Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Feast


Appetizer

Who was the last person you hugged?

Soup

Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.

Salad

What does the color yellow make you think of?

Main Course

If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?

Dessert

What was the longest book you ever read?



************


Can you say, Annelle?
Can you say...Annelle?
annelle





I beg your pardon.
I beg your pardon.

Funny Katie. Our class clown.
The funniest girl in class.





********


I hope all you Lost-heads watched Lost last night. It was like a movie unto itself.

Truly stunning and wonderful. And I even cried.

Who knew Lost could make you cry.

It turns out that the Island is in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, but not near Bermuda, if you know what I mean.

Wow. It was a great episode.

Those of you who have been watching a long time must have been blown away!!!


*********

Any comments on the eliminated American Idols?

Poor sobbing girl. That was so real. Well...real if it was me because I would have started crying too.


It's funny, in Katie's Pathway readers the authors make a big deal of learning not to cry. In the last few weeks there have been stories with both a little girl and a little boy who are ashamed to cry in school.
It must be more common than I realize. That when we are young, we cry very readily and we learn thru life to
control that strong emotion.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

It certainly is a common feeling for children for I remember feeling the same way; trying not to cry.

I know we must learn self-control....
but for some reason this just seems a bit stoic.

I suppose the world wouldn't run very smoothly if everyone was always breaking down in tears.

I don't know.



**********


What does the color yellow make you think of?
What would you photograph?

DSC_3840



Say! Happy Feb 29th!!!!



Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dearest Blogsistahs,

I need your help.

Last week I received an email from a woman who was struggling in her marriage.
She has been married a long time and said she doesn't believe in divorce,
but she doesn't have much belief in marriage, now, either.

So she wonders, "How do you make it work?"

She asks a second question, also.

"How do you not get lost behind your husband and children?"



These are big, difficult and important questions that need the best kind of answers.


I have not written her with my answer yet. I did write to her and tell her I would think about it as they are
not easy questions to answer.

But, I thought, if she is feeling this way, perhaps you have felt this way, too,
and would know how to answer her.

Also I have such respect for you all, I know that your answers to the question,
"How do you make it work?" would be wise and valuable to me AND to anyone who
happens upon this spot.


So, if you would, if you could, please share your wisdom and advice here in the comments.
Or feel free write an answer over on your own blog and leave a link so we can come over to read it.


Since the primary purpose of this blog has been to encourage women to love their husbands and children,
I thought I would work this out here on the blog.

(No, the primary purpose is not watching and talking about television. I know that's what you're thinking.....)



For my part, I don't think I am best to answer the "how do you not lose yourself" question.
I think God made me very headstrong and independent and at no time have I lost myself.
Not that it's a great thing, but I have too much self interest to lose myself.
(This quality is a double edged sword, as you can imagine)


***********



Dear Losing Heart,

How do I make it work? Wow. That's a big question.
I have 27 years of ideas.


But perhaps, the first and hardest part of making it work is coming to terms with the idea that
you are sometimes the only one interested in making a marriage a beautiful thing.

If you are alone in your quest, let me assure you that a marriage can heal with time and the efforts of just one person.

Well.

Just one person and God.

It was prayer, God's Grace and living the principles laid out in the Bible that kept my husband and I married.

When I was working on it alone, I did many, many marriage Bible studies.
I listened to Christian Radio, especially Elisabeth Elliot.
I went to counselors. Several different times.

My motivations for working on our marriage have not always been God-centered, they have mostly been self-centered.

For a huge part of our marriage I was motivated by pleasing myself, I wanted our marriage to be better because
I was unhappy. Mostly unhappy with my husband.


Let me try to give a straightforward example.

I stopped loving my husband. My heart was hard. I was going to stay married because "God hates divorce" and I am very stubborn and prideful.

I wasn't mean as I continued on in this unhappy charade. I was civil and unloving and sticking it out cause that's what God wanted. (How miserable is that?)

BUT. I was totally forgetting the main principal of the New Testament.

Love one another.

Love.

Love your enemies.


By not loving my husband, I was not pleasing God. I was not doing the first thing He wanted me to do.

And boy O boy was I SHOCKED when I realized that I was far from the perfect-long suffering wife.

I was in the wrong, too. I had not been doing my part. Truly.


And so I started doing loving things and I prayed that God would help me love him again.

I learned that love is a verb and love is very different from what you see in the movies.

