Diary
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Coffee Talk 01.13.19

Wow, you guys sure do come out of the woodwork for a room reveal post! I’m totally overwhelmed by all of the comments yesterday.

I tried to get all the questions answered, but I didn’t have time to reply to the rest. Besides, all of my thank yous would have gotten pretty redundant, but please know I read each and every one, and I appreciate all of your support!

Our weekend so far has involved a lot of cleaning out and organizing. I think I mentioned in my email on Friday that I was going to be working on our basement storage area.

My friend Darla of Heartwork Organizing came over on Friday with one of her team members, and the three us worked non-stop for about 4 hours and turned our disaster of a storage area into a work of art! A very functional, organized work of art, that is!

You can see her post all about it on her blog. She used the process she created (detailed in her Sort and Succeed book) to whip the space into shape.

I’ve been working with Darla for years because I’m one of those people who a) needs to be forced to set the time aside to tackle a big organizing project and b) doesn’t intuitively know how to organize.

If someone shows me a system, I can keep up with it, but I don’t see other options or ways to rearrange things so they are functional and make the most sense. Darla has an uncanny ability to see how things can work best, and she also works with her clients to figure out how they operate and then come up with a system that makes sense for them.

She has also worked with me in this house on my kitchen and laundry room, and my laundry room reveal is coming soon!

At some point, I might also share my version of our basement organizing project, but I have so many other rooms I am excited to show you, I’ll let you read her post for the professional organizer’s version.

Also, if you want to know how her mind works and her process for organizing every space she works on, grab a copy of her book. Even though she’s worked with me on many projects over the years, I found the book interesting to read, and it helps me as I tackle small areas on my own from time to time. There’s a Kindle version and a paperback version.

Darla and I worked on the area in the basement that houses everything that belongs to the kids and me and the household decor, luggage, mentos, etc. What we did not tackle is my husband’s area because he wasn’t here, and we don’t know what most of his stuff is. We did consolidate it a bit, and set up a table for him to use to go through his things at his leisure. We also left all of the trash, recycling, and donations in the middle of the room to be taken out.

Darla would have helped me bring it all up and put it in my car (in fact, for an additional charge, she will even take it all to the respective destinations) but I knew Paul was planning to spend Saturday working on getting rid of stuff, so we just left it for him.

So yesterday, Paul and D got all the trash/recycling/donations out of the house, and Paul worked on organizing his area. He made great headway, and while it doesn’t look like Darla’s beautifully color-coordinated and labeled masterpiece, he did get his stuff organized so he can find what he needs when he needs it, and he was able to clear out a large portion of the garage (another gathering ground for things we don’t need or don’t know what to do with.)

While he worked on that, I took down the artificial tree and got the living room put back together, and then I vacuumed all the main areas of the house. It feels so much better now! There is something so satisfying about a freshly vacuumed house, is there not!?! It’s the one household task I don’t really mind all that much. I do have a cleaning person who comes every other week, which is awesome and totally saves my sanity, but of course we need to keep up with things in between her visits.

Anyway! It wasn’t an exciting day, but we sure did get a lot accomplished. I rewarded myself with a glass of Cabernet and a few episodes of Victoria.

By the way, if you’re into the show, there is a companion book to it that explains a lot more than the show, and also helps you know what parts are legit from history and her dairies, and which parts of the story are fictional. It’s very interesting!

Finally, because I can’t write a Coffee Talk without discussing the weather, I should let you know that we woke up to a fresh coating of snow this morning. It’s been so brown and drab around here, I’ve been waiting quite impatiently for some snow to brighten it up, and we finally got some. It’s only about an inch, but I’ll take it! We were all hoping the major snow you all got in Virginia was going to come our way, but I guess we just got a corner of the storm.

2018 was such a weird year for weather, and I was hoping 2019 would be a little more typical, but it’s not looking very promising. Here in the Philly area, we don’t always get a lot of snow, but more often than not we get one or two big storms each winter. I’m afraid they will both come in March this year, but that wouldn’t be totally irregular either. One never knows!

Speaking of March, I’ve been debating whether or not I want to do a spring style series this year. We always do March because that’s when the spring clothes are starting to populate the stores, and a lot of you in the southern states are starting to get spring weather.

Unfortunately, here in Philly, March can be one of the coldest months of the year. Shooting spring looks in 20 degree weather is positively painful. Plus it’s an ugly backdrop. Unless I take a trip and shoot a bunch of looks down south, I’m not sure I want to do the series this year. I would still share some spring clothes, but I wouldn’t be committed to 27 spring outfits if the weather isn’t conducive.

What do you all think? Do you really look forward to these style series? People always suggest I find some indoor spots to shoot, but it’s not that easy. I mean, there’s always my house, but I don’t really want them all to be in the same spot. Of course, you all probably don’t care.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this since last March because it was so brutal. I’m willing to put my big-girl pants on and do it, and I don’t want to leave Cyndi high and dry, but I wanted to see what you guys think before I decide.

And on that note, I’m going to sign off and get myself ready for church! We didn’t get enough snow to inhibit driving, so everything is on time. Have a great Sunday, and go Eagles!!! 💚🦅💚🦅💚

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95 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 01.13.19

  1. We are in north eastern Maryland and got enough snow for church to be canceled. We have a good bit of rural roads so I guess that is part of it. 
    Why don’t you do an abbreviated Spring style series and shoot at places like Longqood Gardnes and the Philadelphia Flower Show?
    Go Eagles!

    1. I like where you’re going with it, but the flower show is an absolute zoo, lol! It would be too crowded, and I can’t imagine where I’d change. Alison and I have discussed Longwood Gardens, though. I still think logistics would be awkward — bringing enough outfits to make it worth the travel time and expense and how to get them all in there and where to stash between shoots… I can’t picture it. But she did suggest that at Christmastime and we never went ahead with it. Spring could be a good time to give it a try.

  2. JoLynne, my vote is to wait until it’s warmer. Funny about the weather, March is usually our coldest Month in Florida too. I say wait until it warms up. If you see cute things showing up in the stores, maybe just do the pictures and links. I love those because I have a lot to choose from. Have a great Sunday,

  3. Regarding a spring series, I do look forward to every series so a part of me screams “no!” But I get it and will keep following you regardless. You know, of course, that your loyal followers would be happy with 30 days of “Try On Seshes” in dressing rooms with dirty mirrors, lol! Your post did spark an idea. I would love to see a “transition” series. I could see an outfit one way, then change out one piece to transition to spring, etc. Here in Texas, I’m already looking for 3/4 length sleeves to replace my sweaters! Just a thought….I will love and keep reading whatever you decide! MAKE IT a great day! 

      1. I love this idea! I live on the Gulf. We never get TRUE winter. I do look forward to the different series, but I totally understand. 

    1. I love this idea too! I live in Nebraska and last week the temps were in the 40s and 50s and this weekend we got 5 “ of snow. It’ll be back and forth like this into spring. I like the indoor pics as much as the outdoor as that’s where we all spend most of our time!

  4. Your storage area looks great! I really like how all the bins are labeled to make it easier to find items you need. I get so frustrated when things are not where I last put them  but with just my husband and I in our home, guess who the culprit is?!
    It would be miserable to shoot Spring outfits in March if it’s so cold outside so I’d be fine with you not doing a 27 day series and instead just showing us style trends for Spring  and Try On sessions in the comfort of your home. Maybe an outfit or two outfit if the weather cooperates?
    You will find a way to make it helpful and fun either way!
    Here in Central Virginia, we didn’t get as much snow as predicted but a few inches and it’s so pretty! Unfortunately, we now have icy roads so no bueno!😔

  5. I would love to find a professional organizer and a person for housecleaning, how did you find someone you were happy with?

    1. I think with housecleaning, word of mouth is best. You want someone you really trust, and of course you want someone who does a good job, and it’s hard to find that without a personal recommendation. I’d just ask around. A bunch of my neighbors (old neighborhood) use the same woman b/c we just kept passing her name along.

      As for a professional organizer, they’re not as common so you may need to hunt around online. I met Darla through a local women’s social media network. She can probably give better advice on finding someone reputable — I know she is part of an association of personal organizers. Maybe this one? https://www.napo.net/search/custom.asp?id=3767 I would start there. The nice thing about an organizer is, you tackle one area at a time, so it’s not a big long-term commitment. You can try it once and see how it goes. You definitely have to find someone whose personality jibes with yours, or you’ll get frustrated. Fortunately I was friends with Darla before I started hiring her, so I knew we’d get along well.

  6. I think March is truly the worst month here in the Philly area. I may be tired of my winter clothes by then but it is not warm or sunny enough for Spring clothes. I think you should wait until April. Funny, Jo-Lynne, I think exactly like you with our weather. I want snow to brighten the drab greys and I want 2019 to be way less rainy here!!

  7. Glad you got some beautiful white snow….makes everything so pretty! I think an abbreviated Spring style series would be fine and inside pictures in your home would be great. Loved the ones you posted over Christmas and the one “busy” at your desk for your office reveal. 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday!

  8. I enjoy the seasonal series. I’m fairly new to your blog (August) so I’ll admit I was selfishly  looking forward to a Spring series collaboration with Cyndi. I suppose I’ll get over it if you decide against it but it might require therapy. Perhaps there’s a local botanical garden with an indoor area you could utilize, a pretty corner in a mall, local historical home turned museum, neighborhood florist with a pretty corner in their shop, dreary corner in your basement, whatever works.  I do get the chill factor as I’m in Chicago, that said it’s still easier for me to day “go for it” but probably not so fun for you. BTW, loved your office reveal. I was crazy busy yesterday & didn’t look at your post until late. Fab chandelier for the glam space!  Love the rug too. Nice job!

    1. Therapy, bwahaha! I will probably do it. I always want to bag out and then end up doing it. I do think if I do, I will utilize more mirror selfies. It’s hard to find pretty indoor spots that aren’t a) crowded or b) expensive (or both!)

  9. Reading your post while my husband is driving us to church.  😊. 

    Great job on the organizing.  I’ll definitely read her post and check out her book.   I always feel SO good when I get an area organized.  It’s so renewing and refreshing.  

    As far as your Spring Style series why don’t you just help us keep up with the styles etc via try on sessions and the like?  While I love the outdoor posts there is no need for you to suffer through cold weather to show us an outfit.  Then when Spring finally arrives in your area you can do the outdoor posts with your favorites of the Spring fashions?  I appreciate all you do!  

    Have a blessed day.  

  10. Please do the spring style series. I live in South Dakota, so I know all about dreadful winter weather. Because of that, two things are true: 1. I can’t wait to see the new spring clothing options, and 2. I don’t care where you shoot the pictures; I enjoy your try-on sesh photos as much as the ones outdoors. Maybe shoot in different rooms in your house – that would kill two birds with one stone. We could see your home and you in adorable outfits:) Just a thought. Keep up the great work. I look forward to your post everyday.

  11. I’d be fine without the spring style series or with a shortened or delayed version. I’m in Chicago, and March is still winter here, so while I like to know what will be trending so I can plan what to buy, it’s too cold to wear most of it.

    I’d love you to address transitional clothes, though – lighter looking clothes for when it’s too cold to wear lightweight clothes. And would like some more fashion sneaker suggestions!

    Enjoy the rest of your week weekend!

  12. I love the series you and  cindi do T the beginning of each season. Please don’t quiet. On the other hand, I don’t care what month you do it. Yes I am in the south, Deep South,but it does not matter if it is March or April. Also, I don’t care where you shoot. I am looking at the outfit. 

  13. There’s no reason to be cold for fashion unless you’re actually going somewhere.  😉
    I’d love to still see some spring inspiration so stay warm and show us photos and try on sessions.  
    Of course we will all still be here no matter what you decide.  

  14. I absolutely cannot blame you for not wanting to do the style series in freezing cold weather. Braving the temps for an outfit or two is one thing, but committing to nearly a full month’s worth has got to be brutal. I say wait until weather permits. You can always show us pieces in mirror selfies or links if you’re worried about certain popular items selling out.

  15. Count me as another vote to delay the spring series. I live in Arkansas and even here in March, it’s chilly and rainy a lot of the time. While I’m interested in spring looks, I’m not wearing them at that point. The ideas about transition-types of clothes are great & that would be helpful! I like the try-on sessions too, and your house reveals are fun too. 

  16. Your basement looks amazing, thanks for sharing. Organization (in any capacity) is the best way to start off the year. As far as your Spring Series goes, I really do enjoy them but I do remember how hard it was on you to be trying to style a nice pastel or bright sweater when is was cold and dreary out. Actually it’s still chilly in South Texas in March and I always feel bad for all the spring breakers wants to go down to the Texas Coast. This is a hard one because I know we are all already to transition from winter clothes once we see signs of spring. Maybe you could do it in April but not sure if spring clothes start selling out by then 🤔

  17. Why not shoot the series inside? There are lots of cool places here in Philly. Or, go to a warmer location and shoot the whole thing? Florida? Working vacation, maybe?

  18. Regarding the spring fashion series, it’s the least important season for fashion where I live. Here in the midsouth we typically go from rather cold and technically winter by the calendar (so no spring clothes), to high humidity and at least 80 degrees with about two weeks of comfortable actual spring in between. So cute spring clothes unfortunately don’t get much wear at all. If we’re lucky, we might get a full month where we could at least wear spring things on and off. But not usually. So my vote is that if you want to skip the series it’d be fine by me! (Ironically, after all the discussion about utility jackets the other day, I can say that the end of winter/beginning of spring is my best time for wearing mine. I got a blue one, so it doesn’t look so fallish, and it works wonderfully over a light top for cold mornings that warm way up later in the day.)

  19. I follow you from the mild bay area of California. I sure enjoy your style and the way you mix up clothing fashion with your home fashion these days. While I look forward to the month long preview of what’s to comes, in terms of your 27 days of spring, I’m more of a -wait until it’s a bit warmer and I can actually wear the clothes- kind of person. Plus, when I buy it 2 months before I can wear it, I forget about it in my closet. Bottom line, I vote for skipping the pain and do frequent reveals when appropriate. It’s the days of summer I love! 
    Paula

  20. Jo-Lynne, Your basement does look fabulous!  I consider myself to be an organized person, and I know Larry would tell you I am super organized to the point of driving him crazy, but I am considering purchasing Darla’s book.  I know that I could pick up some helpful tips from her.  Regarding you doing the Spring series in March, when it’s so dang cold – I really enjoy getting a glimpse of what will be available in advance of the official start of Spring, even if I can’t make any purchases.  But the thought of you being outside in Spring clothes in March gives me the shivers since you don’t live in the south.  I would be just as satisfied if you share pictures of the various items without you modeling all of them.  If there are pieces you are super excited about and want to order, then have Allison take the photos in your home, where it’s warm.  While I enjoy the various scenery, the primary focus is on you, right!  At least y’all got some snow!  It’s very very rare for us to get any ⛄️.  Have a blessed day!

  21. Firstly, I agree, all your posts are fab. Second, don’t freeze. Third, I LOVE your style advice and try-on sessions of stuff that’s currently in the stores. I think you can do that w/o subjecting your self to arctic temps. And I also love the home tips too! Maybe you could justify a vacay in a warm spot and take lots of outfits (or show how to do a vacay capsule) and do an abbreviated version of Spring Fashion, if you want to still do a “series.” You’ve got this! 🙂

    1. We’ve discussed that. Unfortunately we can’t work out childcare for March, but I may see about hiring a photographer on location or something. 🙂 That or just shoot inside. I’m glad no one really cares about the background.

  22. Good morning! I am fairly new to your blog and I love reading your posts everyday. I love fashion but I also really love your room reveal!!! Can’t wait to see more.  
    Have a great day….Go Saints!!! 🖤💛🖤💛

  23. Love your style series. I might suggest to contact Longwood Gardens, the flower show or another place like that to see if you could go in during off hours. They may like the national publicity with your followers. Also, it may be a bit far for you but in my hometown in NJ there is Duke Gardens that has indoor greenhouses that are beautiful. Or maybe something in Philly like an indoor building at the Zoo or an architecturally interesting place like the museum. That way if it happens to be a nice day you can go outside too. Just some ideas to save you from freezing. Finally, OMG – I loved Tretorns in high school and still love them!!!

  24. Hi! I loved seeing your basement and how it turned out. I love getting new ideas! About the spring fashion…I really like seeing how to style one item different ways better than several outfits. So i would say No to the 27 days of spring outfits! Also, what about sharing spring/summer makeup trends incorporated in to March? Then you don’t need to take pics outside! 

  25. I enjoy the spring series because we are usually so tired of winter by then. I don’t really notice the location of the pictures so much and I’m sure no one would mind if you shot them indoors. Since you always get the blues in late winter/early spring, I think you should plan a getaway and shoot some outfits there. Two birds one stone 😊

  26. I totally understand your reluctance to do outdoor Spring series photo shoots. It’s always fun to see what is trending for the next season, but where I live (New England) we don’t get warm weather until May. So we don’t have much of a Spring season to wear lighter weight clothing. Maybe a combination of indoor shoots and mirror selfies would work. Whatever you decide, I know you’ll keep us up to date on all the fashion details we need to know!

  27. While we all love your Spring Style series, there is no need to expose yourself to the elements just trying to show us the new Spring styles!  Mirror selfies at home or try on sessions in a warm dressing room work just fine.   And like some of the others have suggested, just pictures of the Spring styles and links, if you think they will sell out.  (Although I think you are the best model!)  It is still cold here in the Pacific Northwest in March and while it’s always fun to see the new styles, I’m sometimes still wearing light sweaters and jackets through April. 

    1. Also, loved seeing your basement organization.  Your office, and now basement, are inspiring me to get moving on my organizing!  

  28. I’m not a fan of the cold or snow so I’ll Happily take the overcast/rainy days of the West Coast. But, I do know some find it depressing. 
    Your basement looks soooo tidy! Darla is a godsend!
    I like the spring series in March, as then we can buy while sizes are plentiful. Plus, in March we are in spring here. Our gardens are popping and the weather is mild. I don’t believe anyone would care if you were to shoot outfits inside your beautiful home. We trust your honest take on a piece and your feedback on sizing,  plus what’s trending. My vote is Yes! 

  29. Oh, and a sneaker review would be really appreciated. I find some have no cushioning or support. I bought a pair of Vans, wore twice and gave away. Adidas are the same. 

  30. I actually prefer at home or dressing room photos much more than the location posed photos. The try on sessios seem much more real than posed.  I want to see realistically how things look because that’s how I would be wearing them.  When you show things from the most flattering angle, it it not representative of how most of us spend most of the time throughout the day.  People see me from every angle.

  31. Why don’t you and Cyndi split it up…….one do March and the other do April???? Just a thought….your posts always help me to navigate the new spring arrivals and what is a good buy :))))

  32. Why don’t you just treat Spring as you would a ‘try on session’ at home’? I wouldn’t mind that. And if Cyndi wants to go outside she can or she can just do the same thing inside. 

  33. I do like the Spring Fashion Series….but here in OH (just like PA) no one is wearing spring clothes until April or May. With that said why does your Spring series have to be in Mach ? Why not April ? I think there is still plenty to purchase in April …. just a thought. 

  34. Hi Jo-Lynne, I’m adding my two cents’ worth here. I say modify your spring series. Do your try-on sessions to show us what the spring clothes look like on a real person, shoot some outfits in various parts of your house or possibly your deck, and mirror selfies in your bedroom. I love your staircase, I think it would be a great place to shoot an outfit. Then when weather permits, have Alison shoot some outdoor pictures. As a couple of people have said already, YOU are the primary focus in a shot, not your background. Personally, where I live in Canada, I’m not even thinking of wearing spring clothes yet in March and if the weather is like last year, even April was too cold for spring wear. Regardless of your decision about the spring series, this reader is going nowhere!!

  35. I echo the other comments – stay warm and take indoor pics at home or try on sessions and avoid freezing outside. We are looking at you primarily; the background isn’t important. Its still winter for us in March in Canada so if you prefer to delay the post to April, thats works too. Although taking a working holiday somewhere warm isn’t a bad idea if you can swing it!

    Love the basement re- org. Looks so tidy and functional!

    A sneaker try on sesh would be terrific. I have given up on Sketchers. They are comfy for a week and then feel like there is no support.

    Enjoy the snow! We are pretty brown here. Have a blessed Sunday.

  36. Oh my goodness, it’s funny reading everyone’s comments debating your “27 outfits for spring” series! For me, I love the outfit posts you and Cyndi do for each season, but don’t care if you’re in a special location or in front of the mirror in your bedroom. (I loved your bedroom selfies in your old house.)

    Here in So CA we get spring weather in March (we’re usually in the 70s every day) so I look forward to getting ideas from you fashion peeps 😉 and seeing what’s in the stores. 

  37. Your coffee talks are always a fun part of my Sunday afternoons!
    In regard to your spring style series, while I enjoy it, as a girl from the great white north (lol), it is not as relevant to me and any shopping needs/wants. Also, I think you share enough other content that if you decided to forego the spring series readers would still be really happy with your posts.

  38. How about a picturesque hotel? Rent a room for a day and shoot all the pictures using the lobby, grounds, balcony, bar, restaurant, pool, foyer, etc.  You could use the room to change, primp and rest….then have your husband meet you for a mini vacation!

  39. I find your various fashion posts to be equally helpful and fun and “shoppable”. So whether it’s a try-on session at the mall or at home, or a coordinated month-long series doesn’t matter to me. It’s all good. I’d say go with whatever happens to inspire you from week-to-week. If you’re feeling it, it’ll be a great post. I’m looking forward to seeing the sneakers and tops you ordered. They look promising!

  40. It’s probably cost prohibitive, but think how much fun you could have with a green screen! I’m fine with indoor/at-home shots and will keep reading no matter what you decide on the spring style series. Really enjoyed Darla’s post and put her book on my Amazon shopping list. Your storage area looks fab!!!

  41. So glad you’ll be reviewing sneakers soon. Please identify a pair or two with large toe boxes for those of us with hammer toes. Thanks!

  42. Take indoor photos, with possibly enhanced lighting . I just look at the outfits to be honest. I don’t pay much attention to the backdrop.

  43. Funny we have been cleaning out our basement too and let’s just say the majority isn’t mine lol.. but it’s 12 years of keeping stuff we didn’t know what to do with and what if we need it..? Well no more we are decluttering and of course there are the many bins of keepsakes for us and our kids. We would like to finish the basement as a tv theater area, so there’s a goal. I’m with you on the spring series. Here in this part of Canada our spring is maybe starting in mid to late April( depending on Mother Nature ) but we are all in a hurry to switch gears. I’d like to see a transition series as we cannot just jump into spring clothes because the calendar says so or we will freeze. I think the try in sessions would be fun too as at least we would know what’s coming for the spring line and wouldn’t miss out. For the most part our footwear can change and maybe sweaters and tops for good transitioning with jeans but we can’t shed too much too quickly lol

    1. By the way no snow here just really cold and sunny… you can keep the snow we usually get enough lol but so far so good this year 😉

  44. I love your seasonal series. They really give me a heads up to new trends or ways to freshen up basic looks. Even an abbreviated series is welcome.

  45. Here in SW Ohio we get that mostly gray sky with brown trees type of winter, too. We got about 5 inches of snow yesterday and I thought we might just get an inch or so overnight,  but we got a good bit more than that. I think we have about 9 1/2 inches of total accumulation! My husband is still outside shoveling the deck off for our dog. Looks really pretty outside though!  I agree, that sounds like a little much for you to be outside shooting spring clothes in 20 degree temperatures. I haven’t read all the responses, but maybe doing some indoor shoots, even if it’s at the local mall or inside your house, could work. I look forward to reading your blog every day. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 

  46. It’s cold and snowy here in March too.   No offense to Allison, but I like the selfies you take at home just as much and sometimes more than the outdoor professional pictures.  

  47. We don’t get spring clothes weather until May so I am just fine with holding off.  Fashion should not be painful. I love your try on sessions in the change rooms so if you did one of those it would cover off those in warmer climates and the rest of us snuggled in our blankets would be able to dream of things to come!

  48. I agree with some of the other comments that I always look forward to spring fashion after a cold summer,  almost like fall fashion is a relief after a hot summmer.  
    Why don’t y’all do the series in April?  It’s not too late for spring but the weather might be better!   
    I would also enjoy the “transition” idea.  Outfits that are warm enough for the days that are still cold but incorporate spring with colors, accessories, etc.

  49. I love the all series with you and Cyndi. That’s actually how i found you and tania stephens from your working together. Maybe you ladies could push it to the beginning of April. Im in Delaware so I understand about the weather. Maybe you could some photos at home you and Cyndi both have new beautiful homes. Just a thought.  I cant believe we got more snow then you here inDover there is 4 or 5 inches out there.  Have a great week ! 

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