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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And Another one bites the dust.

I have a fabric stash, that a lot of people would love to get into. But I have it because I have all these ideas for gowns I want to make. I just finished another one tonight. Deep red over dress with a black velvet and brocade underdress. Even used some of that trimming that has been sitting and gathering dust. This is an early style, and simple, but the color really makes it stand out. I used an older dress that I needed to remake anyway, the lining from something I changed my mind about using, and the deep red/black thread material all together in this design.
  There's that old saying again. About using things up. Well, it works, and I have something really nice out of it all. I can't help but wonder sometimes what will happen to all the gowns, and dolls and beadwork etc, after I'm gone. Nobody really cares except me, and I guess that's why I'm doing this. For me, after all, as I am worth what I am spending my time on.
  Little black Smoke seems to like the feel of velvet and satin, as he will get right in the middle of it and hold it down for me as I work on it. I guess he thinks it'll get away if he doesn't. It's his habit of playing in the straight pins that worry me. So far he hasn't gotten 'bit' by one of those pins, and I don't want him too.
  Another thing he does, is take a big bite out of my tissue pattern when I'm not looking. Nothing like holding up the pattern to see a big chunk missing, and he looks so innocent. He loves paper, be it patterns, notebook paper,magazine paper or tissue paper, he will disappear it for you so fast. I've found the toilet paper all unrolled in a nice pile a couple of times now. What's really funny is to see him carry it off in his mouth with the roll unrolling as fast as he can run away .
  Nothing like a little furry imp to make your day. He still thinks the word 'no' doesn't apply to him. 
   Next up is cloisonné beadwork on a fairy costume. All done in green tones, with a bit of blue, red/pink and lots of gold. The fairy wings are deep green, and waiting to be decorated. This is going to be a bit of fantasy, and whimsy in the middle of hard reality.
I hope you can find something like that to do, when your reality bites a bit to hard. Its time to take a break from it all.
Until next time,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do I sound distracted?

In a way I guess I am. It snowed again last night, and After getting the Belkin up and running I can't wait till tonight, so I can get the laptop doing it's thing. I can watch TV again. Yaaaa!
On top of that I am designing a new outfit for my Cissy, and it is taking some redesigning to make it work right. Then I'm also working on a red and black gown for me. I had to stop long enough to cut lining for it, and now I can finish the black under dress. It can be worn with a couple of different things, along with the red overdress. Lots of handwork for the over dress when I get to it and get it all sewn.
  I'm also trying to figure out how to run Dreamweaver, as I'm working on my website as well. So, yes... I am distracted. But there is an equal amount of things stacked up behind this lot, so I need to get done, and move on.
  One of the best ways to clearing the deck, is to get things into the bite size pieces you can handle. That way you don't get overloaded on any one thing. If you need to, make a list that is broken down into the parts you need to work with, and then list what you need to finish. You can check them off as you go, and that is another way to keep things moving.  You feel like you're completing something, even if you still have a lot to do on that project. I keep several things working at the same time and move from this to that. I don't get bored with any one thing that way. Often I have more then one project finish at the same time. Its kind of fun seeing it all come together.
  And just remember.
 "Where there is a will, there is a way!"
 If you want to do it, then you will find a way to do it. Suffice to say, if you really didn't want to do it in the first place, it will never get done.
Here's to your projects. May they be happy ones, that complete you, or your desires.

This takes the cake!

I was sitting here looking for something, the computer had its screen saver  going. Smoky jumped up and sat down in front of the screen. I have a screensaver running that is rabbits hopping all over the screen. On and off then they scratch, hop some more. I turn around and here's smoky chasing rabbits. His head is moving, following them as they move around the screen and off. He was trying to get behind the screen because he was sure they were there. Once in a while his paw would come up and he'd try to pin one on the screen. He couldn't figure out why he couldn't catch one. I've never seen a cat chase a screen saver before. This was a first. If you can visualize this, it should bring a smile to you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another step closer!

After another day of trying to get stuff done, I managed to get the wireless router up and running. Now the next step is getting the laptop connected into the wireless. With a little help from my cousin that will happen tomorrow night. Then the laptop will be up and running and I can watch TV from it. I go a snails pace at this stuff as I don't understand a thing I'm doing so good thing others do!                                                                                                                                                    

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All those little things....

