Friday, January 31, 2020

{ Groomed by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good - TLC Book Tour }

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Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 14, 2020)

Someone in your past sold you a false story about who you are and what you’re worth. It has been holding you back for too long. Take control of your future.

A staggering one out of three women in America was a victim of sexual abuse at some point in her childhood. No matter how many years it’s been, if that’s your story, those scars are probably still with you. But even if that’s not part of your story, this book is for you. Women today have been groomed for a lot more than just sex.

Using her own story of abuse, family tragedy, and rebellion, Elizabeth Melendez Fisher guides readers toward an understanding that grooming is oftentimes subtle, but it’s always life-altering. In GroomedFisher incorporates the language and lessons gained over the past decade working with sex trafficking victims and her work in ministry and counseling before that. She draws out five specific ways that women have been groomed, from physical appearance to spirituality to finances, and shows how those manipulative messages have affected the way we see our worth and how they’ve oftentimes stifled and limited us. From there Fisher offers readers a way to overcome their past, starting with the all-important but rarely explored idea of a selah, or a time of rest and reflection, and exploring active ways to forgive and move forward to a new level of freedom.

No one has to be defined by her past. No one has to live for her groomers. It’s time to take a look back at where we came from to escape the messages of our past and take control of our future.

‘In Groomed Elizabeth shares a raw, heart-wrenching story, digging deeply to save others–a vital education, a sad tale, and a miracle of truth. Stopping sex trafficking and helping young women thrive is only possible through the education this book provides. And, ultimately, the sad realization that it could have been any of us!’ –Dina Bair Maher, WGN-TV, Chicago, anchor/reporter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson


ELIZABETH MELENDEZ FISHER GOOD is the CEO and Co-Founder of Selah Freedom and the Selah Way Foundation, which exist to end sexual abuse, exploitation, and sex trafficking. Her leadership has brought freedom to thousands of American children and young adults who have been rescued from sexual slavery, and she has helped educate millions on the topics of leadership, exploitation and sex trafficking. Learn more at FreewithE.com.

Connect with Elizabeth

Selah Freedom Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



My thoughts:
First and foremost, I have to say that I am not yet done reading this book. 

Usually by the time I do the book review, I've finished the book for you all, but this one is taking me quite a long time to read. 

It is a book that is not to be read in one go, at least in my opinion.  It is deep, it is thought provoking, it is going to dig deep into your soul and pull out some thoughts that may have you questioning everything you've thought true of yourself, your family, society and so on.

Elizabeth, takes us through what it is to be groomed.  Now when you hear the word groomed, you tend to have a connotation to that term that brings up vivid images or incest, sexual misconduct, trafficking and so on.  While that is all true, the author explains that from a very young age we are all groomed in a way, by those we trust, our parents, family and so forth, to be conditioned into thinking and acting a certain way.

About 10 years ago, something happened in my family.  My father had an affair.  From that affair came a child, and from that one decision and incident came a divorce.

All of a sudden, everything that I had been taught, made to believe, learned to trust, was ripped from me, and to this day I am left wondering if anything I was taught and lived through my childhood, means anything.  It's almost like all those things that you knew and believed in, are now lies. 

In a sense, after reading this book, I realized that I had been groomed from a very early age, into believing that family was everything, that a father and mother were faithful and truthful, that divorce was something that I lived through when I was 2 years old and would never have to live through again.

Groomed has opened up some very raw emotions for me, and this is why I am not yet quite finished with it.  Not that I don't find it interesting or helpful, but rather because it touches on a part of my soul that I don't much care to delve into, or rather, I'm still wading and pushing through, and there are hurts that I don't want to relive or think about.  But, with that said, I also know that this is going to be the one book that may just help me put all these thoughts and ideas back into place.

Elizabeth did a fantastic job in Groomed.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.




Thursday, January 30, 2020

{ Forced hiatus }

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Hello friends, it's been a while since I've sat down and actually put together a post.  I love chatting with you all, I love updating my blog and sharing my life with you.

But sometimes, life has other plans, and we are forced to take a small hiatus.

Truthfully, I haven't been very active either here, or Instagram. 

The sickness took hold of our house and made it's rounds.  I would love to say that we are all completely back to normal, but we are not.  I don't think we've ever had a cold last this long, for the most part it is gone, but we are left with this sinus, congestion kinda thing that is lingering and holding on for dear life.

I have had no energy or motivation for anything at all.  I am not a person that likes sitting around doing nothing, but that is exactly what I've done the past week and a half. 

The homemaking has been the minimum of minimum needed for our daily lives.  Basically, laundry, cooking and doing dishes.  My house is desperately needing a good deep clean.  I've disinfected everywhere, tidied up, but not really cleaned like I usually do, and it's driving me completely insane.

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The only thing we've all been enjoying, is home cooked comfort food.  I've made plenty of soups and soups, bread and lunches that remind the kids, and I, of their childhood.  They're grown, they fix their own lunches and breakfast, but since we've all been sick, I've been using that as an excuse to love on them and pamper them as if they were still little.

Things like fish sticks and homemade macaroni and cheese have been a hit, along with tuna salad, grilled cheese sandwiches and even chicken nuggets.  Isn't it funny how when you're unwell, all you really want is comfort and especially food that takes you back in time.  It's not like it makes you better physically, but I think that mentally it helps, it's like going back to a safe place where your parents would take care of you and all responsibility feel on their shoulders and not yours.


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This past weekend, we made huge progress on the greenhouse.  It is about 90% done now, but unfortunately we've had to take a break because of the rain we've been having, and also during the week Curt works and so we really only have the weekends to do what is needed.

I can't wait to show you all how it is looking.  It is already covered, just needs a few more touch ups here and there, and then I can finally start planting and growing.

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In the meantime, I have been fighting this lack of energy and motivation, but I can tell you that today was the first day I woke up feeling more like myself.

I've already gone and fueled my car, picked up milk and eggs, got the dishes going and the kitchen clean, and a load of laundry in the washer as well.

Goodness, I miss being productive, it's been absolutely awful for me just laying around in bed.  I'm pretty sick of it, to be frank.

Anyway, just wanted to come in real quick and say hi, let you all know that I'm still around, just haven't been well, and really really REALLY hope that next week I'll be back to daily blogging.  I know I said I would this week, but I did not anticipate still being so poorly.

I hope you've all been doing well.

I'll see you soon.
xoxoxo

Monday, January 27, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/27/2020 }

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.

I have to start by apologizing for the lack of posts lat week.  It was just not a good week for us, health wise.   I was sick along with my son, then my daughter got it as well, and at one point, all 3 of us were down with this cold.

We are slowly recovering, and I'm hoping that it will not return.  It was one of those colds that weren't too serious, no fevers or body aches or anything of the sort, but it did leave us all completely drained and devoid of energy or motivation for anything.

I am thankful that I'm on the mend, though my sinus is the one thing left bothering me.  So much so, that around 4pm yesterday I started developing a sinus headache, and I had family coming over for dinner.  I worked on the greenhouse with my husband, all day long then had to quickly zip into the house to fix dinner and dessert before the family arrived at 6pm.

By the time they were here and we sat down to dinner, I had the worst sinus headache, it felt like someone was squeezing my head tight, along with nausea and just all around unwell.  By the time they left, I took a motrin, a shower and lay down in bed, in tears with the pain.  Thank the Lord the headache is gone.

Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble, but really just wanted to explain why the lack of daily posts.  Hopefully this week will be better.

Now, let's get right into our Happy Homemaker Monday post.  I have to put mine up real quick, then get dressed and get Jasmine off to work.

Have a wonderful week friends.



♥♥The Weather♥♥
We had a gorgeous weekend, 70 degrees, blue skies, warm.  Woke up to 30 degrees this morning though.  Looks like the rest of the week, we are cooling down again.

Monday - Partly cloudy, 68
Tuesday - Showers and wind, 51
Wednesday - Sunny, 52
Thursday - Cloudy, 48
Friday - Mostly Sunny, 58
Saturday - Sunny, 66
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 72


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Much better after that awful sinus headache, but I'm still congested.   


♥♥On my mind♥♥
All our plans for the house, project outside and so on.   


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
I've had a cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.  I will have some toast here shortly.    


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
A Sister's Courage by Molly Green.
Morning and Evening Devotional by Charles Spurgeon
Book of John in the Bible


♥♥On my tv♥♥
Still catching up on shows, and have finished a few more. 

Turn
The Last Kingdom
Star Trek Picard
Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Also, I found on Youtube a really interesting show, for those that love all the going back in time with Ruth Goodman and so on.  Remember Victorian Pharmacy, Wartime Farm etc.

Well this time they are taking UK celebrities and popping them back in different time periods, for 24 hours.  You can watch the first and second episode on Youtube, it is already available.


Surviving a Day in the Victorian Era
Struggling at the Victorian Coach House


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

Monday - Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce, Spinach Salad
Tuesday - Carne de Panela (Portuguese Beef Tips), Potatoes, Broccoli
Wednesday - Chicken Curry and Rice
Thursday -  Pork Ribs, Garlic Potatoes, Salad
Friday - Roast Chicken, Lemon Spaghetti
Saturday - Portuguese Pork and Potatoes
Sunday - Chicken Parmigiana with Egg Noodles


♥♥From the camera♥♥
My sweet boy and my latest crochet blanket.



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥
Thankfully it is clean, aside from the living room carpet needing some washing.  With the work we were doing on the greenhouse and Marley running around out in the dirt, there are paw prints spread out all over. 


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
Changing bed linens.  I love doing it, but today, I'm just not looking forward to it, I don't know why.  Oh and washing all my dishes from last night's dinner, I had to leave them in the sink because of the headache, and my dishwasher has decided to stop working.


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Read and crochet.  Also start planning my Spring Garden.   


♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
The President, our country.
For our colds to go away completely.
My mother in law Pat, she is having her final chemotherapy treatment on the 5th of February. 
My father in law still needs heart surgery. 


♥♥Devotional/Bible Verse♥♥
Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

{ Working together }

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Well hello everyone, it's been a few days since I've sat down and composed a proper post for you.  Truth is, I'm sick with a nasty cold and it's left me quite exhausted and devoid of any energy.

Even Dayquil is making me sleepy and knocking me out.  The past 3 days, by 6pm I am passed out for the night, sleep all night long, and wake up feeling like I could sleep another 3 days.  It's been interesting to say the least.

I am not one to sit around, and I usually feel guilty if I'm in one spot longer than 5 minutes, but I have not been able to do anything or go anywhere.  I'm only really starting to feel slightly better, tonight.

I do hope that by Friday morning I am 100%, because I have grocery shopping to do, errands to run and a daughter to take to work and pick up as well.

God willing, this crud will be gone.


I've been able to still help my husband, a little here and there.  Not as much as I want or I will, once I'm over this cold, but enough to not feel completely helpless.   I do have an amazing husband, I must say.

We have moved on to our second project since buying the house, and this one is an outside project in anticipation for Spring and Summer.

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My dream has always been to take the back fenced in yard, and turn it into a series of areas with specific uses.  A covered patio for entertaining family, grilling and just relaxing.  Nothing fancy, I don't want these super expensive mansion looking patios, I want a plain cement ground, short cement walls, a very simple roof and hanging flower baskets all around.

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A chicken coop in one corner.  A greenhouse with a surrounding vegetable patch, brick walkways, tons of fruit trees and gorgeous bushes and flowers sprinkled throughout the yard.

It all sounds like a lot of work, but when it comes down to it, it IS our forever home and we are able to finally start working on these dreams, little by little.

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The first thing going up is my greenhouse.  Curt has already begun building it in the garage, and I have helped him in every single step of the way.  I am not a woman that shies away from work, whatever it is, and I do really enjoy working together with my husband.

We love being in the yard, digging, planting, building.  I find that if you actually work as a team, everything that you create takes on a new meaning.

It's our home, our dreams, and we want to build on it together, every brick, every nail, every brush of paint.  

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While I've been sick the past few days, Curt has been working on laying a foundation for the greenhouse.  We've put down some bricks which will be set in place later, after the ground has been leveled and the brick pavers spread out to our liking.

They will make a walk way from our patio to the greenhouse.  A wall will be built around the greenhouse (eventually) to close in my vegetable patch which will run along the side of the greenhouse and the whole area behind it.

It's hard to describe and as you look at the photos above, it will make no sense whatsoever.  I see it all in my mind, but unfortunately you will only be able to understand it fully, once it's all built and working and I can show you.

There are numerous projects inside the house that will be addressed too, and many more outside too, after all, we are now owners of 3 acres of land that we intend to fully invest in and use up. 

I wish I could snap my fingers and it all be done, but alas that is not how things work.

Just can not wait to see the greenhouse working, my seedlings growing, my vegetable patch brimming with all sorts of yummy goodness and gorgeous colorful plants all over. 

For now though, I need to get back into bed, take more medicine and pray that this cold leaves me as soon as possible.

Monday, January 20, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/20/2020 }

Good morning dear friends, how was your weekend?

It is Monday morning, we are very quickly moving towards the end of January already, which is a bit unnerving isn't it?

Nick and I are again sick with a cold.  Blimey, we just had a cold beginning of December and here we are again.  I've been hitting it as hard as I can, especially with all the talk of flu going around.

Right, new week, blank slate.  Let's leave behind all the nonsense from last week and focus on putting forth a positive outlook and attitude towards the week before us.  Deal?

By the way, I apologize for having to moderate comments, but I've been getting so many spam ones lately.  I honestly wish Blogger would enable us to block certain accounts from commenting, but unfortunately we are left with having to either put up with an influx of horrid comments, or turn to comment moderation.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I've had to turn it on, at least for the foreseeable future until these spam comments calm down a bit.

Now that we got the business part out of the way, let's see what is happening in our Happy Homemaker Mondays.   



♥♥The Weather♥♥
The craziest weather.  Plain and simple!
Rain for two days, super chilly days with fog and 20 degrees, followed by 75 degree days.  I give up lol   It is currently 29 degrees with a high of 56 for today. 

Monday - Sunny, 56
Tuesday - Cloudy, 51
Wednesday - Rainy, 48
Thursday - Partly cloudy, Showers, 57
Friday - Sunny, 56
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 60
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 63


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Well, like I have a knife stuck in my throat.  Very congested, and tired.  When I can't breathe through my nose, I can't sleep so last night was interesting to say the least.  Hubby is taking Jasmine to work this morning and has ordered me back to bed.  I am so blessed with the husband I have. 


♥♥On my mind♥♥
Just trying to get through this cold and thinking about ways to hit it even harder.  Also thinking about the work we are doing out back, we've moved on to our second project since buying the house.  I'm so excited. 


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Currently sipping on a hot cup of coffee with Vanilla Creamer.  I don't know what I'll eat, breakfast is not on my mind and honestly the way I'm feeling, I can't imagine eating anything at all.  


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
A Sister's Courage by Molly Green.
Morning and Evening Devotional by Charles Spurgeon
Book of John in the Bible


♥♥On my tv♥♥
Still catching up on shows, and have finished a few more. 

Mercy Street
Jamestown
Witcher

This week I'll be watching:
Turn
The Last Kingdom


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥
Will be grocery shopping on Friday, so only have meals planned until Thursday.

Monday - Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
Tuesday - Feijoada (Portuguese Bean Stew), Rice
Wednesday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Thursday -  Sweet and Sour Pork, Fried Rice
Friday -
Saturday -
Sunday -


♥♥From the camera♥♥
I love curtains blowing in the wind, and this weekend, I was able to enjoy just that.  The temperatures were warm enough to open the windows and there was the most gorgeous breeze coming in.



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥
I gave it a good clean yesterday, so it's not needing my attention today.  Thank the Lord, because I really don't feel like doing any sort of cleaning. 



♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
I need to wash my windows, they look awful, but it is not a chore I particularly like.  Not looking forward to it at all......that and the carpet cleaning.  Guess I have two chores I'm not looking forward to this week. 



♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Read and crochet.  I've been enjoying working on a new blanket, nothing that requires too much thinking. 

♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
The President, our country.

My son and I with our colds.
There are many others I pray for on a daily basis, people I know, people I don't know.  I think if I were to name them all, we would be here until next week.


♥♥Devotional/Bible Verse♥♥

I saw this quote and thought it was so simple but yet so effective.  Thought you all would enjoy it too.  




Friday, January 17, 2020

{ Non stop rain and contentment where you are }

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I promised myself that I would read my Morning and Evening Devotional, first thing every morning, and I've stuck to my promise.  The evening one, I will say has been harder to stick to, I tend to get everything done by evening and then fall into my bed and I'm out like a light.

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What I've been doing is making sure to read them the next morning along with the morning devotional.  That kind of defeats the purpose, but it will do until I fall into a proper habit.

I've also been making my way through the book of John, and loving it.

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It really does come down to making an effort and sticking with it, because life tend to throw all sort of curve balls your way, sometimes impeding your best intentions.  There's one thing that I find has always happened to me, in all my years of trying to get closer to God.

The minute I start reading the Bible on a consistent basis, the devil will make sure to throw something in my way to get me confused, distracted and end up leaving my Bible reading habit, because you know, as humans if something happens often enough that it becomes a pattern, and is not something comfortable or joy inducing, we steer clear of it.

