Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!


Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Last Monday of 2013

We’re just about done with 2013, wow. I’m not going to comment about how quick the year has gone because for me it hasn’t. Honestly, years never go fast for me; I don’t let them. Well, at least that’s how control-freak me believes it works. I can look at the whole year and think it went quickly but when I think back specifically to events that happened last January they seem so long ago. 2013 was an interesting mix of really good and really bad. You know since the year started with five days in the hospital it really couldn’t get worse could it? I’ll be looking back at my goals and projects for the year this evening and evaluating how I did prior to visualizing 2014 and affirming my goals and projects by posting them at The Chronicles of Nani.

But right now I’m going to join Heather and Wayne at Acting Balanced one last time in 2013 for the Monday Quiz About Me.

http://www.actingbalanced.com/2013/12/last-monday-quiz-of-2013-mqam.html
1. Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

As an adult I seldom get what I ask for. I still have a wish list for things. Those are posted on Pinterest and Amazon but I don’t think anybody ever really looks at them; those are more for me to remember occasional presents I’ll buy for myself. As for the intangible things I wish for almost annually; a world free from hate and judgment, and end to violence to women, children, animals and random strangers, all of whom have a right to be free to be anywhere and know they are safe… Oh yeah, and a cure for MS. I didn’t get any of those things either.

I’m not complaining about what I did get. I got a nice trip to Connecticut to see members of my married family; I married well adding wonderful people to my family. I got a few days with Rina visiting helping me with baking and saving Davinities’ 40th anniversary. I got various cards, emails, calls and visits with friends and relatives, my family. And after our usual gathering on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts, David and I stayed in Michigan and got to enjoy Christmas morning breakfast with Pop, Dave and our combined immediate family. I’d have to say that I got what I always want for Christmas; happiness.


2. Do you plan to make New Year's Resolutions or set new goals? What do you resolve or hope for in the new year?

I make my list of goals and projects for the New Year every year and post them here. You can see my 2013 goals and projects here. Check back, probably tomorrow, to see how I did and what I have planned for 2014.


3. December 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda day - (yes this is really a day) - what do you use it for?

What a weird “holiday.” Bicarbonate of soda is baking soda. It does have many different uses. In our home I use it as called for in recipes, mostly baking. When an open box of baking soda has been in the cupboard for a while I rotate it with the open box in the refrigerator or freezer where we keep baking soda were not baking with to freshen the area and keep odors and flavors out of our food. I also use baking soda with vinegar to create a mild acid to unclog drains.


4. Liam wants to know what kind of car you drive... or what kind of car is your dream car?

Well Liam, I don’t drive anymore but I used to drive a Chevrolet Camaro. Now I use our public paratransit bus.

When I drove my dream car was a bright red Corvette. Now my dream “car” is a van my power chair can go in with hand controls so I can drive it. Unfortunately a van like that is more expensive than the Corvette I wanted. So right now I’m happy that I have public transportation available for me and when I see buses that transport wheelchairs in any city I point had and say “that’s just like mine!”


And now my question for everyone reading, including Liam ;-)

5. What happened in 2013 that made you the happiest?

There were lots of things that made me really happy this year but the one thing, simple as it sounds, that always makes me smile when I think about it is a complement I got from our next-door neighbor. The landscaping, lawn, flowers and plants in our neighbor’s yard are gorgeous and perfectly groomed. They are lawn and garden enthusiasts and are exceptional and other hobby. We don’t do a lot of spiffing up around the yard; David mows the lawn and Kelly and I planted spring perennials in fall 2010. I love my spring flowers, even if that’s the only thing actually kinda landscaped in our yard.

A couple months ago we were leaving and I exchanged pleasantries with our neighbor in the driveway about “growing things” and she commented about how beautiful my flowers were every spring. That’s like a famous chef commenting about how great your appetizers are. Thinking about it still makes me smile ear to ear.

Book Review: The Simple Truth by David Baldacci

Finished December 16, 2013

Synopsis from Good Reads

Sizzling David Baldacci's novels have been called "sizzling" (USA Today) and "superior" (Houston Chronicle). Now Baldacci is back, with the story of a death row inmate, a Supreme Court clerk, and a crime that is costing people their lives... Terrifying Michael Fiske broke the law when he took Rufus Harms's prison letter from the Supreme Court. But he also sealed his own fate. Now Michael's brother, a cop turned attorney, is coming to Washington to find out why his brother was murdered-and what it had to do with a crime that Rufus Harms committed twenty-five years before... Simply the Best In his new novel of corruption, romance, family, and justice at the heart of the American republic, David Baldacci takes us on a journey of harrowing conspiracy-and proves once again that in the realm of suspense, he is in a league of his own. The Simple Truth It's never what it seems...


My Review at Good Reads

4 of  5 Stars

This is my third David Baldacci book and I’m still impressed enough with his writing and the quality/believability of his stories to read more. That being said, The Simple Truth is definitely number three of the three I’ve read. I prefer my mysteries to be a-religious and at times this book was just a little preachy, but considering that the main character is a devout Christian and I knew that before started reading, I won’t hold it against the book. I just had a problem accepting some of the implied “spiritual epiphany” at the very end. That epiphany was not part of the mystery and it had been solved by then so it didn’t really have any effect on the plot. Murder and religious beliefs is not a preferred mix for fiction for me. Now when murder and politics happen side by side in the same book, that’s a book I can’t put down!  The Simple Truth does fit that description too.

I loved the underlying tone of the strength of family ties in this book and that there are characters who assess their own motives for the choices they make as they discover clues and motives in putting together facts to solve a murder. Baldacci’s style is not the kind of book where the reader can turn off their mind and just relax. They are definitely books that keep the mind working.

I personally don’t think romance is essential for a good book, but in this book the romantic subplot made sense and fit well. It did make me want a 6 months later final chapter.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nani Is A Bad Santee!

I drove Suzanne and my Santa crazy because I don’t know my own address, or anyway I didn’t type it right. When I turned my address in with my Secret Santa Soirée survey I added a number that’s not in my address and the post office was preparing to return it as undeliverable when there was no return address. I’m sure the delivery confirmation had the address but still what an awful Santee to mess up my own address! Of course, this makes my Santa even more awesome because she freaked out about it and Suzanne the best Secret Santa coordinator ever for catching and fixing my screw-up.

So we just got back from our annual trip to Connecticut for the holidays and I knew my secret Santa box had safely arrived after our combined efforts to correct it with my post office and I haven’t had a chance to post the photos and gush, and gush is totally what I’m doing, about my wonderful box from my Secret Santa. So here it is!

The first thing in the box was a sweet Christmas card with a cat laying on an old-school TV with the video fireplace. How perfect is that? I have the video fireplace that I watch on my computer and there are always cats around it.

Next I pulled out all of the packages.

Spoiled much, Nani?

First thing that I noticed as I unboxed the loot was a large bag of Almond M&Ms, my favorite M&Ms!


The first package that I opened had a note on the front, like several of the packages did, and this one said it was a true delight from my Santa’s home state. This would be my first clue on the road to trying to figure out who my Santa is.


It’s a cow pie! Made in the great state of Wisconsin. So that’s my first clue; my Santa is from Wisconsin, enjoys a little humor and great treats. After the initial “cow pie,” chocolate, caramel and pecans? How awesome; YUM!

There were so many wonderful treasures in my box. My Santee included chocolate mint coffee from Wisconsin and chocolate milk straws because she lives on a dairy farm. More clues, more clues…

Her daughter loves to crochet and made me a washcloth! I won’t use it to wash dishes because it’s pretty and handmade for me and, well, I thought it would make a great mug mat instead and be safer from accidents.

Add to the chocolate collection a few Ghirardelli solids, that whole bag of Almond M&Ms and a giant Hershey’s Symphony bar! Now I do have to decide if I need to eat all of it before January 1 or if I need to cut it into 6-point snack bags for the January Recommit. Maybe I’ll do a little of both but that Cow Pie is screaming for my attention!


I got a couple of sweet ornaments! Sweet and more chocolate in a red M&Ms ornament. I got a green and yellow last year so this will be perfect with them! I also got the cutest kitty with a scarf! I extra love them because they are unbreakable, this year our tree is all unbreakable ornaments for Marco’s first Christmas so when he climbs the tree we won’t hear crashing!

There was also a Marx Brothers DVD. I love classic movies and there are four movies on it and I’m sure I’ll find myself plopped in front of the TV with a mug of that Chocolate Mint coffee the next big snow day!


The best treasure in the box is a handmade quilted mug mat. When I opened it I just caught my breath; it’s GORGEOUS! The quilt pattern is beautiful and the holly stripes really caught my eye, but those cat triangles are just so perfectly me!

The coffee cup appliqué embroidered in the corner of BOTH sides is so sweet, and it’s green, my favorite color and the single fabric side is a fantastic winter snowflake print. Both sides are just beautiful. I love it!


To my sweet Secret Santa, bless you and thank you, thank you, thank you! You are so generous and made me feel very special! You are a fantastic Santa!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rina To The Rescue!

It’s 6° out SIX! I’m not normally one to complain about the weather… Oh who am I kidding? I’m totally one to complain about the weather and a 6° morning temperature SUCKS!

But it’s sunny and I have a warm cup Starbucks Christmas blend in my newest coffee mug from my notes-so-secret Santa cousin!

side 1
side 2
Yesterday I had a knock on the door and saw the UPS truck in front. I went to the front door, with the powerchair thus no stress, and there was a package on the front porch. (UPS gets it right when I ask that packages be left on the front porch.) I use the big grabber and pulled the box in the porch and brought it back to the dining room table. It had my name on it but it was from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I didn’t order anything from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I opened the box and there was a copy of an email telling me that it was a gift from my cousin! As if getting a gift isn’t enough to put a smile on my face, it’s a mug! And it totally cool mug that will fit a big cup of coffee. Thanks, Seamhead Gypsy, or wonderful surprise for my collection and a great holder for my morning coffee.

On the less-than-stellar front I discovered that, while I can still make cookie dough, I can’t quite bake the cookies anymore. My legs have gotten pretty bad for balancing while holding a chair long enough to set the timer on the oven in my arms are just a little too weak to get cookie sheet of high enough to put in the oven. That was a little disheartening. David was home when I discovered this and did the pans in and out for me for that one batch but I usually bake when he’s not home.

Davinities is not lost! Rina to the rescue! I sent a text to ask if she would come visit and help bake after her semester is over. I got a call almost immediately. Rina wanted to come visit and make crostadas. The family party for Laura’s family is before Christmas this year. I usually send a couple of crostadas for their party home with Dave and Laura on Christmas Eve. Rina was going to get my recipe from online and make the crostadas this year. (Nana beaming with pride) She’s made it crostada before but it’s been a few years and her dad suggested she should “make them with the master” before she tries it solo. I guess I hadn’t realized how much my brother really likes the crostadas. (Nani is feeling really buttered up now.) So those who get Davinities in the mail will be getting that sweet box a little closer to or just after Christmas. I guess this means I’m not the Davinities Little Princess anymore; I’m the Queen! I’d love it Rina gets the whole cookies for Christmas vibe and decides to take over. We’ll see, but I’m looking forward to a few days of baking with my Sweetie!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Little Peace, Planning and Poppers

Lookie! All three cats on the bed, kinda touching even! There is still plenty of charging and hissing when it’s not nap time, but they are able to peacefully coexist when they are all tired. Still, when they aren’t sleeping they are doing a little better at ignoring each other, well the girls ignore Marco. Kaline still gives unwarranted growls when he walks by, but it keeps him walking by and Marco only attacks them when, really amped up for playing. It all takes time, Maybe they know Santa Paws is watching!

Today is Secret Santa mail day! The deadline is today and my package was all wrapped up Monday night, but I finished getting it ready to mail last night. I didn’t want to send it too soon, since it’s a SECRET Santa Soiree I want my package to blend in with the herd in the mail. Still I can’t wait until my Santee gets the package and I read about it on her blog.

It’s also time to get ready for Davinities! You know what that means! I sample cookies while I’m baking and crave salad like crazy! It’s so true! When I’m doing my Christmas baking I have to have bags of lettuce and lots of other salad fixins! It’s gonna be an interesting lesson in contrast in the grocery buggy tomorrow!

Salad with tuna and crunchy veggies last year (12/13/12) 

In getting ready for baking and for the January Detox I created a quick and delicious recipe yesterday. Bell Poppers are my healthy take on restaurant fried Jalapeño Poppers. I used mini bell peppers and stuffed them with shredded cheese and a few shakes of green tabasco sauce. The green is a milder sauce with less heat and lots of spicy flavor. After stuffing my peppers I lined then up facing each other to catch any cheese that spills out and microwaved them for 2-1/2 minutes.


Not bad for a first try. The flavor was great! Next time I’m going to try some Neufatchel with the shredded cheese and try mixing the cheese and sauce first, then stuffing the peppers. I’m also going to work on a way to keep them standing and microwave a little longer to cook the peppers more. I may try it in the toaster oven too. But for a first shot, the Bell Poppers are very good!

This was breakfast yesterday:


My great find Raisin Panettone with pumpkin spice coffee. That mug is one of my favorite holiday mugs. It’s three stages of the Eat ‘n’ Park star and tree from their holiday commercial. I’m on their mailing list, so they send it every year and every year it makes me cry a title more because it’s so beautiful. Remember that it sometimes takes a few tries for me to stand up and I rely on those wonderful people who love and support me in so many ways. I posted the spot on my Facebook page and I’m posting it here too with the same message. ”To all my famil; relatives and dear friends, at home and in cyberspace: I am the little star and you all are my tree!



Can you see why it makes a mush like me cry?

Well, I’m off to finish up my shopping list and maybe even do a scrapbook page, maybe; I’m a little behind on that 2013 goal so far this month!

Other Santas in the Soiree: today is the day and part 2 of the fun begins!  Make sure you get your delivery confirmation numbers to Suzanne by the end of the day so she can enjoy her Santa without extra stress!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review: An Order of Coffee and Tears by Brian Spangler

Finished December 1, 2013

Synopsis at Good Reads

Angela’s Diner has the reputation of a safe haven where patrons find a moment of peace as they linger over coffee and tears. For one young runaway, Angela’s is more than a place to tell your tale — it’s a place where with the magic of chicken and waffles, and a little bit of trust, may just save your life.

Gabriella Santiago used to be a typical teenager who enjoyed the usual teenage things. That is until a single tragic day ended who she was and within hours she ran from home, never to look back.

Only when Gabby is cold, hungry and at her lowest, does she find Angela’s Diner. Gabby embraces her new life and the family she has found in the midst of strangers and obscurity.

Acceptance is what she craves, but before long, Gabby realizes she’s not the only one in the diner with something to hide. Her new family has a secret too, and some secrets refuse to stay buried


My review at Good Reads

2 out of 5 stars

This book had a lot of intrigue in the description; lots of secrets in this diner! There was a promise of soul-searching and some emotional stories and the eventual story of the main character coming out of hiding.

Unfortunately the book never reached its potential. The characters were flat stereotypes and their stories were ones that were told before. The resolutions of each of the multiple sub-sub plots were nothing extraordinary and the only sub plot that existed for more than one chapter ended being overdone and cliché. Told in first person, the end of the book for the main character was as dreamy and Pollyanna as someone who dropped out of high school could have written in the back room of a diner, but not at all believable.

Book Review: Emma’s Secret by Steena Holmes

Finished November 13, 1013

Synopsis at Good Reads

For two years, Megan, Peter, and their two older daughters, Alexis and Hannah, dream of nothing but being reunited with the family’s youngest child, Emma, who was kidnapped just before her third birthday. When Emma is miraculously found living with an elderly couple just miles from the family’s home, they are hopeful that her return will heal the wounds her disappearance created.

But Emma is vastly different from the sunny toddler they remember. She barely remembers her parents or her older sisters. She is quiet and withdrawn, and, worst of all, longs for the very people who kidnapped her.

Megan is consumed with bitterness, while Peter works later and later nights in the company of his gorgeous business partner. And in the middle of everything, Megan’s best friend has become suddenly distant and secretive.

Then a chance encounter in town leads to a secret that changes everything again for Emma. And Peter must decide between the happiness of his youngest daughter and the trust of his family


My review at Good Reads

2 of 5 stars

This is the continuation of Finding Emma. At first I was going to review both books together, but I liked the first book too much to take rating stars away from it averaging the rating for the two. It was mildly interesting but the characters became less believable than they were in the first book. I was also waiting for the big surprise like there was in Finding Emma, but it wasn’t there to read. Basically I was left asking why the second book needed to be written at all.


Book Review: Finding Emma by Steena Holmes


Finished October 29, 2013

Synopsis at Good Reads


Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She's the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it's never Emma.

Emma's been missing for two years.

Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan's husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan's life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.

When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives.


My review at Good Reads

4 of 5 stars

This was a Book Club read for me. I enjoy Book Clubs because it introduces me to styles I wouldn't normally read. I realize my taste in reading is usually dictated more by my tomboy side.

Half of Finding Emma was an inspection of the minds of Emma's parents, especially her mother, Megan, when their toddler daughter disappears after venturing out the front door into the front yard on her own. It also describes the different ways they react to their family trauma and are still reacting two years after their daughter’s disappearance. While I personally haven’t observed any close friends or relatives in the midst or a child disappearance or abduction, I have watched parents close to me deal with the grief of a child’s death. I found the behavior of both Megan and husband, Peter, to be very believable and how those behaviors affected their relationship and relationships with their two other daughters to be very real.

The other half of the book tells of grandparents raising their granddaughter, Emmie. The older couple’s daughter, Mary, was a runaway. In the beginning of the book it’s understood that Mary sent Emmie to be raised by her parents. Mary was in and out of a safe house where she was dealing with drug addiction. Emmie was now being raised by her grandparents who adored and cherished her. Grandma, Dottie, was very overprotective of her granddaughter, vowing to not repeat the mistakes she made with Mary. Grandfather, Jack, was supportive of his wife’s need to be a little overprotective of their granddaughter, at first anyway, and was very active with his beloved grandchild.

Later in the book, as Peter and Megan’s marriage is crumbling and Dottie’s mental state starts to really falter evidence about how it is that Emmie came to live with them starts to surface to Jack. I admit it was a good story but I’d already figured out what was going on; except I was wrong! I love a story that pivots into a completely valid explanation I wasn’t expecting and that is definitely what I got.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's A Candy Cane Christmas!

I love this time of year!  Not the snow or cold, I really DO NOT like the snow or cold and I especially dislike, no hate, the ice.  But I love twinkling lights, the smiles that are so easy to bring out in other people, children seeing Santa for the second time (they always cry the first time, the second time they "get it" and are ready to see him!), Peppermint Mocha and scarves. I don't like the cold, but I love scarves almost as much as bracelets!  Oh there are dozens of things I love about December.  I could easily add how much I love giving gifts and the joy when I see those candies that remind me of the special people who I've been blessed to hold in my heart through wonderful memories and Christmases past.

Candy and how making sure certain candies are in my Christmas candy bowl was the inspiration for my Worldwide Christmas Freebies mini kit; Candy Cane Christmas.  The color combination comes from three Christmas ornaments from last year that have been in the Digitalegacies Designs ideas folder all year waiting for the rest of the Christmas inspiration to come.

The candy canes are for me; I love them and have since the candy canes Santa gave me as a kid and now watching them melt into my hot cocoa at home.  I give you Candy Cane Christmas!

http://www.mediafire.com/download/770c6g4855m5vu0/digitalegacies_CandyCaneChristmas.zip
Click preview to go to download

Enjoy more Christmas scrapbooking freebies at Worldwide Christmas Freebies!
http://dschristmasaroundtheworld.blogspot.com/
 
I hope you enjoy all the freebies!
Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge

http://www.fromthissideofthepond.com/2013/11/happily-settling-for-hodgepodge.html

I’m joining Joyce at From This Side of The Pond for the Wednesday Hodge Podge.

1. Are you settling for something?

Interesting question. One could say I’m settling for a lot of things because I have to but I don’t think that’s really settling. That’s making the best of it when I have no choice of something better. I don’t think that’s settling that’s taking the most I can. I don’t think I’ve ever settled and I don’t know that I ever will.


2. It wasn't that long ago almost every store in the US locked doors and turned out lights on Thanksgiving Day. This year many will be open all day Thursday, giving shoppers a jump start on 'Black Friday'. In your opinion is this a good thing or a not so good thing? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?

Well this is a hot topic. No, I’m not shopping on Thanksgiving Day and while some services should definitely be open on every holiday including gas stations and restaurants for people traveling, providers of news and people who work in television and radio as well as hospitals and even the emergency veterinary clinic, shopping is NOT a vital necessity. Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday and as Americans probably the most important holiday of the holiday season.

Truth be told, I pretty much stay away from the mall and large retail stores from now until after February 1.


3. Speaking of shopping... I saw a recent article on the twelve best shopping cities in the world. In order they are-

New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, and Seoul.

Ever shopped in any of the cities listed? In which city would you most like to pull out the plastic or cold hard cash?

Of the cities listed I’ve only been to New York and you could only say I “shopped” there if you include souvenirs and a couple of pieces of chocolate. I’m not what they call a “pleasure shopper.”


4. When did you last dine by candlelight?

David and I usually light candles during dinner when we’re at home on Valentines day and Christmas Day. Since we ate out for Valentine’s Day this year I guess it would’ve been last Christmas Day.


5. What do you have too much of?

Clutter; I can’t do housecleaning for more than a couple of minutes and David works full time and does other more important than housecleaning things that I can’t do. The hous is cluttered. I’m learning to ignore that most of the time unless we are expecting someone to come over.


6. The Hunger Games...are you a fan? Did you read the book(s)? Will you/have you seen the movie? Will you/have you seen Catching Fire? No spoilers please!

The Hunger Games… um… no.


7. Share your plans for Thanksgiving Day. The who, the where, the what...especially the what! As in what's for dinner? If you're one of my International visitors, whose homeland doesn't celebrate American Thanksgiving (the whole world doesn't ya know!), then still tell us your plans for Thursday.

For Thanksgiving Day David and I will have brunch at Cracker Barrel before he goes to work and I will scrap pretty much all day while I watch football and enjoy French toast-style Italian toast with tomato basil bread from Panera. We’ll enjoy leftovers from Monday for dinner gets home.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

Okay my random thought today kinda explains my answer to #7. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my dad and aunt on Monday. David works for the newspaper and Pop works retail. Yes, it’s working on a holiday but keep in mind there wouldn’t be retail stores open if shoppers wouldn’t rather shop than be with their families on holidays. It’s still holiday pay for the hours worked. And David, well remember what I said about media; we still need necessary information. So it’s okay to celebrate on the day they both have off work and can relax and enjoy family and the meal.

We had turkey that Pop roasted with the traditional fresh sage stuffing I made with Mom’s recipe. I made cranberry relish with my recipe on Saturday and brought it with me. Pop made mashed potatoes cream cheese, spinach and bacon; oh my! Aunt Judy made wonderful sautéed squash with zucchini and summer squash. She also made a dessert to go with the pumpkin pie. It’s a four layer pumpkin pudding something… Who really cares what it’s called; it was fantastic and everyone had a second helping.

It was a small gathering and a wonderful day with family talking about family and enjoying a great traditional feast. So our Thanksgiving wasn’t on the Thursday. We still have each other and glorious abundance for which to be thankful. And it was Monday so it was a very authentic Thanksgiving; there was still football.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The End of an Era

Jonathan E. Camaro is no more. I haven’t driven in over a year and I haven’t driven the Camaro since March 2011. I knew I wanted to get the car out of our garage but I had no idea how to sell a car or get rid of it in any other way. I think maybe I didn’t want to either. But at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to let go.

The 1994 hot red Camaro was my third car and my first brand spanking new car. My 1987 Camaro had gotten to the point where I was essentially making a car payment for repairs almost every month. It was time for a new car. Since I was at the dealer, again, for repairs I went into the showroom and spoke to a salesman. I was just looking. I asked him to tell me about the new Camaros.

They really were new cars too. 1994 was the first year for this model of car. I had seen the new Camaro sitting in the hallway at Cobo Hall in Detroit on the way to Rockers indoor soccer games a few times at the end of 1993 and loved the car. A test drive later and I asked Larry, my salesman, to tell the repair shop to hold my repair order this time.

I asked my dad, barterer extraordinaire, to come in with me, see the pretty car, meet Larry, and make that beautiful car one I could afford. I told Pop the absolute highest car payment I could make each month and that I was willing to pay five years to finish but I wanted that car. There were some safety features that he wanted to be sure were on the car and that included the car alarm. After a little talking he was happy because all of the safety features he wanted would be on the car, Larry was happy because he was making a sale and I was ecstatic because I was getting a new car!

There were a few awesome things about that car. The first was that the loan was in my name and my name alone; no cosigner. I made every payment and the car was 100% mine. It was a fun car to drive. Because the model was so brand spanking new it was a guy magnet too! For the first couple of years that I owned that car I made sure that I was dressed well, full make up and nice hair every time I drove it. Well, you know… I never got a date because of the car but boy I enjoyed lots of fun flirting.

The weekend after I got the new Jonathan I went to visit Grandma and Papa. I went into the house and announced “I took Jonathan in for repairs and you should see what they did to him.” Papa stood up, put down his paper and said “Come on Mom, let’s go see her new car.” Nobody called ahead to spoil my surprise, Papa just knew.

The stuffed cherry in the picture was a gift from Papa that weekend. He called my new car’s color “fast, cherry-ass red” and warned me to watch my speed because the police would be looking for me. (Yes the car was fast but the truth is the two speeding tickets I’ve gotten were when I borrowed my dad’s sport-utility vehicle.)

Now the vignette you see above is all that remains of that first major purchase that was completely in my name; my first real adult contract. I’m not physically capable of driving a car or even cleaning one out and David did all the work. I’m so lucky that he still “gets me.” Cherry and Rudy, the teddy bear I bought while Christmas shopping in 1987 lived in that Camaro and moved to the new Camaro in 1994, were very important to me. He also came home when the car was being towed to go to auction. I donated the value of the car at auction to the MS Society. David did one last check to be sure nothing was left in the car of personal value, especially making sure that he had taken Cherry and Rudy out for me already. He knew it would be important to keep them. This morning he also brought in the hubcap that had fallen off and was left in the garage; one last memento.

I didn’t take a picture as they were towing the car out of the driveway. I don’t want to remember Jonathan that way. I never really liked driving but that car made it bearable because it was a fun car to drive. I’ve read that letting go of things you can’t do because of MS is important in accepting your new reality. I guess I can say that I’ve accepted it now since I had made the decision to donate the car at the beginning of the year and didn’t shed any tears as I watched it leave the driveway. I was prepared to bawl my eyes out but I didn’t cry. It didn’t feel like mine anymore. I just said goodbye to that part of my past. I’m finally ready to move on.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Found The Good Stuff!

That was my breakfast this morning I finally found my Panettone solo uvetta, senza canditi; only raisins or no candied fruit. That’s not the common and traditional way to make panettone but I don’t like the candied fruit and and never have. Mom didn’t like it either but loved the panettone senza canditi and every year Noni found a panettone senza canditi for her daughter-in-law and her granddaughter for Christmas. Now I make a point of finding only raisin panettone for Christmas in remembrance of my grandmother and my mother and because it just tastes so great.

It usually takes searching before I find my panettone. Shopping online helps! So when I ordered my traditional Italian Torrone candy, I added a couple of the mini panettone like the one I had for breakfast in case I still couldn’t find full size. The candy shop didn’t have panettone solo uvetta in larger packages. But I did find 2.2 pound panettone senza canditi at a different store online and bought two. Now I’ll make sure keep my hands off one of them so I have it for Christmas breakfast.

That was breakfast this is now

Skipped a few hours there because the bus called and I went shopping! Yanno, it is SO cool to use the paratransit bus for something all by myself that’s NOT a doctor’s appointment! I did some Christmas shopping including finishing all of my Secret Santee shopping. Now I’m not going to say what stores I shopped at because my Santee might just read The Chronicles of Nani. Besides I bought a few other things that might also be for someone who reads my blog. You never know.

No one has ever asked me how long it takes me to shop. I never have been a huge shopper. In my teens and early 20s I could spend a day at the mall with my mom or with friends but I don’t think that really counts. I like to shop for Christmas things alone and I really do enjoy that. If I want an opinion I like the unbiased input from clerks and other shoppers. So today I had a mission, one place that I wanted to go and to make my trip reservation with the bus I had to be able to sell them how long I’d be. Hmmm… One store, one list with a few different names and a few different things and some choices I knew I’d have to make for those things. So I guessed two hours. It took me one at the store I planned to visit. Since I had an hour before the bus was scheduled to pick me up and the rain had let up I motored to some of the other stores in the center and did a little more Christmas shopping!

One of the stores was Family Dollar. David doesn’t do dollar stores or discount stores; what Grandma used to call “junk stores.” Don’t get me wrong there, Grandma loved going to “junk stores.” What wonderful places they are for craft notions and the little things we use every day that aren't meant to last. Frankly I’d rather pay two dollars for something that lasts a month than pay five dollars for something that last two months. Sometimes the natural female shopping gene just makes more sense than the male “I hate stores” gene. I don’t get to go to those stores so much anymore because when I get together with girlfriends it’s for catching up over lunch, dinner or coffee. I was very happy when I passed the windows and realized the next door was to Family Dollar. I only had a half hour left so I was careful and well behaved and next time I’m grabbing a bigger basket! But this is where I found a special little something for me:

Isn’t it just SO Nani? I collect coffee mugs and I just adore the word art with a single word or subject in many fonts and it’s the word coffee! My little giftie for me was only a dollar and a large size from my Keurig brewer with a tablespoon of Coffeemate is a perfect fit! I love my new mug! They have a mug that says cappuccino in orange and cocoa in purple too. I may have to plan another trip to Family Dollar after the holidays. The really good news to me was when David came home for lunch I showed him my new mug and I told him it was only a dollar. He smiled. He understands that a good deal on a mug I really like is the same thing as a good sale on model train cars that fit his layout for him. .Ah, marital bliss!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Anyone Ever Eaten a Newspaper?

I’m reminded today of the story my mother told me about when I was in the hospital with pneumonia when I was only two. Every day Mom read the menu to me and let me decide what I wanted for my meals the next day. Every day I insisted I wanted spaghetti. And every day my mother talked me out of spaghetti. Shortly before I was ready to be released I once again insisted I wanted spaghetti for lunch. Mom gave in and checked off spaghetti for lunch the next day. That next afternoon when she visited I wore a frown. She asked me if I enjoyed my spaghetti. I said “no. The spaghetti tastes like newspaper.” She told me she never did figure out how I knew what newspaper tasted like but she knew I wouldn’t like the spaghetti. The only spaghetti I’d ever eaten was made with authentic Italian sauce. I was a snob at two

You might wonder why I remembered that story today. Well, it was lunch. For lunch foods I like to have several different ready-made meals on hand. I have favorite soups and definitely favorite Lean Cuisines that I can pop in the microwave especially on the days that I’m just feeling too sore to do serious cooking. There are a couple of the Hormel Compleats that I like but the one I keep asking for is Macaroni and Cheese. David insists he won’t buy the Hormel Macaroni and Cheese because it’s too expensive for something you can buy in the dollar store box. Okay David didn’t say dollar store, I don’t think he’s ever been inside a dollar store, but I know you can get macaroni cheese at dollar stores sometimes even 2, 3 or 4 for dollar. The thing is there is a difference between dollar store mac & cheese, Lean Cuisine mac & cheese and my homemade mac and cheese. The Hormel looks good in the picture. I figured it was comparable to the Lean Cuisine and wanted to try it.

The Hormel Macaroni and Cheese taste like newspaper

Eh, ya live and ya learn.


In better news from today I was inspired to do a scrapbook page by a photo I just had to take this morning:

Credits: Forever in Blue Jeans by Seatrout Scraps

The basket Marco had adopted as a kitten had fallen on the other side of the table and we found it last night. Marco found it pretty quick after we did but it was a tighter squeeze than it had been. It didn’t stop him from getting inside and chewing on the handles. I just looked down and saw a scrapbook page.


I hope everybody that was in the area affected by the storms yesterday fared well. I texted my brother and he said they just had fierce wind in Indy. Seamhead Gypsy and I tweeted back and forth; we both spent a little of Sunday evening in our respective basements in different parts of Ohio. Thankfully it was sirens but no tornadoes for both of us.

Now the unfortunate part is that David and I have discovered I’m better off taking my chances with the tornado than trying to go downstairs. I scooted down the stairs on my butt okay but getting back upstairs was somewhat of a dramatic challenge. Health insurance doesn’t cover stair climbers and at the price of the stair climber we had to choose which set of stairs got one. Upstairs is the bedroom and shower and downstairs is the basement. Since we figure that I’ll want to sleep or shower more often than there will be tornado sirens we put the stair climber going to upstairs. Next time there is the tornado siren my place for shelter will be the downstairs bathroom rather than taking the set of stairs into the basement. With so many people in the area without power and other potentially greater medical emergencies I felt it would be irresponsible to call 911 so someone could carry me up the stairs on a stretcher or something. David was incredible in helping me get each foot up on the next stair while I grabbed the railing and pushed up with the other arm but it really is a better choice in the future to hunker down in the bathroom rather than try to get down the stairs.

Ya live, ya survive and ya learn some more.

I’m behind on my book reviews! There will be two more soon. I really am doing well with my reading goal for the year!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coffee and Clouds



I find that cloudy days make me crave coffee. Okay, if I tell David that he’ll ask, “and that’s different from any other day how?” But rainy or cloudy days make me truly crave coffee not just want a cup. That makes today a great day to tell you about the Nani-perfect opportunity I received last month as a BzzAgent!

Yes, I’m promoting a product I got to try for free, but it was a free sample of a new flavor of a product I liked anyway! I got free K-Cup samples of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Three Continent Blend. To be honest I was a little leery at first because one of the coffees blended into Thee Continent is Sumatra and I’m not a Sumatra fan, but as part of a blend it took away the acidic edge I wasn’t fond of and it was good. But what I really learned at the Choose Fair Trade website is why some of my favorite Green Mountain coffees are favorites!

I’ve been drinking Fair Trade Colombian for a while because it was just the best Colombian I’d tried and I love Colombian as my every-day coffee. The Pumpkin Spice from Green Mountain, also my favorite of the Pumpkin Spices, is also a Fair Trade coffee!

Fair Trade means that coffee farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their beans which gives them money they can invest in their crops and communities via hiring and spending. A statistic that bothers me is that only 38% of consumers even know what Fair Trade is! And I admit that prior to the opportunity to try and learn I was part of that 38%. I knew there was something about the Fair Trade Colombian that made it better. After viewing the website and reading about the people singer Kelly Clarkson visited while she learned about Fair Trade I was even proud to discover that the Pumpkin Spice I love and The Vermont Country Blend I’ve tried are both Fair Trade.

Nantucket Blend, a flavor enjoyed by Seamhead Gypsy and shared with me last Christmas is Fair Trade. The Wild Blueberry Rina likes and ended up sharing the box I gave her with her dad? Yep, that’s Fair Trade too. Green Mountain Coffee offers one of the largest selections of Fair Trade coffees.

I encourage you to check out the Choose Fair Trade website and check out all the facts about Fair Trade and the great selections of Fair Trade coffees. If what you contribute to the communities in coffee-growing regions isn’t enough to make you feel even warmer inside than just a hot cup of coffee, how about this? That investing in their crops and quality of life in the area just makes a better-tasting coffee. If you won’t do it for them, then do it for yourself!

Let’s make the world a better place one great cup of coffee at a time!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Love Being a Secret Santa!

I just want to give a “shout out” about how totally awesome Suzanne at The Coloradolady is for taking on the big job of coordinating the Secret Santa Soiree This is the third year I’m participating and I just love it!

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. That’s the real reason I’ve blogged so little. I’ve been depressed, actually down, me! I don’t mean to make light of it. I’m a super-optimist and I always have been, so chronically bouncing between happy and sad makes me..well, it makes me sad! I decided to talk to a counselor about it. I want to talk to someone who can professionally ask me the questions I’m not asking myself and someone for whom I don’t feel a need to “fake it” if I’m in one of those sad moods to keep them from worrying. I’ve been feeling happier since making the appointment. I’m confident that this will work and get me back to being me.

That actually does tie-in to the Secret Santa Soiree. When I got my Santee for this year all kinds of ideas started. I did some reading; my Santee’s blog, looked up and learned about some things she likes, looked up some photos. This is one of my favorite parts of the swap. I love learning new things and getting a feel for what gift or gifts would be very special.

In the past there’s been one idea, one part of the gift that was a mission for me. Something I had to search for. Christmas shopping has always been like that for me; there are one or two gifts every year that I get in my mind and have to search for. It’s so much easier now with the Internet. That’s how David got his jar of Argentinian Dulce de Leche last year. For a few years he’d comment about the incredible caramel spread he had in Argentina. One of my holiday missions was to find a jar of it even if I had to pay to get it imported. Both years so far I was inspired to search for part of the gifts I gave my Santee and this year was the same.

There was a perfect item that I really wanted to find. I knew in my mind a general idea of what it would look like and was sure I'd just “know” when I saw it. I spent a few hours searching today. A few hours on the internet is the same as a few weeks a couple decades ago! I saw it and I did just “know.” I hope my Santee “knows” when she sees it!

I’ll be taking advantage of the powerchair and paratransit to finish my SS shopping and do a little more Christmas shopping next week Don’t worry, the UPS guy won’t miss me; I still do most of my shopping the week of Cyber Monday!

And that is all it took today to keep me out of the bad and into a really great mood!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The All Day Post


Good soggy Wednesday! That is not a complaint about the weather, I’m glad for the rain. I had one of those mornings where I woke up and could barely get up off the bed because my back hurt so bad. Then when I did finally get out, after a generous coating of Icy Hot, I could barely walk to the bathroom or moved to get dressed. It never hits me why this happens but later after whining about how much I hurt I noticed how dark it still was at 9 AM. I usually remember that the barometric pressure just before it rains really wreaks havoc on my back and knees. Salvation comes when the rains come down, the pressure changes and I can walk again without the discomfort instead of pain.

In the boring world of talking about health, which makes me sound like an old lady, I get the pleasure of being crammed into a tube like sausage meat with supersonic earplugs for 90 minutes of MRI fun! I have prescriptions for two MRIs and I’m getting them done back-to-back so I only have to be stuffed in once. That’s my annual brain MRI for my MS doctor and the lower spine so I can see a specialist about steroid injections. I know I didn’t really want those but the discomfort and weakness has become pain and weakness more often than not. Hopefully, ideally, if I get rid of some of the pain I’ll be able to exercise better and get my muscles a little bit better.


Rina at Fogo, table-side service with 16 different meats

Pop will be 69 years old on Friday! We celebrated in Indianapolis on Sunday. With Pop, Dave and me all living in different states now we take turns choosing the restaurant in our home state and gathering to celebrate Pop the weekend before or after his birthday. This year he chose Fogo de Chao, fantastic Brazilian steakhouse. Fogo de Chao is a fabulous dining experience great food! After an extensive salad bar that includes luncheon meats and cheeses you flip your coaster so the green side is up and “gauchos” who rove the room with 16 different types of meats stop to cut off whatever choices that portions you desire. It’s definitely not a vegetarian restaurant!

I got my Santee for this year’s Secret Santa Soiree, hosted by Suzanne at The Colorado Lady. I always love the day I get to “meet” the person I get to shop for! I won’t say anything about her except that I already have ideas dancing in my head and it’s going to be a ton of fun to find gifts for her!

Okay and last for now, remember I said I was going to do some sort of giveaway when I reached 100 on the Google mug rack? Well I was there, right at 100 for about 2 weeks, Now I’m at 98. I’m going to convince myself that those 2 left Google and not The Chronicles of Nani. It’s NOT that I have followers who were only loyal as long as I was loyal to the memes!

I need to really wrap this up now! I’ve been writing a paragraph at a time all day. I’ll have more thoughts soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Disabled and Disenfranchised?

The powerchair might fit if it had no arms

It’s not quite as bad as the title infers, but this morning was, um, interesting. It wasn’t too cold and our polling location is very close to our house so David and I “walked” over to vote. That’s something I haven’t been able to do since the location for our precinct moved to so close because this is the first year I’ve had the power chair. So we closed up the house and made our way to place our votes. However there was a problem.

We crossed the bumpy parking area to the doorway between the school and church and lo and behold the door opening was not made to accommodate my chair! Last year we went downtown for early voting and the year before we took the manual wheelchair and I guess David must have pushed me through the door with my arms forward because there’s no way I could have done it myself without bashing my elbows and/or skinning my knuckles.

Here is where the interpretation of the ADA term “reasonable accommodation” comes into play. If I go to a store and my chair can’t get through the aisles, reasonable accommodation may include bringing me a variety of items to choose from and letting me select the items I want to buy, essentially bringing the store to me. It can also mean taking my order and delivering items to my home with no delivery charge as I wasn’t able to use the store in the same way other shoppers can.

Today, the reasonable accommodation, since I couldn’t get in to cast my vote, was that a provisional absentee ballot was brought out to me. Had it been colder, snowing or raining I’d have been sitting outside in the weather waiting for all the paperwork to be brought out. Regular voting for me is adjusting the screen down and using the touch screen method everyone else uses. Absentee voting is filling out an envelope and choosing which candidate and issue responses by filling in spaces by hand. One of my MS issues is the inability to write well and sometimes to even hold a pencil. There was a book to hold under things to write on but no table and maybe it's just me but I don’t really like the idea of people circled around me able to read and see what votes I’m casting. The voting machines have privacy walls for a reason. So, I backed up a little and colored in the spaces for my choices in midair. If I’m voting absentee, I’d prefer to do it from the privacy and practicality of my own home or at least the more private back table of a crowded coffee shop.

The two gentleman who tackled the problem of there not being accommodation for a powerchair to get into the building were great in their efforts to make sure I could vote and very sincere in their apologies for the situation, but it’s an issue that should not have come up. It’s a building that’s open to the public and should be accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities act as updated in 2010.It's also a location selected by the board of elections that does not offer equal access to voters with disabilities.  I can't believe they don't consider this when choosing places people go to vote.  Updates should have been made to the building by spring 2011; full out construction renovations should have been completed by March 2012. It’s November 2013; it’s unquestionably in legal violation.

Today the accommodation was as reasonable as could be given the circumstance but it should be a call to attention of a bigger problem. In 2014 it won’t be acceptable.


(The Board of Elections will be getting a letter.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: No Way Out by Alan Jacobson

Finished Reading October 21, 2013

Book Synopsis at Good Reads:

When a powerful firebomb destroys part of an art gallery in an exclusive London district, FBI Profiler Karen Vail is dispatched to England to work with Scotland Yard. But Vail soon discovers that at the heart of the bombing lies a 440-year-old manuscript that holds clues to England's past—with content is so explosive that a group of political radicals is bent on destroying it at all costs.

The trail leads Vail to a notorious fugitive who appears to be planning a major attack on London and the United States. Soon she finds herself on the run from the British security service, Scotland Yard and a group of internationally trained assassins—all determined to silence her…all tightening the net to ensure that she’s got no way out.

National Bestselling author Alan Jacobson has crafted an intelligent, twisting thriller destined to be talked about long after the last page is turned.


My Review at Good Reads:

5 out of 5 Stars

I know giving my favorite author’s new book 5 stars sounds predictable. Every Jacobson book to date has deserved that from me, thus the favorite author title.

In this Karen Vail thriller Vail starts out as an unwitting part of a cover for a homeland terrorism operation in England. When efforts to guide her away from the actual US assisted black op become transparent to the FBI profiler she becomes part of the mission. No Way Out is an action thriller where Vail finds herself walking the line between her own morality, FBI oath and the “greater good.” Vail and CIA agent, Hector DeSantos, are wanted by both sides of the law while years of a black ops investigation and millions of lives are at stake.

Alan Jacobson’s books keep getting better and more intense; Good Reads will have to add a sixth star or I’ll just have to delete a star for EVERYONE else.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Home Again

Last week was definitely not what I had planned. David was going on vacation and I was staying home with Kelly visiting to “babysit me.” By babysit me I mean that I just don’t feel mobile enough to safely stay home all alone for nine days. The truth is we were both really looking forward to a BFF week. But car problems and insurance mixups kept Kelly from making it. So plan B; Nani goes on vacation with her hubby.

We went south, ish. I think the original plan was to chase trains in the mountains. I’m not totally sure because I wasn’t originally going and prepared in a hurry. Nani’s brain gets a little scrambled when I hurry.  But clouds chased us out of the mountains and into West Virginia/North Carolina.

On our first day, last Sunday, we spent a good portion of it close to home in Fostoria. Norfolk Southern’s Lackawanna Heritage Unit was in town and it’s one of the four I still hadn't photographed “in the wild.” Now I’m only missing three!

Fostoria, Ohio

We also got Lackawanna again a few days later in Kannapolis, North Carolina!

Kannapolis, North Carolina

When the nasty weather started to close in on us we came home couple days early. That’s not so bad for me because after a few days in the car chasing trains my back and legs start to get sore and week; I like the break.

Now this week I have a few things in my planner, so does Marco. As David put it, "tomorrow Marco becomes a kitween," one step closer to mancat. I guess that’s an odd way to put it since after tomorrow he’ll be missing that which makes him unquestionably a mancat! Among other benefits spaying or neutering your pets helps keep them from wanting to bolt out the door so badly. Marco does have insatiable curiosity with the doors when they’re open. I hope this stay at the vet will curb some of his aggressiveness with his sisters and apparent wanderlust.

Marco is about to give up girls before he even discovers them!


I’m joining Heather and Wayne at Acting Balanced this week for the Halloween version of the Monday Quiz About Me.


1. When you went trick or treating as a kid; what did you hope people were giving out?

As I recall, I could have come home with an entire bag of Snickers and it would’ve been fine! (I don’t think they had fun-size Mr. Goodbar yet.) There are lots of Snickers and Mr. Goodbars in the treats we give out.


2. What radio station do you listen to while driving?

I don’t drive. :-)

When I did drive it depended on my mood but I usually listened to NewsRadio or Top 40.


3. How much do you think should be the maximum one would spend on a three year old's birthday party?

I think it depends on a lot of factors. In the party for family? Is it a party for other three-year-old kids? Is it dinner or just cake and ice cream? I’ve never hosted a party for three-year-old so I have no clue.


4. When do you know that you trust someone?

What I let them push my wheelchair downhill. Seriously, my husband and my brother both will push when I’m in the manual wheelchair and go so fast the wind blows my hair back. But I trust them both. If it was a stranger or someone I don’t trust going downhill I’d be terrified. If they let go, even as a joke, I would probably break all of my fingers trying to stop the chair.

So if I ask you if you help by pushing and were going downhill it means I trust ya!


And now my question for you is one I asked on Facebook but I’m not on Facebook enough for anyone to really notice when I ask a question.

5. What Halloween candy is available now that wasn’t when you were a kid that you would have loved to find in your trick-or-treat bag?

I won’t count the fun-size Mr. Goodbars, which did exist as one of my favorite candy bars when I was a kid, just not as Halloween treats. We have fun-size bags of pretzel and peanut butter M&Ms this year; I think I would’ve loved that! They also make fun-size Hershey’s Take 5 bars. If you haven’t tried a Take 5, it’s pretzel, nuts, caramel and peanut butter covered in chocolate, OH MY!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Marco Sez

 
You know you a you know

You humor?

Okay, I guess I’ll do it with my paws.


Behind Stripes and Spots

Mommy says it’s a good thing to post a picture of 
something nice to look at when I blog. 
So here is me with steak. Steak is nice to look at.


Hi, it's me, Marco! Mommy said I could write something on the blog. The Crockickles of Mommy is our family blog. Well it’s Mommy’s blog but I can write on it.

Okay, Mommy is looking over my shoulder and correcting me. How am I poseta tell what I’m thinking when she’s watching me? Jeez! Anyway, this is the first time I’m trying to type something so I’m learning. At first I tried to talk to Puff. He doesn’t understand kitten talk. That’s why I have to type with my paws.

I was born June 1 and I’m 4 ½ months old. When I was born I had a Mommy, brothers and sisters that were little like me and mommy’s human family who took care of all of us. When mommy said we were too old for her kitten milk I got a human family of my own. I still kind of miss my brothers and sisters. I have two sisters that are a lot older than me and they don’t like to play as much as me. Carla plays chase a little and spars a little but then she growls that knocks me down. Kaline just scares me and sometimes makes me run for one of my lives. But I’ll with them both over. I just have to never give up. One of these times when I jump on them they’ll play.

I’ll write sommor later but right now there is a shiny ball next to Kaline. Maybe today is the day she’ll play!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coming Soon: One Big Happy Blog

Happy Columbus Day, to all those who celebrate it. Which means if you work in a bank, the post office or for the government happy day off. ;-)

So everybody say hello to Puff! No, scratch that. If we all say hello to Puff he’ll type “you will will will you you will.” That’s what Puff types if the microphone is on, David’s home and there’s a ballgame on TV. Too much input makes Puff stutter incoherently. Just know that Puff is here, but don’t talk to him.

The first couple games of the ALCS have been exciting. I think the series being tied 1-1 is a good representation of how the teams match up. Of course I’ll tell you the Tigers are just a little better but David (and Edna & Seamhead Gypsy) will tell you I have no clue what I’m talking about. That's pots calling sweet little truth-speaking kettle black. I’m just looking forward to one more live game before the season is over! SQUEE!!! I’m also in search of Detroit Tigers earmuffs.

I’d kinda like to see a replay of 2006 but this time we win. But if the Red Sox take the series they’ll have my loyalty in the World Series. My Cardinals fan friends know this will happen. They’re even okay with it.


Diversification & Consolidation

I’ve been giving some thought to the blogs I keep up, or haven’t been keeping up. The Chronicles of Nani has two sub-blogs, three if you count Behind Orange Eyes. There is one blog specifically for recipes (Simply Davlicious Recipes) and one that specifically documents my life with MS (It’s About What I CAN Do) and both of those blogs are badly in need of updates. Behind Orange Eyes has been idle for a while too. I think it’s a good time to do some consolidation. I’m going to post my occasional MS entries here with the label Want_I_CAN_Do and link to this blog from the MS blog. I plan to slowly import the recipes back here using the label Davlicious_Recipes that already exists. I’ll be making some other minor changes in the bulletin board at the top of the blog and maybe design a new header by the end of the year. (Don’t hold me to that new header idea; this or something better, remember?)

I’ll be talking to the cats about doing guest posts on The Chronicles rather than us fighting over the computer. That also means Marco will get to do an entry every now and then; Kaline and Carla won’t let him have the password to join the writing team.



Last but not least for now a FREEBIE! While going through my blogger’s block I still created a few freebie things, I just didn’t package or post them. I did this layout in July for the trip we took with Rina in 2008 to Altoona, PA, for Railfest.

Credits: On The Right Track by Keystone Scraps


The free Digitalegacies Designs template is in psd and tif files and offers 16 spaces for photos, paper or elements.

Click preview to go to download

That’s it for now, enjoy the rest of your Monday. GO TIGERS!
(Red Sox fans you know I love you…next week.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bats, Cats and a Freebie


Yesterday the bus picked me up just as the Tigers game was starting. Talk about nerve racking! I was at a support group meeting at the MS society local office. That was planned way in advance and since it was a group thing it wasn’t flexible for the baseball schedule. David called while I was waiting for the bus to take me home and gave me an update on the game. I got home in time to see the last out and smile knowing there would be one more game in Oakland Thursday night. I was practically falling asleep as I watched the end of the Red Sox game, but Boston will be in the ALCS. Now we just need, I mean NEED, a Tigers win to set next week for us.

In September I made my bold, not fan “homer,” predictions about baseball in October. I’m sad that I was right about the Reds and puzzled that I got the Indians and Devil Rays so wrong. I really thought there was some stubborn chemistry
in Cleveland, especially at the end of things. Now my sad World Series prediction, sad because it isn’t so much as I’d write it; In mid-September I predicted the World Series would be Los Angeles and Boston. That’s actually still a possibility. I’d still love to be wrong and it’s Detroit and either St. Louis or Pittsburgh. Fate will soon enough show us what will be.


Kaline seems to be feeling a little better after her shot last Saturday. There’s been less bad behavior and she seems to hiss at Macro only a little more than Carla does. The difference is that Marco is afraid of Kaline. In his play time crazies, he jumps Carla a lot more than he does Kaline because when she growls at him he stops cold and retreats to spread his havoc someplace else.

But when Marco is calmer, near naptime, lookie what sometimes happens:


When Marco is getting sleepy, they can replace growl-hiss-smash with a calming chorus or two of Katbaya!


I made a template last month for the birthday template swap at Digital Scrapbooking Studio. Here is the layout I based the template on:

Credits: Pieces from Amy Sumerall, Simple Girl, Jen Yurko, Digitalegacies Designs.

It’s the Paws and Whiskers event last fall selling books, crafts and baked goods to support the shelter. I made a few dozen Mr. Goodcookies in half dozen bags for the bake sale. I didn’t bake this year because we had plans to be out of town but next year I want to not only bake again but go to the event.

I wanted to wait until after the birthday celebration in September was over before I offered the template here.

Click image to go to download

As always if you use my scrapbooking freebies I’d love to see anything you make if you’d like to share!

I have other things to show, tell and share, but I’ll save them for another post. Have a great midweek!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Go Tigers! Go Red Sox! Go Cardinals?

I love this time of year! It’s pumpkin spice season, time to start getting goodie bag fillers for the ghosts and goblins at the end of the month and it’s baseball postseason! Yesterday was a good day as the Red Sox and Tigers both won! Let’s see them continue doing that. Those nasty Devil Rays, and they will always be the Devil Rays, threw a wrench in our postseason plans. Our big splurge this year with not one but two playoff games! We had tickets for the Indians home game on Monday against the Red Sox. Stupid Devil Rays. Now the other tickets, our now only game, will be for the ALCS; game two in Detroit. The plan, and I don’t want this plan messed up, listen this time Devil Rays, is to enjoy a repeat of our first date. It has to be no less than Boston at Detroit.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that while watching the Pirates and Cardinals I found myself cheering for the Cardinals. Arch sports enemy of my Reds or not. the truth is that I have a lot of friends and good acquaintances that are Cardinals fans. I’ve also seen games a couple of times in both St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The St. Louis fans are just nicer and better sports. When it comes right down to it, arch rivals or not, I’m going to cheer with the people I enjoy more if I don’t have a vested interest. (shrugs)

This morning we were up bright and early, well early for a Saturday, to take Kaline back to the vet. After almost a week of torturing all three of us trying to get her medicine in her, mostly unsuccessfully, I called the vet desperately asking for suggestions. They said for a little more, and not a ton more, they can give her an injection instead of the liquid medicine. After she got her shot we asked if they can put a note on her records that when there’s an option for an injection when she need medication we always want that!


Sheri and I went out to celebrate our birthdays after the fact yesterday. I treated her to lunch at Cracker Barrel and she treated me to an ice cream and coffee at Starbucks. I brought a pumpkin spice scone home from Starbucks. Oh my; HEAVEN! It was a pretty awesome girls day. It’s always a pretty awesome girls day when Sheri and I get together.


Last thing I wanted to share before I call it a blog for the day is Noto! This is not me promoting for a sponsor. This is me raving about a product I finally found, bought and love.

The first Nani-thing you’ll notice is polkadots! Actually the polkadots are one of many different covers you can put on this wonderful planner on your desktop. I just, of course, chose the polkadots.

Noto is my weekly planner! I’ve mentioned a time or two that I have been looking for software that looks, is organized and functions like an old-school planner. I “test drove” this one for a couple of weeks and fell in love! It’s got a weekly view just like the Franklin-Covey planner I loved so much but it weighs a lot less and takes less space, which is important to me now. It has monthly views and daily views if I need more details or a large overview. It’s also got icons and stickers and highlighters and my inner child loves it too!

The inner child notwithstanding, it’s practical and it keeps me organized. I just love it!


I take my leave of you now to start my baseball afternoon and evening. Go Red Sox! Go Tigers!