Weekend Coffee Share; STAYING BUSY

This morning I really need my coffee. I’ve been awake half the night thinking. How about you? How was your week?

I’ve been keeping myself busy, even busier than usual this week. Trying to not think about the fact that my daughter is not with me. However happy I am for her. It is hard! There’s a thousand thoughts running around in my head. I’m as far from the worrying kind as one could be. I know by experience that the only thing in life that is constant, is change. I can handle her being away for a visit with her dad, no problem, but there is even talk about more. I’m not really sure how I am going to handle that. He has offered to let her start school in his town, in another state. She is happy, and thrilled about finally getting some dad time. All I know is that I would do anything for that little girl. I love her to death. Since I found out that I was pregnant with her I’ve been showering her with love, reading to her, and had educational conversation with her every single day she’s been with me. I’ve happily tailored my life around her, only accepting jobs where I have been able to bring her with me. Just to spend as much precious time as possible with my daughter. (Imagine how easy that have been, to find/create jobs where you can bring a small child.) The few days now and then she haven’t been with me, have been an exception to the rule, and very few in between.

I want her to have a relationship with her dad, that is why I gave up my life in my home country. (I love America, and it’s my home now, but in the beginning it wasn’t as easy as I showed family and friends.) So far, I’ve felt that we have not been a priority. In the end I guess one could say that we have different survival strategies for hard times, that I read as not being a priority. That is why I left her father (but not the country,) when she was a baby/toddler. We’ve been able to stay friends, and I think highly of him. For the most part we’ve been living within a few hours from each other, and when he’s been able to make time, I’ve been driving her to him. For her sake. I want her to know her dad. I feel that I have been going out of my way, a lot, to make it happen. Now he lives an 11 hour drive away, without traffic. In reality it takes two days to drive safely with a kid, one way. All of a sudden he wants to see her more. So far it’s been very easy to cooperate around her. I am so hoping that it will stay that way. I think it is. I hope it will. It’s been heavily on my mind this week. My daughter is my number one priority. Her well being, and her education is more important than anything to me. You get the idea, lots of things to think about. What is in her best interest? That’s all I really care about. But how do one know what’s in her best interest? My gut feeling want to keep her close, always, but a little voice tells me that’s selfish. How could I deny her spending more time her dad, that she adores? I’m sure the universe have a solution for this as well. Please just make your solution known in time before the new school year! The uncertainty is killing me. I can work with a definite decision, and make the best of it. Not knowing is challenging.

In the beginning of the week it was easy to think of other things, as my cousin and her boyfriend from Sweden, and my aunt from Washington was visiting. I wrote about our visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and McCloud Falls earlier this week. Having them here was wonderful. To say the least.

We had a visit from our amazing barefoot trimmer Donna on Tuesday. Fancy’s hooves were very neglected when I bought her in April. They were cracked, too short on most places, with long parts sticking out on other. Her heals were kind of pushed up into her hooves, and her toes were partly too long, and flared. She was walking on her toes. She had an untreated abscess on her left front hoof. After a first trim, Donna’s been balancing her hooves once a month. They are growing out nicely, and her heals are starting to take a more normal position. (You can see the progress in the photos below. There is still a way to go, but it is going in the right direction.) She is moving more freely by the day. She is making great progress. This week Donna told me that Fancy will not have any lasting injuries on her hooves, from the neglect. It’s such great news! The new growth is straight, and looks very healthy. Nutrition, and TLC goes a long way. Right now Fancy is on alfa alfa (hay), Stable Mix, and California Trace.

I ordered a new bitless bridle for her last week, that came this week. It’s handmade with her measurements, made out of biothane.

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Doesn’t she look beautiful in it? You’ll have more control if you put the noseband a little further down, compared to where I placed it on Fancy. (She has an old injury in her mouth. Healed, but she has a bad deformation on her tongue. Her tongue was almost cut off at some point, and left untreated.) I have only used the headstall for work-in-hand (on the ground) so far. It seems like she really like it. I’ve successfully started, and restarted, different horses in this type of halter. Including wild mustangs. It’s soft, but the signals to your horse is very clear, and easy for them to understand. I order them from Moss Rock Endurance (they are having problems with their website right now, but they are working on it.) They also have great customer service. If you’re interested in one for your horse, contact the owner, Lisa. She has been very helpful to me throughout the years.  

Do you need a refill on that coffee? Do you have a  garden this year? How is it doing now? Is it at is peak? Or have you already harvested the majority of your bounty? I’d love to hear what garden zone you are in, and about the plants that thrives there. 

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I’ve planted three different varieties of smaller tomatoes; grape, cherry, and cocktail. When I pick them, I just pick the ripe ones, all together. The different tastes makes for great salads. Speaking of which, I tried this recipe the other day, it was amazing.

