worlds within worlds

I remember the first time I saw a picture of water bears. It was like the first time I saw the Hubble telescope pictures of the universe- an opening of a door into the real grandeur of reality. The inside of a drop of dew! The distances in the night sky! The incredible song the body sings in sickness and in health, the twirling molecules…!!!! Then there’s things like paintings and souffles and Spring and gardens and……

SO ANYWAY. Recently I visited a world within a world and while it was challenging, it was also instructive and in the end kind of endorsing.

Among the many things the Previous Tenant left undone was paying the fees to the Homeowner’s Association here. Net net, HOA fees are pretty much cast in bronze, stone, lead…permanent. The figure was, to me, large. I commenced research on the pertinent laws, asked some questions, finally got a very interesting page of handwritten numbers from the Association. All this allowed me to make an offer to the Board of a repayment sum that, while not thrilling me to part with, would clear the matter once and for all. Labors of Hercules? piffle. In any event, the matter was settled and my offer accepted and my business- like proactive approach appreciated.

But, and there is always a but, right? The meeting occurred during last week’s State of the Union address. Which had to be watched with baited breath and approval, while I, praying for equanimity, cast my eyes over displays of confederate flags, heard things like ALL DEMOCRATS ARE AWFUL and WELL NOT ALL. SOME ARE GOOD PEOPLE, and HERE, HAVE SOME (****** ****), an old name for Brazil nuts that is beyond even being offensive it is so awful, and more of the same. Actual applause at the remarks about OD deaths being their lowest ever. I realized I was sitting in a room full of people who, while being perfectly nice, were very akin to the guys who surrounded me the last time I voted in a Presidential Primary and escorted me, roughly, out of the building because they saw I had voted for Sanders. It was, for a moment, quite scary. Also? What is to be done? There was clearly no point in discussing any of the opinions proffered from my point of view, as it would have been a divergence from the “schedule” not to mention potentially life threatening. ( Also my point of view involves things like plant medicine and energy and the actual oneness of all, and at this point I am not trying to prove anything to anyone, except that we ARE all here together and it makes sense to act accordingly.) It made me for a moment feel like a coward. However. As I sat there, breathing and hoping I had a smile on my face, I thought about how actions speak louder than words. I thanked them for their kindness and consideration as it related to my situation. The group appeared to have some awareness that I was not “one of them” and very painstakingly told me all about who Rush Limbaugh is. I said thankyou, I did in fact know about him. Neutrality in action. I found myself handing bowls of popcorn around to everyone. Finally the thing came to an end and we all trooped out into the inky, now late, night.

I got home and my heart rate was enough to make me feel like my head was going to explode. As I proceeded with baking bread, even at that late hour, chattered to the Partner about what had happened, and got licked to smithereens by the Dog, it came to me that actually the whole thing was a kind of success. I could see the bigger expanse of all of this, the water bears so to speak, and realized that yes, it is pretty awful right now. But as long as we can sit and speak to each other and act in a mindful way, some kind of progress may in fact be made. To demonstrate to someone who basically thinks you’re some kind of sub-species that in fact, you’re pretty much just like them minus some of the fear, turns out to be a fairly good sized thing. Then the questions about how one might have come to this understanding of x, y or z can be asked. So while I still feel the weight of the thought form around here, it doesn’t scare me as it used to. The power of love always wins; the thing is to see just how many worlds of love there are and how they may be bridged from what seems impassable and impossible to some kind of constructive action. I was completely and totally, and am still, blown away by the depth and breadth of the unconscious but complete dismissal of and contempt for anyone who wasn’t like these people, which is to say in this case White Republican Men. But I don’t feel powerless in its face, at long last. It is important not to ignore the realities of such things, but it is equally important to know that peace and love can work wonders in all worlds. Turns out that takes some grit and determination but one does have to get out of the pink paradisia calm shell some times! I did discuss this with a person who I like and respect and when she said she was impressed with the way I handled it, I was relieved.

Blessings and thanks, as always. Take care of yourselves!

going outside

It has been some time since words appeared to me in any kind of sensible, translatable manner.

What with everything that’s happened (last year for example), IS happening (the terrifying plummet this country is taking into fascism and the cognitive dissonance impressario, aka bloviating pustule), and the unexpected intrusion of heartbreak from a helicopter crash , things got slowed down and ALMOST at a place of stillness. This whole time period has been mostly about seeing what is going on inside, around here anyway, and while that level of reflection is necessary in order to move forward, it’s not generally the most fun you’ve ever had. Things seem to be so stark right now, what appears to be obvious good and evil and combinations thereof, that as always about the only thing one can do is BREATHE, and focus on the beauty that exists and the good that one can do oneself.

SO. The Partner decided that it was time for the Dog to go leashless now that we have this enormous backyard, so to speak, for Long Walks. Once my brain manifested and I thought: “bring treats!”, the whole process got a LOT easier. And here, today, we see the result above. We go outside, the Dog and I, and wander around at length. It takes him a long time to get everything smelled, after all, and there is the additional pressing matter of Letting Everyone Know The Dog Is Here Now. It’s been interesting to watch him stake out ever larger territory, reinspecting previously peed on spots and applying any necessary touch ups.

As always, I get up thinking, ack, my back! or I don’t want to or I don’t have time or, or, or…..and then I realize: this is a grand opportunity of the sort that doesn’t often come. To be able to step out of my door and directly into nature and wildness with the Original Goofball, the Dog, is wonderful. It’s also quite a workout and improving for the legs. The other really spectacular thing is that while we’re out there a whole different sort of thing happens and the what if’s and to do’s and memories and everything recede and assume their proper proportions. Even though there are rattlers and every kind of biting bug and tick, and wild pigs and mountain lions out here, it feels incredibly calm. You can feel those who live on this hill, furred and feathered, watching us and often even coming out, saying, you are welcome here, don’t be afraid. Today the hummingbird came out in the morning and reminded the Partner and the Dog that it was high time for the feeder to be tended to.

I am grateful for all of this, even though it is challenging and precarious and fires and twenty acres oh my! and we keep finding out more things that the Previous Owner did not take care of, more big bills and people to deal with, not to mention the fact that now we know we’re staying, it’s time to get our space improved, too. This has largely had the effect of making me want to hide, but that has also got to do with everything that has risen to the surface of my soul. Turns out this is a thorough going renovation. I feel quite hopeful about it all, though, especially since when our neighbor across the road took it upon himself to give our number to a contractor to fix the mobile whatever it is next door, and I get a call from some totally unknown person on an unsolicited mission, I was able to (1) get that guy to laugh even though he was expecting to make some money, and (2) politely tell the neighbor that even though it was incredibly sweet of him to be thinking about something so totally out of his concern, we really are moving along on our own, thank you very much. As amazing as it is when people think they must stick their muzzles into things that are not their business, it is even more amazing when one can deal with that as what it is, a momentary error message, and have everyone move forward with minimal raised fur. Progress is being made. Now if I only had a magic wand to wave over Washington D.C.

Blessings and thanks to you all, as always!

oh, my

Or, fun or what? OR life on Planet Clusterfuck. We’ve had a few direct socks to the jaw lately on the road to the shining city of stable place to live, pretty much all remnants of the Previous Tenant’s misfeasance. Today it looks like Fun With the Water Supply. The Partner, booted to the gills, is out on an inspection round which we fervently hope reveals Nothing. Being on a well, it’s always quite unnerving when the water comes out brown (possible leak in line). Green happens sometimes too, usually after the pipes have frozen and unthawed, and God knows how all that indescribable green oozy stuff gets in there. However, I feel hopeful because? In the recent bouts of storms, the only time our power actually went off was when a lightning bolt struck ground close to the yurt. This produced a sound I have never heard before, let’s just say. Things went BLACK for about three minutes, shock one supposes, then back to “normal”. So I figure, if we weren’t struck by lightning, things may be improving. Or our sang froid is deepening.

Which leads to the next meandering. Waking up is always, and has always been, a challenge. Almost on par with going to sleep, but that’s another story. Sometimes there’s just the old devils dancing across the quilt going nyahnyahnyah, sometimes new ones. Sometimes there’s music: Tannheuser (don’t ask me, I have no idea), Godsmack’s Whatever, marimbas, cellos, Nathan Frayne and the Nightsweats….but today? Today’s offering was an exposition on what free will means.

Having always considered that concept part of the patriarchal external enforced reality, I didn’t think it had any real application. It always seemed like a way to be told that, once again, You’re Doing It Wrong and MOREOVER It really IS all your fault. But this morning it seemed different.

It seemed to me that free will is another way of describing one’s THINKING when it is generated by the forces of ego, of the individual feeling separate from everything and not being aware of the actuality of Source…the unifying theory/reality/situation that, while it may not have been discovered by physics, certainly exists. So, then, one acts in accord with these thoughts and feels oh, so independent. Then they come together in a daily message which we often refer to as karma. And one can feel plagued by bad luck, forces of fate, whatever. OR, in some cases one can feel as though one really deserves all this great stuff because one is just so great oneself, greater than others and all the rest of it.

But in the end it is still, or it seemed to me this morning, what they refer to in AA as “stinkin’ thinkin'”, which in turn lead me to wonder whether “free will” like so many other things on this planet, is on a kind of continuum. One end is the egoic free will, and on the other? The free will that links up with the, if we can call it so, Source Continuum. And all those “decisions” one struggles with might be, if not easier, at least not likely to lead one right back into that deep hole one thought one was free willing oneself out of. Of course, one also has to avoid the non-free-will, non thought turning of it all over to “fate”. Which is starting to seem like a cross between the build-up of all those decisions crossed with one’s ancestral history.

It connected to something else I’d been thinking about for a while, after having seen one of Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s programs on finding such ancestral history, with well known people as the research subjects. In one instance, there was a recurring murder, one for each of, I think, three generations. The person whose history it was had no idea about the previous murders, although one had been experienced in this individual’s life. This finally connected with a knot I’d been chewing on, about my mother’s death.

I wasn’t present for any part of it, in fact hadn’t spoken to her for a few years. This has, needless to say, caused pain in my heart. She had the same general situation, healthwise, as my grandmother. Who also died without my mother, who also hadn’t spoken to her for years. As happened with my great-grandmother and my grandmother, from what little I was told. Aha! Self, I said: A pattern, aren’t you smart? But what does it represent? This is where you have to leave the old free will/fate stuff behind and understand that this isn’t necessarily a place, this planet, where you Make Decisions All By Yourself. There is a purpose, and this seems ever more like a huge school. It’s not likely you’re going to do well in a subject your teachers have not understood, much less mastered. The real point of free will, whatever it is, may be becoming able to discern the patterns and select the ones that are dynamic and harmonic, instead of the ones that feed that false sense of power over. So after all this cogitation, it seems most likely that nobody in my family ever really mastered relationships. *AHEM* Is that IT? I said to the blanket this morning, waking the Dog. Onward, then.

The thing about relationships, just to wrap this up and get on with sweeping the floor, is that they never ARE going to work if you don’t start at a kinship relationship with everything. Which is horizontal, not vertical. (We are all one, we’re not all exactly the same, and even though one can’t let everything devolve into Fate, there really IS, I think, a Fickle Finger of Fate that shows up from time to time. Just to see if you’re paying attention. ) From there you go to not judging, and the difficult not taking anything personally. I found it was good practice not to get mad at the table when I stubbed my toe, for example. This made it easier to not go into full Donald Duck mode with those around me, eventually. After all, *I* bumped into the table, sort of thing.

While, in this moment, the Partner is still Stressed even though the Plumbing Event did not happen (YAY), and the Dog still stoutly refuses to wear the boots I got last year (hollow claws + mud=what do you think?), there is some larger peace now. Personally I think every time one of us Figures Something Out, it helps everyone…or I like to think that anyway. Maybe free will boils down to having the ability to look at what you’re doing in a way that keeps you from putting your face into the what do you think? Maybe.

Meanwhile, blessings and thanks! And, as we try to remember: Kindness and humor are essential now and may we all survive the….er….”holidays”…..

vast expanses

I have, really, been thinking about writing almost every day for…..weeks. Words don’t seem to appear as they used to, nor subjects, in the current brain condition but as always there have been features of interest.

The wherearewegoingtolive saga seems to be moving toward a satisfactory close, after five months of living, absolute hell. Against all odds, we worked out an agreement with the people who ACTUALLY own the property, established communication with the County Tax people, and it even looks like we’ll be able to do this with our current resources. While the whole thing was one of the worst experiences ever, for both of us (and there is a fair amount of competition for that Worst Ever spot), it also showed quite clearly, if continuingly mysteriously, that there is an order in the universe and having a sense of that order and how one can move with it instead of against it is imperative. When you move WITH the energy, things happen far more productively than otherwise, which would seem to be obvious. However, as we know, NOT SO MUCH. While a lot of this situation worked itself out as though by miracle, we find ourselves these days slogging through what is left when the energy is not properly worked with, in the sense of cleaning up the gargantuan mess left by the Former Inhabitant here. Not just garbage and piles of Stuff everywhere, but jerry-rigged gates with ruined hardware, piles of golf clubs with no ends on them, miles of electric tape fencing with the accompanying metal poles stabbed into the ground, and broken glass on dead ground everywhere. (A small moment of triumph happened in the hardware store- I went in and asked the Guys if there was a tool to remove those metal posts. They nodded. Tell me, I said, that it isn’t called a shovel? at which they both started laughing so hard they couldn’t talk for a while). It does seem to be coming out of it however, this land. Having been unloved and uncared for, for at least the past 16 years, it’s as though one can see it stretch and flex when things are cleared from it and no further depredations are committed. This gives me some, perhaps unrealistic, hope for our earth- if THIS can be redeemed with proper care and attention, so can other places. I say, let us all begin this work now and in earnest. For my part, I think finding an appropriate native plant to grow in all the dead spaces in the old corrals will be a good start.

After all of this even the Dog is fatigued and happy to sleep in now. It’s like being at the end of a huge battle. You’re glad it’s over but so exhausted from the exertion and all the stress that you can’t, immediately, be as glad as you might expect. Then, of course, here? We get the additional fun of having the power get shut off by the “provider” because There Might Be A Fire And Since We Cause Most of Them We’re Turning Everything Off, so Take That… and dealing with THAT. The big windstorm that caused us to have no power for days also took out a good bit of our garden-covering structure- let’s just say there is no danger of the to-do list disappearing. But there is also no danger of the magic disappearing, either. Just yesterday I picked a handful of raspberries, and they were delicious. What’s really important, after all? We finally, the three of us, have a stable place. The Dog is taking his Management and Supervision of It All quite seriously and has now taken to watching the sunset every night while keeping tabs on the far reaches of the driveways. He went for a walk with the Partner yesterday and came back glowing and exhausted, flopping down and snoring, after having had to mark his turf in a whole new area. That was great! Almost great enough to distract one from the…shall we call it? NEWS. But even that one must view in the light of the Bigger Picture, which is one where we don’t really know how it goes. I’m sticking with the Dog for now.

Blessings and thanks, always.

bending spoons

Once, some time ago, we were vending at a fair in Humboldt County, and someone handed me a brownie. Which, not thinking about it much except for CHOCOLATE! and HUNGRY!, I ate. All of. And of course it was a “funny” brownie and I had quite an amazing and neverbefore experienced couple of hours, during which I somehow managed to make sales without talking and saw, right before me, the central axis of the world, extending up and down as far as vision could perceive, turning slowly, and all of us revolving with it. I found it comforting to finally see something I’d heard about in all my winding roads, to know, I guess, that something described as a Mystery was also a Reality. Along with, of course, millions of other things/realities/whoknowswhats.

For some reason, watching Dortmund and Barcelona spend a scoreless 90 some minutes today at the end of what has been, arguably, the Worst Summer Ever, I found myself remembering that world axis and the timeless spin of it. Which again was comforting because it IS good to know that the eternal verities are just that. Especially now since it seems as though that axis is playing a game of high speed twister with us all and Murphy’s Law is paramount

I could, of course, list ALL the things that have gone sideways, like the new cel phone that actually worked long enough to lull me into a sense of false security whereupon it decided to “become defective”, and the tomato plants that just said: ick, too hot, sorry but Dark Galaxy is not in your future this year. Then again, there have been the successes.

I’ll start with the grape sorbet because it was truly mind boggling. We have a native California grape plant and the grapes are prolific, delicious, and full of seeds and tough as boots skin. Cooking them a bit, putting them through a food mill, adding a bit of sugar and corn syrup (organic), then freezing according to some set of instructions I no longer remember produced something from right out there on the axis of the world. Well worth trying yourself if you have wine grapes, concord grapes, or native grapes.

The other success….is still in a formative, gaseous state for the most part. Readers of this blog will remember the Interesting Times we’ve had with our landlady. It has been a rather harrowing experience, let’s just say. This summer she was diagnosed with cancer, and moved on into another dimension about three months afterward. Family of course descended to see if anything was available for them…and learned, along with us, that not only was nothing available, it was a total clusterfuck. No property taxes paid, nor mortgage. Garbage stuffed in a back shed for years. And of course, hoarding. It was a hard fact to grasp, apparently, that when you don’t pay off principal you don’t have equity OR own the secured item you are paying for. They were Not Happy when the actual owners of the property said, we are going to foreclose now unless you can come up with a better idea. Naturally none of their ideas involved putting up money, and after a thrilling first conversation with said owners, who I had been assured knew all about us living on the land and turned out to have absolutely no idea, it was clear that an Idea had to be come up with, by me since nobody else was going to do it, so that We could have a more permanent dog house. We are working on that at this writing. There were also animals: horses. I got up at the crack of dawn to feed them and the other denizens, make sure they had water and deal with the flies. This last bit made me feel awful after I accidentally spilt a drop of the undiluted, produced by Bayer, fly spray on my forearm and got bleeding ulcers in a day. Anyway this went on for weeks and finally the word came down that at last they might really need to be re-homed. It took a few more weeks but I finally found a stellar place for them. They posed for pictures when the horse lady came to meet them and smiled and twinkled. Knowing they are safe and happy is, really, the other success of the summer.

So. It’s been gruesome, Gentle Reader. But as usual, the eternal verity is what gets a bear through. The Divine permeates everything, and it is more a question of what one is prepared to do with that reality than anything else. Blessings and thanks!!!!

the famous exploding head

Yes indeed, Gentle Reader, that would be MY head. Things have been so far above standard gnarly of late that about the only thing to do has been pray. However, when I got an email from an old friend who was concerned about my lengthy blogging absence, remarking that since my life has more twists and turns that seem humanly possible she was worried, I thought, perhaps an update would not be amiss.

Our living situation here has always been a bit…..tricky. Due largely to the fact that our landlady has been a bit…..tricky. In fact, we have just now learned HOW tricky since she is terminally (probably) ill and Stuff has Floated to the Surface at an alarming rate. A long, sad story and a big part of it has been me having to actually face the facts of the whole thing. (Partner: You see good in people even when it isn’t there. Me: Really?. Partner: YES) Plus figure out what to do so we don’t find ourselves living on a sidewalk somewhere. I look like I have Parkinson’s most days now what with the nerves firing on all cylinders all the time. HOWEVER.

There appears to be resolution in the offing and all will, we hope, be well. Nothing goes smoothly and dealing with County officials and Social Security applications and relatives who crawl out of the woodwork and all the rest of it…well. To be expected in today’s milieu, I guess, but it has been almost more than this bear could..well, bear. However, we still have a home and potentially a Permanent one, and while there will be more on this Incredibly Amusing and Horrendous Story, there have been some successes in the midst of all the Challenges, too.

There were horses living here, right next to us. I often took care of them and we always dealt with positively biblical levels of flies, and then mosquitoes from the above ground pool and horse troughs. A home, it transpired, had to be found for the horses in the middle of this Situation. In a place like this such a thing isn’t as easy as you might think since there are lots and lots of unwanted horses after people get them and realize a)it’s expensive and b)it takes actual work. But. I persisted and? found an absolutely splendid home for them. Pictures were duly sent and the two of them looked like totally different creatures, they were so happy. So that was good. Also? NO FLIES. Happy. Drained pool and troughs: NO MOSQUITOES. I am calling that a WIN.

Another striking thing that showed itself was that, like Camus, I found, in the depth of this horrible winter, an invincible summer in myself. While spiritual teachings have largely, in this culture, been turned into blunt instruments to keep everyone in fear and in line, the fact is that the Divine does exist. Everywhere and all the time. And it is there when you call it. You may indeed be at the brink, at the last straw, in despair and fear. But. The Divine is there to remind you that you take another breath, you step back, you allow things to reveal themselves and gradually, come to a higher point than ever seemed possible. And, hey. So what if you have to do this a thousand times a day? Which leads me to:

Pickles. The weather has just been gruesome this summer and the garden has not been the usual resplendent refuge. We have, however, had zucchini and the Partner suggested making pickles. I thought for a minute and then realized that a simple refrigerator pickle would be just the thing. We happened to have a jar of Trader Joe’s organic hot and spicy dill chips that had no pickles but had the pickling juice. Zucchini spears were duly inserted into said juice. Results in three days? Outstanding.

Otherwise the world seems to be mirroring the struggles we experience here (the irrational people, the bursts of Bad Behavior), and it looks more and more like full blown good vs. evil, which I always had trouble believing in, in the past. It is absolutely beyond mind boggling, and the fact that Bloviating Pustule thinks he can buy Greenland? Is so insane that it taxes one’s credulity that it has been…acknowledged as anything but completely psychotic. And when we go to the doctor now, they ask us if we take “a certain medication for a certain (x) condition”….naturally when I said, you really think some ringer is going to come in here for this fantastic non service? REALLY? and they say, well you MIGHT be an illegal trying to get a prescription refilled….we need to know you know what you’re taking….well. Let’s just say there are days happy hour starts Early. People are definitely crazy and things are definitely strange…but, blessings and thanks as always!!

report from the front

Holy Moly Cow and Toledo, Gentle Reader. I feel, for the most part, like a figure in a Gary Larson cartoon most of the time these days, especially the deer who has a bull’s eye on his chest, whose companion remarks, bummer of a birthmark, Hal.

Two good things happened, of course. I found a hawk feather, and at long last met a truly like minded individual here. Politically speaking. Which was astounding enough, given that the chances of that are remote, for the most part. Anyway, we were in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, talking about politics and restorative agriculture, biodynamic farming, and generally making the other people in the room writhe in their seats. After all, when you speak out against Monsanto around here it’s tantamount to “get the rope” time.

These two events seemed to kind of illustrate the knife edge we’re all walking on right now: the transcendent is ALWAYS there, always available. The death struggles of the current way of things on this planet are increasing in strength and volume, and if one doesn’t remember the transcendent? Things get grim in a hurry. ( There’s a reason the two liter bottles of alcohol are always on sale at our local drug store, in short.) The fact is, NOBODY can stand things the way they are and the sooner we all start communicating the better off we’ll be.

But, back to quotidian reality. After another two week down time for internet and phone, which the Partner said I handled better than usual and seemed to demonstrate Mercury retrograde at its finest, I have had to deal with the current Dramatic Production in our lives. Having just crawled out of another lengthy detour through the swamp, this really was not what I “wanted”. While I can’t “write about it” just yet, it has most definitely been and continues to be the most in depth trip through fear and old attitudes ever undertaken by this bear. It turns out though that once you wade through the fear, you’re at a clearing where you can say, self? Hal? despite the birthmark let us do this differently, whatever that may mean. And whatever it takes. The aforementioned dismal state of affairs in the world doesn’t make this an easy proposition, of course, but that’s just it. We ALL have to do the hard things now, face ourselves and move forward. The options you think are all you have are largely the outlines of outmoded propositions which seem, upon looking at them, to have originated with the colonialist imperialism that has shaped our world at present. Non-starters. Making a new option is quite the endeavor, let’s just say. It helps to read some history at times like this so as to see exactly what it is you’re looking at, and it does appear that the greed and rapacity that mark the way this world is run came into a full bore, full court press, mode, oh, a couple thousand years ago. So? you ask. Well. For me, what this has meant is the dawning of an awareness that the crappy, nasty, life endangering behavior one encounters day to day is actually an extension of a long chain of such behaviors. It’s not PERSONAL. In much the same way I had to get over the shock I felt at how badly hurt, physically, I had been in the hospital that festive time a few years ago, the shock that anyone could be that way….I now have had to surmount realizing that same thought about my current surroundings and situation. Oddly, this has given me some confidence. Patanjali wrote a long time ago that someone who cultivated yoga in themselves actually gained a level of protection from the slings and arrows of outrageous individuals. I’ve decided that for now, what that means, is: if you don’t sling noxious material all around you, it won’t get tossed back at you. Others may be unsettled by this but it does confer a sort of Pass. And you get to do things a different way. We will report on the success of this approach, which I have decided is the only way it will BE, as more information comes in. Meanwhile, the garden is coming along despite various snafus, and I fully expect to have some home ground corn flour by winter. More on that, too, to come.

Meanwhile, blessings and thanks as always. Be careful, and take time to see what is being looked at. And, especially, be thankful for your friends!