Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creekhiker - Global Animal Blogging Event

Hello Animal Lovers! I'm inviting you to go on a fantastic tour with me through some of the best animal blogs on the net! Mabel Lou's beloved pal Twinkie is hosting this event, nicknamed "GABE," over on her blog and you will find links to all the participating sites there. Not only will you meet lots of other animal lovers along the way, there are PRIZES involved!!! Whooo Hooo!

UPDATE 4/1: Here is the page with all the other blog links on it!!!

To win a prize, all you have to do is comment and BE SURE to leave me a way to contact you. Either leave your email or have an "email me" button on your blog... NO exceptions!

Now, here's what you are playing for on the Creekhiker site:

I am a glass artist, working mostly in torched beads (oops! We are moving servers and that site is down!) and memorial beads containing the ashes of loved ones, however, I fuse from time to time. These art glass pendants were made with actual photos! That's family up on the left. The top right is one of our hiking buddies, Sue. And below... my regulars will recognize as the first Creekhiker logo. The winner of my drawing will receive a custom glass piece with their critter's photo fused in. Please know that this is a custom piece and will take a little time to finish and YOU will have to send me a high quality, high contrast photo of your pet.

About the Creekhiker blog: Creekhiker is my blog about life with my "rotten-weiler," Mabel Lou, in the foothills of Southern California. The people we meet and the beauty we encounter on our daily hikes are often featured here. I hope you'll come back and visit again.

Don't forget to check out Twinkie's blog on April 1 and meet some new animal lovers and good luck with all those fabulous prizes!

Mabel at the Lazy Dog Cafe

I got to meet an online lampwork buddy in person this weekend. Janel Dudley was in town and we got to spend two days tooling around LA and talking glass and cameras and such.

Yesterday, she asked me to bring Mabel along. I think she was intimidated a bit by how large Mabel is. Janel says Mabel looks much smaller online. For the record, Mabel is 95lbs and tall like a greyhound.
Happy Mabel!

We ended up at the Lazy Dog Cafe which has a huge, dog-friendly patio and even a doggie menu! The staff not only treated Miss M like the Belle of the Ball, they filled her bowl with water several times and petted her frequently!
Mabel & her water bowl

These photos were all taken there.

Mabel got a hot dog. It came in a little styrofoam bowl, all diced up! I tasted it and... it was so good! I would order a hot dog there! In true Mabel Lou style, she backed out this next photo before it was taken...but I think her tongue says it all!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Build a Better Basket

Mabel Lou here. My friend Twinkie tagged me in her blog. I don't really have my own blog - I just borrow Mom's from time to time. (Mom? Why not? Twinkie has one? Because we would spend even more time on the computer and less time hiking. Oh... so it's a good thing I don't have my own blog!)

Funny, but I thought THIS was tagging:

That's me with Twinkie and her big sissy Linguini. Her other sister, Frankie, was running with us too.

But Mom tells me tagging is played on blogs too. Twinkie knows that I would love to have a boy of my very own. Mom says that's never gonna happen so Twinkie suggested I do something to help children by playing this tag game.

A company that makes chocolate...something my mom never shares with me but seems to love so much is donating money to an amazing charity. The organization they're supporting is the Children's Miracle Network, a non profit that raises funds for children's hospitals.

Hershey's will donate to the Children's Miracle Network $10 for every blog post about this blog-hopping event that ends on April 4th. So, everybody feel free and encouraged to join Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop and help raise $5,000 for the Children's Miracle Network.

I'm only going to tag my Mom. But if you want to join in the fun, here are the rules:

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.
It's a fine way to help some boys... and girls!!!

Oh and one more thing: My pal Twinkie is hosting the Global Animal Blogging Event (GABE) coming up in a few weeks. It's going to be lots of fun to participate! If you blog about animals, check it out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

[Note: This article was written for an online magazine. They didn't have the good sense to buy it but you still get to read it.]

If you are shopping for a pet lover, ideas for unique and interesting gifts are limitless. From hamsters to hounds, Persians to pigs, there is a gift to suit everyone and every budget.

