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My husband’s grandfather was a wonderful man. And a great wood worker. He passed away last year, and today I had such a fabulous time looking around his wood shop. I think vintage tools are some of my favorite things. They are the epitome of craftsmanship, and the worn wood & patina  from the metals can’t be beat.

Here are just a few of my favorite things from the wood shop {that I also shared over on my Instagram today} …

tool organization

vintage work apron

vintage tools

 

 

Do you have any vintage tools that you love? If so, share them on Instagram and share them with me by including #heirloomed in you photo post. I’d love to see them!

The reason for visiting the wood shop today was for a very exciting new project my husband has been working on. I am so excited to share, however this one takes time so stay tuned. But, here’s a little sneak peek in the meantime.

raw edge wooden slabs

raw edge wood

old wood planks

 

 

 

Yesterday, we announced the launch of our new Burlap Holiday Collection by IceMilk Aprons so today we have a very special giveaway for you from the Collection!

This week, you have a special chance to win our new Burlap Santa Sack to start a family tradition of your own and instill the spirit of giving for your children this holiday season! You may click here to read a bit more about the story behind the Santa Sack, or click here to order yours today {they can be personalized with your child’s name, too}.  A portion of the proceeds of this item support CURE Childhood Cancer.

Giveaway Santa Sack

If you’ve followed the heirloomed blog for sometime now, you know that CURE Childhood Cancer is one of my favorite non-profit organizations. The people behind it are passionate, the funds go directly to solving and supporting initiatives to find a cure for childhood cancer, and it is a cancer segment that is highly under-funded. I am hoping we can raise as much money as possible and do some good this holiday! I hope you’ll take a moment to click thru to their website and learn more.

CURE Childhood Cancer

 

And, for the moment you’ve been waiting for … be sure to enter to win this special giveaway below in the Rafflecopter widget! You have many extra chances to win, too! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

After months of design, production, photoshoots and styling, I am SO thrilled to {finally} share our brand new Burlap Holiday Collection by IceMilk Aprons!

Family and tradition are the root of our company, and there is no time like the holidays to truly ring in the spirit of what these values mean. The Holiday Collection is a combination of simplicity and function, leaving plenty of room for creativity for you to add your own spin to create the perfect holiday tradition with your family.

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  Burlap Santa Sack

The Burlap Santa Sack is meant to be a signature in our Holiday Collection, instilling the spirit of giving in children at a young age. Pull out the Santa Sack each holiday with your decorations and encourage your kids to fill it with 10 gently used toys to donate to a local charity of your choice. Your children can write a special note to Santa telling them what they donated and include their special Christmas list for the year, tucking it inside the pocket in the front of the Sack. Then, leave the Santa Sack under your Christmas tree and on Christmas morning your kids will find their Sack filled with special presents from Santa. A portion of proceeds from the Santa Sack go to support one of my favorite non-profit organizations, CURE Childhood Cancer.

The Burlap Advent Calendar is also a special item for me, as one of my favorite things growing up was looking forward to breaking into our little chocolate calendars each night with my sister to get our special treat as the countdown to Christmas was on! The Advent Calendar has generous pockets to fill with tiny trinkets & treasures, and fits perfectly over a standard sized bedroom door so each child can have their own decor, and a fun tradition each night before bedtime!

 

I hope you enjoy this special Holiday Collection as much as I do. It’s a limited-time collection, and we do personalization on most of the items for a red touch of holiday cheer! I’d love to know what you think!

In this week’s Heirloom Recipe Series, we are so excited to feature a recipe from the collection of Winnie Abramson.  The daughter of a chef and restaurant owner, Winnie’s love of cooking began from an early age.  She decided to incorporate her passions for cooking, green living, nutrition and photography to produce the wonderful and informative blog Healthy Green Kitchen.  You’ll find everything you need to know from making homemade mozzarella cheese and nutella hazelnut spread to a yummy homemade throat remedy and how to start composting.  Oh and it’s super organized and easy to navigate too!

The recipe Winnie shares with you today could not be more interesting, creative and delicious sounding.  Here at IceMilk Aprons, we cannot wait to get in the kitchen with this recipe and we have a feeling you’ll feel the same way too!

Enjoy!

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My grandma Bessie was a lot like me: feeding people made her happy. When she died a few years back, I inherited her recipes.

I keep her recipes in a box, and every now and then, I go through the contents piece by piece. Her greatest hits are all here – Jewish favorites like her brisket and her bundt kuchen- these are the recipes that she made often. But there are also many recipes in the box that while written out on cards in her perfect script, weren’t part of her regular rotation (or at least the rotation I knew as a child).

I always wonder about the story behind these recipes. Are they recipes she actually cooked? Or did they simply intrigue her, so she wrote them down and kept them, but never actually got around to making them?

This recipe for Pickled Crab Apples is one of the handwritten recipes in Grandma Bessie’s collection. I honestly have no way of knowing whether or not this is something she ever made. But she saved it for a reason- it meant something to her- and making the recipes she lovingly preserved is how I stay connected to her.

Recipe for Pickled Crab Apples

Makes 3-4 quarts

How this recipe ended up in my grandmother’s collection is a bit of a mystery to me. A bit of internet research tells me that pickled crabapples (also called spiced crabapples) are traditionally made in the South (where she never lived), but I also found reference to the fact that these might have been served at Jewish holiday meals. Note that as is typical for me when I follow pretty much any recipe, I made some changes. You’ll find my adaptations at the bottom of this post.

Ingredients:

*6 pounds crab apples

*5 cups sugar

*1 1/4 cups cider vinegar

*1 stick cinnamon

*a few whole cloves

*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon drop candy

Directions:

1. Wash apples. Do not remove stems.

2. Bring sugar, vinegar, cinnamon stick and cloves to a quick boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon drops.

3. Add crab apples and cook over moderate heat for an hour- 75 minutes until apples are tender.

4. Lift apples with slotted spoon into jars.

5. Cook syrup 10 minutes after filling jars with fruit. Pour syrup over apples in jar and seal.

I halved the recipe and because I didn’t have access to crab apples, I substituted the smallest, crunchiest apples I could find, and I cored and sliced them. I used organic brown sugar instead of white sugar, omitted the cinnamon candy and added an extra cinnamon stick. The result was a chunky applesauce heavy on the spice and tang, and really quite delicious.

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Be sure to connect with Winnie on Twitter, Facebook, on her Healthy Green Living blog, and take a peek at her gorgeous food styling & photography talents online here.

Part of our Heirloom Recipe Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

I was fortunate to have attended a retreat this past weekend at Berry College in Rome, GA. Proof again that there are amazing things so close to you that you still know nothing about, so go explore!

While there were many wonderful things about the sprawling campus that I enjoyed – gorgeous mountain views, deer running all over the place, the darling little downtown of Rome, an amazing stone church – my most favorite part of the weekend was exploring the most amazing little building called Possum Trot Church.

As the story goes, this small church & schoolhouse grew for the small Possum Trot community until there were many children in attendance, but not enough bibles to go around. So Martha Berry painted these breathtakingly simple verses on the wall for all to take in. I simply loved what the morning light had to do for this gorgeous building.

Our wonderfully southern friend Ms. Lisa Porter joins us here this week for the Heirloom Recipes Series and I couldn’t be more happy to have her. Lisa has a delightful blog – The Lisa Porter Collection – that is filled to the brim with inspiration, beautiful things and creativity galore. I love scrolling thru her photos and writings as the bring about happy times. And her profile photo on Twitter will prove to anyone in doubt that she simply is the purest of Kentucky gals, oh how I adore the proper nature of hats!

I was delighted that Lisa agreed to join us here this week and know her & her family enjoyed a walk down memory lane while compiling this delicious post for you. She has been truly gracious to IceMilk Aprons over on her blog and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her here to share with y’all. Enjoy!

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Heirloom Recipe Series with Lisa Porter.

Just think how remarkable it is that you can mix together flour, butter, sugar, and an egg, and make a memory that will last a lifetime!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had memories of cooking with my mother. Even now, preparing food together is a way for us to connect with each other and with the other wonderful cooks in our family. When I was very young, these values were subconsciously learned and absorbed day after day standing on a chair next to her at the kitchen counter. I was a curious one, carefully watching, and always asking why. I was not just learning how to cook, I was being with my mom and we were playing house!

When I was a teen returning home from high school, I would make my way across the courtyard between our house and the garage, through the French doors that led straight to the kitchen. Mom was always home when I arrived. Not in an apron with flour on her face, instead she was usually in her tennis skirt and sun visor and was contemplating whipping up something new from her favorite Junior League Cookbook!

Yes our schedules had changed but one thing remained the same, time together in the kitchen, Setting the table and lighting the candles was my job. Still playing house, and no we weren’t formal; we just had an antique chandelier from Mexico that she loved to light for dinner. That was the 70’s and Julia Child and Erma Bombeck had the final word!

These days, we still love to gather in the kitchen. It’s the heart the home and the food prepared there nourishes us both physically and emotionally. Food cures and consoles and fills a home with an aroma of warmth and love. Every time life get’s to complicated, I pull my family back to the dinner table, and we all end up happier at the end of the day.

In my kitchen, I have a bookcase full of cookbooks. Remember, I used to work for Chuck Williams. But honestly, I love to cook, my husband loves to cook, my daughter loves to cook, and my son, well, he is a growing boy and just loves to eat.

We all have our specialties but in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we seem to have let something far more important slip away, making memories by lovingly preparing and sharing old family recipes handed down through generations.

This all goes back to what I mentioned earlier, making memories, making food memories that remind us of a special person, place and time. When I started writing The Lisa Porter Collection two years ago, I knew that cooking and entertaining were topics that I wanted to discuss. When I discovered Ashley and Ice Milk Aprons, I was thrilled to find this adorable, energetic, entrepreneurial young woman who decided that if we were going to be cooking and entertaining in the kitchen we certainly deserved to look fresh, crisp, and stylish!

I love how Ashley also believes in keeping all of our food memories alive. She is inspiring whole new generations to find pleasure in preparing food that was lovingly prepared by generations before us. She inspired me to look past my newest cookbooks and unearth what I like to call my golden oldies. Handwritten recipes on stained index cards that remind me that caring hands were at work.

These handwritten recipes not only remind me of my southern heritage, they have given me the greatest way to teach my children that a home cooked meal shared with family and friends is truly what makes life rich!

I was thrilled when Ashley invited me to share two of my favorite homemade recipes here at Preserves! Four generations of my family have been making these traditional southern desserts. I hope you will enjoy them too!

The first recipe is for Apricot Cake.

This recipe was handwritten by my mother, and me, for her Aunt Elouise Stinson.This was Aunt Elouise’s favorite Apricot Cake from the Lubbock Women’s Club Cookbook in Lubbock, Texas.

She had it every year on her birthday. She made me my first Apricot Cake for my 2nd birthday. Growing up, it became my favorite too!

I was always very curious about Aunt Elouise. I remember sitting at her art deco dressing table and running my fingers across her hand cut crystal perfume bottles and monogrammed ivory brushes. She loved red lipstick, good jewelry, Tennessee Walkers, fur coats, and apricot cake! I loved her dearly.

This next recipe is for Brownies-beat by hand and was handwritten especially for me by my Aunt Martha Lee McCaleb shortly before I left for college.

She always said that using fresh ingredients and a little elbow grease was what made homemade the best! How did she ever find the time?

Aunt Martha Lee raised a set of twin boys plus one more making for three rambunctious sons. Here we all are in 1962, admiring a new litter of puppies in Granny’s front yard. Aunt Martha Lee in her stylish red & pink shift, Granny, Uncle Charles, the boys, and me on my mother’s knee.

Aunt Martha Lee was always so busy in the kitchen.  She was usually whipping up creamed tuna on toast and chicken pot pies. All for those hungry boys! I always waited till the coast was clear, then I would grab a kitchen chair and push it right up next to her at the counter. It was time to make brownies.  Little did I know we were making memories. Thank you Aunt Martha Lee. I love you.

Thank you again Ashley for inviting me to Preserves and including me in your Heirloom Recipes Series! I so appreciate you allowing me to share my two favorite deserts and go on about the amazing women for whom they are named. They taught me long ago that made from scratch means made with love and that the effort that goes into a homemade desert is always rewarded by the pleasure it brings.

xo Lisa

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Please do connect with Lisa over on her lovely blog, The Lisa Porter Collection or on Twitter @LisaPorterColle!

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

I am so excited to have the absolutely queen of preserves with us this week for the Heirloom Recipe Series – Mrs. Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen. Now you all know how much I adore preserves, and Cathy has been recognized by NPR and The Today Show and will soon be featured in the food52 cookbook! I hope you’ll take a moment to get just a glimpse inside of Cathy’s kitchen!

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Heirloom Recipe Series with Cathy Barrow.

My mother’s been gone five years now, but each Thanksgiving she sits on my shoulder and guides me through the rituals.

So many of the foods on my table were foods she made year after year. We didn’t ask for a change in the menu – no one wanted anything to change at all. We looked forward to the appetizers – chopped liver on celery stalks (“There will be plenty of bread later.”)

The table was piled high with creamed onions, green beans with almonds, sausage and apple stuffing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and of course, that big beautiful bronzed bird.

Desserts were plentiful, but always included pies: apple for my brother, pumpkin for my Dad, and mincemeat for Mom and me.

Since there were only four of us, and food enough for ten, we were thrilled to start a new tradition when Mom and Dad bought a little weekend house in the Berkshires. By that time, my brother David was married with two kids. I was a career girl, working in Pittsburgh. We would gather in Hartford for Thanksgiving dinner then caravan to the country the next day.

