Friday, October 30, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds - "Puppy Size"

I must admit that I am not one to forward on emails. I don't participate in those "get to know your friends" emails. I don't send on "warnings" that come out by email (especially if they haven't been checked through I'm as big a fan of cute cuddly puppies and kitties and babies as the next person, but I'm trying to live a simpler life and that means not cluttering the inboxes of my friends with useless information and electronic "paper clutter."

Ok, with that being said......

My mom sent me this email a few weeks ago and it has been on my mind ever since. Since it's something that I can truly feel and understand and becaues I think it's so endearing, I present it to you this Friday as my Fabulous Find:

Puppy Size

'Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to this animal shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this,' the mother told the volunteer.

'What is it she keeps asking for?' the volunteer asked.

'Puppy size!' replied the mother.

'Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for.'

'I know..... we have seen most of them, ' the mom said in frustration...

Just then Danielle came walking into the office. 'Well, did you find one?' asked her mom.

'No, not this time,' Danielle said with sadness in her voice. 'Can we come back on the weekend?' The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed.

'You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply,' the volunteer said.

Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. 'Don't worry, I'll find one this weekend,' she said.

Over the next few days both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular. 'It's this weekend or we're not looking any more,' Dad finally said in frustration.

'We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size, either,' Mom added.

Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted. Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, 'Sorry, but you're not the one.'

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer. ' Mom , that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!' She screamed with joy. 'It's the puppy size!'

'But it's the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks,' Mom said.

'No not size..... The sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed,' she said.. 'Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sighs!'

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both. 'Mom , every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms,' she said. Then, holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, ' Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!'

Ok, now go and hug your kids and husband, friends and pets. And when you do, remember that what matters is the sighs of your heart.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The first 100(ish) days

Last Friday (October 23rd) was day #100 of my second bucket list. Perhaps it's time for a review of my progress. Shall we?

The Good:

5. Eat sushi once a month. {I know - it's my burden to bear, but I'm muddling through. ;-) } So far so good on this one. I just need to find some time in these last few days of October to grab myself a Canadian Roll from Ocean World. YUM!

13. Feed 3 expired parking meters. So far, I've done one. I have plenty of time and I pass about 100 of them every day on my way to/from work, so I'm not worried.

16. Hug 50 people. With 25/50 under my belt, I'm doing really well, but I need to remember this one is on the list more often.

17 Buy tickets to and attend a charity dinner - COMPLETED 09/17/2009! The church I attend had a fish fry in September and I enjoyed the fish very much. It wasn't what I had originally thought of when I came up with this list item, but it definitely fit the bill.

18 Send flowers anonymously 3 times (1/3) - Check this one out HERE.

20 Donate 1,000,000 grains of rice through (92,180/1,000,000) - So far this one's not that bad. I'm a little bit behind, but it's not that labor intensive and donating a couple extra grains of rice a day is a pretty easy thing to do. Have you done it yet? Check it out.

21 See my parents at least once a month (4/34) - Mom and I try to get together once a month anyway to scrapbook. They generally come down to my house, but I've been up to their once so far too. Not bad. I'm right on schedule. This one's really important I think because if you think about it (which I try not to), I probably don't have THAT many more visits left with them. If I see them once a month and they live for another 20 years (they are both around 60), that's only 240 more times. If that represented the number of days in a year, I would only have 8 months left with them. That's clearly not long enough.

25 Help build a house for someone - I'm totally doing this one tomorrow on a Habitat for Humanity project. Yeah!

39 Read the whole Harry Potter series (0/7) - I'm about 1/2 way through the first book. Perhaps this one should be in the "bad" category for the lack of progress I've made?

45 Get at least 10 official followers on my blog (10/10) - COMPLETED 10/24/2009!!! SCORE! When I first put this one on here, I was sure it would be really difficult to complete, but I get to cross it off already!! I love my followers. I especially love Kelsey Dahlin for putting me over the top. Why don't we try for 100? Haven't joined yet? Well I still have a few open slots, but they're going quickly! ;-)

50 Write myself a letter on Day 1 to be opened in Day 1001 - COMPLETED 7/17/2009. Done, but I still have to find it. Dang it.

