Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

The Chronicles of Nani On Video

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

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

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

Contact Nani at

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: The Great Chocolate Scam by Sally Berneathy

Finished May 26,2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

Third book in the Death by Chocolate series.

Finally Rick has agreed to sign the divorce papers and give Lindsay her freedom! She is sitting in her lawyer’s office waiting for him when she gets the call.

Rick is dead. Murdered by a bomb that blew up his car in his own driveway.

Lindsay is his sole heir. Or is she? She’s never met any of Rick’s family. Though he told her various conflicting stories about them, she came to believe they didn’t exist, that Rick was an alien stranded here when the mother ship left without him. But then Rick’s mother and two brothers show up followed by a woman who claims to be his ex-wife and a boy she claims is Rick’s son. Everyone except Lindsay wants to inherit Rick’s estate. What’s so valuable that someone killed for it and is ready to kill again?

Come for the Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, stay for the murder, mayhem and fun!

My review at Good Reads
Five of five stars

I just love these books, probably because I can love anything where chocolate is a central theme but I also love any book that's a good mystery and the Death By Chocolate series covers both well. The Great Chocolate Scam is a nice light mystery with a few interesting twists, some great chocolate, and a less-than-predictable ending. I've come to really like Lindsey Powell as a character and I'm sure I would be a regular for breakfast and lunch at her shop! All the books in this series are, like I said, a light mystery and a great relaxing quick read. Whether heavy reading is your choice for fun or necessary for school or work the Death By Chocolate series is a great break. I highly recommend them.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Beware of The Chair

It’s been a busy week with doctor appointments and all including my semiannual visit to Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday. When I schedule my May visit David and I always check the area baseball schedules so we can plan our day. For this year’s first trip we’d checked the Indians schedule while we were at the Mellen Center in November and upon realizing the Tigers were in town about 6 months later, we made a point of scheduling my appointment for one of the days in the series.

As it ended up we saw the middle game of the Indians sweeping the Tigers but as I always say “A bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day somewhere else!” It was a fun evening and the seats I picked on the computer were as great as they looked like they should be!

I had no problems at the game or with Indians fans as I proudly sported my Tigers logo on my chest. My problem was getting in the park and security. Progressive Field has metal detectors at the gates. All bags, purses etcetera are checked before entering and fans must walk through the metal detectors. It was the first time I’ve seen that much protection to enter a baseball game since the Olympics in 1996. Of course a wheelchair would set off the metal detector so I didn’t have to go through it. In fact, I didn’t have to go through anything. They opened up the area between the metal detectors and I wheeled through onto the stadium’s concourse. They didn’t search me, they didn’t even look in my tote bag that hung on the back of my chair; nothing. And for all the security, no one even asked me to try to stand up thus proving I actually am a “harmless chick in a wheelchair.”

That’s one problem. As someone who uses a wheelchair I am neither harmless nor helpless. Okay, with the manual chair, which we use for out of town trips I need a little more help because my arms, while stronger than my legs, get tired of wheeling the manual chair. It’s not like they get a break at home when I use the power chair, they’re still important for lifting myself and moving when I’m standing so there is a fatigue limit when I’m using the manual chair, but I’m not the only person who goes to baseball games in a wheelchair. There are plenty of people who have increased upper body strength as a result of using the chair. It’s a little offensive to lump us all into a “harmless cripple” category. A disability doesn’t make someone any less of a human being and as the old adage say: where there’s a will, there's a way. Like anyone else, a disabled person isn’t a security risk because that person chooses not to be.

But the insinuation that I pose no danger because of my disability is not my biggest issue. Check out 1800WHEELCHAIR.com . Go ahead, the link opens in a new window. Look at all the chairs for sale! That’s just the easy one to remember; there are tons of sites that sell chairs, even power chairs and scooters. They all do wonderful things for those of us that need them and they have pockets, baskets and different accessories for carrying things. Manual chairs even have under the seat storage pouches available and I always have a tote bag on the handles behind me. You can find all those things online and you know what? A doctors’ prescription is NOT necessary to purchase them. No one cares if you actually need mobility assistance, if you pay the advertised price, they’ll even deliver it to you for free! If you want to commit an act of terror at a crowded event buy a wheelchair and put your contraband materials in one of those handy pockets. Easy peasy.

