Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i'm her memory; she's my editor...

('two alike' but different in a complimentary sort of way...)

i received an email this afternoon from my editor,

in it she said:

" Hey chick…you might want to change “recanting” to “recounting” in your blog… I’m just saying….


so, all of you who may have noticed that i used the word "recanting" instead of "recounting" in my previous post, i have corrected it:D in other words, i recanted my use of "recanting"!!! tee-hee...

i don't know what i would do without d, lol!!! she has saved me on several occasions... the first being my whole "prostate/prostrate" debacle:O...

thank you, d:b

have a lovely evening!!!

love and blessings,
dani xx

on a very serious note...

(Frequently breaking into sobs, Leroy Hubley testified Tuesday about the death of his wife, Bonnie, who died a month before their son, Randy, after they both received contaminated heparin at the same kidney dialysis clinic..)

i was watching a CNN WORLD NEWS REPORT earlier this evening (tuesday:us) when a reporter started recounting several testimonies that had taken place today before congress about families who had lost loved ones as a result of contaminated heparin (a blood thinner in liquid form). i watched leroy hubley (in the ap photograph above) recount losing his wife and then a month later losing his son due to the contamination. the brokenhearted man could barely speak.

tears came to my eyes for him, and my heart felt like it was in my throat.

this particular story hit close to home for me. for i had to give myself heparin shots on several occasions as well as receive heparin drip iv's. after katherine was born, i started having mini-strokes and have been on coumadin (a blood thinner in pill form) since 1993.

i never felt the need to question either drug.

i just took for granted the safety of the medicine.

after the report, i sat thinking...

 i've shared this with only a handful of those near and dear... a little over a year ago, i offered to carry a baby for a beloved couple who had tried to get pregnant for nearly 15 years with no avail. she has been a dear friend and life-long mentor to me, and it was something i really, really wanted to do for her if she accepted my offer. i told her i would be willing to see a specialist as i knew i would have to switch from coumadin to daily heparin shots if the doctors allowed me to do it.  then, if the specialist gave the okay, i was more than willing to do this for them. 

as it turned out, the high risk pregnancy specialist ran some tests and told me it was just too risky. i was really upset for some time after that because after a lot of thought and prayer, i really had my heart set on it. not only would i have been able to help them, i would also have been making myself productive (pardon the pun).

i wanted my dear friend to experience the joy my katherine had brought to me!!! 


now, after watching the news, i feel that it was probably a GOD thing that we didn't go ahead with the surrogacy. i could not imagine them going through all that and then me losing their baby because of a contaminated drug...
it is outrageous to me this day and time that our food and drug administration continually fails to do its job!

on tuesday, members of congress blasted the fda for approving scientific protein laboratories, a wisconsin company which owns the chinese-owned changzhou spl co. ltd., a heparin supplier, without inspecting it...

 TOO LITTLE TOO LATE, if you ask me!

and here's the real kicker, the fda believes that the contamination was deliberate!


my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones due to this travesty.

GOD bless them and you too...


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

time has not only marched its troops across my face...

it has also waged several wars about my body:O
don't get me wrong i'd rather be getting older than the alternative; and i'm very grateful for the life God continues to bestow upon me every day. but, i look at pictures and think what a difference a couple of years make!!!
two years ago, i went into a convenient store to buy a lottery ticket and was carded (for being 18!!! for heaven's sake!!! i was 36 years old!!!). i didn't have a wrinkle on my face; and my hair was colored, so, no gray:D
i looked in the mirror, today, and thought, "what the heck?!?!?!????"; and that was just the face!!!
the body is a whole other story. for years (from the time i was 16 until i was 30 i wore a size 6 or smaller at times and a bra called a "barely b") except for when i was pregnant with katherine and gained... are you ready for this??? 76 pounds!!! yes, i hit every chinese and mexican buffet in the tri-state, bakery, and kat really, really liked reese's cups and milk for our midnight snack, lol!!! i even lost all that weight within about 6 months!!!
now, i don't even want to get in the shower with myself. no kidding, if i didn't think i'd slip and really hurt myself i'd take a shower in the dark like my other friend d (not the notorious one)!!!
now that's pretty sad isn't it???
but, i kid you not; my barely b's have turned into b-longs. i just cannot believe that they b-long to me!!! how did that happen??? i try not to let anyone see the gravitational pull by wearing the tightest sports bra i can pull over my head and put my arms through. but, that's only a facade. spanx and a sports bra v/s plastic surgery that's what my body age is all about at this point.
most days i think i'd like to have new boobs; but then i think, "what's the point??? i don't know what i'd do with them anyway." other days i think lipo suction might be helpful; but then i figure my other body fat will just shift around or i'll just generate more because my metab-0-lism is all about the "0" as in nil, nada, non-existent."
so, i guess i'll just let the aging process commence all naturalle...
but, i tell you, it won't be long (time wise, not bra size) before i go back into that same convenient store to buy another lottery ticket and the cashier offers to give me some kind of senior discount:C
the day that happens is the day i may reconsider that all naturalle business!!!
have and lovely day!!!
love and blessing,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

kourting katherine...

(jason and my domestic diva)

katherine has her boyfriend over every saturday night for a date (as i will not let her "go out" nor "car date" until she is 16, which is creeping up on me and making me wish all those years ago that i hadn't firmly committed to 16 being the magic number).


anyway, every saturday night jason comes over, i order them pizza (except for the one week they wanted mcdonalds???), i usually bake them cookies and they sit together in the parlor (aka the den, lol!!!) i also always have to remind kat to offer him something to drink, eat, etc...

tonight john went to the country for a fish fry at his sister's church. so, instead of ordering pizza, i told katherine just to bake the digiorno pizza we had in the freezer and the peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies i had in the fridge. "ok," she said. (katherine is not very domestic.)

at about 8:20 i went into the kitchen to fix myself a glass of tea. they were sitting on the couch watching a movie. "kat, did you bake the pizza?" i asked. she grinned her silly sideways grin and shook her head as jason shook his. "it's twenty minutes after eight," i said to her, "don't you think you should cook it since jason will be leaving at ten??? he's probably hungry."

