Category Archives: Comfort Zone

Art Journal Challenge Week Eight Quotes

Background

I made a cool background to start with, but quickly discovered writing long hand on the page wasn’t going to stand out.  My handwriting is not the greatest.

Art Journal Challenge Quotes

I went back to printing out quotes. I was amused to see I had picked the same quote twice from different parts of my Pinterest page. I guess I need to put that book down and stop re-reading that same chapter.

quote

Theme

I seem to have a theme on this quotes week about letting go and moving forward. I’ve been struggling with this for a year now. It’s been one year since I stopped running. I do want to move on. I’ve been trying to re-invent myself and find out “who” I am exactly since I am no longer a runner. I don’t know yet.

Art Journal Challenge Quotes

Conclusion

Overall I liked the look of my page. I used acrylic paint, watercolors, stamps to create my Week 8 Challenge. Week 8 of 52 gone already! Is it spring yet?

Art Journal Challenge Quotes

Adventure Summit

Adventure Summit Report

Adventure Summit Report

A bright spot in the middle of the winter doldrums, I drove over to Wright State University for their Adventure Summit.  A chance postcard picked up at last year’s Buckeye Trailfest, I had never heard of this free event before.

Expo

There were plenty of vendors in the exp. Busy Expo Adventure Summit

Busy Expo Adventure Summit

Buckeye Trail Booth

Even Bigfoot made an appearance!

Bigfoot

Schedule of Events

There were fitness classes, some competitions, and presentations Friday night and all day Saturday. There were enough interesting sounding topics that it was hard to pick what to attend!

Boulder Comp Adventure Summit

My Three Favorite Presentations

Terry presented on having adventure, at any age, at any cost. She had recently done a challenge “30 Days of Crazy” where she had to do *something new* every day for thirty days. (In hind sight, she said she would give herself more than thirty days). This actually led to her writing a book about her “30 Days of Crazy”.  Terry encourage all of us to get out and experience an adventure, no matter how small.

Adventure Challenge

The next speaker was Richard, who biked East to West across the United States. Richard spoke extremely well, with a great self deprecating sense of humor. I picked up a few good tips for my bike touring.

Biking Across the Country

My favorite talk was Hiking the Camino de Santiago.

Hiking the Camino

This has become somewhat of an obsession with me lately-I should save that for another blog post! This married couple went on their Camino in 2017. They were great public speakers, and their room was packed! They should have moved their presentation to the main speaker room, but nobody probably knew the Camino was going to be such an attraction!adventuresummitsign

 

This was an all free presentation at Wright State University. I recommend that you check it out next year!

52 Challenge Art Journal

 

52 in 52 Art Journal Challenge

Happy Birthday to Me! I turn 52 this year. There are 52 weeks in the year, so you know what is coming…some sort of weekly challenge!

Art Journal Challenge

What to do? Something different each week? I turned to an art journal challenge. I’ve been dabbling in smash books the last few years. Smash books are free form scrap books, full of paper, pictures, other remembrances and souvenirs. I made one for both our New Zealand vacation and my CO-GAP bike ride last year. It was fun to create.

My C&O GAP Bike Tour Journal

My C&O GAP Bike Tour Journal

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

The original idea was to use a different type of art media each week, but I realized I needed some ideas to create with the different form of media.

Create a new art journal page based on prompts each week

I randomly created these prompts.

52 challenge premise

52 Challenge Prompts

The plan is to just grab a pencil, close my eyes, and stab a prompt, that will be the prompt for the week. One week gives you plenty of time to work on the spread.

It’s My Birthday So I will Cheat

Except for Week One. Week One is my birthday week, so the prompt is “birthday cake”.

Art Journal Birthday Cake

 

Three Levels of Fun

The Fun Scale, or Three Levels of Fun concept has been around the outside community for a long time. I first heard about the three levels of fun on The Dirtbag Diaries.

