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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

1. What is your favorite Olympic sport?

Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics

2. What is the healthiest meal you've eaten this week?

I’m a fairly healthy eater and I carefully balance food I like. I guess maybe a salad with bell peppers and tomatoes with tuna, Kalamata olives and vinaigrette?

3. What is the unhealthiest meal you've eaten this week?

I don’t ever count ice cream as unhealthy. It’s psychologically essential to good health

I had a 4-WW-point value menu onion rings with my salad from Burger King on my birthday.

4. What jewelry do you wear every day?

I wear my wedding ring every day and a bracelet most days, even when I’m at home.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

What are the three top spices in your spice rack?

The world will surely come to an end if I run out of garlic powder or basil! They are my go-to spices for everything from soup to meat to roasted veggies. The next used spice in my kitchen is cinnamon, for both sweet and savory recipes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Post 1000!!

Welcome to The Chronicles of Nani Post #1000 on blogger! 
Have some black forest cake!

This week’s statements:
1. I learned how to make _____ in ____
2. I have always wanted to ____
3. My purse always has a __________and _______________.
4. One day when I am ____________I am going to _______________________.

My Answers:

1. I learned how to make Pandora-style bracelets in Summer Arts and Crafts.

2. I have always wanted to travel and photograph trains, since I was in my early 20s. Thanks to fortunate mating, I’m living that dream!

3. My purse always has a lip balm or five and my wallet. I carry a little purse and I think 5 is the highest number of lip balms I’ve had at one time.

4. One day when I am driving a minivan with hand controls and a powerchair is back I am going to get out of the house on my own a lot more. Almost sad that a red minivan has become the “dream car.” I kinda feel old.

1. What is the funniest thing you saw on Facebook/twitter this week?

I hope my sense of humor isn’t too morbid this week, but I reposted this because I couldn’t stop giggling:

2. What is your favorite Olympic event?

To watch on TV, I like gymnastics, men’s and women’s, but especially women’s. One of the feathers in my cap when I was a sports producer was putting high school gymnastics on local TV. Ours was the first gymnastics coverage in the area and within a couple of years high school gymnastics was covered by the local programing channels in many of the neighboring cable systems. So, while I enjoy the artistic athleticism, there are warm memories and a little ego stroke watching it too.

3. Do your kids to chores around the house? If so, what are they and how old are the children? Do they get paid for them?

Kaline will be 7 next month and Carla 4 the month after that. The only real important chores they have are to stand as good luck charms to The Reds, Red Sox and Tigers. When they do well and all three teams win, they get bonus treats.

4. If you get bad service/food do you complain or keep quiet?

If the service is poor, that’s reflected in the tip. If the food is bad, yes I complain. I’ve had salad that were ordered with dressing on the side swimming in dressing, A fish dish I’ve had many times that tasted fishy, as in old fish, and fried chicken breasts when I ordered grilled. Not acceptable and I’m not paying for it. They don’t take their mistakes off the bill if you don’t complain.

5. If you could pick ONE frivolous item for your home, what would it be? (massive room sized closet? swimming pool? greenhouse? etc...)

Someone to come in and clean under my supervision. (Not just a maid who goes on his or her way cleaning, but someone who will be the manpower behind my vision.)

**  I love scrapbooking! It’s Christmas in July at many of the scrapbook sites I frequent and there are some great challenges at Ginger Scraps. I collected the pieces from their designers in the Facebook page hop for a very nice holiday kit. One of the challenges was to select and journal abut one very special holiday photo. Here’s where the “I love Scrapbooking” shines. I still have about half of Christmas 2008 to scrap and I’ve done a few of the pages I have left to do for challenges.

My one special photo is from the pictures Tori took of David and me on Christmas Eve, the day after we got married. She took a few of us at Pop’s by the tree. They were our set of second pictures of us together after we were married. There was one photo the judge took after we exchanged vows from the actual day. This was my favorite of the bunch:

The flash didn’t go off so it’s underexposed and grainy and the photo is a mess, but I melt when I see David looking at me and I look so happy. And the photo is useless to use for anything. I can’t frame it, I can't paper scrap with it and I could do a few things in Photoshop to clean it up, but I loses detail and clarity and the splotchy darkness will not go away. But digital scrapbooking does this:

Credits: Christmas In July by Sugar Kissed Designs

I like the way it turned out and the part of that photo that "speaks” is very much intact!

**  Last weekend was a great kick-off to Nanifest XLVI! Steam train on Friday Morning and Saturday, Reds game Sunday and Dragons game Monday made for much travel time and of course trains and baseball; how could it not be a great weekend? This week has been a little slower on the party side because of my gift from the city. The city of Toledo is giving me a NEW STRET for my birthday! How cool is that? There are several streets being replaced and ours is one of them. Of course right now I have a city zip code and live on a dirt road, but it’ll be nice when they have it done. Right now though, I can’t move my car out of the driveway while concrete is curing. But we have some fun planned for the weekend.

**  I don’t understand Fruit-on-the-Bottom yogurt. Why can’t it all be blended? I LOVE Dannon Greek yogurt, especially the black cherry. The yogurt all alone is tart and, well, yucky. When it’s all blended it’s heavenly! So why not make is blended? I mean really, won’t people who like it plain just buy plain yogurt? It would be easier and less messy if it was already blended, like the strawberry or raspberry are!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday night...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?

Mom and I went to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta because she won tickets to baseball in the Georgia lottery. Winning baseball tickets has so much to do with why we went. If they were track and field or even swimming, we probably wouldn’t have gone.

2.Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?

It completely depends on what was going on days prior to said lazy day. If I have a few really busy days, a lazy day will make me feel rested. It’ll also make me ask “where’s the day go?” at the end of the day because I still have so much nothing to do!

3. July 25th is 'officially' Threading the Needle Day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?

I used to sew all of my clothes in the 80s and sewed the costumes for my brother’s band. In the 90s I sewed the costumes we wore to wrestling. The last thing I sewed were the Mounds and Almond Joy bars we wore for Halloween 2005. That was very simple stitches ad I did it all by hand. Unfortunately my dexterity is such that I’m not even sure I can cross stitch without frustration anymore, so I’m have to rate my sewing skills on the poorer side now, maybe a 2 or 3?  But “back in the day” I was good enough that I never worried about my pants or dresses falling apart in public. In fact, I got lots of compliments.  I'd say I was maybe an 8 then.

4. 'Threading the Needle' can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?

I think that’s whenever Kelly and I discuss a political topic we don’t agree about. We do just fine respectfully disagreeing, but I really don’t like arguing with my best friend. I usually try to change the subject. :D

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy...your favorite bean?

Green beans!

6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust?

Never had a garage sale. I’m not eager to invite strangers to my house to look at my stuff. Call it paranoid, but if there are some nice things on the table at a garage sale, you know the “good stuff” is still in the house. If I was looking for places to rob, I’d be checking out the ones that are advertising; the newly cleaned up and organized with a little tease of the stuff that isn’t staying!

7. What makes you roll your eyes?

My first thought was “Republicans,” but they are too scary and too powerful not to be taken seriously.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Since I went and was political anyway, I’ll share my basic view on politics. In this presidential election year, vote for whomever you want for president, but make sure you vote the other party for everything else. If the liberal party runs everything, they’ll spend everything and if the conservative party has all the power, we’ll lose our freedom. I don’t want to give up either, although if pressed I’d rather be broke and free than give up my rights, but by keeping the government equally at odds they won’t be able to accomplish anything. That means they will bicker as usual but won’t be able to hurt us. So vote split ticket and keep the government safely unproductive for the sake of us all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Not So Charming

It’s Tuesday and I occasionally like to participate in Barn Charm at Tricia’s Buff Area Daily. Yesterday was a sad barn discovery!

We were on our way to Dayton to see the Dayton Dragons game last night and leaving early, we took some back roads to photograph a few trains. When driving through Putnam County we saw a lot of the damage that still remains after a nasty storm on June 29 that knocked out power in the whole county for days. There weren’t any tornadoes, but winds up to 80 MPH in that very destructive storm.

On May 20 of this year I took this photo of the Putnam County Bicentennial Barn:

Putnam County Bicentennial Barn
Columbus Grove, OH, May 20, 2012

As we drove past the barn yesterday, David said, “Oh my God, that was the Bicentennial Barn!”

This is what the barn has looked like since June 29:

Putnam County Bicentennial Barn 
after storm on June 29, 2012
taken July 23, 2012

This is the only part of the rubble that I could pick out that looked like there might be a part of the Bicentennial logo:

The house of wood didn’t withstand the Big Bad Wolf; if you see a barn you want in your photo collection, it’s not a guarantee that there will be a day with better light! I’m really glad I take my “safety shots” when I see the Bicentennial Barns, even if the lighting could be better at the time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Mayhem

Home at midnight, I'm wrapping up a great weekend and getting ready for tomorrow night! We just got in from Cincinnati where we sweltered but got to see a fabulous finale to the weekend sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers!

It was Hall of Fame induction day and retired Reds shortstop, Barry Larkin, was inducted to Cooperstown today! They showed a snip of his induction speech live in between innings and there was much joy in the crowd, as there was for most of the game. The scoring started in the top of the third inning with one run for the Brew crew that was answered with 2 from the Reds in the bottom of the third. That’s all the scoring there was. On the way but I told David, “You give good birthday!” It was the second year in a row that the Reds won the game he took me to for my birthday!

I went out chasing the steam train on its real excursions with David and Mike on Saturday. I faced a dead battery and the spare that I thought was fully charged was in the wrong pocket of my tote and wasn’t charged at all! I managed to choke an afternoon’s worth of photos from the two batteries only turning the camera on right before I shot and only clicking one frame per shot. I still had a few nice shots and the batteries didn’t finally actually die until we were done shooting. I must have some good karma stored somewhere!

So far, it’s been a good festival!

I want to extend a special “thank you” to Heather at Acting Balanced for featuring me and my blog on 9 At 9 this Saturday. What a fun feature she does and a great opportunity to meet new blogs and bloggers!

Full party plate today, lots of the calorie-free kind of cake! So, expect the Mug Shot on Tuesday. For now, while I have a little Sunday night energy left, I’ll step up with this week’s Monday Quiz About Me, also hosted by Heather at Acting Balanced.

1. What are your favorite pizza toppings?

I like lots of different types of pizzas. My favorite gourmet pizza is Mediterranean style with olive tapenade, feta cheese, kalamata olives, ring peppers and spinach. MM!!!

My footies classic American pizza is Detroit-style with pepperoni, bacon and pinions

2. What is the strangest name you've ever heard for a child?

Let’s see…my given name is quite unusual, so I try not to judge. BTW, I love my given name, but I use a nick name; much easier to pronounce and spell Nani!

3. What is the best vacation you've ever gone on?

Not so much a vacation, but the most fun I’ve crammed into a weekend, sometimes a long weekend, has been the trips Kelly and I have taken. Kel’s my platonic soul mate and when we have total uninterrupted “just us” time, nothing can compare to that!

4. What is your favorite quick summer meal?

Salad. I make my own salads for dinner at home, but tonight I had a salad at Perkins on the way home; chicken, strawberries, lightly sugared pecans and feta. It was outstanding! Definitely something I’d order again.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5. At what temperature do you start to feel like you want to wear light jacket or sweater? For those of us in the heat wave, do you think you’ll wait until a cooler temperature than usual for a jacket this fall?

I wear a sweater in the house because I get cold in the air conditioning, but outside, I usually do sweatshirts in the low 70’s to high 60’s Fahrenheit and when it get to the mid-sixties it definitely jacket time. I don’t rally think all this heat is making me appreciate the cold any more.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Stuff (Finally)

Tonight's dinner; Pizza toppings salad
turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, 
bell peppers and kalamata olives.  YUM!

Late but still here today! We were out this morning, read on for a fragment about that, and with David at work, for the rest of tonight, now I have time to blog!

While Mama M is on vacation this week, Kate from Kate's Life is hosting this week.  Clicking the logo will bring you to her blog!

1} What do you call them- flip flops, sandals, thongs, or slippers?

Flip-Flops, one of the most awesome shoes to have if you break a toe in the summer. :)

2} Are you a "my kids can do no wrong" kind of mom or a "Johnny punched you? Well what did you do to him first?!" kind of mom?

My cats can do no wrong. hehe.

When Tori and Rina were little, and even now at almost 18, they’re human. My Mom always told Dave and me, “I don’t believe in ‘Saint Child’ because I sure wasn’t.” I looked at things when I was with the girls the same way. We “talked” a lot, even when they were little, about things they could have done better to keep the problem from happening. I think making kids be accountable when they are part of the problem makes them better capable of being part of the solution next time. When there are two, it always seems to “take” better and quicker with one than the other. LOL

3} Would you confront a good friend that looked/looks down on your husband/significant other?

I don't think anyone looks down on anyone among us.  We're peers.

When David was to meet my friends and my nieces for the first time, I told him these were the people he had to impress because their opinions were important to me. These are the people I protect and who protect me. If he was going to be one of them, they’d have to be okay with it. The opinion of the 10-year olds was especially important because they were my “almost kids.”

If anyone has a David problem now, they’d talk to him about it unless their problem was concern for me, then they’d talk to me.

4} Biggest pet peeve?

I find it’s like nails on a blackboard to me when I hear the wrong use of me/I and he-she/him-her. I don’t get all school-teacher with other adults, but I always corrected Tori and Rina.

“She and I went to the store, the clerk was rude to her and me. (Yes, I’d say “us.”)

You wouldn’t say “me went to the store or her went to the store,” and you wouldn’t say “the clerk was rude to I or the clerk was rude to she.” It’s easy to catch yourself. When someone misspeaks it once, no big deal; people make flubs in conversation, but if the misuse is consistent, they obviously don’t know. It just makes me sad when it’s an adult who speaks English as their first language.

5} What's your favorite take out meal?

Delivery, but if I was more able I go out to take it home myself I would, it’s Chinese! We have an awesome no MSG Chinese restaurant that delivers. Every now and then when David works nights or is out of town overnight I order Kung Pao Chicken with a vegetarian egg roll and wonton soup. It’s usually at least two meals, plus I make soup with the rice.

**  This has been an odd week. David has been working the “variety shift” this week. I went up to wake him yesterday because he likes to be up by 8:30 when he works his usual 10 am shift. I mentioned that it was pouring rain, which with the metal roof on the covered porch off our bedroom was easy enough to hear. He said, “Oh, I thought it was bacon sizzling. Must have still been dreaming.” I’d been thinking earlier about making hot breakfast, but he slept so late! Then he told me, “I go in at noon today.” Yeesh! So I went back downstairs and made hot breakfast.

He came down and made fun of my breakfast! I made his bacon, eggs over medium and while he was fixing his coffee, he looked over at the pan where I was cooking cinnamon French toast for me. I use the cinnamon and a little sweetener and I have it without syrup. That’s not what he was making fun of. He said I was making “French Buns.”

We had sloppy Joes and we had an 8-pack of buns. Three Joes; 2 for him and one for me, leaves 5 left for other cooking or a penicillin experiment. I’m allergic to penicillin, so I’d rather use the extra buns! I make some great French toast and I make it with so many things! Italian bread French toast served with spaghetti sauce makes a great lunch or brunch. And leftover donuts? Awesome sliced in half and prepare French toast style! So, some egg beaters, and little cinnamon and the leftover buns make great breakfast. Just say “yum” and eat up. :P

**   Nanifest XLVI started tonight at 5PM! Actual Naniday, July 29, is a Sunday this year, so my festival is 2 weeks! From 5PM today until 11:59 PM the Sunday after my birthday weekend. I’ve already got baseball and steam train plans and Pop is grilling a dinner for me on the last day of the festival when Tori and Rina will be there! I have a few calls to make to fill up my festival dance card. I celebrate my birthday by trying to see as many of the key people in my life as I can. I like cards, but I don’t require presents.  I prefer presence as a gift.

**  The first Nanifest event was actually a pre-Nanifest event. Everything that happens during my festival is a festival event. There’s a steam excursion this weekend that we’ll be venturing out with Mike to chase and photograph. Today was the day they moved the equipment from Fort Wayne, so David and I went out to get some shots of it coming in. VERY COOL!

We met Mike and a few other friends that moved their lunch time or otherwise finagled the time to get the shots of it coming in. It was more railfans gathered on a Friday morning in some of Ohio’s small towns on the line than they usually see. Tomorrow it will be a MUCH larger crowd lining up at crossings to get photos. It’ll be a good time!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Too Many at the Bridge Lately

There will be no Friday Fill-Ins this week. Hilary’s beloved feline furbaby, Alex, left for the Rainbow Bridge Monday morning. I understand the pain. It was only a year ago that we said goodbye to Baggle after he went through the serious weight-loss and loss of luster that Alex did.

Photo of Alex from Feeling Beachie

Hilary is taking a mourning break from blogging.

Alex blogged on his Mom’s blog. If you follow this link you can read about Alex and see his posts. He was a fun and very loved cat. Please send a prayer and positive thoughts for comfort for Hilary and her husband, Marc, as they adjust to a little emptier new normal.

You can visit Feeling Beachie to leave a comforting word.  Feeling Beachie

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. The Summer Olympics begin next week and London is playing host. If you had the chance to go in person which (non-Olympic) London site would you most like to visit?

Truthfully, I’ve never had the desire to go to London so I’ve never really explored what there was to see there.

I’d want to spend a day in Stratford-Upon-Avon and drown in some Shakespeare! I Googled it; 101 miles. I’d take a train.

2. What is something in your life right now that feels like an Olympic event?

Okay, I hope this isn’t a cheat: walking is a Special Olympics event for me, especially if there are stairs involved. I consider it a gold medal day when I can get a complete load of laundry done!

3. What's your favorite supper to prepare and serve when it's too hot to cook?

When I’m home alone for supper, I love to do salad with meat and lots of veggies or gazpacho. When David is home for dinner, I like anything that’s simple or to make a reservation!

4. July 18th is National Get Out of the Doghouse Day...when was the last time you were 'in the doghouse'?

I don’t think I’ve been in “the doghouse” since I was a teenager. I mean if no one tells you you’re in trouble, how are you supposed to know?

5. What television advertisement do you find particularly irritating or inappropriate? You may not answer with 'all of them'. I know some of you were thinking about it.

I love advertising, so there are a few that get old but they don’t really bother me. There are some that are on a big ROS contract, Run of Schedule, but I’m not so tired of them I remember that I’m tired of them when they aren’t on.

I really like the current Head and Shoulders ad with Joe Mauer and I just love the entire campaign for Farmers Insurance with the “agent university.” There’s also a current local ad for Lady Jane’s (female stylists and big screen TVs for men’s haircuts.) The ad gifted me with the phrase “wicked awesome” which I just love!

David reminded me of a couple ad campaigns I can't stand.  E-Trade and Capital One; any of those awful ads with the babies who aren't babies.  The E-Trade talking baby is creepy and the brat in the Capital One ads is a baby that I could easily despise if I was ever at an event with it.

6. Share one piece of interesting news from the year you were born.

I was born the year that the Astrodome opened in Houston, Texas and the year the first episode of Star Trek aired.

Oo, also 1966 was the year Pampers created the first disposable diaper. I have no idea if I ever wore one, probably not since they were new and likely expensive. My parents were both 21 when I was born and were a blue collar-immigrant match.

By the way, obviously, I couldn’t count yet in 1966.

7. What's the best part of your average day?

Getting comments on my blog.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Heat, hmm… I was out a couple of times yesterday in our record heat. The official airport tied the record at 99, but the airport that comes up when I enter our zip code made to 100. Now, I actually found it to be okay. There was a warm breeze so it wasn’t stagnant heat or anything. Yes, I perspired a little but as I’ve said before given the choice between sweat and shiver, I’ll sweat with a smile.

My preference for warmth isn’t the issue I’m having.  Sweat and all those lovely heat things…I have not one but TWO small pimples on my face! Nanifest XLVI starts Friday; I’ll be FORTY SIX YEARS OLD in eleven days. Pimples? Really?

I’ll treat them with Clinique exfoliator and maybe do a peel off facial in the morning, but yeesh! I’m about 30 years past pimples.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday Mug Shot (On Tuesday)

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Buxton, NC

Where did we leave off last Monday? I found one of the cool trends when we visited the Outer Banks was being able to get mugs as a “set.” I only have the two, the Wright Brothers Monument and this one, but I think it’s pretty cool that they match.

When the sun beckoned us, we headed south to Cape Hatteras Light. It was a really nice drive as the brighter sun in the distance was like a beacon. We stopped at Bodie Island, where the lighthouse was surrounded by scaffolding as it was being restored. That was a bit of a bummer, but we got some photos anyway; a record of that moment in time. Then it was off to Hatteras.

Bodie Island

The Cape Hatteras lighthouse can be seen from the road going in. It’s very distinct and I liken it to the Mackinaw Bridge in that there is anticipation as you watch it get closer and closer.

I mentioned before that David climbed the steps to the top of Hatteras Light.

After Hatteras we drove back up to Duck with a stop for our nice dinner of the trip on the way.

The next morning we were going to check out the fishing pier where Pop, Dave and Rina were fishing. My family wakes up a few hours later than David and I usually do on vacation, so we left early to see the Currituck lighthouse in nearby Corolla. There is a nice park area around the lighthouse so we took a few different angles of photos. You can walk to the top of Currituck too, but David passed on the long walk up two days in a row.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

We met up with the rest of the family at the fishing pier where they’d “caught dinner” and I got to see dolphins playing near the beach! VERY cool!

Our couple of days in the Outer Banks was pretty cool. I wouldn’t mind going back one day to see the other lighthouses and the wild horses. I think to go out to the wild horses areas with one of those beach wheelchairs might be fun. But we’ll be visiting the ocean again in the fall! It’s not so much the heat as it was that in the summer there are so many haze and morning clouds that for three mornings, we never saw the sunrise, my favorite part of being by the Atlantic Ocean. I want to go back sometime…in November!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Notes and Monday Quiz

Happy Monday! Yeah, silly me; it’s always a happy day. I always look for the one bright spot. Yesterday was a fairly rotten day in my world except that it was a perfect baseball day! The Tigers and Red Sox won and the Yankees and Pirates lost in the day games and the Reds beat the Cardinals for the weekend series sweep last night. That puts the Reds in first place again. YAY! Life is not always perfect, but there is always something to make it good.

Yesterday also had another up point; it was National Ice Cream Day! I may have hated Ronald Reagan’s fiscal ideas, but I love that he declared my birthday month National Ice Cream Month and a specific day for all Americans to enjoy the best food in the world. David and I went out to do our American duty at Baskin Robbins. I had my weekly double scoop in a waffle cone and he had a three-scoop sundae. Should I reiterate how awesome Weight Watchers is? I’m my most successful when I use half of the extra weekly points in the “Plus” part of the plan. That affords me a double scoop n a waffle cone once a week. Awe-sooome!

I tried the Flavor of the Month for July; Oreo N’ Chocolate. Yanno, Oreos would be the perfect cookie if the inside was buttercream. I’m not a fan of the plain fat and powdered sugar “white stuff” and as a kid I usually scraped it out and just ate the cookies. As an adult I can eat them without taking them apart, but the taste would be awesome with buttercream inside! Still I don’t do Oreos on their own because I don’t care for the filling, but put them in ice cream or pie and OH MY! Big chunks of cookie in chocolate ice cream with a fudge ribbon is totally beyond death by chocolate and directly into chocolate heaven! I will add that Oreo N’ Chocolate is probably a better ice cream in a dish because the big cookie chunks make it bumpy for liking and they tend to take chunks out of the cone when you bite it. I’ll probably still have a scoop in a cone next week…or maybe I’ll get it in an ice cream cake for Naniday!

The drought conditions all over this year are just nuts! After so many of the same places in the Midwest that are under it this year were under water last year, it’s just mind boggling to see them so dry this year! Here’s a photo I took last June of the Mississippi River:

Here is an internet shot of it this year:

The this year shot is a little farther notrh than the shot I took lat year, but the difference is extreme all the way down the Mississippi. They have to reroute shipping or lighten cargo through the River. Just incredible!

I have to admit that I’ve kinda taken weekends off of news. Especially during an election year, there’s so much garbage in the news. On Mondays I catch up and realize I didn’t miss much; right still hates left, left still hates right, they all still hate us. Politically jaded much, Nani?

Okay, there are the Nani tidbits this morning. Um, okay they were from this morning. My hands get weak with the typing and I have to take a do the dishes break. After I post it’ll be the laundry stretching exercises before lunch. LOL But first, the Monday Quiz!

1. If you could be on a reality TV show which one would you want to be a part of?

I honestly don’t watch enough reality TV shows to have a clue! I don’t want to do a competitive show so, it would have to be something where I was the person who decided who got kicked off. :)

2. You have the power to create one law, what would it be?

I would cap political contributions at $1000 a year from any source or group. Even debates would be pretty much the only guaranteed exposure to the masses because they’d run out of smut ads about the other candidate or side of an issue pretty quick. “Independent” ads or campaigns for a side count at the $1000 cap under penalty for a violation.

