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This and that

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First thanks to all who have prayed along with me over my sister's surgery. The initial went really well, and they sent her home to recuperate while waiting on post-surgery results. They should know by Thursday, according to my niece, whether follow up surgery, radiation, or chemo is the next step in her journey to wholeness. For those of you who missed it, we're talking breast cancer, here, caught early, slow-growing, with all the signs as good as they can be under the circumstances.

The "one thing" effort has been flagging a bit the past few days, but I'm going to have to step it up as I've offered my house for the Labor Day gather if we have one at all.

Dealing with the "finish line" of the Mud Run? Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) has once again spurred me to sign up for another local outing... the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is only a couple of weeks away, and I'm not in shape to run that far, but if Deanna can speed walk those hills... I can certainly give it my best shot! Besides... gotta keep the fitness up in case of half marathon dreams for next year, or at the very least that triathlon I keep promising myself is on the bucket list.

And while I was at it, I also signed up for a 5K in mid-October. So... no slacking allowed! Mr. "you can relax now" has been kicked to the curb. I have ZERO expectations of medals or placement in either of these outings, because they are ones where the real runners show up. I've had my moments in the sun. Now's the time to just show up.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 8/31/2011 8:29AM

    Spark On! You truly are a inspiration!
Will continue to pray for your sister's recovery. Keep us posted.

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MSLZZY 8/31/2011 8:04AM

    A very positive attitude to push you along. I admire your spirit and dedication! HUGS!
Praying for your sister and a complete recovery.

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/30/2011 11:48PM

    I donīt think I would be running in races even if I was fit to, but maybe I should start thinking about participating in bike races, in sesaon I have five-ten different races, 4-60 km in the distance of 100 km from my home...

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_LINDA 8/30/2011 10:27PM

    Glad your sister's surgery went well, here is hoping she only needs minimal treatment to finish it.
You are winner just signing up for those races in my book!
You go girl!!
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KARIDIAN1 8/30/2011 7:09PM

    Glad your sisters surgery went well. Having gone thru Breast cancer I can relate to what she is going through. Mine was caught very early and only needed surgery and radiation.

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BUGGYS 8/30/2011 1:26PM

    I didn't know about your sister's surgery but am glad it went well and am praying for her complete recovery. As for the 5k have and continue to amaze me, really are an inspiration and slowly, I am building my endurance so that maybe I can join you in a race!!!

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KIKI0531 8/30/2011 11:26AM

    5 mile run .. wow, that's impressive enough. I am still struggling through running a whole 5k - getting there slowly but surely though.

Glad to hear your sister is on the mend and of her good prognosis. I will keep healthy thoughts in mind for her.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/30/2011 9:42AM

    Glad your sister's surgery went well and I pray that she gets just the right treatment she needs to get well again.

As for the medals, I think just signing up, training and competing earns you a medal. In my book anyway.

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DEBRA0818 8/30/2011 8:26AM

    Just showing up is the total prescription for success!


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KALIGIRL 8/30/2011 8:25AM

    Here's to showing up for life!

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It is not all about me

Monday, August 29, 2011

This blog on a daily basis is a self-centered endeavor: a collection of self-pep talks, written to jolly myself into remembering 1) that health is important and 2) why I care about it. Others may read and take something away, but I mainly write them for me.

Today my thoughts and prayers are focused outward. Even in this, there is kernel of selfishness: my care for my "big sister" who is undergoing surgery this morning. That care expands to include all those who are challenged by similar experiences today. From there it expands to a prayer for the work of surgeons and hospitals every day and every where, and the people they seek to heal and save.

Every time I pray and have a self-request in the mix, I become aware of how I am no better than anyone else on the planet. All of us have struggles, each and every day. Our struggles are what shape us and help us grow. May God bless each and every one in his or her struggles and give us strength sufficient for the day.

The past is past, the future yet to be. We have today. Live it fully! Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 9/2/2011 2:14PM

    It is in the midst of our hardships that His strength shines through. Hardships make us humble and that humility takes us to our knees so we can pray. Prayer builds our faith....

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours.
~ Mark 11:22, 24

I pray your sister is doing well.
Hugs, Sunny

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WATERMELLEN 8/29/2011 9:31PM

    Nothing selfish in blogging about your struggles . . . as you say, a pep talk to yourself from which all of us benefit actually: but it's also true that others struggle too, and helpful to remind ourselves of that.

