I had set wb = this workbook and
set ws = wb.sheets("orders")
i = application.CountA(Range("A":"A"))
This did not seem to provide the correct count unless I was in the orders worksheet. Finally I did ws.activate and it worked fine. 2 questions
1 - When do you need to Activate
2 - Could I have avoided Activate by being explicit in my range selection......ws.range("A:A")
Don't yell at me I know I need to always explicitly name my range...I will..I just overlooked this range name somehow..