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, 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!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Happy April!

This is the exciting party weekend before my favorite holiday; Opening Day!

I’ve been watching a little bit of spring training baseball and I am optimistic that 2016 will at least be better than 2015, when all three of our house teams finished in last place. I have always, and always will, disliked the designated hitter, interleague play and the idiocy of home field advantage in the World Series having anything to do with the outcome of the All Star Game. I do like the three division set up and expanded playoffs, but that was better when the leagues were 14/16 and no interleague play. However, three smaller divisions per league does make it more possible to have a catastrophic year like last year,

I think I may watch more Tigers than Reds this year. Detroit is looking stronger with some changes for the better. The Reds have pretty much been “Joey, Brandon, Jay and the kids” with opposing announcers talking about how Cincinnati still wants to trade Bruce and Phillips. Give the gutted Reds a little time; Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce will be desperately hoping for an island to escape the sinking Reds ship. Poor Joey Votto will be left as the only remaining offense from a once capable team. I recall time when a new manager was the answer to an abundance of talent that can't seem to get on the same winning page. I’m more for hunt until you find your Joe Torre over putting your highest played player in the role of daycare supervisor with a rookie fleet.

And while I’m mentioning past Yankee success, when I predicted that Aroldis Chapman could be the next Mariano Rivera, I did NOT mean he could be a Yankee.

Okay, I’m not likely to spend big league ticket money to go to Great American Ball Park this year when I can see 3 Minor League franchises that are trying harder for then same money. I’m all for supporting my team win or lose, but The Reds turned their back on the fans last year and aren’t done. This is a good reason why I have 2 teams.

In Florida Thursday, MY Tiger, JD Martinez, had a stellar 3-home run day as Detroit defeated the Yankees 10-6. It’s going to be great year to be a Tigers fan, I can feel it!