Thursday, September 30, 2010


I took this picture when my camera was a month old. My D80.

We spent three/four days in Paris in 2007. It was here that Emma celebrated her 18th birthday.

I have promised Katie that I would take her to Paris when she was 18. I am smarter than I look :o)

It rained lightly almost every day we were in Paris. The flower shop was not even a blip on my radar as we passed the building
each day on the way to the Metro and the bakery. But then on the last day, the sun came out and so did the flowers.

The flowers were so gorgeous, so beautifully arranged. I took a few pictures.

It's fun to go down the photo memory lane...

Our mom had a shoebox full of pictures. Looking thru it was one of my favorite things as a little girl.
Our father had a camera and took slides. We would all sit and watch those slides.

Treasures. Pictures are. True treasures.


my muse.
three years ago.

I was still shooting on auto then but learning to photoshop a little...

oh my gosh...

two hours have gone by...and I have a ton to do today!

Go and look thru your pictures....
enjoy and remember and smile!

Love ya.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I see these wonderful grasses on the way to and from school. They glow and I mention them to Katie almost every day!

On Monday I stopped to take pictures.



Does anyone know what they are called?


Katie made me a very big card.


It made me smile.


Here is my birthday present from Patrick.

I want to make no-knead bread and I needed a pot.

Ree entices me with her Le Creuset give aways so we went to Williams Sonoma with that in mind.

But as we looked at the shelf of enamel pots this one, which is not Le Creuset, beckoned.

The rooster on top and the color

Isn't it pretty?

I'll let you know how the bread turns soon as I make it!

I also thought I would make Julia's famous Beef Bourguignon, but I looked at the recipe and it is very complicated.
I will be looking for a simpler version.

Let me know if you have one.

Encourage one another,


Oh dear. I forgot about DWTS again!!!

Such drama over Bruno's unkind remarks last night. Michael Bolton's dance was worst I am afraid and he went home because of it. At the very beginning of the season they certainly don't need to be that rough on the dancers.

Seriously. There is no money at stake. Not even for charity.
This is suppose to be a fun show.

I have a feeling Bruno just got over excited, (what a shocker) and probably wishes he could take it back.

The Situation's dance was a close second to the bottom. I don't mind him at all but he doesn't have much talent.

Florence surprised me this week. After last week I really thought she was very bad....but she really looked nice this week.

Bristol's feet were lovely, but her countenance was dull.

Kyle was fun but I agree with the judges. He was sloppy.

I am following Kurt Warner on Twitter and finding that interesting and fun. (I'm doing it for Janet.)

Jennifer Grey was marvelous. How old is she? Okay. I just looked it up.
She is 50 this year! She is my hero.

Any opinions?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Happy Monday!!

Thank you for helping make my birthday just splendid!

It was perfect.

And then the Packers wrecked the night.

So many penalties, I was sick. Just sick. And went to be before they Bears won.

Other than can I complain.

Emma's letter was such a wonderful gift.

I did not know she felt like that. With as positive as I am on the blog...I can focus on the negative. And when it comes to myself, I guess I think of all the less than lovely things I have done.

Emma was kind and generous.

She said it was true.

I say.


To you mom's out there...I want to say...I am so far from perfect....
all I know is...I adore my children and have always tried to do my best.

That's all anyone can do.

Just love them and as it is with most relationships...we love fully,
we do it because it's the right thing to do...

When we are loved in return....well that's just heaven.


That top picture is from this morning. Oh I had such fun meeting with a wonderful local photographer, Susan, and shooting around Madison.
Since Katie is in school, I hired Nancy's daughter to be our model.

She is a darling girl who did anything we asked of her...with a sweet smile :o)


How fun is this!!!?

Giraffe Bokeh.


She had leaves in her hair after lying on the ground. At the zoo.

That's perfectly normal, right?


Cuteness in green.


Goooooo Tigers!



A few from the weekend.


Our happy volleyball player.


wearing her favorite color.


Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde

Encourage one another,
Crazy busy this morning with the drive to school and then some one on one mentoring in downtown Madison.....

I'll be back after lunch aka All My Children.

With lots-a love!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom! Today is my Mom's birthday and I wrote her a letter. I wanted to share it with you all, but mostly it is for her.

Dear Mom,

When I was a little girl, there was someone I wanted to be when I grew up.

My friends and I would play dolls, family, house and cook play-dough meals with enough leftovers to feed a crowd. I wanted three kids, two boys and a girl. You always let me play. You always let me have a sleep-over and eat ice cream and grow up in just the right way. You gave me curfews and told me if my pants were too tight (and still do). You told me I was beautiful and mature and your girl.

You picked Sarah and I up once, we were 15 I think. We drove the long drive from Appleton to Madison, or was it the opposite? I’m not sure. You and I, we talked the whole trip. After Sarah and I got out of the car and were alone together she said “you and your mom talk a lot! I can’t believe you could talk that whole time.” I thought, well, of course. It always happens on a long drive with you and me. The radio gets turned down, and we talk. Sometimes the radio won’t get turned up for 2, 3, 4 hours into the drive. And if the radio is on, we sing songs together, I’ll sing the words and you’ll hum and mumble along. It doesn’t matter if we see each other everyday or if we haven’t seen each other for a month—we talk and sing the same, like friends. Best friends.

When I wanted to try something new, you supported me. You took me to art class, and gym class and all my soccer practices and games. You let me try ballet and tap and piano lessons. You paid for my guitar lessons and my guitar. You taught me. Kindergarten through high school, you were my teacher. My favorite teacher.

You have taught me more than any person in my life. I can say that, and mean it.

When I could have gone to school, you taught me yourself. I am more thankful for that than you know. You taught me Latin and Classical education and you took me to Europe. You even tried to teach me math. We both learned to dislike it, you all over again and I for the first time.

Art. My love of art comes from you. My knowledge of art comes from you.

“Always look at the names on the plaques, Emma; you’ll want to remember them someday.”

When I wanted something of yours, you gave it freely. You always let me raid your jewelry box and your make-up. Your make-up becoming mine only a matter of days after you bought it for yourself. You are not greedy and you do not hold on tightly to possessions. You have taught me to be selfless; you are still teaching me how to be selfless. Who else could I ever want to be?

When I struggled with who I should be, you showed me who I could be. You have taught me to love. You are strong. You are kind. You are funny and gentle and humble. You do not boast and you are not proud. You are smart, intelligent and a beautiful person. The greatest woman in my life. Did you know that all along? Did you think that when I was a little girl, your little girl? That I was looking up at you? I don’t think I knew it myself. I’m wearing your earrings as I write this to you.

When I grow up, that someone I would like to be is you.


P.S. Thank you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Very cool ad.

Instant fave!!

Pacing the Panic Room Growing Belly video

I tried to embed that video here...but they must want you to come to their website...and that's fine with me...they are a pretty cool family!


Volleyball this morning.

Go Friars Go!

Happy, happy weekend!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Already this morning.
A photo of Katie...
Her backpack weighs her down.

Matthew was that your jacket? or was it Emma's?

As I say...if you buy quality things...they last.


New rules at school this year. Jeans only on Friday.
It seems to be working out okay.


Also this morning.

My new drink.

At the beginning of the month I gave up a lot of things. Diet Dr. Pepper was the biggie.

I could not live feeling so totally energy-less so I have started drinking Iced Chai.

It fits in with what I am doing for my health and it has become the dining highlight of my day.


Also this morning, I have decided that I will share my new blog with you all.
I am conducting a personal experiment.
It will last a year.

I was going to keep it to myself and then make it a book.
I don't think a book is in my future. I'm just not that interesting.

But you might like to see what I am working on and maybe it will encourage you.

The Year of Living Healthfully

Happy Windsday :o)

aka a windy Friday.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The pull of happiness is strong today.

Don't even try to resist.


Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Just because I can't eat em...doesn't mean Katie can't!!!

She even made these herself! All by herself.

She turned the oven on and forgot to take out the pans that are hidden in there.
But that was the only little mistake. I threw the hot smoking pan on the front porch where I throw all hot stinky pans and burnt toast.

The pan. It's still there.

I think it is cooled by now.

Remember when I said it is good to have ten things you can cook.

Well. This is #2 for Katie.
She can make a bagel for herself and she can make cookies from the box.



The annual begging for pumpkins has begun.

Every time Katie sees a sign...she wants to buy them.

I just never have the cash. Who has cash anymore?


The Hoff was voted off and I consider it a minor miracle.

But now I worry about him.

How weird is that?

Love ya!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It is so humid and balmy outside today I would think I was in
if it wasn't for the changing leaves, chipmunks, Packer's pom poms and the wilting tomato plants....


This poem is on Katie's classroom wall...
I am thankful for her teachers and school.

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.
- September, John Updike




We had to dash from the volleyball game to the wedding.
Both events started at 2:00.

School sports have a way with messing with regularly scheduled events, don't they?

We love them, tho. We love the good parts of sports.

Katie picked out this dress while Emma and I chose a wedding gift.
She told me she found a dress and I told her to go and get it.

One quick look at the dress and the price and we bought it. (14.99)

Katie is a sporty girl. Not frilly.
Her favorite color is orange this year. We found a Gap Fleece Pullover in the closet that must be from one of Nancy's girls. (Caroline is 26. I'm sure we have had this pullover in the closet for ten years!)

It is still too large for Katie....but I think she will be wearing it very soon!

I wonder if Nancy realizes how much we have loved her hand me-downs :o)


Last week at Ree's people chose their favorite place to live.

The Midwest made a very poor showing.

That's too bad.

It's beautiful here.

Encourage one another,


Oh my gosh.. I totally forgot to write about Dancing with the Stars!!!

We had so much fun talking about it on Facebook last night....I'm all talked out.


Here is my updated list and opinions....

In the order they danced last night.

Audrina. Boring. Decent dancer but boring.

Kurt Warner-He is not bad. His back story is great. Who doesn't love a good guy with seven kids? He has the most genuine and handsome smile. This charisma will keep him around for a while.

Kyle Massey is the Disney kid....and I LOVED HIM!!! He has great potential and he is fun and cute and chubby and I love him.

Rick Fox- He is graceful and handsome. He can dance. Still not a huge fan yet.

Margaret Cholooked just stunning in her pretty dress....until Louie made her dance the fool and ruin her chances!!! Her sweet parents were there and I am so sorry that Louies Choreography will be the cause of her early exit. If Bristol does not go home tonight it will be Margaret.

Bristol Palinn- She is so shy and is really out of her element. People thought Kate was out of her element. No. It's this girl.
She has pretty legs and wore a cute red dress. But I think she will go home first. She does not have a fan base at all.

By the way. I love Bristol's partner and will be so sad if he goes!!!

Brandy- Another boring dancer. From the waist down she was lovely. Her arms need work.

Florence Henderson- Oh my goodness. She did not dance. She is old, yes, but she really didn't dance. Her figure is fab and she had a pretty dress. But ugh. She will stay because people like really old, odd broads on this show for some reason. (aka Cloris L).

Michael Bolton-He is graceful and fit but needs to loosen up. Who knew he was still giving concerts? My husband casinos. But he has fans so he will stay, I'm pretty sure.

The Situation...I think his name is Mike.- He was pigeon toed and pretty awkward.
But I liked his attitude. This show humbles most people, doesn't it? He is dancing with Karina and I must say...she just had her lips injected. I didn't know people were still doing that! The Sit has a fan base. I think he will stay.

Jennifer Grey- Love her. What a tiny little thing she is. She will make it to the end....and she will do the lift. Mark my words!!! I hope her fans voted.

David Hasselhoff-He is so icky, I had to look away. His legs are freakishly long and weird looking. He was wearing pleather. I wish he was the first to go but I don't think we will be so lucky. The ones I want to go usually stick around for 6 or 7 weeks.

There. That's better.

What did you think?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids these days.....

They wear their pajamas in public,
and they wear their hats at the dinner table.

Their phone etiquette is horrid
and they wear thongs.

(this is in general and not specifically about the kids pictured today....
thank you very much...)

But the kids these day are also fun and creative and hard working and they love deeply.


A long running joke becomes a reality as Kathryn dances an interpretive dance for her sister at her wedding.
This was so much more fun than a toast!


No wedding planner needed here.
Emily and her friends and family did all the work themselves.
I really thought it was perfect!

There were mustaches to play with and a photo booth and cards on the tables.



Kathryn and Emma are already using these pictures as their Facebook Profiles.
Nothing makes me happier!!

I am the official non-official Facebook Profile Photographer.



I ADORE this set!!!

Get a load of these stats!!!
Thank you D700 for your high ISO capabilities.

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.077 sec (1/13)
Aperture f/4.0
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 2000


Emma and Emily.

Yes. I think 50 percent of the girls at the wedding were named Emily/Emma.


Such cute shoes for the bridal party!

The girls got to be fab and the guys got to be guys.

God Bess Emily and Justin!


Kids these days....
they are pretty awesome!!!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our school gym brings me joy untold.


Our mascot has to be in the running for


the best mascot EVER!


Our friar is a cross between Clark Kent, Clutch Cargo and Father Pat!

It is the perfect combination of hilarity and respect.

Go Friars!!!

Beat Queen of Peace!!!

Encourage one another,

Friday, September 17, 2010

My little twinkling light bulb moment.

Stand on a chair.


In the front yard.


The neighbors may think you are ca-razzz-ee.


For some reason. I don't seem to care.


Cause I am having too much fun!


Guess my favorite part of this picture?

Stats for most of these pictures.
Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture f/2.0
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 400

Happy Friday!

Emma is coming home. We have a wedding to attend. And a Packer's game. And the farmers market.

Lots of weekend fun!

Love you!
Mean it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heaven is as prosperous as a soul can get.


I will not take my poster down.

I believe that when you are troubled you should seek wise counsel;
God being the first place to go, then to other believers.

I was not able to hear God thru my sadness and wrong thinking.

You have been there for me again with wise counsel and prayers and support;
always pointing me to the truth. Doing it with such love and gentleness.

I set this website up to be an encouragement to learn God's truth and pass it on....

And like Ray in A Field of Dreams....

It was for me.

I build the blog.
People came.

But I have been the one most blessed.

Thank you for helping me remember that life does not end when we die.
Thank you for passing on the Good News.
Thank you for your support and love.

A much needed reminder

Colossians 3:1-4

1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Sent from a long time friend

“As Jesus stepped into the garden, you were in His prayers. As Jesus looked into heaven, you were in His vision… His final prayer was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was you.”
Max Lucado

This song is not a perfect fit for today.
But I heard it this morning on the drive and I love it.

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.

With a most grateful heart I say,

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When I was in high school I said a prayer every night. I memorized it from a book I was given by my Aunt Dorothy.
It was a small book of prayers. I wonder if Aunt Dorothy gave it to me for confirmation, that would fit. It wasn't a typical Aunt Dorothy gift. Must have been confirmation.

Here is the prayer;

Stay by my side dear God above.
Protect and guide me with your love.
Forgive me for bad things I do and
help me to be more like you.
Protect my parents, stay by their side.
Be hear my friends to guard and guide.
Bring love to children everywhere and keep
them in your tender care.
And with each morning let the sun
bring warmth and joy to everyone.

And then my parents died.

And I didn't stop saying this prayer.

I inserted Nancy and Binky into the prayer.

Protect Nancy and Binky, stay by their side.

It makes me wonder why I didn't stop praying that prayer altogether.

The protect your parents part didn't pan out.

I remember examining what I believed to be true.
I couldn't stop believing in God and believing in His Son, Jesus, because my parents died.

Either they were in heaven with God or they were in the ground.

In the ground was not an option for me.

I believed that God created this world, that the Bible was true and that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
This was my core.

Fast forward to today.

I don't say that prayer anymore. Well. I actually said it last night as I went to bed and that's what made me think about all of this today. But I don't generally say that prayer.

I do however have a scripture on my wall that has been on my wall for over 14 years.

And it taunts me. It mocks me. I can barely look at it.

"For I know the plans I have for you,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans for a hope and a future,"
Jeremiah 29

Perhaps my friend, Cindy was right. She said this verse was for Jeremiah.
Not necessarily a promise to all who read it.

I have kind of clung to that verse. Perhaps naively and wrongly.

And now that Sue has died it troubles my soul. It has shaken my soul and spirit and I'm trying to figure it all out.

How can I believe that verse is true?
Is it filled with false hope?

I understand the 'doctirne' of suffering. I have listened to Elisabeth Elliot long enough to understand that suffering is
a part of this life. It's a major part of our walk and sanctification. Death is a part of that suffering. I have studied this extensively.

Do I just need to be careful to understand what are promises God has made to us.
God keeps his promises. He can not lie.

God promises to be with us.

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me
all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23

That verse. I believe that verse is true.

I believe God was with Sue as she walked thru that valley.

It's just so sad to come to the realization that something you have believed in for so long is not true. (jer.29)

(No harm.
A hope and a future.)

My soul weeps.

My sunny optimistic verse is coming down from the wall unless one of my wise readers can explain to me how this really is a verse for us.

Help me out friends.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is Wisconsin after all.


Volleyball season has started!!!


I can't wait! Volleyball is so much fun! We played growing up. The game has changed quite a bit sine the 70's.
Our gym teachers lined us up in three rows of three. Now it's only six on a side. I wonder if that was because more kids could play at a time that way.

We had so much fun in gym class in the 70's. Illinois had a rule that you had to have gym class five days a week. All four years of high school. The things we learned!!! We played basketball, volleyball, soccer, and field hockey. We took gymnastics, square dance, tap dance, and jazz dance. We played softball and we ran track and we lifted weights. I can even remember learning historical 'line' dances.

We wore red stretchy shorts and sleeveless red and white striped v-neck shirts.
And we had to take showers.
That part, I hated.

A lot.

I wonder why I remember the shower room from junior high much more vividly than the one in high school?
Perhaps the initial shock of it scared my psyche.

I wasn't too shy to wear a bikini....but the showering at school was too much for me.

How's that for a rabbit's trail?

Anyway. Volleyball season is here and I am excited to be able to sit in the stands and cheer on the friars.

Wait till you see the painting on the gym wall! It is the funniest painting I have ever seen in a school gym.
I'll get that on Friday when I pick Katie up for practice.

Guess what it is?

A hint: The teams nickname is the Friars.

Encourage one another,

Monday, September 13, 2010


I used these ingredients this weekend to make the most delicious and fresh salad.

Thank you Claire Robinson from 5 ingredient Fix....I love your style.

It was called Fresh Cucumber Salad.

• 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
• 1 cup (1/4 whole) honeydew, finely diced
• Kosher salt
• 2 cups Greek yogurt
• 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced

I used ½ of a large English cucumber, two cups of honeydew,
yogurt to cover and a teeny bit of jalapeno. I am a wimp when it comes to spicy.

Try it. You'll like it!

Carrie came to town on Saturday.

The two girls were scarce for about an hour and when they came downstairs they said they had a play for me.

The Grandpa and his 5 year old grand-daughter.


First Act. Grandpa teaches his little grand daughter how to smoke a pipe. (Yes they said pipe and I said, those look like cigars.)


Second and Third Acts:Grandpa taught his sweet little grand daughter how to play poker and all about the Green Bay Packers.


Final Act: 5 year old teaches Grandpa how to play Barbies.

The End.

I said to the girls, Grandpa forgot to teach you how to drink!
To this Carrie said, I was drinking when I was playing poker!
"I was drinking the Mountain Dew I won playing poker!"

Neither of the girls have a grandpa like this....

We just love their active imaginations!!!

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
~Albert Einstein

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
~Lewis Carroll


Encourage one another,