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:)