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Monday, September 28, 2009

Step into my new studio, dahling......

The new studio is beginning to take shape. I've changed my mind 6 times where it's going to be...


Today it revealed its place of choice to me~

It's like Christmas opening boxes to find my paints, supplies and "visuals" that get my creative juices flowing. I'll post more updates as things unfold.

It's not too late to enter your name for the new magical digs for Woodstock Lily.


The Purple Glove

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" -Anais Nin

I took these shots at one of our local parks where Superman and I hike. This glove was lying beside the trail, alone. I knew there was a story buried within the regal, faded, purple fingers. It was a well loved, well used glove. No it was a well loved, well used purple glove. I wanted to know the purple glove's story.

I wondered....
who did it belonged to...
a woman or a man...
had this person been working on the trail or simply hiking...
would they discover it missing when they got home, and come back to look for it...
who was this person who wore this distinctly, colorful glove...

I want my life to look like this purple glove when it is over. Well loved, well used, and purple. Royally purple. A glove that had learned how to open itself, and blossom in life, and labor, and love, and laughter.

Friday, September 25, 2009


It's official, although some of you figured this out about me long ago. I am OCD. You know about my counting; stairs, steps, etc., But it's gotten worse since the car accident and getting PTSD, but in all honesty... I have to ask you a bold question. How could you not be OCD in today's world???

I stopped at a local Dollar General store to get some small, clear tubs to store some of my art supplies in. On my way to the back of the store where storage products are kept I heard a woman coughing. Not just a "clear your throat kind of cough" but the kind that makes you wonder, "Why isn't she at home in bed?" Then I saw she was stocking shelves, and breaking down the boxes to put in a recycle cart. I remembered I needed a small box to send a special surprise goody box to my kids.

My first thought approaching the bin of multiple sized cardboard boxes was not which one fit the size I needed BUT rather, "Moly Holy... She touched all of these boxes, and they are now contaminated with who knows what!"

She coughed again. Deep chest cough, the kind that once you start you know will cause a landslide of more gut wrenching coughs to follow. "Ewwwww... grossness!" My mind was racing. I need a box. But do I want one of these boxes she touched with her cootie hands?

Next I begin chastising myself for being so paranoid about germs and cross contamination. Geez... What is wrong with me??? I make a decision based on availability, easy access and then ask her if I can have a couple of the boxes in the bin.

"Sure. Help yourself." She said which immediately sets off a chain reaction of coughing by just talking to me. I could visualize angry, hungry germs flying through the air looking for a host, a body to cling to, a victim who's nose was inviting to swarm in, a..... I could go on, and on, and on. [I know pathetic, isn't it?]

I rationalize to myself she couldn't have touched every inch of the box, and pick it up with my thumb, and index finger which I immediately wipe on my pants as if THAT'S going to instantly sanitize my mitts. I proceed to look for tubs, and for a moment the voices in my head quiet down.

I'm overjoyed when I find some suitable storage bins in festive colors in the clearance aisle. YIPPY SKIPPY! I'm doing a happy dance in my head until I notice there's no price on the bins. I look up to see the woman still stocking, and coughing. I hesitate to ask her if she knows the price because I'm afraid she will want to touch it with her germy, wormy hands. But I do. AND yes, much to my horror she asks to see it, and reaches out for me to pass her the plastic bin.

"Oh God, no!" My heart races at the very thought of her touching it but I reluctantly hand it over to her like it was my child in slow, and I do mean IN SLOW mowwwwwwww-tion. Of course she didn't know the price, and handed it back to me telling me to take it up to the cashier to get it scanned for a price check. I take it back, thumb and index finger flexed as protective pinchers, then immediately place it back on the shelf faraway from the other bins I gather up to take to the cashier for a price check.

I turned my cart, complete with cardboard boxes stored down below away from my new found storage treasures, back toward the check out counter. I'm meandering through the aisles looking at off brand name labels, and too good to be true 20 lb canned hams for only $5.00, humming softly to myself. For a moment, I am not thinking of all the germs lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on me like a vampire, when I hear another person coughing. Oh great, the woman stocking is up at the cashier counter--just my frapping luck.

BUT Nooooooooooooooo.... it is not her. It is another employee happily chatting, and coughing while she's scanning a woman's purchases who appears to be totally unaffected by the non-stop coughing. I'm trapped with coughing, hacking people in surround sound. Suddenly I have claustrophobia, too, and it's all I can do to keep from running out the door.

"Suck it up!" I command myself to stop the OCD chatter rolling through my head at warp speed. I also remind myself to refrain from tucking my head down in my tee shirt because she may think I'm going to rob her with just my eyes exposed above my make shift mask.

It's now my turn. Every item in my cart has to be turned over to her to touch. At this point I have to point out to her that she has a nasty cough. Why? I suppose to scold her just a little, and to make myself feel a little better. But it was also a covert way of telling her to "GO HOME if you're sick! Don't you know you are spreading your disease to all of us out here in Dollar General Store Land????"

"It's a dry cough!!!" she barked back, and her friendly check out demeanor ended right then, and there.

The only thing that consoled me a bit was the fact that she didn't have to touch everything, just one of them if I showed her how many I had in my cart by counting each one out loud to her. This gave me the courage to continue, and less time to have to stand there breathing as shallow as possible without passing out. I'm doing just dandy until it comes time to pay for the items. I run my card through the machine, and want it to be registered as credit not debit which I have to ask Miss Cranky Coughing Pants to change.

"I'll have to see your card." She says without giving me any eye contact. Had she been looking up she'd have seen the green pallor wash over my face. My credit card is not signed on the back. I have always printed Ask For I.D. on the back of all my cards. Not only did I have to hand her my credit card to look at but I also had to hand over my driver's license. I'm screwed... any way you look at it I'm a sitting duck for the cooties to land on.

It was raining when I left the store, and I suppose it washed away some of my anxiety--soothed my wrinkled forehead still frowning in disgust. I know, I know. People have to work, and they may not be able to afford missing a day of work. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT!!!!! People need to understand some of us out here do not like volunteering to roll in a petri dish of potential Swine Flu!

OK I've said. I let the voices in my head out to chat to you. Someone please tell me I AM NOT NUTS and it's OK to be protective of your personal breathing space! Thank you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is it just me??????

Hi Everyone~

Is it just me or is anyone else having problems with blogger not working right? It's not loading things on my sidebar nor my lovely followers pictures....

Just wondering~

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Winds ~ New Nest

There's a new wind blowing my hair,
and my creativity,
in a different direction.
Letting go of what was is hard sometimes but beginning fresh has a whole new invigorating rush. My entire life has been built on using what I have. What I need will be brought to me when the time is right. Isn't it grand when a new wind brushes your skin with hope, with joy, with unlimited possibilities brewing, and your imagination finds a brand new playground to scamper in?

How many girls can say Superman sent them flowers????

See my poppy paintings on the wall in the kitchen? And the Dream Board I made with Dylan hanging below them? This is a taste of what is to come, and a playful side of me I'm eager to give birth to.
Sweet Sassy Molassy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yard Machine Mama

It's official. I've survived my life once again. Looking back I see the "Trip Off I-68" was just a practice run for mowing this bad boy of a hill. Pffftttttt....some of you may be saying. "That's a bunny slope. Woosie!" Well then--so be it. I'm officially a woosie britches. But I challenge any one not to have their heart race just a little bit staring death in the face on the down slope of my new front lawn.

It had been a little over 4 years since I'd mowed a lawn as big as this one. Mowing has always been a simple pleasure in my life, and I actually find it meditative. I don't know what it is about mowing (or rather riding a mower) that stimulates some deep thinking. I have solved some major issues dodging tree limbs with grass clippings flying helter-skelter, and wiping sweat off my brow. It's therapy for me. So learning the lawn care here at the new nest would be mine, all mine, was music to my ears.
Right out of the chute I had to find the choke. Easy you say. Not so fast.... The knob had been broken off. Plus, the previous owner of the mower had cut the cable, too. I had to locate the end of it WAAAAAAAYYYYYY under the hood, and then figure out how to make it work. I got er' going right away...well almost. I had to let er' recoup after flooding the engine with too much gas. Stop snickering...

