Thursday, 30 October 2008

WooHoo! ...

... I think! Seems new part for lappy should be with techie tomorrow according to his tracking number. As soon as he gets it he will sort lappy out and I can have it back! Only problem is - I'm away early tomorrow morning until late Sunday evening ........ d'oh!! Mind you, I'm away for the North Yorkshire meet with classes being run by Jak so don't reckon I'll mind not having lappy as I won't be around. There'll be more piccies on camera though so will definitely be pleased to have it back but - the part hasn't arrived yet so I don't think I'll be counting any chickens just yet :0)

I'm now looking forward to this North Yorkshire meet again. Previously reported problems taking gloss off seem to have sorted themselves out - mind you they would have done anyway methinks - so that's fine. There is one sad thing though and, if you read Jak's blog you will know what it is. She is determined that she's still coming to do the classes on Saturday but she will be surrounded by friends and we'll be looking after her......

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

New part ...

... still hasn't arrived so techie has now ordered from another supplier. Just as well I wasn't holding my breath waiting for lappy to return home! More photo's taken and sitting on camera. Just wish I could download them, edit and post 'em :0( I had a day at the Glitterpot on Friday attempting Rubberstamp Tapestry and I'm really pleased with the results. Just some of what I want to show - not asking much really - lol!

It's 'sod's law' isn't it that, just when the hot air balloon flying season is over, the weather improves and for the last 2 days I reckon they'd have flown - if they hadn't finished! Weather for last couple of days, although cold, is bright, sunny and very little wind - just beautiful autumn days. We've also got our sea view back as the leaves have dropped from the trees and the sun is glinting off of the ocean - well, English Channel - lol! Once again, photo's taken but not sure how well they show the sea until I get them up on the lappy.

Birds have found the feeding station, woohoooo! - well, pigeons and starlings have at least. Tried taking photo's of them as well but again, haven't a clue how well they've come out.

Thinking of Jak and her family a lot at the moment as her Dad is very seriously ill. There's nothing I can do and not much that can be said but I know where she's at right now.

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Sunday, 26 October 2008

That's it...

... the end of British Summertime. Clocks went back overnight but the only good thing about that is that we've slightly lighter mornings for a while. It'll now be dark far too early (already has been) and we'll all be hunkering down preparing for the long cold winter nights - :0((

Not only is it the end of good old British Summertime but - it's also the end of the hot air balloon flying season so guess who's now got to wait until next year for last years Christmas pressie?? Just goes to show what a rubbish summer we've had this year. I've booked that flight 8 times throughout this 'summer' (including an invite to a weekend flight even though my ticket is for midweek only) and every time it's been cancelled and mostly because it's been too windy! They tell me that they've flown over 2,500 people in their 3 balloons this year but they have a handful of people, like me, that they haven't managed to get airborne. I've now got to book a flight for April to keep my ticket valid so here's me thinking that Mum's had something to do with this. It will be the first anniversary of her death on the 8th April so I'm going to predict that will be the date I fly ....... Will be interesting to see if I'm right! Hope it will be a frosty morning one. If I can't have the balmy, summer's evening or the frosty, autumn morning, with all the beautiful autumnal colours I'd like something that will make the flight extra memorable - or am I being greedy for a once in a lifetime experience anyway????

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Saturday, 25 October 2008

Still ...

... waiting for the part needed to get my lappy back!! Take my advice and don't ever drop lappy - not when it's plugged into mains anyway. Well, technically I didn't 'drop' it. I got my foot caught in mains cable and next thing lappy was on floor. Annoying thing is, I know it's working 'cos I continued to use it afterwards, until I realised it wasn't working from the mains and that the battery was running down. Techie has offered to take hard-drive out and put it in a 'carrier' so I can plug it into hubby's PC and use my files. That would be a good idea except - it's no advantage to me 'cos I have all my files on external hard-drives anyway and I'd backed them all up just a couple of days earlier (yes, I'm a goody-goody who does back up her files, although not as often as I should really). Where I'm stumped is with the software that I want to use. It's all on lappy and not on hubby's PC and I don't want to load it onto his PC so, my camera is collecting photo's at the mo but, by time I can get them downloaded baby Zac will be starting work and the photo's taken of him a couple of weeks ago, when I babysat, will be a bit irrelevant! Probably are already 'cos babies don't wait on our convenience to continue growing - lol!!

