The American Dreams are so yesterday…

It seems I’ve been having the same conversation over and over with different people. They are ready to move. They want out. Change is in the air.

Some friends are on the move – renting out their house and traveling during the next year. Other friends bought an RV and are testing the roads. Another set of friends are getting their house in order and ready for market.

As for me:

One – last month when I went in for my oil change and tire rotation, I was asked … Did I know I was missing a hubcap from my 2003 Toyota Corolla? NO!! I never noticed and now I CAN’T help but notice every time I see the car (Reward!! WANTED ONE HUBCAP PLEASE!)

Two – I finally took the lawnmower in to the repair shop. After mowing the lawn with 3 tires (who knew?!) for most of the summer, I finally went to Ace Hardware with twin screw in hand and less than $1 later, I came out with the itty-bitty item that helped me get level again. Of course, this week the lawnmower smoked liked a chimney and the repair man will have his hands full. The thing is … in my mind the lawnmower is BRAND NEW! In reality, I purchased it over 7 years ago. And during that time, no blade sharpening, no oil change, no winterizing. It’s been a good friend.

Three – Yes, one more goodie to share. This week the gently blowing wind circulating in my kitchen knocked down the lovely framed photo I had above my kitchen cupboards. Along with the picture came a ceramic teapot and a metal teapot. One or all three of these items landed on my glass top stove and left a hole behind like a meteorite. I can look inside and see the guts to my stove.

So anyone of these items can make me want to up and move – but all three? Seriously? Do you think perhaps the Goddess de la Casa is saying – pack your bags, gather your belongings and turn out the lights?

Maybe it’s something in the air. But it seems to be something bigger than me. I sense it all over  – friends traveling, others wanting to move, others needing to make a change. Perhaps we’ve all been sitting tight for the last 4 years and are now ready to break free from a place that needs to be mowed, watered, painted and cared for. And most of all, we don’t want to buy another house and do this all over again. The conversations about homes focus on shared housing. Going back to the concept of one roof, one set of appliances, one large kitchen – many bedrooms. Co-renting? Co-owning? This is a theme I hear time and again and it makes sense to me.

I am so ready to jump ship. Goodbye weeds, so long lawn furniture, bye-bye pruning. The American Dream has lost it’s luster. Know what I mean?

No Comfort Zone Update – September 2012

Hello everyone,

It’s been too long since I offered an update on the NO Comfort Zone activities I’ve been up so I will now try to recall and share them with you.

NO Comfort Zone 2012 Challenge iconJune was totally out of my comfort zone as I was asked to be editor of a monthly newsletter. In addition to editing words, writing stories and cropping photos – it was also an online collaboration with the media team. Lots of discomfort, lessons learned, new paths suggested, errors, and a handful of successes.

July I coordinated a Fiddle contest and over 40 musicians signed up to play their fiddle, back up others, sing, dance and have a great day. For me, it was about organizations, tallies, awards, photos and some deep breaths. Fun and challenging!

In August, I was back in the classroom at the community college learning Adobe InDesign. I have the product but do not know how to use it. My instructor used it when it was called Quark so I know I’m in good hands. The assignments keep me on the edge of my seat and totally focused when I’m in the classroom. At home, I take the edited articles that I receive monthly and create my own newsletter. This is the best way to learn!

OH yes, a bit more ‘NO Comfort Zone” experiences in September when I hiked with a handful of people who I never met before. I met them through a local Meet Up group and we hiked into the beautiful and colorful Rocky Mountains. It was one of those amazing days when the cool mountain air added to the flavor of the day.  It was a day filled with aspens and evergreens and blue skies and cold lakes. It was an autumn day that I longed to experience.

And September moves on. Other ways to get out of my comfort zone – job hunting, challenging class assignments, clearing out furniture and more. I promise to be better at sharing the MORE part with you.

It’s a year of growth, fun, memories and lots of discomfort. And it’s all good!

Related Stories:

No-comfort Zone Week Ending Sept. 16 2012 (

A golden day… in Colorado!

Autumn in Colorado is a splendid time of year.

If you get into the mountains at the right time, you’ll see an array of golds, yellows and reds mixed in with the evergreens. In addition to the gold hues is the brilliant blue sky. These are the types of days when digital cameras come in handy because every angle deserves several clicks. By the time the hike is over – the 100+ photos (many of them the same) bring back the smells, sounds and awesomeness of it all.

Hope you enjoy my photos!

Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012

The card’s in the mail … or is it?

The first post I read today gave me quite a chuckle and a sigh of relief. I Forgot to Mail Your Card Today, Mary pretty much summed up my life. Like Ruth, I usually buy cards in advance and then get to them shortly before the event. Many times, however, I scratch my head and wonder – did I already send the card? If not, where is it? If so — what was it?

Mailboxes on a dirt road in ColoradoSad to say I’ve had recipients of my lovely cards wax and wane about the humor, beauty or uniqueness of the ‘said’ card as I stand on the other end of the phone wishing we were on Skype and I could get a glimpse of this work of art!

And I have been known to send out a second card with a note inside saying “In my mind I already send a birthday card to you but since I’m not sure if I actually sent it, here is another one filled with love and happiness.”

Not only do I get chuckles, I often get a phone call telling me how wonderful it was to receive two birthday cards from me!

Now, I know with Ruth’s post and my plethora of experiences, that you must have had something like this happen to you too – right? If you can remember it, feel free to post and give us all a chuckle!

Fall Dieting: Apples, Tomatoes and Basil, oh my!

It’s fall. You already know how much I love apples, right? My drawer is still chock-full and I eat 2-3 daily. And I made applesauce and I put some in the freezer.

Honey Crisp Apples - U Pick!The other items in my fall diet are tomatoes and basil. Oh my.

I have 5 tomato plants that are quite happy right now. Once I figured out why one plant had tomatoes that were still on the vine but rotten on the bottom (the research suggested that my watering schedule was too erratic and needed some consistency) my crop started to look healthy again.

Ok, so it’s been tomatoes and apples in my life these days. I have other items in the house to eat (um, sometimes) and I never have to worry what else to put on my plate. (Hint – think RED)

Last week I was catching up with a long-distance friend and as I talked I opened the grill, turned it on, lit the match, watched it catch, closed the lid, walked in the house and talked for another 30 minutes or so. The next morning as I was outside trying to be consistent in my tomato watering routine, I noticed the grill was still on. I looked inside and wondered – what did I have for supper? I planned to grill chicken and obviously did not, so what did I have? Probably tomatoes and basil!

Ever done anything like that before? Done it lately? (Please say yes …)

That’s all from Chef Margarita!

Cheers —