Saturday, May 30, 2009

snapshot saturday



in the photo above are my two best friends from high school. sandra is in the middle, and stacy is on the right: i, of course, am on the left. that year we three were junior honor students, which meant that we were to usher in the graduating seniors.

obviously, the two guys in the photo with us were graduates. john, the guy on the left, was sandra's boyfriend (the two are now married), and jeff (on the right) was a great friend, too:) it's so weird to think how much time has passed... as last night was our county's 2009 graduation!!!


23 years later...

we are celebrating chico's graduation!!!
(pictures from his graduation are to follow;)


love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Thursday, May 28, 2009

and it's a good thing

i love my house
because all of the sudden it needs...


(how i realized the original cabinets were RED;)

about a month ago, i decided to bite the bullet and take on the task of painting the kitchen cabinets and woodwork... as you may recall. i knew it was going to be a chore because there is more woodwork in my kitchen than there is wall space; but, i didn't think it would be that big a deal.


(my windows NEED new windows;)

i didn't realize how loose some of the paint had become until i started really cleaning the woodwork in preparation for painting it. anyway, i grabbed a scraper and my small hand sander and went to work on it. the more i scraped the more i needed to scrape; then the more i sanded the more i needed to SCRAPE and sand again:/


(replacement windows... YESSSSS!!!)

when john arrived home and took a look at my "work-in-progress", he declared that i just needed to get quotes on replacement windows. i stopped scraping and sanding those windows dead in my tracks:D further, i decided to halt, clean up my mess, and wait on the window man!!!


(wallpaper in a pinch)

then, as i was standing on the ladder wiping down the cabinets for a final time, i noticed that not only did the woodwork need painting but that i was going to have to do something with the walls, too (i intended to paint them about 5 years ago only to realize that there were LITERALLY 8 layers of wallpaper attached to them. when i got to the bottom layer... i found plaster walls, which needed repair:/ since i was hosting a party the next night, i quickly papered back over them, ha!!!); as the paper was starting to peel away at the edges.


(yep, a small crack in the paint)

after tidying up my mess, i sauntered through my house en route to take a hot shower... but, i failed to leave my "what-needs-to-be-painted-next-eyes" in the kitchen with the scraper and the sander. horrified, i noticed that there were some small chipped places on the front door, the paint was starting to crack around the top of my fireplace in a couple of areas, and it was also starting to loosen around katherine's bedroom doorway:///


(yep... paint starting to crack there, too)

then i thought to myself, "how can this be??? i paid the painters a fortune to paint these two rooms!!!"

after allowing myself a few moments to feel as though i'd been robbed, i started to giggle at myself. "ROBBED!!?!? BAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!" it hit me that it had been eighteen, 18, years ago that i'd paid those painters to paint the rooms.

in actuality, i guess i had hit the painting lottery on that paint job!!!


as a little girl, i grew up on the lane... unfortunately, my parents sold our house when i was nearly 15... fortunately, however, for our first anniversary (18 years ago), john purchased it back for me, and we live...


i will be even happier when i get all this darn painting finished!!!

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

it's an old house

but, it's my house...

and i love it!!!

(if these walls could talk)

many of you may not know this, but our house on the lane is a pre-civil war structure. the main two rooms on the main level (our dining and formal living rooms in the photos above) were once slave quarters; and, directly beneath these rooms in our basement are two identical rooms (our guest and storage rooms). these rooms were once used to house small livestock.

long after the civil war, a granddaughter of the owner of the estate took a particular liking to this structure and decided to recreate it. she added a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bath on the main level and a garage, a half-bath, and a furnace room to the basement.

hence, her storybook cottage was born!!! the cottage had a shake shingle roof, pegged hardwood floors, bright red custom kitchen cabinets, and two dutch front doors... one entering into the dining room and the other entering into her living room.

she lived here until the late 1950's then sold her home to a local architect and his wife, who closed in the carport (he transformed this large room into a work area for design) and finished out all the basement with carpeting, hardwood paneling, and drywall.

the architect and his wife raised their family in this house.

after the couple's sons were grown and had both headed away to college, the two decided to purchase a piece of property in the downtown area. he wanted to open up his business there and design an ultra modern apartment for the two of them above his business.

so, the architect and his wife sold their cottage on the lane to a small family of three. the young couple had one daughter...


this is the story of how i came to live on the lane...

the first time:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Saturday, May 23, 2009

a glimpse...

(gary berrong at the vmw)

i don't know what brought up the subject that night in early april, eight years ago; but, gary, my brother-in-law, started telling me a story about the most frightened he'd ever been in his life. as he told the story, i hung onto his every word. for, it was hard to believe that as a u.s. marine gary was EVER frightened; further, gary NEVER spoke of his time in vietnam.


"my marine buddy and i were right in the middle of an open field... on duty keeping watch that night. it was pitch black... not a star in the sky. we were sitting back-to-back taking turns sleeping. knowing that noise of any kind could mean our demise, we nudged one another with our elbows (one quick nudge) to trade off sleep time."

"it was our code... i nudged once to let him know that i was getting sleepy, and he nudged me back to let me know he was awake."

he continued...

"anyway, wilson was asleep when i heard what i thought was someone heading in our direction. i gave him a quick, double-elbow punch. that was our signal to one another that the enemy was approaching. we had the process of going from sitting to standing positions down to a fine art."

"in a matter of a noiseless second, the two of us were standing erect... back-to-back!!! i don't think either of us were breathing, and it was a good thing too because the enemy passed in front of me so closely i could feel the air move between us."


gary had a way of telling stories. i felt like i was right there in the war zone with him and wilson. the story gave me goosebumps!!!


that was all he told me that night. i have often wondered, if given the time, if he would have told me more???

my brother-in-law died two days later from cancer. i have also often wondered if his cancer stemmed from "agent orange" to which he may have been exposed while serving his country???

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Thursday, May 21, 2009

13 things thursday...

(chico's helmet he made using his mother's new broom;)

1. these last couple of weeks have been busy ones on the lane...

2. we've been working on science and latin projects.
3. first, katherine and two of her classmates had to build a "coral atoll", which she decided that we would make from cake and icing... (notice the word, we, ha!!! actually, her science teacher wanted there to be parent involvement; and there definitely was;).

4. the kids got the highest grade in their honors science class for their atoll:D
5. katherine and chico won 1st place with their "dog of pompeii" project (no pictures) at last saturday's state foreign language festival!!! YAY, kat and chico:D
6. i have pictures of chico... clad in his roman soldier costume (the one i wrote about HERE).

(chico and a fellow competitor in the costume competition)

7. he won second place at the state foreign language festival: YAY, chico!!!

8. besides helping with all the end-of-the-school-year projects, i have been working on a few of my own.
9. i have been scraping and sanding all the woodwork in the kitchen preparing it for a new paint job.
10. i have been trying to decide whether or not to have new windows installed.
11. i have been furniture shopping for new den furniture.
12. i have been eating too much and exercising too little.
13. and i have been watching a lot of american idol!!!


love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, May 18, 2009

mosses monday XXVIII...

over the next few weeks, i hovered over mosses. katherine and i visited him often; and, of course, we talked on the phone in the evenings. jean told me, however, that he didn't remember that we had been there nor anything about our phone conversations...

i hoped beyond hope that his forgetfulness was stemming from the morphine patches (for the pain he was still experiencing from the breaks he'd incurred when he had recently fallen) he had attached to his back and not anything permanent!!!


katherine's first day of kindergarten came about six weeks after mrs. moss had died.

since she had afternoon kindergarten, she was able to sleep in that morning, which she did. when she awoke she asked if she was going to have time to go to mosses' house and show him her uniform and new backpack.

(what she really had on her mind was going to the court to share popcorn, snacks, and a coke with her mosses;)

after assuring her that we had plenty of time, we brushed teeth, curled hair, clothed, etc... she was ready!!! so, off to mosses' house we went. she ran up to his door and rang the doorbell. jean came to the door and welcomed us.

by the time, john and i made it into the den, katherine was already sitting at the table with her drink and very own bowl of popcorn, swinging her dangling legs, and giggling with her mosses.

after her very nutritious lunch, she gave him a BIG hug, he gave her a kiss, and i took a couple of photos. she had gotten her "mosses fix" and was READY to go and knock out her first day of school!!!



katherine learned early in her life that a
"mosses fix" made all the difference...


