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February 2006
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April 2006


***Knitters Alert***

Margene was last seen being carried away by a big blue meanie blue fish, which was reported by Knitty e-zine, to have sharp teeth and powerful jaws...the better to hold you with, my dear.   Up to this point, she had affectionately called the fish the P-Word.  The P-Word has taken advantage of this affection and made ill gotten gains at the expense of all Margene's other knitting.

Pwordspikedandreadytofight The P-word and the abductee were last seen truckin' with their chips cashed in, heading towards a Fire On The Mountain, and having made friends with the devil, spent a night in Utah in a cave up in the hills. Margene has reportedly become very infatuated with her abductor and may be unwilling to return to her normal life.  If you see this pair, please approach with caution as the P-Word was last seen wearing three bamboo spikes with a fourth as a spear spare. At the time of this report there is only one P-Word but,  a second could surface and then all bets searches are off.


Other knitters are hereby warned of the impending danger of P-Word abduction and should take necessary precautions. As you enjoy the weekend stay alert to the dangers around you.

***End Alert***

Missing Blue


Have you missed the blue skies on my blog?  It has forever since our sky has been clear blue. On Saturday I hoped the wind would blow away the clouds and clear the sky, but it never blew in a storm.  There have been 13 weekends in 2006 so far and 11 of them have been stormy. The week days haven't been much better, fewer storms but, still partly to mostly cloudy. It isn't that the sky isn't interesting but, I miss the blue sky...I miss showing it to you.  Sadly, this weekend looks no better. This picture shows more of the mountain from my place, and the horse pasture next door, because on Saturday the high winds blew down part of the fence.  At times like this I'm very happy to live in a condo, as someone else has to deal with the problem. Here horsey, horsey...let's go for a ride!

To assuage my yearning for blue, I turned to the Douceur et Soie I chose for Susan's Mountain Stream Scarf. The color is a balm to my blue missing soul and the undulations of the pattern do a nice job of mimicking a mountain stream, with a bit of sky reflected in its waters.


As you've heard me say before, knitting lace is fairly new to me. Most of the shawls, or wraps, I've knit are simple, short pattern repeats. The bottom border of MS went quickly and smoothly, until time to pick up stitches and start the body of the pattern. One must be very careful and make sure to count correctly, which I, apparently, did not.  It took 4 (maybe 5) tries and then frogging to start the main section...again, before I was back on track.  This has nothing to do with the complexity of the pattern, it isn't hard, and it is great for a fairly novice lace knitter, a knitter who takes the time to count carefully.   Susan has written a very easy to follow pattern, one that is interesting to knit and very pretty, too. After ending the third repeat I held up the scarf to admire my work....oh so...!  No! What's that?  A boulder was in the stream and had taken the water off course, AND it was on row 3 of the third repeat!  The process includes ALL that is knitting.  The stream met the frog pond is now, a day later, back on course. 

Bluesilkywoolforjean Last weekend on the yarn shop hop I found a lovely shade of Silky Wool for Susan's Branching Out Scarf.  It's sad but true, I haven't knit this pattern, as yet.  My friend, Jean in Grand Junction, will love the color and it will be a nice gift for her birthday in July. I might hold off and knit this during June for Project Spectrum.

Another reason to share that I'm 'Knitting the Blues' is that TeresaC is apparently too busy to blog.  Hey grrlfriend...where are you?

The P-Word

After pondering the preferred sock to knit for Project Spectrum in the perfect color pallet yarn, Fire on the Mountain, my preference is Potu...Pomi...Porti...Pormth...Pomatomus. From here on out to be called the P-Word Socks. While I'm not very far along I can tell you this is one fun sock to knit. There are only a few stitches created with each color, so it's like knitting with a riot of color. The pattern is a hoot, too! I'm so lovin' it!


Today will be my last post about Pink and Red for Project Spectrum's first month.'s a sad day, as I love both color so much more than the colors for the next two months. Despite that, it will be fun to play with new color and I hope to feel more favorably towards Orange, Yellow and Green by the end of May. (Yes Norma, I do love Typepad's color feature.)

Yummypinksalmonanneyarn_1During Saturday's yarn crawl I did buy more PINK sock yarn. Can you stand it? I tried to put it back. I tried very hard, but you know how sticky yarn can be. While it is pink there are some lovely shades of salmon floating around in it, too.  I have yet to knit with Shaeffer Anne and this makes the third 'skank' in my stash.  If I hadn't already crashed on the StashAlong this would have ended it.  It is the only yarn I bought besides plain yarn to dye and the sweater yarn (for which I had enough on my gift certificates).  I wouldn't call that a StashAlong backlash (yet) and I hope there isn't one.  I do have enough yarn to enjoy through the summer. (Please be kind and don't laugh or poke fun, I do mean it...*cough*.)

MyprettyprojectspetbagfromcarolynInsideofmypursewithpsock Another P word is my new purse!  It's a perfect size to carry a knitting project. While decluttering last year I handed over, to a friend who sews, a big bag of fabrics and patterns.  The bag was full of good intentions too but, we know what the road to hell is paved with and I needed to improve my track record.  Carolyn took some of the fabrics and one of the patterns, made a purse (that I had intended to make) and gifted it back to me. (She is a real sweetheart!) The inside has several pockets for tools and enough room for a sock project!  It now holds the P-Word socks.

Judysbeautifulpuresilkyarn Judy sent some of her beautiful pure silk hand dyed yarn for me to test. The color is so rich and the yarn so shiny!  I will start knitting with it to see what I think and give her a report.  It had to be included with this post because it is such a fabulous red!

And, just in time for the end of the Pink and Red month, I finished the Child's First Socks. I've knit them three times and still love the pattern. I hope my pal loves them, too.


Child's First Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Hand Jive  Nature's Pallet – Indian Paintbrush
Needles: DPN Bamboo size 1.5
Time to Knit: 2-7-06 – 3-19-06
Knit for: Alison’s SockapalOOOza and Becky’s  Red Hot Sizzling Socks KAL

This post brought to you by the letter 'P' and Project Spectrum.

G is for...

Many of you had some very good guesses for 'G'. Genealogy was a good one as the best Family History library in the world is here in Utah. Geology was a good guess too, as we have some of the most diverse and beautiful geology in the world here in Utah.  Grrlfriends was, of course, a great guess as that is one of the most important things in my life here in Utah and Utah Grrls rock!.  The best wrong guess was Green Jello from Julia. Check this link for recipes of favorite Utah Mormon dishes, like Green Jello and Funeral Potatoes.

But in my opinion, G must be for the Great Salt Lake.


Most pioneers were heading to Oregon or California and didn't think of settling here because of the lake, which in turn made it 'the place' for the Mormon pioneers. They wanted to be left alone to build their own society and make the desert blossom like a rose.

Marinawithstansbury_1 Smith and I had a sail boat on the lake for many years and enjoyed sailing in the spring and fall.  The lake is beautiful once you leave the stinky shore.  It is a challenge to have a boat on the lake as the salt will eat everything and you spend extra time maintaining the trim, deck and motor. There are bugs during the hot months of summer...especially spiders and brine flies. This orb spinning spider is only found around the lake and they love the Marina where the ropes and rigging's are perfect places for their webs. I could go on and on about this, but there are no good memories involved, so we'll move on.

There are 11 islands in the lake (which is about 80 miles long and 40 miles wide, bigger than Rhode Island).The large islands in the southern portion are named Antelope (this was my 'A  '), Stansbury (in the picture above), Fremont, and Carrington.  The smaller islands are named Badger, Hat (Bird), and Egg.  The four small islands in the northwestern portion are Dolphin, Gunnison, Cub, and Strongs Knob. You can see the lake and islands on this map, which shows how big the lake is and where SLC is in situated.

There is a secret in the lake, too. It's not a monster, it's a beautiful piece of art, created by Robert Smithson, called the Spiral Jetty.  The location is rather remote (therefore we have never visited) and when the lake is high the Jetty is hidden from view.  It's best viewed from the air.

The lake is at a low point after several years of drought. The normal average depth of the lake is around 12' and now it is low enough that some of the larger, fixed keel boats have trouble navigating the shallow waters.  At the moment the beaches are very wide and if you click the shoreline photo above you can see the salt, moss and, not so nice, sand. It doesn't smell very good either.  The white in the foreground of this photo is also salt and the actual lake water is only a thin line. (click to enlarge)


Ongoing conservation efforts strive to fix problems caused by man and ensure large wetland areas for migratory birds. Not only do we have California Gulls (our state bird) but, thousands of other birds live on the shoreline, including pelicans and a flamingo named Floyd (Pink Floyd...get it?). The link for Floyd has some other interesting information on the lake and also the story of how Floyd came to live on the lake.

This photo is of the Stansbury mountains to the south of the lake.

The Great Salt Lake does get a bad rap for it's smell, salinity, shoreline ick and bugs, but it can be a very nice place to visit. Antelope Island is a State Park with a visitors center and you can bike, hike and see the buffalo who live there. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is well worth the trip, especially if you are a bird watcher. Bald Eagles also winter in Farmington Bay  . We visit just to remind ourselves that the lake is a part of our Utah landscape.

Terry Tempest Williams book 'Refuge' is a beautifully written story of her mothers death and the demise of the bird refuge during the 1983 floods. It remains one of my favorite books and is worth reading over and over.

The winner of the contest (she got it right before last Friday's hint) is Sue M. in Spokane. I had no idea it would be so hard to guess and that so many Utah Grrls wouldn't know it either!  Thanks for playing along.   

From Spring to Winter

Click to see a bigger picture of our sugar frosted trees and the granite cupcake. You didn't know winter could look so edible, did you? Let's pretend the creek (crick, if you're in Utah) is hot chocolate.

This is what we woke to on Sunday morning...what a difference a day makes.  Saturday was 70 degrees, warm and blustery from the southern wind. It was just too nice a day and I couldn't imagine putting my feet into hand knit socks and shoes.  So, the new sandals came out of the closet and onto my feet (sans pedicure) for our LYS crawl day. Sunday I couldn't wait to put my feet into warm hand knit socks and shoes before we headed out for breakfast. The sky was cloudy in the valley but, it was still snowing in the higher elevations.

Hempathybookandpatterns Saturday Katherine, Heather, Karen and I met at Black Sheep to begin our yarn venture. With gift certificates from my birthday I was able to get Elsbeth Lavold's new book "The Enchanted Garden Collection", which has a nice selections of patterns for the new yarn, Hempathy. The first sweater I'll knit, with this dusty blue yarn, is on the cover . The detail on the hem around the body and sleeves of Tilia is elegant and just the right amount of detail for a the type of sweater I like to wear. (This sweater can also be knit with Silky Wool of you prefer.)   That's the bulk of the shopping I did for the day but, I have a thing or two to show you later in the week (for Project Spectrum). We met up with Teri and Susan as we  made our way around the valley and had a good time shipping with the grrls.

Kim had a picture of her new puppy Bailey and Woolen Rabbit Kim  had a picture of her beautiful new grrl, Bibbity. So, not to be out done, yesterday when Moxie came to say hello to Smith I was happy to have the camera in hand.  Say aaahhhh....


Stash Crash and Auntie Meme

I must confess to falling off the StashALong wagon.  With only 11 days to go I blew it and must take responsibility for my actions.  Sunday Susan came to Stitch 'n Bitch with a couple if skeins of sock yarn from Marie of  Brooklyn Handspun. The yarn was so nice that I just HAD to have some. Susan has been doing her damnedest best to abet my fall.  I might have been able to hold off except that several of us are doing a shop crawl tomorrow and I want need some yarn for dyeing.  You can blame Dave as he is having too much fun dyeing up bright colors of yarn and knitting fabulous socks out of it.  I want to play, too. Full confession and pictures will come next week.

Beautifulcrocus_1 Potentiallyspringflowers_1 There is a bit of spring beginning to peep out around here and a BUNCH of potential. The yellow daffodils will bloom just in time for Project Spectrum's April colors. Even if you're not a fan of yellow, bright spring flowers always bring smiles and joy.   

Auntie Meme

I'm following suit and joining others in this fun meme from the Jenla grrls, Jen & La, who do a great job of introducing us to other blogs.

Here's how it works:

  • Your finds must come from knit blogs.
  • You may not use a blog for more than one item-all items must come from different sources.
  • Finds can come from current entries or archives.
  • You must post your answers with the title of the blogs they were found on and a link to the blog/item (permalinks where appropriate) on your blog. If no permalink is available, give us the post date.
  • Do not steal anyone’s bandwidth-which means you should not hotlink pictures.
  • You need to comment [on their site] and let us know when you have completed this meme.


Here we go:

1. A blog which you think people have not discovered.
Liz of Athena Dreams. Her photographs are wonderful as well as her knitting and other art. Check out the Mixed Media photo album. And Lisa, too has become a recent pal. She writes and knits well, plus takes good pictures. (Psst, it's her birthday! Tell her 'hey'!) 

2. A blog whose author lives close to you physically. Just get as close as you can, it’s all relative.
Eliza or Gwen. I believe are very close to my home and both are in the Ewe-tah Ring.

3. An unusual or weird animal picture. need for words.

4. An entry that made you laugh and got you strange looks from family or co-workers.
Stash Wars!!!  Jen has missed her calling as a Hollywood screen writer.  This post was so creative, funny and I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

5. An idea you wish you’d thought of.
Project Spectrum - Lolly has made us more aware of the colors in our lives with this project. My eyes are always searching for the color of the month.

6. Something you’d like to knit. (Links are to the knits and knitters that have inspired me.)
Tracy's Poetry sweaters. Both are beautiful, well fitting accomplishments. Also, Susan’s fabulous Icelandic shawl, Fína Hyrnan, (March 16th post). She said it was easy...ah, right.

7. A picture of something you consider beautiful.
I could spend all day hitting 'refresh' on Cara's blog just to see the header pictures change.

8. A blog whose author you’d like to one day meet in person.
It is very hard to pick just one! Carole and Birdsong are coming here to travel with me to the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado, which pleases me to no end. I would love to visit the hotbed of bloggers and knitters in New England, among them...Cara, Katy and Norma, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera....

9. A blog of someone you have already met in person.
I'll go with Snow. She invited me to Estes last year and opened her heart and home, even though we had never met and had only 'known' each other a short time.  She is a sweet heart and a very good friend.

Yesterday I came home to a box on my doorstep from Bakerina. I knew right away it was my birthday gift from Snow! Inside were three bottles of 'butter'. Damson Plum Butter, Apple Butter (pink lady apples!) and Paradise Butter (winesap apples and quinces!). My afternoon snack (ala Bonne Marie) consisted of a cup of tea and a piece of whole grain bread, spread with a little peanut butter and covered with a nice layer of Damson Butter... oh my! It was a slice of heaven.


If you need more of a hint as to what my 'G' will be here is a hint. Why does the capital city of Utah (where I live) have the name it does? Make sure to send your answer to zensockcontest at gmail dot com (check last Friday's post if you need more info).

Enjoy your weekend, I will!

My Oldest Sweater


This sweater is the main reason I wanted to learn to knit, circa 1974.  The pattern was from a craft magazine published in the 70s that I think it was called American Home Crafts. It was my favorite of all the magazines at the time but, it was short lived.  I knit several sweaters from their pages and still remember each one; however, this is the only one I still have.  I am amazed I can even get it on.  In the 70s I still had a grrlish (maybe boyish would be a better description) body…today you can see I'm a little 'boobilicous'.  The yarn was French and not a natural fiber, with slubs like little rolls of pink and yellow. It was hard to knit, as the plies would separate and bunch up, so it had to be handled delicately. For more detail click here. The fabric was so beautiful that I persevered and also knit a dress of the same yarn, in yellow, for my then 3 year old sister.  (I think it still exists, too and may be in my mother's cedar chest.)  I share my first sweater with you as it is pink, one of the PS colors this month.

Cutawaybackfrontandflower_1 Flowerforcutawayfromrowan My current knit is Cutaway in a brighter pink.  I do love, and have always loved pink but, I'm a big fan of blue, too. (You shouldn't be surprised at all by yesterday's post.)   This yarn is one I bought at Estes Park last year (the LYS, 3 Wishes currently carries it, too). I used the same yarn for Blaze and found it enjoyable that I was moved to buy more.  It's a fingering weight yarn which makes the fabric very loose and soft.  The plain stockinette and the unique shape of the cardigan make a great canvas for some fun embellishments.  The flower idea is from the newest Rowan magazine and a trip to the bead store produced some appropriate beads.  I'm excited about the possibilities.

In nearing the end of my Sockpal socks and have wondered what sock to knit next. When this colorway, Fire on the Mountain by STR, arrived from Regina  I knew the answer. This is the perfect yarn for all the months of Project Spectrum.  Maybe a simple stockinette sock will show off the color best unless you all have a suggestion.


Don't forget to get your answer in for the contest in last Friday's post.

Passion for the Process

Remember the iPod my boss gave to me for Christmas?  It was filled with music as soon as I brought it home and I loved listening while working out.  Then I decided to download the book club book and see if it work as a way to 'read' more books.  Well, I loved that even more than music!  Gilead by Marilynne Robinson was my first choice and I listened while at the gym (workouts fly by), at lunch, knitting when the house is quiet (read…, and any other time available.  This is the best reason I can see to have an iPod, or the like. There is now a second book in my ear and I'm happy as a clam.  (As a grrl I just love that multi-tasking thing.)

Prettysockforsockapalooooooza One day the iPod was left in my gym bag and I had to knit through lunch without it.  Before I knew it, there I was with a smile on my face as the joy of the process came flooding back  Knitting with the book was enjoyable, but my attention was on the book and my hands 'just did' what they knew how to do. Knitting without the book I became very aware of the process, the passion I have for the process...each and every stitch of it and the simple solace it brings to my soul.  I will continue to  'read' during lunch time knitting but, from time to time, I will enjoy the surge of pleasure that comes from sitting quietly with my knitting, too. The second SockapalOOOza sock grows nicely with or without a book.

Sylvia's had a link on her blog a week or so ago to an article that I found very interesting.  The author, Catherine Hollingsworth, wondered if knitting could be considered an act of creation. She shares opinions from several of her readers on the (ongoing) debate of crafter versus artist. In a statement she attributes to St. Francis, the question is answered in part.

"If you work with your hands, you are a laborer. If you work with your hands and head, you are a craftsman. If you work with your hands, head and heart, you are an artist."

Reader, Robin Koutchak, had an explanation that is at the heart of the matter, as far as I'm concerned.

"It's a craft to those who do it just to have a scarf or something trendy. ... It becomes an art to those who learn and invent stitches ... teach techniques and become philosophically absorbed in the process of knitting, learning, finishing, designing."

Robin's statement is essence of the process for many knitters.  If you are absorbed in your knitting project, from choosing the yarn and color, making necessary changes, and following it through to the very last stitch…then you are, to my mind, an artist.

Laurie and I spoke of Blogland during our delightful dinner a couple of weeks ago (before her nightmare began) and how as knit bloggers, we not only have a common language but, also a shared passion.  If you take the time to blog about knitting, then it must be a big passion in your life. Passion creates common ground and shared ideas.  This form of communication winnows out many knitters with less passion for our fibery art.  We create daily with our words, pictures, and projects. Many times we tweak a pattern, change the colors or the techniques used in a project, and often, much more than that.  Our work is uniquely ours and we share it with Blogland friends in unique ways, too.  Blogland is a place to be inspired, enabled, enjoyed and loved, while we share our passion for all things fibery.

Strsockclubnumberonesockandkeychain_1 Speaking of passion, sock yarn must be mentioned! My hope for Project Spectrum is to learn to love, or at the very least gain new respect for, colors that have not been favorites of mine.  I have already learned to look at shades of orange  in a different light, because so many of my Blogland friends love it. The first Socks That Rock for the SockClub arrived from Blue Moon Fiber Arts on Monday.  It's such a nice package of beautiful yarn in unique colors, and a very nice pattern, too. It isn't a colorway I would normally be drawn to but, for some reason, I really like it. Maybe it's the name, Rainforest Jasper.   

Where Are My Mountains?

Mountainsblueskyinmarch6 The mountains came into view for only a short time yesterday after what seems like an eternity of snow events the last couple of weeks. It was too cold, too and today we expect more snow, more cold! One day last week it started to snow right after rush hour (thank goodness) and by the time I left for work the roads were icy and snow packed.  The drive is less than 3 miles but, all I could do was drive at a snails pace. Two hours later the sky cleared and the day warmed up enough to melt most of the snow. Later in the day the skies were clear blue and the view was breathtakingly beautiful. By evening it was cloudy again. The weekend snow was wet and not much accumulated.  It stayed cold and dreary, with the clouds shrouding the mountains from view. Ah…springtime in the Rockies!

After a large project is finished up (Seaweed) there is a little down time for me. The feeling is much like finishing a great book--you can't get the characters or the story out of your head long enough to read something new. Knitting Seaweed was like that and even wearing her everyday hasn't filled the empty space left behind when she was finished. Is it lace that leaves me wanting more, or is it the size of the project, the long time spent, that leaves me wanting more?

3squaresforblanketsforjefandmichaelHomelesshatforshetler This weekend I knit blue squares for the blankets that Christine is putting together for her brother, Jef and Vicki's brother, Michael. A  hat for our men's shelter was also finished and another started. It felt good to knit for others and it was the right thing to do after the week of good cheer that came my way. I also prayed for Mr.Ether with each stitch and thanked my lucky stars for all the wonderful people in Blogland.

MountainstreamscarffromsusanSaturday night I decided to add a bit of lace to the mix as any good lace addicted knitter would.  I cast on for Susan's Mountain Stream Scarf.  Since I have my own Mountain Stream, knit by Susan, this one will be a gift. The pattern is very easy to follow for a novice Orenburg knitter. I must confess to only knitting lace that is easy to remember and has a short repeat...they only look impressive. I was able, with only a couple of set backs, to make good progress of the scarf and I'm having fun but watching every.single.stitch.

Lizzy B commented a while back that my Kingfisher Blue yarn was reminiscent of the sky above the mountains. So, of course, it will be my choice for Mim's Mountain Peaks Shawl and will be perfect thing for June's Project Spectrum.

It looks like I'm knitting the blues but, I promise this months Project Spectrum colors soon!

Cruel Winter's Bright Side

Winter arrived with March and has lingered on with another weekend of cold, snow and blustery conditions. Sunday from the hospital room where Mr. Ether and his lovely wife, Laurie were encamped, we watched as snow squalls moved in and out from the lake and moved across the Salt Lake Valley.  The hospital has one of the best views of the city, and the rest of the valley which stretches to the south. While we enjoyed being together, laughing and chatting, teasing and planning, everyone of us would have traded the good time for a whole Mr. Ether, no question.  If you haven't read the fractured tale, you must stop here and do so.

Friday morning, after I arrived at work, I found the email from Laurie telling of Mr. Ether's ski accident the day before and his compound fracture.  My heart was in my chest all day as I tried to figure out how I could help, how to get more information, what would be the best way to be of mind raced and it was hard to wait. I heard from Cassie who had talked to Laurie, and then waited by the phone during the evening hours, finally receiving a call. A very tired, nearly totally exhausted and worried voice explained the situation, the dread, the unknown.  Here I was so close and yet unable to help. Laurie assured me she would sleep and would let me know the next day what could be done to help. 

PackagingupcarefromthewholecommunityLaurie sounded much stronger, more positive, and had answers for her many questions when she called again on Saturday.  We planned to meet Sunday in the hospital room to knit and chat. The first thing I did was pack a care package and as I did so it felt as if I was packing love from each and every person in Blogland.  The outpouring of support that comes in times of crisis proves there is truth to feelings behind our on-line relationships.  Travel can be difficult in the best of times and my hope was to help with some sustenance and hydration.  The necessities of life were packed in the bag: bottles of water, fruit, trail mix (with bits of chocolate, of course) and a new knitting project. 

Laurieandmeonthecouchinhosptial Mr. Ether was smiling as we walked into the 'room with a view'.  We were greeted warmly, and within seconds, the room filled with laughter and chat, as if we were all at home. The room was as large as a nice hotel room, with a comfy couch and a recliner. Laurie and I camped on the couch, intending to knit but, spent the time immersed in conversation instead. Smith sat in the comfortable chair and chatted on and on with Mr Ether.  Our stay extended into hours and it was with heavy hearts that we finally parted.

Laurie and I often spoke of Blogland, and our mutual friends, before her nightmare began. To see it in action is a testement to the solid relationships we cultivate here.  I know I speak for us all in wishing Mr. and Mrs. Ether a quick recovery. The road will be rough but, the sure thing is that the two of them are up to the challenge ahead, and with support from us all will make it through, no doubt.