So glad that your sister's surgery went well and she's on the healing path now.

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CONCHA77 8/29/2011 8:56PM

    Hoping all the best for your sister. Sending along my prayers.
And many Blessings to you too.

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KARIDIAN1 8/29/2011 8:21PM

    Nice thoughts in your blog today. Surgery on a family member, or anyone close to you is always tough. Good thing you are there for her.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/29/2011 5:38PM

    What a beautiful, touching blog, Barb. So often we get tied-up with our own petty little problems that we fail to see others out there who are worse off than us. Thanks for the gentle reminder that it isn't always about me . . . .

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_LINDA 8/29/2011 10:17AM

    Best wishes for a successful surgery, and speedy healing for your big sis..The surgery treadmill is no fun to be on, but at least you usually always feel better when it is all done and healed..

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ANDI571 8/29/2011 10:16AM

    Prayers for your sister today. emoticon

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LJCANNON 8/29/2011 10:15AM

    emoticonAdding my Prayers to so many others for your Sister's rapid recovery, and for the Recovery of all who face Health or Weather related Challenges today.

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DEBRITA01 8/29/2011 8:33AM

    Just what I need to read on a Monday morning...thanks. Prayers for your sister and others who need God's healing hands...both physically and spiritually. Have a blessed Monday, Barb... emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/29/2011 8:31AM

    Here's to each of us living our blessed lives!
Sending healing thoughts and prayers to your sis.

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WELLNESSME09 8/29/2011 8:30AM

    Wishing your sister a quick recovery after surgery, may everything go well for her.
Hope your day is a great one! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 8/29/2011 8:20AM

    Best wishes for your sister's surgery and full recovery.

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What is the same and what is different

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Forgive a "mature" gal from going down memory lane, but I'm taking you there. Many moons ago, when I was I think 16 years old (MobyCarp can correct me, he was there), I participated in a 20 mile CROP walk. For those who may not have been exposed to these, they are charity walks... you get your friends, neighbors, newspaper customers, whoever you know to pledge money per mile (I think back then it was like a penny a mile)... you do the walk... you go back and collect... and the money goes to the charity.

This particular walk stretched between two small towns in Nebraska, from Milford to Seward. It was mostly on gravel roads past cornfields and it was hot and by the end of it, I had significant blisters on my feet. But I felt accomplished. Our parents picked us up at the finish and took us out for dinner at a well-known steakhouse in Seward. I knew nothing about training or nutrition or stretching or taking care of my body. Or what I "knew" was flat out wrong. I just counted on my body being able to do whatever I asked of it. Ah, youth!

Yesterday's mud run was over similar terrain... out gravel roads into the county, along a creek bed through its treeline, near open fields, but of course with the "fun" obstacles, and a lot shorter. 5K is only 3.1 miles. After my daughter in law got off work last night, the three of us went out for a steak dinner.

In my mind, I still associate steak with celebration. And particularly with the celebration of a completed athletic accomplishment. So that is the same.

What's different?

1. I now train for athletic endeavors. I do not take my body's abilities for granted. I encourage and build or preserve them.

2. Steak dinner? The size of the steak has considerably reduced. It used to be 12 or 16 ounces. Now I order the 6 ounce size. Frequency is still about the same. Portion size, and choice of sides is different. I skipped the bread and butter, carefully chose how much butter and sour cream to put on the baked potato, carefully chose how much of the deep fried onion I would consume, and had a garden salad, dry as my other side.

3. I looked up calorie counts and composition on line before we went, and planned how much of what I would have... and I stayed within my maintenance range, given what the body media fit told me I burned during the run.

It definitely tasted like a celebration. And this morning, my scale said, "you've got it, girl!" to the question: "Am I at goal and maintaining?"

Life's good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOHUSKERS2 8/29/2011 11:09PM

    It's wonderful to hold on to good memories of growing up. And the association thing is so true I think for most of us. At least I know it is for me. I'm hungry now for a good steak dinner. LOL

Great job!!!!!

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SUNNYWBL 8/29/2011 7:34PM

    I'm impressed with your restraint!

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KASEYCOFF 8/29/2011 7:28AM

    Oh, attagirl! We live and learn - and if we stop learning, we stop living, thinks me. Love the celebration dinner--!!!

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SAMI199 8/29/2011 5:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/29/2011 3:46AM

    You are so right - I have also been thinking a lot lately about how I took my ability for granted when I was young, how I exposed my body to a lot of harmful things including working very hard with farm work - today I am very grateful for everything that I can do without collapsing...

