NorCal Through My Glasses


When you tell people that you live in California they usually picture LA, or San Francisco. It seems like that goes for 99% of people from other states and countries, that I’ve encountered. This post is about another side.

hmb4 (1)

To be totally honest. Cities, in all their beauty and comfort are not all that appealing to me. I can’t stand traffic, or bumping in to people right and left when walking down a street. Sure it’s enjoyable to eat at a good restaurant in the city. I do appreciate that, but as soon as I thanked the waitress and paid, I can’t get out fast enough.

hmb5 (1)

I LOVE the other side of our beautiful state; the wide open spaces, the national parks that can’t be completely explored in one lifetime, the endless ocean and its beautiful beaches, the coyotes singing me to sleep most every night, watching bears enjoy blackberries in a sunny spot next to the lake, hiking/snowboarding on our extraordinary mountains, and growing my own food in the fertile soil in our part of the state. The fact that when you’re on a road trip it’s beautiful everywhere you look. When I drive in to town for groceries I only see beauty. I can’t get enough of this side of our state. Have you experienced this side?


…perhaps that might be the way to write this book–to open the page and to let the stories crawl in by themselves.  ― John Steinbeck

That’s California to me. Life coming my way, like the waves coming into the magical beaches along the coast. Forcing me to accept the inevitable, to accept, to say yes, to start thinking outside the box. While exploring the wild sides of our state, I’ve also learned to say no when needed. To not compromise. I’ve been way to good at compromising earlier in my life. There’s no compromise in the nature around me, but the beauty is in how animals and plants coexist in harmony. It might sound contradicting. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. I don’t think I learned as much during my 18 years in school (I loved school,) as I’ve learned from observing nature. California is pure magic to me. Just like I want life to be. Like I choose for my life to be.


The pictures in today’s post is from a beach near Half Moon Bay, that I visited last weekend. It was Saturday afternoon/evening when we got there, my daughter needed to collect some sea shells. I love that it is possible to find an almost empty beach on a weekend.  Thanks for reading my thoughts on mindfulness.


Ms Zen

My Wild Garden

zu2 (1)

This year my garden have done an awesome job keeping up with my wild and crazy side! To begin with, I planted seeds that someone gave me several years ago, during a road trip. I had put the seeds away, in a sealed bag, in a tiny pocket, in one of my backpacks (an old one that I mostly use for storage nowadays.) I found the seeds this spring. I knew I was going to move at least once during the gardening season, so I planted them in small pots, replanted them in bigger posts a couple times, before finally planting them in the ground a month ago. It’s been tough being a plant in my garden this year. I thought they all died many times, and then they magically came to life again.


Despite seeds that were several years old, my infrequent care, and several moves, this is what my garden looks like now.


…and yes, there is a lot of grass growing next to my Goldrush Zucchini. Next year I promise I will make proper garden beds from the beginning. With all the fixings. This year I’m eternally gratefully for all the good things that magically came into my life. One of them being 3 acres to do anything I want with, a dream coming true. I’ve fenced in the garden area, and will keep making updates until next season.

zu4 (1)

I’ve never tried growing eggplant before, but I found a few eggplant seeds among the other seeds this spring. The plants are getting bigger, and hopefully we have enough season left to produce a good harvest.

e (1)

I think they are beautiful. Spending time in my garden is so incredibly rewarding. Not only because I enjoy growing my own food, but because of the process of seeing plants grow, feel the harmony of nature, the whole nurturing process. The actual harvest is only a small part of it.

From time to time friends volunteer to help me in my garden, to get things done quickly, to take me with them to another activity. I usually decline, gardening is not a thing to get done quickly with. Even thinking in those terms feels like a sin, almost. It gives so much joy to quietly tend to the garden. I’ve never had a garden big enough to be a burden work wise. I thoroughly enjoy working with my hands. It’s pure pleasure.

My container garden had around 40 fruit trees at the most this year. I sold some, and saved some for myself. Some of them grew too big for their pots, and I had to plant them. I was planning on waiting until the end of September, beginning of October, which is the best time to plant trees in our area, but they really had to go in the ground now. Some of them made the transition nicely, but some will probably not make it. I’ll find out for sure next spring. I’ve seen miraculous recoveries before! I’m looking to add more trees within the next two months, before winter hits us, and everything is resting. (I have plenty of indoor projects on my hand this winter, so I won’t be bored!)

I’d love to “meet” likeminded gardeners, and here about your projects!


Ms Zen




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!



Ms Zen