Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh Damn I'm Tired!

I had a few plans for today and when I emerged from slumber land, I didn't waste a minute of time. 0600 hrs. and I slipped into an old pair of shorts and t shirt and opened the door to temperatures of 75 degrees. That is exactly why I started early. The heat has descended upon us in all it's stickiness. We still have a breeze blowing but now it's mostly warm air moving around.

Laundry on the line and folding the previous load and then back outside. I scrubbed the Marquis. The water that I splattered over myself didn't bother me at all. It was cool and sometimes I turned the garden hose on my feet and legs to cool off.

The husband trimmed a gardenia bush and all the clipping I picked up filled a contractors black trash bag. Cleaning off both outside areas, front porch and patio I finished up before noon and the highest temps of the day were creeping in.

The phone rang and the call was for the hubby to leave town. He hurried inside to pack his  bags and get directions to the rig and he was gone.

I was ready to get a shower and a nap until the phone rang again and Carrie's voice was on the other end begging me to come to her house. "We're going to Kart Ranch" she chirped. I want you to come too!"

I thought I would treat myself to an afternoon of coolness beneath the A/C unit, but instead I was heading for Carrie's house.

Sweat gathered on our faces and stained our shirts. The bottle of cold water I snagged from the fridge before leaving was now lukewarm. Did we care? It was wet and that was good enough. We putt putted around the course and at the 15th hole I began to cheat. I hung back and let the others go ahead, then I dropped the ball in the cup, yelped to the others around the bend ahead that I had made it, picked out the ball and moved along. I was ready to get inside for a while.

We turned in our golf equipment after the
 18th hole of misery and stopped by the cantina for a cold drink. A short stay for sure and I didn't want to whine. I followed everyone out to the go cart track. Zipping around the course in that little car with Carrie seated beside me was actually fun. Carrie squealed in the turns and we all laughed at her and enjoyed the rush of air as we sped along. When it was time to leave, I was NOT unhappy!

Back to the daughter's house after picking up some lunch, we eventually ended up in the pool where we stayed for a couple of hours.

I'm home now with Carrie and I'm ready to pass out. This day ended up being more then I had planned.
Good times! .....I'm not unhappy that it went a little off track. Sometimes going off track and doing something unplanned and spontaneous beats the best laid plans.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Teddy are 18! How can that be? I roll back over the pictures of you and it seems as though it were just yesterday that you were trying to get your balance so you could take more then 3 steps before plopping down on your diaper cushioned bottom. I watched as you removed all the coasters from their holder and turned it upside down on the coffee table. Then you climbed up on that table and sat on that coaster holder because in your child's vision you could see it as a wee t tiny chair.

I watched as you progressed to walking and then to putting on a pair of inline skates and rolling down the sidewalk. Soon it was skateboards and bikes and now you drive your own truck which required you get a driver's liscense. All of these milestones I've been priviledged to see you accomplish and move on to the next goal.

Your voice has deepened, and your face now requires an ocasional swipe with the razor. Your shoe size is 13 and you tower over me when you stand close.

It matters not! You are still my little boy; the one that would hang behind my knee when you became frightened of strangers. I miss those days. The older you have grown, the less you have needed me or will need me. I'm proud of your growth and at the same time saddened by it.

I love you Teddy...or...maybe it's just Ted now.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making a Miserable Life or Eyes on The Bully

Where to start? I sit here and type those three words because starting this discussion could be done from the bully's position, the one being bullied or the effect it had on everyone involved.

I recently watched a bully in action. A female and 5yrs. old, this little person was skilled in what she did which led me to believe her behavior wasn't recently acquired.

The first thing she did was make a statement to all the children within ear shot "I don't like her. I don't want her bat close to mine." and saying this she moved the offending bat to the end of the row. This caught my attention and I went on alert. I'm watching.

Observing another case of bullying between two adults and the two things both of these cases seem to have in common is jealousy which appears to be a label related to deprivation. Something is missing or unattended and deprived. The bully insists on having that need met and by force if necessary.

Facebook was the scene of the bullying between the two adults. After months of disparaging remarks, the bullied one finally deleted the bully from her list of friends. Slighted, the bully waited for an opportunity to attack.

Frequent accusations and insinuations, she started a campaign of character assassination. The bullied one neither cared enough to challenge her nor would use a social medium to launch a counterattack. Ignoring the bullying was her approach which incited the bully that much more.

This adult made her declaration, a line drawn in the sand or across her Facebook page. We watched as it unfolded for everyone to see. No protests were made by anyone thereby silently and invisibility crediting her with their approval. Eventually a protest was broached; the bully responded angrily, quickly and with malice. No one else dared protest.

Eventually this bully convinced a few of her followers. The one who was bullied was tried and convicted of all matters of manufactured insults. No one cared to hear any side but that of the one doing the damning. Vicious and spiteful from being ignored, the bully continues attacking, unable to move on nor let go. The bully enjoys their status. It becomes an elixir of power.

The child bully behaved in much the same way as the adult bully. Isolating her quarry from the group, she hissed unkind words to the little girl.
Soon she was confronting the little girl. Standing nose to nose she told the child to move to the end of the dugout because she didn't like her. As soon as the bullied child encountered any of the other children in the dug out the bully would wedge herself between the children and get in the other child's face. The child being bullied had no experience in dealing this. She would hang her head and move away to stand alone in the dugout.

The little bully would glance around to make sure no body was watching. She knew to be sly; the behavior unacceptable.

My first question was "What has made this child into the bully she is at the ripe old age of five?"

What to do?
The next ball game was arriving quickly and something had to be done.

The answer was simple. She was scheduled first up to bat. Putting her first and then lining up 3 boys to follow her, left the her to bat and then on base for most of the time the other girls were in the dugout. The little girls that were the object of her jealously were soon up to bat and while the bully had finished running her bases and was back in the dug out. This protected the child being bullied but did nothing to fix the problem in this child's future on dealing with it.

It was interesting to watch her behavior (the bully). She tried to change the order of batters. When that didn't work for her she asked to go see her father. I was impressed that she asked permission. I had seen her interaction earlier with her parent and she was outright defiant.

Watching her interaction with her parent told a lot of the story. She asked him for a hug. He placed his hands on both of her shoulders and jiggled her back and forth a bit. I doubt this was what the child wanted and I'm sure she needed that hug that wasn't delivered.

The adult bully in this story? Her goal was to isolate and collect people to what she considered her "side". Juvenile as this may seem, a bully's behavior isn't an indication of being a mature adult.

My theory? This little person is attention starved. She thinks her attention from her friends is threatened by the new child so she defends her territory. The adult bully may suffer the same.

I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for this child. I stayed close to her on the field and offered praise and encouragement for her efforts in the game.
Who will be watching this child the next time she practices her bullying? Whose life will she impact with her behavior. I shutter to think what she will be in another 10 yrs. Unless something changes in her life soon, I can see her develop into that adult bully.
4 more games left. I'll be watching to see if there is any improvement in her behavior. As special as each child is, unless they believe it and have someone in their lives that is willing to make them important, they emerge into an adult with a wider range of bullying techniques honed since childhood. How sad!

...and then I think...were we all an object of a bully some where in our life? Is it inescapable? Some bosses I've met are definitely bullies. Some police officers take the opportunity of the protection of the badge they wear to bully. Maybe it's a lesson that needs to be taught to a child on how to handle it instead of avoiding it. How sad!

Just another day...

Ah, Friday. If I had a job that was one from Monday through Friday, this would be the day I would be raring to get through. 24 hrs later I would be frantic about how quickly my days off have whizzed by. Since I am not employed, I can tack on two more days to the past 5 days as a normal and routine schedule of days.

I've been cutting roots. The big maple tree in front of this house has roots that appear just beneath the St. Augustine  and seek the foundation of this house. I've already seen what they can do to a sidewalk, so I have a maul and as I pace around that tree in my bare feet, I can feel the roots just beneath the grass. I've been swinging that maul and cutting through those roots and removing a 5 inch section. The part of the root that is moving to the house has now lost it's supply of nutrients and should rot.

I can get obsessed with doing this and soon the yard looks as though a herd of gophers have torn through it.

It's too hot to be outside for long and it's only May. I can't imagine at this rate, what August will be like around here. I'm wilting now. I'm off to get a shower. Carrie has a game tonight and I'll be in the dug out! game:
OMG, it was HOT. The little guys would remove their helmets, hair saturated with sweat, faces reddened, they shove their way to the bench to grab their drinks.

I'm again the dugout mom. I herd them back onto the field and then walk out to stand with the little ones in the outfield. As their attention wanders, I shout to them "Eye on the ball! Emma, Carrie..eye on the ball!"

I spin around to survey the field and the players and shout encouragement to them. They are hot. I'm hot. The sun is setting and shines directly into their eyes. Gloves are held up to shield their faces which makes it impossible to watch the ball. I want to go home; this feeling is in harmony with the little players. I understand. This isn't my game either.

Four more games and this fun should end. The temperatures this week are expected to be in the HIGH 90's, much to hot for the month of June.

Hurricane season starts soon and with this high heat already, the thought of what this may mean in terms of ocean temperatures is scary!

It's time to post and get something else done. Like sleep maybe?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

If you look closely, you can see the tooth that is loose and pushed forward by her upper teeth.

The moment has finally arrived. The Tooth Fairy Book that I purchased for Carrie when she was only a year old has been kept in the bookcase and yesterday we bought it out and read it again. Carrie has a loose tooth so we thought it might be time to read about the Tooth Fairy.

Out came the dark blue book decorated with little fairies dancing around in their gossamer dresses, their little wings fluttering as some of them flew through the background on the book.

The front cover has a little plastic shelf with a plastic cover that can be removed and replaced. In that little shelf is a small royal purple velvet bag with a gold drawstring. The fairy says it is much easier for her to find the little tooth beneath the pillow if it's put into that pouch. I'm suspecting more then one parent may have been busted when the child found the money AND the tooth beneath the pillow the next morning. Finding a small baby tooth can be near impossible.

Carrie's tooth came out this morning and I received a phone call with her excited voice telling me about it. It's the thought of the Tooth Fairy that excites Carrie. Finally the Tooth Fairy will be visiting and taking her tooth, leaving some money and kissing her on the head before she leaves. I've been reminded of this all day.

The upside of this? I may be able to convince Carrie to get into bed early and go to sleep.

The daughter and the grandson are going to a midnight movie so Carrie gets to spend fairy night with me. I'll try to make sure the fairy does her job correctly tonight. It's a big responsibility for me and means a lot to Carrie.
I'm done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pardon me, It's Louie (I think)

You have to try a few of them on before settling for that perfect one. The boxer pup has been trying on a few names since he found his new home. For a while he was Earl, then Sal, and Benny and even Steve was in the running.

Louie. I've heard that is the name that they introduced him to Carrie with so I'm assuming that is now his moniker. Louie was an uncle of mine that lived in Providence, R.I. and the daughter can still  remember him from the time we lived there. She loved her Uncle Louie.

Our pets are always named a human type name. There is no Rovers, or Spots or Busters. There has been Gilbert named after a nephew, Claudia named after a friend in Wyoming and Leonard named after another friend.

I used to clear it with the person I named my dogs after so as not to offend. Usually the name borrowed was looked upon as an honor and I never had an objection.

Gus was two years old when the daughter acquired him so his name was left intact. Carrie is already planning on the gifts she wants to get Louie for Christmas.

Carrie made it home this afternoon and soon was on the phone asking if she could come to my house. She is now settled into my bed watching her television show after getting a quick shower. She will be spending the night although I have instructions to bring her home as soon as she wakes tomorrow.

I'm ready to eat an Ambien and call it a night.
...........continued days later
Again with the game last evening.

 We were back at the ball field again. I got the little ones to line up with their coach for a group photo. I spent my time in the outfield reminding everyone to watch the ball. Looking to my right, Emma was bent from the waist..her head on her knees while Carrie at second base was doing a dance step and Maddie was making like a windmill with her arms swinging around her body. "Eye on the ball Carrie..Maddie..Emma!" It takes a little reminding of where they are and this is repeated sporadically throughout the game.

Will plays as though he is on a big team. He scoops up the ball at his base, tags the player then hurls the ball to first base. Will has a few older brothers, a sand lot in his back yard and a father that coaches him. It's amazing to watch him and realize he is only 5 yrs. old.

I don't think Carrie will ever be truly in to this baseball thing and the same for Maddie. Maddie is the fastest runner on the field though she also finds the game boring. Track might be a better sport for her.

Each one will find their little niche. Who knows? By next season they all might be little Mickey and Minnie Mantles.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doomsday and The Earl

Gus and Carrie

Ted and Earl

Another rescue has been completed and all parties involved couldn't be happier!

Gus came into our lives and more specifically the daughter's family when his previous owners were contemplating taking him to the pound. Gus lived with a family of four. When the two children started school, Gus became bored with his life and started digging holes in his yard. The father in this house gave instructions to his wife to get rid of the dog before he got back from being "offshore" or he would be taken to the pound.

Welcome Gus. You are now a member of a new family that loved you for years and years. Ted was just a wee child when Gus arrived and Gus was still around some 8 yrs. later when Carrie arrived. By the time Carrie had reached the age of 3, poor Gus had tumors in his mouth that bled when he tried to eat dry dog food. The tumors were down the sides of his body and toward the end, he couldn't get his mouth into his dog dish to eat or drink. When the daughter had to sit and hold the dish up to his face so he could eat, she knew she had waited as long as she could.
Gus and the family went to the vet's office where Gus was tenderly released from his pain with his family close by.
Carrie is now 5 yrs old and Ted is almost 18 and Earl made his appearance yesterday.
Earl is a 4 month old fawn boxer. His tail has been clipped but his ears remain full. He has papers that need to be completed to register him. Earl needed rescued also and the daughter had been waiting these past two years for just such a boxer to come into her life. Earl has arrived!

This is May 21st and the day the world has yet again predicted to end by the doomsday cult. Earl hasn't yet spent a full 24 hrs with his new family. We aren't telling him about the bad news. He is happy and what does it matter if it's only going to be for one day. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm Visiting with My Poppy!

By the time 1700 hrs rolled around, I was exhausted. I spent the day cleaning. Didn't I just do that recently? I'm beginning to believe it's a never ending job, this cleaning stuff. I was just pullin your leg on that last comment. I've been doing this cleaning gig long enough to have realized years ago that it was a never ending job.

Between keeping up with the outside and the inside, I have kept way too busy. I slipped between the sheets about 1400 hrs and took an hour down time. A little nap and then into the shower and out of the house and to the ball park to watch our little Minnie Mantle.

Her Poppy showed up and she ran over to sit close to him. Holding a handful of sunflower seeds, they shared them as the team hit the field for practice. The coach walked over to Carrie and said "Let's go practice Carrie!" and to this Carrie replies "Can't you see? I'm talkin to my Poppy right now."  I didn't find out about this conversation till after the game. What I did witness is when I walked up a minute later and while the coach is again encouraging Carrie to join her team and Carrie replies "I'm eating sunflower seeds right now."

Intervention time. "Carrie, put down those seeds and get on the field!" I didn't have to say this with any anger or even very sternly. She immediately handed over her seeds to her Poppy and ran onto the field.

I'm thankful for Carrie's mother. For all the lieniecy given to her by her devoted Poppy, Carrie's mom keeps her on an even keel. She rights the wrongs. She administers reality checks. We are grateful  to her for keeping us from ruining sweet Carrie. 

We still have periods of inattention and she always looks to us for instructions on doing that run from base to base. I think her favorite part of the game is at the end when they all line up to give the other team a "high five" and "good game" salute.

Her dad showed up to watch her play and she left with him as soon as the game was over. I'm gonna miss that little girl. I always miss her when she is out of reach or out of touch.

Today the hubby left. He is on his way to Texas and the first thing I did while he was in the shower before he left was spray off the roadster and wipe it dry. I pulled it off the carport and into the sunshine to let the rag top get dry. I'll be using it again in the next few days. It doesn't get much use when the hubby is home. We run around in his truck so the little car stays parked. It's 90 degrees here and the daughter and I have been out shopping. I'm now happy to be back in the air conditioned silence of my house.

I'll head for daughter's house in a few hours to grill some steaks. I'm the guest. That's the best thing to be. Right now I'm due my nap!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picnic in the Park

I had a head start and made good use of it. First a quick shower and dressed without interruption. Carrie was still asleep and in her bed, something unheard of but then we both stayed in that bed last night. I didn't have to escape to the sofa at 0300. That's only because I was asleep at that time and not holding on to a sliver of mattress that Carrie usually allows me to have.

Today we make brownies for our picnic. I didn mention a picnic? Well, yes. We are going to the park with sandwiches and drinks and frisbees and swings. The swings will be there. We are taking the frisbees.

I cracked open 3 eggs and put them in the mixing bowl, measured and poured the water and oil and had the brownie mix sitting on the counter. Carrie will only have to pour everything together and mix and then pour into the greased baking dish. I'm ready.

When we got to the park, Carrie spread out the blanket and unpacked her meal. We also stopped at Walmart for some "baby chicken" and some potato logs. Our banquet was spread on the WV blanket and voraciously we dined. Wiping her greasy fingers off, she was done with her lunch and was off to the jungle jim to hang out with the children already at play.

The ducks, as is their habit, crept closer and closer to our blanket looking for hand outs. A breeze moved the leaves on the tree we were beneath and the laughter of the children could be heard in the distance.

It was just a nice pleasant afternoon with Carrie. Now for that afternoon nap.

Ball Field and Another Game

I warmed the players up pitching balls for them. The coach showed up so I didn't have to be the pitcher. Big sigh here from me but I did have to be the dug out mom again. This time was better then my first attempt at this. For one thing, I knew what was going on and I had a plan and firmly guided the little ones to what I needed of them.
"Get a drink and put your helmets on and get your bats." I said to them as I glanced over the paper I was holding that listed their names and the order in which they would go to the batters mound.
Everyone was required to line up on the bench in order. This was not their first time with me so it went much better especially since I knew their names this time. "Megan?" "Hey, you leaving?" I said to the back of the head of the little girl as she shot out of the dug out and sprinted across the field. Ah, a bathroom break. I shuffled the players around and moved Megan farther back down the line until she returned. I've found you have to be flexible when dealing with these short little folks.
It was 89 degrees here so I made sure the little ones had their fluids. Bright red faces and hair that once was neat and tidy when they arrived on the field was now falling out of ties and tangled. Dirty knees and dusty derrieres stained the white shorts and pants they wore.
We've determined that this might not be Chloe's game. The little girl played "dodge em" with her shadow for the first few innings. Playing the outfield, she ran in circles around one of the fathers' that was monitoring first base. When he tried to redirect her, she would dance out of his reach and giggle while she kept running.
When she was up to bat, she stood and watched the ball as it sailed over home plate, the bat glued to her shoulder. No amount of practice has helped. By now most of the other children are savvy to what is going on. Chole is blissfully ignorant and having the best time of anyone there. She isn't even close to playing ball much to her mother's chagrin. At the end of the game, her mother came over and thanked us for the extra attention we had showered on her hoping she would click to what was needed. It was all in vain. Chole had her own idea and stuck to them.
Carrie plays the game and can actually hit the ball and send it to the outfield. She still gets a little spacey standing on the bases waiting and forgetting to run. I think she is always relieved when it's over.
We are going to talk with the theatre people and check out the requirements for entering that group. I think the stage would be a natural place for Carrie and her personality. She would thrive on the lights,music and movement.
I'm outta here to get a shower and wash some of the ball park dust off of me.
...and then I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Eye on the Ball Carrie!
We have been extremely fortunate on this ball game stuff. There seems to always be a nice breeze blowing and the heat has been blown away.

Carrie's rooting section sit to the left side of the dugout, their colorful canvas chairs lined up creating their own "bleachers". Cold bottled water held in hands that glisten from the sweating  bottles, no one minds those drops of moisture sprinkled on their legs.

Carrie practices pitching with her team mate while other ball game activities are carried on around her. Some are practicing hitting the ball and you can hear the ping of the ball as it connects with the bat. Occasionally a ball rolls by my chair and a child arrives close behind to recover it.
The three innings went fast. Carrie was the last one to bat so nobody had to remind her to run more then the one time at the start. The last batter runs all the bases. Most of the time she paid attention to the game with only an occasional reminder needed. She did dance and prance and a couple of times she even twirled around while in the outfield. She's five. We let it slide a little.

I'm not inside much lately. I'm taking full advantage of this cool weather that is so uncommon for us. Record lows have been reached for us. How wonderful is that?

We're off to do some shopping. The husband leaves on a job tomorrow and his ice chest has sprung a leak and needs to be replaced.

Since we are going to the huge sports store, Academy, I'll browse the sale items and probably leave with nothing. I need nothing and for that I'm grateful!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday and May

Easy breezy~~~I've already been outside this morning and watered the flowers. It's wonderfully cool here and has been for the past couple of days. The high yesterday was in the mid 70's. It's Caribbean weather here in SW Louisiana, a break from the normal hot for this time of year. I just saw the weather forecast for the week....mid 80s with lows in the 50's at night. Could we please just have this continue all summer long? Please?

I have not a thing exciting going on right now. Carrie has a ball game this afternoon and I'm going to spend the morning spring cleaning my living room. How's that for excitement?  I'm going to do that as soon as I take some ibuprofen for this headache. Damn sinuses!

........and later in the afternoon:
I know a barrel of oil has skyrocketed so a quart of the stuff must have doubled in price too. I just got back from taking the Grand Marquis for an oil change and found that the price has doubled since the last time I had it done. I forsee my future now. I'll be buying that oil myself and doing my own oil changes.

Thankfully I don't drive as much as I used too when I worked outside the home. I can go months and months before I rack up enough miles to have to have the oil changed.

Then coffee? Have you seen the price jump in that morning jolt we must have?  I dare not check the prices now on a cup of java at Starbucks. I've always thought those that paid four dollars for a cup of Joe there were a little addle brained. Now with the rise in the price of coffee, they are sure to jack up their prices and start shutting down some more of their stores.

Where will it stop? The price hikes on food, gas and oil? I'm sure we will get to pay for all the flooding via higher insurance premiums.

We are heading into hurricane season here too and with all the extreme weather across the USA this winter and spring, the thought of hurricane season approaching freezes me in my tracks.

We may be ducking and weaving all summer here in S.W. Louisiana.

It's almost ball game time and I'm off to pack some cold drinks and make sure the canvas chairs are in the car and the batteries in the camera are charged.

I'm done.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Here Today but Gone Tomorrow

A slow drive by afforded a good inspection of what was left. What wasn't left were much of the inhabitants of this small village. Mobile homes sat well back off the road, boasting a large front lawn, flowers snuggled against the skirting and sago palms dispersed haphardly around the area but devoid of vehicles or people. Most had packed up and gone, leaving behind their weekend camps but just as many of these houses were the everyday living quarters of the ones in this bayou.

Gardens were producing already and abandoned. We left the narrow paved road and drove up onto the levee. From there we could see the houses on the riverbank. The muddy water was already over the banks and creeping inward. On this side of the levee there were people sitting outside their homes, maybe for one last while knowing all would be gone after today.

The parrish sheriff's deputies were patrolling in the event someone needed assistance. Sandbags were being filled, backhoes were digging and loading trucks that were hauling the sand to where we didn't know.

The small store held a bench on the front porch with a lone man sitting and enjoying a sandwich. I stepped up on the board step and crossed the wooden porch to open the screen door. Immediately inside and to the left was the cash register manned by an elderly woman waiting on a customer. The small store's inventory was scant. Nothing had been reordered to fill the shelves after the notice was given of the mandatory evacuation earlier in the month.

I walked down a narrow aisle on oiled board floors to the cooler in the back. A few cold soft drinks were left, the selection minimal. An Orange Crush and a Mountain Dew were cold and wet and those two values were all I required. 

I stood in line at the counter behind two reporters with their press badges on lanyards around their necks. Later we would see them filming as a mobile home was being towed out of the coming waters' path.

The chances of anything left in Butte La Rose seem small to none. As we drove away it was with a few pictures in my camera and the knowledge that this community was designated to be destroyed.

Butte La Rose and Henderson Louisiana...BEFORE the FLOOD

Butte La Rose is about 20 miles from here and Hendersen is even closer. I haven't been to either little area for years and now before it's gone, we drove there today. The following pictures show the homes which will be lost at Butte La Rose.
                   Crossing the Atchafalaya Basin on I-10:

 St. Landry Parrish Sheriff's department filling sandbags.
 Homes on the other side of the levee. We drove the levee for a while.