Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Carnival Fights Blog-Block

I’ve been in a writing funk lately. I'm going to try write my way out of it. We’ll see if it works.

Today's been a pretty good day. It's Carnival weekend at the church kitty corner from us. I asked my aide to crack open the window on the side of the house so I can hear the carnival. I hope that doesn't sound pathetic, it shouldn’t. I'm not disabled and hearing the sounds of fun I can't have. The truth is I find this sounds to be inspiring. I've always loved listening to the rides and people laughing and having fun. When I used to go to the park and walk every day the absolute greatest day was when it was just warm enough for moms to bring out their kids to play in the playground. It made me even more relaxed and happy to hear the sound of the kids outside having fun. This carnival weekend has been awesome for that reason ever since I moved into this house, 10 years ago. I've never actually been to that carnival. I’ve never really been a carnival goer as an adult. But I love the sounds of crowds of people having fun. So right now the setting sun is shining in my window and over me, I'm toggling the TV remote between three baseball games, and the fresh smell of outside with the sound of two crazy rides that I can see through the window make it a pretty great evening.

The Reds game tonight against Atlanta, is the first game since the off-season trade that Brandon Phillips has been back in Cincinnati. In the top of the first inning, his first at bat, Reds fans gave him a standing ovation. Bronson Arroyo stepped off the pitching mound to allow Phillips an opportunity to step back from the plate, take off his hat and salute the crowd. After 11 years with the Reds, Phillips’ contract gave him the right to say “no” to any trade the team considered. He used that right a couple of times, but the only team I'm sure he would've said ”yes” to would've been Atlanta, to go home. I admitted I choked up a little watching the whole thing; the welcoming ovation, Arroyo’s gesture, Brandon acknowledging the crowd and the fact that both pitcher and hitter we're visibly moved.

Maybe the carnival is helpful. The biggest problem that I've had when I've been writing lately is that when I start writing and I think I'm writing for the blog, I start getting very negative and very hostile, so it just ends up being writing that I put my personal journal. Remember that I write to get negative feelings out and put away. So I have enough things that are bugging me right now that everything I write turns into a page or two of grumbling and ranting. Even my scrapbooked daily blurbs have sometimes turned into a page long growling sessions that I've had to cut and paste into the personal journal, and write my daily comment shorter or about something else entirely. So I've had some demons that I've been dealing with. I won't say anything more about that lest this turn into another attempted blog that ends up going into the file that will only be opened after I'm gone.

I hope somebody does read it. It's not all negative stuff, though I do think, especially for those that know me, that seeing, understanding, the things that really got under my skin and how I dealt with them is a good thing. But there are fun things too. I put the text from my blogs, comments that I make in different forums, and even silly one liners. I also occasionally address the reader in the things that I write. What's the point in doing that if there's not going to be a reader someday? My scrapbooks and the complete and uncensored Chronicles of Nani will be my legacy. I'd like to be remembered for a generation or two after I'm gone. (smiles)

We celebrated Marco's fourth birthday yesterday. He's the only one of our cats whose birthday we are sure of. Marco and his litter siblings were born in our friend's garage on June 1, 2013. The girls’ birthdays are educated guesses. I'll do a scrapbook page for his birthday and maybe a "Christmas in June" page or two. I'm scrapping June for 2017 but December for every other year right now. Yes, that means I'm finishing books now! More details on that soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

These Hands

A little poetic and a lot of positive memoirs on a rainy day.

Before MS I accomplished...

I wrote calligraphy. One Christmas I handmade all my cards.

I baked, not just for the holidays. I made peach and apple crisps with fresh-picked fruit. Whenever the mood struck me I'd bake cookies, cakes, brownies... When I lived with my parents there was often treats for breakfast in the morning after an end of the day project.

I played both electric and acoustic guitar. The first song I ever learned in formal lessons was Leaving On A Jet Plane. My favorites to play and sing were Crystal Ball by Styx and Neil Diamond's Play Me. Although it was "cooler" that I played rock and roll electric, especially as a girl in the late 70s and early 80s, I enjoyed my acoustic guitar the most. I was most proud of playing Dust In The Wind.

I wrote and copyrighted 4 songs.

I did crafts with the kids I babysat as a teen and with my nieces in my 30s.

I sewed most of my own wardrobe in the 80s, the costumes for my brother's band, Tempest, and a lot of the costumes my friends and I wore to professional wrestling matches in the late 80s/early 90s.

I cross-stitched a lot of small projects that I gave as gifts and Grandma taught me how to crochet. It took me almost a year to complete, but I finished my first afghan during the Super Bowl in 2003.

Inspired, I hand wrote the notes and production outline to pitch to my program director in one night for the biggest single project I produced in cable tv.

These hands have touched the foot of Jesus on Michelangelo's La Pieta in Rome, dipped in the water at The Fountain of Youth in St Augustine, touched the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico and ałl five Great Lakes. These hands have shaken hands with George Foreman, Gordie Howe, a US Senator, and a Michigan governor, fed babies and held my great grandmother's hands with love even though she no longer knew who I was.

These hands no longer have the strength or finesse they once had but I can't allow myself to rue what they can no longer do. Rather, I make the most of what they can still do while I celebrate what they have done.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Conquering Naniland

I'm going to blog more often again when I can organize myself to be able to use my computer again. I finally have the padding figured out to be able to stay in the current wheelchair without pain. There is a support post for the back of the chair that hits my tailbone in a way that pushes it in and up. Remember, I use a wheelchair because I have little to no movement in my legs and hips, so moving around to relieve the pressure is not an effective "easy fix." Add to that it took a while to identify what point in my body the pain was coming from and what part of the chair was responsible for the pressure.

So now that I know what kind of padding and where I need it, I can spend the day in my chair. Now I have a new problem to solve. The mechanical base necessary to make the chair do what it does makes it too high to fit under a table. That doesn't just mean I'm challenged setting up a computer working area but sitting at a table to sort through papers or bills without things dropping all over the floor or eating a meal present obstacles. I also don't go out much. As much as the chair is supposed to give freedom and mobility, I don't like going places alone anymore. Sitting at a table in a restaurant when I must tilt the chair forward to reach the plate is pretty embarrassing. The humiliation is still there, but it's easier to deal with if I'm not alone.

I started physical therapy on my legs. In the over a year to get the chair including 5 months that I couldn't sit in the old chair that caused my out-turning hips, my legs and hips have become too weak to use a slide board or to stand and pivot. I just started in-home PT with the therapist showing David and the 4 aides that are here most often the exercises so I can do them every day. My immediate goal in the next few months is to be able to use a grab bar to stand for just a little.


I love the ad for the Volkswagen Atlas! It's set to The Birds and The Bees and starts with the Beetle rocking with steamy windows and the young couple upgrading as their family grows after seeing the new cars "rocking." They show you the source of the rocking in the Atlas; a family of five with a dog and squealing happy kids. I think the ad is incredibly sweet.

I've read articles criticizing the use of innuendo or nitpicking that innuendo. Oh please! It's a cute way to show 5 different models of different sizes selling the largest one as a family car. Is it risqué? Um, considering that drugs for erectile dysfunction are on TV in all their "you know you want it" glory and the Go Daddy girls, no, not risqué at all. And as far as nitpicking "logical sense," it's a commercial not a drama. -eye roll-

The Handmaid's Tale

I decided not to put my book reviews on The Chronicles of Nani. I still post my few lines of non-spoiler thoughts with my rating at Good Reads. I'll link to those reviews here if you'd like to read them.

I just finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwell. I gave it 5 of 5 stars. You can see my review here: my review

That's a little bit of what's going on in Naniland, a world I must conquer daily. But I do conquer it!

Monday, March 6, 2017

When "New and Improved" Actually Is Improved

I'll be amongst the first to say to be wary when a product is "improved." The worst are "Better Flavor" or "New Recipe, Same Great Taste" what if I liked the flavor the way it was? If the "great taste" is the same, why did the recipe need to change? I admit that, as much as I've always loved the restaurant and they make what I've loved as my favorite sandwich for a long time, I haven't been to Panera since everything on their menu has become "clean." After "cleaning" will my Bacon Turkey Bravo taste "soapy?"

But this is not about the Bacon Turkey Bravo. I do not come to bury Panera's Caesar salad. I don't even know if it's dead. I come to address a greater scare than cleaning my favorite sandwich as an adult. Campbell's messed with my ultimate comfort food since I was a child!

Classic look of Campbell's Chicken and Stars

I don't remember a sniffle or tear that wasn't "cured" with Chicken and Stars soup.as an adult it has always been and still is the soup I go to when I feel the need for something to make me feel warm inside. So imagine when just after I turned 50 the stars were different! Remember, I gave myself permission to be proud of my AARP years and complain about things that used to be better. This would be an easy thing to complain about being bad because it changed. But, we'll...

The new stars in Campbell's Chicken and Stars

Instead of the solid little stars of my first half century, the stars are bigger hollow stars. Well, they look more like stars and you can actually chew them. The old little stars just kinda slipped down my throat. It could have been a trainer for taking grown-up pills, to swallow something whole with liquid. The new stars make the soup a little heartier. It also reduces the choking hazard. But the best part is that so many of the old noodles stuck to the can, pan or bowl! The new hearty noodles ALL come out of the can and are much easier to spoon out of the soup cup; every last one!

Now I think I'm ready to get a Bacon Turkey Bravo, or at least pop open a can of Chicken and Stars for lunch.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rumor Has It We Won!

Behind Stripes and Spots

Me and Rumor, Toledo area winner 
of the Westminster Dog Show

That's a picture of me, because it's my column, and my pal Rumor. Mommy says it's a picture of alternate fact, whatever. I read a tutorial about making friends with photoshop. I think it's a good first try.

I think Rumor is a great-looking dog and he'd be great to play Domino in the movie! Domino is one of the dogs next door. When Daddy lets me go outside with him and the dogs are out we sniff at each other through the fence. Mommy says "if they get together supervised, they might be friends. If they get together unsupervised, they'd be a Disney movie." I think that would be fun!

Neither one of my friends next door is a German shepherd, but I think one of the dogs should be a big dog for the movie. Rumor would have good star-power for a costar too! I learned a lot about movies after watching Keanu with Mommy and Daddy. Keanu's part was way too small for the star of the movie. The humans who costarred got most of the screen time. I think our movie will be better because dogs are easier to work with than humans. Humans have big egos.

This picture is from the Keanu movie

I'd have to see his current publicity shot to see if he could play me. Some kitten-actors just don't keep "the look." I'm almost 4 and still as adorable as a kitten, so an actor who plays me would still have to have "the look."

Mommy just said something about ego. I already said human egos were bigger than dogs which is why dogs are better to work with. Boy, she reads slow.

So, congratulations to Rumor for being the best dog in the dog show! Now how about being a movie star? I guess I should send Disney an email. I need to tell the dogs next door that we gotta write a script!