Grand Canyon, Mindful Living, Photography

Elemental

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Exploring the elements of earth, air, water, and fire through the landscapes that surround us.

The inspirational post at The Daily Post, for this week’s photo challenge, is from Arizona. After seeing their photo from Sedona, I could not force my brain to stop thinking about Arizona.

The desert have always been very attractive to me. I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert (not so much in Arizona, as in Nevada.) It’s on my list to explore more of Arizona’s desert. At some point, little by little.

The two photos in this post is from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. My daughter and I went there on a road trip, a couple years ago. Experiencing the grand canyon is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. No photos can give the experience justice. The overwhelming feelings that takes you out of space and time. I need to go back soon!

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Love,

Ms Zen

Mindful Living, NorCal, Northern California, Organic Gardening

Satisfaction 2

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This weekend we’re having temperatures around +110 F (+43.4 C,) the only option to stay sane is to make sure to get some time outside EARLY. I had some fencing to do, and I can assure you that I was very happy that I started at sunup. Around 8am it started to get closer to 100. Have you ever pounded down t-posts by hand? With some encouraging support from my dog I worked until I ran out of t-posts around 10am. Am I complaining? NO! It was actually very satisfying. I felt extremely strong. Things went smooth. The line of t-posts was reasonably straight….AND I was making the fence for my place, and not for anyone else! …to be continued 🙂

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

Love,

Ms Zen

Mindful Living, Minimalism, NorCal, Northern California

Satisfaction

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Something very few people know about me is how much I enjoy beautiful leather. I enjoy polishing my boots and tack. I enjoy the scent, the feel, the almost meditative task, and the result of course.  It’s certainly a zen thing to me!

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I sometimes buy old saddles on craigslist, and yards sales, and work with them for weeks, until the result satisfies me. This is one of the fenders on such a saddle. Isn’t it beautiful?

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This saddle was very special to me. It was a gift. probably one of the best gifts I ever received. I wished that I’d kept it. It was a little too big for me. If I was just sitting still at a walk, it was extremely comfortable, as soon as I needed to do some work, or ride at a faster speed, not so much. I did use it for a couple years, before parting with it. Looking back, I wished that I’d kept it for sentimental reasons, but life didn’t allow that at the time. I don’t want to have a lot of things, but the things that I have does fill me with satisfaction. I make sure of that, or else I replace them. There’s so many little things that fills me with satisfaction every day; that my dog always come when I call her, my daughter’s beautiful laughter, my garden, my dreams, my friends, good health, nature, kind eyes, a brave horse etc.etc. I love the theme of this week’s photo challenge! Looking forward to see the other entries.

Happy Friday !!

Love,

Ms Zen

Mindful Living, NorCal, Northern California, Photography

Unusual

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You can find this little cutie at Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, Reno (NV.) It is most unusual for me to share photos of exotic animals. They are by no means a part of my daily life. The theme for this week’s photo challenge is unusual, hence this photo. My daughter and I had a most lovely visit at the sanctuary this spring.

I’ve been participating in the weekly photo challenge with different blogs, for a long time. Lately my life have been very busy, in a very good way! During this busy period of my life, I’ve decided to at least create one blog post every week, and the photo challenge is very inspiring to me. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to join the fun. I love seeing, and scrolling through (most of) the entries every week, stopping to make a comment when something catches my eye. I really enjoy seeing what other photographers from all the corners of our beautiful planet see through their lens. The connections I’ve made via blogging have taught me a lot, and I have met some of my new friends in real life.

 

Our Outer world reflects our inner commitments. If we want to know what we’re really committed to, all we have to do is look at our lives. We are, whether we are aware of it or not, always creating exactly what we are most committed to.

The choices we make are ALWAYS in alignment with our deepest commitments.

By examining what we have and what we don’t have.. we are able to uncover and see what we are TRULY committed to. – Debbie Ford

 

…but to make a long story short, my dream of a small homestead is turning into reality. Soon this blog will be filled with photos of hard work, sweat, and beautiful zen moments from my own place! I can’t wait! For the moment my head is exploding with ideas of how to best utilize 3 fertile, usable acres. So many wants and needs 🙂

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Horse Training, Mindful Living

Mustang Collage

I’m a horse girl. I’ve always been. The first story about me escaping to the neighbors draft horses, is from before my first memory. I learned to read when I was 5 years old, and read all the horse books available in the library of my town, and the two closest cities (both fictional, and non-fictional books.) As I grew older I started to hang out at the closest riding school, as often as mom would allow me to. On school holidays I volunteered taking care of horses in another stable, getting up at 4am to walk 3,5 km to get there, for the pleasure of feeding someone else’s horses in the morning (without being paid of course.) I saved ten years to be able to purchase my first horse. I’ve attended many clinics with famous, and non-famous trainers. I’ve observed horses in pastures, and in the wild for thousands of hours. I borrowed pieces of knowledge from different centuries, countries, and horses, like pieces of a puzzle, putting them together in my head. One of my girlhood dreams was to gain the trust of a wild horse. It became more than a dream. Two and half years ago, I got the opportunity to put my theories to work.

 

Rebel Day 9

 

The young gelding that became my friend, was approximately 3 years old at the time. There was never any force involved in our friendship. He wanted it as much as I did. The collage in this post is a mix of photos from our second week together. I had my camera take a photo every 30 seconds, during one of our short training sessions, using a fence post as a tripod. I’m a firm believer in many short sessions, to not ever let a young horse get bored. The most important goal being that every session is a positive experience. Slow is fast with horses, and a good foundation is everything, if you want a partner you can trust.

 

“You can never rely on a horse that is educated by fear! There will always be something that he fears more than you. But, when he trusts you, he will ask you what to do when he is afraid.”
– Antoine de Pluvinel (1555-1620)

 

Getting to know a horse born in the wild is slightly different from getting to know a domestic horse. I’ve noticed that my touch was easy to accept, but new materials, and sounds that he wasn’t used to from the wild triggered his flight instinct in a fraction of a second. The jacket that I am wearing in the photos became a monster on a windy day, a few days after these photos. I thought that we had a developing friendship going on, and was completely taken by surprise when he charged at me with bare teeth one morning. He didn’t listen when I told him with my body language to stop, and back away (by making myself HUGE.) He literally ripped the jacket of me, lifting me off the ground, and shaking me. Using his teeth to bit by bit get the monster off me. Everything happened really fast, as it often happens with horses. I concentrated on breathing calmly, and not panic, when I realized that it wasn’t me he was attacking. I have no idea how long it took for him to get the monster of my back. It felt like forever. He would not stop until he finished his task. He took the biggest piece of my jacket (my new winter jacket was now in several small pieces,) and galloped to the other end of the enclosure, throwing it up on a fence post, while stomping the ground around the monster, kicking up a lot of dust,  before slowly trotting over to me. That was it. He was as calm as could be, wanting some scratches for a job well done …

I spent six months becoming his friend, before showing him a saddle. I gave him about a month to get used to the saddle before the first ride. When I did start riding him he never bucked once. My personal circumstances changed, and I was forced to let him go. I will forever be grateful for his friendship, and what he taught me. When I have the right setup for another mustang, hopefully sooner than later, I will definitely adopt one. It is an experience you can’t imagine in your wildest dreams.

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

PS. I’m not a horse trainer, just a girl who loves horses very much. I do not recommend any training method. Anything, and everything that involves a big animal like a horse is potentially dangerous. Anything you choose to try is on your own risk.

Architecture, Mindful Living, Northern California, Photography

Bridge 2

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After composing yesterday’s entry to the weekly photo challenge, and talking to a couple friends about it, I decided to look through my Bridge Gallery. While looking through my gallery I decided that I wanted to share three of my favorite bridges in Northern California with you. Above is the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

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The black and white photo with the little girl in the front, is Sundial Bridge (Redding,) seen from the side, under the bridge. This is a very cool 217ft, cantilever suspension bridge, across the Sacramento River. The sundial actually works!

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This is on top of Sundial bridge. I love the green-blue color of the glass, and the smooth contours of the bridge.

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This is simply a highway bridge in Napa. I used to do a to of meditating under this bridge, when my daughter was an infant, and I rented a house in the area. I do go back here every once in a while. It has become one of my Zen Zones.

I hope you enjoyed this sample of bridges from my part of California. Have a wonderful day!

 

Love,

Ms Zen