Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Zuppa Toscana Recipe

I love Olive Garden.  Or more accurately, I love Zuppa Toscana!   Soup isn't generally one of my favorite foods but I have a couple types I like ... and this tops my list.  I've had this copycat recipe for several years (I'm so sorry ...can't remember where I got it to give proper credit).  It's perfect for the kind of cold, blustery day we're having in Wisconsin today!  Top it off with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve it with freshly baked rolls.  Enjoy!!

Zuppa Toscana

1 pound hot Italian sausage
3 med red potatoes or 2 lg russet potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onion
6 slices bacon, diced
2 cloves (1 1/2 tsp) minced fresh garlic
2 cup Kale leaves, cut in half, then sliced in thin strips or chopped
2 16-oz cans chicken broth
1 qt water
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Bake sausage at 300 for about 30 minutes or brown gently on stovetop.  Drain on paper towels.  Cut into halves lengthwise, then into 1/4" slices or crumble if using bulk sausage.
Cut potatoes into half lengthwise, then into 1/4" slices.
Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear; some of the bacon will be starting to crisp.   Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken broth, water and potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 
Add sausage and kale;  simmer 4 minutes.
Add cream and heat through until kale is tender.  Serve hot. 

Cooks notes:
We prefer hot Italian sausage, but you may also use the sweet type.
If you are going to be short on time, cook the sausage and do the chopping ahead of time -- the soup actually cooks fairly quickly (as soup goes).   Serve with Tender Potato Rolls (which can be made a day ahead and baked at the last minute):

Monday, January 28, 2013

Business Planning part 2

A couple weeks ago (Jan 14), I confessed my laziness.  I’ve allowed certain circumstances to dictate my business decisions without even trying to think beyond those circumstances.   Well, all that is changing.

I seldom have problems with my creative side – I struggle with the more concrete aspects of the business side of what I do.  I found a website that’s been very helpful for me:
Check out the link "New Here?" for lots of nifty articles!

I can’t say there is a whole lot that’s really new – I’ve known all this stuff.  But since it’s the time of year for evaluating, the reminder has been excellent!  And the writer lays out his principles in such a logical manner, it has prompted all sorts of thoughts and ideas for HOW to approach, implement, and improve my business. 

I do like to plan.  Even if I don’t follow the plan exactly, the process of preparing a plan helps me to think through my priorities and what activities I need to implement.  Writing it down helps me to articulate my thoughts and it’s easier to act with focus and purpose.

Years ago, I read a book called “Confessions of an Organized Housewife” by Denise Schofield.  At the time, I was trying to de-clutter my house.  One of her premises was that if you have an overall plan, and you implement it, your thoughts no longer need to be consumed by worry whether something needs to be done – you have accounted for it – you can relax.  In the housework realm, if you decide you need to clean the bathroom mirror twice a week, and you make Tuesday and Friday your mirror cleaning days, once you do it on Tuesday, you don’t even have to think about it again until Friday – the task is complete and you are freed from the strain of indecision about when to do it again.  Another of her premises is that any project, no matter how large and looming, can be made manageable by breaking it down into small tasks (“you can eat an elephant one bite at a time”).  I'm working to translate these concepts to my business planning ...

More on making a plan in a couple weeks.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Procrastination ... or always put off til tomorrow...

Do you ever put things off until the last minute?  Or wait too long to tackle a project?  Then you struggle to complete it on time ... or you miss out on sleep or meals to make it happen?  I think we all do it once in a while ... some of us do it more.  Most high schoolers do it at some point...I’ll bet we’ve all had a paper we didn’t start until the night before it was due?

Admittedly, I was worse at it when I was younger.  There were tasks I didn’t like doing ... and I’d stall as long as possible to avoid them.  That’s a common cause for procrastination.  There’s always the hope that “if I ignore it, it will go away” ...and sometimes it actually does.  But I found that most of the time, I was just delaying the inevitable and until the task was finished, it weighed on me like a ball and chain.  I couldn’t enjoy my life and I was often preoccupied with the unfinished project.  As a fairly rational person, it just made sense to change my habit and get those unpleasant jobs out of the way.  In general I’ve been successful in my efforts and it really does make life less stressful.  I can relax and have fun when I’m supposed to have fun without the distraction of a project hanging over my head.

Sometimes a task can seem so small, it doesn’t really rise to the level of “important” ... but that can be deceptive.  If you suspect you have a mouse in your kitchen and you need to set a trap, it’s easy to overlook a task that minor.  But a mouse can do a LOT of damage (and leave disgusting evidence behind), especially to packaged foods and clean dishes putting off that little task can cause big hassles (and real dollars) later.   There’s a reason for the old proverb “a stitch in time saves nine”.

But there is another type of procrastination – a person who says they’ll do something, but they consistently fail to do so.  I think they have good intentions and every desire to do the task but they habitually drop the ball.  The habitual part is the problem.  Frankly, after a while, I start to feel very disillusioned and disrespected...and I find that I start questioning their integrity.  Did they really mean it or did they just tell me they’d do it to get me off their back?  I can cut someone a lot of slack for an occasional disappointment – everyone has stuff happen now and then.  But when someone can NEVER follow through ... well, there's a problem. 

This kind of problem can have an adverse effect for someone in business.  I know a small business owner who is easily distracted.  So when an employee says that materials need to be ordered, the boss always says, “Yes .. I’m on it” ... but it turns out to be days before the parts are ordered.  By then, it’s become urgent ...and stressful.  Production suffers, employees are frustrated, and profits aren’t nearly what they could be.  When production slows down and customers have to wait for their orders, the company’s reputation suffers too.  When a person constantly lives doing only the urgent, my husband calls it “fighting fires” ... and he doesn’t like doing that.  For 13 years, he was a project manager and had to anticipate material and worker needs ...and fighting fires was nothing but trouble.  A little "fire prevention" goes a long way.

So if you’re a procrastinator,  how do you find balance?  How do you get things done in a timely manner?  Part of it is nothing more than good old-fashioned self-discipline – being determined to get done as quickly as possible.  For some, it may help to make a prioritized task list – deciding what is most important and doing it first.  Remove unnecessary distractions.  It may be learning to say “no” – and not taking on more than you can do.  My husband has a terrible time with that one – he can’t help but help people.  I love him for his tender heart ... but every once in a while, he needs a little nudge to say “no”.   You may also have to learn to say “no” to something fun – it can be a bummer at the time – but you can reap some real rewards later in energy, restful sleep,  lack of frustration and peace of mind .... and even profits!  Maybe the most important thing you can do (and I rarely see it done by people who procrastinate) is anticipate what the consequences will be if something is left undone.  If a task is put off, how will it impact your life, your family, your time, your mood, your business, your employees, your bottom line?

So are you a fire fighter?  Or are you on top of your to do list?  Tell me ... how do YOU overcome procrastination?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coming Soon! Wild Weekend Special!

It’s cold here this week.  -10 below 0 this morning actual temp, about -25 below with the wind chill.  We like to say that we live just south of the tundra (Green Bay).  But the forecast for this weekend is a warm up ...which means I’ll be ready to get out and combat some cabin fever!  I may have to go shopping!  ;)  What are your plans for the coming weekend?  I’m also planning to make lots of jewelry ...I’m having a Wild Weekend Special!!!

Need jewelry for Valentines Day?  Planning for the prom?  Or planning a spring wedding?  Just need something new to combat your own cabin fever?

From January 25 to 27, shipping will be free on orders placed in my Etsy shop.  The fine print? 
International orders (outside the US) must be a minimum of $30. 
Orders must be purchased and paid for by midnight (US eastern standard time) on the 27th.  Most items will be shipped by Jan 29 and I may not be using my customary gift packaging.
When checking out, use the coupon code ShipFree.

Have an awesome week!  Try to stay warm!  And I’ll see you Friday!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I love Cary Grant

I love old (classic) movies!  I frequently have a classic movie channel playing on tv while I go about my household tasks.  Today we celebrate one of my very favorite actors – Cary Grant!  It’s his birthday!  Born January 18, 1904 in Bristol, England, Archibald Leach had a difficult childhood.  His mother suffered from depression and was institutionalized.  His father later re-married and abandon the young boy.  When he was 14, he joined an acrobatic troupe that toured in America.  In 1920, Archie went through Ellis Island.  He hooked up with a vaudeville troupe and his American acting career began. 

As an actor, Cary Grant could do it all – he could be funny or deadly serious.  His acrobatic experience gave him great physical competence and grace.  He could stride into a room, commanding all eyes on him or he could roll down a hill with practiced ease.  I’m a big fan of his comedies – His Girl Friday, Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing Up Baby, Topper and The Philadelphia Story are the best.  Monkey Business teams Cary with Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe -- tons of talent and tons of fun!!!  But he could do drama too – his performance in An Affair to Remember is stellar.  And his teamings with Alfred Hitchcock were awesome!  North by Northwest, Suspicion, Notorious and To Catch a Thief are among my Hitchcock favorites!

Sadly, Cary didn’t enjoy deep, lasting relationships in his personal life – perhaps in part because of his upbringing and maybe in part because he was so admired by women around the world.  That’s pretty heady stuff – and a lot for a woman to compete with.  And maybe every woman expected Cary to BE like his screen persona.  He was married 5 times, each relationship lasting only a few years. 

Cary Grant made 75 movies – and I think I’ve seen over 60 of them.  I never get tired of watching them.  He was one of the best!  Happy Birthday, Mr.  Grant!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Potato Rolls tonight!

The holidays are over and we are returning to more normal routines.  Routine is good.  It’s comfortable and safe.  My winter routine is definitely a different pace than my summer and fall routines ... no craft shows anchoring my weekends, no early morning hours spent in the garden, no laundry on the line.  My days are spent working on jewelry and business ideas, baking and sewing, with a little office work thrown in for good measure.  Oh, and sometimes I even do housework!

Today I’m baking dinner rolls.  I don’t remember where the recipe came from but it’s been a staple at our house for several years.  Not only are these yummy, they can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until it’s time to bake them ... awesome when you need to save time at the last minute.  They come out the oven hot and fresh just when you need them.

Tender Potato Rolls
3 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packaged instant mashed potato flakes
1 egg

In a large mixing bowl stir together 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir the  water, milk, shortening, sugar, and salt just until warm (120  degrees F to 130 degrees F) and shortening almost melts. Stir  in the potato flakes. Let stand for 1 minute. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with the egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).  Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1-1/4 hours).

Punch dough down. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover (with a clean towel) and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 8x8x2-inch or 9x9x2-inch baking pans or 1 9x13 pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of  dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured  2-1/2-inch round cutter. Place rolls in prepared baking pans.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in  size (30 to 40 minutes).

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.  Immediately remove rolls from pans. Cool the rolls on wire racks.

Make-Ahead Tips: Before letting the shaped roll dough rise,  cover shaped rolls in pan with oiled waxed paper, then with  plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and let stand, covered, at room temperature for 20  minutes. Rolls should be risen;  if not, allow a short time more to let them double from original size.  Bake following directions above. 

Raising Tip:  if you have an over-the-stove microwave (the kind with the light and vent fan), put covered dough into the microwave and turn on the light -- the heat from the light makes the  inside of the microwave perfectly warm!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Business Planning .. part 1

I own a handcrafted jewelry business.  I’ve been in business for over 6 years.  I have no formal business training, so much of what I’ve learned has either been through experience (mostly trial and error) or gathering information from those who have gone before me.  The majority of my sales come from craft shows.  Because I live in the north central part of the US, there aren’t many shows this time of year ... so it’s a “down time” for me.  I don’t mind taking a break from the show season ... it’s a great time to assess and evaluate.  What am I doing right?  What needs improvement?  What direction should I consider taking my business in this new year?

My husband is the primary bread winner at our house and he’s a huge help to me at shows!  I’m kinda shy, especially with new people.  He, on the other hand, doesn’t know a stranger ...only a friend he hasn’t met.  I tell you all this because he is an integral part of my business ...and any business plans I make must factor in his responsibilities and schedule.  I think because that’s been the case, I’ve allowed myself to get lazy, focusing more on the restrictions of what I couldn’t do than trying to expand the opportunities I could. 

My husband’s boss owns 2 small businesses, my hubby being the Sales Manager at the second (newer) since last spring.  His boss is brilliant about some aspects of what he does ... but occasionally makes some very poor decisions in other areas.  As something of a bystander, I watch what happens and yell “no, no, no!!” when I see some of the choices that are made.  But right now, I also have to stop and say to myself “Self obviously KNOW what needs to be done in his business ...but what are you doing about it in yours?” 

SO I’m working on it.  I'm setting some goals ... doing some research ... making some plans ... prioritizing some tasks ... formulating a strategy.  It's still a work in progress ... so I’ll tell you more about it in a couple weeks .. See you then!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In My Memories Today

It's been 36 years.  Seems like yesterday.  Seems like a lifetime.

Dave was 18.  He was a freshman at Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone University).  On Tuesday, January 10, 1978, he died in his room on campus.  His picture is posted in the campus library -- I wonder if anyone remembers?

Dave grew really fast in his last couple years of high school.  He was working on a farm, nearly 6 miles away, often biking between home and work a couple times a week.  He'd been chubby in his early teens but had really skinnied out in his senior year -- looking good and feeling good.

In the fall of '77, he went off to college, like thousands of other kids.  He was a decent student.  He played the tuba .. well.  While in high school, the US Navy band came to our town for a concert .. Dave was selected to play along with them .. an honor and memory he valued.  In college, he continued to pursue his musical interests, playing in the  college's Symphonic Band.  He especially loved a Bach composition and when the school had no funds to purchase the music, he bought it for the entire band.  

The most important thing in Dave's life was his walk with Christ.  He very much desired to be exactly where God wanted him to be and doing what God wanted him to do.  He was outspoken and consistent and his faith was rare for a teen.

In November, with his roommates, Dave attended a taco party.  On the way back to campus, he wasn't feeling very well but brushed it off to a little heartburn.  His friends were a little concerned about his coloring and decided to take him to ER.  Once there, doctors found that his heart was beating at about 200 beats per minute.  Attempts were made to slow it down but to no avail.  The last resort was to stop his heart and re-start it, hoping it would start.  The doctor told him the risks.  Dave was unphased.  He told the doctor that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" and if Dave didn't wake up, the doctor should not be distressed -- it was God's will.  He did request that if he didn't wake, that the doctor would call the campus, tell them what happened and ask them to sing "Amazing Grace" and "be happy".  That night, all went well.  Dave's heart was stopped and started 3 times to start it at the right number of beats .. but Dave survived.

In the weeks that followed, Dave saw a heart specialist.  He ended up on medication that the doctor expected Dave would need for a year or so then would probably never need again.  The doctor also told him that his life expectancy was about 80 years.  No problem.

Over Christmas break, Dave really struggled with where God wanted him.  He spent an entire night laying awake and praying, but found no direction.  My parents, concerned that once someone has had a medical problem, it could be difficult to get life insurance (and expecting that one day he would marry and have a family), applied for an insurance policy.  A local doctor did an examination and a deposit was made.

At that time, we lived 200 miles from my parents, so on the second weekend in January, my parents and brother came to visit.  It was a nice weekend, although I don't really remember much about it.  The family left on Sunday afternoon, so my parents could take Dave back to college -- classes were supposed to start later that week.  Dave worked in food service so would start work as students began to filter back to campus.

Tuesday was an ordinary day.  Keith had a dental appointment.  I did housework and chased our 16-month old daughter.  Dave was at school and went to work in the kitchen -- it was student registration day.  He told his boss he wasn't feeling well -- his boss sent him back to his room to lay down.  His roommates were there -- they didn't like his color.  The Resident Advisor was called.  He got to the room and immediately called the ambulance.  He also called a couple people, on campus, who were EMTs.  Help was there within 2 minutes.  CPR was done.  The ambulance arrived and they took over for the EMTs.  Dave was rushed to the hospital.  That night, the same doctor who had treated him in November was on duty.  Every effort was made to revive the young man, but after several hours, Dave was pronounced dead.  

The physician had been impressed with this young man a couple months earlier and remembered his words.  He called the president of the college, told him the whole story and told him of Dave's request that the student's sing "Amazing Grace" and "be happy".  The story was related to our family.

The funeral was held later that week, in a tiny little mission church we called our "home church".  At the back of the packed auditorium, doors were opened to a little fellowship room where most of the Symphonic Band was seated.  The music Dave had purchased had arrived on the day he died -- he never heard them play it with earthly ears but they played it for his funeral.  They also played "Amazing Grace".  And the congregation sang it.

In a weird twist, the day after he died, my parents got the doctor's report for the insurance policy in the mail -- Dave had gotten a clean bill of health.

We don't always understand God's timing or His plan.  We do know that He allows all things for a reason.  I miss Dave... maybe more as I grow older than I did back then.  I have no other siblings so find myself an "only child" (sort of).   He loved his little niece, Laura and as she has grown and reached some of the milestones in her life, I've missed his presence -- I know how proud he would be of her.  He'd love her family.  Our other children were born later -- he'd think they were pretty cool too!  Our son resembles Dave -- sometimes it's a little freaky.  

One day, I'll see Dave again ... until then, this is for you Dave.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


We have a number of traditions in our family – our holidays are saturated with them but we have traditions throughout the year.  Traditions give us comfort.  Traditions make us unique.  Traditions help us keep the memory of important people and events.  Traditions give us confidence.

Every Christmas Eve, sometime during the evening, we read the Biblical account of the birth of Christ from Luke 2.  It’s a precious time to break from all the busyness of the holiday and focus on the reason we celebrate.  The 4th of July has always been a big holiday for us – filled with parades, picnics and fireworks. 

Certain foods have a place in our traditions.  Recipes handed from one generation to the next make our holidays special.  I have a recipe from Norway called “Jule Kaga” (meaning Christmas Bread) that’s been handed down through many generations of my mom’s family.  It’s made with raisins, citron and cardamon seed and it’s not quite Christmas without it.  We slice and toast it for breakfast on Christmas morning and slather it with real butter.  Mmmm.   My dad’s family has been in America for 13 generations.  I don’t know how old the recipe really is, but holiday dinners have to include Squash Rolls - a yeast roll made with squash so it’s moist and golden yellow, but for the non-squash lovers, it doesn’t actually TASTE like squash. 

Several years ago, our daughter and her family moved 1100 miles away.  As a grandma, I wanted to maintain a special bond with my grandkids.  I visit them at least 3 times per year and sometime during nearly every visit, my granddaughter and I have a tea party.   We lay out real linens and have special dishes and Grammy makes fancy finger foods to enjoy with our tea.  We practice all our best manners too!  Often during my visits, we let Mommy and Daddy have a date night – and Grammy makes her special French Toast (with secret ingredients) for dinner with the kids.  After dinner we read stories and play games.   These traditions help us make memories!

Some traditions start by honoring a memory.  I know a couple who goes back to the same restaurant where he proposed, every year on the anniversary of their engagement.  Another couple had gone to a particular movie for their first date ..and they often watch that movie on that anniversary.  Traditions help us mark the milestones of our lives.

Businesses have traditions too.  Long standing family businesses often carry on the "traditions" of service, honesty or value.   As my jewelry business blooms, I think about the "traditions" of integrity and service I want to offer ... and want to be known for.  Those traditions don't come without effort .. but those are values worth working for.

What traditions are important to you? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Monday Madness!!

It’s Monday Madness!  Garnet is the color of the month ..the birthstone for January ..and have I got a deal for you!  Get 25% off any garnet jewelry you order!  This is how it works:  
Choose any style from my Etsy shop (look for the girl’s names for styles available in garnet)
Place the item in your cart (regardless of the color shown in the listing)
Write “garnet” in the notes section
Use coupon code MondayMadness when you check out

It’s that simple!  This is a one day only special so make your selection quickly!  All items will be made to order and should be ready to ship by Thursday.  This offer is good until midnight (eastern time in the US) and only available on garnet colored jewelry ... so don’t delay!  Oh, and if you’d like ball posts or leverbacks instead of French wires, please go to the Special Services section of my shop and add the desired alteration to your cart.

Friday, January 4, 2013

What's New

Ok.  Admittedly it's been a while since I posted.  This past year has been filled with many changes, and there have been some tough moments.  I'm a very private person ... and wasn't prepared to share all that was going on.  But I can give you some highlights now.

After 18 years in full time Christian work, God "closed the door" on our ministry.  It was not a change we sought, and frankly, it was not a change we were prepared for ... spiritually, emotionally or financially.  But God wasn't abandoning us ... just moving us.  He opened the door for my husband (a guy in his late 50's) to find a good job.  In this economy, that pretty much qualifies as a miracle.  We haven't owned a house in 16 years and were not prepared to buy one ... but some wonderful friends came along side and made it possible.  On November 1, we once again became homeowners!  It's a fixer upper and it will be a bit yet before we can move in ... and I'll try to share from time to time some of the challenges and changes.  After considering Michigan "home" my whole life, we now live in Wisconsin.  Much to the dismay of our local friends, we have not become Packer Backers or Badger fans.  ;)

Perhaps the greatest joy of our year is the anticipation of grandchild #3, a boy, due in mid-February.  This is the first for our son and his wife.  Everything is going well in the pregnancy and we're on baby countdown.

One of the challenges in our move was finding WI craft shows for me to participate in.  Not all shows are created equal and it's taken some trial and error to find my niche.  As I write this, I'm trying to map out a plan for shows this year.  Last year, we moved too late to make the application deadlines for some of the shows I might be best suited for and we experimented with some of the shows we did ... so I have a list of shows I'd like to repeat that would cover about 2/3 of my show year and about 1/3 trying for shows I've never done.  We'll have to see how that works out ... and I'll be letting you know my schedule.

In keeping with my goal of taking a more proactive approach to my online business, I will also be offering specials and sales from time to time.  The first will be coming up Monday -- and it's a one day only sale -- so don't miss it!!  I'll be posting details late Sunday night .. get ready!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Makes You Smile

Ellie:  These earrings are a pain in the butt to put in

Mom:   If it hurts there, then you're doing it wrong

Ellie:  ???

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Resolution

Happy New Year!  I hope this finds you healthy, happy and ready to take on the year!

I typically don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.  It seems like it’s always about something I know I should do but just don’t do it ... and then it feels like I fail.  But this year, I’m making one .. sort of.  Let me explain.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking that my online business should just be an extension of my craft shows, my business cards, my offline efforts....without really doing anything to make it happen online.  I can’t really explain just why this was my thinking.  A few weeks ago, my online sales were discouraging and a decision needed to be made whether I would continue or whether I’d give up.  In my “real” life, I’m actually quite shy ... I struggle with all kinds of insecurities when I’m around people... and if I depended on face time with people, it might not happen.  But the virtual world is my domain .... I can be Superwoman here ... and Superwoman doesn’t give up!

SO ... I’ve been doing some reading and some research.  Not sure if I’ve got it locked down yet, but there is a direction, a plan in place.  And not sure if one could really say it’s a “resolution” ... I’ve never put this much advance planning into a resolution.  It’s certainly going to be a ride!  Come ride with me!!