I decided that really loving like the Bible suggests to love, was how I wanted to love.

And then my heart healed.
It took a few years for my heart to warm up and start feeling lovey-dovey....
but it happened. I am ashamed to think that I didn't love my husband for a time. But I am forgiven.

And so I pass along that story as a story of hope.

Your feelings for your husband can be renewed.
There is no reason to keep slogging along.

Look at your own heart and see if you have some heart issues to work on.

Are you unloving, unforgiving? Are you bitter or angry?

Draw near to God and search the Bible to see what he says about these attitudes.

I can not promise that your marriage will be ALL BETTER because of doing this....

But YOU will be more at peace in knowing that you are living a life of obedience to God as you....

trust and obey His word.

With Love,
Donna



**********


As you see. That is just one way of looking at it; what came to mind this morning.

I know you all will have super wise things to add.

I look forward to it....and I am going to print out all your replies. (So rite good, will ya)


Love,
Donna




p.s. If you want to talk about AI and Project Runway in the comments,
that's okay too :o)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol

Well...I think the winner has made himself known on Idol!

That David Archuleta gave me goose bumps last night.

I'm not sure he is a modest as he acts. He must have been hearing for years and years how talented he is....

But, he is really good and I like his new haircut, a lot!!!


Paula seemed clearer and more articulate last night....

Until she said to David,

"I want to squish you, squeeze your head off and dangle you from my rear-view mirror."

That is just creepy and very odd.



Here is a clip of David singing Imagine last night AND about three years ago on a Utah television show.

He has been working on his singing career for a long time even tho he is only 17.

David Archuleta



*********

Control, perfection and the digital camera.

Before digital cameras, before photoshop, life was easy-breezy.

You went on a vacation and took two rolls of film, came home and dropped them off at Walgreens or Osco or Walmart.

A day later or even an hour later, the photos were ready and you opened them up in the car.
It was a total surprise what would be in your little packet of pictures.
There they were, they were what they were...and you were happy or sad depending on the outcome.

But usually you were happy. You had your memories.


Now, with digital cameras, you can see what you are getting as you go along by checking your LCD monitor. (That screen on the back of the camera)

You know right away if you got the shot. This is good. This is a total benefit to digital.

But the rest of it has made photography very complicated....if you are picky.

When I first got my camera, I was disappointed with the processing from Walgreens, etc.

Golly, I thought, the pictures should be fabulous with this wonderful camera. But the pictures from Walgreens etc. were never quite as nice as they looked on the computer screen.

And so the journey begin.....

It is now possible to be your own editor, it is possible to fix almost anything, and in my case....

I had to do it. There was no choice for me, I had to learn to make the pictures look their best.

I am not a perfectionist AT ALL. But for some reason, with photography, the perfectionist tendencies emerged.

So I spend hours editing pictures. I love the art of it, the challenge of it, the fun of it.

But sometimes I wish they just came out of the camera perfect, and printed perfectly. Voila. All done.

And maybe it is because I am still learning, every day, new things, and in a year from now I will be speedy and quick and the editing process won't take as long as it does now.

But, I also want to learn to use my camera so well that the pictures come out as close to perfect as can be...
and I won't have to work so hard at fixing them up.


Just don't you dare have a poppy seed muffin before your photoshoot....cause I won't notice it until it is on my computer screen.

20080220_4937-2


Last night I worked on this picture of Emma. I thought it was just right.

This morning it looks a tad light.

I could fix it. But I will try not to obsess.

20080220_4946-2
She's fierce.


A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. ~John Henry Newman


Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~Henry van Dyke

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. ~William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1605

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. ~George Fisher

(I think I have just learned this :o)

I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being. ~Anatole France (Jacques Anatole Fran├žois Thibault), The Garden of Epicurus, 1894


Encourage one another,
Donna

Do you aim for or struggle with perfectionism?

In all areas or in just one?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mr Darcy is truly a knight in shining armor.


So at this point in the movie, I thought to grab my camera. I love the bow on this hat. The color is
so gorgeous. And the dialog is so wonderful.

20080225_5197
"My feelings....are quite the opposite."


20080225_5198
"Hot dang!!! She likes me! She really likes me!!!"


20080225_5212

Houston, we have eye contact.


20080225_5214

Ahhhhhh. Their hands almost touch.
Look at how huge that tree is to their left!

20080225_5218
Another great scene!

Here it is from the book. I've included the part where Lizzy tells her father all that Mr. Darcy has done.
(This is not in the movie but it is very satisfying to me that it is in the book.)

"Well, my dear,'' said he, when she ceased speaking, "I have no more to say. If this be the case, he deserves you. I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to any one less worthy.''

To complete the favourable impression, she then told him what Mr. Darcy had voluntarily done for Lydia. He heard her with astonishment.

"This is an evening of wonders, indeed! And so, Darcy did every thing: made up the match, gave the money, paid the fellow's debts, and got him his commission! So much the better. It will save me a world of trouble and economy. Had it been your uncle's doing, I must and would have paid him; but these violent young lovers carry every thing their own way. I shall offer to pay him to-morrow; he will rant and storm about his love for you, and there will be an end of the matter.''

20080225_5224

The perfect end.



********

And now for something completely different.


Instructions for Parents

(via Dooce)

Why does the mother in the pictures remind me of Britney Spears?





********


You wonder if Katie is always gazing at me with peace and patience, don't you?
You wonder if she ever takes a bad or goofy picture, don't you?

Rockin Katie-1

Yeah. She's doing the robot.
And then acting like a rock star.

Uh huh.

Everyday. This is the real Katie.



Happy Tuesday everyone!

Encourage one another,
Donna

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Anne Hathaway in a gorgeous dress!
Designed by Marchesa










Her hair is in a curly pony tail.
She looks a bit like a doe eyed Barbie Doll.

Which I think is quite nice :o)






Here is Forrest Whitaker and his wife, Keisha.
Isn't this an elegant dress?


calista-flockhart-oscars-2008-09

Another favorite....Calista Flockhart looks just perfect, doesn't she?
I got just a peek of her on the red carpet and was lucky to find a photograph on Just Jared.

Lovely!


***********

So after the whole night,the long boring show, I am sticking with my initial choices.

Heidi Klum's red dress was gorgeous on her and her make up and hair was perfction.
But for some reason I like Anne's red dress better.


Follow this link to a perfect slide show hosted by the New York Times.
Red Carpet

The pictures are great!!!

(And I really think the dresses were the most interesting thing the whole night.
Jon Stewart was so dull.
Regis should have done the whole show. He had energy and excitement and was fun and enthusiastic!!
Shame. It was a shame.)



Come back and tell me what you like!!!
Count down to the Red Carpet.



Here are a few of my past Best Dress Choices.





Cate Blanchette at the Oscars





Model Diane Kruger in Elie Saab




Reese at the Oscars: 2007






The following dresses were my choices from last years Golden Globes.












I can't wait!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Morning!

I am a bit scattered this morning....

Sorry.


With the Academy Awards set for tomorrow, I am looking forward to my Super Bowl of Fashion.

As you know, I just love this night.

I must confess that I have not seen any of the movies nominated for Best Picture.

I would love to see them all. But going to the movies has been rare in the past few years for us.

We wait for them to come out on DVD.

But, that doesn't stop me from watching the talk shows and reading the entertainment blogs....so I know
what's going on and who's who...a little.


Again this year I favor Elie Saab. I think everything he creates is just stunning!

Elie Saab


But that's the fun of it, isn't it.

Waiting...Watching...Loving.....Hating....





Here is an amazing dress by Lela Rose.




Regis Philbin will be working the red carpet so that should be fun.

I will be posting my favorites as I see them.

So stop back in tomorrow evening and join in the fun!



Encouage one another,
Donna

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday's Feast



Appetizer

Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

Soup

What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

Salad

Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

Dessert

Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.



*****


I like yesterday's question much bettter. If you haven't done that yet, you can still sum up your life in six words.
I love those!!!

Did you see what Karen wrote last night?

"All I need is this thermos."


Karen is my friend from up north, she is hilarious and can always make me laugh!

She should comment more, shouldn't she?


"Country life: my dream come true."

There's one for Karen. :o)





******

Okay all you Lost people....

Who is Eric?

Did she say, Eric?

My ears are going. I need captions.


******


Anyone terribly disappointed with who went home on American Idol?

I was not surprised at all. Although I liked the "Breaking up is hard to do" boy's voice.

I was amazed at Joanne's grace in losing. She complimented the other girls and said they were better.

Good for her. I love to see stuff like that.


******

I made my new recipe for the week already.

