Thursday, November 26, 2020

40th wedding anniversary. Wow!

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary.  
We were married on a Wednesday night in Lake Forest Illinois.
We basically eloped but had a little service in a Lutheran church.
The pastor and the organist were our witnesses.  

I was perfectly fine with this.  I don't really like being the center of attention...and I'm frugal.
Aunt Dorothy took me shopping on Michigan Ave and we picked out shoes and a mohair cape and high heel shoes....and a darling Albert Nipon dress.  
I don't remember anything about the service.  I do remember toddling down the aisle feeling like I was tiptoeing.  

After the service we drove in the dark to downtown Chicago.
We stayed in the penthouse at the Tremont where we were greeted with balloons and 'fake' champaign.  We ate at a restaurant in the hotel called Crickets.  We sat side by side. 

The next day, Thanksgiving, nothing was open.  We wandered around the empty, cold city until we found a dive that WAS open.  Patrick remembers eating cold turkey.  I remember the big waves on Lake Michigan.

We watched It's a Wonderful Life.


When you go into marriage, you intend for it to last.

Little did we know how hard that task would be.

But we must have the right amount of 



Cause, trust me, getting along with each other did not come naturally!

I'd say it's a supernatural achievement.

God helped us.
He helped us chose one another and keep trying.

And when we acted unloveable...
He helped us love the unloveable.


Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. ~Mark Twain

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 20, 2020

Covid watching


Hi friends, 

I am headed to a funeral in Arizona tomorrow.  Please say a little prayer for protection from the virus and the ability to handle the face mask for about four hours.  Please continue to pray for comfort and peace for Ashley's loved ones.  Thank you. 

While I am gone I will leave you with this embarrassingly long list of the shows I watched during Covid Quarantine!

Covid watching

Ted Lasso.  Absolutely delightful!!!  On Apple tv


Offspring. A cross between ER and Parenthood.  Loved it

The Queen's Gambit. Excellent

Pick of the Litter. Documentary about training seeing eye dogs.  SWEET

Kims convenience.  Funny sweet

The Good Place.  All of it. Pretty clever.

The Politician. Over rated

Sweet Magnolias. Didn’t like. Stopped watching

Echo in the canyon. Very good. documentary about Laurel Canyon musicians

The Crown. Finished season three at the beginning of covid...finishing season four now

Diana:In her own words.   Very good

After Life. Love. Ricky Gervais. Touching.  One and Two.  

Never Have I ever. Teeny Bopper movies.  I liked them all.

The kissing booth 2

The All the Boys part 2

Schitt's Creek. Final season.  Love

Episodes.  Really Great. Matt LeBlanc after Friends.

The Last Dance. Amazing Michael Jordan documentary

Shameless. Ten seasons.. very raunchy. Embarrassed to admit.

The New Girl. All seasons. got repetitive. started fast forwarding thru the episodes

Good Girls.   Stopped watching. Like Weeds a little. Jumped the shark.

Broadchurch loved ..

The Sinner. Hated season three

Lenox Hill. Favorite. Watch this

The Social Dilemma.  Really creepy. important watching

Joan Didion doc.  Good


Betty Broderick/dirty John

Gentified. favorite.  Watched three times

Doctor Foster. British.  Pretty good.

Killing Eve. Fave

In the Dark. Just finished 

A secret love. Old Lesbian Couple

The Duchess. Nutty woman

Virgin river. Hallmark-y

The Five. Five friends.  Mystery

Tiger King. Carol did it

Hollywood. Eh. Great production.

Atypical. Gets better and better each season

Dash and Lily Love this sweet romance. brand new

Enola Holmes Really liked this!  Sherlock's little sister

Indian Matchmaking.  Really liked this

This does not include....Housewives and Hallmarks.

Patrick is watching the Crown with me so that is fun.

Along with our nightly Jeopardy, we have a nightly Crown.

I think he is ready for Downton Abbey.  Don't you?

I'll be back next week.

Lots of love and television.

Donna Elsie

Monday, November 16, 2020

River turns ONE!

 We traveled down to Missouri over the weekend to celebrate River's first birthday!

Matthew and Melinda and their children came too! 

The cousins had much fun playing and River liked having people closer to her size around.

She especially loved Asher.  

Here are some pictures of our weekend.

What a blessing to spend time with our families!!!

So thankful,
Donna Elsie

All these photos were taken with iphones by Melinda and I.  

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Into my Arms.


I love this song.  I know it from the movie About Time.  
Which I highly recommend.  
Great music.  
Great cast!  

Into My Arms by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Gradually, you will return to yourself


                                             For One Who Is Exhausted by John O'Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,

Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.

Things you could take in your stride before

Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.

Gravity begins falling inside you,

Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken

And sadness take over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.


Many thanks to Ms. K from the comments.  She left a portion of this poem in the comments a few days ago.  It was saying in a beautiful way what I was feeling.  I looked up John O'Donohue and have since posted his poem about dying and now this one.  Our Swiss Miss, Susan, just received a book by O'Donohue in the mail!  So funny when that happens....You hear about someone you just learned about from another person, almost instantly.  

I love the end....

Gradually you will return to yourself.

Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Six kisses when I wake

Happy Birthday Zeek!

When I have said my evening prayer,
And my clothes are folded on the chair,
And mother switches off the light,
I'll still be 5 years old tonight.

But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I'll be 6 years old.

Six kisses when I wake,
Six candles on my cake.

We love you so much,
our little scientist!

Love Yaya


Monday, November 09, 2020

By faith we let them go

I read this devotional on Tim Challies website.  He is a Christian blogger and author.  He lost his son suddenly last week.  

He posted the following devotional.

I want to share it with you because it is a perspective I have never read.  

"Death strikes the best of our friends..."

How very true.

The 'why' is interesting.  I'm thinking about it.  I might say, "Wait, please". 

Have you ever heard this scripture?  Have you ever thought about death this way?

                            Ashely, beloved daughter, sister, niece, wife, mother and friend.


Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.

 John 17:24

O death! Why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness finds rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If you must use your axe, use it upon the trees that yield no fruit; then you may be thanked. But why will you chop down the best trees? Hold your axe, and spare the righteous.

But no, it must not be; death strikes the best of our friends: the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus' prevailing prayer--"Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am."

It is that which bears them on eagle's wings to heaven. Every time a believer moves from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ's prayer. A good old divine remarks, "Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say 'Father, I desire that Your saints be with me where I am'; Christ says, 'Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.'"

In this way the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: The beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which of the two who plead shall win the day? If you had your choice, if the King should step from His throne and say, "Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another," which shall be answered? Oh, I am sure, though it were agony, you would jump to your feet and say, "Jesus, not my will, but Yours be done." You would give up your prayer for your loved one's life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction--"Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am."

Lord, You shall have them. By faith we let them go.

Allister Begg

Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie

Friday, November 06, 2020

Tears that fall for you.


May death come gently toward you, Leaving you time to make your way Through the cold embrace of fear To the place of inner tranquillity.

 May death arrive only after a long life To find you at home among your own With every comfort and care you require. 

May your leave-taking be gracious, Enabling you to hold dignity Through awkwardness and illness.

May you see the reflection Of your life’s kindness and beauty In all the tears that fall for you.

As your eyes focus on each face, May your soul take its imprint, Drawing each image within As companions for the journey.

May you find for each one you love A different locket of jeweled words To be worn around the heart To warm your absence. 

May someone who knows and loves The complex village of your heart Be there to echo you back to yourself And create a sure word-raft To carry you to the further shore.

 May your spirit feel The surge of true delight When the veil of the visible Is raised, and you glimpse again The living faces Of departed family and friends.

 May there be some beautiful surprise Waiting for you inside death, Something you never knew or felt, Which with one simple touch, Absolves you of all loneliness and loss, As you quicken within the embrace For which your soul was eternally made.

 May your heart be speechless At the sight of the truth Of all belief had hoped, Your heart breathless In the light and lightness Where each and everything Is at last its true self Within that serene belonging That dwells beside us On the other side Of what we see.”

 John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings

I stumbled upon this poem yesterday.  

A few hours later came news of the death of a beloved family member.  I will not share at this time because her family hasn't shared just yet.  

But this poem said things that touched my heart in the greatest way, the tenderest way, the most profound way.

May God comfort the heartbroken among us...with the promise of heaven.


Donna Elsie

Thursday, November 05, 2020

100 scriptures about fear/anxiety


Thank you Matt Fradd.  I stumbled upon Matt's youtube page and I like his content very much and his voice :o)  

It's fun to listen to this....I know almost all of these scriptures!!! Do you?

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

The Love of God

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
  And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
  And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
  Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
  Though stretched from sky to sky.

lyrics to The Love of God
Fredrick Lehman.

This year has been unbelievably stressful and difficult.  I needed to look up and trust God more.  That always seems to happen in hard times.  I'll get there.  I want to get there.  I am drawing near...and I like it so much better nearer to Him....than distant.  Distant from Him is the worst.

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

Encourage one another,
Love Donna

p.s. blogger has a new has some nice features...but I am not used to it...why the double spacing?  font and size challenges.  oh dear.  haha

Monday, November 02, 2020

Adding to the beauty today.

Sweet little's not really crying...that drop just looks like it.  I love this quote from John Piper.
It reminds me of when my sister Janet would say to me, "Can God lie?
His promises are true.

Never keep a trouble half an hour on your own mind before you tell it to God.  As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father.”  

Charles Spurgeon

Happy November dear ones.

I am here.

We are well.

I need to come out of my shell.  It's been too long.

Tell me how you are? 

Love you.  Mean it.

Encourage one another,