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Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

The Cincinnati Reds
First professional team in baseball
Happy Opening Day!


Well, I’m sure everyone was expecting a baseball mg today, in fact I bet there were a lot of people who expected an Cincinnati Reds mug today! I don’t want to disappoint! :)

Unfortunately, I did NOT get to attend the ESPN Opening Day Eve party last night. I strained something, somehow, in my knee. David was working an extra shift and I couldn’t get down stairs!! Strangest thing. We spent the night at my Dad’s Saturday, He and Aunt Judy have a harder mattress than I’m used to in their guest room. That's really all I can think of that might have touched it off. We got home, I went to the basement and scooped the kids’ pans, came up and had lunch with David went up stairs to sit in front of the computer to read email. I did all that with not even a twinge of pain. I didn’t twist it. I didn’t hear a “pop.” While I was scrolling through the emails, I felt a cramping in my left knee. I remember asking David if it was going to rain trying to figure out a reason it cramped up. He said it was indeed supposed to rain, so I thought maybe it was a barometric joint.

By the time he was ready to leave, my attitude was “who cares why, just make it stop!” I could barely put any weight on it. There was no way I was getting down the stairs and I ended up going to sleep after rubbing ice-hot ointment on it and taking Advil. A couple of hours later, the pain had subsided a bit and I could hobble to the bathroom or office, but I mean I was really hobbling.

David stopped at Kroger and brought me home Icy-Hot sleeves to put on my knee. They seemed to really help this morning, although I’m still wobbly, I can sorta walk on it, gingerly. It’s still tender, I can get downstairs! That's important because the Reds Opener is on FSN Ohio at 2:10! In the "make lemonade" world, that's an okay part of being a destitute unemployed lump!


The story about the mug isn’t huge. I collect mugs. I’ve been a Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds fan since the early 70s. Of course, I have a Reds mug and a Tigers mug! As an adult, I am a National League fan, so I favor the Reds ever so slightly more. When I was a kid, I was a young homer, so it was the Tigers ever so slightly more. I guess the historical averages display them on a level mantle in my heart with the Braves mounted one small step below.

When I was little, it was all about Al Kaline and that subconscious memory of Mommy picking her toddler up out of the playpen and dancing with her in celebration of the Tigers winning the 68 World Series. It was a day game then and the sleeping baby and toddler in the playpen were all who my mom had to celebrate with while Dad as at work when they won. Of course, the toddler became a baseball fan for life that day. The sleeping baby, not getting to experience the unmitigated joy of a World Series victory, went the other way and became a hockey fan.

In the 70s, it was Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine! In the summer, I was allowed to stay up later when the Reds were Monday Night Baseball, but during the playoffs, if it was a night game, I had to read about it or see it on the news the next day because of school. I went to Catholic school then, so there were no fan wearables to show support by day. I gotta say, I love being a grownup! ;)

This mug was from the Reds store in Downtown Cincinnati. It was bought before the Reds Hall of Fame was put up and the complete team store was right by the ballpark! It’s one of my very used mugs and the chip on the side came from dish-washing! So, it’s going to just have to be replaced! Anyway, it will be retired to the mug rack and a new Reds mug for everyday will need to come home to live in the cupboard!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday By Request

There were no new requests this week, but there was an extra request from last week, so that now becomes this week’s Friday By Request. Remember, I’ll do any request that I can do in a blog. Come on, challenge me to a photo challenge, scrapbook layout, fiction or real life story, editorial, mini research project or bad poetry. Even if you think it’s a silly idea...I thrive on silly! :)

This week’s Friday blog was a request from SRC. SRC is a big time flatterer. This was the lead and request: “I was trying to think of something interesting for FBR for you to write about, but all I could think of was how I enjoy your blogs and wish I could write something interesting. So here is my challenge, tell all of us uninteresting writers how to do a read-worthy blog.”

Thank you so much for the compliment! Remember, I share a home with a professional writer. Some of the quirks that make my blogs mine drive him nuts! I don’t think there really are any “uninteresting” blogs, but I will gladly give a few pointers that make blogging easier for me.



Blog Workshop


LESSON 1 -


First, I want to address the notion of an uninteresting blog or an uninteresting writer. No such thing. You may read a blog that isn’t your style or not in tune with what interests you but that doesn't make it a bad blog or a bad writer. If you are reading your own work and are telling yourself that, STOP IT! As with any project, the first thing you need to do is believe in your own ability!


So there’s lesson one. You are an interesting person with interesting things to write. Now I put the pom-pons down and get to the real tips!


LESSON 2 -

I’m going to give tips for writing a casual, friendly blog. That’s what The Chronicles of Nani is. I write a “coffee shop on the Information Superhighway” type of blog. I like to envision my blog as being somewhere with cyber sofas and chairs where guests get a big cup of cappuccino and a muffin and kick back for a few minutes of conversation. I have regulars in my cyber coffee shop and passers by that might come back some day if they enjoyed their stay. With that vision in mind, I begin to write.


Whether I’m writing a blog about what happened today, reminiscing about something that happened in the past, bragging about my nieces, showing off cute pictures of my cats or letting off a little steam, I’m having a talk. I write just as I casually speak. When I go back and proofread what I’ve written, if I think it sounds too stuffy for the way I talk, I change it to be more casual.

So, lesson 2 is “Write the same way you talk!”


LESSON 3 -

Writing the same way you talk will not only make you a better writer, it will make you a better speaker too! When you reread your own work and start to feel like you need to spruce it up, you’ll spruce up your speech at the same time. We have this wonderful tool for writing really colorful and compelling blogs. We have language.


Take a look at some blog entries you’ve dne in the past. Are there words you use often? A lot? Too much??? Well, I’m going to share my best fiend in the blogging world. This magical link has helped me though uncertainty and mediocrity! http://dictionary.reference.com/

I’m not going school teacher on you all, honest! But, the dictionary.com site is bookmarked and often used on my computer! Not only can the thesaurus give you 477 other ways to say “good,” but it also makes you look like a better speller than the programmer who created spell check! The general tip for style is that unless you are repeating the word for emphasis, don’t use the same descriptive word twice in one sentence or in two consecutive sentences.

Example -

“We ate at a really good restaurant last night. The chicken was good, my husband’s steak was good and the desserts were really good!”

It’s not a bad couple of sentences. You get the idea that the writer and her husband enjoyed their dinner out. If someone told you that verbally you’d think they had a nice meal.

But how about this -

“We went out and spoiled ourselves for dinner last night. My chicken dish was really tasty and Jim just smiled with a moan of approval when he tasted his steak. The dessert was as good as it looked, even after we’d had our meal!”

Hmm... That meal just got better!

I’m not saying you want to write everything all frilly and gushy, but mix it up a little. Lesson 3 would be “Don’t ever be afraid to try new words!”


LESSON 4 -


When you’re choosing what to write in your blog, let it be personal! Talk about the things that mean something to you, your life, your family, your passions. Generally, if they truly interest you, there will be others that find it just as interesting. The hardest blogs to read are ones that are written by an author who either doesn't know or doesn’t care about the subject. Don’t try to write about something you think someone else would be interested in. It’s your blog, write it to share what make you happy or what bugs you.

You’ll notice you really don’t see any serious poetry here, just my funny bad poetry. I’m not a huge fan of poetry and I know any attempt I made at writing a serious poem would likely be an insult to fans of real poetry, so I stick to funny verse. That I can do pretty well.

If you are writing about an idea or project to expand your interests, let the reader know that it’s something new for you. This goes back to the conversation idea. Ask readers to share their experiences or thoughts. That adds to what you get out of writing too. But also remember, if you are expanding your own interests and experiences, you’re still writing about a subject you know well - you!

I will add one security tip. In addition to the basic common sense rules of Internet privacy, as a rule, you’ll never see the names of any kids under 13 on the Chronicles of Nani, I use initials only. If you see a child's picture with a name attached to it, rest assured it’s an old picture and the child is over 13. I even did second layouts for scrapbook pages before the 94s were all 13 to make sure I didn’t have faces and names together on scrapbook layouts that I posted.

I use 13 as a cut off because most internet sites do and because by 13 years old, most kids are establishing themselves online in honestly, less safe places than an adult’s blog! For the kids in my world, I won’t use their names when they are younger, hoping that it sets a good example of being cautious and safe on line when they get older. So far, with all of the 94s being teenagers now, it’s worked pretty well.

Lesson four then, is twofold. Stick with what you know, but protect what you love!


LESSON 5 -

Don’t be afraid to be inspired! Read other blogs, when you find one entertaining, stop a minute and ask yourself why you like it! Is it the topics in the blog, do you like how serious, funny or friendly the tone of the blog is, do you enjoy pictures or jokes in the blog? Don’t be afraid to borrow some ideas from their blogs. I can tell you that Photoblog Wednesday was started by a friend on Yahoo 360, not me. I joined in because I thought it was a neat feature. I’m still doing Photoblog Wednesday today. Mug Shot Monday is my idea. I have over 150 coffee mugs from all over in my travels. They have fun stories. maybe you have a collection of other things from events in your world or places you’ve been. That could be a regular feature. Maybe you have a favorite blog that does a news round up and editorial, maybe you enjoy a poetry blog. Do you have a favorite magazine or TV show that will give you some good ideas? Hey, you might even have some ideas from things the kids in your family can’t get enough of. Don’t be afraid to get ideas from other blogs and make them in your own style!

Lesson five - Don’t be afraid to get inspired!!


So there’s our mini workshop. I hope I’ve provided a tip or two to, if nothing else, helped you feel better about your own blogging. Take the ideas that seem the most comfortable to you and get out there in cyberspace and blog on!

So now the search for next Friday’s subject is on! Any requests?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Raspberry-Orange Slushie

I’ve been playing around with making some scrapbook elements on my own, without using photographs as a base. That doesn't mean I don’t want to do the photo-based elements, it just means I wanted to try something new. The photo-based kits take a lot longer to create because they require extractions and a ton of tweaking to get the ready to release! Diversifying my creating allows me to not have such a lag-time in between the gifts I can offer! I like giving gifts!

This is a sample from the kit I just finished, Raspberry-Orange Slushie. For me, the hot pink and orange scream cool summer treats on a hot day. Yes, doing this kit in March is all about me WANTING those hot days so I can crave berries, citrus and snow cones!

Totally 80s Games Night
Credits: Kit - Raspberry-Orange Slushie by Digitalegacies, Font - Swing Set

Here’s the kit, of course, free for you to download! It’s simple, but sometimes, simple is elegant and it allows you to focus on your photos too! As always, if you use this kit, drop me a line in the comments with a link. All comments are approved by me first, so if you put “Not For Posting” as your first line in the comment, you can put an email or any information and it won’t be seen by anyone but me.

Here is the preview!
sorry, link is expired.

You’ll get
6 papers
2 blocks of journaling strips
2 frames
4 fasteners
4 sun and flower elements

I hope you enjoy this little freebie and please, if you use it, I’d love to see it or even post it here!

A Little Night News

Boy has this been a roller coaster of a day! I had an interview with a placement agency this afternoon. They had an opening they wanted to consider me for. The position sounds okay, but it doesn't require a degree at all and it pays by the hour - a dollar less than the last job which was a dollar less than the one before. At this rate, how long until I’m back at minimum wage?

I can’t let it get me down. This area has been hit hard by the mess the economy is in for a long time. We’re in a depression here, I mean the unemployment figures for this region are actually as bad or worse than the 1930s! If I have the opportunity to take this job, I will. I have a degree that when things pick up, WILL matter. Being already employed and with a degree is the way to grab a tail when the corporate kites start to fly. It’s still distressing. I just want to get back to where I was. I’d prefer not to take two leaps backwards in hopes of getting ahead someday. But, like I said, it’s something. It’s hope. Hope is a seed that can grow prosperity if it’s nurtured correctly. But there is no possible prosperity without a seed, no matter how small the seed is!

There was one very bright spot. One that actually made my bruised ego feel good. Being a newbie in town, I had no idea. That place that fired me? They have a bad reputation with the employment agencies in town. I was told nobody lasts long there, it’s not a good company. I don’t feel so much like I failed anything in that situation. My efforts to do well there were like trying to stop a runaway train with a gasoline truck. Better to move on and let the train do its own thing!

But I said it was a roller coaster day. The interview and promise of pay, but not good pay, was the approach to the top of the hill and then a stall on the top. After I got back and had lunch, I checked my email. Then the car commenced with the thrill!

I was accepted to anther scrapbooking creative team about a week ago, but I had to wait to announce it until it was officially unveiled on the designer’s blog. Today was the day! If you visited before now, you might have noticed the new blinkie in my CT section. I am now creating for Darlene Haughin Designs as well as RC Mama Designs!

I wanted to catch up with the layouts I was doing for Sherrie and establish my reputation and my work as a CT member before I took on another designer. About the time I knew I could add new CT responsibilities to my evening hobby, I checked to see if any of my favorite designers had CT calls open. Creative team positions are not entirely abundant and the competition is keen. Darlene has been one of my favorite designers almost as long as I’ve been digital scrapbooking. When I saw a CT call for her, I had to give it a shot. I got the email back from Darlene with the guidelines for her CT and was offered the position if I was interested. YAY!!!

Darlene’s work is wonderful! She sells her kits at digital-scrapbooking.org and stoneaccentsstudio.com. She also offers freebies on her blog every Wednesday. I can’t say enough in a blog to tell you what great quality her stuff is. You should really check it out!!

For now, I’ll show off a couple of the layouts I’ve done with her kits in the last week and also a couple of my most recent layouts using RC Mama kits, to give a sample of my creative team efforts.


Party Like I’m 40!
This was done for a challenge at Stone Accents Studio. It’s also a page done ahead in my catching up project. I did this one using Darlene’s Haughn’s latest kit, Shelle-Belle. I just adore the colors in this kit!


La Famiglia
This is my brother, oldest cousin and me with our paternal grandparents in 1972. This one is actually is a quick-page. I don’t usually use quick pages, but since I’m the one who created the quick-page, I guess it’s not so much using a quick page, huh? This is using RC Mama’s Flower Girl kit which you can get at her blog. If you really like the quick page and want to snag on for yourself, you can find that at RC Mama Designs’ blog too!


ToriPhone 1.0
This was a fun page to create! It features a picture of Tori when she was 9, before she was a phonaholic! It's done with Darlene Haughin’s Techie kit. This is a truly inspiring kit to work with! The purse in the layout is created completely from items in the kit. There is no photo of a real purse like this, it’s a Nani-made simulation!


Love Is a Verb
This was for a challenge last month for Valentines Day. Most of my regulars here know that I like to get a little mushy about David now and then! This was done on template JHC 100 with RC Mama Designs’ Unblemished Love.


Thanks for looking! Come back later on Thursday for a little something from Digitalegacies!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photoblog Wednesday


"My dumb old sister's not the only one who gets the sunny spot
...or Photoblog Wednesday"


Baggle enjoying the regal pleasures of being a cat!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Domo Arigato For A Great Party!


The alarm went off this morning and we awakened with a start. How could we have fallen asleep at all? With visions of fast balls dancing in our heads in deep anticipation of what we’d find in our Sox this morning.

We ran down the stairs and turned on the TV. With fresh coffee and buttered toast, we settled in to watch the second half of the first preseason party of 2008!

Unlike Interleague Play, I watch the faux openers. Last year I celebrated Christmas the Saturday before with UNO and the Fabulous Dessert Bar and David and I went to my cousin's house for family dinner on Christmas Eve, but CHRISTMAS is December 25. It commemorates the birth of that baby and we do that on Christmas Day. We can celebrate it before then, give gifts and warm wishes, but Christmas Day is December 25.

I’m not comparing baseball to the birth of Jesus! I never said I think Al Kaline is the second coming. At least I don’t think he is. He is one of the sweetest and gentlest men in baseball to ever have a one-pound kitten named after him, but I wouldn’t go as far as making that suggestion. I’m just saying that on any given afternoon you can see the habit and collar of the cloth in the stands at a baseball game. Let’s give Opening Day the respect and recognition as a holiday it has earned in the hearts of laymen and clergy alike in North America!

What happened today was an Opening Day party. It was a great party because the Red Sox won in extra innings, but it’s before the holiday. That’s fine, just don’t confuse this with Opening Day. Opening Day is Monday. Opening Day is official with the parade in Cincinnati. We play, all of us, when the oldest professional team in baseball hears “PLAY BALL!” It’s almost here, but it’s not here yet! I will, however, be at the ESPN party in our living room on Opening Day Eve. The Braves will be there!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Redondo Beach, California

This is NOT a coffee mug! It’s a tea mug! Coffee leaves a trace of its aroma in ceramic with time and use. Oh you can’t taste it if you put a robust soup in the cup, hot cocoa or even milk, but for liquids with a delicate flavor, the aroma of the coffee overpowers the taste of the drink! Such is the case with most herbal teas. When I drink tea, it’s herbal tea, most commonly peppermint. I want my peppermint tea to taste like peppermint tea! So, in this mug, sunny and natural as herbal tea and the non-glitz side of Southern California, no beverage but herbal tea has ever, nor will ever, be found in it.

I was in Redondo Beach on Memorial Day, 2000. Mom, Heather H and I went on that trip to see Dodger Stadium...and relatives! We visited cousins from both sides of my family and Heather stayed the balance of the week with her brother after Mom and I went home. There was of course, baseball and some time for other fun too!

In 1993, I was geeky about this new slugging rookie the Dodgers had. He was a phenom at the plate, went yard 35 times in is rookie season! Defensively he didn’t have a rocket for an arm or anything, but as a catcher, working with LA’s “United Nations of Pitching” for a staff, he was great at calling the game and throwing his body out there defensively to protect the plate! Of course, Mike Piazza was the NL Rookie of the Year in ‘93 and easily my new favorite current player! I promised myself that I was going to get to LA to see Mikey play at Dodger Stadium!

Of course that became a more difficult plan in 1998. The Dodgers shocked the baseball world, especially fans in Los Angles, even Tommy Lasorda, when they traded Piazza to the Florida Marlins. That was May 14 when the reigning World Champion Marlins, who’d had a fire sale of all their key players obtained Piazza to join their shell of a team. There was no doubt that that trade was made to get rid of Gary Sheffield and obtain an easier to move product in Piazza. Okay, no doubt in MY mind. Piazza hit .362 with 40 home runs in ‘97. What do YOU think Florida’s motive was for taking advantage of an obvious night of drinking on the part of the baseball schmucks at Fox Entertainment Group? (Yeah, I’m still a little bitter) By May 22, Mikey was on the move again with his third uniform of the year to New York as the catcher for the Mets.

In 2000, everything fell into place for me, with a great deal for air fare with Southwest, the holiday weekend, some extra personal days at work AND the New York Mets visiting the Dodgers! I said I wanted to see Piazza play at Dodger Stadium, even though when I first said that I expected him to be wearing Dodger Blue. I was making that happen!

I put together my travel ad for the group and Mom and Heather were interested in going along. In addition to our family visits, the trip also included a day trip to Catalina Island, including mini golf, and a visit to Redondo Beach.

Redondo Beach is somewhere I wanted to go since I was a teenager. It’s the hometown of Motley Crue’s Vince Neil. I liked Motley Crue, still do enjoy their music now and then, but I wasn’t a huge fan. Of course, when you’re a teenager, “not a huge fan” simple means that you didn’t have a life-sized poster in your bedroom, you still read all the magazines! I wanted to go to Redondo beach, simply because the name was cool. Yes, I kept in my waiting mind 18 years to visit someplace because the name is cool!

Now Redondo Beach is the only place to date where I’ve put my feet in the Pacific Ocean, where I bought my first toe-ring and where I got an awesome tea mug!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter from Ohio!

Frosty Cottontail

The very first line in the “about me” section on this page is, “I’m an optimist.” When the world provides lemons, it’s my job to make the lemonade! I’m lucky, I am partnered in life with a man who is not a bad lemonade chef himself!

Frosty Cottontail sits on our front lawn greeting motorists as they pass. There were a lot of cars that drove by slowly, driver and passengers smiling and kids excitedly pointing. Making people smile on this snowy Easter weekend - that’s our public service! The good news is that it was only warm enough yesterday to solid him up and plant his eyes in better, not melt him! I checked out the window this morning. He’s still standing tall, waiting to entertain people in the parking lot across the street when the early church service lets out.

Frosty was David’s brainchild. He had told me on Friday that he said at work, “If I wasn’t gong to be out of town, I’d build an Easter Snow-Bunny.” Well, we ended up not going out of town so... In all of David’s years on this planet, he had never built any character out of snow! Never! This was his first creation as an artist using the snow medium. I helped build the base, but the artist was all David!

There’s something about a snow creature that reverses the aging process. We spent some time with the cats, watching out the window, admiring Frosty, enjoying the attention he was paid from the passing cars. Last night, David suggested, with a playful gleam in his eye, “Maybe I should go out and spray some water on him so he’ll freeze up for the morning.” My honey, Leonardo SnowVinci!


Remember yesterday when I said we’d do some groceries and I’d scrapbook? David stepped out after shoveling and picked up the essentials so we could have brunch at noon, after we built Frosty. Then we took advantage of some sun breaking through to chase a couple trains. After dinner, I got to scrapbook.

Credits:
Papers and elements from the DSO Easter Egg Hunt’s contributions from Darlene Haughin, Melanie Ann Designs, Fishinmom Designs, NikkiFabulous Designs and Kimb’s Designs
Fonts - AKA Frivolity, Georgia, Geneva, ABC Kids


They are having an Egg-Hunt at DSO! Since we ended up at home, I got to play Friday night. It took until after midnight, and I was tired, but I found all 33 of the eggs hidden at the site in the forms and store! Clicking on each egg brings you to a download page. Each download contains a scrapbooking element or a few. After collecting the eggs, the rest of the challenge is to create a layout with your basket of goodies with a quick page set for a final posting bonus. There were some really sweet elements and papers in that basket! Since I wouldn’t have gotten to play without the storm, and David wouldn’t have been able to build Frosty Cottontail without the storm, it seemed only natural to make Frosty the theme of my challenge layout!

The Ester Egg Hunt is going on at DSO through tomorrow with the layout challenge all week. If you digi-scrap and haven’t played yet, go! If you digi-scrap and aren’t a member of this great site, with talented designers and fun challenges, join! If you’re just curious about digi-scrapping, what a great way to try it out, with a basket of 33 freebies!!

Okay, it’s Easter Sunday...I need chocolate! Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring 3rd - Not So Springy!

View of the road for our Easter weekend drive!


Well, I certainly didn’t picture myself blogging today! I am supposed to be Up North in Michigan. I am supposed to be getting Grandma’s computer back up and online. I am supposed to be having a nice second cup of coffee munching on leftover HEAVENLY bacon from Alwards, in Hale. I am supposed to be taking a couple days off the diet, blissfully enjoying chocolate and contemplating dessert after a scrumptious meal at the waterfront restaurant in Tawas. I am supposed to be looking at old family pictures and taking notes as Grandma and I reminisce while David labels slides and watches basketball. I am supposed to be looking forward to beating everyone's butt in Yahtzee tonight!

Ah, but I am home, in Toledo with the sun trying to cast a few beams to create sparklies on the heavy blanket of white snow...on the third day of spring...on Easter weakened. (insert appropriate grumbling noises here)

The plan was to leave early enough to get north of the areas expected to be the worst before the snow got heavy. It wasn’t even snowing in Toledo when we left. I had both bags packed and ready to go as soon as avid got home. We got gas and although we were both hungry, made the conscious decision to wait until we got to Bridgeport, home of Freeway Fritz, for dinner. We made that plan to get to Grandma’s without running into bad traffic and snow. We read the weather reports. We kept an eye on the radar and satellites. I called Scotty just before we left to get the current weather north of us. We planned our course, prepared to battle a little bit of snow to get through the storm and be done with it. We had planned it well enough and were so sure that we took the Camaro!


But, ya know, God has a sense of humor. Sometimes I think he keeps me in this word so he can glance down and chuckle. Nobody appreciates the calling to be God’s court jester!

I think we all feel that way sometimes. It’s as if all the world’s a stage and we are all just slapstick comedians! And Murphy is the divine script writer.

We got as far as Ann Arbor before the heavy snow, slow traffic and cars in ditches all over made us turn around and go home. So, since to even try it again today we had to shovel out the driveway to get the car out, Grandma postponed Easter. Not the whole holiday, the significant part will, of course go on, but the Easter Bunny isn’t even coming to our family until we all get together (Grandma has clout!) David and I are so booked between standing obligations and his occasional weekend work schedule. So we’re hoping all works with Dad and Aunt Judy for Orthodox Palm Sunday. They were snow-stormed in too, but Dad had already called in as not attending this year because he has an awful flu. So, all in all, maybe this is better for us ALL getting together anyway.

So, for now, David and I have grocery store plans, I know exciting, but we really didn't think we needed to do our shopping right away since we were going to be north for the weekend, so we need to restock. Then probably some scrapbooking time this afternoon. So, a quiet afternoon for us after all. Somebody eat a set of chocolate bunny ears for me???

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday By Request

“Bits-N-Pieces” originally posted at Digital Freebies 11/17/07
Credits: You Are So Beautiful by Verena Karolyi, Fonts - Jokerman, Courtney’s Journal

I first met my best friend at Dunkin’ Donuts. Wow, the truth is I can say that for all four of my chosen siblings! But this week’s request is from Kelly, my best friend, my sister and my platonic soul mate, who more often than not in our relationship has lived TOO far away! Still, that distance is a testament to our love for each other. No matter the distance, we keep in touch and make every minute we can be together the best minute it can be.

The Journaling in the scrapbook page above fits with today’s request. The picture is from many years later than the story in the journaling, from our “Kelma and Nanise” trip in 2005. But today’s request goes way back. The request is from Kelly asking me to bare a little part of my soul, expose some of my memories. Kelly asked “What was your impression oof me when we first met as bits and pieces when I came hobbling into Dunkin Donuts with Lisa?”


Meeting Bits-N-Pieces

Scotty’s girlfriend, Lisa, said she was bringing a friend of hers to meet “the Zoo,” the name for our group that my Mom had given us when I was still in high school She warned us that her friend had been in a motorcycle accident and was on the mend, but she’d been pretty broken up, don’t be shocked.

Okay, so no plans for a group mini golf outing. No problem.

What I remember as a first impression, was that Lisa had an art for understatement! Kelly was practically in a body cast! Hobbling in with crutches with a bald spot and missing teeth. Still, she was amazing. I don’t think I would have had the strength to leave the house with that body armor or the courage it took to meet strangers, but there she was, meeting us, saying hello with a brave, warm smile.

I knew I liked her right away. She was the embodiment of the strong I didn’t think I could be, the courage I didn’t think I had. I admired her.

We often, when clowning around, picked one member of the group to be the punching bag, as it were. One person, and everyone took his or her turn, got to be the end of the evening’s humor. That night it was Jeff S. Kelly was taken back at our teasing him only a moment before she realized it wasn’t serious and Jeff was laughing along. She laughed with us and as I recall, even added few barbs herself. We were all that comfortable together, that quick.

When she and Lisa left, and after Scott has gone too, we all agreed that Kelly was probably a better fit with the Zoo than Lisa was. Years and years later, Lisa is long gone and Kelly is still a part of our family.

Kelly, I’m not sure what you were expecting from your request. Yes, when we all first met you, we were amazed that you could even manage to move. But that only made us admire you. Through the years, you’ve helped me realize that I am stronger and braver than I thought I was then. You started out as a role model for a group of people who instantly realized the little things we complained about were nothing. I think you made us all stronger, leading by example.

At that time, you may have felt like a light half burned out, but the truth is, you were a shining sun that warmed everyone you touched.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

I like crocuses. They defiantly tell old man
winter “Enough already!” My kind of flower!


This is one day that I completely revel in the glory of every year. It could be ten degrees and snowing. It doesn’t matter. Today is Spring 1st, the winter is gone and there is green and warmth ahead!

Disregarding tomorrow's forecast, today was sunny and vibrant in Toledo. Our next door neighbors are lawn and garden hobbyists, so even though there was a little late winter brown, their work from last year added to the blue and yellow in the sky with some definite areas of deep green down below it!

Add to the sunshine within that it’s spring, tomorrow after David gets home, we’re leaving to travel north to Grandma’s house for Easter weekend. I tlk to Grandma every week on Monday nights, but I haven’t seen her since Christmas, so I’m really looking forward to our visit! I’ll work for my room and board by resetting her computer and getting it back on board. Grandma’s been too long, in her opinion and mine, without her internet! We'll get that going and hopefully have some time to go through picture albums so I can collect photos and notes for the heritage project I’m working on.

Pop and Aunt Judy will be in Saturday and Saturday night Grandma will make her specialty for Easter dinner - reservations! Mine is a new school Grandma since back in the day when “new school” was a dream of “future school.” She continued to work as my Mom was growing up after World War 2. Papa was a veteran, having served in the Pacific with the US Navy. He was a Wonderful man and as forward thinking as they come.

Proud of his strong wife who held down the fort at home while he was serving and giving birth to their only child, a daughter, he was not one of the men who came home and pushed the women back into the shadows of society. His support for his family wasn’t just money. His was the support only a REAL MAN can provide. When the offer for management came to Grandma, Papa was the one encouraging her to take the opportunity. He and Mom engaged in intellectual debates. She didn’t have to agree with him all the time, but she’d better be ready to intelligently defend her opinions.

I want to get the stories from both sides of my family journaled, scrapbooked and ready for printing. Papa died a few months before my nieces were born. I want them to see those books, read the stories and share them with their kids or nieces and nephews some day. I want them to be able to know about their Great-Papa and their Bis-grandparents on the Italian side of our family. We come from great and resilient stock. I want to be sure that’s known, never forgotten.

Of course, there are my own personal scrapbooks documenting the life and times and people of...me! It’s my hope that if nothing else, it’s a legacy of smiles and optimism that can be preserved for me and shared with many. Of course there’s a lot to do to catch up yet! According to my scrapbooks, I’m still 39 years old!!

Catching up my scrapbooks is just part of my yearlong commitment to getting myself organized. There are some things that have to wait until after the job hunt comes to a merciful and I hope at least semi-lucrative end, like actually printing the scrapbooks, but what I can do with limited resources, I am doing to keep myself working on that goal! Besides, once I can afford the shelving units and physical organizing supplies, I’ll need to commit some time to that to!

So, there’s my mental Spring Cleaning. :)

Tomorrow is the first Friday By Request from this week. I also have some exciting scrapbooking news in my world coming very soon!!!

Happy Spring 1st!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Photoblog Wednesday

"But Mommy, you have a job!
You work for me!"

Kaline seemed to think that petting Kaline was more interesting than
ToledoHelpWanted.com Alas, on that particular day, she was right!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

“Meet Me On Peachtree”
Atlanta, Georgia

Today’s mug is rather topical. I was shocked Friday night, watching the feed from CNN International on what is our CNN channel, seeing the destruction on the street in front of CNN Center.

According to a article in the LA Times, a computer at CNN.com was sucked outside in the strike. Given the proximity of the CNN properties to one another at CNN Center , that could be a hint at explaining why CNN International and not CNN was on that channel and reporting the news Friday night.

Friday’s storm was the first of a weekend-long saga of violent weather and tornadoes. 2 people were killed Saturday in storms near the Alabama state line and 20 homes were damaged with no reported injuries south of Atlanta on Sunday. I was definitely NOT Georgia's weekend!

For me, watching the aftermath was...I‘m not sure exactly how to put it into words. Atlanta is my favorite city. I’ve been there often since the first time I went there in 1989. I fell in love with the city. I drive a 1994 Camaro instead of something more sensible for winter survival in the Great Lakes area because in 1994, I had plans to move there.


I was looking at all of the glass and debris on the street where windows had shattered at the Omni hotel and CNN Center. CNN Center was the place I had lunch with the news writer who inspired me to get my radio and TV certificate from Specs Howard. It was the place I waved my hand in front of the blue wall and saw myself on TV in front of a chromakeyed CNN weather map when I went on the studio tour.


Pieces of the roof fell in at The Georgia Dome, where I saw men’s gymnastics in the 1996 Summer Olympics and Clemson and Louisiana State face off in the Peach Bowl that December. The news showed debris in Centennial Olympic Park, where I had been with friends the weekend before the Olympics when we went to the country festival at The Atlanta Motor Speedway.

It’s kinda haunting to see and read about all that destruction happening in a place you love that has so many happy memories attached to it. But Atlanta has survived greater destruction and came back to thrive even more. Remember, it was burned to the ground in that war almost a century and a half back?


So, I can drink a cup of coffee from that mug and smile, knowing that Atlanta has the will bred into it from the Civil War days to bounce back and this country has the spirit of drive and cooperation to get things back and running in the little town that has become the communications hub of America and one of our historical Olympic cities.


Oh, and one more thing ... about the mug. Once everything is back and ready for touristing activities, and I DO recommend that, especially in the spring when the dogwoods and the Braves are in bloom, beware of locals that give directions to tourists that include “turn on Peachtree.” There are over 30 streets in Metro Atlanta that have Peachtree in the street name, but there is no street called “Peachtree.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm All In


Well, it’s time for the unveiling of my second effort from my evening and weekend hobby!

The layout above combined several challenges for a few Scrapbooking sites. It is also my “demo page” for “I’m All In,” the theme song for High Stakes Poker on GSN and the second scrapbooking kit from Digitalegacies! I suppose at some point I may design a “regular kit.” But really, I don’t have any trouble finding kits in my favorite colors with pretty flowers, sweet ribbons and glitzy sparklies. My scrapbook pages are full of very pretty pages made with those sorts of elements. Where my designing inspiration comes from is when I want elements that I can’t find from other designers. I guess I figure that’s where there is a need to be filled! At least there is for me and if there is anyone who is looking for the same thing, I want to share!

So this kit is made for poker layouts. Whether it’s memories from a trip to Vegas, a Vegas Night church social or good friends getting together for a friendly game, “I’m All In,” catches the fun spirit of poker night. Hey, my 13-year old nieces know how to play Texas Hold’em, so the possibilities for this kit are endless and ageless!


“I’m All In” is a decent sized kit with lots of elements and a full alpha. It’s my first try at making an alphabet. I think it turned out okay for a first time. It’s a lot of work making an alpha and not as easy as it seems. I can see why there aren’t a ton of kits that have them at all, let alone upper AND lower case! This one has both cases, numbers and a few symbols of assorted colors based on chip stacks. I think it’s a decent accompaniment for the kit.

With “I’m All In” you’ll get:

10 papers
26 elements including:
2 frames
7 poker chips elements
5 cards elements
3 word art
1 label
1 journal block
1 FULL alpha with upper and lower case letters
numbers, and the symbols !, ?, &, *, # and ?

I hope you enjoy the kit. If you know someone who’d like a copy, please send them here to download it and of course, if you use the kit for a layout you post online, please send me a link so I can see it or maybe even post it on The Chronicles of Nani!

“I’m All In”


sorry, link is expired.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Any Requests?

Friday By Request has been a feature on The Chronicles of Nani since August, 2006. It stared with a request that David had forgotten he’d made and took off from there. It sorta goes in spurts. I think readers of the blog become inspired by the challenges others give me and come up with a challenge of their own for me. Whatever the reason is, it’s been a while since I’ve done one and I miss it! I love,love,love doing requests. I love a good challenge and the challenges I’ve received have resulted in some fun, creative and thoughtful posts!

Friday By Request, is just that - I blog requests on Friday! I take the first request sent to me after the current Friday’s blog is posted. It can be a request for anything that can be done in a blog and is suitable to keep my “all ages” rating. So far, I’ve done poetry, photography, top ten lists, stories, serious soul searching and tackling philosophical questions. I’ve added a video clip to a request, but I can do a video clip by request too! I cannot accept a request for a scrapbook kit for Friday By Request. That takes more time than a couple of days! I will do a page layout by request, though!

Challenges, be they writing serious or funny, bad poetry, graphics, or video, anything I can put in a blog, are great for really getting my creative brain working. That part of my brain likes the exercise! This gives you a chance to have some fun giving me a challenge and me the opportunity to entertain, or at least to accept that challenge. I hope everyone would be willing to take me up on this once in a while. If you’ve already made a suggestion of Friday By Request, please feel free to do so again!

There is also the offer of a link back to your blog or website for suggesting. I’ll link to your personal nonprofit blog or website when I credit you for making the request. If I don’t have a request for Friday by Wednesday, I won’t post a Friday By Request for that week. I take the first request, but if there is more than one and I don’t get a new one the next week, I’ll do saved “leftover requests.”

See the links below for the full archive of Friday By Requests to see what people have requested and maybe give you an idea of a challenge you’d like to submit. If you have an idea for me, send me an email at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com with the subject “Friday By Request.” Be sure to put your ID, a name or user name, with your request. Also include the URL you’d like used for the link-back if you’d like it included.

The response to Friday By Request has always been good, so I guess the Chronicles readers enjoy reading or
seeing the challenges as much as I enjoy doing them. Of course everyone is free to take on the challenges themselves in their blogs too. Drop me a note in comments if you do, so I can see yours! I hope everyone will want to play along and that you all enjoy the outcome each week!



Friday By Request Index


11/28/08 I'm Thankful for Seamhead Gypsy
10/24/08 Do It For The REAL Fans
for Seamhead Gypsy
9/19/08 "Gimme an S, Gimme a C, Gimme an R-A-P!" for Lora
8/29/08 Ohio Cities From A-Z and Michigan Cities From A-Z for Sheri
8/15/08 Frankencats for David
8/1/08 What Happened To The Age of Aquarius? for Seamhead Gypsy
7/25/08 Quilt For A Waterbed for Dinphy
7/18/08 The Good, The Bad and The Sister for Rina
6/14/08 A Tale of Four Kitties (Tails In Two Cities) for holden05
6/6/08
Avoiding Gasoline Rape for Seamhead Gypsy
5/23/08 My Most Memorable Childhood Moment(s) for Sheri
5/2/08 Cat Blinkie for David
4/11//08 The Finest Opening Day for Seamhead Gypsy
3/28/08 Blog Workshop for SRC
3/21/08 Meeting Bits-N-Pieces for Kelly
8/3/07 The Game of Putt-N-Squirt for Karen
7/27/07 Train Photoblog for Chalicat
7/20/07 - Regrets? I Have A Few, Maybe for Latina
6/29/07 Whatever It Takes (I'll Catch The Latest Degrassi) for Ronalyn
6/22/07 Starbucks Poetry for David
6/8/07 Before SHE Cheats for The Guys
5/25/07 Flippin' Friday By Request - Before He Cheats from Nani
5/18/07
“I’m 14 with Photoshop and a copy of Playboy!”
for David
5/11/07 Discrimination in 2007 for Kathleen
4/27/07 Hiding From The Heat - Girls VS Boys for Chalicat
4/13/07 My Take On Commercial Easter for Techynana
3/30/07
Adventures in Peevedom for Latina
3/23/07 My Moments for Summer
3/16/07 My Fantasy Indulgence for Cathy
3/9/07 If I Had A Million Dollars for NikkiC
3/3/07 Klinger's Toledo for Cathy
2/23/07 How I Found My Love for Linda
2/9/07 Welcome To Kanawha for Sharon
2/2/07 Maybe I'd Save a Life? for Nikki
1/26/07 The Top 10 Places I want to Travel for David
1/19/07 What Would You Write? for Mary
1/12/07 What I'd Do For The World for Connie
1/5/07 Nani's Goals for 2007 for Summer
12/8/06 "It's A Bad, Bad Dream" for Scott
12/1/06 The Top 10 Things To Do On Cold Snow Days for David
11/24/06 My Turn To Prepare The Feast for Sheri
11/10/06 Elliptical Machine for Summer
10/20/06 Kaline's Wish for Marie and Brendan
10/6/6 My 10 Biggest and Grandest Simple Pleasures for Leah
9/29/06 Top 10 Thoughts For A Yom Kippur Birthday for Cathy
9/22/06 A Super Poem for Renee
9/15/06 A Story With A Musical Twist for Sheri
9/8/06 Happy 18th Birthday, Heather for Nancy
8/25/6 The Top 10 Things That Make Me Laugh for Rich
8/18/06 The Top 10 Things That Annoy Me for Sheri
8/11/06 Photograph of a Storm for Summer
8/4/06 A Poem About Groceries for David

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Homesick, Happy and Scrappy!

1995 - the night after our all night drive to Hershey, PA

Okay, after a picture of Kelly and me a couple days ago and now that picture today, you can tell I’m feeling a bit homesick! You see, home is not where you hang your hat, it’s where you hang your heart! I am VERY at-home in Toledo. I’m at-home anywhere David is. But, I am also at home wherever my family is, the ones God gave me at birth and the ones He has lead me to in life. That picture was taken in 1995. It’s John, Me, Tracy and Rich. Heather H. took the picture when we went back to our hotel room after dinner. We were exhausted! We had all met at Omnicom at 10PM the night before. Rich and I were working the night shift. We drove all night to Hershey, PA, the place where the air smells of chocolate, ahhhhh...

I’ll see everyone who can make it to Heather’s place this weekend for Games Night, but I really miss seeing them all more often! When I was in Michigan, Scott and I went to dinner every Wednesday and I’d meet Sheri or Tracy and Heather for coffee now and again. With the once again soaring gas prices and no current income, it sometimes just leaves me VERY homesick for the rest of my people! I’m lucky. David is great about making sure we get back to Michigan for Games Night every month!


Yesterday was a promising day in the job-hunt world! I usually make a point of calling 5:00 quitting time. That is, I close the browser that has my job hunt stuff on it and move on to something else. I read my personal email, scrapbook, blog or something completely non-computer, shudder that thought, I know, but there is laundry, cat staffing duties and the reality of being a modern-day Donna Reed. If I let myself become a job-hunt-a-holic I’d be so far behind I could slap my own butt. Then I’d probably not only get depressed about the job market, but my too easy to slap butt. So, I structure my day to keep sanity, optimism and balance in my world.

Ah, but I remain flexible! I finished up yesterday around 6:30, a little overtime is okay on occasion! Near the end of the day, I found, posted, a graphics job for a company I really wanted to work for but blew the phone screen interview 2 years ago. In that fateful interview, I got nervous and somehow managed to tell the screener that I really didn’t know how to use Photoshop, an essential piece of software for the job. Of course, I didn’t pass the phone screen. Funny thing is, all the photo manipulations, scrapbooking and even my designing work I DO on Photoshop! I am hoping and praying that this time, I get the chance to interview again and redeem myself! Send some good thoughts and prayers my way if you have the notion to!


Tomorrow I’ll be talking about the rebirth of Friday By Request, including links to the old FBRs. Those of you who’ve read the Chronicles on Yahoo are familiar with Friday By Request. I loved doing those blogs and I’m hoping that I can get them started again. I enjoy a good challenge and Friday By Request always got my brain and my creativity working. The feedback was always good too, so I guess it was entertaining too! That’s all I’ll say for now. The complete details will be posted tomorrow!


This is the scrapbook layout I did last night. The journaling is addressed to Tori and Rina. It’ a fun layout, just in time for Easter!

Easter 2001


Credits: Violet Spring by Pixelfairy’s Scraps, March Surprise Challenge at SFS by AnzecaW,
Bunnies & Chicks by Sweetz Scraps, and Bunnytrail by SJ Wright Creations


I’m working on my second scrapbooking kit. I’m thinking I may have it finished some time next week and available here for free, of course! In the mean time I have an add-on for "Train, Train. "It’s just a few elements that didn’t make it into the kit, but I also don’t want anyone to forget me as a designer!! LOL

The ad-on has 2 more backgrounds, a BNSF-orange weathered solid and stylized depot scene, a depot sign and a railroad tie frame. I wanted to do the tie-frame for the kit, but I didn’t have the right elements to make the element! I rectified that last week in Iowa, so the frame is an authentic Iowa railroad tie frame!

I hope if you downloaded “Train, Train” you’ll enjoy this complimenting freebie! If you use “Train, Train” or any of my kits to come, I’d love to see your layout! Sherrie, of RC Mama Designs posted the layout she did with the kit on her blog. It is a sweet layout! (Makes me itchy to use my own kit for a “Rina Layout” now!) I gotta tell ya, there’s a thrill in seeing someone else’s layouts with your work. I kinda liken it to seeing the programs I produced on someone else’s TV back in the day.

sorry, link is expired.



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photo(shop)blog Wednesday

“Iowa is for corn,
corn, corn, corn,
Have a beer and grab an ear
of corn, corn, corn”


How I spent my Spring Break


Can’t feel more welcome than this, huh? ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weird Survey

Every now and then you just GOTTA have a picture of Black Forest Cake!

The occasional meme is fun and since I have quite recently moved the Chronicles of Nani to this new and hopefully last for a while home, what a great time to post one of those “Getting To Know Me” type things. I would love nothing more than the comments section to be filled with links to YOUR blog and your responses to this friends survey! After all, isn’t one of the many great benefits of blogging making new acquaintances all over the blog world?

Kelly and Nani, St. Louis 2004

This one was a little different. My best friend, Kelly, who is SO far away from me, even though I did move about an hour closer when I relocated to Ohio, sent me this in email. Kel is a “little different” too! I think that’s one of the big things we’ve had in common all these years! I like that this survey doesn’t ask me “bacon bits or croutons?” although it does ask about salad DRESSING. Why is salad such a defining part of who I am??

Well, here it is. As I said, I’d LOVE to get links to blogs to read answers from friends old and new!

Place an "X" by all the things you've done in your entire life!

