My 1 Million Row Challenge

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Today was a slow day around here compared to yesterday. Only 2 loads of laundry got done verses 6 yesterday. All that really got done today was an hour of spinning. A little housework. The Flu shots for the guys. A haircut for Eric, and a lot of knitting.

I did figure out the problem I had with a beginner knitting pattern 6 years ago. The picture was right the pattern was wrong. Since the pattern was written incorrectly I wonder if I am allowed to show you a picture of my current knitting and give you the correct pattern as I have it worked out? Will one of my readers send a note on that? The pattern is easy peasy but I don't want to trample on someones toes if I don't have to.

Right before bed the wild eyrping started so I think that it is a wonderful thing that my plans already had me staying home on Monday just doing the usual stuff. Knitting, sewing, laundry, spinning and cleaning.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Looking Up

Things have turned around and I have more energy. I just finished the Marina Hunger Walk. I did miss walking with Lisa and Matthew this year. I am at 7,961 steps out of the minimum 10,000 I need for the World  UCP Challenge. Did I mention that it is only 9:40am. I am also almost 2 inches in to the wash cloth that I started this morning. 

When I get home my to do list includes washing 2 batches of yarn.  More laundry. Sewing at least 1 dog pillow and what ever else I can get done in the sewing room. Maybe even getting the guys out today, but I would not count on Eric. As a typical young adult he likes to spend his weekends relaxing and watching tv.  So I might just add more cleaning, sewing, knitting and spinning. 

It's time to get a cuppa of tea for the road and get this day moving again. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Change of Plans

After a busy day yesterday my body decided it was time for some time off. I really had a list of things to do, but I find it hard to get out of nap mode when my body says it's time to nap. So there was a change of plans and I took it easy this afternoon. My hands are also still a little raw from the 2 times I handled a polyester based craft project with in a few days of each other. I will either have to stop playing with polyester ( the wisest move ) or get some cotton gloves for when I handle the stuff.

I have learned something new about my Ashford spinning wheel. Although I can spin 3 ounces of single ply on to the standard bobbin, I can only ply 2 ounces on to the same sizes bobbin. After that the bobbin becomes messy and tangled.  It was too late to take pictures of the freshly plied yarn, so I will try to remember to take pictures tomorrow. I have decided that I will make a shawl out of this yarn.  I have also learned that until I know a spinner with more experience than me a little better, I should take their advice with a grain of salt. After all they are not all as good as Kathy Withers is.  Also I should not let them egg me on to spin more on my bobbin that I feel comfortable with. After all it is my project which will become messy, not theirs.

I am almost finished with a creative piece on the drop spindle too. Just 3 little bits to spin on before I ply the yarn. I will take pictures of that too. I am calling this one shades of Halloween. I have not decided whether I will keep it or not.

I am also walking this Saturday for the Marana Community Food Bank, the walk starts at 7 am. My usual walking group for this event has another commitment. So If you want to walk with me let me know. Here is the link to my donation page if you would like to make a donation instead of walking with me. Marana Hunger Walk 2013.  At this time I am at 27% of my fundraising goal. The local food bank is able to turn every donated dollar in to $9.00 of food. Most of the food in Pima county goes to seniors and children.

I have a busy day lined up for tomorrow so it is time to call it a night.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Poll

The World CP Challenge has given my body a kick start that it needed. I am finding that not only do I have to walk 10,000 steps a day but I need to add other exercise too, in order for the scale to go down and the inches away. In this challenge I am trying to keep up with a friends 8 year old son who does Martial Arts 3 days a week. As you might have guessed he is ahead of me. As of this blog post hes has 313,532 steps and I have 293,198 steps. So I am not that far behind him. Only 20,334 steps. We are at the end of week 3 and have one more week to go.

Since I have been really bad at fund raising for this challenge, I would like to run an informal poll. yes i know Polls are BORING. If you think my friends son will continue to out pace me and leave me in the dust, so to speak use the World CP Challenge button on the right side of this blog and donate $2.00 to Matthew's Team at UCP of Southern Arizona. If you think that I have an ice cubes chance of not melting on a typical summers day here in Tucson donate $2 to Team Eric.

