Thursday, December 17, 2009

Want a dog??

See the dog on the right...the small one? That's Raven, our 1-yr-old Lab. You may remember me talking about her here and here and here. That was when I loved her.
Now I'm not so sure...I often refer to her as "YOUR dog" or "stupid dog" (when no little ones are around to hear an ugly word.) Dakota adores his baby. She sleeps in his bed every night.

Last night he spent the night with his grandmother. I could hear Raven's restless pacing all night long! She missed Dakota and I guess she was lonely or something because she walked around and around the house until finally at 2:30 a.m. she started whining next to my side of the bed. "Why me?? I don't even like you!"

I get up to see what's wrong and she starts doing her little jumping twirly dance she does when she thinks we are going to take her outside to play...which also means her tail is banging everything around her LOUDLY. I quietly whisper for her to "GET OUT!" so as not to wake Greg, while I fumble for something warm to throw on over my tank top (you would know last night was one of our rare 30 degree nights...could this get ANY better??)

When I told her to get out, she goes and dutifully sits at my doorway waiting for me. The moment she sees me at the bedroom doorway, the jumping, twirling, banging tail starts again and I'm tripping over her trying to get to the back door. I open the door and let her out and sit down at my computer. About 10 mins later she wanders back in and after spying me at my desk, she runs over wanting affection. I'm really not in the mood for this and I figure if I just give her a little pat or two, she'll leave me alone. Oh no, doesn't happen. For the next 3 hours she paces and jumps around wanting out...I take her outside 4 more times.

Now it is 7:15 a.m. - Greg left for work 30 mins ago - I've been up with "stupid dog" since 2:30 a.m. and guess where she is?
Yep you guessed it...curled up in my bed in the recently vacated spot left by Greg and she is snoozing quite nicely now. Anybody want a dog??

Monday, December 14, 2009

iTunes on Facebook

It seems like everywhere you look now, companies, individuals, and products will have this displayed somewhere:

Follow me on:

Have you noticed that? The great thing about this is most companies who are displaying this will also offer you deals, freebies and coupons just for following them! I've joined lots of company Fan pages on Facebook and have received some really nice freebies/coupons.

Another way companies are branching out is demonstrated by the iTunes Facebook Fan page. They have it set up so you can easily purchase and send iTunes Online gifts to your friends or family. The gift is posted to the recipient's Facebook Wall and they can instantly redeem it at the iTunes store. Now that's thinking ahead! How much easier can it get than that? If you are like me, then you have someone on your gift list this year who would LOVE a gift card to iTunes (all three of us in my family use iTunes on a daily basis!) Now, with just a couple of clicks of the mouse we can deliver that gift without having to run to the store for a gift card.

Catching Up

Hello friends,
It's been awhile since I've signed into this old blog of mine. I've been working a lot outside the home and inside the home and even though I continually think about things to blog about I just don't have the energy when it comes time to actually write. So what have you been up to?
I will share in pictures what we've been doing...

I changed my hair color and got a "new" haircut. I went with dk brown almost black underneath and red/auburn highlights on top layers. I think next time I'm going to go with red/blonde highlights.
Thanksgiving we all loaded up and drove to GA to eat dinner at Tina & Bryant's house. This was the first time she has cooked for everyone and it was fabulous!My mom (Mimi to Tina) helped by bringing some of our favorite casseroles and Greg (since he's an early riser) cooked the turkey for Tina.

Greg, Dakota and I had gotten in about 9:00 pm the evening before and since that was Tina (and Felicia's 22nd birthday) Tina and I went and saw New Moon...the 2nd Twilight movie and didn't get home until after midnight. We were a little tired the next day. Thank goodness Greg's an early riser!Tina & I took our picture together and texted it to Felicia...we missed our sissy so much!
Tina cooked Thanksgiving for us, her grandparents, her in-laws and a friend & her husband. The only ones we were really really missing was Felicia's crew in Hawaii...praying this time next year they will also be living in GA and we will all celebrate together!
Dakota and Bops (my stepdad) watching TV while waiting for food.
As usual little Miss Bailee was there to entertain us all...
We had to leave on Thanksgiving to come back home because Greg had to work the next day. As we were packing, Bailee decided she wanted to come home with us. I brought her back to Pensacola and played with her until Sunday when we drove back and met Tina & Bryant in Marianna to give her back to mommy.