Oh well, it's the North Yorkshire meet at the weekend and, apart from packing my case I'm ready to go. Looking forward to catching up with some old friends (Jak, Jean, Greta) and meeting some new ones - well, at least being able to put faces to names 'cos, although we might not have physically met before, most of us sort of know one another through the imag-e-nation forum. What's a bit different about this meet is that some of those going are from the Joanna Sheen forum so it's a meeting of 2 forums - lol!! Looking forward to it now so BRING IT ON!!

There will be plenty of updates when lappy is back so 'watch this space' - LOL!

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Friday, 24 October 2008

Day of ....

... escape today - sort of! Early and late calls to Dad and quick ones at that, as I was away to the Glitterpot for a day of crafting with Jane Gill and a class of like-minded psople. Decided to have a change from Floral Punch Craft and, as I'm not a stamper but would like to get better, it was a class of Rubber Stamp Tapestry. Really enjoyed these classes and Jane certainly opened up the world of tapestry stamping. There is no way I would have used them as we did without her imagination and inspiration. I've fallen in love with them, although I did have a few problems with certain elements - lol!! The morning class was Christmas so a bit of glitter was called for. The afternoon was general tapestry stamping and, although we only actually made one card all day, we made several toppers with only one wreath involved!! Here's a bit of a tease - fuller details will be appearing on my Crafty Bits blog in due course .....










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Monday, 20 October 2008

Lappy poorly ....

... I dropped it on floor last Sunday and it's now waiting a new part. It's been repaired but repair isn't holding up so new part it is. I've loads to update and photo's to add but can't do any of it as all my resources are on lappy and not on hubby's PC - which is where I am at moment. Fortunately it's only to do with the power - or the fact that the power cable isn't being recognised 'cos pin broke away - so I haven't lost anything ... phew! Hoping normal service will be resumed within a couple of days but in meantime I'm getting loads done, including my self-assessment tax return so guess it's not all bad - lol!!

Thanks for dropping by .....

UPDATE: Post updates done up to this date......

Saturday, 18 October 2008

I just ...

... knew it!! It didn't happen - the balloon flight, that is. Lovely day and ideal conditions in the morning. One of hubby's friends went glider flying and said there shouldn't be a problem for my balloon flight. Trouble was, my flight was an afternoon one and by mid-day there was a lovely breeze. Unfortunately that lovely breeze was just a bit too stiff to go balloon flying! Told 'em I was a jinx - sob, sob. Checked site for next dates available and there's only 3 on there and I can't do any of them so phoned them and ..... they're the last of this flying season. Guess there's always a chance they'll invite me on the very last one but I can't book it 'cos it's a weekend and ticket is for a midweek flight. Oh well, they say He loves a trier and that patience is a virtue. He must adore me and seems I've patience in spades - lol!!

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Friday, 17 October 2008

Looking ...

... at our wedding photo yesterday I couldn't help but think on all the changes that have happened over the past 23 years. The lads are now married with families of their own. The eldest gave us our 2 oldest grandchildren and the youngest is now proud daddy to 2 daughters and little Zac. Mum, who was a year younger than I am now, is no longer with us and poor Dad is a shadow of what he was then (it was their 37th wedding anniversary on that day). I'm considerably larger in size and definitely showing my age (where did that young, reasonably attractive, woman go???) and hubby is also considerably larger but now confined to a wheelchair. Just a month later he had his first spinal op and it was all downhill from there on in for him!!

Sally (mentioned yesterday) had a lovely souvenir to show us. In her capacity as chief classifier she had to be at the Paralympics in Beijing, to classify shooters to ensure they met the requirements before they could compete. As a member of staff she was given a medallion in commemoration of the event and she bought it to show us. Those Chinese certainly know how to make a show of things and the medallion and the way it was presented, was beautiful.
















Ooooooooooohhh!! A surprise! Balloon company phoned me and invited me onto a flight tomorrow. Don't have a weekend ticket but flying season is near its end and they want to get as many flown as possible, rather than carry any over to next year. Weather forecast for tomorrow is good so looks like a goer but - I did warn them that I seem to be a jinx so they shouldn't hold their breath - LOLOL!!

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

A red letter day ...


... today. It's our 23rd Wedding Anniversary. Although that's a day to mark in itself it's not the reason for it being a red letter day. The reason for that is ........... we went out for dinner (but not really for our anniversary) LOL!!

Sally, the chief classifier mentioned in yesterday's post, is also a good friend of ours but not one we see a lot of, unfortunately. As she was down for the shoot we invited her to join us for dinner on the non-shooting day together with another friend who'd come up from Wales. Then we remembered it was also going to be our anniversary - lol!!!


Unfortunately the day is also tinged with sadness. Reason for that being, had Mum lived, her and Dad would have been celebrating their Diamond Wedding today - yes, 60 years of marriage - and it would have been a day of real celebration.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Oh no! ...

...I was hoping that hubby's influence on the weather would be stronger than mine but it wasn't to be. I'd booked another balloon flight for today and the weather has, once again, conspired against me!

Hubby has spent months organising a mini International Clay Target Competition for disabled shooters being held at Northall CPC. It's 2 days of shooting, the first being today and the second on Friday. There are a team of shooters that have come over from Finland and several from the 4 corners of the UK.

The chief classifier for the International Shooting Committee for the Disabled has also come to see how disabled handle clay target shooting in action, as it is not yet recognised by the ISCD although hubby has been working with them for a few years now with the aim of getting it incorporated into the international shooting calendar for the disabled and eventually into the Paralympics. He's usually luckier with the weather than I am which is why I decided to book flight for today. Got that one wrong!!

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Our squirrel ...





... friend has been very cheeky and I decided to move the feeder he was stealing from to the opposite side of the garden. Now he has his own dedicated feeding station. Hopefully they can all feed and share without any being scared by the other - lol!!

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Monday, 13 October 2008

It's been a ...



... beautiful couple of days that could definitely be classed as an Indian summer! The escallonia has decided to flower, which I am dead chuffed about as it's not long since I planted them. Looks as though the plants will be happy in my little bed ....


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Saturday, 11 October 2008

I'm sooooo ....

... excited!! Look what found my new bird feeding station this evening - lol!!

video

Cheeky little thing found the lowest peanut feeder and knocked it to the ground - and more than once! I was hoping that a squirrel would find us but didn't anticipate that it would be before the birds did - lol!!


At least this little fella has a nice bushy tail - unlike our foxes - lol!! He let me get quite close to him as well, hence the photo's.

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Friday, 10 October 2008

Today's ...

... another day and I actually got a good night's sleep - for a change, LOL!!

Sweet..........decided that I'm not going to miss out on a decent weekend with like-minded people. ...and sour ............ just need to settle a far more sensitive soul than me, who's now very unsettled about going but - she'll get there, even if I have to drag her screaming and shouting! Sometimes having a pretty thick skin and the ability to bounce back really does help ... and actually finding out that I've no reason to feel bad about things also helps. It's such a shame other people have been distressed as well :0((

Had a messy day here today - cavity wall insulation put in. Now I need the window cleaner and he only came last week - doh! I put a bird feeding station in the 'garden' as well. I've used one that Mum had and, as Dad doesn't want to be bothered feeding the birds, I've taken it. I've put it in my new shrub bed. Looks a bit funny at the moment but it will start to be disguised more as the plants grow - and they're looking really healthy. Even the hebes that I thought I'd lost look happier so there's hope for them yet.

Dad managed to give himself a cut nose and a black eye after I left him yesterday. Heaven knows how he did it but apparently it was because I'd done something - but it always is! Thing is, what he was telling me was impossible 'cos I'd moved what he told me he was doing from the position he was doing it in ... weeks ago, because he kept banging his head - derrrr!! He does get so confused, which is why, when he does silly things it's always because I've done something (according to him) - moved something, thrown something away - even when whatever, is right in front of him - and so on and so forth. It gets a bit frustrating at times. Things are still moving towards the possibility of rehousing him. When there's a definite base to work from we'll be in a better position to show him what is possible for him, me and everyone else. I certainly would rest easier knowing that he was safer than he is now but whether he will eventually move remains to be seen. Long term I don't think there's really a choice for any of us so, in some ways, the sooner the better.

Managed to get hold of Age Concern yesterday, to report the cleaner problems. Explained I may have been expecting too much but didn't think so, especially regarding her time-keeping, only for them to tell me I'm not the first to have complained about her being unreliable. Made me feel a bit better but does make you wonder just how much she wants these jobs. The lady at Age Concern was really nice and offered to find somebody else but we've decided to leave it until we know more the position with Dad and rehousing rather than risk mucking people around.

Finally, today I made a decision! I'm giving up all thoughts of going back to selling craft goodies on eBay, or anywhere else, like I used to. I just don't have the time, or the inclination, anymore. I've been paying my eBay shop fees for the last couple of years just to keep it available but not actually listing or selling anything. Since eBay have put their shop fees up I can't justify paying the new fee just to keep it available so I've closed it, officially. I've sold hardly anything from my Picturetrail site that I have goods listed on, other than my Word Insert Templates, for about the same length of time (although I used to actually sell quite a lot) so I'm going to close that as well soon. I've still a fair bit of stock and it now needs to go, so, for the timebeing .............. I'm selling it in Lucky Dips of 10 sheets for £4.99 before I dispose of it in any other way! I'll include a selection of sheets, which could include diecuts, glitters, dufex, embossed & gilded and bog-standard so some sheets would work out at well under half price. I'm not bothered about a profit - I just want it gone but preferably with no loss! I may do the same with the Dufex card I have and the sticker sheets. Really need to go through everything as I haven't properly looked at it in around a year - :0( A stock-take might be in order - lol!! Made a 'button' to go on sidebar. Tried making this one a clickable link but doesn't look as though it's possible. Sidebar one is though - lol!!


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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The gloss ...

... has just been taken off of the weekend away at the end of the month to attend the North Yorkshire meet. I was soooooooooo looking forward to going, catching up with 'old' friends, meeting new ones and now ............ I'm not so sure - about meeting some new ones, that is! I guess I've made the mistake of assuming that most people do things in the way I would and it's taken a cryptic message (and not even a personal one) to make me realise that they don't! Still, I'll try to push what's upset and angered, me to the back of my mind (getting good at doing that - lol!) and get on with it. Whether I'll bother to travel those sort of distances again to meet people I've never met before though, will depend on how this weekend pans out now.

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One day ...

... things will be normal 'cos I'd hate to think that this is now 'normal'. Just not going to hold my breath waiting for things to become so!

Firstly, today - it's the 6 month anniversary of Mum's passing. I thought I'd got over the worst of it but seems I haven't. As things start to settle down to some extent so emotions seem to take over and for no obvious reason and at the oddest of times. Guess this will ease over time as well but perhaps I need to get mega busy again so there's no time to think - although seems I don't need to think .... it just happens.

Good news though, baby Zac is not deaf, in either ear. He had an appointment at the Audiology department today and has been given the all clear - all reactions normal. He's gaining weight fast as well. Over 2lb weight gain in less than a month.

Yesterday was another medical day. I finally got to visit the surgery for the recall I had following the dreaded blood tests way back in March and May. There's me thinking, because it had been a fasting blood test, it was a cholesterol thing but no - cholesterol level is low. It seems I'm borderline for Type 2 diabetes. I'm 0.1 below the number that I would have to have for them to tell me I am diabetic. Nurse thinks that the high blood sugar count could be down to stress so they've put me on 'watch' which means that they'll be taking blood from me on a more regular basis - oh joy!! Why can't they find a different way of getting blood instead of the dreaded needle? They could have as much as they wanted, willingly, if a needle wasn't involved. Anyway, was given the advisory talk re diet etc. which didn't actually tell me anything I didn't already know 'cos I'd investigated it when Mum was diagnosed a couple of years ago. I must admit, I did get upset 'cos it feels that Mum wants me to take on her mantle but 20 years younger than her! I seem to getting all the same illnesses that she had. Fortunately I'm more clued up and not prepared to go into denial about things the way she did.

I got collared for my flu jab so am now suffering from an aching arm, which I can't lay on and which isn't helping me get the sleep I need (and told I need) and haven't been getting anyway! Daft bat that I am, I then mentioned the pneumococcal jab. OK, so it's a 'one off' but I've actually put myself forward for it when I have to go back in a couple of weeks!! Me, volunteering for a blooming jab! Reckon I've finally lost it ................LOL!

Afternoon was spent at the Eye Hospital with Dad. He has to have a check on his left eye since his bleed and laser treatment a few years ago. They can't do anything about restoring any sight to the eye but they check there's been no more bleeding and that his pressures are stable. Fortunately it's fine but we were there for over 2 hours for less than 15 minutes with medical staff! Why give people an appointment and then keep 'em waiting for over an hour past that time? Dad doesn't do waiting very well and he gets very confused. The longer he has to wait the more confused he gets - to the extent that, yesterday, he couldn't put his specs back on when they were returned to him and, by the time we got out, we couldn't book his next appointment because all the reception staff had gone home for the day!

There also seems to be some sort of movement towards the possibility of getting him rehoused. That would be a great help and hopefully allow me to become his daughter again and I could then see about getting him out and about, which hasn't happened yet - unless you count the many trips out to the Dogs Trust - lol!!

As I said at the beginning - One day ............

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 6 October 2008

Poinsettias, nerines and ...

... a surprise! Jane Gill's Floral Punch Craft workshop at the Glitterpot on Saturday.

Poinsettias
We made 3. A large one and 2 smaller ones. It's amazing what you can do with the most unlikely punches. Punches used to make the poinsettias were the Christmas tree, small daisy and the stamen.







The base card is an A5, hammered, cream card blank. The card front was covered with a border of cream Bazzill and remaining card covered with cream based Christmas text (in this instance Plum Pudding Marzipan by Crafts House) and join trimmed with a strip of gold card. The poinsettias and holly leaves were then arranged to suit. The card was finished with a gold organza ribbon bow. I just love this card and it is definitely one that looks better in the 'flesh' than in a photo!

A full tutorial on how to make the poinsettia's can be found here.



Nerines ... Well, they didn't do it for me. I didn't like the colouring detail. Far too harsh in my opinion but also I felt the base colour was too pale. The punch used was the Giant Lillium Feather. There are 2 sizes of this punch. It was the largest of them that was used here. Full details of how to make this flower can be found in Leone Em's Floral Punch Craft VIII (Camellia's, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Tulips and more).



We had a bonus to this class .... the Surprise!!
Again, it was using the Giant Lillium Feather but with this the smaller version of the punch could be used just as well and even in conjunction with - lol!! We made .......... Christmas trees! Really quick and easy to do and very effective! There are many ways of making a tree with this punch so it's a case of punch the shapes, cut, shape and just play with the putting together! The picture here shows trees made with a 6,5,4,3,2 combination but I've since played with others to great effect. These trees, believe it or not, are made from the same sheet of paper ..... BasicGrey Fruitcake, Berry Branch/Maraschino Cherry. Unfortunately it is last years design and no longer made but, any double-sided paper (if you're going to do severe shaping) will do. The shapes were punched and then the edges inked. I decided to alternate the layers on one and inked all outer edges in green. With the other I decided to keep the front the same for each layer and I inked that one with a rusty colour. In both instances I tried to pick out one of the shades in the paper. A large ball tool was used, in a circular motion, on the full part of each shape above the 'branches' to give a bit of definition. The 'branches' were then curled, each to a differing degree. Blobs (technical term!) of PVA were put at the top of each shape, with the exception of the top one (2 branches) and then each piece was stuck to the other in descending order. The trunk was cut freehand from brown Bazzill and stuck on the back.

I thought these were really great and can see me making a good few more - lol!


Enjoy!!

That's it! ...

... she's gone!! She's reached the end of the rope and hung herself! I'm talking about the cleaner Age Concern got for Dad. Not only has she not cleaned properly (just the bits you can see and not always that) in the last 4 weeks but her time-keeping has been atrocious! Today I waited a good hour past her due time but she didn't arrive. No message, nothing! Told Dad, if she turns up after I've gone to send her away. Looks as though the only people we can rely on are ourselves so that's what we'll do again for a while until I know what's happening about re-housing ........

Update 1700hrs: Seems she arrived ½ hour after I'd left, which meant she was over 1½ hours late! She rang me and complained because I hadn't told her she wasn't wanted this week (that's what Dad had told her). Well, she was put right on that one and the reasons for dispensing with her services. She lives about 10/15 minutes away by car but said she'd been delayed by roadworks (for over an hour?), making her late to her first client. Unlikely but even so, why hadn't she rung Dad's to tell us she'd been delayed and would be late????????????????

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Sunday, 5 October 2008

Another few days ...

... with no posts. Still, that could be a good thing 'cos it means that there's been no major happenings, good or bad - lol!! Had a few routine trips out with Dad, chiropodist (now he's got hardly any toenails on his big toes - hehe!!), nurse for his flu jab and doctor for medication to sort out his fluid retention (swollen ankles and feet) and .............. woooohoooo!! - hairdresser for me. 'Twas my mate Cally's birthday on Thursday and I have to confess to a mortal sin - I bought her card! Sorry Cally but 'twas either that or none at all (except a rubbish one made a few years ago - lol!!) Spoke to Council on Friday to find out what options there were for Dad regarding re-housing. Going into that a bit more but will have to wait and see what comes about on that front. I had a bad night Friday. Just couldn't get to sleep so got up around 2am and didn't go back to bed until around 3:30am. Still couldn't get to sleep so didn't really want to get up but had to because .................

Best bit of the week - yesterday, when I had a day of crafting at the Glitterpot. Floral Punch Craft with Jane Gill - heaven!! Small class this time. Only 6 of us, including Jane but, we had a great day and a good few laughs. We spent the morning making poinsettias and embellishing a card with them. The cards were beautiful and they were out on display all day. We were so taken and absorbed with these that we ran over workshop time and took up some of the lunch break. I'm giving mine to hubby Paul for Christmas 'cos I want to keep it so, if I give it to him, I will - lol!!

The afternoon was spent making nerines. Mmmmmmmmmm - not impressed with them but reckon that was more down to me than anything else. I'm sure they would look really good given patience and time but because of my bad night I think I was running out of steam. I made 2 flowers and gave up so never made the complete head. I will give them another go at home though and put my own stamp on them. I think they could look stunning - just not for me yesterday but, there was a bonus 'cos we got to make something else using the same punch and I was really pleased with that - lol!!!

More detail will be posted in the fullness of time...

The weather here today has been atrocious (been persisting down all day) and I've had real trouble getting decent photo's because the light has been so bad. Not sure they're too good now but reckon they'll have to do.

There was one other good thing happened that has given me something to look forward to ...... A meet has been arranged by one of the forum members. Ok, so it's in North Yorkshire and will involve a drive of around 6½ hours to get there - and the same back - but it's a chance to meet up with 'old' friends and to meet some new ones. Jak is taking the workshops - although I've been warned I could be helping out in afternoon (I don't do teaching - lol!) - and, while mulling it over as to whether to go or not and make a weekend of it, friend Greta said, if I decided to go she'd like to come along as well. Didn't need any further encouragement and now the B&B is booked, route planned and I'm ready to go. When is it? Not until 1st November (we'll travel the day before) but you can't be ready too early for something like this - LOLOL!

Thanks for dropping by .....