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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Short Nights Of The Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan

    The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

    This book is one that I read for my book club, and I likely would never have picked it up otherwise. But I am glad I did. This is unlike most of the books I read, but it was fascinating; a historical look at one of America’s least known historians. Someone who has roots right in my own back yard. Here is my book review Short Nights Of The Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan.

    Handsome, brilliant, talented Edward Curtis could have chosen many paths. But when an accident and injury as a young man caused him to discover photography his life would change forever. And with it the lives of thousands of people in the blossoming United States.

    Leaving his family in the pioneering outback of Port Orchard and traveling by boat to the lumber boom town of Seattle, Edward Curtis became one of the best known photographers in the world. Starting with a photo of Princess Angeline, the last surviving daughter of Chief Sealth (Seattle).

    Egan follows the story of Curtis’ life for the decades that follow, where he gives up everything to pursue a dream; a dream to capture and record the disappearing Native American tribes before it was too late. For thirty years Curtis will risk his life, as well as his family and finances in an effort to produce the series of books of photos of the American Indian.

    It would take everything he had. And the real recognition of his talent and contribution to preservation of the Native American and American West would not be realized until long after his death. The book is a captivating account of his life and passion, the period in the burgeoning USA as well as in my home state of Washington as well as a factual account of the tribes and people who are the real true Americans.

    I really enjoyed this book and learned so much. Thank you for reading my book review Short Nights Of The Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan.

    Read last week’s review The Cactus League.

    My current read Voices of the 21st Century.

    See this week’s top performing pin here – Book Review Rules of Civility.

    We love it when you pin and share our book reviews. Thank you.

    Food & Drink  --  Inspire

    What I Don’t Eat (Well Most of the Time)

    Never Say Never

    It’s going on two years since I made a big commitment to restructuring my diet for a healthy life. I lost 33 pounds and have kept it off. I go up and down a pound or two but essentially am holding at 149 pounds. It is a good weight for me. Most of this success is from what I don’t eat.

    A few weeks ago I made a comment on Facebook when I posted a photo of me eating a hamburger. My comment was something like “I don’t really do hamburgers anymore”. Fairly innocent comment but so many people asked me about it. What do I mean I don’t do hamburgers anymore?

    So, let me explain.

    I Don’t Do Hamburgers

    First, a caveat – I have learned what my body reacts negatively to. I’ve learned this through trial and error. I’ve also learned not to restrict any food 100%. So when I say I don’t do hamburgers anymore…well never say never. I break all these rules from time to time. Because life would really suck if you can’t break a few rules from time to time, and eat the donut (or hamburger) on occasion.

    The Hamburger that sparked the discussion

    How I Lost The Weight

    I signed up for Noom (NOT a diet but a lifestyle and psychology program) in May of 2020. I committed to it 100% for six months. It helped me realign my thinking and healthy choices and I am eternally grateful. Since then, I have continued to consider everything I put in my mouth on a daily basis. And I have continued to step on the scale every morning. Weighing daily has been a huge factor in my ability to see what foods make the scale go up or down, what activity makes the scale go up and down, and it keeps me focused. Yes I travel with a bathroom scale in my suitcase. No I’m not kidding.

    weight loss
    Noom Weight Loss weighing in everyday

    The blog I wrote about Noom (See it here – My Self Care Journey with Noom) is one of the most read blogs I’ve ever posted. But here is the deal; Noom won’t work for you if you don’t commit. No excuses. Noom is only a tool…YOU must do the work. Failure is not Noom’s fault. I’ve had many people say to me “oh Noom didn’t work for me”. Hogwash.


    This disease called Diverticulosis is something I have dealt with for a decade. Last April I had surgery to remove part of my colon (Read about it here – What is Diverticulosis). Even a year later I am still dealing with some diverticulosis issues. The reality is I probably always will.

    Unhealthy eating leads to all kinds of ailments, and so it’s never too soon to start thinking about your diet. Poor eating habits contribute to a vast majority of health issues in the United States from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Why not take control of your health and your one and only body? It’s not too late.

    All The Fish All The Time

    I used to only eat fish in restaurants because I felt like I didn’t know how to properly prepare fish at home. But those days are over. We eat fish 4-6 times a week. I have fish delivered to my home and always have wild caught fish in my freezer. Having it accessible means I will eat it. And I have taught myself so many ways to enjoy cooking it at home. Check out these two posts about fish – Fun and Delicious Ways to Cook Fish and Wild Caught Alaska White Fish Recipes.

    Fresh Ahi Tuna

    Never Say Never

    As I learned about food psychology from Noom, shed the pounds, took up running again AND began to discover what foods set off my diverticulitis, I slowly developed my own healthy eating style. A style that fits my life, goals, tastes, and level of activity. But I never say never. I eat just about anything, I just eat the foods on my personal “bad” list only occasionally.

    Intermittent Fasting

    We didn’t set out to do intermittent fasting as part of our healthy eating. It actually never occurred to us. But, as we find our way in a new and healthy lifestyle, intermittent fasting became part of our life. Here’s why; we really only eat two meals a day. Again…never say never. But most days, we only eat breakfast and dinner (see below for what we eat daily). I do my morning run before breakfast, and have breakfast in the 9:00-10:00am range after my workout. Then we have an early dinner most days (never say never) in the 4:00pm range. We don’t eat again until the next day, anywhere from 14-17 hours. We rarely snack in the evening.

    Eggs are a big part of our diet

    Why Two Meals a Day?

    Back in the day I never ate breakfast. I raced around the house getting kids to school and me to work and never thought about breakfast…for decades. That bad habit resulted in my being famished by 10:30am and devouring something huge and unhealthy, often from a fast food place. Back home in the evening I could practically eat an entire meal by nibbling while making dinner…then sit down and eat dinner too. In the evening in front of the TV we often snacked on microwave popcorn, Cheez-Its or Ice Cream.

    That doesn’t happen anymore. We eat two good healthy meals a day, with occasional healthy snacks or lunch in the middle. A typical day looks like this;

    I love my coffee

    Coffee then Run

    Breakfast is a large bowl with yogurt, berries, Kiwi, mango or pineapple, spinach, grains (barley or quinoa usually), chia seeds and walnuts or almonds. Breakfast includes a hard boiled egg and frequently half an avocado. My breakfast usually includes kombucha.

    Dinner might be fish tacos, stir fry or baked cod, halibut or salmon, sometimes chicken or pork. Dinner almost always includes a salad and another green vegetable. We eat risotto a lot because it’s versatile but we don’t eat much pasta. We eat meatless one or two days week and that might be omelet or homemade bean soup, or quinoa patties (my fav) or even lentil dhal or stuffed Portobello.

    Lots of greens

    It’s always filling and delicious and we don’t really need to snack. I drink a ton of water which also keeps me satiated. Sometimes I have herbal tea in the evening.

    What I Don’t Eat (Well Most of the Time)

    Never say never. There are five things listed here that I generally don’t eat. Removing these things from my daily intake was a quantum leap for me. I never set out to permanently eliminate these, but once I did and I saw the results everything fell into place.


    Beef is something my diverticulosis finds offensive. I eat it very rarely. On St Patrick’s Day I had a delicious Irish Stew made with beef. I enjoyed it very much but suffered slightly the next day. Once I recognized the connection I really didn’t desire beef. I still eat pork, lamb and chicken and a ton of fish.

    Irish Stew


    I’ve always enjoyed a good Charcuterie, or a deli sandwich, but I’ve stepped away from these things, including bacon, as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fats. It’s just not worth it…occasionally I’ll have some bacon, which I did recently in a Cobb Salad. It was delicious but it will remain on the occasional list.


    When I was cooking for a family of four we ate so much cheese. OMG we had cheese everyday. Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti and cheese, cheesy quiche, grilled cheese, Quesadilla and cheesy tacos. Not anymore. Cheese is like a cork for my digestion so I consume it in very small quantities on rare occasions. I’ll have a little on a taco, some parmesan in risotto and occasionally a few bites off a cheese board. That’s what I miss the most. But it’s not worth it. I still eat butter and I eat yogurt everyday, but the rest of the dairy is limited.

    Delicious cheese


    I’ve never been a big dessert eater, even though I love to bake for my family and for special occasions. The only dessert I really miss though is ice cream. But after being on heartburn medicine for a decade (omeprazole) I was flabbergasted how cutting sugar from my diet (never say never) eliminated my need for the meds! After ten years! And no doctor ever mentioned this to me….what the heck?? If you are taking heartburn meds, cut out the processed foods high in sugar as well as homemade sugary things and see if your heart burn goes away. Let’s get un-medicated.

    Coconut cake in Mo’orea


    This one will surprise some people because you see me post pictures of drinks on tropical beaches…but the truth is I barely drink alcohol anymore. Not only do beer, wine and cocktails carry a powerful caloric punch…I just feel better when I don’t consume alcohol. There was a time in our life where we opened a bottle of wine every evening and drank it with dinner. There was a time where we, especially in hot climates, drank 2-3 gin and tonics in the afternoon. Those days are over. I have a drink at the most once a week now.

    Cheers to one drink a week

    So that’s What I don’t Eat (Well Most of the Time).

    These Are My Choices

    These are my choices, choices I’ve made to feel the best I can in my Grey Goddess body. My choices aren’t anyone else choices. Each person needs to forge their own path. But since you all asked what the heck I meant when I said “I don’t really do hamburgers”, well now you know.

    On the mountain top

    The world can be hard. Eat the hamburger if you want. But then, get back in the saddle and focus on a healthy body and mind because, life is fabulous and you want to be part of it for many years to come. Go. Be. Fabulous!

    If I can help, I’m all ears. xoxox

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Cactus League by Emily Neimens

    Baseball star Jason Goodyear leads this cast of very screwed up characters in Neimen’s 2020 novel. Here is my book review The Cactus League by Emily Neimens

    It’s spring training time in the brutal Arizona dessert where this book opens to a long time coach returning to his Arizona home. But instead of the beautiful home he left last fall, squatters have trashed everything inside and out.

    And this is how this story begins, a story about baseball…or is it? It’s more a story about money, ego and too much of both.

    Jason Goodyear is harboring a secret, as he quietly unravels. Most people think it’s his recent divorce. Little do they know his ex-wife has her own set of demons. And in fact, every person in this novel is either hiding from or on full-display demonstrating a life of excess. Excess sex drive, excess drugs, excess gambling, and excess poverty…it’s all there during spring training.

    A wide cast of characters surround our protagonist Jason Goodyear including an unsuspecting rookie, an ailing agent and his assistant fleeing from a violent relationship. And there is a sex-addict-baseball-wife-wannabe who follows baseball players looking for sex. And there is a sweet and confused little boy who can’t make heads or tails of his sorry little life.

    How can so many screwed up people come together in this story? Well, Neimens does it well, as long as you realize it’s really not a story about baseball.

    Thanks for reading my book review The Cactus League by Emily Neimens

    ***Three stars for The Cactus League by Emily Neimens

    Read last week’s review Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Eagans

    My current read The Island of Missing Trees

    We love it when you pin and share our book reviews. Thank you.

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

    I loved this book. Like last week’s book, Rules of Civility, it is based in Manhattan in the 1930’s and 1940’s. It’s a phenomenally gripping story that I could not put down. Here is my book review Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.

    Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

    Egan’s earlier Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Visit from The Goon Squad, I unfortunately found disjointed and depressing. I had neither of those impressions from Manhattan Beach. The exact opposite in fact. I loved how this story unfolded with both sadness and joy, through the eyes of a young girl coming of age as the world goes to war.

    This is the story of Anna Kerrigan and how she unknowingly becomes connected to the New York syndicate. When Anna is a little girl, her father takes her to visit a man and his family. This is Anna’s first meeting of Dexter Styles…a man who will change her life. Anna is astonished by the splendid Styles home, the view and the perfectly dressed children with all their toys. Anna is acutely aware of the cavernous gap between how this family lives and how her own family lives.

    The Truth

    Back in their tiny apartment Anna helps her mother, a former Ziegfeld girl, care for Anna’s severely disabled younger sister.

    But when Anna’s father disappears, it’s up to Anna to become the breadwinner of the family. She begins work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as the United States goes to war.

    Anna never stops wondering about her missing father, and when she has a chance meeting again with Dexter Styles, her world will spin out of control as she becomes too close to dangerous secrets.

    With a cast of beautifully developed characters from the tiny disabled child, a powerful father-in-law, an ailing mob boss and an aunt harboring her own secrets, Eagan creates a masterful portrayal of of this dark time in New York City, with a story full of family, betrayal, love, loss and redemption.

    Thank you for reading my book review Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.

    *****Five stars for Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

    Read last week’s review Rules of Civility.

    My current read Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

    We love it when you pin and share our book reviews. Thank you.

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Rules of Civility by Amor Towels

    Having just read Towel’s The Lincoln Highway and having loved his work in A Gentleman in Moscow, I was compelled to search out and read Rules of Civility. Towels first published novel came out in 2011 so I’m a bit late to the game on this one. Here is my book review Rules of Civility by Amor Towels.

    Rules of Civility by Amor Towels

    Although Towels grew up in New England, he has lived in Manhattan for many years, and his mastery of New York “society” in the 1930’s permeates this novel. Although this book is not my favorite of all his work, I definitely enjoyed being transported through his clever storytelling back in time to this pre- World War II era.

    The story follows Katy, an average single 25 year old New York secretary, who on New Year’s Eve 1937 will have a chance encounter that will change her life. At a Greenwich Village bar she will meet Tinker Grey – dashing, debonair, rich. This meeting will propel Katy and her friend Eve into an astonishing change of lifestyle that will change the direction of their lives.

    Who Are You?

    But as the story unfolds a great deal is revealed about the people surrounding Katy…and we learn that some people are not exactly what they seem. This revolution will set in motion a wide range of events that will include the disappearance of Katy’s best friend, the downward spiral of another, and the death of another.

    Will Katy find her way? Let Amor Towels guide you through this enchanting, sad, thoughtful and provocative tale at a changing time in our country’s history. If you read The Lincoln Highway, you may recognize some names and places these books share. Thank you for reading my Book Review Rules of Civility by Amor Towels.

    ****Four stars for Rules of Civility by Amor Towels.

    Read last week’s review of The Final Revival of Opal and Nev

    My current read The 1619 Project

    We love it when you pin and share our book reviews. Thank you.

    Island Life  --  Oceania Travel

    Where to Eat on the Island of Mo’orea

    French Polynesia, South Pacific

    Location: Mo'orea, French Polynesia

    What a blessing it has been to spend two entire months on the glorious island of Mo’orea in the South Pacific. Mo’orea, French Polynesia, has turned out to be a perfect fit for what we look for in long-term travel destinations; laid back but with enough activity and lots of delicious food. So I hope you saw last week’s blog post Seven Things to do on Mo’orea French Polynesia – and today we present Where to Eat on the Island of Mo’orea.

    The Flavors of French Polynesia

    A few weeks ago I introduced you to The Flavors of French Polynesia in a blog post as I began to learn and explore this culture and it’s food. Now, two months into our visit we have visited many of the local comfort food spots as well as some finer dining restaurants. For the most part we cooked our own food in our Airbnb, but we ate out about once a week – or sometimes more, as we researched and enjoyed the delicious foods of Mo’orea.


    For the purposes of this post I have broken our favorites of where to eat on the island of Mo’orea into two categories; Snack/Roulette/Take Away and Sit Down Table Service. Some of these restaurants straddle these categories and I have mentioned it when they do. There is some incredible food here, the majority focused around seafood. But you can also get a good burger, steak, pizza and pasta as well as Chinese and Japanese. Alas we have not seen a Mexican restaurant.

    Tips and Tricks on Where to Eat on the Island of Mo’orea

    Many places are only open a few days a week. Most places close after lunch and re-open for dinner. Surprising to us, a lot of restaurants and Snacks closed the entire month of February. Apparently this is vacation month. Do not assume hours on Google, Facebook or even websites are correct. Call to be certain. Most places don’t even have web presence, if they do I have provided a link below or at least a Trip Advisor link. As of this writing, masks are still required indoors and most staff will be masked although it is loosely enforced. Many of the finer dining places will require reservation.

    So here is our list of our favorites, from snacks to French Cuisine. Where to eat on the island of Mo’orea.

    Snack, Roulette and Take Away

    Snack Rotui – we visited Snack Rotui located in Pao Pao originally when we did our food tour with Street Foods of Tahiti. We went back again for lunch. This is the oldest restaurant on the island with outdoor seating but mostly it’s a take-away place. Serving a variety of Asian, French and Polynesian foods.

    Snack Rotui
    Snack Rotui

    Kaylakea Moz – one of the best meals we had on the island, this tiny little Roulette (food truck) puts out some incredible, high-quality food. We ate here twice and the tuna was spectacular. Located in Maharepa.

    Kaylakea Moz
    Kaylakea Moz

    Dimanche Matin – this name means Sunday morning, and indeed this take-away is only open on Sunday morning. It was only about 25 yards down the street from our bungalow, so we picked up a couple things on a couple of Sundays’. The pork (roti and sausage) were excellent as was the Bouchon au Poulet – Chinese dumplings. Located in Teavaro.

    Dimanche Matin
    Dimanche Matin

    Chez Ke’iki – this is one of those places that straddle the categories…is it a food truck? Yes. Is it a sit-down restaurant? Yes. Whatever it is it is delicious, one of the best on the island. During our first few weeks here it was closed, due to the rain. So call before going, but definitely go. Duck, pork, fish, curry it’s all delicious in a beautiful setting. Located in Maharepa.

    Chez Ke’iki
    Chez Ke’iki

    Magic Mountain Juice – this tiny Snack is at the base of Magic Mountain, a hike we did twice. The nice lady here charges $2 to park and then you can hike up the mountain. On the way back she serves you a free selection of stunning fruit. Both times we also each ordered a fruit smoothie. So delicious after a hot and muggy hike…or anytime. Located in Papeto’ai.

    Roulette 64 – this little food truck seems to only be open a few days a week, located at the beach we go to close to our Bungalow called Te’mae. They have a darling little set up with burgers, sandwiches, grilled fish and lots of poke bowl options, which is what I enjoyed. Very reasonably priced.

    Roulette 64
    Roulette 64

    Allo Pizza – we’ve seen at least five pizza places on the island, but this one is ALWAYS busy so we thought we should check it out. There are some tables, but it is more of Snack than a sit down restaurant and is also great for take-away. Friendly service. We had a honey, goat cheese and bacon pizza that we loved, as well as a tuna and pineapple pizza. The mixed green salad and two beers each rounded out our lunch, which was big enough to cover dinner too for a total of $70. Located in Cooks Bay.

    Allo Pizza
    Allo Pizza

    Sit Down Table Service Restaurants

    Mo’orea Beach Cafe – one of the more expensive restaurants on the island, but the food was phenomenal. I can say it was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever eaten. Order the Dover Sole. The service was also great and the view can’t be beat. Located in Maharepa.

    Mo’orea Beach Cafe

    Snack Mahana – even though this place is called a “snack” it really is a restaurant. It’s all about the seafood here, and we LOVED our food. So glad we went out of our way to this place that is all the way around the other side of the island from where we are staying. My assumption is it started as a “snack” but now has lovely beach side tables with a view. Mahi Mahi and Tuna Tartare were incredible as was watching the black tipped sharks swimming. Located in Tiahura.

    Snack Mahana
    Snack Mahana

    Le Lezard Jaune – This highly rated French restaurant is one of those that closes for a month in the winter so the proprietors can take a vacation. So we had to wait until late February to squeeze in a visit. You definitely need a reservation here, and it is so worth it. We had a spectacular meal here. I had Mahi Mahi, my husband had lamb. We shared their version of Poisson Cru which was fantastic and we shared a coconut cake for dessert. Dinner and drinks was about $120. Don’t miss it. Located in Tiahura.

    Le Lezard Jaune
    Le Lezard Jaune

    Maheata – this place has tiny little rooms and feels almost like a hostel. But they also have a rustic but lovely restaurant with a waterside view. You can choose to sit on the beach with your toes in the sand or on the covered open air dining room. Lobster was great and affordable. French fries were maybe the best I’ve had ANYWHERE! Located in Pihaena.


    Fare La Canadidenne – well I’ve been off burgers BUT we kept hearing this place had great burgers so….and yes they do. Fun little place, very popular, not open every day so be sure to check. We ate lunch there and didn’t need any dinner! Between Teavaro and Maharepa in the tiny neighborhood of Tiaia.

    Fare La Canadidenne
    Fare La Canadidenne

    Restaurant Golden Lake Chinese – if it weren’t for all the people who told us we should eat here, we would have driven right by this nondescript building. My husband isn’t a huge fan of Chinese food, but this was certainly one of the best Chinese meals we have had. And huge. We had the signature dish of Roasted Pork with Coconut Milk and two vegetable sides and this fed us for two dinners. Our only complaint was they needed more staff. Located between Teavaro and Temae near the airport.

    Restaurant Golden Lake
    Restaurant Golden Lake

    Coco Beach – if for no other reason make the time to spend half a day at Coco Beach just for the “castaway” feel of it. This unique restaurant on teeny little island surrounded by a gorgeous turquoise lagoon is right out of Swiss Family Robinson. You must CALL for a reservation. They will pick you up in an open air boat and take you to the island. Your table is yours for the entire day. We started with a tropical drink, then went snorkeling, then back to the restaurant for a delicious lunch. It was a fun day. They could have used a few more servers but we had fun. Parking at the boat dock located in Papeto’ai.

    Coco Beach
    Coco Beach

    Where to Eat on the Island of Mo’orea

    We have enjoyed every aspect of our time here, including the wonderful food and restaurants. Everything is fresh and delicious and I should also point out that EVERYONE is helpful and accommodating. Nothing to complain about as we wrap up our two month visit. We highly recommend this destination and welcome your comments and questions.


    Thank you for following along…we are headed back to the USA for six weeks before launching another two plus month adventure. No doubt it too will be delicious as we jump around the Caribbean, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile, no travel Friday blog for a couple of weeks, but soon I’ll share our upcoming itinerary we have (almost) nailed down for the rest of 2022. Wait for it!

    We would love it if you pinned or shared our post Where to Eat on the Island of Mo’orea. Thank you. Ma’uru’uru.

    See last week’s post Seven Things to do on Mo’orea French Polynesia.

    See this week’s top performing pin Nine Things to do in Tuscan Arizona

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

    For some reason I have been reading, unintentionally, several books lately with storylines about authors. Less, The Plot and Hell of a Book all fall in that category. But like those three, The Final Revival of Opal and Nev is about a book…and so very much more. Here is my book review the Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton.

    When you read this book it feels like this story is about a real rock n’ roll duo from the 1970’s. But it is fictional…despite many real life characters and events being thrown into the story. But the fictional rock duo of Opal and Nev are the characters we meet, in a well thought out and fascinating story.

    Opal, an independent and flamboyant young woman from Detroit, is really just a mediocre singer. It’s her sister that has the real talent. But Opal has the stage presence needed by Nev, who is looking for a female partner. Nev, an aspiring singer- songwriter from the UK thinks Opal is the one.

    Their whirlwind 1970’s rise to stardom and the quick and crazy breakup all within a very short time is captured in one photograph that becomes an iconic image of the era around the world.

    But when Sunny Shelton attempts an oral history about these characters, just when Opal is considering a reunion tour with Nev, dark and dirty secrets will be revealed.

    Described as “provocative and chilling” I couldn’t agree more. Walton is a fresh new voice and has developed a great cast of characters, an endearing heroine, and a unique plot that spans the decades of rock history. Thanks for reading my book review The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton.

    *****Five Stars for The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

    My current read The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    See last week’s Book Review Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

    We love it when you pin and share our book reviews. Thank you.