Monday, July 31, 2017

On the Waterfront

Is there anything nicer than being on the water?
I don't think so.  There always seems to be a breeze and views for days.
I love it.

Here we are on Lake Mendota in Madison.
Madison is an isthmus.
On one side is Lake Monona and on the other side is Lake Mendota.
We have lived here for sixteen years and I have never been out on the lakes.

Last weekend, Patrick's siblings thought it would be fun to rent a pontoon and go for a ride.
Something different for a change.  Such a good idea.
Fortunately two of the cousins knew how to drive a boat :o)
Thanks Hillary and Charlie!!

Katie borrowed her dad's glasses and forgot to put on sunscreen.
Her back is still hurting.  

I sat in the shade, ate Susan's popcorn and drank a Diet Dr. Pepper.
It was perfect.

Are you able to get out on the water very often?

I could never in a hundred summers get tired of this.
~Susan Branch

Donna Elsie

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Everything is new...

Hey friends,

I took off for San Francisco last week...
Spent Friday night with Emma and Carolyn (Em's roommate) and ate
very spicy Chinese food in Uptown.
My flight was cancelled and we worked very hard to get me to California at a reasonable time since I was not going to be there very long to begin with.
I lost five hours with Patrick....but we did our best to get there.

Patrick and I went to Half Moon Bay on the sunniest warmest day of the summer.

I am a weather charm in San Francisco.

I have been three times and every time it is sunny and warm on the coast.
NOT at all the norm.

We bummed around, ate at some nice places, and talked and talked.

Patrick scared me to death with his fast driving thru the winding hills.
In fact, I was too scared to meet him at work on I just suck close to his apartment....and folded laundry, read and watched tv.

I have never seen such dry landscape.  It was otherworldly to me.

I found In n' Out.  
It's a California tradition.
It's not my very favorite....
but it was good enough to eat.


Tomorrow I take Katie to Milwaukee to look at the college and museum there.
Next week she is off to Wesleyan (Conn) for a visit and interview.
(She is staying with my niece in a nearby town!  So amazing to be able to call on family for help with this trip. I wish I could go along for so many reasons but it's not working out.  Thank you Christine!!!)

Lots going on.
No news on the job front.
I will sub if nothing else comes along.

I was able to watch the Harry and William documentary about their mother. (on HBO)
It's touching and so sweet.

Our rainy summer is half way over.  

How would you describe your summer in one word?

Love ya
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

a few of my favorite things...

I went to look at my Pinterest to see if there was some inspiration for a post.
I like looking at my pins.  Still.  I looked in my "beautiful" board.

One of the first things that caught my eye was this hair.
There was a time when I would have hated any boldly colored hair.
But gosh.  I've changed, I guess, because this is gorgeous to me now.

I just adore darling fonts and calligraphy.
Big fan.

This picture popped up in my Facebook feed today.  We were in Destin Florida for a wedding.  I just love the colors and calm, content faces.  

I have a real fondness for white rooms.  The whiter the better.  I think 75% of the rooms I have saved on Pinterest are white.

Flowers. Always flowers.  

And sweet words.


Katie is home.  But she really did leave her heart in Brussels.  She has thought of almost nothing other than how to get back to Europe since Saturday night.

Oh how I wish money grew on trees.

Love and beauty and dreams coming true.

Encourage one another,

Friday, July 14, 2017


“Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.” 
~Garison Kieller

We I wake up tomorrow Katie will be on her way home.
She has LOVED being in Belgium.
I can't wait to hear all of the wonderful details tomorrow night.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Royal Watching.

I love Wimbledon.  And you know me...not just for the tennis.
I love to Royal watch.

The Duchess wore a darling dress and cute strappy shoes.  I think the straps around the ankles make a heel look so much cuter and not as stuffy.  I like this length hair too!  
Such a doll.

Here are Kate's siblings, Pippa and James.
Both look amazing.

They arrived in this Land Rover.
Perfectly English.  

Diana at one of her first.  I can tell by the dress.

William and his lovely Mum.

Love Diana's short hair and neat red dress.

Do you think this was on purpose?
I do

This is a newly released photo of Diana.  Her secretary (or lady in waiting or something) wrote a book and included some never before seen photos.
I love it.

I have approx. ten books on Diana and Charles and the boys....
I subscribed to Majesty Magazine for years....

So a new picture is pretty cool...and special.

Hi Diana.
Miss you.
Mean it.

Happy Royal Watching all you Anglophiles!

Donna Elsie

Monday, July 10, 2017

Excitement is overrated

Early evening at Lake Wingra.


Katie is well and happy in Belgium.
They had a wonderful sunny day of sight seeing on Sunday and met with a representative from Sweden today.  Katie LOVES it.  It is all so beautiful.

Thank you for your prayers for her.

If you would like, please add our family to your unspoken requests.
(I can't remember the way I'm suppose to say that.)

Thank you.
Big hugs.


Saturday, July 08, 2017

Off to Belgium

Off she goes....

Please bring strange things. 
Please come bringing new things. 
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us, 
be always coming home.

- Ursula LeGuin

Love you dear child.
old things
new things

Love you
Mean it.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A lake visit is always so nice.

John Updike

Bang-bang! Ka-boom!
 We celebrate Our national Independence date,
 The Fourth, with Firecrackers
 and The marching of The Legion Band.
 America: It makes us think
 Of hot dogs, fries, and Coke to drink.
 The shade is hot
 The little ants Are busy,
 but Poor Fido pants.
 And Tabby dozes
 In a pool 
Of fur she sheds 
To keep her cool.

What makes sitting by a lake so lovely?

We found a shady spot in the grass at Lake Wingra.
We brought pop, sandwiches and a wrap, peanuts and a seven layer bar.
The fancier food was picked up at Collectivo coffee on Monroe.

The weather was perfection.

It was peaceful, relaxed and pretty.

Such a nice day.

Encourage one another,

Monday, July 03, 2017


"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, 
with liberty and justice for all."

I know many do not feel the pledge of allegiance is for all...and so they will not recite it or stand.

But as I stood to pledge every day at school this year...
I thought of it this way.

I will pledge to seek liberty and justice for all.
I will pledge to desire that for all people.
I will pledge my heart to unity and liberty and justice for all.

It is a statement of intent to me.
It is my starting place.

I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
There is too much good.

Donna Elsie

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Encourage one another

So I was thinking...what do I write about?
I kinda forgot what I gabbed about all the time.

Oh how I wish I could tell school stories.
But it's unwise.
I wouldn't want someone blogging about what Katie did in school. (except me)
No matter how interesting or amusing.

So I reminded myself that my "mission" is to encourage and to add to the beauty.

Katie is going to Brussels Belgium in a week.
We are trying to figure out what camera she should bring.
Cause I need pictures.
Most of her time will be spend meeting with representatives from the EU.
She is most interested in meeting the folks from Sweden.
They will take a day trip to Bruges.  There she will seek out the Michelangelo of Madonna and Child.

 Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo 1504
(Church of our Lady)

1883 Vincent van Gogh (Dutch; 1853-90) ~ Bulb Fields

Have any of you been to Belgium?

Encourage one another,