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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunny Is Good

Nani and David from the Gilenya Photo Booth

Walk MS was a great morning! It was cold, but brilliantly sunny, still it was definitely bundle weather. I checked in and got my Walk MS t-shirt, which “walkers” get if they have over $125 in donations. Let me tell you about the donations.

I was on Team T&K Family and Friends. T&K are Tricia and Kerri; the daughters of Mark and Karen, our team leaders. Both Tricia and Kerri have MS. It was my first time doing Walk and I was entering 3 weeks before the walk really with no idea what I needed to do. I’d met Mark and several members of the team at the Open House in February and I figured a team would help me get situated. They welcomed the rookie in.

The donating at my page just blows me away. Every person who donated any amount created a huge total in such a short time that it made me look like a fundraising dynamo! But I did make it clear that I wasn’t a pushy fundraiser, all of you who gave are bighearted givers and I’m honored to be in this cyberspace neighborhood!

So, thanks to my generous donors, I’m over my goal. The Walk was Sunday but the fundraising finish is June 30. I’m not changing the goal amount, but it would be cool if I could double goal. Hmm…If you’d consider donating $5 or whatever amount you’d like or if you’d forward the link to my page to someone who’d be interested in making a gift to the National MS Society I’d be relly grateful. The Walk is over for this year, but our work is not!

After Walk MS, David and I took the paratransit home and because it was early and sunny, he went in search of trains. I spent some time in the driveway getting the last photo for my layout for the “Celebrate The Little Things” challenge for March at Gotta Pixel. It had warmed up a bit, the sun was shining right on the flower bed and that first little bud I’d been watching for the past 2 weeks….


There are just pretty yellow flowers all over! David is going to help me get the dead leaves and wild rose twigs out this week on a gray day, ideally Tuesday when there’s less of a chance of rain and it’ll be a little warmer than the end of the week. Then they’ll look great! I have a couple of the variegated purple and white ones budding and the narcissus sprouts are up all over too.

Here is the challenge I did for Gotta Pixel:

Credits: Better Days Ahead by Aprilisa Designs

Journaling:

When Kelly and I planted the spring perennial bulbs in the fall of 2010 I had to have lots of crocuses. There had been a few in the flower beds on the side of the house, but just a few. I wanted lots of them!

When the winter begins to fade the crocuses spring up first. They burst through the last of the snow and if it snows on them again they keep growing. When the world is just starting to renew crocuses bloom brining color to the dull browns just waking up from the winter’s sleep and encourage the daffodils to follow.

I am a crocus. Aside from being the first one to say “lets kick winter out the door,” I have my own set of challenges; my own snow. I bust through that snow and when there’s a setback, more snow, I keep on blooming. When things seem the darkest, the most colorless, I pick myself up and keep a determined smile blooming on my face.

Now I’ll finish watching the Opening Day Eve party on ESPN and get ready to dream of parades and hot-dogs and all the holiday festivities tomorrow

PLAY BALL!!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: Little Girl Lost (DS Lucy Black #1) by Brian McGilloway

Finished March 28, 2014

Synopsis on Good Reads:

A sensational thriller for fans of Tana French and Dennis Lehane.

Midwinter. A child is found wandering through the snowy woods, her hands covered in someone else's blood. And she cannot—or will not—speak, not even to share her name.

Who is this little girl lost? The only adult she seems to trust is the young officer who found her, Detective Lucy Black. Before long, Lucy manages to connect her case to that of a missing teenager, the kidnapped daughter of a local real estate tycoon. As the investigation twists and turns, Lucy is forced to question not only a range of dangerous suspects, but also everything she thought she knew about her own past


My Review on Good Reads

2 of 5 stars

This was only a mildly interesting read. There were perhaps too many characters; too many victims, too many bad guys, too many good guys and they weren’t developed with very rich personalities. There were a few subplots all interwoven with the main story. At times the interwoven subplots made the book difficult to follow. The main plot really isn’t clearly defined and to be honest, I can’t tell you what the climax of the book was because of that.

