A Passionate Lifetime

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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

An Insane Circumstance

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This could only happen to me.

Have you ever questioned your sanity? I never expected that going to a ladies’ room to pee would cause an alarm to go off inside my head. I seriously had a moment when I thought I might be going crazy. Not in a, “Oh, wow. That was weird,” kind of way. More like a, “So this is what it’s like to lose your mind,” kind of moment. I haven’t questioned my sanity very often. Like never.

Last Saturday, I volunteered at WordCamp Denver. After I helped with registration, took a few informative classes about WordPress and drank three cups of coffee. I had to pee. Continue reading

Boccone Dolce, Sewing Machines, Tallboys and Mom

This Mother’s Day, I look back at simpler times and honor my own mother who set the bar pretty high. She is still there to listen to me. When I visit, she pulls out her well-worn cookbooks and concocts gourmet meals. The last time, she made boccone dolce, a layered dessert of meringue and chocolatey goodness. I know!

mom patty and i2I’m not sure I could have survived the drama of elementary or high school without my mom. After skipping home from school, she would greet me with a smile, something warm from the oven, and the question, “How was school today?” I would plop down at the half-moon counter my dad installed in our small kitchen and snatch a warm cookie, its chocolate chips still melted, and would proceed to recount the trivial events of my young life. I always had a lot to say, as you can imagine, but she would listen and hand out Continue reading

I’m Back! A Photo Essay

I have emerged from a long winter of isolation. Two years of recovering from surgeries broke me in places, but where my body and psyche were shattered, I am stronger. Focused. Driven. I am stoked for the challenges that lie ahead. I am ready to take back my Wild Life.susie's knee

For me, skiing symbolizes health, strength, and freedom after setbacks. I looked forward to hitting the slopes again.

I had hiked and biked to get back in shape after a Makoplasty partial knee replacement on January 5th, but my physical therapist instructed me to build strength in my muscles to stabilize the knee instead. I took a few weeks of Pilates and strengthening classes.

Were my muscles strong enough or would I have to ride back down on the chairlift?

I made it to the top! Now for the true test.

The top of A-BasinI would be skiing the heaviest and slushiest snow of the year. It would have been painful to ski with my old knee. How would my body handle it?

Continue reading

New Music from Muse! Released One Hour Ago

Muse is one of my favorite bands. I rocked out to them live in Denver and will never forget their incredible show. While running errands today, I heard their new release “Dead Inside,” on two different radio stations. As soon as I got home, I checked out their YouTube channel. They uploaded their new release an hour ago. Woohoo!

Their Album, Drones will be released on June 8th, 2015.

I turned a corner with recovery from knee surgery, so I am rocking out!

Had to share. Enjoy!

This may not be suitable for work. Artistic nudity abounds.

Check out their website HERE! 

 What is your favorite band? What music really gets you moving?

Trash-Talking and March Madness – I’m In!

While perusing my WordPress reader, I noticed a new post by super blogger and author, Nathan Bransford. It was titled, “7th Annual Blog Bracket Challenge!!

I could not figure out what kind of bracket challenge could warrant two exclamation points so I clicked to find out. He was creating a group for the ESPN [college basketball] Tournament Challenge for March Madness. Joining would mean choosing the winners out of 64 teams. All I knew was CU was out and my alma mater, UW-Madison, was ranked pretty high.

I left a comment:

“It sounds like another social media time suck, so I’M IN!”

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Even though it was free to enter, ESPN will award the first place winner a $20,000 Best Buy gift card and a trip to the 2015 Maui Invitational. Another winner will be chosen from the top 1%. Nathan is offering a query letter review or something else agreed upon to the first place winner of his group. There was plenty of incentive, so I checked it out.

After creating a profile, I found Nathan’s group. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning since I would be guessing while competing against 39 others, but I’m always up for meeting new people and liked the idea of trying something new. I was drawn into The Madness for the first time. Continue reading

Trippin’ Through Dublin – Photo Essay

Every year on the 17th of March, the Leprechauns scatter their gold coins throughout my house and I boil corned beef and cabbage while listening to Irish music. This year, I’m taking a trip back in time, back to our trip to Ireland.

Danny and I traveled with my dad and mom and our two kids, Kelly and Courtney, in 2001.

We stayed in a friend’s apartment a mile away from Dublin’s downtown.

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While walking downtown, the Lord Mayor arrived in style at the Kerrygold Horse Show.

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We walked through an arched passageway

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and were welcomed by a harmonica player. Continue reading