She's playing with all my clips in my bathroom...
We spent a lot of time outside while she was here. It had turned very cold for most of her visit, but on Saturday afternoon it was actually a beautiful sunshiney day. I let her play with her favorite toys (her Little Ponies) outside but the pieces are so small I made her play with them in the dog's pool. She loved it!
This is only 1/3 of her collection...this girl LOVES Little Ponies!
Last week was my birthday week - yep, you read correctly - birthday week.
I feel abundantly blessed at all the family and friends who wanted to share time with me for my birthday. I actually turned 42 on Monday. My dear Greggie purchased a cake from Publix (per my request) - it was to die for!! OMG, so delicious!

My dad and stepmom took me to lunch on Monday afternoon. We had a very nice lunch playing catch-up since we haven't been able to see each other as often lately.
Monday night I asked Greg if we could go to Logan's Restaurant and eat. He & Dakota took me there and we had just a nice family meal together.
Once we got home we gathered in front of our Christmas tree and took our family picture...the best thing about this was there was NO griping from the guys! I guess every year I'll have to ask for this picture on my birthday...since it's MY birthday they don't complain! haha
My mom took me to see Precious on Tuesday. The movie was okay, but not what I expected. Not really sure what I expected to be honest...but it was just okay. Thursday evening my dearest friend, CJ took me out to eat again. We have not had much time together for the last year because of her illness, and both of our work schedules. We spent 3 hours sitting in the restaurant catching up. Please continue to pray for her...after two bouts with cancer/chemo, her body's having a hard time of recovering.

We made the decision a couple weeks ago not to go to Hawaii for Christmas. Tough decision but finances helped dictate this. Because we are not going to Hawaii we ARE going to Gatlinburg for the week of Christmas. We are so excited since this is our favorite place to go! I hope it snows...would be nice to have a white Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday

In chess, the you win by protecting your king, keeping it on the board. In our lives, the love of God will give us victory over any of Satan's devices or schemes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday

Like a Swiss army knife, scripture is useful for many different things. We should always make sure we keep the scriptures in our heart, so that we can be ready to do good works for the Lord.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel...

It's been a long three years of ups and downs as far as my marriage goes. Without going into details there have been many more downs than ups. I've been ready to throw in the towel several times.

Praise God we both have continued to work through issues and problems and for the first time in a very, very long time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...complete happiness with my sweet husband. We are continuing to work together and communication is improving and we are both laughing with each other a lot more these days. Thank you Jesus!

I've worked some long days and out of town several times lately. Last week I worked an overnight job in Tallahassee, which is 3 hours away. When I arrived home the next day, Greg was at work and this message was left for me on our bathroom mirror...made my day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Words I Would Say

This song has awesome lyrics! I listen to it on the radio and it sounds quite a bit different than this video (where they are singing it live) but listen to the amazing words...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday

Apart from Jesus, all of our plans and efforts end up like dead, dry leaves that blow away in the wind. We need to get in God's plan for our lives, and there we will find good success.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Teens & Cell Phones - are you informed?


Do you know what any of these acronyms stand for? Chances are your texting teen does. My teenager has a cell phone. He's had one since he was 8-yrs-old. We didn't have a home phone so everyone had a cell phone instead.

Now that he is 13 he texts constantly with friends. His phone is not off-limits and I've been known to pick it up at anytime and scroll through his messages. Thank God I have never found anything questionable on there. Prayerfully I WON'T ever find anything!

As parents to teenagers we have the obligation to stay on top of these things. We should stay informed and up-to-date on these issues such as sexting. By the way...those acronyms stand for:
Parents In Room
Get Naked on Camera
Let's Meet In Real life

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bailee is THREE

I am headed to GA to celebrate my precious Bailee's 3rd birthday. She is an angel. I love this sweet baby so much!
She and Tina came and stayed with us for a week in October. Bailee's daddy (a Marine) has been traveling a lot the last two months and he was going to be gone for the whole week so Tina decided to come to town and spend that week with friends and family.
Unfortunately I had to work a lot during that time. I worked a couple of really late nights trying to clear my schedule for Friday so I could be off and spend the whole day with my Bailee-boo before they left the next day. Friday was our day...YaYa & Bailee. I laughed so much that day. The things she says are hilarious!

She is trying to smell my flowers in my butterfly garden.
Bailee and my puppy Raven are "best friends." She calls him Ray-Ray. Here she is tickled because of one of Ray-Ray's habits...drinking out of my birdbath!
After she watched the dog drinking from the birdbath she decided she would play in it too and she proceeded to make leaf soup for my birdies.
We had the chance to visit the fair while they were in town...Bailee loved the petting zoo! (Poor bunny!)
She enjoyed the big ferris wheel until we reached the top everytime and then she snuggled close to her was extremely windy that day and the wind was much worse the higher we went.
Her daddy is going to be out of town this weekend working so he won't be there for her birthday party. He took his little princess out for a date one night this week. She was so excited to go out with her daddy!

Trade Shows, Festivals, Conventions

During the course of my life I have worked at probably hundreds of conventions, festivals and trade shows. When I was a child/teenager my dad and step-mom set up every weekend at the flea market and at festivals around the area. It was exhausting work but lots of fun. We got to know fellow vendors who traveled around to these same events year after year. As I got older my parents purchased paints and things for me to earn money by painting children's faces.

In my 20's, I traveled one summer with my mom who worked for several years installing computer systems into funeral homes. We spent our time setting up trade show booths at Funeral Director's conventions. That was an experience! Some of the items displayed were a little too much for my young eyes to take in and it put a whole other spin on those who work with "the dead."

As I entered my 30's I was a Creative Memories Consultant for about 6 years. My mom was a CMC too - for approximately 9 years. We worked together at a number of events during that time. It was always frustrating for me trying to set up a booth. Mom likes to get dramatic and go all out...I'm into simpler, cost-effective displays. I despise using disposable items (that cost a small fortune) and then just tossing them after one event! I can't tell you how many table skirts we purchased during that time.

I wish I knew back then that you could actually purchase items - banner stands, pipe and drape setups, and table skirts - and keep these items to use from one show to the next! It would have made life so much simpler.

My dad and stepmom eventually opened several stores and got out of the flea market/festival scene. After 20-something years of running stores they closed them all a couple years ago and decided to start setting up at the flea market again every weekend. It's hard work because they have to set up and take down their products every day but the overhead is cheap compared to a brick-and-mortar store and there's no labor costs (since they do it all themselves.)

Dad just told me a couple weeks ago he is thinking about opening another store...this one will be their biggest one yet. Hmmm, I think my stepmom will probably divorce him if he continues with this plan! :-) Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens and if he opens it I'll be sure to let you all know where you can go shop.

Among the Thirsty - "I'd Need a Savior"

Here's a GREAT song to get you going this morning...LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday

Satan would try to convince us that we're not able to partake of God's blessings. But we should listen instead to Jesus, who tells us that God is happy to bless us.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Can you guess what these snazzy little doo-dads are?
Pretty strange looking aren't they? LOL

I see a rheumatologist regularly for my fibromyalgia. When I went to see her about 6 months ago I told her my hands/thumbs were really bothering me a lot. She took xrays of my hands and gave me some medicine to help with the pain and inflammation. She told me I have moderate to severe arthritis in my thumbs - called Basal Joint Arthritis.

When I went back to see her last week we discussed my xrays and my options - surgery (CMC Joint Arthroplasty), cortisone shots or physical therapy and wearing splints.
I chose physical therapy & splints -
I went to the physical therapist last Thursday. My insurance doesn't cover physical therapy. The PT I saw is the only hand therapist in town and he feels sorry for patients like me for two reasons 1)the pain is debilitating and our thumbs have to do 80% of the work of our hands and 2)we pay a lot for our monthly insurance and for them not to cover PT is crazy!

So this wonderful PT didn't charge me for the splints he made me AND he spent 2 hours with me going over all the things I can do at home to help this problem - paraffin wax treatments, hand exercises, and using assistive devices for buttoning, zipping, opening jars, etc. He also explained the surgery thoroughly and encouraged me to really consider having the surgery - he said everyone he has worked with that has had the surgery has come back and said "why didn't I do this sooner!?"

I left there so thankful for his time, directions and explanations! I also left there with strict orders to wear these handy dandy splints when I sleep, drive, type and write. LOL They keep my thumb from moving around and force me to use my other fingers more. I have to say though they really do the job - I've been virtually pain free since I started wearing them!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Artist's comments:
This week's cartoon depicts a lifeguard running into the sea to save a drowning swimmer. People in the world are being swept away in a tide of sin. We, as Christians, have the message that can save them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday

People don't need to be beat on the head with the bad news that they are condemned for being a sinner. We should be telling them the good news, that Jesus loves them and died to redeem them from condemnation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trick or Treat the Nutritious Way

Halloween - Trick or Treat - Nutrition

If you are like most parents, nutrition is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Halloween and trick -or-treating. Halloween has to be the WORST holiday for our children as far as nutrition goes. What kind of "treats" do you give out? Candy, stickers, raisins?

I am so thankful Dakota doesn't like candy; anything we get normally just ends up in the trash after Greg & I pick out a few of our favorites. Dakota isn't the best about brushing his teeth without me constantly reminding him but because he doesn't eat a lot of candy or sugar-laden foods he is blessed with not having to deal with a cavity (so far.)

One other way I try to keep the sugar down to a minimum is by limiting the types of drinks Dakota has. He is allowed juice, unsweet tea, as much bottled water as he wants and milk. Chocolate milk is his favorite! Don't all kids just love chocolate milk?

Did you know you could give out chocolate milk this year as an alternative to all the candy?
Trick or Treat Me has information (and a coupon!) about this boxed chocolate milk that keeps on the shelf until you are ready to refrigerate it. This chocolate milk is by Hershey's and Organic Valley - both trusted names in the dairy industry. Head on over to Twick or Tweet Me to get all the details about this nutritious substitute for Halloween this year.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Movie: Precious

I went to the movies last weekend to see Tyler Perry's movie I Can Do Bad All By Myself. This is one of the Madea movies Tyler Perry is famous for. Personally I did not enjoy this movie as much as Diary of a Mad Black Woman or Madea's Family Reunion both of which had me laughing hysterically throughout their entirety. This newest movie was rather sad and I found myself crying more than anything else. I don't want to give away too much information in case anyone reading this is planning on seeing the movie so I'm not going to say anything else about that movie.

The main reason I am writing this is because when I went to the movies last weekend there was a trailer for a new movie coming out the beginning of November. I can't get that movie out of my mind. I know it is just a movie...but unfortunately for thousands (maybe millions) of children it IS a reality!

The movie is called Precious - watch the trailer for yourself...

I will go see this movie when it comes out. I already know I need to take a box of tissue with me and I may need to go see it by myself so I can sit and cry silently without anyone looking at me. I am curious to see how this movie will end. Will Precious succeed in life because she is shown love and encouragement by a few people around her? Or will she forever be stuck in the wretched lifestyle she was born into because she has been shot down and torn down from every angle?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toonful Tuesday

We can be joyful in the midst of tests and trials, because we know that God is allowing them to make us stronger in the faith.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love my "mama" job

I mentioned in a previous post that Greg & Dakota were sick. Greg has a "cold" whereas Dakota has the flu I believe...he's got all the yucky symptoms anyway. They both spent the day in bed yesterday.

I've moved my computer desk from my bedroom out to the living room so I can work in peace without having to listen to the TV my husband loves to watch. Dakota made a pallet on the floor in the living room at my feet by my computer desk instead of laying in his bed or in bed with his daddy. I had to chuckle at this. He's 13 yrs old - that hard in-between age where he is beginning to want his freedom and make his own choices, yet he is still just a young boy...MY young boy. :-) Now here he is sick and he is curling up on the floor at my feet because he wants his mama to be close to him.
I was supposed to go to a concert last night with a friend. I ran to the store to pick up some food/soup, etc and while I was gone I called my friend and bailed on her and her teenage daughter. She is a mother and completely understood why I just didn't feel right about leaving Dakota.

When I got back to the house and told Greg what I had done he said "WHAT?! Hello!! I'm here!" I told Greg "I'm a mom, that's my job and I love I'm staying home and taking care of our boy." There will be another concert down the road. I am slowly "losing" my children to life...they are all growing up and moving on (Praise God since that's as it should be!) so I'm not passing up this opportunity to love on and nurse my son back to health.

This is the group I was going to see last night - Skillet - I've seen them once before in concert and loved it. I must admit I LOVE Christian rock and enjoy going to these concerts. They are sooooo energetic!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My boys are sick

I've been working long hours/long days the last couple of's a job stocking Halloween candy in all the stores in my town. Great money but long hours. I'm off every day this next week except Tuesday (Praise God!) and then the last two weeks I'll be working every day right up until Halloween.

I was so looking forward to just kicking back this week and catching up on some school work with Dakota and spending extra time with him. He's been doing school on his own while I've been working lately...glad he's doing it, but it's not the same.

This morning I woke up early before Greg & Dakota and decided to catch up on some long overdue emails before I started getting ready for church. Greg woke up about an hour later - I heard him speak and said "Ugh! Are you getting sick!?"

His answer..."Yes, I feel terrible."

Being the loving wife I am, I told him "Well stay AWAY from me! I don't want whatever it is you have!!"--and then I got the bleach spray bottle out and started wiping down doorknobs, light switches and all the surfaces he touched.

About 30 mins later, Dakota woke up and he is really sick. "Awww, my poor little man, do you need some medicine, can I get you a drink..."

Hmmm, took me about a minute to realize the difference in MY attitude towards my sick hubby & son. Wow! Where did THAT WOMAN come from? Did I not realize my honey bunny needs just as much loving and sympathy as my little man? Thank you Lord for opening my eyes quickly this morning so I can take care of, love on and nurse the two males in this house back to better health! Oh yeah....and please please please don't let me get sick!!! ;-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Toonful Tuesday

Whatever enemies we may be facing, be it sickness, poverty, loneliness, fear, etc., we can be safe from them in Jesus, just as this joey is safe from the dingos in his mother's pouch.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are kids worthy of respect?

This is something I've been thinking about lately and just wanted to put out there to share with whoever happens to read my blog...all 3 of you. ***snicker snicker***

Dakota just turned 13. That is a hard age for any 13-yr-old. Because Dakota has always been homeschooled and never gone to public school and because he has 5 much older brothers/sisters and four sets of grandparents he has been around adults his entire life. That's not to say he doesn't have friends his own age, he has several friends he plays with regularly and he has never had any problem hanging out with kids.

The problem comes with adults. He is so used to his family treating him with respect and allowing him to do and think for himself. When we are "out in the world" and I'm trying to teach him things or I take him with me on jobs so I can teach him skills that may be useful later on, it's so frustrating when an adult looks at Dakota and sees a "kid" and forms an opinion like "oh great, a bratty kid to deal with" and is not helpful or completely overlooks him BECAUSE he's a kid! Grrrr, I get so frustrated with this!

Trying to teach him skills of how to ask questions politely and find out information only to be met with a rude, obnoxious adult who quite obviously doesn't want to be bothered by a "child"...just burns me up! Then the next time we are faced with this situation Dakota is scared to ask questions or go pay for something...because of the ignorant adult he had to deal with the previous time. Unfortunately, Dakota is a people pleaser so he takes things like this to heart - it weighs heavily on him, therefore weighing heavily on me. :-(

There have been several instances of this happening lately and I just don't understand why some adults feel like kids are not worthy of the same respect they themselves expect?

Friday, September 25, 2009


I posted about how I got started with Merchandising last year. I've been working more and more the last few months. Currently I'm employed by five different companies and there's never a week I go without some sort of work.

This is the perfect job for me because I set my own hours, pick which jobs I want to work and complete them on my time schedule. Since Greg & I are still sharing a vehicle, this works out wonderfully.

There are a couple of different job boards and websites with a ton of information about Merchandising if you are looking for some side jobs or extra income. You can start your search here:
Volition - read the forums, look at the job listings
NARMS - create a profile so jobs will be emailed to you or just search the job bank
If you have any questions or need more information about merchandising, feel free to leave me a comment.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debit Card Woes

Debit CardImage by Neil T via Flickr

I pay the majority of our bills online using my debit card. I do shop online too. I've been doing this for many years and fortunately have not had any problems...until recently. Twice within the last two months my debit card has been "hacked."

Praise the Lord I've changed the way I handle my bank accounts the last six months so I didn't lose any money both times my card's security was breached. The credit union just cancelled my card and issued me a new one both times without me even knowing it (although they did try calling me and couldn't reach me.)

I used to use my debit card for absolutely everything...never carrying cash on me at all. The last six months though I've been paying our bills on payday (online) using my debit card so the money comes out instantly and then I transfer some to savings and pull the rest of the money out of the bank. I have found that we are better able to save from week to week if the money is sitting in a safe place at home as opposed to sitting in the bank where we can see the available amount at any given moment. If we do need to use our debit card while we are out, I just call and transfer the money from savings.

Because of this habit I've started the credit union knew something was up when a very large charge was trying to be made using my debit card and the money wasn't in the account to cover this they tried calling me and when they couldn't reach me, they declined the charge and cancelled my card. When I returned their call the next day and found out what had happened AGAIN I was so appreciative they had been pro-active in their efforts to prevent me from losing a lot of money and going through a lot of hassle!

Now, I'm on my third card in two months...this time they sent me a keychain card too. Hmmm, not sure if I like this thing yet or not.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

World Habitat Day

The United Nations has designated the 1st Monday of October each year as World Habitat Day.

According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless. Millions more face a severe housing problem living without adequate sanitation, with irregular or no electricity supply and without adequate security.
I can't imagine what life must be like for the people who have to live in these conditions day in and day out year after year. As I sit here in my comfortable padded chair in my air conditioned bedroom and type this post on my computer, which I can do because I have electricity, cable, etc, I can't help but feel guilty when I think of the children in this picture below...
Look at what they are faced with every day! The sad fact of the matter is this problem is not only's right here in the United States! According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (2004) - about 95 million people, 1/3 of the nation, have housing problems including a high-cost burden, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness. The number of low-income families that lack safe and affordable housing is related to the number of children that suffer from asthma, viral infections, anemia, stunted growth and other health problems.

The Global Poverty Facts are even worse -
According to UN-Habitat (2006) - One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum. (Slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures and insecure tenure.)

By the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)

So, what can we do to help?
Advocate - Educate - Donate

Advocate for decent housing for all by submitting a photo of yourself holding a sign that says “It all starts at home” and submit it to Habitat’s photo petition on Habitat’s goal is to collect a minimum of 500 photos to deliver to the White House. Submit your photo by Friday, September 25, 2009.

Urge your legislators to support the Shelter, Land and Urban Assistance Act of 2009. Tell Congress to pass the SLUM Assistance Act!

Educate your community with Habitat for Humanity’s World Habitat Day handbook to learn more about the importance of secure tenure and neighborhood revitalization. Get even more information about the issue of insecure tenure by reading Habitat’s Shelter Report: building a secure future through effective land policies.

Brainstorm ways to get more people involved. Learn from the successes of last year’s campaign, and come up with brand-new ways to celebrate and publicize the important work of Habitat for Humanity.

Donate to be a part of making the world a better place and support Habitat’s efforts. Donate online today!