Sunday, March 28, 2010

ok, enough of this secrecy...

When I said I on facebook that we had decided to use our money form the long weekend trip we were going to take and use it on something else that came up, I didn't realize what a disaster my life was about to become. I must tell you now because I have to let it all out. Just to let you know, I think renovations stink! It should be worth it in the long run but going through it (especially when you can't just turn it over to someone who can devote hours each day to it) is no fun. I might not be so cranky about it if I wasn't woken up until 2-3 in the morning with the sounds of air guns, drills, saws, shop vacs or whatever else they're using. But since it's hard to get good sleep, I am cranky. Adam and Barry are working hard and I'm not really having to do much at all so I shouldn't complain...they've got it worse than I do.

So, here's what happened. When I cleaned the kitchen and posted pictures of it, I knew that that would be a before picture of this project...but I didn't realize that nothing in the picture was going to be in the kitchen in less than 72 hours or I wouldn't have scrubbed the floors, back splash, or vent hood. I would have washed the dishes even though there wasn't a full load ready to be washed. I took that picture on Thursday, the first day of our vacation. The day before, or two days before (not sure), Adam found out that a certain style of cabinets, which were cheap to begin with, were on sale for 75% off. Home Depot was going to stop carrying them though they were still going to be made by the manufacturer. We knew we were going to have to redo the kitchen cabinets eventually since we had changed so much in the kitchen and we wanted it to look good for resale. Adam was out at Home Depot talking with a kitchen designer. He got a list of 15 different Home Depots in North Georgia that we were going to have to visit top pick up all the different cabinets we needed. Since the cabinets were on sale, people had been getting what they needed and only a few were left in each store. He got the few cabinets they had there at that Home Depot and came home and picked me up. We went to the Aquarium (which I need to blog about still) and afterward went to a couple of other Home Depots. Well, Adam did, I went back home. That was the night I forgot to feed the dogs.

The next day, we spent all day driving to different Home Depots. I think we made it to 10 of them that day and got the majority of the rest of them. We were out very late! I was still having sinus infection problems so not the greatest day ever but at least we got to spend a lot of time together. We passed through a town called Maysville. It was very small and had a main street with a few shops. Outside, in front of a shop, were two benches and 5 old guys were sitting on them talking. I fell in love with it instantly! That is truly one of those small Southern towns I've heard about.

The next day, Adam says that he can have the top cabinets up before our vacation is over. So he started emptying our cabinets on two tables. All the food we owned (and it turns out we have ALOT) was out for Tucker to eat. He never touched it though, even when we left the house with him still in it. We managed to get up 2 of the 13 top cabinets up before I was just too tired to continue. The next day we got up the rest of the top cabinets, except two which have to wait for some wall repairs to be done first, and Barry and Lanette came over to see and Lanette helped me get the food back in the cabinets so I could leave for work the next morning without having to worry about what Tucker was eating.

The backsplash was the first thing to go.

One cabinet down...yes, that was only one cabinet. These were custom cabinets and there were only three of them. One above the fridge, the rest of that wall was one cabinet and this wall of cabinets was one cabinet.

Nothing left on the walls.

Corner cabinets go can see how high above the old cabinets they go. The corner cabinets are 1 foot above the other new ones which are about 6 inches above the old ones.

A beauitful view from the living room and of the food tables.

The impact drill that Adam was using was so loud I finally asked for ear plugs. I wore those the rest of the day and the dogs (when they were inside) were up in the bedroom trying to escape the noise.

What a hard life for the dogs.

Last cabinet (well, last one of the uppers that we can do until the wall is fixed)...Adam was taking a nap to celebrate.

I was naive in thinking that that was the end of the work for a bit. After all, Adam told me that there was more prep work that needed to be done before the base cabinets could go in. We are moving the sink and dishwasher so the pipes have to be rerun. He was going to keep the stove and sink in place as long as possible. Well, I came home from work on Thursday (his days off this week were Thur & Fri) and everything was gone, the sink had dishes in it still but it was sitting on the carpet. Even the linoleum and the boards the linoleum was still stuck to were gone. When I say everything was gone, I mean it wasn't in the kitchen. The wood pieces were out on the deck but everything else was crammed into the already full (with base cabinets) dinning room and in the living room. Only the sub floor remained...and some of it was rotted so it was going to have be replaced. I feel asleep to the sound of a saw taking out the floor boards. Or maybe that was Friday night...I can't quite remember. I do know that when I woke up this morning, after sleeping off and on through the sounds of air guns, saws and vacuums, the sub floor is almost complete. I have no idea what the next step is going to be yet.

