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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

But Now My Kitty Sunshine's Gone Away

Alexis Kaline Patch

50 ended with tears. We said goodbye to our Kaline, just a couple weeks before her. 12th birthday.

Early in June she was taken to the vet to look at her because of severe weight loss in a very short time. It was then, on June 8, that she was diagnosed with kidney failure, something that there is not a cure for in cats. It's also something that is, while not common, it's not uncommon in house cats. Her vet told us it may be months, it may be years, but there is nothing that could be done to reverse the damage.

I prayed that she'd have years, but she lost 25% of her body weight in about a month. David got prescription food and I made cat-recipe chicken broth to try to get her to drink more. She did eat the food, but just a little each day, and wasn't even interested in the chicken meat, let alone the broth. She still cuddled and purred with me and crawled on David's hip for morning scritches, but she was still losing weight and seemed to be slowing down. Last week she was struggling to get up on the furniture or the cedar chest to look out the front window. She was spending most of her.time in the sunny spot in the upstairs hall – it had always been one of her favorite places.

For the last couple of weeks, when I sang the song I always do when I'm giving evening treats, she still came running down with Carla and Marco, but she became even more finicky than usual, only eating her favorites. Then this past week she'd run down but just watch the treats tossed and her brother and sister eat them. When it had been a couple of days since she'd eaten and David gave her a bowl of moist food with lots of gravy, which she loved, she looked at it, put her tongue on it for a test, and then shook her head and walked away. That really was the sign we had to accept. It seemed like she was only holding on for us. Her once shining coat on her strong body was just hanging off pretty much her skeleton.

David came home from work early Thursday. Uncharacteristically Kaline came downstairs as soon as he came in. She halfheartedly struggled when he put her in the carrier and when she was in the carrier she gave three scratches at the floor where her usual was she try to dig herself out for a while. There was meowing but not as robust as usual. We were about to take the longest and most painful ride we've ever made to the vet. You see, when it's been the final ride with our cats before we didn't know that was the last trip ahead of time. Even with Baggle, we knew he was sick and that day was coming, but we didn't know that was that day when we left home. For Kaline we knew.

Cats purr when they are happy and content or when they are nervous and afraid. We both cried a lot during the last couple months and even more during that ride to the vets office on Thursday. We were in what was set up to be the crying room at the vet's office, lots of seats around the exam table and the feel of a room at a funeral home with a box of tissues on the windowsill. Kaline purred while we pet her. She sat on my chest, the "cat shelf" she discovered as a kitten and never accepted that she'd outgrown, one last time. When the vet's assistant came in for us to sign paperwork, she was teared up too. The job and the crying pet parents never gets easy, even for the people who do it professionally.

After she stopped purring and her labored breaths stopped, we left the office. We stopped at the desk to let them know the tissue box was empty.

On the way home David noted that it was sunny out. Unsuccessfully choking back tears I said "That's because there's no more…" and broke into an uncontrolled loud sob. He said he didn't understand what I said but then said, "I think I know what you said” and joined me in more tears. I tried to say "kitty sunshine" again unsuccessfully. I sang "You Are My Sunshine" with the kitty sunshine customized lyrics to her since she was a kitten. I couldn't sing that song since her diagnosis because the last line, "please don't take my kitty sunshine away" was just too painful to sing to her.

There will be more tears for a few days that will fade from tears into happy memories. But right now her song is over and I just wish it had been a more extended cut.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Nani At 50 (for a few more weeks)

I said I was going to expound on the Nani at 50 pages. When I turned 50 I decided to create a logo and during my 50th year, technically it's during my 51st year, but before I turn 51 I would do a few pages documenting what my world was like when I was 50 years old.

Here are few of the pages I've done.

The last page in this set, which I'll do later this month, we'll be “New things since turning 50.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Mouse, My Friend

For the past two months I've kept up, and then some, with my page-a-day scrapbooking goal. Now, almost a week into July I haven't scrapped one page. I actually have three pages started in Photoshop on my computer, but right now I can neither finish them nor start any new ones. My old faithful, wonderful, comfortable mouse really is dead this time.

The Logitech Bluetooth mouse has been good to me. I often go through mice, mouses… What's the plural of a computer mouse? Anyway I go through them like a serious coffee drinker with MS hands goes through mice… mouses. The mouse pictured has been with me since September 2015. Aside from other regular mousing duties, it faced many battles that usually kill the modern-day mouse. This mouse sat on the table when spilled water surrounded it. I dried it and shook it off. Of course it didn't work. But that was before dinner. After dinner it worked just fine. There was the time I reached over to grab the mouse and it slipped out of my hand and fell in a bowl of salsa. I cleaned it off, opened the battery compartment and got the salsa off the batteries. I was sure it was dead that time. But then I turned it back on and the pointer started moving just like it's supposed to.

Last year in October I grabbed and dropped it. The mouse took a bath in a cup of coffee. Stupid slippery MS hands. Well totally immersed in a cup of coffee was undoubtedly the end. I wrapped up the mouse in paper towel and ordered a new Bluetooth mouse from Amazon. I used an old wireless mouse that I had that wasn't Bluetooth so there was a receiver that took up one of the 2 USB ports on my computer. I back things up on two hard drives and if I have anything on a disk I need to have a port for that drive too, so I'm kind of Bluetooth spoiled on my mouse. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, two days later I had a new mouse. And the new mouse wouldn't communicate with my computer! It wouldn't show up on the available Bluetooth devices for my tablet or David's computer either! But you know I did show up? “Logitech laser mouse” yelling “not dead yet!" in beautiful binary zeros and ones!

So this mouse was a stud, invincible! A mouse that could withstand all that, even getting dunked in a cup of coffee? Coffee has killed so many electronic devices in my life that I am on the floor praising this mouse for its impervious power. Imagine my shock on the Fourth of July when I opened the computer to make a July “Nani at 50” scrapbook page. I grabbed my good old mouse and nothing happened. The pointer on the screen didn't move I dragged my finger across the pad in the middle of the keyboard and the pointer moved, it did everything my finger told it to. I checked the Bluetooth connection and couldn't locate my mouse. My mouse didn't show up in the available Bluetooth Devices for my iPad either. It's gone! Oh no, it's really gone!

This time I wasn’t able to locate the receiver for the wireless mouse so I haven’t been scrapping for a few days. I think I'm going through withdrawal. The new mouse is due today so David will probably be bringing it in after work. I think I might scrap a little tonight.

I'll be back tomorrow to talk a little bit about the “Nani at 50” pages.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Five Years Ago…

On June 29, 2012

A derecho, Spanish for ”Straight," is a weather event. It’s a long-lived straight-line windstorm associated with a fast-moving group of thunderstorms. There was a nasty derecho in Indiana moving east in the afternoon getting to the Atlantic coast around midnight. The fast-moving storm hit Ohio not too long after its hurricane-like winds left destruction in Indiana. Because of the nature of how derechos develop, they are hard to forecast and often strike with little advance warning. The June 29 derecho in 2012 did a lot of damage and knocked out power in many parts of Ohio, including Putnam County.

David and I had been photographing the barns painted with Ohio logos for the state bicentennial in 2003 together since I moved to Ohio in 2007. We'd just seen and photographed Putnam County’s barn on May 20. When we drove through that area again on July 23, I recognized the spot inhabited by the remnants of a barn. There wasn't a trace of the large Bicentennial logo in the rubble.

May 20, 2012

July 23, 2012

On the local weather at noon it was reiterated that today is an alert day for weather. It's been very cool and today it jumped back into seasonably hot. It's the type of day when atmospherics are right to create some nasty storms. Or not; the wonderful reality of summer storms is that even when conditions are right it doesn't mean things are actually going to happen, but they might happen worse than expected. I think a derecho might be worse than the tornado in that it's harder to forecast and it's certainly seems to be something they can't forecast as soon. A derecho also spans a larger area for a much more sustained time. Of course tornadoes have the wind speed and the twist making it much harder for there to be aboveground structures that can withstand them.

I do enjoy watching a summer storm. I remember occasional afternoons when I worked at the cable company that I would sit on the ledge of the open receiving door with a cup of coffee with our engineer and interns to just watch the summer thunderstorms. Hey, we liked watching the storms and when the nasty ones came in we couldn't use any of the electric equipment. It was nice break.

So enjoy the warm sun, beaches, baseball, picnics and beautiful green blue of summer, but don't forget that mother nature’s glorious summer mood can turn on a dime and when it does stay safely out of her way.

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.