Mama Has a Right

March 30th, 2015

Today’s post is dedicated to all the mama’s who have been bamboozled into thinking that they have no rights over their children’s lives.

HOGWASH!

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I’m smart enough to know there is no perfect formula for raising kids. Not every household shares the same personality makeup and certainly not the same family dynamic. Every family, every home is unique. What works in one house may not work in another right next door.

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That’s the beauty of being a family. Each person has the freedom to grow into the special and unique human God created them to be. But, I’m getting a bit off topic because what I want to talk about is the very popular belief that mama’s/parents have lost the authority to be PARENTS to their kids.

From what I’ve observed, the world has bought into the attitude that kids will be kids and there’s not much you can do about it cliche. That’s a bunch of hooey! While there are absolutes in what kids will try and how far they’ll push, the honest truth is….kids are looking for some direction.

I love how far technology has come, don’t you? I mean, who would’ve ever thought we would have access to so much at just our fingertips? As a mom, that’s really scary. Our kids are little geniuses from a really young age and for a lot of us (parents) that’s rather intimidating. Kids are equipped with more knowledge at younger ages than the law should allow. I’m not talking about educational knowledge…..I’m straight up referring to all the stuff of the world.

Last week, Jen Hatmaker (my favorite human on the whole internet world) wrote a few pieces for the Today Show on parenting. I laughed, I screamed and I fell over in my chair with a happy heart at her take on all things parenting. She reminded me just how crazy I used to be (ok, still am) about my kids and how I literally almost killed myself trying to do it all just right. I lived, by the way and so did my 3 little punkins! But, I convinced myself that I had to do many things in order for those 3 little humans to live and be happy.

It was worth it. But, if I had it to do over again…..I would take it a little easier on myself.

After she penned her sweet words about HOW BIG she loved her children, she wrote a post titled What Would My Mom Do? And for any of you darlin’s that grew up in the 70’s-80’s, you MUST READ THIS POST!!! You will most likely be transported back to a time when parenting accomplished exactly what needed to be and weeded out whatever tried to wriggle its way in.

Want to know some of your most important parental rights?

That phone you give your kid…. you have the right to look at it, limit what he or she does on it and take it away ANY TIME YOU WANT!!

Cellphones are dangerous! More and more kids (younger than pre-teens) are being given these devices and parents are turning their heads at all the internet freedoms that come with these smart phones. Guard your kids hearts, it’s your right to protect them from the junk available with just a click.

Laptops, home computers and even tablets are another window into a world that cannot be unseen once it’s discovered. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to invade their “privacy” on those tools. Stop letting them guilt you into thinking you’re just an old fuddy-duddy who just doesn’t trust them or want them to have fun! Of course you are, and you have the sense to know, NO ONE IS PERFECT or trustworthy enough to be cut free on the internet! Especially not a kid!

Who your kids run with (and I don’t mean jogging) is important. Stop allowing them to hang in circles that open them up to stuff your family doesn’t participate in. So many parents give their kids over to bad habits and more all because they don’t want to limit who they make friends with. FOOLISHNESS! Kids are so impressionable! You have the right to direct them to healthy friendships. God has given you a brain and a heart of discernment. If it doesn’t feel right….step in and change it.

Every parent has to make the decision as to what will be acceptable in their family and not. Many are wide open with an attitude of “it’s going to happen one way or another” and others are gripped so tightly that they’re stifling the very breath out of their kids. I don’t think any of us ever know if our methods are working or not (sadly, until it’s too late). I do believe that with lots of practice and tons of support, parents can raise their children to be well-rounded and whole individuals who make society a better place.

It’s time to stop thinking…..you have no rights to your kids lives.

I Love My State

March 29th, 2015

I’m grateful for the freedom that I have to disagree with anyone who doesn’t think or believe the same as me. Aren’t you? I’m an American and by that title alone, I am blessed with the right to live freely and hold dearly to my faith and countless other standards without the worry of death or punishment.

God bless America.

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I’m a transplant of sort. I was born and raised in Florida by a family whose roots run deep and wide throughout that great state. My family is what’s known as Crackers. They’ve been there, forever. I, on the other hand….snuck off and raised my family somewhere else, Indiana!

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My first house to live in – in the great state of Indiana, was smack dab in the middle of a rural area that was full of cornfields. Matter of fact, when we would drive into town….it was a good idea to LOOK OUT for jumping deer as we meandered up and down, twisting and turning through the many high stalks of corn on the sides of the road. I used to sing as I roared through the corn, songs about cornfields to my kids. When fall would arrive and the harvest begin, life in Indiana made perfect sense to me. I loved every single thing about this new state I found myself in and tried my best to teach that to my kids. I think it worked! My family is rather fond of Indiana!

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I can’t claim (oh wait, I’ve lived here 16 years now), I will claim it as my home. I happily consider myself a citizen of the state of Indiana and I refuse to sit by and let the haters scream as loud as they can about how awful and wrong my state is for signing a bill into effect that protects its citizens. Seriously! I am not a person who discriminates against another and neither is my state or governor! The bill that everyone is jumping up and down about is being wholly misrepresented and twisted. That’s what happens though when people get their information from social media and refuse to do their research from a source that is legit.

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I have watched as friends, Christians, politicians, companies and even people who may NEVER ever visit my state have stood up and spoken out against the bill and Indiana as being discriminatory. Some of them have even been outright UGLY, to the point of embarrassing behavior. Over a bill that no ones seems to have a total bit of knowledge about, just limited and one-sided information. That’s pretty dangerous, to me.

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I’ve thought about it, long and hard and here’s what I think (not that it matters to you, really)….

I love the state of Indiana. I don’t agree with every single thing that happens here, but I probably wouldn’t agree with everything…anywhere I might set up camp. I own a home, I’ve raised 3 of the world’s greatest kids here, I’ve worshiped in some of God’s most amazing churches, my husband has made a great living for our family with jobs in Indiana, we’ve made some of the most wonderful friends while living here, we’ve invested in state colleges for our children and for my hubby in this state, we’ve traveled, stayed and loved every inch of Indiana over the last 16 years and OUR HEARTS BELONG TO INDIANA!

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We choose to stay here.

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And, we choose to do it with pride.

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So, for the haters – I’m really sad to see you feel so negatively about the state of Indiana. It bothers me. Really, it disturbs me. The world is full of hate and when it’s directed at something I love (like, when non-believers pick on Christians) it affects me. I can’t help but feel defensive. Boycotting, screaming untruths all over social media and tv isn’t going to change a single thing. Over the many years I’ve been alive, if I’ve ever learned one great lesson….it is this –>

People will never agree on any one thing, ever. Luckily, for us, we have the freedom to disagree.

I LOVE INDIANA! I will continue to love Indiana and I invite you and anyone that you love to visit this great state and if you run into mean-spirited Hoosiers, don’t judge them as all of Indiana. Note that our world has people of all walks of this life who behave inappropriately and represent themselves in a way that dishonors self and country everywhere. Don’t pin every bad moment on one state. Please?

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Fashion Friday – Places You Shop Edition

March 27th, 2015

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Why not make this easy, that’s what I say to myself when I’m going through my head thinking of what to post on today’s FASHION FRIYAY addiction edition. I mean, I understand. Not everyone shops online (Gasp, I know) and not everyone has access to Macy’s or Nordstrom’s (seriously sad, huh?). Every week, I post cute items from both of those stores and also tons of other online spots that I frequent. Ahem, for research purposes…..of course!

Today, I’m going all in and shopping for you at places everybody has access to. Unless you live in the bush of Alaska and if that’s the case, you won’t be needing any of the cutesy stuff I’m throwing up online. You are going to need a parka! So, stop torturing yourself and click over on the Patagonia site, will ya?!

From good old Walmart you can load up your cart with Dean’s icecream, shoe polish, washing detergent, clothing and JEWELS!!! Just look at what I found on CLEARANCE!!!

Lucite Pastel Statement Necklace

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The sweet soft pastel caught my eye as I was scrolling along and I’m telling you….I’m on my way out for some shopping this morning and I am hitting Walmart to see if I can find this little lady. For $5 American dollars! You betcha, mama wants!

Since I am a complete GRITS kind of lady, I cannot skip over a sweet strand of pearls. Every lady, let me say that again….EVERY SINGLE LADY on God’s green earth needs a strand of pearls to wear around her neck. It is very doable at this whopping steal of a price. $78 dollars!

Ultra Luster 8-9mm 18″ White Pearl Necklace

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Know what else every lady needs? A comfy maxi dress. This is just one of many that Walmart carries and if you are leary of pulling the trigger on a dress like this let me encourage you to TRY IT! I’ll even tell you a few ways to wear a maxi dress (or at least how I would do it). Trust me, I’m in love with the comfy feel and the trendy style ain’t so bad either.

Fourteenth Place Maxi

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This maxi has a few things going for it; the halter style neckline and the color black. I’m old, so I can say this…..the halter style is flattering on just about every body. Now, to wear it for larger busted ladies….we will need to wear something over it. Unless, you are uber confident in your appearance (which, I am NOT when it comes to showing off the old lady chest area).

Here’s what I’d do — >

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Yes. A jean jacket.

If you do not own a jean jacket, Lord help you! It is the best $29.99 dollars you will spend. You can wear it with EVERYTHING!!!!! It is literally one of my favorite go-to items in my wardrobe. Throw it on over a tank top. Wear it with your favorite MAXI DRESS. Use it in the summertime with a cute tee and a pair of shorts. I’m willing to lay my heart on the line here when I tell you, it will pick up your wardrobe as if you’ve just had a shopping spree at a Lily Pulitzer shop (ok, that is an exaggeration…but you get it, right?). BUY A DANG JEAN JACKET!!!

Oh, and another way to wear the maxi is with a cute pair of wedges and a sweater. Or, you could even wear a pair of flats and no jacket or sweater. It’s a buffet of options. Buy it, wear it and wait for all the compliments.

This little number is only $29.99 at your local Wally!!!

Just adding this jacket over the black maxi, takes you from a lady trying to look like she’s heading to the Dollar Tree prom to a gal with some serious sassyfashion! You’ll look comfy, dressy and trendy all for under $50!!!

You’re welcome!

Because I mentioned shorts, I have to throw in a pair that Walmart sells. They can be worn casual or a little dressed up. Again, the sky is the limit with this stuff. These come in 4 colors and are only $12.94

Faded Glory Women’s Shorts

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How about a little Tarshay shopping? Nobody can hate on Target. If they do, they are dead to me! I read yesterday, they are getting a line from LILY PULITZER in April!!! Wahoo!

Go HERE and just drool, I mean, look at all the pretty Lily heading to Target on April 19th!!! O M G !!!

I’ll be honest and admit, I am not a big tee-shirt wearing person. However, there does come a time that wearing them is trendy and cute. Picking something like this tee is not going to put you in the lazy or sloppy look. This tee has the option of looking a little glam while still being a TEE-SHIRT! I would wear a blingy statement necklace and a jean jacket with shorts or even a fun skirt. It’s so cheap too! I see this all over Instagram in a ton of cute outfits. No joke!

Celfie Graphic Tee $12.99

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Ladies, can we talk? Don’t be hurt by the tee-shirt snub. I’m not trying to be haughty when say LIMIT your wearing of the t-shirt. Husbands like seeing their women looking a little lady like and feminine. T-shirts, like that old tie-dye number that’s stretched out and stained that you wear all the time with your yoga pants (those, he likes) but not that nasty t-shirt. Put on something that kicks it up a notch. Even your confidence will change, I swear!

Remember my mentioning WEDGES? These are so cute from Target. At a steal for $29.99

I’m thinking….shorts, dresses, skirts & jeans will all work with a pair of these doll babies!

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Meredith Zip Wedge

Let me tell you though….NOT ALL WEDGES FEEL GOOD! You HAVE to try on a lot of brands and kinds to find your prince/wedge. Only buy, do you hear me? ONLY BUY the ones that feel good to walk around in. Or you’ll hate me and the dang shoes I walked in on!

I can’t leave out JC Penney. It’s not your grandma’s store anymore. They are keeping up with trend and selling some of the prettiest women’s clothes. And at great prices with super coupons. Go look!

Worthington Sleeveless Floral $29.99

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Sorry about the tiny pic. The site was wonky and wouldn’t let me save it in regular format. It’s a floral shift style dress. There were so many to choose from, you’ll surely find something to love there.

I know what it’s like to need or want something stylish to wear and not have a clue where to start. I’m here to tell you though, shop at your local stores (you’re probably buying catsup and eggs anyway). Some of the MOST COMPLIMENTED outfits I wear, I bought at a Walmart (usually on a clearance rack) or a Target. People are not checking your labels to decide if you are fashion worthy of their presence and IF THEY ARE….you are hanging with the wrong crowd!

Get out there, buy local and show everyone around you that YOU GOT STYLE sister!

15 Things I Want My Son To Know

March 26th, 2015

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Before I became a mom, I had dreams that all my children would be boys. Boys have a charming way of lassoing your heart and holding it hostage in their grimy little pockets for life. They’re naturally curious, often rambunctious, and full of cockamamey ideas that sometimes get them into trouble. I dig all that. They also have the most incredible loving hearts that if nurtured just right…. will allow them to become the most amazing men who, in turn, end up being the best husbands and fathers our world could ask for.

I married one of those.

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I knew the moment that first ultrasound revealed a boy in my bulging belly that I had my work cut out for me. Loving a son would be serious business. Someday, someone besides me would love him and I hoped with all my might that what I did as his mother might enable him to be a loving husband and father and more.

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If I had to write out a list of what’s important for my little bundle of blue to learn during his short stay in my home, these are a few at the top of my wish list.

15 Things I Want My Son To Know

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1. Honesty is the best policy. It’s true. Being honest will help you in every aspect of your life. If you make it a habit of being untruthful, you will eventually begin to believe all your lies. Make note: Other’s will not! Therefore, your word….is meaningless.

2. Learn how to lead & know when to follow. Both are very valuable qualities. Never be afraid to learn from others and don’t miss a chance to help someone else out.

3. Be disciplined. Learn how to sit still, obey those in authority and work hard. The honest truth is, being lazy and undisciplined are both easy to accomplish. Working hard and following the rules is a character strengthening feat. You can do it!

4. Chivalry and good manners never die. Don’t fall for the weakening of either in our society. Always hold doors, give up your seat and chew with your mouth closed. Also, wash your hands. No one likes sticky handshakes!
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5. Know the Law of the Harvest. You really will reap what you sow. Be a man of integrity in all areas of your life. If you cheat, it will come back to you…perhaps through humiliation or worse. If you lie or hurt others, be prepared to face that reality too. What goes around comes around.

6. Believe in yourself. Not every day of your life will be incredible. Learn to cope with failures and figure out how to chase down all your dreams. You will always have a family that believes the best about you. Lean on them when you need it most.

7. Don’t buy a motorcycle. Just throwing that in here. Some dummy will hit you. Your mother will lose countless hours of sleep. It’s just a miserable sport.
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8. Real men do cry. It’s not a sign of weakness to show emotion. Ever. If anything, it shows your strength to love and your compassion. Very nice qualities.

9. Don’t be a jerk. Having sisters will clearly open you up to being called one during sometime in your life. However, your very nature should not be one of the characteristic jerk dude. Be nice, thoughtful and kind-spirited.

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10. Chicks dig guys who can sing, play music and dance. Learn to play the guitar or some sort of musical instrument. Girls really do love it.
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11. Learn to apologize and offer forgiveness. You’re going to make mistakes. Own them. Apologize and move on. Also, decide to be a good forgiver. It will bless you more than you can ever imagine.

12. Help people. Give of your time, your money and your heart every chance God gives you. You never know when you’ll be the one in need.

13. Protect your name. Some say that a man’s reputation is directly linked to his heart and I would have to agree. Who you are on this earth is important not only to those around you but to God. Learn to please him with your life and lifestyle.

14. Trust & believe in the One True God. You are wonderfully created in His image. You belong to Him. Obey Him, honor Him and direct others to Him with your life. You were put here specifically by Him for Him. Don’t waste your time here.

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15. Call your mom. No woman on the earth will ever love you as wholly and completely as she will. Show her the respect and honor she deserves by calling her just to say, “Hey Mom!”.

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Okay Mama’s, nothing will ever prepare your heart to mother a boy. Learn to enjoy every bloody injury, painted garbage can and constant hungry stomach. The time you’ll spend mothering him will zip by so fast….you’ll wish you had a time machine.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my son. Through him, I have felt your love for me a million times.

Amen

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Here’s A Tip

March 25th, 2015

I love learning new things, don’t you? There are so many tried and tested ideas out there that I feel it’s my blogging duty to share a few with you. They’re not my ideas but those of others who have been kind enough to spread the knowledge. I hope you enjoy a thing or two from my linky list!

Need some painting tips? This is one of the best blog posts on all things paint. Know Your Paint

Got a thing for lemons? Eat them, decorate with them…smell them? You will love this post. The Squeeze on Lemons

Do you use rubber gloves? Here’s an idea I bet you’ve never thought of.

Love wearing cashmere but hate dry cleaning? Oh, save yourself the hassle. No more paying a fortune to do what you can do at home. Washing Cashmere

This post remembering sweet Kara Tippets is just one of many floating around out there. Her story is one you’ll never forget. THIS POST is Kara’s letter to all of us after her death. What a courageous woman!

If you love pickled eggs, here’s a recipe just for you. Easter will be sweet and sour this year.

Cooking the ham for Easter this year? How about Crock-pot Coca cola ham?

I love rubber bands but this post takes on a whole nother level of love. So many great ideas.

Need a body detox? This post has a ton of at home detox ideas to make you a whole new person.

Can’t think of any NEW ways to love your hubby? Here’s 55 ways. Get busy!

5 Make-up Beauty Tips from a professional.

Want to impress everyone at your next birthday party with your fancy cake decorating skills? Here ya go.

Have an old door laying around that needs repurposing? I love these tips.

Are you a fan of Annie Sloan paints? I am but I’m really nervous about using it. This post is great for beginners. It’s all about that wax!

Don’t throw out that old headboard!!! I love these repurposed benches. You can do it!!

Love the look of vintage signs but not ready to fork over the big bucks to buy one? Don’t worry, this post is step by step instructions to make your very own. I love this!

Need a quick and cute snack idea. These mini banana splits are just the thing. Yummo!

Enjoy doing crafts with paint sticks? This post has so many cute ideas.

Don’t know EVERYTHING? Tsk tsk, fear not. This post tells you EVERYTHING you never knew about EVERYTHING. Really. Go see.

I love when other people share their nifty knowledge, don’t you?

Happy Hump Day!!!

What a Hack Job

March 24th, 2015

I got hacked!
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As in, my whole world came crashing down…..hard! Last Friday, I noticed an email from Twitter saying that my password had been changed and that I needed to contact them if I hadn’t done the changing. Which is all a big fat lie because I still can’t get back into the Twitter world. That whole CONTACT US thing? LIES!! Mean evil vicious L I E S !!! And, no…I’m totally not bitter.

I told my hubby about it that night but didn’t really think about it too much because you know, it was Friday night. I wanted to jump head on into my relaxing weekend. However, I woke up the next morning to the face of Hitler as my new profile pic on my Facebook and then I knew….I was totally hacked.

It’s probably a good thing (looking back) that I had no clue just how invasive this hack job had gone. I most likely wouldn’t have slept so peacefully and I know for sure that my poor hubby’s life would’ve been pure misery. That old, What Mama don’t know…won’t hurt her thing! True reality for this gal!

I jumped up out of bed and tried to access anything and everything in my world that required a password. Nada! Nothing worked. Panic slapped me all around and my head was spinning with worry. I thought of all the ways a hacker destroys lives and robs innocent people. I imagined the worst. Hey, that’s just who I am, okay? It was bad, but whoever this monster was had not made it into my checking account. Did I mention, Friday was PAYDAY?

Whew!

There began the great clean-up Wanda’s computer and all her favorite hang-outs Spring 2015. The weekend was a sheer pleasure! Nothing fun happened involving using a computer or cell phone. It was all business! Oh and if you thought having a profile pic of Hitler posted all over Facebook was bad….

Just try to process ME having to CHANGE EVERY SINGLE PASSWORD to EVERY LITTLE THING I do or use. I cried. I whaled. I resisted. I begged for mercy. I even puffed myself up and lied to (me) that I COULD REMEMBER…such crap! I’ll never ever ever remember all the new passwords created for all the places I go online. I am so hosed!

So, by Sunday I was at the point of being a rebellious teenager. When my hubby (who has a mind like a stinking steel trap) would yell down another new password for blah blah blah, I would holler back….”I’M NEVER GOING TO REMEMBER IT, KILL ME NOW!”.

Yea, I’m real mature!

Finally, I just gave up and said, “Write them all down!”.

I’ll be honest, I’m not as strong in the remembering department as I once was. I’m blaming it on all the childbirth experiences. I’ve taken a beating on the memory muscle and I NEED HELP! My kids tell me things and I still ask them questions later about it. I think they believe I’m a 100 years old or at least my mind is. So, getting hacked was a true lesson in brain power reboot!

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After working on my online lifestyle habits all weekend, the best husband in the world presented me with a print-out of all my new passwords.

Only….he forgot to change my laptop password and I don’t know how things work in your life, but if you can’t access your laptop. You have no online life. Am I right?

FYI: Do not ignore weird emails telling you your accounts have changed any passwords. Not that you can really do anything about it at that point. But, representing yourself as Hitler on Facebook might be avoidable if you quick like a bunny go in and change your account passwords.

I’m going to confess here that as long as I’ve been a traveler in the online world, I’ve only had to use ONE PASSWORD or a similar variation of it the whole time. So, I’m telling you….CHANGE PASSWORDS here and there! It might save you some of the frustration that I’ve experienced this last weekend.

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