Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!





Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Coffee Day




Today is National Coffee Day according to a press email David got from a local coffee shop, so treat yourself to your favorite java beverage! Then, bring your coffee in to the room your computer is in and spend some time with The Chronicles!

Don’t you love the cup? It was a birthday gift from David. My hubby knows me SO well! In my quest to be healthier, I’ve switched to decaf at night, but I still always have my java, often in that cup now, next to the computer when I’m scrapping!

The celebration as seen from our living room

It was a fun baseball night last night. I have been predicting a Reds Championship ever since David and I met in 2005. He’s laughed at me until this year. Last night he was yelling, “YAY REDS” right along with me. He laughs at my optimism, but admires my loyalty to my team.
They mentioned on today’s broadcast, when mentioning the sponsors, that it was a good thing Skyline Chili is open 24 hours last night. Mmm…that kinda makes me crave Cincinnati Chili!
Dusty gave a lot of the regular starters today off. The game just started with a beautiful diving catch by Chris Heisey. But now the Astros have scored. Maybe some of the starters will pinch hit later.  But for sure, driving around town in my red Camaro with the Reds license plate will look really cool THIS fall!


Yesterday was a lucky day for me in another way too.
I declared it war on the kitchen day. I was looking at my take-home midterm for my security class. After reading it all through and starting, I was stumped, really stumped by question 2. I don’t have to have the exam turned in until next Monday morning, so I figured I needed to organize in my world to organize my brain. Don’t laugh! It has always worked and I’m a third of the way through the all essay exam already.


One of the things I needed to find a place for was this: 



It’s one of the treasures from Grandma’s house. It’s a coin bank, cloth covered metal a little bigger than a deck of cards made by the Singer Sewing company. It’s old. I don’t know what the value is as an antique, but I’m sure it’s antique-old. There were coins in the bank.
Grandma was a coin collector and she had tons of coins everywhere. I collect pennies, but I have a few other books that Grandma gave me so I started collecting coins with her. She said the coins would all one day be mine. Well, that meant ALL of the coins went with me. I’m saving the pennies and the really old coins and rolling and depositing the rest of the coins in the account I have with my brother to divide later.

When I shook the old coin tin, I figured I needed to pry it open so I could add the coins to the bank stuff. As I was shaking it, one penny fell out. My eyes opened wide, an INDIAN HEAD! I shook it some more and another coin fell out. ANOTHER Indian head!

Having no key that worked, I careful pried it open. For the prying there is only a small dent that hadn’t been there before. I dumped the coins out on the kitchen counter. 33 cents, 8 Indian head pennies and a seated liberty quarter that is a little tarnished, very worn and over 150 years old! The newest coin in the back was dated 1909.

My guess is that the box was originally my Great Grandmother’s. It perhaps had a lost key since she was little and was then lost in the shuffle of things. With the newest penny being 1909, maybe the last it was used was 1910 or 11? My Great Grandmother would have been 4 or 5, maybe collecting the pennies for quite a while. I’m trying to imagine the worth of the coins then. Perhaps the quarter was a birthday gift? I can imagine what a huge deal it would have been to be given a quarter at four years old in 1910. It would have been an incredible treasure and a generous gift.

In 2010 to a 44 year-old, 33 cents and an old metal box is still a great treasure!

WHAT A NIGHT!


 
2010 NL Central Division Champion
CINCINNATI REDS

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Nani Gazette




Happy Sunday to all! In Toledo this mid-day, it’s chilly and sunny. You know at this time of year that can change by the first pitch, but right now, chilly and sunny.

David is giving platelets this morning and the kitty-kids have retired for their morning siesta, so I have some quiet time before the baseball day starts!

Kaline has been industrious recently. Last night, while David and I were enjoying a yummy dessert, a chocolate turtle cake for two that we got when we went to the meat market Friday, I heard a shuffling sound. David, who took his dessert into the other room where his computer was, didn’t hear it. Then, the sound again, a shuffling sound coming from the kitchen. When I looked, there was Kaline moving a box with recyclable Styrofoam across the kitchen. She walked up to it, stopped and bowed her head to it and head plowed it across to rest against the cupboards. The box was actually in my walking path and while it’s blocking the drawers, it’s easier to walk through now. When we take the recyclables out, it will be gone, but how’d she know to do that to clear the walkway??

This morning was work of the more typical Kaline variety. I usually wake up before David and I go into the office, where my Mac is, and read email or whatever book I'm reading at the time for a while. Carla visited me for some lovin’ then went back to the bedroom. Kaline is usually the next visitor unless…unless she decides to play with a door and locks herself in the bedroom or bathroom. This morning, she shoved the door closed on both herself and Carla. Luckily, it was the bedroom door and she locked her Daddy in too. Carla, who’d been sitting in the window, meowed at David as if to ask if he knew how to get them out or if they were all trapped. Luckily, David didn’t take his thumbs off before bed last night! ;)


Magic Number




The most irritating thing about the San Diego Padres is their inability to read a script. I plotted out their losses Friday and Saturday and they absolutely ignored me! Bless the Cubbies for taking care of me yesterday with a win over the Cardinals. The Cincinnati Reds magic number is two. A combination of 2 Reds wins and/or Cardinals losses will lock up the NL Central for MY REDS! Today is a good day for that. Just need the Cubs to win again and for San Diego to just do it MY WAY today! Then I can be happy.

I have a little dieting goal, that when I reach it, hopefully sometime this winter, I’m rewarding myself with a Joey Votto jersey with a World Series patch. Do you hear that Padres? Weight-loss is good for my health and my arthritic knee and back. I have a goal that depends on you NOT beating up the Reds! You have some power here. Will you use it for good or evil?

While the Tigers aren’t looking at post season play this year, the Braves are. Right now, every Padres loss is also good for Atlanta in the Wild Card standings, so I really have every reason in the world to want to see the Padres fall.

Actually the game yesterday was very close and see-saw. A good game, both nights actually, just bad results.


Sometimes The Movie is Better…



I usually see the movie first and then read the book, the only exception being Harry Potter. I learned this long ago. I read The Shining when I was in Italy in 1979. I saw the movie after that and was so disappointed. It was a good movie, but the book was better. I was 13 and already disillusioned with the entertainment industry. That was when I began to only read books that were movies after I saw the movie. That goes with the optimist in me. I can see a good movie and then read the book and say “The movie was great and the book is EVEN BETTER,” or I can read the book and then see the movie and say, “It was a good book but the movie was such a disappointment.” That’s an easy choice. I’ll take happy-happy any day!

So, after visiting the Field of Dreams site, site of a movie I truly love, at the beginning of the month, I decided to read Shoeless Joe, the book on which the film is based. I expected the book to be even better, leaving me more tingly and crying even harder when Ray Kinsella plays catch with his young father’s ghost. Notsomuch. In the book, he didn’t even play catch with him.

Shoeless Joe had extra characters that left you wondering why they were even there. Subplots were really not that well developed and didn’t seem to make sense with the story. In the movie things happened fast enough that it was credible. In the book the time frames weren’t believable because it didn’t make sense for the supporting characters to wait as long as they did. Even fantasy has to have some grasp on reality to make it a credible story. I think that’s especially true when you are using lots of real historical references. I loved the fact that after I saw the movie for the first time, I could look up Moonlight Graham and see that he was a completely real baseball character.

So, Shoeless Joe is an okay book that was turned into a great movie. Now I’m thinking it might be okay to rent Angels and Demons. But that was a book I truly enjoyed, so maybe not.



New Camera



The little party camera I got for Christmas has developed a spot in the lens. You don’t see it when it’s zoomed all the way out, but when you zoom it in, it’s a black spot in the middle of the picture. I zoom a lot, especially when we chase trains because I can’t walk in too much on rugged terrain. Rugged terrain for me is the pebbles on the side of the road or through soil and grass on the roadside.

So, a couple weekends ago, I brought my little party camera in to have it looked at. Long story short, it would cast more to have it sent in and looked at than it would to replace it! I’m kinda bummed about that because I wanted to get another camera for trains and other hobby-photos, but I like having a simple to use camera that takes decent pictures to feel confident handing to other people. It wasn’t an expensive camera, took good pictures and is easy to use. I didn’t like that it doesn’t have a viewfinder. If you have good natural lighting for an outdoor photo, the sun obliterates the little screen and you’re shooting blind and praying. Not really what you want for a photography hobby. Still it’s nice to share and actually get photos of David and me together that aren’t self portraits!

I’m not going to get the little camera fixed. It will still take decent pictures, you just can’t zoom in. Maybe sometime in the future, I’ll replace it with another pocket camera, but for now, I’ll keep it with no zoom. David and I looked at some cameras. I eventually want to go SLR. We’ve been thinking of his and hers SLR digitals, him teaching me SLR and me teaching him digital, sharing the special lenses with a decent point and shoot to share for casual photos, so we were looking together. He called to get a suggestion form a friend who we both trust for opinions on cameras. He suggested the Canon G11.

The G11 is like a bridge between a point and shoot and SLR. It doesn’t have changeable lenses, but, while it’s a point and shoot in full auto mode, it gives the photographer a lot of creative options when you turn the auto off! Right now, I’m using it in full auto as I get used to the weight, having my viewfinder again and adjusting to the difference between the viewfinder and actual size of the photo, the photo is a little larger that what you see in the viewfinder, like my Minolta was and the different zoom controller. Then, I’ll start playing with the lighting and focal adjustments. I like my new toy!




Pumpkin Spice Time Again!



There are many things I love about fall, but the one I’m most nutty about is Pumpkin Spice! Last Saturday David and I stopped at iHop for breakfast before going to The Motherland for Games Night. I had my first Pumpkin Spice of the season, Pumpkin Spice pancakes! I think iHop makes the best, but this morning I made some of my own, using the last of my Trader Joes mix from last year. They were very good, but iHop’s are still better, Wonder if that’s just because I don’t have to cook them or clean the dishes?

I made my K-Cup order form 11th Street Coffee at the beginning of the month, just after we got home form vacation. I was completely out of K-cups, except for 2 Island Coconuts and three French Roast decafs. I ordered 5 boxes; Caribou blend, Butter Toffee, a decaf assortment and two seasonal ones, Harvest Blend and Pumpkin Spice! I would have loved an assortment of flavored decaf, but the flavored ones in decaf aren’t so common. I like a cup of coffee at dessert, but I’ve successfully weaned myself to no more than two cups of regular a day. Thanks to Keurig for helping make that possible! I had Pumpkin Spice this morning with my pancakes. I couldn’t get pumpkin spicier!

The photo is of my own pie pumpkin. I’m going to make my own pumpkin things. I’m thinking pancakes, pumpkin bread and a crustless pumpkin pie. I should be able to try three small cooking projects with that pumpkin, and if they work, I’ll buy more! I don’t think pie pumpkins have seeds. I’ll find out soon. I really like the jack-o-lantern pumpkins for seeds, but we could draw the face, like David dis last year, on a pie pumpkin or two and waste less. Then if I really need the seeds, which I can imagine I probably will, I can get a half off pumpkin on November 1!



Okay, now I have some scrapping want to do before baseball starts. Have a great Sunday!

GO REDS!!!!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birthday Bash Contests & A Free Template!

I’ve been very consumed with school and house cleaning as well as all the other things going on in my world. I’m finding that being a wife is somehow more demanding than being a girlfriend was. Actually, I think that’s a combination of the boxes of stuff from Grandma’s house I’m trying to sort and the stress I’m putting on myself to get all this done before the holidays.

I’ve been doing a little scrapping this month. I’ve done more than I thought I had time for, but not as much as I wanted. I have to thank and say “Happy Birthday,” to the Studio for that!

I was knocked out of the layout contest. This was my last layout:


Credits: In The Between by Designs by Moo



I know why I’ll never win a competition like that and it’s okay. I had to think about it. I was really uneasy about the vote last time because , to be honest, there were many layouts I looked at and thought, “Oh God, train wreck.” Those were layouts that scored much higher than me and advanced. It’s not just a style difference. I have liked many layouts that weren’t my style. I really think the same dyslexia that make s me read slow also makes my brain confused when I look at a scrapbook page with huge clusters of elements. When I read, I see the background first and have to focus on the words in front. It’s actually a pretty common form of dyslexia. When I look at busy layouts, my brain is looking for the background paper first and then to focus on the foreground. When there are a lot of things bunched together in the foreground, my brain gets muddled and the reaction is negative. That’s the style people like to look at. But I’ll never be able to appreciate it and will never be able to scrap that way. That’s okay, but if there is a contest with a lot of layouts with the billowing elements like that, I need to accept that I’m not qualified to vote. It wouldn’t be fair if I did!

Here is the kit the layout artists who’ve moved on are working with this week:

Tears on my Pillow by JulieC Designs

You definitely want to check out this fun kit and the magic contestants weave with it!

Now that I’m not involved in any voting, I’ll talk more about the designer contest. The first rounds were anonymous. Now, with designer names on the kits, the popularity contest part of the voting comes. This week, the designers in the contest were instructed to make a quick page and include all of the paper and elements they used in the accompanying mini kit. The theme was apples! I LOVE the mini kits and pages in the gallery this week! Since the names arte out now and everyone has a chance to call upon all their pals, I want to share with you and endorse the four I voted for. They are all great kits and great pages.

Here are the four that got my votes. The Chronicles of Nani encourages you to vote and consider these four designers when you do!


How Many Apples by Knittin Jen


Apple Cider by Tinks Trinkets


Apple of My Eye by Kimeric Kreations



Picking Apples by 2 Girls Designs


Speaking of minis, Darlene Haughin has a new mini out at both The Studio and Scrap Bird!


Me Time is a sweet kit that is just enough for a few pages that highlight the calmer times in your world. Just looking at the preview relaxes me!

I did this page with the kit:

Credits: Me Time by Darlene Haughin,
Round and Round Template by Digitalegacies Designs


Since my templates this month have been part of the template swap at The Studio, I made this one into a blog freebie!


Click preview to go to download.
Password is eightiesmetal

If you like templates, there is still time to design one of your own and get a slew of them in the swap and the birthday bash is still on until the end of the month to collect those pieces of Blueberry Picnic and all the fabulous kits in the designer competition!











Monday, September 13, 2010

Birthday Fun at The Studio

If you are a scrapper and you haven’t stopped by The Studio yet this month, you have to come see !!

There are a ton of fun challenges going on and not only the Next Designer Contest, which I was in a few years ago, that gives you some great freebies to check out and vote on, and the Layout Competition. I’m in the layout competition this year.

I was surprised to make it to round two! Round one began and ended the week we were on vacation. It needed to be an autumn layout and most of the photos I had on my laptop hard drive were summer and Christmas! I did find one set that was from last year’s steam train trip. I was pleased with my layout and I just barely made the cut!

Round two was a kit I had considered getting and I was excited to get right to work. I was second or third to post his layout:



Credits: Gone A Courtin’ by Ambowife Designs

Unfortunately, pleased as I am with the layout, it’s doing poorly in the voting. The gallery starts with the most recent and there are four pages of layouts. I have a fear that people pick their five favorites before they even get back to the last page where my layout is! Okay, that and I’m not such a typical scrapper. I’m all about pictures and journaling and a focus on crafting the page is what’s popular. I still think the page I did was well-crafted. I just like my pages cleaner than what seems to be popular.

Anyway, I’m asking the visiting scrappers for votes. Boy this reminds me of 2008. But if you are a member at The Studio, or if you’d like to become one, Stop by the Round 2 voting and give Kiss Cam by Nani a click and whatever other 4 you like as well!
While you’re there, check out the birthday challenges. In the tradition of the old Studio challenges, the birthday challenges offer coordinating mini kits! Collect them all and you’ll have the wonderful Blueberry Picnic mega!

Every challenge gives you a little more of Blueberry Picnic. I find that when I win and open one, it makes me want to do another challenge! I’ll definitely recommend the Scavenger Hunt! It’s fun and you get to take a nice tour of the great kits in The Studio store!!


Okay, my praise for The Studio’s Birthday Bash and plea for your vote is done. I hope you at least take advantage of the great freebies and fun challenges all September at The Studio!

Puljos and Cordero Hate Cats!

Albert Puljos hits two homeruns tonight against the Braves after Francisco Cordero blew another game for the Reds earlier today. Nani goes to the bonus treat bag and the poor little kitties get none. How mean are those guys?

I actually like Puljos. I think he has whiny teammates that won’t let a future Hall-of-Famer have his due accolades. Puljos hit his two homers with no one on base. Left to Albert, as it should have been, the Braves would have won. Albert cares about the Reds fans. He’s a decent man.

David knows that Cordero is my least favorite Red. He’s the closer. Closers are my least favorite players period. That role is severely overrated and overpaid, even amongst the overpaid, they are overpaid. I’ll give a tip of the hat to Mariano Rivera, but I think half of his power comes from the hype. The image has successfully gotten into hitters’ heads. Cordero is NOT Rivera. Not in image, not in the ability to get three outs without loading the bases and/or killing the game.

Tomorrow is another day.

I’d like to see the Reds look into the crystal ball of the post season and imagine Aroldis Chapman as the playoff closer. The smoke he throws blows batters away in a manner that could possibly rival the Rivera mystique.

I didn’t deny the kids all their treats because it was a bad baseball day, either! They get two of the soft treats I call Stinky Treats at 10:30, like always. Just, for instance, last night they got a crunchy treat after the Cardinals lost and then another one when the Reds won. Today, no extras, except the standard morning or bedtime treats.


Vacation

Last week was vacation time for us! We left Indy after family brunch the day after the girls’ party and motored towards Iowa. We saw The Field of Dreams movie site, 3 baseball games, one rain-out and had some great chases with the gorgeous Iowa Interstate, especially on Saturday, when the Rock Island 513 was in the lead of a train around Iowa City.


Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa

The highlight for me was visiting the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville. That was cool! I took lots of pictures and David got a couple looking at the field from inside the corn field. That was my biggest souvenir haul! I got a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a mug that has a dark cornfield with ghost players that appear when hot liquid is in the cup!



Car Shopping

This weekend, Saturday was car shopping day for us. David had been debating whether or not he wanted to rent a car for our trip. The Escape was a year old and already had a lot of miles on it. Well, we drove it out west for our honeymoon last summer when it was new and then when we went to Florida in the spring.

The Sunday before we left for Iowa, I got one of those phone calls you never want. David’s voice was obviously shaken. “I need you to come get me. I was T-boned at a light downtown.”

I was glad it was David’s voice because if someone else was calling to tell me that my husband was “t-boned,” I’d have been a mess!

When I got there, the Escape was on the wrecker to be towed away already and David had collected some of his things in a pile on the sidewalk. We put them in my car as we watched the wrecker move off. I thought I could see how bad the damage was because the front of the passenger’s side was pretty crumpled.

But he was hit on the driver’s side!

We went to the ER to have his scraped up knees looked at. He also had some other bruising and scrapes. He went home with a note to stay home and rest for two days.

He recounted the accident to me, best as he could. There is a shock effect that you see it all in slow motion, but see none of it at all. The man who hit him ran a red light, hit him at speed in the front of the Escape. The damage I saw on the passenger’s side was from how hard he got hit. When we went to the impound lot to get the rest of David’s things during the week, this is what I saw:



I just looked at it and said, “Thank God.” I was a few feet away from becoming a long-term nurse or a widow! Thankfully, David recovered well. The aches and pains from the day after a serious accident rested away while he was home and the last of the scabbing from his poor scraped knees is wearing off now.

Saturday we found a new Escape with a manual transmission! He’d wanted a manual, but had to go with what was on the lot in the Cash for Clunkers deal. He did all the paperwork and it’s getting the one thing that the new car didn’t have that he fell in love with on the old Escape – a moon roof, installed before he picks it up.

We have been very fortunate for sure!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Party Time!

Sweeties 16



That’s a picture of my Sweeties 16! It's from their luau last weekend, learning to hula! What an awesome party that was! There were games, swimming, Hawaiian dancers and a roasted pig! That was a little creepy to watch cook, but it tasted SO GOOD! I got to meet some of the girls’ friends at the party. They have some really nice friends. Not surprised, their friends are as cool as they are.

Here is David and me at the luau:




I’ve been a happy Reds fan this year! About time, huh? It's September and David isn’t laughing at me when I talk about the post season!! The kids have more to say about that on Kaline’s blog, including Carla’s blogging debut! Check out Behind Orange Eyes!

Pretzel M&Ms



I have a new favorite M&M! The icky Crispy M&Ms are gone and now the Crispy character is the spokescandy for a better M&M!!

I love, love, love these! They are the perfect meeting of sweet and salty with MUCH less fat and calories than other M&Ms or other chocolate candies.


After Taking advantage of a beautiful, although cool, day to chase some trains today, we’re looking forward to more of the same on our holiday weekend tomorrow and maybe one last minor league baseball game before the playoffs. I hope everyone in the US has a great Labor Day weekend and that all of the visitors at The Chronicles of Nani enjoy a safe and happy rest of the week!