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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Friday, October 31, 2014

Global Climate Change Is Evil!

That clipping is the scariest thing a trick-or-treater can see minutes before the start of candy begging time. That was the weather at the start of the 6-8PM festivities for the kids tonight. It's raining on Halloween for the second year in a row and tonight it's 38 degrees and mixed with snow. I think we need to move trick-or-treating to September next year. It only has 30 days, so we could just switch the 31st to the end of September instead of October.

I didn’t do candy this year of course, but I have a plan to be back at the door with my 150 bags of “stuff” enabling the sugar buzzes next year. I’m kinda glad I had to bow out this year. Not only would I be so cold I couldn’t feel my hands or feet womaning the door but I’d feel guilty for giving candy and encouraging kids to come out in the wet and cold. I heard just a few squeals outside, but I think the majority of costumed cuties found an indoor party, at least I hope they did! This is their night and they deserve candy and costumed fun.

I’ve been thinking of being scary and wearing my “Got Celery?” shirt to give out candy next year, but after last year and this, celery might be just too scary!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Little Pill and Happy Little Pumpkins!

Yesterday was a really rough day, I mean the type of day I just don’t have, rough! I know that’s rough because I’ve been told that many of what I call “little challenge days” are “shoot me please” days to others. You see, yesterday I got to find out what one of my meds really does for me! I ran out of the medicine I take for spasticity and stiffness and put in an order for the refill just at the right time that I wouldn’t be able to have it delivered or ask David to pick it up before I’d been without it for a day. It’s just 2 pills in the sea of a gazillion I take and it’s not even a specialty pharmacy pill. How much harm could missing ONE day be?

Let me tell ya, all pills are NOT created equal! A thin little round pill can be a lot more potent medicine than one of those big horse-pills. I still had the giant anti-inflammatories that reduce swelling in areas and thus quell pain, But the smaller pill seems to do a strikingly lot more! I don’t think there was any place on my body that wasn’t stiff and in pain. Even sitting at the table, when I usually don’t feel pain and little discomfort, was an excruciating experience yesterday. When there weren’t little shots of pain beaming through my legs and arms, there were stiff spasms I had little control over, some in my legs so strong they almost made me slip out of my chair!

If you’re even thinking for a moment “Oh, Nani I feel so sorry for you,” then trust me; you didn’t want me to write a blog post or visit/comment at your blog yesterday. My Papa was a Navy sailor in WW2 and the language and decibels those words were screamed in when I tried to lumber into the bathroom would have confused and offended him. (I’m not proud of that but owning my shortcomings gives me the right to be proud of my accomplishments, right?)

Today, properly medicated in the right amounts at the right times I’m feeling like me again. I speak like me again too. I find it easier to live with the PG rated version of Nani too!

Tonight is Game 3 of the World Series. It’s tied 1-1. It was sad to see The Royals lose their first game of this post season in Game 1, especially so brutally. I harbor no ill will to the Giants or their fans, but Kansas City is such a great story since it’s been so long since they won the World title and the momentum and downright joy the team and the city brought into this season and especially the playoffs is just electric. Are they heads and tails better than the Giants? No way, they both deserve to be where they are right now. But with two World Championships since 2010 (and it doesn’t matter that in 2012 they swept the Tigers) I’d just love to see a fresh logo in that World Chaps spot.


Since we already didn’t end up able to pass out candy last year because it rained on Halloween and the reschedule night David and I weren’t in town, I made the sad decision to stop doing the door service. It had been getting difficult for me by 2012 when we had 169 kids visit. I’d prepared 150 candy bags for last year that were donated to the school David’s work sponsors sine I couldn’t share them in person, I still shared with kids. This year I’m just not physically up to it. Maybe if I could figure a way to remove the door and be able to sit there without the house getting cold or any cats getting out… I ran several legit scenarios through my head too. I love giving candy out and seeing all the kids in their costumes. The truth is being home while trick-or-treating is going on outside the door will really compel me to fix this problem before next year. David is one of those no-kids guys who works on Halloween so coworkers with kids can make sure their kids can get out. (One of the many things that makes me adore him) It means I’m the only one home, so there’s no one to fill in or help if I start to wear down. For next year I think I’ll see if I can find a local volunteer through the MS Society to come over for a few hours and help me set up and pass out candy. (That idea just popped into my brain and I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it a month ago.) That would actually be pretty cool. A volunteer to help me pass out candy and then after we close shop I can have a bus scheduled to take us to Bob Evans and I’ll treat them to dinner as a thank you. I might have a good plan for Halloween 2015 – I’ll be back, kids!

