DIY: Easy Homemade Air Freshener

How to make homemade air fresheners now

 

 

Trade in Your Toxic Air Freshener for this Homemade Room Spray

 

Did you know that many of the Many store-bought air fresheners contain toxic chemicals, spreading them throughout your home every time you use them. I’m pretty sure you used these  products before and for years without even thinking about the side effects.  However, I’m here to tell you that prolonged use of these chemicals can cause serious health problems. A study conducted by the University of Washington in 2010 found that out of the 25 commonly used scented products they tested, there were an average of 17 chemicals emitted from each one. There were 133 total chemicals identified throughout the entire testing process and approximately 25 percent are considered hazardous or toxic.

Surprisingly, only one was listed on the product label. What about the other 132 chemical compounds that you are unknowingly discharging into the air? The sad thing is that manufacturers of these types of air freshening scented products (as well as personal care products, cleaning supplies and laundry products) are not required to disclose what goes into making them!

Which is sick right. I am such a chemical phobic. My husband is not, and likes his traditional chemical laden stuff.  So I just keep some on hand to make him happy in the laundry room.  However, I never use them. They just sit up there. But that’s between us right, my little secret……

 

Here are just a few of the toxic chemical in your commercial air fresheners:

 

Phenols – Phenols are made from crude oil through a series of manufacturing processes. Phenols can be inhaled and are readily absorbed through the skin. They have been linked to skin irritations, wheezing, coughing, upset stomach, kidney and liver damage. Some suspect they may be a contributor to autism in children as well.

Formaldehyde – In its basic form, formaldehyde is a colorless gas. It’s used in a variety of products because it is a good binding agent and cheap to manufacture. Formaldehyde can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled and has been linked to sleeplessness, fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, nausea, diarrhea and bronchitis, to name a few.

Phthalates – These endocrine disruptors interfere with the natural hormone processes of the body. Phthalates are linked to reproductive damage, birth defects, developmental disabilities and cancer. Needless to say, these products are better left unused. An alternative to using these damaging products is creating your own “green” air freshener from a just a few ingredients.

 

diyair

 

The items you will need to create a basic homemade air freshening spray are:

 

 

• A 16 oz. clean spray bottle

• Warm water

• Essential oil(s) (You can get many essentials Oils from Mountain Rose herbs) (aff) I use their products and love their stuff!

Fill the spray bottle with water leaving approximately 1 inch from the top. Then use 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oils (adjust amount to your liking) and shake for 30 seconds. Be sure to shake before each use.

My Farm Fresh Pick Up!

Well I just wanted to do a quick post and show you guys what I was able to get from my farm fresh pick up this week.  I tend to get a lot of the same items, along with food items that I might get from the farmers market. Today I was able to get a small batch of things. The farm fresh pick up here is only every two weeks, so I try to get items like raw milk, grass fed butter and cheese and soy free eggs if I am able too.

I love getting my fresh milk in the spring because with all the fresh grass it all just tastes so much (butter) better ;-)  .  Hmm…mmmm.. good!

 

Nothing like some good o’l fresh butter on some fresh made muffins! Luv it.

 

Well the enjoy the video, my mouth is already salivating.!

 

 

The How and Wow Of Habits! Why I’m Jumping On Board!

 

howwowhabits-kindlecover-final1

I had the privilege  recently to read and go through an awesome book  on the topic of habits. This particular book  has really struck a cord in me and got me wanting to know more about habits and how they affect my life. It has pushed me to give myself a series of intimate questions by examining things that I want to accomplish with my self and with my blog.

 

I have come to realize that habits are really the focal point of many things that happen in our life’s. For every action there was an habit that put it into Fruition. Habits affect our lives on a personal and spiritual level  in all facet of our lives. The habits you have can affect your life, your health and even  those around you.

 

For example the habit of smoking cigarettes everyday at two, could eventually lead to a serious health problem. As opposed to working out everyday at two which could lead to a longer life and increased stamina.

 

I love how Carrie lovingly lets  me see why habits are a good motivator to work on. This section of her book really had me chuckling and thinking about myself.

 

That’s almost a scary thought, isn’t it? It underscores why it’s so important to give attention to habits. When I die, do I want to be known as a person who: made the people around me crazy with my procrastination, engaged in gossip and negative talk, died early because of overeating and under-moving, gave my kids no inheritance, and left behind a cluttered, messy house for my grandkids to clean up?

Not me.

 

 

 

I know for a certainty that I do not want to be that person!

 

In her book the “How And Wow Of  Habits”!  She mentions a new term called keystone habits that basically means that when you start to practice one beneficial habit. You will usually start to practice another favorable habit. Which is sort of like a snowball effect of good habits

Which is so pretty cool right!

 

Because I know once  I set my goals and start implementing better habits to accomplish my goals. I will be in effect practicing a better habit with the intention of making better habits and sticking to it.

You get that.

So to start it off I will in be posting for the next four weeks  an update to my goal planning and letting you be my accountability partner.  Right!

Your gonna stick by me!

Just kidding.

Anyhow.

 

My main goals that I want to  accomplish are:

 

  • Get up earlier in the morning. I have always been a person that likes to sleep just to sleep. Basically I just like to sleep.  But getting up earlier will help me so that I am not rushing around with a chicken with my head cut off. 
  • I want to make sure I don’t work on internet related stuff before bed, only use that before bed time to spend time with hubby and catch up on my reading. 
  • Another habit I want to implement is to make sure I get at least three posts up each week. 
  • As far as fitness goes I want to work out at least five days a week. The summer is just ahead of us. I really need to get to the beach looking fly as I can be . (Right)!

 

Well what are some habits that you would like to implement in your daily routine that would bring help you reap great rewards in your life!

 

P.S.  To get Carries Book you can visit here!   The How and Wow OF Habits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black and Homeschooling: Meet Mahogany Homemaker

mahogany homemakerTell me what does mahogany homemaker mean?

 

There are literally tons and tons of homemaking blogs, websites, and vlog channels. But I wanted to make the distinction that my homemaking perspective is rooted in my heritage as an African American. There are certain aspects to homemaking that are unique to my background of being an African- American woman raised in the Midwest with Southern roots. Mahogany is a rich brown wood. And trees have deep roots just like myself. So that is why I choose Mahogany Homemaker.

 

When did you first decide that homeschooling was right for your family?

Our homeschooling journey started 7 years ago when my oldest child was in a public school pre-k program. I was hesitant to enroll her to begin with but at the time my husband was not on board with me keeping her at home at that point.(He is now my biggest support.) So after about 3 or 4 months my bright eyed eager to learn child was beginning to loose her spark. I would ask the teacher every day how she was doing and she said she was fine and I had nothing to worry about. Well when it came for conference time she informed me that my daughter had speech delay and she wanted to recommend her for special assessment and speech therapy. I was in shock and floored. My daughter(who was 3 at the time) was a very fluent and clear communicator. She was actually an early talker. She never missed a milestone. So this was news to me.

Come to find out my daughter had been sitting in that school all those months and was not talking in class at all. It was because she had been bullied by another student and when she tried to inform the teacher nothing was done so my daughter not knowing what to do began to withdraw. This was all I needed. I didn’t want her there in the first place. So I went to my husband and asked him if we could began homeschooling. After seeing the results of the local public school he was ready to agree to us getting started at home. I mean he knew for sure we could do a better job than that. It took me almost two years at home to undo what that school did in a few months. I spent a lot of time building my child’s confidence when it came to her school work. She has since blossomed into a very outgoing bright young woman. So we know it was the right decision. Since we started our journey our family has expanded quite a bit. I am now the mother of 5 beautiful children. So all of our other children when came time just joined in on our homeschool journey. We are in it for the long haul. Homeschooling is now our norm.

 

As we know with homeschooling and mothering there are many ups and downs. How do balance the down times when things are not going as we’ll?

No matter the circumstances you are in I believe all mothers face challenges and adversity throughout there journey. Nothing is picture perfect. The key is to learn how to be flexible. If you get knocked off your horse know how to dust yourself off and get back on and keep riding. Prayer is obviously a good place to turn as well. I mean I think continuing to build a strong relationship with the Creator is key to being able to withstand the trials that sometimes come in life. Over the years I have not overcome every obstacle with grace and ease. I have had plenty of times where I took the hard route in the situation. But looking back I can say the thing that makes moving past adversity the most difficult is not relying on my spouse and children to see me through. Moms sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and that it is our duty to fix everything. But sometimes we forget that we are in a family and that means we have a whole team willing and waiting to be called out onto the field with you.

 

Nothing is picture perfect. The key is to learn how to be flexible.

~ MahoganyHomemaker 

 

Tell me what are a couple of your favorite curriculum and books?

Even though I am a self confessed “Curriculum Junkie” I totally have been a DIY curriculum girl. I do more window shopping of name brand curriculum than I do actual purchases. I use homeschool catalogs, websites, podcast, and videos as inspiration to create my own tailor fitted curriculum for my children. It saves money doing it this way which is a factor cause we are considered a large family. And I find it easier to teach what I have put together myself. Now the DIY way is not for everyone. For one thing its is a lot more work. I mean I have spent many times burning the midnight oil. So doing things this way is not for the faint hearted. But this is the way I have done it for many years now.

 

Now there are some great resources that I think helped give me some good guidelines to start with building my own. I will try and narrow down a few but there are many. One the first big resources I came across in the beginning of our homeschool journey is “The Well Trained Mind” by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. Also “Home Learning Year by Year” by Rebecca Rupp was a goodie. One great resource to help get you started with African History is “Africa The Untold Story” by Michele Mitchell. Also Africana Studies Professor Dr. Molefi Kete Asante has two great history text out that can be used as is or tailored into maybe unit studies are “Classical Africa” and “African American History: A Journey of Liberation”. For more resources I recommend visiting my Pintrest page. I have loads of Pin Boards that are categorized very well into various homeschool topics and units.

 

mahogany daugter

 

What inspired you to start your blog?

I actually started Vlogging first. I began sharing videos on YouTube back in 2007. YouTube was still fairly new then. I was literally the 2nd mom of color to do videos on the topic of homeschooling. Since the community presence wasn’t as big as it is now on YouTube I would seek out connections elsewhere. I discovered many forums and yahoo support groups for homeschooling. That was when I began to notice in peoples signature at the bottom of there post they were linking people to there blogs. I would visit these blogs and see all these wonderful inspirational pictures and post all about homeschooling, homemaking, and natural family living. But there were only a handful of brown faces. So I decided to start my first blog back then with a free blogger account.We were bend towards a Classical Education at that time.

My blog started just as a journal to chronicle our homeshool experience in classical education. I wrote about what I was teaching the children, our field trips and outings, and challenges I faced in choosing materials. So I stayed with that first blog for years. Over time my Youtube Channel began to gain much intrest. There was a surge of mommy vloggers and bloggers coming online. So I relaunched my channel this time on the platform of Homemaking from the perspective of a Stay at Home Mother of Color. I received assistance from my wonderful comrade and fellow homeschooling blogger and vlogger Demetria Zinga over at Christian Homeschool Moms.com With her motivation and expertise I was able to create an blogging space to accompany my new YouTube Channel. So that is the story of how MahoganyHomemaker.com got started.

 

How do you manage being a homeschool mom, blogger, full time stay at home mom with five kids?

Well for one I do not blog professionally. Blogging is my journal and my ministry to the homeschool community. So that takes a lot the pressure off for me to have consistent new post and materials all the time. That would just be to much stress for me at this point in my life. I have 3 children in the 5 and under group right now. As far as being a stay at home mom and homeschooling I look at my roll as not being one of someone who wears many hats but only one hat. That hat is “Mom”. I am mom rather I am homeschool, blogging, or managing the needs of the my husband and household. As long as the only the person I try to be is “Mom” then the rest just falls into place.

 

Being a African American mom that home schools and very passionate about a women returning to natural mothering. How do you deal with the challenges of outside opinions on your mothering style?

 

Although I am quite aware that the average person is affected by outsiders opinions I tend not be concerned with that. I have always stood out from the crowd throughout my life. I have always walked the road less traveled so when I decided to become a stay at home mom and then a homeschooling mom it was just a drop in the bucket for my friends and family.I was already the 1st to choose breastfeeding of bottle feeding, cloth diapering, organic foods, natural hair, etc… I did get a lot of questions and unwanted opinions but that is just it. They are other peoples opinions. When it comes to decisions about my family the only people that matter is my husband and I. No one else get a vote. You know folks growing up were always quick to say stuff like “You don’t pay none of my bills!” Well I take that sentiment in this case.

I had the privileged and pleasure of being reared under my grandmother who was a phenomenal homemaker and a mother of 13. I can only hope to have an inch of what she had. Homemaking in my family left with my grandmother. After her generation in ushered a new era of the Professional Woman. It seems in my community most women choose professions outside of the home rather than inside. I much rather be a Professional Mom. The payoff is way more rewarding. At least for me.

 

What tips would you give to new moms that are considering homeschooling and want a better education for their children? Yet are a afraid to to make the leap because of the social norm.

 

I basically feel like there are many reasons to consider when choosing rather or not homeschooling is right for your family. I would not let the opinion of others be one of them. They are your children and you need to decided as a family what is right for your children. Essentially homeschooling is not just an educational option but a lifestyle choice. Go into it knowing that it will be a change for the better. Start your homeschooling journey with a clear goal as to ‘Why” you are homeschooling and “What” your end vision is for your child’s education.

 

Where else can we find you online?

 

Blog: www.mahoganyhomemaker.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/themahoganyhomemaker

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/100920886629281412110/100920886629281412110/posts

Pintrest: www.pintrest.com/mhomemaker

 

Meet Ms. Anitra Jay!

Anitra_Jay_Crown_and_Glory_new 1Tell me who is Anitra Jay?

I’m first and foremost a follower of Christ. I share the love of Jesus through music. I’m a pescetarian who loves her some green smoothies. :) I’m natural and loving the freedom of being natural.

 

When did you first realize that you had a knack for singing and playing instruments?

My Mom put me in our church choir when I was very young. That’s where I learned the basics of singing and songwriting. I bought my first guitar in 2005, and it was then that I realized I might have fun entertaining others. I remember bringing my guitar into the office where I worked and playing a song for my boss. The next day he came to work with an amp, a microphone, and a mic stand. It was his way of telling me to go for it. That was the first time someone other than a family member demonstrated belief in me. I think that moment was the catalyst for bringing on who I am today and who I will be in the future.

 

How was it growing up in New Orleans with such a blend of musical history and how did it contribute to who you are?

Growing up in New Orleans, music was a part of everything. They paraded in the streets with a second line band even for funerals. It was and still is the culture there to include music in every aspect of life. As a child I was saturated in it. Jazz, Blues, and Gospel were the big three growing up and they are the roots of my music to this day.

 

What do you consider as your own individual sound?

I call it Organically, head-bopping acoustic soul. It’s the kind of music that gets into your soul and doesn’t leave. It makes your head bop to the beat without you even realizing it. It’s a blend of blues-y pop with a hint of poetry.

 

 

Anitra Jay Guitar

 

 

With the release of your next album which focuses more on the Natural beauty of African American Women and their Hair. What made you want to release an album centered around this topic?

The idea for Crown & Glory came out of my own journey with natural hair. I’ve been natural for going on 4 years now and it has changed my overall approach to life in areas of self-esteem, confidence, self-image, making healthy choices physically and emotionally, and even style/fashion. After speaking with other women who are on similar journeys they have all experienced these same things. Naturally as a singer-songwriter I found myself writing songs about it. And that’s how the album Crown & Glory came about. I’m really excited, because this has never been done before and I hope it will be a source of encouragement and inspiration for others on the natural hair journey and those considering it. The album comes out in May of 2014.

 

If you could say one thing to someone who is struggling with making the decision to go natural and has not taken the plunge. What would you say?

Natural hair is not permanent! Just give it a shot. Commit to a year and see what happens. There are so many benefits to being natural, the most beneficial part of it all is not subjecting yourself to harmful products. Secondly, it might help you get to know yourself even more and teach you how to unleash your best beauty.

 

Where else could we find you online?

You can find me on my website: http://www.anitrajay.com or on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/anitrajay. Write something on my wall, I promise I will write back! :) I’m also on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/anitra_jay.

 

Yiva Daily Balance and Giveaway!

Over the past couple of months I was given the chance to try out a Daily Hormonal Product from a company called Yiva! As you know from my previous posts on my past issues with with the monthly monster that all us women seem to get on clockwork. The little demon will never go away, and this point in my life, I’m afraid I’m too young for that.

I agreed to give Yiva a try!

If you have not heard of Yiva, they are a company that offer alternative solutions to traditional medicine. I’m big on non-traditional medicine in fact I try to only treat my kids with homeopathic remedies most of the time unless something truly serious has to be addressed.

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Yiva’s products are 100% natural and safe, in fact two of their most popular products are the Yiva Daily Balance and the Yiva Fertility Boost. The Daily Balance is the one that I have been using over the past month, and I have to say it’s actually not that bad. The Daily balance claims to help alleviate menstrual cramps within weeks after using the product. One thing I can say is that it does help, I am not sure if helped me to the whole 100% because I was also taking them along with other things.

However I do like the product, and love the taste of it. The directions tell you to place about 10-20 drops under your tongue and let it dissolve by itself.

It does have a pepper -minty taste and right away I always feel uplifted from it!

Although I think that is due to the peppermint taste.

Some of the ingredients in the Yiva Daily Balance include:

• Propriety blend of herbs

• Purified water

• Agave nectar

• Chaste berry

• Rubus Ideaus

 

Yiva also has products to help alleviate allergies! So if you deal with allergies that have a large variety that you could choose from.

During this season if you are allergy prone you might want to look up more information on their site.

They do offer a 45 day money back guarantee and have offered to give you 20% of coupon on your first order using Coupon Code (Greenmoms20)

 

Yiva is also giving away one of the Daily Balance’s away to one lucky reader!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Were Reading: Our Weekly Reading Log!

Austin Reading

 

This  past week was really busy and I am just now getting around to posting our weekly reading log for the week.   It has been a week since the last reading log but better late than never right.

 

A New Coat for Anna -  I had the chance to read this book to my little ones, it is centered around a family in Germany who are going through a world war and their little Anna needs a coat before winter comes around. I love this book it teaches the children about bartering and sharing when you have little so that all could have.

Mrs Katz and Tush – This is a cute little story of an Elderly Poland woman who is Jewish and a African american little boy. Who has come to love Mrs. Katz and gives her a kitten so that she is not lonely since her husband has recently passed away.  Great story of a  true friendship bond between young and old and about finding common ground in each other even though they are different. Loved it!

Mother Goose - The little Golden Book collection of Poems. This is the 1942 edition that was renewed in 1969 , I think. Great little story full of great rhymes for little ones. Funny too! Now that I am older and reading the poems to my kids, I always wonder about some of the poems and some  of the things that were written for kids to read. Overall I love it.

Austin(8) is Reading Robinson Courose    He just finished  a chapter book last month and is on roll with reading on his own. He has  come a long way from not wanting to read any chapter books at all, let alone with hardly any pictures.

We also read Kids National Geographic on Sea turtles on the Reading Rainbow APP! Cool little app for the kids to use from time to time. Its really cool, Check it out!

 

 

 

George Washington Carver is one that my oldest son is reading out loud to me. He seems to have a bit of a hard time with reading comprehension and does better when he is reading out loud. Overall great book, he’s loving it.  Great story on slavery, chemistry and African American Inventors.

 

Well that’s we read this past week, what are you guys reading this week. Would love to know! Also follow along by following the link up at  Natural Moms Talk Radio!

 

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask: I love it!

Beauty.com Origins Gift with Purchase

 

 

I wanted to let you guys know that beauty.com is giving away a free bottle of origins active clear charcoal mask with the purchase of any origins purchase of $15.oo or more.  I love the fact they are offering this product for free,  because I think I paid about 20.0 for it a while back.  It really does last a long time and a small amount goes a long way. As you can see in the picture I still have a really good amount left. I try to use the product at least once a week or more.

I’m one those adults that suffer from sporadic bouts of acne, which I hate, but if you read my about page than you know my lifelong struggle with skin issues.
The origins Active Charcoal mask acts like a magnet to draw out deep dwelling pore cloggers.

For instance like oil and dirt!

 

origins clay mask

It dissolves impurities and gives your skin a breath of fresh air, I love this stuff! The same day I get a zit or something else. I apply this stuff and the next day its gone.  You are supposed to apply it right after on a clean face, leave on for about five minutes or less until it dries than wipe off.

Its just that simple!

This is by far the best bentonite mixed charcoal mask I have used in the past 3 years, it is for sure one of my faves.

 

Some of the main ingredients include:

  • Water
  • Kaolin
  • bentonite clay
  • charcoal
  • gylcerin

Receive a FREE Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask with any $15 Origins purchase!

What were Reading: Our Weekly Reading Log!

I love reading and an added benefit is being able to read to my kids each and every single day. Sometimes I get the chance to read to them in the daytime, sometimes noon time or even at night right before they go to bed. It has become such a ritual with my little ones right before bed that they insist that I read them at least two books before bed, along with the ones they choose to read on their own.

I’m a total book snob around  here in fact to enhance my children’s love of reading I keep books everywhere.

I have books in the living room on the bookshelf, next to the fireplace,  and in each of the kids rooms they each have their own bookshelf  in their rooms! I have found that keeping lots of books makes little ones want to read them since they are more exposed to them.

So starting this week, I am going to be linking up with Carrie over at  ”Naturalmomstalkradio” to bring you weekly reading logs of what my family is reading this week!

This is such a cool idea, since not only do I get to share with you what I am reading to my children and what they are reading, I get to learn and see other great books other fellow bloggers are reading to their kids.

Win, win right!

 


pete the catThis week we  had the chance to enjoy Pete the Cat the Wheels On the Bus! I love the Pete the Cat series they are so cute and simple to read, we don’t have to many simple to read books on this level in the house anymore because the kids would just get to bored with them.  However, Pete the Cat is so fun and great for reinforcing colors, shapes, numbers with your pre-schooler! My little Devin loves being able to point out the letters and say the sentences from memory.

It makes him feel apart of the reading process.

 

 

 

 

down down the mountainDown  Down the Mountain is a great classic that I love I am surprised I never read this book before. Originally written I think in 1961 it tells a  story of two mountain siblings who are in need of some shoes for the winter. They decide to work hard by making a garden of turnips to sell at the market in town. They end  up growing the food than giving it away to the those in need of food. Truly a great story that teaches sharing,  caring and working hard in a time of where many don’t.

Truly a bookshelf keeper for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Who was Albert EeinsteinnLast but not least is  we are finishing off the last two chapters of “Who is Albert Einstein”.  This is really great book and the first one off in the series that we are reading in the Who is books. This book is full of great information on Albert Einsteins life. My youngest son loved this book because Einstein played the Violin, he plays, and they both love science! Great book!

 

What are you reading this week to your kids? Join in on the Link up to the weekly read-aloud over at ReadAloudRoundup150x150

Valerie June: Organic Moonshine Roots Music

valerie-juneWell you guys, remember a while back I mentioned in a post about one of my artists that I listen too (Valerie June). Well I am so stoked because over the past year she has been getting more recognition as  the incredible artists that she is.  Valerie June is someone I have been following now for years now, and even on her new album their are still some  songs on there that  were written by her from years ago.  I’m loving the fact that my girl is finally now getting some real national name recognition.

Valerie June is from Memphis, Tennessee  and grew up in the Appalachian mountains listening to a great variety of music, she always had a passion for music and decided to really pursue it once she got older, she even taught herself to play more than one string instrument. To help with her music career.  Valerie decided to call her music Organic Moonshine Roots Music because she loves to give fun and meaningful names to her music.  It is a  blend of country, Soul, Folksy, rock music.

I love Valerie’s music, because that is exactly the type of music that I’m  into.

In fact some of my favorite songs from her are:

Pushing against a stone

Workin(working) Woman’s Blue’s

Raindance  and Somebody to love!

Lately, Valerie has been mentioned everywhere from David Letterman, to the  CBS morning show,  and beyond. In fact I am so exited because she will be coming to my hometown in February of next year and I can’t wait to meet her! I use the Bands in town app, to let me know when certain groups are in town so that I can arrange for a date night with the hubby!

I love Valerie Junes Twined and Twisted music! She is for sure some one you ought-a  know!

 

What sort of music do you like or listen too!  I would love to know. ;-)