Monday, March 29, 2010

Emma and the goat. India. 2007.


emmagoat

We had a fun and exhausting visit with Emma in Chicago on Saturday.
We love to take public transportation when we go...but man alive....
even with the buses and El you walk a lot.

We went especially to celebrate Emma's 21st birthday with her.

Our little red headed girl is almost 21.
In the blink of an eye our gentle sweet baby is a
lovely woman with a beautiful heart.

I feel very blessed to be Emma's mom.



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Happy Birthday Emma.

Love you.

Mean it.




Encourage one another,

Donna

p.s.

I will be in Missouri thru Thursday.
Katie will be with Amy J and Carrie and family. (Thank you Amy!)
Patrick will hold down the fort with Maggie the cat for company.
Be excellent to one another.

Friday, March 26, 2010

In this crazy, hurting, cynical Internet world, there is a place.
A place that abounds with love and respect and peace and caring.

A place where strangers become friends and
friends love and encourage and lift one another up.

That place is my comment section.

It is a place of love.

And if you come here because it makes your day a little more peaceful, a little happier,
a little prettier and on a really good day a little funnier....just make sure you read the comments
because the love poured out there is out of this world.

As Magda said to Miranda in the last episode of a show that will remain nameless for today,

"You love."



I know that if you love us this way...you love those in your real life just the same.
You are characterized by kindness and loveliness.


Suzy says she feels the love.
I do too.

I am humbled and thankful for you all.



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~Sue and Cindy
July 2010


Here is some sweet dialog from a movie I have not seen.
A Walk to Remember


Landon: Hey. How are you feeling?
Jamie: I'm ok, how are you?
Landon: Pretty good.
Jamie: I have something for you.
Landon: You do?
Jamie: Uh hmm... Don't worry it's not a bible. It was my mother's. It's got quotes from all her favorite books, and quotes by famous people. Her thoughts. Come on.
Landon: Okay, let's check it out. Okay...”What is a friend? It's a single soul dwelling in two bodies." -Aristotle.
Jamie: Uh uh, right here.
Landon: Okay. "Find out who you are, and do it on purpose." That's Dolly Parton.
Jamie: I always thought she was smart.
Landon: "Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful."



That last quote.
It is from the Bible.
Corinthians 13
The love chapter. (I always hear Barry White in my head when I say that.)


But how great is that Dolly quote?

Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.
~Dolly


I will remember that.

And I will remember you.






For Linda and Jenni and anyone else who wants to dance around the family room with
someone they love.....







Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MyPicture

So here I sit.
Staring at the computer.

This picture was taken a month ago.

If I took it this morning you would see a red nose and tears
streaming down my face.

I looked for a quote or two to put up that would say how I
am feeling but that just made me cry more.

So I will just post a picture or two today and leave it at that.


My brother and sisters and I, we learned something a long time ago.
We learned to love one another.
That our siblinghood was strong and gracious and unconditional.

We are The Seven of Us.

We will always be,

The Seven of Us.

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Here is a picture I took of Keith and Sue in November in Arizona.
Suzy didn't quite look like herself.
Now we know why.

"But the love, the love,
the love...
it was always the richest kind...."
~g.brown


Love one another. Every day. You will never regret it.

Donna

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomatoes.


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I hope this doesn't gross anyone out or start any picketing....

But I went all rogue and put tomatoes on my grilled cheese sandwich.

It was the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten.
I don't usually eat grilled cheese. Can't remember my last one.

But all the ingredients were whole foods and my grandmother would recognize every one....
and the idea just came to me.

Years ago I read the most wonderfully written cookbook by Pat Conroy. He talks about a macaroni and cheese dish that has sliced tomatoes on top. I don't eat much macaroni and cheese, but this idea stayed with me.
Cheese and tomatoes. Do they go together?
Do they?


Why yes. They do.

Very well.




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Do you like my Tupperware plate?
The food does not slide off of this kind of Tupperware plate.

Oh my goodness. You have to try this!



Here is Michael Pollen.
His food rules make sense to me.




I am especially fond of...
if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it, don't eat it.


Eat well and encourage one another,
Donna

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The Button Experiment.





I have been asked if I had a button.
Well. I have been working on one. But am having a heck of a time.

I get the button to work....but I can not show you the code on my website without
the code transforming into the button.

So if I write the code down here for you to take....

it just gets all messed up. And either makes another button or messed up code with a question mark in it.

If you know how to work around this problem, please let me know in the comments.


****

And so I will talk about something I am much more experienced with...
and that is television.

Dancing on television.

Dancing with the Stars started last night.

What a crew.
This year I knew everyone except the Pussy Cat girl-who happens to be a dancer.

We have...

Buzz Aldrin- Astronaut who walked on the moon.
Eighty years old. So sorry to say...just horrible. His poor partner. She is an absolute
doll and deserves a gold star for sweetness and kindness.

He will go very soon.

Chad Ochocinco- Football player famous for making up his name.
He is a good dancer. He will do well.

Erin Andrews- Sports caster who was spied on.
She is in the top tier. But is a little awkward.

Evan Lysacek- Gold Medal skater. He has beautiful lines and he will do very well.

Jake Pavelka- Bachelor. Fame seeker. I'm over him and thing he is a phony.
Can't dance very well. Look forward to his departure.

Kate Gosselin- Mother of Eight. Fame seeker. Ick. She can not dance and will go very soon.
If looks could kill the judges would be dead!!! They hated her and she was seething.

Niecy Nash- LOVE her. She was NeeNee to Bonnie's Kim. She is funny and curvy.
She will not win. But I will cheer for her!

Nicole Scherzinger- Pussy Cat Dolls. Sleezy dancers....and "singers"...
She can dance. Will probably win.

Pamela Anderson-Bay Watch Babe. Over the top poser. Fake personality. Dancing abilities good...but she may tip over from the hair and bosom.

Shannen Doherty- 90210. Troubled star. I didn't care for her dancing...but her story and her daddy were sweet.

Aiden Turner- All my Children actor. Handsome and not a good dancer.


I pick Aiden Turner to go home first.
Buzz and Jake and Kate will go early on and perhaps Pamela.
Niecy may go because no one knows her.

Evan, Chad and Nicole will be there for a long time.

Some of the dances were painful to watch and I wish they danced to actual
recordings and not to that band. Sorry band. I like the real thing.
I'd rather hear Frank sing Frank and Lady GaGa sing Lady GaGa.

And that is what I think of Dancing with the Stars. I like to have people
I love and people I dislike. We are heavy on the dislike side...but that
usually happens and then I get to yell at the tv and cringe and isn't that
what Dancing with the Stars is all about anyway?

***

On the bird front.

We had a chickadee or a nuthatch.
It was very exciting.



****

I'll be ordering Hannah's graduation pictures today.
I love to see what clients love.

Here are a few that Hannah loved that I don't think I have shown you before.

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Hannah is going off to college to be a nurse!
Isn't that wonderful? I love nurses.
She is gentle and caring and smart.
All wonderful qualities for a nurse.


Time to dive into photoshop for the last inspection and then I will
start uploading to Simply Color and Simply Canvas.

That top picture may be too blue....
That's why I look at them one last time....


Have an excellent Tuesday!

Encourage one another,

Donna



























Monday, March 22, 2010

Come and Get it!


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On Friday Patrick and I went to Chipotle for lunch. (He went to Cousin's Subs)
I had seen the owner of Chipotle on Oprah last week and I liked his ideas of using fresh and
natural food for his 'fast' food. I like his ideas very much.

If you have watched Food Inc. and wondered where you could eat out...ever again....
this might be the place for you.

Anyway.

In the same little strip mall as Chipotle's is a Bird Feeder store.
It's not called that....I can't think of what it is called.

Bird's Unlimited possibly.

Patrick came in with me and we came out with our new bird feeding 'station'.