I suppose that the entire point of book one is to introduce what seems to be the main character for future books in the series, but it didn’t do the job of selling me book 2.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hodge Podge and Countdown To Walk MS


http://www.fromthissideofthepond.com/2014/03/an-easy-breezy-hodgepodge.html
1. March is known as the windy month. Which of the following phrases best fits your March so far...'throw caution to the wind', 'three sheets to the wind', 'run like the wind', or 'see which way the wind blows'?

I think maybe I’m a “see which way the wind blows” kind of gal. I’m a good brainstormer in that when I get a group together on a project I don’t believe in a bad idea. I believe in throwing every thought into the mix to see what everyone thinks. Many great ideas come from throwing crazy ideas in the mix and see where they go from there.


2. Your favorite green food? Your favorite dish made with your favorite green food?

My favorite green food? Veggies! My favorite veggies include zucchini and green beans, but anything is better on a bed of lettuce.


3. Ever been locked out of your home-car-office-anywhere? Do tell!

Not in a very long time. Dave and I used to forget the key and be locked out of the house after school, yes, two kids and still no key, but we learned how to pick the lock to the garage where the spare key into the house was kept.


4. Yoda, Kermit, Shrek, The Wicked Witch of the West, Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch, or Mike Wasowski (Monsters Inc.)...of the green characters listed, which one's your favorite and why?

I didn’t know Yoda was green. I guess that means not Yoda. David reminded me that we don’t necessarily remember Oscar the Grouch as any color because when we watched Sesame Street as kids it wasn’t in color! He was gray on a black and white TV!

I guess today I’ll say Mike. It was a cute movie and Mike is the shape of monster that I can draw! He’s also my favorite shade of green!


5. "The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive."~Joe Batten Do you agree? Why or why not?

I absolutely agree! If you can’t keep the belief that your goal is reachable strong there is no reason for group members to give 100%. To get the best work from a team, you first have to sell the idea.


6. Share a favorite song with an emotion in its title.

Need You Now by Lady Antebellum. Yes, need is also a verb and a noun and some needs are beyond emotion but feeling need for another person to keep you from crying or drinking yourself silly is definitely emotional!


7. What's a road trip you'd like to take?

To Cincinnati to see The Reds on Opening Day with the parade and everything! Opening Day for the Tigers wouldn’t require enough travel to be called “road trip” and I’ve been to several Tigers Opening Day games. I’ve never seen Opening Day in Cincinnati.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

One last shameless plug for Walk MS! It’s Sunday! I’ll be doing the mile route in my power chair and David is going to walk beside me for support. I have under $100 to go in my fundraising and I’m asking for $5 donations. There’s no telling which dollar will be the one that funds the last piece of the cure and that dollar will only exist because of the ones under it so every dollar counts for someday ridding the world of multiple sclerosis.

Visit my Walk MS page for more information and to add your name to the list of awesome people who are supporting me on Sunday and will one day when there is a cure know you were part of that achievement!

Nani's Walk MS Page:  http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/davonna 

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring?

We had snow today. Oh, it didn’t stick to the ground but it was cold and it just looked like I’m a ton of snow when you looked out the window. I’m not really complaining because there is still way more snow coming, falling and sticking on the East Coast. I’m sending Edna and everyone in New England good thoughts and prayers to keep warm, with power and let it melt quickly and stay gone! My selfish concern with the snow in Toledo today was that if it was going to snowing anyway I wanted it to gather around my crocuses and make them look tough for a photo.

Not looking tough but starting to thrive, here is the Sunday progress of the first crocus. It has three buds instead of one.

