Friday, October 30, 2015

Amazing group dance!!!

There hasn't been a whole lot to show about DWTS this year....the group dances are always  pretty lame.  But for some reason this team worked together perfectly and the choreography was amazing!!

I just loved it!

Happy Halloween!
Happy Harvest!
Happy Candy begging day!


How I loved looking at this picture in the Chicago Tribune when I was little.

Thank you for the most wonderful comments about the photo sale.
I'm so fortunate to have such a sweet spirited, positive group of friends!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out of the blue.

Back in September I mentioned that I was approached by a woman representing J. Jill about one of my photos.  It was a photo that I took in 2011.  She attached the picture at the bottom of her email and asked, "Did you take this picture?"

I wrote back right away.  I was delighted that someone cared to ask if it was mine.
She must have just seen it as she was looking for images on the Internet.

The woman, let's call her Brooke so I don't have to keep writing 'the woman', said they were considering the picture for their winter catalog.  Would I be interested in licensing the image to them?  They would be putting it in roughly 2.5 million catalogs (full page) and using it on their website.

She then asked what I would charge for that.

I wrote her back and said I had no idea, that I would look check into it and get back to her.

I appreciated her professionalism.  She gave me the stats and that would help me know what to charge.

But I still didn't want to charge as much as I was seeing.  But I gave her a number I was comfortable asking.
She wrote back and said, Okay.  It's a deal.
A day later she said, what would your fee be in they made 96x40 posters of the image and put them in 250 stores.  I said.  Double it.  She said that sounds fair.

I'm not going to tell you how much.
You will say it is too little.

But as you may know....I am a terrible business woman.
I am a girl, asking a boy...
wrong script...

I am pleased with the compensation.

So, I had to fill out forms and send an invoice.  Brooke told me it would take a month before I would receive the check.

A week later she wrote and asked if I had a larger file.  Tiff or Raw.
(I know they need to a big file to create a giant enlargement)

Yikes.  No.  I shoot in Jpeg.
So I found a website that would convert from jpeg to Tiff.

I sent it to her.
She said great.

But that was the last I heard.
And so I held my breath and hoped that I had not been 'catfished'.

(Catfished is when you are tricked into believing something or someone on the Internet)

On Monday the check from J. Jill came!! It was real.
I  made my first commercial sale.  I am so excited.

From what I understand they will be writing something on the picture and using it that way.
They have permission to use it from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

I can not wait to see it!

You will recognize the picture.  I even did a tutorial for The Pioneer Woman on how to take a picture like this.  Isn't that neat?

Here it is as I shot it out my back door.  
(If you ever go looking for your hearts desire....)

This is the edited picture I sent them.
It looks crooked because of the snow drift.  I will be interested to see what they do about that.

I just now saturated it...made it greener.  I think I like it this way.
Fake green.  ha.  

A few things that amuse me about this whole situation.

1. It's blurry.
2. I didn't have to leave the house.

I posted this on Pinterest in 2012 because at the time I was concerned with how easy Pinterest made it for people to steal images.  They have changed it.  I was yelled at by many young girls who disagreed with me.  They felt it was their right to take it.
I was mad at them.


So that's how the story goes...
Out of the blue
I sold a picture.
And it really happened.

It's been fun!
Donna Elsie 

Monday, October 26, 2015

halloween is coming

How about a Halloween/October Hakiu?

You are all so clever....
I'll meet you in the comments.

Donna Elsie Boo

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dinner's at Six

Lindsay Letters is one of my favorite calligraphers.
Her script  is lovely and enthusiastic.
Her pieces are modern and happy and cool.

She just added all of her Christmas things to her shop.
You really must go and see!!!

Lindsay Letters

Her pieces range from hymns and Bible verses to Buddy the Elf quotes.

I noticed a quote yesterday that I liked....and then I read more of the quote at the bottom of the page.

"Tell someone you love them, and dinner's at six."

I was intrigued....

Here is the rest from Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist;

"This is what I want you to do:  I want you to tell someone you love them, and dinner's at six.
I want you to throw open your front door and welcome the people you love into the inevitable mess with hugs and laughter.

Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity,
because there will be a day when it all falls apart.

There are things I can't change.  Not one of them.  Can't fix. Can't heal, can't put the broken pieces
back together.  But what I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people
I love through the fear and the mess.  That's all any of us can do.  That's what we're here for."

Now if only I could figure out what to cook.

I pinned a few of my favorites!!

Enjoy looking around Lindsay's website!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ginny Potter Harper Daisy Glyman Boucher

Our pretty girl.

I held the camera down by my knee and got pictures of Ginny that look very much like her.
I think it is because she is looking at my face.
She loves her family.

We love her too.

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Party in your head.

I am a great worrier... a great fretter.

But with practice, thru prayer, or meditation or meditative prayer we can catch those thoughts
and convince ourselves in a way to think differently.

