Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ready set go name a cookie

The Christmas Ornaments are all set to go.  Some have been delivered and some are being packaged to mail.

I have two ready to mail to some lucky blog reader.

I made 67 ornaments this year.  I have a few extra…so maybe more than two will be sent!

Blog Reader Christmas ornament 

You can enter a chance to win one of the ornaments by sharing the name of your favorite Christmas Cookie/Candy.

I have been invited to a Cookie Exchange.  I have not exchanged cookies in years…it might be fun.  I wonder what kind of cookie shall I make? 

My favorite cookie is a very old recipe a molasses cookie with raisins topped with a powdered sugar icing.  If I can find 11 cookie tins I will make them.  They are a soft cookie so they are a tad fragile.  Sometimes it is all about the packaging.

Far Guy says his favorite cookie is a gingerbread cookie topped with white icing.  AND he says he hasn’t had one since he was five years old. Uffda.

Years ago I used to let the girls pick their favorite cookies to make at Christmas…the Peanut Butter Stars were a was Gingersnaps..and Mexican Wedding Balls and Fudge. As for who liked what..I have no idea…after a while all the holiday hoopla tends to meld together in my non holiday brain.

Lets see… enter your favorite cookie in a comment by Friday night December 6th at 7PM to be entered in the drawing!  Oh and I will reveal the ornaments when I announce the winners!  Phew I am glad they are all done.  I wanted to complete them by Thanksgiving and I did!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Report

We ate too much.  We went to our oldest daughter’s home.   She cooked a marvelous meal.  I brought Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread and Spaghetti Squash.

We played a game that made everyone giggle.  One person writes a subject down on a piece of paper and lets everyone see it except the guesser.  Then the guesser asks “What is yours like?”  Favorite animal took forever to solve…using just descriptive adjectives.    ( Far Guy said “hairy” and I said “drooling”  Since there are 11 of us it is a great group game.


The girls…sisters… oldest, youngest, middle.Brothers

The boys…brothers…oldest and youngest.

Here they are lined up for their who is tallest photograph.  I like to take this photograph every once in awhile when they are all together.

Not Fair the youngest is the shortest

The Five

Savannah the oldest is complaining that it is not fair that she is the shortest…as you can see no one was very sympathetic with her.  They all said “Somebody has to be shortest!”

We are truly blessed with five wonderful grands.  It was a fun day!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a wonderful day filled with your favorite people. 
Happy Thankgiving
Today I am thankful for the many blessings in my life!
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In Minnesota it seems like all chicken houses/coops were the buildings with lots of windows facing south.

Here is a coop from Far Guys Grandparents farm.

Hendersons Chicken Coop

The machine shed on the left and the chicken coop on the right. The four people:  I am sure that is Grandma on the right and most likely the three oldest boys with the photo being taken in about 1927 or 1928.  Not sure why they traipsed out in the farmyard to get a photo…unless it was to capture the frost in the Pine trees.

The Pine forest in this photo has progressed to Aspen, Willows and Oaks now.  There are a few Pine trees but nothing like the frosty stand in the photo.

Chicken Coop

I took this photo last winter.  Times change.  No more chickens in this coop.

Old farm buildings when no longer used age and  fall in disrepair.  I see it all over in our area.  At one time farms were bustling with activities:  full of animals and all the buildings used.  Not so much anymore.

Years ago the wind blew for a day now and then.  Nowadays it seems like the wind blows everyday.  What happened?  Far Guy and I decided that Minnesota has a new type of farmer who doesn’t believe in windbreaks, therefore when the wind howls across North Dakota it keeps right on a going into Minnesota…where more and more farms are falling into disrepair and being sold off and leveled by corporate farmers…at least in this part of  Minnesota.  Do you have active farms in your area?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Minnesota Lakes and Magic Ice

Yesterday after errands we went down to the public access on Fishhook Lake.

Canada Geese were flying in from the east..going west to find open water.  The lake is pretty much frozen.

