Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dirty Dog, Clean Dog

This morning we took Rusty on a long-postponed trip to the dog groomer for a bath and clip. Now that Mud Season is just about upon us (though we had snow yesterday: here's our driveway lion wearing his barrister's wig)
it becomes even more imperative that there be less hair to get muddy. However, we opted for the classic Springer Spaniel cut rather than having him shaved completely, just because we think he looks so cute.
Here are a couple of photos of the dirty, hairy dog we woke up with this morning:

The stick in the second picture is one Rusty brought up from the basement and has been chewing on very assiduously.
Rusty was very excited during the car ride to Topsham where Happy Paws is located. He bounced all over the car -- he hasn't been on a long car ride for a while. We dropped him off and then had breakfast at the Copper Kettle, a restaurant which is, oddly enough, located next door to another groomer. We had good reports of that one too but Happy Paws is our place now. After breakfast, a trip to the meat market, and then the library for me and the barbershop for OHP, we returned to pick up our clean dog. We were very pleased to hear that he behaved much better than the last time he was there! And he looks (and smells) beautiful. "After" photos below:

Above he's saying goodbye to his groomer, and at right posing for his photo. He also looks much more slender now without all that extra hair -- he was beginning to look quite chunky, which he is not. Here is one last picture of Rusty at rest in his new haircut: He is snoring peacefully, worn out from all the excitement.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Five: If I Had a Million Dollars

Singing Owl, over at RevGalBlogPals, says:
"Lingering effects of a cold have me watching more television than usual. There appears to be a resurgence of the old daytime staple--the quiz show. Except they are on during prime time, and a great many of them offer the chance of winning one million dollars.

I think it started with Regis Philbin and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" but now we have a half dozen or so.

My husband and I started musing (after watching "Deal or No Deal") about what we could do with a million dollars. I thought I'd just bring that discussion into the Friday Five this week. It's simple. What are five things you would want to do with a million dollar deposit in your bank account?"

1. Pay off all my kids' student loans, and fund any further education they need or want.
2. Finish our basement and add a dumbwaiter to bring groceries, etc. up from the basement-level garage.
3. Travel.
4. Give more charity to the many worthy organizations I can't afford to support now.
5. When my cybercompanions on the DorothyL list publish new books, buy them.

What would you do with a million dollars? Feel free to post on your own blog or leave a comment here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Five: Good Friday

RevHRod, a Lutheran friend at RevGalBlogPals, says:

"As a child the designation "good" for today confused me. How could we call such a somber day, good? Holy, yes. Blessed, yes. But, good?

As an adult I understand the meaning of good for this day. It is a solemn day of remembrance but it is also a time for us to stop and recall the great gift of love that we received this day. And that is most certainly good.

Our worship today will differ from place to place. Some services will focus on the great litany of prayers. Others will use the seven last words of Jesus. Some of us will walk the stations of the cross. Others will participate in a Tenebrae service of shadows and light.

I hope that this Friday Five will be a meaningful part of your Good Friday. God's blessings to you on your journey."

  1. Our prayer concerns are as varied as we are this day. For whom would you like us to pray? Right now there are 4 people on my prayer list who all have different neurological concerns. Velma, an old friend from high school days, just diagnosed with ALS; Marcia, another friend from a different high school, who is recovering from problems caused by an arterial-venous malformation; Andy, an old friend's husband with vasculitis of the brain; and my brother, with MS and recently a problem involving brain capillaries. So I'm praying today for those four and for many, many others not known to me who have similar issues.
  2. Are there things you have done or will do today to help the young ones understand this important day in our lives? In the middle of this I talked on the phone to Sisterknits and she confirmed that I probably didn't do much to help her understand Good Friday. For one thing in my defense, our church mostly conflated it with Maundy Thursday so that we had a prayer of getting a decent attendance! So after communion, we would do the Tenebrae service. She had some interesting thoughts about Good Friday which she has mostly come to on her own.
  3. Music plays an important part in sharing the story of this day. Is there a hymn or piece of music that you have found particularly meaningful to your celebrations of Good Friday? As I posted earlier, Were You There? is the song that comes into my head all day. As a visual, I recall the scene in the film Green Pastures when the angels are watching Jesus carry the cross.
  4. As you hear the passion narrative, is there a character that you particularly resonate with? Mary, the Mother of Jesus; I've been fortunate thus far not to have lost a child, but I think any parent can identify with her shock and sorrow.
  5. Where have you seen the gracious God of love at work lately? Lately, I've mostly seen it in the various postings by my RevGalBlogPals; nearly every day there's a wonderful story of love on someone's blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuneful Tuesday: Holy Week

Just when you thought it was safe, here is another Tuneful Tuesday. Other RevGalBlogPals have been posting about favorite Holy Week music. Most of it has been classical in nature, and that's fine. But I like a lot of kinds of music, and I've found a few songs for the rest of Holy Week, some of which you may not necessarily hear in church. I was able to find good versions of some of them on YouTube, but for others I'm just linking to the CyberHymnal for anyone who doesn't already know them.

Tuesday (today): Although the story about Jesus weeping for Jerusalem precedes Palm Sunday, I'm putting When Jesus Wept, by the early American composer William Billings, on this day. I wish I could link to a performance of it by the Women's Quartet from my old church -- they had a beautiful a cappella arrangement. Failing that, the best I could come up with was this one which is the accompaniment to a dance. I lack the dance gene, both in performing it and watching it, but maybe some of you will be able to appreciate it. This version mixes "When Jesus Wept" with Lewis Allen's "Strange Fruit" ( the Billie Holiday song about lynching). It's very powerful. The words for "When Jesus Wept" are:
When Jesus wept, the falling tear in mercy flowed beyond all bound.
When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear seized all the guilty world around.

Wednesday: Did you know that Wednesday in Holy Week is sometimes called "Spy Wednesday" because it is thought that that was the day Judas Iscariot conspired to betray Jesus? Now, I'm a Trinitarian Universalist. (I don't think that's an official denomination at this point, but I could be wrong). So, I think that somehow, Judas found redemption too. Thus for today I choose the old altar call hymn, Just As I Am, which reminds us that we don't have to perfect ourselves -- "Just as I am, thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve."

Maundy Thursday: When I was in college I used to go to Hillel dinners on occasion. I was interested in Judaism and also, the food was great! During and after dinner, zemirot were sung: special hymns that are typically sung at table. Matthew's Gospel makes reference to Jesus and the disciples singing a hymn before they went out to the Mount of Olives. Kate Campbell has written and performed The Last Song, which imagines Jesus leading a song in which the disciples join. Listen and imagine.

Good Friday: Well, given that I've purposely eliminated classical music, there are still two pretty obvious choices for this day. One is called "Crucifixion" on the Marian Anderson recording I have, although it's more often referred to as "He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word." However, I couldn't find a rendition to link to. Seek out that CD, Marian Anderson Spirituals -- it is beautiful.
So, then there is the spiritual without which many people I know cannot imagine Holy Week. Whether it's sung on Thursday by churches with no Good Friday service, on Friday, or, as at Up the Hill UMC, by women climbing Tower Hill for the Easter Sunrise Service, we need to hear or sing "Were You There?" In this video, a young and tortured-seeming Johnny Cash sings it with the Carter Family.

Holy Saturday: I don't really associate any particular song with this day, but as I imagine the disciples and how they were feeling, I think they needed balm for their souls. So here is one of my favorites, "There Is a Balm in Gilead," sung by the immortal Paul Robeson.

Easter Vigil: I have never done this. It's not really in the Congregational tradition! But I found this while looking for hymns -- part of the Easter Vigil at St. Gregory of Nyssa, a unique (as far as I know) Episcopal church in San Francisco. Cordeliaknits is taking a confirmation class there as part of their exploration of other faiths and denominations. This is very different from anything I'm used to, and I'm not sure if I could do it regularly, but it is plainly worship.

Easter Sunrise: Supposedly, when The New Century Hymnal was being prepared, this gospel song (not a hymn, as it is not addressed to God) received the most votes both for and against its inclusion. Wisely, the committee included it and added the story behind it; it is meant to convey the feelings of Mary Magdalene on the morning of the Resurrection. Yes, by now you may have guessed, it's "In the Garden." The version I most often sing along to is by Tennessee Ernie Ford, bless his little pea-pickin' heart, but that one has a rather annoying chorus singing backup. Mahalia Jackson needed no backup singers.

The Big Easter Service: Well, there are three hymns that I would always want to sing at this service. Now and again I get my wish, and I can usually depend on at least one. Also, since Easter lasts till Pentecost, there are several more opportunities to sing The Day of Resurrection and Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain. And, if you attend a mainline Protestant church that doesn't sing Christ the Lord Is Risen Today on Easter Sunday, I'd like to know about it, and I'd be very surprised!

I would like to hear your thoughts on my selections, and to wish all those who observe it a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Taking Panes - A Fine Art Show

After church today Onkel Hankie Pants and I went to an art opening in Richmond, three towns away on the Kennebec River. The show is a group show called "Taking Panes." Like many towns in Maine, Richmond has an old mill or two (we're talking textile mills, paper mills, etc. rather than sawmills or flour mills, at least most of the time). One of the many reuses for these buildings is as artists' studios. Richard Lee, an artist most known for handmade books and paper, has a studio in the old Ames Mill in Richmond. When he learned that all the windows were being replaced with new vinyl windows, he got the idea of reusing the old windows (which were to be thrown out) as art catalysts. So he contacted a number of artists he knew, word got around, and eventually almost 100 artists had windows to work with. Some of the artists are quite well known to me and others not, but I was amazed at the creativity and also at how many of the windows I would love to have in my house (if I had the space!) If you are anywhere near Richmond you should see this show. It's open 10 to 4 until March 31 -- no artificial light in the 3rd floor gallery where it's placed. Here are a few of the windows:
My sister-in-law The Herbalist actually prefers saris, but she has found a pattern for a dress/jumper that she makes for all seasons to wear to work. Temple Truck Woman decided to photograph them all and make Herbalist Paper Dolls! Here are just a few. (The black "glove" on her left arm is because she broke her wrist falling on the ice last month.) The next picture is of the other side of this window. Temple Truck Woman's nephew helped her with some of the photography and decided he wanted to make his own paper dolls, so The Herbalist is shown in many adventurous outfits!

The next photo is of a window done by my nephew-by-marriage, Taxi Man. He calls it "Spray Paint."

And here's one by Brother #3, which he says are all real Mayan hieroglyphics (except for one....)

And below I'll just post a few others I photographed. I think maybe there's going to be some sort of book commemorating this show, and I plan to get one, but at this point I don't know the names of all the artists or their titles for their work. But it speaks for itself. The Ames Mill is at 302 Front St. in Richmond, Maine.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I went out with Rusty to take some photos of signs of spring. (It's not easy to take a picture with one hand and hold the excited dog with the other!) Here's what I found:
To the left, a photo of our driveway about 4 pm. Not that exciting except that at 11:30 am the same day, none of the pavement was visible under a sheet of ice. You can also see the lamentable state of the pavement, which is much better than the state of the roads here -- it's a bad year for potholes.

To the right, in a sheltered location just down the
street, some brave bulbs are coming up. (Rusty pointed these out to me, as he has always been interested in the plastic cake container you can see behind the bulbs. He lives in hope that someday there will be cake inside it.)

We walked around the block and found some more signs of coming spring:
ground cover -- was it there all along under the snow?

I think these are buds! (Click on photo to make it bigger)
And I'm sure the red twigs in this photo are new growth:
But today, as I awakened I heard the snow plow (or maybe they were just sanding), and alas, it's light snow and 28 degrees. However, hope springs eternal, for Monday's prediction is 40 degrees, sunny and windy with only a 10% chance of precipitation. Meanwhile though, the lions are wearing their snow mantles again:
And that's why I say Phooey!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Quest for Perfection

Recently, in my struggle to (a) pick up the books the cat and dog have knocked down and (b) catalog all our books, I came upon one of the first "How to Be Perfect" books I ever bought. It was a small paperback I bought in 1972, either in Berlin or California: The Well-Organized Woman by Christine Collange. I still remember her wise saying, that of the three desirable conditions, Ease, Elegance and Economy, it is only possible ever to have two at once.

There are an amazing number of books published on organization and housekeeping, and I have most of them. Don Aslett, the Sidetracked Sisters, The Messies Manual, Martha Stewart and Cheryl Mendelson (Home Comforts, which teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about laundry and other things) -- I've got them all, and my house is still messy. The fact that it's better than it used to be is attributable mostly to there being fewer people living here now.

I've also got a number of books on organizing and dealing with paperwork -- and a number of plastic storage boxes filled with random stacks of important stuff. (Primarily family memorabilia and genealogical data -- the financial and homeowner documents, at least, are neatly filed in a filing cabinet, so there is some progress.)

And that's not all! There are books on economical living, all the way from Champagne Living on a Beer Budget to the Tightwad Gazette oeuvre; diet, nutrition and health, and even one or two exercise books; books on how to dress and how to decorate. There have been books on cat care and, recently, a few books on the care and training of dogs have entered the house. (Another sign of progress--the dog books were either gifts or bought used.)

But it's not just physical perfection I long for. Back around 1960, my parents bought a set of The HarvardClassics . One slender volume that came with it was a year's reading plan, 15 minutes a day with the classics. I know I started this on more than one New Year's Day (with a reading from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin) and that I seldom got beyond about 10 January. But did I learn from this? I did not. I'm still a sucker for Lifetime Reading Plans, lists of the 100 best books, movies, recordings or whatever. A few years ago I bought The Well-Educated Mind, a guide for reading and reflecting on classic literature and other knowledge. The first book to work on was Don Quixote. I still haven't finished it.

The hope of spiritual perfection, too, often comes packaged for me in books of daily actions -- prayers, readings and the like. Not that I don't have, and read, spiritual books that can be read in a few days, but give me a book that promises to discipline me to daily prayer, reading and reflection, and I am likely to buy it. Phyllis Trible, Simple Abundance, Celtic Daily Prayer -- I've got 'em all.

Why do I do this? I'm sure I'm not the only one, if the sales of such books are any indication. I don't think my parents were prone to this activity, nor did they demand perfection. But, I do think my grandmother had some of these tendencies. She was a poet, freelance writer, gardener,quilter, farmer's wife, and mother of ten.

Some of her freelance writing (mostly for small church and women's magazines) touched on themes of self-improvement. And, years after her death, when my parents had also died and I inherited a box of Grammie's papers, I found among them more than one list that looked so familiar I could have written it myself -- goals for the future, a future of unattainable perfection or at least significant improvement.

To the right is a photo of my grandmother holding one of her grandchildren. She really wasn't a sad person, but like mine, her face tended to look sad in repose or thought.

Is it any wonder one of my favorite Bible passages is Philippians 3:12-14?

"Not that I have already obtained this [resurrection] or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus."

Or as our former pastor Jim Slocum paraphrased it, "Not that we are perfect; but we press on." Toward what are you pressing on?

Friday Five: Time for Palms

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Mother Laura asks:

Can you believe Daylight Savings Time is here already? It's hard to get used to the new, earlier onset. My family has been getting up and out a little late and a little sleepy in the mornings.

And can you believe that in two days it will be Palm Sunday for Western Christians? Our Lent is almost over, while our Orthodox sisters and brothers, whose liturgical year follows the older Julian calendar, are just starting theirs. Nicholas did a recent book report on George Washington, and we were surprised to find out that our first President's birthday was originally Feb. 11, since he was born just before the change to the Gregorian calendar. Apparently the change almost caused rioting, as some indignant people were sure that they were being cheated out of eleven days of their lives!

(Mother Laura featured a music video of "Ride On, Ride On in Majesty" which is lovely, but this is still the song that I think of each Palm Sunday. In my one choir experience at the firehouse Sunday school, we sang this -- pretty ambitious for a bunch of fifth-graders!)

To help you adjust--and enjoy the process--here's a Friday Five about time and transitions....

1. If you could travel to any historical time period, which would it be, and why?
This is a hard one -- so many choices. And a lot would depend on where as well as when. But I think for my first time travel experience I'd want to go to New York City in the 1920s, in some capacity where I could hobnob with the early staff of The New Yorker.

2. What futuristic/science fiction development would you most like to see?
That's easy! Time travel!

3. Which do you enjoy more: remembering the past, or dreaming for the future?
Well, I certainly have more past than future at this point! And I do enjoy remembering, researching, reading and talking about the past. Yet, I still enjoy dreaming about the future. And of course, the future is as yet untainted by regrets and might-have-beens. So I'd have to say the latter.

4. What do you find most memorable about this year's Lent?
Once again, as three years ago, my church is undergoing transition and self-examination. (A different church this time.) With my former church, three years later all concerned are in a very good place. I hope and pray that will be the case here in three years, or even sooner.

5. How will you spend your time during this upcoming Holy Week? What part do you look forward to most?
We will have a Taize worship service on Thursday, and a Tenebrae service with special choir music on Friday. And of course Easter Sunday will be a big celebration. Of the three I think I most look forward to Thursday, at least I hope that it will be the deep experience of Maundy Thursdays past. I will miss, still, our old custom in City of Lakes of having a Holy Saturday breakfast and Bible study -- and not just because of the hot cross buns!

Even if you don't blog yourself, you can answer some or all of the above questions in a comment!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Finally Getting Around to this Meme

Some time back, I'm embarrassed to say how long, Crimson Rambler tagged me for this middle name meme. Here are the rules:
1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)

I don't know why, but this was hard for me. Maybe because my middle name begins and ends with the same letter? Maybe it's the onset of senility that I couldn't think of any descriptive words starting with the letters? Anyway, Sisterknits helped me. So here goes:

A is for Amazing (remember, this is what my daughter says, not what I say!)
N is for Narcoleptic (well, I do fall asleep sometimes in the middle of the day....)
D is for Dorky (no comment)
R is for Respectable (now, does this mean I am deserving of respect, or just that I am outwardly conventional?)
E is for Evolving (into what I don't know)
A is for A Mommy. (hee-hee)

I tag
onkel hAnkie pants

You can tell that I don't have a large number of blogging friends. And most of them have already done this meme.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Five: Signs of Hope, Signs of Spring

Sally in the UK, on RevGalBlogPals, says:

It has been a difficult week here in Dowham Market, and yet in the sadness there have been signs of real hope, young people, often criticised have shown us how caring and amazing they are. It has also been a strange week; it snowed for almost the first time this winter, and yet many of the spring bulbs are blooming, and the trees are blossoming!

I believe that if we look carefully we can see signs of hope all around us.... as for signs of spring... well you tell me....

Bluebells in my garden, before the snow!

What have you seen/ heard this week that was a :

1. Sign of hope?
SonShineIn, in the midst of a horrendous week for him at work involving conversion to a new software system, sent us a very funny piece of verse titled "Oh, I'm Just a Harmless Bacteriophage." (I may post it sometime if he OKs it.) I worry about his stressful life right now, even though he's making some positive changes, and it's good to see he maintains his creativity and sense of humor.

2. An unexpected word of light in a dark place?
Hmmm. It was the dark place that was unexpected. One of my cousins has adopted two children. The elder of the two had been having some serious problems at elementary school and was recently diagnosed with bipolar disease. Cousin had known when she fostered and adopted him that his maternal background was problematic; she now learned that in fact his mother was also bipolar. The word of light is that there is an agency here that provides mental health help for children and young people, he was hospitalized until his medications were stabilized, and is now home again. And, of course, the other word of light is my cousin's deep commitment to these children. I hope you will keep Isaac and his family in your prayers.

3. A sign of spring?
On our walk the other day, Rusty flushed some birds out of a bush. I'm not good at bird identification but they were certainly not birds I had been seeing all winter (which would be mostly crows and seagulls!), these were small brown and grey birds. (By the way, he was not trying to flush them, I'm not sure he even noticed!) As we have been having some sort of winter storm about twice a week, interspersed with sunny days and running gutters, this is the sign of spring I've been hoping for.
Well, that, and making my reservations for the annual Beach House Week with my oldest friends, on a barrier island off South Carolina -- it's not until May, but having it scheduled makes a big difference in my outlook!

4. Challenging/ surprising?
The news, which came to me via blog, that Cordeliaknits and her sweetie have exchanged "promise rings." There will be a number of hurdles for them, but they look so happy! And I can't complain too much about the blog communication, as OHP and I didn't tell our parents we were dating until we were engaged and about to marry....

5. Share a hope for the coming week/month/year....
Week: I have a hope that I don't want to blog about yet. And also, that the small group meeting I'm going to at Big Taupe Church will be of some help in getting us to a place where we will get a new senior minister and treat him/her right.
Month: That we will see many more signs of spring! An early spring would be so wonderful!
Year: That I will achieve half the goals I set out for myself in January.

Bonus play... a piece of music/ poem guaranteed to cheer you?
Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
----Robert Frost

This is one of the poems I have by heart. It speaks to me of how noticing the small joys in life can help us get through the big sorrows.
If you're not blogging the Friday Five, feel free to leave your own answers to the questions in a comment here!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Coming in Like a Lion

Here we go again! The snow started, as predicted, about 10 pm last night. At the time, I was trudging around the house trying to corral the dog. Rusty "escaped" when I fell in the snow. Fortunately, he was so interested in smelling the snow around the house (it had been a sunny day and squirrels were out) and looking through the basement windows to see the cat, that I was eventually able to lure him with a treat and grab his leash again.

It's still coming down; somewhere between 4 and 8 inches are predicted, but on the actual coastline and offshore islands there may be rain instead. Onkel Hankie Pants' performance this evening in Twelve Angry Men and Women has already been cancelled. After years of living in a major metropolitan area, it's almost culture shock to live where winter weather cancellations are so common. In City of Lakes, snow days were a rare occurrence; a former Governor who was born in New Jersey got a lot of kidding when he cancelled school for the whole state twice in one season because of extreme cold. When the girls went to Rudy Perpich's Good Idea (aka High School for the Terminally Artistic), there were more cancellations because many of the metro-area students drove long distances to school. Our kids usually listened wistfully to the long list of school cancellations and "two hours late, no morning kindergarten" announcements from the more rural areas of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Church was never, ever cancelled, although once we cancelled the Christmas caroling party. But here, where many people have to wait for their driveways to be plowed out before they can even think of getting on the road, cancellations and postponements are a way of life in winter. "Life in the slow lane" is one of our t-shirt slogans; the constant reminders that we are not fully in charge, that we must pay attention to the weather and that human plans must sometimes be cancelled because of it, may have something to do with that. It's humbling.

My daily email update from the Washington Post this morning mentioned that "meteorological winter" is officially over. That's not just in the DC area, but here as well. The ten-day forecast has a lot of temperatures in the low 40s and no further snowstorms, just some "wintry mix." There is the old saw about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb, and the record high for March 31 here is 73 degrees F. It could happen again! I hope so. We are all getting tired of this. Here are some more photos I took out the front door this morning:

Get out the brushes and scrapers! We are so fortunate to have a garage (with an automatic door opener! connected to the basement!), which we pretty much lived without for all the years in Minnesota. Our apartment-dwelling neighbors are not so lucky.

This photo is of a few branches from our Christmas tree that remained on the (unused) front steps. Those steps were almost clear yesterday, but here they are being covered with snow again. This was taken about 2 hours ago, and you can hardly see these now for the snow. I am sorry to say that the trees and the parts we cut off are also still in the yard -- bad weather and procrastination made us miss the town pickup. No matter, OHP will saw them up after the snow goes and take them back to our woods to make humus.

It's not a good day to drive to Orr's Island for the church breakfast, so I'd better start cooking if I want there to be any. OHP is busy sending out our Valentine letters, which replace the 2007 Christmas letters we didn't get done. What's your weather like today?