Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter around the Art World.

Alfred Sisley

Andrew Wyeth

Source: via Donna on Pinterest

Aina Steenberg

Life Mag.

Land's End photographed at Camp Wandawega

Good bye January

The days are short,
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.
Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.
The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.
The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.
—John Updike in A Child’s Calendar

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Since sliced bread.

Folks...the comments are still going strong about Downton Abbey.  Melinda has made her appearance and has brought her strong opinions along with her :o)

I am surprised more of you did not comment on the Kid President's video.
Katie and Emma and I think it is the best thing in the world.

Kid President. A Pep Talk.

"I'm on your team, be on my team."

"What if there really were two paths?  I want to be on the one that leads to awesome!"

"And I love Space Jam."

"What will be your Space Jam? What will you create to make the world awesome?"

"You were made to be awesome."

"Create something that will make the world awesome....
You just been pep talked!"


With love,
Katie and Donna

Mean. It.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

He would have never made Space Jam. Kid President Encourages.

Thank you Kid President!

Real Life.


Our little girl is playing club volleyball. She plays for a small team called OTT.
Club volleyball is an 'out of school' team.  You pay to be on a club team. Tournaments are held on the weekends.  Around here, girl's volleyball is very very competitive.
Making the high school team and staying on it is very difficult!

Katie is playing because she loves volleyball and she wants to improve.
 For now, she learns, she plays, she gets exercise and makes friends.

We shall see what happens in the future...a lot depends on if she grows :o)


And then there are hours and hours of school work...


Some people don't have to work very hard.
And some people do.


Do you see Ginny?

Here is a quote for Branson and any other gloomy Irish folks among us.

"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

~W.B. Yeats

What happens matters.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Downton Abbey wins SAG award and breaks hearts all in the same night.

Last night the Screen Actors Guild awards were on as was Downton Abbey.

I missed half of the SAG because I was watching DA.  But I think you would like to know that Downton Abbey won this year for Best Drama Ensemble.

In a little bit....there will be spoilers.


You have been warned.

Don't look!


Oh my. Last night.
Terribly sad.
Great acting all around.

Cora who I have felt is not a very good actress in the past has been surprising me this year.

Now. Toxemia.

I had this with Katie.  I was told that the cure was the delivery of the baby.]
I have not heard of women having attacks after the baby was born.  Before, yes.  A day later, no.

Dear Nurses,
Was this an accurate portrayal of the condition untreated?

Lord Grantham.  Could anyone have been placed in a worse position.  I do understand not trusting the other Doc. He made some wrong decisions.  I understand that.  He felt he was doing what was best for his daughter.  How awful to have made that decision.
He is looking like a fool this year.  That is too bad.   I know the writers can turn it around for him as they are expert at this.

You know, Jessica Brown Findlay/Sybil wanted to leave the show.  What else could they do?

They could have done a switheroo like they did with Darren on Bewitched or all those soap stars....
"The part of Sybil is now being played by ___________."

But they did not.
Our elegant soap opera just lost a main character.

I know you all have much to say.
Please add your cries to the comments.

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

I felt Sybil's birthing outfit was so inappropriate.  Silk???

Anna the sleuth.  Good girl.
Matthew's timing.  Good or bad?
Mrs. Patmore and Daisy.  Good. Very good.

Now you.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Yeats. Go on. Magic things.

Here is a line from the tv show Go On.

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
~W. B. Yeats

I told you it was a good show.








Love you. Mean it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who the Man? I'm the Man!

Source: via Donna on Pinterest

This movie, Beast of the Southern Wild, is nominated for an Academy Award.
This little girl, Quvenzhnae Wallis, is the lead actor.  She is seven.  She is a miracle.
This earnest, beautiful child carries this movie like Tom Hanks did with Castaway.
She is nominated for an Academy Award also.  I think she should win. It seems wrong for one so young to win such a big award.  But, I am telling you, she does something none of the other women do, she is Hushpuppy.

If you would like to read Roger Ebert's column follow the link below.

Roger Ebert and his review of Beast of the Southern Wild

The littlest survivor.  Hushpuppy.

You can rent it.
I did, from Amazon Instant Video.

Who the man?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life in the big city.

