Tuesday, December 31, 2019


It was a weird year.
I was stuck.
In my chair.
Unless I was visiting family.

In 2020, I will try to get unstuck.

And for your New Year,
I wish you love and purpose
laughter and dance.

and maybe, just maybe this following clip will fulfill two of those wishes!

Love you 
Mean it!

Donna Elsie

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Dear Baby Jesus


Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.

~Dale Evans Rogers

Merry Christmas!

Love Donna

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

twenty kisses when you wake

Not even a cupcake this year.  
Katie is 20 years old today...
and she is sick.  So we've laid low and watched movies and decided to save the chocolate pie for a different day. 

Paulie is with us this year!  I made him meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pork and beans for dinner and he was delighted.  He is also thrilled that we have ME tv and he can watch all of his favorites;  McHale's Navy, Perry Mason and Green Acres.

My little Degas.

Happy Birthday dear Katie.

Our beloved caboose.

Love Always,

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

beams of love

Who does she look like?
Isn't that the question we always ask as we look at new babies?

This big cheeked baby is me.

I sure had a lot of hair!
Not really a surprise! he he

I was once told by a friend's mother, "Esther loved her babies."

Babies are hard work.  How we worry.  How we want to puke from exhaustion.

But somehow, Esther Jean was known for loving her babies. 
Even when she had two in one year and two in one day!

Love is a powerful things.
It is the most important thing.
It is eternal.

How far that little candle throws her beams,

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Fresh from God

“I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, 
who are so fresh from God, love us.”

Sunday, December 01, 2019

The One Where Emma Has A Baby

On Nov. 19th about 9:00am Emma called.  
'I think I am having contractions, I think my water might have broken last night, I think this is it.'

I called Patrick.
I scrambled around the house to finish packing my bag and the car.
I was out the door and on my way to Missouri.

Melinda, in Omaha was doing the same.

I had a four hundred mile drive to make.
As early as 10:00 am  Emma was at already to four.

Melinda was worried we would miss the birth.

When Melinda arrived she texted me;
"Emma is at 8 cm and cool as a cucumber."

I was in the middle of Missouri waiting for crossing guards and children and tractors to....

I arrived at the hospital at 4:00 pm
I did not know where to park.
I was in a panic.
I had to basically walk around the whole hospital.
I got to Emma's room about 4:20.

It was quiet and dark and Emma was on her side.  She was handling her contractions with yoga breathing.  James was helping her along.
Melinda and I were astonished to see her doing so well.

I held back and prayed.
Melinda sweetly encouraged Emma when she started to transition.

In a matter of ten minutes, Emma was ready to push.
My strong tough girl pushed hard and well and by 5:02
River Jean screamed her way into this world.

Melinda and I stood back and watched the beauty and marvel of it all.
Emma and James took turns doing skin on skin.

Emma was able to follow her birth plan.  No drugs. No epidural.
Incredible, just incredible.

"And so began our longest journey together."

Lorelei has been such a sweet, happy big sister!!!  
James is taking the night shift so that Emma can sleep.
He is a helpful, fantastic daddy and husband.
Emma is happy to hold River all day and misses her at night as she sleeps.

River is content and a good eater.
She loves when we sing to her and hates cold wipes.
She is beautiful, of course.

I will miss this pretty little face as I have come home now.

River is loved beyond measure.

The happiest days are when babies come.

Donna Elsie

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Noble Belly

Winter has come very early this year.
I am focusing on my blessings and not the weather.
This takes great effort!

Before we know it Emma will be holding her own baby in her arms.

The sweetest picture ever.

Do you think baby girl Franklin will have red hair?

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet.  I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
~Erma Bombeck

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen
 or to hatch.
~E.B. White

Now my belly is as noble as my heart.
~Gabriela Mistra

Waiting in Wisconsin

Wednesday, November 06, 2019


Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron 
Ice Dance France 2019

In my mind, this is how people get around in heaven.

Their skating is beyond beautiful.
It is exquisite and full of feeling.
The difficult lifts are effortless and gorgeous.
What a team!!!
I love them.

Big fan,

Friday, November 01, 2019

The rest of the poem

I have been posting John Updike's Calendar poems on this blog for over ten years.
A few months ago, or was it a year, I found his little book, his original poems, for sale online.

I loved each and every poem I read, but I knew that the references to God were missing from the originals.

I like references to God.  I like to include Him in the picture.
I believe He created this lovely world we inhabit, and I liked it back in the 1960's when this was okay with the general public.

The world's view may have changed, but I'm not budging.

This man was not moving. :op


The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
as hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world
in it's distress,
Displays a certain 

The beauty of 
the bone.  Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and Nod.

Give thanks: we do,
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

From A Child's Calendar by John Updike (1965)

I think those last two stanzas are challenging, 
but the depth is beautiful.
That God sees our souls....and they are lovely.

It's so touching I could cry.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thanksgiving Songs

~Winslow Homer

When I was young we had music class right there in the regular classrooms. We stood at our desks in rows.   We had hard covered song books. 
We learned songs like Bicycle Built for Two and Casey and we would learn Patriotic songs and Holiday songs.  More than Christmas songs I remember the Thanksgiving songs.  My sisters, Janet and Cindy helped me remember a few of the songs we knew.  Thanksgiving songs gets forgotten in everyone's rush to Christmas.

(I am already watching Christmas movies on Hallmark and Lifetime.  Sorry.  But hey!  If they make a Thanksgiving movie.  I'll watch that too.)

Enjoy some wonderful Thanksgiving classics and feel free to sing along :o)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Orange Dream

Do you remember when I told you about my new favorite thing? Cornishware.

Well, this little tight wad, turtle has slowly added a few pieces to her collection.
I have a blue and white butter dish, which I got for Christmas.  
This Spring I bought little yellow striped egg cups.  I bought these because Karina painted them in her shop.  And then....this fall, Karina (owner and painter) asked what color we would love to see in the stripy line-up.

In September she and her staff started working on a beautiful orange.

 I follow Karina's Instagram and Insta-stories and this is how I am up on all the fun announcements.
She is really a hard worker,  a great business owner (along with her husband), mother of five and an all around delightful woman.

So she announced that they would be selling 300 mugs and 75 jars.
We could personalize them.
They would go on sale at noon on Oct. 4.

I called the bank two days before the tell them I would be making an out of country purchase.
I set my alarm for 4:00 am, as if it was a Royal wedding.

Patrick took a picture of me ...
he couldn't believe it!

  (He sent this to the kids because he likes to show them when I do crazy things.)

I was up and waiting for the virtual doors to open!
This is particularly odd that I would be doing this.  I do not stand in line for things and I have never shopped on black Friday or the day after Christmas.)

At the very moment the clock struck noon England time,
the website crashed!

When the site came up for me, here in Wisconsin at 5:15 everything was sold out.

I clicked and fretted and clicked again.
Left the site, came back to the site.
again and again.

And guess what?

There were more items listed.

I put my items in the cart as quickly as I could.  Holding my breath.
It seemed to go thru.  I received a confirmation.
My mad clicking and refreshing had worked perfectly.
It turns out that Karina added 75 more jars, that she was holding back.

And I was one of the lucky ones.

All the orange stock sold out in 1/2 hour.

And here are my little beauties!
Why do I love them so much?

Yesterday I posted about my Cornishware arriving on my Instagram.

And look!
Karina responded on her Instastory!!!

I wonder what I will get for Christmas this year?

Donna Boo

follow Karina @cornishware_artist 
on Instagram


(this picture is taken from @cornishware newsletter)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Dear God,

Dear Prayer Warriors.
Please pray for Emma today.  She had a seizure this morning.
James was with her and she did not fall or hurt herself (other than being sore from them muscle tensing)
She has called her OB and will be going in to see her today and they've decided to go the ER to see a neurologist quicker.  (Her current Neuro is not attentive and absent)

We are all worried and would like wise medical care and counsel.

I know you love her and will pray with me.

Love Donna


Emma and her baby were listened to at the ER and they let them go.  Then she and James headed over to the OB.  She had a more thorough looking into at the OB. Nice long ultrasound and lots of monitoring.  All looks good as far as the baby is concerned.  Emma has yet to talk to a neurologist but her OB is helping her with that.

Thank you for praying. 
We still need some good solid advice from a neuro and
that will be my continued prayer. 

All will be well.

Monday, October 21, 2019

This week in photography.

Here is my beautiful picture of the delicious Zip Whiz Burger.
See how I made sure you could see that it had cheese whiz and mustard and pickles on it?
Mugg's Up is walking distance from Emma and James' new house.
We drove.
I really do love these nutty little loose meat sandwiches.  
When I make them I braise my ground beef.
(Do you call it hamburger meat?  I do.  Patrick always made fun of me for calling it that.  I wonder if that is a Chicago thing.  Chime in to let me know what you call it.)
Back to the meat. ......  I think I have seen someone cooking the ground beef in a large pan in the oven.  I may try this to get the meat extra soft.

Get your soft meat here!

Isn't this the prettiest pumpkin?
I just love it!

Today we had my least favorite weather day and my most favorite weather day all in one day~

This morning it was ding dang dark and rainy.  
By noon the wind blew the clouds away and it is sunny and blustery and delightful!


On stormy days 
When the wind is high
Tall trees are brooms
Sweeping the sky.

They swish their branches
In buckets of rain
And swash and sweep it
Blue again.

