Guess and Win a Card!

handmade Christmas cards

Yes, once again, I’ve created my homemade Christmas cards. I hope you can guess what I drew so you can win one.

They are a huge part of my holiday traditions; a labor of love, sweat, and a few tears. I actually balled up a few early sketches and threw them. It seemed like the appropriate, although dramatic reaction at the time.

My cards have chronicled our family through the years. My husband and I ski jumped in the first card, in the photo above. For a couple of years, I made popup cards and almost lost my mind. I missed parties to finish them. What was I thinking??? My latest version is popup-lite.

After a week of work, they’re done. Almost. I better make a couple more…

They are pretty ridiculous, as usual. And once again, they required sketching, drawing, cutting, and pasting, driving to the store for a new copier, glue sticks, stamps, and envelopes.

Guess what our family is doing this year!

Christmas cards

Leave your guess in the comments and win one. If there are more than three winners, I’ll draw them from a hat. Good luck!

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. I better start Christmas shopping. Sheesh!

 

Do you send greeting cards? Do you love receiving them? What do you think of the new trend to have a B list that gets the email version?

 

Join the Blessed Project and Get Featured!

Take a moment to join me in something truly positive: THE BLESSED PROJECT! Participants will be featured here on the Wild Ride.

Last year, I posted a list of blessings and included a few photos. The exercise took me to a place in my heart filled with love, gratitude, happiness, and sparkly things. My favorite! For the time it took to create the list, it banished bad news, headlines, and normal everyday frustrations like surfing to buy the perfect gift which is as slippery as Elf on a Shelf. I’m about to click to purchase and it’s gone! How does that happen??? Holiday preparations can be mind-numbing. By 9:00 PM my brain is fried.

How to join and get featured:

Write your list of blessings. Do whatever you want! Link it to this post. If you link it to susielindau.com, I won’t get the pingback and will have no idea you linked me. That would be so disappointing for you when I post the list of bloggers who participated.

Post yours by December 19th. On Wednesday, December 20th, I’ll post the list of entries.

With the newest word, Hygge in mind. I’ve compiled a new list focusing on family and beauty.

Here’s my Blessed Project!

I’m blessed with an amazing family.

Lindau Family 2017

Lindau Family in Breck

And new family! My grand-niece, Blakely.

Grand-niece

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year!

30th Wedding Anniversary

I’m blessed to be surrounded by Colorado beauty…

Breckenridge sunset

And wildlife in my wild life!

IMG_2654

I’ve been blessed with a year full of travel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friends enjoying a Hygge moment.

Haunted book club

Furry friends.

Dogs in the car

Roxy and Lady

three pups in a tub

And blogging friends! The 2017 London Bloggers Bash.

Bloggers Bash Attendees

I’m blessed with good health. Knock on wood. I have nine months to go until I am five years cancer-free. I’m counting down! In the meantime, I’m working on becoming fit and strong!

Clowning around at 24 Hour Fitness

Write a post with a list of your blessings. It can be text, photos, videos, anything you like. Link it up here! Post it by the 19th. I’ll get the notification and will link you up on December 20th. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Click for more inspiration on the Wild Ride.

Related posts:

Join the Blessed Project and Link Up Your Blog

The Blessed Project – You will Laugh and Cry!

How to Have a Hygge Life

Do you feel blessed this holiday season? Are you up for making a quick list of blessings to get featured? I hope so!!!

The Wildlife in My Wild Life – Photo Essay

Since I live in Colorado, I’m always on the lookout for wildlife. I’ve spotted them on hikes, while skiing, or through a car window. Prehistoric porcupines, bear, elk, common deer, bighorn sheep, you name it. But this year, my wild life has gotten wilder. Several otherwise elusive creatures have made appearances in the most unlikely of places: My home.

