A WWLCB visit to Santa Claus

I felt a little awkward standing in line with all the kids and their parents.  My kids have long since grown and I have no grandchildren to take to visit Santa. But surely as long as I still believed in Santa, he would listen to my gift requests and take care of them, wouldn’t he?   I was about to find out.

(I step forward to see Santa.)

Santa (SC):     Ho ho ho! Who’s next?

WWLCB (DMS):   (smiles) Hello Santa!

SC:            You’re a little tall to sit on my lap, I believe.

DMS:         (giggles) Yes, I am.  I’ll just kneel right here.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up when I’m done.

SC:            Ho ho ho! I know about that.  My old bones and joints need a couple of days rest after I deliver all those presents on Christmas Eve.  So, what would you like for Christmas, young lady?

DMS:         Bless your heart, Santa. I haven’t been a young lady for years, but I’ll take that compliment.  Actually, I don’t need anything for myself.  I have a few requests about the St. Louis Cardinals, however.

SC:             Cardinals baseball?  We tried to play baseball at the North Pole, but the snowballs fell apart as soon as we hit them.  But I do enjoy watching baseball on TV.  I have MLB.TV and all the games are out-of-market so I can watch them all.  What are your requests?

DMS:        (pulls out a list from her pocket) Here we go.

Harrison Bader needs to learn how to hit.  He has great speed on the base paths, and he is an elite centerfielder, but his hitting needs improvement.

Speaking of hitting, the Cards’ bats have been really anemic, especially during the playoffs.  They had games where they would score lots of runs and then the next game, they would hardly score at all.  The hitting needs to be more consistent.

It appears that Marcell Ozuna will not be returning to the Cardinals next season.  I would like to request a quality left fielder as his replacement without the loss of too many prospects or money.

Matt Carpenter’s throwing arm needs a rejuvenation.  I cringe every time he throws to first base.

Carlos Martinez needs to get his shoulder strong enough to rejoin the starting rotation.  And while we’re at it, please give him the ability to not get the jitters in case of a pitching mistake.  He can be too emotional.

Santa, could the Cardinals please win their 12th World Series in 2020?  It’s been almost 10 years since the Cards have won a World Series.  We miss championship baseball in St. Louis.

Last but not least, could you please contact the Modern Era Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame and get Ted Simmons elected to the Hall of Fame?  I wrote 3 blog posts to the Modern Era Committee and he only missed getting in by one vote last time.  I worry about Ted – I’ve seen him lately and he doesn’t look well.  He needs to be elected to the Hall of Fame before something happens to him.  If Ted does get elected, I need money to attend the induction ceremony.

(The kids in the line are starting to get whiny since I’m taking too long talking to Santa.)

SC:          (chuckles) My goodness, that’s a very long list.  And your requests are very specific. I can’t promise you everything, but I will do my very best to do what I can to make your Christmas very merry.  (Santa reaches into a basket.)  Everyone who sees Santa gets a candy cane and you are no exception.  Merry Christmas Diane!

DMS:       (gets up slowly from her knees) Wait, I didn’t tell you my name.  How did you know –

SC:           Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas! (Santa’s elf escorts me to the door and I exit.)


Would you like to be Santa’s helper for some good girls and boys?  The Cardinals will be holding their fourth annual gift drive this Wednesday, December 4, 2019, from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  You can drop off an unwrapped toy or a gift card at the ticket windows on the 8th Street side of Busch Stadium.  You can drive up and Santa’s helpers will come to your car window to pick up your toy/gift card. In reward for your generosity, you will receive a cup of hot chocolate and a gift from the Cardinals – last year, the gift was a Marty pass, which grants the recipient two free tickets to a Cardinals game from Monday through Thursday, with some exceptions. A portion of the toys and gift cards will be given out by Fredbird during Breakfast with Santa at Scott Air Force Base, hosted by the American Red Cross.  The remaining gifts will be distributed to select Cardinals Care partner agencies including Angels’ Arms, Annie Malone Children & Family Service Center, Southside Early Childhood Center, The James Project, Youth in Need and Marygrove throughout the holiday season. A win-win for you and for the kids! For more information, go here:  cardinals.com/giftdrive.

I hope Santa brings you what you want for Christmas! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it)

When the Cardinals went to Chicago this weekend, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. The Cards had only won one game all season at Wrigley.  The best we could hope for was a split.

However, this was an exciting series from the first game to the last game, although the Sunday game was sort of boring until the top of the ninth inning, probably because there was limited scoring.  None of the games were blowouts – in fact, the Cards won all four games by only one run.  The Thursday night game went into extra innings, thanks to Carlos Martinez, but Matt Carpenter saved the day by hitting a home run in the top of the tenth inning.  Sadly, Carpenter was in the game because Kolten Wong injured his left hamstring running to first base.  When bad things happen, the other players take up the slack and get things done.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be.  Kolten has a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring and he hopes to be able to play in the Cubs series this weekend at Busch Stadium.

The Saturday afternoon game itself was so exciting, with the lead going back and forth, that I thought I might have a heart attack.  The two home runs in the top of the ninth by Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong (who hit it out of the park onto Waverly Avenue) were so exciting, my son and I screamed like we were at the ballpark.  Twitter was on fire this weekend, with Cards fans and Cubs fans going back and forth at each other.  Watching the game and being on Twitter at the same time is a great experience.  If you’re not on Twitter, you should be.  I post during games as much as possible. My Twitter feed is on the right-hand column of your screen.

The Thursday night Cards-Cubs game was on FOX and not FOX Sports Midwest, and the FOX announcers slobbered all over the Cubs just like the ESPN announcers do.  The Cards have the best announcer in baseball in Dan McLaughlin. We really miss Dan when we have to put up with the national announcers who act like the Cardinals don’t exist because they’re not an East or West Coast team or they’re not Chicago.  The exception to this would be the YouTube announcers and that may be because one of the announcers is Jason Marquis, who used to pitch for the Cardinals.  By the way, the Wednesday afternoon Cards-Diamondbacks game is on YouTube, which should make those Cards fans who have Dish Network or Sling happy since FOX Sports Midwest is no longer on those providers.  Danny Mac said yesterday that if the Cards clinch the division on Wednesday that there would be special coverage on FOX Sports Midwest after the game.

The Cards have clinched one of the wild card spots and had a lovely champagne toast, but that’s not enough – the Cards should win the division. The magic number for the Cards to win the division is now 4, which means that any combination of Cards wins/Brewers losses gives the Cards the division title.  The Cubs’ loss yesterday meant that they are eliminated from the playoffs.

The Cards play a three-game series with the Diamondbacks this week.  Paul Goldschmidt returns to Arizona and no doubt, the fans there will give him a standing ovation.  The Cards could clinch the division as soon as Wednesday.  The sooner the better, in my opinion.

As for the title of this post?  You may remember that back in May, I wrote a blog post about the Cards needing a theme song like the Blues had with “Gloria.”  On Saturday night, Jeff Niehaus (@Fly_the_L on Twitter) came up with the song “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire.  The first line is “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” and Saturday’s date was indeed September 21.  However, I believe I have found an even better song, and it’s “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters.  I put up a poll on Twitter, but unfortunately, I only got two votes, one for each song, so it was a tie.  In case you haven’t heard the song in a while, here’s the video:

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

 

Homestand highlights for September 21-27, 2015

It’s the final homestand of the season already?!? Where did the season go?  My son and I will be at tonight’s game in Section 233, so if you’re at the game, come by and say hi.  Here’s all the details about the final homestand of 2015:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 27, 2015)St. Louis Blues Night and a Lance Berkman Bobblehead Giveaway highlight the final homestand of 2015

ST. LOUIS, September 21, 2015– The Cardinals are back at Busch for their final regular season games of 2015; a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds and four with the Milwaukee Brewers. St. Louis Blues Night and a Lance Berkman Bobblehead Giveaway highlight the final regular-season homestand of 2015.

Monday, September 21, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

#TeamSTL

  • St. Louis Blues Night: The Cardinals are teaming up with the St. Louis Blues to help kick off their season during the first-ever St. Louis Blues Theme Night at Busch Stadium. All fans who purchase the special theme night ticket (SOLD OUT) receive a limited edition Blues themed Cardinals cap. From 5:45- 6:45 p.m., fans can get autographs from Blues and Cardinals alumni during a pregame pep rally in Riverview Corner complete with Louie and the Blue Crew. Members of the 2015-2016 Blues including David Backes, Vladimir Tarasenko,Kevin Shattenkirk, Troy Brouwer, Paul Stastny, Alex Pietrangelo and Alexander Steen will be introduced on field during a special pregame ceremony, and the Cardinals will have additional Blues prizes and surprises throughout the game. Cardinals players will also wear a St. Louis Blues themed jersey during batting practice and the National Anthem. Following the game, the batting practice-worn jerseys will be available for auction with proceeds benefitting Cardinals Care – the team’s charitable arm. Fans will also be able to purchase Blues themed Cardinals t-shirts, available exclusively at the ballpark. For more info, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • Pregame Pom, Cheer and Dance Performance: Prior to the game, Powerhaus Cheerleading, Mt. Olive High School Cheer, Dancers on Tour, Kaskaskia College Cheerleading, Maryville University, Hillsboro High School Cheer, and Trimpe Middle School Dance Team will perform in Ford Plaza.
  •  Coach Jim White Ceremonial Pitch: Coach Jim White will throw a ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. His remarkable story was recently shared in the Disney film McFarland USA starring Kevin Costner. After moving to McFarland, California with his family in 1964, Coach White took over the cross country team in town and won an unprecedented nine state championships, transforming the small town and the young men on his team.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  •  Cardinals Care Grant Ceremony: During a 3 p.m. ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $147,000 to 70 area nonprofit groups that support local kids. A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event (#CardsCare).
  • Willie McGee Budweiser Bash Theme Night (#BudBash): Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a limited edition Willie McGee mini bobblehead as the Cardinals celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1985 Nationals League Champion Cardinals. VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with McGee. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). VIP tickets are sold out. Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item. McGee will also throw a ceremonial pitch prior to the game.

  • College Theme Night: College students can purchase a ticket for $15 which includes an exclusive 80’s themed Cardinals long-sleeved t-shirt designed by STL Style. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

 

  • Deborah Norville Ceremonial Pitch: Television journalist and anchor of Inside Edition, Deborah Norville, will throw a ceremonial pitch prior to the game.
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.
  • Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals present the Battle at Busch concert series. The 2015 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza. The final battle features Unifyah, Cardboard Room, Chad Randall Band and Destination Z playing for the grand prize. Bands begin performing 20 minutes after the gates open with each act given 20 minutes to perform. Each band will be judged on a point system by Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point. Tickets are available for $10.57 to each Battle at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

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 Wednesday, September 23, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  •  Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day: All fans who purchase a special Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day theme ticket receive a limited edition Cardinals themed Paddy Cap. All fans can enjoy Irish music and dancers in Riverview Corner from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • Pregame Pom, Cheer and Dance Performance: Prior to the game, Triad Cheer, Triad Middle School Cheer, Natural Impact All Star Cheer, Festus High School Varsity Cheer, Adrenaline Explosion Cheer, HHP Dellwood Rec Center, and Seckman High School Dance will perform in Ford Plaza.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

  • Billikens Night: All fans who purchase a special Billikens Theme Night ticket will receive a Billikens themed Cardinals cap. Athletes and members from the Billiken Band will be in Riverview Corner from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • Tyron Woodley Ceremonial Pitch: UFC Welterweight Contender, Tyron Woodley will throw a ceremonial pitch prior to the game. The Ferguson native and University of Missouri graduate will be taking on rival Johny Hendricks at UFC 192 on Saturday, October 3 in Houston, Texas. Woodley is currently ranked 3rd in the world.

Friday, September 25, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Fireworks Night: Immediately following the game, there will be a free fireworks and laser light show courtesy of Cooper Tires.
  • Dueling Pianos: From 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. there will be a dueling piano performance in Ford Plaza, courtesy of Spanky Entertainment.
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.
  •  Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum at 3:30, 4:15 and 5:00. Today’s featured items include Bob Gibson’s game-used helmet liner and batting helmet, and Chris Carpenter’s game-used batting helmet. These programs are free with paid admission to the museum. For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visitcardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).

 

  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) following the game. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

  • 2016 Cardinals Magnet Schedule: All ticketed-fans receive a 2016 Cardinals Magnet Schedule courtesy of Shelter Insurance (#CardsPromo).
  • Lance Berkman Bobblehead: 25,000 ticketed-fans receive a Lance Berkman Bobblehead courtesy of Coca-Cola and Dierbergs (#CardsPromo). This bobblehead was the result of a season ticket-holder vote which asked fans to pick a favorite player from the past 10 seasons in Busch III. Thanks to the help of his 2011 postseason heroics, Berkman won the vote and will be honored with the bobblehead. Lance Berkman will throw a ceremonial pitch prior to the game.

  •  MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) following the game. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • 2016 Cardinals Magnet Schedule: All ticketed-fans receive a 2016 Cardinals Magnet Schedule courtesy of Shelter Insurance (#CardsPromo).
  • 2016 Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans receive a free ticket voucher to a 2016 Cardinals regular-season home game (#CardsPromo).
  • Six Flags Day: All kids 48 inches and under receive a free ticket to Six Flags, valid any Sunday until November 1 (#CardsPromo).
  • Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star ice cream (while supplies last).
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

Diane

2013 United Cardinal Bloggers publication now available

Spring training is right around the corner (literally – pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday), which is something to look forward to in this seemingly never ending winter.  Bring back memories of last season and catch a preview of the 2014 season by downloading the United Cardinal Blogger’s annual publication, available in Kindle format on Amazon.com for your instant reading pleasure.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle – you can download the Kindle app for your smart phone or a Kindle app for your computer for free.  Here’s all the details on this year’s publication:

BRINGING THE CARDINAL HEAT TO A COLD WINTER

PURPOSE, PERSEVERANCE AND POWER ARMS: THE 2013 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

The 2013 United Cardinal Bloggers Publication

Compiled and Edited by Christine Coleman (Aaron Miles’ Fastball)

Foreword by Will Leitch

Another year, another deep run into October.  While the sight of Cardinal red bundled up to fight off cold fall nights is becoming common, it still warms the heart of anyone in Cardinal Nation.  The 2013 squad was no different, storming past Pittsburgh and Los Angeles to take the National League pennant before falling in six games to the Boston Red Sox in the Fall Classic.

From the first days in Jupiter to that last night in Boston and beyond, the United Cardinal Bloggers chronicled and analyzed St. Louis’s season and now are bringing that knowledge to you in their fourth annual writing collection.  From the season of Shelby Miller to the career of Chris Carpenter, from the MVP-worthy work of Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter to a recap of each postseason series, the UCB prepares you for 2014 with a look back at the successful season that just passed.

With a foreword from Will Leitch, senior editor at Sports on Earth, bloggers from across the internet, from sites large and small, come together in Purpose, Perseverance and Power Arms to give you a unique look at the Cardinals.  In this collection you’ll find writing from 17 different Cardinal bloggers, plus a capsule on every player that wore the Birds on the Bat in 2013.  Not only that, but you’ll get an overall look at what’s to come in 2014.

Purpose, Perseverance and Power Arms is available as an e-book at the Amazon Kindle store for $2.99. The book can be read on any of the devices in the Kindle family as well as by downloading Amazon’s free reading apps for your computer, tablet or smartphone.  It may also be read in your browser directly on Amazon.

About the United Cardinal Bloggers

Founded in 2007, The United Cardinal Bloggers (UCB) is a collection of bloggers who follow the St. Louis Cardinals.  The UCB encourages interaction and participation among its members via various means, including monthly projects as well as social media such as Twitter and Bonfyre.  Find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Christian Day at the ballpark

Christian DayThe Cardinals have held a Christian Day event once a year for the last few years.  An organization named Christian Family Day used to organize this event, until the Cardinals organization decided they wanted to take care of it themselves.

I have always wanted to go to a Christian Day game, but hubby balked until this year, when we found out that the guest speaker was going to be Willie Robertson, star of the hit A&E TV show Duck Dynasty.  We are big DD fans at our house (don’t judge, OK?) and thought it would be great to hear Willie in person.

A lady at the church we attend is a big DD fan too, so we decided to purchase group tickets for the game and make them available to the members of our church to purchase.  We purchased the group tickets online.  There was a 30% discount on group tickets for this game, which was great.

We got to our seats just in time to see Willie throw out the first pitch to Adam Wainwright.  We weren’t close enough to see whether he threw a strike or a ball, but at least he didn’t bounce it to home plate like some first pitch throwers do.  Willie’s dad Phil was the starting quarterback at LSU (amazingly, Terry Bradshaw was second string), so he surely inherited some athletic ability.

After the game, we were instructed to go sit in the seats behind the Cardinals’ dugout for the speeches.  From looking at the stands, it appeared that most of the first level of the stadium was filled, which I thought was great considering how hot it was.

I tried to tape the presentation on my phone, but I didn’t get the first part of the presentation.  Hubby and I got separated and he called me when Adam Wainwright started speaking and the camcorder turned off.  I thought I had it back on for Mike Matheny and Willie’s speeches, but it wasn’t.  😦 Can I blame the heat?  LOL!

Jason Motte spoke first.  Matt Carpenter spoke about a passage in the book of Matthew that really spoke to him.  David Freese shared his favorite Scripture and spoke about needing brothers in Christ such as Adam Wainwright, Matt Holiday and Mike Matheny to help him in his Christian walk. Matt Holliday has his favorite Bible verse, Job 38:4, tattooed on his arm, and Adam Wainwright spoke about his childhood and his wild lifestyle before he was saved.  Mike Matheny was the last Cardinal to speak.

Willie at Busch

Then Willie was introduced, to thunderous applause.  Willie spoke about the success of Duck Dynasty.  He then spoke at length about Si, Phil, and Miss Kay (uncle, dad and mom, respectively).  Willie called Si one of the godliest men he knew.  He mentioned that if Phil hadn’t turned his life over to the Lord that there would be no Duck Dynasty.  Willie said that Miss Kay is the nicest woman in the world.  Willie then spoke about the philosophy that shapes the family’s lives – faith, family, ducks – in that order and that it would never change.

For more information about some of the Christian faith of some of the Cardinals, read the book Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at The Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals by Rob Rains. For more information about Willie Robertson, read The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Built an Dynasty, a book Willie wrote with his wife Korie.

Oh, yes, there was a game yesterday too.  It was a nice outing by Lance Lynn, with no blow out inning(s) like some of the last games he’s started.  Matt Holliday hit a home run, which is always good to see. Carlos Beltran stole home for the winning run, and he also made a very nice acrobatic catch in the top of the 9th inning.  We were sitting in section 232, not far from where Carlos patrols the outfield, and we cheered for him when he made that great catch. He’s 36 years old?  Really? He plays like he’s 10 years younger. Carlos, if you have found the Fountain of Youth, please share.  The Cardinals also swept a series at home for the first time this season.  It was a good day all around.

A note to the Cardinals organization – Christian Day is great, but can you please hold it in April, May or September when it isn’t so doggone hot?  There might have been even more people who would have stayed for the presentation if it hadn’t been so hot.  Also, this event used to be held on Saturdays.  A Saturday event would be better so as not to interfere with church services. Depending on how far folks traveled to get to the game, they didn’t get to attend church on Sunday.  Thanks!

Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane