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Friday, November 30, 2012

Maybe this is it?

Good morning.
As was expected, it's been a very busy week in the Salon. Should look that way right through the holidays.
I'm happy to report, the Chiropractor I'm going to seems to be doing what I finally need. My spine was so out of whack, that although the physical therapy was strengthening my back, the spine was fighting it. That's why I hit a plateau and didn't get any better.  The physical therapy wasn't working on the initial cause of my pain. The Chiro said my spine was out of alignment so long, it was very hard to get it back where it belongs. The first few sessions just about killed me with him working hard to put it back. But the last session, it went back fairly easy. Even though I've only had 5 chiro sessions, I'm noticing an improvement with sleeping and morning stiffness. He thinks in another week or so, it should start staying where it belongs, and I'll be able to start spreading out visits.  I expect as I continue chiro treatments and my exercises, I should be back to normal soon.  :-)
Other than that, not much to say. We're in for another warmer than normal weekend, as temps are forecast to rise to near 60. That will be nice.  :-)
And now, time for work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

weekend done, and little done

Good morning.
Our weekend is over, and not a lot accomplished.  :-)
I did manage to do some cleaning.
Our clothes dryer has been making a squealing noise off and on for some time, so we thought we should get it taken care of. I went online and figured it was the belt. I thought I could probably do that myself, and found a YouTube video of the replacement. Good lord! After watching the video and finding out I'd need to take nearly the entire dryer apart, I changed my mind and decided it would be much easier to let a trained professional deal with it. I called Monday afternoon, and set up a Tuesday noon appointment. He arrived, and determined it was the pulley, which I assume is the same as a belt. Unfortunately, They had to order the parts, which should arrive today. But since I've got a very busy week in the Salon, I'll have to set up the job for next Monday.  He did say we could continue to use it, it would just make noise. He was impressed that we've had it for 10 years and no issues, but then again, it is a Maytag Neptune, and cost a small fortune back when we bought it.
We did manage to make big enough meals on the weekend to have leftovers this week. Monday, we had Craig's Tortilla Lasagna, recipe here, and Tuesday, it was Onion Apricot Pork Cutlets, a new recipe you can see here.
And I've got a Chiro appointment before work, so gotta go!

Monday, November 26, 2012

it's begining to look a lot like Christmas

Good morning.
 We ended up staying inside yesterday, so we tried to be productive.
Craig made a batch of broth.

He boiled the carcass from our Thanksgiving turkey, and added in several freezer bags of vegetable trimmings he had saved over the last few months. Doesn't it look all rich and tasty?
And we saw our resident possum. He's been hanging around the yard since he was a tiny little fella. We only see him on cloudy dreary days like yesterday, since they are suppose to be nocturnal.
I also got out some Christmas decorations.....



Spent the rest of the afternoon, reading blogs and playing on the puter.
This morning, I have a Chiro appointment, so I better get going.   :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

brrr

Good morning.
Well, actually, I wouldn't say good after looking out the window this morning....


Just enough snow to make the driving dicey. Good thing we got the snow tires on the cars. I needed them when I went to clean the Salon this morning.
Our high is only going to be in the upper 30's for the next few days, so I'm glad I finished up the outside work on Thanksgiving.
I've finished up with my physical therapy, and now I'm on home maintenance. My back still isn't quite right, but it's a lot better than it was. I feel I still have a spine issue, and physical therapy focused mostly on the back muscles. So I'm going to add some chiro appointments with my home maintenance. I'll let you know how it goes.   :-)
And that's about all I got for now.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Twas a Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning.
Happy Black Friday!
Though it's kinda a moot point now sense so many stores are opening on Thursday afternoon.  :-\
When i left the Salon yesterday morning, around 7:30 am, I noticed at the Best Buy across the street from our mall, there were 4 tents set up by the entrance.  Can you imagine spending all Thanksgiving, camped out, waiting for the midnight opening?
Anyway, we had a nice quiet day. The turkey turned out great as usual. Here we had just taken it out of the oven and pulled the stuffing bag out.

You can see the legs separating from the body. Craig likes to cook it until the meat is ready to fall off the bones.  :-)
We had so much we had to put the scalloped corn in a separate bowl.
And of course, yummy leftovers.  :-)
We'll have another turkey dinner this evening, and then I'll take the rest of the meat off the carcass and freeze it for later use. I'll freeze the carcass too, and after our 2nd turkey, boil them both down for some great broth.
And now it's time to get ready for work. I have a normal day scheduled for today. Tomorrow is looking a little slow which is typical after Thanksgiving. People are busy with family or shopping.  :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy turkey day

Good afternoon, and a Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday ended very busy. Was happy I had Thursday off.  :-)
I went into the Salon early today to decorate it for Christmas. I refuse to put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. While doing so, I discovered a section of lights were out on a long garland we hang on a wall.

You can see it here in this previously dated pic. It's in the upper left. I worked on it but could not get it to come back on. So I ran over to Meijer's, (yes, they were open on Thanksgiving) and could not find any lights similar. So I thought I'd just not put them up this year.
Went back to the salon and continued decorating.
When I put up the front garland over the door, there was a section out in that too.
So I took out a working section from the back garland, and fixed the front one.
After getting all that done, I decided I didn't like the back wall so empty, so back over to Meijer's where I got what I think are lights that will work. I brought all that home as I was running out of time to get the turkey in the oven.
Got home, took my shower, woke up Craig, and preceded to get preparations for the turkey.
First, I needed to make a cheese clothe bag for the stuffing.
There's nothing worse that taking the turkey out and having to scrap the stuffing out. These cheese cloth bags take care of that.
You stick the bag into the cavity of the turkey, and fill it with stuffing. When the turkey's done, you just pull out the bag!
The cheese cloth comes just the right width, rolled up lengthwise. it's 4 layers thick, just right for stuffing.
Just cut off the length you need, sew up the bottom and side, and it's ready to use. I did 2 since we'll need another one for Christmas.
I then cut up celery and onions.
Once Craig had the turkey ready, I mixed the croutons with the celery and onions and helped him 'stuff' the turkey.
And here's our turkey, stuffed, seasoned, and ready for the oven.   :-)
It's a 13 lb turkey, and Craig will over cook it about 6 hours where it will be moist, tender, and falling off the bone.   :-)
 And while that has been cooking, I went out in the yard and finished cutting the last few thing down. It's a beautiful 61 out right now. It's going to drop into the 30's for tomorrow, but I'll enjoy it while we have it.  ;-)
 Okay, turkey's smelling good, and I need to help Craig with the sides.  :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I don't like drama

Good morning,
Just a quick post before I dash off to the Salon.
I'm going in super early today because drama has emerged.
Yesterday, all of a sudden, 2 stylists seem to be 'missing' supplies. And with no proof, they think they know who. Now Craig and I got rid of our old salon because there was too much drama. We figured it was because they were all employees and our staff was nearly 3 times as large. Apparently, we were wrong. Drama can happen at any time, any where. Soooo, I'm going in to add locks to a couple of supply cabinets, to hopefully put an end to this bit of drama. When we opened our Salon 15 years ago, the 6 supply cabinets we put in do have locks, even though no one has ever used them. Now, since we have 8 stylists, we have 2 more cabinets without locks. So with them locking up their supplies, I'm hoping this will end the issue. I'm somehow, not so sure. But I can hope.  :-)
So, after dealing with all that yesterday, back home I spent the afternoon, cleaning, and organizing the other half of the garage. We have a 2 car garage, but there's a wall that goes down the center of it making it effectively two, 1 car garages. I cleaned up 'my' side Monday, and yesterday was Craig's side. His side was more work because that side is next to the house and so it collects all the 'stuff', since we don't have a basement. But I managed to get everything organized and cleaned up and now he has a place to park this winter.
And with that, I gotta go.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

another busy day

Good morning.
As hoped, yesterday was a nice day. Not sunny as forecast, (how unusual the forecast was wrong!) but mild with a high near 60. Our normal high should be 45.
So, I took full advantage of it.
First, I put snow tires on the Kia and Hyundai. 

When Craig bought the tires, he had them mounted on their own wheels, then it's just a simple swap.
And this is why we put snow tires on these cars.
The top one is for snow, the bottom one is the original low resistance one. Worthless in the snow.
And here's a snow tire about to be put on his Hyundai.
After those were done, I checked and adjusted the air pressure in each.
Then it was on to the downspouts. When I blew the leaves off the roof with my nice new powerful blower, I also was able to blow the leaves and debris out of the gutters.
So I just needed to get the hose out and flush out the debris from the downspouts.
After that, I changed the oil in the push mower, hung the bikes up in the garage, and put away the gas grill.
I also cut down a few more things in the yard. Today is also suppose to be nice and if it is, I'll be back out finishing up the last few things.
 We are ready for Michigan's long winter.
I also placed an online order for salon supplies, that should be delivered today. I really like the convenience of online shopping.  :-)

Monday, November 19, 2012

A day with Mom.

Good morning.
Yesterday was beautiful. Sunny, mild and near 60,but I didn't do a think outside. Why? I went to Muskegon to see my Mom.  :-)
We arrived around 9:30, and I helped her with a few things around her apartment. She had e-mailed my sister and brother that they reduced her Social Security by $100 but didn't know why. They asked me to get to the bottom of it if I could. Mom gave me the letter she received, and I figured out the reason.

She used to get help from a program that helped low income seniors with their medicare payment. And she certainly is low income. All she has is her SS payments and the help she gets from her kids. My parents never were very good at financial stuff, and with 6 kids, barely got by.
Anyway, our republican governor, and republican legislators decided that businesses were paying to many taxes and voted to reduce them. Well, the revenue had to come from somewhere, so one of the things they did was end the assistance program. So she isn't getting less, she just now has to pay for her medicare.
So once I got that figured out, we left for lunch at Applebee's. I had a hot roast beef sandwich with bacon and mushrooms that was delish, and Mom had the house sirloin and Craig had a cheeseburger and onion rings. Then it was over to the VFW for drinks and pull-tabs, which didn't go to good.  :-)
On the way back to her apartment, we stopped to get her some groceries. After putting her groceries away, getting her settled in with a Klondike bar, we headed back to Lansing, arriving safely.
On the way home, we stopped at a rest area. The Michigan dept. of Transportation runs the highway rest stops. This is the tiled floor in the entryway.

I like how they tiled the state in the floor.
And this morning, I have another 7am appointment with the physical therapist. I seem to be stuck in a no progress pattern. No worse, but not progressing either. I think it's time for another talk.
So time to go.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

another busy weekend

Good morning.
We're looking to have another mild weekend.  :-)
 I got out of work early yesterday, as we had scheduled the guy to come out and put in the fresh air thingy.

He arrived, and in an hour was done. It's that funny tube thing back against the wall. It goes through the ceiling and out the roof. It has a lever that we can open and close to adjust how much air we want coming into the house. It seems stupid to have spent all these years insulating, caulking, and weather stripping the house just so we can do this. But apparently this has become common on newer homes that are built more energy efficient. With the dryer blowing all that air outside, it has to come from somewhere, right? At least I can control when and how much air comes in.  :-)
And with him done and gone, I spent the rest of the beautiful afternoon outside.
I finished clearing out the parking area for the mo-ho, and Craig and I maneuvered him into his spot.

You can see it's a pretty snug fit between the house and the maple tree next to the fence.
I also changed the oil in the riding lawn mower now the mowing season is done.
I think the leaves are down about a week earlier than usual.
Friday after work, I did our shopping for the weekend and picked up our 4th turkey. I know, your saying 4 turkeys? That's right, 4. This time of year they are sooo cheap and I love turkey! We were able to get them for between .49 to .55 a lb. You can't get any meat that cheap! And they're not big, just 10lbs. up to 13lbs.
We'll have one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas, one in early Feb. and one in mid March. And as you've seen on Craig's blog, we use all the leftovers too!
And now, since I've already cleaned the Salon this morning, time for my shower and to get going for another weekend!  :-)

Friday, November 16, 2012

my mid week post.

Good morning.
The Salon has been steady. It's been a nice week so far and today and tomorrow are looking about the same. The weather has warmed a bit with the forecast of mid 50's this weekend. If that holds, I'll be able to finish with the outside chores.
The mall parking lot sure has looked dead this week with no big box store pulling traffic in. Jo-Ann Fabrics moved out Nov. 9th. It's no big deal to our business, as our staff all have a clientele and we didn't get many walk-ins as it were. But the mall looks even more empty now. At least our side of the mall looks pretty good as 5 of the 9 businesses are on our side. :-)
The 2 on the other side are Edward Jones, and a tailor, neither of which get many customers during the day.
And I forgot to mention, last weekend the turkeys went on sale, and so far, we've picked up 3 of them. The cheapest was .49 a lb. I plan on getting 1 more. There's just enough room for that in our little chest freezer. With he price of meat continuing to go up, turkey right now is a great buy.  :-)
Anyway, not much else going on, and I've got another 7am physical therapy appointment, so gotta go!
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the weekend review

Good morning.
Well, that gorgeous Sunday gave way to a cold rainy Monday.
I went in for my physical therapy appointment at 7am. At 9am, the service guy came over for the fresh air install. Because of the rain, he didn't want to do the roof part, so finished the inside stuff and scheduled the roof for Tuesday morning as it was suppose to be sunny. Little did he know you can almost never trust the weather man. Tuesday, I awoke to find this.....


And we also had a coating of snow on the roof, so he had to reschedule again. So we're shooting for Friday afternoon. We'll see.  :-)
Craig also took this Hyundai in for an oil change, to replace a light bulb in the fog light, and have the odometer verified for his rebate. He would have changed the bulb himself except you had to do it from behind which would have meant crawling under the car, removing a plate before you could get to the light fixture. Turned out, it was under warranty, so no extra cost to him.  :-)
And this dealer unlike any we've been to before, washes the car, and puts a carnation on the dash.
Wasn't that sweet!  :-)
And since it only got up to 38, I spent some time preparing the meals for our 2 late nights.
I cooked up a couple of pork cutlets, and a couple of chicken breasts. One paired with broccoli and butternut squash, and the other with cauliflower and squash.
And if you think steamed broccoli and cauliflower are boring, try spray butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Yummy!
So when we get home late on Wed. and Thur. just pop one in the micro and we'll have a nice tasty dinner.
And I have another physical therapy appointment this morning at 7am, so it's time for me to get going.
The back does seem to be slowly getting better. It sure is taking longer than I expected.
But then, I've been told that when you get older, everything takes longer. This getting old crap is really getting old.  :-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our last nice day

Good morning.
Yesterday was gorgeous! Sunny and 69. Our normal high for this time of year is 49.
We took full advantage of what is most likely the last time we'll see 60's. This morning it's raining and 53 with temps continuing to fall during the day and tomorrow's high is forecast to be only 37.  :-\
So out I went out and cut down more perennials. I'm about 90% done.  :-)
I also got up on the roof of the house and cleaned the leaves out of all the valleys.

As you can see from this earlier pic, we have a very low roof line, and because of the unusual floor plan, we have 6 valleys. And as you can see with the 2 valleys here, they catch a lot of leaves.
So I blew them off the roof, then out into the yard, and Craig did a final mowing of the yard. Pretty much all the leaves are down now and what few that are left, we'll be able to take care of easily.
My back seem to be at a plateau right now. No worse, but not better. But I'm sticking with my therapy, and I have another session this morning at 7am. And because of that, I better get going.  :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our sad little mall.

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon.
It was a nice, steady, busy, week.
Men came to repair the wall of an empty unit in our mall that was apparently hit by a vehicle.

I say apparently, because it was discovered in the morning. The wall was buckled inwards, but not broken through. No other physical evidence of how it happened. Any who, They had to take out the whole wall and window. It doesn't look like the brick is going to match very well, but we'll see once it's done.
Here's a pic of our new neighbor's space.
They have these posters covering the windows so you can't see what's inside. According to the owner, Herbalife won't let them have what appears to be a store front. They can have no signage of any kind featuring their products. They can't even have an open/closed sign, or even hours that they are open.
They have been very slow the last 2 weeks and I'm not sure they'll be able to make it. Time will tell.

Another pic of our corner of the mall. We're barely visible to the left. The rest are empty.
Across the mall from our space. There are only 2 store fronts occupied in the entire corner now that Jo-Ann Fabrics moved out of that big corner lite up section.
Our mall is U shaped and our wing has the most occupied as we have 5 businesses out of 9 units. In all there are only 8 businesses in this mall of 22 spaces.
I'm glad I don't own this mall, as he's not making much from it. I think he needs to lower his rental rates if he expects to attract more tenants. At least, we have plenty of parking!  :-)
And today is going to be the last  nicer than normal day as temps are forecast into the upper 60's before falling into the upper 30's by Tuesday. So I'll be out in the yard all day, trying to get the most out of it.
And with that, I gotta go!

Friday, November 09, 2012

almost never goes as planned

Good morning.

It's been a busy week so far at the Salon, and today and tomorrow look to be the same.
I went in extra early yesterday to work on the toilet. We've been having issues with the water filling thingy in the tank, so I had planned on replacing it before I started hair work. Well, as usual, things don't always go like they should. I tried to turn the water off to the toilet, but as tight as I tried to turn the valve, I couldn't get the water all the way off, just down to a trickle. I decided we needed a new shut-off value, so I turned the knob back the other way, except as I did, the water stayed at a trickle, instead of full pressure. Great I thought. The damn think is broke and stuck. Oh well. The good news is we were still able to use the toilet. The bad news was it took 20 minutes for the tank to refill. :-\
So, I got a bucket and kept it filled with water so we could go in and refill the tank as needed. This morning, before we open, our mall handyman is coming to replace the valve. He will have to shut the water off to the entire unit to do that, so it was nice he can come in at 7am to do it, since we have appointments starting at 8:30 this morning.
I won't be there, as my physical therapy appointment is also at 7am, but I gave him a key so he can let himself in. Craig won't be there as he thinks it's still the middle of the night, and he'll be just getting out of bed at about that time.  :-)
 And I heard the mall has rented another space. That's 2 spaces in just a few months, compared to nothing the last 4 years. Maybe the economy is looking up.  :-)
Now I'm off for my shower and to my physical therapy appointment.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

And back to work

Good morning.
Well, for 3 days, the forecast was for mostly sunny. Instead, it wasn't only mostly cloudy, it was completely overcast.  :-(
I don't know how a person can keep their job when they do it so poorly.
Now you know why I never look at the weekend forecast before the weekend is here since they can't seem to get 1 day right, much less an entire weekend.
Anyway, the election is over, and I imagine half of us are sad, and half of us are happy. Just like the last election. And the one before that. And the one before that. And so on. Now if only everyone would grow up and find a way to compromise to solve our nations problems. But I doubt it.  :-\
But enough of that......
With another crappy day out, I still managed a little outside work. I cleaned and rearranged the shed, so I can get all the outdoor stuff put away, and I mended a couple of fences to help keep the rabbits out this winter.
And we didn't get the dryer fresh air thingy done. The guy called 1 hour before he was to be here and said he would have to postpone the job because he didn't have all the parts he needed. I'm thinking, What? You had a week  to get what you needed and still you don't have it? I could have gone to Home Depot and got what he needed. Oh well, it's not like it has to be done right away. With the colder weather, it hasn't been venting inside, so we have plenty of time. So he's coming next Monday, I hope.  :-)

Pic of Craig and his new car back in June
And I don't know if you've read about the big mpg thing with Hyundai and Kia, but apparently for the last couple of years, they have been using the wrong mpg on their stickers. So that means Craig's Hyundai Accent doesn't get 40 and 30. It only gets 37 and 28. Now apparently Hyundai is going to reimburse car owners for the difference, which means Craig will get a yearly check for as long as he owns the car. And the amount will depend on how much he drives it each year and where he lives. I went online to their website, registered his car, and calculated his amount. $14.62. Nothing to get excited about.  :-)
That's the difference in the cost of gas he would have saved had the mpg been what he thought it was. 
He has to take it in to the dealer to have the odometer verified before they will issue the check.
The same issue is also with Kia, but starting a year after I bought mine. So apparently, mine does get the mpg it said.  :-)
And it's time for another work week, and it's looking pretty busy. So I've got to go.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

happy election day

Good morning.
And happy election day! I'm happy at least the ads and phone calls will stop.  :-)
It's another cold on this morning, 27 out and a nice layer of frost on the cars windshield. The hard freeze yesterday morning, did in the remaining fall flowers.  :-(
But I was then able to cut them back also, so now I'm just about 70% done.
I also gave the mo-ho a good final interior cleaning, and it's ready to park in it's winter spot, as soon as the rest of the leaves are down and cleared out.
 I've also returned to physical therapy. My back has been going downhill, and has been aching in the morning. I obviously quit the therapy too soon, and the home exercises aren't enough, so this time I'm going for the full recommended appointments.
I also got the cleaning bug, as I've been on a cleaning mission inside too. Yesterday, I vacuumed, dusted, straighten up, and as I write this, this morning, I've already scoured the kitchen, top to bottom. I think as of right now, the house is the cleanest it's been all year.  :-)
Craig also tried a new dish that I know will become a regular addition.
It called Velveeta Sausage Bake.

 It was yummy! And of course, you can get the recipe here.
 And this morning, we're having the fresh air thingy installed for the clothes dryer, so I need to get a shower and get ready.


Monday, November 05, 2012

yard work day

Good morning.
Well, yesterday didn't turn out as expected. It's amazing the weather forecasters can be so wrong.  On Saturday, the forecast for Sunday was to be sunny and 46. It turned out to be very cloudy, and only 38.
Oh well, be bundled up and went out anyway. I've got a lot to do before the snow comes.
Craig even helped with the burning.

Yes, that's a lot of branches. We have 2 very large Chinese Elms that constantly drop branches. They're really ugly trees shape wise, but the small leaves and open branching provides nice light shade, and in the fall, they don't pile up much like the maples do. And it was such a dry summer, I couldn't burn during the year.

Also this year, they have a new policy in place for burning permits. We had to physical go to the fire department and fill out a permit application and sign that we knew the proper protocol for fire burning.
Anyway, all that adds up to a very large pile of branches to burn. Not to mention the pile of ornamental grasses I cut down the day before.
After I got the fire going good, I left Craig to tend to it while I put the new belt on the riding lawn mower. It took a bit of time, but it's all ready for the last mowing in a week or so. There's still some leaves up in the trees.
And poor Craig got a little ouchy.
He said that's why he doesn't do yard work. I said I think you'll live.   :-)
And since I had a good fire going still, I took advantage and cut down more perennials. I have about 1/3 of the stuff cut down right now.
And today's forecast is mostly sunny and 43. We'll see about that. Right now, it's a bone chilling 22.
I believe this will be our first hard freeze. I'm glad I turned over the last of the bird baths yesterday, and emptied and put away the rain gauge.
And with that, time to get another day going.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

my Sunday post

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, where I spent extra time doing a more thorough job since I awoke super early thanks to the time change.  It'll take me a week or so to adjust to the time.
After finishing a busy week, I came home, bundled up and went outside. I cut down some of my largest ornamental grasses, so I can burn them today with a big pile of branches. It's suppose to be fairly nice today. Sunny and mid 40's. I hope to get a lot done outside. We'll see.  :-)
And here's a few pics of some of my other ornamental grasses.




I'll be cutting the rest of them down also. Probably next week, as I also have to get the new mower belt on the rider, and I want to give the mo-ho a good inside cleaning before parking him for the winter.
And with that, time to get going.

Friday, November 02, 2012

busy at work

Good morning.
It's been a busy week in the Salon.  We received our calendar shipment. 300 of them. I counted, sorted, and invoiced them for the staff. Everyone likes the bright orange covers we picked this year. Here's a stock photo from their website. They have a have suede and vinyl hard cover.

Ours were imprinted with the Salon name, address and phone number. We recently have had red and blue, and the brown were boring. I wanted the green ones, but got out voted.  :-)   But the orange is nice too.
I also got a supply shipment in that I restocked my supply cabinet in back with.
I also got an e-mail from the company that I ordered the mower belt from. It's been shipped using the USPS, so as slow as they are, it'll probably take a week to arrive.
That's okay, it'll probably take another week for the rest of the leaves to come down.
And I've got another 2 busy days at work, and an early one today, so I need to get going.
Have a great weekend!