Get those elbows on the table and introduce yourself!

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    • #222
      Sue Braiden

      Hello, sister Adventure Diva!

      Getting started might be a little intimidating, or even overwhelming. The good news is it’s fine to lurk while you’re dipping your toes in here. Once you’ve had a chance to peek around to acquaint yourself a bit, we sure hope you’ll put your elbows on our digital kitchen table here and share a little about yourself.

      Did a friend invite you here? Is there some epic adventure burning within you that you’re hoping to find ways of bringing to life? What kinds of things excite you? Scare you? Leave you hoping to find a few ideas and tools and natural allies along the way to help? Click here to go ahead and tuck a little note into the “Reply to” area below, or start a whole new topic (kind of a mini kitchen table of your own) by clicking here.

      Pull up a chair and dig in. In the days ahead you’re sure to find some genuinely kindred spirits here 🙂

      Welcome to the feast!

    • #905
      Kat Glendinning

      Hi. I’m Katt-fit,fierce,feisty & oh so very sassy! I’m extremely proud to say that the original Adventure Diva herself,Sue Braiden, has been my treasured best friend since we were 5 years old. She has graciously asked me to join her on this amazing journey & I’m thrilled & honoured to be a part of this wonderful adventure from the beginning. My life is in radical change mode at the moment-everything at times seems both scary & exciting.But am SO looking forward to sharing ideas,meeting new Divas & finally living my life for ME!!!

      Here’s to many new kick-ass adventures, both big & small. Don’t stop believing,even for a minute,or Journey will be really ticked! LOL

    • #907
      Sue Braiden

      As Katt mentioned, we’ve known each other our whole lives, which is pretty darned helpful when it comes to having the benefit of a sister adventure diva that I can turn to when I need a bit of wisdom as we’re getting things off the ground!

      She is both a beloved friend and trusted ally, and I’m incredibly grateful for her assistance. She’s going to be helping out as a community manager here to ensure that new folks coming in will be have a place to turn if something is confusing, or they’re just looking for a place to start.

      And yes, she’s very sassy 😉 That’s why I love her!

      Thanks a bunch, Katt, for having my back. Any adventure is always richer for having you in it. Wishing you lots of your own!

    • #909
      Linda Nowakowski

      Hi! I’m Linda. I am retired and working harder than ever.

      A year ago I moved back to the small town in Ohio that I grew up in. I came back to this place to help my sister and brothers who all live in the area. Things have changed a lot and not for the better. There used to be an incredible community here and now almost no one even knows their neighbors. I am hoping to change that.

      I am a teacher (and still doing that in “retirement). I have taught in 5 states and 3 other countries either in face or online.

      I taught in Thailand from 1998 to 2011 – students from 2-60. At the age of 60 I started work on a PhD at the university I was teaching at in Thailand. I graduated from there a tear ago this month!

      I met Sue Braiden and Joan Boysen on the (unfortunately now defunct) and still hope to meet both face-to-face!

      I am pretty open and if you have any questions, ask away!  I am so glad to be here!

    • #911
      Julie Everaert

      Hello! Over here! I’m madly waving at you guys. Glad I’ve found you!

      I don’t know that (right this very second) I have much to contribute, except maybe a listening ear and some virtual hand-clapping and hugs and giggles and maybe some goofy stories. I found Sue after many (many!) years and wow that girl can articulate just how I feel about empowering women and I felt instantly connected to her message and I look forward to being a witness to some cool stuff here. Sue, you are an inspiration!

      I really look forward to chatting more. I can’t yet see the other convos in this thread – maybe it’s my tablet – I don’t know.  Who are you all??

      A smidge about me…. Sue would be interested to know that I’ve just moved back to the old neighbourhood – right on Dora Drive :). I have a passion for active travel and am always planning my next adventure.  I try and be a positive supportive happy person. I want to hang out with positive supportive happy people.

      Well that’s it for now I guess.  Thanks Sue for creating this space 🙂

    • #913
      Sue Braiden

      Welcome to the kitchen table, Linda and Julie! Thanks so very much for not only joining us, but for the leap of faith you made in becoming founding members! (That’s going to show up next to your names very soon 🙂 )

      Linda, we live less than a half day’s drive apart, so I know we’re going to connect in person sometime soon in the new year. Perhaps I can talk you into one of those weekend workshops at Bluerock Station there in Ohio sometime this summer! I want to learn how to build strawbale houses so I can do some of the building when we set up our physical retreat someday soon. I’m really looking forward to being able to share more of your story about your time in Thailand. I was blown away by the things you’ve done, and hope you’ll share some of your pictures from when you received your certificate from the Princess this year!

      Julie, I had no idea you were back in the old neighborhood! When I get back to see my dad again, I’ll have to get in touch ahead of time to make sure we have the chance to connect in person again 😀 And as far as Adventure Divas go, I could tell by the pictures you shared on Facebook that you’ve already got that part down, girl … lol. I can’t wait to hear about some of the neat things you’ve been up to!

      Because of the way you’ve helped this week through the Indiegogo campaign, I’ve been able to pick up some wonderful tools to begin putting the foundations of the actual “Adventure Lab” in place. That’s going to give us some simple tools for planning our adventures, sharing them with others, and discovering new ones we hadn’t even thought of.

      I know right now it’s a little overwhelming around here: a whole lot of text and not a lot of easy places to start. That’s going to change soon now that we’ve been able to get the initial tools we needed to start building. Thanks again for making that possible, and also to Joan and Katt who did as well!

      So glad you found your way to the kitchen table and put your elbows on to say hello. I’ll be sharing some neat launch goodies with you soon!


    • #916
      Linda Nowakowski

      Hey….How can we stir up some action here? I recently gave up facebook until after Easter. I will miss staying in touch with friends there but I won’t miss the interactions that go no where….afraid I am not going to convince anyone of anything on that platform, not likely to contribute to any progress in the world there….

      Right now I am incredibly “busy” but don’t seem effectual or even useful right now… all know what I mean….kind of like the rut you get into running a household….busy….but where does it get you? Where is the satisfaction?

      Hey, Sue ——— how can we help get this group’s elbows off of the table, get lubed up, and ready to change ourselves and the world?

    • #936
      Sue Braiden

      Good morning, Linda! So lemme just shimmy on down the bench beside you with a big old mugga joe, and say “amen” to that! What you said!

      Having spent the past month getting the new Adventure Lab web site set up and stuff migrated over here, I’m absolutely itching to fire up the kettle and settle in with y’all 😀

      So far it’s felt a little like shouting down empty halls, and I got pretty darned excited when Joan and Kat started chatting back and forth over their backyard fences on the old site. That tiny first set of interactions got me all fired up. After all, we’re here to start conjuring up adventures!

      I have a couple of ideas about how we can start connecting and dreamstorming and experimenting and celebrating. We don’t need to wait for our new Journals or the Adventure Lab itself to be ready. While I’ll be starting to bring those tools online this week, I’m a big fan of the “KISS” principle (keep it simple, sugar!). I’ve always thought that a lot of the good stuff happens right here where we simply start talking to each other about the things that we’re dreaming about.

      There’s only a handful of us yet since the Adventure Lab is brand spanking new, but as more people arrive I think we’re going to find some pretty inspiring stories and ideas and resources start spilling out, which I bet will be natural fuel for powering up each of our first adventures.

      So let me ask you — each of you — a question:

      when you close your eyes and ask yourself “what is it that I crave?” what is the answer you hear?

      What is that one thing that pops straight into your head without overthinking it? It doesn’t have to be practical, or even in the realm of possibility when we let our inner critic drive. Let’s just do some wild-a$$ dreamstorming!

      Thanks for getting it started, Linda!


    • #1983
      Linda Nowakowski

      I guess I didn’t get much started. Maybe we need some kind of email notification of  thread activity?

      What do I crave when I close my eyes? I guess I crave the same thing I do when my eyes are wide open! 😉 I long to live in community. The community doesn’t have to be big. I have gotten tired of living by myself and not having people around to bounce ideas and thoughts off of. Not having people to work with, share with, to celebrate with and to cry with. Maybe I should join a nunnery? 😀

    • #1984
      Sue Braiden

      Hey, @LindaN, you’re a breath of fresh air! The stalemate is on me. I was off my feet for a few months with surgery as soon as the Indiegogo campaign finished, and then finished the Adventure Lab tool migration back here only recently.

      I have some exciting news to share this week, and I suspect it’s something that will fulfill a bit of a wish regarding the longing for an engaging community again. Put the nunnery on hold for now (although I bet that would make for an interesting adventure 😉 ).

      There is a little checkbox at the bottom of each threat that allows you to be notified of any replies. I’ll dig under the hood to make sure that is turned on by default for any threads in which someone has participated. People can uncheck it if they want to opt out, but I suspect most folks will want to know when the conversation continues in a place they’re already participating. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll get on it.

      A number of us have experienced pretty significant changes in our lives since Christmas. I don’t know about you, but in my case it’s left me with a really wicked case of spring fever. I am so anxious to map out a new path for myself, and I am so happy to be able to do that in the company of the inspiring women that have gathered here.

