Saturday, May 30, 2009

This t-shirt is pinned up at my husband's desk at work.

The man who doesn't wear t-shirts, who has never purchased an item of children's clothing in his life, fell in love with this funny little t-shirt.

So, of course, we had to buy it for him.

It makes him smile.

Go figure.


This year summer jobs seem a little harder to come by.
Emma has finally started a part time job that we are hoping turns into something a little more.

She is working at a restaurant nearby. It is a very cool place. It has been in Midwest Living Magazine. A long time ago.
I remember coming down to Madison to visit and wanting to go there because I had read about it. That was a long time ago. I'll bet that was before Emma was born.

But anyway, Lynn had her wedding reception there and I had my little birthday gathering there last year.

I like to eat their onion rings.

So now Emma is working there. Part time.
Her training went well last night. She mentioned that 'there are a lot of stairs'.
It's a good thing she has been running all semester. She didn't know it but she was getting in shape to work at Quivey's Grove.

It's quite a lovely looking place. Friday Fish Fry, don't cha know ;o)


The past four days we have had rain most of the day.


But then around three o'clock the sun comes out and tries to warm us up.


And that is why I treasure the evening sun so much.

Again this morning we are greeted with rain.
But I have hope that the sun will shine in the evening.

When did Wisconsin become the rain forest?


It was all yellow.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Encourage one another,

Friday, May 29, 2009



We were playing four square on the drive way last night after dinner and I noticed the glow around everyone when they stood with the sun behind them. So after the little ones ran off I asked Emma to let me see if I could catch the light.

Yeah. I'm a sun surfer.


This one looks a little different from the ones above doesn't it?

Well. I have a little trick I figured out and I am going to share it on P-Dubs real soon!

Oh my gosh! Guess what?

We ordered the Nikon D700 the other night. I say "we" because my biggest supporter, Patrick, gave me the final push to order it! It should be here on Monday.

So excited!


Are you watching So You Think You Can Dance?

Do you think I should cut my hair short and dye it blond like Mia?

I have always loved that look.
And Mary. I love Mary.
Nigel. He's cool too.

But how great was the swing dancer last night inviting the judge to come up and dance with her?
They should have put her thru to choreography!


Do you know Josh Rouse?

Emma has a cd with one of his songs on it. It is called Life.
Here is one of the few songs I could find of his on youtube.

He has been recording since 2000 but I don't think he has had any big hits, but I think his music has been used in some television shows. (Like Greys and House) He is from Nebraska.
That's all I know.
Curious to know if you have heard of him.

Oh hey!

It's Friday!

Let me see what I can come up with here....

From Friday

What is the longest you’ve gone between haircuts?
What is the shortest hour of the day?
What is the longest line you’ve ever stood in?
Who’s your shortest adult friend?
Who among your current friends have you known the longest?

See ya in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I remember Nancy

Our sister Nancy has always been a fantastic housekeeper.
It is one of her many gifts.

(I think I feel a tribute to Nancy springing up within, but I will save that for a day when I have more than 20 minutes to write my post.)

What I want to tell you about Nancy today is this; I remember when Nancy would sweep the floors at her house, she would always show me the dirt in the dustpan. "Look at this. Just one day and all this dirt." she would say in a matter of fact way.
(You may notice. I was not sweeping the floors. Nancy was always sweeping the floors. And her husband. I remember him sweeping the floors, too.)
But it was Nancy who shared the dirt with me.

And you will never believe. Twenty years later. I am the sharer of dustbin dirt.

Now that we have wood floors, I am sweeping.

And everyday (or ever other day :o) I show the contents of the dustpan to whoever is around. It is usually Emma or Katie.

"Look at all this dirt. This would have been in the carpet."

And yesterday Katie said to me, "You show me that everyday."

And I thought of Nancy. And it made me smile.

I can fry.

Two nights ago I decided to try Ree's Chicken Strips.

I have never in my long life deep fried anything. It scares me. A lot.
I am afraid of the grease.

But I did it. I followed Ree's directions precisely with the aid of Emma reading the website to me as we went and they turned out. I don't think I was spattered ONCE with grease. The process was a total success.

The batter was needy tho. Ree did not give measurements for the salt and pepper and I did not know how important the salt and pepper were to the batter.

But I do now.

Last night I researched fried chicken coating and found out that I was way, way short on my salt and pepper.

Next time, I will use at least two teaspoons of salt and two teaspoons of pepper and three teaspoons Lawry's salt instead of a sprinkle of salt and a dash of pepper.

I'm not so good at guessing measurements.

But I must say, we ate them all and the chicken was moist and perfect.

I ate mine with homemade blue cheese dressing. Emma used barbecue sauce and Patrick and Katie used Ketchup, of course.

I think I would rate my effort a B. But everyone liked the idea of them...and pretty much the taste.
So I will definitely make them again.

Patrick says they come in second to P-dubs Steakbites so that is really high praise!

I don't have any pictures of the fried chicken tenders and the picture I took of the dustpan is not worth posting.
It is very unappealing.

But here are some precious family shots for the other day I thought you would enjoy!




I can't help but smile when I look at that happy face!!
What a beautiful child!!!

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
~Garrison Keillor

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is there a model in the house?



Thanks Emma! I love to practice on you :o)

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
-- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) German theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician

"I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
--Edith Wharton

So Emma said, 'Mom, let me take your picture."
And I had to say yes. Cause it's my new mantra. Yes.

And she took four pictures. Three were really goofy.

This is pretty much what I look like.

I said to her, "I have so many wrinkles."

And she said with love, "You are suppose to have wrinkles."

And I said. "I guess you're right."

I love that girl.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One million visits and a Sneak Peek (part one)

Look over there to the right on the sidebar. Do you see the numbers in the black box?
Those numbers that are approaching one million?

That represents the visitors that have stopped by this blog in five years! That is totally amazing to me.

I remember when I started blogging I would spot someone's stat counter and was stunned to see something like 300,000.
It was such a big number. And back then, one hundred people stopped by my blog each day. So 300,000 seemed light years away. And of those 100 people who were stopping by each day, 35 of them were me.

In reality, it doesn't matter a bit. Not one bit. I don't advertise on this site so I make the same amount of money if four people stop by each day or four thousand.

But it's fun to reach a big milestone. And Stephie has been keeping her eye on it along with me :o)

I'd give away a prize if I had some money.
I'd give away a prize if I didn't hate going to post office.

So you all get absolutely nada for stopping by on this historic occasion;

The day I hit one million visits on my stats counter.


I'll give you what I can.

A little love, a little cheer, a little place to feel welcome, a little place to rest.

Thank you for stopping by!

Love you like a friend.

Hey! The bad news. The counter will go back to zero, I think. I have no control over these things.
I am at the mercy of technology.
My stats counter is going to keep me humble.


I love these flowers.
This was not taken in my yard.


Sneak Peek




I photographed these beautiful children yesterday. What a lovely, sweet family.
The mom was so together and calm and the dad was so helpful. I really liked them a lot!

And the children. Oh my. This little girl is full of energy and dramatic and smart!
And the little guy. He is perfection. He handled all of the commotion so well.

Thanks for letting me photograph your family. It was a joy!


The unpose.

So-long from our sweet Quiet Life mascot.

Ya'll come back now.

"What happens, matters."

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Drive

Watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and then watching Wisconsin's Rustic Roads has made Patrick and I a little curious about what we could find here in Southern Wisconsin.
We mapped a rustic road a few weeks ago and found it to be little different than almost every road we drive on when we go to see Lynn or Jean in Wi.

And that is actually a good thing. Within five minutes of our home we are driving down rather empty, two lane roads with wide expanses of farm land and forests. And hills with views.

The rustic roads are easy to find. So far, the diners, drive-ins and dives have been a bust.
Not that we couldn't find a place to stop...but we have had some of the worst food EVER.

We may just stick to Madison Magazines "Best of" list from now on.


Yesterday we went to Albany, Wisconsin. Population 1100; a river runs thru it.


The busiest place in town was the canoe and inner-tube rental place.



Patrick would like to take a canoe some day. With me. He thinks this sounds like fun.
The last time I was in a canoe with my girlfriend, we tipped over.
The last time I was on a sail boat, we tipped over.

Still I would do it. It might be fun. I don't think I would bring my camera tho.


After dinner we stopped by Bacteria Beach, (the beach next to the Henry Vilas Zoo) so Katie could run in the water and do ten-thousand cartwheels. She is also trying to learn how to walk on her hands. I sat in the life guard stand and coached her.

This is what we do.


Then it was time for a quick game of catch.

Patrick is teasing Katie.

She can take it.

Do you see the star necklace Katie is wearing?
That was a garage sale item we picked up as we left for our drive in the morning.
Isn't it cute? It cost fifty cents.