While I’m showing off pictures, this is my latest source of jealousy. Yesterday after I showered when I came downstairs Kaline was curled up on the couch with her daddy. As the sun was coming down David was sleeping on the couch and Kaline and Carla were both curled up with him. (And the setting sun light coming in the window was beautiful)

It’s not so awful except that Marco’s first choice is David and Carla’s first choice is David and Kaline’s first choice has always been me! I’ve been having some muscle spasms at night that prompt Kaline to jump off me and rest on David’s hip. I was afraid I was losing my baby and it was gonna leave me a catmom with no cats! I think, I hope, I found the right medications to take at night and not have leg spasms. It’s worked every night that I’ve taken my anti-spasticity medication and the minor narcotic for pain together. Last night when I fell asleep Kaline was on my hip again. So I think I can take the pictures of David and the cats again without feigning jealousy. :-)


I’m Just Not Feeling It Anymore

I was looking through some of my posts from the last quarter of 2013 to get a reference as to when I said I was going to see a therapist about my depression. I can’t locate that post but I’m sure I mentioned it on my blog. Anyway, I started feeling “not me” around this time last year. I couldn’t really identify it at first but the odd sensation kept growing. It wasn’t something new wrong physically but it was emotional, there was something inside me that wasn’t right.

I tried to shake it, tried to meditate, tried to sleep more and exercise as best I could but I couldn't get that odd feeling to go away. After my birthday I felt worse; it seemed like a huge weight was on my shoulders and it pressed down and just made everything a chore. And I was sad. Sometimes I would cry and have no idea why. Other times I would cry and it was something very small and insignificant and I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with the fact that I was crying about it. Then I started realizing I was sad all the time even when I was smiling and laughing there was a strong sadness inside of me. I couldn’t fix me like I usually can and decided I needed some help.

When I was having problems when I was 16 I went to a counselor. After about four months of seeing the psychologist a couple of times a week things got better. And I thought that perhaps that could help again. I didn’t think it was an MS symptomatic chemical depression and my doctor suggested that I definitely wanted to see a psychologist and not a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists can prescribe drugs and he knew that would not make me happy.

So I met my psychologist in November to help me discover the source and relieve me of my “profound sadness.” A good counselor is not one who can “figure out what’s wrong with you” and fix it. A good psychologist knows what questions to ask to help you figure out what’s really wrong and fix it with you. Yes, a good friend can absolutely fit the bill if your problems are small and you can identify them. But when an optimist whose usually self-fixing when negative emotions come into play experiences the depression it’s a little more than a few emails or long phone call can fix.

Early last week I realized that for the first time in about a year I felt like me; the smile is real, the positive speech is real and my successful problem-solving is back. What I’m not feeling anymore is "sad." My next appointment with my counselor is in three weeks. My “homework” is to see if I can keep that dark emotional infection away on my own. Here’s hoping!

There are a few takeaways I want to share. First depression is one of those “invisible conditions.” People that seriously are depressed are not just in a bad mood and they can act incredibly happy and they can even speak happy words. If it was a mood it would pass but when you feel it deep inside and it doesn’t go away that's actual depression and you need help. Second if you’re feeling negative feelings inside DO NOT feel embarrassed or like there’s anything wrong with talking to someone who’s truly qualified to help you. Third, remember to be completely open and honest with the counselor helping you and listen the same way. Let yourself want be better and you can get there.

I'll also mention that the counseling I got as a teen was on an ability to pay basis and the counseling I'm getting now is covered by my insurance. Don't let money keep you away from help if you need it. Especially in the world of internet, there are many resources to help you find quality help you can afford. It may take some searching and a few phone calls to steer you in the right direction, but go that extra mile for yourself; YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring First!

My first Crocus this year! 3/18/14

There are hints that it’s real, the crocus bud photo taken in my driveway Tuesday, for instance. But then again the National Weather Service is calling for a mix of rain and snow Friday night into Saturday and the high temperature is not expected past freezing on Sunday. Okay, sure, that is what spring is like in the Midwest but yanno two years ago this time it was in the 80s and breaking records. That’s right, folks, I’m a fair weather Global Climate Change fan; break the records I want broken.

It was baseball horror yesterday in Cactus Ball. Aroldis Chapman, fire-throwing closer for the Cincinnati Reds, was hit above left eye by a comebacker line drive. Pitch was 98 mph that hit back at 112. It happened so fast and with such force. There was lots of blood and Chapman was carried off the field on a stretcher; it could’ve been a lot worse. Doctors say the area above the eye where he got hit is the strongest part of the skull. Other places on the face or head could have caused much worse damage or even death. Aroldis will have surgery to repair crushed bones and a titanium plate over that part of the skull. He may be back on the mound as soon as the end of May or beginning of June. I guess we’ll see then how much psychological damage that hit did. In the meantime prayers and good wishes are sent from all over the baseball fan world for a strong recovery without complications. Scary stuff.

This is been a busy week in Naniland! I had a couple of doctor appointments and a transportation presentation/forum that goes with a volunteer committee I’m on. Two of the three days that started the week included relieving me of a few quarters for Mike & Ikes! Any time seeing the doctor includes Mike & Ikes it’s easier to handle anything they tell you. Yes, my inner child comes with me that the doctors’ office. She doesn’t get so cranky when she’s got Mike & Ike’s.

Adult Nani and discovered I really like the free coffee in the clinic one of my doctors is at. That clinic always smells like a coffee house when I go in and I usually have things timed so that there is not enough time to get a hot drink before the bus. Monday my appointment ended an hour early so I decided to get a cup of coffee. The coffee machine that dispenses free coffee when you hit a button has a container on top with beans and when you press a button to fill the empty cup it grinds a cup’s worth of beans and brews it into your cup. You read that right; it grinds the beans and brews a fresh cup of coffee for free. I said it before and I’ll say it now you may think “so that’s where the rising medical costs are going,” but I think if a medical professional is examining me, poking me with a needle or prepping me for surgery I sure would rather they had a cup of that coffee on their way to the office than a cup of Foldger’s! This is on the campus of the same hospital that has a fantastic coffee bar in the main hospital. I think UTMC is onto something in the relation of good care and good coffee. Well, you know maybe that’s it. At any rate I’ll start making sure I add extra time before the bus for coffee now.

Things are going pretty well in my fundraising efforts for Walk MS. Considering how late I joined I can’t complain. The walk is Sunday, March 30 and I’m going to do the mile route with my power chair and David is going to walk with me as my moral support. Please don’t think that only a mile in the powerchair is a small feat; a few years ago it might not have been a big deal for me to walk a mile but in the chair I can get tired after an hour of shopping. I will be sure to bring my camera to get photos of Walk MS.
Finally here’s my "telethon pitch" for my Walk MS fundraising: I’m asking for $5 donations. Every dollar helps with programs for coping with symptoms, new medications and research to ultimately find a cure. If you’d like to send a gift of any amount check out my Walk MS page. If you can’t donate at this time you can help the cause by forwarding the link to my page. Thank you and bless you for your help!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: Until Proven Guilty by J. A. Jance

Finished March 19, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads


The little girl was only five, much too young to die -- a lost treasure who should have been cherished, not murdered. She could have been J.P. Beaumont's kid, and the determined Seattle homicide detective won't rest until her killer pays dearly. But the hunt is leading Beaumont into a murky world of religious fanaticism, and toward a beautiful, perilous obsession all his own. And suddenly Beau himself is a target -- because faith can be dangerous...and love can kill


My review at Good Reads

3 out of 5 stars

I usually prefer my thrillers by male authors. The reason for that is female authors often inject a superfluous love story. If there’s killing being done I prefer the killing being done and a savvy sleuth finding the killer and solving the crime. Okay, maybe not that simple and a love subplot is okay once in a while but I don’t care for a “love story with a crime subplot.”

Until Proven Guilty started with no love plot at all, just an horrific homicide complicated by a group of religious fanatics surrounding the murder. The story was good and the initial crime development was excellent but about halfway through I was disappointed that the love story was taking over the book. Then there were other murders that didn’t make sense with the plot. I wondered if the plot from the synopsis that made me want to buy the book had been buried by the love plot.

My biggest beef was with the main character who I thought could’ve been better developed and was shallow and not nearly as wise as his age and position would lead you to expect. It irritated me most because the “dumbing down of the main character” was essential for the love story to happen. In the end the love story is tied back into the crime story with a twist but by the time of the twist I had grown quite tired of the whole love story and the naïveté of the main character and I just wanted the book to end.

If you enjoy a good police thriller and absolutely despise romance novels don’t read this book. But if you enjoy a love story, however improbable that story is, intermingled with a murder mystery, you might enjoy this book. For me personally I don’t think multiple murders and a wedding belong in the same book; I don’t care for romance and crime mixed. The characters can fall in love or be in love as a smaller part of the book, but when the bullets are flying or the knives are slashing that should be the main story.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Memories Can Be Selfish

Ah, the wonders of the Internet! I broke a Dunkin Donuts coffee mug last week that was one of my favorites and it had to be replaced. The story about the replacement of the mug is one for another time. In searching to find a replacement for that mug I discovered so many awesome Dunkin’ Donuts mugs including the beige one with the brown logo just like I used to drink coffee in when I was learning how to drive in the early 80s.

There were some older mugs with the pinky-purple circle logos from when I was a kid too . That prompted the search for the memory lane items. It’s a very old memory that David has heard often enough because whenever we talk about donuts, and we talk about donuts quite a bit, it often brings back that fond memory of the first time I ever bought something at the store all by myself. It was a chocolate honey dipped donut from Dunkin’ Donuts on Eureka Road in Southgate, Michigan in the early 1970s; I was six or seven years old.

From the web, but if we'd had digital 
cameras then  I bet there would have been 
a picture of the actual donut I bought!

Times have changed, huh? Imagine any responsible parent letting a 1st/2nd grader walk all by herself up a block to the busy street, down another block in the alleyway behind the stores, across a neighborhood street and into a restaurant by herself. It was definitely safer in the early 70s. Well, I would imagine that the neighbors on our street knew I was going to the donut shop and my parents knew the owners of the stores  as customers. Heck, the guy who owned the store with the penny candy and baseball cards knew me personally as a regular customer with the neighborhood kids. So in that I actually knew neighbors and business owners it was probably safer anyway. The idea of safety never crossed my mind as a concern. My only concern was saving that 15 cents of my allowance so I could walk up to the store and buy my own donut, bring it home and have it for breakfast. I got to sit down at home and have my donut with the glass of milk Mom gave  me knowing that that day I was one step closer to being a grown-up.

I think I remember that trip to the donut store and my chocolate honey dipped donut so vividly because it was an extra special first time. I realize that I am truly blessed that I have such vivid memories so long ago. I’m trying to make a point of getting some of those very old memories that live so vividly in my mind written down. Maybe if I can read my own description with some detail about watching man walking on the moon for the first time on TV when I was almost 3 it will help me keep remembering things when I’m 83. At the very least I’ll be able to read it and be amazed at what a neat story it is.

In my search to replace that mug that broke I came across two mugs with Dunkin’ Donuts logos from the time of little Nani buys her own donut. I think it would be neat to have a Dunkin coffee mug from that time but I’m not sure which mug is the right Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant mug from the early 70s.



I was troubled by the fact that I absolutely don’t remember what a coffee cup at Dunkin’ Donuts looked like at that time. But after thinking about it I realized I didn’t drink coffee when I was six or seven years old except the “cappuccino” that Noni made for us after family dinners. I guess I don’t actually have a reason to remember what the coffee cups looked like so I really have no point of memory to tell me which mug I want.

The old Dunkin’ Donuts mugs still appeal to me as a mug collector, fan of old advertising and as a piece of my own history even if I wasn’t the one drinking coffee at the time. So dear readers, does anyone remember reading about or recognize either of these mugs as the mugs that would’ve been in a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant in 1972 or 73?

I suppose I could just get both.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: The Pawn by Steven James


Finished March 9, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

Special Agent Patrick Bowers had only met one man who made him truly afraid. Until now. When he’s called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game. Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he’s about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers’ instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they’re not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent’s pieces? Thrilling, chilling, and impossible to put down, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its iron grip until the very last page


My Review at Good Reads

3 of 5 stars

I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy this book because I did but I can’t give it a higher rating either because it just didn’t leave me feeling satisfied as a reader either. There was a lot going on in this book and it really felt like too much for most of the book. I was impressed in the later stages of the book when all of the seemingly unrelated pieces started to weave together. It helped the story unscatter. But then it all fit together too neatly and it lost a few believability points with me.

There was grisly detail about the incident that was the catalyst for the serial killer's sadistic methods but in his killing there was a lot of death without much detail. I loved the chess game and the symbolism of the pieces left with the victims but wasn’t crazy about the killer’s expertise at everything and uncanny luck; it was a little unhuman, again the credibility issue. The end went on a little too long setting up for an obvious sequel. The twist at the end that I felt was supposed to shock me was telegraphed chapters before it was confirmed to be true.

The biggest disappointment was identifying the killer. The reader knows who he is all along although I admit for the first half of the book I thought it was a multiple personality killer. When Patrick Bowers, the main character, realizes exactly who the killer is I wanted to be able to realize he’s right. I wanted to be as shocked as he was. Unfortunately my reaction was “really? That came out of left field.” I felt like the author decided who the killer would actually be just before writing that reveal. There wasn’t even a hint to that identity in the book. It kinda left I thinking his mask was pulled off and he yelled “you darned kids!” except that I recall the “secret identity” of the bad guys still made sense in Scooby Do when I was a child.

It’s an interesting book but I just prefer my fiction to be a little more realistic to enjoy it.


MiSery Loves Company But Company Kills Misery

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/davonna
I signed up yesterday for Walk MS on March 30. I joined late in the game with less than a month for fundraising, but I also set my goal low for this first year I’m doing it.

Now I bet you’re still trying to process the fact that I said Walk MS, right? I mean I’m in a wheelchair after all. I found out some things about Walk that inspired me at the Buckeye Chapter of the MS Society’s Open House this past Thursday. First of all you don’t have to walk! There are 1, 5 and 10 mile routes and you can walk or use a wheelchair/power chair. A lot of the walkers don’t have MS but are raising funds to find a cure because they are affected by it just the same because a family member, friend or coworker has it. Our Walk MS team leader walks because both of his daughters, in their early 20s, have been diagnosed with MS. You can also participate by volunteering or simply attending the event.

No matter what kind of MS symptoms they have, participants who have the disease may or may not be able to actually walk on walk day. This is why the donations are not per mile as they are in many charity walks. Weather or an exacerbation on Walk day can change the drive of as “MSer” to actually do the walking. For my part, I hope to do the first mile in my power chair. You can see my profile page and donate if you are able at my Walk MS page here: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/davonna

It’s been a full, but in a good way, week in the MS part of my world since we got back from our short Maryland trip. March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month, so it makes sense that it’s a busy MS month!

The day after we got back was my first of four training teleconferences to become an official MS Society support group leader. Our self-help group had to select a leader and a new location. We’d been at our chapter’s local office, but we need to officially meet off-site. I’ll have a coleader who is planning to go through training after the busy season at her job is done. It’s a little overwhelming with all the information and organizing to do, but the jobs I’ve loved the most have started the same way. This is a volunteer position, but it will add current project management work to my resume!

Speaking of organizing jobs and MS, Christine is a member of our self-help group who not only has MS but is also a breast cancer survivor. She’s the leader of the Leap Frog for MS team at Bike-To-The-Bay in June. She not just the team leader, even with foot drop from MS, she’s going to do the 35 mile ride! Be sure to visit her Leap Frog for MS blog and see her updates on the team and her training progress and read her inspiring story! For any of you who’ve considered me to be an “up” person, you’ll love Christine!

Thursday night was the Toledo office of Ohio’s Buckeye Chapter of the MS Society’s Open House. I’ve never seen the chapter office so full of people! I was introduced to reps from the MS Society’s main chapter office as the “newest self-help group leader.” Having a “title” again actually feels pretty good. I networked with some other group leaders and got some information about Walk MS, which is how I ended up joining that after meeting members of the team I joined. It was a fun evening and I actually won the raffle for an MS gift basket! I also brought home some window clings for car windows. I gave one to David and I’m going to give them to other members of my family with a “please put it in your car window?” I’ve said I wanted to start being more active in awareness and doing everything possible to help in solving the mystery of this disease and the past couple of weeks have been a big step in that direction.

