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!

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Monday, April 29, 2013


Good Monday morning! I’m going to start off with the photo of the day, well actually of yesterday.

Now before you wonder why I’m posting a grainy and blurry photo, let me explain why it’s yesterday’s photo of the day and you’ll understand!

That’s our crazy robin! I figured out that what I thought was the first of 2 birds on Saturday was actually the robin from behind and the side not being able to see hi red breast. He is the epitome of why we call dumb mistakes “birdbrain” actions. I figured out what he was doing Saturday when he was throwing himself repeatedly at the picture window and confirmed it when I heard knocking on the window after the rain stopped yesterday.

Robbin, with a double b just in case the upper case R isn’t enough to differentiate the common noun from the name I’ve given him, has a goal. He sees to have decided that the cat stand, seen in the foreground, looks like a nice place to sit in the afternoon and he is bound and determined to figure out how to sit on it. He’s not falling all the way back in the bushes now, but he sits on the ledge, flutters up just high enough to get on the cat stand and *BOOM,* hits the window and flutters back to the ledge. He does this 5 or 6 times then sits on the ledge for a break before he tries again.

He did that for over an hour and a half yesterday! His only break from it was when I tried to get closer to see if I could get a better shot and he flew away, but he came back once I was back at the table. So, you see, since I had to take photos from the dining room I had to do it with the digital zoom zoomed all the way in. His flutter-booms are quick too! I took over 170 photos and that one was the best.

Now, Robbin does have a few brain cells in that little birdbrain of his because he only tries to do this during kitty siesta time. In fact he was on the sill after the girls woke up yesterday and flew off when Kaline saw him and ran to the window. But still, flutter-boom, flutter-boom for nearly 2 hours? And to try to get on the CAT stand?? Death wish my feathered friend, death wish.

Now I’ll celebrate Monday in my usual style by joining Heather at Acting Balanced and Wayne at Touristic for the Monday Quiz About Me!

1. Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?

When I make them they certainly annoy me, but in general if I’m reading someone else’s work an occasional misspelled word or even an occasional misused word I look past. I admit I have to go back and remove a misused apostrophe or two and on occasion fall victim to colloquial misuse of words. Sometimes I palm to my head because there is not apostrophe in the possessive of it and I often have to go back an correct the irritating Midwest habit of making all businesses entities whose house you must be visiting when you go there; “I’m going to Kroger’s.” so an occasional grammar or spelling error is not a big deal.

Having said that, I do get irritated and very judgmental when I’m reading something where errors are consistent and the writer obviously has no idea they are wrong. If a comment is made with no grasp of grammar, I’ll assume the commenter has no grasp of the subject either.

2. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

I think I’d love to watch Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling or perhaps Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa. I just think it would be cool to watch an Italian Renaissance Master artist complete a painting that would one day become a world renowned masterpiece just to see if anyone there had any thought that it would ever be as important a work as it became.

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an advertising creative like Darrin Stephens on Bewitched. I didn’t require a warlock for a husband but that would have been okay.

4. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Enjoy this time in your life because they’ll never wait on you hand and foot again. But I don’t think a newborn would understand that great piece of advice.

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

5. When do you eat your first vegetable of the day? What is your favorite veggie?

I usually eat my first veggies with lunch, since I am usually a sweets in the morning person. For instance I had a banana with breakfast today and I just finished an apple for my mid-morning snack. I’ll have veggies with lunch, probably a salad and a “crunchy veggie bag”

I love an assortment of raw veggies to munch in the afternoon and make bags of assorted ones. Right now I need to make up some more veggie bags but these will be without the cherry tomatoes and orange cauliflower because I used up those. My favorite raw veggies are organic carrots and celery, although there is a bunchy of them I enjoy. Cooked my favorites are green beans and zucchini. I like bell peppers cooked and raw.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Little Birds Calling

It’s such a bright and sunny day today and Kaline and Carla are missing a great show snoozing up on our bed. Of course the show would probably end pretty quickly if they came to watch.

Our front window, the big Cat TV screen, has just been knocking and thrashing this morning and still is. At first I thought the thud sound was Kaline knocking something around because she’d just been in the room with me. I went to see what was going on and there was no Kaline in the living room, no Carla either; no cats at all. I went back in and sat by the computer to finish writing my recent book review.

Then I heard thumping again, this time I was sure it was by the picture window. There was a bird right in front of the cable box where Kaline likes to sleep thumping his beak at the window. I didn’t recognize the type of bird. It has a longish beak and although I know we have a woodpecker in the area because I hear it every morning, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a woodpecker. We have a wood frame on the window and the bird thumped at the glass. Since I hear him every day I know our neighborhood woodpecker know his glass from a hole in the tree.

After the unknown bird left, the other side of that same window was thumped by a robin. I’m used to birds thrashing in the bushes by the windows a little, but this robin has been persistent for about the last ten minutes. He’s jumping around on the ledge right now, but he’s been fluttering up out of the bush and ever so gently throwing himself into the window, falling back into the bush and then repeating. Then he sits on the edge for a little and starts all over throwing himself into the window.

I’m not sure what this morning’s birds are up to but if they are looking to come inside or to build a nest, the main screen of Cat TV is really not the best choice of places to do that.

Book Review: Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

Book Synopsis on Good Reads

Lindsay Powell awakens one bright Sunday morning to find her almost-ex-husband in bed beside her. Had she really been glad to see the cheating creep standing on her front porch last night? At that burst of insanity she should have called 911, requested she be declared mentally incompetent and locked up for her own protection.

While sleeping with the jerk feels like the absolute worst thing that could happen, that error becomes insignificant as Lindsay’s life rapidly spirals downward into complete chaos and a near-deadly bout with the chocolate she loves.

Lindsay’s neighbor, Paula, is an enigmatic single mom of a two-year old boy. Though Lindsay and Paula have worked together for two years, Lindsay has no idea why her friend dyes her blond hair brown, hides from people and insists on always having a second exit. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put all their lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help her secretive friend, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, a computer nerd who rarely leaves his always-tidy house. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses arcane tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns and the inside of maximum security prisons.

Battling Paula’s elusive stalker, poisoned chocolate, Lindsay’s irritating almost-ex, and a dead man, Lindsay needs more than a chocolate fix to survive.

My Review at Good Reads

5 out of 5 Stars

How well do you really know your closest friends and neighbors? How good a friend are you? Solid friendships don’t require every detail of someone’s past, but not knowing can sure put you in a dangerous situation if that untold past catches up. I liked the story of friends and trust and the main action plot was believable and just fiction enough to keep me guessing and surprised in the earlier chapters of the book.

I totally enjoyed this book! Told in first person, Death by Chocolate is an intense story with a light hearted edge. It doesn’t take long after the beginning of the book to love Lindsay, the main character and for her soon to be ex-husband to make your skin crawl. By the end of my first reading session I wanted to help Lindsay’s neighbor and best friend, Paula, with whatever her trouble was and I was ready to offer to babysit her 2-year old son. I was also smitten with King Henry, the robust cat who chose Lindsay as his human and announced the presence of the bad guys as a watch cat.