As of this writing Matthew's Team has a fund raising balance of $0.00 dollars and Team Eric has a fund raising balance of $110.00. I will use these numbers as the virtual zero dollar starting point. We would like to raise at least $500 per team.  All money raised will go to help people with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities here in Southern Arizona. So with 1 week to go do you think that I can not only catch up to my friends son, but also manage to inch ahead by a few step or do you think he will continue to leave me in the dust.

The voting is now open.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A very Busy Day

Don't tell Eric but I am caught up on laundry. Yes, I know that I will have at least 2 loads to do tomorrow. I have also found the perfect time to get my house work done. Yes, there is a great time of day to do house work. It has only taken me 9 months to figure this out. Right after the guys leave in the morning. I still have energy, plus I can get a lot of things done in that hour or so before John gets back from his work out. I know that I am not going to the gym but house work is a better overall exercise plan for me right now and has the advantage of a cleaner house.

I am also ready to to ply my second spin on the Ashford spinning wheel. With a little help from some of the spinners at Grandma's Spinning Wheel here in Tucson I have a better relationship with the wheel. I managed to get 3 ounces of fiber on both bobbins before plying. I will post pictures after it is plied. This should be one of the thinnest yarns that I have ever spun on a spinning wheel. Usually to get the yarn this thin I have to use a drop spindle.

I think it is time to call it a day so that I don't wake up with the headache from he double toothpicks again.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Long Night and A Busy Day

I find it a toss up when Eric has a bad night whether to stay up all night or pop up and down all night getting badly interrupted sleep. Last night was one of those nights and I decided to pop up and down. The longest stretch of sleep I got was 2 hours and sometimes I would just close my eyes and be right back up.

Despite the hectic night I managed to get in a very good work out by doing the house work and laundry this morning. I was way too tired. I also knew that the house work would wait for me and pile up on Mondays chores. Which would cascade further into the week.

After lunch I did make it to Michael's Craft store with a friend for the Lion Brand yarn 135 year anniversary celebration. I came home with a nice bracelet. When I got home I was exhausted so I made 2 cups a vanilla chai tea. I find 4 pm a little late for that much caffeine but today I know I would have fallen asleep on my dinner plate if I had not.

I also got some spinning done while Eric was doing his breathing treatment this afternoon. I am hoping that I can finishing spinning this yarn tomorrow so that I can ply it. John also brought home dinner tonight and was nice enough to clean up too. I almost finished the cowl on my knitting needles tonight. That too should be finished by tomorrow.

I am going to try to call it a very early night tonight. I hope that Eric agrees too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Too Many Projects Advice Needed

It has been brought to my attention just today that I have a few too many projects going at once. At least 20 is my estimate. Followed by more pending projects ready to be started. Well over 50ish to be polite about it. This does not even include the un-designated yarn, which is yarn/fiber/material that I love with no particular project in mind.  My mind just races faster ahead of me than my hands can go. Throw in a few bad days and this is where the dilemma lies.

I find my self enjoying but rushing through projects on the knitting needles so I can cast on and start the next project, the yarn is calling my name saying use me next.  Often times ignoring the getting smaller pile of UFOs. I try to fill a bag with finishing work so that I can weave in my ends and do the labeling all at once at least a once a month. I just can't wrap my mind around doing one project from buying the yarn, casting on and finishing the project before the next one is started.

I have also been asked why I continue to spin new yarn when I have so much in my stash already. The truth is that I find it very relaxing on  stressful days. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

My question is does anyone else have this problem? If so how do you handle it? Should I just list everything to do style and cross them off before I go to the next. Keeping in mind that I take 1 small project every where I go. Yes I add a few rows here and there. I also have 2 projects currently by the couch, both should be finished before Friday. I also have 1 project in Eric's room with a spare skein of yarn.

For those of you with small or smaller stashes how do you keep things in check? I would like to start a dialog on this. So please feel free to send in your comments. If you don't want them published just let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feeling Inscure

I am feeling a bit insecure today about my weight. I know that I am down 3 dress sizes, since I gave up high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and the maid.  I know that I am wearing clothes that I have not worn since Teri was a Junior at the UofA, six years ago.  Has it really been that long? I know that with the exception of 1 spot that I am toned. I am also sure that will continue to slim down too.

