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, May 28, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

1. Finish this sentence - The thing I dislike most about shopping is....

Anything that can’t be ordered online. I shop comparing prices and order things for the most part. I stopped shopping for fun when I was about 25. I still like checking out the souvenir store before leaving a museum, but a mall as an attraction? I’ll pass.

What I dislike most about grocery shopping, besides the ever escalating prices, is when I can’t get everything on my list at one store. When I leave the grocery store, everything on my list should be crossed off and in the brand I use or the brand that matches my coupons.

2. What is your favorite flavor of jello?

Cherry or lime. I generally like anything that’s cherry or anything green. (My Jello earrings are lime)

3. If you could trade places with anyone in the world for one day who would you be and why?

David and I talked about this very thing just a couple days ago. We'd be interested in trading places with each other for a day. Imagine how enriching it could be for a marriage if you had the opportunity to truly understand how your spouse thinks and feels.

But I also think that my understanding the extent of the burden he bears in compensating for what I can’t do as well as him knowing my determination to overcome my challenges to enjoy things with some level of normalcy would help us both suggest even better ways to deal with the situation we share as a whole.

But really, MS or not, who wouldn’t want to trade places with their spouse for a day?

4. Who changes the light bulbs at your house?

No brainer on this one. When I reach up for anything I have to have something solid to hold on to or I'll totally lose my balance. David is 6’5”. Who’d change the light bulbs in your house? :) Grandma used to wait to change some of her ceiling bulbs until David and I came to visit. In fact, I think she had him change a light bulb the first time she met him. hehe

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

My brother and I had a hypothetical conversation when Grandma was sick about what you’d give up if you had to lose either your cognitive abilities or your mobility. Our great-grandmother had severe dementia for about the last seven years of her life and Grandma had slipped into a milder dementia for about the last five months of hers. Our mom was very limited in the things she could do and her mobility because of her heart condition.

I think the teeth marks are permanent where my answer came back to bite me in the butt. :)

So the question is:

If you had to give up either your ability to walk and freely function or your ability to remember and think clearly, what would you choose and why?

I, almost prophetically, chose that I’d give up my mobility if I had a choice. The reasoning, and it’s still the reason I’m okay with my challenges, is that my physical abilities are not who I am. My mind and my memories are who I am. It’s that my mind still functions well that enables me to adapt to what I must do differently.

Dave chose to keep his mobility. He said he’d rather not know what was going on but still be able to do things. He also cited not wanting to be a burden on his family.

My thought on that is that he wasn’t as close to Mums as I was and never felt the pain of someone you love dearly not knowing who you are anymore. I’d have given anything to push her wheelchair for three years while hearing her say my name. I hope, and I think it’s true, that the burden of pulling the chair out of the trunk for me is preferable to me not remembering someone who cares enough to lift that chair.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone in the USA is enjoying the finale of the long weekend. It the official start of summer and possibly one of the biggest grilling days of the year, but first and foremost, it’s a day we honor our fallen heroes. What started in this country as a day to remember those who died during the Civil; War, became a day to honor soldiers who’d died in all wars defending our country and those who’d passed that had fought and come home. My grandfather, his brothers and my great-great-uncle, youngest of the family and their contemporary, all served in World War 2.

There are three different kinds of heroes from the Vietnam War in the next generation. My father and uncle were not born in America and were not citizens during the Vietnam war. My Uncle served and my father wanted to but was not accepted because of a childhood injury. He was disappointed because he wanted to serve for his home. He became a Naturalized American in the early 70s. I consider them both heroes of that war because of the willingness to fight to protect their country, one in which they didn’t even have a vote.

The other hero was my mother. Mom had told me that she and Pop disagreed about that war and that if she didn’t have a family, she probably would have ended up in San Francisco or another gathering of protesters. Instead, she was home with her young children, listening to the protest songs on the radio and teaching about peace and that a non-violent approach is always best. She also taught about freedom and being able to disagree without hate.

I don’t really have an opinion on those views or how they fit with the times. What I do know is this: The men and women who serve to defend our interests, serve to defend our freedom, our government which is by the people and for the people. They fight for our rights, which include the right to disagree with the government and be vocal without fear of retribution. If we are violent, even just disrespectful, to our own citizens who voice disagreement, we are disrespecting the very men and women we honor today. Think of that as we enter into this election season. Violence, disrespect and name-calling have no place in debate. Honor our heroes today, but don’t dishonor them by attempting to block safe exercise of those rights. Every opinion is American because being American is being able to have a difference of opinion. Your right is not to bully anyone into agreeing with you. Our right, our responsibility, is to speak up when we think something is wrong and to do so peacefully, acting on and voting our own informed conscience.

Enjoy the barbecue, but remember what this day is all about and honor them every day.

Monday Mug Shot – Mini Series Part 6 Finale

St. Louis, MO

360 view of mug
Mom and I went back to St. Louis in October of 1996 to see some of that stuff the Cardinals fans suggested at the ballgame in July. On our first afternoon in town we went to a winery. Parking on the grounds was guided during busier times and that’s when I was almost kicked out of the state!

Okay, I guess I need a little background to explain why I was so despicable that the St. Louis natives who were so kind to us in July were threatening me with deportation from Missouri in October. Remember I told you that up until the National League Championship playoffs in 1995, I thought I’d forsaken my childhood National League team for the Braves because I planned to become an Atlanta resident? In the time of expendable income I bought a lot of fan gear for the Braves, including 2 Jackets I’d gotten on sale and a “Tomahawkin'” state of Georgia front license plate. Since the time of discovering I couldn’t cheer against the Reds, not when it really mattered, I now have front and back Reds license plates that match the little red Camaro better! But, at that time, I had the Tomahawkin’ front plate and was fending off the bit of October chill with my Braves dugout jacket.

It happened to be the day before Game one of the World Series when we visited the winery. The 1996 World Series was between Atlanta and New York. The National League Championship Series had been between Atlanta and St. Louis. When we pulled into the lot at the winery, the guy directing parking, with a grin, said he shouldn’t let us in but should just send us home with “that plate.” So, there’s the story you’ve been reading the Mug Shot for 6 weeks to hear. Sorry if my threatened deportation form Missouri isn’t as exciting as a 6-week build up might have lead you to expect. Yet, baseball having everything to do with it really fits The Chronicles of Nani’s usual content!

The Museum of Transportation was very cool! There were vintage street cars, trains and even classic cars in various stages of restoration. Now call me a bad example of a Detroit native, but the classic cars have never interested me. I still think most of them are just shined up used cars. My Detroit pride is in that my 18-year old Camaro still works, even with some nicks, scratches and things that used to work better. My 13-year old Buick has a couple dents and cracks from a fender-bender last year. It was my fault, slipped on ice. No report filed because we were both okay and the damage was cosmetic. I fixed the car I hit instead of mine. But my cars, even the muscle car, are transportation not trophies. They’ll get scratched in a parking lot or minor damage from Midwest winters and if they are good cars they’ll still be transportation. Mine are still transportation over a decade later; they are good cars. I’m still not going to shine them up and invite people to “look at my car, but you can’t drive it.” But to each his own and to all those who enjoy classic cars, I’ll stay out of your way if they have trains.

Oh, and the trains at the Museum of Transportation! There were old examples of man powered rail cars, steam engines from early to late in the era of steam and early and recent diesel locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars, so much rail history! I think Mom enjoyed the “train zoos” so much because I was such a little kid when we went. Unlike an indoor museum there were not a ton of “don’t touch” signs. I climbed up on a Union Pacific locomotive and walked around a little. Mom got the cheesy photo of me on the UP loco wearing that "public enemy number one" jacket!

It was a fun visit back to St. Louis in the fall that included wineries, museums, a St. Louis Blues hockey game and a ride in a capsule to the top of the Gateway Arch! They did let me stay and thankfully, since my best friend ended up moving to Missouri a few years later, they even let me come back; as long as I promise to spend money! Still, I wonder if my visiting St. Louis before the sting of the Cardinals losing the NLCS wore off is why the Yankees won the World Series that year.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone’s Friday is going well! Mine is good, but a little crazy, so let’s visit the Friday meme world while it’s still Friday!


This week’s statements:

1. After a long day, I like to ___
2. ___is my favorite cleaning product
3. I can’t stand to watch ___
4. I want to ___ when I ___.

1. After a long day, I like to make sure there’s dessert after dinner and enjoy it with a good cup of coffee.

2. ___is my favorite cleaning product… Seriously? Favorite cleaning product?? Does that go with favorite household chore? Okay, I don’t like not having Windex, but I’ve never thought of it as a favorite anything.

3. I can’t stand to watch 30-40-50-something adults acting like college kids after exams. Grow up and put the bottle down before you get stupid-drunk.

4. I want to start putting money away for our 10th anniversary trip when I have a job, as soon as I have a job. We’ve been married 3-1/2 years. I want a money-is-no-object trip for 10!

1. Are you a napper?

Not really anymore. Before I started my meds I was one nap shy of narcoleptic.

2. What was your favorite subject in school? Most hated?

I loved language classes in high school, French and just about anything from the English department. The teacher I used to disagree with the most in class taught my American Lit class and as much as we disagreed, she was fabulous in introducing me to some of the authors I still really enjoy today. My defiant teenager side loved arguing with her in class and my looking back adult respects and appreciates how much I learned from those debates!

In college, I couldn’t get enough of marketing and business classes.

The subjects I disliked the most were German in high school; freshman year before I switched to French and the only failing grade I ever had! In college, I was pretty bored in the Purchasing class I took. Yes, it was a business class, but not really the part of business that interested me most.

3. Did you have the something old new borrowed and blue at your wedding? What were they?

You know, when my brother got married the first time I made sure Dee had all those things and lent her my bracelet Noni brought me from Italy to make sure she had something borrowed. As for me? Well, I wore blue the day I got married, but I was a totally unconventional bride.

4. What one thing are you determined to do this summer

Get the boxes moved that need moved so I can finish up the White Tornado work I started. All is at a standstill right now until mid-June, when we might have some time to get things moved. It’s a subject that makes me sad. I can’t do as much on my own as I wanted to.

5. Ice cream or Popsicles?

I like both, but popsicles are a quick sweet fix on a hot day. Ice cream is a food group!

**  After coloring it Tuesday evening, yesterday was haircut day. Here is the result:

Got my bangs back! Jamie, my stylist, does such a great job on me!

**  After Scotty’s birthday party on Sunday, it’s Tori and Rina graduation week! I’ll be leaving with my Dad on Thursday morning so we see them receive their diplomas Thursday night, then we’ll be with the girls on Friday as a family day. I see Coldstone in that future! I’m kind of geeky about the trip and any time I can get to steal away my high school grads!

**  My moisturizer arrived today! I don’t skimp when I buy makeup because that’s one thing I’ve always considered important to have quality. I mean we’re talking something that is right on and soaking into my face. I can’t understand why you'd enhance your look with something that will cause it to slowly diminish. So, my makeup products have to be quality. That means they cost some money too! My preferred brand is Clinique and if I’m not wearing makeup, which is actually more days than not, I still wear Dramatically Different Moisturizer; have since I was about 21 years old. I think it has a lot to do with why people say I look younger than my age. It could be heredity too. Strangers always assumed I was Mums’ granddaughter. She often fished for the compliments when she corrected them, “You look way too young to have a great granddaughter at all, let alone one her age.” Somehow I think that was much more a compliment for her than me. “Great granddaughter her age, indeed!”

Anyway, when I buy my pricey moisturizer, I try to time it with Clinique Bonus Time, to get the free travel sizes and even full sizes on things. This month I got a compact with 2 eye shadows and a blush. There’s also a small mascara, travel face wash and moisturizer and 2 full-size lip products. The lip-gloss is a little dark for me. I have naturally dark and lip-colored lips so I usually just wear Chap Stick to keep them moist. At one time I had a clear lipstick that felt so good on my lips but they discontinued it so I went back to lip balm. The free lipstick this time is Pink Bamboo and it’s the exact color of my lips! No kidding, I put it on my lower lip and the upper still matched! So cool! I usually give the lipstick away, but I think I’m keeping it this time.

**  One last note, if you are a fan of Simon’s Cat, and certainly if you haven’t seen any of the Simon’s Cat videos, you must check out this super-cute (and accurate) one!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. What's something you miss about the 1980's? If you're too young to miss the 80's how about the 90's?

Well, I can’t say I miss the hair. I had a long spiral permed and thick head of hair that I wore big enough to have to go to the ladies room first when I went to a club to tease it back up because the roof of the car smooshed it down getting there. Oh, it was cool and I loved it back then, my hair was one of the things I got lots of compliments about. I am blissfully too old to be so high maintenance now!

The other thing I was often complimented for was my clothes; and I loved clothes in the 80s! Even stuff that was bought off the rack was mix and matched and often customized with a ripped off neckline or gluing n a few sequins. Everyone’s style was at least a little bit their own. I made most of my own clothes in the 80s, so my style was definitely mine and yet still very in style. I loved the accessories; multiple necklaces, lots of ear piercing (I have two holes in my right ear and three in my left, but most of the time I only use the lower ones in each ear now) and bracelets, oh the bracelets! I usually wore about 4 inches of layered bangles on each wrist when I went out. It was the abundance of accessories that pretty much guaranteed that no two people would be dressed quite alike. I loved the individuality of style.

I also loved men in bright colors and wearing nice jackets with jeans. Okay, I still occasionally remember one in particular and a turquoise jacket he had…I was 19, he was 21 and OH MY!

And anyone who knew me then can probably guess exactly of whom I speak! :)

2. Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?

I had a library card when I was in Michigan and I used it a lot when Tori and Rina were little. We often went to the library to check out books for reading time. I did learn that when a 6-year-old picks a book she really likes, make sure it isn’t in her suitcase when she goes home! It’s an opportunity to learn about due dates and penalties for overdue books, but there are ways to learn that lesson that are easier on your Aunt’s pocketbook!

I used the library a lot for research when I was in college, but not so much anymore. I don’t have a library card in Toledo.

3. What's the secret to success?

The biggest secret is tenacity; don’t give up and always be willing to learn more or a better way. Keep in mind that “almost” and “failing” are NOT synonymous unless you make them that way.

4. This is National Backyard Games week...what's your favorite backyard game?

Um, water balloon fights?

5. If I dropped by today what would I find on your coffee table?

If you dropped by, I wouldn’t answer the door anyway. Please call first.

I think there’s a coffee table in the living room, but it has a lot of stuff on it including a stand and projector. In my dream world it has the TV remote, my family history book, a picture book of David’s train photos, the latest printed scrapbook, coasters and a candy dish or jar.

6. Do you own a bicycle? When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Is that something you enjoy?

I have a recumbent bike that I use daily. I haven’t ridden a real bike since I was a kid. Even then, it was transportation to get to something I enjoyed, not something I enjoyed in and of itself.

7. What's your favorite cheese?

Havarti or Asiago, but I’d never turn down a piece of imported Parmesan or real super sharp cheddar or Pinconning cheese.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I mixed the Expand ‘n Gro dirt with the rest of my bag of Miracle Gro potting mix yesterday and reused the former Mr. Celery planter for my basil seeds. The package says they will sprout in about a week if I did it right. We’ll see in a week what I’ve got!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Mug Shot - Mini Series Part 5

St. Louis Cardinals

After our intimate flight from Atlanta on a near-empty plane, Mom and I landed in St. Louis. We took the MetroLink train to our hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. After we checked in to the room I emptied out my tote bag and picked the peanut shells out of the bottom. As much as I joke about portion size and why do they put the peanuts in one big bag at the ball park if it’s not one serving, I have never eaten a whole bag of peanuts when I get them at the ball park. Actually, my ball park snack of choice is popcorn or Dippin Dots. So the half of the bag of peanuts I’d bought at the baseball game was in my tote. After going through security screens and jostling at the airport and boarding/exiting the plane, the bag had pretty much dumped all the peanuts in my tote to fend for themselves!

After sleeping in a little bit and having a nice breakfast, we took the MetroLink back to the airport to leave our bags in a lockers to retrieve when we came back to catch our plane. Then we took the train into town for the baseball game. Mom wanted to see who was playing close enough to make a “stop on the way home” You know, since we were out of the home state anyway. She was an avid Cubs fan and the Cubs were in St. Louis, so St. Louis was where we found our hotel after the Olympics and we went to the Sunday game at Busch Stadium before catching out flight back to Detroit.

When I say Busch Stadium, I mean the Busch Stadium that was there in 1996, not the new one they play at now. The old Busch Stadium was a very nice stadium, built in the old cookie-cutter style that was the popular stadium building style in the 60s. I was amazed and in love with the Gateway Arch from the moment I saw it, my larger than life art thing, and I liked that you could see the Arch from places in the stadium.

Mom and I, dressed in our Cubby-blues, found the fans to be welcoming and friendly, as we usually found when visiting other National League parks. We planned trips to visit National League parks more often because we saw the American League teams at home in Detroit. I’d never been to an out of town game, even dressed in the opponent’s team-wear, that I wasn’t welcomed by friendly fans until I went to an Interleague game, Chicago-Chicago. Interleague Play brings out the worst in the fans. Even though the Cubs and Cardinals are an old rivalry, the fans were welcoming. There was the expected friendly barbs thrown about the predicted outcome of the game, but before the game the questions of where we were from, how long we were in St. Louis and things we must come back to see highlighted our conversations with other fans.

The game was close, so close it went in to extra innings. We were watching the clock because we had to get back to the airport. My favorite relief pitcher on the Cubs and I’d say in all of baseball at the time was Turk Wendell. He was a good reliever and I’d watched him interacting with some kids art Wrigley from the bullpen. I recognized the magic he was bringing them because I’d experienced that magic from Tigers reliever, John Hiller, when I was a kid. It made me a Wendell fan on many levels.

The game had been slow and it was a 5-5 tie going in to the tenth inning. Generally, I prefer to be there early, but I’d rather miss the first pitch than leave before the last out. I also don’t like the idea of missing my plane. After the Cubs half of the tenth, no change in score, we really had to leave. Turk Wendell was announced as the Cubs new pitcher. Oh the agony of leaving then! We grabbed our tote bags and moved towards the door. There’s a thing about darned Murphy and his laws; like the law that says if you leave your team during a tie game it doesn’t bode well for your team. As we walked out, Wendell pitching and Ray Lankford at bat, I heard “CRACK” and an erupting Cardinals crowd. Yep, a solo walk-off homer. He couldn’t wait until I was all the way out to hit that? Stupid Murphy!

We did get to the airport in time to get our bags and get checked in for our plane ride home. It was fine. I just could have been more celebratory!

And A Week Later She Returns

Sorry to drop off the face of Cyberspace like that! My coffee shop was still open for reading and a cup of coffee, of course feel free to download a slice of black forest cake too, but the owner was not in the building to add new reading material! I apologize to my faithful regulars who missed me!

It’s been a crazy week and honestly, it’s probably going to remain crazy for a while. Lots going on! This coming Sunday is The BIG 25; our party to celebrate Scotty’s second 25th birthday. Let me explain. When Scotty turned 25, he said he was done with going up in years. He announced that he wqas going to remain between 21 and 25 the rest of his days. Sure enough, the next year, he insisted he was 24. The number went down for the next three years, when he was 21 again. Then the number kept going up until 25 and so on. When I put together his 40th birthday party, I called it “The BIG 21.” This year, although according to his formula he’s 24 in Scott-years, we’re calling the party “The BIG 25.” I’ve got a decade to figure out what we’ll call 60!

In the midst of party planning, David had a couple days in a row for his weekend on Thursday and Friday with work starting at noon on Saturday and gorgeous weather expected in Pennsylvania! Summer railfan days start early and end late, so even though I brought my laptop, I was too tired to blog at the end of the day! So there’s why there wasn’t anything at the end of the week.

So coming up in the next few weeks is Scotty’s party and Rina and Tori will be accepting their high school diplomas! There’s the last of the gift prep and a party coming up for that too. Then it’s pretty much time for David’s birthday and the festivities planned for that. So you see where I might not have as much cyber-time?

I’ll have some photos and maybe even a scrapbook freebie this week. I’m way overdue for a scrapbook freebie, but by the end of June I’ll reveal the big project that has been eating up so much of my digital creative time. For now, let’s just join the memmers at Acting Balanced for this week’s Monday Quiz About Me.

Acting Balanced

1. Finish this sentence - The last book I read and enjoyed was....

Collateral Damage by Austin Camacho; got it as a freebie and planning to read more Hannibal Jones Mysteries!

2. Do you have special Victoria Day (Canadian) or Memorial Day (US) traditions? If you don't live in Canada or the US, what is the next holiday that you are celebrating where you are?

I worked on Memorial Day weekend for many years and the first year that I didn’t I looked forward to being part of the traditional family celebration. They threw together a barbecue because I wanted to do something for the holiday. Came to find out that I had more festive summer holidays when I worked them! LOL David doesn’t really do much for the summer holidays either and we often go to Canada on Memorial Day and Labor Day because it isn’t a holiday there and the trains are running regular schedules on weekdays that we usually can’t be there to photograph them.

3. If you could invent something to make your life simpler, what would it be?

 Wow. I have a ton of ideas I’m working on! In an age where soda bottles are getting thinner and the caps are getting smaller I need them to go back to the old school sturdy bottles and easier to grab caps. Working on that,

4. What is your favorite recent blog post?

I’ve been off blogging for a few days so recent is a relative thing… I really enjoyed thinking about and writing about “the best part of being me,” for Tell Me Tuesday a few weeks back. Tell Me Tuesday is such a cool meme, hosted by Suzanne, The Coloradolady.  You should definitely check it out!

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

Breakfast when we’re on the road is always tough. Things are starting to change and offer both, but usually where you get great donuts, there aren’t really good savory breakfasts offered and where you can get a good sandwich, you can’t get anything sweet. Even when I did the Nutrisystem thing there were always people complaining about all the sweet breakfasts and so little savory and at McDonald’s there are lots of sandwiches with breakfast meats and eggs, but the few sweet offerings are either expensive or low quality, or both.

So my question for you:

Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfast foods?

I am a sweet in the morning person; give me cereal, a breakfast cake, a scone and sometimes a donut with fruit. I occasionally wake up in the mood for savory; an omelet or eggs and sausage. And I have a strange taste for McDonald’s sausage burritos. Even then, I was in my glory when they started offering oatmeal!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday (Night) Quiz About Me

Nah, I didn’t take me all day to answer questions about me. I stared the day at 5:30 this morning. I finished the book I was reading on the Kindle and had a couple cookies before I left for the hospital. I scheduled the brain MRI early so I could do my running earlier in the day when I have more energy. I’m not usually dragging at the end of the day, but I am stronger in the morning.

I meditate when I’m in the MRI. What can you really do for a half hour to an hour in a tube with your head braced in a cage and you aren’t allowed to move? The earplugs and padding around the head brace make it loud but not painful to the ears loud and eventually I can tune it out and it’s actually pretty peaceful. I doze off a little and it’s very relaxing. Yes, I’m weird that way, but it’s a nice way to kick off the day. Then while I was waiting for my copies of the images on CD, I had a latte and a banana nut muffin at Caffeini’s, the hospital’s coffee shop that’s right outside of radiology, where they do the MRIs.

Aside from going to the hospital to relax and spoil myself, which qualifies me for jumped the optimism shark, it ended up being a pretty long morning with some glitches with the CD burner that had to be fixed and started over. That’s why this is a late-night quiz!

 This week’s Questions:

1. Finish this sentence - The best thing about this past weekend was...

Purchases! I had some finances free up so I could get my medical copays caught up. I also got a couple of Nani treats. This bracelet:

If medical ID bracelets looked this good when I was first diagnosed as allergic to penicillin I would have always worn one like the doctor advised. Ah, but I was a teenager and well, bracelet… Why wear it if it doesn’t look pretty?? This one identifies my allergies and medical condition and it looks so good!

I also made my decision on the e-reader and ordered my Nook. I have software that changes the Kindle books to epub books so they’ll work in my Nook. Can’t wait to try it out!

2. When company drops by unexpectedly what do you serve?

Glendale Garden Café. But I really don’t do drop-bys. Call first. I don’t feel obligated to answer the door if I don’t feel like it.

3. How old were you when you got your first cell phone?

I was 17. My Dad bought it for me for Christmas. Actually, he wanted me to have it and my Mom did the shopping. It wasn’t called a cell phone then, it was a car phone. A big box of a thing that plugged in to the lighter. My friends didn’t have the number because it was for outgoing calls. It was an arm, a leg and the obedience school tuition for every cat I’d ever own to actually make a call on it, but Pop slept better knowing it was in my car just in case!

Christmas when I was 17 was 1983!

4. Where do you blog?

 I blog sitting at the dining room table on my laptop.

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

We all now know that I go get an MRI to relax. Where do you go to get away for a little bit and just relax?

Truthfully, I like to go to Starbucks or Cracker Barrel with a good book. I used to go to the park and walk.

Monday Mug Shot - Mini Series Part 4

100th Olympic Games
Atlanta, Georgia

Mom won Olympics baseball tickets from a Georgia lottery scratch-off ticket the November before when we were on vacation with Pop. The fact that they just happened to be baseball tickets she won seemed almost supernatural and of course, she sent the lottery ticket in to get her Olympics tickets! She said she wanted them as a souvenir of the Olympics in America.

So she sent in her lottery ticket and the tickets for Olympic Baseball came back. The game was on the opening weekend of the games on Saturday. Now there are a few points to note about that. First off how cool to win tickets on a weekend? I mean a game Saturday afternoon is totally doable for Joe or Josi Average. Watching prices rise in Atlanta for a few years leading up to The Olympics, we were definitely Josis Average! But the date of that Saturday; July 20; Mom’s birthday. The kismet of baseball on the scratch-off didn’t seem so crazy now! Mom had some “mad money” she’d been saving and asked me if I’d like to go to The Olympics with her. Wide-eyed and with a shocked smile I told her I would absolutely love to go to the Olympics with her!

Mom’s mad money wasn’t quite mad enough for the prices on Atlanta hotels during the Olympics, so our day in the Olympic city to soak in the whole atmosphere was going to be just that; a day. It was Mom who brought up the idea of “stopping” someplace else on the way home. We were traveling anyway, we were flying anyway, where else could we see baseball? You see that my baseball habit is totally heredity. Watch too much baseball when you’re pregnant and the baby is born hooked. And they didn’t even make baseball onsies in 1966; I was totally prenatal-influenced!

A week before the Olympics, Fruit of the Loom was hosting a free country music festival in Atlanta. To get tickets you sent in a request and they were sending tickets on a first come first served basis. Heather and I both sent in requests. We were the producer and associate producer team for public access and sports but July was our slow month and we could manage a Friday/Monday off and use the tickets we both got! One of our interns, Thad, went with us too. We drove down on Friday. We went to the festival Saturday, caught a Braves game and visited Olympic Park on Sunday. There was a ticket window near one of the subway stops with Olympics tickets. There were still mens gymnastics tickets available for next Saturday? They weren’t cheap, but they weren’t unaffordable. Heather was crunching numbers and figuring out frequent flyer miles. I was looking at starting times and how well they matched the flight Mom and I were already on. Our souvenir from the Music Festival weekend was 3 tickets to mens gymnastics Saturday morning!

We met up at the airport in Atlanta after our flights from Detroit got in. Since Mom and I were out for the weekend, we had bags to put in lockers. It was at the lockers that I had my cool very Olympic experience! The Olympics; can you imagine how many languages were being spoken at the very busy airport in Atlanta? When I was getting a locker for our bags there was a man, from his appearance I guessed Eastern, maybe Japanese? I couldn’t ask him because I don’t speak or understand a word of any Eastern languages and he didn’t speak or understand a word of English. But his dilemma was with our language and our money. He had a fist full of coins and directions and a price for renting a locker in English. He smiled at me and had a look of “please help me” in his eyes. Through pointing, nodding and facial expressions we were able to communicate and I helped him choose the right size locker and the right coins to pay for it. Okay, it may not sound like a huge International PR thing, but it felt VERY COOL! It’s a communications challenge I’ve never since experienced.

Mom, Heather and I headed out to the Georgia Dome for the morning gymnastics event. It was muggy and the line to get in was long and slow. Bags were thoroughly searched and people went through a metal detector on their way in. In 1996, before 9/11 and before the bomb the very next week, the security was a little annoying and seemed a bit overkill. Who knew it was the shape of things to come?

Our original plan was to grab lunch after gymnastics and see Heather off at the airport before going to Fulton County Stadium for the baseball game. But the reality of a day on “Olympics time” changed that plan! After finally squeezing on to the packed fourth or fifth subway train, Heather decided to go back to the airport on her own so we could get in line for security check at the baseball game. She’d eat at the airport and we’d eat at the ballpark.

It was all so busy, so exciting. There so many people, so many different people, different languages, styles and customs. And the whole city felt like a giant carnival, but a huge carnival, it felt big. It’s hard to express the feeling of being part of something that huge. We saw Cuba and Australia. Cuba beat Australia; I looked it up, 19-8. Those are details you have to look up because, like a wedding day, the day, the moment is such an experience itself that you have to have the photos and written stories to remember it all!

The game had a short rain delay that only made the park, the whole city, muggier. The Olympics was the first place I’d seen those walk-through misters. I didn’t go through them, but I think Mom and Heather did. I didn’t want to mist the huge glasses I wore at the time! But when the rain chased us into the concourse it washed my glasses anyway!

We went to the airport deciding to get food at our destination where the lines would likely be shorter to get in. Mom and I had cappuccino and a snack while we waited for our plane. The evening was much quieter than the airport had been when we got in on the early flight. When we boarded the plane, there was hardly anyone on it! Just not a lot of people flying out of Atlanta on a Saturday night, the second day of The Games. A flight attendant made an announcement asking if there was anyone with a connecting flight or a reason they absolutely needed to be on time when we landed. There had been a delay for a flight coming in from another city with people connecting to our flight and if there were no objections we’d wait for that flight. That was okay with the ten or so of us. I think I recall that we got a free drink or premium snack from the cart for our trouble. Our flight about doubled with those people from the other plane!

Next stop St Louis!

Mom, Heather and Me at Mens Gymnastics

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wrapping Up This Week

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a busy week for me.  It kicked off busy still at SEMMantics and now is my rest day!

I had planned to attend the e-reader talk at SEMMantics Sunday morning after breakfast and then leave the gathering after awards and announcements, but the day changed when David received a call about a Norfolk Southern Heritage Unit we hadn’t seen yet. Then the word out was to call if when it was close to Detroit so we could plan a course to intercept it. Fortunately the e-reader talk wasn’t as informative as I’d hoped it would be because that call came in the middle of it and David came in and pulled me out so we could chase. I’m so glad we did!

This is the paint scheme of the Norfolk Southern that was part of what went on to become the Norfolk Southern of today.

Let me get a cup of coffee and get on with the Friday features.

Friday Fragments

Join Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin Rime to defrag your blog of those little fragments that are worth mentioning but just aren’t involved enough for a full post!

**  I had a good weekend for games at SEMMantics this year. First in the Poker Tournament I finished 6th. I won the tournament in 2009 and while there was no SEMMantics in 2010 because the National gathering was in Detroit that year, I’ve placed better than David in the last two. I’d say my married poker is pretty good. I was telling David the difference between our playing at the Mensa tournaments is that he plays more aggressively because he wants to win. I play more conservatively because I just want to last longer than him. My strategy serves me well!

We played Carnelli for the first time this year. (Follow the hyperlink to see what the game is all about) It was so much fun! I’m sorry I hadn’t played it before, but I’ll definitely be playing it from now on! I came in a certificate-earning second place. Not bad for a Carnelli-virgin!

**  If you are a Friday follower but not a weekend follower at The Chronicles of Nani, you may have missed the sad post on Sunday, Big Salsa Tears.  There is no Mr. Celery update this week.

But there is news on the dirt front! As I mentioned before, I’m going to mix the Miracle Gro potting soil with my concentrated dirt with the Expand N Gro, because I’ve discovered that when I’m growing something from scratch, I’m just not good at ignoring and not watering it. I need soil that dries out a little in the house so I can nurture. The mix with the Expand N Gro will be prefect for inside! That will be a project this afternoon.

When we did the groceries at Meijer, I passed the seeds the way to the shampoo section of the store and I picked up a pack of basil seeds. My staple spices for almost everything are garlic and basil and the smell of growing basil in the annex to the kitchen would be marvelous! That and I can already taste the fresh basil with asiago cheese and fresh tomatoes from Pop melting on and cooling hot pasta this summer. Mmmm….

**  I went in for my procedure on the cyst yesterday. I was all prepped longed back on the operating chair with a fashionable blue paper vest exposing the area around the cyst. The doctor came in and asked me where the cyst was.

He told me it had shrunk significantly from applying heat every night and he thought it was a better idea to keep applying heat and see if it finished healing on its own. He did offer that he’d go ahead and take it out if I wanted him to. “That’s how I make my living and I’ll be happy to do it if you insist.” But he said there really was no reason tight now to cut into me. If it grows again just call and they’ll schedule the procedure again, no need for a consultation.

** Live baseball season has definitely started this week! When we got in Sunday afternoon, David saw a Facebook post from a friend offering his season tickets for the game free to a good fan. Sometimes spontaneous if good! The Hens lost, but it was still a good time. How can you NOT have a good time at a baseball game?

After my Cleveland Clinic appointments Tuesday we saw the Akron Aeros take two from the Erie Sea Wolves. It seems that this year we aren’t the kiss of death for the home team like we were the first half of the season last year, but we are bad news for the Tigers farm teams! We’re going to stay away from Comerica Park until we have this resolved! I’m dealing with enough with the Tigers and Reds both in second place. Second?? We must eradicate the Indians and those pesky Cardinals!

** Breaking Fragment **

David just let me know he opened the windows upstairs. It’s 43 degrees! And he’s leaving for work, so the frigid house is all for me. –grumble, grumble—

He says the high will be 70 today. Actually, it’s going to be 73, but right now it’s below freezing colder than 73! He laughed at that analogy. But, it is a pretty substantial difference! I mean 58 is freezing lower than 90 and while 90 is hot, I don’t want to be wet and naked when the windows in the bathroom are letting in 58 degree air! It’s even more true at 43, only eleven degrees above actual freezing. I’m going to just stay downstairs in my plush robe until it’s safe to crawl upstairs and shower.

5 Question Friday

Joining Mama M for morning coffee and blogspiration again!

1. What advice would you give a couple getting married?


Seriously, my advice is to spend more time thinking about and planning the marriage than the wedding. The wedding is one day, ideally the marriage is the rest of your life. It deserves more attention and resources than a party. I’ve been to too many overdone weddings that end in a divorce less than 5 years later. To me, that’s money wasted on the wedding.

Off Anti-Wedding-Industrial-Complex soapbox now.

2. If you could tell your 16 year old self ONE thing, what would it be?

Don’t be too proud and go to college right after high school whether or not you can afford it on your own. Accept help when it’s offered.

3. What do you do to keep cool in the summer? (AC, windows, fans, swimming, etc.)

When it gets really hot, I switch to iced coffee, but with air conditioning in the house and everywhere, I don’t often have a need to keep cool. I actually will sometimes go out for a drive just to have the windows open and get out of the air conditioning. So, I guess I’d say air conditioning, except that I’d use it a lot less if I was on my own. But I’d still use it when it really hot, set at about 72.

4. What did you (or your wife) crave most while pregnant?

Are we talking baby spiders here? Never had a wife (shamefully illegal here) and never been pregnant.

5. Who is your favorite TV mom? Why?

Golly, I don’t have one. I really don’t watch that much TV.

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

I love reading these after I’m done with mine to see how differently we all interpret the statements! Come join Hilary at Feeling Beachie for this quick and fun meme!

This week’s statements:
1. In the summer ___
2. I always ____ when I___
3. Reading ___ makes me ____
4. I like to live _______ because _____

1. In the summer I am happiest of all!

2. I always use a pasta bowl when I eat spaghetti. David prefers a plate.

3. Reading personal messages added to greeting cards makes me feel loved.

4. I like to live in an uncluttered space because my living area has always been a reflection of my state of mind. My living space is never in perfect order and it’s always been busy, but every now and then I completely clean and organize things to keep my mind calm and centered.

** Another Breaking Fragment **

The toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom was half-unspooled! We’ve never had a toilet paper playing cat before, but we’re on the lookout now. Hopefully only half unspooled means it wasn’t as much fun as it seemed and it’s a one-time thing!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?
(Warning: this will sound like an ADA rant!)

My biggest pet peeve while vacationing is when you make a reservation, secured with a credit card, and when you check n your room is not available. This has happened more than once to us. When you make a reservation and reserve a handicapped room, there had better be a handicapped accessible room there when you check in. This happened most recently at the Holiday Inn in Farmington Hills Michigan last weekend. I made my reservation with the hotel, not through the general reservations line, 2 months before. When I made the reservation I told them I needed a wheelchair accessible handicap room and they confirmed that they made my reservation for the handicap room. When I wheeled in Friday night and checked in they gave us keys to a regular room. I called the front desk and asked to be switched to a handicap room I was told they had overbooked the handicap rooms and didn’t have any left.

See the problem I have here, is my credit card is my guarantee that I’m staying there that night and they will get the charge for the room. It’s also their guarantee that the room I reserved will be there no matter when I check in, especially because if I don’t, they’ll charge my card anyway. “We overbooked the handicap rooms” is NOT an excuse, not ever. That’s not my problem, it’s theirs, and it’s a big problem too. But Friday night it was my problem. It only starts with a toilet that is lower and with nothing to grab to get up and goes on to qi hallway that’s too thin to maneuver a wheelchair and basically no usable shower. I mean, come on, what do most people rent a hotel room for? When I travel, a hotel room is someplace to sleep and take a shower. I couldn’t use the shower and access to the bed area was tight and had to be approached without the wheelchair, making it dangerous.

They did have an opening in a handicap room Saturday and switched us. That meant moving all of our belongings to a different room. Not that I’m not grateful to have a room that was easier to move around in with a usable shower and a toilet that I didn’t need assistance to get off of, but the added inconvenience of switching rooms only increased my dissatisfaction with their incompetent booking practices.

There are some simple things the need to do, things that should be required. First is that a guaranteed reservation includes a guarantee of a handicap room if it is requested at the time the reservation is made. Second is that if there are reservations made for handicap rooms, those requests will be honored regardless of someone requesting a handicap room upon check-in; if there are no handicap rooms left after filling requests made for those rooms, even for guests who have not yet checked in, there are no handicap rooms available. The same is true for reservation; don’t take a request for rooms that don’t exist. If there are 20 handicap rooms and 10 have been reserved, when another potential guest asks for a handicap room, they must be told there are no more available.\

I am sending a letter with my experience last weekend to the hotel manager, and cc it to the corporate office, American Association of People with Disabilities and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service.


2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink?

I pack fairly light, mix and match clothes and accessories and use the soap and shampoos in the hotels instead of carrying all of it with me.

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?

Appreciate the world at your own level, but look up and look down to get the whole story from everyone’s perspective.

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?

Respect and treat everyone as an equal. Your entry-level coworker today might be your boss one day or you might be theirs and you’ll need their cooperation. A company needs a team effort with all levels working together to succeed. Quality in everyone’s input is essential.

5. What's your favorite lemon something?

Lemon Pez, no kidding there, and Limonata Italian lemon soda.

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?


7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?

Sunrise if it’s an easy-facing beach, sunset if a west-facing one. But I like sunrise the best of the two.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m so glad I’m not claustrophobic! Yesterday was a Cleveland day. After stopping in the way out of town to have standard maintenance done on my manual wheelchair, tighten scr3ews and the brakes, I had a neurologist appointment and a physical therapy appointment at Cleveland Clinic. All of my tests are good and there’s no sign of further physical problems. YAY! I need to have another brain MRI done to be sure the medication that makes me feel so good is actually doing its job in my head. Periodical MRIs will be a way of life for me now. The last brain MRI was 45 minutes stuffed in a tube and told not to move. It’s a great time for meditation!

We got in the habit of baseball in the Cleveland area when we are in town for a doctor appointment. Last night we went to Canal Park in Akron to see the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians AA) against the Erie Sea Wolves (Detroit Tigers AA). It was a double-header after rain the day before and we got there in the 6th inning of game 1. The Tigers had better win it all this year. The Aeros took both games and the Sea Wolves, well; the current Tigers have a little job security a couple levels down!

The next trip to Cleveland Clinic will be after baseball season. I hope it’s sunny enough for trains and barns and we find some good Pumpkin Spice!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

Heather at Acting Balanced picked up the old Meet Me on Monday on an interim basis when it was dropped unannounced last year. I think several of the Meet Me on Monday regulars were going through withdrawal. I hadn’t been doing it that long and kinda missed it too! When the original host came back, Heather decided to continue doing her own version and included the interactive final question part. I think as much as it’s easier to answer question about me in the meme, it’s also easier to leave a comment answering a question about you!

Heather is looking for a cohost or two to help out with Monday Quiz About Me through the summer. She’s still posting and setting up the Linky, she’d just like some help with coming up with the questions while juggling her family’s travel schedule while the kids and husband are home during the summer. I wouldn’t mind co-co-hosting if there are any other volunteers to help out. Maybe this is a nice low-key opportunity for you to be more interactive with blog readers? Think about it!

Here are this week’s questions:

1. Finish this sentence - The chore that I hate most is...
Cleaning cat boxes, which I don’t do anymore. The truth is I’d love to be able to clean the cat boxes! It requires bending and balancing that I can’t do. I wouldn’t love doing them, but I’d truly love being able to!

2. What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Warmth. I get cold so easy that the one thing above anything that I look forward to is being warm!

3. Where do you do most of your grocery shopping? How often do you shop?
We do most of it at Kroger because that’s the closet to…Kroger is pretty much the closest store to anyone in Toledo! We occasionally do our big shopping trips at Meijer and there are a decent number of special items that come from Giant Eagle. David stops and picks up a couple of things a few times a week to fill in things that must be fresh. Lately, we shop for staples and non-perishables about one a month.

4. Why do you blog?
I blog to entertain, record my thoughts and opinions, to make friends and good acquaintances. It’s a fun hobby for me.

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

What do you think is or would be the scariest part of getting a surgical procedure for you?

I’m getting that Cyst taken out on Thursday. It’s an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. I think the scariest thing would be if I was going to be knocked out for the surgery. My first question would have been, “So what happens if I don’t get it removed?”

It’s the first time I’m getting anything surgical done that isn’t in my mouth and I’ve never had stitches I could see before. I think the idea that they’ll cut me and stich me up is the freakiest part for me.

Monday Mug Shot - Mini Series Part 3

Part 3 of my eventual threat of deportation from Missouri fast forwards only a little from last week. The Braves are the reigning World Champions and I'm in Atlanta buying a bunch of baseball souvenirs in December!

Barnie's Coffee
Underground Atlanta

The mid-90s was a time of greater disposable income for me. That had everything to do with my choice to remain living with my parents after my first big raise at the cable company where I worked. I had all the privacy and space of living on my own, but no rent and company any time I wanted company. After reaching adulthood and a few years chasing some dreams and making the big decisions, I came to really enjoy spending time with my parents. I’d always been close to Mom, but Pop and I had to grow up a little past my teenage years before we really resumed that King and Little Princess closeness we had when I was little. When I reached my mid-20s, I came to truly love coming home from work on summer nights and having a patio dinner with a long dessert and talk-time over coffee with both of my parents.

When I was making my decision about the second Camaro, whether or not I could afford it because the payments would cut way into what I could afford for an apartment, Pop told me that I didn’t have to move if I didn’t want to and he offered the old world custom that allowed a daughter to stay at her parents’ home (rent-free) until she married. Yeah, that sounds a little twisted in modern day America, but it meant I could have the Camaro and save some money while still having play money. And somehow, I think Pop had a little empty nest fear after my brother moved and got married. Besides, if I moved, Pop and I would have been in a nasty custody battle over Azreal!

So, I bought the Camaro, traveled and saved some money for the eventual first and last month’s rent and security deposit in Atlanta. I planned to make more money at the job that brought me south, so affording the car and rent was not something I was worried about. I needed a couple more years of experience to slip in to the bottom of a network news department in a large market anyway and at that time Atlanta has growing at a fast and furious pace! Pre-Olympics it was a small blip on the “growing” radar, but the Olympics and continued growth of industry and communications was bringing it up into the top 10 major market status it has now.

I started spending at least a couple of days in Atlanta as part of my fall vacation every year, getting to know the streets and character of my future home. In 1995, I flew to Atlanta a couple of days before New Year’s Eve with friends to welcome the Olympic year in the Olympic City. We went to the huge party at Underground Atlanta and stayed at the hotel at Underground Atlanta. After midnight the streets were packed anyway and we all had several fruity drinks and glasses of champagne more than would have been responsible for trying to drive. Heck, we helped each other find the elevator back to the hotel! Thankfully, by 1995, many of us really didn’t drink much anymore, so it wasn’t terribly expensive to become “nothing even resembling a designated driver,” but it was a fun party night with a few thousand strangers that became pals for the evening.

Barnie’s was the first coffee shop you see at the bottom of the elevator in Underground Atlanta and a place I have enjoyed many a latte! It was also a definite stop on a blurry-eyed and warm January 1 in 1996.

 New Year's Eve 1995
Nani, Tracy, Rich, Jeff, John, Brad

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Big Salsa Tears

It’s a sad day for the salsa on my counter. It was anxiously waiting for Mr. Celery to grow tall and tender so it could be scooped up in its ribs and make a wonderful snack together. It wasn’t meant to be. Mr. Celery is gone.

David and I were gone for the weekend and were home long enough to decide to go to the Mud Hens game this afternoon. We had a late dinner after the game and after I put the chicken in the oven, I washed a couple of cups and glasses. From where the sink is, I can see the table that has all the plants on it. If you remember, Mr. Celery stood up over the sides of the planter and was getting taller. When I looked at that planter, it looked empty!

I walked over to the planter and the three ribs that had grown so far were lying on the dirt. They felt soft and wilted, like celery that had been left on the counter overnight. But the soil was moist, it couldn’t be dried out! And it wasn’t dried out at all. Quite the opposite!

I lifted the shriveled leaves of what had been the longest rib and it pulled right up, the bottom rotted away. In fact all three ribs were rotted!

I’m really not sure what happened. I watered it last week when the top of the soil was dry. Perhaps the soil holds the water so well it was only dry on top. Maybe I put too much water in when it was dry. I do know when the base and root system of a plant rots it’s from too much water.

After digging up the balance of the rotten original core, I’m going to take the mostly concentrated soil and mix it evenly with the bag of regular potting soil. I think it’s more potent than I am used to, or perhaps just too concentrated for celery. After mixing the soils, I’m going to try basil seeds and see if my thumb is greener for herbs!

Goodnight Mr. Celery. Thanks for a few weeks of wonder! The salsa has asked for a bag of Baked Tostitos for comfort.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fabulous Friday!

Our first photo together, 4/29/2005

Friday is my super meme day as many of you know. I’m going to mix it up a little and start with the fragments!

Mommy's Idea

** Let me announce to the cyber world how totally happy I am with BioFreeze! I am stumble and weak as a kitten, I think the attacking swelling the ibuprofen does takes some inflammation out of muscles too. It’s a little frustrating, but the areas where it is applied there is no pain. Wonderful stuff. I have the hands free application which I reach behind me and wiggle it on. I just wish it came in a dip.
** This is SEMMantics weekend.  SEMMantics is the gathering where David and first met in person in 2005.  It's always a great weekend. 

** Here is this week’s progress photo for Mr. Celery.

There are new ribs coming up from the bottom.

 I read an article that says I need to put a tube around Mr. Celery to help him grow straight. A milk carton with the top and bottom cut off was suggested. I’m going to need to do that soon!

** I’m actually starting to get used to the touch screen on my phone. I only accidently called voice mail 3 times today and even successfully made a phone call that required me pressing an extension!

1. What did you wear to prom? Include a picture if possible.

I had absolutely no interest in spending foolish money on a dress for a dance I had no interest in attending. I turned down prom dates because I just didn’t want to go.

2. Would you rather be on the biggest loser or a food eating challenge?

Jeopardy. If I’m making a fool of myself, I at least want to be in the company of intelligent fools.

3. Done fave sonic drink? Refreshing summer drink? (Hey, Kristina...was that a typo, or some "done good" Southern thing?)

Um…..  Never been to a Sonic.

4. What was your first car, and what did you call it?

1980 Chevrolet Monza. It was Jonathan E. Monza, the E was for Economical. 34 MPG in high school was awesome!

He grew into Jonathan E. Camaro, the E for Exciting and then again as Jonathan E, Camaro, this time the E for Encore.

5. What's one thing your child or spouse does that sends you over the edge?

I’m really a pretty centered person and I don’t go “over the edge.” Sometimes a lot of little things will finally set me into uncontrollable crying. The little thing that sets me off can be really little. I hate when that happens because it truly is a loss of control because I can’t stop. I guess the thing that David gets into “trouble” for, because he may have done the little thing, but all of the other things aren’t necessarily his creation, is that he tries to comfort me and that makes me cry harder because on top of loss of control, I now have pity.


This week’s statements:

1. I can’t stand when people say ____
2. If you are going to __ please___
3. Call me a _____ because ______
4. If I had a dollar for every time I heard ______, I swear I’d be a millionaire by now.

1. I can’t stand when people say “It is what it is.” GAH! That annoying phrase is the biggest cop out. Why not just say “I’m too lazy to change things.”

2. If you are going to smoke in your own car that’s fine, but please keep your windows rolled up.

3. Call me a Coffee Snob because I’m super picky about blends and will NOT drink Foldger's.

4. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “Boy if I had a dollar for every time I heard that,” I swear I’d be a millionaire by now.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

#CoronaRita for the Señoritas?

This post brought to you by Chili’s Grill & Bar. All opinions are 100% mine.

…Or us señoras and our señors!  Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday this year.  By Nani rules that makes it a 2-week celebration!  That has to include a trip to Chili’s!  The featured adult beverage, the CoronaRita at Chili's combines a margarita, made with Jose Quervo Especial tequila, with the classic flavor of Corona for a taste that says “Arriba!  Let’s party!”

CoronaRita sm.jpg

I love Chili's for their lighter fare items that taste every bit as good as the rest of the menu.  Scotty and I stopped there for our Wednesday dinners quite of then when I was n Michigan.  It’s a wonderful place now to get together with the old gang and just celebrate us!  We’re planning a lunch for Scotty this month because just a couple days after Cinco de Mayo is…Cincuenta de Scott.  Definitely a reason to gather to celebrate and Chili’s has that sentimental value too.