Level One Fun

Just a fun activity, you are having a good time doing it, no worries, like skiing, or running in the mountains. Just a cool day in the outdoors, normal fun stuff.Level One Fun

Having fun at the Black Hills 100K

Level Two Fun

Level Two Fun is being over your head and miserable. It really sucks being in the middle of it, but once it’s over (and didn’t turn into Level 3 Fun) it turns into a good story to be told. You kind of forget how badly it sucked.

My finish of the Wild Oak Trail 108 miler would be a good definition of Level Two Fun. An excerpt from my blog when the fun was Level Two teetering toward Level Three:

“Of course, I am getting colder and colder.  I slip chemical handwarmers into my gloves, as I can’t feel my thumbs.  But now my thighs are getting cold. My thighs never get cold, I can feel the cold on the outside. I’m getting genuinely concerned for my well being.”

“Everything hurt, mostly due I believe, to the calorie deficit, and the tense body contracted against the cold.  I was so punch drunk from the sleep deprivation. I felt awful.”

Level Two Fun

But spoiler alert, Level Two Fun led to this..eventually: ” I felt more beat up mentally than physically. Jill mentioned “it was all between my ears” and perhaps, 95% of this event was for me. I’ve had several private mental reviews of the weekend so far. It’s amazing what you can do and what you perceive you CANNOT do. “

Level Three Fun

It’s not fun when it’s happening, you still aren’t laughing about it afterwards, and it’s still miserable to discuss. Level Three fun could possibly involve search and rescue, or becoming the subject for a case study. You don’t want to go there!

You think you can’t encounter Level Three Fun in your backyard? Think again. My Type Three Fun happened  in my local state park:

“The mud on the trail was shoe sucking awful, so I decided to go off-piste. I follow a creek bed downhill. But my path is short lived, as the creek goes off a precipice.

 

I scrambled around the drop off and crawl back up the creek bank. This is fun until some logs are blocking the creek, and I have to hike through the greenery beside the creek.

Stinging Nettles

 I’m hiking through these plants, and realize my legs are on fire with little tiny stinging bites-all over! I realize I am covered in tiny bites! It feels like I am being bit by tiny bugs over and over again! It hurts enough that I want to cry!

Multi Flora Rose

I go up in the woods to escape the nettles. Now I am running into multi flora rose. This is where it all starts going south. I run into groves of multi flora rose bushes. Multi-flora rose is an invasive species, a perennial shrub.  It can grown into impenetrable walls. Ask me. I tried to go through them.

I would follow a deer trail, which would then go through a thicket. Then I would try to find another way. I was frustrated and irritated. I was lost, yet I wasn’t. I was between the lake and the bridle trail. I was trying to get back to the trail, mud or not!! It was truly hideous. I was so irritated at myself, for getting stuck in this mess, for not bringing the compass (if I had the compass I could at least tell if I was wandering in circles). I tried to pretend this was good training for Barkley, good heat training. My legs were getting shredded. I had blood all over my legs.

 

I finally made it back to my vehicle. The legs are still warm and inflamed. It’s lucky I’m still on an antibiotic due to my teeth!”

That my friends, is Level Three Fun. It is now amusing to reread, a few years later, but it was never fun.

Do you have any Level Three Fun you are willing to share?

Planning Your Next Adventure

Planning my adventure

For some of us, it is the winter season in the United States. If you are not a skier, this may be considered the “off season”.
This is a good time to start dreaming and plan your next adventure.

Brainstorm

Now is the time to write stuff down! Everything you can think of that you would like to do.  Take an art class? Ride a Ferris Wheel? White water rafting? Visit a new park or city? Bike tour? Run a race? Here’s a cool list or try this list for some ideas.

Big Adventures

Is this the year of big adventures? Will you travel to another country..or another state? Make a list of what NEW things you could encounter in a different town or city to try.

Small Adventures

Is this not the time for a big long epic wildlife safari? Then it’s micro adventure time.  But there still needs to be a bit of planning for these. Life does get in the way, let’s make sure adventure time happens too.

