Aside

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.31.30 PM

Stacy Alexander

 

© Stacy Alexander – 2017
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Reproduction or use of the content on this blog restricted without author’s permission.

Save

Stacy Alexander – ARTE CALIFORNIA – Welcome!

Back to a Size 6

Standard

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 2.08.03 PM

This morning, I was able to slip back into my favorite size 6 Lucky brand jeans for the first time in about a year.  How’d I do it?

I have been a fan of intermittent fasting for a number of years now, and find it an easy and effective way to lose weight.  Until recently, I have done it by fasting 500 calories or less, two days a week….until my friend,  Laurie,  who lives next to my place in Reno, turned me on to Time Restricted Fasting, which is a whole new (to me) way of approaching fasting.

Both types of fasting focus on WHEN to eat, rather than WHAT to eat.  Limiting the hours you eat each day may help you consume fewer calories as well.  In addition to helping with weight loss, it can also help improve heart health and blood sugar levels.

Each type of intermittent fasting includes fasting periods that are longer than a normal overnight fast of 8–12 hours

“Time-restricted eating,” or “time-restricted feeding,” refers to when eating is limited to a certain number of hours each day.  An example of time-restricted eating is if you choose to eat all your food for the day in an 8-hour period, such as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The remaining 16 hours each day are the fasting period, during which no calories are consumed.  This same schedule would be repeated every day.

 

What’s the deal??

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 2.08.50 PM

 

Oftentimes,  people eat from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed at night. Switching from this style of eating to time-restricted eating may help you to naturally eat less.   Empirical research suggests that time-restricted eating can reduce the number of calories one consumes in a day.

One study found that when healthy adult men limited their eating to about a 10-hour window, it reduced the number of calories they ate each day by about 20%.

Another study reported that young men ate about 650 fewer calories per day when they limited their food intake to a 4-hour period.

However, other studies have shown that some people do not actually eat fewer calories during time-restricted eating.

If you choose high-calorie foods during your feeding period, you may end up eating a normal day’s worth of food even though you are eating for a shorter period of time.

What’s more, most studies on time-restricted eating have used diet records to measure calorie intake. Diet records rely on participants to write down what and how much they eat.

My personal experience

Stacy at Multnomah Falls

I know that with the 500 calorie intermittent fasting, I lost about 2 – 3 pounds a week.  I lost 50 pounds this way, a few years ago.  However, with the new type of fasting, I lose about a pound every other day.  My energy levels are way up, and I feel great….happy, focused, at peace.

I have read everything I can get my hands on about this type of fasting, and am convinced that it is safe, beneficial, and it really works….and I’m NEVER hungry without being able to satisfy my hunger.  I can eat anything I want and still lose weight.

That said, however, I am not a doctor.  I can only speak for my own fasting experience, and I urge you to seek medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner before trying this, or any, major diet change.

 

Good People Don’t Defend a Bad Man

Standard

Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man

At times in this life it can be a challenge to figure out who the bad people are, but sometimes they help you.

Sometimes they do the work for you.

Sometimes with their every vulgar, bitter word from their mouth, they testify to their personal malignancy and they make it easy to identify them.

Generally speaking, there are things that good people do and things good people don’t do.

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “shitholes”—most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that for hundreds of years have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country. 

Good people by any measurement we might use—simply don’t say such things.

Of course good people also don’t say they could grab women by the genitalia, either.
They don’t defend racists and nazis and call them “fine people,” days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city.
They don’t brag about their penis size during debates, or suggest protestors at campaign rallies should be roughed up, or crack jokes about captured war heroes, or make fun of the physically disabled.
They don’t.

Good people don’t tweet anti-Muslim rhetoric in the moments immediately following a bombing in order to bolster a position.
They don’t leave American territories filled with brown skinned people without power for months upon months, after publicly ridiculing their public servants and questioning their people’s resolve.
They don’t erase protections for the water and the air, for the elderly, the terminally ill, the LGBTQ.
They don’t take away healthcare from the sick and the poor without an alternative.
They don’t gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy.
They don’t abuse their unrivaled platform to Twitter-bait world leaders and to taunt private citizens.

