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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Muh-muh-muh MY VERONA!

This could be a sad blog entry, really! David and I went out this morning because he is working the night shift again tonight. Yay that, because we got some trains time this morning and I’ll be able to try out the Night Owls Scrap Chat at Ginger Scraps tonight. I’ve wanted to try that chat for a while, but if David’s home we eat later, talk and watch the baseball games together. Games because he occasionally tolerates me toggling between the Reds and Tigers. Of course if the Red Sox are on TV, that’s the game we watch since they are not always on. I get spoiled with Fox Sports Ohio AND Detroit. I love living in Toledo!

Why this could be sad blog is the post office’s fault. After David had already left there was a ding from the doorbell. I knew my coffee order was due by tomorrow so I grabbed my walker and scooted to the door as quick as I could. I saw the post office truck leave as I opened the door and no box on the porch. Our regular UPS guy knows I’m slow so he honks the horn so I can get a head start as he's walking up the drive and he waits a little longer for orders that need a signature or when it’s a heavy box so he can hand it in the door for me. He also knows to leave packages on the front porch because I can get the leverage to get them in the house from there. The post office didn’t have the leave it on the front porch direction or knowledge that the disabled lady moves slow.

I looked out the side door figuring that since I didn’t get my summer planting done they’d leave the box in the flower bed. I wouldn’t be happy, but David could bring it in when he gets home. But no, the box was open and sitting on the steps! I can’t reach it from there and I can’t get down the steps if I wanted to go out! I was mad that the box was open and didn’t want it to sit outside until midnight. So I tried to pick it up with my truly inadequate for anything Grabber. No dice. After a rest, because efforts like that tire me out so fast, I tried again with mightier tongs. Still nothing. I texted David to let him know there’d be an open box on the steps when he got home. Then I called the post office. My account now has directions to wait after ringint thwe bell and leave things on the front porch and a complaint about the open box. I felt a little better.

I had to try one last time. I pulled my kitchen chair to the side door and sitting in it I tried to leverage the box up the step with the hook end of my cane. The result was the box falling off the step into the driveway. At that point I could get down the steps and grab the open flaps to get the box to the top step. I got my coffee inside! I am exhausted now, but after waiting since January for Keurig to get the Starbucks Verona K-Cups to use the buy 2 get 2 free coupon they gave me for registering my brewer, I wanted a cup from my four boxes of Verona! Mmm… Yummy Verona! It was SO worth the trouble to get my favorite coffee in my house, but after I post this I need a nap!

This week I’m just going to answer Mama M’s Friday 5 Questions:

1. What do you enjoy doing the most with your spouse?

Can I say that online? ;)

Seriously, I like most talking with David. If you’re with the person you want to grow old with, you’d better enjoy talking to that person! We talk about serious stuff, family; friends and relatives, even religion and politics without divorce! We also get silly, sometimes putting ourselves is gigging fits.

2. How do you eat your taco? From the top or from the side?

When I have the occasional taco, I start at the side; how else do you get the full flavor?

3. Have you ever shut off the basement light and ran like a fool because you knew someone was down there and would get you?

Ah, no. I can’t run anyway.

4. If you could change one thing about you what would it be and why?

Easy; No more MS! It’d have been nice to just go outside and pick up my box of coffee.

5. What age do you think is appropriate to have the "bird and the bees" talk with your children?

Depends on the kid. When they start asking give an honest but age-appropriate answer. I know Dee, Tori and Rina’s mom, never hid the “women products” and the girls were like 3 the first time they asked what the pads were for. “Eggs you don’t use to make babies.” It lead to a talk about how a woman’s body does things, in simple terms of course. That made it easier on me! They started wondering about sex after Dee passed and it was often Nana fielding the questions. Their Mom had laid down good ground work. When it always went back to understanding and respecting their own bodies first, it was all easier to understand.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Photoblog Wednesday

Norfolk Southern 60T in Stryker, Ohio on Monday 8/26/12

The lead engine is the Illinois Terminal Heritage Unit and the second one is the Conrail Heritage Unit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Soap Box: Political Observations and Decision

There is a lot on my mind thanks to the wonderful upcoming elections. Don’t get me wrong; I truly do appreciate that I get to vote and have some small part in the process that governs me and my fellow Americans, but the polarization between the two halves with the power is just mind-boggling and scary. I have never and will never allow political ads to make my decisions. I read, research and spin for myself. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my choices nor do I expect anyone to accept my opinion as “ultimate truth,” but if you’re accepting any ads that way, by all means, take my thoughts that way; my opinions are at least thought out and not just looking to win at all cost.

When I make political decisions I try to make those decisions as an American and not just as me. Sure, I remember that I’m an American too, but there are some choices that are just more American than my selfish ideas are and the better choice for my country does nothing to harm my ability to carry on with what’s right for me. Take raising the millage for the schools. I learned this from my parents first, like most people do, then reaffirmed that it was the right thing to do as an adult. I don’t have any kids so why do I care about funding for public schools? Just don’t raise MY property taxes. Well, first through fourth grades I went to private school, so that same thought process could have worked for my parents; but it didn’t. They supported the public school taxes and my mother even attended school board meetings and did some volunteer work for the public schools at that time. The need for better, just better, in the public school system in Southgate was why my young parents scraped and saved to pay the private school tuition. Supporting the public schools was supporting more safety in our neighborhood because kids stayed in school and had after school programs, it supported rising property values and just a better neighborhood. Better for the schools was better for everyone, even if you didn't have kids in school. That made sense then and it makes even more sense now as our schools are threatened with cuts and voucher systems that take more away when they need to have more so our kids can compete on a global level.

On the national front, there is money funneled into political campaigns that tell us why the other guy is bad and not why their guy is good that could be so much better used. I am totally against allowing corporations to buy elections; national elections should be for “we the people,” not “we the money.” Those corporations could donate that money to better causes; schools, medical research, how many bellies could they fill putting that buy-an-election money in a soup kitchen? But there are much more important things than people. Corporations are not people, they are businesses that do whatever they need to make a profit; that's the purpose of a business. But sometimes whatever they need to do includes squashing small businesses and ignoring what’s good for people; they just have concern for what’s good for their own bottom line. And let’s face it; that’s more important to them than what’s good for the country. As long as they’re still standing tall when it happens, our country can collapse; they have offices in other countries anyway.

There is so much drivel about religious issues that don’t belong in politics too. We’re still arguing about women’s rights and marriage equality? In 2012? Really?

Personally, I’m pro-life. I believe that conception is a potential for life and had I conceived, even in my teens or 20s when there was no way I could afford to raise a child, I would have done whatever I needed to bring the child safely to term so I could find it a good home and a good life. That goes with the rest of my personal religious-rooted belief. If I was going to make it the United States Under Nani, the first thing I’d do is shut down all the fertility clinics. Even counseling someone about making an unnatural baby would be illegal because it’s against my personal beliefs. If you cannot conceive it’s because the baby to whom you are meant to give a life is being entrusted to someone who didn’t plan on and doesn’t want the responsibility of raising a child to give birth. Someone else has the better hereditary factors and you have the better parenting ability. If you can’t conceive get over the ego and listen to God. To me that makes sense in God’s plan and to change it on either end is “playing God.”

There are some exceptions to my abortion stance, but not to my fertility view. I think if I’d been raped as a teen, there is no way I could relive that brutal attack for 9 months carrying what I’m sure would seem like Satan’s spawn; then never knowing if there was some genetic defect that made my assailant violent and I took part in releasing a monster into the world. A victim of rape should not be expected to remain victim for the rest of her life. Contrary to opinions I’ve recently read it is NOT the same as conceiving as a result of consensual sex; born out of love or fun is way different than planted by intimidation and violence.

See? I have some compassion on my pulpit. Still, aren’t ya glad my religion isn’t running the country?

I still support choice as an American because everyone is not me. There are so many conflicting opinions in different religions about when life starts, when it’s okay or not to terminate a pregnancy. There are so many religions and so many people who don’t practice any religion at all and they are all Americans. The first Amendment guarantees us that the government will not recognize one religion over any other as the law of the land and as an American I accept that. Allowing for women’s reproductive freedom does not affect me personally. I can still maintain that if I’d have been pregnant during my child bearing years, I’d have carried the baby to term, I can still counsel other younger women to choose life, but I don’t have the right to force others to follow the beliefs of my religious choice.

In the same vein, I’ve talked about marriage equality before and that those against its legality are basing that stance on religious choice. As Americans, it’s wrong, plain and simple. It’s ignoring the First Amendment to base voting opinions on religious thoughts. There has to be a non-religious foundation other than “I just don’t like it” to vote against equality. It does nothing to affect you. If two heterosexual people you don’t like get married, do you buy them a wedding gift? Visit their home? Tell others how great it is that they are married? Maybe you parade around in front of their house with signs saying how much it sucks that people you don’t like are married and how it should be illegal. Maybe you burn down the church where they got married. No? So you just ignore them or don’t even know they got married and live your life. Maybe as Americans we should just do that.

Lastly in my great political decision making world, healthcare and Medicare are hot topics. Much as I still maintain that insurance for everyone is not enough, it is better. I take two medications specifically for Multiple Sclerosis. One is 2 pills a day at $22.88 a pill and the other, the one that does more tangible good for my symptoms is one a day at $165.61 a pill. That comes to $77,150.05 a year just for the medication. With insurance and  private copay assistance I pay $50 a month. That means we haven’t had to sell the house and file for bankruptcy and I’m not on government assistance. HIPPA protects me if we change insurance but if the policies lapse for even a day the Affordable Care Act means I won’t find myself uninsured because for a pre-existing condition. Like I said, I don’t think it’s enough, but it sure is covering my butt in a huge way now. I don’t want that act to go away.

As far as Medicare goes, my Dad wouldn’t be able to afford insurance with a voucher without giving something up. Americans who have worked and contributed should not have to give up things for which they’ve worked all their lives. But his vote, I mean healthcare, wouldn't be affected by the voucher idea anyway.  I’m imaging myself still dealing with the MS and having to add shopping for insurance with my coupon to the mix. If the brain fog symptom that caused me to need to retake one of my classes while being diagnosed before treatment comes back as I’m older, I’ll really be screwed. Vouchers for Medicare makes the Affordable Care Act sound better and better thought out.

So, yes, I’m going to cast my vote to re-elect President Obama. Is it a “lesser of two evils” vote? Maybe in some areas, but the Romney evil is powerful and scary. But in more areas, the ones the enabling corporations are conveniently disregarding, there has been some forward movement. The up and down cycle of the economy is normal and honestly the government doesn't control it; big and small business and consumers do. Tax cuts never trickle down to small businesses because they never get them and the businesses that do build up their companies and often destroy many small businesses. Still there have been efforts in the last four years that have had a positive effect. Ultimately I’m voting for both the good the President has done and the bad he won’t do if we elect him again instead of his corporate-funded competition.

Your opinions may vary and I respect that, but they won't change mine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nani is a CHOCOVORE!

We’re waiting out the rain here today. I had planned to take David out to breakfast for…no reason, just because I felt like taking him out to breakfast. But we awoke to rain, really pouring rain. Rain is a good thing this dry summer, but going out in the rain means David gets soaked pulling out the wheelchair and I get soaked wheeling in to the restaurant because there’s no sprinting in a wheelchair. So, we hope the weather will break to make it a brunch/lunch date. The Weather Chanel seems to think that will work.

So let’s do the Monday Quiz form Acting Balanced for breakfast!

1.. When was the last time you tried something new?

Earlier this year I tried Kellogg’s Krave. Krave a REAL CHOCOLATE center wrapped up in whole grain. It’s perhaps the greatest new product in the last ten years. I AM no doubt a Chocovore! Just sayin’.

2. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

My views on crime and punishment. I am politically a moderate; most of my social opinions are from left-leaning to very left and I am very middle of the road fiscally. I don’t want to give up things that will help people, but I want it clearly defined how they’ll be funded. But my views on crime are right enough that my own husband says they’re too strict. To put it simply; I don’t think rehabilitation works and we need to have punishment that is an effective deterrent from crime. Instead of kids showing us their underwear in praise of prisoners, I’d love to see prison so terrifying that kids stay away from trouble, and I do mean TERRIFYING. Cruel and usual; punishment to fit the crime, is okay with me.

3. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?

I listen to all kinds of music. In the car when there isn’t a baseball game on, I listen to top 40 but when I hit seek on the radio I stop for country and classical too. My favorite music in the 80s was metal but I liked new music, dance music and enjoyed rap when it first came out. There’s still some rap I like and a lot of urban contemporary. I love classical in the summer and Patsy Cline when I’m not listening to Christmas music during the holidays. I love music that is passionate; We Shall Be Free by Garth Brooks is high on my list of the best songs there are for feeling good and empowered and just yesterday I had dueling ear-worms; Dear God by XTC, which is about atheism, and Stomp by Kirk Franklin which is absolute dancing in the aisles gospel. I love, love, love Glenn Miller and I always smile when watching the Reds when Todd Frazier is up to bat because he uses a choice of 2 Frank Sinatra songs for his intro music. If there’s a style of music I haven’t mentioned, I probably listen to that too, just maybe not as often.

4. What piece of advice would you give to a beginning blogger?

Decide what your audience will be and what you want to say in your blog. Blog about what you know well and research before you make statements.

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

Do you still enjoy breakfast cereal?  What is your favorite?

