I enter the room, leading with my hips. I don’t really walk across the office to my chair— I stalk. I prowl. I glide, with each movement promising a slow, torturous pleasure. Hot. Sensuous. I can feel the temperature in the chilly office rising by the second.

When I take my place in the chair across from his desk, I do so carefully, leaning back with an artful abandon and crossing my legs a la Sharon Stone in front of me. I throw my arms wide across the back of the seat, fingers toying playfully with the fabric.

“So,” I say, raising one hand to run my fingers through my hair, tousling it until it falls in sexy, messy waves around my shoulders. I glance at him from beneath my lashes, eyebrows raised. I give a sultry little laugh. “I bet you can’t guess what The Bean and I were doing two months ago.”



Does anyone else have any better suggestions for breaking the news of my pregnancy to my boss?

I asked my stupid brain for ideas and that’s the only scenario it seems to come up with. I think it wants to torture me, because it knows how embarrassed I am about bringing up the subject. Seriously, how does one do this? There’s no polite way to lead into a conversation like that. “Oh, you want me to order you an extra box of pencils? Heh—- speaking of pencils…..”

Help me out guys. I’m drawing a complete blank here. I mean, it wouldn’t be so bad… except that no matter how I look at it, I am pretty much announcing to my conservative, Christian boss that The Bean and I were engaging in loud, sweaty hankypanky last April. How the heck do I go about doing that?

Do I tell him face to face? Do I go into his office, go over to his side of the desk and elbow him in his side, saying, “I’m going to need some time off in January, if you know what I mean. Nudge, nudge. Wink, Wink.”

What if I take the chicken way out and leave a note? How the heck do I word it?

“Dear Mr. Boss,

I’m pregnant.

We need to talk.”

What if his wife finds that? I’m thinking it wouldn’t go over too well.

The whole idea of blurting out my pregnancy suddenly seems beyond embarrassing. You’d think I’d be better at it since this is my second time in the land of the knocked-up. The problem is, last time I was so embarrassed to bring it up to anyone that… well… I didn’t.


I told one or two people whoI knew loved to gossip, and I let them do all the dirty work.

Of course, that little method didn’t work so well for me in the end, know that I think about it.

Do you know what the definition of awkward is? Having your own father call you three weeks before you are due and asking you if the rumors of your pregnancy and new husband are true.



I am the queen of procrastination. Just try and beat that.

Wait. On second thought, don’t try to beat it. Use your creative tendencies to try and help me come up with professional ways of breaking the news of this pregnancy. I obviously need all the help I can get.


Dear Office LookyLoos


I am SO sorry.

Look, there are people who can puke quietly, and there are people who can’t.

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, I can’t.

I am not one of those quiet, dainty pukers.

I wish I was, though. Trust me, I’d much rather head into the bathroom and deposit my breakfast/lunch/snack/whatever into the toilet with nothing more than a delicate cough. It’d be awesome. I could be, like, a dainty little geisha of morning sickness.

But I’m not.

I’m so sorry. For both our sakes.

Look, I’m sorry that it sounds like I’m waging a great and epic battle. I’m really not. There’s no angry horde that I’m fighting against. There’s no bellowing minotaur attacking me in the bathroom stall.

It’s just me. Puking. And I know you don’t believe it, but I’m really trying to be quiet about it.


So now that I’ve explained myself, do you think it’s possible that you could stop crowding around the door of the bathroom, whispering in awe? It’s kind of embarrassing enough as it is.




I’m sorry, guys. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I am.

So, this weekend I had a unique puking experience. I was sitting in front of the computer when I suddenly realized I had made the huge mistake of letting my stomach get slightly empty.

On a side note: Dear Squidgelet. You are the size of a kidney bean. Do you have any idea how pathetically small that is? I know you don’t want to hear this, but really. C’mon. Do you REALLY need me to eat every 45 minutes? You do realize that one bite of a hamburger would be enough calories to feed you for a week, right? If you’re really worried about our supply, have you even taken a moment to look around? Don’t you see that gigantic bubble butt Mama’s carting around with her? I assure you’ve I’ve packed away ample supplies for, oh, two pregnancies. And a small third-world nation. Seriously, kid. Lighten up. I’ve got this whole not-starving thing under control.

Anyways, like I was saying, I had committed the cardinal sin of not cramming food down my mouth for at least an hour. CRAP. Desperate, I lunged at the nearest bit of food I could find— which just so happened to be an opened bag of Skittles.

Cool. It’s not often that you can find uneaten candy lurking around the Bean household, so I definitely hit jackpot. I wolfed the package down rapidly, and sat sweating in front of the computer, trying to see if I had eaten in time.

I hadn’t.

Right about the time I felt that weird, prickly, cold sweat start on my upper lip, I knew. So, off to the bathroom I dashed, scrabbling to tie my hair back in a scrunchy. I made it, but just in time.

And do you know what?

Skittles puke is rather artistic. The colors mix together like a vibrant little easter egg, and it’s actually quite pretty.

No, no, really. It is.

No, REALLY. I’m being serious here.

I want you all to know that I came THIIIIIIIIIIS close to hollering at the Bean like an excited pre-schooler when I was done. “Bean! Come in here! Look what I made!”

What made the whole experience even a little more fun, was the entire time I was heaving into the toilet, I heard that darn girl’s voice whispering in my head. Sigh.

I’m such a victim of marketing campaigns.

“Skittles. Taste the rainbow.”

Letting the Squidgelet Shop

It all started out so innocently.

Lately, eating has lost its appeal for me. Trust me— once you’ve shot Mint ice cream out your nose so hard that you had a nosebleed for an hour, food just doesn’t look all that edible.

On a side note— why can’t I vomit like a normal person? Seriously. This whole constant-vomit thing would be a lot easier if I could just find a way to make it come out my mouth, and not my nose.

Let’s all say it together: “EWWWWWWwwwwww.”

So, yeah. Moving on. Like I’ve said before, morning sickness sucks.

Nevertheless, life goes on. I’ve got a couple more weeks of this (C’mon, second trimester!). On Monday, after nibbling listlessly at stale Triscuit crackers for the better part of the morning, I took my lunch hour and went to the overly fancy, over-priced grocery store that’s near my work: Bristol Farms.

The difference between Bristol Farms and a regular grocery store is the same difference between Nordstroms and Walmart. Only classy people seem to shop at Bristol Farms (they’re probably the only people who can afford it), and the sales people fall all over themselves in an effort to ensure that your grocery shopping experience is all that you hope it can be. Seriously— I think if I asked them to bag my groceries in the hide of an endangered baby spotted seal, they’d probably do it. It’s a pretty neat store, with a great bakery, delicious fruits, and a ridiculously large selection of cheeses. Maybe I’m being a little dumb here, but how many different kinds of cheeses does this world need? It’s cheese. You put lots and lots of it on everything, and it makes things better. Seriously, people, it’s not rocket science.

My only complaint about Bristol Farms (aside from the price of everything) is that everyone who shops there looks like they just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I dare you: The next time you are in Southern California, go to the Newport Beach Bristol Farms and see if I’m lying. I’m not. It’s almost creepy how beautiful everyone is. Most of the people there during the lunch hour are upper-class executive types who have stopped by for their power lunch. All the men are over 5’11” and glowing with bronzed muscles, expensive clothing, and exuding an all-around aura of health and vitality. The only women who aren’t a size 1 or lower are one or two really gorgeously curved stay-at-home-moms in a size 3, dressed in running clothes and obviously on their way back down to a size 1. They fill their baskets with things like organic tofu and bean curd, and probably even find a way to buy diet fruit.

Insecure much? Me? Nah.

Anyways, last Monday I was walking around Bristol Farms, basket dangling from my arm, letting Squidgelet do some shopping. The Squidgelet method of grocery shopping entails me wandering up and down the aisles, staring at stuff, imagining eating it, and then letting Squidgelet increase or decrease the nausea to let me know whether he/she approves. I’ve tried eating healthy and forcing the angry little bean inside me to obey my salad-and-boiled-egg preferences, but I never win. Healthy food equals an immediate puking. Letting Squidgelet choose lunch usually means I’ll keep down at least half of it. I’ve learned not to argue.

The first thing that seemed like it might work was a piece of string cheese. I grabbed a piece and threw it in my basket… then realized that I might as well grab a couple and stock up for the week. So I grabbed a couple of string cheeses, and then threw in several individually wrapped cheddar slices just in case I got the urge for a couple later on in the week.

I wandered down the aisle a little further, and passed the soda section. Oooh! If I grabbed a Dr. Pepper, I might actually be able to mask the taste of my prenatal vitamin. Good thinking, Becky!

I wandered the rest of the store, but nothing looked good. I glanced down at my nearly-empty basket and sighed. A piece of string cheese was not going to hold me through the day. I needed something with substance, even if I would probably puke it back up later.

I wandered over to the Deli & Prepared food section and glanced around, but nothing seemed appealing. Still, I needed to eat something. I grabbed a little to-go tray and scooped a miniscule amount of macaroni and cheese into the corner. If Squidgelet wanted string cheese, maybe he/she would accept macaroni and cheese too? Grabbing the next spatula, I scooped a small amount of beef pasta into the other corner. The pregnancy books always say protein helps morning sickness, right?

I stared at the nearly empty tray in my hand, and at the lonely little bits of pasta in them. I couldn’t bring this up to the front. I’d look stupid if I bought a tray with only 2 spoonfuls of food. Grabbing at random, I snagged the spatula that belonged to the vegetable lasagna, and went to slice myself off a piece.

The spatula slipped.

Suddenly, instead of a tiny slice of lasagna, I had cut myself a WAD of lasagna. It was enormous. Gigantic. Cake-sized. Garfield would have been satisfied with this slice of lasagna.

I glanced around, and sure enough, there was a woman waiting in line behind me. I mean, I couldn’t put the slice back, right? She’d probably get all offended. Barely managing to balance the behemoth on the spatula, I put it in my to-go tray, where it almost didn’t fit.

Great. I was now the proud owner of 97 pounds of vegetable lasagna. Lucky me.

Tossing the container in my basket, I made my way to the checkout counter. It was there, standing beside the candy aisle, that I realized the entire reason for my visit: I wanted— no. I NEEDED a Twix.

I stared at the Twix.

The Twix stared back at me.

I began to drool slightly. In my entire life, I’ve never seen anything that looked tastier than that Twix.

The golden wrapper winked at me seductively. Hey baby. Headed my way?

Heck, YEAH, I’m headed your way!

I tossed one into my basket, then realized that one probably wouldn’t be enough. This was the first thing that had looked appealing in weeks. Surely this was an occasion to celebrate? I tossed in a second, gleefully. Two Twixes. Four little chocolately bars, all to my own. Ah, sweetness.

Standing there with my now-full basket, I realized that I was sandwiched in line between two outstandingly fit, good-looking people. The Asian woman in front was a vision of loveliness. Petite and beautiful in an expensive skirt business suit, she looked like she’d just wandered off the set of Ally McBeal. I mention her race because in my experience, certain Asian ethnicities take “petite” to a whole new level. While totally proportional, this woman was TINY. I tried to find some sort of reference for how tiny she was, and finally realized that her hips were the size of my thigh.

Let me emphasize that again: her entire hips were the size of my ONE thigh.

It was hard to believe we were even the same species.

Suddenly grossed out at my disgustingly large whiteness, I glanced behind me and saw Brad Pitt.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t Brad Pitt. I think it was his better-looking younger brother.

Red faced, nauseous, and feeling completely unattractive, I turned around to face forward, starting at Little-Miss-Tiny-and-Perfect in annoyance.

She placed one tiny package of sushi rolls on the conveyor, neatly arranging the singular package low-sodium soy sauce beside the chopsticks.

I glanced behind me at Mr. Pitt. In his hands he held (of course) a protein bar.

Sighing, I repositioned my basket and unloaded my oversized sugary soda, a several-pound plate of cheesy lasagna, several candy bars, and finally dumping the approximately 47 pieces of cheese in a large mound over the pile.

Behind me, Mr. Pitt carefully placed a divider bar between us before laying his lonely protein bar on the conveyor belt.

I swear, I’ve never felt so fat in my entire life.


I haven’t abandoned this blog. It’s just that I have NOTHING left in me to write right now.

Who invented morning sickness? This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. Seriously. What purpose can this possibly serve? I am protecting my growing fetus by living in a world that smells like rancid hot dogs and puking 4 and 5 times a day? That’s not even logical. In my next life I am coming back as a man.

I hate life.

Anyways, enough whining…. Who has time to whine when there’s all this puking to be done? I’m thinking of asking the doctors for some antiemetics. Hopefully those will do the trick and I can pull my head out of the toilet long enough to jot down some of the interesting stories I’ve been thinking of lately.

If they don’t, well, I’ve only got about 5 or 6 weeks left of this all-day misery left.

Why, oh, why was I born a mammal? If I were an ostrich, I could just wander around in front of The Bean and lay an egg, then wander off. He’d gather it up and have to do all the hard work.

If I were a sea horse, I’d squirt the Squidgelet into him halfway through the pregnancy and then go… I dunno. Hang out with some cool-looking sea weed while he suffered through the third trimester and childbirth.

Even better, if I were an emperor penguin I would lay an egg, give it to him, then head off to the beach and not return until it”s a cute, fuzzy, chirping chick.


I’m totally coming back as a man in my next life. I’m never going to get married (who wants to listen to a pregnant wife whine all day long?) and I’m going to drink lots of beer, walk around all day without my shirt on, and spend most of the day scratching my junk. It’s going to be bliss.

Riding Horses: Cotton

The last time I wrote about riding horses, I stopped after I rode Rocky the stallion. Surprisingly enough, riding the Ninja Horse (as I‘ve decided to call him) was not the high point of the weekend. Bunnygal has quite a collection of horses (mostly foundation-bred cutters) and one of her personal favorites is a short, stout, bay roan mare named Cotton. While Rocky is also a bay roan, Cotton takes the fancy coloring to a whole new level. She’s more silver than bay, and she has a thick, lush, waterfall of mane and forelock that she peeks out under with large, liquid eyes. She looks like she should be a child’s pony or a Breyer horse rather than a cutter.

Don’t be fooled by her short stature and pretty markings—that mare has moves, and she means business. She’s short— technically she should be too short for me to feel comfortable on, considering she’d probably have to stretch on her toes to be 14.3 and I’m 5’9” and not exactly slender at the moment. Her saving grace is bulk— that mare has one of the largest hindquarters and widest, deepest chests I’ve ever seen. If you made her a little taller, she’d probably top out at 1500 pounds. As it is, although I’m not that great at guessing weights, I’d imagine she’s got to be around 1100 pounds. It’s like riding a Mack truck on daschund-sized legs. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not disproportionate. She’s just… BIG. Short, but BIG. It’s a lot of bulk to move around as fast as she does, but that mare is kitty-cat quick. She’s quick enough that until recently, Bunnygal hasn’t allowed me to ride her— and frankly, I haven’t even been interested in asking. Not only was she one of the quickest of the bunch, she had a hard time not over-anticipating the needs of her rider, which made her a little edgy to ride. On the last day of the magic weekend I had a couple of days ago, Bunnygal offered her to me. “Wanna try Cotton?” she said with a sly smile. I perked up immediately. I was magic. I was golden. I was having the best riding weekend of my life. “You bet!”

I grabbed the mare out of her pen and tied her to the trailer while I groomed and tacked her up. She dozed sleepily in the sun, leg cocked. Bunnygal sat nearby, offering me helpful, ominous suggestions. “She’s sensitive. You really need to stay off her mouth. And don’t use your legs, or you’ll end up on your back in the arena. She’s quick. Stay deep in the saddle and don’t tense up, or she’ll take off with you, and you’ll probably end up sitting in the sand. Ride with your body, not with your hands. Don’t ask her to stop until you’re ready, or you’ll end up in your butt in the arena.”

Wow. Every other suggestion was about how I was going to end up in my butt in the arena. What was I about to do?

One of the great things about saddling a short horse is that they are, well, SHORT. Tossing the saddle up on Cotton’s back was simple, and bridling her was a breeze, especially with her low-slung, sleepy head. I led her out into the middle of the round pen, checking the girth. Cotton heaved a deep sigh, and switched her weight to her other foot, settling in for what appeared to be a deep snooze.

I grabbed her reins and heaved myself up into the saddle, biting back a hiss of pain (thank you, Rheumatoid Arthritis, for giving me the swollen, damaged knees of a 90 year old woman. ‘Preciate it.) The second my butt hit the saddle, the effect was instantaneous. Gone was the sleepy, placid mare who had been dozing in the sun less than 2 seconds ago. In her place was a coiled spring of a horse that fairly vibrated with the need to anticipate my requests. I could feel her, edgy and tense, beneath me. It was like sitting on a large border collie. Technically, she wasn’t moving. But I could feel her quivering, tense, trying to anticipate were I would send her. Left? Right? Rollback? Gallop? Back? What? Was that a movement? Go? Stay? Left? Right? Where? I could actively feel her trying to anticipate where I what I was going to ask her. Weird.

I gently, slowly eased my weight around until I found the sweet spot in the saddle, and then I sat for a few moments, trying to get a feel for her. I’d never been on a horse that was this charged up and fired to go that wasn’t already jigging in place or engaging in a full-blast spook session. It was almost unnerving, feeling that much getupandgo while still sitting completely still.

I gave Cotton a few moments to see if she would relax, but she remained tense. I leaned forward slowly, petting her rock-hard neck, then slid the reins slightly up her neck to “knock her off-balance.” It’s an interesting concept that Bunnygal uses on her horses, and one that I like. Instead of cuing a horse from a dead stop, which can lead to bracing or uneven starts, you knock them off balance by asking them to step to the side. It’s like the method of knocking the ice of the sled that they used in Call of the Wild. Most of the time, sliding the reins up the neck to the side (obviously, neck reigning) would cause some of the lazy starters to take a shifting half-step to the side, at which point it was easy to work with the momentum to create a fluid movement.

Obviously, Cotton was anything but a lazy starter. I slid the reins about two inches up her neck, and we were off, in a quick, smooth walk that covered ground at an impressive rate for such a short little horse. I let her make 2 revolutions of the pen, finding a rhythm. I tried to sit quietly, and kept my calves at an almost comical angle in an attempt to avoid touching her sides. I sank deep in my saddle. “Ho—“ I started to say ho, but Cotton had already beat me to the punch, and had stopped solidly, solid hindquarters tucked neatly beneath her.


We started again, and this time I tried a few turns. The turns seemed to jazz her up a little, as she anticipated being asked to really work. I ignored her lifted head and the way she tightened beneath me, put her back on the rail, and imagined myself moving faster.
Cotton broke into a jog.

Double cool. I was riding an Avatar horse. I obviously had my invisible braid plugged into her somewhere.

I wondered if I could take use her sensitivity to imagine myself cutting across the middle of the round pen, and if she would actually respond.

As I was pondering the concept, Cotton made a 90 degree turn to dart across at the exact location I had considered asking her. It took a moment to find my balance, and for a moment, I worried that I would accidentally cue her to spin out from underneath me. We held it together, and made a few more laps.

COOOOL. Avatar horse! Avatar horse!

She was trotting a little faster than she needed to be, so I worked for a few minutes trying to bring her down to a jog. That was when I realized how much I really, really, REALLY liked riding this horse.

Have you ever had a horse that just moves like you want a horse to move? I rode my idiot Thoroughbred for years and I never once felt in synch with him when I was on his back. His big trot felt alien to my body. It was easy to post, but it never felt right. His canter was beautiful, with photographically smooth action— I always felt like I was just one step away from falling off.

Cotton moved like I wanted a horse to move. It occurred to me that she was making me look good simply because of the way she was put together— at one point while I tried to work on her headset and set her speed, I accidentally used too much leg and sent her flying forward in a high-headed extended trot. Usually when this happens I look like a kindergartner on a runaway ponyride. I bounce, I flop, I slap against the saddle, and I either start posting to soothe my pride or I haul the horse to a halt and start all over.

Riding Cotton’s trot felt like riding a gated horse’s gait (and I’ve been on several different gated breeds). I asked Bunnygal afterwards, and she said she didn’t really care for Cotton’s trot. It was okay, but it wasn’t like Rocky’s, or her other mare Josie’s. Frankly, I don’t know what’s wrong with Bunnygal. I used to trust her judgment, but now I don’t know. Cotton’s movements were just THAT incredible that it’s hard for me to realize that it may not seem like that to everyone.

It was fantastic. It was like someone had superglued my butt to the saddle. I didn’t have a mirror, but I instinctively knew that I looked like every single rodeo rider I’ve ever admired. I’ve only had this experience with one other horse, and finding it again felt magical. Suddenly, I wasn’t worried about messing up anymore. I was Alec Ramsey on the Black Stallion. I was Henry on Misty of Chincoteague. I was every Indian that ever clung to the side of his galloping horse while shooting arrows.

Grinning, I decided to take a chance and use Cotton’s speed and turned her into the fence for a rollback. Cotton slid to a stop, set back on her haunches and was off trotting in the other direction before I even realized we were done.

I let out a whoop of laughter, did it again. Cotton slid to a stop, and spun the other direction, nearly unseating me with her speed before she took off in her smooth trot the other direction. I let go of my pride and grabbed the saddle horn, planted my butt and said, “HO”.

We left little twin dirt tracks in the sand behind us as Cotton sat down to stop.

“This. Mare. Is. AWESOME!” I think I actually hurt my face a little, I was smiling so big.

Bunnygal grinned back at me. “Slide your reins up her neck and apply a little leg pressure… a little more forward than you’ve been doing. Hold on.”

I grabbed the slender cutting horn, and obeyed. Cotton began to spin on her haunches, moving in a dizzying little turn that caused her back legs to dig a little pivot trench in the ground beneath us.

How. Completely. AWESOME!

I have to admit that I may have ruined the solemn learning experience I might have had riding Cotton by whooping, and hollering, and laughing like a schoolgirl during the entire ride. It was hard to stay focused and learn from my mistakes when I was too busy trying to catch my breath while giggling. Maybe that says something about my lack of professionalism and the reason why I’m not further along in my riding, but who cares? I had an absolute blast that afternoon, spinning and sliding all over the round pen.

I did have one interesting experience with Cotton that served me well this weekend: The more I tried to bring Cotton down to a pleasure horse jog, the antsier that mare became. Bunnygal is constantly telling me that I need to ride with my body, and that I rely entirely too much on my hands. It’s a concept I’m barely beginning to understand. Still, I could tell that my attempts to slow Cotton’s nervous trot, the worse the situation became. She would raise her head and speed up. I would gently touch the reins, asking her to lower her head. She would lower it briefly, then speed up even more. I would increase the pressure on the reins, and she would brace slightly (I later learned that every time I asked her to slow down I would start leaning forward in my eagerness to communicate, thereby telling her “slow down” with my hands and “Speed up!” with my body. No wonder I wasn’t getting through.) After a few tries of this, I could feel her getting impatient, almost frantic in her attempt to figure out what I mean. Her head would raise up, her breathing rate would quicken, and I could feel her start sliding out of my control.

That’s when I employed an interesting technique that I learned from an old cowboy: I dropped the reins on her neck, sat deep in my seat without moving, and threw all the control back to her. The time I did it with the cowboy, he actually made me tie the reins to my saddle horn and hold on to the horn like a child. I was 19 years old and totally terrified (5 year old off-the-track-thoroughbred, out on trail, and no way to stop him from bolting?) I was also totally humiliated. According to him (and he was right about most things), I was the one that was getting in my horse’s way and making him nervous. That’s an entirely different story though.

It’s an eerie, eerie sensation, and aside from that time with the cowboy, Cotton is the only horse I’ve ever been able to bring myself to do it on. To be honest, the only reason I felt comfortable doing it on Cotton was because I found her to be so incredibly smooth that I didn’t think she could throw me unless she was actively trying. Plus, I was in a round pen.

Like I suspected, every time I quit sending her mixed messages with the reins, she calmed down on her own and settled into an easy jog. Every time I lifted the reins and began sending muddied messages about slow-down-speed-up, she began revving herself up into a lather, trying to figure out what it was I actually wanted her to do. It was a neat sensation watching my theory actually hold true. I repeated it three or four times just to be sure. I’d wait for her to calm herself with a few trips around the round pen, then lift the reins and work on her headset/speed for about five minutes, or until she was so frantic that I felt like I was losing my connection with her. When it would hit the point that I felt like I wasn’t getting through or was in danger of losing all lines of communications by causing her to lather up and shut her brain down, I would drop the reins onto her neck and just sit quietly, waiting for her to calm herself down. I’m not sure if I would have the guts to try it on another, bouncier horse, but it was a really interesting experience and a pretty valuable lesson.

And you know what else? It absolutely SAVED my butt this weekend when the two of us got stuck in a snow drift.