Badgers vs Spartans

Last night Patrick and I went into town (Madison) to watch the Badgers play the Spartans.  The traffic was horrendous.  Everything else about the night was great!  But I tell you.  City traffic jams just take the fun out of things.  It makes me never want to go down there again.
We do have the option of taking a bus...but the bus I saw, that was loading fans at a bar on Regent was behind us and we were five minutes late.  A lot of people were late.  Maybe other people don't mind. But I do think that is the first time I have ever been late to a game.  In my life.

And well.  I survived.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

We are accustomed to leaving early.  We are pros at that.

Thank you Joe for the tickets!
Great seats!  Fun game!

Here is a photography pointer for shooting at an indoor sport like this with crazy light differences.
Because of the dark all around the camera wants to balance the light so most times I see very very bright floors in basketball pictures.  I wanted my basketball floor to look right so here is what you do;
tap your screen on the basketball court. This will tell your camera in your phone to focus and adjust the light where you have tapped.  You are overriding the auto in your camera by doing this.
Try it with your phone camera.

Look at the bench. Do you think there are enough coaches/staff?
Rosa, I looked for your hubby but did not spot him :o)



Back to the quiet life.



We went to see The Silver Linings Playbook.  Did I tell you that?
It's very good.  I'd like to see it again.
It's rated R. So beware.


Photography tip two.
Make them spit out their gum.


She leans. She is a leaner.
We like it.

Leaning trumps nipping.  For sure.

Happy Wednesday!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A very quick visit.

Monday we all went to Chicago to see Emma.  Patrick Sr. had not seen her new place yet and well...he had the day off and Katie did not have volleyball so away we went.

On the road

I drove down and Patrick was able to keep watch of his phone.
At one point, around Hoffman Estates, there was a man in front of me who was driving irrationally.
Do you want to hear what he was doing?  He must have had a lap top sitting on the chair next to him because the whole time he was looking down to his right.  Swerving.  Looking up.  Looking down to the right.  I could tell he was reading.  It was driving me wild.  Finally we passed him and I could stop obsessing.  He was an accident waiting to happen.  What an idiot.

Brimfield. Pinterest come alive.  Clark. Chicago.

After lunch at Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville we walked down Clark to get a coffee for Emma and a stop in at Brimfield.

Lots of Blankets. Brimfield.

Of all days to walk around Chicago.  Burrrr.  Patrick was so cold we could not get him to leave the Starbucks.


I think these are fish pails.  What do you think?

I was so excited to use my Nikon with the Lensbaby in Chicago.
When I picked it up to take a picture,  I realized that I forgot to put in the Card.  No card. No pictures.  Boo hoo. least, no pictures with a good camera.

The iphones are good for moments.  But clarity and focus and backlighting.  Not good at all.
I did what I could and recorded our fun day without fancy flare and blur and bokeh.



And in the very back of the Airstream!!!



We showed Patrick around DePaul a little bit.  Emma is going to Grad School there.  She will get her Master in counseling.

DePaul. Grad student.

Then we went to the warmest place in the city.
Warmest and freest place in the city.  Is that how you spell free est?
Or is that not a word?  Perhaps you can not be freer than free.



That was just about it.  A nice, quick, fun visit.

Hope you had a nice day!

Stay warm!

Lots of love,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Downton Abbey Chit Chat

Well.  The small bit of light in last night's Downton was the hiring of the handsome footman.
Do it for the girls.  Too funny.

It was like seeing Brad Pitt standing there, wasn't it?

I'm glad Bates and Anna got their letters, it made them both so happy.

Tom.  Branson.  I have never liked him. I am mad at him.  I never liked how he forced himself on Sybil.
Why couldn't someone talk sense into her?   Foolish.
If he wanted to be a rebel so badly, he had NO BUSINESS marrying anyone.
Go ahead and rebel and put your life at risk.  But he is wrong to drag a woman into this with him.

I like that Matthew is Edith's cheerleader.

Ethel and Fantine.  So much alike.  Sad story.

Many clever jabs and barbs this week.  Please feel free to shout them out in the comments.
I'm not so good at remembering them.

No whining says tough and no nonsense Dowager Countess.  Find something to do.
How I love her pluck.

(Maggie Smith is coming back for season 4 after all.  Good. News.)

Oh!  And Daisy finally gets what she has been wishing for....
but Ivy is very pretty...
Isn't that rotten luck for her?

A sad show, I think.
Not my favorite.

Matthew's mother goes from awful to sweet in a blink of an eye.....


Be my guest :o)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

This week's Instagrams

I miss Asher.

This was a #latergram.
It was taken over Christmas but I didn't post it until week...when I was especially missing Asher.


