31 March 2009

With Dolls

At about this time last year I decided (given the acquisition of #970) it was time to relieve my parents of my accumulated personal effects that (over the course of three decades) took hold in their basement. That collection included the dolls shown in the picture below. I bought them when I was a kid with money that was given to me or that I earned babysitting (that started when I was 11; back in the good old days). When my daughters saw the dolls they begged to have them and I relented.

They're not valuable, not even in sentimental terms. I guess that's why giving the dolls to two children aged nearly 5 and 3 years was ok. Given their ages, I knew their clothes would get lost, their faces would get painted, their hair would get cut, and (too soon for anybody's business) the girls would abandon them. Knowing this would happen, I took a picture of the kids with the dolls and promised myself that I would stay out of their way--it has been a full year since then.

Dandelion named her doll 'Theresa', Star chose the name 'Molly Polly'.

I was right about what would happen to the dolls. Theresa and Molly Polly have been put through the mill (more or less). I'm happy that the girls still play with them. When they do, something usually breaks.

And when it does, I tell the girls "Molly Polly needs surgery" or "Theresa needs therapy." Then down to the basement we go (that's the dolly ER) where the glue waits for us. In the past year both dolls have sustained numerous and serious injuries to their feet, ankles, and shins. Each time I've reconstructed them with care (although some pieces are lost forever). By now, those kinds of injuries have become run of the mill. They make Molly Polly's decapitation or the time she got scalped seem so much more exciting.

30 March 2009

At the St. Louis Zoo Living World

This past weekend:

Happy Monday.

29 March 2009

Aloysia Triphylla (Lippia citriodora)

Otherwise known as Lemon Verbena, which in turn is known to me as *THE* best herb to turn into a tea infusion ever.

The following I've lifted right out of the Lemon Verbena entry in The Southern Living Garden Book that my sister gave me not too long ago.

"this plant is prized for its leaves, which scent the area around them with a citruslike fragrance. . . . When you read of the scent of verbena in literature about the antebellum South, lemon verbena is the plant being described. . . . The long, shiny leaves add lemony flavor to teas and iced drinks."

According to my book, the upper south extends into the lower half of St. Louis. Good to know.

28 March 2009

2/3 Vegan

I don't know what else to call it and I've been thinking about it for more than a month--specifically thinking about how to talk about how I eat. Because it confuses people.

So, here is how I eat:

For 2/3 of my day, 2/3 of my meals, I try to eat plants or things that until very recently were plants (cracked wheat, nuts, oatmeal). I avoid packaged, prepared foods.

For the other 1/3 I eat whatever, but I still avoid meat and most ready-made stuff.

That's what I'm doing, but before I get too far into why I'm doing this I think it would help to clarify two points. This is what I'm not doing:

1. America's Beef/Poultry production facilities are sickening, thoroughly revolting, inhumane, and unworthy of the name "farm". We've all known this for years, but it has never been motivation enough to transform me into a principled, committed vegetarian. Consequently this is not about animals. I've just never been able to work up the empathy (which is pathetic and small of me, and I accept that as it is). I'm not trying to rescue animals from their situation even though that would be a defensible, morally sound position.

2. If a diet is the temporary medicine applied to a condition called "fatness", this is not a diet. I'm not fat and have no weight-loss ambition.

Now that we have that out of the way we can move on. Here's the case I'd like to make for being 2/3 Vegan, choosing a diet that is mostly made up of plants (vegetables & fruits yes, and also beans, grains, nuts).

1. Meat production in the US is not environmentally sustainable. The meet producing factories in this country pollute terribly, create environmental waste that we would be better off without, and rampantly consume tremendous agricultural resources. I do not have to provide financial support (my food-buying dollars) to an industry that is bad for the earth.

2. Most Americans eat many times more meat each week than is good for them. We are a culture bent on the over-consumption of meat, and it is killing us. Animal fat has a terrible impact on the health of humans. It isn't healthy, and the research on the topic has born that out again and again. I want to be healthy and live fully for as long as I can. That desire is completely inconsistent with a lifestyle that embraces heavy meat consumption.

3. Often, the only thing better about packaged prepared foods (think of the boxed Mac & Cheese dinner) is their marketing. They are persistently advertised and promoted, but from my own experience the quality is crazy-inferior, the cost is much higher than the from-scratch counterpart, and usually these products don't save much (if any) time. When I make mac & cheese or cookies or pizza, I know what is in it, I know what isn't. I also know that (whatever it is) it wasn't mass produced in a factory and then shipped half way across the country. It hasn't already been on a shelf for two months by the time I eat it.

4. Sugar. Americans eat way too much of it. Left to my own devices, I would eat way too much of it. It can be hard to keep sugar consumption in check because it lurks in the oddest places. Most packaged, prepared things have too much sugar in them, and that's another good reason to make things from scratch. Anyway, a while ago I realized that being a vegetarian or vegan would not save you from eating highly processed, sugared, unhealthy things. But, emphasizing plants leaves little room for sugar, and that is as it should be.

5. So, with so many reasons to eat plants, why am I stopping at 2/3? Why not try to be 3 for 3 and drop the whole "eat whatever I want" thing for the third meal? Well, food is a big part of our culture. Food is an integral part of the way we socialize and celebrate, it connects people. To be so rigid as to uniformly reject a piece of birthday cake just because it was made from a box mix, or to pass on a glass of egg-nog on Christmas Eve because of the dairy, or to refuse to try a neighbor's BBQ -- any of these things would diminish my quality of life. I don't want food or the enjoyment of it to cease to be meaningful, so 2/3 is enough. The shift is significant enough to make a difference in my health, my budget, and the environmental impact of my food choices while retaining the ability to eat otherwise when that is called for.

Let me know what you think, or how you eat. Tell me if this approach to food would work for you, or if it wouldn't and why. Maybe there's a better way out there, or maybe someone out there has a better name for it than 2/3 Vegan.


I'm on it. Yeah. And my profile over there will pick up my blog posts, so you can read here, or there, or both, or not at all.

27 March 2009

This is how we know it is Spring

Never mind that it might snow tomorrow. Just in case it does, here are some pictures of just how nice Spring has already been.

I remember thinking last year that this, the lovely Azalea Rhododendron PJM (it's HUGE! at least as tall as I am and bigger around than four ten of me would be) blooming purple just off the front porch, was a little obnoxious. So unabashedly purpley-pink. This year, I think it is a delight.

And here, clustered in a corner of the front yard at 970

a bed of daffodils--three different varieties. There seem to be dozens of daffodil sorts. And that right there, is everything I know about daffodils except that I do like how very cheery they are.

Happy Birthday, I guess

We tried so hard to get Suz's cake to the table quickly, but . . .

don't you think they could make candles that burn just a little bit slower?

26 March 2009

Marshmallow toasting

earlier this week in NC

25 March 2009

There's no place like home

Especially when there's a spread like this waiting for you.

24 March 2009

The one with horrible cell phone photos

I'm not kidding. The pictures are horrible and I'm almost embarrassed by that. Embarrassed, but not enough to hide them. I'm posting these shots (poor though they are) because I feel compelled to do it. To blog. Reason enough.

Yesterday morning the girls had a fun time playing this game, called Blokus 3D, a gift from the girls' cousins on my side of the family. Seen in the picture with our kids is one of the cousins on Matthew's side.

Their cousin, as it turns out, is tough to beat at this game. In the past, my kids have mostly used the board and playing pieces to engage in a colorful kind of building freestyle. But this time around they stuck to the rules and they had so much fun that they specifically asked for the game again today.

We left Blowing Rock around noon, but before we did we stopped by a local park. When I got there I was glad to see that the park was empty. Only a landscaping crew was there. Mulch. It's that time of year.

We had been there for a few minutes when I realized that of the 11 men mulching the various beds in the park, 9 of them were wearing vests that clearly read "Inmate".

Let's see. 1 mom, 3 kids, 9 convicted criminals, 2 guys who were probably supervising the 'mates. I felt a little (massively!) out numbered. Could I just walk out (they would know I was judging them if I left now!)? The kids were having fun (and they'd never forgive me if I marched them out of there right after arriving!). It was broad daylight (but they were each armed with a pitchfork!). It was the optimist in me that assumed the higher-ups who organize prisoner labor wouldn't dare send serious offenders into an area full of kids (but we were outnumbered and they had pitchforks and we were the only ones there, and the world is full of stupid people without common sense!).

Yes, the world is full of people without common sense, and, as if to prove it, in the end I opted to stay . . .

so that I could blog about it later . . .

and not disappoint the kids.

And it was fine. If it hadn't been written all over their backs I would have had no cause to suppose they were (all of them!) criminals.

The drive out of NC and into Tennessee was perfect. The kids were well behaved and I didn't fall asleep. Not even once. Good weather, a near-total-absence of highway construction. What more could I ask for? We went swimming at the hotel (we're half way home!) and then we went out to a Chinese buffet, where I decided to try my luck with these.

Gosh that's an awful picture, but still, I had to show you. I've noticed that Chinese buffets tend to have unexpected things like this. If one has baby squid, the next will have several kinds of shell fish, and another will have duck feet. Why not?

The food wasn't bad. I had never eaten crab leg before, and the far more conventional fare that the girls ate met with their approval too. In the end my fortune cookie promised me success, Star's promised her money, and Dandelion's promised love. Everyone wins.

22 March 2009

North Carolina

On Thursday, we departed for North Carolina to visit Matthew's family. The total driving time between St. Louis and Blowing Rock is something like 11 hours (without any kind of delay or pit stop), so our custom is to split the trip in half. Halfway point? Nashville. We spent the night there and finished the drive Friday. Saturday we were right back in the car to visit the girls' great-grandmother and second cousins in South Carolina.

The girls are great travelers--my favorite travel buddies actually. But even though they travel well, I was happy that today, for the first time since Wednesday, we did not spend 5+ hours in the car.

The girls have had a wonderful time with Matthew's family. So have I.

If I can manage it, I'll post some pictures soon.

18 March 2009

I love Craigslist

I've published this picture of my backyard before. This time, I want to point out the square edged in railroad ties in the back next to the garage.

The railroad ties were kept in place by wooden stakes driven about 2 feet into the ground and then screwed to most of the ties. My guess is that one of the families who lived here before we did had a swing set and it was set up in the railroad tie square. These days the square is nothing other than a really mulchy weed garden, much to the dismay of our children who dream of a playground reappearing in that space. If we had a swing set, maybe I wouldn't mind maintaining the square (weed-eating all summer long around the edges, weeding within the edges, etc.) but there is no swing set and I do mind.

The railroad ties had to go. So I called our garbage collectors to see if I could arrange for a special pickup. Well, let's just say that option wasn't an option. Their minimum charge for picking up non-standard household waste is $50. For railroad ties (big, heavy, and treated with chemicals) the price would just go up, up, up.

I tried to think of creative ways to repurpose the railroad ties in or around our house, but I couldn't come up with anything compelling.

Then, two days ago I decided to try something new. Craigslist. I've been on the buying end of craigslist a few times, but I had never been on the selling/giving end. I thought maybe, if I offered the railroad ties for free, someone might come get them, so I went out to the backyard and began to dig them up. They came up easy as pie with my shovel. Leveraging something with a shovel is one thing, lifting it is quite another. Boy were they heavy. It took time, but I was able to pile them up near the front of the garage and then I took a picture.

Yesterday morning, I posted the picture on craigslist in their free section. In my add I stated that whoever wanted them would have to come get them--one or some or all of the ties--however many they could use.

Ten minutes later the calls started. The first guy I talked to wanted them all and said he could come after work. I told him I'd save them for him.

I got calls and e-mails all day from people and most were very interested in taking them all. I kept their names and numbers in case the first guy didn't show up or didn't take all of them. I ended up with 15 people on the waiting list. I had no idea that so many people would be happy to take them off my hands. I mean, I didn't want them and that made me think no one would. Maybe it was because I offered them for free.

I love how my yard looks without them. I'm so glad that the people who have them now can put them to use and are happy to have them. I love that the ties are gone at no expense to me. And I love craigslist for facilitating this kind of transaction.

17 March 2009

Two pictures from Today

Sleepy Girl

Backyard picnic

16 March 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is how Dandelion helps to make cookies:

Of course, you could buy cookies, but Frugalein can't imagine why you would want to do that. When she makes them herself:
1. she saves money
2. she can be totally sure about what is in them
3. and what isn't
4. they taste better
5. because they are better
6. and it doesn't hurt that they were made fresh five minutes ago.

She'd recommend that you make these:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 12oz. bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together salt, soda, & flour. Slowly blend this into the wet ingredients. When combined, add chocolate chips stirring until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Drop golf-ball sized globs onto an insulated baking sheet (I didn't grease it), and bake for about 10 minutes for a chewy cookie, 12 for a crispy one. Yield 36 pretty-big cookies.

14 March 2009

Mile by Mile

Last fall we signed Star up for a mile-by-mile marathon. She'll do a mile here and a mile there, and I keep track of it, and in about a month she'll do the final mile with hundreds of other kids in the St. Louis area--part of the Go! St. Louis marathon weekend.

So we are officially in training, and as part of that we went for a walk to the bakery. Distance: exactly 1 mile round trip. Anything to clock the miles we need . . .

13 March 2009


Behold, yet more excavated treasure--though of a less mysterious order than the clay pipe. I guess one of the previous owners had kids . . . who . . . buried the dead out in the back yard.

12 March 2009

Lovely Power Tools

Yesterday Barb and I went to the hardware store, and $50 later I'm pretty sure I have enough trim for my new closet.

Last night in-town family met at Joe's. Midway through an evening of talking and time-spending in advance of Barb's departure, Joe and I went to play with one of his new power tools. Here's what I tried out for the first time.

That nice rounded edge was made by a router, and that was the first time I had used it. Super. Here's the router (upside down on the table saw) with another view of the board I was working on.

It was pretty easy to use, not too noisy or dusty (but maybe that's got more to do with the wood than the router). I'm not sure if this is the right bit for the little curve I'd like to have on the trim for my closet, but if it isn't right it sure is close.

Today I'm going to try out my dad's table saw. All that lovely wood is at his house waiting for me . . . and if I get that done and the cut-to-size wood back to my house today, I might (just maybe) be ready to use the Mitre saw Joe loaned me a week ago to make the final cuts.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

10 March 2009

09 March 2009


So what's your best time for an evil puzzle?

08 March 2009

At Powell

I'm a little bit in love with the Saint Louis Symphony and Powell Hall. I mean, how could you not fall for this?

Or this?

Currently on display in the entry hall are the artworks of children from around the St. Louis area. The Symphony sponsors an annual competition in which children are asked to listen to a recording of the orchestra and then make a picture in response to it.

Earlier today we went to the final performance in the Symphony's 08/09 family concert series. It wasn't long ago that I first read about these especially-for-kids concerts, and we attend our first last fall. It featured Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, complete with live actors to narrate the story and portray each of the characters. The kids enjoyed it and we've gone ever since.

Each concert features several pieces that center on a theme that children would enjoy. The conductor talks to the children in an engaging way about the instruments and the music so that they know what to listen for throughout each piece. These concerts are a lot of fun. Usually the whole thing is over in an hour; not a moment too soon for an audience filled with youngsters.

I almost forgot to mention what we saw this time: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was there and they were extraordinary. I can't help loving any kind of artistry that makes the highest level of technical skill accessible, enjoyable and even entertaining for kids ages 3-10. Their dancing combined with the exceptional music of the Symphony was memorable even in a series we have liked so much.

I'm a little sad that the season has already ended, and I can hardly wait for the series to start up again in the fall.


The guys who cut down our tulip tree last year drove a HUGE truck with a cherry picker into our backyard to get at our tree. They barely made it back there. The truck was one of those with the hydraulic supports that jut out from the sides when they need to stabilize the truck against the forces exerted upon it by the arm that holds the basket. The truck looked a lot like the one in the line drawing at the right. The picture shows it's general form, but it doesn't how how heavy it is. It was really heavy. They parked it on one of beds of day lilies in the back, and the ruts they left in our lawn are still there.

When they drove off I realized that the weight of the truck had crushed the side of a tree stump that had been hiding in the foliage of the day lilies. Oh the things that hide in my day lilies . . .

It really was a heavy truck, but heavy enough to crush a tree stump? Well, it turns out that a rotten tree stump is a lot easier to crush than a not rotten one. I was easily able to chip big chunks off the tree stump with our garden shovel last fall. I tried leveraging it out, but I couldn't. There was still too much of the root system holding on underground.

What with the lovely weather, I thought I'd give it another try. For the past few days I have chipped bits away here and there. Every so often I'd try to leverage the stump out of the ground, and as I worked it became easier and more of it appeared free. Today only one root remained; a solitary tether. I got out my hacksaw and made quick work of it.

All of that except the top two inches came up out of the ground.


We (everyone!) met at my parents house for brunch this morning.

My sister (the one who lives outside Kansas City) came with her family, my sister who lives in Columbia, MO came. The rest of us (me & mine, another sister and a brother, & parents) live here. We've been spread much further in the past, but even living semi-close it is a rarity to get all of us around one table. It might happen twice a year (on a good year). Getting everyone together is special occasion stuff. What's the occasion?

Very soon Barb (the sister who lives in town) will head off to the coast. She'll be in Carlsbad for what seems like forever. No doubt it will be an adventure and I can't wait to hear the tales from her new life out there.

07 March 2009

At Karate School

Star and Dandelion have Karate school on Saturdays. Today they took their first test.

You can see their backs--they're the ones with short hair and wearing street clothes. They've recently completed one month of classes, and there are two more to go before we'll know if Karate is a keeper. I like that this class is teaching them confidence, self control, and focus.

06 March 2009

At Star's School

I volunteered in Star's class today.

Because it was so nice they spent more time outside than usual.

Call me Frugalein

Frugalein. Rhymes with Madeline, or Coraline.

Before we replaced them last year, most of our windows were broken, crazy drafty, or the equivalent of greenhouse glass. There were only three in the house that worked just fine, but even they ended up on the chopping block. They wouldn't have matched the new ones so that was pretty much that. As the installation date for the new windows neared, the prospect of sending the three good windows to the dump began to bother me more and more. And then I realized I could keep them. When install day rolled around, I asked the folks doing the work to save the three good ones for me and they did.

So, I bet you are dying (just dying!) to know why I wanted to keep those windows. This time it wasn't the packrat in me. I swear it wasn't. It was Frugalein. She's the queen of being frugal (duh). Frugalein had figured out how to squeeze a bit more use out of them.

She thought of our garage window:

It was like this when we bought the house even though broken glass is a code violation. Normally when you buy a house, an inspection can turn up stuff like this, sometimes lots of stuff like this. You (the buyer) take the results of the inspection back to the seller and either renegotiate the sale price or maybe the seller will agree to fix the problems for you.

I wouldn't know. When a bank is the seller (as it was in our case) they sometimes won't do either, and that's how the bank that held our house was. When our inspection turned up problems we knew they were our problems to deal with.

Call it luck. The three windows that were removed from my house are just the right size to replace the windows in the garage. The one in the picture was broken. Another was boarded up, and the third won't open (probably something to do with those ancient weights on the inside).

This is one of my favorite kinds of projects. I get to be outside on a gorgeous day working in the shade of our garage (I'm no good in direct sunlight), the work itself is a mental and physical diversion from my daily life, the project costs nothing so Frugalein loves it and I love making Frugalein happy, it recycles something that would have been difficult to dispose of, it upgrades my property (code compliance!), and doing it reminds me that I am capable of this and so much more.

I'll post another picture when I've actually gotten the window in. We're getting there . . .

04 March 2009

Star's Island

Like all siblings, Star and Dandelion don't always get along. Some of that is just life. Having friction with the ones closest to you is pretty common. Then there's the premeditated stuff. If we give our kids two options, you can bet that they'll take whatever the other doesn't want. Should we make waffles or crepes this morning? Star will choose waffles and Dandelion will choose crepes just to be difficult. BUT, there are a few things you can count on both our kids to always want to do even if the other one wants to too.

1. Watch Kung-fu Panda
2. Play with Matthew
3. Eat ice cream
4. Go to the play land at the gym
5. Go to Uncle Joe's
6. Go to the Island (to play games at pbskids.org)

Here they are, happy as larks. And here's the Island full of rides Star earned.

For all you parents out there, this is a resource that I recommend. It introduces children to a variety of reading and pre-reading concepts through games. As they complete tasks they earn tickets that they can spend at the prize booth for things to decorate their tree house (Star has a popcorn machine, a gold fish, a rainbow dragon, and a bunch of other things too). And once they've mastered (or completed--not sure if they differentiate) a certain number of games, they advance to a harder level that builds on what they did before. The child's reward for advancing is a new ride on the island.

Matthew told me that this same model of task completion, rewards, spending fake money and acquiring fake things is at the heart of World of Warcraft and I'd imagine a host of other games for older folks. So the Island is a gateway game, and you can make what you will of that.

Is there something like the Island out there for early math skills? I'd like to get the kiddos into something like that. Anyone? Please send me your recommendations.

03 March 2009

I make things

. . . all kinds of things actually. A few years ago I made some books, I recently made the curtains that hang in my house (you've seen them in a number of my posts and there they are in the picture below!) and my kids' Halloween costumes. Last month I also made Valentines for the kids to take to school.

They loved their valentines.

A little while ago Dandelion's school newspaper published a request for help with an upholstery project. I noticed that the contact person was Dandelion's teacher, so I asked about it. They needed one of their child-sized foam couches slip-covered. The vinyl cover had some rips in it and needed to be replaced, but the replacement cost was almost as much as a new couch and they didn't want to trash the couch's foam guts, which were just fine. I don't have a picture of the original, but here's what I did with it.

Because the old cover was falling apart I took out all the stitches and used it as a pattern for the new cover. I also opted to reuse the old zipper since it was still in good shape (that's the blue line running parallel to the floor). I think it turned out well, and I was glad to do something to save money and improve my kid's school.

02 March 2009

Behind the baseboards

Before the demolition in the bedroom I carefully removed all the woodwork from the wall in question. Behind one closet baseboard I found these:

Money-wise, they're worthless, or at least I'm pretty sure they are. The baseball card was easy enough to look up and is worth about $5. I wouldn't know where to begin with the other pictures. But even without monetary value these cards are a great find. They are a little reminder of the physical legacy of this house. As I've said elsewhere, most of that remains (for me) an endlessly intriguing mystery.

Oh, and Dandelion just challenged Star to an Agni Kai.

01 March 2009

Even better with Peanut Butter

That's what Matthew says . . . about this recipe that is a work in progress. I'll let you know if I make any changes. This is MY recipe. I invented it . . . and love it even if it does taste better with peanut butter.

Lemon Cardamom Cookies

half a lemon zested and juiced
3 beaten eggs
1 c sugar
half c splenda
1 c shortening
2 c flour
half t salt
half t baking soda
1 t cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl beat eggs and lemon zest and juice. Set aside. In a different bowl, use a mixer to cream the sugar, splenda, and shortening. Beat in the egg/lemon and continue with mixer on high speed until it is ridiculously fluffy. In a third bowl (phew!) sift together the remaining ingredients; flour, salt, baking soda, and cardamom. gently mix into the shortening/egg mixture until completely combined. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Leave about 2" between spoonfuls (dough will spread). Bake about ten minutes for a soft cookie; longer if you want a crisper cookie. Yield 3 dozen.

Even better with Dandelion art

I took this picture today, a premeditated 'before' picture. When you blog, you tend to do things like this.

What you're looking at there is a fairly awkward space between two windows. There's just a little bit of wall. It's too small for most of the framed and unframed art that has accumulated around us over the last decade. And although the space is quiet and unobtrusive, it is clearly visible from the front door. Sometimes quiet and unobtrusive is fine, perfectly ok, but I wanted there to be more to this bit of wall. Quiet, yes, but hopefully not boring.

I gathered the things that I thought would look right in this space and then I made a template, because that is what Martha would do and you know she is right about this.

After arranging them on the paper I traced each one and marked where the hanging hardware would be. Then I took the picture.


When I taped the template on the wall I decided that the really smart thing to do would be to get out my level to make sure that the guide holes were in a perfectly vertical line. Then I got out my drill and put perfect little holes into my perfect plaster walls.


Well, that depends on who you ask. Dandelion knew it wasn't quite finished. She loves to hang pictures on the wall. Just before going to bed, she taped (and taped and taped!) one more thing up there.

And now its perfect.