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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Yes Nani, There Is A Santa Claus

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy First Day of Hanukkah! Boy, we got here fast this year. I'm sure the surgery at the beginning of the month can be blamed for the things that are late or didn't get done this year. Well, I'm blaming it for taking a week of prep time away from me. I can't bake anymore, at least not alone, and I've been sending other cookies or treats to the loved ones I'd sent those to before. I didn't this year and that makes me sad. I feel a little plowed under by the holiday season that sort of avalanched. Our Christmas cards are still here and will be sent out after Christmas as our way of extending the warmth and love of the holiday.

Last minute shopping I needed to do was thwarted by weather yesterday. How that happened on a dry and warmer day was that iced over packed snow at the end of the driveway turned to thick slush. My wheels slid around and got stuck and the bus driver had to help me out. That was at the beginning of about a 10-yard slush field. After backing me out I had to refuse the ride since we agreed there was no way I could get to the bus. I had asked David about making that trip after dinner. We had planned to go out to acknowledge our anniversary last night, but a combination of that slush on the wheelchair van, rediscovering that the old wheelchair, which is lower and fits at restaurant tables, is the "old" wheelchair because the seat is too short and is the reason why my hips are painfully twisted (they're worse now and it hurts more) and to top it off it was raining, cancelled the dinner plans too.

It's been a challenging Holiday season for me this year.

But there are many good things too.

For the surgical procedure to have happened at all it meant the blood pressure problem that saw it rescheduled in November is under control It was successful with no complications and visiting nurse says healing well.

I always put funds for a couple extra gifts in my Christmas budget for gifts for friends I don't always exchange with, RAKs, extra help for people I don't know or charity. I don't make a big deal about doing that because it's something I do for myself, it just makes me feel good. This year I didn't have time to spend that, but I did get an "emergency call" from a friend who I was able to help because of not having time to spend it. I gladly accept that there's a reason for everything

I ran out of time but I really wanted to make a single batch of gingerbread cookies. I spent years perfecting my gingerbread recipe to be exactly the cookies I wanted. I did that to my taste, I shared them with my holiday baking, but they were the cookie I made for me. One of my aides said we could make the dough one day and bake them the next. Unfortunately she wasn't scheduled to be in this week, so the cookies weren't made. However, if she's in the week after Christmas, we can still do a batch. I also accept that gingerbread doesn't have to be a Christmas cookie.

I did get all the presents I had planned on getting and I got them all wrapped. There were two boxes that were sent in the mail and I know that one of them made it today and I'm hoping that the other one did as well. David is picking up the breakfast pastries that I couldn't get yesterday and I will have those ready for Christmas morning. I've talked to Pop; there is a beautiful decorated tree to go with the fabulous meal he'll be serving tomorrow.

In so many ways it is felt like this holiday season is just another part of a gloomy year. But even in the darkest of times, the holidays bring out the best in everybody and the brightest of feelings inside all of us.  Yes Nani, there is a Santa Claus; but sometimes you have to look for him so you can give him a hug.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I'm joining Joyce at From This Side of The Pond for the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate

As a former producer/project manager, I can't say I favor one over the other because both are equally important to get things done. I'm personally an outgoing introvert, which says "both" too; when I'm alone I concentrate on tasks I want finished, but I try to be very conscious of others, where they do their best, and by that enjoy what they're doing the most, when I'm working with a group. I've found that both personally and professionally making sure everybody is doing something they really love and do well make anything work better for everyone involved and is better quality in the end. So I guess that makes me a little more people oriented. I place great importance on the people who are doing the tasks and I believe that anything is better with a devoted group than it is alone.

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls Day...do you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.

I don't have, nor have I ever had, real pearls. I'm a shiny stones person. I have worn plastic pearls in the past.

"Pearl of wisdom?" A good psychologist will not solve all of your problems for you. A GOOD psychologist listens to you and asks you the questions you need to answer to solve your problems yourself. Any kind of real change or repair has to come from you. But don't ever be afraid to let a professional help you find the answers that you have inside.

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?

I'm not an oyster fan. Honestly I don't remember if I've tried them, but I probably have at some point during my life. As a first generation American I tried a lot of weird stuff as a child. LOL I'm told I was a huge fan of calamari when I was little. I know what they taste like and there's no way I'd eat them now. So it's probable that I did try oysters at some time but the thought of eating an oyster now is kind of gross so I don't want to try them, probably again, to see if I like them. There are so many things that I enjoy that I see no need to try to add oysters to that list.

I do know that I have tried in recent years and don't like eggplant, Portabella mushrooms, sushi, tapioca putting, salmon or tilapia.

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?

Time's Man of the Year in 1938 was Adolph Hitler. Hmm...

Nani Magazine's Person of the Year 2016 is Simone Biles. Incredibly talented, 4 Gold Medals and I was blown away with how tall she looks when performing.

5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.

Woo-hoo, Greenery! It's a great color and one I can say that I have a lot of in my house and in my wardrobe. I think going forward into 2017 with greenery as the color of the the year rekindles some of my hope that, at least the color copy of, the year will look good!

6. Today I've had too much SNOW!

There was a reported measurement of 9 inches at the airport Sunday afternoon into Monday early morning. There is still snow all over the yard every time I look out the window and it's COLD. So there's the winter. I'm good with that. Bring on the warm weather and bring the spring flowers. I've had enough of winter now.

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.

I chuckled at this one because just last night I wrote down my top 10 Christmas songs for 2016 to put in my weekly journal.

Here is that list:

Unto You This Night, Garth Brooks *
Old Toy Trains, Joe Nichols
Let It Be Christmas, Alan Jackson
Candlelight Carol, Neil Diamond *
Away In A Manger, John Berry *
Ave Maria, Luciano Pavarotti
Hallelujah (Christmas lyrics), The Osmonds
Oh Holy Night, Jo Dee Messina
Mary Did You Know, Kenny Rogers & Wynona Judd
This Christmas, Dru Hill *

* songs that have been my favorite versions of my favorite songs for a very long time and are in the top 50 or so all time. The top 10 for the year is a combination of those all-time songs that really strike me in a given year and the new songs that I'm kind of obsessed about this year.

The Osmonds version of Hallelujah is with the lyrics rewritten to tell the story of the first Christmas. I think Hallelujah is a beautiful song but the original lyrics are about a relationship ending and questioning faith. I think the Osmonds version is much more appropriate for Christmas.

I heard Old Toy Trains for the first time last year and I absolutely love the song, the Joe Nichols version being, in my opinion, the best. That's the lyric I'm sharing today.

Old toy trains, little toy tracks
Little boy toys, comin' from a sack
Carried by a man dressed in white and red
Little boy don't you think it?s time you where in bed?

Close your eyes, listen to the skies
All is calm, all is well
Soon you'll hear Kris Kringle and the jingle bells

Bringin' old toy trains, little toy tracks
Little boy toys, comin' form a sack
Carried by a man dressed in white and red
Little boy don't you think it?s time you where in bed?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I've always loved this time of year. Personally I decorate for and share Christmas with my relatives and many members of my family. For me it's a celebration of spirituality, family/community and of children. I honor those as three separate holidays for church, national and a Hallmark holiday for the kid in all of us. As a Unitarian Universalist I also respect and enjoy the many other holidays celebrated at this time of year. I've been one of those dreaded "Happy Holidays" people since I bowled with Jewish kids when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

I'd love it if everyone could embrace saying "happy holidays" in public/with people they don't know and share the joy they feel from their holiday with everyone in a non-judgmental way. But I also like the idea of just not correcting anybody when they say a greeting whether it's "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," "Merry Yule," or even " Happy Holidays." They are all greetings that say "I feel blessed and like celebrating and I want to share that good feeling with you." The best way to share the loving spirit of what you celebrate is to simply smile and say "thank you, you too.” Doesn't that capture the"peace" part of all of the holidays?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Flowers, Flowers, Freebies

Aren't they beautiful? David stopped to pick up a few grocery items, including a special holiday traditional treat for me, on the way home Friday. When he came in he presented me with a bouquet of bright Christmas-colored flowers! He hasn't brought me flowers in the long time. I hadn't been feeling like a Neil Diamond song or anything, but they sure make me smile every time I look at them!

Getting flowers is a nice introduction to me giving flowers to all of my digital scrapbooking friends! I might have mentioned when I released Christmas Cocoa for Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies on December 1 that I thought it needed flowers and maybe something else.

Here are the flowers and a few leaves to add to this month's freebie kit!

Christmas Cocoa Flowers
Click on preview to download at MediaFire

The Christmas Cocoa kit is here,

 I hope you enjoy Christmas Cocoa. Stay tuned! I may yet have something else to add to this kit.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


First up was some good news for me. I got my mammogram a couple weeks ago and the very skinny envelope came in the mail once again saying that there were no apparent abnormalities. Yay! No matter what else happens that's negative I can say that I still have perfect blood sugar and perfect boobs. Even if the boobs aren't as great to look at as they used to be, they're still 50-year-old perfect!

Additional medical stuff that might give you a window into why I haven't blogged a lot or even read blogs a lot for a while, I had, and I'll add survived, my first non-dental surgical procedure done this past week. I did say a few blog posts ago there's been nothing that's life or death and I stand by that; it was outpatient surgery and not life-and-death. The big issue of it for me was that I've never had anything in the way of surgery that wasn't dental surgery. I had my wisdom teeth taken out at 18, all of them, and had extractions as a result of abscess teeth because my teeth are hereditarily chalky and don't hold crowns. But, yeah, in 50 years that's all the surgery I've ever had. So the thought of even an outpatient procedure was obsessively scary. It was done with sedation and local anesthetic but general anesthetic was a back up if that wasn't enough. It's the general anesthesia possibility that scared me. I don't think there's anything more anti-control freak than being knocked out so far it takes you a scattered while to come out of it. Thankfully, general anesthesia ended up not being necessary. So I've now had surgery but I've never been completely knocked out. That can stay that way as far as I'm concerned. The doctor ended up wanting to keep me overnight for observation. There was nothing wrong it really was just for observation and they pretty much came in and cleared me for going home Thursday morning. Of course at hospitals clearing you to go home in the morning at 9 o'clock means you actually get to go home about about three.

I prefer not to share anymore details about surgery, but suffice it to say it makes wheelchair living safer, easier and less painful.

I had a setback, but I'm slowly building myself back up with all the optimism I can muster!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Shopping

Saturday was a holiday shopping day for me. I like internet shopping because there aren't the crowds I didn't enjoy shopping in before the wheelchair. But honestly, I do miss the decorated malls and the peppermint lattes!

I would have been exhausted doing everything I did in person. I started surfing around noon. David was home so we shared talk, music and meals. There is no way he'd spend the whole day Christmas shopping with me and not be miserable. With me cyber shopping, he could play poker online and I could still show him things I saw in stores. I enjoyed the social part of shopping and he didn't have to step foot in the estrogen-filled stadium of "shop til you drop."

I'm doing Secret Santa with a women's group I'm in. My Santee is someone I've never met before. It's just like the Secret Santa Soirée was done only I don't have years of her blog to get to know the person I'm giving to. I just have her Facebook wall. We life-bloggers and craft bloggers share more details about our passions and preferences than is usually shared on Facebook. Still, between the Facebook Wall and her paragraph about who she is and the things she likes I was able to have several ideas that I could pursue to find just the right gift. I found it around 11 o'clock Saturday night. There was one other person that I was shopping for but I knew what I wanted to get, down to two possible pictures of it in my mind. I found one of the pictures I had in mind after a couple of hours but, as is a regular shopping thing, I found something else that I just loved. I hope it's opened with as big a smile as it gave me to find it. I'm behind on my page-a-day scrap goal for December already, but it was totally worth it to spend a day traveling all over internet stores and finding the right gifts for two different people!

When shopping the specialty stores to collect my traditional Italian goodies and other special things for the holidays, I like to find occasional edible presents and I also like to try something new myself. In years past I tried cranberry mustard, rum cake cookies and even chicken tortellini.

This year I tried a jar of creama di pistacchio, pistachio cream, from Supermarket Italy. At first glance, it's a jar of green goo. It's greener than I was expecting from the photograph online but since it was creamier, than Lake Erie water during an algae bloom, I decided I wasn't so grossed out that I couldn't give it a try.

O-M-G... I swiped my finger on the pistachio cream that was on the lid and the taste is amazing! If you like pistachios imagine peanut butter only with pistachios. The flavor is a little more pungent than peanut butter but that's because pistachios are a little more pungent than peanuts. Where I could take a spoon and just scoop peanut butter out and eat it, I really think I need crackers or biscuits for the pistachio butter. But, oh my, it is good!

I talked to my dad last night and told him about it. I also wanted help on the pronunciation of pistacchio, pistachio in Italian. Pop said, no kidding, that he didn't remember ever saying pistacchio when he was a kid and only remembers saying it in English. Since I'm not bilingual, I've never thought about there being things you'd learn about while speaking in the new language that you didn't know the word for in your original tongue. I was told that when I was learning to talk I had to learn the English word butterfly because I first saw butterflies often at the park with my grandmother. Noni called them "farfalle" and I didn't know that word was a different language than the one I was learning. Of course since I don't actually remember that one, I don't remember how it felt. I still think it would be more strange to an adult. I also think it's a bigger deal to me than Pop.

Oh, we decided because of the vowel sounds and double-c, it is pronounced
| pee-STAH-chee-o |

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Cocoa

Welcome to the 2016 Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies!

If you are a visitor from the Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies blog, welcome! If you are a regular reader here who will enjoy some fabulous Christmas scrapbooking freebies, by all means click that logo to check out the great holiday gifts! Regardless of how you got here, if you download my mini kit, enjoy!

Here is the palette I used for this year's kit.

Without further ado, here is Christmas Cocoa!

Click image to download at Mediafire

This kit is customizable. If you saw the sample layout yesterday, the hot Chocolate mugs work as coffee mugs too. The mugs, steam, marshmallows and whipped cream topping are separate elements, so you can dress up your warm beverage the way that best accents your photos and journaling. It is a mini kit, so visit back! I do think it could use a couple flowers, maybe an alpha or something too. :)

For many of us, we NEED the holiday season to save 2016. I hope all the great scrapbooking freebies are a good inspiration to send the year out with a loving surge.

But wait, there's more! Make sure you pick up the add-on flowers here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kicking Off The Holidays

The holiday season has officially kicked off. We went to Michigan the Sunday before Thanksgiving to have our Thanksgiving dinner would Pop and Aunt Judy. Thursday was a Play football day at home with David. Thursday night I started my Christmas holiday shopping. Even for a homebody who does most of my shopping online, Black Friday sales were abundant.

Today I watched Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer while David was at work, making the Christmas season official for my inner child. David is not a Rudolf fan at all, so Rudolph, however necessary, is a solo event for me.

The other thing that I did today was this scrapbook page:

Credits: Christmas Cocoa buy Digitalegacies Designs

He1he… my fellow scrappers can sleep on that. Christmas Cocoa Will be released tomorrow morning as my contribution to Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies this year!

More in the morning…

Friday, November 11, 2016

Checking In

There has been so, so, so much going on! Don't worry, I am NOT “hanging in the balance" or anything like that, but I can say that I much prefer going to the local hospital during the day when the good coffee bar is open. There're a few things coming up in my too many doctors world that should make the future much more bright. In the meantime I'll be using the last month of the year to really plan for getting my act together next year. I just have to remember “baby steps."

I will, or won’t, share more details about hospitals later. The only thing I'll say now about hospitals is ladies, make sure you get your mammograms! Do it for yourself. Do it for the people who love you. And for those of us older ladies, yeah, every year. This is why the quality of the coffee at the hospital you choose is so important. After a mammogram I've EARNED a real latte and one of the BEST banana muffins in the world!

I'm getting ready to start work on my Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies gift for this year. I'm not totally sure what it will be yet but it will be available here on December 1.

In the meantime, I stumbled upon a set of templates in my hard drive. These were in my Scrap Bird Store in 2009. It took me a minute to remember to them! It's a simple set of templates that is now on my MediaFire Account to share!

click on image to go to MediaFire

I hope you enjoy the templates. I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

American Hamburgers

Nani, Noni and Mom, circa 1983

So I'm not going to make excuses for not keeping up on things in the blog-world. The truth is I'm still having some problems hit and miss which includes the height of the new chair not being able to comfortably get in front of the computer, so I'm not on it unless I'm lounging back in the recliner. I still need to form a working normal for myself. I've been feeling like a bit of a hermit so for the most part when I get on the computer, I'm scrapbooking. That doesn't mean that I'm totally a hermit. I'll check my email and I visit Facebook, but I don't post a lot of anywhere right now. I am always getting on my own case for that and I'm trying to inspire myself to become involved with the world again. Politics has been very frustrating and almost painful. I post a little about that because I'm ripping my hair out with the idiocy that's going on in the presidential election this year. There seems to be a lot of people that are not fact-checking, they're just reacting to false statements. It frightens my "ugly-cripple-anchor baby" brain. It's just going to take some time before I'm ready to venture out into the world again.

I was looking at digital coupons to add to my Kroger card and one of the coupon choices was this:

White Castle condiments at Kroger?

It made me think about how long it's been since I've been to a White Castle. Ruthie, my aide, said that she hadn't been to a White Castle in 12 to 13 years, or half of her life. For me I don't think I've been to a White Castle since my grandmother passed in 1989 that got us both reminiscing about White Castle.

For me, White Castle was the American hamburger. What I mean is there was a White Castle on the road on the way to my grandmother’s house. In the Italian grandma tradition, Noni cooked... everything… constantly! Of course friends and family visiting, especially family, would encourage her every now and then to take a day off and just let us bring dinner in. She would have none of that, also in the good Italian grandma fashion, she loved cooking and cooking for people. But every now and then Noni would actually feel like taking a day off. When she wanted the day off she would say "I don't feel like cooking, let's get a bag of American hamburgers." You see, to Noni's palette White Castle hamburgers were the quintessential American food. (Keep in mind the actual Italian food is NOTHING like Sbarro or even Olive Garden.) So to me White Castle is a wonderful memory of "Noni's Day Off."

White Castle available in the frozen food? I had to check out the White Castle website. The last time I ate at the White Castle the onion chips were relatively new. Now you can get all kinds of things at White Castle! They have chicken and fish and a full breakfast menu. And then the sides; it's not just fries or onion chips anymore. Now you can get mozzarella sticks cheesy fries and fish nibblers. It's just amazing that White Castle is still competitive, keeping up with the fast food market and it still is that corner hamburger stand where you can get your sliders. Part of me would like to stop at White Castle for old times sake. But the closest one to here is about an hour away. Maybe it's a flavor that's better kept in my memory anyway.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Half Century of Nani

I am officially half-century old. Just to let you know I don't have a problem with being my age so I feel no need to refer to myself as "years young." Everybody has their own personal little idiosyncrasies. Some of mine include hating phrases like "it is what it is," or that someone is however many "years young." It just feels like the ultimate in denial. I have the half-century of history. I have so many personal even public victories to remember fondly and as many mistakes and failures I have learned from. I've celebrated triumphs and fought challenges and I'm proud of every bit of who I am. Heck, I now qualify as a classic, even an antique in some circles. That means I'm worth more old than I am young. Why would I want to deny that?

I was officially 50 on July 29. I met David at the Mud Hens game and it was raining when I went out to catch the bus. Folks, I didn't see any rain on my birthday at all until I was 24 years old. In 1990, my friend Jeff and I we're at midway airport in Chicago waiting for plane to take us home. I saw rain on my birthday for the first time that day. And that was enough rain to keep our plane from landing and leave us with a few extra hours at the airport while we waited for the rescheduled flight. The guy tending the beer cart came to know us pretty well that day. Jeff's parents had dropped us off and my parents were picking us up so we didn't have to worry at all about driving… Since that time I've seen rain on my birthday hit and miss, not enough the delay anything. I really figured on my half-century birthday it shouldn't rain, right?

I tell you, it wasn't a drenching rain when I caught the bus and it had stopped raining by the time I got to the ballpark, but it WAS an absolute downpour that delayed the game for two hours at the start of the sixth inning! But the Mud Hens won and MY Tiger, JD Martinez, was my Mud Hen for my birthday! He was in Toledo on a rehab assignment. His first swing of the bat when he returned to Detroit a few days later was a home run that was the game-winning run. We'll just call that my birthday blessing. LOL

I did have a couple days of computer silence waiting for my "birthday present" from Apple. My power cord for my computer died. I mean it really died; I plugged it in and there was nothing. The battery died and the computer went dark while I was on the phone with AppleCare. It was a good thing I bought AppleCare insurance. The retail value on replacing the power source is $87! It died on a Sunday night and by Tuesday I had the replacement. All it cost me was two days of computer silence. I have my iPad and the TV; so, living in a swing state, I wasn't even away from politics for two days. Although no politics for 2 days might have been a present too.

Well, the couple days of computer silence did put me starting August behind on my page-a-day scrapbooking so I'm going to spend the rest of this pretty sunny afternoon catching up! Funny, 50 really doesn't feel any different than 49 did. Well, except that I joined AARP and I’m waiting for my card while looking for an appropriate coffee mug.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Billy Bob Can't Say That

Back in June, when the power chair was new, I fell asleep in it. I’d been having trouble sleeping and David let me be for the night. The chair reclines all the way back, tilts up and the feet lift. It’s almost totally flat and in the right position can be pretty comfy. After a few nights of MS insomnia, it was a deep and restful sleep, aaaaahhhhh. I fell asleep with Buddy Bat, my iPad, on my chest, which eventually slid off of me. I vaguely remembered feeling it slide to my stomach and down my legs. I knew I’d have to upright the chair and fish it off the ground with my reacher.

I moved the back of the chair upright and grabbed the reacher. Then I started moving the leg supports down, “woooo…ooo…ooo…CRUNCH!” I immediately stopped the chair. The motor doesn’t go “crunch.” Buddy Bat didn’t fall to the floor. Buddy Bat slid onto the working parts of the joints in the chair.

I’m pretty dependent on my tablet. It’s my library and my game console. I have an app with all my medicines that automatically searches for potential drug interactions when I add a new one. My calendar is in it, my daily journals, notes for my doctors and even my grocery list app! Keep in mind that I really can’t write legibly or turn pages while not dropping a paperback. My tablet really has become my most important assistive device for daily living!

So Buddy Bat had to be fixed or replaced. The tablet worked fine, every app, and swiping across the screen accessed everything although half he screen was a bit difficult to read. Also, every time I swiped the screen I got tiny shards of glass on my finger. My replacement insurance expired back in April and it couldn't be renewed anymore because they don’t make the iPad 2.0 anymore. But I was able to update to the 4.0, faster and more memory, for less than I paid for the original one. That my friends, is the silver lining. There is always one of those if you look for it.

The New Buddy Bat is the gold one!

So I had to move in to the new tablet. Much of my stuff was available from the cloud. Every app I’d downloaded and my music library was transferred with my sign-in. I imagine that’s the same with any tablet or smart phone, that you sign in to whichever store you download apps from an you can download he apps you use on your other devices. The apple apps had the info and setups as I was used to, my calendar was intact and I had my notes, but some of the non-apple apps had to have the info put back in. Mainly, I had to re-enter all of my medications in my Rx app. I also had to re-train Siri. You know, I had to remind her that David is my husband and “Lee” is who I mean when I say “message Pop .”

I also had to give her the alternate spelling of my name. Siri looks at my name and pronounces it “Nanny.” My nickname is pronounced like the Hawaiian word for beautiful or the Japanese word for huh? But Siri is neither Hawaiian nor Japanese!

Back when I was a teenager, there was a talking computer at the pizza place we used to hang out at. It was Showbiz Pizza, which was a knockoff of Chuck E. Cheese with a little better pizza and a bear named Billy Bob. The little kids weren’t into the talking computer so much, but we teens were! Remember, it was the early 80s. Typing a sentence and hearing the computer voice read it back was a cool new thing that you didn’t get to do at home. Of course we wanted to hear it try to pronounce our names. But we found out the when you typed any profanity the computer said “Billy Bob can’t say that.” We were good kids that hung out at family restaurants, got along fine with parents and played video games with the kids. But we were still teenagers. It became our mission to figure out how to make the computer swear!

We tried just typing a few lines of random letters with the profanity in the middle, like “jdkifnxyskmassholejfdikjkn” The computer voice sounded like it was mumbling with a mouthful of marbles and flow right into “Billy Bob can’t say that” and continue to mumble. We laughed at each failure, as did the preteens who weren’t waiting to use the machine but just waiting for us to win. We finally discovered that phonetics, dashes and spaces worked. Yes, honor roll students and early PCs made for the discovery of the likes of sh-it, you beech and what made us preteen heroes for a while, if you use ah sandwiched between the f and k in a single word, it sounds just like a soft u. Every time the computer swore we laughed and cheered and the preteens took notes.

I used this trick to teach my first Mac how to say my name in 1997. Nah-knee, but when I changed my name in the first iPad, Siri said “nah” with a harder a, like ant. See our devices don't have computer sounding voices anymore. Siri is an actual person’s voice with sounds formed on an algorithm that works with a script of normal sounds. Siri and I had a talk about pronouncing my name and she decided to spell it “Nonny.”

It kinda makes me wonder if today’s text slang comes from smart phones telling teenagers how to swear.

I’ll be 50 in a few days. I’m allowed to make an occasional “we were better” comment. ;)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hello Blogland!!!!!

My signature for July at GingerScraps

Long time no see, right? I got my new wheelchair just a little after Memorial Day. If anyone wants to grouch along with me, that’s just over a year after I was originally measured and an order put together for a new chair. But I have the new chair. Now I’m about the task of relearning how to have an actual life. That’s kept me busy and tired every day.

My phrase for the beginning of my 50th year is “baby steps.” My friend and former coworker, Mary, put that gentle and valuable bit of coaching in my head when we worked together. You don’t reach goals if you can’t appreciate the little victories. At that time it was just her telling us to take it easy if we felt frustration at work, but now when I sarcastically cheer myself because I made my own salad, I hear her voice in my mind and, with a smile, I do recognize the little victories. I might not walk, but I’m gonna rock that chair and what are the little victories now will be everyday no big deals.

Hey, yeah, 50th year. Nanifest L starts next Friday! My fiftieth birthday is on a Friday, so the festival is on weekend rules; if my birthday is on a Friday,Saturday or Sunday, the festival runs from 5:00pm the Friday before until midnight the Sunday after, two weeks and three weekends. I think I probably would have extended 50 for the extra week anyway. More about the festival coming very soon!

Before I sign off, I’ll share the scrap-page I did for last year when the van we call “The Blue Meanie” came home. Right now it means David and I can go places to photograph trains, see baseball games or even visit my dad in the Motherland!

Credits: Off Roadin’ by Little Rad Trio, template by Digitalegacies Designs

Of course “template by Digitalegacies Designs” means a freebie! Call it my reopening of my cyber coffee shop gift. Click on the preview to download the template at Mediafire.

Thanks for visiting again!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Are You Wearing?

After a false alarm on my new chair, I haven't been bright and chipper me lately. The chair visited here last week and I sat in it, even drove it a little. The steering is just awesome and I can't wait to get out to a nice even parking lot or even the mall on a slow day so I can try out tilt-a-whirling with it! The seating system it's going to take some serious learning of the new controller but it seems like it's going to be really great to. Unfortunately the ability to actually sit up straight needs adjusting. There's no way that I could eat or drink and hope to swallow without choking in the angle it leaves me at in the totally upright position. It had to go back into be adjusted. I'm waiting now to find out how long that's going to take.

Well I didn't get to go to Indianapolis last weekend Tori texted me the link to watch both the baccalaureate on Saturday in the commencement ceremony on Sunday online. Upon seeing the seating area the truth is I probably had a better view than I would've had in person. I certainly wouldn't have been able to get this:

VERY proud Nana we'll be dragging out her chauffeur, AKA Uncle David, to visit Tori and take her out to dinner very soon after the new chair comes in to stay.

In the meantime I've been in a little low and without enthusiastic desire to do a lot. That includes reading and writing. I've been very slow about the book I'm reading, even though it's a good book, and when I've read blogs, I'm somehow without the creativity or energy to comment much. Of course I haven't been up to writing a blog much either, except well, I guess I'm writing a blog right now. *smile*

I present 5 questions to wake up my mood and mojo. Please feel free to share your answers in comments or on your own blog!

Life Inventory:

1. What are you wearing?

Knee-length cotton dorm shirt with donuts print.

2. What's the last thing you ate?

The last of my daily carrot and celery munchie bowl. Yes, I finally got David to pick out celery for me to go with my carrots. He does a great job!

3. What are the first three songs on your music playlist? (or your current favorite 3 songs)

The first three currently on my iTunes, starting with what’s playing now:

Say It’s Not True - Lionel Cartwright
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
Fall - Clay Walker

4. What is the last purchase you made that was something you wanted, not something you needed?

I spent three months’ saved scrap budget at Ginger Scraps to kick off interNational Scrapbook Day weekend at the beginning of the month. (Great sales!)

5. What's your favorite electronic game? (phone, computer or game console)

I've been playing Toy Blast often lately but my favorite is really Jigsaw Bug. I love jigsaw puzzles on my tablet because no pieces get lost! (or become cat toys)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coffee Crankiness

I’m finally starting to hear some good news! Yesterday when I called in to see what the status is of my new power chair I was told it's done and in shipping. That means it maybe at Reflection Medical today or the beginning of next week! When I told Rick, my rep there, that I really wanted the chair in time to go to my niece's graduation next weekend, he told me if there was anything left to be assembled when it got there, he'd make sure it was done so I have it in time. SQUEE!!!

I’m really ready to have the new chair to move around the house and get out of the house. I'm starting to get cabin fever and I do notice that is really starting to tax my personality. I mean that I'm crabby. Things seem to bug me and set me off much quicker than they have in the past. For instance…

I scrap project life a little differently than everybody else. I journal a few lines about the day every day and when I scrap it I add photos if I take them or other random things that add to the character of the days. For the past two years I done my pages in quadrants with each day getting a quarter page. This year I’ve changed up a little bit and I'm doing a 2-page spread for each week, putting the journaling bits on one page and assorted supporting visuals in block form on the other page. Here's an example of what the 2-pager looks like:

I don't post my project 365/52 layouts in the forums or anything so I don't keep track of exactly what elements from what kits I'm using. BTW, I also use images from the Internet, which is completely legal under fair use since I'm not profiting from the use of publicly distributed material. But that explains why I don't have credits listed under my week 11 layout. If you scrap and you see anything about that layout that you just HAVE to know where they came from, drop me an email and I'll see if I can get that info for you.

I showed week at 11 as an example but I am caught up all the way to the present. That is, I’m working on scrapping week 19 today. Part of weak 19 was Mothers Day, My comments for Sunday included that the kids asked me to text daddy at work and ask him to bring me home a fat free latte from Starbucks for Cat-Moms Day. It was a wonderful latte that the kids gave me but I didn't take picture of it. So to include an image representation of that wonderful latte on the page for week 19, I did an image search for Starbucks latte. I found myself irritated by, in my crabby brain," idiots who are irritated for the sake of being irritated." No, I don't miss the irony of that statement. But this is my blog and therefore I'm irritated buy things that are REAL.

Starbucks is very good coffee to those who consider it very good coffee. If you don't consider it very good coffee don't buy it and shut up and let people who consider it good coffee enjoy it as good coffee. It is not necessary to create or forward, because you don't have the mind or talent required to form and promote your own opinion, cute little anonymous memes to place yourself in some place of authority to belittle people who have a different opinion than yours. Free trade agreements and corporate decisions to obtain materials and labor from outside of the US make pretty much everything some percentage of not an American product. Nobody is a bad person for choosing a product that they like because the cup is manufactured with materials from outside the country. You are not a good person because you choose to invest your money in other products with portions made in another country.

Also anyone who is so terrified that there might be something in their coffee or anything else that they get at a restaurant has no business ordering anything already made. In America restaurants are required to supply nutritional information and ingredients for food that they serve. You have a choice of asking for it, not giving your business to establishments that don't produce it without asking or not caring about the content of items that you consume. If you choose to consume products with high sodium or lots of sugar, fat or artificial flavoring that is your choice and you are NOT a bad person for making that choice. The only person that you potentially harm with that choice is yourself and that is only a potential harm because every person is different and every body reacts to different things is differently. In moderation or even in excess, you may very well be harming no one at all. If you personally have made the choice to not consume all product you are NOT a better person for attempting to insist that anyone else should be just like you.

Finally, Starbucks is a product sold for profit. If it was overpriced, it would fail. From the consistent lines I've seen when I've been in a Starbucks, it’s not failing. There are many people who like Starbucks coffee who consider it to be very good coffee and not overpriced. Many can afford to drink Starbucks coffee every day and they do. There are people, like me, who consider Starbucks coffee to be very good coffee and something I choose to have as a treat, even a couple of times a week. There is NOTHING wrong with that. If the coffee you prefer is less expensive there's nothing wrong with your taste either. But to criticize Starbucks and belittle their customers for their choice is wrong. It makes you sound either jealous because you'd like to be drinking Starbucks coffee or just a judgmental idiot.

Again I do realize the irony of judgmentally calling out judgmental idiots.

See what I mean about grumpy? I think maybe next weekend on Saturday I should see if I can get Tori and Rina for an hour, carjack the van from David and the three of us can go to Starbucks. hehehe

I know this has a lot to do with being stuck in the house. As we head into all of the major political crap it brings out the absolute ugliest of people. I try to stay away from Facebook, which is rich and political poison, and I try to avoid TV news. I like reading the paper because then I can ignore the political stuff. We're not a country that's politically polarized. We've become a country of selfish individuals, at least the loudest people are selfish individuals. But that includes everybody that forwards “Information” without verification or context. That's also known as gossip and that's been dangerous since the playground. Personally my opinions and my political opinions are not necessarily the same. Oftentimes they are, but when I think of casting a vote or encouraging someone else to I can't think about just me. I'm voting on issues or candidates to represent an entire constituency that I'm part of. What might be perfect for me may have devastating consequences in general if it becomes a law. The political process might be smoother and less violent if people could step out of their own egos long enough to realize that they aren't alone. None of us are.

I’d better stop now before my cyber coffee shop becomes as empty as the Folgers crowd wishes Starbucks was. Have a great day and be kind to everyone - you never know how long they’ve been cooped up!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review: Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

Finished reading May 5, 2016

Synopsis at Good Reads

A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the biz. After all, he’s been able to steal from the same people for years on end—virtually undetected. Of course, this could also be attributed to his unique business model—he takes only items that will go unnoticed by the homeowner. After all, who in their right mind would miss a roll of toilet paper here, a half-used bottle of maple syrup there, or even a rarely used piece of china buried deep within a dusty cabinet?

Even though he's never met these homeowners, he's spent hours in their houses, looking through their photo albums and reading their journals. In essence, Martin has developed a friendship of sorts with them and as such, he decides to interfere more in their lives—playing the part of a rather odd guardian angel—even though it means breaking many of his twitchy neurotic rules.

Along the way Martin not only improves the lives of others, but he also discovers love and finds that his own life is much better lived on the edge (at least some of the time) in this hilarious, suspenseful and often profound novel about a man used to planning every second of his life, suddenly forced to confront chaos and spontaneity.

My review at Good Reads 
4 of 5 stars

This was quirky and fun read. Imagine; a story where the good guy is a professional thief! I got to know Martin, the main character, well and a good description of his “clients.” It made me think about how secure our own home is and how much we really pay attention to the things we have. Could we have had a weekly visitor back in my working days that helped himself to ten packets from the 100 packet Splenda box or a ream of printer paper from the case of paper we had with no printer in the house? I love a story that can make you really think, even about the silly.

Some reviewers think there was a lot of brand name product placement. I didn’t think so. Maybe it’s a “born in Detroit” thing, but I always said “the Camaro” rather than “the car.” Friends and family have always referred to their cars by the make or model rather than the generic term. Other name brands mentioned either gave an indication of price and quality of some items or were used for the purpose of describing shopping areas. I find books that make too much of an effort to avoid mentioning brands to be far more annoying.

It was a sweet story and a fun read for a break in between deeper or more serious books.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'll Be With Me Shortly

Lately my world has been busy enough to need to take a number to have time by myself! Pretty good for someone who can’t move from one place to another on my own, huh?

I sent David off to visit his brother. His brother and family are in Florida now, so it makes for a nice respite on a shoestring. Every now and then he needs a caregiver break from me and honestly, by the time he needs a break from me, I need one from him too. When he gets grumpy, it stresses me badly. Between a few hours more a day for the aides that help me out, home visits from health professionals, friends who drop in to check up on me and nearly constant calls, I’m alone more when David’s home! I appreciate being looked out for but I like my alone time too. I would love a balance between the two all the time.

I’ll have the new power chair in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait! I know I’ll need help to transfer and dress. I’ll have to re-learn how to stand and use bars to pivot or pull myself. I’ll need to learn the controls and clearances of the new chair and I’ll have to relearn using the transfer board and even what my new limits for reaching things are, but I’m dying to get started! Physical and Occupational Therapy will start again in earnest as soon as the new chair gets here. My first destination goal will be the hospital for an MRI. I need the MRI before I go to Cleveland in June.

Undergrad Degree; Check!

My next planned event out of the house will be much more fun. Tori’s commencement ceremony for her undergrad degree is at the end of May! She’s selected her grad school as she moves on to the next step of her education and will be going right on to work on her graduate degree. I am so proud!

She does have the Cinderella dreams about a wedding someday, but I hope she cherishes the graduation days and the celebrations of her own accomplishments as happier days than an eventual wedding day. I know my opinion is not in the traditional loop, but I would love there to be a day where the “happiest day of my life” for women is a graduation, promotion, opening a business, your own practice or becoming a partner in your firm rather than “becoming a wife.” For me, getting married was a special and happy day, but it was not a day that defines me. It should not be a day that defines anyone. For Tori, next month will be the first of “HER days.” It will be the one of many remarkable achievements she’ll earn in defining who she is and how she’ll contribute to the world. I hope she always cherishes every accomplishment as the most important and happy day of her life so far.

Colors from my flowerbed

We had some rain this week and now it’s just gray and dreary. My aide Wednesday morning freshened up my glass of flowers from my flower bed. I have a fresh daffodil and a couple of my tulips. The tulips are the last of the perennials I have planted. Kelly and I planted Spring perennials in the fall of 2010. Then I spent the beginning of 2011 with all of the test thats eventually made way for my MS diagnosis in June. That meant there wasn't any spring planting for the summer and fall flowers. It also ended up meaning that there were a lot bigger issues than planting flowers on my plate. So for the last five years the crocuses of bloomed, then the daffodils bloomed as the crocuses faded and the tulips came in at the end of the daffodils. Then the weeds grew in filling the flowerbeds for the rest of the year.

It was really my plan, at least my hope, to finally get the rest of the bulbs planted this year. Well, the new chair is going to get here just late enough to have to postpone that one more year. You see the original idea for my flower beds on the side of the house was that in March the crocuses would bloom, snow or no snow, then the daffodils, then the tulips, then something that blooms in June followed by something that blooms in mid-summer and so on until the first frost. So I’ve bookmarked the bulbs I’m going to plant next spring.

Growing in with the last of the tulips and through August will be Stargazer lilies.

I’m going to plant gladiolus to grow in July and August.

There were a few gladiolus in the area that's now my flowerbeds already growing when David moved into this house. He used to cut stems of them for me as presents before I even lived here. They were beautiful on my desk at work and they attracted a lot of attention too. But when we had the basement waterproofed in that area was dug into, we lost all that one of the glads. I plan to add more to the one remaining light purple one.

Asiatic lilies will bloom later in July through August.

My spring planting next year will finish the year’s flowers with dahlias and begonias which will bloom from midsummer through the first frost.

I’m having a ton of fun going through all the different flower bulbs and imagining the colors I'll order them in and how great the flowerbeds are going to look all year next year. And it will be fun next April to do that planting and it will really be fun watching all the colors that last from snow to snow!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mommy's Comfy Chair

Behind Dark Eyes

Hi there! It's been busy times and lazy times here. Mommy has been in her comfy chair a lot but that’s good because the motor chair scares me. It's quietet than vaccuuzilla and it doesn't eat everything it runs over like vaccuuzilla, but it still scares me because it runs over cats! It ran over Marco when he was just a kitten and it even ran over Kaline! Well, Kaline says she hissed at it because it got too close to the fur on her tail, but it's the same thing. If it hadn't come close to running over Kaline's tail she wouldn't have had to hiss at it.

So I sit on the arm of Mommy’s comfy chair and she pets me. Mommy and Daddy say I’m Carlaccino when I purr real loud when they pet me, I like being Carlaccino! I get very cozy on Mommy’s chair. A lot of times I fall asleep on the chair arm or roll over and fall asleep in her lap. Some times she falls asleep too!

Mommy took some pictures of me on the chair. She likes it when I’m on the chair with her because she says it’s hard to get good pictures of me. I’m a little sleepy now, so I guess I’ll go make Mommy sleepy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Finished April 4. 2016

Synopsis at Good Reads

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

My review at Good Reads
4.5 of 5 stars

The Girl On The Train has been compared to Gone Girl. I'm glad I didn't read that before I read the book because I probably wouldn't have read it. I hated Gone Girl and really liked The Girl On The Train.

The story is told in first person by the main character with chapters told by. 2 other supporting characters. Three women; an alcoholic and 2 with fidelity issues, one likes married men and one likes any men. I still found 2 of them understandable, even likable. I moaned every time the alcoholic fell off the wagon after a couple of dry days like she was a personal friend.

The characters are well developed and their relations with each other are complex. The story moves well with lots of gentle twists. Some of those twists I could figure out a little before the main character did and some surprised me as much as they did her. The climax was exciting and hard to put down. I loved the last line!

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Few Spring Things

Happy Opening Day! Like the parties on Christmas Eve have increased over the years, there were 3 Opening Day Eve parties. I watched bits of the first one, because my aide was in and yesterday was salon-day (hair-wash and pamper,) and all of the last two. Opening Day is today, not because I’m a Reds fan, but because the oldest professional team in baseball has always played at home on Opening Day. Baseball resuming in Cincinnati has always marked the beginning of the new season.

I still want to one day get to Cincinnati for Opening Day, parade and everything. I’ve been to OD for the Tigers as both a paying fan, intern and paid staff. No matter in what capacity, there is nothing that compares to the electric feeling in the air on Opening Day. As huge as it is in Tiger-town, you can feel the city-wide buzz is even more powerful in Cincinnati watching it on TV. I’d hope that the Joey Votto jersey and wheelchair could get me to the front of the parade line, or at least a free drink. **smiles**

When Melinda, my aide a few days a week, was here on Saturday it was snowing. It was enough snow that at times it looked pretty heavy and it did stick to the ground. It was April 2, so where did that prank come from? Its been a rough spring for me with no actual usable wheelchair, I’ve been a house-body, so I pretty much missed the crocuses this year except for one photo David took when they first came up and a glimpse of the end of them and beginning of the daffodil buds when I went to the doctor’s office a couple weeks ago. Melinda came right back in after she left and brought me one of the narcissus blooms. It didn’t get knocked off, she picked it. “So you get to enjoy at least one of them.” It made my day.

The snow we got on Saturday was melted away pretty quickly yesterday morning. Even though it was still a cold day, it started out sunny. We have nothing to complain about. I read on Edna's blog  that they woke up to a lot more snow from overnight in New England yesterday. She had some nice snow pictures and in spite of the snow, she offered a very bright and warm quick page freebie. By golly, it’s spring! I followed her lead and rebelled against the chill with this:

Credits: 2016 quick page 15 by Miss Edna, Open Windows by Mandy King and Connie Prince

I added a bit of my slightly sarcastic sense of humor, I remembered the ads from my childhood that “it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” It seems she pranks us enough. I don’t need no stinkin’ real butter…

Funny memories… Marco was being nosey about my toothbrushing stuff and it brought to mind an old lesson about why they don’t sell cat-toothbrushes.

Nani and Ritchie ages 17 & 1

When I was 17, I had a cat, Ritchie. Ritchie was all black except for a few white hairs on his chest and he was incredibly affectionate, although dumb as a box of rocks. On one given day, 17-year-old Nani was dumber than that box of rocks. I was playing with Ritchie, nuzzling his face, and he had incredible fish-breath! I figured it was a good idea to brush his teeth. I got an old toothbrush and put a little toothpaste on it. I never got to brush his teeth. As soon as the toothpaste hit his tongue he freaked. He ran through the house with the foam that the tooth paste instantly created trailing behind him leaving a frothy white map to exactly where he was. Where he it eventually ended up was his water bowl and I don't think I’ve ever seen a cat drink so much water!

Leave cat dental procedures to the professionals!