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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I’m Ba-ack Hodge Podge

No, it’s not a weird Terminator Hodge Podge! Separate from the usual Wednesday questions, I’m back from our trip East. In addition to some great train photos, 4 baseball games, perfect bananas, the Turkey Hill Experience (and sample scoops of THREE ice creams), David and I are now the proud Uncle and Aunt of three high school graduates! In addition to Rina and Tori last year we planned our spring/early summer vacation around Ben’s commencement ceremony and party this year. It was a nice weekend with family and getting to meet Ben's friends and their families.

Our 12 days started with a Heritage Unit and a baseball game on the first weekend and ended with a Heritage Unit and a baseball game on the last day. The baseball was balanced by extremes seeing The Red Sox at Baltimore on the first Sunday and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Class A short-season affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The home teams won all but the last game we saw. That was good except that we cheer for the home team unless we have a vested interest in the away team. It would have been nice to see a Scrappers win and the Orioles would have been more polite hosts to surrender a loss to the Red Sox!

The game in Baltimore was my birthday gift to David. I took him to Red Lobster for dinner on his actual birthday a few days before we left and I jokingly gave him a FIVE BLADE RAZOR! The men’s razor was a freebie I got in the mail the day before, so I presented it to him as his “first present.” Even though the Red Sox lost, I think the baseball game was his favorite event of this year’s Davidfest!

I’ve been catching up over a week’s worth of home obligations and projects, so I haven’t even sorted through my photos from vacation. I’ll post a few at a later time. Now, let’s join Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodge Podge!

1. Summertime is a season of reunions, weddings, and other family celebrations and gatherings...are any of the above on your calendar in the next two months?

Nothing really planned. Nanifest XLVII is a one-week festival with the 29th on a Monday, so it runs from 5PM on Friday, July 26 to Midnight, Sunday, August 4. No events are planned yet.

2. June is National Iced Tea Month...are you an iced tea drinker? If so, how do you like yours (sweet, flavored, etc)?

Turkey Hill makes a ton of iced tea drinks and one of the sample stops at The Turkey Hill interactive museum was iced tea. I tried the peach iced tea there. I usually like my iced tea sweet now although I used to drink it plain. I still buy plain and add Splenda for the sweet taste without the sugar calories.

3. When were you last nervous? Looking back, was the 'event' actually nerve-worthy?

I was last actually nervous when I was going through testing for everything including heart problems, terminal illnesses and a brain tumor when I was being diagnosed with MS. I’d call those things VERY nerve-worthy! But they did make it a relief when the MS diagnosis was confirmed.

4. The bristle toothbrush was invented in China on June 26, 1498...not sure how that date was pinned down so precisely but, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being sick to your stomach and 1 being not at all, how nervous do you feel when you're headed to the dentist? Do you see your dentist twice a year?

I’d say my dentist nerves are 1, only because I wasn’t offered 0! I see my dentist twice a year and if it were free, I’d look forward to it! I brush and floss every day and the dental hygienist always has compliments about how well I take care of my teeth.

5. What's making news in your town this week?

I guess the state budget? It includes more limitations on women’s rights, which I find irritating because it has nothing to do with the budget. I guess they squeeze those things in wherever they can. Ohio is a somewhat backwards white-man-loving state, after all. We wouldn’t want to appear like we care about 21st century problems or have even read the first amendment or make it seem like we look at equality as part of the country’s social future.

All right, that’s in my state, but I don’t think anything in town has grabbed my attention in a ranty or happy way just now.

6. Curtains, drapes, blinds...your window treatment of choice? Are there any bare windows in your house? Is that by choice or because you haven't gotten around to covering them?

I don’t really care what’s covering the windows; I just want them covered when the lights are on at night.

7. Summertime is officially here (in the Northern hemisphere anyway)...what one song is a must-have on your summer playlist?

Back when I drove, it was officially summer when it was warm enough to drive the Camaro with the windows down blasting Motley Crue’s Wild Side on the stereo. Really, when the “new” Camaro was released and the first commercials in late 1993 were out, they showed the fun car and said “soundtrack not included” at the end of the ad. When I got my car the first stop after work was the music store to get A Decade of Decadence, Motley Crue’s Greatest Hits, on cassette to have a soundtrack for my car. That was my summer driving song.

When I’m not driving, I love classical music, especially outside or with the windows open. Marche Slave (Tchaikovsky) is one of my favorites in the summer.

Marche Slave (MP3 plays in another tab)

(If you read my playlist yesterday, you know my taste is eclectic enough to love Motley Crue AND Tchaikovsky, always has been.)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I had really hoped to have a lot of the 30 Day Blog Challenge done and scheduled ahead of time during vacation. I also wanted to check emails and comments, maybe add some blog material, keep up with my comments as a Sugar Cookie a Ginger Scraps and scrap a few pages on my “Lasix mornings" when David would go out in the morning and I’d stay in the hotel and let the medication run its course so my feet wouldn’t swell up so bad while traveling. That really was my intent. Well, I didn’t get all the days prewritten and scheduled, I got ONE scrapbook page done in 12 days and the last two days I was in socks because my shoes didn’t fit.

We’re still tweaking the every other day or three with a hotel morning for me plan; it will work!

But today is Day 26 and I’m jumping back in real time with the challenge hosted by Katie at So, Funny Story…

Plans for the weekend ahead

We’re planning a Father’s Day get together with my dad. We were in Baltimore on Father’s Day. I left him a message from Orioles Park and talked to him on the train after the game, but we’re actually celebrating with him this weekend. I’m, putting my grocery list together to make cookies. You see, Pop is where I get my fiendish cookie cravings from; a hereditary factor, you know.

Father's Day 2011

He’s going to grill, which almost makes it more of a treat for me, except that many years ago Pop established his greatest Father’s Day wish, “just stay home.” Now that I’m not living with him anymore, I try to “come home” for Father’s Day every year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Got A Good Beat, You Can Dance To It

Here’s today’s prompt in the 30 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Katie at So, Funny Story…

Put your i-pod/i-tunes on shuffle what are the first ten songs?

When I listen to music, it’s my playlist at playlist.com, so I hit the shuffle there. Here are the first ten:

1. Too Close - Next
2. Would You Go With Me – Josh Turner
3. Poker Face – Lady GaGa
4. San Francisco – Scott McKenzie
5. Complicated Game - XTC
6. Cupid - 112
7. Love You Like A Love Song – Selena Gomez
8. Give Me Everything – Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo
9. A Minor Prelude - Triumph
10. Cover You In Kisses – John Michael Montgomery

The Josh Turner song is the one I did the video of my train photos with and credited my new name at the end to surprise our railfan friends just days after we got married!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Days, Our Ways

Today’s 30 Day Blog Challenge prompt is a fun one, because I may be a tomboy, but I’m still a girl and what girl doesn’t like to talk about her own wedding days

Your wedding/future wedding/wedding you have attended.

If you’re a recent Chronicles of Nani regular and haven’t read the many posts under the wedding  keyword, you probably think “days” was a typo because there are those here and there that David doesn’t catch and guide me to fix. But in this case, not a typo; we had wedding dayS!

We eloped the day before Christmas Eve ion 2008. The fun started that afternoon when I called Kelly. I told Kelly “David wasn’t my boyfriend anymore” and she was ready to come to Ohio and kick some butt, but when I told her he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore because he was my husband, the whole mood of the phone call changed! David followed with a similar phone call to his brother with a similar reaction, just not as girlyy-shrieky.

My post, Wedding Stories and Freebies, is the best recollection of the day after, Christmas Eve.

I made the announcements, which brother called the “wedding collector cards,” the evening of the 23rd while David was at work and we picked them up and stopped at the mall so David could pick up the ring he’d ordered before we got married. I can’t imagine that a big wedding could have been anywhere near as emotional of fun as our private exchange of vows and sharing the surprise after.

We had our reception weekend in July of 2009, with a Toledo Mud Hens catered picnic on Saturday and early Sunday morning railfanning with everyone who didn’t railfan with us meeting us for lunch at the Whistle Stop Inn in North Baltimore, Ohio. The mud Hens game, a double header they split with the Indianapolis Indians, also featured the most important sort of traditional element to me; the cake.

For the cake we both wanted it had to be chocolate, baseball, and with pillars to look unquestionably like a wedding cake. It also had to be big enough that every one of our 40 guests could have a second piece if they wanted one. Haas Bakery in Toledo crafted the perfect cake for us!

If you’d like to read more about our surprise, reception and August honeymoon, be sure to click the wedding tag, which also includes a few pages of my brother’s last more traditional wedding.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Popsie's Day!

That's what I celebrate today.
He's been a dad and my Popsie for 47 years!


2009 at our wedding reception.
My name tag says "bride" his says "father of the bride"

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Love

Welcome to Day 14 of 30 Day Blog Challenge, hosted by Katie at So, Funny Story… Today is another photo day! I’ll try to be a little less photo than last time.

A picture you love.

I’ve got two; just two.

This is me and my brothers and sister that you saw on Sunday. Acting goofy by request of the photographer, my Mom which makes it double special.

This is David and me with Grandma and Tori. It’s at Spago Ristorante in Windsor, Ontario (Canada) celebrating my 39th birthday. David left work and came directly to Canada for my dinner. This was the night I gave up trying not to fall in love with him.  I put up a valiant fight. (Of course I wouldn’t have the guts to tell him know that for a few weeks,)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Remnants

We’ll just think of these as fragments that are too big to wait until Friday. Okay, I also have a full plate on tap for Friday and probably won’t do Friday Fragments this week.

Talkin’ ‘Bout The Weather

We had severe thunderstorms, flood and flash flood warnings last night and I gimped down to the basement for the first time in months when the tornado siren went off. Thankfully, no touch downs in our area. The weather spotters just saw something in the clouds, but you don’t mess with a nasty storm or the sirens at 12:30 in the morning! David had to help my feet get on the steps to go back upstairs, but oh thank goodness for the new stair lift for the second set of stairs!

We had just gone up and were getting settled for the night when the sirens went off. David went down to look at the radar and I took the stair glide downstairs because I thought it was a better idea than being all the way upstairs if we needed to get to the basement in a hurry. The tornado threat was south of us, but when the alert changed to the counties to the west and east with ours sandwiched in between; it was time to go down the other level.

What breaks my heart is that when the tension rises with us, the cats go on high alert; the heavy rain and sirens already had them tense. When we mobilized to go to the basement, they both ran upstairs to hide under the bed. We love our girls, but I can’t condone David going to try to coax then out from under the bed upstairs when we needed to be downstairs. For safety, I wish I could get them to feel safer downstairs, but Mom and Dad’s bed is where they feel safest.

We finally got back upstairs and to bed just before 2AM. It was NOT a wake up before the alarm morning today!


Let me say it again; MC DONALD’S!!

I am predicting the abysmal failure of 2 new products on the McDonald’s menu because I absolutely LOVE them!

Yeah, I know that sounds so negative coming from me, but David and I have this problem with tastes that are just off of the mainstream. He still laments to demise of the Hershey's Bar None chocolate bar and the KC Masterpiece Ruffles. I still moan over the Creamy Latte and the Cherry Chocolate Yoplait Whips yogurt flavors that were available for too short a time. So there’s always a fear when either one of us discovers something new we really like.

So my something news from McDonald’s are the Premium McWrap sandwiches and the Egg White Delight breakfast sandwich.

The Premium McWraps are like a hand-held salad, which in itself spells fail in fast food, but the actual salads are still there, so that offers a shred of hope. I’ve tried the Chicken and Ranch and the Sweet Chili Chicken. Both were good, but I preferred the Chicken and Ranch. I haven’t tried the Chicken and Bacon yet. But they are wonderful; tasty and filling without being greasy! Decently low on fat, you could easily have them with fries without busting the seams in your jeans! If you are point-counting, I wouldn’t recommend the fries unless you just HAVE to have some fries too as the big hand-held salad with grilled chicken sandwiches to hover in the 10-point area on their own. (Get the small fries if you have to have them for 7 points.)

The Egg White Delight McMuffin is wonderful! Egg whites with Canadian bacon and white cheddar in an English muffin, it’s like a lower cholesterol version of an Egg McMuffin with better cheese for a point less. I had an EWD, hash brown and coffee with cream for 11 points. Apple slices on the side completed breakfast with no additional points. And yum, did I mention, yum? Let me say it again; YUM!!

Get them before they go the way of Creamy Latte Whips, or better yet, get them so they DON’T go the way of Creamy Latte Whips!

This or Something Better

It’s Day 13 in the 30 Day Blog Challenge. As always, a special thank you to Katie at So, Funny Story… for hosting this fun challenge.

Today’s prompt.

Your life goals.


I guess the first thing I should do here is restate my life goals. I think the most important thing to mention is that every goal I’ve ever had, stated to myself, has ended with “this or something better.” I remember earlier this month when the prompt was “favorite quote” Katie mentioned a George Bernard Shaw quote: "There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."

I have always looked at goals as more of a map and they have changed as I’ve changed and grown as I’ve grown. Financial stability has always been something for which I’ve strived. I have yet to really get there, but I’m still working on it.

Independence is another thing that’s been a goal all my life. That has been something that has changed as the years went on! Really, it started with going to the corner store by myself and moved on to my first trip away from home with just friends, my first vacation alone and starting my own business. Now independence means going places on my own and getting back to work. That seems to be one of my more important goals because it’s one I always find a way to make happen for myself.

I’ve always wanted to be in a position where I can help, especially the people who are the closest to me. I want to be dependable and gregarious, the one everyone greets with a hug when I’m there and speaks of favorably when I’m not, but I do want them to speak of me when I’m not there. This has been an important goal too because my closest friends are family to me and me to them. We are charitable to each other and always there in a crisis. Truly blessed is a woman who finds herself in a wheelchair but is never at a loss for caring hands to offer to push.

I guess I think my most important goals are the ones that involve people because that’s what matters most to me. It doesn’t matter how financially successful I am or if I create a product that’s known the world over. It doesn’t matter if I have a horde of followers or every material possession I could dream of. In the end I want to leave a mark, no matter how small, on this world and be remembered as a good person who made the sun shine a little brighter when I was there. And these are still the things I work for every day.

This or something better.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: The Perfect Assassin by Ward Larsen

Synopsis at Good Reads

One perfect shot will change the course of history. Christine Palmer, a young American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, makes an incredible discovery - a man narrowly clinging to his life in the frigid waters. But there is much more to this desperate survivor than meets the eye. David Slaton is a Kidon - a highly-trained, highly-precise, and highly-dangerous assassin. The Kidon is both the hunter and the hunted, and he and Christine are in grave danger. Will they win in this race against time? With the precision of a sharpshooter, author Ward Larsen weaves an intricate tale of espionage and intrigue.

My review at Good Reads
4 out of 5 stars

The Perfect Assassin is Ward Larsen’s first novel and WOW! The story is gripping and put together well. There are important pieces going on in different places and with different characters, but the chapters all came together without losing the reader. David Slaton doesn’t miss. He’s always seems to be one step ahead, yet he always needs to get to that next step.

There is so much going on, but not too much and you never are totally sure of some characters and which side they’re on. I found it to be well-written and a riveting story. I can hardly believe it was a debut novel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Happy Birthdays

I told ya I wasn’t going to get all 30 days of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. Yesterday was a pretty full day and the prompt was Share something you’re afraid of. I’d have just said, “spiders,” no photo because that would make me worse, do a ceiling check and hopefully see nothing (as I honestly do more often than I see something) and called it a blog.

So, today…

The prompt for the 30 Day Blog Challenge at So, Funny Story… is:

A recent photo you took.

I took his one during our weekender last month while we were waiting for a train. After David got me and my chair out on the sidewalk for a nice shot across a pond, he took a seat at the car. I just love this picture of him stress-free and enjoying his favorite hobby. 

Also it’s appropriate that David is the subject of honor today because it’s his birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Friendly Photos

Today is a take it easy day for blogging in the 30 Day Blog Challenge. It’s a Photoblog!

Share a photo of your friends

I don’t think I have just one photo with all of my friends. This one has most of them:

My 40th birthday
July 29, 2006

This one from a week later has the rest of them in it but not everyone from that first photo.

Cracker Barrel after The Reds game and my big birthday surprise with friends from 3 states.

I have three friends who are like brothers and a sister to me

This is me with John at my wedding reception in 2009. We lost John in October of that year. He and I had been friends for almost 27 years and his sister asked me to speak first at his memorial.

This is Scotty and me in 2006. We’ve been friends for 30 years this summer.

Kelly and me; my biggest surprise for my 40th birthday was when she walked in to the section where we were sitting for the ballgame! She is the one who knows when I need a push and isn’t afraid to give it to me, square in the butt if need be! We’ve been each other’s instigators and confessors since early 1989.

Kelly, Scotty and me at Sizzling Sticks in Northville, Michigan, 2010. This was the day we did a balloon release in John’s Memory.

This was Scotty’s Big 25 (50th Birthday) party just last year.

Tracy, Me and Heather 1999

I met Tracy in 1993 at work and we hit it off immediately.  It was pretty much a given that we'd be friends long after we weren't working together anymore.  Tracy shakes me and makes me think when I'm emotionally going nuts.

Heather and I met when she was hired as the associate producer to my producer position in 1994.  We got along well and worked together fantastically.  Heather will drop everything for a friend in need and has always been one of the first ones to say "I'm in" when I have a crazy idea, even if it seems too crazy.

Rich and me, New Yer's Eve 2004 into 05

Rich was my first sports intern in 1993.  He is an awesome worker and totally the man you want as a great employee, but for all that awesomeness professionally, he's an even better friend.  I've said before that the truest test of friendship is when you find out who will still be there to push your wheelchair.  Well, Rich took charge and delegated duties to carry the chair up a couple of steps to get me in to a party!

Sheri and me, Christmas 2004

Sheri and I were friends in high school. but lost touch after graduation.  We reconnected around the turn of the millennium and after a few hours of catch-up coffee we got right back into the groove we had so many years ago.  Sheri's is generous to a fault and one of the most loyal and loving friends I could ask for.

Honestly I love all these people and I’d roll in front of a bus to push any of them out of harm’s way. I went several photos over the “a” picture in the prompt, but my people are worth so much more than one photo to me.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

They’re My Rules I Can Change Them If I Want!

Can you name that tune?

That title makes me sound like such a brat. But really, I’m fudging one of my rules today because I’ve been ever so slightly under the weather. I tried an herbal supplement that I’d used years ago without any problems. Ah but years ago I was taking it with other vitamins, not a handful of morning drugs. Suffice it to say it doesn’t seem to play well with the medications I’m on. For the past three days my legs and back have been weaker than usual; a LOT weaker. The buzzing in my arms and hands has been greater too. Then last night it got better, almost like a fever breaking and I thought about it, I’ve been better at night, when I am usually weaker just from having been doing what I can all day. Hmm…. So I didn’t take the new supplement this morning and I feel great.

So, that rule I’m fudging? Today is June 8; one day past the first week of the month when I’m supposed to let go of any 2013 scrapping from last month and it gets finished this year if I finish all the June folders and have time to go back. Remember that any May before 2013 that’s not done has already been abandoned for now. This way of scrapping has been great so far. 2008 and 2009 are complete up to June! 2011 was already done through September. There are folders still in March and May for 2012 and I’ll probably be tackling those next year. I know I have more to catch up than I can finish in a year, but the commitment to doing it and the system of always doing the current month has helped a lot. When what I see out the window reflects the season I’m scrapping it really helps my creativity. I’ve spent way more time in my creative scrapping zone this year than not. 2013 gets a slight deviation on my rule that I get one week to finish up the month for the current year as I start the next month because I have the last folder open in Photoshop right now. It was left from yesterday. I’ve been slower at everything the past few days, so I’m giving myself a sick day allowance to finish up the last folder. I’m a benevolent boss, like that.

Now it’s time to address today’s prompt in the 30 Day Bog Challenge, hosted by Katie at So, Funny Story…

Talk about a great place you have travelled to.

I am truly fortunate in that I’ve been to a ton of great places. Now think, Nani…someplace great I haven’t talked about recently…

Oh, I got it!

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

It was an unplanned side trip on our honeymoon. Letting the clouds influence our itinerary a little, as we usually do when we travel, we had a few places we really wanted to go on a list for "if we get there" and a couple of planned things that were definites. I absolutely wanted to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Darwin, Minnesota because I wanted to see the campy attraction I’ve heard mentioned in TV shows, but also because how cool is it to say that you saw the World’s Largest Ball of Twine on your honeymoon?

Rainy weather in parts east kept us in South Dakota longer than we’d planned and after visiting Mount Rushmore we made the unscheduled dip into Wyoming to catch a couple of coal trains. We decided to venture further into Wyoming to see the iconic landmark we’d come to know in our childhoods from Close Encounters of The Third Kind.

Fun side note: We have jingles or cheers we say in the car when we enter a new state. For Wyoming we coined “It’s fun to visit the Y-O-M-ing” sung to the tune of YMCA by The Village People. We only crossed into Wyoming once, but our Wyoming song remains one we sing a lot when anything related to the state comes up.

Seeing Devil’s Tower from a distance was already cool, like being one of the extras, but the movie is real life so the extras have a Close Encounter story too.

As we drove into the park at the base of Devil's Tower there were prairie dog areas with appropriate “Beware, Prairie Dogs Bite” signs all over. Prairie dogs are cute but mean.

We circled all the way around the tower, singing the melody that calls the aliens all the while. The texture of the huge formation that sprouted up in an otherwise relatively flat area is pretty amazing. It’s no wonder the Native American tribes in the area told the legend about a bear chasing seven small girls who prayed that a 3-foot-high rock would save them. The rock grew into the sky saving the girls, but the great bear still tried to reach them, which is the explanation for the scratched grooves on the surface of the sides.

It was just a cool, cool place to visit and I’m so glad we took the side trip. In the souvenir store there were items with great photos of the tower, Native American themed things with the legend and artist representations of the seven girls and the great bear and plenty of movie items and alien things. We got an “alien crossing” magnet and I couldn’t resist lots of postcards with aliens on them!

It’s out of the mainstream of things, but Devil’s Tower is definitely a tourist area; on the road into the park there is a tourist trap, properly baited with ice cream! I’ve found that the existence of a very advertised ice cream parlor is sure sign that there are things for tourists to buy. It’s why we call ice cream tourist bait. Of course we stopped for our Devil’s Tower ice cream before we left like good tourists!

Oh, one last note! We drove all the way around the tower and there does NOT exist any way for people to have climbed up to the top to welcome a mothership without major climbing gear. That access and capability was totally Hollywood.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Fill-Ins, Frags and Films

Film element from Movies Night Out by Pixelily Designs

Let's Start with the Fill-Ins!

This week’s statements:
1. I love that my _____ has _____ because now I _____
2. Sometimes I wonder how people lived without ____ in the past
3. I love to get ____ in the mail because ___
4. I If I could change the temperature today to____________ then________________.

My Answers:
1. I love that my Nook has lots of memory because now I never have to carry 2 books if I’m near the end of the one I’m reading.

2. Sometimes I wonder how people lived without 4 choices of sweetener in the past. Actually what I often wonder is if someone from the 1950s was zapped into a restaurant now, how would they react to the multiple colors of sweetener packets in a restaurant? They probably had a choice of sugar or not. The pink stuff probably wasn’t even in restaurants then.

3. I love to get samples and coupons in the mail because I still believe samples and already printed coupons are better for sales of new products than anything else.

4. I If I could change the temperature today to 80 and sunny then it would be a wonderful weather day. Right now it’s cloudy and 57 with expected rain possibilities and a high of 72. I like it a bit warmer and if it could always rain jut at night and be sunny during the day, I’d be a happier Nani.

**  I’m plowing through my free BzzAgent box of Kroger Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie Pops. They’re just a point and a fruity and creamy frozen afternoon snack. I loved the free ice cream to try them, but I’m going to buy more. If you didn’t get a chance to read my post about them, please do! I’m offering a drawing for one of 2 dollar off coupons to try Kroger’s guilt-free frozen treats. There are Smoothie Bars, Fruit bars, ice cream sandwiches and FUDGE POPS! A dollar off and the coupons are good until July 9, so if you can resist until then, you can enjoy a box of no-guilt ice cream treats for Independence Day!

**  I can’t love my new stair lift enough! Yesterday was the first full day of no stressed arm and upper back muscles climbing up the stairs and no new rug burns sliding down them. I went back up and down a couple times which I usually try to avoid.

**  Today is Donut Day! I’m not participating this year; no donuts in the house and I really can’t just run out and get a donut, but if you have a Dunkin Donuts near you, stop in today and get a free donut in honor of Donut Day with the purchase of any drink! If you’re stuck on which donut to get with your coffee or slushy frozen drink, I’ve always found you can’t go wrong with a double chocolate frosted!

I think I’ve told this before, but walking the three neighborhood blocks to Dunkin Donuts was one of my very first experiences of true freedom. You wouldn’t let an almost 7 year old do it now, but I remember the “big girl” feeling the very first time I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts all by myself. I ordered one Chocolate Honey Dip don’t, they are called just chocolate glazed now, and paid for it with the 15 cents I saved from my allowance for that donutl. It’s one of those childhood memories that’s stuck with me all my life. Donut = Independence = strong.
Exercise how strong you are by NOT resisting the temptation of just one donut today.

** In the 30 Day Blog Challenge hosted at So, Funny Thing… today’s prompt is:

Favorite Films

I don’t go to a lot of movies, but I do have favorites that I have on disc or tape ad watch over and over. The very top ones are Gone With The Wind (1939), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Bull Durham (1988), Field of Dreams (1989) and Frequency (2000).

And so that’s Friday! What are your favorite movies? What about your favorite donut”? And make sure you stop by my Smoothie Bar entry and get in on your chance for the coupons!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

These Are A Bunch of My Favorite Things

Today the prompt for the 30 Day Blog Challenge is simple and with a little thought fun and even kind of easy. It’s a list and I’m going to avoid my usual paragraph to support every item. The truth is I’ve probably spoken of all of these things somewhere in this blog before, so there will be a label or enter the item in the search on the top left.

So here’s the prompt for today:

List 20 of your favorite things.

1. Baseball
2. Trains
3. Scrapbooking
4. Cats            
5. Coffee
6. Chocolate
7. Crime Mysteries
8. Shakespeare
9. Salads
10. Coffee mugs
11. Bracelets
12. Renaissance Italian Masters
13. Water Towers
14. The works of Claes Oldenburg
15. Advertising
16. M&M Characters
17. Ice cream
18. 30s and 40s movies
19. Pretzels
20. Sunrises

See other favorites lists or better yet join us at So, Funny Thing... all June long!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


No sweeter words have I ever heard. I’ve mentioned before that I became a BzzAgent and I enjoy the opportunity to try products and spread the word. It appeals to my love of marketing. My current Bzz Campaign is the best; it started with fee ice cream!

I tried Kroger Yogurt Smoothie Bars, the Strawberry-Banana ones. OH MY! These are SO good! Think about things you’ve had that are banana flavored or strawberry flavored. Not really a fruit flavor, huh? You won’t experience the fake fruit flavor here! Kroger’s Yogurt Smoothie Bars are real fruit and creamy yogurt and oh so good!

But better still, Kroger Yogurt Smoothie bars are good for you too! They are one of Kroger’s ultimate guilt-free snacks. They are very low-cal, almost no points. I’ve been enjoying them as a sweet frozen snack in the afternoon when it’s been really hot.

In addition to the tasty Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Smoothie Bars you can also try the Yogurt Smoothie Bars in Triple Berry. But the guilt-free indulgence doesn’t stop there! There are also Low Fat Fudge Pops or Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches and No Sugar Added Fruit Bars. I’m already pondering what I’ll try next after my box of a dozen Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Smoothie Bars quickly empties.

When I got my BzzKit in addition to my “try it” coupon, I got a few generous coupons to share. I’m going to give away two of them at The Chronicles of Nani. In order to use the coupon, you need to have a Shopper’s Card from one of the Kroger Family of Stores; Kroger, King Soopers, Fry’s, Dillon’s or Smith’s. To get the coupon, which is good for any of the Kroger guilt-free treats, just leave a comment and let me know which frozen treat you’d use the coupon for. That will enter you in the random selection for one of the coupons. Then if you win, you can email your send-to address. Yeah, I’m just nosey about what flavors you’d choose.

I think my next box will probably be chocolate sandwiches…or maybe the fudge bars? The Triple Berry Yogurt Smoothie Bars sound good too, especially after the big smile the Strawberry-Banana ones gave me. Oh, maybe I just need you to help me choose!

Don't Sweat 30 In June

Okay, okay, that's probably the weirdest title I've come up with in a long time. But it works, really it does. The "don't sweat" part is from this week's Hodge Podge with Joyce from From This Side of the Pond and the "30 In June" part is from segueing into my Day 5 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge with Katie at So Funny Story... If I just used "Multitasking" as a title, it would have been boring.

Now onto today's actual post!

1. Have you learned more from success or failure? Explain.

I definitely have learned more from failure. Failure is the education that makes success possible. Be it from failed attempts in business or failed relationships, it’s only failure if you fail to learn from it.

2. What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents? If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

As the oldest grandchild I got to name all four grandparents! Nono, my spelling of nonno, was simply the Italian equivalent of grandpa and Noni was my version of nonna, the same for grandma. My maternal grandparents were “grampapa” when I first named them because they were always together when I saw them. Later when I decided on individual names, they became Grandma and Papa.

My parents were Grams and Papa to my nieces. They are the oldest on their paternal side. Grandma was already on their Mom’s side, so they decided go with Grams for my mom to differentiate. Poppy is their maternal grandfather and my dad became Papa because they always heard me call him Pop. I am Nana to them because it was their first pronunciation of Aunt Nani and it just stuck.

3. You're invited to a luau. In keeping with that theme, what dish will you bring to share?

I don’t have a ton of Hawaiian recipes in my repertoire, so I’d bring tropical fruit salad with fresh pineapple, mango, papaya, small chunks of coconut and garnished with plenty of slices of starfruit.

4. Besides Jesus, what one person's life story do you think everyone should know about?

Mohammed , Buddha… I think age-appropriate world religions should be taught in school starting at grade 1. Disrespect and misunderstanding is at the core of the rampant hate in our society. Maybe the next generation could begin to repair the world we’ve screwed up with our egotistical self-importance that breeds disdain for everyone who isn’t exactly like us.

5. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Agree or Disagree? Why?

I have to agree. One of the sillies David and I do is that he presses my nose and I say “beep.” This comes from my telling him about how amazed Tori and Rina were as babies because my nose went beep when they pressed it.  I press his and he goes "honk."

This morning he “made my nose beep” when he was passing through he room and I returned that but my arm was wavering and it lightly hit his nose a few times before actually pressing it. He went “haw, hu, haw-ha-haw HONK.” The wavering is from muscle weakness and nerve issues from the MS. It makes us both laugh. It is one of the small symptoms of the disease and laughing at it is not just not sweating it; it’s a coping mechanism. Not sweating the small stuff means better dealing with the big stuff.

6. June is National Rivers Month. When were you last on a river? What's the prettiest river you've ever seen? What's a river you'd like to see?

Probably The Ohio River on a sightseeing cruise. I’ve done sightseeing or dinner cruises on the Mississippi, Savannah, Cumberland and all three rivers in Pittsburgh too

7. Speaking of rivers-paddling, fishing, swimming, or bird watching safely from the shore? Which activity would you choose? Yes-you have to choose.

Since there is no choice for riding on a riverboat, maybe the question means smaller rivers. Hmm… The two important things for me to be floating over water are that it must be a very big boat and I must be able to see the shore. I think the fishing choice refers to being in a little boat, which would make me too nervous to fish, so I guess I’d have to choose the bird watching because it doesn’t entail being over the water in a little boat, although I’d really be fishing from the shore.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m going to add my Day 5 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge I’m doing with Katie at So, Funny Thing…

Day 5 prompt:

Favorite quote and why.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.  -Richard Bach

I have this quote on a plaque my mother gave me as a gift when I was an early teen. I never parted with the plaque or the message. As I began the struggle of the years of one foot in the child-world and one foot in the adult-world, never quite owning either, but belonging to both, it was to remind me that the things I wanted were always in my grasp. As an adult, they still are.

You can see all the prompts for the month here and join in any time, for one day or the rest of them. The 30 Day Blog Challenge is fun and a great way to meet new neighbors in Blogland!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just One?

I’m not going to keep making a big deal about having done every day in this challenge so far because I probably won’t do all of them and just in case, I don’t want to jinx it. So, here is day 4 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge hosted at So, Funny Story ...

Today’s prompt:

Favorite book

I told ya yesterday this was going to be hard! Since getting my first e-reader in 2010, I’ve become a voracious reader. I’ve said before that I’ve always loved reading but I have a form of dyslexia, actually it’s a very commonly undiagnosed dyslexia, that make reading a book difficult. Oh, I can read just fine, but I read slow and have to really work to see the page correctly. You see, when I open a book, I see a white page with a black blur over it, always have. I make my eyes focus on the text in front of the white. I never thought that was weird. But I guess everyone else sees what I see when I turn on my e-reader; words! The gray background is pale enough that my eyes aren’t drawn to it like they are the brighter paper of a paperback.

So, thanks to the wonder that is now my Nook, I can relax when I read and even read some in the car! AMAZING! So for the past almost three years, I’ve read a LOT. I read some other styles too, but my reading passion is crime/detective/serial killer dramas. Give me a little crime to solve and a competent sleuth and I’m happy. I also love any book that make you go “I wonder…” This year I’m writing a short review about every book I read, so you can click the book review tag and see everything I’ve read in 2013.

So rather than picking one favorite book, I’ll mention my favorite authors.

I’d say my favorite current author is Alan Jacobson. He writes great crime novels that have included serial killers, shooting down the Vice President’s plane and an ending to his first book that I personally favorably compare to 1984 in the category of hair on the back of my neck standing up with goose bumps.

My other current favorite is Austin S. Camacho, writer of the Hannibal Jones series. Hannibal is a sexy man. He just is. He’s strong and intelligent and fights for justice, even if that means fighting against his client. And he’s a coffee snob. How could I not love a coffee snob?

My first favorite author was the late Douglas Adams, writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guile to The Galaxy and the other four books in the trilogy. Five books in the trilogy is just the start of what makes it great. These were highly recommended books by my high school broadcasting teacher, which meant that every geek in our high school read them. The books are totally comic fiction but they are written in a way that makes you laugh but the stop and wonder , maybe, possibly, hmmm… I believe in the power of the mind and have often shaken my head pondering whether or not you really would float if you were distracted while falling. Can you “throw yourself at the ground and miss?” I love things that do and don’t make sense.

Finally while I’m talking about great authors, I highly recommend Rare Traits by David George Clarke. Rare Traits is his first book, but I loved it; loved it! I’m get his newsletters and have enjoyed reading some of the chapters from Rare Traits that hit the editing room floor while waiting for the final edit and publish of the next book. It’s not comedy like Adams and not crime, although there are some injustices to be thwarted, but it definitely makes you think. I love books like that and can’t wait to read the next one.

There are so many great books and great authors out there for every taste. Those are some of my top-rated. What about you? Favorite book? If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out the other bloggers in the 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Still Monday, Right?

It's a 2-cup(+) day!

What a morning it was today! I slept in a bit; yesterday was just a day with a lot going on and by before the Red Sox-Yankees game was over my legs were telling me it was time to go up and lay back with them stretched out while I read a few chapters.

I sit a lot during the day and if I don’t get enough stretching or moving my legs get sore and my feet swell. This is why I try to do a little walk around the kitchen and stretching exercises a few times during the day. Well, yesterday was the Tigers and Reds games, neither of which was very satisfying at the end. It was also a few scrapbook layouts that were very satisfying. When I get “in the zone” creatively, I tunnel in and forget to come up for air or stretches. It adds up to sore legs and swollen feet at the end of the day. Don’t pity me or worry; it’s my bad and my penance for it!

So, a little extra sleep, a leisurely shower, phone calls to return and appointments to make for the week and here I am; afternoon and finally posting the Monday Quiz About Me, courtesy of Acting Balanced and Touristic.

1. June 3rd is National Repeat Day - what word or phrase do you find yourself repeating? I repeat...

“Stupid. ___” The blank is filled in with whatever refused to do it my way; stupid knee stupid sink, stupid Windows 8, stupid Cardinals, etc…

2. Who do you feel is a real hero?

I don’t ignore the almost super-human acts of men and women in the military, hospitals, police, fire and rescue and I don’t overlook teachers or judges and lawyers who actually do defend and make decisions for the greater good even one individual at a time. But I think I am a real hero, so are you. We spend so much time loosely throwing that word around when something terrible happens that we seem to reserve it to describe reactions to bad things without realizing how influential and strong we all are. As the saying goes; to the world you may be just one person but to one person you may be the world.

3. Are you interested in traveling to countries where most people don't speak the same language as you?

I did that the summer I turned 13! I was in Italy for a month staying with family, most of whom didn’t speak a word of English. By then of the trip, I asked for the price of a souvenir book in Italian and the shop keeper said to me (also in Italian) “you know this book is in English?” Kinda shocked me and I fumbled and said “Yes, um, Si!” She gave an approving smile after I outed myself as an American, affirming, “Inglese!” and sold me the book.

4. It's also dairy month - what is your favorite dairy or dairy-like (for you vegans and allergy sufferers) food or recipe?

I won’t say ice cream, which is an entirely different food group. So, I’ll say YOPA! Yopa is new Greek yogurt with mix-ins from YoCrunch. YUM! It’s all the protein and positives about Greek yogurt plus something crunchy, I’ve tried the cherry and strawberry with granola and the vanilla with almonds; ALL great! Now I’m searching for the vanilla with chocolate chips!

And my question for this week:

David and I had a discussion about ice cream last week as we passed quite a few Dairy-Queen-style soft serve ice cream places. I determined that there are four basic types of frozen treat products to get when you aren’t home. These include any quality, price and ingredients of product. So we’re talking about ice cream (regular, nonfat no sugar etc…), frozen yogurt and fruit ices within the categories.

Categories are:

1. Hand-scooped, (that includes Baskin Robbins, gelato or anything scooped out of a case and into your bowl, sundae or cone.)

2. Mix-Ins (The likes of Coldstone and that includes a Blizzard or Flurry, anything with extras mixed into a frozen product after you order it.)

3. Soft Serve (It comes out of a machine into a bowl or cone and can be served as a sundae or dipped in a topping, but NOT the topping mixed in.)

4. Novelties (That’s anything in an individual package)

Whew! Now after that work up, my question 5 this week:

5. What’s your favorite category for a frozen treat when you’re not at home?

My favorite is hand-scooped. I LOVE me my weekly double-scoop in a waffle cone! The only exception to the waffle cone is if I happen into an ice cream parlor that has pretzel cones.

After that it’s a tie between mix-ins and novelties, depending on my mood. Although soft serve is fourth, that doesn’t mean I’d ever turn down a dish or cone of it. I might pass a DQ if a Baskin Robbins is just up the road, though.

What’s On TV Tonight?

This is the day three prompt for the 30 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Katie at So, Funny Story…

Your favorite television program

Today’s prompt is so much easier than tomorrow’s will be for me!

I enjoy crime drams and real crime shows, but there isn’t one I follow. Just if I’m in the mood to totally beg on a day or if I’m not feeling up to anything but being a couch potato and there are real crime or crime dramas on, I’ll watch and enjoy them. But really, I only watch Baseball and Degrassi with regularity.

My number one TV program Baseball! It’s always the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio and the Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit. And yes, I sit with the remote and switch between the games so I can watch both if they’re playing at the same time.

Degrassi is my teen-soap, which has always been more real than the silly afternoon soaps I don't watch. It’s a half hour show and I’ve followed the Next Generation since the beginning. I love the show and I am not the only “mom-age” fan by a long shot. Having watched the show with teenagers and talked about the show with them, I know that the crazy ideas the kids in the show have and the heavy drama are all very real. They don’t make up what drives kids to try drugs, get involved in gang violence or steal a car. They also don’t make up how seemingly little it takes to make them smile or drive their hearts and hormones al a flutter. If adults aren’t “too grown up” to watch, it really is almost a handbook for relating to teenagers. And I’ve loved teenagers since I was one.

Finally, I MUST watch Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer every Christmas season.

What’s your favorite show on the tube? Read more great blogs and join the fun with the 30-Day Blog Challenge at So, Funny Story…

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why The Chronicles of Nani?

Hey, I’m about to be 2 for 2 in the June Blog Challenge, hosted by Katie at So Funny Story… Baby steps, right? Here is the prompt for today:

The meaning behind your blog name.

This one is actually pretty easy. The obvious answer is the correct one. It’s a play on The Chronicles of Narnia.

I’m not a huge fan of the book, never saw the movie or movies, I guess there’s more than one. I started my blog, the original one on Yahoo 360, in April 2005. That was when they started doing the early “coming soon” ads for the Chronicles of Narnia movie on Teen Nick, which I have no shame in admitting is the channel where I watch Degrassi. I joked at the TV, “there should be a Chronicles of Nani”. When I started my Yahoo 360 blog, naming it was that easy.

When Yahoo got out of the blog business, I carried the name with me.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sweet Caroline Locked Out Of Heaven

I’m joining Katie at So, Funny Story... hit and miss this month for her 30 Day Blog Challenge. I say “hit and miss” because I get tied up in so many things that sometimes blogging “misses” for a few days. But hey, I’m disabled and super busy; that a win!

You can join this challenge too! Visit Katie’s blog here and see the details, including all 30 prompts for the month.  It looks like a fun challenge and I’m going to try to do as many as possible. So let’s get this challenge started,

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

Right now the carnival s in town! The church festival is close enough to our house that we can hear the nightly Karaoke. I’m not complaining about that. It’s one weekend and it supports the church as a fundraiser and the carnival workers as their living. It’s also good for community spirit. It rained a lot overnight, but I hope it stays dry enough today for things to happen for them today.

The only problem for me with that is the smell of carnival food makes me crave caramel corn something fierce. Maybe it’s just the suggestion because I’m thinking how nice a bag of caramel corn would be right now and the carnival isn’t even awake yet. Anyway, the point of bringing up the carnival was NOT to make me crave caramel corn, the topic is favorite songs and my favorite song right now was one of the Karaoke hits last night!

Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars is without a doubt my favorite current song. I’ve chatted about that on this blog before. I just can’t sit still when it’s on and it’s great music to have playing while I’m doing my stretching exercises or just doing dishes; it makes every task happier for me!

My very first favorite song, and a song I still dearly love today, came out when I was two years old. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond was the first “grownup song” I knew the words to, even if I didn’t know what they all meant, It was also the first record that wasn’t a Disney record that I had for my box record player. I’ve always and still consider SweetCaroline to be one word that just means “happy.”

By the way, that box record player was a Christmas gift when I was 4 or 5. It’s upstairs and still plays records. That Neil Diamond 45 record is in a pocket of one of my Smash books. It probably won’t still play on the first turntable it played on because of the 40+ years of scratches, but I worked hard to keep my room clean for a whole week to get it and I’m not giving it up!

What’s your favorite song right now or of all time? Share in comments or better yet, share it in your blog and link up at Katie’s blog in the 30-Day Blog Challenge!