Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What a Cool Dog!

I've been a lazy blogger lately, haven't I! I don't have a great excuse, other than I've been busy turning forty and traveling for work.

Anyway, Emma and I were driving around town with our girl, Nellie. Nellie loves to hang her head out the window, but Emma was nervous that she was going to fall out. It's actually a valid worry because Nellie is a clumsy beast. She falls off the bed all the time. So we put the windows up.

 Silly dog popped up out of the sun roof. We let her stay up there for a little bit because it made us laugh and it made her happy! I hope it made at least one other person laugh, too! Win-Win-Win!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My First Trip to Providence

The good news is that I made it to Providence, Rhode Island safely and in time for my meetings this morning. The bad news is...well, let me tell you! I left my house at 9am to make my 12:28 flight from Des Moines. I checked in at a United kiosk, but it didn't seem to be working right. A nice employee came to my rescue and said United didn't have a 12:28 flight to Chicago. I pulled out my agenda to see if I had the wrong airline. Nope, it was United. But then I noticed that the flight didn't leave from Waterloo at 12:28. It arrived in Chicago at 12:28. So I missed it. Sometimes I am amazed at my own stupidity!

Luckily, the nice United lady rebooked me to arrive in Providence a little later than planned. I arrived in Chicago and tried to make the most of my long layover. My flight was supposed to leave at 7:15, but I started getting text updates from United.

Flight is delayed to 7:50

Flight is delayed to 9:06

Flight now departs at 8:40 (Hey, that's good!)

Flight is delayed to 8:55

Flight is delayed to 9:10

Flight is delayed to 9:30

We started boarding around 10:00. The plane drove away from the gate and got in a line behind a lot of other planes. Then the pilots turned off the engines in order to save gas. Then we had to wait for the airport to open a different runway because the wind changed directions. We sat there for about an hour and a half. I couldn't even read my Kindle because electronic devices had to be turned off. I would have snuck it, but I was sitting next to the flight attendant in the back row. And I was next to the bathroom, which is not cool.

We landed at 1:54am. Another bad thing about being in the back row is that you're last off the plane. I picked up my luggage and found the taxi line. You have to go to the first taxi in order to make it fair for the drivers. The first taxi in line looked a little run down. I wanted to put my suitcase in the trunk, but the driver wasn't paying attention. I opened the back door and noticed she was somehow sleeping even though rap music was blaring. I asked her to open the trunk, but she was trying to wake up and couldn't hear me over the music. I put my bags in the backseat and sat down. I gave her my hotel info, and she tried to start the car. After several tries, I told her I was just going to get another cab, but she asked me to please wait. Then I heard her make a call to ask someone to jump start her cab. That's when I stopped caring about the taxi line rules and found a different cab. 

Needless to say, I really needed a shower this morning. I thought I was missing something, because I couldn't figure out hot to turn on the shower! It looked like a simple contraption, but the handle would not budge!
It even has little arrows to show which way to turn it for on and off. I pulled really hard. Then I thought maybe it was like my dryer knob where you have to pull it out and then turn it.
I wasn't super embarrassed when the maintenance kid saw me in my pajamas. He fixed the shower in a few seconds. I asked him what was wrong with it, and he said it was stuck. So I did get my shower, and the rest of the trip has gone well so far. Wish me luck for the return trip tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Kind of Like My Mom, But Not Really

Someone once told me about a study that proved people learn how to handle toilet paper from their mother. Apparently, if you fold your TP before wiping, there's a strong probability that you mother also folds. And if you wad it up, it's likely your mom wads. Great use of research funds, I say.

This may surprise you, but I'm actually not going to tell you what I do with my toilet paper. I actually do keep a few things private. However, it may be an interesting topic of conversation at our family Thanksgiving.

