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


Exploring Red Rock Canyon


It is true that I live in a big city for the first time in my life, and I’m NOT a city girl. Luckily we’re only minutes from a really cool place, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.


It offers a fascinating desert landscape. It’s an amazing place to explore now, during fall/winter. I’m thrilled that I am able to do that. The desert offers both solitude, and an excitement that is hard to match.


My daughter found an open, sandy spot that she declared was perfect for a dance party. So we danced. Without music. In the middle of the desert. By ourselves. Laughing our hearts out.





To me, the fact that she initiated this, is a victory. I love how her brain works. I pray she’ll stay this free spirited.




She is not my little girl anymore. She is her own person, and I am so proud of her.


Red Rock Canyon is amazing, and I’ve only just scratch on the surface. I’m looking forward to do a lot more exploring.



My dog thoroughly enjoyed some off leash time. When we got closer to the trail head I attached the leash again, and worked through some obedience sequences we do several times a day. To keep her tuned in.


While I was doing that, my daughter borrowed my camera and took tons of pictures. I kind of liked this one, that she took of Gretchen and me.

We saw signs of horses and burros, lots of poop, and hoofprints, but no animals. Hopefully we’ll see some next time. I love watching wild horses play. It’s one of my favorite things. From a distance, of course.

I hope your new week is awesome.


Ms Zen


Weekend Coffee Share – Mindfulness V/S Loco Guy

I was frozen in terror.

Last Wednesday night. There was a violent, crazy man harassing us, banging on our door, screaming, refusing to leave. I had just got off work, and was in the shower when it all started. Since there was other people in the house I figured that someone would open the door, and deal with it. My country brain, figured it was a neighbor or friend..(I had temporarily forgotten that I’m in Las Vegas now.) It was not a neighbor, or a friend. It was a stranger. He refused to say who he was. There was no identification on the big white truck parked sideways outside, blocking our driveway. He was getting more violent, and loud by the minute.

Can I get you some coffee? Or tea?

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We had to call the cops on him. If this would have been a few years ago that first sentence would have been true. Not now. (It was just too tempting to add some drama.) You see, my ex husband is a Marine. During rare occasions when we spent time in the same house, (that did not happen so often,) we had drill exercises. The exercises was about what to do if A happens, and what to not do if B happens..(I used to hate them. I think we covered a few hundred different scenarios. They were more like lectures, the way a bad teacher would teach a child something.)  Anyways, the number one thing he actually taught me, besides handling weapons (which I am very grateful for,) was to keep my cool in any given situation (which was very ironic. If you knew him, you would know.) The other night when the loco guy was banging on the door, I did not freeze. When I understood what was happening, I knew what to do without thinking. That felt good. The auto pilot worked. In this case the right thing to do was to lock myself in with the kids, in the safest room, where no gunfire (if there should be any,) could reach us (there never was any guns involved,) and with proper means of defense, and wait for the police to come and handle it (since we’re in a big city they are always close by.) I should probably thank my ex the next time I see him. Yes, I’ll definitely do that. No one was harmed in this incident. The loco guy was arrested.

Besides that little incident, that took up quiet a bit of time Wednesday evening, it’s been a beautiful, peaceful week.

This week have been more of the mindful kind. I’ve done a lot of meditating, and some yoga. I’m re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s The power of now. I am enjoying the read even more this time, than the last time around (probably ten years ago.) It’s an empowering book, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You don’t have to agree with everything, just read with an open mind.

I have experimented a little bit with my (newish) camera. I feel that I got off to a good start with that. I learned a couple new things.


Unedited version of a rose in our backyard.


Lightly edited version of the same photo. A little cropped, and the light slightly enhanced. I like my photos to look natural. I never add, or take things away. Enhancing the light, and cropping the photos to show the image the way I perceived it when I took it, is more my style. I want the viewer to see what captured my attention. To see what it was that made me feel good, stop a heart beat, or get the adrenaline rushing – depending on the picture.

I went to the gym three mornings, and walked 5 miles every day. I’ve been taking good care of myself, after the scare a few weeks ago. I sleep 7-8 hours every night, eat good, and feel strong.

It’s going to be 85 this weekend. A little crazy considering it’s the end of October. I have a couple wishes for the weekend; to spend time with my daughter, find a 4×4 truck, take some pictures, and do some hiking. There is going to be some baking on Sunday. I’m participating in a pumpkin carving contest on Monday, and I promised to bring cookies. I haven’t baked cookies in forever, that’ll be fun.

What do you wish for this weekend?



Ms Zen