we manage…mocha and me

These last few months have been touch and go for my pal Mocha. Old age has been complicated by the debilitating effects of sciatica. Hobbling around, her right paw can bend backwards and send her tumbling forward onto bended knees. Not one to be dissuaded from what she is about, Mocha picks herself up, dusts herself off, and goes about her business.

Observing Mocha makes me sympathetic to the plight of older folks. It’s no fun when body parts don’t work anymore. Life seems consumed with just the basics…eating, peeing and pooping.

“Wwwhhhaaa happened? Where’d all the fun go?” That’s what Mocha’s eyes seem to say as she watches me move about the room. On medication for a heart murmur, sciatica, and now a urinary tract infection, what’s a dog to do? Not much, except lie around.

These last few days I’ve been outdoors prepping the garden for the hibernating months ahead. While back-breaking for me and my arthritic lumbar, Mocha’s been lazing about on the freshly mowed grass, drinking in the sunshine. I’m certain we’ve both felt like switching places.

Being half-beagle, Mocha would love to make like a mole and dig tunnels in the dirt. Me? I’d be content with stretching out on the warm, green lawn, staring up at the billowy, white clouds floating serenely across the baby blue sky.

And yet we make the best of it, Mocha and me. On good days, she’s a little sprightlier. We both are. On days when it takes a little more effort to get going, we take our time.

We don’t wallow in “what ifs,” we just tweak our plans a little. If I’m not up to weeding and pruning, then I’ll do some laundry and vacuum. As for Mocha, if she can’t wander about in search of a new place to lie, then she’ll stay put in her comfy bed all day.

Older age. It’s about doing what we can do, and not fretting about what we can’t do. Of course, doing what we can to keep our bodies humming along is imperative…stretching, exercising, and minimizing our intake of unhealthy carbs.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgo potato chips, candy, and soda. Although I have managed to limit them to…once-in-awhile.

Because of global warming we’re suppose to get a break from the cold, dank, dark weather that normally smothers the Pacific Northwest like an unwanted blanket. According to local forecasters, the lows should hover around the 50s. So far the prediction seems to be panning out. The sun is still with us.

Hallelujah!!!

…mocha and I don’t feel so old…when our bones are warm! Xmas 2010 2 00000

………hugmamma.

 

Advertisements

happy easter…happy spring…

Because the weather here in the Seattle area is so iffy…rain pouring down on us without any warning…hubby and I decided to forgo Easter Day celebrations in lieu of gardening. Praise God…the sun decided to spend the day.

Celebrating the holiday early, we treated our nephew and his lovely wife to lunch yesterday. Immersed in conversation and enjoying one another’s company, we barely noticed the raindrops pelting ferociously against the windows of the restaurant, as if pleading to to be let inside.

It’s not often my husband and I get to spend time with young folks. Our daughter’s the exception, of course. We’re lucky that she and our nieces and nephews get that we’re fun, sometimes weird…in a good way.

Hubby and I laugh a lot. We cajole one another. We make each other smile. We exchange silly remarks. We even call each other goofy names.

IMG_1709

…young uns ourselves back in the day…as kooky then…as we are now…

I’m pretty sure my husband’s business colleagues would be thoroughly surprised were they to see him bumming around in his “allo, allos,” as we Hawaiians like to say. Translation? “Raggedy clothes.” Not that they’re raggedy, they’re just not his usual corporate duds.

In fact, even his personality undergoes a transformation. He’s not so careful about minding his p’s and q’s around the house. He’s not the reticent, quiet guy he projects at work. It’s more like he goes from being Clark Kent and Superman to being George Burns, the comedienne and straight man to his wife and comic sidekick, Gracie Allen.

I’ve always been a self-proclaimed Lucy…as in “I Love Lucy.”IMG_1493 I probably started squirreling away all those crazy antics of hers, ever since I first laid eyes on that zany redhead back in the 50’s. Add to that a touch of Gracie Allen, and you get an idea of how kooky our household often is. My daughter threatens to follow me around with a camera so she can post a youtube video showing the world the real hugmamma. (Not going to happen. Trust me.)

So it’s nice to be loved by the likes of my rather normal daughter, and young relatives, who go out of their way to humor their elders whenever we’re together. 

Although an unconventional celebration at a small Japanese restaurant the day before, our Easter holiday was indeed happy and blest. 

Aloha and mahalo to Kanoa and Erica for making it so.

And I’m hoping yours was equally joyful as well!

………hugmamma.

 

 

…a thief in the night…

The night had a thousand eyes, or so Bunny imagined. 

“Dare I chance her wrath again?”

Throwing caution to the wind, Bunny made his move.

Seeking cover as he made his way in the dark, he paused frequently to peek from behind…blooming hydrangeas…giant hostas…feathery ferns…and towering sedums

“Be still my thumping heart.” 

Bunny’s nose perked up as he neared the nasturtium, its abundant growth cascading over the rock wall. Droplets of saliva glistened near the corners of his mouth.

Eyeballing the distance to the sweet-scented blooms, Bunny lurched forward.

Lights! Screams! Hugmamma!

Busted!!!

Bolting!!!

...bunny's favorite...

…bunny’s favorite…

...survived another night raid...

…survived another night raid…

100 Word Challenge writing prompt

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

weekly photo challenge: saturated

I often times think my decorating style is…saturated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Wish I could go…simple…you think?

…nnnaaahhh!!!…

………hugmamma.

springtime…when all things turn to fanciful-ness

I tend to decorate to the nines.Imported Photos 00154 What I can’t fit inside my four walls…is relegated to a space in the great outdoors.

Lazy summer days in our backyard...

Lazy summer days in our backyard…

img_1665.jpgApril 2011 00038Not only does my yard abound with the normal tchotckes, like bird baths…trellises…and statuary, but there’s a vintage iron headboard nestled under the shade of a maple tree.

img_2036.jpgBroken-down, painted benches with which I can’t bear to part company have put down roots alongside the house, as well as on the front and back decks.

img_1784.jpgStep ladders, too short to be of much use, are content to prettify a spot bereft of sunlight, or serve as a backdrop to pots draped to overflowing with petunias, sweet pea, heliotrope and alyssum.

IMG_1549IMG_4433 IMG_4436Neighbors comment, and have for years, that our yard serves as eye-candy for them. So hubby and I are encouraged to slave away during the warm days of spring, summer and fall…making sure  we keep the neighbors happy

IMG_1869IMG_1964The wildlife don’t seem to mind either. In fact, hummingbirds…well, at least one…monarchs and smaller butterflies, finches, sparrows, blue jays and red-breasted robins…flit and fly about the yard, owning every inch of it.

And then there are those critters that annoy, the ones who chew their way through the garden indiscriminately…the slugs, the deer, the bunnies.

IMG_3302Slugs dine at night, while the deer and bunny rabbits feast all the day long. Both stand their ground, daring me to…”Come closer…I dare you.” Only when I shout and wave my arms like a psychopath, do they get the message. Glancing at me furtively over their shoulders, they seem to say…”Sheesh! What’s all the fuss about?”

Squirrels test my patience as well. They act as masters of all they survey, taking control as it suits their fancy. They pay no mind to my attempts at shooshing them away.

IMG_1864IMG_1865The little, black squirrel in particular sizes me up as though he’d like to chew me up and…spit me out. I’m sure if I got in his face, that’s exactly what he’d do. I don’t think I’ll tempt fate.

I got to thinking about all this after reading about Thierry Ehrmann, a Frenchman. It seems he fancies decorating his outdoor space as well. Have a peek at his genius at http://www.cvltnation.com/abode-of-chaos/

Scattered around the garden are a giant silver skull, a crashed helicopter and a model of the jagged steel remains of the World Trade Center. On the outside, the house is decorated with big black-and-white portraits of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, George Bush, Bashar al-assad and Mitt Romney. Old computers and hard drives hang from a tree in a net.

A sign reads: “Chaos in progress.”

You can imagine Ehrman’s neighbors aren’t pleased with having a rock star of a garden artist living among them, mere mortals that they are.

The ‘Abode of Chaos,’ which is his name for the museum, attracts hundreds of visitors on weekends. ‘They come in droves and look at us as if we were strange animals,’ says neighbor Boris Perrodon.

A 45-year-old schoolteacher, Mr. Perrodon says he has considered moving away but when he tried to sell his house, he says, he didn’t get a single offer. Other neighbors say they are in the same predicament.

Pascal Paysant, who runs a real-estate agency in nearby Fontaines-sur-Saone, says there is no rush to acquire property near the Abode of Chaos. ‘Perhaps we lack artistic flair, but the fact is this house depreciates real-estate value in the town,’ he says.

Even the local mayor is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of Ehrmann’s Abode of Chaos.

The village mayor Ms. Revel, who has been pursuing the fight against Mr. Ehrmann undertaken by her predecessor, says the protracted legal battle has left her on her knees. She says she is exhausted physically and mentally because dealing with Mr. Ehrmann’s mail is ‘a full-time job.’

‘It is unbearable,’ she says, showing off piles of letters on her desk sent to her by Mr. Ehrmann.

I guess I could spiffy up my garden…just a tad more.

thierry Ehrmann le 112 ème est Jorge Mario Ber...

thierry Ehrmann le 112 ème est Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), painted portrait DDC_7831 (Photo credit: Abode of Chaos)

…what do you think?…

………hugmamma.

paying homage…to the sun…what else?

Seattle

Seattle (Photo credit: Martin Cathrae)

Here in the Seattle area where the sun doesn’t abide year round, we’re always focused upon its next appearance. So while others may perform rain dances…poor, deranged souls…we close our eyes at night hoping that when next we open them…the sun will have risen in our neck of the woods. So to help it along, I’ve written a song…actually a ditty…hoping the Creator…or Mother Nature…or whoever’s in charge…will take pity.

Thanks for the sun…that lights away the shadows…inside…and out,

its warmth…that blankets all beneath,

making the flowers bloom…the birds chirp,

the children frolic…while the adults tend to chores…outdoors. 

Power-washing the driveway…digging pine needles from the gutters…pulling the weeds and watering the plants. Setting furniture out on the deck.

But what am I thinking???

Forget the tasks…forget the grind…

I’m headed to Molbak’s…where the sun always shines…no matter the weather!

A sip of java…some turkey on foccacia…nibble on a cookie (peanut-butter, of course!)

Gift items…plants…small treasures abound.

So look about you…there’s sunshine everywhere…you’ve just got to find it.

It’s probably hiding…somewhere…inside you!

For it’s no secret…you and I… 

…are the keepers of the sun…

………hugmamma.    🙂

Molbak's Woodinville

Molbak’s Woodinville (Photo credit: burienundressedblog)

Molbak's outdoor eating

Molbak’s outdoor eating (Photo credit: burienundressedblog)

Molbaks' Orchids

Molbaks’ Orchids (Photo credit: JHall159)

…time to exhale…getting away…

Tulip Era in the Ottoman Empire...

It was heavenly to escape the hammering, buzz-sawing and drilling for a few days. A nephew’s wedding in tulip and daffodil country was just the getaway I needed after weeks of preparation for our master bed/bath remodel. Never mind that the tulips have not yet made their much anticipated appearance. The longer than usual winter season has kept the delicate buds hovering underground for warmth. I’d join them if I could, although my cozy abode suits me just fine.

Wedding cake

Wedding cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spending several days in the company of family who are like best friends was the icing on the cake, wedding cake in this instance. Hawaiians “go with the flow.” Louise and Milton epitomize the laid back island tendency. Doing whatever is fine with them, which is totally in sync with my husband and me. That they enjoy browsing antique stores and retail outlets was a happy coincidence.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, every inch of our SUV was crammed full of luggage and new-found treasures. Thank goodness for side mirrors because his use of the rear-view mirror mirror was totally obliterated. Thankfully great friends and sunny weather kept my husband from focusing upon his inability to see out the back of the car.

Molbak's outdoor eating
Molbak’s outdoor eating (Photo credit: burienundressedblog)

Spring has probably sprung throughout most of the country. It takes a tad longer here in the Pacific Northwest. While I’m excited for the warmth and sun, I know yardwork cannot be far behind. I’ll have to visit a favorite destination, Molbak’s Nursery in Woodinville, to rev myself up for the inevitable weeding that comes with good weather. Wish I could just transport their gardens to mine. It’s safe to say this will remain…just a wish.

Molbaks' Orchids

Molbaks' Orchids (Photo credit: JHall159)

…how’s spring…where you are?…

………hugmamma.  🙂     

autumn recalls…a bad memory

Crimson Carpet of Autumn Leaves

Image by Visualist Images via Flickr

Autumn in Connecticut remains one of my fondest memories…driving along country roads flanked on either side by trees awash in brilliant oranges, reds, yellows and rusts. My young daughter would often remark at her good fortune, being born in Redding…a rural town surrounded by more commercialized ones like Danbury Ridgefield, and Westport. I agreed. We were indeed lucky. Folks drove from far and wide to savor what we awoke to…every day. My husband and I still enjoy the seasonal change here in the Pacific Northwest, but the east coast remains the mecca for Mother Nature‘s “changing of the guard.”

One memory that will forever be interlaced with pleasanter ones of Fall foliage is my one and only brush with poison ivy. Actually, it was more like a wholehearted embrace of the menacing vine.

Without a home of her own, my mom would live with my various siblings and me for extended periods of time. Once she spent more than a year with us in Redding, It was from her that I inherited my love of gardening. We enjoyed time outdoors, on our knees, digging in the dirt. We’d often sit on the front porch of our small, 100-year-old Victorian farmhouse admiring our handiwork…flowers blooming…bees, butterflies and birds hovering…to snack on the delicacies spread before them.

Autumn fallen leaves of Zelkova serrata

Image via Wikipedia

The “fly in the ointment,” however, were dead leaves that had accumulated on our property alongside the road. From my mom’s bedroom window, she could see those leaves. For her it was a daily reminder that a passerby could flick a lit cigarette or match out his car window…and woosh!…a brush fire. 

My mom’s distress at the thought of a fire, pressed her to try and light one under my butt. Not something I, or my husband wanted to do on the weekends, after commuting and working in NYC all week. We assured her that all property owners blew fallen leaves to the edges of their property, where they were left to decompose. My mom was not swayed. She never let up trying to make her paranoia mine. What finally coerced me to rake and bag the leaves was my mom’s threat to do it herself. Need I say more?

Extinct?

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

I threw myself wholeheartedly into cleaning up the entire bank of our property that sloped down towards the road. Since it was a warm, summer day, and I was a naive, Hawaiian, I undertook the cleanup in shorts, ti-shirt…and bare hands. Once I got going, I was determined to do a great job in ridding the area of all debris.

And so for hours I raked leaves, scooping up handsful, emptying them into trash bags. Entangled in the leaves were vines. I decided they too needed to go. I proceeded to do battle with all vines that got in my way. At day’s end it felt good to survey all that I’d accomplished. My mom’s smiling approval was the icing on my cupcake.

Found the lotion

Image by T Hall via Flickr

My happiness was short-lived. A couple of days later my entire body was one giant itch. I didn’t have enough fingers to scratch myself into lasting relief. There wasn’t enough chalomine lotion in the drug store to afford relief either. The worse aspect, if anything could be worse, was having to go to work.

Commuting to and from my job as a paralegal at TWA was nerve-wracking. I wanted to scratch. Sitting in my office all day, I scratched while researching and writing briefs for arbitrations. Spots of pink medicine covered my arms, legs, neck and face. I wasn’t a pretty sight, that’s for sure.

Steamy Shower

Image by SweetCapture via Flickr

After a long day in NYC, I would return home, jump in the shower and stand under the hottest water I could bear. That numbed my skin, providing the most relief, however temporary. My doctor finally prescribed prednisone. It was a God-send, for it permanently cured my overall itch…from the inside out.

You can imagine my ongoing fear of vines. I don’t touch it unless I am certain what it is…like ivy…nasturtiums…or my favorite, clematis. One introduction to poison ivy was all I needed to know…

This is an old poison ivy vine from my backyard

Image via Wikipedia

…been there…done that…not going to do it again…ever…

………hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: weary

When I weary of caring for my garden, all I need do is take a look around. I invite you to do the same. Enjoy!    

In memory of my mom, and for my mother-in-law, both gardeners extraordinaire. So grateful for the “green thumbs” inherited by hubby and me………………….hugmamma.  🙂   

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

weeding 101…life lesson?

Whew!!! Spent a couple of hours hunched over, pulling out weeds…one, two, three at a time. Only certain weeds seem to proliferate in the shady slope to the left of our front yard, blackberries being the biggest nuisance of all. If I’d have known I’d be pulling them out every year for the last 14 years, I’d have been content with learning to make jelly by the case loads. Don’t fret their demise in that area, however. An overgrowth of blackberries comingled with other vegetation, forms a massive hedge separating our neighbor’s property to the right. I prune it back from time to time, just so it doesn’t feel like we’re being overrun by the Green monster with octopi tentacles.

As I tackled the overgrown patch of weeds, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the ajuga and sweet woodruff I’d planted last summer, and the summer before that, still thrived. Not only did they manage to grow amidst the weeds that were fighting to occupy the same space, but those hardy grouncovers thrived despite drought conditions. With a canopy of evergreen branches overhead, very little rain makes it through to the thirsty plants beneath. It’s survival of the fittest, and as you can see from the picture, there’s no shortage of survivors.

Pulling at the weeds, hundreds of them, I reflected on what it was I was doing. Seeing the ajuga and sweet woodruff, green and strong, as if happy to be free of the entangled brush, made me think of relationships that go unattended. We all get caught up in ourselves, our needs, our passions, our entertainment, our problems, our happiness. It doesn’t help that we no longer engage in personal communication, face to face, talking on the phone, and hand-written letters. Gadgets have replaced all of that. The bells and whistles attached to the “next best thing” are the “robots” which were only fantasy a few decades ago. They allow us to control our interaction with others. With the click of a button, or a point of the cursor, we can pause all communication, or shut it down completely. No excuses necessary; no thought for the other person.

But it’s never too late to clear through the technological barbed wire, and return to the basics of human interaction. It needn’t be etched in flourishes, like my friend Sylvia’s letters written in calligraphy. Putting a stamp on a hand-written card and mailing it the old-fashioned way, picking up the phone to reconnect once-in-awhile so we remember what human voices sound like, or having coffee to catch up on what’s been happening are starters to peeling back the layers of stuff that’s come between. 

Relationships, like groundcover, can, and do, survive neglect, if we strip away all the “weeds.” Sometimes a particularly nasty blackberry vine can leave scratches, but in a few days time the marks are gone. A scar or two may remain, but the pain is long over. In some relationships, the passing of time may not erase the scars or the pain. In those instances, a simple “I’m sorry for what I said, or what I did” may be necessary before  communication can progress. Just as water is necessary for plants to survive, so too relationships need to be watered with compassion, in the hopes they will grow anew.

Weeds are a bother, but there may be an upside to them after all. I’ll have a little more respect for them when…

i’m yanking them out by the roots…hugmamma. 😉

 

sun x 100 = happiness!

Am so excited to be heading outdoors into the garden to weed, plant and rake. The sun is shining down brilliantly! Hopefully the mosquitoes haven’t gotten a head-start. There are so many more of them this year. Probably because winter rains didn’t let up until just recently. Odd to be working on a holiday when the rest of the world is probably out playing. But we did that yesterday, knowing today’s weather would be better for yard work.

I’m hoping your Fourth of July is splendiferous! Spare me a moment’s thought as you do, knowing that I’ll be on hands and knees in God‘s good earth…giving thanks, in my own way. Lucky we live in America…where we can do whatever we please…whenever we please. Well almost.

God bless America! God bless us all!

Fireworks Over Lake Union

Image by sea turtle via Flickr

Fireworks Over Lake Union

Image by sea turtle via Flickr

…and keep us worthy of all we have…hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: discontinue

i may discontinue gardening…..and be like the boy in this photo…..

footloose and fancy free!!!…(notice the weeds?)………………………hugmamma.

spring’s arrived!!!

 

Springtime flowers.

Image by beamillion via Flickr

I think it’s safe to say that the Pacific Northwest is finally beginning to experience spring. The sun’s been out all day; it’s warm. Perhaps it’s time to think of storing away cold-weather clothing…or maybe not. One can never tell here, it could be dry and in the 50s and 60s one day, wet and in the 30s and 40s the next, or even later the same day. But I won’t jinx it. It’s spring!

I’ve been cleaning and refashioning the rooms in my house, preparing for the new season. Now that it’s April, with summer right around the bend, hopefully, I like to keep the decor light and airy, and colorful. Although the primary color palette remains pretty much the same, shades of blues, greens, roses, and mustards. Country colors. “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl.” That’s me to a tee! I love cities, and fit right in with city-folk, as long as I know it’s not a permanent arrangement. Being an island girl, I always go back to those small town roots for sustenance and recharging.

When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob Bobbin' ...

Image by Fozzeee via Flickr

Having redone my daughter’s bedroom so that I now have a small, computer table stationed in front of the window, I’m sitting here typing away on the keyboard. Where I use to roam between my husband’s office, thereby throwing him out without intending to do so, and sitting uncomfortably at the dining room table, I’m now occupying prime real estate. Gazing out at the back yard, I can watch red robins digging in the dirt for insects, squirrels scampering up the big cedar tree trunk making their way nimbly out along the large, drooping branches, and leaves swaying ever so softly as the breezes drift through the boughs of the lilac bush and the low-lying roses. What with all this day-dreaming, I may not get a whole lot written.

Actually, sitting here I’m reminded of all the work that needs to be done in the garden, weeding being my least favorite. I can already feel the arthritis acting up in my lower back. Oh me, oh my…getting old’s no fun when I’m still doing the work I use to do in my 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, but haven’t the same agile body I had back then. No complaints though, at least I’m still moving around, indoors and outdoors. I’ll just be taking my time, that’s all.

I’m just glad the warm weather’s here. I can do anything when I’m not shivering just standing still.

i age less when the sun’s out…that’s for sure…hugmamma.

cleaning the “bowl”

Decorative toilet seat

Image via Wikipedia

How many of you like cleaning the bathroom? More specifically, how many of you relish scrubbing the toilet bowl? While I abhor the task, I’m delighted with the end product, the sparkling, sanitized, glistening human waste receptacle. I know. I know. TMI. “Too much information,” for those without a young adult in your lives, who often reminds that too much honesty is unnecessary, and totally unwanted!

I can’t help but remember that wonderful 50’s commercial where a little man in a suit seated in a small boat, floated around on the water in a toilet bowl, talking about the best product for cleaning the inside of the bowl.  How clever! Although I’m sure as a kid I was more enthralled with the small man fitting in the toilet, than how my mom or older sister was going to get it clean. Eventually Mr. Clean took over from “Mr. Tidy Bowl” in the 70’s and 80’s. By that time I did care what to use, because I was the one having to clean the d–n toilet, and have been doing so ever since. Actually, I lie. Besides hubby helping out once-in-while,  there was a time when my husband employed a housecleaner while I lived with my daughter in another state, where she was training to be a professional ballerina.

When I returned home, my initial plan was to resume doing all the housework myself. But then I quickly came to my senses, and retained Lucy’s services. After all, she did a far better job than I ever did. With her caring for the inside of the house every couple of weeks, I devoted my time to gardening and my antiques business. But my stint in Nirvana was short-lived when Lucy returned to Brazil, her home, for back surgery. To this day I’m still singing her praises.

Ancient roman latrines / latrinae, Ostia Antica

Image via Wikipedia

More than any other product  Comet was the cleaner I used the longest. Doing what my mom did, I’d sprinkle the gritty powder into the toilet bowl, and with a sponge I’d put some elbow grease into my hand as it swished around in all the nooks and crannies, getting out all the grime and yuck. Once again, TMI. But those were the olden days when wives and moms meant business, doing fierce battle with dirt, in hand-to-hand combat, literally.

Various toilet brushes

Image via Wikipedia

Now that I’m older, and wiser, I use a biodegradable, lavender-scented cleanser which I sprinkle into the bowl, and with a stylish, long-handled brush, I get the job done in a more civilized manner. With a few scrubs here and there, and a press of the little toilet handle, yesterday’s grime is history. I’m no longer down on my knees in subservience to the bowl. It is now subservient to me…and my toilet brush. And of course it has a cute little receptacle of its own where it comfortably rests, until the next time. From a lofty height…

Toilet in german theater munich

Image via Wikipedia

i now look down upon my toilet bowl…and that’s as it should be…hugmamma.