MJP Gratitude Challenge

h2

 

Every Saturday I host a gratitude challenge. I share something that I am grateful for, and encourage you to do the same! This short video is two years old, and show my daughter, and a herd of rescue horses that we fostered back then. My little girl was 1,5 years old at that time. Ever since she was a little girl, horses have chosen her company.

I am one of those people that don’t give horses treats. I simply don’t like when they start invading your space, pushing you around, treating people like walking candy machines. My daughter have never given these horses in the video any treats. They are her friends, because of the love she gives them. The time she spent with them, since before she was born (I had some of them when I was pregnant with her. They all knew that she was there, and had a relation with her before they actually met her, just like I did. Horses are very intelligent animals.)

Even animals that she don’t know are drawn to her. Yesterday we visited a lady with a herd of horses. One of the horses, was an 11 year old, untrained gelding. He immediately started to “join up”, with my daughter. He walked around with his muzzle (his nose,) on her shoulder, following her around on the pasture. I don’t have a video of that, but it made me think about the numerous of times similar things have happened. Today I am grateful to share this special bond to horses, with my daughter. If you scroll through my Instagram account, there’s several short videos of my daughter, and different horses. All of them showing interaction without any physical attachments, like halters, bridles etc.

Today we’re going to visit two young rescue mares, and I am excited about seeing if my daughter connects with them.

I hope that your week have been filled with good things. I would love it, if you would join my Gratitude Challenge! Write about something you are grateful for, and remember to tag your post MJP Gratitude Challenge, to make sure I don’t miss it!

Have an amazing Saturday!

Yours,

Maria

Mount Shasta

ms2 (1)

In 1874, this was John Muir’s reaction to this sight; When I first caught sight of it I was 50 miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.


Mount Shasta is a potentially active volcano, part of the Cascade Range, in Northern California. The legends, and myths about Mount Shasta are so many that it’s impossible to count them. (If you know of any, I would love to hear it!) Some say that there’s a hidden city between it’s peak. Many, now living people believe that Mount Shasta is a gateway to other planets, and that it’s possible to connect with higher beings through a vortex on the mountain. If this is true, or not, you’ll have to decide for yourself. Several native tribes believe that, if you live where you can see Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen, or Lake Tahoe (these wonders takes the shape of a triangle if seen from above,) you will always be successful, and live a good life.

 

And well this Golden State shall thrive,
if like Its own Mount Shasta,
Sovereign Law shall lift Itself
in purer atmosphere–
so high…
– John Rollin Ridge, Cherokee Indian

 

Mount Shasta is breathtaking. I took this photo today, while driving up through Northern California. Later this summer, when there is less snow, I would like to hike up to the top, 14 100+ ft elevation. That said, I’d better kick in the next gear when it comes to my training schedule.

I lived most of my life in mountain regions, and mountains are a part of my soul. Nothing makes me feel as free as being surrounded by mountains. I will share more photos, and stories from Mount Shasta in another post.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love & Light, Always

Maria

 

Mount Shasta Canvas Print by Maria Jansson

20 Habits That Makes Me Happy

ar9

 

The Best Kind of Happiness Is a Habit You’re Passionate About. 

– Shannon L. Alder

 

The quote above was the headline to an inspiring blog post, that I read this morning. (Please take the time to read the original article!) It started a chain reaction in my brain. Of course, it’s nothing new really, but it’s the things that we do over, and over again that makes us either happy, or sad. It’s the habits that makes us succeed, or fail with something. It’s habits that makes us keep a healthy weight. It’s habits that makes it possible for ordinary people to be extraordinary. If we have something in our life that makes us really happy, we should make it a priority to turn that happiness into a habit. Maybe especially when we are stressed, and don’t have time for it. It’s those habits that keeps us going.

 

h3
Bringing my camera everywhere, time in nature with my daughter, and road trips, are among my happiness habits! I took this photo of my daughter, on a road trip to Lake Tahoe (CA,) last year.

 

I started out writing about five habits that makes me happy, just to realize that there’s so many more things that I intentionally do, that creates happiness in my life. Five habits, turned into twenty!

 

20 Habits That Makes Me Happy:

  • Sleeping 7 hours/night (makes me feel awesome. I don’t always do it.)
  • Getting up early in the morning (I LOVE watching the sunrise, and then start the days project early.)
  • Exercise every day (one way, or another I do exercise every day.)
  • Spending time in nature with my daughter every day, (very high on my priority list. EXPLORING, seeing the world through her beautiful eyes.)
  • Bringing my camera (If I leave somewhere, even if it’s only to g to the grocery store, I bring my camera.)
  • Sharing my photos with others.
  • Smiling to strangers.
  • Saying something positive to everyone I talk to. (I hate flatter, I always try to look for something genuine. Something beautiful, or positive with the person I talk to, or the situation we’re in.)
  • Really listen to what people tell me, (without thinking about my answer.)
  • Using the phrase ”Thank you! ” a lot.
  • Eating healthy (gives me energy, makes me feel, and look better.)
  • Surrounding myself with positive people as much as possible. (Yes, I purposely avoid spending time with negative people, when it’s up to me. Because it makes me negative, and depressed.)
  • Reading books that inspire me to become better/learn something.
  • Blogging. (The whole process of exchanging inspiration with other bloggers; writing, reading, sharing photos, improving my English, practicing my Swedish, learning new things, making friends.)
  • Going on road trips every month (short ones counts too. Opens my mind, and helps me think outside the box.)
  • Spending time in the mountains. (Mountains makes me feel alive.)
  • Riding a brave horse.
  • Hiking. (Exercise, time with my daughter, and photo opportunities all in one!)
  • Being the boss over my own time. (Saying yes to life is my motto, learning when to say NO, have been one of my biggest challenges in life so far. Without saying NO to some things, I don’t get to say YES to the things I really want.)
  • Dedicating time to meditate over everything I have to be grateful for every week. (I have a gratitude journal, and host MJP Gratitude Challenge every Saturday. I encourage you to participate in my gratitude challenge, sharing something you are grateful. Tag your post MJP Gratitude Challenge. I want to read it! Here’s an example of what it can look like, here’s another one from one amazing blogging friend, in France.

 

h2
Meditating next to Burney Falls (CA.)

 

p3
Hiking in the high desert (NV.)

 

This is not a practice round, this is not preparation – my life is happening now. 

 

h20
Road Trip (CA.)

 

When I was younger I got frustrated a lot, (mind you, I’m still young, I just said younger,) it took me a long time to realize what makes me happy. I would say that it is a balance of taking good care of myself, and feeding my soul, so that I have something to give to others. A habit is something we do over, and over again. Turning those things into habits, is something we have to do intentionally, no-one else is going to makes sure you do things that creates happiness in your world. It’s your responsibility. Thank you for reading so far 🙂 Your turn!

Tell me about some of the habits that creates happiness in your life!

Love & Light, Always

Maria

How to grow your own organic food, on a budget, in your backyard

g1 (1)

So you want to eat good healthy food? You want to have your own garden? You don’t want to spend a fortune? And you don’t have that much space? There’s many ways to do that!

I’ve tried different options. I love fruit, berries, and vegetables! I love how good I feel, when I eat a lot of green, organic food. I’m going to share my garden project that I have right now. It’s obviously an ongoing project, and I am by no means a professional gardener. It’s more like learning by doing. My goal is, to one day be able to grow the majority of our food myself. Your ideas and input is always welcome!

g3 (1)

My garden this year is located on about 1/4 acres, in a back yard, in Northern California. The mediterranean like climate in this part of California is great for gardening.

g4 (1)
Radishes, started from seed, directly into the garden bed, three days ago. 

The one thing I have to keep an eye on, is that my garden get enough water during the hottest part of the summer. The area is known for three digit temperatures during the summer. I am going to have to check on my garden, and water, every morning, and evening. If it was a bigger garden, I would set up an automatic drip system, but I’m not going to bother with that, for this garden. It’s easy enough to do it by hand, and the project becomes more alive for my 3 year old daughter. She’s been hands on involved in the project since the beginning. Making sure our plants have enough water is going to be her job, with help, and supervision of course. She is thrilled, and very proud over her important role in the garden.

We started out by ordering organic seeds from Amazon. Simply because there’s a lot to choose from, and you can find what you need to a decent price. (I’m not an affiliate with Amazon, or any particular brand of organic seeds.) I’ve spent less than $30, so far.

g5 (1)

After ordering seeds, the next thing on our list was to make garden beds. The garden area is less than 1/4 acres. We had to use the area wise, utilizing the sun to the max. We decided to make our garden beds out of used truck tires. I often see free truck tires on Craigslist. We got ours for free, leftovers from a local business. I’m a big believer in reusing materials, and working with what you have on hands. I didn’t have a set number of garden beds that I wanted to make. Right now, it looks like it’s going to be 21 garden beds. Each bed is two truck tires high. The tires are heavy, and I simply put them on top of each other, in a row, tight together. They are very stabile, and are not going to move.

g2 (1)

One of our friends have a property near the Sacramento River. I had two truck loads of dirt delivered from his property last weekend. We were lucky to get top notch, fertile soil for free. There was some work connected with sorting out rocks from the dirt. A job that I didn’t mind at all, considering that we got it all for free.

I’m still in the process of filling up our homemade garden beds with the dirt. I’ve filled a little more than half, and planted those beds. I’m going to finish the rest this coming week. If I still have dirt left, when I’m finished, I’m going to pick up some more tires, and make more beds. There has indeed been some heavy work involved; unloading truck tires from the back of my pickup, putting the tires on top of each other, and shoveling the dirt into the beds. I enjoy this kind of work, and find it very rewarding.

g6 (1)

We’re growing strawberries, radish, cilantro, basil, oregano, culinary sage, garlic chives, Sugar Daddy peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots, Crimson Sweet Watermelon, Orange Tendersweet watermelon, squash, and pumpkins in our garden so far. I’m thinking of adding artichoke hearts, lettuce, and black berries. (Maybe some grapes, climbing up on the fence?) I am hoping, and I believe, that this garden will yield more than enough vegetables for our family. I am planning on selling the rest on a local farmers market. It’s an exciting project! I’ll keep you posted!

If you have a garden project this year, I would love to hear about it!

Love & Light, Always

Maria

MJP Gratitude Challenge

hr (1)

Every Saturday I host a gratitude challenge. I share something that I am grateful for, and encourage you to do the same!

This week we are most grateful for some rain here in Northern California. You can see how dry it is, in this photo, that I took last week. This week we had some rain, and nature is starting to explode in green. Love it!

I hope that your week have been filled with good things. I would love it, if you would join my Gratitude Challenge! Write about something you are grateful for, and remember to tag your post MJP Gratitude Challenge, to make sure I don’t miss it!

Have an amazing Saturday!

Yours,

Maria