Thursday, November 26, 2015



June 12, 2009

Adele 25
November 2015
Album cover

When I saw Adele's album cover, I thought...well....
doesn't that look exactly like the diptych I made of Katie and Emma so long ago.
Yeah.  Uncanny.

But hey. Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy anniversary to my hubby and
Go Pack Go

Miz Boo aka
Donna Elsie

Monday, November 23, 2015

my favorite black and white portraits

DSC_9026-6 copy









not contrasty






Asher and Melinda


I had to include Malachi....

Lost in Flickr again....
Hours.  I could look for hours.

Happy Monday dear friends!

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Easy Chef bakes.

These are the only chocolate chip cookies I can bake successfully.
They are the Neiman Marcus cookies.  I've told you this before...but they turned our especially nice and pretty yesterday so I thought I would take pictures and share them with you again.

Now you are really part of the family....getting to hear my stories over and over.


Neiman Marcus Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, slightly crushed (I use 1 teaspoon of instant coffee instead)
8 ounces chocolate chips (I use less)


1. Cream the butter with the sugars until fluffy.
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract.
3. Combine the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
10 to 12 minutes for a crispier cookie. Makes 12 to 15 large cookies. 

I skipped the expresso powder.  They are still delicious.  
I am nothing if not loyal....these cookies are on the first page of my recipe blog...from 2004 :o)

Try them!  You'll like them!
Donna Elsie

Thursday, November 19, 2015

be swift to love

When we visited Paris in 2007 my camera was about a month old.  I only had a 50mm lens on it.
I learned that with this lens...I could not get a whole lot in the picture.   We were up all night flying and arrived at our hotel at about noon.  We put our luggage away and took a bus immediately to the Eiffel Tower.  
None of us wore gym shoes.

Our biggest fear was that we would be snickered at for wearing gym shoes in the most elegant city of lights.

The fear is incredibly different now.
But I know, without a doubt, that
Paris will overcome the fears and terrors of this terrible week.

“He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
Nothing is more sublime.”  
~Victor Hugo

My friends, life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts
 of those who travel with us, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind.
And my the blessing of the One who made us, 
and the One who loves us, 
and the One who travels with us, 
be with you and those you love this day and always.

~ Adapted from Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

bird brain


By Rachel Field

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, "snow."

Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, "frost."

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

My favorite :o)

Both Patrick and I have noticed the geese don't seem to be flying over and heading south yet this year.  
Do you think they know about El Nino?  Do you think they know it will be mild enough to find open water?  I'm not sure how much a bird brain ;op can know.
But it's interesting that they are hanging around.

Not my picture.
Found on Shuttur via google.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Always get up.

Today is a tough day for me...because our Katie has had a big disappointment.
As of today, she is not on a club team.
Her team of three years closed down,
so she tried out for a small team that a few of her school friends played with.
(We try out for the smaller clubs because they cost 1/2 as much.)

The emails go out on Sunday night and Katie did not get an email with an offer.
Her friends got offers.

We do not know how many newcomers they had room for on the team. Maybe only two or three.

But what I do know is my girl is sad.

And I can't stand it.

She reassures me that it's going to be fine but I worry so.

I know it's important to face disappointments in life.
It builds character.

But that does not help me sleep.

Emma told me to make Katie pancakes for breakfast.
And so I did.

I think it helped both of us.


Life is tough.
But so are you.
~Kid President

First rule:  Always get up.

Encourage one another,

I just opened my mail and Katie did get an was sent yesterday at 4:05 but we did not receive it due to a email mixup!
Oh my goodness.
So happy.

Friday, November 13, 2015

surprise smooches


Here are some twinkle lights to brighten your fall afternoon :o)


This silly picture is my favorite.


Emma is the Queen of goofy faces.  Did you know that?

4-up on 2012-06-22 at 14.48 #4

Surprise momma kissing is the best.

I hope you have a sweet Friday filled with laughs and light and kisses.

Donna Elsie

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Crooked little picture

I took this picture a while ago.  I tried to straighten it but wasn't crazy about how it looked so I promptly forgot about it.
The other day I came across it and decided to try again.

I made it with poster edges in Photoshop.

The whole composition works best for me before crop. 

Here it is cropped and straightened.
The composition is not right here...I think because the shed is too much in the middle.  You lose the numbers on the red building on the right and the dramatic canopy of trees and the great tree on the left.

I love the dark outlines on the tree.

poster edges rock.

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Donna Boo

Monday, November 09, 2015

Not a Bobby in the bunch.

Hi Friends!

Emma and I went to Omaha over the weekend to celebrate little Zeekies first birthday!
He is walking and getting into everything.  He has the bumps to prove it.
Malachi (2 1/2) is talking and says the very cutest things.
Asher is five and attends pre-school now.  He is so smart and a helpful little guy.


Smash that cake baby boy!


Breakfast with Spider-man.

Portrait of Asher

Hi honey.

No shoes.
No shirts.
Typical day.

Hope you had a fun weekend!
We sure did!!

Love and kisses,

Thursday, November 05, 2015

fleeting light

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
~Jim Bishop

I would be lost without the sunshine.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

he. he.

I don't post a lot of things to my 'Funny' Pinterest board.
I don't know why.

I seem to love self depreciating humor the most...

This is absolutely true.

Um. This is absolutely true.

Donna Elsie

Monday, November 02, 2015

The huggers.

I have always been so fond of Prince William and Prince Harry.  They are the same age as my boys and honestly Harry reminds me of my Matthew.

The little royal boys were both little soldiers.
And both became grown up military men.

William flies helicopters.
Harry has served in Afghanistan.

Now Harry's main interest is helping the veterans.
He walked with the 'Walking Wounded' group earlier in the year.
They met up again a few days ago.

Now. That a hug.  What a great hug!!!
Especially impressive since the Royals are generally hands off.
Hands clasped behind their back sorts.

Kristie Ennis gave Harry the dog tag he is holding....

I just love these pictures.

As Mr. Rogers says...
look for the helpers.

As I say...
look for the huggers.


p.s.  I love Diana's outfit.  I'm sorry she can not see how wonderful her sons turned out.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Amazing group dance!!!

There hasn't been a whole lot to show about DWTS this year....the group dances are always  pretty lame.  But for some reason this team worked together perfectly and the choreography was amazing!!

I just loved it!

Happy Halloween!
Happy Harvest!
Happy Candy begging day!


How I loved looking at this picture in the Chicago Tribune when I was little.

Thank you for the most wonderful comments about the photo sale.
I'm so fortunate to have such a sweet spirited, positive group of friends!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out of the blue.

Back in September I mentioned that I was approached by a woman representing J. Jill about one of my photos.  It was a photo that I took in 2011.  She attached the picture at the bottom of her email and asked, "Did you take this picture?"

I wrote back right away.  I was delighted that someone cared to ask if it was mine.
She must have just seen it as she was looking for images on the Internet.

The woman, let's call her Brooke so I don't have to keep writing 'the woman', said they were considering the picture for their winter catalog.  Would I be interested in licensing the image to them?  They would be putting it in roughly 2.5 million catalogs (full page) and using it on their website.

She then asked what I would charge for that.

I wrote her back and said I had no idea, that I would look check into it and get back to her.

I appreciated her professionalism.  She gave me the stats and that would help me know what to charge.

But I still didn't want to charge as much as I was seeing.  But I gave her a number I was comfortable asking.
She wrote back and said, Okay.  It's a deal.
A day later she said, what would your fee be in they made 96x40 posters of the image and put them in 250 stores.  I said.  Double it.  She said that sounds fair.

I'm not going to tell you how much.
You will say it is too little.

But as you may know....I am a terrible business woman.
I am a girl, asking a boy...
wrong script...

I am pleased with the compensation.

So, I had to fill out forms and send an invoice.  Brooke told me it would take a month before I would receive the check.

A week later she wrote and asked if I had a larger file.  Tiff or Raw.
(I know they need to a big file to create a giant enlargement)

Yikes.  No.  I shoot in Jpeg.
So I found a website that would convert from jpeg to Tiff.

I sent it to her.
She said great.

But that was the last I heard.
And so I held my breath and hoped that I had not been 'catfished'.

(Catfished is when you are tricked into believing something or someone on the Internet)

On Monday the check from J. Jill came!! It was real.
I  made my first commercial sale.  I am so excited.

From what I understand they will be writing something on the picture and using it that way.
They have permission to use it from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

I can not wait to see it!

You will recognize the picture.  I even did a tutorial for The Pioneer Woman on how to take a picture like this.  Isn't that neat?

Here it is as I shot it out my back door.  
(If you ever go looking for your hearts desire....)

This is the edited picture I sent them.
It looks crooked because of the snow drift.  I will be interested to see what they do about that.

I just now saturated it...made it greener.  I think I like it this way.
Fake green.  ha.  

A few things that amuse me about this whole situation.

1. It's blurry.
2. I didn't have to leave the house.

I posted this on Pinterest in 2012 because at the time I was concerned with how easy Pinterest made it for people to steal images.  They have changed it.  I was yelled at by many young girls who disagreed with me.  They felt it was their right to take it.
I was mad at them.


So that's how the story goes...
Out of the blue
I sold a picture.
And it really happened.

It's been fun!
Donna Elsie