2012 – A year of discomfort

I found this delightful poem that sums up my year of No Comfort Weekly Challenges. It’s a reminder of WHY it’s good to get uncomfortable.

In setting this challenge for myself, I looked for things that took me down different roads (figuratively and literally),

  • made me expose a bit more of myself,
  • encouraged me to look at other points of views,
  • pushed me to wear clothes that revealed the person underneath,
  • helped me engage in new online connections,
  • directed me to volunteer as an editor,
  • led me to take an Adobe InDesign class,
  • nudged me to leave a job,
  • assisted me with finding a new one –  and so much more.

I met others who took the challenge and followed their adventures as well. It was fun and best of all, it’s part of my psyche now.

Now if I could only catch something!

Here is the poem – I did not write it but found it on the internet (where else?)

By Author Unknown

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you’re in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!

Here’s to an exciting and fun filled New Year!

Related Articles:

This is your life
This is your life – Do what you love – And DO IT OFTEN!

# 2 — HULU (online gifts)

Hulu (photo by Evan Hamilton)

I visit HULU.com on a regular basis. When I miss a favorite TV show, I can usually watch the full episode the next night. Hulu also has documentaries, dramas, movies and other shows.

The fun thing I love about HULU.com is watching documentary stories about people who do good deeds just because it’s the right thing to do. I watched Craigslist Joe about a guy who decides to only use Craiglist for a solid month to survive. Someone gives him a place to stay, a bike to use, food to eat and on and on. It’s intriguing and hopeful – truly!

Other titles:

  • 55 Days: The Fall of Saigon
  • Zinat One Special Day
  • The Read DaVinci Code
  • Becoming Santa

There will be a story that speaks to you. Check this out and enjoy some of the wonderful and free movies for us to view. Yes, there are scheduled advertisement but since they pay for the show I am allowing (as if I have a choice!). Go, see, enjoy and let me know if you find one that intrigues you so I can watch it too!

November 2012: It’s all good!

November snow on the ground in ColoradoYippee to one and all! It’s November and there are many things to be thankful for:


You see, since Colorado was a swing state we were inundated with ads. During commercial breaks we would see a minimum of ten political ads. That would be EACH commercial break. Crazy nuts, wasteful amount of money and painful to watch. 2012 Election Debate #3: Finally Over


A big thanks for our veterans. For those who stepped up and served. And special thanks to the military families who have their own world of issues and challenges to deal with. Veterans: May Peace Be With You Today


Two long time dear friends are arriving for a visit. One will leave just before Thanksgiving – the other will arrive just after. The sweet thing about long time friends is you don’t have to explain things. They know. They were there. And best of all, they still are. Our Time is Limited: Find Joy Bubbles


Yesterday was cold and snowy. The roads were icy. It was gloomy. Today — sunny, bright, blue skies, and dry roads for travel. Blue Skies and Unrest.


Thanksgiving Day (here in the US) is a holiday dedicated to spending time with family and friends and giving thanks for all our riches. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? Will you be with family or friends? Will you be traveling? Will you be hiking, skiing, hunting or something else? Some people have wonderful traditions and others are in limbo, longing to make good memories, wishing they could find that place to belong, hoping this will be the year when everything changes.  What will it look like for you? Thanksgiving: A Day Like No Other


The No Comfort Zone Weekly Challenge that I started in January 2012 (it seems like yesterday) is winding down and I continue to put myself out there and read different genre books, take classes, learn new job skills and each time I feel discomfort, I smile. The challenges keep coming my way and it’s all good. NO Comfort Zone 2012 Weekly Challenge.


There are so many wonderful blogs out there and I don’t get to them on a regular basis. Life keeps getting in the way!


No Comfort Zone Challenge: Update

It’s October and I am still finding ways to challenge myself.

One challenge I set and continue to focus on is the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I signed up in January and continue to write down my books and link back to a source. The cool thing about that challenge is I can look back at my list and see, remember, and smile at the various titles. Some were great and kept me thinking long after the book was returned to the library. I read some sci-fi (really out of my comfort zone), some romance (I doubt I listed those), business, self-help, non-fiction and fiction.

I have more to go and am currently reading two that will be added to the list.

Out of my comfort zone and totally fun!

52 Books

52 books in 52 weeks

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 (quillfyre.wordpress.com)

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? (http://howsecureismypassword.net/) 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.

7 Things: About Me!

I’ve received two wonderful awards this past month!

The first award from Sandra at quirkybooks.net 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!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Blue…

Six shades of blue

Barrel of monkeys feeling sort of blue …