Thursday, December 31, 2009


As I cupped the water in my hands and noticed that my palms were shaped like a tiny heart, the cool water washed over them and spilled into the sink. I drank from my hands, brought the cold liquid to my face and immersed my cheeks and mouth into the heart for a moment. My heart, my actual heart in my chest was beating quickly and strongly, my mind was racing and full of words and thought. I shut off the faucet finally and quickly ran into the front room of our house. Feeling flushed and full I did sit ups with my feet stuck under the front of the couch until I felt silly and unfulfilled by the movements. I sat here at my desk and typed these words while still feverish with thought.

Sometimes I feel so full I can barely contain this ever quickening feeling of inner turmoil. I am not unhappy. I am not ill. I am just here wanting to tell a story to someone, anyone.

The story is short and simple enough. The words are not hard to put onto this pad of electronic means. And yet it will not come. Not for me, not for you, not for any living person to hear and set upon memory.

And so it goes. On and on till the end of time, or at least till the end of my time. I am young, maybe it will flee from my mouth or my fingers eventually.

If it does not, I know that no one will ever know.

Because I realize that I tend to be dramatic and overstated, I will try to quickly pen this for you, just you.

The girl, the one with the dark locks and the fleeting thoughts sat in her bedroom, surrounded by familiarity and pleasurable things. The room is lit with a single dull light, issuing from a pink lamp set upon a broad white four drawered dresser. Perched upon her four poster bed and covered by this bed’s brightly colored canopy the girl should be at ease. Her mother has placed her in this bed, in this room, with good nights and sleep tights. The door to the room is wide open and from her place at the far end of the rather large space the girl can hear a t.v. and it’s evening noises radiating up the stairs. She knows her mother is in front of that t.v., finally relaxing after a day of assault by the girls’ neverending babble and inconsequential talk.

In front of the bed is a dark closet and in that closet on the top shelf is a black creature. It has been staring at the girl as long as the girl has been sitting and staring at it. It feeds off of her fear, off of her shallow breaths and short whimpers. Confounded by the mother’s complete and total lack of concern for the girl’s well being the being is stuck, frozen in thought.

“Should tonight be the night I eat your toes right off of your darling baby feet?” It sickeningly taunts the girl in a low barely perceptible growl.

“Should tonight be the night I feed on your little baby nose? Should I rip it right off of your lovely face?” It will not stop the assault.

The girl barely moves, but is obviously frightened beyond any conventional fright. Every time she opens her trembling mouth to call for her mother the creature starts, as if brought to life by the words left unsaid in the still night air. It stops the girl for a few moments until she gathers up enough courage to open her mouth again. And again the creature moves only this time, it slinks off of it’s high topped perch and onto the dark floor below, now out of sight.

“Should tonight be the night I twist off your tiny baby legs? Crunch the bones beneath my fingers, lick the blood and the tops of bone off or your silky young skin?” It’s lost to sight in the dark at the bottom of the girl’s bed.

She is absolutely trapped and now not able to stop from gagging and vomiting in her clean comfy bed.

She opens her mouth once more and though she feels the creature hurrying towards her bed in a fury of terrifying movement she finally yells out for her mother.

“Mommmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa………………..” Shrill and sickening is the sound that finally issues from her trembling throat.

The being has reached her bed and from barely lit expanse at the bottom she sees it’s shadowy limbs scrambling up front left poster. The bed shifts with it’s weight.

She looks right into it’s dark face before vomiting once again. Not in control of the heaving that fear has wracked on her body, the girl is not cognizant of where the being vanishes to as her mother enters her room in horror at the sight of her shaking baby daughter and the mess she has made.

It ends like this. The short story. The nightmare I had so many nights of my childhood. I call the creature Thelonius, he’s a Midnite Cruiser.

There, I did it. I put it all down and I feel…not…much…better.

Comfort your children in the night, use more patience than you usually would. They may be suffering in greater ways than you would ever know.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Smash Those Dirty Birds, SMASH THEM!

Today is Sunday, Christmas is over, my dad's birthday has come and gone and now I'm sitting here at the computer looking at my new camera and eating an apple.

I have four hours to take back the gift Jeremiah got me for Christmas, get yarn for an order and grocery shop. At 1 O'CLOCK it is a complete and total necessity that I am in my gameroom in front of the t.v. to watch The Steelers pummel the Ravens and take back some of our mother trucking diginity. Dignity that has been robbed from this Steel City for four games running, including our first loss to The Browns ending a 11 game winning streak against Those Bums. And we will take our dignity back and smash those silly purple birds all the way back to Murder City. Wow. I need to calm down.

Anyways, my momma got me a new camera and I was so surprised. Can you believe that Jeremiah has known about it for weeks and hasn't told me? I would have blown the secret to him hours after the telling. I usually insist he open his gifts days before the event I purchased them for. This year we had our own little 'Gift of the Magi' moment...well not really, but I thought I'd be clever and throw that in there.

The ramen I thought would be ten times better than Americanized Ramen if I ordered it from Japan is made of fermented fish paste and smelled soooo rancid. Jeremiah ended up eaitng the bowl even after he had been wayyy complaining of the smell. I don't know how he did it.

The bike trainer he bought me doesn't work with my back it goes. And thus, our two gifts cancel each other out, but not in the excellently smart way O'Henry would have it. Instead of sheered locks and a beautiful comb we've got rotten fish ramen and a incompatible bike trainer. Pretty darn close though.

Here are some photos of my family on Christmas. I don't know how I ended up in a ton of these...I just jump in there and pose perfectly. It's like I'm made to be in front of a camera.

Max isn't howling in pain here as it might seem that she is, she's actually getting ready to yell, "Merry Christmas'' at the top of her little baby lungs.

Olivia and her life-sized Pug, 'Blueberry Tiger'

Jeremiah hasn't yet learned how to keep all the food in his mouth while eating, we're working on that. He's extremely cute though, so it totally makes up for it.

My momma and babiest Brother Ben

Me, inserting myself into their happy comfy moment

Me and my cranky Christmas Baby

My sisters, Katee and Hannah, arguing over our heated game of Catch Phrase

Look for a new sale of the week on the right side of my blog. Great sales posted every Sunday. Contact me for ordering info at my email:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Mommas And The Daddys

When the holidays roll around I think a lot about my childhood...because we all know I am incredibly self centered. As a young child I was obsessed with knowing more about my parents lives as ‘not parents‘. Now as an adult and a parent I realize that they didn’t really have much to hide…they were too busy listening to me babble on for hours at a time and constantly entertaining my Attention Deficit Poster Child brother.

I used to think a lot about them when I was falling asleep or when I was daydreaming. I had strange video that would play in my mind, a ‘vision‘ of my parents, ‘Before Me’.

My dad is in a class room. He was in college when I was born, so maybe I had this vague interest in what he was like during that time.

He is seated at an old fashioned desk, lit by the sepia tones that my mind applies to this vision, faded orange and brown colors as if my dad was living in one of the weathered and much fingered photos that live in memory boxes stored under beds and in closets.

He is wearing a wide collared plaid shirt, rolled up messily at his elbows. He is lean, stretched out, reclining back in a desk that seems too small for him, although he is not a large man. He is lazily thumbing a tattered copy of Walden, a thick text book is propped up in his lap, his pen in his mouth, his fat mouth that matches mine. I would suppose in a classroom setting there should be other people around him, but I don’t see anyone else.

His dark hair flops into one eye and he runs his fingers back through it, thick hair although it is already receding at the top of his furrowed brow. His eyes glance around the room from time to time and I catch a glimpse of his chocolate eyes before they stray back to the book in front of his face. He is balancing expertly, he is boyish and strong. His jeans are beat up and holey, he has not a care in the world.

The vision of my mother is different, for she is in full color, like new digital color. She is sitting on the floor of a room that my mind manufactured as being appropriately decorated for the mid 70’s and cutting out photos from magazines. She’s young, maybe 12 or 13 and when she stops to look at the scraps she has carefully extracted you can see her red cheeks, her thin lips spread across her face in an adorable sheepish grin. I imagine that she is thinking about boys, music or something delightful that happened to her the last time she was at her grandparent’s house.

She is very thin but her face is round and full. Her hair is light blonde, feathered away from her forehead, her eyes are hazel and shiny. She reminds me of a new baby bunny, naive and unsure but bouncy and excited. The vision runs in a loop but the main section ends with her cleaning up her clippings and the scissors carefully tucking everything away into the drawer of a small white desk. She lays down on her bed and holds tight to a large stuffed bear and sings Martha My Dear to herself as she drifts into the end of my mind’s eye and off of my radar.

I have always adored my parents and as time goes on I don’t necessarily understand them, but I always know that they are nearest and dearest to my ever bursting heart.

Happy Holidays Daddy and Momma. Happy Holidays Friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Look A Likes

Some of you might know that I think Jeremiah looks like Robert Deniro.

But did you also know that my oldest daughter Rose looks like Audrey Hepburn? Well now you do:

If you decide to post your 'look a likes' on your blog let me know and I'll update this post with your link!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Scandalous Secrets.

Scandalous Secrets
by Me


I've watched every season of America's Next Top Model.

I have no problem picking my nose.

I am one of those people who say I love the seasons. I lie. I hate being cold, I hate the freaking snow and most of all I hate furnaces. Dry heat is the enemy.

I say I'm a really healthy eater but for breakfast I just had half a graham cracker with a smear of nutella. Not a very good influence on the children methinks.

Sometimes at night I don't flush the toilet because I'm afraid it will wake up Max.

I hate clipping my toenails, as a matter of fact, I haven't in many months. It makes my stomach upset to do it.

Right now I am wearing those fake running pants that I think are supposed to look like Adidas, one of Jeremiah's undershirts and a pair of MukLuks slipper boots that Jeremiah bought me yesterday at Sam's Club. I plan on wearing this all day. Elijah on the other hand is wearing real adidas running pants and a grey turtleneck. I wish we could trade. Except for the slippers. Those are all mine.

I hate red apples.

New sale of the week on the right side of this page. This week's candy apple red Girls hat would look awesome in black in a Womens size.

As a matter of fact I know it does:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vibrating Thursday. Now with Sales and Randomly Placed Comments.

I can hear Christmas songs playing on

I have a giant honking tree sparkling behind me.

I've got Olivia's 'Dear Santa' card propped up on my printer. (She wants a 'mocanocol popy'.)

I can see the sunlight tripping over the light dusting of snow outside my window.

I can feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. (Jeremiah and I text all day instead of doing our work.)

I also know that none of these things are remotely important, I'm just taking stock of my surroundings.

It's very cold out today. I haven't really stepped outside this house in three days. I think it's starting to take a toll on my appearance. And we all know that's all that really matters in life.

Ben Folds was on t.v. last night. (The Sing-Off) It was a strange experience for me, considering he's been my favorite artist since I was a teenager. I've always said he would be big someday, but I'm not sure that judging a show on NBC is really considered big. He's judging with the sluttiest girl from The Pussycat Tramps and the skinniest guy from Boys To Mennonites. Which is so incredibly random I can hardly explain my shock upon seeing it. I literally accidentally flipped it to NBC last night when I was hitting record to DVR Top Chef last night. And there on the t.v. right in front of me was Ben Folds. On my t.v. in my gameroom. Why isn't anyone else as amped as I am? The NBC site does give him a good write up though.

And Jeremiah? Perfect Christmas present:
But then again, they probably wouldn't get here in maybe it's not such a perfect gift.

On the right side of the page is a new gadget thingy. I made up some new hats, cabled baby bear hats. They're so cute. I can make them in any size and any color and I'll offer that price for those pictured baby hats (cream is 12-24 months, charcoal is 6-18 months) and all custom order cabled hats till Sunday. Handmade Cabled Hats for $20!?! Oh and a flat rate $5 shipping.

I'll be offering sales 'of the week' every week from now on, so please don't hesitate to contact me if something catches your dreamy little eyes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boots for Birthdays is Totally Teenager

Ok. So I didn't win the Sony Reader. Here are the quotes she know, the people who are winners. Who aren't me.

I probably created a ton of traffic on her page constantly going back to it and waiting for her to announce the winner. Jeremiah and my Dad both seemed to think that I definitely wasn't going to win. They weren't being mean...they both thought it might have been a mistake to link her back to my blog, considering she's a Christian Homeschooler and I'm a Faithless Whore. Ok. I'm not really a Faithless Whore, I just thought that would be funny to say.

*Somewhere in time and space my mother is clicking her tongue and rolling her eyes.*

This morning Olivia had 'Breakfast With Santa' and since she had to be there at the time that we usually start our day, it was just her and me getting ready in the morning.

I had helped her get dressed in a really cute 'Christmas-sy' outfit and realized that the boots we had purchased her for her birthday would go perfectly with it.

I told her I had a surprise for her and to wait on the couch while I went and got it.

"A surprise? Is it big? Did you wrap it? Is it candy? Is it a puppy? Is it a mechanical puppy? Does it bark? Why are you giving me something right now? I won't even have time to play with it." Pout...pout...pout.

"Olive, It was something I was going to give you on your birthday but I think will look really nice with your outfit."

"OH NOooooOOo... Mom. Not earrings. 'Member that time Dad got my ears pierced and you didn't know and then when I came back to your house they were all infected and you said I shouldn't wear earrings cause I have sensitive ear lobes!!?!?!?"

It was here I actually felt a little bit older than my 28 years. Should I really be mothering right now? Shouldn't I be jet-setting across the planet with my Swedish masseuse Geraldine Marie?

"Wow. Liv. Just settle down. It's not earrings. Just sit still, I'll be right back."

I went and retrieved the boots from a secret hiding place (big box in the basement draped with a towel that's covered in toothpaste...don't ask me...I don't know).

I brought them up to her and she did look a tad bit disappointed. The look on her face really surprised me considering that she had totally annihilated her favorite boots the other day and here I was, presenting her with a brand new pair.

"Thanks Mom. I'm glad you didn't give these to me for my birthday though..."

"Really, Liv? I'm actually pretty surprised that you're not more excited. I thought you'd definitely like to have replacement boots for the ones you used to wear every single day..."

"Boots for my birthday, mom? That's totally teenager."

"Wow. Liv. Ummm.. Well they're not boots for your birthday, I'm giving them to you right now, three weeks from your birthday."

"Oh. Well...I guess that anything's better than earrings. I really thought you were going to give me earrings...but then I thought, why would she give me earrings? I don't like them and she doesn't like them, and Rose doesn't even wear earrings and neither does she..."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why Is There A Mother Trucking Bow in My Hair? What Am I, 10?

I've been working on a big order for Kara and even though I always put forth my best effort to make the best possible (and most unique as possible) handmade accessories...the stuff I've made for her is extra super cool.

I made her a new type of armwarmer, with no finger holes as per her instructions and then placed two medium buttons at one end. This ended up making so many different ways to wear them! Turned out cool. She ordered a neckwarmer to go with it, this particular one has black vintage buttons that match the armwarmers and can be a cowled neckwarmer or a short scarf.

Here are some ways to wear the armwarmers and neckwarmer...
Long with no cuff (comes up to just below my elbows, but I'm sure my arms are heavier than Kara's.)

Long, short cuff:

Long cuff:

Short cuff, scrunched:

And here is the neckwarmer with red buttons instead of black:

This scarf is a longer design with an old fashioned stitch called a chevron stitch. I thought the stitch looked neat with the gold color. I insist on wearing scarfs as hoods for some reason. I just love hood type things. And this can be wrapped around many times and scrunched to make a cowl too. Perfect for a brown coat, methinks.

These two I already packaged. The red set is a giant huge scarf and a matching hat in a cable pattern. It was the coolest and hardest thing I've ever worked on. Kudos to me.

The second is a scarf for Kara's Boyfriend's Grandma. And if that isn't random, I don't know what is.

If you're still interested in Christmas gifts, I might still be able to accommodate some orders, depending on what you want and if I have the supplies available. Please don't hestitate to contact me with any questions or requests...I'm very prompt.

And. I. Love. You.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best Posts of 2009 Awards!

There’s a side to ‘blogging’ that is very voyeuristic. I love reading about people’s lives and hearing their stories. Eventually one is able to recognize people through their styles of writing, the words they most commonly use, the tone and reflections of their tales, memories and insights.

Now that it’s almost the end of 2009, I thought I’d ‘award’ some of my favorite blog posts of the year.

Here is your award if you are listed below:

and here are my picks for best posts of the year:

MoMadDog's tales remind me of a friend cleverly recounting his daily chuckles to you over the phone or at dinner…the kind of friend that talks and talks and talks when you need to block out all the crap going on in your head. He only posts once a week, but I never forget to read. Here is one of my recent favorites and the first on my list of best of 2009:

Best Short Tale By A Brit 2009

I love Steamy from Steam me up kid. My sweet sweet Beckerino…
She gets two posts of the year, just because:

I cry every time I read this post:
Best Post about A Dad Ever

Jeremiah has no idea who I’m referring to when talking about bloggers, or calling them by name like they're my actual friends, so I call Steamy ‘that chick that spread her boyfriend’s buttcheeks’:
Best Q and A 2009

These two posts from Allie go hand in hand. There’s something so endearing about this random girl. I like her.
Best Comeback 2009

Best Comeback Video 2009

I just read this recently, but it instantly became one of my favorites. Great job Hunter. Wait a damn second. What kind of name is Hunter?
Best Thought-Inducing Post of 2009

Sam is my internet big sister and a kick ass one at that. This post contains one of my all time favorite lines from a blog, “If you like, call me a panda.”
Best Reference to My Son's Favorite Animal 2009

Anna Russell used to be my favorite read, but alas, she has disappeared. I hope she’s not…you know…in jail or whatever:
Best Dwarf Kicking 2009

This one’s by Vic, and it’s not that this is a mind blowing super awesome excellent can‘t believe how wonderful type of post, but it just rang so true to me, like I was watching it happen right in front of me. When I read her blog I always think that she puts words in the right order just for me:
Best Conversation with a French Bitch 2009

Don’t be pissed if I didn’t pick a post of yours. I’m sure you’re totally excellent and I love you, I love all of y’all. (I’ll seriously send someone a dime if they can tell me what song that is from).

What are some of your favorite posts of this year? And if you decide to do this ‘Favorite Posts of 2009’ tell me and I’ll update this post with links to your post.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Giveaway I Must Win...Must....Win

I was paging through blogs I read this morning when I came across this giveaway. I don't usually enter them, thinking along the lines that someone else might need whatever is being given away more than I would...but Mary has been given two sony readers, one for herself and one for a giveaway winner.

AND I NEED THAT READER. I've wanted a reader since Kindle came out years ago. I need it, I want it and I don't like to spend money on myself I must win it.

The giveaway has rules though...and I'm so bad at the rules thing. I had to pick a quote from a novel and why it means something to me and comment about it on her page. I can get a second entry by blogging about the giveaway and sharing another comment from a book here on my blog.

The quote I referenced in the comment of her blog was this:

Peter: Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you’ll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.

Wendy: Never is an awfully long time.

I remember reading this as a small girl and being completely torn by the concept. We all have to grow up, but it’s so hard to let go of the joys and ease of childhood. I was comforted (and still am) by the idea that just like Wendy, we can always think of Peter and his infinite childhood when we find ourselves longing for it.

This next quote is from The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman:

"I try to remember caring that much for a boy--I almost see a face--but it's like trying to remember labor pains, you remember the symptoms of pain--the blurred vision, the way your mind moves in an ever tightening circle around a nucleus so dense gravity itself seems to bend toward it--but not the pain itself."

When I read this I had one of those 'you took the words right out of my mouth' moments. It was a perfect and accurate description of both being stricken with love pains...or labor pains.

Now now now, I know those two choices aren't necessarily very cerebral. But alas and oh well, those are the first two that came to mind. My favorite novel is The Magus by John Fowles and my Daddy's favorite is The French Lieutenants Woman also by John Fowles so to close this post I will leave you with a quote, actually a little tale, told by our aforementioned favorite author:

"Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father.

But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.

'Are those real islands?' asked the young prince.

'Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress.

'And those strange and troubling creatures?'

'They are all genuine and authentic princesses.'

'Then God must exist!' cried the prince.

'I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow.

The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.

'So you are back,' said the father, the king.

'I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.

The king was unmoved.

'Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.

The king was unmoved.

'Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.'

'I saw them!'

'Tell me how God was dressed.'

'God was in full evening dress.'

'Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?'

The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.

'That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.'

At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.

'My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.'

The man on the shore smiled.

'It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.'

The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes.

'Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?'

The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves.

'Yes, my son, I am only a magician.'

'Then the man on the shore was God.'

'The man on the shore was another magician.'

'I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.'

'There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king.

The prince was full of sadness.

He said, 'I will kill myself.'

The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.

'Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.'

'You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician.'"

-John Fowles

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clubbed Fingers are for Dorks

Once again I regale you with my grace and beauty.

If you can't understand my dumb mouth's words I'm trying to tell you about my new phone and my inability to use it. AND I annouce that next week I will be posting a tribute to my FAVORITE POSTS OF 2009. So far I've picked 8 posts to award...I might be adding more (please email me with talk of bribery).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's Talk About Sex. Ugly Sex.

I don’t talk about sex often on this blog so here is a big big warning to anyone reading on:


Did you ever see a couple that you couldn’t imagine having sex?

Like the guy looks like Elmer Fudd and the girl looks like Carrot Top?

A couple walks by you and all you can think is how it’s possible for him to mount her because of the giant man boobs that hang down past his waist? What do you do with those things? Swing them aside for easier insertion?

The thing about those couples out there is that they’re probably having the hottest best sex ever in the history of the world. So much so that they’re putting us all to shame.

Every night we’re all tired from working or kids and maybe we’re not all that hot. BUT we’re exponentially still better looking than some of the unfortunates out there.

You get into your jammies, watch t.v. or a movie with your partner…how many times out of ten do you guys bone like there’s no tomorrow?

I love love love love sex, but sometimes there’s nothing sexy about hearing the baby yelling for you as you're working your way to an awesome orgasm. Then after you wash your hands (yes, I said it) and check on crying baby…you find out he’s crying cause he has a poopy diaper. Ga-reat. That does a lot for me. Poop and Babies. So hot.

Or the woman doesn’t want to be on top cause her belly isn’t flat anymore. The dude doesn’t want to go down on his chick cause he’s tired from working all day.

But those ugly people are lucky to get it ever. EVER. So you know that every chance they get they’re going to busy town, screwing like bunnies.

It’s like doing one of those Jillian Michaels (trainer from the Biggest Loser) workouts. She’s yelling at you over and over again with this kind of manly voice and her face is pissed off and strained and she's screaming:

“350 pound people are kicking ass at this workout and you’re slacking!"

And that’s my advice to you, people out there.

Get on with it and fuck like there’s no tomorrow. There are super duper ugly people coming (cumming?) left and right at this very moment. Don’t let them put us to shame.