Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Piles






First day of high school. Color of the day is blue. Parting words "start making your piles of good!!!"


Katie starts high school today.  She is sad that summer is over but looking forward to lots of friends and fun.  The grind of school...eh...not so much.

So I told her to have a good attitude.  And she said she does.

When she jumped out of the car this morning I yelled,
"start making your piles of good!"

and I laughed and laughed and laughed...cause I'm so funny....

and she giggled a little and walked off.

And that's the truth.









*****

We all went to Omaha to celebrate Asher's 4th birthday!  Asher is one of those children who say the darnedest things.  My sister Janet's children were like this.  Mine not so much.  But Asher says terrible cute things.


He is happy to be four and is working on his fingers.
Going from making threes to fours is harder than you might think.


Four kisses when you wake, Four candles on your cake.

Melinda, Asher ... And Katie

Birthday Selfie....with photobomb.


Auntie Katie and Malachi


Asher and Malachi



I know!  They are ridiculously cute!!!


Emma #westernbowl #omaha

Emma flew to Omaha from Chicago.  She is starting a big adventure today too!
Her 'counseling' internship for grad school begins this morning.
Go Emma!  So proud of you!

Matthew and Malachi




Birthday bowler

The Birthday Bowler.


Bye, bye!  Love you! Thank you! Mean it.

So long!
Love you.
Thank you.
Mean it!!!




"Let your pile of good things grow."

I love that so much.

Encourage one another,
Donna










Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Five. James Lipton. Your turn. Go.



Do you remember the Friday Five?  If you do you have been around here since at least 2007.  

The questions below are asked by James Lipton on his television show Inside the Actors Studio.
It is always fun to hear the answers.



What is your favorite word? 
What is your least favorite word? 
What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]? 
What turns you off? 
What is your favorite curse word? 
What sound or noise do you love? 
What sound or noise do you hate? 
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 
What profession would you not like to do? 
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 




Give them some thought and answer in the comments!  

You can pretend you are Meryl or Julia or Sandra for a moment.  :o)


See you in the comments!

Encourage one another,
Donna

DSC_8850

seven years ago...also.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This and that.

#faceq look! I'm a cute cartoon :o)

I made this darling cartoon with FaceQ . 
Of course I learned about this free app from Katie.
It's very fun.

upload

Here is Emma :o)
She loves bananas!

***

Hello lil' fox.  My husband took this picture from his office on Sat morning. He knew I'd love to see it!!

Patrick took this picture the other morning at work...right outside his window. 
Every once in a while we are reminded that we live in the country.

****

New dress for school. #lovesclothes

Katie was voted to be Co-Captain of her volleyball team. 
We are pretty darn proud of her.

We have been school shopping in the last few weeks.
Somebody is very excited to wear her new things.


****

I added a step tracking app to my phone.  It's called Withings.  Emma's friend Jen told her about it....
I'll let you know how it goes.  I am currently at 73 steps. 



Encourage one another,
Donna

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Emmy Red Carpet 2014



Matthew's beautiful wife always looks wonderful.  Last night she looked perfect. Her name is Camila.






"You're never fully dressed without a smile."  Or something like that.
Julia Roberts just looked so happy and beautiful in her Elle Saab dress. Very few of the actresses smiled.  I hope others follow her lead.





 This is Allison Williams.  She is Brian Williams daughter.
Her dress looks great on her.




This is Lena Dunahm.  Most people hated this skirt and top.  I LOVE that skirt.
I'm afraid it just didn't look the best on her because she is shortish and normal sized.  
But why shouldn't she wear something she loves and is so pretty...so what she doesn't look like her buddy Allison?  How many of us are 5' 10" weighing 125?  



I LOVE this look. Oh how I love that neck line and the crop and the full orange skirt.  
LOVELOVELOVE
(this is sarah hyland from Modern Family)
Oh. And her makeup and hair.  Probably my favorite.

 Kaley Cuoco and her stunning dress.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.
But Kaley.  Smile...and spin around.  Have fun!




The show was quite good.  Mostly funny and clever.  I laughed out loud a hand full of times and that is saying a lot for an award show.  Sarah Bareilles sang during the memorial portion.  It was beautiful (she sang "Smile").  Breaking Bad won many more awards and I am a fan of that. So many shows I have never watched.   But did you know, I didn't watch the first season of Downton Abbey until it won an Emmy in 2011?  The day after the Emmy's I downloaded season One out of curiosity.  I'm happy I did :o)
I'm curious about a few new shows.  Fargo and House of Cards.  I'll let you know if I try them out.
Seth Meyers was quite good as a host.  I like him. 

So it was a fun night of people watching (as Emma calls it) and laughs.


 Do you like these dresses?
Did you see other dresses you liked better?

 xoxo
Donna




 





Monday, August 25, 2014

Tastee

Bounty. One. Only. Summer'14. Three plants. Farmer donna.

My sense of taste is coming along nicely. 

Just in time for tomato season here in Wisconsin. 
Yes.  Our tomatoes do not redden (is that a word) until Aug/Sept. 
And because of the weather.  Sometimes they don't ever even redden.

The above tomato is my first and only red tomato. 

Feel free to call me Farmer Donna.

XO

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shake it off!



In which I take advice from T-Swift.


Both my sister Janet and my daughter Emma texted me asking if I liked this new song from Taylor Swift.  This morning Katie and I watched the video.

We think it's pretty cute and funny.


*****

Guess what?

It feels like summer has finally arrived!

Woo!

We stopped to watch the sun set on this beautiful summer night. And then the girls danced.

Encourage one another,
Donna

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Team

DSC_5970-3

She made the team.

The tryouts were conducted over three days. 
After night one, Katie was asked to come to the JV tryouts with five other freshman.
She was honored to be asked to do this.  Tuesday and Wednesday she went to the JV tryouts.
Wednesday the coaches took the girls one at a time to tell them where they would be playing.

Katie was told she would be on the Freshman team.  The JV coach told her that she is a good setter but they have enough setters already.  He told her that she will get a lot of 'touches' on the Freshman team and can be a team leader. (I can't tell you how grateful I am that the coaches took the time to talk to each girl.)  Then Katie talked to the Freshman coach who said how excited she was to have Katie on the team. 

We are all glad that Katie was considered for JV, but we know that Katie will play much more on the freshman team and make friends with the girls in her class. 

Practice starts today! 
I can't wait to go to a game :o)


Go Wildcats!

Donna




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I love music. All kinds.

 August makes me want to listen to Greg Brown.











Emma's friend, Carolyn Marcotte,  released this adorable and catchy tune last week!
We love it!
(Carolyn went to Stevens Point for college.)


 If the link does not show up below, here is a link to click to listen.
Just Be Sweet To Me

http://carolynmarcotte.bandcamp.com/releases





Enjoy these great songs!!!

Encourage one another,
Donna



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

growing things

We are not called to be great.
Be we are called to reach our our hands to our brothers and sisters,
and to care for the earth in this time we are given.

~kent nerburn

Waters elementary school. Lincoln square Chicago. #citygarden #thankskids #thanksteachers

In Emma's neighborhood, smack dab in Chicago, sits a tidy looking elementary school.
One side of the school yard is a massive garden.  Just before you enter the garden path you will see a kindergarten potato patch.  Inside the garden you will find sunflowers and tomatoes, beets and corn, wild flowers and grasses.  It's lush and overgrown.  It's peaceful and damp. It's earthy and really quite a blessing.  Thank you teachers and students at Waters Elementary school.


 DSC_6275-3

Grasses on a hill in Wisconsin.

Don't you love to watch grass and fields blow?
I do.


Happy Tuesday!
Love
Donna


Monday, August 18, 2014

loud, louder, loudest

Mom says take the bus home.

We headed down to Chicago to try once again to catch the Air Show.
Fortunately Saturday was sunny and the jets could fly.  We saw a plane we have not seen in person before, it is called the F-22 Raptor.  The Raptor is so big and loud and remarkable it kind of out shadows the Blue Angels.  And those of you who know me...this is saying a lot.

The Raptor can do things I have never seen a plane do.  It was frightening and thrilling and fantastic to watch it fly.

And then the Raptor flew around with a B-51 Mustang...

 



B-51 Cadillac of the Sky!
I have a special cinematic love affair with the Mustang.









 



 

This video is quite long... just watch the first few minutes so you can see how cool this jet is.



****

On Friday Katie and I took some pictures at the sunflower field.  The flowers were a flop.
Katie was not :o)

 DSC_6135-8


 DSC_6239-4

 DSC_6247-4


Thanks for stopping by!

Encourage one another,
Donna





Friday, August 15, 2014

before and after



DSC_5204

2007




Final game. Happy winners lap around the bases!
2014




Oh! that bobble head helmet gets me every time!



We are getting ready for another fun weekend. I'll tell you about it on Monday.
Public schools start after labor day which is very nice.  Next week Katie has high school volleyball try outs.  She has been working hard all summer on her volleyball skills and we hope she makes the team.  Also next week Katie's schedule will be on line.  We are excited to see her classes!!

Happy August weekend to one and all!

XOXO
Donna
 







Thursday, August 14, 2014

Art



Vincent Van Gogh
1883
Bulb Fields






Frank Horvat


The above photo reminds me so much of a Toulouse-Lautrec.



City or Country...
beauty is all around.



I hope you see many beautiful things today.
I'm feeling blessed and sheltered and incredibly fortunate today.
That my day can be peace filled and beautiful.
It's not fair, is it?

Lifting our hurting world up in prayer.

Encourage one another,
Donna





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harvest Moon.

Pretty night




 


Harvest Moon. Neil Young.

I can't tell you how much I love this song.



Encourage one another,
Donna





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Visit with Cindy and Pat

#lakegirls

Lake Girls
 

Fun times on Lake Wausau!

Lake girl


@csjanak16  #Lakebaby

Lake Baby

 

Delighted to spend a little time with our neice Carrie and her sweet boy, Jett.



 Campfire


 Peace.





 The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W. B. Yeats, 1865 - 1939
 
 
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
     slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
     sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
 
 
 
 
For Cindy and Pat who love the lake more than anyone I know.
 
 
Encourage one another,
Donna 
 
 
 




 


Friday, August 08, 2014

40 types of fruit on one tree!

 I saw this story on CBS morning show yesterday.  I thought you would find it interesting too!









If this video does not work for you...
check it out here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tree-of-40-forty-fruit-sam-van-aken/


"New things are possible...

Always. "


Thank you for the wonderful, encouraging, kind comments yesterday!

Love
Donna



Thursday, August 07, 2014

my girls have gentle spirits.

they didn't get them from me...



Afternoon pick up

The last three months have been difficult.
My hubby lost his job.
He had weird spots on his arm.
Katie had pneumonia.
I lost my taste and smell.
Uncle Mel died.
Cobra.

Patrick got new job in one week.
Spots on his arm are just age spots.



Stressful times.  Even with great results.
Still stressful.

My nerves are shaky and the little daily things now
can send me into a tizzy.

Last week I moaned, "Why can't anything ever go right the first time?"

Katie said with perfect calm, "That's just the way life is Mom."


So from now on.
Katie is in charge.


Encourage one another,
Donna








Wednesday, August 06, 2014

words


Thanks for the encouraging words Katie girl. #lovedoes


Katie is encouraging me today.




Pinterest too.



Happy Wednesday.

Encourage one another,
Donna




Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Cardigan Series

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DSC_6054-4


DSC_6050-4r

Sweater Weather?

A little bit. 
This whole summer has been a sweater weather summer.

All you can do it embrace it.

xoxo
Donna

Monday, August 04, 2014

Todd Rundgren.

 Katie and I were watching a tv show and they said something about Leroy and I had to sing this....









This album by Todd Rundgren is from 1972.
I listened it to over and over the summer of 1975 when I spent the summer before college in Nancy and Binky's cottage on lake Minocqua.  I was up there mostly alone for most of the summer.
I read Gone with the Wind, suntanned during the day and worked at a clothing store every night.
(DeByles before it was Omni).  Anyway the records were my brother in laws.  There was Motown and Send in the Clowns and Todd. 
Lots of nights I was afraid to go to bed so I would watch the tiny tv until it went off...you know...Star Spangled Banner and snow.  Then I would head to bed a bit terrified and sleep.

The 8-tracks in the car were Chicago, That's Entertainment and one other that I can't think of right now.









All the songs from that summer are special to me.

I can hear the water lapping against the dock and see the amazing light flickering thru the leaves.
And these good songs.




Encourage one another,
Donna


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Good deal

#spinbrush #7.99 #target

This little tooth brush is called a Spin Brush.  It only cost 7.99.
We have always wanted to try a tooth brush like this but they are expensive and I
just couldn't get myself to buy one.

Katie spotted these at Target the other day. 
(I had seen them on a talk show but they weren't in the stores yet.)
So we grabbed one and have both tried it.

It works just fine.

Now we will see how long it works.

Just thought I'd pass that along.

Donna

p.s.  Yes. I said we both tried it. :op


Friday, August 01, 2014

Taste Buds gone bad.

I hope it is temporary but I have been experiencing the weirdest thing.

Since my bad cold a month ago I can not taste well.

In fact.  You are not going to believe this.

I can not taste my beloved iced chai well enough to spend four dollars on it.
This break in a three year habit is nice for the pocketbook....but it's kind of freaky.

For a full week I was without any taste.  This was the longest this has ever happened to me.  I have had colds where I couldn't taste for a day.  But this one went on and on.

It is no fun to eat if you can't taste.

Slowly my sense of smell and taste came back...a little.

But to tell the truth I think I am tasting at about 50%.
Sometimes I can not taste and sometimes I can.

I read on the internet that it can happen and my whatevers need to recover from the stress of a bad cold. 

But I want to know....

Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know?


 Thanks,
Donna






 Olympus digital camera






Thursday, July 31, 2014

Delicacy

Good Morning!
I hope none of you, humans, thought I was calling you creeps!

The bots are creepy.

You, my dear friends, are a true blessing to me.

Here is a story 60 minutes did on the Data Brokers.
This is the huge business.
This is why Facebook and Instagram and Twitter can charge billions of dollars for their Internet companies.  Because of the data that is gathered on their sites...and sold to advertising.
It baffles my mind.  But it is the truth.

the-data-brokers-selling-your-personal-information/


****

Delicacy with Audrey Tautou

















Delicacy is a charming French movie.
I absolutely adore Audrey Tautou.
I could watch her in anything.


But here is my confession. 

I have a hard time watching subtitled films.

I want to watch.  I don't want to read.  It does not come naturally for me to do both at the same time.
This must not be hard for all people.  Or maybe it is.

But oh my goodness....how I wish these movies were dubbed into English for me.



The foreign language films I am attracted to are visually gorgeous like Amelie.
The fact that I can not be looking the whole time frustrates me.

It's work.

I'm gonna keep practicing tho.  Maybe it gets easier with practice?
Do you think that is possible?

I'm gonna try!


Bonjour!
Donna





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Robots...or something....

Every once in a while I check my stats to see how many people are stopping by the blog.
For a very long time I had a consistent number of around 1500 visits a day.
Then the number jumped up to around 2000.
A week or so I checked again and I was hitting 2700 visits a day.

But the weirdest part of it all....the pages that were being visited were not recent ones.  The pages were the same old posts, over and over.

They are random.

I can only guess some computer robot....thing... is automatically visiting my website.

One post had so many that I just deleted it.  It had over 29,000 visits.
Isn't that creepy?

So yeah.  Some machine is visiting and I know not why.



Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 8.35.00 AM

I don't really know how many people visit the blog.
I do know the numbers are way out of wack.
There is really no point asking Blogger about it.

It's just creepy and weird.

And I have one more creepy weird thing.

On Monday Katie and I picked up some items at Target. I bought some Honest Co. dish soap.
I have never bought it before.  I have never seen an ad for it.  But I think it is Jessica Alba's company.

When I got home and opened up Facebook the first sponsored Ad in my stream was for Honest Co.

This is no coincidence.

Facebook knows what I bought.  I have no doubt.

Target has a app called Cartwheel for coupons.  I DID NOT get Cartwheel on purpose because you have to sign up thru Facebook.  I thought...I don't want Facebook to have all my purchasing information.

Well.  Seems they have it already.

Now.  I have nothing to hide.
But one day it could be a problem.

Read any Dystopian novel.

It could get dangerous.


Hide yo kids.
Hide yo wife,
Donna





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pretty Milwaukee Night

Pretty Milwaukee night.


Some things are just so much prettier at night.


Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. 
~J.K. Rowling


 So dear night the half of life is,
And the fairest half indeed.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



 Day hath put on his jacket, and around
His burning bosom buttoned it with stars.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Evening"




Love
Donna