Catching Up

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Spring is shaping up nicely in The Mitten. Honey and I actually got out there one day last week and did some yard work, weeding, cutting back grasses and such. Mousey helped me empty our shed of chairs, wind chimes and the pretty shelves and other things that help us enjoy our patio. I was sitting on the front porch yesterday afternoon with the elder felines and young catten and decided that this week needs to be the first grass cutting.

But, I got ahead of myself, we need to go back to Easter weekend. We took a trip over the Ambassador Bridge to see The Canadians! They have been here, but it had been far too long since we had visited the land of Honey’s people!

Queeny B and Paisley!

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Paisley with her big brother Burke!

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Then Turtle, Kim and sons! Parker and Spencer are adorable!

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Finally Krazy Kenny, Honey’s sister Nanny Rachel, and Burke again. We need to do it again soon, those kids are SPROUTING too quick!!!!!

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Our Easter Girlies. I am not sure what animals they are, but I love it!

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We spent Easter Sunday at church and then joined The Grandpa, Beeve, Stacey and Goomba for lunch at a mediterranean restaurant, in a nod to our Savior’s place of origin.

I am hosting the Sharing Day fellowship for BSF admin and children’s leaders again this year. I have set a goal to have my flowers planted and arranged attractively in their places. It will either turn out great or cause me great angst. To help me get a jump on my plan, Jip the Farm Dog and I are heading out to the Favorite Flower Place on Thursday after BSF. She is, of course, buying flowers for her own yard. For some reason we have a great fondness for buying way too many flats and pots and then have to perform something like garden Jenga to get them all in the vehicle. We evidently like a challenge and take great pride in recalling our past successes!

Have a pleasant Monday.

BFG For the WIN!

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This is my Bible case. Pathetic I know. It’s probably 10-15 years old. I had never used one before, so when I bought it at Sam’s Club, I chose one of the two they had.

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It has been well used. It most likely has been worn more than normal because of sliding it in and out of my BSF bag for so many years. Those handles are flat worn out. It was getting embarrassing.

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I began looking for a new cover several years ago. I thought the biggest problem was going to be locating another case with handles. That seemed to be rare. Well not completely rare, but rare to find one without excessive…..decoration. The ones with handles were fain-cy! Loud colors, wild prints, bejeweled. I was looking for something a little more subdued, Some were too soft, some were too big, kind of like a purse, some too young looking. I was starting to feel like Goldilocks. Dissatisfied.

I looked in stores, I looked on Etsy, I looked on e-bay to see if there might be another like my Beloved.

A year ago last Christmas I found this one online and I ordered it. My hopes were high. Then they were dashed. In all of my looking I did not know that the inside of Bible cases were not created equal. Mine had several slots for things in the front and a large pen/pencil/marker holder in the back . The new case was woefully inadequate. It had one little loop for one stinkin’ pen!!!!! And all of those handy dandy slots and compartments are apparently what I need to carry my Bible successfully. I used the new one for approximately 1 month, then I went back to my first, true love. The rattiest Bible case in the Kingdom.

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I used the Case of Abomination for another year, until I had what I thought could be a great idea. I wondered if perhaps Capri Deb might have an idea how to make my new case into an useful engine? She is a clever and insightful gal! She took pictures of the inside of my old one and took the new one home with her before Christmas.

I saw her last week and look what she brought me!!!!! Her husband, BFG made these nifty inserts!!!! To hold all my junk!!!!!

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3×5 cards, prayer requests, book mark, and my personal fan for when I am sparking!

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And yes, I DO need all those pens and markers and a pencil!IMG_4666

I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. it!!!!!!! No more nasty case!

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Thanks BFG and Capri D, I am a happy girl! Little baby geniuses is what they are!!!

Stuff From the Days

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Hey Y’All, it’s Monday again. Every time I turn around, how about you?

I read this last week. Abby had picked it up at the library sale for a buck. She said she had read it before and liked it a lot, so it came highly recommended. I did like it, but it made me feel supremely skeptical of my own personal survival skills. It’s about a couple that didn’t know each other, who survived a plane crash in the mountains. I think I will look into this author’s other work.

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I laid to rest the completed Whole 30 on Tuesday, a moment of silence for the death of the NO wheat/rice/corn/beans/sweetener/dairy/joy diet.

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

I finally lost a little weight on the last week, bringing my total to 7 if I count the extra 2 pounds I started with from vacation, and you know I am.

Here is my Wednesday!!!!!!! What a pleasure to be back at the old Chip and Dip!!!!

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They want you to add things back in gradually, to see if any food group in particular causes you grief. I’m not going to lie, this was nigh unto impossible. I was feeling successful after leaving lunch because I had fajitas with no cheese, sour cream or tortilla, OR Diet Coke, just steak, mushrooms and guac, plus the chips and salsa. I was feeling proud of myself for only introducing corn. But then I remembered that I had those 2 birthday cupcakes and piece of pineapple upside down cake in the freezer and that put flour, sugar and dairy back in the mix in one fell swoop! BAM!

In my defense, I did not eat ALL of the dessert at once. That would be wrong. I spread it out over 2 days and was thankful it was gone. I practically licked the container, didn’t want to waste any of that frosting.

It was pretty much all down hill after that.

Honey wanted to try this place we had never visited called Primanti Brothers. They had really good pizza and because we wanted to get a better picture, we had their fried pickles and sandwiches.

That was a yummy burger! Of course I had been burger deprived for a month, but I think it was pretty good! I’m telling you right now that Honey helped with those fries. And I only ate 1/2 the burger and the other half for Sunday lunch.

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Honeys corned beef extravaganza.

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If I’m being honest, and I always strive to do so, I think I do feel more achy and sore. My back and shoulders, ribs and waist seem more uncomfortable since going back to eating anything in the whole anything kingdom. I am thinking dairy is in the clear because I have had the least of that. I am thinking wheat is the culprit. I am going to be more intentional this week and see if I notice any difference.

We then came home and watched Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing. It was a horrible thing, but it was really something to see how quickly they could figure things out to identify the bombers and how things happened. Plus a few lucky breaks.

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There is evidence of spring in The Mitten!!!!! #proofoflife! We had wonderful weather this weekend!

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Today was the first day of the 2017 walking season with Keelyody! It was lovely and springy outside, we didn’t even have to start with gloves and heavy jackets!

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And so it begins.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Happy April! Click on the button below if you would like to link up. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, it’s a little early to be working in the garden up here in The Mitten. The backyard is still closed up for winter, pots covered, debris to be cleared, furniture in the shed. Heck, Honey’s snow plowing sticks are still in the ground and their services could still be needed! I’m going to say a solid 5, we are no further ahead or behind than usual, just dormant.

We have had a few nice days that caused the day lillies to poke their heads up for a looksee, but that’s about it. Once it looks like spring has sprung, the first thing we usually do is get the chairs and patio pretties out of the shed and start cleaning up the beds, cutting stuff back and distributing the pots back to their homes.

I do need to get on the stick and get my hyacinth bean seeds planted in the house so they can be ready to plant in the ground. They need to have a good head start so they can climb the trellis and have a party at the top! That’s my big plans.
2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?This could be love, laughter, friendship and memories. Not sown in dirt the traditional way, but beautiful, lovingly cared for, and treasured all the same. All grown in the garden of life.
3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Creator.

I don’t understand how anyone could think that all the amazing, beautiful, intricate things in our world could have just evolved out of nothing. The human body, our universe and its delicate balance, a mind complicated enough to build a computer, watch, or rocket ship and solve intricate problems. There has to be a Creator.
4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I don’t think you would know unless I told you, I have a pretty good poker face 🙂
5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like the color yellow, just not on my person. None is represented in my wardrobe or our home, but I love, love, LOVE it in the garden! I have many yellow day lillies and black eyed Susan’s, and have a special place in my heart for the sunflower because it was our oldest daughter’s favorite for many years.

My favorites lately are the cheerfully reliable zinnias!

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And happy million bells. They add so much.

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6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet or sandals. My flip flop days are long gone, plus that slapping sound annoys me.
7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

For so many years we were on vacation at Easter, it has only been the last couple of years that we have even been home. I find myself at loose ends and very out of practice! The only things set in stone are we will go to church and we will eat….something! Another tradition would be Easter baskets, I still do that for the girls.

We are studying John this year at BSF and we are almost to the crucifixion. I want to always remember what the Lord suffered so that I could have my sins forgiven and be made righteous. He sacrificed himself so that I could believe in Him and have my sins covered by His blood, and receive the blessing of His Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and refine me.

John 14:25-27

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His death and resurrection prove He has power over the grave and is fully capable of offering forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. That is something to celebrate!!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday from 2000, SEVENTEEN years ago!!!!! We were in Florida for Easter break. This is when we used to take the kids out of school for an additional week to have a nice long vacation! We are at Islands of Adventure here.

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Eleven year old Ab-Cat, nine year old Boy and six year old Mousey.

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We spent quite a bit of time at Seuss Landing!

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Back at the pool, their happy place!

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Thanks for stopping by, Happy Easter!

An April List

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April all ready?? Four months into the new year we celebrated about ten minutes ago???WOW.

Feeling listy here.

A week ago Saturday we celebrated some birthdays with pot roast, carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy and garlic mushrooms! We combined The Ab-Cat and The Grandpa, since they are only a month apart, it is our way. We were supposed to birthday them earlier but Dad came down with a truly heinous cold/flu that really laid him up, like for weeks! We are thankful he is feeling back to normal!

Mousey captured his fairly elaborate candle blowing extravaganza!

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He claims this as his favorite cake.

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Then Abby was up! Cherry chip seems to be the favorite of our womenfolk!

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Blew the fire right off that cupcake! Mrs. H. had a prime seat, between both birthday celebrants!

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Tomorrow is the final day of The Whole 30 diet I have been struggling through. I am not sure which contraband substance I will reintroduce first. Cream in my tea? The frozen birthday cupcake in my fridge? I have a feeling it is going to be Chip and Dip! The BSF lunch gals have been very gracious to go with me to a Mediterranean place for the last month, but we are all hankering for some chips and salsa!!!!!

While eating dinner on Thursday, I found a strange ingredient, my crown.

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Thankfully the dentist squeezed me in on Friday afternoon to glue that bad boy back into place! Thank the Lord it wasn’t damaged and I didn’t crunch it! I am a little concerned because now that tooth seems way too sensitive to hot and cold, and it never sported those features before. I am observing.

Honey came down with a nasty bug and has been miserable for days. I do believe he has turned a corner and is on the uptick. Because he was suffering and I was unhappy because some antibiotics I was taking had caused some mouth ulcers, we were not the most ambitious folk. I called a Bones week, and managed to plow part way through seasons 7 and 8, one after another. What did we ever do without Netflix during sickness? It reminded me of my enjoyable time spent with my friends from CSI Miami after surgery!

Only 6 more weeks of BSF!!!!!!! Goodness, this has been the fastest year ever!

Looking forward to the walking season beginning with Keelody! Will have to see if Jip the Farm Dog is onboard for another go, that one is a busy farm dog!

I know I mentioned that Honey was retiring in January of next year, That has been tweaked to March of next year for several reasons. But we are now OFFICIALLY counting down , 11 months until retirement, WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, have yourselves a pleasant Monday!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, welcome to the last March Hodgepodge of 2017! If you would like to link up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s, our hostess with the most-est!

From this Side of the Pond 

1. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’  What’s something you’ve seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

Mrs. Schmenkman posted this on the Facebook yesterday! They are having full on spring down in Virginia!!!!! Beautiful!

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2. Our culture and beauty…your thoughts?

I think our culture focuses WAY too much on what a person looks like on the outside, and WAY too little attention on developing the inside. There are a lot of ignorant, shallow, crude, unkind, stupid, dishonest, pretty people out there. I remember one year at my Bible study they had a page of verses for developing character over physical traits. That’s what we should be more concerned with, beautiful hearts and souls.
3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep…which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

I would LOVE some beauty sleep! In this ever changing life stage I find myself in, sleep and beauty are becoming hard work.. Sleep seems to be optional, with no rhyme or reason for disruption. As far as looks go, I’m just putting out fires here! Loss of skin elasticity, strange spots, new products designed to restore, repair and revitalize, it’s all Temple Maintenance from here on out!

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-
alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider.
Which ‘beast’ on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

Wow, I think you about nailed all of my animal fears here Joyce! Sharks, alligators and rattle snakes scare me the most and bedbugs and rats creep me out pretty bad. The likelihood of an interaction with any of them is very slim, THANK GOODNESS!!!!

Jaws came out when I was in 7th grade and I have never comfortably swam in the ocean again. I’m ok with that, there are other bitey things in there anyway! I am not a huge fan of swooping birds either and the movie probably has more than a little to do with that. I saw it when I was very young, maybe 5, when we were visiting friends. Way to supervise the kids Folks!

I have never had a real life encounter with any of the above, although a bird did poop on my hand at MGM Grand theme park, that was bad enough.

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

A particularly loud cell phone with a bell ring tone went off during lecture at Bible Study Fellowship last week. It was a little alarming because it took the gal forever to find her phone and turn it off!
6. What’s your favorite carb? How’s that for random?

I am really missing carbs these days. I am one week away from completing The Whole 30, a diet devoid of most carbs and all happiness. Right now my favorite carbs seem to be the cherry chip cupcakes sitting on my island. They are tempting me MIGHTILY, but I have not succumbed. I did put 2 of them and a piece of my Dad’s pineapple upside down birthday cake in the freezer to enjoy after my time of confinement is over. I.Can’t.Wait. I also do love a crunchy kettle chip.
7. Let’s wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

Many kinds of Michigan weather! Freezing cold, 70s, damaging winds and much rain!

Absolutely missing dairy on this diet!!!!!

Remake of Beauty and the Beast. The original was huge around our house back in the day. We quite enjoyed it!

Correspondence with The Boy! We are pen pals!

Hungry, a fitting end.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here’s the Way Back When-sday part of the post.

The Boy and his wife, The Dane, are expecting a baby this summer! As I mentioned, he and I have been writing letters to each other. Michigan and Washington state are far apart and he suggested we should kick it old school and use the U.S. Postal Service to write down some thoughts.

In his previous letter he was saying how excited he is to meet his child and asking me some of my recollections while waiting for my first baby. In my last letter, I sent him a couple pictures of himself as a newborn and a 6 month old, along with a picture of myself, rocking a sweeeeeet Osh Kosh BGosh maternity jumper, at 9 1/2 months pregnant!  They made that boy come out, he was not showing any signs of vacating the premises!

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And here he is at 6 months, precious little Buddy Bear!

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Time flies so quickly!

Thanks for stopping by.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, welcome to another edition of Wednesday Hodgepodge. My thanks to Joyce for hosting and giving us something to talk about!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title ‘March Madness’?

I am participating in the Whole 30 diet this month and I’ve got to say it’s madness, or just maddening. I wrote about some of my observations here. I understand why they call it whole 30, as in whole foods, nothing artificial or contraband, but I feel like a more apt title is the Less 30. Mama is cranky. Anyway, I am focusing my laser like attention on April 4th. I will celebrate by putting cream back into my tea. Hallelujah!!

2. What’s a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children’s childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there’s a story behind the origin please share.

Our kids did not typically make up the word, they usually just mispronounced the word. Honey is the word maker upper around here. Things like joofered (which means all screwed up) and ESKATA and SABADASKA, that are usually yelled loudly and can mean several things, surprise, anger, victory. I have heard these words coming out of the mouths of our children as well.

My brother Beeve combined a couple words when he was a young boy. He once indignantly said “Well, evidentually you just don’t know!” I still use that one.

3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-
clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don’t get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen ‘quick’ tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

I of do a lot of these things when I notice they have gotten out of hand! All it takes is a bright, sunny day to make me realize that we have very productive spiders in our foyer!

Our windows need to be cleaned but it’s probably too soon to tackle that. April will be a better time.

The other afternoon I was sitting by the window with Mousey having a conversation and  noticed the wood blinds and the window panes behind them were a little ….furry. That probably means that our fans need a little attention as well. In my defense, we have 4 cats, we will never be fur free around here.

I will get to it shortly.:)

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

Easy peasy, You’ve Got Mail, set in New York City.

5. What’s put a spring in your step this month?

Honey says he is officially retiring in one year, let the countdown begin!

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

I am sure I entertained the thought at some point but not enough to put any rubber to the road. I did not particularly enjoy school but I have definitely benefitted from some wonderful teachers, our children as well. The Ab-Cat is currently a para professional at an elementary school and I hear about the challenges the teachers and staff face on a regular basis. There seems to be a lot more dysfunction than I remember, for myself or our kids. Teachers have a difficult job meshing learning, personalities, behavior, and encouraging students to catch the excitement of experiencing new things. My hat is off to them. The naughty kids would do me in.

7.  What’s your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I am not a gal who likes a lot of smells around me. No air fresheners, limited candles, rare perfume. Some smells actually give me headaches, and I’m talking to you lady with the heavy handed perfume squirter. I like floral smells in nature, not in food and I don’t drink wine.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post.

A big Happy Birthday goes out to my Dad this week! Here he is with two year old Ab-Cat, his special girl! My folks were wonderful about helping with our children, but they kept Abby for us two days a week while I was still working, and it created a very strong bond. I showed him this picture when he came to get his haircut earlier this week. He said “Awww, there’s my Little Love!”

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Grandfather extraordinaire! Games, swimming, Barbie’s, you name it, he played it.

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Faithful is a word that comes to mind. In family, in faith and in life.

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Patient applies as well!

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We will celebrate him this weekend with dinner and his favorite, pineapple upside down cake.

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With his best friend, Mrs. H.

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Happy Happy Birthday Dad/Grandpa!! You are VERY loved!!!!!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!