Saturday, April 24, 2021

Miser Family update: "me in the morning"

Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household, especially in the morning.

What happens in the mornings, you ask?  It seems like we're all about body and soul in those early hours, with a good bit of coffee and books mixed in.   


  • I say "Me in the morning: I raise the blinds, as my first stretching of the day. And I try to read a bit of the Bible (in Spanish) before I turn on anything with a screen. . . Mmmmm with 'vintage' coffee that my husband brewed for me the night before."
  • I-daughter chimed in at 2:58 a.m., saying, "Me in the morning: I'm enjoying my book, but I think it's about time to go to sleep now" [thereby proving, as my one-and-only birth child, that biology is NOT destiny, I'd point out.]
  • L1 shows "Me in the morning for the next few days; catching a sunrise on the beach . . . with coffee of course"
  • L2 says "5:43am bedside prayers right after I wake up everyday"
  • Y likewise sends a smiling "Me in the morning- being formed by Scripture as I rewrite it in my journal* ("lemur palooza- you may say I'm a lemur but I'm not the only one")."
  • K-daughter forthrightly adds: "Coffee. Every day. But also my morning usually starts with this lovely little one next to me for her very last hunger pang that I'm too exhausted to rock her for so David brings her to me... I appreciate him so much. Shout out to David"
  • My sister in law impresses me with, "For about the last 45 years I’ve been starting my day in the gym. Hope to be staying with it for many years to come."
  • N-son is delighted to add,  "I start off my day by riding my bike with dad to my job"
  • My husband rejoins, "I ride with N-son!!!"

I have to say, I'm particularly appreciating the extra sunlight in the morning hours.  I've been running in the dark three mornings a week for lo these many months, but now I will have sunlight following me around the neighborhood streets all summer.  It's delightful.

Also delightful, despite the rising number of new Covid cases in my city (including a rather alarming spike among students on our campus) is the also-rising number of vaccinated people.  I-daughter can now count herself among those; she calculated that the two-weeks-to-take-full-effect timeline will give her a special birthday present in a fortnight.  To which I say, May the Second (Dose) be with you.  (Even though her birthday isn't on the second, so awkward pun).


In other randomly happy health news, I got an update that my body organs are doing well, even those body organs that are no longer in the same city that I'm in!  Here's a cheery little email:

I wanted to share this photo with you, no it is not a world map, but it is an ultrasound of “our” kidney. The technician asked me if I knew who my donor was, so of course I told her our story. And I said I wish I could share a picture with [MiserMom] to show her just how incredibly well her kidney is doing. So without further provoking from me, she went ahead and did this on the screen and let me take a photo of it.  She was completely amazed by how great it looks.



My college is entering its last week of classes.  This year, because of the pandemic uncertainties we faced last summer, we decided to switch from 13-week semesters to 6-week "modules".   The decision was a creative and noble experiment, but it's also a tiring one:  we are all exhausted from hurling ourselves through these academic sprints, and the summer is more eagerly awaited than I ever remember.  

For me, because of my official transition to Associate Dean that starts on July 1, and because of my unofficial shadowing of the current Associate Dean that has already begun, the shape of my summer is much more of a mystery to me than I ever remember.   I'm trying to savor this last week of classes, therefore. Every moment of it . . . including, especially, the sunlit morning moments.

And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our adventures.  May you and yours be similarly prosperous.  

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Three (or so) thoughts on . . . owning the morning

Six a.m.:  it belongs to me, this time does.  If you too are a morning person, then you probably know exactly what I mean. And if you're not a morning person, then thank you: it's people like you who make 6 a.m. into a time that I own, a time that's my own.

When I was a teenager, I discovered the magic of having the house to myself early in the morning. I would wake early, read the newspaper and wander the house in contented solitude, and then return to bed for a nap just as the other people in the house were waking. It drove my mom nuts; she was sure I was up to some devious scheme, no doubt, but I was really just relishing wide open spaces and familiar places, without having to share those with anyone.

We have cordless blinds, and opening them each morning
has become a part of my daily stretching routine.

Raising kids, I learned anew to rise and appreciate the quiet before the rowdy boys would get up.  Indeed, one of my most effective ways of convincing the boys to change their manic late-night behavior was to threaten to get them up with me in the morning: I probably did this once for each child, and after that, the mere threat of Morning-Mama time was enough to inspire change.

Reading in bed, with my coffee nearby.  
Hoy en día leo Isaías antes de encender la computadora. 

For more than a decade now, I've run three days per week in the morning with a similarly morning-minded friend.  On these days, I'm not so much wandering the house alone, but as I walk the kilometer from my home to hers, I have the streets to myself. There are almost no cars, and very few pedestrians. The streets are mine.  

This past fall, I rearranged my running and other morning moments to teach calculus at 6 AM to students in Shanghai, for whom it was 6 p.m.  I volunteered for this time slot because I knew I was one of the few people who would be willing to rise that early, but I do have to say that I missed my morning me-time.  There are people who retire who say what they love the most about it is never having to set an alarm again, but I think what I look forward to when I retire is to be able to own this precious morning time even more completely--- to have the house to myself, to be able to wander and read alone for a few hours without having to devote that time to preparing for something else like heading into the office, to own the morning all the more.

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Two solutions in search of a problem

Solution number 1:  I have lots of cloth strips that I've cut and pressed with an iron, ready to be sewed into face masks.  They hang on my tool bag here, ready to be put to use . . . 
. . . even though (yay), we have more than enough face masks in the world now, and I'm not sewing them by the dozens any more.

Solution number 2:  Beautiful cloth napkins!  They came in the "watch kit" that we bought for our Pitch Party.  They're locally made, organic materials . . . yada yada yada . . . 


. . . even though (yay), we have more than enough napkins in my home now, and in my kids' homes, and . . . well, in the homes of anyone close enough to me to foist cloth napkins off on.   This particular set is also really pretty, but also made of incredibly sheer fabric, so I don't want to use them to replace our (already pretty, and much more sturdy) existing napkins. 

So, two solutions with no corresponding problems.  Kind of like Jeopardy: I've got answers; what's the question?  

Clearly, it's time to invent a new problem.   And . . . here it is!  We've got so many CSA vegetables coming our way, that I keep running out of mesh bags because our available ones are already in use.    Where ever can I find good fabric and long drawstrings to make myself a set of nice veggie storage bags?

 
I think I win this round.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Miser Family update: Pitch Perfect

Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household . . . or should I say, "pitch and full"?  A bunch of us celebrated our city's annual "Live Pitch" (although this year it was a "Virtual Pitch"), during which 5 different entrepreneurs propose cool Social Enterprise (B-corps) businesses, and the audience gets to cheer their awesome visions.  

The first three photos below show that; for the low, low price of $150 each [ulp], I'd bought two "watch boxes", with make-it-yourself food from local businesses, plus noise-makers and confetti blowers that totally delighted Prewash, so much that we tossed the confetti over and over (and over again) so she could chase it.  It was a fabulous evening, even though our favorite business proposals didn't win the contest.  We're going to go buy the vegan cheese anyway, darn it!


You can pitch in and help, pitch a ball, pitch a fit, or pitch camp. You can bring things to a fever pitch, give a sales pitch, walk around in the pitch dark, or fight a pitched battle. A-child and L2  went with the baseball connotations: "Pitch perfect: Alise hit the ball a few times at her first game!" and "A pitch in a pinch".

Several helpful members of the family went for the "pitch in" aspects:  N-son adds, "I pitch in at home goods and help get everything ready so you can buy it"; the dogs go domestic as "Guinness pitches in cleaning Amelia's face"; and my guy says, "MiserMom pitched In and cut my hair almost back to Army!".     Alas, Y says, "Feeling less like a pitcher and more like a belly-itcher... Just found out that there is no way to get around Greater Atlanta without a 20min drive on highways."  Aww, man, I hate having to drive, too!  I love my pedestrian lifestyle, so I feel for her.   Finally, I-child finishes us off on a high note (heh), showing her most recent chorus gathering:  "Fun fact: our director actually has perfect pitch!"

