Category Archives: Inspiration

On Birthdays, Socks and Underwear

faywray

Not another birthday!

I often hear people moan about birthdays. Don’t you? It is s conundrum. If you want to live a long life, you have to weather milestones and put up with a few gray hairs. I tell people to suck it up! Smile! Be glad that you’re around for another year. Many don’t have that luxury.

And then mine comes around.

When I was a child, my special day was celebrated with family, a few friends, cake and ice cream and bubbles. Adriaen_Hanneman_Two_Boys_Blowing_Bubbles

When I became an adult it meant going out at night and partying at the bars, shots of tequila and morning-after headaches.

When I became a parent, it meant a night on the town with my husband while we paid someone to watch the kids.

Now, the trick is to take responsibility for my own birthday. But what does that mean?

How about splurging?

Hmm. I could schedule a massage, get a facial or go shopping. Sheesh! I have a shirt to return from Christmas! I do need basics. We are talking socks and underwear people.

How about relaxing for a day without the internet?

I shudder to think about avoiding my blog, Facebook or Twitter. I don’t think I could do it. That wouldn’t make me happy and this is all about me, right?

How about taking a day off from work?

With a lot of professions, you leave your work behind when you leave the office. As writers, we take our job everywhere we go. Forget the computer. While in a traffic jam yesterday, I jotted down notes for this post on the back of a scrap of paper! I’m always on the clock. Writing is my passion and an obsession. I…can’t…stop…myself…

How about engaging in a crazy adventure?

Cold weather will prevent me from hot air ballooning, learning how to fly an airplane or jumping out of one. I will wait for a warmer day…

hot air balloon

Now that my kids are in college, my birthday has come full circle.

I look forward to a day spent with family, cake and ice cream and bubbles. I have already heard from a few old friends through Facebook. I’ll share a meal with my family and order dessert. Then I’ll poke around my favorite shops and purchase a few pair of socks and some cute panties. Afterward, I’ll slip into a tub full of bubbles. I’ll look back on this year’s accomplishments and smile.

hot tubbing

 

A Colorado bubble bath

It will be a perfect day after another wild year. You have come to expect no less from this Wild Rider, right?

What would your perfect day include?

Do you look forward to your birthday?

Wikimedia Commons

Soap Bubble – Wikipedia

Fay Wray photo copyright-free

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I Will Follow You!

There are a lot of reasons why I follow blogs. I subscribe to those that exhibit excellent writing or inspiring photographs which take me along on adventures around the world. Other times, because I can relate to the writer, the posts are informative or I want to make a connection with one of my own followers.

I just checked and have subscribed to 270 blogs. That is crazy! I seldom follow those that blog every day or more than once a day since that is a lot to read. I try to comment or at least “Like” everyone’s blog sometime during the week. It’s how I get to know everyone!

So I have to ask the question. Why do so many subscribe, but never come by to read again? I am not getting a thousand views every time I post a story. I realize that some accounts are no longer active, but where are the majority of you guys? (((ECHO))) ((Echo)) (echo)

It's a long way to the top

It’s a long way to the top

Some sly bloggers comment consistently and as soon as I follow back, they never stop by again… “Hey! Where did you go???”

Do the beginner bloggers freak out when email alerts start coming and they suddenly realize the consequence of hitting the follow button on 100 blogs in one day?

Do they follow and then turn off the email alerts? I know. Why bother.

Are they trolling for followers?

Do they think numbers are the most important part of blogging?

I have never followed random people with the hope of having them reciprocate just to build my numbers. To me, that is such a strange way to build a community.

A few bloggers stand on mountaintops built on their accomplishments. They expound knowledge or give us a slice of their life with very little interaction and good on them. I may always trudge along the rocky path.

The Bloggess

Jenny Lawson – AKA – The Bloggess 

She sneezes and gets 1000′s of views.

If I ever reach the summit, I wouldn’t want my own voice to echo back to me from the empty abyss. Everyone wants their voice to be heard. Right?

across the abyss

Hello out there! (((Out There))) ((out there))

Lecturing keeps distance between a writer and their readers. Many have a small clique of those to which they will respond. I HATE CLIQUES. Hate is a pretty strong word. Okay. Dislike… 

There are many types of readers. I have family and friends who click over from Facebook or email. Many loyal bloggers stop by and comment almost every time I post. There are the skimmers who may be in a hurry and hit, “Like” to let me know they stopped by my place and those who press “Like, Like, Like,” on all the blogs they follow through the reader and hopefully click over to read once in a while.  I love all of you! Really!

The blogosphere and specifically WordPress is an amazing community of people from around the world. I have made a lot of real friendships through the interaction of comments. I plan to meet up with more of you over the summer! Get ready!

