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The first “thrill” of MS is that it's not my fault and I couldn't have prevented it. The next thrill will be when they can fix it.


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Friday, October 17, 2014

East of Toledo

At the beginning of last month I sent David on a break from being the caregiver vacation and to start this month he went on vacation and took me with him! He tries to schedule vacation time in the fall to take advantage of the fall colors for photography. We saw some beautiful scenery! The picture up top is a road view in Vermont from the passenger’s side. It was my first time in Vermont adding another state to my “states visited” list bringing me to 37 of the 50!

Here’s another Vermont shot; what’s more classic New England than a covered bridge with fall colors surrounding it?
Photo Credit to David on this one

I think I was most impressed with the colors in Upstate New York.

I love the added hay rolls, as if the colors weren’t autumn enough.

And of course I photograph many things when we travel, but “the train’s the thing!”

There was nice color on the east side of Northern Ohio too.

On the way home, on Monday the 13, there were a lot of clouds with an occasional peek of sun and we concentrated on Bicentennial Barns on the far end of the state where we usually are passing through without stopping.

Summit County
Taken by David who has a little more natural elevation from the roadside

And this one I took just because I like older post offices and this was just a breathtaking fall scene!
I’ve been taking it easy this week; vacation recovery, haha, but the yellows are looking very nice out my window, especially against the rain-darkened brown on the trees. I might get out and snap a few photos even though we have mostly clouds.

Book News

If you pay any mind to my Good Reads “currently reading” widget on the right sidebar you may have noticed a very recent changing of the books with no book review. Well, that’s because I write a review after I finish a book and the book I’d previously started reading left me wondering how a book becomes a “best seller” anyway.

Here is what I did write on Good Reads about Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
1 of 5 stars

I actually read about half, part way into part 2 and I couldn't take anymore. The characters were trite and shallow. Just because a character admits they are stereotypical doesn't make them any less a stereotype. Aside from the insanity twist that starts part 2 (I read chapter synopsis for the rest of the book) it was predictable and there wasn't one character I liked; they were all pretty flat.

My husband mentioned hearing good things about the movie. I hope that means the movie is considerably better than the book.

I think any interest I had in seeing the movie is gone although I did hear the author rewrote the ending for the movie. See? She didn’t even like the book. ;)


After dropping the iPad on the table and screaming to the cats that I couldn’t read any more of it, I read chapter summaries I found online, wrote that review and searched for a book to get the awful taste of Gone Girl away from my reading eyes. Now, I have three paperbacks waiting to be read. I take a break every now and then to read a paperback, dyslexia be damned, because friends loan or give me books or I find a good used book sale. This means I have a small “to read” paperback collection. Oh, I also joined a book swap that will have me sending and receiving a paperback in the next couple weeks. But, but…. Alan Jacobson has a new Karen Vail book out! I bought and loaded the book on my iPad and read the first 2 chapters before bed. I had to remind myself that I was tired and that’s why I went to bed in the first place last night and to “put the book down and roll away from the nightstand.” I’ll go to bed earlier tonight!


A couple of chapters with my favorite author and Gone Girl was gone!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Book Review: Taboo (Reilly Steel #1) by Casey Hill

Finished October 9, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

A first thriller co-written by Melissa Hill and her husband Kevin.
The story is set in Dublin and features forensic investigator Reilly Steel who has moved from the US to Dublin to be close to her father.
But what should have been a quiet period filled with training and Irish forensics team turns sinister and violent when body after body is found of people killed in what appears to be a twisted game.


My Review at Good Reads

3.5 of 5 stars

This book was a freebie on ireads. I found it interesting right from the start and it grabbed me more and more as the Book went on. The family ties in the story were reminiscent of the first Alan Jacobson Karen Vail thriller but Riley Steele is no Karen Vail. Vail is it character I love and Reilly Steele Is a strong character but with a much softer personality than Vail. I still enjoyed Steele as a character.

The story was written and flowed well, however as for editing and printing they were a few typos that even I caught which means there were likely more. Still the story was compelling enough that typos didn't matter. I thought the epilogue could've used a few more pages. It wasn't rushed but I would have preferred if it had been written to read a little slower. I will likely read the second book.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wheelchair Fashion

Okay, THIS makes me sad:


It’s a ruana called Tassels and Scrolls. I love it! The colors, the style, not the boots, but with black leggings; SO Nani! I can totally afford it, so why does it make me sad? I can see those gorgeous long fringed hems getting stuck and subsequently ripped in the wheels of my wheelchair.

It’s not a one thing in the online store either! There are these ones in style and color that seem made for me too:

Wine Country Ruana

Willow Cardigan

I love fringe and dangly things, always have. But even my favorite type of jewelry, bracelets, battle with the chair for existence! That’s not so true with the power chair because I’m using the toggle controller, but when David and I go out someplace nice or if I go out with friends it’s usually with the manual chair. Kelly made me a wonderful Pandora-style bracelet with very personal charms, 4 of them dangly. Three of them got caught in the wheels and were flung off to the side, and lost. Even my medic alert charm was ripped from the bracelets.

I’ll be honest, through dealing with getting used to MS, the chair and dealing with the depression I shook in March after actually living with it for a couple of years I’d abandoned my personal style. I’d try to get it back, but the depression thing had me giving up pretty easy. Well now; no more!

Kelly visits, then Rina and I see family in Michigan. Then I travel for a week with David. I’ve not been so good at counting my Weight Watcher points. I need incentive, rewards. So here it goes.

I’m going to reward myself for every ten pounds lost. With slow and healthy loss that’s about once a month. I’ll give myself one piece of clothing or costume jewelry as a reward. I’m not going to lament what I can’t wear in a wheelchair because what I can’t wear in a chair just looks foolish like I didn’t know how to dress. Besides long uneven hems with fringe look better standing up. There are lacy and dangly things that are still Nani-style and cute when sitting without winding themselves in the operating parts of the chair.

Stay tuned for my new style…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin

If I tell you to grab a cup of coffee for this read am I an enabler?

Welcome October…Welcomeish October. I have been SO COLD all day! The picture up top is my attempt to warm up. Yes the popcorn bag is a little scorched. I put it in for an extra 15 seconds to try to get more of the kernels to at least half pop. A few singed pieces are way better than rock hard kernels that never reach any point of their potential. And while I don’t like it burned, I actually kinda like popcorn that’s singed a little. My cup’s contents are courtesy of my last Gevalia K-Cup. That leads to two “let me tell yas.”

Let me tell ya about my cup! Back in 2012 I talked about the coffee mugs Kelly and I swap when we get together. I shared one of the mugs I’d found from 20 years prior in my storage and it was her obligation to find our mugs this time. She found the flowered mugs that hold about a Keurig cup and a half of coffee. She chose orange for hers and picked out my favorite shade of my favorite color for me!

Now as for the second thing, let me tell ya about the K-Cups and the pumpkin! I'm expecting a shipment from 11th Street Coffee tomorrow...afternoon. I'll be swimming is seasonal goodness, but I need morning coffee. So a desperate phone call to one of my favorite dealers brought a 12-pack of Signature Blend to get me by for tomorrow morning when David got in.

I totally blame Kelly for me losing control of my vices! I was only counting points for the first half of the days she was here before the cookies, candy and donuts…or habanero quarter pounder with Kelly’s preferred 5-gallon bin of fries, before the pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin spice lattes. And did I mention donuts? Oh I did, but the pumpkin donuts are worth mentioning on their own. And I was up to a latte and 4 cups of coffee a day. I gained a little; thankfully I can’t balance on the scale so I don’t know how much I can just feel it in my shirts, and I’m still on cup number 3 today, but I’m not ashamed of that. I’ve circled the wagons and I’m slowly climbing back on because I can’t climb fast. Okay, I can probably figuratively climb faster, but I’m sticking with this story. She reasoned “We see each other every couple years.” I rationalized, “Yanno, you’re right. How much damage can I do in 3 weeks?”

So here I am back down to 3 cups a day and counting every point of that 10point popcorn and coffee snack. I had a 5-point salad for lunch in anticipation of microwave popcorn! Give a full week and 3 weeks of damage will be gone and I’ll have great memories of weeks I concentrated more on treasuring my friends than controlling my vices.

She’s Got Legs, But Don’t Know How To Use Them
Credits: Broken by Karen Diamond Designs

I've started art journaling when frustration is getting to me and it's doing a great job of getting the negativity out of me!  We'll call the art journals part of my "Blue Period" Nani Picasso! LOL

For the first week Kelly was here she was my caregiver while David was on a “vacation from Nani.” I talked about that before; it was my idea that David needed a vacation without worrying about me. The timing of Kelly’s visit was perfect for that! Kel did a great job filling in for David, well except the kiss before bed and keep me warm which is in his vows, but not her friend vows. In fact I don’t recall that we ever took friend vows out loud. Kel didn’t have his proficiency with the craft of leveraging my legs up the last step into the upper floor of our house. There’s angle and lifting that I don’t know because I’m worrying about my part of getting me up that step. That did result in a couple nights of me not going upstairs and sleeping in my chair and one 2-day stint upstairs after an attempt to get me up to the second floor resulted in EMTs putting me on the bed. Oh, I’m okay, so is Kelly and on the bed I where I wanted to be anyway.

The third week was the one that got my watching-what-I-eat the worst, but I’m really not complaining there! Rina came and spent 4 days with us. She’s my niece, not daughter, although I was there as a guardian-teacher often when she and her sister grew up, and maybe that makes it even more special that she chose to spend her time off with me. She helped Kelly help me and after we figured out what needed to be done they got me in and out of Rina’s van with relative ease so we could go on a couple trips to Michigan. We went to Pop’s house for a great day with him and Aunt Judy and enjoyed the meeting of the Italian lunchmeats and cheese we bought at Sofo with the sautéed greens and piada he made; wonderful Italian Soul Food! Then the next day we picked up Scotty and went to the apple orchard (many donuts.) Then we all met Sheri at Dunkin Donuts and headed to Olive Garden for dinner. Of course, there had been dinner at Ya Halla the first night Rina was in!

Rina, Kelly and me at Ya Halla
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