Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mystery Solved

For years and years we've had an ongoing thing about groceries we run out of.  I'd have a piece of paper on the fridge and ask everyone to just jot down if they used the last of something.  Never worked.  But now my husband has set up for all of us a list on our phones that we can all add to and the phone synchs all of the lists so whoever ends up at the store can see what we need.  It's not perfect.  The kids are only marginally better at using digital technology than they were with old school pen and paper, but it's still a major improvement.

The other day I went to the store, pulled up my handy dandy shopping list, and right there at the top was "cigars"...hmmmmmm.  Well, I wasn't about to get those, so I checked it off and kept going down the aisles picking up things I was going to get.  I got all the way to the cash register when I realized there was one more thing I wanted that somehow hadn't made it on the list.  And I could have sworn I'd put it on the list myself.  I reached up and grabbed my fig bars...and then I realized what had happened. 

When I put stuff on the shopping list I use the microphone function.  And apparently Siri thinks "fig bars" are "cigars". 

Case closed.  This mystery is officially solved.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Vibrations

I took a nap today.  It was simply delicious!

Our kitten, Tommy, also took a nap...right beside me, on his back, feet up in the air. Hazel, our big dog, was there on the bed, too.  Oh, and a bunch of clean laundry.

It was crowded, but that didn't stop any of us from getting some blissful Zs.

Especially Tommy.  He was sleeping so well and so happily that he actually woke me up with his good vibrations.  That little guy was purring in his sleep so intensely that his back paws were actually vibrating.

I couldn't resist videotaping him.  These are his back paws...ya, just ignore the pile of laundry in the background.  We've been ignoring it all day, too.

video
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Stuck in the Night

Our grumpy old cat, Pug...we love him so.  And despite his grumpiness he managed to be so sweet in the middle of the night...when he got STUCK!


Pug:  "Meow."

Me:  "Huh?"

Pug:  "Meeeeow."

Me:  "Pug?"

Pug:  "Meeeeeeeeow."

Me:  "Oh, look at you, your claws are stuck in the window screen."  He stood on his hind legs, front paws up on the window screen as I pulled his claws out one by one.

Pug:  "Meow...purrrrrrr."

Me:  "You're welcome."

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Out of Place

I woke up the other day and was absolutely convinced that we'd been robbed.  So much was out of place.  Chairs across the room from where they belong.  Coffee table near the window instead of the couch.  Couch pulled out from the wall.  Gadzooks! 

So I commenced checking on my stuff.  Laptop in its spot.  Hard drives still neatly tucked in their cubbies.  My art still in all of its artful spots.  Check, check, check!

Hmmmmmmm...what the heck happened here last night?!?!

And then I went to toss something in the trash and the mystery was solved.  Atop the myriad of nonrecyclables were the shattered remains of what must have been a large dinner plate. 


Thankful we weren't robbed.

Thankful for a kid who took the time to clean up his mess.

And thinking we need to have a talk about finishing what one starts...so that mommy doesn't get all scared and stuff.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Following Directions

I'm feeling so proud of my husband. 

He's the kind of guy who is likely to say, "I don't need no stinkin' directions," whenever we're installing something.  He likes to just figure it out as he goes and, by golly, he manages to guess correctly most every time.

But even he knows better than to try that with something from IKEA.  Yup, that awesome dude of mine worked through the assembly of our new dining table and chairs step by step with those crazy picture directions. 


Me:  "Need any help?"

Dave:  "I don't need no stinkin' help."


Works for me!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Driven by Distraction

We seem to constantly be nagging our little guy. 


Us:  "Do your homework!"

Little guy:  "As soon as this episode is over."


Us:  "Clean your room!"

Little guy:  "After I get back from playing basketball."


Us:  "It's your turn to empty the dishwasher."

Little guy:  "I'm about to take a shower."


So today when I was driving him home from football practice and he commenced picking his toenails and pretending to flick them at me...I yelled because, well, obvious!


Me:  "Don't do that in my car!  Do it when we get home and use a toenail clipper instead of ripping them off!"

Little guy:  "Hey," he said as he continued picking at his toenails.  "At least I'm not putting off doing it."


The kid had a point...but I still told him I wasn't going to make him food for a week if he kept doing it.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Chicken and the Egg

I'd heard rumor that chickens like to eat scrambled eggs.  As in chicken eggs.  Well, I found out that that's not exactly true.  They don't like scrambled eggs, they LOVE them!!

Now I find this to be just fine and dandy, but the rest of my family thinks it's some kind of disgusting cannibalism.  I say my family worries too much.

And what did the chickens and I eat for dinner?  You guessed it...scrambled eggs.  Delicious!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Love

Tonight we say good-bye to yet another fabulous summer.  Did we travel?  Nope.  Did we do anything deliciously over-the-top?  Not at all.  Did we enjoy pretty much every moment of it?  You bet. 

We had a delightful summer of just doing our own thing on our own time table.  Our house was overrun with teenage boys and one particularly lovely girlfriend.  I painted and wrote with absolute abandon every day.  Dave took his photography to an all new amazing level.  And he and I even self-published a book of his photos and our haiku poetry.  You can look at it in its entirety here.

This summer rocked! 


...and now the kids and I go back to school and Dave gets to blissfully have the whole house all to himself.  If you don't count the two dogs, two cats, and four chickens, that is....

The miniature easel is included with the purchase of this miniature painting.

 
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Educating of Strangers

Every once in a while life gifts you with the opportunity to educate someone you don't even know. 

Like today for instance.

I was walking my dog, Hazel, whom I recently gave a very short buzz cut, and a big, beautiful fluffy dog was approaching us with her owner. 


Me:  "What kind of dog is that?"

Lady with the fluffy dog:  "It's a golden doodle."

Me:  "Well this is a golden doodle, too.  I just shaved her...this is what your dog looks like naked!"

Lady:  "That's amazing!"


I'm telling you...me educating strangers...it's practically a community service!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

So what have we learned about chickens lately? 

Well, they love mint.  I mean they really, really, really love mint.  In fact chickens love mint so much that when you go to the nursery, purchase organic mint plants, bring them home, plant them in the ground, and water them well, chickens will eat every last bit of the leaves in two days flat.

And what have I learned about mint lately?

It really, really, really doesn't grow well when it has absolutely no leaves.


So...I'll be off to the nursery to get a very LARGE mint plant.  My dillusional thinking has me convinced that this will give the plant a head start.

Gives the saying "winner, winner, chicken dinner" a whole new meaning, eh?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Got no Need for Speed

We live right near the biggest park in the city and that park is often a favorite speed trap of the local police.  I'm all for it and always make sure I'm going the correct speed which happens to be 35 mph.  Well, one day I was driving through the park...all the trees were going by my window at their normal speed, the other drivers were all driving slightly faster than I was (this happens to me a lot), but when I looked down at my speedometer I was going over 10 mph over the speed limit!  I immediately slowed down to a crawl and then everyone was passing me at an even greater rate...and I was getting some dirty looks.

And then I noticed my little guy snickering.


Me:  "What?"

Little guy:  "I changed your speedometer from miles to hour to kilometers per hour."

Me:  "Uncool, dude."


And then I sped right on up.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black and Blue Dreams

About two weeks ago I slammed my pointer in the door.  OK, slammed is likely an exaggeration.  Firmly closed it on my finger is more accurate.  In any case, I saw some serious stars.  But what's wacky is this.  For about a microsecond I indulged in what can only be called a pity party.  But after that, I actually got excited.  Yes, excited. 

I was super excited that maybe, just maybe, I'd finally have one of those black and blue fingernail bruises that all the cool construction workers have.  Yeah, I dunno...I'm weird like that.

I watched and waited, waited and watched, and watched and waited some more all the way till the next day.  And only a faint white line appeared.  What?!?!  All that pain and all I got was a faint white line?

Jeepers.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skort Love

I love skorts.  I've been a fan for a long time...even though it wasn't until my adulthood that I finally got some.  And what makes me love the so much is the "just in case" factor. 

One of my clearest memories from my childhood is when I had a Bluebird meeting at my house when I was in first or second grade.  We were all playing in my backyard on my swing set/jungle gym.  I, likely wanting to show off a bit, stood atop the structure and took a great leap.  Back then I was apt to jump off of most anything, a trait I've lost as I've aged.  Our roof was my favorite...and, by the way, holding an umbrella whilst jumping off of a one story building does not, in fact, slow you down even one little bit.  Anyway, I jumped off of the jungle gym and somehow my skirt's hem caught on a bolt.  And there I swung, back and forth, back and forth, will my ruffly panties in full view of all my friends.  Had I been wearing a skort...sigh, perhaps my life would have been totally different from then on....

