Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Yes, I’ve been gone a while…a long while. I’ve had some other physical and subsequent mental issues. I don’t really want to talk about them. It enhances the stress and potential depression. I read an article that explains the MIA from blogging probably better than I could.

Isolation: When Our Disease Makes Us Withdraw

So whether it’s starting over or
just continuing like I was never gone…

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the pumpkin spice scones!

Contact Nani at

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No Offense

I’m a very tolerant person. I mean that I really do accept and respect other people’s right to like what they like, even if I don’t. I also accept that there are people who enjoy things that I may find offensive. That doesn’t mean that I take personal offense or that the person enjoying it offends me. It simply means that I find that thing to be offensive. That being said, this will be a mini rant, not about those who enjoy it, but just about the thing and why I find it offensive.

I have always disliked “sex-art,” that is artist renderings of women in revealing lingerie or provocative poses, like the pinup drawings of the 1940s and 50s. That is not me being a prude. That’s actually me being both a feminist and very open minded. I am not offended by and find it quite preferable to see pornographic photographs than a drawing of a cutsie girl in see-through clothes.

I’m not sure that I understand at all why I have seen the sexy cupie-dolls on so many scrapbook sites. I mean, I would expect a hobby that is enjoyed by predominately women to be the last place I'd see women sexually exploited. That’s what those drawings are, sexual exploitation. A lot of the modern ones I’ve seen online are even credited as being works done by men and they appear on women’s blogs!

I had done some research and an editorial a few years ago about the pinup-girl smut drawings. They depicted women victimized by, if nothing else, their own lack of intelligence. The most reprehensible part of the old “sexy lady cartoons” was that these weren’t actual women per se, so the assumption was that no one was harmed in the distribution of them. In fact, it was often average American housewives that were the subject of the “artist’s” renderings.

Imagine it today, a woman is grocery shopping with her kids and an “artist,” or maybe you’d call them “perverts,” sees her and fantasizes her on her knees in a see-through nightie. He draws his fantasy, while doing whatever else that fantasy drives him to do, then he copies, distributes and profits from it. All the while a woman buying Mac and Cheese for her five-year-old has no idea that she was undressed, drawn and sold.

I sometimes wonder if in the pinup drawing days there were men who bought pinups that they found attractive because they were modeled after their own wives? I find pornographic photography to be much less offensive. In those photos, for whatever reason they model posed, she was compensated, not victimized. I don’t think there is anyone that poses for a nude photo that has any naive delusions about for what they will be used as an end product.

It's my opinion, but the latter is women stopping the exploitation of the former. If the pictures are going to be made and bought, the subjects are going to make to profit, not some perv hanging out at the mall!

Okay girlie-drawings rant is over. Like I said, I find them offensive, but I’m not personally offended, nor do I hold it against anyone else who DOES enjoy them.

Here is my original editorial: http://simplydavine.motime.com/1094564961#335847

Friday, November 28, 2008

Heroes At Home

art credits - "Letters From Home" by Digitalegacies Designs

I’d like to share something you can do for Christmas that is for you. It’s for me too and for your neighbors. It’s something you can do for all of us and specifically for the families of our men and women who serve our country and keep us all safe.

Can you spare just a little of your holiday budget? Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry allows us all to make whatever donation we care to, whatever we can afford, to this wonderful program.

30,583 military families are registered in the Sears Heroes at Home program. These are families making sacrifices this holiday season with members in the military, many who will not even see spouses or children for Christmas, on any day during Hanukkah, or at no time during Kwanzaa, husbands and wives who will not kiss at midnight to welcome 2009. They are families in the USA, struggling like many of us are right now, but they are doing it with a family member deployed in a foreign land and existing on military pay.

You know, it doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is of the war that’s being fought. It doesn’t even matter why they enlisted or what fight they thought they’d be fighting when they did. What matters is the men and women of our military accept their duties without rampant distention. Setting personal opinions for or against aside, they unify, protecting themselves, each other and us with teamwork and perseverance. No matter where our military men and women are, they represent American unity and strength everywhere and we are all safer for their work.

Click the link to the Sears Heroes at Home Gift Registry and read some of the wish lists from our military families. Read about the soldier from Texas who was deployed six days after his daughter was born and won’t be home for her first Christmas. His wife is raising their three kids, working and going to college without him at home. He’d love to see them have some help to buy clothes.

A military couple from South Carolina, just married in 2007, are spending their first deployment of birthdays and holidays apart. They want to be able to afford a washing machine.

A soldier from Mississippi will be with his wife for the first holiday season in a few years after his third deployment. They have a new home at his new duty station and they want to furnish it and get a few things for the kitchen where they will actually get to share their mutual love of cooking this year.

There are over 30,000 glimpses into the lives of the heroes your donation will help. You don’t donate to just one family. You donate to them all. Whatever you can share, nothing is too small, gets added to the pool and Sears will divide the total, our total gift, into gift cards for all of the families on the registry.

This is a sponsored post, but technically it’s not. I donated my compensation for it to the Sears Heroes at Home Gift Registry. Won’t you join me in thanking our heroes this holiday season?


Friday By Request

Credits: Kit - "Falling Into Fall" by Piggyscraps

FBR day after Thanksgiving

Happy Leftovers Day! Is everyone still stuffed from yesterday? Thanksgiving is being especially thankful for good company and GOOD EATS!

I had a request left in the comments earlier this week. “Name 6 things you are thankful for,” from Seamhead Gypsy who said, “this should be an easy one.”

Only six? That’s NOT easy!

I won’t count the number one thing I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful that Black Friday exists to give the economy a little nudge. I am REALLY thankful that participation is not compulsory!

The next big thing I’m thankful for the Friday after Thanksgiving is LEFTOVERS! Especially when my Dad lets me take home the leftover Verona coffee and the Thanksgiving turkey carcass for soup! Today is a day of soup-making and hopefully I can get David to joining me for congee tomorrow!

But now, the six for FBR!

I’m Thankful
for Seamhead Gypsy

1. David

Growing up I was not the typical girl. I never had a dream wedding in mind or for that matter, even that I might be married one day. That idea that a man in my life was nonessential lasted for over 38 years!

Now, I’ve become a total girl and do have those silly thoughts in my head. maybe one day there will be a wedding. While I’d never thought it would be mine, I’ve wanted to do a wedding scrapbook ever since I started paper scrapbooking. Now, yeah, I look at wedding theme kits and my fantasy girlie brain starts purring.

But David to me is so much more than a fantasy man, which is why he makes me a giggly girl at times. He just “gets me” like no one ever has. I’m not a hearts and flowers romantic type, but I am a romantic. He knows how to romance me. He supports me, not just materially because I’m going through rough employment times, but he supports me completely. He makes me strong as a person and as a woman. He makes my inner-teenager swoon and is the perfect playmate for my inner child.

He is why now I can’t imagine living without what I never thought I wanted.

2. My family

The blood relatives and close friends who have made the difference in who I’ve become from who I was and are shaping who I will be. I am so lucky that I can tell you more than five people who have been dear friends and confidantes for over a decade, some of them for over two. I talk to Grandma at least once a week and Dad is never more than a call and a few miles away if I really need him. Tori and Rina have never let me lose my sense of wonder and desire to learn. Sometimes I feel so far away from everyone, but in my heart, they are all always close.

3. My future sister-in-law

My brother falls fast and hard and too many times that’s meant that he becomes a victim. There’s not a soft way to put that. He needs to be with a woman who will love him for the generous heart he has without trampling it, a strong woman who won’t take advantage of him or charge her strength by making him weak.