Two years ago, I was told that if I planned to publish a book, I needed to blog in order to build a writer’s platform. I wondered what the heck that was. It is the group of people that follow you over a period of time that will be interested in buying your book (crosses fingers) when it is published (crosses fingers again). I learned that a rickety platform built with straw-like hits or views and can be worthless. One created through communication, connection, and relationships built with mutual respect is rock solid or at least a lot more solid than straw. Cue wind machine…

Once a month, my blog becomes a house party. Readers have the opportunity to meet my friends and  build their own community. The next Use Me and Abuse Me Party starts April 25th. Yep. It’s official. It is no longer one day. The last one was a rager and lasted nearly a week!

I will continue to construct my community brick by brick and hope that others will keep stopping by my Wild Ride, if not to comment or like a post, at least to peruse my latest adventures for a few minutes.

It’s my dream that someday, I’ll shout from my own mountaintop and a crowd will respond, “FOR GOD’S SAKE, WE’RE RIGHT HERE. STOP SHOUTING!”

Where are all you guys

Now that’s what I call a following!  Woo! Woo! Woo!

Are you selective when subscribing to blogs? Do numbers matter to you? 

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Scarred for Life

Katniss_Everdeen

In the book The Hunger Games, the protagonist, Katniss, wakes up and finds all of her scars have been removed. My reaction surprised me. Parting with some of mine, would be like losing old friends.

I want to keep my scars.

What?

The other side of me relishes the thought of having perfect skin, especially as I approach another birthday. Having an unblemished epidermis does appeal to me, for a fleeting moment.

Susie Lindau self-portrait

Somehow, scars are different. They have meaning. History left its mark upon my flesh and with history there is a story to tell. Believe me, this Wild Rider has more than a few. Continue reading

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When You Wish Upon a Blog – What?

One of my blog posts has transformed into a wishing well.  Young people from around the world stop by daily. A few have thrown their proverbial coin into my comment section with the hope their dreams will come true.

400px-Trevi_Fountain,_Rome,_Italy_2_-_May_2007

The ultimate wishing well – The Trevi Fountain

The search engine term, How to make a wish come true overnight Linda, brings the majority of them to my blog. Linda. Lindau. It must be close enough.

Why Linda?

After recalling fairy godmothers who granted wishes, I Googled a list of fairy names. Of the ninety-five listed, not one was Linda. Then I remembered the good witch in the Wizard of Oz who was named Glinda. Hmm. Maybe they didn’t remember the G!

Writing down your affirmation or prayer can be a great way to send it into the universe. If you read The Help, you may remember Aibileen who compiled a book of prayers for others in need from her community. So why not type them in a comment on a blog post?

I can understand how children may search on the computer. Kids have grown up with instant answers. Some are not any receiving religious education and don’t know how to go about wishing or praying.

When readers began leaving their wishes in my comment section, I wished on their wishes. Maybe not for the iPhone 5, but the rest were so sweet.

One of the commenters seemed very vulnerable.

Anonymous:

errm so i know this is a massive favour but i want to be pretty and like everyone else please stop the bullying and give me a best friend….

My reply:

I think it’s great that you made your wish. Writing about them is a wonderful way to reinforce your hopes and dreams. I write down mine all the time!

Sometimes people can be mean. Looking back, if I would have laughed at myself when I was younger and not taken myself so seriously, life would have been a lot easier.

Keep your chin up and be sure to smile. Others around you will reflect your energy, so send out positive vibes. Everyone’s smile is beautiful and yours is too!

Good luck and may all of your wishes come true!

I love the idea that one my posts has become a virtual wishing well. I hope that readers will continue to stop by to toss them into my comment section. If it gives someone a little hope, how can that be a bad thing? Hope goes a long way in making our aspirations reality.

Do you believe your wishes can come true?

Do you ever write them down?

 

Trevi Fountain photo by Wikipedia

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When Form Meets Function and Mustaches Win

There was a time when I couldn’t handle any extra attention. I know. It’s hard to believe. I hid behind my friends in high school, self-conscious about my looks. I used makeup and a curling iron in order to fit in and to prevent standing out.

Something has happened to me. I am not sure when the turning point occurred. Did it happen when investigating a story for a blog post? Have I finally reached the age when I don’t get embarrassed and have no shame? Could I be getting more comfortable in my own skin?

Whatever the reason, after winning Go Jules Go ‘stache glasses giveaway, I had no problem popping them on in the Breckenridge parking lot last weekend. The carload next to us roared with laughter. Young children stared. Middle schoolers rolled their eyes. Okay, I couldn’t see their eyes since it was snowing and everyone wore goggles, but hey, I am sure they were rolling.

stache1

Some checked me out while pursing their lips and then gave me a, “Yeah. I’ve seen those glasses around,” look. Most smiled and a few guffawed.

I had only planned to wear them for one or two photos since the snow came down in buckets. Sunglasses were impractical. Not one person wore them.

After I reached the summit of Peak 8, I gazed down our first double black diamond run of the day. Only a blank white canvas lay beneath me. I had no depth perception. My skis would soon slide over a head wall. I put the shades in my pocket and slipped on my trusty goggles. The amber lens really flattened the light.

imperial bowl

Taking out the glasses again, the dark lenses were just what I needed to define the moguls and choppy heavy snow.