56 Pray for those I love once a week (15/144) & 57 Pray for those I don't love once a week (15/144) - still praying.

69 Find 3 new musical artists whose music speaks to my soul (1/3) - I'm really, really, really pleased about my find in Cari Ray. You should totally check her out if you haven't done so already.

70 Buy flowers once every month (4/34) - I've been quite pleased with my selections so far. That reminds me that I haven't shown you my lovely picks for August, September and October. Gorg!

84 Moisturize daily (106/1001) - I'm so moisturized, I practically squish when I walk. Well...maybe not..

97 Buy a Wii - COMPLETED 7/22/2009 - The Wii is by far the coolest gaming system ever. I {heart} the super hula hoop. Seriously. Too much fun!
The Bad:

8. Collect 100,000 pennies (8,600/100,000). I was doing REALLY well on this one for quite a while because I raided all of the pennies from all the people I knew. Any suggestions on how to get more? They do still dribble in and the bowling team is a HUGE help! Thanks, "Clean Slate".
{EDIT: Last night when I got to the bowling alley, I had a red velvet bag from one of my team members. It held over 900 pennies! Sweet! Now instead of being about 2000 behind schedule, I'm only a little over 1,000. That's a big boost for me!}
28 Learn all the state capitals (40/50) - Ugh. I'm right on top of that, Rose!
66 Place 100 inspirational notes around me to inspire me (5/100) - I actually have done a few of these, but I need to do a few more and of course, I need to share with you what inspires me.
90 Take one picture every day (106/1001) - I don't think I've actually taken one picture every day, but I've definitely AVERAGED well more than 1 picture per day. I think that still counts. I guess that's beauty of it being MY list. I get to make up the rules, right?
The Ugly:
58 Get rid of 101 items I own (3/101) - I am REALLY frustrated with the amoun of stuff that I have in my house and despite busily cleaning out drawers and cupboards and closets galore, I haven't actually gotten RID of the things yet. They're all just packed in boxes so far. They. Must. GO!

79 Walk 8,008,000 steps (603,000/8,008,000) - Ok, so it's LOT harder to catch up than it is to fall behind on this one. You would think I could catch up on the weekends, but instead all I want to do it lounge and I end up getting 4,000 steps in that day instead of 8,000. I am currently {gulp} about 160,000 {GULP GULP} steps behind. EGADS!
So that's what the first 100(ish) days look like for me so far. I'm really looking forward to helping with the house tomorrow. I'll let you all know how it goes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds -

Hello all! I apologize for my absence the last few days, but my office staff and I are in the throws of moving to a new space and I've been swamped before, during and after work trying to get work done while weeding out stuff (I do so love doing that) and packing what's left into boxes to be moved by the movers on Saturday. Stay tuned for pics of the new space. My old cubicle was VERY utilitarian and a bit messier than I would like, but I'm using this opportunity to have a clean slate and a fresh start. I've been inspired by all of my new, crafty blogger friends, so my new space is well on it's way to being very girly and non-officey.

So, today's Fabulous Friday Find:

Recently Troy has really gotten into some survival research. Either it's a man thing or he's anticipating the worst is right around the corner. In any event, he's gotten me thinking more and more about #92 and #93, which are to make emergency kits for my house and car. In doing research, I stumbled upon a great resource. has everything you need to know about preparing yourself, your family and even your pets for the aftermath of an emergency situation. They have everything from a list of what you need in terms of food, water, first aid kit, medications and copies of important papers.

With the cold winds of winter right around the corner, I think this is a great resource for getting my supplies together. Check it out if you have a moment. You may not live in a disaster prone area, but that's no reason to be unprepared.