I’ve harvested at least 10 lbs of cherry tomatoes this week, some squash, cucumber, salad, and corn. To the benefit of friends and family. I’ve also added one Meyer Lemon tree, and one Navel Orange tree, to my container garden. I’ve been wanting to add citrus trees for a while, so this is exciting 🙂 It’s a start. There will be more. I’ve also done a lot of mulching. We’ve had three digit temperatures the whole week, most days more than 110. (The new saltwater pool is even more awesome than I imagined. I’ve spent a lot of time there this week.) I’ve started to clean out plants that I already finished harvesting from, some squash, and corn. Those beds I’ve started to prepare for my fall garden. The fall garden is still weeks away, but I will keep feeding those beds until it’s time. I spent time planning my fall garden this week, and ordered the heirloom seed I need from RareSeeds.Com. I will have eggplant, carrots, lettuce, kale, Chinese meat radish, and two tomato varieties in my fall garden. I will start those seeds indoors as soon as they arrive. When the temperatures are cool enough, I will plant them outdoors. 

I have not been able to write anything on my book this week. Maybe next week? LOL. On an interesting note, I’ve had three hawks visiting me for hours every day. There’s a hummingbird feeder hanging from a tree, a few feet outside the living room window. Someone placed a beautiful bird bath made out of stone underneath. There’s never any humming birds there. Now these three hawk, have started to hang out there (maybe that’s why there are no hummingbirds there..) Sometimes it’s just one, or two hawks, but most of the time three. I’m far from a bird expert, but I believe it’s two males, and one female. They are just a few feet from the window, and I’ve enjoyed watching them very much. If I’m sitting very still on a chair outside, or in the pool, they come. If I make any moves, they are gone. I have not yet been able to take their picture. I’ll work on that. I don’t know what kind of hawks they are. They are on the smaller side. 

I hope you’re having an amazing week! Don’t get me wrong, despite my thoughts about my daughter in the beginning, I am having a good week, just more to think about than usual. My dog Gretchen is working wonders on my happiness levels. She always does. I’m working a little harder than normal to keep my zen balanced this week. I’d love to hear about your week! Help yourself to another cup of coffee, and tell me about it 🙂 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

PS. I am NOT an affiliate to any of the links I share. I just enjoy sharing things I like, and appreciate.

Sunday Stills: Furry Friends

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Two friends playing tag.

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills is Fur and Feathers. Since I currently don’t have any feathers in my barn, I’ll share some of my furry friends.

Yesterday I caught two of my furry friends, my German Shepherd Gretchen, and my young horse Ghost playing tag. These two are hilarious. They take turns chasing each other around, splashing water at each other, and taking naps in the sun together. It took me forever to finish my outside chores, because it was so much fun just watching them.

Terri, one of the hosts for this photo challenge educated me this morning, by telling us that today is National Animal Rights DayI did not know that. Thank you Terri. She also raised the question; To what extent do we continue to banish native animals from their own environments due to urbanization? I’ll say, a great deal. Of course our human endeavors affect every animal now living on the planet.

My heart bleeds for the mustangs in our neighbor state Nevada. I’ve been observing a few herds there for the past 6 years, and noticed how they get a harder time getting to their water sources. One of the side effects of this is more horses crossing highways, causing accidents, and human deaths every year. All because of new housing complexes and fences erected around private properties. In some places they are cornered in, and I wouldn’t exactly call them wild and free any more. The complex question about our wild horses living situation is not a new one. Did you know that tax payers in America currently pay more than $120,000 per day for wild horses in holding facilities? They are in holding facilities due to round-ups. Wild horses are caught under stressful situations when they “cause trouble”due to being horses = when we have taken to much of their habitat for our human needs (cattle, housing, and other urbanization.) The number of wild horses removed from the range far exceed adoption demand. Which leads to stockpiling over 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities. Which is insane. The holding facilities are like small jails for the former wild horses. I’m all in for keeping wild horses wild, but if I had the funds, I would dedicate my life to getting as many wild horses as possible out of those holding facilities.

I did publish a Coffee Table Book with beautiful photos of wild horses, and facts about their situation back in 2013; NEVADA MUSTANGS – LIVING SYMBOLS OF THE WEST. The purpose of my book was to raise awareness of the situation, not only here in America, but also world wide. Here people either love, or hate the mustangs. In other countries many people see them as something very exotic. I withdraw my book from Amazon, when the facts got a little outdated. You can still view my book, by clicking on the title. It is available for purchase, even though I haven’t promoted the book after some of the facts got outdated (numbers of mustangs, and my website/business info. etc. I used to have an Equine Photography Business.) The photos are still very much enjoyable. I am thinking of making a second edition. I patented the title, when publishing the first edition, with this in mind. I do donate 50% of the proceed to a non-profit that works hard for our wild horses future. (It’s been a couple different during the years, depending on what project they currently are working on/needs.) National Animal Rights Day got my brain going haywire.

