Country Girl Facing Big City Life – The Awesome Aspects

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Last summer I was forced to make a change that I didn’t fully have my heart in. I did it because it was the right thing to do (family business.) The thought of moving to a city with 2 million people, that tourists from all over the world loves to visit, did not make me overly happy. I had just found a good balance in my life. I had a big garden, plenty of outdoor space, friends, and two horses I loved, in gorgeous northern California.

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I launched this blog in May 2017 as an inspiration for mindful living. With the intention of sharing the unique beauty of northern California, while connecting likeminded souls from around the world. However my life changed in August 2018, and the only right thing for me to do was to move to southern Nevada. Said and done. I made the decision I had to, sold my horses, and moved to Las Vegas. Now this blog turned into “country girl facing big city life” for the first time. – Ms Zen

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been working hard to find every positive aspect of this move to the city as I possibly can, trying my best to find a balance, and live a mindful life in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. I would not be honest if I said that it’s super easy now, because it’s not, BUT there are some pretty awesome aspects of it. I would like to dedicate this post to the awesome aspects!

Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.

Robin Sharma

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I was able to bring my dog Gretchen with me to Las Vegas. I feel that she has a good life. I can spend a lot of time with her, and in the weekends she usually gets to go on some kind of adventure. I’m extremely grateful for that.

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Last weekend she got to go canoeing for the first time. I was slightly nervous about her staying in the boat. She LOVES water so much. Everything went very well, and we had a blast.

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Naturally there was time to play in the water as well. Something my (human) daughter also appreciated very much. Part of the challenge I have with life in the city, is that I want my daughter to know that material things isn’t the point of life, but rather that  people you care about, and experiences gives life meaning. That is how we always have lived our life. It’s definitely more challenging now when we live in the city. Las Vegas is very much about money. When you meet new people they often start by asking what area of town you live in, not because they want to know if you live close to them, but rather what kind of neighborhood (rich/poor) you live in….several people, usually guys, have showed me how much money they have in their bank accounts the first time we have a conversation, which is totally uninteresting to me. The fact that there’s so many amazing nature areas nearby makes it easier to find, and keep a good balance. I feel like we just scratched on the surface so far; Valley of Fire, Red Rock, Mt. Charleston, and Mojave National Preserve. I’m so looking forward to making many weekend excursions this spring/summer and dig a little deeper.

 

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The fact that there is 2 million people living right on top of you, means that there potentially is a lot of good people around you. I like to think that most people are good. It is very easy to make friends here. Last Sunday we had a fabulous time on the Colorado River, just across the Arizona border, with some good people we just met. The photos in this post is from that day.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes.  All is a miracle. –  Thich Nhat Hanh

I walk my daughter to her school every morning. While we’re taking this walk right in the beginning of our day, we either watch the clouds dance over the Red Rock, or the bright sun shine over the beautiful canyons. This morning it was a fog embracing the red walls behind us. A sight like that totally makes my day, every day. Combined with the friendly, smiling people I meet on our daily walks (to/from school.) I’m thinking of one elderly Asian lady in particular (she’s like really old,) that I exchange pleasantries with every day. She has about a million wrinkles, and her smile reaches each and every one of them. The experience of walking my daughter to school, and the conversations we have during the walks are intense, like everything in the desert. Our morning walks definitely add to the feeling of belonging, and joy in the city. There is beauty everywhere, if you allow your self to be in the moment. I think that is what I’ve learned. It’s been right there the whole time while I’ve been struggling to find balance. What city life really is, if you’re striving towards having balance in your life, is a lesson in mindfulness on the next level. When it is loud, noisy, and you’re surrounded by things that demands your attention (good and bad) 24/7 you really need to force yourself to stay in the moment, not get distracted, but rather take the time to stop and smell the flowers.

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I’ve decided to focus harder on living a mindful life. It’s always been a priority, but I think it deserves some extra attention right now. Perhaps I’m inspired by Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, that I read a couple days ago. It’s about Abbey’s time as a park ranger in The Arches National Park (Utah.) He describes the beauty of the desert in detail, and how it affects him. I really liked the book. Abbey made me think of my grandpa. I have not been to The Arches, yet, but the desert scenery that he describes is somewhat similar to the Mojave.

Both Desert Solitaire, and the book I’m currently reading The Land Of Little Rainby Mary Austen, have left me with a desire to start writing a sort of journal in mindfulness. To bring with me, and write a few sentences here and there, when a place, or moment touches me. When I take the time to stop and take a picture, that moment is often backed up by an overwhelming experience of some kind, I want to get that down on a regular piece of paper. Just something I’ve been thinking about this week. Every day have so many beautiful little moments, that stitched together makes the day. For sure it’s true that there’s some pretty ordinary moments in between, but if you think about it, isn’t it those moments that touches our soul that is life?

As a teacher it’s the moment when I see a light in a child’s eye, when they discover a new truth in their world. As a gardener it’s seeing my garden flourish. As a mom it’s often those little acts of kindness from my child, that makes my heart explode. When working with a wild horse it’s the nano second when I fleetingly appear to be on the same frequency as the horse for the first time. As a human being, life is when I’m in the moment.

Among the awesome aspects, I think I’m starting to get used to some of the conveniences of life in the city, like having access to anything you desire 24/7. Including having food delivered straight to your door. I especially appreciate the large number of health food stores, on every corner. That said, if I lived in the countryside I wouldn’t need them, I’d just grow my own…still..

I hope you’re having a fabulous week my friend.

Love,

Ms Zen

Ps. I’m not an affiliate to Amazon, just thought the links to the books I mentioned, could be helpful to someone who wanted to check them out.

Weekend Coffee Share – Snow In Las Vegas

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My little goof ball LOVES snow! 

Hello Weekend! Or almost, weekend, it’s Friday morning and I’m early with my Weekend Coffee Share. I’m having Moringa tea this morning. Would you like some? Or if you’d rather, I’d be very happy to make you some of that magical black brew. (Mine is always very black, since I like my coffee strong as sin. There has to be some kick to it, otherwise I’d rather skip it.)

How was your week? Mine’s been great! Starting out with President’s Day on Monday. I worked, but my daughter didn’t have school, so she came with me to work. That was lots of fun! She is so awesome with the little boys in my care. Yesterday she whispered in my ear Mom, I’m so happy now that I sort of became a big sister. Of course that’s fantastic for a mom to hear. She say such sweets things every day. Like before bedtime, we have this routine of singing in Swedish, and after we finished she always says Mom, you know that you’re the best mom in the whole wide world, right? I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this sunshine in my life, but I am so grateful.

On Wednesday it started to snow here in Las Vegas. A lot! It snowed all night to Thursday. I thought for sure that the schools were going to be closed. They had been talking about that, but they were open as usual. As soon as I found out, we planned to leave for school early. We always pass through a park on the way to school, and the park has a big field. We played in the snow for about 30 min before my daughter’s school started yesterday morning. We had a blast!

After dropping her off at school, I made breakfast for the kids at work, and took them to the park. They are originally from Florida, and have only seen snow once before. The oldest boy had a blast, the youngest didn’t know what to think.

Today Friday, the schools in Clark County (Las Vegas,) are closed. There’s still snow out, and the roads are icy. So wise decision. We’re definitely going to have snow on our schedule today. This much snow is highly unusual for Las Vegas. Can I get you a refill on your hot beverage? Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

We don’t go to the movies very often, but this weekend we have tickets for the new How to train your dragon movie. My daughter was obsessed with that movie when it first came out. In fact we had a dragon themed Christmas, when she was 2,5 years old. She LOVED those movies so much. Instead of Christmas ornaments that year we had plastic dragons from that movie. Fun memories! She is excited to see the new movie, so I’m excited to take her.

Have a fantastic weekend! Stay warm and safe 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Weekend Coffee Share; Red Rock Canyon, and DNA Testing

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How was your week? Can I get you some coffee? This week we’re enjoying the magical brew in Red Rock Canyon. I got off work a little earlier on Tuesday, and enjoyed a marvelous, sunny afternoon in Red Rock Canyon National Preservation Area. I would love for us to have our coffee chat this week overlooking the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. Are you game?

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I love walking among the scattered Joshua Trees (much smaller than in Mojave National Preserve,) while breathing the fresh mountain air. Over there is a perfect place to sit down and have some coffee!

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Did you see the big herd of burros on the drive here? Actually I believe there was two different herds, just close to each other. I counted to 30+ animals. The biggest number I ever seen together. Previously I’ve only see 5-8 animals in a herd. How is your coffee?

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day earlier this week? I spent the evening doing arts and crafts with my daughter, that was what she wanted to do. If you think too much about it, it’s kind of very depressing to be single on Valentine’s Day. Something I somehow managed to be most of my life. LOL. I choose to not overthink that, and make sure my daughter’s day was special. She put a lot of effort into making individual cards to all her friends. I unexpectedly got a beautiful, Columbia fleece jacket as a Valentine’s gift from the family I work for. I thought that was very sweet. They also got my daughter a thoughtful gift.

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..and they actually got my dog a new toy for Valentine’s Day as well! (Not in the picture.)

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Do you need a refill on that coffee?

I believe I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I did a DNA test? I got the results today. No big surprises. The most interesting might be that I have 264 Neanderthal variants, which is high. Being RH negative (not having the Rhesus factor in my blood,) this was actually one of the things I was most curious about.

European 100.0% ; Scandinavian 79.6%, Finnish 8.2%, Eastern European 4.0%, British & Irish 2.2%, Broadly Northwestern European 5.4%, Broadly European 0.5%.

Have you done a DNA test? Would you?

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Well, I promised to take my daughter to the park, so I better get going before it gets dark. Thank you so much for having coffee with me. I hope you enjoyed the view!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Love,

Ms Zen