A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I’ve kept 20 pounds off for several months – and that’s a RECORD for me!  In the past I was the quintessential yo-yo dieter, making bargains with myself that I will get back on the horse, but when I start to climb the ladder to mount the horse, I slip and land on the proverbial ground instead.  Keto is different – it’s less of a traditional diet and more of a lifestyle change that uses common horse sense instead of rules, regulations and restrictions.  It’s a smart way of eating.  Yes, there’s portion control – there has to be – but I have not felt deprived like I have before.  I’m never hungry.  If I feel hungry, I can have all the fresh vegetables I want.  I get keto friendly veggie dip – and have a virtual feast at snack time!

But…  what about ice cream – for breakfast???  Hmm…  Lucinda thinks it’s perfect!  😉

ice-cream-for-breakfast

Thanks first to my Heavenly Father, of course, for without HIM – well – I’d not get anything done!  I’m thankful to my friend Dana for adding me to a great group on facebook called Keto 2nd Breakfast – and all the other meals!  I’ve gotten such help and support there – and then I turn around and share what I learn in my group (which is more or less health-related – well, we try)…  A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith. 

Then, I’d like to thank the academy, and all the little people, for without the little people, I would not have had the stick-to-it-tive-ness to achieve success!  Okay, now I’m being silly.  Too much coffee maybe?  Oh…  surely not!  There’s no such thing!!! 

Of all the foods that are on the high carb side – I miss ice cream the most.  I pass the Braum’s store and nearly have a fit – I want ice cream – well, a twist frozen yogurt, to be exact…  so bad!!!  But I think there’s a wonderful solution – and I found a post from Amanda Balster in the group – about Halo Top.  I’ve decided that’s a great name for it, because it feels as though Halo Top is Heaven sent!

A 1/2 cup serving is 80 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g net carbs, and 6g of protein.  I call that a WIN!

Thanks Amanda for these photos!  🙂

16195856_10102165268262236_4125207851832379837_n16298581_10102165261994796_4571245357092043781_nEveryone says that all the flavors are good – except lemon.  I don’t know because I’ve not tried it yet.  I’m blogging without trying the product first hand, which I rarely do, but I trust my friends to steer me in the right direction – they always have.  Shoot, I’m just happy to hear about a legal ice cream alternative!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)Modern medicine has finally caught up with what I’ve said for YEARS…  no two bodies are alike – thus, to tell everyone that they can lose weight on the same plan is completely ludicrous and frustrating.  Doesn’t it make perfect sense that every BODY has individual DNA and needs to be treated for whatever (weight, health issues, etc.) as an individual?  I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops for ages – EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT!!!  What works for me may not work for you.  My DNA is mine – just mine.  Your DNA belongs to you – just you.

Dr. Oz introduced a simple test to see how “tolerant” you are to carbohydrates.  Take 1/2 of a saltine cracker – pop it in your mouth and chew, counting as you chew – when the cracker changes in taste, write down how many seconds you chewed it.  The fewer seconds it takes, the less tolerant you are to carbohydrates – and the fewer you should eat in your diet.  If it takes less than 14 seconds, you have a low tolerance and should avoid them in your diet.

It’s called the 30 second cracker test:

http://www.doctoroz.com/

I’m raising my hand high!!!  I have practically NO tolerance for them.  It took that cracker 3 seconds to change taste.  It’s official…  my genes SUCK.  As I’m writing this, there is an advertisement on television for Sero Vital.  Yeah – can I just go get some of that???  LOL – it won’t change my DNA though, right?  Shoot!

Well, I know I’m not the only one who is in that unlucky group.  But here’s the good news…

I’ve cut carbohydrates from my diet and joined Planet fitness – and exercise three days a week.  My hemoglobin A1c is 6.3 which is normal.  I’ve lost 30 pounds and a couple of dress sizes – well, actually about 4 dress sizes.  I have more energy now and am happier than I’ve been in years!

http://www.carb-counter.net/

Is a new lifestyle worth starting???  Oh yes!  Is it easy???  Not always.  I ate a serving of ravioli at my favorite Italian restaurant on New Year’s Eve.  That is the first pasta I’ve eaten since April of 2015.  Will I be eating pasta again anytime soon?  Nope.

Has that little splurge affected my A1c?  I guarantee it didn’t.  It affected my blood sugar at the time, but it’s back on track now.  I got right back on the low-carb wagon and everything’s fine.

I love this diet because if you do give in to a food you shouldn’t eat – just don’t do it again for a long while.  Save those splurge times for special occasions…  Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, birthday, Halloween (if you’re into that), Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day.  My next planned splurge day is Valentine’s Day.  I have plans…  big – yummy plans!  It includes a little trip to the Russell-Stover candy store.  Yup!  complex-carbohydrates

You can do this.  If you have a low tolerance for carbohydrates, you are not doomed to a life of type 2 diabetes and insulin shots!  Just eat more lean meats, fish, vegetables (with no carb veggie dip if you want), an apple once in a while.  There are millions of low-carb recipes online.  There are support groups on facebook where you can post recipes to make the diet more interesting.  Nobody wants to be in a food rut.

On a funny note…  I keep a can of whipped topping in the door of the refrigerator.  When I want to taste something kind of sweet (but not overly sweet), I take a little taste of whipped topping – LOL.  I will say – it’s not a quiet sneak.  I always get “busted”.  But it’s okay – there are no carbs in whipped topping – it’s legal.

I eat a bit of cream cheese – I don’t put it on anything – I just eat it.  Not a lot, just a bit.  I take a bit of sour cream the same way.  A dollop – and it’s yummy.  Cream cheese and sour cream have no carbs.  Sometimes I fry up bacon to dip in sour cream – that’s pretty good too.

Have you ever mixed salsa and sour cream together?  I do that and put it on scrambled eggs once in a while.  Don’t knock it ’til ya tried it.

It blows my mind that I can eat cheesecake – real cheesecake!  But I need to say no to a baked potato – isn’t that crazy???  I know – who knew???  15878948_1869323266645468_1132251956_n

The one thing that has to remain consistent regardless of my diet is regular exercise – I can’t skip that or I’m sunk! 

gym

While physical exercise is beneficial for mind and body, we all know that there is an exercise that is good for the heart, as Lucinda reminds us:

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Death by Chocolate cheesecake from All Day I Dream about Food…  YEA!!!  But it’s not DEATH really – it’s helping me to LIVE!!!  Thankfully, I’ve figured out how to LIVE again – and live well.  Click on the link to find the recipe!  Enjoy!  🙂

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2015/09/low-carb-death-by-chocolate-cheesecake.html

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (14)The high protein low carbohydrate diet is going well, and I’m seeing results!  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and I’m not finished yet.  Most importantly, my blood glucose has been very happy – ranging from 110-120 on average.

I knew I’d experience some cravings – I just didn’t know it would happen so quickly.  This week I have wanted PIZZA so much!  I started bargaining – saying if I had a small or personal size pizza, I could just eat everything off the crust and leave the crust.  I’m not sure I really would have done that (I want to think I would have).  As fate and God’s perfect timing would have it, my friend Deanna happened to post a recipe for a low carb pizza.  I was quick to snag it – and I think if I’m having pizza cravings, chances are others are having them too.  So I’m going to share this recipe with you today – you’re welcome!13592757_10207789953284942_1587270977619589536_n (2)Photo courtesy of Deanna Stalnaker

Low Carbohydrate Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. chives

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. wet garlic, minced

2 C. mozzarella cheese

Toppings:

1/2 c. low-carb pizza sauce

1 C. mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings of choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat together cream cheese and eggs until smooth.  Add cream, parmesan, chives, Italian seasoning and garlic.  Spray 9×13 pan with PAM.  Put 2 C. of mozzarella cheese in bottom of pan.  Pour egg mixture over cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread sauce over baked mixture.  Add toppings.  Cover with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake until bubbly and brown.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

A low carb diet is not difficult, but it does require some creativity at times.  Thankfully, there is positive support all over the internet, and I’m especially thankful for my friends who are there to help me every day with ideas, recipes and inspiration.  🙂

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHOne of the best things about summer is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  July is National Blueberries Month!  Join me as I search for the best blueberry recipes available.  As a general rule, fruits are off-limits or should be eaten sparingly when you’re diabetic.  Blueberries are fortunately one of the lower carbohydrate fruits.  One half cup of fresh blueberries is only 9 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 42 calories.  One half cup of unsweetened unthawed frozen blueberries is only 7 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 40 calories.

I’ll be sharing a low-carb blueberry recipe every day for the next 6 days, so we can all enjoy some yummy food without feeling guilty about it!  Yay!  I’m on board, how about you?

I love to eat a blueberry scone with a nice hot cup of cinnamon tea.  When I saw how many carbohydrates a regular scone made with traditional ingredients was, it broke my heart!  This recipe uses a combination of almond and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.  When I saw this recipe, I wondered about the use of molasses, but it’s only 1/2 teaspoon.  It didn’t appear to raise my blood sugar at all.

LOW CARB BLUEBERRY SCONES

Makes 12 scones, 5g carbohydrates each

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 C. almond flour

1/2 C. coconut flour

1/4 C. Splenda

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. butter, chilled

1 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 tsp. molasses

1/3 C. heavy cream

1/3 C. unsweetened almond milk

2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix flours, Splenda, baking powder and salt.  Cut butter into dry mix.  Add blueberries and stir to coat berries.  In separate bowl, whip together molasses, cream, almond milk and eggs.  Slowly pour wet mix into dry mix.  Stir until dough forms.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a ball and flatten into a circle.  Cut each dough circle into 6 triangles.  Bake triangles for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sometimes I just get a craving for scones and tea.  With this recipe, I can satisfy that craving and still keep my carbohydrates in check.  Works for me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)How many times do we take everyday things for granted?  I know I do that way too often and I’m trying to do better.  My new diet has turned out to be more restrictive than I thought it would be.  I miss eating fruit because most fruit is extremely high in carbohydrates.  I recently typed in some of my favorites in a carb counter online – and my favorite fruit – apricots…  are only 4 grams of carbohydrates!fruit-808336_1920

I was so happy I did a happy dance all over the house!  Hopefully that burned a few calories – 😉

It sounds silly I know, but in my world it really was a pretty big deal.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.   – G.B. Stern

On this journey I’ve also decided that turkey bacon doesn’t taste at all like bacon.  😦  It’s okay because I’ve started eating Canadian bacon!   It is a low-carb and low calorie choice and a serving size is 5 slices!  It’s so good on an English muffin with egg and low-fat cheese.breakfast-713112_1920

Some mornings I begin the day with a protein shake.  I found whey protein powder at Walmart in chocolate flavor.  It’s so simple and quick to fix – just put a cup of liquid (I use low-fat milk) in the blender and add a scoop of powder.  It’s not very cold at that point, so I add 2 ice cubes to make it nice and thick and cold.  It also gets rid of that protein powder smell that some folks can’t get past.  It’s like drinking a thick chocolate milkshake for breakfast.  I thought I might get tired of them, but so far I really have enjoyed them!shake-677437_1920 (1)

I’m going to the gym and it’s another big praise to God – I have not injured my leg or back!  Sometimes if I try to do exercise, I mess with the neuropathy (nerve damage) and end up worse off than I was before.  I’m happy to report I’m doing well so far!  I enjoy Planet Fitness so much because there are signs all over the place like NO JUDGMENT ZONE and NO CRITICS.  I’m thinking…  exactly!  We’re all here just trying to do better, right?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.   – Thornton Wilder

The scale is moving – ever so slowly…  but in the right direction.  I pray that my appointment to get my A1c checked again in July will reflect my lifestyle changes.  I’m especially thankful to God that apricots only have 4 grams of carbohydrate each!  YAY!  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

 

NATIONAL MEDITERRANEAN DIET MONTH

TL MAY IS NATIONAL MEDITERRANEAN DIET MONTH

Isn’t it interesting that the words MEDICINE and MEDITERRANEAN both begin with the letters MED?  What exactly is a Mediterranean Diet?  Most of us have been exposed to some aspects of it, but few of us have embraced it completely.  One of our favorite restaurants serves an appetizer called hummus.  It’s made with chick peas, of all things!  Even five years ago we had not heard of it – but today, hummus is a popular snack here in America.

There are many Mediterranean dishes that are becoming more popular in America as time passes.  Most recipes feature olives, olive oil and bright, vibrant vegetables.  They not only look healthy – they are healthy!

This month you are invited to join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #MedDietMonth.  Follow @OldwaysPT on Twitter to join the party on May 19th at 1 pm ET.

Here’s one of my favorite facebook pages, it’s filled with great snack ideas that won’t wreck your diet plan.

https://www.facebook.com/mediterranean.snacks/?fref=ts

I love food posts because that means I get to share a wonderful recipe with you!  If you have never cooked anything Mediterranean before, this is a perfect starting point.  It’s not only pretty, but tastes great too!

CONFETTI COUSCOUS (makes 4 servings – 3 1/2 WW points per serving)

Ingredients:

2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth

1 c. whole wheat couscous

2 Tbs. golden raisins

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. slivered almonds

1/4 c. fine chopped red bell pepper

2 Tbs. dried cranberries

1/4 c. sliced scallions

1/4 c. chopped dried apricots

3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Bring broth to a boil in saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in couscous, raisins, cumin and salt.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes or until couscous is soft.  Uncover and fluff with fork and let cool 10 minutes.

Cook almonds in skillet over medium heat, 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Stir almonds, bell pepper, cranberries, scallions, apricots, mint, oil, lemon juice, ginger and garlic into couscous.

This is a wonderful side dish with baked chicken or fish.  It really does look like confetti in a bowl – almost too pretty to eat.  I did say…  almost.  😉

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

As we head toward 2016, will you make New Year resolutions?  I don’t call what I do each year by that name, but I do make POSITIVE PLANS with prayer.  I don’t commit to change completely at my age, which is what a resolution eludes to – rather I commit to tweak, keeping in mind that the goal is my overall good in life.

I could be like everyone else jumping off the cliff and say, “I’m going to lose a TON of weight”.  Well, first of all, I know this body of mine – and I know, especially as I get older, a TON of weight will not just magically disappear.  So I would rather say “I’m going to make better choices as I plan meals.”  That doesn’t put pressure on me to do something massive in a short amount of time.

You want results yesterday, and desperation mode kicks in.  Beware of the valley of quickie cures.  – Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. 

I can’t pretend that I won’t need a little chocolate once in a while.  I could stand in front of chocolate with my arms folded, refusing to partake…  but guess what?  That’s worse than buyer’s remorse!  I’m going to think about that moment and pretty soon I’m saying, “You know what?  I didn’t get that chocolate when I could have, so I’m going to go get some now to make up for it.”  For Pete’s sake – just have a piece of chocolate and work it off!  It’ll be okay.

There will be bumps in the road and it helps to keep a food journal to stay on track.  It sounds weird to say I eat and forget what I’ve eaten – but that’s exactly what happens sometimes!  I probably eat more calories than I realize I’m eating.  If I write everything down, there it is on a list.  If I’m getting close to my limit and I still feel hungry, I have to ask myself if I’ve drunk enough water or if I’ve gotten enough exercise.  Hunger is not always about food.  Sometimes it’s about water intake or lack of exercise.

Am I bored?  Do I need to get involved in an activity such as blogging or a game – something to keep my brain busy?  It’s not just a matter of denying myself food.  It’s much more complicated than it seems.

Let’s face it – if this was easy to do, we’d all be walking pencils, wouldn’t we?  Not everyone needs to lose weight, but a large group of type 2 diabetics would agree that they need to lose enough to get their hemoglobin A1C within normal range.  I’m raising my hand – I’m in that group.

It’s my hope and prayer that in 2016, around week four, I don’t become a big bundle of excuses.  I wish I had an accountability partner or someone who would be willing to drag their sorry behind to the gym with me.  That would keep me psyched and energized.  It’s more difficult if you’re doing it alone.

Positive Plan #1…  make better food choices and keep track in a journal.  I’m positive I can do this.  🙂

 

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY (2)

https://youtu.be/LGCjKPmegdU

No matter what type of diabetes we have, none of us want to be part of this “club”.  This is a frightening disease because it’s so unpredictable.  What will it attack next?  According to a recent study published online in JAMA, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and have so far managed alright.  My hemoglobin A1c is not at goal yet, but I’m working on it.  Diabetics can only manage symptoms now.  There is no cure for diabetes type 1, and if people like me with type 2 can lose weight, it’s possible to maintain a healthy blood sugar – but a type 2 diabetic will always be a type 2 diabetic regardless.

I asked the folks in my group, A Second Helping of Wellness… with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, if they had anything in particular to add to my post today.  Here’s the one response I received:

I think every day should be Diabetes Awareness Day. It is a work in progress for many of us. You have it on your mind all the time, and if you ignore it, it can cause so many complications.  – John Manganiello

Some of us express our thoughts and feelings through the designs we make.  I guess I’m in that category.  Here are a few I’ve come up with that say what I need to say:

AS WE MANAGE

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It hurts to be judged – especially when it is something as intensely personal as your body and your weight where your health is concerned.  I had a chiropractor ask me in a very flip and off-hand manner, “Why don’t you just lose the weight and get rid of the diabetes?”  I never went back to him.  I wonder why???

Judging doesn’t help!  People think they can shame a type 2 into compliance and obedience.  It works the opposite way for me.  I’ll speak for myself – but if someone belittles me all the time – nags me about my eating habits and crushes my spirit – I’m going to eat more.  No, I can’t explain it – but it’s true.  I suppose I just think “Well, I can’t do anything right, so why try?” 

Now…  encourage me and I’ll go the distance and I will reach a goal.  It doesn’t have to be much of a compliment – just a little one will set me in motion heading in a positive direction!  It’s how I’m wired – how God made me!  If I do good and I’m told it’s good – I’ll keep it up! 

I’m thankful for the support I get online and on facebook in the diabetic community.  They seem to understand and that really helps when I feel like I’m the only one struggling.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

So…  am I the only one who wants to know how LITTLE exercise I can do and still see results???  Hey, I’m just being honest.  I wish I enjoyed exercise, but the fact is, I really do not like it.  I’ve tried everything to try to “distract” myself from the task at hand (TV, music, etc.) – but the fact remains that I really don’t want to do it.

I read something that made me so very happy!  Apparently, a Scottish study found that just 10 minutes of leisurely cycling with two 20-second bursts of hard pedaling, done three times a week is equal to a quality workout!

Is it too good to be true?  You can bet I’ll try it and hope for fabulous results.  Feel free to join me!

Sometimes I get bored with the bike – so I go bowling.  I burn 237 calories per hour (if I stay away from the snack bar) – yikes!  :-/

Eating habits still count as well.  If you can find some blue plates (they are not easy to find here in Wichita) that would be great.  Why?  Psychologically, blue does not stimulate the senses – or make us think we need to eat more.

The happiest plate is not the one that is empty – it’s the one that is filled wisely.  Most of the plate should have green on it (i.e. broccoli), then a protein source (i.e. beef, chicken).  You can have a bit of complex carbohydrate, such as 1/4 baked potato with that, but if I can skip it, I do.  I’ve learned to enjoy veggies, fruits, beans and nuts.

I learned that skipping meals just makes you binge at some point.  It’s best to just eat all three meals and be smart about portions.

Have you ever kept a food journal?  I didn’t used to, but sometimes it helps because I catch triggers that make me want to fall off the diet wagon.  I can thwart the urge to sabotage my efforts and be successful.

If you have a choice between eating out and brown-bagging – pack your own lunch.  It’s a matter of control.  For example, I like the Arby’s Turkey & Swiss sandwich, but they use mayo on them, which adds about 100 calories that I can do without.  I can get similar ingredients and make my own – but hold the mayo.  I think the bread I use is probably fewer calories than the bread they use too (certainly lower in carbohydrates).

I’ve learned to swap ice cream for yogurt.  It’s going to sound weird, but I am hooked on Dannon Light & Fit 80 calorie yogurt.  All of the flavors are delicious – no lie.  Some of them are fruit, but others are dessert flavors like Boston Cream Pie and Toasted Coconut Vanilla.

Heart disease is the number one health risk for women – and a major complication of type 2 diabetes.  I have to make some small changes in my daily diet and exercise routine.  I’ve also learned that it’s okay to laugh more and stress less.

I’m thankful that with a few baby steps, this diet thing seems to be working well.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)

Aspartame is the No. 1 reason consumers are dropping diet soda.  – Seth Kaufman, vice president of Pepsi.
Aspartame needs to be released to the place where all wicked, failed experiments reside.  I have never believed it is safe and no one can convince me that it is.  I know Cher was a spokesperson for Equal back in the day – but sorry, not even Cher can convince me.
I know the jury is still out on Splenda and products like it.  I hope, however, the people who come up with better and more safe alternatives have learned from past failures, therefore, actually improving the new product.  We had Nutri-Sweet, now we have SPLENDA!
Sugar will never be a viable option for me again, so the future of my health completely depends on products that use a very safe and healthy alternative sweetener.  Coke came out with a product that uses Splenda several years ago, but it is not widely available and I’ve never seen it in a bottle – only in cans.  I have almost as much trouble drinking soda from cans as I do with the Aspartame.  I believe drinking from cans is unhealthy and cooking with aluminium (foil as well) can contribute to Alzheimer’s.
It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat.  – Robert Fuoss
I don’t really have a favorite as so many others do – Coke or Pepsi…  but if Pepsi puts their Splenda Diet Pepsi in bottles – I’ll be a Pepsi gal.
Kudos to Pepsi for listening to us and taking a chance by making your soda a bit more healthy for us.  We need all the help we can get in that department, don’t we?  🙂