Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

What a strange day.

Back in the Olden Days

I was chatting with a friend last night on google chat about life before computers or the internet, a life this person never experienced the same way some of us did! She then made some comment about how I walked to school uphill both ways with shoes that were too small.... and I said, "Well, I did!" She probably thought I was kidding, but I really wasn't!

Other than the fact that I grew up in Connecticut on the "Gold Coast", I would never have considered our family rich by any stretch of the imagination. When I was younger, my mom stayed home with us and my dad was a teacher. I wore hand-me-down clothes or sometimes clothes my mom made (not as uncommon as it might be today!) and I'm sure I wore plenty of shoes that were too small for me.

We were "walkers" and each day, with a group of kids from my street, we walked about a 10 minute walk to school. It really wasn't far at all, in fact, you can look down our small street and see the rather large, ominous "Ratfield Penitentiary", our petname, up on it's little hill. Having lived on "Church Hill" with only one house separating mine from the church, you might imagine the hill it sat on. We basically descended, crossed a busy road, walked down a side road, crossed a smaller street and then either walked up a small hill or a huge stairway to get to school.

On the way home, we descended those same steps, retraced our route and huffed and puffed all the way up the church hill, being ever so careful not to step on any cracks lest we break our mother's back! On the way up, we'd occasionally stop with our own back breaking backpacks to rest on people's yards (nowadays, we'd have been arrested for that!). When we finally reached the top, we'd cross the street at the top of the hill, unattended, and head for home. It's a journey that I doubt kids make alone these days, but we did that every day.

What was the worst thing about walking uphill both ways in small shoes? Probably the fact that it was close enough that my mother rarely felt the need to pick us up, even in the rain and snow. Other kids who lived farther would have cars waiting for them on those days. So many cars that I don't think my mother wanted the hassle of figuring out where to park. Not to mention, she had my little (annoying) brother at home! So, we conveniently had "rubber boots", you know, the kind that you put over your shoes. Well, maybe you don't know! LOL

Of course, all this was back before, before my mom spent any amount of time doing anything resembling blogging or surfing the net. You know, back in the olden days.....

Planning Ahead

Em was quite distraught all day today about her beta fish. The fish bowl needed cleaning and she was worried her fish might die - a bit melodramatic! She burst through the door this afternoon sobbing that she had so much homework (not true) and she'd never be able to do it all AND clean the fish tank with daddy.... it was quite a show, sorry you missed it!

Once we completed the dying fish that she's allergic to conversation, she and I went off to shop for dinner. In the car she says this:

"Grace, my safety patrol, told me about these window suckers that clean your windows."

At this point, I've moved on and I'm wondering why I've never heard of window suckers - I need some of those!! She continues,

"She also said we could get a filter. You know, at Petco."

Then I realized we were back on the subject of our dirty betta fish tank... UGH! I just let it go.

From there, we progress to this conversation on the way home:

Em: "If my fish dies, I want a rabbit."

Me: "Well, if you get a rabbit, you will have to take care of it yourself. I can't help you because I'm allergic to rabbits and so is your sister."

Em: "Well, OK, if I can't get a rabbit, how about a snake?"

Me: "Uh, I think you need to ask your dad about that."

Em: "Maybe I shouldn't get an animal that I'm really afraid of. That might not be a good idea."

FINALLY, some semblance of reason!

Em: "How about a horse?"

Thank goodness we got that tank cleaned tonight! =)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I'm surprised it's been so long since I've written on here. Being an ISTJ, I've written many a blogpost in my mind, just haven't gotten around to actually typing it in here. Sometimes for me, when it's done in my brain it's done.... sorry!

Here's what I've got cooking:

1) 24+? members on our Hungary team, traveling to Vienna, Austria, on to Sopron, Hungary to run a program for European church planters' children while they attend a conference, meeting up with the Cameroon team of 15+? in Paris. Last night I spent a good deal of time hunting down Youth Hostels for our large group. Honestly, the prospect of staying in one with my children give me the willies.... but the Holiday Inn T's Cameroon team stayed in 2 years ago at the airport - they were awesome! - can't accommodate that many. I understand, but it still makes me sad. T won't let me call Disneyland Paris... I wonder why? hehe

2) T's and my anniversary (15 years!) is July 30. We'll be somewhere in Hungary for that, taking care of about 50 kids. So.... we are doing something we've never done before. Hard to believe! but my mom has graciously agreed to spend the beginning of her spring break with our girls so we can escape to Florida, namely Miami, hopefully Key West.

3) Trying to get back into a workout routine, but I'm just not a cold weather person. It's been a real challenge for me. I'm not a very disciplined person to begin with, unless I have built in something. I haven't done that here, but it needs to be done!! This week, Aspercream and Advil have been my two best friends! =)

4) Summer camp.... why do we have to sign up so early?

5) Wedding.... our premarital counseling guinea pigs are getting married this weekend, and with last weekends bad weather and everything from last Friday being pushed back, organizing that has been crazy. Now all we need is to throw in something like the stomach flu, which is making a comeback all over the girls' school. YUCK!

I promise a much more entertaining next entry... just thought maybe I had some 'splainin' to do!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wet Day?

Well, the girls are home, everyone's home!! There is less than an inch of snow outside, slick driveway, wet streets. Hmmm.... someone's going to pay for this if that's all we get!! It's not even drizzling outside. Nothing, nada, nunca! At least I got to sleep in! =)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter Storm Warning

We are no longer watching, but forewarned about our "big snow event" tonight into tomorrow. I'm hoping it doesn't happen, but assuming it will! I'm still making my kids go to bed on time tonight because the last time they said this we woke up to nothing!! Another time, it just rained!!! So tonight, I'm sure with their pajamas on backwards, it's off to bed while visions of snow days are dancing in their heads...

Morning Madness

Our morning started out just fine. T made eggs for everyone, I made lunches, the girls were up and ready early, backpacks ready to go. At 3 minutes to 9, Em says to me, "My parent tooth and my baby tooth are still in my mouth." She has been mentioning this "parent" (or adult) tooth for a couple days, so I asked to see it. Sure enough, it was coming in way behind that baby tooth. I told her we'd have to get that baby tooth out soon and she asked how. I said, "Just keep wiggling it until it's loose enough. If we don't get it out, the dentist will have to."

I'm not sure if she took "soon" extremely literally or if the word dentist scared her, but she went and pulled the tooth out right in front of me! Blood everywhere, crazy look on her face, running to the bathroom, lots of paper towels.... it was quite a scene! Almost prime time TV quality in my opinion! Em now has a gaping red hole where that little tooth was. I sent her off to school (I cannot believe we actually made it to the bus stop!) with a paper towel. Clean - the others are all in the garbage, in the aftermath of our morning madness. For all the whining she does, that child sure does have a high tolerance for pain! The only thing she said was, "I'm totally shaking!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not Your Parent's College!

The WP ran an article today about my parent's alma mater, The King's College. When they attended back in the '60's, the campus was in Briarcliff Manor, NY in an old golf resort turned college. It was a BEAUTIFUL campus. Through the years, they lost that property, tried to move to another location and eventually relocated in the Empire State Building. Strange, but it's nice that it's still alive, so to speak. I'm really surprised to see an article about them in DC, but kind of fun. Interesting to see the history of that college moving from suburban liberal arts to completely urban college.

As a side note (that any alumni from that era would appreciate) my aunt sent me my father's freshman initiation beanie from Kings. As a joke, my brother hung it in my kitchen and I haven't taken it down yet, despite repeated outcries from my mom to throw that horrid thing away, as it holds some awful memories for her. They have nothing to do with my dad, but everything to do with some kind of abusive ritual.... sorry mom, just can't bring myself to throw away a piece of family history! LOL

Birthday Update

So.... snow it did, ruin my birthday it did not! My day started out by T and the girls making me breakfast in bed - twice! T made his first fried egg (forgot to flip the first one and had to make me another!) and the girls were both up and dressed before 8:30 - that was two miracles before I even got out of bed. Oh, did I mention I got to sleep in a bit?;-)

Once the girls were off to school, T and I went shopping. A small miracle - I found a dress for a wedding, no small feat! And we only went to one store. Funniest moment of the day: T asking me if that had taken care of my shopping bug. LOL - men know nothing about women - 'nuf said!

From there, we ran a couple errands then had lunch at Mimi's Cafe. It was really good - we were both pleasantly surprised. We brought home the worst thing on the menu I could find - Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie - YUM! There's still half of that thing in the fridge. Between the two of us we could only eat half. We did that while watching my first birthday present, Becoming Jane. That was not the movie I thought it was, but it was still good. I'm not sure why I thought it was about a Jane Austen book club or something - is that another movie?? Weird....

After that... oh, wait. I forgot. While we watched that movie it was snowing outside. We got about 1/2 an inch total and the roads stayed pretty wet. That was nice - no big mess, buses getting stuck or anything...

Once the girls came home, we got started on dinner. We skipped gymnastics, mostly because we just forgot! Oops! Then fondue for dinner - that was an experience! Note to self: next time we have fondue with the girls, prepare something you don't have to patiently wait for so those savage hungry beasts will not whine all through dinner!! We enjoyed our dinner as well as our chocolate fondue dessert. Now the girls know why they've never had that here before. Hehe.

After dinner, showers and hair (wouldn't be a birthday if we didn't all get our hair done!), I got my presents. From Kt a Vera Bradley purse - my very first one! I love that (although I'm thinking of exchanging it for a smaller size with Kt's help!) and a 'Lil Kinz Webkinz from Em. I need that like a hole in the head, but she was so sweet getting that for me. Her doggies mean so much to her, so it was a really cute gift, especially coming from her.

Now, I'm writing and T is playing the Wii. I think he enjoyed his day off as well, especially considering it wasn't even close to being the full day of shopping I'd predicted! I'm now finishing up my laundry because I must have clothes for tomorrow. Thanks for all the well-wishes, everyone. I hear the eclipse tonight was awesome - I was too cold to go out (I'm such a winter wimp!), but I sent T out for a look. Kind of a fun birthday thing.... if only it was a bit more, er, tropical outside!

One last thing - my friend, Jeremy, who I only know from blogging, have not actually met, posted this on his blog - and it was the best birthday laugh ever!! Enjoy! Thanks JDR!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Snow Advisory





Yes, folks, 'tis true!! The snow's acomin' and there's nothing I can do!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Incremental Improvement



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I'm noticing a tiny rise in predicted temperatures, but not enough to make it a fun day for me!! Originally, T was going to take the day off and we were going to go shopping (I just wanted to torture him a bit for my birthday! LOL), but we'll have to postpone that. I'd hate to be in the middle of trying something on only to find out my kids are being released early from school!!

So, what to do on a snowy, yucky birthday.... stay in bed all day and watch TV? I don't even know what's on TV during the day other than General Hospital. Lifetime?? Lifetime Movie Network?? Or maybe I'll just read and blog all day. Who knows.... maybe there's still time for an atmospheric miracle!

Happy Snow Day!



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It doesn't get much worse than this for a birthday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day!

Today was surprisingly fun! T, after working 17 hours straight this weekend, took today off. When we woke up (ridiculously late!) it was already 66* outside - YIPPEE! We showered, put on our capri pants, t-shirts and sunglasses and headed off to DC. Fortunately, the double-decker bus credit card machine was broken and we did not bring $100 cash along, so we hopped on the Metro and went down to the mall. From there, we walked over to the Smithsonean Museum of Natural History. It was a glorious 5 minute walk in the warm sun - I even thought for a minute we ought to enjoy the outdoors, but we weren't planning to stay all day!

We spent a good three hours just wandering around that museum with hundreds of tourists. I remembered at one point that many of the school up north are off this week, which was likely one of the reasons it was so crowded - that, and it is President's Day! We saw dinosaurs, mummies, butterflies, insects... fossils, totem poles, and many other fascinating things. We also spent $30 on lunch in the "cafe" (as opposed to the restaurant!) on two turkey sandwiches, 2 drinks, 2 bags of chips and milk. YIKES! That's what we get for being really spontaneous!

As we were finishing up, we noticed that people were walking around with umbrellas, plastic entombed strollers, wet hair.... Needless to say, we knew an adventure awaited us! After waiting a bit for the downpour to subside, we bolted for the metro. Totally soaked and happy we had our Crocs on (LOL), we made it to the train with minimal wetness considering BUT very cold! I guess we ought to check the weather next time!!

Speaking of weather, I guess today's surprise is a precursor of what's to come. I've been watching the calendar for weeks now and every time I've checked my birthday (this Wednesday) has been cold but totally clear. Well, tonight is a different story. They are so far calling for a full day of snow. I honestly couldn't be more depressed about that. There is nothing I want more at this point than to be anywhere that snow is the last possible thing that might happen! I'm just really, uh, wishing today had been my real birthday!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Making Progress"

President and Laura Bush are traveling around Africa embracing the signs of "making progress" around countries who have used US aid dollars for fighting poverty, preventing malaria and AIDS/HIV programs. For all the negative things we hear about Bush, I happen to think it's a huge commitment he's made to that continent and one I'm happy to pay my taxes for. He has taken a stand on conditions in Africa - especially Sudan - that I agree with. While I've never been to Africa, I've heard plenty about it from our teams who have gone. Story after story is filled with hope, warmth, a resilience that we have little need to develop in our "safe" suburbs. We have a lot to learn about community from African nations and it's nice to know that we are helping in some small way to preserve future generations there.

Deja Vu

It's (almost) just like the old days. T's still at work. That will be going on 17 hours now. I wonder if they will buy them all breakfast?? The thing that's annoying is our dogs. One of them - the old one - has barked ALL NIGHT LONG!! So, it's bad enough that T has worked all night and gotten no sleep, I haven't slept a wink, either!! He's down there still barking, and when I let him outside he stood at the bottom of our back steps and barked. AGH!!!! Just shoot me now!

I'm really not a dog person and truth be told, I actually dream about having no dogs in this house. I'd much prefer a cat, but with allergies and asthma that is out of the question. If Em wasn't such an animal lover, I'd consider giving away these dogs today after a night like last night. Of course, I think I was the only one who was up all night.... Kt's and her friend haven't made a peep. That could be wishful thinking, though! ;-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


For 13 years T worked for Verizon as a DBA. Each year, he'd work on my birthday weekend - faithfully! Each year, it would get worse, longer hours, more weekends. Only one year did we actually go away for my birthday (which generally falls right around President's Day weekend). This year is his first year working at his new job. So far, any weekend work has been about 1 hour. We smile about it a lot. Until this weekend.

Here it is, President's Weekend, big Oracle release. He went in at 3, things are not going well, who knows when he'll be home, then he'll be thrown off all weekend. He also does not get President's
Day off (WHAT????), so what's worse about this time around? I get to have the girls all day while he's at work. I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking I'd like to pretend it's not really my birthday at all! (Can I stay younger as well??)

Happy Birthday, Jacks!

Well, I missed it by a day, but I did at least tell her HP yesterday!! Instead of blogging, I was subbing at Mother's Day Out, grocery shopping and making chicken fajitas for our neighbor with 6 kids. Quite an undertaking. Once that was done, I settled in for a movie with Em and Kt and promptly hit the sack!

For J's birthday, my mom made her a lasagne for dinner and my brother (who wasn't able to top the car he got her last year for her 30th birthday!) got her a new laptop. NICE!! I don't think we'll be topping that at our house for my birthday next week. That's OK, we didn't do the brand new car last year, either!! LOL

I'm really glad Jack's and I have our birthdays close because I used to share it every year with my grandmother (same day) and my father (two days after mine). Now that they are both gone, I still don't have to celebrate alone - well, maybe alone, but not by myself.

The funniest story about Jacks - she makes gorgeous jewelry, and we all know it. Even T knows it, but somehow when he was setting up an account for her and we told him to use "beader" he misunderstood us and used the word "beater" - and whenever I think of that, I just crack up!! What a goof! She's not a beater at all, but we've been wondering what T was thinking!!

So, Happy 31st Aunt Jacks!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maryland School Suspensions Up

This article mentions a rise in Maryland state school suspensions. I'm not surprised, as we now institute the "zero tolerance" policy in schools. I have to say I'm quite surprised that NOT ONCE in this piece does it mention that parents need to get involved or support the schools. No, instead the responsibility is falling on the schools and teachers to find alternate ways to change student behavior.

Personally, I believe if parents supported these decisions at home we'd see fewer behavioral problems at school. Instead, when kids are suspended the parents complain. I'm sorry, but if my child actually does some that warrants a suspension, you better believe they will be changing their behavior at school and it's going to start at home! By the way, having children who so far seem unlikely to be suspended, I'd prefer they are learning at school and the students who are not there to learn and are an interruption - I'm happy to have them suspended!! More valuable instructional time for my kids that they miss each day because of those who don't deem it important or necessary to obey.


When your 10 year old daughter is asking you a serious question with blue lips from eating some kind of Valentine candy, it's just impossible to keep a straight face!

I Can See Clearly Now

I left work today and the sun was shining. The first words that popped into my head were "I can see clearly now, the rain (and snow, and ice) have gone"! In many ways, that song defines me. A doctor friend of mine once suggested I might have SAD, seasonal affective disorder, and I think there's some truth to that. I just get more and more depressed in bad weather.

Today, I'm feeling a bit more clear minded, level headed, happy. It's a little pathetic, but that's just the way I am. I guess I need to move to Florida or something!!

Is there a song that defines you?

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you all have an enchanting Valentine's Day today!

After our scramble to make it out the door ON TIME today (no snow or ice - yippee!), I am now sitting here, in the middle of the messiest house you ever did see. I cry, moan, beg, threaten... I guess I'm just not assertive enough. I'll be cleaning alone again. Then making dinner. Then doing homework with everyone. Somewhere in there I will go to work.

Here's what I got the girls for Valentine's Day: an American Girl heart apron (each), baking stuff for cupcakes - YUM!, a small chocolate heart and a Webkinz heart bullfrog. I think they will enjoy their Valentines!

As for dinner, I have no idea what I'll make. I'm not really motivated to cook much but I think I'll just try something new and different - of course, nobody will like it. Maybe that's why I'm not motivated!! They'd all be happier with a pizza! Then we'll make those cupcakes. Then we're watching No Reservations (after the girls go to bed!). T wanted to watch it last night, but I opted for tonight - I'm pretty sure he didn't know why. I mean, it IS Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Birthday Wishes

If I could choose anything at all for my birthday, it would likely be to go on a Disney Cruise. Especially in February!! Of course, at this point, in the middle of an ice storm, I'd be happy with being anywhere warm. I loathe cold weather - snow and ice just make that loathing more pronounced! So, I just spent a little time vicariously going on a cruise while reading that lovely CNN travel article about them. Just because I'm a dreamer, I also have the Disney Cruiseline Planning DVD, so I've already chosen my cabin.=)

Too bad my husband won't step foot on a cruise ship.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here We Go Again....

Tomorrow, Tuesday, expecting snow, I have to work, my kids are home from school (primaries).

Someone PLEASE send me to a tropical place before I freeze into a iceblock and shatter into a million pieces!

Monday Morning Funny

This morning Em crawled into bed with me - again! This is becoming a ritual. She looked right at me with those very serious eyes and said, "Mommy, I have some baaaaad news. This morning, the radio said 'For Americans, the flu shot MIGHT * NOT * WORK!" I kind of chuckled and said, "Oh, really?" She replied, "Yes!" After a short, thoughtful pause, she asked, "Are we Americans?"

At that point I was busting up, and it reminded me of this past weekend when she asked me if we were Jewish! This girl is having a major identity crisis. But here's the best part: she is now thoroughly relieved that she got to the flu mist as opposed to the shot!! (Poor Kt!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Here's the way it typically goes down around here when we make "plans" to do something and dad's away at some Christian conference.....

Going to Connecticut - have planned this months in advance....

1. My mom's contractor called last Friday - he put a new ceiling in her bedroom on Monday/Tuesday....

2. They are calling for snow "showers" this weekend - around here, that could translate into a full-blown blizzard by that time!

3. The dog is sick.... so not calling a dog-walker to clean my house!

4. My sitter for the girls today... her daughter had a fever, and they went anyway, and of course, I couldn't leave work early!

5. My mom emailed this morning - she has a cold now, and my brother and his wife spent at least last night at her house (3 small bedrooms) because the hot water heater in their apartment died. The landlord apparently said to my sister-in-law (in Connecticut!), "Well, you have cold water!" Yup, uh-huh... have you checked the temperatures up there lately? I have.... daily for over a week! I'm not taking any cold showers up there!

6. Still no word on whether or not the landlord decided to fix that hot water heater!

7. It's almost midnight and I'm still not packed. Partly my own problem, but I've been drying the same load of laundry for 2 hours and my dryer doesn't seem to be drying anything.... and that's where all the clothes are for the trip.

Kt's friend is here, and despite all of the above we will be leaving in the am to culminate her last birthday wish, which was for one of her best friends to visit her second home. Sometimes it starts with a grain of sand, layers of irritation are added and you end up with a beautiful pearl. At least that's what we're hoping for here!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oh, So Sweet

This morning I rolled over in bed and saw 64* as our outside temperature - which led to a big smile on my face. I had expected that to dip at some point today, but I just tucked Em in(to my bed!) and it still says 64*. It's been a nice, warm day today. I love little winter breaks, especially when it does not require any travel!! I know it will be short-lived as tomorrows high is only expected to be around 49.

Here's what I did on this unseasonably warm day: got up with a smile, made dessert for the teachers PTA dinner, took a walk with my MP3 worship songs, showered in a warm bathroom, ran dessert over to school in a short-sleeved shirt, saw my beautiful girls, got them off the bus on their half day, spent the afternoon outside with them in the balmy but damp 70's, got them over to gymnastics in the wind, ran down to their school for a 6:45 conference and it was still 67*!, then came home. Just walked the dogs with no coat on. How sweet is that? Now I'm just hoping it doesn't all end with a tornado!!


So, appropriately, my 30,000th visitor was my mom. At least I think it was her. She tries to stalk me on here, even goes so far as to leave anonymous comments - LOL. OK, sometimes she actually signs them "mom", but I'm thinking we might need to get her to start her own blog. Although that could be dangerous when I vaguely remember all the damage she could do to her children on one of those. On second thought, we'll just laud her as my 30,000th visitor and leave it at that! ;-)


For the past couple days we've been getting quite the education about Tarantulas from Em. Last week, she had a reading book all about them and really absorbed a lot of information, which she obviously found fascinating. I happen to think it's fascinating that a first grader can gather so many facts in such a short, tiny reading book - 20 pages, 265 words! Oh, and the map.

T left last night for Florida and Em has been relentless in her concern for his safety, seeing as tarantulas live in that region! She has been warning him about them, their shape, their abilities and even the fact that they like to hide in plants much like the ones in the bedroom she assumed he'd be sleeping in at our friend's house. Every time we mention daddy and his trip, we learn one more thing about those scary, dangerous creatures.

This morning, Em crawled into bed with me and I assured her that daddy was safe in Florida AND having lots of fun. She very seriously said to me, "Well, at least he's not paralyzed!" Being 8 am and still a bit groggy, I asked her to explain to me what she meant by that. She then said, "That's what happens when tarantulas bite you!"

Never again will we be able to visit a tarantula region!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You know...

Condi, it's not to late to jump into this mix. I mean, nobody is really winning or anything! ;-)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Day Off

So, last night I put into practice something I've been needing to do - I said no. I felt a twinge of guilt, but I've been planning this whole day off thing to get my stuff done for a couple weeks. It's a much needed sabbath!

Off to bed I went, not a care in the world, dreaming of my day at the gym, then home for some relaxin....

All a dream, I tell you! I was up all night with a stomach bug, then the girls had a late open for school and now I'm ready to head back to bed. Thank goodness! I said no or today would have potentially been a train wreck - me sick, trying to find someone to watch the girls between 10-11, working with little kids and feeling really lousy.....

And the delay? I was up at 4:30 am (one of many times) and it was 35 degrees out. If there was any ice out there, I'm not sure where it was! All I see is torrential rain. Downpour. So, I guess we had a rain delay. And you know what that means? Everytime rain is forecast, Em will be asking me if there's a late open. I would bet a million on that one!!