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_LINDA 8/29/2011 12:24AM

    Sounds totally awesome to me! Coming full circle with the celebration, and I would guess, in better shape then when you were younger, because of your healthy lifestyle choices and intelligent training.
Well done!!

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YOGATIME 8/28/2011 11:57PM

    You are always such an inspiration. I love checking in on you to see what new things you are up to. So active and happy!!
Good for you, keep on loving life!

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SUNNY1432 8/28/2011 10:23PM

    emoticon Amazing what age and knowledge can do for us. emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/28/2011 9:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 8/28/2011 8:47PM

    Times sure have changed. Sounds like you had a great weekend all around.

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WATERMELLEN 8/28/2011 6:57PM

    Hopping on the scale and finding your're maintaining AFTER a reasonable treat: yeah!! Feels good!

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DEBRITA01 8/28/2011 5:23PM

    Ah, the CROP Walks...I remember those and like you, participated with no previous preparation. Difference is, I was a teen and in great shape...didn't have to worry about much, except for some tired feet. I probably wore Keds, at that time, which have little to no support or cushioning. emoticon

Great job getting out there, getting dirty, and getting it done! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/28/2011 12:55PM

    There certainly is something to be said for the "older but wiser" phraseology, isn't there?

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The Mud Run

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The blog entry with photos you've been anticipating, I'm sure!

First off, let me say my son went to extremes in his "wimping out"... he broke his hand in an argument with a ceiling fan last night, but he still came and did photographer duty, for which I am grateful. The look on his face says it all: "really, Mom? Do you HAVE to take this picture?"

Then, here goes the race itself, from the starting line "clean" photos:

To the actual mud pit... I don't know as I show up in all of these, so look for the reddish hair and white shirt to find me in the crowd. The first shows the ginormous slip n slide that we were told not to go down head first. I slid down on my bum. By the way, we'd already been through two smaller mud pits by the time we got to this one. But this one is where the bleachers and the photo ops were:

Finally, the approach to, and crossing the finish line:

Note the time on the clock says 59.48... that was the time from when they started the first wave. It was another 22 minutes before my wave started, so my actual time was 37:13, per the results e-mail.

And gratifyingly... I added to my hardware collection. 37 minutes and 13 seconds including all those obstacles was good enough for 1st place in women ages 50 - 59:

Life is indeed good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWMF 8/26/2012 2:02PM

    Hahahah almost makes me want to try it.
I said almost! Lot!

That was just wonderful, you made me smile today.

Hugs Mary emoticon

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WILMASOTO 8/31/2011 12:16PM

    OMG is there anything you won't try! How amazing!! I loved looking at the pictures!! I had never seen that before!! You look so great and in such awesome shape!! Congratulations! You are truly my inspiration!! WOOHOO!!! GO GO GO!!! emoticon

Hope you son recovers quickly!! That fan must have been tough!! emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 8/29/2011 7:19PM

    Sounds like you had a great run my friend congrats. I had clas all day on Saturday or i would have been participating. But the buffalo run is coming up in a few weeks. I plan on doing that one!

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MSLZZY 8/28/2011 9:43PM


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KASEYCOFF 8/28/2011 6:29AM

    Barb, that is so great--!!! Love the pix - and I find it so difficult to understand how you didn't dive right in headfirst, lol!
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MMPHELPS1970 8/27/2011 11:18PM

    Good Job on your won! That looks like a really fun event! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/27/2011 10:48PM

    Another first!
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Love the hardware!
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WATERMELLEN 8/27/2011 9:49PM

    Good clean fun!! (After the shower, anyhow!!) And congrats both on your win and for being such a great sport!!

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SLENDERELLA61 8/27/2011 8:10PM

    Congratulations!!! Good win! Sorry the son could not participate, but thank him for the pictures! Again, love your award! Great going! So cool!

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KARIDIAN1 8/27/2011 6:56PM

    Wow The pictures are great. Congrats on your win for your age group.

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MOBYCARP 8/27/2011 5:58PM

    Looks like great fun! Congrats on the medal! emoticon

Too bad about my nephew's hand, but he managed to take some pretty decent pictures anyway.

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FITFABJENN 8/27/2011 5:50PM

    emoticon to first place in your group! emoticon

Looks like you had so much fun, and nice addition to your hardware collection.

