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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

American Hamburgers

Nani, Noni and Mom, circa 1983

So I'm not going to make excuses for not keeping up on things in the blog-world. The truth is I'm still having some problems hit and miss which includes the height of the new chair not being able to comfortably get in front of the computer, so I'm not on it unless I'm lounging back in the recliner. I still need to form a working normal for myself. I've been feeling like a bit of a hermit so for the most part when I get on the computer, I'm scrapbooking. That doesn't mean that I'm totally a hermit. I'll check my email and I visit Facebook, but I don't post a lot of anywhere right now. I am always getting on my own case for that and I'm trying to inspire myself to become involved with the world again. Politics has been very frustrating and almost painful. I post a little about that because I'm ripping my hair out with the idiocy that's going on in the presidential election this year. There seems to be a lot of people that are not fact-checking, they're just reacting to false statements. It frightens my "ugly-cripple-anchor baby" brain. It's just going to take some time before I'm ready to venture out into the world again.

I was looking at digital coupons to add to my Kroger card and one of the coupon choices was this:

White Castle condiments at Kroger?

It made me think about how long it's been since I've been to a White Castle. Ruthie, my aide, said that she hadn't been to a White Castle in 12 to 13 years, or half of her life. For me I don't think I've been to a White Castle since my grandmother passed in 1989 that got us both reminiscing about White Castle.

For me, White Castle was the American hamburger. What I mean is there was a White Castle on the road on the way to my grandmother’s house. In the Italian grandma tradition, Noni cooked... everything… constantly! Of course friends and family visiting, especially family, would encourage her every now and then to take a day off and just let us bring dinner in. She would have none of that, also in the good Italian grandma fashion, she loved cooking and cooking for people. But every now and then Noni would actually feel like taking a day off. When she wanted the day off she would say "I don't feel like cooking, let's get a bag of American hamburgers." You see, to Noni's palette White Castle hamburgers were the quintessential American food. (Keep in mind the actual Italian food is NOTHING like Sbarro or even Olive Garden.) So to me White Castle is a wonderful memory of "Noni's Day Off."

White Castle available in the frozen food? I had to check out the White Castle website. The last time I ate at the White Castle the onion chips were relatively new. Now you can get all kinds of things at White Castle! They have chicken and fish and a full breakfast menu. And then the sides; it's not just fries or onion chips anymore. Now you can get mozzarella sticks cheesy fries and fish nibblers. It's just amazing that White Castle is still competitive, keeping up with the fast food market and it still is that corner hamburger stand where you can get your sliders. Part of me would like to stop at White Castle for old times sake. But the closest one to here is about an hour away. Maybe it's a flavor that's better kept in my memory anyway.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Half Century of Nani

I am officially half-century old. Just to let you know I don't have a problem with being my age so I feel no need to refer to myself as "years young." Everybody has their own personal little idiosyncrasies. Some of mine include hating phrases like "it is what it is," or that someone is however many "years young." It just feels like the ultimate in denial. I have the half-century of history. I have so many personal even public victories to remember fondly and as many mistakes and failures I have learned from. I've celebrated triumphs and fought challenges and I'm proud of every bit of who I am. Heck, I now qualify as a classic, even an antique in some circles. That means I'm worth more old than I am young. Why would I want to deny that?

I was officially 50 on July 29. I met David at the Mud Hens game and it was raining when I went out to catch the bus. Folks, I didn't see any rain on my birthday at all until I was 24 years old. In 1990, my friend Jeff and I we're at midway airport in Chicago waiting for plane to take us home. I saw rain on my birthday for the first time that day. And that was enough rain to keep our plane from landing and leave us with a few extra hours at the airport while we waited for the rescheduled flight. The guy tending the beer cart came to know us pretty well that day. Jeff's parents had dropped us off and my parents were picking us up so we didn't have to worry at all about driving… Since that time I've seen rain on my birthday hit and miss, not enough the delay anything. I really figured on my half-century birthday it shouldn't rain, right?

I tell you, it wasn't a drenching rain when I caught the bus and it had stopped raining by the time I got to the ballpark, but it WAS an absolute downpour that delayed the game for two hours at the start of the sixth inning! But the Mud Hens won and MY Tiger, JD Martinez, was my Mud Hen for my birthday! He was in Toledo on a rehab assignment. His first swing of the bat when he returned to Detroit a few days later was a home run that was the game-winning run. We'll just call that my birthday blessing. LOL

I did have a couple days of computer silence waiting for my "birthday present" from Apple. My power cord for my computer died. I mean it really died; I plugged it in and there was nothing. The battery died and the computer went dark while I was on the phone with AppleCare. It was a good thing I bought AppleCare insurance. The retail value on replacing the power source is $87! It died on a Sunday night and by Tuesday I had the replacement. All it cost me was two days of computer silence. I have my iPad and the TV; so, living in a swing state, I wasn't even away from politics for two days. Although no politics for 2 days might have been a present too.

Well, the couple days of computer silence did put me starting August behind on my page-a-day scrapbooking so I'm going to spend the rest of this pretty sunny afternoon catching up! Funny, 50 really doesn't feel any different than 49 did. Well, except that I joined AARP and I’m waiting for my card while looking for an appropriate coffee mug.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Billy Bob Can't Say That

Back in June, when the power chair was new, I fell asleep in it. I’d been having trouble sleeping and David let me be for the night. The chair reclines all the way back, tilts up and the feet lift. It’s almost totally flat and in the right position can be pretty comfy. After a few nights of MS insomnia, it was a deep and restful sleep, aaaaahhhhh. I fell asleep with Buddy Bat, my iPad, on my chest, which eventually slid off of me. I vaguely remembered feeling it slide to my stomach and down my legs. I knew I’d have to upright the chair and fish it off the ground with my reacher.

I moved the back of the chair upright and grabbed the reacher. Then I started moving the leg supports down, “woooo…ooo…ooo…CRUNCH!” I immediately stopped the chair. The motor doesn’t go “crunch.” Buddy Bat didn’t fall to the floor. Buddy Bat slid onto the working parts of the joints in the chair.

I’m pretty dependent on my tablet. It’s my library and my game console. I have an app with all my medicines that automatically searches for potential drug interactions when I add a new one. My calendar is in it, my daily journals, notes for my doctors and even my grocery list app! Keep in mind that I really can’t write legibly or turn pages while not dropping a paperback. My tablet really has become my most important assistive device for daily living!

So Buddy Bat had to be fixed or replaced. The tablet worked fine, every app, and swiping across the screen accessed everything although half he screen was a bit difficult to read. Also, every time I swiped the screen I got tiny shards of glass on my finger. My replacement insurance expired back in April and it couldn't be renewed anymore because they don’t make the iPad 2.0 anymore. But I was able to update to the 4.0, faster and more memory, for less than I paid for the original one. That my friends, is the silver lining. There is always one of those if you look for it.

The New Buddy Bat is the gold one!

So I had to move in to the new tablet. Much of my stuff was available from the cloud. Every app I’d downloaded and my music library was transferred with my sign-in. I imagine that’s the same with any tablet or smart phone, that you sign in to whichever store you download apps from an you can download he apps you use on your other devices. The apple apps had the info and setups as I was used to, my calendar was intact and I had my notes, but some of the non-apple apps had to have the info put back in. Mainly, I had to re-enter all of my medications in my Rx app. I also had to re-train Siri. You know, I had to remind her that David is my husband and “Lee” is who I mean when I say “message Pop .”

I also had to give her the alternate spelling of my name. Siri looks at my name and pronounces it “Nanny.” My nickname is pronounced like the Hawaiian word for beautiful or the Japanese word for huh? But Siri is neither Hawaiian nor Japanese!

Back when I was a teenager, there was a talking computer at the pizza place we used to hang out at. It was Showbiz Pizza, which was a knockoff of Chuck E. Cheese with a little better pizza and a bear named Billy Bob. The little kids weren’t into the talking computer so much, but we teens were! Remember, it was the early 80s. Typing a sentence and hearing the computer voice read it back was a cool new thing that you didn’t get to do at home. Of course we wanted to hear it try to pronounce our names. But we found out the when you typed any profanity the computer said “Billy Bob can’t say that.” We were good kids that hung out at family restaurants, got along fine with parents and played video games with the kids. But we were still teenagers. It became our mission to figure out how to make the computer swear!

We tried just typing a few lines of random letters with the profanity in the middle, like “jdkifnxyskmassholejfdikjkn” The computer voice sounded like it was mumbling with a mouthful of marbles and flow right into “Billy Bob can’t say that” and continue to mumble. We laughed at each failure, as did the preteens who weren’t waiting to use the machine but just waiting for us to win. We finally discovered that phonetics, dashes and spaces worked. Yes, honor roll students and early PCs made for the discovery of the likes of sh-it, you beech and what made us preteen heroes for a while, if you use ah sandwiched between the f and k in a single word, it sounds just like a soft u. Every time the computer swore we laughed and cheered and the preteens took notes.

I used this trick to teach my first Mac how to say my name in 1997. Nah-knee, but when I changed my name in the first iPad, Siri said “nah” with a harder a, like ant. See our devices don't have computer sounding voices anymore. Siri is an actual person’s voice with sounds formed on an algorithm that works with a script of normal sounds. Siri and I had a talk about pronouncing my name and she decided to spell it “Nonny.”

It kinda makes me wonder if today’s text slang comes from smart phones telling teenagers how to swear.

I’ll be 50 in a few days. I’m allowed to make an occasional “we were better” comment. ;)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hello Blogland!!!!!

My signature for July at GingerScraps

Long time no see, right? I got my new wheelchair just a little after Memorial Day. If anyone wants to grouch along with me, that’s just over a year after I was originally measured and an order put together for a new chair. But I have the new chair. Now I’m about the task of relearning how to have an actual life. That’s kept me busy and tired every day.

My phrase for the beginning of my 50th year is “baby steps.” My friend and former coworker, Mary, put that gentle and valuable bit of coaching in my head when we worked together. You don’t reach goals if you can’t appreciate the little victories. At that time it was just her telling us to take it easy if we felt frustration at work, but now when I sarcastically cheer myself because I made my own salad, I hear her voice in my mind and, with a smile, I do recognize the little victories. I might not walk, but I’m gonna rock that chair and what are the little victories now will be everyday no big deals.

Hey, yeah, 50th year. Nanifest L starts next Friday! My fiftieth birthday is on a Friday, so the festival is on weekend rules; if my birthday is on a Friday,Saturday or Sunday, the festival runs from 5:00pm the Friday before until midnight the Sunday after, two weeks and three weekends. I think I probably would have extended 50 for the extra week anyway. More about the festival coming very soon!

Before I sign off, I’ll share the scrap-page I did for last year when the van we call “The Blue Meanie” came home. Right now it means David and I can go places to photograph trains, see baseball games or even visit my dad in the Motherland!

Credits: Off Roadin’ by Little Rad Trio, template by Digitalegacies Designs

Of course “template by Digitalegacies Designs” means a freebie! Call it my reopening of my cyber coffee shop gift. Click on the preview to download the template at Mediafire.

Thanks for visiting again!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Are You Wearing?

After a false alarm on my new chair, I haven't been bright and chipper me lately. The chair visited here last week and I sat in it, even drove it a little. The steering is just awesome and I can't wait to get out to a nice even parking lot or even the mall on a slow day so I can try out tilt-a-whirling with it! The seating system it's going to take some serious learning of the new controller but it seems like it's going to be really great to. Unfortunately the ability to actually sit up straight needs adjusting. There's no way that I could eat or drink and hope to swallow without choking in the angle it leaves me at in the totally upright position. It had to go back into be adjusted. I'm waiting now to find out how long that's going to take.

Well I didn't get to go to Indianapolis last weekend Tori texted me the link to watch both the baccalaureate on Saturday in the commencement ceremony on Sunday online. Upon seeing the seating area the truth is I probably had a better view than I would've had in person. I certainly wouldn't have been able to get this:

VERY proud Nana we'll be dragging out her chauffeur, AKA Uncle David, to visit Tori and take her out to dinner very soon after the new chair comes in to stay.

In the meantime I've been in a little low and without enthusiastic desire to do a lot. That includes reading and writing. I've been very slow about the book I'm reading, even though it's a good book, and when I've read blogs, I'm somehow without the creativity or energy to comment much. Of course I haven't been up to writing a blog much either, except well, I guess I'm writing a blog right now. *smile*

I present 5 questions to wake up my mood and mojo. Please feel free to share your answers in comments or on your own blog!

Life Inventory:

1. What are you wearing?

Knee-length cotton dorm shirt with donuts print.

2. What's the last thing you ate?

The last of my daily carrot and celery munchie bowl. Yes, I finally got David to pick out celery for me to go with my carrots. He does a great job!

3. What are the first three songs on your music playlist? (or your current favorite 3 songs)

The first three currently on my iTunes, starting with what’s playing now:

Say It’s Not True - Lionel Cartwright
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
Fall - Clay Walker

4. What is the last purchase you made that was something you wanted, not something you needed?

I spent three months’ saved scrap budget at Ginger Scraps to kick off interNational Scrapbook Day weekend at the beginning of the month. (Great sales!)

5. What's your favorite electronic game? (phone, computer or game console)

I've been playing Toy Blast often lately but my favorite is really Jigsaw Bug. I love jigsaw puzzles on my tablet because no pieces get lost! (or become cat toys)