~Dorothy Aldis

Encourage one another,

Thursday, October 17, 2019

I carry your heart

“When you moved, I felt squeezed with a wild infatuation and protectiveness. We are one. Nothing, not even death, can change that.”
~Suzanne Finnamore

“You are the closest I will ever come to magic.”
~Suzanne Finnamore

Dearest Emma, due around Thanksgiving.
Truly a magical time.

You are loved, all of you....
with an everlasting love ;o)


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Too weak a word for what I feel

O Lord of pots and pans and things,

Since I have no time to be
a great saint by doing lovely things,
or watching late with Thee,
or dreaming in the dawn light,
or storming Heaven’s gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals,
and washing up the plates.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love,

and light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying,
and make my grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food
in room, or by the sea,
Accept the service that I do-
I do it unto Thee.

Generally attributed to Brother Lawrence

Thank you Stephie for sharing this wonderful quote!


“To paraphrase Woody Allen in Annie Hall, love was too weak a word for what I felt for that tiny crying creature who had my eyes, my mouth, my hair. I lurved my daughter, my Ava. I looved her. I lurfed her.” 
~Melissa Senate, The Breakup Club


Happy Tuesday friends,

I'm home after a nice long visit with Emma and James and bebe to be.
Lorelei was only with us on Monday morning, but we got to go to her dance class and that was just the best.  If you are a mother (or grandmother) and have not considered putting your child in dance class I want to urge you to do so.  Lorelei is almost five and will go to kindergarten next fall, but the things she is learning while having fun dancing is wonderful.

Dance students learn;

Listening skills
Physical awareness
Right and left
Vocabulary, French and English
Body parts

Can you tell I was impressed?   I think I see things differently now that I am older and looking on ....and also since I have worked with special needs children and been in the classroom. 
(Both of the boys took a little pre-dance class at the YMCA and Emma and Katie took a lot of dance classes....I did it because I loved movement and dance....but now I realize all the other fantastic benefits.)

These little ones will be ready to go for kindergarten.
They know how to line up and listen!


(Lorelei's grandparents send her to dance class which I think is the nicest thing ever!
She is a lucky girl to have so many people who love her.)

And a funny coincidence, Lorelei takes dance at the Studio where my sister Cindy took tap dance for years!!
And guess what? the owners and teachers at the school taught ME dance when I was at Stephens College in 1975-1977.  How about that?

BTW, Emma is feeling really well!  Her tummy is not quite as big as a basketball but it is AS ROUND!  I was able to feel grand baby girlie move a few times and that was lovely!
Emma's only inconvenience, her restless legs aka happy feet. 
She takes numerous little walks each day to help with that annoying feeling!
She is taking a little magnesium and she felt that worked for a while.

Any suggestions for the little antsy momma?

I took pictures with my big camera...I'll edit those tonight and get those up tomorrow :o)

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments (when you can).
Lots of love!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Add to the Beauty.

So I suppose that means I have to clean the oven.

Happy Tuesday friends!

Encourage one another,

Friday, October 04, 2019

Downton Abbey Movie

Last Thursday I took myself to an afternoon showing of Downton Abbey.
Until my sister Janet raved about it, I wasn't sure I would go to see it.  
(on the big screen)
I am so thankful that I did.

Go see this movie on the big screen. 
Go in the morning or afternoon if you don't want to pay full price.
But really, GO!

The cinematography is awesome and the music soars!
This can best be viewed on the big, big screen!

From the moment it began all the wit, whimsy and wonderfulness of Downton Abbey flowed over me.

I can't remember being this delighted by a movie!
I giggled. 
In fact, I haven't heard this much laughing out loud in a movie theater in years.
I wept.
Tears just kept dripping from my eyes.
It was emotional and beautiful.
I implore you to GO!

"Aren't we the lucky ones to have loved."
~Isobel Crawley

Let me know what you thought of the movie!!!
Favorite parts, biggest surprise.


Thursday, October 03, 2019

Welcome October

October’s Party
by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came.
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,
And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses maple
In scarlet looked their best.

All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then in the rustic hollow
At hide-and-seek they played;
The party closed at sundown
And everybody stayed.

Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."

Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves.
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves.
~Humbert Wolfe

Since it's been rain and clouds for about three weeks here, I have gone shopping through my previous October images and come up with some bright, colorful fall pictures!!!
The weather seems to be on a pogo stick with one day being eighty-five and the next being fifty-six.
The rain is the only constant.  Patrick says he has never felt the grass so soggy.

Autumn in Wisconsin,
you never know what you're gonna get.

As my friend Martha says,
"There is no such thing as bad weather,
only bad clothes."

As we face changing climates where we live,
here is my advice and it comes from long years of living in a place with wacky weather swings.

Be a good steward.
Make adjustments.
Say thank you.

.....and I swear as I typed those last words,
the sun shone bright for a few moments.

A cheerful heart is good medicine.

Welcome October.
You're fabulous!

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie