Twenty Word Wednesday – The Cotswolds Revisited

Tolkien Church

A church in Moreton-in-Marsh.

chocolatey house 1

Roaming through the village.

chocolatey house

I would have loved to peek inside.

Happy Hump Day!

Click on photos to enlarge

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A bad cold is just like this…

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

1283773005_parkour-wall-climbing

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.

1295259061_woman-high-jump-fail

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

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Ramblings and Results

I hope you survived April Fools! April has arrived and another snowstorm is on the way. The joke’s on us.

April Fools meme

The worst April Fools’ prank sprung on me was through my computer. GAH! I am very particular about apostrophes so when I noticed one of my tags from yesterday’s newsworthy post read, “April Fool’s Day,” I freaked. I had double checked before typing it. April Fools’ Day is the proper way to write it, but I had typed in April Fools Day without the apostrophe since it was a tag. After mopping the coffee from my desk, I went into edit. No matter how many times I tried, I could not get April Fool’s Day off my tags. I even cleaned out my cookies. Then I remembered that I had noticed it first on my iPad and the edit was still open. I closed it, ran upstairs and then deleted April Fool’s Day, updated it, and added April Fools Day. It still came up as April Fool’s Day. I went back to the post I wrote last year and went through the same process. I may always look like a fool on April Fools’ Day.  I have a year to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

Grumpy cat April fools

Courtney is gradually recovering from her tonsillectomy. Thanks for your well wishes and checking out her blog. Now, I have a sore throat. I think it’s psychosomatic. After noticing a zit on a person’s forehead, one will sprout on mine the very next day! If I’m so good at imagining things into reality, then why can’t I imagine myself in great shape while looking like a thirty-year-old? My imagination only seems to work for zits and sore throats.

Diane Fallon

The winner of the caption contest is Dianne Fallon! “The Maniacal Traveler” brought a great post about a guided tour in Roswell, New Mexico to the Use Me and Abuse Me blog party and wrote a hilarious story about the seduction of Thin Mints. Congratulation Dianne! I’ll run another contest in April.

snowshoeing with Roxy

“I’ll never turn down a ride from a handsome stranger” – Dianne Fallon – Winner of the March Caption Contest

Speaking of Using and Abusing Me, it’s never to late to add your link in the comments and click on a few. Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your place! There were a lot of new faces in the crowd and I know they would love to meet you.

That’s all for now. I survived April Fools’. I hope you did too!

Were you pranked at all on April Fools’ Day? (See. I know how to write it.) 

 

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This Just In!

The Polar Vortex has affected weather patterns and has also changed migration. Geese have been spotted on the equator while Antarctic penguins could be found walking single file along northbound highways.

After record snow this winter, Colorado ski areas are considering staying open until the 4th of July. They plan to close with a bang.

Old ski photo Continue reading

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A Virtual Blog Party to Use Me and Abuse Me – Marching into April Edition

It’s time once again to Use Me and Abuse Me! This is a virtual blog party where you can come and meet my friends. Bring a link from your blog, paste it in my comment section and then click on a few. Mingle with my friends by leaving comments.  Check out their place  Make sure to tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to yours. Maybe you’ll even pick up a few new subscribers.

If you’re going to leave a link, be sure to click on some while you’re here. You wouldn’t go to a party, take a few bottles of wine and go home. This party is all about the blogging community. We don’t have websites. We have blogs. It is a great place to make real friends. The more you click, the more friends you’ll make!

Only leave ONE LINK! Two will put you in my spam filter and that is always so embarrassing. 

Use Me and Abuse March

Continue reading

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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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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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Snowshoeing Photo Essay – Get Featured!

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

snowshoeing 7

Danny followed my lead down to the Sally Barber Road.

snoeshoeing 1

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.

snowshoeing 3

We found the trail back home and Roxy sprinted ahead.

Snowshoeing 6

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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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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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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