Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The December Daily Project

Today, December 1, allow me to revisit my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days post. Why??? Because it's time to decide on what to do with Artsty Fartsy # 11-
Make a 2010 Christmas Journal (inspired by Ali Edwards and Molly Irwin).

A few weeks ago, I was chewing on the idea of making a 2010 December Daily.
However, I knew I had to stay true to myself aka magpa-totoo ka! I knew that
there was no way that I could finish this beautiful project without inflicting any
"self-hurt". So much to do, so little time! Thus, I have decided on a "cheat" ---
I will just do a December Daily Photo project! I will let you know how that goes.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Ladybug Picnic

Since my last post, M and I have been diligently listening to classical music
first thing in the morning. As I mentioned here, listening to classical music
is part of M's homeschool program. It's a no brainer really. The collection
lasts for approximately 30 minutes. The music just plays in the background
while we go about doing whatever needs to be done that morning.

The program "restarted" roughly 2 weeks ago. Today, I decided that it was
time to change the line up. I still start off with Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos
KV448 - D Major I. The succeeding songs are an assortment of Abc Songs and
Counting Songs. Of course, I just couldn't pass on the opportunity to share the
Ladybug Picnic Song with M! Thank you Sesame Street for the fond memories!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Peek at Singapore Math

Recently, I dropped by my High School Alma Mater to get some papers.
I casually asked when the school would start teaching Singapore Math.
The Competitors have already started teaching it! Take note, Singapore
Math is something that can be taught in school or at home. hmm hmm

Singapore Math is one thing I hope to teach M one day. What has caught
me off guard is the fact that "one day" is fast approaching. I really have
to be more disciplined about setting aside time for M's learning program!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hurray! The Christmas Tree is Half-Done!

I've mentioned it here and here, I just love Christmas!

I've been too busy to properly prepare for Christmas this year. But that's not
about to dampen my mood. I've always enjoyed Christmas! This Christmas
is significant as it will be our first Christmas with M.

They started putting up the TREE today. Here's what it looks like half-done.
Can't wait for it to be finished!

Oh yes, I have not started shopping at all! Honestly, the LIST has been
trimmed down since the pregnancies. You could say that I have finally
transitioned into mommyhood.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to Get an NBI Clearance for an OFW

**28 Sept 2013 Update**

I am updating this post as people still drop by in search of answers.

Let me start of by saying that I have NOT requested for an NBI Clearance
in years.

A year or so ago, a friend did get his NBI Clearance. If I remember correctly,
the new procedure is such that the OFW needs to go to the nearest embassy /
consular office for an imprint of his/her 10 digits (all fingers). This will then
be authenticated. The OFW will then send the document to a family
member in the Philippines. The family member will then have to bring
the document to the NBI for the issuance of the clearance.

Things to remember:
- The OFW should call in advance and make an appointment for this: find out
what documents need to be brought, what fees are involved, what method of
payment is accepted, etc. Take note that not all consular offices can
process this request.
- The OFW should make an authorization letter for the family member who
will process the NBI Clearance.

Good luck and God bless!


Original Post

Hubby is currently somewhere out there. I on the other hand still reside in
THE KAMAO country. Lately, I had the good fortune of having to obtain an
NBI Clearance for H. Yes, no personal appearance is required. BUT BUT BUT,
I had to go to the Victory Mall in Caloocan to get it done.

The fastest way to get there is by LRT. Traffic is terrible from all directions.
Forget parking! The mall doesn't have one?!?!? Remember to alight at the
Monumento Station. When you leave the LRT, turn left then cross the road.
Voila! You have made it to the Victory Mall.

The NBI office is on the 5th Floor. When you enter the building, walk over
to the other end of the mall. This is where the elevator is at. You can
disregard this part. But that would mean taking the scenic route. You see,
the Victory Mall escalators have been strategically placed so that you have
to walk past everyone and everything to get to the 5th Floor. Not that bad
if you're looking for a bargain.

When you get to the 5th floor go to Rm 504. Tell them that Hubby or Wifey
is out of the country and that you need to get an NBI Clearance for him/her.
You then proceed with processing the NBI request (the entrance of which is
at the other end of the 5th Floor). The NBI Clearance comes out around a
week after.

Things to Bring:
1. The OLD NBI Clearance - this is for the NBI's reference. It also
comes in handy when hubby or wifey has the same name as
someone else.
2. Copy of the husband / wife's passport - include the page with
the stamp that shows that your spouse is elsewhere.
3. The CURRENT ADDRESS of the huband/wife - they will put this
on the NEW NBI Clearance.
4. The Authorization Letter - 'nuff said.
5. Official I.d. - this is for the one processing the Clearance.
6. 2pcs 2x2 Photo (White Background) - this is for the NBI Clearance's
owner -- this will be scanned and used for the NEW NBI Clearance.
7. Money for the fees.
8. A black ballpen.
9. "Mr. Magtanong" for the questions you might be too shy to
ask yourself. LOL

Please do not expect a picture. This is the last place you'd want to be
bringing the camera.

NBI Clearance Center
5th Floor Victory Central Mall
Monumento, Caloocan City
Tel 351-4149, 351-0619

Note: This NBI Facility ceased operations on June 2011.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween!

this dynamic duo was at the gate giving out candies to boys and girls
of all ages...

hope you had the happiest of halloweens LOL

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Mac USB Port just passed out!

I'm so glum boo hoo hoo...

Why did this happen? I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary.
My external keyboard has always been hooked to the computer!
And now I get this!

Do not believe a word of that message. The Mac USB Port has
been permanently deactivated! Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!

I did try to resuscitate the USB Port by restarting the Mac. Sadly,
that didn't work. The service center suggested that I bring in the
Mac so it get's a thorough check. There goes a few hours of my
time. Clearly, I am not too thrilled about this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Canon Photomarathon 2010

Of course I would love to join this. But hey, there is such a thing as life.
BF is still a priority. Can you imagine this momma running around with
a camera in one hand and a BF pump in another? You cant? Ha! Neither
can I!

Have fun everyone!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Muji Manila Now Open!

video courtesy of didipusrex

Here's a peak at the Muji Manila Flagship store located at Bonifacio
High Street. Muji Manila Flagship store is Muji's 120th store. We can
look forward to a few more Muji stores sprouting up in the Metro.
According to Anton Huang, SSI EVP, another store is set to open by
December in the Rockwell Mall.

You've got to hand it to the Japanese... Only they can get away with
making Manila's finest don canvas aprons!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mc Donald's Twister Fries is back!

Yummy and crunchy. Golden twirls of savory curls.
Back for a limited time only.

I am looking forward to having my fix of Mc Donald's
Twister Fries. A great snack to bring back warm fuzzy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What is a Beaker Moment?

R, Mi and I had a brief mini Beaker Moment today.
If you have to ask, then you clearly have not seen this. LOL

Video courtesy of meepmeepmeepow

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Proudly Pinoy - Josie Natori

Photo courtesy of The Philippine Star

Many moons ago, I was an aspiring fashion mogul. Never mind
that I was artistically challenged and that my bank account had
zilch. Oh to be young and foolish.

Today's Philippine Star article and photo spread of Josie Natori
was beautiful! It made me want to put on some heels and conquer
the world. Never mind that Im a WAHM currently wearing a hole-y
old tee. Thank you Josie for the inspiration. One day, I just might
might might get lucky!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Top Gear Man with a Van Challenge Part 2

It's a sad gloomy day but this made me laugh hehehe...

Top Gear's Man with a Van Challenge is clearly not a HOW TO!!!
The first 3 minutes of this clip were hilarious!

Im sure your everyday Pinoy Jeepney Driver could do much better
than this!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Canon in D Rocks!

Warning to classical "purists" --- do not read further...

As I mentioned earlier, part of M's homeschool program is to listen to
classical music. Believe me, like everyone else, he doesn't pay attention
to it! It's just something that happens to be playing in the background .

This song is an exception. M had a big smile when he first heard Canon
in D (rock version).

