not planning on living on both of them. Just one. I haven’t decided which one yet. They are a few hours away from each other, both are located in the foothills of a mountain (different mountains.) They both have what I consider perfect climate. Both of them are properties where I could see myself living for a long time. On one of them I could collect more rain water, but the other one is closer to natural springs (not on my property, but still.) One is closer to a town, than the other, but still very private. The other is more rural, but only 2,5 hours from a very big city (there’s smaller towns closer.) I am by no means ready to start my homestead yet, but this move will mean that I will be closer to both properties. In my head I could slowly start doing little things on them, while working and making more money towards developing them. Most of all, I can spend time on them both, and get a feel for which one I like better. You see, this is part of the reason I can stay this positive with this unexpected change. Maybe it’s just the universe pushing me towards where I’m supposed to be. I think that might be exactly what it is.

Love,

Ms Zen