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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not Inspired

Cluster made with On My Knees elements by Darlene Haughin

I’m joining Josanne at A Chocolate Bouquet again today for the last week of Motivational posts in her blog hop. Next week, as we move into February, A Chocolate Bouquet blog hop switches gears to “All Things Love.” For those reading who haven’t decided to try this hop because you just don’t feel like a motivational writer, everyone has thoughts on love! Consider joining in next week to talk about the emotion, where to find it, how to be romantic or even just your take on the people and things you love. The January theme was pretty open and I expect that the February one will be as well. You don’t have to blog about Valentine’s Day…But ya could!

But back to today; it’s still January and we’re still talking motivational, how do your stay on track with your goals and why that’s important to you. How do you inspire and motivate yourself and others. There’s my challenge right now.

How Do You Inspire If You’re Not Feeling Inspired?

I didn’t post anything motivational last week because I’m just low on steam in that area right now. I know, right? Me, uninspired and unmotivated? I’m always “up” and ready to share all the positivity I can muster, and I can muster a lot of positive vibes! But that’s been a challenge this month. I’m not good with negative starts. It’s not just the hospital stay to start the year; the whole month has had a bit of a dark cloud for me. Maybe that is exactly how I inspire right now.

As you know, I’ve been called inspiring because of my refusal to let my issues with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis stop me. Oh, they slow me down, sometimes a lot, but the one thing they don’t get to even touch is my spirit. I have my rough patches, but deep down inside, I won’t allow it to change who I am. Who I am includes that when I’m depressed I’m more embarrassed than actually depressed. I think that’s ego.

The thing is, that’s how I continue to inspire, even when I’m not inspired, when I'm feeling challenged. Even the happiest and most tenacious people have bad days. If you’re having a bad day, even a bad week, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost that spark that keeps you a positive person. You just need a break to regroup. Know that you’ll be fine tomorrow and can pick up then.

You don’t have to be battling an ailment to inspire. You don’t even have to be happy and perky all the time. I offer this; every one of us inspires someone in a positive way. Parents inspire children, teachers inspire students. Members of the clergy and volunteers in social groups inspire. We all set examples for others by just being who we are. The talents we have the things we work hard for, every kindness we extend; they all have power when witnessed by others. Of course we can also inspire others to not be like us. Whether it’s “I want that, but not like he got it,” or “I want her work ethic, but without being as cruel as she is to her employees,” we’ve still set the example and others are influenced by us. When we have a bad day, or feel unmotivated, we also let the people we influence know that they can still attain their goals if they have a bad day too, because tomorrow we’ll be back to that forward moving direction. We can inspire even when we don’t feel very inspirational.

Okay, personally I want to be the good example. When I’m having a tough time I want to show that it’s not the end of the world and I still want people to think I’m worth a hug for encouragement.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Must See Stuff

Floor Burger by Claes Oldenburg 1962

Well, the first thing I’ll do is give you a ticket to board my train of thought. The topic last week for 52 topix was “soup.” Yes, all of you who answered my question Monday about soup may have an anonymous cameo on my scrapbook pages for last week.

After I’d finished the writing part, I wanted to add some fair use photos of Campbell’s Chicken and Stars, my number one comfort food soup since I was a kid and I still eat it today. So I figured that it should be represented on the soup pages. Then I thought soup, I love that Andy Warhol painting of soup, I should get a copy of that! Well, as one thing lead to another in my Google search, I came across Floor Burger, by Claes Oldenburg!

I love Oldenburg! But that love does not mean I’ve seen every sculpture he’s done or seen a photo of every one or even know the names of them all! It means I’m always seeing new photos, even of old works, and there is always something new to me!

The most recent Oldenburg I’ve seen in person was Torn Notebook on the campus of University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. David and I went there on our honeymoon in August 2009. I’d wanted to see it since I read about it when it was created in 1996!

Floor Burger came up in an image search for the soup cans and I knew at a glance that it was an Oldenburg! Excited, I showed it to David as he was on the way out this morning. He smiled and asked where it was. I had just “discovered” it and told him I didn’t know. He told me to find out and we’d see if it ever fit into our travels.

Floor Burger was created in 1962 and lives in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, How cool is that? We could chase some area trains, catch a Blue Jays game during the high light one day and visit the gallery the next! I think it’s part that he knows how much I love Oldenburg’s work, but it’s also probably the only time my steak-loving man has ever seen me so excited about beef!

Around the same time he created Floor Cake

And Floor Cone

But Floor Burger is the one I like the best. Work is being done to conserve or renovate Floor Cake which is a stuffed canvas soft sculpture. To be honest, much as I love Oldenburg and ice cream, I’m less enthusiastic about Floor Cone. Not one of his better works in my opinion. It kinda strikes me more as floor carrot. Maybe if it had been chocolate ice cream…

But for right now, I’m ready to plan a second honeymoon where my hubby indulges my odd art fetish. I just know we’ll be craving hamburgers for lunch that day.

Oh, also fun that I found while surfing:

You Are Chopsticks

People see you as exotic, unusual, and even a bit intimidating.

You are a difficult person to figure out.

In truth, you try to live a very simple life.

But most people are too frenzied to recognize the beauty of your simplicity.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Busy Morning

Credit: Boo-boos and Band Aids by Twin Mom Scraps

I’d have posted earlier today, but my morning was spent in the thralls of the joy of health insurance! I don’t keep my opinion about the need for major improvements in our healthcare system in the US a secret. I applaud the Affordable Healthcare Act as a step in the right direction, but just a baby step. My stance as a great supporter of single-payer healthcare is one about which I'm fairly vocal. That’s the buzz word because so many people consider “socialized" to be some sort of political profanity. Meh, I think there should be an at least partially socialized system. Everyone should have access to healthcare. I say that as a caring person AND as a selfish person. I don’t want to see people suffer but I also don’t want them sharing untreated or undiagnosed diseases with me and I don’t want them driving a car next to me when spasms from untreated physical conditions flare up causing them to lose control of their car You see, everyone’s care affects us all.

One of the big perceptions from opponents of single-payer health care is the wait for care. I’m insured. I wait for care. I’ve been 5 days now without the disease modifying MS medication that really does make a difference in fatigue and cognitive abilities. I’m starting to feel that the medication is out of my system today. Why have I gone without the medication I truly need for almost a week? Because my health insurance company has been “considering” the medication. They hadn’t decided that it was something I could have. Tell me how there is no waiting for care with health insurance. It’s not my first wait for care either, not even the first this year. The doctors wanted me to go into rehabilitation before I went home from the hospital so I could safely function in my own home. I was on hold because the insurance company hadn’t given permission for me to have rehab. After three days of waiting the hospital had to release me because there was no reason for me to stay. I still had the end of the flu when they requested transferring me to rehabilitation. The hospital released me after I had recovered from the virus and the insurance company still hadn’t decided if my doctors actually had a clue about what their patient needed. That was care I waited for and never got. Tell me how great it is to be insured.

So my medication will be here tomorrow, because it took them a week and a half to decide it was okay for me to take, it had to be shipped overnight because I was out of meds. If they’d been little more diligent, it could have sipped standard. I wonder how many people have had to wait and have to have things shipped more expensively? I wonder how much that affects our premium. All this time, as we face the dangers of existing with those who may be insured now, but still go undiagnosed and untreated because they still can’t afford the exorbitant coinsurance. Thank goodness we don’t have any type of socialized medicine to “make us wait.”

Wheeling off soap box now; my soap box has a ramp!

So, yeah, if you read the rant, my medication will be here tomorrow. The rest of the wonderful red tape should be sorted out in the next week.  Yeesh!

So, happy dreary and damp Monday from Ohio! I still like Mondays. Dreary and damp Monday even means David is home today. Remember that Sunday/Monday is his weekend. I’m waiting for him to pull down some soup off the top shelf perfect lunch for a dreary day and something I couldn’t have if he wasn’t home to get it down for me!

I’ve prattled enough. Time to get on with the Monday Quiz About Me, brought to us by Heather at Acting Balanced and Wayne at Touristic.

1. On a long road trip do you prefer to be the driver or a passenger? Or do you prefer to travel a different way all together?

Since I can’t drive, I’ll take the passenger’s seat! But I’ve always preferred the passenger side with David, even when I did still drive. He hated the way I drove and I hated the way he backseat drove when I drove. We were much kidder to each other when he was in the driver’s seat. I wasn’t really fond of driving anyway unless I was alone with bright sun and an empty road. (Camaros drive better when no one is in front of them; they just do.)

2. Do you use a slow cooker? Favorite thing to make?

I use the slow cooker for apple and peach butter! Those would be my favorites. If I had more room to leave it on the counter, I’d use it more.

3. Which type of festival would you rather go to... Wine and Food, Music or Sports?

I’m not a huge festival goer anymore. I went to lots of them when Tori and Rina were little. I guess I really liked to Fall Festivals, which were, cider, food and crafts.

4. What is your favorite fallacy?

David says my favorite fallacy is that he tickles me every time he walks by. I told him "only" nine times out of ten doesn’t make “every” a fallacy because it’s still a gross majority.

So, since his tickling me every time he walks by is NOT a fallacy, I’ll pick a better one.

“If you look for the good in a situation, things will get better.” Looking for the good does not make things better; it makes coping better it easier to cope with. It makes YOU better.

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

5. Do you consider soup to be a seasonal or year-round food? What’s your favorite soup at this time of year?

For me, it’s totally a year-round food! There are chilled soups that I really only eat in the summer and I prefer heartier potato-based soups in the winter, but I’ll enjoy chicken soup or a bowl of tomato basil any time.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review: Death On A High Floor by Charles Rosenberg

Book synopsis from Good Reads

When the much-despised Marbury Marfan senior partner Simon Rafer turns up dead, with an ornate dagger buried between his shoulder blades, it comes as a surprise to no one. Simon was an abusive boss and had recently been on the warpath, clearing the "dead wood" from the legal firm he treated as his personal fiefdom. Nearly a thousand attorneys and associates, scattered across four continents, had good reason to want Rafer dead, but homicide Detective Spritz has his eye trained on Marbury Marfan partner Robert Tarza, in particular. Tarza and his friend and colleague---and maybe a bit more---Jenna are soon forced to play detective themselves, in a race to find the real killer or killers before Spritz finishes assembling a collection of evidence that will make a very credible case against Tarza.

My review on Good Reads

4 out of 5 stars (but I’d have given it 4.5 if I could give an extra half)

I really did like this book. There is a little mystery and a lot of the legal ins and outs of arrest and trial preparation, even for the innocent! The story is told in first person by Robert Tarza, a 60-year-old partner at Maybury Marfan who is being framed, and framed well, for the murder of colleague Simon Rafer. After all, the story starts with him finding Simon’s body.

A murder accusation is a shocking introduction to the reality of criminal law and how it differs from the civil law Robert has spent 35 years of his life practicing an experienced pro who must now play the client. It’s definitely a story of trusting his friend who he mentored in the firm and the lead counsel she selected. His quiet and conservative life becomes the hottest story in Los Angles. Robert goes from confident it will all blow over because he’s innocent, to playing detective; to the despair of being convinced he’ll go to trial and be convicted. Add to the murder accusation that he is suspected of rare coin forgery and drug money laundering. Most of the book involves the lawyers preparing the case and looking for the real murderer.

I loved the book. Robert is a well-developed very likable character, and the story is built well. I had figured out who the real murderer must be with about 80 pages in the 400 page book to go and I found myself reading faster because I just had to know if I was right, the details and how on earth they were going to bring them out! It was an exciting and pleasurable read.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Normal Friday

I got a call yesterday from Rina that she got home safe and sound and in plenty of time to get to her 6PM class. She was here since Saturday to “help me out” after I’d been in the hospital. Okay, yes, I’ve been out of the hospital for a couple weeks now, but my brother was having a couples-only over 21 party and needed to get his daughter out of the house. Rina and I weren’t complaining. She got to go on her first solo journey of more than a half hour and we got to spend a few days together. Her class schedule is such that Martin Luther King Day meant no classes on Monday and her next classes were Thursday evening and Friday. It was an awesome long weekend!

Now I’ll check-in with a couple of Friday favorites!

This week’s statements:
1. Making ____ is ____
2. I get ___ easily
3. The number of emails in my inbox is _________ and ____________
4. Traveling _______________ makes me _______________.

My Answers:

1. Making the best of a bad situation is the only way I know how to cope.
2. I get emotional easily. Sometimes even a sappy commercial gets to me!
3. The number of emails in my inbox is way too high and I need to clean my inbox out get arid of the spam!
4. Traveling for long days in the car makes me kinda achy at the end of the day.

1.Do you embrace or dread snow/cold weather days?

I abhor cold and snow with an untold passion! I have a doctor’s appointment next week and I’m worried that I’ll be out in the cold and snow waiting for the bus. And by the way, wheelchair frames and the wheels you use to actually make it go get very cold, very fast.

2. Which game show or reality show could you totally win?

Wheel of Fortune. But I’d do it by solving the puzzles, not spinning to run up the bank when I know the answer. When the answer is obvious and they keep spinning, contestants look like idiots.

3. What is your preferred climate?

Warm. Give me 80s and mild humidity every day with the occasional drop to the 70’s and a few thunderstorms, with no tornadoes, and I’m in paradise.

4. What do you buy every time you walk into the grocery store, no matter what?

Bananas and carrots.

5. If you see a spider/bug in the house, are you brave enough to kill it, or do you call for your hubby?

We get spiders that curl up in the molding joints in our ceilings. If David isn’t home I just stare back up at them to make sure they’re still sleeping until he gets home. If they move, I freak, but as long as I have a half bottle of spider-spray or some kind of spray and something to bash them with when they fall, I can kill them. But, it’s usually a major drama with me yelling powerful and nasty things at it as I kill it. Yes, I use more spray than necessary and bash the lifeless body into oblivion to be sure it’s dead. It’s an irrational fear and there is lots of adrenaline when I have to go into combat.

If David’s home, I yell for him because he forbade me to use my baseball bat on them. Why does a woman with limited mobility have a baseball bat if not for the purpose of clubbing spiders? He’s depriving my baseball bat of its purpose in life.

If it’s a 6-legged creature, I’ll just kill it and throw the body away.

Monday, January 21, 2013

We’re Having A Cakker!

Let me start by just saying that football was definitely not the way I had written the script yesterday! I wonder if I should just stop scriptwriting for sports al together. They never remember the lines I so carefully write. I guess professional wrestling s more my calling there, huh? I distinctly planned a Patriots/Falcons Super Bowl. Well maybe it wasn’t directly specified Falcons, but it was without a doubt The Patriots.

There were so many things that were just not right last night. I think it really started with the end of the first half and what I describe as a bad miscue. There was a play wasted on the clock that turned what should have been a Patriots touchdown into just a field goal. I think that totally messed with the cosmos and lead to a referee decision calling an obvious down a fumble “recovered” by Baltimore in a move that made us beg to have the replacement refs from the beginning of the season back.

So now, having no rooting interest, David says he hopes for sun on Super Bowl Sunday so he can photograph trains and just forget it. For me, who is playing is merely the difference between whether I sit in front of the TV to watch or watch from behind my laptop while I scrap. That’s serious. In 2003 I watched with a lap full of afghan while I finished my first crochet project. My crafty woman and tomboy sides coexist well!

Norfolk Southern's Interstate Heritage Unit

We watched the game at Pop’s house. Rina is visiting for a few days and yesterday we mooched dinner off my dad; which he loves! I think he was as excited as we were about getting together last night. Neither of us had seen him since the holidays and at holiday gatherings you just don’t get to enjoy meaningful one on one time, so we were looking forward to some smaller group time together. David went with us and we actually left earlier and chased the Interstate Heritage Unit in Michigan before we header farther north to Pop’s.

The “having a cakker” reference in the title? Well, Aunt Judy is visiting her sister in California, so right now it’s just Pop and the dogs. He had a phone message he needed to deliver and called Aunt Judy while we were there. I jokingly suggested that we should make t sound like he’s having a party while they were on the phone. I asked loudly, “Where’s the cake? We need more cake!” Rina joined in with “The cake is so good!” Yeah, middle age and a college freshman and the wildest party noise we came up with was “cake.” I think maybe I the back of my mind I told myself “keg party,” but once my speaking bran got ahold of it, I just wanted cake.

For right now, while everyone else in the house is still sleeping, David’s weekend, this is our Sunday, I’m going to enjoy some Monday Q and A with the Monday Quiz About Me, hosted by Heather at Acting Balanced and Wayne at Touristic.

1. What was your favorite lunch this past week?

Of the past week, ending yesterday, I’d say Saturday. Rina and I went to Zoup. I had the ultimate “I can’t decide!” special; 2 side soups with whole grain bread. I had Overstuffed Bell Pepper and Tomato Vegetable. I confess, I liked the Tomato Vegetable better, but all of the soups at Zoup are great!

2. Do you shop online?

As one who is mobility challenged, I shop online more than in person! My Christmas gifts are all bought online with the exception of a few stocking stuffers and a thing or two I bought when David and I are out together. I can take the bus to the shopping places, once I have a power chair, but there is a limit to the number of bags I can bring back. Besides, shopping at the stores is more fun with someone else. Yes, I’ll go out to eat, go to a baseball game or stay in a hotel alone, but I prefer company to shop, always have.

3. Do you get the "Winter Blues"?

Nah, I don’t really let the weather affect me too much, except that I stay inside and home more by choice when it’s cold and icy out. I don’t allow myself to get blue when the high temperatures don’t go above freezing, but give me a 90-degree high any day!

4. Slippers, Socks, Shoes or Bare Feet?

Used to be barefoot and outside a lot in the summer. I even drove with bare feet! Socks in the house in the winter that usually came off under my desk when I had the space heater on.

It’s a little different now because I get cold easier. I’m a socks all the time gal; slippers in the winter and sometimes in the summer is the air conditioning is chilling me. I still only wear shoes if I absolutely have to!

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

5. What is your first ting in the morning drink and how do you wake it?

I am a devoted coffee drinker in the morning. While I like my sweet coffee drinks later in the day and I have to have my sweet breakfast foods, I like my coffee strong with a tablespoon of Coffeemate; cream if I’m eating out. As a matter of fact, it’s coffee time and I still have some Starbucks Christmas Blend left. I hear it calling!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Never, Never Quit

I’m joining Josanne at A Chocolate Bouquet for another Thursday motivational blog hop.

Yesterday Sheri posted on Facebook that it was her anniversary; 2 years smoke-free! It’s definitely something to be proud of and, heck yeah, announce it to the world! I think the key is to be proud of your own accomplishment but don’t preach to smokers to “be like me!” It’s something you have to do on your own terms and anyone drilling you is going to have the opposite effect. I quit smoking 22-1/2 years ago. They say that it takes seven years to clean out your lungs after quitting. For me, it was about that time that I developed an allergy to cigarette smoke. Fortunately, most of my friends who smoked have quit now and that’s not such an issue anymore, but there was a time that Benadryl was my social friend; I’d rather drug up for a few days than give up my friends. There’s no one you want LESS at a gathering than a self-righteous former anything! But being an agreeable former smoker I was able to be a quiet example without alienating my friends.

This post is not about smoking. Well, it kinda is. It’s about not giving up on yourself. One comment Sheri made, that I can totally relate to is “I just wish losing weight was as easy as quitting smoking was.” Me too. It would be awesome to celebrate 2 years at my idea weight. But I fall off the wagon, like the second half of last year when I gained instead of losing. I’m an emotional eater and I was having some serious warding off depression problems. But I’m happy to say that this week I’ve lost a half pound; slow and steady and healthy. And I will keep working on it until I can announce the anniversary of being at my ideal weight. And Sheri will too. We both quit smoking successfully, so we know, given time and perseverance, we will also win the “battle of the bulge.”

So there’s my motivational tip for this week: When you are feeling like reaching your goal is a losing battle, even if it’s a goal you haven’t obtained yet years later, think about a goal you have met and realize that you have the power to conquer any demon and to meet any goal. Remember that the goals that take the longest to achieve are the ones that have the most gratifying rewards. Don’t ever give up on you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge

Sorry I’m posting so late today, well sort of sorry. I had a few things that needed done, including some hospital bill stuff from last year. I’m on a payment plan and the monthly due date is the first. Well, this month I was much closer to the hospital’s accounting department than I am when I call to make my payments! They were on my list of calls to make, they called me first and it’s all taken care of. I just love happy phone calls where bills are concerned!

So, my business calls and finishing up my Fresh Fruit layout took up some time. But I did it all on just ONE cup of coffee!

But now let’s join Joyce, our wonderful questioner extraordinaire at From This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodge Podge!

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen's English...here's the list for 2013-

fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, yolo (an acronym for you only live once), spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings, and guru

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen.

This one is SO easy for me! I hate, I mean I can’t stand it if I could imagine it out of existence I would, hate, the phrase “Bucket List.” Bucket List is “Things I want to check off before I kick the bucket.” What happens when you’ve checked everything off? That’s it, you’re done? Personally, I don’t want to put an expiration mark on myself. The only thing on my “bucket list” is immortality. So now I can go on living like I’m, alive not with a checklist to death.

Ah, but there’s a problem with my bucket list too, which is why it’s just a joke because I don’t have and never will have a “bucket list.” I’m not going to live forever. Which means many years for now, even if I invest with Raymond James and live to 187, when it’s over, I‘ll have failed at the only thing on my list. I’ll die a failure.

So you see? A “bucket list” is either an expiration mark if the items are attainable or a promise of failure if they are not. There is not a thing positive about keeping a bucket list and the term should be banished from the world psyche.

2. When was the last time you rode a train? Where did you go?

David and I went on a steam train trip in Michigan in 2009. I was on a city transit in St. Louis in 2011.

3. Bagels-yay or nay? Favorite 'flavor'? Favorite topping?

Bagels are good! I like cinnamon crunch, asiago cheese and last November I tried the pumpkin ones at Panera! I like sun dried tomato cream cheese on asiago ones and any sweet cream cheese that isn’t blueberry on the other ones.

4. 'Tis the season of awards shows...if you could star in a movie already made which one would you choose?

Wow, as not a movie watcher, I don’t have a lot of thoughts. Friends have told me they could see me playing Annie Savoy from Bull Durham.

5. The move towards single gender classrooms has been making the news in recent months....what say you? Do you think kids perform better if separated by gender and are taught differently or is that discrimination? If you're a parent, is this something you'd support in regard to your own children?

I think there is still too much sex discrimination and teaching genders separately only stamps it as okay. When kids grow up they’ll all work together and they’ll have never learned how to work together or in the presence of the other gender. It does way more harm than good.

6. What's your favorite thing about staying in a hotel?

Not having to clean or cook. We usually try to get a king bed and that’s nice too

7. Do you have a 'word' for 2013? What's the story behind your choice?

I don’t have a word for the year. I’m too verbose to try to choose just one word without going crazy. :)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Stay tuned to this blog for a bunch of randomness, just not right now! For now, I’ll share my Fresh Fruit pages; uploaded in full size for ease of reading if you’re interested.

Credits: Thanks a Melon by blue Heart Scraps

Page 1:

Page 2:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Switched (Trylle #1) by Amanda Hocking

Book synopsis from Good Reads

Switched (Trylle #1) by Amanda Hocking

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

My Review on Good Reads

4 of 5 stars

When I got to the end my reaction was "What? Huh? No!" I mean it ended like the end of the chapter with SO much more to tell... which is why it's just book one, right?

This was a little bit of a change in styles for me. It was a book club selection and a nice change of pace into a young adult fantasy book. The main teen-young adult characters are well-developed and the relationships believable in a young-adult fantasy way.

Accepting the fantasy part, babies from a monarchy society of trolls are switched at birth with children from wealthy human families to be tracked down and reclaimed as young adults and integrated into the troll society. The main character in this first-person book is Wendy, a “changeling” raised in a less than ideal human life. She was switched for a human male and her mother “knew” that she wasn’t her child, insisting it to the point of attempting to murder her on her 6th birthday. The human mother is locked away in a mental ward and Wendy was raised by her older brother and aunt. Except that they aren’t really related…

At 17, Wendy is found and brought back by a member of the Trylle tribe named Finn. Finn is a “tracker,” a class of the Trylle who is responsible for finding changelings and bringing them back to their blood families. A love interest develops between Wendy and the tracker who was sent to bring her home. The problem is that the trackers are a lower class than Trylle royalty. Wendy’s real mother is the queen.

There are interesting statements about class division and the pomp and circumstance of royalty and it was just a fun read. And yes, I will read the other books in this trilogy. It definitely left me caring and wanting to know the rest of the story.

Follow Nani on Good Reads!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A New Week!

I think it’s part of my optimist view, but I’ve always loved Mondays. It’s the fresh start of a new week and the day to plan for the short term, of the days ahead. Yesterday I posted my goals for 2013 and that gives me a little bit to base my short term goals on. I won’t go into details, but even now when I’m not working, I still look at the week ahead on Monday morning with the same enthusiasm I always have.

Another thing that makes Monday great is joining Heather at Acting Balanced and Wayne at Touristic for the Monday Quiz About Me!

1. What is your favorite animal? 

I guess it wouldn’t be right if I said anything but cats! Specifically my favorites are Kaline and Carla and any other cats that have been in my life or will be. But I’d be remiss not to mention Missy, the Collie that was mine between the ages of 12 and 22. Missy was the family dog. My parents got her to protect my brother and me, but if Dave and I got into a tussle, she whined and made the choice to jump on Dave to break it up. I was her favorite. Hehe.

But domestic animals aside, because they are almost human in the way they are part of our families, I’d have to say my favorite animal is the squirrel. I’ve loved squirrels as long as I remember. I used to feed them when we camped. We camped in the fall after the squirrels in the camp grounds had spent a summer with humans and I could sit on a bench in an empty campsite with a bag of peanuts and holding one and being very still and quiet, the squirrels would take a peanut right out of my hand. My grandfather always worried that they’d be taking me to emergency for a rabies shot when I got bit, but that never happened. I still love squirrels and if there’s an opportunity, I’ll feed them, but my adult brain knows that just maybe I got lucky in the trust I got with the state park squirrels when I was a child and I really don’t even have the desire to try to feed them out of my hand now.

2. What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is my me-quote. “I cannot control things that happen to me, but I'm the only one that controls how I react to things that happen to me.”

3. What is the one trait that you have that definitely comes from one of your parents?

Easy; I am stubbornly independent like my mom was! David says “Why didn’t you ask me to do that?” as often, maybe more, than my dad did. I’m also a bit of a lovable cheat at board games like Pop. By cheat I mean I will very obviously do an attempted cheat for a laugh.

4. If you had a choice between going to a tropical island or a ski resort which would you choose and why?

Another easy one – ANYTHING but something cold; tropics here I come!

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

5. Do you watch the Super Bowl? If yes do you watch it for the football, the commercials or just to be with fiends at a Super Bowl gathering?

I watch the Super Bowl pretty much every year. I watch it for the football and the commercials although I admit that I’ll take bathroom breaks at the beginning of a drive rather than during the commercials or wait until halftime.

Book Review: The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

I discovered after reading the book that it was based from an actual unsolved crime from the 1940s.

Book Synopsis from Good Reads:

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia-and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history. Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia-driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl's twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches-into a region of total madness.

My Review on Good Reads:

2 of 5 stars

Personal opinion; this is a man's book all the way. While the description may seem like an intense and somewhat gory period mystery, it was more just senseless violence with no actual "good guys" to be found.

The story is mildly interesting, that and the fact that I read it while I was in the hospital and bored when they weren't sticking needles in me, is why I read the whole LONG book. The book is very dark, the language very strong and the stereotypes very sexist, racist and cliche. Add to that there was not one likable character in the story. Maybe a guy who is into violence for the sake of violence as a pissing contest between men in positions of power and sex as something to do when there's nothing else to do with easily accessible women who always say "yes" will find it a good read. As a woman who enjoys mysteries with sometimes perverse and violent serial killers and detectives who search for them using their brains, I wasn't impressed.

Follow Nani on Good Reads!

2013 projects and goals

I did some refining and completing on the original goals post I’d written on New Year’s Eve. I guess I’d like to make my first goal to stay out of the hospital except for lab work! That could also be something out of my control, so I’m not making it a goal. One thing I was sad to learn when I was in “the joint” was that there are some bad levels showing on my liver panel. What that means is it may be a side effect of Gilenya, what I call my miracle drug that I’d knock off a liquor store to keep taking. I’ll be getting full blood work, including liver panel, done at the end of this week or beginning of next and my regular doctor and my neurologist in Cleveland will get the results, They said if the abnormalities weren’t just caused by the virus I had, I’ll need to switch my MS meds. I’ll deal, but it’ll mean I have to take shots instead of pills and pray it makes me feel as good. Shoot me a good thought or prayer that it was just the virus!

But let’s get on to things I can control.

Projects and Goals for 2013

"There is no happiness except in the realization 
that we have accomplished something."
Henry Ford

Organizing project:

One thing that blue end of 2012 taught me is that I need to redefine realistic in my planning! My biggest failure was the White Tornado Project. I accept that the project failed, not me. I am just not capable of doing the physical moving to reclaim storage areas in the house as livable rooms. And the truth is we weren’t using them as rooms so we weren’t missing anything.

For 2013 I am NOT putting that project back in the plan. David and I agreed that we need to reorganize some space in the kitchen/annex areas to make it more usable and free up space and that is the only organizing and fix-up project I have planned for the year. We have 2 very full and unused storage rooms and we’ll continue to have 2 storage rooms. I’m okay with that; I’m giving up one idea to help insure the success of a better one!

Blog goals:

I did well in committing myself to comments on other blogs and not having too many long stretches of time that I didn’t blog on Chronicles of Nani. I did not do so well with my desire to offer a scrapbook freebie every month and because I have a growing backlog of scrapbooking to catch up, I won't repeat that goal for this year either. I’ll offer a freebie when I can and I am inspired to do so. I am planning on offering a small non-scrapbook giveaway when I reach 100 blogger followers. I’m not going to make a huge deal about that until it happens. I want “my regulars” to visit because they enjoy my content and style, not just to try to win a prize. Besides, if I reach a number and then people unfollow me, well, what was I celebrating anyway, right?

I’m also going to commit some time early in the year to restoring Davlicious Recipes. I haven’t replaced the lost photos from the great Google Plus error and I want to bring it back to life and start adding new recipes. In keeping up with the “January Detox” that will include some simple and healthy recipes that offer great flavor, a good nutritional balance and fit in comfortable with Weight Watchers points system.

I also want to be more disciplined in keeping up content, even if it’s a short entry, on my MS bog and the cats’ blogs.

Reading Goals:

This is an easy goal, but I have to have some balance and I need to make some me time in my goals too. I was originally thinking a book a week, but there are some times and some books that make that rough, I read The Black Dahlia when I was in the hospital, It’s pretty long and actually not a book I enjoyed. I read the very end as fast as I could to get it done with. Now I’m half way through my second book of the year and the second week is almost over. It’s the book club book for the month at Ginger Scraps. So far it’s a cute book. Still, with other things to do now that I’m back to non-hospitalized life, I can’t see me finishing it in 2 days and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself for something I do strictly for fun. So, my actual goal is 2 books a month. I’m going to make a point of writing a brief, non-spoiler, review for Good Reads as I finish books this year and I’ll repost those reviews here at The Chronicles too.

January Detox/Health and Wellness:

January detox is simply recovering from December. My plan there is to lose the weight I’ve gained through the holidays and really since August when I allowed myself to feel defeated for the year. That in itself is a daunting task, or could be. In the past and going forward I’ve had my best periods of wellness allowing myself to become food obsessed. If I am really concentrating on my food, how to make it balanced and how to make it taste great and look good on my plate, I stay more committed to being balanced and portion controlled. I also know that my chocolate cravings are best controlled if I make a point to include 25-100 calories of chocolate in my diet every day. Sound weird? In keeping track of that I found that there were days I didn’t meet that goal and “had” to have a Hershey’s kiss with my evening tea or decaf coffee. That's why I call Kisses “supplements.” Treating chocolate like a vitamin really has worked in the past.

Of course, any health and wellness plan must be custom-designed for the person living it. Read up and put the right plan together for yourself, or ask a nutritionist to help, but remember to never let someone else put together a “healthy” eating plan for you that you can’t stick with. If you don’t like the food and don’t eat it, it’s not healthy for you. Strive to find the right balance that will taste good and make you feel good; that’s the healthy plan for you! The way of eating that works best for me incudes lots of soup and a big bowl of crunchy veggies to munch on in the afternoon. And a little taste of chocolate every day.


In May I presented Tori and Rina with the scrapbooks I’d been working on since early 2008 as their high school graduation gifts from me. Especially at the end with the editing and preparation for printing process I was pretty much doing nothing but those books. Then I had a smidge of burn out where I took a bit of a scrapping break, a slowdown. Now I look at my “to be scrapped” folders. I have the majority of 2008, from April on, all of 2009 (which includes our wedding reception and honeymoon) September to the end of 2011 and all of 2012. No, 2010 because I met my goal of having all of 2010 done by the end of February 2011.

What I’ve organized my folders to do for this year is that I am sticking to each current month. In January, I can scrap any pages from any year, as long as they are January pages. If in any current month I complete that month for all four years I have folders for, I can go back to work on open fielders from the previous month, but when that month is over, I move to pages for the next month. This way when I look out the window and see snow, I’m not trying to get myself in the groove of beach photos. The pages I’m scrapping fit my current world and surroundings. I think that will get my natural creativity working better.

I’m going to try to have a tally at the end of each month with how many layouts I got done, and how many folders I’ve closed. So far this month I’ve done the last week of Journal 366, the one allowable from last month and the week that just finished will always be okay to do from the last month to keep up with the year’s project. I’ve also done the first week on 20134 52 topix, 5 layouts completing 3 folders from 2009 with 5 to go and 2 layouts completing 2 folders for 2012 with 5 to go. 2008 and 2001 don’t have January folders. I only have one folder for 2013 right now. Since this is a smaller month as far as undone folders go, I might finish January this year!

Project 365/52:

I’m kinda pumped for this year after actually completing last year’s Journal 366! For this year I’m going to have a weekly theme and my layout will include photos and journaling about my week and how it relates to the week’s theme. I already posted my 2-pager for the first week’s theme; “healthy.” I’ll write and scrap this week’s theme tomorrow or Tuesday. The theme is “fresh fruit.” Tuesday starts “scrapbook” week.

Employment Goal:

Perhaps the most disheartening goal I completely blew off last year was the job search goal. I have always been a person whose external area reflects the internal balance. When my rooms were in order in my suite at my parents’ house, I was mentally in order and could tackle anything. I tidied my office before I went to Chamber of Commerce meetings with my business because if the office was straight, I had more power, more confidence at meet and greets. It enabled someone on the shy side to be more professional and aggressive. I’m trying to redirect that concentration to my computer now and it does make sense because so much in the job seeking process is done through online applications and email now. If my hard drive is organized and my desktop is clean, the confidence level should be up, no matter how many dirty dishes are in the sink.

With a change in insurance, the power chair process is on hold. I’m not going to wait for someday when I have a power chair to get to work on this very important part of my world. I’ll use the manual chair to go to appointments at the Vocational Rehabilitation Bureau and get started on evaluating my abilities. I have the determination and resourcefulness that can fit many places. Plus, hey I’m a disabled woman, a double click on the minority scale! I learned in one of my trade school classes some 20+ years ago that it was foolish to be “too proud” to take an opportunity offered to you because an employer needs to fill a quota you fit. It’s your opportunity to prove that there were even better reasons you were a perfect fit! With a decent job I can save up to get the power chair outright, to heck with insurance. I’d love to tell the insurance companies I don’t need them.

So there are my 2013 goals and projects. They are slowed down and toned down a little for me than in years past. I also have a few outs to accept a smaller accomplishment on occasion; as an example, while I have 2 folders that have January pages in them in the scrapbooking project, completing just one of them is a job accomplished As always and especially now, if a preferable goal can be met, I have the right to change a goal to better suit my needs. I feel cautiously optimist about 2013. I have many smaller goals that are parts of larger ideas, but no large goals will go totally unmet. Perhaps that meets the biggest goal of all; keep my own attitude positive and strive to always make meaningful contributions, no matter how small, to the world.

All of this, or something better.

And by the way, that goal to have these posted by midnight tonight? NAILED IT!

Friday, January 11, 2013

It’s My First 2013 Friday!

Part of my plan for 2013 is that I’m going to let myself not be as committed to all 3 memes I usually do on Fridays. I enjoy doing them, but it is also quite time consuming to write all three and then visit other blogs who participate. I enjoy reading others’ responses, but I also feel there is an obligation to read other blogs that do the memes too. I mean, really, how rude is it to expect readers if I’m not reading, right? But the truth is that if I secure employment, which my bank account and the hospitals expecting coinsurance payments for their services really want me to do, I’m, not going to have as much blog time. That doesn’t mean that I’ll quit blogging! It just means some things will be streamlined. Mainly that means I’ll end up cutting down to one meme a week on Fridays. I’m not working yet. It’s just a busy day today.

I’ve had to do lots of updating because our new health insurance kicked in at midnight on January 1…just in time for me to use it in a big way! Since I didn’t get the power chair before the end of the month and my doctor’s office let me know they won’t work with the company I chose for my power chair, I’m back at square one. I have no idea what chair I want and I’m not in any big hurry after a hospital stay to start my relationship with the new insurance to ask for any big ticket items.

So it’ll be next Wednesday that my manual chair and I visit the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation to seek assistance in securing a placement. Maybe I’ll look for a work from home opportunity for now, which I can find legitimate positions in that area with the help of the BVR. If I can make a decent paycheck working at home, I might stay with that, but I really would love a job outside of the house to communicate with other people. We’ll see. Maybe that steady check will mean I can afford to do more, maybe even afford the power chair on my own – then I can have the one I want on my terms. We’ll see what happens. First I need to get the ball rolling.

Okay and as the pizza in the oven is calling my nose, let’s post already, huh? Joining Hilary at Feeling Beachie for this week’s Friday Fill-Ins.

This week’s statements:
1. When I __ I ___
2. It is pretty funny that ____
3. It may be strange but ___
4. How ______ made me ______.

My Responses:

1. When I don’t get enough sleep I am hungry the whole next day,

2. It is pretty funny that sometimes something very small can cripple something huge.

Years ago I was part of a large live cable TV remote at a major festival. I brought a coffee pot for Saturday morning, for which the crew was quite grateful, but the coffee pot drew enough power from the production truck that it caused a power outage that knocked the entire production off the air for almost a half hour. Needless to say, after that coffee was brought in from the local donut shop and coffee and donuts in the mornings became one of the meals we had brought in for the production in the years that followed!

3. It may be strange but I crave potato chips and French onion dip during the holidays. I don’t eat it or want it at any other time, but I have to have my one bag of potato chips and one tub of French onion dip between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

4. How David made a point of driving to Canada just for dinner for my 39th birthday with my family made me fall in love with him. (I was heading there anyway, but that was the moment of no return!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reaction To Challenge

I’m working on a rewrite of my goals post. When I used to do my annual goals in my planner, I used to include inspirational quotes with my various categories of goals and I want to do a little more organizing with my goals and projects for this year. That should have been my Hodge Podge answer #1 for yesterday; by the end of 2013, I want to have my organized goals and projects ready to post at the Chronicles of Nani before 11:59PM December 31. For now my most immediate goal related to that is that I want my goals for 2013 organized and ready to post my 11:59PM January 13. That’s Sunday Of course, 11:59PM because midnight is the first gasp of the next day!

While blog hopping the Hodge Podge yesterday, I visited a new-to-me blog; Joanne’s A Chocolate Bouquet. Joanne and I have man things in common aside from my obvious attraction to her blog name, A Chocolate Bouquet; the woman speaks to my heart. Well, okay, chocolate isn’t speaking to my heart, my taste buds, maybe, but hey they are important to me. I do, after all, call them my buds! Yes, I swiped that from a Sonic commercial, but I loved the idea of “I should call them my ‘taste bros.’” The chocolate is for my taste bros! Or maybe taste sisses? I’ll have to work on that one. But I digress. Joanne and I also share the need for coffee and supplies if there is nothing else in the cupboard and we both seem to like to inspire and motivate where we can.

So Joanne started A Chocolate Bouquet Blog Hop on Thursdays where anyone can join by linking to their motivational posts. Here is what she said on her blog about the types of posts in the hop:

Share with us:

How you stay motivated

What made you decide to make a life changing goal, and why you are sticking with it

Why making goals is important to you

or any other post that will be encouraging to others who would appreciate the extra boost!

So without further ado, here is my motivational thought for the week:

Reaction To Challenge

My quote “I cannot control things that happen to me, but I'm the only one that controls how I react to things that happen to me.” It's really my motto for life, especially post MS diagnosis. My own husband calls strong as I gimp around the house with cane and walker and he pushes me around with the wheelchair when we go out because he says I handle things better than he would. Keep in mind that David has seen me at my lowest too, but the smiling moments far outweigh the frustrated tears. That’s because they HAVE to. I don’t have a choice about the MS but I’m the only one that chooses how I react to it and I’m not giving up that power. It’s a simple choice, really. I can let the frustration overpower me and wallow in the negativity or I can adapt and do as many of the things I’ve always enjoyed as I can with those adaptations. No effort miserable, effort happy. Well, duh! I choose happy!

I know people who seem to choose sad or frustrated or defeated and really, their facing problems that are much more beatable than MS. It’s easy to dwell on the challenge facing you than it is to face it or to find a solution around it. It’s easy to blame someone else for your problems than it is to fix them yourself, but is there any satisfaction in knowing who’s at fault? You still don’t have what makes you happy. So, take a tip from she who doesn’t walk; adapt!

Adapting can be as simple as writing down the pros and cons of a situation and choosing to focus on the pros. It can be as complicated as shoring up your resume and seeking a new job. The important point is that in any situation that doesn’t work for you, you have to decide what you can do and focus on that. The solution to any problem has to start with being optimistic that you can succeed in finding that solution. That optimism has to start within you; you have to know what you can do and you have to do it. Choose to make yourself be happy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. What is ONE thing or area in your home or life you hope to report is completely organized when 2013 draws to a close? Do you have a plan to make it happen? 

I’m going to get my goals up this week. I have given up on the whole organization thing because I try, I fail, I get depressed; My goal this year is to learn not to care if things are a mess, better for my psyche. Still one thing I can keep organized and I organize it daily to make sure it stays organized is my hard drive. My laptop and 2 extended hard drives are almost “anal retentive” in their organization as are the Mac and its EHD upstairs. It does help me stay organized if I scan and digitize as much as possible!

Believe it or not, my Smash Books also help me stay organized because they give me someplace to keep the things that used to end up all over the house. I can actually enjoy the little mementos I keep because they are in a format where I can find them and look at them, and also put together in a creative way. It’s something else that’s good for my psyche and does its ever so small part in reducing the clutter.

2. What's the worst uniform you've ever had to wear for a job?

I’ve never had to wear a uniform for a job. I did have to wear a WWII army-style outfit for a movie event I did with American Movie Classics when I was at Omnicom. I also wore black pants and a white button-down, server-style, at a 100th episode of a cooking show that was open to the public. I don’t know if those count as “uniforms” but everyone else working the events wore the same thing I did.  I wouldn't call them "worst"anything.

3. What was your last kitchen 'mishap'? This question comes to you courtesy of Betty who blogs over at A Glimpse Into Midlife...everyone go say hi to Betty!

Golly, I have kitchen mishaps all the time LOL. I guess the last big one was a few nights ago David left a burner on under and empty pot all night. I could smell it in the morning and fixed it as soon as I got downstairs. The burner was on warm and the pot was one of the thick ones so no damage was done, but that is something that I worry about all the time and I always double check the burners before I leave the kitchen. The light on our ancient 50s stove is burned out and we have no idea how to get in to change it, so there is no alert when the burners are on. Replacing the stove is on our home improvement list for this year. I’d love to have a Jenn-Air electric cooktop. David wants gas. I’m kinda hoping that eventually his “she cooks more often” and my “no open flames” will meet.

4. How do you protect yourself from other people's negativity?

I have so many challenges of my own and I still maintain a generally optimistic view of life. I try to bring a ray of positivity to people having a negative day but if they are just an outspokenly negative person I just try to avoid them. I =f I can’t avoid them, I ignore them.

5. Who in your family do you most resemble (physically)? If you have children, who do people say they favor? Do you agree? 

I look like my grandmothers. I have Grandma’s eyes and Noni’s smile. My face is overall a little more like Noni and because my aunt favors her mom so much, I look a lot like Auntie.

Rina and Tori were always confused for my kids when we went places. As adults, Tori looks incredibly like her mom but she and I share Noni’s smile. Rina looks like a cross between me and my mom. We all have/had Grandma’s eyes, but there are plenty of photos a Rina and Grams at similar ages that look alike.

6. January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day...will you be celebrating?

I might blow some bubbles, but an actual bubble bath is something I don’t do anymore. (But I don’t need a holiday to blow bubbles!)

7. Some of the 'world's best winter festivals' are - Mardi Gras (New Orleans), Quebec Winter Festival (Canada), Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah), Rio Carnivale (Brazil), Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan), Venice Carnival (Italy) and the Harbin Ice Festival (Northern China). Of those listed (and if cost were not a factor) which would you most like to attend and why?

Mardi Gras, but only if I can take Kelly because it’s something she has wanted to do for a long time. Okay, Louisiana is also one of the states I’ve never visited and it’s warm there during Mardi Gras when it’s cold here.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m pretty much all recovered from the flu with the exception is my lower back still hurts more than it did before I was in the hospital. I think that has a lot to do with 4 nights of sleeping on my back. For the first three of them I had to call a nurse for assistance to turn over. The last night I was able to slowly turn myself.

I completed my first week of Project 52 this year, I decided to do it as a 52 and instead of journaling every day, this year I have a weekly topic that I journal about, mention how the week related to the topic and photos where applicable. I have all 52 topics selected (there’s my challenge) and the topic for week one was “healthy.” I figured it would be detox and healthy diet not healthy as in flu shots and the hospital. It won’t be as simple a project as I might have thought!

Here’s the first week 2-pager:

 Credits: Owie by Luv Ewe Designs and Blue Heart Scraps

The layouts were uploaded as big files so you can read them better is you choose.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let’s Get This New Year Started

I need to do a little bit of a rewrite on the original goals post, but I will publish it soon. For right now, step one of rejoining normal life is rejoining my normal memes! Here is the Monday Quiz About Me brought to us by Heather at Acting Balanced, and Wayne at Touristic.

1. What do you think the biggest downside to being rich and famous would be?

Not having time to scrapbook.

Seriously, if I was rich and famous I’d be a Type-A with a staff. We’d already have the totally handicap friendly ranch over David’s model train layout. He’d be my publicist and perhaps by now our biggest event would be the annual MS benefit. I would completely thrive on having a major annual project. I really don’t have a marketable artistic talent, so the rich and famous must have been from a business venture that thrived enough to make headlines. It also means I have an excellent and skilled staff to keep me up to speed even as the MS slows me down.

I’d be a happy and active philanthropist surrounded by people I trust. I can totally see Kelly as the coordinator of all incoming requests for assistance and speaker appearances, HeatherH is my business manager, Tracy is the manager of Media Relations, which includes time off to work on her film projects. Rich would be her Number One and would handle things when she was on location. Scotty would be the superintendent for all new construction in the company (and that would include field visits only when he wanted to; he’d have a staff too) Sheri would be the chief author in the publishing arm of the company and would be n charge of arranging creative book tours. Neither Tori nor Rina would have a job, not yet anyway, because they’d be at the college of their choice with all bills covered and nothing to work on except grades. (Of course those grades are what earns next semester’s tuition, books and living stipend)

I’d have an insanely happy family, trusted staff that’s been with me forever and so much I’d want to scrap…but I wouldn’t have time.

2. What is the most interesting news article you read or heard about last week?

I was in the hospital and really out if touch, so I guess that 2013 really did start without me is the most interesting thing I heard about.

3. Who kissed you for the first time?

My first real kiss was Jeff, my “boyfriend” in fifth grade. At our end of the year bike picnic at Maybury State Park, we had a few alone moments on the bike path and I asked him if it wasn’t “about time we kissed” since we’d been boyfriend and girlfriend all year. He shrugged and said, “Okay.”

I could comment about how easy it is to get a guy to do what you want when it has to do with kissing or anything more advanced, but if you think about it, as an adult the moment between innocent kids of 10 and 11 years old, one simple kiss on the lips before we resumed biking, paints a cute picture. But it was special enough that it lasts in my memory so many years later. I could probably point to the exact place on the bike path where we stopped.

4. How much do you typically tip at a decent sit down restaurant?

I always tip 20% at any restaurant, a little more at nicer restaurants or anyplace the service was exceptional. I also tend to tip a little extra at more casual restaurants where the server is obviously swamped and still treading water. Seriously, been there and I appreciate the stress she or he is going through. If I was that rich and famous chick, I’d leave the occasional $100 bill for the sole server on the understaffed night shift with the surprise rush.

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

5. That rich and famous fantasy got me thinking about what I’d have done to become rich and famous. My question this week, is if you woke up in an alternate universe where you were rich and famous, what do you think you're rich and famous for?

I think in an alternate universe I’m a rich and famous motional speaker. I used to do quasi-speaking in small groups with interns and coworkers at many jobs I’ve had in the past. I love helping people love their jobs, what they do, themselves. I also love inspiring people to get ahead and to make the very most of what they’ve got. I think if I was rich and famous it would be because someone “discovered me” and wanted to put my inspirational ideas on a stage, video, and books.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year?

Welcome 2013! Today officially starts my January detox. Yesterday was my last hurrah, enjoying the full-butter spoils of our New Year’s Day roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and buttered organic carrots. I used the last of the leftover butter from Davinities in making our start of the year meal special, and sort of a “Dimanche Gras” getting the last of the rich and fat out of the fridge. We’d originally thought we’d do the turkey breast for Christmas, but didn’t get it thawed in time so we thawed it in time for our New Year’s Day feast. Now, the second day of 2013, I am committed to behaving!

I hope I’m not being too confusing. It’s just as a digi-scrapper I understand that when something starts and it’s just not right, the best thing to do is delete and start over. So, happy day after New Year’s Day.

Last time I posted it was the morning of New Year’s Eve. I did the Monday Quiz About Me and promised I’d be back with my goals and projects for 2013. I got as far as having it in a document to post and everything. And then that pause was hit on New Year’s Eve. Here is the very beginning of the original goals post:

As I am finishing up this post establishing my goals and projects for the New Year, I’m being attacked by my last demon of 2012; a cold. I don’t get colds often, so I’m a total baby about them. I think the cold that’s attacking me probably has to do with my bad mobility being even worse today. Add achy to my usual; weak. So a blah year is kicking me out its door with a congested chest, sore throaty and nasty body aches to go with the sinus headache. Oh bring on 2013!

The cold? Notsomuch a cold as I was one of many people at Bortrail the weekend before who got the flu! But as I was one of many who got it, I was the only one who has MS that got it. By dinnertime I was fevered with fever aches and so incredibly weak that I could barely move from the kitchen to the loveseat in the dining room, even with a walker. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to midnight. David was feeling the start of the same bug that was hitting many of us too.

I medicated up and snuggled up in blankets on the loveseat, barely touching the Chinese dinner David picked up for me on the way home to enjoy while he ate his steak. He fell asleep on the couch after dinner and I vaguely remember hearing him say “Happy New Year, Honey. I’m going upstairs.”

I awakened at 3AM feeling worse than ever. #What’s more, I didn’t have enough strength in my legs to get up. I was in full tears and aches mode. David tried to help me, by bringing chairs and things to help me boost myself while he pulled me, but short of picking me up, which is honestly beyond a single-person job, there was nothing he could do. So, our neighborhood was warmed in the wee hours of January 1 by the quiet glow of fire and rescue lights and I got to go for my first-ever ambulance ride!

Things blur a little for me at that point. I had on jeans and a t-shirt; no bra, no coat. David says I was getting IV saline; don’t remember that and I do kinda remember the shot in the hip, but I have no idea what it was for. But the bruising tells me it wasn’t my imagination that it happened. Ooh! I also got my first-ever catheter experience! It’s preferable to a bed-pan, but I still prefer handling that process on my own and in private. I also got to meet the MS doctor in Toledo that I was going to try to see a long time ago but the waiting list was 6 weeks+. He was in to do his morning visits with patients and I was the one he saw in ER. I’m also the one he admitted to the hospital to get over the flu and get physical therapy so I’d be strong enough to go home. Saturday evening I was strong enough to go home.

So, I’ve deleted the first 5 days of 2013, cutting the timeline off just before dinner on New Year’s Eve, and pasting at just before dinner Saturday. I announced “Happy New Year” at midnight and after 4 nights sleeping on my back, alone, not being able to roll over without help because for the first two days I was just too sick and too weak and for the next two the mattress was a twin and the type of foam-style that just sucks your body into it, I slept on my side, curled up with my warm hubby. Ah! Life had returned to normal again.

Now, the New Year’s turkey fest is cleaned up and the turkey breast carcass is in the fridge and ready to be soup. It was my first full day awake and now I’m pretty tired, but I’m almost back in the swing of “normal.” I’ll check-in for the Monday Quiz About Me and I’ll try the whole Monday thing again. I just wanted y’all to know why I haven’t visited blogs and answered questions from the December 31 MQAM, participated in any other firsts for the year, posted my goals and projects like I promised or even thanked my Secret Santa! I’m not a slacker or rude! I just had to delete most of the first week of 2013! But I’ll make up for it, promise!