Category Archives: Life

Use Me and Abuse Me – Roxy Blog Hopping Edition

I hope you had a fabulous Easter. Roxy did!

Blog hopping Roxy 1

It’s party time and I’m inviting all of you to Use Me and Abuse Me! 

Bring ONE link to a story you’d like to share with my friends. Paste it in my comment section below. Then the fun begins! Click on a few links and “mingle” with the guests. Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back!

“Follow” a couple and you may “pick up” a few new subscribers.

If you leave a link, make sure to click on a few. You wouldn’t go to a party and fill a bag with appetizers and leave, so don’t leave a link and run. If you leave more than ONE link, you’ll end up in my spam filter. That is always so embarrassing for both of us.

Relax. Stay a while. Help yourself to the buffet. The bar is always open. The barista is making coffee drinks. DJ Kelly Smash is in the house, so don’t forget to DANCE!

Download his latest FREE music HERE!

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I am so fortunate and grateful to have met some hideous (awesome) friends through blogging. Brickhouse Chick and Kathryn McCullough tweeted my Open Letter link to @Freshly_Pressed and the editors FP’d it! Woohoo! I am still happy dancing.  Make sure to click on their links and check out their blogs! Brickhouse Chick always has something funny to share and Kathryn will give you a glimpse into her life in Ecuador. They are living (and virtual), proof that the blogging community here at WordPress is the very best. Thanks again girls! *muah*

If you ever read a Freshly Pressed worthy post, be sure to Tweet the editors at @Freshly_Pressed. It works!

Now click on some links and DANCE!

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Filed under Life, Use Me and Abuse Me Days

Another Birthday. Thank God!

It’s my birthday! Last year, I looked forward to being a year older. I couldn’t understand why so many people loathe them when we all want to live a long life. That’s the goal, right? We all want to live to be 100! To get there, you have to attain all the numbers in between.

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Five days after my last birthday, I had a routine mammogram. I was shocked when I learned I needed an immediate ultrasound. I thought I may not see another birthday. After recovering fully from boobectomies and reconstructive surgery, I still can’t believe I was diagnosed with cancer. I have never gotten used to saying that word.

As I hunkered down with close friends and family to heal, I reassessed. I looked honestly at my life and how I was spending my time. Now I surround myself with people who enjoy my company and support me. I’m excited about my projects and am working hard. Yep. I’ve got another one in the works. I’m sending my book to a professional editor on Monday. Whew!

I don’t feel any different about my birthday this year. I’ve always felt that life is precious. I am grateful to have so many candles on my cake and I plan to add a lot more. I am not a woman who dreads being another year older. I’ve earned it!

2013 Birthday

Last year’s birthday

There are things I can’t change such as my height, the fact that I will never be a pro tennis player or a rock star, or the fact that I had cancer. But I can be a redhead! I made an appointment and plan to get pampered on my birthday.

Last year, I wrote a list of ways to celebrate. Number 1. was getting together with family. I’m looking forward to a celebratory dinner with them once again, but afterward we’re going to DANCE!

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 This is from my rain dancing days with the photo bomber.

My ordeal was more positive than negative. I’ve learned a lot about myself. With adversity, and the gift of living another year, comes clarity. I know who I am, what I’m capable of, and where I’m going. That’s my birthday gift to myself.

Getting older is a very good thing! 

Do you look forward to your birthday?

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Filed under Humor, Life

A bad cold is just like this…

We’re all in denial when experiencing the first sneeze. We’re still feeling great.

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We go about our day and brush off that first little tickle in our throats.

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Then we notice something just isn’t right.

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Drinking coffee doesn’t snap us out of it. Continue reading

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Filed under Humor, Life

Tonsils, Heads Up, and Voting…

Tonsils:

My daughter Courtney had a tonsil and adenoidectomy today.  OUCH! Her outpatient surgery was accomplished with a laser in less than an hour! Her tonsils were cauterised with the burning, so she doesn’t have stitches. Recovery time will be cut in half compared to traditional surgery.

Oh yes. I know about the traditional kind. I had mine out in the 5th grade and had an overnight stay in the hospital. The priest came to my room and said a prayer before I went under the much heavier general anesthetic of the day. I awoke disoriented and in terrible pain. There were several adults in the post-operative room and they all appeared DEAD! I screamed or tried to scream. A nurse yelled, “Sit down and shut up!” This was back in the day when “shut up” was a naughty word. I begged for water, but only got a cup of ice chips. When I let them melt in my mouth before swallowing, I puked. It was horrible.

I do remember returning home where I recuperated for a couple of weeks while my mom took great care of me. I ate my weight in Popsicles.  My classmates wrote get well cards. Of course there was the card I received from that special boy which looked like all the rest, but was cherished by me.

Courtney is in pain, but is very stoic about it. We’re staying on top of the “good medications,” Percocet, along with a doctor-prescribed magical lollipop. After sucking on it for 15 seconds every two hours, it has the amazing ability to numb her entire throat.

She is twenty-two years old and won’t be receiving cards from her classmates, but she has been getting all kinds of good wishes through Snapchat and Facebook. She chose to have this procedure done over spring  break. In two weeks, she’ll be back to snowboarding on the weekends.

courtney lindau

Voting:

The results of the caption contest are IN!

The Prize – The winner’s caption will be added to the photo and displayed on the right side of my blog until next month’s contest. The photo will be linked to your blog. Woohoo!

snowshoeing with Roxy

 

It’s time to vote!

If you are one of the finalists, this is a big deal! Email the link to your friends and family.  Blog about it and ask your followers to vote. Post the link on Facebook and Twitter. Have fun and good luck!

The poll closes at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 1st! 

Heads Up:

The next Use Me and Abuse Me blog party starts this Saturday, March, 29th. Be sure to stop by with a link and click on a few. Everyone goes home with new friends. I love it when my friends meet each other!

Courtney created a new blog for a business class and needs 600 views! Help her out and click HERE 600 times…

That’s all for now. I think I heard Courtney call out for another Popsicle…

Do you still have your tonsils?

Laser Tonsillectomy

Adenoidectomy

 

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Filed under Humor, Life

Reflections on a Perfect Night – Photo Essay

Last summer was WILD! After my double mastectomy, I had restrictions and  limitations. My doctors expedited the process so my husband Danny and I could fly to Barcelona, Spain. We picked up our daughter Courtney from her Study Abroad program and drove to France.

While in Paris, we took a bike tour through the heart of the city. Courtney had traveled there with her friends a few weekends earlier and found the tour to be the highlight of her visit.

The Louvre 5

The fact that I took these photographs outside the Louvre weeks after major surgery reflects the power each body has to heal itself. They also remind me of the courage and strength of my daughter.

The Louvre 4

While studying in Spain, Courtney contracted tonsillitis. That weekend, the rest of the students in her apartment traveled to the South of France. She stayed home with a high fever, a painful sore throat and wasn’t able to keep any food down. Of course, I was freaking out from thousands of miles away. She dressed and hailed a taxi to the nearest doctor’s office. Without speaking Catalon, the doctor examined her and wrote a prescription. She found a pharmacy, taxied back home and took care of herself. Continue reading

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Filed under Life, Photography

Snowshoeing Photo Essay – Get Featured!

After my big adventure, I had to take Danny snowshoeing. Roxy raced ahead.

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Danny followed my lead down to the Sally Barber Road.

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Once we hit the mining trail, we cruised on the hard-packed snow.

snowshoeing the Sally Barber

We ran into a runner who suggested trekking to the mine or looping around by taking Nightmare on Bald Mountain Trail. We couldn’t find the trail, so we made our own tracks up old Baldy.

The slow and steady climb through heavy snow proved to be too much for Roxy.

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We found the trail back home and Roxy sprinted ahead.

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Our little outing took more than two hours, but the exercise while taking in Colorado’s beauty was worth every minute.

Come up with a caption for “backpacking Roxy” and get featured on the Wild Ride!

snowshoeing with RoxyLeave your caption in the comment section below. The winner will be featured on my sidebar until next month’s contest! My kids, Kelly and Courtney, will choose the finalists.  Good luck!

Happy first day of spring!

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

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Filed under Life, Photography, Sports

Wearing It Proudly!

Last Saturday, Danny and I rode the chairlift with a friendly gentleman. We commented on the the fine weather and fresh snow and noticed his accent.  This started a guessing game. He removed his goggles and squinted into the bright sunshine as Danny and I tried to guess his nationality. After naming 8 or 9 countries, we gave up. He said, “I’m Ukrainian.”

We continued talking after we arrived at the top. Then he wanted to guess my heritage. He asked me to take off my goggles and look at him straight on and then in profile. “Irish,” he said, “Your nose gave it away! It’s the same one they drew on Leprechaun’s in books and cartoons back in the day.”

st pattys profile

My father always claimed he was full-blooded Irish. Then out of the blue a couple of years ago, he mentioned a Scottish great grandmother who came to live with them for a while. “What?” My mother asked with skepticism and just about fell over.

Knowing that I’m more than 75% Irish (maybe closer to 70% with this recent revelation), always put a spring in my Irish step this time of year. Another part of that spring comes from nostalgic memories.

I grew up in a creative household. My dad was one of the original Madmen and my mom was always whipping something up in the kitchen or on the sewing machine. They started a new and unique tradition. Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the Leprechauns visited our house. They were a messy lot and would spill their chocolate filled coins all over the house while we slept. My sister and I searched high and low for the little fellas, but we never found them. Later, my brother joined in the shenanigans.

gold coins

My mother would bake an apple pie while corned beef, carrots and cabbage simmered all afternoon on the stove top. The scent was heavenly. As if that weren’t enough, she baked soda bread. After my dad returned from work, we would sit down to an authentic Irish feast while traditional music played from my dad’s record player.

I continued this tradition with my own family. For my son Kelly, this is one of his favorite holidays. Every year, he makes an Irish feast for his friends. I am still working on an invitation.

An Irish Leprechaun

So when I look in the mirror at my pug Irish nose, I smile. I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, even for a glimpse of those elusive Leprechauns.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To watch Danny and I dance an Irish jig – Click HERE!

For the more about my family’s fun with Leprechaun’s – Click HERE!

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Filed under Holidays, Humor, Life

The First of Many Wild Rides

Impulse and risky choices have taken me on all kinds of adventures. This story epitomizes who I am.

After graduating from college, I struggled to find illustration jobs. Every month or two, I drew promotional advertisements for an upscale women’s clothing store where I worked selling clothes. The intermittent opportunities paid a meager wage. I made more money selling clothes than drawing them.

Esprit Girl

Then, I had a brilliant idea. Madison, Wisconsin is only a few hours away from Chicago, so I took the Van Galder Bus to the Merchandise Mart. I hoped to find a few businesses willing to pay me to draw their clothing and accessories.

With an art portfolio held tight in my hand, I knocked on doors all day, but only found one interested company. I showed the owner my drawings and paintings. She picked a purse from a pile on a table and said, “Draw this one.” She handed me a #2 pencil, a piece of typing paper and escorted me to her desk. She and her staff watched as I drew. Perspiration dripped from every pore on my body. Somehow, I managed to finish. She smiled and paid me $10.00. It covered less than half of my bus fare.

Purse Illustration

I took the elevator down to the lobby and stepped into the chilly spring air. After reorienting myself, I made my way to the bus stop. I thought about my career choice and if it would be worth it to travel to Chicago again.

While I stood shivering on the curb with my back against the Lake Michigan wind, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and a thirty-something, unshaven man in a light jacket and jeans asked, “Are you waiting for the bus back to Madison?” Continue reading

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Woohoo! 1337! What?

1337 followers

I reached a milestone with the post, “I Had a Little Adventure While You Were Dancing!” Since I scheduled it for 7:00 AM, I never got the satisfaction of seeing, “You published your 300th post.” Being a “gold star” person, I have strived to earn them since I was a little kid. I wondered if WordPress had added a golden trophy to my virtual case, so I clicked “Awards” at the bottom of the list located on the left side of my notifications. Nope. I surpassed 3,000 WordPress blog followers, but didn’t receive a trophy for that accomplishment or for my 200oth.

But there is a trophy in my case with a number so peculiar, I scratched my head. I earned it when I acquired my 1337th follower. Why 1337? After FSOG, Five Seconds On Google, a list of results appeared.

At the top of the list was The Urban Dictionary with a definition for 1337:

  • “Hacker “Sp33k” for leet, or elite. Originating from 31337 “eleet”, the UDP port used by Dead Cow Cult, a hacker group, to access Windows 95 using Back Orifice, a notorious hacking program.”

The Dead Cow Cult? Was I now a member of a notorious group of hackers and didn’t know it? I have returned when the cows came home, but I don’t believe any were dead. Continue reading

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Filed under Life

Roxy and Squirrel and the Contest

Our dog Roxy has a friend. Squirrel hangs out in our oak trees or on the roof and waits for her to come out into the yard. He chirps and chatters and makes a ruckus. He acts like this is HIS yard.  Roxy knows better. A showdown occurs every day. I wouldn’t mind except our petite 15 pound Bichon has an enormous set of lungs. When she starts barking, it echoes off the Rocky Mountains. It sets off car alarms. The coyotes start howling out in the open space. I can’t stand it! 

My yard

After a few years of this relationship, I’ve learned squirrel doesn’t like the smell of vinegar. I sprayed in his general direction a couple of times when I was trying to get Roxy’s attention. Now all I have to do is step outside and Squirrel bolts. He flies through the air from the roof or from the tops of our trees all the way to the ground. I’ve finally earned some respect.

I took these photos yesterday.

Roxy and Squirrel 1

Squirrel knows who owns this yard. ME!

Roxy I

“This bitch is ready to go!”

And now for a big announcement. Kippfu from A’A in Paradise won the caption contest!

You should check out my Hawaiian friend’s blog and be sure to click on his surfing video on the side bar. It is waaaay too cool! You’ll see a few sexy photos since he posted a picture of discretely (barely), covered boobs every day in October for breast cancer awareness. They are his top posts!

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My favorite Kippfu post is Yoga Fire. It is hilarious.

Thanks to everyone who played along and voted. I’ll hold another caption contest in March. Click here to see the results. It was close.

Roxy just ran through the house to her doggy door. It’s dark outside and the coyotes are howling. I shut it two hours ago. She’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see her furry friend.

Do you have any pests in your neighborhood?

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Filed under Life, Photography