3. How's your weather today?

Chilly. I’m inside the house and the air conditioning that keeps David comfy is a little chilly to me. Outside it’s sunny and high 90s.

4. Other than the country you currently live in, where would you want to live?

Easy for me; Canada. Born in Detroit, I’m a little bit culturally Canadian anyway, just as folks in any border town are a little culturally influenced by the other country. There are things in Canada I like better than here and things that make me want to go home too. If I could pick and choose the aspects the country gets, I’d love to live in the United Areas of Canerica!

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5. If you could plot the weather for you, what would be the ideal temperature range and how many rain days a month would you have?

My weather utopia would be temps in the high 70s to mid-80s, slightly lower in the fall. We’d have a moderate amount of rain about 8 days a month with enough rainfall to keep crops and gardens watered adequately. Oh, and one big snowfall for about a week in winter where everyone stays home or plays in it that is amply cold and snowy enough to make the ground fertile for crops, gardens and crocuses!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th!!

Happy Friday The 13th! Remember if a black cat crosses your path today it’s a blessing and if you hurt a black cat today you’ll be cursed for 20 years. I’m starting a new superstition; one that’s better!

This week’s statements:
1. My day always starts by ____
2. I prefer ___ to ____
3. I never thought I’d __________ until I __________
4. I wish I could ________ for ________________.

My Answers:

1. My day always starts by having a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. It’s my breakfast appetizer.

2. I prefer Natural Instincts Cinnaberry to the natural silver that’s becoming more prevalent on my head.

3. I never thought I’d have a wedding until I started thinking about it with David. We both talked about it but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. We just wanted the marriage. Surprising everyone after was a blast!

4. I wish I could teleport for things that were more than a couple hours’ drive away.

1. What's your view on men wearing sandals (yay or nay)?

As long as they don’t wear them with socks! I really never look at anyone’s shoes, but socks and sandals throw out a beacon to me tell me “FAIL ahead!”

2. What song do you love but are embarrassed to admit?

Anything by Pitbull, but I’m starting to get over the embarrassment.

3. What summer camp should they make for moms?

Cooking camp, one where you learn ways to make a balanced meal for kids that they’ll love, even ask for. Okay, but that also gives tips on effectively discouraging trading sandwiches at lunch. My mom made checkerboard sandwiches with white and brown bread, cut into 4s and opposing corners flipped. They were so cool my brother could get a Twinkie for half of one.

4. What is the most romantic song? (Not necessarily your favorite or your wedding song...)

I Know How The River Feels by Diamond Rio; If we’d had a traditional wedding and reception I’d have wanted that to be our first dance, but David would have wanted Your Own Special Way by Genesis. He’d have won that one because it was the song we danced to in the kitchen our first Valentine’s Day together, so it gets an extra shot of romance value! But I still think I Know How The River Feels expresses beyond romance!

5. Do you have an embarrassing pregnancy story?

I’ve never been pregnant by choice and careful prevention.

Kaline was weaned too soon and we used to moisten all her food because she didn’t have all of her kitten teeth yet. She slept in my bed, her choice. One night she tried to suckle me. That was embarrassing at the time. That’s as close to a pregnant story as I have; Kaline thought I gave birth to a litter of kittens.

**  I’d never heard of Luke Bryan until the All Star Game! I got a lot of comments about his looks.  I heard the National Anthem but was in the kitchen finishing up the dishes so I still don’t know what he looks like. Shrugs. I’m happy with my own morning eye-candy anyway.  He did have a good voice!

**  Today is a Cat-Holiday. It’s similar to St. Patrick’s Day. When a black cat crosses your path it’s a blessing and if that cat needs a home and you welcome it into your home, you are doubly blessed. Black cats are incredibly affectionate to the people who care for them. Think of a black cat as a leprechaun today and all that love is your pot of gold! Oh yeah, and also like St. Patrick’s Day; Everycat is a Black Cat on Friday the 13th!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Freebie, Really?

Journal 366, Week 4
Credits A Book of Me by Aprilisa Designs

Okay, so it’s been a while. My biggest headache with my freebies has been switching over my hosts. I wanted to get away from 4-Shared because of the wait time to download. I discovered Minus thanks to Su’s downloads at A Lady In Florida for the monthly kits she and Edna do and I liked it as a downloader, so I’m giving it a try. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of Minus.

I’m doing Project 365, er, Project 366, a little different this year. I’m doing Journal 366 and actually doing much better making sure I have a comment or two about the day instead of trying to get a meaningful photo every day. In my layouts I use photos if I have them, elements and clip art to complement the journaling. The pages have been turning out pretty sweet. I haven't decided if I'm going to add the pages to my regular scrapbooks or print them as a separate book.   I'm leaning towards seeing if I can find a place to get them printed as a 10" soft cover.  I started with the Project 52/365 challenge at Ginger Scraps in mid-March, so I’m catching up the first couple months which is why the sample on the template in July is week 4!

Sometimes I do my week’s journaling on one journal mat.

Journal 366, Week 19
Credits: Boo-Boos and Band Aids by Twin Mom Scraps

And sometimes each day’s journaling has its own block.

Journal 366, Week 25
Credits: Some Like It Hot by Connie Prince

It’s the ones where the journaling is broken up into days that I can use or create the same templates as I’d use for a photo a day layouts, like week 4. That’s the template I’m sharing today!

Click on preview to download at Minus

I hope you get good use out of the template and please let me know what you think of Minus!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where I've Been

Sarann, from Sarann Rap (I just love her blog name!) wondered how many states I’d been to in my quest to see all 50. This is a little bigger than a fragment, so I’ll tell now!

First I’ll mention what my personal requirements are for me to count it as a state I’ve visited. I must do ONE of the following: spend a night in a hotel or campground, eat a meal in a restaurant, attend an event or do something that’s listed as a tourist attraction. In other words it has to matter to someone in the state that I was there; I should contribute something to the local economy. Airports don’t count if I don’t leave the airport and welcome centers on the highway don’t count.

I have visited 36 of the 50 United States. The “cheapest” state I included is New Hampshire. State tourism brochures brag about there being no sales tax in the state. When I was in New Hampshire, I bought batteries at a convenience store, something that would be taxable in any other state. I will return to New Hampshire to get it better!

Here’s my map: Green states I have visited, blue states I’ve also seen a baseball game or ten.

* I’ve got some catching up to do with my husband! When we went to North and South Carolina on vacation this year, they were states 47 and 48 for David! I still have more ballparks!

* I love Tennessee and I can’t believe I haven’t seen a baseball game there!

* I’ve been to a game for every Major League affiliated professional baseball team in Michigan and Indiana, still missing a couple in Ohio.

* Although I haven’t seen baseball in Wisconsin, I did see a Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer game.

* I visited Kansas for a job interview in 2000 for the NBC affiliate in Topeka. The creative services director took me out to lunch after picking me up at the airport and gave me a quick tour of downtown on the way to the office. I think contemplating a move serious enough to interview for a position definitely counts, even if it wasn’t my money spent on lunch.

* David and I were in Idaho together in 2007. We didn’t spend the night, but when we stopped for lunch we made sure we had potatoes!

I still need to visit: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont.

David and I are hopeful that we can do Hawaii in 2018. It’d be cool to have a few more checked off by then too!

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. How often do you check the weather? How do you check the weather?

I check the weather at night and before I go out. I usually check weather.com, but I’ve been using the National Weather Service’s website more lately.

2. Since this is volume 84 of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, and since I got married in 1984, and since I'm attending a wedding this weekend it only seems right to post something related here.

"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Agree or Disagree. Why?

Disagree! The first and most important aspect of a marriage, of any relationship, is to respect that other person. You have to respect who they are when you meet, not trying to change them, and you have to respect who they become as they grow. David and I have a lot of things in common and we have a lot of differences too. It’s key to enjoy each other for both.

We do know what things we enjoy that are different. That’s part of knowing, respecting and caring for each other. Just because I’m not a huge poker fan doesn’t mean I can’t give him a poker set as a gift. He’s not a big Black Eyed Peas fan, but he’s the one who bought my last Black Eyed Peas CD. Trying not to know the “defects” is accepting living with a stranger and “growing apart” is too often an excuse for divorce. If you respect and take an interest in your partner, you can grow different but in the same direction.

3. Do you like to dance? Have you ever taken dance lessons?

I have always enjoyed dancing. I still sort of dance when I’m doing my therapy exercises. I took ballet, jazz and tap lessons from 6 years old to 10.

7-year-old me in my jazz costume at the Spring Recital
(I LOVED that costume because of the fringe!)

4. Fresh from the oven peach pie or home made peach ice cream? Pick one.

Actually, I prefer fresh peaches most of all, but if there’s a choice, it’s always ice cream! (Not really a pie person anyway.)

5. Should people accept unfairness and learn to make the best of it?

You should always make the best of it, but NEVER accept unfairness! “It is what it is” only if you choose to do nothing to make it better. I hate that pessimistic and lazy phrase.

6. The top five all time summer movie blockbusters (released between May and August and grossing at least 100 million dollars) are-Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (the original), Ghostbusters, and ET. Which one's your favorite?

Okay, I’ve never been a big moviegoer. I never saw Ghostbusters or Raiders of the Lost Ark and I didn’t care for ET. I did like Star Wars and Jaws, but of the two Jaws is the one I’ll still watch parts of when it’s on TV, so, Jaws.

7. If given the chance, would you like to visit the moon?

Hmmm… Never really thought about it. I really want to visit all 50 states, so I don’t even think about Europe much, but the moon? If I got a case of astronaut ice cream to go with it, sure!


8. Insert your own random thought here.

The Major League Baseball All Star Game was last night. The team that wins the All Star Game wins home field advantage for the World Series. Since they started doing that the All Star Game just hasn’t been fun to watch because it doesn’t seem fun for the players either. The game determines something. It’s not just the best players entertaining the fans anymore.

It’ also stupid because the All Star Game is before the trade deadline. If the lone selection from a last place team in the last year of his contract has a stellar night and is awarded the MVP trophy, he could be traded by the end of July, perhaps to the other league. I am waiting for the day when the MVP is traded to the other league because a team is looking for that edge that will put them over the top and after he helped get home field advantage for one league, he ends up in the World Series for the other league and actually hurt himself by playing so well in July.

And I’ll laugh. :P

Monday, July 9, 2012

Will The REAL Monday Please Blog-Up?

As common everyday goes, last week was just weird! The Fourth of July midweek throws everything off. Once I got over the fact that Friday was indeed Friday and not Monday, it was suddenly the weekend! The fact that in order to get the train-time off and to help out with vacation times, David worked straight through the weekend and is working odd hours all week this week just adds to my confusion.

Yesterday I met Heather and Tracy for lunch in Monroe. It’s always a great day when we get together! After a leisurely lunch at Cracker Barrel, we went to the porch and continued our conversations. It was sunny, mid 80s and a mild occasional breeze; a gorgeous day! It ended up being a 5-hour lunch.

Monday Mug Shot

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Kill Devil Hills, NC

I guess I’m a little warped. I got my photo of the Kill Devil Hills water tower and with a wicked giggle and a raspy voice said “Kill Devil; Kill! Kill!” It just struck me as a horror movie name and it brought out my inner-imp!

The Wright Brothers museum and monument are pretty cool. We invited anyone else in the house that wanted to go to join us, but it ended up being just David and me. I know a lot of people like to just go to the beach or sit in their rented house and look out the windows when they’re on vacation, but I just couldn’t do that in an area with so much to see and do!

It was gray, rainy and muggy when we went to the museum, so it was busier because all of the beach bums settled for history to hide from the rain. That’s more of an observation than anything because there were a lot of people there and many left when the rain stopped!

It was fascinating watching the step-by-step of how the first airplane was tested and eventually constructed. Orville Wright was the brother who piloted the actual first flight. Wilbur piloted the second of the four fights they did on December 17, 1903. It was the fourth flight, by Wilbur, when they actually had established full control of the Wright Flyer. There was no “seating” in the Wright Flyer. The one-person airplane was piloted lying on your belly with your legs back while controlling the plane with your hands. Can you imagine flying like that today? But if the Wrights had never flown that way, the advancements that put seats in planes never would have come about!

After our time in the museum, David went up to the top of the hill, where the monument to that first flight that took off from that hill was. I stayed at the base of the hill with the car. It’s not at all that the monument wasn’t accessible, just steeper than I wanted to climb or make my husband push!

Wright Brothers Memorial

Our original plan after the Wright Brothers museum was to find a nice seafood restaurant and have our lavish meal of the trip for lunch. But the sun came out and there were lighthouses calling. No really, “David…Nani…have a late lunch. We’re waiting…” If there’s sunlight, they will come and all, we passed on immediate lunch and headed south!

Stay tuned for more Carolina mugs!

Read more about the Wright Brothers and the first flight!

Monday Quiz About Me

This is how I knew Friday wasn’t Monday; no quiz at Acting Balanced! Even while on vacation and enjoying the summer, Heather has been keeping this fun meme up. It’s a great way to wake up your brain for the new week! It’s not question-overload and the last question that you present readers adds just a bit of entertainment for them and it also makes commenting easy! (More fun to read than “yeah, what you said” too!) Won’t you think about joining in?

1. What are two must haves when you go on a road trip?

My camera and a notebook. We often keep track of license plates when we travel and I write down the ones we see. We saw Alaska three times on our vacation this year! I also take scrapbook notes to go with the photos I take.

2. What is your favorite amusement park ride?

I don’t do amusement parks so much anymore. I did them and carnivals often when I was a teenager/early 20s, but got bored with them. I’m not a huge thrill seeker, but when I seek thrills, I actually prefer a little more real risk. I thought the areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway that didn’t have guard rails when I drove on that were more fun than any amusement park ride I’d been on.

When I did go to amusement park/carnivals, I liked the Tilt-A-Whirl because, with my friends there with me, we could make it spin faster ourselves.

3. Post favorite picture from the last six months?

Well, my favorite, most meaningful, photo of the past 6 months I already put in my blog. That would be the one of me with Tori and Rina grasping their honors cords on their graduation night, so I’m representing that photo with the shots of them individually with me.

Nana and Tori

Rina and Nana

And here is another big favorite of mine, the group shot from Scotty’s BIG 25 Party:

4. What do you (did you) call your grandparents? If you are a grandparent what do your grandchildren call you?

My grandparents were Grandma and Papa on Mom’s side and Noni and Nono on Pop’s side. I don’t have kids, but Tori and Rina call me Nana, formed from the attempts at “Aunt Nani” when they were little. I suppose if they have kids I might be “Grandnana” or I may just stay Nana. The oldest kids are always the ones who ultimately decide what grandparents (or grand-aunts) will be called.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5. Do you have a cup or glass that is you favorite for your morning beverage?

I have a couple hundred mugs in my collection, but I still drink my morning coffee in my “good morning mug.”