Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Add to the beauty: Flowers

Besides their beauty,
flowers are story keepers.

 Snapdragons Talk

Hostas Pop

Peonies Droop

Daisies Count

Queen Anne's Lace Decorates

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask?
 A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” ~Victor Hugo

Encourage one another,

Friday, June 23, 2023

Add to the beauty: Photography


Summer shadows.
Thirteen year old Katie.

My oldest grandchild will be thirteen in August.
He is tall and loves to play baseball and I bet his shadow looks like 
daddy long legs too.

"Love is the most important thing in the world,
but baseball is pretty good, too."  ~Yogi Berra

Hello again, everybody… It’s a bee-yoo-tiful day for baseball. ~Harry Carey

I will never regret taking a picture. ~ Miz Boo

I wish you a summer evening with long shadows and warm breezes.
Baseball bats optional but highly recommended.

Encourage One another,

P.S. Katie will be playing summer volleyball in a few weeks.  She says I can't come and cheer.
I do not understand why I'm the only mother who wants to do this.  But gosh, I'd love watch!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Add to the beauty: Poetry, blogging


I started my blog in 2004.  Many of the original readers and commenters are homeschool mothers.  
Family and homeschoolers.  
(Mainly from The Well Trained Mind boards)
Then Ree, the Pioneer Woman, also a homeschooler, joined the blogging world and invited me to write for her website. (I was inspired to pick up my big girl camera from her photos and then in turn she liked my photos and asked me to write photo tutorials.) 
Many more people came along because of Ree.
Meeting all of you thru the years has been the best part of blogging for me.

The covid years were a black hole of worry and boredom, loneliness, confusion and anger.
My blogging mojo was kaput. 

As I start making a few piles of good, 
I've tried to blog a little more.  

I'm dancing in the kitchen every day.
I'm not watching television and have even cut down drastically on political youtube watching.
I do watch Jeopardy with Patrick every evening.
I have become a big LA Angels fan because of Shohei Ohtani and watch every game.
I watch Kdramas all the time.
(big blog post about Kdramas to come)
and I have fun on Instagram finding funny and touching stories to share. 

How does this all go together with the thoughtful poem at the beginning of this post?
Di Wheeler sent it to me. 
Many of you will know her and her name.
But I thought not everyone will.

We became friends because of this blog.
We know what will touch one another's hearts.

And because it touched ours (mine and Di's)
I know it will mean something to many of you, too.

The poem is a continuation on the theme of suffering.

Those great sorrows we all must endure.

“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.” 

~Victor Hugo

Endure we must and endure we do with the help of God and loved ones and encouraging words shared with long time friends made in the strangest of ways...

This is my community
I don't really have another.

Sorrows become a part of you,
but I think the sweetness of kinship shared between beloved family and friends most definitely becomes a part of you also.

These joys are the beauty of enduring.

Encourage one another,


Friday, June 16, 2023

Add to the beauty: Meaning

I'm reading the through the Bible this year.  

Started in June with the encouragement from Allie, Proverbs 31 girl

Yesterday we finished Job.  Allie's comments on suffering and eternal focus were just perfect and I wish I could share then but they went away.  (Clips on Instagram stories only last 24 hours unless they are saved in a special place). 

However, Allie also shared this song. Though you Slay Me by Shane and Shane with words from John Piper.  I just sobbed while listening to them.  Suffering is a big stumbling block, for I would say...all of us.  Understanding and believing that our suffering is not meaningless, well,  that is everything.  Our loved ones are waiting for us.

Have a listen to this song and make sure your tissues are nearby.

Love you all.

Mean it.

Donna Elsie

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Add to the beauty: A prayer

I jotted this prayer down over twenty years ago.  It was found in an Elisabeth Elliot book.

Now it is my time.  It's for me.

Lord, You know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be old. 

Keep me from... the fatal habit of thinking I must say something in every subject and on every occasion.


Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.


Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. 

With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. 

Keep my mind from the recital of endless details-give me wings to come to the point. 

Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure the with patience. 

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I will be mistaken. 

Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint-some of them are so hard to live with-but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil. 

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so.


Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie