Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old dog. New Tricks.

You are not going to believe this.

I drank the same drink at Starbucks for seven years.  Lots of them.
Never interested in anything else.

But then one day, I felt like trying something different.

I tried a Pink Drink.
It is strawberry acai juice with coconut milk and lots of ice.

(Usually there are freeze dried berries in it.  I didn't want those.)

And just like that I changed my drink.
It's deliciously refreshing!

It has no cholesterol,  which I am watching, fewer calories than the chai and less sugar than the chai.

I have found that my knees feel better without the milk.
Or is the the Omega 3, Tumeric/ginger, and Bosweilla I've been taking?

What ever it is, my knees feel 100% better than they did six weeks ago.
(Even if I was not having wonderful physical results from changing my drink, I would stick with it as it's yummy!)


And here is another new trick I learned this week.

I have added sprinkles to my Rice Krispie treats.
I am not usually a sprinkle girl, but I think this trick makes plain old Rice Krisipe treats look so much better!!!

My high school friend, Diana Williams Pace has a lovely daughter named Courtney who is a brilliant cake baker.  Courtney showed how to make these on Instagram.  And while her cakes look delicious and gorgeous, these rice krispies are more my jam.

Along with the cereal, marshmallows, and butter, you add two Tablespoons of packaged white cake and a few Tablespoons of jimmie sprinkles.
And just like that...cuteness.

Here is Courtney's link;

Courtney has been on television a number of times and is featured in Oprah magazine in August.
She teaches classes in Utah and will send you a box with all the ingredients and instructions to bake and decorate her cakes.

I'm sure she would laugh that the item I chose to make from her Instagram feed...but you know me...
the easy chef.

Who knows what I'll learn next?
Or what wild and crazy habit I'll switch up?

Have you tried something new lately?

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ten years ago...part two

Original post date: July 17, 2009

They were there in spirit.

Once upon a time there was a handsome Greek boy from Chicago.
He met a pretty little red head from the south side.
They fell in love and married and had seven beloved children.
Jim and Esther loved life.
They danced the jitterbug and listened to Frank Sinatra and Herb Albert.
They vacationed in sunny, sandy places; Acapulco and Maui and one particular cool and fishy place: Hayward, Wisconsin.
They danced.
They drank.
They sang.
They laughed.
They loved their friends.
They loved their family.

And then they were gone.

But their spirits live on in each of us.

And apparently we have picked up where they left off!!!









Here we are in birth order.
Who knew all of my sisters would wear white?
And sunglasses. 
I was preoccupied, what can I say?


I was able to take a few wedding pictures. I did not want to get in the real photographers way...
so I shot from my seat and grabbed a picture when I could.





"Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

"If I know what love is, it is because of you."
--Herman Hesse

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Friday, July 12, 2019

Ten years ago....part one

Ten years ago Sue's son Wesley married Stephanie.  All of Esther and Jim's kiddos traveled down to Destin, Florida for the wedding.
Nine months later Suzy would be gone.
That wonderful time together was such an amazing gift.
I am so thankful for it.


We're home!

Oh! It's so good to be home.

It is wonderful to be on vacation and it is even more wonderful to be with family....

But there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
In your own home.
In the coolness of Wisconsin.

Dear Wisconsin,
I love your coolness.
Love Donna


We drove for 17 1/2 hours yesterday to get back to our beds and coolness of Wisconsin.

Emma and Patrick drove.


I sat in the back seat a lot with Katie.


Nintendo DS is a nice gadget to have along on a long car ride.

We played the alphabet game and collected license plates.

Late yesterday we passed a van from ALASKA.

It was thrilling.


I was relaxed and happy in the back seat. I was cool. This is the last time my mouth was closed for some time.

(This is on the way to Florida.)


The REAL reason we went to Florida was to see Wes and Stephanie wed.
They are just the nicest young couple. So together. So happy. So in love.


We found other reasons to celebrate while we were there.

Cynthia Carol!!! This is so her. So beautiful. So full of life!


This is Nancy and her husband Bink. She is being harassed by fun-loving Cindy in the top picture...
They are our guardian angels.
When our parents died, Nancy was 20 years old.
They kept our family together.
An amazing act of love and loyalty.


Here's Jim. Our big brother. Yes. The only boy.
He loves all of his nutty sisters.
And his silly sisters LOVE him!
He is gentle and thoughtful and very dear to us.

But he won't dance. Even when they play "We are Family".

What's with that?


Sister Sue is my Irish twin. She is the mother of the groom.
Look at that wonderful smile!
Sue handled all of the destination wedding mother of the groom duties with grace and style!


Janice is "A" baby. Our Greek baby.
She is so smart and witty. I had forgotten how smart and witty Janice is!
And she is a bit of a tease. Just like our dad!
Oh Janice! I love to see you smile!


Janet is "B" baby. Our Dane.
Did you ever see twins who looked so different as Janice and Janet?

Janet Jean, Where did you get those eyes, dear girl?
No fair. At all.

So that's the Glyman line up.
All present and accounted for.

And what did we do.

We hugged and laughed and talked and caught up.

...and ate fried food at the Kiwi bar overlooking the pool and the bay.


It was heaven.


And loads of fun!!!


Yeah. My mouth is open.
What can I say???

Coming up:

Wedding pictures.
Little swimmers.
Family photoshoot under the pier.
And excitement galore ;o)

Off to make breakfast.

I missed making my own food.
A lot.

I think I will be cooking more.
Did you ever realize that you can make better food than most restaurants?
I realized that this week.

So bye for today.
Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Anything exciting happen while I was gone?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Where in the world....

Look who is expecting?  Emma is 20 weeks pregnant this week.
She and James will find out if the baby is a boy or a girl on Thursday.

She is feeling well. 
The baby should be kicking hard enough for them to feel it soon.
That is such a wonder and joy, isn't it?

We are so happy and thankful for this little bebe.


I've been busy all summer with Dr appointments and working with a great gal who is helping Patrick and I plan for retirement.  We feel very fortunate to be getting this great guidance.  

I have been trying to get a hold of Social Security for a few weeks and let me tell you...
Start early. It took me two weeks to get a human to speak to...and then he said, I can't do anything for you, but make an appointment. (I said, "what do you do?")
Then he told me  that there is not an appointment to talk to me for 60 days!  
(Maybe cause I said 'What do you do?")
(I was honestly confused. Not mean about it.)
But 60 days out for an appointment???
Even on the phone.

Oh lordy.
I love America.
I am thankful to have been born here and feel blessed.

But yikes.  
What a mess.

That's all I'm gonna say about that.

I am going to encourage you to save your own money and start very early in your dealings with Social Security.


So I have a little basal cell cancer on my nostril.
I am having THAT sliced off on Aug 1.
It is not a bad cancer...doesn't go anywhere...
but the fact that it is on my face is horrible.

I have had moles cut off my face before and it's a nightmare.
The shots hurt terribly and I sat and cried big tears the whole time.
They did not give me anything....I thought I would be sleeping.
So now that I know I will be sitting there  and very aware while they cut.... I am getting drugs from my doctor.
I need something to make me not so scared and petrified.

Any recommendations?


I have some fun visits to look forward to in the next month and a half.
Matthew, Melinda and the boys are coming to Wisconsin.
Emma, James and Lorelei are also coming to a near by State park.

Katie is working hard and packing lots of fun into her last summer before college.
I don't know if I told you that she is going to Bennington in the fall.
Bennington Vermont.
She is looking forward to this new chapter.
We are proud of her persistence and perseverance.
These qualities will serve her well for her whole life.
I have no doubt.

I think we are ready.

Emma Jean Jelly Bean.

I'm sorry for the long span...
I don't feel like I have anything to say...
but I talked with a few of the gals last night by email and we all miss this space....

I'll try to do better.

Happy July.

"What a beautiful, sunny morning.  It makes you happy to be alive, doesn't it?  
We can't let the sun outshine us!  
We have to beam, too!"

-  Takayuki Ikkaku

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Again

I don't want to use plastic.  I'm heartbroken and disgusted when I see the ocean filled with plastic,
Who ever allowed this practice of dumping trash in the ocean?  I honestly can not imagine this being okay with anyone.  I do not think it should be legal and it makes me mad and sad.

For a while now I have been using my reusable cup and straw from Starbucks.  (I think it is absolutely stupid that plastic straws being 'banned' but not plastic cups and lids and silverware and bags.)  

I decided to write this post because the gal at Starbucks forgot to give me my ten cent rebate for using the cup...and she said it was because no one does it.  I thought, gosh, that's all we hear on the news everyday...the environment...the planet...terrible...extinction.....

Yet, this simple task of bringing a cup is not catching on.

I have not figured much out about this yet, but I will share with you that I bring my cup and I use reusable bags.

I use to use one plastic bag a day.  I went to get my chai and then I would pick up a few things from Target.  That's 365 bags a year.  Just me.  Not Katie.  Not Patrick.  I now carry two or three reusable bags with me.  It's so easy.  It has finally become a habit.  I get a small rebate.  I am happy that today I did not throw a bag in the ocean. I would never do that! Would you? 

Instead of a reusable bag, Katie has been taking my old Longaberger Market basket with her.
That a girl!  

Our plastic is not being recycled like we may think it is.
Apparently aluminum is the way to go.  It is being recycled.
Go Pop.  Go Beer.  haha.
Now there is drinking water in aluminum.  I have not tried it yet.

(On another side note....what did we do when we were little?  We drank out of water fountains.  We lined up after recess and got a messy gulp of water.)

I am not a big water drinker, but Katie is in the habit of carrying her own water bottle.  It is not such a hard thing to do.  She also carries little silicon straws with her. (I am trying to remember to say, "no straws, please".)

Also in the picture of the straws in a reused Patagonia jacket!  This cute coat was first worn by one or two of Nancy's girls.  It is at least 20 years old as it was worn by Emma too!!  
This is the most excellent way to reuse!!  LOVE hand-me-downs!!!
Katie buys a lot of her clothes used at Good Will or on Etsy.  She has gotten a cute pair of high waisted hounds tooth pants and a plaid kilt skirt!

Reducing comes easily for me....well...not weight.. Bwahahaha....
But really I don't mind wearing the same shirts and pants until they fall apart or are STAINED!
(Look at my instagram will see what I mean.)

I once asked my friend Camy what she thought the best diet was, out of all the different choices.

You know what she said?

Eat less food.

And I wrote it down and put it on my fridge.

And in our consumer society....the best and most radical thing I can say to clean up our beautiful planet,  our stunning oceans is:

Buy less stuff.

These are the little things I am doing. And I thought maybe I can encourage one or two of you to get a reusable cup or reusable bag.  
It's not so hard.

I am haunted by plastic in the ocean.

What tricks or tips do you have that can help us use less plastic and create less waste?
I'll bet someone has a "net" bag for produce. 

Please share in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 06, 2019

The happiest days....

It's a boy.

Prince Harry and his beloved Meghan had a baby today!
The baby was born at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.  Meghan's mom was there.
So it seems she had a home birth!  How about that?

The baby boy was over due and weighed 7 lbs 3 oz.

Everyone I have spoken to was sure it was a girl.
I was too.
So that was a really fun surprise.

Now!  What do you think the name will be?  I had my girl names...but not my boy names.

So the Royal names are


I don't know if Meghan will be able to squeeze in a more modern, American name...
We shall see.

I like Albert, Bertie.
I think Harry would be fond of the name Philip.  He likes his grandpa.

What do you think?
Any ideas?

God bless the newest Royal baby!!!
Happy Day!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Hello dear friends.
Today is the ninth anniversary of our sister Sue's passing.  Like I have told you all before, the two months leading up to her death are months we reflect on that terrible and special time.
That time of walking Suzy home.

At the end of Feb, 2010 we found out about the terrible brain tumor.
I headed to Missouri to visit immediately.

I posted on my blog that I was on my way to see Sue.
Susie commented on my blog....
below you will see the last comment she ever made and one of that last pieces of writing I have from her.

It is from this correspondence that she first said; Love you, Mean it!


It is incredibly precious to me.
 I wanted to share it with you all and keep it here on the blog.

I still miss you so much Sue and love you like crazy.
Mean it.

Donna Elsie

Monday, April 15, 2019

The heart and soul of Paris.

April 2007

Note the flying buttresses.

I learned about the flying buttresses in art class in college in 1979.  
I've since pointed them out whenever I get the chance.  When Katie visited Notre Dame a few weeks ago.
I told her to note them and she sent me a picture and just said, "noted".

Today when I saw on Twitter that Notre Dame was on fire I was horrified.
 I was at school so I had to hold in the tears, but it was so hard to do.

My heart is broken for the congregation, for the French, and for people who love art and history all over the world.  To me this was the most important building in the world. 
It was beyond precious and beautiful. 
It is a tragic loss.  
I am heart-sick.

When the sun comes up tomorrow we will see and mourn, even greater I'm fear, what is left of this, the loveliest of buildings.   
The heart and soul of Paris.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscar. Oscar, Oscar! Red Carpet. 2019

Good morning fashion lovers.  It was a good night for fashion.  
The Oscars were very much like the Super Bowl this year.  Nothing too exciting until the fourth quarter.

I was frustrated that a movie I thought was too boring to watch more than five minutes of would take so many awards...Roma.   It free on Netflix.  See if you can watch it.  haha.

Although I think Glenn Close is talented, and has nominated seven times, I'm glad she did not win for a one note performance in The Wife.  I should go back and see who beat her when she was in Fatal Attraction, that was Oscar worthy.

Olivia Colman shocked the crowd and herself by winning Best Actress for The Favourite.
Her performance was great!  The movie is a costume drama with a very odd and interesting cinematography, dancing, styling and music.  The only thing I really hated was the music.  WAY TOO avant garde for me.

Her acceptance speech was classically British.  Funny and witty.

JLO looks amazing in this mirror ball dress :o)
Many women wore sparkle-y fabric...but this was the only one I didn't think looked like cheap fabric.
Hey!  I wonder how this was to sit in?

Please notice that horrid backdrop.  Oh my gosh.  They were not thinking of how this would look in photos.  I hate it.  This was a pretty dress.  I liked the unusual gold bands.  

Gorgeous fit and dress on Ashely Graham.  The fabric is heavy and falls beautifully and it holds up on top too.  Very nice!

Bette Midler sang a song from Mary Poppins Returns. It was enchanting and perfect.
She glows.

What ever she is doing....she is doing it beautifully.
Her skin is so pretty.  It's the skin, and chest and neck of a twenty year old.
Like I said....I'll have what she's having.

Every time she is on the stage...she makes it magical!

Another dress with heavy, rich fabric!  Great jewels!  Beautiful.
It's Charlize Theron with dark hair.

Speaking of jewels!!!!!!
This is called the Tiffany Diamond.  It's worth millions.
Lady Gaga's make up is very understated and my favorite look of hers. ever.
I loved how she looked last night.
She won for best song, Shallow.

Which I of course sing.... Shadow.

Kelly and Mark Consuelos looking gorgeous.

Helen Mirren in my favorite color combo.  I just love pinks and reds together.  She is just amazing.
I have a thing for chiffon too.  So pretty Helen!

As far as sexy dresses go...this one worn by Jennifer Hudson is lovely.  It was redder and not orange like it shows in the picture.  She looks wonderful.

Renee Zellweger came for the Vanity Fair after party and I find her dress and shoes and leg....exquisite.

Gabriel Union wearing a gorgeous dress to the after party!  Love this.

Mimi Driver wearing a pretty dress with a pink clutch.
Lovely fabric and neckline.

Zoey Deutch wearing a dress with tiny pleats or folds.  This dress would be described as mille feuille.
A thousand layers.  
I love it.

And my favorite of the night.  Gemma Chan in her delightful pink confection.  I love the neckline and the way it fits her petite body.

Hello. Pretty Lady.

Lots of pink and black favorites last night.  What a nice night of fashion.

Reporting from the frozen tundra,
Donna Elsie