"poor jason!!!" is all i have to say about that!!!

she got up from the couch, came into the kitchen, started pre-heating the oven, and resumed her position on the couch. i got the cookie dough, the cookie sheet, and the parchment paper out and prepared the cookies to be baked. i told her that she needed to bake the cookies on 350 for 15 minutes.

"hey, i think i'm going to make those first. will you reset the temperature on the oven for me, please?" she replied.

so, of course, i did.

about 30 minutes later, i went back into the kitchen to get another glass of tea... i looked over at the stove top to see the cookie sheet shy a whole row of cookies.

(the cookies are JUMBO... much bigger than they look.)

"have you already fixed your pizza?" i asked... jason and katherine shook their heads, "no" in unison (they are really getting good at that).

"why didn't you fix the pizza???" i inquired.

"because we ate the cookies instead!!!" my daughter replied.

("well, duh!!!" i thought to myself as i rolled my eyes at her, shook my head, and left the kitchen.)

when she ever gets married, i pity the poor guy...

love and blessings,

i've been tagged by kristen @ memories and dreams...

Link the person, KRISTEN, who tagged you in your title.

("love and daisies" photo by kristen)

Mention the rules on your blog
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

my quirks...

1. i cannot stand to have stubble on my legs. thus, i shower, shampoo, and shave at least two times a day. i have since i was 12.
2. i get waaaaaaaaaaaaay overstimulated with more than one type of noise (eg tv, music, dishwasher, etc...) going on at one time.
3. i keep germ-x in the car because handling money(especially change) at drive-thrus totally grosses me out:/
4. i don't sleep in panties because they get twisted!!! ROTFL:DDD i can't help it; it's true...
5. it drives me crazy for someone to chew his/her food (smack) with their mouth open.
6. i don't like anyone in my personal space unless invited. it makes me very self-conscious for someone to get in my face and talk to me.

i am tagging:







(dani's disclaimer: this is not a chain letter; nothing bad will happen to you if you don't repost. nothing good will happen to you either, LOL!!!)

have fun girls!!!
d xx

Thursday, April 24, 2008

who i am... who are you???


it is late; i could not get to sleep. so, i decided to have a little fun... well, of sorts:/ thus, i took a few 'blog things' personality tests.

click HERE if you'd like to test. there are many, many more from which to choose:D

SURPRISED: i am disturbingly profound (now, that's a funny one:D), i should live in the country, i am a splash of 'enchantment' (let's just say... "AMY ADAMS, I AM NOT!!!), etc...

NOT SURPRISED:i'm addicted to caffeine, i am totally laid back, i'm spoiled, i am totally conflicted politically (i have never been so conflicted as to whom to politically support than i am in this year's presidential election! that is quite obvious given that obama and huckabee are tied for the top honor of my "who i should vote for" personality test)

oh, well, it was something to do...

have a lovely day!!!

love and blessings,
dani xx

What These Tulips Say About You

You are a popular person who has admirable qualities.

You are often hopelessly in love, and you connect to other people easily.

You are a naturally cheerful and upbeat person. You have an amazing smile.

What Your Latte Says About You

You don't treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very lifestyle.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to be serious.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are a child at heart, and you don't ever miss the opportunity to do something playful.

You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.

You Are a Cupcake

You are fun, you never take life too seriously.

People are constantly surprised by how delightful you are.

You Should Live in the Country

You are laid back, calm, and good at entertaining yourself.

You don't need an expensive big city to keep you busy.

You'll take the peaceful life over the stressful life any day of the week.

The Recipe For dani

3 parts Intellect

2 parts Humor

1 part Aspiration

Splash of Enchantment

Serve over ice

What Your Little Black Dress Says About You

You know how to be elegant, classy, and sophisticated.

You know how to make an entrance... and then keep people interested with your witty banter.

Your style is classic.. You don't fall for silly fashion trends.

If you were a shoe, you would be: Classic black pumps

You Are Disturbingly Profound

You're contemplative, thoughtful, and very intense.

Taking time to figure out the meaning of life is a priority for you.

Because you're so introspective, you often react in ways that surprise people.

No one can really understand how you are on the inside... and that disturbs them.

Your Thinking is Abstract and Random

You are flexible, adaptable, and creative.

There's many ways that you can learn - and you're up for any of them.

You relate well to other people, and you do well working with them.

You can help people communicate together and work with each other's strengths.

You don't work well with people who are competitive or adversarial.

You prefer to work toward a common goal... not toward conflicting goals.

What Your Feet Say About You:

You are pretty average in your expressiveness. You can express yourself well, but you don't always want to.

You are a very passionate person. You are highly charged and easily inspired.

You are an assertive and aggressive person. You are determined and not likely to ever give up.

You take a while to fall in love, but once you do, you stay pretty attached to your partner.

You are not afraid of anything. You are brave and courageous, even when most people would be terrified.

You are intellectual and philosophical. You are more concerned with thoughts than action.

You are a little spoiled. You like indulge yourself every now and then.

You are not easily influenced by other people. You hold your ground and are true to your beliefs.

Who You Should Vote For

Barack Obama: 47%

Mike Huckabee: 47%

Hillary Clinton: 33%

Ron Paul: 27%

John McCain: 20%

Who you agree with on the war in Iraq: Mike Huckabee and John McCain

Who you agree with on the economy: Barack Obama

Who you agree with on health care: Barack Obama

Who you agree with on taxes: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Who you agree with on abortion: Mike Huckabee and John McCain

You Are a Moderate Mama

You're not overly political, and your views fall more with the American mainstream but closely border a conservative point of view.

In fact, it may be difficult for you to decide who to vote for at times!

Your approach to politics is reasoned and well though out.

my puppy-dogger has ocd...

(registered: "sister mary magdelena": aka MAGGIE)

yesterday morning i loaded a very excited maggie into the jeep and took her to spend the day at the vet. when i walked into the lobby the receptionist asked what i needed them to do.

i proceeded, "she needs to be updated on her shots, her claws need to be trimmed, anal glands squeezed (i know, ICK!!!), and she has a spot on her eye that i want dr. nichols to check..."
"ok, we'll take care of that for you. what time will you be back to pick her up?" the receptionist asked.
"around 2:30, if that will be ok," i replied.
she nodded.

i looked down; maggie was still very excited to be there... WITH ME. i took her leash off so the technician could take her back to one of the kennels. after i unhooked her, she realized i was leaving her. if you've ever seen the look puss in boots gives in the shrek movies you will know the pitiful look she was giving me. animals really know how to do it to you:/

(yep, that was the look only in canine...)

anyway, i bent down, and she gave be a big, wet, sloppy kiss on the forehead. off she went looking back at me after every other step she took. i left dr. nichols' office with a very heavy heart. other than when i had her spayed, she's never spent a day away from home unless she was with us.
yes, she is spoiled:b

at 2:30 on the dot, i returned to get my little maggie-doodle!!!

after the technician handed her to me, she explained that my little darling was NOT kennel-boarding material. she told me that her breed, the king charles spaniel, is known for having obsessive compulsive disorder and that maggie definitely showed all signs. (i guess that's why she will only eat her food and drink her water if her food bowl is on the right and water bowl on the left, she will only jump up on the bed from the far side, refuses to walk in the grass if it is too high or wet, etc...)

bottom line... my baby hadn't drunk, eaten, nor pottied all day:[ i felt like a horrible mother. further, she smelled so bad she could hardly stand herself (no, REALLY, i can tell these things, ROTFL!!!) the good LORD knows i could hardly stand the smell either!!!

we left the clinic; and, i took my parched pup to mcdonalds and got her a water and me a diet coke (of course). she drank over half of her cup before coming up for a air poor thing!!!

as soon as we got home i went into my closet to change my clothes. she of course followed me. i looked back to see that she had gotten into my shower. she wanted a bath (true story). i knew she couldn't stand the smell of the kennel on her body; and i was right. needless to say, i gave her a bath and some peanut butter for a treat. finally, she was one happy camper. and my little happy camper hasn't been detached from me since i picked her up yesterday (except for when i took kat to school this morning).

ocd??? yep, i can believe that:D

love and blessings,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

i'm skipping the c25k!!!

i'm going to train for a marathon instead!!!


because i want to be as fit as my friend shannon; and, i want a trophy like hers too!!!

GOd knows it will NEVER happen; it's just not in me!!!

what i'm really skipping the COUCH-TO-5K for is bridge lessons on thursdays. those that know me will totally understand... only, i really do have "shannon fitness envy"!!! REALLY!!!

my first bridge lesson is the day after tomorrow:D so, my friend maggie has given me all kinds of information to study as i've never played before in my life, and the group she is teaching has been playing for close to a year, now.


bridge and knitting... yes, i told you in my random things about me that "i am a very old soul". i wasn't kidding. before many died the average age of my best friends was probably 75. and i have many, many great friends my age and younger. i am an old person magnet. i love them, i love to listen to their stories, i love the feel of their soft hands, and i love, love, love the sparkle in their eyes when someone is paying them attention... so, i'm going to be in hog-heaven playing bridge on thursdays.

i may even write a book. (note to self: after you clean your house, start, write, and publish your book about gary, you need to start on your second book, the bridge of henderson county or thursdays with maggie.)

anyway, i guess i better get dinner started so that i can get back to studying my bridge basics (much more my speed than running, LITERALLY:b).

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps you will all be happy to know that i didn't go out and buy a new norwalk couch (though i want one and it would have been as good a reason as any...) for the c25k on a whim... as is my nature (eg. samprass racket (tennis lessons i whimped out on), bertha (the 6 1/2 holes i played), tandem (5 trips i took), etc...) ROTFLMAO!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

love actually, shock, and aftershock...



katherine always has trouble going to sleep on sunday nights... probably because she stays up late on saturday night then sleeps in on sunday morning. last night was no different. at 10pm when she would normally be getting ready to go to bed and im for a while, she said she was wide awake and asked me if i wanted to watch a movie.

as i had mentioned in a blog several weeks ago, i'd bought six movies while on a shopping spree at best buy. well, four of those were a hugh grant box set, which included the movie, "love actually". the movie had been touted to me on several occasions; so, that's the one i put in for us to watch not realizing that it was rated 'r'. however, it didn't take long to figure out that it was given that the "f word" was used 6-8 times within the first five minutes of the movie (it only takes 2 for an 'r' rating).

hence, katherine, who is 15, looked at me with her right eyebrow arched and inquired about the rating...

oh, yeah, it's me... it was MY job to check out the rating; right???

therefore, i asked her if she wanted me to take it out and insert a different one.

