Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cleaning up messes...and good things too.

I'm glad it was my fault, cause if my husband had done it I may have been
madder.  haha

Sunday afternoon I ran to the basement to do a load of wash.
Sunday evening my husband yelled to me from the basement that the floor was wet.

It wasn't just the floor...the was under half the basement....carpet.  (foam underneath)
He thought the wash machine was broken and had leaked...
but it turns out that that is not where the water came from.

I grabbed two fans and all the towels and started mopping up.
I mopped up as much as I could and went to bed.
Monday morning, I went down to check on things and water seemed to be still coming in....
from somewhere...

I wondered.

Did I leave the faucet on when I watered the tomato plants on Saturday?

I went outside, of course, in my pajamas to check.  (I hope the neighbors did not see me. But that would have made for a funnier story, I guess. )

And there it was, the faucet was on, just the tiniest bit.

The ground was totally saturated and the window well was full of water.
I bailed out the window well as much as I could.

Headed back downstairs to spin the towels, dry the towels and mop up some more.

I have spun and dried and mopped about ten times now.

This morning it still feels very wet in some sections of the basement...so I will focus on those today.

I am thankful that the wash machine is not broken.
I am getting lots of exercise.

It's a small inconvenience.
(I'm thinking of others.)

It could be worse.


Number 2 in the egg series.


The egg was bigger than the others...
But I never suspected.
Twin eggs are very rare.

I can remember my mother exclaiming with glee when she got a double yolk.

The things we remember.
They are the oddest things.

I love you mom.
Look!  I got a double yolk!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dad and son sing a favorite old song together...

"Dad was a singer throughout his life - he was a Butlin's Redcoat and then travelled around singing in clubs around the country. He worked in a factory after he got married and still did a bit of singing on side. His nickname is The Songaminute Man - simply because of how many songs he knows.   In the last few years his memory has deteriorated a lot - often not recognizing family.   However, now when we've got him singing again he's back in the room. It's these moments that we treasure."
~Simon McDermott with his dad Ted.


Here at home, Katie made a big decision...she decided not to try out for volleyball.
The reasons...complicated and personal...

But she is very happy and relieved.

She still loves volleyball and will play intramurals and maybe some beach in the future.


I have a dentist apt. this morning.  I don't mind the dentist...I just mind the bad news I get every time I go.   It's my least favorite part of aging....so expensive. :o(


The other day I took a look at my eggs and thought they looked like Wall-E.
Hi Wall-E!

donna boo

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Twins, oh Twins.

Six years ago Katie met up with the Klement's sausage at our local grocery store. 
A few days ago Simone Biles met up with Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics.

If you ask me...
it's pretty uncanny.

donna elsie

p.s. i did not take the photo on the right.
I think it's from Simon's Instagram.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Olympic Fever

I am winning at the Olympics.
I've got the four stations memorized and I am watching like a champ.

My favorite sports are Michael Phelps swimming,
women's gymnastics, beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.

I've seen some cool rugby, tragic cycling, funny ping pong and snooze worthy soccer.

I've decided Marco Polo should be a sport...cause everything else is...
And I have decided that the opposite of being an Olympian is being a couch potato Olympic watcher.

Ah the irony.

What is your favorite sport to watch?
What is the strangest sport you have watched?

still cheering after all these years

Friday, August 05, 2016

August afternoon.

Hot, with crickets
flowers drooping
cottonball clouds slowly drifting
quiet walks among the bees

August arrives


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Choir, Choir Choir. Inspirational.

A request goes out on social media to come and learn a song and sing....
The song is learned in a few hours.
And then they preform it.

How beautiful is this???

I love it so much!



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Round here.

Last Saturday night, between the evening downpours, we visited Buckingham fountain.
In all my years living and visiting Chicago I had never been.  It is very pretty.  I'd have liked to sit and relax...but there are no benches.  
Right when we arrived I heard a band in a distance, Emma said there is always something going on in the city.
Then I heard a song I knew and really loved.
It was Yellow.
By Coldplay.
I grabbed Emma's arm and screeched, COLDPLAY!
She jumped and screamed.  Cause I scared here.  Eeek

But. yep.  It was
 Coldplay preforming at Soldier's Field and we could hear every song and we could hear the crowd cheering and singing along.  
So we had a free concert. 
kindasorta :o)

Just beyond the fountain was a 'wedding tent'.  
They were playing music too.
And they had a Good Humor truck for the guests to have a Chocolate Eclair bare or a Strawberry Shortcake bar.

Cute. Charming. Nostalgic.