On a tangentially related note, my guy visited New York and felt he needed to contribute this bumper sticker to the conversation:


This week we've done the kind of stuff that is partly just being responsible adults, but partly that just feels great to have done it.  For example, my husband and I finished our taxes: federal, state, and local; we split the duties on this with me doing all the paperwork and record finding and data entry, and him bringing me coffee.  Works for me!  N-son also did all his taxes, with help from me and a bit less coffee.    Also for example, we've had lots of shots-in-arms, and I got this happy text from K-daughter containing a new vocabulary word:  "I hope we can see more of each other now that we are halficinated lol! We get our second shot in 2.5 weeks!"

I also did my quarterly dry goods shopping.  There's an Amish grocery store about 10 miles from our home that sells local, organic foods, and this was the week I drove there and stocked up on 75 pounds of flour, 40 pounds of oats, lots of nuts and dried fruit, and giant blocks of cheese.  I don't love driving, but if I do have to drive, I'm glad to drive through the farmland, past horses and sheets drying on the line and teenagers in their suspenders and broad-brimmed hats on push bikes; I love chatting about home-sewn masks with the women who staff the cash registers at this place, and I love that the receipt is just a long list of numbers, with no words.   And then I bring home all that food, and package it up in jars and airtight bins, and for about 3 or 4 months, if I need more baking supplies for the kitchen, I'll be able to "shopping in the basement". 

For those of you sitting on the edges of your chairs wondering about sock madness, I-daughter reassures us all:  "Made it through round 2! (209 beads per sock!)"   This, as you probably well know, is above and beyond since the minimum required number of beads per sock was something like 56, not 209.  


And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our adventures.  May you and yours be similarly prosperous! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fixing my dryer with a circular saw, a cordless drill, and green paint.

Early in our marriage, I bought my husband a very large, Amish-made, wooden clothes drying rack.  He'd swooned when describing his memories of a similar one in his past, and not like I was jealous or anything, but I am darned competitive at times, and I didn't want to be beaten out by a former spouse on something as vital to a marriage as where he'd hang our undergarments.  So when I found this big and beautiful beast, I bought it.  It was pricey for a drying rack --- $40?  $60?  I don't exactly remember, but I love my husband that much, you know, so I was totally willing to shell out the big bucks to make him happy.  

My husband is the Lord of the Laundry, the kind of guy who jumps up mid-dinner to run down into the basement because the electric dryer is done and he doesn't want the clothes to wrinkle.  He uses the wooden rack mostly for delicates like bike clothes, and has mostly used the electric dryer for everything else, except when I can convince him to hang things (which he complains get "crunchy").  In the humid summer, we'll move the wooden rack outdoors to increase airflow and decrease drying time.  

MiserMom-themed comments, because I can't help myself.  When my husband is out of town for extended periods, our household electrical use drops by almost half.  The TV and the electric dryer use that much energy.  I myself don't use the electric dryer for anything besides killing bed bugs.  

At any rate, back to the main topic.   This drying rack has outlasted several electrical dryers and is older than some of my kids, so it's no surprise that it's started to break down just a tad here and there, not unlike its owners, I guess.   Fortunately, fixing a wooden drying rack is Heck-Way easier than fixing an electric dryer (although the latter is also frequently quite possible, thanks to the modern miracle of You-Tube videos).  

Last week, when I was supposed to be taking care of paperwork related to a jazillion committees I seem to be on, somehow I couldn't get my head into those.  So I headed into the basement, where I used my circular saw to trim down a pair of new dowel rods to the right length, and then use my cordless drill to attach them in place of the two broken rods, using the screws I'd rescued from disassembling a trash-picked dining room table (now a bookshelf).  

And then, since my head seemed to be happier playing with the drying rack than writing committee reports, I decided to paint the drying rack.  It used to be wood-colored, and then it was ugly-gray-wood-exposed-to-the-elements-colored, but now it's green.  


 Here's a dog's-eye view of the drying rack,
as seen from the balcony where Prewash and I like to hang out.

A drying rack has a lot of surface area to paint, let me tell you.  That's about 8 hours of committee work that I didn't do, right there.  But my husband likes the way the drying rack looks, and nobody reads my committee memos anyway, so I think I made a good choice.  

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Three thoughts on NO PARKING signs

These aren't thoughts about whether or not to park; they're really just random thoughts about the design of the NO PARKING signs themselves.


One, color. 
I'm sure I learned this back-in-the-day when I was taking my driver's test, but for some reason I just noticed again the color scheme. Black lettering is information; red is prohibition. So a NO PARKING sign has a black P with a red circle and a red tilted slash through it, the same way the black-on-white ONE WAY sign sits above the white-on-red DO NOT ENTER sign.

Two, font.
I look at the aesthetic of traffic signs differently ever since I watched the documentary "Helvetica". As much as I know how weird it is to see my peers Geeking Out on nerdy math facts, it was a lot of fun to watch these graphic designers Geeking Out on fonts. In the documentary, there are some people who get teary-eyed about Helvetica helping to reunify Europe in the decade that followed the second world war; there were others who could barely contain their rage over the use of Helvetica as a tool of the corporate capitalist oppression of creativity and individuality. I seldom think of fonts as moral choices (oh, except that once I read that "Century Gothic" uses less ink than other kinds of fonts), . . . but I do now realize that the font of each NO PARKING sign comes with historic, sociological, economic, and political significance.  Go figure.


Three, the symbol itself.
The NO PARKING symbol has an interesting relationship to the math symbol plus (+).  It was in the 1500s that a mathematician and physician named Robert Recorde invented arithmetical symbols that you'd think would have been around for forever: he was the first to use the symbols =, +, —. 

He invented the now-familiar equals sign to replace the phrase "is equal to"; he invoked geometry and used two parallel line segments of the same length, because after all what could be more equal than those? 

For the other arithmetic symbols, he turned to shipping for inspiration. People used standard sizes of crates to box things up, with a number written on it to indicate how much it held. If the box wasn't all the way full, as was common, you'd write a long line and then write the missing amount. So "25 —— 3" would mean that the crate that could hold 25 pounds, but the crate was 3 pounds light. 

Occasionally, however, the crate would be overfull, In which case you'd put a small slanted slash through the long line (it's hard to type it, but it would kind of look like this: "25 —/— 3").  So the plus symbol really comes from meaning "not subtracted from" in the same way that the NO PARKING symbol means "parking, NOT!": that little slash through them has a common symbolic ancestry.  Neat, huh?!  

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Miser Family Update: all is Egg-cellent version

 Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household.  If you're wondering how we're doing, well, this week we're all doing egg-cellently, thank you.  


Somehow, I never made it to the store before Easter to grab candy (or nuts, or other standard basket fillings), which I know will shock you.  Me? not going to a store? Okay, time to stop the sarcasm. . . Easter morning, I pulled on my Creativity Coat and decided to make Bunny Pretzels with raisin eyes and cherry noses, and they actually came out really cute.  I'd also dyed eggs (and my ceramic instant pot liner) with turmeric, more eggs (but not the liner) with cabbage, and yet another egg with coffee.  And then I made cherry pies.   And that's that first picture, which I'm really happy with.

K-daughter and family painted wooden eggs, which are more sturdy (and I guess have more fiber) than the usual variety.  And I-daughter said she was visited by an unusual animal: "These eggs were laid by a Chocolate Bunny (or a *very* confused chicken)".   My sister-in-law, standing in front of EggSlut, chimes in with "I've been called a lot of things, but . . . This is actually a really cool breakfast place here in town."

In the next row, my husband seems to imply I am in a color-rut:  "the color egg-sactly matches the walls in our bedroom. That's taking things to eggstremes."   L1 skips the outside of the eggs and goes right for the innards, when it comes to breakfast, and in case you were wondering how the dogs would make their obligatory appearance, she adds, "Dog awaiting a bite".   And Y offers a minor lament, sharing her email inbox from "PCOM Office of Financial Aid" with the subject line, "Incomplete Aid Requirements".   She adds, "Not eggsactly eggcited to go back to reality after Hawaii . . . ".  Yeah.

And yet, I've been in my own particular happy medical corridor of a week.  I had my head examined, or at least the eyeballs in my head, and they seem to be in good working order.  And then I had another annual exam that came out Just Fine, Thank You.  And then yesterday, I got my first dose of vaccine, whoop!  Wow, that's a short paragraph, but it was a very fulfilling sequence of events.   

N-son didn't contribute a photo, partly because he's been so very caught up in his new job at the Domestic Clutter Emporium.  Any new job is a learning experience, and this job is his first ever job, so there has been a heck-of-a-lot of learning.  And by "learning", I  mean also that there has been a bit of roller coaster in there, which we've been working with him to ride out successfully.  So, it was a happy Friday evening dinner indeed, when he told his parents that he'd gotten a "Star Card" because of the good work he'd been doing toward the end of the week.  Egg-cellent news, N-son!

A-child is also doing some learning: she's on a softball team, and is learning to be a slugger.  She "hit 2 balls [last weekend] at her first practice!", and less than a week later, "Her coaches are all happy to see that she can hit the ball, we just need to work on her throwing skillzzzzz. She hit 6 balls today! "   She already has an impressive roster of games lined up, two a week for the next 6 weeks.  

(And she stole my idea for next week's photo theme, so get ready for more awesome photos of A-child in action, people!).  

And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our eggventures.  May you and your be similarly prosperous.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Three thoughts about . . . light, light fixtures, and light switches

Three thoughts about light, light figures, and light switches.

1.  It's a personality thing.
According to "Snoop: What your stuff says about you", people who value organization and conscientiousness have spaces with lots of light. I've seen that pairing in my own life --- I love doing my work sitting in a chair by the window with light streaming in.  In contrast, one of my friends who had her finances in a mess asked me to come over and help her with them. The table where she had all of her records was in one of the darkest corners of the room, and I had to beg her to bring more light over so that we could work there. I know that these two examples don't prove a theory, but they do illuminate it, so to speak.

2.  It's a habit quirk.
Turning off the lights when I'm not around. I'm kind of obsessive about that. I'm obsessive to the point that I sometimes imagine myself in the position of Lot's wife, making that fatal final mistake: that Jesus appears and says to me, "drop everything and follow me now," and I respond "yes, Lord; I'm ready. I just need to run back inside and turn off the lights first!"  The Lord of the Universe, or the living room lights? I fear for my immortal soul.

3.  It's an opportunity for fun projects.
For both of these reasons, I'm loving the increasing variety of LED lights, and I'm planning a bunch of household projects for the summer to switch out dim or misplaced light fixtures for cheerier, brighter versions that hang where we actually need illumination. I'm so glad my parents taught me how to do some basic wiring: changing over these fixtures ought to be a lot of fun.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

2-ingredient dog toy

 Recipe for an awesome dog toy.


Ingredients

    • tennis ball
    • sock*

Directions

Put the ball in the sock.  (Optional: sew the end closed).  Throw.  

 * I actually used a sweater sleeve, from a torn/snagged sweater.  



Wow-and-golly, is this a great dog toy!  Fun to chew on!  Terrific for throwing inside a corridor of the house!  Easy for the human to grab hold of, even when the other end is clamped between dog teeth!  Fab for tug of war!  

We experimented briefly with a variation (two tennis balls sewn into the sock); Prewash nixed that alternate design style; she chewed out the extra tennis ball and returned the toy to its one-orb state.  The two-ingredient version is not only simpler, it's also optimized for canine/human interaction.


The delight my dog and I have had with this toy makes me think of wheels on luggage.  I look at movies of times past, and see people carrying suitcases in their hands instead of rolling the suitcases behind them, and think "wheels on luggage should have been an obvious idea!"   And yet, wheels existed, and luggage existed, but wheeled luggage wasn't an idea, until one day it was an idea, and then wheels on suitcases became the norm.

So, just sayin', tennis ball.  Sock.  Together.  We approve.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Miser family update: spring has sprung

The world's running over with color,  

With whispers, strange fervors, and April.

There's a smell in the air as if flowers

Were under our feet.

- Louis Untermeyer.

Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family household, and this week, we are particularly rich in spring.  Spring has sprung, people!  


My guy is always ready to spring forth with puns; but me, I just love that the cherry blossoms are bursting forth all over my city.  There's a cherry blossom tree right out my bedroom window that doesn't get a lot of sun, so it's not quite ready to flower yet, but the trees just around the corner for us are pinking out like pros!

This is a fabulous time of year to be outdoors, so it's lovely to see these outdoor experiences:

  • From Y:  "On Hawaii Big Island’s Mount Kilauea, elevation 3000ft+, and no cell service... but there is wi-fi! So this week’s pic comes via email.   From what the locals tell me, Volcanos National Park looks like this in the spring, summer, autumn, and winter!"
  • From K-daughter:  "Spring has... Swung! Spring sports! A-child joined a softball team! :) (Except today is COLD- so winter jackets are still "in" )"
  • From L1:  "Spring has sprung with flower petals everywhere, And a flowery leash to go with it."

And (notwithstanding the tree outside my window), it's an awesome time of year for flowers.  I-daughter has a flower with a spring-y stem, so appropriate!  A-child drew a flower on my chalkboard, right next to a self-portrait N-son did when he was also about 6 years old.  And my sister-in-law sent me the kind of flowers you'd expect to see in Vegas:  "These are all from the conservatory at the Bellagio. It’s their spring theme. The flowers are made from flowers!"  Wowzers!

There were two pics I couldn't figure out how to squeeze into that springy collage . . . N-son sent in a late entry ("springing into action when someone needs help"), from where he and my guy are helping a friend paint a house.   What a sunny smile!


And I-daughter very springily shares, "Spring-y sockmadness socks (I made it through round 1!)".  Kudos, I-daughter!

Why was A-child sketching flowers on my chalkboard, you ask?  Because she turned 6 this week.  Six! That's a perfect number!  As part of the celebration, K-daughter and her husband swung by my home to borrow canning jars to use at the (outdoor) party, so every kid could have their own food containers.  (And also to sketch a flower and to strew dog toys all over the entire house and to chase Prewash around, because who doesn't want to play with Prewash, really?)   I asked David how many jars he thought they'd need, and he said "as many as you can give us, I guess" . . . but then he only took three dozen. I have LOTS more! Many sizes! many shapes! Come back, David!!!  (I knew he didn't realize what he was saying . . . )

When I walk around outdoors, I see flowers, and I also see people.  It's really wonderful seeing so many people outdoors.  Today I walked past an outdoor wedding!  In fact, on my 4-block walk home, down my little city street, I almost always pass by more pedestrians than drivers.   And the topic I often hear my neighbors chatting about these days:  "I got mine!"  It's all about vaccines; people are more excited about this than about Christmas, at least from the way they talk.  (And FYI, I-daughter had her first dose on Monday, and I'm scheduled for next Friday morning.  Yay!).  It feels in many ways like such a horizon of hope .  . . it was a little over a year ago that my city logged its first of what would be over 1000 Covid-19 deaths to date.  It's encouraging, therefore, that last week we had "only" 3 people succumb, the lowest weekly number since before Thanksgiving.  

And yet, we all know what happened at Thanksgiving, and the number of positive tests in our area is rising again.  At the same time the death rate has been plummeting, my college recorded its all-time-high of new positive tests (we now have 27 active cases on our campus).   I continue to hunker down, and to hope.  After all, hope springs eternal!



Last week, I interviewed myself, and Y asked me two "Follow up questions if you have interest in responding to them..."  Sure! I love talking about myself!  She asks, 

1. So are you never teaching calculus again? What do you mean you’re done?

For a long time now, I've known this year would be a year of change for me.  I'd long planned to try to retire early, and had initially planned to retire at age 52, until I found I couldn't keep my college affiliation unless I waited to age 55 to retire.  Since I care a lot about my connections to people, I decided to wait. 
 
So I knew this year I would either (a) retire, or (b) go on sabbatical, come back for the requisite additional year of teaching, and then retire, or (c) become an associate dean for three years and then retire.  It turns out that plan (c) is what ended up happening.  I might teach a course in my research area again, while dean-ing, but I'm not going to teach calculus again, . . . at least, I don't have any plans to do so.  

 2. What is grasshopper soap?

One of my occasional blog readers (who is also a co-conspiratorial book reader with my husband) makes soap.   Awesome soap, that smells beautiful!  She sometimes asks me for advice on frugality/trash reduction topics, and --- even though she is amazingly frugal and un-wasteful herself --- she refers to herself as my "grasshopper" and me as her "sage".  I use her terms, even though I'm totally in awe of her bee-keeping/soap-making/rug-weaving/curb-treasure-finding prowess!  

And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our adventures.  May you and yours be similarly prosperous.