Any guesses?

It was delicious and super easy!


******


Look who felt like having her photo taken!

emma-2
Move over Francesco Scavullo! :o)
I didn't realize until just now, how the processing came out so much like his. I think it can be lightened a little bit more....
That's pretty exciting for me as he was a hero of mine back in the 70's.

A few of Scavullo's Portraits


20080220_5061


20080220_5001

20080220_4967

20080220_4976

I love a blurry shot.

There is every thing wrong with that last shot. But it is my favorite of the girls.

Love it!


Anyway....lots to talk about today!

I'll take a picture of my salt and pepper shakers when it lightens up around here


Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alert reader and dear sister, Janice, sent me this email a few days ago;


"Donna,
Have you heard of the book "Not Quite what I was Planning"? People sum up their lives in 6 words...this may be a fun topic for your blog...I would love to see the responses."


I hadn't heard of this, but just a quick google led me to the book's homepage and place of conception.

Smithmag.net

The idea for this project which became a book is this legend;

"Six-Word Memoirs: The Legend
Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”


A few examples I liked from the website:

Sixties hippie chick finally grows up.
~Susan Schneider


Shook family tree:nuts fell out.
~Chris Baker


Like Charlie Brown, not as popular.
~Paul J



Now it is your turn.

Sum up your lives in 6 words.


I can't wait to see your responses!!!


(My mind swirls with the possibilities. Which direction should I go in?
Should I be current? Or broad? Spiritual? Artistic? Silly? Motherly?
What a fun challenge!)



*******

The first of many.

It really stuns me how comfortable Katie is in front of the camera.

Totally natural.

I love this shot.

Yummy.


*******


American Idol: Girls Night.

I thought some of the girls sang beautifully!!!

Some of them were boring, like Simon said.

And you know, the thing is....two girls and two boys are being sent home....

You have got to get noticed right away.

I don't think a ballad is going to do that.

Do you think they are told...but just don't listen?

A great singer is going to go home tonight because of poor song choice....

mark my words.


What did you think?



******


Looking forward to reading your comments!!!

Encourage one another and write-on!

Donna

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In our wintery world of black and white and grey it is pure joy
to find the colors, wherever they may be.



"I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns."
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British politician.


Happy Bokeh Wednesday!
"Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no."
~Picasso



20080216_4633.jpg-2


20080216_4633.jpg-3

20080216_4621


"Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."
~Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet and dramatist.

20080217_4786.jpg-2

See that large portion of blinding white?

Most people would crop that out.

But,

I couldn't get rid of it.


It shines with such glee.
It gives the table and chairs a magical look.
To me it is as happy as Katie's little face.

In this case, it needed to stay.


"Let the sun shine in!!!"


*****

American idol.....discuss.

Can you listen to Paula?

I can not.

I wonder who will go home.

Two this week.

Did you vote?


Encourage one another,
Donna


UPDATE

I tried Ree's Tutorial. Go to her blog to learn a new photoshop technique.

Pioneer Woman


Still crooked.
Here is the original. Not sooc. But how I edited it on Saturday.


20080216_4616 copy.jpg-5
Black and White bay-bee.
I think it is rather nice like this.
Even tho I'm all about color today.

20080216_4616 copy.jpg-4
I like the sky, don't you?

Like any editing, the picture you use is key!
I tried this on some close ups of Katie and and I wasn't feelin' it.

This landscape seemed more suited to it.

You just don't know until you try :o)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Recipe

Spaghetti Carbonara
Pat Conroy

1 pound thick-sliced bacon, chopped
(reserve 1 T. bacon grease for the noodles)
1 pound spaghetti
4 large eggs
*2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 cup plus 2 T. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


I thought one teaspoon of pepper was plenty. I can not imagine using two. So beware.


Fry bacon. Cook spaghetti.
Mix eggs and pepper and two T. parm in bowl.

Drain spaghetti. Put back in pot.
Mix in the 1 T. of bacon grease. Coat noodles.
Pour eggs over noodles, add one cup of parm. and bacon.

Fini.

Here is part of what Pat Conroy says about this recipe.
(The whole story is charming, but I'll just type part of it.)

"Spaghetti Carbonara was born at the same time that Wickersham was liberating Rome. My neighbors at the Piazza Farnese told me that the army of liberation brought eggs and bacon into Roman restaurants and asked the chefs to make them a pasta sauce. The Romans quickly adapted the ingredients into this delicious recipe, and my family often dined at a restaurant near the bakery and the olive man in the Campo de' Fiori with "Carbonara" in its name."

If you like your recipes with a anecdote, this is the cookbook for you.








My new favorite cheese.

20080218_4803

I had this at a little family get together and fell madly deeply in love with it.


20080216_4630.jpg-2
Isn't this a pretty little line up?
I saw them while I was window shopping on State Street.



Here is the new line-up for Dancing with the Stars

"ABC announced the celebrity lineup for next month's sixth cycle of Dancing With the Stars. The contestants will include: actress-model Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Love Actually); Steve Guttenberg; Priscilla Presley; radio jock-comedian Adam Carolloa; actress Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God); tennis champ Monica Seles; illusionist Penn Jillette; R&B singer Mario; this year's NFL defensive player of the year, the Miami Dolphins' Jason Taylor; Tony Award-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray); Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi; and Chilean actor Cristian de la Fuente (CSI: Miami). Dancing returns on March 17 at 9 p.m. for the first of a two-night premiere. Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris will host and Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann Inaba will judge."


If a girl is going to win.....I'm betting on Kristi Y. or Marissa.

Again, I don't know who most of these people are....

But last season ended up delighting most of us with Sabrina, MelB and Helio....and they were way off my radar.....
So we shall see.

Do you know these 'dancers'?

On a disappointing note, Maks will not be partnering this time.
He will be missed.

Julianne will be paired with Adam Carolloa. Too bad for her.



*****

We are going to Chucky Cheese for lunch today to celebrate 100 lessons in math with AmyJ and her children and Lynn and her boys.

Should be Super Fun :o)




Encourage one another,
Donna

Monday, February 18, 2008

The important thing about dance is
it's joyous!


I have loved this dance since I first saw it in high school.

I wanted to dance like this.
I wanted to wear dresses like this.


Is that too much to ask???



I have searched youtube to find it in the past and couldn't.

But last night I found it; simply under Fred Astaire.



This dance is from the movie Daddy Long Legs.
I'll bet most of you have never hear of it.
(Which is a delightful book too)

BUT.

This dance is so fun.
You are going to want to dance like this....

I promise.


The dance is called Sluefoot.



My favorite part of this dance starts at :58.

Look at Leslie's shoulders and relaxed arm.

Could this be any be cooler?








*******

Pride and Prejudice


Ah ha!

So Wickham was a cad after all :o)

I love how Darcy is slowly shown to be the man of 'goodness'.

What is that line?


``Poor Wickham; there is such an expression of goodness in his countenance! such an openness and gentleness in his manner.''

``There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.''

~from the book, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen


Have I told you how much I adore this screenplay?
It follows the book word for word in many, many instances.


The first two hours really begin slowly, I think, but if you can take those in....
the next four hours are pure delight!


Don't forget the exciting and dramatic conclusion next week!






*********

And just for fun....

here is the blue picture, without the blue and the crop and a few Actions.

20080217_4674



Is this crooked or is it an optical illusion?

I lined up the pillars with the straightening grid. Twice.

And it still looks crooked.

I wonder if the pillars are slanted a little.

I think the Parthenon has slanted pillars so that it appears straight from a distance.

Could they have done this with the capitol of Wisconsin....
or am I just bad at straightening things.

Still crooked.


Encourage one another,
Donna

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ian's Pizza, Madison Wisconsin



Ian's Pizza State Street
The State Street Location looks like this.



Ian's Pizza

Ian's Pizza State St. Madison

Macaroni and Cheese Pizza: Ian's
This is quite nice. Just the right amount of toppings.
I thought it might be decadent, but really it was done quite right.


Sliced Potato with bacon and ranch sauce
My piece was not on the menu.
But it looked great, so I picked it :o)

Potatoes, bacon, cheese, a little barbeque sauce and ranch dressing.

Again, not too much, not obnoxious, just right.

Yum.



Katie at Ian's Pizza, Madison

Katie and I will go back to Ian's.

We really liked it.


****It's a joint. The tables could have used a swipe with a washcloth...and it was a little chilly.
But that's what I expected. So I was not really worried about it.

Our total bill was about $8.00.

State St. Madison
State Street, Madison Wisconsin.



Happy girl.
I let her have a Mt. Dew.

You'd be happy too :o)

Ya should'a been there!