Sunday, October 17, 2010

Found a New Favourite Blog

Today has been a kind of a lazy day after a crazy week.

Tuesday Dave got a phone call from the school principal that makes all parents' hearts drop to their knees. Basically Daniel broke his arm in an accident, please come to the school. I was at Massage Therapy and Marissa came and told me. When she said, "the ambulance is on its way", my world spun a hell of a lot faster than it was 2 seconds earlier. I met Dave and Daniel at the hospital (they got to ride in the ambulance), and after meeting with the ER doctor and the Orthopedic Specialist, we learned he broke both the ulna and radius about halfway between his elbow and wrist. My heart sunk well into the pit of my stomach and my knees got incredibly weak (thank goodness I was already sitting) when the Doctor unwrapped the splint to examine Daniel's arm (it was not a pretty site) and then explained what they were going to do to my child to set the bones. Daniel was just a little scared. My poor baby boy. We finally got home around midnight, exhausted, and poor Daniel was exhausted from the trauma to his body, the emotional fear of what was happening, and all the drugs they put in his little body. Due to emotional and physical exhaustion Wednesday was pretty much a write off.

Thursday and Friday was already scheduled with stuff, and I had to play catch up on stuff I didn't finish Tuesday and Wednesday.

Yesterday, we went to Dave's parents house to celebrate my BIL Greg's marriage to my now SIL Gillian. We met some of Gillian's family, fabulous people, and had a great time overall. Needless to say we got home late, and this was Daniel's first trip since the incident of Tuesday, he crashed when we got home and fell asleep in .25 seconds of his head hitting the pillow. Poor guy.

Today, is a downtime and recharge kind of day. We hope to zip out and pick out some pumpkins a little later. Samhain (Halloween) is coming up really fast and I am so not prepared.

During my downtime, I started to explore some new blogs and came across a few that really caught my eye and added to my follow list. Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts was one of them. Linda has this cute short story documented in pictures. I love it, and having some Dutch names and phrases in there did make this Dutch Girl's heart get a little excited and palpitate. What can I say, I am easily excited.

She is also giving away a gorgeous witch's hat, that I just HAVE to have. Check it out below!!!

Go and read Linda's short story here. I love all the decorations and costumes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Have Been A Little Busy

When the kids started going back to school in September, I looked around my craft room and realized SOMETHING had to be done. I didn't like the way the room flowed for me, i.e. my Cricut was on one end of the room and my computer with the design studio on it was on the other. And as you can tell by the following pictures, it was in rough shape. I had gotten back from Memories Manor and just left everything, there was my birthday, Laura's birthday, back to school preparation etc. And well......things had been piling up for awhile. It got to the point, I didn't even want to be in there and my creativity was stalled big time. And last winter/spring we had a couple of mice in the house and for some reason they liked my room, I cleaned up after them, but with all that stuff in the room, what else was I missing. And besides, I think Dave might have been ready to call Hoarders on me.

Oh look, in the picture below, you can see one of the projects I completed at Memories Manor, my Bo Bunny Yule card holder. The only place to put it was on the door.

This is supposedly my computer desk, but it got to the point there was no room for my laptop. Not good.

My armoire had a shelf come crashing down because the weight of the paper caused one of the support brackets to snap. Whoopsy. So the paper was put in a corner on the floor by the computer desk.

There isn't room on my cutting table to cut much of anything. Ugh.

A week or so after school started I began the big job of clearing EVERYTHING out of my room, except for the furniture. During the clearing everything out process I realized I am much more than a paper whore, I am a ribbon whore, an adhesive whore, a die cut whore, a bling whore. But the bling, how can you say no to bling, all sparkly shiny. Bling completes any page or card.

At the beginning of the process I had only cleared out one quarter of the room, and Laura came down to the basement and saw what I had cleared out and put in the family room and hall. She said, "Wow Mom, you have a lot of stuff!!! Look at it all". I then told her I had just started and that there was much much more to come out of my room. She looked in and all she said was "oh" and walked away. I think it kind of scared her.

As I emptied the room, I sorted and purged and purged and purged. I filled up two black garbage bags of garbage, and a couple of blue boxes were filled, and I have a stack of stuff that is going to be give away or sold at The Scrapping Turtle's yard sale. I was fast becoming a collector and not a user of my scrappy supplies. The room was getting to be a mess, so I didn't create as much as I liked, yet I would still buy more supplies, but was fast running out of room where to put them. Not a good combination.

In terms of the mice, not impressed. When the room was being emptied, and the furniture moved I found mouse "presents" ew ew ewwwwww!!!!!!!!! I went through 1 1/2 big bottles of Lysol cleaner washing the floor and baseboards and other surfaces three times each. Let's just say I am extremely grateful that Stampin Up packages their stamps in those nice plastic containers. I also found that the little critters decided the handles of one of my totes and my sticker binder would make excellent nesting material.

Hopefully we won't have anymore of the little critters move in this winter, because I will show no mercy this time. Dave wants to do the live traps and release them back in the wild, well they didn't work, so I resorted to leaving some poison bait in the back area of the fruit cellar which got rid of them. And after watching many episodes of Billy the Exterminator, the basic, snap on their necks and kill them instantly traps are the best way and the most humane. Besides, those critters carry disease and well, they have no bladder control at all, we will just leave it at that.

Now we can see my beautiful, clean and organized craft room. It feels so good to walk in now. Everything has a place now and the room flows so much better for me. Can you just hear the angels singing looking at these pictures?

My clean and organized armoire. Notice the cropper hoppers of paper on the bottom where they won't cause supports to snap and bring the shelf down.

Beside the armoire is my bookshelf, storing my sewing machine and different materials for sewing.

My cutting table now has room for cutting. The top shelf is where I have put some of my completed projects such as the Advent Calendar from hell (look at one of my previous posts for that story). I left my pegboard as is, because it was working for me. I cleared some stuff on the bottom shelf so I can show off my Cricut cartridges.. My Epic, Jukebox, Stamp Pad holder as well as trimmers all on the table which is put on bed risers so my back doesn't get sore working at the table. Under the table in the iris boxes is scrap paper sorted into color groups, totes for storing extra albums and pages as well as some more boxes of completed page layouts that need pictures and an album.

My computer desk is next to the table so I can plug into my Cricut while using my Design Studio. Ribbon on the shelf above along with Prima flowers and such in the container next to the ribbon.
The unit above the desk is something I stole from Dave's workbench, used to hold screws and such, now holds glitter, pains, perfect pearls and stickles.

Most of my card stock is now in these plastic shelves that I picked up from the Scrapping Turtle when they moved. Works much better for me than the cropper hoppers. Looks its a rainbow of color.

More patterned paper and a little bit of extra card stock that didn't fit on the shelves.

My ribbon holder that I picked up at Michael's for 50% of. Love it. Displayed a few of my wood mount stamps on top.

My bookshelf where I store photos, idea books, craft books, workbooks and my tarot cards. Unmounted stamps that didn't have a home are placed on laminated card stock and slipped in page protectors in the big white binder.

So there is my new room. I am soo happy with it. Now to get some projects finished.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Today was Laurie's Funeral. It was a very hard day today for myself and a number of my close friends. As I mentioned in my previous post, Laurie passed away Monday night after a long valiant fight with cancer. Approximately a year and a half ago, she was given six months to live, and she lived much longer than that. Her strong spirit and determination to live her life to the fullest was probably the main reason she lived longer than first expected.

The weather today once again matched our mood, just like Monday night/Tuesday, it was pouring rain. It was like mother earth was mourning the loss of Laurie as well. The funeral home was packed today, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Laurie saw good in everybody, she was loved by everybody who met her. Throughout her entire illness she never complained, she would always tell concerned friends and family that she was fine, not to worry about her, one common phrase from her was "I am good with this." And she always had a hug and a smile for you no matter what. Even though she was the one battling a deadly illness, she was the one who made you feel better. She was one of those people who literally lit up the room when she entered.