Anyway, when I was in college I discovered skorts and I was officially in love.  And now, as a teacher, they're my "go to" option. 

But something happened over the weekend that full on hammered it home for me just how rockin' skorts are.  The kid and I had parked in a parking garage and were walking down an external stairway.  There was a building adjacent to the garage and the wind whipped through like some kind of crazy.  Anyway, my skirt flew all the way up and flattened itself against my stomach.  But since I had those awesome built in shorts on underneath, the day was saved.  And there were about a dozen people that saw the whole thing.

Thankfully no one, including myself, had to be traumatized by the event.  Skort love...you betcha!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy!

I've been excited about school starting back up and I've done nothing to hide it.  Seriously, for a couple weeks now I've been ready to be back in the classroom with my amazing students (this will be my eleventh year teaching three and four-year-old children who in addition to some fantastic abilities, also have disabilities).  I love my gig. 

So I was driving with my kid and it turns out he does not share my enthusiasm for the upcoming start of the school year.


Me:  "I can't believe school's about to start!!!!"

Little guy:  "You stop saying those horrible words."


Meanwhile, I'm busy doing my happy dance.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pure Love and Energy

I shaved our dog, Hazel, today.  She's 85 pounds of pure love and energy...and let me tell you what...85 pounds of anything makes for a lot of square inches. 

While Hazel was no fan of the process, she put up with me fairly well for the first half.  And then she was done.  Enter my little guy.  He, all 140 pounds of pure love and energy himself, was the perfect support for our pooch.  He let her sit on his lap during part of the trim, and when it was time to do the detail work of her legs he lay on the floor, his head on a towel, and snuggled in and spooned Hazel so she'd relax enough to get to the finish line. 

It was pure love and perfection.  And as my kid said, "You cut off about three smaller dogs' worth of hair!"

And so now Hazel is walking around the house, not quite 85 pounds of pure love and energy (hair does weigh something, right?), feeling quite nekkid and exposed, but quite happy nonetheless.  And I found out that when a super nekkid, happy dog wags their now bare tail it's pretty much like being whipped by, well, a whip.  I have a welt on my leg to prove it. 

Love my girl...and my awesome boy!!!


Here's another miniature painted canvas on an easel.  I adore these little things!  The canvas is 2x2.  I'll be selling it as a package with the easel.  Look for more of these sweet miniatures to come!

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Shady People

Much to the chagrin of our little guy.


This morning we attended a football scrimmage.  Our kiddo is a runningback for his school's J.V. team and we were there to cheer him on. 

Only thing is...we sat on the opposing team's side.  And we did it on purpose.  You see, the sun was blazing on our team's side.  The opposing team's side was totally in the shade. 

Hmmmmm....shade, sun, shade, sun, shade, sun.  Yup.  Shade won.


Little guy after the scrimmage:  "You guys are stupid."


I'm quite sure he'll understand when he's our age.

...or perhaps we should invest in some really, really, really big brimmed hats. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Bird

My wonderful husband, David, has asked me to go with him to two different art supply stores in the past week.  And I must say that is seriously HOT!

The first store was uneventful.  Totally wonderful and amazing, but uneventful in the BIG EVENT kind of way.  But the second one we went to today WAS eventful.

As we walked in, there was a sweet and very frightened grackle gauging how to get the heck out of the store.  It was bumping into the windows, jumping and flying up and down, up and down.  Dave and I didn't even say anything to each other, but we both totally felt, "We got this."  We went to the open shelving where the grackle was basically freaking out.  Dave blocked on the right and I used my canvas bag on the left to block it on that side.  And then I reached in and cradled it around the back. 

That little grackle was so happy when I walked out the door, placed it on my finger, and it took off. 


...and thus our obsessive art supply store treks were completely validated.  I wonder where we're going tomorrow!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sweet Nothings

Last evening I was in our chicken yard getting our chickens into their coop for the night.  And like every night, it goes like this.

"Hey, lovely ladies!  It's time for bed, beautiful girls!"  And I walked around getting Red and Fuzzy to scurry into the coop.  "OK, Piper and Phyllis, you, too, ladies."   I picked them up (because these two like to be picked up).  "All right my precious girls, it's time for bed.  I love you!!!" 


And then I hear something to my left.  And Dave was standing there watching me.  He'd clearly been there for a while and had witnessed all of my carrying on with our chickens, telling them sweet nothings, and whatnot.  Gee...

Me:  "Hey, you know you talk to them when I'm not around, too."

Dave:  "Yeah, I do."


Sweet chicken love....


I saw these tiny canvases at an art store and I could not resist!!!  The canvas is 2x2.  I'll be selling it as a package with the easel.  So cute!!!  I will definitely be painting more of these sweet little miniatures!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mammogram Time

What does the end of summer mean?  Back to school?  Well, yes.  Cooler weather on the way?  Um, no, not for a while.  I'll just tell ya what it means...it's mammogram time. 

And now all of a sudden I want to break out in song, M.C. Hammer style.


"Mammogram Time...Can't touch them!"


Yeah, that didn't go my way. 

But what cracks me up at these things is that I'm always asked two questions.


"Do you have implants?"  Seriously?!?!  You're looking right at me and asking that?  Um, no, obviously.

and...

"Does this hurt?"  Seriously (again)?!?!  You're looking right at some of me being smooshed in between these plates that you're cranking down on with no possible end in sight.


All that said, I'm filled with gratitude that such procedures exist...and super happy that I don't have to do it again until next year.

Click here to view my gallery.  Most of my paintings are for sale.
 
This 24"x24" painting is currently on display at The Writing Barn...and it is for sale. 
 
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Locked Out

It's a funny thing when something you've taught your children to do comes around and bites ya.

I'm an auto locker by nature.  It's just who I am.  When I get home I lock the door.  When I get out of my car I lock my doors.  And I've spent many years training my family (not auto lockers by nature) to lock doors. 

Well, what's been happening a lot lately is we'll be outside with the chickens and one of my family members will go in before I'm ready to leave.  So when I am ready to go in, I'm utterly and completely locked out of my house...because, darn it, those guys of mine have truly internalized my locking lessons.

Do I complain?  Nope...but I do bang on the door loudly.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Sunflower

My husband, David, is an amazing photographer.  And you know I love to paint.  Well, after years of each following our own artful bliss, we finally did a piece together. 

David has taken some amazing photographs (see his work here) and a few of them he's been transferring onto wood.  He has to print the picture on paper, adhere it to the wood, then get the paper bits off while leaving the image behind.  I don't know the technicalities, but that's the basics.  He'd had one such piece hanging beside his desk for a while now and out of the blue he asked me if I'd like to add to it with paint. 

Um, yes!!!  Lemme at it!

So I'm not sure if I made it awesome or if I totally ruined it, but either way I had a blast doing it.  What fun it was to create a collaborative piece!!!

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

They Open and Close

Sometimes we have a crowd of teenage boys here overnight...well, often, actually.  Last night was one such night. 

Now, the last time we had a gang here they pretty much pulled an all-nighter.  That's all find, good, and fun.  Except for the fact that they all went to the bathroom over and over and over, and each time they did, they closed the door.  LOUDLY! 

Well, I'm no dummy, this time when they were all gathered in the kid's room playing video games after a raucous game of basketball, I went  in there and gave them a lesson on how to close a door silently.

And you know what?  Those boys closed the bathroom silently all night long.  They are awesome!  But what they also did was go to the kitchen over and over, and open and close the cupboard doors over and over.  LOUDLY!

I'll be preparing my new lesson plans promptly.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lotsa Legs

I was watering some plants today, and as often happens, I managed to get something on my glasses.  I stuck my bottom lip out and blew straight up hoping to get rid of the leaf or dirt or whatever had gotten on there.  But nope, still there.  So I took off my glasses and what was there?  A big green spider, that's what.  So I tried blowing again...and it ran to the other side.  So I blew the other side...and it ran back to the first side.  And then I tried to flick it.  Gently, of course.  And it did its side-to-side routine again!

Until it was ready, on its own terms, to jump off.

Thanks for riding the Kali Express, little dude!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Chickens are a Lot Like Babies

Having chickens is a lot like having babies again.  You know, in a chickeny kind of way.  I find that I'm suddenly involved with one in particular who loves to be held all the time.  She will come right to me when I go out there.  She'll let me endlessly hold her while I whisper sweet nothings and rub her back.  She'll happily sit on my lap just looking around taking the world in...and occasionally poop or spit up.

Yup, pretty much like having a baby again.  I actually think I might need to create a chicken sling so I can do some chicken wearing.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Seeing Things the Same Way

It's official.  The kid and I see things the same exact way.  Now this most definitely does not mean that we agree on everything.  Decidedly not.  But the way we do see things now is exactly the same.  It has to be true.  A doctor told us.

Ya see, the thing is we now have the exact same contact lens prescription.  Mind you, I need reading glasses with 'em to see up close, but if something is in the distance we see things the exact same way.

It's a baby step to getting him to agree with me about everything, right?

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Taking Flight

When I stirred my little guy from sleep...for the fourth time this morning.


Me:  "Really, I need you to get up so you'll be on time."

Little guy:  "For some reason I thought taking a shower involved some sort of flight."


Ya, I dunno either, but I'm pretty sure the kid had managed to sprout some wings in that lovely dream of his.  Hoping that "To be continued..." showed up as the last frame so he can get right back to it tonight.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bee Awesome!

So I've been sporting a fanny pack again.  I rocked one in the early 90s when I was riding my bike everywhere.  Then again during the 00s.  But that fanny pack was big and bulky.  I could fit snacks, a wallet, my chap stick, and keys in there.  It bounced.  It jiggled.  It kind of drove me nuts.

Enter new fanny pack.  Very sleek.  Extremely tiny.  And it holds only my phone and car key.  It's awesome!


Dave (holding my new fanny pack up with a puzzled look on his face):  "What's this?"

Me:  "It's my fanny pack?"

Dave:  "What could possibly fit in it?"

Me:  "My phone fits just right."

Dave:  "You should call it a phoney pack."


Yup, that's my guy!  And you can definitely count on seeing me rockin' my phoney pack!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Hoooooo's There?

The fifth owl has shown up and now the painting is complete.  And I'm pretty sure these guys have some big plans up their sleeves.


Reminds me of the wide-eyed looks I got when I opened my kid's bedroom door last night.  He and several friends were all lined up on his bed, munching on popcorn, watching a "scary" movie.  And when they say a movie is scary, it's at least ten times scarier than "The Exorcist" was for me...and that was unbelievably scary!  Last night the plan was that everyone was going home after the movie to stay at their own houses.

But...when I got up this morning and peeked in his room, all of the boys were crashed out all over the place, curled up in each of their individual blankets.  Thinking that ten times scarier translated to way too scary to walk home in the dark.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tiny One

Lately on my walks I've been seeing a lot of teeny, tiny toads.  And I mean really teeny, tiny.  I spend a lot of time with my eyes to the ground when I'm walking my dogs.  I mean, gosh, I'd feel just horrible if I accidentally smooshed a roly poly out for its walk. So now in addition to stepping over or around wandering insects, I'm stopping to redirect tiny toads that are mistakenly heading into the street.

"Back to the grass you go, tiny one."


And speaking of tiny ones, here's the fourth member of my owl family.  He's tiny, but he's awesome!  I should have the entire painting finished by tomorrow.  Check back!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Right up Front

Today I had to wake the kid up way earlier than he wanted to be awakened.  He grogged his way to the car.  And he was holding a blankie.  Yup, a blankie.  A bright red blankie.  And with that red blankie he covered himself from head to toe.  So down the highway I drove with my big red blob beside me...snoring.

And we made it all the way down the highway without attracting even the tiniest bit of attention.  And ya know what?  When we were at a light we were passed by another mom with another blob kid in her font seat.  Her blob was blue.

Thinking blankie blobs are the new normal.


And here's the third owl to join my layered painting...front and center!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Early Bird gets the Worm

Well sorta, anyway.

Our fabulously wacky chicken, Phyllis, is the first to come running to me when I go in their part of the yard.  Today she happily sat on my lap for a long time...until she became obsessed with something.  That something was a mole on my upper arm.  She stared and stared and stared and then all of a sudden pecked at it.  It didn't hurt at all, but I must admit that after she made a few more attempts I was getting a bit nervous.

I swear that girl thought she was going for a worm that was just barely sticking its head out of a hole.  And being a chicken with mad chicken skills, she was likely to actually get it at some point.  So instead of electing for mole-ectomy I turned that sweet girl around and she promptly forgot about the worm. 


And here's another wacky bird, hanging upside-down.  I don't think he got the memo that owls don't do that.  Tune in tomorrow to see if anyone else shows up!

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