HAPPINESS OFTEN SNEAKS IN A DOOR YOU DID NOT THINK WAS OPEN.
This is an absolutely glorious morning. It is so beautiful outside and I am hoping that it will stay that way. Lon's great-nephew is getting married this evening and I believe it is an outdoors ceremony. I'm hoping the rain changes direction and makes it a really perfect day for the happy couple. I am looking forward to the reception and getting to see the whole clan for a fun-filled night.
I mention that it is a "Friday" wedding, because Lon and I got married on a Friday, and 43 years later (sigh) we're still truckin' along together. However, the night we were married, it was HOT and HUMID and the church had no air conditioning at that time. And both of us had worked that day! SERIOUSLY????? In today's world, even the parents often take the week off from work along with the young couple, to tie up all the loose ends.
I guess we did the super-duper economy style wedding. Lon went to Sears and bought a $100 suit. I went to Wolf's in down-town CR (by myself) and bought the first dress I tried on. True, in 1971, there was basically only one style that all the stores were pushing that year - - - long sleeved, empire waist, A-line skirt with a 12 foot veil. (I saved the dress for Jenna, if she ever cared to use it, but considering that I am 5' 4" and she is almost 6 feet tall, it wouldn't have looked too cool). The invitations cost $50 and I bought dress material for the attendants' (Betty C. and Nina). Betty's C.'s mom made them. Seventy-five bucks for flowers, and I think we were set. No photographer. Mom provided the food and the wedding cake for the reception, and paid the minister. That's it.
We got engaged in March, and were married in June. Now days, it takes at least a year to plan most weddings. My Daniel is busy planning his wedding, and it isn't until September 2015!!
Got good news from Sis Sandy. She said I had made an error in a post. Evidently, hair grows 1/2 inch per month, not just 1/4 inch! Yippee!!!! I have hope that this hair stuff will go faster. I had my Herceptin infusion on Wednesday, and met a wonderful lady having chemo. She looked about my age. This gal was completely bald (shiny head type bald) and had no teeth. She was so upbeat and lively and confident. She has lymphnoma (?) but is determined to beat it. I asked her how long it took for her to lose all her hair and she told me that when she started her first chemo, the techs said that it would probably be gone after 14 days, which is the same thing they told me. She said that exactly on the 14th day, her hair completely fell out in huge patches. What a crappy deal. See why I am so thankful that I held onto most of my hair for almost 4 months?
Got to spend the day with my girls last Thursday. The girls and I did lunch and a little shopping and then relaxed at my house.
Then I had a sleep-over with Alec when Jen had to be out of town for work. Alec and I went to therapy, where the therapist, Sue, is having Alec make little movies relating stories that they discuss. He is really into making movies, so she is tapping into one of his great loves in order to work with him.
Well, need to get some things done around here before this evening. I washed my hair (Roschelle and Roxy) this morning, but since I don't have overnight to let them dry thoroughly, I put them out on some posts that are on the new part of the deck that Lon is repairing from the wind storm. It kinda looks like we beheaded a couple of people and stuck their heads on stakes. EWWWWW! Oh well, maybe that will keep away any solicitors going from door to door. Yup.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
IT'S A "FRIDAY" WEDDING DAY!
SLEEPY AND CLUMSY
AUTUMN IS A SEASON FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY BY LOOKING FORWARD TO SPRING.
Today's title tells the tale ( say THAT three times). I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I get so tired. My body tells me that is it Autumn - - - until I step outside and it is 90 plus degrees and humid as all get out! As Winter gets closer, I feel like hibernating in the house. I guess some of it is about the kids going back to school. I think we almost always started after Labor Day - - - more like in September, so these days seem like it is later in the Fall than it really is. . Anyhoo, that is the frame of mind I'm in. I don't want to rush this year away too fast, 'cause I still have a lot of yard work to catch up on. At least the grass is nice and green after all this rain. (that's another thing that has made it hard to sleep the last few nights - - - the thunder and lightning have been crazy).
All of the above is my excuse for not posting anything the last few days - - - I was just too tired (or perhaps just too lazy). LOL
I hate to mention it, but I have been incredibly clumsy lately. But, I will blame it on my Nina. Remember BFPICSIL? (Best friend, partner-in-crime sister-in-law). Well, I have been "doing" The Nina the last few days.
