Friday, August 04, 2017

What if you watched these movies?

August is here...
Katie is visiting Wesleyan University in Conn.
She loves it.  It is a perfect fit for her.
Even more perfect if she gets accepted.
Her east coast Glyman family has been taking the best care of her. I am so grateful.
Christine, Emma and Delaney and Katie will go to Mystic ( a town on the ocean) today!
They will have nice weather for it...
It is currently 55 degrees here in Wisconsin.
I don't mind that for a day or two in the summer,
it's refreshing.  And I love opening the window and sleeping with fresh air
after a long spell of being all closed up.

Do you need a movie to watch?

Here are two that come to mind that I like a lot.
One I've never mentioned before and an older favorite.

A very sweet romantic comedy.
I have a little crush on Zoe Kazan.  (She is also in this summer's The Big Sick.
You know, the one I was watching when I spilled all that popcorn butter on myself.)
Yeah.  I want popcorn now.

Anyway.  There is something about What if... that makes me keep watching it.
I think I've seen it four times in a year.
The music is sweet...I think that might be part of it.

And a few weeks ago I MADE Emma and her roommate watch ON GOLDEN POND with me.
This movie is hilarious to me and sweet and touching.  I love it.
I remember making the kids all watch it with us...and Patrick Jr. said,
why are we watching this?

Maybe you have to be over 50.
Maybe you have to be married to a beloved  "old poop".
I'm not exactly sure...
but this movie speaks to me like no other.

Watch On Golden Pond.  
Tell me what you think.
And watch What if... too!

Love ya.
Donna Elsie

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,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Forget your perfect offering.

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
~Leonard Cohen

Heidi posted this quote in the comment section the other day.  It sounded familiar and I liked it very I googled it. :op

It is from a song called Anthem.

Now I wanted so much to listen to the song and love it but Leonard Cohen (RIP 2016)
had a very dark, deep, unusual style.

He was a poet first of all.
Quite prolific.

If you know country music you may recognize Bird on a Wire which has been recorded by everyone.

If you know popular culture, you know Hallelujah. (Also recorded by everyone)
This is, of course, the one I love.

 I'm pretty sure I posted this on my blog when I first heard this rendition last June...and learned about Choir, Choir, Choir.

I've liked Rufus Wainwright since Emma shared his music with me in high school.

So here is Rufus singing Hallelujah....

Meet our Rufus.
Janice is giving Rufus a proper hug.

oh cats.

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

Back to this quote.

Encouragement for the imperfect among us,
Donna Elsie

p.s.  I have just learned that learned is not good English.
It keeps showing up in my writing as a misspelled word.
What the heck.

Me. Being Imperfect. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Einstein and Tolstoy

I just finished watching the National Geographic series called Genius.  It was so well done.  The math descriptions were the best!  Albert was able to explain his lofty ideas and theory's with the simplest examples and the cinematographers brought it to life brilliantly.
It jumps around thru time...and perhaps that was on purpose :o}

Albert loved Tolstoy.  He reads from a big think book in the final episode.

It was very touching and beautiful.  I jotted down the words and looked them up.

(What did we do before Google)

Love is life.
All, everything that I understand,
I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists,
only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, 
and to die means that I, a particle of love, 
shall return to the general and eternal source.

The final part was not in the show.  But it seems like Albert would really love those last lines.

At one point, Einstein's assistant tells him to reconcile with his son.
He is hesitant.  

Helen: "You have compassion for so many people. You fight for so many people. Why is it you cannot fight to reconcile with your own son?"
Einstein: "I think I liked you better when you kept your thoughts to yourself."
Helen: "You care so much about your legacy, about how you will be remembered by the world. But the world begins and ends in your own family."

The world begins and ends in your family.

You know, I love that.
Donna Elsie

p.s.  Thank you Heidi for fixing the above picture. The picture has a big tear in it and she figured a way to edit it in photoshop.  
That's Suzy and dad and me.
We lived in California for one year, 1960.
We are 3 1/2 and 2 1/2. 
Dad was 32 1/2. 
Matthew's age.

p.s. The Tolstoy quote is from War and Peace.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Three of a kind family

I snapped a few shots of the boys as I was getting ready to leave yesterday.
The garage light was too bright.  But I was getting used to my camera after being separated from it since March.  I was not on my A-game.
Group shots.  Hardest to shoot.
Always such a blessing to get.

Baby Ezekiel.
Bright. Spunky. Independent.
He talks in complete sentences..but you have to be in his inner circle to join in the conversation.
He likes to dress well.
Annoyed by tags.

You may remember Asher.
So Smart. Helpful. Mature.
Lover and defender of Michael Jordan. GOAT.
Smartest kindergartner that I know.

Clever. Playful. Funny
He's the life of the party and has the best smile in the world.
Many bruises on legs. :o)

Katie, Emma and I had so much fun watching the boys last week.  They (the boys. haha) behaved so well and got used to all of us quickly.  We stayed in a lot when the temps neared 100, venturing outside only for sprinkler and slip and slide fun.

Saturday was for baseball games.
Asher's age group resembles a baseball team.
Malachi's age group does not.  (No one remembers to run after the ball is hit.)
The weather was perfection and the boys made it easy on us by sticking close in the parking lot and listening well.  (These are the important things, you know.)

I used some techniques I learned at school 'on the boys'....
 Timers for sharing and lots of noticing when they were doing things right...pointing out their GREATNESS.  They looked at me a little strange at first but I think they liked it.
It made me giggle to emulate the teacher's from our school who work hard on the Nurtured Heart method.  
Plus, I go with the Esther Jean school of child rearing....
stay home.

Matthew teased me about a brown patch on the lawn and my recycling methods...but I said, 
I remembered their medicine every night.

How well they behaved for us and followed the family rules is a testament to Matthew and Melinda and their hard work with the boys.
It's easy to forgot how tiring it is to be on the go from sun up to sun down.
Katie was a little stressed, worrying about the boys.  She being our baby has not had much opportunity to be around children in their natural habitat. 
Emma is the best with children and is much more fun than ole Yaya.
She is always ready to head outside, read a book or tumble on the floor with them.

Matthew and Melinda had a wonderful Anniversary trip to Waco Texas.
They went to see Chip and Johanna's Silos.  They were happy to see it but it was so overcrowded they could not even get a cupcake.  DisneyWorld-like lines to get in the bakery.  Lines one hundred people long.  UGH.  Happily this did not spoil the trip for them.  (It would have for me. Totally)   They found many other nice things to do and enjoyed the cozy Air BnB they stayed at.  

They came home happy.

Which made me happy.

The End.

More tomorrow.  
I heard the most beautiful quote this morning as I finished watching Genius.
But like I said, more about that tomorrow.  
Can't wait.

Love ya,

p.s. GOAT means Greatest of all Time.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Keep me reasonably sweet.

I read this wonderful quote in Gateway to Joy by Elisabeth Elliot.
It is attributed to a seventeenth-century nun.

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.

Ain't that the truth!

Donna Elsie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

School's out. Summer fun.

Summer is here and school is out.
I am recovering.

As you know I do not think I am old.  I look at people my age and think,
they are pretty old.  And then I realize I am their age.  It's the weirdest thing I have ever experienced.
This aging thing.
At school I was nearly the oldest one.
(At home where no one sees me...I am in denial)
I was working for a 32 year old supervisor.
Could be my child.
Our neat art teacher was 22.
Could be my child.
Younger than three of my children.
Our students.  K-1's.
Could be my grandchildren.

In my head, I think we are peers.
And then I think of my age and look in the mirror. (and leave the house)

It does not fit.

I am older than Aunt Bee.

I'm recovering.

Trying to sleep past five.
Trying to stay up past nine.

I cried many tears on the last day as I said good-bye to a student.
(I grew very fond of the kids)
We said our good-byes and I'll miss yous....
And I had to walk back to class with big tears in my eyes.

I do not have a job next year.
I will look for something over the summer and if nothing comes up...
I will substitute like I started out doing in the beginning.

Next week, Katie and I will go watch Asher, Malachi and Ezekiel in Omaha while Matthew and Melinda go on a vacation to celebrate 10 years of marriage.  (Emma's going to come for the weekend too!)  We are going to have so much fun!!!

So this summer we will make memories.
Visit family.
Make a few college visits.
(For KATIE...since she will be a SENIOR)


Lots of those around here.

As Carl Reiner says,
"If you're not in the Obit,
eat breakfast."

As I tell myself,
Avoid mirrors,

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

I'm so middle name is coming back in style!