Saturday, January 16, 2021

Thirsty Birds

 



This morning I was in the bathroom and I heard some banging on the roof.  What could that be I wondered?  A squirrel?  Tap. Tap. Bang. Bang.
I looked out the window and saw a shiny black crow fly away from the gutter.
There was more tapping....
And I spied another big crow.

Last week I saw three crows fly into our yard. One was carrying a piece of toast.
A whole piece of toast.  This kept them interested for a few days.

I think what was going on this morning was the crows were trying to find some water in my gutter.
I think I'm going to see if I can provide water and feed them.  
I looked up this morning if it's okay to feed them and I found this sweet video story.

It seems that dog food is fine and scraps and eggs and peanuts....they like peanuts in the shell.  

Have you ever feed the crows?


Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Full of hope


 

Twenty years ago we drove Patrick to college in Omaha Nebraska.

Patrick with his enviable model figure of 6,1' 130 lbs, Matthew with braces, Emma at eleven, and Katie is a little cherub of 8 months old.



*****


“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

~Maya Angelou



Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie









Tuesday, January 12, 2021

For such a time as this.


Joan of Arc. By Charles-Amable Lenoir.





 






“Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident. Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His Word. Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control. Empower them to know they can change the world. Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it. Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan. He knew Daniel could handle the lions den. He knew David could handle Goliath. He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it! Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose you to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime. Rise up to the challenge. Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters! God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world. He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth. Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed on them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.”

~Alex Cravens





With everything going on in our country now I have had many fears for my children.
I read this on an Instagram story and it was just want I needed to hear.  


Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie




Christmas past.

 


The relatives came!  We really had a nice visit. 

Stayed home for the most part.  Lots of togetherness in our small nest.  

My easy delicious meals were delicious but they ended up not so easy.  

I've got the tenderloin recipe perfect so I am going to put my method on my recipe page;


Recipes I have know and loved





Matthew and Melinda helped Katie celebrate her 21st!



Grand children minus Dottie and Silas! 
River, Malachi, Lorelei, Asher, Ezekiel
They are full of life.




River would not let me hold her.  So before she left I cuddled up close to her and pretended.
Excuse my wacky hair.  I was not thinking of my appearance.




Birthday girl and her boyfriend, Chandler.



Hi River!  Do we have enough blankets to peekaboo with you?





Little sledders!  





Party girls!



So wild.  haha




So that was Christmas!!!  A few weeks ago.  
I had this all ready to go but forgot to post it.







It's always Christmas when you believe.


Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie







Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Christmas yet to come.

 Hi Friends!  


We had such a nice weekend!  Patrick Jr. came for a visit!  We have exciting news about Patrick and his family, they are moving to Omaha!!!  Everything has fallen into place beautifully!  The job, the house, the timing...just perfect.  Wouldn't it be nice to know that and really believe it as you are approaching a big life change???  I know God tells us that he is working it out for the good ....  but gosh, we humans are such doubting Thomas'.






Okay.  So yeah.  I forgot about our clothes.  haha.....
But I got the photos!!!



*****

Do you remember when you were young and you would ask your father what he wanted for Christmas?
And he was always say, for us to be good or not to fight?
Plus there was the fact that when he wanted something he would just buy it for himself.

Well.  We are there now.  At a certain point. We have all the stuff we need.  Except for Cornishware. 
( I actually have a box stuck in Memphis, for some odd reason. It's been there since Dec. 2)

In fact, do you want some stuff.  Come on over.  You can have some of mine.  I've run out of room.  
During covid I have been stocking up, but the cabinets are full so I call putting the bags of paper towels, toilet paper and groceries under my piano my overflow area.  

Too much stuff
Too much stuff
More than enough
More than enough.

(three blind mice)

Thank you Elisabeth Elliot.  
I caught Katie singing this yesterday as we unloaded the groceries!!!


Emma and James and girls are coming to town tomorrow and so are Matthew and Melinda and boys!  
We are so happy to be together this year.  
Katie will be twenty-one on the 24th and she asked her sibs to come and celebrate with her and it worked out just great for everyone!!!

I will try to cook delicious and easy meals.  
We will make Patrick's cookies.
Hope there will be some sledding and maybe a little bowling.
And I'm sure the guys will find a football game to watch.
I have saved watching White Christmas so we can watch it together!

I'm counting my blessings.





Oh my gosh!  Tiny hat with big pompom!!!





Thank you mom!





Yes, I have a full size FP barn.  It moos.  
This ornament is the cutest.





A shiny bean to remind me of our fun visits to Chicago at Christmastime.






This little gal is on my card this year!  






Such a pretty ornament!  Thank you Nancy!




Little Matthew made this CUTE Rudolph!
Grade One!








Sending love to you dear ones.
I feel at peace and that's a good feeling to have in my heart.

Merry Christmas and love to all,
Donna Elsie
















Monday, December 07, 2020

Dear Baby Jesus.

"It










I have always loved the Mary and baby Jesus Christmas songs.
These two are my favorites from Amy Grant and the Judds.
You don't hear these as often as other popular songs.

Enjoy these beauties.


Encourage one another,
Donna





Wednesday, December 02, 2020

kiss goodnight

 I got my Covid results just before dinner last night and I was Negative!  

My husband has never been so relieved.  So very relieved!!!



Let the kissing commence!


Encourage one another,

Donna

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Hugging

 




I didn't realize the impact of hugging until a few weeks ago.  

Because of Covid my husband and I forgo our little kisses hello and goodnight.  I don't like it but I know Patrick is very cautious about germs.  He has kept a little bottle of Purell in his pocket for years.  I, personally, am a hand washer.  But I hear from him when someone comes to work with a cold.  It drives him nuts. 

So because of Covid, we cancelled our anniversary trip/wedding for niece Sarah in Phoenix.

But then my sister Nancy's daughter died and I wanted to be with everyone for the funeral in  Phoenix.  I put away my fears of flying during covid and being with large groups.  I wore a mask and social distanced as much as possible.  Washed my hands a lot and did not hug and kiss.

The waving hello was awkward and felt terrible.  It felt rude.  It felt selfish.

So I started hugging a little bit....I just needed to.  I felt so much emotion with this physical touch.  I was connected.  Instead of feeling fearful and building a wall,  I felt love and care.  

I am thankful that I have been raised with lots of hugging and kissing.  

Imagine growing up without it...what kind of person one would be if they had grown up without kind gentle physical touch.  That's pretty tragic. 

 

                *******


On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Katie was at our house and baked a Graham Cracker cake to take to her boyfriend's house.

On Friday night she came down with Covid.  She has a mild case so far.  But of course she unknowingly exposed me.    Patrick and I both went to get tested and Patrick got a negative result already but I have not gotten my results yet.  I feel fine and do not think I have it.  I'll let you know when I hear about my test.

I have been taking lots of vitamins and have ordered Hydrocloraquine and Zinc from Americas Frontline Doctors to have on hand.  From what I have been told, one does not get any treatment from the doctor.  Just told to quarantine.  You are told to come in when you can't breathe.  I'd like to stop it before that if it is possible.  

I will also let you know my experience with the HCQ and zinc.

Like I said I do not have symptoms so think I am covid free.  But I'll let you know.









Happy December friends! 




Sending hugs and prayers!

Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie


Thursday, November 26, 2020

40th wedding anniversary. Wow!




Today is our 40th wedding anniversary.  
We were married on a Wednesday night in Lake Forest Illinois.
We basically eloped but had a little service in a Lutheran church.
The pastor and the organist were our witnesses.  

I was perfectly fine with this.  I don't really like being the center of attention...and I'm frugal.
Aunt Dorothy took me shopping on Michigan Ave and we picked out shoes and a mohair cape and high heel shoes....and a darling Albert Nipon dress.  
I don't remember anything about the service.  I do remember toddling down the aisle feeling like I was tiptoeing.  

After the service we drove in the dark to downtown Chicago.
We stayed in the penthouse at the Tremont where we were greeted with balloons and 'fake' champaign.  We ate at a restaurant in the hotel called Crickets.  We sat side by side. 

The next day, Thanksgiving, nothing was open.  We wandered around the empty, cold city until we found a dive that WAS open.  Patrick remembers eating cold turkey.  I remember the big waves on Lake Michigan.

We watched It's a Wonderful Life.

 



When you go into marriage, you intend for it to last.

Little did we know how hard that task would be.

But we must have the right amount of 

stubborness,
faith, 
commitment
forgiveness,
and 

love.

Cause, trust me, getting along with each other did not come naturally!

I'd say it's a supernatural achievement.

God helped us.
He helped us chose one another and keep trying.

And when we acted unloveable...
He helped us love the unloveable.


*****


Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. ~Mark Twain




Encourage one another,
Donna









Friday, November 20, 2020

Covid watching

 






Hi friends, 

I am headed to a funeral in Arizona tomorrow.  Please say a little prayer for protection from the virus and the ability to handle the face mask for about four hours.  Please continue to pray for comfort and peace for Ashley's loved ones.  Thank you. 


While I am gone I will leave you with this embarrassingly long list of the shows I watched during Covid Quarantine!


Covid watching


Ted Lasso.  Absolutely delightful!!!  On Apple tv

 

Offspring. A cross between ER and Parenthood.  Loved it


The Queen's Gambit. Excellent


Pick of the Litter. Documentary about training seeing eye dogs.  SWEET


Kims convenience.  Funny sweet


The Good Place.  All of it. Pretty clever.


The Politician. Over rated


Sweet Magnolias. Didn’t like. Stopped watching


Echo in the canyon. Very good. documentary about Laurel Canyon musicians


The Crown. Finished season three at the beginning of covid...finishing season four now


Diana:In her own words.   Very good


After Life. Love. Ricky Gervais. Touching.  One and Two.  


Never Have I ever. Teeny Bopper movies.  I liked them all.

The kissing booth 2

The All the Boys part 2


Schitt's Creek. Final season.  Love


Episodes.  Really Great. Matt LeBlanc after Friends.


The Last Dance. Amazing Michael Jordan documentary


Shameless. Ten seasons.. very raunchy. Embarrassed to admit.


The New Girl. All seasons. got repetitive. started fast forwarding thru the episodes


Good Girls.   Stopped watching. Like Weeds a little. Jumped the shark.


Broadchurch loved ..


The Sinner. Hated season three


Lenox Hill. Favorite. Watch this


The Social Dilemma.  Really creepy. important watching


Joan Didion doc.  Good


Tig


Betty Broderick/dirty John


Gentified. favorite.  Watched three times


Doctor Foster. British.  Pretty good.


Killing Eve. Fave


In the Dark. Just finished 


A secret love. Old Lesbian Couple


The Duchess. Nutty woman


Virgin river. Hallmark-y


The Five. Five friends.  Mystery


Tiger King. Carol did it


Hollywood. Eh. Great production.


Atypical. Gets better and better each season


Dash and Lily Love this sweet romance. brand new


Enola Holmes Really liked this!  Sherlock's little sister


Indian Matchmaking.  Really liked this




This does not include....Housewives and Hallmarks.

Patrick is watching the Crown with me so that is fun.

Along with our nightly Jeopardy, we have a nightly Crown.

I think he is ready for Downton Abbey.  Don't you?



I'll be back next week.

Lots of love and television.


Donna Elsie



Monday, November 16, 2020

River turns ONE!

 We traveled down to Missouri over the weekend to celebrate River's first birthday!

Matthew and Melinda and their children came too! 

The cousins had much fun playing and River liked having people closer to her size around.

She especially loved Asher.  

Here are some pictures of our weekend.


































What a blessing to spend time with our families!!!

So thankful,
Donna Elsie



All these photos were taken with iphones by Melinda and I.  

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Into my Arms.

 





I love this song.  I know it from the movie About Time.  
Which I highly recommend.  
Great music.  
Great cast!  


Into My Arms by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Gradually, you will return to yourself

           






                                             For One Who Is Exhausted by John O'Donohue



When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,

Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.


The light in the mind becomes dim.

Things you could take in your stride before

Now become laborsome events of will.


Weariness invades your spirit.

Gravity begins falling inside you,

Dragging down every bone.


The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.


You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken in the race of days.


At first your thinking will darken

And sadness take over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.


Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.


Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.


**********


Many thanks to Ms. K from the comments.  She left a portion of this poem in the comments a few days ago.  It was saying in a beautiful way what I was feeling.  I looked up John O'Donohue and have since posted his poem about dying and now this one.  Our Swiss Miss, Susan, just received a book by O'Donohue in the mail!  So funny when that happens....You hear about someone you just learned about from another person, almost instantly.  


I love the end....

Gradually you will return to yourself.


Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Six kisses when I wake


Happy Birthday Zeek!



When I have said my evening prayer,
And my clothes are folded on the chair,
And mother switches off the light,
I'll still be 5 years old tonight.

But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I'll be 6 years old.

Six kisses when I wake,
Six candles on my cake.


We love you so much,
our little scientist!


Love Yaya



 

Monday, November 09, 2020

By faith we let them go

I read this devotional on Tim Challies website.  He is a Christian blogger and author.  He lost his son suddenly last week.  

He posted the following devotional.

I want to share it with you because it is a perspective I have never read.  

"Death strikes the best of our friends..."

How very true.

The 'why' is interesting.  I'm thinking about it.  I might say, "Wait, please". 

Have you ever heard this scripture?  Have you ever thought about death this way?





                            Ashely, beloved daughter, sister, niece, wife, mother and friend.



 

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.

 John 17:24

O death! Why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness finds rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If you must use your axe, use it upon the trees that yield no fruit; then you may be thanked. But why will you chop down the best trees? Hold your axe, and spare the righteous.

But no, it must not be; death strikes the best of our friends: the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus' prevailing prayer--"Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am."

It is that which bears them on eagle's wings to heaven. Every time a believer moves from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ's prayer. A good old divine remarks, "Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say 'Father, I desire that Your saints be with me where I am'; Christ says, 'Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.'"

In this way the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: The beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which of the two who plead shall win the day? If you had your choice, if the King should step from His throne and say, "Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another," which shall be answered? Oh, I am sure, though it were agony, you would jump to your feet and say, "Jesus, not my will, but Yours be done." You would give up your prayer for your loved one's life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction--"Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am."

Lord, You shall have them. By faith we let them go.

Allister Begg



Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie