Blogging Hiatus

A month plus of no updates at all? That’s kinda hiatus. And then I came across this quote below :

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. Just start typing. At some point, it will turn into writing..”Graydon Carter from the book “Dear Me”.

True, which is so true. But that’s not the issue now. I’m not having writer’s block. I have ideas, I have so many things in my list I wanna write and pour into my SalzyMommyhood but….. I. just. have. no. time. Do people still accept that kind of an excuse? Haha…

Writing has become a necessity to me. And a priority too. I have to write. Writing is like pausing me a while from a marathon to just take a breath and continue running to an unseen finishing line. We have to take breaks, because indeed we don’t know when these all are going to end. Can be it’s still far yet so near or it’s already almost here, but can we really tell?

So what is this with I-just-have-no-time excuse I’m giving myself? No it’s not actually that. Everyone has 24 hours a day and so do I. It’s just that, I haven’t been staying up at midnight anymore, for quite some time already. That means, much of my productive me-time has gone into sweet dreams.

When I don’t stay up, I do less planning and thinking about my days and short-term future and that’s making me be like a mess. I don’t like this but I can’t help it too. When it’s bedtime, I’d tell myself to continue staying up and do my things once the kids doze off but that’s not what happens.

I am now already in the third trimester of this pregnancy and it’s taking much control of me physically, mentally and emotionally too. I’m honestly tired and what’s more tiring is when I don’t even have the power and effort to catch up. But life goes on because time waits for no men. I’m trying to enjoy every bit of it.

I turned 32 three days ago. How remarkable. I’ve been wanting to write a letter to my younger self to reflect the things that I’ve gone through in life; the future of my teenage self that has become past now. I wanted it to be a proper and lengthy letter but I know with my struggling condition now, it won’t happen. So let’s just do it now with only significant points I’ve been keeping to myself, short and sweet.

Dear My 16-year-old Self, 16 years ago,

I’m coming from your future with only one message to convey. That is – Life is so Confusing. Just like how you’re confused now. You’re confused on which stream you’re going to further after the PMR – sciences or arts? You’re so dead in mind thinking just about that but I tell you, that’s just a tip of an iceberg of this whole life you’re going to face.

In future, there will be a lot lot more things coming your way demanding for decision making from your clueless mind and you’ll always be confused. That’s what life is or at least that’s how your life will be exclusively. And that’s hard. Are you ready? You have to.

Scary much? See. This life is a journey and your job is to go through it and experience. You don’t have to figure out everything right away, you don’t have the power for that. But one thing is for sure; ‘things will fall into place, sooner or later’ – I promise. I can’t help much but this is what I believe the most comforting words I am telling to my ever dearest person which is you. Seek help from The One by the way you’ll learn, stick to it for every single time you need it. You’re doing good, just be stronger.

All the best, self. -Regards from the year 2018.-

As ever,
SALZY

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Three Repetitive Advices

Don’t you notice that when we live with a same person for a significant number of years, the person tends to indirectly talk about a particular thing over and over again?

Today marks 6 years of me living with my husband in a happy marriage. We talked a lot, every single day about many things but when I looked back, I realized there are things that we talked so repetitively about. Or, he, what I actually meant here.

He talked about something once, certain points, with certain wordings, clearly, understood and absorbed by me but later, not long after, he mentions about it again. Of the same points. Of the same wordings. That sometimes makes me think that ‘is this devaju? ‘No, it’s not. It really did happen before. He really did say it before. But he’s repeating the sameeee things so when I said “ya you’ve said this before” he would just say “ya, that’s about it.” Them urm, okay.

And not long after, he’d say it again. Or maybe long after, but not long enough as my memory is still retaining the facts oh why on earth must he be mentioning things many times? Do you live with this kind of creatures? Or are we all like this too? Haha me maybe, without realizing it.

Along with our anniversary, I’m writing down these 3 advices from my husband that I’ve heard countless of times in these 6 tender years.

First, is to never say “IF” or “IF ONLY” or “WHAT IF?”

Like “If only I had done this the other way around, things would’ve turned out much better.” – this, in regards of being regret of things that had happened or been done.

Or another way is in regard of overthinking of what’s gonna happen in the future that’s beyond our control.

But this if-ness is so me. It’s like built-in within myself that makes it a habit of mine. I’m saying and I’m thinking of these if’s like all the time and I relate it to all things. Hurm, that’s why I grew up being such an overthinker who tries to control everything which ended up making me feel stressed of my own.

And because of this, I don’t like him to remind me to not overthink or to not say what-ifs because it’s natural and I think it’s necessary to be well-prepared of whatevs. But this too actually comes from a hadith that says ‘If only’ opens the door to Shaytaan’s whispering.” 

Now what, self? It’s forbidden by the religion, by Allah and by the Prophet (pbuh)! And it’s reminded through my husband in his repetitive advice that I really have to hold on to myself and keep close, and to not say ‘if’ excessively till it could become a sin. Things happened means things happened. Accept, and submit, full stop. Phew, this is hard! But, Lillahi Ta’ala, I’m trying my best!

Second, is to never discriminate the love for kids

When I was a little girl, I was so conversant with these ‘family terms’ that people called a certain child as the “golden child” and the other certain as the “black sheep”. I was so familiar to observing families or siblings of many that they must have these two subjects among them. I thought it’s a normal thing. I thought it’s possible for a parent to love one child more than another just for what they deserved based on education, or behaviours, or prettiness? For God’s sake!

But with my husband, he objects the facts of that ‘family terms’ in total and disapproves it to exist in our family at all. He always reminds us (me and him too) to never discriminate the love for kids. Each one deserves equal yet total loves and attentions from us no matter how clever or naughty they are, the first, the middle or the last, a boy or a girl. Yes, we tend to differentiate the kids, we tend to compare them. To compare things or people is actually very natural and humane. We compare everything that we encounter every day. And every kid is definitely different from one another but in the end, we do not discriminate the loves we’re pouring to each of them.

Being accustomed to the observation since I was young, this is such a very important advice I have to keep with me in growing myself as a mother with more kids upcoming. Mentioning this repetitively makes it a culture in our family and from there I realized that yes, between Edhany and Errasy, we couldn’t really identify who is more dominant than another though they’re quite much different. Like the CGPA concept we have in university, the scores in each subject might vary from each student but on the finals, both get 4 flats!

Third, is to embrace aging with no shame

This is not really an advice from him but I willingly take it as an advice for myself from the way he repetitively says or acts about this particular issue – aging. My husband grows grey hairs as early as in his 20’s and even heavier now. My God, he’s really turning all whites by 40’s! But he’s all okay about that. Of white hairs, of wrinkles, he never freaked out. Yeah maybe because he’s a male and he’s married anyway but it’s not that he doesn’t care. He has this distinctive point of view that aging is a good thing, is something one should embrace rather than reject. It’s the fact that we can’t reject getting older so what’s the point?

I don’t know. I think I really enjoyed being young and beautiful that I slowly found myself averse to accept the fact that my joy time has passed and it’s telling me through the change of my own physical and looks. I do enjoy my life now but it’s different. It’s just different in a way that I can’t explain. Haha… I don’t know. I think I really have to reflect on this more spiritually than physically. Come to think that it doesn’t make sense to be asking for long live but not wanting to grow old, right? Wake up! Now I’m making my husband as my aging-idol; one who can’t wait to look like Amitabh Bachchan one day. Haha.

With these 3 repetitive advices, Happy 6th Anniversary to us.

To my husband, it has been 6 years I’ve been listening to not just these three but many more other lectures repetitively from you, I’m sure. It’s gonna be a lie if I tell you I’m not bored. It’s seriously so borrringgggg you know?? Hahaha. Please grant me The Most Honest Wife Award now cause I can’t wait till the 20th anniversary to confess this. Lols.

Jokes aside.

As much as I might feel annoyed of being ‘nagged’ of the same things over and over again, after all what he said are the right things that I actually have to ponder deeper rather than just listen or complain that it’s been repetitive. Married folks, we don’t know until when we’ll still have this pleasure of talking to a companion so before it’s too late, let’s realize this blessing and be grateful for it. A spouse is also a messenger. Light conversations, teasing or even arguments could actually convey very important messages, never ignore.

As ever,
SALZY

A Writer or a Quoter?

I was composing a blogpost when my husband came and sat beside me. I stopped typing and had a chit-chat with him.

Me: You remember yesterday we went to the kindy, the teacher reminded us to teach the kids at home?

Hubs: Yea..

Me: You heard she said about the reward in the hereafter and all.. That they want us to also gain rewards as well..

Hubs: Yea..

Me: It’s soo thoughtful, right? I gotta write it on my blog!

Hubs: *nodding cynically* Your blog is like a ‘copy-&-paste’ blog, right?

Me: What? No?

Hubs: Yea… You heard something, or you read something, you like it, then you post it on your blog. It is ‘copy & paste’.

Me: *jolted* Hey. No! I don’t copy-paste things. I write with my own words, I write from the heart, okay? If I read something or I heard something and I wanna put it on my blog, I would quote it. I’d put the name of the author or whoever said it or if I don’t know I’d still acknowledge it’s not from me. I won’t pretend that the bombastic words are mine? And sometimes I don’t even take things directly; I rephrase things but would still address the original ideas. It’s not copy-&-paste, hello?

Hubs: Oh, okay. So does that mean your blog is a ‘copy-&-paste-&-paste’ blog?

Whattt, again? Is that just how you rephrased your statement earlier?? With that, I went with “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” to the longest vocal cord in my throat!!!!

How dare he?? This guy really had no idea about this writing career! Come, onnnnn….!!

.

.

.

.

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But that short and sharp opinion left me thinking for a moment.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe what he said was true. Maybe yes. I read something, I hear something, I like it, and I park it here. Add my comment, publish. In short, it’s copy-&-paste-&-paste. In fact now now I’m copying and pasting what he said.’

Hahahhahahaha! Like seriously! Okayyy…. Now it’s digested.

So yes, really. Actually, when I was about to start blogging again, in my mind was all about the things that I read from my books that I wanna share with people. It’s a lot of new things that I get to know from reading but I didn’t have a medium to exude them. I don’t have a book club and I don’t prefer social media. So I thought blogging is the best idea for this and this has become my main purpose and I’m happy with that.

But this comment from Mr. Sarcastic makes me realize that whatever it is, it’s not original. Maybe, 50% of the content of this blog is all from others and I’m just the ‘presenter’. Out of nowhere, my ears were suddenly echoed of the advice from my English lecturer when I was in Uni. This is what she said when students loved to overuse quoting-technique in essays because obviously it’s easy. She said; “This is your essay. You sign off your name. If you’re quoting so many other sources then the essay won’t belong to you anymore. And this makes you not a “writer”, but a “quoter”.

God bless my teacher. After years of leaving school, her words are still relevant and beneficial much. Hence, a writer or a quoter? Wait, let’s now take a look from the eyes of a reader. Let me slot in a bit of a book-review, shall I?

robin.JPG

It’s a book by Robin Sharma titled ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ – A collection of thoughts on life lessons in helping people to live great lives. I loveee the book so much because it’s so meaningful, it’s packed of light advices yet very significant and deep.

Buttt….there’s one thing that’s kinda disturbing throughout my reading which is – QUOTES. There were like tooooo many quotes from so many people included in it. I noticed that and wondering why is this like a quote book?? Until I reached the part that he said in all his books, he loves to use quotations from the world great thinkers because a quote contains a wealth of wisdoms in a single line. Nahhh then only I got it – he likes quotes, so he quotes quotations in his books. Okay.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good, it’s very much inspiring but as a reader, when I pick a book especially from a particular author, I’d expect to dig as much original thoughts from the writer him/herself, not others. Hence to me albeit how good the book is, that too many quotes scratched one star from the rating I could give. My two cents!

After alllll…… my point here is not to argue about whatever writing style one would wanna apply. I don’t mean quoting is not good it’s what I liked too and I do love quote books. What I come to think is, from the honest comment made by my husband, I now fathom out that to grow as a writer, through blogging or through any medium, the best is to try to produce as much thoughts that come from our own critical thinking. Make it the first of its kind other than just evolving from world existing ideas. You got me?

Hence again, a writer or a quoter? For now, just a casual blogger who will do whatever she likes. A mixture of both I guess, haha. Thank you Hubby for the constructive feedback on my dear blog though it’s quite cynical at first I hated you for 60 seconds! Along the way, it’s something that I’m taking note of for my own good in my current and future undertakings.

