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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

I’m so behind on things today! It was an early morning to get David and his car in to the shop to have his muffler patched up. It’s not LOUD yet, but it sure is noisy! We waited to leave for a little bit because there was some serious rain and I saw one flash of lightning with close thunder when I was making my way downstairs.

I’ll be catching up on commenting on posts, including for some that I bookmarked for comments Friday, this evening. So if you’re concerned that I usually say hello and haven’t, that hello may be on its way tonight or tomorrow morning! Sometimes offline life is just so demanding! LOL

I’m also slower today because I quit taking my ibuprofen. I have to stop taking it Thursday because they want me off anything with a blood-thinner quality for a week before I go in to have the cyst removed. I didn’t take any last night and I had muscle spasms, one was pretty bad. So, I’m thinking the anti-inflammatory enhances the anti-spasticity pill. Since I can take one or two and I usually take one, I’ll take 2 while I’m not taking the ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is the only thing I take for pain, so I was worried, but the only difference I’m feeling today is that I’m stiffer, and the rain and cloudiness could be contributing to that. I stopped last night instead of waiting until Thursday because with plans for the weekend if I was going to be in unbearable pain without the ibuprofen, I’d have time to call the doctor and ask for something that I could take for pain. But like I said, more stiff, but the pain is no worse than usual. Has anyone tried Biofreeze? I think I might try that.

So, now I’m joining Heather at Acting Balanced for the evening edition of the Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

And now for this week’s questions:

1. Finish this sentence - The last movie I saw in the theater was...

Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows Part 2

2. Do you have any idiosyncrasies?

I don’t think there is anything about me that someone hasn’t considered idiosyncratic at one time or another.

** I like to arrive an hour before game time for baseball. However if I arrive after the first pitch, I can deal with it. BUT if the game is in a rain delay in the top of the ninth inning and it looks like it’ll go on for an hour and one team is up by 10 runs, I will NOT leave until play resumes and finishes or the game is officially called.

** There is a list of foods, favorites from people who are gone, that I will do whatever it takes to have present for Christmas entertaining. I want all spirits present and past to feel welcome in my home for the holidays.

** I’m a perennial teenager, I want to be noticed and spoken of, but I hate being watched. That’s the biggest reason I didn’t want a wedding; brides stand out too much and people watch them through the whole ceremony and reception.

3. What is your favorite clothing store to shop at?

Most of my favorite clothes come from Fashion Bug (or the Reds or Tigers MLB Team Shop.)

4. What fun things do you have planned for the week ahead?

Well, Seven years ago yesterday, David and I met face to face for the first time. The seven-year anniversary of our first date is Wednesday. This weekend is the Mensa Gathering where David’s multimedia train show was scheduled for Sunday morning, prompting him to contact area Mensans to personally invite them, in hopes of actually having people at the presentation. I was one of those people he invited, starting off an exchange of emails. Seven years later we share two furbabies, an address and a last name. It’s always a special weekend for us at that event!

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

Yesterday we went to my cousin Lisa’s house for a grill luncheon and family time. Our Aunt and Uncle from San Marino were visiting as well as our cousin, Sabrina with her daughter and new husband, Michele. (pronounced /mee-KELL-ay/) I realize that meeting your wife’s American family is p[art of the family obligation that go with marriage, but it had to be hard for Michele; he speaks no English! My American-born Aunt and I empathized because we’ve both been in that same situation where everyone is speaking a language you don’t, perhaps her more than me because she too came home to meet her new family that didn’t speak her language.

I’ve been in the situation where everyone is speaking Italian and I hear my name and know they’re talking about me but have no idea what they’re saying. In family gatherings on the Italian speaking side of the family, there are always bilingual translators, we had 5 yesterday, but of the seven remaining adults, 6 only speak English and only one speaks only Italian.

I understand just looking at everyone speaking another language at 100 miles an hour and you note that it seems like happy conversations, so you just smile…through dinner…and a couple hours of coffee and socializing. It’s exhausting! When everyone was leaving I asked my Aunt to translate for me as I held his hand in a handshake, “Welcome to the family.” He gave a warm smile and slowly said “thank you” in English!

So, after that lead up… MY question for you:

Do you speak, read or understand an additional language? What’s your native language and what is your second one?

I can communicate slowly in French, but I wouldn’t say I can carry on a conversation. I read a little Italian and understand some, but not as fast as my family members speak it.

Monday Mug Shot - Mini Series Part 2

Here is the second chapter of my Mug Series where I will eventually be threatened with deportation from the great state of Missouri! Today’s mug is a little about my baseball joy and personal discovery in 1995!

Atlanta Braves 1995 World Champions

When I wrote about this mug in February 2011, I never mentioned the Braves. I’m chalking that mismatch up to an undiagnosed condition that causes brain fog! So, let’s talk about those Braves!

I mentioned last week that I was Atlanta-bound as soon as I had a job to bring me there. I made that decision in 1989 when I visited Atlanta for the first time. I was also becoming a supporter of the Braves much in the same way one becomes a supporter of the Cubs. The Braves shared a station with World Championship Wrestling in and when the Braves game ran over, Mom and I watched the end of it before wrestling came on. At that time I was not an internet freak and there was no place on our Detroit area cable where I could watch my National League team from my childhood, the Cincinnati Reds, so I’d become a mild follower of the Reds, stats in the paper, All Star Game, and when they played the Braves, Cubs or Mets, who we did see on their respective Superstations which were on our cable system. To be honest, I was young, totally into our wresting hobby with a half dozen of my friends and while I did prefer National League ball, I watched mostly the Tigers on TV with Pop and I’d never seen live baseball anywhere but Tiger Stadium. But things in my baseball world were reestablishing themselves, getting stronger again and changing…maybe.

Like I said, I was becoming a Braves fan the same way one becomes a Cubs fan. The Braves were awful! Seeing the end of a Braves game started at laughing at the dismal Braves, waiting for them to lose so our show could start and became wanting to see the sad little guy win once in a while. Soon I knew all the players and was tuning in earlier, often at the beginning of the game. After visiting Atlanta and deciding that was where I wanted to be, I decided to adopt the Braves as my team. If the Braves and Tigers should end up facing each other in the World Series, I’d make that decision when it happened. But, seriously, it would be a LONG time before the Braves ever made it to the World Series!

It‘s a plain fact that you can’t choose who you love, love chooses you, period. Mad as I was as a fan about the strike that cut the 1994 season short, I was more anxious than ever for them to finally settle it and get started in 1995. The Braves were still #1, I was going to end up in Atlanta, I bought all my Braves gear and besides, I look better in navy blue than red. I had my Reds hat and a couple shirts because that team I loved as a kid was now my firm #2 National League team. When the season ended in 94, as it stood the Reds and Braves would have both been in the post season and I really expected things to stay that way in 95. Mom and I were in Cincinnati for Tall Stacks, riverboat festival, during the National League Championship Series in 1995. It was the Braves and Reds facing each other for the right to go to the World Series. The Braves swept the Reds and went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians and win the first World Title in Atlanta sports history. And I celebrated. It was intense watching and I hosted parties at home.

But what was most memorable in the 1995 post season was sitting in our hotel watching game 4 of the NLCS with Mom. I was yelling at the TV, most notably at an Eddie Taubensee passed ball that scored a Braves run when I screeched, “You don’t want us to go to the World Series this year, do you?” Yeah, I really did say “us.” I wasn’t even being impartial when they faced each other for the big stuff, I was cheering against my Braves and didn’t even realize it until Mom laughed at me and pointed it out.

Well, I accepted that. My heart knew what I hadn’t been letting myself see! I still celebrated like crazy when the Braves won it all and when I visited Atlanta in December I bought myself all kinds of Braves Championship gear. After all, I still loved the Braves and was still bound for Atlanta and that would be my home team, someday. But I was wondering if I should ever go to a game when the Reds are in town.

Me and the Pig Red Machine
from The Big Pig Gig, Cincinnati, OH, 2000

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fun

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun


This week’s statements:
1. I never ___ when I ___
2. I used to __but I stopped
3. My favorite picture of all time is of _______________
4. When it gets dark I think about _______________

My Answers:

1. I never have music on when I write.

2. I used to chew my nails all through high school but I stopped. Now I just break them with the wheelchair! :P

3. My favorite picture of all time is of Tori and Rina in Holland in 2000. This was their classic photo that was framed in every family member’s house.

4. When it gets dark I think about lights.

5 Question Friday

(I’m answering the parent questions from when Tori and Rina stayed with me when they were little)

1. Do you make your kids finish all the food on their plates?

When the girls were really little, I remember having to
barter to get them to finish the meat, especially Tori, which is strange enough because Rina is the one who was a vegetarian for a few years. When they were about 6, I started having them help put together the menu for lunch and dinner, making the right balanced choices. They picked out the veggies and starch to go with the meat we all agreed on. They also picked out dessert. TQM for kids – when they were helping make the decisions, it wasn’t so hard to get them to eat anymore.

2. Do you give an allowance?

When we traveled or went to an event or something that had a gift shop, they had an allowance for souvenirs. We often were doing a planned activity when they were with me, so they didn’t have a weekly allowance per se. When we went to The Big Pig Gig, fiberglass pigs street art in Cincinnati when they were 6, I made them their allowance in “pig dollars,” which they paid for their things with. Shop owners had no trouble accepting their pig dollars and selling them back to me at the souvenir shops. That was unexpected, but cool. I had planned that the girls would give me the pig dollars and I’d make the purchase, but they wanted to make their own purchases. The people in the stores were mostly quite awesome!

3. Do you actually park your car in the garage?

Right now the Camaro is in the garage and the 2 cars that go places are in the driveway. I'm going to get it ready to sell in the next few weeks. Once it’s sold, I don’t now who’ll be in the garage, except that is I’m still not working, it’ll be David in the winter. 

4. What is one food you will NEVER cook?

If I was single it would be lima beans, but David likes them so I’ll boil frozen mixed veggies for him with lima beans in them, but I won’t eat them.

5. Do you have anything exciting planned for the summer?

Well, baseball and more of the Heritage Units! (And anything else, I’ll tell you about when we get back!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

***  Heather at Acting Balanced posted pictures her young son had taken last Sunday and it made me smile remembering photos Rina and Tori had taken some 14 or so years ago.

When my nieces were about 4, I gave them disposable cameras at the Renaissance Festival. I got them developed and I was worried because they were so excited to see their pictures and I had looked at them, photos of people’s legs and the counters, backs of people’s heads. I was worried they’d be disappointed. Was I wrong! They shared each others pictures and identified every show that was going on behind the back of someone’s head and remembered what was being sold at the booth above every wooden wall and identified every one of us by our pants!

It was amazing through a child’s eyes; imperfect photos were still perfect memories.

***  Depending on when you read this, David and I might be out chasing the Norfolk Southern Lehigh Valley Heritage unit! NS is painting 19 engines to celebrate the original railroads that eventually became the majority of the NS system. Lehigh Valley was the 8th one out of the shop. 9 Heritage Unties have been completed so far.

We chased the Pennsylvania Railroad tribute engine Sunday. It was cold, windy and cloudy, but the engine was all the shine that was needed!

Okay, I didn’t go out with David on Monday when he got sun and Mike, who started the day with us Sunday, went back out in the afternoon and got it in sun, but I don’t NEED a sunny shot. (And the grapes are out of season right now so OF COURSE they’re sour)

***  Mr. Celery has been doing well! Here he is after another week:

I got a jar of salsa that’s just staring him down waiting for a dip!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy National Pretzel Day!

Credits: For Us by Pretty In Green

Today is National Pretzel Day! What a cool holiday to celebrate my favorite salty snack! David brought me a one-pound bag of twists yesterday so we could celebrate. Well, I’m the one who asked for them, but he brought the pretzels he likes too, so we’ll celebrate Pretzel Day together! The spicy brown mustard hasn’t been opened yet; today is the day!

Vintage? ish?

Okay, I usually consider “vintage” to be anything older than me because I’m almost antique-age, but I’m making an exception here because there is not one person in this book who isn’t retired from what they did when the book was published

This was a fund raiser for the Detroit Tigers charities in 1974, technically 12 years shy of antique, but I think still vintage.

Each member of the team, including coaches, front office and the broadcast crews, had a page that had two favorite recipes, usually as prepared by their wives when they came home, but occasionally as prepared by them. Ernie Harwell offered a recipe for gazpacho, which I think I need to try, and John Hiller’s wife had tips for low cholesterol meals after her husband’s heart attack.

My favorite Tiger, Al Kaline, had two recipes offered by his wife, Louise. Clam and Crab dip? Our Kaline could definitely eat with the man for whom she was named!

See more fun vintage treasures at The Coloradolady for Vintage Thingie Thursday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Veggie Best

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

Let me tell you about my Dad and produce.  I’ve said before that Pop always dreamt of owning a fruit stand when he retired.  After years and years of owning a construction business, he retired from all the paperwork too.  Now he works in the produce department and gardens at home.  He’ll be the first to tell you that the stuff he grows is better; tastes better and is better for you.  Dad gardens organic.  Whitney Farms® knows that organic is just that way; the BEST way.

Great organic vegetables and fruit begin with great organic soil Whitney Farms has helped make quality organic soil for over 25 years with organic plant food that enriches the soil.  Their products have been improved to have low dust to no dust at all and they're easy to apply protein-based blends provide microbes and nutrients so they grow and thrive and there’s no manure smell!

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Try Whitney Farms® plant food today.  There is a $3 coupon just a click away.  You decide if you want the waxy chemical-enriched vegetables at the store or if you want to really experience the very best tasting veggies picked in your own back yard.  Try Whitney Farms organic tomato and vegetable food today and taste the difference all summer long.

If I was putting a small garden in our backyard, it might start out something like this.  I'd likely either put benches down the center and edges so I can sit to tend to it or use some plywood to make a path for the wheelchair so I could use it.  What fun would there be in "having" a garden if David did all the work?  I'd have a wagon for garden tools and my organic plant food that I could roll it on the path too.  I'd have tomatoes and cucumbers and you know I'd have carrots!

Talk to that nice retired guy working in the produce department and he’ll set you up with good veggies and fruits, but ask him after work if he gardens; then he can tell you how to get great fruits and veggies!  Whitney Farms® brings you one step closer to great.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday Hodge Podge

As promised, my chocolate cluster! We’ll see if chocolate falls from the sky today. :) Now, let’s get on with the Hodge Podge, shall we?

1. William Shakespeare's birthday is celebrated on April 23rd...When did you last read Shakespeare? What's your favorite Shakespeare play?

I have a little Shakespeare Treasury book of verses that I use for scrapbooking sometimes and I was just reading in it yesterday, but I last read a full play at Christmastime in 2010. I’d just finished the semester and wanted some lighter reading. Yes, I just called Shakespeare light reading. I read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. See? A comedy; light reading.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is also my favorite Shakespeare play followed closely by The Tempest. The Tempest was the first Shakespeare play I saw in Stratford Ontario when I had just turned 16.

2. What food(s) would you recommend a foreign visitor try when they visit your home country?

Pizza and Southern Barbecue, two of my favorite totally American foods.

3. What's a lie you often tell yourself?

If there’s a lie I’m telling myself, it’s a pretty good one because so far I’ve got me fooled.

4. What's something you're good at that might surprise us? Remember this is a family friendly blog!

I tend to boast a lot, especially on my blog, it’s a Leo thing, so I don’t know how much I’d surprise anyone.

I used to sell my scrapbook kits under the designer name Digitalegacies Designs at Scrapbird in the first half of 2009. Today’s cluster was made with Digitalegacies Designs elements.

5. Who is your favorite animal character from a book?

Saggy Baggy Elephant

6. April showers bring May flowers...do you have a green thumb?

It’s not natural, but if I put my mind to it, that is as long as I remember, my plants don’t die.

7. Speaking of rainy days...which one of the following activities would you most want to spend time doing on a rainy day-

sort photos and create albums
bake cookies
read a good book
hold an all-day movie marathon
organize closets, cupboards, or bookshelves
try a new recipe
fix something that needs fixing

It depends on my mood and what needs done around the house. Biggest thing is rain makes me want coffee. I mean middle of the summer, driving in the rain, stop to get a cup of coffee. I’ve done that before one afternoon in Tennessee, rain pouring down in buckets and waterfalls on the walls cut through the mountains to make room for the Interstate, I just had to stop and get soaked to get a cup of coffee for the rest of the drive.

