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

Photos my 5year old took today

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Today we had photography on the schedule. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you probably know that I was a teacher, before I was blessed with a daughter, and now I’m her teacher. We let school evolve around her interest, and work in projects, having all the subjects within the frame of the current project. Some projects covers a week, while others can be a month, and sometimes they are even longer. It’s about learning useful skills for life. Making learning fun, and interesting for my daughter is a high priority in my life. We have photography a couple times a week, since she is very interested in photography. (I wonder where she got that from..)

Since we just moved, and also moved our two horses, to live with us, the current project evolves around horsemanship. It’s very easy to involve; history, math, language (we have English, Swedish, and Spanish on our schedule,) art, reading, writing, science, and nature around this subject. We’re having lots of fun!

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I usually give a couple basic instructions in the beginning of every photography class, trying to add some new knowledge (it can be about lighting, framing a picture, or camera techniques.) My daughter is only 5 years old, and a lot of  instructions makes it boring for her, and she looses interest.  Sometimes I decide what we’re going to photograph, sometimes I let her decide. Today she decided. She wanted to photograph Ghost, my young half Arabian. He’s one of my favorite models, so I can definitely understand her desire to photograph him. I agreed to clean him up for her. Naturally he had rolled in mud just minutes before..

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To make it interesting, I asked her to document the process of making a young horse comfortable with a training session. To use a few photos to show different steps, that shows that the horse is OK with what’s going on. We have been talking about different ways of documenting events lately, so this was in line what we had discussed earlier. Even at this young age, having been around horses since before she was born, she knows what to look for! I think the photos in this post, are the five best photos of Ghost, that she took today.

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I hope you enjoyed the photos, I enjoyed them very much when I saw them. It’s a wonderful thing seeing the world through the eyes of your child. Every photography lesson leads to interesting conversations with my daughter, and I learn a little more about what’s truly in her heart, and how she views the world. It’s usually easy to speak your mind about a photo you took. I can highly recommend encouraging your children to document their world with a camera. Thank you for sharing our experience!

How was your day? We had a very comfortable 65 degrees today. I managed to finish fencing in the garden area. Tomorrow we’re planting our seedlings. I can’t wait!

I’ve spent lots of time with my new horse Fancy since I brought her home two days ago. She is a total sweetheart. I knew she was, but she is just wonderful. The more time I spend with her the more I understand about her past, and it have made me cry a couplet times so far. She has scars on her body, and other signs of abuse, that no-one should have to experience. Despite her rough background, she is so eager to become friends. If I open the round pen she comes trotting up, trying to get in. It took her no time at all to understand that the round pen is a pleasurable place, where she gets undivided attention. I like that she figured that out by herself. I LOVE having two horses that competes about being the first one to get a halter on.

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OK, I’m giving you a 6th photo that my daughter took, Fancy watching Ghost and me play in the round pen. You can see her watching through the fence in some of the other photos as well.

I hope you had a wonderful day. My heart is filled with gratitude as this day goes towards its end.

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Ghost’s New Friend

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I’ve been boarding my horse Ghost (the horse in the background,) at a training facility for the first four months of our budding friendship, to get a good start on our relationship. We just leased a new house (we slept in our new house for the first time this weekend,) with property, and plenty of room for horses. It was finally time to bring Ghost home. I did that earlier last week.

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I’ve spent a lot of time carefully selecting a friend for him. There’s so many things that has to be just right, to make it a good match for everyone – the new horse, Ghost, and our human family situation.

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My hope was to not only find a new family member, but to make a difference in a horse’s life, that really needed a home. It’s easy to just go and buy a horse, but there’s so many out there, good horses, that for different reasons find themselves in bad places. Through the years I’ve fostered around 20 abused horses, that I’ve helped nurtured back into good health, physically and emotionally. This time my intention is to keep the horse for life. Therefor I really needed to make a good decision. I wanted the horse to be gentle enough for my 5 year old daughter to be around, and preferably be able to (eventually) take my weight as well, so that I can work with the horse. (A horse that only has kids riding it, sometimes forgets some of its training/manners.)  

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After looking at several horses, I found the mare in the photos, two weeks ago. After spending some time with her, I purchased her on the spot. My intuition is usually right. Yesterday we brought her home, FTB Fancy Traditions, stable name Fancy. She is a 12 year old, Quarter Horse. Fancy have a solid foundation, but experienced some rough times for a while. I can’t wait to spoil her with attention. She needs to gain some muscle weight, but she has the sweetest personality (and excellent cutting blood.)

Ghost and Fancy hit it off from he start. By looking at the pictures, you would think that they’ve been friends for a log time. In fact they just met for the firs time, ten minutes ago, when I took these. It rained all day yesterday, but I thought you’d like to see some photos anyways. I’ll take some better later. Fancy is gentle enough for my daughter to brush, and ride by herself. We (all of our two, and four legged family,) couldn’t be happier.

I hope your weekend was nothing short but amazing! Have a wonderful new week!

Love,

Ms Zen