I rocked the shades all day.

When asked about my mustachioed appearance I said, “It’s mustache March! I tried growing my own, but gave up.” Many men sported full facial hair, but very few had gotten the memo about shaving their beards. Others said they were too committed to their facial forest.

stache8

Now I know why guys love growing beards. That plastic placebo kept my face warm. Really!

stache 9

When I first tried them on, my husband Danny said I reminded him of Sony Bono. After skiing a while, he glanced over at me and decided I resembled a young Charles Bronson.

mustache collage

You may think it was easier for me to be outgoing while hiding behind my shades, but I welcomed the knowing smiles.

So a big thank you goes out to Jules and all my blogging friends. Without you, I may still be hiding behind the crowd instead of causing a stir. I am definitely wearing the ‘stache glasses to my tennis match tomorrow. Maybe my opponent will be intimidated by my Charles Bronson sneer.mustache march

mustachemarch

Are you coming out of your shell as you get older?

Click here for a video of my mustached friends CocoRosie

Related Articles:

Go Jules Go

Movember: Top 40 Celebrity Mustaches

Mustache March

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The Secret to Living a Long and Happy Life

mom and dad1This is a photograph of my parents at their breakfast table. After being married for 56 years and weathering all kinds of storms, they sit quietly and enjoy each other’s company.

My father celebrated his 87th birthday two weeks ago and my mother will be 83 on Saturday. I took this photograph while back in Wisconsin.

Every day they dress and set the table for breakfast. It always includes my mom’s homemade bread made seven loaves at a time. She expresses her love for her family through the meals she serves.

When my dad went on a salt and vitamin K-free diet, at first it was a challenge for my gourmet mom. She had to think outside the box and can, literally. While I was there, she whipped out her splattered, but loved cookbooks and concocted dinners worthy of a fine restaurant: Salmon doused in a fresh tomato ragout and pork chops with apples and cinnamon. Stir-fried fresh vegetables and meatloaf with peppers and onions. More vegetables filled that loaf than meat!

My dad is an artist and still paints. While visiting, I had him sign all of his work. Some dated back to the early 1950’s. His artwork chronicles the passage of a long life from the depictions of his farm while growing up during the depression in Holy Hill outside of Milwaukee, to many of my family while living in Madison and the latest of his beloved Collie. Continue reading

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Wired for Life

mended heartIt will be three years this April since I had heart surgery. I know. I AM a Wild Rider, but I had a problem with PVST’s which cramped my style. After the last one left me reeling for days, I made an appointment with a cardiologist to get the dang thing fixed.

Dr. Oza peeked into my room twice before coming in.

“Are you Susan Lindau?”

“Yep, that’s me.”

“Really! I looked at your birth date and was looking for someone much older-looking.”

What a charming man. An intelligent man. A man whose judgment I could trust.

I told him my “sad story” - everyone has one, right? – about my PVST’s.

He explained that most people have an electric system in their heart like fingers on a hand. A normal pulse starts at the palm and runs out to the fingertips. In my case, one of the pathways was linked. Think of the tip of my thumb and forefinger touching like I am giving you the “okay” sign, only it was not okay. In fact, it really sucked. Every so often the beat would leap into that circular pathway and my rhythmic heart rate would soar. It was like house music on speed with a gigantic woofer. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Continue reading

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Frozen Words – A Photo Essay

snow sculpture 1

As writers, we cast our words into the world.

snow sculpture 2

Like the snowflakes in these sculptures, each letter of the alphabet gives our imagination the structure in which to escape, gain new knowledge and connect with the vast universe. Continue reading

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Get Your Red On and Get Recognized On the Wild Ride

my heartI had heart surgery. Yep. It will be three years ago this April. My heart condition was congenital. My father has congestive heart failure from contracting rheumatic fever while in the Air Force. We all know someone affected by heart disease.

On Friday, February 1st, the American Heart Association is asking everyone to wear red!

February is associated with hearts and flowers as Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, but it is also the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Month. They are working hard to spread awareness and raise money for the cause. It is difficult when competing against major corporations like the Komen Foundation.

I created a site where you can contribute any amount to the American Heart Association. Click here to view page. Email me at susielindau@gmail.com and I will add your link to the Go Red for Women Contributors blogroll for the month!  Continue reading

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Prepare to Be Typealzyed!

You have got to try this!

I am willing to bet that everyone has looked up their astrological profile. What’s your sign? See? Do you think it sums up your personality?

Our preconceived idea of who we are may differ from how we project ourselves in society.

I found the coolest site on the internet. Really! Anyone who has a blog can type in their URL and its author’s personality type will be analyzed or “Typealyzed.” It is based on word choice and repetition.

I thought, “What the heck. It’s a lot easier than answering a bunch of questions.” I entered the URL of my blog and let it rip! I was so curious to see what it said about my Wild Riding personality type. My hands perspired as my mind raced. I hoped it was upbeat, but wondered if I could be giving off some kind of weird vibe…. Continue reading

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