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

 

Posted in Humor, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

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.

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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.

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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!

Posted in Holidays, Humor, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 86 Comments

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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Are You Ready “to” Spring?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bad news:

This Sunday, March 9th, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time or what I like to call, “You Ripped Off an Hour of My Precious Sleeping Time.” We lose an hour at 2:00 AM when time springs ahead to 3:00 AM. Dawn will break an hour later and the sun won’t slide behind our mountains until 7:02 PM. It will be one of those groggy days which will oddly resemble jet lag. It will creep into Monday morning with an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks.

I love when it ends in November and I have a whole extra hour to play, but the start-up is killer. I can’t believe one little hour can mess with our heads so much.

I wonder if anyone has ever screwed with time in order to win a war. I can imagine the enemy sneaking into camp and setting all the clocks ahead by one hour. Just think of the mayhem, friendly fire, and subsequent heart attacks.

Did you know that Ben Franklin is responsible for our abrupt and jarring time change? In 1784, he spent some time in Paris and came up with an idea to save on the cost of candles. It’s always about money and sometimes about the cost of wax.

The good news:

Here in Boulder, day lengthens by 2 minutes and 37-38 seconds every 24 hours. For all of you still in the eye of the Polar Vortex, spring will arrive on Thursday, March 20th, whether Weather likes it or not. The 4th of July is less than four months away. How can that be? Time is precise and controlled. It ticks on and on, with concise rhythm and constant meter. Weather is obstinate and unpredictable. It throws tantrums without warning. It has its way, always. It doesn’t care about Time or the season. It’s an emotional monster, a willful child, and a hormonal teenager.

On Sunday morning, when you set your clocks ahead, you’ll be one hour closer to spring. The days will lengthen, temperatures will rise, and snow will melt.

But don’t mention anything to Weather. We don’t want it to become a hot mess.

Are you for or against Daylight Saving Time?

Photo courtesy of Free Wallpaper

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 106 Comments

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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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?

Posted in Life, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

The Boob Report – Sex and Yes! Sex!

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Warning. This is an explicit post about sex, aging and surviving breast cancer for August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, Girl Boner Edition. Do NOT read it out loud to your child while he or she sits on your lap.

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Image from Wikimedia

Twenty years ago, I ran into Cybill Shepherd in the entrance of a New York restaurant. I never had the opportunity to say more than hello, but I’m sure we’d be besties. She impressed me as tall and very comfortable in her own skin since she wore very little make-up and a mink coat over a sweater, jeans, and gym shoes. A decade later, she was quoted that sex gets better with age. She’s telling the truth! Continue reading

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I Had a Little Adventure While You Were Dancing! A Photo Essay

Last week, my breast reconstruction doctor joined my radiologist in giving me the thumb’s up. I had been told I had no restrictions over the phone, but this appointment made it official. I won’t see either of them until next summer. Yeah baby. It’s all good! I just have to take a Tamoxifen pill every day.  I felt like celebrating so my husband Danny and I headed up to the mountains.

We left at 5:00 on Valentine’s Day and sailed up I-70. After Idaho Springs, we came to a halt and our progress could be measured in inches. I could have sworn I saw an elderly lady with a walker pass our car. Our two hour trip soon stretched to three. We worried that our 9:00 dinner reservation would be cancelled. Wet snowflakes flew and collected on the road. We suspected an accident had caused the jam. I used two of the hours stuck in traffic to hash out a screenplay I am working on. I figured out three plot lines, worked on casting it, finally decided on Robert Downey Jr., and we still crawled up the mountain highway.

Robert Downey Jr will be perfect for my screenplay

Image from Google+

At 8:30, I started cussing like the truck drivers crawling alongside us. We’d never make our dinner reservation. Approaching a curve in the road, we could see what happened. Idiots with front-wheel drive had spun out in the left lane tying up traffic for miles and miles! They had to be towed. I’ll never understand why Colorado stopped requiring chains for everyone without all-wheel drive. Once we got past the goofballs without chains or a clue, we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel and flew down the mountain to Breckenridge. Continue reading

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“It’s Time to Vote!” said Roxy with a cramp in her paw

Thanks to everyone who competed. I’ll have another contest in March.

These captions are hysterical. Some of them got Roxy rolling on the floor laughing. She hasn’t laughed that hard since our family jumped for joy!

Roxy I

My daughter Courtney and son Kelly have made their decisions and the rest is up to you. Vote on the one you like the best and it will get featured on the Wild Ride. The photo of Roxy with the winner’s caption will appear on the right side of my blog. It will be up for a couple of weeks. Cool, right?

If your caption is a finalist, go out and tell your friends and family to come here and vote. Blast it out on Twitter and Facebook. Call your grandma. Email your uncle. Write a blog post. Give the link to your book club, your coworkers, and the random person behind you in the grocery store.

You have until 8:00 AM, Tuesday, February 25th. Mountain Standard Time.

The winner will be announced next Wednesday!

Good Luck!

Are you into pet photos on social media or have you hit the saturation point?

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

The Ultimate Blog Party – Use Me and Abuse Me Days!

photo (30) 1

Welcome to all of the new followers of the Wild Ride!  Here’s your chance to meet some of my friends. This virtual blog party always lasts for days.

Bring a link from ONE of your blog posts and paste it in my comment section. Then the party will begin. Click on a few. Check out their place. Tell them “Susie sent me!” Hang out for a while. Maybe you’ll like what you see and will subscribe. They’ll click back to check out your digs. Some may subscribe to your blog! See? It’s so much fun!

Only leave ONE link or you’ll end up in my spam filter. That can be so embarrassing.

If you leave a link, then click on a few. You wouldn’t go to a party with a doggy bag, fill up on food and take off, would you? Of course not. The more links you click, the more fun you’ll have!

DJ Ksmash in in the house and he’ll be spinning all day and night. Help yourself to the buffet and the bar. Rather have coffee? The barista is chillin’ and just waiting for your order. You might want to drink a Red Bull with me!

Have fun mingling and don’t forget to dance!

I’m going to take a few runs and will come back and read all of your posts.

Don’t forget to enter the caption contest! 

The more the merrier so spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!

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Roxy Is Ready to Go! A Contest

Roxy I

Roxy had two huge bladder stones removed and now she’s ready for anything! She doesn’t want to be left behind. I found her in my carryon bag.

The photo bomber is back!

This photo deserves a caption and you deserve a prize. Leave a caption in the comment section. I’ll have my son and daughter pick out the best ones and then you can vote on the top five. The winner will get featured on the Wild Ride. Continue reading

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 91 Comments

With or Without a Lover, This Valentine’s Day Is Yours!

Those without a loved one to share Valentine’s Day have more in common with the tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards than those with a lover.

victorian-valentine-cupid

I thought the Victorians began the tradition with their sentimental, flowery, lacy, and cupid adorned cards:

The couple meets at a soiree where the fine lady’s heart beats like a caged canary. The gentleman wears gloves and even with them worries he’ll leave a thumbprint on the greeting card. He escorts her to a small chamber not far from the ballroom. Her cheeks flush with the touch of his warm hand on her back. It sends a thrill of which she is not accustomed. He pulls the declaration of love from his breast pocket and presents it with a bow. She smiles, rips it open and gasps when she sees two naked cupids complete with jiggly bits dancing in the sky. Underneath are the words “Be My Lover.” She drops the card and trounces from the room.

And that is when the gentleman became acquainted with the florist’s establishment around the corner which he frequented in years to come.

Cupids and heart Valentine

Sending cards began more than 400 years earlier with a French romantic poet, of course! It did not begin with the uptight Victorians, but the English had their part in history.

The French nobleman, Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orleans fought against the English and became trapped in his own armor. (How does that happen? “Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!) In 1415, he took up residence as a prisoner in the Tower of London. Continue reading

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Greeking Out on Hyperbole and the Winter Olympics

I am the hyperbole queen and didn’t even know what it meant. I must have been sick that day. When friends said, “You’re so hyperbolic,” I probably thought they said, “hyperactive,” and nodded my head.

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder-_Big_Fish_Eat_Little_Fish

The original big fish story.

A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is not to be taken literally. The name for “exceeding the truth,” originated in the 1500’s in Greece.

That got me thinking. Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. It can’t be a coincidence. I can imagine some Greek god-looking dude saying, “Whoa. I threw that javelin like a thousand meters today. It raced with Cupid across the sky.” Continue reading

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Why I Love Colorado – A Photo Essay

Although Colorado has only been nicked by the Polar Vortex, it has been a record year for snow in Breckenridge. This has created deep powder conditions. I am under doctor’s orders not to fall, so it’s groomed runs for me. The snow is like soft vanilla ice cream. Breck 2- 14

Since the beginning of the year, 249 inches of snow has fallen.  By my expert calculations, 9 feet of snow fell in January alone. That my friend, is a lot of crazy good champagne powder! Continue reading

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How to Survive the Polar Vortex

polar vortex 1

In case you haven’t heard, half the US is in a cyclonic weather pattern. It seems the center of the Polar Ice Cap has relocated somewhere between Madison, Wisconsin and Cleveland. The Polar Vortex is threatening to stick around and continue to break low temperature records all over the world. It spawned Winter Storm Leon which trounced through the South. It sprinkled the white stuff on several states which rarely see snow and wreaked havoc with highways and airports. His brother Maximus is bounding in from the west and is licking his heels. Is there no end to PV’s fury?

Noaa_current_snow_ice_canada_usa_1-6-2014Snow cover on January 6th, 2014

Looks like an ice age to me. Will spring ever arrive in our Northern states?

Breck snowstorm 2011

Here are some tips to help you survive the coldest winter on record.

  • Wear a hat to bed. Heat rises and your pillow could cause your ears to freeze off. Continue reading
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Will You Find Good Fortune in 2014?

The Chinese New Year begins Friday, January 31st. Some will begin partying on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Restaurants will be packed and fortune cookies will be cracked open. Predictions will be read. Most of the tiny pieces of paper will be tossed away.

Did you already biff your 2014 resolutions? Here’s your second chance, but before you make your new list, check out your horoscope with the Chinese Zodiac Chart below. It may help you fine-tune this year’s goals, or not, but it’s always interesting.

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Continue reading

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