NorCal Zen, was launched 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.

It’s all about experiences, the healing power of nature, and the great outdoors of northern California. Occasionally other western states makes a guest appearance here on my blog, since I love road trips. I currently spend most of my time in northern California, but my neighboring states are like a second home. I have worked at a few ranches in Cowboy Country, (northern Nevada,) and sometimes a story, or two might find its way into a post.

NorCal Zen is about choosing happiness. I’m a 38 year old, homeschooling mom, in northern California. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education. I love books, and read a lot, but believe in learning by doing. Making learning fun for my young daughter is a high priority in my life. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. You can find prints of my photos in my online gallery. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. I’ve spent the past few years learning about organic gardening. My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself.

My top five on my bucket list is (doesn’t have to be in that order);

  1. Ride the Tevis Cup (and finish,) the world toughest endurance race, on a horse I trained myself.
  2. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail. (The whole thing, I’ve done some of it.)
  3. Ride Icelandic Horses on Iceland.
  4. Ride in a hot air ballon at some fantastic place.
  5. Ride the Mongolian Derby.

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My German Shepherd Gretchen is always by my side. She’s a faithful partner on road trips, and she loves hiking. I’ve been blessed with several good dogs throughout life, but she is truly awesome! Gretchen is 3 years old, and of German working bloodlines. She loves working, and I do work with her at least twice a day, every day, 365 days/year. She is sweet as they come, but you wouldn’t want to mess with her.

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Horses is a very important part of my life. I am blessed to have a very special 4 year old gelding, as a part of my family. Ghost is an Arabian/Mustang Cross, raised on a big pasture with very limited human contact during his first years. I love every aspect of life with horses. I’ve been around horses all my life, but Ghost have only been a part of our family since the beginning of 2018. Many future posts is going to be about our adventures. There’s no better teacher in mindfulness than the horse, since they always live in the moment. That is one of the things I love the most about them. Instagram is where you can see everyday snapshots of my horse, and our progress. During the #WeekendCoffeeShare, I try to make a summary of what Ghost and I have been doing during the week.


I have been blogging on other sites for a few years now, but neither of them truly represented the experiences that gives my life value; time with my loved ones, and a close connection to nature and animals. I’m going to write about the zen strategies that works for me. I often participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post, as a way of interacting with photographers around the world. I enjoy that very much. Sharing blog posts, and giving feedback is appreciated, and encouraged!



Ms Zen

© Copyright 2017-2018 NorCal Zen. All Rights Reserved.

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A word of caution. Naturally all your adventures are on your own risk. Horses, hiking, and wilderness areas are what feeds my soul, but everyone participating in any activity is responsible for their own safety. I am not responsible in any way if you choose to explore any of the destinations, or activities mentioned in my blog. Wilderness areas are amazing, but you need to be prepared for weather, it can change quickly. Our area is known for extreme heat in the summer, and these destinations can be very cold during winter. The Western States have lots of wild life, including; black bears, mountain lions, bob cats, rattle snakes, and spiders. I often bring my German Shepherd on trails where dogs are allowed, but I would never bring a smaller dog. Younger children need to be within reach at all times. I’ve taken my daughter out in our National Forests since she was a newborn, in a baby carrier. I love sharing the great outdoors with her. I also see it as my responsibility to educate her of the potential dangers, and our responsibility towards the sometimes fragile nature we’re enjoying. Follow directions, pack in, pack out. Respect other people, as well as animals we might encounter. Bringing plenty of water is a must, in any weather. It’s very wise to use plenty of sunscreen, and/or a hat/clothes that covers well. The sun is strong. Be sure to know what poison oak looks like, you will see it. I’m not trying to scare you, just doing the best I can to make sure that your visit will be pleasant, and memorable in a good way. Be safe, and have fun!

72 thoughts on “Purpose

  1. Now this is exciting! I really love this new venture of yours and especially the zen/minimalism connection, way cool….no, super cool! I have been personally working towards minimalism in my own life, not just things but a new perspective on life and all it entails. Looking forward to seeing where this blog will take you, and us! 😉


  2. Hi Ms. Zen, Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you enjoy my work. What a great idea for a blog and I wish you lots of luck. Looking forward to reading more posts about NorCal zen life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane, I have been following your blog since you started blogging, with my other blog (that I no longer have.) I love your inspiring photography. You always keep improving yourself, it is very inspiring. Maria

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Maria, thanks a lot for following my blog. Hiking is so relaxing, especially with the beautiful landscapes that you can observe. California looks great on your photos. Hopefully one day I can visit it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh yes, hiking is very relaxing 🙂 It makes me very happy to share the experiences, and the beautiful landscapes with you. We went to McClouds Falls today. It was the first time for me, and they were marvelous. Going to share the experience in my next post. Looking forward to learn more about your adventures as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Its great to know you!! Even i believe in minimalism! And also growing my own food. We still live in a city. I grow a few Veges in my apartment Balcony. Haven’t moved to a countryside yet! Your Blog Inspires me! Thank You for visiting my Blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

              1. Har själv bott utomlands – Seattle, Victoria … UK och Irland. Vet att man måste liksom leva in sig på vissa platser. Mitt hjärta är mycket blå-gult, så välkommen till mitt värld.


                  1. Ja, man måste ta seden dit man kommer … håller fullkomligt med dig. Man måste anpassa sig och ibland kan det ta sin lilla tid. Glad att du trivs nu och har funnit din plats där över.

                    Liked by 1 person

  5. This seemed like the best spot to leave this comment. I really like this new theme you have chosen, it’s very clean and not at all cluttered, which I think works well with your content. Also, I really like the purpose statement. The one thing I would suggest is looking to see if you can have links open on a separate page. For example on your art print page, it links to your work, but the viewer would have to click the back key to get back to your blog. If it was to open on a separate page, they would close your prints, but still have your blog open.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so envious of your horses. I always wanted a horse but have never done anything about it. I think it’s great to connect with those beautiful creatures. As for a hot air balloon ride, I highly recommend Bagan, Myanmar or Cappadocia, Turkey! 🙂


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