Category Archives: around our house

Still Here

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WOW! I guess I took a little break there! I am having such a hard time getting back into the blogging groove. Some might say I should just quit. But Y’all, I LOVE my blog! I really do have the desire to do it, but I have lost the bloggal mentality. I only remember a long time after that HEY, I should have posted about that! And then it seems like ancient history, and I am so behind, and so forget it. I tried to do that November thingy to get back into the habit of blogging regularly, and we all know how that worked out.

I need to just do it, come in here to our big computer and write down some thoughts or post some pictures. I am going to try folks. It’s been busy around here with our full house, but BSF is on summer hiatus, and I don’t have 7000 trips planned this summer, so fingers crossed, jumping in!

We have had The Sickness around here for the last several months, all were hit hard, all were hacking, and some are having a second go round 😦

The Dane and The Boy took the kids back to the pediatrician today and found out MoonPie has a double ear infection, and Little Dipper has the RSV virus. Well, that explains a lot. Hopefully they will be on the road to recovery right quick!

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This is one of my favorite pictures of MoonPie recently, and it tells you a little about her mood lately.

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Girlfriend’s had a short fuse these days and this makes me laugh out loud!

There have been some dicey moments with this little peanut too, but he has been sick and was busy growing some teeth, so we will let that slide 🙂

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I have been trying to make progress eating keto, but things keep happening, like vacations, birthdays, weddings, lunch with friends, you know, LIFE. I am down 9 pounds from when I originally started, so I’m choosing to celebrate that. Here are two of my  favorite recipes of late. I took both with me down to Virginia to visit Mrs. Schmenkman for the 24th annual Memorial Day Extravaganza!! I think she was a fan. ❤ Here we are, celebrating 24 years of The Hootenanny, and over 30 years of friendship!!!

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I’m not sure if I mentioned that I never really lost much weight until I added fat bombs to my diet. They have been great to help me get in the extra fat, in addition to helping me satisfy my raging sweet tooth. So WIN/WIN in my book. Schmenky used a little scoop to make little balls, but I just eat spoonfuls out of the container. No one eats it besides me, so don’t be alarmed! I probably have 1 to 4 spoonfuls a day, because some days the heart wants what the heart wants.

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Now this is a great little recipe! I have made them many times and I just keep running out! MoonPie likes to share mine and even The Dane said she liked them, so that gives you an idea about their normal taste and texture. The first time I made them I did use the garlic powder, and they were good for a more savory, dinner type of biscuit, but I have not used it since.

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I make them in a muffin tin and I saw somewhere that they have about 1.8 gram of carb each. I usually have 3, sliced with butter and my homemade Truvia jam for breakfast and it keeps me full for a good long time. Like today, I ate at about 11 and it’s now after 5 and I am not sniffing for food. Amazing!

Well, I have given it a shot today, and hopefully I will remember to come in here tomorrow!

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Pictures From the Winter

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Our house has been busy this winter! The addition of The Boy, The Dane, MoonPie and Little Dipper have revived lots of words that we have not used on a regular basis. Words like nap, diapers, baby gate, paci, car seat, patty cake. Little words for little people ❤ Oh yes, and the words Elmo and whale are pretty big too.

Here are some pictures from the last couple months. We are enjoying watching the babies grow and reach new milestones. I am particularly loving watching Honey and remembering what a good Daddy he was to our little Furlings 🙂 Papa is MoonPie’s favorite and she is very happy when he wakes up!

SNOW! Kind of a new thing for her! It was SO DANG COLD shortly after they all arrived in January! Winter made such a scene the first couple weeks they were here!

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Fresh air and sunshine, does a body good.

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Trying on bunny ears at Target, as you do.

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Reading with her Papa. That Go Dog Go story was not like any one I read!!!

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❤ melted 🙂

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The Boy and Dane took the youth group on a trip to their old stomping grounds, Chicago! They took Little Dipper with them and we had a fine time with this little homemaker!

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She was good to ALL in her care too.

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She is one to enjoy a good snap chat session.

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Little Dipper is growing like a weed! He has been enjoying a mat on the floor while trying his level best to capture the dangly things that are there enticing him! He has become very adept at rolling from his tummy to his back, but I’m pretty sure it has not once been intentional 🙂 This was on his road trip to Chi Town, where he was quite the little trooper!

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We are so enjoying having this time to get to know them and love on their little selves! If you need us we will be right here jiggling babies, reading all manner of books and singing many songs, and loving every minute.

Babies in the House

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Guys, we have a FULL house! The Boy and The Dane flew in for the last time from Seattle, Washington with their two children and lots of stuff on January 25! They all arrived sick and oh so weary. It was quite the feat getting themselves packed, their shipping container loaded, and I do mean loaded, apartment cleaned and their car shipped, all while wrangling a 1 1/2 year old, tending a newborn, and wiping noses and bottoms and possibly tears. 

Since they have been here, Mitten weather has been on full display. Snow days galore, some due to freezing temperatures where the wind chill was estimated at –50. There have been thaws, sunny days and then 2 ice storms. Pure Michigan.

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Honey was laid off for about three weeks in a row, one planned, the others unexpected due to a strike in Mexico leaving his plant with no parts. BUT, someone got their wall built! He wanted to give the kids a little more privacy in the basement, where they now all live. They put MoonPie in the spare bedroom, in hopes that she would sleep better without hearing Little Dipper’s nocturnal waking. They had planned on just setting up their bed and area in the tv side of our basement, but Honey decided to go big and attach a wall to the ceiling. It can all come down with no harm to the walls! It’s as sturdy as can be and has the added bonus of being warmer and more soundproof, a win/win! They Boy was so surprised! We call their new space Shangri-La 🙂    The picture looks like it’s metal, but it is some kind of insulation.

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It will be way better for all concerned when I have to go downstairs to work, somehow I don’t think they would want to wake up seeing me and my clients parading by!

We finally got to meet this little darling ❤  He probably had the easiest move of all.

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We spent all week passing that boy around like a football 🙂

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And were we ever glad to SQWUNCH our little MoonPie!!! She seems a little happy to have so many people looking at her and thinking everything she says is adorable!

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Back to the baby passing. Papa is an old pro.

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The Ab-Cat picked it up pretty quick! It’s been about 11 years since we had Little Goomba at this age!

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And here Mousey was snuggling one beebee and giving comfort to our big baby who is feeling a little out of sorts because of the loss of laps.

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I ❤ those faces.

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How do you spell mujj, muzshe? Kiss it!

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The Usher is around quite a bit and he has a little fan.

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This amuses me, The Boy puts MoonPie in her pajamas backwards, so she cannot unsnap them and get naked!

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They have her in many layers because our house is ….brisk. We have been turning it up a couple degrees for the children.

Abby is loving being an Aunt.

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This REALLY amused me. We received these alerts on our phones on the 2 coldest days. We typically keep our heat at 64, so we should probably turn it up!!!

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I have had the thought a few times that I should get in here and do a little blobbing, but I have been protecting our animals from poking fingers, reading books about animals and playing with plastic animals and giving a little gal stuffed animals. We will do what we can ❤

First List of the New Year

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Hi Guys! I am trying to think blog-ally in 2019. I have gotten out of the swing of going on the big computer to post, as well as taking pictures to show you the usual this and that that make up a lot of my ponderings. Before and afters, documenting life, things we find humerous/ ironic, places we have gone. You know, the usual nonsense. Plus, Mrs. Schmenkman is back to blogging and reminding me to JUST GET IN HERE AND DO IT.

I was downstairs yesterday trying to get the too full basement in some kind of working order, because if you were not aware, The Boy and The Dane are moving in there!! I kept hearing a dripping/draining sound, but Mousey was doing laundry and I just associated it with that. As I got further back I heard a burbling noise, and that is just not a normal thing. I went into Honey’s workroom and lo and behold it was the water heater. Not spewing, but an unhealthy, more than a drip, gurgling. I hate to wake Honey up with bad news, but up the stairs I went. I told him on a very good note, the water was snaking into the very nearby drain, so YAY us for that one! Y’All, what IS it with us and water heaters??? This will be our 4th or 5th one in 20 years!! The last one was Halloween of 2013, handy to have that memory of date, made it easier to go back and find it on the blog, for reference purposes. DTE is coming sometime today between 8am and 4pm (nice narrowing it down DTE) and then we will have our old friend Mitch come and haul it out and install a new one. one kiss on the cheek from God in this whole thing, it was still under warranty til next December!!!! It would have been the norm for it to have expired last December! Thanks God, we really appreciate that ❤

Did I mention The Boy and The Dane are moving in??!! Oh, I did 🙂  Next Thursday they will board a plane at SeaTac for the last time and fly back to The Mitten with MoonPie and Little Dipper! We have been moving things around trying to make room for them and their belongings. Can’t wait to smooch those little faces ❤

We have confirmed what we already knew; we have a LOT of stuff in our basement. In our defense, we are a holding tank for a goodish amount of our children’s stuff, but we are absolutely guilty of contributing to the problem. The Ab-Cat would like to get her own place this year, there is talk of Mousey moving out with her best girl Chip sometime, and when The Boy and The Dane find a place to live on the other side of town, and everyone takes their belongings with them, we will see what we need to do! It is our goal to purge then, and prepare for putting our house up for sale and downsizing to a home with a much smaller yard and driveway. #goals. In the meantime, I have been going through some things and doing what I can.

Speaking of going through things, I have watched several episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. I enjoy a good before and after and found the process inspiring enough to light a fire under me to facilitate getting rid of things we don’t, nor will we ever, need. I went through some of the kids toys that we currently have in baskets, buckets and containers in our basement. Yikes! There is a lot of really good stuff down there! Through the years I kept what I considered to be the best stuff for the future grandchildren to play with. I know our kids loved to play with Beeve’s and my old toys. I went through all the holding implements, dumped them out to make sure there were no broken or small choke-ables at the bottom, and sorted by some loose categories. Play food and dishes, dress up clothes, little animals/characters/people, BARBIES and gear!, stuffed animals, Legos, Star Wars and Super Heros, so many BOOKS!,and Beanie Babies. Oh my goodness the Beanie Babies! I had a basket full and then found another whole tote full! Our kids loved them and played with them a bunch. Most were pretty well loved and I know for sure some of Mousey’s kittys have been through the wash. I think it will be so fun to see which toys the Grands gravitate towards.

Some of the toys made it into the ever growing Salvation Army donate pile, but only 2 things I actually threw away. A Pocohantas doll, that Abby got when she was in the hospital in 1995, because she had lost her arm, and a Pocohantas head where you can style their hairs. Mousey said she learned to braid on that head! No one was ever going to be able to comb that hair again #ratsnest  So what up Pocohantas??!!

They are predicting the first snowstorm of the winter this weekend. We really can’t complain, we haven’t even had many dustings. But this is Michigan, so the predictions are wild and anywhere from 1-8 inches. Pure Michigan. Honey works tonight (when the majority of the snow will come 😦 ) but then will be off all next week. There is some sort of strike in Mexico and that is causing a shortage of parts. Works for us!! The Usher has been looking forward to snow all winter! He works at a local community college and snow means overtime to him! Plowing and salting = that green paper 🙂

I’m going to leave on that note. Not going anywhere, just here, waiting on DTE, the snow, and our kids 🙂

Pre and Post Holiday

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We are one week into the new year already! Happy New Year!

Today I’m here to say that I am two days into a better eating regimen, and if I’m being honest, just about anything is better than my habits from November on out. Friends, I’m not going to lie, it was a free for all and I was ready to stop with all the chowing. I say that, and I do mean it, but there was about once or five times yesterday that I thought it might be nice to have a piece of shortbread. Lucky for me I finished it the day before.

All aboard!

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Me and Honey.

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Honey said he wants to join me, but I have no idea what he does at work, so I am my own accountability partner. He and Ab-Cat are going to Schzezuan tonight and I am navigating the tricky waters of Birthday Club, so we will see if I am feeling proud of myself on Day 3. But like I said, anything will be an improvement.

Not sure if I will do full on Keto, but reigning in the carbs and eliminating sugar is a fine start.

I feel we need to head back to the middle of December, when all of the Christmas festivities started. This is our last leaders meeting at BSF. We typically have a luncheon for our leaders and we invite the church staff to join us. This is our pal Pastor Andy! I saw him earlier in the morning when he helped me track down some salad bowls from their locked kitchen and he was NOT looking quite so spiffy then! He said he changed just for us! You can’t beat a Christmas llama!!!

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The next day was our last class day for 2018. This is Davis, his Mama is on Admin and he is an honorary member with his own nametag and tasks! He likes to help me put out the cones and put chairs in a circle and hold the door open for our ladies. ❤ Here he is with his friend, Buckwheat.

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After class, Admin had lunch at our usual Chip and Dip. It was so nice to visit and relax! From left; Kalena, Trenda and Dear Sandra, and across the table are Sarah (Mama of our mascot Davis!) and Capri K! Class starts up again tomorrow, so yeah, this was a little bit ago! 😉

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Next we moved on to faux Christmas Eve with our Dear Friends the Hostler’s! Their daughter Nurse Lauren is married now and lives with her honey William in Minnesota. She was not able to get Christmas off so they came in early and we snuck in our annual Christmas Eve get together! Thanks for being our photographer Awesome Autumn!!!

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Medium Goomba came for cookie decorating again!

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Honey’s ….masterpieces!

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The Ab-Cat is always good for a bunch!

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We tried some pastry bags with thinner frosting for outlining. Mousey found the recipe on Pinterest and we will definitely use it again!

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Mousey and her friend The Usher were also in attendance.

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Especially enjoyed the pirate with one leg and the broken shark bit man! A+ for creativity!

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The Usher made good use of the peppermint sprinkles.

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This was Seymour’s favorite napping spot, some random present.

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REAL Christmas Eve!!!! We had carry out Lee’s Chicken and it was AWESOME! More games, more stories and a bunch of well fed folks 🙂

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I have not one picture of Christmas Day. Seriously, not a one. But we had a very nice day with Grandpa, my brother Beeve, his wife Stacey, her folks Sharon and Turk, and Medium Goomba, and The Usher. Merry Christmas Y’All! ❤

Zipping right along to New Years Eve, a fine fondue with the fam and The Usher. Oh, it was good 🙂

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These two were trying to recreate a picture they had taken their first time around. The Usher was around about 4 years ago and then he wasn’t, something about a ghosting by someone whose name starts with M. We are happy to welcome him back to the table.

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Same recreation process.

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Then we watched this until the ball dropped.

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Yeah, we are wild cats. And then I went to bed, because 12:10 was plenty of New Year for me.

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There you have the festivities of Christmas 2018, it’s a wrap!

Cozy Place and Favorite Snack

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Well, that blended together nicely! I got a smidgeon behind there but will have a combination post and be back on top of the game!

This has been my cozy place lately, and I am thankful for a comfy place to land. I have my morning cups of tea/chai, work on my 2 Bible studies, have chats with my People, and peruse the iPad in this spot. It is also a highly sought over place for the cats to nap. Sy likes it best right after I vacate, when it is still toasty, and the elder felines like to have a loooong afternoon nap there.

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Capri P helped me pick the chair, and the nearby twin sister, out many years ago before we hosted a family reunion. We were in need of some sprucing and seating and she knew of a nice little place in Brighton that was family owned and run by Christians. We were happy to throw our business their way. Unfortunately these chairs were sprayed with some sort of Scotchguard that made them unusable by me for a couple of years. Seriously, could not sit in them or I got a headache! I didn’t smell them any other time, and no one else ever smelled them, but #hounddognose here, was a NO GO. At some point the smell faded and I decided I liked to use them, a lot!

My favorite snack at the moment is peanut butter pecan bars. A Keto snack, and a great way for me to get more fat into my day, which can be a problem for me on this way of eating. In fact I did not start losing weight until I ate more fat. I know! I can’t believe it either!

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I found this a good recipe to use up an entire jar of natural peanut butter, which we despise. I know it’s supposed to be a way healthier option, and I get that, but for land sakes, put some SALT in it!!! Who on God’s green earth can abide peanut butter with no salt??? And since I am being transparent here, we are also not a fan of having to stir the oil back into the peanut butter. I don’t know about you but I am just not strong enough for all that nonsense. I felt like I was wrestling a bear. It was Rock.Hard. So there you have it, I will take my chances and be purchasing contraband peanut butter in the future.

All that to say that I am going to make this again, but I am going to alter it a bit. Will use salted, unnatural peanut butter, and I think I am going to omit the pecans. I cut these into squares and stored them in the freezer, which is generally not a problem for any low carb/keto treats, but the frozen pecans were a little cutting on my tongue and cheeks and since my pecans floated to the top of the bars, I found myself biting off the tops and eating the nuts separately so I could savor the yummy, velvety, peanutty goodness. Which gave me the inspiration to just forgo them altogether. I eat a handful of nuts a couple times a day already, so I am getting the nut quotient fulfilled. I may melt Lily’s sugar free chocolate chips and spread it on some for a Reeses peanut butter cup effect for those times when some chocolate would be friendly 🙂  But not on all! Because Mamaw can’t have chocolate in the evening, don’t like to do anything that could interfere with my tenuous, old lady sleep schedule!

So I am thankful for a cozy place to have a favorite yummy snack!

Animal-Sy

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The thankfulness prompt for today is animal. We have 4 animals around here, all feline, and most generously loved. I say most because of Lucy, we try but she is weird. Tormented. Mousey says she hears noises in her head that make her crabby. Anyway, they all have their finer points, quirks, and annoyances, but in terms of big personality, the winner is clearly Seymour. He loves all of his people and regularly tells us, marks us, and wallows on us. The ladies are more reserved, whereas he is IN YOUR FACE, all the time, demanding whatever he needs! He stick-eth closer than a brother!

Especially stuck on Abby, she is his person ❤ ❤ ❤

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In front of her computer. Sometimes he is right on the keyboard.

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He is also rather fond of his Grandma.

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He is also the only lap cat we have, and he is an equal opportunity heat seeker, so all benefit from his company. He is especially friendly/needy in the cooler months. So tis the season to have to extricate ones self whenever one wants to stand up. He loves all manner of cozy coverings, blankets, throws or your fleece jacket. He is particularly good at making himself at home just when you are about to leave your current seat. But we have also decided that sometimes he just wants your warm seat.

In Mousey’s hoodie.

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Because he is so pretty to look at and so loving most of the time, it makes it a lot easier to put up with his lesser appreciated qualities. Such as his insistent stalking of the elder felines, his occasional propensity to be bitey, and his sloppy litter box habits, trying to show the ladies that all boxes are his to use as he sees fit! He so longs to be the Alpha boss of somebody, but no one allows his hearts desire. So he just acts like the annoying kid at school, always looking for the wrong kind of attention.

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All that to say, we are thankful for Sy, warts and all. I say we, but really mean the two leggers in the house, the old ladies have nothing but hate in their hearts for him. 🙂

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