A terrific gift for any animal lover is high quality treats. Heidi’s Homemade Bakery offers organic treats for dogs, cats and horses. Treats start at 6.50 and they even have a do it yourself birthday cake kit with organic mix and bone shaped pans.

If the pet lover in your life has a “furiend” that is a specific breed, Drs Foster and Smith has some excellent choices. Travel mugs with a favorite cat or dog breed are available for 13.99. They also have customizable place mats to keep the pet’s dining area tidy for 7.99 and up.

But that’s not all. This site has all kinds of items for every pet lover, whether you are shopping for a fish collector or reptile lover. You can find pony pops for 12.99 or a ferret play mat with tunnels for exploration for $40.For people with unusual pets, you can find or even make customized gifts at Zazzle. A quick search on the site reveals all kinds of products featuring pets such as mugs, key chains and even pet clothing. If you are handy with a camera or graphics, you can upload your own artwork to the site and print customized items such as postage stamps, mouse pads or posters.

And let’s not forget those folks who dress up their dogs. Spoiled Bratzwear sells unique collars and coats for pups and will even custom make clothing for canines with a colder constitution. A custom knit coat for a Chihuahua runs $18.00 and prices go up depending on size and fabric.

If you have a pet lover that loves to dress themselves up, lampwork artist Lauren May Mazursky ofMaybeads will turn a photo of a pet into a gorgeous glass bead! Certain “hair styles” don’t always work in glass but she can capture vaious breeds of dogs, cats, turtles, pigs and sheep in a keepsake bead for around $16.00 - $25.00.

One of the nicest gifts for a pet lover is a customized portrait of their pet. Arizona graphic artist Cindy Vandiver will create a pop art style portrait from any pet photograph for between $45 and $100 depending on size of the finished art.

No matter what breed or even species, you can find a fantastic gift your animal loving friend is sure to adore.

(photo by Maybeads, used by permission)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Friends on the Trail

One of the backyards that backs up to the flood zone surrounding the creek has a new pup. His name is Bruno and he's a Newfie. Mabel and I are both in deep love! He's such a sweetheart!

I always feel a bit sorry for pups that live in the homes along the trail...watching every dog in the world roam free inches from their own backyard, while they are never seen on the trail. But Bruno is a bit luckier than most. His folks leash walk him in the neighborhood twice a day and he is an indoor / outdoor dog. They are hoping to take him on the trails once obedience lessons are over. [Fingers and paws crossed!]

He is very vocal... here he is having a conversation with Mabel Lou who walked out of frame just as took the picture!

Driveway Majesty

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Baby Doesn't Need Me...

Since my staph infection, I've practically had my days and nights mixed up. I wake up at 2 a.m. and get up and deal with taxes. Back to bed at 5 and up at 10. Nap around 4 - 7 in the evening. I'm sure Mabel Lou is confused.

Last night, I had two bead orders and I've felt zero creativity since my return from Baton Rouge. But I had to torch and since one order was a remake, I hoped doing the familiar would snap me out of my creative daze. It did and I ended up torching until 10:45.

I came in the house to check email and to see if there were any stamp orders and got caught up helping a friend on Facebook find some information. Around 11, Mabel wandered into the office and seemed rather excited. I petted her and told her I would be done in a bit. She persisted a while but eventually left me.

When I went down the hall at 11:30, I realized Mabel had put herself to bed! Now this is a first! We normally start heading to bed around 11. I coax her to potty with the promise of three pieces of chicken jerky: one in the hall and two on HER side of my bed. The first would get the girl in the house during her "prime time" - critter chasing on the back deck. The last two get her situated away from my corner of the bed.

When I saw her all curled up, I realized that 11 p.m. agitation was her way of asking for her jerky. When she didn't get it, she kept to the schedule and went to bed without me. If she were tall enough to reach the jerky on her own, I would probably be without a bed to sleep in!

Maybe she does still need me...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Saturday at the creek, we ran into Maxi, Mabel Lou's beloved. During some rough-housing, she managed to come away with her right side thoroughly breaded with sand.

We hiked further upstream and as Mabel gleefully passed back and forth in front of me, biting at the fast moving water, I would scoop water and toss it on her right side to try and wash some of the sand off. Each time I did this, she would give me "the look."

