Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wheeeee!

Today I spent a great deal of time driving. I drove to Steilacoom. I drove home. I drove to Seattle. I drove back to Steilacoom. I then drove home. I left alone, picked up two kids, then picked up two more kids, I was supposed to drop one kid and pick up another but ended up droppng two and leaving with two.

Ok, that's enough math for me today.

The end result is that my two youngest stayed at my sister's house. So since they're gone, we finished their bedroom tonight. Lance had painted the rest of the room (the walls that didn't have the Hello Kitty mural that my very talented sister in law painted on it) two days ago, we cleaned the carpeting in the whole house and then used some gift certificates we had to finally get them some bedding. And here's how it looks. You can't see the bunkbeds on the other side of the room. It's a big room.

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Here is Stephanie falling across one bed and telling me about school clothes shopping/needs, etc. Kids are expensive. How's that for stating the obvious?

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Friends are arriving from out of state tomorrow and they're going to stay in the newly remade room. At least that way I know the room will stay clean for a few days. Not that my girls are messy or anything.

Ok, they're messy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Farting Preacher

I don't know how to put the video on here, but here's the link to something that had us all laughing so hard we were nearly crying.

The Farting Preacher

This is number five. There are four more, which are equally as hilarious.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rejection





Everyone clap their hands! So far I've gotten three agent rejections! Yay me! Here they are, in no particular order:

Thank you for the query, although I do not think that I would be the right agent for the novel.

Sincerely,

Diana Finch
--
Diana Finch Literary Agency
116 West 23rd St, Suite 500
New York, NY 10011
646-375-2081


and...

Pamela -

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your recent submission.
Unfortunately we cannot offer representation.

Because of the large number of submissions, we are forced to be extremely
selective when considering new material. We encounter many more talented
writers and interesting projects than we can represent, so we carefully
guard our time to most effectively serve our small number of clients.

Everyone's taste and judgment are subjective and others may feel
differently, so we encourage you to contact other agencies. We wish you
the best of luck in finding great success with your work.

Regards,

TED WEINSTEIN LITERARY MANAGEMENT
http://www.twliterary.com/


and....

Dear Ms. Troeppl:

Thanks very much for sending me your query letter regarding NEVER RIDE WITH A STRANGER, which I have now had the chance to read.

As interesting as your story is, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think I’m the right agent for it. Having the right agent is an important match – as important as author and publisher – and it is also a very subjective decision. So I encourage you to try other agents and wish you every success in finding the best representative for your work.

Yours sincerely,


Terry


At least the last one was a bit more personal in that I think she looked at it and may have read what I sent.


...just keep swimming....just keep swimming.....

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Boyz to Men...

I've speculated in previous posts about how the males of our species may get larger in body size, but remain little boys to the bitter end.

Hubby calls his injury a 'motorcycle accident'. I suppose that's more manly than saying he simply got it caught in the chain of the motorcycle as he was trying to get the bike out of the back of the truck.

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This morning when he woke up and I saw his finger all swollen and red (mind you, he injured the finger August 16 and it's now the 27) I told him he was going to the doctor.

"They're closed today"

"Then we can go to the Urgent Care"

"That costs more money"

"So take tomorrow off and go to the Doctor"

"I don't want to use my sick time"

"So, your money or your finger.....your choice"

"Let me think about it."

He went, poor thing. He had to have a nerve block and then the doc sliced him open to remove pus and other assorted icky fluids that had collected in the swollen digit. Then he was stitched back up.

Boyz are boyz are boyz are boyz...

The Yellow Cup

Everyday Mommy is holding a summer writing contest. The theme is What My Children Taught Me About God. This is my entry.



The Yellow Cup

I stood in the middle of the kitchen with my four year old’s arms wrapped around my ankles, impeding my ability to walk. Not only was I unable to move, but I was also being subjected to crying at such decibel levels that I was sure my ears were about to start bleeding.

Was she physically wounded? No. There were no sibling-inflicted bite marks on her body or budding bumps on her head from a fall. She was having a tantrum because I had given her the blue cup instead of the yellow cup at the table for dinner.

As I stood there, unable to move, I raised my eyes heavenward in exasperation at the ridiculousness of pitching a fit over the mere color of a beverage glass. Heaving a rather large sigh, I attempted to inch my way in the direction of the table. A four year old clutching your legs is a lot heavier to move than you might think, and is not something easily ignored.

I stopped and raised my eyes heavenward once again, pleading silently for the strength necessary to deal with yet another emotional crisis from one of my four children. And all over a simple cup for crying out loud! I was about to tell her that it was only a cup and all the other cups on the table were just like it only they weren’t YELLOW!

Then inspiration changed my entire perspective on things. It was as if I was being asked how many times had I ‘thrown a fit’ over something to my Heavenly Father in prayer that was utterly and entirely inconsequential? How often had He shown me great patience when I was upset at being given ‘the blue cup’ when I yearned for the ‘yellow cup’? He never scolded me, or made me feel like what I was agonizing over was silly. My emotions and feelings were valid and I always came away from my communion with Him believing that He had heard me and understood my heart.

I sat down on the floor with my sobbing four year old and held her in my arms. I explained to her that I understood she was upset, who wouldn’t be? The yellow cup was so incredibly…uh…yellow! Anyone could see it was the most beautiful cup on the table and to be able to drink out of that cup would be so thrilling! She wiped her soggy face on my shirt and turned her beautiful blue eyes up to me. I proposed that since this was the most yellow of cups, we would take turns drinking from it at mealtime. She shook her head in agreement and then asked if it was ok that tonight be her turn. I looked at my six year old, who happened to be in possession of the coveted yellow cup and she nodded her assent. All was well once again.

This may seem a trivial matter involving a child throwing a fit over a cup---and on some level it is. But it was also an inspired moment for me to feel my Father in Heaven’s hand reaching out to me, parent to parent, to resolve a crisis that was, for my daughter, a significant trial. It also showed me the eternal nature of parenthood, as I go to my Father in prayer over the color of my cups.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Let me use the pliers!

Two boys showed up at my door yesterday to see my son. I welcomed them in and noticed something immediately about each of them. They had these things stuck in their ear lobes. Shiny things.

“Hey, did you guys know you have, um, things, metal things, stuck in your ear lobes?

They regarded me with wide-eyed surprise and both of them put their hands up to their lobes to feel the earrings that have pierced their flesh. One kid had little loops and the other one had a blue disk of some sort that was actually stretching itself a nice hole in his ear.

“Oh, uh, huh. Ha ha”, they responded slowly, not quite sure how to take my comments.

“Chris!” I yelled to my son, “Your friends have been pierced by metal objects, get me the pliers so I can save them!”

Chris just snorted at me from the other room. He knows me by now so he was pretty certain his pals were in no imminent danger of death. Although if he'd brought me the pliers they might have been.

Have you noticed that more and more kids, and when I say kids, I mean the offspring of parents other than myself, are putting more and more metal items in their ears, noses, lips, chins, eyebrows , tongues and other places best not mentioned in a family newspaper? I'd like to reassure those other parents that I have never seen a piercing on any of their children that wasn't on the facial area.

Wait, I take that back. I think I saw one boy with nipple rings, an experience I'd gladly pay not to have again.

I'm sure that you're saying to yourself, 'man is she out of date', or 'geez I wish I had a personal piercing'. If it's the first, I'd agree with you, if it's the latter, I'd really rather you didn't hang out with my son.

Yes, I'm judgmental, thanks for noticing. It's not that I think that you're a bad person, prone to going to raves, drinking buckets of alcohol, doing drugs, legal or otherwise, or stealing cars if you have more than, oh, say ten piercings, most of which aren't in your ears.

Ok, I lied. I do think you're a bit off the beaten path. And I understand that the beaten path isn't for everyone. I get that. I do. It's just that I'd prefer my son stay on the beaten path, the one with guardrails, SAFETY FIRST signs and arrows that show the way to gentle landings in soft cottony cushions.

I'm what you'd call old fashioned. I cringe when I see someone with an enormous metal ring that goes through the middle of their nasal septum. I have trouble paying attention to what a video clerk is saying to me because I can't take my eyes off her bouncing lip ring. It's shiny and moving and I'm easily distracted by such things.

“The Spongebob movies are over on aisle five, marked Family”

“Uh....” I continue to gaze at the shiny little ring bouncing up and down, up and down.

“Ma'am, are you all right?” Up and down, up and down.

“Uh...” Now my eyes have glazed over.

It's usually at this point that I suspect I'm seconds away from falling into a coma and drooling. I know staring is wrong, I do. I tell my children not to stare at strangers all the time. It's just difficult not to stare at someone who so obviously needs and wants the attention. Why else would they have impaled themselves with shiny objects if not to garner themselves the attention of others? If so, then I'm fulfilling their wishes by gawking. I'm nothing if not helpful.

I still think my son's friends should have let me use the pliers.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today is hubby's birthday. We've picked blackberries this morning.
Here's Ashley holding some in her bowl

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.
Here's Ally and Nicole picking some as well.

