Sunday, July 31, 2005
Just another example of why Big Apple is an amazingly great baby; she has a tooth. Okay, I know that in itself is no great accomplishment. She was going to get them sooner or later. The amazing thing is, we had no idea she was teething! There was no screaming. No fussing. No fever. There was a slight runny nose on Tuesday but that went away quick enough that I didn't even think about it. Sugar Daddy let her suck on his finger today at church and he felt it. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have known until it was all the way in. From how much is sticking out now, I estimate it broke through on Wed or Thurs.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
I have made some good progress on the Flower Jacket. I'm just about 20 rows away from completing the left front. I'm dreading the back and the sleeves, but I've got to do them! Here's a picture of the right front that I posted after I finished it. There will be flowers in every other diamond. That's moss stitch inside of two cables. I'm using Bernat cotton. It's not the most fun to knit with but I think it's mainly because the needles are small (size 3). My hands get tired rather quickly while knitting on this. That probably explains why it is taking me so long to finish it. But, I'm resolved to get it done quickly. You may remember that this is for a friend...the one that helped us out so much with our last adoption. I also am going to knit a cardigan for her son that I want to get done before it gets too cold. These are my priorities at the moment...no matter how much that Jo Sharp yarn is calling to me.
PFA is coming along rather nicely. We joined the Y and have been going this week. I rode a bike for 6 miles on Tuesday and swam on Monday. I took the day off yesterday because of our late night with Neil. I was going to go to a water aerobics class tonight but my cravings for salty and sweet are preventing me from attempting to go tonight. Plus, Sugar Daddy got home late anyway. He was in Omaha watching surgeries. I'm glad that's his job and not mine. Yuck. I know he's an engineering professor but they are having him watch them so he can get an idea of how the tools work, what tools are needed, etc... so he can start designing some new ones. Back to PFA and the Y, I'll probably go back tomorrow and ride the bike again.
I got invited to join a book group here in town. This month the book is "Reading Lolita in Tehran". I'm going to the library right now to pick up a copy. They don't meet until the 3rd Wed. of the month so I have a while to read it. Until tomorrow...happy knitting all!
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Oh yeah. We went to the Neil Diamond concert last night. It was awesome! As much as I tried to remember the whole playlist to give you a song by song analysis, I couldn't (lucky for all of you readers). But, I do have a list of observations on this fabulous night of nights.
1. The only other Neil Diamond concert I've been to was at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN in 2001.
2. That concert was right after 9/11 and the opening song was America. I cried. I'm such a geek.
3. This concert was at the Qwest Center in Omaha. It is an awesome place. Beautiful. Well, as beautiful as a huge convention center can be. Parking was cheap and close (Sugar Daddy was pleased with that, of course!).
4. I still couldn't believe how close we were when the usher was leading us to our seats. We were in row 14 seats 19 and 20. There were 40 seats across so you can imagine where 19 and 20 were. RIGHT IN THE CENTER! I estimate we were 20 yds. away from Neil. SD says 30 yds. Let's just say we were close. I saw him as well without binoculars as I did with them in Indianapolis.
5. There was a 7ft. tall man (only a slight exaggeration) in row 9 seat 20. Sometimes he blocked my view. Luckily, he wasn't that big of a fan and didn't stand up all of the time. I could just lean over and see Neil better than I could on the big screen.
6. The lady next to me couldn't clap on the beat. It was more than mildly annoying. She also had a bigger butt than mine and she was spilling onto my chair. Gross. Luckily SD only takes up about 1/3 of his own chair so I used part of his.
7. Even with the giant and the big butt, no rhythm lady, it beat our Indy concert neighbors (drunk middle aged women with filthy mouths). I shouldn't be complaining.
8. During the song, Play Me, Neil gave me a little nod and a wave. Even SD attests to the fact that it was me he was looking at. Probably because everyone was sitting down for this one and as soon as he looked my way I jumped up and waved. I'm not even embarrassed to mention this! I'm such a geek.
9. Cherry, Cherry is probably my favorite Neil song. He played his guitar on this one. He is such a rock star.
10. I thank my parents for listening to Neil Diamond as I was growing up. My sister and I used to jump on the trampoline to Beautiful Noise and Forever In Blue Jeans.
