To Move or Not To Move

Yesterday, a neighbor asked me what I would do if I suddenly won $50,000 that day. I was totally stumped. And what was funny is that we walked for quite a while before I could think of something.

After shrugging and finally saying, “Nothing, really. I’m happy.”, I finally came up with paying bills, buying sperm, and saving money.

I keep thinking that I should move into a small house or apartment, but then I think why? I’m happy.

I have awesome neighbors here: a new age shop owner, a few travelers, a free-thinking minister, a PhD candidate, and a computer programmer—not to mention that Padfoot has several doggy friends here.

When I have a child, I want a big kitchen with a table and a living room, all in an open layout. Otherwise, I want to stay in my RV.

Maybe do some traveling, if gas prices come down. In fact, I could just up and move tomorrow, if I want. I like the idea of freedom and keeping my options open. Maybe I’ll leave next week!

When I tripped across this TEDtalk, Less Stuff, More Happiness, it just confirmed that I didn’t want to move into a house or apartment right now.

There is nothing in the whole world that has made me happier than losing my attachment to things. (I italicize it because I always crinkle my nose when I say that word.)

When I knew I wanted to move into an RV and travel, I started writing down everything I touched, so I would know what was really most important to me. As it turned out, the only things I used were what was in my purse, my computer bag, some kitchen stuff, and a few toiletries.

What would you do with $50,000, if you won it today? And where would you move, if you could move tomorrow? What would you take with you, if you had to fit it in a car trunk?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags:

Strange Obsessions

I am dying to get an apartment or rent a house. Not for any logical, sane reasons, and not because I’m not happy just as I am (I am! I’m comfy in my little RV! I love it! And it saves money!), but because I can’t stop thinking about painting walls.

It’s a little crazy.

I’ve always alternated. I had several apartments where I could only have the walls white (BLAH. Makes me CRAZY.), and when I got to the first apartment I could paint, I used COLOR.

We’re talking COLOR in all capitals.

It was lovely. My living room was this rich red and gold that was so warm and inviting and comfortable. The studio was pink with a pearl sheen sponged on top (pretty, but color-wise, not a good choice because it makes people irritable). The office was grass green with enough white sponged on top to tone it down some, LOL. And my bedroom was this gorgeous warm and golden peach color.

My next house was a rich blue for the office, a pale, china green for the bedroom, yellow/orange for the waiting room, and an inviting beige with a comforting blue accent wall.

(Once I have color, my next place is always toned down.)

And now, I have no way to paint. There’s only windows and a few inches of wood paneling.

So I’m dying to move into a place and paint the walls. I want that peach back, but I’ve also been fantasizing about purple: a deep, royal purple.

Painting the walls doesn’t strike me as a good enough reason to give up my freedom, but…

What color are your walls? If you could snap your fingers and your walls would be a different color, what would they be? Do you ever crave a color?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

Consorting with the Enemy

I never made a post about Borders closing. It broke my heart, you see. Devastated me. I’ve been going to Borders almost daily for over ten years. Y’all have read the multitude of posts I’ve made over the years about how much I love Borders.

When I first decided to travel, my only stipulation was that we always had to be within driving distance of a Borders—and that it was close enough for me to go several times a week, if not every day.

Borders was my home, more than where or which city I lived. No matter if I knew no one in a city, I could go work on my laptop in the cafe and feel like I was home.

Here, I had friends at Borders. Mostly they’re gone.

So I haz a big sad.

I’d found another cafe, but it was always cold, and it just wasn’t doing it for me. And I missed books. I always work with a pile of books on my table. “Friends,” I call them. And I always knew every new release in every genre, and in teen fiction, I knew of every book, even if I didn’t read every one.

Books inspire me.

So I’ve finally gotten over my stubbornness and have started going to Barnes & Noble. My hat lady friend visits. And I can sit with a pile of books.

And they have soup here, so that’s nice. I always loved getting soup at Borders back in the old days.

It’s not comforting, though. When I used to walk in Borders, it was like a soothing balm to my soul, no matter what was troubling me at the time. I’d walk in, close my eyes and breathe, and all my problems would go away.

I always think a book can solve any problem.

Borders closing broke my heart. But there are other bookstores. I’ll get used to B&N, and I’ll eventually love it. They have a picture of Dickinson over the cafe. Apparently they found 11 male authors worthy of a pic above the cafe, and only one female.


So thus begins my “love” affair with B&N. Hopefully by next year, I’ll be writing odes to B&N as I did to Borders. Right now it just makes me feel a bit grouchy, to be honest.

I think I’ve hit my limit of change. I’ve done so much changing, and Borders was the only thing solid and familiar. Now there’s really nothing similar to my life two years ago except cuddling with my cats. I haz a funk.

CD2 020

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Books,My Adventures |

How to Dress; Arizonans During a Cold Front

I have blogger’s block again. So for everyone who doesn’t do Facebook, this has been my week:

  • I wore my shorts inside-out to yoga. Not to be cool. Just because I forgot to double check that my clothes were right side on. Because, you know, I’ve only had 37 years of practice, so it’s easy to forget that small step.
  • Everybody who’s come in the coffee shop in the last half hour has ordered hot chocolate. Well, what do you expect? It’s Arizona. And it’s only 78 out.
  • Also, I’m so glad that this coffee shop allows me to dance and air-sing while I work on my computer at one of their counters. No, I don’t mind making a fool of myself in public. Not at all. Totally cool with it.
  • I had the heater on in my car. Yes, I did. Because it’s only 75 out. (Loving it, though!)
  • I am watching Notting Hill again. *sighhhhhhhhhhhs*
  • One of you said "pizza." *starts twitching* *starts drooling* *eyes go crazy* I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…
  • Working out in 100 degree room? You totally get 2 or 3 inches more flexible.
  • My one cat thinks she owns mommy. She happily rolls all submissive around me, but if another cat intrudes upon our space, she hisses. I hate to say it, but she’s right. I am wrapped around her little paw.

How’s your week been? Do you have any suggestions for topics for me to write about?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

Dancing Makes Me Happy

So I’ve been cheating on Borders. I feel terrible, but the other coffee shop I go to has these bar-type counters where you can put your computer and work. I slip off the bar stool thing and end up half-dancing. It’s almost like my dancing desk at home.

And then the air-singing starts.

Luckily, the baristas tend to stay in the back, and it’s usually deserted. And the people who sometimes stay and work on their computer here smile at me, so they don’t seem to mind me making a fool of myself in public.

Borders has way cooler people. I love my friends there a ton and miss them when I stay away, but sometimes I get too social, so it’s good to go to my other coffee shop and work and dance and air-sing sometimes.

I feel like I’m making all these little pockets of home in Tucson. I have two coffee shops, a belly dancing studio, and a yoga studio. It’s nice. It takes a while to settle into a new city. I’ve never moved before, so I think the next time I move (if), I’ll do it better and settle in more quickly.

Where are your pockets of home in your city?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags:

The Only Thing…

There is only one thing I miss about living in a house: a bathtub.

*closes eyes*

*dreamily sighs at the memory*

I can’t tell you how often I fantasize about dipping into a tub of hot water with pretty-smelling salts and bubble bath and candles and a good book.

I used to fill the tube with the shower, so that I’d get all those positive ions, steam, and a luxurious bath all in one.


What is the one thing in your house you would miss most?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

Wherein Natasha Makes Fun

When I woke up this morning, I ran out to the desert for a quick two-mile hike. I’m looking for snakes. I live in the snake capitol of the country, and I have not seen a snake in nearly two years. Not a single one. (Except for the time I went to South Dakota for a couple days. Ironic, huh?)


But I keep going out and looking. And I was thinking that I have such a fun life. My work is fun, my exercise is fun, and my fun is fun. It’s amazing how much my life has changed in the two years.

What’s weird is I’m afraid of snakes. And I’m starting rock climbing and I’m afraid of heights. But maybe I’m not afraid anymore, because I’m so excited. Or maybe I suddenly think facing my fears is fun. (Weirdo!)

As I was walking, I remembered how, in German, if translated literally, one doesn’t say, “She is fun.” One says, “She makes fun.”

I’m not going to turn this blog post into a lesson that says, “See! All you have to do is make a bunch of fun, and you’ll have a fun life!”


I totally realize how fortunate I am. I just hit a lucky streak. You guys gave me a whole awesome business. And okay, I did do a ton of work to get here. When I was little, I somehow knew the first half of my life wouldn’t be that great, but the second half would totally rock.

So I’ve been working really hard to make sure that came true, LOL. Knock on wood, I hope it continues. Maybe it’s just how being this age feels.

How do you make fun?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags:

I’m in Love!!!

It’s Groupon. I’m heads over heel in love. It’s more than a coupon; it’s totally a way to discover a city!

So I’ve already hit my monthly Groupon limit in my budget (yes, it’s become a line item in my budget). To the yoga and the bellydancing, I’ve added two more things:

Kettleball. (Um, I’m basically expecting that to be good for me and painful.)

Rock Climbing!!!!

Which is funny, because I’m afraid of heights. It should be fun, though!

I’m having a blast, but I’m only sleeping three to six hours a night. I have so much work to do. I’m torn between excitement at discovering a city and its people–and exhaustion.

I sort of feel like hibernating for two weeks and doing nothing but work until I’m way ahead… but then I’d get lonely.

How in the world do you have time for a social life?!

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

Fire! Or, I’m a Little Pyro Girl

I love fire. When I was in conservatory, I built a bit of a fire on my dorm room floor with candles and paper. I smelled up the whole dorm with smoke, LOL. (I was lucky not to get in trouble!) Fire is just so mesmerizing and relaxing!

When I taught, there was nothing better than a fire after a night of teaching. Instant relaxation. I miss my fireplace! I miss the Fireplace Borders!

But now I get my first up-close wildfire! I hate to say it, but it’s so exciting! It’s gorgeous. Of course, no one’s been hurt and no structures have been damaged yet, so probably the gorgeous factor will diminish should any of things happen.

They named it, LOL: the Murphy Fire. It’s growing. It’s up to 14,000 acres now. Luckily it’s spreading south, because we’re about ten miles north.

At night, it’s gorgeous!


I’m glad I don’t live in this house:


Even the smoke is somewhat pretty at night:


But the smoke is really bad to breathe. I’m spending every day up in Tucson just to avoid breathing it all day. This morning, my cat unhappily frowned at me when I left. (I haz major guilt.)

And my walks have been suspended, because I have to stay inside or I have an asthma attack. This is KILLING me. I need to figure out where I can safely hike at night up in Tucson, because I’m dying to go walking.

They’re supposed to get it “contained” by Tuesday, but there will still be smoke, I hear. :-( And it’ll still burn. :-(

Ever see a wildfire at night? In real life, not on TV?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

Shiny, Happy People

I feel like I’m emerging from a fog. It’s been such a strange, depressing Spring. I am sooooo excited for the summer. I figure that I’m going to have the time of my life. This time next year, I’ll hopefully be pregnant, so I’m going to live it up this summer. I plan on going all out, trying lots of new activities, getting to know the area, and meeting lots of new people.

To kick off the summer, I got my very first manicure and pedicure. (Whew! The dry desert and walking seven miles a day has done a number on my feet!) Looookeeeee! Sparkly! Pretty!


The color totally didn’t come out in the photo from my cell phone. It’s a happy, sparkly red. Almost like a brick red with a bit of purple. I was going to go for a pretty baby pink, but then I saw the red.

I’m in SUCH a red mood.

I also got my feet done. My fourth toe is so ugly it’s adorable. (But then I find most of my body parts adorable. My Facebook friends know that I stare at my belly in the mirror when I want a giggle and a pick-me-up.)


If I’d been young when Tickle-Me Elmo had come out, I would’ve been a goner.

(No, you don’t get a picture of my belly.)

Some guy (who is a bit sore for me turning him down a couple times, sadly—I need to learn how to do that better) told me last weekend, “I thought you were going to be married and pregnant in a year.”

It’s really annoying. Why does everyone say the first bit when I only said the second? I’ve never said the first bit, only the second bit, but so many people add the second as an assumption. I will not live my life so that I’m waiting on someone else to realize my dreams. How ridiculous is that? I said I hoped to be pregnant in a year… and yes, I do want to provide my child with a father, and yes, I think a two-parent household is usually better for a child, but I’m getting sick of people assuming that the only way to have a child is to get married.

For a woman to have to wait for a man to do something she wants so much is silly. I’m old-fashioned in some ways, but not that way. I’ll make my own happiness.

It’s true that I’m moving a little slower than I hoped, but I’ll get there. So a summer of fun will be good, while I work lots to achieve my career and financial goals.

What are your summer plans?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

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