"no, mom," she replied, "it's not like i've never heard the 'f word'!!!"
"ok," i said, "i was just wondering given the look on your face..."

it was less than five more minutes into the movie when one of the 10 sub-plots was introduced. an actress and actor were getting to know each other by filming... PORN???

ok, so, you'd think that at least one of those who'd touted the movie to me would have mentioned that this was NOT a movie to watch with katherine!!! just one???

"hmmmmmmmmm, this is awkward!!!" exclaimed katherine. and, it was!!!
"uh, YEAH!!!" i replied.

just when the characters had stopped cursing (for the most part), we were sitting here watching t and a!!! GREAT!!!

katherine looked back over at me with her eyebrow arched, still, "and, you said you didn't know if i should watch "juno"?!?!?
"kat, i didn't know; i'm turning if off, now" i conceded.
"no," she said, "it's no big deal."


(i subtly pressed fast forward... as the other 9 sub plots were basically benign, and for all practical purposes the cursing had come to a halt.)

katherine is at an age that sometimes i am at a total loss as to what to do... what choices to make. she's not a little girl anymore; yet there are things i just don't approve of her seeing. i had to hit ff a couple of more times, and everything turned out ok, i guess:/

"love actually"... well, it's not rated "r" for nothing!!! however, i will have to admit that it was good movie. but, it is NOT a wholesome, feel good movie to watch with katherine like "the holiday" (one of my all-time faves), to which it had been compared.

anyway, after the movie, i turned out the lights and was puting away the movie. our house started shaking again... ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE??? i walked to my bedroom door and asked john if he'd felt it.

"no," he sleepily replied.
"i think we just had another one," i said.

thus, kat wanted me to sleep with her. so, we went and got into her bed. i turned on her tv; sure enough, it was confirmed we'd had what they labeled another "aftershock", which measured a 4.5.


love and blessings,
dani (a normally conservative mother... NO, REALLY!!!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

how our playhouse came to be "ours"...


(not a great pic but the best i could do, as it is raining:D)

i was over at EMMA-KATE'S site admiring her kids' new playhouse (cubby). it took me back in time (the fall of 2000) to when our playhouse came to be, well, er... "ours".
unlike the one emma-kate's children enjoy via "the best dad and grandpa in the world", ours came to be "ours" quite by mistake. the now notorious friend, D, and i had volunteered to help with our HABITAT FOR HUMANITY's local auction, which we did every year before she jumped our 'flag ship' and moved to florida. (sorry about the bitter digression)... note to self, "stay on topic!!!"...
anyway HFH had had this darling playhouse on display for nearly a month before the auction. john and i had both commented on how cute it was, and we both mentioned that we would have loved to have had it when katherine was younger. she would have had a blast with all her BITTY BABIES and kitchen appliances in it. but, that time had passed as she was a pre-teen.
well, the night of the auction, d and i were doing our thing, presenting each item, respectively, upon which to be bid. picture barker's beauties (the price is right) gone lucy and ethel (we being the latter doing the former job, HA!). all was going pretty quickly, and we were really busy. the time came for the playhouse to be auctioned. i heard the auctioneer describing it, making reference to it's location outside, and offering a starting price.
during that time, i had my head under one of the far tables pulling out several of the next few things that were going to be actioned so that d and i would be ahead in the scheme of things. i recall the auctioneer asking if there were any other bids.
"SOLD!!!" he exclaimed.
i was still working under the table when d walked over and said, "john just bought that playhouse for katherine."
"what???" i replied. "no, he didn't..." i continued.
"yes, he did!!!" she said.
i came out from under the table, looked around at the table were john was sitting, and saw him sitting there with his face between his hands with an 'oh, ish!!!' look on his face.
i walked over to the table as everyone was giggling. d, of course, was lhao:DDDDD
"did you really buy that house???" i asked.
"uh, yeah, i think i did..." he replied.
"why???" i asked.
"well, the auctioneer started and was trying to get an opening bid; and i thought i'd help him out by starting... yada... yada... yada..." he continued.
john is known (though i know better)for being conservative... hence the giggling, lol!!! but, we didn't need nor want a playhouse. our one and only, katherine elizabeth, had already outgrown it???
it didn't matter, we had a new playhouse (a darling playhouse), and john was the hero of the auction!!!
"hero???" you ask.
oh, yeah, i forgot to add. when the auctioneer started auctioning the playhouse, he, as they always do, started with a rather high-end request (basically what they would like to get for the item up for auction). well, my john went right along with him and helped him by offering up what he wanted for the opening bid!!! and, guess what... you guessed it!!! no one bid against him.

the playhouse has/does added/add a lot of character to our back yard, though, still!!! ROTFLMAO:DDDD

love and blessings,

Friday, April 18, 2008

what's shakin'???


the lane was today!!!

at 4:36 am cdt i awoke to our house shaking. i turned to john and asked him if we were having an earthquake. he replied, "yep, i think we are..." it went on for a few more seconds during which time katherine came into our bedroom rubbing her eyes and got into bed with us as she asked if we were having an earthquake. 

 we don't have quakes here often. the last one of this magnitude occurred the year before i was born(1968). we've only had two other small ones since in 1987 and in 2002.

after my bicycle post, 
i'm almost embarrassed to say this, 
but, my engineering degree... 
well, it is in safety and health.
hence, many worst-case-scenarios 
things went through my mind:

  • what if the aftershock is worse? 
  • i really should have put together a survival kit!
  • i wonder if the water in the pool is drinkable? 
  • where's the gas shut-off?
  • ok, i take a roll of toilet paper, place it in a coffee can, douse the full roll in alcohol, and light it in order to put together a make-shift cooking apparatus. 
  • omGOSH! the coffee can we have in the kitchen is plastic:/ 
  • i really should have put together a survival kit! 
  • should we just lie here, should we all grab a doorway in which to stand, or should we get under our bed? 
  • yikes, there's too much junk under our bed to get beneath it!
  • i really should have put together a survival kit! 
  • we should turn on the tv and see what the local news is saying... 

"john, don't you think we should turn on the tv..." (it was a rhetorical question; the remote was on his side of the bed.)
"no," he replied, "it was just an earthquake. it has stopped." 

awkward silence... 

did he just say

he handed me the remote control. all that was on was the world news (the local news doesn't begin until 5am), but i was sure the local network would break in any moment with information. so, there we lay, john on his back to my left, katherine on her back to my far right, maggie next to me on her side with her legs stretched out towards katherine, and i (extremely concerned) smashed on my side taking up my 1/16th of our queen sized bed,,,
about two whole minutes later, john told me to turn off the tv and go back to sleep as there had been no talk of the quake on the television and he'd heard no sirens.

that husband of mine!

i turned off the television and counted the minutes until the alarm sounded for john to get up for work. finally, the sound of the alarm! 


when he got out of the bed, i turned back on the tv, and rolled over to his side of the bed. the morning anchors were discussing the quake as information was pouring in by phone, email, and fax. within just a few minutes we found that the epicenter was located about 50 miles away in mt. carmel, illinois, the quake was originally reported as having been registered as a 5.4 (later a 5.2) on the richter scale, and it had lasted close to a full minute. 

as john was leaving he told me i really needed to turn the tv off so that katherine could get some more sleep before school. i nodded, he kissed me bye, and left. i didn't turn off the tv;D it's actually been on since, LOL... according to the local news, the quake was felt as far west as idaho, north as michigan and chicago, illinois, and as far southeast as atlanta, georgia, the epicenter had received at least 6 aftershocks, and we felt another aftershock right before noon measuring 4.6... 

 is the only word i can think of to describe it... 


prayers that all are safe!!!

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Thursday, April 17, 2008

we're expecting!!!

baby robins on the lane...

john came in from mowing on saturday afternoon and said, "you're not going to believe this, but two robins built two nests just in the time it took me to mow the lawn..."
"really..." i said, "where???"
he told me both built nests at the top of two down-spouts, respectively, on the west side of the house.
this was a first:/ ALWAYS, we have had only one nest. and, the mama bird has built it in the same place under the awning on our front porch. every year since we've lived here we've gotten the opportunity to watch the mama robin nest, see the babies beaks sticking straight up waiting for their mama to feed them, see the babies grow, and then watch mama teach the babies to fly, etc...
this year, well, the the nests are up so high, i think all we are going to get to do is watch them learn to fly:(
above, are pictures of the nests and some SUNNY pictures of the lane in spring...

love and blessings,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

daisy, daisy,

"give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy..."

"half crazy" is probably an underestimate of myself!!!

on my 31st birthday (2000), i left work, got in my van, and went shopping for my birthday present from me to me:b third store was a charm:D there she was all shiny, black, and new...
daisy, daisy, my bicycle built for two!!!

looking back, who knows??? i guess it was an early mid-life crisis or something. i purchased her, and the guys at the cyclery somehow got the rather large bicycle into my van:O i do remember driving across the bridge home with her front tire next to me wedged between the front seats. it was so unsafe; i was SO excited:D

when i said in my previous post that i have ridden my tanDAMN 5 times and hurt myself 5 times, i think i exaggerated...

that i recall, i HAVE only ridden her 5 times, but i only really hurt myself 2 of those times... the other three trips were just near misses, lol!!!

i made it home safely with my bike in tow. i quickly changed clothes, helmetted up, lugged the monster bike (it was at this point that i realized how heavy my new mode of transportation was:S), and hopped on for my first ride...

uh-oh (1st near miss), i wasn't quite tall enough to ride in the front safely. but, i was so excited i jumped on anyway, and off i went to find someone taller than me to drive.

SECOND TRIP (actually second leg of 1st trip):
six blocks later, i rode up to d's curb, used the curb to exit the bike;b, and ran in to get her. she was excited, too!!! she jumped on the front, i jumped on the back, and off we went around the block. this was my second 'near miss' as the back handle-bars nor the seat had been tightened in place. oops!!! i was hanging on for dear life, laughing, and, yes, screaming as we went over all the rooted cracks in the sidewalk at d's top speed:O

my trip home that day, my 31st b-day, was basically uneventful. THANK YOU, GOD, i lived to see that day come and go!!! other than the fact that i needed a curb on which to stop. i really should have tried that bike on before leaving the shop with it, no???

a week or so after (against my better judgment), katherine talked me into taking her for a ride on the aforementioned vehicular device. i waited until early evening so that the traffic would be light. i told her we would ride to d's, and she could play with will and sam while d and i took the bike for a ride (btw, john had tightened the back handle-bars and seat).
(i dig that husband of mine<333)
we got on and headed that way. guess what, we got a couple of blocks away, and i realized that katherine couldn't reach the pedals correctly. even though i told her just to rest her feet on the middle bar, half way there, she decided to just let her feet dangle and hit the back pedals as they rolled around... needless to say when i agreed to let her ride... "RIDE" she did!!!
so, we finally made it to d's, curt was out edging the sidewalk, kat and i made a big U on the side street (tooooooooooooooo sloooooooooooooooooowly)... i didn't quite get over to the curb with enough speed. so, instead of getting off the bike the normal way, we fell over into the grass between the street and the sidewalk.
hence, the first injury... i being the safety conscious mother i am, ha... purposefully took the brunt of the fall. katherine ran to the house without ever missing a beat. i was crying; i was laughing so hard!!! curt didn't know whether to get me a band aid or laugh with me... so, he just laughed.
d and i didn't go riding that night;(
the only riding i did that night was hauling butts home to the "click", "click", "click"... of my precious 6 year-old's shoes hitting the rear pedals...

d talked me into riding the tanDAMN over to her house so that we could ride it downtown to the 'W. C. HANDY BLUES FESTIVAL'". the trip to her house was fine. she got on the front, and we headed to the festival. even that short ride was blissfully uneventful.
we got off the bike and mingled. everybody was digging my bike. i live in a small town where everybody knows your name... (just a little bigger than the cheers bar); i was so proud of my shiny, new tandem:D
ever heard, "pride cometh before the fall..."??? or something like that..
well, after a little "blues", a lemon shake-up (ky for "lemonade"), and home-town gossip, we decided to head home hence the second injury. d got on; and, instead of "1, 2, 3... PEDAL!!!", she started waving bye and took off with me running behind her instead of riding.
no, i was not chasing the dana on the "other-may ucker-fay" (pardon my pig latin, please); i was straddling her rear bar and running with her pedals beating me in the backs of my calves.
omGOSH!!! we were the scene!!! w.c. handy, WHO???
i swear i thought i was going to wet myself!!! no, REALLY!!!
as quickly as possible, we two d's... GOT THE HELL OUTTA DODGE (ky for "left rather quickly")!!!

the tandamn has been in my basement since... she still looks like brand-new. in ten years from now??? she'll probably still look like brand-new:D but with dry-rotted tires!!!

whewee... love and blessings,

Monday, April 14, 2008

very random things about me...

i was challenged to come up with 100 things about me... but, after i started i couldn't figure out how to enumerate my list; so, here you go... who's counting especially given the rather mundane nature of the list anyway:D??? 

  1. i was born on my dad's birthday. 
  2. i have always had incredible family and friends... 
  3. i have only ever lived in one state. 
  4. my dad used to stop on his way home from the race track (late at night) and buy hot cinnamon twists from the back door at the bakery and bring them home for us to eat, warm:b 
  5. when i was little we lived in a house on the ohio river. 
  6. once, my mom ran back into ^^^that house to get my ballet slippers, and, while she was in the house, i put the car in neutral and nearly ended up in the river. 
  7. i still have my first baby doll. 
  8. i had a rocking chair that played music when i rocked.
  9. my mom still has that chair. 
  10. my favorite tv show when i was little was "family affair". 
  11. one of my favorite things is Christmas lights. 
  12. barbies were always my favorite play things... 
  13. my ken was one worn out man by the time i out-grew them... 
  14. come to think of it, i never out grew them. my little brother, oj, tore all their heads, legs and arms off. he outgrew them for me!
  15. i played little league baseball (short-stop). 
  16. i played basketball (point guard). 
  17. another one of my favorite things is my electric blanket. 
  18. my first car was a datsun. 
  19. my favorite color is green. 
  20. i met and fell in love with my husband while doing my engineering internship at alcan aluminum. 
  21. we married 2 years later. 
  22. we had katherine 2 years after that. 
  23. i was 30 years old when i was 'born again'. 
  24. all of my pets' names begin with the letter, "m"... 
  25. the original four rooms of my house were used as a pre-civil war slave quarters. 
  26. my favorite ethnic food is mexican. 
  27. i can eat jalapenos out of the jar... and do occasionally. 
  28. i only have one child. 
  29. my husband and i have been married for 18 years. 
  30. my favorite place to travel is PUERTO AVENTURA, mexico. 
  31. i've never travelled outside north america... 
  32. because i don't like to be on a plane for more than 2 hours at a time. 
  33. my parents used to run a bed and breakfast in new hampshire. 
  34. my right U is bigger than my left u, lol... 
  35. i used to work for fema but not during the hurricane katrina debacle. 
  36. i shower, shampoo, and shave at least 2 times a day. 
  37. no, i'm not a germaphobe (unless i'm handling money). 
  38. although i have an engineering degree, i worked as a gourmet cook at a local coffee shoppe while katherine was young. (she went to work with me:) 
  39. september 11, 2001, changed my life forever. 
  40. i am a very old soul. 
  41. i love being tanned. 
  42. i love diet coke from mcdonalds (the burn)!!! 
  43. i love hoodies and flannel pj bottoms. 
  44. ^^^i could live in them and almost do:D 
  45. i am a soap opera junky. 
  46. i write soap opera "scoops and spoilers" as a hobby. 
  47. besides my house, my favorite places in the us are the village in gatlinburg, tennessee and the beach in destin, florida (off season for both). 
  48. my favorite perfume is 'design' by paul sebastian. 
  49. i am a ralph lauren 'polo' freak. 
  50. i love to sketch. 
  51. i eat too much. 
  52. i exercise too little. 
  53. i've gained weight since my size 2 wedding dress.
  54. i'd love to be able to healthily fit in in one more time.
  55. i drive a jeep commander, which only gets about 12 miles per gallon. 
  56. i'm a registered democrat, which means nothing. 
  57. when i'm not being a soap opera junky, i am a cnn junky.
  58. i love to entertain with my raclette. 
  59. i bought a tandem 8 years ago. 
  60. i've only ridden on it like 5 times. 
  61. i've gotten hurt riding it like 5 times:S (don't worry it was more funny than painful:) 
  62. i tutored nba star 'popeye' jones in biology at murray state university. 
  63. i had a great aunt who rode shot-gun with al capone from kentucky to chicago; impressed??? 
  64. my favorite dog breed is the king charles spaniel. 
  65. i dig funky alternative music. 
  66. i think 'kids' hope usa' is an amazing mentoring program. 
  67. i love down comforters, beds, and pillows. 
  68. when katherine was little 'sophie dess' was my favorite clothier for her. 
  69. i love smocking. 
  70. i wish i knew how to knit. 
  71. i want a chandelier like the ones in CAROUSELS CUPCAKERY
  72. i love having girl parties with katherine. 
  73. i own two trademarks, "get plastered" (body casting art) and "hemp huggers" (hip hugger jeans made from large percentage hemp). 
  74. i will be 39 soon. 
  75. i feel 70 some days, hehehe... 
  76. my favorite candy bar is snickers. 
  77. my favorite cookies are reese's surprise. 
  78. my favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate chip mint. 
  79. my favorite coffee is chock full of nuts. 
  80. i love when it's warm enough to open up our pool. 
  81. i love to float and listen to music. 
  82. my favorite actor is jack nicholson
  83. i know all the words to terms of endearment
  84. i dig power-washing. 
  85. katherine bought me a police scanner for mother's day last year... 
  86. technology amazes me. 
  87. i love to paint. 
  88. i really dig guitar hero. 
  89. i love photography. 
  90. i wish i were half as good a photographer as SHEYE ROSEMEYER
  91. i love virtual travel. 
  92. cotton is the fabric of my life even though i know it is bad for the environment. 
  93. i get excited when katherine comes out of school at the end of the day. 
  94. i get excited when john pulls into the drive way at the end of the day. 
  95. i love tulips; they are my favorite flower. 
  96. i love accents. 
  97. i love reading about new places. 
  98. i especially enjoy spending time with the elderly. 
  99. i love watching movies with hannah and katherine. 
  100. i love blogging.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


the wine not the musical...

ok, so i've been in this dilemma about drinking red wine for good health, right??? i mentioned a few posts back that i had quite a collection "aging" because i was not really very fond of the red stuff.
shannon suggested that i try something sweet and chill it. well, i also mentioned that i bought a couple of bottles of "OLIVER" at the recommendation of a guy in rite aid... he said it was sweet, that his wife really liked it, and that it had all the antioxidants in it required to be labelled "good for me".
finally, i decided to try it. hence, i put it in the fridge to get it cold and invited my brother over for dinner and wine (as john is not a wine person)... after dinner we kicked back and were trying to decide what movie we were going to watch; and i asked oj if i could pour him a glass.
"sure," he replied.
so, i uncorked the bottle and poured us a glass. it smelled really good, very sweet... so far, so good.
i handed him his glass and walked over with mine to the couch. we took a drink at the same time. lol, i think we both had the same look on our faces, respectively. it was sooooooooooooooo sweet; it tasted like it was rotting my teeth!!! no, kidding... it tasted like liquid, welch's grape jelly: it didn't taste like vinegar, though. i thought i was going to hurl:C
then, i think i said something like, "maybe it would be better if we ate something really salty with it???" i took another drink as did oj as i thought maybe it had tasted so funky because i was expecting 'vinegar'. but, no, it tasted the same.
being the sister i am, i told oj we needed to "kill the glass" (the wine was not cheap...) thus, we did as we both held our noses!!! you'd think we were little kids;)


(oj through the bottom of my empty glass)

since i was on a mission; i went back into the kitchen and opened another bottle. i don't even know what label it was??? poured two glasses and took a drink of mine...
but, i drank that glass, too... thinking at some point i was going to "acquire the taste"... it didn't happen that night; but i did have a great time kickin' it with oj listening to a little nouvelle vague;D

i love trying some new things.
i love wine glasses; they are so pretty...
i love kickin' it with my brother.

Friday, April 11, 2008

the sun shines bright on my old kentucky home...

but, not today!!!

today is a very dreary day. but, the spring flowers are in bloom; and they are still beautiful even if the sun is not shining down upon them:D

(the lane)

i love my home!!! i especially love that john bought me the house where i grew up for our first anniversary (where we've lived for the 17 years, since), where most of the neighbors are still the same, and where the lawns are as GOD intended them... 'all naturalle' (aka full of weeds, LOL!!!)...
i know i don't share the popular thought that weeds are bad and should be eradicated.. but honestly, nature-wise, nothing excites me more than for all the lawns on our lane to be covered in violets (blue and pale), daffodils, trillium, wild geraniums, rue anemone, and, yes, even the dreaded DANDELIONS (which, btw, have always been katherine's favorite flower)!!! this almost always happens the first week of april rain or shine. and, let me just say... this year we've had a lot more rain than shine!!!
i enjoy my 'weeds' so much that if the chem-lawn man rang my door-bell and offered me free lawn treatment for the rest of my life... grooming included... i'd say, "thank you; but, no, thank you."
i know... i know... there is a resounding, "thank goodness she doesn't live next to me!!!" to that i say to each his/her own; beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!! and right now i think the lane is beautiful... clouds, weeds, et. al...

thank you, GOD, for a garden that doesn't need tending!!!

i love wild violets.
i love that katherine loves dandelions.
i love that even at 15 she loves, loves, loves to blow the dandelions.
i love that i don't have to worry that she is spreading weeds to our neighbor's yards, respectively, because they already have them, too:DDD

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a brag blog...


i don't do this very often; though, i could given that i only have one child. however, i know parents can be TOO proud... ugh!!!
but, i had to share my pride, today:D katherine received the honor of being chosen a student of the month; and it is a great achievement given that there are currently 2,200+ students at the high school she attends. john and i are both very proud of her. she is a very sweet, intelligent (john tells her THAT comes from his genes, LOL!!!), kind-hearted, beautiful soul.
i recently received a status call from one of her teachers who referred to her as "precious". she certainly is precious to us!!!
we love you kitty-kat!!!
thank you, GOD, for sending her to us... we are very blessed!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

america gives back...

after watching american idol's, "america gives back"... i was wondering if you know what your passion is in the life you've been given... is it giving money allotted out to various charities such as idol does; or is it more personal or specific than that??? is your passion your family, friends, a fine art, etc...??? or, is it giving to a specific cause like aids' relief in africa, the Christian children's fund, hurricane relief, or funding for books to help to eradicate illiteracy in kentucky, etc...???

(btw, not all of kentucky, usa is illiterate!!!)

i learned what my passion was about 8 years ago... it is learning more about and sharing GOD's word... i, also, strongly believe in HEIFER PROJECT INTERNATIONAL (giving gifts that keep on giving:)...

i love passion.
i love altruism.
i love, love, love learning and sharing the WORD.
i love literacy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

a GOD thing...

it's no coincidence that my 47th blog post
happens to fall on 4-7...
it's a GOD thing!

no, really... you can ask anyone that knows this story...
they will tell you!
today's date is very bittersweet...
 it was the day our gary left us.
he went to heaven.

<span class=
(gary and i)seven years ago, today, i awoke early. i still remember the light coming into the bedroom from the den at gary's and linda's house on lake misty. i don't even have to try very hard to conjure up the scent of plumeria, which was the fragrance of the body lotion i'd applied the night before - nor imagine the way the soft yellow, cotton pajamas trimmed with pink gingham ribbon i was wearing felt on my body.

i awoke excited,

(the night before, lindagary's wife/my beloved sister-in-law, and i had watched 20/20 where there was talk of a new miracle drug for certain types of cancer. as soon as the episode had ended, we, linda right behind me, climbed the stairs to the second floor of the house to tell gary about the drug. we were so confident this was going to be the "it" drug, gary's miracle!
however, when we reached the top landing we found john watching tv and gary sound asleep in his hospital bed. john said he'd just fallen asleep. 
i gave linda a hug and john a kiss on the forehead and headed off to bed. i knew the next day was going to be a big one... for, all john's and gary's brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins were coming. the day was forecast to be the first warm, sunny, saturday of the spring. gary was looking forward to boating on the lake for the first time of the season.)

i was elated...
 gary was going to have a wonderful day! linda and i had good news to share with him when he awoke, and there was strong feeling of GOD in the air! i walked into the den, and john looked over at me from the recliner he'd slept in the night prior. 

i grinned at him.
he told me gary had slept through the night (unusual given the amount of pain he'd been experiencing). i turned around and looked at his chest to see if he was still breathing.

he was... 
i caught my breath.

although i thought linda was still in bed asleep, she was not. she came up the stairs and said she'd started the coffee. then she looked at me and commented she couldn't believe gary had slept so well (he'd not slept through the night in months) and she was really happy he had slept well given the big day he was going to have.

since gary was still asleep, i told linda i would drive into town and pick up the groceries we needed. (we'd made a list the night prior and had placed it on gary's night stand.)

as i walked over to pick up the piece of paper, gary started stirring. the chain of events which happened next happened quickly (yet, at the same time, in slow motion). i remember it all as though it were yesterday... 
even after all these years. 

in hindsight, i suppose gary was experiencing a seizure of some sort (though no one ever said so), for, with clinched teeth and eyes tightly shut, he started violently flailing his body.

initially the three of us stood frozen- 

then, all of the sudden, gary opened his eyes. bugging them, he looked like he was riding on a very frightening roller coaster ride
-holding on for dear life!

immediately, linda grabbed her phone to call hospice,
john and i rushed to him, and
we tried to settle him.

in tandem, we called his name
and touched him.

there was calm.

i stood beside his bed and patted his shoulder, john rubbed his foot, and linda did-around... preparing for hospice to arrive. 

all of the sudden, 
i recall time seemed to stand still.
i looked up...

God, what am i supposed to do?

HE answered, 
"don't just do something, sit there!"

obediently, i climbed into gary's hospital bed next to him and rubbed his head noticing a little of his hair had begun to regrow.

with the calm, came gary. he started mumbling, talking, and then, after gathering his thoughts, asked what had happened. i told him it was just a bad dream. john, not holding back, told him he'd scared the shit out of us!


thank GOD there was laughter!

 in actuality, we were all still very scared, but, hope had returned. 

as time passed linda tended to gary's needs, john nervously chitchatted with gary,
and, i... 

i remained in the bed next to gary
-just as God had instructed. 


then a blessing happened. 
gary reached over and laid his hand atop mine. 
he patted it gently.

"look, dani," he said to me.
"look through the roof."


"do you see it?" he asked me.

there was silence.

the three of us turned our undivided attention to gary.

i asked, "what did you say, gary?"

he repeated, "look through the roof,
isn't it beautiful?"


and with that he looked over at linda,
he told her he loved her,
and smiled...

gary shut his eyes and never opened them again.

at least not on this earth...


when he shut them here, i believe he continued to see the beautiful place he tried to share with me... that beauty-filled place free from pain, the place where his heavenly FATHER was waiting to welcome him home.

later that afternoon, gary took his last earthly breath and, as willie nelson's "stardust" played sweetly in the background, he took his first heavenly breath as he crossed the threshold of heaven's pearly gates.


i love God with all i am
and thank Him for the blessing he bestowed
upon us that saturday morning
seven years ago today.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx