Thursday Things

What a week! I was out of town and had hoped to get a lot of stuff done while away, but internet access was spotty, so that didn’t work.. Getting caught up is taking more time than I thought it would!

But I thought it was a good time to do a Thursday Things post! :)

Here we go!

Jennifer tv

We went to an electrical thing that Jeffy is a part of… and I won a 50″ TV! :) That was pretty fun. I do have a tendency to win raffles.. So when they called my number, Jeffy asked me if I knew I was going to win. Pretty much, lol. Ryan gets our old tv so he is excited too.

Maybelline Volum’Express Big Eyes Mascara – I have a hard time finding a mascara that I like. I don’t have a ton of eyelashes so I don’t like a lot of mascara because it gets what lashes I do have all clumpy. I like this mascara because it has two ends.. The main mascara side and then a smaller wand to get lower lashes. The combination of the two works perfectly! :)

I love me some peanut butter cereal but some other brands are…kinda weird and leave a weird feeling in my  mouth. :P These taste super yummy with no icky… I have to take a pill every night with food and when I forget to eat it with my dinner I can have a handful of cereal. Great snack! :)

Ryan is doing great in his college classes! At the moment he is getting an A and B, we will see how he ends up next month! Last Friday he was able to sign up for two more classes for next semester! It will be interesting… He is taking Psychology and Music Theory.. I hope he has another great semester! :)

I love these yearly mashups! There are some fun songs in there. :) There was so many that he had to do two parts!

Anyway, those are some things that I liked about this week! Let me know what you loved about this past week!


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Sticky Gooey Messy Pumpkin Party

Last week I had a party. It wasn’t just any party. It was a Sticky Gooey Messy Pumpkin Party. We had pumpkins and we decorated those pumpkins. There was pumpkin guts EVERYWHERE…paint…mod podge…chalk…

And the food… We had caramel apples, Rice Krispie Treat pumpkins, Chocolate covered Oreos with sprinkles, honey roasted pumpkin seeds…it just goes on and on. The messier the better…

Mr. Clean has a new concentrated cleaner and they had wanted me to try it out. Hence the Sticky Gooey Messy Pumpkin Party. Haha! It really put it to the test!

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats – those are tootsie rolls as stems.. :D

pumpkin rice krispie treatsHalloween Chex Mix with white chocolate coating..

Halloween Chex MixPumpkin spice pretzels..

pumpkin spice pretzelsHoney roasted pumpkin seeds..

honey roasted pumpkin seedsThose are only the things that I took pictures of…ha!

You want to see what my kitchen looked like after making all of that?

pumpkin party aftermathYeah, it was kinda crazy! But really, it was kind of fun putting this party together! I haven’t done that in a long time!

I put together a little movie that shows how much fun was had during the pumpkin party. :)

You can see that there was a definite mess going on! It was a cold and rainy morning. I am happy that everyone still showed up! We even had more people show up than expected, but it worked out ok! There were plenty of pumpkins.. We had big carving pumpkins, little pie pumpkins to paint or mod podge, pumpkins painted with chalk paint and fake pumpkins that could be carved or painted…or whatever!

I was happy to try out the new Mr. Clean concentrated cleaner to see how well it worked.. I put a little bit on the sponge and cleaned everything in the kitchen. I just went back over it all again with the sponge with just water. That was it. Easy peasy. I had the lemon flavored cleaner and sometimes that can be hit or miss on how pleasant the scent was. This was a nice scent!

It was nice to have a clean kitchen again! :)

Mr Clean kitchen after

Everyone at the party got some Mr. Clean and a sponge as well as some fall party planning tips and recipes. They can make their own mess too! ha! They could, of course, also keep their pumpkin(s). One lucky winner won a pumpkin decorating package that included a pumpkin tureen that is super cute. So fun!

I know everyone that went to the party would like to thank Mr. Clean for allowing us to have that time together, even though it was cold and rainy.. :)

My chickens enjoyed the pumpkin party leftovers too.. hehe..

chickens enjoying pumpkinThis post was sponsored by Mr. Clean.  All expressed opinions are completely my own though, as usual. :)



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What I read in October

My goal for 2015 was to read 60 books. I have now read 59. Granted, quite a few were small ones that we read in school. I may up my goal and that is what I am contemplating at the moment.. We are almost done with school so there really won’t be any more small books that I am reading. I will think about it! How are you doing with your goal? :)

Anyway, here is what I read in October!


Language Arts by Stephanie Kallos – Charles Marlow teaches his high school English students that language will expand their worlds. But linguistic precision cannot help him connect with his autistic son, or with his ex-wife, who abandoned their shared life years before, or even with his college-bound daughter who has just flown the nest. He’s at the end of a road he’s traveled on autopilot for years when a series of events forces him to think back on the lifetime of decisions and indecisions that have brought him to this point. With the help of an ambitious art student, an Italian-speaking nun, and the memory of a boy in a white suit who inscribed his childhood with both solace and sorrow, Charles may finally be able to rewrite the script of his life.

What I thought: I liked the story line. It went back and forth between the past and the current and it was almost dizzying. I didn’t care for the ending all that much. The book was ok…


Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle – There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for “community” on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other’s beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It’s showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It’s forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It’s making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the “New York Times” bestsellers “Sparkly Green Earrings” and “The Antelope in the Living Room,” “Nobody’s Cuter than You” is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”

What I thought: Wow.. I loved this book. Made me miss the whole ‘friend’ thing. I don’t have anyone like how the author has someone. :sigh: But it was a great story and I loved reading it.


Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch–“Scout”–returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past–a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision–a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.

What I thought: I just didn’t like the book at all. It seems like I hear a lot of either loving it or hating it. I went in with an open mind but it just didn’t work for me..


Infandous by Elana K. Arnold – “Once there was a mermaid who dared to love a wolf. Her love for him was so sudden and so fierce that it tore her tail into legs.”
Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she’s always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother’s fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own.
Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined.
“Things don’t really turn out the way they do in fairy tales. I’m telling you that right up front, so you’re not disappointed later.”
Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.

What I thought: I enjoyed the writing.. The story line was ok. The characters were interesting.. It just was an ok book.

Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass – Katy Porter likes to climb trees, play with her sister, and ride bikes with her brother. The Porters are a close family. They are brought even closer through a family vacation, a surprise in the middle of the night, and an important decision that will affect them all.

Katy is enjoying her summer break from school when her parents tell her that they are thinking about homeschooling in the fall. Katy likes being an average girl and is afraid that being homeschooled will make her too different from everyone else.

Katy’s parents will have to decide soon. This summer could bring a big change for the Porter family. Whatever they decide, it has already brought a big change in Katy’s heart, for she is learning that being different is okay after all.

Katy is a pure story of strong character, simple faith, and a loving family.

What I thought: I liked this little book. The little stories were cute and made us all laugh a few times. It was definitely a younger book, but we enjoyed it..


Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer – Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to take Oliver’s role in Delilah’s favorite book. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after. Includes twelve full-color illustrations, and black-and-white decorations throughout.

What I thought: This is a companion to Between the Lines that I read a while ago. I liked the storyline even though it was quite unbelievable..but that was the fun of it. I liked the characters.. It was cute.

That’s it! That’s what I read in October. What did you read that you loved? :)

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NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith.Hope.Love {Review and Giveaway}

Last Christmas Lauren got a new Bible. It ended up not being what we thought…we had ordered it online and it seems to be more of a Bible that she would use in a few more years..

I was so excited to open my mailbox and see the NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith.Hope.Love sitting there. I flipped through it and my first thought is how much I would appreciate something like this! It gives so much information that I don’t think it is just for teens!

NIV Bible for Teen GirlsAnd just look at the fun design of it! It isn’t extremely girly and it isn’t totally grown up either. Perfect mix.

The inside is laid out so well, I wish all Bibles could take some notes! At the beginning of each book it lays out the general idea of everything in that book. It tells you when it happens, who is in that book, verses you may recognize and what it is about! I love this!

As you keep reading through each book, you come across daily reading sections.. These are little writings by popular Christian female authors including Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer), Annie Downs, Christine Caine, Nicole Weider, Elsa Kok Colopy, Crystal Kirgiss, Bekah Hamrick Martin, Denise Van Eck and more! I think it adds so much reading little snippets from real people like that!

In Genesis, after you read the book introductions you can come across character profiles of women in the Bible! The first one in Genesis is Eve, which makes sense. :) It lists what her name means, and what verses to read her story. Then there is a small write up that talks about things that you may not have thought of regarding Eve…Next female mentioned is Noah’s wife and it does the same thing. This is fascinating because there are so many stories with women in them, but you always hear so much about the men..