Then why do I let myself be upset by one jerk who points out to his entire group at the supermarket the "fat lady over there". I know it would make no difference to a jerk like that to tell him he was rude, lacked basic manners and that I was down 3 dress sizes. He should have said something when I was really fat and out of shape.  I am now a member of the tucked in shirt gang for some of my outfits, including the one I wore today.

I worked really hard to get to this point. I know that I still am not perfect and never will be. I am just trying to be the best me that I can be. I should not be defined by my weight. That is so shallow. Or my inability to stay on a diet when I have found out life style changes are more important. I am a good wife and mother. I run a chaotic house with very few hiccups. I am a pretty good cook, but not perfect. I can spin a decent skein of yarn. I am a skilled knitter. I can write a basic knitting pattern. Give me a piece of fabric and I can come up with something original. I have a lot of good qualities so why do I let jerks still get to me?

My goal for tomorrow is to brush the crumbs off and go onward and upward.  And just to be on the safe side add a little knitting,spinning and cleaning.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Falling Tuna Cans and Other Harzards

I spent the morning cleaning and filling up the recycle bin, Finishing up the laundry from yesterday and making phone calls. Followed by some errands. I picked up Eric early from his program to get his afo's fixed and trimmed for his tennis shoes for winter. The best part was they were able to fit Eric's feet and the old tennis shoes so I have 1 less errand for this weekend. No shoe shopping. Happy dance time.

Today was going surprising well until about 4 pm. Then there were a slew of phone calls. I was trying to make dinner. We were out of meatballs for the spaghetti. When I went to look for the spaghetti a stack of tuna cans fell on me, they hit me smack in the glasses. If I look at you funny tomorrow it will not be because it Pirates Day according to Jo-Ann's Fabrics, it is because I am tiring to line up the old tri-focals. Did I mention that all the spaghetti in the house had expired too. I was ready for a melt down but held it all together.

So I made a stew out of the chicken, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives. I served it with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and mixed vegetables which turned out to be mostly carrots. It was pretty good, but I do think I will get some pasta for the last of the sauce tomorrow.

I should cut it short tonight, as I have a busy day tomorrow. If anyone knows where I can find a time turner like Hermonies please let me know, I will need to borrow it for tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Quandary

I am in a quandary. I love to get out of the house and knit with my friends. I consider that a wonderful treat to say the least. We have fun. We check out each others progress. Trade yarn back and forth. Some times we knit in silence and sometimes chatty. We teach each other things we have picked up along the way. We like to consider ourselves a happy fun group.

The problem is that we have picked up a new member. She assumes that since most of us stay home alone working on chores or projects that are necessary or near and dear to our hearts that we need constant chatter. This has gone beyond the boundaries of normal social chatting. Today it got to the point of droning and not letting anyone get a word in edge wise. Today I had to skip lunch with friends because her constant drone and constant questions ( to read if I don't get the answer I want, I will keep asking the same question over and over again until you relent ) gave me a migraine that is now just going away. I am talking about the sun glasses stayed on for hours today, 2 bottles of cola and 2 doses of Excedrin.

I really don't want to be rude to her because 2 wrongs don't make a right. I know that everyone has a need for other people in their lives. Who am I to judge her? I really, really, really want to give her a book by Emily Post but fear it might be to rude or worse just go over her head.

I am open to Very Gentle suggestions. She is a few years younger than I am, so she must have gotten some of this in school and church. What would you do?

Monday, September 16, 2013

The last Monday of Summer

Today was a very mixed day for me. I got off to an early start a 6am with a lot of energy. I got 3 loads of laundry washed. Then packaged and addressed 2 parcels. Wrote a slew of checks and got them addressed. By the way in case you missed the last postal rate increase like I did the current 1st class letter rate is 47 cents, not 46 as I had thought. It must be a common problem because they had an envelope of penny stamps at the post office for that very reason. I also did some house cleaning on top of all the other activities.

By 10 am it was nap time which lasted until lunch time. Followed by a little more cleaning and a trip to the post office. I still had an hour before I needed to pick up Eric so I walked around the Brandy Fenton Park. I spent a little time in the butterfly garden. There were a few butterfly's. Then a lap around the rest of the park. I have decided that the water play area is nice and I need to borrow a friends son so I can go play in it. She suggested that we find a way to cover Eric's chair because we do not have a stroller for Eric to get wet and that he might like it too. I just hate to see what a stroller would cost that would fit Eric.

Eric and I watched the new episode of Sesame Street today. I think that they may have up graded their cameras over their break. I also did some finishing work and row counting so that I could update my counter for the 1 million row challenge. I added 970 rows to give me a total of 16,931 rows.  Here is a picture of one of the blankets that I did. Don't look for the pattern because it is a one off and I did not write the pattern down as I went. This one is a favorite and will go to a local hospital for a preemie.  After dinner it was more knitting and watching TV with John. For those keeping track of the World Challenge walk, I did manage to get in my 10,000. steps today. Well it is getting late, everyone else is asleep so I should be too.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Progress is Good

I have been very busy with cleaning around here. The master bathroom is 99.9% done. It is just a few very small things that I have to figure out where they go. I have made enough progress in the craft room to set up the sewing machine. I got 1 repair  and a blanket modification done for some one, that makes 2 things out the door of the craft room today.

For some unknown reason I had a very productive day around here. The bills were paid before anyone one else was awake. I brought at least 2 baskets of recycling out to the bin today and got it hauled to the street tonight. By the way I managed to fill it 3/4's of the way full, not bad. I also started working on my Mondays to do list. I know, what was I thinking? I will never get ahead of the curve ball on this one, but at least I have a plan for tomorrow. The laundry is 3/5 done for today, but then again I know there will be more than 2 loads tomorrow...

John and I stole an hour together and went out for dinner. While we were eating a a cricket ( I think, I am not an bug expert ) hopped on the hood of our car. It must have found a sweet spot on the hood because it made it from the restaurant all the way home with out flying off the hood. I did have to shoo it off the hood before we drove in to the garage.

I also had time for a lot of knitting and a little spinning. I would like to write more but I think I will call it a night.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Busy is Good

It has been a very busy day around here. I am almost caught up on sleep. The master bath reorganization is 99.8% finished, with only a few things left to be put away. 4 loads of laundry done. 

My goal was 5 minutes of cleaning in the sewing room, I landed spending 30 minutes. I find that when I limit my time on a tiresome chore I work a lot faster and manage to not notice the clock.  I almost have things ready to set up the sewing machine.  That act in itself will clear a lot of things out of the sewing baskets. Yes, you heard it right. I have almost got to the bottom of the sewing table.  

In the course of 3 hours, I managed to do 2 full hours of spinning on the Ashford Traveler.  I have also decided that the Ashford Spinning chair is going to be on my holiday list.  I have also found that I can spin pretty slim yarn on the Ashford. 

I got a lot of knitting done today.  I should be able to finish another prime blanket 

I am having trouble keeping my peeper open.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Need Shorter Work Days

Eric had a rough night last night. So I was up with him for about 2 hours. This left me totaly out of sync for today. I even managed to sew a poncho the wrong way, but was way to tired to rip it out.  Well there is always tomorrow. 

My biggest accomplishment today was taking all Eric's old cloth diapers and turning them into rags with the help of my serger.   I think that I will use them as packing material for Teri's next box.  I am quite sure she won't mind.  Here is the pile before John cut them apart. I did a daisy chain to save on thread, and John had volunteered to cut them apart before he knew that I was going to use the serger.  So the cutting was not as bad as he thought.  

Eric is having another rough night so I think I will get some charity knitting done while I count my blessings.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cartwheel by Target

I very rarely write about apps. This is one that is fairly new and the wonderful folks at Target got this app right. You start off with space for 10 special coupons. All areas of the store have coupons.  You can  earn more coupon slots by getting your friends to join and earning badges. I currently have earned the following badges: Shopping Buddy because a friend started using Cartwheel. Star Collector, I added an offer to the card. Super Scanner, I used my Cartwheel for the first time. Smart Saver, I have saved over $10.00  (actually $14.73 of of this writing) using the Cartwheel app. I can now use 15 special coupons at a time.

It is very easy to down load to your wifi enabled iPod, iPad or iPhone. The Target stores near me have free wifi so I can use this app on my iPod to add more offers while in the store. You can get extra savings from 5 to 30% for things you already buy. You can combine one manufacturer coupon, one Target coupon and one Cartwheel offer can be combined on 1 item. You will not get cash back if the total of the coupons exceed the sale price, but an occasional free item is a good thing in my book. This app does not work in Canada as of this writing.

I have used this app for savings on housewares and grocery's so far, but I still have all the other departments to explore. Maybe clothes shopping is next.

This is the app description from the app store:
Welcome to the early release of Cartwheel by Target – a whole new spin on saving! It’s the first of its kind, and it’s super-simple. Just sign-up using your Facebook profile and instantly save on things you already buy in Target stores by adding offers to your Cartwheel. Select from hundreds of exclusive discounts (starting at 5% and up to 30%), all available on your iOS device. Best part? These aren’t one-and-done discounts. Use them as many times as you want before they expire. You can even use Cartwheel on top of the 5% you save everyday with Target REDcard.

The app keeps your discounts neatly organized, all ready for your next Target run. Your discounts are all attached to one barcode that you can pull up on your iPhone or iPad, or print from on your desktop. Just scan your barcode at any U.S. Target store and see your savings add up! Here’s another cool part – invite friends to join, or share deals with them, and you save even more.

• First-of-its-kind savings app
• Discounts from 5%-30% on hundreds of products
• Save on top of other coupons and offers, like Target REDcard
• Share discounts with your friends on Facebook for inspiration
• Fully-customizable privacy settings, including Facebook posting
• Personalized offers, tailored to help save more on what you buy most
• Average discounts are valid for 60 days – longer than our Weekly Ad
• Check out for feedback or questions
• For Facebook app users, requires Facebook version 6.0 and above

What's New in Version 1.2

- Updated tutorial
- Improved experience for adding an offer when your Cartwheel is full
- Added the Cartwheel barcode number to offline barcode screen for easier redemption with no connectivity
- Allowed for deep-linking from Facebook for smoother navigation between the apps
- Added the menu icon for easier access to the nav menu in iPad portrait
- Fixed bugs for "offer list full" and miscellaneous crash issues

Just to be perfectly clear. I found out about this app on facebook ( which you must have to use this app) The app can be downloaded for free. Here is the link to the Cartwheel by Target App. Target has not paid for this review and ALL the views are my own. I did not make any purchases that I was not going to make in the first place, the app savings were just the icing on the cake.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maybe Busy, Maybe Not

I am not sure I should be this tired and achy tonight.  Yes I was active today.  I walked 6 miles, pushed Eric around the mall for 1 hour and 20 minutes, cleaned for 2 hours and went to knitting. John procured dinner tonight.  So it can't be the cooking.  I will have to think about this.  

Eric had a really good day until bed time. We hung out together today. He was full of smiles for everyone except for the one knitter who forgot to engage her brain before talking. So my request for the coming year is that we all think before we talk.  Please don't just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.  What comes to mind here is an old proverb that my dad liked.  "Speak softly, for you never know which words you will have to eat tomorrow."

I am going to try sleep now and hope that Eric sleeps through the night.  I hope that the eyrps have stopped for the night.

Well I got an hours sleep before I was up with Eric for the rest of the night. I woke John up at 6 am so I could take a nap. I then went to Target to get a few more organizers for my latest deep cleaning project. I also took time to walk around the mall to get the kinks out.  Those new organizers got filled relativity fast. I landed up buying one Target out and having John drive to another Target to buy more boxes.
I spent 4 hours cleaning house, doing laundry and deep cleaning before my body said enough for today. I did manage to organize another shelf and empty a laundry basket of things that needed to be put away that were hiding in a closet.
Getting dressed was another challenge today. The 1st pair of pants fit, but felt a bit snug. The next 3 were way too big and will go to Goodwill. Pair 5 was my lucky number today. They have been in my closet so long that I can not remember when I bought them. I have a lot of clothes in my new size so maybe I can shop my closet for most everything I will need in my new smaller size.
I have been losing the weight by eliminating aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. This in itself eliminates a lot of junk food. I have been deep cleaning the house and walking instead of going to the gym. This has been a multi year effort so there are no quick fixes that I can offer. Yes I have gotten discouraged at times, but every time I go down a size I am amazed. I have no set amount of weight I want to lose, I only want to feel better.
Well it is time to call it a night.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy New Year

The day started off with a very early morning headache from he double tooth picks for me. My head was still throbbing when Eric needed suctioning at 5:40 am. That went on and off for most of the day. There was no way I was going to get out of the house for services today. However; I feel that since I was under the weather along with Eric, that taking care of the sick was one step higher on the list of to do's than communal prayer. For everyone I wish a La Shana Tova - A good year with the best of health.

I wonder if the migraine that I started off the day with and John got later in the day is one of those quirky viruses that go around sometimes.

The UCP World Challenge has started. I am on Team Eric. I have put a link to the donation site on the right hand side of my blog. Any donation over $2.00 will get a tax receipt. Our team goal to to climb every virtual mountain and to raise $500. We have made a good start on the mountain and have raised $110.00 so far. As you might have guessed UCP is the non profit that helps Eric stay home with us. With out their help I would not be able to keep Eric home where he belongs. Please help if you can. Thanks from all of us on Team Eric.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Little Catch Up

Teri and I also made it to the beach in Carlsbad. A 4 mile walk on the beach in the wet sand left our feet very smooth, maybe even a little better than a pedicure.
I of course was in long pants as not to get burned which resulted in very soggy and sandy pants legs. Teri on the other hand got to romp around in the water. This is when I also happened to notice that my pants had gotten way to big. Yes, another size bit the dust as they went up my rib cage. So it is official I am down another size. To celebrate I bought 2 pairs of pants in the smaller size. I am still losing more inches than weight, but anyway I look at it skinnier is always better.

Monday was a rather laid back days as we were exhausted and slept in. Of course we did more shopping and eating out. With what seemed the whole of the city off for the holiday we found the stores very crowded. We spent the evening packing for Monday. Teri for work and me for the drive home.

I had one last breakfast out with Teri before I headed home. The drive was very uneventful until just east of Casa Grande. There was a pick-up truck in front of me who lost part of his load, which included a piece of sheet metal. Going at freeway speed there was no way to miss it. The metal tore to shreds both tires on the drivers side. If you look at the front tire closely you can see where the sheet metal tore into the front tire.

I did manage to pull into the center divider. I would like to state that I am 100% OK. I managed to control the car and even with 2 instant flat tires the Honda handled very well. Thank goodness for cell phones. I was able to call John and tell him I had been delayed and that I thought I had 4 flat tires. It turned out only to be 2.  I also called AAA. That in itself was a tale that should not have to be told. I was with in 200 yards of a Freeway exit and closer to Casa Grande than Pacho Peak. You, I and the very nice Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer would think that given that they knew the exit and I was reading off the names of the gas stations and the tire store that they would get one of those tow trucks to tow my car. But no they had to pull a tow truck from another city further away from Casa Grande and the tow trucks just a few hundred yards from me. I would also like to thank the Arizona DPS officer for staying with me until the tow truck came.
This gave John time to find the closest Jack Furriers Tire Center and order the tires that I needed for the car. Did I mention that this was just about the time that he had to pick up Eric from his day program? He handled everything so well. He even researched the best tires available.
After waiting for what seemed like an hour the tow truck finally came.  With the car on the flat bed the tow truck driver then went a few miles down the road and attached a second car to his tow truck further delaying my getting home at a decent hour. I am not even sure if it is OK to tow 2 cars at once.
The tires arrived at the Jack Furrier Tire center in Marana a few minutes after I did. I would like to thank the crew at Jack Furriers for staying past closing to get the new tires on and the car aligned so that I did not have to figure out a ride home and how to retrieve the car the next day.
I stopped on the way home to pick up take out. Only after I had ordered dinner and I was sipping my green tea did it dawn on me how bad it could have been. Then I really just needed hugs which John and Eric were happy to help with.
Today was spent cleaning and doing laundry. Well that should catch everyone up on the basics.