ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false"

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Powered by Blogger

Blogwise - blog directory


Blog Search Engine

Creative Commons License

Contents licensed under a CC License.

PETITION for a TMOOD SEQUEL Sign up here.

Need a copy of the TMOOD DVD? Order here.

Friday, March 24, 2006

First Date Part 2

I think Mandeh is having difficulty posting this story herself, so I am posting this on her behalf. Have a great weekend!

First Date part 2

After their dinner at the Harvest House Livy and Ray went to see a movie. The movie was a comedy called “Guest Wife”, starring Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert. The story is about a guy, Joe, who is in danger of losing his job because he is not married. His friend Chris offers him his wife so that he can keep his job, which leads to all sorts of comic misunderstandings and silliness. They both enjoyed the movie, but really it was spending time together that pleased both Ray and Livy.

During the ride home, Livy moved closer to Ray. He appreciated her closeness, but she had to move when Ray shifted gears. They shared a lot of laughter as they talked about different parts of the movie. They could relate some of the parts of the movie to their own situation, like in the beginning acting like a married couple when they were not familiar with each other. When they arrived home they were tired but happy. Ray was feeling especially sleepy because he is used to being in bed much earlier, but was so happy to have spent the evening with is lovely wife.

Since they got home late, Ray slept a little later than usual the next day, so did not make his coffee before heading out to the barn to do the morning chores. Livy got up shortly after Ray did and saw that he didn‘t make coffee. She made a pot of coffee, then when into the laundry room where Ray put his barn clothes and found an old pair of barn boots and a coat. With coffee in hand she went out to the barn. Livy had not spent much time in the barn, just occasionally to gather eggs, or her and Daniel would go out to give Ray a message, or for a short visit, but this was not usually at milking time.

When she entered the barn, the cows were not in their stalls, nor could she see Ray. She walked past the calf pens, and they came up to the boards and stared at her. She went outside and saw Ray at the pasture gate calling the cows. She tiptoed as best she could in the oversize boots around the muck in the barnyard, and came over to him. Since he did not expect her he was momentarily startled. Livy said, “Sorry, didn‘t mean to startle you. Thought you might like some coffee.”

Ray was happy to see her and put his arm around her waist and drew her close. But he couldn‘t keep the smirk off his face about the way she looked.

Livy caught the look and said, “What, you don‘t like my new Paris fashion?” at which they both laughed.

Since Livy had never been up that early, she was full of questions about what he was doing. He told her Franklin was bringing in the cows. Livy offered him some coffee, which he gratefully accepted. It was his routine to stand at the gate to the pasture, drink his coffee, and encourage Franklin to bring up the cows. This was a part of his morning routine that she didn‘t see because last fall when she was pregnant she had little interest, and now she had Daniel to look after every morning. Ray was pleased and smiled adoringly at his wife. When Franklin got to the barnyard with the cows, he showed Livy that he was happy to see her by nudging her hand to pet him. She patted him on the head and told him what a good dog he was, and he responded by wagging his tail.

As the cows came into the barn, Ray tied them up. Next he fed them a grain meal mixture at each cow stall, and then he started milking them one at a time. Livy asked if she could help. He looked at her, and said, “I doubt it.” She laughed! She remembered him saying that last summer, so she repeated, “You‘re right, I don’t know anything about farming,” whereupon he gave her his half smile, and remembered too.

She saw that it was time consuming tedious work to milk each cow by hand. When Ray was finished milking each cow, he poured the milk into the separator, to separate the cream from the milk, and then the cream was put into cans. A guy in a truck would come by to pick up the cream and take it to the creamery to be made into butter and cheese. The left over milk went to the young calves, and as well they got hay and the same grain mixture that the cows got. The rest of the milk went to the house. Daniel was still being breast fed, so he was not getting cows milk yet. Livy asked Ray what he did before the cows came into the barn, and he said, gather the eggs, and feed and water the chickens. Last fall Livy sometimes gathered the eggs for him until Daniel was born. She had very rarely ever been in the main part of the barn. After the cows were milked, they were untied and let outside to go back to the pasture. Franklin‘s job was to make sure they left the barnyard for the pasture, and Ray closed the gate after them. Livy noticed the gutters had cow dung in them, and asked Ray about it. He said that in the summer he didn’t have to clean them as often, maybe every other day, but in the winter it was a daily job that he did after breakfast.

Livy said, “Ray, I thought you had more cattle than just these cows.”

He said,“ WE have more cattle,” and she smiled, “We have beef cattle, but they are in another pasture.”

“Can they get water?” asked Livy.

“Yes, they can,” said Ray, and a pleasant memory crossed his mind. It wasn‘t the same watering hole, but he remembered taking her out in the boat on one of the ponds last summer. He remembered that she had leaned back in the boat and closed her eyes whereby giving him an opportunity to observe her. He cleared his throat and told her the beef cattle were in another pasture for the summer, and rarely came near the barn in the summertime.

Since there was little left to do, Livy kissed Ray on the cheek, and left the barnyard to go to the house so she could get cleaned up and start breakfast. A little later, Ray came in the back door and took off his off in the laundry room, and went upstairs to have a bath. Livy had breakfast ready for them. Ray always held Livy‘s hand and said grace out loud before every meal, and after asking God to watch over them during their day, he also said, “And I thank you God for my loving wife.” When grace was over, they opened their eyes, and Livy squeezed his hand and said softly, “And I think God for you, Ray.”

After breakfast they drove to church where they met Martha and her family. Daniel was very happy to see his momma and daddy. Ruth wanted to know what dress Livy wore, how she did her hair, what they had for dinner, and what movie did they see, and did they like it. Livy laughed at all her questions and suggested that they sit together for the potluck after church and she would tell her all about it. Ray and Livy really appreciated the time they spent together, and when another opportunity arose they would certainly go on another date.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sleepless nights

Note: I think this is the shortest sequence in the movie and there is much to be wondered in the 'nightmare' scene. These are my thoughts, it's not set in stone. It's just another possibility to other stories that have already been published in this blog. In fact, I would love to see if there is anyone else out there who has a different take on this scene.

After that fateful day that ended with Ray storming out of the house in the early hours of the morning, Ray had been having a difficult time catching up with sleep. It seems that kissing Livy for that first and only time only created more questions than answers. The kiss lingered on in his mind. Since that morning, they’ve avoided each other, no - he had avoided Livy. He didn’t know how else he could face or approach her. She couldn’t answer his question. Ray thought what it meant when Livy didn’t stop him from storming out of the house.

Did that mean she had absolutely nothing to like about him?

In the last few months, he had sensed that she was finally coming around to being married to him. Those nights when he would come home to candlelight dinners, a house that’s become cozy instead of cold, a beautiful and inviting smile that greats him when he gets home.

Ray wondered, had she deceived him? Did she do all these just to briefly patch a huge hole in her life?