I think, and I truly hope I’m right, that he’s finally found that in Laura. He’s a great guy when he’s in between women, but he too often sold himself short and changed to be right for women who haven’t been worth it. This time, he’s happy and he is still that great guy.

I always said it would take one heck of a very special woman to be the right one for him. He’s probably more thankful than I am for her, but on behalf of everyone who loves the real Dave, thank you Laura, for loving the same guy we always have!

4. My faith

Plain and simple without my personal religious convictions and the faith and optimism that go with them, I couldn't possibly be making it right now.

5. HR departments that answer the phone, call back or at least send a form letter to acknowledge that a human being in need of a job has expressed an interest in their company.

Even if they have hired someone else to fill the open opportunity or if there is not an opening, the companies that have the respect to at least acknowledge that they were contacted are the best ones to hope to work for. I’ll remember the companies who have treated me like a person and act like a patron when I can.

6. The Internet

It’s not just a place to showcase my ego, but its someplace to make friends from all over the world. Someplace to learn about new cultures, share ideas and inspire other creative people just as they inspire me!

I also have relationships with cousins on both sides of my family that I wouldn't have without email and blogs! When miles are reduced to megabytes, we’re all closer!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Cookies and Snow Globes

I think I have everything gathered in appropriate places not to forget any of it tomorrow. I’m waiting for the frosting to set on my turkey cookies. The nice thing abut having Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt’s and Dad’s place is my Aunt’s 4-year-old twin grandkids have been there they last couple days. If anyone stops by tomorrow, they'll probably just think they did the frosting! LOL I’m NOT a frosting artist! Hey, as long as it’s chocolate and shaped like a turkey, it’s perfect!

David is working tonight, so I was playing for a while before supper. I’ve been wanting to try to do a snow globe for a while and thanks to a gorgeous piece of PD clip art and a great Photoshop tutorial from DevelopingWebs.net, here is my first ever snow globe!

(Background Paper by Tirza)

Has anyone else done one of these that has any idea how to do clear glass? The painting , "A Song of Angels," by William Bouguereau, is beautiful with the characters extracted in a clear ball, but as soon as I merged, the ball turned black. I tried a million ways to manipulate the file and it didn’t work. If there’s a background, the ball is clear as long as it’s still in layers or you flatten the whole thing. But try to make a png of just the snow globe and ZAP - it’s midnight in the snow! For the download I did the original painting and the extracted figures against a dark green background.

Sorry, this link is expired.

As always, I love to read your comments here at The Chronicles of Nani about Digitalegacies Designs products or anything else!

I hope everyone celebrating tomorrow has a Happy Thanksgiving and you all enjoy being the recipients of the first Christmas Gift I’m giving this year!

Have You Checked Out Book Swim?

Have you been curious?

Have you clicked on Book Swim? That icon is in my right column, the community bulletin board here at the coffee shop. You can find out more about them with a no-obligation click! I was talking to one of the regulars about Book Swim. He is also a regular at the library with his little princess, so he was skeptical about Book Swim. In wondering if it was really something he could use, we talked about the pros and cons. I don’t think books coming in the mail to my house or theirs would have replaced the library trips my nieces and I made when they were little. Walking in to the library with walls of books and a wonderfully decorated children’s area and having that be a treat, probably has a lot to do with why at 14, there is still a book next to the Game Boy in their tote bags! Making reading a treat is so important, especially in this electronic world. Heck, combining the two realities, Rina enjoys writing and reading stories on line. I think that’s awesome!

But then, the library, a good one, was three miles away from my home in Northville and there were two huge book stores in that same distance. I brought up my best friend, Kelly. Raised in Metro Detroit, where even the smallest suburbs have good libraries and abundant book stores with coffee shops, Kelly is in a small town in Missouri now. The library is kinda small and it’s a half hour drive to the nearest book seller/coffee shop. The local selection of kids books for story time with her grandkids isn’t even that big. There’s a case where a full catalog of books delivered to your door is a great idea. ANY post office can facilitate it, no matter how small or rural the town!

I also brought up that when I first became and Ohiogander, I was still working in Michigan. It was a 2-hour commute one-way. I left in the morning before either the library or any of the book stores were open and got home just a couple hours before they closed. I still had to have dinner and really, at that time the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car for ANYTHING! But I still loved reading and enjoyed a little reading time before bed to relax. Book Swim is great if you have a long commute or are just on the go.

Of course, if you just like the convenience of a Netflix style book system, Book Swim is for you too! The Book Swim plans start under $20 and you can cancel at any time. In fact, right now you can get the $19.98 monthly membership for half off the first month! That’s the first month for $9.95 for their popular 3 books at a time plan. That can be a book for you and a couple for the kids to enjoy some family reading time or just 3 books for your own insatiable reading habit! It’s styled just like Netflix in that when you finish a book, send it back and they’ll send a new one from your list. The great thing about the 3 book plan is you can return one or two while reading the third. They’ll send two more. You can be never without a book and always with a new one on the way! And Book Swim pays all the shipping!

If anyone does try Book Swim, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Like I say at the top of the blog, I choose sponsors that are ideas I think are good! I’d love to hear what you think!

Support My Sponsor Code Of Ethics

Photoblog Wednesday

David is SMILING at the pump?

Well, yeah! Gas was back down to a cool $1.689 a gallon on Sunday, but thanks to fuel perks for shopping at Giant Eagle...

I was smiling and it wasn't even going into my car!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Were They Thinking in the 50s, Anyway?

Tonight my knee is just throbbing. Oh, there was no accident, I didn’t twist it, slip or even sleep on it wrong. It’s not from too much time only recumbent bike, either. It was hours and hours of standing up bent over a kitchen counter.

Oh, I’m really not complaining about the activity that wore out my already worn out knee. About this time every year, I start into my clean sweep phase. The holidays are coming and David and I will have friends over for our annual Christmas gathering, UNO and The Fabulous Dessert Bar. That tradition started Christmas evening in 2003.

It was our first Christmas without Mom and the entire schedule for Christmas day had changed. Dad had pretty much said okay to any idea I came up with and I wanted to do an open house and just invite everyone to stop in at any time for a snack, a drink, a meal, just stop by. My family of friends, the Zoo, all had other things with their families of relatives during the day, but said they’d stop that night. I think they wanted to make sure I was okay, my first Christmas, as I put it, as a grownup. Well, we ended up gorging on the desserts and Divinities I’d made and we played just a huge table of UNO. The tradition began!

In 2005, after David and I enjoyed a Christmas brunch for two, the whole gang was over in the evening for the festivities. However, we were not in Michigan in 2006 on Christmas Day. Christmas was on the weekend, so we spent it in Connecticut with his family, since the work holidays made it easier to take an extended weekend. We had UNO and The Fabulous Dessert Bar the Saturday before. Last year was my first year in Toledo and we moved the gathering officially to a Saturday right before Christmas since many of the guests had an hour+ drive!

Since Thanksgiving is not celebrated at my home, “Operation Clean Sweep” doesn’t have to be done before the end of November, but it does before the tree goes up shortly after December begins, so I have time to bake and get ready for the party!! David does the vacuuming because our vacuum cleaner is pretty heavy and I generally can’t pick it up and twist my bum knee all over when I try to use it! But I do lots of washing and dusting.

We have a sweet 1950s era house. The kitchen is totally 50s with the exception of our awesome digital oven! I love our oven! The first time I made cookies in it, before I lived here, I knew I would love calling that oven “my oven.” David and I agree that we don’t care for the original equipment push button electric stove, but we have a difference of opinion as to which is the better alternative. He says gas, I say modern electric. When the day comes that we start to build that model train layout and have to build the house over it, we’ll discuss that more in depth!

But what I dislike the most, what I just don’t get, is the counters. The counters in our sweet 50s kitchen are tile. I mean slippery, glazed tile squares joined with grout. There is no being careful. The grout will get icky. It will turn blotchy brown and wiping it will not make the grout white again. A few times a year I have to totally move everything off the counters and get serious! We have tile counters in the bathroom too and today was grout whitening day!

Grout whitening consists of very hot water, Soft Scrub with Clorox and a DT (disposed toothbrush). Yeah, I’m serious, use the toothbrush to fill in every line between the tiles and let it soak a little, the go back and scrub every line with the toothbrush until it’s white. So, my knee is very sore from all the standing, my back hurts a little from bending across the counter to get the back corners and my hands are stinging and dry from the bleach, but the counters look great!

(But I still maintain that a man came up with the idea for the tiles countertops in the 50s because his woman would have to clean the grout! grr....)

Holiday Bargains From Your Own Comfy Chair!

You know I‘ve said before that I’m not a big Black Friday shopper. In general I’m not a big fan of shopping, really. But I love giving and I do like getting bargains too. I just don’t like fighting crowds to get bargains! For the first time last year, I did probably more than half of my holiday shopping online. It was great - no traffic, no crowds and waiting for the boxes in the mail was kinda like getting a present myself!

Right now, there are some great limited time discounts at Kmart when you shop online at kmart.com!

I’m kinda smitten with the Abbey Hill Medallion Dream sheet set. It’s a sateen weave and 250 thread count. I’ve read that the higher quality starts at 200, so we’re talking a royal night’s sleep! There is a matching comforter and throw pillows too. The whole collection is on sale for 30% off if you buy online.

I used to get a new set of sheets for Christmas every year, so don’t you giggle at the idea of sheets as a gift! The sale price makes these ones very affordable and if your college kid is home on break for Christmas or Hanukkah, imagine dorm life a little cozier, like home, and studying a little easier with a great night of sleep between these!

If sheets are not what you had in mind for gift-giving, how about snuggling into a Women's Kimono Wrap Sweater? It comes in four colors and size extra small to 2X. I find it appealing because it is great for everyday wearing at home. It has all the “take the chill” off of a cozy sweater with short sleeves that won’t get in the way when picking things up around the house and won’t get wet in the kitchen! Do you have a Grandma, Mom or Wife that has the wet sleeves in the kitchen problem? It’s also nice enough to wear over a turtle neck for a casual evening out!

It’s 10% off, plus another 10% right now! That brings it under $25! There is the limited-time online discount plus another 10% through December on select departments: womens plus sleepwear, womens attention brand, girls tops, ALL juniors, boys tops, mens shirts and bottoms, big mens shirts and bottoms, infant and toddler bedding.

You need to put the items in the virtual cart to see the total discounts. Remember that you can do that and remove them from your cart afterwards, but if you’re really thinking about an item, I doubt you’ll want to remove it after you see the total savings!

The deep online discounts are only good until tomorrow, Thanksgiving eve, so hurry and place that order! Keep in mind that with Thanksgiving being late in the calendar this year, we have less shopping time between the major eating holiday and the major gift-giving holidays!

With a few clicks before Thanksgiving, you can get great savings and a jump on your holiday shopping at kmart.com!

Click Here


Going Green

For the record, as I sip my ecocoffee with pumpkin spice creamer, We have reached the point where we are putting out the gray garbage bin with the landfill bound stuff every other week, with the recycling bin and the recycling bin typically is closer to full! Yay us!

Has anyone else joined me in making an effort to turn off the water when brushing? I’m up to it being less than once a week that I forget!

If you don’t think that it’s wasting that much water, there is a simple example that shows just how much unused water is running down the drain while the brush is in your mouth.

Next time you brush your teeth, put the toothpaste on your brush and stop the drain. Now turn the water on and brush. When you’re done brushing, look at the water in the sink. Now think about the number of times a day you brush your teeth. What about a week, a month, a year? You could start a large tropical fish aquarium with the wasted water in a month! (Show the kids this!)

Ready to turn off the water when brushing now?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

R.M.S. Titanic
London, England
April 10, 1912

We boarded the great ship Titanic, the pride of White Star Line April 10. We sailed second class. My cousin and my daughter were going to America with me to Chicago, Illinois to start a series of revival meetings at the Moody Church in West Chicago. -Reverend John Harper

Actually, Those are my words, not John Harper's. I was John Harper for a little while on a Saturday in May of 2003.

I went to the Titanic exhibit at The Detroit Science Center with Mom, Tori, Rina, John and Scotty. The exhibit was traveling the country that year and it was something Mom really wanted to see. She didn’t have a hard time getting takers for the ride with her!

As we waited in line a our scheduled entry time, we read the information panels outside with facts and details of the ill-fated ship. When the people going into the exhibit entered, they were given a boarding pass. The boarding pass was your identity. At the end of the tour, you could look at the lists of survivors and dead to find out if you made it.

I was flattered when Mom and they guys told me they figured I’d be Molly Brown, or anyway, that I would make a good Molly Brown. I do take charge in times of trouble and have found myself with abilities I didn’t know I had rather than panic, but I didn’t want to be someone I knew survived, I wanted that element of not knowing! But, when I received my boarding pass and flipped it over, I told everyone I knew I didn’t make it. My title was mot Miss, Mr., or Mrs.. My title was “Reverend.”

The exhibit was so neat. There were actual artifacts that were recovered and informative panels. There were diagrams of icebergs showing that really, only the smallest part of an iceberg shows above water. Then there was the area where you could touch a wall that simulated the temperature of iceberg-infested water. I don’t think I’d have WANTED to survive floating in that kind of cold!

The boarding passes were so cool, because all six of us, even the two 8-year-olds, talked the whole way thorough about what our passenger might have been doing or what they might have been thinking through the voyage and then at the time that the ship started sinking.

In the end, Tori was the only one of us on the survivors list! Everyone else perished.

Some stats from the trip from my scrapbook:

I was Reverend John Harper, 39 years old, traveling 2nd class with my 10-year-old daughter, Nina, and my cousin, Miss Jessie Leiton. Nina and Jessie survived, my body was never recovered.

Rina was Mr. William Henry Nancarrow. He was 33 years old and sailed 3rd class with his aunt and uncle, Alexander and Charity Robbins. They all died in the sinking. The MacKay Bennett recovered the Robins’ bodies but, if Rina’s body was recovered, it was never identified.

Scotty was Mr. Benjamin Hart, age 47, who sailed 2nd class with his wife, Esther and his daughter, Eva. Esther and Eva survived the sinking and in fact, Eva was interviewed in the IMAX movie we saw afterwards. As an older adult by the time she was interviewed, she had a remorseful memory of crying as her father put her on the life boat because he wouldn’t go back to their room to get her teddy bear. Scotty never joined hs wife and daughter again. His body was not recovered.

John was Mr. William Harbeck, a 44-year-old filmmaker in the early days of that industry. It was believed he had been hired by the White Star Line to film Titanic’s maiden voyage. A tug was scheduled to take him to the dock to film her arrival. Harbeck was sailing with his 24-year-old mistress, Henriette Yrois. Don’t think John didn’t LOVE that! When the MacKay Bennett recovered his body, he was clutching Henriette’s purse. When his wife, Catherine, came from Toledo to claim his body, she was informed that she had died in the sinking with her husband. That’s how she found out about the affair! Johns’ body was put in an unmarked cemetery plot at Woodland Cemetery, in Toledo, Ohio. A private group has since put a headstone on the grave,

Mom was Mr. Frederick Giles, age 20, sailing 2nd class with his brother Edgar. They had been been scheduled to travel on the Oceanic, but the coal strike had altered that plan and they changed to the Titanic. Both brothers died. If Mom’s body was recovered, it wasn’t identified.

Our sole survivor, Tori, was Mr. Karl Albert Midtsjo, a 21 year-old from Norway. He was traveling alone, 3rd class. His roommate was Johan Tyrsee. Johan died in the sinking, but Karl Albert survived. Tori was picked up by the Carpathia, getting to New York City on April 18, 1912. After getting out of the hospital, Karl traveled to North Dakota to return his roommate’s watch to his family and he told them about Johan’s last days as a passenger on the Titanic.

I put our names into the recounts when reporting on the recovery process because that’s what we did on that day, the people whose boarding passes we had were who we were for the exhibit. Everyone at the exhibit was speaking about their passenger in the first person. It just made the experience somewhat haunting, but very real, very memorable.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Night In Toledo, Ohio

Gratuitous cute cats

How did that old song go? Something about “Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio is like Saturday nowhere at all.”

I do NOT feel that way about my town. Actually, David and I were just talking the other day about that. I really do like Toledo. We have better community services than many of the big cities, a good art museum, a reopening science center because the will of the taxpayers said it IS important, good public transportation, a AAA baseball team and coming next year a renewed hockey team! If it’s something too big for a small city, Detroit is only an hour away. I hear and read the local pundits for both political sides absolutely stretch to find something to complain about on the other side. We’re safe enough that when serious crimes happen, they’re HUGE news.

It’s not perfect, but a small city is wonderful! We have most of the conveniences of a big city with a lot less traffic, the shopping and restaurants of the suburbs very close and a picnic in the country a short drive away. There are pristine blankets of untouched snow for a few days by which to photograph the abundant trains, but a road commission that clears the the roads within a day after a bad ice storm.

But this particular Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio, my honey is making up some of the income I’m NOT bringing into our home with an overtime shift. Games Night is happening in Michigan and the condition of my glasses right now says I’m not night driving any distance! That makes me a little blue. That’s two months in a row I’m missing it and until last month I’d never missed one. David tries to cheer me up by reminding me that last time I was at a smoking games night I was sick for almost a week, but well, being with my friends is worth sucking down Benadryl for a few days every now and then.

So, what does an optimist do on a lonely night? KUNG PAO CHICKEN!

I haven’t had Chinese in so long! David doesn't do Chinese and I haven’t been out with my Chinese enjoying pals in a long time, so tonight, I pulled out $6.25 to splurge. If you read my post in last year’s archives blog about take out in Ohio, or if you are an Ohioan or fellow Ohiogander, you know that there is no sales tax for take out. Thinking back, the photo may have been of Kung Pao chicken too!

When I left Novi, Michigan, the one thing I thought I’d never be able to replace was the no MSG Chinese take out place that was just over a two-mile drive from home. As I’ve already said, I love this city! China Palace, in Toledo, is a phenomenal no MSG take out in the Southland Shopping Center...just over ONE mile from home! The $6.25 was a dinner of Kung Pao chicken, fried rice and an egg roll. That was at 5:30 and I’m still stuffed at 9!

And my fortune cookie said nice things about friends. :)

I just finished up the dishes from lunch, yeah a bit of a slacker today, and spent another 5 minutes on my recumbent bike while my daily tonic cooled. Just a break before I set about designing the picture part of our Christmas Cards this year so we can get them ordered and back before the first of the month.

Oh! The tonic! hehe... I read a post in the SAS forums about some homeopathic tips, namely honey and cinnamon! These are ancient remedies and yanno, I always try a natural way to fix things before I resort to drugs at all. I was feeling like the prelude to a stomach flu all day the day I’d read it and tried the honey and cinnamon as a remedy for digestive problems. By half way through the tea I’d made with a tablespoon of honey and a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon. I felt better. I’ve been drinking a cup of the good-tasting brew a day since then and I’ve felt more energetic, my knee has even felt a bit better. Now, that could be a combination of the recumbent bike and my subconscious using the tea as a crutch, but heck, it tastes good and a tablespoon of honey is only 60 calories. It’s a good crutch, even if that’s all it is!

Read about the powers of honey and cinnamon in the SAS forums here.

Okay, now on to scrapping that Christmas card!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Less Than a Week Away!

Fresh Floral Cornucopia at 1800flowers.com

I had left a comment on Darlene’s blog yesterday about looking forward to the Holidays and the kick off to them in America is less than a week away! I love the holidays and I’m a bona fide Christmas nut, but in a lot of ways, Thanksgiving is my favorite. In the past 40+ years, there have been huge family gatherings and more intimate dinners, but Thanksgiving has always been a day steeped in traditions and love.

It doesn’t change incredibly from year to year. The place and attendees may differ a little, but there is always a turkey, Mom’s sage dressing recipe and my great grandmother’s gravy recipe. Grandma brings a pumpkin pie and another fruit pie of whatever flavor she chooses that year. My own cranberry relish has joined the traditional menu too!

There are no gifts on Thanksgiving. I think that’s a big plus too. The center of the holiday is being with people and sharing a bounty for the senses. It truly is an opportunity to give thanks for each other and the wonderful blessings we have. I guess that’s why I am so adamant about having decorations that fit that holiday. Just for a day, a quiet, staying-in-one-place day, to be surrounded by happy reminiscing with my family, the heavenly smells from the kitchen and the symbols of the first Thanksgiving in the warm colors of fall.

We have a separate table for the pies and cookies, the cheese tray and decorations. I get the table cloths and napkins for the eating table and the dessert serving table. On the dessert table is where we put those decor pieces I’m always so mad about finding. I want Thanksgiving decor. That’s not anywhere near as easy to find as Halloween or Christmas! The table we eat at and that festive dessert table have to have the appropriate theme and colors!

I found some perfect floral centerpieces at 1800flowers.com! I love cornucopias as Thanksgiving decorations and they have a couple of wicker cornucopias with floral arrangements that would look so good surrounded by Grandma’s pies and my turkey cookies! And they have a cranberry plant! I just want to photograph that sitting next to my cranberry relish!

There is some really sweet stuff at 1800flowers.com to accent your Thanksgiving table or for the perfect gift for your hosts! If you didn’t bake a cake, don’t walk in empty-handed! Check out the floral pieces, the ones with candles or the fresh floral cornucopia - just make sure you leave one for me!

Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

Is That A Banana In Your Pocket?

When I don’t have a request for Friday, that’s what you get for a post title when it’s not baseball season! I was thinking in the shower, which is where I have a lot of my “I’m gonna have a V-8!” moments. It’s good to have those moments when you can still have the V-8, right? ;)

What I was thinking about was funny slogans for bananas. Do you remember having fun with the banana stickers when you were a kid? I always put them on my nose. Mom had to find bunches of bananas with two stickers so my brother and I wouldn't fight over the sticker.

Have you seen the new banana stickers on the Chiquita Bananas? Back in the day, it was just the logo. They were still fun, but now there are new slogans. “I heart your heart” is cool, I put the “Great In Lunch Boxes” one on David’s visor in his truck and there is one that just says “LOL.” The stickers are in the traditional blue and there are some in dark Purple. They are promoting Chiquita’s website I think. There is something in the small print about going to the website for fun.

Yesterday, I got bananas. I’m the only one in the house who eats hem. I love bananas, but David isn’t crazy about them and cats are offended by the smell of them. That’s a theory I’ve tested on four cats now. Every one of them looked at me like I’d offered them a sniff of a week old ashtray. I’d say it’s past theory and is a well known fact. Since no one shares my love for them with me, I buy small quantities. Yesterday, I bought two perfect yellow ones and two green ones to ripen in the fruit basket.

Each pair of bananas had a sticker on one of them. These stickers made me wonder who writes the phrases for the stickers and to whom they are marketing! One reads “Pocket Size Fun” the other reads “Let’s Play!”

I was having some fun last night. I put one of the bananas in David’s pocket and was going to put the “Pocket size fun” sticker in the front of his pants pocket. But I thought, maybe just a little over the top for a family blog! Also, the average man’s dress pants aren’t tight enough to actually see the banana unless it’s hanging out of the pocket anyway. In fact a tall man’s pockets are deep enough to make a banana disappear!

I still wonder how do you get the gig writing the banana stickers. That could be fun. But I bet they fire the ones who REALLY have fun with that job!

I'm hoping for a relist...

That really is all this posting is for too!

I started using DigiFree again. I know my feathers were ruffled by the grab and goes, but the truth is that I'd rather have the grab and goes than only 25 downloads of a freebie. Times are rough for everyone, me too. In this area of the country the job market is especially awful and I've been searching for a long time. The freebies that I do in the evenings and on the weekends are not just a creative outlet, but it's me feeling like I do have some sort of small purpose in this world! Oh, I LOVE the comments I get here, but my ego can fend off the bruises from the job search if there are at least lots of downloads! So no more grumbling about the grab and go folks. But that means I just love the people who leave comments even more! YOU folks are AWESOME!

Today I went to just confirm that my preview for the brag book pages using "The Old Stuff" was up and instead, I found the sample page with my Dad playing accordion on it. The automated program they use grabs either the image file that sounds the most like a preview, the image closest to the link for the download or the last picture in a blog entry. I have no idea how the first picture called "sample.jpg" was selected by the program over the last picture, right above the download link, the one called "preview.jpg." I mean that mix up really defies how the program is supposed to work!

Anyway, just in case someone who has no use for a single brag book page with an accordion on it, but might have use for the other FOUR in the set wouldn't know it was a set of five, I'm just reposting the preview and link in hopes that DigiFree will pick it up again!

If you already have the brag book pages, thanks for downloading them and sorry about the repeat! I would love to read any comments you'd care to share!

Sorry, this link is expired.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Spider Even Nani Likes?

You’ve read my blog post talking about Google Rank, search engines, more hits to the site and their importance. Rank and position have everything to do with how easy it is for readers, or potential readers, to find you! I know from checking out my web stats for The Chronicles of Nani, many visitors find me with search engines and sometimes the terms they use surprise me. For that, I have to thank spiders!

A spider, is simply a web of your content that a search engine or directory uses in key word searches. A search engine will generally search you index page, page one. If the search engine has a web of more pages on your blog, it will match to term a few pages back. Some search engines do that on their own, when they have time, after the big corporation web sites are done. It's not like there are that many websites out there, right? Yeah, you get the point. Our little blogs can sit here in the corner of cyberspace for years before the major search engines find ALL that we have to offer!

Manipal, Mike, at the IZEA boards, has developed a way to Submit your Blog to 1,000,000 Search Engines & Directories. It’s not incredibly expensive, in fact, if you are using your blog to sell or promote a product, it’s a pretty INexpensive way to increase your visibility. Just imagine, if you are an aspiring designer, how much more likely it will be to have your talent seen by someone who can connect you with a store that’s seeking new talent by tapping into the treasure trove of prompts you put in your blog every day without even trying! Visualize someone doing a search for Christmas scrapbook kits before you have your first Christmas post up this year, but the search hits a post from last year and there they are at YOUR blog now!

There are several plans for submitting your blog, the top one being Spider Gold, which is only $25. That’s right, a great promoting tool and the top is only $25!

If you go for broke on this, how many sales will it take to recoup the expense? Even if we’re only talking $5 kits, it’s just 5 and then it’s gravy! What if it gets you a store? If there’s anyone else out there trying the sponsored posts, I know from my experience that a higher rank opens up better paying opportunities too!

Find out more by clicking here. Hey, clicking is free, reading is free and it’s a service that just might be worth its pixels in gold!

Giving Thursday

That’s my Dad when he was a teenager!
Credit - “The Old Stuff” brag book page by Digitalegacies Designs

It’s one week before Thanksgiving Thursday, so, I’m going to make this “Giving Thursday” so I have something to be thankful I gave next week!

I won’t have a cyber presence next Thursday and a good portion of Friday. Oh, it’s all family stuff. The Friday part has nothing to do with shopping! I promote things all of you Black Friday fans might enjoy, but the truth is, I won’t be joining you! If when all is said and done on this planet, I find that I haven’t been good enough to get into Heaven after all, I will spend the rest of eternity in a mall with a sale paper!

I love looking at all of the Christmas displays and the lights everywhere during the holidays, but when I’m in the store looking at those displays, it’s during the week, during the day if I can, or maybe near close on a Tuesday, when the crowds are smaller. I also shop in non-mall department stores, like Kmart or Target and small local shops. I save money on the things I make for gifts, so I can avoid sale crowds!

I have friends and family who LOVE the rush of Black Friday and that whole holiday mob. If I see a good sale on something that might interest them, I pass on the information and I really do love the marketing phenomenon. I just prefer looking at the statistics rather than experiencing it first hand!

Today I’m going to take an extended lunch to run a few errands, including the shopping I need to do for my contributions for Thanksgiving dinner! I make the cranberry relish (see Davlicious Recipes) and decorated cookies using my turkey cookie cutters. I’m also in charge of getting the Starbucks coffee and flavored creamers. Verona and pumpkin spice, it gives Thanksgiving dinner the definite touch of Nani-flavor!

Before I leave on those errands, I want to do that giving I was talking about! I did a small set of brag book pages with “The Old Stuff” Brag books are awesome gifts, especially nice for those of us on limited funds and a mallphobia! I have pages I made, some I downloaded and iPhoto. Add a mini-album from the dollar store and a few other supplies with my glue gun and it makes a beautiful hybrid masterpiece! Well, anyway, a great gift!

So, if you are thinking along similar lines,or if you are now, Here are 5 pages you can add to the collection to choose from for your project!

Sorry, this link is expired.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photoblog Wednesday


Actually the circus was in Auburn Hills, Michigan, but the Circus TRAIN was in Toledo Monday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Busy Week So Far

Word association - the first thing you thought of was “diet,” right?

Happy Tuesday!

Yes that’s me trying really hard to make the best of the snow that I can see out the window. We got a liberal dusting last night and most of it has stayed there all day! I know, I know, it’s that time of year. But remember, although I was born in Michigan, I’ve wanted to move south since I was about 16. Then I fell in love with a man who hates the heat and will no way even consider the South as someplace to even retire to. So, I’m stuck with the cold and ice. bleh! Quote the J. Geils Band, “Love Stinks!”

The clickable Google ads have finally adjusted to the Chronicles of Nani! I know this because rather than looking at them and going, “huh?” I am now having to remind myself that I cant click them! That’s part of the Google agreement I have for having their ads in my right column, I can’t click them. But hey, if any of you do, feel free to email me a link if it’s something good! I know there are blogs I visit that have Google ads too, so I’ve been making a point of checking their ads so I can click on the ones that are here too that make me curious! At any rate, me being tempted to click, means the ads really do match the content at The Chronicles of Nani, so you might find something interesting in them! Now, I just need to figure out how to fix the Davlicious ads. In the midst of all that yummy stuff, the ads are for diets! LOL Well, SOME of the Davlicious Recipes are healthy! (Just notsomuch the most recent and therefore front page ones!

On the blog and sponsoring front, I haven’t heard any negative feedback from my readers about the paid posts. I’m glad. I enjoy doing them and come the first of the month, pay day, I’ll be getting that cartridge of magenta ink that will put my printer back on line! YAY! I can’t tell you how good that feels, not to have to borrow for little things. I am getting by on odd jobs and the ad stuff here. The nice thing about that is it really takes neither from my job seeking time during the day or my hobby time, which includes Digitalegacies Designs, at night. If you are even a part time reader here, you know how much I love advertising and I really do like being able to do some promoting without suffering the quality of the blog! I encourage you to click if you see something that interests you in either the sponsored posts or the Google ads! A click is not an obligation, it’s simply a place for more information, but don’t click it for me, click it for you! As is true with any ad, in the long run, advertisers want you to buy, but when you first see an ad, the point is to let you know the product or service is there.

Tip Cup?

Don’t panic! A tip cup is often seen on the counter of fine coffee shops, the big difference here is that a tip is neither expected nor required! A couple of people have asked about a PayPal donation button since I do so many scrap kits for free. Remember, I pulled out of the designer contest I was in, so I really don’t know if I have what it takes to sell my kits, but I’ve seen other amateur designers use the donate button too. If you’d like to drop a little something in the tip cup, please go ahead, however much you’d like to give. I will let you know however, PayPal will keep the first 30 cents, so it’d be nice to at least leave a couple quarters, but tipping is absolutely not a “price of admission” here. I love the company of your comments, and the hit meter that says another customer made this site their stop for some cyber-coffee! Whether you stay for a while or get it to go, I hope it was a roast you liked! If you do leave a tip, it’s much appreciated! If you don’t, I still welcome you to come back often!

Still Searching...

We’ve been taking boxes out of my storage looking for things. To start with, my Freeway Fritz mug was not one of the ones I have out, so we had to bring the other boxes of mugs out to find it. Ya know, I have a lot of mugs. When I said that this morning, David said sarcastically, “Ya think?”

He’s always saying I have 300 mugs and I tell him he’s exaggerating, it’s more like 150, but I keep opening boxes and finding more mugs. We took three boxes labeled “mugs” out yesterday. Fritz was in the third box I opened. Now, I’m going to inventory all three boxes before we take them back, so I’ll know which mug is where if I need to find another stored one.

We’ve also been looking for my toaster oven! We've been living toaster oven free since the torchtillas incident. A few weeks ago, we took the toaster oven box out of storage and it didn’t have a toaster oven in it. I think it was the box from Mom and Dad’s toaster oven that I used to pack stuff for storage. Guess what it had in it? More mugs!

Actually, the Galveston mug was one of the mugs in that box. It also has cracker tray for serving crackers with soup, some bag clips and potato peelers. I kept the peelers out since the one we have is almost shot.

When we picked up the mug boxes, looking for Freeway Fritz, we took two of the larger other boxes, hoping the toaster oven was in one of them. Alas, no. I found my cast iron corn shaped corn bread pan! I also found my small roaster, acrylic cookbook stand and stock pot! I washed those and put them away. Really, how much broth you can get from a chicken depends on the size of pot! I can get a lot more soup for the dollar with a bigger pot and letting it cook a bit longer. Same taste, but more!

I also found the coffee maker that I chose as one of my bonus gifts from Omnicom. We all had accounts that we got credits put in when we reached companywide sales goals. It was considered that when sales were up, it was part from the whole team effort, so everyone got gift points. With mine, I got an electric can opener, the coffee pot and the toaster oven/broiler. I kinda feel like if we found the coffee pot, we must be getting warmer!

The carafe on my bean-grinding coffee maker broke a few months ago and we've been using a small pot with a knife to hold the filter basket open so the coffee would go through. This morning was amazing. I made coffee and didn’t have to shimmy anything into place! This maker also has a timer, so I can set it to have the coffee already done when I come downstairs in the morning! I guess for ground coffee or cinnamon, I’ll have to use the grinder in my buffet cabinet now.

This week, I’ll record the contents of the boxes and tape them back up with good labels. Then, it’s back to storage and the search for the toaster oven continues! But I have found some nice things for the kitchen. It’s like early Christmas!

Layaway at Sears - The Better Option!

You know how I feel about layaway programs, especially at this time of year. It’s better than credit. It’s better than waiting until you have all the money. You get “pick of the litter” shopping without the stressful after-the-holidays bills.

I did NOT know about Sears Layaway! How cool is this? Quality selection for everything from intimate apparel to Craftsman tools!

Layaway is simple. You come in and choose your items, put down a deposit and after you finish the payments, you take it home. Then, you’re done! You have the items you chose when all the stock was new and when they are wrapped and ready to give, you have no more worries, no more bills, just the joy of giving left!

I found the Nesco Professional Food & Jerky Dehydrator at the website. It has 5 Trays, dehydrates in hours, not days, and it comes with jerky spices! I think my Dad would enjoy this! The old dehydrator I used for apple chips took days to do 5 levels of apples and it drove him nuts when we lived together because it was a regular fall kitchen fixture! He wasn’t a fan of the apple chips either, but he loves jerky, the more different the better!

The Craftsman NEXTEC™ 12 Volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto Hammer would be pretty cool for Scotty, Mr. Fix-it who answers my distress calls all the way in Ohio! Not that he isn’t perfectly capable of swinging a hammer, but this will get the needed force behind it in those spaces where you don’t have a lot of room for a swing! This auto hammer is cordless, so it goes anywhere!

Grandma was just commenting about the zipper on her winter coat being broken and needing a new one. Classic Elements Women's Plus Mini Quilt Hooded Jacket would fill that need and in London Red, it’s not too different from the color of the coat she loves but needs to replace!

My total purchase price would be around $270 for those items, break it down into payments and maybe I could do it, but pay for it all right now? No, I don’t think so! So my choices are put it on credit and pay the extra 14.9% average APR, come back later a hope and pray the items I want are still available or put them in layaway with a down payment and pick them up when I make the final payment. No brainer! When times are rough, giving to the people you love has an even more important meaning, but giving to the high interest credit card companies is not the way to go! Give Sears Layaway a try and have a debt-free holiday!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Freeway Fritz
Bridgeport, Michigan

Oh, it was indeed a sad weekend! David gave a presentation of his lake freighter slides in Bay City Saturday night as a special guest of the local lake boats and lighthouses enthusiasts group. Now, as I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of the boats themselves, but I usually enjoy going along to see them because, what’s not to love about spending a day by the water??

Saturday evening included an invitation to a wonderful dinner at a fish restaurant in Bay City and when the evening was over, we’d be closer to Hale than home, so we spent the night at Grandma’s and had breakfast with her on Sunday. I needed to do some work on Grandma’s computer and, while I knew it was just a couple tweaks it needed, she didn’t want me spending the gas to make a special trip and was planing on bringing the computer with her for Thanksgiving. This weekend also gave me the 5 minutes I needed without her going through all of that hassle. (Grandma sent me an email and left me an instant message on my Yahoo Messenger to let me know everything was working again!)

On the way to Bay City, David wanted to stop at a hobby shop in Bridgeport, an excellent opportunity for us to stop at Freeway Fritz, our favorite candy stop on the trip to Grandma’s house! Imagine the devastating disappointment when we got off at exit 144 on the I-75 and pulled into the parking lot to see the gas pumps bagged and the large sign on the dark windows of the Bavarian-styled building. “Closed for business.” After 19 years, Freeway Fritz is no more. You could still see the ropes of licorice, stuffed animals,Michigan souvenirs and bags of caramel corn on the displays. It was a recent closing.

Damn economy.

I first stopped at Freeway Fritz in June of 1991. I’d just finished trade school and had plans to go back to Georgia. I was gong to set up some interviews and hopefully be coming home to pack and move! I wanted to visit Cross In The Woods in Indian River before made my trip. I wanted some time to meditate before embarking on a new phase in my life.

I left at about 6AM for the roughly 5 hour trip north. After spending a while at the church and getting a protection medallion for my car for the trip south, I drove back out to I-75. It was around lunch time. I wasn’t really hungry yet, so I started south.

I was getting hungry about the time I was passing back through Bridgeport. I’d seen the signs many times in the last couple years, but there was something about the idea of a “fast-food” type place associating itself with Frankenmuth’s world famous chicken that seemed off. This time, I decided that I’d stop and have a look.

Freeway Fritz was not fast-food riding the coat tails of the famous chicken name in the area. Freeway Fritz was owned and run by the Zhender family, the family who IS the world famous Frankenmuth Chicken! It was a deli-style set up with REAL Frankenmuth chicken and all of the fixins, packaged to go! Oh my, HEAVEN! It’s one of those things where you think you’ve been driving too long and this is just a mirage!

But no, it smelled like the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, the intoxicating aroma of that wonderful chicken, the dressing, the soup, the mashed potatoes and gravy and buttered noodles! They had stolen bread to add to your meal, cranberry relish and their secret recipe cabbage salad.

There were tables for eating there if you wanted and shelves of toys and gifts, old time candy and souvenirs. It was like a little piece of the Bavarian Inn that was there to visit without having to travel the extra half hour into Frankenmuth. It was really a traveler's paradise!

Freeway Fritz, Fritzburg as I‘d come to call it, became a travel staple for me. I made a point of getting my parents to stop there. They weren’t ready to believe that there was real Frankenmuth chicken right off the freeway either! I’d started making it a habit of stopping to pick up a family diner on the way to see my grandparents. It was the right distance that things didn’t get too cooled off on the rest of the trip, so a short shot in the microwave would heat them up without mushing anything out.

Tori and Rina loved stopping there to raid the candy and even after Rina decided to change to a vegetarian diet, she found that the noodles, veggie dishes and cheese dumplings offered a wonderful vegetarian meal too!

The candy was the coolest! David and I would stop there for lunch and appease our sweet tooth at the 25 cents candy stand. They had fun-size packs of old style candy for a quarter! Little packs of Bottle Caps, Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, there were candy necklaces, dots and mini packs of Mentos. Aside from the quarter rounder, they also had salt water taffy and David’s favorite size of Smarties, Jumbo, but not huge, the hard to find middle size!

It was just a great place to stop and get a break from the road. It was family friendly and not terribly overpriced for a tourist kind of place. But now, the economy, gas prices and construction the freeway have ended it. The signs on the door encourage visitors to come into Frankenmuth for the same style chicken at the Bavarian Inn. And true, the Bavarian Inn is a wonderful place with great shops and bakery, but it’s a half hour from the freeway and while, you could get in line and get out at Fritz in a half hour on a busy summer Friday night, it’s a 2-hour wait for a sit-down dinner on that same Friday night at the Inn! We still went to the Bavarian Inn, but we had more Frankenmuth Chicken and the Zhender’s got more of our money when Freeway Fritz was alive!

Like I said to David as I looked at the dark windows Saturday afternoon, I miss Fritz already!

Read about the closing of Freeway Fritz here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Apples and Wine and a Davlicious Event!

“Apples and Wine” is the new color kit from Digitalegacies Designs. It’s the kit I did for Boo’s Color Challenge at SAS and the first time I’ve ever created a mini kit for the purpose of doing a particular layout!

Sorry, this link is expired.

Please leave comments here rather than jumping through the hoops to leave them at 4-Shared. Besides, if they are here, you know I’ll read them!

Apples and Wine is an old family cold remedy that actually tastes better than the old world remedies usually do! I remember Mom told a story about Nono’s cure for morning sickness that she never tried! It was something like milk, honey and whiskey. EW! Not sure how that STOPS nausea!

But apples and wine is a sweet and spicy mulled wine that tastes good and does a remarkable job of rushing that cold out of your system!

Here is the layout the kit was designed to make!

What is this? ANOTHER recipe page??

Today is the day! For about the past month, I’ve been slowly transferring the old archived recipes from Simply Davine and adding some new ones to a new blog, Simply Davlicious Recipes! I’d like to invite everyone to take a look at the new blog! Bring a napkin for the drool!

Some of the recipes at Simply Davlicious Recipes have links. Those links are for the SDR Cook Book Pages. They’re not hard to spot! That recipe will have the a cookbook page at the top of the entry and the link will take you to a download page were you can have the full resolution page, 12X12 in 300 dpi. You can print them out, add them to your own cookbook, they are my gift to you! As part of the grand launch of the blog, you’ll find Cook Book Pages for 8 recipes, including 5 that have never been offered before!

All downloadable CBPs are offered with permission of the individual designers of the kits used for each page. The blog URLs are available in the download package, so if you like the kit, stop by the designer’s bog and leave some love!!

I hope you enjoy the new recipe blog. I loved being able to use tags to make everything cross referenced. You can browse them all or see your favorite topics. if you’re still looking for some ideas for Thanksgiving, click the holidays tag on the side bar!

So, click the Davlicious logo and come on over to my blog-warming party!

Saturday is the New Black Friday

Sears is having a Big One Day sale tomorrow, Saturday, November 15! The deals are amazing! It’s like early Black Friday without as much mall traffic!

If you get there between 7:00 am and Noon, they have Low Price Doorbusters that are the lowest prices they’ve had this year! Really good stuff!!

One that was exceptionally impressive to me, The Sylvania 32” class LCD HDTV. Remember, the plight of a family listening to the World Series on a TV with a blown picture tube? So of course, this is going to get my attention. 32” is almost a three foot screen and we’d be replacing an HDTV, so we’d want that. But the best part? The doorbuster price is $429.99, that’s less than the standard estimate to come in and replace a tube in an older big screen TV! And the Sylvania model is streamlined so it won’t take up the space of half a couch and can easily be moved. Do you have a TV that’s getting up there in technology years? Just a couple years ago a thin LCD TV was priced right out of most homes, now, add the $120 off during the doorbuster hours and I bet you could find space for it!

Okay, after suggesting that it was early Black Friday, I ought to mention something else I found, not a selfish thought like the TV I want, but a fantastic gift idea!

The Nextar 7” Digital Photo Frame. The value of this as a gift is a near steal at $49.99, but knock an extra $10 off if you are an early bird! My family decided that a digital frame would be a great gift for Grandma last year. What do you give the woman who buys whatever she wants and buys whatever you want if you let her too? A digital photo frame, it’s ideal!

I am the family historian of my generation, so once the frame was bought, it was up to me to collect pictures from everyone. I had digital pics, old photos I scanned, where else can you use both the old and new photos in a frame and have equal quality? You can put a 1 GB SD memory card in it, same kind of card you use in a digital camera. I know we used a card half that size and had over 60 pictures in Grandma’s frame. She was just mesmerized when she turned it on. There was a picture of my grandfather on their wedding day and the same picture of my nieces that she sent out in her Christmas cards. It was like a digital family history!

She has the frame in her living room and will just sit and watch it for a while like it’s a fireplace or a really great TV show. You can’t get that kind of reaction to an old school photo frame almost a year after you give it!

Do you have a Grandma that always says “I don’t need nothin’” when you ask what she wants for the holidays? The perfect gift is waiting and if you get there early enough, you’ll save that $10 dollars that she insists “doesn’t grow on trees!”

Get to bed early tonight and get out to Sears during the doorbuster hours tomorrow for the best prices without the stress that you’ll see this November!


A Little Bit of Business

It's kitty-siesta time.

THe SAS-y Ladies contest Cast Party officially ends tomorrow! All of the participating designers agreed to leave their gifts up through November 15. If you were waiting to visit our sites for any reason, don’t put it off any longer! Visit the Cast Party room today!

I’ll still have my gift, “Thank You,” up as part of the original blog entry, but the quick link to it at the top of the blog will be removed!

Did you check out Kaline's latest post yet? Our poor girl is having a really hard time dealing with things in general tight now and like a good American, she’s blaming it on the president. Of course, her problems are really not ones that can be fixed at the top and she’s blaming the president elect when he hasn’t even had a chance to mess anything up for anyone, but well, cat-logic and all. It’s a fun read, but I want to clear up a few things:

1. We do NOT abuse our cats! We inconvenience them last and if they ARE inconvenienced, rest assured it’s a bigger hassle for us!
2. The Cat/people TV situation is temporary. The tube died in our big screen and its a pretty huge piece of furniture. We just haven't had time and help to move it. We listened to the World Series on “the big blue radio” and I watched the election coverage on my 2” screen black and white Watchman. “Chipmunk” has been in full life-size color for the entire end of it’s season. WHO is suffering?
3. David doesn’t yell at me. He yells at THINGS, but seldom does he ever yell even in my general direction. And on those rare occasions when he does, he makes great amends - I’d say he earns forgiveness better than I do! But he never yelled at anyone about the TV. I think it’s the sensitive kitty ears!
4. We will NOT displace her friends who live on top of the TV! I’ve known Puff, Don’t Panic and Little Bear longer than she has!

Are ya confused or curious now? Read Kaline’s blog! hehe

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Has “Indian Summer” Now?

Diana of " Amberpony Creates" did this layout using elements from “Heart of Glass” by Digitalegacies Designs.

Spaceship Tow by Amberpony Creates

I still get a chuckle every time I look at it!

Here’s one from Edna, of Miss Edna’s Place done with Digitalegacies Designs’ template, “Photo Train!”

credits - Kit, "Bits and Bobs 2" by Snow Raven

See?? It has SO many more possibilities than trains! Downloads on this template have been slow, if you’re thinking what you can do with it now after getting somme inspiration from Edna’s creation, you can still download it!

Download "Photo Train" template
password - choo-choo

Show me your layout using Digitalegacies products and I'll send you this!

Both Diana and Edna did these layouts for challenges at scrapbook sites. That means showing it to me, got them DOUBLE posting bonuses! Pretty cool, huh? You can double up the freebies too, well, even triple them up! Download the Digitalegacies Designs freebie of your choice, or purchase it from the Dollar and Dime, create a challenge layout at your favorite scrapbooking site using it and make sure you send me a copy too! That’s THREE freebies, 2 for a layout you did using a freebie! What a deal!

Premier Templates

While we’re on the subject of templates and challenges, I’ve added the templates that I did for the template swap at SAS to the Dollar and Dime. They are bundled as one item, giving you “All Tucked In” and my favorite, “25-Patch Variation.” When I originally did 25-Patch Variation from a quilt pattern, it took just forever to separate out the different sections into usable layers for scrapbooking. This is one where it probably would have been faster as a paper page! But the effort was worth it! A few papers applied to the template layers and you have a gorgeous quilty-patchwork effect! You can have that effect wit a LOT less work now! I was pretty pleased to offer that one in the swap. It really is a very pretty pattern, but a lot of work that I’m glad to be able to save others!

credits - "Plum Pudding" by Jan Hosford

This is the original layout I made 25-Patch Variation for. Jan Hosford’s patterned papers in her Plum Pudding kit gave such a warm, rich feel to the quilt pattern when it was dne! It took me about 5 hours to separate all the sections in the pattern and make a scrapbook template from it and now you can have it with another template for $1.10...which makes me pretty cheap, but in a good way! If this seems to be a popular template, maybe I’ll pass on some more quilt inspired creations!

All Tucked In has less going on in the background, using white space or journaling to showcase a couple of photos.

credits - "Dinner at 7" by Darlene Haughin

This cookbook page was done with All Tucked In and Darlene’s Haughin’s Dinner at 7, which is not yet available for sale! It’s actually the posting bonus at SAS for the My SAS-y Self challenge this month. If you like what you see, why not come over and show your layout about your family? Darlene will give you the mini kit for free!

Doesn’t that page look like it just belongs in a family cookbook? Wouldn’t it be a neat page to swap or even have for free? What a Davlicious idea! More coming VERY soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Tidings for Tight Budgets!

I had almost forgotten about this! I can’t tell you how may times my Mom used it when I was a kid. She said it “saved Christmas” more than once! I’m talking about Kmart Layaway!

What a wonderful store! Kmart has always been decent quality and decent prices. Layaway is the wonderful opportunity to make purchase decisions and pay for them over the course of a few weeks without getting yourself into credit card interest insanity. It’s available any time of year, but especially for the holidays it’s wonderful. You get to make your purchases before everything is picked over, when what you really want is still in stock. Then you pick it up after it’s paid for, working with your income schedule!

David and I haven’t started holiday shopping yet, but you know, money is tight everywhere this year! I’m thinking that maybe I’ll suggest getting started at one of the four Kmarts in our area that have layaway available. I know we have four of them, because I looked it up at the Kmart Layaway site! You can enter your zip code and they’ll help you out.

Between us, we have a nephew and four nieces that we buy for at Christmas, ages 5-14. Toys for the younger ones, maybe clothes or techie gadgets for the teenagers, yep a trip to Kmart would make a big start this year. They have all those things and more!

I was browsing their site and found a digital camera there. I was kinda thinking I might look at a digital camera for one of my nieces. It’s a Kodak Easyshare M863. Tori went a little nuts with my camera when we went to Hershey this summer. She likes digital because she can take pictures of anything! Believe me, she NEEDS digital because she could never afford the film the way she takes pictures! 8.2 megapixels with a 3X zoom is just great for her teenage girl photos! And it comes with a USB cable, so she can download them right into her computer to share with her friends. It’s perfect!

Oh, and did I say it was PINK? The perfect girly color for a perfectly girly-girl!

It’s $139.99. With a charge that is MUCH less than the interest on the average credit card, an 8 week layaway plan, at 25% every other week, that’s roughly $40 a biweekly paycheck. Not bad for a really nice gift!

Check out Kmart Layaway! I know that’s a definite first stop for me this holiday season!

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