So from that list, organizing, baking or reading, but definitely with a big cup of coffee.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am likely in the market for a new e-reader. My Kindle seems to be on its last legs, again. The first Kindle I had for about 2-1/2 months still under warranty. It died when the screen froze up and started turning on with blank spaces and parts of several pages combined. Amazon replaced it with a refurbished Kindle that I’ve been reading since November 2010, almost a year and a half. Now it’s freezing and going ahead or behind multiple pages and ever three I read, I have to turn it off and on again to get it to move. I’ve been on the phone with tech support and they’re at a loss too. Of course, it’s not under warranty now and It’s going to need replaced.

My opinion, fewer than 2 years for a $140 purchase is a dismal return on the investment! So I’m looking for recommendations. I am hopelessly addicted to my e-reader, so it must be replaced, but I’m not committed to replacing my second Kindle with another Kindle.  At least the 25 pounds lost that I got the Kindle to reward myself for has lasted much better!

The only real “requirement” I have for an e-reader. is that I want a black and white one with the pale gray screen. That was the most amazing aspect of my Kindle and why I’ve read so much more than I ever have for pleasure. My Kindle was the first time I’ve ever been able to read without concentrating on overcoming my dyslexia. The difference in contrast between the background and words pretty much fixes it. I still see the white background first and have to work to see the words in a regular book, but on the gray background, I turn it on and see words! I buy my books on the computer and transfer them and I don’t use the keyboard, so WiFi/3G or a keyboard aren’t necessary, but the gray background is essential.

I am totally open to suggestions!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tell Me Tuesday


It was a little less crazy today, so better late than not at all, I get to join Suzanne at the Coloradolady for Tell Me Tuesday! Here’s today’s question:

What is the best part of being you?

I did a musical photobook that was shown at my 40th birthday party. I did it just like I’d do a video for someone else with pictures from babyhood forward and appropriate music choices for different eras of my life. I was pretty pleased with it, lots of detail but I know the editor. The twist is that while videos of this sort usually have a happy birthday message at the end, since this one was done BY the birthday girl instead of for her, the final message, which made me cry editing it, watching it and still makes me cry if I watch the video or just look at the graphic, which essentially thanked everyone there for making my world one worth living in.

And that’s the best part of being me. I have wonderful people. I’m an optimist and a happy person because I know I can depend on the people who are really important, really mine. I’m in the unenviable position of being able to know how truly blessed I am. Good friends will still call you to talk when you are pretty much wheelchair bound. Great friends will still spend time with you when you are someplace together. The friends beyond measure call you and invite you to do all the things you’ve always done together, even knowing that they’ll need to help you get the wheelchair out and they’ll be the ones doing any lifting. I have so many of the latter.

I’ve read horror stories from people with my disease, about people who don’t understand who say “get some more sleep if you’re tired” or the classic “but you don’t look sick.” I haven’t heard those things. My family of friends and relatives don’t question, they learn. They ask to know what they can help with, what to expect and they adapt just as I did. I can’t put into words how much that helps.

So the beautiful people who made my world one to celebrate living in for so many years, still do. That truly is the best part of being me.

Crafty Inspiration

What wonderful things have you made with glass jars and bottles?  I know I've made party favors and gifts, even vignettes for decorating.  I checked out Sunburst Bottle on the web and just the front page gave me some ideas and a sweet memory of crafting as a kid.

This is easy and a great project to do with kids. (Think about a rainy day in the summer!) Make a “leather” bottle! Using masking tape, brown shoe polish and glass bottles you can make a very nice decorative piece. Simply tear small pieces of masking tape and put them on the glass bottle in a patchwork way until the bottle is covered. Then stain them with the shoe polish and let it dry – faux leather bottle, simple and fun!

image from web

Take a look at the linked site. What’s the first crafty idea that comes to your mind?


Credits: Warm Latte by Rose Made Designs

The big and best news today is the Keurig maker is back where it belongs; anyplace I can make coffee with it! Oh, one more coffee cluster today, but maybe tomorrow I’ll do a chocolate cluster. Then if I get chocolate, I’ll start doing money clusters!

Today I wanted to share a fun scrapbook layout I did with my Iowa water towers from my first visit to Iowa in 2008.

Iowa Waterbed Quilt
Credits: Sleepy Time Collab by Booland Designs, Darlene Designs, 
Deli Scraps by Min, Digilicious Designs, equAveziur, and Moon Designs, 
Quilt pattern is Tick Rack Toe by The Quilter's Cache/Marcia Hohn.

I know The Chronicles of Nani is frequented by a lot of scrapbookers and a lot of quilters too. I love quilt-inspired scrapbook pages. They are so much fun to do and can be done with digital or paper scrapping. I think the stitching is easier to do digitally, I can’t imagine drawing in the stitching by hand, but the pattern can still be done in paper without the stitching. I get my patterns for my quilt blocks at Quilter’s Cache on the web. The quilt templates are free to use for personal use projects and there are just TONS of patterns! Some of Marcia Hohn’s quilt patterns are better than others for scrapbooking, better space for photos or journaling, but they are all fabulous for quilting! Quilter’s Cache was definitely a bookmark on Grandma’s computer. It’s a great place for templates and inspiration!

Easter Barnnies

We shot some trains and even a few barns on our sunny drive Easter afternoon!

There is a larger barn and this little side building on US224, east of the Hancock Bicentennial barn, both with Mail Pouch chewing tobacco ads on them. The larger barn faces east and it was too late to get any lighting for a photo on the same day I shot this one, but I will go back to have the pair. Not a fan of the product, but I love the classic barn advertising!

This one is also on US224. I just like the barn! It’s weathered, but the colors are still rich. I like the stone base and the windows that give it almost a churchy-look.

And now a couple more Ohio Bicentennial Barns

The Hancock County Bicentennial Barn is on US224, just outside of Findlay, Ohio. It was the 15th of the 88 barns pained.

The Wyandot County barn’s Bicentennial logo has definitely seen better days! It’s on US23, south of Carey. I’m kinda sad to see the logo so weathered away. If I had been honored with a bicentennial logo on my barn, I want to touch up the paint every year…of course I’m not paying that bill! It was the 5th barn painted for the Bicentennial project.

See more great barns at Tricia’s Barn Charm at Bluff Area Daily


Monday, April 23, 2012

Great Food Pairings With Coffee

Coffee entered Western society centuries ago, and today it is a staple in most American homes. Most coffee fixes are satisfied on the go, whether you pick up a cappuccino at the nearest café or prepare your own caffeinated creation at home in a thermos. But sometimes it’s nice to relax and enjoy a meal or snack with your coffee. From steamy dark roasts to light, iced lattes, here are some food ideas to pair with your next coffee!

Coffee Foods for Those Chilly Months

Everyone enjoys a hot drink when it’s cold outside. And what goes better with a hot drink than a warm sweet treat like a pastry or brownie? Cinnamon, maple, and of course chocolate and nutty flavors tend to blend really well with hot coffees. If you’re craving decadence you might try a traditional bear claw, a cinnamon-laden apple turn over, or even a maple banana nut muffin. Baked goods are always best when they’re made from scratch, but learning to bake like a pro takes skill and practice. You might want to check out some online cooking schools if you’re interested in taking your baking know-how to the next level.

Healthier options that still satisfy those taste buds might be a fruit and nut snack mix, or some cinnamon oatmeal at breakfast. Flavoring your coffee with hazelnut or mocha also enhances these combos.

Summery Coffee Matches

Hot weather means it’s time to cool down with a nice iced latte or perhaps a caramel frappuccino for those of you with a hearty sweet tooth. Fruit can go great with coffee, especially if you’re watching that bikini figure. Peaches and berries taste great with coffee, and they’ll leave you feeling good too! If you have a little more time, you might try making a fruit salad, with fresh cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, grapes, or whatever you have on hand. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, add a biscotti, and you’ve got a healthy and tasty meal to go with your coffee! Lemony treats are also great with iced coffee, like lemon bars and muffins. For more ideas on making your food more interesting, check out online food blogs for recipes, cooking tips, and more!



Monday Again?

Credit: Some Like It Hot by Connie Prince

It’s my Sunday, y’all’s Monday. Hmm…Not even close to any semblance of grammatically correct. What spills out of my fingers on the keyboard… hehe

A little bit of silly is always a nice thing to start any day with, especially Monday, the start of the week which sets the tone for the whole week! Silly weeks are better than grumpy weeks!

I could so have a grumpy week too. It would be a transfer of extra grump from last week, but I’ve chosen to channel my grumpy into creative endeavors. Have you noticed the coffee clusters to start recent posts? If I start the day without my Keurig Maker, I cluster coffee! Remember in the Friday Fragments I’d mentioned that David hadn’t moved it back yet. I’m not clustering coffee because I’m going through withdrawal from coffee. I cluster coffee because I have lots of excess energy now! LOL

David’s not in the dog house and I‘m not really that jittery, but I have been on a kick to improve my scrapbook clustering and I scrap coffee a lot because to me coffee is a social experience, not just a drink. So how is my clustering coming along?

Monday Mug Shot

I started this morning with a St. Louis Mug and ended up writing about Atlanta. So I did a little organizing and asked myself a question I heard often in last year’s Cincinnati USA ad campaign; “But wait, how did we get here?” I will even mention Cincinnati in the 6-piece set of mugs that explain how the Olympic Games eventually brought me to be threatened with being kicked out of Missouri! I’d follow me if you didn’t want to miss any of the pieces!

Bid Logo
Atlanta 96 Olympic Committee

This was the “bid logo” for Atlanta when they were hoping to become the host city for the 1996 Olympic Games. Atlanta was announced as the host city in 1990 and almost as soon as it was announced there was merchandising everywhere! Since I was totally in the thralls of plans to move to Atlanta at the time, I think I was almost as giddy as a local, except that I didn’t become jaded by the time The Games started because I was indeed NOT a local yet.

I was planning on adopting the Braves as my new home team, so I stopped to buy some essentials from home at The Braves Clubhouse Store when I was at CNN Center. It was at a Kiosk near the Braves Clubhouse store where I first saw this logo on my solo trip in 1990. I really had hoped to come home with a job and move after that trip and the thought of Atlanta getting the Olympics was really exciting. I was only 24 and had taken part time college courses and had a very small adverting consulting business. Looking back, I had young and sometimes unrealistic expectations at the time. When I saw a full Olympics kiosk at Underground Atlanta, and there was a mug, it was time to make a purchase!! It was my hope for something big for my future home!

Be sure to come back next week for the second mug in this set of Mug Shots!

Acting Balanced

1. Finish this sentence - I am glad it's Monday because...

Well, I really don’t have much in the way of a Monday anymore, at least right now. I’m not working, well except in the house, right now, so my week is David’s week. I sort of have a quiet Saturday, followed by Saturday, the one everyone call’s Sunday, and then today, Smunday. Tomorrow feels like a Tuesday, so I kinda live without a Monday right now.

But in the actual world of Mondays, I like them because it’s the start of the week and errands I have to do can be done during normal hours instead of everyplace opening late and/or closing early like they do on the weekend. Ever try to stop someplace for dinner in the summer after sundown on a Sunday? Ugh!

2. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Our last vacation was in upstate New York being bullied by the hurricane as to which way we could go. It was still a cool vacation, just not in all the places we’d planned.

3. Who is your favorite author?

Easy one! Alan Jacobson. Ever since I read The Seventh Victim as a free Kindle download, I’ve been hooked. Free e-reads are a great place to discover new authors! I’ve purchased the rest of the books I’ve read by him and I have one more on my wish list at Amazon!

4. What other Memes do you participate in during the week?

I do the Wednesday Hodge Podge at From This of the Pond and on Fridays I do the Friday Follow Four Fill-In Fun from Feeling Beachie, Five Question Friday from My Little Life and Friday Fragments with Half Past Kissin' Time

I also do, in less crazy weeks, Tell Me Tuesdays and Vintage Thingie Thursday with Coloradolady  and Barn Charm at Bluff Area Daily when I have an interesting new barn photo.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5. What do you enjoy more in blogs you read; lots of pictures, interesting stories, lots of pictures with captions telling the pictures story or interesting stories with some pictures to support the story?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz

It’s been a slow week in Naniland. Yes, allergies are slowing me down a little. The trees pollenate within a couple of weeks, so I really only have to deal with it for a little while and like I’ve said before, they don’t hit me nearly as bad as they do some people, for that, I’m grateful. Still I have to reprimand myself often for acting like a baby for a couple of weeks in the spring. Breathing is more difficult, but I can still breathe. I can even still smell! Really a couple days without coffee is harder on me than allergies.

Allergies and the general more planning for things to go on soon than anything going on now has kept me from blogging as much this week. But I am here full-on for Friday Memeing!

1. Groceries are high right now what is easiest way you have found to cut back?

Groceries and gasoline are two places where I don’t cut back.

Living an hour away from the closest member of my family to whom I’m not married, I may plan a visit where I see a few people instead of just one and we try to fit a baseball game and some trains in when we go to Cleveland for medical visits, but no matter what the price per gallon, you have to suck it up.

Same thing with groceries. We could spend less buying cheaper food, canned instead of fresh vegetables, fattier meats, ramen noodles instead of whole grains, but the money saved would disintegrate quickly when we're both on more prescriptions because of what we’ve done to ourselves with the poor food choices.

I make my economical cuts in other areas. I have cut out a couple of the vitamins the doctors suggested because while the prescriptions have a relatively small copay, the price on OTC vitamins is outrageous. My 2010 scrapbooks are ready to print, have been for over a year, but they are still just digital files. I’ve needed new bras since last summer and haven’t bought them. (I’m 46, handicapped and married; no one should really care if I could look “perkier.”)

2. What are the top 3 things on your "bucket list"?

Well, number one is Immortality, so that gives me time to think of other things. I think the term “bucket list” is morbid and I refuse to put that expiration label on myself.

3. Would you rather give up AC or heat?

This one’s easy! Sorry David, they can completely disassemble and take away the air conditioner, just don’t take my heat! I am always cold in the house. In the winter it’s the draftiness in places of an old house, my feet get so cold! In the summer, it’s just that David and I have a real different opinion of a comfortable temperature! I always have socks and slippers with a sweater in the house. I’ll go outside for a couple of minutes to warm up. I find stores, grocery to dollar, to be too cold in the summer too.

I’m really only comfortable at home in the late spring and early fall.

4. What's your favorite cocktail??

I love Mai Tais! I usually order Kahlua and Cream in a restaurant if I have a cocktail because restaurants that have Mai Tais are less common, but if a Mai Tai is available, that’s my choice. A while back I found a sugar free, with Splenda, Mai Tai mix at Meijer. It was kinda pricey, but I wanted to try it for a treat. It was definitely a treat. I drank it alcohol-free, just me, and the 32-ounce bottle lasted 2 days. Good thing I didn’t add the rum, huh?

5. What was your first job & how old were you?

I was 16. My Dad was going to buy me a car once I found a job because while he would pay for the car and insurance, gas and maintenance were up to me and he wouldn’t buy me a car I couldn’t drive.

Pop was also responsible for the lead that got me that first job, at the Italian bakery-deli he frequented! That was my part-time job until I was 18. When I started my advertising consulting business just after high school, Maria, the owner, was my first client. I also still worked there as a deli clerk and supervisor on Sundays for another year.


This week's statements:
1. I always forget___
2. I never __without___
3. Recently I started to _____, and it has helped tremendously!
4. If I had to find a date, the last place I would look for one is _______.

1. I always forget to take pills in the middle of the day. I have one that I have to take as close to 12 hours apart twice a day and an antibiotic I’m taking twice a day right now. I have alarms set on my phone to remind me to take them. I’m pretty good with the morning and bedtime pills I have in a pill-sorter in the bathroom, but the ones in the middle of the day will sit untaken without my alarms!

2. I never pull the door closed when I’m leaving without having my house key in my hand so I'm SURE I have it. I think I was locked out of the house after school too many times before I was driving. We had great neighbors that let us stay at their house until Mom got home from work, but it was still embarrassing.

3. Recently I started to buy the 100-calorie pack almonds and it has helped tremendously! It’s a day’s worth of healthy fats, all nice and portion-controlled!

4. If I had to find a date, the last place I would look for one is anyplace my husband would find out.   :) I’m a married-lady. I have a built-in date for any reason I need a date.

Mommy's Idea

***  Look at Mr. Celery!

I decided that it was okay to name him after my favorite Wilmington Blue Rocks mascot since the celery is a phoenix; after you pick it, cut off the bottom and it grows back, which is totally cool. I’d call him Fawkes, after Dumbledore’s phoenix, but since he’s celery, he got the name Mr. Celery. He’s growing faster than a kitten!

Because I’m looking at Mr. Celery as a phoenix, I’ll also NOT be looking for a t-shirt when the next incarnation of this celery starts to grow that says “Ask me about my grand-plant!”

***  After a few blissful months of no doctor visits, I feel like I’m touring medical facilities again. –sigh—

Next month, I return to Cleveland Clinic for my post starting Gilenya check-up. They have all the tests I did in March and haven’t called to ask me to come in sooner, so I feel like those turned out okay. But, they’ll probably have me get another MRI.

Two days later, I get my baby-spider-ectomy. It’s just a cyst, but it needs to be removed. It’s minor out-patient surgery, but I have to stop taking Ibuprofen for a week before. That is the scary part to me! My doc is impressed that as messed up as my back is, all I take for it is ibuprofen. I’m worried about what the pain will be like for a week without it. I’m planning on using the walker and going in on my own for the surgery and I’d like it not to be painful just getting there!.

***  I’m at a stopping point in the White Tornado this week. I need some boxes and heavier things moved before I can continue upstairs and David and I are finishing up a big editing project this week, so I have sort of a vacation. I think he’s trying to uber-caffinate me as part of the vacation. He moved the Keurig maker the other night and won’t put it back!

I can’t lift it to do it myself, so I moved the lighter regular maker in. Now I’ve gone from 2 cups to 5 a day! Bigger pot and if you only make a couple of cups, it takes pretty much the same amount of grounds, so it’s a waste to make that little. I’d kinda forgotten how good a mild coffee buzz feels!

Going for a refill now. Everyone have a great weekend!  :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

Credits: Where’s My Coffee by Aprilisa Designs

Oh no reason…it’s just coffee and green and polka dots and...

Isn’t the scrapbook kit just wicked awesome?  It's very Nani!

Okay, now on to join Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodge Podge!

1. spring is in the air (at least in my neck of the woods) and the birds are singing...what's your favorite bird?

Anything that’s not a Cardinal.

2. Speaking of birds...do you tweet? If so tell us your screen name and we'll come flocking to your Twitter site. Even if you don't let's all pretend here that we do-in 140 characters or less, sum up your week so far.

I am @Nani_Notes

Tigers, Red Sox and Reds have all won on the same day ONCE this year. Poor cats, no extra treats for anyone.

3. It’s been reported recently that employers are not only viewing the facebook pages of potential hires but they're also requesting your facebook password to have a look at what you've kept from public view. What say you?

I don’t want to work for a company that would ask for my password to any personal account. Since I don’t want the job anyway, before I left the interview I’d ask, “I presume that upon hire it would be acceptable to give my company password to a perspective employer when I’m ready to leave, correct?  Just so they can see what I've been doing on the company's intranet.”

4. it’s April and you know what that means-Major League Baseball is back in action. What's your favorite baseball movie? If that's too hard, what's your favorite sports themed movie?

Bull Durham. There are a ton of baseball movies I like and pretty much if there’s any reference to baseball in the movie, I’ll watch it. But Bull Durham is the quintessential hymnal of the great church of baseball.

5. Something else this season brings-asparagus. Yes please or no thanks? If it's yes please what's your favorite way to have it prepared?

LOVE asparagus! I enjoy it so many ways, but the go to at home is bite-size pieces sautéed in olive oil and garlic.

6. What drives you? (Don't you love how I sandwiched that one in between asparagus and jugglers???)

If you saw the beginning of the post, I’m obviously driven by a passion for coffee, charged by caffeine! LOL

7. April 18th is International Jugglers Day...can you juggle?

I used to be able to juggle scarves and was learning to juggle bean bags, but I haven’t juggled in many years.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Remember my sponsored post, “Good Dirt,” about Miracle Grow Expand ‘n Gro? Well, I got my sample of the dirt and played with it Monday!

The sample is for a 6” pot, so I added some Miracle Gro potting mix that I already had left from when I repotted spire for my 8" pot.


So after mixing the Expand ‘n Gro with the appropriate amount of water, I mixed in 2 more inches of potting mix.

Now, remember me mentioning regrowing celery that I learned about on The Coloradolady, Suzanne’s blog? Well, here is what my celery end in water looked like after just over 2 weeks:

Monday I planted it in my Miracle Gro Potting Soil and Expand ‘n Gro mix:

And this is what it looks like not even 2 days later!

There is visible above the soil yummy celery goodness! I’m still gonna let it grow for a while before I eat it.

I didn’t have any doubt that the Expand ‘n Grow would work well, Miracle Gro is a great brand. I just wondered how good it worked. So far, VERY well!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Monday!

Yes, I know that for many, Monday and Happy do not and should never appear in the same sentence. But I’ve always liked Mondays; the clean slate and fresh beginning to the week. For this particular Monday, you can’t get cleaner than rain washing everything or fresher than the gale winds purifying the air!

Okay, I exaggerate the weather a little It’s not raining right now, there’s even some sun coming through the clouds and it’s windy, but the windows aren’t trembling, but I do need to make my own sunshine today and with my allergies acting up, I need the exaggeration!

We celebrated Orthodox Easter this year. That is we did Easter Dinner with Pop and Aunt Judy the week after Easter Sunday, which happened to be Orthodox Easter Sunday. I “helped” by making the cream cheese stuffed celery. I’m the only one that eats it. That celery really never had a chance to make it to the table. The stuffed celery has been a holiday favorite of mine as long as I can remember. It’s going to be my mincemeat pie. Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas Mom bought mincemeat pies. Mums was the only one who liked them, but Mom always made sure there was a mincemeat pie so she could have some. When I’m 80 years old, there will be a plate of cream cheese stuffed celery for me that no one else eats. Except that if I start being in the same place as Rina for Thanksgiving again at some time in the future, she eats the stuffed celery.

What I don’t do is Deviled Eggs. I’ll eat cake with him, but Lucifer needs to share his eggs with someone else! Ah, but yesterday, Pop tried a new recipe instead of the traditional deviled eggs. The recipe included spinach dip with the yolks and it was a savory filling rather than the usual sweeter filling that I don’t care for. Wow! It was good! We also had tasty ham that wasn’t Honey Baked and vinaigrette-based potato salad. Totally tasty unorthodox Easter fare on Orthodox Easter!

Continued as the Mug Shot begins…

Monday Mug Shot

The Jell-O Gallery
LeRoy New York

We sat at the table over and after Easter dessert and talked, reminisced a bit. The topic of discussion was the upcoming summer vacation plans and the things we all enjoy on vacation. Pop talked about the stop we made in Sutton, West Virginia some 10 years or so ago. Sutton is a small town, but it’s no accident that we were there, it was a planned visit. My great-grandfather’s last name was Sutton and out family roots trace back to the Original Suttons who founded the Braxton County Seat!

That was a fun trip. That trip was also part of Pop’s big reason that he really didn’t have any desire to see more of Europe. Occasionally visiting family in San Marino, about once a decade, is fine for him because he prefers staying in his “home country.” “There is so much of America I have to see.” He loves the small towns and little tributes and museums to the local heroes. As much as he griped about a dry county, he enjoyed seeing the first Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin and the Harlan Sanders museum. Travel by car and stop often is his idea of an ideal vacation. I’m very much the same way. Although David prefers to rush after trains by day, on the less favorable for photos days, he enjoys most of my choices for the kitschy small town attractions.

On our end of summer vacation last year, the one where the weather was insane and Hurricane Irene dictated how much time we spent in Western New York and Canada instead of further east, we visited a few small towns, wineries and the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. The Skylon is a pretty major attraction. I totally loved our stop at the Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, New York. LeRoy is the birthplace of Jell-O! The gallery is not large in size but it’s huge in information and things to see.

We learned about the first Jell-O dessert idea and how it failed in the American market, even in the local market. The product idea and company changed hands several times and Jell-O’s success finally started when it became popular as a dessert at formal dinners. Can you imagine being served a bowl of Jell-O after a formal dinner today? Of course there was a time that sorbet was only something they served between courses of a fine dinner too, but Jell-O, that stuff we had as kids and was in cafeterias and hospitals got its real marketable start as an upper class food! The tour of the gallery is guided with just tons of facts I never knew.

And the visuals! We saw antique packaging and advertising (don’t think I wasn’t in HEAVEN!) and a roster of flavors that did or didn’t work. Coffee Jell-O did work for while in limited markets. But honestly, I like Jell-O, love my coffee, but I don’t find the idea of mixing the two so appealing in 2012. Even so, I admit a certain mild intrigue with the modern recipes for it.

At the end of our tour, which begins and ends in the gift shop, I was so tempted to buy some of the antique Jell-O molds! But for my souvenirs, I got a t-shirt, Lime Jell-O earrings and my mug.

And now for Monday Meme time! After some thought about what time I have available, I decided I really can’t do both the old and new Monday question memes. Having given some serious consideration, I’ve decided to stick with the Monday meme at Acting Balanced, the new and improved Monday questions, my words, not Heather’s.

Acting Balanced

1. Finish this sentence - I dream of....

An empty beach and one of these:

Isn’t that cool? If I’d have been a generation older and diagnosed with MS, I’d be living in a nursing home with David visiting me once a week. Now I can dream about beaches!

2. If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

Chocolate, a huge plate of cake-cookie-ice-cream with hot fudge and chocolate chunks with Godiva Raspberry cordials for dessert.

Why do I know this is my last meal? (If I’m on Death Row, I probably don’t deserve chocolate!)

3. What was your favorite toy as a child?

I loved my Drowsy Doll! I took her everywhere with me!

I think this is where the love of polka dots started for me!

4. What color looks best on you?

Golly, I hope it’s green. I would say that’s the prevailing color in my non-baseball wardrobe. It does make my green eyes glowy!

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

On the subject of my polka dot roots, I have lots of dots, my Kindle cover is polka dots, I have many notebooks with polka dot covers, I have to make sure I don’t overdo the dots on my scrapbook pages, I have a scrapbook supplies file called “dots!”

Maybe you have a favorite pattern too. Lots of stripes in your wardrobe? Are all of your throw-pillows floral? Can you not resist Christmas plaid giftwrap? Maybe you like dots, like me… What’s your favorite pattern?