I hope your weekend is awesome ! I think I’m going to escape the heat for a few hours and drive up to the mountains.  Can’t wait to catch up with my favorite blogs later tonight. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share

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I don’t know where to begin this week. It’s been a great week. We’re starting to settle in at our new place. I really like it so far. Things are coming together. I have both my horses here, and they are getting along great. Do you have time for a cup of coffee? I’ll tell you all about it. I just need to get myself a refill first. Just a second.. How is your coffee ? Ooo, good 🙂 

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I’ve told myself more than once, that I’m not having a another rental (with land,) ever again. It’s emotionally draining to set up someone else’s property, put your soul into it, and then leave it. All those hot summer days fixing fences, digging gardens, pruning trees, all that becomes part of you. At least that’s how I feel. This time it’s slightly different. The property isn’t huge, less than 1.5 acres. The pasture is already fenced (I did enforce some parts of it that needs reinforcements, but mostly is was good.) The house is beautiful, underneath a few layers of dirt. Working on getting it cleaned, room by room. I accidentally started the fire alarm when I used the stove top for the first time. Before I even had any food on, just old grease starting to smoke. I did the same thing the first time I started the oven last night..old grease.Yuck! The house was designed by an artist, and have some gorgeous mosaic on the living room floor, and in the master bathroom. I know that I’m going to spend at least a year here. (Most likely. Unless something completely unexpected happens.) Therefor, I am making it my home. I am putting a piece of my soul into it, but not my whole soul. I am going to be able to leave when its time. (I’m sure we could stay longer than a year, if we want.) Until then, I’m planning on enjoying every day here. Naturally I am taking great care of the place, but if I owned it, I would dig out old flower beds (that aren’t that beautiful any longer,) plant fruit trees, and make more permanent beautifying changes. Now it’s more about upkeep, and enjoying. 

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I did put in a new garden area. It’s for an annual vegetable garden. I am going to enjoy that area every day, so that is worth it to me, even if I only would have a garden there one year. I finished fencing the area, and planted some of my seedlings this week. I’m hoping for a prolific harvest. It is peaceful here. The sounds you hear are mostly birds singing, and an occasional dog barking (usually not mine.) I met two of my neighbors, an older couple, they seem to be good people. I love having my horses outside the door. I give them love several times a day. If I want to take a break from working in the garden, it takes me 30 seconds to walk over to my horses. I feel grateful, and happy about where I am right now.  

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I planted cherry tomato seedlings, earlier this week, that my daughter and I grown from seeds, under a heat lamp.

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These rows are all going to be cherry tomatoes. It’s my daughter’s favorite vegetable. We eat lots of them every day. The seedlings are tiny now, you can barely see them in this photo. LOL. Just wait and see, they’ll be HUGE very soon.

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I have a little trick I do, after planting the seedlings, I water a circle around them, with a diluted 3/4 water + 1/4 vinegar solution. It serves two purposes, as a fertilizer, and it keeps ants away. We have lots of ants.

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This is a newly planted (it survived two nights outside when writing this,) squash seedling. Also grown from seed inside, under a grow light.

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I planted my squash seedling along one of the fence lines to the garden. That way they have support from the fence, as they grow bigger. I planted them in compost from last year, so they should be very happy.

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Next to my squash, I planted spinach. I planted them from seed, directly into my garden outside. I planted them yesterday, so it’s going to take some time before I see the spinach.

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Next to the spinach, is the garlic I planted from cloves inside, a couple weeks ago. I just transplanted them to my outdoor garden yesterday.

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The view of my three most loyal friends, seen from my garden. They love hanging out in the shade, close to where I happen to be.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time bonding with my new horse Fancy this week. I groom her a couple times a day, and she seem to enjoy the attention. I started to work on her hooves yesterday. They have been badly neglected. I’m going to work a little bit on them every day. (I took a class in barefoot trimming years ago. So that I can work on my own horses, at least in between trimmings. Or if I take in a rescue with trust issues. If they are going to be worked a lot, I hire a professional.)

BTW, did you happen to see the photos my 5 year old daughter took of Ghost and me, earlier this week?

Are you enjoying spring yet? Or do you still have snow lingering? We’ve had temperatures in the 60’s in the beginning of this week, and then it slowly been going up. I’ve been waiting for warmer weather, to give the horses well needed baths. Going to take care of that this afternoon. This weekend we’re having mid 80’s. It’s rodeo weekend here. It’s a big event, the third weekend of April every year. The Red Bluff Round-Up is actually the largest three day rodeo in the country. The opening show is tonight, but I don’t think I will be going tonight. I will enjoy the rodeo Saturday, and Sunday though. Both my daughter, and I are excited. It’s very festive; a parade through town Saturday, music, clowns, beautiful horses, action, and happy people. I’m not much of going to big events, but I do enjoy going to a few rodeos every year. Country lifestyle & horses, what is there not to like? Sunday is wear pink day (to honor breast cancer survivors.) I bought my daughter a new pink outfit yesterday. I couldn’t find anything for me. I look horrible in pink. I did try a few outfits yesterday.. I’ll see if I can find something today. 

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I hope you’re having a fantastic week so far, and that it continues in the same awesome way. Thanks for having coffee with me, I enjoyed the conversation, and lovely company very much! 

Love,

Ms Zen