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
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Naniday!

Perfect black forest birthday cake, huh?
Original photo and recipe at Ahaar Pleasure and Sustenance

Happy Naniday, everyone! I am officially 45 today. My Twitter message said that I was 45, even to a newspaper reporter. Yes, that’s directed at that guy who shares the same last name and address as me. For the last 48 days we’ve been calling ourselves the same age, but he has insisted I was 44. I think when I’m 48 days away from 45, I‘m much more 45 than 44, My always cheery honey, reminds me that if I dropped the day before my birthday, the obituary would call me 44, not 45. Okay, so I made it to 45. Told him so! :P

Last weekend David and I kicked off Nanifest XLV with baseball in the Motherland, specifically in Lansing. I hadn’t been to a Lugnuts game in a few years and when I lived in Michigan I went to a couple Nuts games every year, so I really missed seeing them. I’d been to a couple Lugnuts games on my birthday or during the Festival. We kinda copied the first Saturday off Nanifest XL, stopping in Hell on the way to Lansing. The ice cream in Hell is great! This year, also just like when I turned 40, David bought me a Hell T-shirt! The new one is a Screams Ice Cream shirt! It’s cool! The lettering is in glow-in-the-dark green on dark purple! The shirt is a “goal shirt” right now. It is a size smaller than I usually wear and just a bit snug. By Halloween, it’ll fit great!

After ice cream at Screams, I had chocolate fudge wrapped around cherry in a waffle cone, black forest cone, baby, we went to the Lugnuts game. Finally the streak of losing home teams is over! The Lugnuts won 3-1!! I’m feeling better about upcoming games at home in Toledo and in Cincinnati to see my Reds! The Lugnuts celebrated my festival with fireworks after the game. I love birthday fireworks!

On Sunday, we took our buy one get one coupon to Baskin Robbins with us after dinner. I had two scoops of Baseball Nut in a waffle cone. I like waffle cones because they hold the ice cream all in the cone instead of on it, better for avoiding dropped ice cream! I’m using the Weight Watchers Points Plus system to help with my diet goals and the coolest part of the program is how real it is. There are weekly extra points that allow for an occasional treat on plan. With the extra points I was able to have ice cream twice. Okay, that uses almost all the points, but hey, it still working, slowly and safely! Best news is the weekly points reset on Thursdays, just in time for the Festival weekends!

Last night, David took me out to Mancy’s Bluewater Grille. I had the Pretzel Crusted Flounder, a dish with Nani written all over it! We shared a flourless chocolate cake for dessert, truly decadent! Tonight the Mud Hens are having fireworks to celebrate the actual day again, just like last year and we’ll be there. I know the Reds really wanted me to come to Cincinnati tonight, they’re doing fireworks set to music from the 60s, the decade in which I was born, but my Dad is doing a barbecue for me tomorrow in the Motherland and Tori and Rina will be there too. So, my Reds game will be later in August. I still love the Reds for hosting a Naniday party!

After dinner at Pop’s tomorrow, which will be chicken kebabs and teriyaki pork with grilled veggies, oh my mouth is watering already, Pop is the king of the grill, Tori and Rina are coming home with us. They’re having lunch with me and Sheri Sunday at our favorite Toledo restaurant, Ya Halla. Sheri likes Middle Eastern food and this will be her first time at Ya Halla. Then we plan to visit Cold Stone to use my birthday coupon for dessert. Sunday evening, the girls and I will meet Dave and Laura for dinner and they’ll take the girls home. Both of the girls have their drivers licenses now, so I’m thinking I can get by with only having to drive home from dinner this weekend!

I’m trying to set up some travel to the Motherland for next week. Maybe the Farmers Market with Scotty and then lunch with Heather H and Tracy. Still working on that plan.

I’ve had some interest in doing the Photo Walk in Frankenmuth in October, so maybe I’ll gather a modest group, maybe I’ll even sign up for it being an official Photo Walk. Edna, when I posted about Photo Walk, I SO had you in mind too! Anyone reading can either form an informal or solo Photo Walk or check that website out to see if there’s an organized one in your area. It’s definitely something to which I’m looking forward!!

My birthday wish is that I hope everyone has a great Naniday, do something that makes you happy and eat ice cream!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Worldwide Photo Walk Day

Last year I stumbled on to the date for this cool photography event. When I was working on proofreading my 2010 scrapbooks I got to the page for Photo Walk Day last year, July 24, and was worried that I missed it this year. Okay, I didn’t have any bookmarks or reminders for it either. (I do now!)

Worldwide Photo Walk Day was started by Scott Kelby, who is an instructor and writer of Photoshop and photography books and President and CEO of National Association of Photoshop Professionals. This whole thing is becoming more and more right up my alley! It’s only natural and in sync with the Photo Walk Day that I get my shots on my Photo Walk and use Photoshop to make a scrapbook page with my favorites from the walk, right?

The tentative dates for this year are October 1 & 2. Scott had taken some suggestions from readers at his blog and spread it to the 2 days of the weekend to make it more schedulable for anyone that wants to participate and moved it to the fall in hopes of getting better temperatures. Last year, David and I were in Port Deposit, Maryland and the thermometer in the car read 90 degrees at 9 in the morning! October 1&2 not only promises the hope for cooler weather, but it also has fall colors potential!

I’m going to be better prepared this year. I bookmarked Scott’s blog and follow him on Twitter. Last year we did an unofficial Photo Walk, that is David and me in an historic old city in Maryland, where we happened to be chasing trains anyway. This year, I’m going to give it a little more pre-planning. Maybe I’ll contract some friends who are into photography and see if we can organize a group and a place. There are pretty cool group shots from last year on Scott’s blog. It might be cool to have a small groupm four or five of us, in Frankenmuth or something and do a group shot to send in. We’ll see if this manifests into something. If not, I’ll still be concentrating some effort on my own!

So, here is the scrapbook page I did for WWPW last year in Port Deposit, MD.

Credits: I hadn’t really thought about posting this
at the time, so I didn’t record the credits. If anyone
recognizes the kit or template, please let me know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ah, Summer!

I love these bright sunny days! Yes, as much as I complain about the snow and cold, I revel in the glory of the summer sun! I’m a Leo after all. We lions have an identifying connection with the sun. Okay, but Lions are also cats, which explains why I dislike the humidity. Too wet! I’d still rather sweat than shiver.

I had a great weekend in Indy! David and I went to join my brother and fam to see the last Harry Potter movie. Tori, Rina and I officially saw every one of the Harry Potter movies together in the opening week. I cried at a few points in the movie, during deaths and the mushy parts, but I successfully did not cry after the movie because they were done, like I feared I might. Dave, my brother, replied to my facebook post that I was sad to see it end with a “don’t be sad, it’s a happy thing because you’re visiting us!” I truly appreciate the fact that baby bro was excited to see me, but he’s not seeing it from my perspective. Ten years later, those almost 7-year old girls that Mom and I took to see the first movie are almost adult witches themselves! They’ve grown up right with Harry, Ron and Hermione! The movies being complete means that we won’t be going to another one, a major event is gone and that chapter of their childhoods is closed.

Rina and Tori at breakfast Sunday

Rina and Tori at 7

Okay, truth is, they’ll be off to college by the end of next summer. It would be getting tougher to get all three of us together for opening week of a movie. Good thing Warner Brothers thought about that and planned accordingly!

Thinking ahead, Nanifest XLV starts this Friday! The girls will be in Michigan on their summer Grandparents Tour and Pop is hosting a birthday dinner for me on the mid-festival Saturday, rather than on actual Naniday, to be sure David can go and the girls are going to come back with us for two reasons. First reason is I’ll take them to the meeting point with their Dad Sunday evening and I’ll get to see Dave and Laura during the festival. The #1 and biggest reason is we’ll go to Ya Halla for lunch on Sunday! Ya Halla is our favorite Toledo Middle Eastern restaurant. I don’t go there alone because it’s a little bit of a drive, north side of town and we’re on the south side, and usually if I go to a restaurant alone, it’s something simple. We have a Cracker Barrel right across from the place I go for physical therapy and I have occasionally made it my lunch stop. So, Ya Halla is a “must go” when the girls visit.

Also for the festival, the Toledo Mud Hens are home and once again this year are having fireworks to celebrate Naniday. How can you say “no” when the home team is going to such lengths to celebrate for me? Hey, Naniday is a big enough deal to the Hens that they often have fireworks on my day even if I can’t make it!

K. Now I need to get ready or the rest of today, errands and a few more planning things for the upcoming weeks. Summer is almost half over! School starts up again next month!

--Summer-- Summer--Summer--Summer--Summer—

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What Twitter CAN Do!

Marbles4ms Note Cards

Yes, I have a little fun with Twitter, now that I’m using the account I signed up for a couple years ago. I follow baseball players, other Mensans, a couple of railroads and a few MS organizations/tweeters (tweeps). I’m followed by some fellow Mensans, David’s work account and a couple of people I don’t know, but follow me because we have some like interests.

One of the cool things on Twitter, albeit a little loose in security, is that you can check out someone’s interests by seeing who they follow. Example, if you checked out who I follow, you’d know I was a Reds fan and you might think I was a Yankees fan because I follow Curtis Granderson. Granderson was traded and went from being my favorite Tiger to a Yankee I love even though he’s a Yankee. So, you see, checking out who someone follows is not a guarantee of knowing their interests. From what I follow on Twitter, you’d probably guess that I, or someone close to me, have MS. It’s from that tidbit of information that I became followed by a few supporters of MS research, including Marbles4ms.

Marbles4ms is maintained by the parents of Connor, a 5-year-old boy from New York whose Mom and Aunt have MS. Connor wants to raise awareness and money to “Fix Mommy and all the people with MS.” I watched a video from the local news on the Marbls4ms website that just brought happy tears to my eyes. The love and unalterable hope in Connor is just beautiful beyond adult comprehension. Kids are like that. They have unconditional love and faith.

Connor does art that he sells. He uses marbles dipped in paint and rolled in a cigar box on paper to create his modern art images. He sells those original artworks for donations. For a $5 donation, you’ll get an original artwork. Donate $20 and your piece will be signed by the artist. Remember that Connor is five. The signature takes some extra effort! You can also get a set of note cards with prints of Connor’s work. I made a donation for the note cards, each with the web address and Connor’s story on them. I think I may make another donation for a signed-by-the-artist work too.

Please check out the Marbles4ms website! Connor is just over $200 shy of his current goal, to raise $600 by his 6th birthday on Sunday, July 17. I have 35 listed followers at The Chronicles of Nani. If we all donate just $5 through PayPal for one of Connor’s works, we can get him almost to his goal. That’s roughly the cost of one large Frappuccino with tip.

If Connor meets his current goal by Sunday, I won’t wake up able to run a marathon, but I’ll feel like I was one of the ones who crossed the finish line of one having played a part in such a great birthday present.

Thanks to everyone who chooses to take part and thank you, Connor – You are AWESOME!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Help, Todd! Thunder!

I’m typing in the middle of strong storm 2 today. The first one knocked out the power around 11:00 this morning. The power was out for about 8 minutes. The second one, just now at about 12:45 was supposed to be stronger. I don’t think it was. There was more lightning after the rain than the first one, but the first one blew And rained harder. Maybe that was just the weather cell was more centered over our house the first time.

Todd on The Weather Channel was saying the second cell had the potential for tornadoes. Kaline was downstairs with me, sleeping by my computer, so no worries there if we needed to head for the basement, but I called Carla, shook the treat bag and sang the Kitty Treats song, loud, three times, and she didn’t come downstairs. I do know when rain starts and you can hear it on the patio awning upstairs, Carla heads for the bedroom closet. Now, if the house was broken in to, that would probably be a great place to hide, but the uppermost floor is NOT a good place to hide from a tornado! Fortunately, the siren never went off and the severe thunder storm warning expired. Now we are under a watch. It’s still gloomy-looking and my barometric body is telling me to take this as an easy day. Ugh. I’d wanted to do some laundry today. I may still be able to later in the afternoon.

I found out that I had the Nanifest roman numeral wrong! According to Numericana.com, the proper number is XLV, not VL. The rule is that only the next number down can be subtracted, or on the left. Smaller numbers are added on the right. So, it forty, XL, then five, V. So Nanifest XLV starts July 22 at 5PM!

Grrr… Thunder again. It’s not giving me enough time to charge the laptop battery between cells now. So, maybe I’ll check in after more rain.

Links: Numericana Roman Numerals

Saturday, July 9, 2011

In The News Editorials

There have been a few notable things in the news lately and of course, I have opinions. I read national news daily through my Google home page and the local news through the Toledo Blade’s website.

Fatal Fall in Texas

Yesterday in the second inning of the game between the Oakland As and Texas Rangers at Texas. Josh Hamilton threw a foul ball up to a father and his young son in the front row. The father reached over the get the ball and lost his balance, falling over the rail, 20 feet down behind a scoreboard.

The 39-year-old man died while paramedics did everything they could to save him. His 6-year old son was in the front seat of the ambulance.

I watched the footage, a few times. So sad. So shocking.

There is talk of changes needing to be made. But what kind of changes?

Players won’t be allowed to throw balls in the stands anymore? I’m sure an understandably distraught Josh Hamilton, who didn’t throw balls into the stands often, won’t be doing it again anytime soon. I suppose hitters will be fined if they hit a home run too.

Raising the already waist-high railings would change the game, put balls back in play that would have been home runs or fouled out of play. That could actually make it dangerous for players, having more opportunity for those leaping catches.

The Rangers have started a fund for the family. My thought would be first to make sure there is counseling available for the son, who witnessed his father’s deadly fall. The first empathetic pain I felt was for “Dad’s catching me a ball…” He’s going to need someone to talk to who can help him understand, and not feel responsible.

After seeing the video, it was an accident, a horrible accident. My skin will crawl if there’s a lawsuit, especially when the Rangers are already taking steps to help the family.

Today, for a while, please keep that little boy, Josh Hamilton, the Rangers organization and soul of that loving dad, in your thoughts and prayers.

Jobs Figures

The job figures are dropping again. That’s bad news, especially personally as I’m hoping to be back in the market in the next year!

Washington Politicos, this isn’t a Republic back scratchers and Democrat back scratchers thing. It’s an US thing. It makes me dizzy how many times a way to get jobs back runs around in my head as I try to articulate one more time to the customer service rep in India what’s wrong with my Japanese made electronics or my Mexican built car. If the item is assembled in another country and the customer service is in another country, then part of the product is foreign and subject to the percentage of it that is in import tax. If the jobs don’t come back, companies that deny the American workforce a livelihood will at least be paying for the extended unemployment or welfare necessary to keep Americans alive.

Henry Ford had the right idea when he planned to pay and price his people and products so that his employees, all of them, could afford to drive a Ford. Now it’s all some CEO’s third wife wants a fourth house. So you raise the prices and cut the staff, but expect the same output. That’s not America. That’s a two-class society with a lower class sweat shop.

Caylee’s Law

I am among the many people who was shocked to find that there are not laws that require a parent or guardian to report a missing or dead child in a set minimum time. A child doesn’t have to be missing long at all to report it to police, but it never occurred to me that there wasn’t a maximum. That Caylee Anthony was missing for a MONTH before it was reported and the defense could even think of using a weak story of, “Oh, it wasn’t like that at all, she died in a pool a month ago,” was just appauling.

Just like it takes a deadly accident to get a traffic light at a dangerous intersection, it takes a suspiciously dead toddler to wake up lawmakers to needed legislation.

From the parts of the trial I watched, what angered me most was the right not to testify as a defendant. Testifying doesn’t incriminate you. It may confirm that your deeds incriminated you, but the deeds are already done. If I’d been on that jury, I’d likely have voted the same way they did. There just wasn’t enough hard evidence for the stronger charges. I suspect, Casey Anthony testifying would have supplied either total reasonable doubt or unquestionably reasonable undoubt.

This was a huge trail that left a lot of people feeling “dirty” about our judicial system. We do have the ability to make right some wrongs in our laws. I’m sure no one ever imagined that it was necessary, I sure didn’t, but there are sick people in this world who would not bother reporting their child missing. It should be a law that if broken, makes your children wards of the court and gives them a better future than a parent or parents that care that little.

It’s not a law to be made because this injustice happened. The injustice happened because the law wasn’t made.

Commercial Break…

Okay, commercial commentary break. Not that I’m a huge fan of Miller anyway, but what’s with the un-delivery guy, the one who steals bad beer from events that are to classy for bad beer, insulting our troops? Iraq is NOT pronounced /EYE-rack/ I would think, I’d hope, that our defenders fighting in a war there have at least heard the name of the country they’re in enough to have heard it pronounced /EE-rock/. Anyway, EE-rock is the closest American English pronunciation to the proper Arabic. EYE-rack is the closest to American Redneck, and not the “LOL Redneck” ala Jeff Foxworthy.

I’m just saying, for the probable paycheck a regular commercial image makes, it’s no wonder the rest of the world thinks were rich, stupid and arrogant.

Toledo Weather:

Boy it was hot today!

In Sports…

Red Sox and Tigers both won their games in the daily “bonus cat treats” qualifier games. With the Reds up 2 by going into the bottom of the ninth, Carla came up on the table and cried her plaintive meow in concern when she realized that Francisco Cordero was on the mound. I tell the TV over and over that anything less than a 4-run lead is not safe to have Cordero pitching.

After walking the leadoff batter, he got usual Reds-killer, Ricky Weeks out. There was hope. Then a wild pitch puts the runner in scoring position, followed by a triple. The second out came on an incredible play by Ryan Hannigan, blocking the plate and taking a hit as the runner from third tried to go through him.

Then there was another walk, then a soft hit. Bases loaded. Mark Kotsay at the plate. All it took was a single with two runners in scoring position to render Hannigan’s heroics non-existent and two of the sweetest baseball kitties running off their frustrated energy on the stairs…and in the kitchen. I need to see what they knocked over.

Cordero is a cat-hater.

That’s the news. Good night and have a better tomorrow!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"I’m Back!" Hmmm…

It was after midnight last night when we finally announced “cat treats for everyone!” The Reds blew an 8-0 lead to take 8-7 into the top of the 9th in St. Louis. I don’t hide the fact that I think the closer position is overrated and that I’m not particularly fond of our closer, Francisco Cordero. I will interject that in interviews, he seems like a good guy and he is a good pitcher, just not the great pitcher a closer is supposed to be, few closers are. Well, although I pleaded to the TV, “Dusty, the lead is too close to put Cordero in now!” Dusty Baker put Cordero in and the first hitter he faced went yard to tie the game. It was the top of 13 before the Reds got back on top and closed the Cardinals out in the bottom for the victory. The Tigers’ afternoon win and the Red Sox win before Wednesday ended meant the girls cold finally have their bonus cat treats!

Now I want to talk about Albert Pujols. I’m having some difficulties with Albert right now. Last night was his return from the Disabled List. He spent 17 days on the DL after breaking a bone in his wrist. He was supposed to be on the DL 6 weeks. Boy, in baseball, that’s just rumors as ready to spread as Nutella on hot toast.

When they were talking about Pujols returning to the lineup it bothered me. It didn’t bother me that he was returning during the series against the currently struggling Reds. I still have faith that their struggles are temporary and you want to beat your opponents at their best with their best players in the game. No sandbagging like hockey. In baseball, if you can beat them in the regular season, you can face them in the playoffs. Only having 8 teams that make it to post season, you have to truly earn the right to be there in October to begin with. As a fan, I want the star players to be there on the “other side” doing their very best. It makes a loss sting a little less and victory that much sweeter. What bothered me was the 17 days part.

I like Albert Pujols, I really do. He is an amazing player. Now part of my “adopting” rookies, is that I am faithful. When I adopt a rookie, I’ll vote for him in the All Star game every year until the end of his career. That means that Albert no longer has a chance at getting a vote from me, except maybe as a write-in for DH for which they don’t allow NL fans to vote, because Joey Votto will get the first base vote over Albert as long as they’re in the same league now, but Pujols got some votes from me prior to 2008. So this concern is not coming from someone who is anti-Albert or even anti-Cardinals. I just have some feelings I don’t like.

How does one heal from, a broken bone so fast? If it turned out that it really wasn’t a break, just a bad sprain or bone-bruise, it would completely answer any questions or suspicions people might have. But no one has said that. So there is speculation, some of it definitely tainted with the nightmares of the steroid era and the many records that were cheated into by players who faked the range of their talents. Human Growth Hormone would make an injury miraculously heal, especially in an athlete who has an intense strengthening regimen. Then there’s also the idea that in a year where no new contract was ready to go at the beginning, he has to get back on the field to show his worth to the team, or any other team that might be looking. He could be back out there but not completely healed. I don’t want to think of Pujols as either a cheat or stupid. Of course, HGH is both, given the testing that MLB does now.