Let me explain something first. Lon has a sweet aunt, Dolores. Dolores has had severe hip problems for years and unfortunately has to use a cane and walks with quite a painful limp. Whenever anyone in the family has hip or leg pain and we are walking with a major limp, we sympathize and explain we are "doing" The Dolores. Well, Saturday, Nina and Little Ma were making a big batch of relish. Nina was carrying a huge bowl of chopped cucumbers, onions, and peppers across her kitchen. When, she went to set the bowl on her counter, she misjudged and didn't quite reach it. Down went the bowl all over the floor! Not only a mess, but a lot of hard work down the drain.
Okay, so Sunday morning, I was putting a tray of muffins in the oven for Lon's breakfast. I misjudged where the heck the oven rack was and not only dropped the whole tray, but flipped it upside down into the pre-heated oven. Krikey!! This whole gooey batter was baking and smoking on the oven door and inside on the oven floor! When I hollered about the mess, Lon asked me what had happened. I told him I was just "doing" The Nina!!!
It didn't help that I kept "doing" The Nina. I reached into the fridge to pull something out, and a big bowl of cut-up watermelon fell out onto the kitchen floor, the lid popped off and everything spilled all over. Yuck! Then - - - yup, I'm not finished, I had a stick of butter sitting on the kitchen counter. When I went to use it, the whole darn thing slipped put of my hand and fell SMOOSH! onto the floor. It was soft from being room temperature and couldn't be saved, no matter how much you try to justify the "five second rule".
I think I have really good grounds for just staying out of the kitchen altogether, right?
Talked to sis Sandy and bro Ken, and found out that Dad's house is being torn down. Amazing, considering that it has stood there for 150 years! The new owner has taken out most of the beautiful old trees, as he is going to farm all the way to the ditch along the road in front of the property. Times are a'changing. It will be surreal to see nothing but crops (and a few outbuildings that are being left) where the old Homestead stood.
Little Ma is finally feeling much better, and got to go to church this past Sunday. She has lost so much weight, that Nina took her shopping and Little Ma had to buy several new pieces of clothing, since nothing she has was fitting. She's now down to a Size 2-4. I don't think I was ever a 2-4 - - - well, maybe when I WAS 2 or 4 years of age!
Betty C asked me if I was having any problems with cataracts, since her friend, Dorothy, who has gone through all this breast cancer stuff already, is now having problems with her eyes. That is something I need to check on. I already had Lasik surgery done twice, and then had it touched up again when I had cataract surgery, but I notice when I shut my left eye, I can see clearer and when I open the left eye, it makes reading more difficult, because that eye is really blurry. I'll get that checked, Bet. Thanks.
My hair is coming in REALLY thick, but REALLY salt-and-pepper. Gee, ToTo, I'm not a blonde anymore. It is still short, but sis Sandy says hair usually only grows 1/4 inch per month, so it will take some time. Whatever. At least, now, I DO have time. :)
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
IT'S TIME. LET GO. (IT WILL BE OKAY)
Well, so far Alec is doing well in seventh grade. The first two days, he had half-days, and that went really well. By Tuesday afternoon, he looked at me and said, "I've had . . . I've had a GOOD day." That is huge for us, when he initiates a comment about something that has happened. (Finger-crossing time, People).
Cate and Abby start next week, and as far I can tell, they are pretty cool with it. Abby will be going to a new school this year, because she is starting middle school. Previously, Cate went to that same middle school so Ab is familiar with the building. Yeah!
While going through more of the folks' boxes of papers and such, I came across some things Mother had saved. I found the very papers I had colored on MY first day of school. I actually remember sitting at a group table, wearing a pale yellow sweater, and pressing the big fat crayons as hard as I could on the mimeographed drawing, because I wanted my reds and yellows and blues to be as dark as possible. I had crudely written "Janene" on the pages. Back then, Kindergartners didn't have to have too much knowledge of printing or coloring or counting before going to school. That is what they wanted to teach you during that first year. Now, kids are computer-smart, can almost write in cursive, and can read to a certain degree. I vividly remember friends Jeanie N. and Sue B. on the first day. They were wearing matching green print dresses that their grandmother (?) had lovingly made for them to start school. Since they were dressed alike, I asked them if they were twins, and they both laughed in glee about that remark. I also remember the afternoon "milk break" that we did. I hated to drink milk (still do), and that became a stressful time of day for me. As I recall, we didn't go half-days for a whole school year like many Kindergartners do today. . . we went full days for a half year. Surprise, after a few months, you got to stay home again, until the shock of First Grade, when you got stuck going a whole long day for an ENTIRE year!.
Since people move around so much these days, it is fun to remember all the kids that started school together and then ended up graduating together. Sue, Jeanie, Betty, Janna, Cindy, Ron, Keith, Paul, Karl, Verna, Craig, Leonard, Eileen, Chester, Steve, Loren, Al.
In our day, school clothes shopping often consisted of going to Rockwood's Store and selecting some cloth off of the material bolts in the backroom, and having your mom or grandma sew you some skirts or dresses. There was also the thrill of looking in the Montgomery Wards catalogue and picking out some plaid shirtwaist dresses (three for $10.00) You were supplied with a pack of socks, a pair of tennis shoes that were to last you until you outgrew them. (none of this super-expensive assortment of several pairs of shoes), a slip, some undershirts, underwear, a sweater and a couple of blouses. I don't remember getting any slacks or jeans. During the cold winter, girls were only allowed to wear long pants when the temperature dropped to 0 degrees.( In today's world, kids don't even have to go to school when it gets that cold). Otherwise, you were required to wear dresses under wool snow pants - - - pants like the little brother, Randy, wore in the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY. The only problem with wearing cotton dresses and wool snow pants was, you had to stuff the skirt of your dress down inside the snow pants because there were suspenders holding them up. By the time you got to school, you were a rumpled, crumpled mess. But then, so was every other girl. I don't recall if we, as Kindergartners, were even required to bring school supplies ie; box of crayons, notebooks, ruler, Kleenix. Nowadays, it's about a forty-dollar bill per kid to fix them up with all the crap that is required to start the school year. Then there are the high school years, with the expensive calculators, etc. Heaven help those families who have several kids to send off. NOTE: When my kids were completely out of school, I happened to clean out some of my drawers in my home office desk, and found an overabundance of rulers, colored pencils, protractors, compasses, pencils, pens, and all the other little essentials that were purchased every year when we went school supply shopping. Evidently, the kids felt they needed "fresh" supplies to start off the new school year!
My Kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Earle. At the end of the school year she told all of us little kids that she and her husband were moving away to a town called Guttenberg. I thought that sounded like a disgusting place.
So, all you parents sending your kids off to school this year, remember the quote for today:
IT'S TIME. LET GO. (IT WILL BE OKAY)
GOD BLESS YOU ALL (AND HEAVEN HELP OUR EDUCATORS!)
WE LOST ANOTHER FRIEND
REST IN PEACE, ELLEN
Yesterday we attended a funeral for a friend from high school. I had mentioned Ellen E. before, as she was often at the Ghosh Clinic at the same time as me. Usually her husband, Ron, was by her side while she got her infusion for cancer from a severe blood disorder, and Lon would sit and chat with both of them while I had my chemo - - - and usually fell asleep. At the funeral, Ron was absolutely crushed. When talking to him, you could hear his voice break as he tried to choke back a sob. He and Ellen were very close, and our thoughts are with the whole family.
Miss Abby came and stayed with us Thursday and Friday. On Friday, after her band lesson, Alec, Ab, and I went garage-sale-ing and had a good time. I was very fortunate to find two more Willow Tree figures (which I collect and realize that I have A LOT of them) that I did not already own. WHOO WHOO! Plus, Nina and Larry had given me a gift certificate for my birthday, to buy a new piece, since they weren't sure which ones I already had, so I made a trip to the Christian Book Store and I found the perfect one entitled "ALWAYS - - - I FEEL THE STRENGTH OF YOUR LOVE". I'll have to take a picture of my collection some day and share it with you.
Since I had the last drain removed, I am doing whatever I want!!!! I have managed to mow my yard, all of the shop area, Little Ma's yard, and our vacant lot. I am going to be cautious and not use the weed whip yet, since it is kinda heavy. I don't want to risk pulling anything that shouldn't be pulled or strained. But, still, it helps my frame of mind to get some of this mess cleaned up. I am planning on mopping my kitchen floor (even sweeping was a no-no before), and vacumning (Lon and Jenna were covering that for me), and carrying a basket of clean clothes upstairs from the basement. I know it sounds like I feel like I am now walking on the wild side after so long of not doing much physical stuff, but really, it's not as though I am planning on running with scissors or anything drastic!
We are slowly getting back to normal around here. We need to get crackin' and call some businesses that do house siding and get that lined up! Just one week before the storm, I had mentioned to Lon that I had never gotten tired of our house color (green), but I wished that it was a more modern style. It was originally put on 36 years ago when we built onto the house. We have the wider 8 inch type. After saying that, a week later we were in need of new siding, and the insurance company said to go ahead, that they would cover it! Wow! Talk about being careful about what you wish for - - - it may come true. I am happy about the new siding, but it's scary how we had to get it.
Hey, Abby and I are planning a little guessing game to put on this post, involving some crazy pictures. Watch for it.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
I LIKE LIFE . . . IT'S SOMETHING TO DO.
Lon is getting on with the deck repair. He's doing a great job and it will look even better than it did before. Also, I will be buying new patio furniture - - - but will probably have to wait until next year, since most of the sets are sold out for this season. There is a slim chance I can find what I want and perhaps it will be on clearance, since Autumn is almost here. Niece Tina called me a while back and told me that she had spotted some patio table umbrellas at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, since she knew ours had gotten smashed up. Unfortunately, Lon doesn't want me to buy anymore of them, because our last two umbrellas got mangled by wind, and he thinks possibly that MINE are like lightning rods that are attracting crazy winds to our town.
Tina messaged me and told me that not only is she walking with her mother-in-law's breast cancer walk team, but she will be walking in honor of me, too! How nice! I am going to see if I can get some buttons made with our team's name, THE OVERCOMER CLUB (Google "Overcomer" by Mandesa and listen to it. - - - whenever it plays on the radio, I turn up the sound and let it blast!), and make sure Tina gets one to wear. Talk about doubling up and taking on two groups! What a trouper. Hopefully we will walk near Betty Mc's bunch which would be a lot of fun. Dan and Tammy are not sure if he will be able to get off work and come that week-end, so we will have to wait and see if they can make it.
My Miss Abby is coming to stay with me for a few days. She is starting band this year (sax, I think), so I will need to get her to band practice for the next two days. Cate has been going to some kind of all-day band camp at Kennedy. She has been playing the flute for years and is quite good. Alec starts Junior High on Monday - - - can't believe that!!!!
I have been getting some feedback on the selfies I posted, showing my teeny sproutlets that are growing. Everyone is saying that when my hair is grown completely back, that I should wear the "Roschelle" style. Unfortunately, my hair grows completely forward, and doesn't quite meet the criteria for wearing the same style as my wigs. At this point, I would be happy with any kind of style with real hair.
As you know, I have mentioned how I was nicknamed "Ming Toy" by my dad, because when I was born, I looked like a little Chinese baby, since I had a mop of black hair. That was my first hairdo. I've had some real doozies over the years, including the "bowl haircut" that sister Sandy inflicted on me, It's true, she went on to be a great hairdresser, but when she was a young girl - - - well, not so much. My hair is string straight and one afternoon she decided to trim it while Mom was not home. Straight hair is not easy to cut. When you aren't experienced or had any training, it involves repeated trimming to get it even. However, if you keep trimming and straightening, soon there's hardly anything left.
I think she bribed me with a quarter to quit crying. Like THAT was going to make Mom unaware that I looked like a shaved monkey.
I've never really had long, long hair because I would get the urge to get it cut, and then It looked like crap, and I had to start all over again. When Judy and I were quite small, Mom decided to take us to the beauty shop and get permanents. After spending a long afternoon getting our hair rolled and twisted and doped up with smelly solution, we were finally done! On the drive home, Judy bounced and flounced about, feeling the thrill of gobs of curls about her shoulders. Then there was me. Remember my hair is naturally string straight. By the time we had driven the five miles home, my hair had gone perfectly straight! Bummer. It didn't help that my friend, Betty C., had the most glorious naturally curly hair. It was a glossy, dark brown - almost to the point of being black - color. I don't know what her mother, Grace, put on her hair, but it always smelled so wonderful. I've never fully forgiven her for having that pretty curly hair. LOL
I mentioned on a previous post that some years back I experienced the permanent from Hell where my hair was curled so tight that it looked like sheep's wool.. Another awful hairdo. But, I'm not so sure that wearing a wig is the answer, either. The other night, some lady that I didn't know, was trying to get my attention and I didn't pay heed, because she kept saying, 'Sir - - - SIR!!" Finally I caught on that she was talking to ME! Perhaps I need to order another wig with some length to it , so people won't mistake me for a guy!!!
I went to the plastic surgeon on Monday to see if I could have the last drain removed. He wouldn't do it, but he did snip the stitch on the outside that was holding the tube in place. That was such a relief.. Doc said that there was some kind of a "hub" on the hose right inside the body, so the tube won't slide out. However, I will be seeing Doc tomorrow to finally get the drain out, 'cause I have run out of time to have it. Yippee!!!
So, that is another example of repairs going well. Sweet! I'll take it.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
JUST PICTURES - OOOOOOH BOY!
Here are Bob and Larry (from the VeggieTales) that Alec insisted on buying and leaving propped on my kitchen counter. Unfortunately, Larry the Cucumber seems to have developed leprosy. Maybe it's time he took a trip to Garbage-Can Land!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS LARRY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD
THOUGH NO ONE CAN GO BACK AND MAKE A BRAND NEW START, ANYONE CAN START FROM NOW AND MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING.
Today is Dad's 88th birthday. You remember him . . . Mr. Geriatric MacGyver, age 55. Every so often I think about all has happened in the last few months, and it blows my mind. Surreal.
I was meaning to put some pictures on this blog, but my camera batteries are dead and - - - gasp! - - - I am out of AA's. I am never out of batteries. I keep a supply in my office closet of, well, everything. We are known for being the people who don't have A LOT of everything, but somehow manage to have a LITTLE of everything. If you need to borrow something, chances are real good that we have what you need lying around here.
Anyway, my sunflowers are bravely struggling to make it and I wanted to share that with you in a photo. Also my salt-and-pepper hair growth that is coming along. I felt that I now look like a really old-looking boy, but my husband made a reference to me about looking like an old MAN. Thanks.
If (and only IF) anyone is interested in joining our little band for the Breast Cancer Walk, please call me or leave a comment on these posts, and Jenna and I will sign you up. I am covering the entry fee for everyone this year.
Had a nice visit yesterday with old friend, Danny R., who stopped by from Georgia. We all touch base whenever we can - sometimes in Georgia and sometimes in Iowa.
Today is the third week since surgery, and the third week I have had my drain in. The right one got taken out last week, but the lefty is being stubborn, and I will once again probably go the entire distance and have it for the full four weeks. Even Lon is getting anxious about me shaking loose of my tether so I can help him around here. And I am ready!!
This is only August, and it is beginning to feel like Autumn already. Sis Sandy has told me for the last few years, that it seems like the seasons have jumped ahead a month. Watch for the signs. I think she may have something there. And school for Alec starts on the 18th, and the girls, on the 26th (?). The next thing you know, it will be CHRISTMAS!!!!
Hey, my new furniture came and it looks really nice. However, the recliner does not have a side handle to move it backwards or forwards, which is a little tricky right now. I have to kinda wham my upper body against the back of the chair to get it headed into recline position and then stick my toe in the crack where the footrest is and push it open. I am making it sound more complicated and difficult than it is, but when I can't use my upper body muscles too good right now, and my toenails are on shaky ground as far as stability, that's what is happenin' I had to get some new throw-rugs to go with the new furniture, since the old ones were the wrong color. And my walls could use a new coat of paint. And my coffee table is showing its age. And the lamps don't go so well with the new furniture. And so on and so on. Heck, I need a complete overhaul on my living room. :)
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
A SPARKLY SATURDAY NIGHT
BEING HAPPY DOESN'T MEAN THAT EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. IT MEANS THAT YOU'VE DECIDED TO LOOK BEYOND THE IMPERFECTIONS.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL (and Go! Alburnett!)
I have created a team for the Especially for You Breast Cancer 5K Walk in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on October 5th, 2014 in honor of Madre and her "cancer dance" this last year. Please come out and join us - to see the crowd in person is absolutely breath taking. The number of people affected by breast cancer really hits home when you see something like this!
If you have any questions, or need help registering, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registrations are online, and cutoff date is midnight on September 2nd, 2014. (originally posted it was September 30th, but reading through the information, I was wrong!)
Registration link is below. Main page link is www.especiallyforyourace.org.
Join the Overcomer Team as an Especially for You 2014 participant
Please visit this link to to join the Team:
Hope to see you there!
JUST ONE LITTLE STEP BACKWARDS
DON'T WORRY ABOUT FAILURES. WORRY ABOUT THE CHANCES YOU MISS WHEN YOU DON'T EVEN TRY.
Okay, here's what been going on. Unfortunately, I have had a small set back with the new implants. Nothing serious, just some pretty nasty pain. Wednesday, I went to Des Moines and just rode in the car, doing absolutely nothing with my arms. Thursday I went and picked up Cate and Abby, and they, Al, and I did some school clothes shopping. Still nothing too strenuous. After getting home, I was just standing in the kitchen and got this overwhelming feeling that all my strength had just drained out of my body, and I had to sit down, quick! I have never fainted in my life, but it felt like I might be finding out how that experience goes. Then I got this huge pain, just like a complete band, around my entire chest and back. It felt kinda like when my chest muscles had been cut to put the expanders in. OWWWWWEEEE. Then I got chills big time and felt very sleepy and exhausted. Hmmmmm. Yesterday, Friday, Little Ma came to our house to watch Alec for me while Lon took me to the doctor. There appeared to be no infection or fever or discoloring, so apparently this is something that happens and I will get over it. It seems odd that this would come on me, when I have really been making an effort not to use my arms and have really stayed inactive, so as to get these drain hoses out. The nurse did remove the right hose, which helped, but it's the left side that hurts the most. Whatever.
I went to bed really early last night, and slept good except for a couple of times when I woke up covered in sweat. I must have had some type of fever in my body going on, but all is well and the pain has pretty much gone away. Now it only hurts when I sneeze.
I was concerned about missing the classes reunion tonight. The Class of 1969 is partying tonight, and at 8:00, they are opening the doors to all other classes to come and see everybody. I have not seen some of these people in 40+ years. I have some of those HELLO MY NAME IS . . . lapel labels, so I may have to wear one tonight. A bunch of the old gang met up at Mahoney's in Alburnett last night, but I just couldn't get up and go. Very disappointing.
After leaving the doctor's office yesterday, I went to Jeffrey Scott's salon and picked up a fresh new Roschelle. This is the best I can do to as far as :"getting my hair done" for the get-together tonight.
Friend Sandi F. has been sending me such encouraging, wonderful thoughts in the comment section, and I truly appreciate her words. She has gone (and is going through) some major health issues in her life and has always been an inspiration to me. Such an up-beat gal, who really rolls with the punches. Aha! Another of the 'STEEL MAGNOLIA" women in my life.
SPECIAL NOTE: Betty C. is another inspiration AND a Steel Magnolia woman to me (just without the health crap - thank goodness). She has been a rock to her friend, Dorothy, who has gone through breast cancer and who is now a SURVIVOR!!!, plus Betty has worked to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Hey, I am going to have to make a list of my Steel Magnolia ladies, just like a I made the list of Fifty Shades of Gray. I am so lucky to have such strong women in my life. Whoo Whoo!!!!! Amazing.
Okay, for all of you past Alburnett graduates who may be reading this - - - put on your dancing shoes and pull on your party pants, and meet me at the Long Branch tonight, if you can.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL
... was diagnosed with breast cancer on November 11, 2013. This is a place for all of the people who love and care about her to get the information about her treatment and her personal experience of kicking cancer's ass, (sometimes from her daughter's perspective). It's hard to stand by and not be able to do anything to help. Writing gives my mom an outlet and allows both of us to share information during this time. Therefore, we blog :)