And now that she received the letter….Ray groaned.

He felt sick to his stomach. It’s the reason why he couldn’t sleep. He is tired of thinking of it because when he gets to this point, it cuts him even deeper. He didn’t want to believe it. It’s the reason why he feels it’s now a dead end. It had hurt him that she had done something behind his back.

He tossed some more and turned to his other side when he hears a sound. Ray turns on his lamp. He strains to listen for more. A pained moan -- Livy.

He jumps out of his bed and grabs his robe from behind the door. He stands in front of Livy’s closed door. He waits for the sound. He hears her crying. He reaches for the knob and then he stops. Should he knock?

It’s not the first time, it’s been a few days, like a deja vu, he had stood at Livy’s door. He’s heard her crying the last few nights. She would stop and he would go back to bed. It takes him more than a moment to fight thoughts in his mind, arguing the cause of her distress. By the time he reaches out to turn that knob, the crying would have stopped. His mind would end the argument and conclude that she’s crying for Edward and her exile on this farm. Ray would turn on his heels and head back to his room.

But this time she isn’t just crying but saying something…what was it? He slowly opens her door and finds her in bed. Her back turned to him. He just stands there, waiting for her to turn around. She didn’t. Ray realizes she was crying and talking in her sleep.

“Momma?” Ray hears Livy whimper. Her hands in her mouth in an attempt to stifle the sound.

“Livy? Livy” Ray called out to her to wake her up. Livy sits up in bed, utterly confused.

He struggles to focus on Livy’s face but the moonlight that streamed through the curtained window only produced more shadows. Ray steps in and turns on her bedside lamp surprised that he hadn’t thought she was crying through her sleep. He sits at the edge of the bed facing her.

“It’s all right” is all that Ray could say. He wanted but restrains himself from caressing her face and wiping those tears from her eyes.

Ray is momentarily distracted by the unkempt hair, the bulging belly and breasts that shows more through her nightgown and the face that is looking luminous from her crying. All these took his breath away. To Ray, Livy never looked more beautiful than tonight

“What happened?” Livy asked as she tries to fix herself.

“Calling out. Calling out for your momma” Ray tells her.

What’s wrong Liv? Please just talk to me, I worry when I see you like this. What can I do? How I wish I can just take your pain and embrace it away…

And for some strange coincidence Livy seemed to have read his mind.

“After Mama died, I was so lonely. I gave my life away, just to be held ... by a
stranger……. How could I do that?” She blurts out in between tears.

The words had cut through his being. His mind instantly directed the reference to Edward. It reminded him of the letter and the argument that ensued. All these combined together stung Ray like a raw wound. He had been praying for forbearance that his jealousy does not overcome him. He can’t comprehend his feelings since the letter arrived, he can’t bear the thought of losing Livy.

I am here, yet you don’t see. All that has happened, you have regretted because it had led you here.

Ray is helpless, his emotions are overcoming him. He rubs his forehead with this hand, leans over and turns off the
light. He starts to leave the room. Livy stops him.

“Ray…You are such a good…” Livy fought to form the words she wanted to say.

And now you can’t even say I am your husband.

“Thank you-- Thank you” She continues.

Ray nods at Livy. It took an effort not to blurt what he just thought. He purses his lips and leaves the room.

Livy continues to cry in the bedroom and that stops Ray in his tracks as he hears her say,

“I’m so sorry” it was more like a whisper to herself between her sobs.

Ray shakes his head and rested his back on the outside wall of Livy’s room. He heaves a big sigh. He crosses his arms on his chest and tries to think above the sound of Livy’s sorrow. Inspite of it all, he cannot abandon Livy. She has occupied his heart, mind and soul all these months. He very well knows she feels trapped in this farm. His heart sinks thinking that one day she will leave him, but what can he do to stop that from happening? He can’t bear to hear her cry and see her sad. He wishes she could see how much he loves her.

Ray slowly moves towards Livy’s door again. He finds Livy still sitting up, her hands on her face, she hadn’t seen him at the door. He walks over and sits next to her, he hesitates to make further movements. Livy wipes her tears as she felt the weight of him on the mattress.

“Livy--” he doesn’t know what else to do but as soon as he lifts his hands in an attempt to pat her back, Livy had closed the distance between them. Ray’s arms went around her as he pulled her closer to him in a comforting embrace.

“It’s all right, Livy” Ray was at a loss for any other soothing words. She was so soft and vulnerable that Ray was in pain not knowing how to make her feel better.

“Ray-- I am so sorry” she starts to wail again. “Please forgive me for putting you through this. You have been so kind to me and all I’ve been doing is give you grief.”

“Ssssshhh, it’s okay Livy. You don’t have to say sorry. Please stop crying, it’s not good for the baby” Ray said soothingly and he started to rock her in his arms. “You should get back to sleep, you need your rest”. He smoothes her hair and he looks down and wipes tears from her cheeks.

They sat there swaying in his embrace. In time, Livy had calmed down. Ray takes a peek at Livy and notices that her eyelids were getting heavy. He tries to break off so he can put her to bed but instead her hands went up to his chest, restraining him. “Ray, --- can you stay here at least till I fall asleep?” Livy’s voice was trailing off.

“Sure, Livy” he had no other choice but to lean on the headboard as Livy found a cozy spot in his arms. He brought his leg up and straightened them up on the bed. He rubbed her back until she fell in a deep slumber.

Then as he tried to figure out a way to slowly extricate himself from her, he felt a kick on his hips. It had come from Livy’s belly. Ray held his breath--then there it was again. It caught him in total shock. Instinctively, his hand had ventured to the spot but he stopped short, reluctant to touch her there without permission. Instead he reached out and held Livy’s hand that was on his chest and he smiled. That’s our baby, he wanted to say to Livy but she was oblivious to the movements in her body. She must be really tired. Ray held her tight. He savored her sweet smell and the softness of her skin until he himself succumbed to the call of a much needed sleep.

Livy woke up to the sound of Ray’s drawn out breathing. She had pinned his arm down under her neck and she opened her eyes to the sight of Ray’s face next to hers. His other arm was languorously resting on her just above her breasts. She dare not move. She realized that she hadn’t seen him this close. Why hadn’t she noticed that he’s got long and thick lashes? She gulps and wondered if he is awake and watching her through those partially opened eyelids. His breathing hasn’t changed, Livy felt free to explore. She can see the faint lines on his forehead that reminds her of how they would furrow whenever he arches those well shaped brows. She had not noticed that his hair had grown a bit long and that now it showed that he had curls. Her eyes traced the shape of his ears, down to his neck and then to his arms. He is lean but muscular quite obviously brought about by his farm labor. Even with the weight of his arms on her, Livy felt tenderness and warmth. His robe and his union suit’s button had come undone, showing some skin below the neck and indicating the shape of his chest. He looks plain from afar but certainly not when up close. Why hadn’t she noticed, Livy wondered.

Ray stirred to exhale a sigh. His lips slightly parting as his tongue fleetingly lunged to wet his lips then it was gone. Livy gazes at Ray’s lips. There are depressions on the sides of it. This she is familiar with and had observed before. She had first seen, though briefly, his dimples at the parlor. Livy’s attention is now transfixed. She touches her lips and recalled his kiss. Her finger moves across to Ray’s lips, she hesitates but could not refrain from touching it. She can feel the warmth of his breath on her skin. She traces his lower lip and wonders how it feels for him to kiss her again in a much different light and circumstance.
Then she sees that Ray’s eyes had languidly opened. She had instantly retracted her finger and stared into his eyes. It took him a good while to fully regain full consciousness. He took his time, like waking up to someone he’s so used to sleeping at night.

As Ray opened his eyes, he saw Livy staring at him. Her eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights.

“Hi--- Good morning” Livy tried to wipe the guilty look off her face and hoped that her cheeks won’t turn red. She smiled.

“H--Hi—“ Ray finally remembered that he’s still in bed with Livy. Panic overcomes him and he tries to free himself so he can sit up. “Sorry, I guess I just fell asleep here”.

He had taken his arm away from Livy’s chest and was about to sit up when he realizes that his other arm is still beneath Livy.

“I think it was my fault, Ray” Livy said as she held her head up so Ray can move his arm.

Shyness overwhelms both of them and they fell silent.

“Thank you for staying with me through the night, Ray. I hope that you were able to get some sleep though.” Livy hoped that he wasn’t aware of the time she studied him in his sleep.

Ray didn’t say anything but just nodded. He didn’t know what else to say but instead ran his fingers through his hair out of nervousness. “I think I overslept, I’d best get on and tend the farm. Are you feeling better Livy?”

“Yes—yes, I am.” Livy nodded to assure him.

Ray half smiles and leaves. Livy sees a dimple shyly peak out of his cheek.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Skeet Sighting: DDF Fashion Wk

Anyone recognize who his other guest is here? The girl is Michelle Trachtenberg from the Buffy TV series.
2006 seems to be the year where he favors the Deadly Truth T-shirt and now with a matching hat to go with it. I think I see a pattern here.
Why do you look so forlorn Skeet?

Thanks to lgl for the shout out on the tag.

Source: WI


Friday, March 17, 2006


Here's an update on the series Jericho. A page will be set up and attached to the tool bar soon so that we can all put everything together.

Quoted from Army Archerd:

What isolates the town of "Jericho" from the rest of the world? The town's Mayor, Gerald McRaney, was cautiously telling me about the CBS Paramount pilot which started shooting today (Friday). "There's no television, no radio -- we're cut off from everything."

Skeet Ulrich plays McRaney's prodigal son and Pamela Reed his wife in the show exec produced by Ridley and Tony Scott
It's McRaney's fourth series on CBS after "Simon And Simon," "Major Dad," and "The Promised Land." And he's bicycling to "Deadwood" in which he plays George Hearst father of William Randolph Hearst.

McRaney says David Milch is very accurate in his portrayal of Hearst and the beginnings of the family's empire.

Before ploughing into both shows, McRaney visited his former home in New Orleans -- he sold it three years ago but still has family there and in Mississippi. He reminds, "The devastation is unimaginable -- parts of New Orleans will never come back."

Read the original text at: ARMY ARCHERD posted on 3/17/06


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Although we've known this for a while, we haven't really posted about it yet. It seems like every week there is a new person added into the cast list. Here's the lowdown on the new series that Skeet had signed to star in and we will update as new information becomes available.

What is in the name: Jericho (after a small town in Kansas)

What is it about: small town in Kansas that becomes isolated from the rest of the world after several large cities are destroyed by nuclear attacks.

Who Skeet will play: Jake Green - as the mayor's youngest son, who becomes an unlikely leader in the chaos that ensues.

Series status: in-production, March 2006. slated for the Fall season lineup (2006)

Network: CBS

Skeet Ulrich as Jake Green

Who he stars with: (thought we'd put pictures behind the names)

Top (l-r): Ashley Scott, Gerald McRaney, Lennie James, Michael Gaston
Bottom: (l-r): Pamela Reed, Sprague Grayden, Eric Knudsen (not pictured)

Directed by:
Jon Turteltaub

Writing credits:
Stephen Chbosky

Executive Producers:
Ridley & Tony Scott
Let's hope it gets picked up and will be a great success!

Sources: IMDB, WI, Futoncritic, Filmforce


Thank you!

Thanks to all for your warm welcome!
Although I have just joined I have been hovering over you for several months, enjoying the great stories, whether sweet and romantic or sexy. You are a group of very talented women and have my total admiration. I decided to join when I discovered my true addiction a few days ago. Facing a full day ahead with nothing to do (not even cooking for my husband) I decided to pull some of my DVDs, and procceded to sit in front of the TV. In the evening a noticed that As Good as it Gets was airing; but since SU part had passed I turned it off, and remembering my day I realized that I had watched Nobody's Baby, The Newton Boys, Scream and TMOODs, with a couple of interruptions, to check the blog, YIKES!!!! I can not believe I am the same woman who, until last year, only watched the evening news, and an occasional PBS. Please tell me that there is a cure! although I may not need it, since it may be Gods Will.
Again, thank you all!


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Meet our new TMoODer

Welcome to our newest addition!

  • Sktish

Glad that you've found us and are enjoying the site!


Monday, March 13, 2006

The Kiss

“I know…..because someday you’ll forgive yourself” Livy heard Ray say to her when she asked him “how do you know this could work?”

Livy was surprised at Ray’s reply. She looked up and was lost in Ray’s beautiful and sad eyes. For a moment she forgot why she even wanted to leave the farm. All her life, living in her father’s house, she was taught restraint. She never complained, never allowed herself to show her true feelings. Her mother was the exception. Her mother was her only true confidante, the only person who knew her through and through. Her passing left such a big hole in her that no one else had been able to heal until this very moment...

She hadn’t noticed that Ray had taken her hand in his, he was still holding up the ring in his other hand. She looked at the ring again and wondered if she really deserved this.

Did he just say he loves me? Livy tried to recall.

She looks up to search for an answer in Ray‘s eyes.

Did she hear that right or was that just a figment of her imagination?
How can he still feel that way after all the hurt she’d brought upon him?
Livy started to weep. She had expected, despite her confusion that it was going to be easy to say goodbye.

Ray shifted and he gently slid the ring in her finger. He looked at her with an uncertain smile on his face.


Earlier that day, Ray awoke a determined man. He had decided he will set to do one thing and he will do it no matter if the outcome would just break his heart to a million more pieces. It was a restless night for Ray, his mind crowded with thoughts of Livy. He imagined how life will be at the farm without her and he felt that deep sadness and loneliness he felt when he lost the people he loved all his life. He felt so helpless and beaten. Ray recalled that one particular night when he heard Livy crying out to her Momma and how he finally came to grasp the turmoil that beset her since the day she arrived at the farm. It dawned on him finally that although he could not have prevented the loss of his parents and Danny, he could do something about not losing Livy.

By the time he had washed up and dressed very early that day, he came out in the hallway and paused to listen for any signs of Livy.


He stood there and dreaded the thought of many more silent mornings to come. He went downstairs and stoked the fire. All night he had thought of what to tell her. Ray knew it was easy to think and feel what was on his mind but it was a whole different matter when one had to say it out loud. He prayed for courage and summoned all his strength until Livy came down to bid him goodbye.


Ray was still holding her hand while Livy stared at the ring on her finger. Tears flowing from her cheeks, it felt all surreal to Livy. She saw him look at her with love and she couldn’t help but touch his cheeks. She wanted to believe that he deserved better than her but yet she can’t bear the thought of someone else for Ray. And now, here he is, in front of her tearful and sincere, saying all these wonderful things he felt about her.

She loves him.

Yes, Livy cannot recall when she finally did, she knew it came slowly but surely each day she lived in his house.

She saw him raise her hand to his lips and kiss it. Then a moment later, Ray, with his other hand caresses her cheeks, wiping away her tears. Their eyes connected. Ray draws even closer and he bends down to kiss her on the lips. Livy was stunned senseless. His kiss is different, it felt different. Was it more passionate? Livy thought. Maybe because there was less anger or frustration involved. She remembered the first time he kissed her and she resisted but yet deep down inside she had ached deeply for him. That time, her heart was tugged in so many directions, it confused her to no end. Then it happened again today, except now she is determined not to make the same mistake twice.

Ray was sure he can’t read the myriad of emotions that went through Livy’s face but he hope kissing her the second time will not end like the last time. He breaks the kiss to look at Livy and sees her with her eyes still closed. As she opens them, he knows, and now she ardently returns his kiss. Their kiss is sweet, very passionate and full of longing. Livy knows in her heart and soul that she is giving herself this time for the right reasons to the right man.

When the kiss finally ended Ray had yet to let her out of his embrace. He whispers in her ear, “Please...Livy, I want you to stay... ”. His voice was pained. Ray dreads the rejection that was sure to come. He never voiced his desire for her to stay only because he feels that Livy has to make her own peace and her own decision. But today, Ray is a desperate man, he can’t bear to lose this time around.

Livy heard Ray say those words she had been waiting to hear all this time. Since the day he told her about the cellar, she found herself reclaiming a part of her identity that she thought she had given up when she came to this farm. Since that day, Livy had started to plant some roots in this house and in Ray’s life until that day he came home with Edward’s letter. She thought what she did to Ray was unforgivable just like how her own Father had not forgiven her for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Leaving was the only way she knew will save Ray from further heartache. Livy never expected Ray to ask her to stay.

Livy gazes at Ray, she hears herself say “Yes” like it was someone else’s voice. She sees Ray smile. He too is surprised, he is very pleased and Livy cannot help but smile back at him.

“Oh Livy, you really will?!!” Ray was beside himself, feeling a bit incredulous.
“Yes!” Livy had to repeat herself just to make sure that it was coming from her this time.

Ray hugs her hard,“I love you, Livy”.

“I love you too, Ray”.

Not long after, she hears a deep chuckle deep within Ray. He heaves a deep sigh, eyebrows raised and then that impish smile, Livy now wonders if it was all a joke.
"To think that I was worried sick that you'd turn me down again…." He was playing with the ring on her finger. Ray unable to look her in the eye after he realized what had just transpired and feeling a little shocked that she felt the same way he did. It had occurred to him that this was the first time they’d declared their love for each other. He keeps his focus on Livy’s ring, rolling it between his fingers and thought of what to say next.

Livy breaks the awkwardness between them by giggling, remembering the first time they’ve met in the parlor. Only this time, she wasn’t peeved at his shyness but loving him for it. "Ray, I think I just needed the assurance that you wanted me here in spite of what I did. I really thought you were just being…uh….accommodating.. out of pity for my situation.”

Ray was surprised she felt that way “Why I was just trying my best to make you stay, I didn’t know what else I needed to do. I am sorry -- sweetheart” Ray pulls her close and they savor the closeness between them.

“Ray? You never asked me about the letter...” Now that the opportunity presented itself, Livy wants to come clean and she tells him about Edward and his letter. Ray quietly listened to Livy. Livy keeps talking, she desires to explain everything, and she wants to make sure that Ray finally knows about her past – start on a clean slate – so to speak. However, Ray eventually cut her short.

“Livy—" Ray pauses as he always does while he contemplates on the words he wants to say, “The day I agreed to marry you, I only had to rely on my faith that God was sending his intended to me. That day-- the very moment I saw you, it just made it even more certain-- without a doubt-- that everything happened for a reason. So you see, whatever feelings of shame and guilt you have doesn’t really matter to me, because what really matters is that you came here...to me.”


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Our First Year

After a year--

The blog stats:

Site hits: 38,533

Posts: 361

Fan Fiction: 67

Diversity: US, Canada, UK, Hungary, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Bulgaria, Israel, Guam and possibly many more

Comments posted: 3,427

Skeet/Ray pictures: 1,741

Friendships: priceless

My 2 cents:

I have to apologize (big time) to P&P5 for neglecting to do this until now. I've appointed P&P5 as co-administrator last year. She has been instrumental in asisting me in getting the site updated with posts during times when I am unable to. My heartfelt thanks to her for being there when I need it.

For a site that was set up for a life expectancy of about 4 months tops, being able to see the 1st year anniversary roll by is both rewarding and surprising and certainly endearing. I do admit that even if we are very proud of the hits we get on this blog, it does not compare to others that are out there. However, I think it is quite phenomenal that we've gone this far and still feel the obscurity that we like to keep and still maintain this as our special place that we can call our own.

I named the blog a Therapy because I thought I needed to let something off my chest for a movie and an actor named Skeet who affected me a LOT. I thought by doing so I can be cured of this addiction and be able to get on with a 'normal' life. Little did I know then that this will only fuel more things in me that letting go would mean something comparable to loss in a family. This has become ironically my 'normal' life. And to know others who have expressed the same sentiments, I have received the affirmation that I am not alone in what I have percieved and accepted as my way of life. For all these, I am very grateful to ALL who have shared and trusted this blog as a place to commune, be creative, supporting, accepting and welcoming to each other.

In a way, I am glad that not many people get or understand the movie like we did, I think certain things happen for a reason. I do believe in divine intervention as I am sure there were reasons besides the obvious like underlying personal events and situations in our lives that brought out this successful collaboration that have lasted this long. I am sure for many of us, the therapy went beyond the movie and the actor.

I am very honored to have met you all even if it's just online.

And lastly, I hope one day that Skeet Ulrich will see what a positive impact his presence has been to many in this blog.

Happy Anniversary, TMoODers!


The First Date

Mandeh wrote this as an anniversary gift to all of us. I am posting this in her stead.

The First Date

It was a beautiful Saturday in mid July 1945. Ray didn’t have much to do that day, and was just cleaning up the yard. He smiled at Livy’s progress with the flower borders and beds. They had not looked so good since he mother had taken care of them. Ray always planted a vegetable garden, and Livy had helped him plant one in the spring, and would spend time weeding and gathering the vegetables that were ripened and using them in her meal planning.

Livy came to the back door and told Ray that his sister was on the phone and needed to talk to him. He dusted off his pants and walked into the house. Since Martha was doing all the talking, Livy only heard Ray speak occasionally. When he got off the phone Ray told Livy that Martha said that they had more vegetables than they could use, and would they like to get some from her.

Livy said that that sounded like a good idea. Ray said, ‘How ‘bout I take Daniel with me? You know how they always like to see him, especially Ruth, and it would take him off your hands for a few hours.’ Livy really loved the idea! Maybe she would get something done while they were both out. Ray and Daniel left about 3:00 in the afternoon, after Daniel’s nap.

Livy kept herself busy for the next few hours, humming to the tunes on the radio as she worked. At about 5:00 the phone rang. She answered and a male voice said, ‘Could I speak to Miss Olivia Dunne?’ She was thrown into a moment of panic because she had not been call Miss Dunne for over a year.

Before she had time to panic and think it might be Edward, the voice on the other end of the phone said. ‘This is Mr Ray Singleton, and I was wondering, if this really is Miss Olivia Dunne would she be so kind as to honour this poor hard working farmer with a date tonight?’

Livy burst out laughing, first with relief that it was not Edward, and then at this whole charade that Ray was planning. She said, ‘Well, Mr Singleton, I have a lot of work to do around this farm house, but I might be able to postpone some of it till Monday.’

‘Whew,’ said Ray, ‘I thought you were going to refuse me! Martha and Ruth have offered to look after Daniel, and Hank and the boys will take care of the chores. See you in your best dress in about an hour?’

‘Mr Singleton, it takes a girl longer than an hour to prepare for a date! How about picking me up at 6:30?’

Ray liked the fact that Livy was going along with the charade of them being single. He laughed and said, ‘Okay, Miss Dunne, see you at 6:30.’

Livy asked, ‘Mr Singleton, do you know where I live?’

Ray, trying not to laugh, said, ‘I might have to ask someone directions, but I’ll get there.’

After they hung up the phone, Livy continued with her tasks for a while and then went upstairs to get ready for her first date with Mr Singleton. She felt as giddy and as excited as she was before her first date when she was a teenager. The first she did was to go to the closet to select an outfit. She chose one of the dresses that Abby had brought to her recently when her and Dot came to visit and be part of their vows renewal. After getting the dress out, she selected jewelry and her makeup, and then had a bath. She had done a good job of getting down to her pre-pregnancy weight, so the dress fit very well. She put on some makeup, and jewelry, and a wee bit of perfume. She looked at herself in the floor length mirror and admired what she saw. She hoped Mr Singleton would be pleased, too.

Just shortly after she was ready, she heard an automobile coming up the driveway. She had just come downstairs when she heard a knock at the front door. She walked down the hall toward the door, and could see a man standing there. He looked very handsome, and had a shy lopsided smile on his face.

As she opened the door he reached out his hand to her and said, ‘Miss Dunne?’
Livy extended her hand to him she said, ‘Yes. And you are Mr Singleton?’

He nodded. Even though they had lived together in the same house as husband and wife for just over a year now, Ray found himself to be a bit nervous. She looked so beautiful! How did he ever deserve her as a wife never mind as a woman who agreed to go out on a date with him? He was just plain Ray Singleton, a farmer, and she was beautiful, worldly Miss Olivia Dunne who had lived in Denver all her life, was university educated, and had aspirations to become an archeologist?.

Livy closed the inside door, stepped out onto the porch, and Ray put his hand under her elbow and guided her toward the car. He had borrowed the car from Hank since he wanted to impress Miss Dunne. As they drove to La Junta, they nervously talked about themselves. It was like a real first date where they asked each other questions about their lives. Since Mr Singleton seemed a bit shy, Miss Dunne started to ask him questions first, and after answering he would ask the same questions of her.

The plan was to go to the Harvest House restaurant for dinner and then to a movie.

By the time they got to the Harvest House they were more at ease with each other and stopped calling each other Mr Singleton and Miss Dunne. Livy told Ray that this was a very good idea of his. He looked at her shyly, swallowed, and said, ‘Livy, my love, you deserve more than me. You deserve the best of the best, and all I can offer you is a life of hard work on my farm.’

Livy reached out her hand to cover his tanned work hardened hand. She looked lovingly across the table at Ray and said softly, ‘Ray, its our farm, and the hard work seems like nothing, it seems so natural when the work is shared with someone you love, except the cooking!’ They both laughed! Livy was still having problems getting herself organized when it came to cooking. Ray often offered to do it, but Livy knew how hard he worked and he deserved to have a meal prepared for him after a hard days work.

They enjoyed their dinner and the conversation. They chose to go see a funny movie. There had been so much bad news from the war front in the year since they first met that they decided a comedy would be perfect for a first date.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Anniversary III

Part III

The next morning as the Singletons ambled their way through the cemetery to where Livy's Momma lay buried, Livy had stopped on her tracks about six yards from the spot where she saw a man with his back facing them. He was standing in front of a gravestone that Ray glanced to be Mrs. Dunne's. He also recognized Rev. Dunne from the pictures he saw yesterday at Abby's house.

Next to Rev. Dunne was Abby, also her back to them. She heard them approaching and had turned to look at them and she stepped to her side as Rev. Dunne turned to see who was behind them. He was deep in thought and it was a moment before he recognized that it was Livy. He was silent and then he bent down to kiss the stone on the ground with his hand and prepared to walk towards them. He paused as he neared and stood looking at them.

"Hello, Father" Livy finally was able to say something. She was surprised at how much her father aged in just a year. He was still the same man who sent her away, his face stern yet his eyes revealed a deeper sadness in them. Livy wanted to embrace him and take that sadness away but she knew from her Father’s bearings that he wouldn't appreciate the gesture at the moment.

"Livy" Rev. Dunne acknowledged her greeting with a nod.

"Father, this is Ray Singleton, my husband and Daniel our son." Rev. Dunne had extended a hand towards Ray.

"Pleased to meet you sir" Ray said to Rev. Dunne matching his strong handshake.

Rev. Dunne nodded at Ray "Thank you for taking my daughter into your home" to which Ray nodded back. Rev. Dunne then turned to Livy and put a hand on Danny's forehead, to say a silent blessing. He opens his eyes shortly and looks at the mother and baby. He was outwardly devoid of emotions as he stared at the family before him.

Rev. Dunne wasn't happy about what became of his family. He was inconsolable after losing his wife from an unexpected illness. Then to learn that his daughter became pregnant out of wedlock was the culmination of his downward spiral to bitterness. An anger that is eating away inside of him, wanting for a reason to surface, but unable to release it as he believed himself to be a man of faith. He cannot condemn his own God instead he chose to blame it all on Livy.

This day, he sees his daughter in front of him and reflected on what she had done to her life. He sees a baby born not of the man she had married, a man she married but does not love and living a life that she is not meant to live. Disappointment passes over him. Of his daughters, he had expected more from Livy because she was always the reliable daughter. Livy was the one who mostly took after his wife. He cannot forgive her for what she had done. She ruined her own future and with that, the family name as well. With that thought he turns and leaves them all standing under the sun.

Livy faced her most dreaded fear, the moment earlier suddenly dashed from her. Her father leaving in the gruff not wanting to forgive her to this day. She sadly glanced at Ray who surprisingly was very sympathetic that all he could do was put an arm on her shoulder and kiss her. In his arms she remembers what he had said last night about not being alone and that she only had to lean on him. Her sadness temporarily quashed by the presence of Ray.

From a distance Abby had witnessed what had transpired between Ray and Livy. She longed for tender moments like these herself. That very moment she wished that Kent was with her. She envied Livy seeing how devoted and loved she is by Ray. How can she look so contented when she was the one who transgressed? Livy was the one who defied what their own father preached. She criticized Livy for what she has put them all through. If she isn’t pursuing her dreams then she felt that Livy should take care of their Father just like how she took care of their Momma. She shook her head and said a final prayer at her mother’s grave. Rev. Dunne was waiting on her. She passes Livy and Ray nodding and wishing them a safe trip back home.

As soon as Ray laid the flowers on Mrs. Dunne’s gravestone, he took Daniel from Livy, giving her the chance to spend some time at her mother's resting place. Livy didn't say a word, she was deep in thought. Ray took off his hat and quietly stood a couple of feet behind her. Every now and then, he would discreetly glance up to check how Livy was doing. Finally he bows and prays.

Consequently after a few minutes had passed he opens his eyes, and catches the sight of Livy sitting on her heels. She was quietly sobbing. Ray’s heart broke seeing Livy’s state. He remembers the times he did that at his brother’s grave. As much as it hurts to see her like this, he knows that she needs to do it to get some measure of peace later.

Moments passed and Ray sees Livy wipe away the last sign of tears from her face. He reaches down to help her up and they hold hands as they stood side by side in silence. Livy took Danny from Ray and he puts an arm around her. Danny had been awake for a while, probably feeling his mother’s pain. He cooed as Livy held him in her arms.

“I wished Momma had the chance to see him, she would have been proud.” Livy finally spoke. Ray glances at her and nods “She’s probably looking proudly at him right now, Livy”

“I also told her she would have loved to meet you. I know that she would have approved of you all along” He can feel the regret in Livy’s voice. Ray thought it would have been an honor to meet her Momma. He quickly turned to give her a sad quick smile.

Livy wanted to stay on longer but it will be a long ride back home. “I think we should be heading back home, Ray.”

The long drive allowed both Livy and Ray some quiet moments. As they passed from one town to the other, passing varied landscapes which contributed to their deep thoughts.

Leaving Denver wasn’t easy for Livy. She was not prepared to leave town like this with unresolved issues with her Father and Abby. It bothered her so that things didn’t improve between them even after a year had passed. She is especially saddened that her relationship with her sister had made a turn for the worse. But inside she has faith that someday they will reconcile. She has found it possible with Ray's family. She will just have to make an extra effort to reach out to them from now on. She steals a glance at Ray as she feels even more in love with him. Ray was and remains the source of her strength. She learned forgiveness from him. Denver, now miles behind them, didn't leave her with bitterness but a hopeful heart.

Ray momentarily looked over to where Livy sat, she had gone through a lot but he is mostly amazed by her courage. He didn’t quite expect the reception they got in Denver. He remembered Rev. Case mentioning about the Dunne family that fateful day he suggested about marrying the daughter named Olivia. From that he expected that time would have healed old wounds. Apparently, it did not. He can sense Livy’s desire to make that part of her life better. He empathized the need for Livy to conquer this for her own real happiness. He didn’t quite know yet how to help Livy. Ray felt it unfortunate that her family does not see her for what she is – a kind, loving and compassionate person. Even if they come from different backgrounds, Ray felt Livy’s pain.

As they drive closer to La Junta, Ray decided a stop at their favorite diner is in order. Livy would need a temporary distraction from all that happened the past couple of days.

His thoughts were interrupted when he felt that Livy had slid closer to him and had leaned her head on his shoulders. He turned to kiss her forehead.

“You feeling ok, Liv?”

“Mmmm…” Livy softly replied.

“Tired? We can stop to rest if you’d like.” Ray offered.

“I am okay Ray. I just wanted to take that offer about leaning on you right now.” Livy dreamily replied and smiled. Ray briefly took his right hand off the steering wheel and gave her a loving squeeze.

“Anytime, I am all yours, sweetie” Ray smiled.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Skeet Sighting: EJ Aids Oscar

Thanks to those who gave the head's up. The hair is curlier now that it's longer.

Audi of America Red Carpet - Elton John Aids Foundation Oscar

courtesy : WI


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Anniversary Part II

Part II

"Come on in and sit in the parlor" Abby ushered them into the house. "Hello Ray, good to see you again" she extended a handshake. "Hello, Abby" as Ray shifted the bundle that is Danny in his arms so he can return Abby's handshake. "Oh! and this must be my new nephew" She went for a peek but refrained from touching the baby, "He is adorable Livy".

They all sat facing each other in the parlor. Livy sat next to Ray as she checked on Danny sleeping in Ray's arms. Their baby was fast asleep, all the commotion at Abby's didn't even faze him. Ray and Livy smile at each other. Abby clears her throat feeling a bit uncomfortable watching them interact with each other.

"So, Abby, how's Father doing?" Livy asked.

"Oh—you know--busy as ever. I try to visit him as much as I can but I haven't had the chance to talk to him much lately". Abby knew Livy asked this to see if their father knew that they were in town. The truth is, Abby visits their father often and they have afternoon tea occasionally. However, she hasn’t been able to broach this subject of Livy's visit as it has always been a sore subject to their father.

"Have you heard from Kent lately?" Livy changed the subject knowing Abby too well.

"I'm getting letters from him but it takes a while before it gets here. We are both hopeful that he'll be back here soon this year. I can't wait for him to come home." She arranges her hands properly on her lap, while she thinks about her daily anticipation of receiving such letters in the mail.

Finally after an awkward pause Abby inquired "What are your plans for today?"

"Uhm…well, we thought the ride north will take longer since we brought Danny along with us but he pretty much slept through the entire trip. I guess we will go to church a bit later for Momma and then to the cemetery tomorrow. I thought today would be a good time to visit Father, he hasn't seen Danny yet."

At this point, Abby arose to go to the kitchen. "You both must be tired from your travel, let me fix some tea and a late lunch" then she disappeared through a door leading to the kitchen.

"Ray, let's lay Danny down in the bassinet, then you can stretch a bit, you drove a long way." Livy cleared a spot on the sofa where the bassinet can be tucked without fear of falling. Ray did put his arms above him to stretch his spine. They both grinned when Livy said "Danny looks like he was the one who drove all the way to Denver".

"Let's just hope he doesn't keep us awake tonight" Ray said then he winked at Livy. Livy blushed even if they haven't been intimate that way. "Livy, I can watch over Danny if you'd like to spend time with Abby…" Ray offered.

"Well, I suppose this would be the right time, thank you Ray" Livy got up and planted a kiss on Ray before heading off to the kitchen.

As she entered the kitchen, Livy found Abby preparing sandwiches and a pot of water was about to boil on the stove. "Need any help, Abby?" Livy suggested. "I am fine, Livy, come on over, we have a lot to catch up on. I haven't heard from you for a long time."

"I know, it's just been very busy since Danny's arrival. Everything is so new and it's been a constant learning experience for me since. But I am fine, Danny's fine and so is Ray." Livy explained.

"Speaking of Ray…." Abby smoothly followed Livy's last word. "I was almost sure that you were coming to Denver to have the baby. I thought….I thought that since you gave birth early, that you just didn't have the chance to come out here. So…" Abby turned to face Livy. "…I was looking forward to spending time with you and Danny, that's his name right?" ..Livy nodded…

"I've missed you Livy, there is no shame coming back to Denver now and I have the room for you and the baby here in this house."

Livy tried to keep her composure, she didn't want to struggle with her words and after a brief silence had passed between them, Livy finally spoke. "Abby, I never really said yes about coming back." She felt torn between her sister's sadness and the strong new ties with her own new family which now ran much deeper in the months she spent away from Denver.

"Since having Danny, I realized that it's just not about me but a lot more about him. He needs a father and I want to provide him with a stable and loving family life. Please understand, Abby, that I will be depriving him of all these if I stay here."

"You can still provide all that for him here. Livy, I can take care of him and Kent will be back soon and he can provide Danny the father figure that he needs. Father is here as well, so he won't be lacking in the attention from his real family. The best part of it is, you can keep your baby happy and still pursue your dreams." Abby retorted with authority as if she's older than Livy.

"Dreams change, Abby." Livy realizes that she will never understand where she stands right now. "I still love archeology, it will always be in my blood and loving it will always remind me of Momma but it's different now that I have Danny…." She didn't know how else she can explain the changes in her outlook in life.

"Are you saying that you plan to remain married to Ray? Live in that beet farm? Give up what you studied for and abandon the adventures you planned on taking?" Suddenly it dawned on Abby. "Wait…Livy, please don't tell me you have fallen in love with Ray."

"I have." Livy smiled but she only found disappointment in Abby's face.

While in the parlor, Ray had moved to one side of the wall where many pictures frames were hanging. These had caught his attention just as he extended himself for another stretch to loosen a knot on his shoulder. He went for a closer look. They were pictures of the Dunne family. In one picture, he assumed the tall, strapping and handsome man was Reverend Dunne sitting for a family portrait. A woman sat next to him with facial features that resembled Livy. Standing behind them were Abby, a man in a uniform he imagined to be Kent and then Livy. They all looked happy, beautiful and refined. He figured the picture must have been taken right before Livy's mom became sick.

He went to look at the other pictures on the wall. There were plenty of Abby and Livy. The pictures captured their closeness, happiness and sisterly love. He smiled looking at them, thinking of Livy, how taken he was of her beauty and grace. Sadness swept over him when he saw a picture of Livy and her Momma both candidly smiling, seemingly unaware that a picture was being taken that time. He understood the bond that they both had then. Livy was more like her mother and Abby more like Rev. Dunne.

His musings were interrupted by a stirring from the bassinet. He went over to check on Danny just as Livy and Abby were coming out of the kitchen. He gently patted Danny back to sleep as Abby and Livy prepared the table with food.

While they sat at the table, Ray notices that the girls were awfully quiet, grim looks glued to their faces. It was quite awkward not knowing how to break the ice. Ray fidgeted in his seat. Finally Abby broke the silence and offered to say grace.

Livy remained quiet and so Ray felt it proper to say something to lift the heavy air hanging over the table.

"You have a lovely home" Ray gestured with his hand and not knowing how to address Abby. "Thank you" She gathered her composure and forced a smile. Abby can't think of anything but feel frustrated. She wanted her visitors to leave so she can indulge in some self pity. She still can't get over the shock of what Livy had just said in the kitchen. Why did she suddenly change her mind? She glances at Ray and thinks, he's not bad looking but a beet farmer? Livy can do better. Why did her sister choose to live a life like this? Abby thinks that her sister is settling for second best when she can have otherwise. In her book people marry to get better in life and in stature not the other way around. Where was it remiss that this was supposed to be a temporary arrangement not a permanent one?

Ray continued trying to salvage the conversation "Oh, there is a box of vegetables and fruits for you and Rev. Dunne in the back of the truck. There should be plenty to last you for a couple of weeks. I'll bring it in before we leave." He stole a glance at Livy, she didn't know about it, Ray had packed it the night before they left. Livy gave him a thankful but wry smile.

"You didn't have to, but thank you" Abby was caught off guard. Her face felt instantly hot wondering if Ray had read the thoughts that crossed her mind.

Abby finally turned to Livy and said, "I've got a couple of boxes myself upstairs Livy, you might want to take those. They are mostly your books, clothes, and personal things from our house. I took them to store here after you left." She continues "But since you are not coming back, you may want to take them with you. I'll probably need to clear up the room now and turn it into a sewing room. I have plenty of idle time to learn a project or two before Kent comes back." The sneer in her voice was obvious but she masked it well with a sweet smile.

"More tea, Ray?" She took the tea kettle and offered to refill Ray’s cup for some needed distraction.

The words had stung Livy deeply. Abby has a way of getting to her. Being the youngest, Abby tends to be manipulating and 'self-centered', she was their father's favorite and she got away with a lot of things. Since childhood, Livy adored her younger sister. Abby’s selfishness was a trait that Livy overlooked many times. She was very sad that this visit didn't turn out the way she had hoped it to be. She prayed that one day Abby will understand and that she'll be happy for her and Ray. For now, as is always the case, Livy just took it and remained quiet.

...to be continued


Friday, March 03, 2006

Anniversary Part 1

Part I

Ray thought he was dreaming a sad dream again, he can hear a distant moaning. Just like the past few nights, his heart was heavy upon awakening from this troubled sleep. He can't recall any of his dreams except that it must have been a dark and sad one. He stirs in his sleep trying to wake up and realizes that the sound was coming next to him. He turns around and hears Livy. She too was having a bad dream again. He reaches to turn the lights on at his bedside.

"Livy" Ray gently nudges Livy to awaken.

"Oooh mo—" Livy said midway to pure consciousness, she turns to follow the source of the voice.

"Livy, you were crying in your sleep again—uh--come here baby" Ray puts his arms around Livy and pulls her close to him.

"I'm sorry to wake you, Ray" she couldn't understand why she had real tears. She barely remembers what the dream was about.

"Ssshhh" Ray soothingly says to her. This is the fourth day in a row that she woke up apparently distressed. Livy is bothered by the lingering melancholic feeling nagging inside of her. She wished she could remember her dreams.

"Did I say something, Ray? I can't remember my dream" Livy nuzzles securely in the crook of Ray's neck. His warm embrace somehow helping her calm down.

"Well—" Ray plants a kiss on Livy's forehead. "I thought I was having the bad dream" not so sure of himself now. "You were trying to call out Livy. Something must be bothering you this week."

Ray looks into Livy's eyes for an answer. Livy was quiet, she can't remember the dream but she knew what was bothering her lately. Things had changed so much in her life it was hard to believe that she was leading an entirely different life a year ago today.
There are many aspects of her life that she eventually did not regret changing but also there are a couple of things she misses most in her old life back in Denver.
In the dim light coming from the window, Livy tries to looks into Ray's eyes. Here's a man she learned to trust and to share her feelings with, something she really needed when she left Denver. She remembered him saying that night she apologized and confessed about snooping through his things on her first day in the house. How what he said had affected her so, that he didn't have anything to hide from her. Indeed, he was in a way right. She was a walking mystery, closed to any feelings, hiding plenty of things from him. This was one thing she had set to change the day she realized that Ray was her God's will. Although she refrains from mentioning anything related to Denver, this time she is compelled to tell him what was bothering her.

"One year ago, I lost my Momma…" Livy felt relief telling Ray.

"Oh Livy, I didn't know. What day?" Ray was visibly surprised. Ray didn't know this part of her life except for what she's told him. He was rubbing her back knowing too well that feeling of loss.

"Thursday, next week will be her…..her death anniversary", Livy disliked saying those words, a little part of her still refuses to believe that her Momma had passed. She wants to go to Denver but with a newborn at home and Ray busy at the farm, she didn't want to impose. She had been thinking of her Momma every single day since the year began.

"Why didn't you tell me Livy? Of course we'll go to Denver next week. Tomorrow, I'll make arrangements with Hank so he can look after the farm while we are gone." Ray assured Livy.

"No, it's okay Ray, I know you have lots of things to do in the farm. I understand if I can't visit this year. Momma would have understood anyway. This year, there's Danny, the house to take care—"

"Hush, Livy—It's okay" in his very calm and determined voice "this is important and I know this means a lot to you—and so it does to me too" Ray had interrupted her with a finger to her lips. "I understand Livy, I won't let this day pass without us going for a visit—every year, that's a promise."

Livy starts to tear up again. She embraces Ray hard "Thank you, Ray."

"No need to thank me Livy, I'll do anything for you, you know that".

"I know Ray, I know" Livy would never doubt that he means it.

"Now let's get back to sleep before we wake up Danny..mmm?" whispered Ray. "Right" Livy whispered back. As Livy turns around to her other side to go back to sleep, Ray follows suit hugging her from behind. "Good night Livy", "Good night, Ray" and that moment, the fitful dreams went away.


Livy found out that it wasn't hard to make arrangements with Hank for next week. Livy was a little concerned that the trip to Denver will put a burden to the Stewart family having to take care of two farms for a couple of days. Martha had even offered to take Danny for the time they were going to be out of town. But Livy wanted to bring Danny with them so she can bring him to visit her Momma at the cemetery. Ray reluctantly agreed. He relented knowing that Livy's family had not really met Danny and this could be the best time to do so if the time permitted such opportunity.

They were to leave on Wednesday morning and Livy had been busy preparing for the trip. She wanted to make it a day's trip but she knew the drive will just render Ray exhausted. At first she had a hard time communicating to him that she would rather stay in an inn or motel in Denver. Although she had called Abby to tell her of their visit, Livy didn't ask her if they could stay at her house nor did Abby offered for them to stay either. Livy thought it was just as well since she felt her sister was a bit rude leaving the farm without saying goodbye to Ray. It would be embarrassing if a similar incident happened again on such a solemn occasion. She was reluctant to tell Ray that they would have an added expense of staying in a motel for that one night in Denver but she mustered enough courage to mention it to him during the weekend while he was pouring over his farm registers.

"I don't care if we even sleep in the beet box" Ray was obviously teasing her, sensing the tension and nervousness in her voice. He smiles and winks at her. That ended her dilemma. She finally heaved a deep sigh as she walked back to the kitchen with a smile on her face.

On Tuesday night, Ray finally came to the house after packing the back of the beet box with the essential things they would need on their trip. Livy prepared Danny's things and powdered formula just in case he'd need it. They left early Wednesday morning, carrying a sleeping Danny in his bassinet that Martha gave them. Danny proved to be a camper, he mostly slept during the trip except when they stopped to rest or to feed him his milk.

As soon as they arrived in Denver, they scoured for a place to stay. Tomorrow morning they will go to the cemetery and this afternoon they planned to stop at Abby's for a visit. Abby's house is located just a short distance away from where the church and their parental home stands. On their way to Abby's, Livy can't help but look at her Father's house. Ray noticed that Livy had grown quiet and she stiffened a bit as they neared the intersection. He stopped at the red light and looked up at the spires of the church, he figured this must be Rev Dunne's church. It was a bigger and a nicer built establishment compared to what they have back in La Junta. The light turned green without a word from Livy. Ray is never the man to pry, he drove on going south on Main street. Livy instructed him to make a turn on a residential road three blocks down and they made a stop at a bricked Victorian looking home. Abby opened the door and welcomed them inside. Her house was elegantly furnished. It was evident the pieces in her parlor were carefully chosen to fit the style of the house.

Abby hugged Livy "Livy, you made it!" She happily chirped, happy to see her sister again.

...to be continued


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Save the date

How about a chat night?

This blog's first anniversary is coming up fast, that it's just timely to schedule one.

Who: TMoODers and Skeet fans alike
When: Saturday, March 11th
Where: Parachat *
Time: 9:00 pm
What: celebrating a year of collaboration and friendships

(*subject to change)

What say you?

Hope to see you there!