Earlier this week, I was doing some clean up in my craft room and came across this poem to be used as the opening page in a tribute album. I won it in the auction at the Scrapping Turtle back in January and never really paid much attention to it. This week it really resonated with me. Here are some excerpts from this poem.

In Loving Memory

Yours was no ordinary life,
But a life well lived and well loved.
You memory offers comfort with the enduring love we will keep alive in our hearts.
We will remember the happiest moments filled with joy,
And find solace in the many ways you have touched so many lives.

As a butterfly lights beside you like a ray of sunshine, for a brief moment,
It's beauty and glory belong to our world...but then it flies again,
And though we wish it could have stayed a little longer
We are blessed to have seen it.

In every heart you touched, in every life you changed,
In every thought you inspired, your love lives on.

Your voice still echoes, your life still inspires,
You light still shines......and always will.

I am blessed to have been a part of your life.

By Patsy Elaine Gaut

Rest in peace my beautiful friend Laurie. Though you are gone, I know you are never far away.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Some Foodie Friday Thoughts

It's Friday!!! And it has been a long time since I last posted. Summer was busy of course, and it was really nice to get back into the school routine.

This past week has been a bit of an emotional one for me and all my friends at The Scrapping Turtle Pond. We lost one of our most beloved Turtles, the beautiful Laurie aka Elmo, passed away Monday night after a hard fought battle with liver cancer. I started my day Tuesday with a text from another dear friend about Laurie's passing. I knew it was coming, but still it was a shock, we all felt it was too soon, but it wasn't our choice. Laurie was ready and as she said, "I am good with it." The whole time she was sick she never complained, she never focused on the negative of her illness. She always had a smile or a hug for you. Tomorrow, Saturday, is her funeral, and I will be going along with a number of other Turtles. It is going to be a tough day for all of us, especially her family. I will post more later this weekend.

Now onto Foodie Friday. As most of my friends know I love food, I love to cook and try out new recipes and I am so lucky that Dave is the least picky eater that I know. He will eat pretty much anything. But he loves chili so I made a big batch Monday.

We usually get about 5 meals out of this and it freezes well, excellent for those days when you have a crazy day. This recipe I got years ago off the internet, I believe it was It makes a lot, I use a massive pot to make it in, but you can always cut the recipe in half. We like things with a kick here in our house, so you can adjust the seasoning to suit your taste, even cut out the cayenne completely if you can't handle any kind of spice. Also, mix it up a bit. Add more beans and less beef, or use ground turkey, chicken of veggie ground round. Make it your own.


4 lbs ground beef
8 cups tomato juice (I use V8, gives a little extra flavour)
58 ounces Tomato puree
30 ounces canned Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder (I use a whole head of real minced garlic)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Brown the ground beef in a frying pan, drain. Put the drained beef and the remaining ingredients into a large pot. Cover the pot, let it simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

And then enjoy!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It Has Been Awhile And A Recipe

Happy Monday morning everyone!!! I know I know, it has been too too long. Life has been busy, good, but busy for me.

I had my surgery April 27, and all went well. And I am feeling much much better. My hemoglobin levels have stabilized and I have been slowly getting back into my exercise program, it has been about a year since I have been able to exercise at a good exertion level. Boy does my body feel it, I have also tacked on a few pounds in the last year but starting to lose those now since I can get my body moving more again. I never realized how much those fibroids actually affected me over the last little while, until they were removed.

After my recovery it has been crazy crazy busy. Among other things we have had lots of dental appointments, all three kids had their regular dental check ups, but Laura and Amanda had to go back for sealants on some molars and both have had orthodontic appointments, especially Amanda. She had x-rays and moulds taken of her teeth, then there was the meeting with the Doctor to discuss the plan of action and of course the cost, oh the cost, that was painful. And then back again to get her top braces on, they put wire on the front four teeth only this time. She goes back to her regular dentist at the end of July to have a couple of teeth removed, and then two weeks after that she goes back to the orthodontist to have the wire put on the rest of her upper teeth. And with the orthodontic x-rays we found out that her wisdom teeth are impacted and she will need to have those removed when she is a little older after they have finished forming. Poor girl, her mouth has had and will have a lot of work.

