Upcoming Events

Monday, January 15

Walden

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Join us as we kick off the new year with a discussion of Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden. In this much-loved volume Thoreau condenses his two-year sojourn in a house which he built himself on the shores of Walden Pond just outside of Boston, Massachusetts into a single year, using the four seasons to organize and make sense of the cycle of life shared by both nature and man. It is said that "Walden is eternal". Read with us and see if you agree!

Saturday, January 27

Introduction to Vegetable Gardening

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Ready to grow your own food but wish you knew more? Then this is the class for you! Introduction to Vegetable Gardening, taught by Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic of Barking Cat Farm, will cover a range of topics to help the beginning vegetable gardener be successful growing their own food organically. Pair this class with Starting your Spring Transplants taught in the afternoon and get a jump on your 2018 garden.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

$30 members/ $35 non-members

 

Introduction to Botanical Watercolors

Perfect for beginners!

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This  full day workshop is designed for those who would like to learn how to capture the beauty of nature in watercolor. It is especially designed for beginners who have never picked up a brush before. We will cover all the basics of watercolor painting, including papers, paints, basic techniques, lighting, staging your subject etc. Participants will paint at least one subject (flower, vegetable, fruit etc) from live material during the class. Those who have paints and brushes that have been sitting idle on a shelf for years are encouraged to bring them. We will provide paper, palettes, a limited selection of paints and brushes and other materials (pencils, erasers etc). Watercolor painting will give you new ways to view and observe nature. Even those who claim that they can't draw a stick-figure will be surprised at what they can really do.  Please bring a brown bag lunch and any snacks you might want as we'll be working through lunch!

Instructor Denis Benjamin practiced pediatric pathology at the children’s hospital in Seattle and later at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth.  Now retired from medical practice he devotes his energy to natural history and documenting wildflowers and mushrooms with photography and watercolors. The latter was inspired by a workshop with the noted Russian botanical artist (Alexander - Sasha - Viazmensky). He is the author of Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas (1995, WH Freeman and Co. NY, NY) and Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging (2010 Tembe Press, Cle Elum, WA) He now lives in Fort Worth and is a Research Associate at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. He is a member of the High Country Artists in Cle Elum, WA and the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth.

$85 members/$95 non-members

Starting Your Spring Transplants

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Join Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic of Barking Cat Farm for Starting your Spring Transplants a hands-on seed starting workshop that will be taught in the FW Botanic Garden greenhouse. Tuition covers a variety of seeds and planting materials. You’ll go home with an understanding of seed starting and seeded pots that can become the foundation for your home garden.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

$20 members/$25 non-members.

 

Saturday, February 3

Botanical Watercolors: Next Steps

Develop your watercolor skills.

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This one day intensive workshop will build on the skills learned in Introduction to Botanical Watercolor. Students will learn tips for composition and watercolor techniques emphasizing realism of botanical subjects, and will create their own unique botanical piece. Please bring a brown bag lunch and any snacks you might want as we'll be working through lunch!

Instructor Samantha Peters is a science illustrator based in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, leaving once she realized illustrating her study guides was more fun than actually studying them. Afterwards, while living in New York City, she discovered a love of botanical art through classes at the New York Botanical Garden, and decided to pursue science illustration full time, attending the graduate program in Science Illustration at California State University, Monterey Bay. Samantha currently works in the graphics department at the Dallas Zoo and is the President of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Texas Group. Member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the American Society of Botanical Artists.

$85 members/$95 non-members

Required Materials List

Please bring the following items to class with you:

  • Paints: Look for professional grade watercolors. Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith are good brands. I prefer tubes, but half pan kits are also very good. Avoid student-grade watercolors like Cotman brand.
    • Basic/Primary Palette: Lemon or Winsor yellow, Cadmium yellow medium, scarlet lake, quinacridone rose, french ultramarine, prussian blue, burnt sienna, neutral tint
    • Also useful: sap green, quinacridone gold, quinacridone magenta
  • Brushes: Round watercolor brushes with good points. Size 0 and 6 are good sizes, but this depends on your preference. Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Sceptre Gold, and Princeton are good brands. Look for a sable or synthetic/sable blend with a good point.
  • Hot pressed watercolor paper (at least 9” x 12” sheet, 140lb or 300lb): recommend Fabriano Artistico or Arches brand
  • Optional supplies (useful but not required): masking fluid, lifting preparation, permanent white gouache, ox gall fluid, white cotton gloves
  • BRIT will provide other incidental supplies.

Permaculture Basics for the Home Gardener

Work smarter, not harder.

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Join us for this two hour class and discover what, exactly, permaculture is and how using the principles of permaculture can allow you to work smarter not harder when it comes to your garden and landscape. By the end of this class participants will have the basic skills necessary to begin building a sustainable and self-sufficient garden of their own.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

$20 members/$25 non-members

The Eye and the Microscope

Introduction to Microcospy

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The Eye and the Microscope:  A comprehensive beginning course into the how and why of using the compound and stereo microscopes. No math, no physics, just some basic concepts about how and why a microscope should be used in a specific way for optimal results.  Learn how your visual problems may be affecting proper use of the microscope and what to do about them.  Don’t be intimidated by any microscope you see or by who may be using one.  A behind the scenes look as to what you need to understand will make you feel comfortable and enable a whole world of excitement to be opened up to you. This two hour experience will consist of an interactive discussion and personal use with both the compound and stereo microscopes.  Immediately following, an optional one hour hands-on opportunity to gain more experience and assistance in using these microscopes will be available.  Participants are encouraged to bring samples of what they would like to view under the microscopes.  

Instructor Ed Forrester has never met an optical instrument he didn't like. His experience, ranging from clinical to surgical instrumentation and the application of lasers with an emphasis in the field of opthalmology, provides the basis for an interesting and effective approach to teaching microscopy. He has held positions ranging from product development to international marketing and and has consulted with start-up companies in the medical field. Due to his interest in photography, astronomy, and most importantly, microscopy he exhibits muse-like characteristics when teaching!

$20 members/$25 non-members

Raised Beds and Irrigation Systems

Get growing fast.

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Raised beds are a quick way to begin growing your garden and a great way to sidestep our sometimes difficult north Texas soil. Learn what your raised bed options are and the various pros and cons of each type of raised bed. Explore a variety of 'out of the box' raised bed solutions and learn how to build a simple irrigation system for your beds.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Tuesday, February 6

Dr. Humberto Perotto

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, February 19

Half Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life

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Join the BRIT Reads Book Club in February as we discuss Half Earth, the latest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O. Wilson. In this work, called "his most urgent book to date", the author lays out a proposal for preserving the biodiversity of our planet and saving ourselves from mass extinction. 

“Wilson’s passion for the planet shines through on these pages. He looks at life in its broadest, grandest sweep…Wilson is a thinker in the tradition of Alexander von Humboldt.”
Matthew Price, The National

 

Saturday, March 3

Introduction to Botanical Illustration with Colored Pencils

Take your botanical illustrations in a new direction.

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Take your botanical illustrations in a new direction and learn how to work with colored pencils - a fun, versatile medium. The class will start with an introduction to some basic drawing techniques, making this an ideal class for individuals of all skill levels. Learn how to use colored pencils to portray perspective and plant structure, create texture, detail, and depth, and to accurately reproduce realistic color. Instructor Betsy Barry will help you experiment with different paper surfaces, learn techniques for blending and shading, and learn finishing techniques that will make your drawings stand out. Individual attention will put you on the path to create a finished botanical piece. Please bring a brown bag lunch and any snacks you might want as we'll be working through lunch!

Instructor Betsy Barry is originally from New England but she is currently living and creating in Kingwood, Texas. Her artistic process includes observing the small things around her that she finds interesting and beautiful, then studying the subject and drawing directly from life, striving to capture its beauty in colored pencil, graphite pencil or pen & ink.

In 2015, Barry completed the Distance Learning Diploma Course with the Society of Botanical Artists London, graduating with Distinction. You can see her work at her website: https://www.betsybarry.com/ 

Member ASBA, American Society of Botanic Artists, Member CPSA, Colored Pencil Society of America, Member GNSI, Guild of Natural Science Illustrator

$85 members/$95 non-members

Required Materials List

Please bring the following items to class with you:

  • Graphite pencils - one each (2B, 4B, HB, 2H, 4H)
  • Hand held pencil sharpener
  • White eraser
  • Assortment of colored pencils: Faber-Castell Polychromos is my preferred brand and can be purchased online through quality art supply stores, ie: Dick Blick etc.. Colors should include a variety of greens, browns, grays and any other colors on hand.
  • Sketchbook : Canson Mixed Media sketch, minimum size 7x10. This is a great all around paper that works well for colored pencil work
  • Finish quality paper: Bristol 500 Plate surface and Stonehenge paper are good choices. A good quality, HOT Press watercolor paper or Bristol Paper are preferred, but it is a very individual choice! Can be purchased in a pad or as individual sheets.
  • BRIT will provide other incidental supplies.

Lichens: The Introductory Course

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Lichen biology is usually only included in basic science textbooks as an example of symbiotic associations between fungi and algae. There are, however, few opportunities to study the intricate structures and processes of these complex organisms compared to opportunities to study birds, rocks, flowers, and trees. The study of lichens is highly rewarding and you do not have to go very far to find them - they are all around you. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage the study of lichens in this region by exploring the basic characteristics needed to understand lichen biology and identification. This will be a self-paced, hands-on laboratory experience, using the author's Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States. Participants are encouraged to bring lichens they have collected.

Instructor Sheila Strawn is a native Oklahoman and she holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.Ed in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her Ph.D. in Grassland Ecology is from the University of Oklahoma. For the past 20 years Strawn has taught at the University of Central Oklahoma as Part-time Faculty teaching 4 to 8 hours of General Biology for non-majors each semester. She is the founding editor of the Oklahoma Native Plant Record and has served in that capacity for the last seventeen years. Her current research involves collecting, identifying, and developing distribution maps and an identification key for lichens growing in Oklahoma. Strawn is the author of Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States, which was published by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in 2017.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Required Text:

Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States
https://shop.brit.org/products/oklahomalichens

Culinary Herbal Infusions

Bright and flavorful.

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Join us in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden's kitchen and learn the basic techniques for infusing natural herbs in oil, vinegar, and honey. Make a natural infusion in class, and discover how to use infusions for culinary, household, and personal use. Take home basic recipes to expand your knowledge and skills of this fun and easy culinary craft.

Instructor Cassie Burgess is a lifelong lover of nature and plants, but herbs have always been a favorite focus. Recently, she has become fascinated by their usefulness in cooking, cleaning, and personal care. Burgess is currently studying to become an entrepreneurial herbalist, and spends lots of quality study time at the BRIT Library, expanding her knowledge of the herbal world.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Friday, March 16

The perils of pecan production: fighting the fungal, furry and feathered

Nikki Charlton & Will Moseley, Noble Research Institute

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Nikki Charlton will discuss her work with Venturia effusa, which causes pecan scab. Will Moseley will discuss wildlife depredation on pecans.

Monday, March 19

The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

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In The Wonder of Birds author Jim Robbins makes the case that birds provide our most vital connection to nature. “They compel us to look to the skies, both literally and metaphorically; draw us out into nature to seek their beauty; and let us experience vicariously what it is like to be weightless.” Join the BRIT Reads book club in March as we read and discuss our first book about our avian neighbors.

Tuesday, April 3

Rare and federally-petitioned plants of Texas

Anna Strong, Texas Parks & Wildlife

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The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has initiated status reviews for a dozen rare Texas plant species, which were petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. For these species to be accurately reviewed for listing status, scientific data must be available and up to date. One of the most reliable sources of information for Texas rare species is the Texas Natural Diversity Database (TXNDD), which is maintained by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This presentation will discuss efforts to assist the TXNDD and USFWS in determining the listing status for the one dozen petitioned plants. For each species, a status report was completed to provide comprehensive species information, including population information, threats, and conservation efforts. Site visits to update population information are ongoing, but have been conducted for as many species and populations as possible.

anna strong

 

Monday, April 16

Silent Spring

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, May 1

Meet the Researchers

BRIT Researchers

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What makes the BRIT Researchers tick? How did they develop an interest in botany, and how did they end up here? Find out at this very special presentation! Members of the BRIT Research staff will give a series of five-minute "lightning talks" about how they got started in science and what their current job entails. There will be time for questions and answers after, and our special exhibit will be open to view: "BRIT Collections: The Hidden Gardens of BRIT."

Monday, May 21

Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, June 5

Victoria Bennett

Texas Christian University

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, June 18

The Signature of All Things

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Wednesday, July 11

Green Revolution

Reggie Robinson, Jared Williams, and the GR Agents of Change

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Green Revolution is an ESTEM (Environmental, Science, Technology, Engineering, and math) and positive youth-development program that provides environmental education experiences that sustain the natural curiosity of youth.

Click here to learn more about the Green Revolution program.

Monday, July 16

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, September 4

Pura Vida – Thinking Locally, Connecting Globally

BRIT Education

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, September 17

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, October 2

Acquiring an Orphaned Collection: The University of Louisiana Monroe Herbarium

BRIT Research

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, October 15

The Sound of Butterflies: A Novel

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, November 6

BRIT Research Botanist

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A lecture from our newest BRIT Research Botanist. Expected start date July 2018. Topic to be decided.

Monday, November 19

Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!