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September Subscriptions

September is rolling along ~ leaves are changing, and wild weather swings have taken us from summer to fall and back to fall again ~ Traveling as much as I do for my job I love to hunker down at home in my down time.

Confession alert:  I have never loved shopping but I do love online shopping.   🙂

Something that’s making my life easier and more fun are subscriptions ~ I’ve recently signed up for these:

  • Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends individually picked clothing and accessories items for a one-time fee (the fee counts against any items you purchase).  Customers fill out a survey online about their style preferences and how often they want to receive a box -then a stylist picks 5 items to send.
    • My take – items are well made & stylish; some items I didn’t love and they went back for free.  The items I’ve kept I’ve worn over and over again.
    • Pricing can be higher than what I “think” I’d pay – i.e. jeans might start at $80 but I’d rather have 2 pairs of well-fitting $$ jeans I wear over an over again vs. 5 pairs of $50 jeans gathering dust in my closet.

  • Ipsy is a fun way to try out new skincare, health and beauty items – I love makeup, always have.  I also love  skin care, makeup tools and more.

Between new clothes and skin care/beauty items I’m really enjoying going to the mailbox!

There is a subscription service for just about everyone –here are 30 to try including ones for:

  • Carnivores,
  • wine drinkers,
  • Foodies
  • coffee connoisseurs
  • unique / learning toys
  • Puzzle lovers
  • and more!

Your turn:

  1. If you use any subscriptions, which ones do you love?
  2. If you haven’t tried out a subscription yet, why not?

I may never go to a mall again!

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Home, Joy, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Seasons, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading through several lives

It’s National Book Lovers Day!

This should be a national holiday .. with paid time off .. with cozy chairs and coffee/tea for anyone interested. 😀

I’ve written before of my love affair with books .. and it hearkens back to being a very young girl.  Cozied up next to Mom while she read me a story, I remember the heat of her body on mine as I leaned in wide-eyed and wondering.

Mom took me for my first Library card before I started school and I still remember the joy felt filling the book bag up to the top, the weight of it necessitating a drag to the Oldsmobile.   Sorting through my choices, the smells filling my senses, I lined my books up in order of priority.

I remember a similar thrill when the Book Fair came ’round each school year ~ bringing home the paper-thin order sheet and circling choices, then handing my list over for her review and approval.  She always encouraged us to “read up,” and we discussed choices and our reasoning behind them.  Looking back, I can see she favored intelligent choices and those fought hard for.  And if you couldn’t defend it, you didn’t need it.

  • Another one of her life lessons right there!

And, as I’ve grown, books remain a comfort to me ~ a place I love to belong.

A summer read takes me back to our backyard canvas tent, reading my sister’s “Valley of the Dolls” or “Love Story” before moving on to “It” or “Roots” or other intriguing plots.

A winter read can transport me back under the covers of our shared girls’ bedroom, the weight of winter blankets cocooning me into a drowsy state of relaxation.

It’s National Book Lovers Day ~ but I’m celebrating all year long!

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  ― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

 

  • Are you celebrating National Book Lovers Day with me?
  • If you’re a reader, who encouraged your love of reading?
  • What recent book are you still thinking about?
    • for me, it’s “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Home, Life, Mom, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Summer Days & Sully’s book

We’re nearing the end of our July vacation ~  and it always amazes me how quickly vacation flies by!

Ahh the lazy days of summer.  It’s hot, sticky and sunny.  Even with my 70SPF I have a warm tan with tan lines where my flip flops go and tank tops end.  As when I look back at all we’ve accomplished and had going these past 2 weeks it’s no wonder we’re both moving a little slow this weekend.

  • I arrived home on a Friday after attending a 3 day corporate conference
  • Had new window treatments installed (involved moving furniture/etc out of the way and back again)
  • Played in a couples golf scramble
    • all in the same day 😀
      • what was I thinking?
      • Say yes and you’ll figure it out later
  • Picked my sister up from the plane and, for a week, stayed up late and got up early, still talking
  • Visited the big lake (Lake Michigan) 2 x  + Won and lost money at the Casino
  • Cried watching “Toy Story 4” and “The Mustang”
  • laughed at all the same places in “Bridesmaids”
  • Reveled in the ability to sit across the table from each other, laughing until we choked while finishing each others sentences
  • Skipped breakfast & enjoyed watermelon and cherries for lunch
  • Savored pots of coffee & tea out on the patio with sister, Sully and Hubbs … plus a cold beer or two, too

Mornings with Sully, an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

  • Up and outside early and to bed when tired with no alarm clocks – WHEE!
  • Celebrated the 4th with amazing fireworks, dancing fireflies and neighbors
  • Decorated the hall for the kid’s wedding and hosted the rehearsal dinner, ordered the limo, catering, bar, DJ and more plus managed the details!
  • Helped him get ready on his big day
    • Cried with Hubbs and my sister at ^^ above
      • Smiled at his smile when he saw her
      • Cried again
  • Witnessed their vows, celebrated by dancing with our boys, my sister, hubbs and friends.
  • Polka’d till I lost my breath and then went out and did  it again 🙂
  • Cleaned up the hall and tumbled into bed
  • Got up early  & hosted a gift opening
  • Languished in the hot tub
  • Cared for, slept with and supervised grand-dog Sully ~ who is adorable and hilarious but a bit like having a 70lb toddler

Today I cooked up brunch, did some catalogue perusing and online shopping but still haven’t started on my books, there’s been no time.   …. but I think I’ll take a page out of Sully’s book and go enjoy a nap in the a/c.

Sully nap, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

What are you up to today? Take any naps lately?  

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Random 5 – Golf, Joe Friday, Wedding Bells & Good Tired

Here we are nearing the end of June ~ it’s time for 5 Random Thoughts from my world.  Ready?   Let’s do this.

1 ) Golf – who knew I would have this much fun golfing? Even the lessons are fun!  I tell him this all the time so I’ll tell you, too: Hubbs was right.  You cannot golf and work.  Beyond being together and being outside,  disconnecting from my job is something I’m  enjoying so much.  I like what I do, but no one needs to do it a-l-l the time!  🙂

2 )  Good tired. We both worked around the house & yard yesterday and I went to bed early ~ It was a “good tired,” the tired that comes with aching muscles and sore feet but the knowledge you accomplished something.  Then, to no surprise, I found myself awake at 4, then 5, at by 6:10 I threw the covers back with a “oh just get up already.”    Laundry’s done, coffee’s hot and Salsa Chicken simmers in the crock pot ~ I’m enjoying padding around a quiet house on a sunny summer Sunday.

3 ) Joe Friday  – Heading to another corporate conference this week ~  there have been even more organizational shifts with senior people leaving and new folks coming in.  The bench is deep and the talent is impressive.  And, as we’ve done before, we were asked to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test.   I’ve taken this test many times  over the course of my corporate life and I always get the same result – I’m an ISTJ  —

  • ISTJ – The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)  ~ Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

However, the test is only as accurate as your answers are honest.   And like we’ve all seen, there are some who “play it” up for the big cheese(s), sit in the front row, hang on the leaders’ every answer, and kiss the ring.  These are the same people whose profiles never match up to who they actually are.   I’m fine with my results because I know exactly who I am – the good, bad, and the ugly.   And that’s exactly why such trips are so taxing!

4)  Wedding bells – Our youngest son is getting married in just a few weeks!  10 minutes ago he was this little.  But he’s not so little anymore.  He still has the same laugh & love for life ~ and now he has a beautiful partner by his side, someone to call his very own.  The love between them is palpable and we couldn’t be happier!

Corporate Family picnic, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 )  Summer Vacation  – After this week’s conference ends comes 15 – count ’em – 15 days off!  I’m leaning in for time with Hubbs, time with my sister, trips to the beach and Casino, visits with our boys & their girls, a happy wedding to enjoy and dance to,  grilling out,  grand-kids, grand-dogs,  Golf, sunshine,  sunscreen,  watermelon, flip flops, tank tops, down time , new books and more good tired. 

 

  • So, what’s new in your world? 
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of “good tired?”  
  • Ever taken a personality test?
Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Mothers Day, Coincidences and GPS

It’s Friday and time for a few randoms from my corner of the universe.  Ready?  Set?  Go:

1 ) Mother’s Day as a child meant 3 things:  a) Church/Sunday School, b) a family get-together and c) Homemade cards/gifts for Mom.    Like they’ve done before, my boys asked to take me out for “a nice lunch.”     They know this is the one thing I want more than anything from the store – time with them.  We met up – they gave me their gifts and cards with notes of love and appreciation and I  savored the moment.  We laughed till we cried and I beamed with the love I feel for them.   In my view, the greatest gift a Mom can ever get is children who grow up to be people you want to be with!  We ate, we laughed, we leaned in.  I felt the love then and still do.  ❤

2 ) Whenever I have  a “big” meeting or presentation to do I “bring” Mom with me – by wearing a piece of her jewelry as her reminder to “go get ’em, kid” – She’s met the Governor, Congressmen/women, Leaders of state, Senators, House Reps, congressional pages, Mayors & more ~ she’s with me every step of the way.    And if I encounter any “nonsense” I’m not afraid to use my firmest  “Mom voice” which of course I learned from her!

Just a couple of Mom’s rings – Peridot & Padparadshca Citrine ~ she loved her “right hand rings” from the shopping channel.

3 )  In meetings earlier this week I had one of those moments we’ve all had where you know the answer to a  question not yet asked.   Tingling and trying not to jump ahead I listened closely;  when I shared my thoughts later the speaker pulled back, her eyebrow went up and a smile filled her face.  “How did you know that?” she asked.   “Because sometimes I just know.”  We talked about coincidences and serendipity and how sometimes we find ourselves right where we’re meant to be; it’s up to us to recognize it when it happens.   The more I acknowledge it when it occurs, the more it occurs for me.

Fate’s like that, I find.

4 )  Saw this and laughed out loud because  1) it is so true and 2 ) I admit that I often still revert to “old school GPS” – read on ~

5 ) I’ve been traveling weekly these past few months;  one day easily rolls into the next, weekends have been full and a Tuesday morning can feel like it should be Saturday already.    Memorial Day is next week and – gasp – it’s been 3 months since I woke up to this:

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So, what’s new in your world?   Experience any coincidences lately?  Do you remember “70’s GPS?”

Happy Friday!  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, Opinion, Relationships, Seasons, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spending my Sundays

Sunday ~ windows open, birds chirping and lawnmowers buzz in the distance.

3 weeks ago ~ snow; today ~ 70F.

Hubbs hurried around earlier as he readied for golf; I slept in, savored coffee and started a pot of soup.  He’ll be back later, wind burnt and sore, happy and tired.   We’ll visit over soup and smile at the day.

It really doesn’t matter what season it is, there’s something about Sundays that I love most.

It could be the quiet stillness of the house.

It could be the smell of supper lingering on the stove.

It could be meandering phone conversations with my sister or cousin or none at all.

It could be me starting a new book or reading 5 magazines or sitting on the floor sorting .shoes.

It could be towels tumbling in the dryer and fresh warm sheets on the bed.

It could be me that I spend my Sundays doing whatever I choose.

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.” Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

  • How do you “spend” free time?
    • Do you feel compelled to be productive and get things done?
  • Are you able to let the day lead you?
    • When’s the last time you had nothing to do and a whole day to do it?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 for Sunday ~ Good-bye March

It’s March 31st ~ Robins hopped in the snow today – their reappearance makes me hopeful even when the weather hasn’t caught up to the calendar.

5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~

1 )   The photo of this bed took me right back to my Grandma’s house ~ to starched sheets, sheer curtains blowing in a summer breeze, and the abject thrill I felt being able to spend the night there.  So lucky!

2 ) Someone raved to me about a new bakery that opened and I considered ordering some of their treats for an upcoming event I’m planning.  And then I remembered a southern family recipe I’d been given by a Texas colleague – for 7-Up pound Cake – and I do believe that my $6 cake beats a $20 professional one.  I might have to triple the recipe.

not my picture

3 )  Saw this and thought, yep ~ that’s been me this winter .. tucked in, books stacked, cozy, don’t bother me 🙂

4 ) Haven’t pulled a muscle but I have fallen over putting on socks.  And I draw the line at KALE 😀

5 )  Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤

What random thing happened in your world this week?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Home, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

When the soul weeps

I still miss her.

Mom.

This July will be 3 years.

She would not want this, she’d chide me, give me sh*t and push me to “get on with it, for Heavens sake.”

She’d even snort once or twice.

She in her cat-eye glasses and pedal pushers.

She.

All 100 lbs of her.

I miss her.

I long for our conversations.

I suppose I always will.

The depth. The breadth. The range.

The absurd, the large, the small, the swing of it all.

I see her face in little old ladies faces at the grocery story, except they don’t carry a red purse or possess the spunk she did.

You know what I miss most?  Our friendship.

How lucky was I?

I know I should just “deal” and be grateful, and I am.

But her name was Gay, and she epitomized the word fierce.

