No Comfort Zone Challenge: Kindness Received

Yummy Lemon Meringue pieYesterday someone served me a piece of lemon meringue pie with a birthday candle in it. After she served it, she sang the Happy Birthday song (which I normally detest) but she sang it with the sweetest voice –  it was a genuine act of love. This gesture took me back to another time and place when someone else touched my world for a moment in time.

Years ago my husband and I took a cruise to Alaska. When we made port in Juneau, thousands of people were debarking to visit the city, kayak, take hikes, sight see, take photos, and fly fish and all those other wonderful activities.

Instead of being part of that crowd, we were exiting the ship with my husband on a gurney into a waiting ambulance. In a sea of thousands of people I stood alone. Then I heard a woman with a deep husky voice say to me, “It looks like you need a hug honey” and I was wrapped in an embrace that held me as if I were a wounded child. This hug triggered tears that were lodged in my throat so I could be strong. She told me everything would be ok and I hoped with all my heart that she was right.

The ambulance was waiting for me and the woman let me go and melted into the crowd.

That was the same feeling I received yesterday at the café. As she was singing to me, her kind eyes took me back to Juneau.

This brief moment in time was utterly lovely. It made me realize that we are all connected in ways we can’t imagine. We say kind words and make someone’s day. We acknowledge someone as they enter a room and their life becomes fuller. We sneer and that wounded feeling is remembered years later.

Kindness is easy to give, wonderful to receive and the feeling lasts a lifetime. Those sweet eyes and lovely song made my day.

Have you ever had an encounter like this? What was it like?

It happened yet again. Hacked and Spammed.

I found out that my email account (the one I ONLY use for professional related issues) was hacked. Then emails were sent out with ‘no subject’ but included a spam link. The link will either take you to a bogus website where there is a virus lurking or will automatically infect your pc.

This time – something different happened. I went to my Sent box to see who received these emails and there was no trace that it was sent. THAT was not a good sign. Now there is no way for me to go back and let those people know to delete the email.

The slime underworld of hacking is getting more clever – to my dismay.

My only recourse is to change my password and to make it something much harder to hack. I found this great site called How Secure Is My Password? ( that let me test the strength of my password. It’s pretty cool and something you might want to try or share with others. The neat thing about this is it tells me how much time it will take a hacker to figure out my password.

Has this happened to you on Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail etc? It seems to be a regular occurrence on Yahoo and yet last week my Gmail account was targeted!

Do you know any other way to protect email accounts? Would love for you to share.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

This one speaks for itself: Close

young and old toes touch each other
Young and old toes touching each other…

Colorado on Fire

I’m leaving town today and for the first time ever, I am happy to be leaving Colorado.

Since I live in Northern Colorado the smoke from the High Park fire is ever present. Smoke is in the air, ash floats down, the sky is all white and the sun struggles to peek through but loses time and again.

The High Park fire has burned almost 45,000 arces and is only 10% contained. Our 8% humidity with no rain in the forecast is working against the effort.

It’s nasty and with drought on the horizon and the forests filled with trees already dead due to the pine beetle bug, all is not well.

Not well at all.

I took these photos on Sunday, June 10, 2012.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Today’s Gas Prices

Price of gas in Greeley Colorado on June 7 - 2012
The cost of gas today in Greeley, Colorado (June 7, 2012).

This price per gallon has come down over the past few months and I expect it to come down a bit more since this is an election year. We shall see…

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7 Things: About Me!

I’ve received two wonderful awards this past month!

The first award from Sandra at is the Beautiful Blogger Award. Please take a moment and visit her site and say hello.

And Patti Clark at A Woman’s Guide nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blog Award because my blog inspires her. Thank you so much for these awards. They are received with open arms and a huge smile.

In accepting the awards I am required to display the logo, tell you something about me, and nominate others as well.Beautiful Blogger Award

As a way to get out of my comfort zone this week, I am going to cheat and tell you 7 things TOTAL about me. Not 7 for the first award and 7 for the second. I just changed the rules!

  1. I am child number five in a family of eleven children. I am the most loved and most talented( if my siblings are reading this we shall pretend I am kidding though you all know I am not.)
  2. I attended catholic school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I am NOT a practicing catholic any longer. Everything changed when I asked Father Giles (who had left the priesthood by the time this conversation took place) why did the NO Eating Meat on Friday restriction changed (to “SURE, you can eat meat now… the church was just kidding all those centuries.”)  He explained to me that the ‘rule’ “Do not eat meat on Fridays” was created by the church as a way to boost business for the fishermen. (I kid you not!) All those days of giving up meat, eating tomato soup with egg, and other icky items… Man created those laws then RECREATED them. That was my cue to look deeper into my patriarchal religion and happily skip away.
  3. I love liver and onions with mashed potatoes and gravy. I adore half-moon cookies and headlight donuts from Wegmans.
  4. I am a library whore. I know, ugh, such foul language and yet, when you go into the library you’ll see me hanging around, checking in, checking out, touching this, holding that … and I’m known for miles around. Please don’t hate me.
  5. I despise mowing the lawn yet have issues with paying someone else to do it for me. To reward me when I do the deed, I toss $10 into my basket for something ‘fun’. Any suggestions on how I should spend it? Perhaps I can come for a visit and you can show me around your town?
  6. In the early years of my marriage, when we first moved to Colorado – I was a waitress in a Mexican restaurant. My co-workers were all young mothers like me… eager to get out of the house, away from the kids and into an environment where we could speak in complete sentences. We continue to meet, connect and grow – thirty years later.
  7. My grandson’s middle name is Seven. (Another family story!)
  8. I like to make up new rules (hence, my list of 7 has become 8…)

Now … according to the rules of the award, I am now asked to nominate seven other bloggers and ask them to tell me 7 things about them, list 7 bloggers who inspired them and to link back to me so I can see who they awarded.

Pretty easy, peasy, huh? Yeah, except there are dozens and dozens of bloggers who inspire me! Many have already received these awards and many more. Do you mind if I change the rules yet one more time?

I invite you:

  1. To share 7 things about yourself either in my Comments below or on your own page (and include a link to Inside Out Café).
  2. List other bloggers in my Comments section below who have inspired you and tell me why
  3. Do #1 and #2
  4. Create your own rules and invite me to play along!

If you choose to accept this mission, then please feel free to add the Beautiful Blogger and/or Very Inspiring Blogger Award icon on your page.

It’s June – time to celebrate summer!

It’s June — no longer do we talk about fires blazing, snow falling, dark days and long nights. No, now are day are light, warm, long and inviting.

In Colorado that means:

Lupine in full bloom
Lupines stand tall in June!
  • schools are closed and the pools are open
  • days are hot but the nights are ohhh so cool
  • sun comes up early and hangs around for a very long time
  • seedlings turn into fruits, vegetables and flowers
  • fishing rod is put into action
  • hiking boots are strapped on and poles are in movement
  • camera is opened and ready for any ‘amazing’ sight
  • local concerts are appreciated
  • festivals are planned
  • flowers are on display
  • birthdays are celebrated (my mom had 4 babies in the month of June~)
  • water shortage due to low snowpack
  • and so much more!

What is June like for you?

For my friends ‘Down Under’ what do you do in June?

For my Irish sister – how does June unfold for you?

For those near and far – what words and photos conger up June in your mind?

Hope to hear from you!