Perm Rod Roller Set

This past week I did a roller set on my hair for the first time since I’ve been fully natural. When I had a relaxer my mom did them for me regularly. It was also a go-to style while I transitioned, because it hid the 1-2 inches of new growth very well. I’ve had roller sets done a couple of times at a salon since going natural, but this is the first time I attempted by myself. I debated whether I would use flexi-rods or perm rods. After I quick #askfb, I decided on perm rods. Here are the steps I took to achieve my curls:

1. Wash & Condition

I did my regular wash day routine. It took a little TLC, because I had may hair twisted previously. I did not take the twist out prior to wash day, so there was some work involved in getting my hair untwisted. I did a pre-poo hot oil treatment with avocado oil, washed with my Organix Coconut Milk shampoo, detangled with Aussie Moist, and used my DIY deep conditioner recipe. I let the deep conditioner sit on my hair for an hour then washed it out continuing the detangling process in the shower.

2. Partial Air Dry

After I got out of the shower I put my hair into 6-8 braids so it could partially air dry while I did some chores. My hair is very thick so if I wanted it dry by the next day it could not be soaking wet when I put the rollers in.

3. Roll it up

I was intending to blow dry the sections a little more with cool air, but I got lazy roller set natural hairand impatient. I decided the air drying would be enough and I started rolling my hair. I could not figure out the best method of rolling it, I experimented with a few different ways and based on the outcome I would know how to do it in the future. Most of my hair was simply sectioned and rolled. There were a few spot where decided to twirl my hair as if I was doing bantu knots and then roll it. An others I only twirled the ends and then rolled the rest of the section regularly. I think the twirled ends methods has the best outcome. I will do it like this if I try it again. I did find it difficult to get the rollers snugly against my scalp. I had to re-roll a lot because they would start to hang. I rolled the front 2 rows facing forward so those curls would hang down in my face. It took me about 2 hours to roll it all up.

4. Let it Dry

This step was simple enough, I just went about my normal Sunday activities while nature did the rest. I thought about going to my sisters to get her hooded dryer, buying a bonnet dryer, or using my hand held dryer. I’m just so used to my hair still being damp when I get up in the morning. But I decided not use the heat and let it air dry on its own.

5. Taking out the curls

That morning I woke up at my regular time, but I did not work out. I used that time to take out the rollers. I was also afraid that the sweat would mess it up, before I even took it out. I uncurled it using a little coconut oil on my fingers. I simple took out the rollers first, then I fluffed and separated the curls a little. I didn’t to separate it too much, because I wasn’t looking for the puffy affect.

Reflections

When I do it again I will definitely twirl the ends before rolling up the hair. The sections that I did that with did not have fuzzy ends. I think it was a success for my first time. It wasn’t the sleek curls I was hoping for, but it was still cute. Next time I will either buy my own or borrow a hooded dryer. I will also use smaller rollers,  I think I’d prefer tighter curl. I think that will achieve the look I was after. Although, I sometimes feel like I don’t have the skill to get salon quality results. Its still good to understand how to style my hair myself. That day I sported my hair with pride. It was the start of a health unit, so as a PE teacher that normally sports yoga pants and a t-shirt, I was excited about looking nice.  I got many compliments on my hair as well as my “Tulle” colourpop ultra matte lipstick I wore that day. My roller set couldn’t have been too bad. What do you all think? How do you do your roller sets for optimal results?

pretty natural curls

 

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The Week My Son Turned 3

March 14th, 2014, I was blessed with a 8 lbs 8 oz bundle of joy. This past Tuesday we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of his birth. We were originally supposed to have a big birthday party with about 20 family and friends in our hometown. Recently, we have been experiencing some car trouble and were unsure if they’d get fixed within the week to host said party, so we cancelled the bash. This week ended up being filled with celebration, exhaustion, and accomplishments. Here are the details.

car's 3rd birthday cake

Monday was regular enough except for the planning and preparation for the little get together we had in lue of the big birthday bash. I bought some juice, muffins, and made goody bags to leave at his daycare. I think its really sweet that his daycare teacher plans things for their birthday. When I told her the previous day that his birthday was tomorrow, she calmly replied “I know”. I’m not sure how typical it is for daycare providers to know and make plans for each child’s birthday, but I think that’s really special. Even if I had got too busy or something, Ana had it covered. Whenever I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, for the past month, his respond had been “strawberries”.  I made a cake that was strawberry with confetti icing, and bought 2 pounds of frozen strawberries for his party that evening. Since its not strawberry season yet, I didn’t want to risk getting fresh ones. His party was supposed to be Disney’s “Cars” Themed. That week he started asking for a “Mator” and “Lightening McQueen”, so that night a Walmart, I found a Lightening McQueen T-shirt, wear that day, a Mator toy with a suction cup that allows him to actually tow (it doesn’t work that well), and a small Lightening McQueen toy that came with a set of race tracks. I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted to make the cake that night, but I decided to wait until I got out of school so it would be fresh.

 

Tuesday was his big day, and while it is usually a struggle getting him out of the bed today he woke up excited for his “cupcakes” (muffins) at daycare and his McDonald’s party with Mator and Lightening McQueen. I invited my sister and his two cousins, and a friend of mine at work with her family, she has two kids as well. I baked the cake, but didn’t have a lot of time to let it cool, so it was covered with a glaze. It was still tasty. I called in to McDonald’s and ordered sweet tea, mcnuggets, fries, and mcdoubles for the group. I would sneak next door to get a burrito bowl from Chipotle, since there aren’t any viable vegan options at McDonald’s. We sang the Stevie Wonder version of “Happy Birthday”, because for the past 2 years he cried when we sang the original. I discovered slow songs make him sad. He cries at other parties, as well as when he wear “Silent Night”. He enjoyed the new rendition and asked me to sing again when I was putting him to bed that night. This party was a great success. That was the party I originally planned to have, but as the date got closer I couldn’t resist doing the usually over the top family celebration. I’m not happy to need car repairs, but maybe it was for the best, because Xavier couldn’t have been more ecstatic.

The birthday part was over so I could relax, right…..wrong. I volunteered to be in our school musical, Suessical, as “The Cat and the Hat”. I absolutely enjoyed participating with the kids, but it was just horr

me as "the cat in the hat"
Me as “The Cat in the Hat”

ible timing. So I would have 4 performances in the next 3 days, and I did not know my lines yet. The kids would ask me during class….”Mrs. Marshall, do you know your lines yet?” I’d reply “Don’t worry about my lines, worry about actually singing out.” I did learn them relatively well enough to ad lib and not through everybody off. I was The Cat in the Hat, so it was my job to say off the wall stuff. We had performances after school at 6 pm Wednesday and Thursday, and two on Friday during the day.  There was a morning performance Friday for the neighboring elementary school and that afternoon for our middle school student body. All the kids were most nervous to perform in front of all their peers, and to be honest so was I. Friday I had more than one person say to me “I know you’re glad it over, you look tired”. I would say, “gee, thanks”.

 

The day of Thursday performance I was not at work because my son had his 3 year well visit. At this visit the doctor diagnosed him with……Asthma. It seems his stomach bugs that he’s been getting for the past year are probably reactions to food allergies, and his cough that he’s had for the past couple weeks are asthma. The doctor started putting the pieces together as I was telling her about all the different symptoms, paired with the family history of my allergies, my father’s asthma, and a listen to his chest which reveal wheezing. He has also had eczema since he was a baby. They all pointed to asthma. He has an appointment with an allergist to find possible triggers and a follow up with his pediatrician in two weeks.  So his belated birthday gift from the doctor was an inhaler and spacer. He’s sometimes reluctant to let me use it. So I showed him a few cartoons of Baine using the mask with medicine to give him muscles of powers, and that did the trick.

3 years vs 9 months well visit
3 years vs 9 months-well visit

I was informed by my cousin that my sister and mother were planning a surprise visit since we couldn’t come up there this weekend. I’m glad she let me know, because that kind of surprise was the last thing I needed this week. Once I knew about it, I was happy. I’m always happy to visit or get a visit from my family. But had I not known I would not have been able to clean and make sure my home was presentable; rather than lake a tornado, blizzard, hurricane, all dropped at once. To top it all off, I never did get those car repairs. It just wasn’t the week to have to coordinate dropping off and picking up a car. Along with either renting or borrowing a car while my was getting repairs. I know that shaking, smoking smell, check engine light flashing is really, really bad, but the mechanic said I could drive on it, so I’ll handle it next week when to dust had settled.

So yes, my son turned 3. And I could not be more happy and proud of the young man he is becoming. Being a mother never gets easy, but just like this week we will all get through it, somehow, together.

 

My Top 8 Vegan Restaurant Options

It is a constant struggle to get good, healthy, vegan food whilst eating out. It is especially difficult when you have a family that is not also vegan. I don’t like succumbing to only fries and a side salad.  For one, french fries aren’t healthy and at many restaurants they aren’t vegan. After transitioning to a plant based diet after New Year here are some of my more satisfying meals. Most are from national chains, but there are a few local and/or regional favorites here.

vegan eating out

1. Chipotle

I love Chipotle. I think almost everybody does. I actually have never actually had a burrito. Before it was because I was trying to do a low carb/paleo diet, now it is due to my wheat allergy. Also, the food is so filling I can’t imagine adding a huge tortilla into the mix. I typically get either the salad or a burrito bowl with brown rice. I get the sofritas with black beans, lettuce, onions & peppers, every salsa the offer, and guacamole. Before became vegan I had a love-hate relationship with beans, but I of course have had to let that go. I don’t like relying on a lot soy products for my protein so I switched to getting the veggie bowl instead of sofritas. I get both black beans and pinto beans and the biggest plus is that guacamole is FREE!

2. Taco Bell

I know fast food is not healthy period, but sometimes you can’t get around it. Taco bell is like the generic Chiptole for me. I either get black bean tacos, fresco style, with guacamole. Or the power bowl without sour cream, cheese, or avocado cream, and extra guacamole. With both meals I get a side of pintos without cheese. I would like it if they did like chipotle and gave guacamole for free if your getting no meat or dairy. I mean, they could at least give me that.

3. Chic-fil-a

I feel better about getting Chic-fil-a for myself and my family because they have been rated as one of the best fast food restaurants as far as hormones, pesticides, and GMOs, etc, are concerned. I usually get a large super-food salad that has kale, broccolini, nuts, and dried cherries. Or I will get their southwestern salad without chicken or cheese. I don’t get the salad a lot, because they will charge less without meat (some restaurants don’t), I still think its over priced.

4. Kimono Japanese (local)

This is a restaurant local to where I live, but I’m sure any hibachi place offers similar options. I get the spicy teriyaki dinner with tofu, mixed vegetables, and steamed rice. I made the mistake once of getting fried rice, I even remembered to ask for no egg, but I didn’t think about butter/margarine. I decided to go with steamed rice to be safe regardless.  They offer many vegan sushi rolls including: avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, mushroom, and veggie. I get the veggie which included avocado,cucumber, and asparagus. Asian is always a good choice because their food is usually naturally dairy free and the vegan choices don’t leave me staring at my families food like a sad puppy dog. The same goes for Mexican or Hispanic food;as long as a have plenty of GOOD avocado or guacamole.

5. Carrabbas

The other weekend, my husband wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to get his favorite lobster ravioli from Carrabbas for take out. We had been avoiding it since I found out about my dairy allergy, but I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice. But I had to figure out something I could get that would be satisfying. They now have a gluten free pasta. So I got it, along with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, in olive oil and garlic. I added some nutritional yeast when I got home and it was delicious. This same could probably be done at any Italian Restaurant. Pasta with marinara sauce is usually safe, but I typically like something a little more adventurous.

6. Chili’s

I thought I was safe getting guacamole and chips, which also come with salsa. I got that when eating their with some coworkers. My dairy allergy let me know that it was not a safe vegan option as that evening I was camped out on the toilet (sorry TMI). After researching I found out their tortilla chips have dairy. This makes as much sense as french fries and hash browns with dairy, but somehow they find a way to mess it up. When I checked their website they say to get guacamole with flour tortillas. For one, who the heck even wants that, and for two I can’t due to my wheat allergy. So my go to meal from Chili’s is black beans and rice or the quinoa blend if I’m feeling super healthy. I may also get a side salad or guacamole and/or salsa. I know it seems a little lack luster compared to the other options I’ve listed, but I really, really enjoy their black beans, so it works for me.

7. Mozzarella Fellas (local)

This list is not in ranking order, but I did save the best for last. This the latest jewel that I’ve discovered in my city. My husband was missing the New York pizza place from our home town, and someone suggest them.  I usually get a small veggie pizza without cheese from pizza places. If they have gluten free I get it, if not, I ignore my mild wheat allergy. When I checked then menu I was pleasantly surprised that they had several, not only vegetarian, but VEGAN options. They use Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. Unlike the chain Mellow Mushroom, which I have not added to this list, because they use disgusting Daiya cheese.  They also have a vegan ranch and cashew flakes they use in place of Parmesan cheese. The dishes I’ve tried thus far are the crab cakes made with artichokes and heart of palm, Fit for  Queen margarita pizza, Bbq pizza made with jack fruit. What I like it that they realize that vegan cheese, even a superior brand, will never replace real cheese. So there pizzas are elevated with lots of other flavors. The vegan margarita pizza includes pickled red onions and a balsamic glaze. They Bbq pizza has bbq sauce, of course, jalapeños, and a ranch drizzle. This place is beyond awesome. My husband actually prefers another Italian Restaurant’s pizza over this place, but we compromise, because of their wonderful vegan options for me.

8. Smoothie King

Saturday mornings are traditional for fast food in my family. My husband loves McDonald’s breakfast but sometimes gets Bojangles or Taco Bell. We have a plethora of restaurants down the main road near our apartment. On the way to get his favorite fast food breakfast, I swing by smoothie king and get the Dark Chocolate Banana smoothie, with Kale. They always have a $1 off coupon on each receipt and I use the rewards to eventually get a free smoothie. Sometimes I treat my son to a Little Angel, their strawberry banana smoothie, or get a medium and share mine. I

I know there are many other options that are great for vegans, but this is what I’ve experienced thus far. I hope to find more places that will make eating out not such a pain. Or maybe I shouldn’t. The more tasty vegan options I find, the emptier my bank account is. What are some other good places you’ve found to be convenient and delicious options for vegans?

 

Logan: finally, after 17 years

LoganThe number 17 has been a significant number in my life. I was born on the 17th, as was my husband. He asked me to be his girlfriend on his birthday, which made our dating anniversary the 17th. My line number upon becoming a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is 17. Our now wedding anniversary is August 17th, but that was done intentionally. My son was due March 25th, we thought “wouldn’t it be great if he was born on the 17th?”, but he wasn’t. He was born on the 14th…March 14th…..3/14…..3 + 14=17!!!!!! So I guess it was fate that I had to go through 17 years of waiting, until I was finally able to see a worthy Wolverine film. Don’t get me wrong he has been in some awesome X-Men films, but the solo Wolverine movies have been less than stellar. Thursday, we finally saw what all the hype was all about, and it was well deserved hype because Logan was spectacular.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen a movie within a week of its release since become parents. We were debating between seeing “Logan” or “Get Out”, both movies have been all the rage on social media, so I was faced with a choice…. “Do I please my inner nerd or my inner militant pro-black self?” I chose my inner nerd, as I always do when it comes to seeing movies in theaters. I prefer to see superhero, action, sci-fi movies in theaters. I’ll catch anything else on Netflix, Redbox, or maybe still the movies if another opportunity presents itself. It might be wrong but, sorry…not sorry.

The movie opened up and showed you what it was going to be all about. Wolverine’s limo was being stolen, while he was in it. He began to brutal beat the foolish cholos down in true Wolverine fashion. There was no sparing of blood and guts. It was completely raw and animalistic. You also saw that he obviously not his normal self, he had trouble retracting his claws and he was taking the beating worse than usual, but even still he was able to easily beat them until the survivors fled for their lives. The raw, goriness was what many Wolverine depictions in the past were lacking. I thought they were going to do it with “The Wolverine”, I never even saw that movie after I read so many abysmal reviews. I know we have the success of  “Deadpool”to thank for the “R” rating. For what ever reason, I’m glad we finally got what we were asking for.

For all the energy and ferocity Logan was lacking in his old age, we got it from Laura. I mean she was a relentless BEAST. Even X-24 couldn’t handle her. I believe it came from a combination of her upbringing as a weapon and the genetics she inherited from Wolverine. The other children were not like her. They fought when attacked and in order to save their lives, as did she, but it wasn’t the same. We barely got to see their powers. Although I did catch that Rictor, the supposed leader, had Magneto’s power.  I think her energy will replace Wolverine’s in future films if that is the intention; I will however still miss Wolverine and Hugh Jackman. For one, Wolverine is the most popular X-men, and one of the most popular superheroes period. Also, 17 years of my 28 of life have been with Jackman as Wolverine. But I think that would be another reason not to recast him for a while.

This was an extremely emotional movie. You had so many circumstances involved here. Its the last film with Jackman as Wolverine, most of the beloved X-man characters are dead, the patriarchal Professor X is but a fraction of his normal self, children are being bred, experimented on, and now exterminated, and then of course the whole “daddy issues” theme between  Laura and Logan. One aspect of the movie that I did expect to hit close to home was Charles Xavier and his seizures. I heard that he had a seizure that killed all the X-men, but I didn’t know his condition would be such a big part of the film. You see, my husband has a seizure disorder and has since he was a child. There is no cure or treatment that has seemed to help with it. So seeing Wolverine caring for the ailing Professor, forcing him to take medication, stabbing him with the anticonvulsant, and having that medicine make him a lesser version of himself struck a nerve. My husband and I will forever have the joke now of Charles sticking his tongue out when Logan demands to see that he’s taken his medicine. Although it was extremely emotional to watch, that tear jerking effect is how you know its a good movie.

“Logan” was not your average superhero movie. There was not a Earth threatening villain, and multiple X-men showing off their powers. It was personal. I only wish we had gotten this from every Wolverine film in the past. But I guess that had to experiment to get it just right so it could end with a “bang”, or in this case a “slash”. Hopefully moving forward they can make sure to bring this into every X-men film in the future.

 

One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so much to Apunkwithms for this honor. If you haven’t already, please visit her page, its awesome.

One Lovely Blog

Rules

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees the good news

7 Facts about Me

  1. I want a really big dog like a Great Dane, Newfoundland, or Saint Bernard, so I can name him Hagrid.
  2. I enjoy going to Walmart early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to grocery shop.
  3. Right now I have an obsession with Colourpop lippie sticks. (Ultra Matte, Matte X, and Ultra Satin)
  4. My favorite musical artist are Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, and Bruno Mars.
  5. I am currently almost done watching Dragon Ball Z for the first time ever!
  6. My favorite food is avocado.
  7. The only place outside the U.S. I’ve been is Costa Rica. 😢

My Nominees

naturalprideblog

billziegler1947

Jean

Middle American Geekery 

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Nerd Rambles 

Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner

deb’s pots

Your Very Own RD

Small Things Bring Big Joy!!!

Thank you for reading. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Curly Hair Family

For about the past 1.5 years everyone in my household has been rocking their natural curls. My journey started in the summer of 2009 when I started transitioning, I did the big chop in December. My son was born and he has not had the “coming of age” hair cut of African American boys at the age of 1 or 2. My husband is multi-racial and pretty much because nobody knew another way, he always got low haircuts, like black men he was surrounded by. Since September of 2015 he’s grown it out. He didn’t even know his hair curled before that. We’ve all had our own separate journeys in this process, but I have major pride for my curly haired family.

Me

My path as naturalista is pretty steadfast and permanent. I have no intentions of going back to the creamy crack. I have however, though of getting locks. Although, I would still be natural, I wouldn’t be able to show off my curly texture. I have seen people that have taken their locks out, I used to think the only way to not have locks anymore was to cut them off. At least now I know that if it did choose to lock my hair I wouldn’t have to cut all my growth and although it would be a laborious process, I would comb them out and have my curls back. Yay! I think I will make that transition, either when I am grey or if my husband and son cut their hair.

My Husband

My husband is happy with his curls. I think its a part of him realizing and accepting his heritage. His curls are soft, shiny, and thick. When he first started growing his hair we though it would be wavy, but as it grew longer to our surprise it started to curl into these thick rings. I LOVE his hair and hope he doesn’t cut it short again, but he gets frustrated when it is hot and hanging on his neck. I have also found that he is very particular about his hair, we just didn’t know before because it was always so low maintenance.  Now if it isn’t curling or falling the way he likes he thinks its a mess. I think it glorious however. I wish he would rock his man bun or pony, but he is convinced it isn’t long enough yet. I’ll get him when its time for Otakon though, he won’t be able to resist wearing a samurai top knot.

My Son

My son has been growing his hair since birth. Once he really started growing hair, he has shown a lot of growth. He always had curls, but I think at 1.5 years they really started to turn into the cute bouncy curls he has now. My students say he looks like Corbin Blue. I will keep growing his hair until he gets older. I’d say at least by 2nd or 3rd grade and if he wants it cut, I’ll get it cut. Although, even if its cut, I’d prefer if he kept an inch or 2 to still have curls. We did go through I brief moment of weakness, when we wanted to cut his hair on his 3rd birthday, coming up next month. He was getting so fussy each night when I had to wash and detangle it. I had to co-wash it every other night, otherwise it would look wild and unruly. I did figure out a system that would work. I started washing his hair on Sundays and doing box braids. He wears the braids for 2-3 days, then I take them out. He wears his defined curls a couple of days. Once they reached the end of their road I’ll put his hair in a bun or ponytail. One day I will learn to cornrow, but for now he gets that done when we’re visit my mom or if his aunt does it.

This spring we HAVE to take some family photos to show off these wonderful head of coils. I’m not sure what the future holds for us. I do know that at the very least my son and husband will grow their hair until its long enough to donate to Locks of Love. Until then I will enjoy us being a beauty bouncy curled family. Whatever everyone’s choices or preferences we’ll be a beautiful family not matter what.

The Miseducation of Xavier

As an educator I am ashamed to say that I am guilty of letting the tablet teach and babysit my son. I know all the studies that say too much screen time is bad for them, but its so easy, and he enjoys it; so its one less thing I have to fight about. He watches cartoons on Netflix and Hulu as well as playing games on ABC mouse, but mostly he watches YouTube kids. I don’t understand his fascination with it but, it keeps help quiet, and some of its educational….right.

Next month is his 3rd birthday, and I have sworn to kicking it into high gear to make sure he is prepared for Pre-K and ultimately Kindergarten. At this point he can recognize most letters, numbers 1-10 and a few beyond, basic colors, and shapes. He also can understand simple Spanish commands and know some basic phrases and numbers. This is on account of his teacher at the home daycare he attends being Hispanic. She speaks to the kids in Spanish, they sing songs, and do activities to learn Spanish. I would like to keep him there long enough get a good start on being fluent and continuing him in a duel immersion program when he starts school. As a teacher I know I have to do more with him than just what he learns at daycare and later school. I can’t be a hypocrite, I have to be the parent I wish my students had.

Don’t get me wrong, it not like I haven’t done ANYTHING with him. Since he was a newborn I’ve read to him every single night. I know that is a big factor in him developing fluency and literacy skills. We used to do puzzles and flash cards all the time. As he has become more active and sometimes his behavior down right unbearable, I’ve settled for just keeping him subdued. He has a table that he uses in the living room for eating mostly, but it flips up and he can draw on it. Sometimes I give him one of his coloring pages and some crayons and he’ll color.

I have to do right by my son and offer him the same opportunity for advancement that I had. My mom is a teacher too, and she was a BEAST at making sure we had the tools we needed to succeed. She taught me to read by the time I was in Pre-K. Now being that she is an elementary school teacher, she has more skill at teaching reading than me, but I know I can do better. My goal is to create interactive games for him to play, so he can learn as well as get some of his seemingly never ending energy out. I’ve seen a bunch on Pinterest, now its time to stop pinning and start doing. My goal is to spend 30 minutes-1 hour with him each day on some kind of educational activity outside of our normal reading.

It is my responsibility to set the foundation for his education. I already feel guilty for the slacking I’ve been doing lately, hopefully its not to late to make up for lost time.