Friday, November 29, 2013


Just a photo post as I have guests for the holiday..

    Omar cooked not one-but two wonderful turkeys..I love turkey and look forward to days of turkey sandwiches!

The kids had their customary holiday pizza.

It was a lovely day spent with most of the people that I love best in this world.  I am thankful for that.  Actually, I am thankful for many many things..and they deserve a post. But, it would be horribly rude of me to disappear with my laptop to write, because I have guests AND especially because being thankful for those guests would be part of the post. Do you know what I mean?  So..a post is going to have to wait a few days..Until then-I hope that any friends that celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday..and for my many friends that don't celebrate it-I hope that you had a lovely Thursday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

On death and festive zombies..

~"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome"~Isaac Asimov 


"Mama?  What happens to you when you die?" " know we've talked about heaven and reincarnation..all the different beliefs that.." "No..where do you go?" "What do you mean?" "Do they bury you in the ground?" Well..sometimes..I mean you have been to cemeteries before.." "You mean graveyards?" "Yeah.." "Lots of people are buried there.." "Yup".."But..But..How do they breathe?" "Well..they're dead-they don't need to breathe anymore." "How do they get out?!" "They don't need to..they have left their bodies.." "Huh?" "Oscar,   dying means that your spirit, the thing that makes you-you.. leaves your body.." "We turn into ghosts?!!"  "I don't think so..I really can't tell you exactly what happens..but..well, lots of people have different ideas about know that..we've talked about it."  "I know."  Well...what do you think?" "I don't know." "Well...was there stuff you didn't understand?" "I don't know."  "Are you worried about dying?" "No.." " me out here bud..I'm not sure what you are asking me.." "Can I go on the computer?"

  Death is a tricky subject with my kids. It isn't that it's difficult..more that it is hard to explain..They all have such unique perspectives on it. When Sam was little, he came to me claiming  that "when  people die they get to be come back as something else." I thought that this was pretty cool considering he wasn't much older than three.  Lily on the other hand-is very anxious over the idea of it.  Three years ago, my sister and father passed away within six weeks of each other. .(The kids hardly knew their Grandfather and they did not know their Aunt.) It was a difficult time for me-and,because of that, it was a difficult time for my kids as well Lily was a mess. Crying all the time..having trouble sleeping..I thought that maybe she was worried about MY mortality...So, during one of her crying jags..I pulled her onto my lap..rocking her until she calmed down enough to talk.."Lil?  You know your Aunt was pretty sick..and Pop?..he was 86!"  "I know." "Well...for them..death was a good thing..or an o.k. thing.  your Aunt was in a lot of pain and she wasn't gonna get better..and Pop..he lived a really full life." "I KNOW!" "Well..I just wanted you to think about that..I mean, I'm healthy..and I'm nowhere near 86." "So." "So..I just wanted you to know that I don't plan on dying for a long time.""O.k?.".."So I don't want you to worry about me or Papa going anywhere for a long long time..o.k.?"  "But...but..I'm not worried about YOU dying!  I'm worried about...(bawling)  ME!" *sigh* so, after reassuring her that she had very little mileage and was in the best of health..that her demise was so very far into the future..she was fine. Fine. No more more crying..she was good to go.

  I admit, it is a tough subject to tackle with kids.  One of the ways we have discussed it-is through religion. We try and teach our kids a bit of everything. They know about Jesus, Mohammed , Buddha..You name it-and we probably have discussed it. They know of the Bible, the Koran, the Torah. But the main thing we teach is respect.That faith is personal. That it is not our place to question anyone's personal beliefs. Nor was it anyone's place to question theirs( they have them).I have really drilled in the idea that they need to respect other peoples faith and points of view.  They do a pretty good job of kids can be literal thinkers..and it gets me in trouble.

  Every summer, my town celebrates itself by throwing a festival. There are rides and food..entertainment and all kinds of booths. One of the booths is run by a local church. Now, I have nothing against this particular church..but it seems that no matter what-every single summer we have been here..I have managed to offend them in some way or other. Usually because of what my kids say-or don't say.  It never fails! We'll be walking by..and someone will catch one of my kids eyes.  "Do YOU KNOW Jesus?" They'll ask. (My kids have absolutely no idea of the context in which this is meant. None.)    "No." they'll say-or even better "Who?"..immediately all eyes turn to me in if I were somehow depriving my children of religious knowledge and is very uncomfortable-for me.  My kids?  They don't notice..except for Sam(who I explained this to)-he thinks this is HYSTERICAL. Next year-he's taking his brother and sisters around.

 I really don't like when someone thinks I'm disrespectful of their beliefs. That is the last thing I ever want to do...well..mostly. O.K...sometimes..well..I'll tell you about this week and let you decide..

  Now, my town celebrates Halloween. We have a parade, trick or treating..a haunted's fabulous.  This year, in honor of the holiday-we decorated the house. We had cobwebs..and "Happy Halloween" signs..and a special display of zombies....

 I thought that they looked great.  So much so..that I still have them up.  This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with laziness or a busy schedule!  Well, this past Tuesday, as I was pulling out of the driveway, I noticed a car parked in front of my zombie display.  I thought perhaps they were enjoying our tableau..and drove off. I didn't think anything more of it until I was pulling IN to my driveway..I noticed the same car was parked there. My zombies are delightful..but two days in a row? I got out of my van to investigate just as a well dressed gentleman got out of the car and walked towards me..He didn't look happy..he was actually sneering! He said "We were in the neighborhood and thought you'd be interested in this"..he handed me his tract and walked quickly away..
 As I wrote earlier, I am very respectful of religious beliefs and faith.  It is certainly not my place to judge! But this kind of got me mad. (the inside of the pamphlet basically said I was going to hell unless..blah blah blah...) My zombies were Halloween fun. That is it. They certainly weren't meant to be a religious statement.Nor were they intended to mock anyone., in response to that pamphlet, I decided to do a little early holiday decorating...

.    I really really hope that car stops by again.  I think my zombies look festive.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Confessions of a Worrier mother (four years later...) Wright is Wrong..

~"Charity creates a multitude of sins"~Oscar Wilde

 I have been blogging for almost five years. The whole reason that I started blogging was because I simply could not fathom how autism was being portrayed in the main stream media. I remember thinking"This isn't my experience-this isn't the way our life is..there has to be other families like mine!"  Thankfully, I have found many-both on and off line. This is a slightly revised post from 2009. It was my rebuttal to the horrible video "I am Autism" that Autism Speaks had put out. It scares me that four years have passed-and still, the idea that someone can speak so openly and horribly about human beings is considered (by many) acceptable. Four years later-and we need to do better.  There needs to be a lot more listening and a lot less judging in the neuro-diverse community. 

  It started with a blog post on acceptance. Which, as per usual-turned into an argument.  I myself made a few comments. One in particular was in direct rebuttal to something a parent said. They made the comment that 1.5 million people in the U.S. SUFFER from autism-I replied with the simple statement-"my kids don't suffer" In turn I was told that I was one of the "lucky ones"-and then given a detailed description of all of their struggles. I never implied that my children didn't struggle- I simply stated that they didn't suffer. They were right however in one aspect-I am lucky. 

 Three of my four kids are on different parts of the autism spectrum. They work very hard to try and navigate a world that doesn't always make sense to them. Every day poses new challenges. Yet, they face them-because I ASK them to. How staggering is that? Being a mother is a powerful job-definitely not for the faint of heart. I take my position seriously. Oh, I have made many mistakes-which I no doubt will hear about in years to come. But I am learning. I think the most important lesson has been that children become what you tell them they are. All children, no matter what their ability. It is for that reason I talk about acceptance and love instead of laundry lists of symptoms.  My kids have disabilities, they are not broken. They are not empty shells, they don't need to be "recovered". They are right in front of me (most of the time asking for things) I had best make sure my words have substance and meaning. Because those are the words that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I am their mother. That is my job, my responsibility, and privilege.

It always astounds me when I am told things like "you are one of the lucky ones" or "your kids aren't really autistic". Astounds me. What I find equally mind blowing is the thought that because I accept my children, accept that three of them have autism-I don't do anything to help them. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just don't have the need to advertise the things that we have done, in such a way as to garner sympathy or admiration for myself. I'm a mother, and I'm just doing my job. It is not about me. It is about my children. Yes, we have worked really really hard, but my kids...they have worked harder. I might do the steering, but the driving is all them. They are incredible human beings-all four of them. I am blessed.

