Grandpa’s Thanksgiving Prayer

Hi and Happy Turkey Day as Ian has been calling it.  Today, I wanted to share my Grandpa’s Thanksgiving Prayer.  It is a prayer that always means the world to me and was one that I thought about as I first woke up this morning.

Here is his prayer.  May it mean as much to you as it does to my family.

“Our Father-God we thank thee…

• For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
• For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
• For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
• For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
• For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
• For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
• For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
• For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
• For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
• For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
• For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
• For parenthood we thank thee.
• And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace. If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come. Amen.”

Well said Grandpa!  Here, here!  As I get older, all of these items mean more to me. It is now so hard to read this prayer without tearing up and remembering him, my grandma and other loved ones.  And each item of thankfulness is amazing.

Last year I wrote my own thanksgiving prayer.  You can find it at https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/my-thanksgiving-prayer/ 

I do have a few things to add that I am thankful for this year:

Our Father Good, we thank thee…

  • For precious memories of loved ones that have passed away. I am thankful for my time with them. I want to carry on their legacies.
  • For the ability to love and treat others with kindness and empathy. Sadly this is lacking in so many today. May we teach this ability to our children and one another.
  • For a home to gather and enjoy our meal with friends and family. I lift up everyone who has been touched by those terrible wildfires or recent hurricanes. May you enjoy this day despite your life being changed.
  • For new friendships and old as well. It is a blessing to meet and get to know others and build a community of support.
  • For the ability to read and to go on adventures and for writing. Ian too has discovered this and for that I am very thankful.
  • For our community, our school, our church, and our neighborhood. It is lovely to be a part of all of these groups.
  • For my family who I treasure more than they know.  Amen

Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your turkey day!

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Summertime Fun

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

Hi and Happy Summer.  Are you having a good one so far?  We are and enjoying our different routine. We were super busy between the last time I wrote and the end of school. There was a lot going on and much to finish. So I have not had the time to write and I have missed it very much.

We are enjoying the down time and the family time. On the other hand, we have been busy with our family business, yet still make time for nice meals together, some shopping and some time to chat without somewhere we have to be each night, or without homework.

We are having time to read, enjoying ice cream, Lego movies and builds, and word finds. I have asked Ian to teach me about chess and I am looking forward to that.  He has become a great player and I know almost nothing about the game. I am blessed to have time for that with him.

This summer, Ian has discovered the Harry Potter books.  He really likes them and has been taken in by the world that J.K. Rowling has created.  I have not read the series yet but think I might.  I have heard so many great things about it.

I will have to take more photos of our adventures this summer.  I tend to enjoy being in the moment and forget to do that. I am, after all, from a different generation than that of documenting everything on a cell phone. And, I don’t have the right phone to do that with.  Perhaps one day.

On this summer day, I am thankful for:

  • Later bedtimes and the chance to sleep in
  • Homemade dinners and time to visit
  • Watching a favorite show or movie together
  • Hearing about favorite parts of Ian’s new book
  • Enthusiasm of a new Lego set
  • Enthusiasm of a new book
  • Watching Ian build his new Lego set
  • Treats from a favorite bakery
  • Walks with my guys
  • Times with family
  • Family photos and fun times
  • Funny times together when laughter turns to tears
  • Used books stores where I can find books, bumper stickers, and buttons
  • Our slower pace
  • Our upcoming beach trip
  • Dinners out with friends and family
  • Birthday celebrations and new life

Hope you have a great day. I will try to write more over the summer and have plenty to write about. Just finding the time to do it is often a challenge. Please share ideas that you’d like me to blog about. Blessings to you and yours.

30 Days of Thankfulness — Part 2

Hi and Happy last day of November.  I am about to run out of month and hadn’t finished my thankfulness listing yet.  OOPS!!!  So, here are my items for Days 16 to 30.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am blessed beyond words and so thankful for all of my friends and family, as well as the experiences I have had, and the items that are near and dear to me.

Most of these categories have more than one answer that I could have included.  These are the ones that first came to mind and ones that I wanted to share.

  • Day 16 – Recipe — Years ago, my mom gave me a recipe for pumpkin bread. It is so good and one of my favorite treats of the fall. In fact, I like a slice of warm bread, with a cold glass of milk, and a slice or two of sharp cheddar cheese. YUM!
  • Day 17 – Store – For food, it is Trader Joe’s but I don’t make it there very often. They have such a great variety and several specialty items as well. My favorite clothing store is Goodwill since I am frugal and love a great bargain. Some trips lead to great finds and others don’t, but I do like to go and see what is there.
  • Day 18 — Quote – One favorite quote was from my grandpa’s stories: “I still wonder where rainbows come from.” This quote always makes me happy and brings up so many memories. As I have gotten older, I have come to believe that it was Grandpa’s way of encouraging us to make the most out of our lives, to discover new things, to always keep learning and striving, and to live our lives to the fullest.
  • Day 19 — Clothing — I have been stumped on this one. In the winter I love my fuzzy socks, warm sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts. I am usually pretty casual and enjoy buying items at thrift shops.
  • Day 20 – Keepsake – Before my grandfather passed away, he gave me his oil painting of his dog Schatzi, a miniature schnauzer. She was such a sweetie and he knew how much I loved her. It was such an honor to receive that from him. Each time I look at it, I think of him and this scruffy dog.
  • Day 21 — Disappointment / Fear – I really wanted to see our friend Malachi grow up and one day go off to college with Ian. But that was not to be since the Lord had something else in mind. Malachi touched so many people in his young life. And, he taught many of us about faith, love, and friendship. We are blessed for having known him. And we are blessed to have learned about loving fully and completely and for making the most of each day.
  • Day 22 — Book — I have a Mom’s Bible that I was given during my time at MOPS.  It is very special and has great quotes for mothers and things that are so special for children. This book is one of my favorites along with our family history book and the collection of my Grandpa’s columns about his family and being a parent.
  • Day 23 — Feeling — I love to see the world through Ian’s eyes. I love watching him learn new ideas, items and concepts. I love listening to what he thinks and his view on the world around us. And, I love seeing him happy. And, my hubby as well. These two are my world, that’s for sure.
  • Day 24 — Photo — I have a photo from 1930 of my grandparents on their honeymoon.They are sitting on a bench in a coastal town and are drinking out of straws from the same ice cream treat. Grandma is holding a cane and they are in almost matching outfits.Grandpa’s curly hair and glasses are shown. I love this view into their young love and relationship that led to 4 children, in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
  • Day 25 — Luxury — I love hot showers and hot baths. I love having a toilet that flushes, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, an in-home washing machine and dryer, a dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. I often taken these items for granted and realize that I shouldn’t. I know that we are spoiled and very blessed to have all of these appliances.
  • Day 26 — Charity — I am a member of the Lions Club and love their motto, We Serve. Lions do so much for the blind and vision impaired as well as those with Diabetes and other health issues. It is so rewarding to be able to help others with vision, what I think is one of the greatest gifts.
  • Day 27 — Song — I have hundreds of songs that I love, love to sing, love to dance to, and that mean so much to me. One of my all-time favorites though is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I love to sing it and have on several occasions. With a full orchestra and a choir lifting their voices, it is absolutely lovely and moving.
  • Day 28 — Gift — The gift of love is so very important to me and more important than any material possession. The love of my hubby, my son, my family, my friends, and my savior all mean the world to me. Also cherished are the gifts of forgiveness, trust, happiness, and respect.
  • Day 29 – Something at home — A few years ago, my sister gave me a necklace that had photos on it. One side was our family beach house with a lovely rainbow, and on the other side was a picture of our grandparents. I was touched and amazed. I wore it each day for a while and then decided to keep it at home so I wouldn’t lose it. I still cherish it and wear it on occasion.
  • Day 30 — What are you MOST thankful for?  — I am most thankful to live in a country where I have freedoms, and can think, believe, love, and practice the way I think is right, and that my family also thinks is right. I like being able to disagree with those in authority without harmful ramifications. I am thankful to have such a variety of friends and family members who have enriched my life. And, I am thankful for continuing to learn, change, and grow.

What are you thankful for?  I am sure there are plenty of items.

Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

You’ve got to be taught To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
 
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
 

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught!

This song is from “South Pacific” and I have been thinking about it a lot this weekend.  Aren’t the words amazing?  They often give me chills since they are so insightful of how many people feel.  Whether someone is taught to feel a certain way, grows up hearing how awful others are, learns on their own, or decides to hate, it is still wrong and needs to stop.

Those who don’t hate must stand up against it.  Instead of hate, we must show love and that all of us are special, all of us are worthy of love, and all of us matter.  After the shock of this homegrown terrorism and hate, I am trying to make some sense of it.  And, I can’t.  I don’t understand wanting to beat up or kill someone who thinks differently than I do.  Or looks different than I do.

Instead, I want to chat with different people and find out about them, their interests, their loves, their struggles, and what means something to them.  I want to show love and kindness instead of the hate and violence that we saw this weekend.  And so does Ian.  Above he is pictured with one of his dear friends.  We were being arty with the photo.

The people behind the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence are involved in groups that have been around for years and have spread hate and racism for far too long.  The KKK’s mission is to harm, beat, intimidate, scare, terrify, lynch, and kill African-Americans.  The Nazis wanted to annihilate all Jews and make them cease to exist. They tortured them, tore them from their families, made them starve, destroyed their homes, property and livelihood, and gassed them to death.

And yet people still want to be involved in these groups?  They want to belong, and carry out the mission to bring harm to others, just because?  What the?  I am sickened and saddened to think of all of the people who have been harmed and killed by such evil.  I am touched that so many fought and died to make changes and try to stop these acts.  I am saddened that people feel that these are still good groups to join.

I just don’t get it.  I truly cannot relate to this level of hatred toward one’s fellow man.  After all, we are all human, all created equal, and all equally loved by our creator.  So, how is this hate possible?  How can someone loathe others so deeply and so violently?  How can people cause such harm, suffering, and loss to others?

Thankfully, I was taught the value of everyone and had friends of different shades, different races, and different religions.  I learned from them and loved them.  And, I am thankful that Ian’s friends are all colors of the rainbow.  He likes them for their personalities and that he has fun with them not anything external about them.

The title of this blog is in reference to a quote by the amazing civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only love can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Dr. King knew that demonstrations could and should be done, but in a peaceful manner without harm to others.  He spoke many times of dreams and hopes for the future.  He spoke of love, caring, and compassion and knew that hate wouldn’t get us where we need to be.

The full quote by Dr. King is “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.  Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.  Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

My hope and prayer is that we can come together at this difficult time of our country and stand together.  That we can realize we have more in common than not.  That we are all colors of a lovely rainbow.  That we can learn from different faiths and different ways of life.  That we can love and not hate.  That we can have peace and not violence or war.

Ethics, Smethics

Playground.4Do ethics still matter or are they something to be set aside when we feel like it.  Are they ethics or ethics smethics?  I think they do matter.  I also think they are important to teach to children.  Yet, many adults no longer seem to feel they are important.  And, that is troubling.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines ethics as:

  • a set of moral principles :  a theory or system of moral values
  • the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
  • a guiding philosophy
  • a consciousness of moral importance

Wow, some big concepts about how to act, how to treat others, and how to live our lives.  Yet who and what determines our ethics?  I feel that our faiths, morals, and values are a large factor, as well as what we were taught growing up.  Our experiences and our own internal values also are a part.

Treating others as we want to be treated used to be a good gauge of our ethics and morals.  Yet today, we seem to hate, to distrust, and lie to each other without thought or question.  We have leaders who are doing the same.  We seem to not think twice about cutting someone’s feelings to the bone and causing them pain.

We seem to think we are better than each other.  And, some even think they are above the law, above reproach, and above questioning.  Yet, should anyone be exempt from treating someone kindly and fairly and with respect?  Should anyone be above reproach or questioning? I don’t think so.

Is it right and ethical of a political party to not investigate something just because it was allegedly done by the same party?  I think not.  Saying so is turning a blind eye to something that could be very wrong and harmful.

Is it right to hate someone who believes a different religion than we do, or looks different than we do, or has less money than we do, or loves in a way that we don’t understand?  I think not to this as well.

Hate crimes have been going on for years.  I don’t like them and often don’t understand them and I want them to stop.  Unless we can replace this hate and distrust with love and learning to trust, I don’t know how we can change.

Children love without question and without prejudice.  They are taught how to hate, how to distrust, and often how to lie.  They can and should instead be taught how to love, how to trust, and how to know and tell the truth.

A few things I want for us to do:

  • May we learn to be kind to each other
  • May we discern what is right and what is wrong
  • May we not listen to people trying to convince us that lies are the truth
  • May we stand up for what we believe without tearing each other down
  • May we ask questions and seek the truth
  • May we discern what we are being told to believe
  • May we live ethical lives
  • May we teach our children to love
  • May we always love

I wonder if we can be ethical and live with love and respect?  My earnest prayer is that we can.  I know that we can; I just hope that we will.

He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Here is my Easter posting from last year. We have had a busy weekend so far and will again on Easter with family. I will write again soon. Until then, He is risen indeed!

I Still Wonder...

Easter liilyHe Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!!!

Hi and Happy Easter!  Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus after a brutal beating and death. The fact that He endured such pain and suffering is an amazing one and something I cherish.

A friend of mine who is a pastor said that Easter is his favorite day of the year.  It is one of my faves too.  It is a wonderful and glorious end to a sad and painful weekend.  On Thursday, we have Maundy Thursday where you celebrate The Last Supper.  Our service was really great and very moving since we heard the story of Jesus breaking bread with the disciples for this His last meal.

Then Good Friday is when you will often hear the last 7 words of Christ before he died next to two other men on the cross.  You also hear the story of the…

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Live Life To The Fullest

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We love to laugh and open our mouths as wide as possible.  LOL!

Hi and Happy Tuesday.  This morning I have several loved ones on my mind.  They are suffering and going through treatments — several for cancer and one for a brain tumor.  I pray for them and try to encourage them, but they are the strong and amazing ones.

So in honor of these loved ones, I decided to share a photo that I saw a few days ago on Facebook.   It is of quotes about living life to the fullest.  I like all of these items and will try to do them more.

From 102.3 in Australia that posted this, here is a wonderful a way to live life to the fullest.

  • Eat the damn chocolate cake.
  • Walk in the rain and splash in the puddles.
  • Ride with the windows down.
  • Dance.
  • Sing.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Hug someone.
  • Go barefoot.
  • Take naps.
  • Make lots of love.
  • Try new things.
  • Spend time with kids.
  • Laugh every chance you get.
  • Help others.
  • Life life to the fullest.  No regrets.  Life is way too short.

Isn’t that a great list?  I sure think so.

I would add the following:

  • Put your toes in the sand.
  • Jump in the ocean waves.
  • Build a sand castle.
  • Savor time with family.
  • Plan time with life-long friends.
  • Take long walks.
  • Spend time on your hobbies.
  • Say I love you.
  • Make time for date nights.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • Enjoy old photographs.
  • Play board games all day.
  • Help your child discover something new.

There are so many more that I could add.  These are just a few of my list of living life to the fullest.  What is on your list?

May we live our lives to the fullest and make the most of each and every day that we are given.

To Dancing In The Rain

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.  I came across a great photo this morning on Facebook.  It had a quote that said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

This really spoke to me today.  Isn’t that so true?  Life sometimes is really hard.  It is painful and sad, and it can be hard to get out of bed in the morning.  But most of the time, we still have to figure out a way to get out of bed and start our day.

Sometimes at least for me, it is good to have some time to have a good cry, grieve and be sad.  It helps to feel what I need to feel for a little while, and I can then try to see the good that is there along with the bad.

I am not saying it is easy and often the hurt and pain don’t just fade away.  It takes time and often lots of it.  Each day, I hope and pray to wake up and find things easier to deal with.  Some days are good and some are bad.

Over the weekend, my parents went to funerals or receiving friends for two men who we all have known for years.  One was a co-worker of my dad and also of mine.  He was 68 years old.  The other was a friend from church.  He lived to be 90 years old and had an amazing and long life.

Both of these men meant a lot to their friends and families and had great lives.  They will be missed.  My prayer is that their families and friends can remember all of the wonderful times that they enjoyed and celebrate their lives.

Losing people is always hard but celebrating them and remembering all that they meant to us can help with that hurt.  The saying of one day at a time truly applies in the case of losing our loved ones.

Struggles in life can also wear us down.  We watched the 10 year anniversary show on Hurricane Katrina last night.  It was amazing to see all of the devastation again and the pain and suffering that so many people in numerous states dealt with.

Yet, after time and effort, communities have been rebuilt, homes have been rebuilt, and families have rebuilt.  These stories were inspirational and uplifting.  Despite all of the heartache, people helped one another and got back on their feet again.  That is something to celebrate!

May we always remember to be kind to one another and helpful.  May we bear one another’s burdens.  May we remember to let our loved ones know how much we do love them.  May we remember to dance in the rain.  And may we remember to always have hope.

A closing prayer: “Dear Lord as we deal with struggles, please help us to remember that you are always there for comfort and strength.  May we also lean on our loved ones and help each other through the challenges of life.  And, may we remember that better days are ahead.  Amen.”

Wayback Wednesday – Grandpa and Me

img116 Yesterday, August 4, was my grandpa’s birthday.  He was born in 1908 and died in 1996.  This Wayback Wednesday photo was taken in 1990 of the two of us.  He was 82 years old and I was a recent college graduate.

We were from different generations, liked different music, had different ideas about life, and were far apart in our ages. Yet we got along very well and had some amazing conversations.  For that, I am really and truly thankful.

I still miss him and wish he could have met my husband and my son.  I think he would have liked both of them and would have been great to talk to.  Ian was born the year he would have been 99 years old, had he lived that long.

I loved his stories and talking with him.  I also love how much he loved my grandmother.  He also loved his children, their spouses, and all of his grandchildren.  He taught me a lot about the importance of family, the love of writing, and the amazing gift and talent of storytelling.

POD_March.6_Chair-Our family has grown a lot since his passing and that of my grandmother as well.  So many new and wonderful people have been born and have been growing up ever since.

I know he would loved each and every one of them.  I only wish he could have known them.  Thankfully this summer, our family was able to be together and continue his legacy.

Here is another picture of the two of us when we were both much younger.  This was a special outfit that I was wearing.  I have loved wearing hats for years and this may have been when that love began.

As you know, Grandpa and his stories are the inspiration for this blog and for much of my writing.  As I continue to write, I find many of my writings are similar to what he used to do.  That makes me smile.

He was an amazing writer and educator.  He did a lot for people.  And, he and my grandmother bought the beach house that we all still enjoy today.  I am glad to have known him as long as I did.

Some of my favorite memories of Grandpa are:

  • Sitting on his lap for storytime
  • Being taken on a ride with Willie The Elf and his adventures
  • His regular breakfast of a soft-boiled egg, toast, and prunes
  • Discussions in his front room while doing laundry
  • His advice and counsel on a variety of topics
  • His teeth in a jar at night
  • Schatzi, the precious Miniature Schnauzer with floppy ears
  • His many characters
  • “Madam, you may draw your own conclusions.”
  • “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”
  • Candy canes on a cabin
  • His sunbathing spot behind the house
  • Watching him write at his typewriter
  • His seat in the living room, which was right next to Grandma’s seat
  • Stories of the cabin and making pancakes there
  • Holding hands each evening with his wife, my grandmother
  • His voice and inflections as he told a favorite story
  • His cane and white shoes
  • The blue front room
  • His love of opera and reading
  • The pool and the large front yard

In Grandpa’s honor, I want to close with “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”  This phrase and his many stories taught me well to always be on a quest for knowledge, to rely on your loved ones, and to find a way to make the best of your life.

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Water and Poetry

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  I recently joined a poetry prompt via the Word Press site.  They give styles and subjects to write about.  One day our writing was to be on Water as the subject.  I didn’t write it then but decided to today.

Here are some thoughts on water and a poem as well.  One of my favorite writers who was quite good at rhyming was Dr. Seuss.  I love that Ian likes him as much as I do.  Very cool!  We are celebrating him this month at school.

cropped-cropped-boy-at-beach.jpgWater is something that I love and cannot live without.  I drink a lot of it each day with ice.  Cold water keeps me going and is satisfying.  I love having running water that I can drink in my house.  I truly feel spoiled to be able to do that.

Also the water that becomes hot for dishes, showers, laundry, and baths is wonderful.  This too is an amazing gift and very special to have. I have learned not to take it for granted and feel quite blessed to have it.

I also love salt water — in the sea and ocean, tears, and sweat.  These are three powerful types of salt water.  I love the ocean and its beauty.  I feel calmed when at the beach and love it. I love to watch the ebb and flow of the waves.

Sweat is great since it shows up when you are working hard at exercise and working on staying fit.  It feels good to break a sweat and I am trying to do more of those.  Tears for me sometimes flow very easily — both from happiness and sadness.  Sometimes a quick cry can help things get better.

This past week we also saw the destruction of water and problems when it goes where it shouldn’t.  Thankfully there wasn’t that much of that!

Water…

  • Water quenches a thirst like nothing else
  • Relief from heat is given
  • Nothing like the ice-cold taste on your tongue
  • To relieve you when overly driven
  • It flows in the shower and washes all cares away
  • It feels great on your feet at the beach
  • Water is great both fresh and salty
  • And something never far from our reach
  • Water drips from the roof
  • Pooling below on the ground
  • Inches upon inches pile up
  • And lead to mud all around
  • After the snow and ice, the water was everywhere
  • I wondered if there would be a flood
  • Thankfully it started to recede away
  • And that was very good

Not my best poem but a try nonetheless.  What are your thoughts on water?