However, this time, I've stuck with my resolve and have dug my heels in.  I've rebuked the devil and will not allow him to steal this joy from me again.

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We've had the most glorious of rain, the past two days.  It has been consistent, the pitter patter constantly falling on the rooftop, creating this wonderful rhythm, that induces states of sleepiness and a calm like no other.  I do so love the rain.

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Even though we've had a cold front move in with these storms, I have enjoyed numerous moments of propping the windows open, letting in the fresh cool breeze, watching the curtains blowing in the wind and listening to the rain outside.

I've spent equal amounts of moments, sitting at the window and watching the view.  The field behind us with horses and cows.  The fields in front of us filled with trees of all shapes and sizes, a small river running through, the occasional deer or family of deer leaping around.

As I have sat and admired God's beauty, I've thought about all the different homes we lived in, in different States and different views.

Every house had a favorite window, with a favorite view.   Even the house in Arizona which was smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, on a busy Air Force Base.  Same with the house at Mountain Home AFB, where I first became a wife and a mother, and where I later took up blogging.

Each house had something beautiful to offer.

Our first house, was in Mountain Home AFB where we lived from 1998 to 2007, didn't provide much of a view at all.  We lived in a Cul de Sac, surrounded by other military families.  The front door provided a view of the neighborhood children playing outside.


We had a tiny front yard, shared by the neighbor.  See the tree, that marked the halfway point of our yards, so when I say tiny, I mean tiny.

Our backyard on the other hand, was awful.  Nothing we did could make it better, there was hardly any grass, just a ton of mud, it was tiny, and behind it was the base Fire House.


And even so, every night, out the kid's bedroom windows, we had the most beautiful sunsets.  They were partly covered by other houses, the firehouse and the base itself, but nonetheless.


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If you want to better see what our first home was like, take a look at this post, I had taken a couple of pictures and now looking back, I miss that house so much.

Our second house, and third AND fourth, were at Luke AFB in Arizona.  We lived in 3 different houses on base, during the 6 years we were stationed there. 

Without a doubt, the most breathtaking sunsets and sunrises I have ever witnessed, were captured in Glendale, Arizona.  I was in love with the sky, morning, noon, night, I couldn't help but take my camera, head to the back or front of the house and capture as many pictures as I could.

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In 2013, Curt retired from the Air Force and we made our way back to Idaho, back to Mountain Home.

Our fifth house, was in Mountain Home, Idaho.  This was our first country house, sort of.  It was at the end of a rural road, we did have neighbors but we also had an acre of land behind, with the most spectacular view of the mountains.

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Once again, I had the most gorgeous views out of my windows and I completely indulged in every single moment that I could witness God's hand at work.

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After one year, and after being told we could buy the house, the owners decided they wanted to move back, so once again we packed out belongings and moved.

Our sixth house, was also in Mountain Home, on the opposite side of town.  I used to call my Amish Farmhouse.  It was nowhere near a farm, or anything like an Amish house, but it just reminded me of their homes.

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Once again I was surrounded by neighbors, not a field in sight, and my first thought was that I had lost all my beautiful views.  But as always, God knows best and He provides. 

Sunrise

Early Morning

In 2015, we moved to Texas. 

Our seventh house, which is now our forever home, is in the country.  3 acres, huge field for crops or whatever we choose to do with it, fields in the back, fields in the front, a small river nearby, deer, trees, all kinds of birds and nature.  Our dream home, our dream place to live.

Again, we have been afforded the most gorgeous of sunsets and sunrises, and views in general. 

June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017


By this time, you are probably wondering why I'm talking about all of this, and why I'm sharing all these photos.

Simply because I want to talk to you about contentment and finding the joy wherever you are.  I wasn't always like this, matter of fact the reason I'm sharing all this is because I used to think that the house I was in was the end all, be all.

Every time we moved, I would feel so sad thinking that I would never have views like the previous home, there was no way that I could see anything more spectacular.

And then I would move and be surprised.  Every house had something to offer, every view was beautiful, because even though the walls were different, the cities were different, even the States were different, one thing remained the same.......our Lord. 

So he kept providing me with the views he knew I loved so much, bringing me right to this specific moment in time.  Beautiful view, our dream home!

Contentment at it's best.

So next time you are faced with change of some type, whether it be a new house, growing older, a new job, a new pet or whatever it may be, just go with it, don't hold back thinking that nothing will ever be like the previous one because although that may be true, it almost always turns out to be even better.

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