This is what I saw when I got home...

dining room (there's actually no room at all to stand in that room)
living room The dining table is now set up so we can eat at the couch and table at the same time...a real time saver!

Now I fel a little better after letting it all out. I am no longer alone. Seriously though...working outside all of yesterday helped a lot but getting all the mees out of the living and dining rooms will help even more. I just don't know when that will be.

This is what it looked like when I woke up this morning...progress

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring bike ride

Today, I went for a bike ride. The weather was fantastic! There's a yard about a 20 minute bike ride from the house that is my favorite yard in the spring time. Daffodills cover the lawn. Spring is definitely upon us!

Can you believe that this is all from one yard???

On the way to that yard, I bike down a road that somehow has retained it's agricultural roots...but just one side of the road. There's a tree farm, 2 cattle ranches, a u-pick berry farm and lots of little barns. So it's actually quite a pleasant ride with little traffic. Unfortunatley, the road dead ends at that yard so the pleasant ride doesn't last long.

This is part of one of the cattle ranches.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tucker's horse

Tucker has a few toys that he likes more than the others. This horse is one of those. I was playing with him, with the horse, and he jumped up onto the couch and fell asleep with it just beside him. I came over and started teasing him with it (he woke up when I walked by). He put his mouth around the foot of the horse and promptly fell back asleep. About 30 minutes later, he woke up suddenly because of some barking. He sat up quickly and the horse was still in his mouth until he realized it and he dropped it. It was pretty funny.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So today, one thing lead to another. I didn't wake up with the intention to clean the kitchen but it happened anyway. I did a load of dishes and was wiping down the counters. Too many things on the counter to wash it all down so I cleaned them off. Then, the floor had to be swept and in order to sweep the whole floor I had to take down the "Tucker barrier". It's a row of stuff to keep Tucker out of the kitchen when we're not home because he has the habit of counter surfing with his paws...gross. So after the floor was swept, I could no longer put off the mopping, which I have to do on my hands and knees with a rag since I don't have a mop. I scrubbed good and hard but there's lots of paint and dry wall mud that I didn't get off (not to mention the whole middle of the floor is stained from being around too long). Then, I thought, if I had it this clean, I might as well clear off the top of the "pantry cabinets" and take a picture so you all could see how our whole kitchen looks.

This is looking toward the kitchen when we first moved in.

Same view now that the fireplace is gone. It has really opened up the house!

The new laundry room door. It has a door now!! Not too long ago, that wall was all white with dry wall mud. It's painted now. Just waiting for the trim to be put up around the fridge alcove edges.

Free couch

I was coming home from work on Tuesday. I left about 15 minutes early because I was SOO tired. Before I got home, I decided that if I didn't pull over to take a nap, I might not make it home. So I pulled over into a gas station and slept for 30 minutes then drove the rest of the way home. My neighbor has been having new flooring put in and she was outside when I drove by. She was just bringing out the last pieces of her couch and loveseat. She showed me her new floors and she came over and saw our construction zone too. Then I took a look at the couch she had sitting out at the curb and asked her about it. She said I could have it if I wanted it.

So her son helped me get it home. We left it in the driveway. When Adam got home, the first thing he asked me was, did you smell it? She has 4 dogs and 5 kids but that really wasn't what he was talking about. One time Adam picked up a free couch, it was quite pretty and his favorite color, yellow. It wasn't until he got it home that he realized that it stunk to high heaven of cat spray. We left it outside to air out but no amount of airing out would ever make a difference with that kind of smell. He started to cut it up to throw it away but it was taking too long so he decided (unknown to me) to make a bonfire under the pine tree, next to the deck, with the couch. Well, if you've watched CSI or any show like that, you know that couches flame up hot and high and that's what this one did. The pine tree was scorched pretty bad and it freaked Adam out. He thought the house was going to burn down. In the end, it was only the pine tree that got it at all and it survived and I don't think any scorch marks are left these 5 years later. Anyway, I had smelled it and aside from some heavy febreeze useage, it's not bad. We have to steam clean it just to get the chemical smells out of it.

When Jasmine was diagnosed with arthritis, I started to keep an eye out for a free couch on freecycle and craigslist. I wanted something for Jasmine to lay on instead of the hard floor. She doesn't like the reclining sofa or chair because they rock when she jumps up onto them. The other dogs don't care but she won't get on them. I thought that if it gets bad enough that she can't climb the stairs to get to her kennel, she should be able to have something softer to sleep on. It took a couple of days but Adam caught her sleeping on it last night, on her back, with her legs up in the air...that's how she often sleeps on couches. She has missed having a couch to sleep on!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I joined this scrapbooking website where they do a mothly challenge and a weekly challenge. They have sketches that you use for your base...everything you post to their page must use one of the sketches. It's I joined it a little bit ago but haven't done any scrapbooking until today. This week's challenge was to do a layout about you. It had to have a picture of only me, at least 4 patterned papers, a piece of ribbon and at least one handmane embellishment. I decided to give it a shot. Hmmm.....this scrapbooking things takes some work. I forgot about that. I had my own style and I could crank out a few pages in an hour when I quit scrapping. Those days are gone. So here it first layout in years. I've never been a fan of the picture but it was from one of the events in my journaling...and there aren't many pictures of just me so I used it. I used two handmade embellishments. One is the owl above the journaling. I cut it out and mounted it on pop dots. hen I cut out a second set of eyes and mounted those on top of the eyes so it's 3-d. The word "BRAVE" was done the same way. The journaling reads: Lately, I've been told several times that I'm fearless. That's funny. I thought I had plenty of fear. hen I tried my first flip jump and toe loop in my figure skating classes this week, I felt a lot of fear from the time I stroked toward the entry to the time my feet touched the ice again and again with each attempt. I felt fear when I was heading off into the Southern Utah desert for 8 days carrying everything I would need (hopefully) on my bicycle. I was afraid of what would happen if my bike broke down, or if my body broke down, or if I ran out of water or food. I was afraid of not having enough to keep me warm on the cold nights. I was afraid to sleep alone in my tent every night. I was afraid of all the hills I would have to climb. I felt fear when I flew to Georgia to meet my future husband who I met on the internet. I felt fear when I first hooked up my dogs to the bike so they could get the exercise they need. I felt fear when I crashed my bicycle going 20+ MPH. I feel fear just like the people who tell me I'm fearless. I am NOT fearless. The question i not whether you are afraid or whether you are not, but whether you let that fear take hold and decide for you or whether you "make fear stand idly by and watch while you make choices with out it." That's not being fearless, that's being brave. And that is what I am. The quote "Make fear stand Idly by and watch while you make choices without it" is actually my own quote. I thought it one day and liked it so I wrote it on a post-it note. It used to be in my planner. I'd see it everyday to remind myself to not let fear rule me. I still have it, even though I don't often need the reminder these days.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Class: Week 2

My lessons include one free public session a week and I went on Wednesday after work. I was so tired and weak that I felt like my legs weren't connected to my brain. 2 laps around the rink and I was gasping for breath. I couldn't do a simple waltz jump, mohawk or spin. I was really frustrated and nothing went right. So I was worried that I would feel the same way last night on the ice...but I felt good from the moment I stepped out onto the ice and it only got better from there!

It was a lot more challenging being in class 2 this week than it was being in class 1 last week. Ok, I am in class 2, lower than I thought I would be but I'm ok with that because there are a lot of challenging things to learn at that level as well and things all build off of the basic moves so I have to become good at those too. During class we did backward crossovers in both directions. Then we did this leg extension from a crossover. Not the easiest thing to do. I can do it on my right leg going backward, setting up for a spin but not forward in either direction, at least not well. I can pretty much pull all the things off that I'm learning but it's not pretty or smooth. Then we worked on pivots for the rest of class. I got those down pretty well. You just stand in place with a toe pick i the ice, then you shift your weight onto the other foot and go in a circle. Harder than it sounds at first. Everything looks so easy when the coach shows me...but it rarely is.

Marcy, the coach, had a private lesson with a little girl after us so she was occupied with her for a while (about an hour). John, an adult skater returning to the ice after 1 1/2 years, Kate a level 4 and me were still out there practicing and she came over to us. I told her I had the entry to the toe loop down but that I couldn't do the revolution in the air. She wanted to see it so I showed her. Turns out that it's not a toe loop, it's a flip jump. She liked the air I got on it, even though I didn't spin. It was pointed out that the flip jump is harder than a toe loop. She gave me some pointers on how to get the revolution. So many things to do with your body at once! I couldn't handle everything at once so I just concentrated on a couple things to see what I could do. I tried it and it worked! Well, I landed on two foot, but I did it. Marcy looked pleased but I could tell she was seeing all the things I did wrong too...which is good...I need to know what I did wrong or I won't get better. John had a look of amazement on his face. "I can't believe you just did that! That's crazy that you can do that!" Then this girl skated up and asked if I could do it again. I said, "I have no idea!" but I tried again and managed to land it again. John clapped and said, that's what happens when you doing something amazing, people want to see it again." Then the little girl chimed in, "Can you do it again?" I just laughed and did it again. It was so much fun!

So since what I thought was a toe loop wasn't, I wanted to know what a toe loop was so I could try was supposed to be easier after all. It might be easier for some, but I didn't think so. After several tries, I managed to land it one footed. Again, not pretty, but I got it! Sadly, that was at the end of the practice session so I had to get off the ice.

I had so much fun!!! I love learning all these big things that sometimes I have trouble wanting to learn the little things. They're just not as fun. However, they are challenging and I don't like not being able to do something so I will continue to practice the little things as well....with the bigger stuff mixed in to keep it fun.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

drying flowers

Sometimes it's handy not having a finished basement. The last couple of nights, I spent too much time tying up all the flowers into bunches so I could hang them to dry. I was going to put tacks in that header board but when I was having trouble getting the tack in the wood, I found a much easier alternative. I tied them up to the dark water pipe just under the floor joists. They're up out of the way. Kind of reminds me of an old kitchen with the herbs drying over the stove...but the boxes aren't as good looking or as quaint as an old wood stove.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A couple pics I found on someone's blog

I found a blog by someone that was on the Southern Utah bike tour this past fall. His days descriptions were quite short and he didn't share very many pictures...I know he took a lot more than what he has on there...but then again, I only shared a small portion of the pictures I took too. Anyway, I thought it was cool to find pictures of me on the trip.

This one you defnitely have to click on to see full size. That's me standing in the left side of the picture. It's fun to remember the trip. :o)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jas's vet visit

Jasmine had a vet visit on Friday. The week of my cold, I didn't walk the dogs once and was weak the next week so I just did bike rides with the Jasmimne & Tucker together, Bear on his own ride and a short walk with Jack. For a week, that's what I did. Toward the end of the week, after we would get back and Jasmine had a chance to relax, she'd get up with a slight limp and then after a minute, it would go away. But the last day I took them running together, Jasmine really started limping after we got home.

So, she's been resting it since then and the limp has gotten smaller but is still there. Adam wanted me to go get her xrayed for bone tumors and tested for arthritis. Well, after an exam, the vet said that she feels just a touch of arthritis and didn't feel it was necessary to do the xrays. She was put on a high dose of glucosamine and chondrotin pills (Dasuqin), which will go to a lower dose after a month. This particular dog specific pill has made a huge difference with dogs of all levels of arthritis so I'm hoping it will help Jasmine. The vet said that I should start seeing a big difference in a week or two. And there are other medicines that can be used to help control arthritis if it starts to progress later.

I took Jasmine for a 20 minute walk after the visit. No running, just walking. She was ok before but afterward she was limping again and I felt bad for doing that to her. Saturday was her first full dose. She went for a short walk wih Jack and she was limping just a little by the time it was bedtime.

Today, I took Jasmine for an hour long walk with the rest of the dogs. This was strictly a walk, not a run. It was quite hard to convince the dogs of it. And we had to turn around before our usual spot bcause we were so much slower than usual. The dogs were unhappy about it but it had to be done. Jasmine never limps during the walks because she's so excited so the real test is after the walk is over and she's been relaxing a while. That's when things get stiff and sore. Nothing...she's limp free!!!!