I don't know about the TP thing yet, but here are some things I do have in common with my mom:
  • We store our beaters in the silverware drawer. (I actually only have one beater. See this story.)
  • We chew gum, only I can't make mine pop like she does.
  • We drive fast, only I've had a few more tickets than my mom.
  • We laugh until we cry.
  • We are afraid of those creepy black spiders with a red spot on their backs that like to hang out in the tomato plants.
  • We fold our towels in half, in half, and then in thirds.
  • We like to read.
  • We love the same people.
  • We eat our popcorn in milk, like cereal.
I will tell you one thing I don't have in common with my mom is the way we use food storage containers. Mom is an expert in getting the exact right size container for the amount of food to store. Every time she eats a bit, she moves the leftover leftovers to a smaller size container. Mom's motivation is to save room in the fridge. My motivation is to do as few dishes as possible, so I usually have large containers with small amounts of food. For example, here's a salad we've been chipping away at.
A photo that will never win a photography award. I swear it looks better in person!
You better believe I put that single salad serving right back in the fridge in the original bowl. But here's the thing. Almost every time I do that, I think of my mom and how she would find a smaller, perfectly sized container. It almost feels like I'm defying her. Is that a sin? I may not always do what she does, but that doesn't mean she's not in my head!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bad Parking Experiences (and I'm not talking about making out)

Does it ever bug you when you notice that someone has done a really bad job parking their car? Maybe some of the tires are up on the curb or the car is hugging, on or <gasp!> over the painted lines. And then you notice it's your car? And you realize that you're the one who parked it there? Oh the shame! Does that happen to you??? I wouldn't say that happens to me all the time, but I wouldn't say it never happens. Ok, it happened today at work.

I was excited that I got to work early this morning and got to park next to the door. That meant that a lot of people walked right by my car. I don't know how this would have happened, but here's how I found my car parked after work.
My car parked about 6 feet from the front of my parking spot
Here's another car I noticed the other day that did not pull all the way forward into its spot. See the parking line that is right in front of the rear tire? I'm not the only one!
Big Rims may have parked this way on purpose because he didn't want a car to park behind him.

Except a truck DID park behind Big Rims. Oh, and I didn't get a picture, but the truck's rear end was sticking out of the back of its parking spot, partially blocking the driving lane.
I almost didn't notice the bad parking job because I was distracted by the oversized tires. I do not understand why people put expensive rims and tires on cruddy cars. If you have the money to do that, why not just buy a nicer car? And guys, here are the two questions you should ask yourself before pimping your ride.

1. What kind of woman do I want?
2. Would that kind of woman feel good about riding around in my pimped out car?

I don't know of a classy woman who would want to ride around in a rusty 1980's sedan with fancy rims. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm just getting old. I just hope Big Rims never shows up in my driveway to pick up one of my girls.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fun Kids Activity: Wedding Planning

Most of the time, I'm a last minute kind of girl, but every once in a while I do plan ahead. For example, I encouraged my daughters to start planning their weddings a couple years ago when they were 11, 8 and 5. They each made a binder that we can pull out when the big day arrives. We have pretty solid plans.

I picked up some old bridal magazines that the library was giving away. Then I took the girls to the paint section in Lowe's to pick out their wedding colors. I printed pages with categories of decisions they need to make. It gave them some structure, but they could choose to include or ignore any of the pages, depending on what was important to them.
Each girl started with an opening page, so we can remember how old they were when they made their plans.
I made one template page for them to fill in with a lot of the details. I'll write their responses below.

Emma - Age 11

I will be 20 years old.
I will weigh 197 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Bryan.
My fiance will be 20 years old. He will have brown hair and brown eyes.
We will get married at Disney World.
We will have 2,000 guests.
I will have 5 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Alli, Gwen, Kylie, Maddie, Chloe.
Our food will be Chicken Alfredo.
Songs that we'll dance to Tik Tok, Hey There Delila.
After the wedding, we will live in Florida.

Emma is going with a classy jungle theme for her reception.

Alli - Age 8

I will be 25 years old.
I will weigh 110 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Alex.
My fiance will be 26 years old. He will have brown/blond hair and blue eyes.
We will get married at a beach.
We will have 58 guests.
I will have 6 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Emma, Gwen, Sophie, Maddie, Harley, and Gracen.
Our food will be cake, punch, crackers and dip.
Songs that we'll dance to Who Let the Dogs Out.
After the wedding, we will live in Chicago.

Alli was very specific about her colors.

It says "My Bridesmaids Dresses color is going to be sea song and my flower girls Dress is going to Be Firmament and my Dress is going to be candy. My furniture color is going to be ocean voyage and the room is going to be Apple4."

Gwen - Age 5

I will be 15 years old.
I will weigh 31 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Hudson.
My fiance will be 15 years old. He will have yellow hair and blue eyes.
We will get married at a ball.
We will have 100 guests.
I will have 2 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Emma and Alli.
Our food will be cake, punch, ice cream, circle eat, jawbreakers, candy and cheese. (Circle eat is bologna and is still one of her favorite foods)
Songs that we'll dance to Hey There Delila, Boom Boom Pow, ball songs, and Fireflies.
After the wedding, we will live in a castle.

Gwen chose an elaborate dress.
And then she drew a picture of how it would look on her.

I really wish I would have asked the girls how much their weddings will cost. We should probably start saving money now!

Making Your Own Wedding Plans

I highly recommend this activity with your kids. When you're ready, gather these supplies and let their imagination take over!
  • 3 ring binder
  • Sheet protectors
  • Bridal magazine(s)
  • Paint color cards
  • Scissors, glue, pens, crayons or markers
  • Template (Here's mine, or you can easily make your own)
  • Blank pages for things you didn't think of

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kelly's Wedding

We had a great time at Kelly's wedding last weekend! instead of writing about it, I'm going to share a few photos. I was completely enjoying the beautiful event, and wasn't thinking about taking pictures. They're not great quality, but you'll get the idea!
A fun direction sign and table signs. The swirls were rhinestones!
Another sign along the road that let us know what we were in for.    
Kelly and three of her bridesmaids
Me and mine...15 years ago!
Kelly and Tyler
Kelly at the reception with TJ sneaking into the background. It's a funny thing he's done since he was a kid. :)
Tyler and Kelly Domino. Guaranteed to Last a Lifetime! You know...because Kelly and I work at the manufacturer of Craftsman tool storage.

I loved the lanterns with different colored lights.
The prettiest cake I've ever seen!
Except of course our tower of goodness! As in, "Oh my goodness!"
And we're still happy, happy, happy!
That's all for tonight!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Little Indian: My Brother's Potty Partner

I don't know much about urinals. I know that there's a magical round thing in them that somehow keeps them fresh and clean. I know that if I see a urinal, I have just opened the wrong door! I also happen to know that at least one men's room at Adventureland has (or had) something more like a long trough for the boys to use. I don't know how common that is or what it is called. I know about it because TJ once came out of there with a really weird look on his face. A little boy had taken one of the first steps to become a man by going into that men's room all by himself. He found a spot at the trough next to TJ. Unfortunately, the boy was too short, and he sprayed straight up into the air. And he was unable to stop the flow.

My brother, Ryan, knows how much I appreciate a good bathroom story, so this one is from him. Ryan explained that the urinals in his office have automatic flushers. I have to be honest right here. I did not know urinals flush. If they don't have an automatic flusher, do they have a flush handle on the side? Or do they have a flush pedal? Maybe I don't need to know that.

Have you ever accidentally gotten on the same bathroom schedule as someone in your office? It's an awkward situation that no one likes to talk about. (Except me. I love to talk about stuff like that. I even have a name for it. It's your potty partner.) You might decide to adjust your schedule, but you never remember to adjust it until after you are in the bathroom and you run into your potty partner. Again. Well, Ryan has a potty partner he calls Little Indian. There are three reasons for this nickname:
  1. Little Indian is short.
  2. Little Indian is from India.
  3. Ryan doesn't know Little Indian's real name. HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HIS POTTY PARTNER'S NAME!
It's going to sound like I'm bouncing around here, but I promise it will come back around. It's important for you to know that the automatic-urinal-flusher sensors work just like the sensors in the ladies room. They sense when the person has moved away from the target. The automatic-urinal-flusher sensors are located just above the urinal. It works well for all of the urinal-users in the office with one little exception. Little Indian. Little Indian is so short that the top of his head is barely in line with the automatic-urinal-flusher sensor. So he stands there, trying to do his business with his urinal flushing like crazy. It's like the urinal is screaming, "Hey, everybody! Look at me! I'm in use!" Ryan said it's best to keep your eyes on the ceiling in order to keep from laughing. It's gotten somewhat better because Little Indian has learned to reduce the constant flushing by standing on his tip-toes and holding his head very, very, very still. Apparently it's still entertaining.