I find the need for this in the middle of the night most.

I talk to myself. 
I have to take my focus from one thought pattern and 
steer it in a different direction....and put the focus somewhere else.

The first thing catching yourself.  Some would call it mindfulness.
You be the boss of what you are thinking about.

“But it was in this moment, lying in bed late at night, that I first realized that the voice in my head—the running commentary that had dominated my field of consciousness since I could remember—was kind of an a**hole.” 
~Dan Harris, 10% Happier

God is our true Friend, who always gives us the counsel and comfort we need. Our danger lies in resisting Him; so it is essential that we acquire the habit of hearkening to His voice, or keeping silence within, and listening so as to lose nothing of what He says to us. We know well enough how to keep outward silence, and to hush our spoken words, but we know little of interior silence. It consists in hushing our idle, restless, wandering imagination, in quieting the promptings of our worldly minds, and in suppressing the crowd of unprofitable thoughts which excite and disturb the soul. 
... François Fénelon

Like a Boss
Donna Elsie.


Carol Sue is recovering and working so hard with all of her therapies. (is that a word?)
She is breathing on her own and eating and drinking!

It has been one month today since her car accident.   What a month for her and her family.
I'm sure the worst in her life.
She is alive and going to recover!

Thank God.
Thank you for praying.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

sharing a few snaps

First place. Gold division.  Way to go!!

Here is the winning team from last weekend.

This team is really cool.  They have improved a ton this season.
Coach Morgan says that this has been his favorite year of coaching and that is really special!!!
Don't you think?

A special tribute for a teammates daddy who passed away this week. #ALS #FTD #teamslove #diy #caringhearts

The girls made these shirts as a special tribute for a teammate's  daddy who passed away this week.
They were allowed to wear them for our final two games on Thursday night.


Katie's friends came to the games to cheer her on.  So sweet!!!
Cousin Wesley and his wife Stephanie come to the games also!!
Our setter served for 21 points straight and we were afraid Katie wouldn't get in...
but she finally did.  Oh man.  

Today is the Big 8 conference tournament for Varsity. It's at our school so Katie is already at school working and I am finishing up with the Italian beef that I am bringing for the hospitality room.

Can you believe I started the beef at 10:30 last night and it is still not ready?  Yikes.  What's with that?  I've put it in the oven for a few hours...hoping it decides to get tender!!!

Last night the news was about how warm our winter MIGHT be...
this morning it was 26º.

It's beautiful and sunny so I'm not complaining!!

Have a happy weekend dear friends!  
Lots of love,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is it Friday yet?

Katie has not felt well all week.  Every day we grapple with should she go to school?
What will she miss?  Missing volleyball...missing a funeral...missing important classes...missing, missing, missing....
Tonight is the final volleyball tournament of the year.  I made Katie go to school.

She asked to go to the Dr. office yesterday. We went.  Doc says it's a cold.

Personally...I have a feeling we will have to go back three times...and then we will be told it's mono.

Remember last year we went three times before they said....pneumonia?

I asked her if the Dr. checked her lymph nodes.  Nope.
This morning Katie said she felt something sore when she applied deodorant.

Why didn't the Dr. check her lymph nodes?


Don't you remember that being the first thing they would check?
Neck, Chest, Back.

Do I have to do everything?

So...I hope she can tough it out today and be well enough to play....
all the while infecting every one she meets.

*eye roll*

Life is stressful, isn't it?

Say a little prayer for my baby.  Thanks.


It's Melinda's birthday today!


I know the last month has been a nightmare....
I hope today you can take a breath and celebrate just a little bit.

Love you.  Mean it.


Carol Sue is continuing to recover.  Each day they attempt something new; Like sitting in a chair or trying to speak with trach.  It is all very challenging.  But she is young and has the sweetest spirit and lots to live well for.  I'm praying for courage and strength and peace as she tries new things.



Counting blessings in the midst of it all.
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The tales that really mattered.

Emma sent this amazing quote to me this morning.

I FINALLY watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It was on TV one Sunday and I started watching and thought I would give it a chance.
I didn't actually watch ALL of it.

I watched the good parts version.

I recorded all three/four movies and then I fast forwarded thru all the battles and creepy monsters.
I could not look at the Gollum.  He was too gross for me to look at.  
I would watch him for a minute to get the gist and then I would fast forward to Sam and Frodo talking or any of the hobbits or Aragorn.

I did love the storyline of friendship so very much.

Sam: I can't carry it for you.  But I can carry you.

Read this;

“I don’t like anything here at all.” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.”

“Yes, that’s so,” said Sam, “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and
looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”

“I wonder,” said Frodo, “But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.” 

A great story of friendship and sacrificial love.
Beautiful wise words about life and circumstances.

No wonder The Lord of the Rings is beloved.

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Monday, October 12, 2015

Here is the world.

Thank you for your kind words in the comments over the weekend.
Thank you for walking with us.
It matters.  It really matters.

Waiting for the bus. I'll miss you Emma.


Katie went to the homecoming dance with some of her friends on Saturday.
And then they slept over here!
Yes.  We are crazy.

But it went very well and the old folks were able to sleep...and isn't that the most important part?


Love it.

Katie has always been a hugger.  Remember how she hugged too much when she went away to school?
I'm happy to see she still has it in her :o)

JV volleyball also had a big tournament on Saturday.  They won the whole thing!  
That was a thrill!!!


Yesterday Melinda wrote that her mom was about to move to rehab.  Probably Monday or Tuesday.
But last night she took a terrible turn  and had to be put back on the ventilator.  She is having to fight Acidosis once again and this is proving worse than the terrible broken foot.

Please continue to pray for a quick turnaround and good news today.


Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don't be afraid.
~Frederick Buechner

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Friday, October 09, 2015

Today, one year ago.

One year ago today Emma had a grand mal or a tonic clonic seizure on a bus coming home for the weekend.  The text message was terrifying.  
" I had a seizure, they are taking me to the Beloit hospital."

'thus began our longest journey together.'

Emma was diagnosed with Epilepsy the next day and the road to finding the right medicines began.
She had four more TC seizures before the right medicines were found.  Two at work and two at home.
All very very scary.

There is no cure but there are very good medications.
I am thankful Emma had 25 carefree years without taking lots of pills and 
going to the Neurologist and hospitals regularly.

I am thankful she did not die falling off a building or a cliff.  
I am thankful she did not drown or crash a car.
I am thankful that every time she has had a big seizure people have been kind and good to her.
I am thankful for her wonderful friends in Chicago.
I am thankful for Dr. Naryanon. 

This diagnosis has been life changing and shocking.
We were all so taken by surprise by it.

But we have done the best we could...
and Emma is feeling well and working hard 
and doing the next thing.

There have been tears.
And fears.
And questions that have been answered...
and left unanswered.

It was her annus horribilis.

Maybe it was my horrible year...cause she probably never heard of this. 
(Although she learned Latin so I'm sure she can figure it out.)

And as bad as it was for me...
it was worse to be Emma.
no doubt.

She cried more than usual.
But she did not stomp and storm.

She greets this anniversary with a few more tears.
She says she is not quite ready to write about it.  She still gets overwhelmed with big feelings when she tries to write about it.

This morning I was sending her words of humor and encouragement.
I sent her the Fitzgerald quote.

I mean it.

I mean it so much.

Encourage one another,

"One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life.
And with that she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them.
So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor and grace.  
She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers." 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Hoco 2015

It's homecoming week in our little town.
The students at Katie's high school have dress up days every day of the week and a parade to celebrate on Friday.

It's been super fun!

Here are some pictures of Katie when she did not go to VAHS...but we came to the parade anyway!

Five years ago!





Cute parader. (is that a word)


Every town.  Every fall.  Tradition.


Can you feel that fresh fall air and small time excitement?

I can!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Singing Contractors


I saw a clip on Facebook and had to share it with you all.

Aaron Gray and Josh Arnett are both contractors from Indiana who like to sing together at work.
They have know one another since childhood and just started working together a few years ago.

I liked this song....

They have become a huge hit in one week due to this version of How Great Thou Art...
(Eleven million views on Facebook and a trip to New York to be on Fox and Friends.)

Isn't social media crazy?
Sometimes it is terrible and sometimes it is amazing.


Monday, October 05, 2015

What happens matters.

Hi friends,

Good news to report on Carol Sue (Melinda's mom); she is taking steps in the healing direction and we are so grateful.  It's kind of miraculous when you know how very sick she was.  She is awake and wishing she could talk/communicate.  But perhaps by the end of the week she will have her trach adjusted so that can happen.
I honestly attribute this turnaround to the hundreds of prayers being said for her.  I don't see any other reason.  Thank you Lord for this incredible blessing.


Our friend Susan May (our Swiss Miss) said goodbye to her mother in Alaska yesterday after a long illness.  Susan is confident where her mother is now and knows that she is with Jesus...but I know even with that truth, there is loss and forever missing.
Bless you dear Susan.  Praying comfort for your family.


It matters.


Thursday, October 01, 2015

October leaves/Flickr Magic View

If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with. ~Baum

This is one of the few trees in our area that has changed colors.  It's just over the fence in a neighbor's yard.  It gives me so much joy.

Just this week I found a really neat feature on Flickr.

Instead of viewing as date taken, you can view in "Magic View".

Flickr has put my pictures in categories and it's fabulous!
This one is 'bright'.

Here is what they have collected under 'field'.

And thousands and thousands of "people, groups and other".

If you want to look around at mine here's the link.
I'm sure it's not as fun for you as it is for me.  But you might find yourself.
And check out your own Flickr for sure!

My Magic View

Beauty Actually is all around.