Tuesday, December 30, 2008


(hannah and katherine)

about a month ago, hannah's mom called. "dani, this is linda. i was calling about hannah's birthday. as you know she will be 16 on the 28th; and i want to do something special for her birthday... i was thinking about throwing her a surprise party. would you mind to help?"

"no, not at all," i replied, "what do you need for me to do?"

"well, i was wondering if maybe hannah could spend the night with kat the night before so that i can set everything up and get everyone over here without her knowing?!?!!!"

"sure," i said, "that will be no problem at all."

we love having hannah over anytime; she's a part of our family as far as we are concerned.

"thank you so much," linda said, "but remember, it's a surprise: tell kat not to tell her."

i got off the phone then quickly decided not to even say anything to katherine as i was afraid that as much time as the two spend together that she would surely let it slip. however, several days later, linda called katherine and requested that katherine get an invitation list together and do the inviting.

katherine and the invitees really surprised me!!! they never uttered a word to hannah about her party.

well, hannah's birthday was this past sunday. katherine called her friday afternoon and asked her if she wanted to come over and spend friday and saturday nights on the lane. hannah arrived shortly after kat's call.

now, the lane is notorious for pajama parties (surprised??? NOT!!!;), so, katherine told hannah to make sure and bring clothes to wear just in the case that we decided to maybe go shopping or something. hannah did.

long story not sooooooooo long...

when hannah awoke on sunday, john went into kat's room and sang (off key, ha;) "happy birthday to you". after, i went in and told her that her mom had called and that kat and i were going to join her mom and her for lunch at the olive garden...

the whole thing started making me nervous. hannah is a lot like me in that she doesn't like to be surprised, she doesn't like to be the center of attention, etc...

katherine came into my room when the two started getting dressed. "mom, hannah didn't bring her make-up with her."

i told katherine to offer to let hannah use hers. she did... twice!!!

hannah told her that it was ok, we were just going to lunch.

we were at a loss for what to do regarding hannah. i knew that if she were aware that there was going to be a houseful of people waiting at her home for her that she would want to be prepared for the occasion.

the rub was i feared that if we told her, it would not only ruin her mother's surprise, but that she may refuse to go home:/ her mother would be angry, and it would totally mess up the plans she had so lovingly made for hannah's special day.

in the end, we got to her house, walked in, everyone (like 30 or so people) yelled, "surprise!!!", and poor hannah turned around and looked at katherine and me with a look of total... surprise??? no, not a look of "surprise!!!" at all.

it was a definite look of...

my baby was mortified;
and i was immediately sick to my stomach for her.

i hope she has recovered...
i'm not sure i have, yet:?


love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps. please feel free to go over to hannah's blog, sixteen going on seventy and wish her a belated "happy birthday" and your condolences (bless her very sweet heart).

Sunday, December 28, 2008


things sunday:)

1. my love bought a new tv stand. true story... when my brother picked up the tv off the old stand, the stand broke into 5 pieces; IT COLLAPSED ONTO THE FLOOR!!!
(rotflmao, i told john it was on its last leg;)

2. i gave maggie a hair cut and a bath yesterday. she is now squeaky clean and donning her new collar santa brought her in her stocking...
sooooooo sweet!!!

3. for 3 days, i had 15 guests... needless to say, i have put a few pairs of my new pajamas to good use since their departure:P

4. we had 60 mph straight line winds roar through here last night. the good news is... we didn't lose any trees. the bad news is... after the last storm we had, we didn't have many to lose:/ (we lost 8 100-year-old-+ virgin elms and oaks.)

5. john bought me photoshop for Christmas; i installed it; i cannot find the program on my computer. i guess that means i am going to have to MAKE myself read the instructions, huh???

6. EVERYONE was in a really good mood this past week:D
(you never know???)

7. i'm looking forward to the new year; i'm claiming 2009 as a year of renewal for
"dani on the lane":P

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Friday, December 26, 2008

6 new pairs of pj's...

and counting:P

now, do you see WHY/HOW i have 42 pairs
(plus 6 new pairs)???


did you get new pj's for Christmas???

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

mosses monday XIV...

The den was toasty, as there was a fire roaring in the fireplace. The antiquated, artificial tree with the exposed, 2 foot metal pole trunk was aglow with multi-colored fairy lights and trimmed with homemade angel ornaments and thick bunches of silver tinsel. Mrs. Moss and I were in the kitchen preparing finger foods and drinks for our loved ones. 
As I stood at the sink washing out Katherine’s sippy cup, I noticed a barge traveling up the icy Ohio River. Mrs. Moss walked over to me and handed me a soda to fill Katherine’s cup. She paused next to me and joined me looking out the window.

"Isn’t George wonderful, Dani..." she asked rhetorically in her gravelly, sophisticated voice.  
I smiled in total agreement… needing no further explanation.  
She turned toward the window, pointed, and continued, “He brought me that tree all the way down here from our house for the holidays.”
My smile grew bigger. I sat down Katherine’s cup and leaned over and kissed her cheek. Just as Alzheimer’s was robbing her of her mind, God continued to fill her sweet heart to overflowing.
She continued, "I don't really like being here for the holidays, but George said it isn't time to go home just yet. I am just so happy you, John, and the ‘Sugarplum’ are here...”
We took the refreshments into the den, toasted the holiday, and prepared to leave for dinner. (I had made reservations at Hunan’s, our local Chinese bistro.)
When we arrived the hostess escorted us to our table. Mr. Moss took Mrs. Moss' coat, and John took Katherine’s and mine. As the two made their way over to hang our coats, we three girls took our seats. The restaurant was rather crowded with many familiar faces- though Mrs. Moss didn't seem to notice. Anna, the restaurant owner, brought Mr. Moss' black coffee with a straw to the table. She asked if we would be having "the regular". We all smiled and nodded, yes. Anna, returned with the rest of our drinks and let us know our soup was on its way.

As I looked around, I noticed a group of people several tables over from ours was preparing to leave. They donned their coats and headed towards our table. The foursome happened to be a few of our fellow church parishioners. After Mr. Moss stood and greeted them with a warm, southern, gentleman's, How do you do?, we all arose as well and exchanged hugs, hand-shakes, and Merry Christmas wishes.

As the couples walked away from our table, we returned to our seats. Mrs. Moss looked toward Mr. Moss and said, "George, I can't believe how many people are down here from home.”
“Mommie," Mr. Moss was having a terrible time understanding and accepting Mrs. Moss' Alzheimer's, “where do you think you are?"

I reached under the table and took Mrs. Moss' soft, warm, frail hand in mine. She smiled at him and replied, "Florida."


(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

what if...

the Christ child were to be born today...

what three gifts would you bring to him???
please comment:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Saturday, December 20, 2008

even more to love...

i received this beautiful keepsake ornament
in my mail box yesterday afternoon...

(isn't it gorgeous!!!)

thank you so much, tanya!!!

tanya sent this ornament to me all the way from the beautiful gold coast of australia:) i absolutely love it!!! it will forever remind me that 2008 was the year i met so many wonderful friends from all around the world in the great blogoshphere and was included in the "snail mail bunch"!!!

2008 has been sweet, indeed:D

(baaaa, baaaa, haaaa:)

and thank you tabitha, for the follow-up card!!!

it is going in a frame, tee-hee:P
those of you who have read me from the beginning already know that i am goat challenged. those of you who haven't...


i mistook a goat for a calf for several months...
and then there was the dog that i thought was a goat!!!
(guess you had to be there;)

anyway the card was also a big hit in the mailbox yesterday.

thank you, girls, again!!!
love you:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas meme...

j and esme over at mozi esmé have tagged me!!!
here are 7 (i chose "Christmas") factoids about me...

1.) i like to wear flip flops all year long and was so excited to find "mitten socks", which i ordered from japan a few years ago for katherine and me for Christmas!!!
2.) i have 42 pairs of flannel pajama bottoms (lol, mostly Christmas print), which katherine and i share. i love, love, love me some pj's; kat does too:D
3.) i miss watching frazier thomas' "family classics" Christmas movies on wgn with my grandmother... but not nearly as much as i miss my grandmother.
do you remember chicago's very own wgn "family classics" hosted by frazier thomas back in the late 7o's early 80's??? did you watch???
4.) i love pink and green Christmas time goodies... my favorites are (preppy) jet-puffed marshmallows for hot chocolate and prairie farms peppermint stick ice cream:P
5.) i haven't baked a single holiday treat; but i've had my fair share of reese's cups and hershey's candy cane kisses...
6.) katherine's last day of school before Christmas break is tomorrow. i'm more excited than she is; i love having her at home with me:)
7.) i have no idea what santa is bringing me this year...
do you know what "the jolly old elf" is bringing your way???

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps. tag! you're it...please tell us more more about yourselves if you don't mind :o)

if you would like to follow directions (i'm not so good at it;)...

This is how it works.

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6)
Write 7 random things about yourself.
Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

can't see the forest for the trees...

"an expression used of someone
who is too involved in the details of
a problem to look at the situation as
a whole."
(The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002)

katherine decided yesterday we needed to erect yet a fourth Christmas tree here on the lane...
(why not? we still had two in the basement just waiting to be brought upstairs and decorated:/) she wanted to put one in her bedroom.

i suppose the small one she ALREADY had in her bedroom was not enough?

anyway, i told her if her daddy would bring another one upstairs i'd put the lights on it for her and  she could decorate it.

a few hours later, i looked up to see katherine standing in my doorway.

"mom, i think dad brought the wrong tree up from the basement..." she said.

"didn't you tell him to bring up the 8ft. one?" i asked.

"i told him NOT the great big one, but the one he put in my room is touching the ceiling."

"which part of your ceiling," i asked, " the lower part or the higher part???"
(katherine's ceiling is slanted 12ft-8ft with the line of the roof.)

she left my doorway only to return a moment later.

"the higher part," she answered.

i walked into her room to see a 12ft tree standing in the middle of the room. the top branch was slightly bent at the ceiling. i just shook my head:?

"i'll bring the other one up tomorrow," i told her.

well, a winter storm warning was issued for our area today, and school was dismissed an hour early. so, i picked up katherine, and we headed home to deck out our halls yet a little more.

"just take the bottom part off of that tree, mom." katherine continued, "then, you won't have to drag the other one up from the basement..."

i'd already had that thought and was dismantling the monster even as she spoke. i stood there for about 15 or 20 minutes modelling the branches, preparing the shorter version of the tree to go into the stand.
(which, by the way, didn't work in the end because it was not the bottom piece and did not have a long enough "trunk" to fit in the stand;)

"something is wrong with that tree anyway," katherine said. "the sections aren't even the same color... and the middle looked bigger than the bottom when it was all together."

i looked at the "top part" of the tree, which i was holding and grooming, then looked at the "bottom part" of the tree, which was still in the tree stand. cocking my head to the side, it dawned on me that katherine was right! the tree john had brought upstairs (in sections) and put together were sections of two different trees. i'd just been standing too close (and had had MORE than my fill of trimming trees for 2008)to the tree to even notice!


love and blessings,
dani xxx

ps the photo above is of the right tree (the 8 footer).
i wish i'd gotten a photo of the mismatch but not enough to put the monster back together incorrectly:b

Saturday, December 13, 2008

down under...

animals on parade:)

i received this darling parcel in the mail yesterday.
the bauble was sent to me by my dear friend, elise.

i love it, elise, and you too!!!
thank you very much:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps elise's sister, renae, is having surgery this week.
please, keep her in your prayers... you can read about
elise's wonderful, beautiful sister HERE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

and a day...

well, katherine had a really good birthday, yesterday!!!
thank you for all your sweet birthday wishes;
you are ALL such wonderful friends:)

when she awoke i gave her the "coldplay" tee-shirt she's really been wanting. lol, i had told her that they didn't have one for me to order that was small enough for her:P
(in order to surprise, sometimes you just gotta fib a little;)

(katherine donning the tee:)

i picked her and chico up from school yesterday afternoon so that we could meet john for dinner. we arrived at the restaurant first and were waiting for john. when he arrived, he was driving KATHERINE'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT...


i had taken her last weekend to look at several. she and i liked the same one, a black toyota avalon. however, after she chose, we told her there were problems that had come up with that particular car and that she may have to settle for something else.
(in order to surprise, sometimes you just gotta fib a little;)

she was, thus, very happy when john took her out to surprise her with the car she'd chosen:D he was so excited to give it to her!!!
sooooooooooooooooooooo sweet:D

(katherine with her new avalon)

the party continues... i am supposed to pick up katherine and her friends this afternoon to take them to their favorite, buffalo wild wings, for another birthday dinner and fun:) more to follow...

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps i almost forgot... speaking of cars, can you believe this???
($1.44 a gallon, WOW!!!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

sweet and sixteen


i love you, kitty kat!!!
(and i hope you have a lovely day;)

love and God's blessings,
mom xx

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

meanwhile, from across the pond...

came "royal mail",
two, yummy, sparkling, scented packages!!!

the postman delivered both of these packages
yesterday afternoon...

what a delightful surprise on a dreary, gray day
here on the lane!!!

thank you so much, tabitha and amanda!!!
(and tania, who came up with this wonderful idea:)

first, i opened this from tabitha:

a darling, twinkling, star key chain,
a photo card of her twinkle, twinkle little stars...
dan and lauren (aren't they adorable???),
and last but not least a box of ferrero rocher chocolates:b

you may notice one of the chocolates
is missing. now, who on the lane would
have eaten it before i could even get a

next, i opened these goodies from amanda:

these are a few of her favorite things...

chocolate biscuits (i'd never heard of them though i had inquired:)
and some wonderfully scented bath and body goodies!!!

hmmm... you may notice that the
chocolate biscuit package was also
opened prior to my photography.
someone on the lane must have been
very impatient and hungry for chocolate???



and, omgoodness, it was YUMMO!!!
thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much, my dear friends:)
i love it ALL and you, too:D

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

mosses monday XIII...

(baby girl berrong)

my Christmas baby arrived exactly two weeks before Christmas day. that afternoon i was lying in the bed resting after having been up and in labor all night when i heard a little knock at my hospital room door.

"come in..." i said.

the door slowly opened, and in walked mrs. moss.
she walked over to my bedside,
placed a darling little Christmas tree on my nightstand
and kissed my forehead.

"dani, your little sugarplum is just beautiful,"
she said in her gravelly, sophisticated voice.

"oh, you have seen her?"
i asked wide-eyed and proudly grinning ear-to-ear.

she, too, grinned crinkling her nose, "i have."
she continued, "and i don't believe i've ever
seen so much hair on a baby in all my life."

"she has a head-full; that's for sure," i replied.

"she is just a baby-doll!"

"thank you, mrs. moss.
and, thank you for the Christmas tree."

"you are so welcome...
george said you needed something Christmassy
for your room while you are here.
oh, and here's a little something
for the "sugarplum".

she handed me a package.
inside was the softest,
most beautiful,
white, marabou

"i love it and you and mr. moss too!
thank you and please thank mr. moss!"

i hugged her and kissed her cheek.


unbeknownst to mrs. moss, john and i had been debating between two names for our baby girl... 'lucy katherine'
(mrs. moss' name) or 'katherine elizabeth' (for mrs. moss and my great-aunt to whom i had been very close and had recently lost). i loved both names, and so did john.

i was on the verge of asking mrs. moss if she would mind us naming our baby 'lucy katherine' but missed my opportunity. i had another visitor. when my friend came into my room, mrs. moss politely said she was going to leave so that i could visit with my guest.

mrs. moss took my hand in hers (her hands were always so soft and warm;) gave mine a gentle squeeze, winked, and excused herself saying she really needed to get home before dark... as she didn't like driving after dark anymore.

in the end, john and i decided on the name, 'katherine elizabeth'. it always brought great joy to both mr. and mrs. moss that she was mrs. moss' namesake...

the moss' joy was our pleasure.


(to be continued...)

love and blessings,
dani xx

ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

what's st. nicholas day???

well, i didn't really know either


katherine started kindergarten. we sent her to a private catholic school for primary (k-3). we, being methodists, had only really ever celebrated st. patrick's day... as far as saints' days were concerned.

(in the above st. nicholas day card,
it was dutch tradition to fill clogs
with hay and carrots for st. nicholas' horses.)

katherine came home from kindergarten one day after thanksgiving informing me that december 6th would be st. nicholas day and that if she placed her shoes by the fire place (on the 5th) that the next morning the shoes would be filled with goodies.


i did a little research and found that st. nicholas was a man of great faith who lived his life in order to glorify Christ. saint nicholas loved children and cared for the needy. he brought the love and healing of Jesus to both. st. nicholas was the epitome of selfless giving always honoring God who sent his Son, the greatest gift of all.

i also found that by celebrating this early advent holiday it helped katherine to better understand santa claus by revealing the real person who inspired the familiar legend and traditions.

anyway, when katherine was younger we always placed an old pair of her slippers on the hearth on the night of december 5th, and the next morning new slippers were there in the place of the old ones filled with candy and a beanie baby (or two;). i found it to be a really sweet tradition...

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Saturday, December 6, 2008

tree hugger...

turns 18, today!!!

chico wanted me to blog that it is his birthday...
so, here it is:)


he, katherine, and friends are going out tonight
to celebrate his "adulthood"...
i use that term loosely, bahahahaahaaaa~!!!

by the way...
happy st. nicholas day, too:)
(did st. nicholas fill your slippers with goodies last night???)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

mosses monday XII...

on tuesday:P

it was a cold, gray day in december. i had been downtown picking up a few new Christmas ornaments for our tree. i happened to notice a beautiful blown glass ball that i thought the mosses would enjoy, so i bought it, too.

after i left the store, i drove to the moss' home. the cold of the day was compounded by the brisk wind coming off the ohio river. i grabbed the box with the ornament inside, pulled my coat together, and hurried to the door. just a moment after ringing the doorbell, i was greeted by mrs. moss...
"come in here, dani," she welcomed me.

as she was taking my coat, i notice a most peculiar smell...
or should i say,

something smelled very offensive!

i handed her the beautifully wrapped Christmas ornament, and we walked into the den where mr. moss was drinking his afternoon toddy. mrs. moss started to put the package under the tree.
"oh, mrs. moss, it is not really a Christmas gift," i continued,
"it's for you to open, now."

mrs. moss with box in hand sat down on the couch.
"george, look.
dani has brought us a surprise."

mr. moss looked over at me from his leather chair,
"well, bless your heart, dani..."

i interrupted, "it's just a little something. i saw it, and it reminded me of you.
i hope you will like it."

mrs. moss opened the package.
she said she loved the bauble!!!

"look, george, isn't it beautiful,"
mrs. moss held it under the light so that he could see.

"it is really pretty, mommie," he said affectionately.
"you shouldn't have, dani."
i smiled;
i thought they would like the ornament.

mrs. moss walked over to the tree to hang the ornament. the odor i had noticed when i came into the house had become more and more noticeable. but, i didn't know whether to say anything to them.
how do you tell someone that their house...

but, it was awful!

finally, i said to the mosses, "do you smell anything odd?"

they looked at one another, shrugged,
and almost in unison said they did not.

"do you smell something, dani?" mr. moss asked.
"what do you smell?"

"honestly, i smell a strong odor of gas...
you don't think you have a leak do you?" i asked.

we all three grabbed our coats and walked out of the house and around to where the gas line entered the house.

"everything looks ok, here," mr. moss said scratching his head.

"do you think we should call the gas department?"

"i have my cell phone in the car." i offered.

"maybe it's the gas logs?" mr. moss was thinking aloud.
"mommie, do you think we may have forgotten to turn off the gas last night?"

"i'm sure i turned it off, george," she replied.

"dani, come with me, and we will check," mrs. moss said to me as she took my hand leading me back into the house. "george is afraid of the gas logs..."

within the minute, there we stood in front of the fireplace. before i could utter a word, mrs. moss took one of those long fireplace matches and struck the side of the box!

"OH, MY DEAR, GOD!!!" i thought to myself.

the match caught fire... first strike.
there was no explosion;
we were still standing there in one piece, respectively!!!

"THANK YOU, GOD!!!" i thought to myself.

she turned on the gas and lit the logs.
"well, it's not that???"

mrs. moss leaned out the port door and told mr. moss that the odor was not coming from the logs and that it was okay for him to come back into the house.

when he re-entered, he looked at me and said, "you know, after being outside, i smell something, too." he looked over at mrs. moss and told her to go ahead and give the gas department a call.

when i left, the gas department was en route.

an hour or so later, mrs. moss rang to say that the smell was natural gas coming from the drain in their basement... they had called to have someone come to repair it.


how funny we two, 'steel magnolias' (aka crazy ladies), were standing in the house lighting a match while mr. moss waited patiently in the driveway for us to give him the "all's clear" to return!

(to be continued...)

love and blessings,
dani xx

ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)