Now Everyone Can Sing Happy Birthday!

In 1893, Patty and Mildred Hill composed the Good Morning Song and sang it to Patty’s kindergarten class. In 1922, the sisters published the Everyday Song Book containing the Good Morning and Birthday Song. The Summy Company bought the rights in 1935. For the next eighty years royalties have been collected for singing the popular tune. When Warner/Chappell bought the song in 1988, singing it in movies, restaurants, or any other paying venue, could cost up to $10,000. That’s why you seldom hear the song sung in movies. Restaurants like Red Robin composed their own Happy Birthday song to stay out of trouble. Customers could sing it in restaurants, but not the staff.

Happy Birthday Song

On September 22nd, after years of disputing the rights to the song, Continue reading

Singing my tune at Clay’s!

220px-Carole_King_-_TapestryLast Tuesday at Making the Days Count, I shared a little irony about the first record I bought. No, it’s not Carole King’s Tapestry, although my hair looked like that for a while. Stop by and check out what I used to illustrate at the VA Hospital and how six degrees of separation can become one. Read more…


Take the Challenge

Have you been chained to your desk this summer or have you channelled The Hulk and broken out to enjoy the nice weather? It’s not too late to join us.

Here’s how:

Share photos of your outdoor fitness adventures through Twitter and Instagram with #WRFChallenge. I’ll link you up!

Deanne Schultz posted a selfie while taking the Challenge on her birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Deanne!

Patricia Sands has been playing tennis to enjoy the outdoors.

My daughter Courtney Lindau and her friends took an epic hike near Red Rocks.

Went on an awesome hike with these ladies above Red Rocks today! 🗻☀️🍃

A photo posted by Courtney Lindau (@courtneylindau) on

Continue reading

How to Add Excitement to Your Life

Remember when you were a kid and you went out exploring, wide-eyed and full of enthusiasm? What happened to that childlike wonder? Are you so bored, you find yourself watching Bachelor in Paradise and realize you’ve hit a new low? Here are a few ideas to keep summer from becoming a yawnfest.

Take a stay-cation. Become a tourist in your own town. Check out new shops, restaurants, food, festivals, music, museums and events.

Pearl Street Mall

Check your city’s calendar. Many have summer events like outdoor movie night. Google: calendar of events for your city. Your local newspaper or Chamber of Commerce should have a website with a list.  Continue reading

Don’t Tell Mom

When I’m scolded by a young woman in her twenties for being reckless, I know it’s been a real adventure.

I had been road biking to a small town about ten miles from my house and back to build strength in my leg after knee surgery. After several bike rides, I itched for something different. Something new. Something…adventurous.

I decided to mountain bike around the Boulder Reservoir instead. I used to belong to a mountain biking group that explored Boulder County. It had been a while, but I thought it would be fun to hit the trail again.

Looking back, I should have recognized the turkey vulture as a bad omen.

turkey vulture

On the way to the res, I rode by Coot Lake.

Coot Lake

I entered the Eagle Trailhead. A new little friend hopped along the path and pleaded with me to turn around. Of course, I didn’t listen. Continue reading

Deconstructing the Avant Garde: Ed McCartan’s Art Retrospective

When my dad moved into the nursing home, I didn’t think an art show would be possible. I shelved the idea of a gallery opening. His amazing work has only been shown publicly at outdoor art shows once or twice, more than fifty years ago. He has always been a humble man and he remains unrecognized for a large body of artwork created during his lifetime.

Ed McCartan Self-portrait

Ed McCartan’s self-portrait.

Then Hospice took over. They came up with an idea to do a retrospective at the nursing home where he is living, the Evansville Manor, a few blocks from my parents’ house in Evansville, Wisconsin. Danny and I had to go.

Drawing had helped my dad with the transition into the nursing home. He would sit in the window of his small room and sketch from photographs or from a book of animals. A few weeks before the show, he stopped drawing.

Ed McCartan Art show 2

Dad and Mom.

My mom had framed many pieces over the course of the last year. He had forty paintings to show. We set them up in order from earliest to latest work. Continue reading

Feel Like Summer is Slipping Away?

Once the 4th of July has been celebrated, the lazy days of summer accelerate at warp speed. Soon, our shadows will stretch, the leaves will begin to change and the kids will head back to school.

I’ve learned how to slow down this special time of year while the days are long and warm. Want to know my secret? Make time for yourself and get outside!

These are a few of the hikes I’ve taken in Colorado this summer.

Fitness challenge hikes

Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Create some memories while exercising your body and I’ll link you up. Take a couple of pictures while walking, running, biking, swimming, cliff diving, or dancing (the very best exercise), and post a picture or two on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WRFChallenge. I’ll include it here on the Wild Ride. Continue reading

Me and the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge


Deanne is taking the challenge! She has found a brand new way to exercise. *Hint* She lives near Lake Michigan.

Originally posted on dmswriter:

Last month, Susie at challenged readers to her 90-day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. It’s easy, really – exercise at least two or three times each week, and make one of these an outdoor adventure.

I’ve talked about my exercise routine before. It’s not always easy, but every morning, I lace up my shoes and head out, rain or shine. Or snow. Or ice. The only thing that stops me is lightning or extreme cold.

Temperature readings tell me what to wear on my walkAnd since it’s July in Wisconsin, you’d think I wouldn’t have to worry about that. Did I say July? In Wisconsin? When it’s normally in the 80s and slightly humid? Not today, happy readers.  (Bottom number was the outside temp this morning…)

According to the chirpy TV weatherman, living near Lake Michigan brought luck, though: inland areas of Wisconsin were close to the freezing mark. I felt really good about that – not!–…

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Amazing Outdoor Photos from WRFChallengers

Have you wanted to commit to exercise, but can’t seem to get into a routine? Here’s what’s working for me.

Take the 90 day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. It ends on September 8th with a Wild Party. It’s super easy. Really! Exercise two or more times a week and get outside at least once. That’s all! You can walk around your neighborhood or scale a mountain. It’s up to you.

Post photos on Instagram and Twitter of your outdoor adventures and tag them #WRFChallenge. I’ll continue to feature some of them here. Or you can blog about your own adventure and link it to Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge, so more can join.

Here’s what the WRFChallengers have been up to!

Ginger Calem ran with an eagle in Texas.

Continue reading

Friday Photo and an Invitation!

Happy TGIF Wild Riders!

Want to have fun and get one of your Instagram or Twitter posts featured? Tweet or Instagram your photos while walking, running, hiking or having any kind of outdoor adventure. Include the hashtag #WRFChallenge. I’ll pick a few to post here on the Wild Ride.

It’s summer. Time to enjoy the longer days and explore the great outdoors. It’s easy to let it slip away.

ChautauquaIf you haven’t already joined, it’s not too late to be a part of the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Exercise two or more times a week. Once a week, go outside to exercise your body.

There are many ways to share your adventure. Post about it on your blog and link me up, email me to guest post, or meet me and the other Wild Riders on Twitter or Instagram at #WRFChallenge.

On September 8th, I’ll host a party! You know me. I’m all about parties. We’ll have a Wild Rider Fitness Challenge Day where we can look back on our summer of fitness fun.

Adventure awaits, right outside your door!

Have you been enjoying summer? Do you have plans to get outside this weekend?

A Passionate Lifetime


Imagine living without the internet, television, or electricity. It’s hard, right? My dad, Ed McCartan, grew up in such a place; A farm located miles away from the closest town, Lake Five, Wisconsin. He went to school in the classic one-room school house and graduated, the only one in his class. Although he is quick with a smile and a joke, it’s possible his shy manner came from this isolation. Somewhere along the line, he discovered art. He bought a motorcycle and commuted to Milwaukee to attend the Layton School of Art. Continue reading

Wild Rider Fitness Challenge – A Guest Post by Maggie C

I would like you to meet Maggie C from, What Rhymes with Stanza? She has taken the 90 day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Maggie has written a wonderful outdoor photo essay about the pet-ometer and how it keeps her going. I can see where it is an excellent motivator. I think you’ll really enjoy this. It may motivate you too.

Take it away Maggie C!


Thank you, Susie, for hosting the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge!

I’ve actually been taking daily walks for about a year now, but the Challenge is motivating me to “step up” my game. I have difficulty sticking with any kind of healthy endeavor, it seems, so having kept at it this long is pretty amazing (or perhaps I’m just easily amazed).

The secret to maintaining my exercise regimen this past year has been my Pet-ometer. He doesn’t measure how many steps I’ve taken in a day, but he lets me know when it’s time to walk,


and — if I don’t get my rear off the couch soon enough — he lets me know it’s REALLY time for a walk. Continue reading

Join The Wild Rider Fitness Challenge

Hey Wild Riders! Are you ready to be challenged?

I’m back to my wild adventures and thought we could have a little fun this summer. Many of you already exercise, but some of you are only well-intentioned. I know. I’ve been there too. Here’s how you can become fit while receiving exposure for your blog or website.

The challenge.

Commit to exercising in some way 2-3 times a week. Make at least ONE of those an OUTDOOR ADVENTURE. Take a walk or run through your city. Go on a bike ride, hike, swim or play tennis. So the weather is nasty or it’s winter where you live. Dress for the weather. Go skiing or become a mall walker, anything to get you moving. I’m sure you can come up with all kinds of exciting adventures!

This is a 90 day challenge. By September, we should all have hard bodies! That might be an unrealistic expectation, but I know we’ll be in better shape. We may feel and look better too!

Outdoor adventure fitness challenge

Want blog exposure? Continue reading

Spamming Aruba

Aruba beach

Many of us dream of island sunsets and endless beaches. I have written a few photo essays about this kind of family vacation. One of them, Aruba, Natalie Holloway, Bad Hair and Photos, recently received a spike in views. Classmates reported Natalie missing ten years ago last weekend. I included a waiter’s conspiracy theory in my post, drawing legit traffic.

Unfortunately slimy spammers also staked out turf on my Aruban beach. Continue reading

Tales from Denver Comic Con 2015

Courtney's doppelganger

I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated. Continue reading