Like us, many of the neighbors had spent their Thanksgivings at home and driven up to the mountains for the weekend. The neighbors – Gail and Dusty – also had plenty of leftovers to share, but were curious to see what others were eating for the holiday. Everyone had leftovers. And that’s how The Dead Poultry Society was born.

Every year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, for years and years, we gathered with a dozen or more neighbors to sample their family’s Thanksgiving favorites. There was an amazing pear relish from Gail. Another had scalloped potatoes that I still dream about, studded with truffles.

But rising above all these treats was the day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich my mother concocted. I’ll be making it again this year, because there’s just nothing like the sweet, salty, savory goodness of this sandwich. It’s definitely a little naughty – highly caloric – but just this one day? It’s a necessity.

Day-After-Thanksgiving Sandwich

Roast turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Chopped liver
Leftover stuffing
Mayonaisse
Challah

YUM.

And this really isn’t possible without classic chopped liver, just the way my grandmother used to make it.


Chopped Chicken Liver

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 lb. yellow skinned onions, minced fine
3 oz chicken fat (schmaltz) or unsalted butter
1 T grapeseed oil
1/2 lb. livers from pastured free range chickens
2 T cognac

Chop the eggs very fine using an mezzaluna or food processor. They should be fluffy. Put in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large heavy saute pan, heat half the butter with the oil. Add the onions and saute slowly until richly browned but not burned.
Salt and pepper generously while they cook.
In the meantime, rinse and clean the livers well, removing connective sinew.
When the onions have finished cooking, put them in the bowl with the eggs.
Heat 3 oz of schmaltz or butter in the onion pan and saute the livers until no pink remains. Do not brown or crisp. Salt and pepper generously.
Remove the livers from the pan and deglaze with the cognac.
Put the livers in your food processor or a bowl.
Pour the deglazing liquid and goodies from the bottom of the pan into the egg/onion mixture.
Chop the livers with a mezzaluna. If you use your food processor, pulse off and on to chop, not liquify.
Gently fold the livers into the onion/egg mixture.
Test and correct for seasoning. The flavor blooms after chilling, so make this in advance and season carefully.
Pack in ramekins or other serving dishes. Keep dishes small – about 4 oz. and make sure to freeze whatever will not be used within two days.

All images courtesy of Cathy Barrow

Be sure to also connect with Cathy Barrow over on her website, Twitter (@mrswheelbarrow) and on her Facebook Page!

 

 

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

In week’s Heirloom Recipe Series, I am so thrilled to have my dear friend Christina Ahumada with us. Christina’s extreme passion for creativity seeps through everything she touches, including her oh-so-wonderful new blog, anora grey. I fell immediately in love with Christina’s style after a quick glance at her perfectly polished nail color and my adoration easily continued after being invited to one of her prosecco & homemade cookie dinner parties.

All photos courtesy of Christina Ahumada

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What recipe are you sharing with us?

Great Nana Ida, on my Mother’s side.

What makes this recipe meaningful to you?

Flour everywhere, batter flung among my two sisters and me, the fireplace cracking as the logs move. Smell of cinnamon, nutmeg …….the scent of baking.  The hum of family and friends laughing and enjoying. The exuberance of a snowy afternoon, or a holiday meal being prepared.  Tradition is an oh, so important ideal to carry on, and scents, tastes and experiences bring all those traditions back to the tips of your fingers when you take that  bite into that same recipe you had long ago.  With baking traditions, your memoirs are only a recipe away.  Being in Atlanta now and being born and raised in NY – family is a plane ride away, so the wonderful memories of laughter, sisters, mothers, grandmothers are only a few whisk-strokes away.  Cooking these heirloom recipes bring them right into my kitchen. Every single one of them.

E very holiday breakfast, an array of baking items were prepared. Bread Dolls, Sweet Rolls, and my Great Nana Ida’s Coffee Cake. Rich with cinnamon, roasted walnuts, and they always-adorned crumb part of the cake, this recipe was one we looked forward to every holiday. It provides the memory of family, warmth from the cool, snowy New York winters; and love of family and friends.

Baking has a creative, cathartic memory for me, a tradition that began far before my mother began working with my sisters + I on the kitchen counters with our noses covered in flour and fingers covered in batter. Working with my hands created a most gratifying result and you can then watch people enjoy your creations. I have began an annual holiday tradition combining my memories and host  a cookies + champagne soiree for my very best girlfriends where I serve my Grandmothers brisket, my Mother’s bread dolls + baking delectable’s from my Great Nana Ida’s recipe book all created in  her pink baking bowls.  This serves as a great platform for me to embrace all my creative passions, carry old traditions while beginning new ones, flowers, entertaining + baking. Simple, creative pleasures are easy to find… you just need to be looking for them. These, to me, are the best simple creative pleasures I could ask for.

Nana Ida’s Coffee Cake Recipe

1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

4 eggs separated

3 cups sifted flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cup milk

*Walnuts

*Brown Sugar

*Cinnamon topping

Cream butter, gradually blending in sugar + eggs yolks.  Beat until light + fluffy. Sift flour with baking powder; fold into creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry + fold into batter.

Turn 1/3 of batter into greased + floured 9 inch tube pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of topping.  Add another 1/3 of batter + topping.  Add remaining batter, sprinkle with the remaining topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until cake tester tests it is done.
Makes 12 servings

*Cinnamon topping: Cinnamon, Brown Sugar + Chopped Walnuts

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A bit more about Christina:

Born loving all things creative Christina naturally gravitated to flowers, fashion, interior design + baking. She would pick flowers from her mother’s many gardens until she began taking too many, and she was given her own garden to create and pick flowers from.

Christina embraces her creative passions at anora grey, a floral design company inspired by a passion for design + a love for flowers.

This company embraces creativity offering consultation and floral styling services on all things design, creative, event, wedding or styling related, working with Interior Designers, Brides, Interior Design and Shelter Magazines.

Christina believes no room is complete without the perfectly selected flowers. She tweets on all things flowers, creative + design at @anoragrey and enjoys blogging her work + inspirations at anoragrey.com.

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

With a name like “The Hungry Southerner,” well, there was simply no doubt I wouldn’t love everything about this project.

Yes, I do love grits, biscuits, farm-fresh vegetables and the occasional *ahem* piece of fried chicken. It’s hard to keep a girly figure in the South, isn’t it? Oh, but so worth every yummy moment.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sean from The Hungry Southerner team, at one of my favorite Atlanta spots (Bakeshop), to chat about this wonder of a project. Their mission is to share the rich stories that make being hungry a way of life, to discover the southern foods that inspires new creations and to pass on our passion for Southern culture and its timeless traditions.

Truly, a match made in heaven, which I often refer to as – the South.


Photo by The Hungry Southerner

I am so honored to be a part of their podcast series, which is currently the top foodie podcast series on iTunes, no less! They are currently making their way across the South, talking to people about traditions and the stories that inspired their products. The passion  & genuine interest they have for their project is undeniable. For me, it doesn’t get any better.

I hope you’ll take a moment to take a listen to The Hungry Southerner podcast with IceMilk Aprons and read the delightful blog post & gorgeous photos they took!

A very special thank you again to The Hungry Southerner – helping to preserve these Southern stories for generations to come, and allowing me to tell a bit more of mine.

From garden to craft to cooking-from-scratch, Martha Stewart‘s MARTHA logo says it all in one intricate glance, embodying everything she is as a person, as a brand, as the heirloom matriarch of our time.

I had the very fine honor of crossing off one pretty hefty To-Do on my bucket list this week,  I was invited as an audience guest at Martha’s Blog Show. A fabulous trip to New York City was just what I needed in terms of inspiration for a brand new year.

As my thoughts wander about amidst all of the heirloom touches that inspire me each & every day – from fashion to cooking to antiques to architecture – I find it important to also note the people behind such things that keep the past in the present for us all to enjoy. There is no denying that Martha Stewart has build her own well-deserved empire one stitch at a time, but to me, it is Martha who has led the heirloom-chic trend of today; it is she that keeps it alive and well in the world.

For Gen X & Y, knitting is the epitome of cool, Food Network is a can’t-miss, everyone wants to grow their own fresh herbs, glitter is all the rage, and KitchenAid Mixers are at the top of everyone’s wish list. It is my belief that Martha has inspired all such things in some form or fashion, constantly keeping them in the forefront of fabulous. The craft of sewing or cooking-from-scratch will never be lost in this world of drugstore costumes and microwaved meals.

So, you may check out the live chatter from the oh-so-delicious #blogshow and always thank Martha Stewart, the Heirloom Matriarch of our day, who inspires things from the past to be savored for generations to come.


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heirloomed Blog may contain paid advertisements, sponsored posts and/or affiliate links at times. I will disclose when a post is sponsored and if a brand has provided product as a gift by marking it {c/o} within the post. These opportunities will allow me to do even more of what I love here on the blog. I will only post about things I truly love and enjoy, and appreciate the opportunity to share these things with you.