One other thought. When we’re talking millions of dollars, how easy is it to find a doctor who will say that there is a break, even produce an "x-ray," when there really isn’t? A fake injury and a miracle early come-back might help boost the value on the market too. That might be the worst possible explanation of all. To take a two-week vacation from you team and fans for money? It’s especially bad for him because if that were the case it backfired. He makes his miracle return to a team that was holding the top of the division without him.

In all of this, we have the assurance of what a hard worker he is and that his true love for the game drives his work to recover from his hitting coach, Mark McGwire. McGwire’s love for the game and hard work drove him to lie about his own steroid use. Not so much what I’d call a reliable source to defend him.

In this day in baseball, no matter who you are, no matter what your level of “love for the game” or how miraculous your NATURAL ability to heal truly is, if the doctors have announced that you’ll be out for 6 weeks, sit your butt out for the 6 weeks. It draws suspicious attention to your whole team when you return in a third of the time it was supposed to take you to heal. Under your current contract, you still get paid and for the “love of the game” why would you want to sow a garden that is fertile to reap speculation that hurts the game? If it’s just about the money next year, is what you potentially do to your name and your teammates really worth a few more million dollars when you already have more millions than you can count?

I’m not the only one who is suspicious about Pujols’ return. Check these out:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/7/5/2259878/albert-pujols-injury-st-louis-cardinals-news#comments Make sure you read the comments too!

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AnJDJq3gjtjIsBOO7ooobgIRvLYF?slug=jp-passan_pujols_comeback_mcgwire_rumors_070511 Mark McGwire’s comments and a quote from Pujols. Even if you truly believe it, playing the “God card” looks like a cover-up. IMO

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple-110706_pujols_terminator&sportCat=mlb A little bit of fun for Terminator fans…

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day/Joyeuse FĂȘte du Canada!

I want to wish happy celebrating to all of the Chronicles visitors from Canada or border towns in the US where you gain Canadian cultural influence. I know I grew up with a lot of Canadian influence in metro Detroit. We were in the ADI, area of dominant influence, for the Windsor TV channels. In fact, CBET, channel 9, was a station we watched Canadian programs before cable. Some of the shows I loved as a child were Canadian kids shows, adding a few words of French to the Italian that enhanced my formative English. I think that early influence is why I ultimately chose French to study in high school and college. I’ve always said the border towns produced babies that were 100% one country with a 10% the other by birthright. That makes us 110% people, just a little more.

So everyone knows how much I love Canadian McDonald’s and how I grumble about needing passport to visit. It seems the government doesn’t recognize that 10%. I figure if you have a birth certificate that says you were born less than 60 miles from the border from either country, you should get a free pass. Okay, I’m an American who loves Canada and I’m cheap, but harmless. I’m a good girl too. I've had my passport almost three years and I’ll probably be getting my fourth stamp in it soon.

I loved growing up so close to another country that it almost didn’t seem like another country. The big fireworks show on the Detroit River was part of the Detroit-Windsor Freedom Festival, which had concerts and carnivals, a street fair that you could see more of from either side of the river. I grew up knowing the beginning of July meaning a celebration of two countries.

Common to many of my generation who grew up in Metro Detroit, Canada is the first place I had a legal drink without my parents there. I’d had a legal drink in San Marino, when I was 12, but my parents were with me, so it only kinda counts. Canada is also where I chose to go for my “travel test” with Mom to get the okay to drive somewhere and stay overnight. It’s also where I tasted a scone for the first time, long before they were common anywhere in the US. I’ve seen baseball and hockey games in Canada and made a donation to the local economy at the video poker machines at Casino Windsor. I went to Niagara Falls many times before I even knew what “for lovers” meant and the Skylon tower is why I never had a fear of heights! I dated a couple guys from Canada and when we were in Canada, I never felt like a foreigner and never felt like I was dating a foreigner when we were in the US.

I celebrate Canada Day, not just for my perceived 10%, but as anyone would lovingly celebrate a favorite sister’s birthday. My life experiences would be much smaller if not for the many trips through my almost 45 years and I will keep that passport that I begrudgingly need now because I won’t give up the next 45 years or so with the other country I love so much.