This Bible is designed specifically for girls aged 13-18 and is packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussions about the realities of life. It is designed to help teen girls grow in faith, hope, and love. But like I mentioned, I think it is helpful for any age! But due to some content included, I would definitely stay in the teen range or older…

If you have a teen girl in your life, enter to win your own copy down below! They will love it! :)

NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith.Hope.Love {Review and Giveaway}

 Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
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Want to make a new friend?

A while ago I asked on Facebook if people would be interested in a gift exchange and there were quite a few responses from people saying they were interested…so… I am finally doing something about it!

My Own Green Grass friend sign upA couple years ago I had signed up for a Cara Box on another blog. It was wonderful and I met some great people, most of them I am still in contact with!

I thought it would be fun to do one this fall since it is my favorite season and all. Want to make a new friend?

Here’s the dealio!

If you want to sign up fill out the form below. There are a few rules though!

1. Don’t sign up if you aren’t going to participate. I know how excited I am when I get something fun in the mail. I would be super sad not to get something, y’know? No fun.

2. The limit is set at $25. You can send one gift if you’d like, or you can send numerous gifts!

3. Sign ups will be open until November 6th and you will have your match shortly after.

4. Gifts should be sent by December 10th. That will give you time to get to know your new friend and pick out the perfect gift(s).

5. Have fun! I hope this is a great time for everyone!! :)

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Open meatball sandwich with Nello’s!

I am always excited to think of new recipes for the boys.. We used to go to Subway and Ryan would get a meatball sub. We don’t really eat there anymore and I realized he hadn’t had that sandwich in ages..

So, that gave me a perfect reason to make my own version of a meal with meatballs! I pulled out a new jar of my Nello’s sauce… I am a Mombassador, remember? :) It has such a great flavor and it pairs wonderfully with meatballs, no pasta needed!

Nello's Marinara JarI have thought of numerous recipes to use with my Nello’s sauce, but thought I would at least take pictures of this latest meal.. :) Open meatball sandwich with Nello’s!
It is all so very simple, which is my favorite kind of meal!

I cooked up some meatballs and then simmered them in some of the marinara sauce. Meanwhile, I put a little butter on a half of a sub roll and toasted it in the toaster oven. When it was just a little brown I just placed the meatballs on the bread. I sprinkled a little grated cheese on top and put it back in the toaster over for just a few more moments. It doesn’t take long!

Open meatball sandwich with Nello's marinara

It is an easy meal to make for lunch and fills up the boys stomachs! I had to try it myself, so I added in some watermelon and a little salad. Perfect!!

Now I will have to remember to take photos of some of my other ideas so I can share them here in the future! :)

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Saturday Snippets!

What a crazy week I just had! I am so happy it is the weekend! We only have a few weeks left of our school year, but I am contemplating taking just one more week off to recover, lol. We will see. I love that about homeschooling though. ;)

The last few days I was just relaxing and getting caught up on emails and everything else on my computer. So I thought it was time for a Saturday Snippets post!


This little 20lb French Bulldog scares away some unwanted visitors…

And because I love dogs.. This dog is driving his friend around in a car. :D

This guy scored five goals in 9 minutes…and they weren’t boring goals either!

40 families are all that is left in this area of Mongolia. They are reindeer herders.

This community harvests field for farmer with cancer. Wonderful!!!

I am pretty thankful it is easy to get groceries, but I do think we need to get back to the basics. This guy decided to make a sandwich from scratch…see how he did it and the results!

A great article on how to live compassionately as a family. Fantastic ideas!!

Now, this is completely fascinating to me. Japan’s first woman photojournalist is still shooting at 101 years old. Wow!

Motherhood. In different countries. You may need to refill your coffee for this one…

Yes. All of this is a big yes. Extroverted Introvert in the house, yo!! Although in past blog posts I think I associated with the Ambivert. But I am thinking it is all pretty similar. :)

Well, that’s what I have for this weeks Saturday Snippets. I hope you are all having a great weekend. :)

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Around NC: Brookland Eats


We enjoy going out to eat… and while I don’t eat red meat very often, I won’t say no to a good burger. I think we have found my favorite burger so far in NC!

A couple years ago a friend told me that I HAD to try this place called Brookland Eats in Roxboro. It took me about a year to try it, that’s pretty sad…ha! I don’t remember what I ate that very first trip there, but I had a bite of Jeffy’s burger and it was dang tasty. I have ordered the burger every visit since!

