Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Not reading? Here's something fantastic to watch.

From last months world championships.  This amazing French team won with the highest score ever in ice dance.
Now.  About the music.  I first heard this song while watching Friday Night Lights.
It was played when Jason aka Six was on a boat in Mexico with Lila and Tim Riggins.  Lila and Tim were trying to convince Jason NOT to get the dangerous surgery.  While Tim and Lila are not looking,  Jason falls overboard (on purpose).  And this music comes on. (sobbing begins)
Jason floats downward to this music and your heart breaks.  It's very emotional.
And so this song will always be more than beautiful to me, it will stir strong emotions.

(To build a home by Cinematic Orchestra)

So you can understand why watching this remarkable ice dance makes me weep.


I hope you love it as much as I do.

***  I have tagged Book Club on my book club post.
I will be watching every day to see if anyone else comments.
Please don't feel like you missed the boat.

The Summer Before the War is such a funny, pleasant read.

Encourage one another,

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Summer before the War. Part One


Welcome friends and readers.
Part one of our bloggy book club will cover the first of three sections in the Summer Before the War.
I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.  I love the abundance of dialogue.

I googled 1914, England, Teacher.  I wanted to see what Beatrice would wear.

Rye Sussex.

Rye Sussex England

This woman looks like the Queen Mum but I don't think it is.

My favorite part of this book so far is the humor.
I like Beatrice and Hugh and Agatha and John.  David is a snot but he adds to the fun.

I am a little annoyed by the descriptions of the clothes.  What do you think? Do you welcome them?
For some reason they bog me down.

I do however love the weather descriptions.

"As the heat slipped from the day..."

Some have speculated that Mr Tillingham is based on Henry James, what do you think?

Who is your favorite character and why?
Why do you think Agatha favored Daniel over Hugh?

I find the comments about women writers and a young woman Latin teacher so interesting.  Perhaps because they are being said to Beatrice, and I am so sympathetic to her, they make me cringe at the ignorance and meanness.  (So I think Helen is doing a great job writing this because it's not really new but I am seeing it as directed at me in a way.)

What do you think of Lucy?
Is she just a playing a game? Is she arrogant and manipulative?
I didn't like the white feather threat.

Please feel welcome and free to share in the comments.  
I look forward to hearing your observations and impressions.  
If you would like to talk about something I am happy to add it to this post.
Just let me know :o)

Tibi Splendet Focus


Friday, April 22, 2016

Incredible story. Book Club announcement.

Amazing grace.


Dear readers and friends!
We are going to do this!  I asked Jep to help me as she is a great reader and thinker and librarian.
She has lead many book groups in the past so I knew she could help me.
Jep finished the book and took it back to her library already...but she was so kind and came up with information for me to share with all of you. She sent me loads of questions and answered my pesky questions. She even wrote the author!!!

Jep found a interview with Helen Simonson where Helen stated that the book is set up in three sections.

I won't tell you all three sections at this point because then you will know what is coming...

But the first section is; 

1. The village of Rye; welcoming or not.  Beatrice and the activities and oddities of the villagers.

I want to make next Monday the start but am afraid that is too soon.  Are you all fast readers?

But for now it's Monday for the first discussion.
(Mondays were for Downton just seems right)

Please let me know in the comments.
And jot down your favorite quotes.
I have already jotted down a new word.

One thing I can bring up now....

"Helen Simonson says she uses the word "oleaginous" at least once in every novel."
See if you can find it :o)

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Want to read a book?

A few years ago I read a great book by a new author named Helen Simonson.
It was called Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. I just loved it and have waited for her second book.
The Summer Before the War is Helen's new book!

Isn't the cover cute?
I bought mine right away but haven't really started reading.  
Jep wrote me last week and told me that she was reading it too!

And Susan, our Swiss Miss, got this cute copy in Europe!!

I would be happy to hear who is reading this, wondering if you would like to join us in reading it...
Maybe Jep can lead a discussion of sorts?



Saturday, April 16, 2016

They made it.

Final stop in India.
Now home to the babies.
George and Charlotte.
I am sure they were missed tremendously.
Safe travels home.


Friday, April 15, 2016

William And Catherine on tour in India

Catherine really is sporty spice.  She always looks like she is having the most fun when she is playing some sport.  

So happy.

The coat dress.  My favorite look.

I think this one is my favorite of William and Catherine as a couple.


Oh man!