Fish Hook Lake Canada Geese  November 25

Don’t let that small patch of blue sky fool you…that was it for the ENTIRE day.  The white stuff you see is snow.  The rest of the lake is frozen.

There has been talk about who is out fishing on the ice…in my opinion only idiots or people with a death wish.

When we headed home it was noticed that there are two portable fish houses on the millpond.   I did not get a photo but I can guess who they belonged to.

A few more days and we might have magic ice… we will see.  It is way cool.  I wrote about it one year.

November 23, 2008 in fact.  Just incase you missed it here it is.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Magic Ice

If the weather holds cold with no snow the lakes will soon be perfect. Maybe the magic ice will arrive. Ice that only comes every ten years or so here in Minnesota, perfect ice for skaters on the lake.

The teenage girls, would check the ice everyday after school. "Mom do you think it is safe yet?" NO, not yet, be patient girls." Then one day I say they can skate but only along the shore, and only in front of our place, and only when I am there, watching... ready to haul them out should the ice crack and they were to take an icy dip. Magic Ice, sometimes this ice would then be defiled by icy rains and heavy snows, disappointment..patience was not rewarded its full due.

Once in a great while, for a few days it is the true magic ice. The magic ice you wait years for. After school the teenage girls run down the drive arriving breathless with excitement. "It didn't snow! Lets go MOM!" I have checked the ice, it is safe, they can skate out further in the lake today, maybe today will be the day that they can skate across the entire lake. The lure of being able to skate across this magic ice has a pull on them like Norwegians to a Lutefisk dinner.

The ice is clear, stretching out across the lake, clear and spooky. You can lay on your belly and shield out the light with your mittened hands and stare into the murky depths. You can see the weed beds, the submerged logs, ancient trees, and the black drop offs. The dogs would lick my face and rouse me from my under ice explorations if to say "Pay attention to the girls." The ice would be like a huge frozen mirror, with a series of cracks and fissures that must be there every year, but only visible in magic ice years.
The girls would skate, sometimes chasing each other in a game of tag, sometimes hand in hand. Giggling, cheeks bright red, eyes sparkling. "Mom the ice is great! Can we skip school tomorrow? Ice as great as this shouldn't be wasted." "NO, you have to go to school, what kind of Mother lets their kids skip school to go ice skating anyway."

Only a few years was the ice make it safely across the lake, I would watch them on the opposite shore, specks skating along. Specks growing larger as they skated toward me and the safety of home..on Magic Ice:)

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Old Craft Stuff

I am cleaning out some closets and a few storage areas that have not been looked at in years.  I got to feeling guilty having  too much “stuff” for the girls to go through if I should croak.  Visions of “stuff” on a hay wagon in boxes going for little or nothing at an auction sale was dancing through my head or my youngest daughter hiring a dumpster to clean out the house.

I set up a eBay account and will be selling some “stuff” there soon.  In the meantime I am getting organized and selling some “stuff” on a Facebook Swap and Shop locally…no shipping involved.  What doesn’t sell will be boxed for a garage sale next summer.   I have not had a garage sale in four or five years and it sure shows.  Some “stuff” will be donated.

I ran across some strange items…some things I forgot all about. Out of sight out of mind.  Mainly old crafts.

A box full of felt, another full of supplies to make cute little mice refrigerator magnets on clothespins. Boxes and boxes of ribbon, curly, satin, raffia, cloth…uffda.

And this the epitome of all crafts.

Nylon Art Book and many supplies  $5

Is that a blast from the past or what?  A long, long time ago I was a crafter.  I made oodles of these vegetables and fruits..the peas, strawberries and the cherries were hot sellers.  One dollar each I think, the strawberries were probably 2 for a dollar.  Oh those were the days. ( The white hose was dyed different colors, then the shapes were cut out and stuffed and sewed shut.  Smiles and eyes were sewn in place.  Felt and magnets went on the back.)

