Thursday, December 31, 2009

a decade...


(katherine and william at 7)


(william and katherine at 17)

how do you mark time?


love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

mosses monday XLII...

gleaning through the newspaper, he lounges in his leather recliner...

admiring the lights on the Christmas tree and embracing the warmth coming from the fire in the large brick fireplace, she sits in her spot on the sofa...

the only thing separating the two is an end table, which is really no barrier at all... as the two, more often than not, sit holding hands with their clasped hands resting alongside an old rotary phone on the small etched top table.

here, they never have to be apart from one another.


"mommie, where did mike go?" he asks slightly bending down the top of his paper and peering over at her.

"he went to run some errands for me," she clearly recalls then grins at her doting husband, "he should be returning anytime."

he straightens his paper and continues reading.

a few moments later...


"yes, george?"

"now, then... can you give me a hint of something you would like for Christmas this year."

she thinks.. but for not long...

"i cannot think of a thing, george. i have all i could ever want!" she glances back at the pine standing in the corner of her den. the Christmas lights, which are perfectly strung from branch to branch, reflect in her glasses, she smiles a beautiful nose-wrinkling smile because she is happy.

here, she clearly remembers everything,
she has more than she could ever have imagined,
and there is no sadness.
(furthermore, here, there is no need for spectacles.
she is just more comfortable wearing them...
than, not.)


he puts his paper aside, rises out of his chair with ease, and makes his way over to the rather large windows that overlook the river. there is steam coming from the water, which is much warmer than the air. he makes a mental note of the barge pushing its way upstream, third one today.

he turns and gingerly walks into the kitchen to mix himself a toddy.

"can i make that for you, george?" she offers.

"golly muggins, no, mommie," he responds as he steadily pours first a shot of vodka followed by enough tomato juice to cover the ice into his highball glass.

here, there are no artificial hips nor knees,
no arthritis, no cataracts nor parkinson's disease.


there is commotion coming from the entry way...

upon being opened, the car-port door makes its own distinct sound as it loses its seal,
the wind coming off the river howls into the foyer and down the hallway,
then, there is the sound of the door being forcefully shut against the wind and locked...

finally, mike, bundled head to toe carrying a couple of grocery sacks, appears in the kitchen.

"i'll take one of those too, old man" with a twinkle in his eye and gleam in his smile he adoringly says to his dad.

"mike, are you back already? that didn't take long at all!" excitedly, she says as she hurries into the kitchen to join her two favorite men.

here, there is no need for worry;
their beloved son always returns safely and soundly.


love and God's blessings,
dani xx

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

Friday, November 27, 2009

top 25 Christmas movies on the lane...

(young at heart)

this is perhaps a bit of a continuation of my last post;

for, it was several days ago while ordering more Christmas movies to add to my ever-growing collection that i became nostalgic and started reminiscing about my "wgn days gone by"...

i have quite a collection of movies in my library.
now, i'm going to share with you 25 of my all-time favorites.

(a few are subject to change... as i have yet to watch several (the bishop's wife, white Christmas, holiday inn, four Christmases, ernest saves Christmas, and Christmas vacation II) that i recently purchased. ha, i don't expect the latter two to put a dent in my list; but one never knows!)

the following is my compilation.
they are in NO order.

  1. miracle on 34th street no one has ever captured the essence of santa quite like edmund gwenn.
  2. the bells of st. mary's in my opinion, the best bing crosby movie of all time.
  3. it's a wonderful life two words... jimmy stewart:)
  4. a Christmas story you'll shoot your eye out, kid.
  5. rudolph the red-nosed reindeer claymation at its best... i don't recall ever missing this tv Christmas special. burl ives rocks!!!
  6. heidi only shirley temple's version for me.
  7. a Christmas carol love them ALL and hope to see disney's most recent 3-d adaptation of this Christmas classic.
  8. how the grinch stole Christmas dr. suess' tv version captures this story best; however, the big screen adaptation is beautiful!
  9. the family stone teaches us to be ourselves... to let our freak flags fly!
  10. the holiday i see glimpses of myself in this movie. i also see glimpses of my mosses:)
  11. Christmas vacation Everyone should have an aunt bethany, no!!?!?
  12. elf well, son of a nutcracker:P
  13. young at heart the sweetest holiday musical EVER!!!
  14. the bishop's wife swoon!!! cary grant WAS an angel in disguise:P
  15. a charlie brown Christmas see number 5.
  16. just friends a movie to lighten up the holiday; sure to make you giggle and some of you blush...
  17. the little princess see number 6
  18. annabell's wish a lovely newer animation with a deer sentiment.
  19. Christmas in connecticut the black and white version for me!
  20. the lost angel margaret o'brien WILL steal your heart!!!
  21. little women see number 20.
  22. stepmom "a caterpillar doesn't die, it changes into a butterfly, the same way i am going to change my form and be a caterpillar in your memory..."
  23. the santa clause who didn't want a mystery date game!!?!?
  24. funny farm another chevy chase, holiday must-see, imo:)
  25. Giant though not a Christmas movie, i love this epic movie and always set aside a day (usually thanksgiving) during the holiday season to watch this as well as number 13:)))
love and God's blessings,
dani xx

***update... the bishop's wife could have easily knocked about five movies from the list above, though it only had to replace one;))) and, it did!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i miss frazier thomas...

(frazier thomas)

i was a latch-key kid as well as a child of the cable age of television. hence, "chicago's very own, wgn" was one of my best childhood friends... especially at Christmastime. i don't recall a single year growing up that i did not watch miracle on 34th street (natalie wood), heidi (shirley temple) and a Christmas carol (reginald owen) on wgn's "family classics", which was hosted by frazier thomas.

from the mid 70's until his untimely death in 1985, i enjoyed family-oriented films "fraz" handpicked to present to his audience... to me:) for a couple of hours most sunday afternoons, with thomas as my companion, we journeyed to the center of the earth, urged on alexander graham bell to win the heart of miss mabel hubbard, invent the telephone, and become a rich, successful business man, ventured with robinhood as he stole from the rich and gave to the poor...

as well, fraz was right there with me many a dreary, december afternoon cheering on the grandfather as he searched for his beloved heidi who'd been kidnapped by her wretched aunt, witnessing the new york court of law declare that macy's santa was the one and only, true santa, and watching a crotchety, stingy, cold old man transform into a caring, giving, loving uncle, friend, and employer after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

the latter... the holiday movies make me most nostalgic.

as i sit here missing the innocent days of my youth, i wonder... if frazier thomas were still alive today, would he still be showing the same movies he did year after year (which would be fine with me;)? or if, nearly 25 years later, would he have added others to his "family classics" list???

which Christmas movies would be on your classics list?

do you remember frazier thomas and the glory days of wgn?

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, November 23, 2009

mosses monday XLI...

a very mossy thanksgiving post:)

it's the memories of...

these sweet little things
(to the tune of "my favorite things")

brisk wintry winds
at their home on the ohio,
a warm welcoming hug,
and her nose-wrinkling smile...

"let me take your coats.
go, join george in the den.
i'll bring katherine's popcorn
and the toddies right in."

sunday morning service
and lunch at ralph's diner
time spent with our mosses
nothing could be finer.

a waitress treating the mosses
like a queen and a king.
memories like these make my heart
want to sing!!!

her gravelly voice,
his southern charm,
the twinkle in her eyes
when he arrived from their farm.

simmering soup in a pot
on the stove.
a fire in the fireplace
awaiting a stoke.

when i'm lonely
when i'm anxious
when i'm feeling bad...
i simply remember these sweet little things,
and then i don't feel so sad.

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps. you may play "my favorite things" by double-clicking it on my player, which is located at the top of my right side-bar:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

moving on...

or just moving...

i think things here on the lane are starting to move forward. it has taken a while, but i do see signs.

katherine, who was adamant she never would drive again after chase's death... who told us to park her car in the garage until we could find someone in need to give it...

has driven the aforementioned vehicle...

the black dress kat wore to chase's funeral is no longer draped across her drum set.

after 2 months she returned it to her closet.

the shoes, however, are still right where she left them...

well, most things are moving forward...

that being said, i'm sure you have probably noticed there is a new boy friend in katherine's life. (oh, to be young and resilient!) he is no stranger to us nor to any of you who have been longtime blogging friends of mine.

jacob is one of the original fab-five (kat, hannah, jacob, barrett, and chase). he and katherine have been dear, dear friends for years. you may recall he is also one of katherine's "peasants":)


their story is sweet, and i hope katherine will one day get back to her blog and write about it. but, i will just tell you the night before chase left us, all their group got together for dinner and a trip to the mall followed by barnes and noble. while at b & n, katherine and chase shared a brief moment alone in the children's area where they played with trains on the train table and talked. there, chase told katherine to open her eyes and see jacob was crazy about her...
jacob had always been crazy about her!

that was the last conversation the two shared.


evidently, chase opened her eyes.


in closing this particular chapter of our lives, i'd like to share a little something i wrote and gave to katherine the morning of chase's funeral.

Kindred Spirits

In heaven, Chase and Katherine were
Separated FOR birth.
But God, in HIS infinite wisdom
Placed them close on earth.

So the kindred spirits
Could be there for one another…
Katherine as the sister…
Chase as the brother.