Why do we wait so long to clean up all those little things? Is it the time spent on each project? That would mean we are way to busy. Or is it loss of tools, or pieces needed to complete our projects? That means the safe place you put it in, has been moved or changed, and you don't remember what you did with it. {I do that a lot, when it comes to things that don't have a home yet.} 
Or is it that we are getting lazy? In other words it's just to easy to keep putting it off. I think the word here is 'procrastination'. And the old saying is "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can get done today." How much more would you get done if you did that?
  I like to finish things up, and the past couple of days have seen the end of several projects. It really feels good to get it done! Cleaned out a whole shelf in one bookcase, by finishing up those projects. I know in another month or two I'll have a new pile of unfinished projects, but I also know, I'll take time and finish them as well. Sometimes I have to just say ,no, you can't start anything else new till you finish those old ones. Dragging my feet I do take time and I contemplate the new projects I am going to start because I have finished these.
  Another old saying is "Nothing like the present  {time}..." to start, finish or do whatever it is you are thinking about. Sometimes, if I don't think about it and just do it, that helps to get the job done.
If you're putting off doing something because of cost... perhaps rethinking it, and looking for a less expensive way will let you get done with that as well. And if that doesn't work, then set aside a little each month, till you have enough. You know your working toward finishing, and one feels better about the delay.
  Well, now I'm off to start new projects. If only the rest of life was so easy, I'd be happy. Till next time,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The parrot needs a name!

  I forgot about her pet, that red parrot. He needs a name as well. Anyone got any ideas?
What do you name a bird, that talks back to you? Oh, I'm sure he talks. That is what is so much fun about 'playing dolls'. One can create the story line, history,names... everything is open to your creative touch. So rich a ground is one's imagination that there is no limit.
  I know pirates had talking parrots, but I can't remember any names. This is going to take some thinking.
By the way, the first thing Grace wanted me to make for her, was a nightgown and robe. As soon as it was finished, she grabbed it and ran off to change. It seems tight pants are not the most comfortable after all. And one needs a rest from high heeled, thigh high boots. I guess it was kind of like wiggling one's toes in the sand, to get out of them. Just plain wonderful!
Later then,

A name for the lady!

I have decided to give my new lady a name that befits her. She is captivating by all means, and by dress a swashbuckling pirate. So a little research, and keeping in mind all the glorious red hair, I decided to call her Grace O'Malley, "The Dark Lady of Doona". She is a pirate Queen, by all means, and as such will have lots of room for a wonderful wardrobe styled in the late 1500s. The real Grace even met Queen Elizabeth the first. I shall have fun creating that court gown. Her adventures will give her access to all kinds of wonderful fabrics and jewels. She even lived in a square castle in Ireland. Humm..m..m... I wonder if I can create a one or two floor castle big enough for her to reside in? I see lots of rocks in my future. But don't you think she deserves it?
   I am adding a drawing here of the real Grace meeting with Queen Elizabeth. Nothing like playing dolls to stir up research and creativity. They seem to always go hand in hand for me. So I'm off to collect fabrics and beads, to start that wardrobe. I'll post pictures as I go.
Blessing be upon you,
Until later,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Waiting was worth it!

The cats scattered, and hid. the UPS guy backed in and brought the box to my door, where I was waiting. I couldn't believe how really beautiful she is, and I've never seen a Madam Alexander with this color blue eyes. She was everything I'd hoped for. See for yourself.

  I don't get this kind of doll very often, so I have to choose wisely. I am already planning a wardrobe for her, in 16th century style. won't she be something?

OK... back to playing dolls.
I hope you're finding something to enjoy.
Blessing be upon you,

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Waiting for UPS!

