Google+ Followers

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

heading to the White Key Gallery...

so we are heading to the lake..Valparaiso has a new gallery..the White Key and I am taking these two florals...I have five pieces already hanging and these will be part of their floral-themed show with an opening this Thursday from 6 to 9...

Friday, August 14, 2015

delivered two pieces today...

I can't believe it but I didn't take photos of either of these finished paintings!! friend brian lost his kitty..aslan..and we dropped that off at the republic...and I delivered Shelby to my friend linda this time I am going to be more diligent..meanwhile i'm working on two new large pieces for Harrison lake and will post those in the next few days...

Monday, August 10, 2015

for my friend brian...

6x6 oil on board
so I read on facebook that my friend brian lost his kitty today...always so sad to lose a family member..i thought i would paint him a little remembrance...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

back to my studio...

oil on gallery wrap canvas
so this is an image I've wanted to paint for a long time..i started this last week and finally had a chance to get back to my studio today...we were supposed to play a south central tournament at the iu course in Bloomington and for once, someone had the good sense to cancel!!..rained all day and we absolutely could not have played golf in this!!...sooooo...I did a bit of catch-up around here and then spent several hours in my hog heaven..i think this is done..i may tweak it a bit tomorrow but i'm liking how it's coming along....oh..this is antique clubs and balls...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

White Key Gallery

Oops..didnt mean to post this picture..but i AM getting reasdy to paint this..we're here in valpo..golfing and painting..i dropped off five poeces to my new gallery here..White Key Gallery..wonderful owners, Ed and Sue Spelde....really seemed to like my work and im thrilled to be represented by them!...we played valpo c.c. The last two days..davey finally broke 80 so much...but i am truly a work in progress and we shall see what today brings...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


So its been a while...this summer has been so, paris, new hampshire, cape cod...I have traveled more in my seventieth year..( or is this my seventy first?)...than ever before..and I've absolutely loved every minute of it!...and then..throw in trips to the lake and golf very much fun!!.. i am thrilled to be represented by White Key Gallery in valparaiso...our cottage is here..I've been coming here virtually all of my life..and it just seems right to have a gallery connection here.  I will deliver six pieces this of them my favorite poppy painting...more to follow.. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

On the cape...

So we are gathered here on cape cod...our friend susie invited six of us...katie, patsy, carol, mary, kathy and me to come celebrate our collective seventieth birthdays together...and what a great idea!!!..we all arrived wednesday from various parts of the that was a travel day...yesterday we talked and shopped and laughed and cried and danced and ate and of the same PLUS whale watching!!!...wonderful food and such gracious and generous hosts!! i stopped in a wonderful gallery today..introduced myself...made a new friend perhaps...speaking of new friends  we met some lovely gals on the boat..pat and janice...celebrating their retirement...of course nobody celebrated more than the birthday girls!!! the whales were amazing!!!....home to a fabulous dinner and learned more about don, our host...a really amazing man.....tomorrow we start again..stories, laughs, cries, maybe some beach time..maybe the vineyard..but the wind may be too harsh..we'll i knew i would miss my husband...but I never dreamed how much..

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


 so here we go's very hard to see this since the surface is a round bottle..but I had a great time trying to get her organized..i put several quotes from Marilyn on the back..she was a beautiful and tragic figure..and she will be going to artsplash on Friday for the wine festival!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

happy birthday marilyn...

so this is strange..and this is a work in progress...I am trying to paint Marilyn Monroe on a very large wine's for the wine extravaganza in carmel next weekend..this turned out a lot harder than I thought it would be..and i'm certainly not finished..but since I found out that Marilyn and I share a birthday, I decided to post it honor of her...she was really a very cool soul..she started ella fitzgerald's career by offering to sit in the front table if the owner of a certain establishment would sign her..and she kept her word and the press followed her and the rest is history...I happen to love ella!!..and also Marilyn...I am having the best birthday..starting with our trip to London and paris..then on to new Hampshire..and today..i can't tell you how many wonderful good wishes I have received!!!..boggles me for sure!!!!  and I promise this bottle will get better with age....just like me!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A good day..

So we came up to the lake for the fourth..seems like we're never home!..I'm working on finishing a few paintings and almost finished with a wedding gift that's long overdue...we've installed two new ac units, gotten the place sort of ready for the family reunion tomorrow..already hearing fireworks so we need to get the girls suited up in their thunder shirts... I spoke with a gallery today...the white key gallery on lincolnway. Here in valpo...lovely place and a very nice owner who is also a thinking we may be a fit but stay tuned...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Finally got out on this beautiful lake...

WOW!!!!!...we just had the most fun!!!..the day started with room service..davey had lobster eggs benny..i had the sensible egg white frittata...(lot of good that did the moment we're chilling on our balcony with beer, wine and cheetos!!..i swear!!!)...then we ventured out to see the sights..this is such a small and condensed area..this mill falls in Meredith...maybe four hotels..all created in 2003...we wanted to see the falls close we were on the way and happened upon a shop i just needed to check out...davey ended up buying me more birthday prezzies...lovin this seventieth stuff.....whilst there we heard the group had garnered a pontoon for a noon boatride..and off we went..very last minute but so much fun!!!!!..cap'n ben escorted us out to governor's island and around and back...we may have been traveling upwards of 200mph..( i might be exaggerating..)..but it was great fun and so glad we did it!..we are heading to the whirlpool and then a nap and then on to the wedding...there is weather moving in tonight...these guys have really dodged a bullet because it is gorgeous!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015 hampshire AND vermont!!!

So today we set off to see mike and judy's old stomping grounds..dartmouth college..he did a year of residency there and seemed to be happy to be back..we were in the vicinity so we planned to meet folks in the quechee gorge area..(above photo is the gorge...i had to be very careful because of my dizzy-ness...but what a beautiful we learned that two days ago a gal need to go into the gorey deets..)..thinking about it..the railing isn't that high...if you were determined to do yourself in...??...anyway..the first pic is from the glass blowing complex/shop/ simon was recommended to us by a sweet lady who summers in new hampshire we met in the airport in baltimore...had a wonderful lunch there with friends...and the glass blowers were hard at work in the basement...they work 363 days a year, nine to five with two ten minute breaks and a half hour unpaid lunch...they seemed to be very happy so I'm assuming they are paid handsomely for their talents...and they certainly had talents!!!!....but we are tired from so much road travel..driving or not wears you OUT!!!!...we are ensconced in a new with a balcony...just next door from where we were yesterday..(we had noticed that ours was the only room on that side without one..)later i will post the view..chilling at the moment..heading to the whirlpool with a cocktail in hand..tonight is the welcoming reception...tomorrow we may take a boat ride before the wedding..stay tuned...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Here we are!

So we arived in meredith yesterday...flew through baltimore and landed in manchester..this is a glorious part of the country!..and lake winnepausakee is unbelievable!!..HUGE!!..we are staying on Meredith bay..a very small fingerling of the lake..this is davey and judy sitting outside judy's hotel..such a view!..and we are taveling now..have been in the car for over an hour..davey's navigationally challenged...mike couldn't follow directions because nobody GAVE him directions!!..thank heavens we didnt drive from indiana!!..anyway..we are headed to the coast..we'll be in maine then...tomorrow we plan to visit dartmouth and have lunch at keechee gorge at simon pearce..a glass blower..stay tuned!

Saturday, June 20, 2015


oil on canvas panel
so this is another in my "grand" project..there's a bit of a glare..but my friend carole has been waiting for this painting for a good long just gets in the way sometimes..but we've had lots of time with no golf and i was able to catch up a bit..we DID golf yesterday..played VCC..and played the front nine twice..davey was most improved but I was a very close second!! fact, I was burning up the course for the first half..i was one over after five holes...then the wheels came off..bad course management had something to do with it, I have to admit...but i am very excited to get out there again today..we are slowly packing up and getting organized so we can blow out of here really early tomorrow..i hear it's still raining at home so I guess this has been the place to BE!!!!...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Wine and Pears"...14x11 oil on canvas panel

14x11 oil on canvas panel
so I am truly struggling with this computer!!..i may have a bug..very slow...but i did get some painting accomplished in the last couple days..gearing up towards the wine shindig in carmel in july..we actually were able to hit balls today..and we also actually signed up for a temporary membership at the valpo country club!! we just have to be sure we can play 20 rounds before it snows..we can bring if you are planning to come to the lake...(and you know who you are)...plan on playing the vcc!!!..time to go..gotta watch tiger and Jordan...and I may be able to do one more painting tomorrow..i'm working on a commission..needs some tweaking...and i have two more wine pieces to I am not a slacker.......

