The Typical House in St Lucia outside of the tourist area- from my Missions trip in 2010

So, it’s been a few days and my last post had only one comment. I suppose no one really knows what to do,or maybe my usual crew missed the post or perhaps there are just so many varying feelings about the whole thing no one wants to express anything.

So, let me take a guess based on some of the things i have been seeing people saying online related to it all ( not my post specifically- which they haven’t seen)

  1. “People should be grateful to receive a check during this crisis.”
  2. “People should be grateful to have a job when others are losing theirs.”
  3. “People should be grateful to not have to go to work”
  4. OMG..the political bashing and blaming…enough said
  5. “People shouldn’t be taxed on this check, it takes away the point of helping”
  6. ” I’m not gonna listen to any of it. I’ll do whatever i want, go where i want, when i want”
  7. “People need to stay at home.Period”
  8. “People need to stop panicking”

It goes on & on.

Here is my take. At this time, it is UNCLEAR as to whether the check will be taxable down the road. It is also UNCLEAR when we will be getting it. It is UNCLEAR if there will be any consequences down the road such as added items in the bill. We just don’t know. Hell, we don’t even know for certain if we will be getting anything , as individuals. So in spite of my previous rant, i will now acquiesce to letting things just run their course. I will not continue to make assessments and statements when obviously , ultimately- NO ONE KNOWS for sure where all of this- the virus, the longterm affects, the money, the jobs,etc.- is going. I have no crystal ball.If i get the money, i get it. If i don’t , i don’t. And whatever the end result, it is what it is.

My worries right now are just speculation. I worry about the reactions of those who are not in any way prepared for isolation. I worry about people getting desperate ( mentally, emotionally, physically).I worry about the alcoholics/addicts who are unable to get their fix.I worry about increased criminal activity due to financial or material lack. i worry about the entirety of what this will mean for the economy for years to come.


I cannot do anything about any of this. What i can do is go to work, pay my bills, stay healthy( sleep, eat, meditate). I can keep going through the motions and not let emotions take over. I can be grateful for the things i do have, and not ruminate about what i don’t. I am not in a third world country. i still have electricity, clean water, heat, food, a car, a job. Our country ( U.S.) in spite of all its cons , has a lot to be grateful for.Many countries do NOT have money for unemployment compensation, food reserves, or basic life essentials. We take so many things for granted.And when i see the immediate, knee jerk reactions to the day to day news, i can remind myself that things could be a LOT worse. The photo above is one of the typical structures used for housing on the island of ST. Lucia outside of the tiny little port/tourist area most of us only see. The is “home” for most families. It’s one of my own personal photos, not from google. The poverty is real.

I hope again that all of you are safe, feeling well, and have what you need. Big Virtual Hugs!

Common Sense

During times like this it is always helpful to take a look back through history. History is and always will be , our most useful teacher. So, in that vain, i give you the following from my own experience as a nurse, as someone who went through the last economic crisis, gas rationing( as a child- i remember it well!) and as a former city resident.

  1. Are your hands suddenly dry? With every flu season and epidemic, people start washing their hands like they alone hold all the germs on the planet in their palms and need to wash every 5 minutes. Thats one stopping you. But make it a point to carry moisturizer( along with the hand sanitizers) and use it each time as well. Cracks in your skin are open portals for infection. In fact, use it even more often than you wash your hands.
  2. Be sure to eat all of your perishable foods first. I know some of you know this but there are also some digging into the non perishables too soon. Think ahead. For me right now i want my comfort food and really have to discipline myself to eat those fresh produce items first so they don’t go bad. The frozen and canned stuff can wait till later.
  3. Watch gas prices. I expect them to rise over the next few weeks. I know this may sound pre emptive but again, you have to be smart and see the logistics. If you do have to keep driving for work, or even get to the store, be sure to fill up as soon as you are half empty at the latest. You just never know when it may become less available or a bigger expense.
  4. It is allergy season in many parts of the country. Chances are, your sinuses will be telling you somethings up. This does not necessarily mean you have contracted the virus or flu. More people are simply suffering from seasonal allergies. If you don’t have fever , you likely do NOT have the flu. Don’t panic. Try some OTC meds first.Also- don’t hoard flu meds.
  5. The medical field is overwhelmed right now and will become increasingly so. Try to be patient. Appointments will be cancelled if they are not dire. Surgeries will be rescheduled..and this IS for the best MOST of the time. Hospitals are petri dishes.. Better to wait if possibly can rather than risk unneccessary exposure.
  6. If you are a parent who has rarely ever had to spend this much time at home and alone with your children it can strain your nerves no matter how good of a parent you are. You don’t have to constantly entertain them, nor should you be spending hours neglecting them( example on your phone) OR yelling at them all day. Use restraint, take breaks for yourself and realize this is stressful for them also.Hot baths, meditation time, a small dessert alone( in a closet if you have to) or just keeping a routine helps.
  7. Don’t read this one if you are prone to panicking. This is a time when criminals are very much aware of the vulnerability. Dont fall for scams- they are on the rise. Be aware of your surroundings when you go out. Keep lights on outside at night, especially if in the city. Don’t tell all your neighbors or post online how much TP food or supplies you have. Be smart.
  8. Don’t be afraid to take care of others if you have weighed the risks. Many of the elderly and medically fragile need supplies, medications, etc. You CAN pick up scripts and items and drop off packages at their door -then text them when you have gone. People need gloves, masks, and hygiene products. DON’T HOARD.If you have the ability , health and means – try to do what you can for the less able. Check on your friends through text, messaging and phone.
  9. Be prepared for massive drops in your mutual funds, stocks, etc. We went through the bail outs before. If you recall the few years afterwards( housing market ,etc.) do as much as you can to prepare. By this i mean – save money , stop spending on things you really don’t need, and conserve energy. Don’t look to your neighbors and friends to do this, or spend any time judging what they do.. It starts with YOU.Be the example.
  10. And, finally- use this time wisely. There’s much being said out there about that and i won’t beleaguer it. ( art, reading, time with family etc). There are a lot of positives that can come out of this for our environment and our awareness of the human race in general. Strive to find the good.


Do Nothing

Many years ago i started my first blog on In the intro, i refer to “sleeping in the arms of the dragon”. I know that unless people have seen Excalibur( the 1981 film version) , they probably wonder what the heck i am referring to. But the phrase has always had a major impact on my life. I first saw the film in 1986 and at that time i was sifting through many life challenges, and as a naive 19 year old, has SO many questions . Fortunately my Guru suggested i watch this and ever since, whenever i feel overwhelmed i go back to the clip as a reminder.

What is the dragon?Well, the dragon covers many things, as the clip expresses so very eloquently. Things we fear, the unknown, etc. And at the moment i would have to say the general panic about the virus. No matter what information you choose to believe , the feeling of the unknown can be overwhelming and sometimes we just need to do what Merlin suggests. “ in the arms of the dragon…dream.”

Side note: There are many magical and profound moments in this film. I often am re- astounded at the depth of the script. IMDb has a list of quotes here: ( for anyone interested)

I hope everyone is well and using this time to reconnect with whatever you can- maybe a lost hobby, maybe your children, perhaps trying some new recipes, or watching old family videos. Prayers and hugs going out to you all.


Time for a Quarantine of My Own

So apparently i should listen to my conscience more often. I know i am unable to moderate anything. And, NO, i didn’t relapse with alcohol…i am talking about social media. I took 6 months away, back on in january and lately have been sucked back in by the toxicity and drama again. I have been checking every day when i get up and several times a night, getting upset …posting then deleting…i’m telling you- it’s just like alcohol– once i start, i cannot moderate. So, tomorrow deactivating for another time frame. No announcements, just- poof!.

I honestly believe i was much healthier mentally for the 6 months i was away, despite the loneliness and isolation. I also believe it’s why i haven’t been able to blog recently or stop my negativity and anger from getting the best of me. The hatred, the political crap, the virus crap- call me weak…it’s just too much. Peace of mind matters more to me than proving anything .

When i was offline , i got so much accomplished. I wasn’t swayed by the media. I wasn’t affected by opinions or emotional drama. I just did my thing. Now, i have been unable to ignore it and thus, post my reactions as well. Grr…when will i learn? Hopefully another break will help , at least until some of it dies down.And i can get back to normalcy.

I have also had the misfortune to notice that some passive aggressive posting that feels like nothing but jealousy. Did not expect that, but some people can’t just be happy for you.

So, anyway, hopefully i will be back to writing here again, focusing on my goals and the usual again. I miss everyone.


The Art of Remembrance

Lately I have expressed a few lightning bolts that have increased my self awareness. Most of these profoundly life changing. But some have just been subtle memories come to light, in a gentle reminding way that has smoothed out the edges of the others.

Today at my kitchen sink as I washed my dishes I allowed myself to remember some of the positive things about previous relationships. Like the time I was on the back of a motorcycle going 100 mph feeling the wind in my face and the beauty of the fall foliage. Like the time I watched snow fall gently onto a deck as a bottle of wine chilled outside for later. Or laying on a soft rug, listening to rainfall through a screen door as my partner snored quietly beside me. Or walking through the mountains together on a summers eve. And another time seeing my partner gazing at me through a window, adoring me silently and smiling without words. 

Yes, over the years there have been many positive times with my relationships, despite whatever they became. And while I am in this process of banishing those men from my memory for good for my own sanity and in order to move forward, I wanted to take some time to re visit the good times as well.

It is good to remember that no matter what happened, there was a time when I once loved each of them, when things were good and special moments occurred that I treasured. I am still trying to find a way to keep the good and forget the bad. 

Just my thoughts for the day…


“But, You’re So Pretty….”

How many times have I heard this phrase, inevitably followed by:

“How can you be single?”

“Life is easier for you”

“You can’t have THAT many problems”

“If I looked like you , I’d_____” ( fill in the blank)??

More than I can count and it has always rubbed me the wrong way.

Tonight, I decided to go a little off topic. I don’t know how many other women have heard the above most of their lives, but I suspect too many. And when I say that I mean, the assumption of the person saying it is completely asinine and I truly hope no one reading this has ever said ANY OF THE ABOVE to another human being.

Now, mind you, I am older now and have lost some of my youthful good looks. I have gone through a lot with this and my own vanity in the past year. But , with the recent progress concerning my “innards” , I have also started remembering things that have been frequently said to me most of my life( this being one) and wondering “How has this affected my perspectives and views?”

Here are the conclusions I have come to. 

  1. Hearing that from a young age, especially as a female, immediately puts you in the frame of mind that your value is equal to how you look.
  2. Hence, you begin to feel like , that being what is valuable, it is something you need to focus on
  3. If you keep hearing it , it just reinforces that belief
  4. God Forbid you lose any looks because if you aren’t being “stared at” you have failed as a woman.
  5. After many years, it starts to seem like an insult, in that, you aren’t worth anything more. Like -no one cares about  or notices your intellect or experience or skills in other areas.
  6. One day, you also realize that there are actually people ( mainly other women) who actually resent you because of the way you look and use these phrases as an undercutting, jealous remark.
  7. Soon, you also realize that there are other people ( even men) who truly believe some of this.

 And then, Wow. Inside you just want to scream “ If only I had no problems. Gee, life is so f*cking easy- way easier for me than everyone else. Golly, if I could hand you a magic wand and make you see your own beauty, I would( then maybe you would have the “dream life “ I have). Of course I don’t need to work or prove myself or any of that- I just walk into the store and get all my food and stuff for free because I am “pretty”. How can I be single? Whaaaaat????? How do I even answer that question without sounding egotistical, bitchy, or narcissistic? It’s a trick question!”

So, we go through life not knowing what to say. Knowing, anything we can or do say WILL be held against us. We want someone to talk to about it, but we cant. We ,at times, try to look plain or even become invisible, just to avoid the insinuations. We feel BAD about ourselves, more than many can possibly imagine. What others see, is not what WE see in the mirror. We only see expectations, failures, and low self-worth. We only see struggling to maintain and the knowledge that we WILL eventually fail.

Fast forward to getting older. All our lives, looks have been our survival. And suddenly, they are fading. Many ,many women- including myself- go through severe depression and a loss of “self”. We try botox, spa treatments, expensive beauty products, more make-up, less make up, excessive exercise, dieting and the list goes on. If we do try to talk about it we hear “just be thankful you have looked so good all your life, and you still look good for your age.” OR “ You should just learn to be comfortable in your own skin” OR “That’s vanity . Looks aren’t everything”. Sometimes we hear those things, seeing the actual “gleam” in someone’s eye.. and we know that underneath of the statement is a sense of spite as well.( “Ha! Now you know how the rest of us feel! Good!”)

Do I say this for sympathy? Nope. But maybe for a little perspective. Because it’s not about the individual. It is about culture, society, and how we are “housebroken” by the media and our environment. It’s about the expectations of a woman not to ever age,or gain weight, or slow down- much less realize our own value as a person. And men, it isn’t even about you. Because you too , have been brow beaten by society to perform and appear in expected ways. But, I digress.

So, why DO I bring this thought forth? Because of the absolute peace I have made with it all over the past few weeks as I have looked at some of the beliefs and values I have held all my life, and of course, digging into where they came from. My statements above are probably nothing new, and I am sure at least the last half is common to women around the world. I say this because I want to encourage all women ( and men) to maybe think before they speak, especially when it comes to our children. Stop telling our daughters they are “beautiful” in a physical sense and start telling them they are “wonderful” inside & out. Stop telling our boys they have to “be a man” or “stop crying” or “Don’t be a sissy” and start telling them they are “amazing” just as they are. 

And for God’s sake, as an adult- stop saying these things to other adult humans. Because NO ONE is ugly on the outside. Ugly is only on the inside.

update: still get this sHizzle…one from least my personality was mentioned


Recovery Round Up

always deep in thought

( this weeks conclusions and thoughts)

Some of you have read my recent stories, and this isn’t a repeat of all that but rather just a brain summary for the week. i am now not only relieved of the burden i have carried for so long, but am feeling finally a sense of who i am( less scared about that!) and more importantly, understanding WHY i allowed alcohol to become the addiction it did in my life. I certainly haven’t suddenly become “cured” but i have a deeper sense of about why i tend to turn towards a substance to drown out things.

It was like, all those years i kept looking for and finding a space to bury things inside. I would dig deeper and deeper until one day i couldn’t find any space at all. Then , i found a different one. It was at the bottom of a bottle. Year after year, binge after binge, i would secretly stash all of those insecurities, fears, and anything i wanted to avoid thinking about in those bottles. The side effect of all of that eventually became waking up to those empty bottles- on the counter, on the floor, in the trash- glaring at me- screaming out their names and causing me endless anxiety, dread and depression. It seemed as if the more i threw them out, the louder they would call to me until i was unable to sleep from the roaring nightmares and waking in cold sweats. And no matter how hard i pressed my fingers into my ears and tried to scream back louder to stop them, they would persist. I had no more space left inside, and now i had nowhere to shove them away outside of myself either . I had no choice but to round up and face the demons, listen to their taunts, try to decipher their meaning, and figure out what to do. There would be no more hiding. There was nowhere left to hide.

The recovery started with realizing that the type of men who were now pursuing me were only the worst of the worst type. The predators, the misogynists , the wounded birds, the Peter Pans.THIS is what i was attracting- and that impact of that discovery was like a ton of bricks falling on my head. I started then seeing the other people i had surrounded myself with- the emotional vampires, the soul thieves, the users and takers, the eternal “victims of life”. I started looking at family and how my mother and father had affected me, as well as my mothers choices of partners. I even looked at my feelings towards my own children- my need to protect them from my life long secrets , while at the same time , being ashamed of being myself , lest they be embarrassed or worse yet- reject me and not speak to me again. I started looking at my “community” and how i viewed myself through their eyes to the point that many of my decisions were based on what i thought they thought of me, wanted from me, or at least what i assumed they did. And i realized- i had never made any decisions solely on what “I” wanted, what was good for “me” and what i actually needed. Only on what others needed or wanted for me.. MY WHOLE LIFE!!!! Like a bolt of lightning, i realized i no longer needed anyones approval or permission for ANYTHING. Much less, permission to be myself, make my own decisions, and live my life for ME.

But before i even realized the DEPTH of it all and really started processing my past, i knew i had to take some drastic actions to separate myself from the toxicity.First, i worked on getting and staying sober. After a few months, i knew i also had to break it off with my current boyfriend and remain single to focus on that goal and others.Next, I decided i no longer wanted a venue in my own personal space, and we made an announcement , followed by a decision to do our events at an outside venue. Then i decided to move physically away from the city and the people who had consumed my life for so many years. I bought a house in the suburbs. At the same time, i separated myself from the social media community of Facebook, delving back into blogging instead. A month after i moved , being close to a year sober, i quit smoking cigarettes. And finally, i decided to do an overhaul of my physical self, including losing some of the weight i had gained in the last year. In December, i decided to finally start the process of changing nursing agencies in order to gain better insurance , some PTO time , and other benefits despite taking a pay cut.

In between all of these larger goals however, the person i had been began changing in smaller ways as well. I gave up tanning, doing my make up and hair daily( deciding to go back to my natural color over the next few months), wearing “body flattering” outfits for anything, choosing comfort instead. I stopped attending some events, limited others and forcing myself to go to artistic get togethers which had become more of an obligation than anything i enjoyed. I stopped putting my work in shows i really wasn’t interested in. I stopped hosting extra events or participating in most that i had only done because i felt i “should”. I stopped forcing myself to do art at work every night, and just took time away. I cancelled my gym membership and began walking outside, mostly alone.While all of these things were necessary, the immediate effects were not pleasant.

Basically, the co component of all of this was isolation. I went through deep depression, anxiety and loneliness. I felt a lack of purpose, and after several rejections from men in one years time, i had such low self esteem it felt hopeless.I was also in debt with my new home. I was in the throes of perimenopause as well,and all that comes with it- most of which i hadn’t expected and it was devastating.
Throughout all of it, i have been learning though.

Even in the darkest moments. I still have no idea where i will end up, or how many things will play out. Will i ever get my debt resolved? Will i ever again have a partner and more specifically , one that will share my life and values equally ? Will we be happy together? Will “I” ever be happy? Every day i still get through on a wing and a prayer. I take lots deep breaths- so many are needed just to keep going. The best i can say at this point is that even though i may not be through the worst of it, i have made it through so far. And if there is worse to come, i will have to just take it one breath at a time as well. I put one foot in front of the other, suck it up, and move forward.

Nothin’ But a Cheater!

Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with relationships. If you are looking for THAT drama.. look elsewhere. This one is just a catchy title about my diet ,etc.

When I first started this most recent diet, my past experiences kicked in and I tried to use that previous knowledge once again to lose this weight. However, as I have stated many times, things have changed. My age, my hormones, and  my physical self- activity/habits/strength, etc. Even though the basics will always hold value ( i.e. calories in/calories out ) it is almost impossible to convince the masses just how much of the rules no longer work. Especially women who have not or are not going through menopausal stuff. 

 I did the usual things- stuff that I have always suggested to everyone else as a personal trainer. I cut calories based on a formula of BMI /goal weight vs. starting weight. But after a few weeks, things went a bit crazy. I was seriously feeling deprived spiteful and energy-less. I lost TOO much weight and I knew it wasn’t sustainable. So I began another old ritual- watching my macro’s. Previously, increasing my protein had worked to keep me feeling full. But this time, it worked only for a few days. Damn these hormonal shifts!

As I explained, I recently found that adding bread back in and extra sleep helped tremendously, as well as keeping stress levels under control. This cannot be emphasized enough to women in this age group. But I wanted to add a few more specific “cheats” that I discovered along the way that have really helped so far. It may actually be better to call them “compromises” .

  1. I had to find ways to still feel satisfied without sacrificing TOO much of the pleasure. Food, in first world countries at least is more about “pleasure” than survival. So, there is no use in trying to go with all low fat/low calorie foods as a rule. You will feel the effects promptly. Deprivation, very little joy, and eventually “resentment”.
  2. The first compromise was with bread. The first week I actually bought a 6 pack of regular hoagie rolls. Subs are something I craved immensely, and I got my fill. Especially cheesesteaks and Italian subs. My compromise was this- I bought shaved chicken over shaved beef for the cheese steak ( saving over 100 calories per ounce) . I used very thinly sliced swiss cheese ( only 40 calories for 3 slices) . The following week I also switched to Hellman’s low fat Mayo which is only 35 calories per 2 tbsp.( regular is 100/tbsp). I have found that I cannot stand this mayo in any other way, but it’s ok on bread. It just sucks in dips and in homemade salad spreads( blech).I still loaded up on lettuce tomato and onions as well as my hot pepper spread. 
  3. I also enjoy wraps. I found a very tasty low carb garden veggie wrap ( 60 calories for a large wrap) . I use them a lot- with chicken breast, veggies, as well as turkey or chicken lunch meat instead of roast beef, salami, and other heavier meats.
  4. I found a 100 calorie wheat English muffin, and some 40 calorie per slice regular wheat bread. Finding both of these took some time because not all sandwich breads , etc. actually taste good of have a good texture. So, you have to experiment. P.s. after 6 months of trying last year, I never did find a gluten free bread I could tolerate. Bread is my kryptonite- so it has to at least be acceptable in flavor & texture.
  5. I love pastries and baked stuff .I had a few cupcakes on my birthday but even the regular size ones with frosting are 250 calories each! My compromise was pound cake and angel food cake, no icing( 160 calories and 100 calories per serving). It can be a bit dry though and I may add something later to help with that.. just need to decide what. I have seen a few chocolate & caramel syrups that are not bad in sugar content.
  6. I did get a “few” veggie patties but I know I won’t stick to them as the texture isn’t what I like. I’ve tried many brands. But I can deal with them on occasion. I found some mini sausage patties as well. They aren’t “low fat” but 2 of them are only 110 calories, so still works for breakfast.
  7. I started using mustard and ketchup again over mayonnaise when I can. Doesn’t work with everything, but ketchup is ok with the veggie patties and  mustard on wraps. Also , I warm up sandwiches about 15 seconds in the microwave at times if they contain cheese because  it creates a sort of “steam “ effect and then I don’t usually need any condiments at all to make the bread less dry.
  8. Switching from whole eggs to egg whites only. This one has never bothered me at all. I can’t even tell the difference.
  9. And finally, light sour cream over regular, light yogurt over full fat. Since I don’t use either of these often, it’s deal-able.

Outside of these small compromises, I have changed no other foods. I just pay attention to how much I consume. I am not rigid and I’ve taken a hiatus from structured exercise in order to sleep more. Sounds weird but it’s working for me for now.I still have quite a bit of energy AND a lot less aches & pains.Also, the 10-12 hour “fast “ each day probably helps. I bought a food scale to weigh portions. The app I have scans store bought foods which makes it super simple.

My goal at the moment is maintaining 120 lbs. and perhaps in a few weeks will try for 115 if I feel it will be healthy. Just winging it as I go and sharing my experience. Let me know what you have tried and how it’s worked for you!

The Goal has been Hit!

my target… down from 135lbs!

Please don’t mind the gnarly toe nails and bunions . I did crop out the Sasquatch leg hair for ya..haha!

I did it. Down 15 lbs. Now the trick will be to maintain. Probably not going to be easy , as i know some of this was water weight ( at least 2 lbs) but i’ll take it! The last time i saw this on my scale was several years ago, and in between i had hovered at a average of 125. My waist is also down from 31 ” to 29 “.

So, with the jeans i posted initially, now i actually have to wear the belt to keep them up! But why, of why, do i still feel a little over weight? I am 5 ‘2″ . In my rational mind i know that 120 is a good weight for me. I guess it really does become a habit, and i believe i am going to have a week or so of mental readjustment to deal with.

My plan at this time is to keep logging my daily food. I have adjusted the weight goal to 115 but actually feel this might be too low . So, instead over the week i intend to focus on feeling emotionally well first, then continue to pay attention to the healthy stuff- getting the healthier whole foods in, a normal amount of protein, and looking into some fun forms of exercise. I am thinking roller skating ( its been decades!), maybe taking a weekly ballroom dance class and as the weather gets nicer, continue the walks in the woods, which i enjoy so much more than that dreadful treadmill.

I will continue to sleep like a sloth as my body permits, eat breads in moderation, and return to some artistic endeavors that i had been absent from since September with a whole new mindset. I also just booked a vacation for June at my favorite beach and am very excited! I had to cancel that vacation back in November and was going to settle for a week in the mountains since my new debt was so scary. But i got an email offering me a lower price and I TOOK IT! Yay! Man oh man, how i have missed my ocean . Its been years since i was able to go.

This is part of my process- letting go of some fears, rethinking my friendships, and how i feel about future relationships as well as choices. I am definitely not clear on some of the alcohol issues , even now . But remain resolute that i will never return to the horrors of weekly binges and hangovers . I have to admit i question the rigidity i have placed on myself, but i never question the truth i have come to know- it’s a slippery slope and one i never want to be navigating again. I will stay connected with the support community on here and know that it will help keeping me in check. Thank you all for being here!