Why am I waiting for the ups truck? Despite the fact my cats run and hide whenever they see or hear that big brown truck coming down the drive {they just know it's going to eat them}, today I will be getting a late christmas present to myself.
  This one is special, and it brings to mind one that was just as special way back when I was 6 or 7 years old. Those were the days when we didn't have much money. Expensive presents just didn't happen. All my girlfriends had these 21" Madam Alexander dolls, with high heels and beautiful clothes. 
I wanted one so bad!
I don't remember much about that summer, even though my mother went to work at a fabric store. But, when she took me to the toy store and said, "Which one do you like?", I still thought long and hard before answering her. The ones in their undies were nice but plain. The ones in the ball gowns, were really expensive. The middle group wore street clothes, of suits and fancy dresses. Maybe, just maybe if I said one of those, I might get one for christmas?
  I picked out a blond in a dark navy blue taffeta dress, with hat, hose, and high heels, and a white petticoat. My mother asked me was I sure? I'd loved to have had one of the most expensive ones, but I knew we couldn't afford one.
  Can you believe a child could think though everything and draw that conclusion? I did.
The waiting began. Months before christmas, and at night I'd wish on a star for my doll. I remember the day we went to the toy store again, and the doll I'd picked out was gone. I cried, but my mother said maybe they will get another one. She hadn't promised me that doll after all. Then a different kind of waiting began. Hoping that somewhere out there, another doll just like the one I picked out, would find it's way to the toy store. I never thought to choose another one. I wanted the one I had picked out.
  When christmas came, my mother and her sisters, and mother were all in a bedroom,laughing and talking about something. The door was locked and I couldn't get in. When I asked to come in they said no. I cried because my feelings were hurt, and I was being left out. A few minuets later the door was unlocked, and they let me in. But nothing was going on that I could see, so after a while, I went off to play. I still remember my grandmothers house in Oklahoma, and the tree in the parlor.
  Christmas morning I got up and ran to see what was under the tree. There was a big suitcase, but no doll. Boxes, but non looked big enough. We had to eat breakfast first, before opening presents. What a long wait!
  When I opened that big suitcase..... there she was, my beautiful lady in high heels. And clothes my mother had made for her. That was what they were doing in the bedroom the night before, playing with my doll. lol. Proving to me right then, you don't have to be a kid to play dolls.
  So back to the UPS truck. He's bringing me a lovely redheaded 21" Madam Alexander doll. She was even more expensive, but one that like the very first one, I wanted to have for christmas.
  It's a little late, but then it's taken me a while to get her paid for, and I can wait for something worth having.
  And that's the moral to the story. Go after the things you really, really want, and if you work for them, they will mean more to you. So many people buy things, don't take care of them, break them and discard them, without ever really considering did they really want that, or was it just a whim? When something they really want comes along, they whine about not having money to pay for it. Well, of course not. You spent it on that thing you didn't really want, broke, and threw away. If you don't take care of what you have, it won't be there tomorrow.
  Unlike my 150 year old furniture, you will have nothing to show for yourself.
So when the cats run for cover today, I'll know the UPS guy is here with my doll. Then, I'm going to "play dolls" {my form of stopping to smell the roses}. I hope you have something equally fun to do today.
Until, next time.
Blessing be upon you,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To Mouse, or not to Mouse?

There is no real question here. To Smoky its time to play, anytime he thinks it is. I just got woke up with a pretend mouse being dropped onto my chest. He's standing in the middle of me to, so who is going to sleep thought that? As I stumble to the bathroom, he's already there sitting next to his bowl, waiting to be fed. Nothing like a two track mind! Play and eat.
I dump dry food in his bowl, as I tend to business. I can do the two track thing also. 
One thing about getting older, the phrase "brain fart" takes on a new meaning. I can be in the middle of sentence, and a word escapes me. As I search mentally for that one word{ so I can finish explaining what I started out to say} the person I'm talking to gets the same kind of look come over his face as the cat, when I'm half awake and trying to throw his mouse so he can play.
All right already, I'm not awake yet, and I need coffee. Give me a little time here.
When was the last time someone was pressuring you to preform and you just weren't quite ready yet? If they are laughing at you {to make you feel less then smart}, pressuring you to go at their pace{ because they just don't have any patience}or are being just plain rude, you have my permission {not that you need it} to smack them upside the head with a big fish. I'm not saying you should hurt them. No, just get their attention in a non threatening way, and gently explain you need a minuet. You should never have to put up with other people being rude to you, so they can feel superior to you. I see more and more poor or just plain bad manners.
  One time I got a reply from someone, that they knew how to say please and thank you. But manners are more then just please and thank you. Growing up in the fifties, we were taught all the old fashion things that went along with, please and thank you. And we were taught that it was rude to put someone down, just so you can feel better about yourself. Todays kids use that a lot. I see it all the time. Is no one teaching them a better way to deal with their insecurities?
You may have the excuse of being young, but it doesn't hold water if you keep doing it. Learn to really look at what you're doing, and if it's hurting someone? Don't do it. Find a better way. You will be smarter, and kinder {that means your friends will like you better} and just maybe they will learn something too.
Now if I can just figure out how to teach the cat to sleep in a bit longer! He has feeling too, and if you haven't seen a cat sulk try not too. Give him room to be what he is... a young feline that wants to play. As he gets older, he'll sleep in just like you, but for now throw the thing, and pull the covers over your head. You can try to ignore him, but I'll bet you can't do it.
Moral:Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Deal with problems as they arise, and then go back to sleep. Which is where I'm headed. If Smoky will let me?
Until next time.
Blessing be upon you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The pearls have it.