After five passes, me dousing her each time, she circled behind me out of the water. She drew close... I thought she wanted a pet. No. She shook and shook, spraying me with cool creek water and soaking my shorts!

And so, there are lessons to be learned. Turnabout is clearly fair play to Mabel and...I need to watch my back!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Playing with Spiders - A Cautionary Tale of Health Care

It's funny how life can slap me upside the head when I'm thinking of doing something stupid. I learned in January that my insurance carrier, Blue Crap, was going to increase my rates (and thousands of others) by 40% in March, despite the company raking in billions in profits last year. Since I can barely afford it now, I spent February getting checkups... basic blood work, mammary gram, etc. so that I could cancel the policy in March. (California's insurance commission asked Blue Crap to postpone the increase until May.)

Now, all the debates over national health care in the news has me pondering my own recent travails through the system. From the research I've done on the bill that may or may not pass (depending on what news station you watch), the government plan would cost me about the same as I'm paying now. Whooptidoo. But would it provide more? Less? Who knows??? I just know something's gotta give.

The Background
Yes, I got bit by a spider. No, I don't know what kind. I'm not even certain as to when it happened. On February 18th, I was in bed, ready for sleep, when I noticed my left leg felt dry and itchy. I rolled up my p.j.s and put some lotion on and thought it odd that only one leg felt dry. The next day, in the shower, I noticed redness and swelling.

The fact that I was bit by something is a mystery. In winter, I go from pants to pajamas with as little time as possible in between. I often don't bother with lotion out of the shower because I'm cold natured. I'm assuming the spider had to be inside some article of clothing to have bit me in the first place.

Over that first week, I read up on spider bites. I applied peroxide, liquid erythromycin, pure alcohol. The antibiotic or the alcohol never burned which told me they really weren't reaching the problem. I also used cold compresses. None of which did a darn thing.

And the pain in my leg was getting to be horrific. If I casually brush my right leg over the left, the pain would make me scream! Any pressure on the left leg was unbearable. I crawl into my tall bed on my knees. It's habit. Only when I tried to get in bed since the bite, as soon as I put my weight on the left leg, I would fall over on my face from the pain! I've had to teach myself how to get in bed all over again!

I haven't even wanted to post a picture of it because... as a wound, it's soooo unimpressive. I've had much worse from far less dangerous encounters. You would never believe this could cause so much pain! Making It Worse
By the 24th, I'd had enough. I called Mom and got my grandmother's poultice recipe. It was basically clay mixed with vinegar. I took a clay facial mask and mixed it to a thick liquid and applied it to the engorged wound...now six inches in diameter. I would let this dry and then apply a hot compress, covered with a towel and a heating pad. I did this several times until I could force an opening in my leg. It drained a bit...orange pus! But it would close right back up again.

By 9p.m., the swollen, feverish part was now nine inches in diameter and the pain was unbelievable. Knowing I had to fly to Louisiana in a day and a half, I tried to get my little Taiwanese doctor on the phone. She wanted to see me the next morning.

The Cure - Worse than the Disease?
I do have a highly distrustful relationship with her. She is the only doctor I've ever had that discussed money with me. Not only is this uncomfortable, I find it unethical. Several years ago, I had bronchitis, 102 fever, coughing, etc. I dragged my sorry butt into see her for the first time in a year and a half and she opens with, "Why you not pay you bill?"

"Because you didn't send me a bill."

"But you owe me money."

"How would I know that?"

"You pay today?"

"I will call Blue Crap today and verify that I owe you."

"You need to pay today."

I finally got really stern with her and said, "Look, my fever is 102. Can you treat me and I promise, I will straighten this out. Can we just deal with why I'm here today!??!"

So, I've tried to find other doctors at least twice and ... what can I say...she returns phone calls in the middle of the night and I now understand she never will mail me a bill so I have to be on top of things and at least I have a doctor who will see me in an emergency.

She immediately started talking of IV antibiotics... and in my suspicious nature, I suspected this was just a ploy to charge me more. As I pass out any time my veins are played with and I had a flight to catch the next day, I said no way!

But she did lance it. Whatever numbing agent she gave me worked immediately because she kept asking me if I felt that but I had no feeling at all. After she opened it up, she and the nurse sat down on the exam table and pressed on my leg. That, I felt! It was all I could do to stay put. They pressed and pressed and pressed. And when they were done, they had a quart baggie full of orange pus filled gauze! ICK! I couldn't believe all the gunk they got out of my leg!

She cultured it, put in a drain and gave me bactrim...one of the weakest antibiotics on the market.

I left on my trip and on Saturday, I dutifully called into check on my test results. The nurse never came in to check the faxes that day.

Batting 1000 in Baton Rouge
Come Monday, my cell phone was ringing. My culture was not good. It was staph. I would need IV antibiotics right away. I explained I wouldn't be home until the next evening and set out to find a way to get the needed Cipro in Baton Rouge.

I made two phone calls. One to my sister's general practitioner who referred me to an Infusion Center... who knew there were such places??? I called and got an angel named Mary on the phone who immediately asked my doctor's info, placed me on hold to get her pharmacist on the line with my doc and then got my insurance information. Within an hour, they were ready for me! $107 per treatment because my ginormous deductible had not been met.

The family raced me across town in a rain storm and a few hours later, I emerged, one treatment behind me and a line still in my arm for more IV the next day. That night, the swollen feverish area reduced to about three inches. Another round of meds in Baton Rouge and some missed flights home, I was back in LA for my 46th birthday, March 3, feeling old and tired.

Striking Out in L.A.
I saw the doc on Friday. She was impressed with my progress but handed me a scrip that read "8 bags Cipro 400 mg." I thought this was strange.... where do I get that? Will the pharmacy have it? No. Doc wanted me to have EIGHT more rounds of IV. I'm doing the math in my head... 107 x 8 = 856 + the 214 from Baton Rouge... I DON'T HAVE A THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!

Doc's nurse was standing behind her and giving me a look of disbelief. As I stood there in sticker shock, Doc takes another patient into the exam room. The nurse pulled me in her office and said, " I don't think you need eight rounds... You need two... but not eight."

"If she had told me two, I would have rolled up my sleeve! Look, I need something... she can't just send me away like this! "

The good nurse wrote out a scrip for Cipro pills and went into the exam room, returning with the signature.

I take my pills for a week. I am exhausted all the time which is apparently normal when your body is fighting a bad infection. When I was down to the last two on the 11th, I called to ask for more.

The nurse quibbled... I needed the IV. OK... How much will it cost? I spent the day waiting on the insurance clerk and then my doctor. Suspecting I needed other options, I started looking for infusion centers in L.A. After all, if po-dunk Baton Rouge had one, surely LA LA land has many... If only!

The one in Santa Monica will only see patients from doctors that practice there. The one in Valencia only sees cancer patients. The one at Glendale Adventist - well... I'm STILL waiting for Kay in accounting to tell me how much it will cost! My leg could've fallen off by now!

I finally heard from my doc... It would cost me "around 400 - 500" ('cuse me but in my underemployed world that's HUGE DIFFERENCE! Which is it? 4 or 5???) PER treatment. For the same exact treatment I got in Baton Rouge two weeks before???? NO. FREAKING. WAY!

So after spending the whole day on the phone, I said to my doc, "Look, for 400 bucks, I'll fly to Baton Rouge just to have my sister hold my hand and get me through it and still have money left over for the treatment! I don't have this kind of money. My leg is still infected and at this point, the ethical thing for YOU to do is give me a refill on the pills!"

And she simply said, "OK."

Second Guessing / Second OpinionBy this point, I was so freaked out and wondering if my leg may actually be falling off! I placed a call to my former production boss who is now a homeopath's assistant. I'm always a little afraid to call when something is wrong because she doesn't have a lot of faith in traditional medicine. I tend to believe in a little of both. But, then again, she's NEVER given me bad advice.

She told me to absolutely stick with Cipro. She trained me years ago to always take probiotics when I was on antibiotics. It prevents the inevitable yeast infection and keeps my stomach upset to a minimum. She told me to up my intake because Cipro was so strong. (I'm not going into dosages here... always see a doctor and don't believe what you read on the net!)

She also told me to add oil of oregano to my regimen. It is believed that oil of oregano boosts the immune system and I've taken it when I have a cold or flu so I had some in the house. I also learned that it's good for the skin and destroys organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.

The Glory of Icthammol
The last thing she told me about I had never heard of but am I ever in love with it now... Icthammol. Funny but every horse person I know has heard of it and believes in it. The black tar draws poison through the skin.

But since I live in California and this state believes in protecting idiots who apparently can't read directions, I can only find a 20% solution. I'm wondering if I could find something stronger down at the tack and feed...

At any rate... it stinks to high heaven and is so so sticky. My friend also suggested cleaning the wound with Seabreeze as it doesn't damage surrounding tissue. The Seabreeze cuts right through the icthammol making wound care so easy.

I noticed right away that it felt as though someone were squeezing the wound. As the days have gotten warmer, I started pinning the left leg of my pants above me knee to give the bite some "air" time. The second day on icthammol, I was sitting at the computer when I realized the leg was draining!

******THIS IS GROSS!!!***********
Around day five, I was pulling off my gauze bandage in the morning when it appeared a string was stuck to my wound. I flinched expecting the pain that would come when the string released...only I realized that was no string! It was a six inch "string" of pus!!!!!! EW!!!!

The icthammol makes the wound look worse than it actually is. I spread the stuff over all the area that is still "lumpy" as that is an indicator of where the poison is.

It looks even more gross with the bandage on it.
The lumpy part is now about one inch in diameter and I'm now on my third round of pills. I was amazed that they cost more on the third scrip... I have no idea what I'm going to do about insurance come May.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Smart Girl

The comments on yesterday's post had me thinking about the dangers of hiking a raging creek with a pup. I've given thought to what I would do if my dog got taken in...do I dive in and try to float on my back, feet first, like they teach in white water rafting? But - I wouldn't be able to catch her. Swim and pray I don't bang my head on a boulder? Not likely!

But I'm lucky. I learned when Mabel was a pup to trust her. I thought I had published the story here before but for the life of me, I can't find it. But this is what RottRover was alluding to in her comments about Mabel knowing geometry.

The first year I had Mabel, we would often stop by my BFF's and pick up a dog or three to hike with us. Their lab, Sarah Jean, was one of the most special dogs I've ever known. One that could understand humans on a conversational level. She helped a lot with Mabel's training. We would visit the creek and Mabel would play with the dogs for hours but it was Sarah that loved the water and tennis balls as much as Mabel.

That winter, there was a horrible flood in the creek. I had picked up Sarah and Tommy the mutt and headed to the water. Sarah knew immediately not to rush into the water. But as we rounded the end of the levee, (There was no upper stream bed back then, just a gradual slope to the river.) Mabel dashed headlong into the raging water with me screaming and Sarah barking warnings frantically. She was underwater and being swept downstream and some part of me was certain I was watching my pup drown.

She popped up and went under again and came up running with all her might, finally washing out on the opposite shore about 25 feet down stream. She coughed and sputtered, resting on the sand. After a few minutes, she was up and on her feet and doing her usual puppy exploration on the other side of the river: chasing lizards and ground squirrels. Occasionally, she would look over at Sarah and Tommy and wonder why her friends weren't joining her.

Relieved that she was O.K., I started planning. I was certain that any minute another hiker would be along the trail and that I could talk them into hiking up and around with a leash and have them lead Mabel out the other way. I knew that if I left that shore, Mabel would try to cross. So I waited...and waited. For the first time since I had been hiking at the creek, absolutely no one came along.

But that was all right. I figured if I stayed put, the BFF would send out a search party. After about 45 minutes...which is about the amount of time I would let the dogs play on a normal day...Mabel start whining and looking across the stream at us longingly. I would yell at her, "NO! STAY!" And since we've long ago established just how well my dog listens to me...

Mabel got a strange determined look in her eye. She looked downstream where she washed out of the rapids. She looked at me. She looked upstream and back at me. She turned and took off upstream. 25 feet upstream.

I'm still yelling for her to stay when she turned and took off into the brush. I was content that she had found something else to hold her attention and was breathing a sigh of relief when I realized she was just getting a running start!

She leaped into that roaring stream, went under and popped up, leaping with everything in her. Under and leap, under and leap and would you believe she washed out at my feet? Hence, Mabel's friends think she can do geometry!

But seriously, since that time, Mabel is VERY cautious when entering fast moving water. She is not a natural swimmer... terrified of even walking NEAR my pool and when she is afraid water is deep, she leaps. Which is how the very first Creekhiker logo photo came to be. This was taken later that same summer, after the stream had calmed.
If you have a dog and you hike near dangerous waters, give it some thought so panic won't be your guide in a frightening situation.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

See? I Told You ...

Today, I noticed the creek is finally calming down from our amazing storms and there was a foot wide (as in my foot wide, not 12") path at the base of the levee going far upstream. I took it with Mabel on my heels until we reached the end. There the water was calm and I could tell it was not deep.

And since my dog understands what I say... I told her, "I think you could cross here. If you want to go 'sploring, I'll wait here and sun my leg (spider bite)."

And off she went into the water, gingerly placing her feet and slowing crossing the stream. When she reached the other side, she was so happy. She hasn't been on that shore in months and months. She raced around sniffing everything and slowly worked her way back down to Tim's old camp - abandoned since the first flood.

Then she tried to cross the creek down there...where the water is deep and raging.

I yelled down to her, "You need to cross up here. You're gonna go UND..." And she was underwater and my heart was racing. I stood up to dash downstream and before I was on my feet, she had popped out of the current, leaping high into the air and was in shallow water.

Since I have apparently turned into my own mother, I chided her, "See, I told you not to cross down there!"

And with that, Miss Mabel turned and dove into that raging stream AGAIN! She popped out of the raging water and landed on shore and stood there staring me down.

And since I understand most everything she says with her impatient, quirky body language, I knew exactly what she was telling me. "See, I told you I could!" (Thank goodness that dog doesn't stand upright because I'm certain she would put her paws on her hips!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spinal Fusion

Good grief! I seem to keep taking photos for posts I never get around to writing! I thought I would put a few up during this tax time / writing lull.

Mabel Lou was terribly ill in January; I touched on her illness in this post. When she went in for xrays, her doctor was quite impressed with her spine. Mabel has a condition known as spondylosis where her vertebra are fusing together. While this can be painful while the vertebra are fusing, as she gets older, she may very well suffer less joint pain than other dogs her age. But it will also affect her mobility.

Mabel had one joint with so much calcification, the doctor was certain this has been going on since she was a pup. I do remember a very severe growth spurt where she would cry if you looked at her harshly. She was in constant pain at about 10 months. Here is one of her xrays:

The pink is her largest fusion. The purple points to vertebra in the process of fusing. And the red... was why we were at the vet. She had an infection and severe gas.

Hey, no laughing...she's not the first dog I've had xrayed to find gas! I'm really happy she fully mended and eating way too well. That was a frightening few weeks and I'm glad it's behind us.

For those wondering about me... I'm still dealing with the spider bite; still on cipro. When I saw the doctor after my trip, she wanted me to do EIGHT more days of IV cipro. These cost me $110 / per dose out of pocket! I begged her to give me the pills instead as I had had two of the loading doses in Baton Rouge. She acquiesced and I was thrilled... the pills are 7.43 a week! I'm healing oh so slowly.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Home - but All Is Not Well

I realize I haven't posted since Mabel's birthday! If you read my bead blog, you already know why. In addition to all of that, I threw my back out (putting on pants!) and all those antibiotics are wreaking on my digestive tract and let me just say that flying home with an aching back and constantly needing to find a bathroom is NOT the most fun way to travel!

But, I was so happy to see my girl! And she was so happy to see me. She came racing into the driveway and bowled me over with kisses. And despite me being exhausted, she convinced me a creek trek was in order...which actually made my back feel a tiny bit better.

Now, I have to catch up on orders and taxes but should return in a bit.