Also check out these great 72 hour kits prepared by another blogger. She makes it look so simple and easy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cari Ray - updated

I just wanted to send out an update that the Cari Ray concert on Saturday evening was wonderful! I had originally found her through a friend on Facebook. What I didn't realize is that the friend I discovered her through actually went to high school with her here in Indiana. So, I am only two degrees of separation away. Sweet!

The concert was an opening event for her new CD "Always On" (a MUST have!) and contained a great mix of her own music as well as AMAZING covers of songs by Cheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams and Indiana's own John Mellencamp. She was upbeat, witty, funny and at times, self-deprecating.

Her back-up band she dubbed the "Loaners" because most of them were on loan to her. My favorite member of her back-up band was the lead guitarist. First, he was a very skilled musician, but my friend Rachel and I mostly got a kick out of the fact that he was wearing what appeared to be a plumber's shirt complete with name badge. We joked that it looked like he had come in to fix the toilet and got pulled up on the stage because they needed another band member.

A small venue like this (an auditorium that probably seated less than 250) is always my favorite place to see a musical artist because it's much more personal and intimate. It's a chance to see the artist in a way that simply can't be seen on a jumbotron at your nearest stadium. For me, music is personal and the venue should be too. That was even more true for her encore number, Lightning. She performed it acustically with the lights turned down low and the audience in the palm of her hand.

The evening was perfect. I had a moving experience at the concert, a lovely drink afterward with two of my friends that attended the concert and great hopes that Cari Ray will make a big splash on the world-wide music stage soon.

If you want to see her for yourself and didn't get a chance to come out Saturday night, you can see her again this Friday at 8 Second Saloon here in Indianapolis. She is opening for Doug Stone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds - Cari Ray

I've spoken before about how music really moves me. I'm not sure if it's my tendencies towards being melancholy or just that I'm deep and introspective (I'm guessing the first one), but I LOVE to find music and musicians that hardly anyone knows about. Mostly the music I am drawn to Troy (lovingly) refers to as "music to menstruate by" because they generally consist of a chick and a guitar. (He really needs to expand his horizons.) I've tried to find artists that speak to my soul in other genres, but they just don't do it for me the same way.

Through the beauty of Facebook, I stumbled upon such an artist the other day. (Since #63 on my list is also "Find 3 new musical artists whose music speaks to my soul", it's nice to know I'm making progress.) Her name is Cari Ray and she's actually sort of a local gal. She's having a CD release concert on Saturday night here in Indy and come hell or highwater, I will be there! I don't care if I have to go alone.

So far, my favorite song of hers is "Close to the Pain". Here's a sample of the lyrics:

The closer I get to the spotlight the closer I am to the pain
I cahse off the stories I lean on and stare down the truth that remains
I know that I had to come this far to go back to places I've been
I'll come back with keys to my freedom and burn up my wings flying in.

Check out her music here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My own superpower.

If I was a superhero, I would be Fat Girl!

Let me explain. I don't want to be fat. No. I've pretty much had that one mastered for about 30+ years. I only want the ability to be fat whenever it is inconvenient not to be fat.

I've never really had to worry about relying on my looks to get me through life. I think the few boyfriends I've had in my life chose me in spite of my physique. Certainly it wasn't because of it. I'm pleasantly (ha!) rotund. I have an overabundance of womanly curves, but generally not in a good way. But because this has been the case for all of my life, I have adapted. I became smart and witty, a good listener and an excellent storyteller (I think anyway).

I thickened my proverbial skin by continuing to go to school dances as a youth even when no one asked me to dance and the night always ended in tears for me. When I was a teenager and in my 20s, I had crushes, but I learned to not expect any kind of affection in return. I wasn't one of the girls that boys swoon over. Over time, I learned to think of myself devoid of any kind of sexuality.

And that's not all bad. Somehow it allowed me the freedom to interact with men on levels I might not have otherwise. In high school and college, I was able to hang out with all of the smart guys without that pesky sexual tension getting in the way. I now have a great group of guys that I play poker with now. For better or worse, it's amazing the side of men that you get to see when you're just "one of the guys."

Some of those things changed about 6 years ago when, for about 5 minutes, I lost weight. No longer could I blend into the crowd. If I wore a skirt when I walked the 4 blocks to my car from my office, I invariably heard a plethora of catcalls. For a girl who has always been fat, that's unnerving. It made me uncomfortable and I didn't know how to act.

So, unconsciously I put the weight back on. It was my protection from a frighteningly sexual world. But now I'm tired of being wrapped in this protective layer of fat. I want to be thing and pretty....but only sometimes.

That's where the superpower comes in. In my dreams, I would be able to transform into Fat Girl in the blink of an eye. I could get up in the morning, dress my skinny size 6 body in cute clothes, enhance my gorgeous face with make-up, spritz on my favorite scent and be ready to face the world as a knock-out. I would get the attention of that man in the file room who's caught my eye. That man I flirt with as I walk my dog would ask for my number. But when I walked those 4 blocks to work or passed a construction site of men or stopped at a truck stop to get gas, I could magically transform into Fat Girl. Because Fat Girl also has the power to be invisible. Those construction men wouldn't see me. Those truckers wouldn't notice me at the pump. I could walk to work unaccosted.

Until that happens, I guess I'll just keep wishing for a skinny suit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Harry Potter", here I come!

I love it when the universe conspires FOR me!

So, I was recently checking out the blogger of the day on SITS, when I saw on her sidebar a "Harry Potter" reading challenge. Sweet! It's on my list to read all the books in the series anyway, so this is great! Now I get to have a community to share it with.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this whole internet blogging community thing?

It really is an amazing blessing to me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds - The Secret is in the Sauce

Recently I've been doing a bit of web searching and a few weeks ago I found "The Secret is in the Sauce". It's a website devoted to connecting women bloggers with one another each day. Every weekday they have a featured blogger who is Queen for the day. On a daily basis about 400 bloggers check in and check out the Blogger of the Day. It has been an amazing way to connect with women I might otherwise meet. It's even been a source of inspiration for me to keep getting my house (literally and figuratively in order).

So, if you've got a few minutes go over and check them out. I'm certain you will not be disappointed. You'll probably even find some new soulmates. I know I have.

In the meantime, I'd love your input. I'd like to be featured as a blogger of the day on their site at some point. In order to do so, I have to submit three of my best blog entries. I'm kind of partial to some of them, so probably not a very good judge as to what are my best. I'd love to have your input. I've listed some of my favorites below. Take a look and let me know which 3 you think I should submit. Thanks for your input and I truly thank you for reading my thoughts and helping to make me feel so loved.

1. My weight loss woes

2. Donate my hair to Lock of Love

3. Strawberry Picking

4. Goodbye Sisko

5. Sasha!

6. An organized craft room

7. My reduction surgery
follow-up on the surgery

8. My motorcycle win!

9. The physics of wind on a motorcycle

10. Why I love motorcycling

11. The voice of God

12. Nostalgia

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An homage to Sasha on her birthday!

My bowling team rocks!

Oh, lovely bowling team, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1) There are always adventurous stories of second graders, golf games and band excursions to hear at length.

2) The chance to keep up with old friends on a weekly basis is always a good thing.

3) Despite my lust for blood of the other team (read: need to win), you still love me and invite me back every year.

4) When I suggested we all pay a small fee (just 25 cents) for those games when we don't measure up, you didn't scoff at me and instead played along.

5) Every week when I arrive, I am showered with your generous donations of the pennies that you have gathered with me in mind! (This week was 450+ pennies! Sweet!)

but most of all....

I love you because..

for the first time in 7 years......

we are in FIRST PLACE!!!!!! Waaahooooooooo!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fine art and french fries? NO!

Recently I was watching TV and saw a story that said they are planning to put a McDonald's restaurant inside of the Louvre. WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me?