Remember that gown I just finished making from the 20 year fabric stash? It did turn out really nice. So much so, I have left it hanging on the door, so I could admire my own finished work. Well, I'm not the only one who has been admiring it. It seems I have a critic. Smoky {the little  fetch playing black kitty} has also been hard at work trying to remake parts of it. It seems he thinks the pearls I took so long in hand sewing around the bottom of the skirt and the bodice, are not to his liking. He has been trying to chew them off, one by one. I've caught him at it several times, and no matter how I explain to him, "No leave them on the dress!", he still tries to eat them off. 
I'm not sure if it's the white on the color that draws him to them or that in his little cat brain, they really don't belong there. On the other door is a different colored gown with pearls sewn intermittently in the center of a diamond weave pattern. There are also rhinestones sewn on in the same way. It's only the pearls he tries to take off.
  I know one thing, he's not an oyster, and I don't want to dig through his poop to locate pearls he's eaten. But then, there you are! Pearls are worth having, be it wisdom, moments in life one keeps tucked away, or the real thing on a string. Who now-a-days wants to deal with digging through poop to find them. Yet... thats what it takes sometimes. Remember if it's worth doing or having.... it's worth the price, and doing it right.
  For now, the skirt is picked up out of his reach. I care to much for the little guy to let him hurt himself eating something he shouldn't. I guess momma really does know best. I only wish I could only convince him of that.
  Until next time,
 Blessings be upon you,

Monday, March 10, 2008

An old, old saying!

"Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do, 
Or do without."

Ever hear that one before? In the earlier part of the 1900s it was used a lot. Right after the second world war, when there was so little of everything, one heard it often.  I wonder what happened to such good old common sense? Have we changed into such a throw away society that no one uses common sense any more? I see such waste!
  Who says we have so much it doesn't matter if you throw it away before it's reached its prime?Like your grandmother and grandfather, when they are gone, their gone! The big businesses are so hungry for money, they purposely make appliances that wear out in 2 to 3 years. They want you back sooner, so your money can be theirs.
  What happened to the meaning of that old saying? Is it lost or just hiding under a bush, waiting for the next big crash? How much worse off will we be, when it does happen? In 2 to 3 years everything wears out and you will have nothing that works, runs, or will hold together. On top of that, all our businesses will be based overseas, and unable to import. No farmers left to grow the food, no mom and pop stores, with that friendly face that cares, and house after house up for sale, because no-one can make the payments.
 No-one knows how to sew, grow a garden, or make bread by hand. Slums will be bigger, uglier and more dangerous then you or I can imagine.
  I'm glad I'm getting old, because I really don't want to see any of this. In the 1950s we played barefoot in the rain, caught fireflies at night, and went to sleep believing one could wish upon a star, and it just might come true.
  Today,no-one's happy unless they are famous, rich, or has more then their neighbor. Is that really what it takes? Can't one just be themselves without all that better then thou stuff? Or are we so afraid to look in the mirror and see ourselves just as we really are?
  Moral of this story... face it, embrace it, use it, or lose it.
As for me, I see every line, wrinkle, and gray hair. Of course when the girls got flat as pancakes I really started to wonder about old age. Oh well, we aren't going to stay perky forever, and I kind of like living in this old shell. I know it better then anything else, and it's just me, my thoughts, my ideas. Your welcome to yours as well.
Until next time,
Blessing be upon you,

They're smarter then you think!

Anyone who ever thought an animal was dumb, should back up and regroup. If you fit in that category, your half a bubble off plumb {as the saying goes}. I was talking to a friend of mine, just a couple of days ago, on the phone. We were discussing cats that play fetch. Yes, there are such critters, but I've only seen one before.
  A couple of hours after that phone call, my little black Smoky {he's only about 7 months or so old} jumped up on the bed and dropped his little furry pretend mouse in my lap. I didn't pay much attention. But when I looked up at him a few minutes later, he had this look on his little kitty face like "OK... so throw it now already!"
  I tossed it off into the other room, and went back to sewing. A minute later, he was back and again dropped his mouse in my lap, backed up a couple of steps, and waited. That look again.
  OK, so you don't have to hit me over the head with a couple of bricks. I get it. This time I threw it off into the hall. And he was launching himself off the end of the bed, flat out, and landing halfway down the hall. He went at it until he couldn't run any more, and laid down to pant, happy as a clam, and oh so proud of himself.
  Why is this so special? He'd never done it before.
I really believe he was listening in on my conversation and was showing me how well he could play that game. The other little kitty {his sister, Tiger} doesn't play the game. If she can get the mouse, she runs off with it. What a woe begone little black cat, smoky is, if he can't get it away from her. But he usually does one way or another. Then he's back dropping his mouse in my lap, and waiting for me to throw it.
  If we could be like that cat, and be happy just doing something so simple, how much easier life would be. Isn't that what the phrase "stop to smell the roses" is all about? So the moral to this story is... if you don't like roses, chase a mouse. Just find something simple to enjoy. Not expensive, not fancy, not even intricate or involved, just something nice you can enjoy for that few minuets, out of your busy day.
Until next time,
Blessing be upon you,

Sunday, March 9, 2008

What is a Memoir?

The difference, so they say, is your life condensed into little bite sized pieces. I guess so no one has to sit thought the whole reading at one time or be so bored you wished you'd never started reading this. It makes it easier to compose also.
I thought it would make it a bit more steamy, but no just condensed. OK, So what does one write about. Whatever comes to mind that happened in your life. Of course it could turn into that long novel, but who would believe the half of it? Sometimes even I don't believe what just happened. And how many times have I heard.... "You should write a book!"
Well the reason I don't is because, I'm an artist. Paint, thread, beads,fabric, and I can do wonders. I love creating from those things. Oh, I did some writing in my younger years. Stringing words together is a lot like stringing pretty beads, but I'll always be an artist first. I've painted and sold over 100 painting in my life, as well a costumes and all kinds of needlework. I'll never get tired of that play of color, richness of fabric and listening to it "talk" to me. What do you want to be? How can I make you up and into what? Sometimes I hear those silent voices all around me, and other times I have to strain to hear anything at all.
It's taken me over 20 years to figure out what one piece of cloth, bought on a SCA trip to Idaho, wanted to be. But it's almost done now, and it's turning out to be one of the best pieces of work I've done. Real pearls have a loud voice.
So what's in your life that has a silent "voice"? What do you hear in the still of a moment when you are trying to decide which way to go? Does something call to you? Are you ignoring it, that thing you really wanted to do and be? Don't!
Follow your heart, for better or worse, make it so. It isn't going to make your life easy, in fact sometimes it's really hard to follow your dreams. Even harder still to walk away from something you really wanted, but nothing you could do would change the outcome. No one overcomes all the obstacles in their path. However, if you can stay true, to what makes up what is really you, then you will have done something. Don't let life pull you down into the gutter. It's not safe down there.
I read something one time that really hit me, and I've always remembered it.
"Reach for the stars, at least then you won't come up with a handful of mud."
I may have only touched a star or two, but at least I'm not holding mud.
Until next time,
Blessing be upon you,

Why do they call it "Cabin Fever"?

Have you ever wondered why they call it "cabin Fever"? Well, "stir crazy" comes to mind but that's what it was called before they came up with "cabin fever". So what is it? Ask anyone waiting out the winter, and I'll bet it's like my cats saying "I want out"!
When it it going to get warm? Not another snow storm? I want sunshine! Well, guess what, my cats are beginning to shed, and that's a sure sign of spring just around the corner.
What am I going to do this spring that can't wait? Well, something really special, and something I've wanted to do sense a friend of mine and I put together that rock thing that is long gone. I am building a castle in my garden. Complete with moat, turret, and 2 floors, plus a roof to stand on. No, not people size. Doll size {another of those things I enjoy.} I'm making it out of Loon Lake Rock and it's a deep emerald green, so one will spot it for sure. I have plans for glass windows, wooden doors, and rock walls. You'll more then likely see me out there this summer, piling up the dirt, planting little tiny trees, and creating something from natures own. I've gotten a bit of know how on the cement, what with the rock walls etc I've created life size here and there. So now I'm going to try my hand at castle building. I'll post pictures as I go along and you can see for yourself.
And by the way, if a thing is worth doing... do it right. Don't do it half ...,ahem... well, you know what I mean. If you don't know how... ask someone, and keep asking till you find someone to help you. Or read a book on how too whatever it is you want to learn. Take a class, don't just sit there. Get up and do it. Don't come to the end and... wish you had done so and so.... In other words "Make it so". No-one else will do it for you. It makes life less empty.
Until next time,
Blessing upon you,

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I bet your wondering....

So, I'll bet your wondering, who is this person? The answer... no-one special, just a little old lady sharing some Victorian advice.
Like the antique furniture I just had refinished and re-covered, something left over from a time gone by. And by the way, I still use that furniture and it's over 150 years old. That's saying something. If they made furniture to last 150 years, then their advice can't all be half bad either. So read on and see what it's all about.
I'm not over a hundred... yet. But my dad and I are in a race to see who lasts the longest. He's got 20 years or so, on me, and happy as a clam. Good for you dad, I should be so lucky. I'm still trying to get use to "Do something for you, now". When you were raised to not feel good about doing anything for yourself first, it takes some getting use to. One feels guilty, and yet today, it seems everyone puts themselves first. Forget about the other guy, I want mine now. What happened to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? It seems that went out with yesterday's bath water, and it wouldn't surprise me none, to see they threw out the baby as well. Of course they won't notice it until they look for it. By then it's long to late.
Every feel like you were to late for something? Not just the concert tickets, or that dress you admired, but something just out of reach? Something important. I've spent half my life looking for that something important, and the conclusion is... it's out there, and more then likely you don't really want to know after all.
I'm not looking anymore. Better things to do, bigger fish to fry... whatever is your particular phrase to describe what's going on, I think I'll find that fast lane that accepts walkers as the speed limit. Find me the off ramp it's past sundown, and I don't have head lights anymore. The girls went south.
{ I'll bet you got a picture worth a thousand words out of that one. lol.}
So until next time,
Blessings be upon you,

Somehow, we succeed....

I have to believe that. Why else would we go though all of this, whatever it is that makes up life? Nothing has gotten me down and out and some of it was pretty awful. So if I can do it.... so can everyone else. Tune in once in a while and see how life is treating me now. I may have something worthwhile to say, that could help you along. Or... a good laugh or two.
Laughter by the way, is the answer to most everything. And thank goodness for my quirky one, it's saved me more then once.
Common sense is right up there, and a bit of good old fashion spice {your grandmother won't admit to it but hay... who am I to give away her secrets?} I'll stick to mine and you won't hear all of them! {Sorry,... not!}
To start off with, how about "Nothing is to big to overcome"? Little things are bad hair days, the car won't start, you lost the hem in your skirt, and you put a run in your stocking. How about... He doesn't love me anymore? Most people would say there are more fish in the sea. I won't, because that one meant a lot to you or you wouldn't be where you are. {Thought I was going to say crying in your... beverage of choice..., didn't you?} Well, something happened between you that caused your parting of the ways. More then likely it was both of your faults, so try to admit to your faults, and let him be with his. You'll come back together or not. I tried, but it didn't work out.
I will not spend the rest of my life wishing it had. Don't you either. Move on, there is a whole world out there, and even alone is better then with someone who doesn't really care. Just make it so.
And it will be.
Until next time {the cats are demanding to be fed.}
Blessings upon you