I can't tell you how happy I am that she's not limping tonight. When her limp wasn't going away, I knew it was more than the over use injury I originally thought it was. I was worried that she would be in pain for the rest of her life...and she's still got some years left on her. Not only would she be in pain, but she wouldn't bet to run like she lives for. That was the worst part, for sure. I hate to deny her, or any of my dogs but Jasmine especially, the things they love. I know she would be willing to deal with the pain just to run...she really does love it more than anything else. I was really quite sad for her. But now that she has this supplement that really is already helping her, I am so thrilled to see her running without a limp, getting to walk with the other dogs, being able to jump around and play tug-o-war with Tucker and Jack again...I really hate to see her in pain.

Her exercise guidelines are pretty simple. No more running with the bike when Tucker's along...just her and me. The vet as pleased with th exercise she's been getting and says that she should continue with it. If Jasmine starts limping after a walk, give her a K-9 asprin and scale back the walk the next day since it was too much for her. That's all I have to look for. I guage what she can do by how her body reacts to the walk. That's simple and it makes me feel good that I can still excersize her. If she goes on any more bike rides with me (which she will since she's the best biking dog) she has to ride more in the trailer and run less. I can manage that! Yay for modern medicine!!!

Laundry room progress

I know I posted a few pictures of the room with Adam in them but I wanted to show you a couple other things too.

This is a little alcove right next to the door to the room. Under this alcove is the fridge alcove. Things like bulk packages of paper towels & toilet paper willbe stored up there, out of the way. The front trim (where the little white strip is, will have a piece of trim on it soon. You can see the true color pretty good in this pic. I was thinking it would get painted a soft yellow but when I looked, I couldn't find anything in the shades I liked...I didn't want anything like sunshine yellow. We made that mistake once! So when Adam suggested lavender, I did some looking. At first, I didn't like any shades but then I found this one so I went with it.

You can see the metal grid for the drop in ceiling. The tiles aren't in yet but that's the easy part. Painted walls, trim, electrical outlets covered,'s almot done!

Here's a close up of the floor. It's the bamboo flooring. As Adam and Jared commented, it looks like a racquetball court floor but I think it looks nice...can't wait to get wood flooring for the main part of the house!

I'm not sure what all has to happen before the washer and dryer are installed but I do know that the hole for the dryer vent has to be made. They're trying to figure out how to get the vent line to go out to the side so the dryer won't have to be out too far away from the wall.

So anyway, we're getting close to doing laundry in our own house for the first time since leaving Boise. :o)

Starting my classes

Last night was my first figure skating lesson. The teacher told me that she would be evaluating the students and move any up that needed to be moved up after the first class. We spent the first part off ice, learning to fall without getting hurt and then learning how to get up after a fall. Then we marched in place, and across the ice, then we added a one foot glide in there, then the other foot. We worked on learning to stop, doing rocking horses and swizzles. I was pretty bored and afraid I'd be stuck in this class. But when we did one foot glides, she told me I passed. So after class was finished, she took me over to the other teacher and introduced me. I'll be in her class. There are supposed to be 4 different adult classes but since there aren't enough aduts, there are two groups. For whatever reason, they said that it's 1 & 3 together and 2 & 4 together. Well, they didn't concentrate on anything other than the very basic stuff so even if I'm only in the two class, it doesn't matter because I'm with people at about my level and I can learn things that don't have to do with staying upright...which is still important to do but I already know how.
After the lesson was a public session that we got to stay and practice at. I was skating around and one of the ladies from the class came up to me and asked me why I was in their class because there was another lady that couldn't do a three turn, and I could, and she was a level 2. I told her they already moved me up.

But the fun part came when the two teachers from my new class level stayed at the session and started working with us. At first, I kept my distance. I didn't want to bother them on their own time but as they continued, I joined in. Marcy and Rob are the teachers' names. Marcy was showing us how to do a spiral. I was having a lot of trouble with it at first but got it to be ok by the time we moved on. One of the girls had the wrong position on it so we went over to the wall so Marcy could show her the right position. Her response was, "Oh, that burns!" I just laughed. Yes, it does burn! You're bending your back in the wrong direction.

You're supposed to get it up to hip level for it to count, like she has. I can get it up there when I can hang onto the wall for balance support but when I am actually moving, and dealing with trying to keep my balance, it doesn't get very high. All the elite skaters can almost do the splits like this...and then they can grab their skate up over their head...crazy stuff!

Then Marcy left and I was just messing around when Rob came over to us and asked who wanted to learn, me, me! So he got his book and started seeing what we could and couldn't do. He took us through a number of different things which I was catching onto pretty quickly. The last thing he worked on with us was a lunge. It looks like a lunge you would do during a workout except that you're moving when you do it. You have to get the inside of your back boot to scrape along the ice or else you start spinning out to the side. Try it on the ground for about 10 minutes. That burns too! But when he told me it was the boot that had to touch the ice, it made a bunch of difference. Weird how such small things makes such a big difference in control.

My lunges didn't look so good, of course.

After the session ended, we were all sitting near each other getting back into shoes and he told me that at the rate I am learning things, I'll probably be skipping a class or two. :o) I guess I shouldn't be in a hurry to skip classes though since there are only 4 basic adult classes and then 4 freeskate classes. Freeskate is where you learn jumps and one foot spins. After that, your option is to stay in freeskate 4 or get a private coach which sounds expensive to me.

Anyway, I had a great time and got to start to learn lots of different things which I can continue to practice at my practice sessions (which are included with my lessons). :o)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2nd snow fall this year

Generally, there's only 1 snowfall every year or two here in Georgia but something's been breing in the weather this year and we have had three snow storms this year (not just this winter but in the year 2010). The first one didn't stick. This one was absolutely beautiful!!! It was light and fluffy, like Utah snow. Usually it's heavy and icy and all the branches start cracking under the weight. This was good stuff! You could sled on it or make a snowman. I didn't do either of those things since I was attempting to heal from my cold. The dogs really enjoyed it though!

Adam went out to do his Road Ranger thing that night. He was only planning on a couple of hours but by 1 AM, I hadn't heard hide nor hair from him and I couldn't get a hold of him. Finally, he called me and said he was ok but that he was busy. So I went to bed. The roads iced up and cars were stuck on the interstate so they slept in their cars. GDOT was out trying to get things done but it turns out their trucks weren't ready for such work and they got stuck too. So Adam spent the evening and all night into the morning transporting police officers and GDOT people...and even helping out some people at the same time. In the morning, afer GDOT got the road deiced, Adam drove down the interstate honking his horn waking people from their peaceful slumber so they could get moving. He got home at noon. He had a great time!

In the mean time, the snow was melting. :o( Good for drivers but I wanted to get out and see it. I only got to see what was directly near my house since it was too dangerous to drive.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New exercise goals

At the beginning of the year when I started to work out again (haven't done it in three weeks since getting my cold) I got a pullup bar that goes over a doorway. I tried to do a pullup and a chinup. I can move about an inch and that's it! So I made a goal that I'll be able to do at least one pullup by the end of the year. Since then I've been doing negative pullups to build strength. A negative pullup is when you jump up into the top position on the bar and slowly lower yourself using your muscles. It's a lot easier than a pullup and it works all the same muscles. That's what the little booklet it came with said to do to build strength. They're actually pretty hard but unlike a pullup, I'm able to do them. The first time I did them, I did about 6 of them and for the next few days, my arms were SOOO sore! They haven't been sore like that since that first time though. My chest, arms and abs do feel a little sore each time I do them now though...but nothing that keeps me frmo moving in any direction at least.

The other goal I've made for myself is to become more flexible. Maybe you don't know this about me but I am VERY unflexible and have been more stiff than anyone else I've known. I guess that's what happens when you bike and skate all those years and almost never do a single stretch. Besides that, if I do the stretching right before I get into bed, it helps relax me. The stretches are a bit painful but as soon as I release my legs from them, it feels good and loose. So to make a measurable goal, I have chosen splits as my goal. There are three types of splits:, left, right and center. The center is the hardest to do. Left and right are technically on the same level but I've found that my right leg is more flexible than my left. As of right now (I didn't think to measure before I started but I haven't made a ton of progress just yet anyway) my left and right splits are both 15" off the floor. I haven't figured that out since my right leg is more flexible... but that's the way it is. I want to reach 8" off the floor by the end of the year. My center splits is 21" off the floor. I am aiming for 15".
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