I also met a friend for lunch yesterday who I’d been emailing with for over a year but had never met in person. She was diagnosed more recently than me and we’ve been able to support each other through the trials of adjusting to living with the challenges of the disease. We talked through lunch for a couple of hours which seemed like no time at all and we’ve agreed we need to make it a frequent lunch meeting!

The past few days have definitely been the first time MS has made me feel empowered, but I know it’s not the disease itself that empowering me. It’s he supportive and other optimistic people who have or are affected by it that empower me. We fight together and what knocks one person to the ground can still be punched back harder by an army.

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Calendar's Been Full!


It’s been a busy week, well the part of the week I’ve been home has been busy. It’s been just over a week of ups and downs. While the downs have been really down there have been enough ups to even them out and then some. So I’m a pretty happy Nani as usual.

To sum things up just a little bit after the water came back I got all those dishes done, I enjoyed nice showers and brushed my teeth twice a day. Yeah I know that sounds not even blog worthy but after almost 2 weeks without running water that’s a pretty bright star in my world. After my physical therapy appointment last week I was waiting for the bus and reading in my current book. I was about 50 pages in when the bus arrived. Later that night I grabbed the Nook to read some more and… nothing! After troubleshooting on my own and then calling Barnes & Noble customer service it was determined that the Nook had died. After the initial panic it was time to make decisions.

I’ve been researching different tablets since November and chose the one I wanted and what accessories based on all that research. I made that decision around the end of January, so it was three months of work. The whole point of wanting a tablet is to have my e-reader and planner on the same device. I also know me well enough to know that if that device offers more I’ll explore it and probably put some more on it. So I needed a device that could do both things I need to do, including that the reader MUST have a greay background with black print available because that combination is what made my dyslexia disappear when I read for fun. I’ve become a relatively voracious reader now and I can’t go back. As I got near point of choosing I needed to know not only that I could have the right reader and planner style but I researched the variety of apps, quality of photos and amount of storage I might need.

I choose the iPad. It has the added bonus of being an Apple product and I miss my Mac! I also already know how to get around in iTunes. I want the 32 GB one with 4G capability in addition to Wi-Fi. I’m saving money for it. I don’t have enough saved for the particular one I want yet. With the death of the Nook I had to decide between purchasing a previously-owned Nook, a different less expensive tablet or smaller iPad. When it came right down to it after spending three months choosing the tablet I wanted it would just be wrong to settle for anything less. So I replaced the Nook through Barnes & Noble’s “out of warranty replacement plan” for just over $30 which is unquestionably affordable compared to any lesser tablet than the one I want. The iPad I’ve chosen is worth the wait.

So the new Nook was on the way but David and I were taking a three day break to Maryland to photograph the Maryland Midland short line and I had no book! Some shots I’m just not able to get because the car or the wheelchair can’t get into a safe place to take the photo. Those are usually my reading times. I did have some magazines that I read for a while but it goes back to that black print on a white background and reading becomes a lot harder because of my dyslexia so I can’t read as much or as long. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that box on the porch at midnight when we got home after driving home Wednesday. The first thing I did with it after registering the new device was to load my current book and get it the page I was on in my computer app. I can still read a little during the day that way but you can’t take the laptop to bed or in the car; too big and the battery just doesn’t last long enough.

David thought I needed to get out of the house and get some photographs the snow. I agreed to an extent although the thought of three days in the car and not being able to get out to stretch too often because of the cold and ice everywhere gave me some reservations too. My legs were very sore and absolutely rubbery when we got home but I do have some great photos in the snow.

Maryland Midland, March 4, 2014

That brings me up through Wednesday night. More soon, but right now I have a dinner-date with my new Nook!