Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree...

Every year it is a tradition with my side of the family to put up our fake Christmas tree. No, it doesn't have the smell or the character (aka uniqueness) of a real Christmas tree, but we always made it work. No one could decorate a tree and make it stand out like my mom. People sometimes came over thinking it was real until they got a closer look and realized it was far too perfect to be so.

Every year it is a tradition of Clark's side of the family to get a real Christmas tree. Two years ago they came up to the High Country and we went with them as they selected and cut the tree of their choice. It was of my opinion then that it was a waste of time and money, no offense to all of you who do the same thing. I realized, though, that it was because I was experiencing someone else's taste of trees. Clark's mother tends to like them tall and fat, and his grandmother, NaNa, tends to like them still a little on the dumpy side on the bottom.

This year, however, after much debate-- I decided to give in and get a real tree. It is our last year in the Christmas Tree Country, after all, and I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.

We set out a little late, considering we had to wait for Clark to get off work. It was dusk and foggy and rainy (yes, rain, not snow) and gross. The weather was not helping my mood at all, and I was thinking that I was just going to declare my mind changed and go back to the house and put up our pre-lit tree.

No, I thought. I had better stick with this. It means a lot to Clark.

We finally pulled up to a lot that Clark decided was suitable. Having Luna with us, we all piled out of the car and realized we three were the only ones on the lot besides the workers. Thank you, weather.

We walked around and Clark picked out quite a few "dumpy" trees, and when I say dumpy I mean pear shaped. He kept showing me all these trees he liked but I knew that if this was going to be my first real tree, it had to be perfect. He kept making such a big deal out of it, so I was easily able to use it to my advantage to pick out the tree I thought our Christmas was going to deserve.

Though the adventure would have been much more enjoyable if it had been snowing, not raining, and if I had remembered my gloves, it was over all a wonderful experience. Clark kept sharing what he and his little brother and sister used to do when they cut down trees during his childhood, and it made me realize that his traditions were just as important as my own.

Decorating the tree was a bit of a disaster.

We started a fire,

brought in the tree, and went through all the first exciting steps of setting it up. Making sure it wasn't crooked, moving it this way and that, until it was finally set up to my satisfaction... to begin with.

To my dismay, I realized that a tree skirt is far more important when you have a fake tree because you need it to cover up the awful stand the tree has to reside in. I also realized that you can't just bend the branches to fill in holes, you have to use ornaments to do that. Since we don't have quite as many ornaments, due to the fact of only three years of marriage, that was also hard to do.

I have to admit to having a break down, but it was easily fixed with some comforting words from Clark.

Over all, I am very satisfied with our real tree. I do love the smell and the presence it has in the house. I'm not 100% positive it is something we will keep up every year, but I must admit it's beginning to grown on me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Asparagus everyone will love! Promise.

I have never been a fan of asparagus. No matter how good it is for you or how fresh you find it, I've never liked it.

All of this, however, is in the past.

Not only have I been converted, but I managed to convert my husband as well.Now, it did take longer to convince him that my cooking skills were skilled enough to cover the taste we both did not enjoy. Still, we have both seen the light when it comes to asparagus!

If you're an asparagus purist, I apologize. My palette is clearly not as developed as yours!.

So, those of you who are looking for a way to add this particular green to your list of likes, I hope this recipe tickles your taste buds! It's easy, quick, and accompanies just about any dish well.


-Asparagus (I'd start off with only 6-12 stalks for one person if you're not a fan of the veggie and are experimenting for the first time with it!)

-2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced or chopped

-Olive Oil

-Sea Salt

-Black Pepper


-Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

-Wash the asparagus well. Hold each stalk near the end and bend to break. The natural "woody" part should snapp off naturally. If you don't wish to do this, feel each stalk for it's stiff end and cut it off with a knife.

-Place asparagus in a baking dish of any size. You can also spread them over a cookie sheet that is covered with aluminum foil if you like.

-Drizzle olive oil over the stalks. Use your better judgement. I'd say around a tablespoon, maybe a little bit more. Move the stalks around with a fork so that they are all equally covered.

-Add the chopped/minced garlic cloves. Depending on your love for garlic or eed for tast, I would always suggest using more rather than less. Again, move the asparagus around so the garlice has touched all of it and stuck to the olive oil fairly spread out. If you mince the garlic it will stick in clumps more than if you chop it. That's ok, though! It still tastes yummy!

- Sprinkle plenty of sea salt and pepper over the asparagus. My husband likes a lot of salt, but at least pit enough to really taste it! Once again, move the sparagus around with a fork s it's well coated.

- Bake for 5-10 minutes. Check periodiclyy and move the asparagus around. You don't want it to get flimsy! Ten minutes is really pushing it. I always stay closer to 5-7 minutes.

Welcome Home

It is a strange thing to return home after a brief vacation. Even if the time was short, holidays always make things seem as though they were an eternity.

I always miss our animals when we're away and cannot bring them with us. It seems that they also start to miss us more and more, especially if we go on consecutive trips. In August when we went on a trip for an entire week, Luna ripped blankets, boots, and even the lining of our hand-me-down couch to shreds.

Luckily there was no damage this time.

Walking in our front door I realized what a disaster I left our house in and it makes me pity poor Jessica who watches over things while we're away.

Not only that, but it makes me pity myself (cue violin, please), especially since I'm ready to prepare our house for Christmas as we helped prepare my parents do. This means more time applied to cleaning and less time available for decorating.

This week is going to be rough.

School is in its final week for me, which means exams are only a week away.

Christmas needs to be remembered and present-shopping needs to be done.

Oh, yes. I'm that far behind. I admire those of you who have finished your Christmas shopping already. Normally I am done extraordinarily early, but this year I have just failed miserably.

So, cleaning, school, shopping, cooking... yep. I'm definitely home.

I promise to post a recipe and Christmas Tree special later this evening!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh, Jefferson

I have been sitting in front of the screen of my parents' Mac for about an hour trying to figure out just how to start my final paper for Early American Literature. Thus far I have managed to check my blog once, my facebook twice, and down half a cup of very strong coffee and two pieces of delicious organic-bread toast.

Research papers are not my forte. I can whip out a "thought" paper or even a prospectus telling precisely what I want to write my research paper on. But, when it comes to that actual paper and sitting down attempting to type out seven to ten glorious pages... it just doesn't happen. I find so many ways to be distracted and so many things to do that don't relate to my paper.

I don't know why other papers come so easily. I suppose I'm more creatively minded than analytically so. Still, I love the history that goes into research papers.

For example, I'm very interested in my paper. It's all about the idea of Thomas Jefferson being a hypocrite because of what he preached and what he did. He talked the talk but didn't walk the walk. He wanted to end slavery, and yet he had slaves and was having an "affair," to put it in light terms, with his household slave, Sally Hemmings. Yes, you have to look at the time and take into consideration just what he was living around, but still. If he was so adamant about ending slavery-- why didn't he at least let his own people go?

I'm interested. I want to read up and understand Jefferson's point of view. The problem? I don't want to do it.

Yes, I am aware that is a contradiction.

I don't want to dedicate my time to this paper when I could be in the kitchen helping my dad cook, or out on a walk with my mom and little sister, or cuddling up and taking a nap with my husband. I don't want to do this paper right now, even if I am interested in the outcome of it. Even if I'm motivated by my topic. I'm not motivated right now.

Do you see what I mean?

My other problem (and then I truly hope to stop whining) is my need to snack. When I'm in crunch-time of midterms, exams, final projects, and final papers I have specific snacks I lean on to keep me focused. 99% of the time that snack is pretzels and peanut butter. It's the most delicious thing in the world and for whatever reason it keeps my focus on what I should be focused on.

However, it is not available to me.

Yes, I could go and get the snacks, but then that would present a problem of being even more distracted by my trip to the store. I could easily see ready-to-bake cookies or something with a recipe I haven't tried or something else to tickle my taste buds... the list of distractions is longer than my list of reasons to focus. Then, I could send Clark to get me snacks, but how would that be fair? He's resting up for our trip home tomorrow, and dinner is now only an hour or so away, so shouldn't I just wait? Yes. yes I should... but still. Somehow I have a feeling the snacks would be a comfort... or I'm just saying that because I need a reason to justify being so low on the concentration totem pole.

You can see how well I am at sticking to my plan of writing four pages before returning home. At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky to have two.

Suggestions on how to stay focused? Unfortunately I have none... so if you have ANY please send them my way! They are desperately needed and would be greatly appreciated.

Rockin' around the Christmas tree

Yesterday the family Christmas tree went up. It was a long expedition. My parents put up a fake tree, and this year discovered that the tree they've had for nearly 15 years is too large for their military housing. So, after venturing into the madness that is Black Friday, we had to venture out again to buy a new, fake Christmas tree.

We went to Target and the one my mom wanted was sold out. We then proceeded to Lowe's and our trip was finally successful. We found a fake tree, not pre-lit, that will be used this year to fit into the space that is appropriate for the Christmas tree.

Then, however, there was still the debate on where to set up the tree. Emotions were high as we discovered that it was still too large for the space that was "perfect." After many moves and fits from all members of the family, the tree was erected,


and decorated.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Mom in the kitchen cooking Thanksgiving Linner/Dunch.

Dad and Nimbus hanging out. Clark was on the other couch watching football as well.

Nimbus checking out the set table.

The finished table with all the yummy, yummy food!

Nimbus preparing to pre-wash the dishes we used.

My mom and dad.

Clark and me.

The family playing football.

Shadow recovering from a long day.

Watching "The Muppet's Christmas Carol."

My little sister,Molly, passed out after a long, successful holiday.

The Madness that is Black Friday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always, the food takes over everyone and tends to leave them feeling nostalgic for at least a day or two. That isn't an option today, however, because I have been rounded up into the madness that is Black Friday.

We're getting a late start. It's 6:44 am... and we're getting a late start. There are some people who stay up and go out at 12am to get some shopping done. I guess it depends on the stores you're going to.

Last year, I was working at a Calvin Klein outlet and had to work a shift from 12am to 10am. No, it wasn't pleasant. Let me tell you: people go CRAZY. That's not an exaggeration. Our sales were not much better than they typically were and yet we had the largest crowd, or at least one of the largest crowds, I had ever experienced within my time at that store. They come in shifts. From 12am to 3am it was constant movement. I never left the cash register. Then, from 3am to 6am it was slow and we were all nearly falling over, trying to keep our eyelids open. From 6am to 10am it was busy again. I was informed that the rest of the day moved in shifts, too. I wouldn't know. I didn't get any shopping done that year. I just went straight to sleep after working. Wouldn't you?

My husband has already left today. Now, normally Clark is not that way. He'll sleep in and hope that some of the good stuff is left over and not be too worried. In fact, I don't think there's been a Black Friday shopping spree that has been initiated by him in our years together. Ever. This year is different. He's headed to Lowe's and Best Buy in hopes of finding some good stuff. He's also going to Lowe's for my mom in hopes to get a fireplace screen that we can use tonight after putting up the Christmas tree. Apparently it's actually supposed to be cold in Georgia tonight.

I'll let you know how shopping goes. My mom and I are only venturing to Target, so I can't say we're taking any daring risks. Although that Target commercial about the woman preparing for the sale is pretty intense, I can promise you that's not how we are. We're just trying to go to get some nice Christmas stuff. I just want a picture frame or two. So why are we going this early? Well, my mom and I are morning women, to be fair. Besides, if we went any later the crowds would be overwhelming. For all we know they still will be.

For those of you who ventured out earlier than me, I salute you. Happy Black Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Georgia on my mind

There is nothing like visiting family for the holidays. Not only does it fulfill the need for traditions and love, it's full of the same family tiffs, teasing, and so much more.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I love my family to pieces. I don't know what I would do if they moved across the ocean again... except look forward to visiting them. It's just my parents and my little sister left. My older sister and I have flown the coop, so it's extra special when we get to visit because my little sister doesn't have to feel like an only child.

This is the first Thanksgiving we've gotten to be with my family within the three years of our marriage. It just wasn't very practical to fly to Germany for a weekend, which is why we had to resort to Christmas holiday vacation to visit. Clark has never experienced our simple Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping he enjoys it today.

There will be three seats open that should normally be filled: my older sister, Katie, her husband,Tim, and my great Uncle Gene. My Uncle is now to old to travel, my older sister is pregnant and therefore unable to fly, and her husband is currently at work in Alaska. It's always heart wrenching when your family is scattered for a holiday. Though Clark and I get to be with the three amigos of Georgia, it will feel very small compared to what it used to be like when I was younger.

Be Thankful for all who are surround your Thanksgiving area, eat a bunch of turkey, and take a nice long nap. By the way, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9am... go watch it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mini-Thanksgiving Success

While the pumpkin pie did not turn out as planned, nor, in the end, did the asparagus-- the mini-Thanksgiving was still a success. It goes to show that friends, food, and fun will out weight just about any kitchen disaster.

First, I learned that pumpkin pie should not be filled to the rim-- especially if it's missing part of the pre-made crust.

Second, I learned that with my favorite asparagus I should not use 2-3 TBLSP of Olive Oil, nor should I cook it for the full 15 minutes. I was testing the recipe I had written down, and thank goodness I did. I promise to post it once it has been perfected.

Third, I learned that get-togethers work out much nicer if the boys do their thing and the girls do their thing.

Lastly, I learned that the evening always comes to a nice close if everyone does something together (and if I win the game *wink wink*).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Disastrous Pumpkin Pie

This evening Clark and I have been invited to our friend's, Jessica and Zach's, apartment for a mini-Thanksgiving. While I am thoroughly excited, and even more over joyed because I was let out of class early, I am starting to get discouraged.

The initial plan had been to make a pumpkin pie. Then, when I woke up this morning and realized I hadn't bought supplies, I decided I'd cheat and simply buy Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers for a substitute dessert. However, as mentioned before, I was let out of class early. This presented a solution: I would have time to cook my favorite, easy, pumpkin pie.

Another thing that played into the plan perfectly was that Clark was let off of work early. Not only did this mean he could take the car to get the oil changed, giving me more time to cook this said pie, but he would have time to go to the store for me before I got home. That way, all I would have to do is quickly whisk the pie together and put it in the oven. This, once again, would leave me with even more time and I would be able to cook my favorite asparagus, also, instead of just having to bring along canned green beans (yuck).

So, I met Clark at the mall where we exchanged keys, he took the car to get the oil changed, and I took the van with the needed groceries home. I got here and made a quick phone call to my dad while putting together my easy pumpkin pie.

After realizing that both of the pie crusts (yes, I did cheat in that way) Clark had bought were broken, I shrugged and poured the mixture into the crust and carefully placed it in the oven (still on the phone). Within about ten minutes, our dog Luna began to whine, because something smelled like it was burning. I asked my father if I could call him back.

Because the pie crust was broken, the filling began to spill over the edge just in that ONE spot. I thought rather quickly, thank goodness, and put the other pie crust that I had next to the filled pie to stop the running.

(And, yes, that burned mess you see on the bottom of my oven-- is, in fact, pumpkin. Gross.)

Now, however, instead of bringing a perfect pumpkin pie and posting a blog pertaining to my cheating-but-still-yummy-pie, I am posting a blog on the disaster that is going to be our dessert for the evening.

Yes, I realize that I did fill the pie crust a bit much. I tend to be a person who likes a lot of filling with pies-- and that definitely includes pumpkin pie. Had the crust not been broken, it would not have been a problem. Perhaps I should have foreseen this, knowing that the crust was broken, but I think I had a little too much confidence in my cooking abilities. Especially due to the fact that I was making a cheating-but-still-yummy-pie.

Note to self: don't cheat on dessert. It only leads to disaster.

Hopefully the asparagus turns out better.

List Love

Ever since I was younger, I've been a lover of lists. It's true. Ask any of my childhood friends or members of my family and you will find that I've been a list lover since the beginning. I'm not sure where it originated. Perhaps I was influenced by my mother, who is also a list lover. I cannot be sure. When it comes down to it, though, it's better just to admit it and move forward.

Being a lover of lists has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, I'm usually much more organized than your average person. I have my grocery list, my "other" (Walmart, Target, etc.) list, my list of things to do for the day, my list of things that need to be done by the end of the week, my list of recipes to research, my list of Christmas presents to buy, my budget list, my goals list... this list could go on forever. The point is, I always have to find new places to write these lists down!

This leads to my second confession: I love sticky notes.

Now, they don't necessarily have to be "sticky." They can be magnetic or simply a sort of note you would pin to something or what have you. Regardless of what type of note they truly are, I love them. My desk drawer is full of unopened notes of a sort because I cannot help but buy them. The Target $1 section does not help this ridiculous love at all. They always have seasonal notes selling only for a buck... and I'm supposed to turn that opportunity down? I don't think so!

We recently ventured to Target and I discovered that they have Christmas notes available. Now, if you didn't read my last blog, let me tell you: I've already given in to Christmas. Thanksgiving is now two days away and I cannot help staring at my Christmas decorations with a need and desire to put them in their places. Don't worry. I still only have that one candle in my bathroom... and now the "Vanilla Bean Noel" hand soap and lotion in the downstairs bathroom... and now this list I just had to buy from Target.

Not exactly my finest picture, but you get the idea.

So, if you are a secret list-lover as I am, Target is the place to go. Another suggestion I have: Barnes & Noble. Even in the back of their planners they have a section entitled "Notes" that works wonders for writing down lists of any kind. Especially if you're constantly on the go. I would seriously suggest looking into it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas: A Guilty Pleasure.

Although Thanksgiving is now only three days away, and only yesterday I was writing "Thanksgiving on the Brain," I have to admit that Christmas is creeping its way in.

After Halloween, it's always hard for me to not listen to Christmas music or imagine just where I'm going to put our tree. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year because of the family togetherness and loads upon loads of tradition. While Thanksgiving has been high on the list for the same reasons, as of late Christmas has scooted into first.

For the first two years of my marriage, my husband and I were flying to Germany to be with my mom, dad, and younger sister. Now, every time I start hearing Christmas music in the stores or see lights go up on houses I start to think we're getting ready to fly to Germany for the holidays. Though this will be our second year without the Germany tradition, I think it's what I'm always going to think of when the holidays come around. It was one of the two times a year I got to see my parents and one of my sisters, and I think that's what made the holiday even more special. Not to mention Germany was the first place my husband and I celebrated Christmas together, and it was our first time truly overseas.

(My husband, Clark, and me in front of Neuschwanstein in 2007)

(Clark, me, my little sister Molly, my mom, and my dad in front of Neuschwanstein)

(Garmisch, Germany)

I always try my best to make it until after Thanksgiving to begin putting up decorations, listening to the traditional tunes, and watching the heart-warming movies. Unfortunately, I typically fail miserably.

This year I was so determined, and the fact that we've only had one snow fall was making it easier... but that one snow fall in the middle of November is what did me in.

Immediately I wanted to watch a Christmas movie (which turned in to watching Elf with Will Ferrel), and then I wanted to listen to Christmas music (which turned in to turning on my 'Christmas Mix' on iTunes), and then I wanted to put out decorations (which turned in to placing one Christmas candle out in my personal bathroom).

Yes, I failed miserably once again. To be fair, it is rather difficult not to fail when you live in the mountains and snow is inevitable before the Christmas season. Snow is what symbolizes to me that Christmas is here. When I was younger and lived in Indiana, it snowed almost every Christmas Eve, which was picture perfect. In Michigan and Minnesota, and even in New Jersey, I cannot remember a Christmas without snow. Therefore, I suppose it's understandable why snow means Christmas to me.

(Our puppy, Luna, desperately wanting in out of the snow)

Well, just think, in four days I can justify putting up the Christmas tree, hanging Christmas lights, singing Christmas carols, and so much more. No, it isn't fair that Thanksgiving can be brushed aside so easily. I do think, though, that Thanksgiving has all the more meaning on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone looks forward to the food, friends, and family, but Christmas has a little more than that. It's the spirit, the reason for the season. Christmas has more meaning, if you know what I'm saying.

'Tis (almost) the season. Enjoy your Thanksgiving before Christmas is truly upon us!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving on the brain.

It's finally here! Thanksgiving is only four days away. Everyone is rushing to the grocery store to find that perfect Turkey, ingredients (or a box) for stuffing, sparking cider (or maybe wine), pumpkin pie, and so much more. The only problem? Everywhere is pretty much sold out of everything at this point. That's never good, is it?

I am so thrilled that this year I do not have to do all the cooking for Thanksgiving. The two Thanksgivings past I have hosted them and done the cooking myself due to my husband's work schedule. But not this year! This year we are blessed with the ability to drive South to visit my Mother, Father, and little sister for a Thanksgiving treat. I do imagine I will be assisting in one fashion or another, but I am not solely responsible for the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie, and so forth. The only thing I know I will be required to cook are the deviled eggs, since I'm pretty sure my husband and I are the only ones who will be eating them.

For those of you in the High Country of North Carolina, an option for those who do not wish to cook is to visit The Daniel Boone Inn in Boone. Suggestion: Call ahead. I'm surprised to tell you that this is a tradition of many to go out to eat and allow someone else to cook the turkey and trimmings for them.

An idea for a new Thanksgiving tradition, if you do not do this already, is to go around the table, TV, or where ever you are sitting and say something you are grateful for. This is a tradition of my family that I am very happy to keep up in my home as well. It may sound silly, but you should love being thankful on Thanksgiving! That's what it's about, in the end, after all.


Laundry is one of my biggest vices. I'll spend the entire week doing a load here, or a load there, and then discover another heaping pile of laundry... only, it's clean.

Yes, it's true. I'm dreadful when it comes to folding things. It ends up getting to a point where I feel as though I should re-wash everything, only I know that would lead to the same problem as before.

Therefore, I've decided that multiple laundry hampers are the way to go. For those of you who beat me to this obvious discovery, I applaud you. If only I could find a way to truly label the hampers, then I wouldn't be as confused, and perhaps would be more motivated to fold accordingly... or less motivated.

This lovely hamper set is found at the "I-Have-Everything-Store" often known as Target. It's $39.99 and seems like it may be a reasonable solution to the problem I have, and can only hope others have as well.

Amazing Autumn

Pictures taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina, except the photo of the mailboxes which was taken near my house.

Apple Streusel Muffins

These muffins are my favorite thing to make when the leaves begin to change and apple picking with the family is finally an option. Easy, relatively quick, and positively delicious, these muffins hit the spot on a crisp autumn morning.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Supplies Needed:


1 stick of butter, margarine, or butter-like substance (aka 1/2 cup)
1/2 C Sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 C Buttermilk
1/3 C Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
Dash of Salt
1 C Regular Flour
1 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tblsp. Vanilla
2 C Peeled & Chopped Apples (your preference as to what kind!)
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon


2 Tbpl. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Flour
2 Tbsp. Butter (or butter-like substance)


Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until as creamy as possible. In a small bowl mix the buttermilk, milk, beaten eggs, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the butter/sugar and mix sufficiently.

Add remaining ingredients in order listed above. Mix with a spatula, wooden spoon, or mixing utensil of your preference.

Spoon mixture into greased muffin pan. I usually put 1/8 C to 1/4 C in each section of the pan. Don't worry, the mixture is supposed to be rather thick and not runny.

Before putting the muffins into the oven, mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Take a spoon, spatula, or fork and gently coat the top of the uncooked muffins with the topping mixture.

Put pan into the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes. The cooking time depends on your oven. For example, my first batch I cooked for 35 minutes and my left-over half-batch cooked for 25 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the pan to a cooling rack and let sit for at least five minutes so you do not burn your mouth!

Mixture typically makes 18-24 muffins. Enjoy!

My husband also said to remind you wives out there who are as forgetful as I am to turn the oven off when you are finished. I seem to always forget and this morning the oven was on for an extra three hours before he noticed my mistake... Oops!