After losing my dad in October, my poor mother had looked forward to coming to our home for the holidays. She hadn’t traveled since his heart attack in 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed her trip to our house over Thanksgiving.
She wasn’t feeling well last week, but packed her bags. My family had driven to ski Breckenridge when I got the call. She was diagnosed with shingles. GAH!
I had to go into hyperdrive to gather and send her gifts.
While preparing for a Wild day, I caught up on blog posts. Darla from She’s A Maineiac posted 50 Things to Be Grateful For. I told her that if there was a Christmas miracle and there was no line at the Post Office, I would post one too. What were the chances?
I scrambled to put together a package for her and my brother and then drove to the Post Office. As expected, cars lined both sides of the street. There would be a long wait. I sighed and grabbed my box.
When I entered, my eyes widened. A line did NOT exist! It was a Christmas miracle.
$28 later, I am praying for another one: That my package is delivered by Christmas Eve and my mom recovers quickly.
I’m setting my timer. Here goes nothing, Darla…
I Am Grateful for These 50 Things:
My family. I know. It’s so cliché and yet I would be nowhere without them and that’s not because I’m directionally challenged.
My husband. I held on tight through my health setbacks. (Sorry about those bruises, Danny!) He is my super fan and my rock. Mostly he rocks. Not literally. That would be weird.
My health. For those of you who read my blog, I’ve had a few surgeries in the last few years. Yes. My boobs are bionic, but after two years, I am cancer-free. *happy dances around kitchen*
My new knee parts. Yep. The cartilage in my left knee is metal and a plastic disk resides behind my kneecap. It’s all good. I went skiing yesterday.
Our mountain house. We bought it during a fire sale. No. It wasn’t on fire, but they sold it like it was.
Our remodel. After owning aforementioned mountain house for nearly twenty years, the first floor is gutted. It’s another big art project. Right now it’s riddled with landmines of nail heads. You have to keep your head down or YOUCH!
Snow! Nothing gets my heart beating faster. Well that’s not true, but where there’s snow out here in the West, there is…
Skiing! I found out yesterday, I started skiing earlier than Danny. Ha! Wait. How come I’m not as good as him? *scratches head*
Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, tobogganing because more adventure.
My lookout tower office. I had to move my desk to face the wall in timeout or I’d get nothing done but daydream out the window because it’s so beautiful and I can see the mountains and little rabbits hopping around and an occasional coyote and neighbors and dogs walk by and…. look at the time!
My bed. There is nothing softer.
A good book. I love being swept away into another world especially one with tons of suspense!
Parties. Being a party girl, I always look forward to them. NOTE TO SELF: host a few in 2016.
The New Year. I love the do-over, starting fresh kinda feeling at the beginning of the year. I’m already pretty much over the top optimistic, but the first few weeks put me at a whole new manic level.
Being spiritual. I was raised Catholic, but am open-minded about all religions. Hey, I could swear I was a ballerina in Paris in one of my past lives.
My blog. I love my Wild Ride and having a place to spew my thoughts.
CARBS! Should have been higher on my list. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
Speaking of higher on my list – DANCING!
My camera! Whether on my phone or my digital SLR, I love taking pictures.
The Force Awakens! I was super pumped after that movie.
Homeland. Carrie is the bad-ass I want to be without terrorism, guns, explosives or bi-polar disorder.
Music from alternative to pop to classical to house.
My imagination. My brain holds a pretty crazy environment, but it is so entertaining. Danny often hears me laughing and asks, “What are you laughing at, now?”
My imaginary friends. I wrote half of Funeral Beenes then death happened. (That sounds very ironic.) I needed to quit for a few weeks. I was putting books away two weeks ago and BAM! An idea for a new novel popped into my head. I wrote the first chapter on my phone while waiting for a hair appointment. The main character doesn’t play well with others, but is hugely fun to hang out with.
Drawing. Sometimes an illustration is the only way to convey the voices in my head.
Challenges. I’m always up for them like trying to find an agent. Know anyone who wants to represent a Wild Rider?
Going out for breakfast. That is my favorite! Bring on the tators, fruit and eggs Benedict and I am one happy girl.
Sparkly things. Wait. What was I saying? See! There it is again!!!
My out-going personality. I’ve tried to fit in as a writer and be an introvert. Wait. I can hear you laughing. I know. I only lasted 45 seconds. Okay. 15. OKAY. 5 SECONDS!
My own or anyone else’s sense of humor. I hate cracking jokes and only hearing the sound of crickets. Lighten up people.
Slang. Even if I have to use the totes adorbs Urban Dictionary to understand it. Slang is my bae. I even make some up every January. (see #24. MUS)
Talking to strangers. I HAD to approach the costumed families eating dinner together before The Force Awakens. We made new friends in NOLA too! Why is my mouth always open in pictures?
My Wild Life. It keeps surprising me and gets WILDER every year!
When my husband, Danny, was invited to go hut skiing the same weekend as our trip to Wisconsin, skiing won.You’re not surprised, are you?
Anyway, last Tuesday, Danny remembered we hadn’t transferred the tickets. I had spaced them out too. Duh! We would lose them on Thursday. One ticket could be used in April, but I couldn’t think of another time to go back.
While taking a walk on the trail near our house, I had a thought. Why should I stick around the house while Danny has fun and my mom’s eighty-fifth birthday is the same weekend? (Danny says I’m the queen of rhetorical questions.) Then BAM! I had a Eureka moment.I’ll surprise my parents!
This being totally last minute, I called my brother to make sure this would be a good time to come. He thought it was a great idea and arranged to pick me up at the airport. I hoped I wouldn’t give them a heart attack. My dad turned eighty-nine a couple of weeks ago and my mom would turn eighty-five on the 9th.
When I arrived at DIA, I had two hours to spare. Security always takes forever, but glancing over the railing, the line was non-existent. What? Was the airport shut down and I didn’t get the memo?Continue reading →
I’ve sent out all of my greeting cards, so it’s time to unveil my project. I’m so nervous. I hope you like it.
Every year an idea comes to mind which becomes a sketch and then transforms into some kind of 3-D popup creation. I know what you’re thinking. Most people don’t even take the time to buy and send ready-made greeting cards. I keep telling myself, “This year I will simplify.” HA! I don’t know the meaning of the word, “simplify.” Two things about me never change: I was born sunny-side up and I love challenges. “Bring it on” should be my middle name, but it’s not. It’s Mary which is pretty dull in comparison. Don’t tell mom. Her first name is Mary.
The front is very similar to last year’s. Take your complaints to Yelp.
After five months of ski dreams, Jonesing over videos, and reading about new mountain developments, it’s ski season. I wondered if I’d get my butt kicked by the mountain. I always plan to exercise every day, but sometimes life, NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, or a thousand other excuses get in the way.
“Red sky at morning gives sailors first warning.” This photo was taken today!
A blustery Rocky Mountain wind pummeled our house all night and is still thrashing our trees causing their remaining leaves to tumble like autumnal rain. A change in the weather is coming.
Meteorologists have been predicting this storm like salivating dogs staring through the window of a butcher shop, or better yet, like snowbirds drooling over brochures of Mexican cruises. It was in the 70’s yesterday and we’ll plunge to a high of 15 by Wednesday. I have one more day to pick apples, close vents in unused rooms, and get acclimated to winter temps before our first significant snowfall arrives.
Five fast and easy ways to get acclimated before the arctic mass descends from the north.Continue reading →
I had to share a photo of one of my favorite ghoulish costumes. I was going for ghostly bride and my sister, Patty, was the Grim Reaper. The funny thing about costumes, you forget you’re wearing tons of makeup!
It’s not to late to Use Me and Abuse Me at my Haunted Halloween Blog Party. See what it’s all about and leave a link HERE!
Happy Halloween! It’s time to Use Me and Abuse Me by digging up ONE link from your own blog and burying it in my comment section. Click on a few of them and maybe they’ll stalk you back at your haunt.
Make sure to bring a link to a particular story. Otherwise, they may arrive and not know where to look. You don’t want them to go INTO THE BASEMENT! or INTO THE ATTIC! I doubt they would take a shower, but DON’T GO IN THERE!
BEWARE! Only bring ONE link or you’ll end up in the Chamber of Spam. The vile smell of rot alone could make you ill. You don’t want your headstone to read, “I told you I was sick.”
IF YOU LEAVE A LINK, CLICK ON A FEW! No one likes a witch (or warlock), who fills her cape with goodies and then flies away on her broom.
Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your crypt.
I made some witch’s brew, (my Aunt Helga’s favorite recipe), and the eye of newt stew is bubbling. Help yourself to the deep-fried crow’s feet. The warty toad dip is especially tasty.
Tell your Facebook and Twitter friends. The more, the SCARIER!
It’s been a Wild adventure. We fell in love in Telluride and this shot was taken there twenty-seven years later. Life has its stormy weather, but sunshine always follows. Having someone to share a glorious rainbow makes the moment super special!
Hello Wild Riders! If you would like more blog followers, here’s your chance.
Every writer loves to watch their blog grow. But it’s tough when bloggers we have followed for a while take a break or stop posting. Comments and views dwindle. Although new readers follow our blogs every day, we need to bring them back. How do we do that? COMMUNITY. We build it through reaching out and connecting with them. We get to know them through reading their blogs, leaving comments, and following them on social media.
Here’s your chance to build your own community. Use Me and Abuse Me while virtually partying down with my friends in the comment section!
Bring a link from ONE of your blog posts and promote it briefly in my comment section. Click on a few of my friend’s links and check out their digs. Hang out for a while. Get acquainted. Leave a comment and tell them, “Susie sent me.” They should click back to your place. Then come back to the party and click on a few more. The more you click, the more fun you’ll have!
Do not leave a link to one of your friend’s posts. They won’t come back to party with us. It’s no fun to knock on a door and wait…and wait…and wait…….It ruins the atmosphere.
Do not leave your link and run without clicking on a few. This is a major party foul.
Leave ONE link. Two will send you into my spam filter and that is always so embarrassing for both of us.
So have a blast meeting my friends. They are the best in the blogosphere!
My son, DJ Kelly Smash, is in the house and he’ll be dropping the bass. He’s used to ragers on my blog, so come back anytime. This party usually lasts for days.
The bar is stocked and the barista can make any coffee drink imaginable. She’s amazing! The buffet is filled with pastries and delectable treats flown in from around the world. Sit back relax and click to meet my friends. Oh yeah and don’t forget to DANCE!
PLEASE SHARE! Let’s make this party the biggest ever!
Commemorating my children’s milestones has always included taking tons of photographs. I have boxes of them in the basement waiting to be assembled in albums. When they went to college, I framed and hung their first day of school pictures in our upstairs hall. I always smile when I see their eager young faces.
To me, my children are a miracle and I am grateful. Not just because they are amazing, but because I was hospitalized with both of them.
Kelly was positioned face up and I went through horrible back labor. My body fought hard against giving birth to him. It was eighteen hours before I reached four centimeters effaced which is the golden measurement for receiving an epidural anesthetic. Once I could finally relax, I progressed quickly. When he crowned, I had nothing left, no energy at all. My doctor said I wasn’t pushing hard enough and he threatened to perform a Cesarean section. I begged him to give me another chance. I asked Danny to play the cassette tape I brought. Minutes later, Kelly was born to the sounds of Oingo Boingo. Danny filmed the birth. The mirror reflected the overhead fluorescents onto my hooha and the doctor pulled Kelly out of a heavenly white light.
Hours later, I awoke to a crazy strong heart palpitation. Doctors and nurses rushed me to the cardiac care unit thinking I’d had a heart attack. Continue reading →
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 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.
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 →
It’s 2014! We all want to start the year on the right foot. Yes? Well, let’s do it. Are you ready to dance? I am!
DJ K-Smash is spinning and the crowd is ready to rage.
Yep. Another Use Me and Abuse Me Day starts tomorrow, Jan. 2nd, at 6:30 in the morning and will roll through the weekend! Bring ONE link to your favorite blog post from 2013. Leave your url in my comment section and then click on a couple. They will click back to your place! Tell them Susie sent you. This is all about YOU making a connection.
Maybe you’ll hit it off and they’ll subscribe to your blog!
2013 taught me that community is everything. Bloggers are real people who care. I have made some of the most wonderful friends through this blogging thing. My wish for 2014 is you meet some of my friends too!
Happy New Year! See you tomorrow. Bring your dancing shoes…
I love the spooky month of October. Shadows creep across the path as days grow short. The groan of wind through desiccating leaves sends a death rattle from above. It swoops down and slides its skeletal fingers along my backbone. I pull my sweater tight.
Do you tense before being pricked by a hypodermic needle? You know it’s going to hurt, so you brace yourself. When I participated in the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day, I stood in line tense and shivering. I had imagined it would hurt to hit the icy water, but I knew I could do it.
Having been through a double mastectomy, I know what it’s like to take the needle and wake up in icy water. Wednesday, my reconstructive surgeon will remove the hard expanders, open up the interior pockets inside my chest wall and sew them closer together. Then the soft silicone implants will be stitched into place. Yes. I’ve been tense all week.
After I splashed out of the frigid water, I dressed and ran for the car. My husband Danny blasted the heat. I took a long hot shower when I got home, but it took hours before I stopped shivering. Continue reading →
It’s time once again to Use Me and Abuse Me, so lets get this party started! Yeah baby! The idea is to come and mingle with the guests, introduce yourself and pick up some new followers.
The trick with building a community is finding the people behind the gravatars. They’re there. I know. I’ve met several in person! When building any relationship, communication is key to success. In blogging, we communicate through our posts and comments. I have made a lot of real friendships here on the Wild Ride and so can you!
So come by with ONE link to a blog post and paste it in the comment section. Two will put you in my spam filter and I hate when I have to stop dancing to fish guests out of my filter. It’s so embarrassing… Continue reading →