      Thanks for being ever the booster, Linda. I’m glad your own hiatus is over. You have always been one of those women that makes me feel hungry to push out of my comfort zone and have those bloody adventures!

      Where do you think your own will start? What are you craving most right now (in addition to the nunnery)?


      • #1990
        Linda Nowakowski

        This week I have been reading Henri Nouwen. (3 books in a week!) Right now I am reading his book “The Return of the Prodigal Son.”  If I am totally open, I guess I am craving acceptance for who I am as I am. It turns out that that is what the book is about. So, I am working on it!

        (I noticed the checkbox after I posted the suggestion! duh!)

    • #1991
      Linda Nowakowski

      Oopps…. What I crave right now is getting my garden in – it’s a bit early here yet.  I have over 400 plants growing in my living room —tomatoes (5 kinds), sweet and hot peppers (Thai and Mexican – 6 varieties!), cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower (that Romanesco variety!), Brussels Sprouts, kale, tomatillos, onions and leeks!

      My brother was putting up the sides of my raised beds to be in my front yard … on Main St. in town! In another couple of weeks everyone in town will be talking to me to get the garden out of the front yard!!! But, I have covered my bases and the city says it’s legal and OK.


    • #1994
      Sue Braiden

      Your desire to be accepted for who you really are resonated with me in a big way, Linda, and I talked a bit more about it in response to the note you posted about moving back to your childhood home town:

      Assets: our "Super Powers" for creating epic adventures!

      As for reading, it’s a pleasure I’ve been indulging in far less these days as I’ve been losing more of my sight. Books were my first and best love growing up, and through the years, and I’m finding my own stubbornness and pride prevented me from getting bigger print editions, until recently. Pride definitely wasn’t serving me well in letting it rob me of the pleasure of that vicarious escape into pages of real and imagined worlds. (Thank heavens for computers and tablets with easily enlarged print, and the library making so many things available as epubs now-a-days. I’m starting to take back that love affair again.)

      Regarding the escape into the garden: hallelujah! Doesn’t it feel good to get your hands back into the dirt? This year I want to try a couple of small 4×4 raised beds, and a few container gardens on my porch. I am anxious to buy a little plot of land at the edge of a woods on a lake to build a tiny little house with a great big garden, and to learn to grow and preserve as much of my own food as I can. I never truly appreciated the marvel of what my mother pulled off when she did her canning each summer. The things were were enjoying all year long were amazing!

      Thanks for yet another thinking infection, Linda! I’m so glad you’re here 😀


    • #2182
      Joan Boysen

      Well Ladies, I just discovered this thread and want to chime in.  I find it rather quite interesting that such amazing, creative and courageous women would have such self-doubt.  I’m including you Julie in this comment. Active traveler screams adventure to me.  I can’t imagine starting on a PhD at 60, or 30 for that matter.


      I fear I have become something of a hermit in recent years and, unfortunately, I’m quite good at it.

      Linda, I too miss community but am not sure how to build it…at least in a local sense.  At my age and fairly short length of time in NW Arkansas I realize it is my sister’s town, not really mine.  So while I have enjoyed Facebook and reconnecting with friends from my youth, I grow disenchanted with the shallowness on the interaction.  Like Linda and Sue, I long for the days of and will always think Pierre quit too soon, but I think this safe place that Sue has created for us offers us the chance to share at a deeper level. We can be the Steel Magnolias of cyberspace.

      Women make the loveliest friends and we all bring our own brand of seasoning to the mix. We can laugh, run, crawl and cry together. What a blessing for us.


      • #2185
        Sue Braiden

        Joan, I am always so darn glad for your company at any digital kitchen table!

        I think self-doubt is more of a common denominator than we might realize at times. We look at the people that inspire us and think they must be so sure in their path. One of the biggest reality checks I had on this was in a phone conversation with a mutual colleague who I’m pretty sure we’d all figure had every reason to feel certain about most things, and yet she broke down in tears, full of self-doubt. It was one of the most humanizing moments I’ve ever had. It scales all boundaries: economic, cultural, gender. I think some folks just get really good at hiding it.

        Regarding the self-imposed hermit status, I’ve been hanging out in that cozy little prison for about 13 years now, ever since I first got sick. It’s one of the things that makes me most grateful for the company of other women here. You have no idea how bloody inspiring you all are! It makes me braver. Since just before Christmas I’ve been pushing myself to go on little micro-adventures. Baby steps are good, and boy have they ever been great food for the soul! Every little one makes me feel stronger, and crave more of the same. Rocket fuel, baby! Starting in your own backyard, and learning to be okay with doing things on your own is unexpectedly empowering.

        As for the Steel Magnolias of Cyberspace — damn, Joan, I think I want that on a tshirt! lol Fierce, loca 😉

        So glad you’re here, all of you.


    • #2192
      Julie Everaert

      I loved Linda’s question: What do you crave? I completely agree about craving community. But I find for me it’s just so darn hard to find women that I feel that I connect with. Don’t get me wrong…. I have some amazing, dear friends that mean the world to me, and I to them. But everyone is so BUSY. I have made some very deliberate steps in recent months to simplify my life in a very drastic way… my hubby and I moved our family from a much-too-large home into a one-floor ranch in my childhood neighbourhood. It was 1/3 of the size. So 1/3 of our ‘stuff’ had to go. I’m focusing now on living a semi-minimalist live and avoiding purchasing anything that doesn’t serve a useful purpose. I am working towards a minimal capsule wardrobe. I like my pretty things, yes, but I am really deliberate about what I allow to enter this small space! I could sit on my back porch for hours and do nothing. I putter around my garden & read the occasional book and have naps and write letters and scrapbook and bake (and eat!) cookies. Lots and lots of cookies! I often say a great weekend is one where my car has not left the driveway from the time I’ve returned from work on Friday until I head to work on Monday morning. Even better, if my daughter and I have lived in our jammies 🙂

      But none of my close friends seems to live like I do.  Everyone is scheduled to the max – busy every night and running somewhere every weekend. A night out with a friend would need to be planned weeks in advance, and more often than not, gets cancelled. People will say “Oh we’ve really GOT to make plans to get together soon!”  I used to think they meant it, but if they did, it would happen.  And I know it’s nothing personal towards me – that’s just how people seem to live nowadays. And I don’t.

      I want a friend that will sit on my back porch with me and do nothing all day except eat my cookies and drink my amazing mojitos and talk about meaningful stuff like what we’re doing that makes us really happy. Hmm… Wait. We don’t even need to talk all that much. We can eat cookies in silence or read our books or watch all the weeds multiply in my garden out of nowhere! I don’t have friends like that, so I have to be content to sit alone. It’s a good thing I like my own company.  🙂

    • #2193
      Julie Everaert

      As for self-doubt… I think I am a peculiar case. I rarely have it.  I was blessed with the most amazing, pig-headed, stubborn Polish grandma on the planet. And I think I’m becoming her 🙂  Right till the end when us grandkids helped her steal towels (and whatever else she could reach) in the nursing home and shove them in her bra… she did whatever the hell she wanted and didn’t give two shits about what anyone else thought. I so loved that about her. She was perfection.

      (Is swearing frowned upon??) lol



    • #2195
      Julie Everaert

      My BFF and I like to clarify when we travel together…. Are swearing and farting allowed??

      The correct answer is always yes. 😀

      I would  totally sit on my back porch with my BFF but she lives far away from me!

    • #2196
      Joan Boysen

      Julie, we’re going to get along fine. I love cookies and mojitos, though I’m not sure I’ve ever had one. I’m sure I will like it. I think life is great when I decide I feel like cooking and call someone up and they just come on over. Inviting someone to come to dinner 10 days from now is very unappealing to me. How do I know if I’m going to be in the mood to do that  then?

      When I moved from Colorado back to CA in 1998 I came with what fit in my Rollie bag and not a big one. Now 18 years later I’m surrounded by stuff and that can be pretty claustrophobic. I tell my kids to donate to a good cause for my birthday or whatever. I don’t need one more thing to dust.

      My house isn’t very large home in the scheme of modern expectations, but the truth is I have about half that I never use. My guest bath needs to be dusted from time to time but it is seldom used. It’s pretty criminal when you think of how so many people have no shelter.

      So count me in on the cookies and mojitos. I look forward to more exchanges as we gather around this kitchen table.




    • #2197
      Joan Boysen

      Swearing and farting are always okay at my age. Also I think we should include snorting for those times when you’re laughing very hard. Why do they say laughing hard?  It should be easy.

    • #2198
      Linda Nowakowski

      Sue…?  I want a like button!

      Joan…when I came back to the US I moved in with a friend from grad school back in the 70’s. It was wonderful. A bit over a year ago I moved from there to live in my hometown and be able to help more with my family.

      I HATE LIVING ALONE! I relish the months of Feb-April since My one brother comes back from his month in Thailand and his wife stays there until it gets warm back here. That means we get to have dinner almost every night together. One night at his place and watch a movie together, and the next at mine to play backgammon (since I don’t do TV here!). Unfortunately it looks like I am developing a penchant for crashing when his wife comes home!

      Julie, welcome to the crowd! A couple of years ago I intentionally cut back. Until I moved into an apartment by myself (which would not be my first choice) I was down to having everything I owned fit in 2 suitcases, a backpack, a box and my computer in my car (living where I do just doesn’t work without a car). And that cookie thing…..share! I do a big cookie binge at Christmas. I think this last Christmas I made almost 100 dozen cookies! On the mojitos, I’m with Joan, I have never had one but am sure I would savor them!


    • #2199
      Sue Braiden

      Julie, you are a breath of fresh air (which is odd to say with all the swearing and farting getting tossed around in here … lol).

      I haven’t had a Mojito in about 25 years. You know, I was away yesterday and most of today, and coming back tonight to find my girlfriends ’round the table talking so openly made me feel so lucky. Linda, you talked about how much you hate living alone. I have to admit, I hate it too, and the funny thing is my daughter is still with me, but she’s never here. I think after nearly 4 years it’s really hitting me hard just how lonely I am, and that it has nothing to do with being single. I’ve kept myself tucked away from the world really until I decided last winter that it was time to get out there and suck the marrow out of life again. The thing is, there’s no perfect road to feeling full. I’ve only just gotten started again, and while I’m thrilled to be choosing the “idea” of adventures, part of me is still being a great, big, fat wuss! I’m still taking the safe way out.

      Linda, I look at all the things you do, and have done. Your graduation in Thailand was such a special thrill to hear about. What moves me even more is all of the countless lives you keep touching in such wonderful ways, including my own, in spite your own challenges. That prayer shawl you made for me when I was so sick again is one of the dearest things I own, and I recall you doing it as you were busy trying to get ready for other things. You have such a big heart!

      Joan, I look at you in that very same light, and Kat G too. You are women who have faced such heavy burdens and such loss, and yet you are the very first people to put others first, and to meet their own needs with such compassion and humour. Do you ever notice how the people who seem to give them most are often the ones that are quietly hurting too?

      Julie, you are no longer that little girl I used to babysit. When I first saw the pictures of your great adventures abroad, the scary rope bridges, the rafting, and all the neat things you were doing, I was absolutely in awe of the woman you had become. You know what made me smile the most? The picture of you jumping on the hotel beds … lol.

      Every single woman around this table has such joie de vivre! You make me feel so much braver!

      Coming back to this table is like a feast — the other kind of soul food.

      So, my sister cyberspace Steel Magnolias, what are we going to do with our wild and precious lives?

    • #2200
      Sue Braiden

      Linda, I’ll find a way to add a like button to comments to both show appreciation and to help bubble the nuggets up.

      Joan, you were asking about a little help with how stuff works around here. I’m going to put something simple together this week to try to get the basics down, and perhaps you all can help me figure out what I need to add to it to make it easier for people to get around.

      Will be tinkering under the hood a lot this week, including some new power tools to help us start plotting those mad adventures in earnest!

    • #2201
      Sue Braiden

      I keep coming back to this conversation in snippets, because there are so many neat things being tossed around in here.

      Julie, you mentioned something that really gave me pause. You talked about how disappointing it is to try to make plans with friends only to find that it gets shuffled off to some distant time, or not at all, because people get so busy. This really hit me, because it’s something that I have been struggling with too. I’m finding that since I’m crawling out from under my rock again, once I start reaching out and making connections with the people who have been such healthy influences in my life, I’m having a hard time fitting them in. This was bothering the heck out of me to the point where I realized that I needed to protect at least one day a week just for reconnecting with friends, because they need to be a priority. What’s the point of all the meetings and running around earning a living if not to have a life? It’s something I want to really be mindful of as I reinvent.

      What I’m finding I’m really valuing about these conversations around our digital kitchen table here is that you all give me such awesome “Aha! moments”. It’s been a great kind of thinking infection. Thank you!

    • #2385
      Lorrie Remington

      Hey there ladies 😃 Lorrie here, lurking and eating cookies! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Sue and thanks for the invite.
      I’m a wife, a mom, a grandma with a full time job by day and a belly dancer by night. I’m also just like you. This empty nest leaves me with time on my hands and a desire to connect with my community and beyond.
      I’ll be looking forward to future elbows on the table chats but for now, it’s getting late and that dang alarm will ring early.

    • #2386
      Sue Braiden

      Oh my, oh my, oh my! Look what Santa brought 😀 So very glad to find you here, Lorrie!

      Lorrie and I were highschool friends, and I was lucky enough to reconnect with her a few years ago. One of the things that really inspired me about her was that she teaches bellydance! And yes, it went straight on my bucketlist 😉

      You’re going to be hearing more about the adventures she’s inspired in the days ahead.

      Thanks a bunch for tucking a note in, bella! Great to connect with you here …


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