Breckenridge’s Short-Lived Masterpieces – Photo Essay

breck snow sculpture

Last weekend the International Snow Sculpture Championship began in Breckenridge, Colorado. Sculptors from around the world came to compete. They all started with the same block of snow.

These were my favorites. Continue reading

My 50 Faves and How to Join!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.gapers cheat summer
  3. My dog Roxy because COMIC RELIEF and she is fearless.
  4. My friends. They have been there for me and continue to inspire.
  5. My blogging friends. I have been so lucky to meet some in real life. One of my dreams is meet many more of you! They lifted me up and saved me. I will always believe that.
  6. Coffee. Without it I wood meek alot more erors in comments then I alredy do.
  7. Chocolate because chocolate.
  8. Colorado because there are unlimited adventures right outside my door. I think Roxy read my mind.Roxy wants to go outside
  9. 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*
  10. 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.
  11. Our mountain house. We bought it during a fire sale. No. It wasn’t on fire, but they sold it like it was.
  12. 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!
  13. Snow! Nothing gets my heart beating faster. Well that’s not true, but where there’s snow out here in the West, there is…
  14. Skiing! I found out yesterday, I started skiing earlier than Danny. Ha! Wait. How come I’m not as good as him? *scratches head* skiing breckenridge
  15. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, tobogganing because more adventure.
  16. My Christmas cards, because they are done.
  17. Fleece jammies. Santa brought them last year and they are snuggly soft.
  18. My laptop. It is so much easier to carry around.
  19. Cell phone. No explanation needed.
  20. My home in Boulder County. I can look out any window and enjoy the views.
  21. Traveling. I really have enjoyed our trips around the US and hope to make it back to Europe one day.
  22. My friend, Wendi’s, cookie exchange because it wouldn’t be Christmas without it and I don’t have to spend a week in the kitchen baking. BONUS!
  23. Discovering my passion. I always thought of myself as an artist. Now I tell people I’m a writer. My happy place is sitting anywhere while typing.
  24. MUS – Making Up Shit, a term coined by my husband who indulges in MUS too.
  25. My Highlander. It is a beast in the snow.
  26. Driving in the snow. Yep. Love it!
  27. 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!
  28. My bed. There is nothing softer.
  29. A good book. I love being swept away into another world especially one with tons of suspense!
  30. Parties. Being a party girl, I always look forward to them. NOTE TO SELF: host a few in 2016.photo (49)
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. My blog. I love my Wild Ride and having a place to spew my thoughts.
  34. CARBS! Should have been higher on my list. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
  35. Speaking of higher on my list – DANCING!
  36. My camera! Whether on my phone or my digital SLR, I love taking pictures.

     

  37. The Force Awakens! I was super pumped after that movie.
  38. Homeland. Carrie is the bad-ass I want to be without terrorism, guns, explosives or bi-polar disorder.
  39. Music from alternative to pop to classical to house.
  40. 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?”
  41. 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.
  42. Drawing. Sometimes an illustration is the only way to convey the voices in my head. boy and girl fighting
  43. Challenges. I’m always up for them like trying to find an agent. Know anyone who wants to represent a Wild Rider?
  44. Going out for breakfast. That is my favorite! Bring on the tators, fruit and eggs Benedict and I am one happy girl.
  45. Sparkly things. Wait. What was I saying? See! There it is again!!!
  46. 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!mustachemarch
  47. My own or anyone else’s sense of humor. I hate cracking jokes and only hearing the sound of crickets. Lighten up people.
  48. 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)
  49. 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?selfie on Bourbon Street
  50. My Wild Life. It keeps surprising me and gets WILDER every year!

Continue reading

The Big Reveal and WINNERS!

Holiday traditions are different for everyone. Some cut down their own Christmas trees while others host huge holiday gatherings. I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy crafting my greeting cards.

IMG_1346 (1)

Now that most of them are in the mail, I can relax and focus on the rest of my Christmas traditions, like shopping, baking, shopping, trimming the trees, shopping, wrapping gifts, shopping…

And DANCING!

I thought I would return to my old-fashioned printed cards, but not this year. It’s really hard for me to settle for something less. I’ve never settled in my life. Why start now? This card is another pop-up.

I confided in a friend about the stress involved in making them. She asked why I bothered.

I had to think about that. Continue reading

The Hunt Continues

In a recent post, Roxy, my fearless Bichon, attacked a hapless and humongous coyote and lived to perch on the back of my couch another day. How she got away with only four puncture wounds, we’ll never know. She is all healed up and has become a house dog for the winter. This is not a big sacrifice since she prefers to stay inside while sleeping on a fluffy blanket and pillow.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my son brought two of his furry friends for a visit. When Danny and I took them for a walk, we spotted a more normal-sized coyote hunting in the open space near our home.

We see you

The coyote looks much farther away than it was.

We stopped and stared at it. Would it stalk us? Would it ignore us? Would it howl? While we thought about whether to continue our walk along the trail, it sat down and stared at us.

Luckily, a fat rabbit struck out of its hiding place. They began a new staring contest.

Jack Rabbit: You can’t see me because I’m playing statue.

Milly Coyote: Ha! A much better feast option.

Jack Rabbit: Ha! You are looking right through me. I am so good at this.

Milly Coyote: How stupid can rabbits be?

Milly Coyote: Ha! I scared off that couple with their tiny appetizers. I am so powerful. Where did that rabbit go?

We let the animals play their game and walked up the hill instead. I glanced over my shoulder several times to be sure the coyote wasn’t following us. When we arrived home, the three fury friends piled into bed, thankful to be alive another day.

Three friends are we

I haven’t seen Adolf, the gargantuan coyote, but I ran into a couple who had. They were surprised to see one that huge. After a comment from List of X, I looked it up. A hybrid of coyote, wolf, and dog, called a coywolf, is taking over parts of the country. According to Field and Stream, it is a “super-predator.” That makes Roxy even more lucky.

Why did Roxy go after it in the first place? Vanessa-Jane Chapman said it best – “I often think domestic animals behave oddly because they retain part of their wild instincts, but they’re generally protected by us, so aren’t always as streetwise as they think they are, and hence don’t always make the best decisions!”

How did Roxy get away? Pegoleg and TedBook suggested Adolf laughed hysterically when he saw my ferocious pipsqueak. Maybe he couldn’t get a good grip.

Would you rather sleep inside or look for an outdoor adventure? Do you have predators in your neighborhood? Do you hibernate for the winter?

Looking for the first post about Adolf the Coywolf? Click here.

 

 

Change Your World

black sunset

We live in violent times. When we turn on the news and are inundated with horrific events, it feels like a punch in the gut. We feel ordinary, helpless, and without hope. Some become angry while others spiral downward in various levels of depression.

One person can’t change the world, right? So we vent. We rant. We play the blame game. There may be truth in those words, but I doubt many with an opposing viewpoint will say, “Oh. Wow. You’re right.” I gotta believe sending out all that negativity, cursing, hatred, and frustration makes us feel worse. Without being aware of it, this powerlessness can spill over into other aspects of our lives.

Instead, I have a proposition for you. 

Each day you are presented with choices. With a little self-control and patience, you can shift the way you react in your own world.

I challenge you to take all that negative energy and funnel it in a positive way. It’s the holiday season. It shouldn’t be hard. In one trip to the mall you will be faced with all kinds of opportunities to make a difference.

How?  Continue reading

Transition – A Photo Essay

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Seasonal transition in Colorado often means snow, one of my favorite things. What’s your favorite?

This is a response to The Weekly Photo Challenge – Transition. 

Blog post ideas for NaBloPoMo or WHATEVER

I thought NaBloPoMo was a new game of swimming pool tag.

“NABLO!” I shout with my eyes closed.

“Pomo,” replies a meek little voice while splashing away.

When I discovered it stood for National Blog Posting Month, where participants are expected to post something (anything), every single freakin’ day for one month, I knew I was out. I had looked forward to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and had planned to finish a couple projects. Well, that isn’t happening either. Last year I enjoyed riding the super soaker tidal wave of tireless typists. (Say that three times fast.)

I’ve noticed a few blogging friends huffing and puffing their way to the halfway point. Some have posted about how hard it is to come up with new ideas. Many blank out under pressure. The stage is empty as the restless crowd murmurs. Someone in the cheap seats coughs while the clock ticks away. Tick…Tock…Tick…

Nanowrimo 5

My problem is having too many ideas, which comes from having a creative, ADD mind and not enough time, so I thought I’d share a few links. I hope to fill your stage with self-effacing stories, snowstorm driving, swooping airplane jockeys, crazy dreams, imps, and wimps, but first things first.

Relax and click on the blue links. Let ideas flow onto your empty stage with a new storyline and cast of characters. Open your mind. Release the tension from your neck and shoulders. Feel yourself float above your computer as ideas rush into your head. …zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

*snort* What? Oh, you’re still here. *clears throat*

Here is a list of blog post ideas to make your last 15 days of NaBloPoMo a lot easier. You’re not posting? Sit back, relax and read on and try not to fall asleep:  

nanowrimo 2014 2

How about sharing your most mortifying moments? My list is long. I could add more embarrassments to it, DAILY. Here are My Most Mortifying Moments just for You! 

WARNING: With this prompt it is helpful to have no shame, but we’re all friends here. Right? Continue reading

What the WHAT? Signs of Life

After traveling to Wisconsin twice over the last three weeks for funerals and memorial services, I woke up with renewed energy and looked forward to “Birthday Week.” Wanting to catch up with writing and blogging, I planned to take care of a few errands first. Imagine my surprise when cleaning up the breakfast dishes. I discovered this in my garbage disposal.

plant in insinkerator

How could a plant germinate on the rubber shield? Three weeks ago, I donned rubber gloves and scrubbed that filthy thing with bleach. We don’t eat sprouts, so it had to be some kind of seed that stuck in the crack. A pumpkin seed? Continue reading

A Twenty-Eight Year Adventure – Photo Essay

mordor

Every young couple starts out with the basics: a map to where you think you want to go and a compass that always leads you back home.

Beaver pond aspens

We started off like many naive newlyweds, sinking our toes into the grasses of verdant valleys not realizing what lay ahead. Our journey has led us to wicked wintry peaks where we slipped from our foothold, but we bundled up and braved the biting wind together.

Sometimes we struck out on a new path and bushwhacked our way through avalanche areas filled with fallen trees as the sun set over the next horizon. When one of us tumbled from the mountain, the other was there to lend a hand. The worst days were spent heading in the wrong direction while scrambling over fields of boulders and taking leaps over deadly crevasses and yet we never traveled alone.

And that was just last weekend. Continue reading

Unlock Your Imagination – Photo Essay

Bound by commitments of time, what we know, the physical, and the social, we bump into invisible barricades, most of them created by our imagination. Traveling unlocks these shackles and we leave them hanging on the concrete walls of our lives. We experience a new kind of freedom. Our boundaries expand.

Towering Boundaries

Overwhelmed by choices, we fill our time with adventure. Our senses soak up the vibrant colors and patterns while we inhale the delicate and sweet, the acrid and the pungent. Days blend with the sounds of busy city life to seagulls calling from above the crashing ocean. This new place responds to our touch and we rush to what it has to offer. Continue reading

The Moose is Loose!

I have always wanted to shoot a moose… with my camera. They are huge animals which can be aggressive and dangerous. They are also majestic and fearless, qualities I have always admired.

A few years ago, I freaked out and fumbled with my phone as a cow and her calf pranced by the liftline in Breckenridge. By the time I pulled off my mittens to take the shot, they had dashed into the forest.

Last Friday night, Danny and I walked the Pearl Street in Boulder after dinner. We stopped in a shop and I overheard a conversation about a moose encounter. The man and his wife had dropped off their daughter at CU and then hiked Brainard Lake, about forty-five minutes away in the mountains.

“I want to see a moose,” I whined like a two-year-old.

He pulled out his phone and showed me the extraordinary photos of a bull moose whose antlers were in velvet. Can you imagine stumbling over them in the spring? Whoa…

I Jonesed for a moose encounter, but Danny planned to play golf on Saturday afternoon. He doesn’t doesn’t have the opportunity very often. He had a meeting on Sunday. Hiking would have to wait.

With rising temperatures Saturday morning along with smoke from Western fires, he hoped to finish some yard work in the morning while I hosted a Drop and Hop Party on my blog.

Then divine intervention occurred.

He cut his right hand with the hedge trimmer. I sent him to Urgent Care and then found out how it happened. I won’t laugh because the last time, this happened…

After four stitches (only a flesh wound between his index finger and thumb) he was told to skip tennis and golf for the next ten days.

Now the afternoon was WIDE OPEN!

“You want to hike Brainard Lake?” he asked.

“Yes!” I abandoned my party. We packed water and snacks in one backpack and then stuffed jackets into another. We drove up Lefthand Canyon.

Like we had expected, the temperature was in the low 70’s. There were others hiking, but it wasn’t crowded like Rocky Mountain National Park. That place is a zoo in the summer.

We hiked on a trail through the aspen and evergreen forest up a thousand feet to another small lake in the high alpine environment.

moose munch

It was ablaze with wildflowers.

We avoided loud conversationalists and listened for breaking branches. A dude with a boom box passed us with his posse. Okay. This is a wilderness area and the third time this year someone has blared music while hiking. What are they thinking?

I had to say something this time.

“Dude. Although I appreciate that your music is turned down to a reasonable level, this is a place where people go for peace and quiet. You should turn it off.”

The group kept walking. He yelled something back at me. I think he said, “Thanks! Have a nice day.” Pshh.

The temperature dropped and the wind picked up. I didn’t want to get caught in a storm. It was hard to tell what kind of weather was afoot with all the smoke. We turned around. Continue reading

Creepy or What?

haunted house

A couple of weeks ago my husband Danny and I drove up to the Mount Grays and Torreys trailhead. My SUV wound up the steep dirt road so slow a granny with a walker could have passed us at times. While struggling over rocks and pot holes in the comfort of my Toyota Highlander, I thought of the hope and courage miners carried in their hearts while traveling up this same treacherous road more than a century ago.

We came upon a miner’s boarding house. Situated along a stream and within view of Mt. Torreys, it appeared ready to tip over. When placing my hand on the weathered boards to take a few photographs, I expected it to lean with me. Continue reading

Take the Challenge

Have you been chained to your desk this summer or have you channelled The Hulk and broken out to enjoy the nice weather? It’s not too late to join us.

Here’s how:

Share photos of your outdoor fitness adventures through Twitter and Instagram with #WRFChallenge. I’ll link you up!

Deanne Schultz posted a selfie while taking the Challenge on her birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Deanne!

Patricia Sands has been playing tennis to enjoy the outdoors.

My daughter Courtney Lindau and her friends took an epic hike near Red Rocks.

Went on an awesome hike with these ladies above Red Rocks today! 🗻☀️🍃

A photo posted by Courtney Lindau (@courtneylindau) on

Continue reading

How to Add Excitement to Your Life

Remember when you were a kid and you went out exploring, wide-eyed and full of enthusiasm? What happened to that childlike wonder? Are you so bored, you find yourself watching Bachelor in Paradise and realize you’ve hit a new low? Here are a few ideas to keep summer from becoming a yawnfest.

Take a stay-cation. Become a tourist in your own town. Check out new shops, restaurants, food, festivals, music, museums and events.

Pearl Street Mall

Check your city’s calendar. Many have summer events like outdoor movie night. Google: calendar of events for your city. Your local newspaper or Chamber of Commerce should have a website with a list.  Continue reading