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Now I'm off to bake Lance his favorite pie. I've bought the ice cream and he's getting a lovely steak dinner and then an hour long massage. He deserves every minute of it!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday

All day I thought it was Friday. Not quite sure why. Daycare Mommy came back from her California jaunt so I spent the day in Steilacoom with five kids. The fun never ends.

Did I mention that number one son has started Drivers Ed? Someone shoot me.

Today on the way home, the girls did what they always do. I told them I wanted the airconditioning on, but they prefer to open the windows and let the wind blow through their hair. Ashley stuck her head out the window. Here she is...

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Tomorrow is hubby's birthday. He's turnng a whopping 43. He doesn't know it but I've got a massage therapist coming over for him tomorrow night. He's going to love it.

Update: My heart hurts tonight. It's just heavy.... Earlier I showed the kids all the rear window pictures and Ashley saw hers here and was upset. I asked her what was wrong.
"You can see righty in that picture" she frowned


Righty is what she calls her right hand. The one damaged by her stroke.

I comforted her, snuggled her, as we were on my bed and I held up righty and kissed it. I asked her why that was a problem. She said she hated people staring at her, looking at it.

"I hate it!"


I kissed righty again and told her she should never ever be ashamed of any part of her body. That she was just perfect, that she's beautiful and she's smart and best of all, she's got a gentle and a kind heart that knows her Heavenly Father.

So we continued to hold onto each other and I smoothed her curly blond hair back from her face and I tried to pour my love out onto her through our closeness, through our touch. There's something beyond precious...beyond words that passes between a mother and her child. I don't have the capacity to fully express how I feel about this child of mine. I wish I could take her pain. I'd take her damaged right side and give her my healthy right side in a heartbeat if that were allowed.

It's not. I know she has to learn and to grow and her challenges are what will make her the person she is supposed to become.

It just hurts my heart sometimes...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oh Boy

I haven't been feeling very good the past couple of days. So this morning, my resident Chef Allison, with her two apprentices, Ashley and Nicole, made me breakfast in bed.

Here they are with the meal.

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The meal consists of scrambled eggs dyed pink. Ok, they said it was pink, but I'd say it's more of a gray. ::shudder:: Two slices of french toast, covered in cool whip and maraschino cherries and a big glass of milk.

I don't drink milk.

Here's a picture of the food.

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In the picture, taken in our bedroom, you can see blankets and pillows on the floor. This is due to the fact that everyone in the house sleeps on the floor in our bedroom at night because it's too hot to sleep anywhere else in the house. It's been like one big slumber party all summer long! Wheee! Ok, not really wheeee. More like, oh-no-here-they-come-again. Ah well, the cooler weather should be coming soon, right?

They are very sweet to have done this, though. I'm just afraid to go downstairs and see what my kitchen looks like now.

Update: Yes, the kitchen is as I had imagined it. Ah well. No worries. We went to the library for awhile, then to the grocery store and now we're heading off to go blackberry picking for pies tonight. Lance will be so excited!

Here is niece Nicole at the window behind me

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Wheeeeeeee!

Today I was awakened to the not-so-delightful sounds of enormous dump trucks, (you know the ones that are a dump truck and they haul a trailer behind?) dumping truck load after truck load of dirt behind my house. Then the most incredibly noisey and squeaky (do they not grease the tracks on those things??) grader began shoving the dirt and rocks around. I had to fight the urge to throw a can of WD40 over the fence to the driver.

It wasn't even eight in the morning. It wasn't even 7:30 yet.

So I reluctantly arose from my bed and cleaned up the kitchen. After it was spotless, I went back upstairs to my freeze-zone (the only room in the house with AC) to do some online banking and make calls to check on medical bills, etc. As I was finishing up, in walks my husband!

At first I had a moment of Oh-no-he's-lost-his-job terror. Then it passed after he smiled. Seems they ran out of work for the day. Odd, but then that's Boeing.

So hubby was roped into going school clothes shopping with me and our two youngest. Yay! I really detest doing this (I'm not a shopper) and it was nice to have him along. First we drove down to Olympia so I could retrieve a thick stack of copied material from the Thurston county Sheriff's office that I'd ordered. Then we went off to Chehalis to the outlet malls there.

Outlet malls are a joke. No deals, just over priced stuff in cute little stores. So we drove a bit further south and shopped somewhere else.

On the way home Allison put her head out the window and I caught a picture of her with my cell phone camera. Here she is....

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Now hubby is downstairs replacing our door knob and dead bolt as it appeared to have been damaged by someone attempting to break into our house. No one got in, but they ruined our lock.

I'm off to fold some laundry (oh the thrill) and then do some reading of the crime investigation paperwork. No wonder I'm having nightmares. :::shudder::

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cleaning

Since it's Saturday, I've been singing a song to the girls (the older two are up in Seattle spending the weekend with friends).

Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday...we clean the house and we shop at the store....


So in preparation for scouring and cleaning, Ashley attached several bottles of Febreeze to the pockets of her jeans so she would look the part. I'm not entirely certain just how much cleaning she's got done, but she certainly looks cute standing in the master bathroom, ready to work.

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I'm writing and cleaning. I spend half an hour working on my book, half an hour cleaning. It's working so far.

Thursday I spent five hours at the Thurston County Sheriff's office poring over boxes and notebooks and photos of the crime I'm writing about. I found out more than I ever wanted to know about evil and barbarity in a monster's heart. I've lived in compartive innocence regarding the depravity of the criminal mind.

So, while I clean today and prepare my home for the Sabbath, I will try to cleanse myself of the darkness as well in order to enjoy the sweet uplift of spirit that the sabbath brings me.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Baking Frenzy

My Allison has suddenly decided that she must bake something, create new food items, every day.

Yesterday it was sugar cookies.

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Today, it was Elephant ears and then she made Dirt. You know the kind, where there is chocolate pudding, crushed oreo cookies, gummi worms and some whipped topping? Here is Daniel, Ashley and Ally eating her creation.

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Also, my cell phone went missing yesterday. I felt like I'd been cut off from everything. I realize just how much that thing rules my existence. Not much fun. Ashley is the one that lost it for me. We're painting the girl's room and it's a mess in there, so of course that's where she lost it. I had it on vibrate so calling it didn't work. Finally we discovered it today. As I was browsing through it, I also made another unsettling discovery.

My seven year old knows how to do things on my own cell phone that I don't know how to do. I found this picture on there of her and Dillon. It's...well, look at what she did. I didn't even know I had this option.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

All Together Now

Last night about half past eleven I got a phone call from my niece. She said Ally wasn't feeling good and wanted to come home.

I set a new land speed record for tossing off my jammies and donning my clothes to go get my girl.

Poor thing is sick to her tummy. I'll mention to her later, when she's feeling better, that when you stay away from your mommy for so long, you get sick.

Here is Ally sleeping on the floor next to Ashley as they didn't want to be apart.

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As you can imagine I haven't gotten much sleep. I've been up and cleaning this morning, which is good. The cats knocked a glass off the counter last night, so my first chore was to clean that mess up. Then I had to change the litter box as it was waaaaaaay over due. :::blerg::: Since it's still cool outside I think I'll go weed the front flower beds before it gets too unbearably hot.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

He's baaaaack!

My beautiful boy is back from his white water rafting trip. He had a spectacular time. I had such a wonderful time alone with him last night, before everyone else got home from the barbecue. We sat, we talked, we hugged.

Oh how I love my son. When he told me about being thrown in the water and pulled down, my heart skipped a beat. I'm glad I wasn't there to see it happen. Naturally he was wearing a life jacket and that brought him out of the depths.

I love him. So much I love this boy. I see in him such a maturity, then of course he does something goofy like jumping from the second story window to the trampoline, but still. He's growing up. My baby boy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Caption Contest

I've decided to hold a Caption Contest for the following photograph.





Anyone? Anyone?

Snickerdoodles

We were invited to a barbecue at SIL's (Kathy's) house this afternoon. So I've made a big potato salad and then baked some snickerdoodles. Ashley was creating a book of her drawings for Grandpa Doug and then discovered that I was baking. I'm not allowed to do that alone. So she had to help. The dog had lots to lick up off the floor when she was done.

Here she is rolling an enormous snickerdoodle. I somehow managed to disuade her from attempting to bake one that large. She made it over into several smaller ones instead.

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Chris is arriving home this evening from his white water rafting trip, so we've decided that I will be here to pick him up instead of going to the barbecue. He's been gone all week and I don't want my boy coming home to an empty house. Ally is still up at my sister's house. I tried to get her to come home yesterday, but she didn't want to come back.

On the plus side, this has saved us in groceries.

And for those of you reading along, another chapter is up on my forum.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Two Down

I'm down to two children this week. Not that I'm complaining you see. It's just odd to have our big house feel so empty because only one is actually there for any length of time, the other one is working full time and then goes to the gym or out with friends, so perhaps I should recalculate. One. I'm down to one child.

I could get used to this.

My son has gone on a High Adventure with the other guys in his church group. This time they are white water rafting. Since my son is the King of Bad Decisions Regarding Bodily Harm, I try not to think about what he might be doing at this time. I'm counting on the the adult leaders to head him off at the pass should he decide to do something remotely dangerous. Besides, I can't hold my breath for a week.

My third child is once again staying with her auntie up in Seattle. I received a phone call this morning from my sister saying that Allison would rather live with her than with me. Translation: Allison would rather live where her cousin Nicole is than live sixty miles away from her. I was also told that Allison does not miss us in the least. Thanks for the ego boost sis!

And so it goes. I think the stress of making life altering decisions this week, plus writing about what I'm writing about is making me physically sick. I hurt so bad yesterday I very nearly drove myself to the hospital.

Ch-ch-ch-changes....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If Anyone Is Interested...

As you know I've been in the process of writing a book.

I've decided to post a chapter or four on a private forum that I am hosting. If you would like to read, please email me at my addy on this blog. I'll give you the link and the code to join the forum. You will need to sign up, it's free. I know it's a hassle and I apologize.

I just thought I'd put it out there for some of my friends who may be interested in giving me some creative criticism and/or feedback.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friends for Life

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This is a picture in front of our house of Brianna, Heather, my Stephanie and Claire. These are all girls that my daughter has been friends with since they were youngsters in the Gifted Program in our last school district. With friends like these, why wouldn't she want to go back and spend her senior year with them?

I can't say as I blame her.

Btw, they're dressed to embarrass Stephanie when they go to the gym to see her boy Brock.

Baking Cookies in her car



BEDFORD, N.H. (Aug. 3) - Blistering heat was just what Sandi Fontaine needed to bake cookies for her co-workers - on the dash of her Toyota Rav4.

With temperatures soaring Wednesday, Fontaine placed two trays of cookie dough on the dashboard, shut the doors and retreated inside to her air conditioned office.

"My husband wanted me to run some errands this morning," said Fontaine, who works at Baldwin and Clarke Corporate Finance. "I said, 'I can't. I'm baking cookies.'"

Fontaine first tested her dashboard oven three years ago. She said anyone can do it; the only requirement is for the outside temperature to be at least 95 degrees, so it will rise to about 200 degrees in the car. Temperatures in the area reached the mid to upper 90s on Wednesday.

"Mrs. Fields has nothing on Sandi," co-worker Brian Champigny said of the cookie company.

Though Thursday was supposed to be cooler, Fontaine said she'll still enjoy the benefits of her culinary effort.

"When you open the door to that car," she said, "it's like, oh my God. It's a wonderful smell."

Dang...I should give that a go!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

And so it goes...

I was in charge of our anniversary this year. I had it all planned. I was going to kidnap hubby, whisk him away on one of these



to one of these



but did this happen? Of course not! His back went out, I was drinking cranberry juice and we stayed home. Wheeeeee! Another fun weekend.

We did feel well enough to go to church. today, which was nice. I always feel better after I've gone to church, taken the sacrament and been with my friends there. It gives my heart a sense of peace to start the week with, and that's not a bad thing.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ice Cream Kinda Day

Not much to talk about today. Took the girls to the Steilacoom house to watch Dillon. It was a warm day, so we went to look for a beach park and found an ice cream shop instead. Dillon is one messy little eater!

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He was so funny, he'd lick and then wipe his face and his ears with a napkin, lick, wipe, lick, wipe. It was very cute. Then of course he dripped most of it on his jean shorts. He was one sticky mess by the time we were done.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

ARGH




I'm sitting here drinking a gallon of cranberry juice ~~no sugar ~~as I try to work up witty and wonderful sounding book proposals to send out to publishers.

Yes ladies...lots and lots of cranberry juice. Someone shoot me.

I didn't have my boys to watch today, so I spent most of the day writing, rewriting, editing, and writing some more. I took time out for a bedroom cleaning spree and some laundry, but mostly kept to the writing.

I wonder...do female writers drink gallons of unsweetend cranberry juice? Poor things. I had no idea there were health risks involved in being an author.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary to me and hubby!!

And they said it wouldn't last. Ok, not really. Nineteen years of wedded bliss. So what did I do today? I took Ashley to therapy of course!

She's learning some new strengthening and stretching moves from her therapist Erika.

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more of the same

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Ally is getting a bit bored by it all, as you can see here.

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Later she was allowed to take a modified bike outside for a spin. She did so well!!

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This weekend I'll be treating hubby for our anniversary as we can't do anything today. Ok, we're barbecuing some steak, mushrooms and onions, but that's about it.