That's not to say I don't have days when I want to run away from home. That however, has nothing to do with autism ..but more to do with the fact that I have four very active kids, three hyper dogs, an overly affectionate cat, a leaky roof, faulty electrical wiring..and a myriad of other things.(sigh) I think that you truly know that you're a mother when a private and secluded bathroom of your own is your secret desire.

I am not a warrior mother. I am more of a worrier mother. I worry about getting my kids the appropriate services, I worry about their education, I worry about their needs being met, I worry about discrimination, I worry about them going out into the world as adults, I worry about films like "I am autism", I worry about the power of people like Suzanne wright and her awful words, I worry that they do not give voice to the people who do have autism...I worry that this will somehow demonize my children-who will always have autism, I don't however worry about "recovering", "curing", or somehow defeating them. I don't worry that my children view themselves as somehow broken and needing to be fixed. I don't worry that they see themselves as somehow less, or as a burden. They know that they are cherished, that they are loved, that they are different-that different can be hard, but it isn't wrong. I recognize that my children, all of them, are human beings. Deserving of the same respect, treatment, inclusion and acceptance as is any other human being. I recognize that it is my responsibility to try and make the world a better more accommodating place for them. I recognize the importance my role as their mother is. I think about all of this and can say with certainty, yes, I am one of the lucky ones.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mental floss...

~" We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist."~ Joseph Heller

So, I had my first root canal ever yesterday.  I don't recommend it. Although, I feel like I should get some sort of award -or at least have been given a party..Not for having done this-but for having avoided one for almost fifty years.  Which considering my experience with all things "dentist", is a pretty amazing feat.

  My first dental experience ended in blood-the dentists.  I must have been all of three..Yet, I can still remember the light blue booster seat I was placed on...I remember the bright lights, the smells and equipment...I remember sitting there-wide eyed and trusting- taking it all innocent as any quiet three year old can be..when seemingly- out of nowhere- a GIANT HAND -attached to a white smocked man- swooped in, grabbed my nose-and SQUEEZED it, while simultaneously yelling "Honk! Honk!" What else could I do but bite him (hard) and run. Unfortunately, having short legs...I did not get very far. Needless to say,we had a bit of a strained relationship after this. It did not help that I refused to open my mouth more than two inches...or that he had learned his trade from the Marqui de Sade school of  dentistry. I remember being thrilled when we moved (I was 11) and my mother excitedly announced that we would be going to a new dentist. Not only would the dentist be new-he also had "modern equipment!" was "high speed and electric!"  . ( I had no idea that there were options...)

  Our new dentist seemed fine-at first....Until he uttered his first "open please"..Sure, he had all modern equipment..but, as I innocently sat there. his hands slowly coming towards my mouth (with the mirror and pointy thing) I saw that he also had Parkinson's disease I am not kidding. This was the dentist my mother was so excited about. I don't know what it was..but she seemed to have had a knack-a special skill-a talent even- for picking the absolute worst...the bottom of the barrel..the least professional person when it came to doctors and dentists. I would not be surprised if she had a special directory of them. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this till much later in life.  For instance- It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I found out that most people had Novocaine for dental work.  I had thought that it was only used in surgery...So, maybe now you can understand why I believe that I deserve recognition for having had a root canal?  

  I do have a wonderful dentist now.  She insists on taking the utmost care of both me and my teeth.  She also insists that I come to my appointments heavily medicated(and with a driver).  It works out pretty well.
Unfortunately, my past experiences caused me to neglect my teeth for many years. Which sadly, I'm paying for  now. I try to use myself as an example to my kids. "This is why you brush and floss!" I tell them..and for the most part they are pretty good.  except for Zoe-who thinks that brushing your teeth is "boring." But-more importantly...they like the dentist that they go to. They actually enjoy going. (I know!) The fact that he has arcade games of both Pac-man and Space Invaders and he plays videos for them is just icing on the cake.

 I really hope that they don't have the dental problems that I deal with..I'm forever telling them "You only get one set of adult teeth!" Which kind of annoys me..I mean-I don't care of you are religious or scientific-or even a bit of both..but doesn't one set of adult teeth seem like a design flaw-I really think that it could have been done better. This is one of the questions I pose to my dentist...along with "Why teeth? I mean-what is it about teeth that inspired you to learn your craft?"..but she just smiles indulgently at if I'm just very heavily medicated..which I am..but....I digress..

the whole point of this post was to say that I had a root canal yesterday and am too medicated to write this week...and..well...yeah.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


~"But if you know what life is worth, 
You will look for yours on earth: 

And now you see the light, 

You stand up for your rights. jah!"~Bob Marley

One of my most favorite memories of Oscar is from when he was just a toddler.  Oscar didn't really start verbally communicating until he was about four years old..So, in the years before that, he would find   interesting ways of telling me what he wanted. If he was hungry, he would point at what he wanted and grunt..I never tried to force language on him..but I did talk him through whatever I thought he was asking for.."Oscar, do you want fish crackers?"..I'd look at him-and his reaction would give me his answer..i.e. he would hop if I was right-or he would continue to point and grunt until I got it right...and after a few guesses-if I didn't get it right...he would scream...really loudly...and the more he screamed, the more anxious I would get..quickly pulling every item from every shelf down..until the kitchen looked like a battlefield-and the both of us looking like refugees...tear stained and just plain worn out....He was so very frustrated at not being able to speak..I felt like a failure because I couldn't always understand him. So...going back to my story....

  For a toddler that couldn't really speak, Oscar loved words.  He loved being read to..loved knowing what words were-even though he couldn't say them.(He was a huge fan of flash cards)  He loved them so much that he would bring me any and everything he could carry that had writing on it..thrusting it into my hand and pointing until I read them. Books, cereal boxes...nutrition labels!  If it had writing-he wanted to know what it said.  One day after he had gone through every possible item he could find (and he really was looking) he  came to me carrying a shoe. I looked at him and said "It's a shoe."..I wasn't sure what he was trying to say..because I  hadn't realized that this shoe- had writing on the inside and, well...he wanted me to read it..."Bass size 9" I think it was a letdown..I mean, he had been so proud of himself for having discovered the words..that he seemed a little disappointed that there wasn't more to read.  I thought this was kind of funny so I said "Buddy-if you really want me to read to you-you are going to have to bring me something more than a cereal box or a shoe..maybe something with a lot more words on it...and off he went..I wasn't sure what he was going to do...but I was pretty amused when he came toddling back-a spark in his eyes...carrying-of all things-the phone book!

  That happened over ten years ago...and although he still has the best sense of humor..the spark is fading. I am at a loss at how to help him get it back.  I am at a loss as to how to make school work for him.  I am at a loss...and I am lost.

  Oscar is one of the best people that I know.  sure, I'm biased..but still. He is so very caring and kind..such a decent human being. If anyone he knows(and sometimes doesn't know) is hurting in any way-Oscar is the first person there. Out of all my kids-he is the most intuitive...the guy who knows just what someone needs to pick them up. Yet, out of all my kids-he is the one who still struggles with pragmatic language. Struggles with conversation..struggles with comprehension.. Yet-it doesn't stop him.  Last week was a rough one for me-and by Friday night I was just plain..done. I'd had it..I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or just fall into a coma. I was in a bit of a mood-so, I sneaked off by myself outside..away from everyone. Better to be cranky by myself than to take it out on my family-right? I did not know that Oscar had noticed...and..Oscar being Oscar decided that I needed to be cheered up. So, there I am..sitting hunched over-probably muttering all kinds of words..when Oscar appears.."Hey Mama! Look what I found?  I looked up...and there he was...just standing there...wearing my very lovely beige "Victoria's Secret" push up bra.  "How do I look?"  I burst out laughing.  He doesn't stay to laugh...doesn't prance about..His job was done..he took off my bra and went back to the computer-just like that. (he did let me take a picture though) That is my boy.

 In school-it is a different story,  One day he can do his work-the next he appears to not be able to. I'll say-"Hey-maybe he would do better working with peers?" and I'll get "He'll just charm them into doing it for him." I'll get a comment  he's"really participating in health class!" and then I worry-are they just saying what I want to hear? I will get "He really worked hard today" on one day- only to hear "He was in his head and giggling all day today." the next. There are many people who say "he can" and an equal amount saying "he can't".. I'm not placing blame-nor am I pointing fingers. Except at myself.  I can't seem to find a way to help my son.
                                                         Yes-I have asked him.
"Oscar-do you like school?"  "Yes."  "Is the work too hard?"  "Yes"  "Is the work to easy?" "Yes" "Why can't you do your work?"  "I don't know." "How can I help?" "I don't know." "Do you have fun at school?" "No it's boring." "I thought you liked going?" "I do."  "But it's boring? "Yes, no..I don't know."

  Of course-it would be so easy to say "Oh he's bored because he's really just brilliant!" But my boy is not brilliant (he is to us) at least in the way some people want to categorize all autistic people. We aren't going to suddenly discover that he's a genius in physics..or an eloquent writer..or a public speaker. No, Oscar falls into a weird gray area in the autism world. (He knows that he is autistic-but he doesn't really give a crap.) He is neither disabled nor abled enough  to get whatever it is that HE needs. This, I think is one of our biggest problems-that and the fact that no one can figure out (Oscar included) exactly what it is that he does need...No matter what though-he deserves more than he is getting. He deserves a school that is as interested in his education as they are in the non disabled kids educations.

  Right now, he is on his laptop pulling up images (of what- I don't know) that are making his sisters laugh hysterically. His way of getting them to stop fighting with each other.  He'd be such a great diplomat.  Probably better than some of the ones we have now-I could see him, addressing the U.N. in a tailored suit and bra.  Somehow he would make it work-the world would be a lot happier... For now though-I just want to get him through school..figure out what it is that he needs..My boy needs his spark back...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

On the 7th day-she's resting..The ramble of a really long week..

~"Holy crap I'm late!"~ Me

I was going to sit down and write a post about a couple of important things that have been going on with the kids...but-this week just turned into a cosmic free fall of events and obligations many of which..well..I kind of forgot about-until the last minute...

  On Monday, I had an appointment in the morning.  Living in a small town has some great perks-until you have to actually go somewhere-because we are at least a half hour from  anywhere...I don't know what it is..I know that if I have a scheduled appointment out of town-I have to leave by a certain time in order to get there. It never fails-I'll be up, dressed, ready to go...and yet-ALWAYS I wind up leaving twenty minutes later than planned..which means that I have to rush...and when I have to rush..I ALWAYS get stuck behind the slowest driver in the universe-who seems to have forgotten that their turn signal is on..while constantly stepping on their brakes. (and there is no passing lane)-or a school bus making frequent stops..with a bus driver(not from my town) Who I just KNOW is reveling in their power of making me stop EVERY twenty feet and wait. The thing is-if I had left at the right time-I'd have been very early to my appointment..instead I wound up being over forty minutes late...Which in turn, led them to reschedule me for a later time. So that my early morning appointment turned into an early afternoon appointment..and I got home just as the kids were getting off of the bus...Lily and Zoe running off to let me know that they promised I would bake muffins for their healthy snack parties on Thursday..

  I should have just spent the rest of the week in bed.

  Tuesday morning...the dawn cracked without me...because I somehow turned off my alarm and went back to sleep..only to wake up really late... late enough that I had to rush (my rush adverse) kids so that they would make it on to the bus. Unfortunately, I forgot to check the weather..which had gone from a balmy 50 degrees down to the low 20's...AND I did not know where their winter coats were..I already fear judgement from what my kids have in their lunch boxes..(I can't help that Zoe's ONLY acceptable foods are chocolate pop tarts and diced pears!(-we're working on it) I was NOT going to send my kids in their flimsy sweaters while there was frost on the ground. So...I rushed like a crazy woman-madly tearing apart the attic..closets..and finally the garage (which we had cleaned and organized the Sunday before-which looks worse now than when we had started cleaning and organizing it) I found a musty coat of Omar's for Sam..Sam's old coat for old coat of mine for Lily...and Zoe..well, she had her old coat from 2 years ago (pop tarts and pears will do that). My kids may have smelled like a donation bin-but they were warm! AND they were on the bus! After they left-I went grocery shopping. My cupboards were bare..and I had a fund raiser..and now- healthy snack parties that I promised to bake for. I  did remember my grocery list-unfortunately I didn't look too closely at what I was buying and wound up with three packages of fat free muffin mix..fat free? EWWWWWWWW! . I was going to simply turn around and go back to the store..but I noticed that Dorothy (my chicken) was behaving strangely.  She was pacing and extremely agitated- yelling her little chicken head, I went to investigate. Walking around the house..crawling through bushes.where I flushed out a sick fox...a sick hungry fox..that was a bit confrontational before deciding to run off.  Now, a sick fox can be a dangerous animal. So, I did the responsible thing and called the game warden...and waited for him to call back...and waited...and waited. When he finally did call me..he said that he was in another town..and I should just go out and shoot the fox and leave his body in the woods. Right. I'm not even going there.  . By the time I got off the phone with him...*sigh* the kids were getting off of the bus..."Oh well, there is always Wednesday" I thought with my naive mind..

  On Wednesday, everything was right on schedule..the kids got off o.k...I had my coffee-life was calm. I thought I would start my day by visiting my favorite librarian-and then, I would go back to the market and pick up my forgotten baking supplies. I had a lovely visit.  On my way out of the library door, I met a gentleman who was handing out homemade paper weights (he made them from rocks) He insisted that I pick one..saying "You have to pick one you like and then you will have good luck" I thought it was sweet-so I picked one out...thanked him for the lucky rock and got into my car. Only to back up and hit a car that I had not seen parked behind me. Lucky rock indeed. Of course the driver was no where to be found. (there was no damage-but I left them a note with my info just in case) I went home and called my insurance company-again, just in case...and by the time I got off of the phone...guess who was getting off of the bus? *sigh*  So, I improvised with the fat free mixes-adding eggs and cream..keeping my fingers crossed they would be edible..

  Thursday was Halloween! For the most part the night was great.  It poured rain-but that didn't stop my town from celebrating. Everyone had a great time...My only issue was in the morning.  I stopped by the girls school with my "improved muffins" and other healthy snack like things...Only...when I got to Zoe's classroom-I seemed to be the only parent who brought muffins,,,plates spoons and yogurt..actually-maybe the only parent who brought anything...which makes me question whether Zoe's healthy snack party was a ruse...something that she made up-because her sister was having one and she felt left out. I'm wondering if her teacher thought my behavior was odd.   Was I conned into preparing for an imaginary party?

  Zoe went to bed Thursday night with pink and black hair from trick or treating (She was "Draculaura from "Monster High")  I told her that if she did not get in the shower, she would have colored hair in school the next day.  She said that she didn't mind.  It would be "fun".  "Are you sure" I asked skeptically? "Yes!" she exclaimed. On Friday morning-Zoe lost it.  Loudly exclaiming that she was NOT "going to school with pink hair!"  She yelled-she cried-she would have gnashed her teeth if she had any. (she's missing quite a few) Have you ever tried to scrub pink hair spray out of someones hair?  Have you done it in under three minutes flat-dried it AND got your child on the school bus?  I did.  It was exhausting.  I would have liked to go back to bed-but, I had things to do.  I baked for the the special Olympic swimmers (I volunteer as a chaperone every Friday- to swim practice) I baked for Saturdays bake sale..I washed Lily's dalmatian costume-(as it had gotten muddy the night before-AND she needed it for the Girl Scouts costume dance that night) And all of the spots washed out.  I ran to my volunteer job..I ran home..I re-spotted Lily's costume...the kids came home...I rushed them through dinner..tried to get the girls in their costumes..repainting Zoe's hair..and...when Lily decided she might not wear her dalmatian costume yelled things like "I spent 45 minutes putting those spots back on! You ARE wearing it!  I did not re-spot those pants for fun!" Needless to say-she wore her costume. On our way to the dance, I misspelled the name of the town we were going to and took us 30 minutes out of our way..but we eventually got there...The girls had a great time.

  I really wanted to sleep in this morning-But, I had a fund raiser to be at by  9:00..Which I arrived at (baked goods in hand) at 9:30. At least I made it there!   I am spending the rest of the day catching up on all the things that I didn't get to this week...and finding coats for the kids...and sadly-putting the garage back in order.  I'm not leaving bed tomorrow-and depending on what life has in store for me next week-I may just stay there.  Seems to be the safest bet...