Dani's Niche

Family history. A novel idea.

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Haley tells her story: hope, resilience, and optimism after a devastating loss

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 4.06.16 PMOn November 8, 2018 the Camp Fire devastated the beautiful town of Paradise, California. 85 lives were lost, 11,000 homes were destroyed, and 50,000 people were displaced. It is said to be the single most destructive wildfire in California history.

The wind-whipped fire raced along the ridge destroying the homes and everything they owned (including irreplaceable treasures) of our aunt and cousins (four generations displaced). It also took their family business, Paradise icon Joy Lyn’s Candies, an award-winning small confectionary factory which featured delectable chocolates and beer brittle. The fire spread so quickly, there was barely time to grab their wedding album from the house and the candy recipe book from the store before everything went up in flames.

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Joy Lyn’s Candies, a “sweet” store before the flames turned it to ash

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The family looks forward to the grand re-opening in a new location on October 1, 2020

The Hartley family has worked hard to rebuild their lives, homes and business. On October 1, 2020, the store will have a grand re-opening in a new location with new equipment. In time, they will restore their website and online orders. We wish them success as they move forward with their lives. For updates, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/joylynscandies/


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Steve Ferchaud, an award-winning author/illustrator and a Camp Fire survivor himself, has produced this beautifully illustrated and meaningful  book. The main character is our cousin’s granddaughter who tells the story from a child’s viewpoint, but it is one to be read by all ages. It is a story of hope, resilience, and determination.

Proceeds will benefit the Youth on the Ridge Community foundation. Books can be ordered from: https://chocolatefest.us/getting-involved/my-name-is-haley/




Warnings: a snake and the ER

Screen Shot 2020-08-07 at 6.28.55 PMAn unusual clamor drew my attention to our front yard. I yanked open the door and quickly closed it until my husband came. A six foot long black snake lay doubled along the wall of the porch, and the mockingbirds were sounding their warning. We watched the birds’ amazing display of courage—landing on the ground next to the snake, flaring their wings, squawking and flying up and down to get it to move away. The reptile slithered under a large square flower pot for refuge, but not for long. After identifying it as a non-aggressive rat snake, my husband took it to the field behind our house.

A few days earlier, a sudden warning alerted me to a serious medical issue. It began with pain on the left side of my head and then vomiting. When my speech started to make no sense, my husband called 911. The mini stroke left no brain damage but five doctors came to my room and would not let me leave the hospital until I had been subjected to many tests. After three nights, one in ICU,  the cardiologist was still trying to figure out the reason for the clot. I live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, so maybe the heart monitor I’m wearing for a month or the pharmacological stress test will reveal something.

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A road sign caught my eye today. It read: Obey warning signs. State law. Even if it they aren’t laws we should still heed them for our own safety and the safety of others.

You know other signs that warn of danger. How many do we give heed to?

The Bible has warnings. Then He said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! ( Luke 24:25)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) God warns us in His word of the coming judgment. He sent His son to save us from what we deserve by dying on the cross in our place so that we may have life eternal, but we must accept this gift of salvation.

Life is precarious and precious. I hope you realize that every second of breath is a gift. Thank the Lord and give Him yours. If you have not, this may be your only or last warning. God cares for you! Seek Him.