Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

The Chronicles of Nani On Video

I am overcoming my inability to type with my ability to talk (and talk and talk and talk) I'll be posting a video every week on my YouTube channel. I'll be posting those videos here too along with an occasional regular blog in the mix. (As long as my hands are up to doing the extra typing.)

You'll be able to watch the videos here, but I encourage you to stop by my channel at YouTube once I'm up and running to follow me and get my numbers started!

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the latte with a slice of black forest cake!

Contact Nani at

Friday, July 31, 2009

I am Super Woman 43!

What a festival this year. I still have a few days left, and I’m hoping there is more reward than challenge to show me how much of a super woman I am!

On my actual birthday, I woke up early, as I usually do because my husband has turned mme into a bona fide morning person, I just wake up around 7 AM, even without any alarm now. Whoda ever thunk that would happen! I did a scrapbook page in mt ever winding road to catch up. I’m almost 40 on paper now! It’s David’s 40th on the laptop and cats around the time of mine on the Mac. So I did a cute kitty page and it was nearing David wake-up time. I needed him to get a top shelf photo album for me so I could post that Photoblog. I didn’t have the picture of Mums and me on my 17th scanned yet. Then we went downstairs, I made coffee and washed up the dishes that I didn’t get to Tuesday nighty.

Maybe that’s the problem. I didn’t do the dishes Tuesday night and that jinxed me. Physical therapy has made me quite quite weak in the back nd hips as we’re working on retraining my walking muscles. Near the end of a not very large sink of dishes, my back weakened and I was teetering standing up. That is so frustrating when it happens! I put the last pan in the drain and stepped away and was hit with pan in my left lower back-hip area like a bolt of lightening! It’s like a combination muscle spasm and cramp. Nasty birthday present from fate, huh? So, ice, ice, Nani time!

Ice, Advil and Icy Hit rub have made it bearable and bit by bit better over the last three days, but I haven’t been as mobile as I wanted to be! Just today I’m finally feeling up to trying to get the laundry done and run a few errands. Yeesh!

But then yesterday, add to superwoman for this week, I get a phone call from Grandma’s next door neighbor, at Grandma’s house. There is a sad truism about living alone as you get older. If Grandma doesn’t feel physically up to fixing a meal or even going into the kitchen to get something to eat, she just doesn't. Not a good thing for a diabetic! Her friend, whom she talks with a couple times a day, was worried because she just didn’t sound okay, so she called the neighbor who went to Grandma’s house. Grandma’s blood sugar had tanked, again. The neighbor got her some juice and made her breakfast, then called me.

After I called her doctor and subsequently, he called her, the neighbor brought her in to see him. Now she’s in the hospital getting some tests done and getting some heart-related issues tended to.

I’m her power-of-attorney person and the one the doctors give all the information to, so I am also Grandma-info-central! I have more area codes in my recent calls list on my phone than someone who doesn’t like talking on the phone should have! Thankfully, when I talked to Grandma this morning, she sounds great. She was complaining that they are feeding her so much all the time and I encouraged her to just listen and eat when they say eat because that’s why she ended up there! Dad is working close to her place and is visiting after work. Dave and Dad were planning a visit next weekend anyway and my Cincinnati pans have changed to traveling north rather than south. I’ll go up to bring her home when she gets out of the hospital and be there when the rest of the family gets there. At her doctor’s suggestion, our goal is to get her to be on board with the thought of a senior apartment.

Her doctor says it’s really time to think about assisted living. She has her independence, but 24/7 help when she needs it. I’d really prefer Grandma to be okay with it rather than have to play the “You signed papers saying I can bully you” card! Wish us luck!

So, since turning 43, I’ve been on ice and painfully immobile, Grandma is in the hospital and, oh, there was a back-up and overflow in the bathroom this morning, that I fixed and cleaned up, sopping wet towels with my cramped back. I firmly believe that life’s challenges are God’s way of showing you how strong he made you. He’ll never give you more than you can handle, but sometimes I just wish I wasn’t so strong!

Just in case God telling me I’m super woman wasn’t enough to make me smile, when it’s all done and I realize what I’ve accomplished, there are some nice things that I didn’t have to work for too! There have been a ton of birthday greetings on my Facebook page, email greetings including a cute email card from Sheri. My Dad called Wednesday just to say “Happy Birthday” and Dave called and the whole family sang “Happy birthday davonna-sis-nana...” to me. I got a sweet card in the mail from Heather. David cooked me a fish dinner and brought home the ice cream cake he ordered, and he gave me a card. I LOVE cards and he’s not a huge giver-of-cards, which makes me feel even more spoiled and totally romanced when he gives me one. There was also a sweet personal note in it that made me get misty too!

Now, I’m going to take Advil again for the back, switch the laundry loads, run a couple errands and stop at Cold Stone Creamery with my free Love-It Size birthday coupon. The make a fat-free cake batter than is just crying to have chocolate chips and cherries mixed in it for me!

Charter Wants Your Story!


My television background is in cable TV and I just marvel at how far the industry has come. I love my cable TV and there are just some fabulous things that your local cable provider offers.

I know my inner child would go nuts if I missed an episode of Degrassi, but then again, thanks to my cable internet, I have the speed necessary to watch full episodes I miss on the website! Heck, I don’t know if I’d blog as much if I was still trapped in dino-dial-up land!

Right now, Charter Cable is having a contest, asking their subscribers for input - How do you live your digital life? Whether you subscribe to their phone, internet or TV service or if you have a Charter bundle, they want to now your digital story.

I now I’m enjoying reuniting with old friends on Facebook quite a lot, you can even see the Charter on Facebook profile and keep up with them. I love being able to set up a recipe online on my laptop while I’m in the kitchen, thanks to our broadband hotspot house while watching the Reds game on TV. Oh, and if you have the phone service, you can talk on the phone too, no interruption to the TV or the internet connection!

Go to Charter’s website and tell the your story. They’ve been giving away a laptop computer or 53” HDTV every week since June in this contest and there’s still time if you act now to get your story n for the grand prize! On customer will win a package of one 52” HDTV, one 15” Laptop, and a free year of the Charter Bundle with Digital Cable, including HD and a DVR, Charter High-Speed Internet and Charter Telephone.

I bet it’s easy to see how digital makes a difference in your life and your story could make a big impact too!


Festival Break Time?

I just wanted to share this set of lyrics I found on a party-planing website. SOOOO Nani for the Birthday Festival!

Take Me Out For Some Ice Cream
from 7-26-00 Original Author Unknown (But it so HAD to be a Leo!)

Sung to: "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"

Take me out for some ice cream,
Take me out to the store.
Buy me a triple scoop jumbo cone.
I won't share, I'll eat it alone!
For its scoop, scoop, scoop up the ice cream--
Give me three kinds I adore!
For it's one, two, three, scoops to go
At the ice cream store!

Now I’m hungry. Where’s that Baskin Robbins coupon?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is It Time To Go Big Time?

If you are selling your wares locally or globally, one thing you definitely need is a website! I was reading an article about about websites and the difference a good web presence makes in determining the success or failure of a business. People now look to an internet search engine before the yellow pages when they seek a business where they can purchase goods or services. Hey, even the yellow pages has a website now!

So you’re going to promote your small store in your hometown, or make a go of selling your crafts. Maybe you do digital scrapbook design, even web design or freelance writing. You need to establish your domain and website. But with so many places to set up your site, how do you decide where you’re site will be hosted? You need a good web hosting reviews site!

Web Hosting Geeks reviews web hosting sites and ranks them based on price and value for that price. They take into consideration in their value for price rating the host’s reliability, key features of one hosting site over another, availability of domain name service as well as customer feedback, awards the hosting site has and how user-friendly the host is.

I checked out the domain name section of their blog. There is so much information about the importance of a domain name and how to carefully choose your domain name. Hey the domain name is your identity online. They have tips on how to make it a name that will drive customers to your site.

In the current economy, it’s s important to do everything you can to ensure success for your business while making every dollar stretch as far as you can. Web Hosting Geeks, dot com, will help you find the best possible tools to build success and it is a great stretching tool for those dollars you spend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photoblog Wednesday

Photoblog Wednesday, back with birthday vengeance!

As of 7:45 AM, I am 43 years old, no longer the answer to life, the universe and everything. Now, when they speak of me they’ll say, “Nani is just this guy, you know?”

No, there is no political implication there!

(You have to read the book, that quote isn’t in the movie!)

One thing have learned, not from being the answer for a year, but more that I’ve learned getting to that year, is that if you can’t laugh at yourself, no one will laugh with you! Now, it used to be that people thought I looked too young for my age. I think I’ve finally caught up in others’ eyes, because I haven’t heard that much for a few years, but I don’t see where I’ve aged so much since I turned 41 or so, either. I see my image in my glass every morning. Aging is happening gradually as it should. I think I looked a year old on my first birthday, 40 on my 40th and 43 today. But for a little laugh at me on my birthday, since it falls on Photoblog day, I’m going to show a little photo page of me on my birthday at a couple of stops through herstory!

Let’s start at the beginning…

This is my first birthday! I’m pretty sure it’s at Grandma and Papa’s house in Detroit. The antiques in the background are probably worth a mint, now!

That’s me on birthday 17 with my Great Grandmother and my Baby's "Sweet 17" cake.

Now watch the changes!

I could be my brother’s twin in this one! My 18th birthday party with my cousin Lisa and my friend Mike. Golden brown curls and look, at one time I wore my watch on the left wrist.

On my 19th birthday, photo booth shot with my friend, Diana, at Livonia Mall in Michigan.

EEKS! Why, oh why did I ever think blonde was a good idea for me?? Maybe that’s why I didn’t like my picture taken in my late teens/early 20s…

This one was in Atlanta, GA. Heather and I met John and his Dad and we had birthday cake at the Hard Rock Café the night before I turned 29.

2000 – I turned 34!
This is me with Tori at Spago Ristorante in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Rich and me, the Saturday after I turned 37, at the West Michigan Whitecaps game. They had fireworks for me!

Rina and me on my birthday in 2005, when I turned 39. Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins to have ice cream with Sheri!

Nani is 40!