Last thought today: It’s the heart of Pumpkin Spice Season! It’s a huge fad at this time of year now! I’m proud to be one of the setters of that trend because now I get to reap the benefits of everyone trying to one-up the last guy on the pumpkin goodness. I really was pumpkin when pumpkin wasn’t cool. From pumpkin pie and the fresh pumpkin seeds Pop used to roast after making our jack-o-lanterns when Dave and I were kids to using a can of pumpkin spice and Cool Whip to make low-cal desserts many years ago, I was a pumpkin pioneer! There wasn’t even a question the first time I saw pumpkin spice cheataccino in a gas station. Now every fall holds some magical new pumpkin discovery. This year is the almonds.

Oh my, the Blue Diamond pumpkin spice almonds are incredible! Similar in style to the cinnamon roasted almonds that can draw you into any festival on their smell alone, the pumpkin spice almonds are little cans of euphoria for the pumpkin aficionado. They are 7 for 1 Weight Watchers point and a healthy fat if consumed in the proper portion. My RDA 2 heathy fats a day is 14 almonds, by the way. You know the first thing I had to do after I tasted them was figure out how many I could have in a day! There are lots of ways to make that seasonal pumpkin spice addiction fit into a healthy eating plan; and I know every one of them!

Friday, October 17, 2014

East of Toledo

At the beginning of last month I sent David on a break from being the caregiver vacation and to start this month he went on vacation and took me with him! He tries to schedule vacation time in the fall to take advantage of the fall colors for photography. We saw some beautiful scenery! The picture up top is a road view in Vermont from the passenger’s side. It was my first time in Vermont adding another state to my “states visited” list bringing me to 37 of the 50!

Here’s another Vermont shot; what’s more classic New England than a covered bridge with fall colors surrounding it?
Photo Credit to David on this one

I think I was most impressed with the colors in Upstate New York.

I love the added hay rolls, as if the colors weren’t autumn enough.

And of course I photograph many things when we travel, but “the train’s the thing!”

There was nice color on the east side of Northern Ohio too.

On the way home, on Monday the 13, there were a lot of clouds with an occasional peek of sun and we concentrated on Bicentennial Barns on the far end of the state where we usually are passing through without stopping.

Summit County
Taken by David who has a little more natural elevation from the roadside

And this one I took just because I like older post offices and this was just a breathtaking fall scene!
I’ve been taking it easy this week; vacation recovery, haha, but the yellows are looking very nice out my window, especially against the rain-darkened brown on the trees. I might get out and snap a few photos even though we have mostly clouds.

Book News

If you pay any mind to my Good Reads “currently reading” widget on the right sidebar you may have noticed a very recent changing of the books with no book review. Well, that’s because I write a review after I finish a book and the book I’d previously started reading left me wondering how a book becomes a “best seller” anyway.

Here is what I did write on Good Reads about Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
1 of 5 stars

I actually read about half, part way into part 2 and I couldn't take anymore. The characters were trite and shallow. Just because a character admits they are stereotypical doesn't make them any less a stereotype. Aside from the insanity twist that starts part 2 (I read chapter synopsis for the rest of the book) it was predictable and there wasn't one character I liked; they were all pretty flat.

My husband mentioned hearing good things about the movie. I hope that means the movie is considerably better than the book.

I think any interest I had in seeing the movie is gone although I did hear the author rewrote the ending for the movie. See? She didn’t even like the book. ;)

After dropping the iPad on the table and screaming to the cats that I couldn’t read any more of it, I read chapter summaries I found online, wrote that review and searched for a book to get the awful taste of Gone Girl away from my reading eyes. Now, I have three paperbacks waiting to be read. I take a break every now and then to read a paperback, dyslexia be damned, because friends loan or give me books or I find a good used book sale. This means I have a small “to read” paperback collection. Oh, I also joined a book swap that will have me sending and receiving a paperback in the next couple weeks. But, but…. Alan Jacobson has a new Karen Vail book out! I bought and loaded the book on my iPad and read the first 2 chapters before bed. I had to remind myself that I was tired and that’s why I went to bed in the first place last night and to “put the book down and roll away from the nightstand.” I’ll go to bed earlier tonight!

A couple of chapters with my favorite author and Gone Girl was gone!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Book Review: Taboo (Reilly Steel #1) by Casey Hill

Finished October 9, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

A first thriller co-written by Melissa Hill and her husband Kevin.
The story is set in Dublin and features forensic investigator Reilly Steel who has moved from the US to Dublin to be close to her father.
But what should have been a quiet period filled with training and Irish forensics team turns sinister and violent when body after body is found of people killed in what appears to be a twisted game.

My Review at Good Reads

3.5 of 5 stars

This book was a freebie on ireads. I found it interesting right from the start and it grabbed me more and more as the Book went on. The family ties in the story were reminiscent of the first Alan Jacobson Karen Vail thriller but Riley Steele is no Karen Vail. Vail is it character I love and Reilly Steele Is a strong character but with a much softer personality than Vail. I still enjoyed Steele as a character.

The story was written and flowed well, however as for editing and printing they were a few typos that even I caught which means there were likely more. Still the story was compelling enough that typos didn't matter. I thought the epilogue could've used a few more pages. It wasn't rushed but I would have preferred if it had been written to read a little slower. I will likely read the second book.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wheelchair Fashion

Okay, THIS makes me sad:

It’s a ruana called Tassels and Scrolls. I love it! The colors, the style, not the boots, but with black leggings; SO Nani! I can totally afford it, so why does it make me sad? I can see those gorgeous long fringed hems getting stuck and subsequently ripped in the wheels of my wheelchair.

It’s not a one thing in the online store either! There are these ones in style and color that seem made for me too:

Wine Country Ruana

Willow Cardigan

I love fringe and dangly things, always have. But even my favorite type of jewelry, bracelets, battle with the chair for existence! That’s not so true with the power chair because I’m using the toggle controller, but when David and I go out someplace nice or if I go out with friends it’s usually with the manual chair. Kelly made me a wonderful Pandora-style bracelet with very personal charms, 4 of them dangly. Three of them got caught in the wheels and were flung off to the side, and lost. Even my medic alert charm was ripped from the bracelets.

I’ll be honest, through dealing with getting used to MS, the chair and dealing with the depression I shook in March after actually living with it for a couple of years I’d abandoned my personal style. I’d try to get it back, but the depression thing had me giving up pretty easy. Well now; no more!

Kelly visits, then Rina and I see family in Michigan. Then I travel for a week with David. I’ve not been so good at counting my Weight Watcher points. I need incentive, rewards. So here it goes.

I’m going to reward myself for every ten pounds lost. With slow and healthy loss that’s about once a month. I’ll give myself one piece of clothing or costume jewelry as a reward. I’m not going to lament what I can’t wear in a wheelchair because what I can’t wear in a chair just looks foolish like I didn’t know how to dress. Besides long uneven hems with fringe look better standing up. There are lacy and dangly things that are still Nani-style and cute when sitting without winding themselves in the operating parts of the chair.

Stay tuned for my new style…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin

If I tell you to grab a cup of coffee for this read am I an enabler?

Welcome October…Welcomeish October. I have been SO COLD all day! The picture up top is my attempt to warm up. Yes the popcorn bag is a little scorched. I put it in for an extra 15 seconds to try to get more of the kernels to at least half pop. A few singed pieces are way better than rock hard kernels that never reach any point of their potential. And while I don’t like it burned, I actually kinda like popcorn that’s singed a little. My cup’s contents are courtesy of my last Gevalia K-Cup. That leads to two “let me tell yas.”

