A Haven for Vee

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tea Cup Party~Mosaic Monday

My goal today was to tidy up the tea cups so that I could actually have a cup of tea without pawing through everything to find the matching saucer. Then I had a little brainstrom wondering if I could find tea cups that matched flower photos I've taken this summer. My only success was with the astilbe and the rose. Other than that, it is hodge-podge all over the place.

It's back to sorting and matching and readjusting storage space for me...

Linking to Mary at Little Red House. Wonder if Mary's still in Bunny's Garden?

I Peter 1:6–8

No matter how fiery the trial, the main thing is that you and I remember the temperature is ultimately regulated by God's sovereignty. It's also important to understand that we don't suffer our trials in isolation; we are part of a flock that is lovingly tended by faithful shepherds. Finally, we need to know that no matter how formidable our adversary, the power of God is available to help us endure. ~ Chuck Swindoll

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw Him, yet you love Him. You still don't see Him, yet you trust Him—with laughter and singing. I Peter 1:6–8 The Message

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Blessed Day to you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Ramsign Giveaway

☺ how perfect ☺

So there's my mailbox sporting a Ramsign house number. (Bad, bad photoshopping.) I'm excited that I have a chance to win, too. How? By visiting A Delightsome Life where Kathy is also having a Ramsign Giveaway. She has done a great job telling more about the company and the product. Feel free to sign up here or there or here and there. I'm definitely signing up. As you can see, I would select Highlander as my favorite. Oh, here's a tip for you...not all of the thirty-three folks who have signed up are going to be included. Why? Not everyone let me know which style she would choose. That means that, currently, chances of winning are very good around here. (Oh, yes, I do believe in second chances so if you thought you had signed up, but kept your style a secret, feel free to slip back in there and reveal it.) You can find my post with all the details by clicking on the link at the top of my sidebar.


"Nonni, the best place to find kids' games is at PBS kids dot org." This as I fumbled about on my computer looking for something appropriate for Sam to play. I knew the day was coming when he'd know more than I; I just hadn't realized it would be so soon.

Sam even created an avatar and had great fun doing so. The resemblance between his avatar and himself is uncanny.

The blue hair and the blue eyes...oh yeah.

Our day with the grands ended at the top of the hill visiting our favorite ice cream stop. We munched our cones in silence watching the bulldozers destroy the woodlands and fields across the street. A casino is being built. Ugh.  And they call this progress?

It's another beautiful day here. Hope the same can be said in your corner. Enjoy a marvelous weekend!

Edited to Add: If you can handle being sent in yet another direction, I have to share Sheila's story of receiving her Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook win from me. It is told on *this post* of  her wonderful blog Starshine Through My Windows.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Have Seen A Summer Day

I have seen a summer day that slowly opens like a rose...

I have seen a summer day
That slowly opens like a rose
Along a quiet road that wanders by
And I have smiled and wonder'd
Where it goes

I have stumbled through the night
Alone as anyone can be
Then found a silent canyon full of stars
And in my heart I heard them telling me

I was home

The gentle winds
The rains that fall
The tallest trees

I'm part of it all

I've seen the silver mountain tops
And golden prairies on my way
Now everywhere I go across the land
I stand so proudly in the sun and say
I am home

I've dreamed of Eden all my life
I find it more and more each day
Now everywhere I go across the land
I stand so proudly in the sun and say
I am home

~An American Hymn
by Molly Ann Leiken and Lee Holdridge

May your summer day be blessed!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Life's Work

Hmmm, my life's work is a bit too large for me to think about this fine morning. I do, however, have something for us all to ponder thanks to a commenter who asks interesting questions. I think it was the most interesting question I've been asked in a very long time. Hold that thought.


Yesterday morning was glorious with humidity low and temps in the 70s. I had some blueberries that I wished to use up and so headed directly for Mennonite Girls Can Cook where I did no searching whatsover for there Betty's recipe sat waiting to be snagged. When Betty said that this was her favorite coffee cake, I took her at her word. It certainly is delicious. *Betty's Coffee Cake* has no blueberries; mine does. Good thing I took this picture early as there are about two pieces left.

My life's work yesterday consisted of finishing off the afghan. I worked on it steadily through much of the day finishing it after nine in the evening. Since I was in no frame of mind to quit and make supper, John went out to fetch some pizza. Oh my!

It was some good now let me tell you. He ordered fresh tomato slices, green pepper, onion, and pepperoni. He can do that again soon. Yum. Funny thing about this is that there are only two pieces left as well.

And this is the afghan. I asked John what he thought and he said, "too short." Well tough. I've used up all the yarn and I'm not going to go looking for that brand or those colors since the yarn's been around for years now. It'll make a good throw or a good cover-up for some bad furniture.


Have you been holding that thought? Good for you!

Sometimes the best conversations are going on behind the scenes in comments as I'm sure you know. Lorrie asked me this question in comments on yesterday's post: Have you found that thinking of fodder for your blog causes you to look at life differently?

Now I ask you, is that not a great question? I did respond, if you're interested, but I'm very interested to know what you think? Has your working at coming up with blog topics caused you to look at life differently?

Edited to Add all these years later... 2018-07-07

As I was rereading, I learned that Lorrie had answered her own question, which you can find *here.* 

And my long-absent friend Linds also responded *here.*

Two blasts from the past! The posts NOT the bloggers! ッ

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

'Twas Four Years Ago

Four years ago? Really?  Yes, it is true; I began blogging four years ago on this very date. Time does sail on by doesn't it? You'll howl to see what I thought was blog-worthy on *that first post.*

I had no intention of paying homage to my blogiversary until I was contacted by the good people at *RamSign* who would love to give one of my readers a beautiful house number set. How could I say no? How timely! How wonderful!

This is what RamSign is offering: One house number sign (not name signs or address plaques). There are signs available from 1 digit and up to 5 digits and with five different styles: Metropolitan, Highlander, Arrowhead, Lighthouse or Engelhardt. Just check out a style that you would enjoy. (Don't mention a number as that will be settled when you win.)

What do you have to do to qualify? Nothing more than leave a comment here about which sign you would enjoy having. That's it. Feel free to comment about it on your blog just because you want to help me out, but it's not required. Feel free to follow me yadda...yadda...yadda, but it's not required. Let's keep it easy-peasy. Blogging as it should be.

feel free to snag (if you'd like) and link back to this post

This delightful giveaway is open to all readers wherever you may be. Shipping is free, courtesy of  RamSign.

A drawing will be held a week and one day from now—August 4, 2011. Comments will close at 7 p.m. on that date. A winner will be announced August 5, 2011.

Thank you for visiting. Create a fabulous day!

Comments are now closed. Thank you for your participation!

**Winner announced**

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Muffin Morning and A Rant




A little pot holder project that Sam and I worked on together in my very cool sewing room last week when it was 102F. It's a little transfer onto white cotton of his drawing of vases of flowers for his mama. This week, he'll get to take it home. I think she'll like it.


Thus concludes today's sweetness and light at A Haven... That's because I want to vent a bit about Sunday afternoon on the island. As I mentioned in comments on my last post, it could be any island in Maine. There are over two thousand to choose from. ;>

Anyway, I had a cute email from a blogging buddy who wanted to know what I had against children. Why absolutely nothing! I love children, had two of my own, taught for over seventeen years, and so I wish to defend myself.

This is the story: there was a family group on a public beach behaving rather badly. Now that I've had time to think about it, I'm going to blame their father who was behaving the worst of all. The children were between the ages of eight and sixteen and were three girls and a boy and, when we arrived, they were all swimming. Even their dog, a lab, was swimming. They were laughing and having fun and all was fine until their father began to yell, "Shark! Shark!"

Now there are no sharks in this harbor (if one is out twenty miles into the ocean, it's possible, but rare). With the father's yelling, the kids got wound up and began screaming. Then one began hollering, "I'm drowning! I'm drowning!" Mother stood benignly on the shore watching. Her husband was behaving like a nutcase, and now all her kids had fallen apart. I can't say as I blame her for being stoic and silent. What was she going to do? Add her voice to the din? Personally, I might have taken a long walk.

That's when I shot John this look:  = /  and we headed over the trail.

And I can't blame young people as the only ones who indulge in inappropriate public behavior. For in less than half an hour, we were shopping in a well known tourist trap when we came upon an older man and an equally older woman in the back corner. I skippered on out of there, but not before I heard him say in a low, husky voice, "Oh, Claire, Claire, you're the girl for me." She responded with giggles and then squeaked, "I've got to find the ladies' room."

That's when I shot John this look: = |  and we headed for the register.

Perhaps I'll just take the philosophic approach knowing that it all makes for blog fodder, but somehow I feel as if a certain gentility is slipping away.

P.S. I would like to thank A Woman Who Is for revealing how to make the shocked, annoyed, whatever expression with an equal sign and a back slash. ☺ It's going to prove very useful.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Island Scenes~Mosaic Monday

image will enlarge

A much cooler and less humid day today so it was very nice to get away and spend the afternoon at the coast. Most photos are shot from the car as we drove slowly with island traffic.  We did stop for a few minutes to smell the ocean breezes, though the chatter and clamor of noisy, arguing children drove us off. Kids! ☺

Linking to Mary at Little Red House. As always, even if I forget, thank you, Mary, for hosting Mosaic Monday. It's a highlight of my week!

Until next time...

The Fellowship of God

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor tempermental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He Himself first supplied. He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him, and just as quick to overlook imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds...

Some of us are religiously jumpy and self-conscious because we know that God sees our every thought and is acquainted with all our ways. We need not be . God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still. ~A.W. Tozer

God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11–14 The Message

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Friday, July 22, 2011

A Little Loopy

What ails you?

That is what I'm hearing in my head as I work on granny squares and an afghan through the hottest days of summer. This is not a "normal" afghan; this is the mother of all granny squares. I began yesterday morning and this is how it turned out by evening.

Morning's photo shows about 12 rows done and evening's about 20. I have always wondered if one could make a giant granny square afghan. Of course! Lots of images can be found of them. I even found a lovely one *here* at Purl Bee. I'd love to make one using such lovely colors. My yarn was a regift from my niece who was helping me clean out the garage back along. I am using that yarn up and getting it out of storage. This is an acrylic high loft yarn, washer and dryer safe, and a bit tricky to work with, though my large crochet hook works well. It kept me beautifully warm yesterday, a 92F day. ☺

I really must switch over to embroidery for the remainder of summer. More about that project another day.


Last Friday, Sam wanted to wash his bike and then he washed John's car, too. That worked out so well that I wonder if he'd like to do that again this week...


A new daylily is blooming. I remember when my children were small and I'd get a particular thrill from hearing their voices first thing in the morning. It was exciting to go get them up for the day. That's the same feeling I'm having with my little garden. It's new every morning and I love seeing what's going on each day.

And how are you weathering the heat? (And for all those in the Pacific Northwest, how are you weathering the damp and chill?)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Staying Cool

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat. ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Siding Report

Thought it might be time for a progress report on the siding. Come along, we'll take a little walk-about.

Let's start with the lovely...

Deck Posies

White Geraniums on the Edge of the Forest Primeval

A Bit of a Mess

John at Work

Let's keep on going, shall we? What's happening in the little garden?

The Mallow Bloomed

Back of House

Good heavens! How'd that get there?! You'll be happy to know that it doesn't look this way anymore.

Back View Today

Phew! Thought I was having a nightmare there for a second...

When the fencing gets out of the way, I'll try to show you a similar shot.

Thanks for taking the walk-about with me! Now do stay cool or warm as the case may be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Coffee Drink, Granny Squares, Reading List for Bloggers

This looks terribly unattractive for being the tasty beverage it is. Not a coffee shake, not an iced coffee, but a frozen coffee slushie with coffee ice cream on top.

While participating in last Saturday's Ice Cream Social, I found the recipe right *here* at Not Quite Perfect. It's easy; it's delicious.



Granny Squares. I've been working on some. Don't ask me why. This is not a likely time. I've tried to show you my inspiration, but couldn't find it. Figures. I can't find anything lately. I couldn't remember how to do a Granny Square for anything, which is why I've been keeping company with *this You Tube guy* who does the greatest job of teaching a basic square. He's far better than the rest, believe me. (Even if you watch the first few seconds, you will discover the proper way to start. I've never known this. My mama never taught me.) He repeats just often enough, his voice is soothing, he's a peach. I'm going to miss him.


Ever since the new dashboard rolled out, things are not the same, including traffic. My Reading List is lost and just this morning I've learned why.

How do I use the Blogger Reading List?

(Note: We are slowly adding this feature for all users, some of the functionality may not be available to all users immediately.) With the Blogger Reading List, you can read all of the latest posts from your favorite blogs right on your Blogger Dashboard! Your Blogger Reading List, conveniently located under your list of blogs on your dashboard, enables you to subscribe to any blog with a feed. It will update instantly each time a new post is published on any blog in your Reading List. Additionally, you can check out our latest Blogger Buzz posts from the "Blogger Buzz" tab, and the latest Blogs of Note from the "Blogs of Note" tab. ~Source

I am trying to remedy this sorry state of affairs by adding a number of blogs to my already fat, fat blogroll. In addition, I am grabbing buttons left and right. It's not at all convenient, though I do have a hope of finding my favorites easily.

So, tell me, is your Blogger Reading List working? Is your Follower list stable or are you unexplainably losing Followers? Do you use Google Reader?

Summertime and the living is easy... Okay. I get that. Here's to enjoying the remainder with few, if any, concerns about blogging.

Stay cool out there...

P.S. I've just been visiting my friends' blogs and have discovered that I am unable to leave comments at over 50% of them. Further, I've just discovered that I couldn't leave a comment on my own blog. So if you've been frustrated trying, don't worry. I understand.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Week's Garden~Mosaic Monday

sprinkler was on

Hi! I pondered for two seconds and a half whether to feature my wee patch of a garden this week. My final thoughts were that I have all winter to feature in-house subjects. The little plates were formerly creating a border, then I had marauders of the mammal variety move in so up went the ancient, wee, picket fence. After that, I pulled up the plates and tucked them here and there within the garden where I admire their permanent posies even as I admire the daylilies that are here one day and gone the next.

images will enlarge

This is the latest daylily to bloom along with the Stella d'Oros and the ubiquitous ditch lilies. I believe that it's a Purple Elite, but perhaps someone knows for certain.

As always, I am linking to Mosaic Monday at Mary's Little Red House. I hope that if you've been playing with mosaics yet have never joined in the fun that you might consider it. Mary has all the information that you need to know right in her sidebar. (As for me, I use a free program called Photoscape with a little help from Photoshop, too.)

A Favorite Fishing Hole

And Jesus saith unto them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' ~Matthew 4:19

When Christ calls us by his grace we ought not only to remember what we are, but we ought also to think of what he can make us. It is, "Follow me, and I will make you." We should repent of what we have been, but rejoice in what we may be. It is not "Follow me, because of what you are already." It is not "Follow me, because you may make something of yourselves;" but, "Follow me, because of what I will make you." ~Charles Spurgeon

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ice Cream Social~Kitchen Bouquet

Today I'm participating in Suzy's Ice Cream Social. We certainly enjoy our ice cream around here.

Lately, we are most happy with coffee shakes; these make the third batch.

Veezie's Easy-Peasy Coffee Shakes

* 2 cups milk (Whatever you're drinking; we drink 1%.)
* 1 TBS vanilla (the good stuff)
* ¼ cup sugar
* 3 TBS instant coffee grounds (not what you see here) dissolved in a squid of hot water
* as many scoops of coffee ice cream as you can stand ☺

Blend in a blender, but don't go crazy. You want some small chunks of ice cream floating about. Frost glasses if desired. Our root beer float glasses were frosted for ten minutes so longer would be better.

Makes two shakes.

Why is that second glass half empty? I couldn't wait any longer. Delicious, if I do say so myself!


We had a lovely little ice cream social at the farm with the grands yesterday afternoon. Nothing makes them happier than soft serves with sprinkles except patting the lamb afterward.

Please join Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for more excellent ice cream social ideas! Thank you, Suzy, for hosting the fun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's Your Story, Morning Glory?

all of today's images will enlarge

My story is that I'm practicing cropping. All these shots come from the same photograph seen in the center with the exception of the two close-ups on the bottom left and right.


So many of you told me what a great day you had yesterday. Here on the Eastern Seaboard, we are enjoying beautiful summer days with low humidity, if you can imagine such a thing. I've not seen anything like it for a long, long time, though if it goes on for the rest of the summer, I'll not complain.

The humidity was so low that, toward evening, I baked a Peach and Blueberry Clafouti. We barely noticed the oven was on because the air was so dry. The clafouti recipe can be found right *here* at King Arthur Flour.  If you've never tried one of these, you'll be amazed how easy it is to make and how light and fresh it tastes. It's an excellent way to use up fruit that can't possibly be eaten before it has gone by.

I dusted drowned it with confectioner's sugar. Oh yum...


Today, we are off for breakfast with my oldest grand. We hope to make this a Friday habit for the summer as he's missing his school schedule a lot. Then we'll have a day of whatever we can do without getting too worn out. (I don't mind if he gets worn out; I just enjoy breathing.) This afternoon, we'll pick up the baby grand and then we'll really be off to the races. Say a prayer. ☺


Tomorrow, I'm participating in this year's Ice Cream Social. Last year, I served *orange floats.* This year, I've not quite made up my mind. Nevertheless, I hope that you'll be by to see and perhaps you'll consider participating as well!

Now, what's your story, Morning Glory?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeweled Balm

lantana on my windowsill

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world. 
 ~ Ada Louise Huxtable 

astilbe in my garden

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hardanger, Et Cetera

Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and the dining room. Yes, thank you, with all this heat, I do deserve a standing ovation. I found my Irish linen and a piece of lace purchased at a thrift shop. Don't ask. The very same thrift shop where John and my uncle unloaded our car of its burden. I think my grandmother and mother would be pleased as this shop sells for a very worthy cause. Don't you love how things just keep going in a big old circle around here?

Anyway, look at this! I didn't pay $5.99 for 10 yards of Irish linen. I paid just $5.00!

Thanks, Lovella, for checking my "this will shrink" picture day before yesterday. Want to try this one? ☺

My aunt knows a bargain when she sees one! I also picked up this little piece below.

When we had all piled back in the car with the men in the front and we gals in the back, my aunt asked me what that piece was called. I told her that it was filet *embroidery crochet. She said that it was not. What is this? A test? I thought. "Pulled threads," she said. Then, a moment later, "It's hardanger."  Ohhhh, I got it, she was trying to think of the word and hoping that I could fill in the blank.

*Hardanger* is not a term that I was familiar with. But now that I've cleaned my kitchen and found it again (don't ask), I can show you a comparison between hardanger (har-dang-er) and filet *embroidery  crochet. (I realize that there are gazillion of you who already know this. Humor me.)

image will enlarge

The top piece is the hardanger and the bottom filet *embroidery crochet. Do you see the pulled threads in the hardanger?

So I learned two things if I can remember them. Hardanger is pulled* (counted?) threads and if I shut up, I might learn something.


It's been so hot here the past two days...

How hot is it?

With all due apologies to all of you who've been sweltering for forever.

I was visiting Carol at Serendipity where she was discussing taking pictures of food. She was wondering if she'd gone too far with her photography. I don't think so, but then I don't live at her house. Anyway, I decided then and there to take a photo of some food and since I had cleaned the kitchen and the dining room and found my hardanger—don't ask

Grab a peach and have a delightful day...

* Pardon my confusion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Books

Oh no! This is terrible! And it was. Really.

Let me back up. Last week I was shopping at Amazon, when I realized that I needed a little something extra to get my free shipping. You know, spend an extra ten dollars to save four. I decided that I would purchase that nice little book I gave to Suzanne as part of her winning the Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook contest. It was déjà vu all over again as that's what had happened when I was ordering Suzanne's books. I had needed a little something to get me over that limit then, too.

So I ordered the little something extra and it arrived in timely fashion and I sat right down to read it and I was not four paragraphs in before I realized oh-oh. Oh-oh.² Lots of language. Lots of quirky characters. Lots of oh.dear.me.what.have.I.done.

And so I have laughed and cringed my way through it. I think the most mortifying thing about it is that there's a character who blogs.

People don't take my skills seriously, but there's an art to it. There really is. When I was on a roll, I used to update my blogs eight, sometimes twelve hours a day. That's eight or twelve hours of writing. Stephen King is probably one of the only other guys who writes that much... p.8

In some not too noticeable ways, I'm a reasonably confident guy. Sure, I'm not into socializing and dating and whatnot, but I do write a couple of blogs. I form opinions and I write about them... p52

When you spend all day, every day, on the Internet you develop an image of yourself in relation to the world. You know what I mean? It's like your looks or lack of them are manageable. Because you focus on other people and no one can see you and if you make the odd crack about yourself, well, that's just you being human and relatable. p.238

Every now and then I have felt that the author knew a little too much about blogger types, me included. I mean I always feel as if I'm doing something when blogging just as this character does. Suzanne even emailed asking me just what it was about this book that made me think to give it to her. Oh, I'd responded blithely, I read about it *here.*

Now I ask you, wouldn't you want to read a book with this blurby little bit on the back cover?

Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep...

Somehow I got it into my head that H to W was going to be 2011's The Enchanted Barn, an old story by Grace Livingston Hill about reclaiming a barn for a home. Hill's writing is lyrical and genteel and, well, quaint. This is one of my favorite passages from TEB:

She decided to decorate first. The great hamper of flowers was forthwith brought into the barn, and the chauffeur set to work twining ropes and sprays of smilax and asparagus fern over doorways and pictures and trailing it like a vine about the stone chimney. Then came the flowers: pots of tall, starry lilies, great, heavyheaded, exquisite-breathed roses, pink, white, yellow, and crimson...
Forthwith is such a lovely, old-fashioned word. There were lots of words that began with that letter in H*ome to Woefield.


So you may be thinking that I don't recommend this book to you. I don't. Not in good conscience. Not if you shy from language that makes you want to wash your own mouth out with soap.

You may be thinking that I slammed the covers shut and didn't read another word. Oh no. I have a unique philosophy about reading and literature and dramas, etc. I've shared it all *before.* I take the C.S. Lewis approach. I very much enjoyed the book.

It was the shame of having gifted it to someone else that I didn't enjoy. So, on that note, my sincere apologies to Suzanne.

Edited to Add: For Suzanne's take on this, read comment #26. Ohhh, too funny!