This is not a curl up with a cup of tea or coffee book. Death by Chocolate is Lindsay’s breakfast and lunch diner where she specializes in decadent chocolate creations; I’d really suggest curling up with a cup of hot chocolate! The climax of the book is a very “I watch TV shows” attempt at getting the guilty party to confess on tape that goes not quite the way it does on TV. Just as you think it’s a crime for the book to have such a trite end, surprise! It doesn’t, not really. The twists aren’t deep corkscrew rollercoaster twists that turn you upside down, but they are definitely like the one that turns at the end of each hill.

At the end of the book are recipes for decadent chocolate treats, many that are featured at Lindsay’s diner. A sweet finish to a good read!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy National Pretzel Day!

Some fun online research tells me that April 26 is National Pretzel Day, the holiday in April, Pretzel month. Pretzels are my favorite salty snack, yes, even a step above popcorn. I’ll start my Friday Fragments this week with some pretzel talk!

Hosted by Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time

**   I think the pretzel love started when I was a kid in Southgate, MI. When we’d occasionally go to the Southland Mall with Mom, we’d get hot soft pretzels with mustard as a treat. I liked the crunchy ones too. I could get a box of the thin pretzel sticks for a dime the same place I got penny candy and baseball cards. Yeah, the olden days when I could get a pack of baseball cards, a coke, a box of pretzels and still have some leftover for penny candy with 50 cents. Whoever would have believed then that statement would one day make me sound do old? When we complained because the 15 cent Hershey’s bars went up to 20 cents, Mom laughed and told us about 5 cent candy bars. I paid 60 cents for those outrageously expensive 20 cent candy bars when I bought them for Rina and Tori. Lucky is she who can buy a candy bar for under $1.25 now!

Today I replaced cereal at breakfast with a soft pretzel to accompany my coffee, yogurt and banana. Maybe I’ll have one with mustard alter. When I have crunchy pretzels, especially if I can get them in Pennsylvania, I have specific pretzel and mustard combinations. I have four different kinds of mustard n my fridge, so I always have the appropriate mustard on hand. I like honey wheat pretzels with honey mustard and pumpernickel or sourdough with spicy brown mustard. Regular pretzels are perfect with standard yellow mustard, but really those are great with whatever mustard strikes my fancy at the time. YUM; what a great excuse for a holiday!

**  I punched in for an MS teleconference Tuesday that I didn’t end up staying on the line for. The topic was in-home health care and what the different types of visiting assistance you can get. I really felt like it was more of an advertisement for the guest speakers from their own in-home healthcare company. In the first 5 minutes they touted the benefits of in-home care and that most people responded better to in-home care than a hospital or assisted living and would rather stay home. I found that to be a really strange statement personally. After visiting many facilities for care for both my great-grandmother and grandmother there are some wonderful facilities that offer different levels of assistance and care.

Mums was in an assisted living apartment before she became too ill to care for herself. She’d been living with my parents and me prior to that and the stress level was incredible. When she moved into her apartment she regained a lot of independence and the stress was drastically reduced all around. She was always the same self she’d been when she was living alone at her house, with all the privacy she’d had, but with medical help or even just a “can you reach something for me?” a click of button away. I can’t understand how anyone that can afford it would choose to stay in their house rather than assisted living. If I had the choice to make for myself between retaining my privacy but having the safety and community of an apartment setting, while still having as much independence and freedom to bus wherever I wanted or living alone in a house with burners too high for a wheelchair, steps to tumble down and a lawn I have to pay someone to maintain, I’d go the apartment in a heartbeat! I always told my great-grandmother that I wanted to move to an assisted living complex when I retired because that’s the type of comfort and safety people deserve.

Anyway, I disconnected the call. There are a lot of better alternatives to someone coming into my home and judging me a few times a week.

**  If you read my book reviews, which I’m doing this year as part of my reading goal, you know I was less than pleased with the last book I finished. Rare Traits was a hard book to follow and I went a few days without reading to be fair to the next book, but it really was not a book I enjoyed at all. Death By Chocolate, however was a great read! I haven’t posted a review yet because I just, I mean JUST, finished it before I started writing this blog entry. It was a good crime story and the main character owns a breakfast and lunch bistro called Death By Chocolate. Can’t go wrong with that. At the end of the book are recipes for the incredible chocolate delights she made during the story. A great book with a little bonus heaven! That review will probably be my next entry; I can tell you it will get five stars!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two-Cup Morning

I woke up too early this morning and it's gloomy and rainy.  Bring on the coffee!

1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month?

Well actually lately we’ve been showered with rain, just like the saying goes!

2. What is the nature of compassion? Is it learned or innate? Can compassion be learned? If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?

I think children are naturally compassionate; they want everyone to be happy and they want to understand when they aren’t. I’ve had a toddler pat my arm and give a hug because I was crying. They don’t understand happy tears or movie tears, but they understand tears and they try to give comfort.

There have been studies done involving race and sex with babies/toddlers. In one study group they all wore the same gender non-specific clothes. Without the visual identifiers; adults dressing them as :cute little girls” and “rugged little boys,” they treated each other as equals and broke into play groups based on the toys they were interested in which included boys who were attracted to the dolls and girls who wanted to play with the trucks. (I took some fun electives when I finished my degree) In other studies involving race relations, babies and toddlers of different races, features and skin tones who perceived there was no adult supervision played and again broke into playgroups based on interests and not physical traits. It’s even been my own experience that as someone in a wheelchair children in the ages range of about 6-10 are more likely to ask if they can hold a door for me than an adult. If compassion and equality can be learned, we need to pay closer attention to what our kids are teaching because the better qualities of mankind they are born with and we conform it out of them.

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?

I don’t watch movies too often, but I enjoy sports movies like Bull Durham, movies based on comic books like The Punisher or 1940s black and white romantic comedies like His Girl Friday.

4. It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?

Hmm, let’s see…. I don’t like steak but I love snouts and tails hot-dogs. I love baseball and don’t like dressing up. Yep, I’d say I totally agree with the quote! My favorite comment that I make about baseball is “A bad day at the ball park is better than a good day almost anywhere.”

5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?

We need more police. I think it’s stupid to make cuts in vital services for the health and well-being of the residents of city. I’d love it if we had enough police to actually ticket or arrest the 3AM motorcycle racers that wake up our neighborhood, but we barely have enough to scrape up their remains when they crash.

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.

Desert Rose by Sting.

7. April 22nd is Earth Day...do you believe there's life on other planets? That wasn't the question you were expecting was it?

Sure. It may not be life in the form that we think of it, but I think it makes sense that other planets developed the same way the earth did.

In a spiritual sense, I can’t believe that God is so small that He made all those planets and only put life on one. That’s just our human egos that believe that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning. I’m not so sure my thought can keep up with my random, so I owe ya! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Monday That Was

David and I were out of town for a weekender this weekend. That of course means we got in last night since we have a Sunday/Monday weekend. Our original plan was that we’d ho to Pittsburgh to catch a couple of Norfolk Southern Heritage Units, but our hobby is so weather and railroad dependent! We ended up spending the night in the Akron Ohio area and got one of the Heritage Units and the F-Units on an empty business special train. Oh we got quite a few additional trains under some beautiful skies. No complaints!

We also got to have dinner at Eat N’ Park two nights, which meant I got to try something that wasn’t Nantucket Cod! I love Nantucket Cod and since Eat N’ Park hasn’t seen fit to put a restaurant in Toledo yet, I always get my Nantucket Cod fix when we eat there in our travels. It’s only when we eat there more than once in a week’s time that I try something new. I’ve never had a bad meal at Eat N’ Park and the Herb Crusted Chicken last night was no exception. Bonus that it was Monday, which is Stuffed Pepper Soup Day. It really was a terrific meal!

Since I have a few days that I can still post, I thought I’d try out Heather’s and Wayne’s Monday Quiz on Tuesday.

1. Who do you like to quote?

I’ve seen my personal credo: “I cannot control what happens to me, but I’m the only one that controls how I react to what happens to me,” paraphrased many different ways and credited to many people. So, I guess I like to quote them, or they like to quote me. I have a suspicion that it’s a good optimistic attitude held by many and while the idea isn’t original to any of us, it is original to all of us.

2. Have you ever made something you wore out in public?

Absolutely! I have always worn jewelry I make and in the SC I sewed most of my wardrobe.

3. When was the last time you used a telephone (not a cell phone)?

Golly, probably at Grandma’s house when we were packing things up? That would have been in 2010. Do I get extra points because it was a rotary dial??

4. What was the first recording you bought with your own money?

The first record I bought with money I saved from my allowance would have been Just A Game by Triumph when I was 14.

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

5. If you lost mobility in your legs would you still be able to do your job? What changes could you make to still perform our job duties or what skills would you build up in your resume to sell yourself for a new position?

I am asking this because I’m getting ready to rebuild my resume and start job hunting now that I will soon be able to actually get to a meeting at the Vocational, Rehabilitation Bureau and get to and from a job.

Due to the job market just before my physical condition started getting progressively worse and since diagnosis, while trying to figure out how to manage daily life, I’ve been out of the world of the employed for a while.

Honestly, had the job not been shipped to India, I can still perform all the duties of my last actual job with a few provisions made for a wheelchair and an occasional assist with the top file drawers. My job was mostly email and phone as an assistant to a group of field auditors.

I could not be a cable TV producer again, but with a few provisions and perhaps a few classes to bring my skills and software up to date, I do still have the design knowledge to do simple video editing for photo and moving video. The former is something I can put on a resume now, the latter is something to bring up meeting with a vocational rehab counselor.

What about you? What do you do really well at your job that you could use to outshine not being able to “walk” into an interview?

Book Review: Hooker Fire and Water by David Scott

Book synopsis from Smashwords

Marc Hooker: Self-proclaimed marketing expert, aspiring entrepreneur, “accidental” womaniser and occasional amateur detective. In this, his first outing we find him starting the new year having recently lost his job, in the dog house with partner, Suzy and not looking forward to starting a temporary post in an apparently sleepy backwater of British industry. But Rachel, the beautiful girl he is replacing, was drowned in the nearby river only a few weeks before. It isn’t long before Hooker discovers it wasn’t the first suspicious death at the factory. That, along with theft, affairs and office rivalries soon has him suspecting murder, especially when an old love rival turns up unexpectedly. It isn’t long before his investigations set off a series of events that threaten not just his relationship with Suzy but his career and ultimately his very life.

My review

2 out of 5 stars

Typos; oh my, the typos. You should never even self-publish a book without having it proofread. If you can’t afford to have it professionally done, have someone else you trust to know the grammar and spelling of the book’s native language do it. There were obvious wrong words because spell check doesn’t catch a typo that creates a different correctly-spelled word. That goes for consistently misused words that show the author does know how to spell the wrong word. I understand that an British author will spell some words differently than an American one, realise and realize for instance, but when you don’t win, you lose, not loose in both dialects. At least the misuse of “loose” was consistent.

Proper editing would have perhaps also corrected the problem I had with the book; being longer than it needed to be. Many details were unnecessary or over-described. I was attracted to the marketing department angle of the story because I’m a fan of marketing and have worked in or with many marketing departments. It has never been my experience that the majority of married men in corporate life “can’t keep it in their pants” and so many women are eager to accommodate. I’ve never noticed any more infidelity in corporate life than anywhere else. Marc Hooker, the title character, “accidently” slept with not one, but two women in the first couple weeks of joining the company and after the infidelity tally was becoming laughable, I think I laughed even harder when a homosexual out of wedlock relationship was thrown in. Can we get more cliché?

I was frustrated because I really didn’t like the main character. His amateur detective work had him making snap judgments and acting on them when the reader could easily see that he was wrong, and his judgments were always wrong, even into the final chapters. As a junior sleuth, he should stick to his day-job; what little of his marketing ideas were in the chapters, they were much better than his problem-solving or logic skills. He had “ah-ha moments” through the whole book that never came to any type of fruition and the climax was so telegraphed I just wanted to leaf through it and say I’d finished the book. As expected, that climax was much longer than it needed to be, Hooker was wrong and “accidently survived.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Brighter Day

Hi there, it’s the Nani you all read and I hope at least like. If you did stop by yesterday and read, you know I wasn’t in a frame of mind to do any of my usual happy Friday posts. Sorry about that and if you did read, thanks for indulging me and I hope you don’t think any less of me. Both politically and personally crime and punishment is the nastiest and darkest my opinions get. I don’t apologize for that. But truthfully even I like the loving and giving me a lot better than the gloomy and grumpy me. Maybe it’s just that control-freak Nani wants to just fix everything I think is wrong with the world?

I am on break right now having just come back downstairs after folding a boatload of laundry that David did and brought upstairs. He does it in a few days of switching a load when he gets home and before bed, usually in the morning too so nothing is sitting in the washer wet. I get lazy and wait until it’s ALL done and sitting in baskets upstairs to be folded. Then it takes a while to do and leaves me exhausted. You’d think I'd learn to space it out. Oh, and I will; it’s just that I’m learning so much all the time about what my own limitations are, how I can expand those limitations that it’s sometimes a matter of baby steps. You know babies learn so much every day that some things take a little longer than you’d think they would. That’s me, MS and laundry folding. But it only took about 6 or 7 times before I got in the groove and perfected my spaghetti system, including salad and the extra garlic and chopped olives in mine. I totally got this.

Monday, April 22, is Earth Day. The Toledo Zoo honored Earth Day today with a major recycling drive. That means we finally got rid of the 32” TV with the shorting audio that’s been quietly sitting in our living room since fall 2010. You see it’s broken; doesn’t work, but it’s too heavy for one person to lift and where do we take it? It’s too big for our curbside cans and neither recycling nor garbage crews will pick it up. So without an easy answer, and not a lot more that an eyesore, not truly “in the way” in the living room, it sat there, getting an occasional swipe with the duster, but mostly just collecting dust for 2-1/2 years. There were other dead appliances in the garage awaiting a recycling drive too, so last night a coworker stopped by to help get the dead TV in David’s car and he added the other things in the garage “appliance graveyard” to it this morning and stopped at the zoo on the way to work. It feels awesome to get rid of those things, especially that TV, and in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.

The timing is wonderful. As David had the information about the old appliance drive at the zoo to share I texted him that we absolutely had to get rid of that space taking TV because it’s right where I want to use as a parking spot for the power chair. Yes, I got a call yesterday that insurance has okayed my power chair! Nani does the sitting happy-dance! The order was placed yesterday and they told me it would be about 2 weeks before they’d call to schedule delivery. I’ll want to schedule that for a day/time when David is home so we both hear and see the care and feeding schedule information for it.

Now I have need to see about getting a ramp installed. When I started looking at ramps we install and they were talking about where to drill holes in the porch, I figured we’d need to have it installed for us. David and I both have degrees and experience in media, not home improvement. I want put some grab bars in the bathrooms. That would be easier and much safer than using towel bars and toilet paper dispensers! Pop agrees and has also joined the family members who have said “what you really need is a ranch.” We do agree but are not rushing to move for $everal reasons. But Pop also said he’d install the ramp and grab bars! It’s good to be “always a construction princess!”

Still tired; I need coffee!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dark Pondering

The bombs at The Boston Marathon, poison laced letters sent to lawmakers, guns in an elementary school or a maniac in Kevlar at a movie theater, just a few examples in recent headlines of the sickness in our world. I was thinking about this a lot yesterday, As I’ve said before and I will never change my thoughts; I don’t understand how people like this think and I never want to understand it.

So much violence and senseless killing. If the world they live in is that awful suicide is a better answer than killing anyone else. The violence is your problem and yours alone of you have those ideas in your mind. I’m usually the first to say that suicide is not the answer, that those feeling that hopeless need help and support, but if the only alternative they’ll consider is mass murder, by all means, have at it on yourself. Just be kind enough to the people you leave behind to let them know you were probably going to kill innocent people had it not been yourself. Really, it does make it okay.

And “Not guilty by reason of insanity?” Meh, of course your insane! If you kill people you don’t even know, if children are in your line of fire and it’s oaky by you, insanity goes without saying. But is that a reason to consider you “not guilty?” In a premeditated attack you never once thought maybe you were nuts? It never occurred to you that at the very least, what you were planning was considered immoral or at least deviant behavior? At any point in planning you could have sought help instead of following through. If you kept your plan a secret, you knew it was wrong. Why did you CHOOSE not to get help? No, it’s GUILTY by reason of insanity. The insanity plea is no reason to let someone off with being tried for a lesser crime than mass murder when mass murder is what they are guilty of. The defense team of the Aurora movie theater shooter, who will not receive the publicity and humanity of a name here, had considered entering a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea. None of his victims get to enter a “not dead by reason of movie” reversal. If the crime is punishable by death, it’s punishable by death. If the crime warrants life in prison, it warrants life in prison. Every person who has committed the same crime is unquestionably insane but that is not an excuse not to receive the punishment for the crime committed.

Oh, and terrorism? Aside from the fact that religion really has nothing to do with it; it’s power drunk “religious” “leaders” using a religion they don’t believe in to control weak believers with lies about their religion and other religions to cause the violence that gets their rocks off and makes them feel powerful. They do it because they have nothing else in their being that they consider worth anything. And don’t get me wrong here; this includes the likes of Al Qaeda and every “Christian” “leader” who has inspired their followers to bomb an abortion clinic or picket a funeral. It’s all terrorism and about as far from any kind of religious belief as you can get.

If you truly believe your religion wants that much hate and violence from you, you need to look for a new religion because the one you have is making you pretty miserable. I’m not familiar with any religion that encourages you to honor God, by whatever name the creator has in that religion, by being miserable in the life you were given, If you truly believe God wants you to be so hateful and violent, well, you portray God as quite a jerk. I find that kind of offensive, personally. I haven’t come across any holy book that doesn’t say you shouldn’t kill, so if you are killing in the name of your religion, boy are you screwed up.

Today an entire major city is shut down and we don’t even know the root of the hate yet. The 8th Ammendement includes prohibiting the use of cruel and unusual punishment, including torture. Considering that this Amendment was ratified at a time when slavery was still legal in this country, what exactly is “cruel and unusual?” Do we as a society get a pass when the crime is cruel and unusual? Should we? With the exception of slavery, the crimes today are way bigger than they were at that time.

Just sayin’.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone too much. I’ve said before that some of my crime and punishment ideas have made very right, staunch Republicans say “Well, I wouldn’t go that far.” I’ve also said that I write to get things of my chest and poison out of my brain. I feel a little better now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's That In The Hodge Podge, A Head??

Where are the other 174 heads??

I’ve received a few comments here, email and even on Facebook to the original post of my “funny sign.” That it doesn't make sense. Okay, why Nani, and David, were in stitches after seeing this sign.

Years ago there was a skit on The Benny Hill Show. A hired-for-her-looks actress was doing an initial reading for a movie. The line was “What’s that in the road ahead?” She read it as “What’s that in the road.” Stopped an turned to the camera, “a head?”

The skit went on with the actress and director debating whether or not she read the line correctly. The English language can be so much fun. When David and I travel we see the “Stop ahead” signs often and when we do, one of us exclaims “STOP!” The other says “A head!” and we both scream in mock horror. When we saw that sign, David yelled “STOP”, I announced “A head!” and he said “and 350 feet!” We both screamed, asked where the rest of the heads were and broke into giggle fits. A head and 350 feet leaves 348 feet without heads.

I hope that the next time any of you see a stop ahead sign, you get a good chuckle now! :)

Let’s just get on with THIS week’s Hodge Podge with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond!

1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns. What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?

Filling the weekly pill sorter.

2. I'm participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?

We went to the grocery store Monday and I got both green and Kalamata olives.

3. What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience?

Man walking on the moon for the first time. It’s one of my earliest memories. When, as an adult, I told my mom I remembered it, she didn’t believe me at first until I told her where I was and recalled being told to stand farther away from the TV because I was right in front of it and touching the screen. Mom was shocked because I remembered correctly. We were at a baby shower. The adults were downstairs at the party and the kids were up in the den playing. When the landing was on TV, some of the adults came up to watch it and I was touching the screen and scolded to move away. The giant leap for mankind was 9 days before my third birthday. The event really was that huge in my very young mind.

I do remember that I touched the screen because I wanted to touch the moon.

Future generations may experience something that huge when man walks on Mars the first time, but it still won’t be the first steps on something that’s not earth.

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts?

I don’t know that it really makes a difference; politicians are there for their party, not for America or Americans. I think maybe Shakespeare was a little off on the group for one famous quote. Lawyers are fine as long as they don’t run for office.

5. On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride? Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.

My last midnight ride was last summer when David, Mike and I went to Spencer, NC for the Norfolk Southern Heritage Unit Festival at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. We rode through the night and car-camped by the tracks when we got there. No wars were started as a result, but it was cool two days and seeing ALL the Heritage Units was totally worth it.

6. What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider?

Why do blog memes have to always ask THAT choice? I have a better question: What would freak you out more… a mouse running across your floor or a huge cockroach on your kitchen counter?

Ceiling check: clear

7. I love it when people ask me before helping me. It’s not as bad now that I use the wheelchair when I’m out, but when I was using the walker and still driving people trying to be helpful would almost knock me down. If someone with a walker is opening a door and slowly going through it, don’t ever grab the door to open it for them! Ask if you can help first. They may be using the door to balance when they only have one hand on the walker and grabbing the door from them may send them and the walker flying down.

But do ask; given a moment to put two hands on the walker and rebalance, it’s a lot easier to get through an open door! (This is all true for someone with a cane too!)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I gave some serious thought to doing the A-Z challenge this year but there are SO MANY blogs participating! I try to visit at least 7 other blogs from the memes I* do and some days that’s a challenge. I could never visit enough to call it a respectable percentage of over 1000! Maybe I’ll try it next year without linking up.

I want to thank everyone who read yesterday’s post, 52 topix, Week 13 – Age. So far I’m enjoying my Project 52 challenge this year! Week 15 started yesterday and in the next day or so I’ll be doing the layout for last week. I post the essay part some time soon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Little Something For Us All

This is a sponsored post brought to you by PeachSuite Hotel Supply
The content and opinions are 100% mine.

I love when I find a source for something I’ve wanted for a long time. I don’t have a hair dryer. I’d love to have one, but I’ve long said that when I can find a hair dryer as good as the ones they have in hotels I’ll buy one but not until then. PeachSuite Hotel Supply is an Atlanta Hotel Supply company that offers many hotel supplies, including hotel-quality hair dryers!

Finding a Hotel Supply Online site does not mean someplace I have to buy a gross of items to have one, although I could buy a gross of items. It’s an excellent source for your small business, be it a Mom and Pop Hotel, a restaurant or catering business out of your home. It’s also a great source for buying a smaller amount, even just one for personal use. I checked the FAQs and you can buy anything on the site for home use with a few exceptions that are really not made for the non-commercial electric system. But really who needs a popcorn machine that makes 360 servings in their house? (No, not even me!)

But I did find I liked the Hotel Bar Supplies section! Bar stools, commercial grade bar stools and very good prices. I’ve mentioned wanting a higher nice wood stool for my kitchen, but there are also other really nice bar stools available. If you’re looking for two or three for the breakfast bar in your kitchen or around the pool table in your home game room, give PeachSuite a look! You’ll also find glasses and other bar goodies that you can buy in just the quantity you need for summer parties or just entertaining on a smaller scale at home.

If you have a small business that wants the stuff to “run with the big dogs” PeachSuite Hotel Supply has a seemingly endless selection of professional items. If you’ve ever thought there was an item in a hotel that you’d like for home; maybe you have loved hotel hair dryers like me, a spa bathrobe or the little coffee maker for a college dorm, you have to check out PeachSuite. They have something for everyone!

52 topix, Week 13 - Age

I had some fun writing Week 13's topic; Age. Remember that when I post my "Project 52" layout and journaling I'm always a week or so behind as I collect notes and photos for during that week for the week's layout. Same as in a photo Project 365, you take a photo a day and if you put them in a scrapbook layout you'd do that page after the week is done. So, while today starts week 15, I'm just now starting the write up and layout for 14, making 13 the latest. Age is just chapters in our personal books of life.

Age is good on some things, not so good on others. If the condition of an item is good it can be a “classic” or an “antique.” Cars over 25 years are classic cars, but they can still just be old cars if they bear the scars of fender benders past or rust has spread its cancer through the metal. A child’s toy that’s over 50 years old is an antique, but if it’s in more pieces that it should be, or if there are fewer pieces than there should be, its value and usefulness are not so high.

The value of people is not tarnished by age, not the real value. As you get older, your book of life becomes a greater volume. Every year that passes is another chapter of knowledge, of relationships of personal history. It’s another year of new companion books to the story of your life, some are new friends you’ll catch up on the parts already written in coffee shops and living rooms as you get to know each other and share the books of your lives. Some new ones will be children’s books with pictures and no words to be written in them yet. And your book has references to many other books, good and bad, as your book is written in the library of the world. Your book will recognize completed books; some with beautiful final chapters, some with abrupt ends, some huge volumes with dozens of chapters and some books that are too short.

When I look back at what I hope is only the first half of my book, there are some great chapters. There are also some chapters I’d like to mostly forget. The end of the 12th chapter was my very first rock concert and going to Italy, even though that chapter started with a broken front tooth that I had in my very first passport. Chapter 17 was when I finished high school and though it took longer than it should have, I love chapter 30 when I finally completed my college degree.

It was very early in Chapter 24 that I had lunch with a writer from Headline News at CNN Center and he told me that I should go home and sign up at Specs Howard, then come back and apply. Most of the rest of Chapter 24 was doing just that. It was a great chapter that I enjoy rereading a little of from time to time. For a few chapters after that I spent a lot of time in Atlanta, as a tourist and a job seeker. I had started a job a truly loved as a cable TV producer in Michigan in Chapter 26 and much of the next 4 chapters revolved around that.

In Chapter 28 two new companion books to mine started. I never thought children’s books would be as much fun to read or help write until I became an aunt. It’s amazing what plot twists can make your life story even better.

The plot hasn’t always been a great one. When my mother’s book ended after only 58 chapters, I thought the character of my book would never be the same. And for a while it wasn’t. In our bookcase of family, each book is so dependent on the books of friends and relatives for story ideas and the passion that makes us all great writers. We have many cowriters in the books of our lives and we co-write in chapters of many others. I was in Chapter 37 when my mother’s book ended, but you’d think I was in Chapter 3 and not able to write for myself for a couple of pages. It was one thing that I did in tribute to Mom’s book, a club I joined in her memory in my Chapter 38, which set my book on a coffee table next to another book I couldn’t put down. Mom’s book lead me to so many other great books through my chapters, of course her story’s effects on me still would! It’s a book Mom never read, but she would have loved the book being written by the man who became her son-in-law.

My book has had many twists and turns, Chapter 42 was the fun of eloping and surprising family along with steamy romance of newlywed life, but chapter 43 was a sad chapter of profound loss as 7 books in my bookcase became complete; one was one of my closest friends, John, after only 50 chapters and my grandmother and mother-in-law, both after 84.

As I move forward with writing my life story, though some books have ended and their authors no longer co-write any pages with me, the stories are still mostly good. They are filled with new endeavors and new ideas. There are new collaborators and new views from faithful coconspirators in my life’s capers. I have new challenges all the time which make for interesting and sometimes exciting stories as I face them and come out on top, which I usually do in one aspect or another. An optimist’s life story is an inspiring and fun read!

Age is a mindset. We ultimately don’t choose how long our books will be and we don’t always control what there will be going on to write about, but we do control how the story is told. The longer your book is the more cowriters you have and the more can fill it with your own history. We decide if it will be a happy, inspirational and strong book, a dark and brooding book or something in between. However you write it, like any book good or bad, it is part of the library of the world and will leave its mark on everyone who reads it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two-Cat Household Again

Cluster made with A Book Of Me by Aprilisa Designs

I hope everyone had a much better weekend than me. It’s not really so much that it was a bad weekend; it really was a fairly quiet weekend. But yesterday we took Morgan back to the shelter. It was getting worse and worse between the cats. Kaline and Carla didn’t just “not like her,” they were terrified of her. When they tried to come downstairs Morgan chased them back up and there was always screeching when she chased. One time Carla had a scratch that bled a little.

Just a couple days ago Kaline braved it and scampered into the kitchen while Morgan was asleep. The sound of a cat eating woke her up and I put my hand on her to keep her from charging in. After Kaline was done she left the kitchen and saw Morgan. She froze wide-eyed with all four paws gripping the floor. I kept my hand or Morgan’s back when she tried to charge Kaline. When she unsuccessfully tried again, she nipped at me and ran upstairs. Next thing I heard was a screech. Since I wouldn’t let her go after Kaline, she went after Carla.

She is a sweet cat; for a one-cat house. She is cute and playful, cuddly and attentive with people as long as there are no other cats around. In the presence of other cats she’s mean to everyone.

Still I cried when I made that call to Paws and Whiskers. She was sitting in the window watching birds when I was on the phone making arrangements to send her away. In the shelter and in a cage there are no birds to watch.

The change was almost immediate in Kaline and Carla when we got home. They were all over visiting the kibble dishes whenever they wanted, enjoying all their Cat TV screens, scratching on their posts and playing chase, which is something they haven’t done in quite a while because they’ve been getting chased for real.

We made the right decision. One glimpse of how much less stress the girls feel tells us that. David and I prefer not to dwell on having failed with Morgan, but we feel good that we tried.

The Monday Quiz about me is hosted by Acting Balanced and Touristic. You can join Heather and Wayne on Mondays to share a little about yourself and invite your readers to play along with your final question!

1. What is your best solution for getting rid of a headache?

Tilt my head to the left.

Seriously, even though I have plenty of aches I never get headaches. Recently I have been getting them because something in my neck and shoulders is pinching a nerve. I know this because I was getting headaches before I went into therapy in February. The headaches went away and when I went back for a manipulation there was a crack and then all the tightness went away too. Now the cramping in my shoulder and neck on the right side is back and so are the headaches. The ibuprofen helps, but when the pain starts on the right side of my head I stretch my neck and tilt my head to the left and instant headache relief.

Because I don’t want to continue to live with my head tilted to the left, I’m going back to have another manipulation this afternoon!

2. Do you enjoy taking naps?

I take “power naps.” I learned how to do this when I quit smoking in 1990. I used a self-hypnosis tape and I seriously quit the next morning. Of course the first step to any method working is you really have to want it to work. I did. Since it was so successful, I got a stress relief and relaxation tape and learned some visualization and how to fall into a deep sleep quickly. Now I can take a 5-minute nap and feel like I slept for an hour. In the middle of the afternoon, yes I enjoy that!

3. What was the last 'block buster' movie you saw at the theatre?

The last Harry Potter movie, also the last movie I saw, unless you count watching His Girl Friday on DVD last November when my computer died.

Sheri and I are planning to go see 42 when she’s on vacation!

4. If you could have anyone cook you dinner who would it be?

Easy! My dad! Pop is an awesome cook! It’s not just the foods I grew up eating, although I love those things, but Pop’s skills with not just Italian/Sammarinese food, but American too are fabulous! And he can cook anything on a grill including rotisserie chicken and turkey, breaded vegetables, pizza and sautéed mushrooms and onions and so much more! Oh yeah, on his lazier nights he does burgers, dogs and steak too.

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

5. What is your favorite non-homemade cookie?

I am enjoying my favorite cookie right now! I posted my recipe for Café Samoa and lamented that we hadn’t had Girl Scout cookies in a couple years, including my favorite commercial cookies, Girl Scout Samoas. Well, when David was out for the monthly model train layout session in Michigan Saturday, there was a Girl Scout cookie table outside the restaurant they usually go to. There were no Samoas on the table, but remembering those are my favorite, he asked. They brought out the Samoas and he brought me home a box! I had a few yesterday on my biweekly Sunday off from points counting, but today a serving of 2 are my mid-morning coffee snack. MMMM!!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hodge Podge That Made Nani Cry

After the Spring Break hiatus, Joyce at From This Side of the Pond is back with Wednesday Hodge Podge questions!

1. Share one fun thing you did last week, while the Hodgepodge was on 'spring break'.

David and I went to Indiana Friday to photograph some trains. I just wanted to get out of the house for a day. The colors weren’t the pretty spring greens get, but the trip was nice and the company great as it always is!

2. April 10th is National Sibling Day...do you have siblings, and if so are you close? Share a favorite story featuring one or all of your siblings. If you don't have siblings, did you ever wish you did?

I consider John, Scott and Kelly the brothers and sister I found later in my life and they are as much my immediate family as David is; relatives I wasn’t born into, but loved into later.

But actual blood relative siblings, I have one. Dave is my baby brother, 14 months younger. We were close when we were kids, but I don’t think as close as adults.

Picture from my wedding reception, July 2009

When we were kids, the next door neighbor kid was a tyrant. He and Dave were 4, I was 5. He had a whip that he smacked the tires on Dave tricycle with! It made Dave cry and “nobody make my baby brother cry but me” so I punched him in the stomach and made him cry. He never made Dave cry again. I guess I do still try to make sure no one’s whipping his tires.

3. Is it important to you to 'buy American'? Why or why not? How much of an effort do you make to 'buy American'? If you're not American, insert your own country in the blank.

I don’t think it’s really so much an issue anymore. In a global economy so little is actually made in one place and I’m sorry to say we’ve become a county that comes up with ideas and sends them someplace else to be made with cheaper labor. It would be great to say “Buy American,” but what exactly is buying American? Is it buying American ideas assembled in Mexico? Is it buying from the small business selling items made in China? A local restaurant with recipes from Italy and cheese from Canada or handcrafted items made with fabric from India? I believe in supporting local businesses when I can and when it doesn’t break my budget, but I don’t think “Buy American” means what it once did.

4. Besides The Bible, what book has impacted your spirituality in some way?

I have a great collection of religious and spiritual books from many different beliefs. I think seeing what they all have in common and the many ways they are different has had a greater spiritual influence on me than any one book.

5. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Do you find rainy days calming or depressing? When were you last caught in a rainstorm? What's blooming in your neck of the woods today?

We had a thunder shower this morning and some momentary big fat loud rain drops. Aside from being more physically challenged with the change in barometric pressure, I find rain and thunder showers to be exciting and even a little sexy. Tornado sirens, however, are a little unnerving and sometimes scary.

Right now we have the last of the crocuses and beginning of the narcissus/daffodils. There are some trees just beginning to bud.

6. What's your favorite yellow food?

I like a banana every morning and various kinds of mustards are my favorite condiments.

7. April is National Poetry Month...what's a poem that holds special meaning for you, and why is it special?

Okay, I’m going to go out on a soul-bearing emotional limb here. I am not a fan of poetry; I write funny poems. My Mom wrote serious poems and I have a folder full of them. Still the poems with special meaning to me are the two serious one I wrote after she died. This is the one that I cried like crazy while writing and it still makes me tear up ten years later.


It happened one warm July morning,
There was chaos and peace,
There was fear and anticipation,
You and I began.

I was your miracle. You were my everything.

You taught and I learned.
Then I taught and you learned.
We both grew
and that bond of love strengthened.

I was your work in progress. You were my foundation.

You held so many doors open.
I sampled it all and dared to fly.
You stayed far enough away to give independence
yet close enough to catch me every time I fell.

I was your adventurer. You were my safety net.

You led me back onto the better path.
You showed me ways to channel my anger.
When few had that option, I could tell you the truth.
I ran to you, not from you.

I was your major project. You were my guidance counselor.

I moved on earning awards and degrees.
I showed you first.
You beamed but expected no less.
You boasted to anyone who’d listen and challenged me to do more.

I was your pride. You were my strength.

The roles reversed and I encouraged you to push a little more.
You never took advantage, though you knew you could.
The bond of respect and trust was unbreakable.
The love was unconditional.

I was always your precious child. You were my mother.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Poetry, shmoetry. I told you it still makes me cry. I don’t know if it gives anybody else the mental pictures or emotional impression it does me and maybe that’s why I really don’t get poetry; it’s personal. As much as I love Shakespeare I'm not into his sonnets. But, anyway, thanks for indulging me.

To make sure you leave on a happy note. My blubbering is not because she’s gone. They are happy tears because she was so much to my world for 37 years.

And for a smile, I put this on my Facebook page last week with this caption:

Where are the other 174 heads???

Cable Capers

There wasn’t a Monday Quiz this week, but I was still planning on posting a blog entry. The only problem is I couldn’t post a blog entry. My Monday plan was to watch the episode of Degrassi I missed on Friday, post a big and then watch the St. Louis Cardinals’ home opener with hopes that they’d see the same results my Reds did on Opening Day. That is they are the Reds’ arch rivals and they were playing the Reds. Guess what? While the Reds were losing the game, they were tied 4 all going into the 9th inning. The Reds score NINE runs! They beat the Cards on their home opener; SWEET! Unfortunately, I only know that because I read it. I didn’t see the game. :(

I was about half way through the half hour episode of Degrassi when I got the spinning wheel and buffering message. I checked my network connection. It said “limited.” That means that if we had networked our computers together, which at this point we haven’t, I’d see other computers in the house, but no Internet. I tried a few things, rebooting computers, rebooting the computer, rebooting the modem; still no Internet. By then it was game time, so I figured I’d watch the game and see if it was a cable company problem that would be fixed by the time the game was over.

I turned on the TV, black screen with a message that my channel would be available “shortly,” sorry for the inconvenience. Trouble was EVERY channel would be available “shortly!” Okay. Degrassi and blogging not working is one thing, but taking my baseball away is completely unacceptable. I called the cable company to find out what was up.

We’d had a minor rain shower. I didn’t think that could be the problem, but all of our service was out; how did it happen? I did some trouble shooting with a tech and we determined that there was a box problem because if I was getting the message on my screen the box and TV were communicating but the box wasn’t translating the signal. The tech, who is also a baseball fan, suggested that I could unhook the box and plug the line straight into the TV and still get my regular channels that way as the FOX Sports channels are not single premium channels. I guess I talked a good enough game while we were trouble shooting that he knew I’d be okay to swap the wires around on my own. Seems it still holds some weight with the techs if you know the connector to your box is an “RF connector.”

After making the switch I was on a call with another tech. I had snow. It’s not that the box wasn’t translating a signal, plugging directly into the TV there was no signal at all! The box didn’t have anything TO translate! The new tech did some other tests and discovered there was no signal going into our house at all! I scheduled a Tuesday service call. There would be no rest of Degrassi, no blog and NO BASEBALL!!!

David stopped home before his evening meeting; I’d been keeping him updated through text. He knew what the problem was; there was a cable end flying in the breeze on the pole where our connection comes in. He spoke with the techs this time and let them know they’d need a bucket truck to reconnect our service because it seems it’s been windy enough to have knocked out the wire. He also wanted to make sure we were credited for the day of lost service we’d have endured by the repair time on Tuesday.

They must have had an “Oh S&#@” moment, because our service visit got bumped up to “In the next hour.” After the tech reconnected us, he told me what had happened. They had a disconnect order and disconnected the wrong house! When they reconnected us nothing was disconnected; they got the completely wrong pole!

GPS think we live on the other side of the street that comes off our street. I knew a day would come that there’d be a problem with that. The correct pole must be on the other side of that street. –grumble, grumble—

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekend Things

Things haven’t really quieted down in my world so much as I took a break. The truth is I make myself busy, filling my plate with things I need to get done for myself. It keeps me from going nuts now and it also keeps my energy level in check o that I can eventually get into a paying situation for someone else. It also keeps me with goals and deadlines and keeps good professional skills honed.

I have one more appointment left on the power chair and then it’s in the insurance company’s hands. I’m not going to go into a rant about insurance companies and our second world health care system. Second world because first world nations have health care for everyone, third world health care for no one and second world, health care for the wealthy with a few things for the middle class if they are willing to go broke for it…

Okay, but I didn’t even have to get on a soap box for that.

… Actually after my hospital stay to start the year, which with a payment plan from the hospital I’ll have my part of the rest of my MRI last year and the hospital stay this year completely paid for in October 2014, my “out of pocket: limit was reached and if the insurance company okays the chair, they’ll pay for it 100%. This is why I’m nervous that they won’t approve it. A power chair is considered a luxury item and it’s only approved for in-home use. I’ve been viewed and interviewed by three reps now and my own doctor makes four that the insurance company requires to verify that I really need a power chair and I can’t get by with something cheaper. Remember as far as they are concerned I don’t need to ever leave the house, it’s a luxury if I do. Yeah, I guess getting to my doctor appointments isn’t a need and a job actually is still a luxury right now.

And without a power chair, my arms are too weak to roll up 
onto a soap box, so I'll change the subject!

Let me tell you about Bo and Woodstock. Bo is a small plush toy made in the image of the First Family’s dog. Bo Obama is the President of the furred, scaled and feathered Domestic Companions of the USA; he’s our cats’ president! So when I saw the little plush Bo, I had to get one for the kids. Woodstock is a little pillow of the Peanuts character that came with a Wendy’s kid’s meal. If I feel like hot food when we eat fast food, I get a kids meal. I usually get salad though. So, with the plethora of cat toys in our house, there is a little Woodstock and a little Bo.

Since Morgan came to live here, she has located many cat toys that had been in corners of the house somewhere, under things, probably even some in the basement. She is an overgrown kitten and loves toys. During the day I often hear the muted meows of a cat with its mouth full walking through the room. Carla does this too and I call it singing “I have a toy, I have a toy, la-la-la…” It’s actually pretty cute. Bo was one of the first toys Morgan became enamored with. Woodstock is one of Carla’s favorites. Carla has carried Woodstock around for a long time and we have often found him sitting on the bed before we turn in for the night. I’m not sure if she was playing with him on the bed or if she is lending him to us as a gift, but she always took him back.

Now remember, that we don’t have cat peace right now and the Morgan-Carla relationship is the one that is the most volatile. During the day Morgan is downstairs and Carla and Kaline stay upstairs. That’s as much their choice as it is that Morgan won’t let them come downstairs. She attacks if she sees Carla half way down the steps. Morgan has roaming privileges during the day, but she sleeps in her room with the door closed art night which gives Kaline and Carla a breather. The worst of their fighting is also at night and can be loud enough to keep us from sleeping too.

During the day I’ll hear Morgan singing as she brings Bo, then Woodstock downstairs. At night, before I quite fall asleep I hear those muffled, my mouth is full meows. It’s Carla carrying Bo or Woodstock upstairs. By morning, they’re always both in the hall or bedroom. It’s totally part of the cat wars, but it’s still funny. Bo was never one of Carla’s favorite toys until he was one of Morgan’s. And I don’t think Morgan even noticed Woodstock until it became apparent how fond of him Carla is. Both Bo and Woodstock are the pawns that both end up upstairs every morning and downstairs by every afternoon.

It’s the cold war part of it, but I’m still living in a cat warzone!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

It's been a busy week which is why you haven't seen a new post since Monday! I'm seeing a very busy Friday in my future and I'm sure I won't be joining any of the Friday memes today. I'll try to make time for a weekend post, but in the mean time don't fret for me! I'm fine, just busy, busy, busy....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Opening Day!

AHHHHHHH!!!!! The dark cold of the off season is gone and the sun is shining brightly. Hey it’s even sunny outside! This is the most uplifting holiday of the year to me. Christmas is warm and fuzzy and my birthday is exciting, but nothing is as fresh and new as Opening Day. The winter boredom is gone and everyone starts over all tied for first place hoping to remain there as long as they can.

Well, okay, the Texas Rangers aren’t in first place this Opening Day. They’re in last place and technically the Houston Astros are in first since in the official Opening day kick-off party last night the Astros, who are supposed to be sadly rebuilding this year, upset the perennial contenders as of late. It was a nice party as the underdog won, the Astros shellacking the Rangers 8-2. I always like it when the underdog upsets the experts. Of course, that is unless the experts are saying good things about one or both of my teams.

In case you haven’t visited The Chronicles on Opening Day before, the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game the day before is like Christmas Eve dinner; it celebrates the holiday, but the actual holiday is the next day. Opening Day is official after the parade when the first pitch is thrown by the Opening Day starter for the oldest professional team in baseball; the season is official when the Cincinnati Reds start to play!

At 4:10, I’ll be in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn toggling between FOX Sports Ohio and FOX Sports Detroit watching both the first game for the Reds and the first game for the Tigers. I watch a lot more TV once baseball season starts. I go from a half hour a week after the Super Bowl to as much as 6-7 hours a day! Of course, I usually do other things while the game is on loud enough to hear it anywhere in the house, but on Opening Day, it’s me and my living room front row seat.

For now, I'm turning it over to Acting Balanced and Touristic for the Monday Quiz!

1. Do you prank on April Fool's Day? What's the best prank you've done or had done to you?

I don’t prank. I helped David do one a few years ago. I made a CSX logo in Photoshop introducing their new mascot, “Sammy Snake.” He wrote the press release to post on a railroad fan message board.

Norfolk Southern’s logo is a stallion; horses are afraid of snakes. :)

2. Is it Spring where you are yet?

Well, it’s sunny, the crocuses are in bloom and it was almost 60 degrees yesterday, so I guess that’s spring.

3. Mint Green seems to be the 'hot color' for spring this year... either that or NEON ... which do you prefer?

I like any shade of green! My spring/summer wardrobe has a lot of lime green and some sage green. I’d probably go the mint green in clothing and the neon in everything else.

4. Wayne joined the 21st century this week... he's now got a cell phone and it's an Android smart phone... and he wants to know if you've got a smart phone and if you do, what's your favorite app or game?

I’m still happily in the 20th century, although I do have a touch screen phone, which Tori says is “a nice phone for you” when she saw it last week. I got the touch screen because I truly believe dumb phones are being phased out and we’ll all be paying the higher rates for data sometime in the near future. I need to train my wobbly hands to use the screen that way.

Apps and games are the reason I don’t have a smart phone, well that and the upcharge for a “data plan.” I don’t like phones, never have. (A parent’s dream as a teenager) A game or app won’t seduce me into liking the phone. Phones are a necessary evil to make plans and do business, but I’d rather make a plan to see people in person than talk or text on a phone. That’s not to say I won’t have a long conversation with a friend I don’t see often, but I have to be in the right mood for voice to voice without face to face.

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

5.  As a baseball nut Opening Day is a major holiday in my world. What is your favorite “unofficial holiday?” (First day of school, anniversary of quitting smoking, birth of your favorite celebrity)

Of course Opening Day is it for me, but Mom and I used to go out for ice cream on June 28 to celebrate Mark Grace’s birthday, her favorite baseball player at the time and on September 4 to honor Mike Piazza’s birthday for my favorite player.

Any excuse for ice cream, right?