As I wandered down craft memory lane I sorted and sorted and made small bags of “stuff”; T Pins, safety pins, push pins, floral tape…wooden ornaments to be painted… you get the idea.

What a surprise that my set of oil paints were still soft..useable I am not so sure. I couldn’t bring myself to list them for sale or throw them out.  They are tucked safely away in an ice cream bucket marked Oil Paints.  Maybe someday I could paint again.  I would like to try…I just never seem to have the time for all the creative outlets I would like to explore.  I am way past the refrigerator magnet era:) 

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Sunday, November 24, 2013


You know the old saying “Innocent until proven guilty?” 

That does not apply to our squirrels.  We have about six of them. 

It is a war.  Me against the little bird seed sucking buggers. They were leaping out of the branches and landing on the feeders and getting their fill.  We trimmed the branches.  They were climbing the poles.  BUGGARS.  I read in Mother Earth News that Crisco on the poles would make the poles too slippery for them to climb.  That worked for a few days…it was so satisfying to watch them slide down:) Then they started running up a nearby tree trunk and flew through the air with the greatest of ease and most of the time landed on the top of a feeder…while they were up there they ate all the sunflower hearts. 

I purchased three squirrel baffles at $20.00 each.  You can add that up yourself.

Bird Feeders

The other day one used that solar light as a springboard to catch the bottom of the feeder on the far right and then pulled himself up and eventually flew through the air to one of the house feeders for the sunflower hearts.  BUGGAR.

Innocent until proved guilty

No don’t go all squirrely on me, this guy/gal is a shameless thief. 

Chance does a good job of keeping them out of the yard, but it has turned too cold for him to be outside on squirrel patrol all day long.

I watch the squirrels from the kitchen and dining room windows.  Sometimes I open the window and holler at them.  They have gotten used to me rapping on the window…that used to scare them…not so much anymore.

My next step?  I am going to buy another feeder one that dumps them off…and see what happens then.  I am going to move that Solar Light and shorten the hanger on the far right thistle feeder. 

Last year our squirrels were well behaved.  I don’t know where this bunch of ill mannered hoodlums comes from.

Black Squirrel

This is a Black Squirrel he/she lives across the road.  Too bad he doesn’t become a sail squirrel running back and forth across the road all day long.

I am about at my wits end…I welcome suggestions.  We want to keep feeding the birds, and we don’t mind the squirrels as long as they stay on the ground:)

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rolls for two or three or four

It was cold, I was cold.  How better to stay warm than stay in the kitchen and throw stuff in the oven to bake.  I baked Pumpkin Bread and two gigantic pretty big cinnamon rolls.

Some tourist traps have big rolls…how do they do it?  Last May Jen and Andy found a huge sweet roll in Michigan…they drove off the freeway twice to get the biggest sweet roll in Michigan.

Fudge and a big roll

They also brought us some fudge.  That huge sweet roll has been bugging me since I devoured at least half of it.  How did they do it?  What was their recipe?

It wasn’t this one..because I used half wheat/half white flour.

Two Rolls

And my drizzle was tart  because I used lemon juice in the powdered sugar.  I had to guess when they were done because I forgot to set the freaking timer.  Luckily they were done just right.

It nearly filled up a dinner plate.  Far Guy thought they were really good. I was not satisfied so I will try a different recipe again one of these days.  Maybe closer to the time when the grand boys are coming to visit.Almost fills a plate

I might need some new yeast.  I put everything into the bread machine to mix up and rest.  The dough was nice to work with but it should have risen more.  Not that I am an expert baker or anything…I bake just enough to get by.  No fire alarms sounded.IMG_4203

It snowed yesterday, it was bitterly cold. The wind blew and Chance made his trips outside in record time.   It was –2 F or –18 C yesterday morning, I think winter has come to stay:(

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Bone Chilling Cold

We go from one extreme to the other.  Yesterday it was bone chilling cold, we had a little snow on the ground when we woke up.  20 F or – 6C was the high today..a real bummer.