Bullsnakes have made their way into my home twice. A newborn made its way through a light fixture since I found it on top of my flat file. It became a pet for the winter. The kids released it the following summer. The other must have pushed its way through the doggie door. I thought it was one of the rubber snakes from downstairs carried by our Bichon, Roxy. Nope! I put it in an aquarium until the weather warmed up and then let it go. The one in the picture was full grown (about four feet long) when I found in the garage. I picked it up and released it into the garden.

bull snake in yard

Several families of owls love to perch on and around my house. As the sun sets every night, I can hear a couple hoo-hooting to each other.

owl hanging out on roof

Two weeks ago, something hit a window. I rushed to my back door to see. A baby owl sat on the stoop. I waited until he flew away to be sure he didn’t become dinner for one of several hungry predators who lurk in our yard at night.

Last week, I heard the most annoying screeching sound. When the dog went nuts, I ran to the window. A huge owl stood on a planter screeching, “Good morning.” Ha! Worst sound ever.

Click to see the video –

While in Europe after a disastrous water leak from a demon washing machine, our wood floor guy, Nick took pictures of a lynx! Yes, this is our deck.

IMG_2653

According to my neighbor, two bobcats hung out at the front door while we were gone. Make yourself at home, why don’t ya? Of course, I never saw them after returning from our trip. Gah!

IMG_2654

In April, an enormous gold “housecat” walked around the pond. Later, I found out a young cougar has made our neighborhood its hangout. Unlike the lynx in the photo above, its tail is long. It’s a yearling and still pretty small, but the doggie door is shut until further notice. Poor Roxy.

Remember Roxy and the Coywolf? I don’t trust that she’s learned her lesson. She got lucky when that beast laughed and released her from its jaws in 2015. This time too.

Roxy in the window

As I’m typing this, I’m at a desk in the window being totally distracted by the backyard view. You never know what might take a shortcut through our property…

Our family had an unexpected visit last Sunday up in Breckenridge. I’ve seen them at Brainard Lake, at the bottom of Peak 7, but not in my neighborhood!

My husband, Danny, rushed toward me as I walked out of the kitchen. He had an insane look on his face. My first thought was whatever he would say next would be completely sarcastic. “There’s a moose in the driveway!” he screamed. Yes. SCREAMED!

Stained glass windows flank the front door. I saw a massive black shadow beyond. Instead of running for my camera, I rushed downstairs and shouted to my son who talked with his girlfriend on the phone.

He ran upstairs and used Facetime to show her the incredible sight. Right outside our picture window stood a full-grown male moose complete with wicked cool antlers. A yearling grazed nearby. We trapped the dogs in the basement to keep them from frightening the pair.

When my wild life meets wildlife

Click to see the video –

After taking a few photos, we caught our breath. Minutes later, another shadow graced our front doorway. The cow brought up the rear of the little family.

Incredible!

As the sun sinks lower in the sky, I’m still waiting for my glimpse of the elusive wildcats. It’s 4:30 and owls have begun their hooting chant. Another just landed on our roof. The raccoons will scout and a pack of coyotes may send out an eerie cry.

I love where I live. There’s plenty of room for all of us.

Click for more of my Wild Ride.

Related posts:

What was she thinking?

The Moose is Loose!

Not in My Neighborhood!

Taking It to New Heights – A snake encounter…

Have you seen any unusual wildlife? Has your life gotten wilder lately?

10 Life Hacks in Time for the Holidays!

Most of us look forward to the holidays, but not the stress that comes with them. I have learned several life hacks the hard way through trial and many errors. My family has four birthday celebrations between November and December so I had to learn how to stay chill and enjoy myself while hosting and organizing these events. Believe me.  I love it when everyone is together and want to be my best self. So how the heck do I do that?

10 Life Hacks in Time for the Holidays

Take care of yourself first.

Stress causes the build-up of cortisol which in turn makes fat. Sugar intake rises for most of us this time of year too. No one wants to gain weight over the holidays. Keep moving. Exercise gets those endorphins surging. It feels good.

Take a break from the hubbub. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbor’s dog. Do you have company? Ask them to join you for a walk. You may start a new holiday tradition!