Turning 40 on Saturday means you can get everyone out for a party! It was a perfect night, except Kelly wasn’t there... :(

A week later my birthday surprise – the Reds tickets were not really just for me and a guest, EVERYONE travelled to Cincinnati to enjoy the game with me, including KELLY!!

After the thorough spoiling I had for 40, When I turned 41, my first birthday as a Toledoan, David had me make my own cake!

On July 29 last year, I was THE ANSWER, 42!

If you look back, I really haven’t changed a lot…well, except that the blonde thing is out of my system. But I’ve aged gradually and consistently. Today I celebrate the gift of 43 years and the people that have made them a truly wonderful gift.

If I’ve known you all my life, if you’ve been a friend and confidante, like a sibling to me, a supportive coworker, online buddy, faithful reader of my blog or if this is your first stop, thank you for touching my world and making it a great world to live in!


A prefect cup of steamy-hot coffee!

There are so many cool things about steam! Okay, okay, I’m going to show off a few photos from the steam train festival, but I also wanted to talk coffee.

I am totally in love with one wedding gift we got. We got a Keurig coffee maker. It was on the registry, but I wasn’t sure anyone would get it for us. It was ne of those things that’s nice, but you wouldn’t buy it yourself, not in good conscience, a gourmet coffee maker. But we did get it, with the assorted set of extra K-cups for it and I am in love with it! It’s just the right amount of coffee grounds, the perfect water temperature for brewing and it makes an EXCEPTIONAL cup of coffee! I love a quality cup of coffee and I am in heaven every time I drink a cup from this coffee maker!

I tried the Earl Grey tea K-cup and that perfect water temperature for coffee brews the best cup of tea too. I love Earl Grey, but I always end up either brewing it too weak or too strong. For that reason, I really don’t drink it much. So, I started investigating to see if I could find herbal tea K-cups specifically, my favorite, peppermint.

Well, I found herbal peppermint K-cups at one place, but it was a brand I hadn’t tried before. Then I found the link that’s in the bulletin board now for My Kaps. Now, they sent me a couple of Kaps to try as a thank you for the link in the bulletin board, but that’s the end of my obligation for the 2 Kaps, just the link above. Telling you all about my experience using them is all uncompensated testimonial.

I tried My Kaps, using recycled, that is cleaned and dried, K-cups with the contents of a peppermint tea bag and one with some fine ground Brazilian coffee that David received as a work gift from some kids he interviewed who’d traveled there. Both experiments were easy and just as tasty as the K-cups! Now, the Keurig coffee maker doesn’t brew an espresso brew, but it does do a great job making a kinder, gentler espresso roast cu of coffee for home. The peppermint tea, however, was outstanding! Loose tea is less expensive than tea bags too, so Im thinking about saving a few more cups and buying a few more Kaps!


David and I enjoyed a few days of chasing steam trains this past weekend. David is not a huge steam fans, but he likes to photograph the classic locos now and then. It also makes his wife very happy! I love steam trains!

There were three stars of the festival last weekend. On Friday after lunch, we chased the Southern Pacific Daylight, no 4449, which was visiting from “home” in Portland, Oregon, from Alma, Michigan back to Owosso on it’s day-long excursion. What a gorgeous train! What a long train too. The excursion was very popular with festival goers.

I got a few pretty decent shots, even though my therapy wracked legs and back aren’t steady at all right now, I’m mastering the art of compensating for my balance!

Here are a couple shots of the 4449:

The photo lines were just huge for the steam locos!

On Saturday and Sunday, the Nickel Plate 765. The Pere Marquette, which was the first steam engine we ever chased near Grandma’s house in 2005, had some repair work that needed done, but they didn’t have the part on hand. The good news about that for us, is that the Pere Marquette will be up and running in plenty of time for the fall color excursion in October. David and I will be RIDING that one!

The 765 was built in Lima, Ohio in the 1940s and is a sweet smoking classic-look steam engine. Here are a couple of shots from Saturday and Sunday:

The 765 plus steam fans!

Train Orders chartered a helicopter to video parts if the excursions
The chopper made for some pretty cool photo ops too!

I had a fantastic steamy weekend as the first event to kick of Nanifest this year and a few pretty good photos too! I’m saving my steam photos for an all-steam section for one of my railfan shows. That one is going to be fun to put together!

ADT Insurance Discounts

There are so many things that you buy that are really an investment. You invest in education. Good cookware saves money, and calories, in a reduction of unnecessary oils you can avoid adding to your food. You make an investment in air filters for your home to keep allergens from circulating in the air and you invest in home insurance to protect your investment, both financial and emotional, in your home and your belongings. How about a sound investment to lower that premium?

Insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner’s insurance or homes with security and alarm systems. ADT is a name that comes to mind immediately when you think of home security and for a reason - they are a quality, established company. A home security company is really somewhere you want a company with a solid reputation. ADT monitors 24/7. If the alarm goes off, ADT attempts to call the homeowner. If no one answers the phone, or if the person answering doesn’t now the security code, they immediately call local police. It’s that simple. You’re protected from intruders, but protected from embarrassment if you accidentally set off the alarm too!

But you are extra protected in the first place if you have that little ADT sticker in your window. A casual thief in the neighborhood will go to the next “easy” house. If everyone in the neighborhood is protected, they’ll go to the next easy neighborhood - tel your neighbors too! It’s no wonder that insurance companies are inclined to offer discounts n homeowners insurance for homes with alarm systems.

contact ADT for more information abut their home security and monitoring. What you save on insurance costs may very well make it completely in your budget to buy a little extra peace of mind!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

O'Malley's Galley
Ortonville, Michigan

This is one of three mugs I brought home this weekend. All three have fun stories, but this one has the most interesting, maybe the silliest story with it, but it has one of the neat mug stories too. First, I’ve never been to this restaurant and second, it’s stolen merchandise!

Lemme ‘splain!

When David and I went to Owosso this past weekend for the steam festival, we went to cheap route, that is we stayed at the Hotel Dad and Aunt Judy about 20 minutes away from the festival! Friday and Saturday nights we got in after dinner following a wake up before dawn on the move all day days chasing steam trains, so we got just a little time with Pop and Aunt Judy before turning in and waking up early again. I managed morning coffee with my early-rising father, but we all didn’t really get a chance to visit and really talk until Sunday afternoon.

Pop made me birthday-dinner, including as many grilled zucchini with his breading topping as I could handle with dinner and two meals worth of leftovers to take home. Aunt Judy found the most chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake she could for dessert. We had some chuckles about when I was born.

I joke about being born at 7:45 AM, so Mom could be well-rested for the first pitch of the baseball game that night, but he fun story of that day was really that Pop walked into the bedroom that morning with two pairs of pants, work pants and his suit pants, and asked Mom which one he was putting on because she had just started into labor. As my Dad recalled it, he wore the suit pants to take Mom to the hospital, checked her in and parked the car. When he got to the waiting room, there were a couple of people there talking to a doctor who was suggesting to go get some breakfast. They’d been in since the early hours of the morning and would be a few more hours. Moments later when the doctor was asking for his name, the young man expecting news of how long his wife would be delivering their first child, the doctor said, “Congratulations, you have a baby girl.”

14 months later Mom’s delivery of my brother was similarly quick. My Noni had told her she should have more babies because she does it so well. It has long been my take that they hurried up to do it again after me, but, not having the same great success, quit after my brother. Of course, he has a different story, but, he can tell that tale in September! The midsummer is MINE!

Through the years there have been many jokes and “favors” exchanged between Pop and me. today’s mug is one of those “favors.” I don’t really think the mug was actually mine when Pop got it. But I ended up with it to ease Aunt Judy’s conscience. O'Malley's Galey recently opened a new location near where they live. My Dad liked the restaurant and the mug and asked their waitress if he could buy one. She told him they weren’t for sale. He was disappointed. Now, I do know it’s totally in my Dad’s nature to joke about stealing the mug, but not at all in his character to actually do it. When the end of dinner and time for the bill came, the waitress set extra napkins on the table next to his mug. Then she smiled and said, “I’m not looking!”

Pop wrapped up the mug and put it in Aunt Judy’s bag. He’s been picked on since then for making her steal it for him!

I was taking home a similar kind of mug, advertising for the restaurant it was used in, when we visited Grandma for Easter. On Easter Sunday I was given the advertising mug for the restaurant where we had brunch, but I left it at Grandma’s and she brought it with her when Pop picked her up for our reception. Dad paired the new “stolen” mug with the one I’d brought home from Easter brunch, telling me it would relieve Aunt Judy’s guilt!

It was a fun kickoff to my birthday festival and an interesting look into how my generosity and my tendency to make the smallest things a good story can definitely be traced back to my Dad.

Nanifest 43 Has Begun!!

Nani-forest Birthday Cake!

I have a few things to share today as my last couple of days of being the answer to life, the universe and everything draw my celebrated year to a close.

First off, I have found in my 42nd year, that the answer must be getting married and going to school, as those have been the two major accomplishments of 42 for me. I think I’ve actually better answered the question of what the question actually is than “what is six times eight?” I think Douglas Adams meant that the ultimate answer and ultimate question never will match, not the way we’d expect them to, anyway. So, life, the universe and everything is simply, not ever what we expect. I’m okay with that, it’s sort of what I expected...which means even in that assessment, I’m wrong! But maybe it’s just that the question and the answer to the ultimate everything is different for everyone.

Of course, maybe Douglas Adams was just a brilliant science fiction humorist and not a philosopher at all! Suffice it to say that in my humble opinion, life itself is like the Bible - the answers you seek are there if you keep an open mind and look for them. But beware, those who look for evil will find it they really want to as well! Have faith and don’t leave that faith completely up to someone else, always use the brain you were given in following the path that faith puts before you!

Okay, sermon part of the blog is done, let’s move on, shall we?

Nanifest 43

So, as of 5PM Friday, Nanifest 43 has begun and it will go through the actual holiday, Wednesday this year, until the midnight that ends this coming Sunday. Those of you that have been reading the Chronicles of Nani for parts of the past few years have heard my celebration format before, but as a refresher and for anyone stopping by for the first time, let me tell ya about it!

When I was a child, my birthday was always a special holiday just for me. Well, it was a special childhood holiday for Martina McBride, who was also born on July 29, 1966, too, but I didn’t know about her and hadn’t met friends Pat and Jerry, who also share my date. In fact, when I was a child I didn’t want to know anyone who dared share my birthday, same as I didn’t want to hear about anyone who shared my first name. I was a good little Leo, it was all about me and no one else was allowed to be like me. Then I grew up!

It didn’t happen all at once. Growing up doesn’t happen over night. I mean, when I turned 18, the banks all closed and church parking lots were full! Coincidentally, July 29, 1984 was a Sunday. I understand this same phenomena was true in Kansas for Martina.

One thing I did note as got older, my friends and family were growing and moving on too. That’s not sad. I had a license and a car and an income at 18 that I didn’t have as a child. But my birthday was evolving now. It wasn’t my day to be given cake and presents anymore. It became my celebration of the years I’d collected. It was the experience, the knowledge and the people who’d become the base of who I am. My birthday had become my time to celebrate everything I had and the people who have made that possible. The gifts I want every year to commemorate it are time with my people, the people who have made me who I am and to celebrate them and thank them. It was no longer something I could do in one day!

So, Nanifest was born. I celebrate my birthday from 5PM on the Friday before my birthday until the end of Sunday after my birthday, for a full 9-day celebration. For years where my birthday falls on a weekend, I extend that to 5PM Friday of the weekend before until the end of the weekend after, for a two-week extravaganza. For the years of weekend birthdays I travel more and see more people, but on every birthday I try to see as many people as I can. I never ask for gifts, although I love getting cards, but it’s time that’s the greatest gift to me. Even if it’s a phone call or a few words in an an email or text, it’s the people who’ve made the years behind me great that make me excited about the years ahead! Just a little reconnecting makes me all warm and fuzzy!

I will be 43 years old on Wednesday. I don’t try to hide my age, I’m proud of all that I’ve earned, loved and accomplished. It puts an exclamation point on the optimism I have for the future. I’ve heard it said, “Getting old sucks.” Getting old doesn’t suck. It’s NOT getting old would be bad. Age is a gift, one that renews itself and is better and more abundant every year.

Break Time!

Yeah, just like Baggle does it!

Well, I’m officially getting an “A” in my first Networking class. I’m kinda torn about it. I worked hard to earn my grade, but I don’t feel at all ready to take the certification test! I need to do some more studying! I’ll be starting my Microsoft classes in the fall semester, the first one online that will start while we’re on our honeymoon, so the laptop is coming along to occupy my time when David is playing poker or posting at Train Orders! I’m going to look for a networking internship for the fall when we get back.

If there are any networking pros reading, I’d love an email with thoughts or words of encouragement. Does it just take more than the first class to really grasp the whole thing that they teach in the prerequisite class to everything else? Will an internship help? Is now a good time, or do I need a couple more classes before I’m ready? I’d love to talk to someone in the field about it! (If you have a friend or relative in the field who’d consider sharing some thoughts, please ask them to drop me a line at the address in the bulletin board on top of the page - chroniclesofnani@gmail.com!)

I’m on break from school now until August 17. I plan to reread some of the text book, get my regular features going again on the blog and do some designing and scrapbooking in the next couple weeks. In fact, today’s Monday Mug Shot will follow this entry!

Scrap Stuff

If you’re getting the Scrap Bird newsletter, you already know that I’m the featured designer this week! You can read a bit about Nani, the designer and get the coupon code to get my Stardust kit for free! If you did my I Wanna Talk About Me challenge last month and already have Stardust, send me an email with the newsletter coupon code and link to your layout from last month and I’ll trade you a link for another kit!

Also, Birthday has been retired as a Chronicles of Nani freebie, but you can still get the kit for free, repackaged in my store. If you downloaded Birthday already, it’s still worth downloading it again at Scrap Bird for the coupon! Inside of Birthday, is a one-time use coupon good for 40% off any and all Digitalegacies Designs products in your cart!

Check out Birthday at Scrap Bird!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Does Everyone Think I’m Stressed?

So, I’m n school at 43 years old, taking a 16-week technical course in 8 weeks, planned a wedding reception and I’m in therapy for my knee and I’ve developed some nasty pain in the other hip. What about that is stressful? That’s just life. Yet the physical therapist, even David, says that they “can see why...” I was a little run-down yesterday from a few days short on sleep. Not stressed.

But wait...

Mmmmaybe I AM a bit stressed after all! Maybe I need a Human Touch!

It’s not a TMI moment! It’s still a family blog! I’m talking about a Massage chair!

Human Touch has what I need, a wonderful state-of-the-art massage chair! Their many models of chairs just look so comfy, I can almost feel the stress going away looking at them. Stress relief is one of the many Massage Chair Benefits. A Massage chair stimulates circulation, moving more oxygen through your blood to all of your tissues and vital organs making them healthier and repairing them quicker. Massage chairs can soother stress and anxiety away and relieve fatigued muscles.

Really, a good massage chair can help you lose weight and build muscle. Got a craving? Spend some time in the chair letting your mind clear and the chair soothes away that desire to cheat on your diet! Relax in the chair after your workout to rebuild muscle tissue so you can work out more often. The health benefits are wonderful!

I remember sitting in a massage chair while getting a pedicure. My goodness what ba pampering! I walked out feeling completely energized. Trust me, that wasn’t from the nail polish!

Now that I’m feeling all relaxed just writing about these great chairs, I think I’m ready to tackle the rest of that homework.

Got Chocolate?

Okay, well I had my chocolate, 1/4 cup of M&Ms while I finished my chapter review for chapter 14. We’re half way through the class part of that chapter and we’ll finish it up and chapter 15 tomorrow...and then the book is done. Wow. I have two more homework assignments to finish up this evening and then the review questions for chapter 15 tomorrow and the final exam by Friday...then the class is done!

I think my final grade will be a passing grade, but I’m planning on rereading about 6 chapters in the weeks between terms. I don’t just want a good grade, I . to understand well enough to pass the certification tests and get a job when it’s all said and done. My fall class is online and that’ll start as we are leaving for our honeymoon. Gotta love that WiFi! I’ll make an appointment with my advisor when we get back and look into an internship. It won’t be a “for credit” internship, so I’m even okay if it’s a free internship. If it’s for credit, I’d be paying to do it, so I’d want some sort of compensation! I just want to work with some network professionals, see what I’m learning in a real-life situation. Every time I open the book or the command panel on my laptop, more falls into place and the more comfortable that I really am learning this stuff I am. Now I’m feeling antsy about getting my hands on something that’s not just a simulation!


I have some wonderful blog awards to share!

Thank you, Edna!

The first one I was given at the beginning of the month, but I haven’t had time to catch up and post it! Edna of Miss Edna’s Place gave me this award, “Blog Sin Frontiers,” acknowledging scrap blogs promoting a world without borders and people who offer help, love, friendship and solidarity in the world. What a very cool award!

Thank you, Kimberly!!

Most recently, I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Kimberly of Kimberkatt Scraps. Kim’s blog is fun and the kitties on her blog’s background are just too sweet!

Retiring soon...

I am announcing the retirement of some more of the blog freebies. These ones have been free at The Chronicles of Nani for over a year.

The links will close July 27, so if you haven’t gotten them yet, check them out!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Everything is Zenni

Money...Insurance...Still Money...Yeesh!

I’m always blown away at the costs for things like, oh, like eyeglasses. I have to have glasses to drive, to read,mto see the computer screen and I need an extra pair to see in the sun too. Holy Moley it can really drain the bank!

I’ve got decent optical insurance, but that covers a new pair of glasses every two years and one frame to go with that. There’s a limit on what I can spend on the frame too, the rest is out of pocket. I need a different prescription for computer/reading than I do for distance and I’ve tried wearing bifocals before without success, so a pair of glasses or even just new lenses, plus reading glasses, sunglasses and a back-up pair...well, you can see, the out of pocket gets up there!

How about the insurance pays the lion’s share of the first pair and then I take my prescription where I can get the same frames I’m trying on for a fraction, serious fraction of the cost?

Zenni Optical offers eyeglasses online with YOUR prescription with prices starting at $8.00! That’s not just the frame, that’s the prescription lenses too and UV protection, anti-scratch and polishing and beveling are all free. There are some options that have nominal additional cost, but if you are a glasses wearer, you know how drastically reduced those costs are too!

This pair is almost the same as my regular glasses. I want glasses that don’t look like I’m wearing glasses. Believe me, rimless frames run from $150-to over $350 for the frames alone. Then you add the cost for the lenses, any tints, etceteras. This pair is $25.95 and the $50 antireflective coating that’s a must-have if I want to keep up the appearance of no glasses is only $5.00!

Zenni has been talked about by many news media sources and gets an enthusiastic thumbs up. If you’re skeptical, buy one backup pair for less than ten dollars instead of a couple hundred and give it a try. Odds are you’ll be back for more!

Her Train Was Long

Okay, okay, very punny, right? There were no trains on a wedding gown or at the ball park on Saturday night, but day two of partying saw MANY trains and the type of trains that I like too!

After the fireworks and packing things up at the ball park Saturday night, David and I went home and set the alarm clock for a 5AM wake up. We were meeting other railfans and anyone interested at the McDonalds in Galletea, a half hour drive away, at 6:30.

It was supposed to be clear n Sunday, but we saw many clouds as the sun was rising. We met Herb, Dale, Mike and Heather at McDonalds as planned. Heather had been wanting to spend a day railfanning with us for a while. She’s a photography hobbyist (with a better camera than I have!) and has been wanting to give photographing moving trains a shot. We all went in and ordered from the the standard railfan breakfast menu. Once the eating part was done the clouds looked lie they’d break up, so we ventured out in the direction of Fostoria.

Our first train of the day

It turned out to be a good morning, with a few good trains and better light than we feared we might get at sunrise. David remarked that he liked the opportunity to see what a non-railfan chose to focus er shooting on. Heather was anxious to get his thoughts on her shots. We all headed to North Baltimore and the Whistle Stop Inn for lunch.

The Sunday luncheon was scheduled for 12:30, with our non-railfan or interested in the train chasing meeting us there. When we got there Rich and Jackie were already in front of the restaurant. While we waited for the others to show up we saw a track car go down the tracks. Track inspecting would mean less traffic on the tracks that run in front of the large windows at lunch.

As everybody filtered in from home or the hotel, we were seated. Our party took up the upper level. David and I were still wearing or bride and groom hats from Saturday, just in case anyone still wasn’t sure who the hosts of the party were. We had a menu planned, with a choice of prime rib, grilled chicken or vegetable lasagna. They were doing the Sunday buffet and out waitress let me know that the buffet had both prime rib and chicken on it for a comparable price and asked if she could also offer our guests that option. David and I agreed that was a great idea.

I went to each of the tables greeting everyone, talking a little and bragging. You see, David and I discovered this restaurant after a day of railfanning. When we sat down, he excused himself and came back to the table after looking at framed article on the wall. It was from the paper he writes for and one he’d written. I was anxious to point it out to our guests and brag about my celebrity hubby! When I stopped at the table where Ben and his family were seated, our niece, JP, asked me when she was going to see a train. I had to tell her that a car had gone down the tracks to do some inspecting and we might not get to see a train.

I got pulled back to my own table because I was the only one who hadn’t ordered. I yelled back, “vegetable lasagna,” but there were other choices. The sides were broccoli, which was in the lasagna, and potatoes three ways and a choice of soup or salad. Well, one of the soups was lobster bisque, a favorite of mine, so, I asked if I could get soup and salad instead of the side. I loved the reply!

“Honey, you’re the bride. You can have anything you want.”

So now, I’m going to go out wearing that hat at least once a month...

After we ordered a train came by. I felt a short, but powerful presence next to me staring. I looked to my right and there was JP looking at me with a teasing expression of betrayal. I may get anything I want as the bride, but I don’t get to always be right! (Maybe that comes after the first anniversary?)

I smiled and told her “I said MAYBE we wouldn’t see a train!”

Then she smiled back with a giggle.

The Patches

The Lividinis

After lunch, some family photos and lots of hugs, kisses and good byes, we went to the railfan park in Deshler with Dale and Herb.

Dale, David and Herb at the park in Deshler.

There were quite a few people there on what turned out to be a really nice afternoon. It still amazes me how many people know David at the very least by his Train Orders name. We were teased, as a bride and groom, that we could use the trailers if we wanted to!

As it turned it, the hat I really liked did have
a long enough veil on it to give the groom an
opportunity to lift the veil for a kiss!

As it started to near sundown, Dale and Herb left to go towards home, the other railfans left and it was just us. David commented that it was crazy planning and an exhausting weekend, but it was kind of sad that it was over.

We were parked near the tracks waiting for that last train of the day in the warm brilliant angled light of sundown, sitting on the open truck gate. He commented that it would be awesome to have a photo of it, but someone to photo it would ruin the romance of that moment. It was a perfect romantic ending to a fun and loving weekend with friends and relatives, our family.

You Got Style, Momma!

If you are expecting a bundle of joy or if you know someone who is, you really should check this site out! Kiki’s Fashions has a darling line of maternity clothes.

The main page of the site boasts about dresses with nothing over $30 and truth is, I didn’t see anything on the site over $30. The dresses were feminine, sassy and elegant and I loved the tank tops! They have a selection of just darling baby doll tops that are cool, comfortable and very feminine.

I remember my nieces Mom in her final months of carrying twins. There were times that she felt so hot and uncomfortable let alone not feeling so beautiful near the end. She had a favorite maternity top that was cool and made her feel pretty. It changed he whole disposition when she was wearing it! If you can find that one or two item for your maternity wardrobe that puts a bigger smile on your face, it’s worth the money spent and more. Kiki’s fashions gives you the worth without the price tag! There’s even an under $10 section!

Their stock rotates often, so there is always something new and something perfect for whatever season you are glowing in!

Oh! You also get a special extra for reading the blogs that tell you about Kiki Fashions! Their bloggers and friends of bloggers get 20% off their purchase! If you check them out and buy something for yourself or a daughter, granddaughter, sister, be sure to enter the coupon code “blogfriends” during checkout.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


That’s what the sign said.

I just got a call, that familiar Kenny Chesney tune that says hubby is calling. David was chasing a couple of trains before work, on his way to a meeting in Wauseon, when he saw that sign. He said if it said M&Ms collectibles he’d have stopped to look for me. (I LOVE that man!) But thought he’d give me a call to see if I had any friends or regulars at this coffee hop who were near the area and might be interested.

The sign said “Attention Coca Cola Collectors, Garage Sale, Over 500 items.” David wasn’t sure if that meant 500 Coke items or 500 items including Coke collectibles. The Garage Sale is running through Saturday at 222 East Legget Street in Wauseon, Ohio. If you are a collector and in the area, it might be worth a look!

If you find any treasures, drop me an email!

