Thursday, October 6, 2011

we *heart* mary

I've said it before: gammer and I are huge mary fans. i was born that way and I suspect gammer has been a fan since october 3, 1957. luckily for us, she's rather keen on us as well. today gammer and I discussed luring mary to the house every day. i thought that might be a bit much so I suggested we simply move to mary and marty's house. gammer loved that idea! I think we should put a little cabin in the backyard. I found a picture of a cabin kit that I think would work nicely. ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

the big long day of adventure

our latest effort to go on an adventure was recently carried out, but in a much different form than originally planned. gammer has been talking about wanting to go to proctor, the small, pretty town in vermont where she was born and lived for a number of years. it is also where her parents are buried, along with one set of grandparents. as proctor is a bit of a drive, the original plan was to go and spend the night somewhere in vermont, allowing for a nice, relaxing trip. however, the day we were to go i gave her the option of coming back home in the same day and she chose that option. it was a loooooooong day and I ended it with a giant headache but we had fun. the ride to proctor is super pretty and proctor itself is very charming and I saw several houses i'd gladly purchase if I were a gazillionaire and could live in a different house every day. it was neat to listen to gammer talk about who lived in what house and we even went past her old house (three times) and according to her it looks very much the same. the cemetery was nice, but hilly enough to prevent us from wandering far from the car. gammer was pleased to see the family graves and I liked it too although I was surprisingly creeped out. we then moved on to weston, home of the vermont country store, where we shopped, tried on hats and sampled cheese. gammer found a lovely handknit sweater and wore it in the store. i was rather afraid they would think she was an elderly thief like uncle leo on seinfeld, so i made her wear the tags on the outside. we ate grilled hot dogs while driving home and gammer declared that eating in the car beats eating indoors. that's my kind of girl. :)

a moment of clarity

living with someone who is elderly, your life changes in a lot of ways and the way you look at life and time is very different. i used to see time and the future in terms of work: what my schedule was, when i should wake up, what I should do on my day off, etc. when i first moved here i still worked full-time and I did for a while. eventually, it was too hard on gammer and it made her upset and sad for me to leave her every day. so now i'm home all the time and days of the week and dates, unless they are important, are pretty much meaningless. wednesday is garbage day. sunday used to be church day, until gammer stopped going. right now, tuesdays are quiz days. I went shopping at target yesterday or the day before and they had halloween and christmas stuff. for a moment, my brain said, "wow, they haven't gotten rid of the halloween costumes yet" and then I realized we haven't even had it yet. this is what happens when you live with someone who doesn't even know what month it is or where their family is. it's really pretty sad and I also realized that getting old and losing your memory is like being a vampire. i know that sounds crazy, but it actually makes a lot of sense, so hear me out. it was dracula in particular that made me think about this, as i'm taking a class on vampires in literature. vampires have lost their souls and, immortal, will never know peace. they aren't themselves anymore, they're a twisted and corrupted version of themselves. dracula was once a man, just like anyone else. gammer used to be a different gammer. the gammer who raised bruce, brad, mary and robert isn't the same now. a lot of things are still there, but old age, like a vampire, has taken away parts of who she is and to me, that is profoundly sad, because it can't ever come back. someday she will be gone and i don't know that I want to remember this gammer. i want to remember the gammer of my childhood and I think I will, or at least I hope I will. but life isn't that easy or simple. there are no rules or guides for getting old and living life. I have to remember, even on the worst days, that gammer didn't choose this, it just happened, and she deserves not crankiness but love and patience.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

unexpected sweethearts

gammer LOVES the kittens and she talks about how surprising that is almost as much as she talks about how much she loves them. a few days ago mr blandings unexpectedly jumped up onto the sofa and snuggled up to gammer. she was soooo incredibly delighted and it was so sweet to watch her pet him and she fell asleep with a smile on her face. the kittens sleep with me every night but i don't think either of them had ever done so with gammer. she was massively happy and it absolutely made my day. :)

the mother of invention

it's been a wild, wacky food day, in a wonderfully bizarre sort of way. for lunch, gammer made herself a sandwich: peanut butter and applesauce. yeah, you heard me, i said applesauce. i was a little surprised by that one, so much so that I had to peek at it when she told me what she'd made. she seemed not at all concerned that this might be an odd combo and what the heck, it's not like it was bad for her, so I didn't say anything. living with an older person, you learn to pick your battles. i'm not always good at this, but I'm getting better I think. anyway, she ate the whole thing so I guess it was good!

we went out for dinner after a nice ride to chazy lake. i had buffalo chicken nachos ("are those blueberries?") and gammer had a burger. she confiscated my salsa and sour cream, putting the salsa on her french fries and focaccia and she put the sour cream on her hamburger. she ate anything within reach, to be honest, and we had a lively discussion on how to make tortilla chips. I made up half of it, but it sounded logical so we were satisfied. I like making things up. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

holy new post, batman!

for a while, I was posting regularly, filling the world of the internet with happy gammer tales. and now it seems I haven't posted in over a week! oops, sorry. it's not that things aren't interesting here, or that we aren't having fun, but I seem to be distracted. one possible explanation: I'm taking classes. jeremy says that when I take classes i'm not nearly as much of a pest as I usually am, so that logic may extend to blogging. sorry!

we have been having lots of fun around here lately. today we went out to lunch with mary and marty, where gammer, queen of the phantom fork, sampled everyone's lunch, despite claiming a lack of hunger so profound she only ordered a cup of soup. she ate mary's spaghetti, one and a half pieces of my pizza (double cheese and ham), and marty's pepperoni and meatballs. and she was ready for dinner just a few hours later! no wonder mom calls her the bottomless pit. :)

one of the really great, wonderful, blissful things about living here is that I grew up in this house. I fell down the stairs here, fell out of chairs, scraped my knees, mothered my dolls, and ran into the Booth's car with my bicycle. so in other words, I love this house and I have great, loving memories of growing up in it. even that time I threw up on the rug in gammer's room. she wasn't even mad. :) I never liked sleeping alone when I was little, so I usually slept in my mom's bed. when she worked nights, for a while I slept in gammer's bed. every now and then, I can't resist sneaking into her room when she's sleeping to give her a hug. she sleeps with the blankets pulled up over her head, so you have to sort of pat her shoulder and then this loooong skinny arm reaches out and grabs you around the neck in a sort of headlock. it's very sweet and cute one of my favorite things in the world.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a very deceptive photo

this photo makes it look like we had a nice, quiet candlelit dinner. boy, would that be wrong! gammer requested a ride, as she often does, so I planned the ride to end at a restaurant overlooking valcour island (I try to vary our rides so it doesn't get boring). it was a beautiful day and the view of the island and a number of sailboats was fantastic. we were treated to a heavenly sunset and a rising moon. gammer even got to watch a cute baby, so she was in heaven. :) the actual food was only okay, and the stupid music was so loud we couldn't hear each other. it transpires that gammer reads lips way better than I do! we still had fun, though, and I like how deceptive this photo is. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

the dishwashing solution deficiency

i woke up to a panicked gammer today. actually, i think she's just plain not having a great day. ditto for me, at the moment. the first time she woke me up she asked if it was time to get up and I, being completely unaware of the time, told her no, so she went back to bed. when i saw her for the second time, she was in a tizzy regarding the lack of dish washing solution. she's usually pretty good at knowing to put things on the grocery list, but every now and then she isn't. however, usually i'm pretty good at keeping on eye on what we need. this time we both screwed up, hence gammer being in a panic. when gammer panics over not having something, it's like a national crisis that needs to be averted NOW. no, you don't have time to shower. no, you don't have time to feed the cats. no, it can't wait until you go to the grocery store. she doesn't actually say any of those things, but the implication is there behind the desperate pleas for me to drive her "just down the street" to buy more. even when you hem and haw because really, you have eight gazillion other things to do at that moment, her solution is: "if you drive me, I can go into the store." umm, yeah no. it's faster if i just do it, cranky and cursing to infinity, and then it's over and done with.

there are two reasons why I can't really get mad: a) the whole reason i'm here in this house is to help her and b) she's old and she has no idea what she's doing. so those thoughts are in the back of my head as I drive to the nearest drug store, where the clerk laughs and says, "I know what you're doing today!" ha. lady, you don't know the half of it. i think what really bothers me about situations like this is that gammer is too old and confused to understand much beyond her needs and i end up feeling like a servant, that my life isn't mine at all. that can be a very sobering and frustrating feeling. it's true, I am living here to help but I don't think that makes me an indentured servant. most of the time, gammer does not make me feel that way.

as I said early in this post, I think gammer is simply having a bad day. there was a spill on the back porch (don't ask!) but it befuddled her to think of what to do. I see a paper towel crisis in my future, so until the next time, have a lovely day, dear readers. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a good team

gammer and I make a good pair. we always have, actually. ever since i was a wee thing, I've loved my gammer and loved spending time with her. when mary went to nursing school, i was home with gammer and we had a lot of good fun. gammer and I would eat lunch and then read books on the brown sofa. we would each choose a book and she would read them to me. as I got older and started to read, I would sometimes read to her. my favorite was "eloise in paris" and gammer was really good at reading that one, with all of eloise's bon mots and run on sentences. many years later, we're still an excellent match. tonight gammer ate her own pot pie (lobster) and a good portion of mine (chicken), mostly the bits I didn't want, like the veggies. mom says she looks guilty in this photo and I agree. :)

a thousand million questions

is this similar to having children? i wonder. a sampling of recent questions from gammer (these seem to be a hit with gammer fans):

"how did you sleep with your orange hair?" (i have golden blondeish highlights. they're not orange, thank you very much!)

"I don't have a dog anymore, do I?"

"do you want me read this to you?" (letter from brad, which i'd already read to her)

"what do you think his muscles feel like?" (tennis)

"are those rubbers on his feet?" (brightly colored shoes on a player. i think she meant something like galoshes)

"are these any good?" (croutons)

"is that today's mail?" (it's a genetic trait that we anxiously await the arrival of the mail)

"how many cats do we have?"

"have you talked to mary today?" (every day)

"how much do those people get paid?" (tennis tournament linesmen)

"do you think his mother is watching?"

"do tennis players do anything else?"

"is it really six o'clock?"

"why didn't you tell me tennis was on?" (repeat twice in five minutes for the full effect)

"do you think she'd eat a grape?" (the dog, with whom she'd already shared her sammich)

"is it thursday? I thought it was sunday"

"are we in september already?" (she once got the calendars so mixed up that she actually threw away the current calendar and put up the next years)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the three faces of gammer

jamming a chunk of cake into her mouth. before i took the photo, she asked me "do you think i can do it?" :)

forlorn upon discovering that mary couldn't stop by on her way to work. :(

totally perplexed by poor alexandr bogomolov, who looks a bit like a girl. and with a happy kitten in her lap. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

best gammerism ever

"I think I'll sell the car and get a few teddy bears"

she's looking at a catalog from the toy shoppe. we are a pair of grown-up children here. :)

leaps and bounds

gammer is a very discerning tennis viewer. her verdict on mardy fish v. jo-wilfried tsonga: "these two aren't as appealing as that other pair". unfortunately, we've watched so much tennis today I haven't the faintest idea who the other pair is! frankly, i'm lucky I even know what day it is. I'm working a shift at the hospital on wednesday and i'm a bit paranoid that I'll simply forget to go. if anyone wants to give me a call wednesday morning, about 630, that would be good. ;)

in other news, today has, thus far, been a much better day than yesterday. gammer even made several phone calls without assistance! sometimes she gets flustered and has a hard time dialing, but she successfully called robert and leslie's house. she also called me when I went to the mall. as she put it, she wanted to see if she could do it and she did! of course, she then called me twice more because a) she forgot what I'd said and where I was and b) she thought that the note I'd left her, indicating where I'd gone, was an old note. so we had several nice chats while I bought pants. that's trousers, not underpants. I had a mixup about that once and it was very comical. gammer is now happily eating mini cupcakes and reading her new winnie the pooh book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

it all started out so well. it was a nice, relaxing day. gammer puttered around the house, I bought new calligraphy pens at michael's. we watched tennis, we ate dinner. gammer tried on her new halloween sunglasses and I documented the event. and then, all hell broke loose. poor gammer fell into the deep end of being confused and I damn near lost my mind right with her. I think I would have been okay if she hadn't kept shouting at me to go outside to see a bunny, despite me shouting back that I was on the phone. we did this back and forth until she got mad at me and gave up. this was followed by the mystery of the nonexistent puddle, the case of the disappearing paper towel (to combat the nonexistent puddle), and the riddle of how many times to walk the dog. but the thing is, gammer gets so forgetful that we do these things several times over, like a little dance. It's okay to joke about now, but sometimes while these things are happening I get so frustrated and upset. when you are old and have dementia, certain links in your brain just don't connect correctly. so how can I argue with that? it doesn't matter how many times I explain there is no puddle in the bathroom, or that she's already had the dog out, her brain just doesn't seem to process it. well, it does, but it doesn't hold. the good thing about this is that as jarringly frustrating as it can be, it doesn't last. sometimes I find a quiet spot and cry and get it all out, sometimes I do what I did tonight, which is attack the dirty dishes and the hamster cage. I sent gam to the bathtub and she's already in bed. and tomorrow is another day. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

who's that girl?

dear readers,

now, I've experienced a lot of crazy things around here the last few years. gammer wearing my underpants is up there on the crazy scale. gammer walking in on bruce using the toilet is perhaps not crazy, but so gloriously funny it deserves a mention. you can't make this stuff up; no one would believe it. anway, lately an interesting thing has been happening and though I try hard not to laugh, it's not always easy. what's happening is that gammer, who has been getting names mixed up for several years now, doesn't quite seem to know my name all the time. she knows who I am, certainly, but I think she might think my name is mary, although mary herself thinks my name is jean in gammerland and jean is, as we all know, deceased. or is she? one evening gammer was a bit mixed up as to who was in the house, or at least who was supposed to be in the house (this happens a lot). she asked, "where's that little girl?" several times and also asked, "isn't aurora here?" or something along those lines. I cheerfully and rather gigglingly (I made that word up) explained that perhaps the little girl was me and I was home where I was supposed to be. today, prior to an outing to the bank (try to contain your adventuresome envy, ok?), gammer looked at me and asked, "should we tell aurora we're going?" now, there are two options here: one, gammer is just getting a bit older and a bit more puzzled and two, that gammer is actually the only person aware of multiple universes and she simply wanted alternate aurora to know we were leaving the house. I'd say that's very considerate of her!

yours very sincerely,
that girl who lives in the room on the southwest corner of the house. or do I?

p.s. yes, i'm feeling very silly tonight. :)

the most wonderful time of the year

it's the US Open, the wildest, craziest, noisiest tennis tournament in the universe. and that's just at our house! this evening we've been watching that twat andy murray play against the guga-esque robin haase and the sounds coming out of the dining room have been oohs, ahhs, shrieks and gammer frequently asking, "was that out?" as good as her eyesight is, i think a ball could hit a linesman on the forehead and gammer would still ask if the ball was out. it's just what she does. for the two weeks of grand slams, particularly the us open, gammer and I give up almost all of our other tv habits: news, movies on tcm, seinfeld, and ummmm, well that's about it. i've been watching tennis for a long time (thank you, mary) but I never realized gammer enjoyed it until I moved back to morrison avenue in 2008. and sometimes she hoots and hollers at the tv as much as I do! she, however, does not curse at andy murray. she's a lady, after all and I, alas, am not. I just hope the neighbors can't hear us. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

billions of blistering barnacles

ahhhhh life! so fun. so carefree. so damn frustrating at times. gammer and I had a minor (and somewhat regular) squabble about emma at dinner. we all like to give emma people food, but gammer doesn't really understand limits in that respect. i try to tell her that emma is a small dog and shouldn't have that much food, but she just sort of tunes me out (but doesn't give emma the food), which is damn irritating. today she made a face at me which made it even worse. i try to tell myself it's all practice for having kids. karma had her mighty vengeance, though, when gammer gave emma a plate to lick, emma pushed the plate against the cupboard door and it made a lot of clanking noises as she licked it. gammer couldn't hear the tv and I couldn't help but laugh. so it all works out in the end and everyone is happy. :)

ain't misbehavin'

we have a fondness for late night hijinks around here. there's just something extra fun, extra giggly about an unexpected late night gathering. mom came by after work last night and we sat in the dining room, giggling, telling funny stories and looking at stuff online (she's a bossy shopper!). gammer happened to get up to go to the bathroom, so I told her mary was here and she wandered down in her nightgown, hair wildly askew. she smiled a lot and claimed to have cooked for mary. the contents of the bowl she proffered? dog food! she laughed and went back to bed shortly thereafter. i bought beer for the next late night get-together. :)

ps. this is a photo of my mom when she was little. apparently she's cutting her doll's hair. gammer said just a few days ago that mary didn't always behave, but that grandpa never saw it that way. personally, I never misbehave. ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

blame the baby

that baby there? that's me. and I am the reason gammer is known as gammer. aaron, who is a wee bit older than I am, calls her grandmother, which I've always found very cute. well, he's cute anyway, but that's beside the point! when I was little, I couldn't pronounce "grandmother" properly. it came out as "gammer" and somehow it stuck. and I don't mean just stuck with a bit of that nasty white glue you use in elementary school, i'm talking gorilla glue, you will never unstick this even if you attack with a jackhammer, kind of stuck. the reason i say that is because now, TONS of people call her gammer (or shortened to gam). mary, bruce, leslie, dean, collin, all of my friends, even the bellman at the trapp family lodge. but for those who don't know until recently, or even never knew, gammer is really constance miriam pratt wheeler.

my old kentucky home

gammer and I went out to dinner last night and it was wonderful. we ate yummy food, giggled, and surprise of all surprises, gammer had a bourbon. now, this is something gammer used to drink more often, but as she's gotten older she has cut back (that sounds bad! i don't mean it to!). i actually burst out laughing when she ordered it, because it caught me off guard. life is full of surprises. :) so gammer drank a maker's mark on the rocks and her face got quite pink and afterward we went to see mary at work. she loves seeing mary at work and we never get out the door without gammer saying, "doesn't she look good??" and frankly, i think we're very entertaining for mary's coworkers. on the way out, gammer turned to me quite seriously and asked, "WHAT did I have to drink?!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

gammer's new boyfriends

well golly! i had started this post about gammer's new boyfriend and no sooner had I begun to type when she found another one! she's boy-crazy, i tell you!

it all began with the new issue of Majesty magazine. gammer found a dashing photo of prince harry and when I told her he's my boyfriend, she said, "oh no! you saw him but i'm older." we had a good-natured and giggly squabble over who gets to be harrys girlfriend; gammer won. :(

and then there was novak. the djoker ( won his match at the us open today so he's currently being interviewed by darren cahill (ooh la la) and hannah storm. gammer took one look at novak and gasped, "who is that?!", hid her face behind her magazine and peeked at me and asked if he's married. i told her he is not, she pondered that for a minute, and then said, "well, i'll let you have him."

generous girl, my gammer. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

rainy day

hurricane irene, or what was left of her, made her way up north yesterday. gammer, who had been somewhat frightened by the dire warnings on the news, was suddenly blissfully unafraid/unaware and we had a few disagreements about her taking the dog out. we spent the day in our cozy house and I was grateful to have a comfy and secure home. the kittens decided to snuggle up to gammer for a little while, which is not something they do very often. gammer kept laughing and said "maybe the dog will be next". the kittens have been a huge blessing in unexpected ways. they make me extraordinarily happy and gammer, who wouldn't let me have a cat for years, loves them. it's fun to hear her from a room away, suddenly start laughing at something they are doing. she loves to watch them play and is always talking sweetly to them.

speaking of which, i think the plumber thinks we're bonkers. he was here to fix a sink and the bird was cooing, so i cooed back and then gammer, who can't tell the difference between my coo and the bird's, started to coo as well. it doesn't help that the last time the plumber was here it was to fix the garbage disposal. the reason it was broken? three of my little plastic toy dogs from the machine at the grocery store had gotten down in there. which was gammer's doing, not mine. so yeah, the plumber probably thinks we're a bunch of nutters. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

happy anniversary, part 2

in the spirit of things, i found the photo album containing gammer and grandpa's wedding photos. also in the album were clippings and an invitation. the newspaper clipping from the rutland herald begins, "Before an altar banked with white gladioli, Miss Constance Pratt of Proctor was married yesterday to Dr. Dean Herbert Wheeler of Burlington." now that's a wedding announcement! :) there are also little slips of paper that show, in gammer's handwriting, where they went on their honeymoon. they drove all over the east, driving through pennsylvania, virginia, north carolina and tennessee, before making their way back to philadelphia, where grandpa was going to graduate school at the university of pennsylvania. this photo is from the day of the wedding, as they departed for their big adventure.

update: gammer is now looking at the album and found a photo of the whole family that she really likes. after I told her I could make copies of it, she started to say she'd send one to jean. unfortunately, jean has not been alive since the 1980s and gammer quickly realized that. her comment: "my brain is free-wheeling". :)

happy anniversary!

on this day in 1949, gammer and grandpa got married in proctor, vermont. i had actually forgotten until glory of all glories, gammer reminded me. :) she has a stellar memory for things that happened a very long time ago and remembers her wedding day very well. i think she was a darling, beautiful bride.

really. very. irritating.

what exactly do I do? when i catch up with people i haven't spoken to in a while, I feel that I have a hard time explaining exactly what it is I do. i kind of do everything, to be blunt. that's the thing about living with and looking after someone who is a bit aged and fairly confused.

a list of questions I am frequently asked:

"what day is it?"

"where's *fill in the blank*?" *this is usually someone who does not live within a 250 mile radius of our home

"have you seen the dog?"

"has the mail come?"

"is it really *insert time of day*?"

"where are the others?" who the others are, besides being the residents of a horror film is part of the fun, because you have to figure out who she's talking about

"whose baby is that?"

"what are we going to do about supper?"

"do you know what we're having for supper?"

"is it time for supper already?"

"do you know where aurora is?" this is probably my favorite

"where have you been?" this is usually asked when i've moved exactly one inch to re-situate my butt in my chair. gammer tends to spend a lot of time on the sofa so if she doesn't see me for a while, even though i haven't moved, she seems surprised to see me and wonders where i've been.

now, the next way to play this game is to choose about half of those questions, multiply by 10, and there's an average day of questions at my house. of course, you can always expect the unexpected, like "is that a coeducational school?" while watching harry potter or "when does a cat stop being a kitten?" i think it may be good practice for being a mom.

i'm not perfect and honestly, some days are really hard to get through. but some days are great and sometimes you get a little bit of the bad, a little bit of the good. that's life, right? :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"the help"

gammer and I saw "the help" last week. it's a really good movie and has some brilliant actresses in it, particularly viola davis, who was also awesome in "doubt". viola plays aibileen, a black woman who raises white children. after the movie, gammer and I got to talking about Marie, a woman who worked for gammer's family in washington in the late 1920s. Marie, from what I understand, cooked, cleaned and was essentially a housekeeper. she was what was known then as a "hired girl" even though I don't think she was a girl, per se. gammer says that she loved Marie, but Marie's real pet was Alan and gammer said she could still see Alan sitting on Marie's lap. I wish I had a photo of that and I wish I knew what became of Marie. did she love our family? was she sad when they moved back to vermont? did she have a family of her own? I don't think I'll ever know. I love thinking about gammer when she was a little girl, giggly and rambunctious. :)

vacation shmacation

so, we were supposed to spend one night in vermont, at the lake mansfield trout club. it's a beautiful place and my family has been going there since my mom was a toddler. unfortunately, as gammer gets older, more tired, more confused, it gets harder and harder to travel. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. gammer and I spent over a week in florida this spring, and after a rough beginning, we had a great time. one night at the trout club? didn't work. we had a nice few hours of swimming and relaxing and suddenly she was ready to go. and when an 88 year-old wants to go home, you'd be a total jackass to say no (unless you're in florida and you're driving home: "well no, we can't go home right now, we're about 1500 miles away and it will take time to get there"). so home we went! i did get one single photo of gammer sitting on the porch. the cutest part was on the ride home, when she said she might not have been as homesick (how do you get homesick that fast?) if my mom had been with us. she's too cute, my gammer. :)

bottom line: traveling with a senior citizen can be hard. it can also be super awesome. you just have to make sure to pack a lot of stuff you might not even realize you need, like nightlights, and expect the unexpected.