Good people don’t prey upon the vulnerable, they don’t leverage their power to bully dissenters, and they don’t campaign for sexual predators.

But this President is simply not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

He is the ugliest personification of the Ugly American, which is why, as long as he is here and as long as he represents this nation, we will be a fractured mess and a global embarrassment. He will be the ever lowering bar of our legacy in the world.

And what is painfully obvious in these moments, isn’t simply that the person alleging to lead this country is a terrible human being—it is that anyone left still defending him, applauding him, justifying him, amening him, probably is too.

At this point, the only reason left to support this President, is that he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.

A white President calling countries filled with people of color shitholes, is so far beyond the pale, so beneath decency, and so blatantly racist that it shouldn’t merit conversation. It should be universally condemned. Humanity should be in agreement in abhorring it.

And yet today (like so many other seemingly rock bottom days in the past twelve months) they will be out there: white people claiming to be good people and Christian people, who will make excuses for him or debate his motives or diminish the damage.

They will dig their heels in to explain away or to defend, what at the end of the day is simply a bad human being saying the things that bad human beings say because their hearts harbor very bad things.

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women shitholes.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.

 

Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here

Natural Help for Kidney Stones

Standard

The human body has many ways for signaling when something is wrong, and for repairing itself. However, few are as painful as passing a kidney stone.  Kidney stones are lumps of hard mass that develop when crystals detach from urine inside the urinary tract.  Anyone who has experienced the searing pain of kidney stones knows what I’m talking about.

According to the National Institute for Health, Phyllanthus Niruri may help.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 5.11.15 PM

A Plant with Stone Breaking Strength

Phyllanthus Niruri is known by many as a miracle plant that grows in the world’s tropical and subtropical coastal areas.  It grows to a height of approximately 2′ tall, and has rounded leaves, a smooth bark stem, and flowers that form small fruit.  The plant is known for its wide medicinal uses, and  has been given the nickname “stonebreaker,” for its ability to break up kidney stones.

A scientific study published at the Federal University of San Paolo, Brazil, supports the use of Phyllanthus Niruri for the treatment of kidney and bladder problems in men.  The study hypothesized that the plant helped prevent the early formation of kidney stones by lowering the level of crystals found in the urine.  It also helps the body rid itself of excess calcium that can sometimes lead to kidney stones.

Powerful Protection for the Body

Many of the properties in Phyllanthus Niruri that make it dissolve kidney stones, promote optimum health in other areas of the body as well. It also works as an effective pain killer, and anti-spasmodic, allowing it to sooth muscles groups to help them relax, and by dulling post-operative pain.  The substance also helps protect the liver by safeguarding against the effects of HIV, and Hepatitis B and C.

Phyllanthus niruri has been proven in over 80 clinical and laboratory studies to have the following medical benefits:*

  • Smooth muscle relaxant, in particular the stomach, ureter, bladder, and uterus, which is why it should not be used by pregnant women;
  • Antilithic: dissolves calcium crystals responsible for the formation of kidney stones and prevents the formation of new stones;
  • Hepatoprotective: helps heal and protect damaged livers;
  • Antiviral: shows positive effect against HIV and hepatitis B and C;
  • Analgesic, shown to be a highly effective pain killer for certain types of pain, in particular the types of pain experienced by kidney stone sufferers (like us) and post-operative pain;
  • Hypocholesterolemic: it lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol;
  • Hypoglycemic: naturally lowers blood sugar to within normal ranges;
  • Hypotensive: naturally lowers blood pressure;
  • Antispasmodic: reduces spasms of smooth muscle, in particular the type responsible for kidney stone pain;
  • Antimutagenic: Inhibits the growth of certain types of cancer cells, in particular sarcoma, carcinoma, and lymphoma;
  • Dissolves and eliminates gallstones, and prevents new gallstone formation;
  • High in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

You can perform a Google search to buy Phyllanthus Niruri, or purchase it from your local herbalist.  I found some on Amazon here.

 

by Stacy Alexander

This content is not intended as medical advice.  One should consult with a qualified medical professional prior to undergoing any type of herbal or other treatment modality for kidney stones.

 

 

 

Final Message for 2017

Standard

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 11.27.25 AM

As the minutes tick by during this, the last day of 2017, I would like to thank each and every one of my more than twelve hundred followers for being here and for standing by me through the years.  My interactions with you have been pleasurable, enlightening and fun.  I promise to get better about creating regular updates in the new year.

One of the most heartening things about 2017 has been the uprising of the resistance against the current presidential administration.  Seeing the millions of people across the country who have stood up against tyranny, lies, racism, bigotry, sexism, assault, other violence and injustice has been heart-warming. In addition to all of my followers here,  I now have more than 11 THOUSAND followers on Twitter, the majority of which consists of resistance members who are fighting for health care, an end to bigotry and racism, policies that will help assure we have clean air and water, and against the treasonous trump at every turn.  The strength and determination of these people is awe-inspiring. It is a good thing, and it helps me sleep at night, knowing that there are still people around who are fighting the good fight.

At this point in time, trump’s current demographic consists only of 32% primarily uneducated rednecks with no real understanding of research, fact-checking or the truth.  This is the lowest rating of any president in the history of America.  Even as he has taken away their healthcare, is screwing with medicare and social security, they cheer him on.  Even though the tax cuts for the middle class that he just implemented will result in even HIGHER taxes in a few years, they cheer him on.  Even though he lied about virtually everything that was in that tax bill, they cheer him on to their own detriment.  Even though he tries to take credit for things that he didn’t do…even though he lies every single day….they cheer him on….because that’s what ignorance does.   Sad.

In happier news, and on a personal note, I am at a very good place in my life right now.  I’m working hard, accomplishing a lot, still  in love and have plenty to smile about.  We had a fabulous Christmas.  John gave me a wonderful coastal vacation, which we will be taking in February, and I’m really looking forward to that.

Tonight will be the first time in years that John and I haven’t gone out to celebrate New Years, but we are looking forward to Ingrid’s spending the night with us.  I am cooking a Mexican feast, and John will be breaking open a VERY nice bottle of bubbly. Anticipating a great time.  We will be joining friends tomorrow on New Year’s Day, for brunch and fellowship.

On a final note, and I probably shouldn’t be writing this, but I am sending special prayers, love and healing energy to a close friend who is struggling right now…but not for long.   There is light at the end of even the darkest tunnel.  I love you, man.

Wishing each and every person reading this a special Happy New Year!  May you enjoy good health, happiness and love every single day.

 

 

Switching to a Plant Based Diet After 50

Standard

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 8.59.54 AM

Numerous empirical studies have established the advantages of eating a plant based diet over one that is heavy in meats and related saturated fats.  This is old news.  A “less meat, more plants” style of eating can definitely improve the quality of one’s life, and it is better for the planet.

I’ve been a part-time vegan, and full-time vegetarian for more than 40 years now, and I still hear people comment on my high energy levels, my  nice complexion and my abundant, full hair, which are all associated with eating in this way.  I often work from 12-14 hours a day, and still manage to cook whole meals, keep my house spotless, and go out dancing at night, when I feel like it.

In addition, vegetarianism is associated with higher levels of short-chain fatty acids in the gut.  Additional research suggests that it also lowers the risk of heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

Vegetarianism Over 50

Can changing your diet to a meat free or low meat diet after age 50 still make a difference?  Absolutely, it can, according to experts. “It’s never too early or too late to embrace a healthier lifestyle,” says a leading cardiologist. “The benefits come quickly and continue to accrue with time.”

In one study, women in that age group who ate a mostly plant diet were 34 percent more likely to be free of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and chronic diabetes, 15 years later than women whose diets included more meat.

According to a study in the medical journal, Neurology, a  Mediterranean-style diet,  which is based on legumes,  produce, grains, and healthful oils, such as olive oil, is connected with better cognitive brain health in older adults. Those who favored fruits and vegetables in their diets, and who ate only minimal amounts of lean meats and fish, if any at all,  had less brain shrinkage—linked with a reduced risk of cognitive decline—than those who ate meat on a regular basis. Eating no more than 3.5 ounces of meat daily may also help prevent the loss of brain cells equivalent to about three or four years of aging, researchers say.

How to Make the Switch

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 9.00.30 AM

The beef and dairy industries have been allowed to thrive at our expense. Coverups of toxic situations weren’t report it to the public because they didn’t want to scare them! It’s time to put that fear into action for the sake of our planet and the lives of our children. As long as people continue to buy their products, these industries have the power and resources to fight reforms and pump money into the schools with educational propaganda. Let’s help the next generation just say NO to meat!

Any step you take will help, but the more plants and fewer animal foods, the better. Try these easy tips to help you design a plant-based diet:

  1. Up your vegetable and fruit intake. 

Even if you decide that you can’t give up meat altogether, increasing the amount of produce that you consume will help you develop a taste for plants, and can help you transition to a higher fiber food intake.   Gradually adding veggies in unexpected places, such as sliced tomato or avocado on toast, can help.

2.  Resign your plate.

Try filling at least half of your plate with grains, fresh produce or beans, and downsize your meat serving.  When you do choose meats, choose those lean cuts that are healthier.  Think of a stir-fry heavy on the veggies and grains with thinly sliced strips of beef rather than a big steak with a spear of broccoli.   Swap in chopped mushrooms or tofu for half of the ground meat you’d normally use in meatloaf, tacos, chili, or pasta sauce. Or try veggie-based dishes like burritos.

  1. Find your semi-veg style.

Even when you don’t eat a vegetarian diet every day, eating plant based meals once each week is a great way to start.  You can replace meat ounce-for-ounce with one of the new faux meats, such as Quorn or Fieldroast brands.

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 9.00.15 AM

 

Vegetarianism for Pain Relief

Because of the anti-flammatory aspects of a plant-based diet, many people who suffer from chronic pain have discovered the benefits of cutting meat out of their diets. Inflammation is a pathological condition underlying a number of diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Diet provides a variety of nutrients as well as non-nutritive bioactive constituents which modulate immunomodulatory and inflammatory processes. Epidemiological data suggest that dietary patterns strongly affect inflammatory processes. Primarily the intake of fruit and vegetables as well as of whole wheat is inversely associated with the risk of inflammation.

In addition to observational studies there are also data from human intervention studies suggesting an anti-inflammatory potential of these plant foods. At the level of bioactive compounds occurring in plant foods, primarily carotenoids and flavonoids seem to modulate inflammatory as well as immunological processes. In conclusion, there is convincing evidence that plant foods and non-nutritive constituents associated with these foods modulate immunological and inflammatory processes. By means of anti-inflammatory activities a plant-based diet may contribute to the lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. A high intake of vegetables, fruit, and whole wheat as recommended by all international nutrition authorities provides a wide spectrum of bioactive compounds at health-promoting concentrations.

A Different Kind of Christmas…

Standard

I’m one of those well-organized Christmas people who files decorations away like library cards, keeping them neat and in order for easy accessibility the following year.  By this time, I usually have cheessecake made, cookies baked, bread baking, and the house spotless.  I have everything wrapped, and ready to go under a beautifully-decorated tree, and have usually hosted our annual Christmas decorating party.

Our granddaughter, Maya, came down from Seattle last year to join us, but is working two jobs this year, and won’t be able to make it.  We would have invited our dear friends, Peter and Toni, but they are preparing to marry and to go to Thailand on their honeymoon, any day now.  Our friends, Baranna and Eric have gone to Texas, and my daughter has pneumonia.  Ingrid has a 103 degree temperature, and my husband, John, is working fervently to get his final grades in by the end of the day….so I’m pretty much on my own this year, when it comes to decorating.  It’s ok.  I don’t mind.  I would have preferred the party, but my main concern at this point, is that my family is ok.

It’s three days before Christmas, and my first full day off in months.  Can I do it?

You bet I can!  I got up early this morning ,and have already started.  One step at a time, accomplishing what I can.  I have the Wood Brothers playing on Pandora….my current favorite station….and my fireplace is roaring.  The smell of cookies baking in the oven, is wafting toward me in the living room, and I have my daughter’s lunch simmering on the stove.

It won’t be the same as in years past, but I am happy just knowing that Ingrid’s temperature has dropped two degrees, that my daughter is improving, and that John is nearby if I need anything.

I can do this thing.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Oh, What a Tangled Web…..About Those Transition Team Emails…

Standard

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 2.19.42 PM

Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for President Donald Trump’s transition team is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of unlawfully obtaining tens of thousands of private emails during its investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.   I have a close friend who has been a constitutional lawyer for more than 30 years.  He and I had a long conversation about this issue this morning, and it seems that the Trump team is wrong.  My friend backed up his claims by quoting specific statutes that I do not have on hand, but according to him, nothing untoward took place in the attainment of those emails, and it’s going to be simple for Mueller to justify obtaining them.

Mueller followed the letter of the law.  Therefore, the Trump/FOX panic is yet another of the ridiculous attempted distractions that they’re so fond of.  At this point, only that tiny 32% of remaining Trump followers, the majority of which are uneducated,  are buying it. 

Among the materials obtained by Mr. Mueller were emails, laptops and cellphones for nine members of Mr. Trump’s transition team who worked on national security and policy matters.  Here is a copy of the letter itself, and if you read it thoroughly, I think you’ll find an interesting reveal at the end:  CLICK HERE

Mr. Mueller’s investigators have used the documents during interviews with transition team officials when questioning them about calls between Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, and the Russian ambassador in which they discussed American sanctions….only while they were being interviewed, they were unaware of the fact that Mueller was in possession of, and that he had already reviewed the emails.

Earlier in 2017, Trump appointed the top attorney at the office responsible for providing all the electronics and email accounts the Trump transition team used.  That attorney was Richard Backler.  This guy was a white collar criminal defense lawyer prior to his appointment.  He aided rich criminals in beating Federal convictions for  the firm of…..are you ready?….Bracewell and GIULIANI!!!

Anyway….so Trump appointed Backler, who assured Trump that he would not allow his organization (the GSA) to provide any of their emails to investigators.  Only problem was that Backler got sick and subsequently died.  Therefore, until Mueller’s team began asking Trump aides about the emails, they had no idea that he (Mueller) even had them, because they believed that Trump’s dirty guy on the inside was running interference for them.  Think about that one for a second. 

Trump and his flunkies thought their friend at the GSA had LITERALLY locked their emails away in a vault somewhere, that only he had access to.  They were wrong.  As a result,  everyone from the Trump team that was interviewed, had a false sense of security thinking Mueller didn’t know what he already knew.  They thought he was fishing, and answered accordingly.  They had no idea he was actually reeling them in.

Now, imagine the freakout that must have occurred in Trumptopia when they realized their cleanup person hadn’t actually erased the fingerprints at the crime scene!  EVERYTHING they believed they’d buried was already in Mueller’s possession in writing! 

The entire Trump orbit just realized that Mueller has a trove that entirely hangs them out to dry, AND brings them down for obstruction and lying to investigators! In other words, Trump appointed a Giuliani shill to protect him from Mueller, and then the guy died just as Mueller was honing in on him. (Trump)   Trust must be losing his mind….what little of it is left……and Jared Kushner must be in even more of a panic, because Trump’s transition told its team members that the emails were privately recorded, and they though they would be promptly destroyed right after the inauguration, but Flynn was already being investigated by the FBI before Trump even hired him.  

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”  Trump, the President with the highest disapproval rate of any President in the history of America,  is in deep trouble at this point.  Let’s see how it all unfolds.

 

 

Fake News. Oh, Really?

Standard

Part of donald trump’s strategy to divide and conquer, is to keep everyone and everything around him in chaos and disarray, creating distractions that will divert attention from the current Federal investigations that are being conducted into his misbehavior, both before and after the election.  There are sexual assault and rape allegations against him. Russion collusion allegations, misappropriation of funds, and many other Federal investigations going on right now.

At this point, trump’s followers only consists of a scant 30%, give or take, of the American population. In fact, no other President has ever sunk so low in popularity as the current one.  This demographic is largely uneducated, fundamentalists and generally not very bright, as indicated by their poor reasoning abilities, limited vocabularies and redneck proclivities.  They are very easily swayed, and rather than weighing actual facts, they turn to only trump-sanctioned news outlets for their misinformation.

One of trump’s most highly touted manipulative devices, is to attack what he terms the “lame stream media,” which calls him out for his many misdeeds.  If he can convince the rednecks that they are being lied to, they’ll follow him anywhere.  However, there are problems with trump’s claims.

Donald trump is the person who falsely propagated the following lies, or fake news.  The following list contains a number of his better known lies.  These things have all been debunked over and again, and are things that he placed in the news, which can be termed, “Fake news”.  Mind you, these things are but a few of many, many more lies this man has told.

 

  • 3 million illegal votes were cast in the election
  • Ted Cruz’s father helped kill JFK
  • Mexico is going to pay for his border wall
  • Thousands of Muslims cheered in the streets right after 9/22
  • He was against the Iraq war
  • The unemployment rate is at 42%
  • Crime is reaching “record levels” in America
  • Global warming is a Chinese hoax
  • Obama was born in Kenya

 

When I was younger, I worked for two different major news outlets. At no time, during that period of time, was  I asked by my editors to lie about any politician, nor any person in general.  I had to thoroughly research everything that I wrote, and like all major news outlets, my writing had to pass the scrutiny of my editors and fact checkers.  I had to empirically substantiate every single word that I wrote.  As a person with first hand experience, I can say without hesitation, that donald trump’s claims about the “fake media” or “fake news” are nothing but lies.

As Noam Chomsky pointed out in “Manufacturing Consent.” all of the major news outlets do trace back to a number of corporations, and each one has an Editor in Chief, who makes the final decisions about what does and does not appear in print.  Someone has to.  However, to make the claim that despite trump’s lies and bizarre behaviors, he is being discriminated against because of a biased news media is simply not true.  His negative behaviors are frequent, severe and are newsworthy.  I know that if trump stopped behaving like this, the news about his behavior would change drastically.

A Day at Cannon Beach

Standard

Please enjoy my original photography from our trip to Oregon’s beautiful Cannon Beach yesterday.  It was a day to be reckoned with!   Best viewed with an enlarged screen and speakers on.  Music by Aaron Neville.

 

PS – The first photo, of the hummingbird, was taken at our home.  The rest of them were taken at the beach, and traveling to and from.

Fact

Standard

FACT: Hillary Clinton didn’t sell anything to Russia. 9 government agencies awarded a Uranium mining contract to a company that included some Russian investors. They were allowed to mine US Uranium for use by the United States and Canada ONLY. Russia never got any Uranium.  This issue has already been investigated, and she has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Original Photography by Stacy Alexander – October 28, 2017 – Portland, Oregon

Standard

Today. I went out and about with one of my cameras, and I managed to put it all together into a pretty decent slideshow that I wanted to share with all of you.  It’s nice being able to share my day in this way.

All original photography by Stacy Alexander – Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved 

 

This is the Time of Year that I Love Most

Standard

I have always been an autumn person, even as a kid, I appreciated the relief that the cooler temperatures brought, and I embraced all of the fun autumn activities….the pumpkin patches…the bonfires…gatherings of like-minded people…music…fun.  This time of year has always symbolized good things for me.  This year is no different.  It is a stunning autumn in Portland right now. The trees have turned colors, just as they did when we lived in New England.  I’ve been taking long walks and meeting with friends, and moving ahead in life and in business….and in love….and things are going great in all of those areas…..so thank you to the blue skies and multi-colored leaves.  Thanks for the good feelings and the good fortune.  I am one happy woman.