Monday, January 6, 2014

Who Left the Deep Freeze Open And Froze Most of North America?

We are all Middle Earth Canadians this week.  I have Extras lounging in my house and I am starting to feel stir crazy buried under negative windchills (F) and over a foot of snow.

I think I will put a pot of soup on and read a good book or two.  How are all of you? 


esperanza said...

I like all Middle Earth Canadians that I know (total: 3), but seriously. Keep your weather to yourself, friends. It has not gotten above freezing here all day today. In SOUTH Texas, people. No bueno.

W: giving up on the allergies and going to the doctor tomorrow. I'm game for tests, shots, whatever. I'm miserable. And stupid.

W: Mini has been sick/allergied all two weeks of the vacation.

AW: she's plenty well enough to go to school tomorrow.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I woke up this morning to a cold apartment: the furnace stopped working in the night! Ice got into a tube connected to the furnace, and the pilot light went out (I don't know which happened first). And, at that time, it was -35C WITHOUT the windchill! (Almost -50C with the windchill.)

AW: Because we live on the top floor of an apartment building, the temperature didn't drop lower than 18C/66F. And the furnace maintenance guys were already on site, and so we had heat again by 9am.


AW: a very nice immersion blender arrived in the mail today (I had points that I turned into a gift card & then saved it for Boxing Day sales), and I used it to make avocado pasta sauce for lunch. The day had turned into a lovely one, in spite of the cold.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza: I did allergy shots, and they worked very well for me. Made such a difference in my life. I hope some sort of treatment helps you.

esperanza said...

QWP has just made the best advertisement ever for renting vs owning.

I forgot my AW: our new health insurance (as of last March) is trying to encourage fitness blah blah. Anyway. Free pedometer. If you meet the goal (which is ~ahem~ modest), then they give you money. Actual money. I got mine in the form of a Am@z0n gift card, but they will give you actual cash. (I figure cash would get lost at the grocery store or elsewhere, and if I want to reward myself, then a gift card is the way to do it. Free money. I love it.

QWP: re: allergy shots. My brother got them as a small child and then had to do another round as an adult. The second round definitely helped. My dad has had so-so results but isn't finished with them yet. My niece (age 5) is in the midst of shots and has seen great improvement. I'm game. But. The closest allergist is an hour away. :(

Queen of West Procrastination said...

An hour away: that is rough. Hopefully, the allergist would be able to do what mine did when I moved to the West Coast and didn't want to start over with a new doctor: I got to take the allergy serum with me and had it administered by a nearby nurse. Then, I would schedule re-testing around my trips back home.

kathy a. said...

Dear sweet doggie, y'all are COLD! QWP, excellent being on the top floor and getting that heater fixed pronto.

Esperanza, fingers crossed about the allergist bringing relief. And really, gift card for walking? hmmm.

W: think I got that bug. Feeling feverish and yuckerino. Attention span of a flea.

AW: daughter is on interview 2 of 4 this week; two more tomorrow! W: She was supposed to take an online test for this one, but Java won't work for mac nor pc. Perhaps she was not the only afflicted one.

Miranda said...

It's a prize worthy week already with cold too frigid for me to comprehend along with freezing temps in South Texas. I didn't think that was possible. I lived in Central Texas for a bit which is what I am basing that observation on. Sometimes people would swim in outdoor pools. In December. Allergies...we mainly worry about food allergies over here but the environmental ones seem so much worse.

Friday and today were supposed to be my Miranda time with kinder pursuing educational pursuits. Both days have been snow days and I can't entertain them any longer. Or feed them. I am so done.

Next week I am supposed to travel to Mordor, I mean the Home Office, but there is some zany hijinks involving a change in travel systems and a boss who refuses to deal with email while out. In the current Old West movie stand off enviroment, I think it is best not to do anything without explicit approval. If they want me to have the training, they can do the travel paperwork.

Family Member with Legal Troubles has court tomorrow. This is turning into the bonus level of Logistics Challenge. It will still involve a huge time commitment from me due to Family Member's lack of a car ("but I have legal bills that are draining my resources....") Family Member doesn't even ask: "Well, Other Family Member says I can stay at her house tonight and she will go with me to court but she says you have to pick me up after work tomorrow."

Tomorrow is a snow day too. I have been authorized to work from home but do I want to? However, it is all Middle Earth Canada out there?

Just. Fireplace. It. All.

Thinking of Kathy A today. How are you doing? Check in when you can.

esperanza said...

Miranda, depending on how you interpret "Central" and "South" we could live in either. We are about an hour and a half south of Austin an hour and a half east of San Antonio. Definitely NOT where it is supposed to be freezing all day, regardless.

If school were canceled (starts back tomorrow) for weather, I would cry. I admire your stamina, Miranda.

Hope you feel better soon, kathy a.

Apparently I sound pathetic. Mr E and I called, separately, for appointments with the same doctor today. I was told to come tomorrow. He was told next week. Ha! All he needs is an Rx refill. The silver lining of the allergy attack: prompt appointments

Miranda said...

esperanza, I lived about an hour north of Austin just west of the big military hoopty hoo in that part of the world. I actually liked it there and was sad to leave. This was back when I had one offspring who was years from being school aged.

Feel better, esperanza and kathy A

AW of Renters Delight:

I don't have to shovel snow or supervise the shoveling of said snow. The property management firm contracts that out. Yay!!!

kathy a. said...

((( Miranda ))) Sending supplies, cludsticks for the bossman, the travel fairy, and bus/taxi fare for the trip from court.

Why I Love Pixies: hugs and love and kindness and sympathy.

It has also been comforting to talk to a bunch of friends who loved S, too. We're starting to share delicious stories, some of which are hilarious. She won't be forgotten.

kathy a. said...

AW: today's interview went great! knock wood, fingers crossed.

esperanza said...

That's a beautiful section of the state, Miranda. And I love that from your description, I know exactly what you mean!

And kathy a, my sympathies. I wasn't around much last week, but I'm sorry for your loss. Laughing is good. So is crying. And especially not forgetting.

Miranda said...

kathy a, fingers crossed for your daughter. We will get all the Adult Offspring launched this year. :)

Miranda said...

I think the holiday season has made me stupid. I have accepted two invites for the same night/time. I would rather do the second since it is an annual event and the other event involves people I see more frequently. But I accepted that invite first and I may have committed funds to that event.

I need to make a decision. And then act on it.

Miranda said...

Both events will end up on the Book of Faces so.... I need to be pretty straightforward in my excuses.

kathy a. said...

Nobody's going to compare notes on exactly when you responded, are they? "I'm so sorry, I had forgotten another obligation and won't be able to make it this time."

Sue said...

Sorry about the Middle Earth vortex temps pixies. We didn't mean to share. :)

Hugs to you all / I'll catch up later.

For now, my appointment yesterday was eventful but it's done. More later...

Aw: flying out of the city via teeny downtown airport means I get home TODAY!!!!! I'm so glad I'm not in that mess at the big airport where they have a full ground stop.

W: turns out I can reach those handles on the subway that hang from the ceiling (so you don't tumble at every stop). However I look like I'm playing on the monkey bars.

kathy a. said...

Sue, hope you are feeling OK and the trip is smooth! Glad you got to skip the big airport.

The monkey bar straps are definitely prize-worthy -- they are not designed with pixies of low altitude in mind.

kathy a. said...

Dear Miss Demeanor,

Suppose you email a sibling and say, "my dear friend S died this morning." Don't the Uniform Standards of Minimal Human Decency suggest a slightly more personal response than "condolences to family and friends"? Or is my inner bitch working overtime again?

Love, K

Liz said...

Kathy, your sibling needs a kick in the pants.

But best to put on your ignore hat.

Sue, yay for reaching the overhead bar! I can't do that. Ever.

So sorry for everyone who is feeling ill.

Miranda, go to the one you would rather go to and apologize to the other folks by saying that you are so sorry to miss their event, but you had a conflict. Even tho Emily Post would say go to the one you accepted first, I say go to the one with the people you see less often.

Cluesticks on the way to your boss.

kathy a. said...

Miranda, what Liz said.

Daughter's interview this morning went great, too! Now she's headed back to the place where she had a good interview yesterday to do some kind of test, and then *another* interview in a couple hours. Yay!

Liz said...


esperanza said...

What Liz said to both Miranda and kathy a. Additionally, facing someone's grief makes other people stupid. It's the only explanation for some of the things people say and/or fail to say.

Yay for interviews.

AW: School started back today!!!

W: the getting ready routine needs some overhauling

W: Mini is already back home, crying from an earache.

AW: Since I am unable to be in two places at once, Daddy is going to take her to the doctor this afternoon while I take Sweet to therapy.

Sue said...

Miranda - I'm with Liz on this one. Go to the event you want to attend.

Kathy I'm so glad the interviews went so well for your daughter.

Not a stellar start to the school term esperanza. Boo to earaches!

AW: I'm home!!!

W/AW: the travel on Sunday hit me hard. By the time I got to the pain clinic yesterday, I was I rough shape in migraine-land. The nurse who checked me in took one look at me and scurried me in to a stretcher in the recovery area. Wonderful Doc gave me some gravol and did the treatment awhile later. Ugh.

But, if you're going to have a dreadful attack there is no better place for it, right?

kathy a. said...

My internet provider is giving me internet, but no access to my email via that provider. I hate them.

Esperanza, hope all the baboos are feeling better.

Sue, hope you are feeling better, too. xoxo

esperanza said...

Ibuprofen was a magic cure. Antibiotics for the (duh) ear infection.

I myself got a steroid shot in the posterior and some Rx's to see if we can manage the allergies that way. Steroid shot was quite effective, even if not a long term solution.

I am done. Stick me with a fork. Lots of friends in crisis today and the back to school kerfuffle have taken every last bit of energy.

AW: Sweet took the following in stride today: new teacher, different therapist (regular one home dealing with busted water pipe and flood, poor thing), and sister not accompanying us to the appointment as she always does. A year ago this combination would have been a sure and certain recipe for a meltdown. Today, no problem. Wow, it's good to see progress.

kathy a. said...

Go, Sweeeet! Yay! and ((( Esperanza))) -- hope the shot and whatnot holds you over.

Sue said...

(((((Esperanza)))) so sorry about the allergies and all the stuff you've had to deal with these past week. Dear Universe, enough already!

Yay Sweet!!!!!

esperanza said...

Thanks, everyone. A few minutes to myself have helped.

Sue, hope your appointment brought you some long term relief.

I did get 5 errands run before Mini's teacher called. Hooray small town!

Anonymous said...

Family Member trials
No concept of tribulations
Wisdom lost not gained

kathy a. said...

Anonymous at 11:09 -- many hugs. Style, too. xoxo

Miranda said...

That was me. Sorry. It is hard to log in with my phone.

Sue said...

Miranda for style! And sorry...

So, my sister and I are going out this afternoon to pick up a nice bag for our sister to take to chemo with her. We're looking at a nice (but not too big) L*G bag with a textured finish so as not to look like a diaper bag.

I'm thinking I'll pick up a few things to put in it.

A magazine
crossword book
breath mints
lip balm
nail file
hand sanitizer
hand lotion

Any other suggestions??

Liz said...

Chocolate. Tissues. A nice pen. A pencil with a funny eraser. A mindless book you've enjoyed (I tend to go for a Georgette Heyer in this category). Perhaps a Calvin and Hobbes compilation.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

A packet of tissues (because hospital ones are horribly scratchy).
Maybe a deck of cards?

It's a lovely idea to pack the back with comfort items for your sister. Hugs for both of you. And I'm sorry that you had a bad migraine at the pain clinic, but agree that it is the best place to have one. (Have the recent fluctuations in temperature been triggering yours lately? My sister has been having a rough time with them.)

Esperanza: Hooray for Sweet! But I'm sorry that you're all going through the wringer right now. I hope Mini 's ear infection clears up soon.

Kathy a: everything crossed that something good pans out from Daughter' s interviews!

Miranda for style!

Small but aggravating whines:
1.) E (Like all little dudes) needs a second dose of flu shot, and when we got her first dose, they said that we needed to come back early in the new year for the second dose. There are drop-in clinics two afternoon/early evenings a week, starting this past Monday. My sister and I took E yesterday, and ended up turning around and going home: thanks to a recent outbreak of flu, everyone who didn't get a shot over before has decided to show up at Public Health and get one now. Since it was the second clinic since mid-December, the line up was outside, all the way around the parking lot, and all the way to the street! Easily a hundred people. There was no way we could have stood outside with E in - 25 weather for that long.

So, I'm going to have to phone public health to discuss my options. A friend called them yesterday (she also has a toddler who needs a second dose), and she was told that they don't have spots for appointments until February.

Frustrated. Worst case scenario: I take E to next Monday's drop-in clinic, since the weather is supposed to be warmer on Monday. And we get there before the clinic opens, and maybe take my mother, so that one of us can wait in line, while the other sits in the car with E.

The flu shot clinics were pretty much empty when we went in November! I foolishly thought it would still be the same now.

2: E's attachment to Bunny: a double-edged sword. Bunny helps her sleep through the night, but if she doesn't want to go to sleep, she throws Bunny out of the crib, and then fixates on the fact that she needs but can't reach Bunny. Nothing seems to be working to solve this, right now. She won't sleep of we didn't give Bunny back, but she has also learned that throwing Bunny and screaming "Buh buh buh buh" is an effective way to put off bedtime/get up earlier.

kathy a. said...

Pocket calendar. I always need paper when I'm going to be stuck somewhere -- maybe a blank book, or a small pad?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: An extra clinic opened up, in response to the crazy demand, and they're taking appointments! E is booked for a shot tomorrow morning.

kathy a. said...

Sue -- sticky pads are also handy (for notes, bookmarks, exchanging phone numbers, etc.).

Your sister will probably get ideas of useful things from others in chemo, but you're off to a great start! What will her schedule be? xoxo

QWP, does your pediatrician have any ideas? Pharmacies are giving flu shots, but it looks like only for ages 5 and up.

Sorry about the bun-bun problem. Unfortunately, I think this is one of those undesirable developmental milestones (train mom and dad to fetch by throwing something).

kathy a. said...

Ooops, missed your note, QWP! Good.

Sue said...

I'm glad you found a place to take E for her flu shot.

We had the same issue with our youngest son and a Bunny. Great comfort yes, but Tragic when out of reach.

Yes, the changing weather has a huge effect on my head. I think the problem on Monday was that I left home on Sunday in a high pressure system and arrived two hours later in a very low system. Ugh.

I feel much better today. Yay needles!

thanks for all the great suggestions pixies!

esperanza said...

yay for flu shot resolutions. Even though both Baboos got the flu after all, I'm still a vaccine believer. It was relatively mild and short-lived (though it didn't seem so at the time). I had gotten the shot and didn't catch the flu, despite two Baboos coughing directly in my face, nonstop. Mr E didn't get the shot, nor did he catch the flu. Not quite so much coughing in his general direction, because he was at work sometimes.

Sue...soft slippers or socks? Those hospital ones are nasty. Maybe a squishy ball or something just to fiddle with in her hands. Prayers for your sister, and the rest of you as you care for her.

kathy a. said...

Warm fuzzies -- great idea, Esperanza! Glad the little bitties are better, and that you have Ironclad Immunity.

It's my daughter's birthday today! Her best friends live in other states. I think my sisters all forgot. But, we're taking her to a nice dinner, inviting the cooler younger relatives. Here's hoping that this time next year, she has a broader circle and things are on a better track.

Miranda said...

All bosses have approved travel for me. The cluesticking worked very well. :)

kathy a. said...

Woot! Cluesticking works!

esperanza said...

W: the kid who went with the flow yesterday suddenly couldn't cope with the school to home transition today. Introvert overload, I suspect. The beginning of the school year was much the same.

Sue said...

Yay Miranda!!!! WooHoo! The pixie cluesticks work again.

Fuzzie slippers - great idea! My sister and I found a really nice bag and all the goodies to go inside. She is picking up an itoons gift card tomorrow and I'll get the slippers, then we're heading over to visit J in the afternoon.

esperanza, I so understand introvert overload. Poor thing.

esperanza said...

Oh, I can recognize it easily! I remember vividly coming home from school. My brother would bounce into my room and want to play. I would (not very nicely, I might add), say "I've been around people all day long! I don't want to play with you!" I honestly didn't understand how he could possibly want to interact any more than he already had that day. Mini is exactly like him. Sweet is exactly like me. (In this, anyway). They are both in bed early, and I'm taking a short break before tackling the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

kitchen elves to esperanza, stat!!!
Neighbor Lady

esperanza said...

Thanks, NL!

Are you back at school? How goes it?

kathy a. said...

Poor baboo...

Can I borrow the kitchen elf when s/he is finished at Esperanza's?

AW: birthday dinner was a big success!

AW: Found out yesterday that this thing I can't talk about is happening in 4 weeks. It is connected to a project I've worked on for over 12 years: a good albatross, one to which my friend S introduced me. W: concentrated prep required. AW: this part will at least be finished.

S was hoping to see this thing happen. You know I'm not woo-woo, but she will definitely be kicking my butt and encouraging me along as this gets prepared, as she did many times before.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

(((Kathy a))) I thought you probably needed an extra hug, with this project connected to S becoming a reality.

AW: You guys! The weather is warming up! The next week is going to be single digit minus temperatures (18-28F)! I'm packing E's new snowsuit for her Afternoon at Grandma's today, because it's finally going to be warm enough to play outside!

E's going to be over the moon. She's been pointing outside a lot, and when Mr. Q bundled up catch the bus this morning, she put on a puffy vest (she was only in a diaper at the time), and tried to go with him.

Sue said...


QWP - yay for warmer weather! We've got cloudy skies today and forecasted snowfall, which always means it warms up a bit. Let there be dancing and celebration!!! And pants. Always with pants. And maybe a shirt under the puffy vest. :) I hope E has fun playing in the great outdoors.

QWP, could you fire off an email to me? Just a question.... I'm at
suecan at gmail dot com

AW: Performance evaluation this morning. Aside from three critiques (all valid and now taken under advisement) the feedback from the congregation was incredibly kind and affirming of my work here.

The person doing the evaluation review with me has me totally figured out. He made me stay with the good comments for LONG time - he knows it's hard for me to take a compliment. We didn't move on to the "growing edges" part of the review until he was satisfied I had heard and believed the good stuff.

It was a long meeting. And a little bit like therapy.... :)

Liz said...

I'm so glad that your reviewer made sure you steeped in the compliments.

QWP, E is the cutest thing ever!

kathy a. said...

Long-distance dancing for the warmer temps (which are still fireplacin' cold, brr).

Sue, that sounds like a pretty great review. Nicely presented. And it's good to have some constructive feedback, enveloped in the framework of all the good you have done for your congregation.

Another vote for Lil E and her incredible cuteness!

W/AW: beloved got a flat tire on his bike. Spare was flat. Rescued him, battling the Minivans of Doom near the many schools between here and there. Bad mood; clompy bike shoes; spilled coffee; swearing. All is better now, and he is again on his way.

esperanza said...

Sue, would your reviewer please organize a workshop training for other personnel reviewers? That would be handy. How wonderful!

Hooray for warmer weather. I will not tell you the temp here, as you might throw something at me, all the way from Middle Earth Canada.

Kitchen elf at your service.

Liz said...

Friend of mine who is running for the seat vacated by another friend of mine (he won an election to a higher office) has an ad up.

The ad says, basically, that as a prosecutor, she fought for women's rights against rapists, and that she'll bring that same passion to fighting tea partiers in our state capital.

B1ll 0'R3illy took offense, saying that she was equating tea partiers with rapists.

The result? Lots of commenters on an FB page threatening her with rape.

kathy a. said...

Liz, that's appalling. What is wrong with people?

Sue said...

Hm. Blogger ate my earlier comment and I don't know how to check the spammage.


Liz - that is so horrible for your friend.

Lil E - Teh Cute!!!!!!

esperanza said...

It wasn't in the spam folder, Sue. (unless you were commenting about body parts you don't have).

Liz, I have no words. Awful.

Miranda said...

Liz, that is vile.

Due to the weather, the meeting with the person with a divergent view was tonight. It was exhausting. While the outcome on paper was good, I fear that this is not good in the long run. I finally had to call a vote (I'm not exactly the chair but the chair probably needed to be a little more neutral seeming) and I was shocked when the original passed without modification. Since the other person indicated compromise was not going to happen, I guess people decided there was no reason to compromise?

I am kind of emotionally wrought.

Sue said...


Queen of West Procrastination said...

A need for prayers or good thoughts: a friend of friends (really close with most of my best friends) went for an injection for her kidney stones, had an allergic reaction, and has been declared brain dead. Her daughter is trying to fly back from the west coast quickly, to say goodbye, and they're trying to keep life supports functional until then. It's just awful.

I'd better get to bed. There will be a lot of people to support tomorrow.

Liz said...

(((QWP))). I'm so sorry


Queen of West Procrastination said...

K passed away in the night, before her daughter could get back. Her poor family: she just got married last year, and her kids are in their late teens/early twenties. My cousin B (one of K's best friends) was able to be at the hospital with the family, and lend the same support that K gave B's family when B's mom died ten years ago.

W: I had a faithful sleep last night, and now my head hurts, and I feel like a worn-out sock.


Liz, that is beyond cluesticks. Disgusting and awful behaviour. (Well, I would maybe send Ralph to visit 0'R31lly.)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Fitful, not faithful.

Liz said...

QWP, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you, and your friend's family.

kathy a. said...

QWP, I'm so sorry for the loss of K. Thinking of all who loved her, and those she left behind. Glad that your cousin was able to be with her family. xoxo

((( Miranda ))).

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thanks for all the support, you guys. It's a weird situation, because it's less my loss than the loss for almost everyone else in my life, but I'm definitely feeling shaken up. (I lived across the country for seven of the twelve years since she became friends with everyone, and got to know her sister better than I got to know her, because her sister lives out where I did, and is also my friends' landlord, because everyone is my life is ridiculously interconnected.)

I'm really thankful for Susan Silk's Ring Theory right now ( It's a good reminder of where to lend support, and where to seek help.

esperanza said...

QWP, that's so sad. I'm so sorry.

That ring theory thing is very, very smart. Good plan.

purple_kangaroo said...

Baby Nae is a month old now and has her first cold, along with the rest of us. Nursing is so hard when baby has a stuffy nose. :(

purple_kangaroo said...

So sorry for the loss of K. What a hard way to lose a loved one.

An idea for the chemo bag: my mom brings coloring books and a new box if crayons to friends who are in the hospital. It's a fun and relaxing way to kill time that doesn't require a lot of mental energy.

kathy a. said...

The ring theory is excellent. Absolutely right.

Hope Baby Nae (and everyone else) is feeling better soon, PK.

Sue said...

QWP - I'm so very sorry about the loss of your friend. How terribly sad.

Love the ring theory.

PK, sorry about the family colds. Wee ones do struggle with the nursing and stuffed up nose. I hope you all feel better soon.

AW: I'm late checking in here because my day started with a call from a good friend whom I haven't seen in months. She had a few hours free in town, so we had coffee and caught up. We don't get together as often as we would like, but when we do, we laugh a lot.

kathy a. said...

Yay for seeing good friends, Sue! I had breakfast with one of mine, too.

Anonymous said...

--Neighbor Lady

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: we were supposed to go to Mr. Q's family's farm for Saturday (there and back the same day, about 3 1/2 hours each way, and then dealing with intense people all day), but we're going to stay home instead. And we're going to go for a walk with my cousin B, to cheer her up (we're going to take E on her sled, and check out the progress on the house B is building).

So: no stressful trip north, and a morning outside with a beloved cousin. Definite anti-whines.

kathy a. said...

That sounds really good, QWP. xoxo

Liz said...

Excellent aw, QWP.

W: my fireplacing county's fireplacing elected smegheads fireplacing appointed a fireplacer who fireplacing publicly tore up a major religion's holy book to the board of the fireplacing LIBRARY. And no, I am not kidding.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

What?! Oh, that's really bad (and would cause some major problems, right? You don't deface a major religion's holy book).

kathy a. said...

Ralph would like to have words with this exceedingly fireplaced up fireplacer.

kathy a. said...

AW: I get to be on the planning committee! For my college reunion this summer -- I just love this chance to get together every 5 years with people I don't see so often anymore.

Sue said...

Great plan for the day QWP.

Liz - I'm speechless. Sending Ralph stat!

kathy a - I love your enthusiasm!!

Anonymous said...

Awards will go up tomorrow. Hopefully. Life has been busier than expected.


esperanza said...

Miranda, if you need to skip the awards ceremony, I can just put up next week's post. Lemme know, either way is fine. Hope things have settled down.