Here Comes The Cake


This was the part of the wedding celebration I was really looking forward to. After David and I met with Mary, the designer form Haas Bakery here in Toledo and share her idea for the cake with us, I was just plain excited to see it! We’d tasted the samples and KNEW it was going to be an awesome dessert for our guests, but you only have this picture in your head for the presentation, ya know? It was a cake never done before, so there were no pictures to show us, just a portrait to paint in our minds. But we were excited to see it!

Haas bakery does the cakes for the Mud Hens’ catering, so they know baseball. They also do wedding cakes, so they know weddings. Mary heard my original thoughts on a cake and let her art shine!

When I first ordered the cake, I figured we were probably taking a sheet cake, but I’d see if maybe they could do layers to make it wedding-ish. I said I wanted something that was baseball but still wedding in decoration. I was thinking maybe a sheet cake with a baseball diamond and wedding bells, r the layer cake with a smaller layer on top with flowers and baseballs. Paige, who was orchestrating the catering for our picnic called with May’s initial idea. She suggested a dome top layer decorated like a baseball. How cool!

Paige suggested that it would be a good idea to stop in and talk to Mary ourselves. Besides getting the details right, we could order the cake direct and save the middleman money of ordering the cake through catering. Did I say how awesome the Mud Hens were in doing so much to make the evening great and in budget? When we met with Mary, I suggested the idea of really wedding-caking it up by using the Pedestal. Mary suggested the baseball on the top tier and do the bottom as a wedding cake. We had the bottom layer in chocolate with decadently chocolate frosting, which met David’s desire no NOT have white frosting. The top layer was cappuccino cake with necessarily white frosting building up the shape of the baseball, meeting my desire for butter cream frosting. Don’t get me wrong, I love their chocolate frosting and the cake was so moist and rich, but good butter cream frosting I could grab a big spoon and indulge like it’s Ben and Jerry’s! This was good, VERY good, butter cream frosting! The chocolate bottom was decorated in traditional white wedding style with accents in Reds and Red Sox red to match the stitching on the top layer. Perfect for our baseball reception!

When our awesome cake came out after dinner, the camera flash lit up the picnic area. I instructed Tori, the manager of my camera for the evening, to make sure there were lots of photos of the cake! It really hadn’t occurred to me that we’d do the bride and groom stuff with the cake. I was actually thinking everyone would get a little bit to “ooh and aah” over it and they cut it and serve it. Well, Vicki, our attendant, came out with the knife and presented it to us. A cake that wonderful really did deserve the pomp and circumstance of the royal bridal treatment! So, David and I cut the first slice together, fed each other the first bite and kissed by the cake for photos.

One of the requirements I had about our cake was that it was to be big. I would rather have half a cake in our freezer than for anyone to be turned down if they wanted a second slice. We ended up with three chunks of the chocolate and two of the cappuccino in the freezer that we can share when those who couldn’t make it come to visit. It was just perfect.

After dinner, a group of our guests went down to the seating area with David to watch the rest of game two and I stayed in the picnic area with the rest of the guests, talking and looking over to the field when it got noisy because something was happening. Yeah, we were SO not the ordinary bride and groom, but we were a spoiled bride and groom just the same!

After game two was a break while they set up for the fireworks. There is just no better end to wa wedding reception than fireworks! Then it was home and realizing that as the day caught up with us, we were TIRED! And we needed to be in Galletea at 6:30 to meet railfans for the Sunday festivities!

Coming Soon - Sunday Trains!

Everyday Chic

Cropped Sequin Skinny Fit by Armani

This is new to me and pretty neat. Armani Exchange, not suits or fancy clothes, but denim, New Premium Denim Starting at $98.

J24 - Wing Printed Boot Cut

I think that denim is not just a casual classic, but it can be classy too, Georigio Armani is a well-known Italian designer, so his work with denim captures both the classic and the classy. The jeans in the picture, the wing printed boot cut, are just that! It’s such a relaxed look.

J11 - Indigo Rinse Skinny Fit

This is one of the $98 jeans. As one who prefers denim leggings because I’m not a huge fan of the baggy stuff, I just love the fit on these! This is what I’m talking about when I say denim can be so classy. Imagine this with a tank top, a sheer blouse and pearls, or better yet something sparkly! Armani jeans are made with a little spandex in the material so you can have that great look and still be able to move! Yes, I remember a favorite pair of jeans in my youth where I said, “Thanks, I’ll just stand” because it was easier to breathe! **smiles**

Now that you, or that teen looking over your shoulder, are drooling over the sweet modern style at A|X, lets discuss how to get a pair of those great jeans for free! The text A|X contest offers a free pair of jeans every day in July! All you have to do is text "DENIM2" to ARMANI (276264) and you are in to win!

If you are interested in spoiling yourself or someone special with a great pair of stylish jeans without doing the fastest thumbs thing, any A|X jeans purchase will get you a $20 gift card for use on any purchase of $100 or more until August 15. Maybe we’re talking a clean, sophisticated student-look for fall?

In addition to great jeans, there are plenty of other fun things at the A|X Blog too. Get ring tones, wallpaper, all sorts of cool back-to-school essentials.

Who new Armani, a fashion icon, could also be so much fun? Now that answer to that question is me...and YOU!