There for one another
They always were
Until that tragic night,
which still all a blur.

But through the words of a song
Introduced to katherine by chase,
Katherine knew in her heart,
He had returned to their heavenly place.

She knew one day Saint Peter
Would call her also to God’s heavenly realm…
Where she would be welcomed home
By Saint Peter…
Her brother, Chase, standing right beside him.

~love, mom (9-2-09)


chase and katherine were very much kindred spirits.

they were "only" children who shared a love for
chocolate chip mint ice cream,
rock music,
hot buffalo wings,
diet coke,video games,
trips to best buy,
and being spoiled.

teachers along the way from elementary school to high school remarked 
as alike as they were...
the two should have been twins.

so, i guess it's no wonder chase often referred to katherine 
as his sister 
just from another mother:)

it's no wonder at all...

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Monday, November 16, 2009

mosses monday XL...

one of his nurses mentioned that
mosses could be suffering from icu syndrome,
a condition that causes clouding of
consciousness, restlessness, disorientation,

i wondered if he even remembered the story
he had wanted to share with me...


over the next few days, mosses' condition improved; hence, dr. divine ordered that he be moved out of intensive care to the medical unit. the move did wonders for mosses mentally. though he still had his days and nights confused, his mind seemed otherwise clear.


the following sunday, i waited until evening to visit mosses. the hospital is usually abuzz with visitors on sundays after church; i wanted mosses to get some rest before i went to see him. when i arrived, i found mosses sitting up in bed watching the news, and jean was sitting in a chair at the foot of his bed working on a crossword puzzle.

"well, dani, bless your heart," mosses welcomed me.

i walked over and kissed him on the forehead.
jean." i continued, "has this been a long day for you two?"

they both spoke at the same time...

jean said it had been a long day;
mosses said it hadn't been too bad.

then mosses asked if i had gone to church.

when he asked me, it reminded me that a gentleman in the church whom we both knew had just a few days prior welcomed a granddaughter into the world. i told mosses.

"and guess what her name is, mosses..." i teased.

"well, i don't know, dani, what is it?" he asked.

"they named her lucy," i smiled at him. i saw his face light up and a twinkle appear in his eyes just at the mention of the name, lucy.

"well, that's mighty nice, dani, mighty nice..." he concluded as his mind seemed to wander to another place in time to his beloved lucy.


"were there a lot of people at church today, dani?" jean asked.

"there were quite a few... the sanctuary was nearly full, and there were people sitting in the balcony," i answered.

jean and i continued to chit-chat about this and that. somehow we arrived at the subject of an affluent business man who had successfully opened an overseas business. and i made a comment that if he were ever to choose to use his talents and charisma for God's work there was no telling what he could accomplishment.


"you know, dani," mosses began, "i asked Him three times if i could return."

jean and i turned toward mosses who had rejoined us.

"the first two times he told me, 'no'. then, He told me you had asked many times..." he continued.

with eyes that probably resembled a deer's in the headlights, i glanced over at jean and then quickly turned my attention back to mosses.

"when i asked Him the third time," mosses shrugged his shoulders, slightly turned out his hands, and matter-of-factly concluded, "He said, 'yes'."

there was complete silence.


"mosses, are you talking about God??? did you talk to God???"
i had goosebumps on top of my goosebumps!!! i think jean did as well!

"yes," he replied. "i asked Him two times if i could return. but, golly-muggins, the third time was a charm!
however, now, He told me you had asked many times..."

tears began to navigate their way down my cheeks,
"i didn't want you to go if you weren't ready, mosses:
i didn't think you were ready!!!"

i walked over to his bedside, took his hand in mine, and just held it.

the story...

mosses had been in heaven.

and what a gift God had returned to me!


(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":)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

snapshots saturday...

(katherine 1997)

(louise benton, katherine's harp teacher, and i)

much love,
dani xx

ps. i hope you are having an especially lovely weekend:)

Friday, October 30, 2009

a foto friday

from pumpkin pancakes, french toast,
and a new sofa to lounge on afterward
to a precious puppy-dogger...

from sea monkeys,
which finally hatched,
to a sweet afternoon on the lane...

this has been our week in pictures;
it's been a good one:)

have a lovely weekend, all!!!

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, October 26, 2009

mosses monday XXXIX...

placing his hands on both sides of my face,
he interrupted, "no, you...
i cannot tell you right now, dani.
i've got no voice,
but, when i am able,
i am going to tell you all about where i've been."

