Transient – In My DNA

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When I read the theme for this week’s photo challenge at The Daily Post: Transient, my first thought was that’s me. It used to make me a little melancholic, like I was always standing on the outside looking in. At 37 I’ve finally come to terms with my gypsy soul. It’s in my DNA. My ancestors were vikings. What can I say?

I like some things to be consistent. I like returning to places that have a meaning to me, but to define home have always been a challenge. At least I’ve narrowed it down to the western states. I spend most of my time in northern California, and northern Nevada. That is where I am the most centered.

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I like to think of the transient places I treasure as gifts, that have been treasured by so many people before me, and will be treasured by so many people after me. That gives the concept of a transient existence more meaning. I don’t want to keep the views I treasure, or the experiences I experience to myself. So I share them with my stories, and my photos. Like my my grandma shared her stories with me, as she took me to countries, and special places near and far.

Love,

Ms Zen

 

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My daughter and I had a magical day at Potem Falls today. She must of borrowed my camera when I wasn’t looking. When we got back home and I uploaded the photos I’ve taken during the day, I found this one of me.

Focus

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This week, share a photo that represents focus to you. Are you a stickler for getting in close to your subjects and capturing every detail, or do you prefer a more ethereal look that illustrates the sensations of the moment? Or both?

I choose to share a completely unedited, in focus photo, for this week’s photo challenge. Yesterday my daughter and I went to Whiskeytown Lake, part of a 39,000 acres national park in northern California. It’s a magical place! We’ve enjoyed coming back here for years, to hike the trails, and enjoy the lake.

Yesterday I wanted to capture the mix of pleasure, and concentration on my daughter’s face, as she walked on some uneven rocks at the shore. I followed her explorations with my camera, and snapped a couple pictures. I like this one the best. Show me your focus! If you’re participating in the photo challenge, feel free to leave a link to your entry in a comment.

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Photography as a tool for mindful living

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Google’s definition of mindfulness is:

The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition.” A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

When I bring my camera with me, I slow down. Without thinking about it, I become more mindful. I observe my surrounding, I breathe deeper, I enjoy more, I bring all my senses into the present moment.  I was five years old when my grandmother introduced me to the magic world of photography, by giving me my first camera. I’ve been experimenting, and taking pictures almost every day since then. My daughter is about to turn five next month, and I intend to pass on the family tradition to her.

Is photography a tool for mindful living for you?

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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This time of the year a lot of my time is dedicated to creating order in my garden. To organize my container garden in to a system. My system is based on the different plants need of sunlight, shade, and water. They are planted in rows, and/or groups, depending on their needs. In the photo above you can see the barefoot peach trees that I planted a couple weeks ago. They are already getting leaves, and seem to thrive in their sunny spot, in the middle of my garden. The tan smart pots in the back is home to young bell pepper, and squash plants.

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I planted 8 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes this spring. Unfortunately they are only semi organized …my daughter played with the labels. They are neatly transplanted to bigger containers, and organized in rows, with sturdy cages around every plant. However, because of the little label incident..I do not know where the cherry tomatoes are, or where my green zebras are, or any of the other varieties..We’re having surprise tomatoes this year! LOL. It’s interesting, some of the plants are really small, and some are 5ft high by now.

My garden is all organic. Some of the plants that are more prone to get damaged by different bugs and insects, have mint planted around them. You can see mint on the left side of the fig tree (below.) Mint is a great plant to sow here and there. It helps to keep bugs away, spread easily, and is delicious for cold drinks, in food etc.

The vegetables usually needs to be water 1-2 times every day, while the container fruit trees needs water every other day when it’s more than 90 degrees, and less often if it happens to be cooler (very rare during the summer.) My garden is constantly changing every year. I like learning about different vegetables and trying a few new ones every year. The number of fruit trees I have is also changing. I give some away to friends, sell a couple here and there, plant some new ones etc.

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The planting season starts in the beginning of April outdoors, (February-March if I have access to a greenhouse.) In the beginning of June I’m usually done with the planting. I just finished organizing the garden for this year. Now all I’m doing is watering, weeding, and fertilizing, and harvesting of course.

Bring it on! Let it grow! I’m ready!

The more though I put in when it comes to organizing my garden during the planting season, the easier it is to take care of the garden the rest of the year. My goal is to eventually have produce all year round.

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Cherries are in season right now. The cherries in the photo above are Rainer Cherries. They are sweet and very delicious. I’ve been stocking my freezer with Rainer Cherries, and Sweet Dark Cherries for a couple weeks now. It’s a tedious work to pit cherries. It’s well worth it! I usually put the pitted cherries on a tray, and put them in the freezer for about an hour, before freezing them in quarter sized containers. In that way the freeze quickly, preserving all the nutrients. It’s a great way to preserve them without adding any sugar. They are great for snacks, or in smoothies all year round. (I even freeze some of the pits. I’m saving some seeds from the fruit/vegetables that I enjoy the most, to be planted later on. I’m slowly building my own seed bank. My goal is to one day have a “real” homestead.)

I enjoy the order of the different seasons. Here in northern California the gardening season is long. At some point during the year, you can grow almost anything you’d like. You can have a spring crop, a summer crop, and a late fall/winter crop. That is one of the things I love the most about California.

My garden is my happy place. Right now it’s my favorite every day zen spot. It’s where I center myself, and find my balance. I hope this week have been wonderful for you!

Subscribe below, and feel free to copy the strategies that fits your zen. 

Love,

Ms Zen

Before they tamed your wolves with reason…

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Today I simply want to share one of my favorite quotes, along with one of my favorite views. I have this quote, and a few other as inspiration on my computer. I usually open my inspiration file, as I devour my morning coffee (black pf course.)

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have an amazing day!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Choose Your Thoughts

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I like watching Randy Gage’s Youtube channel. I usually start my work week by watching the latest episode there (he creates one new episode every week.) I find that it gives my week an awesome start. The last one was about the process of thoughts. About processing information, and drawing logical conclusions based on serious critical thinking. To become the thinker of the thought. In short to to think about what you think about. You choose your thoughts. You control them. …or you can choose to ignore that, and let circumstances and other people choose.

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I prefer to actively be mindful about my thoughts. When I feel that my thoughts are taking off in a direction that isn’t helpful for my well being, I believe that it is my responsibility to change the direction of my thoughts.

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What are your thoughts? How do you do that? Exercise, grooming a horse, going for a hike, or a road trip helps me. How can you think negative thoughts when your body feels good (exercise)? Or when you enjoy the great outdoors? When nature take over your senses completely?

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The photos in today’s post are from a Memorial Day hike, along the McCloud River.

It’s all about experiences, the healing power of nature, and the great outdoors in northern California. 

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Subscribe below, and feel free to copy the strategies that fits your zen. 

Love,

Ms Zen

Friend

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I started to write a post about a magical hike we made on Memorial day (I’ll share it with you later on, no need to worry,) when new entries to the Weekly Photo Challenge started to fill up my inbox. This week’s theme Friend, is just to good to pass up on.

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I grew up with German Shepherds, and I just love the breed. I’m not sure if there is any living soul more loyal than one of a German Shepherd. My two year old girl Gretchen, a rescue that I’ve only had a couple months have quickly become my shadow. If I’m there, she is there.

Gretchen loves to keep me company when I work in my garden. This week we’ve been (re)planting peach trees (into bigger containers. All my trees grows in containers.)

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With a German Shepherd you’re just never lonely. As a woman I feel much better hiking on secluded trails, or spending time in rural areas (something I enjoy tremendously) with a German Shepherd by my side.

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I love how intelligent, and attentive they are. How they love to learn new things, and always says yes to adventure! Tell me about your friend! If you participate in the photo challenge, feel free to leave a link to your post in a comment, I’d love to see it!

 

Love,

Ms Zen