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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Too, Too Much


I must start this post with a fair warning – writing from a prompt can definitely take on a life of its own when you set hands to keyboard. My first thought today was I was going to write a shorter post than last Tuesday. It’s about the same. Also, I don’t often write about my religious views, although I’d imagine you can probably figure them out from my writing. I think religion is personal and everyone should practice their beliefs in the way that satisfies their own spiritual needs.

I don’t mean to offend, but if you are easily offended in discussions about religion, I won’t be offended if you don’t read my post.

Today's prompt:
What is there too much of in the world???

There is too much hate disguised as holy.

Let me tell a story from school. I went to Catholic school for the first 4 years of grade school. I had a lovely woman who I adored for my first grade teacher and I’d decided that I wanted to be a nun when I grew up because I wanted to be as wonderful a person as Sister Ann. After making that decision before first grade was over, I decided at only 6 years old that there was no better time than the present to start studying what I needed to know to be a good nun.

That summer is where I took off the blindfold that I really needed to keep on for my chosen vocation. But I was almost seven. What did I know about career planning?

Since I was learning all about the way Catholics worship in school, I wanted to know more about other religions. If I was going to be a kind and gentle nun, I had to understand and respect everyone’s religion. I went to Summer Bible School at the Baptist church around the corner from home and at the Lutheran church with my Aunt Judy, where she taught my age group. I found out that the lessons about Jesus and loving people were pretty much the same as I learned in school. They sang more at the Baptist church and they did more crafts at the Lutheran church. Maybe that was because my Aunt is a crafter and she was teaching my class, but I remembered that I did more crafts at Bible School at the Lutheran church. Still the messages were the same and the Bible the same and the love shared was the same. In fact, the only thing I really knew as different in other religions is that they said the prayer we said a little later as the last line of “Our Father.”

And so, I went to Summer Bible school every summer in between school years at Catholic School. I was still planning to be a nun and was enjoying the friends I’d made at Bible School, getting more involved with the youth group’s “Terrific Tuesdays” field trips with the Baptist Church. I still remember the hymns and songs we sang on the bus and hayrides. I was having fun, but I knew I was also learning important things to make me a good nun.

Well, my awakening was in fourth grade religion class. I was 9 years old now and planning more than ever to answer God’s calling for me. One day, in about the middle of the school year, we were discussing line by line what one of the prayers we say in church means. We got to a line that Sister Mary Ann told us meant that ”there is only one church, the Catholic church.” I remember, so clear in my mind what I said, what she answered and my reply. I remember being mad.

I raised my hand and asked, “What about the people at other churches, like Baptist?”

“God will forgive them.”


I kinda realized that day that I had a better chance of hoisting the Stanley Cup as the first woman in the NHL, my backup plan if the nun thing didn’t work out, than I did of being a good Catholic nun. My Mom tried to explain that Sister was mistaken, that catholic with a small c, like it is in the prayer, mean all Christians, not just Catholic Christians. Well, then I asked about the friend on my bowling team who was Jewish. She did her best to try to answer my questions in a way that wouldn’t lead to more questions and an angrier child.

As an adult, I consider myself a Unitarian Universalist with a Christian belief foundation. I’ve studied many religions and have a reference selection of many holy books, although the white padded-cover book with the gold lined pages that I keep in the bedroom is a Bible.

I believe in tolerance as my first religious conviction because I refuse to believe, even for a moment, that God is so limited that he only shares himself with any particular one group of people and everyone else is wrong. It’s that Bible that says with God all things are possible, He is all things to all people. Am I really qualified to add “except” to the text?

But a lot of “leaders” do just that. I’m not talking about extremists who use religion when they apparently don’t believe it to get people to bomb buildings with the promise of “virgins in the afterlife” for killing Americans or “a place in Heaven” for killing doctors at a clinic that does abortions, although that’s extreme hate thinly disguised as holy. I’m talking about religious prejudice. The belief that one religion is more right than another to the point of considering the other religions wrong. Whether you believe that you need to “stay away” from someone because they believe differently or just that they’ll “be forgiven” for not being you, isn’t that prejudice? Just like we hear about “gateway drugs,” prejudice a gateway belief for hate and too many times that prejudice starts in a church.

It's Tuesday, Must be Barn Charm!

Since I had photographed and sought so many of the Ohio Bicentennial barns, I just had to get a shot of this one when we were on vacation last summer. Niagara County New York is not quite as old as the State of Ohio, but it’s still a nicely painted barn!

Enjoy more special barns, they’re all special, in Tricia’s Barn Charm at Buff Area Daily!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Mug Shot

Uncle John’s Pancake House
Toledo, Ohio

This week’s mug shot is not a nostalgic trip down memory lane, at least not yet, someday it will be. This is my newest mug!

Yesterday David and I went out to breakfast, which we do on occasion, even when we’re at home. He had a couple of coupons for a free breakfast, with the purchase of a drink, at Uncle John’s pancake House, so we decided to give it a try. It was a little farther a drive than we usually go for breakfast, but not really any farther than we do when we are j the mood for IHOP and with coupons for 2 free breakfasts, the price was nice!

It was fantastic! The restaurant was pretty full, but we were still seated quickly (although there was a wait by the time we left) Our waitress was at our table pretty soon after seating, but not at all too quick, we didn't feel rushed to sit down. I was impressed with the coffee service. There is a color code to differentiate between regular and decaf so the staff with coffee for refills, which seem to be everywhere and constant, can know without asking which to refill. And your coffee cup only goes empty if you insist.

I had a Greek omelet with pancakes as the side instead of toast or hash browns. Two things were at play there for me. First, how can you go to a pancake house for the first time and not at least try the pancakes? Second, and this is the important part, I couldn’t decide between an omelet and pancakes when we left home and seeing the menu didn’t make it any easier! The Greek omelet, which I had made with Egg Beaters was super fluffy with asparagus and feta and I t was SO good. I’m going to try that at home, but I’m not sure what the secret is to making it that fluffy! I was planning on having one pancake and taking the other two home, but David was hankering for a little more and… well, we didn’t take any pancakes home. The pancakes are light, fluffy and everything a pancake house pancake should be. YUM!

After finishing breakfast, David went to pay the coffee bill and get change for a tip. When he came back to the table he had a bag. I asked what was in the bag and he told me he wasn’t telling. I asked, a little surprised, if it was a half-birthday present. I never expect gifts for birthdays and especially not half birthdays, but he told me I could think of it as that. When we were leaving, we passed a display case full of coffee mugs. I didn’t even mention wanting one because I kinda figured out what was in the bag!

A great sign of love is to acknowledge someone’s passions, no matter how trivial the trinket seems. It was a wonderful morning.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh Noooo!


I was truly in crisis mode. As it turned out I couldn’t even move the box with the bookshelf, much less assemble it. It got heavier in the five years it sat in storage! So, David took over the assembly today after breakfast. He got the support base or one side done and was ready to attach the other side when *SNAP* *BOOM* The side he was assembling slid and cracked two of the base levels on the other side and one of the shelves. I jumped, as much as I can jump. Nothing fell on him, it just fell on itself.

He released some expletives at it in his boomy voice. Scrap wood. That’s what he called it. He wants no more assemble-it-yourself stuff.

“But it’s more expensive,” I protested.

“And better quality,” he countered.

I couldn’t deny that. I remembered the comparison between the black lacquer entertainment center and the assemble-it-yourself bookcase I bought and put together in my old living room. The entertainment center was FURNITURE. The bookshelves were someplace to put books. So I looked at the selections online for a local store of a chain furniture stores.

Wowsers! I selected and added up the cost of all of the items I was planning to get from IKEA, minus the kitchen cart, which I may get getting from Amazon. The total is THREE TIMES the total at IKEA with the kitchen cart!

Then was crisis time. The gloom was setting in. I was looking at my major project and my dream for an organized and accessible home stop dead in its tracks. There is no way I can even dream of affording all good furniture and it’s not necessary to have “good” furniture. I don’t care about “House Beautiful,” I just want “Home Comfortable.” The price assembly obstacles meant that the “woman cave,” or craft room if you prefer, would be towers of cardboard boxes and I’d still need new cardboard boxes.

Oh gloom. Oh despair.

Then the phone rings, Pop’s ring. Pop asked how things were and I told him “great except we had a bookshelf collapse in assembly and it’s broken.”

You see, David and I are both professional people by trade and training. Pop is the former king of his construction empire. I didn’t think he’d have time to help with all that assembly and honestly, it’s so far beneath his skills and now the first part was broken.

I explained what happened; he said he could probably fix it. He’s going to give me a call this week when he gets his work schedule for next week and come down to fix and put together the bookcase on his day off. He also said he’ll come down and help assemble the other furniture when we get it. We’re going to “leave it to the retired professionals.”

I told Pop that when he comes over to fix the bookcase, I’ll pull out a container of my minestrone from the freezer and we can have it for lunch so he can try my minestrone. I could hear the smile in his voice. Smile from me too. I want an honest critique of it! I’ll go to Panera the day before and get a baguette to go with it. We don’t live together anymore and I’m a married lady now, but my Pop is still looking out for his Little Princess!

In the mean time, annex stops for a week and a half and I start the boxes in the eventual woman cave tomorrow!

Breakfast at Uncle John’s Pancake House was wonderful this morning! I’ll tell more about it tomorrow because, YAY, I got a new mug!

Now, after a late lunch, it’s scrapping time, then comes a late dinner. Ah, weekends!

Booking Flight

Contributed by Milford Woods

My in-laws are coming to visit us in March. For some reason, they are extremely bad about booking their flights. They just don’t understand exactly how to search different websites and find an inexpensive flight. They usually just call their favorite airline over the phone and try to book a trip. It usually ends up costing them way too much money. I told them this time, that I was going to help them book a flight. My mother in law insisted that they had it, they found flights for seven hundred dollars a piece. I logged onto kayak.com using my clear wireless internet Covington connection and searched for flights. I ended up finding them first class tickets that were non-stop for five hundred dollars a piece. That saved them four hundred dollars and they are getting to fly first class! I am going to have to teach them how to do this when they get out here in March. They shouldn’t be wasting that much money! There are a lot of things you could be doing with four hundred dollars!

Happy Half-Birthday To Me!

 Under the yummy frosting, it's a Blaforca! 
(Half a Black Forest Cake!)

It’s January 29 and at 7:45 this morning I reached the half-way point of my 46th year.  Many friends will start to grouse at me until my birthday in July now because when someone asks my age, I’ll say “46.”  It’s been that way since I was 21.   I could be getting myself in trouble if I’d have said I was 18 when I was still technically 17, rounding up a year before I was 19 in Canada and of course accused of SO much trouble for saying 21 when I was 20 years and 364 days at home. 

I can’t say I’m 45 and a half.  That sounds so immature!  I was “and a half” until I was about 11.  Then I was “almost” the next number up until 21.  On January 29, 1988 I was, in my own mind, 22 and at some point in the month or so after that I switched over to saying I was 22.  For the couple of months right after I say both ages depending on what enters my head first.  I just feel dishonest saying I’m 45 now.  When I became legally 45, I had completed 45 years.  It was the first day of my 46th year.  Past the half-way point, am I not closer to completing than just starting my 46th year?  So, from today forward, I’ll call myself 46 when someone asks, but the papers will agree with me in July.

To celebrate my 45-1/2 birthday, David and I are going out for breakfast.  Well, okay we’re going out for breakfast; he’s not celebrating my half birthday.  Then I think we’re buying a new toaster. That’s not a half birthday present either, but maybe I’ll make myself an afternoon snack of a PB2 and jelly on toast for my half-birthday.  After all, what’s a birthday without something sweet and presents??

Speaking of presents, here's the present!  It’s the last template set in my Project 366 templates!

 Click preview to download

If you use the templates, I’d love to see your layout!  You can leave a link in comments or drop me an email.  If I have your permission, I’ll post your layout and link back to your blog!

So, now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my half birthday.  The number isn’t important, hasn’t been since 35, when I was old enough to be elected president, and it won’t be again until I get my AARP card and discounts!  But it’s fun to look forward to birthdays and half-birthdays and keep my inner child smiling and laughing.  David may not like the whole rounding up thing, but he always says he does like my smile!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

These Are Some More of My Favorite Things

I told everyone I was following Marti’s lead at Marvi Marti on the “Things I Love” and yesterday she did list 2, “10 Websites I Love.” My lists are in no particular order. There might be a website I love more than one of activities I love that I listed a couple weeks ago.  So, in NO particular order, here are 10 websites I love!

10 Websites I Love

1. Digital Scrapbooking Studio
This is the Digital Scrapbooking site I call “home.” I’m not as challengey as usual right now because the project I’m working on doesn’t so much lend itself to challenges. It IS the challenge and it would take too much of my work on it time to t4y to squeeze it into a challenge mold. I figure I’ll be back to challenges and Creative Team duties by the end of next month.

2. Playlist
Thanks to Edna of Miss Edna’s Place for directing me to this site. It’s the source of the playlist at the bottom of The Chronicles of Nani and also I site I’ve often gone to when I want some music while I’m cooking. They have some great featured playlists, including pretty much whatever genre my mood calls for be it dance music, hip hop, country or classical, and yes, the mood will strike me for any of those. I even favorited a Frank Sinatra list for myself!

3. Amazon
I LOVE Amazon! It’s not just Home of my personal collection of Kindle books, but I pretty much always get my textbooks for school there too, always a little to a LOT cheaper than the bookstore at school. I also got my first year as an Amazon Prime member free because I’m a student. Now I still get half off as a student and even at full price it’s worth every penny! How can you beat free 2-day shipping on pretty much everything! There are other sellers who post through Amazon, so if Amazon doesn’t actually carry it, they can hook you up with someone who does. I’ve also gotten MP3 credits when I order text books and, oh yeah, Amazon is where I spend 45 minutes a day, sometimes twice, to watch episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer for free as a Prime member. Most of my gift shopping is through Amazon. My fuzzy red slippers were from Amazon and most recently, my feather duster set got here just in time for the ceiling dusting!

This one is recent. IKEA is key in a lot of the shelving and organizing items I’m using for the white tornado project. It’s also where I found the kit for the chest of drawers and night stand I’ve needed to replace for a while.

5. Site Meter
I’m a stats junkie! Site Meter is where I see how many people visit the Chronicles of Nani and from where they come when they visit. It lets me know what posts get the most hits so I can “serve the drinks everyone in my Cyber Coffee Shop likes the best!”

6. Pinterest
This is new for me, thanks to Marti for the invite! I read a pinned quote on Pinterest that “Pinterest is like Fantasy Football for women.” I think that’s fairly accurate! It’s a great place to share ideas. I’ve repinned and pinned some great recipes and craft ideas. It’s where the Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe came from and an organizational craft project I’m working onto. I also pin things that I want to think about purchasing. Cool thing there is it links to where the photos come from so Pinterest itself organizes and keeps recipes, craft directions, my White Tornado plans.

If you’d like to see what I’m in to or follow me, I’m Nani_Noted on Pinterest.

7. Craft Crave
I check out Craft Crave every couple days to see what’s new in the scrapbook freebies. Sometimes I’ll see one element that finishes a layout to my satisfaction or a word art that inspires an entire layout. It‘s also a great place to see kits from possibly up and coming designers!

8. Good Search
I try to remember to use Good Search whenever I need to search for anything on the web. I’m signed up so that when I use Good Search it credits a few cents per click to our local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you’re looking for something simple to do to “give back” and you’re looking for an organization to help out, try Good Search and use National MS Society Northwestern - Ohio Chapter as your charity of choice! I’d really appreciate that, but there are so many organizations that would benefit from a few cents per click, every click, every time and spread the word. It adds up!

9. Toledo Blade
I read my national news through assorted links from iGoogle, but the Toledo Blade is my local newspaper! I get my city and state information here!

10. Patients Like Me
I stop at patients like me at least once a day to check in and fill in the “Instant Me” feature. Remember, love analyzing stats here. I allows me to record how I’m feeling by time of day, day of week. I also communicate with others dealing with MS, even people taking the same medications as me!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Angel and Devil Break

Another fun week in Blogland is drawing to a close. I’ve gotten pretty good with checking in, even just for a meme and a moment, daily. I wanted to do that for a while and I hope I can keep it up when my house project is done. We won’t have to worry about that for a while. But scrapping and blogging do a great job of getting me a good rest when I need it during the day and keeping me away from food! The exception being that the fruit basket and my laptop share space in the dining room. But the fruit is a good thing! Better than overdosing on M&Ms!

Right now I’m taking a rest between jobs for the day and the big bag of pretzel M&Ms and my last Ambrosia apple are fighting for my attention. The M&Ms are on my right and the apple is on my left which is totally skewed from the classic devil/angel scenario. I didn’t have milk stuff at breakfast because I cooked hot breakfast, eggs and sausage. I should probably have yogurt. I don’t have enough shoulders!

I decided last night that since I’m just stronger and more coordinated in the beginning of the day, I’d assemble the bookshelf during the day. It’s never going to be upright before it’s finished (I assembled the other one just like it upstairs a few years ago) I could sit on the floor and assemble it. That’s what I’m doing next. David said to assemble what I can and he’ll finish it when he gets home tonight. I hope all he’ll have to do is upright it and put it in the annex. We’ll see how much I can finish before another break-time!

Before I get working on the bookshelf, I want to do this week’s Friday Fill-Ins.

Follow Friday Four Fill-Ins


Every Friday, Hilary at Feeling Beachie posts four fill-in statements. It’s fun to read everyone’s answers and see how different they all are! I copy the statements and answer before I read Hilary’s. It’s not a meme that requires lots of time to participate and it’s fun! Stop on over and join in!

This week’s statements:
1. Nothing is better than.____
2. I ___my ___ in ___but never ____
3. Those _____ that are always _____ make me want to ___________
4. My favorite _________________ is when __________________________.

1.. Nothing is better than the feeling of accomplishment when a project is complete.

 2. I love my furry slippers in the morning but never find they’re quite warm enough at night. :(

3. Those Humane Society commercials that are always so sad make me want to adopt about 6 more cats! Scotty already refers to David and me as “That couple with the cats” because we had four at one time. We had all four cats for a while at each of our houses, but never as a permanent residence. Three has been, and is planned on being again, the highest number actually living with us.

4. My favorite coffee time is when I meet friends for coffee and we have no plans for after.

Friday By Request

I’m sad this week. No new Friday By Request again. This week will be the last repost from Yahoo 2006. I had some really deep and some tough requests in 2007, so I’ll repost 2007 requests for February, including a request I’ll repost, but rewrite it. There are 2 reasons for that; it’s a television question for a show with new characters and the request came from a friend on Yahoo 360 who is still a BlogSpot friend! (If you think it’s you, drop me an email and let me know if you remember the request you made in 2007. hehe)

I know if I want to be challenged, I can use blog prompts. Tell Me Tuesdays are great challenges that I participate in but FBR is different. Tell me Tuesdays hone my writing and deepen my thinking, which is so good for my writing and I love doing them. But Friday By Request stretches my creativity. I don’t know what type of thing it will be or the tone. In the past it’s called on me to be funny, outrageous, soul-searching. I’ve been asked to do specific scrapbook layout challenges (No journaling, one photo, must have a hot pink dot, that sort of specific challenge) stories like you’ve seen this month or poetry on certain topics or using particular words. I’ve been asked to do crazy Photoshop photos and even an animation. If I lack the software or the skills that I can develop in a week, I’ll let you know. I’ll even still give you the link in my blog for stumping me.

Okay, my pathetic begging session is done. Let’s get on with the last Best of 2006!

Friday By Request
Originally posted on Yahoo 360, December 1, 2006
(When I lived in Michigan)

Well, now Friday By Request has come full around to “Go,” with a request from the man who started it. (Do I get $200 for landing on go?)

Last night, this request came from David at work via text message. I haven’t done a top ten list in a while. In honor of the forecasted snow coming our way in the MI/OH region, David wants to know my top ten things to do on cold snow days.

The Top 10 Things To Do On Cold Snow Days
for David

1. Sit INSIDE with a fire in the fireplace, sipping hot cocoa and WATCHING the snow fall outside!

2. Bundle up and shovel! - I’m serious! If your health is good, it’s a great total body workout. Of course don’t over do it and if you have any doubts about whether or not you’re in good enough shape, ask your doctor.

3. Crafts with the kids. If you’re snowed in, they are probably home too. Even something as simple as pull out a coloring book and crayons, color with them. It’ll take you back to a “snow day” when you were a kid.

4. Go out for a challenging drive in your 1994 Camaro Snow Mobile! Donuts in the dark on the Turnpike with semi’s coming at you, what an adrenaline rush!

5. Watch an old black and white movie. Snowy days are made for a big bowl of popcorn and a couple of Sonya Hennie movies.

6. Let your honey take you out in the cold to photograph trains. HINT - stop and buy wool socks and boots first. Another hint - you can never have on too many sets of long underwear!

7. Scrapbooking - A perfect day to catch up the pages from last summer!

8. Spend some quiet quality time with your pets. Those furry friends soothe the soul.

9. Bake Cookies. Be sure to play some cheery music while you’re in the kitchen and eat them while they’re still warm!

10. Write an entry in your Yahoo 360 blog so you can tell everyone about the crappy weather in Michigan! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The New and The Old

We had a little dusting of snow this morning, or so David tells me. I didn’t look. I had commented on Edna’s blog yesterday that I tend to not look out the window in the morning this time of year. I guess it’s fear that I might see new snow. I love watching the sun rise but, even though I’m up before it rises at this time of year, I so very seldom see it rise in winter. The exception is if David and I are leaving for the day before sunrise. Then I see it - from a nice heated car! So the sun is up now and the rain has washed away the dusting. It’s just gloomy looking and wet!

I figured out how to mop sitting down yesterday! That means the area where my first bookshelf will go is swept, mopped and ready for the shelving unit! YAY! I’m really all over myself with the “I can do anything” today. I’m going to be involved in a job-seekers teleconference tonight from 7-8, but then I’ll assemble the unit after that. Yeah, I am more tired and all by evening, but I want to assemble the bookcase when someone else is home, just in case my ambition exceeds my ability and half way through it falls on me. :) If I can get it assembled tonight and David can move it in to the annex, tomorrow will be cookbook and appliance placement day so I can get things moved out of the other half of the room to sweep and mop there. I’ve got two more shelving units to buy and assemble before the annex and kitchen are done and then we’ll have two organized and super user-friendly rooms. I feel more energized and excited every day as I’m working on this project!

Vintage Thingy Thursday

These were from my Great Grandmother’s attic. They were my Great Grandfather’s books when he was an early teen. We only found these three. My guess, and it’s just my guess, is that he originally read the Tarzan series when they came out in magazines and he bought the books for the stories he really liked. Or possible, he had at least all of the earlier books and these were the three that survived until 2002 when I found them.

The Return of Tarzan was the second book in the Tarzan series. It was published in issues of New Story Magazine from June to December of 1913 and the first book was published by AC McClurg in 1915.

Copyright page, The Return of Tarzan

That’s the publishing information from The Return of Tarzan. The other two books are not original editions of the book. They are still super cool finds for an old paper nut like me.

See more vintage treasures at Suzanne’s blog, The Coloradolady.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1.. The NFL playoffs were held this past weekend and this year's Superbowl lineup will feature The New York Giants versus The New England Patriots. How do you define 'patriot'?

Super Bowl Champions? :)

A patriot is one who thinks of country before self. Today, there are more football patriots than American patriots.

2. What's something in your life right now that feels like a 'giant'?

The reorganizing project in the house, which is just a nail and hammer away from remodeling. I’m making decent progress though. Tomorrow is assemble the first shelving unit day!

3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think back to being 18?

Voting! I turned 18 in a Presidential election year and I was pretty excited about voting. My birthday was a Sunday, but I was at the Secretary of State office on Monday to register.

Many presidents for whom I didn’t vote lived in the White House before a candidate for whom I voted did, but I finally felt like I had a right to complain about it!

4. Coconut-mashed potatoes-vanilla ice cream-mayonnaise...which white food would be the hardest to give up?

That one’s easy. Vanilla ice cream; there would be no Baseball Nut ice cream without it!

5. Describe an incident or a day you remember as the coldest you've ever experienced?

Once the temperature drops below70 outside, I’m pretty much cold all the time, unless I’m in bed or someplace with heat. Right now I’m wearing the thick fleece robe I always wear over jammas or clothes at home and my furry house slippers!

The coldest I remember in my mind was ice fishing when I was little and I think that’s where my intense dislike for cold came from. It was a family adventure when I was 6 or 7 years old. It was cold enough that the ice on the lake was thick enough to drive on to get to the shanty for fishing. Everyone was in snowmobile suits with ski masks and gloves, much layered warm clothing. They sent my brother and me outside to play. I guess it’s because we were restless in the shanty. I remember being so cold that I was sitting next to the ice shanty balled up and rocking back and forth praying. You see, it was supposed to be fun and I felt bad that I wasn’t having fun at all. In fact, I was praying that God wouldn’t let me die from the cold because it would make my parents feel bad if I died. I was a kid. That is what I remember thinking, that it would hurt their feelings if I died.

That memory has never left me and I don’t think I’ve ever perceived I was that cold. It was the most terrified I remember being of the cold.

6. You're hosting a brunch...what's your favorite dish to prepare and serve?

I could say “waffles” because David cooks the waffles. :)

Seriously, if I’m hosting the brunch, my specialty is cinnamon chip pancakes.

7. How do you combat negative thinking?

I write in my journal about it. Sometimes it takes a few pages, or even a couple days of writing if something is really bugging me, but I usually find the answer to getting over my troubles.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I made stuffed pepper soup Sunday with a recipe I found online. I did a half batch, which was 3 servings. I had the last one for lunch yesterday and I don’t know what I’m gonna do now that it’s gone! Oh my, it was HEAVEN! I need to make a huge pot of it to freeze!

Click photo for recipe

Come join Joyce at From This Side of The Pond and share your Hodge Podge of answers!

Photoblog Wednesday


This was taken in 2007 when I was unpacking boxes and unwrapping goodies when I moved in. Kaline had never seen my milk pitcher before! She stepped over everything else on the table to get a closer look.

Mom had gotten it for me back when I had the coffee bar in my modern room. She thought the tuxedo cat had just the right amount of class and the right Nani-flair.

It seemed Kaline thought it had just the right amount of looking like a cat to be confusing!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Forget…

(This one ended up being a little long, so top off 
your favorite afternoon beverage before reading!) 

It’s not that I forgot something. It’s would I choose to forget!

That’s this week’s Tell Me Tuesday topic at the Coloradolady; Memories. Here is the exact question about memories for this week:

“Would you rather lose all of your old memories,
or never to be able to make new ones?”

That’s a pretty heavy question!

Memories are something to cherish. Ideally you learn from the bad ones and build your character from the good ones. They are your past and the foundation of who you are. That’s why I scrapbook, the pages are my character. They are the events, people I love and the things that have influenced me told through my page designs and journaling. It’s how I perceive my world and that perception is who I am in the world as a whole. Even when I do a page about something less-than-happy, even tragic, I scrap/journal about the takeaway, the good I did find in it. I’m an optimist and those scrapbooks truly do represent my character.

In the pages of my personal journals, the pages which have been unseen by anyone else and will remain that way, is a combination of the positive things and the negative. It is a good representation of my life, but not who I choose to be. When I’m angry, writing about it helps me diffuse it. When I’m sad it helps to lift the clouds. It has let me get over frustration about a decision I thought was a bad one that someone else made that didn’t really have an effect on me and it’s helped me realize countless times that my anger was actually fear. Internal fear was a much easier foe to defeat than the perceived outer attack. In essence those journals are the supplies in the craft room where I create my character. I wouldn’t want someone to see all the scraps on the floor, just the finished work. Except in the case of character, the work is never finished. I still don’t want anyone looking at my unvacuumed floor, just what I have on display.

So, my memories are precious to me. At what cost would I let them go?

Well, if I am unable to make new memories, I’m dead or in a coma and if I’ll never make new memories, I’m never coming out of the coma. I’ve never heard about someone coming out of a coma and truly remembering what it was like to be in a coma. Depending on what your belief is about the afterlife, those memories of self wouldn’t be important.

If the essence of your soul returns to the greater soul of God, “self” is nonexistent. If you remain intact and reside in Heaven in God’s World, with Him but not “part of" Him, it becomes a different philosophical question about whether or not Heaven is indeed perfect. What I mean is I’d feel pretty bad as the only angel in Heaven who wasn’t able to talk about their people at the Coffee Cloud. If keeping my memories is part of Heaven’s perfection and I gave them up, I made a BAD deal with the wrong dealer! If I’m reincarnated, I won’t remember anyway, since I don’t now. And if I just die, end of story, well, that’s the end of the story. Point being that no matter what, my memories aren’t important after death, or I’ll get them back anyway, there’s no point in dying to hold on to them.

Of course, there are two very similar alternatives to dead or in a coma to having no memories and would give you at least minor ability to make new ones. I could have amnesia or dementia/Alzheimer's. With dementia or Alzheimer’s the memories slowly fade away, the most recent ones first. I’ve watched relatives mentally dwindle away. After seeing it with my great-grandmother, Grandma started to learn new things and exercise her mind. She was almost 80 when she learned how to use the computer, she quilted and did word puzzles every day. She was bound and determined not to be like her mother. Still her memory started to fade just before her death.

I remember the day that I went to visit Mums and she had no idea who I was. I’d always been so close to my great grandmother. It was a pleasant visit. She thought I was a nice stranger and invited me to visit again if I wanted. I was crying so hard when I got home it’s a wonder I drove the two miles safely. Grandma was a little more prepared a year later when Mums giggled and told her she was way too old to be her daughter, “Wonda is just a little girl.” There were no memories. She didn’t remember our Tuesday coffees, me sleeping in the same room she did for a year, not even how she felt the day I was born. She didn’t remember being at Mom’s wedding or the wonderful stories from her granddaughter’s childhood and she didn’t remember her pride in Grandma’s promotion to management or how proud she was of her raising a daughter alone until Papa returned from the war. True she didn’t remember the bad things either, no memories of deaths, war, the Great Depression when she was a young mother. She wasn’t even really aware anymore by 9-11. And she seemed happy enough, pleasantly unaware.  But she unwillingly hurt the people she loved.  I couldn't stand to voluntarily be in that position.

Ah but, the diseases that rob us of our memories in advanced years don’t really give an opportunity to create new ones either, not ones we'll remember. So, I look at amnesia from some mental or physical trauma, as really the only way one can lose all memories and still create new ones. It’s a fascinating thought. How do you lose all your memories and retain everything that’s developed in you as a result of those memories? As you recuperate, wouldn't you start to get those memories back and isn’t that cheating if you made the choice to give them up?

After deep consideration, I think I’d give up my memories for amnesia, but with the clause that if they start to come back, I’m not in default of the agreement and as long as I can keep my scrapbooks.

You can join in on Tell Me Tuesday; you don’t have to write a term paper, I tend to get carried away sometimes. It’s a fun meme and it really gives you a great chance to look inside yourself or share your thoughts on how you’d like things to be.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Barn Charm

Cuyahoga County Bicentennial Barn

There are a few pretty cool distinctions about this barn.

First, it’s yellow. Maybe some might call it a very yellow beige, but it's not a common barn color!

Cleveland is in Cuyahoga County and it’s a pretty metropolitan/suburban area. As David understood it, they had a hard time finding a barn in Cuyahoga County. In every other county the barn awarded the Ohio Bicentennial logo had to be very well kept and the face to be painted had to be clearly visible from a main road. For Cuyahoga County, it needed to be a barn. Take a look beyond the barn. It’s at the entrance of a very current style subdivision!

It’s probably the only barn in Cuyahoga County. From the research I’ve found, it’s not an abandoned barn, but I haven’t discovered for what it’s used, if it’s used at all.

See more classic, modern, weathered and unique barn’s at Tricia’s blog, Bluff Area Daily

Monday Mug Shot


This was my lovely parting gift from my internship with Metrovision Cable in Farmington Hills, Michigan, in the spring of 1991. When I was a student at Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, I did two internships. I was studying both radio and RTV. In the early 90s, there were two tracks at Specs; radio engineering, RE classes, and Broadcast Redo and TV, RTV classes. My class was RTV11-90, the 11th Radio and Television class that started in 1990.

I did a radio internship with a news and talk station for 3 months and then I did one with Metrovision for TV production experience. I started the one with Metrovision in March, knowing that the internship wouldn’t end until after I’d finished school. I only needed one internship for my program. I just wanted the production experience because I’d decided I really wanted to work in production and NOT in news. When I started at Specs, I was sure I was going to be in something behind the scenes in television news. After 3 months with news media professionals in radio, I knew that I could never be comfortable working in news. I found myself with too many jaded people who found joy in the most devastating events. I never wanted to laugh at people suffering or get excited about war because it was “good for business.”

At Metrovision, I interned in the public access department, working with members of the community on their projects. I also had a project of my own that I was working on as part of the requirements for my internship. I assisted with teaching classes and learned as I worked with students too. These things set me up perfectly for my first real paying job. I was the Public Access coordinator and Sports producer at Omnicom less than a year later. I taught the classes I assisted with as an intern and also produced local and high school sports for the local origination channel, the difference being public access was programming produced by the cable company’s customers and local origination was produced by professionals, company employees, highlighting local events. Local Origination was a great place for an entry-level job because it taught and expanded skills in every aspect of production.

I loved that internship and it completely groomed me for that first job that I loved even more.  I found that I enjoyed working with volunteers in the community sand I enjoyed working with the professionals that also worked with them. I felt like I was really a part of the department even though I was just an intern and I learned how truly important that was to do for the interns that reported to me, make them feel like they were a part of everything that was going on. It made the internship experience a valuable one. On the last official day of my internship, I walked in to the office and the members of the department brought out this mug, filled with candy and balloons tied to it and a wonderful card of “graduation.” I still have that card with the many special cards I’ve kept over the years.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Short and Sweet (and Free)

Today is a promise of sun in Cleveland. The goes with a promise of trains! I’ve been hiding from the cold inside this week, so the opportunity to spend the day with David…in the heated car…Is one I won’t pass up!

Before I leave, I wanted to get the link for part 2 of the Project 366 templates posted for the digi-scrappers. If you are visiting from one of the freebie sites, take a minute to check out the previous entry, Friday by Request, and the basics of getting started in digital scrapbooking. If you have thoughts to add, or other freebie sites to mention, please leave a comment. It helps those who read along and want to try sharing in our hobby!

Here is part 2:

Click preview to download.

Thanks or stopping by! Have a great Sunday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday By Request – Digital Scrapbooking

Jojo, of My Random Insanities left a comment on 100 things I love post last week asking about advice for someone just looking in to digital scrapbooking. We exchanged some emails and she made it an official request for Friday!

This could be a few weeks of posts, so it will be very link intensive. I want to welcome any of my scrapbooking friends who have any ideas or links to add, to please feel welcome to leave them in the comments!

Digital Scrapbooking – Getting Started
For Jojo

I love digital scrapbooking. My memory-recording started with simple plain photo albums back in my high school years. I progressed to captions, then almost scrapbooking in photo albums, then paper scrapping. Now I am fully a digital scrapbooker. I love that I don’t have to put everything away if I have to leave a page I’m working on, just hit save! There’s also no mess left on the table and no little snips of paper on the floor. There’s also the fact that my typing is much easier to read than my handwriting!

When I became curious about digital scrapbooking in the beginning of 2007, I already had an old copy of Photoshop 5.0 LE which was software in the package on my old Mac and I transferred it to the newer Mac. I’d already had some work experience doing simple graphics. 5.0 LE is a good program to learn and move into Photoshop Elements. You can get Photoshop 5.0 LE for less than $10 at Amazon.

I think Photoshop (PS) and Photoshop Elements (PSE) are the most common programs I see spoken of in the scrapbooking forums; however PaintShop Pro (PSP) is also fairly common. There are software suites made specifically for scrapbooking, but be sure to do your homework. Some software only works with elements offered by their company or only with their templates which is limiting to your variety and creativity.

There are a lot of free software or free trials that you can try out before you settle on which software works the best for you. Since I use Adobe products, I can tell you they do have 30-day free trials for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. This will give you the opportunity to do a few pages as you learn the software before you decide on the software that’s right for you. There are lots of free tutorials for doing different things with the more popular software choices. You can always post questions about how to do things in the forums at the scrapbooking sites.

As for getting started, I’ll share how I got started. One thing to keep in mind about digital scrapbooking is that there are MANY alternatives for every aspect of the hobby, not just software! The first thing I’ll suggest is to check out a good digital scrapbooking community. My favorites are Digital Scrapbooking Studio and Ginger Scraps. The main elements that are useful at a digital scrapbooking site are the forums, challenges and store. Most sites have blogs now too. There are a lot of sites and stores out there. Don’t be afraid to sign up to join a few. They’re free to sign up and offer a lot of information and inspiration.

When I first started I got a lot of tips and encouragement doing challenges in the forums. At that time there were bonuses for participation but now the participation awards are usually a store discount. Many offer bigger discounts the more you participate. Challenges are great for learning new scrapbooking techniques.

Credits: Winter Bliss, Freebie kit by Dreams Fulfilled

Building up your scrapbooking stash so you can participate is not difficult. Many scrapbook designers create freebies that complement their kits and designers that are starting out create full kits for free for practice and you get their name out there.. While you’re getting started in the hobby, you can help them get started too! I will say that I don’t really recommend going to a store and purchasing kits for your first couple of pages if you are on a budget. I had enough in freebies to scrap for about two months as I was getting addicted to it. Then I knew I was going to stick with it and making a purchase was a safe investment. The first kit I purchased was My Wish by Jan Hosford. The colors were just SO me. It ended up being the kit I used for the first pages in the first book I had printed with digi-scrap work. I haven’t printed any of those pages I did the first month. I got better at it and then it was worth printing!

Speaking of printing! What DO you do with all those pages once they are done? I print mine in 11x11” books at Inkubook. I haven’t really talked to a lot of people about what they do with their layouts. I know others get them printed in books as well, but some print the pages individually and slide them into the plastic insert pages in traditional paper scrap books. I like to be able to add ephemera, ticket stubs and such, to my books, but I scan those things and make them part of my layouts. Some people print at home, either with a printer that will print a 12X12 page or they make 8-1/2X11 pages or print the square pages for an 8X8 book. Still others keep their pages as an online book to share with family via a link.

So, there’s the skeleton of the many choices to start a digital scrapbooking hobby. It’s a great opportunity to really be creatively expressive and you’ll meet and share with some great people in the digi-scrap community.


Jojo’s blog, My Random Insanities

These are places I enjoy for my scrapbooking needs:

Adobe, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Scrapbooking boutiques, forums and challenges:

Digitalegacies Design freebies, right here at The Chronicles of Nani
If a freebie you’d like is expired, drop me an email and I’ll make sure you get it!
Click blog next to Digital Scrapbooking Freebies


Banana Diaries

You might recall my blog entries about bananas. There are a few, I really like bananas. Truthfully, I really like a few fruits, but apples and bananas are my year-round favorites. Right now the fruit basket sits on the table right next where my laptop usually camps out. So last night when David called from the grocery store on the way home from work and asked if there was anything I needed, I saw 3 grapefruits and nothing else in the box so I said, bananas and apples.

I don’t like to say I “trained” my husband. If he needed fixing or training, it was stupid of me to marry him and I try not to do stupid things. But David is not a big fan of many fruits. He was just never a regular in the produce section before he met me. So I’ve shown him what I look for in some things in produce so when he calls and asks if I’d like him to pick anything up, he can pick up exactly what I would. So, he brought me two beautiful specimens of my favorite apples and a bunch of four bananas that were slightly green at the top. That makes for one this morning that is slightly firmer than perfect, Saturday and Sunday with perfect bananas and Monday with one that is slightly past perfect. I like my bananas solid yellow, no green at all and no brown spots.

In March of 2009, I did a Photoblog that was a photo essay called The Banana Days of Winter.  In that photo essay I documented how fast a banana peel ages in the cold. It was 14 degrees outside when David came home last night. It wasn’t 14 degrees in Kroger, but it was outside and in the car where the bananas were transported in just a thin plastic bag. The bright yellow peels have some scuff marks. This doesn’t affect the fruit inside at all is the banana if momentarily exposed to the cold, but it makes the outside appear a little older than the banana is. So, this morning’s banana was about 2 days before perfect so not quite as sweet as I was expecting, a little too firm and I got that subtle sensation of a hairy tongue from it. So I think I’m going to wait until Sunday to start eating the rest!


Banana’s like the climate in your house or at the store
And I must wait an extra day, before I eat some more

For sure-sure-sure

Follow Friday Four Fill-in


This week’s statements:
1. I used to enjoy ______ but now I don’t really anymore except for when I____
2. My first job was ______
3. I am a bit obsessed with ________ at the moment
4. If I don’t have my ___________ at night, I don’t sleep well

I used to enjoy driving when I first started but now I don’t except when I am one of very few people on the road and it's a bright, sunny day with a perfectly repaired toad. (Which means I don’t enjoy driving much at all!)

My first job was a deli clerk.

I’m a bit obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the moment. Since finding out I can watch every episode, I started with episode one and watch a couple a day. It’s been too long and I loved that show!

If I don’t have my extra blankets at night, I don’t sleep well. If I’m cold at all I can’t fall asleep and if I knock covers off, which I often do because to be warm enough to fall asleep I often get hot, I wake right up when I get a chill. I just have to be warm when I’m sleeping, period.

Stop on over to Hilary’s blog, Feeling Beachie, to check out more fun answers to the Friday Four Fill In or join in yourself!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Grandfather Was a Very Smart Man, Really!

Sn** - YUCK!

David wondered this morning if we weren’t in for our first appreciable snowfall of this winter today. I said “Shuh!” I always shush him when he uses language like that. I have a thick skin. I can handle hearing profanity without it burning my ears. But I find that four-letter-“s”-word beyond offensive. They use it on TV, I mute it and ignore it when it’s written and I still see it on the ground outside, practically sideways when the wind gusts. –Sigh- it brings other 4-letter-words to mind.

“Dan the Bug Man” as he calls himself with a chuckle, just left. He was in to do our bi-monthly anti-bug update. Orkin sprays around the house and in the house to keep pests out. The biggest and most important things are that it doesn’t deter our outdoor friends from enjoying our oak tree and yard, the squirrels and chipmunks are safe and most important, there’s been a DRASTIC reduction of spiders in the house. Dan said there were just a few spiders in the basement today but no mice. That makes me happy and Kaline notsomuch. But she’d get bored with the mice if we had lots of them, right?

Dan made me happy when he asked how I was doing. I told him the meds I was on for my MS were doing well and I felt great. He said I don’t look as tired as last time he saw me and I look like I have lots of energy now. I love that it’s apparent to others, not just me. I told Dan to “be safe” as he was leaving because the sn** was picking up and he’d already mentioned slick roads and “bumper cars” on the highway this morning.

About the title. When I found this treasure I was excited to brag for Vintage Thingie Thursday.

Papa’s Senior Year Report Card

It’s my grandfather’s high school report card from his senior year, 1940/41. He Went to high school in California, PA.

My grandfather was an incredibly intelligent man. He had an impeccable memory and wonderful logic. I was told that when he was in the Navy, he had to pass a sort of IQ test because the standard was higher for the Navy. I don’t really know all the details, but that he was in the Navy was a big deal at the time. I also always knew that Papa had fantastic grades all through school. Mom said that Papa was where the Mensa quality IQs came from, genetics.

I never doubted any of that. I always considered my Grandfather and my Mother the smartest people I knew. So I fully expected to see straight As, maybe a B in there since it was senior year. What I didn’t expect was this:

Huh? There were Bs and Cs!! One A final in science. Well, that one was okay, but how could this man, a genius in my eyes, have Cs, even a couple of Ds for card makings? Yes, I had a couple of Ds in freshman year. but that was freshman year, I wasn’t mature enough yet. This was his senior year!

Then, I looked at the “grade code.” Hmmm… It really was about the lessons and not the “self-esteem” then.

Papa’s average as a senior was pretty much a straight B. Only 15-27 students in 100 got a B. That A in science was something on 3-10 percent of students got. My high school grades were higher because I got the ”cost of living allowance.” A coke after school cost more for me too!

After realizing there was a huge grade adjustment, we don’t fail students now and we don’t have them do a grade over, we just give more As, I was pretty pleased with my Grandfather’s totals.

The other very cool thing about this treasure is on the back:

That’s my great-grandfather’s signature verifying that Papa’s parents indeed saw his report card. My grandfather was the baby of the family. I never got to meet my maternal-paternal great-grandfather. There’s something about things that are written or made by hand that is a very real connection to the past. My grandfather’s achievements and my great grandfather’s signature make this a very special treasure to me.

See more great vintage things at Suzanne’s blog, The Coloradolady!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Hodge Podge

1.  A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be? 

Didn’t watch. Didn’t even know it was on. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever watched it.

Is it really still Miss and not Ms. America?

If I was in the “Ms. Middle Age Plus Size Disabled America” contest my talent would be either the handful of really funny jokes I’ve come up with over the years or as a motivational speaker. But really as stage talent, I’d have to do an over the top funny motivational speaker and it would be a gag, so, I guess any way you slice it, comedy.

2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake?

I have 3 living houseplants.

The gorgeous and aromatic rosemary bush Sheri gave me at Christmas went from beautiful and great smelling plant through the holidays to should have looked it up online for care instructions dry and brown by the second week in January. The card says after the holidays it makes great potpourri and that’s what I’m going to do, but in order for it to live, it needed sunlight that it wasn’t getting in my kitchen.

We managed to kill off the Christmas Cactus I had and there was a peace lily that dried out. But our home is NOT a houseplant graveyard! I have the “pumpkin plant,” Kalanchoe in a pumpkin shaped pot and 2 baby rubber tree plants. Spire was named before I realized baby rubber tree plants grow out and down, not up. I grew her son, Sprout, in water until there were roots and then planted him. He was a broken branch from Spire a few years ago and I’m so proud that I was able to help her procreate. :)

3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn't call on you type of student?

I wad totally the speak up one! In a high school American literature class I was in, I freely debated with the teacher when we disagreed on an interpretation. When I raised my hand, everyone else put theirs down because they wanted to watch! I got my A and was asked “please don’t take one of my lit classes again.” Mom was proud – an instructor didn’t ask her not to take any of his classes after giving her an A until college.

4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year...what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?

I have a few that I really like, but Kung Pao Chicken is my favorite!

5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?

I’ve really never thought about definition a miracle. I’ll take the cop out on this one and say mere mortals aren't qualified to define or recognize miracles.

6. What's your favorite Disney song? If you're stuck you'll find a list here.

“Everybody Wants To Be A Cat.” or “Bella Notte”

7. I should have _____________ yesterday.

Taken a Benadryl and vegged on the couch

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I just found out that, as an Amazon Prime customer, I can watch every single episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer streamed on my computer for free!! Where’s the popcorn?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Something New & A Barn To View

My something new today is that I’m joining Tell Me Tuesday at The Colorado Lady. Suzanne started this the first Tuesday of the year and I think I may do the first two weeks in my personal journal so I have all 52. Let me tell you about Tell Me Tuesday!

It’s actually not you telling me anything. It’s me telling you! Suzanne posts a question on Tuesdays and participants answer it truthfully. Some weeks have easier questions than others and the hope is maybe the writer learns a little something about themselves in the answering of the question too. I know that happens because I write when I’m troubled because it reveals things to me that I was keeping from myself. I can’ tell you how many times I’ve been writing or typing away in my personal journal when I’ve stopped and said, “Oh! That’s the REAL problem!” I’m looking to the weekly introspective opportunity too!

So, here’s this week’s question:

"What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?

I could make this week’s answer real short and just say the most important thing I’ve learned in the past year is that I have MS. It turned out that MS was the biggest thing in my world last year.

I’ve NEVER liked spending any more time than I absolutely have to in doctor’s offices or hospitals. I was sure they’d only pump me full of drugs and make the pain worse. The biggest thing I learned from a year that had more baseball-free months than doctor-free months, a first from me in many, many years, was to trust doctors. If I had a dollar for every time a medical professional said, “Don’t worry, I won’t drop you, I won’t let you fall, I won’t lie to you,” well, that’d pay all of copays for the year. Looking back, it seems my mistrust was pretty apparent.

My year of doctors started with my primary care doctor once again assuring me he wouldn’t let me fall off the table when I was having a back manipulation done. Then it progressed to a neurosurgeon telling me a few times that he wouldn’t let me fall if I set down the cane and held his hands so he could see my balance. In September, when I’d started on one medication and knew I was soon to be started on another, I called the pharmacist to be sure I could take Benadryl for my allergies without dangerous interactions. I didn’t take a Benadryl until after I’d given the list of prescriptions and vitamins I’m taking to the pharmacist at the specialty pharmacy and two doctors and got the same opinion, that it was safe, from all 4 sources. l still, the first time I took a pill for my allergies, David had to be home and it had to be during the day, so I wouldn’t be alone or asleep, just in case.

I’m still careful about checking qualification and asking lots of questions, but I learning to trust. I don’t have just one doctor anymore; I have a team of doctors. Trough requests to have everything sent to my primary care doctor at home they ALL know what the other is doing. My doctor won’t drop me. My specialists won’t let me fall and my Physical Therapist won’t have me do something that will hurt me worse. I also trust the medications. As prescribed, they have made me feel so much better and the worst side effect so far is dry mouth, I’m always drinking more water. If ya gotta pick a side effect…

Because I’ve learned to trust doctors, I feel like myself again and I hobble a little better too. Turns out it was, indeed, a valuable lesson.


Bram Charm

This is one of the barns I shot last year on Election Day, 11/8:

 Henry Township, Ohio

I love the way the rich red just pops out behind the cornfield. Yes, and the water tower in the shot totally adds to the coolness factor with me!

Here’s a close up shot we got from further up the road:

It’s a little weathered, but kept up well and it’s very productive looking. And that red is so rich!

See more great barns at Tricia’s Barn Charm on Bluff Area Daily

The Colorado Lady
Bluff Area Daily

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Mug Shot

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Vacation 1992 was in the beginning of November. It was just a couple weeks after my brother’s first wedding and our family had been far more involved in the planning than I ever thought a groom’s family was. (This was when I firmly decided that IF I ever got married, I wanted nothing to do with a wedding.) I had started to plan my vacation week in September. Mom usually went with me. She and I were great travel companions. We were going to Atlanta by way of Chattanooga, a couple of my favorite cities. When Mom and I went on fall vacations we always asked Pop to go with us and he always had a reason that he wasn’t interested in going, but we tried every year. In 92, frazzled and celebrated out from the wedding, Dad took us up on the offer!

Pop’s birthday is November 8th and that was the Sunday of our trip, the first night in Chattanooga. My father is the one who got me hooked on trains when I was a small child, counting cars when we were stopped, even timing the stop when a train was coming so we had front row viewing. H loves train travel and we often traveled by train on trip when it was possible. Because he wound up with a daughter nuttier about trains than he is, he completely accepted that it was MY choice to stay at Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

The background here is that I liked the idea at staying at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Holiday Inn, and more that I really wanted to stay in one of the guest rooms outside which were passenger cars transformed into rooms on tracks in the courtyard with the Chattanooga Choo-Choo engine. I wouldn’t spend the extra it takes to stay in the specialty rooms in town on a whim for myself, but for my Dad’s birthday, it would be totally worth it as a surprise! So, I reserved a passenger car room, but didn’t tell Dad. He thought we’d be in the hotel. Then I ordered a balloon bouquet and a cake to be in the room when we checked in. Before we left, after confirming that everything was set, I slipped a bottle of Asti Spumate in my suitcase. I was excited ab0ut Pop’s birthday, till a hotel night and a day away!

We left around 6:00 Saturday morning and headed south. It was a usual trip south with stops for meals and exiting to see sights or shop at anything that struck our fancy from road signs and travel brochures on the way. We played a road game where you looked for words on signs for every letter in the alphabet. This is the trip where, after looking for a “V” for a very long time, Pop saw a sign and announced, “Vah-Vaffle House!” Saying it was two Vs in Italian. Yes, Pop is where I get my bold and obvious attempts at cheating in games!

We stayed that first night in Corbin, Kentucky. I’d stayed in Corbin a time or two on the way to Atlanta because it was just a good stopping point on the first day and it never occurred to me, I never cared, that Corbin is in a dry county. After an all-day drive, my Dad wanted to unwind with a bottle of wine and some snacks. When he asked at the gas station next to our hotel when he could buy a bottle of wine, the woman’s behind the counter said, “Honey, you’re in a DRY COUNTY!” Pop was shocked. Dry County? He’d never heard of such a thing! We ended up taking a drive before dinner and sure enough we ended up almost an hour back north in Richmond, NOT a dry county. Pop got a couple bottles of wine and we had dinner before we headed back to Corbin. I sensed that drinking a glass of wine in a dry county made it taste even sweeter.

On Sunday we got into Chattanooga by a little after noon and went to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Mom enjoyed the museum, as she always did enjoy the trains when we travelled, but Pop and I were in heaven. There were engines and cars and water tanks and all sorts of very cool railroad stuff, as well as a working turntable. Many steam engines can’t go backwards for any lengthy of time and had to be turned around for return trips by rolling onto the turn table which then turned around 180 degrees so the engine could leave the turntable facing to opposite direction. I was very cool to watch! We also took a steam trip on the museum’s tourist ride, a stem powered excursion through some beautiful wooded areas with fall colors still holding on to some of the trees and a ride over a very tall trestle with a both breathtaking and harrowing view.

After a few hours with the trains, there were more trains! We went to the hotel, “my” choice, the Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo-Choo. While my parents marveled at the opulent lobby, Mom was in on the surprise for Pop and kept him distracted, I checked in and made sure everything was set. Remember it was my father’s birthday and neither Mom nor I had acknowledged it all day. I let them know we were checked in and could put our bags in the room before dinner.

Pop was a little confused when instead of towards the hall, we went outside to the courtyard. I explained that they had passenger cars that were transformed into room. When we got to our car I stopped and said, “Here’s our room!”

Pop looked surprised and smiled. Then he asked me how much a room like this costs. I told him to never mind because it’s something I wanted to do, so it was worth it to me to save up. When we got in it looked like the entrance to a passenger car, the thin hallway had the very spacious for a train bathroom with d├ęcor and amenities that matched the grandeur of the lobby. A little further down was the main living area with a queen bed and daybed, refrigerator and microwave, all the look and feel of a high-end hotel room. But the first thing my Dad noticed was how all-out they went. “They even left balloons!”

The balloons were attached to a coffee mug filled with chocolate kisses. I told him to read the balloon. It said “Happy Birthday Popsie.” He looked at me with a huge grin and gave an equally huge hug. He opened the cake and said we could have it after dinner with the other bottle of wine he’d gotten in Richmond.

“How about with the Asti I brought from Michigan?” I smiled.

I got a little harassment because we’d ended up so far north before we got a bottle of wine the night before, but really, explaining why I was travelling with a bottle of sparkling wine would have inevitably spoiled the surprise.

I was a mushy moment and a fun evening enjoying cake and champagne after dinner in our private train car.