This last visit, we decided to change things up so we ordered some of the freshly made chips. We live on the edge, dontchaknow..

Brookland Eats chipsThe chips were perfect! They were not all soft and they weren’t so hard you felt like your teeth were going to break. The perfect crispiness that a chip should be is what it was..

For a burger, I like mine with lettuce and tomato, heinz 57 and french fried potatoes. Yes, I did just get caught up in a Jimmy Buffet song, but really, I only like mine with lettuce and tomato only. ;) I don’t like a lot of sauce or anything with a burger since it would just cover up the flavor, especially one as tasty as this one…..

Brookland Eats CheeseburgerI can’t say no to sweet potato fries either. Such a great accompaniment with a cheeseburger…or a few other things.

The restaurant is decorated in such a great style. It is in an old brick building and has wood floors with a lot of character. I love the style of the semi-industrial rustic look!

Brookland EatsI love that Brookland Eats uses food from local farms and other suppliers all across North Carolina. I can’t really speak for the rest of their food really, but their burger is my favorite so far here in NC!


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What I read in September

For some reason it seems like September was reallllly long.. I am hoping that I can have some time to enjoy this fall…it’s my favorite season!

I keep trying to find certain books at my library, but they don’t have them in, so I just grab what catches my eye. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… But, here is what I read in September. :)

What I read Sept 2015


The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy – When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.

What I thought: I loved this book! The attention to detail, the history, the two stories intertwined.. It just worked. :)


The Remedy by Suzanne Young – Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.

What I thought:  This book kept my interest. The story was different. The ending was a little off for me. I liked the book though!


Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

What I thought: Well, this book kept me interested in the story! I was surprised at a couple things.. I thought it was a well told story! :)


If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison – Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

What I thought: I liked this book as well! It definitely had me doing the ‘what if’ questions.. It was told well and didn’t make you feel like it was a dumb story.

Well, that’s all I read in September! We took some time off school so we haven’t finished any of our books yet for that, but I imagine we might in October.. Please, let me know any titles that you have read lately and I will see if the library has them! :)

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Thursday Things

This has been such a crazy week!! The weekdays saw not a lot of sleep being had, which isn’t very fun.. But I hope everything resets itself by the weekend!

What did you enjoy about this past week? :)

Here is my Thursday Things post to share what I liked!

bike trail in NCFirst thing… Last weekend we did a ‘family weekend’ time.. We did a family dinner on Friday night, which is pretty hard with all of the sensory issues… And on Sunday we went to this park that is five minutes from our house. We had piled ALL of our bikes in the Durango, which wasn’t very easy, and did the bike trail. We had no idea what it would be like, but it was pretty dang amazing!!! Kyle wasn’t sure about it, and Jeffy’s bike died half way through, but I loved it! Then we grilled burgers after. It was a great day! :)

surf sweets sour berry bearsNext up are these yummy gummy bears! Now, I am not usually a fan of gummy candy at all…but I got these for the boys to try. I had tried one just to see what they tasted like and they were pretty dang yummy! They taste like fruit juice! Makes me sick to think what’s in those other brands. :P And they aren’t very sour, which is fine by me because I don’t care for sour all that much.

nc dlSo, a couple weeks ago we were taking Ryan to get his permit and I decided at the last minute to FINALLY get my NC drivers license. I mean, AZ licenses are good until you are 65! lol But yeah, I realize I needed to switch over. It was a rainy day and I was NOT expecting anyone to take my pic, but whatever…it will do. It could always be worse, lol.  But I am glad that I am finally a legal NC resident. ;)

kalua pig nom nomNom Nom Paleo Slow Cooker Kalua Pig. I have had numerous people suggest I make this…and it always looks SO yummy.. But our crock pot as the old style and it just wouldn’t work. But the other day at the store, I picked up a new crock pot and I happened to pick up the meat as well! It is so easy to do! We just finished eating and it was dang yummy! We will definitely be making this again!

Ok. It’s a big deal with Jimmy and Justin are together on The Tonight Show…but to have Ellen as well?? Goodness, imagine hanging out with those three!?! :sigh: Anyway, I am so glad they did the lip sync battle…lol. IT was just awesome… :D

Anyway, that was my week! What did you like about your week?? :) Always good to think positive!

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