March 29, 2010

A House of Prayer

Tomorrow is March 30, 2009 and I go to court again to face off with Jeff. At least this time I don't have to drive to NY to do it. I filed a petition to end his visitation with the children because of his continued bad behavior and traumatizaton of the children. As I said in a previous post I already know it's a long shot and very unlikely that my request will be granted. But I am at least hoping that the supervised visits will be extended for at least 2 years or whatever the maximum is. I'm sure as usual he will have his hired gun there, that he is paying for with the child support he's not paying. I won't have any representation because down here, the court doesn't provide attorneys for you if you can't afford one and the one legal organization that helps people pro bono, said they don't handle my kind of case.

Well what I will have is my heavenly Father, and that should be all I need. I will pray for, trust and expect God's will to be done yet again. If it's His will for Jeff to be out of our lives completely, then He will make that happen. If for some reason He wants me to continue to have to deal with this man as I deal with other forms of adversity as part of the bigger picture for me, then so be it.

I will just have to accept it and still hold on to my peace.

Which leads me to the message I heard yesterday in church. It was one of those words in season that you know when you hear it, God is talking to you and something you are dealing with. For a little while now, I've felt myself slipping. Slipping in my thoughts, actions and behaviors. In a way, I was kicking God to the curb. I told Him, "That's it. I'm done doing the right thing. I'll just do what I want to do. What difference does it make anyway? Doing the right thing and trying to live righteously and faithfully hasn't gotten me anywhere. So I can live like everyone else, have fun and still end up with bad results."

The pastor that spoke yesterday said that instead of complaining to others, we should take our complaints to God. Trust me, I do. Some people don't talk to God because they say they don't know how. Well, I learned a while ago that you can talk to God like you'd talk to any other friend you have. So I do. I let Him know when I'm pissed off, sad, hurting, can't take any more, happy, thankful and when I don't know what to do.

But for a little while now, I hadn't been talking to God that much. Basically because I've felt let down and abandoned. I know that He said He'd never leave me or forsake me, but being without a place to live for over a year with 4 children can begin to wear down the strongest patience and hope and make you question whether God is still around or even cares about what is happening to you.

I told God more than once in the past few months that I don't want the future He has for me, I just want to live a decent life. If I have to continue going through hell to get to heaven on earth one day off in the distant future, He could keep it.

I did also add that I needed Him to have mercy on me and forgive my frail humanity. I don't want to get too disrespectful with God.

The pastor directed us to several passages of scripture to illustrate the message he delivered. One of those passages was Luke 19:37-48, and he focused on verse 46 which says, "and He said, "It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!" Jesus yelled this as He was tossing out the merchants that were in the temple selling things. The temple of God was supposed to be holy, where people went to hear the word of God taught and to pray, yet people were turning it into a mall with the money god and idol things. Kinda like today, don't cha think?

Another passage was 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?..." And Philippians 4:6-7, "Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Okay, so what was the crux of the message and what is the point that I'm making now? Glad you asked.
The bible speaks to us literally, figuratively and symbolically. Before Christ died on the cross, the actual temple building that was made out of stone was the place of prayer. Only the high priest was allowed to go into the inner sanctuary where the presence of God dwelt. A thick heavy veil separated the inner sanctuary from the outer and if anyone other than the high priest crossed it, they would die on the spot.

When Christ died on the cross, He said, "It is finished."  Instantly the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom which was symbolic of one of the greatest benefits of Christ's sacrifice. The inner sanctuary was no longer "For High Priests Only." Now anyone could access God directly and intimately. And upon acceptance of Christ as Lord and High Priest of our lives, then our bodies become the temple of the spirit of God and He dwells in us. We become living sanctuaries and our bodies, our selves should be a "house of prayer."

The bible says we should "pray always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit..."(Ephesians 6:18) and to "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Why do we need to pray all the time? Is it because God will be angry if we don't and punish us or He'll be sad and cry? No. It's because this world is full of evil, wickedness and dark forces. We are engaged in a spiritual war and "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Prayer is for us not God. God is perfect, problem free and all powerful. He doesn't need our prayers.
It benefits us to pray. What are the benefits? There are several of them.
One benefit is a closer more intimate relationship with God. What can be cooler than being on a deeply personal level with the One that has the whole universe in His hands? I can't think of anything.

Another benefit is answer to our prayers, whether it's for ourselves or on behalf of others. Who doesn't want their prayers answered? I know that just like our own kids, we always want the answer to be yes or else we feel it wasn't answered at all. But sometimes for our own good, it has to be, no. That's why we have to pray for His will to be done, not ours. When what we want lines up with God's will, He moves on our behalf.

Finally, when we pray about anything and everything, "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Considering all the troubling times we live in and things going on in this country, in this world and in our individual lives, being able to have peace that surpasses any issue is an awesome thing and it's free!

So I realized during the message yesterday that kicking God to the curb was the wrong thing to do. No matter what I'm feeling or going through, I have to keep talking to God, keep praying my way through and out of this situation. I would prefer not to go through anything I'm going through now or anything I've gone through the past 10 years, but Jesus would've preferred not to go to the cross too. He prayed and asked God to take that cup from Him, that if it could be done any other way, please do it that way. But He also ended it with, not His will but God's will.

I've been asking God to take this cup from me.
I told Him that the cross I'm bearing is breaking me and it's becoming a deal breaker for my relationship with Him. I said that I wasn't feeling His bland plan and thought I might as well return to Egypt because at least there are leeks and garlic there. I told Him that if His plan was to crush my spirit, it was working perfectly.

Jesus chose to let go and let God have His way. Through his obedience and sacrifice, a number that no man can number, will be saved and set free from a life of bondage and death. His reward is to sit at the right hand of the Father with all power, victory and glory. God is lifted up and glorified for the genius of His plan that displayed His goodness, kindness, mercy and love toward mankind.

I'm not Jesus. Billions of people aren't going to be saved from eternal damnation because I was abused and homeless for what feels like forever. But who knows what God is doing and how He intends to get glory from it, because in the end it will point back to Him and it will all become clear.

In the meantime, what do I do? Don't worry about it. (Trust me, easier said than done.) Pray without ceasing about anything and everything and allow the peace of God to surpass anything I could think about the circumstances. I kicked God to the curb and being who He is, I know He sat patiently and lovingly on my curb waiting for me to come back and continue my journey with Him.

I'm tired of all this courtroom drama, I want the legal system out of our lives. I would like for my husband to leave us alone forever. I'm tired of moving from one temporary place to another. I'm tired of struggling.

But God knows that. He knows because I've told Him and you know, because He's God and all.

He knows my issues, my struggles, my concerns, my desires, my strengths and weaknesses. He knows what I can do and will do and He knows what He plans for me to do. This Palm Sunday God gently rebuked me, corrected me so that He can continue to teach me and train me for the work He's called me to do ~ whatever that is.

And I guess I do want the future He has for me after all. He said its better than anything I could even imagine.
"...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." (2 Corinthians 2:9)

So for now, while I have to wait in my Paul and Silas style prison, I'll continue to develop my relationship with God, going deeper and becoming more intimate with Him. I'll continue to pray knowing that somewhere in the spirit realm, something is happening that I can't see yet in the natural. And through that, God's peace should fill me to overflowing, if I let it.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16)

March 23, 2010


What do you do when you don't know what to do anymore?
What do you do when you've done all you feel you could do, should do, know to do?

The Word of God says to stand. Donnie McClurkin sings it.

Well, I've stood. I know I've been working hard to keep my kids' life as stable and close to normal as possible. There isn't a lazy bone in my body. It shows in my face as my dark circles get worse from getting up early and going to bed late. It shows in my hands which are perpetually dry, cracked and calloused. It shows in my arm which has ached for months with a case of tendonitis. A trip to the doctor ended with me being told to "stop doing" what I did to cause the injury.

Okay. Sure.

Tell me doc, how do I stop taking care of my kids? There's no nanny around. Tell me how to move our shit from place to place every couple of months. (Ooops! I said a bad word.) There's no man around. Tell me how to move my infant from one place to another when he can't walk. Tell me how to do that and I'll stop doing what I did to cause the injury.

It shows in my mind that some times just comes up blank and empty. I always have a "to do" list, but some days I just can't do my "to do."

I feel like I'm not helping anyone at all. That was the point of my being here in the blogoshpere. I wanted to use my experience to make a difference. I'm not sure that's happening because I'm weary from what's been happening to me. I didn't intend to be another raving lunatic out here on the great wide web, talking nonsense.

I feel like I'm starting to vent, complain and whine too much.
I feel like I'm giving in to the negativity that has been inflicted upon me and that I'm starting to give it back.

I feel lost. I don't know where I am, where I'm going, what's happening or what direction to go in next.

I've asked God for guidance to the point of pleading and begging and I'm sure it's probably just me, but I don't hear Him talking.

I'm feeling very alone.

I didn't create this mess, but I'm the one left to clean up this Exxon Valdez size disaster by myself with a plastic spoon and a paper towel.

"It'll be alright. You're strong. You'll get through this. God won't put on you more than you can bear."


Maybe I can just be mad. Can't I be weak? Maybe I won't get through this. And here's a newsflash.......GOD DOES ALLOW MORE TO COME ON US THAN WE CAN BEAR!!!

I really thought that was a scripture in the bible and I was convinced that I had seen it and read it with my own eyes. I tore my bible up trying to find it. But you know what?


It's another scripture that has been twisted by mankind. It is a clichè. It is just a saying. It is like, "cleanliness is next to godliness." It comes from 1 Corinthians 10.13 which states, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." This scripture is talking about temptation, NOT trials and tribulations. Remember, Jesus promised us we would have them in this life.

God can and does allow whatever He wants to happen to us to happen and there's nothing we can do about it. It's all about His plan and His purposes.

Does it mean that I don't love God if I get a little tired of His plan? Not at all. It means I'm human and have a breaking point. Does it mean that I can't recover from it all? Nope. It means that I will stagger and sometimes fall as I try to get back on my feet.

Does this mean that I'm useless to others? I hope not, cause then none of this $%#&! made any sense if I can't. I guess I'm supposed to always mention something about my situation with my husband or abuse and violence, victims or survivors in every blog.

Sometimes I'm just me.

The victim turned survivor.

The wife that's only a mother.

The believer that's only human.

March 17, 2010

Get Off My Planet Please!

The children's law guardian contacted me the other day. He said he'd been reassigned to the case because of the petition I filed. I filed a petition down here to end the visits between my children and their father. Since he clearly hasn't been rehabilitated in spite of his court ordered batterers class and had no problem whatsoever scaring them again, I thought maybe the court can make him go away.

I know that the chance of getting him out of their lives is very remote, since you have to basically be a serial killing, child rapist, cannibal to be kept away from your kids. Being an abusive, violent, sociopath isn't bad enough to lose your parental rights. But what the heck, maybe we'll get lucky.

Anyway, when I talked to the law guardian, he informed me that my husband was in court filing a violation petition against me. Come again?

I asked him what kind of violation is he talking about? I'm keeping the children from him. Oh, we go again. That's how all of this started. The children and I were placed in a domestic violence shelter to escape him and the next day he was in court filing for custody, claiming I was keeping the children from him.

Cheese and rice, give me a bleeping break!

This saga has shown me first hand how messed up our court system is. Petitions are handed out too easily. Before someone gets to drag someone else into court, they should have to show some kind of proof to support their allegations. In NY you don't have to pay to file petitions, they are filed for free. I thought that was cool because down in PA you have to pay to file petitions. But I do see the wisdom behind that. If you are going to take up the courts time, then be willing to put up some money to do it. Maybe a few less false petitions are filed.

In my case, I wish he did have to pay to file, but I know money is no object to him. Harrassing me is worth any amount of money he has. Why would he care about a measley filing fee when he is willing to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer to pursue these petitions, only to lose in the end, but nonetheless, start over again? Better still, he should have to file his petitions down here, where we live. The kids and I have been residents of PA for a year now, he should have to file in the jurisdiction where the children reside. I bet the trip down here would keep him from filing false petitions.

My husband hasn't seen our children since November 29, 2009 (the day he violated my protection order),  but I haven't kept them from him. Since I was first awarded sole legal and physical custody of the children and he was granted visitation, I have NEVER initiated a visit between him and the children. When he wanted to come see them, he'd call, text or email me and we'd set up a time and place. If I didn't hear from him, he wasn't coming.

Since his arrest on December 5, 2009, he hadn't contacted me to see the children. Since his hearing on December 17, 2009 in which he was found guilty of contempt, he hasn't contacted me per the court order to have no contact with me. I certainly wasn't going to contact him. The judge in that hearing said that the visits should continue with Catholic Charities supervising. So, I waited to hear from someone letting me know a visit has been set up with them. I heard nothing. His lawyer called me twice in February I believe, asking me to call him. I could see no reason why I should talk to his lawyer without having a lawyer of my own. It could be some kind of set up.

The third message he left for me in early March, he threatened me with going back to court. Now I was pissed, so the bait worked. I called him and asked him why was he threatening me? He said that Jeff wants to see the children. I told him that I have nothing to do with that, its supposed to go through Catholic Charities. He said that he called them and they said that I need to call so they can get information from me for the initial interview process. I told him, that no one told me that, so how was I to know? He said he didn't know either until speaking with them.

Fine. I told him to call me back and leave the info on my voicemail. Jeff and his lawyers make me so sick.

I called them, spoke to the man whose name I was given. He took all the relevant information he needed from me and told me that we would be put on the waiting list. There were other families ahead of us and it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. I smiled.

Fine with me. I have no control over this. He violated my order. He got the courts involved again. The judge changed the order from me supervising to Catholic Charities. They have a waiting list. I have nothing to do with the reason he hasn't seen his kids. It's all his dumb a$$ fault.

Ha ha.

He really sucks. The only person violating any court orders has been HIM. He violated my order of protection and he continues to violate the child support order by not paying, and he has the nerve to file a FALSE violation petition against me. There should be consequences for that.

The law guardian also told me that he stood up there in court and said that the case down here against him had been dismissed, that nothing happened to him! 

Shiver me timbers!

How can you lie about something that can be so easily proven to be a lie? This nut has no fear of the penal system whatsoever! I guess with good reason, they don't do anything to lying batterers that waste the court's time. Well, I will be more than happy to show the court that he was found GUILTY of contempt and now thank God has a criminal record that will follow him all the days of his life.

I always wished I had big brothers and wished it more this past year than ever. He has everything he's ever wanted now...his rich Japanese girlfriend and daughter, more money than he ever had while I was with him, and the freedom to live his trifling life out in the open. Why can't he leave his black wife and black kids alone? Don't we have it bad enough being husband and fatherless in America? We were never what he really wanted. He liked the picture of what we represented and the respect that it gave him amongst his black friends and drum circle buddies. He liked the endless compliments we got from strangers of, "You have a beautiful family."

He looked the part. Black man with beautiful black family playing his African djembe listening to Farrakhan DVDs and talking righteously. It made him look bona fide. He said his, "Peace. Blessings. One." He smoked his weed in defiance of "the man," or devils as he called them. Always talking about "devils this and devils that." Funny now how he's loving to pay those same devils to represent him in court in his crusade against his wife and children. I haven't seen this negro with one black lawyer.

He's such a fraud.

Anyway, I felt like venting today. He really makes me sick.

I wish he'd leave me alone.

Go away forever.

And just get off my planet, please!!!

"Just leave me alone, leave me alone. Leave me alone, leave me alone. Stop it! Just stop dogging me around!"


March 11, 2010

Is It Duck Season Already?

I saw a bee yesterday.

It was kinda strange because it isn't even officially spring yet and we still have traces of the last big snow storm on the ground. What was a bee doing out in March?

The  bee wasn't flying, it was walking slowly on the ground right next to where I had just parked my car, as though it couldn't fly. I watched it for about a minute and thought to myself, "See, that's what you get for trying to come out too early." I don't like bees.

Another thing happened yesterday.

My order of protection expired.

So, I guess now my husband can begin harassing me again. I bet he had the date circled on his calendar. He's free to be what he was before, a violent obsessive maniac. Fortunately, he doesn't know where we live.

I hope that after a year he has grown out of the desire to physically fight with me. But once a batterer, always batterer. There is no cure for battererism (my own word), except for Jesus and my husband doesn't know Him and apparently the way he's chosen to live his life, doesn't want to.

When you choose to follow Christ, you have to give up some things, like violent behavior, adultery, lying, cheating, and not taking care of your children. You don't give up these things because God will hate you if you do. You give them up because of His love for you and your desire to return that love to Him.

Since there is no man made cure for being abusive and violent, there should be no expiration on protection orders. I mean, I know it's only a piece of bull$h!t paper and if someone really wants to hurt you, they will. But for those batterers that are still semi-sane and enjoy their freedom, it is a bit of a deterrent.

I guess only time will tell what he does. But he's so sneaky and conniving, that I have to be on my guard and suspect that he's always up to something. He earns tens of thousands of dollars in cash that he can do whatever he wants with since he doesn't support his children with it. He hired a lawyer to keep that money away from his kids, he hired a lawyer to try and take my kids from me.

Would he hire a bad man to hurt me?

I have lived long enough and seen enough to know NOT to put anything past anybody. Everyone is capable of everything. And considering the fact that he's a sociopath, I can't ever say what he won't do.

I came across an interesting website by accident one day called: Love  If you click on the link "Key Symptoms," on the left, they describe my husband to a tee. When I read through the links, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and it sent a chill down my spine to realize that I was in a relationship with a sociopath for almost 11 years, tried to love him and sadly had children with him. But it all made sense and explained various things I saw in his personality that had always bothered me.

It also helped me finally understand why I never felt like he truly loved me, even when he would say it. Deep down inside I didn't believe it, but closer to the top, I wanted to. If he loved me then there would be hope that he could change, that one day he could actually be good to me and our family. But the truth is he couldn't love me and was never sorry for anything he did to me or exposed his children to, because sociopaths are incapable of love, remorse, guilt or empathy.

Well, as I've been doing for many years now, I will have to continue to trust God. I pray for His protection around us every day. Although I may feel somewhat exposed and sorta kinda like a sitting duck at the start of duck season with an idiot hunter desperate to stuff and mount my head on his wall, I have to believe God has a better plan for my life than that. I'm hoping that it's "coming to his senses" season and he'll give up this foolish hunt.

Anyway, enough of that! Time to laugh. Here's a link to a video of a Bugs Bunny episode titled, "Rabbit Fire." Ironically, it's one of my favorite episodes. Just throwing it in for fun! I can laugh about anything, no matter how unfunny it may be.

"Rabbit Fire"

March 2, 2010

The Fool Has Said in His Heart...

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds..." Psalm 14.1

You would think that when a person keeps trying to beat you and they keep losing, that at some point they would quit. I guess some people are just stubborn.

For those of you that have been following for a while and read the posts about the whole child support drama, I never told you the conclusion of the decision that came in the mail.

After 6 months, 5 court dates and a million lies from my husband, the magistrate ordered him to pay $2,500 a month in support of our three oldest children. The payments were supposed to begin November 6, 2009.

Another victory! Right?

The front of the order had information that informed us that if there was an objection to this order it needed to be submitted within 35 days of the date of the order. On December 13, 2009 when I returned home after spending the weekend in NY with family, there was a large manila envelope waiting for me. I didn't recognize the name on the return address, but it was from Queens. When I opened it, there was an objection petition in it along with a transcript of the last support hearing. It was from his newest attorney and the objection was dated December 6th, the 35th day.

This deadbeat had hired and PAID a lawyer to object to paying his children! He wanted the order vacated - thrown out! There is no depth too low for him to sink to. Great, now what?

He had his lawyer object to the order for a number of reasons. They said the magistrate made a number of errors.

1. Error in basing the order on the actual needs of the children and not what he actually wanted to pay.

2. Error in the fact that she judged his income based on what he made during the marriage and not his word, which we know is as good as gold right? According to him, his company hadn't made a dime since the children and I left him.

3. Error in basing the order on three children when in fact we have four. (Still scratching my head on that one. Wouldn't that mean he'd have to pay more for four?)

4. Error in imputing income to him. Why should she do that? Weren't his homemade business documents and hand picked receipts good enough for her? Gosh! Some people are so picky.
And he doesn't have any unreported cash income. Who told her that?  His wife wouldn't tell you that and she's the only one who knows. Ooops!

5. Error in her mathematical calculations. Where did this magistrate learn this fuzzy math? At the George W. Bush School of Law? Her math is clearly off if she did not see that deposits of
$120,000+$120,000+$71,000+$52,000 ($363,000)
minus withdrawals of $110,000+$55,000+$20,000 ($185,000)
equals $0?
That's the answer he got and stands by.

Bum lawyer and dumb client are a recipe for a victory on the other side.

I waited to hear from the courts as to a date when we needed to appear. But I never got anything in the mail. So finally after three weeks, I contacted the courts myself and asked them what was happening, when was the hearing date? It was explained to me that there is no hearing date and that the court wouldn't be contacting me until they had reached a decision. I was told that I had 13 days from the date of the objection to respond to it. A decision would be rendered anywhere from 30 - 90 days.

What? I had no idea and it was way past 13 days now! What to do? What to do?

I responded anyway. I addressed every item that he and his lawyer came up with as a reason why the order should be vacated and I explained the truth and the reality. It was several pages long when I was done. I made three copies and mailed them to the court. One to the magistrate that made the order, one to the objection unit and one to the support unit. I didn't even know if the objection unit was real, but I knew it would end up wth somebody.

I prayed about it, left it in God's hands and forgot about it. Whatever happened would be His will.

Well, yesterday when I got my mail, there was another manila envelope, a smaller one, from Queens Family Court. I got nervous as I usually do when I get an envelope from the court. I don't know why. I guess it just brings everything I'm going through with him back to the surface and it's unnerving.

I opened it and scanned the paper and realized it was the answer to the objection. There was nothing on the first page but some blah blah blah. So I scanned the second page and midway through it, I saw the decision.


I read it again, "Now after consideration of the recording of this proceeding, the Court denies Respondent's objection."

My first reaction was what it usually is, "Thank you, Jesus!" God had fought the battle and handed me another victory. I give Him all the glory.

My second reaction was, "You lost again, loser." LOL! I don't think God got mad at me for that. Hey, he's put me through a lot and I'm only human.

I read through the 7 pages quickly and saw that the court didn't find any errors with the magistrate's findings and backed them up with case law. The numbers he provided the court of the hundreds of thousands being deposited into his business account and withdrawals that didn't add up or were unaccounted for, didn't help him either.

When I had gotten the original support order, a friend of mine told me not to get my hopes up because most of these men don't pay. I told her that although that may be true, I couldn't believe that God had worked things out and allowed the magistrate to see past his lies and enter a substantial order only to dangle it in front of my face like a carrot before a donkey. And I believed that.

But you know what?

He didn't pay, and hasn't made one single payment based on the order. In November he paid $1,500. In December, the month when he paid $10,000 to get out of jail for violating my order of protection, he paid nothing. In January he paid $500 and in February $1,000. So out of $10,000 that should've been paid in four months, he's paid $3,000.

Now, will this denial of his objection make him start paying? I don't know, that's in God's hands. Either way, it's a win win situation for me and the children. He's already over $20,000 in arrears, so if he doesn't pay, he just keeps building up this wonderful savings account for us. If he does pay, then I can do for his children what needs to be done. In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I have to do and will leave him in God's care.

The front of this order also contains a notice informing him that if he wants to appeal, it must be done within 35 days of the mailing date of the order. I don't know why he should get to appeal after losing the objection. What more can he say?

Since he thinks he's just fighting me and not God, then I'm sure he feels he can just hire another lawyer and file an appeal and maybe win this time. I really can't say because I don't understand evil minds.

He hasn't yet learned that his arms are too short to box with God!

.....or a fool.