Don't get me wrong. I've occasionally been in the mood for a filet o'fish. I'm even a big fan of their french fries...unfortunately. But, how about we NOT taint all that is good and right in the world in terms of the great art and majesty contained in the Louvre with our filthy American food choices? France is about fine dining and delicate palates, right? Shouldn't there be a line where capitalism and our growing rears not have a place?

What's next? The golden arches above the Great Wall? How about one in the tower of London? Oh, I know. I'm sure SOME wing of the White House needs a fast food selection. Perhaps the chefs would enjoy a night off.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Motorcycle Bench Redesign

As promised yesterday, I have returned with pictures of the bench that I redid. I hate to break my arm patting myself on the back, but I must say I really like the way it turned out and it's about 1000 times better than it previously looked. It was a bench that was previously at my parents house (about 100 years ago when I moved into my own place). I tried a long time ago to redo it and, as you can see in the befores, it did NOT turn out well.

I house most of my motorcycle gear in this little bench, which works out perfectly. (I just better not buy any more gear!) It sits in my bedroom, which is pretty much the only room in the house that I haven't completely redone. I wanted it to fit into the decor in there, which is very ....tan... blah. (I swear I will do something about that at some point, but for now it is tan.) I also wanted to make sure that if I was going to move the bench into another room, it would work anywhere else in my house as well, so I went with the tan paint color.

I love spray paint. I discovered it about 6 months when I used some rustoleum on my front and back screen doors. Hmm... $3 for a can of paint or $300 for a new door. THAT was an easy decision.

I was going to use some fabric I already had around the house, but I spotted this really great brownish-red vinyl on the clearance table at Jo-Ann's and I knew it would be perfect! A few decorative upholstery tacks on the front and viola! A new bench. I really like it....a LOT!

I would like to thank Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick for inspiring me to start fixing some of my decorating issues around my house!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend recap

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I certainly did.

Saturday morning, Sasha and I went for a 1 1/2 hour walk (9000+ steps! yeah). We visited a couple of garage sales where I picked up a few picture frames for #1 on my list. This is the third time I've found some like this and I think I'm liking the idea of a kind of hodgepodge of frames on the wall when I'm done. Well, I'm liking it in theory. Let's hope my perfectionistic tendencies don't get the best of me and make me think of it as looking cluttered when it's done.

After our walk, we ran some errands. I headed to Lowe's. I've been reading some of Sarah's posts over at Thrifty Decor Chick and so I've been feeling the need to do some home improving. The two projects I had in mind to start right now were: the kitty box closet and an old bench that I have.

The kitty litter box(es) are in a small closet that has a wood floor. Read: kitty box + wood floor = bad for the wood floor! So, I decided to get a small hand sander, sand down the floor, refinish it and then cover it with some vinyl flooring so that when the kitties "color outside the lines", it will no longer ruin the floor. When I went to the flooring department at Lowe's and asked for some remnants, the sales guy showed them to me. I hemmed and hawwed because they were marked $25 and were way more than I needed. I wasn't THAT concerned about the $25, but I will thrilled when he said, "These aren't doing me any good here. How about you take it for $5?" SOLD! Sweet! I'll post pictures when I've completed it.

The bench that I wanted to redo holds all of my motorcycle stuff. It's a LOT of stuff. How did Troy end up with an entire motorcycle closet (that I organized and made for him) and I have a bench? hmmmm... I digress..... Anyway, the bench... It's a bench I remember having at my parents house when i was younger. It was an ugly dark brown and I tried (miserably) to repaint it about 5 years ago. I've been disgusted with the way it looked since then and so I decided to give it another go. This time I got some tan paint and I'm going to upholster the seat with some fabric that I already have at the house. So, the total cost of the "new" bench should be less than $5. Nice! I'm hoping to finish it this week and I'll show you how it turns out.

