Friday, February 28, 2014

Mandy Patinkin flash interview.

The first time I ever saw Mandy Patinkin was when Evita (the play) was in Chicago.  Mandy was in that play and they showed a clip of him singing.  This was in the 80's.  Then he was in Chicago Hope (tv show)  and Sunday in the Park with George (Sondheim play).   I'm kind of confused by the timing because Yentl (musical with Barbra Streisand)  was in 1983 and I remember being outraged that they didn't let Mandy sing.  Because somehow I had heard Mandy sing and I was enchanted by his voice and style.

Watch Mandy sing his Casey medley on YouTube

And then.

He was Indigo Montoya in the movie The Princess Bride.  A favorite character from a very favorite book.

The thing about Mandy, he is as humble as he is talented.
It's a pretty cool thing.

Recently Mandy got in a car in Utah...and he agreed to a quick interview with this young man.
(Mandy currently stars in a show called Homeland.)

LINK to Youtube if you can't Mandy's interview here.

Hope you enjoyed that!
I sure did.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

a little throwback...a little quote...


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson










literally carrying it with us....

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Downton Finale

Well.  I am as fickle as fickle can be...
I was broken hearted when sweet, perfect Matthew died.  
Nothing would ever be the same.  
Downton.  el stinko.

But here we are at the end of season four and I just adore Lord Gillingham. When I saw his picture a year ago as a potential suitor for Mary I did not like how he looked.  But on film his kind eyes and sweet smile have blown that preconceived idea out of the water.  

He is my choice for Mary.  

The End.

Pros and Cons of Season Four (In my very humble but opinionated opinion)


The general depiction of surviving a terrible loss especially Isobel, Mary and Tom.
Tom is a big pro for me.  
Isobel and Edith too.  I have come to really like these characters.  
I think Edith is nicer than Mary now. 
Mrs Hughes is a dear.  I hope she and Carson become lovers.  Haha...just kidding about the lovers....
I hope they become ....well...what would they become.  Boyfriend and Girlfriend? Anyway... I hope they love one another.
Rose was so much less annoying that she could have been. I was glad.
The Dowager was tolerable, I suppose.  No. Wait.  She had some good solid scenes with Mary at the beginning.  The verbal sparring with Isobel goes in my cons...sorry. 
Mosely was a wonderful doofus this season.  I liked him best this year.
Mrs Patmore was sweet to Daisy.
Daisy's father in law.  LOVE him.  He is kind and loving and I wish they had a show all their own. 
Loved the colors of the dresses.
Loved the music. 


Cora.  Snooze.
Lord Grantham and Isis.
Her awful mother and her hideous hair and makeup.
Her ill cast brother.  Sorry Paul.
Bates.  I loathe him.  He is a psychopath.  I shall call him Dexter from now on.
I didn't care one bit about the Alfred, Daisy, Ivy storyline.
I was not very interested in the whole Prince of Wales letter storyline.
Threatening Thomas storyline.  But I guess without this we would not have seen Mosely's strength. ha.
Hate the drop waist dresses.

Wishes for next year.

Tom finding love...but not with the teacher. She is too mean.  I'd like to see Tom with that pretty friend of Rose's.

Edith finding happiness.

Mary happy with Lord Gillingham.  Gilligan's Island. That might be a funny skit. 

Happy. Happy. Happy.

What did you think?  What were your pros and cons of season four?


Last night on The Voice

I will watch until this couple is voted off.

I'm like that.

They were delightful to listen to! 
This is a Beatles song if you can't seem to place it.

I was thinking Monkees or Simon and Garfunkel...had to look it up!

Can't wait to read your comments!

Encourage one another,

Monday, February 24, 2014


Sorry to stand you up today...
Luke House you know.

I stopped to shoot my favorite building as I drove back to school to get Katie.


Can you wait until tomorrow to talk about the season finale of Downton Abbey?

I hope so.

Volleyball and running around today has me tired and really wanting a Diet Dr. Pepper!

See you tomorrow!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, February 22, 2014



it was crazy windy...

I used my Lensbaby for the heck of it.  It is a lens that makes the edges blurry.  The aperture is fixed and you have to focus by hand.  I am not the best at using it...but then I have only used it a few times.  Like I tell Katie, you have to work for a long time at something to be good at it!
Ask any Olympian?
Why we think we will be good at something the first year we learn it...well...that's just nutty.


Katie was letting Ginny out and I ambushed her because the light was pretty.  This picture is not edited.


Here I used an action by MCP to give it some warmth.  Katie's nose gets red really fast!
But you know what?  I prefer the unedited one with the red nose.  Real life.


Here it is in black and white.

It's very shadowy....but that's okay once in a while.  It's not my traditional style....but it happened.

I hope you have a great weekend!
God bless!


Friday, February 21, 2014

The Elm Rink Organist Tony Tahlman

Earlier this week I mentioned roller skating....
Southern Gal mentioned the songs she remembered skating to...

And well....

I remember the live organ playing.

Lo and behold....and I mean it.....Lo and Behold....

I found the actual organ playing from the Elm on youTube.
Thank you YouTube!

I can actually place myself on that rink, doing crossovers around the corners and feeling the breeze.
I can feel my feet and legs and hair.  My little nine year old legs and feet and hair....

Truly transported in time.


Amusing ourselvesupload

I feel so free to be myself around my kids.  I'm so imperfect and goofy and just love to laugh.
So this kind of thing happens every day.  Silly interactions.
Now.  I know my mom was funny and silly and goofy...but that behavior was more reserved for her friends.  Perhaps having seven children kept her in worker mode and she could let it all when she was with friends.  Yeah.  Maybe the fact that we have so much 'free' time together...and then...I don't have friends like my mom and dad did....
Yeah.  That might be part of it too.

Whatever the reason...I'm glad I can have fun with my children...and laugh...and be silly...

Do you know what I mean?
Is it just me?

Encourage one another,

I'm trying to teach Ginny to bring me her leash. She's kind of clueless. I tell her, "come on Ginny, you can do it!! You're a retriever, for heaven's sake!"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Easy Chef returns. Crockpot Turkey.

On Tuesday night I was on the phone with my sister Cindy.  She told me that when she visited our nieces up in Minocqua she brought her crockpot turkey.

Crockpot turkey??

What is that?

And then she recited the recipe to me and it was music to my ears.

Turkey and a stick of butter.


"It's delicious!" she said!

And I believed her...because she is my sister and she knows what tastes good.
And I was more than intrigued....because I have a house full of fussy eaters and there is no way that turkey and a stick of butter could offend any one!!!

So I made it yesterday.

I bought a frozen turkey breast with the bones in from Target.  I let it thaw for a day.

I stuffed the turkey in my old, small crockpot and then I added the butter.
The top would not go on with the butter in one piece so I cut it in smaller pieces.
I sprinkled a little Johnny's seasoning (this is a Wisconsin thing) on top and turned it on high.

It cooked on high from 9 am until 4 pm.  Then I took out the bones.  I gently lifted the pieces of turkey onto a plate and fished the bones out of the pot.  I didn't want ANY bones in the turkey so I put the juice thru a strainer.  This worked perfectly.  Then I poured that flavorful juice back in the crockpot and returned the tender meat also.  I shredded the turkey and put the crockpot on Low.

The meat was very moist and flavorful!!

If you need more moisture add a little chicken broth.

Cindy learned this recipe from her husband Pat's family.  Aunt Roxie's Crockpot Turkey.
We think the bones along with the butter give this dish it's great taste!

Oh!  I forgot to tell you.  Cindy said they eat this with hamburger buns.  She has them plain, Pat adds barbecue sauce.  

As I thought about serving this to my family I thought Katie would like it better in a flour tortilla with a little mild cheese on it.  She did.  She ate it.  Big deal.

My Patrick had his on a bun as did I.  I added a little cheese to mine.


Have you ever made this? ever heard of it?

I  highly recommend it.

Thanks Aunt Roxie!

Happy easy cooking!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

eating alone

Yesterday I helped measure the jr. high kids for their play costumes. They will be preforming Joseph and the Technicolor Dream coat at the beginning of May.  Everyone must participate.
(ha! who remembers that?)

 It was in the middle of the day and we finished about two hours before Katie would be out of school.  I decided to stay in town and have lunch.  (I drove past the restaurant and then turned around and came back to it...I was almost going home.  It takes 1/2 hour to drive home and then I would be turning right around and coming back.)

I chose a seat (picked my seat...hahaha) facing the street so I wouldn't have to look at people looking at me....sitting alone.  I had my phone and told myself I could read my book. (Winter Watch by Anita Klumpers)  But....I ended up eating my delicious hamburger and running thru the apps on my phone. ...
There's Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, my blog and a game.  Such a big huge distraction, that phone.  A wonderful little lunch friend for the lonely.

So I went to get Katie and had to wait a little bit outside the school.  Katie was staying late for some math help.  Katie has a hard time keeping up with all the school work.  She is up late and working sometimes three hours a night.  (This is particularly hard for me as she has been in school for SEVEN hours already.   WHY more work?)  But I will say that she tries very hard and she has not thrown in the towel and for that I am very proud of her and her good attitude.  He takes my pep talks and encouragement very well...and for that I am so thankful.

