Weekend Coffee Share – Empowering Zen Strategies, That Sprinkles Every Day Bliss Over Your Life

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This is Shasta Dam, with Mt.Shasta in the background. We hiked the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail last weekend, and the trail head is just behind the parking lot of the dam. It’s gorgeous out there. I love coming to the dam on a regular basis, mostly to watch the ospreys, that likes to fish there. I saw at least 20 birds of prey there last weekend. Hiking in magically beautiful places is one of my most effective strategies for a blissful zen life.


Imagine. The power is yours. You can choose. You have a full tank of gas. Where are you going? Are you taking a scenic dirt road? Or the highway, to get where you want to go fast? This morning while I was sipping my first cup of the black magical brew, I thought about how I own the power. How I can make a choice every morning. Despite responsibilities, and personal challenges, we all have them, it is possible to choose amazing. It’s possible to choose a blissful day, every day. Even when a day doesn’t start out feeling awesomely amazing. Naturally a great cup of coffee helps a lot too 😉 How do you like yours? Perfect. 

While sipping my second cup of that magic brew, I thought about a horse trainer/mentor I worked with for several years. She recently passed away. She was a wise woman. A very wise woman. Completely, totally no-nonsense. She kicked my *ss right after my divorce. What she said made me so mad at first, but it was the best advice I ever got. As I was feeling sorry for myself one morning, she simply said; What are you choosing to do about it? Then she left the room. It took a while for it to sink in, but it changed my life. I could actually choose how to react to a situation that seemed totally unfair, and undeserved. 

Later on we had a few more conversations about the subject. She’d let me borrow some empowering books, and of course we worked with my horse. She was filming horsemanship videos of her methods (inspired by Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, and some Pat Parelli.) My horse was in several of the videos, so we spent a lot of time together. Which I’m very grateful for. I learned a lot. In one of the books she gave me I found this inspirational quote:

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

Those words became a guiding light. I started to make a list of things that meant the most to me, and compared it to what my life looked like at the time. My list did not have a whole lot to do with reality back then. I decided to do something about it. I still revisit my list once a month, and evaluate if the things on my list still are important to me, if I need to add, or withdraw things on the list. ..and then I compare the list to my reality. (It’s crucially important to be honest with yourself while doing this.) I quickly discovered that the more my list and my reality are in harmony with each other, the happier I am. I believe that the most important thing in the world is to be kind and compassionate to others, follow the golden rule, and treat them like you would like to be treated. That means that I need to treat myself right as well. Maybe I’m only talking to myself, but I think it’s a thousand times easier to be generous and kind, when I feel good. The things on my list keeps me grounded, and balanced. The list is meant to include things/activities that are a priority, and that you do on a regular (preferably daily/weekly) basis. Are you tempted to make a list? It sure does make it easier to choose amazing. 

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This is what my garden looks like now. I’ve divided my garden into two separate rooms. One for traditional gardening in the ground, organic of course. The second room is the home of my container garden. I’m planning on getting a greenhouse for my container fruit trees this fall. Spending time in my garden is one of the things I love the most. Definitely helps to keep me grounded.

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I’m 5’10, and the highest corn, growing in the best part of my garden, is as tall as I am.


These are some of my feel-good priorities:

  • Time with my daughter, indulging in any activity she is interested in at the moment. 
  • My horses, and my dog.
  • My garden.
  • Learning new things related to my vision. Most often related to gardening/homesteading/parenting/horses/photography.
  • Reading for fun.
  • Hiking.
  • Photography.
  • Road trips.
  • Exploring old towns.
  • Meditation.
  • Enough sleep.
  • Healthy, organic, (preferably homegrown) homemade food.  
  • Blogging.

At the moment I feel that there is a balance, and that I have made room for these important feel-good priorities on my list. They are a part of my daily, or weekly schedule. I am happy, and I know that to stay happy I need to meditate over all the things I have to be  grateful for in my life. I need to do this at least every morning. This strategy works for me. It makes me feel empowered, to choose these things that I know makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong and happy. I also know that if I get sloppy with my habits, I don’t feel very good. If I don’t go on at least one longer hike every week, I get tired. If I don’t listen to my daughter’s ideas, and indulge in something she’s interested in, I miss out. My horses makes me breath deeper, and stay in the moment. They are both doing fantastic BTW. I rode Fancy in my new dressage saddle for the first time this week, and it was a blast. I hear Ghost calling for me right now. It’s 6am, and he’s expecting his breakfast, and some grooming. (..I’ll better hurry up.) My dog, well, she’s the most loyal friend I have. My garden helps me eat healthy, and even get some exercise. I often meditate, and read in my garden. It’s peaceful. I practice my photography every day, while doing the activities I love. Do you need a refill on that coffee?

Sometimes I ask people I meet, friends, and acquaintances, about what makes them happy. Some have lots to say, which makes me happy. Others become very quiet. So tell me now, what makes you happy? What’s on your feel-good priority list? Any fun plans for the weekend? Imagine. The power is yours. You can choose. You have a full tank of gas. Where are you going?


Ms Zen

Ps. I forgot to mention I started a new part-time job last weekend, taking care of some horses at a nearby estate. I’ve been going there after finishing my own morning chores, every morning this week, and absolutely love it. The horses are well mannered. The place is gorgeous, and well kept. The owner is really nice. It doesn’t feel like work. 



This horse, my young half Arabian Ghost, is the greatest challenge that I’ve met so far in my life. So full of love and emotions of all kind. Extremely sensitive and smart.

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He is related to Abu Farwa (a famous endurance horse,) on his Dam’s side. He is athletic and very fast. I did not know of his relation with this famous endurance horse when I got him. I just had a feeling when we met, that this horse is somehow related to my future.

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A friend is a second self, so that our consciousness of a friend’s existence…makes us more fully conscious of our own existence. ― Aristotle

This guy’s inner and outer beauty inspires me to be better, and try harder every day. There’s truly no better teacher in mindfulness than the horse.

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I did notice that this horse had something, but how complex and beautiful he truly is, I could not see that first day. He have challenged me to question many things about myself, and my horsemanship. What the future has in store? I wouldn’t know. I do know that this guy have changed mine. Thank you for visiting with us today.


Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share

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Cherry Tomatoes

Imagine. That morning you walk out to the garden at first light, and your 34 cherry tomato plants magically transformed their beautiful flowers, into tiny tomatoes overnight. That was one of my discoveries in the garden today. Another miracle was that my yellow squash was brimming with the first beautiful produce of the season. That first harvest of the year is equally special for every plant. When my daughter woke up a couple hours later, and I told her, she immediately jumped out of bed, and ran out to the garden. Her joy was immense. After admiring all the beauty, we did a little happy harvest dance together. I just LOVE mornings! How can it not be the best time of the day? 

Are you ready to grab a cup of coffee and join me in the garden? Remind me, how do you like your coffee? Tell me about your week as I walk you through the exciting news in the garden.

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Along the fence line between my two garden areas, I’ve planted cucumber. I’ve never had any luck with cucumber before, but these plants seem to be happy.

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Organic Cucumber

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Sweet corn, (cherry tomatoes in the background.)

Talking about my garden, did you by chance see my post about our fig tree experiment earlier this week? I’m so curious to see the results of all those roots getting established.

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Yellow Squash Plant 

I’ve tried to train my squash to grow vertically this year. I had some success with it, they are not directly on the ground. They have a tendency to spread out low on the ground. When they are close to the ground they are more prone to pests, and rot. The white powder on the ground is dried sea algae, a natural organic repellent to ants, centipedes, cockroaches, and most other bugs that hurt your plants. It might not look beautiful, but it works, and is totally safe for humans and other animals.

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There’s always something happening in the garden this time of the year. Guess who’s going to eat lots of squash for a few weeks? LOL. Last year we invented a recipe where we cut them lengthwise, and used the long slices as pizza crust. Yum yum.. If you have delicious recipes with squash and zucchini, please share them! We’re going to have lots and lots. Zucchini bread was a another favorite last year.

My horses Ghost, and Fancy, are both doing great. Ghost and I are on friendly terms. He is very sweet, and appreciate his time off. I have started to put a halter on him a couple times a day, and do some short leading exercises. Without a halter his like a puppy dog. With a halter he has good days, when he is like a puppy dog, and bad days, when he freaks out and is super claustrophobic. We’re having mostly good days now.

Something fun happened yesterday when I came home. I usually park my truck in the shade, under some trees, right next to the pasture. If I come, or go somewhere, Ghost is there to loudly wish me good bye, or welcome me home. Yesterday after I parked my truck I walked into the pasture, to say hello, and check on the water. I have a big bath tub with water for the horses. It was 3/4 full when I checked it. I decided to not fill it up more at the time. (I wanted to clean it out, when it was a little less water in it.) When I start to walk away, I hear the sound of water. I turn around, to see Ghost, who had walked with me from my truck, to the water, turn the water on with his teeth. He looked awfully proud of himself!

My daughter tried Fancy’s jog for the first time this week, and also had her first ride outside the round pen. I’ve never seen a bigger smile on her face. Maybe you remember that I bought a brand new dressage saddle for Ghost earlier this spring? I tried it on him right after buying it, and it fits him perfectly. It’s one of the nicest saddle I ever owned. However, after deciding that Ghost isn’t ready to be started under saddle (I’m very happy with that decision,) I have never actually ridden in it. I look at it every day.. I haven’t had a girth in the right size for Fancy. We’ve been using a western saddle on her. I grew up riding English, and feel more at home in a dressage saddle. I ordered a dressage girth in Fancy’s size, a few days ago. It’s suppose to come tonight! I am pretty sure that the saddle will fit her. She is ready to carry my weight for at least short rides. I am very excited about actually being able to ride again. And of course start using my new saddle. Hopefully I have some photos of that next weekend.

Any fun plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear about them! Would you like another cup of coffee?



Ms Zen