Saturday evening I joined my girls at Elaine's house for a Chick Flick Film Festival where we enjoyed "Confessions of a Shopaholic" (nothing like the book, but very cute), "Atonement" (what a complete downer! and how thin is Kiera Knightly?!?!) and "Chocolat" (who doesn't love Johnny Depp and chocolate on the same screen?) We enjoyed lots of chocolate goodies and I even made a fruit bouquet! (pictures to come, I promise) After all, SOMEONE has to bring something healthy, right?

I didn't get in until late Saturday night, so I slept in a bit on Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon Sasha and I went to see Troy before he headed off to work. It's nice to get to see him for a little bit and Sasha does LOVE her Troy!

When we were done at Troy's we headed over to the dog park so she could get some exercise. It was a gorgeous day and the park was packed wit probably 40 dogs and their owners. Sasha usually runs off to play and forgets that I am even there. This time I decided to wander around and see if she would notice. The park is a HUGE fenced in area. I had made it about 1/2 way around when she looked up from playing to see where I was. She scanned the park and eventually found me. She came RUNNING at me. (I love that). A few minutes later she went back to playing and I made it back around to the entrance. This time when she looked up to see where I had was, she had a hard time finding me and I saw what it must be like when a child loses their parent in the store. If a dog can panic, she was. She even went to the gates and looked out. I wonder if she thought I had left her. With my heart breaking for her, I called her name and once again she came RUNNING for me. This time she went to play again, but she started checking on me a lot more often. Apparently she didn't want to lose me again. I'm horrible, huh? Of course, I would never leave her. She is the best dog in the world, after all.

The funniest thing to watch was when this miniature greyhound would approach a big group of BIG dogs (including Sasha who just thinks she's big), bark a couple of times to get their attention and then RUN away with all of the dogs chasing her. Let's just say most of the dogs didn't stand a chance of catching her. It was funny the first time, but hilarious the second time. I guess if you're a mini greyhound, it FUN to be chased.

I left the park with a (gloriously) pooped puppy and we enjoyed the rest of the weekend curled up on the couch watching some TV.

It was a very good weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds - Lolita Margarita Glasses

Last week's inaugural Fabulous Friday Find was all about my inquisitive nature and my desire to enjoy the great outdoors in the form of Ken Burns' documentary on the National Parks.

This week, I'm thinking ahead to my girls' day coming up on Saturday and all the fun we have.

Each month a group of my girlfriends and I get together for a book club. Reading the book is optional. It's simply an excuse for us to all get together and enjoy each other's company. Every fall some of those same girls and I take a trip together. We've gone on a cruise, to a delightful 3 bedroom "cabin" in southern Indiana and last year we decided to fly out to Dallas to catch up with some old friends.

Twice a year we try to expand the group and invite our extended group of girlfriends to a "Chick Flick Film Festival". We wear very comfy clothes, bring our crafts, stuff ourselves with all sorts of wonderfully prepared foods and adults beverages and pass around tissues as we watch cheesy chick flicks. This is just the sort of places where the Lolita Margarita Glasses would fit in perfectly.

While we were vacationing in Dallas last year, I happened upon these margarita glasses and fell in love with them! There are also martini glasses if that is more to your liking. They are each hand-painted in all sorts of designs to fit any occasion from a birthday bash to a wedding day to ringing in the new year with style! Each glass also comes complete with a different drink recipe painted on the bottom. Just make sure to write it down before you start pouring the drinks!

While, in my opinion, they are a bit pricey at $24 each, I think they are a perfect splurge for a present for one of your BFFs. It's a great way to tell her you thinks she great fun to be around!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A conversation overheard....

I don't mean to impugn anyone's character, actual conversation I heard while walking in front of the city/county building on my way from my office to my car:

"Yeah, I was up on 6 counts of battery, but I beat 'em. I beat those m*#*er f*^#*ers."

Perhaps if you have to phrase your comment about your innocence in terms of "beating" the rap, your innocence should be further questioned.

It's just a thought. I could be wrong.


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