"ok," i replied, "i cannot wait to hear all about it, mosses!!!"

i never spoke any truer words...
i couldn't wait to hear mosses' story.


over the next few days, i visited mosses frequently. each time i visited, i had high hopes he'd tell me the story. but it didn't happen; he mentioned nothing. at first i assumed he was just waiting until we were alone... as there were always others visiting when i was there.

as time passed, mosses continued to heal; he got stronger and stronger. however, he was becoming more and more confused with each visit. one of his nurses mentioned could be suffering from icu syndrome, a condition that causes clouding of consciousness, restlessness, disorientation, etc...

hence, i wondered if he even remembered the story he had wanted to share with me. the thought i may never know made me really sad. however, i could not be too sad because the greatest gift was that he was alive and getting better!


after church on sunday, i arrived at the hospital for the noon visiting time. the icu doors opened, and i made my way back to mosses room. he looked great!

"hey, mosses, how are you feeling today?" i greeted him.

"well, dani, bless your heart..." he said as i kissed his forehead.

"mr. moss didn't eat much of his lunch," his nurse informed me.

i looked over at mosses; he was situating himself in his bed.

when the nurse left, i asked him if he was still hungry. he responded he was and he just wasn't fond of what they had brought him for lunch. i thought something must have been up, for mr. moss normally had the appetite of a strapping young man.

so, i asked him if he wanted me to see if i could go and pick him up a plate-lunch from his favorite restaurant.

"well, now..." he started, "that would be mighty nice, dani."

poking my head out his door, i asked his nurse if that would be a problem. she said it wouldn't and she would allow me to bring it in and stay with him through the 2pm visit.

when i asked mosses what he'd like to have for lunch, he told me that he wanted bean soup and cornbread. THEN, he told me he wanted to go WITH me!

in response to my attempting to explain to him that he could not leave the hospital, he explained to me we would just SNEAK!!!


not knowing how to handle the situation without upsetting him, i plopped down in a chair, which was located next to mosses' hospital bed.

"God, what am i supposed to do now?" i silently prayed.

"now then, dani, can i help you with your coat?" mr. moss was confused.

"i've got it, thank you," i replied. "you are going to have to be really quiet while i wheel you out of here."

i went on to describe we were getting on the elevator, then in the car, that we were driving, and that we were at the restaurant.

mosses slid one of his legs out from under the covers as if he were going to go into the restaurant with me. i told him he would have to wait in the car...  the restaurant was crowded... people waiting in line for a table. i told him to just wait there... i would get his lunch to go.

"golly muggins, i cannot believe there's such a crowd this time of the day..." he said.

"sit tight, mosses," i'll be right back; do you want me to leave the car running?"

i looked over at mosses to find that he'd drifted off to sleep.

"thank you, GOD!"


i rushed out to go to ralph's.
about 15 minutes later, i returned to the hospital bearing beans, cornbread, and a slice of chocolate pie.

"can i get anything else for you?" the nurse offered.

"he would love a cup of coffee with a straw and a few extra napkins," i answered her. "thank you."

when he heard my voice, mosses stirred.

"i have everything you ordered plus a slice of chocolate pie."

the nurse brought mosses a cup of coffee and wheeled his hospital tray over in front of him. then i proceeded to place the food on the tray. "would you like for me to help you, mosses?" i asked.

"i'd appreciate it, dani," he answered.


mosses ate every bite...
pie and all!

about the time i got everything cleaned away, mosses' family trickled in to visit.

"well, hello there, george... dani," susie said.

i smiled at her, "hey, susie!"

"george, are you just now finishing up lunch?" she asked.

mosses cut his eyes over at me and proceeded to tell her and the others i'd sneaked him out of the hospital and had taken him to ralph's to pick up his lunch!
they cut their eyes at me.
i was going to have a little explaining to do...


(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my two little loves...

today, i am going to spend
the ENTIRE day
with these two...

katherine and jacob:)

off to ihop for pancakes:P

have a lovely day, all;
i intend to do so:D

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, October 19, 2009

mosses monday XXXVIII...

apparently, mosses was NOT READY!!!

(2 days prior, the intensive care doctor
had given mosses only 2 days to live...
as his vital organs were ceasing to function.

however, the doctor never took into account
mosses' will to live... nor God's omnipotence.)


as soon as i walked outside the hospital doors, i turned on my cell phone and called john, "guess who is awake and talking!"

there was silence.

"john, are you there?" i asked.

john responded, "i'm here..."

"john, i just came from seeing mosses... john, he's awake and talking! his kidneys are functioning! he wants a toddy!"

john was stunned. he had warned me several times not to get my hopes up...

"well, i'll be," he finally replied.

knowing mosses' family would want to spend time with him, john and i waited until the latest visiting time to return to the hospital that evening. i was just hoping mosses would still be awake.

at 8 pm the automatic doors opened allowing visitors back in the intensive care unit. i wanted to run to his room, but, instead, i walked at john's side.

when we FINALLY arrived at his door, the first thing i noticed was that mosses was NOT in his bed!
the bed was empty and made?

in slow motion, i anxiously turned my head toward john only to witness a big grin forming across his face. i turned back around to see that mr. moss was not only awake... he was out of his bed sitting in a chair.

further, there was no ventilator helping him breathe; there were no ties on his wrists restraining him.
he was just sitting there looking up at us!

"it's good to see you're back with us, young man..." john said as he gently patted mosses' shoulder, "feeling rough?"

mosses smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and tilted his head, "well, john, not too bad for a share cropper's son."

mosses' voice was raspy at best, but we understood every word.

i knelt down on the floor in front of him. "mosses you are such a blessing to..."

placing his hands on both sides of my face,
he interrupted, "no, you...
i cannot tell you right now, dani.
my voice...
my throat...
but, when i am able to,
i am going to tell you all about where i've been."

"ok," i replied, "i cannot wait to hear all about it, mosses!"

i never spoke any truer words...
i couldn't wait to hear mosses' story.

john and i only stayed a bit longer that night. we knew that mosses was tired... it had been a BIG day for our dearest friend.

"sweet dreams; i love you mosses..." i said to him as i kissed his forehead.

"well, bless your heart, dani, we love you, too."

(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

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

Friday, October 16, 2009


(my sweet, little puppy-dogger)

have a great weekend, loves:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, October 12, 2009

mosses monday XXXVII...

"God, take him now if he is ready;
but, if he is not ready. leave him,
and leave him whole!!!"
(i had never prayed so boldly in my life.)

i started to cry.
i cried harder.
the harder i cried the more still mosses became.
i cried until i could cry no more.
mosses fought til he fought no more.

i sat there with my head lying on his still hand,
which was still embraced by both of mine...

both of us were spent.


a few moments later a nurses' aid saw  i was still in mosses' room. "miss, you are going to have to leave. visiting time was over 10 minutes ago."

wondering where the time had gone, i raised my head and looked at the clock on the wall . "can i stay for just a bit longer? he's calm now."

"no," she insisted, "you need to leave now so we can stay on schedule."

"schedule!!?!?" i thought to myself.

i kissed mosses' hand and told him i loved him.

as i was leaving i saw susie and jean were still there. i stopped and told them mosses had finally calmed down and he seemed to be resting peacefully. susie told me  mosses' nephew was planning to visit at noon. so, i told her and jean  i would wait until the 2pm visit to return. jean replied she would be there at that time as well.

i left the hospital that morning exhausted but at peace knowing that God was in total control of the situation.


time crept by very slowly that day...
every time my phone rang, my heart seemed to skip a beat...
no news was good news!


at a quarter till two, i walked out of my house and to my van then drove to the north tower of the hospital where mosses' room was located. i got out of the van, walked into the hospital, got into the elevator, watched the doors close, and felt myself start to ascend. everything felt like it was happening in slow motion.

when the doors opened and i stepped out into the hallway, i saw jean leaning against the wall waiting for the icu doors to open.

"any news?" i asked.

she shook her head, "no."

"the dry cleaners said they would have mr. moss' black suit ready first thing in the morning. the boys (mrs. moss' nephews, charlie and rufus) will be coming into town tomorrow; so, i have the house ready for them to stay. the service will be on saturday..." she continued.

although i heard what she was saying, i digested very little of it.


the doors opened at 2pm sharp. as we walked through them, mr. mosses' nurse noticed us. "ladies," he addressed us, "come, you need to see something."

as we anxiously proceeded into mosses' room, we found him sleeping (just as i'd left him a little over 5 hours prior). my first assumption was that the nurse was only showing us he was finally resting.

however, i was wrong.

the nurse took mosses' hand in his and tapped it with his other hand, "mr. moss, mr. moss, you have visitors!"

at that very moment, mosses opened his eyes. then he turned his head toward me; looking right at me he said,
"well, dani, bless your heart."

he still had the ventilator in his mouth, but there was no misunderstanding his words.

tears of happiness started to flow from my eyes.

"mosses!" i squealed.

i looked at jean and then at the nurse.

"is he going to be alright?" i asked the nurse.

"well, it seems his kidneys started functioning again this morning, and his chest sounds are sounding more and more normal. dr. divine ordered another chest x ray, so we should know more about the pneumonia later this afternoon."

the whole time the nurse was talking i just looked at mosses. he was smiling around the sides of the vent.

i kissed his hand.

"i bet i know what you want..." i said to him.

he tilted his head to the side waiting for me to finish.

"a toddy!"

he grinned again and replied, "sounds mighty nice."


apparently, mosses was NOT READY!!!

(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

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

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a little fall break

last sunday morning john packed the commander to overflowing and waved, "good-bye", as i backed my jeep out of the driveway and onto the lane. i waved back to him.

carrying precious cargo, katherine, jacob, hannah, and darin (aka... the scooby doo gang;), i drove 6 hours from the lane to our destination, the great smoky mountains!!!

late sunday afternoon, we arrived at our chalet, which i'd leased for the week. it was really nice... three bedrooms/three baths, a great room with pool table, big screen tv, and fireplace, a hot tub, and even dolly parton rockers, ha!!!


the drive up???
not so much!!!

we decided that this would be a week of celebrations...

monday = halloween

we started monday off with the pancake pantry followed by photos in the village, a scary walk through the mysterious mansion, a ride up the sky lift, barbecued chicken pizza at the chalet and a scary movie!!!

tuesday = thanksgiving

we celebrated with a trip to ripley's aquarium, tepee pictures, and later at the chalet... relaxation in the the hot tub followed by turkey sandwiches... it was pouring rain, which meant no driving down the mountainside for me!!!

wednesday = Christmas

on wednesday we went to the outlet mall stimulating ralph lauren's economy and did a late lunch at tony roma's. we then went to the Christmas place in pigeon forge where we each bought Christmas tree ornaments for each other so that we could decorate a silk tree back at the chalet. what's Christmas without a little tree trimming??? after exchanging ornaments and decorating the tree, we finished out the day with brick oven pizza:P

oh... the scooby gang also happened upon a bear...

not to worry, after a call for help, i rescued them:/

(photo of said bear as we passed by it;)

thursday = new year's eve

we kicked off thursday's celebration with a trip to the log cabin pancake house. afterward, we headed over to pigeon forge for fun at magiquest, pictures at wonderworks, and cherry limeade at sonic. we returned to gatlinburg for old time photos, taffy, and fudge. after a nap, we ventured to corky's for barbecue nachos... then we returned to the chalet but not before stopping at food city for jacob's birthday cookie, sparkling cider, and a yule log for the fireplace... lol, none of this, however, to be outdone by the blow up babe we happened onto in the parking lot!!!

we've had a wonderful week;
i hope you have, too!!!

much love,
dani xx

ps. on second thought, i think i might should have entitle this post, "a LOT of fall noshing..." :P

Thursday, October 1, 2009

a photographer and his subject...

(katherine elizabeth and "mr. steve")


you may remember these photos from a past post...

or these from another...

or maybe this STORY.


now, you can put "mr. steve" with a face:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps. if you would like to visit his site, click HERE.

Monday, September 28, 2009

mosses monday XXXVI...

i found him in his darkened room with
a ventilator tied in his mouth
(he was blistered ear-to-ear from having
constantly been moving his face side-to-side
fighting the vent),
and his hands were tied to the sides of the bed.
his eyes were open but were "fixed".

i laid my head gently on his chest
and sobbed...
"please, GOD, please..."

those weren't just words i uttered to God. i was pleading for Him to reveal Himself to me. i couldn't feel His presence and didn't like feeling alone. i wanted to know if i was supposed to tell my mosses it was okay to go or if i was supposed to tell him to keep fighting. i wanted to know if i was supposed to pray for a miracle or if i was supposed to pray for God to take him.

but, there was no answer.

just as the icu physician predicted, mosses' condition continued to deteriorate with each and every visit. the pneumonia had spread to his other lung, his fluid output had come to a near halt, and he had yet to regain consciousness.

the first 36 hours of the 48, which the doctor had given mosses', sped by so quickly. from wednesday night until friday morning i prayed for an answer from my Father.

there was a reason mosses' had told
me just the week prior that he was not
ready to die anytime soon, or so i thought.

still, no answer came.

on friday morning i arrived at the hospital for the 8am visitation. jean and mosses' two nieces were standing at the icu doors waiting to be allowed in to see him.

jean told me she had sent mosses' black suit to the dry cleaners and the eversons (life-long, church friends of the mosses) had begun to prepare a country ham for the bereavement dinner, etc... other arrangements were discussed, but i was too numb to absorb any more information.
the words "country ham" took me back in time to the many Christmases i'd spent with the mosses, which included country ham, grits casserole, greens, green jello with pineapple and nuts, pecan pie... a fire in the fireplace, family, friends, angel ornaments (made by mrs. moss), silver tinsel, and toddies.
automatically, at 8am the doors opened. the 4 of us entered. jean and i stayed behind as only 2 visitors were allowed in his room at a time. a male nurse greeted susie and mosses' other niece. susie turned around to us and motioned for us to join them. as we neared them susie told us the nurse wanted us to all be able to spend the full time with mosses... that the nurse said mosses had had a really bad night.

without coming right out and saying it, the nurse wasn't sure mosses would make it til the next scheduled visit time.
when i walked in his room, i couldn't believe how much worse he looked than the previous night. he was so swollen, his skin was ashen, his eyes were almost completely clouded over, and many of the blisters had burst on his face making it look like he'd been severely burnt 

still he flailed fighting the ventilator and the hand restraints. mosses looked like a chained animal. it made me physically ill seeing him that way.

"during the night, we had to tighten everything," the nurse explained, "for his own well being. that's also why the sides of the bed are padded."

i stood back while the three visited. the whole scene was so surreal...

after a bit, they excused themselves. i inched closer to mosses and pulled a chair up next to his bed. then i untied one of his hands and lowered the safety rail. i sat with his hand i mine. it was all i could do to hold on to it as he was fighting my hold too.

"mosses," i said, "i don't know what i'm supposed to do... how i'm supposed to pray. i don't want to lose you, but i don't want you to lie here and suffer any longer either."

mosses was still so strong and moving so much i had to use both of my hands to hold on to his hand. i took his left hand into my left hand whereas our palms were touching, and i locked my thumb around his. i cupped my right hand over-top his hand and held on for dear life. i then pulled his hand in mine down to the bed beside him and lay my head atop.

it was at that very moment that God revealed Himself, and His words came to me.

"God, take him now if he is ready,
but, if he is not ready. leave him,
and leave him whole!"
(i had never prayed so boldly in my life.)

i started to cry.
i cried harder.
the harder i cried the more still mosses became. i cried until i could cry no more. mosses fought til he fought no more.

i sat there with my head lying on his still hand,
which was still embraced by both of mine...

both of us were spent.
(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,

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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

football homecoming 2009...

(jacob and katherine)

and another...

here they are 2 years ago.

(football homecoming 2007)

time goes by so quickly...
cherish every moment:)

love and GOd's blessings,
dani xx

Thursday, September 24, 2009

thread in time thursday...

(dani, jeanne, and ginny)

i found this photo a few days ago, and it made me smile:) it was taken nearly 18 years ago here on the lane during an engagement, Christmas wassail ginny and i were hosting for jeanne.

i love gin and jean, and they love me.

when i found it and showed it to katherine, she laughed and asked what i was wearing... before telling her it was a lanz dress, which was very in style at the time, she responded i looked like a pilgrim:/ oh well... she really would have thought i looked like a pilgrim if she'd seen my shoes; they were black patent leather capezios with a flat bow on the toe, ha!

did i look like a pilgrim to you?

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Monday, September 21, 2009

mosses monday XXXV...

 all i could hear in my head were john's words "he was despondent". for the next 9 hours, all i could think was "God, mosses isn't ready yet... i'm not ready, yet..."


finally, i made my way to the lane. when i opened the door of the van john was there to greet me with a hug and a kiss; he grabbed our luggage and follow katherine and me into the house. once inside, he told me i needed to hurry to the hospital as it was almost the 6pm visiting hour for the intensive care patients.

i looked at him, "still no change?" i asked.

john shook his head, "no..."

quickly, i washed my face, brushed my teeth, slicked my hair back into a ponytail, and headed out to the hospital.

when the elevator doors opened i hurried around the corner and buzzed for the nurses to open the intensive care ward's doors so that i could go back and see mosses. the doors automatically opened, and i only took a few steps before a nurse greeted me.

"are you dani... here to see george moss???" she asked.

"yes, ma'am," i responded.

"i'm supposed to direct you to go into the family meeting room."

fearing the worst, i followed her.

she opened the door for me. i entered to find mosses' family, his icu physician, and his power of attorney there in the middle of a very serious conversation. everyone looked at me kind of oddly.
to this day, i don't know why i was directed into that room...
as i had no business being there.

nonetheless, there i stood as the doctor explainedmosses had about 48 hours left to live. he was suffering from congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and kidney failure. he proceeded to say  he believed it futile to do more to sustain life.

 mosses' power of attorney then spoke up saying she agreed with the doctor.

i suppose i went into immediate and total shock and disbelief, and my face must have expressed just what i was feeling.

"dani, is there something you want to say or ask?" mosses' power of attorney asked me.

i started crying and could hardly talk, but i said i didn't think mosses was ready to die, and i asked the doctor if "doing no more to sustain life" meant they were going to take him off the ventilator and discontinue his iv.

the doctor said he would be left on both... he would just do nothing more. he went on to say mosses' was in such grave condition the vent and fluids wouldn't be enough to sustain life once mosses' kidneys completely failed.

mr. moss' nephew shook his head and commented he'd watched his mother suffer while on life support and he just could not stand the thought of watching his uncle suffer any longer...
i felt selfish and guilty.

after excusing myself from the meeting room, i ran to mosses' icu cubical. i found him in his darkened room with a ventilator tied in his mouth (he was blistered ear-to-ear from having constantly been moving his face side-to-side fighting the vent), and his hands were tied to the sides of the bed. his eyes were open but were "fixed".

i laid my head gently on his chest and sobbed...
"please, GOD, please..."

(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

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

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

there are silver linings...

katherine has been elected junior class president this week!

we are so proud of her:)


wonderful new friendships have formed.

and, old friends have reunited.


we have had an adventure...

which resulted in a friend getting a new puppy
and a puppy getting a new friend:)


a new couple has been formed.


and last but not least,

maggie has enjoyed every minute of it:)


katherine contributes the sweetness
to the one who is watching over it all...

from his new place in heaven.


love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

a light in the window...

after our embrace, i knelt on the floor by phyllis. i noticed her hand resting on the on the arm of her sofa; i gently took it into mine. it was awkward i was there and maybe inappropriate as i wasn't family. but i was there all the same...
there to offer some sort of comfort, 
there because tiffany asked us to come, 
there because chase had been like one of my own.


words were said but not many...

mainly just "why?" and the such...

out of a deep respect for chase's parents,
i'll keep the very intimate details to myself.
i will, however, share some of what we knew 
to be true at the time.

chase was at a going away party for a friend who was leaving the following week to work as a page for the us senate in washington dc.
chase called home at 7:30 to tell his parents his girl friend's dad had come to pick her up and he would be home in about an hour.

chase was alone in his vehicle, wearing his seat belt, and on his side of the road when the accident occurred between 8pm and 8:30pm.

a 56 year-old man was driving a large pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction, crossed the center line, and hit chase's car head-on.

the news report and rumors about chase having had a passenger hadn't been accurate. it was the driver of the truck who had had to be cut from the wreckage and flown to the hospital.

i understood that
at around 9pm, randy received a call from someone who told him chase had been in a wreck (i don't know how much more information he received at that time).

it was also my understanding that randy called a state policeman (i think a neighbor).  the neighbor made some calls then returned randy's call unofficially notifying randy, it was true... chase had been in a head-on collision and had not survived.

chase's parents sat waiting for nearly 3 hours after the accident before there was any type of official confirmation.


when the detective, the coroner, and a state policeman arrived, i gathered katherine, jacob, and barrett. when we walked outside, i saw the three officials walking, heads down, toward the house. they had had to park their vehicles on a different street because there were so many people who had gathered on chase's street (the number of individuals lining the street had probably doubled or tripled in the hour we had been in the house. chase was loved!).

katherine, the boys, and i got into the jeep, and i started the engine. there weren't many people right there in the cul-de-sac, so, i was able to get my jeep turned around in the street's end circle. slowly i drove. the people, mostly kids and friends of chase, respectfully parted allowing me to make my way down the street.

through the tears in my eyes, i recognized many faces but one caught my attention. sarah. sweet, sweet, sarah... there she stood with tears streaming down her swollen face. she had been at our house many times over the years. she, too, had been friends with chase for many years. i stopped and rolled down my window to give her a hug.

bless her heart...
she, too, was totally grief stricken.

while we were hugging, she saw that katherine was sitting beside me, she asked me to wait there. she went around the front of the jeep to katherine's door. when katherine opened her door the interior lights came on in the jeep.

what happened next was so surreal.

kat and sarah embraced and both began to openly sob. trying to keep a little bit of composure, i looked away from them. when i did so, i noticed that the crowd around us seemed to have all their eyes fixed upon my backseat. the light allowed them to see who was in the vehicle with me.

in slow motion, i turned toward katherine just as sarah noticed over katherine's shoulder that jacob was siting in my back seat.
"OH.MY.GOD! OH.MY.GOD!" sarah screamed as she pulled away from katherine. "JACOB! OPEN.YOUR.DOOR!" he did, and sarah grabbed him loudly sobbing, "WE ALL THOUGHT IT WAS YOU! WE THOUGHT YOU WERE WITH CHASE!" sarah held him tightly, and they cried and cried.

everyone around us openly wept...
tears of GREAT sadness...
tears of GREAT relief...
tears of GREAT sadness.

for some reason only God knows, katherine and jacob were tired and had decided not to go to the going away party. hannah had made plans to go out with another friend prior to being invited to the party (so she did not go). finally, barrett had just forgotten about it and had instead chose to stay at home that night. otherwise the five would have likely all been together just as they had been the previous night and the whole day of the horrible tragedy.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx