The Miley Thing

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One important thing about making so many tragic, ugly, stupid mistakes…wait, is there such a thing as a happy, beautiful, smart mistake? Hmmm. WELL, the good thing about having to go through so much before getting to a healthy place is that you learn that people do what they do for all sorts of reasons, and usually it’s not what you’d think.

Argue. Some of you will. But this is my blog and I’m going to say my piece. Miley. She’s probably yesterday’s news to many, but she’s still God’s precious creation and always on his mind. His plan for her hasn’t changed. She’s still loved.

The way she behaved at the VMA awards is pitiful. She’s a 20 year old woman who is going through the same process of self-discovery and growth that we all do, but she’s doing hers in public. I hate it when people see a woman acting out in such a provocative way and immediately slap a nasty label on her. Sometimes woman get so confused about what’s expected of them. What they want, what society demands, what God’s will is… So many mixed messages. Rejection. Poor self image. Abuse. So much plays into who we are and who we will become.

I am so very glad that though all of the struggles I’ve faced to get to a stable place, the general public was uninterested. I was just another mixed up girl surviving bullying at school, sexual abuse as a child, and other kinds of abuse that shall remain nameless for the moment. I made and remade myself trying to fit in. Trying to stand out. Trying to shake someone’s image of me, whether the image was false or based in truth. Longing to be loved, accepted, admired…oh, Lord, I did some crazy things. The dresses I wore barely covered my butt. But it sure got me the attention I thought I craved and missed as a shy high school reject.

I got the chance to stumble and fall and get up again. Miley needs that chance, too. And for all the judging we’ve done, all the time we’ve spent ridiculing and calling her names, we could’ve been reminding her how valuable she is as a human being. We could’ve been praying for her.  We could’ve behaved towards her the way we’d want our daughters treated if they had gone the same route.

That’s my mommy lecture for today. Don’t like it? Read it with your eyes closed. 🙂

Liebster Awards!

This looks like a fun way to get to know other bloggers! Thanks Karen Perry Creates for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award highlights blogs that have less than 200 followers (give or take) as a way to recognize new and upcoming blogs. Accepting and paying forward these awards is a great way to expose people to new blogs and give a little recognition to blogs that you like. The 11 blogs I nominated have inspired me, made me think, made me laugh or cry (likely both) and I want to celebrate you.

After being nominated, each nominee must:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger that nominated you has created for you
4. Nominate 11 new bloggers
5. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
6. Let all the bloggers know that they have been nominated; but you cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 Bloggers I nominate:

http://roadkillgoldfish.com
http://bwread.co/
http://meganhasocd.com/
http://mirrorgirlblog.com/
http://iamrihanna.wordpress.com
http://5kidswdisabilities.com/
http://thatsajennstory.wordpress.com
http://wow4women.wordpress.com/
http://angelanazworth.com/
http://thesunshineofmyheart.wordpress.com/
http://yawapi.wordpress.com/

Random facts about me:
1. My favorite place is the water park.
2. I’m raising 4 of my grandchildren. Possibly another will be added in 2014.
3. My favorite foods are…well, anything spicy.
4. I’m a vegetarian, but I wasn’t always.
5. My biggest weakness is my MOUTH. Working on not saying the wrong stuff.
6. I believe in God (but I’m not Him). I make mistakes.
7. My dream vacation would be to Greece, followed by Hawaii and Italy. And Spain. And Ireland.
8. I wonder why the number 11 is so important to this award thingy.
9. Some of my favorite singers/rappers are Lecrae and Toby Mac.
10. Chocolate. What more do I have to say?
11. I’m renovating my house and it’s taking forever.

Answers to questions Karen Perry Creates asked me:

1. Are you a blogger who replies to comments or who doesn’t?
I try to. But I’m so darned tired!

2. What did you have for dinner last night?
I can’t even remember cause iIm so darned tired!

3. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid?
A writer, Zorro, Tarzan, Mario Andretti, Diana Ross, an artist, a dancer, a mom…

4. What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t know. It used to be Lost, Prison Break…I love SciFi. Now I’m just watching stuff I could do without if I had to.

5. What is the one food you can’t resist?
PIZZA

6. What, if any, video games do you play?
I love racing games and anything Mario.

7. Why do you blog about what you blog about?
Because I started feeling kind of scared that my brain would turn to mush if I didn’t force it to think. I don’t get much sleep and it’s hard to make my mind GO right now.

8. What is your favorite book?
The Bible and anything by Joyce Meyer. I need a lot of help and inspiration. 🙂

9. Do you watch the news? Why or why not?
Sometimes. I mostly watch the weather now. I get so bummed out seeing what’s going on in this world.

10. Do you believe in coincidences or do you think there’s a reason for why things happen?
Not sure. I like to think there’s a reason for everything.

11. What did you think of Miley’s performance on the VMAs?
Sad. Praying for her and her family.

My Questions for other bloggers:

1. If you could be anywhere ELSE on Earth other than where you are right now, where would it be?
2. What is your favorite season, and why?
3. What do you like most about your best friend(s)?
4. Do you own any pets?
5. What do you like about blogging?
6. If you could have a super power, what would you like?
7. What is your all-time favorite movie?
8. What song has been stuck in your head lately?
9. What’s your favorite holiday?
10. How old were you the first time you wrote a story/poem/song/blog? 🙂
11. Who inspires you as a writer?

There! I did it! Have fun and go find 11 bloggers to nominate!

What Did You Just Call Me?!

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Me at 20 with my first two children

The first time it happened, I was only 25. My friends had already ordered their dinner at a local restaurant and it was my turn to go. The teenaged waitress jotted down my choice and then she did it! She called me, “Ma’am.”

My head jerked towards the window without any prompting from me and I sat there, stunned, scrutinizing my face in the glass for any sign that I might, indeed, be a ma’am.  My friends laughed warmly and I tried to play along like it was such a funny thing. But for the rest of the night I felt my eyes wander towards the window to have another look at my 25 year old reflection. I told myself not to fret about what that waitress had said, or I might get worry lines and really give her a reason to call me that ugly name.

At 27 I made the mistake of checking my makeup in my compact mirror as I walked along on a sunny day. Saw a fine line forming between my eyebrows at the bridge of my nose. See, I knew it! Worry had had its way with me. But I learned a great lesson that day: NEVER look at yourself in the mirror in the full light of day.

On my 30th birthday I waited around all day for the sky to cave in. I was no longer in my twenties and I wondered which body part might fall off first or, at least,  stop working. Funny, I still felt young. Would it creep up on me in my sleep, this 30 thing? Would men still find me attractive at that advanced age? I woke up 30 years and one day old a little disappointed at the lack of drama over the whole thing.

It reminded of the anticipation I had experienced over my upcoming 13th birthday. A teenager! Finally. But the day came and went, and as much as I urged the transformation, the fireworks, the awe and applause from others that should’ve come with it, the day was just so ordinary. No one seemed to notice the way it looked on me at all. So it was with 30. Only this time I was glad.

At 35 I had two grandchildren coming along. Talk about feeling ancient! Yet I still had my own wild sense of style. People were genuinely shocked to find out I was so “old” and when I had my grand babies out with me, I completely delighted in the surprised reactions it got me. “No way are you a grandma!”  Oh, I loved it.  Plus nothing on my body had fallen off yet or stopped working properly. Well, except that my mild asthma flared up more often than it used to and I was now using a rescue inhaler a few times a month.

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Me around 36 with my first two grand babies and my son, Jesse

 

In my 40s I felt more confident and sexy than I had in my miniskirt-wearing twenties. I had far more attention from men than I ever had. Still wore youthful clothes and hair style. Still got the wide-eyed, drop-jawed look from strangers when they found out I was a grandma. YET, one day I noticed that all the labels on my allergy medication had been written by elves. The script was so small that I had to hold the bottle way out away from me and squint to be able to read the directions. Why had all these medicine companies decided to make it so hard for me?

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Me at 46

At 48 there was still such a spring in my step…for someone with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and full-blown asthma. I loved having my grandchildren with me and seeing the still shocked public respond with compliments about my youthful appearance. However, that is also the year I gave up trying to read the smaller and smaller writing on medicine bottles, books, and newspapers, and got myself a pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store.

At 49 an ultrasound, looking for fibroids in my uterus, revealed that my ovaries were pretty much dried up. How such a thing could occur without any fanfare was beyond me. It was my body and it hadn’t asked for permission to behave that way, nor had it given me notice.

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Top: me at 47   Next: Me, playing with the kids at BK play area. Age 47 or 48

Next: At VA Beach in 2004 with my two younger children. Age 45

Next: Outside my massage class. Age 49

 

At 50 my reading glasses started giving me a headache and now things off in a distance were kind of blurry. If I saw someone waving at the grocery store I politely waved back, even if all I could make out was a ghostly figure. I had to buy a magnifying mirror so I could pluck my eyebrows and still wonder to this day if the lines in my face are really that bad or the magnifying mirror is making it look worse than it is. For a real horrifying experience I actually put on the new bifocals my eye doctor prescribed and looked at myself in the magnifying mirror…wait for it…OUT IN THE SUN! Oh, wow. It took me a week to recover after that. Evidently the big lesson I learned at 27 didn’t stick with me.

That was four years ago.

A few weeks ago I had my little ones at the water park with me and some guy asked Xavier, “Is that your grandma?”  I almost fell off my chair! Xavier is eight. I could be his mom. Don’t look at me that way! I could be! People are having babies later and later in life these days. Up till this year everyone assumed I was his mom everywhere we went. Some still do. No one thinks Kynnadi, (the two year old) is mine, however. Duly noted.

I still get told I look young “for my age” or that I look good “for my age.”  Just FYI, no one wants to look good for their age; they just want to look good.

I accept aging as a fact of life. Still feel like the young me on the inside and never get used to the image in my mirror. Photographs are especially hard to bear. I always think I look like the REAL me (the young me) when the camera captures my image…till I see the truth a photo reveals.

The bible says God’s kids can be “green and fruitful” in old age and I am going to hold onto that for dear life. Raising grandchildren has given me a new-found desire to take good care of myself and to remain active. The kids charge me with energy but they also zap it pretty quickly. 

I’m using an everyday asthma medication and, I might not be able to bear children, (barring any miracles), but nothing else has fallen off yet or stopped working. I guess I’m pretty blessed.  If my mom is any indication of how I will age, I’m not going to stress about it. But the next time somebody calls me, “Ma’am…”  sigh.

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Me (in bifocals) with Kynnadi 😀

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I actually got this in the mail today from Geico. ha ha Perfect timing.

 

 

Toddler Beds and Minivans

 

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My credit could use some work and I don’t have time to fix it before the need for a minivan becomes an emergency. We will add to our group my three year old grandson, Jesse, in a few weeks. Already Xavier, the oldest, is crammed between two car seats in my Hyundai Sonata. He’s such a trooper!

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Today I’ve been talking to different car lots that do “guaranteed financing.” It’s not exactly a “buy here pay here” thing, and I hope I don’t have to go that route again. I have an appointment with two places this afternoon, and praying like mad that I get something suitable with affordable payments. Money is tight with all these mouths to feed and me on disability.

You know what’s strange about having all these grandchildren to raise is that, when I was a little girl, I dreamed of taking care of orphans. I think I watched too many Shirley Temple movies. (If you don’t know who that is, I have one word for you: Google. Ha ha). 🙂 Watching her being orphaned, mistreated and unloved gave me such a hunger in my heart to reach out to those like her. I just never dreamed that the little ones would be my own flesh and blood.

So, here we go buying toddler beds and minivans, signing kids up for soccer, rising early on a Saturday morning for practice, staying in to play Candy Land when my peers are having coffee with the girls or on a cruise someplace. Realizing that the great song I’ve been singing all day isn’t from the top 40 on the countdown, but is actually from the preschool show, Bubble Guppies. I wouldn’t trade it. I can’t think of anything more important to do with my life. 

YET, right now I wish Keidon would stop fussing and let me type my blog and fold the laundry. Showering is such a hassle. I have decided to take both babies into the bathroom, one in a little chair with some books and one in his car seat. The bathroom is the size of a small closet, so this will be fun for all.

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Is it harder to be a grandma raising children than it is being a mother? YES! I’m not ancient, but I do tire more easily. I had dreams of what I would do as a grandparent. Write, travel, visit with the kids, write. Take lots of pics. Swim. Write. Visit the kids. NO, I am NOT complaining. I just think a good way to make God laugh is to make plans. Isn’t that a famous quote, in fact?

There is much more adventure, surprise and JOY in this life. The cute, loving things they do tickle me and warm my heart. All the slobbery kisses and hugs…watching them explore, learn, and grow. Everything is new to me, too. All the things I could take or leave, that kind of left me numb since I had experienced them for so many years. I have a fresh view and appreciation for these things. Fireworks, The Wizard of Oz. The ducks down by the river. All of it met with such elation by these beautiful babies of mine. 

Ah! Keidon! Stop fussing! GEEEZ. 😀 sigh And on that note, this blog is coming to a close.

Skunks Have Feelings, Too. Did I Just Say That?

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2:30 p.m.

Driving to the water park, joyful with anticipation, thanking God for the rare day full of sun, blue skies, and respectable humidity…I see a dead something or other on the side of the road. Before I can stop myself I hear me say out loud, (with three kids in the back seat), “What is that dead thing over there? A skunk?”  Then, seeing it’s a calico cat, say, “Oh, yep.” ‘Cause I don’t want to upset the little ones. 

Blush. Yes, it was a lie. Oh, well, Sue me. It was all I could think to do. So the eight year old, Xavier gets all excited. “A dead skunk?!” He gushes, craning his neck to see. Of course we have already gone by it. “Oh, man! I’ve never seen a dead skunk before! Can we go back that way on the way home?”

The nine year old, Brandon, says, “No. Not me. You have to take me home and I live the other way. Unless we come back to Wendy’s for a Frosty Float. Grandma, are we going to get a Frosty Float after the water park?”

“I guess so,” I say, thinking they will surely have forgotten about the road kill by 7:00 p.m. when the pool closes. Thank God the baby is riding along in her car seat, happily unaware.

We swim. We have snacks. We float down the lazy river. We play on the splash pad. Reapply sunscreen. Listen to the soothing sound of the fountains. Climb around on the pirate ship and let the baby “steer” it. Everyone is smiling. It is absolutely the most summery summer day we have had all season. A true gift since there is only one pool day left this year. I am just thrilled and thanking God all day long.

7:00 p.m. comes around too quickly. We pack up the toys, towels, leftover snacks and whatnot and stuff them into the stroller. Pack up the car. Get everyone buckled up. Argue about whether we’re getting the FREE Frosty Floats (coupons) or getting something else (seriously, we do this every time!), then Xavier says, “I can’t wait to see the dead skunk!”

Sigh. I pick up speed as we drive by the dead cat and both boys hike themselves up to have a look. I glance over to see if it could pass for a skunk. Nope. But for some reason it does. Ok, they’ve seen the dead thing up close and personal. They might get a little upset. I hope I will know how to answer any questions they might have.

Suddenly they both squeal with delight.
“I saw it!” Xavier says.
“Me, too!” Brandon chimes in.

“I wonder what would happen if you kicked it?” Xavier ponders aloud.

“What?” I say, disturbed. “How much does something have to suffer? I mean, it’s a being. With feelings and…and…”

Brandon pipes in, “Legs?”

“No, I’m trying to say it feels pain!”

Ugh.

“Well, I’m still excited that I got to see a dead skunk.” Xavier says.

By now the old 70s song, Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road is stuck in my head. I sing it the rest of the way home.

Ta-da! That was my Saturday.

 

 

 

The Secret Adventures of Super Cindy

Tip tip tip downhill you go rolling land on your feet and run through your day trip over a rock and go flying headlong into a cactus…stick…shock…ouch…you pry yourself free..but… try recapturing your momentum after that 🙂 It’s sort of a poem. Sort of.
It was what was going through my mind as I wove my Hyundai through traffic today. It’s kind of a crazy little commentary on my adventure that helped me to keep my sense of humor. 🙂 Maybe you had to be there.

Allow me to go back in time a little bit:
10:30p.m. I gather up the baby’s STUFF and head upstairs. I know Xavier (the eight year old) won’t be asleep yet because he has such a hard time anyhow, and last night he had a miserable head cold. Kynnadi Rose, in true Kynnzilla style, starts howling and demanding to be let out of bed. It’s time to play! It’s time to watch TV! It’s time for candy! NOW NOW NOW!
kynnadi in princess dress
Kynnadi a couple years ago. Doesn’t she look SWEET?!

Midnight. We are finally starting to get some peace.
Every hour or so we get up from sleep apnea and need a drink of water. Kynnzilla and I both have it. sigh
7:15 a.m. The alarm goes off. I feel fuzzy. It’s probably side-effects from all the Prednisone, Symbicort, and sleepless nights. I can’t even imagine getting up yet. Xavier was up and down sneezing, sore throat…I feel justified in hitting the snooze button.
Half hour later I’m still lying there with anxiety dammed up in my chest feeling guilty for not obeying my alarm clock. Decide that Xavier can go to school later if he feels better.
The phone rings and it’s my daughter telling me she’s almost there with my seven month old grandson, Keidon. (Long story. Here’s a short version: my younger daughter has two babies. She’s not well. I’ve been raising the older one, but was not up to taking the baby when he was born in January. So my older daughter has been raising him since he was two weeks old. WELL, she got a good job [she’s cut out for this job with special needs kids- and they’re blessed to have her, but…] now she can’t take care of Keidon full time anymore. It’s breaking her heart, but she has to take care of her children. Bills, rent…you know. So Keidon is with me during the week and with her on the weekends. What a crazy life!)
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Keidon. Good thing he’s cute!

SO, anyhow…Keidon gets here and I get him settled with a dry diaper and a bottle before the other two are out of bed. Have apple pie for breakfast. Throw a load of laundry in. Carry stuff from dryer into living room to fold later. Get two diaper bags packed for the day. Get Kynnadi changed and her hair brushed and a pretty pink bow put in. Find matching socks for X.
Other daughter calls from her job an hour and a half away to ask me to pick up her pay from OTHER job and go to Walmart to send her a MoneyGram so she can put gas in her car so she can drive home. Fine.
Drive to Xavier’s school. Put Kynnadi’s shoes back on her and her bow back in her hair. Get her out of car. Go around and scoop Keidon out of his car seat. He smells like pee and it’s too stinking bad (and I mean REALLY stinky!), cause I don’t have time to change him quite yet.
Sign Xavier in at the front office. Put Kynnadi’s shoes back on her. Get babies back in car. Go to daughter’s work. Start to get Kynnadi out of car. Put shoes back on her and hair bow back in. (her hair is a wild mess that hangs in her face otherwise!). Get her out, get Keidon out. Scoot Kynn along till we make it inside. Keidon still smells like pee and I forgot to bring the diaper bag in. Get the paycheck. Put Kynnadi’s shoes back on. Start through the long building for back door. Finally get all the way through and have to sit Keidon on the floor so I can get Kynnadi’s shoe back on. Why does she keep doing this? Who knows. I sit there wondering how I did the single parenting thing with such humor and imagination and EASE… Get up; open door; look down. Shoe is off. Take other shoe off. Kynnadi walks barefoot on the pavement to the car.
Come home and put Keidon in the playpen. He goes to sleep and Kynnadi settles on the sofa to watch Dora the Explorer. This is it! My break! Maybe if she takes a good nap I’ll catch up on a show I like on TV. Kynnadi starts to fall asleep, finally. Keidon wakes up crying. I go to pick him up and see a walking mustache going across my floor! The second millipede I have seen since I moved here. (last one in my BEDROOM!) For the rest of the day I feel things crawling on me. Whimper and whine a little, and question God about why He made such gruesome creatures. And let us not forget the Camel Crickets we keep seeing in the bathroom. Which reminds me that the flooring still needs done and the walls need painted and the kitchen cabinets and…I hate this stupid house! I just hate it! Where is that bug spray?
Time to get Xavier from the bus stop. Get babies up. Change diapers. Make bottle and fill sippy cup. Make three trips to car to get babies’ stuff and babies to car. Wonder what will become of me when more kids are involved. Think about hiring housekeeper. Continue to feel something crawling on me.

camel cricket

It went like this for hours more while I ran around doing errands for daughter and son, Jesse. How fun it is to get kids in and out of car seats all day, change diapers on the front seat of car, rearrange hair, put shoes back on, keep two year old from climbing out of cart at grocery store…
Meanwhile I have been shopping for a minivan since my three year old grandson will be here to live soon and, most likely, I will have another infant in January.

I hope my friend won’t mind…I’ll keep her identity private. Here is an email we sent back and forth recently:
Friend:

Cindy, I tried to call you last night. I hope you are ok ? We really need to get together and have that coffee.
7:40am

ME:

I didn’t get your call! Yes we do!
Thursday
2:53pm

Later:
P.S.
Are you sure you called the right number?

Still later:

Ha. I just realized I’m never going to have coffee! I have Keidon now as well. Little Jesse is coming soon. New baby in January! Hahaha
Today
7:31am

Friend:

You sound like a mad woman ba ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!!!
8:00am

Me:

Yes I do! And feel like one!
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I guess that just about says it all. But couldn’t you kind of tell that from my “poem” ? ha ha ha ha

I wrote a little story (venting?) once that I published on Amazon’s “Createspace” (for my friends and family, mainly, but can be downloaded for a small fee) called The Secret Adventures of Super Nellie.
I get perturbed when my kids wonder what in the world I do all day. Nellie’s daughter wondered the same thing. So, anyhow…
Yeah.
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And you thought I was OUT of my tree, huh?!

Street Cred

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Sometimes I’m scared that my son will get famous when he gets out of prison. Rapping is the only business I know where being an ex-con is actually advantageous. I don’t want him going in that direction. I feel like if God gave him that talent, he should use it for good. Rapping is fine, mind ya. But the content must be changed. I can’t even listen to a whole song sometimes ’cause I can picture God being disappointed and I just can’t take it. Even when I’m mad at Him, as I often am.

Jess can sing and write songs, too. That’s where I wish he’d spend his energy. But if he’s going to get famous, I hope he gets a stable life first. A stable MINDSET. I hear too many stories of tragic celebrity deaths, crime sprees, insanity. Scary stuff.

He’s always been outrageously creative and bright. When he was only three he said to me one day, “Mommy? Can I use your imagination in case I want to save mine for later?”  Still makes me smile. I told him, of course, than imagination knows no bounds and never runs dry. I guess he believed me.

Also, if he does make it big in the music industry, it’ll affect his whole family. I often think, when hearing about yet another crazy stunt some famous person does that I’m glad I don’t have to make my mistakes in public. I’ve done hideous things in my life. Stupid, rotten, ugly, just plain dumb…all the yo-yo diets I’ve been on and weight that went up and down. Parenting errors and family fights. Geez. I don’t want paparazzi on my lawn or “journalists” digging up dirt on my family. (’cause there is plenty of it).

If there is one thing I’ve learned from having sons in prison, it’s how news reporters like to spin the truth into something more sensational than what actually happened. Or give their opinion rather than the facts. Legitimate newspapers and real TV news channels do that and the public is quick to form their own uninformed opinions. I mean, who do they think they are? I could go on for days on that subject.  So indignant, I am! 🙂 Seriously, the truth is hard enough.

Right now I’ll bet Jess is in his dorm with a buncha guys sitting on their bunks listening to his newest song. It’s how he survives all the pain and stress in his life. Ever since he was about a year old, this is how he has coped. And, believe me, there was a lot of pressure on that little guy.

I remember distinctly his dad and I sitting in the front seat of a car with our baby Jess between us, arguing as usual, oblivious to the damage we were doing to him. Selfish. And suddenly he threw one chubby arm around each of our necks and started crooning. He’d get louder and louder till he’d drown out all the yelling. Till we NOTICED. Regrets.

During school conferences Jesse’s teachers would often reveal that my little man was a bit hyper and that he was a great kid. “He really doesn’t act ‘bad,'” one teacher said, “he just can’t stop singing!”

Bend but don’t break, baby boy. His music was a gift to Jesse, a gift God gave himself, and a gift to those who love my son.  But fame is still something I fear.

On Friday my Jess (aka Lil Yea) will be 27 years old. Happy birthday, precious son!

In honor of his birthday I am going to share his first songs here and one that he did last year. Hope you enjoy! I am SO very proud of my boy.

Here he is at 17:

Again at 17:

Last year: