Friday, April 27, 2007

15 Months - And Waiting! And Counting!

LID: 1-27-06

That pretty much says it all...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thankful Thursday - First Try

Thankful that our Adoption Home Study update that is now in progress. We have a wonderful social worker that lives nearby. He is animated, a great conversationalist and puts us at ease every time. We have never regretted our choice of agency, CCAI.

Thankful for our cousin Carolyn who is safe back in Maine after a long sojourn around the country. This lady has a gift for children, a hard worker and an adventurous spirit. She may move to our area in order to have a job that she has a passion about – teaching.

We are blessed that an investment transaction came to fruition this month. It is something we have prayed about and was the right thing to do for our future and for our new daughter. Our investments have been set for quite awhile for our first daughter and son. This will hopefully take care of new daughter, Alyzabeth An.

Thankful for my Mom and Aunt who drove here for a visit. We drive to Missouri soon to see family and show my Mom around DH's home State. May they have a nice vacation and safe return trip.

Thankful for my husband who has the patience of Job. He is a kind, loving and forgiving man.
Thankful for the wonderful support, love and friendship from our family, friends and "bloggy buddies".

This was my first attempt at “Thankful Thursday” and it is hard not to write about so many past family and friends we are blessed with.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wisdom for Wednesday

One thing you may give away and keep at the same time - Your word.

Gossiping about people is a waste of time. Speak instead of ideas.

A righteous man who walks in his integrity - how blessed are his sons (children) after him.
Proverbs 20:7

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tolerance Is Not A Four Letter Word

It’s been a while but back a ways I took offense to a bloggers portrayal of the people that live in a particular part of the country from which I was born and raised. Without pulling out the flame-thrower (more like a kitchen match) I posted a reply expressing my opinion regarding their opinion. I then removed their link from our blog. They hacked me off. I thought it was over the top mean in its depiction of the people and their non-urban lifestyles, both economic and social. *I am quite certain they never even knew they were linked to begin with and could have cared even less that I had dropped them.

Eventually I simmered down and after putting the appropriate amount of salve on my injured psyche I found time to reflect on why this had bothered me so. For me it was nothing more than a feeling of having listened to someone talk about someone else behind their back. It reeked of class warfare. And you can add a dash of conservative elitism in there as well (elitism not being the sole domain of liberals as it were). The simple truth is it exposed a weakness in me. While I desire a hide as thick as that of an alligator I instead bruise as easily as a banana. A calm outside demeanor is only hiding a rumbling troubling volcano inside. I hold grudges. I live with things I choose to not accept as a means of self-protection/preservation. I can and do feel physically sick when moved to anger. I am not physically violent but emotionally I will engage in verbal fist-a-cuffs. Controlling my temper has taken years of work, beginning my senior year in high school and continuing through today. *If allowed approximately 30 minutes to cool down, it is a known fact that I will agree to most whatever it is my wife wishes or expects from me. It’s more of an ego thing with me for the most part. She knows it. Even helps me get past it. I love that woman.

So where is all of this leading…? I’m getting there. Sort of.

Whether it’s the extended “Waiting” period and the tangle of jagged nerves that goes with it or simply a matter of being exposed to more adoptive bloggers, I find I’m gaining depth to my new found alligator hide. More truthfully, I think I’m slowly developing duck feathers complete with their nature provided oil glands to help contrasting opinions roll more easily off my back. *More easily – not always. Much more work left to do on that. Posting your adoption plans and opinions can be a mine field. One false step (in someone else’s opinion) and boom! Get out your fire retardant suit. I have jokingly referred to “those people” (as opposed to you and me) as the Adoption Taliban. They also hack me off. While my heart says to love them, I continue to not like them very much. This group has decided that any opinions expressed other than those that line up behind theirs are wrong and in need of serious correction. *I’m thinking more along the lines of they can bite me and while they’re at it maybe grow up a bit.

I think we’re there. So I ask. Where are you on your journey of tolerance towards others?

My journey continues to stretch me both spiritually and secularly. I continue to boil inside but less so and less often. My differing chiseled in stone (take no prisoners approach) opinions are still too often used to define who you are and I foolishly let the opportunity to better know you slip past. Principles without tolerance breeds injustice and prejudice. Tolerance of opinions and behaviors allows for me to decide my own course of liberty and action and to fight to ensure the same for you. We only need not impede each other in that pursuit. We can disagree. However, our freedom to choose what is right for us individually is shared common. *This is where the nitpicking is sure to pick up. But Ford! Are you saying everyone should just be allowed to do whatever they want?!? (fm:Thinking that shallow may be an indication you need to do a little real world stretching yourself). Is he talking abortion? I think he’s talking abortion! No, I think he means gay marriage. Really? I thought he was a Christian? I don’t think so; I think he’s a democrat. Oh….

So pick your poison. Adoption. Politics. Religion. Family. Work. Life. Each other… Bottom line is very few if any see the world exactly the way we do. No surprise there. It’s just surprising that we so often react as though they should. And we act bitter, hurt, upset, mad and sometimes just plain downright ugly about it when they don’t. Some seem to almost mount a crusade to save us from our own misguided ignorance. *Ah, did he have to use the word crusade? Everyone knows you can’t say crusade today. It either labels you a republican neocon or a holy roller. But I thought you said he was a democrat? Quiet, you never know who might be listening and besides… he gets so darn defensive being the un-patriotic heathen hypocrite that he is.

I continue to find it enjoyable and heartening to read blogs full of hopes, dreams and opinions. Of course this provides an opening for the flame-throwers, the courageous (insert facetious) anonymous posters and the ever present, ever correct, ever thought policing Adoption Taliban (Johnny uses a very descriptive and most appropriate terminology of his own). I’d like to think I’m learning to be more tolerant. But it's hard. So very hard...*Is he through? I think so, the soapbox is gone. What was that all about? Who knows? He gets this way and all of sudden he gets to thinking he's some kind of great philosopher sharing all this great insight. I thought he was a democrat? How would he be so smart? Dollar to a donut he listens to that NPR liberal, pinko, troop bashing, climate changing crap instead of God fearing, tell it like it is, fair and balanced Talk Radio. Tolerance! That’s the trouble with the country today.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jacksonville - Jaguar Fun Cats!

First Cat: "Cool School Cat"

Second Cat: "Celestial Jag"

Third Cat: "Vincent Van Jaguar"

We went on an errand and sight seeing journey on Saturday with DH, my Mom and Aunt. We enjoyed seeking out the Fun Cats painted for charity. The auction is next month.
Here's the web site: Big Cats for Kids!

Jacksonville Going to the Cats! Part 2

"Diamonds and Purrls"



"Professor of Pawsabilities"

Saturday, April 21, 2007

NASCAR - Ricky Craven - Journalist??

My support for Ricky Craven does not waver even though he is not racing this NASCAR season.
His posts at Yahoo!Sports are a great read and I hope the NASCAR fans agree.

Where there's Smoke … By Ricky Craven, Yahoo! Sports April 18, 2007

Now what do I do?
I am in a tough situation this week, trying to determine if I should apologize, retract or take the big gamble and "double down."
My dilemma is this: my introduction as an analyst for Yahoo! Sports was a prediction that
Tony Stewart would win the 2007 Nextel Cup championship. My basis for this was the combination of him being motivated by missing last year's cut, as well as Stewart being at the sweet spot in his career where he has valuable experience and much success, combined with the continued drive and desire for more.
But my primary reason for choosing Stewart was his refreshed attitude and the apparent enjoyment he expressed all during Speedweeks at Daytona. This appears to have eroded, which brings me to my dilemma.
Stewart's comments following last weekend's race in Texas reflect his frustration with having a worse start to the year than expected, and the toll those same expectations can take on a driver emotionally.

Stewart was quoted as saying, "I'm ready to retire as soon as I can get enough money saved where I can retire, I'd be more than happy to step away."
This doesn't actually surprise me coming from Tony. I see this as him simply venting rather than being any type of proclamation regarding his Nextel Cup timetable.
Still, this is a contrast to the attitude with which Stewart started the season, as well as a contrast to how Stewart has connected with the fans with his ceremonial fence climb following each win. Ironically, it may have been the fans that led Tony down this path Sunday. He mentioned how disheartening it is to be booed by 180,000 fans and how this had taken away much of the fun of racing.
I expect the fans were probably expressing their displeasure with
Dale Earnhardt Jr. essentially being taken out the race and felt Stewart should share some responsibility.
The price an athlete pays for being judged by a paying customer (i.e. the fan) is an interesting topic. I have been on the receiving end of fan support during my career, especially at every event I raced at New Hampshire International Speedway, considered my home track. I was the beneficiary of overwhelming New England diehard support and found it very inspiring.
I have not, however, experienced the reversal, which is usually reserved primarily for a dominant athlete or team (or any player wearing pinstripes at Fenway Park). I would have to believe it would take its toll on me.
In fact, I witnessed the jeering of fans while riding in the back of the vehicle with
Jeff Gordon during ceremonial prerace parade laps. I was appalled by the things I heard being shouted toward us as we made our way around the track. It affected me on a personal level because I know Jeff quite well, and know that he is a fine person. I found some comfort in watching how well he handled most of it, leaving me with a new appreciation for the extra burden a highly successful athlete bears.
Tony Stewart is another example of an exceptional athlete. Perhaps he could find comfort knowing he doesn't face the burden of being booed alone.
Jimmie Johnson again joined the elite group a few weeks back in victory lane at Martinsville, and his membership renewal was a result of 25 nearly perfect laps while holding off a faster Gordon. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not exempt from this type of treatment. Following his Busch win at the expense of Carl Edwards at Michigan last year, Junior was booed.

As strange as it seems, being booed by the crowd is, in most cases, a confirmation of accomplishments in your respective field, and a compliment of sorts.
As it relates to Stewart's suggestion of retirement, I would not expect an impending announcement anytime soon. He is an asset to the sport, he continues to display the hunger and fire to compete and succeed, and he serves an important role in the garage area.
There are times when someone needs to be the voice for the sport or the drivers, and Tony has filled both roles well. You may not always agree with his message or the way in which he delivers it, but you should certainly appreciate his clarity.
I can relate to Tony when he implies that at some point he simply will have had enough. I found myself in this position in the summer of 2004. After winning two races with the Tide team in 2001 and 2003, the vulnerability of being a single-car team had caught up with us. The frustration of losing, as well the implications that go along with it, brought me to the decision a few years earlier than I would have liked.

But my situation was cushioned by the value of having three children at home to fill the void. Stewart's situation is quite different. No, he has not won in 2007, but he will. When he does, he could win several. In fact, getting into the Chase should be the primary focus of the driver of the No. 20. Once again he has the ability to challenge Jimmie Johnson like no other.

So it probably is clear now that I am doubling down on Tony Stewart. I have raced with several of today's Nextel Cup drivers and only a few can match his ability over the course of a season.
Those few, by the way, also get booed.

Ricky Craven is Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR analyst. Send Ricky a
question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thankful Thursdays

Several blogs continue a recurring theme on Thursday. DH used to do a movie quote on Sunday night and ask for commenters to name the movie title. I just tried "Wisdom for Wednesdays".

We all have ideas....

I think writing down each week what we are thankful for will help appreciate the blessings we have in our life. It also may serve as a journal to share with Lizzy. So here we go.... each week, every Thursday.

Here are the links to some of the other thankful bloggers:

Our Whole World in His Hands

Sting My Heart

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wisdom for Wednesday

If you wish to find happiness, do good.

If there is something you can do for others, step forward and volunteer.

If you put off that opportunity, you are letting your own chance for happiness slip away from you.

author - Elsie Tu

With every deed you are sowing a seed,

though the harvest you may not see.

author - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pets - Foto Friday the 20th

We are trying the Friday Foto Challenge and the subject is pets. I need to post this before Friday so here it is!

You may recall that we had five (yes, five!) cats last year and our one beloved dog. One of the cats was an older yellow "tomcat" who we cared for after our wonderful neighbor passed. This cat, Chester, lived a long life but is no longer with us.

Our other four cats are CB (oldest at 19 years old), M&M (17 years old), GC (14 years old) and the very elusive, outdoor cat, OJ (7 years old). They are all my babies but I chose to use pictures of Salty Dog. He really thinks he's our child. Here's a few pictures taken last weekend which was very windy.

If you would like to know more about Salty Dog, read posts on March 11 & 30th, also January 15th and October 30, 2006. Think we love our dog?

Here's the link to the challenger: Double Happiness

Saturday, April 14, 2007

And You Thought YOU were Old.....

Check us out - we just completed one major milestone we have wanted to do for many years. We just bought our "retirement" condo (also an investment). So you know we are old (or at least act old).
The first picture is of my Mom and Aunt being greeted at the front door by DH.

We looked at real estate all over the NE Florida area and selected a wonderful, quaint (for Florida), estate that has been turned into condos, restaurant, yacht club, etc, all on the St. Johns River.

Come join us as Alyzabeth will have the oldest parents of all of you!! She will be blessed having us financially taken care of and as DH always quips - "She will get her inheritance before all her friends!".
Once DH reads this post, he will probably put on his "Editor-in-Chief" hat.....

Friday, April 13, 2007


I read this prayer on Waiting for Hope. Jim and Lynn are waiting for a new daughter too.

With the discouraging news of our wait lengthening even more, we need lots of patient, listening friends and family, as we do get "down" at times. Ford said it so well in his post so this is more calming thoughts for us to focus on.

Hear my prayer,

Oh Lord, You know all my thoughts and desires. In Your loving wisdom, You have set the perfect time for me to be joined with the daughter of my heart.

Help me Lord to have patience, so that the days will pass filled with purpose and hope.

Lord fill my days of wait, with service to my loved ones. Help me to surround them with love and joy that I might be a blessing to them.

Lord, please keep my baby girl safe in your loving arms. Whisper to her when she is sleeping "I love you." And when she is crying, kiss the tears from her sweet cheeks.

Protect her from hunger or cold or hurt in any way, for I, her mother, can't be there right now. Please Lord, take my place until I get there.

Lord, show her butterflies and smiles. Let her hear music and laughter and feel warm hugs and comfort. Fill her with Your abounding love and tell her that I desperately love her and I am waiting...patiently.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wiki Birthday Meme Thing

I really don't want to post since I still re-read what my DH posted on Monday. He has such a kind and loving heart - and a great sense of humor!!

It is my turn to write a post....... I got this idea from: Sting My Heart
Since my birthday is soon approaching, I thought I would try it....

Wiki Birthday Meme Thing - at least that is what it is called.
Here are the rules are:
1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)
6) Tag 5 other bloggers to complete

I added a few extra lines.........
Events on my Birthday:
1434 - Foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France was laid.
1860 - The first Pony Express rider reaches Sacramento, California.
1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

Born on my Birthday:
1905 - Elizabeth Huckaby, American educator (d. 1999)
1941 - Julie Christie, British actress
1966 - Greg Maddux, American baseball player

Died on my birthday:
1964 - Rachel Carson, American environmentalist (b. 1907)
1995 - Burl Ives, American singer and actor (b. 1909)
1999 - Ellen Corby, American actress (b. 1911)

Holiday: Songkran - one of the three days celebrating the Thai New Year

As an extra bonus.....from the birthday calculator web site (linked on the right sidebar of our blog)
My birth tree is:
Maple, Independence of Mind
No ordinary person, full imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-respect, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, many complexes, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

That was fun. I won't tag anyone - just do it!
Have a great week!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Smile Though Your Heart Is Breaking

To My Fellow IA Families In Waiting:

Suffice it to say ours is not a joyful time. The latest referral news emanating from the CCAA can only be described as heart-breaking. If misery truly loves company, ours then qualifies as a virtual love fest. And with that back drop I offer up these words, not to diminish the pain or gaily paint over the sorrow but rather words to recast the light on a strength that is Yours and Ours.

Much it would seem is out of our control. Then what to do? We do that which we have demonstrated to be our strength.

• Continue to “LIVE” in the knowledge that we will be joined with our sons and daughters. Be it Your time, Our time, God’s time, Their time - IN TIME - IT WILL HAPPEN. In the scope of our lifetimes together, the WAIT is a grain of sand. Think of a pearl being formed in an oyster if you must… LIVE THE TODAY!

• Continue to share the “JOY” of excitement you felt when we each made our decision to adopt. That joy is still there. Don’t you dare let that JOY be robbed from you. It’s Yours. Mine. Ours.

• Continue to “PLAN” for the trip of a lifetime. We’re going to China folks! Not Iowa. Easy now - No offense to Iowa but you have to know what I mean. We’re talking China. Far East. Far-Far-Far Away!!! If you’re thinking you’re ready – Then You CAN’T BE.

• Continue to give “THANKS” that we each have the privilege of loving these kids soon to be placed in our forever care. Our kids. Forever! Some of us will return for a brother or sister. For others – this is it. Whatever your case may be – Give THANKS that we are approved and in line. OK – a slow line but WE’RE IN LINE!

• Continue to “LOVE”. Each of us is special. We really are. You know you are. It’s not selfish to admit that. Nor egotistical. Forget the Adoption Taliban goon squad. We are special because we show “LOVE”, we share “LOVE” and we “LOVE” our kids and miss them when they are not home with us. That same “LOVE” is strength not to be taken lightly. Your “LOVE” is powerful. Your “LOVE” is real. “LOVE” brought us to where we are today. Feel it. Claim it. Believe it. Show it. LIVE IT!

Never – Ever lose your Faith. Never – Ever doubt YOU. Never – Ever question your Determination. We are a family united, never to be divided; bound by more than a red thread or a million and one ladybugs. We share the “WAIT” together. Through thick and thin. Good times and bad. Today and Tomorrow.



Sunday, April 08, 2007

County Fair Day

We made our way out to the annual Clay County Fair yesterday. Alyson's mother (Ann) and Aunt (Jean) are here visiting with us from Maine. The weather while cool was certainly a welcomed respite from all the times we've gone and sweat (or should that be glowed) through the heat and humidity!

Alyson and her mother Ann. We met our friend Rob from work who informed us his kids had entered a couple of their hogs in the fair as part of their 4-H project. As you might tell from the picture, we were scouting through all the lovely contestants trying to find their entries!

Ford and Aunt Jean paused for a photo before returning to stroll among a chorus of MOOOO'sssssss...

Meet Smokey! One the prize hogs raised by the son of our friend where we work.

And this is Sally. The prize Pig raised by Rob's daughter. Congratulations to both her and her brother!!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Sound Of Music - The Rest of the Story

We enjoy watching/listening to the movie with Julie Andrews, as we love most musicals.
While in Austria we took the very touristy Sound of Music Tour and saw many of the places where the film was made.

I read this recently and thought I would share - who would have known?

STORY BEHIND The Original Do, Re, Mi
Julie Andrews made it popular, but the real musical genius behind this singing aid was a medieval monk. by David Neff, from Issue 93: St. Benedict and the Rise of Western Monasticism

When the irrepressible nun-turned-nanny Maria taught the Von Trapp children to sing, she began with "Doe, a deer, a female deer, Ray, a drop of golden sun." Or so Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein portrayed it in their 1959 musical, The Sound of Music.

Do, re, mi is just one of several ways of naming notes (generically called sol-feg or solfeggio) to help singers learn a song rapidly, or even sing it at first sight. This system had its origins in a medieval monastery, where an Italian monk (rather than an Austrian nun) was teaching boys to sing. The monk's name was Guido d'Arezzo (born between 990 and 999), and he is one of the musical geniuses of the Middle Ages.

Guido was educated at the Benedictine monastery at Pomposa near Ferrara, and like church choir directors everywhere, he had to turn musically illiterate people into singers who could lead worship. At Pomposa, he gained a reputation for teaching chants to the singers in record time. He and his friend, Brother Michael, compiled a book of musical responses (or antiphons) for monastic worship using a new system of notation.

Guido's innovations included a system of naming the notes, based on an easy to remember melody. Guido set an existing hymn addressed to John the Baptist to a new tune. That melody was arranged like Richard Rodgers's "Doe, a deer, a female deer." The first note was the lowest note of the scale, and each subsequent phrase began one note higher than the previous phrase. Then Guido used the first syllable of each phrase to name that note of the scale. The hymn's first phrase was Ut queant laxis. So Guido named the first note ut. The second phrase was resonare fibris. So he named the second note re. The hymn had six phrases, and so his charges learned to sing, "Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la."

The chants of Guido's time usually stayed within that six-note range, but a few went further, and so he allowed for a note below (which he designated by the Greek letter gamma). And thus the range of notes became known by their first two syllables, gamma + ut, or gamut. That explains why today, when you "run the gamut," you move through the entire range of something.

While at Pomposa, Guido also devised a system of lines on which to write the notes. Before Guido, musicians wrote notes between the lines of text indicating by their position whether a melody went up or down on a given syllable. But how far up? How far down? That was difficult to tell. So Guido wrote the notes on lines or in the spaces between them.

Guido's practical creativity earned him admiration from other monastic houses in Italy, but jealousy and envy in his own monastery. Perhaps because of the bad feelings of his fellow monks, Guido left Pomposa and moved to Arezzo, where he wrote a book to help train the singers at the cathedral there. His innovative ideas caught the attention of the pope, who summoned him to Rome to teach the pope's clergy his methods. Guido's reputation and innovations have endured, providing the foundation for almost all music since then.

But how did ut, re, mi become do, re, mi? Once the syllables became completely independent of their original hymn, some unknown Italian of the 17th century thought do sounded better than ut. And he was right.

David Neff is the executive editor of Christian History & Biography and editor of Christianity Today. As music director at his church, he understands Guido's challenge to teach music quickly.

Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian History & Biography magazine. Issue 93, Winter 2007, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Page 39
by David Neff, St. Benedict and the Rise of Western Monasticism
Copyright 2007, David Neff , author. Reprinted from Christian History & Biography

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Attachment Issues - Institutionalized Children

Thanks to Ms. Kendall of San Francisco who gave this link on the Yahoo! Group: Adoptive Parents China. It is informative reading if you are going to be around us once we have Alyzabeth An; lots to deal with in the first few months with a baby from this environment.

So get a cup of coffee or tea, grab a few minutes of quiet time and read this article (on the web page, the article begins under the picure, scroll down to the text).

A Mother's Exploration - Attachment Issues

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Every Year.... Replace the Flag

Our American Flag barely lasts a year. It is weather beaten, frayed and faded after each summer and hurricane season has concluded.
I can't seem to locate the post on the story behind our flag pole (my Dad made it and installed it as a birthday gift).... it must be one of those we did when we use WordPress for our blogging host last year. Off to find it....

The new Flag is flying!

Monday, April 02, 2007

In Memory of George Stone

My sister's FIL, George L. Stone, passed away and the funeral is today in Maine.
Our love and sympathy to the Stone Family.

5 Minutes for Mom - Huge Contest Alert

Hurry up and enter at 5 Minutes For Mom as they are having a contest to win a Dyson vacuum cleaner. This is a fun web site that also hosted the "Blog Party" we did a few weeks ago.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Home Study Update

We just finished our home study update! Yea!!! Actually all went well.

It was nice visiting once again with our SW, Leon. Leon is now retired and in his words "loves doing this type of work (adoption) filled with more happiness". In his first life he worked as a psychologist in private practice. This meeting was very relaxed. We reviewed the paperwork we need to complete. Most of which we just need to mail. We still have to schedule an appointment for the fingerprinting.

On a down note. It is unreal how much our agency is charging for this. I know they are one of the "biggies" and everyone loves them but I still think the cost for the update is extreme. Of course, at this stage you simply pay and comply. I know many in our situation held hope that congress was going to amend the time lines affecting our documentation. Just my personal opinion. I do not see it happening. For purely political reasons (all sides), our documents are tied to the Patriot Act and as such, don't hold your breath. In fact, take a deep breath and go to your bank or credit union. You're going to need the money to pay for your Update.

Did I mention that I thought the cost was a little tooooooooo high?