I definitely want to try the Sweet and Spicy Chicken!  It’s made with a habanero and orange glaze with onions and peppers.  My mouth is watering writing about it.  And ooh! Soup-a-holic me is in love with the idea of trying the Southwest Chicken and Sausage soup made with chicken and sausage with chunky veggies and topped with tortilla strips.  Just a cup though, it sounds like a hearty soup!   David doesn’t like things as spicy as I do, so I don’t see him joining me for anything with a habanero sauce, but I can totally see him trying the new 10-ounce Classic Sirloin steak with veggies and loaded mashed potatoes.  He’d probably start with the also classic Chili’s chili.

Of course we’d have to kick off that birthday dinner with fabulous Chili’s appetizers to complement those CoronaRita at Chili's!  When it’s a larger group, we usually go for a couple of the Triple Dippers to have a nice variety.  I love the Spinach and Artichoke Dip and The Boneless Buffalo Wings but right now and for a limited time, they have Cheesesteak Sliders. I know those will be in the order!

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There is so much to love at Chili’s and now even more new menu items.  What about you?  What would you go out to Chili’s, to celebrate?   What do you find the most tempting there?  I’d love to know!  Maybe there’s something else I need to try!  Would you like to try the CoronaRita at Chili's?

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Even The Happiest People Have Bad Days

That’s my excuse for posting so late today. I’ll probably still post briefly because my right arm is in rough shape. The whole no ibuprofen thing does NOT at all work for me! I didn’t take it last night and while I slept okay, I could barely move when I woke up.

I managed to drag myself into the bathroom. My phone was on the charger and I unplugged it. It slipped into he sink. The sink was dry and I was hurting, so I hobbled over to the toilet to sit down. I grabbed my day’s vitamins and the ibuprofen bottle. I don’t HAVE to quit until tomorrow and I needed relief. I reached over and grabbed the drinking glass and set it in the sink. I filled it and it tipped over. I cursed at it and uprighted it. I tried it again and it tipped again. I thought I was so shaky that the glass kept tipping over…NO!!!! I remembered the phone falling in the sink.

Needless to say, the phone was toast.

I dried it as best as I could and took my vitamins and other pills, including an ibuprofen. Then I threw the phone in the small backpack I carry things around the house in and went to make coffee. The ibuprofen started to kick in within a half hour and I was still in pain, but less of it.

I sat the phone down and looked at it. Kaline and Carla were still lit up on it and it looked okay, but when I tried the buttons; nothing’. Then it became independent; when I hit the buttons nothing happened, but it was hitting buttons of its own. I didn’t touch it and I heard the beeps of numbers being pushed. The clear button still worked but every time I hit it a few seconds later more numbers. One time the operator voice came on. It said “we’re sorry; your plan does not include international calls.” Yikes! The phone is trying to call Tibet!

I was still in pain, but I had to go to get a new phone, so the walker and I went to pay a visit to the Verizon store. My phone was insured, but I was also up for a new phone, so I looked. I got a phone with a touch screen because I figure eventually that will be all there is anyway. It’s still a dumb phone, but I’m training my shaky right hand to like the slippery screen. We’ll see how that works.

For lunch, stressed and sore, I got a Jamoca shake from Arby's on the way home. Truly after starting out the door better but still sore anyway, too much driving, too much standing, I earned a shake! I could barely get up the three steps into the house. I’ve pretty much rested and carefully stretched all afternoon.  I took another ibuprofen

And now here I am, after dinner, after baseball, where in harmony with the day I’ve had the Tigers and Reds both lost, and almost after the day is done! And barely in time to still call it the Wednesday Hodge Podge!

1. My daughter2 is graduating from university this month and plans to teach elementary school. What are three qualities you most want to see evidenced in a teacher?

Patience, good communication skills that are suitable for the age of the kids without talking down to them and a sincere love of kids.

2. You can tell a lot about a person by_____________________.

The frequency and sincerity of their smile

3. What song makes you think spring?

One Step At A Time, Jordin Sparks, it’s a springy beat and in the video she’s wearing a beautiful spring green dress. It’s also great for graduations.

4. May 1st is Mother Goose Day...share your favorite nursery rhyme.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, only I knew just three lines

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?

5. What makes someone unforgettable?

The way they make you see yourself.

6. Should music and/or art be part of a well-rounded education?

Absolutely! Understanding the qualities of the arts enhance education. Business and professional communication contain references to the classics. Building a business, even one that is already grown, is a work of art itself, so even if not for the sake of enjoying art and music, understanding what qualities people find appealing is essential.

7. What social situations make you flustered or nervous?

Anything in a big group. I prefer groups of a dozen or less people for a big party.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I guess I started with a random thought but, Oh wait!

My brother found a huge spider, and by huge I mean he put a quarter next to it and the quarter was dwarfed by it, in his yard and found it necessary to take a photo and post it on Facebook. After replying that I was never coming to his house again, I blocked the post because it was making the hair stand up on my neck and my skin crawl. I won’t be able to go to his house without looking around like a paranoid freak and I am serious about asking if there are hotels near him. ::shudder::

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tell Me Tuesday


Checking in for one of my favorite make ya think memes, Tell Me Tuesday with Suzanne at The Coloradolady. Since I’m joining in late, let’s dive right in to today’s question!

What is one thing that people say about you that is not true?

There are probably a lot of things, but the one that always amazes me is people say I’m outgoing. I am a forward, bigger than life entertainer when I’m with my friends or completely in a safe-zone, like at home, or in cyberspace, especially on my own blog, but for real? I’m actually on the shy side.

But even when I’ve taken the Meyers Briggs tests, I always come out ENTJ; Extrovert-iNtuitive- Thinker- Judgmental. Sometimes I’m ESTJ, Sensing rather than iNtutive, but always TJ and ALWAYS E. But really, I’m not an extrovert.

I don’t slip into a shell when someone approaches me, but I don’t approach people I don’t know or don’t know well. In business and school it’s different because it’s completely impractical to not be interactive, but socially, I’m a bit of a wallflower at a large gathering of people.

I think it’s a difference in interpretation. If I go to a baseball game alone, which I’ve only done once, but I enjoyed it, or when I go out to eat alone, that’s not a great courageous act of socializing. A baseball game, movie, even a museum is just enjoying an event. I tend not to talk as much when I’m alone. Again, if someone approaches me and strikes up conversation I don’t ignore them, but when I’m talking to that stranger, I have stepped out of my comfort zone to do it! And as for eating out alone, I bring a book. That’s not outgoing and social; it’s so private I don’t even want anyone I know with me.

So, I am not painfully shy, but I’m not the person who walks into a room of strangers and starts introducing myself. When I’m with people with whom I’m comfortable, I’m much more comfortable with my surroundings. I’m a people person. The thing is, those who call me outgoing, have just never seen me alone.

Wedded Barn Bliss

July 12, 2009
Wedded Barn Bliss

This was taken the Sunday of our Wedding Reception weekend.  We had a baseball doubleheader picnic on Saturday with fireworks and on Sunday, railfan friends met us at 6:30am where we picked up McBreakfast and went railfanning, in our bride and groom hats, in the area between Fostoria and North Baltimore, Ohio, before meeting the rest of our guests for the luncheon.

What a fabulous weekend it was!

I'm participating with Tricia at Bluff Area Daily in Barn Charm.