Monday, August 12, 2019

Back when her room was clean.

Remember how I said it took me two hours to find the cake with the handprint picture?
Well.  In that dive into the digital files, I spotted this precious picture.
This was back when I was in charge of the room and what went on the dressers and walls. 
Katie chose the two colored walls.  
She is just a teeny tiny tyke isn't she?

We will be taking Katie to college at the end of August.  She is going to Bennington in Vermont.

A new room for a new chapter in her life.
Neat thing about Bennington, they live in houses on campus. Hers will be a white colonial.
Her roommate is from Nepal.  And we thought Katie was traveling far from home!
She's a little bit bigger now and her hair is shorter and I would never think of posting a picture of her in her undies now!

But this little slice of forgotten life....
it's worth remembering.

So much love.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, August 10, 2019

My favorite Pioneer Woman recipes

How I love Facebook memories.

This time year I vacationed a lot! We visited, Chicago in August and Oklahoma and went to see Cheryl in Rhode Island.  Oh yes, today there were pictures of me and the girls with Cindy in Wausau!

It's just the best fun!

Here is a funny comment from ten years ago.


This was before Ree wrote her first cookbook. :o)
That's pretty wild!  

The other day I wrote down my favorite Pioneer Woman recipes.
Recipes I have made more than once....and thought were delicious.

Here is my list.


I pretty much only cook steak like this. 
We love them.  Everyone who tries them loves them.
Patrick eats them with ketchup and Katie and I like them with béarnaise sauce because we are fancy.


I love this simple, delicious recipe.  I am the only one who eats it so I have to save it for company.
Once I brought food for a friend who had surgery.
I brought her Olive Cheese Bread and Chicken Spaghetti.
She was very happy :o)

I wish I had this right now.


I love this recipe because it is like lasagne but it is not lasagne.
You know how lasagne is so yummy and easy to bring as a 'caserole'?  
Well, Chicken Spaghetti steps in when you are afraid your guests have had enough lasagne.
I buy a roasted Chicken to make it easier.


This is the best ever. 
I do not make it often because it is hard to do.
It's a little too hard for the Easy Chef (me) but the taste is perfect.
I made it for a big gathering at my house and really everyone raved.  
But I was sweaty and worn out.


with the spicy pickles

Easy and different and delicious.


The herbs and flavors in this dish are fantastic!!!
In fact I try to use similar herbs and spices when I make Chicken Pot Pie.
Ree makes corn meal dumplings but I make plain old flour ones. 
This is so good even Katie will eat this with me.  She leaves the vegetables in the bottom of her bowl, and then I eat them.

This is also a time consuming dish to make BUT in the winter I am more likely to...slave over the stove!

I wonder whose handprint that is???


Easy and perfect.  We all love this.
I made it with my whipped Red Cake frosting once and made Ding Dongs.


This is the French Silk pie, not the pudding one.
Katie loves it so much she chooses this for her birthday and for pie day!

Oh lordy,
It took me two house to find that picture!!!
Technology is wonderful and awful isn't it?

Encourage one another,

What is your best easiest recipe???

Monday, August 05, 2019

The most delicious German Potato Salad ever!!!

We loved the German Potato salad our mother and grandmother made. Suzy thinks it was Grandma Glyman, I seem to think of Grandma Hansen.  Let's say Sue was right :o)

Oh how I remember peeling those boiling hot red potatoes!!
This is tangy and so delicious!  

You can not find a more delicious German Potato Salad.
Make it yourself!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, August 03, 2019

John Updike again.


The sprinkler twirls
The summer wanes,
The pavement wears
Popsicle stains.

The playground grass
Is worn to dust,
The weary swings
Creak, creak with rust.

The trees are bored
With being green.
Some people leave
The local scene.

And go to seaside
And take off nearly
All their clothes.

~John Updike

Encourage one another,

pictured above
Cindy, James and Janet, Donna, Sue and Jeff
I can't figure out the year.  

Friday, August 02, 2019

Classic Miz Boo

I grabbed the boys one by one as they were packing the car to leave on Wednesday morning.
Sit here.
Look up.

Beautiful eyes.
Beautiful skin.
Sweet faces.

Put three boys together in a picture and it's usually chaos.
But even when it's not.....
the photographer forgets to change the aperture and the children wiggle from their spot....

And you get another classic group shot by Miz Boo.

This one is the best of the bunch.
The rest have one or two boys out of focus.

Aren't they beautiful?

Happy Friday friends!

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
-  William Shakespeare  

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Thursday, August 01, 2019

MOHS surgery for Miz Boo

Sleepy Donna

This is my going home bandage.
I will leave in on for two days.  Then I have regular band aids with Vaseline.

This bandage was putting pressure on the wound.

I felt I was cared for.
She cut the outside of my nose more than I ever imagined she would.
So I cried and the assistant ran off to get the doctor.

(The Doctor got all the cancer in one try.  So I only had to wait for results once.
I was thankful that I did not have to stay another three hours. )

The Dr. showed me samples of how the body heals and she showed me dramatic pictures of before and afters.  She didn't feel I needed to see a Plastic Surgeon tomorrow.  She asked me to come back in to see her in two or three weeks.  She felt quite sure I would heal well.  And if things need help we will consult a Plastic Surgeon then.

It just shocked me and so I cried.
The Doc was sweet and rubbed my arm and tried to reassure me.

I was sleepy and wobbly from the medicine.  I did not say strange things but I did sleep in the lobby like a champ.  (I can not sleep ANYWHERE)
Patrick came with me and was very sweet.  He marveled at his sleeping wife and brought me a Pink Drink.

I feel ya Jack.
I feel ya.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers.
I'm doing okay.  
Still a little dopey from the medicine.

Lots of love
Donna Elsie

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The relatives came....

and Katie treated everyone to Michael's frozen custard.  

We watched the Air and Water show on Lake Michigan at Bradford Beach.  The water was icy.
There was too much traffic getting to the show and we missed our favorite jets.  But even tho the parking was insane...
The beach was a great place to watch the Thunderbirds!

Yesterday we went to Lake Wingra for a little paddle on the lake.
It was cool and breezy. I could sit under a tree and look at the lake all day. 
Matthew took the boys out on a paddle boat. Zeek cried and came back to shore.
Asher got bored pretty quickly and Malachi stayed with his daddy.  Kaite paddled around on a paddle board.  I love taking people to this little park on Monroe Street.  It's a little gem.


Tomorrow is my MOHS surgery on my nostril.  Hopefully the procedure will go quickly.
I did get some anxiety medicine.  I have never taken anything like this before, I hope I do not say odd things or do something wacky.
(My dad called pot, wacky tabacky.)

I took portraits of Matthew, Melinda and the boys this week.
I'll share those soon.  
I took single shots of the boys and really....I love a singleton.

Thank you for stopping by.
Encourage one another,

Friday, July 26, 2019

Shaving cream clouds

 Hello Landlubbers.
Is that right? haha...

My sister Cindy and her husband, Pat, bought a house in the their favorite place in the world.  
It's a perfect log home in the woods....very near Lake Minocqua.  They are just tickled!  They worked hard to make this dream come true.  Pat has a great job and Cindy will be teaching Second grade in Flambeau!!

Wednesday evening we took the boat out and zoomed around. Then we stopped to watch the Min-Aqua Bats ski show.  

Lake girl and her Island boy.


Candid at the ski show. I have seen the show two dozen times from the stands...never from the boat.

Thursday morning we went looking for a chipmunk postcard and a Minocqua onesie for baby Franklin.  We did not find either.  But we bopped around town and lived the tourist life.

So.  I want to post this here for full disclosure.  I love those filters and most days would much rather show my face with a filter.  Those filters give me eyelashes and less old looking eyes and smooth skin.  I especially like the eye issues.  But if I take a picture of myself just right....I can hide the sags behind my glasses :o)

It was a quick trip but it was just perfect!

Wishing you a chance to smell a lake and feel the rush of the wind and gaze at the shaving cream clouds!

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Olly Oxen Free, Take a chance on me.

You know that Abba song, "Take a Chance on Me"?

Well.... I always wondered why they were singing Olly Oxen Free, Take a Chance on me.

It didn't really make sense. And do they use that term in Sweden?
Did we get that saying from them?

Misheard lyrics are the funniest!
And, no, they are not singing Olly Oxen Free.

They are singing, get ready,

"Honey, I'm still free, take a chance on me."


Well, that makes perfect sense.

And so it goes....

Encourage one another,

Monday, July 22, 2019

Faces I remember

I am not a huge fan of candid pictures.  You will notice that's not what a shoot.  But, gosh,
they sure can show a better idea of real life.

This picture was taken in our grandparent's backyard in Oak Lawn, Ill. Circa 1974
That's grandpa Hansen wearing the hat.  
His name was Carl and he came to American from Denmark.
He is smoking a cigarette. He had a terrible, loud, persistent cough.
He loved to garden and had the MOST bristle-y beard.

Behind him I see a towel drying on the line and a radio.
Grandma Hansen loved music.  She was always listening to what she called jazz. 
Two other things I notice are the brick on the back of the house...they don't do this now.  Most builders in the Midwest only put brick on the front of the house.  
And the pack of 7UP on the back step.

There is Janice wearing a top I remember.  That's our brother in law Binky.  He was a good sport to be hanging at the Grandparents.  He was only about 25 at this time.  Behind him appears to be a Michelob bottle.   What do you think?
Cousin Kelly is sitting on Bink's lap and cousin Johnny is standing up with his shirt collar buttoned to the top.
Probably the last time he wore a buttoned up shirt.  
That's me in the yellow behind Bink.   I have on huarache sandals  ...
I learned about these from my friend who moved to Arizona.  

A slice of life.
Caught on camera.
It's pretty cool.

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Maybe I'll try to shoot some candids.
I wonder who took this?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old dog. New Tricks.

You are not going to believe this.

I drank the same drink at Starbucks for seven years.  Lots of them.
Never interested in anything else.

But then one day, I felt like trying something different.

I tried a Pink Drink.
It is strawberry acai juice with coconut milk and lots of ice.

(Usually there are freeze dried berries in it.  I didn't want those.)

And just like that I changed my drink.
It's deliciously refreshing!

It has no cholesterol,  which I am watching, fewer calories than the chai and less sugar than the chai.

I have found that my knees feel better without the milk.
Or is the the Omega 3, Tumeric/ginger, and Bosweilla I've been taking?

What ever it is, my knees feel 100% better than they did six weeks ago.
(Even if I was not having wonderful physical results from changing my drink, I would stick with it as it's yummy!)


And here is another new trick I learned this week.

I have added sprinkles to my Rice Krispie treats.
I am not usually a sprinkle girl, but I think this trick makes plain old Rice Krisipe treats look so much better!!!

My high school friend, Diana Williams Pace has a lovely daughter named Courtney who is a brilliant cake baker.  Courtney showed how to make these on Instagram.  And while her cakes look delicious and gorgeous, these rice krispies are more my jam.

Along with the cereal, marshmallows, and butter, you add two Tablespoons of packaged white cake and a few Tablespoons of jimmie sprinkles.
And just like that...cuteness.

Here is Courtney's link;

Courtney has been on television a number of times and is featured in Oprah magazine in August.
She teaches classes in Utah and will send you a box with all the ingredients and instructions to bake and decorate her cakes.

I'm sure she would laugh that the item I chose to make from her Instagram feed...but you know me...
the easy chef.

Who knows what I'll learn next?
Or what wild and crazy habit I'll switch up?

Have you tried something new lately?

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ten years ago...part two

Original post date: July 17, 2009

They were there in spirit.

Once upon a time there was a handsome Greek boy from Chicago.
He met a pretty little red head from the south side.
They fell in love and married and had seven beloved children.
Jim and Esther loved life.
They danced the jitterbug and listened to Frank Sinatra and Herb Albert.
They vacationed in sunny, sandy places; Acapulco and Maui and one particular cool and fishy place: Hayward, Wisconsin.
They danced.
They drank.
They sang.
They laughed.
They loved their friends.
They loved their family.

And then they were gone.

But their spirits live on in each of us.

And apparently we have picked up where they left off!!!









Here we are in birth order.
Who knew all of my sisters would wear white?
And sunglasses. 
I was preoccupied, what can I say?


I was able to take a few wedding pictures. I did not want to get in the real photographers way...
so I shot from my seat and grabbed a picture when I could.





"Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

"If I know what love is, it is because of you."
--Herman Hesse

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Friday, July 12, 2019

Ten years ago....part one

Ten years ago Sue's son Wesley married Stephanie.  All of Esther and Jim's kiddos traveled down to Destin, Florida for the wedding.
Nine months later Suzy would be gone.
That wonderful time together was such an amazing gift.
I am so thankful for it.


We're home!

Oh! It's so good to be home.

It is wonderful to be on vacation and it is even more wonderful to be with family....

But there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
In your own home.
In the coolness of Wisconsin.

Dear Wisconsin,
I love your coolness.
Love Donna


We drove for 17 1/2 hours yesterday to get back to our beds and coolness of Wisconsin.

Emma and Patrick drove.


I sat in the back seat a lot with Katie.


Nintendo DS is a nice gadget to have along on a long car ride.

We played the alphabet game and collected license plates.

Late yesterday we passed a van from ALASKA.

It was thrilling.


I was relaxed and happy in the back seat. I was cool. This is the last time my mouth was closed for some time.

(This is on the way to Florida.)


The REAL reason we went to Florida was to see Wes and Stephanie wed.
They are just the nicest young couple. So together. So happy. So in love.


We found other reasons to celebrate while we were there.

Cynthia Carol!!! This is so her. So beautiful. So full of life!


This is Nancy and her husband Bink. She is being harassed by fun-loving Cindy in the top picture...
They are our guardian angels.
When our parents died, Nancy was 20 years old.
They kept our family together.
An amazing act of love and loyalty.


Here's Jim. Our big brother. Yes. The only boy.
He loves all of his nutty sisters.
And his silly sisters LOVE him!
He is gentle and thoughtful and very dear to us.

But he won't dance. Even when they play "We are Family".

What's with that?


Sister Sue is my Irish twin. She is the mother of the groom.
Look at that wonderful smile!
Sue handled all of the destination wedding mother of the groom duties with grace and style!


Janice is "A" baby. Our Greek baby.
She is so smart and witty. I had forgotten how smart and witty Janice is!
And she is a bit of a tease. Just like our dad!
Oh Janice! I love to see you smile!


Janet is "B" baby. Our Dane.
Did you ever see twins who looked so different as Janice and Janet?

Janet Jean, Where did you get those eyes, dear girl?
No fair. At all.

So that's the Glyman line up.
All present and accounted for.

And what did we do.

We hugged and laughed and talked and caught up.

...and ate fried food at the Kiwi bar overlooking the pool and the bay.


It was heaven.


And loads of fun!!!


Yeah. My mouth is open.
What can I say???

Coming up:

Wedding pictures.
Little swimmers.
Family photoshoot under the pier.
And excitement galore ;o)

Off to make breakfast.

I missed making my own food.
A lot.

I think I will be cooking more.
Did you ever realize that you can make better food than most restaurants?
I realized that this week.

So bye for today.
Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Anything exciting happen while I was gone?

Encourage one another,