Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!





Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: No Way Out by Alan Jacobson

Finished Reading October 21, 2013

Book Synopsis at Good Reads:

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

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

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


My Review at Good Reads:

5 out of 5 Stars

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

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

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Home Again

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

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

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

Fostoria, Ohio

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

Kannapolis, North Carolina

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

I don’t drive. :-)

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


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

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


4. When do you know that you trust someone?

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

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


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

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

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

Friday, October 18, 2013

Marco Sez

 
You know you a you know

You humor?

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


Behind Stripes and Spots

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


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

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

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

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coming Soon: One Big Happy Blog

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

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

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

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


Diversification & Consolidation

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

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



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

Credits: On The Right Track by Keystone Scraps


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

Click preview to go to download

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bats, Cats and a Freebie


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Click image to go to download

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

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Go Tigers! Go Red Sox! Go Cardinals?

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pirates Went Off-Script!

Last night’s “playoff game” was not what I would have written, but unfortunately what I was prepared to watch. The Reds have the stuff, but this year they just didn’t click, not in a going to the post season kind of way. Too many key players spent time on the DL. (Because losing Joey Votto to knee surgery last year wasn’t enough.) So we start again in the spring and guys, try to stay in one piece next year! I really hope they negotiate with Shin Soo Choo and keep him as a Red. He’s been magic this year. Also David and I have matching shirts so we say “Choo-Choo” when we wear them together and we want them to be correct when we wear them!

On the other side of things, Pittsburg has been building steam for a few years, just until this year that steam was gone by the All Star Game and the second half hasn’t been kind to them. I’m not ready to give them the whole ball of wax this year, not while the Tigers and Red Sox are still in it. Actually Cleveland has been pretty amazing this year too. I hope to see them carry us Ohio fans tonight. Of course next they’ll face the Red Sox so they’ll lose our house after tonight, but tonight, GO TRIBE!


As a segue to cooking I have to confess that I might have had something to do with our loss last night. I’ve been craving my mother’s baked macaroni and cheese. I picked last night as the night that would be my first try at making it. Mom was a huge Pirates fan. Could be that the power I summoned was too much for my Reds. But look at my first try!


I noted last night that it turned out okay. My first attempt at going to act baked macaroni and cheese pieces much like Mom’s as Olive Garden’s crostada tasted like Noni’s; just enough to make me want to perfect it. I’ll definitely make it again.



We’re starting to get just a touch of harmony in the house. I think a lot of the time Carla and Marco fighting is really Carla and Marco playing. They just playe rough. Kaline is still pretty sincere with her growls but we found out the spraying wasn’t so much her acting out as it was not feeling well. She has a mild urinary tract infection. Now our greatest challenge is giving her medicine. She has to take it twice a day for two weeks and she does not like it! We tried mixing it with “Kitty Milk” the first night and she slept in Marco’s room. She drank the milk and got the medicine and then we wrestled with her to get her morning meds. That was not fun. Last night she was on to us and didn’t touch the milk. And this morning I meds were an even bigger struggle. We’re going to try one night with a medicine mix–in. Wish us luck.


One of the popular items Carla and Marco argue about is Marco have decided he likes Carla’s hammock. Kaline used it too but nowhere near as much as Carla. Marco finds it very comfy. We’ll see what happens in this new feud.