Monday, March 31, 2008

Mystery on our Lawn.

What is this?

What on earth?


Recipe of the Week!

I decided to finally make Ree's Delicious Chocolate Pie.

I have been eyeing it for a few months.

One of our blog friends made it and left a comment that it was delicious and super rich.

I thought they were being wimpy.

I mean, in my whole life, nothing has been too rich.

So, last night, Katie and I whipped up this frothy treat and just before her bed time it was
ready for a taste.

Recipe of the week.

And it is delicious and rich.


And if you live in the Madison area and want to have a taste, I am sincerely inviting you to come over and have a piece.

Just stop by of a quick bite. You don't have to stay long. Just come for some pie.

I have whipped cream and 1% milk.

And Greek olives.


Katie helped a great deal in the making of this pie.

Her favorite thing is to crack eggs.

I was really nice and let her crack all the eggs....and she maned the timer.

I have gotten smart and have Katie crack the eggs into a bowl...just in case.

Our pie is officially shell free.

To see Ree's glorious pictures and a how to: Go Here

Delicious! Chocolate Pie

2 sticks regular butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 baked pie shell. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in cooled melted chocolate. Add vanilla and mix. Turn the mixer to medium speed, then add in the four eggs, one at a time, mixing for 4 to 6 minutes after the addition of each egg. Scrape sides of bowl once during mixing. Pour into the cooled pie shell and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Plop whipped cream on top and serve. Garnish with chocolate curls if you’re feeling sassy.


Our Emma.

Emma is nineteen years old today.

You all know how much I adore that girl....

But, I don't think I ever told you the weird feelings i had when she was a baby.

I thought she was going to die.

Just this strange, ominous feeling inside like she was not long for this world.

I was such a happy mommy having my two boys, and they had one another:brothers.
It was perfect.

And then we had our very longed-for little girl....

and I thought it was all way too good to be true.

So good, I felt my joy would be snatched away from me.

Not that I believed that God did things like that....

I didn't and I don't....

But I was just awed with my little girl and I was a little afraid.

I never told anyone. And the feeling passed.

I was the one to almost lose my life that first year of Emma's life.

(ruptured appendix one month post-partum))

So perhaps that was where this odd feeling of dread came from.....


Emma is not getting a dog, even tho she wants one desperately.
We are not the nicest parents on the block.

Happy birthday, dear Emma.

We love you!!!


So a few questions for you today.

Do you know what that weird thing on the lawn is?
Have you ever had that creepy feeling like your child would die?


Do you want a piece of pie?

Encourage one another,

About that pie......

I am delighted to report,
that we had some takers!!!!

All but one crumbled, lonely piece left.

Thank you, Amy J, for bringing your hungry crew over this afternoon.

You made my pie-making self very happy.

p.s. Pay not attention to the horrible photography in this shot....
just look at those happy faces :o)

There you have it Steph.
A photo mention.
Just for you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paris, Style and Kindness

One year ago today, we left for our trip to Europe.

My how the time flies.

I still have a thrill in my heart when I think back....

and a huge feeling of dread when I remember the train ride from

Paris to Florence.

So let's not think about that....


DSC_0753 copy

Style: Are you born with it?

My creation
"Mommy, can I wear these?"

I think it may be a personality trait.
For some having a style, that certain something, just seems to come naturally?

What do you think?

Nature or nurture?


Donald Trump called.
Donald Trump called...He wants his hair back.
He wants his hair back.

"Katie, your hair! You have a comb-over again."

"I don't care, Mom!"


And to all of you who sent me kind words and love, yesterday, thank you.

(Even if they were just in your head and not in the comment box :o)

My greatest thrill was sharing the news with you all.

I knew you would be so happy for me....cause you are just like that.

And I really mean it.

Your encouragement give me courage.

Thank you so much!


How about we get you talking about yourself a little bit here....

In your whole life, what vacation stands out as the most fabulous, most memorable?

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 28, 2008

My best kept secret
aka Miz Booshay's Excellent Adventure.

It is a hard thing to keep a secret when you are about to burst with excitement!

But the day has come and I can reveal my most wonderful news.

Back in January ( believe me, it felt a lot longer than 2 1/2 months) I received a surprise email from Ree aka The Pioneer Woman.

Ree shared with me that she was planning a site makeover and was going to expand the photography/photoshop section.

She said she was looking for "a few good men" to be contributors on the photography/photoshop page.

And then. She asked me if I was interested in climbing aboard the Confessions Train. HA! She did not say that....that is just me trying not to be boring....

But really and truly...I was so shocked by her request.

I walked around the house with my hand clasped over my gaping mouth and my eyes wide with the thrill of it all.

Oh my, oh my, oh my....
Why is she asking me?


It all came as such a surprise.

But within an instant, I knew I had to try.

Whether I believed in myself or not. Ree thought I had a little something, something.

And if she believed in me, I was going to try to believe in myself, too.

So in a way, I donned my cape of confidence and said yes.

When I wrote back, I typed in the subject line, "I am all astonishment."

And Ree was glad that I didn't faint.

(I'm so tickled when I can quote Jane in my every day life. Aren't you?)

And so the adventure began. It has been a creative and emotional and psychological adventure, for sure.

The creative has been thrilling.

The emotional has been emotional.

And the psychological continues to be the challenge.

I am like man with the angel and the devil on his shoulders.

The devil tells me that I am an average photographer and that everyone will hate me and boo me off the internet.
(You see I am entering a world that is not my own little happy Quiet Life where everyone is nice to me, no matter what.
I am stepping onto a big stage and people might boo and hiss and throw tomatoes.)

And the angel whispers,' I think you can, I think you can, I think you can....
Ree thinks you can.... You have to try. You have to try.'

So yeah. The hardest part are the voices in my head.

Don't tell Ree, I have voices in my head....or that she is one of them :o)

So the plan is, I will write two photography/photoshop post for Ree each week. She will write a bunch of posts a week, too.
She is much more experienced and knowledgeable than me so her posts will be the advanced, clever posts.
I will be a friend to the beginners :o)

I have already sent her eight articles, some long and some short , and she says they are A.O.K.

So, if you are interested in photography and want to learn a little more, head on over to the new and expanded Pioneer Woman Photography/PS .

And in case you want to learn MORE about ME, go visit the "About Me" page.

I'm so happy to finally share this exciting news with you all.

You have encouraged me in my photography all year long,
and you are no small part in the making of that confidence cape of which I speak.


20080327_7556 copy
Katie was wearing a leotard and it made me all artsy yesterday.

Leotards have that kind of effect on me.

Remember the artsy kids who would walk around with leotards and bohemian skirts in the 70's?
Oh. You were just a baby.

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
Abraham Lincoln

Encourage one another,
Donna aka the lucky one.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aw! Chickeasy. Sorry to see you and your Carlton-ness go, buddy.

There are a few who can survive a lack-luster week.

You were not the one.

Country girl is going to win the whole thang.

Not really.

But boy she has nine lives, doesn't she.

Dolly Parton is the guest "mentor" next week.

Simon is going to have a kinipson (huh?) fit! He doesn't "get" country music

and I really think he will "hate it."

Dolly is one of my favorite celebs. I adore her personality and some of her songs.....especially her Christmas songs.

What on earth are the contestants going to sing???

Did I ever tell you? I hate the song "I will always love you."

Dolly wrote that. Whitney sang it to death.

Who will sing it?

Perhaps David Cook can make me like it!

Any thoughts?


I had a Senior shoot yesterday. It was a mini-session of sorts because of the weather.
(I haven't asked permission to show my senior here on the blog yet. I will ask soon so I can show you
what I have been up to.)

So I tested the light and camera on Katie.

She earned twenty-teen sips of my pop.

I show you this, because of the crazy light I found in my front yard.

Her expression is not the best, but look at the light in her eyes.


Camera: Nikon D80
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100

for blog

On closer inspection, I can see me, the horizon and some snow drifts.
And it looks like I have on my nightgown. But really, I think I was dressed for the day!

Cool, huh?


And not to be forgotten.....

Happy Birthday to Janice and Janet!!!

The best twin-sisters in the world.

You are loved!!!

(And you gifts are in the mail.....I think without gift cards. I can never find
the place to add a note when I ship from Amazon. Doh)

Happy, happy birthday, dear sisters!

P.s. I added a color to that black and white photo.

Can you guess what color I added?

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A beauty tip, a tax relief tip and hooray for the girls on Biggest Loser.

This beauty tip is know throughout Hollywood.

I'm here to spread the good news.

That's me.

Passing it on.

Here it is.

Wear your sunglasses in pictures.


Everyone else shot on this bright, bright day looks terrible.

Melinda, on the other hand, looks fab!

(It helps that she is extremely photogenic and adorable too.)

But trust me, no one else looked their best in that bright sun.

And Melinda, she looks like a star ;o)


Other great moments in sunglass history.

Here is one for those under 30. Kate loves sunglasses.

20080324_6985 copy
Black and white is also glamourous for some reason, don't you think?

Melinda was surely the most glamourous person spotted in Wahoo Nebraska on Easter day.

No doubt!


On a more serious side,

Amy from Good Soil has started a campaign to encourage people to give their Stimulus Plan Rebates money away.

She would like to see folks across the land, Give it charity.

If you are irritated and frustrated with how our country is handling the financial issues we face here in the wonderful country we have been blessed with....stop by Amy's Give it Away site to learn more about her grand plan.

I will be leaving the link up on the sidebar!
Can you find it?



Please feel free to discuss our fav reality shows in the comments.

Again, I was totally distracted by too many shows.

And the big Flickr glitch of 2008.

I liked Brooke for the first time last night.

And I only caught a sec of David Cooks performance. I was watching the final moments of Biggest Loser.

So tell me, what did David sing, I couldn't quite make it out from the one measure I saw.


I love that the two girls lost enough to stay in the Biggest Loser.

Made my night.


And dancing with the stars.....the one I taped was a total rerun!

It would be a great show if we hadn't seen the previous three shows.

Wow. What a racket.

Golly, Penn and Monica were sad to go, weren't they.

I'm glad I was nicer this time. :o)

Okay. Searching for those sunglass pictures took me way too long....

Gotta run.

Don't forget your shades!

My sunglasses are like my guitar.
Patti Smith

With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60.
Jack Nicholson

Amen, Jack. Amen.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Letters J and Q

They are very important letters and can totally change a game of Alphabet in the car.



Alphabet game in the car.  I need a Q!

I need a "J",,,,where Oh where is a "J"?

We arrived in Omaha in record time. Matthew and Melinda met us at The Cheesecake Factory.



Too full.


We visited Matthew and Melinda's new apartment. It is so nice! They have a lovely home in a very small town.
They also have a maniac cat! We felt right at home.

Sunday morning we went to church. Melinda's father is the pastor of this wonderful country church.

Our gracious in-laws and son.

Here are our very kind and gracious hosts!
We kind of just invited ourselves for Easter dinner at their house.


Carol had Easter baskets for each of us at our places!
Even I got one :o)

And look at that bountiful table! Carol went to a lot of work and everything was delicious!

We even had lamb!

I don't think I have had lamb since Easter with Aunt Dorothy.


There were critters out back.

Emma made some friends.

Emma has the dog-wanting something fierce.

Then we went bowling

Engagement photographer for hire.  ha ha ho ho.

And since we had a young couple in our midst,
I thought I would play Engagement photographer.
(Even tho Matthew and Melinda have been married for nine months.)


I don't mind if you laugh.

Cause that Matthew is too silly.

Engagement Photographer for Hire: Cheap

And just to round out the goofy shots....

I will call this the best of the worst.

Best of the worst photos!!!

Everything is wrong with this picture....except the cuteness of Emma and Matthew!

And sometimes that's all that matters.

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
~Barbara Bush

Encourage one another,

p.s. Here is the burn.

the burn

Katie is doing just fine.
You can see where the blisters were.
I am using Neosporin and a non stick bandage.
I could not buy a product with silver nitrate at Walgreens.

It looks to be healing.

Thank you for your prayers.

Katie has not complained of pain at all.
Big blessing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A little something for those of you who are longing for a Monday post :o)

Swedeburg Nebraska
Big Sky, Swedeburg Nebraska.

Non-traditional Easter Shot

Wahoo, Nebraska jail basketball court.

A little bowling of course ;o)

See you all tomorrow!
Thank you for your prayers and fun comments!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

In her Easter blanket
with flakes of snow upon it.

