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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!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Projects and Goals

It’s New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow will be a new year and 2014 will be gone. There have been a few good things, but for the most part, especially the last half of the year I say “don’t let the fireworks singe your butt on the way out!”

I haven’t blogged nearly as much as I do in a typical December. Remember I told you that I write to get frustration out ad lately I’ve had to really work to write a page positive enough to be a decent post. It’s SO not like me but I’ve had some so not like me things going on. I want to take a moment to remind anyone dealing with even mild depression to not try to fight it on your own! This time last year I was getting help from a psychologist. If I hadn’t taken it on myself to get help this year would surely have crushed me! As it was it just maxed out my time. I’d estimate I was about two weeks behind by Christmas Eve. No baking this year and we’re going to write a New Year’s letter to the family of relatives and friends on our Holiday Card list to let them know everything is okay, we’re okay, but a bit f MS related set-backs in December are why our Christmas Cards are arriving in January. If you’re waiting to see our card, look for a Happy New Year greeting from us in the next couple weeks.

There were many contributing factors that made it a miserable December, but I had edema (swelling) that acted up really bad in the beginning of the month. Wrestling with the walking I can’t do and the water pills that send me walking into the bathroom three times and hour for a few hours I’d stopped taking the pills. Yeah I got scolded by my doctor for that, deservedly so. I also wasn’t drinking my minimum of water each day for successful control of my diet or my MS. So it shouldn't amaze me that I wasn't feeling well to begin with. In the beginning to middle of December the edema was not only causing swelling in my ankles but the swelling had gone all the way up into my thighs. My legs were pretty much useless. I couldn't get upstairs so I couldn't get any regular sleep I was sleeping in the chair and I ended up finding great relief in the bed in the emergency room. They kept me for a few hours with an IV of medication to get rid of some of the fluid and my subsequent phone call to my doctor before the follow up resulted in me taking the maximum strength of the water medication until the edema was under control which was almost until Christmas. Needless to say I've gotten much better about grinning and bearing it and taking my water pills. I don't drink my morning coffee until after the pills have had their couple hours and I make sure that I drink my minimal water during the day. I’m feelng much better now but, well, our Christmas cards will be going out in January.

So there is my confession of how I screwed myself up and suffered the consequences, really suffered them! But now I'm back on my feet again…well no I'm not back on my feet again I'm back sitting high on my butt again with a confident smile. And as I go through 2015's projects and goals and assess how I did on 2014s you'll see why am so glad to see this year go out and why am so happy to see 2015 coming in.

Projects and Goals Report 2014

The clean and organize project was a major bust from 2014. I had planned to look for some assistance with cleaning in the house and David and I were going to have a company assist with some of the bigger cleaning. Neither of those things ever materialized and we're pretty much living with the clutter that's driving me crazy and occasionally is a little dangerous.

If you’re a regular reader of The Chronicles of Nani, and there still are some of you, you know that I did not excel with the blogging more goal.

My reading goal was 2 books a month. I read 23 for the year. In my defense on that one there were a few paper books hardcover or paperback are harder for me to read because of the dyslexia and therefore take longer. I finished the year only one book shy of my goal which is probably more frustrating than 10!

I missed my page a day goal for scrapbooking having only completed 360 pages this year instead of 365 but the last page I finished today was the last page of 2008 and I can say that year is ready for proofreading and printing! That is a great consolation to missing goal by five pages. Also good news in the scrapbooking world I had a goal of finishing project 365 this year with the more random format that I've shown a few times on the blog and all that's left to complete on that is week 52.

The health and wellness goals which included losing 20 pounds by June didn't do so well as the steroid injections I was getting for my back made my back feel great but also caused weight gain even though I was eating healthy. (This year's goals will NOT include injections in my back!)

I did have some unplanned success with the employment area, which is going to be re-named business goals for this year going forward. I participated in Walk MS and after joining in only three weeks before the walk I raised just over $1000. I’m participating again this year and I'm starting with the thousand dollars as a goal. I hope it wasn't beginners luck! I went through training and became a certified group leader for the MS Society's self-help groups. Our self-help group meets on the second Tuesday of every month. Now I just need to get organized so I can get my paperwork in on time.

So there's 2014; a little good, really good, and a little bad some of it really bad. But assessing the year really gives me a chance to see where my goals can be adjusted and what projects I can change, add or omit to make 2015 better. And so now here's my 2015 plan.

2015 Projects and Goals

Health and Wellness Goals

I'm putting these goals first because I think that these goals are paramount to everything else falling in place. Health and wellness goals will include making sure I take all of my medication, including water pills, every day. I’m actually pretty good about that with the exception of those water pills but I'm going to be more disciplined in general and try not to miss any pills. I never liked taking pills and I've got to finish the fight with myself to change into a new regimen of taking all the pills that really are important to my health remaining intact.

I'm also going to make sure that I drink my water every day I have a bare minimum of 4 16-ounce bottles a day. I can drink this starting with when I'm taking the water pills as long as I wait for coffee (caffeine) until after they're done doing their stuff without suffering too much and in fact I feel a lot better when I drink enough.

I've got some information coming in from the MS Society pertaining to assistance both finding and making sure I can afford a lift chair recliner and a personal home aid. Part of my health and wellness goals include the fact that I need to have my feet up on and off during the day and the doctor suggested something on the main floor of the house that I can lie down on during the day. The recliner will be perfect for that. I just purchased an ottoman for under the table today. On Christmas Day Aunt Judy gave me a footstool that was wide enough that I could put my legs and feet on it and some swelling that had started instantly started going away when I put my feet up. Okay that's sort of like getting foot religion.

A personal home aid can hopefully offer some help by scolding me when I need it; when I’m overdoing something or underdoing something else. I hope an aid can also help with cooking so I can have hot lunch? I spilled soup on myself three times in December. It would be great if I could have some help to heat up soup for lunch, reach the microwave and hey, maybe even help cook soup in the crockpot! Okay I don't really know what home health aide does but I'm going to find out and I'm going to get the help that I need.

I'm doing my January detox cutting out most of my indulgent snacks until they return in measured portions in February and adding a cup of green tea each day. I'm not setting myself a definite number per month weight loss goal, partly because I still can't balance well enough to stand on the scale every week, But mostly because I want to concentrate on making sure that my diet is healthy, talking to my physical therapist about what kind of exercise I'm capable of doing and make myself healthy; the weight-loss will follow in line.

Clean and Organize Project

My big Christmas present from David hasn't arrived yet, but it’s a new nightstand for my side of the bed in the bedroom. I've been using an accent table with a banker box underneath it ever since I moved in in 2007! The new nightstand will keep me from knocking things on the floor upstairs. I'm also looking at getting deep shelves rather than a new chest of drawers for the one that needs replacing. I could put folded clothes on the shelves and the bottom shelves will have the cube fabric drawers for socks and underwear. David said I should see if that's already designed and if not I should copyright it for wheelchair-friendly furniture. I want to make sure it is friendly first. We are also going to look into getting the brakes fixed the old chair that belong to David's mother that we use as a transport chair upstairs. Working brakes would give me some safe freedom of movement.


I'm not changing this goal. Similar to last year I'm going to try to blog more regularly and I'm going to give myself the goal of writing at least one blog entry a week and reading at least 5 a day. I am and have been this year at times a week behind on the blogs that I read all the time. Doesn't give me much opportunity to read anything new when I have to devote that much time to catching up.

Scrapbooking and Project 52

The last page of 2008 is done!
I'm pleased to say that I finished a book this year and since I did come so close to goal the goal remains a page a day for a total of 365 pages done at the end of the year. I'm also not going to change anything in the way that I'm doing my project 52. A two-page spread in quadrants is perfect for a little bit of journaling a photo, clipart, random things per day with an extra block for a day that needs more space or some other interesting tidbit. I'm very pleased with my pages from 2014 and I plan to continue 2015 in the same way.

Reading Goals

This is an area that will also do the same I only missed my goal by one book this year and going forward I'm going read my paperback and hardcover books as bedtime books and a current e-book is the book that I take places with me. When I’m waiting at an appointment or for a bus I usually have more time than my eyes can handle reading a paper book. So it only makes sense that I should have a book I'm reading on the e-reader. Of course if I'm going to be reading a hardcover or paperback and an e-book at the same time they’ll need to be different genres to keep the stories separated which will give me the opportunity to try some new things. It's a doable win/win!

Business Goals

My business goals are going to include setting up our printer which networks to serve all the computers in the house if it’s set up correctly in a place where we can get to the printer. The printer also scans so I can scan materials necessary to email the reports in for my MS group.

One big goal that I want to achieve this year is I want to gather all of the tax forms and have all of our deductions added and ready to go before the end of February.

My last goal is a special goal for me and is for business, scrapbooking and perhaps my general mental health. We have a new Apple Store at the mall on the bus route! Windows 8.1 has been driving me so totally insane that I have plans to visit the Apple Store as soon as the payments on the iPad are done so I can start making payments on a MacBook! You know, "once you go Mac you never go back," and I've been banging my head against a Window for the last 5 1/2 years; I want to go back to Mac! It's time.

So there is my projected 2015.

This or something better!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why is it so hard to say “Happy Holidays?”

We had a very nice group meeting last night with our MS Self Help Group. Everyone was invited to bring holiday cookies to share and we enjoyed cookies, a game and our usual conversation. At the end of the evening even I said “Merry Christmas” because it had become evident over the course of the evening that everyone present in our modestly-sized group celebrates Christmas. That makes it okay. If anyone had not been forthcoming about Christmas traditions at home or had mentioned honoring a holiday that wasn’t Christmas at this time of year I would have said “Happy Holidays.” This is not a new practice for me and I don’t understand how it can be offensive.

I’ve mentioned before that when I was 6 I made the decision to become a nun when I grew up. I think I also mentioned that by age 9 I decided Catholicism wasn’t for me. I consider myself a Universal Unitarian now and those years of “studying” to become a nun pretty much made me a Unitarian. It’s the concept of “studying” religion in elementary school. It never occurred to my very young self that if I wanted to learn how to be a good nun, “ask a nun.” I was in Catholic school; it’s not like finding a nun was difficult. But I listened and learned in class when we had our religion lessons and I watched my first-grade teacher and aware that there would be tougher things to learn when I was older but the most important thing I had to start doing was learn how to love everyone. An important part of that was understanding.

I went to different vacation bible schools, my parents were quite pleased that I wanted to go to bible school in the summer, and more than one week of it! I went to Bible School and youth events in various Christian churches and found them to be pretty much the same. It didn’t matter what you called your religion; if you love God and love people, God is pleased. Also the “golden rule” at home from the time we were kids agreed with that thought. It was was simple to our child-minds and it grew more immense and a little more challenging as we got older but it never changed. Mom’s rule was “Stay straight with God and stay straight with man.” How wonderfully simple. It was basically if you have self-respect and respect for other people, you’re okay. I still find that simple rule, although as an adult it's more difficult, to be a good golden rule.

When I was 7 or 8 my world got a little bigger. I wasn’t in Catholic School or Baptist and Methodist bible school and field trips. I was bowling now. Our bowling league wasn’t a religious event, it was just fun. Don’t ever think for a moment that kids don’t have serious discussions just like adults do. At bowling was the first time I asked someone else, “You mean you don’t celebrate Christmas?” Imagine a Catholic kid having a theological discussion with a Jewish kid at a bowling alley. That happened with no adults, no one insisting the other was wrong, respect and genuine interest in hearing about each others holidays. My fiends' idea of what Jesus did, a great rabbi and teacher, was different, but the stories and morals were the same. Over the course of a few months 2 things happened to me. First I formed the opinion that if God was able to make all things possible, why wouldn’t he have different ways to reach everyone? I mean if he made us all different wouldn’t he be what would make us comfortable with him adjusted for how he made us? Yes, as a child I REALLY deviated from the becoming a nun plan with that opinion. Your religious practices don’t matter if you’re a good person. I also never said “Merry Christmas” to people I didn’t know again. “Happy Holidays” included Hanukkah and that was nicer to my friends who were Jewish than to wish them to enjoy a holiday they don’t even celebrate. I still said “Merry Christmas” to family, friends I knew had Christmas, people in church, but never to someone I didn’t know. I thought of that as bringing my Christmas happiness to everyone not as anyone taking my holiday away from me.

I still say “Happy Holidays” to people I don’t know unless they’re wearing a Santa hat or a t-shirt that says something about Christmas. That’s still respect; sharing my holiday spirit rather than pushing my practices on someone I don’t even know. I don’t really know when erring on the side of respect became offensive to anyone. If anything in the holiday season, that becomes more anti-people every year, has or is still steering me away from the beliefs and traditions of my young childhood it’s not the people who aren’t me that want to respect and be respected, it’s the people who celebrate the same as I do that refuse to respect others.

If a stranger says “Happy Holidays” to you don’t say “You mean Merry Christmas” to them which essentially says their greeting isn’t good enough for you. Just smile and say “have a great holiday” back to them sharing whatever holiday spirit you hold in your heart. If respect is offensive to you maybe you’re the one “ruining Christmas.”

My Christmas wish is that everyone has a safe and joyful holiday season!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ah, December…

I want to apologize because it’s been over a week since I posted! I know I’ve chosen to take sabbaticals without mentioning it before. Wow, that makes me sound flighty. I’m really not so flighty, it’s just that The Chronicles of Nani is my hobby and non-cyber issues like medical, family and legal junk take precedence over bogging or scrapbooking. Visualize if you will that we all hang out at the same coffee shop and I don’t show up for my usual coffee for about a week. Sure, you might be concerned and I’ll definitely feel bad that I made you worry, but it wasn’t necessarily that anything is wrong or that I’m not having my coffee; it’s just that I’ve been getting a cup at a drive-thru and haven’t been able to stop and check-n!

This past week has been, well, odd. In a nutshell I had a medicine change that I don’t think my body has adjusted to yet. As a result I haven’t been sleeping well with any regularity and that’s left the door open for the MS fatigue to shine, or dim as it were. Unplanned power-naps a few times a day mess with my to-do lists!

Yesterday I found and old Barnes and Noble gift card and tried it out to see if it was still valid. There’s been a balance on the card but it was a few years old. The card was still valid and the balance still there! Except that it’s not there anymore; it exists as the electronic files of four new books! There are three thrillers and one probably controversial book. Beyond my personal spiritual fulfillment, I find religious history and opinion to be fascinating. I want to get back to the ereader after the current book. I’ve been reading Dan Brown’s Inferno for a long time. It’s a paperback my sent gave me after she finished it because it seemed like a book I’d enjoy and she was spot-on with that prediction. I’m enjoying the book, reading a chapter or two before bed. Unfortunately, the miracle of the ereader is a bandage, not a cure, for my dyslexia and when I’m reading a paperback I return to reading carefully and much slower. But it is so far a pretty good book. I’m on page 361 of 611. I think I’ll finish it before Christmas. :)

Here is my first scrapbook challenge layout for December. Readers here might have read most of the journaling part before. It’s about my first walk to the store to buy my own donut when I was 6 or 7 year-old.

Credits: I Love Donuts by Aprilisa Designs and Fit To Burst by Aprilisa Designs

Journaling: That DD looks just like one I went to when I was 6 or 7 years old. It was the very first time I walked to a store by myself and bought something. It was a chocolate honey dipped donut from Dunkin’ Donuts on Eureka Road in Southgate, Michigan. The donut was 15 cents and in the early 1970s; I was six or seven years old. Some memories are just so strong they last forever.

Times have changed, huh? Imagine any responsible parent letting a 1st/2nd grader walk all by herself up a block to the busy street, down another block in the alleyway behind the stores, across a neighborhood street and into a restaurant by herself. It was definitely safer in the early 70s. Well, I would imagine that the neighbors on our street knew I was going to the donut shop and my parents knew the owners of the stores whose alleyway I walked through as customers. Heck, the guy who owned the store with the penny candy and baseball cards knew me personally as a regular customer with the neighborhood kids. So in that I actually knew neighbors and business owners it was probably safer anyway. The idea of safety ever crossed my mind as a concern. My only concern was saving that 15 cents of my allowance so I could walk up to the store and buy my own donut, bring it home and have it for breakfast. I got to sit down at home and have my breakfast with my milk knowing that I was one step closer to being a grown-up.

I’m going to start scrapping some pages like that for little Nani-Historical anecdotes. I haven’t decided if I’ll use them as filler pages in my regular scrapbooks or if I’ll do a separate Nani Historical book. That’s one of the questions I’m mulling around about my art journal pages. That really should tell me I should include them all in my regular scrapbooks because I’m getting too many separate ones. I’m no where near printing so I have some time to mull ideas around.

Another point of good news on the scrapping front is that I did finish all the November files for 2008 and 2011 and feel pretty confident that those years will be complete at the end of this year! there are only December photos for those two years. On January 1 I’ll have every year that’s left, 2009, 12, 13 and 14 done to at least June. It’s starting toy possible that this time next year I’ll be caught up!

Yesterday James, the technician from the power chair place was over in the morning and my chair is finally fixed after an altercation with the door at Panera killed my chair’s swing arm and joystick on November 13. They couldn’t even order the replacement parts until they got an okay from insurance. Of course someone who uses the chair for mobility in the house doesn’t “need” the steering to work right. I mean, refrigerators can be replaced, right? (Yeesh)

Now, I have breakfast and lunch dishes in the sink waiting for me and now that I’m truly mobile again, a grocery list to prepare!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Café

Welcome to December! It’s only 24 shopping days until Christmas. That’s also only 24 scrapping days to finish Christmas 2013 or you’ll be officially behind. Or if you’re like some of..ah it’s me, it’s 24 days to complete 2008 or be another year behind.

I took a little time to blow the dust off the Digitalegacies Designs tool box and join Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies again this year. My 2014 offering is called Christmas Café, a word art set that features a lyric bit from 4 Christmas songs and a nod to my favorite hot beverage.

Click preview to go to download

There is a lyric bit from Jingle Bells, Holly Jolly Christmas and 2 coffee cups; the one for home with a bit from Neil Diamond’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas and one for out and about with a bit of Silver Bells. There is also a version of the to-go cup that just says “Christmas Day.” The Jingle Bells word art is a variation of the one I made for our railfan holiday cards this year and it inspired the set.

I hope you can use the free word arts for your layouts or projects this year. If you’d like to use them for graphics on your blog, please link back to the Chronicles of Nani when you do.

Find more freebies from this year’s hop by visiting Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies. Happy creating and Merry Christmas!