Even if it was cold the sun was out for a bit so I ventured out to the old vegetable greenhouse which is now a woodshop.  I am trying to make a few Christmas gifts.  I might get them done in the next thirty four days.

I also worked on projects here in the house, the ones I call “No one notices but me”  the ones that bug only me.  Papers and notes and things shoved here and there when I am working.

Time to clear out the old lady summer bag and get out the old lady winter bag.  The epi pens don’t need to follow me everywhere in the winter…cause the freaking bees went south! If any of you carry epi pens for allergies you know what I mean they take up lots of space.

winter bag

This is my winter bag.  It doubles as survival gear, if needed I can dump it out and wear it as a hat or a foot warmer.  I think it is some kinda shrunken or felted wool.  I bought it at a neighbors garage sale for a dollar.  It will match everything I wear…no big matchy matchy choices for me. What do I keep in here?  My Kindle, Kleenex, a pencil, Aleve, extra medication for Far Guy, some almonds, gum, hairbrush, Carmex, toothpicks and an extra pair of sunglasses should I be blinded by the sun.

In the next few days I need to pack some survival gear for both vehicles:  extra mittens, a candle, matches and some snacks…it will all fit in a coffee can.  We already have an extra blanket or two in both vehicles.  We usually don’t venture out if the weather turns bad, but I would rather be safe than sorry:)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

50 degrees

Wow what a nice day it was yesterday!  Nice enough to clean out Far Guys vehicle one last time before winter.  All the doggy prints were washed off the windows.  How one medium sized dog can leave so many nose prints on the windows or leave so much of his hair behind is beyond me.  That vehicle was detailed just a few months ago.  I think I did a better job than they did.

I fashioned a very washable seat cover for the back seat..someone might get chilled whilst riding in the vehicle..even though he always carries his own coat!  I made two out of an old cheap store bought quilt.  I cut the quilt in half, sewed up the edges and cut holes for it to go over the head rests and then sewed up those isn’t fancy but it will do the job and maybe even survive a washing or two.  I had a major fight with the &^%* sewing machine and busted threads..but I eventually won. Me and sewing is always an adventure.The Road home

We ran an errand to town, the sun sets here at 4:41 PM now, it makes for a long evening.  Chance and I played outside after dark. We were both sad to see such a nice day come to an end.  Chance had quite a day, since we were both outside, he had to keep track of us both and play ball many times.

The sunshine was just heavenly!  I sure wish this nice weather would last about three months:)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wistful Wednesday : Pullet Eggs

Recently my other baby brother called me and said “Sis you want some pullet eggs?”  Absolutely!  Nothing better than those first eggs that are laid, the practice eggs, some are different shapes more round than oval, it takes a young hen a bit of practice to get it right!

Those eggs were really good, flavorful and the yolks were golden orange.  I have not had good eggs like that in years.

It brought back lots of memories: Gathering eggs, faking out the mean hens to get their eggs, washing eggs and putting them in flats…I think 2 1/2 dozen would fit in a flat.  Some of the flats were a gray color and some were purple and you could stack them up.  From there they would be packaged into the customers egg cartons.  My Mom raised chickens and eggs were sold at our house to friends and neighbors.

My Dad would cook me up an egg or two for breakfast in the winter…over hard or a broken yoke either suits me just fine.  It beat the heck out of porridge..which at our house was Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat.

When I think of someone washing eggs I think of my Mother’s Father sitting on the porch washing eggs.  I sometimes helped him, grabbing a soft cloth to wipe the poop smears off the eggs.  Poop wasn’t so bad, bits of straw stuck to the poop and then to the egg was like removing a piece of cement.  You had to be really careful with those eggs…they would easily crack.  Grandma used up all the cracked eggs mostly in baked goodies.  Nowadays I wouldn’t use a cracked egg…but back them we didn’t think anything of it.

I looked for a photo.  I found one of my maternal grandparents chicken coop and grainery.  That is my grandfather in the photograph along with his chickens and several of his  kitty cats:)

Drewes Grainery (2)

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brown and Gray Days

Old Age: Just like an old building our foundation is a little unsteady.  A few of our rocks are loose, some are even missing.  Some boards have come loose and have been patched. Our roofs have seen better days.  We lean a little to the left or right or forward when we walk.



Now that the Oaks have shed their leaves this building is visible.  I think it is in the winter of it’s life.  


I wonder what it was in earlier times?  Who or what sought shelter there?  It is just a little building not far from a road. I have passed this way many times, I finally stopped to give the building a moment of my time.

Brown and gray days are all part of a Minnesota November.  There was a little snow in the air again yesterday not enough to make the ground white.

I am done at the Dentist again…hopefully for good this time.  I broke a cusp on a tooth eating toast.  Old age will get ya!   Far Guy is doing okay, his TN always kicks up into high gear when the weather changes and the wind blows.  He reports that his tooth and fistula extraction sites are healing, and he doesn’t have pain all the time. Jen is recovering from her kidney stone removal slowly…it all takes time.

The sun tried to shine a bit yesterday afternoon, the sun and the clouds are in battle…and the clouds are winning the war for now:(

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Train Set: Tower with a Bomber

Yes, a tower was built upstairs.  Three Erector sets were open and in the walkway…it is a good thing I didn’t wander that way in the dark.  Finally the tower was complete and the Enola Gay is flying CAP (Combat Air Patrol) over the train set.

B 29 Enola gay

The Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the big one.

Enola Gay and John Wayne got it covered

Yessiree the Enola Gay and John Wayne got the train set covered.  John Wayne is back there on the big screen at the outdoor theater!  I knew that display case on the wall would be filled in no time..he should build another one.

I am not sure if one more train piece can fit on this display.  Every time I go by I notice something different.  Our Grandson Adam studies this layout every time he is here.  I can hardly wait until he sees the really cool tower and plane!  Sometimes he moves things around..I would never notice but Far Guy does.


See that orange Astronaut?  It was purchased for 10 cents just to see if Adam would notice it next to the rocket.

If you are an old guy you can spend hours looking and tinkering and making something out of nothing…and dusting.  Lots of dusting..cause it is his “stuff.”

IMG_4117The music and lights are fascinating to watch.  It will take you back to simpler times if you let it!

Merry Go Round

Far Guy passed up a train show last weekend.  We usually attend the Train Show and Sale in St. Cloud twice a year.  He said he thought he had enough train “stuff” for awhile:)

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chance : Walking on Water

Hiya!  It’s me Chance.  I get to blog!!  Far Side is bogged down with forty million projects.   We, meaning Far Guy and I drug her out of the house to town and then to a garage sale the other day… the sale people were packing up so we went down to the lake.

I am not so sure about the state of the water?

Walking on water

Far Guy seems confidant.

Reasurance that we wont fall in

It helps to get a little reassurance that we won’t fall in.

Long Lake is frozen

It was a great place to get a cold drink.  Didyaknow that the ice makes funny sounds when it is freezing?  It does…it was kinda scary.


Here I am walking on the water!  Are you impressed…well you should be! Just so you know the water wasn’t real deep and Far Side was on shore and after taking photos of us splashing around I am certain that she would have rescued us sooner or later:)


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sharing the wealth

Last weekend we had a date.  We went to a fundraiser for the Local Animal Shelter.  It was a Turkey Dinner, the turkey was excellent.  I like to go and see what other non-profit organizations do for their dinners and silent auctions….besides that it is for a good cause.  They were selling raffle tickets.  My husband forked over $5.00 for a raffle ticket for me! (Men should always pay on dates!  Steve Harvey said so!) He bought his own ticket earlier in the week. They sell 1200 tickets at $5 each.  They give away cash prizes totaling $2,350 and make a profit of $3,650 if all the tickets are sold.  Not a bad fundraiser if you have members that will sell the tickets.

Shortly after we returned home, the phone rang and I won!  Third prize was $250 !!  I was so happy, I hardly ever win anything and this is the first ever raffle ticket that I have won.

I knew I had to share, first with my husband and then with the Animal Shelter.   I am always thrilled when someone comes into the museum with something from our wish list!

Sharing the wealth

Rawhide chews were on their wish list. We bought all sizes.

We also looked at the dogs available for adoption.  They had a Sheltie that would have been very tempting, she looked just like Little Elvis but a bit bigger… happily she had been adopted and was just waiting a few days for her new owners to pick her up!

Sometimes we think that a companion for Chance would be a good thing.  Chance is so sad after spending a few days with Little Elvis and Miney…he really misses them. Sometimes we think that one dog is plenty for us…at least until the right dog comes along.

Chance never gets Rawhide Chews.  He never cared for them and would look for someplace to hide them so your feelings wouldn’t be hurt. He used to bury them under pillows or in the couch until he discovered that burying them outside was much better, then he would dig them up much later when they were all stinky and gross… so he doesn’t get them anymore:) 

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Friday, November 15, 2013


The yarn and crochet hooks are calling my name.   I am not sure why.  The bright colors and new kinds of fun yarn are mesmerizing.  It is like I go into some kind of trance; oh I love that color, oh feel this one, oh I could make great things with you. They are speaking to me.  Buy me, buy me…you can never have too  many crochet hooks.  Free Patterns…why do the manufactures do that to me?
Could I learn to join granny squares as I go?  Yes I could…I always hated sewing them together…some woman smarter than me has figured out a way and I can do it!!  Here is my test piece.  Success!!!  I love this multi color yarn.
Granny Squares joined
Never too old to learn something new.  Thanks to a link from Sam.  I need to get into the storage way upstairs and get down some of my yarn to use up.  Because I want to make a afghan all different colors.  If there are some colors I will never use I should donate them to the church for prayer shawls.
I am still working on my hat, I have ripped it apart several times.  I may need a different pattern.  I so wanted a blue winter hat with a brim and a big old crochet flower on it.
Am I turning into my Grandmother?  Nope she didn’t crochet…she cooked…cooking and baking was her hobby.
My scarf is still unfinished, the one with the fuzzy balls.  I need to rip it apart, I bought another hank of yarn so my scarf could be wider and longer and show off more of those wonderful fuzzy balls.
I have not crochet anything in a long time. I used to knit years ago, I learned to knit before I learned to crochet. My Aunt Marie taught me to knit.  One of my old high school friends Kathy taught me to crochet.  Years ago a group of gals would get together and work on projects once a month, learning new crafts from each other.  I learned some fancy embroidery stitches and how to do Hardanger, how to crochet and how to make macramé knots good enough to make some hanging flower pot holders remember them?  I also learned how to cross stitch along the way.  I can quilt as in little stitches with a thread and needle.  As my fingers get more arthritic it is harder to hold the needle. 
Yup getting I better crochet while I can:)
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Thursday, November 14, 2013


Sometimes things just take time.

Sometimes I am not a very patient person either.

I want Jen to heal fast and get back to normal.  We left her on her own, well not all alone she has her boys to take care of her.   She usually takes care of them…

Good thing we came home when we did..cause someone had taken the last of his medication that he must take every day.  I did not have any extra in my bag either…leave it to a man to pack. I have extra in a different bag, and extra in a different vehicle.  I need to get organized for the times he has brain farts.

Came home looking for a photo file from 2008 of Far Guys Class Reunion, he is working on a project.  Looked high and low, found backup files..but not the right one.  I think he is appealing to classmates for help as other people took photos that day.

I am back to working on the Christmas Ornaments, had some glitches to overcome.  I think I am on the right track now.  None are totally finished yet…soon.  I really want them DONE.

For now I am in a slow mode…doing what I think is the most important thing to accomplish any given day:)

Amish Wagon 

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