Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chicken Satay Flatbread

Noel and I went to Spokane, Washington for his birthday and ordered a Chicken Flatbread as an appetizer at a really great pub.  We loved it so much that we were determined to replicate it once we got home.  But in the end, our son-in-law Brad and Noel devised this recipe to the delight of all of our Christmas Eve guests. 
You gotta try this.
(Don't wait 'til Christmas.)

Chicken Satay Flatbread
1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 C. plain yogurt
1 t. freshly grated ginger
1 T. curry powder
Olive oil for sautéing
Cut chicken into ¼ by ¾” strips.  Sauté in olive oil until no longer pink.  Mix the yogurt, ginger and curry and add to chicken, heating just until warm.  While chicken is cooking make the peanut sauce.

It seems like Brad, the sous chef does a lot of work

Peanut Sauce
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¼ C. soy sauce
2 t. red curry paste
2 T. brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
¼ cup hot water

Combine all of the above ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Puree to combine.  While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce.  You may not need all of it. 
Spread the sauce evenly over pieces of flatbread (see note below) to within ½” of the edge.  Ladle chicken mixture over the sauce and then sprinkle with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese.    Broil until cheese melts.  Garnish with chopped peanuts and chopped cilantro.
Note:  I stopped at Subway and bought some of their plain flatbread.  Noel bought some flatbread at the grocery store. Both were good.  We decided that ideally we would like the bread to be about 1/4 inch thick.  I tried making some in the bread maker, but didn’t roll it out thin enough so it was a bit too much bread with each bite.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Charlie and the Waiting Room

Charlie was one of my best and most loyal friends.  He was almost ninety when we met and even though he had only a few years left in him the impression he left with me lingers still.  We met when I got a job at a Rehab center in Vancouver, Washington.  I was a fairly new occupational therapist at the time and my first day on the job I was given Charlie as a patient.  Looking back on it, I think it was a bit of an initiation rite devised by my new boss.  Charlie had been in Rehab for a couple of weeks and I was told by my co-worker that he was a cantankerous old coot and wouldn’t do anything with the therapists.  She ended her description with a wry smile and said, “Good luck!” 
This “old coot” normally lived in an assisted living center nearby, but would get pneumonia every so often.  He came to the Rehab center after being discharged from the hospital so that he could get stronger before going home.  When I looked at his chart I saw a long line of “R’s” on the therapy page indicating “refusals.”  I also saw that he was from Virginia City, Montana.  I figured that maybe he was cantankerous but that he had met his match in me. 
I’d just gotten a Montana calendar for Christmas that was supposed to quell some of my homesickness and I’d brought it to work to dress up my desk.  Well, I grabbed that calendar and marched down to his room with my jaw set and a gleam of determination in my eye.  He was dozing in his wheelchair when I sat down beside him.  He woke, took one look at me and closed his eyes again saying something like, “I already did my exercises.”  So, I plunked the calendar down on his lap and shouted in his ear, “I’m from Montana, too!”  Charlie was pretty darned deaf and what he could hear he often ignored.  But, he didn’t ignore this.  His eyes flew open and he started thumbing through the calendar.  He even allowed me to take him down to the OT kitchen where he opened  a can of tomato soup and heated it up for us.  He didn’t realize it, but as he stood there at the stove he was strengthening his legs and as he reached for bowls and spoons he was working on his balance.  My co-workers shot glances of surprise in our direction as they saw him merrily eating his soup, looking at the pictures and reminiscing about home.  And so began a life-long, albeit far too short, friendship. 
Charlie had been a true Montana cowboy, herding cattle before a lot of the countryside was fenced.  In the 1800’s, Virginia City was a huge gold-mining town and was known for its hard-living characters of dubious repute and vigilante justice.  Charlie was only one generation removed from this time and gold was still being dredged when he was a young man.  He told me countless tales of fishing, hunting, cattle ranching and hangings.  He also worked for Foster Wheeler Construction Company and had traveled all over the world building bridges.  He never married, but had lived a long, full life until at the age of 84 he was run over by a car while attempting to cross the street.  He had multiple broken bones, internal injuries and a head injury, but his cowboy tenacity (some might call it stubbornness) saw him through and although it took several months he was able to walk again and returned home.  That was his first of many stays at the Rehab center.  He was still kicking by the time I met him, but his body was getting stiffer and slower with each stay.  His movement was getting so limited in his shoulders that he could barely put on a shirt.  His disdain for the physical therapist’s shoulder exercises was notable, so one day I brought a fly fishing rod to his therapy session and asked him to teach me to cast.  Even though he pronounced my fly rod and reel a “hunk of junk” he obliged and found movement in his shoulders that he didn’t know he had.  But, he also promised me that he would really take me fishing one day. 
My own father was in failing health, so shortly afterward our family moved back to Montana.  We took Charlie out to dinner a few nights before we moved and I honestly thought that it would be the last time I’d see him.  As we dropped him off at his home he said, “I’ll take the bus out to see you.”  I thought, “Yeah, that would be great, but not likely.”  However, I should have known never to underestimate this man.    One day I got a call from his guardian who said, “Charlie showed up at my office with your daughter’s high school graduation announcement.  He told me, ‘The girl is graduating and I’m gonna see it.  Buy me a bus ticket.’” 

Charlie and Aubrey, 1997
 And a couple of weeks later I went to the bus station and there was Charlie, grinning from ear to ear bearing four tackle boxes and three fishing poles that were definitely not “hunks of junk.”  We ended up going over to Georgetown Lake and taking that fishing trip he’d promised so that we could use the tackle and he could teach me to cast properly.  We didn’t catch any fish, but that really never was the point of the trip.  Little did I know that it would be the last time I got to fish with Charlie or my father. 

Another of his visits we were able to take him back to his old stomping grounds at Virginia City.  He had a grand time walking the streets reminiscing and telling us tales of the Old West.  We actually found his sister-in-law basically by going door to door.  Not that many people live in Virginia City anymore so it only took about thirty minutes before we were directed to the right house.  They hadn’t seen each other in years.  I still remember the look of shock on her face when she saw him standing on her doorstep.  And I probably had a look of triumph on my face since we’d actually found her.  I do recall that Charlie just stood there looking like it was just any other day.
But when I remember Charlie I don’t think about the trips or the fishing or the stories.  Instead, I remember his infinite patience.  I think he’d always been a loner and spent most of his retirement years by himself.  When he came to visit us it was no different.  I had to work and the kids had school when he came over, so he was alone most of the day.  Over the years he had devised crazy ways to entertain himself.  One summer day when I came in from work he announced, “Fifty-four motor homes drove down the street today.  Must be time for camping.” 
I said, “Charlie, did you really sit here all day by the window and count?”
“Yep.  And a hundred and twenty-three people walked down the sidewalk.”  I imagined him reluctantly shuffling off to the bathroom as fast as he could, so he wouldn’t miss anything or anyone that needed to be counted. 
We lived in the university area in Missoula at the time and although the huge Norwegian maples that lined the streets were lovely to look at and provided great shade they were the bane of our existence in the autumn.  Raking the leaves was usually a huge chore.  But, not the year Charlie came to visit.  He would meticulously rake the leaves in a pile, set the rake by the door and go inside to watch through the window and wait for more to fall.  I’m not sure, but I think he counted those also, because after a time he would kind of get to rocking forward and back until he had enough momentum to raise himself off the couch.  He’d make his way to the door, exchange his cane for the leaf rake and start the process all over again.  I was a little embarrassed that my 90-year-old guest was out raking the leaves when my teen-aged children were inside, but he really wouldn’t have had it any other way.  He so wanted to be useful.
But, mostly when I remember Charlie and his patience, I remember his squirrel.  We all enjoyed watching the squirrels play in the maple trees, but Charlie really loved them.  I don’t remember how long he’d been staying with us, but one day he called to me, “Come here and watch this!”  I came out of the kitchen drying my hands on a towel to see him open the front door.  And in walked a squirrel.  Charlie went over, sat down on the couch and put a peanut, shell and all, in his mouth.  The squirrel ran up the side of the couch, across the back, perched on Charlie’s shoulder and proceeded to take the nut out of his mouth.  Then, he scampered out the open front door eager to find a hiding place for his treasure.  He was back in a couple of minutes and the whole procedure was repeated.  Again and again that squirrel came back in the house.  I said, “How long did it take you to train him to do that?” 
“A couple of days.  I got him to come up on the porch first, then inside the house, then to the couch; then on my arm.  Finally, he took it right out of my mouth.  Pretty good, isn’t it?”  And Charlie grinned with delight.   I chuckle now when I remember that squirrel.  After his trainer and source of peanuts returned home to Washington, we would hear a tiny scratching at the door.  We’d look out and there was his squirrel.  We had a special basket filled with peanuts and we put it on the floor so that he could help himself.  I told the kids that they were forbidden from trying the peanut in the mouth trick, and they at least never tried it in my presence.  We started calling the squirrel Charlie, too.  The oddest thing was that about six months after Charlie the man died, Charlie the squirrel developed a growth on one of his eyes and it started getting kind of weepy.  His trainer had that same growth and weepy, bloodshot eyes.  Maybe it was just coincidence, but I never knew for sure.
So, I’ve been thinking about Charlie quite a bit lately.  I often wonder how he developed his patience.  I only knew him near the end of his life when his body was failing but his mind was still very active.  I wonder if he was always a patient soul or had he just developed this trait out of necessity since his days were long and lonely.  How long had he been content to wait?  He waited for meals, to go to bed; for the occasional visitor.  He waited for the bus to take him to the diner for his daily cup of coffee.  He waited for the leaves to fall, campers to drive down the road, for me to get off work and then for time to set the table for supper.  And through it all he never complained or showed the slightest bit of impatience.  He simply was.  He could sit more still than anyone I’ve ever known. 
I think of him now as I scurry and bustle about, anxious that the microwave is taking more than thirty seconds to warm my dinner or that the pages are not loading fast enough as I check my e-mail.  I so often push through tasks or make work for myself when all the while if I had just a bit of patience things would work themselves out.  Like the other day.  I had misplaced an important file and spent the better part of an hour looking for it.  I had no recollection of the last time I’d seen it, so I searched high and low from the garage to my office to my car.  The more I searched the more exasperated I became until I finally gave up in frustration.  The only reason I finally stopped searching was that a picture of Charlie sitting on the couch flashed into my brain.  “Just wait” he seemed to say.  Sure enough, a couple of hours later I ran across the file in the most unlikely of places.  I would never have found it during my search.  I had wasted an hour and I’d also gotten myself worked up into a frenzy and had all sorts of worried thoughts as to how I would reproduce the vital information.
And so, right now in my mind’s eye I see Charlie sitting on our old floral couch gazing out the window.  He shifts slightly, stretches his leg a bit and his head tips forward as he drifts off to sleep, the sun glinting off his grey hair.  His gnarly hands remain clasped on the top of his ever-ready cane that is propped between his legs.  This, to me is the picture of patience.  He waits, but his cane is always near in case action is needed.  Sure, Charlie had a lot of time to fill and waiting was his major occupation by the time I knew him. There’s really no comparison to the multitude of things I should get done on any given day.  But, I think I can still learn a thing or two from my old friend.  I think I’ll try to remember the image of Charlie sitting on my couch more when I find myself getting too hasty, impulsive or anxious.  I’ll try more often to simply wait for the appropriate time for action.  Instead of pushing through, searching frantically or tapping my foot in impatience I’ll try to just give up and let Charlie handle it.  I think it will help to envision myself piling up my problems on the couch beside him so that he can handle them for a while.  If I can do this I’m pretty sure it will save me a bunch of worry, frustration and time.  Eventually, maybe I’ll see him grab his cane, rock to and fro and slowly stand up.  Only then will I know that it’s time for action.  So Charlie, you cantankerous old coot, I miss you dearly.  Thanks for the few years of friendship that we had.  And thank you for your continued help with my problems.  Please don’t wonder if you were ever useful.  You still are.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Vision for the New Year

I love the New Year and the promise it holds. Literally sweeping away the old and welcoming the new is a task I look forward to every year as I clear away the Christmas decorations, clean the house and make space.  Now, don’t get me wrong…I also enjoy seeing the “halls decked”, the garland strung and the lights shining.  I am comforted by the presence of Christmas ornaments that have been around since my childhood.  But, come January, or earlier if I can get away with it, I also have a great time boxing up the baubles and bric-a-brac and clearing away the clutter.  The house looks so fresh without red and green ornaments in every available nook and cranny. 
Likewise, I feel that I too clear away clutter from my mind and my soul.  It’s much like taking off a heavy woolen coat.  While I am grateful for the comfort and warmth of my winter jacket, as I take it off I breathe a sigh of relief, shrug my shoulders and do a bit of a stretch welcoming the freedom and relative weightlessness.  Everything seems possible in January.  I have twelve full months to look forward to filling.  I like the sound of that, so I think I’ll say it again.  Twelve full months!  Fifty-two weeks.  Wow!  The possibilities are endless.  Now that the past year has been cleared away and boxed up, whatever will I do?  This sense of opportunity thrills me every year.  Now, I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions which seem more like penance for past wrongs. 
“I will save more money (because I am a wretched squanderer and now I won’t be able to retire until I’m 84).”
I will exercise more (because I’ve basically been a sloth for the past year).”
“I will volunteer at the Food Bank (because I’ve been incredibly selfish and have done nothing for humanity for the past half century).”

No, no, no, resolutions are not for me.  Repentance and rectification were never my style.  Perhaps I just box the sins of the past year along with the Christmas tree ornaments.  Instead, I like to look forward with hope, make some new goals, include a bunch of fun projects and generally welcome the New Year as a blank slate.  So, I got to thinking that it would be fun to start with an actual blank slate, or maybe a piece of tag board.  And perhaps, if I found pictures or words that illustrate my goals and interests I could paste them on the tag board to make sort of a ‘vision board’ for 2012.  This idea sounded much more fun and exciting than listing a bunch of resolutions that would seem to weigh me back down.  Once I got this idea I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would look like.  Where would I find pictures, and of what?  What do I want to do, anyway?  What will 2012 look like?  I’ve always been a planner and a list maker preferring to not leave everything to luck.  Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t welcome chance, serendipity and fate.  But, I do like direction.  And I often remind myself that every thing begins as a thought.
I remember making a list of life goals on the back of a boarding pass when flying somewhere years ago.  I wrote down ten items and then promptly forgot about it.  A couple of years ago I found that boarding pass, wondering why I’d ever saved it.  I happened to turn it over and found the list.  Eight of the ten goals had been accomplished.  Now, I hadn’t looked at that list since I’d made it, but in the act of thinking about the goals, quantifying them and setting them down on paper I’d set everything in motion.  I’d launched rockets of desire that had found their mark.  You know, sometimes I think it’s better if we don’t think about our goals too much because we don’t have the chance to screw it all up by doubting and second guessing.
This year, though I’m going to try launching those rockets through pictures.  My vision board has been a fun exercise already.  It’s kind of taken on a life of its own and I think sometimes I’m just a witness to the whole process as dormant desires nudge and jostle their way onto the tag board.  I wondered if there would be a focus or if a theme would emerge.  Sometimes desires were triggered by chance meetings.  I saw a lady walking down the street wearing a lovely hat and I remembered that I really want to learn how to make hats.  I was surfing the internet one night and saw an article about a row boat, which made me think about the wooden boat kit I’d bought several years ago gathering dust in the garage.  Both of these wishes made it onto the tag board.  I jotted down ideas in a variety of places as they occurred to me; I collected notes and pictures and thoughts and ideas.  Then I got out the scissors and paste.  And my hopes for 2012 came to life on the page. 
Now, I don’t know if I’ll accomplish all or even some of these goals.  Perhaps I’ll box up a whole bunch of unfulfilled desires with next year’s Christmas ornaments.  But, I do know that I’ve had a great time planning and scheming and dreaming about the year.  It gives me hope.  It makes me happy.  And it urges me to get out of bed in the morning a little bit earlier just so that I can witness all that unfolds.   And as the world gets a bit lighter with each passing day, so do I.  As I look around me in this glorious country which I call home I can’t help but see the touch of divinity that graces each tree and rock and mountain peak.  And as the New Year opens before me I know that if I can just stay alert and aware I will see the touch of divinity as it graces my soul. And with that thought I sigh, and then I smile. 

You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
~Brihadaranyaka Upahisyad IV.4.5

What will 2012 hold for you?

May the most you wish for be the least you get.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Book Money (revisited)

I used to write essays and and let them sit in a folder or somewhere in my computer.  Then, I wrote essays and showed them to a few close family members.  After that, I put them on my blog.  Now, I've entered an essay contest for Ladies Home Journal.  I'm not sure what will happen, but I've already achieved my goal simply by taking the next step.  I looked through my files and decided that "The Book Money" might be a hopeful piece for some folks who may be having difficulties in these harsh economic times, so I changed a few things and submitted it.  I thought I'd re-post it so that it can gather some good energy and also maybe you missed it on the first go-round.  By the way, for those of you who know me, you and I both know that I am no longer married to my former husband Jon, but I didn't want the first sentence to contain "ex-husband".  Here goes...

My husband Jon and I struggled through the university together.  I’m not saying that we did poorly in school; we both actually excelled.  I am saying that the whole process of going to school was a struggle.  We decided to go back to college after our second child was born even though we really didn’t have the money.  I think it was my idea.  I’d always loved school and I had let myself and my parents down by quitting school when I got married.  Our son, Joe came along right after we got married and then Aubrey quickly followed.  Somewhere in there Jon and I took a night class together at our church and I was reminded of how much fun learning can be.  This was during our “back to the land” phase and we tried growing our own vegetables, milking goats, raising chickens and heating our house with wood.  I also cooked on a wood cook stove.  It was kind of fun for a while but the novelty soon wore off. Mostly I remember that it was a lot of work and that we had to support ourselves by being custodians.  We rarely had any extra money and lived paycheck to paycheck. 
My parents watched this whole process with a mixture of interest and horror.  Joe would run by on the cold linoleum floor and Mom would plead, “Put some shoes on that baby.  His toes are blue!”  They would help us in small ways.  Several times they came bearing a gallon jar of milk from the dairy near them.  One autumn they presented winter coats for the kids.  Dad wanted us to come down to the ranch as much as possible, but it was difficult to leave our livestock.  Once, they wanted me to come down so badly that they allowed me to bring our large cardboard box of baby chicks because I couldn’t leave them unattended.  The box sat near the wood stove at their ranch house for our entire four-day stay.  I realize now that when we visited they could watch over us and not worry that we had enough food or that Joe was running around on a cold floor with no shoes.  For my part, I think I didn’t quite realize how close to ruin we were.  We really were barely eking out an existence.  We’d headed down this path and I so wanted it to be the right decision.  It took a long time for me to realize that I’d been deluding myself. 
The discontent with my life didn’t happen all at once.  It rarely ever happens quickly, I think.  Instead, it builds slowly and insidiously until one day a threshold is reached and you say to yourself, “I simply can’t do this anymore.”  I think of the steps of that process for me.  I remember staggering out to the back porch in August to get more wood to stoke the cook stove fire.  I was canning peaches and the house must have been well over a hundred degrees.  I sat wearily down on the steps and thought, “There must be a better way.”  I also remember the sinking feeling when I heard Jon tell someone, “I think I’ll probably be a janitor for the rest of my life.”  Now, being a custodian is an admirable job, it's just that somewhere along the way we'd gotten side-tracked from our goals.  I'd completed my freshman year of college before meeting Jon.  We got married so young, and then well...we just went down a different path.  We took jobs as custodians at our local church and school just didn't fit in the schedule between work and taking care of our kids.  I also recall trying to sell spices and extracts.   It was one of those companies where you make more money by signing up people to sell.  We were entranced with the promise of thousands of dollars per month by basically doing nothing.  And the hope of a luxury car once we reached a certain level in the company left us reeling with desire.  That car would be a leap up from our old, mint green wreck of a pickup.  Well, about the only thing that happened was that we spent a bunch of money that we didn’t have.  Oh, and the cupboard was overflowing with spices. 
It reached a crisis one evening when we balanced the checkbook.  Well, actually the checkbook didn’t balance.  We’d hung on by our toe nails for months and finally we reached the disaster level.  I broached the subject of selling out and moving back to town and the more we talked the more it became a reality.  As I look back, it really took no time at all to get rid of the animals, sell the house and find a place to live in town.  Moving into a townhouse apartment from the country was a huge shift, but it was fun to be able to run to the grocery store or see a movie at a moment’s notice.  And then we took that class at church which awakened the desire for more.  We signed up for school, moved closer to the university and again, it all flowed along.  I know now that we were on the right path, and when that happens it does flow along.  It was definitely not easy, but we just kept going. 
I'm pretty sure that Mom and Dad did a little dance in the dining room the day we told them we were going back to the university.  Even though they had always supported our decisions and loved us unconditionally, they were pleased that we were returning to our original plan. They continued to watch us as we moved along, but now the whole process took on a different slant.  We had definite goals and the future looked so bright.  They continued with the small gifts of milk or vegetables from the garden.  Dad fixed the cars when they broke down.  Mom sewed outfits for the kids.  Our third child, Casey came along during that time and so we all tumbled along quarter after quarter.  We couldn't afford daycare, so Jon took an 8:00 class and then I would meet him at the edge of campus with the kids so that I could go to my 9:00 class while he took them home, only to return at 10:00 when we would repeat the whole process.  He delivered newspapers in the afternoon, he worked as a physical therapy aide at the local hospital on weekends and we both worked as custodians at night often alternating shifts.  We still lived far below poverty level, but we knew there was an end in sight and that made all the difference. 
We spent many an hour dreaming of the life to come.  We talked incessantly of how our lives would change.  We took walks in the university area, admiring the old architecture and wonderful yards.  We yearned to move our family into one of those houses and spoke about it as if it were already true.  To a large part, it was the dreaming that got us through.  And then there were those small gifts from Mom and Dad that often showed up just in the nick of time.  The gifts were always unexpected and so were cherished all the more.  We never asked them for money, but one day they came into town, sat us down at the kitchen table and presented us with five one-hundred dollar bills.  I think it was during my last year of school and Jon had just been accepted into physical therapy school.  I really don't know what prompted the gift, but that was a whole lot of money thirty years ago.  Dad said, "You can spend this money if you want, but we would like it if you could save it for emergencies."  Maybe they wanted to sleep better knowing that we had a little bit of a cushion.  I don't know.  I do know that it made me feel rich.  We put the bills in an old book and hid it on the bookshelf.  It seemed so much more real than putting it in the bank and also we could pull it out whenever we wanted just to gaze at it.  It made all the difference realizing that if the kids had to go to the doctor or the washing machine needed to be replaced we wouldn't be propelled into crisis mode.  And we kept the book money for a very long time.  Having it was so much better than spending it.
Gradually, school ended.  I graduated first with a degree in education and got a job as a teacher.  Jon continued for another two years until he got his degree in physical therapy.  He got a job at the same hospital he'd worked at as an aide while I taught at an elementary school.  And eventually the day came when we moved our family into one of those grand old Craftsman houses in the university area.  It was one of the homes that we had strolled by many nights on our "dream walks."  I often sat in my new living room overcome with awe that I actually lived there.  Sometimes it felt as if I was still dreaming.
So, I think about what the book money really meant and I think about my parents and their gifts of love and support.  I know now that it was difficult for them to watch our struggle.  They could have stepped in at any time to rescue us.  They certainly had the means to do so.  But, I am so glad they didn't.  I think they knew that we needed to prove to ourselves that we could make it on our own.  There really is something to the old maxim that people are like steel...they're both made stronger by fire.  I think about how those years helped shape the person I am today.  I know that I can do anything that I really put my mind to.  I can rely on myself and that knowledge feels so good.  And I know that having a nice house or cars or clothes is great, but I don't need them to be happy.  My parents, in their wisdom, helped teach me that peace of mind is more often about having some money squirreled away in a book than it is about having things.  But when those things do come as a result of hard work they are so, so sweet.
I've watched my own children struggle from time to time.  I don't know if my gifts of love and support have been as well-timed as my parents', but I've tried to carry on their legacy.  And I think the kids are stronger because I haven't rescued them.  They're all independent and proud of their accomplishments, as well they should be.  And I know that as both my parents gaze down from above, they are well-satisfied.  Even though they can't come bearing gifts of milk or book money they know that we can make it on our own.  And more importantly, we know that we can make it on our own.  Thanks Mom and Dad. 
We're all doing just fine.