11. I wore blue jeans. I also broke out my DiamondGirl shirt. Yep. It's sparkly. I got it at the last concert.
12. I'm amazed at the fan base Neil has. There were people there of all ages. And, we all knew the words. Women love him. Men love him. It was a big difference from the Enrique Iglesias concert where only the women were singing and dancing. The men were just there to make their women happy. Poor SD. I don't think he minded too much.
13. Sweet Caroline. SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!
14. Red Red Wine. Hmmm. Definitely not my favorite song. I didn't like it much before UB40 covered it and once they did, my dislike for the song grew even stronger. It is amusing to see Neil try to sing in a reggae style, though.
15. I'm glad Barbra Streisand doesn't go on tour with Neil. His backup singer does a much better job at You Don't Bring Me Flowers (at least in my opinion). I don't have much of a tolerance for Streisand's voice. It is usually during this song that I get a little "break" from singing and dancing. My neighbor didn't clap her hands during this song either so it made it even more enjoyable!
16. Holly Holy. Anytime I hear this song now I can only think of the movie Saving Silverman. Have you seen it? The plot is silly. If you're a Neil fan, he has a cameo at the end. The movie's stars are obsessed with Neil Diamond so there are lots of good songs and funny Neil"isms". The credits roll to Neil in concert (with the Saving Silverman cast doing backup) singing Holly Holy. YEAH---huh.
17. I think the most heartfelt performance of the night was Love on the Rocks. This song must mean a lot to him. I don't like the song that much but watching him sing it gave it more meaning.
18. Second most heartfelt performance goes to I Am, I Said. I knew this was close to the end of the concert so I wasn't too happy to hear this song. But, Neil's awesome and I knew there would be at least 2 more songs of encore.
19. Cracklin' Rosie. Play it now! Play it now! Play it now, my baby! I was waiting for this song most of the night. I forgot he usually puts it at the end.
20. Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show. This one was the most exciting visually. Whole sections of the stage can be raised and lowered (below audience view). For this one, they lowered the band and raised up Neil. They lowered the lights also so they were right on him. Then he did his "preaching" section of the song. It was fun. But, again, I knew it was close to the end so I was starting to feel a little sad it was over.
21. I am so glad that I went to this concert. The seats were so great, the music was fabulous, and SD was happy. Neil Diamond is 64. I don't know how long he'll keep touring. I told SD that I don't think I'll need to see him in concert again. But, I don't know what I was thinking. It's going to be hard to keep me away from any farewell tour, that's for sure!
22. Thanks for putting up with this blog entry all about my obsession with Neil. I'll be back to my knitting tomorrow!
23. I need to have 25 entries.
24. Sugar Daddy let me sleep in this morning. He went to work late. He said it was because he knew I was tired. When I got up he was reading Harry Potter. Hmmm.... Either way, I got my sleep.
25. Until tomorrow. I also have some info to share on Project Fat Arse. I know. You can't wait.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I can't get on the computer anymore without the Frog asking me for Teletubbies or Tubby Toast. I took him to Pbskids.org one day to play some games and listen to some music. Now, it's a never-ending struggle to check my email, blog, surf, etc... I can't stand the Teletubbies. I can watch the Wiggles. I can watch Veggie Tales (I haven't been able to find his fruit snacks here in Lincoln...he's been going without). I can't sit and watch Teletubbies. I'm trying to get him to like some of the stuff at nickjr.com but the only thing he's mildly interested in is the Bing Bang song on nickjr radio (it's the song from LazyTown).
Speak of the devil...here he is! Teletubbies! Teletubbies! Puhweeeeeze? Well, here I go. Time for tubby bye-bye.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Oklahoma and Texas have reputations of being "big hair" states. I offer the explanation that they can't help it! My hair is so much more manageable (and less "big") now that I'm back home. I noticed it when I moved to Indiana, as well. Glad to be home in a state where I can get out of the shower, forget my hair, and not have it be like a football helmet when it dries.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
I went to Threads, Too this afternoon. It was merely a trip to get some of my cotton wound into balls. But, they had Jo Sharp Silkroad marked 70% off. Could any sane (or insane, as the case may be) person refuse such a bargain? Let me just say that I couldn't. I won't take a pic of everything I got...let me just link you to the Jo Sharp website if you're interested in the colors I got. A pic of the type of yarn is below. You'll need to click on Silkroad Aran.
Jo Sharp Link
I bought 10 skeins of Quartz, 2 Venetian, 2 Merlot, and 11 Cornsilk. I'm planning on making a sweater for myself and selling the rest on eBay. The average price per skein after the sale was $2.40. Uh, HELLO???? I'm tempted to go back and buy the rest. But, I must resist temptation.
Anyone out there have a good idea for a sweater pattern? Between the quartz and the cornsilk I have more than enough for a sweater my size. But, it will definitely need to have the two colors. Stripes? Yoke neck w/ pattern? Hmmm....
Friday, July 22, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
It's Lemon Days at the mall here in Lincoln. I don't really know what that means but they were giving away $10 mall certificates to the first 50 families that brought in canned food this morning. Hmmm...was it worth the trip?
The mall setup is wacky. The main part of the mall is on the second floor. The first floor is covered parking. They have escalators. No elevators. What the heck am I supposed to do with my stroller? Well, they have elevators in the major dept. stores. My dilemma? The dept. stores don't open until 10am. I had to be in line for the gift card before then. My only way in was up an escalator. I put Big Apple in the Snugli and hoped Frog would be a good walker. He wasn't. He flopped out the whole way there. I couldn't bend over to pick him up because I had BA in front of me. I had to drag my child through the mall. Lovely. By the time we got to the area where we needed to be, I had sweat running down my face and I was feeling like $10 wasn't really worth the trouble. But, I was already there. I was #40. Had I waited for Frog to behave (instead of using the drag method) I probably wouldn't have made it and that would have made me even more angry.
They gave Frog a balloon and I got a mall stroller big enough for both kids. Nothing like pushing a big fire truck around a small mall. But, it's better than dragging around an almost 50 lb. two yr. old. I went to Bath and Body Works to take back an item and they had an awesome sale. I bought two bags (I envision SD rolling his eyes..."how many bags do you need?"). One of the bags will be a great knitting bag ($9) and the other one was only $1. How could I resist that? Obviously, I couldn't. I also purchased a clearance sweater (Lane Bryant) and some Crocs. I thought these were the most ridiculous things until I wore my mom's pair while I was at home. I didn't want to take them off. Ever. I got black to match my swimsuit since I'll be going to the pool a lot once I get my gym membership. Shopping was fun and it took my mind off how I was going to get us all back in the car.
Here's what I did (after a call to SD to see if he could come and help me during his lunch hour...he thought I was nuts):
1. Find an elevator.
2. Find my car which was nowhere near an elevator but parked right by one of the very "useful" escalators.
3. Unload my purchases and the diaper bag.
4. Find an elevator.
5. Find the place where I am supposed to return the stroller.
6. Put BA back in the Snugli.
7. Pull Frog out of the stroller. He loses a shoe and for the life of me I don't know how I'm going to put it back on him without the baby falling out of the Snugli. He miraculously minds me and I have no problem getting him to step into his shoe.
8. Walk to the escalator (not even a hint of a tantrum!).
9. Thinking I'm home free.
10. Go down the escalator.
11. The tantrums start. Hmmm. Must be the escalator. Frog wants to go again and again.
12. I have no time or patience to take him up and down the escalator. Must not avoid the inevitable.
13. Drag the Frog across the parking lot.
14. Load up both kids in the car with minimal damage to myself and them.
15. Crank up the A/C and vow to never ever under any circumstances do that again.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Before I left to go to Oklahoma, I called my sister. We're both big girls. But, she likes to exercise. I asked her if she wanted to "train" me and help me with some workouts while I was there. She was genuinely excited and was looking forward to "Project Fat Arse". When I got to Oklahoma, our goals changed and we took "PFA" too literally by skipping all workouts and proceeding to eat chinese food and pizza the whole time. Oh yeah. Good stuff.
I'm not a total slacker. I have lost 20 lbs. in the past year. It just goes really slowly. When my insurance kicks in (Aug 15th), I'm going to go back to the dr. and see if (s)he can get my PCOS symptoms under control (one is weight gain). When I was going through fertility treatments (pre-Frog) my reproductive endocrinologist put me on glucophage (mainly used for diabetics) to help out with some of the symptoms and weight gain. It just gave me wicked diarrhea so I stopped taking it. Now I've heard that he probably should have started me on lower doses and have me work my way up to the regular daily dose. I may try it again. I hope I can find a good doctor here.
I bought a scale last night. It is a really cool one that tracks body fat as well. What a bummer it was seeing that number! It scared me enough to have me really kick PFA into high gear. Once school starts and SD is on his regular contract, I'm going to join a gym. I'll probably just do the YWCA. They have a program where you can just have an aquatic membership (my preference) and do all the swimming and water aerobic classes you want. They also have day care for up to 1 1/2 hours. That would even give me time to enjoy the jacuzzi and/or sauna afterwards!
I have been thinking that there are some psychological reasons that I've been keeping from doing some of the things that I need to. Darn that Dr. Phil! :) But, seriously, my RE said that with glucophage and dropping some weight, my cycles could become more and more regulated giving me a better chance of getting pregnant. Well, guess what? I'M SCARED TO GET PREGNANT! I know, I know. I whined and complained and tried so hard to get pregnant for years. The thing is, now I know that what I really wanted was a baby, not the experience of pregnancy. I know that a lot of women that experience infertility don't always feel this way. Some of them need to have the experience of pregnancy and want to have children with their genetic makeup. For me, that's not too important. In fact, I totally look upon my infertility as a huge BLESSING in my life because I now have two fabulous kids that I could never have had myself. When I used to only be worried about the infertility aspect of PCOS, I now realize that the other symptoms are much more problematic (at least in my life). So, I guess I'll get this weight thing under control once and for all (or at least as much as I can) and if I get pregnant, I certainly won't cry about it. I'm sure I'll love any biological child as much as the ones I have now. They just won't be as cute, that's for sure! :)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I just got home from my solo date to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here's a run-down.
1. The new songs are so much fun!
2. Johnny Depp is fabulously creepy and "weird" as Willy Wonka.
3. The musical score makes me want to get the soundtrack (but only if they include those as tracks).
4. Deep Roy is the only person playing an Oompa-Loompa. He's just computer generated the rest of the time. It's truly amazing.
5. I wish I could have seen this on an IMAX screen.
6. It is better than the original (which I loved!).
7. It is more true to the book than the original.
8. Did I mention that the new songs are so much fun?
9. The old guy that stole the show on Waking Ned Devine (awesome movie!) is Charlie's grandpa that goes with him. He's awesome.
10. Actually, the casting was fabulous. Okay, maybe having Helena Bonham Carter as Charlie's poor mother is stretching it a little. She has a lovely English accent and it's hard to imagine her as poor.
This movie gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only reason it loses points is because I miss seeing Beruca sing with the eggs. Now she doesn't sing...just has a mishap with some squirrels.
I hope none of you feel like this post is a spoiler. I figure most people have seen the original so you can't be too surprised by anything that happens in this movie. But, definitely go see it! It's kid friendly, too (probably 5-6 and up).
Monday, July 18, 2005
Threads, my LYS, is just a mile away. Threads, Too is located just five miles away. I haven't been there yet. I had an interesting experience when I went to check out Threads and I thought I'd share. Let me preface this story with the fact that I LOVED my previous LYS, River Knits. They were knowledgeable, friendly, and they had some great yarn in stock.
I called Threads on Friday morning to inquire about a ball winder. The lady on staff there said that they had one. I asked about accessability for a stroller (something not possible at River Knits). No problem. At least that was true. I packed up the kids and headed out. I browsed a bit and then mentioned that I was the one that called about the ball winder. They didn't really have any for sale. All the ones they had were open and the one she could have sold me was missing a part and she couldn't find it or the box. I wasn't all too upset because I wanted to check out the store anyway but I could have waited a couple of more days to do it without my two children in tow. I had them order me one because I want to support the LYS but I kind of wish I hadn't and just ordered one myself online.
They don't have much yarn that I was interested in. It was mainly Brown Sheep wool and lots of eyelash yarn. I did leave with 50g of sock yarn that I plan to use with a different color 50g that I have in my stash. The prices seemed reasonable but I think my main form of stash enhancement will now have to become the internet. I probably shouldn't reserve judgement as the lady said that some of the more "high-end" yarns are at the other location. They are having a sale this weekend (10% off everything in stock and up to 70% off some items like beads and cone yarn). I might get some addi turbos at 10% off. We'll see.
Oh, I bought one other thing while I was there...a chibi! I think I got mine for $4. My darning needle I have been using is too big for a lot of my projects.
Lily Chen is going to be in town in September (touted as the fastest crocheter in the nation) to give some workshops. They are too pricey for me and what I wanted to go to is on Sunday (sorry, I have that whole 'keep the Sabbath day holy' thing). Their regular classes are mainly for beginners. I think they have one class where you can learn to design your own sweater. I think I'll pass. Maybe I'll see if they are looking for any other teachers to do a class or two. I have loads of teaching experience (even though it's not with knitting) but I don't really know what kind of class I could teach. Maybe socks. Just a thought...
The computer room has just been invaded by the Frog. He's got his dad here now but he still can't get enough of me! Cute, but I would like a few minutes of privacy. Speaking of privacy, tomorrow night I'm going to see a movie. BY MYSELF! I'm going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I hope I'm not disappointed.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Hope y'all won't mind I went a little heavy on the pictures today. But, they're long overdue. It went even quicker now that I am all hooked up with my DSL connection. I LOVE IT! So, enjoy. I'm sure I'll be back to post again tomorrow.
Here are the socks posing with Big Apple. The socks aren't a perfect match but they are pretty close. One toe is pink and the other is green. I'm sure my mom will love them.
I finished the 6th Harry Potter book before I went to bed last night. SD doesn't read as quickly as me so I've been dying to talk about what happens. It'll be weeks before he's done.
I just have to mention a couple of things (this will not give away anything). Harry and Dumbledore go to visit an old Hogwarts professor. Dumbledore wants to give Harry a chance to speak with him alone so he goes to the bathroom (this is in a Muggle house). He is there for a while and when he comes back, he comments on how he loves Muggle magazines...especially the knitting patterns! Secondly, Mrs. Weasley's sweater for Ron isn't the usual initial...it's a sweater with a golden snitch on it. Hmmm. When will we start seeing patterns for this? Although, I'm still wanting a pattern for the socks that Harry, Ron, & Hermione bought in Hogsmeade (book 4) for Dobby. One has broomsticks and the other has snitches.
I don't have much time to write anything else as I should be getting myself and my family ready for church. Just had to get this off my chest. Much, much more later.
p.s. I also re-read The Hobbit this week.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Frog will go around the house for hours singing "Elmo has mail!". I felt like singing that yesterday when 3 weeks worth of mail arrived at my house. It took me a long time to go through it and it looks like only 2 of the bills that arrived since 6/24 were due before yesterday. Not bad. I was worried about that since we're new here and I don't know when the utility bills come yet. Two very exciting things were waiting for me in the pile.
1. Big Apple's birth certificate!!! I don't know if you know this but, once the adoption is finalized the certificate lists SD and me as the parents (which we are, of course). When Frog's came I didn't know this and I was so excited! Even with knowing, it still gives me a little jolt of happiness to see our names on Big Apple's.
2. Neil Diamond tickets!!! Is it wrong that I was debating which one to list first? I hope I don't misplace them. I'm getting really excited about the concert. The first time I saw him was so awesome and I'm sure he won't disappoint this time around.
It's still early and the kids aren't up yet. Frog wouldn't go to sleep in his own bed at a decent hour so for my sake, I brought him in with me. He slept fine. I got kicked all night. Oh well. SD gets home TONIGHT!!! I better go get a shower while I can so we can go get my Harry Potter book as soon as the kids are up and ready.
p.s. I have only one "row" (color block=22 rows) done on the Hogwarts scarf. I stopped when I had to switch to the gold b/c Frog was having too much fun playing with the skein. Maybe I'll have some time this morning...
Friday, July 15, 2005
I now have this year's FO #12! The Regia socks are done. I won't have a picture posted until Sunday at the earliest. But, I just had to blog about my latest FO! I'm ready to cast on now for Hogwarts scarf #2. I figured that was the most appropriate as I'm anxiously waiting for the book. I was going to pre-order it and just have it sent to me (like the last one) but I wasn't for sure that I would be back home by then. Target has them for under $17 so I'm going there as soon as I can get myself and my kids ready tomorrow. Then, I'll probably spend the rest of the day doing as much reading as possible with two kids around. Maybe I'll be inspired to work a little on my Hogwarts scarf, too.
I'm also in the market for a free baby sock pattern that will work well for my leftover Regia Jubilee. Anyone have a link or an easy pattern they're willing to share?
Thursday, July 14, 2005
I was going to post this picture on Tiffany's birthday (July 11th) since she was so kind to send it to me on mine (April 11th). We both turned 30 this year. We've been friends a heck of a long time! This was taken in 1989 at camp. I don't know who bought me that leopard shirt but I really hope I only wore it at camp and not out in "public".
Well, folks, I have fallen back in love with my socks. My Regia sock yarn is turning into a mighty fine pair of socks. I'm sure this new found love comes because I'm almost to the toe shaping of the 2nd one. I can finally see an end in sight. But, I'm sure it can't be all that. Last night as I was knitting away (both kids were in bed by 9pm...Frog had been a night owl on vacation staying up until 11pm most nights) I was thinking that I might have enough left on the skein to make a pair of socks for Big Apple. I do have a lone sock from the skein that I can rip out, too, if necessary. The pattern just didn't bring out the beauty of the self-patterning yarn so I didn't finish that pair. I'm glad to be knitting again.
I woke up this morning super exited that tomorrow I would be able to go out and buy the new Harry Potter book. Then, I realized that it's not Friday. Bummer. How can it only be Thursday? I've lost track of so many days lately.
I've started thinking about the upcoming Neil Diamond concert. It's only 12 days away! Wow. I can't believe it is that soon. I need to start listening to all of my Neil cd's to get ready for some singing in the 14th ROW! I only made $54 at my garage sale so I have to come up with some other money making scheme to appease the cheapness of my Sugar Daddy (oh, the irony of his screen name). I haven't told him this yet but I'm only earning enough money for all of my ticket and just enough to cover the difference between the cheap ticket and the expensive one for him. He was perfectly happy to have me get cheap tickets without this earning money nonsense so I shouldn't have to pay for his whole ticket. He's going to love the concert.
I hear some commotion in the other room so I better be done for today. Happy knitting all!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I made it back to Nebraska last night. My dad drove back with a load of furniture and I had Sugar Daddy arrange for some guys to be here to help unload. I now have my piano, a "new" couch and chaisse lounge, another tv, vcr, and dvd player. Not a bad haul.
Nothing super interesting happened to me on my trip so I can't provide a fabulous travelogue a la Melessa. Although, it was great visiting with her and my other homegirls in Oklahoma (HI TIFFANY!).
Big Apple was a dream baby on the trip. Now I have some witnesses for some of her super baby antics...like already being very mobile! She gets in her crawling stance and scoots along. She'll also push herself up from crawling position to her hands and feet and kind of launch herself forward. She's good at this but not at determining when it is not safe to do so. She has bumped her head on walls, fireplaces, couches, etc...
I also have witnesses to some of Frog's famous tantrums. He's done worse but I think I just reacted poorly because I have been alone and tired for 3 weeks. I'll be glad when SD gets home (Sat night!).
I started working on the Regia socks again and when I have some more time, I'll update my sidebar with the progress. I haven't even added the via diagonale purse yet. I feel so out of the loop! I need to catch up on some of my blog reading but that's going to have to wait until I can get back out from under this new set of boxes. I have a little bit of work to do around here before it feels like home again. That probably sounds funny because I've really only physically lived in this house for three weeks but it does feel like home.
Both kids are up now and I think I'm going to tackle giving them baths. We didn't have a regular bath routine on vacation because one of the bathrooms where I was staying was "under construction" and the other was not designed for conveniently bathing children. They did get bathed there (I'm not THAT bad of a mother to avoid bathing my children because it was inconvenient for me), but they are definitely due for another. Today's the day.
I should be back to blogging most every day now. Glad to be back!