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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Since I was off from school for Mardi Gras break, my hubby decided to take vacation also. We opted to spend our vacation this past week at home. Our only commitments for the week were to take Comet (aka Tooty) to the vet for a dental cleaning, bring the hubby’s truck to the Toyota dealership to be fixed (recall issue), take Sonic to the dermatologist to evaluate his bum, and get our taxes done. This left plenty of opportunities to spend quality time together and complete tasks on our never ending list concerning our house. I also gained more time for reading, watching movies and anime, and puttering in my scrapbook room.

I am almost finished reading The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (horror) and The Keys to the Kingdom: Mr. Monday by Garth Nix (fantasy-adventure). Currently, both of my protagonists are in peril, and I’m hoping their stories end well; however, I’m not too optimistic at the moment. For those of you that do not know Joe Hill or his work, he is Stephen King’s eldest son who writes novels, short stories, and comic books. Like his famous father, he writes horror and dark fantasy. He also writes science fiction whereas King writes supernatural fiction and an array of other genres within the realm of the macabre. As for Garth Nix, he is an Australian author who writes fantasy novels for children and young adults. Mr. Monday is the first book in The Keys to the Kingdom series that recounts the adventures of twelve-year old Arthur Penhaligon as he navigates his role as the Rightful Heir of the House.

Rug 1At the beginning of the week, I purchased another table for my scrapbook room. This allowed me to move my Cricut machine to its own table. And, I can still have a friend come over to scrapbook with me. This also led me down the rabbit hole of looking at rugs for my room. The hubster and I spent a couple of hours driving to various stores around Hammond looking at rugs. Unfortunately, they were either, too large, too small, too expensive, or not the right color. Later that evening, while watching a video posted by a member of the group Craft Room Organization with JenniferMaker on Facebook, I noticed her lovely rug on the floor of her crafting space. I inquired as to where she Rug 2purchased it (Wayfair), and my mission to find a rug continued. By Tuesday afternoon, I tagged 41 rugs that had potential. Andrew dropped by and helped me narrow my choices down to eight rugs. I asked the hubster for his opinion and settled on four choices. I would make a decision the following day. I ordered both a rug and a rug pad on Wednesday. The rug pad was delivered Friday, and the actual rug was delivered on Saturday. I am beyond pleased with both items.

Overall, our staycation was wonderful. We did have a couple of disappointments. The part needed to repair my hubby’s truck was not available like he was originally told, so the dealership had to keep his truck. We are not really sure when he will get it back. The silver lining is the dealership provided him with a rental truck at no charge until his truck is repaired. We also did not receive the best news from Sonic’s dermatologist. Sonic’s perianal fistulas have resurfaced. And, the doctor is concerned that Sonic’s thyroid is not working properly; therefore, he ordered a blood test to check out his thyroid. The silver lining is the perianal fistulas situation has been caught early. Sonic’s oral medication has been increased, and we will continue keeping his anal area as clean and dry as possible. Hopefully, we will hear something soon about his bloodwork.

GrapefruitsSome other highlights during our week off that gave me happiness boosts:

  •  Eating boiled crawfish with our neighbors
  •  Barry making progress on the utility room
  •  Seeing my friend Michelle when picking up the Girl Scout cookies that I ordered
  •  Lunch with my parents
  •  Bathing the big dogs (finally had a day warm enough and without rain)
  •  Driving around town in Son #1’s beautiful, black Mustang (he’s in Singapore)
  •  Working on Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook
  •  Fried oysters, a stuffed artichoke, Cajun crawfish pasta
  •  Watching anime (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) with Andrew
  •  Picking the remaining grapefruits off my grapefruit tree

Dear reader, I must admit that the biggest happiness boost of all this week was owning my time. Having time off to relax, recharge, and reflect has been joyful even with the stumbling blocks we had to maneuver around this week. As we march into a new month and through the season of Lent, let’s be grateful for those moments of respite from the daily grind and make a point of carving out time for reflection and renewal. Rejoice, for our new month also brings daylight saving time, and that dear reader is cause for celebration. Happiness!

“Taking time off will help you spend time better.” ~ Julian Hall

 

 

 

 

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It is time for me to buckle up my seatbelt for this week’s wild ride. It’s finally here…TECH WEEK! My castmates and I have five days of rehearsal left until our play opens on Friday, November 1st. At this point, I can only imagine how this week will play out since I have never experienced tech week as an actor. Right now, I am fired up and ready to perform!

NaNoWriMoThere is more exciting news to announce today. Not only is November 1st the opening night of my play, but it is also the beginning of NaNoWriMo. And yesterday, I signed up to participate for the first time this November (#18 on my 19 for 2019 list). Of course, when I included this item on my list for 2019, I had no earthly idea that I would be performing in a play. I am currently in the prepping stage. I probably should have started prepping back in September with the NaNo Prep 101 Workshop. Nonetheless, I am excited and will do the best that I can to write a novel with at least 50,000 words in it by the end of November.

Another wonderful opportunity that I’m taking advantage of starts on November 4th. Deepak Chopra is offering another meditation experience called The Path of Empowerment. And, it’s free! I’m already signed up and encourage you, dear reader, to sign up as well.

As for my weight loss journey (#4 on my 19 for 2019), I have temporarily stalled this week. I have not lost any more weight, but I also have not gained any weight back. In addition, I have not been eating enough veggies which I think is contributing to bathroom issues. Thankfully, I am drinking enough water, and I am avoiding added sugar most days. I confess that I did eat a chocolate chip cookie at lunch on Fun Fair Friday and a mini chocolate pie (compliments of my mother-in-law) last night after dinner. I anticipate this week (with it being tech week) may be a challenge; however, I need to figure out another way to deal with the stress besides eating junk food.

In Other News:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I am reading The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen. I have always enjoyed Joel Osteen’s work whether it be a book, a podcast episode, or a televised event. I love his positivity. This book is about the way you speak about yourself and how it can determine your destiny. Even though I try hard to be upbeat and positive the majority of the time, I am guilty of allowing negative self-talk to creep into my narrative and expressing negative feelings towards certain situations or circumstances. Osteen’s message is all about the attitude and the gratitude. For me, I need to work on having more patience and eliminating the complaining while I’m waiting. I need to focus on being me and not get distracted by others. I have so much I want to see, do, and experience in the second chapter of my life. I have to truly believe my time is coming, be intentional in my pursuits, and practice gratitude for the blessings that I have received and continue to receive daily. I AM BLESSED! Those three words are the beginning of the declarations I want to make a reality.

Today is the start of a wonderful week for me, dear reader. I hope it is for you, as well. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to in the next few weeks. Heck, tomorrow, I have the day off of work and get to take my amazing friend Michelle out for lunch. I haven’t seen her in ages, and I am thrilled we get to spend some time together. Happiness!

“One voice will point out that you’ve reached your limits. You’ve gone as far as you can. You don’t have what it takes. The other voice is clear and matter-of-fact: “You are well able. You can do all things through Christ. Your best days are still out in front of you.” Now, here’s the beauty. You get to choose which voice comes to life.” ~ Joel Osteen

 

 

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Sesame StreetGood morning! Today is a most terrific day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the air conditioner is running, and I got Sesame Street stamps from the post office yesterday.  Happiness boost! It is also the birthday of one of my dearest friends on the planet…the fabulous Michelle. How fitting that I bought Sesame Street stamps the day before the celebration of her birth! Sesame Street is one of the many popular shows that airs on PBS.

WYES crew

Kat, Michelle, & Tiffany @ WYES-TV

Michelle and I met at WYES-TV (PBS) many, many moons ago, and we have been friends ever since. I’m grateful that she is a part of my life. Happy Birthday, my friend!

I am immensely enjoying my SUMMER! This summer has been about learning, growing, healing, committing, recharging, and loving life. It is not lost on me that I am blessed to have this time off. Having this time to myself has allowed me to invest in myself and set goals for my future. I was diagnosed with tennis elbow in June. I’ve been able to go to occupational therapy twice a week to try and fix this issue. My big toe is completely healed from the fall I had last month. My acting goals are falling into place, and my singing is improving. I hired a handyman this week to paint the utility room and the office in my house. I’m in the process of purging each room and closet in our house of all the unnecessary stuff. For me, a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind. Without sounding too dramatic, it is holding me back from living my best life.

Since I will be hanging around the house this week while the rooms are being painted, I plan to get some scrapbooking done. I’m still working on Andrew’s Ireland trip. My summer break is slowly coming to an end, so I want to make the most of the last couple of weeks before I have to report back to school. What have you been up to this summer, dear reader? I hope you have had the chance to invest in yourself. Happiness!

“Friend something better than chocolate ice cream… Maybe friend somebody you give up last cookie for.” ~ Cookie Monster

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Thankful I am definitely headed toward one of the busiest weeks of the summer. The week will consist of health/wellness appointments, work meetings, voice/acting classes, a concert, and my annual scrapbook convention with my girlfriends. What is a girl to do? Celebrate with gratitude! I am so very thankful to have the opportunities to take care of myself, stretch myself (classes), and rejuvenate myself. I am so very thankful for moments to be creative and explore my potential.

While my summer break seems to be passing by rather quickly, it has been wonderful. Andrew had Orientation this past week at SLU and is officially registered for fall classes. I have spent a fair amount of time preparing for my scrapbook convention by organizing layouts, ordering pictures, and buying supplies. I have also been prepping scenes weekly for my Saturday audition class and regularly practicing my song for my weekly voice lesson. Sprinkle in some reading, tv/movies, and other enjoyable events and I’d say I am blessed.

The only activity that would make my summer perfect is exercise which I should be able to incorporate starting the week of June 24th. I had a little accident this past Monday. I slipped on the step getting out of the tub, fell hard on the floor (ceramic tile), and bruised my big toe (right foot) really badly. At first, I thought I broke it along with my knee. I could barely walk. I consulted with Dr. Shelly (my BFF) and opted to ice it and take some Aleve. Thankfully, it was just bruised. I am so very thankful that I did not break any bones.

Before signing off, let’s not forget that today is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day Blessings to my sweet Daddy, my hubby, my godfather, my uncles, my cousins, my brother-in-laws, my friends who are fathers, my friends’ fathers, new fathers, priests, all the fathers who have earned their angel wings, and all the men that have stepped up to fulfill the role of father. Hats off to YOU!

It’s time to bid you adieu for today, dear reader. I hope you are having an equally wonderful summer. If you seem to be having some unusually busy days or weeks, try stepping back and appreciating the opportunity to be involved in the tasks or events that you have scheduled. It may help approaching those moments seem a little less daunting. Happiness!

“The thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kat 2Yesterday morning, I set up a Google Photo account (#3 on my 18 for 2018 list) to help me win the constant battle I have with my iPhone over storage. Setting the account up was effortless. What I find praiseworthy about opening this account is I can access my photos on my computer which will make ordering photos for my scrapbooking projects super easy. I still need to explore all of the features this account has to offer. One ability I hope I have is uploading photos directly from my account to my blog or to social media. I’ll have to play with it. I’m not tech savvy, so figuring this out on my own is kind of exciting.

In Other News:

I’m in the early stages of planning my 50th birthday party. I have a date (January 12th)! I had so much fun at my 40th birthday party that I thought it would be fun to do it again for my 50th. I believe I have the most AWESOME group of friends who bring a great deal of love, laughter, and joy to my life, and I cannot imagine a better way to mark this milestone than to spend it with them and my lovely family. After all, I am going to be 1/2 a century old this upcoming year.

My season of sacrifice has officially ended. In fact, it ended on Saturday evening when I left Tiger Stadium after working LSU concessions for the last home game. It has also coincided beautifully with Thanksgiving of which I am blessed to have the whole week off. While I am relieved that this season of sacrifice is over, I am also grateful for the experiences it afforded me these past few months. It makes me more appreciative for the restorative benefits that down time has provided me the last few days.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader! I hope you can carve out some time this week to relax and reflect on your blessings amidst the cooking, eating, football watching, and  shopping. Thank you for your continued readership of my blog; I consider you a blessing and appreciate your ongoing encouragement and support. Happiness!

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~ W. T. Purkiser

 

 

 

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The sights and sounds of the waking day are incredible. 16196-illustration-of-a-hot-cup-of-coffee-pv[1]On my front porch relaxing in a rocking chair, I embraced the new day by watching the sun peeking through the trees while squirrels scampered across the lawn and birds hopped about looking for breakfast; listening to the chattering of the birds; smelling the fresh air; feeling the coolness of the morning air, and tasting the smooth richness of coffee. All five of my senses were fully engaged at that moment in full communion with the new day. Bliss! At that moment, fully PRESENT, I felt bliss. And, a sense of gratitude washed over me for the opportunity to appreciate the stillness, the beauty, and the absence of time. No place to be right away or a strict schedule to follow is my idea of the perfect way to start a new day.

Generally, my day begins in the darkness of early morning with no interaction with the outside world until Andrew and I make our daily drive to school. The natural world is not the focus (unless it is raining) in the car; it is each other. We are no longer at the same school; therefore, we talk the entire time we are in the car while listening to music. Upbeat, alternative music like the Violent Femmes, The Cure, or Twenty-One Pilots. In a different context, our morning drive is a perfect way to start a new day. It sets the tone for what each of us will face for the next few hours. Therefore, the mornings where I can linger and greet the sunrise are appreciated differently and are not taken for granted because they are a rare treat. Mornings like today are a reminder to slow down, admire nature’s beauty, and practice self-care.

It is amazing that today is the last day of January. It is also my younger sister’s 44th birthday. Happy Birthday, Rachel! January has provided me with a terrific start towards the changes I want to make this year. February offers me some exciting opportunities, as well as an entire week off from my day job. I registered for Danielle LaPorte’s free Fire Starter Sessions Audio Course and joined the Fire Starters Sessions group on Facebook. I had purchased the book back in the spring of 2012; however, I was not ready for the message. If all this course provides me with is the inspiration to pick up the momentum, it will be worth the time. I also registered for two Blogging University courses through WordPress: Writing 201: Finding Your Story (February 1-26) and Blogging 101: Zero to Hero (February 8-26). If it gets me writing daily, it will be worth the time.

What are your plans for February, dearest reader? Hopefully, it will include opportunities for self-care and a little fun. Until we meet again, embrace your day with an open heart. Happiness!

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” ~ W. H. Sheldon

 

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Well, I must say there will be NO blogging outside today. IMG_0368It is FREEZING this morning! Instead, I am sitting comfortably with Tooty (aka Comet, my dog) near the fireplace enjoying a warm fire courtesy of my hubby. Merci, beaucoup!

Gratitude! This simple, yet powerful word, is one of the keys that will help me find “inner peace and harmony” this year. Since the beginning of the year, two simple practices each day have already helped me make an attitude adjustment: reading Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have every morning and writing in my gratitude journal every evening. They are the bookends of my day. Even in the midst of trials and tribulations, we can always find something to be grateful for in our lives. Sometimes, it is the trial or tribulation.

Nepo’s book is allowing me to examine my thoughts and feelings more closely. It sets the tone of my day. Sometimes, the passage seems like it was written specifically for me while other days it is simply a dose of inspiration. I am no longer dragging myself out of bed thinking about how tired I am and calculating how many hours until I sleep again. Each new day is full of possibilities, opportunities, and…yes challenges. I am blessed to have that new day and can share it with some amazing people. I might also have to share it with some annoying people, as well; however, the beauty of interacting with the annoying people is that it makes you appreciate the amazing people in your life that much more. There is always a silver lining, folks!

My gratitude journal is allowing me to complain less about the annoying people (kidding) and focus less on the negative interpretation of the day. It is all about perception and attitude. I, you, we…all have a choice about how we approach a situation. This does not mean we can never be unhappy, angry, or disappointed. We have to acknowledge those feelings, but not dwell on them to the point that our lives become a miserable cycle of negativity. My gratitude journal for any given day may include being grateful for a hot shower or that aggravating student in 6th period. I know that not everyone on this planet can enjoy a hot shower. I do not want to take that gift for granted. And, that aggravating student makes me appreciate my own children more.

Clearly, there will be days that we classify in the “stink” category. Embrace them for what they are, build a bridge, get over it, and wait for the blessing. Negativity will block the blessing from appearing; however, gratitude will allow it to appear. Enjoy this freezing cold day, dear readers, and be grateful that at least the sun is shining! Happiness!

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

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Kat @ 47

Happy Birthday to ME! Today, 47 years ago, I arrived on the planet. Even though I had to work today, I had a wonderful birthday. I received emails, texts, Facebook messages, birthday cards in the mail, phone calls, as well as hugs, kisses, and well wishes. My sister and her family even sang “Happy Birthday” to me over the phone. All day I have felt the love, and I am extremely grateful. I have some amazing family, friends, co-workers, and students.

Andrew and I took a celebratory picture early this morning; hence, the half-opened eyes. I opted for Raising Cane’s for dinner. Simple! All I plan on doing for the rest of the evening is READ! I desperately want to finish Duma Key by Stephen King. I only have forty pages left. Therefore, dear readers, I bid thee a good-night! Happiness!

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

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What a week! A brand new job, evening meetings, Halloween, Wine Auction, and a garage sale set the stage for a busy, but exciting week. Before I even get started, I must express how grateful I am for the gift of my new job as secretary at St. Margaret Church. I officially started on Tuesday, and trained with my friend for the remainder of the week. She starts her new job Monday, so I’m on my own tomorrow, and the next day, and forever; however, I’m ready to tackle my new responsibilities. Happiness!

Today was the day I planned to go shopping for new clothes for work. Simple! Not so simple for me…person who hates to shop. I had my plan for the day all mapped out. Get up early and go run/walk, shower, eat breakfast, grocery shop at Wal-Mart, unload groceries, and then go shopping for clothes. Halt! My plan did NOT factor in rain. I despise grocery shopping, and I despise it even more in the rain. Thus, I didn’t get to Wal-Mart until much later. By the time I returned home to unload the groceries, my hubby and Andrew were back from their Boy Scout adventure in Pensacola. They spent the weekend at the Air Show. No problem. Since it was getting late, Andrew and I decided to go to J.C. Penney so I could buy at least one pair of pants, and maybe a shirt. Afterwards, we planned to go to BAM where I could blog and Andrew could read. Armed with my ten-dollar coupon and high expectations, we went our merry way.

Needless to say, I failed on my first shopping trip since losing weight. I got so overwhelmed that I ended up handing my coupon to an old lady who was shopping in the old lady section, and Andrew and I walked out at power walking speed. I thought it would be so easy. Nope! First of all, I really do not know what size I should be wearing. When I started my weight loss journey, I was wearing a size 10. I’m still wearing a size 10. Thank goodness for belts. Today, I selected size 6 pants. Too big! I selected a medium shirt. Too big! I tried coordinating tops and bottoms, and felt like I had lost all sense of color coordination. I started feeling immense pressure to find something…anything, but ended up with nothing. I’ve never been a fashionista; however, at one time I did dress for success. Unfortunately, the last few years I really didn’t have to spend the time thinking about what to wear. At HGS, I was allowed to wear scrubs. At home, I basically live in jeans and a t-shirt. I never really had to think about clothes. Now, I have to buy a whole new wardrobe for two reasons: weight loss and new job. My friends say this is a good reason to go shopping, but I disagree. So, I have decided to continue wearing my baggy clothes until my BFF from 3rd grade can go shopping with me. I did try to call her earlier today to see if she would go with me; however, she was not home. So, I sit at BAM wallowing in despair at how inexperienced I am at clothes shopping. Enough of that!

Mission Weight Loss Update

Despite the busy week, I did manage to keep up with my cardio workouts. I did NO strength training all week. This is okay for one week. Remember Hurricane Isaac? This week I will be back on track since I will be back to a routine. Amen! My shinsplints are gone. I did run one day with the compression socks; however, I did not like them. They didn’t seem to make any difference. I added a text box to my sidebar that will contain my run/walk schedule for the week. Today, I weighed in at 129 pounds. I am down two pounds from last week. I have four more pounds to go until I reach my goal. I am hoping I’ll hit 125 pounds in the next four weeks.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As we go into a new week, continue to be grateful for the many blessings we receive daily.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” 
~ G. K. Chesterton

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I consider myself a person with a gratitude attitude. Most evenings before going to bed, I write at least five things I am grateful for in my life. I have a dear friend who hires me twice a year (or more if work is available) for freelance work. I make a point of taking her to lunch once or twice during the year to express my gratitude. I’m pretty good at writing thank you notes for gifts I receive from family, friends, and students. And, if my family and I receive excellent service at a restaurant, we make a point to show our gratitude with a great tip and a compliment to the manager about the service. I believe these actions can make an impact…maybe small, maybe big.

Recently, while waiting for my car to be fixed, I thought about extending my gratitude to people who help me in other capacities. Our society tends to focus on complaining more than complimenting. When I taught 2nd grade, I use to tell my students to try to receive compliments rather than complaints. Every time my students received a compliment from me or from another adult, I would write a letter on the board until it spelled out COMPLIMENT. Once the word was complete, my students voted on their reward. It could be an extra 15-minute recess or switching places with another student to sit by a friend for the day.  Even as a teacher, I received more complaints than compliments. The compliments I did receive whether in person or in writing, I cherished because they were rare. In fact, I use to keep happy notes from parents or administration in my desk, so on bad days when things were not going well, I would stop and reread those notes. They provided comfort. I try to write happy notes to my son’s teachers to pay it forward for the ones I received over the years.

Granted, people are paid to provide a service or do a job; however, people like to be acknowledged when they do something well or go above and beyond their normal duties. So, I have decided to express my gratitude to those people who sincerely make an effort to make my life more enjoyable and more manageable.

First, I have to thank YOU, my reader. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate you allowing me to enter your inbox periodically to share whatever I have to say about my life. You are NOT taken for granted. I consider you a member of my tribe, and I am grateful to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read what I have written. One day, I will figure out another way to express the gratitude I feel towards YOU, my reader. For NOW…Thank You

Next, I will mail out three thank you cards tomorrow morning. One will go to Rae, the service advisor at Toyota. One will go to James, the service tech at Toyota. Both of these gentlemen helped get my car back on the road. I love my little car. It is important to me, as well as my family. It is necessary for me to have it running properly. The last card will go to the owners of an athletic shoe store where I buy running shoes. I have been a customer since I was in high school. The store is about an hour away from where I live, but well worth the drive. The last time I went to the store, they did not have the shoes I needed in my size. First time this ever happened. Henry agreed to order the shoes and mail them to me at no charge. Happiness! 

So, the next time someone does something to make your life a little easier or even a little happier, demonstrate a gratitude attitude. I bet it will bring some positive energy into your life.

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” ~ Randy Pausch

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