So don’t automatically treat a person using a mobility assistive device like they couldn’t possibly be a risk. A person in a wheelchair is just that; a person. They should be trusted no more and no less than someone who walks in to an event on their own legs. I would have felt safer if they’d swiped the front of me with the wand and looked in my bag before they let me roll on in.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: The Target by David Baldacci

Finished May 22, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

The President knows it's a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel.

Together, Robie and Reel's talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don't trust the pair. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two assassins succeed, but that they do not survive.

As they prepare for their mission, Reel faces a personal crisis that could well lead old enemies right to her doorstep, resurrecting the ghosts of her earlier life and bringing stark danger to all those close to her. And all the while, Robie and Reel are stalked by a new adversary: an unknown and unlikely assassin, a woman who has trained her entire life to kill, and who has her own list of targets--a list that includes Will Robie and Jessica Reel.

My Review at Good Reads

5 of 5 Stars

If I could give The Target more than 5 stars I would. Baldacci is definitely right up there in my list of favorite authors.

In the third Will Robie book, the second with Jessica Reel, drew me in from page one. The plot and subplot chronicle the lives of two very strong and deadly women that should be as different as their countries of origin, but the past experiences in the United States and North Korea have formed similar memories and present attitudes.

Robie and Reel are the CIA’s best or worst assassins. It depends which of their superiors you ask and some will still say “both.” The blood, sweat and torture they endure in “refresher” training definitely pose the question of whether it’s training or punishment.

I love that Reel and Robie are not impervious, but they succeed because they are very intelligent. There are three books in the series (so far?) and each has been better than the last. I highly recommend the whole series.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Back to the cold?

Brrrrr! I had to make an executive decision Friday morning. It was an easy one though. Wake up temperature was 63° IN THE HOUSE! It was 39° outside and the expected high was 55. I turn on the heat. I didn’t get any grumbles from David. That’s good; I needed to not be chilled like a fine ice wine.

It’s been pretty much highs in the high 50s/low 60s all weekend. Today, it’s a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning, but still chilly. We expect a high of 66, so the heat will still be on and doing its thing. After today it’ll be back in the 70s and I’d like to think that this time the furnace gets its long break until fall. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! There is one good thing I can say about the chilly past few days; they’ve given me the chance to try out my present from last week.

Edna (Miss Edna’s Place) had been teasing about an Afghan that she'd been working on in green. She wasn't showing pictures or giving lots of detail because it was a gift and she didn't want the person for whom she was making it to see it or know too much about it before was finished. I was thinking what a super gift that would be for the person receiving it! Then again green is my favorite color so something handmade in green would be an awesome gift for anyone, right? Well, a week ago Friday afternoon I went to get the mail and there was a box on the steps at the side door. It was addressed to me from Edna. The gift-Afghan she’d been teasing about was for me!

I just love it! It's a beautiful shade of green, thick and warm, and gorgeous! And the contrast stripes match half of my wardrobe. It was a perfect match for the pink shirt that I was wearing when I got the box and another perfect match for the orange MS T-shirt that I wore Saturday morning when David took the photos. Thank you so much, Edna. When I cuddle close to my afghan I can feel the warmth and love a wonderful friend.

Thank you, Edna; I love it!!

While I'm talking about blanket things, I might've mentioned some time ago my white fleece blanket with the multicolored polka dots. That blanket stays on the loveseat downstairs because Carla adopted it and it became known as the Carla-blanket. I think maybe she heard me mention it’s difficult to get great photos of Carla because of her dark fur. She must've figured that white blanket/black cat perfect photo op.

Carla and the Carla Blanket
Credits: Old School by the Designers at Digital Scrapbooking Studio

Earlier this week the blanket came upstairs with laundry from the dryer and was sitting on top of one of the baskets to eventually go back downstairs. I was sitting on the bed reading and out of the corner of my eye I saw the blanket move. My first thought was maybe the Carla was complaining about her blanket being upstairs instead of downstairs. But I saw Marco pushing the blanket with his head and trying to pull it with his claws, finally grabbing it with his mouth and moving. It made me laugh but then the three cats got together to play chase and left the room. I didn't really think too much of it until a couple nights ago when the blanket was missing and David found it. Marco had drug it under the bed where he often likes to play. Kaline and Carla share the kitty-afghans that Grandma made for Kaline and Azzie. But Marco's not so good at sharing and Carla is too passive so I think we may need to find Marco a blanket of his own.

In other good news, we officially have a meeting place for our MS Support Group! There was a senior center on my list of places I was going to call last week, but just before the weekend I got a call from an interested new member who suggested the same senior center and made the introduction for me. Talk about great karma pulling everything together! I met with a rep there earlier this week and by the time I left I had signed a contract for the monthly donated space. YAY! By mid-week I’d gotten that information to the chapter office and sent out an email to our existing members. I can’t wait until we all get together again next month! Now, I’m working on finding a pizza place that delivers to our new location and is in budget! I can’t pick up $5 pizzas and bring them in on the bus!

Well, I need to refill my coffee mug since I need scrapbooking fuel and I’ve declared this a scrapbook-day. There are so many “Christmas in July” events, how about Thanksgiving in June and Halloween in May? Most of the folders I have in my catchup files now are from September on with the exception of the June Vacation from 2012 and our August honeymoon in 2009. I’ve been working on the June Vacation this week, but maybe some September stuff today; fits the temperature! We’ll see what the coffee cup tells me after it’s full again.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Book Review: Wounded Prey by Sean Lynch

Finished May 11, 2014

Synopsis on Good Reads

“It’s time to finish what he started…”

A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree.

When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose.

As the killer wreaks a trail of blood and destruction across North America, Bob Farrell sets out to track him down.

But Farrell’s not playing by the rules any more than the killer is, and soon the FBI have both of them in their sights…

My review on Good Reads
2.5 of 5 Stars

This was the book that introduces the duo of Detectives Farrell and Kerns. The book begins in Iowa in 1987 in December and it includes a full-fledged blizzard. It starts with the unthinkable; a child abduction in broad daylight at a school and a young off-duty cop who answers the screams of distress.

It’s a decent story with ties to killer dating back to the Viet Nam war and attempted rehabilitation upon the return home and goes on to a hospital release that spawns horrific serial child abductions and killings. While my taste definitely does run in the direction of government/police dramas and tracking and ultimately ending a serial killers reign, this book was too graphic for my taste. It wasn’t graphic in the abduction or abuse of children, but it was graphic in the injuries and ways the adults involved die. Normally that would be preferable to any detail about abusing children, but I didn’t need a detailed enough description of gangrene that I could almost smell it more than once. Exactly how an infection looks, smells and progresses is not something I need to read and think about 3 or 4 times.

My greatest issues with the book were too many stereotypes from the chain-smoking alcoholic retired cop to the inept FBI agents and the deranged ex-military. The book was also too long. The killer escaped death about two too many times making him look like a super-villain and the heroes just not sharp enough to keep it from being almost dark comedy. When I got to the last 30 pages or so, I was just trying to finish it because I‘d already been ready for the book to end for a while. I won’t be reading anymore in the series.

Book Review: The Hit (Will Robie #2) by David Baldacci

Finished April 25, 2014

Synopsis on Good Reads

From David Baldacci--#1 bestselling author and one of the world's most popular, widely read storytellers--comes the most thrilling novel of the year. THE HIT Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst-enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims. No one else can match Robie's talents as a hitman...no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. To stop one of their own, the government looks again to Will Robie. His mission: bring in Reel, dead or alive. Only a killer can catch another killer, they tell him. But as Robie pursues Reel, he quickly finds that there is more to her betrayal than meets the eye. Her attacks on the agency conceal a larger threat, a threat that could send shockwaves through the U.S. government and around the world.

My Review on Good Reads

5 of 5 Stars

The first thing I’ll recommend is read The Innocent first. The first book isn’t essential to the story in that it’s still an enjoyable book on its own, but you will enjoy it even more and understand some of the nuances better if you read the series in order. The second thing I’ll say is read the Innocent and then read The Hit! If government and undercover action mysteries sound like a match for you, you won’t want to put them down.

I’ve come to really love Will Robie. He’s a somewhat dark hero, but he’s a professional assassin; a somewhat dark occupation! Form the very beginning there is actin and a twist. And the just who is a good guy and who is a bad guy starts to blur by the end of the first chapter.

The book is riveting and as you get unto it you find it’s much bigger than just one rogue assassin and just the United States. With a huge list of books to choose from David Baldacci really has become my “go-to” author when I want to feel guaranteed I’ll enjoy the book I’m about to read.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Don't Eat That!!

Happy Hump Day! Okay, really it’s gray and dreary hump day in Toledo today, but the key to making it through gray and dreary days is the inner sunshine, right? We had a nice challenge to start the day today, courtesy of our sweet Marco.

Marco turned 11 months old on May 1. It is our sincere hope that he’ll be a year old on June 1. This morning David took out his ONE pill he takes in the morning; yes I’m a little jealous of the “only one” part. He opened the bottle, took out a pill and set it on the couch arm while he closed the bottle. Even I can take a pill out and put the cap back on the bottle in less than a minute. In that brief period of time Marco jumped up on the couch and ate the pill! I was on the phone to the vet in pretty quick order.

The medication, Prilosec, is sometimes prescribed for cats and dogs but not in the amount for an adult human. The vet said we needed to ether give him a capful of hydrogen peroxide right down his throat to induce vomiting or bring him in to the hospital so they could induce vomiting. The medication wasn’t dangerous in a dosage right for his weight, but the pill he ate was about 4 or 5 times more than he’d be prescribed by his vet and we needed to get the medication out of him. (I do kinda wonder what a cat eats that gives them heartburn, but Marco will eat anything that he thinks might be edible.)

David fed him the peroxide and put him on the enclosed porch so we could monitor him and when he did throw up it would be someplace easier to clean and we’d be able to inspect to see if indeed he threw up the pill. It didn’t take long for him to throw up after swallowing the peroxide and he threw up his breakfast and green goo that was the partially dissolved pill.

I wish there was some way to get him to relate unpleasant experiences with eating things that aren’t food. He spent some time at the vet a while back and had to be given medicine and a laxative he didn’t like because he found, and ate, a piece of Styrofoam.

In the word of more pleasant news, last weekend was SEMMantics, the regional Mensa gathering that was responsible for David and me getting together in the first place! This year David was the Carnelli, a word association game, champion and I won the first place award for the cribbage tournament. I play cribbage once a year and always have to relearn the game, but having learned it before I guess I relearn well! On Sunday after nine years of meaning to but never doing it we made it for Mimosas this year. David hadn’t had a mimosa before but I recalled the first time I’d had one. It was in Toronto and I was at Sunday brunch with my parents at the CN Tower’s revolving restaurant. The waitress asked if I’d like a Mimosa when drink orders were being taken. I was 20 years old and we were in Canada; heck yeah I wanted champagne with my orange juice! Alcohol to drink with breakfast is not a common thing for me, but it’s a neat once in a while pretentious start to the day.

Since we were back in my ”old stomping grounds” we met Scotty for lunch and David indulged me with a stop at the Dunkin Donuts where I met all 3 of my closest friends to get a cup of coffee for the road and a couple donuts for us Monday morning.

Monday we had a late lunch/early dinner at Pop’s. I hadn’t seen my dad since Christmas so I was really looking forward to seeing him and Aunt Judy. Pop grilled marinated chicken and pork with zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, some with and some without Italian breadcrumb stuffing. David and I stopped at Sofo on the way out of Toledo to bring Pop a couple of his favorite baguettes and he roasted garlic on the grill to spread on it; SO GOOD!

After dinner we drove to Lansing, because Pop lives so close, and caught our first baseball game of the season. The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Fort Wayne Tin Caps 4-2 in a fairly quick game for David, me and 5 other people. There were more than 7 people in attendance, but on a chilly Monday night in the beginning of the second month of the season it was far from a packed house.

Yesterday was rest and recuperate time for me. The good news about that is as achy as I was by the time Monday night came around after spending three days in my less comfortable and less support manual chair I was less tired and achy than usual! I guess the stretching exercises and once a week therapy is doing more good than it seems like it should. Add to that back on the diet wagon and eating better again and I recover better.

Nani’s Avatar & Siggie at Gotta Pixel
Credits: Defining Me by Aprilisa Designs, coffee mugs from I Love You A Latte by 
Double Dutch Designs, signature challenge template by Aprilisa Designs

I scrapped for the first time since May1. I did my avatar and signature for May at Gotta Pixel, which is where I do most of my challenges during the month and put the squares in place for last week’s Random 2014. The folder on my desktop says “2014: That’s So Random.” It’s essentially a scrapbook diary.

Week 16
Credits: What Happened Today- 2014 by Kitten Scraps, A Work In Progress by Inspired Designs, Cat’s Love by Friendly Scrap, Beautiful On The Inside by Aprilisa Designs, I Love Donuts by Aprilisa Designs, Afternoon Tea by Booklady Designs, Everybody Talks by Wendy Tunison Designs, My Tunes by Simple Girl, word art by TLC Creations, Jelly Beans by Harper Finch, Easter Freebie by cajoline-Scrap designs,

When the year is done and I’m ready to make a cover, I’ll decide what the random title will be!

Now I need to catch up my book reviews with the book I finished while Joey was visiting the Geek Squad and get my cheer-voice ready for the game tonight. Sorry to my Red Sox fan readers, but you know there are two teams you can’t depend on me to give support on your side when Boston faces them; GO REDS!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Battling One Monster After Another!

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth but close. I had a nasty virus monster attack Joey, my laptop, and only computer. Joey had to go visit the Geek Squad for a few days. The solution for the virus that actually attacked the operating system was to back my data up on an extended hard drve and completely wipe it clean and start over.

Since I've been seriously looking at tablets and had decided which one I wanted, I decided to ask if they have payment programs for buying a new tablet since I was going to be without my laptop for a few days. They told me that there was a payment plan per se but I could apply for credit and put it on the card that day. I really didn't think there was a chance that I I’d be leaving the store with a tablet that day. But it so happened that I was worth enough credit for the tablet! So now I have my iPad, that I'll be paying for until I'm 50, and I spent last weekend moving in to the new device. I had apps to load. I had books to load. I had lots of stuff to get used to so that kept me very busy which was good since I didn't have my laptop.

At the end of the weekend when I still hadn't completely comfortably moved in I got a call that Joey was ready to pick up! So I spent the first half of this week finishing moving into the iPad and moving back into my laptop. It's been a busy techno-week.

What is the first things I did one of the first apps I loaded on the new iPad was Instagram. Remember I told everybody that when I got my tablet I wanted to get an Instagram account so I could start posting my coffee. If any of you use Instagram please follow me at java_nani and I’ll fokllow you in return. Then you'll be able to answer the all-important question what coffee is Nani drinking now and where?

I also with all of the new techno stuff that Joey reloaded I'm ready go in time for international scrapbooking day festivities at Gotta Pixel, Ginger Scraps, and Digital Scrapbooking Studio; the three scrapbook sites I visit most. The challenges this month look great at all three. It's going to keep me a busy scrapper.

As I'm wrapping up this blog post I have a question: what is the absolute worst day and time to look down while you're washing dishes and see a lens from your glasses on the floor? Why that would unquestionably be Friday, middle of the afternoon when it takes a day’s notice to get a ride to the eye doctor. So since I'm squinty now and going to be squinty for a couple of days and I have to reserve that stress that I'm putting on my eyes until I get my glasses fixed I'm going to have to say goodbye for now but I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday whenever my glasses are fixed!