Now onto the recipe. I found this recipe in my copy of Canadian Living Special Issue Market Fresh from last year. It was really really delicious. I would post pictures but we ate it all. Yummy!!! This a nice refreshing summer recipe. It is vegetarian, add a pita with hummus and some salad greens and you have a complete, healthy, and incredibly flavourful meal. I love the surprising kick from the cayenne. Enjoy!!!


1 Can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Plum tomatoes, chopped
1 Cup Chopped English Cucumber
1 Cup Chopped sweet pepper of your choice
3 Green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped walnuts
1/4 Cup Chopped fresh mint
1/3 Cup Crumbled feta cheese


3 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

VINAIGRETTE: In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt and cayenne.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, green onions, walnuts and mint; toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Epic Blog Post On My March Break Madness

Long time no post. Hard to believe that March Break has come and gone almost two weeks ago. Yikes!!!! Parts of my March Break were very busy but very fun.

To start things off one of my best friends ever, Marissa, celebrated her 40th birthday over the break. She has almost caught up with Denise, my other best friend ever, and myself in age. Of the three of us she is the last one to turn 40 and we had to make the celebration worth it.

On the Sunday at the beginning of the break Denise and I along with Marissa's husband, Scott, managed to arrange a surprise crop for Marissa at her house. We had a tropical theme because this time of year in Canada, we are ready for sunshine and warmth.

Here is Marissa, the Birthday Girl herself. We dressed her up for the Tropical theme. Love the glasses on the head. Silly girl.

One of our fabulous crop guests was Hannah, and she brought little Jack. We just had to dress him up to suit the theme of the day. Not sure if he will appreciate this in about 15 years though. But he is just to cute and photogenic.

Throughout the day, we had a core group of ladies who stuck around to crop the day away, and we had a few others that came and went as their schedules permitted. We managed to get a group shot of those of us who were able to stay for the day. Thank you to everyone who came and cropped and laughed the day away with us. Love you all.

Denise made the cake of course. And once again her talent shined for all to see. She made this gorgeous Hula Girl Cake. It tasted as wonderful as it looked.

I couldn't resist posting this pic. After the birthday song was sung and the candles were blown out, it was time for Marissa to cut the cake, except with the doll being on it she couldn't resist showing her sick sense of humor (that is why I love her). She had to take out hula girl in the process. The look on her face is priceless and Tracey, well her face says it all. Meanwhile Tracey's daughter Maya just quietly ate her cake. I think Maya thoroughly enjoyed the cake because afterwards we caught her sneaking a finger full of icing. Too funny.

After the cake Maya decided to have some downtime with her Mom Tracey. Isn't she just the cutest. I do believe the Turtles make very photogenic babies.

After Sunday, my fibroids kicked in big time. I was on a Tylenol #3 road trip Monday-Thursday. What a way to spend part of my March Break. But my surgery is coming up on April 27, hopefully sooner. Keeping my fingers crossed that this surgery will help the severe pain.

During the break I participated in Pass the Turtle Shell over at the Scrapping Turtle. One of the fabulous Design Team Members, my dear friend Heather, picks a layout from the gallery, and with 2-3 teams of scrappers, we do layouts based on the previous person's interpretation of the original layout. The first person on each team is the only one, besides Heather, who knows what the original layout looks like. I hope I explained how it works properly. If you have any questions just ask. Pam was the Turtle before me, and here is my version of the layout based on Pam's layout.

The pictures are from Andrew and Caroline's wedding in Bermuda, almost five years ago. I miss Bermuda. I would love to go back to Bermuda. (sigh)

Then on the Saturday at the end of March Break, Denise and I had another surprise for Marissa in celebration of her 40th. We kidnapped her for day, gave her a $50 Visa card, and took her on a scrapbook tour in Toronto. Of course we started our day at the Scrapping Turtle's garage sale.

Here is Marissa harassing one of the girls at one of our stops.

Of course one of our stops had to be to Stamping Bella. In the store they have this lovely piece of artwork. Kind of reminds me of Denise, Marissa and myself. The DReaM Divas.

One of the lovely ladies at Stamping Bella took our picture with their sign outside the door.

After our visit there we went for lunch at this restaurant we passed on our way to Bella's. It was a mom and pop burger joint, that looked like it hasn't changed in almost 40 years in terms of the decor. But the food was phenomenal. The burgers were homemade and HUGE!!!! The french fries and onion rings were also homemade and delicious. I can't remember the name of the restaurant but I do see myself going back. After we filled filled our tummies we continued with our shopping.

Our last stop was at Scrapalicious. Another fabulous store. By this time were getting tired and hungry, again, lol. Shopping is hard work you know. We called up Tracey and we met up with her and Maya at a nearby Kelsey's for dinner where we were rambunctious and our laughter and voices carried very well. Enough said. Our waiter surprised Marissa with a Molten Chocolate Lava cake in celebration of her birthday, something we all had a few spoonfuls of.

After a long and busy Saturday getting myself all shopped out, I was up really early the next day, or as I like to say, at the crack of stupid. To drive a couple of hours to attend the christening of our newest niece, Brianna. It was wonderful to be able to see family that we don't get to be with too often because of time and distance.

Here is the little sweetheart with her mom and dad (Kathy (Dave's sis) and John) along with the godparents. My brother in law John (I know two John's, are you confused yet?) and the first John's sister Diane. Brianna is Diane's mini me.

Close up of the little girl of the hour in her fancy dress. Gorgeous!!!!

Dave's dad was once again able to baptize another one of his grandchildren, of the 12 grandchildren, Brianna is the fourth one he had the special privilege of baptising. And of course Brianna is completely memorized by her grandfather.

After the service we all went to Kathy and John's house for a luncheon and we were able to relax and enjoy visiting everyone. Of course Brianna's big brother, Kristopher had to get in on the action and ham it up for the camera. Silly boy.

Amanda was lucky enough to hold Brianna, lucky was right, because that little sweetheart definitely made the rounds that day.

Afterwards we went back to Dave's parents house where Amanda's attention was demanded by their cat Basil. It seems like he doesn't get any attention.

Amanda and I decided to go down to the lake and take a look at what was left of the ice caves. After a busy crazy day around lots of people, it was good for both her and myself to just have some quiet time and recharge our batteries down at the lake. Even Dave eventually joined us when he saw us sitting on the rocks by the lakes as he drove by.

And to make the day even better, I was able to hold Brianna as well. Living far away from family, I don't get to see my nieces and nephews as much as I would like. Which makes the time I do get to spend with them even more precious.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Should I Be Concerned

The other day I was putting towels away in the kids bathroom and came across this scene. It made me stop and do a double take. Barbie appears to be suffering the after effects of a "few too many" during an evening of socialization with her friends.

My first thought was "Which one of my demented children put Barbie in this position and why?" My second thought was "Should I be concerned that one or more of my children know the after effects of a few too many?"

You have to admit though that Barbie has a cute outfit and her purse and shoes are to die for.
After some questioning Laura admitted to being the one who did the posing. I told her next time to put the purse farther away, you don't want it to get ruined.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Reveal Day

Today is reveal day at the Scrapping Turtle. I can show the world what else I created in my room with the kit I was given.

First off we have "First Day Jitters". I used Bazzill cardstock (what else would I use?), American Crafts ribbon, and the Miss Muffet Font from Quickutz. And yes, that is a pic of Dave all ready for his first day of school, he barely fit on their chairs and was asked to not come back since he was too much of a disturbance for the class.

Next we have "Mad Science" Once again Bazzill cardstock was used, some American Crafts glitter cardstock (I love that stuff) used for the goo in the flasks and "sparkles" by the title, the Flasks, 12 inch border, and Zelda font all from Quickutz. The rest including rub ons was part of the Piggy Tales Simple Simon Collection.