I called this one GinTinTin.

Manuscript Bible Study. Stephie's paper #newtome

Thursday I went to Steph's Bible Study group in Baraboo.  This 'semester' we are studying 1Peter.
The method of studying scriptures is called Manuscript Bible Study or Inductive.  As you read thru the passage you mark up your paper with little notes.

1. Observation
who, what, where, when
2. Interpretation
what does it mean?
3. Application

 This is Stephanie's paper.  She has done this for years and loves studying this way.  I had never even heard of it before but I am game :o)
My paper just had a few scratches on it.

Salt bagel run.

I stopped at Bagels Forever and bought a dozen salt bagels.

Wind making the light jump around.

I took a few pictures of Katie.
She has long legs.


One week until OTT's first volleyball tournament!


A sweet leaning doggy.

Thank you for the lovely and kind comments you have left this week.
They mean so much to me.

Love you. Mean it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2 New "recipes", 2 great shows.

Tilapia with Lemon Pepper Butter

I bought the frozen Tilapia from Traders Joe's and was afraid to cook it.
I don't really like experimenting with food.  I worry about waste.

So I figured, how bad could this be.  I love lemon pepper, I love butter, I think I like Tilapia.
It was a good gamble.

1 Package Trader Joe's Tilapia
lemon pepper
olive oil

8 x 8 pan

I poured a Tablespoon or so in the bottom of the pan.  I placed the thawed tilapia
on top of the oil.
Bake 425.
Six minutes first side.
Two/Three minutes on second side.

While baking fish,  melt  1/2 stick of butter in a pan.
Add the a few teaspoons of lemon pepper and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
I may have used a clove of garlic, but I can't remember for sure.
Salt as needed.

When the fish was finished I put it on a plate and poured the sauce over it.

It was perfectly delicious.


I bought this Chili starter yesterday.

It is created by Rick Bayless.

The recipe says to use either one pound of chicken, pork or turkey.  I chose pork.
So I browned the pork, added this bottle of chili starter.
Added one cup of water.
Let it cook for 20 minutes.

And done.

I am very picky about soups in jars and cans.  I usually prefer making them myself.
But this one is really delicious.  The flavors are just right.
I loved it.
Highly recommended.


Two shows to watch.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This movie was wonderful.  I think I liked it better than any other light romantic comedy I have seen this year.  It was pretty and interesting and sweet.  It's not that funny.
It's just a good story.

Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star and were both nominated for Golden Globes.  The movie was also nominated for a Golden Globe.

I didn't know anything about it....but watched it on a whim.

Highly Recommended.


I caught this show on PBS just the other night.  It was one of the most interesting and delightful things I have seen on television....ever.

Prince Charles sits and watches home movies.  He talks about his mom, the Queen.
He giggles over and over while watching himself a a little boy.
He tells stories about his parents.
The movies are charming.

Hey!  Look.  I found the whole thing on YouTube.  We shall see how long this will be available....
but if you would like to see it. Here it is.

It is an amazing (to me) to peek into the lives of the Royals.
I especially appreciated how jolly Prince Phillip was in the movies.

(I have many new thoughts on Charles and Diana after seeing this movie.)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let them eat cake

On Monday Janet and Susan were obsessing about a particular cake.  (We won't talk about the cake as it is Wednesday and I want to keep the comments free of Downton Abbey Spoilers on every day other than Monday.  Monday we talk Downton.  The rest of the days, I want to let everyone read all the comments :o) )

But I still want you ladies to see the gorgeous cakes I have pinned over the last two years on Pinterest.

This is from the first week of pinning.

And this one I pinned just last week!

I like flowers...and natural looking cakes, don't I?

I thought you would like to see those! I had many of them pinned on my "Beautiful" board.

On Saturday I tried a cake
 at a grocery store opening in Madison.   The baker was Carl's from Sun Prairie.  Katie and I tried a piece of the vanilla with raspberry with vanilla butter cream and it was out of this world delicious.  We will be heading to Carl's next time we need a cake!  Yum.

It was not pretty.  It was just delicious.  And that's okay too.

Here are a few pictures I have taken this week.



It's so dark lately when Katie is home and well...Ginny only has one expression.  ha.
But I did notice that it was a touch lighter at 5:00 last night and that gives me hope!

But until the sun stays around longer in the evenings I will be lighting my family room with twinkly lights.

Let your light so shine!

Encourage one another,