Till the next post,
SALZY

I Want To Remind Myself

13th October 2017 marks 8 years anniversary of our love relationship. On the same day itself, my husband went for his company’s Annual Dinner event and brought home a lucky draw! Since when he became so lucky? Haha. It’s a Free Lunch Buffet Voucher for 2 pax @ Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside B’s Restaurant. Yeay… We consider this as our anniversary gift, then. Alhamdulillah.

pullman

Today we set to utilize the voucher. Didn’t wanna delay the pleasure and also to celebrate our son’s birthday which was two days ago. Actually, I’d been planning to organize a birthday party for him since early of this year. I’d been saving money, outlining the stuff and listing to-do’s for the event. It’s one of my important agendas for 2017 because we haven’t done any parties for him before. We did one for Dhany but none for Ayash. It’s not that it’s really a must for us do party for every birthday, but once in a while would be nice, right?

Alassss, my plan turned to no avail. Due to? Budget constraint. Haha. This year our financial goes on a roller coaster ride. I thought this is the year that we could save more for more big things upcoming. But it turns out to be just a funny thought. So many more unexpected things came rolling into our pockets and rolled out loaded. At this time, we’re just so broke! Huwarghhh…

And so I cancelled my plan to organize the birthday party for Errasy. We just couldn’t make it, baby. But with this free voucher that dropped from the sky just in time, we seized it for a little celebration with our little family.

cakes

boys

The cakes! Haha…call it a “DIY”. As long as there are candles on it, it is a birthday cake! What a cheapskate parents we are…haha. ‘Desperate time calls for desperate measures’ so mind us okay. Creative mom I am. Lol. Happy 3rd Birthday my baby Errasy! We loveeee you.

We spent two hours indulging the foods and later sightseeing around the hotel area and went home with happy tummies. Free meals are always extra delicious, right? Hehe. Thank you Allah for today and I’m taking some time now for a gratitude moment.

At this moment, I want to remind myself that even in time that we can call ‘hard times’ like this, we still have the opportunity to have fancy meals at a lavish place.

I want to remind myself that at the time we thought we couldn’t spare any money for self-reward like always, a lucky draw decided to reward us with something of our favourites (buffet dine).

I want to remind myself that my plan was unsuccessful but it’s replaced with something more meaningful.

I want to remind myself to be thankful with whatever I got and not whine over insufficiency.

I want to remind myself to be grateful and Allah will increase.

I want to remind myself that with every hardship comes ease.

I want to remind myself to not be hopeless because The help is near.

I want to remind myself that keeping faith in hard times is most rewarding.

I want to remind myself that despite all these we’re still blessed, we’re always blessed.

Things I’ve known so well but at this moment, I just want to remind myself.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

family

Till the next post,
SALZY

Forgiving When Not Even Sorry

The past week was depressing to me. I was hurt, I was offended. Something happened that didn’t only make it a bad day but a bad week as a whole. I think I haven’t felt this kind of feelings for so long. Problems come and go but rarely it’s about something that makes me feel so offensive. This time, it was just frustrating enough.

I was so down, I tried to control myself and told myself to forget it and not to feel so bad for what’s happened but I just couldn’t keep it silent. I’ve learnt to let off things but this; I couldn’t just ignore the issue so I confronted the person. Sadly, badly, the person was not even sorry for what I felt and it’s just taking my anger to another level – depression!

For days I’d been agitated. Life has been a bit challenging lately but I maintained positivity with me but this thing was just making things worse. After a week or so whining in this gloomy feeling, I told myself to stop and deal with it. Deal with this feeling because dealing with human did not work. At least I tried.

In my quiet time, I self-talked to understand myself. I made it clear of what I was so sad about it and why. I knew the root cause that triggered my anger and I knew the solution was to confront and I was all ready to forgive but…………..the person was not even sorry! Just how could it be? That was actually the reason for my lengthy despair. Yes, a week spent in tears is long okay, I’ve been wasting time.

And so I told myself to forgive, forgive without an apology. Honestly I felt so hard to do that cause I was so hurt so again I made it clear for myself as to why do I have to forgive?

First, I wanna do this for Allah, Lillahi Taala. Taking the person aside, this thing was a test for me on how I would react to it and for it to be a test; of course it’s hard. Allah knows I feel tough about it so when I try to fight this feeling, He looks at my effort. May He have mercy on me and make it easy. Istighfar a lot!

Second, I wanna do this for myself. This pathetic state shouldn’t last for long. I have a lot of things to attend to and time is ticking. This year is reaching the end so let’s get busy as always! Not just by forgetting about it but forgiving it. Trying to forget the hurtful thing is a method of ignoring but no this is not my way. How can you tell yourself to just forget it when you’re not senile? I want to forgive this in a way that I acknowledged my feeling, I entertained it for a certain reasonable period and I expressed it out – through cries and through this; writing. Writing is my intangible medication and by writing about this, I got a clearer vision of my reasons to forgive and may this also serve as a reminder for me whenever I am recalled about this through evil’s whispers. Oh God, please keep it away from me.

Lastly down to karma. No, I don’t mean for karma to happen to the person who has hurt my heart but rather, it might be a karma that’s serving me back for what I’ve done. Maybe I did this to other people; the same exact thing or anything that played with someone’s feelings too. I must have, and I did not apologize. Always we heard when one was being mistreated or betrayed, he would say ‘oh wait for karma to pay you back!’, not realizing that what was happening might be the karma to him, actually. So yeah, this may be the reason why I don’t deserve an apology. I’m sorry…

Spreading these whole things cloudless, I see it’s very little to associate the person and the apology that I demanded as the matter-of-fact. Majorly, it’s about me! Our problems, our disappointments; more often than not they’re about us and how we deal with it. The people, the surroundings, the other little problems that we thought making things worse are all just the characters in this episode. And again it’s a test. We may say that “I forgive people every day, every night, I live with no grudge.” But when the real test strikes, you know it’s not that easy this time, not as always. Just remember, this is when our faith is going to be leveled up. Stay strong inside!

To know this, I then separate the offence from the person who’d hurt me so now, the person is standing free from the mistake. Things happened, it did what it did so now what’s left is just me to spell out my forgiveness.

And so I forgive this person, with all my heart.

i forgive you

 

End of my forgiving-without-an-apology process, you’re welcome =D.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Teach Your Kids at Home

Yesterday, we attended a pre-school’s briefing for parents who planned to enroll their children next year. They organized the briefing to explain about their programmes, syllabus, learning techniques and so forth. Our kids are going to kindergarten in less than 3 months! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed this whole year and now, at this very moment, this feeling bounced triple. It’s the decision making time. Too many things to be taken into account and everything is crucial. But I’m not gonna talk about that because we’re almost there. A bit more things to be finalized and there you go kids. Hopefully it’s the right decision.

During the briefing, when the principal talked about children’s outcome from the learning, she advised parents to be involved with teaching at home; not just depend on the teachers in school. Well, it’s common, right? In today’s world; everything is on the fast lane. Primary schools’ exam questions are not like our time before they’re much advanced. And so to catch up with this, parents must also teach their kids at home, revise what they’ve learnt during the day and keep track of their development. For a fact, it’s our responsibility anyway. Oh my. Did you just load bricks on my shoulders?

Heavy, and hefty. That’s definitely the feeling every time I think of this particular responsibility. But yesterday, the way the teacher put it in her words when reminding us to do teach our kids at home was so uplifting. She didn’t simply say; “Parents, you must must must teach your kids too. You can’t expect only teachers to do our part and expect your kids to excel.” Typical reminders we heard yet so weakening. She had this message in her speech but this is how she worded it;

“Parents, do teach your kids at home too. Why? Because we want you to also gain the shares in the hereafter, not just us. For every word and every letter in the Quran your kids will read all their lives, there will be rewards to the ones who taught them since they started to know Alif, Ba, Ta. Also A, B, C. Should all the rewards go only to the teachers in school? We want you to gain your shares too. Teach your kids at home, okay?”

Such a beautiful perspective. Focusing on the benefits rather than warning the cause of failures when this is only a beginning. Reminding us on the essence of teaching reward on top of sending-to-school reward and paying-the-fee reward. Telling us the true purpose which is not merely to grow clever kids but to gain as much rewards for the hereafter which is also correcting our intention towards Lillahi Ta’ala. Hinting us that this heavy responsibility is one that we won’t want to cease.

The words lighten my shoulders that were dropped just now. This is my new journey as a parent and this graceful encouragement is one that I will keep close to my mind in holding this responsibility. All the best to me and all parents out there. Let’s do our part!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Toastmasters : Ice Breaker Speech

This is a continuation post from the previous one. Feel free to read it first – Finding the Old Me

1st speech1

First and foremost, let me make an important disclaimer here. In the speech Finding the Old Me, I actually added a spoon of seasonings to enhance the flavor finely. Haha! Actually, the part that I said I spoke in front of many people – no, I did not speak in front of many people back then. The part that I loved to volunteer in class – no, I never volunteered in class. Hahaha…I exaggerated! Yes I was active with clubs and societies but I was just a regular committee and I just led small teams once or twice. And yes I enjoyed class presentations and yes my work life was right as described. My point was actually to distinguish these two positions so I exaggerated the U part a bit. Just a bit, mind me! Haha okay done with my confessions. Let’s move on to a more constructive discussion.

SPEECH WRITING

Ice Breaker speech is very basic. It’s talking about yourself so in terms of the contents, you don’t have to climb the Google mountain. The difference is how it’s being delivered. Through my observation in the meetings :

  • They talk about their lives based on chronology –  from the time they’re born to the present, highlighting significant facts along the way.
  • They pick only two or three things about them and they elaborate further.
  • They tell a story about an incident or an experience they went through and what they learned that made them who they are today.

I was interested with the second one and I also wanted to tell a story. And so that’s how it turned out.

PREPARATION & PRACTICE

I practiced a lot! Within two weeks prior to that, I acted in front of the mirror every single day. At first, I wrote my text and memorized it line by line but I found it so hard to flow. I sought advice from my hubby and a friend who are very associated with this speaking thingy and they told me not to memorize everything but just remember the points and structure and keep on practicing. I did just that! Thank guys.

TIPS & IDEAS

Okay these are random tips and ideas I scooped out from here and there that might be useful for you :

  1. Volunteer to speak during Table Topic sessions prior to the day as a practice to overcome your stage fright.
  2. Have a mutual interaction. Throw a question and self-answer. That would spare a pause for you to hold a moment.
  3. You may want to use the projector. Display interesting pictures of yourself and share the story behind them (e.g : pictures of you travelling to other countries)
  4. Describe yourself based on astrology, chinese zodiac or favourite colors.
  5. Tell the meaning of your name and elaborate the elements that make you you.
  6. Begin or end your speech with a quote.
  7. Conclude yourself in 3 words.
  8. Don’t forget to relate your stories with the audience. Offer something for them to take home.

EVALUATION

I was evaluated by the Mr. President himself. One good point I want to remember is that he said I began my speech with a big smile. Some people forgot to smile when in nervous state. So yes, smile! And these are some rooms of improvement for me to note :

  1. “Too much hand gestures.”
    This is the most obvious. That’s my habit anyway but during the speech, I even overdid it. Gotta watch these hands next time. The evaluator said, every gesture should be purposeful.
  2. “Too static.”
    I did not move.  I purposely did not move. When practicing, I tried to casually move a step or two but the risk is that I would get distracted and go blank at all. No way! So I glued my feet on the ground. Will practice on this later.
  3. “Less pauses.”
    Those who knew me in-person surely know that I naturally speak like a train. So this is what happened live. Actually I controlled this in my practice. I timed myself and every time it was all reaching 6 minutes. But on real play, my time recorded was only 5 minutes 17 seconds. I was speeding obviously. He reminded us to use the power of pauses for the audience to absorb what we say. Okay!

EXPERIENCE & FEELINGS

All in all, well done, self! I’m so glad I did it anyways. For once I broke through my fear, my self-doubt and timidity with this challenge and what I can say is, knowing my level and competency, I’m pretty satisfied with my first performance. Thank God, Allah eased my say. I’d less fumbles and most importantly I didn’t forget my script because I didn’t bring any notes with me. Because this is the first one, this is the best so far. Hahaha. Now, I’m on to the next. Bring it on!!

Till the next post,
SALZY