I like to include at least one photo in my posts, so I googled "urinal trough". It appears to be the correct term. I apologize in advance for leaving you with this image, but I just didn't know what else to do.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wart is Gone. If it comes back, it can stay.

Emma, my 13-year-old, is begging me not to post this post. She said I should never ever ever mention my wart. She's not the boss of me, which means you get to hear this story.

I've had a wart on my naughty finger for three or four years. It laughed in the face of every over-the-counter treatment, so I finally made a doctor appointment to get rid of it. On my way to my appointment yesterday, I started to wonder if I might actually miss my wart. It's given me something to pick at when I'm nervous. It's been there for the good times and the bad times. It comforts me to press on it and cause a little pain when I do something stupid, like yell the wrong name at a soccer game. I know that's gross.

It was time to say goodbye. I don't go to the doctor very often, so I felt silly for going in for something so minor. Umm...was it really necessary for the nurse to weigh me in for a wart appointment? I wondered if they going to weigh me afterwards to calculate how much the wart weighed. The first question the nurse asked was if I was having chest pains. And then she took my blood pressure. Evidently it was stuff they needed to cover before getting rid of my warty little friend.

Dr. K used to be my neighbor, so we had a nice chat. Sometimes it's good to personally know your doctor, and sometimes it's not good. I plan to go to urgent care if I ever have anything super embarrassing. Funny how fewer and fewer things fall into that "embarrassing" category, the older I get. When I held up my naughty finger, Dr. K got a weird look on his face and said he didn't even know if it was a wart. In my head, I thought to myself, "It probably looks weird because I get nervous a lot and have picked off the top of it". But I didn't say anything out loud. Then Dr. K said it didn't really matter because he would figure it out when he started cutting into it.

WAIT A SECOND! "Cutting into it?!" I thought we'd be freezing this thing off. Well, shoot! Before I could ask any questions, Dr. K said he would be back with all his stuff. He really said it just like that. His stuff.

Dr. K came back with a nurse and a bag of stuff that I tried not to look at. I scooted my chair to the exam table and laid my hand on an almost-white towel. I asked if the towel was clean, and they told me it had come from a hospital. I acted like that answered the question. Then I declared that I would not be watching whatever it was Dr. K was going to do to my finger. He seemed surprised and asked if I was more worried about the needles or the blood. Oh, good golly! I wished he hadn't said either one of those words. I hadn't even considered that it would be bloody! I stuttered, but didn't really answer. He gave me a pillow and told me to lay my head down and look the other way.

I got as comfortable as possible with my right hand on the clean white towel, my bottom in a chair, my feet on the floor with one of them a-tap-tap-tapping, my right cheek on a pillow, my back curved around in an unflattering posture, and my eyes squished tight. I wasn't sure what to do with my left arm, so it was the last thing still moving around, trying to find a "natural" position. Dr. K got all his stuff out and told me I'd feel a little bee sting. He was still talking about the little bee stings as he gave me five shots in the finger. Dr. K also practices pediatric care. I handled the bee stings just fine. After that, I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel a feeling that someone was digging into and cutting something out of my finger. I stayed very still and quiet during that part. These are some things I heard Dr. K say.

"Oh, you were right! It is a wart! I see the core right there."

"Wow. It's really deep."

"Hmmm. I don't think I should dig any deeper."

"Now I'm going to cauterize."

"Now it will feel cold while I freeze the core."

"Let's clean this up for you."
[I'm picturing a bloody, bloody mess.]

"Give me a call if it comes back, and I'll work on it some more."
[I stayed quiet, but I'll let you guess what I was thinking.]
[And then, as I lifted my head off the pillow]
"Oh, are you sweating?! Are you light headed?"

I admitted that I felt a little dizzy, but really I felt a lot dizzy. The nurse gave me a cool damp washcloth and rested for a little while. I finally looked at my finger, expecting to see it wrapped up in thick gauze. I was prepared to see a bit of blood around the edges. In fact, I wondered if I would be able to type when I went back to work. I saw this.
I might be a wimp, but at least I'm not warty.