Last was my altered item. I really scrapped outside of my shell on this one. This is the first altered item I ever did 100% on my own, outside of a supervised class setting. I picked up the plaque at a dollar store for $1, painted it with kaiser craft red paint left over from another project I am working on, rik rack ribbon kicking around my stash, American Crafts ribbon, some misc buttons and embroidery thread also kicking around my stash, and some circle grunge board that I did up for the "shhh, study area" . I think for my first time, I did OK completing my first altered item by myself and I came out of the experience pretty much uninjured. I am working on another altered item, but I injured myself in step 2 of the project, more on that when I actually finish the project and post it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Sketch Challenge

Heather, one of the Design Team members at the Scrapping Turtle, issued a sketch challenge. She made a sketch, along with a layout she did of based on the sketch and we were each to make our own layout. Here is her sketch:


And here is my take on the sketch. I used Reminisce Frosted paper, Karen Foster sparkle brads, QK Jolly font, snowflake, label and border die.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Exciting News!!!!!!!!

I have some exciting news!!!!! I have been sitting on this news for a little while now, ready to burst with excitement. I am the Guest Designer for the month of February at the Scrapping Turtle!!! Lori and Hannah called me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would be their Guest Designer. Without thinking I said yes, then I dropped the pepperoni that I had in my hand when I realized what I just agreed to. Dalwhinnie used the pepperoni on the floor situation and my distraction to her full advantage and seized the opportunity with her mouth in .03 seconds. Lucky dog.

I love crafts and scrapbooking is one I spend most of my free time on. Being Guest Designer is exciting and an incredible honor on one hand, yet thoroughly frightening on the other. My work is being put out there for everyone to see and like a lot of people I worry whether or not my work will be "good enough". Silly I know. I am also not one who has not posted a lot of her work for others to see. For me, being Guest Designer is an excellent opportunity, as we like to to say at the Turtle, to help me "Scrap Outside My Shell".

I will be posting different layouts and other scrapbooking projects throughout the month. I even have to do a card challenge which I have been working on in my head for about a week. I have a couple of ideas, not sure which one I will run with. I will let you all know when the time to reveal comes.

Today is the sneak peak at the Turtle Board and on their blog. The day we reveal a little taste of what we created with the kits we received. I was given the Simple Simon Collection by Piggy Tales. I chose to do Amanda's school picture from this year in black and white, which really popped on the red card stock.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Walk In The Woods

It has been a cold wintry week here in Southern Ontario. Amanda had the 24 hr stomach flu earlier in the week and Dave and I were fighting colds and the kids were getting lethargic hanging around the house all the time. I decided what we needed was to get out and get some fresh air. Amanda ended up going to a friend's house for the afternoon, so we had just Laura and Daniel. We decided to grab some bird seed, get everybody bundled up, load up in the van with Dalwhinnie and hit FWR Dickson Settlement Conservation Area to feed the Chickadees. I took along my camera with the new zoom lens I got for Christmas, hoping to get some good shots of the birds.

A lot of times we haven't had much luck in getting them to come to us to eat, especially when we have Dalwhinnie. She wants to play so she starts barking at them, which causes them to not come near. Today we were lucky, because it was so cold out there really wasn't anybody on the trails, we had the area pretty much to ourselves, and Dalwhinnie kept her mouth shut!!!! The birds were hungry, they were all around us calling each other. I ended up with some really good shots. I set my camera on the sport setting which allows me to take continuous photos while I hold down the shutter. Worked like a charm, I would focus on one child, be it Daniel or Laura, and waited for bird to land and would press the shutter button and hold it down until the bird left. A few of the shots are shown below.

Here is one that landed on Laura's hand. It's like it is deciding which seed to take.

Laura with one of her Chickadees. Laura lucked out today, she pretty much always had a Chickadee on her hand. Her fingers were frozen after a little while, but she wanted to keep feeding them.

I love this one where the Chickadee is looking at Daniel as if asking permission to take some seed. Daniel was thrilled with today, this is the first time a Chickadee has landed on his hand, all the other times before he didn't have the patience to sit still and wait.

This was an afternoon we all needed. We returned home for some hot chocolate and tea, we were frozen by the time we came home, thawed our fingers and toes out and kicked back and relaxed. We all felt recharged and ready to face a new week.