And here is the chair I bought for $ 3.00.
It looks Scandinavian, doesn't it?


I plan on painting it white or light blue or red. I am sure Lynn has some left over white paint in her arsenal :o)

It was a great day, despite the lunch. Gag, choke, waste of money.
But we had the best time laughing about the waitress' funny remarks.

When the waitress asked Patrick, "Was everything alright?", and he politely said, "Yes."
She said, "Really?"


Happy memorial day. God bless the wonderful people who have bravely served our country.

Encourage one another,

p.s. I was not wearing plaid shorts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"My! Things come and go so quickly here!"


Before I even realized that the dandelions were fully grown,
they seem to have gone to seed.

Just like the lilac tree in our neighbors yard.

In a flash
In a wink of an eye
A hairs breath


Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
James 4:13,14


On May Morning

Now the bright morning Star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The Flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
Hail bounteous May that dost inspire
Mirth and youth, and warm desire,
Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing,
Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.



Encourage one another and be excellent to one another,


Friday, May 22, 2009

Somewhere in this post you will find a Friday Five.


Four o'clock
may 21

perfect light

Just taking notes for myself :o)


Lips courtesy of a Bomb Pop

How do you like that old band-aid mark.

We're talkin' real life here :o)


Today's photoshoot may have to be rescheduled due to rain. It's just starting to drizzle now.
I'm glad I have a few free mornings coming up.

The lilacs came and went so quickly this year.
The flowers on our neighbors bush seemed to blossom and die at the exact same time.

Perhaps it was all the rain?

Friday Five:Lessons

What kind of out-of-school lessons did you take as a kid?
What valuable lesson did you learn this past week?
Who in your life really needs to be taught a lesson?
What kinds of lessons would you love to have a private teacher for right now?
What steps have you taken to lessen the impact of these rough economic times?

HT to Friday Five . org

I have one other question.

How many hours do you sleep at night?

I seem to need less and less.

Or is it just the gloriously loud birds that wake me up with their boisterous chatter?

"I will find you!"

Encourage on another,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol.

No matter how hard the judges and producers tried (and they tried real hard) they could not push Adam over the top to win.
I only watched the last ten minutes of the show but saw Adam and Kris singing with Queen. My gosh! Talk about an obvious push for Adam. And actually I think Adam is much more interesting and talented BUT the voters did not.
What I think is, lots of the Danny votes went to Kris.
I was not very invested in this show. I didn't vote nor do I buy the 'records'.
But I love the drama of it all just the same.

Did you notice that three of the judges stood to clap for Kris and Simon sat?

It will be interesting to watch what happens next.


We got to attend a "pre-performance" of the grandparents program last night.

It was delightful and funny and organized and sweet.

Blessed Sacrament is really and truly the school that time forgot.

The children sang a few patriotic songs with pride and glee.
They sang songs I sang in music class as a young girl.

Ode to Grandparents
Hello Grandmas, Hello Grandpas (Hello Dolly tune)
Danny Boy
Irish Lullaby
Frere Jacques

And then the dances! To see little seven and eight and nine year olds dance with their bright costumes was adorable and fun!

There was the waltz, and the salsa and an Asian ribbon dance and a polka.
Oh yes. Hip Hop too!

It was all so innocent and respectful and darling. I felt like I was in the 1940's...without the racism and horrid world war.

The grandparents are going to LOVE their day with the children today!

Hooray for the wonderful teachers at Blessed Sacrament and the dozens of volunteers!

Last Saturday we went for a drive and Patrick spotted a row of trees.
He knows I am on the look out for rows of trees :o)

DSC_1158-2 copy

There is plenty of contrast in that shot to try a black and white.


But the greens. Oh man.
Southern Wisconsin is stunning this time of year!

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
~G.K. Chesterton

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~Thornton Wilder

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?
Wilder/Our Town

Encourage one another

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good news or bad news first?

Oh. I'll start with the good.
Patrick has the mac purring away with photoshop installed. He worked for hours getting things back to
pretty normal.

He is a tireless worker and has a heart of gold and I love him.
I appreciate all the hours of his day that he devoted to fixing this upsetting problem for me.
And besides that, he was solid when I was dropping my basket all over the place.

I am so grateful for him.


Parts one and two of hard drive recovery were a bust.

I have lost all of my photoshop actions.
Today, I will write to the authors of each set of actions I purchased and ask them if they would kindly send me
replacement sets. This is humiliating. I did not realize the things that needed to be saved. I understood that pictures needed to be backed up but I just didn't really understand that everything you ever put on your computer needs to be backed up.
I am a moron and now I have to write all of the photographers I know and tell them about it.



Katie has two really exciting days ahead of her. Her school is hosting a grandparents day.
Performances are today and tomorrow. Children invite their grandparents to come to a special program.
The teachers have been working for weeks to teach the children songs and dances and make decorations.
It is a big deal.

I was a little upset about this whole thing since Katie doesn't have any grandparents and never has.
We don't even have any elderly friends. We are the elderly around here.

But I decided to change my attitude and think of this as a blessing for others.

Katie has enjoyed learning her songs and really loves the dance she is performing. It is an Asian ribbon dance.

Then on Monday one of her favorite teachers asked her if she would like to do a special dance.
She and a little boy will dance a 'sock hop' kind of dance. The little boy will be dressed like Elvis and Katie will wear her sock hop costume when the grandparents are welcomed with the song,

Oh Grandparents,
We love you,
We just can't get enough
time with our grandparents

Woah. Ho. Ho.

She is more excited than I have ever seen her.
The teachers have paired Katie with an ex-kindergarten teacher as her 'grandma for the day'.
I hear she is a lovely lady and I know Katie will enjoy sitting with her and sharing a snack.



I was lying on my back trying to take sun flare pictures and this is what I got :o)

And this.

I had one set of actions in my mailbox so I was able to edit this black and white.
Two other sets of MCP actions are I guess I will be writing Jodi today too.

I do love this Newsprint black and white.


What a great last two minutes to DWTS.

ABC must be desperate to put on two hours of a show for the results.


Who will win American Idol tonight?

We know who the judges want, but who does American want?

Who do you want?

I think Steve Martin is going to be on the show. He will play the banjo, I think.


Off to school.
Just heard from Rachel Devine from Sesame Ellis. She will resend the actions. So happy to hear that.
I use her actions as a main part of my work flow so I am very thankful and relieved.
So I end with a bit more good news :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Patrick and his coworker have put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Our Humpty Dumpty had a great fail not a great fall.

Thank goodness that Alan has done the work on many Mac's in the past and he
installed the new hard drive in a jiffy.

Then he went home and had an appendicitis attack and was rushed to the hospital for
emergency surgery.

God Bless you, Alan.
May you heal quickly and completely.
And thank you for fixing Humpty Dumpty first!

Isn't that unbelievable?

While Alan was repairing the mac, Katie and Patrick were having a catch.



Look! He smiles. Isn't he handsome. Gosh. I love this picture of him. I think it is my all time favorite picture of him.


Patrick said, let me take a picture of you. So I set the camera's focus in the middle, set the camera on "A" for aperture and ran to hide behind Katie.

I continue to say 'yes'.


Emma came out to go for a walk with her dad and Katie and I rode along on our bicycles.

After our evening jaunt, I watched the finale of Dancing with the Stars.

I really have no idea who will win.
Do you like the freestyle dance?
It's not my favorite.

I loved how excited Shawn was last night!

We shall see. No Biggest Loser to compete with the big DWTS results tonight. Phew.

Patrick will install Photoshop for me tonight. I think.
But we will have to wait to see what might be found on the hard drive until Alan feels better and can return to work.

All of today's photos are still photoshop free...I can't wait to spruce them up a little bit.
I gave iphoto a try just a minute ago. It's not so bad.
I wonder how the prints turn out.

I have a photoshoot on Friday. I can not wait to meet this little family; a newborn and a two year old.
I spoke with the mom yesterday and she sounds great!!

So exciting!

If you have been waiting for a tutorial on Group photos, it is posted at The Pioneer Woman.

Miz Booshay talks about group shots

Hope it helps :o)

Thanks for holding my hand thru my mac crisis.
Love ya!

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life without photoshop is interesting...



Not so bad, really.


This one could use some help. But I like it in all it's washed out, windy glory.


No help needed here.


Experimental. Big, happy surprise.

I love those photos that are all wrong and really beautiful anyway!


Does anyone watch Survivor? Anyone?
I don't talk about it much, but, I actually love it. This was ONE great season and the finale was amazing!


Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Whatever you are be a good one. ~Abraham Lincoln


School is calling my name...
I can hear Katie's footsteps above me...

Thank you for your support and care over the weekend. Love you all!

What was your favorite part of last weekend?

Encourage one another,