That could be the title of a country song, or at least in the lyrics of a country song. You heard it here first.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Operation Save A Buck

I'm on a kick to save a little money. I realize that one of the easiest ways we can save money is food. I get lazy with meal planning and eat whatever sounds good and is convenient. When TJ works his side job at Richard's (his name for Dick's Sporting Goods), he sacrifices his lunch break to pick up he kids from school in the afternoon. I'm a nice wife, and I bring him deli or fast food that he can woof in down on a 10 minute break. It's not healthy, and it's EXPENSIVE! Well, duh!

Time for a new routine! I know myself enough to know that I will not get up early to pack anybody a lunch. I'm not even in the ballpark of being that motivated in the morning. So we need something easy. TJ got some frozen burritos that he can microwave at Richard's. And I ate sandwiches four days this week. Instead of making lunch ahead of time, I brought ingredients to work and assemble my sandwich in the break room. That way I only have to remember to bring ingredients about once a week. Here's a hint for you: "hint of lime" mayo doesn't have enough hint, but dill mayo is YUM.

Today I broke down and went to Subway because I had a bad experience at the doctor trying to remove my wart. I'll tell you about that soon. I'm not ready to joke about it yet.

I tried to make our evening meals at home this week, too, even if it was more sandwiches, salads, hot dogs or some other cheap, fast solution. Until last night. Because I suddenly realized what time of the year it is. It's my favorite time of the year. Sure, the leaves are pretty, and the weather has been lovely. But that's not what I'm talking about.

It's McDonald's Monopoly.

I dislike McDonald's food. And I don't gamble. I've never bought a lottery ticket and I don't spend a penny gambling when I go to Las Vegas for work. BUT, I believe in my naive, innocent heart that I have a shot at winning McDonald's Monopoly.

Last night I went through the drive through and carefully planned my order using the menu board that smartly lists which items have Monopoly plays. I maximized the plays per dollar with a #1 (on the drink and Big Mac), 3 medium pops (play, play, play) and a 20 piece McNugget (double plays, man. double plays.). I forgot to ask for a Monopoly board, so I stopped the car and made Alli run in and ask for one. After we matched up our plays, I made Alli slowly read each prize and how we were doing. We are one property away from $1 million. So it's looking good for us.

Oh, but then I crushed my own precious hope with my own curiosity. I asked Mr. Google which properties are rare. This also happens to be a list of properties that I am looking for. If you find one of these, please give it to me. I will appreciate your kindness.

Pennsylvania Ave
Ventor Ave
Kentucky Ave
Tennessee Ave
Verginia Ave
Vermont Ave
Meteranian Ave
Short Line RR

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wedding Coloring Books

I don't remember who it started with, but I've been making wedding coloring books for at least ten years. I mean, I just make them for friends and family, not professionally or anything like that. I got my first images by scanning Emma's Barbie coloring book, but I've collected many more images from my best pal, Google.

I re-use images, but the key to a successful wedding coloring book is personalization. Here's how Kelly's book turned out. I'll type the story under each picture so you don't have to squint.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Kelly. She always dreamed of getting married...some day.
Kelly grows up and meets a handsome man named Tyler at a wedding. Tyler likes Kelly's big hair and asks for her number.
Kelly gets ready for her wedding day. She is upset that the invitations go out with two stamps.
Side note: Kelly took an invitation to the post office, and the post officer weighed it and gave her stamps. But when Kelly returned to the post office with the invitations, she found out that the post officer had given her the wrong stamps. Kelly had a melt down! A George Washington stamp was added next to the pretty stamp on each pristine linen envelope.
Kelly's friends and family help her decorate The Holy Trinity Parish Life Center.
Kelly tries to have a good breakfast, but she's too excited to eat.
Kelly's sister, Amy, helps her get ready for the wedding. Their hair is done, and they will put their dresses on at the church.
Kelly and Tyler text and go out on some dates. Tyler moved to Waterloo and Kelly drops a few hints that she would like a ring.
One day, Tyler takes Kelly on a helicopter ride over Chicago. "Kelly will you marry me?" "Yes, Tyler! I will marry you!"
Tyler waves goodbye as he heads to the ceremony. He feels nervous about the wedding, but he's sure he wants to marry Kelly.
Kelly is beautiful, and Tyler is a handsome prince. He asks Kelly if she likes his crown. She's still thinking.
Help Kelly and Tyler decorate a beautiful wedding cake!
[Word Search uses words that mean something to Kelly and Tyler.]
Kelly always wanted to be a dancer, so Tyler and Kelly do a dance number for guests at their reception in Kalona. Everyone claps politely, but they think it's a little strange.
Kelly is glad she saved enough frequent flyer miles to go to Maui for their honeymoon! Tyler wants to run on the beach, but Kelly tells him to slow down.
Tyler and Kelly live happily ever after. Soon, their adorable daughter arrives with dark hair and brown eyes.

I mean the end of Kelly's book. NOT the end of the post. Read on, reader. Especially if you love my idea and want to make your own. I'm about to spill my secrets. 

How to make a Wedding Coloring Book

If you're interested in making a coloring book, you can either ask me to send you my template or follow my tips.

Page Count

Plan to have either 12 or 16 pages. It needs to be a multiple of four because each sheet of paper has four pages, two on each side.


Unless you're a graphic designer or have a fancy copier that can create a book, the layout is TA-RICK-EE. I use my ghetto design software of choice: Microsoft PowerPoint. It's not fancy, but it works every time. I put two coloring book pages on each slide. You have to zig zag your pages from the bottom so they end up in the right order when you fold them together. Use a pattern like this.


Print your PowerPoint file and take it to be copied. When you duplex (copy from 1-side to 2-sides) a landscape document, turn every other page of your original upside down. Like this: 


I usually just fold the books in half. I would prefer to saddle stitch them (put a couple staples in the fold) to hold them together, but I haven't figured out a cheap quick way to do that. They stay together pretty well if you give them a good crease.


I suggest putting the books in a cute chest or basket, and don't forget crayons! You can buy crayons in bulk from party stores. Make plenty of copies of the book because if you make them cute enough, a lot of the adult guests will want one in addition to the kids who need quiet entertainment.

And there you have it! Now you know everything I know about making coloring books. They're super easy and very fun!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Soccer Season

I love watching my kids in their activities! It's a busy, but very fun time of life! We've been spending a lot of time at soccer fields lately. Gwen plays U8 recreational soccer and Alli plays U12 competitive. Emma tried to play soccer, but we decided it wasn't her thing when we had to keep reminding her not to sit down on the field.

Last year, Gwen was more of a follower on the soccer field. She would sometimes make friends with players from the other team. Or she would yell at other players for kicking her in the shins. She's a much better and more aggressive player this year! We woke her up early on Saturday for her game in LaPorte City. Gwen, TJ and I were in the car, almost to the game, and we had this conversation.

Gwen: Is this practice or a game?
TJ: It's a game, Gwen.
Gwen: Dad, are you going to play in the game?
TJ: No, Gwen.
Gwen: I know how we can win. Every time they get the ball, we can just trip them.
TJ: No, Gwen. Please don't trip anybody.
Gwen: Ok. Mom, are you going to watch?
Me: Yes, why else would I be in the car?
Gwen: [fist pump] Yes!
Gwen: (as we're driving through a town that hadn't quite woken up) It looks like there was an earthquake in this town!

Gwen was getting a little frustrated in the game and started getting too aggressive. TJ helps coach and had to yell this exact phrase during the game, "Hey, Gwen! Kick the ball, not their legs!"
Alli usually plays defense, so we were thrilled when she scored a goal on Sunday! Here's a picture from Alli's game a couple weekends ago. I was completely distracted because the SKY was ridiculously amazing! This picture gives you a tiny taste of what it was like in real life.

I like to cheer for the team, but a lot of times I get half-way through what I'm saying and I forget where I'm going with it. Or I yell the wrong name. Saturday I yelled "Go Hudson!" and that team wasn't even playing. Sometimes I start saying a name and do a double-check and end up pronouncing it weird. Like I start to yell, "Go Jasmine!" It's not a hard name, but it comes out, "Go Jazz-ay-man!" Oh, I HATE that! Or I might yell something like, "Nice kissel!" That's a cross between nice kick and good hussel. Ah well. At least I have spirit!