Mom on Buck, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And I miss her.

 

“The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

 

Who are you missing tonight?

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Family, Grief, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Spring / Slog Forward ~ 2019

It comes every year whether we like it or not: Daylight Savings Time.  We Spring Forward – turn clocks an hour ahead and experts like to claim we’ll feel like this:

google images

And every time it has the opposite effect on me:

google images

So today, I’ll do as I’ve learned to do ~

  • I’ll cook a few things, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll read a while, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll workout a bit, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll go to bed a little sooner and give myself some grace to adjust … ambitiously.

But, after the winter we’ve had/been having, anything with the word Spring in it should be embraced 🙂

Still,  I’m with Maxine on this:

google images

 

** No kitties were harmed in this post

What are your thoughts on Daylight Savings time?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ Cows, gifts, dogs and Bradley Cooper

It’s the first Sunday of March, yay!  I’m gearing myself up for several weeks of business travel and heading into some of the coldest temperatures of the year.     Time for some Randoms from my world.

1 )  This picture describes this winter!

2 ) Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with political posts by well-meaning friends ~  I admit to having snoozed” a few ( to avoid seeing their stuff for 30 days)  because I can’t take the rants.  Give me pictures of your babies, kids, dogs, cats, casseroles or cakes.   The other stuff I’d just as soon pass over.  But this one, now this one made me laugh:

3 )   I asked our youngest boy for just a little bit of his co-worker’s “homegrown honey.”  This is what he gave me.  Nothing says love like a year’s worth of amber deliciousness~!

An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

4 ) Maybe it was the cold or just being home and inside but this year I watched the Oscars.  Haven’t watched in years!  Hubbs and I were “dog-sitting” our oldest son’s dog, Roscoe, and he watched the Oscars with me.  It was a cold & stormy night (sounds like something Snoopy would write) and the winds were howling (the Bomb Cyclone was underway).    Between us, we decided Roscoe-Doggus should have been nominated (and won) in the most dramatic category:

  • #highwindsequalhighbarks
  • #willbravethesnowfortreats
  • #workingPopsforpizza
  • #Nanaisasuckerfortheseyes
  • #moveoverBradleyCooper

Grand-dog Roscoe ~ we sure missed him when he went home. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

5 ) Speaking of Bradley Cooper… this also made me laugh.  (Bad weather can certainly = carb noshing!)

In case you missed their Oscar performance, see link below ~ ME-Ow!

 

And how was your week?

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, News, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Lake Days, “Bomb Cyclones” and conversations

My new summer tradition, established last year on my birthday,  is this one:  I get up early, coffee-up, pack a cooler and leave for the beach at Lake Michigan ~ about a 40 minute drive due West.   There are audible smiles of joy as I pack and singing at full volume as I drive.

Easy-peasy free parking and lots of it, I set my beach chair, books and cooler up just before 10:00 a.m. near the water’s edge, with the chair angled towards the sun but so I can still see the waves.

Much like this guy below:

Grand Haven State Park, MI

 

~~~ ahhh ~~~at the Water’s edge ~ An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

As the day progresses, I turn to follow the sunshine.    Books are read, snacks are savored, I dip in and out of the water and make trips up the beach to the bathroom, too.  I might chat with strangers or little kids or no one at all.  I pack up and leave as the crowds … crowd the sand ~ somewhere  between 2 and 3 p.m.  Long before this:

picture from Michigan.org

On my way out of town, I stop at the “Tasty Treat” for a vanilla/chocolate soft serve and enjoy it (and its messiness) all the way home……ahh summer!

We’re in the dregs of winter now – and summer will come again.   Between now and then we’re facing such weather events like “bomb cyclones – rain, thunderstorms, ice and snow … and more power outages.  So I’m glad to have pictures like these because they hold me over until the time comes again when we can complain about the heat  🙂 !  

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” – Kim Hubbard

 

  • What’s saving your life (in winter) right now?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, News, Personal, Seasons, Traditions, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Books are a home

We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter.  Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages.  Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow.  Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.

ice on the back steps .. so treacherous!

We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners.   We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons.   And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe.  Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?”  Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.

This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about.  You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling.  People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

The reason for our gathering was two-fold:  1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together!   It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball.   His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her.  Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home.    We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.

Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year.  Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

 

How about you? 

  • Any (winter) damage at your house?
  • Read any good books this winter?
  • Spring is just 31 days away 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

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Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

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Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

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Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

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