Vendor Spotlight - The Stalk Market

For this edition of Vendor Spotlight, we are thrilled to feature The Stalk Market, Grand County’s favorite florist and our’s too! We recommend them to all of our couples getting married in Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, Fraser, or Tabernash. We also use them for corporate events, such as Grand Openings and social events including graduation parties!

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How long has The Stalk Market operated in Grand County?

Mindy has owned and operated The Stalk Market since June, 2013 - this year will be our 7th year! 

Where are you originally from?  And how long have you lived in Grand County?

Becky - I'm originally from a little town called Saxonburg that's about 45 min north of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. I moved to Grand County in the fall of 2014, so this year will be 5 years in the county!

Mindy - I was born in California and moved to Denver when I was just a baby.  I moved to Grand Lake in 1996.

How long have you been working as a florist? 

Becky - I started helping out at a high-end florist in Pittsburgh as a part time staff member in 2013. There I did much of the set up on site and prep for the larger pieces. When I moved to Grand County in 2014, looking in at the local florist seemed like a natural transition and here I am 5 years later! 

Mindy - I didn't have any florist experience until we opened our doors.  I remember getting our first order for a corsage and watching videos over and over to learn how to make them.  I was blessed with an amazing mentor (the famous Bob Scott) who came by numerous times to teach me new things!!

How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional florist for their wedding or event? 

We strongly feel that a local florist will be able to guide you towards the most cost efficient, longest lasting and size & style appropriate designs for the venues in their area. A local florist will know the availability and the specifics of the flowers in their local climate.   We can help to ensure the flowers you are purchasing not only look great the day of your event, but also in the photos that you will keep for years to come.   **  As a personal recommendation, I would time and time again hire a florist for my wedding. As a bride that created all of her own floral pieces for her wedding, I would have much rather spent that time being with my friends and family that traveled hundreds of miles and spent their precious time and money to attend my wedding. I was so exhausted by the DIY aspect of it by the day of I was too spent to really dive in and enjoy my big day. 

What do you attribute to your success as a florist?  What do you think makes you stand apart from other in your field?

Our team! They are an amazing group of ladies that The Stalk Market is incredibly lucky to have. Our suppliers are pretty great as well. Without them and their constant devotion to ordering fresh flowers weekly and working with our huge orders - we would be lost! Mindy and I make a pretty unique team. Mindy is fabulous with the behind the scenes type of work & is incredibly resourceful. She's someone who I am constantly learning from. I on the other hand excel in organization, design and physically making whatever the challenge is - work. With our talents combined, there is little that we cannot accomplish! 

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At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you? 

Clients should consider hiring their florist at least 4 months in advance. However, if you are concerned about dates booking up, I would contact them 6-8 months in advance and book the date quickly. The details can be finalized over the following months. This will allow your florist time to tend to any needs or delays that may arise along the planning process, especially if you are planning via email (destination weddings). 

What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?  

"Does my desired design match my budget?" This is an extremely important topic that has come up more and more since Pinterest has become a part of the planning process. We like to put together a professional proposal for our clients that lays out the cost of each item designed specifically for them.  If you are able to ask this question first, we may make recommendations that will help to keep your florals in your budget and be able to respect both yours and your florist's time in bidding out or creating these pieces.   

What is the best part of your job?  

Seeing people smile (sometimes even cry (with joy)) when you deliver their flowers to them! Whether it's a birthday arrangement or a bridal bouquet, there's nothing like the joy of someone receiving a floral design that you have created that blows their socks off!

What is your best advice for wedding clients?  

Don't hesitate to ask for help! Coordinators (like TeNeil!!) are a wonderful resource to have that will ensure your big day a success!   Additionally, if you are planning a destination wedding relying on a local vendor to give you recommendations will save you a lot of time and ensure you assemble a great team.

How many people are on your team? 

Becky - Currently Mindy and I are the only full time staff members. During wedding & event prep we may have anywhere from 2 - 6 additional staff members on to help us turn those beautiful blooms into amazing designs! During the summer, in addition to our wedding team/staff - we will have 4 additional staff members to maintain our retail area and take care of our customers.  Our team is incredible with a diverse background that helps us ensure we are able to be the best at taking care of our customers. 

Meet our Team:

The incredible ladies of The Stalk Market!

The incredible ladies of The Stalk Market!

  • Becky has a background in film production as a coordinator - supplemented by her desire to create things with her hands & an affinity for nature; she was naturally drawn towards floral work and directing teams to get the job done.

  • Mindy has a background in finance - she saw a need for a floral shop in Grand Lake and made it happen with the guidance of another floral designer. While she leaves most of the designing up to Becky now, she is pivotal in the behind the scenes and always makes sure The Stalk Market is at the top of their game.

  • Our part time staff:

    • Jodie - She's one of our core wedding team members and is hands down one the most creative people we know. She helps us on her days off from her full time job as an emergency dispatcher and we rely on her for innovative designs and solutions to new design challenges. 

    • Dee - another one of our core wedding team members - Dee was the floral manager for King Soopers for 15 years and has a college degree in ornamental horticulture.  She works as the elementary librarian in Granby.  Lucky for us she has summers off!!  She is a guiding light to all of us as we have learned more and more about floristry over the years. She is incredibly talented and a go getter that makes sure everyone is up and at em'!

    • Alli W. - Core wedding team member - She has a background as a designer at a florist in Vail. She works with us in the mornings during the summer & on holidays and helps to prepare for the day ahead. She has been a great asset in new-to-us designs that she brings to the table from her past floral experience.  

    • Allie M. - She grew up in the county and will be our Saturday delivery person this year! She is new to the team but we are thankful and excited to have her. 

What is your favorite thing about Grand County?  

The constant - breathtaking view - of the mountains. Sunsets, wildlife & a bit of a slower pace than the city. I can't tell you how many times that my husband and are just in disbelief that we get to live in such an amazing place - and we've been here for 5 years! It never gets old!

What is your favorite thing to do in Grand County?  

Gosh - I personally love getting to sit back and take it all in - whether I'm on a boat, sitting on a rock during a hike or just hanging out on my deck - I love just sitting back, taking a moment, breathing deep and relaxing.  Grand County is an amazing place.  

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Vendor Spotlight - Weddings with Clinton

Choosing vendors you can trust to make your wedding or special event everything you dreamt of can be a challenge! One of the most common questions we get is “who do you recommend for . . . . ?” While we are planners and can book all your vendors for you, which ensures you always get the best of the best, we also love to offer our recommendations. We work with so many incredible people and we are looking forward to sharing them with you in our blog posts. This week we spoke with Clinton Andersen, Owner of Weddings with Clinton and officiant extraordinaire!

Where are you originally from? 

My dad was in the military and I was born in Japan when he was stationed there. I subsequently spent about 6 years there, moved to the states for 6 years, and then back to Japan until I graduated High School. Colorado has been the longest I've ever lived in one place, so I consider Colorado my home, although I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Japan. 

How long has your business operated in Colorado?

My business has been operating for about two years now, all in beautiful Colorado! 

How long have you been working as a professional officiant?

I've been working as an Officiant for just as long. It all kind of started at the same time and has been growing ever since! 

How did you end up as an officiant?

In one year I went to four friends weddings and honestly, I cant remember the officiant being that great. I was like everybody else, looking at my watch wondering when the drinks and party was going to start. So I joked around with my friends and said I would become an officiant! Now, during the day I work as an Emergency Manager for a hospital - essentially I'm always planning for people's worst day. So eventually the thoughts collided and I had my Yin & Yang. On one hand I am always planning for people's worst day, to improve outcomes, but with officiating I was planning for one of people's best days, and it truly is the perfect combination. The interesting part about it is that here in Colorado you have to be an ordained member of a religion or a judicial member to sign the marriage license (although, oddly enough, you can get married at the DMV.... yeahhhh....) but most of my couple aren't religious, they're spiritual, and truly what does a judge know about love - they are enveloped in hatred on a daily basis. So I found the American Marriage Ministries and became an ordained minister and BAM, I started down the wedding path.

How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional officiant for their wedding or event?

This is a great question! Oh, man. Where do I start. Okay. The role of an officiant. SO... weddings are comprised of two parts - the ceremony and the reception, right? Now, be that as it may, the ceremony is really the reason we are there. Yeah, the reception is usually the most anticipated part BUT you could throw one heck of a party for significantly less if all you wanted to do was celebrate the fact that you got married, ya know? So that's where an officiant comes in. In my opinion the role of an officiant is two-fold - to celebrate the couple and to remind them of why they are standing there. Depending on your viewpoints, religious or non, this will look differently and traditionally has really only been about reminding the couple why they are there and not necessarily celebrating the couple themselves. So this is where the importance of a professional officiant can make a difference. The processional officiant knows how to draw out the elements of a couples story that should be shared, that should be celebrated. In addition, they get to know the couple in such a way that they are able to both effectively celebrate their story and at the same time drive home a message revolving around themes of love and commitment that are meaningful to that particular couple. Now, I definitely have had couples end up wanting a certain family member to officiate and usually that's because they're just trying to save a buck more than it is because their family member is a magnificent orator. I'm not going to caution anybody about this. That's like me being a salesman and telling you if you leave the offer is off the table. That being said, I would just make sure that you are going to be 100% happy with the result. Too often I have found couples wishing they would've gone with a professional officiant after the fact. Either they adlibbed, or weren't as great of an orator as they thought they were, or it was short, or it was one-sided, you name it. Plus, if you look at how much an officiant costs, we are one of the least expensive investments in a wedding - yet are one of the most important. 

What do you attribute to your success as an officiant and what do you think makes you stand apart from other in your field?

Okay, so first what do I attribute to my success? Two things. First, my failed experiences. I was married, once. I had the opportunity to make it great but was an idiot on many different levels. Thus, my words come from experience. Second, me. I think my personality, my humor, and who I am bring success to me being an officiant. I'm not a dud. I want a great wedding full of emotion, that is wicked awesome, and that will be memorable. I want perfection for couples. I think those two things I attribute to my success. Along those same lines, I think that's what makes me stand apart from others in my field. I want people to think we've been best friends when I'm up there. I do this through a process I've refined, over the past couple of years, that couples appreciate. It's straight-forward, makes sense, and allows us to get to the crux of components that we can meld together in order to create the best ceremony possible.  

At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

As soon as they hire anybody else. Our schedules fill up just as quick as everybody else and there are fewer of us out there then there are, say, photographers. It's May of 2019 and I'm already booking into the end of 2020. The good news is that, unlike photographers, we can generally do more than one wedding in a day. 

What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

I think what you previously asked - what makes you stand apart? As I mentioned, you can get anybody up there reading something they pulled of the web. Easy. Done. But is that what you want? A couple needs to define their expectations for the ceremony, first. I'm not talking "Oh, we want a prayer / unity ceremony / this grandparent to do this / this sibling to read that", no. Do you want humor? Do you want tradition? Do you want religion? I think you can probably gain a lot of that knowledge by simply asking, "what makes you stand apart"

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What is the best part of your job?

READING THE COUPLES STORY! As part of my process I have the couples fill out a questionnaire, independently, that has a bunch of questions related to their story, questions I find are helpful in building their ceremony. I have them fill out their own because if done together it generally is a lot more censored and stiff. But when you get them to fill it out independent of each other you really get a good feel of who these two are to each other, and what they really mean. I have found myself laughing out loud, I have found myself crying, I just absolutely love it. A great couple can really have a better story then any RomCom I have ever seen. Seriously, they give me continued hope for love in the world.

What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Well, I'm going to sneak in two. First, the wedding is one day. It is most certainly a good challenge for the couple but it is one day - so enjoy the process, work together to tackle the challenges, and hire someone (like TeNeil) to help you manage the day - because just like Disneyland, it will be here and gone before you know it. Second, as an EMT and someone who works in a hospital I can tell you that every kiss you two share should be like it was the first (good) time you kissed. When you're running out the door because you're late, run to your partner, stop, pull them in close, kiss them slowly, make sure they know you absolutely love them with all of your heart, and then you can take off running out the door again. It literally takes 10 seconds. And if for some reason you never make it back home, those 10 seconds will make a world of difference. 

What is your favorite thing about Colorado?

The fact that there is something to do no matter the season. Activities, food, drinks, friends... there is always something going on!

What is your favorite thing to do in Colorado?

Getting outside. There is something soul refreshing about that perfect, Colorado day. If you're a hiker, my favorite feeling is starting a hike to the top of a 14er at like 3 in the morning. I KNOW! Crazy. Hear me out. On a cloudless night, with no one else around, you start hiking through the trees. It takes effort. But after the trees start to thin and the sky opens up it feels like you can practically see every star in the Universe. Eventually, over the horizon, the sky starts to get lighter and lighter. Then, you'll eventually find yourself on top of the mountain for sunrise. Even though it may be 6am you accomplished a difficult task, you saw brilliant skies, and now you're on top of the world with the view of the sun illuminating the rest of the world. All before most peoples alarm clocks have gone off. How amazing is that?!  

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Why You Should Throw an Employee Summer Party

By TeNeil; Your Local Event Planner

I write this as Colorado prepares for the next bomb cyclone so it is hard to think about summer being right around the corner.  Yet the Colorado Rockies Opening Day has come and gone which always signifies the start of Spring in Colorado to me.  It means longer sunny days, flip flops, and mountain hikes are now almost in sight. ...almost.  It also means now is the time to start planning your company’s summer employee party.  

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If you are like many companies, finding the time during the hectic holiday months to throw an employee Christmas party, has become increasingly difficult, but you squeeze it in. Your employees rock and they deserve recognition for all they do, regardless of the added holiday stress.  What if I told you that there could be another way, a potentially better option; the summer employee appreciation party.

What makes the summer employee engagement event such a great option you ask?  For starters, the warm days have us all wanting to be outdoors, enjoying this incredible state we live in. It means rather than being inside a ballroom for your standard corporate holiday party, we can plan a unique employee event using one of the many outdoor venues Denver has to offer.  From hosting your employee party on the Rooftop at Coors Field, a concert at Red Rocks, a day at Elitch Gardens, a Top Golf Tournament, throwing your own Christmas in July, a carnival, or Colorado style BBQ, the options are almost unlimited.

In addition to having so many fun summer party theme options, summer employee parties can be made family friendly, so it is a great opportunity to incorporate and celebrate your employee’s spouses, significant others and kids.  Finally, did I mention the weather is nice (maybe just a couple of times I know)?  While we may get some rain showers or thunderstorms, you won't be worried about your employees having to get out in the snow or driving on icy roads to get to the party.

Have I convinced you yet?  Who doesn't love a summer party? So who is planning this summer party?  Your employees are all busy or starting to take summer vacations and adding another task to their plate simply won't do.  That's where I come in.  As a professional event planner, I can take all of the work off of you and your team.  Let me and my team come up with a party idea and find the location, the entertainment, the catering company, transportation, source invitations, and coordinate all of the details; allowing you and ALL of your employees to simply show up and enjoy the day.  You provide the budget and we provide all the work.  No committees, no overworked executive assistant, no loss of employee productivity and no stress!

Over the years my event planning company has learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and we have perfected the art of the engaging employee appreciation party.  Call or email me today to talk more about TeNeil Hartley Event’s event planning services.  We offer full-service party planning right here in Colorado!    

Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

By Jennifer; TeNeil Hartley Events Contributor

Amidst the engagement excitement, you’re probably eager, enthusiastic and a little overwhelmed by the months ahead.  The timelines and cost and details of planning a wedding can be a lot to take on, especially if you have a full-time job and ambitious visions for your big day. It is important that you are realistic about your abilities with both organization and availability when it comes to planning and executing your wedding.  Fortunately there are experts and professionals to assist with these tasks, and in my opinion, a wedding planner is a top priority in the wedding budget (which they can help you set!).

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While I don’t want to add more to your plate, it is important that you find a wedding planner that suits you, so you can get the ball rolling with your wedding planning timeline.  Reach out to newly-wed friends, seek recommendations from your chosen venue (if you have one in mind) and do some online research.  Priority one, decide what type of planner you want, there are three typical wedding planner packages: 1. Full Service, 2. Month Of, and 3 Day Of.

If you are fine asking your parents and two good friends to go with you to the courthouse, exchange vows and maybe have a nice dinner out that evening, then you probably don’t need the help of a wedding planner.  Is your wedding a destination wedding, in a special venue, outside, inside or both? What about a rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, guest list, RSVP management, over-night lodging, reception, buffet, plated dinner, a cake, desserts, dance, a DJ, guest favors, guest book, photo booth, table numbers, flowers, candles, centerpieces, decorations, booking vendors, timelines to vendors, and paying vendors? It can be overwhelming. If you don’t work, have a very understanding boss that doesn’t mind you running errands and making and taking numerous calls at work, or you have weeks of accrued personal leave, then you might be able to put a whole wedding together. You just might be able to find the time to put this all together while still working, maintaining your relationship and enjoying your engagement, but a wedding planner could provide much needed stress relief and professional advice and assistance. Hiring a wedding planner will be one of the best wedding gifts you can give yourselves.  Deciding whether you need a Full Service Wedding Planner, Month Of Coordinator or Day Of Coordinator will depend on what you can comfortably and realistically handle on your own.

FULL SERVICE: A full service wedding planner can be a crucial investment, saving you time and money. To execute the seamless and beautiful wedding day you’ve dreamt of while maintaining your career and relationship, you may need help in the form of a full-service wedding planner.  Considering you should pick your date and venue almost immediately, your photographer at least nine months out, and your cake baker and caterer at least six to nine months out, a full-service wedding planner can be instrumental in laying the groundwork for your big day.  Additionally, you’ll want your theme and colors decided early, a guest count and a basic timeline on paper and a band or DJ retained as early as possible. Unless you can devote most of your free time to this cause, you need some help. 

For starters, a wedding planner will help you set your budget and stay on track.  They can guide you in a direction that is realistic and steer you away from unnecessary expenses and waste. Wedding planners have the contacts and experience to bring your dream to life, within your financial means.  In addition to knowing the quality and quantity of items you’ll need from linens and wine glasses to passed hors d’oeuvre’s and floral arrangements, your wedding planner knows the best vendors and the accurate costs of goods. Sometimes they even get discounts based on their rapport with vendors they work with regularly.  These relationships coupled with their knowledge of the business, can save you time, money and stress during the planning stages.  Best of all, they are familiar with your vision from the start and will follow though until your wedding day is complete, fulfilling your dream until the end.  As with any investment, you should take time to determine what level of assistance and type of planner you require, considering your timeline and other commitments.

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MONTH OF: A month of coordinator will help with some of the last-minute planning challenges. You will still have to have made all the vendor contacts and wedding plans. A month of coordinator will start by reviewing all your vendor contracts and contact each vendor the month prior to your wedding to coordinate with and confirm arrival times and services booked.  The coordinator will be your vendor point of contact and coordinator on your wedding day and cover all the duties that a day of coordinator would.

DAY OF:  A day of wedding planner assists you on the day of your wedding, not in the planning process. This person will be focused on your day of priorities as outlined by you, to make sure everything runs smoothly.  They keep the wedding party on schedule, make judgments on weather and handle your payments, tipping, etc.  They will also handle the set up and styling of your escort cards, favors, guest books, table numbers, photo booth props, etc. and keep the usual hiccups from interrupting your time.  Your day of planner will often create a detailed timeline for your day, distribute it to all relevant vendors the week of the wedding, and ensure that this timeline is followed.  A day of coordinator will provide you and your partner some relief on the day of your wedding so you can enjoy every moment.   If you think this service sounds like a major relief, imagine what a month of or full-service coordinator can do for you!

This is a once-in- a –lifetime experience that creates forever memories. Don’t let wedding planning stress overshadow this wonder time in your life. You deserve the seamless and beautiful wedding day you are dreaming about and maintaining your career and relationship is a top priority.  If you can comfortably and efficiently do all the planning leading up to the month before or day of your wedding, then you should definitely consider unburdening the memories of your wedding day by retaining the month of or day of services of a wedding coordinator.

While there are a lot of decisions to be made, it is important that you don’t procrastinate when deciding what type of planning meets your needs and take action. Most wedding planners book up 9-12 months out for weekend dates, especially during prime wedding months (June-October). TeNeil Hartley Events offers Day Of, Month Of and Full Service Wedding Planning Packages, or can customize a package to meet your specific needs.  TeNeil Hartley Events brings experience and expertise to your engagement and the wedding of your dreams!

6 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

By Jennifer; TeNeil Hartley Events Contributor

Oh My God!  It finally happened, the moment you’ve dreamt of for years, and it was as romantic and thoughtful as you imagined.  So now that the partner of your dreams has proposed, all of those visions and plans for your big day have come flooding back, only now, you have to bring them to life…that’s a lot of pressure! Fear not, you’ve come to the experts!  Below is a guide to get you through the first couple exciting weeks and steps to ensure the perfect day you’ve always dreamt of.

Photo Credit:  Jake Holschuh

Photo Credit: Jake Holschuh

First things first, the ring!  Aside from adoring and gazing at your ring, it’s important that you insure it right away.  Perhaps your fiancé (oooh, isn’t that fun to say?!) has already taken care of this task, but if not, this should be a top priority.  This extra step will be crucial if ever your ring or stones need repair or in the unfortunate event that your ring is lost, stolen or damaged.  We recommend having your ring appraised by a certified gemologist (this service is often provided upon purchase of the ring) and then speaking with an insurance adjustor.  Make sure you are clear on what is covered and how long claims take, etc. before committing to an insurance company; oftentimes, you can add a jewelry rider to your existing homeowners or renter’s policy.

While on the topic of the ring, you want to make sure that it fits you comfortably, and if not, have it sized right away, especially if it’s super loose.  You’ll need a perfect fit for your photos which is why we also suggest a post engagement manicure!  As expected, everyone will be dying to see the ring and between show offs and photos, you’ll want your hands to look their best.  If you’re not into polish or manicures, make sure your hands look filed and groomed, at the least.

Speaking of photos, it is important that you and your fiancé are on the same page about your announcement style.  With social media reaching everyone and everything, all it takes is one congratulations on your wall or a picture that shows your ring without you realizing, and the whole thing is blown!  If you just want everyone to know right away, call your parents (and best friends) and let everyone else learn from the photos.  If you’re hoping to surprise everyone, an engagement party is always a fun way to kick things off.  One thing to remember, make sure everyone invited to your engagement party is invited to the wedding.

This next step is likely the most important- set your budget.  You and your fiancé need to make some decisions regarding the length of your engagement followed by size, date and time you’d like to have your wedding.  Obviously, if your wedding day plans are ambitious, you may need a longer engagement.  If you’re ready to get the ball rolling right away, you need to determine your budget, if your parents are contributing and what your priorities are for your big day.                 

Chances are, you’ve picked out an amazing venue for your wedding, and it’s likely that others think it’s fantastic too!  Once your budget is set, spend some time really discussing your vision for the day with your fiancé: Do you want a daytime, sunset or evening wedding?  Band or DJ? Buffet or plated dinner?  Once you get those wheels turning, as well as a ballpark headcount, you can narrow down a venue that can make these dreams come true, and then book it, fast! 

Between all of this planning and discussing, it also important that you enjoy your engagement and celebrate the reason you are doing all of this.  Don’t let the process of planning your wedding bankrupt you or cause rifts between you and your partner.  Remember, you have all the time you need and you’re in this together.  To avoid wedding planning stresses and roadblocks, we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner for the day of, month of or the entire process. Oftentimes, having a wedding planner can save you money in the long run, as they will likely know what and how much you need of everything from dance floor space and tables to wine glasses, tables clothes and dinner rolls; there is no guessing.  Additionally, they have relationships with the vendors which can be very helpful in the planning and day of to-dos.  More to come on this next time. 

 In the meantime, Cheers and Congratulations.