Transitions

“Navigate your transitions by opening up to living a wholehearted, authentic life grounded in courage and self-worth.” – Gail O’Keefe

I happened to stumble across this quote this morning. It seemed to shoot straight into the centre of the swirling chaos that has taken up residence in my mind as of late. Transitions. It’s the perfect word to describe where I’m at in my Life at the moment. So much so that I can’t even put my thoughts into words where I’m at – which is very out of the ordinary for me. Usually my mind spews out thoughts quicker than I can type, yet over the last few weeks I am living in a perpetual thunderstorm inside my head – and my heart. Not an angry thunderstorm with brooding black clouds but a thunderstorm that is clearing the way for clear skies and thoughts. This quote holds the ticket. The ticket to the usual process of my thoughts and the way I generally choose to live life; with authenticity. My courage has tripped and stumbled and self-doubt has managed to slither in through the crack under the door, so to speak. It always seems as though when there is an inkling of weakness that the nasty nonsense that is lingering on the border of thoughts gathers together and charges in like a raging bull hoping to crush the Spirit that has withheld its advances for so long. I have been sucked into the evilness of over-thinking but today I have decided to grab hold of the parasitic practice and slam it to the ground…then stomp on it with my stilettos. A perfect use for impractical footwear.

” Think for yourself. Trust your own intuition. Another’s mind isn’t walking your journey, you are.” – Scottie Waves

I have made the realization that I have taken up residence in this mindset of over-thinking long enough. Realistic thinking that focuses on forward and positive momentum to better oneself is where I’m finally at. This is not a selfish act as I’ve been privy to hearing a few times lately. Nor is this mere self-preservation. This is about taking charge of my Life. Leaning into it and letting the wind blow my hair into tangles, feeling the sunshine bright and hot on my face, stomping through mud pits that try to hold me in its grasp but staying focused on the other side. Taking ownership of oneself by living authentically not only empowers the individual but impacts those around them, allowing them to do the same. We all hold back far too much. We worry about what someone else might say or think, we don’t want to be seen as eccentric, or possibly we have never thought there was anything else to life except running on the same hamster wheel day after day. I have always had my own mind and been a strong-willed female from the get-go. While I was often soft-spoken and jovial in my approach to things I have found that I have let Life steal moments from me occasionally. No more! I’m here to live…to dream…to play! To embrace the love of living like never before. Sometimes this means pulling forth strength from within that I never doubted having but that I never needed to rely on like I need to in this moment. I need to assemble my courage and self-worth to unprecedented levels and be more Me than I’ve ever been. To be true to Myself and to respect my own instincts while always being gentle with others. There is no accomplishment in being nasty to people in the name of being truthful to yourself. I would like to recommend that those that view another individuals journey into authentic living as a personal offence take a good hard look at their own life. If authenticity is undertaken as a means to embrace Life and love while being in full connection with oneself, transitions will benefit everyone involved. Change isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts like hell but brings a stagnant or unproductive state to one of empowerment and happiness down the line of Life. Other changes are for sheer personal empowerment or unrealized dreams finally brought to the forefront. Ultimately, change brought on in a methodical manner would be most beneficial. However, in this life of mine that never seems to fall short on the pizzazz-o-meter, a plethora of changes have decided to create a landslide at present. I know I will come through the other side, perhaps with a few bruises and scrapes but ultimately I will still have a smile on my face…even if it’s pasted on for effect.

” The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

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I Dream In Shades of Green

Here in the Northern hemisphere winter has unfolded and Old Man Winter’s icy breath blows relentlessly. The beauty can be awe-inspiring to some, downright depressing to others. I am of the inspired mindset. I tend to do a lot of inner work when winter settles in. Inner as in practicing self-love, or taking care of my Spirit, focusing on what I need to keep joy in the heart and regain focus on health. As an avid gardener, horticultural tech and professional landscaper I tend to yearn for garden time while simultaneously rejoicing in a bit of a break in the schedule. Plants are always on my mind…seriously. I dream in varying shades of green. I long to get my hands in the soil and mud on my boots. To smell the earthiness of freshly cultivated soil.

 

Something I had failed to ponder, which now occupies my mind almost on a daily basis is what exactly is going on within the garden while we are, for the most part, forced out of it. There is surely magic taking place. I find it fascinating to think upon what is shakin’ underground that we never see. The slowing of the biological processes of what we are aware of that is above the soil line while life force is still maintained. The energy that is still flowing constantly while for the most part we as humans deem the garden to be resting until we get back into the garden to assist; as if plants were relying solely on our actions.  I am humbled by the realization that we are merely a player on Mother Nature’s stage. 

 

 

winter garden

 

 

 

 

Kick It!

What am I kicking you may be asking. Well, it just so happens to be list making time. While I’ve never really jumped on the Party Your Face Off on New Year’s Eve bandwagon, I do like to use January 1st as a sort of stock-taking day. To scan both the vibrantly glowing and the dusty, cob-webbed corners of my mind in search of what I learned from the previous 365 days and how I choose to move forward through the next 365. An intriguing individual that I have come to know in the past year made a statement that hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I summarize when I say that he stated that each day is a new chapter not each year. Very wise, and the truth as I’ve always believed it to be. We don’t live year by year as those that seem to pivot their lives around New Year’s Eve would lead us to believe. We live day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Each fragment of time is unique and within it holds incredulous moments. When my eyes open each morning, I give thanks that I have another day to experience joy. This is always my first thought. Seriously. This may sound hokey to some of you but it gets every day started on a positive note and in a forward direction.

 

 

Kicking it means two things to me – getting rid of something that is no longer of use to me and my journey and to initiate action to the extreme. Those of you that know me well know that I can be a bit hardcore with certain things so kicking it up to the extreme means a whole heap of willpower has to be employed. Let’s  just get right to the list, shall we?

 

 

 

Kick It Style #1 – Don’t bring me down.

 

 

1. Usually external things get to us all and create unwanted stress. Little things like someone cutting us off on our way to work or plain old rude behaviour. I’ve worked on taming the tigress inside of me over the past few years as far as not allowing others to get to me and stress me out as much. I’ve noticed my tigress stretching occasionally  as of late with the desire to lash out (both internally and externally) over menial things to which I would rather use control and poise. I accept my inner tigress and value her greatly but there is a time and a place for her abilities and power. That said, I am all about allowing irritation from others roll off of me. Meditation comes in handy here.   Letting it go.  To realize that some individuals are just moody bastards or buzz killers and frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that! 

 

 

2. Don’t push your agenda or religion on me or others…we all have our own. Just yesterday a patronizing individual tried to verbally overpower me by trying to force their agenda on me. This is more than a simple ruffling of the feathers here folks. When “No, thank you” was not working I had to pull out the big guns…yup, inner tigress. See, there is a time and a place. No stress, no raised voice just simple eye contact and force of character.  Say goodbye to Mr. Irritating!   I would love to hear what others have to say and I highly respect your opinions. However, respect mine as well. Thank you.

 

 

3. Bad vibes. I will merely smile at you until you feel like a tool or scram. Complaining and whining is ugly. I need to mentally tell myself to stop if I head down this path too. There is no use for such things. Let’s just stick to good vibes or if that’s too difficult, neutral vibes.

 

 

good vibes only

 

 

 

4. I am nobody’s doormat. I love the quote by Pablo Picasso, “Women are one of two things, a goddess or a doormat.” I choose to be a goddess.

 

 

Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

 

 

5. Goodbye laziness – hello action!

 

 

6. Coffee as the first thing that hits my stomach in the morning. I know, I know. I am a severe addict where coffee is concerned and this is going to command a LOT of willpower on my part. This practice is doing me no favours so it is being kicked. Simple as that.

 

 

 

Kick It Style #2 – Here We Go!

 

 

1. Since the end of the work season (landscaping ended at the beginning of December here), the ladies I call co-workers/friends and I have been discussing ways to stay strong and fit during the winter months. Interestingly we have all taken a different route. I have embarked upon a mixed martial arts style full body workout daily for three months. After this time, I will be back at work and I’m sure I will still be kicking my own butt at home. Just for the record, I am not sparring or fighting. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I just like the defined muscle and definition of a fighter’s physique which will be mine with much hard work and dedication.

 

 

2. The volume of Life is being cranked! I am ready to ROCK!

 

 

3. I am realizing a few dreams this year that I have carried in my heart for many years. I will share them with you as they come to fruition.

 

 

4. I love, seriously and completely, love to be silly and live and laugh with abandon. Not in an embarrassing immature fashion but in a “let’s not be so serious all the time” sort of thought pattern.  This is not new to me but is a must as this is one of my defining characteristics. It is refreshing to be surrounded by friends of a similar mindset. If they are going to stare, give them something to look at. Or as Bonnie Raitt so superbly stated, “Let’s give them something to talk about.”

 

 

Ooo...so tempting.

Ooo…so tempting. Photo taken by unknown.

 

 

 

5. Staying in touch with nature and spending time outdoors is vital to my wellness. I feel drained when the connection with nature has been severed too long…like more than a day.

 

 

 

Each and every day I plan to make a difference in some way. Whether it be putting a smile on someone else’s face, sharing limitless love, helping others when needed with no expectations, or simply being a shoulder or an ear when such is needed. By bettering ourselves, it becomes easier to be there for others. We have more strength, love and compassion to share when we feel good about ourselves. I challenge you to do something each day that makes a positive difference in your life or someone else’s.

 

 

 

Let’s KICK IT! 

Summer of Revelations

I have learned a lot this summer. About myself and life in general. I’d say that I am sad that summer is coming to a close but that would be a lie. I am elated at the prospect of change. Change of the season to Autumn, change of daily routine, and change in temperature. I respond well to change, I think. It keeps me on my toes and makes everything  fresh!

 

 

I never thought of myself as a Being of Summer. Boy, how things have changed. The heat and humidity are not high on the fun-factor scale for me but I can deal with it which I never used to be able to. This summer I have developed the look I always sought when younger but could never accomplish; hair bleached by the sun, tanned limbs and absorbing vitamin D in the form of sunshine like nobody’s business! This really hit home when my Grannie said to me a week or so ago, “You are definitely an outdoor girl.”  I used to be the girl who hid from the sun to keep my  pale skin from freckling and turning the shade of a cooked lobster. Now I work in the sunshine daily and am trying to be smart about precautions while maintaining reality. I certainly don’t spend my days off laying in the sun!

 

 

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things…

I play with leaves.

I skip down the street

and run against the wind.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Yesterday, I realized something quite extraordinary – I am only twelve pounds away from the weight I was throughout high school! Mind you, after having two children, the joy of passing time, and working a very physically-demanding job my body shape has changed significantly (for the better, I think). So, I plan on saying goodbye to those clinging twelve pounds before the end of this work season and accomplishing a task I had never thought was all that important until now since I am so very close to accomplishing it. Weight in terms of the scale is not all that important to me but how my body responds to exertion through work and play is paramount. I have become strong and more defined muscle-wise over the past two work seasons and am liking how I feel! I intend to keep getting better in terms of health and strength. My lazy and uninspired days are behind me.

The other day something occurred to me when I was listening to an acquaintance talking. This individual had mentioned how difficult and time-consuming it was to be environmentally friendly. WHAT? This came as a shock to me as it was in that moment I suddenly realized that I basically run on autopilot when it comes to issues of environmental responsibility. Sure, I’m not perfect and I sometimes make poor decisions but overall I feel responsible for my actions and have integrated this thinking into the every day so it is the norm in my world. It seems so archaic and offensive not to care about the planet we all share and its inhabitants. I seriously don’t understand the unconcerned mindset.

 

 

One of the biggest revelations this summer has been that sometimes, there is no going back home. Recently I went back to my hometown to visit family and friends. I quickly realized that this may be their home but it is no longer mine; I am merely a visitor. At first this thought made me uncomfortable so I dug a bit deeper to understand the reason for my discomfort. I think part of the parcel is that my parents are aging (as we all are) and I have moved in a different direction as offspring are supposed to do. When I first moved away from home at the age of 19 to St. Catharines, I knew no one here. It was not only an adventure but it was sometimes lonely and scary until I made friends and connected with others. Luckily, this was only a matter of days that I wound up in the company of good people. This city has become my home over the years and has replaced my hometown as the place I identify with. I no longer consider myself a Peterborough girl  and this puts a bit of a lump in my throat. Honestly though, the Niagara Region has opened its arms wide with welcome and I am now enfolded in its embrace. I love living here!

 

 

This summer has also shown me more of the incredible natural beauty that surrounds us here in the Niagara Region. We have such a diverse landscape that is teaming with incredible natural wonders. The Niagara Region is tucked between two of the Great Lakes – Lake Ontario (I live on the south shore) and Lake Erie. There are over 200 walking, hiking and cycling trails to be enjoyed and shared with incredible flora and fauna at every step. The Region has created many naturalized sites to encourage wildlife to do its thing and give a safe haven for many species. One of my favorite hikes/walks is up the escarpment by Niagara College. It has a feeling of such intense history to be with these particular trees and rocks and gives an all-encompassing feeling of being a part of Nature not just an outsider looking in. These photos were taken in the late Fall a couple years ago but the escarpment is beautiful in every season.

 

 

 

One of my favorite walking trails on the Niagara Escarpment

One of my favorite walking trails on the Niagara Escarpment

Ericsson 2012 343

 

 

 

Within a short walking distance from my home is the Welland Canal. Even though I’ve lived in St. Catharines half of my life I still find the Canal interesting. It is fascinating that these huge freighters and  sea-going ships make their way through a system of locks up the Niagara Escarpment. For a brief description of the Welland Canal see this link. When my kids were itty-bitty, they used to love to go sit at the locks with me and watch as the ships went through. They were thrilled to bits when the workers on the massive ships would wave to them. Recently I have visited the Canal again a few times and realized that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are or where you come from the Welland Canal is an incredible feat of engineering.

 

 

I’m sure I need not dwell on the prominence of wineries in this region but seriously, they are worth a visit and the trip along the wine route. Wineries play a huge supporting role in the area’s mindset and activities. Good food and great wine are the specialties of an area filled with orchards, farms and vineyards. It’s easy to eat well here.

 

 

Another huge revelation for me and I think the most important of all – I need to live the life I envision for myself. We all have dreams, desires and are called deep from within our Soul to certain places, people and actions. Respecting someone else’s dream is essential to living our own.

 

 

Learning to love the Life we have and moving forward instead of stagnating or going backward is on my mind. I see movement in my future…I strive for joy each and every day through learning new Truths…to treat myself and others with kindness…to appreciate all that is on offer.

 

 

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open

where there were only walls.”

– Joseph Campbell

 

 

 

Road Trip – Part Two

I’d like to introduce you to my great friend Steph.  Steph and I became instant friends about 12 years ago when we met at a playgroup with our babies. Our daughters became friends and we naturally did too. Our friendship has been positive and uplifting since that first introduction. You know that feeling when you first meet someone and you just “click”? That’s us. Clickity-click ever since. This is my favorite pic of Steph. She is a chameleon of awesome hair styles and rocks each and every one.

 

 

steph

 

 

 

Now that you know a bit about Steph, I will get to telling you about her half of our road trip together to Ottawa. While I was lounging around in a state of bliss, she was racking up some serious kilometers and using super-human amounts of willpower.

 

 

Steph decided to participate in a grueling bike ride to support and raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She feels compassionate towards those she personally knows (and those she doesn’t) that are dealing with this debilitating disease. She chose to participate in this ride with her two sister-in-laws in support of her father-in-law that is living with MS. Let me explain to you how incredible I think Steph is for participating. Not only is she doing something to make a difference, she has embarked upon this trek with very little past road training. She purchased a bike strictly for this event a couple of months prior to this ride and quickly racked up the kilometers on local bike paths and roads. I am still amazed at how she jumped in with both feet and never looked back! Mind you, this shouldn’t really surprise me since Steph is the type of individual that once she commits to something she is all in. I have deep respect for her ability to do so.

 

 

The  MS Bike Tour  that she completed was from Ottawa to Cornwall. Here is the map of the ride route. She rode 100 km on the first day of the ride and another 100 km on the second day for a whopping 200 km altogether! Incredible!

 

 

Steph and her bike

Steph and her bike

 

 

If you would like to donate to the MS Society and congratulate Steph and Team Two Tired on their successful ride, you can do so until September 10th at the following link.  

http://mssoc.convio.net/site/TR/BikeTour/OntarioDivision?px=1215268&pg=personal&fr_id=2140&s_locale=en_CA 

 

 

Steph and I had arranged to meet up at the finish line, figuring that I would be there to see her finish her quest. She was too quick, riding like the wind, and already had her flowery flip-flops on and her bike packed in the car ready to hit the road for home by the time I arrived. She was cool and confident as usual when I spotted her standing to the side of the finish line. What a woman!

 

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

 

Steph, let me tell you yet again how fantastic I think you are. Your tenacity and overwhelming desire to do the right thing are truly inspiring. The world is a better place because you are in it.   xo

Born To Be Alive

I feel so alive! I’m not sure whether it is the extreme exhaustion of five 8-9 hour days of landscaping/gardening/mowing at work or the sudden warm weather of 16-20 degree Celsius and burning sun that we have been enjoying over the last week. Perhaps it was the crazy dancing that took place last night after a hard day at work until almost 1 a.m. Or just maybe it was the impulse purchases I made today. Whatever the cause, I am bursting with exuberance.

I am thrilled with my first purchase of the day which was a new spade. Yes, I am easy to please it seems. I bought myself the same type of spade I use at work since mine somehow went MIA somewhere along the line. A girl needs to dig sometimes and needs the right tool to do so. Almost as soon as I got home with my new spade I put it to use edging my veggie garden in preparation for rototilling. I am as giddy as can be about prepping the garden for planting. Seeing a growing veggie garden is like a mini Utopia in my own backyard.

Then I went a bit wacky and bought something that I honestly never thought I would own…a leather jacket. Gasp! I am struggling with this a bit, I must be honest. I very seldom purchase leather items as it seems so very wrong to me to wear another animals’ hide. However, this was a pre-owned jacket that I don’t think has ever been worn so buying leather seems a bit easier for my conscience to swallow. This insanely gorgeous jacket nearly jumped off the rack into my arms, I tell you! I wouldn’t bend for any old jacket though. This beauty is lime green and says “purrrrrr”. It really does. As soon as I slipped it on it was mine.

We all need to do the things that make us feel alive. Live life the way we dream in our mind’s eye. There is nothing that fills the Soul with the presence of Life like throwing back your head and laughing until your stomach muscles hurt, letting the wind whip your hair as it so pleases, and feeling Life force make you glow so others notice.  Life is to be lived, not to watch it pass you by.

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’

and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”  – James Truslow Adams

On A Mission – 2013

I fear the New Year’s ball dropped on my head. I can’t seem to get focused the last couple of days, but not for lack of trying. I have so many ideas and projects swirling around inside my noggin that I am trying to process that I feel like I need a vacation to recoup from the Holidays! Does anyone else feel like this?

 

 

I was excited at saying goodbye to 2012 and welcoming in 2013. I even sat down on New Year’s Day and jotted down my intentions for this year. I started doing this last year and I referred back to my notebook throughout the year. Some of the things I listed were accomplished efficiently while many other points remained untouched. I don’t want to carry over last year’s intentions and feel weighed down by them so I created a new list without rereading last year’s before doing so. There were a few similar items on my lists but the intentions became more focused, less general. A good friend and I were discussing intent a few months ago and she said something that felt like she had hit a gong inside my skull. “If you are general and vague with your intentions, you will get a vague result.” I don’t want wishy-washy results. I want clear, concise results! So, while writing my intentions for this year, I was precise and to the point. It is only as hard as you make it. We have become so conditioned to feel sheepish about saying what we really want; even to ourselves. Don’t be. You are worth wanting to better yourself, to move in a forward direction. There is no shame in accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself or acting on a dream. Put aside ego when you jot down your list of intentions. It shouldn’t be about what others think of you or how much power you hold over others. This should be about allowing your innermost dreams, goals and insight to speak up.

 

 

 

I will share one of my goals with you. Like many other people, I like to think of the New Year as a clean slate; a jumping-off point for change. Last September, I made the leap and went 30 days without wheat, sugar or dairy. It was incredible! A few of you took that journey with me and for you I am grateful. It was such a great support mechanism to share the experience with like-minded people. I even made a few new friends out of the experience which made it even better. I lost 22 pounds  and went down three pant sizes by changing my food choices. I felt more energetic and healthier than ever before all within a week or so of changing what I was consuming.  Over the past month, the omitted items seemed to slowly creep back in. Not to the extent I had eaten them prior to September, but they were still there. I have set myself the goal of kicking wheat, sugar and dairy once again. I started January 1st and can already feel a difference. Pretty powerful. I have 15 more pounds to go before I reach my college weight. I am having a really hard time wrapping my head around this. I never thought I would ever get this close again to that number. I have always tried to maintain the “weight isn’t just a number” mentality. That only works for so many years before I realized that  those 15, 20, 50 extra pounds are creating health challenges over the long-term that I have absolutely no interest in. The number on the scale is relevant as long as you factor in other aspects of health as well. I am interested in a sculpted, muscular body not a stick. I would rather have the scale tell me I am a few extra pounds of muscle than it give me a  smaller number and not be in optimal health.  Partnered with proper fuel (food), this says “healthy” weight to me. So, my goal/intention is to lose the remaining 15 lbs while eating wheat/gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and being active for at least 30 minutes each and every day.

 

 

Yesterday and today I put away the Christmas tree and decorations and cleaned up any bits left behind.  Packing away the signs of the holidays makes me realize that I am no longer in celebratory slow-mo. I need to give my head a shake, flick off the dust, and get a move on. I am primed and ready to meet 2013 with a vengeance – I have dreams and goals to accomplish!

 

 

 

 

“Reach high, for stars lie
hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

Pamela Vaull Starr

 

 

Liebster Award

A big thank you to Cyndi at Healthy A-Z for the Liebster Award nomination. I am honoured that you enjoy my blog posts enough  for recognition. The Liebster is focused on blogs with less than 200 followers. What a great way to get the word out about blogs by others that we may not have had the pleasure of finding ourselves! I highly recommend checking out Cyndi’s blog. She is an inspiring woman.

 

award-liebster-award

A factor in receiving this award is answering a few questions to help you all get to know a little more about what makes me tick. Here goes!

 

How would you describe yourself in one word?

Spirited.

 

 

What is your favorite quote?  

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”     – Harriet Tubman

 

 

If you could spend one month with a person from history who would you choose?

I would choose to spend a month with Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee. He was a man of great vision and passion for helping others. His life story is incredibly intriguing and gave me a huge respect for him as a person and as a scientist. His work changed the world of health and medicine. I will be adding a page soon on my personal website (found at the right-hand side of this blog as Live Love Be Green)  regarding Dr. Shaklee and his scientific career. Truly a fascinating individual.

 

 

What modern convenience could you easily do without for the next year?

I could easily live without a microwave oven. I have a love-hate relationship with the microwave. It is too easy to use for reheating food even though I know they it is unhealthy. After a year without a microwave I would be reprogrammed into not feeling the need to use it.

 

 

Where was your favorite vacation?

My favorite vacation was a side-trip to Wales while visiting England. There was something so homey and mystical about Wales that the experience has stayed with me as almost a “home-coming” of sorts. I intend to revisit Wales at some point.

 

 

I have chosen the following blogs for my Liebster Award Nominees:

Late Bloomer Show

The Girl in Yoga Pants

Change My Body, Change My Life

Candid Impressions

Confessions & Dreams

Homesteading Downsized

 

 

These bloggers always post thought-provoking material that I look forward to reading. Please visit and show them some love. Here are the questions for these nominees to answer on their blogs:

How would you describe yourself in one word?

What is your favorite quote?

If you could be anywhere at this exact moment in time, where would you be?

If you could have a conversation with anyone, from the past or present, who would it be?

What is your favorite time of the day, and why?

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

 

 

Thank you, once again, to Cyndi at Healthy A-Z and all of you that take the time out of your busy day to read my blog.