You know it's a rough road ahead when the neighbors all come out to watch the newbie on the country block mow her Alpine-like front yard the very first time. I'm telling you they came out in droves, and turned their lawn chairs toward the "show". I swear I saw $20's being exchanged over fences. They were placing bets on how many turns it would take before I bit the grass big time. Yep, they were rockin', grinnin', and watchin' me the entire time. I got a little wave and head nod from the neighbors directly adjacent to my yard. AND I'm sure it was difficult for them to mask the exhilaration of having front row seats or to keep from holding up their score cards with each pass of the mower.

Common sense (or some voice of reason) told me take the mower to the bottom of the drive and then approach the uphill trek from there. I suppose it was impatience that made me try to make a turn on the slope. Crappola! Money started exchanging hands rapid fire across fences on that dimwitted maneuver.

I sucked in a breath so deep it made my eyes bulge in my head. How my neighbors refrained from letting out some knee slapping guffaws is beyond me. I managed to keep from widdling my britches as the mower tilted sideways, and somehow stifled a full-throated scream at the same time. I had goose bumps for the next 10 minutes, and hoped my sunglasses covered the protruding whites of my eyes. I held on. The mower slowed gears as I crept down the hill. I had to remind myself to breathe...breathe....breathe.

I remember looking at all my options should the mower suddenly lunge forward on the downhill trip. I saw a clump of bushes with a couple of rocks. Ewwwww... I saw the 4 foot wide ditch at the bottom of the hill. Bigger Ewwwwww.... Then I saw myself in the van as we hit the guard rail on I-68 near Cumberland, MD, and decided if I could come out alive on that one I could surely make it through this uncertain ride.

Now I wonder if the accident had been training for such a day as this. Or days when I felt uncertain about life in general. Had it been a training ground of sorts to give me courage when I felt I had none. To remind me I am stronger than I think I am at times. I know I'm not invincible but I am not really a woosie either. One of my favorite quotes that I've had on my bulletin board for years is this:

"If we did all the things
we were capable of doing--
we would literally astound ourselves. "
Thomas Edison

The racing stripes you see on the lawn are mine. Imperfect due to the deck needing an adjustment. But to me they are stripes I can proudly wear as a badge of honor. I survived my fears, and to those neighbors who placed bets for me to win... "WOOT!" To those who bet against my success... An even bigger, "WOOT!
This ain't my first rodeo..."
And thank God I am here
to utter those words.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Owl and the Sassy Pants

I dreamed about the Tree House all night long. In the midst of the confusion and chaos in the dream, a baby owl landed on my arm. I could literally feel its soft feathers, and sensed it trusted me. It had a harness on, and was missing one wing.

Superman was in my dream, too, and I told him, "Look it's a baby owl! Remember when I told you I'd wrote down I wanted a baby owl to visit me? It happened just like I requested! See!! Writing it down does make things happen!"

I have the power within me to create my heaven or hell..... Even in my dreams I know when my Higher Power speaks the truth. I believe my inner wisdom was telling me to trust my instincts, and acknowledged the safe place is always within me--just a whisper away. All I have to do is ask for it. I left the chaos behind, and have a new place to build my nest. The injured owl reminded me I could fly free, and unencumbered, if I let go of the past, the anger, the hurt and trust in myself. I can rebuild what I felt had been taken from me. Simple as that.....

Last night I pushed through to higher ground, spiritually [and physically] by moving on, willingly, to the next phase in my journey called life. I choose to create a heavenly life.

OK I admit in the dream I did say a few things I'd bottled up to the people (woman) who moved in below me. Pfffttttt... I spit the ugly thoughts out like an angry three year old. And I have to admit.... it didn't feel as good as one would think it might. The negative words sounded trite, and childish, and my final words rolled off her back as if they had no Velcro to stick to. As in real life, some things are best left unsaid. They only poison you in the end. But if you're going to let loose of some venom, a dream is a safe place to get the toxins out. So is a private journal that no one reads but you.

Now, I'm off and running, to build my new nest. I have my sassy pants on now, friends!!!!!
And look how lonnnnggggggg my sassy pants are.
Oh yeah, baby!
I've been sassified!

Picture of one of the flower beds at the new nest I'm going to
"Woodstock Lily-fie"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tree House News!!!!

I met the new tenant that's moving into the tree house. Superman and I stopped over to pick up the last of some things I had stored in the garage there.

"Oh you're going to love what they've done to the place." Superman said, twinkle in his eyes, and a huge smile on his face.

I was crushed. How could he boast on "their" behalf. Even if it was an upgrade from what I'd done there, he didn't have to rub it in.... snivel, snivel, snivel. THEN.... I remembered he was smirking. Hmmmmmm.... Now I was curious.

It didn't take long to see what he meant. Inside the entry way was a large, and I do mean LARGE dog kennel. Inside the kennel was a German Sheppard pup well on his way to becoming a large, LARGE pooch. His name is Chewy... Hmmmmm..... I could already hear Opie snickering when I relayed the news.

We finished loading the remainder of the items so Superman suggested I knock on the door to say hello, and see what else "new and exciting" was going on in the tree house. Then I realized I'd already met the young man when he came to tour it as a possible rental about a 3 weeks ago. Nice kid.

"Hello! It's me, Lille." I found it odd knocking on "my" door and
realized when I stepped inside...
it was no longer the "tree house".

"Come on up!" Dave yelled. I walked up the stairs to find Dave and another young man, beers in hand, drilling holes in the walls for his new behemoth surround sound for his killer stereo unit. Plaster dust covered the hardwood floor, the floor I had agonized over leaving perfectly shined. Industrial sized cable was strung from the rafters, and draped over the 18' stone fireplace top. The sub-woofer was bigger than my TV. I wondered if he liked Rap or Heavy Metal. Every corner had hooks strategically placed for some bad-ass speakers.

WOW! This kid is serious about his tunes I thought.... I envisioned the squirrels head banging in the tree tops, and my old neighbors below me....... Well, I became concerned of course! What will it sound like below the tree house... music reverberating the walls, the floors. Those poor, poor people.... They just moved in and now they will have to put up with a 22 year old's first time living away from his parents.... oh my.

His main items of furniture---well actually I didn't see any furniture. Just a few paintings and lots, and lots of beer signs, and painted pub signs. He wants to hang them all over the fireplace, and walls throughout the tree house. Hey, the guy at least has some "art" to hang. Perfect! Maybe he will have some extra speaker wire to hang his boxers off the tree house to a tree below. Hey, that could attract some girls--you just never know...

Below me in the stair well I heard the pup whining, and then wondered what his Big Foot sized feet would sound like on the hardwood floors. That pup looked like he could use some room to romp. "Chewy".... I wondered why he named him "chewy".... after Chewbacca from Star Wars, probably. Certainly not because he may chew on anything not nailed down or metal. I wondered what if he barks when his Master is gone or every time someone knocks on the door, or pulls in the driveway... Oh my mind went wild with the "what-ifs" Poor, poor people underneath the tree house.

I couldn't help notice Dave must have been a football player in high school, and may not be so light on his feet. I wondered if I should tell him the people's bedroom below him is directly under his kitchen... Nah.... They won't care if he slams a few cupboards, or that the floor squeaks just as loud at 2:00 PM as it does at 2:00 AM... Nor will they say anything if he happens to "score" a chick and she spends the night...floors creaking rhythmically, and squeals of ecstasy clear as a bell. Don't you just love apartment living? Sharing so much with each other?? Making memories together.

It will be a give, and take, neighborly bond they'll create. The people below will smoke up Dave's apartment, and he will rock them back to sleep at 3:00 AM by playing some tunes for them. The neighbors below will cook cabbage on hot days, and Dave's pup will leave a hot, steaming coil on the lawn near their stairs as a personalized thank you. It will be perfect. For Everyone! This made me happy. Peace in the Hood again~

Dave seemed so genuinely thrilled to be living "large" on the lake, and all the possible perks this new found lifestyle could have on attracting girls, and party opportunities, and such.... I decided he needed a little house warming gift.

I'd been given a small refrigerator, perfect for holding an extra case or two of beer. I was going to take it to the new place but decided in a moment of giddiness, and relief that the tree house had been rented to a motivated, testosterone filled, excitable man-child, THAT HE should have the frig for a back-up to keep more beer cold. A suave bachelor needs to keep his bases loaded. His eyes got huge when I told him, and I knew I'd hit a soft spot when I heard him say, "I love the way you think!! I'll put it out on the deck so we can grab a beer when we're sitting out there! Sweet!" Yes, sweet... he took the words right out of my mouth......

Well, what could I say? Hey, I was just trying to do my part to make sure there is peace, and harmony, a festive environment for one and all who live there. My parting gift. Did my parting smile appear a wee bit smirk-like? Maybe... maybe not...

I couldn't help notice a river-like stream of fluid outside the front door, and also splashed all over a tree. Hmmmm, did they empty a cooler? Then I smelled a distinct odor. Dog Urine. Oh my.... What if he relieved himself on the neighbors front walkway... Tsk...tsk.. tsk... Well, maybe it could help mask the cabbage cooking marathons. But it's not my problem any more. Smirk you ask? Noooooo. Just your imagination...

I drove off into the sunset and realized the Tree House no longer existed there. It rode off with me into the future, forever in my heart, as a special part of my life that uniquely belongs to me and those I shared it with. I'm erecting a monument here at the new place that honors what was, and what wondrous things are yet to be. Oh yes, I'm smiling alright~~~ I'm totally smiling!

For my new reader's... go back a month or so to catch up on why I left the Tree House. For my wonderful, faithful, friends, and followers. PLEASE JUMP STRAIGHT TO THE COMMENT BOX! It will be like Christmas reading your comments! Oh Baby!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Body Language

Opie Taylor is an indoor cat. He relies on what I bring to him from the outside to add sugar and spice to his life or what he can see out the windows; his slice of life, his view of the world. I've captured pictures of Opie looking out windows since he was a kitten. I can read his mood by his body language, and in turn, know just what he needs.

Opie's first day at the new pad.

You can tell Opie is not so sure of his new world by his body language.
Hind legs ready to bolt, feeling uncertain and insecure.


Much better.

I wonder what my body language would have said if someone had shot pics of me my first few days here at the new house. I'm sure my face and body would have shown as much as his did---maybe more. I found myself feeling vulnerable being on the ground, and not up high like I had been in the tree house. So many windows, and worrying about so many doors to lock instead of just one at the tree house. New smells, new noises, unfamiliar rooms, hidden light switches, going to sleep looking at a new ceiling, and waking up not knowing where I was....

Both Opie and I are learning to relax here. Our haunches are not in the flight mode. We may still jump at a new sound or something suddenly creaking in the walls. But we're waking up together, purring at the simple joy of being together, and finally, we're finding serenity looking out new port holes to a brand new world.

View out the front door

View out one of the kitchen windows

Monday, September 14, 2009

Through A Child's Eye

I took these shots at Dorri's parent's 50th celebration. I loved the diversity, and especially loved how the children saw none. They just saw other children to play with. We can learn so much from our kids, and from our pets.
They accept us as we are...
not for what we are or are not.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Contest - Giveaway!!!!

The New Paradise

Here's the new place. Sweet isn't it? It sits on top of a hill in a quiet neighborhood. I can actually see the stars at night--it's been a really long time since I could say that. The skyline is magnificently huge, and the clouds roll by like an ever changing kaleidoscope of white, pale lavender, and gray plumes. Roosters crow from a near by farm, and I cannot help but smile when I hear them.

There's almost an acre of a park-like yard, and yes, I love to mow. Well, a riding mower that is.... and I have one sitting in the garage. May I add I "now" have a garage??? One of the things I had to give up when I moved into the tree house was a garage, and my washer and dryer. Cleaning snow, and ice off your car in the northeast is not a pleasant thing to do ever. I am giddy with joy having a garage, and being able to just go downstairs to put a load of clothes in. Giddy may not be a large enough word.....

I also love to garden, and have not been able to for the last four years except in containers. An enormous toad sits on my front porch at night, and sleepily blinks its eyes--a ploy I'm sure to catch a bold moth or mosquitoes flying toward the light. There are apples trees in the back yard. Day lilies are planted everywhere. It's almost like they said, "Welcome home, Lille. We've been waiting for you." Opie is peacefully sleeping on the floor beside me. Yes, we are home. It feels like home even though I'm sitting among boxes, and tubs piled to the ceiling everywhere I look.

My son, Jake, daughter-in-law Ashley, and my grandson, Emery came in to visit me here at the new place this past weekend. We had a lovely visit, and their being here made the first few nights feel more comfortable. Jake knows how much I loved the tree house, and he said something to me that helped me make the adjustment of being here now that spoke to my heart.

"Mom, I loved the tree house but I felt like I was always on a vacation when I was there, and after awhile of being on a vacation, you are ready to come home.
This place (the new place) feels like home."

The Contest

Followers have already suggested a few names for the new place. You may vote on one or suggest your own.
  • Lily Pad (suggested by Dylan, Lily at "blawgh Life on the Farm", and Rachael at "Rachael's Carrma". This was also selected by another follower, too. I'm trying my best to remember who it was. Please let me know if it was you. I'll remember when you reply. Thanks!
  • Evening Rest (suggested by TC at Animals That Give Pause )
  • Cottage on the Hill (mine)
  • Heavenly Hill (mine... even if you vote on one I suggest you will be entered in the contest)
All entries will be placed in a hat, and drawn by Superman, and witnessed by Opie Taylor. Each name you suggest OR VOTE FOR will be counted as one entry so the more you enter the greater chances of winning. Plus, I'll be adding new pictures of the new digs to tickle your imaginations as I get it "Woodstock Lily-fied".

The Prize
The prize will be a painting by me, 12X12 acrylic, yet to be painted. It will be painted with love, and I'll try my best to fit the painting to the winner's personality, interests, color preferences, etc.
I will announce the winner on
October 13, my birthday.

Meanwhile, I think I'll go polish up that mower. Or pull the hose out, and water my lilies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9.9.9 Time to Shine

Reflecting and Moving On

I will reflect on what was.
I will unwind, and be at peace here, right NOW.
I will have fun making this new place shine as mine.

As you know from previous posts, I have a thing for numbers, and sequences. Today's numbers 09-09-09 remind me to reflect, unwind and shine. Summer is coming to an end. And, I can sense stability is well on her way to my world with a basket full of tranquility.

I believe we have things resolved here at the new house with the previous pet odors. Opie is now back with me, and that alone made my world feel better. He seems to be settling in, and enjoying exploring every inch of his new turf. It's a combo of the new and the familiar that helped him feel at home. I realized watching him investigate every corner, window, and room that I'm adapting, too. It's comforting, and strange at the same time, to be sitting on my couch, drinking out of my cobalt blue coffee mug, looking out a new window, to a new world. A new perspective. Change is both scary, and exhilarating.

Fall is my favorite season. It's a time to harvest, and wrap up the season of growth. My summer was spent on inner growth. While it's not exactly what I had on my list of summer plans to do, it is what it is. I had a few weeds pulled that were choking my growth, experienced some heavy pruning to insure I'll have sturdier branches for the next phase of my life, and a healthy uprooting to promote harmony, peace and tranquility. I cannot yet see what I will produce but I'm quite sure there will not be containers large enough to contain all the fabulous fruits produced by inner labor.

*****Contest to name my new place coming up next*****
~~There's a special prize for the winner~~

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Testing... One, Two, Three...Testing

Just a quick post to let you know I'm in the new house. My sense of humor has been tested left and right. I'm still under fire. The new house reeks of cat urine. Carpets soaked everywhere. No wonder the owners had every window open, and fans running every time I came to look at the house.

Opie is not here yet--that would only add to the challenge. Cats will be cats when they smell another cat, and Opie has never lived where other cats have lived before. I'm requesting an S.O.S. from the land lady to get this rectified ASAP.

Meanwhile back at the ranch..... I'm wearing a mask and neighbors are wondering if I have the swine flu... Or just want to be a surgeon when I grow up. Can you all see my smile under the mask??? It's still there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Find Your Happy Place

~Opie's been rehearsing for the Grand Tour of the Tree House~

~Sneak Preview~

~~I found my happy place~~

Mine's inside me~~Where's yours?

~~Just in case I'm not around for a few days it's because I'm
taking a few things over to the bungalow on the hill~~

Well actually I'm taking everything except the small part of me
that wants to stay here,
in the Tree House...


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