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      Blog :: 2014

      Building Her 1st Home in Class

      Tomai Tiny House pre painting e

      Montpelier,Vermont entrepreneur Katie Tomai, caulking gun in hand, draws an even bead along the loft window frame edge, prepping to paint her own very first home at Yestermorrow, the renowned Mad River Valley design build school.

      Katie's irresistible determination and focus inform her every day mission as she completes her vision after taking her tiny home project from the ground up in Warren.

      How often do you get to build your own house in class?

      Not having ever done any real building or carpentry, she's learning so much and excited about the post-painting stage, despite this first foray taking much longer than she initially imagined, to thread her electrical wire in place.

      Let there be light.

      This amazing stick built gypsy home, derived from the tiny house movement, attached and glued to the Sure-Trac trailer to which it will stay married providing flexibility of view and place has recycled and new Anderson windows that open to let in the sun and fresh air. A dormer off the back with a big window means a sleeping loft with a view. A window box at the front end for added cross draft.

      Yestermorrow e

      Ward Lumber Mill locally sourced pine siding from Moretown, foam board insulation (spray foam forsaken: off gassing concerns), a greywater filtration system for the biodegradable soap and water, and a composting toilet consistent with simplicity of purpose.

      No land in hand yet, she's aiming to be close to Vermont's state capitol, Montpelier and you can be sure she'll find something sweet to roll her living room onto.

      Katie Tomai e

      Katie's got a wonderful sense of style and the ability to execute her vision and get to the finish line. Yestermorow, she explained, is a wonderful place for "in-betweeners". Having been in Nepal after graduating from UVM in 2010, she's found an amazing mid-station. Miss Tomai has the right stuff, is off to an auspicious start, and is likely to be a multi-millionaire by the time she's 40.

      You can tell this super achiever has great things in store. Bravissima.

      A Riddle Wrapped In a Mystery in an Enigma

      Quantitative Easing: Does It Work? Text by Lisa Smith for Investopedia

      If there were awards for the most controversial investment terms, "quantitative easing" (QE) would win top prize. Experts disagree on nearly everything about the term - its meaning, its history of implementation, and its effectiveness as amonetary policy tool.

      The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have used QE to weather financial crises. In fact, the U.S. has had three iterations: QE, QE2, and QE3. TheEuropean Central Bank (ECB), meanwhile, is prohibited by E.U. law from using QE. But that may have to change, some signs indicate. On April 3, 2014, at a press conference in Frankfurt, ECB chair Mario Draghi made the controversial, but not unexpected announcement that the bank could not rule out QE as a method for fighting the malaise of persistent deflation in the eurozone. Desperate times, desperate measures. So what's the big deal about QE - and does it work?

      The Basics Popular media's definition of quantitative easing focuses on the concept of central banks increasing the size of their balance sheets to increase the amount of credit available to borrowers. To make that happen, a central bank issues new money (essentially creating it from nothing) and uses it to purchase assets from other banks. Ideally, the cash the banks receive for the assets can then be loaned to borrowers. The idea is that by making it easier to obtain loans, interest rates will drop and consumers and businesses will borrow and spend. Theoretically, the increased spending results in increased consumption, which increases the demand for goods and services, fosters job creation and, ultimately, creates economic vitality. While this chain of events appears to be a straightforward process, remember that this is a simple explanation of a complex topic. (For a closer look at how they print money and seek to control inflation, check out The Fed's New Tools For Manipulating The Economy.) Quantitative Easing, Throwing Money at the Wind

      In the United States, the Federal Reserve serves as the nation's central bank. To learn about the tools the Federal Reserve uses to influence interest rates and general economic conditions, see Formulating Monetary Policy andUnderstanding The Federal Reserve Balance Sheet.

      The Challenges Closer analysis of QE reveals just how complex the term is. Ben Bernanke, renowned monetary policy expert and chairman of the Federal Reserve, draws a sharp distinction between quantitative easing and credit easing: "Credit easing resembles quantitative easing in one respect: It involves expansion of the central bank's balance sheet. However, in a pure QE regime, the focus of policy is the quantity of bank reserves, which are liabilities of the central bank; the composition of loans and securities on the asset side of the central bank's balance sheet is incidental." Bernanke also points out that credit easing focuses on "the mix of loans and securities" held by a central bank.

      Despite the semantics, even Bernanke admits that the difference in the two approaches "does not reflect any doctrinal disagreement." Economists and the media have largely disregarded the distinction by dubbing any effort by a central bank to purchase assets and inflate its balance sheet as quantitative easing. This leads to more disagreements. (For more read The Federal Reserve's Fight Against Recession.)

      Does Quantitative Easing Work? Whether quantitative easing works is a subject of considerable debate. There are several notable historically examples of central banks increasing the money supply. This process is often referred to as "printing money", even though it's done by electronically crediting bank accounts and it doesn't involve printing.

      While spurring inflation to avoid deflation is one of the goals of quantitative easing, too much inflation can be an unintended consequence. Germany (in the 1920s) and Zimbabwe (in the 2000s) engaged in what many scholars refer to as quantitative easing. In both cases, the result was hyperinflation. However, many modern scholars aren't convinced that the efforts of these countries qualify as quantitative easing.

      In 2001-2006, the Bank of Japan increased its reserves from 5 trillion yen to 25 trillion yen. Most experts view the effort as a failure. But again, there is debate over whether or not Japan's effort can be categorized as quantitative easing at all.

      Economic efforts in the United States and the United Kingdom during 2009-10 also met with disagreement over definitions and effectiveness. European Union countries are not permitted to engage in quantitative easing on a country-by-country basis, as each country shares a common currency and must defer to the central bank.

      Stalled CarThere is also an argument that QE has psychological value. Experts can generally agree that quantitative easing is a last resort for desperate policy makers. When interest rates are near zero but the economy remains stalled, the public expects the government to take action. Quantitative easing, even if it doesn't work, shows action and concern on the part of policy makers. Even if they cannot fix the situation, they can at least demonstrate activity, which can provide a psychological boost to investors. Of course, by purchasing assets, the central bank is spending the money it has created, and this introduces risk. For example, the purchase of mortgage-backed securities runs the risk of default. It also raises questions about what will happen when the central bank sells the assets, which will take cash out of circulation and tighten the money supply. (For more on this, check out When The Federal Reserve Intervenes (And Why).)

       

      When Was Quantitative Easing Invented?

      Even the invention of quantitative easing is shrouded in controversy. Some give credit to economist John Maynard Keynes for developing the concept; some cite the Bank of Japan for implementing it; others cite economist Richard Werner, who coined the term.

      The Bottom Line The controversy surrounding QE bring to mind Winston Churchill's famous quip about "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma". Of course, some expert will almost certainly disagree with this characterization.

      Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 to find out more about market influence and updates, to list or buy property in Vermont, or with any inquiries.

      See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

       

      Rob Tierney of MSA Mortgage on Quantitative Easing, the Fed, Bonds and Low Interest Rates

      By Rob Tierney of MSA Mortgage   rob@robtloans.com

       

      After the financial meltdown in 2008 the Federal Reserve began using various monetary tools to re-ignite the economy after the worst financial decline since the Great Depression. One of these tools was QE (quantitative easing). Their stated goal was to keep interest rates low and to target inflation to 2%

      For several years the Fed used QE1, QE2 and in 2013 they used an additional variation of QE to continue the low rate environment while inflation was low and the economy continued to chug along at an anemic pace.  At Press

      In May of 2014 the Fed announced they would reduce QE bond purchases by 10 billion per month and discontinue QE by the end of October 2014. Up until that point 30 year fixed rates were in the low 3%'s. Once the Fed announced in May of 2014 that QE would end in October 2014 rates increased over 1% to the 4.250% - 4.500% range. Conventional wisdom said that 30 year fixed rates would continue to rise slowly throughout 2014 into 2015 when the Fed would begin raising rates again.

      Due to recent global economic volatility, and lower than expected inflation, we have seen conventional wisdom turned on its head.

      Hour-GlassWith the European economy slipping close to recession the outlook for this year is very different. We have seen a decline, rather than an increase, in long term interest rates.

      Long rates are most closely associated to the 10 year Bond yield. Throughout late 2013 and into 2014 we saw the 10 year Bond yield drop to historical lows. Conventional wisdom had the yield up to almost 3.000% by the end of 2014. Since the recent global volatility the 10 year yield dropped yesterday to its lowest point since the spring of 2013. Today the 10 year Bond yield is 2.370%

      This phenomenon may not last so this is a great opportunity to secure a low fixed rate. If you missed the boat on refinancing or are looking to purchase a home the time is NOW. Interest rates are tied to the news cycle and it can change quickly.

      Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 to find out more about current  interest rates, mortgage providers including MSA Mortgage, how you can qualify for home financing, how to submit a mortgage application or with any other financing related inquiries.

      See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

       

       

       

      Staging to Sell. Let Their Be Light.

      staging advice

      Selling successfully.

      Staging advice to effectively sell your home and move on. On growth, de-clutter, and making it happen:

      http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/real-estate-experts-offer-tips-to-prepare-your-home-for-the-spring-market/Content?oid=2441372

      Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 to effectively stage and sell your home, condo, land or commercial property or set up a showing to trade up or down size and move on.

      See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

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        Vermont MLS All Stars. Newest VT Real Estate Listings.

        Here's a hand-picked selection of the most exciting Vermont homes to hit the market in the past seven days:

        http://www.nnerenmls.com/nne/maildoc/cor2222_1410983634-Sep-17-2014-3_53_54pm.html

        162 Acres, $1,485,000. Listed by Kim Morgan-Wohler, VCP Sotheby's International, Bondville

        162 Acres, $1,485,000. Listed by Kim Morgan_Wohler, VCP Sotheby's International, Bondville

        Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 to set up a showing of any of these newest listings, of any other Vermont property, or to sell your home, condo, land or commercial property.

        See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and more of the newest Vermont mls listings.

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          Geothermal, Sugared Down.

          Geothermal exchange, aka geothermal heating and cooling, is spectacularly simple, at once enigmatically complex. Vermonters are capitalizing on this wonderful green technology known by some as cave man technology as pre-historic man escaped winter's harshness since the Paleolithic era in subterranean homes, making use of warmer temperatures below the surface from heat retained within the Earth since planet formation, radioactive decay of minerals, and absorbed solar energy.

          If you've ever loved going into your basement in the heat of summer as it's so much cooler than the rest of the house, you've enjoyed naturally occurring geo-thermal air conditioning. 55 degree ground temperatures five or six feet down remain constant year round. In Sweden and Switzerland more than 75% of new homes are built with geothermal. 

          The Japanese know the merits of geothermal too. Across the archipelago volcanic mountain ranges are punctuated by natural hot springs. The common man head for the hills in droves, dipping into naturally heated waters from deep inside the earth, pulling relaxation and longevity. While we're missing the volcanic drama in Vermont, our water runs deep and is plentiful.

          Tapping the Underground

          There are three types of home geothermal systems: closed loop, open loop and pond. Closed loops are most common and the only type allowed in some states, are horizontal (on level lots) or vertical and circulate the same water with environmentally friendly anti-freeze while open loop systems draw their water from a well, require substantial water, and expel used water after use. Pond systems have the coils laid at the bottom of six feet or deeper ponds.

          Geothermal is heat transportation rather than heat creation, up to five times more efficient than traditional heating systems rated at 78-98% efficient, and more than twice as efficient cooling. It is greenhouse gas free, non-polluting and doesn't contribute to the acid rain that fossil fuel heating produces, using just modest electricity to run the compressor, fan and pump. Maintenance is minimal with occasional servicing and filter replacement.

          Geothermal Systems

          A refrigerator extracts heat from the fridge, air conditioning contents. A heat pump works pulls heat from outside and compresses it to higher temperatures.

          From waterfurnace.com, here's a concise explanation of what might otherwise leave you scratching your head:

          "Geothermal Heat Pumps low-temperature heat to over 100°F and transferring it indoors involves a cycle of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. A refrigerant is used as the heat-transfer medium which circulates within the heat pump. The cycle starts as the cold, liquid refrigerant passes through a heat exchanger (evaporator) and absorbs heat from the low-temperature source (fluid from the ground loop). The refrigerant evaporates into a gas as heat is absorbed. The gaseous refrigerant then passes through a compressor where the refrigerant is pressurized, raising its temperature to more than 180°F. The hot gas then circulates through a refrigerant-to-air heat exchanger where heat is removed and pumped into the building at about 100°F. When it loses the heat, the refrigerant changes back to a liquid. The liquid is cooled as it passes through an expansion valve and begins the process again. To work as an air conditioner, the system's flow is reversed."

          And here's a Georgia Power video sugaring down Geothermal:

          http://youtu.be/J8DStBe7B_8

          Maple Sweet Real Estate specializes in advanced technologies and has this geothermally heated and cooled home listed for sale. To list your own home, arrange of showing of this home or any others, learn more about geothermal exchange, or contact Maple Sweet with any other real estate related inquiries,

          Dual-fuel systems include geothermal as the main heating system and a standard boiler or furnace to lean on in extreme cold.

          Cost-effective, environmentally conscientious, and sustainable, payback can come in just a few years, leaving dreaded and rapidly increasing oil and gas bills by the wayside. Fossil fuel liberation, this alternative energy source beckons.

          Maple Sweet Real Estate specializes in advanced technologies and has this geothermal home listed for sale.

          Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for more info on geothermal heating and cooling, to set up a showing of this geothermal home or any other Vermont property, or to sell your home, condo, land or commercial property.

          See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

          Septic Systems: How They Work and How to Keep Them Working

          Septic Systems are, for most of us in Vermont, critical.

          When buying a home or commercial property, knowing as much about the septic system you're buying can be huge.

          While standard home inspections cover the building itself, and some buyers will ask the septic tank be pumped and inspected, few well understand the leaching system in the ground and what ramifications a failed system can have on their bank accounts.

          Septic System Anatomy

          Septic System Anatomy

          While at a septic tank pumping and inspection this week, Stuart Silloway, the self proclaimed "Wizard of Ooze" and owner of Silloway Septic Service out of Randolph, VT generously shared this wonderfully illustrated State of Vermont Septic Systems pamphlet from way back in 1978.

          Times have changed a lot and inflation has brought up the quoted septic related costs dramatically:  engineering and installing a new system today might run as little as $10,000 (vs $900-$1,600 in 1978) for an in-ground system to $30,000 or more (vs $6,000-$7,000 in 1978) for a pre-filtration above ground mound system, substantially more for larger commercial systems).

          The basics remain the same and this informational piece may help you better understand this important, fundamental subject for both property owners and purchasers given related potential homeowner and business owner expenses, among the highest property related expenses.

          1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_01

          1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_02 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_03 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_04 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_05 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_06 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_07 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_08 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_09 1978 State of Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation Septic Systems Pamphlet b_Page_10

           

           

          Maple Sweet Real Estate provides Vermont real estate owners, buyers and sellers with diverse real estate information including septic related concerns. If you have any questions on your septic system or one you're considering as part of a potential property purchase,  would like to sell or purchase your home in Vermont,  you can reach us at 800.525.7965,  email at info@maplesweet.com or connect to www.maplesweet.com

          Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for more info on septic systems, selling or purchasing a Vermont home, condo or land or any other aspect of Vermont real estate, homes and properties.

          See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

          Comments

          1. iphone repair rolling meadows on

            This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Kudos!

            Smart Meters, Blood, Cancer and Headaches. Taking Back Your Power.

            What an astonishing showing.

            My customers, a wonderful couple from New Jersey, are escaping urban sprawl for their lives.

            Maria is EMF (electromagnetic frequency) sensitive. She can tell when a house has a smart meter.

            Green Mountain Power (GMP) offered hand held smart meters some years ago to monitor your power usage. It was a great promotion, an expensive meter offered at a major discount and I went for it. Within the first month it became clear the merits were dubious and I returned it to GMP.

            Analog vs Digital Power Box MetersSmart meter technology has evolved and power companies all over the world are converting the main analog power box meters on the outside of houses to digital. Here's what they look like: analog left, digital right.

            Maria can tell from her body when the analog meter has been replaced by a digital one. Her heart palpitates, headaches come on and she gets tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Extended exposure makes her feel weak, sick and insomnia begins.

            She has EHS (Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity), an environmentally induced functional impairment which experts estimate affects three to 15% of the population, expected to rise with chronic exposure.

            They're seeking refuge in Vermont.

            Once she realized the cause of her physical ailments they had the digital meter on their NJ home removed. Before they could blink an eye the power company replaced their neighbors analog meters with digital, just 20 or so feet away on each side of Maria's house, and the symptoms kicked in again.

            Nowhere to run to.

            Her husband calls Maria the canary in the coal mine.

            The Moretown home was not yet equipped with a smart meter but these two had my attention.

            She has purchased EMF protective clothing for defense which might strike some as over the top. Certainly enough to spike my interest and spur a little research.

            Vermont residents are keyed into health with strong penchants for organic foods and safety. Lead, radon and water testing have long been staples of property inspections.

            Green Mountain Power has a web page dedicated to smart power related health including that "We can't imagine doing anything that would jeopardize anyone's safety."

            Their graphic illustrates relative Smart Meter RF Exposure:

            gmp smart meter emf exposure comparison

            Green Mountain Power EMF Exposure Comparison

            Depending on how worried you are about cell phone radiation, many would dismiss their health concerns based solely on this comparison. It's all small stuff, right? This pro smart meter video dismisses the hype satirically:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nij-_gAMj-4

            The benefits for the utilities are clear. Matching consumption with generation, they avoid excessive energy stockpiling, eliminate monthly employee visits to read the analog meters, and dramatically improve their bottom line. Opponents shout corporate collusion and exploitation, even surveillance society big brother accusations.

            Power companies in the UK and beyond have announced plans to have smart meters on or in all homes.

            Beware the dark side.

            Josh de Sol directed the 2013 film "Take Back Your Power". Check out this preview:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDMYc1qlhFY&feature=youtu.be

            Alleged "Dirty electricity" and SMPS (switching-mode power supply) health effects from the smart meters and the pulsed emission radio frequency radiation are outlined at www.emfsafetynetwork.org:Protect Yourself From EMFs

            • Sleep problems (insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, night waking, nightmares)
            • Stress, agitation, anxiety, irritability
            • Headaches, sharp pain or pressure in the head
            • Ringing in the ears, ear pain, high pitched ringing
            • Concentration, memory or learning problems
            • Fatigue, muscle or physical weakness
            • Disorientation, dizziness, or balance problems
            • Eye problems, including eye pain, pressure in the eyes,
            • Cardiac symptoms, heart palpitations, heart arrhythmias, chest pain
            • Leg cramps, or neuropathy
            • Arthritis, body pain, sharp, stabbing pains
            • Nausea, flu-like symptoms
            • Sinus problems, nose bleeds
            • Respiratory problems, cough, asthma
            • Skin rashes, facial flushing
            • Urinary problems
            • Endocrine disorders, thyroid problems, diabetes
            • High blood pressure
            • Changes in menstrual cycle
            • Hyperactivity or changes in children's behavior
            • Seizures
            • Cancer recurrence

            Other potential biological effects: leukemia, tumor growth, skin growths, abnormal cell activity, circadian rhythm disturbance, neurological and memory impairment, genetic defects, endocrine and hormone deficiencies, mental and behavioral problems, immune system issues, genetic damage, miscarriages and birth defects.

            Here's an excerpt from the de Sol documentary showing EMF affects on blood cells:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4JDEspdx58

            Harvard trained physician Dr. David Carpenter in an interview outlines EMF health risks:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7L21XOC2wA

            Smart meters in some states have caught fire from excessive heat, lighting the houses they adorned on fire.

            2011 saw the Vermont Public Service Board make a decision to move forward with the smart meter roll out, which led to street demonstrations and protests.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTgAiHKePBU The Ghost Meter

            There are radio frequency measurement devices you can buy to measure the EMF levels. Amazon sells the Ghost Meter EMF sensor for just $24.95 including free shipping.

            Sitting at home, my son's recurring bloody noses came to mind and suddenly it hit me.  Our own house? I walked out into the sub-zero late winter cold snap, and couldn't believe my eyes. GMP had installed a smart meter on our house without permission or consent.

            Fortunately Vermont has smart meter Opt-Out legislation (S. 214)  and Vermont's legislature eliminated the opt-out fee in 2012.

            I called GMP this morning. They cited a mailing to homeowners which somehow I'd missed (though I confess I tend to throw out bulk mailings and anything but bills from the utility companies. They installed the smart meter in July of 2012. The GMP representative was very understanding and supportive, emailing me the opt-out within minutes, promising removal and analog meter replacement within a couple of days of receipt of the opt-out form.

            People looking to opt-out in some states have placed dozens of calls without action being taken. One power company came out with giant clippers following their customer's continued requests and protests over the phone and cut the home owner's power line to the house, severing them from the grid.

            While evidence on both sides of the debate is contradictory and leaves one attempting to separate fact from fiction, fear and loathing, we're erring on the safe side and looking forward to those comforting spinning anaolog discs back home.

            If you're a GMP customer and prefer to opt-out of your smart meter you can contact GMP Customer Service at (888) 835-4672 or pull the opt-out form here: GMP Smart Meter OPTOUT form 3.6.14 CVPS can be reached at 800-649-2877, Washington Electric at (802) 223-5245, For other Vermont power providers, contact your own utility as the state requires the opt-out option for all power providers without cost to you.

            What's your opinion on these digital smart meters? Have you experienced health affects,  are you EHS, or do you find the movement against smart meters unreasonable?

            Maple Sweet Real Estate provides Vermont real estate owners, buyers and sellers with all kinds of real estate information including health concerns. If you have any questions on EMF,  smart meters or would like to sell or purchase your home in Vermont,  reach us at 800.525.7965,  email at info@maplesweet.com or connect to www.maplesweet.com

            Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for more info on smart meters, selling or purchasing a Vermont home, condo or land or any other aspect of Vermont real estate, homes and properties.

            See the Maple Sweet Real Estate listings Portfolio and the newest Vermont mls listings.

            Comments

            1. t-mobile rolling meadows on

              You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!
              • Clayton-Paul Cormier, Jr. on

                Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. Have a great week.