You might want to listen to it. Who knows, you might like it too!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He's now 8 months old


We've been BUSY!

I would have wanted to do a monthly progress report for M. But there is
this thing called LIFE.

A few days before M turned 5 months, life got exciting for all of us. Tatay
flew off for further studies. And that left me with all these things that
had to be managed. Thankfully, I found a work-at-home job! It does
get tiring, but I can't complain. We did ask for this!

So what's new with M? At 6 months, he started eating solids. At 7 months,
he was clapping his hands. Now at 8 months, he's a very happy crawler!
Sadly, the hustle and bustle is slowly zapping out his cute baby folds.

At 8 months, we have begun our homeschooling of sorts... We've gone
back to listening to classical music in the morning (just 30 minutes)...
We've started a simple baby signing program... We've started his reading
playcards... In the works is a foreign language "program"...

This is just regular baby stuff for him... How did that happen? Well....
Rule #1 - NO TV!!!!!! You'd be surprised at the numerous and varied
activities that can be done when TV is out of the picture.

More "kwentos" soon...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ukelele Boy

Lhen's comment reminded me of this cute and amazing kid.

For those who are wondering... Here's a message from his proud papa:

"He is 5 years old now.
He speaks Japanese.

He and I started playing ukulele only one year ago.
We first learned the uke by watching a TV program(NHK).
The program lasted three months.

※Our English isn't very good so I'm sorry if the grammar is wrong."

Can you beat that hehehe...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's so important about today?

Search this:
From and including: Wednesday, 22 September 2010
To, but not including : Friday, 31 December 2010

And you'll get this:
- It is 100 days from the start date to the end date
- Or 3 months, 9 days
- Alternative time units:
8,640,000 seconds
144,000 minutes
2400 hours
14 weeks (rounded down)

~ courtesy of http://www.timeanddate.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Countdown to 100 days


President Franklin D. Roosevelt had such an impressive first 100 days in
office that all heads of states are now graded for the first 100 days of their

The first 100 days counts in other things as well: first 100 days in a new job,
the first 100 days of school, the first 100 days of a project, etc etc etc…

Well, tomorrow is a 100 days of sorts… Depending on how you see it…
September 22 is the start of the last 100 days of the year… OR September 22
is the first 100 days leading to 2011… Wow! Where did the time go?!?

Self-assessment time!

How has 2010 been for you?
What else do you intend to do?
And yes, what does 2011 have in store for you?

Let me know your thoughts… I'm giving away a Php500 Sodexho Pass
for the most interesting comment… I'll announce the "winner" on October 15.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

S&R Sale on September 15 - 19, 2010

Photo courtesy of S&R

Yes it's back! The much awaited S&R Sale will be held on Sept 15-19, 2010
at all S&R stores.

You have been forewarned! LOL

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Proudly Pinoy - Market Manila and Rajo Laurel

With the recent "Major Major" incidents that have infamously put the
Philippines on the world map, I am happy to announce 2 new things
to smile about:

Market Manila on the September 2010 Issue of Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia.
Did you notice the date on MM's blog post? Yes, it gave me a sigh of relief!

Photo courtesy of Market Manila

Rajo Laurel on the September 2010 Issue of Wallpaper*

Photo courtesy of Rajo Laurel

Congratulations! Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Muji Manila

Photo courtesy of muji.com

No need to get your fix at Muji Hongkong nor Muji Singapore!

Minimalist and restrained. Muji, the Japanese brand famous for it's no-brand,
no-label concept is finally opening its Manila store!

Food. Clothing. Furniture and Accessories. Paper products and Gadgets. These
are some of the things you will find in a Muji store.

On my wish list: Thumbnail Sketch Note + 3 Way Cape with Wool + Playmat
(Strageable Toys)

Muji Manila flagship store is located on top of The Gap at Bonifacio High Street.
Muji is distributed in the Philippines by Store Specialist Inc.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I wish you all the best MM!

I want to cry!
One of the, if not THE favorite blogger is going on a sabbatical!?!
Probably never to be heard of again!?!

It gave me no comfort to see his face in the farewell shot...
But he does deserve to go on a break!
What to do what to do what to do?????

My farewell message is in Comment #308:

I’m so sad… I want to cry… waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
I will miss you and your posts MM!

But yes, you do deserve a break. I wish you all the best!
God bless and may you find what you’re looking for =)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I love Christmas!

This song just put a smile on my face! Im soooo looking forward to Christmas 2010!

8 Things You Can Do for Your Houseguests

Today is the start of the "ber" season. That means only one thing - Christmas
is just around the corner. Today also marks the start of my Preparing for the
Holidays 2010 posts.

I hope my Preparing for the Holidays 2010 posts will help make your Christmas
Planning an enjoyable experience!

Let me start with: 8 Things You Can Do for Your Houseguests

Any Pinoy can attest to the fact that we have a culture of having family and
friends stay over at our homes. Normally, it's a balikbayan (a term for a
Filipino based overseas who's gone home to the Philippines for one reason or
another) who's visiting for the Holidays. Here's a great article that will
help you provide your loved ones with a more comfortable stay:

8 Things Your Houseguests Wont Tell You:

"If you haven't gone into the guest bedroom since you stored last season's
clothes, it's time for a quick makeover. Here are room-decorating ideas that
will fix any faux pas, just in time for weekend visitors.

1. My water glass left a ring on the bedside table.

When you look for a nightstand, choose one that you don't have to worry
about. If you want people to feel relaxed and comfortable, you can help
by designing their room to be as low-maintenance as possible. A table
with a glass top won't leave rings.

2. After turning out the lights, I bruised my knee climbing into bed.

Instead of harsh overhead lighting, try bedside sconces. Not only do they
cast a soft, soothing light, guests won't have to negotiate their way back
to bed in an unfamiliar space.

3. I'm hungry.

Guests don't want to be caught rummaging through your fridge. Leaving a
small piece of fruit, like an orange or an apple, will curb their craving
for a midnight snack.

4. I woke up at the crack of dawn.

Blackout shades are a great option for guest rooms. They work well when
you want to sleep in late, and can also create a darkened, cool room on
a summer afternoon.

5. I hate the giant bouquet.

Don't overwhelm a tiny table with a large bouquet. Just a few buds will
give guests enough room to place their essentials — and won't bring on
an onslaught of allergies.

6. I worry about waking you up.

Guests won't fret about walking around on creaking floors or disturbing
you every time they get up if you throw down a plush rug. It also helps
to warm up the space.

7. I'm really cold at night, or I'm uncomfortably hot.

Here's the secret to a perfectly prepared bed: Start with great cotton
sheets, add a cotton coverlet, then finish with a down duvet on top. That
combination offers enough flexibility to deal with the most extreme
temperature swings. Think a down comforter is pricey? Check Ikea for
affordable ones.

8. I can't find a place to charge my phone.

Guests shouldn't have to scramble down on all fours in order to find an
outlet. Add a conveniently placed power strip or a docking station.

- Yahoo"

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Best Php150 I've Spent in My Life!

H and I have been wanting to have a studio shot of the baby for the
longest time. We've been delaying it as it can get pretty expensive to

So, I am happy to share that Picture City is doing this service at a
minimal fee. There are different packages available. The one that
we chose cost us Php150 ONLY!!! This is for 5shots with 1 8R pic
and 12 wallet size pics. I availed of the option to switch the wallet
size pics to 3Rs as I'm not a pictures-in-the-wallet kind of mom.

Do take note that this is strictly for studio shots only. No props, no
costumes, no pedestals, etc for the baby. The photographers are
not the "pro" type either. And you really can't just have them
"click-away". The payment is meant for 5 shots; but that didn't
stop me from requesting for a few extra shots to be taken.

All in all, at php150 (plus php20 for a cd), this is definitely a good

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby M's Diaper/Baby Bags


Some people might think of it as being a cheapskate.
But I have never bought a diaper/baby bag for Baby M.

Right now, we have 3 bags in all. One is a gift. Two
are from the hospital. These bags are pretty sturdy.
So it surprises me that other people don't use them.

Well now, another free bag is on its way. I can't wait
for it to arrive! I'm quite excited as I heard it looks

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yellow Thinking Hat


"Students were deciding on issues they'd like to take action on. We used
the Yellow Thinking Hat to think about positive aspects of their life that
they could expand upon..."

This is something I should do more often...

Focus on the positive:
in me,
in others,
in my life,
in my surroundings,
in my experiences,
in my country,
in the world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Choose, Act, Reflect


"...Choose, Act and Reflect. As the students go through this unit, they
are keeping a record of their choices, actions and reflections by writing
on index cards and sticking them up. This is to get them use to thinking
about everything as part of the cycle, and to track their work."

3 Powerful words: Choose Act Reflect

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Am I


"This was the culmination of a unit about who each student is
as a person and as a learner."

This picture, "Who Am I?", says it all!

When was the last time you asked this question? Just a thought~
The answer is important to a child. But vital to an adult.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My 2010 Mid Year Assessment


"I believe that behavior never lies and by examining your results, I
can see a clear picture of your commitment, I can gain an innate
sense of your character, I can grasp a near perfect understanding
of your beliefs, and I can mostly certainly see what you are really
made of.

Your results are a reflection of what you believe to be true about

Your results tell me how you think.

Your results tell me how you talk about yourself even when no one's

Your results tell me what you do every single day.

If you want new results, if you want a new reality, there's only
one way--just change!" - Gary Blair

2010 is already half done. The middle of the year is usually a
self-assessment time for me. Time to analyze what I did right,
what I did wrong, what I didn't do and what I still need to do.
In the past, I always found myself wishing I had done more.

This time around, I can proudly say "Job well done!"

The past 6months have been pretty productive. Taking care of
M has been a fulfilling 24/7 task. Add to that work. Plus the
personal projects H and I have.

My life is not perfect. It doesn't have to be either. I believe
I did the best that I could. That's good enough for me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Warren Buffett recounts the best advice he's ever received

What’s the best advice Warren Buffett has ever received? You might be
surprised: It has nothing to do with money.

"The power of unconditional love. I mean, there is no power on earth
like unconditional love. And I think that if you offered that to your
child, I mean, you’re 90 percent of the way home. There may be days
when you don’t feel like it — it’s not uncritical love; that’s a different
animal — but to know you can always come back, that is huge in life.
That takes you a long, long way. And I would say that every parent
out there that can extend that to their child at an early age, it’s
going to make for a better human being."

- Yahoo News

Thank you Mr. Buffet for sharing this with us. Today's society needs
to be reminded that the true riches of this world do not have a dollar
(or yen or euro) sign on them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Malacaňan, Malacanang, Malacaňang

Photo courtesy of the Philippine Information Agency


Isn't it amusing that there is no official spelling for the official residence
of the President of the Philippines?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baby M at 4months


My, how time flies! Baby M is now 4 months old!

M now sleeps on his tummy all the time. He used to have a slight
reflux problem. To remedy this, we let him sleep on his tummy
during the daytime. It was here that we were able to observe that
M already had neck control.

However, by his 3 months check-up, we were worried that his head
was getting flat. So, with the pedia's thumbs up, we let him sleep
on his tummy all through the night. I think there has been some
improvement in that area.

Before you react... Yes, we too were worried about SIDS! But we
were confident that by this time, he could already move his head
when he wanted. And, the pedia said, so long as there is nothing
on M's bed that could cause suffocation (pillows, blankets, toys,
etc), M would be okay.

2 days ago, M had an "AHA!" moment. Okay, call me crazy but it
was this look that he had. A realization that this is what it means
to roll over! See, he's done it before -> 2x on his first two weeks
and 1x in April. But, it's only now that he's understood that it's
a "skill". Now, he seems to want to do it every time he has tummy

And today, he "shouted" when I was not paying attention.

Sorry if Im gushing all over. I guess I'm just being a proud mama!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time to move on


First I was in love.
Then I was heartbroken.
Now it's time to move on.

I have a few friends who've been stuck in a relationship. Sometimes
it's this one guy. Sometimes it's this image of a guy (which is why they
always end up with the same type). Year in and year out I would tell
them, "Pleeeaassee, let go! It's time to move on!". Apparently, it's not
that easy to follow one's own advice...

3 random events made me see the light. First, a question from J --
"What's your passion?" -- led me to a pathetic non committal
reply. Second, an email from C, an old officemate, made me wax
poetic about the good old days. Third, a conversation with A on
careers made me realize it's time for a fresh start.

Apparently, I need to let go of my old career! Gotcha!

Will I go back to it? Maybe. Maybe not. What's more important is that
I focus on the opportunities and challenges that I have in the HERE
and NOW.

p.s. please bear with me... anything older than this post is a
SIGNIFICANT post which I brought over from my other site.

Friday, May 7, 2010

More TV Equals School Trouble Later


"Toddlers who watch too much TV may struggle in school later,
with measurably lower scores in math, and they may get bullied
more than other children, Canadian and U.S. researchers reported
on Monday.

Less surprisingly, children who watched more TV at age 2 weighed
more by the time they were 10 and ate more snacks and soft drinks,
the researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent

They said children who spend more time watching TV and less time
playing with other kids may lose valuable chances to learn social

Every additional weekly hour of television at 29 months corresponded
to a 7 percent drop in classroom attention and a 6 percent drop in
math skills, the researchers found.

"Despite clear, age-specific recommendations from the American
Academy of Pediatrics that discourage any screen media exposure
during infancy and less than two hours per day beyond 2 years of
age..." the researchers wrote." - Yahoo Health

Here's some interesting news. What's more interesting is that this
concept probably applies to other "high tech" kiddie gadgets that
were not yet available at the time that this research was made.

So what's the alternative? Good old-fashioned activities: tummy
time, singing songs, reading books and playing with toys are
just some examples.

Yes, you read that right. As parents, we have to relearn the lost
art of using one's creativity to come up with fun -- and educational
-- activities for our kids.

* This post first appeared here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We've reached the 3 months old mark!


"Babies under 3 months of age follow internal cycles of sleeping and
eating. By around 3 months old, though, they begin to be influenced
by the combination of this internal wiring and the external world —
the routines you create. Some babies naturally and easily fall into the
rhythms of their household. Other babies have a more irregular
sensibility and are more resistant to the cues you provide.

You can help settle an erratic baby's temperament by building a
daylong schedule of feeding, playtime, bathing, and other activities
that's consistent. Try to work around your baby's natural inclinations.

Finally, let go of ideals of perfection: If you have a baby who resists a
regimented schedule, the best you can hope for is more regularity in
your household — not a complete absence of disorder." - BabyCenter

Stephen Covey was spot on when he said that with people, one needs
to be effective not efficient. As a WAHM with a newborn, my schedule
still follows the baby's. Baby M does have a basic pattern. It's not "on
time" but rather a matter of "phases". He's just a baby --- and he's
just doing what all babies do.

I have learned that: It is I that must adjust. It is I that needs to be

As a result, I am less stressed out about getting it all done. And
M and I are simply enjoying our time together.

* This post first appeared here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby M

I am happy to announce that H and I have a baby! I decided
against writing about the pregnancy as I wasn't sure how that
would go. It was challenging and I'm just glad it ended well.

Baby M is now 2 months old and I'm happy to say that we're
slowly establishing a "doable" schedule. At least well enough
for me to squeeze in this post.

The first day home was crazy! There was so much excited
noise when we got home; Baby M cried for us to give him
peace and quiet! On his first night, he gave tatay and mama
a shock! We were expecting to feed him every 3-4 hours.
But no, he decided that he would feed every hour! And this
lasted until he was 1 month and 2 weeks old.

Well into 1 month and 3 weeks, Baby M suddenly switched
to an every 4-5 hours feeding period. Ahhh, H and I finally
have back our much needed sleep!

I'm sure we'll have more exciting things to experience in the
weeks and months ahead!

* This post first appeared here.