Out to lunch. Solo.

I like how this black and white turned out.  darks...and lights... pretty nice for a phone edit.


I don't know if you spotted it in the comments, but Jep has shingles.  Many of us responded to her but for some odd reason the replies bounced all over and didn't line up under her comment.  She is such a faithful prayer warrior for all of us, I wanted to make sure you knew she was ill.  She acts like it's not a big deal but I have heard shingles are extremely painful.

God bless you Jep. Get well soon.


Is anyone watching Jimmy Fallon?  American Idol?

Lots of love,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And for best dressed in the long program.....

I am going to assume you know who won the Ice Dancing last night.  The young American couple Davis and White won the gold medal.  They skated perfectly.  I liked their short program better because of the speed and the music...and the dress....but that's just being picky.  After watching 15 couples skate yesterday afternoon I do believe the couples who won gold and silver really were the best!  The couple that skated to Les Miz have much going for them but did anyone else notice how awkward their lifts were? The girl looked like she was crawling up a mountain to get up on her partner's shoulders.  And then she would strike a grand pose.  And her poses on top were GREAT.  But the whole climbing up thing was terrible.  Do you think someone will tell them?  

Following are the best dressed of the night.

Italy.  42nd Street.  cutest.

(This is from the short program...but that skirt....fabulous!)

Russian. Swan Lake. classic.

Canadians. Music choice ?.  Gorgeous.
I have to wonder if they had different music if they would have won?  The Americans danced to Shahrazad and it was eh....But I can't even remember what Tessa and Scott skated to.  I think I liked their skating best.  They won the gold four years ago so they are no slouches.

Americans. Les Miz.  Thrilling.

Here is the couple that had the awkward lifts.  They had my favorite music of the night...and look how lovely she is!  They are young and with a little lift help I think they have a future in the sport.  (take my advice!)  I think they came in 9th.

Oh Ice are my best.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ice Dancing. Oh! And Downton.

This is Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  They are the most lovely ice dancers!  They preformed this skate last night and will do the free dance tonight. (Last nights performance was their highest score ever and it was faster and more thrilling even tho it was the same skate.)   If they win (and they should) they will be the first American's to win a gold in ice dance.  It is my favorite ice skating.  It is so much harder to do than it looks and I really don't like the big jumps of the singles and pairs because it takes away from the musicality and dance.  I hope you get a chance to watch this tonight!!


Oh Downton.  I almost forgot.

It was a very good episode.

Let me just say this...  Bates is a psychopath and now I think he killed his wife.

What do you think Edith should do?

Isobel is being wooed.  I liked that man.  Good casting.
The Dowager was hilarious...
her 'life is hard and then you die' speech.....and then...let's eat!

oh my.

Mosely was good.  I usually just put up with him...but he was cute.

That new Miss Baxter (always sewing Miss Baxter) was a sweet encourager to Mosely.

Daisy made me cry...and that father in law of hers...he is a dear, dear man.

This was the final episode before the big Christmas episode next week.
The final episodes often end with a party of some sort, don't they?

Melissa Wiley writes the best recaps of each episode on her blog

Have a lovely week!
Feel free to leave a comment!  All are welcome :o)

Encourage one another,

Saturday, February 15, 2014


My Matthew. 20 years ago. Cracks me up.

Matthew made this bookmark around 20 years ago.
While this sentiment is is funny that he would write it about himself.  I have a feeling he was snickering while he wrote it down.


Friday, February 14, 2014

When I think of love....

I think of babies.
This is baby Malachi.  He is happy and giggly.

Everyone can love a baby.
(Especially Malachi...because he is excessively cute!)

That's the easy part.


Dear Lord,
Help us to love the unlovable.
Like you do.

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”  G.K. Chesterton

 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor. 13:13

Happy Valentines Day!
Love wins.


Thursday, February 13, 2014


recent movies

blue jasmine...i read somewhere that this is like streetcar named desire....that is true.  it is.  it is sad and without redemption.  cate blanchet is remarkable.  san francisco is beautiful.  the blah.

captain much better than i imagined.  suspenseful.  it's worth seeing to watch the amazing tom hanks at the very end.

dallas buyers club...interesting story, amazing acting.  very. very crude and vulgar.  you've been warned.

about time...sweet story that could have done without the time travel.  characters are pleasant.  not bad.  not worth writing home about.

the spectacular now...high school kids.  struggling.  falling in love.  secret drinking.  every mother's nightmare.  i don't recommend it.  this kind of movie disturbs perks of being a wall flower.  it turns my stomach to imagine life is like this for teens.

recent recipes image and recipe credit


This was super easy and super delicious

recent purchases

Teeny. Tiny. Cute. Lip balm. #perfectpackaging

Look at the teeny tiny cute little lip balm.  It's a minature version of the regualr vasoline jar.  I think it's too cute.


recent reads

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman continues to be among the favorite books I've read in the last few years.  This little book puts those ideas in very short snippets.  I would still recommend the original book first...but this is a nice little read.

Happy Thursday!

I hear many of you are getting lots of snow today!  Drive safely!
And those of you in the sunshine states....don't forget your sunscreen!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Puppy love.


All so sleepy.

Ginny LOVES Emma.

Watching Katie shovel. #ginnygirl

She is watching Katie shovel.

As you see...the's mutual.

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” 
~Dean Koontz

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oh my goodness.

I was sad to hear the news that Shirley Temple passed away yesterday.  Such a bright, happy, talented little girl.  She was the most cheerful little entertainer!

The movie Heidi was one of my very favorites.  The sound of her voice, of Grandfather's voice are in my soul.  The scene where she sits at the very little chair at the big table when she first meets Grandfather on the mountain is absolutely darling.  That scary, mean woman who breaks her snow globe....horrible.

When a celebrity dies I really am not moved to tears...usually.  But I must admit looking at this darling face makes me weep a little.

Sweet hearts are hard to say good bye to.   I remember feeling this way about Mr. Rogers.  Some people do make the world a kinder, happier place by being in it.

Rest in peace.


Encourage one another,


Monday, February 10, 2014

This weekend in entertainment. (Frozen. Downton)

Mary got Muddy.

Olaf made us laugh.

I know.  We are the last to see it.  But we loved Frozen.  
Having only heard the music once I am not head over heels for it...but I know those of you with the soundtracks can't get enough of it.  I don't think I have ever heard of a new release movie having sing a longs immediately after the movie was released!  So at our theater you can go see the movie OR go see the movie in a Sing-a-long version.  Isn't that the funniest thing you have ever heard?

Finally saw Frozen. #cute #olaf #photobomb

Olaf photobomb :o)

One of you posted in the comments how much this little character reminded them of Katie.
I totally see it.  It was like watching Katie in a Disney film for me.

About the animation.  I thought the eyes were freakishly big.  Anyone else notice this?  I know it's a popular Japanese way to animate but I found it distracting and over the top.



Speaking of Over the Top, Katie's volleyball team (OTT) had a great tournament yesterday.  Their last game (#6 of the day) was a huge let down for the girls but they won four and that is such a great showing for them.  I'm so happy to see them improve!!!  The games are fun to watch and very exciting.

I was deliriously tired when I watched Downton so I know I didn't fully take it all in but please feel free to discuss it in the comments.  What I do remember....Isobel taking care of The Dowager.  I said aw, aw, aw....  Mary got muddy.....while Mary cares about the pigs...I really don't think that is in keeping with her all.  But it was fun.  Edith.  That whole abortion thing just made me furious.   I scowled.   Mr. Bates' scowl at the end.  Watch out.  Lord Grantham snuggling with Isis.  Too sweet.   Isis is such a teeny little lab.  She is half the size of Ginny.

Have a happy Monday.
I'm going to rest.  
WATCHING eight hours of volleyball and driving for three hours wore me out.

Encourage one another,

Friday, February 07, 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

It's a Bluebird Day with a SUNDOG!!!

B: Patrick's car is stuck at work.  It won't go.
G: Emma is coming home tonight
B: Patrick lost his keys while trying to fix the car last night.
G: I dropped off an extra key at his work this morning and got to see my very first Sundog!
B: It is -9 degrees this morning.
G: The sun is shining
B: It is -9 degrees this morning

B is for bad.
G is for good.

Oh life.  You are a crazy roller coaster of pain and delight.

I am thankful for eyes to see and ears to hear the good parts.

Wishing you the same.

And in the end I think I've learned the final lesson from my travels in time; and I've even gone one step further than my father did: The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.~About Time

 Life's a mixed bag, no matter who you are.~About Time

SUNDOG!!! My first. So exciting!!!

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A year ago.

Taken by Fisheye Pro on my iPhone (Kodachrome film, Normal).

This was taken last year on this day.  Our snow is about the same.  Ginny is looking very fine.  Katie's hair is LONG.


Is it Mardi Gras time yet?


Remind me to get some salt bagels soon.


I love this child.


textures. colors.

“Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
~ William Shakespeare

No February faces here.


Encourage one another,