I indeed do still enjoy cereal for breakfast! It’s quick, filling and fortified. I usually have breakfast cereal the cereal with fruit and a dairy serving on top of the milk…and coffee, breakfast is pointless without coffee! Because I eat cereal 5-6 mornings a week, I keep 2 boxes in the cupboard at a time. There are usually 2 from the following list: Honey Nut Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios, Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Caramel Pecan, and Krave Chocolate or Double Chocolate. Right now I have Fiber Plus Caramel Pecan and Double Chocolate Krave in the cupboard. This morning was a Fiber Plus morning.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Models and the Alphabet

Menfolk: you may not understand this one, but you’re welcome to read it!

I’m differently endowed than many in the bust department. Whether it’s a curse or a blessing; depends on opinion. At 46 years old a plus-size bra size that cannot be found in stores is both essential and difficult to find. Braless is something that ended at 11 years old and probably could have, should have, earlier because I never wore a training bra or even double A, I was an A at 11.

For the past 15+ years I’ve worn one style and only that style of bra. It was an excellent bra for me, fit and supported well, was comfortable. There was a Bra World store near where I lived in Michigan which is where I discovered that wonderful bra and they actually had it in my size. I was a regular customer because it was the only place I’d ever been able to by my size “off the rack.” Unfortunately, smaller sizes were more easily found in lingerie shops and a handful of women who needed the larger sizes weren’t enough to keep the business going. My friends who went in with me told me that they were an expensive shop, but they were the only place I could get bras!

My bras were priced in the $30-40 each range in the mid-90s and I waited for a good sale when I needed new bras and stocked up. When Bra World closed, I turned to catalogs and then the internet to find that one style that was worth every penny of its price to me. I had a site that I got my bras from on the Internet and my style bookmarked. At the end of last year it was time to replenish my bra supply. I stock up every couple years. My bra, the style I’d worn since before I finished college, had been discontinued.

When I went to my bookmark, the site offered two different styles from the same brand that were supposed to be comparable. I ordered a couple of each, figuring the same brand and a comparable style should have a similar fit. NO WAY! One style mashed my breasts against my chest with leftovers spilling out of the cups all the way around! The other style fit but funneled “the girls” into a 1980s Madonna shape. Those ones were returned; all 4 of them.

So now I am searching for a new bra. Given that my size is still not one you find in stores, the internet is my bra mall. This morning I had to laugh, then almost cry. I did a search for plus-size bras. I found a bra on sale for only $19…but it was only available for $19 n a C-cup. Then there were few like this one:

Plus size, really?  Plus what?
Wacoal Inspiration Underwire Bra

In a search for plus-size bras? The model doesn’t look like a plus-size anything and I have to wonder how many pins were used in the photo session; this bra doesn’t come in anything smaller than a D cup. That’s NOT a D-cup in that photo!

I did a paper about images of women in advertising for my Women’s History class in college in 1997. In that paper I talked about the plus-size women’s clothing industry and the lack of plus-size models in advertising and catalogs. About how the images created unrealistic representations of the clothing and it was not only false advertising, but detrimental to self-image of their customers; bad business. It’s a decade and a half since I wrote that paper and there are more plus-size models in larger women’s clothing advertising but that demeaning Madison Avenue image of women isn’t gone yet. I’m not even going to try that bra pictured above because even if the model is wearing the smallest size available I have no idea what size to buy. If that’s a D, what am I, a Q?? David had suggested that maybe it was a bra for plus-size women but with average to small breasts, but  that's not a plus size models and again, the smallest size is a D; still doesn't work.

Not all of the larger-sized bras are modeled on small, skinny women. I just find the ones like that to be misleading and frankly, insulting. I realize that a special size that has to be ordered cannot be photographed to replace actually trying it on, but at least provide an image that has some semblance to reality. I won’t even try a “plus-size” bra that’s not modeled on a plus-size model or a model with plus-size cups

A much better representation of a plus size bra
Underwire Lace Top Full Support Bra by Aviana®

There are a few that I think I want to try based on realistic photos and descriptions of what they might look and fit like, but I’ll order just one of the style to be returned or to order more after I try it on. I still just find the gross misrepresentations frustrating as my struggle to replace 20 years of support.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Feeling Friday

1. If you could have been (could be) any profession you wanted (brains and $$$ no problem) what would it be?

I’m going to assume that girl parts aren’t an issue either. I’d have been a professional baseball player. Probably middle infield because compared to the men I’m too short for the outfield, which is where I played softball. You see, if I’d been an MLB player, maybe the first woman, I’d be retired by now. I likely would have retired when the MS symptoms started to escalate and I probably would have been diagnosed sooner because the club trainer would have seen something not right. Then I’d be a retired professional athlete with MS. I’d have a ton of clout to do speaking engagements and promoting to support awareness and research for the disease, I’d even be able to donate more to the National MS Society and other MS nonprofit organizations.

2. How often do you clean out your car?

I used to clean it out once a month with a good cleaning, vacuuming and Windex, a couple times a year. Now, clean out the car? Huh?

3. Do you wish there was such a thing as fashion police or are you deeply relieved?

I think people should wear whatever makes them feel good and expresses whatever they want to say with their wardrobe. If you enjoy “high fashion, even to the point of being overdressed for casual; gatherings, go for it. If you want to wear a sweatshirt to a nice restaurant I think that’s fine too. People should be a comfortable or crazy, proper and conservative as fits their personal style and we should all just let it be. Fashion Police is a silly concept and I’m glad they don’t exist.

4. What's your go to food/drink/activity when stressed?

Stress is best fought with chocolate; the more stress, the more chocolate is necessary.

5. If you had twins, what would you name them?

Two girls? Two boys? one of each? I am quite sure if I was responsible for naming twins, their names would be completely different and they wouldn’t sound at all like twins. I’d want them to have their own separate identities.

This week’s statements:
1. I hate ____
2. I have never been to ¬¬¬¬____
3. The hobby I love the most is_____________ and one day I will ____________________.
4. My favorite store to shop at is______________because_______________________.

My Answers:
1. I hate political advertising.
2. I have never been to a high school reunion.
3. The hobby I love the most is scrapbooking and one day I will be caught up!
4. My favorite store to shop at is Godiva Chocolatier because malls stress me out. ;)

**  I finished reading The Troubleshooter by Austin Camacho yesterday. It’s the first Hannibal Jones book and a great read! I’d already read Collateral Damage and thoroughly enjoyed it so I wanted to go back to the beginning of the series and read where it started. Without telling too much, Imagine trying to take a building back from being a crack house and dealing with the “businessman” who is profiting from the sale of drugs in the house. It’s a turf battle. The book is not for you if you don’t like a lot of action and well, the subject matter is of course violent. For me, I like the action and I couldn’t help but love Hannibal; he’s a great man of honor and brains.

**  Last night I was married to a lobster! David was on a boat all day. It’s Navy Week in Toledo and yesterday was the day the boats came into port downtown. David rode on the USS Hurricane, spending a long day in bright sun. One thing I always loved about working in the media is that you get some cool perks that most people don’t get to try. He came home dog-tired, but it was a fun day for him.

** I treated myself to Chinese on Monday, Heather’s fault; the #5 question in her Monday Quiz Abut Me at Acting Balanced was “What would your fortune cookie read today?” Well, ythat was all the influence I needed to make my “thinking about Chinese” turn into a real live craving. So I ordered Moo Shoo Chicken and Chinese veggies. That’s 2 meals worth and it came with two fortune cookies too. I had one Monday and gave that fortune as not what would, but what did my fortune cookie say as my answer to her question. Yesterday the leftovers were lunch! This was the fortune:

“Hugs are life’s rainbows.”

It’s a sweet fortune, but the food was better!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?

Haven’t been to Hawaii yet. When I go, I’d rather just have a lei than hair flowers.

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?

My favorite is just chunks of pineapple. When I do go to Hawaii, I want to visit the Dole Plantation. Is that a U-Pick?

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.

Kelly is my soul mate. Yes, platonic souls mate. I don’t think the one person who totally matches you at your core has to be a romantic interest, although I think people misuse the word as a description of a flowery romance a lot. Kel is my best friend and she often knows me better than I do.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.

Hmmm… Well, I lived one place as a kid, but we moved when I was 10. Which one counts as where I grew up? I liked Southgate, the first hometown, way better than Novi, the second one. Southgate was an awesome place to be a kid; so much to do, so many programs, the library, dance studio, hockey rink, and all the summer programs were a short bike ride away. Novi was an awful place to be a kid in the 70s. There wasn’t much in the way of programs that weren’t for seniors and everything was spread so far apart you really couldn’t go anywhere.

The first memory that comes to mind about both houses is COLD. My parents liked it a lot colder than I did. I’ve always worn a sweater inside, even in the summer. Hut when I was a kid I spent a lot of time outside in the summer too!

5. Are you comfortable with silence?

Absolutely. Many days I’m home and there is no TV or radio all day. The phone makes me jump of it rigs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it; I just don’t make a point of turning things on when I am busy with other things.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)

Yes, they’re all giant!

If David’s home, I stop, stare and scream “David, help!” He knows what’s going on.

If he’s not home, I stop, stare, calm myself enough to back out of the room and grab the sider spray. Then go back and spray it down to the ground, this takes about a half bottle, then I find something I can club it with until there is no way it could possibly move. Once it has been pulverized, I clean it up with four or five tissues so I don’t come in any contact with the remains.

7. My idea of fun does NOT include ______________.

excessive alcohol or being cold

8. Insert your own random thought here.

For lack of a good random thought today I’m showing off my latest scrapbook page. It’s how Carla celebrated Black Cat Appreciation Day last Friday; finding the catnip her Daddy had put by my computer. Kaline got it first and crumbled it all over the table. A few hours later Carla just rolled around on the table like a crazy cat and I remembered why; you couldn’t’ see the catnip, but I guess you could really feel it still!

Credits: For Us by Pretty In Green, Pet Shop: My Cat elements by Kathy Winters Designs

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Not Supposed To Be Here

 Good Monday morning! The truth is I wasn’t planning on posting a blog today. The plan was that my computer would be in Toledo and I’d be in Pennsylvania. David and I left before sunrise Saturday intending to chase some of those beautiful Norfolk Southern Heritage Units that were going to be in Pennsylvania this weekend. He had an extra weekend day off and we planned to get home late tonight. Daylight time is still early and late enough in the day that I’m too tired to even check email at the end of the day, so there was no sense in adding the laptop bad to the luggage.

So why am I home and blogging? Let’s talk about the weather! When we left the forecast said one thing, but it changed somewhere between sunrise and Lake Erie! It seemed like puffy clouds from the lake were going to obstruct the sun, then the sky was cloudy on the horizon as we faced east and Pennsylvania. Keeping n contact with railfans on our route and in our destination, we weren’t imagining those PA clouds. “The liar’s club strikes again” David growled referring to his usual dissatisfaction with the accuracy of weather forecasts. Depending on the 72-hour forecast is a major part of our weekend travel planning. But being able to adapt plans is essential to having a successful trip; something planner-Nani is learning. I’ve learned to enjoy “seat of your pants” travel as long as it’s the seat of David’s pants. If I’m the one orchestrating the trip I still have to have my rough plan and notes.

The biggest difference in the way we do things is that when I plan a trip, I have a rough itinerary of where I’ll be and a dozen things I might be doing there. David has a dozen places he might be. I always have “plan B” in my notes, David makes up plan B on the spot. We’ve learned to travel together. For our longer summer trips, he gives me the dozen places we might be and I assemble the schedules of all the baseball games we might be able to see and any attraction we might see at the afternoon high light or in case of cloudy skies. We started doing that with our honeymoon and it turned out to be a great way to “plan” a trip.

Lake County Captains game Sunday

For weekenders since we’re going a smaller area away from home, we don’t necessarily have a full plan, but this weekend turned out great, weather notwithstanding. We stayed in Ashtabula on Saturday wert we got some great shots and spent the night in Mentor, OH. Waking up to clouds and a cloud-filled forecast for PA we went out for a sit-down breakfast before we went home. After breakfast a ray of light was shining and we staked out a few trains. A couple hours later it was nearing game time for the Lake County Captains. We knew they were home but didn’t plan to find “something” to do in the clouds before game time and had planned to just head back west. The ray of light gave us a couple of trains after all and the opportunity to go to the game! With lots of clouds in the forecast there for today, we still came home after the game, a few more trains and dinner at Eat N Park; we still really need and Eat N Park in Toledo!

1. If you found a $100 bill on the floor at the mall, what would you do?

When I was about 6 or 7 I found a $5-bll on the ground in the parking lot at church. I didn’t see who dropped it and I put it in the collection plate. That was not a suggestion from my parents or anybody. Mt parents said if I didn’t see who dropped it and there was no one I saw looking for it, I could keep it but it would be stealing if I knew who dropped it. I stayed where I found it for a few minutes with Mom and she told me that I could keep it. I told her that since it was in the church parking lot, it belonged to the church and I put it in the collection plate.

40 years later and in a mall, I don’t think I’d donate it to the place I found the $100 bill (which at a 46-year old today has pretty much the same monetary value as a $5 bill to a 7-year old in the early 70s) I’d initially do the same thing I did then; If I saw who dropped it, I’d make sure they got it back. I’d stick around to see if anyone was looking for something on the ground. I’d ask if they lost something and could I help. If they said they dropped a hundred dollar bill, I’d give it to them. If they said they lost money, I’d ask how much. Again, if they said a hundred dollar boll, I’d give it to them. If there was no way of identifying who dropped it, I’d keep it.

2. What is one thing a friend could do that you would considering ending your friendship upon finding out?

Sadly, this one has happened to me before.

A friend could end a friendship with me if she new I was planning a huge party for her and had already spent a lot of money on that party and she packed up and moved to another state for a man without telling even her own mother she was leaving. Just poof – gone. She can solidify ending that relationship if when she does finally answer desperate emails because her cell phone is disconnected too and I'm worried sick about her, she replies with a casual apology that she won’t make it to “your party.”

(It did turn out that she was in no distress, just deserted all of us to follow a guy. She wasn’t a silly 20-something at the time, the party was for her 40th birthday.)

3. When was the last time you had to say your 'sorry?'

Yesterday! One of the similarities David and I share is how we react when we do something that makes us mad with ourselves. I misplaced something and I’d been looking for it a while. I had a temper-tantrum, emptying my tote bag on the car floor. He made a suggestion. I snapped at him.

It ended up I left the thing at the hotel. When we went back, housekeeping had turned it in at the front desk. (no it wasn’t a hundred dollar bill) I apologized for snapping at him.

We realized that when either one of us is mad at himself or herself the thing the other one of us should do is just let the other one have their tantrum. Making any suggestion to someone who has become irrationally upset with themselves is essentially saying, “yes, you’re an idiot, I can handle your problems better than you can.” Remember the key word in that state of tantrum is irrational.

4. In your words, define 'perfect.'

Some perfect things are absolute; a 300-game in bowling or a pitcher that faces 27 batters and never has a base runner is in a state of perfection for one game. An all-A report card is perfect. However, in most things, perfection is a matter of opinion.

For me, “perfect” defines a moment; a moment where there is a state of happiness or contentment with no negativity is a perfect moment.

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

Everyone travels in a different comfort zone. Some like a strict schedule of how they’ll spend their vacation time to get the most of it, some like a flexible schedule to have an outline of where they’ll be and what there is to do there, others like a rough outline of their destination and make changes along the way and still others like to plan nothing except a destination to stay at and just relax.

What is your preferred style of travel?

Contrary to the belief of relatives who prefer to do nothing but relax when they travel, I am NOT a strict schedule person at all. I like to have reservations made for things that are necessary like hotels and any attractions that are an absolute for the trip like a concert or ballgame that is possible going to sell out. Reservations are important if you’re planning a sightseeing boat cruise or a dinner train. But in general I like to know that I have someplace to sleep and a list of possible things to do so I can plan my travel budget. Then I can do what I’m in the mood for on any given day including discovering things that aren’t in the travel guides.

When I do group trips with family, especially relatives, and not just my husband, the ability to plan a travel budget is important so people don't end up not having enough when they are there or having to cancel at the last minute – last minute cancellations increase the finances for hotel and gas for everyone else. (My experience is that relatives seem to think it’s more okay to leave everyone hanging than friends)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!

Carla in 2009

According to Black Cats Are NOT Bad Luck on Facebook, today is officially worldwide Black Cat Appreciation Day. David and I both have pictures of Carla as our ID photos on Facebook today, replacing the ones of Kaline we had to celebrate her birthday last weekend. It amazes me how many people are still so backwards in intelligence that they still believe that a black cat is a bad omen. It breaks my heart that so many black cats are abused, even tortured, by people so mindless, so cruel. Carla is the sweetest, most cuddly cat you could imagine. Ritchie, my black cat in my teens, was just as loving and cuddling. I can’t imagine that anyone could ever cause any animal harm, but my experience with black cats is that they are loving and faithful than some dogs I’ve known.

Black cats are the least likely to be adopted in a shelter. If it’s not a no-kill shelter, that also mean they are the most often euthanized; killed for the color of their fur. How can anyone be so stupid in 2012 to believe or pay any sort of homage to ancient superstitions created by frightened simple-minded people?

This day was created to make people aware and celebrate the most affectionate and personable cats there are! Here’s to the feline black beauties everywhere!

Now, on to the Friday Memes!

This week’s statements:
1. I ___ so much __ in a day
2. I don’t like ____ but I love ___
3. When I watch_______ I ¬¬¬¬____
4. I have ________in my wallet.

My Answers:

1. I accomplish so much more in a day when I wake up early.

2. I don’t like cookie dough ice cream but I love cake batter ice cream!!

3. When I watch political ads on TV I feel scared and sad.

4. I have very little cash in my wallet. (on purpose)

1. What's the one thing you buy every time you walk into the store?

Salad. We prefer to use the bagged salad because it’s easier to serve while cooking something else. Trouble is it doesn’t keep well enough to buy in bulk so we pretty much always need another hag of salad.

2. If you had a day all to yourself how would you spend it?


3. Are you a speed limit driver? If not, over or under?

Depends on where I’m driving. If I’m on the freeway, it’s left lane all the way because I want to get to my destination and out of the car. I hate driving! If it’s surface streets, under the speed limit in stop and go traffic with less predictable other drivers.

4. What's your favorite dessert to make, homemade or from a mix??

The usual favorite planned dessert here is cake and ice cream. Sometimes the cake is homemade from scratch, sometimes for a box and sometimes we buy a cake at the store. I don’t make ice cream at home.

5. Would you rather have a spider or a mouse scurry across your face (no copping out and saying "neither!!")?

Not even a temptation to say “neither” here! If I can see the critter running across my face; “Here mousey, mousey!”

**  Yesterday morning when David, who is on the night shift this week, asked me if I wanted to go out and chase some trains with him in the morning, I was leaning to the side of “no.” But he tempted me with the Jersey Central Heritage Unit in the area and I caved to that temptation and went anyway. I’m so glad that I did! I got probably my best shot of a Heritage Unit “in the wild” yet!

Jersey Central in Wauseon, Ohio
August 16, 2012

**  I finally found the widget I wanted for my current book! I try to remain current with my reading on Good Reads and I’ve got several friends I share what I’m reading/have read with. It’s a good place to get recommendations for books too! I’m Nani_Reads at Good Reads. If you have an account there, feel free to add me to your reading network!

**  Sunday was Kaline’s 7th birthday. Birthday cake tie was somewhat of a lead balloon though. David opened the “cake,” Meow Mix tuna and crab Market Selects, and she wasn’t even interested! I was concerned that there was something wrong with it because she didn't even scratch the floor to mark the territory as “I’ll come back later, don’t touch.” She just wasn’t interested. She ate kibble and her crunchy treats on Sunday and Carla ate all the birthday cake. Kaline just didn’t seem to find the tuna and crab appealing. Her favorite is salmon and crab, so maybe she’s just being a snob. Azzie didn’t like tuna as a main flavor either. Her medicine came in tuna flavor and we had to order the chicken flavor for her. Maybe she taught her niece that snobbish tendency when Kaline was a kitten. So no tuna birthday cake for Kaline for number 8! We’ll stick with salmon and crab.

**  We’d planned on going on a fall vacation next week, but that plan changed and David is working so we’ll be staying home. No week of extra baseball and trains this year like we had last year. But on the bright side, there won’t be a hurricane and floods changing our trip plan either!

**  It’s officially Pumpkin Spice season because had my first pumpkin-something yesterday! I start craving Pumpkin Spice edibles about mid-August every year, but it’s usually the last week of August/beginning of September before I find anything Pumpkin Spice in coffee places, convenience stores or even donut shops. We stopped during railfanning yesterday because I wanted coffee. I hadn’t had breakfast op coffee yet and my fading energy really did want breakfast. We were thinking about making a stop for a sit-down breakfast and David was just getting me a coffee. When he went in to the gas station, I told him “16-ounce coffee with 2 creams, 2 Splenda, unless they have Pumpkin Spice cheat-a-ccino already!” He said, “Yeah right. 2 cream 2 Splenda.

He came back with a huge cup! I was wondering what part of 16 ounces he missed. He figured I’d want the big cup for my first Pumpkin Spice something of the year! Mmmm…..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. I included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post yesterday... "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?

Well, I guess I disturbed my mind’s routine when I started taking college classes again. The goal was to earn a certificate in some area or another of computers. Now as I’m not in a financial place to afford tuition right now, I want to get the tools I need to get back to work and possibly back to school soon after. My mind is in a constant state of disruption, so it doesn’t get sluggish until bedtime, :)

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?

Fried Sweet Potatoes! They are my fried weakness!

I occasionally get a small order of fries (or a half of a small with a Happy Meal) at McDonald’s and I like the chicken bites, but as a rule I really don’t like much fried food – frying adds fat and destroys the flavor of most things.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?

I had an allowance in the summer, when we were out doing things without Mom there. As I recall maybe it was $10 a week. That was a lot when I was a kid! I spent it on arts and crafts, baseball cards and candy and an occasional Chocolate Honey Dipped donut at Dunkin Donuts.

We don’t give our kids an allowance, we just buy them everything they want. We’re obedient cat-parents.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?

Pop culture; I wish I just magically knew more about the TV programs and movies everyone references without having to watch them.

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?

Drink to any excess. I’m too old to party irresponsibly like I did in my early 20s. We did always have a designated driver when I went out to clubs with friends, but the “need” for alcohol to socialize is something I’m glad to have outgrown.

6. What's a song you think has a great first line?

First one that comes to mind is “Hold On” by Kansas; “Look in the mirror and tell me, what do you see?”

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other words...as you write, who is the audience in your head?

You! I’m always writing to anyone reading, be it someone I do or don’t know. I occasionally I will mention a friend or fellow blogger in a post and address them, but I write to everyone reading my blog.

When I write in my personal journal I write to the journal itself, but occasionally recognize that one day Tori or Rina will be able to read it* and address them, but usually the private journal is treated as the journal itself is my personal and most intimate, non-judgmental friend.

** Tori and Rina will inherit the right to read my most personal thoughts. They can decide then if there would be any value in selling them.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This was my snack after baseball and Degrassi last night:

peach butter and sugar cookies

I started the peach butter in my crockpot Monday night, drained excess liquid yesterday afternoon, milled it in the blender and put it back in the crock post to finish cooking yesterday afternoon. I made a quick batch of simple sugar cookies to put the peach butter on. Mmmm-M! I haven’t figured out if there are enough peaches left to do a peach crisp or if I’ll just eat the rest of them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Good Evening

It’s been a busy day today and an exhausting one too! The photo was l8unch; zucchini pancakes! Oh, trey are SO good! Four ingredients; 1 cup of grated zucchini, ½ cup of egg beaters, 1 TBS Parmesan cheese, 2 TBS flour. Mix all the ingredients together and cook like you would a pancake. If your zucchini is on the watery side, drain it in a colander squeezing with a paper towel before mixing it with the other ingredients. Add spices to taste. I just added pepper and garlic powder. It’s so simple and so good! I cooked 4 pancakes two at a time in a teaspoon of olive oil. It’s low-calorie and the only fat in it was a small serving of a healthy oil; a filling meal and it was a very small WW points total. Feel free to email me for more info on how I figured the points.  I never have any trouble with my veggies, but if I don’t have nuts or olives in the house, I have a hard time making sure I get healthy oil in my day.  You could serve them with a little sour cream, ranch or spaghetti sauce, but I ate them sans sauce and they were great.

I’ve also cut up 5 pounds of peaches and added the other ingredients to my crock pot for peach butter. I can’t wait until the house starts smelling like that! I need to get a hold of some gingersnaps or graham crackers for when it’s done!

For now, let’s move on to the Monday (evening) Quiz About Me hosted by Heather at Acting Balanced!

1. How was your weekend?

This was Summerail weekend in Cincinnati. David worked later than we wanted to be leaving Friday, so we were up bright an early on Saturday for the drive down. I love the big event where we get to see our friends who are fellow railfans. The great people we enjoy time with are a huge perk of the hobby! We saw some really good shows this year. There were narratives that told great stories and photos of steam taken in the 50s, when steam powered trains hauled freight and standard passenger service. I really enjoyed the shows, but Summerail is usually the best out there.

I also got my Cincinnati Chili for dinner Saturday. The only part of the weekend I missed was Sunday breakfast with everyone. David had to be back for work in the afternoon. Next time for sure!

2. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Let’s see, anything chocolate! Okay, okay, especially Mr. Goodbar and Skinny Cow Peanut Butter Heavenly Crisp. My favorite M&Ms are pretzel and almond!

3. If I say the word 'high' what do you think?


4. What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?

PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON!!! It’s happening right now!  About mid-August I start to crave everything pumpkin spice; coffee, scones, donuts, ice cream, pumpkin butter and pudding and…STOP ME IT'S TOOO EARRRRLYYYYYY!


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

Do you take daily vitamins? Is it a mutli or specific supplements?

I went to place an order for vitamins this morning and didn’t place it. The prices for them are crazy. With prescription coverage the vitamins out-cost my medications by about 50% and I have a depressing number of prescriptions. So I emptied the online cart. The price is just too insane. I think I might try to go without them and see if I feel any different. I’ll still take the prescribed meds, just not the doctor suggested vitamins. Maybe I should just go Flintstones?

The whole “I’m too cheap to buy my vitamins” thing may be over tomorrow, or next week when I’ve been without them for a while, but for today, My pocketbook is closed to the vitamin guys.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fun

This week’s statements:

1. When I was little my mom _____
2. ___ is my favorite condiment
3. I don’t like to celebrate____ because____
4. My ____takes up more space _____ and I can never__________

My Answers:

1. When I was little my mom didn’t work. She started working part time once my brother and I were both in first grade and full time after we were in middle school.

2. Honey mustard dressing or just honey mustard is my favorite condiment

3. I don’t like to celebrate someone else’s bad fortune, no matter what I think of them or how much I can see they set it up themselves because I’d feel less deserving of my own good fortune if I did.

4. My computer backup takes up more space on my extended hard drive when I do it without tech support and I can never figure out what command I’m getting wrong. Tech support does it by remote and it’s a 6 or 7 hundred MB file, I do it, 10 GB. (shrugs)

1. Thunder storms- love them or hate them?  

I like to watch or listen to them, but I don’t think I’d say “love” them. I do hate tornado warnings.

2. Do your kids get back to school clothes? 

Nope, my kids don’t wear clothes.

3. Do you golf? Do you watch it?

No and no. I used to enjoy mini golf.

4. Showers or baths?    Showers

5. What's the strangest meal you ever ate? 

Hmm… I don’t know that I’ve had anything “strange.” I ate fried squid a lot when I was little, but I don’t care for squid now and very little fried. I think fried fish is strange! I’ve tried alligator and escargot. But those aren’t strange, just not common. I guess it was strange that I had malt-o-meal for dinner last night or that I njoy Parmesans cheese and butter in oatmeal.

**  I went peach-picking on Wednesday with Tori, Rina, Pop and my cousin’s sons OS and ES. I brought home enough peaches to have plenty to eat and still make a peach crisp and a small batch of peach butter next week.

It’s sad that the dry summer has made even U-Pick places more expensive this year because there is just less you pick. The peaches are on the smallish side, but still tasty. We picked a few plums but the blueberries were just too small to bother. I also picked up a peck of early apples in the store. It was fun, as it always is!

**  While the drought hasn’t been good for fruit, soybeans or corn in this area, it doesn’t seem to have had an adverse effect on the growth of poison ivy!

This poison ivy bush is right next to one of the peach trees in the U-Pick orchard. We shared warnings with each other and especially the kids, but ES recognized the poisonous to the touch bush and was warning us all too!

** After peach picking, Pop and the boys headed back home and Tori, Rina and I went to Ya Halla, our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant for our traditional “must eat there when in town” meal. We had our humus and tabouli appetizers, well, Rina and I had the tabouli, Tori isn’t a fan, but she had more hummus as the side dish with her meal. Then in lieu of dessert, we got more “Middle Eastern Crack” to go; a small for me and a large for the girls to take back to Papa’s house with them. Since we had a “linner” or “dunch” I had my take-home hummus for an evening snack and then finished it for lunch on Thursday.

Nani, Rina and Tori at Ya Halla

The next time I see the girls now, they’ll be college students and adults. Wow. They have grown into incredible young women who I still totally enjoy spending time with!

**  I have to show off and brag! I got a package in the mail yesterday that is just beautiful and definitely made me feel all warm and fuzzy! Kelly sent me this as my last birthday present this year:

She gathered the elements and put the Pandora-style bracelet together for me! It’s so personal and so special. The beads are beautiful and the charms are perfect, including a train, dangly baseball, chocolate bar, coffee cup and of course a Best Friends. I look at it on my wrist and it makes me smile and miss her a ton, but love my BFF even more! After 23 years, yeah, she kinda gets me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. In an effort to combat obesity, the mayor of NYC has plans to ban the sale of large sugary drinks (anything over 16 oz.), initially in restaurants, movie theatres, and street carts. Corner stores would also be affected if they are defined as food service establishments. You can read more here . Your thoughts?

Well, selfishly, I like the idea that when I go to a McDonalds in New York they won’t be able to give me an “abyss boy” size iced tea when I order a medium because “they’re all 99 cents.” I prefer medium drinks because I can hold them without dropping them because the cup is too big for my hand. Yes, too many times I’ve ordered a medium and gotten a huge cup. BTW, I have no problem in a drive-through just not taking the large cup when they hand it out and telling them “I didn’t order that.” (Everyone had a bitchy side sometimes)

But on a more realistic front, it’s not worth it for the few people who will benefit from it; most people will just buy 2 drinks if they want that much soda. It would help the cause more to include an evening or weekend health class that students and parents are required to attend as part of the school curriculum.

2. Art festival, music festival, food festival...which would you most like to attend?

Train festival!

3. What are you irrational about? 

Arachnophobia. I KNOW my fear of spiders, immense as it is, is irrational. But I’ve read about the “cures” for it and NO WAY, NUH UH!! I’ll just blissfully trudge on with my bottle of spider spray on each level of the house and bimonthly visits from the Orkin man.

4. Do you feel confident you'll have a comfortable retirement?

Sadly, the expense of MS and “comfortable retirement” are mutually exclusive.

5. What's been your favorite Olympic moment so far?
(Not ever, just in the 2012 Summer games)

I haven’t watched any of the Olympics.

6. What would you label as the messiest room in your house?

Yes. The White Tornado idea hasn’t really worked. I’ve gotten as far as the “it gets worse before” part and haven’t been able to physically do the “it gets better” part. The idea was like communism or trickle-down economics; a good idea but destined to fail when you add the human element.

7. Do you follow your heart or your head?

I think I combine the two well. I tend to resist the temptation to make quick decisions, preferring to think them through. Sometimes that initial desire wins; sometimes I talk myself out of it.

I guess I’d have to say I follow my head, because. I don’t trust my heart to do what’s in my best interest. It’s kind of like my heart's a child and my brain is the adult.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have 5 weeks in my Project 366 from the beginning of the year to do and I'll be totally up to date. I’m writing week 32 and I just finished the scrapbook page for week 31, which stared with Naniday on July 29. I’m doing Journal 366 as my project this year and I’m doing much better with keeping that up than with a photo every day. It’s also great for practicing brevity! I write a one or two liner about the day or with a highlight of the day. I’ve already enjoyed reliving the individual days from the beginning of the year. I like this idea for me better than the photos and may continue to do it.

Here’s the latest page:

Credits: And Many More by Colie’s Corner, Template by List Girl Designs

My personal “he-hes” are the picture of Joe Mauer with cat prints across it on the evening his 9th inning home run cost the cats their bonus treats because the Tigers and Reds had already won and the Red Sox were ahead going into the 9th but didn’t hold on to the lead. The other fun one was the Ben & Jerry’s pint with a couple of cupcakes cluster with the day I complained about David working so many nights. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

1. Where do you go to get your news?

I pick up stories here and there, but my main sources are my iGoogle home page because it lets me choose top stories from a variety of sources, and The Toledo Blade on oine and occasionally paper for local stories.

2. What Olympic level skill do you have (e.g. One could be a world-class paper clip bender)?

I’m a World Class Soup Chef. I can make a great pot of soup out of almost anything.

3. If I say the word, 'intellectual,' what do you think?

Stimulation. An intellectual endeavor is one that is mentally stimulating.

4. Who in your family do you look the most like?

My face is a cross between both of my grandmothers. If you took negatives of photos of Noni and Grandma at 46 and laid them on top of each other and printed, you’d have a picture of me.

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

By this time next month all of the students will be back in school. When you were in grade school did you dread or look forward to going back?

I actually liked learning and doing my school work. It gave me a sense of growing up and moving ahead. I wasn’t “in a hurry” to grow up, but it was something I looked forward to.

I went to a catholic elementary school, participated in summer recreation activities sponsored by the city and participated in a lot of summer programs with the Baptist Church Youth Group, so at different times of the year I got to be with different groups of friends, so on a strictly people basis, I was always excited for everything when it came around again.

I was young when I established my outlook of cherishing the past and looking forward to the future.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Last Day of Nanifest XLVI

I'm just in a Birthday Baklava mood this morning.

Today is the last day of Nanifest XLVI. As of 7:45 AM, I am 46 years and one week old. No, I don’t really count the weeks; it’s just that when Naniday is on a Sunday, the festival ends one week after my actual birthday. I took David to Coldstone during the festival. He’s not a big Coldstone fan and I got a buy one get one coupon for my birthday, so I bought him a treat so I could get mine. The Coldstone coupon used to be just a free Love-It size creation, but now it’s a buy-one-get-one coupon. That’s not a big deal since I always went with someone. Who wants to go out for ice cream alone for their birthday? Last year I cashed in my Coldstone coupon with Sheri, Tori and Rina; essentially buy THREE get one free.

Today Pop is doing dinner for the finale of Nanifest! He told me he’s doing pork tenderloin and he definitely has zucchini but he hasn’t decided how he’s going to prepare them yet. My dad prepares zucchini several different ways for grilling and they are all wonderful! He’s also got green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers that he and my uncle picked yesterday from my uncle’s garden. I tell ya, my mouth was watering last night when he was telling me about his veggie ideas to go with supper! I volunteered that we’d ring a cake. Well, we’re actually going to get a cake en route so we can have an ice cream cake. If we bought that here, we’d be lucky if it was a giant shake by the time we got there. I just don’t want to drink a huge cake-filled shake…in a box. So, yeah, there’s a Baskin Robbins and a Coldstone very close to his place.

I wanted to share a couple of awards that Edna, of Miss Edna’s Place, has honored me with! She lists me as one of her daily stops for blog reading and she’s one of mine too! It’s my morning coffee with my friend, although I confess that sometimes, usually on Mondays, it’s catching up from the weekend. When I’m home on the weekend, Saturday is usually my scrap day and David is home on Sunday, so we usually chase trains or watch baseball together. In fact, I think all the Mud Hens games we’ve seen this year have been Sunday games. I love having an affordable Minor League team so close that we can on a whim say, “Hens home today? Let’s go!” I remember that the Tigers used to be like that when I was a kid. Even with a young family income, Dad could just ask all of us if we wanted to go to a baseball game, which of course always got a “yes!” and we went. A young family of four just can’t do that anymore with a Major League team. A MLB game is an expense and an event a blue collar family has to plan for. I LOVE living in a Minor League city!
But back to the awards! See, I’m scattered on Sunday!

Edna awarded me twice recently and I want to share those awards! The first one is the Fabulous Blog Ribbon!

The rules for the award are: (1) Post the rules. (2) Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere. (3) Name five things you love. (4) Name five things you hate. (5) Pass the award on to five other bloggers (leave them a comment notifying them of the award.

Five Fabulous Moments:

1. Finishing my degree. It took 13 years, bit by bit, to do it, but the day that piece of paper arrived was a major accomplishment for me. Sharing it with Mom and Grandma was great. They both smiled with such pride I was the first in the immediate circle of family on Mom’s side and the second on Pop’s side to complete a bachelor’s degree.

2. Sitting in a bar in Canton, Michigan, with most of my crew who’d just shot the benefit hockey game they were showing on the big screen TV as part of the partnership we’d arranged for the event and listening to the people at the table on the level just below us talk about the game; “This is our local channel? Wow, this is good.”

3. The whole weekend of our wedding reception. I got all of the celebrity status a traditional bride gets without upstaging my leading man or supporting cast to do it. And well, a fabulous cake and baseball followed by trains and more cake; what’s not to love about that??

4. Giving the family history books I’d made to my brother and cousins for Christmas in 2008.

5. Having lunch with a writer for Headline News when I was at CNN Center on my quest in 1990. He was a wealth of great career advice and encouragement. Without his suggestions, I wouldn’t have gone to trade school, met many of the people I still call family today or eventually finished that degree

Five Things I Love

Not listing any people, or cats, because my people are so much more than things…plus five things is easy to come up with and no one gets hurt when I run out of five before I run out of people.

1. Baseball
2. Trains
3. Scrapbooking
4. Baking
5. Christmas

Five Things I Hate

1. Religious contradictions; that is people who hate in the name of their religious beliefs.  That’s one of the worst oxymorons there is.

2. Reality TV

3. Spiders; deathly afraid is hate, right?

4. People who manipulate others for their own gain.  When you manipulate people, and we all do, it should be for their gain.  Think about putting children in the direction in the position to make their own decisions but influencing them to make the best ones; good manipulation.  Conning someone for your own advancement, even if it destroys them; bad manipulation.  I hate the bad one.

5. being cold

As far as only 5 blogs that I’d give this award to, I’m taking the cop out on that one, as I often do.  I read a bunch of blogs and I choose to follow them because I enjoy them.  If you click on my “full profile” you can see the list.  If your blog is there, I’m sharing this award with you. If you have time to post about it, great, if not, enjoy knowing it’s yours all the same!

The other award Edna bestowed upon The Chronicles is The Sunshine Award!

The rules for this are simple.  (1) thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog  (2) answer the following questions about yourself (below)  (3) choose 10 of your favorite blogs to give the award to, and leave them a comment letting them know about it.  Last, be sure to paste the award to your blog. 

Here are the questions and answers.

Favorite Color – If I’m choosing one color it’s green – My wardrobe has lots of green and it’s usually my first choice of color in pretty much anything.    My Nook cover is green my feather dusters are green and when given a choice of colors for board games, I always choose green. 

Favorite Animal – I love squirrels, always have since I was a kid.  I like big dogs, but my heart is owned by cats, especially Kaline and Carla

Favorite Number 17; that was my jersey number when I played hockey (9 years old) and it’s been “my number” ever since.

Favorite Drink – Depends when I’m drinking it.  Water is my usual drink any time, but I love my coffee and latte and I enjoy an occasional soda or sweet tea sweetened with Splenda.

Facebook or Twitter  - I communicate with friends on Facebook, but I hate that I get tied into political argument so I try to limit the time I spend there.  I prefer Twitter where I “watch Reds and Tigers games” with other fans.  We comment on the games and it is like a cyber-sports bar.  I also follow Justin Verlander, Brandon Phillips and several other players.  It’s a high class sports bar!

Good Book or Good Movie – How often do you read about movies here?  I talk about books a lot more because I read a little every day.  I go to a movie about once a year.

My Passion – Honestly, I’ve been kind of obsessed with Multiple Sclerosis awareness and making adjustments to life with my disease.  Maybe that’s a little selfish, but it’s something I live with the reality of every day.

Giving or Getting Gifts – Giving gifts!  I love the feeling inside when a gift , especially on for no reason, that I give is received.

Favorite Day
– Today, but tomorrow is always going to be even better.

Favorite Flower
– To look at roses and snap dragons.  To smell Easter lilies and carnations

As for ten people; see above

This was fun. Thanks Edna!!!  

Visit Miss Edna's Place:  http://missednasplace.blogspot.com/