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Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise in Banff National Park, AB

Friday, 30 June 2017

Going to Nanaimo for a visit.

Monday, June 26

Bright and early we got up to catch the 7:45 ferry out of Tsawwassen to Nanaimo. Time for a break for us instead of going to the hospital or carehome daily. We are kind of burnt out. We wanted to come over to get some of our stuff out of storage to use at my Dad's since we're there for the summer.




It was a great crossing with blue skies although a little windy in the middle of the strait. Once we landed it was up to Kristi's office to get a house key and then we did a little shopping before meeting her for lunch. The kids are quite busy during the days we are here so Ray and I are mostly on our own which is fine by us as this trip is mostly about relaxing.

We ordered in Chinese Food so Jason would have some dinner and Kristi would have something to eat when she got home after meetings at 10:30 pm.

Tuesday we went to our storage shed at Ray's brother's in Qualicum Beach to get our leaf blower and shrub trimmer to use at Dad's. Ray and I decided to tour around Nanoose area where we have never driven before and then went into Lanzville for lunch at the pub. Home by 3 pm to relax for the rest of the afternoon. The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed a few strolls on the beach at some of the access points along the way.

Schooner's Cove Nanoose







The roofers sent notification this morning they're coming to Dad's Thursday morning to start the job. They are supposed to start after July 1st. Oh well, we'll have to move the motorhome as soon as we get home that day. Busy, Busy. The long range weather is good so I guess they'd better get it done. Good thing we were coming home Thursday anyways.

Wednesday we drove around more areas of South of Nanaimo that we've never seen as well as some old favorites, like the beach at Piper's Lagoon. For dinner we met up with our friends Gary and Janice in Parksville at their favorite Fish and Chip place, The British Bobby Restaurant.

Thursday morning we were on the 7:45 am ferry back to Vancouver. Nice to be back in our own "home on wheels", especially sleeping in our own beds. Freya was pretty happy to see us too.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Mum has a new home.

Wednesday, June 21

Ray received a phone call while walking the dog this morning that Mum will be transferred to Residential Care tomorrow morning early! Talk about fast. They just approved her on Friday and within 5 days she is moving to a long-term care facility. With that call instead of taking the day off , I called the Equipment place to arrange for her wheelchair and air mattress to be delivered tomorrow. Then we were out the door to her apartment to collect whatever we could, her clothes mostly, to take to her new room at the Dania Home on Canada Way and Norland in Burnaby. This facility is only 2 years old and seems to be a nice place. The staff was quite attentive. After setting up her room it was back to the hospital to update Mum and Ray's brother Ryan who happened to be visiting. Now we need to empty out her apartment PDQ. Ray and I stopped by her apartment again, to load up the car with anything going to the care home so Ryan could deal with the rest of the stuff tomorrow.

Ryan had come over by bus so promptly when back home to Qualicum Beach on the ferry after visiting Mum so he could return tomorrow with a van to pack up her apartment. Fortunately he had already taken Thursday off from work.

Thursday, June 22

Ray and I met Ryan at the apartment at 10 am to return Mum's keys etc. After phoning the new place we found out that Mum had already been transferred there at 9am this morning. Ray and I stopped for a quick bite and then made our way to Dania Home to meet up with the Equipment people. Unfortunately, the mattress and pump were not the right fit so she will not get her new one until tomorrow. The wheelchair will need some more adjustments tomorrow as well. Mum did not have a very good day as she was in quite a bit of pain with all of the transfers and was nauseous so did not eat any lunch. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day. While Ray kept Mum company I ferried the rest of her stuff from the car into her room.



Of course it is much more homey now with all of her pictures up on the wall. She also has her own bathroom. She has a lift to get her out of bed and it goes all the way into the bathroom. We did not get back to the motorhome until 3 pm. Ryan texted that he had just finished cleaning out her room at that time as well. Both of Mum's boys are pooped. Hopefully things settle down now. Very thankful that Ryan took on the job of clearing out Mum's furniture for us.

Friday, June 23

We're back at Mum's by 10 am waiting for the technician to come to fix the wheelchair and exchange the air bed. Ray also had a ton of paperwork to return to them on Mum's behalf. The wheelchair back support cushion is still causing her pain so they will have to bring another one on Monday. Ray toured Mum around the facility in her wheelchair to show her where everything is. She is still somewhat confused at times asking for things like her call button when she is being wheeled around in her chair. We left shortly after she got her lunch as we wanted her to interact with the other people at her table and hopefully she will eat.

After seeing Mum it was time to go to the bank so Ray could check that things were all straightened out and he could make sure the care home gets paid etc. Ray has to make sure that he can top up her "slush fund" for laundry, hair cuts etc when we're travelling. We stopped for lunch near the bank at a sushi place. Yummm.

Saturday, June 24

Ray and I were going to take the day off ... that was until Ray found out that Mark had the day off so he quickly put him to work clearing out the shed that will come down by the roofers in the next couple of weeks. Mark also transplanted a few plants that needed to move. I took Larny for some driving practice and did a little bit of grocery shopping. We spent the afternoon outside under the trees trying to stay cool. Mum called us again to tell us she needed to see the doctor right now as she was in "terrible pain". I explained to her that she needed to tell this to her nurse, Valeri, and that she should take her pain shot to help. Mum had told Valeri that she was not taking anything unless her daughter-in-law said to.  Mum's called us every day for the last week and a half with things we cannot do for her. This is part of her confusion I guess. Hard to take though, as it is so not like her.

Sunday, June 25

My day to cook for Dad. First however, we will need to go and check on Mum and I am to go through her clothing list with her care aide and make sure she has all of the clothes she will need. Some of her stuff will not work with her unable to move her left arm or leg to get in and out of clothes. They also have a "Country Fair" at the care home today and we would like to take Mum off her floor to see it.

Once Mum is as comfortable as she can be and is used to living at her new place, our plan is to leave on our winter travels mid-September, come home for Christmas to check on Mum and my Dad and then fly back to Phoenix and continue our trip, crossing the border back into Canada mid-March. This of course all depends on how the summer goes. Other than a few trips to the island to visit Kristi and Jason and to Squamish to visit Garrett and Kat, I think that is all that we will have time for this summer while we attend to Mum and my Dad.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Walk in the Woods and Crescent Beach

Monday, June 19th

Ray and I were both tired from all the stuff on the agenda yesterday so decided to take a walk on a trail in a South Surrey Urban Park with Freya before the rain came today. It was nice just to get out into the trees. and walk.  Freya certainly enjoyed all the "new smells" and Ray enjoyed shaking the dust off of his camera! There are quite a few urban parks like this that we have noticed in the Surrey/White Rock area so we will be checking out more of them for something to do.



Since we were so close to Crescent Beach we decided to drive there and have a look around. It had quit sprinkling and was very warm and muggy out. Absolutely flat calm out on the water.

 We took a short walk along the walkway and while Freya and I enjoyed the beach, Ray wandered a short ways down the path snapping a few pictures.


Crescent Beach looking towards the North Shore
Crescent Beach looking towards White Rock

Now which one do I want?


Quite the bird hotel.
Tuesday, June 20th , I took Larny shopping (and let her drive) while Ray went to visit his mum. She was doing much better, ate well for lunch as after 10 days of trying to get her diet changed every time we went to visit her, she finally received  a sandwich with her soup! Of course this did not happen until Monday when Ray had to phone the Clinical Director for the whole hospital again, to have such a small thing changed. Burnaby General sucks with their patient care because of their horrible lack of communication. Daily needs are met once the "health care team" is on the same page. Ray has spent lots of time in meetings trying to straighten things out. Not a very favourable experience for Mum or Ray.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Father's Day and Mum's 93 Birthday

Sunday was quite a busy day. First I made made Father's Day Breakfast for Dad, Larny, Mark and us. Of course it was one of my specialties, Eggs Benedict. It sure did not take long for everyone to gobble it all up. lol :)

Next it was off to the hospital to see Ray's Mum as it's her 93 birthday. Ray's sister Judy and husband Milt visited her yesterday and decorated her room for her birthday. Judy tried to get mum to agree to have a pom pom taped to her bed pan! Mum got a laugh out of that. She has lots of birthday cards from all of her friends visiting her. (Pictures with cell phone so a little fuzzy.)



I called the hospital before we came to make sure that they had Mum in her wheelchair before we arrive so we could wheel her around the hospital. It takes about a half an hour with giving her pain medication in advance and then using the sling to lift her.  The primary reason for the wheel chair is that we brought Freya to visit her as she has been asking yo see her. Mum said seeing Freya was the best part of her day. 


I know you had a shower this morning Grandma but they missed a spot here 

and here!


After trying to get her to eat some lunch we headed back home as I was cooking a Seafood dinner for Dad and Ray for Father's Day. Dad does not want to go out and prefers staying home. As it is his day .... I brought the "restaurant dinner" to him with Seafood Fettuccine. Yumm. Also on the menu was fresh baked apple pie with icecream.




I came back to the coach at 9 pm after helping Dad into bed. Larny and Mark arrived shortly after. A long busy day for me but our two special parents had a great day. 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

June 9 - 15 Tsawwassen Mills Mall

Friday, June 9th

Visited Mum with Ray. She is definitely getting "the boot" into long-term care somewhere. Should know within the next couple of weeks. Once we find out where we will have to arrange for a hospital bed and air mattress and tilting wheelchair we are told by the Occupational Therapist. Maybe the place she gets might have the equipment already or she qualifies for some assistance through the red cross???? If she has to pay for the stuff it will be upwards of $7000 for who knows how long she will be with us.

Saturday, June 10th

Ray and I took the day off and I did a little shopping and made a great appetiser which we shared with Dad and a new Thai Chicken Recipe for our dinner. Yumm.

Honey Dew Melon with Prosciutto and mozzarella balls.
The Thai Chicken Recipe came up on my facebook page so I tried it. Fabulous with Coconut Jasmine Rice.


Sunday, June 11th

Larny's husband ended up having his "boil" lanced as it was not healing. He now has a 1/2" crater in the calf of his leg. Ouch. Mark goes back to work tomorrow. Hopefully his leg does not hurt him anymore. I cooked fresh sockeye salmon for dinner for Dad and Ray tonight. Originally I was baking it in the oven but the oven would not heat up .... so plan B it was put on the tray in the barbeque instead. Turned out well.

Monday, June 12th

We made the mad dash to the hospital as they allowed Mum to call us and she said she was having difficulty breathing. Once there we sorted her out. She had been in quite a bit of pain with her back and once the pain medication kicked in she was fine and went to sleep. She has not been eating since Friday. We double checked with the nurse and her pain medication has been increased so hopefully this does not happen again. Her breathing was fine. Tomorrow Ray is to meet with her Fraser Health Social Worker at 9am to complete a questionaire to determine placement for Mum.

It's a good thing we are at Dad's and not paying site rental. This past month we have spent over $700 in fuel for the car and parking fees visiting the hospital!

Here is a picture of a cactus blooming at Dad's, really beautiful.



Tuesday, June 13th

Ray was at the hospital for the 9 am meeting. He was told that we have two weeks to get a wheelchair, cushion and air mattress in order for Mum as she will be placed somewhere by that time. They are even considering Courtyard Terrace where she was, by having extra care hired to be available for her there.  The facility would however need a hospital bed and a lift there for her. We shall see. They are not really set up there for full-care only assisted living where people pretty much look after themselves regarding going to the bathroom etc. Her case is to go before two committees this week for final acceptance for assistance. She is feeling well enough to eat again. Although still on a "minced" diet.

Wednesday, June 14th

Today is my 5 year anniversary for retirement. Wow the time seems to have blown by.

The forecast for the next few days is showers/rain so Ray and I went to the new Tsawwassen Mills Shopping Mall for something different to do. A huge complex but most of the stores were ones you could find in any other mall. The interior of the mall had quite a few sculptures etc. The Bass Pro Shop is pretty cool though. We did not check out the stores behind the mall, Canadian Tire, Marks Work Wear World etc. More to see another time.

Here are some pictures from google of the mall ... Ray inadvertently deleted the picures he took on his phone! lol

One of the Entrances

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Bass Pro Shop

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Kids play area

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Some of the sculptures exhibited in the mall.

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The Food Court
After an hour of cruising around we decided to go back to Surrey and lunch at Whitespot before heading home. We had thought we would go to a brew pub off of River Road but it turned out to be just a teeny, tiny place where there was only about 10 "chairs" (more like butt inprints on a chunk of wood!) so not suitable for us.

Thursday, June 15

Today we're finally able to take the car in for a brake job. It has been on our "list" for a couple of months but we have been so busy with Ray's Mum and my Dad it has been hard to fit it in. The back up camera stopped working as well. Well, we heard back at 4:30 .... car not finished. Oh well, Kristi can take us to our car tomorrow morning. Kristi arrived at 8:30pm and visited with Dad before bed.

Friday, June 16

Kristi came into the coach about 7 am and we had waffles for breakfast. By 9:30 we were on our way to see Ray's Mum at Burnaby General. She is not looking very good and very weak. I think she's given up. All of her vitals are stable though and she is eating/drinking a little. We took her via her wheelchair out to the patio to enjoy some sunshine. She kept her face to the sun for the 1/2 hour we were out there. Unfortunately they give her pain medication 15 minutes before they use the lift to get her into the wheelchair and it makes her fall asleep so not too much conversation. :) Fraser Health had the panel discussions regarding her case and she's been approved for assisted long-term care. They believe they will have her placed in the next week or so. I've made arrangements for her specialised wheelchair, cushion and air mattress to be available for trialing wherever she ends up.  Ray requested Burnaby facilities as this is her home town and where her friends who come to visit her live.

After our visit with Mum, Kristi drove us back to Surrey where we had a lovely lunch at Brown's Social Club in White Rock. After dropping Ray off at Ford to pick up the car we went back to the coach for the afternoon. Bloody car's cost us $10K over the last two years.  Kristi visited with Dad again and then came back to the coach and crashed for an hour or so. She had an 8:15 ferry reserved out of Tsawwassen and checked if she could leave for an earlier one but there was a 2 sailing wait so she relaxed with us until it was time to leave. Great visit. Love you lots Kristi.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

June 3 - 8th Nothing too Interesting.

Friday, June 3rd, we managed to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle in Coquitlam and go to their favourite pub, the John B, for lunch. We've been so busy and they are very busy as well so I called them up on the spur of the moment and we were able to get in a visit. Great seeing you guys.

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Saturday I stayed home and waited for the pressure-washing of the driveway to be completed. Quite the job, it took 4 hours but it is so much cleaner and less slippery, even when wet which was the main reason we had it done. I even had Dad's huge rock in the garden pressure-washed so we have our own "White Rock" lol.  Ray had Larny's husband do some pruning around the rock so you could even see it so it was time to clean all of the moss off of it.




Our very own "White Rock" (a little fuzzy from my cell phone :))

It remained quite cloudy all day until about 5 pm when the sun finally broke through. Ray went and visited his mum for a couple of hours. She is steadily going downhill, very heart breaking to watch.

Sunday I stayed with Dad as it was Larny's day off. Ray went back to the hospital for a visit with his mum again as on Saturday there were several other people visiting, he really did not get a chance to spend time talking with her himself. He was back by 1pm and we sat outside in the sunshine for the afternoon relaxing. Glad the sun is back although not nearly as warm as a week ago.

Dad's tomato's are growing well in the greenhouse. We should be able to have some fresh ones in a few weeks I think. I take pictures for him as he does not ever come outside unless he needs to go to an appointment. He has no strength either and trouble breathing when he exerts himself.



The menu tonight was Braised Turkey Thighs in my Instant Pot. Turned out beautifully. I also tried my hand at making a dessert, not something I usually do. It turned out quite well, at least everyone scarfed it back pretty quick!


Monday, Ray and I were supposed to be at the hospital for a 1:30 pm meeting. (Meeting was cancelled.) They are going to discuss "what to do" with mum. We anticipate that the decision will be made that she will not be going back to Assisted Living and they will attempt to have her moved to Extended Care or Palliative Care. if there is any room, to free up her Acute Care bed.  I honestly do not think that she will leave the ward as she is declining so fast. She cannot tolerate even sitting upright in a chair. for any length of time. Once the decision is made I guess Ray and I will have to empty her apartment at the Assisted Living... more stuff to get rid of. Ray spent the afternoon speaking with the Patient Ombudsman regarding all of the failures of mum's care and non-communication with us of change of care plan.

How one day can make so much change! Mum is finally feeling better and eating again after not eating since last Tuesday. Ray went alone to the hospital today thinking he was going for a short visit and then come back home. Instead after his phone calls yesterday he ended up in 3 meetings, the last being with the whole healthcare team of about 8 people. It was finally ironed out what mum wants in regard to her care and what the hospital plans to do.

Ray came home exhausted and we had previous plans to meet up with some friends  at Original Joes for Happy Hour we had not seen since last Christmas in Phoenix. In spite of being a "basket case" with his back, Ray wanted to go anyways to have a good ending to a long, long day. We had a terrific 2 hour visit and then it was home to bed for Ray. (Again I forgot to take pictures!) The picture below is one I took with them last Christmas doing the "Loop of Lights".



Wednesday, Ray and I both went to the hospital to take Freya to see Mum as per her wishes. Unfortunately she was still in bed and not in her special wheelchair. We also consulted with the Palliative Care doctor about pain management for her while there. The nurses were busy with her as well as they believe she has a urinary track infection, as her white blood cell count is up and she was feeling really weak again. Ray and I did not stay too long as it was quite warm out for Freya being in the car. While there though,we got the word they will be trying to place her in an extended care facility as her Assisted Living placement has declined taking her back. Not a big surprise there. This means that we will probably have to empty out her apartment before the end of the month. As we do not know where she is going we will have to box up a bunch of her things and keep them here at Dad's for now until we find out more info. At present it looks like she will be around for a much longer time that was anticipated 2 weeks ago. I am not sure she will like her life now as she was so independant before, and there is probably little chance she will ever walk again.

While we were gone, Dad's nurse took him to the doctor to check him out regarding his coughing up blood. His doctor believes he has a bit of a chest infection, which is why I wanted him to see her. Anyways off I went to fill his prescription. Took me an hour and a half as everyone else was doing the same thing it seemed. Back home at 2:30 I finally sat down for an hour before preparing our dinner, doing some laundry and generally giving the floor a cleaning. At 5:30 got news from Dad's caregiver Larny, she was taking her husband to the ER as his leg from his boil was not getting any better with the antibiotics and he was previously directed by the walk-in clinic to go after 2 days if he was not improving. Fortunately she had given Dad his dinner and I spent the rest of the evening with him and helping him to bed before coming back to the coach at 9:30. I'm totally bushed.

On a side note, Mark, Larny's husband, is working at a poultry farm at present and was driven home from work today with 2 dozen eggs and 2 live chickens! WTF. I told them we do not want them here so they were going to see if their friends would take them. With them taking off right away to the hospital and the chickens stuffed in a small box and left under a tree .... I moved them into the greenhouse and put out some water and wild bird seed. I opened the box and tipped it on the side so they could feel somewhat safe. They did not leave the box and looked pretty scared. With the weather changed to rain and cool they should be okay in there for a day or two. Hopefully they do not eat Dad's tomato's. When I checked Thursday am they were out of the box and patrolling the greenhouse.

Thursday we woke to rain, good for the transplanted hosta's at Dad's. Ray and I are staying home today to recharge our batteries. I poked my nose into the house this morning at 7 am to make sure Larny and Mark are back from the hospital as this is the time Dad usually gets up. All is well, they are back and Mark had the boil lanced open and drained so he should be good to go in a day or so. He should have listened to me 4 days ago when Larny showed me the cell phone picture of his boil, and told him to soak his leg in epsom salts twice a day to get rid of the infection but he was too lazy I think. He went to the walk-in clinic a day later for anti-biotics and two days later had to go to the ER and have it dealt with. A lot of bother and time wasted ... 5 hours at the walk-in clinic and 5 hours wait at the ER last night. I am sure Larny will tell him that he should have listened to "Momsie" lol Welcome to Canada Eh!

Friday, 2 June 2017

May 29 - June 2 More Stuff

More "stuff" just so I have a record of "where did all of the time go!" Feel free to not read.

The last of the quotes have come in for the new roof Dad wants done so I spent a couple of hours putting all the info into an excel spreadsheet to compare all 3 quotes as to what they are all offering for what price. I now know far more about roofing than I previously did! LOL

Anyways, I will let the "chosen one" know today and hopefully schedule the work for early July where there is less chance of rain. We signed the contract on Thursday and I got them to include taking down the old wood shed in the back yard and throw it in their dumpster too for $200 cash. One less thing Ray and I need to worry about doing later. A tree fell on the shed 2 years ago and there is a great big gaping whole in the roof and with the rain coming in the inside of the shed is now all rotten.

With the varmit problem, mice, rats and ants ... that quote came in and it was $450 plus gst for the year for rats and mice, and $500 for the year for the ants, including injecting into the garage wall for the carpenter ants. Seems a bit steep. I think in regards to the ants I will put out some traps myself. I used "Ant Be Gone" on the carpenter ants near our power cord and around the garage and it killed them instantly. So far I have yet to see another ant in that area and have not seen any inside the house. The small ants are easily killed with bait traps placed around the house. The pest control guy said with all the "woods" around the house this will always be an ongoing problem for ants to try and come into the house. Also we should remove all the vegetation next to the house. We did most of that when we had the 3 large rhodo's from the front of the house.

For the rat issue, they are no longer in the house at this point, so says the pest control guy until next September/October when they will try again. With the soffet vents being sealed back up properly by the roofers, all flashing redone to prevent access and the traps we will put into the garage itself.  Ray and I also got rid of everything out of the garage cupboards so there is nowhere for them to hide and build new nests anyways so I think we have probably licked the problem. (Half the load we had carted away by Bagster.com was from the garage!) The garage no longer stinks!

Larny's husband only lasted 2 days at the roofing job ... he neglected to say he was afraid of heights! I asked him about that earlier but he expected the house to only be as tall as ours which is a rancher. Climbing up a ladder three stories practically killed him as well as the hard work. He was so ill from the whole episode that he spent all of Monday in bed with a fever and having nightmares thinking he was falling. (He was kicking Larny in bed! lol) This Friday he is starting at a poultry farm instead. Hopefully he does not mind the smell of chicken Sh....t! They have laundry and shower facilities at the farm so he should be "scent free" by the time he comes home from work. He is putting out other resumes for other jobs as well. I am sure after a few months he will find something that suits him. Mark needs to save money as he plans to go back to school to pursue a trade he likes.

Wednesday, Dad took a turn for the worse with weakness and chills. Thought we would have to take him to the hospital but he rallied back and was much better by late evening. He is coughing up quite a bit of flem with fresh blood due to his Congestive Heart Failure and with being on blood thinners. This causes little blood vessels in his lungs to rupture each time he coughs.  His chest can sure gurgle. He is on Metformin, for geriatric Diabetes and did not have a snack in the early afternoon, possibly he had low blood sugar which would explain the chills etc. I was worried he was getting pneumonia but he seemed fine yesterday.

Thursday, as Dad seemed okay, I drove into Burnaby to visit mum to give Ray a break. She seemed in pretty good spirits. She is able to lift her left leg somewhat and close her fingers on her left hand but has no strength. She cannot open her left hand though. Mum is agreeing to physio now and speech therapy. She's having trouble with nausea lately for some reason and not eating very much for a couple of days. The food is not too inspiring as she is still on minced food and thin fluids only. Today she ate well at lunch while I was there, probably because they had given her strawberry ice cream. She is all of  about 70lbs now, pretty frail. They swing her in and out of bed with a lift and cradle. Not her favorite transport!

Here is a picture of Mum, Garrett and Kira that Kat took last weekend. She sure loves her doggie fix!



And this picture was taken for Garrett's birthday dinner 2 months ago. Big changes for mum.


Hard to believe another week has gone by. It's hard to believe we've been back from the USA for over 2 months. It seems a lifetime ago now though. Tomorrow some guys are coming to pressure wash the driveway to get rid of all of the slippery moss and dirt from the pruning. The front of the house is sure looking fantastic compared to a few weeks ago. Having a new roof will be the finishing touch.