Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flowers for Leontien

I am offering this perfect rose from last summer's Farmers' Market to Leontien, a woman I had never heard about until last week, when Theresa from the Run*Around*Ranch invited me to be in on yesterday's surprise for her.

Although I didn't participate, I checked into what was posted yesterday and the surprise bunch of blog posts with flowers for Leontien and am sitting here simply overwhelmed with what I've learned about the power of the blogosphere. Here's a bit of background.

Leontien is battling cancer and has determined that she will fight it with all her might, inspiring three bloggers with the idea of providing a list of blog posts that would make her realize that she is not alone in her struggle. Not having known anything about her until I looked at her blog (Four Leaf Clover Tales), I felt a bit reluctant to participate. Until today. The beautiful and overwhelming flowers and posts that have been created here cannot help but inspire anybody. Please take a look at Nancy's blog called A Rural Journal where you too can join the caravan (she's hosting the gift page) and give Leontien your flower, your hopes, a virtual hug, whatever. As soon as I've finished this, that's where this one is going.

This was all the brainchild of Buttons, who enlisted the help of Theresa and Nancy. I received an invitation to be part of the surprise from Theresa and, as I said, I declined. That said, the power of the blogosphere, of love and hope has given me the desire to spread this to Leontien from any of my own followers who might not have heard about it. At this moment (it changes continually), there are 186 flowers and posts on the site. The inspiration I've gained from a random sampling just fills my heart with joy. I'll spend a bit more time crying healing tears, not only for Leontien, but for all of us who have joined together to spread some love.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Misty Blanchard Mountain

Today six of us hardy Senior Trailblazers set out in a wee bit of rain. We would have had a seventh person, but he's new and didn't realize that we don't allow dogs along on these hikes. He'll be back, though. The schedule said that today was to be "Mikey's choice" on Blanchard Mountain. He hikes all the trails on this mountain often and knows them well. His choice, however, was a 12.3-mile loop, and we agreed to go, IF the weather cleared up. It was only raining a little when we got to the trailhead, and we were hopeful.
The trail wasn't in the best shape, as it rained all last night, too. It kept trying to clear and the mist would stop, but just when we would take off our rain hoods, it would start up again. The plan was to hike up to the Lilly and Lizard Lake area and possibly take a side trip to North Butte or even Samish Overlook, if it looked like there might be a view. No such luck.
By the time we reached the lake, I saw that the skunk cabbage has grown quite a bit since we were here last. The odor is the reason for the name; every once in awhile we would get a whiff of... something rather organic and a little skunky. Apparently this is what attracts its pollinators. Here's a fascinating link about skunk cabbage, also called swamp lantern. You can also see the raindrops on the lake; it was raining at that time but not too much.
About noon, however, the rain picked up in intensity. Linda has just purchased herself a new raincoat made of the same magic quality as mine (eVent) and so far is happy with it. She got a chance to give it a good workout today. We decided to have lunch under the trees at Lilly Lake, and although it was still a bit drippy, nothing like the rain on the lake itself, as you can see from this picture.
If you enlarge it, you can see why we decided to cut our lunch time short and head back to the cars the most straightforward way possible. We were all getting cold and pretty wet, even with all our wonderful rain gear. We didn't talk much as we listened to the dripping of the rain on our hoods and made our way back down the trail to the cars. However, I did get one nice picture once the rain had let up a bit. It's very beautiful here, but all that green comes at a cost: plenty of precipitation.
By the time we returned to our vehicles, we had covered more than ten miles and climbed and descended around 1800 feet of elevation. We were all discussing our plans for the rest of the day, such as a hot bath, warm clothes, a nice cup of tea, or even a hot toddy if it was late enough in the day. I knew I wanted to get this post written so I could enjoy sitting down after a good day outdoors, even if it was a bit on the moist side. It always helps to have good friends to commiserate with, as well as sharing the joy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy birthday, Daddy

Taken by Peter Stewart
Tomorrow, April 25, would have been my dad's ninety-fifth birthday. He only lived long enough to enjoy his sixty-second, passing away of a massive heart attack in July 1979. That's a long time ago now. Pete, my brother-in-law who took this picture, died himself last year. That's Norma Jean standing behind Daddy, long hair cascading down her back. Now it's short and has a lot of gray in it, but she's still on this side of the grass.

Looking at this picture brings back such memories. You wouldn't know it from this picture, but Daddy was a morning person. I wonder what was going through his mind as he was making his coffee to take to work. It must have been the period after he retired from the Air Force and was working at General Dynamics, but I'm not sure, since I was out living my own life and wasn't around much during this time. But when I look at this picture, I project my own existential meaning into a thought balloon over his head: a rather melancholy reverie wondering what it's all about, the inevitable march of days, years, decades, with little imperceptible changes adding up to huge life changes.

My parents had seven children, me being the oldest. I'm turning seventy this year, and Mama has been gone for almost twenty years now. My son Chris, gone almost ten years. All of my parents' children are alive today, except for Tina Maria who was born prematurely and never had a chance to live at all. I was thinking that if I was able to have a nice chat with Daddy, he might wonder what's been going on down here.

It would take volumes to tell him everything, but there are a few things I would tell him if I could. First and foremost, thank you, and Mama too, for giving me the opportunity to have had such a rich and varied life. You would have loved what has happened in the world of electronics. I remember when you built yourself a television from scratch (or maybe it was a Heathkit). You loved all things electronic, and the blogosphere, the World Wide Web, is a real entity that would have sounded like science fiction while you were alive. I now have two blogs which I use to keep my writing life alive, to reminisce like I'm doing now, as well as to chronicle the wonderful existence I am experiencing in retirement.

Norma Jean and I use video chat to keep in touch a few times a week. Remember when I was a kid and we watched an old program called Believe It Or Not that projected a future world? I remember it said that by the Year 2000 we would have Dick Tracy-type wrist watches that would allow us to communicate face to face. Well, you would have to see today's iPhone to believe it! What a difference it makes to be able to laugh and share with Norma Jean virtually while we are on opposite ends of the country. Yes, you would have loved all the video advances.

I think you would also be proud of all that your children have accomplished. Although we are all as different as most family members tend to be, we all share some traits that can be traced directly back to you and Mama: we are all hard workers, skilled at our jobs and able to make ethical decisions that impact our chosen fields positively. You have dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We have all been good parents and remember you and Mama with infinite fondness.

So, Daddy, I wish you happy happy birthday! Your memory will never fade from my heart as long as I live, you can count on that.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Three weekends in a row

Columbines showing their faces
This is the first time in ages I can remember us having three nice weekends in a row! This hardly ever happens this early in the season, and I'm hoping it's a sign of things to come. Last Wednesday, Cliff Mass, when he realized that it was going to be nice again, wrote a post he called "We Win the Spring Trifecta!" and compares this spring with our last one. Nice difference.
After a splendid six-mile walk this morning, I headed over to the Farmers' Market. All the vendors are a bit in shock themselves: ever since opening day (it's only on Saturdays), the weather has been wonderful. This young man is bicycling his way to a smoothie, and you notice that his mother is NOT wearing a jacket and has bare arms. (It wasn't that warm, if you ask me, but we tend to overdo it when the sun is shining.) The young lady in the picture below and her mother are prepared with sunglasses. I asked for permission to take her picture, she's just so cute!
By the time I took this picture, high clouds were beginning to form overhead, but it wasn't making any of the myriad smiles go away. Any time we have such beautiful weather, nobody is complaining. Once I headed home, I thought about writing a post and pondered making another photo safari, but the only thing I've been taking pictures of (other than those two at the market) are the amazing flowers that are abundant everywhere. Those columbines are under the steps to my apartment. My front porch flowers are coming along nicely, too.
The salvia are obviously happy as they spread their roots through the basket, and the fuschia is also blooming. I got two different kinds and look forward to seeing what comes up. The basket on the chair has pansies and sweet pea growing fast enough to see a difference from one day to the next. This time of year, when everything is anxious to make an appearance, the riot of color and birds singing their mating songs, fills my heart and eyes with abundance. And I must leave you with another picture from last week's trip to the Tulip Festival. There were so many wonderful ones, but I have to give Linda Letters a shout-out for her pictures of the same gardens, which are simply spectacular. She lives in Seattle and traveled north to the gardens, while I traveled south to visit them from Bellingham. Please take a moment to look at her pictures. You won't be sorry.
Cascading tulips and hyacinth
It's hard to remember the long gray days of clouds and rain right now. If I tried I could probably do it, but what's the point? Life is pretty darn good in the present moment. As one sage said, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trillium time in the Chuckanuts

One of dozens of trillium pictures I took
Today eight of us Trailblazers went to three different destinations in the Chuckanuts: Chuckanut Falls, Raptor Ridge, and Madrone Crest. The weather forecast gave us a 90% chance of rain for the day, with showers in the morning and rain in the afternoon. But we woke to sunshine, not rain, giving us hope for another not-too-wet hike. We were rewarded with a dry day after all, but the sun left before we even began to hike at 8:30am.
Our first stop was the falls, a short side excursion from the Hemlock trail. This is a fairly new trail in the Chuckanut trail system, and the falls might be more spectacular after a heavy rain, but we were happy to see it, some of us for the first time. It's certainly green around the falls. Early in the day, my trillium pictures all had their heads hanging down from the previous night's rain.
I tried to get a picture of the falls without the log in the foreground. Since it wasn't all that good, I decided to appreciate all the green ferns growing out of the log. Our next stop was at Raptor Ridge, a couple of miles farther up the trail. The view from the ridge was diminished by low clouds, so as we left we played with our poles, making them resemble crossed swords. I asked Peggy to come back under them so I could capture a shot of seniors acting silly. It was fun and made for an interesting picture.
Our last stop was at Madrone Crest. The madrone trees are almost all gone now, but the trail is one of my favorite places, and if you're lucky you can get a view of Mt. Baker. We didn't expect much, since Raptor Ridge was basically socked in, but we were fortunate indeed. Still no rain; although the low clouds spit at us now and then, we stayed dry. Every moment we expected a deluge.
By the time we had our lunch at Madrone Crest, we had traveled more than seven miles and had plenty of distance still to go. The hike was intended to be shorter, but since it never did rain, we kept on going, making it almost ten miles by the time we got back to the cars, and covering almost 2,500 feet of elevation up and down. When we returned to the Senior Center and I got out of Al's car, my stiff old body groaned and creaked a fair amount.
Not only the trillum flowers are out everywhere, but the ferns are unfurling. This bracken fern will be out in a day or two; they are so fascinating to observe on their way to becoming full-fledged leaves. I took this picture just as we finished our hike. I had tried all day to get a good shot, but they kept being fuzzy in the low light, and my cohorts are likely to leave me behind if I fiddle around too long. The light wasn't perfect, but this one WAS in focus! It's probably unfurled more than this already.

But I wouldn't know, since I'm home, warm and toasty. And tired. Once I get this on line, I'll go pour myself a glass of wine. It's time to relax for the evening.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tulip Festival 2012

Today was a day for tulips, lots and lots of them! My friend Judy and I headed down to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on a day that had the lowest chance of rain for the week. Last year we went on April 12 and were a little early for the best display. Today we saw at least 70% of the tulips in bloom, and I think our favorite must be the huge pink and red tulips above. I took lots of pictures of this pretty pink thing (below) that has so many petals it almost doesn't even look like a tulip, but it is.
The RoozenGaarde family has created gardens that take your breath away. I learned last year that every single bulb is planted fresh each year, and the gardens are meticulously designed to give every visitor maximum satisfaction. There were plenty of people there, even on a cool and cloudy weekday, visitors from all over the country. The cost is $5 per person, worth every dime.
It's almost impossible to give a true idea of the beauty in all the different arrangements and beds composed of myriad varieties. There are three main flowers: daffodils, tulips (of course), and grape hyacinth. This year I saw three different kinds of hyacinth: the regular blue, some with a pretty white top, and a completely white variety.
The tulips on the right are just now beginning to bloom, while the ones on the left are in full flower. The grape hyacinth are arranged in many of the beds to look like a waterfall (to my eye anyway). We wandered around the beds and exclaimed over the different tulips until we had almost reached saturation. We could hardly take it all in, but then we went to check out the big fields of tulips behind the gorgeous manicured gardens.
The mountains were obscured by clouds and mist, but it didn't take away from the magnificent riot of color to which we were treated. We asked a passerby to take a picture of the two of us for posterity. She happily obliged.
She even took two so I could choose. Somehow the only pictures in the entire batch that didn't need to be straightened were hers. I don't know how I always manage to get my pictures sloping down to the right; it seems inevitable unless I try to compensate, and then they skew uphill. Fortunately for me, iPhoto's "straighten" tool works just fine. Afterward, we headed to LaConner for lunch and to warm up. It was pretty darn cool today, but I didn't see a raindrop until we were on the highway heading home. It's my lucky jacket, don't you think?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springtime sights

Yesterday morning around 7:30 I walked to the bus and noticed that not only was the sun out, but a heavy dew was covering all the blossoming rhododendrons. This Washington state flower begins to bloom in early spring, and different varieties will delight me for at least the next month. These are some of the first ones I've seen; the red ones come out next and I've spied a couple of bright red bushes, but so far no pictures.
Just as I reached the bus stop, I saw several beautiful trees that are just coming into flower. I don't know what this one is, but I was really pleased with the resulting picture. If you enlarge, you can see all the dew on the top part of the petals. The color of the sky behind is so delicate, and the early morning light on the petals combined just perfectly. By the time I got out of the gym at 10:00am, it was foggy and the sun had disappeared.
What's that red dot on his bill?
This morning our Saturday walk was to Whatcom Falls Park, and I saw this gull when we went past him the first time, so on the way back I took his picture. He hadn't moved, but when I pointed the camera at him, he started to move away. I was curious about that red dot on his bill (I've seen it before), so I looked it up and linked the information under the picture. After the walk I headed over to the Farmers' Market for our weekly veggies.
Roslyn from Rabbit Fields Farm
There are many different organic farmers to buy from at the market, but I keep coming back to Roslyn because her stuff is just so darn good. I put a link so you can read about Rabbit Fields Farm if you're interested. I bought one other thing while I was there, the Easter basket filled with flowering plants.
That basket on the left is filled with pansies, sweet peas, and many other exciting flowers that will keep on giving out some color for the entire summer. I bought one of these from the vendor a few years ago, and it kept blooming all the way into the next summer but then it finally gave up. Or I forgot to water it in the wintertime. The flower pot on the railing will be giving me summer flowers to attract the hummingbirds. This is the third springtime I'll have planted flowers out there in that hanging basket.

First I line the wire basket with a coconut fiber liner. Last year I didn't do this right, and the plants died pretty quickly, so this year I went so far as to read the directions! First I soaked it in water and once I got it mashed in there, I was able to simply pull the excess parts off the top. The biggest plants are salvia, which are hummingbird magnets, and some fuschia. I forget the name of the pretty pink hanging ones; they were the only ones already in bloom and I wanted some  immediate payoff. I bought these on Wednesday and got them planted yesterday. They are so happy to be up there with their roots unbound. I am looking forward to a nice batch of hummingbirds visiting me. You'll see the results if I am successful.

That's it for today, a beautiful Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. I read that this is the first back-to-back dry weekends we've had since early September, which is why everybody is smiling and happy to have this weather. Tomorrow I'll head down to Snohomish hoping to get a few jumps in with my friends. I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oyster Dome 2012

Steve, me, Amy, Karen (Mike was out exploring) on Oyster Dome
What a day we had! Although there were only five of us on the Senior Trailblazers hike today, we couldn't have asked for a better day. No wind, sunshine, a hard day's work, and good company. Al was out of town, the Ferndale group didn't show, but the day could not have been more pleasant. Although there was a 30% chance of rain, when I looked outside this morning, the blue skies gave me hope for a nice day. Steve was our day's leader. He made sure we were happy with our intended schedule and we took off in Mike's car, since we could all fit.
Spring is out in full force! Look at the ferns, the green plants all leafing out, the sun shining through. This hike starts up quite steeply from Chuckanut Drive. Since Steve kept going much faster than I was comfortable with, I finally ended up setting the pace for all of us (Al usually does this). It was disconcerting sometimes to see nobody in front of me, but we all knew the way and Steve kept making sure at each possible juncture that we all stayed in agreement. The trail as we approach the dome is nothing to be sneezed at:
The trail goes straight up and gets muddier and rockier as we climbed. Since I was now in the lead, we had to slow considerably, as I grunted and groaned my way up this terrain. In past years it's been icy and cold, but today it was just... tough going at times. Here's my description of last year's fall hike. Anyway, we made it to the Dome and decided to have a quick snack, enjoy the view and sit in the sunshine. It was a bit early for a lunch break, so we decided to have lunch at Lilly Lake. (We don't go back down the same way we came up, since it's more treacherous to go back down this stuff.)
The view of Samish Bay was simply spectacular. By the time we got there, it was High Tide, the sky was incredibly beautiful, and we basked in the sunshine until we decided to head to Lilly Lake. On the way, we saw lots of skunk cabbage making its first appearance of the year. (If you look at last year's hike to Oyster Dome in late April, you can see that skunk cabbage was in lots of snow.) It's a different experience this year. Take a look at today's skunk cabbage:
This was taken just before we reached Lilly Lake. There is a shortcut back to the trailhead, called "Max's Shortcut," which we almost took, before Steve asked if we wanted to go to Lizard Lake before heading back. We looked to Mike, who knows the area well. We asked him how much distance it would add to our overall mileage, and he said, "Well, it's probably about a half mile or so, round trip." We decided to go ahead and add an out-and-back to Lizard Lake before heading out onto the shortcut, but guess what? That "or so" ended up to be another almost two miles! By the time we got back down to the car, we had traveled more than 11 miles, and up and down more than 2,500 feet of elevation. A very full day, I'd say.
Some of you have asked me previously why it's called "Oyster Dome." Well, this picture tells you why: those squares out in the bay are an oyster farm, which you can see from the Dome. I looked it up online, and here's a link to Taylor Farm's Samish Bay shellfish. That's what you're looking at. It turns out that oyster farming is actually good for the environment, not harmful. I enjoyed learning about what I was seeing out there, as well as ending a very full and satisfying day. I hope you enjoyed it a little bit, too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That was some March we had

From NOAA's State of the Climate
I know that most of my blogging friends live in states that show up as red in this graph of last month's temperatures, and there's one state that was actually below normal. Guess where I live? Up there in the only blue-temperature state on the map! Not only that, but the entire West Coast had above-normal precipitation amounts during March; many of the soggiest places were on the West Coast, too.
Before we moved to Washington state, I lived for more than three decades in the ONLY red square on the precipitation map. I'm trying not to take it all personally. But I take heart in the fact that Texas has been in a severe drought, and now it seems like maybe it's easing up a bit. I know from a couple of my blogging friends that things are greening up quite nicely down there. Kind of shows why... and the Texas bluebonnets are everywhere in profusion.
We have just finished having a beautiful weekend with sunny skies, and on Easter Sunday Seattle reached 70 degrees F for the first time this year. Last year, we didn't hit 70 degrees until May 20! So, this Pacific Northwest springtime has suddenly turned incredibly lovely, with all the birds singing and flowers blooming everywhere. I took the picture of the blossoms on my way to the bus yesterday morning. And what is raising my spirits to no end is that for the first time since last fall, I'm seeing THIS as our predicted weather for the next period:
From Climate Prediction Center
Zippity-doo-da, Zippety-YAY! My oh my what a wonderful day... plenty of sunshine comin' my way, beautiful feelin', beautiful day. Hope it's gonna be nice in your part of the world, too. We are so ready for this.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I remember experiencing for months now. It was cool in the morning, and I scraped frost off the car windshield as I headed down to see opening day of the Bellingham Farmers' Market, celebrating twenty years in existence. The old favorite stalls were gearing up for the annual Cabbage Toss to open the season, and this year we were also treated to a parade.
A bluegrass band was on a tractor-drawn buggy and, not far behind, you can see a young lady carrying the Ceremonial Cabbage. Each year the town mayor throws a cabbage to a youngster to herald the beginning of our Saturday market. It starts on the first Saturday in April and ends on the last Saturday before Christmas. This gives the vendors a three-month break, which I am pretty sure they all need by the time the chilly winter season rolls around.
I had never before seen the cabbage brought in on a pillow like this, but it added a fair amount of whimsy to the festivities. This past election season, Bellingham voted in its first woman mayor, and I wanted to be sure to get a picture of her throwing the cabbage. I ALMOST got it perfectly; you can't tell it from here, but the cabbage has left her hands and was being tossed into the waiting hands of the young lady. My camera didn't give me another chance, because by the time it was ready to take another picture, the moment was gone.
Mayor Linville successfully underhanded her throw to the girl, and the Market bell began to ring enthusiastically. At that point I could buy some veggies and dash into our car so that Smart Guy and I could make the 75-mile drive south to Snohomish. I made my first skydives of 2012 yesterday, too, and although I packed after the first jump, I asked him if he would pack after the second one.
Here I am getting geared up for my first jump of the day with Kevin, one of my fellow skydivers in the air with me yesterday. Although I was pretty nervous after a five-month-long layoff, everything went perfectly before we headed home around 4:00pm. My friend Linny intended to stay until sunset, but that's her style. In the summertime she has made as many as seven in one day, whereas I only did that when I was much younger.

I wrote about about the skydiving part of the day on my other blog this morning, where there's a picture of me landing after this jump. It was cold, but not brutally so, and the sunshine warmed us and lifted our spirits as the day wore on. Today I'm a bit tired, but the sunshine is calling me to go outside and take pictures of the incredible profusion of flowers blooming everywhere.

This wonderful day of renewal and reflection is already very satisfying, and we will have a salmon dinner compliments of my fisherman friend Gene, as well as a nice walk in the sunshine. One thing I've noticed about having such a rainy March, every little bit of sunshine makes me smile. I am wishing that all of my dear blogging friends will have a day that fills you with hope for the future and joy for the opportunity to be sharing our lives.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chuckanut Ridge

Eleven Senior Trailblazers met to hike the Chuckanut Ridge today. This is the start of the trip from Arroyo Park. It's rated hard, and I went back to past year's hikes to remind myself why (we did this trek in March 2011 and March 2010). What I remembered most about this particular trip is all the ups and downs, with little to no level ground. We began on the Interurban trail and took a side trip up the Salal trail that added another mile.
I noticed that last year I took a picture in this exact same spot, because it's a particularly strenuous uphill followed by an exposed section with a precipitous drop. (Last year's post shows it better, but you get the picture. Peggy has been on all three hikes, I see.) Today's weather forecast was sort of in the middle: maybe some sun, maybe some rain. We got no rain, although the last few days have been pretty darn wet, and at the beginning of the day we hoped for views but instead got a bit of fog rolling in.
Our trail is on the right, and the fog obscured any views we might have had, but we were all in a pretty good mood since it wasn't RAINING. After this picture it was a bit on the cool side; even though we continued to keep moving. We knew that by noon we would make it to Gates Overlook for lunch. By the time I took this picture, my stomach was making editorial comments (Hey, I'm hungry!).
Once we got to Gates Overlook, the skies were beginning to clear and we actually had some view of Bellingham Bay. From this point on, we had more and more sunshine to lighten our moods. We started our downward trip back to the cars. Although we missed a shortcut, it still wasn't unpleasant as we hiked the trails. I was beginning to get a bit tired and my back hurt quite a lot, so Mike was sweet enough to carry my pack down the last couple of miles.
By the time we got to the stream on the home stretch, there was much more sun than clouds. Now, as I'm sitting at my still functioning iMac and writing this post, it's almost all sun and just a few little white puffies making an appearance. It's simply a beautiful day. Holly was on today's hike, and she sent me her GPS coordinates, showing that we went more than twelve miles (by her estimation). Al's GPS showed a more likely 11.2 miles, but both showed that we went up and down more than 3,000 feet of elevation. That's definitely considered to be "hard." Here's Holly's track record:
You see it was an out-and-back trip, mostly. My knees are complaining a bit, and my back is complaining a lot. Without the poles, I couldn't have completed it today, I'm convinced. But even so, going such a distance and returning to the cars in one piece is worth some congratulations to all of us. Frank, being 81, was slowing down a bit at the end, but he was still smiling when we reached the cars. I have a few years before I'm there, but he is an inspiration. If I just keep on hiking, perhaps I'll be writing about it in another decade or so. I hope so.