Goodbye September and Whole30

September 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Today is the 30th day of my Whole30! The last day! Woohoo! I did it. As far as I know I was totally compliant the whole time. Well, still have half of today to go, but whatever. I did not weigh myself at the beginning of this whole30 so I don’t know how much weight I lost. However, I am very happy because all of my fat clothes, which were tight when I started, are now loose. Don’t you hate when your fat clothes are tight? That’s the worst. I feel great and very detoxed.

My plan is to forge ahead tomorrow with a basic NSNG (no sugar, no grains) approach. Naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit and dairy are fine. I will, however, be mindful not to overindulge in either. And I think I’ll be fine with that. I don’t eat or crave that much fruit anyway. I’m going to start by reintroducing dairy slowly and see how I do with that. I’m starting with heavy whipping cream in my coffee in the morning. If I feel like it’s making me crave sugar then I’ll re-evaluate. I think it will be fine, though. I’m staying optimistic that I can reincorporate dairy in a moderate way and be ok. I’m not always so good with “moderate” though, so we’ll see.

So what has happened in my fascinating life since I last overshared…last Thursday?

That day I met with the awesome ladies behind Molly and the Hoola Monsters, a new kids’ DVD soon to be released starring MY friend Molly. Here’s a little preview:


They are having a FREE premiere screening at Sunken Gardens on Sunday, October 20th. They will also have hooping demonstrations, treats, and all of the cast of characters will be there. Click HERE to RSVP and get more information (or let me know if I need to send you an invite…but it’s open to the public!). We’ll be there to cheer Molly and her friends on!

Later that afternoon I had great parking karma at Publix.

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I ended up having a late lunch and wasn’t very hungry Friday night so this was my dinner:

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Chewie knows when fruits and vegetables are being prepared that he is going to get a bite.

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Friday morning Mack, Chewie, and I walked to school.

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Friday breakfast:

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Friday afternoon, lots of decorative gourds at Fresh Market.

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Also Applegate Farms organic hot dogs on sale until October 8th.

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Interestingly I posted that picture on Facebook and about half of the comments were, “Whoa, that’s crazy expensive” and half were, “Wow, that’s a great deal.” I guess it’s all relative. Apparently even the regular price on these at Fresh Market is less than at Publix (and about the same as Target).

Friday night I made Cocoa Toasted Cauliflower.

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You can find the recipe here on Melissa Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.

It may sound strange, but it was really delicious.

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The boys loved it and Chad said it was the best cauliflower he had ever had (and I make cauliflower fairly frequently).

Saturday breakfast:

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The star fruit is from a tree in my friend Debbie’s yard. She is my Annie’s Organics coordinator. She also has a big Florida avocado tree in her yard. We get bonuses in our shares from her yard!

I did some food prep on Saturday.

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Saturday dinner:

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Sunday breakfast:

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Sunday morning the boys and I met my friend Ali and her daughter Molly (of Hoola Monster fame) at Artpool for an indie market.

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There were lots of Etsy sellers there.

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All kinds of handmade cuteness.

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I loved these tote bags, all made out of livestock feed bags.

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The craftsman told me that most of the bags come from feeding their own animals, but friends also save bags for them.

One of these catfish feed bags came home with me (I can’t resist a good aqua color).

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They were only $7 and I wish I had bought another one as a gift. I have to say that they do sort of still smell like animal feed inside. I can live with it.

I also loved all this found-object art:

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Bicycle chain bracelets!

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In the bicycle theme, I could not resist buying this adorable bunting for a friend (and she may be reading this and is guessing it’s for her and she’s right):

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This artist/craftsman (em lee) had so many adorable applique objects…

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This little pillow of hers also came home with me.

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Cal REALLY wanted this beat up suede trench coat…

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but it was out of his price range so we had a discussion about delayed gratification. I hope I learned something from that discussion.

Mack and Molly both found something to buy:

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I also let both boys buy a novelty pack of gum.

Cal chose:

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Mack chose:

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Which is not true and is almost ironic since the only “bands” he’s seen in concert are The Wiggles, Hi-Five, Jack Hartmann, and Flo Rida at the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete Half Marathon. And I may be old but I DID get to see all the cool bands. Or at least a bunch of them.

After shopping at the crafty fest we went up Central Ave. to Beak’s Old Florida for lunch.

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It pays to check in on Yelp at Beak’s. There is a BOGO first drink check-in offer on there. I had already used it the last time I was there because I am The Duchess!

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I got a burger with a house salad (no cheese) on the side with oil and vinegar. Then I removed the burger from the bun and plopped it on top of my salad.

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It was pretty tasty.

Dinner Sunday night:

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Chad roasted some salmon and on my piece he used the last of the Moroccan dipping sauce as a marinade (from the “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat” recipe here). I used that sauce at about half a dozen meals. It’s a great recipe.

This morning Mack, Chewie, and I walked to school.

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When I got home I was in a hurry to get ready to go back to school to volunteer, so my LAST whole30 breakfast (for this time at least) was a quickie.

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OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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This top is from Gwynnie Bee, the “Netflix” for women’s clothing size 10 and up. Dang, that is dizzy-ing.

At school I put together the homework packets, as usual, among other things.

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School pictures!

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I sat with Mack in the courtyard while he ate lunch.

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Then I went home and had my lunch.

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That’s two Applegate Farms organic hot dogs, sour kraut, and a chopped salad with lettuce, spinach, tomato, golden beets, grilled chicken thighs, bell pepper, avocado and a homemade mayo-based dressing. Kind of a mess, I know.

This afternoon has been mostly picking up and dropping off boys. They are at karate now. I need to go make my LAST whole30 dinner.

Don’t forget about the October Instagram Challenge that I’m co-hosting with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, sponsored by Parkesdale Farm Market starting tomorrow!

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Be sure to follow @parkesdale on Instagram and post a photo every day based on the daily photo prompts listed above. Use the hashtags #Octogram and #Parkesdale, and link up at the end of this post. You could be one of 12 winners of a $65 gift box from Parkesdale!

Disclaimer: This Instagram #Octogram #Parkesdale photo challenge is a sponsored collaborative effort between the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Parkesdale Farm Market.  Other than prizes to be awarded as giveaways for the Instagram photo challenge, the Tampa Bay Bloggers did not receive any compensation for this campaign.

Cya.

What I did on my summer break, Part 4 (the last one!): August

September 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Every time I started to work on one of these “summer break” posts I went into it thinking I didn’t really take many photos that month. In all cases it turned out that I took a ton of photos even though I wasn’t even trying to capture things “for the blog”. We all take photos all the time now, don’t we? I took a lot of photos in August. This may be the longest post in the summer break series. You have been warned.

On the first day of August I met up with a bunch of my blogger friends at Tour de Pizza.

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My friend Matt McClellan, the owner, was nice enough to host us to try their new “paleo pizza” options.

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He also invited the folks from The Paleo Box, a paleo bakery in Tampa, to hand out samples the same evening so we got to try those as well.

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Matt had put out the word that he was redecorating the shop and wanted to line the perimeter of the walls with race medals. So we all brought a race medal to donate to the new décor.

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Since we are in there every week we can visit our medals any time. The boys liked picking out one of their medals to donate.

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The paleo pizza is basically their regular pizza (any toppings) on a millet/flax crust made by Sami’s Bakery. We tried the Greek pizza and something with a bunch of meat (I don’t remember).

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Both were awesome. We did get cheese, which I realize is not so paleo. But whatever. You can have it your way.

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Thanks for having us Matt!

The first weekend in August Cal went on vacation with my friend BJ and her family.

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She has twin boys, yet felt that she needed one more to round out their family vacation.

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They went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee (my old stomping grounds, not far from where I grew up in east Tennessee) and did all kinds of fun things like hiking, tubing, and rafting.

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Cal had a blast. Thank you so much to BJ and Paul for taking him!

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While Cal was gone on his bonus family vacation (without his family), Chad took Mack and a friend to Legoland one day.

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While they were on their way to Legoland, I met my friend Ali and her daughter Molly for breakfast at Trip’s Diner just down the street from my house. I had the breakfast strata.

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After that we went to the first Brocante Vintage Market.

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This is a monthly vintage market organized by my friends at Paper Street Market. There are multiple vendors and they bring the cream of their picking crop to this market. It was pretty happening for their first event!

I bought this little wrought iron patio set for $85…

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I have plans to paint it at some point, but I love it’s retro feel and diminutive size.

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Here they are after I plopped then down on my dirty front porch:

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I also got this end table:

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Bad picture, sorry. It is the perfect piece for that spot next to the sofa in our living room. I use it as my laptop’s home when not in use. It was a little pricey at $140, but is in great shape and is really exactly what I was looking for.

I also bought this little vanity ($100 – also to be painted, but I love the fabric on the stool), and the small rainy day painting ($18 – original, signed, and has the old original professional framing info on the back from an art store in St. Pete about 30 years ago), and the metal swirly frame (I can’t remember…think it was $15). I sort of have a plan for that in my addled mind.

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All in all I would say that Brocante Vintage Market was a success. You know we went back in September since I already blogged about that.

We also ran by The Iron Pelican Antiques where I picked up a bedside table for Cal’s room. I didn’t take a photo of that, but I did take a photo of their huge collection of vintage cameras.

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Molly got one.

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We had so much fun we had to go back to Brocante on Sunday. Actually, Mack and I met Ali and Molly for breakfast first at The Banyan Coffee and Tea Company (also just down the street from my house…I LOVE our new neighborhood). I got a breakfast burrito and an amazing salted caramel iced coffee.

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As I’m writing this I am on day 28 of the whole30 and this drink just looks obscene. But it was soooo good.

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Brocante was fun with Mack.

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These are actual Twinkie baking trays:

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On the second day there I bought this vintage teak tray ($15) which matches my teak dining table perfectly.

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Molly also picked up something there for Cal for his birthday…more on that later in this post.

That afternoon Mack and I went to see Wolverine at the Theater.

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Just for posterity, this is what Baywalk looked like that day:

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Locals will understand.

During August I had my handyman dudes at the house quite a bit doing small jobs, like removing the disgusting (to me) 20+ year old trash compactor from our kitchen.

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Does anybody actually use these things anymore? The concept seems so gross to me. They finished out the “hole” where the compactor used to be to match the rest of the cabinetry and now I have a very nice stainless steel garbage can in there. Much better.

I’m sure the neighbors appreciated this:

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That toilet was acting wonky but is actually a new toilet. I’m really not sure exactly why they removed it, but they ended up putting it back. This is no big deal if you are a handyman, I guess.They did many things around the house that needed doing (like installing some missing threshold molding, helping me hang shelves, building shelves in our outside pool storage room, repairing the gate in our back yard that accesses the alley, installing a new post for our hammock, and some other things I know I’m forgetting). This is the same father/son handyman team that did most of the work on our old house before we put it on the market and I like them a lot. I actually need to call them for some other things (always).

Mack had a neighborhood friend over one day while Cal was away (enjoying the now less death-defying hammock with a new post).

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We tried to give Mack an exciting week since Cal was having so much fun in Gatlinburg. One day I took him to Airheads Trampoline Arena with one of his friends and my friend “the other” Caroline and her girls.

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The owners of Airheads asked me if they could use my photos from my post about the time I checked out their TrampoLean Fitness class. We worked out a deal (my friends and I get to jump free in exchange, haha). I am pretty psyched to see all of my photos on this flyer. All of the photos are mine except for the before/after photos of the lady in the center at the bottom of the first page. That’s me jumping!

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Also in August, we got a rug for the living room (on sale from J.C. Penney for around $100 for a 9X11 rug). I saw it on the sale flyer and thought the colors were perfect for the room. I also liked that it is a light, flat weave rug as the over all feel of the room is light and casual.

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Chewie gave it a test run. I have since gotten a larger rug pad that better fits the rug.

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The boys got new shoes in anticipation of school starting.

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Cal turned 12 in August!

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We had a party at our house the day before his actual birthday.

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Remember when I said that Molly got something for Cal at the Brocante Vintage Market? She presented it to him at his party. It is REALLY heavy.

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It was an industrial spring!

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Cal has a spring collection, of course. This one is awesome. It must weight at least 30 pounds.

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Chewie approves (although seems somewhat confused as to why it is on his bed):

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The next day was Cal’s actual birthday. It was also the day to “meet the teacher” at Mack’s new school.

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Cal got to open all his birthday gifts from family.

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The next Monday was the first day of school.

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Back to making school lunches.

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Back to walking to school, now on a new route.

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Mack’s school is right next to this graveyard.

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On the days that I didn’t walk Mack to school, Chewie and I took long walks to a nearby park.

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The summer rains have let us see how our street floods when there is a prolonged heavy downpour.

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We are actually not in a flood zone and are in one of the highest areas in Pinellas County. However, our street acts as a drainage route for a nearby much larger street, so when there is a heavy rain our street has water running down it. But unlike in the flood zone where we used to live and often had high tide flooding that would last hours or days during a big storm, here the water dissipates right away once the rain slacks off. August definitely brought the typical Tampa Bay weather pattern this year. Rain every afternoon. Stifling humidity the rest of the time.

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When we would get back from a three or four mile walk, Chewie would retreat and not move for a few hours.

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One day in August I went running around with my pal Ali. We went to an estate sale in New Port Richey (or somewhere up there) and then ended up walking around downtown Dunedin where there are so many cute shops. I did buy some things for the house at the estate sale and in Dunedin, but I didn’t take any pictures. The only picture from that day was my lunch at a Mexican place we went to in Dunedin. There is grilled fish under that pile of tomatoes:

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One night Chad and I had a date night.

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We started out by going to dinner at The Tap Room at the Hollander Hotel.

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Several people had mentioned this place to me and I wanted to check it out. Again, looking at this (now) on Day 29 of the whole30, this looks obscene:

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It’s the Bacon Wrapped Mac & Cheese. OMG.

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Chad and I split it and also took one square home for the boys to try. Amazing. I had a pork chop for my dinner but didn’t photograph that. It was yummy. I did photograph my margarita.

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And also the pisco margarita that I had at our next stop which was the bar at Parkshore Grille.

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I didn’t really know what pisco was, but we Googled it while we sat at the bar. If you don’t know what pisco is, then you should also Google it. It was really good and now I want to try a pisco sour. I am severely missing alcohol after 29 days without a cocktail. I’m going to try to stick with lower carb drinks, though. I want to try just soda and tequila and lime juice. I’m really going to try to still minimize sugar after this whole30. (one more day!!!)

We had a little time to kill at Parkshore Grille before meeting friends at The Ale & the Witch to see The Applebutter Express.

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They are great and we had a fun night with our friends.

We ended August by having a Labor Day weekend party on the Saturday night before Labor Day. We had a bunch of friends over for a cookout, our usual MO here in the new house with this awesome pool and patio. There were lots of margaritas (my farewell margaritas before starting the whole30 the next day) and we had a swell time with our friends. I just used the word swell.

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And boom, I already posted that picture in my first blog post that I published at the beginning of September. So I’m caught up from the summer! Now I can focus on fall. Tomorrow I plan to write my LAST whole30 post, from this time around at least. I have a feeling there will be more whole30’s in my future. If you ever decide to do it you’ll understand why. I feel so detoxed right at this moment. I also feel like I am sort of back in the blogging groove. It only took a month.

Cya.