The family on Thanksgiving day

Take the time to sit down and eat well. Drink lots of water. Turn off the TV and Internet an hour before bed to sleep better. I covered up the LED lights in my bedroom and it made a huge difference.

Recognize your limitations.

I could never figure out why I got so stressed out when others offered to help or to keep me company in the kitchen while I cooked. It would take twice as long and I missed out on a lot of the festivities. I finally realized I’m ADD and can’t concentrate. I’m so much happier in my own little world. I make a lot fewer mistakes too!

Have the opposite problem? Delegate. Ask for help. Give everyone a job. They’ll all feel like they contributed and you’ll have a lot more time to hang out together.

My son and daughter both cooked for Friendsgiving this year. Their secret is out. I will engage their expertise this year.

Lower your expectations.

No matter how you envision holidays, they are never what you expect. We are surrounded by images of perfect families, especially on Facebook. REALITY CHECK: There is no such thing. We’re human, remember?

Instead of using the time envisioning the perfect holidays, be productive…

Stop the constant updates on social media. Be in the moment instead.

Are you a Facebook or Instagram fanatic? Stop. I still can’t figure out why everyone is so obsessed with wanting to look at everyone’s personal photos. Think about it.

Would you go to a friend’s house to spend an evening perusing their photo albums?

Not me. It becomes addicting when posting to see how many people like them. I’m a blogger. I get that. But I a little goes a long way to connect with friends and family.

Have phone-free zones.

Have you ever looked around a restaurant and seen dozens of people with their noses in their phones? It’s terrible. Our population has grown exponentially, but we are more isolated than ever. Communicate the old-fashioned way. Face to face.

 

Purchase gifts online.

This is a no-brainer, but I still spent hours shopping for my husband a week ago. Why??? Looking back, I could have easily bought everything in a half hour and had it shipped to my door. Lesson learned.

Ask for links when getting loved one’s Christmas lists. My daughter is the bomb at this. She gets exactly what she wants.

Create some Hygge moments.

Hygge is a Scandinavian lifestyle. My previous post listed some Hygge moments to slow down and relax. Time is fleeting. Soon it will be January. Find ways to add comfort and joy to your holiday season. That last sentence seems so familiar…

Be thankful.

This may seem trite until you actually sit down and write a gratitude list. After my brother died in March, writing in a gratitude journal helped me through some rough patches by focusing on the most positive moments of each day. Before going to sleep, make a list of three good things that happened. It works!

Meditate.

Do you have five minutes? I bet you do. Go to Insight Timer or another one of hundreds of meditation apps. Listen to one and tune out the noise. Feel better. It will also help with focus. That’s something in short supply for me during the holidays. I’m like an ADD Tazmanian Devil. Yep. Slowing down for me is a challenge.

Stay organized – Make a bullet point journal.

This really blew up this year. When I first saw blog titles with that name, I shrugged. I already was a list maker. My super simple bullet point journaling is very different!

bullet point journaling tools

It really helps me to keep habits like meditating or entering in my gratitude journal. Filling in the bubbles is a rush. I’m all about endorphin rushes.

I’m sure there’s a ton more to add, but the holidays are almost upon us and my list is long. I hope you have a fabulous holiday season this year!

Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Which one can you relate to most?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Super Easy Bullet Point Journaling for the Holidays

How to Have a Hygge Life!

Dear Holiday Diary, Mistakes were made.

Super Easy Bullet Point Journaling for the Holidays

The first time I read a blog title including bullet point journaling, I rolled my eyes. I mean, most of us are list makers, right? After seeing other posts around, I finally clicked on one. Whoa! It blew my mind.

The key to bullet point list making is it also becomes a journal.

How?

By recording a weekly list. Don’t roll your eyes yet. I’ll show you mine in a minute.

When I clicked on some posts through Pinterest, I could see how making these journal pages could become super labor intensive. I thought, No way. I’m always working against the clock. Adding something that could take an hour or more to make would soon become a chore. I don’t need to add another chore to my list.

So, I came up with a no-brainer solution.

bullet point journaling tools

Tools:

A notebook.

You decide the size. I like the standard 8.5 x 11 since my lists are long even though the day is short. You’ll see why in another minute or second if you skim.

Markers, colored pencils, highlighter, or pen.

You can make it as cool or as boring as you want. It’s your journal. I can’t look at something that monochromatic or all in one color pen or pencil. Even if I don’t spend a lot of time making it, the journal still has to be eye appealing or I won’t use it.

But I don’t want to take a lot of time, right? I’m not going to color code things or use fancy-like tape. Instead, when I complete a task, I fill in the space or “bullet point” with color. I prefer a highlighter but have used colored pencils.

Ruler.

My first few journal pages were pretty raggedy. I decided to break down and use a ruler to make straight lines. Here’s a cheat! Use another lined sheet of notebook paper as a guide underneath.

Here’s my bullet point journal!

List your work on the left side with the days of the week on top.

Bullet point journal super easy

I refer to the journal when I complete a task to see what else needs to be done. At the end of the day, I peruse my list. Several times, I’ve hustled to fill in as many boxes as I can. Don’t judge. I’m an overachiever…

Obviously, I don’t always get everything done, but that’s where the journal comes in handy. Journaling shows progress over a period of time. Sometimes life gets in the way, like yesterday when I had a painter, a plumber, landscapers and a cleaning service here all at once.

If I’m putting off a task, I ask myself why. It’s usually for a stupid subconscious reason. Once I’ve faced it, I can move on. Sheesh!

Leave a few lines open to add the tasks you want to complete once during the week like calling for appointments, cleaning out a closet, shoveling out your kitchen, organizing a junk drawer. List those things you put off from week to week.

If it’s a major chore, break it down into small parts. That way you’ll feel satisfaction after making a little progress.

I’ve added my appointments because why not? It’s my journal!

I’m all about positivity and working hard. No one is around all day to give me those atta boys when I finish. Bullet point journaling gives me those self-congratulations and pats on the back. Way to go, me!

At the end of another long day, I fill in the spaces. I feel good about myself right before going to sleep. When I wake up, I take a look at my list and start filling in squares again. I accomplish a lot more when I use a bullet point journal. It guides me and keeps me on track.

Give it a try. Maybe you’ll accomplish more too!

Do you bullet point journal? Would you consider making one? Are you a list maker or a journal writer?

Click for more adventures on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Shopping Made Easy! DIY – A life hack in time for the holidays!

My Resolution Failures and Why You Should Join The Big Chill in 2017

How to Have a Hygge Life!

More bullet point ideas.

How to Have a Hygge Life!

When I learned about Hygge and what it meant, I wanted to add more to my life here in Colorado.

Hygge is a Scandinavian word, pronounced hue-gah, used to describe an extraordinary moment during an otherwise ordinary day by being aware of the feeling of coziness and charm in order to slow our fast-paced life.

The word blew up in 2016 and was soon added to American dictionaries. Life has become more stressful for a lot of people. Hygge focuses on what makes you comfortable and happy. As the northern hemisphere slides into winter, I am all about Hygge moments.

Hygge can be experienced through a solitary or group activity. I’ve seen many examples, from wearing pajamas while sipping hot chocolate and reading a book, to small gatherings with friends.

Hygge’s definition depends on your unique lifestyle. Colorado is known for its active people.  When I’m not tapping away on my computer, I’m looking for outdoor adventures. I tend to shoot through life in hyperdrive. It’s important to slow down and enjoy its simplicity.

It’s snowing here in the mountains and I’m having a Hygge moment right now!

How to add Hygge to your lifestyle

My Colorado Hygge moments:

Some of my Hygge moments could be enjoyed by anyone in the world, others not so much.

Spend time with friends.

October Haunted book club at my house included eating appetizers in my living room. See the ghost, (Wendi) on the couch? Cooking dinner ran late so we had extra time to catch up! Our group has been together for more than fifteen years.

Haunted book club

Stop to enjoy the view.

No matter where you live, you can find and appreciate beauty. Instead of rushing down the sidewalk, check out a building’s architecture, the nature that surrounds you, or the clouds that scud across the sky. Embrace life when you can.

On the way back down from the mountains last weekend, my husband, Danny, and I drove to Echo Lake located below a 14,000-foot peak, called Mount Evans. As the sun set behind the mountains, the thin ice proved reflective and breath-taking in its texture.

Echo Lake, Colorado

Do what makes you happy like decorate for the holidays.

I have boxes filled with Halloween and Christmas decor and unpack them whether we entertain or not. Being surrounded by my favorite decorations makes me feel warm and happy.

Take time to make a meal.

Instead of inhaling food, it’s important to sit down and enjoy meals. I can smell the bacon sizzling in the pan. Okay, I’m really salivating now…

Mountain breakfast

Take a break.

To warm up and rest my muscles when I ski, I pour a hot chocolate and relax in the lodge. I prefer to sit near a window while enjoying the sweet concoction.

A Hygge Day in Colorado

Watch Memories on my iPhone.

I discovered a great new way to embrace special moments. I may be the last person to find “Memories” at the bottom of Moments in my iPhone’s photos. It’s a slideshow that includes snippets of video. Now I realize how important it is to delete pictures of my feet since it sometimes includes them. Ha!

Take a bubble bath in or outdoors.

I had a tough workout last Wednesday and took a hot tub to silence the screams of my minuscule muscles. The hum of the motor and the rush of water always soothes me.  I love watching birds flit from tree to tree and always watch for wildlife. A mountain lion and lynx have been spotted recently. Whoa!

Sometimes a friend joins me. So, I know hot tubs are no place for dogs, but she jumped in and finally lost her curiosity. Ha!

A friend in the hot tub

Light a candle or stoke up a fire.

In Colorado, most fireplaces are gas since we have a problem when heat inversions which trap pollution in the atmosphere. I love to flip the switch on my gas fireplace and mellow out in pajamas while watching the flicker of the flames. Or if the fire danger is low, have a bonfire with friends or family. Tell a ghost story or two. Surely you will experience a Hygge moment when you cuddle in a blanket and a shiver ripples up your spine.

bonfire

Meditate.

Insight Timer is a terrific app for tuning out the world to center and release stress. You can choose from guided and unguided meditations. It is good for the body and the soul. Find a warm, comfy space and peace-out for ten minutes. Enjoy your Hygge moment!

Create.

When our brains unlock creative flow while writing, painting, drawing, or when engaging in any other arts or craft activity, a sense of peace is released. Embrace this amazing feeling. Be aware of what you accomplished!

NOTE TO SELF: Start on this year’s Christmas card. Tick, tock…

illustrated christmas cards

Bake!

Ever since my kids went to college, I’ve baked a lot less. Making cookies and cakes for two can be hazardous to one’s waistline. Now that the weather is colder and the holidays approach, I yearn to bake bread and rolls. There’s nothing like the accomplishment of creating while the heavenly scent rises from the oven. Yum!

 

Cooling on the racks.

Spend time with family.

Since my son lives in California and my mom lives in Wisconsin, the moments we share are precious. Being an empty-nester, I truly cherish the time when everyone is home. I try slow down and live in the present moment, like this one.

Courtney, Grandma, and Kelly

Last night, I took a long hot shower. While wearing my favorite fleece pajamas, I made a cup of Sleepytime tea. I flipped the switch on the gas fireplace and slipped under the covers to read a book. Roxy cuddled next to me and kept me warm. After my Hygge moment, I slept really well!

I can’t wait to celebrate our family birthdays and holidays in November and December.

Lots of Hygge moments ahead! Onto that Christmas card…

 

Had you heard of Hygge? What are your favorite ways to bring a sense of comfort and coziness to your life?

Click for more adventures on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Join the #Blessed Project!

My 50 Faves and How to Join!

Backpacking Challenge in the Rockies

Haunted Ghost Tours – Why You Should Go!

Haunted ghost tours have sprung up all over the country.

You may have seen haunted ghost tours in your town or when on vacation. My first tour was in Richmond, Virginia. A woman with a long black cape advertised outside the Edgar Allen Poe house. Two hours later, she led our group through the most historical parts of downtown Richmond. She told stories about the community while pointing out the most historic of buildings. Among the many tales, I remember hearing about the Opera House fire and how a horse and carriage, carrying the Governer’s wife, slid down the icy pavement from the Governer’s Mansion and crashed. After that, I was hooked!

7 top reasons why I love ghost tours:

To become acquainted with a new place.

Many tourists take buses to get their bearings when traveling. I love haunted tours since we stop at each location to hear a story. Boston’s Ghosts and Gravestones combined both walking and busing since there was a lot of ground to cover. It’s a big city!

Haunted ghost tours and why you should go

We went to several historic locations including graveyards where we discovered Paul Revere’s grave; the small one with the flags.

Boston graveyard

To learn about the town’s history.

In New Orleans, we learned a lot about the sinking city, how it burned to the ground and was rebuilt. I enjoyed hearing about its unique culture including a hint of voodoo. Woven throughout were tales of surviving ghosts who still lurk at night.

angel shadow projected on church

See the string of lights on the balcony? They only showed up on film. I have three more pictures like this one!

New Orleans unexplainable lights

To learn about heinous crimes and the infamous evil-doers responsible.

Towns come to life when ghost tour guides spin yarns about perpetrators or the more colorful characters of a town. Suddenly, we’re no longer walking past a historic home from the 1800’s, but are glimpsing a part of the past that shaped history.

Bar Harbor Ghost Tour

To tour historic buildings.

In New Orleans, we toured a restaurant and bar notorious for ghostly visits.

New Orleans spooky speakeasy

In Breckenridge, we toured an old hotel and a home. There is a lot of activity in Breck since graves were dug next to the poor soul who died. Nearly every time they excavate for a new building’s foundation, they find human remains. Creepy or what?

the brown hotel

My first haunted indoor tour took place at the Stanley Hotel. You have to read about my experience to believe it. Or maybe you won’t…

To make discoveries.

While in Bar Harbor, our guide took us to a dark street. A man had written several notes and tossed them into the wind on the street, then went home and hung himself.

One man from the tour peered into a hollow in a tree and discovered this! Could the mason jar contain a note? No one was brave enough to find out…

mysterious jar in a tree stump

To exercise.

Whether you fly or drive to a location, it feels good to get outside and stretch your legs. Most tours take around two hours so you cover a lot of ground.

To get your heart pumping.

There’s nothing better than a good ghost story to tingle your spine. I especially love when I’m familiar with the history, but haven’t heard the paranormal and unexplainable details.

Back in 2008, they moved a little girl’s body from a backyard grave in Breckenridge to the Valley Brook Cemetery. That night, a wind shear tore down trees in a swath all the way to the cemetery and blew down the Victorian iron fence. Right before her grave, the wind changed direction and continued to knock down other gravestones and trees. I remembered reading about the damage in our local newspaper!

What to bring:

Whether it’s autumn, winter, spring or summer, tours are generally at night. Bring a jacket, a water bottle, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Pack a camera to take photos along the way. Most important, bring an open mind.

This photo gave me a heart attack when I got home from a ghost tour in Bar Harbor, Maine. Then I realized it was taken while the group was still in the theater. Ha!

Spooky Theater Bar Harbor

Have you been on a haunted ghost tour? Would you consider going?

Related Posts:

Haunted in Bruges! Photo Essay

Ghost Walk – A Breckenridge Ghost Tour

Haunted at the Stanley Hotel

Being Haunted… A True Story in Time for Halloween

Click for more Wild Adventures!