Today is Katie's final day of beach volleyball. The training has been very good and she has enjoyed it.
She, once again, did not have a partner to go to tournaments with.  
All I can think of is....
not. meant. to. be.

Can you believe it is the end of July already?


Friday, July 22, 2016

Suffer and like it.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

happy heat wave.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The half life of love is forever.

. “The half life of love is forever.”
~Junot Diaz

Little Cindy, too little to cross her legs.
She is having a birthday tomorrow.  
Our California girl.  
She is incredible....an real life living angel....if you only knew.
Happiest of birthdays to you!

I'm forever thankful for my siblings.


donna elsie

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ordinary Folk

I think the most powerful people are parents, teachers, church folk, neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.

They are the most powerful because they can impact the lives around them with the power of their influence and their example.  

I think we need to  remember and be aware of how important relationship is.

People with great power seem to be totally missing it.

There are millions of little people out there, quietly helping in their communities, neighborhoods and on mission fields around the world.  Beautiful souls who are helping in refugee camps, teaching in inner-city schools, feeding the hungry.  Gosh, I have so much respect for these unsung, mainly invisible helpers.

(I saw a clip of a refugee camp of 300,000 in South Sudan the other day.  I am astonished and thankful that someone is coming to the aide of these people.  And just imagine....this is but one.  How many other places are people suffering and others are trying to alleviate the suffering? )

Gandalf is right.  These ordinary folk are keeping darkness at bay.

God bless them.
Keep them safe.

 Encourage one another,

Monday, July 11, 2016

Put on your positive pants.

I saw this print on Instagram.  I've included the poster's name because I wasn't sure who made it...but I just loved it.  
You may not believe it, because I try to be very positive on the blog, but I am not always.  In fact, in the last few years I have been much less than positive.

Katie on the other hand seems to handle things better than I do.  
She is calm and gracious and even.  
Like I am on the blog.  ha.
But in real life I worry and freak out...way too much.

So when I saw this funny post I sent it on to Katie...cause I knew she would understand that I was talking about myself.

No one likes to be around Debbie Downer.
How I live in my real life matters.
It matters the most.

Encourage one another.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Francis and Frodo

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.

St Francis of Assisi

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

When Green Becomes Tomatoes

When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano.

when green becomes tomatoes there will be sky and sun and possibly a cloud or two
 when green becomes tomatoes there will be leaves and flowers tall and standing straight and someone splashing, jumping, diving down
 when green becomes tomatoes there will be wings and something inching, green and small and a sweetly, tweetly chirping song
 when green becomes tomatoes there will be round and there will be red and there will be tomatoes (more red than green) (more round than seed) (more on the vine than way deep down)
 when green becomes tomatoes

Thank you Jep for sharing this colorful poem.


Thursday, June 30, 2016


I had a family photoshoot last Saturday.  Before I went, I had to practice on Katie a little bit.

I bought strawberries at the farmers market a few weeks ago.  The seller tricked me and the berries were not sweet and they were old and mushy.  So I made jam with them.  It turned out pretty good.

Katie loves succulents.

And one more thing..
My tomatoes are growing like crazy with this warm, sunny weather!
I may have a red one in August...or even July!
I'm so excited!

Have you made any jam this summer?

What kind of jelly did your mom put on your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

We always had grape.
Patrick always had Strawberry Jelly.

I don't eat them very often (almost never) so our children have been raised with Strawberry Jelly.

I also caved on the toothpaste.
Bouchers used Colgate.
Glymans used Crest.

We have Colgate.

(We also have Toms and tooth whitening kinds from time to time.)


Happy Thursday.

Love ya

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why I adore Prince Harry.

Because he is the life of the party.

Because having a baby sit on his lap is the most natural thing ever.

Because he always reminded me of Matthew.

And when he hugs....he really truly hugs.

He likes being the Spare to the Heir.

Because, unlike other royals, he is all about the  PDA!!

He is self-deprecating.

And even when he was a little Prince he had boo-boos...just like Malichi and Ezekiel.

He loves little ones.

And I bet he makes the Queen happy.

Prince Harry.
The People's Prince.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Happpiness comes from Snapchat.

Well...maybe not exactly.

Snapchat has silly filters and you can apply them to your face.
They go away in ten seconds or so...but you can take a screen shot of the really good ones for safe keeping. haha

A few weeks ago my brother in law Paulie came to town.
I wanted to make him laugh.
And I did.

He LOVED Snapchat and laughed so hard.

Me too.

Here are Katie and I on regular Instagram.
We were waiting for Paulie to arrive on the bus.

She makes me laugh.