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


oil on canvas panel
so we decided to come to the lake a day early. since we share this place with the other side of the family, we get to come up every other week or so...painting and what I it looks like it may be just painting...valpo is almost under water..there was standing water all the way up here..sometimes nearly impassable...and they've had so much rain up here the country club course is closed..probably most of the other courses as well..i'm fine with it..i did this painting of lyda..this is for a friend who bought my donation to the kids' commons last year..she looks like a keeper, doesn't she??.. i also did a wine-themed painting which i'm still tweaking..i have a wedding present to do and another kids commons project and then if I have time, more wine stuff..there is to be a big wine event in the carmel arts district in july and i'm gearing up for that..i have to paint a VERY large wine bottle..probably two feet high..not sure what it's called..but that's another thing on my plate..yikes!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Blue Crabs"

30x30 oil on gallery wrap canvas
so I've sold a few grateful..and I did this over the weekend for Simon's on st. simon's island..they wanted a BIG crab painting..and here it is!! we head to the lake in a few days and I have lots of odds and ends to finish up..a wedding gift, a grand painting, a doggie painting that was purchased from the kids commons fund raiser..another from the same fundraiser..don't know if i'll get them all done but i can get a good start..we'll be alone..just painting and i am very excited!!

Monday, June 8, 2015


6x8 oil on board
so this is friend michelle's gone to heaven..i haven't had any time to, paris..such a busy girl..but we went to the lake this weekend and I had a small window!~!..really wanted to get this done and have some others to do as well..i really am very excited to get back into painting..and golf, of seems I really paint a lot less in the summer...could it be possible to do both??..

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"Hard at Work". SOLD

So happy and grateful..Just heard from my gallery in Georgia, Simon's, that Hard at Work, 24x24 original oil, sold today!!..i'm so happy this piece will have a new home!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Home at last....

We are sitting in the airport in detroit..after an 8-1/2 hour flight from wasnt that bad..watched still alice and the new night at the museum...this is staged at the british museum and i think we saw more of the museum in the movie than we were able to see on the's just so vast!!! ...and finally on the tiny little plane that will carry us on our last leg home...seems extra tiny after the 747 we rode in on...last night was so much fun!!!..the bus picked us up at 6:30 and transported us to a beautiful boat...started with cocktails on deck....watching the view and enjoying these folks who would soon be walking out of our lives...i havent been able to talk much about the folks..and i never use last names on my last night we sat with rick and mary and skip and sandy..a foursome traveling together  and coming from a golf trip in scotland..lucky duckies...they sat very near us on the bus..they had a neat way of moving folks around the bus..we started off near the back on the right and by the time we were done, we were quite far up on the left...they really wanted us to get to know each other...there were mostly couples and some mother/daughter and grandmother/granddaughter other artist..sharon..married to ed..very fun..they did a bit of sight seeing on their own..we really enjoyed the heck out of them and some others we got to spend a bit more time with..sitting together at dinner, for instance....the family of nurses..david, joyce, joe and lindsay..david contemplating retirement...lovely folks..always one and two seats ahead of us.. Denise and marty..folks from jasper, indiana and the first folks we met..lovely young couple..(could have been our kids!)..a mom and daughter duo..cherron and gals..matt and people I felt i'd known all my life...jack and diane..real kindred spirits..and were so cool with my constant going on about..." Little ditty..about jack amd diane..."..tony and pam from texas..such nice folks..another doc..richard the pulmonologist and his wife ellen..we had dinner one night with suzanne and her daughter megan...suzanne was a "jill of all trades".. Had accomplished so much..and her daughter megan was a student..jim and sue..(whoops.. Almost used their last name..)..he was always snapping photos with really good equipment and has started sending albums to all of it!! sue is a twin!!!!... David and laura we met late in the trip..sweet folks...and for sure they will have lots of pics of their trip!!..ken the banker and pam, his public speaker better half...great folks too!..let's see...judy was taking her grand kaitlen for a grand graduation (i think) trip..good fun...reta and her daughter, kathy, were such fun..loved them to pieces...renee and shelbi..from jacksonville..good gals...and and angie.. Both docs..he is a pediatric dentist and she specializes in pain medicine..great peeps..and we got to know them a bit better as we were taxied to the airport together at a god awful time sunday was a super fantastical  trip and we absolutely loved every minute of it and all the great new friends we made!!!.. I Know we  are all back to our lives... But what fun!!!!!

As you can see..davey really had a great time!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last day...

So this was our last day...we bussed over to the louvre...i couldnt believe how big it was!!!...I remember the  davinci movies...but..we only saw a few things..were there a couple hours...mostly to see the mona  Lisa...unfortunately we couldnt get closer than about twenty feet...and then we had to bust our way through the throngs of people trying to take selfies in front of her... We split off from the group and walked to the musee d'dorsay...all the they were having a bonnard exhibition...i have much more to tell you but we have to hit the's 11:30 and we leave for the airport at 6:50... I will finish up tomorrow...we had the best time and met the most wonderful folks...stay tuned...

Friday, May 29, 2015


So we ventured to versailles today...i mean, really?????.... Did anyone have to live like this? wonder the folks stormed the palace...but I have to say the gardens were gorgous!! And we had a delightful  lunch at petit venice...a restaurant on the grounds... Then on to a bus tour of mont martre...oh my mercy..I was in heaven!!...i took so many photos, my ipad lost all its juice!..i cant wait to get home to see what kind of fodder I have for painting... We tried to get into the restaurant where they filmed as good as it gets...the were booked but we did get to see where they sat...then happened to fall into a great local restaurant for dinner...walked back to our hotel...looking forward to tomorrow..le louvre and le musee d'orsey......if davey hangs in there with me, that is....

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On to paris....

So we hopped the bus at 8:30 this morning..departed the pancras train station at 10:25... We got there early enough to get some lunch for later and to change our lefty pounds into euros...and we still almost didnt make the train..or so davey thought...we were frantically trying to get though customs,etc, had totally lost our group..of course it was all my fault...☺️...but we made the train with plenty of time to spare!!!!...And it was really very painless..we went through several tunnels..always thinking..."is this the chunnel???"... We'd been served a continental breakfast..after loading up on our usual hotel breakfast in london...a very dry roll...didnt eat it...and some yogurt muesli..didnt eat had enough...and a croissant...started with a pinch off the side...just a taste...ended up eating the whole damn thing!!! i ended up eating the lunch i bought at about three paris time...thank heavens we choose the late dinner whilst we went thru the chunnel, davey managed to go to the loo..get some bloodies..and missed the whole thing...then on to paris..traveling at upwards of 180 mph...the first photo is self-explanatory...the second...not so much...this is one of the first sites we saw on the bus from the train station to our's called "tent city" and its rather a slum..these pople live here..along the tents the city afforded of the most depressing sites you could imagine..i snapped a photo and this fellow kept flipping off our bus..over and over..i imagine he's used to being caught on camera...possibly could be good incentive to get OUT of that hell hole!!..we, on the other hand, are safely ensconced in the intercontinental hotel...the place even smells wonderful..possibly all the fresh orchids in the lobby..we took a tour of the city earlier and are having a drink  in our room...but there's a very strange noise happening when we turn on the water...and it's taking forever to get hot..... Stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A day at the british...continued.... i finally found my photos from was like gravy..all of a sudden..there they were!!! you can see that my husband passed up lots of learning favor of trying to make me laugh...(he says I'm easy!!)...and stalking the hundreds of japanese people who kept barging their way through everyone else!..we had some nice fish and chips and at the moment we are out in our own private smoking area finishing off our red wine..looking forward to paris...stay tuned...

A day (two hours) at the museum..apologies to ben stiller and robin williams...and all the others...

I hate this... I left my ipad on the bus and so all the photos i took in the british are on my phone...if you know my hubby you can imagine what they were like...we saw the rosetta stone..very cool...some wonderful statuary and a chess set and a bunch of mummies...sounds strange but it if you took twenty seconds at every artifact it would take you two years to go thru the museum instead of two hours...we can always come back...and when you see the pics of davey you'll get the idea of theoverwhelming size   and scope...then on to high tea at i cant remember where..actually not high tea..that was creAted basically by a bored artistocrat..ill find out and fll you in later..heading out for a local pub dinner on our own..or with whomever we run into thru the chunnel and on to paris tomorrow... Im posting a photo of Davey giving some serious advice to winston whilst frank looks on...


So here's a photo of our host..winston churchill..we are staying at the hyatt churchill and they are celebrating the 70th anny of the end of the big sits the little courtyard of the churchill bar at the hotel...after four p.m., there's a 25 pound minimum...PER PERSON... In the churchill bar...needless to say we find other places to have a night cap but it is a sweet little place with sheepskin  in the chairs... We had a big breakfast and an early dinner so we snuck in there...before have a beer and a snack...then on the bus to ride to simpsons..a restaurant started in 1826...we got there fashionably early so we had time to pop over to the savoy for a drink in the bar..they had a L5000 brandy available...only four shots of it left in the world...learning so much about ..just things...the best part of the savoy bar were the black and white photos on the walls..great dinner and got to know  more new people...we are forty in the tour and they really try to switch us all up so we meet different we went to the theatre for an amazing...absolutely production of warhorse!!!...i bawled my eyes out..but what's new??...we are all enzausted from two days but we get to sleep in tomorrow...not leaving til 9:30... British museum and high tea and then the rest of the day to wander and get packed for france...stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quick update...

Just a quick note aboit our morning...the first photo is of some of the ravens at the tower of london...they guard the premises and they always have to have six..superstition...we saw the crown jewels...huge hoo-hah!!!!..again...who needs that much excess?.. But they do take their monarchy very seriously...then on to a cruise on the thames and then up on the london eye...its truly huge and colossal..couldnt get the whole thing in a single photo...wasnt sure i could do it but it was surprisingly ok!.. We saw a lot of london today on the bus..this is an absolutely amazing city..went down to the old london town...the original square mile that used to be surrounded by a wall..i love all the curving streets altho i'm sure it must make it hard to navigate..theres about to be a huge tie up in the city..the taxi drivers are holding a protest of the soon-to-be-arriving uber ta i service...and who could blame them!!...we'll be lucky to get out of our hotel today...early dinner at simpsons and then to see the play WARHORSE...they are truly running us ragged....but we've met some wonderful people and we're having a ball!!!!


Day two...

Heres davey.. Outside the national gallery on sunday..this fellow he's with is floating in midair!..or so it seemed...sitting at breakfast and depart for the tower of london at eight...then a ride on the london eye...not sure ill be able to do it!!!...still dizzy after all these years.....

Day two

So here's davey..patiently waiting for me to browse around the  national gallery sunday..i saw an amazing sargeant show at the portrait gallery but couldnt take any pics.. Today we are the first ones at breakfast..of course..and head out to the tower of london and a trip on the eye...i may not be able to do it with my dizziness...

Monday, May 25, 2015

first day in london..officially...


So this morning we hopped the bus at eight..early breakfast..drove a while to windsor of the  guards, possibly running late for the "changing", came flying down the cobbled clomping...our guide said to give him a wide berth..we were able to see the famous doll house and some of the quarters...i can honestly say i have never seen such gaudy excess in my life!!!..the queen wasn't in residence but we saw far off where she would have been staying...i cant imagine HOW anyone could actually LIVE in a place like that!!!!...meanwhile davey pointed out that if it hadn't been for the americans...all this lavish wealth would have belonged to the germans and/or the japanese....many of whom were storming their way round the grounds....but I digress...another bus ride pointing out some sights and then on to westminster abbey...which i did love!!..especially poets pics allowed inside either place...tonight we are getting treated to a talk by winston churchill's   grand daughter before dinner at gordon ramsey's...another full day tomorrow..having such fun but this is going to be grueling!!!!!..stay tuned!

Ok so i was wrong...

today we go to windsor castle and westminster abby!

Heading out..

today we hop a bus and visit kensington and a few other places.. Dinner tonight at gordon ramsey's...i hope he doesnt scream at me....we found out we have free wifi at the hotel so more later...still cant figure out how to do pics..we have some young folks on the picking their brains the whole way...stay tuned!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The out of towners......

So we arrived in london a day early to get acclimated.... They are five hours ahead over we've done a bit of napping...hit two different pubs in the first two days...davey took me to the national gallery and the portrait gallery today... I thought he might do a chevy chase from vacation... Check it out... But he was very patient and i loved every minute!!!!...i spent the last 30-45 minutes in the special john singer sargeant photographs allowed... I could have spent the whole afternoon in there!!!!!.. Took lots of pics earlier in the day but can't figure out how to post them... We're still figuring out wifi over here..the tour officially started tonight... We are going to be up early and very busy... Eating well and having such fun..i may have to wait to post pics til we return!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Home from Church

oil on board
I had a wonderful experience Saturday gallery in Bloomington, the Venue, owned by David, Gabe and Michelle Martin Coleman, hosted an event!  the idea was to choose 10 artists and 10 poets..the most creative people they could find (their words) and pair them up.  the artists brought in two paintings apiece..then the poets selected one painting each.  they were then to write a poem inspired by the painting at hand... last Saturday we had five collaborations and next Saturday the remaining five will be poet was the most delightful woman and one of the first poets they contacted.  she said my painting really spoke to her and after hearing her poem I will never look at this painting in the same way again!.. below is Tonia Matthew's poem, "Home from Church":
At first
the single figure,
the sky spilling into the street,
the blue shadow on the roof
a single bell toll,
the street moving from sunlight
into the dense shade
of overhanging trees.
But then
through a break in the fence
along the path,
sunlight slides,
soaks into a clump
of orange flowers,
sets them on fire.
The small woman
dressed in black,
white kerchief over her head
pauses     there,
leans on her cane.
She has come home from church
where she lit a candle,
sat in the cool dimness
Now, she is on her way home
to that small, silent room
But, see      she has stopped,
warmed by the glow of the orange flowers.
Waiting, perhaps, for them to speak.
here we are at the Venue last Saturday night!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


24x30 oil on panel
this is one of my faves..and I absolutely love the frame!!'s on display at the Hoosier Salon Gallery on Rangeline Rd. in the Carmel Arts district through the month of may..i have been so busy in the last weeks..haven't had a lot of time to post here..but i'm hoping that will change hubby is taking me to london and paris!!!!..i'm taking along his new ipad and can take photos and post right from there! excited!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

newest derby painting..

oil on gallery wrap canvas it's been a while...we've been to georgia and back..thought we had the house sold..and didn't..all the while painting and painting..delivered nearly 20 pieces to simon's on the island....needed to get the house ready for when we DO sell..which will be soon...and getting ready for my show at the hoosier salon..opening may 9th and continuing through the month...but FIRST..i delivered three derby paintings to Harrison Lake Country Club for their annual derby party tomorrow night...Saturday will be a long day for of paintings to carmel, watching our grandson joe's baseball game, back in time to get organized and out to the club..i want to get there in time for mint julips...Davey..not so much...stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lobster Buoys

11x14 oil on stretched canvas
this is another painting heading to Georgia with us..i did a larger format one of these for the show in i'm spending my time getting all these things of course things are messier than usual!...I SO need a cleaning lady!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

been working a lot...

12x9 oil on panel
still working toward my show in may at the hoosier salon..this is just a small piece i'm thinking of's an image i've painted a few times before..and i do love it..been working hard..painting..watching the masters..painting..watching the masters...I can't believe how much we look forward to this week..the music..the build-up..end of basketball and start of the golf season...and then..all of a's OVER!!!!...what???? is just going by too damn fast!!!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015


8x8 oil on gallery wrap canvas
so this is in doggie heaven...  my good friend phyllie asked me to paint this for her daughter-in-law chrissy..although I never got to meet jake, he looked like he was a fine fellow!!..and I had a good time painting him!..i had to keep this a secret til just now..didn't want to spoil the surprise...