Happy Easter from the great white north.

Happy Easter from the Great White North.

We are off to Omaha to spend Easter with Matthew and Melinda.
We are so excited to see them!

Katie just burned her hip on an electric heater in the bathroom.
It is about the size of a potato. Some of the skin blistered right away.

Could you please pray for healing?


I wish for you a special time of joy and thanksgiving as you celebrate the risen Savior.



Friday, March 21, 2008

H-h-h-happy Sp-r-r-ring!

Hhhhhappy Sprrrring....burrrrr

Friday's Feast


Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?


Who is the cutest kid you know?


Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.

Main Course

If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?


What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?

Answers are in the comments!


The magical pond with koi at Olbrich Gardens in Madison.

Isn't that gorgeous.

I almost didn't take it because it was all dark and the glare was terrible.

What a great surprise!

Here are some more pictures from out little field trip.

It was so hot and humid inside that we spent a happy hour leisurely walking around the outdoor garden areas.

The children scampered and the moms talked.

It was good.




Blessings this Good Friday.

It is only good because we know the beginning and end of Christ's story.

(Actually there is no end to His story.)

The goodness is in His love and sacrifice for us.

Unworthy as we are.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Thursday!

I got a new lens for my camera.

I got a new lens and now I will have to pick up the floor.

And now I will have to pick up the floor.


Swing Away, Katie@24mm

Katie will be able to fling her arms in the air like she is wont to do.

And I will most likely get them in the picture.

It's my goal.



After many tries, I was still able to get a clear, sharp close up.



See how you can get more of the body in shot.

This will be an especially nice lens to get more than one person in a shot AND it will be great for
vistas and buildings.


With a wider lens I would be able to shoot Emma this close and also get the WHOLE Eiffel tower in the shot.

Next time I go to Paris, I will take my 17-55mm lens.

The End.


I need to be kinder cause I always feel terrible when I say things like,
that rocker chick made me change the channel,
and then she gets kicked off.

And I feel badly for saying I didn't like her.

You'd think I would learn.

It is hard being a critic.


Let's see...we are going to a indoor garden today.

That should be nice and springy.

I will meet Morning Rose and her children there.

Isn't that cool? I wanted to try some hand lotion she mentioned in the comments and
before you know it, we are meeting for a little flowery fun and a hand lotion purchase :o)

Speaking of spring.....the weatherman says we are in for more snow tonight.



Oh! Steph asked in the comments for some homeschooling/parenting advice.


Ok. My oldest is 9, 3rd grade curriculum. Middle just turned 5 - so we're doing reading, letters, words. Simple. Not very structured, but it suits him and he's learning.

How do I help my 9 year old get over the sense of injustice he feels that he has to work more and longer than his siblings?? [Youngest is 3.] It's becoming a real problem and I don't really know what to do about it... help! Any ideas?

Steph in Racine

Please leave your words of wisdom in the comments.

And Nancy, you can leave your microscopic wisdom there too.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In Which I say Nice things, like Paula

Okay. Last night was a work out, let me tell you.

I switched back and forth between Idol and Loser like a nut and for some reason Biggest Loser was
extremely engossing so I kept forgetting to go back and watch American Idol.

One time I was on a different channel completely waiting for the show to come back from commercial....
and well, I was missing both shows.

Tragedy, I know.

So you are going to have to help me piece together American Idol.

It didn't help that the screaming rocker girl started off the night and I changed the channel on her immediately.
Not a good sign.

Was anyone very good?

I caught David A, and while his voice was excellent, he licked his lips four times.

So tell me what you thought. Is Simon right again, were they just all off?


Biggest Loser kicked off another girl last night.

I want to strangleate the tv.

So here's my brilliant idea.

Biggest Loser needs to have a girls only season!!!!

It's true.

It's the best idea I have had today.

Why am I not in charge of programming?


Dancing with the Stars: The Gals

So here is where I act like Paula.

Shannon you have very pretty legs. (hic)

Hairspray girl, you are really really happy!

Pricilla, my! you look young for a mature woman.

Marlee, you are an inspriation. (sniff)

Monica, did you have a nice time at the prom?

Kristi. You are going to win.


Monica was just the worst dancer I have ever seen on DWTS.
She knows it.
We know it.
I actually felt sad for her.

And her partner.

He's looking for a job.

She is a brave girl.

And Kristi was just stunning. AMAZING!!

I loved everything about her!!!

I seriously think that show needs better scouts for the women.

As I see it. The women have 1 of 6 who are natural dancers.

The men have 4 of 6.


Feel free to disagree with me and stand up for your faves.

My opinion is just my opinion and may be clouded by a night of too much
reality television.

So defend away :o)


For those of you who do not watch television....

Katie learned about the prefix "dis".

We memorized more prepositions.

She wrote a dozen or so "V's" in cursive.

She learned all about Liters and I quizzed her on Latin phrases.

She told the man at the post office that she does not like Latin 'so much' but she knows more than her mommy.

(He wondered why she was not in school. I told him, we play hooky every day.)

I took pictures, edited pictures, planned for two upcoming photoshoots and knit a few rows on a scarf.

And made Sloppy Joes for dinner.

My dear girl.

She was squinting and not in the mood for more photos.

I asked her for one more, "Look at me, like you love me."

And she did.

Encourage one another,
20080317_6240-4I wouldn't be where I am without this little peanut.
My muse.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dancing with the Stars and a little more of Jane.

I learned my lesson last season;
Don't make fun of the people on dancing with the stars before you see them dance.

And so I ddn't. I secretly thought it was a really bad line up.
But I wan't going to say it out loud.
Cause I'm smarter than that. :o)

And last night I was delighted and so happy at how well then men danced.

And if they weren't the best dancers, their personalities shone.

I loved Steve Gutenberg's happy attitude.

I was very impressed with both of the clowns; Penn Gillette and Adam Corolla.

I didn't like that Bruno was unkind in his remarks. They deserved a well done for trying this first week.

Jason Taylor did not come out on top of the leaderboard last night, but I think he has the most wonderful posture I have seen on any "star'.

Did you know he is still playing football? He is missing mini-camp to do this.

Mario was enthusiastic and has great ability and Chilean TV actor Cristián de la Fuente was muy caliente and quite capable.

But all around my favorite is Jason Taylor.

Who did you like?


I watched The Jane Austen Book Club last weekend.

I liked it. Didn't love it. But it was much better than No Reservations :o)

This is a modern film and has swearing and bedroom scenes so you will probably not want to share this with your children,
like you would a classic Jane Austen movie.


Hollywood has come to Wisconsin and brought Johnny Depp with it.

Johnny Depp is filming a movie about John Dillinger.
People in Columbus, Wisconsin are star struck and are freaking out by the excitement.

Emma went to see the movie set on Sunday. They have fixed up all of Main St.
She said they have painted buildings and made new signs.
She also saw "old" cars.

I'll bet a lot of you would hop in your cars to see Johnny Depp, wouldn't you?



Of all the tasks,
all the little things,
Katie loves to help put stamps on letters.

Isn't that sweet?

This is too big, mom!
Encourage one another,

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is too big, mom!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"I know what St. Patrick's Day is Mom, said Katie.
It's the day to celebrate everyone named Patrick."

I thought so too, when I was her age.

Happy St. Patty's Day
My little Irish-French-Danish-German-Greek Lassies.


Oh my. So I shall share another recipe.

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits from Cooking from Quilt Country

This one wasn't bad....but the leftovers are still sitting in the what does that tell you.....


I tried my derndest to make these look petty.


These cheepo-made-from-a-can-biscuits were devoured.

My family loves anything that comes popping out of a can.

It's true.

I am the Queen of Domesticity, I am Julia Child incarnate, I am Wonder Woman....

When I make things that pop from a can.

And guess, what? I put Emma in charge of these so
I'm passing it on, baybee.

That's why I'm here.


Dave Barry and his Colon.

"OK. You turned 50. You know you're supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven't. Here are your reasons:

1. You've been busy.

2. You don't have a history of cancer in your family.

3. You haven't noticed any problems.

4. You don't want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.

Let's examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let's not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ''behindular zone'' gives you the creeping willies."

Just the words 'behindular zone" made me read this hilarious piece by Dave.

Go here to read the whole thing;

Dave Barry/ Miami Herald

Encourage one another,