Let me tell ya about my cup! Back in 2012 I talked about the coffee mugs Kelly and I swap when we get together. I shared one of the mugs I’d found from 20 years prior in my storage and it was her obligation to find our mugs this time. She found the flowered mugs that hold about a Keurig cup and a half of coffee. She chose orange for hers and picked out my favorite shade of my favorite color for me!

Now as for the second thing, let me tell ya about the K-Cups and the pumpkin! I'm expecting a shipment from 11th Street Coffee tomorrow...afternoon. I'll be swimming is seasonal goodness, but I need morning coffee. So a desperate phone call to one of my favorite dealers brought a 12-pack of Signature Blend to get me by for tomorrow morning when David got in.

I totally blame Kelly for me losing control of my vices! I was only counting points for the first half of the days she was here before the cookies, candy and donuts…or habanero quarter pounder with Kelly’s preferred 5-gallon bin of fries, before the pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin spice lattes. And did I mention donuts? Oh I did, but the pumpkin donuts are worth mentioning on their own. And I was up to a latte and 4 cups of coffee a day. I gained a little; thankfully I can’t balance on the scale so I don’t know how much I can just feel it in my shirts, and I’m still on cup number 3 today, but I’m not ashamed of that. I’ve circled the wagons and I’m slowly climbing back on because I can’t climb fast. Okay, I can probably figuratively climb faster, but I’m sticking with this story. She reasoned “We see each other every couple years.” I rationalized, “Yanno, you’re right. How much damage can I do in 3 weeks?”

So here I am back down to 3 cups a day and counting every point of that 10point popcorn and coffee snack. I had a 5-point salad for lunch in anticipation of microwave popcorn! Give a full week and 3 weeks of damage will be gone and I’ll have great memories of weeks I concentrated more on treasuring my friends than controlling my vices.

She’s Got Legs, But Don’t Know How To Use Them
Credits: Broken by Karen Diamond Designs

I've started art journaling when frustration is getting to me and it's doing a great job of getting the negativity out of me!  We'll call the art journals part of my "Blue Period" Nani Picasso! LOL

For the first week Kelly was here she was my caregiver while David was on a “vacation from Nani.” I talked about that before; it was my idea that David needed a vacation without worrying about me. The timing of Kelly’s visit was perfect for that! Kel did a great job filling in for David, well except the kiss before bed and keep me warm which is in his vows, but not her friend vows. In fact I don’t recall that we ever took friend vows out loud. Kel didn’t have his proficiency with the craft of leveraging my legs up the last step into the upper floor of our house. There’s angle and lifting that I don’t know because I’m worrying about my part of getting me up that step. That did result in a couple nights of me not going upstairs and sleeping in my chair and one 2-day stint upstairs after an attempt to get me up to the second floor resulted in EMTs putting me on the bed. Oh, I’m okay, so is Kelly and on the bed I where I wanted to be anyway.

The third week was the one that got my watching-what-I-eat the worst, but I’m really not complaining there! Rina came and spent 4 days with us. She’s my niece, not daughter, although I was there as a guardian-teacher often when she and her sister grew up, and maybe that makes it even more special that she chose to spend her time off with me. She helped Kelly help me and after we figured out what needed to be done they got me in and out of Rina’s van with relative ease so we could go on a couple trips to Michigan. We went to Pop’s house for a great day with him and Aunt Judy and enjoyed the meeting of the Italian lunchmeats and cheese we bought at Sofo with the sautéed greens and piada he made; wonderful Italian Soul Food! Then the next day we picked up Scotty and went to the apple orchard (many donuts.) Then we all met Sheri at Dunkin Donuts and headed to Olive Garden for dinner. Of course, there had been dinner at Ya Halla the first night Rina was in!

Rina, Kelly and me at Ya Halla