Life Moves Pretty Fast

 

My 2018 List

My 2018 is going to be split between hiking and biking. I want to log more miles on the Buckeye Trail, and I want to take several biking tours. As I need a pair of boots that will last me the year, I’ll always take a look at a hiking boot guide to ensure I get a pair that are top quality and really comfortable!
Our big vacation this year will be visit the Caribbean island of Grenada, where lots of adventure will occur.

I also have to look at my work schedule weekends. For example, the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure 2018 occurs over my work weekend-scratch that possibility.

Ohio to Erie Trail

I meant to ride the Ohio to Erie Trail  this past fall. I let life get in the way. I am not going to let this happen again! I’m going to ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland, or vice versa. This will happen in the first six months of 2018!

Other bike tour possibilities: Erie Canalway Trail; Katy Trail 237 miles. Shorter, but farther away.

Other Outside the Comfort Zone Adventures

Polar Bear Plunge? Karaoke? Karaoke after a polar bear plunge?

Keep your List Handy

Keep your 2018 Adventure List out in the open where you can see it. Then it won’t be suddenly August and you haven’t clicked off any fun or maybe “not so fun” adventures off the list!

adventure list

 

 

Holiday Comfort Zone Challenge: Christmas Movies

Christmas Movie Challenge

I’ve been stuck in a rut with Christmas movies.  This means I  have not watched a new Christmas movie since “Home Alone” and “Die Hard”aka 40 years ago. I’ve never fully watched “Elf”, “A Christmas Story.” Or even National Lampoon’s “Holiday Vacation”.

Why Bah Humbug

Working retail, I kind of hate the Christmas season. It’s shoved down our  throats from Halloween on. If you only visit stores, your exposure is rather small. But spending ten hours in a store? You become rather immune, then rather allergic to the whole concept. You can’t wait for all the noise, all the fan fare, to just GO AWAY.

Challenge

Christmas Movies

My Holiday Challenge is “to watch a holiday movie or “special” that I haven’t seen, every day, until Christmas.” The impetus came from a flyer I picked up shopping at Kohls, which advertised a different holiday movie every day. I don’t plan on blogging on each one; maybe just a weekly recap, on what I watched, on what I thought, and my rating on the candy cane enjoyment factor.

candycanerating

So, on Dancer! “On, Donner! On, Blitzen! On, Chewy! On, Tavo! C’mon, Becto” **

**Probably need to be old to understand this…

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Go Mushroom Hunting

Go Mushroom Hunting

I have wanting to learn more about mushrooms and how to properly identify the edible ones. I found via the Wilderness Center that there was a mushroom hunting class to be held in Northern Ohio.

It has been a dry (about drought like conditions) in Ohio for the month of October. There was one night of rain, so we were hopeful that some mushrooms would pop up.

There were about 14 hopeful mushroom hunters that showed up at West Branch State Park. We went on a two hour slow hike, finding mushrooms and having Don King identify them for us.

The following four pictures are puffballs. I did not realize the same mushroom could look so different!

It was a beautiful afternoon to spend in the woods. In Ohio, most state parks permit mushroom hunting, but it is suggested you check out your own area to hunt.

Don brought along two other varieties that we did not find today. I don’t remember what the white mushroom is:

but this is chicken of the woods. This mushroom had a bright yellow underside. Chicken of the woods has either a yellow or a white underside.

More pictures from our hunt. Note, these are not edible at all, they just came out as cool pictures.

Don also cooked up a tasting of the mushrooms on a portable grill right at the park, but we left since we still had a good drive home.

Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our mushroom hunt by Don King. He offers more mushroom hunts and even an overnight mushroom hunting weekend.

Interested in mushroom  hunting? Find a reputable hunter in your area. The internet is your friend here.You may have a mushroom society in your state. There could be mushroom hunting groups in your backyard!

Do you eat wild mushrooms? Do you have a mushroom identification book to recommend?

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