Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mr. Happy Man on a Sunday

Johnny Barnes is almost ninety. I wonder how many smiles he's brought to peoples' faces in his life. I'd like to give him a hug, too.  Happy are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God. A sweet story for a happy Sunday!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tickled pink!

I'm tooting my own horn here, just a little, but I'm also tooting the horn of a wonderful program run by the City of Edmonton. On Wednesday night, there was a volunteer appreciation gathering of Master Composter/Recycler volunteers for the City of Edmonton's Waste Management Services, and yours truly received the 2012 Innovation award. It's the best "trophy" I've ever seen, because it's actually useful! A pretty bouquet of flowers with a "keeper" of a solid crystal vase (plaque on the bottom), so now I'll be able to bring in my delphiniums in the spring without having my cheap little vases tipping over all the time. Thanks, you wonderful people at Waste Management Services!

I'm really tickled pink, because I didn't do much, honestly. The innovation award was given to me mainly because of a song that came to me as my final project during my MC/R course in 2007. If you haven't seen it before, beware -- it's a bit of an earworm!

It's kind of taken on a life of its own as a video, having about 20,000 views on YouTube. The YouTube experience showed me that it's possible to share ideas with people I wouldn't ordinarily meet via the internet, so I should give the Waste Management people an award for indirectly inspiring this blog, too!

"Do I need it?" has also gotten me return invitations to give a little welcoming address to all the MC/R course grads for the last five years, something I have really enjoyed, because I get revved up again with all their enthusiasm. Getting the award on Wednesday was a surprise, because my imbalance over the past year has curtailed my ability to spread the composting/recycling message on a larger scale. No trade show or community displays for me -- I have a hard time keeping my balance in crowds. Even so, the fine people at Waste Management gave me credit just for posting moodlings about composting and grasscycling!

Overall, being a Master Composter/Recycler volunteer has been great fun, because I've met a lot of like-minded people who are not only concerned about our planet's health, but who take steps in their lives to address environmental issues. Even better than receiving the award on Wednesday (with a bunch of more deserving people) was having a staff member tell me, "Maria, when you gave your speech to the grads in May and you said that waste is a social justice issue, that really hit home for me."

Master Composter/Recyclers "get" the Voluntary Simplicity thing more than most, though they may not call it that. I'll be sure to keep hanging out with them!

If you want to know more about the joys of the MC/R program, you'll find a link to it here, and a past moodling about it here. Please consider joining the MC/R Program, or something like it where you live. If you're in the Edmonton area, watch this space for more details in the spring!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Simple Suggestion #138... Look out for ladybugs

I was torn between two possible simple suggestions for today, but looking out for ladybugs won out over simply appreciating autumn. Chances are, you're appreciating autumn anyway, but looking out for ladybugs isn't something we human beings give much consideration.

I've been thinking about coccinellidae (who comes up with these fancy names?) since Monday, the day I planted tulips in my front yard. As I dug in the dirt, I ran into a lot of our little red friends with the black spots, and was amazed by their agility and acrobatics. One ladybird beetle (the proper name, as most of them aren't true, sap-sucking bugs) crawled up a thin dry thread of grass right to the end, and I held my breath as it dangled upside down for a moment before somehow turning back along the bottom side to safety.

The reason I've chosen this suggestion is that ladybugs (I'll stick with the familar name) are great predators who, unfortunately, often get picked up with our autumn leaves and trapped in garbage bags which go to the landfill (unless you compost -- I give free composting lessons; leave me a comment if you're interested). So, my simple suggestion: when you bag your autumn leaves this year, leave the bag sit open in your back yard for a day so that ladybugs can climb to the top and escape to eat your aphids for another year. I'm not sure how many ladybugs you'll save by doing this, but even one is worth it. A single lady bug larva can eat up to 5,000 aphids, an ability that is definitely appreciated by my perennials and me.

Of course, not all ladybugs are created equal. Last year, while picking pears, I ran into a nasty variety in our pear tree that actually bit. There are a few that can be agricultural pests, but as I don't possess the knowledge to determine who is who, I'm erring on the side of caution, and freeing the ones I can.

After all, in this world, it's up to big folks to look after little ones -- ladybugs included.

Oh, and don't forget to appreciate autumn in its glory!

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Imbalance update

It's eleven months since this so-called dizziness hit me... and finally, last week, I got to see the Motion and Balance folks at the local rehabilitation hospital to start my treatment.

I guess the word dizziness might not be the right one to describe my symptoms, though there are moments when I'm definitely feeling spinny. It's more like my brain can't process my surroundings fast enough when I'm moving through my environment, making me feel unsteady on my feet. There's a moment's lag between what I see and how I react to it, a "slippage" of sorts, that has caused me to bump into a few walls here and there, and to need a supportive arm when I walk through areas that are highly visually stimulating, just because I can't take it all in and walk in a straight line.

The balance system is an amazing thing. Our bodies rely on three kinds of sensory input to help us stay upright: our muscles,which tell us about the surfaces on which we walk; our vision, which gives us information about our environmental terrain; and our inner ear, which has three semicircular canals that give us a sense of direction and uprightness, if I can call it that.

On Friday, I spent seven hours with Hazel, one of the women who does vestibular rehab at the Glenrose, and we went through my issues with a fine tooth comb. It took an hour and a half for Hazel to hear my story and sort out my symptoms, which seem to indicate that there has been some damage to the horizontal semi-circular canals in my ears. Once that was determined, we began to do some tests and exercises to see how I had been affected, and what I could do to compensate for my inner ear damage.

We spent a fair bit of time walking the hallways at the Centre for Motion and Balance with me looking up and down, side to side, and reporting on how different ways of walking and turning made me feel (nauseous at times). Then Hazel took me to "The Big Machine," a fancy gadget designed by a former NASA scientist who once helped Apollo astronauts regain their "earth legs" after being in zero gravity on space missions. I was buckled into a parachute harness and hooked into the "Balance Manager," where I stood on the machine's floor panels, which shifted to test my balance. "Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or is the front wall moving?" I asked Hazel. She laughed and explained that it was.

After that, Hazel hooked me up to a computer with a fancy hat on my head. The hat helped the computer determine my head movements, and I did an eye test of sorts -- which indicated that my ability to see and process things as I turn my head has taken a hit. I know that from experience -- visiting a visually stimulating place like a grocery store has been a real challenge for the past eleven months, probably because my brain has a hard time keeping up with my eyes. That slippage thing again.

So the point of the whole day was to come up with a plan for rehabilitation -- which Hazel and I did. I now have two hours worth of exercises to do each day, 30 or 60 seconds at a time. Walking figure eights in my kitchen, focusing my eyes on things on opposite sides of the room, stuff like that. The activities make me feel very unbalanced for now, even queasy, but for the next six weeks, I need to stick to the program so that my wonderful nervous system can build new pathways around the damage from last October, however it was caused. The jury is still out on whether this might be the start of diabetic autonomic neuropathy, but I'll see my specialist in a month and ask him about it. Spare prayers and/or fingers crossed for me, if you can!

And now, off to my exercises... look up, look down, look up...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

3 interfaith amigos on a Sunday

With all the silly anti-muslim garbage in the news these days, I just had to post something about people getting along. The thing is, people of true faith are not screaming protesters. They're more like these guys, who make me happy! They use humour to share about the importance of inclusivity, and they can even sing. As someone who believes that we all believe in one universal God no matter our faith, I hope our world will be full of people who surrender to that God one day. This ten minute video is worth watching. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Too funny

Last night at supper time, I went out looking for zucchini, afraid I wouldn't find much because I thought I had picked and processed it all on Saturday. But if you've ever grown zucchini plural, you know they're pretty good at camouflaging themselves. I expected little guys like the one on top, but I found two others, too. Good thing! They're already 38 cm (15 inches) long. Leave them much longer, and they'll work as caveman clubs for Hallowe'en costumes!

But what really made me laugh was another hiding vegetable.

After lamenting much of the summer that my pumpkins weren't producing,
I found this one hidden under an overrun day lily and laughed out loud!

Speaking of Hallowe'een costumes, 
perhaps my youngest daughter could
dress as a pumpkinhead this year!

Happy Autumn!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Farewell, Summer

On Sunday, I woke up to crunchy white grass in our yard. It wasn't a happy moment, but I soon realized that the damage to my plants was next to nil. Jack Frost fired his warning shot, so today I'm saying goodbye to the beauty spots in my yard while I have the time. Not that there are many left -- by the end of August, only the rare perennial is still blooming, and the annuals look sad and tired. Even so, I walked around and caught images of a few flowers and leaves before Jack gets more serious. Now I'll be able to look back at this moodling in the middle of winter and remember a lovely, almost-autumn day spent admiring the last of summer's beauty.

P.S. I think I finally figured out how to get rid of the word verification silliness that happens to people who want to leave a comment, but of course, I can't tell if I did it right. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you're still required to decipher silly letters just to send me a note.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another moodle-versary, and happy 30th birthday, emoticons...

September 19,1982... Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says he was the first to use three keystrokes — a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis — as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message posted at 11:44 a.m. on Sept. 19, 1982, during a discussion about the limits of online humor and how to denote comments meant to be taken lightly...

How many emoticons have you run into? Here's my favourite: ;oD  -- a winking one with a big smile.

 There are dozens of variations:
:-(    Sad
>:-[  Angry
:^p   Cheeky
B^.   Bespectacled and speechless...

You probably know more of them than I do, but if you're interested in learning more about emoticons and their Eastern variations, here's a Wikipedia list.


On another note, today marks two years since I've started moodling. On September 19, 2010, I followed the suggestion of my friend Cathy (my guest moodler/homilist) and embarked on this writing adventure known as Simple Moodlings. So far, I've posted 494 moodlings, published 137 Simple Suggestions, received 273 comments, and had over 24,000 hits (at least an eighth of those are referrer spambots from Russia, which drive me crazy!) A drop in the bucket, but it's been fun. I'm still evolving as a writer, enjoying my craft, and connecting with people near and far. 

I'd like to thank the members of the academy (well, my followers, official and unofficial), my family (for putting up with me being lost in thought at my computer at times), and all those who have left comments or made them in person. It's nice to know when something I'm experiencing strikes a chord in others. Our common humanity is something I really value!

And if you need any encouragement to start your own blog, look no further. It's an easy way to share ideas and life with friends -- just try it... most blogsites have templates that make it really easy. If you do decide to try it, let me know, and I'll look for you in the blogosphere. In the meantime, my love letter to the world continues...

Have a :-) day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simple Suggestion #137... Learn more about Voluntary Simplicity

Stepping Lightly
When it comes to explaining Voluntary Simplicity to people, I often find myself tongue-tied just because there's so much to say! You would think that the idea of living simply would be easy to explain, but as it touches every corner of our lives, it takes some doing. It probably shouldn't really need explaining except we're so used to living in a complicated world that half the time we need someone to point out how ridiculously complex everything has become -- to our detriment!

So today's suggestion is one that can open up whole new worlds in us -- spaces where we realize that everything in our lives can be worked so that we live more lightly on the planet and help the earth and ourselves to become happier and healthier in the process. And there are many ways to learn more -- in our libraries and online.

Mark Burch, my Voluntary Simplicity expert/friend in Winnipeg, recently published some of his work through a website called The Simplicity Collective in Australia. It's a pretty neat website, and the material there is free, and paperless! If you'd rather have writings on simplicity in "hardcopy" without running the risk of cluttering shelves, libraries and interlibrary loans are a good way to go. Or if you're looking to own a reference copy of a good book like the one pictured above, Abebooks is a wonderful, online, secondhand bookstore.

In looking at The Simplicity Collective's Website, I realize that there's so much more I could be doing with Simple Moodlings as far as directing people to great Simplicity resources, but life is full enough without my spending more hours at the computer. So I'll add the Simplicity Collective to my sidebar, too, and call it good, as I have plenty of good garden resources that still need to be harvested and preserved over the next few weeks. Now, off to the beet patch...

Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A beautiful Sunday song about Whose we are

I can struggle with my church, but I surrender to God. Especially when I hear songs like this one. Thank you, David Haas. And Thank You, God, for the love letter that is this song.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thanks, Monsignor Fee

Today, a very special man will be buried. Monsignor Fee Otterson, priest, brother, uncle, friend, and High School English/drama/religion teacher extraordinaire, came to the end of his time on earth on Sunday, and his funeral is this morning at St. Joseph's Basilica. For me, it's time to give thanks for someone wonderful.

Everyone should have at least one teacher like Fee, a man of many loves. He was a man who loved his students and let himself be loved by us. He also loved to laugh, and to use humour to teach adolescents. He loved theatre, and he loved God, and he managed to pass both those loves on to many of the lives he touched. He was larger than life in many ways, and our school system recognized that and finally named a school after him two years ago.

I have lots of good memories of Fee. He was our parish priest for the years I was growing up, and I remember him standing up in the pulpit, fiddling with his glasses and telling stories about how his dad worked for the railway and let him ride along sometimes. When I got to high school, he was one of the most familiar faces there, even without the Roman collar, with a ready smile and a heart of gold.

As a drama teacher, he saw the gifts of his students, and encouraged us to use them in a multitude of ways. He managed to find plays and musicals that had many roles to be filled, and he employed the less dramatically-talented in the Fabled Few backstage crew. It was as a member of the Fabled Few that I once saw Fee get angry. Another girl and I were responsible for props for the musical Oklahoma!, and on the last evening, Elaine had the idea of setting up a wired pulley system across the backdrop on which she hung little paper cows that she could move back and forth across the wire. As the cast sang, "The farmer and the cowman should be friends," Elaine set her little cows in motion. Fee was somewhere in the wings, and when he saw what Elaine was doing, he went to the back of the stage and ripped the wire, sending those cows flying everywhere. I was dancing with a farmer at the time, and kicked a couple of them off the stage. Elaine was killing herself laughing, but Fee looked fit to be tied!

One of my High School chums was possibly the only Hindu student in our Catholic school. She struggled with Catholicism because of its history of insisting that there was no salvation outside the Catholic Church, and she and Fee had long discussions during religion class and after school. Fee was the guy who managed to assure her that the God he knew loved everybody whether they were Catholic or not, and that God would certainly welcome Mina with open arms.

Almost ten years ago, at a high school reunion, I sat with Fee at the banquet. "How are you doing, Fee?" I asked. "Not bad for an old codger," he said, "Just turned 80 on June 25th." I could hardly believe it. Since then, I've run into him a few times here and there, but the last time I saw him was at a Christmas Eve mass. He came out with a huge gift bag full of gag gifts that he had received at Christmasses past, and spoke about his presents "with a T" and the value of presence "with a C" while waving around his favourite gift -- a small stuffed animal otter. He always had the best props!

But the thing that will always remind me of Fee the most is a single verse of scripture, the only one I can quote chapter and verse. At mass at a grade 12 retreat, he used this single verse, John 10.10b, as the gospel reading: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

For Fee, that one verse was what God was all about. Abundant life. Fee led an abundant life, and now I am sure that Fee is enjoying God's life abundantly. Thanks, St. Fee, for all the joy and friendship you brought to so many of our lives. Live abundantly! And I look forward to seeing your smiling face again, when I get there. Save me a place at your banquet table...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lunch at L'Arche

To celebrate is to give thanks for the gift that God has given us in having brought us together from a place of loneliness into a place of belonging. I know that you have accepted me and I you. I know your gifts and also your darkness. Yet I accept you, not expecting more and not weeping because you are not exactly what I wanted you to be. So to celebrate is to give thanks for all that you are and all that we are together.
- Jean Vanier, quoted by K. Spink in Jean Vanier and L'Arche, p. 68. 

Last week, my neighbour, Shelley, and I went to the L'Arche Friday Hot Lunch. Every Friday, the Day Program invites friends to come and share lunch, and Shelley was invited as guest and took me along with her. It had been a long time since I joined my friends in Day Program for lunch, as I don't usually work on Fridays.

Other times that I've attended, I've ended up sitting at table with friends both with and without disabilities, and the conversation is usually dominated by the latter. Conversation at hot lunch is usually quite lively, with plenty of good natured teasing going on... but on Friday, Lucy* invited me to sit at her table along with three others with disabilities. Lucy, Mariette, Leanne and Thomas didn't have much to say over their lasagna and Caesar salads, so I had lots of opportunity to sit back and observe all the things I wouldn't have noticed had I been engaged in lengthy conversation:

-- Darren, getting up and going to the fridge for his favourite condiment, ketchup, and Kana quietly putting it on his lasagna for him.
-- Thomas, suddenly getting angry about something. I tried to find out what was wrong, but he muttered, "Not talking to you." He got up and left the room muttering angrily, though I'm pretty sure that only our table saw his outburst...
-- Harry, being mischievous, and tucking a squished-up serviette down the back of Carmel's shirt... which of course, led to more napkin wars.
-- ... Leanne, being concerned about Thomas each time he showed up at the door and turned away again, still angry for reasons unknown...
-- Glen, in earnest conversation with another guest at another table, and later, gleefully victorious at arm-wrestling.
-- Alice, the Day Program coordinator, quietly making sure everyone had enough to eat.

... But the best part of the whole hour was when Leanne, our tiniest core member, decided to bring Thomas, our biggest core member, back to the table. Thomas was still looking rather disgruntled, but he had peeked around the doorway, and she waved to him and said, "Thomas, come sit." But Thomas was holding back, so she got up and marched over to him. Taking him by the hand, she talked him all the way back to our table and made him sit down. Then she gestured to his empty plate. "Hungry?" she asked. He nodded. She took his plate to the serving table and loaded it with another piece of lasagna and more salad, brought it back to him, and asked if he wanted more juice. He nodded again, and she went and refilled his glass.

Thomas forgot what he was angry about, and happily ate his meal. Tickle wars broke out on the other side of the room (Harry again) and soon spread to our table. Leanne and I tickled Thomas, and he tickled us... and when the meal was over, I found myself reflecting on the fact that I would have missed Leanne's tender care for Thomas had I gotten caught up in a table conversation. Leanne made our meal a celebration through her acceptance of Thomas, and her gentle way of coaxing him from loneliness to belonging.

On our way home from Hot Lunch, Shelley commented, "It's so easy to forget what's really important. But whenever I come to L'Arche, I remember."

Amen, sister.

*I use pseudonyms online for all my L'Arche friends.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bless the Lord, my soul

Tonight we’ll be having a Taste of Taizé Prayer at Holyrood Mennonite Church (9505 79 Street) at 7 p.m. Ten musicians had a wonderful rehearsal in my living room yesterday afternoon, and after everyone left, Christina and I talked about how delighted we were to be making Taizé music once again. EVERYONE IS WELCOME to join us for an ecumenical evening of music and prayer. Here’s a video with one of my favourite chants, and pictures from Taizé, France, a place that’s definitely on my list of places to visit. Enjoy, and happy Sunday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Simple Suggestion #136... Start small

Life can get a little overwhelming, y'know? So today's suggestion only makes sense. If we want to do something complex, like saving our planet from the problems associated with over-consumption and the threats that come with global climate change, perhaps the best way to do that is to choose one small thing, and do it well.

I'm not sure what my first one small thing was. Probably, it was choosing not to buy something that I didn't really need. And from there it blossomed out into a whole way of life where we are trying to reduce the impact we are having on the world as a family. Choosing to change one small thing at a time has worked well for us, because we know from personal experience that trying to change too much at once doesn't seem to work -- and gets really overwhelming. Even tiny contributions to the well being of the world are contributions.

Starting small is simple:

Get a library card... and eventually, stop buying books period, and save some trees.
Walk or catch the bus to work... and eventually, make it a habit and save the earth from some fossil fuel emissions.
Grow a few carrots... and eventually, a small vegetable patch or container of vittles, so you can eat local.
Cook one vegetarian meal... and eventually, cut reliance on meat products and save the planet all sorts of resources related to animal production.
Carry cloth bags for shopping, and eventually, reduce use of plastic in other areas of life, too.

There are dozens and dozens of other ways to make a difference. The trick is to make a start.

What is/was your start?
It is always good for individuals, communities, and indeed nations, to remember that their present situation is a result of thousands of gestures of love or hate that came before. This obliges us to remember that the community of tomorrow is being born of our fidelity to the present. We discover that we are at the same time very insignificant and very important because each of our actions is preparing the humanity of tomorrow; it is a tiny contribution to the huge and glorious final humanity.
-Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p. 152. 

For more Simple Suggestions, try here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What a guy!

We've been living in this house for nine years now, and though a wall had been knocked out between kitchen and dining room and new windows were installed, the kitchen had never been properly repainted, though the dining room had. The kitchen ceiling was so discoloured, and the walls weren't much better. As we hadn't done any home maintenance for almost a year, I happened to make a comment to Lee about how nice it would be to give the kitchen a fresh coat of paint the next time we were in reno mode.

I honestly didn't expect him to act on it. He had a pretty exhausting summer thanks to a trip overseas, and his vacation time came in short chunks rather than the nice two-week stretch it seems to take him to fully relax. There was always yard work or some minor project that prevented him from really taking a break, and I didn't mean to add to that with my kitchen comment.

I didn't realize it, but Lee was in a painting kind of mood. He repainted the cast iron railings at our front step because I'd been talking about doing that for a while, and then he took me to Rona to pick out paint for the kitchen.

Lemon Tart yellow was my choice -- for me, happiness is a yellow kitchen. I debated a bit about Lemon Tart or Cool Lemonade, and thought about how my kids complained about the lack of colour in our home (we like light, so we prefer white walls, especially in the winter). They wanted something bold. Lemon Tart was definitely bold in my books, so I went with that. The lady who mixed the paint gave me two thumbs up for my choice. So did our girls.

It took a week from buying to applying the last coat on Friday evening when Lee got home from work. The girls were ecstatic... but I wasn't so sure. It was SO bright. Hard on the eyes, almost. Definitely tart. Especially with our new ceiling light fixture. After we cleaned up, Lee and I took a walk to my parents' house for a visit with my dad (who had just had a cornea transplant and sees fine now!) and as we chatted, I mentioned my misgivings. My mom turned to Lee and said, "Do you think it's too bright?"

"I have no opinion on the matter," he said, to both my delight and exasperation. He was content to leave the decision to me, but at the same time, no help at all! When we got home, I pulled down a bit of the green tape to see how Lemon Tart looked against our white, and said I'd have to sleep on it.

I woke at seven, early for me on a Saturday morning, and went to look at the kitchen. Lemon Tart was definitely harsher than I expected it to be at that early hour. I tried to like it, I really did, but I also realized that the person who spends the most time in the kitchen had better be sure she likes it, especially since we don't paint that frequently. Could I live with Lemon Tart yellow for the next ten years? No. But how would I break it to Lee, who was looking forward to a Saturday with nothing pressing?

He appeared ten minutes later, took one look at my face and said, "We could mix the leftover ceiling paint with your Lemon Tart, and that might do it. What do you think?"

So that's what we ended up doing. Our girls complained as Lemon Tart was covered with something lighter, but as I pointed out to them, they can paint their own kitchens their own colours someday. One coat was all it took, and I was a much happier camper. My kitchen is a warm, buttery yellow now, and looks pretty sharp. Lee also sanded and repainted the stove top ceiling vent so that it looks brand new. He's pretty proud of that piece of work, and rightly so.

Best part of all? When everything was finished, I asked Lee what he thought of our kitchen. "I have no opinion on the matter," he said. "But I think you made the right choice."

What a guy! And I say that with absolute affection!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Every perfect gift is from above

That line stopped me in my tracks at church this morning. It comes from the Letter of James, and of course, there are a lot more words to it, but those six were enough for me.

Everything is gift. We have created none of the conditions required for life on our planet. I have no power to turn a seed into a tomato, and yet I am swimming in garden tomatoes this fall (and a lot of other vegetables, too). I can't make sunlight, wind or rain. But I can definitely appreciate all the gifts that come from above, or from wherever and Whomever they come.

And it strikes me that, if everyone on the planet thought about the gift that life is, the gift of family and friends, food and shelter, instead of feeling a sense of entitlement, we might appreciate what we already have even more than we do. And give constant thanks rather than wishing we had more.

In my books, these kinds of thoughts are what Sundays are for. Thank you, God.