It is rather near the house, so not the best location, but we are gong to see if we can lure the birds closer.
See that pretty blue bird on top.

That ought to convince them to give it a try.

So we wondered how long it might take to get our first bird.
And we guessed a squirrel might be the first visitor.
And we were right about that.

SQUIRREL!


If no birdies feel happy coming so close to the house, we will move it back closer to the trees and the fence.
But to be honest. This is about me.
I want to be able to watch them and take pictures of them and I can't when they are far away.

So we shall try to selfish method and hope it works.



Fingers crossed.







69/365

Camera: Nikon D700
Exposure: 1/5000 sec
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 400

Katie is standing at the back door looking out into the bright yard.
I'm stand outside looking in :o)
She is standing out of the glare with no direct light hitting her.

Just so you know.



***

Please pray for Keith, Wes, Kurt and Jeff today.
They need gobs of comfort and peace.


With Love,
Donna


p.s. Patrick removed the price tags.
We don't want the birds to think we are tacky.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

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That says it all. No?


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Now you know why I do this.


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and this....

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My family!


Ya just gotta take it all in...
in big warm sunny gulps....




UW Memorial Union.


And that's the truth.





Encourage one another,
Donna

Friday, March 19, 2010

I have a guilty secret.

I read Perez Hilton.
I have read his blog since the beginning.

I love my movies and movie stars and Perez seems
to always get the scoop.

But NEVER in a million gazillion years would I have thought a friend of mine
would show up in the pages of Perez Hilton.

And last night as I was watching The Real Housewives of New York City.
(another guilty, guilty secret) my hubby yelled to me to 'go see Perez Hilton'.

I thought it was going to be an update on the tragic Sandra B. story, but no,
it was Ree. Ree and Reece. Reece as Ree.

It's just all so amazing, isn't it?

pwperez

I took a screen shot.

Ree says this is not a sure thing yet. But the rights to the book Black Heels to Tractor Wheels have
been sold.

Ree's Announcement


I look forward to reading about Ree and Ladd's first year of marriage...(when Ree finishes that second half of the book)
If Reece does play Ree, will she dye her hair red?

And the most important question of all.....

Who will play Ladd/Marlboro Man!?

Here are my thoughts.

Jake Gyllenhall would be perfect with a little bleach. I don't think that would work now, tho.
Too bad about that.
Bradley Cooper. Right age. Blonde.
Matt Damon, Blonde. Kind of the right age.

Too bad Brad Pitt is too old. Just way too bad.

What do you think?
Who am I missing?

Have fun speculating? I know I will.


Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Look me in the Eye"








This is my new read.
It is easy and interesting reading.
And really.
How appealing is that cover?

I would like that job, (book cover photography) thank you very much.
I'd like just about any photography job actually.

I find it endlessly interesting and fun.

When I was head photographer for my yearbook, I took pictures of
everything that was going on at school. New assignments every day.

Football and baseball games. Sororities and Greek Week.
Famous people coming in for lectures and lots of groups.

It was a busy, fun time.



Now....during the winter, my photography sessions come to a stand still.
Not having a studio and living in Wisconsin is distressing for this
outdoor photographer.



That's why God gave me Katie.


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I'd be blue without her.




Encourage one another,
Donna

What book are you reading this week?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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Skies like we had yesterday should be outlawed.
I find them much more distracting than phones or eating when I'm driving.

I found the sky so beautiful and interesting yesterday afternoon, I could not stop looking.
It wasn't breezy here on the land, but up there, I just know it, the winds were brisk.



****

Did you read the news?
The writers of Lost have announced that, 'all will not be answered by the end of the show.'


May not answer your questions

I can't see how they can. They have been so slow in answering anything so far...and they just keep
adding new, far-out, far fetched scenarios every week.

I try to enjoy the show for that moment. But man. I am feeling manipulated.

Did Charlotte grow up on the island?
If so, how can she be in Sawyers world now?

Is Sideways world what life would be like if there was never an island for anyone?


****

Will you do anything special to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Katie wore a little green to school. She says her teacher may wear a kilt.
I hope so. That would be a great memory for those little 4th graders :o)



Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories...
~Terry McKay
~An Affair To Remember




A happy childhood can't be cured. Mine'll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose.
~Hortense Calisher, Queenie, 1971




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I will remember the clouds I saw yesterday.
I will remember that Sue was with her best friends from Wheaton
and I will remember doing division problems with Katie.

That's what i will remember about yesterday.


May your memories be filled with joy today!!!


Encourage one another,
Donna

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

peg

In our minds eye....this is how we remembered Peg, the sassy dog from Lady and the Tramp, with her tongue out.
We just could not find a picture......





When Emma gets bangs....she channels Peg.


*****
For seven days straight, we had very thick fog.
I am not exaggerating. It was really seven days and it was really thick.


So you can imagine how we are all feeling here in Wisconsin for the last two days when the
sun has shone all day: warm and light.

We feel like this.....


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And we are thankful and grateful and happy and free.


Free of boots and coats and chill and the dark.

We peek out of our igloos and squint and marvel at the blueness of the sky and the smell of the mud and
the song of the birds.

We are renewed.

And we are thankful some more.


Encourage one another,
Donna

p.s. I saw a red-winged blackbird on my walk yesterday.
Yes. I said walk. Day two of the 2010 STREAK.

Monday, March 15, 2010

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Friday night I attended a concert with Stephanie Seefeldt and Fernando Ortega.
Stephanie opened for Fernando. She was so happy to be back on the 'stage' at Blackhawk
Church where she was worship leader a number of years ago. The audience was just
delighted to see and hear Steph again! (Stephanie was also very honored to be on the stage with Fernando as he
has been a long time mentor/inspiration/friend to her.)


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Steph opened the concert.
Her voice was just glorious.

If I could sing like Stephanie,
I would sing to myself all day long.

She sings beautifully and passionately.

And I don't know why I didn't think of this until Friday night...
but many artists are really much better in person.
The fullness of the sound; the way it
washes over you is lovely.

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Yes. Stephanie and Fernando were both so excellent to listen to in person.


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Fernando was especially fun to hear and "meet". He was quiet and unassuming when he took the
place at the piano. I liked his first song and his voice right away, But then he started
opening up and sharing stories between his songs and this was utterly delightful.
He is a wonderful storyteller and he was super funny.



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Ah. The audience laughed.
Then he would play a beautiful song and tell another story.

It was so much better than an album...er...cd.

What a wonderful concert!!


*******

Blessed Sacrament's Destination Imagination DiBot Team.


Austin wouldn't smile. I have twelves pictures like this.

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And one like this. :o)

Ya just gotta say something funny....


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That gorgeous woman is Michelle, the coach.
If this was high school, she would get Best All Around because she really is amazing.

(I have always wanted to take pictures of her because she radiates joy.
I just don't usually go up to people and ask to take their pictures...but maybe I should.)

The team preformed their skit and presentation very well.
They came in 5th place out of ten.

We had some sad children for a while there but they were cheered up with their superb instant challenge score: 92.05.

So even tho they do not go on to State they learned so much and had fun for months!!
Next time they will have experience on their side.


*****

Sunday the fog lifted and the sun came out.
I saw my first robin and we went for a walk around the state capital building.
Today, sister Sue starts treatment and her best friends from high school arrive to give her lots of love
and talk about 'old times'. Thinking of you Debbie and Karen....wishing you the best visit.
Kiss Sue for me!


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






One last picture of Steph.
My favorite.

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Encourage one another,
Donna

Miz Boo

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

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Two hundred yards from the bur oak stands this huge light barked tree.
It's just beautiful.

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I think it is a sycamore.
Look how the light reflects off of its creamy skin.
It's even more impressive in real life...it glowed.



***

Tonight I will be attending a really special event.

Our Stephanie is preforming tonight with Fernando Ortega at a local church.
I love hearing Stephanie play the piano and sing. Her voice is very beautiful...a gift from God.
I haven't heard Fernando sing yet, but I hear wonderful things about him.

If you would like to attend, there may be tickets still available.

Ortega/Stephanie link


*****


I hear the robins are back in our area! I haven't seen one yet this year but Anita has and she left a
great comment on my facebook that I wanted to share here....
she just cracks me up.



Byron and I saw about 2 dozen robins in a tree!
I tried to hug them but they flew away in a panic.
~Anita Klumpers



I am on the lookout and I am determined to find a robin today.


TO THE FIRST ROBIN

by: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

WELCOME, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing "Sweet Spring is near."

Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay:
Come dear bird and build your nest,
For we love our robin best.



"For we love our robin best."



Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, March 11, 2010

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So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.

Romans 8:26-27 (Amplified Bible)



Two of my friends have sent me notes in the last week saying that when we are grieving and brokenhearted
we are not obligated to pray if the prayers won't come.
This is when we are lifted up by the community of believers who pray for us.
One of these friends is Jewish, the other Catholic.

Their words lifted a heavy burden that I was feeling.

This morning in the car I heard the scripture I posted today, read on the radio.

I am humbled that He hears my unspoken prayers and
can listen to my heart.


I do not feel alone.
I feel your prayers and God's presence.

Thank you.
Love
Donna

Wednesday, March 10, 2010






Katie takes a sandwich to school every day.
Well, every day that she does not get hot lunch.
This month the total hot lunches are zero since she was sick on the day
the hot lunch order form came home and we missed the boat completely.

Back to her sandwich.

Katie's sandwich consists of two pieces of white bread and three slices of thinly sliced turkey.
It's a pitiful sight.


This sad looking little sandwich has been the choice for each and every one of my children.
I can not believe I have produced this slew of plain sandwich eaters.



I think of my mom and how she did it.

The sandwiches we ate as children were a thing of glory.

When we were very young we came home from school for lunch.
We had sandwiches and leftovers.

I remember fried egg sandwiches.
I remember spaghetti with an egg on the side with
a big glass of milk.
Did we get chips? I can't quite remember that.
If we did get chips, they were Jays.

When we were in high school we took hot lunch during the school year,
but the sandwiches in the summer were spectacular.

Our mother would line up fourteen pieces of Golden Hearth white bread (the bread in the wax covering)
and to that she would put,

mayonnaise
lettuce
tomato
French's mustard
liver sausage
and little round pickles.


There were no special orders. Our mother was not an octopus.


This was how she made them and we LOVED them.
Only the meat changed. In fact, her fried egg sandwich had all of those ingredients on it!!!

I think I need to go out and buy some liver sausage today.

Our mom would never have guessed that her sandwiches would be her food legacy.

My children will not have that. They will remember my love for Diet Dr. Pepper, I am sure.

I guess we all have something different to offer,
and I don't really think we can pick what it will be.

It just happens naturally in families.


What are your favorite food memories?



Encourage one another,
Donna

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What's so funny?

A photoshoot in reverse.


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Camera: Nikon D700
Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/500)
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 85 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Edited with: Eye Candy Actions



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"I was...


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NOT....

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picking my nose!!!"



Fun facts to know and tell.


I love that it looks like I iron Katie's jeans. I do not. Have never ironed a pair of jeans in my life.

She is barefoot because this photoshoot lasted four minutes.

This is one of my favorite light places at our house. It is my miniature studio.
This doorway faces north.

I knitted the scarf and made Katie put it on for some color and variety.

We tried some hats but went with the pony tail instead.

Katie cried when I brushed her hair.

She is a delicate flower like her mama.

I'm making beef stew in the crockpot for dinner. I love having that all decided already.

I ordered a protective case for my iPhone and I got to design the colors.

Here is what it will look like.






Super cute :o)


Hope your Tuesday is shaping up to be a fine one!


Encourage one another,
Donna