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

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)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coffee Crankiness

I’m finally starting to hear some good news! Yesterday when I called in to see what the status is of my new power chair I was told it's done and in shipping. That means it maybe at Reflection Medical today or the beginning of next week! When I told Rick, my rep there, that I really wanted the chair in time to go to my niece's graduation next weekend, he told me if there was anything left to be assembled when it got there, he'd make sure it was done so I have it in time. SQUEE!!!

I’m really ready to have the new chair to move around the house and get out of the house. I'm starting to get cabin fever and I do notice that is really starting to tax my personality. I mean that I'm crabby. Things seem to bug me and set me off much quicker than they have in the past. For instance…

I scrap project life a little differently than everybody else. I journal a few lines about the day every day and when I scrap it I add photos if I take them or other random things that add to the character of the days. For the past two years I done my pages in quadrants with each day getting a quarter page. This year I’ve changed up a little bit and I'm doing a 2-page spread for each week, putting the journaling bits on one page and assorted supporting visuals in block form on the other page. Here's an example of what the 2-pager looks like:

I don't post my project 365/52 layouts in the forums or anything so I don't keep track of exactly what elements from what kits I'm using. BTW, I also use images from the Internet, which is completely legal under fair use since I'm not profiting from the use of publicly distributed material. But that explains why I don't have credits listed under my week 11 layout. If you scrap and you see anything about that layout that you just HAVE to know where they came from, drop me an email and I'll see if I can get that info for you.

I showed week at 11 as an example but I am caught up all the way to the present. That is, I’m working on scrapping week 19 today. Part of weak 19 was Mothers Day, My comments for Sunday included that the kids asked me to text daddy at work and ask him to bring me home a fat free latte from Starbucks for Cat-Moms Day. It was a wonderful latte that the kids gave me but I didn't take picture of it. So to include an image representation of that wonderful latte on the page for week 19, I did an image search for Starbucks latte. I found myself irritated by, in my crabby brain," idiots who are irritated for the sake of being irritated." No, I don't miss the irony of that statement. But this is my blog and therefore I'm irritated buy things that are REAL.

Starbucks is very good coffee to those who consider it very good coffee. If you don't consider it very good coffee don't buy it and shut up and let people who consider it good coffee enjoy it as good coffee. It is not necessary to create or forward, because you don't have the mind or talent required to form and promote your own opinion, cute little anonymous memes to place yourself in some place of authority to belittle people who have a different opinion than yours. Free trade agreements and corporate decisions to obtain materials and labor from outside of the US make pretty much everything some percentage of not an American product. Nobody is a bad person for choosing a product that they like because the cup is manufactured with materials from outside the country. You are not a good person because you choose to invest your money in other products with portions made in another country.

Also anyone who is so terrified that there might be something in their coffee or anything else that they get at a restaurant has no business ordering anything already made. In America restaurants are required to supply nutritional information and ingredients for food that they serve. You have a choice of asking for it, not giving your business to establishments that don't produce it without asking or not caring about the content of items that you consume. If you choose to consume products with high sodium or lots of sugar, fat or artificial flavoring that is your choice and you are NOT a bad person for making that choice. The only person that you potentially harm with that choice is yourself and that is only a potential harm because every person is different and every body reacts to different things is differently. In moderation or even in excess, you may very well be harming no one at all. If you personally have made the choice to not consume all product you are NOT a better person for attempting to insist that anyone else should be just like you.

Finally, Starbucks is a product sold for profit. If it was overpriced, it would fail. From the consistent lines I've seen when I've been in a Starbucks, it’s not failing. There are many people who like Starbucks coffee who consider it to be very good coffee and not overpriced. Many can afford to drink Starbucks coffee every day and they do. There are people, like me, who consider Starbucks coffee to be very good coffee and something I choose to have as a treat, even a couple of times a week. There is NOTHING wrong with that. If the coffee you prefer is less expensive there's nothing wrong with your taste either. But to criticize Starbucks and belittle their customers for their choice is wrong. It makes you sound either jealous because you'd like to be drinking Starbucks coffee or just a judgmental idiot.

Again I do realize the irony of judgmentally calling out judgmental idiots.

See what I mean about grumpy? I think maybe next weekend on Saturday I should see if I can get Tori and Rina for an hour, carjack the van from David and the three of us can go to Starbucks. hehehe

I know this has a lot to do with being stuck in the house. As we head into all of the major political crap it brings out the absolute ugliest of people. I try to stay away from Facebook, which is rich and political poison, and I try to avoid TV news. I like reading the paper because then I can ignore the political stuff. We're not a country that's politically polarized. We've become a country of selfish individuals, at least the loudest people are selfish individuals. But that includes everybody that forwards “Information” without verification or context. That's also known as gossip and that's been dangerous since the playground. Personally my opinions and my political opinions are not necessarily the same. Oftentimes they are, but when I think of casting a vote or encouraging someone else to I can't think about just me. I'm voting on issues or candidates to represent an entire constituency that I'm part of. What might be perfect for me may have devastating consequences in general if it becomes a law. The political process might be smoother and less violent if people could step out of their own egos long enough to realize that they aren't alone. None of us are.

I’d better stop now before my cyber coffee shop becomes as empty as the Folgers crowd wishes Starbucks was. Have a great day and be kind to everyone - you never know how long they’ve been cooped up!