(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, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

i didn't have my camera!!!

this morning i was pleasantly awakened by chico, who sat a mc donald's diet coke my favorite on my night stand. "i bought this for you, db."

"well, aren't you sweet..." i replied, "thank you!!!"


i'm thinking i received the diet coke because he was thinking that i need some caffeine to get me up and going, ha!!! for, he had asked me last night if i would take katherine and him to school this morning so that he wouldn't have to leave his car there overnight tonight... as he and kat are leaving right after school today to go on a school trip to lexington for the state foreign language festival.


he and katherine were chosen to present their project, "the dog from pompeii", for judging in the latin project category...

and to, chico is entered in the roman costume category. oh, how i wish i'd had my camera when we got out to the jeep this morning, he placed the helmet he'd created on his head, grabbed his sword out of the back of the jeep, and struck a pose!!!

unfortunately, you'll just have to visualize... it looked like he had taken a baseball helmet, mounted a broom sans the stick atop it, and spray-painted it gold. now, i know why he HAD to go and buy his mom a new broom last week, ha!!! he had a pleather skirt his dad had sewn for him that he'd also spray painted gold as well as a painted sword he'd purchased while we were in florida and a shield he'd rigged out of an old satelite dish he'd found in his garage. i hope it was an OLD satelite dish... otherwise his parents may no longer be getting a television signal:?


he was a sight to behold!!!


maybe, katherine will get some pictures this weekend, and i will be able to share...

i just hope they will do well with their projects and have a great time!!!

further, i hope you will have a great weekend, too:D

much love,
dani xx

Thursday, May 14, 2009

brownies for breakfast...

and a couple of other insignificant things.

my police scanner alarm went off at about 4:15 am this morning:


i turned on the television and watched the cold front move closer and closer to the lane.
there were two "super "bright red" cells" headed our way:
one went due north of the lane,
and the other went due south.

after all the excitement passed, john left for work. i went into the kitchen, cut myself two dark-chocolate walnut brownies, poured myself a glass of ice-cold milk, returned to my bed, and consumed both brownies and glass of milk...

breakfast in bed:P

it's no wonder that i have now gained 7 lbs since spring break, huh!!?!?


i missed american idol last night!!!

i cannot believe it... i had been excitedly wondering all day who (of the three remaining contestants) would stay and who would go!!!

it was a real toss-up, in my opinion. for i had thought each had performed masterfully on tuesday night. hence, i was going to be somewhat surprised regardless of the outcome.

(adam lambert)

(kris allen)

(danny gokey)

i prepared an early dinner, took maggie out for a short walk, took an early shower, jammied up, and settled in to watch. (oh, i settled in to my bed because john was watching the nba tournament games in the den.)

idol came on, alicia keyes spoke of the great things idol was doing to help the global unfortunate, and i fell asleep!!!




while i was eating my brownies this morning, i flipped open my laptop to find that america had voted off danny... i was suprised but happily so!!!

my favorites, since the show was moved to california, have been "kute" kris allen and "amazing" adam lambert!!!

so, YAY!!!

i'm really looking forward to next week's finale...
hope i can stay awake for it:P

i also hope...
you ALL escaped the wrath of last night's storms,
you all had breakfast in bed comparable to my yummy brownies,
you were able to stay awake for the idol results,
and, finally, if you are an idol fan, that your 2 favorites remained:)

love and GOd's blessings,
dani xx

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


click HERE to read my definition of "success",
and have a lovely wednesday, my dear friends:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

19 years...

my anniversary present...

i love it
as well as
the sweet guy who bought it for me:D

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, May 11, 2009

mosses monday XXVII...

i stood at the back of our sanctuary very close to the same spot where i met the mosses 12 years prior to that day. a cherry casket adorned with a huge, beautiful spray of white roses and bearing the body of my dear mrs. moss was located in front of the altar.

in that room were just the three of us...

God, mrs. moss, and me.

it was a precious moment.


i looked at the back pew (which was right in front of me) where i, then john and i, then john, katherine, and i had sat with the mosses nearly every sunday for years. what sweet memories were made in that back pew...

then, i glanced up to the second row where the grandparents of the bride are seated for weddings. i reminisced the night (19 years ago today) our minister introduced john and me, “husband and wife," recalling that mr. and mrs. moss had looked up from their honorary seats in my grandparents' pew absolutely beaming at me.

subsequently, i looked over at one of the spots where mrs. moss and i had sat together shortly before she was unable to come to church any longer. i giggled at that memory...

you see, i had brought her with me to an evening memorial service for a friend of ours who had recently died. we had sat there together hand-in-hand and shared a hymnal during the memorial. after its conclusion, while i had helped mrs. moss gather her purse, bible, and sweater, a local politician (who had been sitting two rows behind us) had stuck out his hand to shake mrs. moss'. "how are you, mrs. moss?" he had asked and proceeded to talk rather than give her time to answer his question. "give george my regards, " he had concluded.

mrs. moss (with his hand still in hers) had looked at me and whispered (not so quietly) through a big closed-teeth smile, "george said it would be a cold day in hell before he'd ever vote for that man."

i never knew if "that man" had heard her or not... as i could not look back at his face because it had been all i could do to keep from busting out laughing. further, i knew that mrs. moss, though telling the truth, would have never said something like that in public had the alzheimer's not started affecting her mind-to-mouth filter.

(in a way i always hoped that he had heard her though; for, he was/is pompous and arrogant and was/is a much better self servant than a public one!)


a few minutes later, i heard the elevator door opening and turned around to see mr. moss in his wheelchair and jean. i held the door while she wheeled him out of the elevator. when the doors closed behind them, mr. moss took my hand and pulled me down to him so that he could give me a kiss on the cheek.

Further, i stood with him (my hand still in his) in the back of the sanctuary while he greeted people as they entered before they were seated. when all of mosses' nieces and nephews arrived, mr. moss was ready to go to his seat. with him still holding on to my hand, i walked beside him to the front of the church and helped jean get him seated (he was in so much pain with his broken back, it was heartbreaking).

he never let go of my hand, yet i was not supposed to sit in the row with the family; so, i sat directly behind him with my hand over the back of his pew. I had to sit up very close to the edge of my bench seat… in a pew by myself. (john was sitting on the other side of the church in a row designated for mrs. moss' paul bearers.)
I was not alone, however.


momentarily, mrs. moss' funeral service began. everything was perfect: God was there, her flowers were gorgeous, the sanctuary was full of those she had loved and touched, her favorite hymns were sung, her eulogy was very intimate...

and the soloist was incredible!!!

when she sang "precious Lord", i felt mr. moss' body shake as he cried. i, already teary, started to sob. it was more than i could take... mr. moss openly mourning the loss of his beloved, the loss of my dearest friend, the tightening grip he had on my hand, and the words... oh, the words to that beautiful, most appropriate song:

Precious Lord

Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:

Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near,
When my life is almost gone,
Hear my cry, hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall:

Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

When the darkness appears
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide my feet, hold my hand:

Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

(Written by Thomas Dorsey)


(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, May 9, 2009

7 days....

can, sometimes, make one...


(these last 7 have been a perfect example.)


so, to lighten things up a bit i will now share this rather funny foto with you:

(keeping it real;)

i love, Love, LOVE these two!!!


however, this one...

has been a blessing to me every day
since the day she was born...

making even my weakest of weeks bearable:)

i love her with everything i am!!!


love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps. we are all doing fine here on the lane.
my concern is for others,
who are not faring so well.

Friday, May 8, 2009


first and foremost, for those of you who may have had to endure my post of lament yesterday...

my apologies!!!

thank you, peggy, for your wise words:)
peggy, who had stopped by my blog for the first time, yesterday, reminded me that i just needed to pray about my "woe". the way God works never ceases to amaze me:)))

those of you who read me, know that prayer is usually my first option. i guess i was just enjoying having myself a BIG pity party:/

anyway, i did pray... and immediately felt better:)
afterward, i deleted that post (just a quickly as i had posted it)!!!

the route 44 sized, diet cherry limeade i went and bought myself helped as well:P


on monday there was a small fire at the high school. the kids were told to leave all their belongings in the class room and get out of the building. once the fire was extinguished, the kids returned to class only for katherine to find that her new cell phone and ipod had been stolen from her backpack.

on tuesday, she was told by another student in the class who the culprit was (the culprit was not very smart, evidently; for when he left the class on monday, he boasted his crime). so, katherine turned the situation over to the school authorities, who called the boy to the office to search him. the authority, who did the search, found nothing.

the boy went back to class and further boasted that he'd already sold katherine's ipod and that he'd handed off her phone, which he'd decided to keep for himself, to a friend until he returned.

on wednesday, word of the boasting made it back to katherine. the situation was, at that point, turned over to the police. (theft over $500 is a felony.)

wednesday afternoon, i received a call from the police officer handling the case. he told me he had a suspect and that we should hear something soon. i responded that i wasn't interested in pressing charges so long as the perp returned her things.

however, he told me that it wasn't up to me. he said the school authorities were going to go to the boy and tell him that if he didn't return the stolen goods that the school was going to turn the incident over to the police... further, that the theft was going to be turned over to the police regardless.

evidently, that is exactly what happened because yesterday both items were returned to katherine by the police department:)

the truly amazing aspect of all of this was the odds of her ever knowing who stole from her were great (there are over 2,000 students at that high school, she didn't know who the guy was who took her things, and the school has a policy that they are not responsible for the students' belongings) and the odds of her getting back one of her things (much less, both) even greater.

katherine is a very fortunate young lady!


well, that's been my nutty week in a shell:P

here's to the weekend:D

love and GOd's blessings,
dani xx

Monday, May 4, 2009

mosses monday XXVI

(hands that shared... hands that cared.)

for those of you who think (just as i did at the time)
that "our love story" is about to come to an end,

not so...

the rest of the story has only just begun.

through this, the most precious part of
"our love story",
i learned to never count out the human spirit,
to never count out transcending love,
and to NEVER, EVER count out GOD!!!


jean called in the early afternoon to let me know that mr. moss had requested that i (along with several other of mrs. moss' closest friends) come to the court to reminisce about his beloved and organize a list of a few of her many accomplishments for her obituary as well as her eulogy.

mrs. moss was a very accomplished woman.

i thanked jean for calling.

when i pulled into the circular drive, i turned off my engine and just sat there. through tears, i sat smiling remembering all the times i'd walked hand-in-hand with mrs. moss around the drive... talking, giggling, and appreciating the gardens. though the alzheimers had taken mrs. moss away long before God did, she still reached for my hand every time i visited and held it til i left. i was going to miss her soft, white, translucent hands, her nose-crinkling smile, her gravely sophisticated voice... her presence.

after a few minutes, i dried my eyes. i knew i was going to have to be strong for mr. moss.

so, i got out of my van, pulled up my chin, and threw back my shoulders...
so funny; who was i fooling!!?!?
i was a basket case!!!

regardless, i walked up to the door and rang the bell. jean greeted me and informed me that mosses was in the den. slowly, yet deliberately, i attempted to make my way to where he was. however, the room was full. mr. moss' lawyer was there as well as his secretary, his niece, a neighbor, a life-long friend of mrs. moss, and a couple of women from mrs. moss' mission circle. hence, i stopped and stood right inside the doorway.

all of the sudden, everything seemed so surreal. i gazed over at mosses. he was sitting in his leather chair; he looked so small, so fragile... so broken. i could hear a lot of chatter. but, i just stood there frozen like a scared little girl. jean came over to me and told me she had pulled a chair up for me next to mosses. hardly able to talk because of the lump i had in my throat, i thanked her and asked how mosses was faring. she said he was doing remarkably well. then she led me over to him and let him know that i was there.

the room got very quiet. he looked up at my face, took my hand in his, pulled me close to him, and kissed me on the cheek.
"well, dani, bless your heart..." he said.
i kissed him on the hand that was holding mine and smiled through my streaming tears. i sat down next to him in the chair jean had provided me.

mosses never let go of my hand that day.

it was if mrs. moss had whispered in his ear that i needed someone to hold my hand...
for, from that day forward, he never failed to do so...


(to be continued...)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

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

Sunday, May 3, 2009

prom 2009...

another dance...
another may...
another saturday on the lane.

it's the season...
it's the reason...
for making memories:)

love and God's blessings,
dani xx