Very pretty.

"I like you."

My favorite print, I think.
Aren't they nice?  They seem just so nice.

This gal did not get the memo.  No touching royals. 
I'm glad.

Do you like the plain dresses or the boldly colored ones?

I love this dress.

Very nice.

I am waiting for the Taj Mahal pictures....
Diana went alone.  Charles was poopy to her.
But Wills and Catherine seem to be so in love.


oh look....i just found a few more wonderful pictures!

lovelovelove these!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Silly is good.

Hi friends,
Thank you for such sweet comments on the blog yesterday. I was so happy to hear from so many of you.  Both Di and Karen saw the prayer request so that makes me so glad that they know their loved ones are being prayed for.


Last December when I was taking out the Christmas decorations I came across the following pictures.  I don't know what prompted me to do it but I put them in the living room.
They are old friends, these funny pictures.

Our parents would have these drawn when they were on their yearly trip to Acapulco.

Isn't she the cutest?

His hair is perfection :o)

I love these silly pictures!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This and that

Since we last met....

La'Porsha did not win American Idol.  Trent won.
I have read that both have gotten record contracts.  So that's good.


Our good friend Di's son (Rex) fell off a cliff and was injured terribly.
He had surgery on his hand yesterday and he has a very injured spleen.
Di posted a video of him walking with a nurse and he looked amazing.
He is on the mend and everyone is so thankful.
I know Di and her son would love all the prayers you can muster.
Thank you.


My calendar is full.
Volleyball party tonight.
Drivers test Thursday. Heaven help me.
Work on Friday.

AND a mystery on Wednesday.

Here is what is on my calendar.

5:00 regherth
5:00 veghroth

I have no idea what I am suppose to do tomorrow at 5:00.

Do you?


I hope our Texas friends are okay.  Man! I saw some big hail on the news this morning.


The polar vortex has arrived in April this year. It is welcome to go away now.


Ginny had her vet appointment and she lost nine pounds.  She had her nails clipped for the first time in her life.   I could hear the tech in the other room telling her to sit over and over...and then it was quiet.  When she brought Ginny back to me she said Ginny should teach other dogs how to get their nails clipped, she was so good.   I'm so proud of what a nice girl Ginny is.


Speaking of Ginny, my friend Karen F, has a momma named Ginny.  She is in the hospital with pneumonia.  Karen has been by her side and I know that she would like healing prayers for her mom.

Thank you dear friends!

Now if only you could figure out where I need to go at 5:00 tomorrow!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, April 07, 2016

American Idol Final Finale.

How sad I will be to see this show go away.  It's funny to think it has been a part of my evenings for 15 years.  Many times I have not been super impressed with the 'idols' and many times I have been wowed.

This year there is a woman named La'Porsha Renae.  I am blown away by her gorgeous voice, her poise, her stage presence.  I honestly think she is the best 'idol' ever.  I put her voice in the category of Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin.  She is that good.

Here are two songs she sang last night.

I just love her!!!

Tonight the winner is chosen.
Trent is talented (other finalist) but La'Porsha is special.
The specialist.

(I think she was having little voice issues last one mentioned it..but I heard a bit of rasp that is not usually there.)

And because I like to cast things....

La'Porsha needs to star in the Broadway play OPRAH.


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Fling off thy sadness


Awake, thou wintry earth-
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness

~Thomas Blackburn

Donna Elsie

Monday, April 04, 2016

Humble times two.

I stumbled upon this documentary on Netflix over the weekend.
It's wonderful.

Meet Bill Cunningham.
Photographer. Witness to fashion. New Yorker.
Tireless. Humble.

So interesting.


And speaking of humble.

Enjoy this song...

Tim McGraw
Always stay humble and kind.

Happy Monday!

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 01, 2016

As I see it

“Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around!” 
~Amy Mercree

If you want only one thing too much, it’s likely to turn out a disappointment.  The only healthy way to live, as I see it, is to learn to like all the little everyday things.”
~Lonesome Dove

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I love a baby story!

My favorite Seth Meyer and his wife had a baby on Sunday.  Here is the well told, funny baby story!

The happiest days are when babies are born!

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 28, 2016

We already love ourselves plenty.

Hi Friends,

I hope you had a lovely Easter! 

Katie is slowly recovering from the flu.  She missed all four days of school last week. ( I fortunately missed out on the flu and just got a terrible cough.)
While Katie did not have the throwing up kind of flu...she at this point feels well, but can not eat without feeling nauseous.  She has always had a sensitive tummy and she feel ill even eating her Easter candy.  That is the real test of illness right there!
She is shocked by how big her pants are on her...
I guess five days of no food will do that to an already tiny girl.

Fortunately we have spring break to get her tummy acclimated to eating again.


Janice and Janet turned 50 yesterday!  They had lots of parties and lots of fun celebrating this great achievement!  Turning 50!  I remember when they were excited to be a decade!

I have always loved this picture of them.
Cute. Cute.


When Katie was sick I bought her a bunny to cuddle.

It worked.

I worshiped :)

Yesterday after church....proudly wearing her 'I worshiped' sticker.
Did you know worshiped can be spelled with one or two 'p's?
We learned that yesterday because Katie did not think it looked right with one.

worshipped....more British I guess.

Over the weekend Katie and I heard Oprah and Joel Osteen telling a story about a woman who looked at herself in the mirror every morning and told herself that she was beautiful...and they both thought that was the coolest thing to do.

And I thought it was shallow and narcissistic.



And I said to Katie...
well...let's just say I went on and on in a typical Donna-Mom fashion.

I said.

You should look in the mirror and say,

You are loved.
You were created to go out there and love others.

And then, of course, I said....God doesn't care how beautiful you are!

To which Katie said,

That should be your thing mom.  You should tell people that...and I think she should be my Ted talk.  hahaha

And I said.


So.  Don't forget it.

You are loved.
You were created to go out there and love others.

Encourage one another,

p.s.  We did not watch any more of the joel and oprah show.
p.p.s.  My blog title is a thought from Elisabeth Elliot....she thought we loved ourselves evidenced by how much we put ourselves first, feed ourselves, thought about ourselves...
I think she was right.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chick Peas are all the rage.

Every where you go you can find chick peas, garbanzo beans, hummus....falafel.
It's all the same thing and it's big foodie news.  Right up there with ...icky kale.

But I have a recipe from about 1990.
You know.  Last century.

When we lived in Marinette, when the children were young, my next door neighbor for the first few years was a young mom named Ann.  Ann went to kindergarten with Patrick.  She and Tom had children about the same age as ours.  In fact Erin and Emma are only two weeks apart.

For a while there, Ann and I would get together for lunch.  We would make recipes we found in magazines and in the newspaper.

Ann made this Greek Chick Pea salad and wrote out the card for me.  I loved it right away.

Greek Chick Pea Salad
 2 cans chick peas- rinse and drain
2 med. tomatoes, cored, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper
(green pepper too...but I hate it)
4 scallions - trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup Greek olives- halved
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 c. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Good and good for you.

Encourage one another,

p.s.  I told Emma that chick peas make 'one' gassy.
She said, they make everyone gassy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dancing with the Stars stunner.

Now that you have watched that....

The male dancer is Nyle DiMarco.  He is profoundly deaf.
He does not hear at all.

It makes me think about where dance comes from?
Many people who hear can not feel or move to the music.

So where does it come from?

Nyle says he just follows Peta.  Well.
Well done, Nyle!!


I really loved meeting and watching Superbowl MVP Von Miller and Whitney dance.

AS usual I thought I was going to hate the 'stars'....but I like many of them.

Len (the judge) was mean to Mischa Barton from the OC TV show.  She almost cried.
It's the first week...give them a break Len!


Hearing about the news from Brussels in the background as I type...
it's so crazy,
this world.

Mad world.

Be careful out there friends.
I am grateful that where I live, it is safe
I am grieve the loss of security and life in so many places
on this planet.

God bless them all.

 Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patty's Day

I'm not sure how much Irish there is in our children.  I guess I should ask someone.  My husband isn't the best on family history.  
But we have red hair on both sides and my mom's red hair came from Denmark.... Probably Eric the Red or something.  :o)
And methinks....there is a bit of the green going on with the Booshay clan.

And even if it's not much....
our lass 
Katie Grace O'Boucher would fit in no doubt.

A wee bit of Irish,
I suspect.

I think you will enjoy that link above.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Volleyball jones.

So sleepy.
Is anyone else sleepy?

Katie had a big volleyball tournament on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Getting up and going was not too bad.  But by the end of the day on Sunday I was fading fast.

I went to bed at 8:30...
which was really....

And yet, still sleepy.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Exhausted from playing.
Exhausted from cheering.
Katie has been playing back row and right side hitter.  Hitters are Middles are usually the tallest girls.
Her team is only seven players so the girls do it's a little like beach volleyball.  
She loves to play.

Look who came to Milwaukee to watch her little sister play volleyball.
It was so nice.  

This neat place is in Milwaukee.  Inside are many different places to eat.  It's like a food court but it hip.

Katie hurt her thumb.  We went to the doctor's this morning and it is not broken.
We are very happy about that.

I hope you are all doing well.
Anything new happening in your lives?

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 11, 2016

You make me feel so young.

Good morning,

I've been working at a local elementary school for the past few mornings.
Yesterday as I was helping in a kindergarten art class, I asked the children how old they were.
They were very happy to tell me.

I said, you were all so nice not to ask how old I am.

Which meant of course they asked.

I said, I'm not telling.

One little girl said,  "Are you in the hundreds?"

Which is the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Happy Friday all you spring chickens!


Monday, March 07, 2016

Farewell Downton Abbey

I truly feel the finale was a masterpiece.
Mr. Fellows didn't shy away from the happy ending.
He gave us the very happiest ending of all...
the singing of Auld Lang Syne...with kissing....and a quip from Violet.

But that was not her best quip of the night.  There were a few others that were wonderful.

Violet and Mrs. Crawley barging into the home of Lord rescue him!
I loved it so much.

Amelia: "Mrs. Crawley wants to take you away from your son and your
family and kidnap you into marriage.  What do you say?"

Lord Merton: "How perfectly marvelous."


Rosamund: What do you think makes the English the way we are?
Violet: I don't know. Opinions differ. Some say our history, but I blame the weather.


My other favorite line of the night was when Cora says something like,
"Edith is going to be happy."  Can any of you remember it?  It was so sweet.


Please feel free to post them. I'd love to re-read them and I didn't find much online this morning.

Happy, happy all around.  Just like I wanted it.  The good parts version.
Why not?

And was it ever beautiful?!?

I liked Edith's blue dress and Violet's blue dress coat.
Everything was spectacular.
Love stories for everyone, except Thomas, but he got respect and friendship and a place.

I hung on every word and I honestly felt it was so cleverly and perfectly written.

Name dropping included.
Charlie and Elsie  :o)

Oh I just love them all.
I love everybody.


I just read this and thought I would share it;

Q.  What was the last scene that you filmed for the finale?

 A. It was Edith and Bertie’s reconciliation dinner at the Ritz. We had to shoot from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. when the dining room was closed. It was the crew’s final scene too, and a lot of them played waiters and diners which made the whole thing like a very glamorous, joyous party. It was quite emotional. Julian came, and at about 3 a.m. we went outside to do an exterior shot. They shut down Piccadilly for us so that we could put in period cars and taxis. Julian looked around and said, “There really are worse jobs in the world.”

Then Michelle and some of the other actors came to the Ritz at 4 a.m. so that we could all be together, and we had a Champagne toast. Our final cast party was at the Ivy restaurant and John Lunn, who composed the "Downton" music,  sat down and played it on the piano. Everyone fell silent. It was the music of our story, and of their lives for six years. It was the most stirring, moving moment.

~Director, Michael Engler

How interesting.

I want to hear from you most of all.

Tell me what you loved? and share you favorite moments and quotes!!

Thank you for watching along and enjoying Downton with me.  
It's been so much fun.

Donna Elsie :o)

Friday, March 04, 2016

Some good songs.

I like all sorts of music.
Here are some favorites for a Friday afternoon!

No male voice has ever or will ever sound better to me than Frank's.

Happy Weekending,

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

These two months.

Two months.  These two months.
These horrific two months.

With our parents.  It's one day. One year to remember.
But with Sue, it's these two months.

There is so much to remember, so much to mourn.
But there was love and levity and togetherness also.

The love was so big.
The tumor so terrible.

I remember them equally.


I don't sob nearly as often but
I still think about her every single day.

And especially these two months when we all walked Susie 'home'.

I was looking at my blog from March 2010 this  morning because it came up on my memories on Facebook.  Today is the day I shared just a little bit about what was happening in Sue's life...our lives.

Sue had commented the previous day on the blog...and said she had a brain defect.
She concluded,

Love you.
Mean it.

The following picture and quote are from that time.  (And from my blog posts)
Those first days of March when I went to Missouri to love my sister.

""Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us." 
"Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly. 
"Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it.'" 
— Edith Nesbit

Still trying to believe it,
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


March is here...
Our winter has been mild and I'm not going to complain about that!
This morning we got a few inches of snow. No biggie really.
Because it is March!
The days are longer.
The snow will melt.

I feel like we have dogged a bullet.
Free pass.

Four months of winter are in the past....
Spring is on the way!

John Updike is my fave.

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie

I met a little girl at school named Elsie.  
It made me happy.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Oscars Red Carpet 2016. Plus a little after party glam.

Something was up last night.  I think the stars were flustered as to what to do and how to dress and how to act due to the controversy.  No people of color nominated for the top five awards.
Chris Rock came out and did a great monologue focusing on this point entirely.  Which is how it should be...but what happened I'm afraid is the people who were nominated were intimidated to go all out and celebrate their achievements.  Maybe they didn't want to 'show off'...or maybe the clothes were trivial.  I don't know.  My pretty little head can't quite figure it out.

By the end of the red carpet I had three dresses.  Three dresses that were very pretty.
I had to go looking for other stars who were missing on the red carpet show.

I found two more.

So this morning I wanted to see what everyone wore to the after I could share a few more dresses.

This year I will include those :o)

Let's start off with the very pretty dresses;

Alicia Vikander from The Danish Girl wearing Louis Vuitton.  
I loved it until I saw the poof/highlow bottom. That's so yesterday, isn't it?
But she looks beautiful and not boring, so yay!  She won best supporting actress.

Brie Larson in Gucci.  She won best actress for Room.

My favorite part is the chiffon added around the top part.  That one touch made this prettier.
I love her great big smile.

Charlize Theron in Dior.  She looks amazing.  However I don't like the shoulder straps one bit.  But that color and her figure and her jewels are spectacular.

Jennifer Lawrence did not walk the red carpet so I have seen this only in pictures.  It is a Dior and I like it very much. Looks a little like a negligee,'s not boring.  Her hair and make up are beautiful.

BTW.  I heard that reporters were not suppose to ask 'who are you wearing'....which bummed me out.
Dang they are taking themselves too seriously.  
It's entertainment folks.

I love Saoirse (sur-shu) Ronan. She was in Brooklyn.  She was my favorite actress of the year and in my favorite movie of the year.  Rent Brooklyn.  You will not be disappointed.  This dress is very nice but not my favorite.  The best thing about it is that she picked the green for her home, Ireland.

Kelly Ripa looks absolutely beautiful.  I love it.  I love the fit, I love the hair and makeup, I love the tan.  Go Kelly.

No one showed these two arriving...but I think this woman outdid the celebrities.  I love her dress and her necklace and her figure.  Who are you?  You are on the top of my list!!

Michael Keaton.  You look marvelous!

Now for the after party looks.

Minnie Driver in a beautiful Naeem Khan dress.  
I just love this.

Rachel McAdams (the notebook, spotlight)  looked tons better in this pink dress than she did in her green dress for the show.  I really like this pretty pink dress.

This is Beyonce's sister.  I only know her from being a nut in an elevator.  However. She wins in the fashion department last night!!! Solange wore Naeem Khan.

I saw this picture on google search and was so excited because I thought I found my winner.  This is Nina Dovrev wearing Reem Acra.  BUT  it's from last year and now that I think of it...I think I wrote about it. hahaha

How can I pick?   I do not have the perfect, fabulous, over the top dress this year.  They are all beautiful.


I'm gonna say....

Brie and Minnie.  The girls in blue.

Who did you love?
Why didn't I choose Jennifer Garner and Tina Fey?
There I said it before you could say it.  :oP

Since I did not care about any of the movies (besides Brooklyn) and few of the actors this year....the show was painful for me to I went to bed before the final three awards.  Had Sylvester Stalone won I may have gotten a little thrill and been able to make it...but he lost to a man I only know from Bridge of Spies...and it was super boring too.  I am not a Leo fan.  I don't hate.  But I'm not a fan.  Never even saw.....Titanic.  (I was traumatized by watching A Night To Remember too many times as a child.)

I am baffled by the fact that professionals in the entertainment industry can put on such a terrible and boring show.

Next Sunday we will all watch Downton Abbey and be entertained and delighted and cry and all will be well.  Leave it to England.

Leave your many opinions in the comments!!

Miz Boo