“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
~Marcel Proust

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where does happiness come from?

Wisconsin, of course :o)

If a man can't be happy on a little farm in Wisconsin, 

he doesn't have the makings of happiness in his soul. 

-Nick Engelbert (1881-1962), farmer-artist 

Donna Elsie

Prayer requests from Di and Stephanie.
Di's son Rex and Stephanie's dad Buzz are both having procedures tomorrow.
They would love prayers for their loved ones.
thank you so much

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Summer Before the War: Section Two

The Summer Before the War
Section Two.

(I have not read the third section so I do not know the answers to some of these questions.)

 How did you feel about the way the villagers reacted to the refugees? 

 Is Helen Simonson able to pull off both the comedy of polite society manners of the time
and the reality of war? What were your favorite comedy scenes and what were the most
touching war scenes?

Hugh and Daniel.  The odd couple.  What do you think about those two?
Is Daniel in love with Craigmore?

 What Rye happenings seemed the most humorous to you? The “Board” meetings, the
repartee between the characters, the fete/parade….?

Good quotes:

Lord North;  "Writers," he said loudly. "Always writing instead of doing.  And then they have the most extraordinary opinions."
"A man of action is always to be preferred," said Mr. Tillingham.  
"Of course all such heroes require a scribe to record their great deeds, and I am your humble servant, Lord North."

I like how Mr. Tillingham did not take offense.  I suppose his ego did not allow it. :o)


Hugh to Daniel:

"But meanwhile, Daniel, you simply must recover your composure.  No good can come from physical or emotional dishevelment."

"I'm not sure I can face anyone." (Daniel)
"For goodness' sake, it's only Beatrice and Celeste," he said.  "You and Miss Celeste can look pale and interesting together.  Of course, she's come from a war zone.  Perhaps her situation will help your sense of perspective."

(I thought this picture from Downton Abbey would remind us of the WWI uniforms.)


These two make me laugh.  They are a little like the odd couple aren't they?
I like that the author included refugees in the story.  This is not something I have read much about.
Daniel is the wrong person to go to war.  I can't see him surviving it.

As section two ends...I wonder who will die in the war?
I wonder if Hugh and Beatrice end up together.  I hope so.

Please share you thoughts about this lovely book in the comments!
Quotes too.


thank you jep for the questions

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Letterpress love. Twin Ravens Press.

I have always loved my logo.  I think it is perfect and beautiful and cute and fabulous.

A wonderful letter artist named Crystal Kluge created my logo....and the talented Kristin Walker from Twin Ravens Press pressed it onto sturdy paper.  

Well...last month Kirstin got ahold of me to say she found a few of my pieces.  Did I want them? Free of charge?    I said, of course I do.  She sent them to me right away.  But in my busy-ness this past month I set them aside and did not get a chance to thank her....AND I wanted to tell you about her once again...all these years later.

Such gorgeous quality and fantastic customer service!
I highly recommend Twin Ravens Press for your letter pressing needs! 

Thank you Kirstin!


You might wonder if I have a photo business anymore...
I do very little.  Senior pictures mostly. 
I am a terrible business woman. If you were sitting next to me and said you needed pictures taken, I would not say, "Hey, I take pictures.  Here's my card." 

It was all too awkward for me.

So even thou I had the best business cards and logo around...haha...
I was happy to fade into the background.

Just for fun, here are some of my most recent seniors to graduate....

This is my niece, Sydney. She will be playing volleyball in college!
She is a very talented athlete.  

headshot for Katie's friend...he's going to film a movie this summer

I have taken pictures of this young man's older brother and sister.
One more to go....another darling red head.

Another cute red head.  

I attract red heads.  What can I say?
Too bad they are only 1% of the population!

Donna Boo

p.s. Is ahold not a word?  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tony Red Carpet

My favorite award show of all is the Tonys.
I love getting to see the nominated shows!

I will never be able to see the Pulitzer Prize winning Hamilton in real life.
But watching the Tonys I get to see nice long segments of the play....live.

There is lots of singing and dancing...from all the nominated plays....and from the host.

It's so fun and entertaining.

I was not home for the red carpet but thought I'd take a peek on the internet to see if anything was pretty...and I found lots of lovely dresses to share...

so here we go....

James Corden and his pretty wife.

Anna Wintour.  Vouge editor.
Flowers must be in :o)
Most of my favorite dresses were flowery.  
But that's not really new.  I like femmy.

Aren't those nice!?

The final three are my favorites!

Which dress do you love the most?
(sorry I don't have designer's names or actors names....im slacking.)

donna boo