(x) Smoked a cigarette
(x) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) Laughed so hard you pee'd yourself
(x) Been on a hay ride
(x) Rode a motorbike
( ) Gone on a blind date?
(x) Skipped school
(x) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Florida
( ) Been to Mexico
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Been lost
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country
(x) Gone to Washington D.C.
(x) Swam in the ocean
( ) Felt like dying
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops & robbers/cowboys & Indians with neighborhood kids
(x) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang karaoke
(x) Paid for a meal with only coins
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) Made prank phone calls
( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
(x) Blown bubbles
( ) Made a bonfire on the beach
( ) Crashed a party
( ) Gone roller skating. Don't fall! Ouch!
(x) Gone ice skating
( ) Gone Scuba diving
( ) Been deep sea fishing

Part II

1. Any nick name?
Nani is a nickname! It’s Hawaiian for “beautiful” and Japanese for “huh?”
2. Mother's name? Janet
3. Favorite Drink? (non alcoholic) Peppermint tea, Pepsi One (Coffee is not a drink, it’s a vitamin, like chocolate!)
4. Tattoos? nope. I used to occasionally wear a temporary rose on my ankle, but not in years.
5. love your job? WAH!!! :( I WISH I had a job to love or hate!
wonder where 6 went? Yanno, I always wonder about those surveys with the missing questions. Either the writer of the meme can’t count or the question was so scandalous that someone saw fit to delete it. I chose to believe the latter. And I agree, THAT question was no one else's business! ;)
7 Favorite vacation spot? favorite...hmmm... Whichever one I’m planning for next is my favorite! Since I’m not currently planning the next one yet because we just got home yesterday, I’ll have to go with the most recent, Iowa!!
8 been to Africa ? nope <-- That was Kelly’s answer, but mine too. I guess we’ll go together!
9. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? I’m sure I have, but I’ll go one better. It’s the right of every adult to have that occasional triumph over the rules of childhood and exercise that independence that comes with maturity. I had a banana split for dinner in 1997 and there are 3 adult friends who can vouch for me because they had the same dinner in that same ice cream parlor in St. Ignace, Michigan!
10. Ever been on TV or in a movie? I was a local TV producer. In that role, I wore many hats , including occasional reporter and talk show host!
11. Ever steal any traffic signs? No, but I know people who did back when we were all in our early 20s!
12. Ever been in a car accident? Yeah, but not so often since they removed the target off the Camaro’s driver’s side rear quarter panel!
13. Drive a 2 door or 4 door? I am just now getting to the point where I’m ready to consider buying a 2-door of a car that has a 2 or 4 door option. In the past, I wouldn’t even have a car that came in a 4-door!
14. Salad dressing? Depends on the salad! I like Ranch, but if the salad is to go with pizza, it has to be a robust Italian! Fruit salads or salad with nuts are wonderful with sweet Vidalia onion dressing and spinach salad needs a classic warm, sweet, bacon dressing! So what have you learned about me from THAT answer, hmm? ;)
15. Favorite season? summer...followed by fall and then spring. .......... That’s all. Next question?
16. Favorite number? 17
17. Favorite movie? Gone With The Wind, Brining Up Baby, Frequency
18. Favorite Holiday? Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Nanifest
19. Favorite D
essert? Anything with ice cream
20. Favorite food? Depends on my mood. I love Middle Eastern cuisine, Italian and Mexican
21. Favorite day of the week? This question says more about me when I’m working. If I say Monday, I’m welcoming the fresh start to the week and the optimism that goes with looking forward to accomplishments, I love my job and the people with whom I work. If I say Saturday, I’ve landed another icky PTB job. Let’s hope my favorite day is Monday very soon!
22. Favorite month? July
23. Favorite toothpaste? Vanilla Mint
24. Favorite smell? Grass, dirt, hot-dogs and fresh roasted peanuts.
25. What do you do to relax? Let someone else make all the decisions.
26. Do you have a message to your friends reading this? Um, sure! Hi everybody!! :D
27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? In a reflective object.
28. What do you do when you are bored? scrapbook or write in my journal, but I seldom get bored because I’m often scrapbooking or writing in my journal in my spare time!
29. Furthest place you will send this message? Well, now...Since this is posted on my blog, so conceivably, it’s all over the world, I’ll leave it to you all reading it! I’m in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Let me know where you are in the comments!
30. Who will respond the fastest? This is always a silly question! Whoever wants to reply and has the time will respond. I won’t think less of you if you just read it - I hope you don’t think less of me for having read it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Mug Shot


Kentucky Derby Museum Louisville, Kentucky

I visited Louisville for the first time in 1994. Mom and I went on a lng weekend trip that included seeing the outdoor theater presentation of Stephen Foster Story, Dinner on “My Old Kentucky Dinner Train,” in Bardstown and a trip to the Kentucky Derby Museum!

The first time we’d been in the horse-country areas of Kentucky, was when we took our two-week trip in 1989. It was the weekend right after Secretariat died. The Hilton we stayed at had a “Secretariat Suite” that was not available for renting that weekend. It had a black ribbon across it and everyone who walked past it seemed to look and then bow their heads as they walked on. I pretty much formed the opinion that in Kentucky man was a close second to the horse!

The Derby museum was a great attraction! They had wonderful historical information and biographies about all of the horses who’d been in The Derby. there were galleries for the different horse farms in the area and I even found a horse for me! Davona Dale, there was a letter missing, but imagine a HORSE with my name IN KENTUCKY! That’s like sharing a name with a member of the royal family!

It was, of course, not Derby day, but the hoses were running at Churchill Downs that day. As we were leaving the museum, we were presented with tickets for the museum box, VERY good seats, if we wanted to go see the ponies. That was a very cool experience! I bet $2 to show on the horse with the prettiest name, how I always pick my horses. Of course, I didn’t win, but I have my losing ticket with a postcard from Churchill Downs framed as a really cool keepsake!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Photoblog Wednesday

Auto Racks In Detroit

Romulus, Michigan
2/24/08

Monday, March 3, 2008

Okay, Now I've Done It! (3/2/08)

(Freebie at end!)


This is my latest scrapbook layout taken with a fun couple of shots from last weekend. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out...I mean the whole thing! The kit designer is Digitalegacies - ME!

Here is my very first digital scrapbooking kit, “Train, Train.” “Train, Train” also is the title of the first piece of music in my very first train show, The Railfan Intern!


I’m not figuring I’ll “go pro” with this, but I love to scrap and some of the things I scrap are a little out of the mainstream. I create elements for my own pages anyway, so why not share them? Even if there aren’t a ton of railfans who scrap out there, I bet there are plenty of scrappers who have men in their lives who are railfans, train photographers or model railroaders who could do some great layouts of their hobbies with this kit!

“Train, Train” is a combination of my original photographs and my Photoshop art. Always the producer’s brain, I take pictures when I railfan of things that would make good extras for my scrapbooks. Now this collection of authentic American freight train papers and elements is available for free download.

The kit includes:
5 weathered solid papers
5 specialty papers
2 frames
2 signals
1 crossing gate
7 flora elements
5 signs
1 train engine
1 railfan photographer

Please, if you download this kit, read the Terms Of Use - credit me in your online galleries and rather than sending a copy of the kit to a friend, please direct them back to download it here! If you do use the kit, I’d love to see your layouts! Please send me a link!

Thanks for taking a look!


sorry, link is expired.


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