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WORDLILY 8/27/2011 5:19PM

    Woohoo! Looks like you had fun. And congrats on the win! :)

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PUDLECRAZY 8/27/2011 4:59PM

    Woohoo! Fun, fun, Fun!!!! I am sorry about your son's broken hand, though, and hope it isn't too serious. Wishing him a quick recovery!

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ARLENE_MOVES 8/27/2011 4:47PM

    That was fun!! But I didn't get dirty. Glad to see you still have your glasses on!!

Thanks so much for sharing!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/27/2011 4:43PM

    emoticon too fun! Not sure I'd have been "game" for that one! But super big congrats to YOU. You do us proud! Hope you son's hand heals quickly!

Comment edited on: 8/27/2011 4:44:22 PM

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_LINDA 8/27/2011 4:34PM

    FANTASTIC Barb!! That is just AWESOME!! HIGH FIVE!! You ROCK!!
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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/27/2011 4:25PM

    Congratulations, Barb. That is just awesome! Quite an accomplishment. In the photo of you crossing the finish line, there's another woman running without a speck of mud on her. Were runners able to avoid the mud if they chose to? What fun is that?! LOL!

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BARBAELLEN 8/27/2011 4:12PM

    Oh my gosh, is that ever AWESOME!! You took the gold!! You have definitely earned bragging rights on this one. Congratulations!

I totally enjoyed my vicarious participation in the mud race, and I'm sure others did, as well. You can't imagine how inspiring you are. Thanks for sharing!
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DEBRITA01 8/27/2011 4:05PM

    emoticonCongrats on a great finish! It looks like a fun run with lots of messiness. I love that you wore a white least they gave you a new, clean one at the end of the race...LOL. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Just one delicious morning

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm using the word delicious in a non-food way. The air outside is just so wonderful. It is cool, and refreshing. The kittens are energized, playing on the patio and under the deck. They do not want to come inside. Neither do I. I stand out on the deck or stroll on the patio watching them, sipping my coffee mug while the sky begins to lighten. What a day to be alive!

When my body is properly nurtured and rested, it leaves my thought freer to appreciate fully the joy of simply being alive.

May you all be blessed with such days... and store them away in your memory to cherish for years to come.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE33MAHALA 8/29/2011 8:06AM

    What a wonderfully delicious blog!

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CHRYS13 8/27/2011 1:28PM


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PUDLECRAZY 8/26/2011 8:26AM

    These late summer, early fall days....nothing describes them better than delicious!

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WATERMELLEN 8/26/2011 7:18AM

    These late summer mornings have a little fall snap in the air: wonderfully refreshing!!

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HOT4FITNESS 8/25/2011 5:10PM

    Here's to more delicious days ahead!!

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DEBRA0818 8/25/2011 1:23PM

    My favorite outdoor experience is to open the door to cool and refreshing air -- it is delicious! YUM!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/25/2011 9:58AM

    We are having one of those days, too. Just got back from my walk. It's so refreshing to be able to walk in the cool morning air/sunshine. Have a great day, Barb!

PS: thanks for the goodie!

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BARBAELLEN 8/25/2011 9:45AM

    We're always trying to do all kinds of things, and buy all kinds of things that make us feel good. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. Isn't it amazing the huge effect that a PERFECT day has on our overall feeling of well-being? Glad you're living out one of those days!

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CONCHA77 8/25/2011 8:47AM

    Spark on, Barb! Life is Good! Thanks for sharing.

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COMPUCATHY 8/25/2011 8:40AM

    You are so right! It IS a delicious morning...and a good night's sleep does help us to appreciate it! Have a good day! You are looking great! Keep up the good work! Thanks for your encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/25/2011 8:37AM

    I SO agree - it is a fabulous day!

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_LINDA 8/25/2011 8:16AM

    What a fantastic start to your day! I had the exact same experience in the calm peaceful mornings I spent in my Mom's beautiful back yard, only it was drinking water for me, can't stand coffee, Mom was the one drinking it lol. We have had the best summer in a very, very long time and I was so happy to spend my recovery there. I was able to read for long hours every day outside from dawn to dusk!!
Have a Totally Terrific Thursday! Love your new background photo!

Comment edited on: 8/25/2011 8:18:26 AM

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MSLZZY 8/25/2011 8:03AM

    A very wonderful thought! Have a great and SParktacular day!

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