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Monday, April 04, 2011

I have two black eyes today. I went to the doctor to see about having a cyst removed in the corner of my eye. He said, "let's do it now," so we did. And another on the other eyelid. I'm hoping that I look a little more photogenic by the weekend because lots of pictures are usually taken at these conferences!

Today Mom would have turned 84. I planted a few flowers in a pot on the balcony in remembrance her birthday. There wasn't much of a selection at the market yet - the real planting season for balcony blooms starts in a few weeks. I did get some forget-me-nots and some "bellis" - little pink flowers. (Will post a pic when they've gotten a bit bushier).

The good thing is that both will survive even if we have another hard frost. In Germany, the farmers keep track of the name days of the "Ice Saints." Saint Sophie is the last of them on May 15. The gardener's "rule" in southern Germany is that you don't plant your summer flowers outdoors until after "Cold Sophie" (Kalte Sophie) because that's when the danger of a hard frost is past. (I wonder if I ever told Mom about the "Ice Saints"? When we had a garden in Illinois, she bought the Farmer's Almanac every year and also followed a lot of the tips and proverbs in it. I've always wondered how much of the info was really helpful and how much was superstition!)

Posting some April Fitness Goals just for the sake of accountability:

Track, track, track!
Get to the gym twice a week
1000 Cardio minutes
3x3 ST challenge
End the month having lost SOMETHING (preferably not my mind!)

Happy Monday, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 4/19/2011 12:28PM

    I'll have to tell my poodle Sophie about this!

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SJG1953 4/6/2011 1:11AM

    Michelle, I hope you eyes heal quickly. So nice to remember your mom with growing flowers. Blessings and prayers for you, Shirley

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ANGORA4 4/5/2011 10:01PM

    I just love Bellis, we call them English daisy here. They are indeed so hardy, and those beautiful little daisies on such a dainty little plant. My SIL has them all through her lawn, an even smaller version than the garden ones, so dainty and beautiful. Mom loved the red bellis, they were her favorites. The forget me nots grew in mom's lawn, I always mowed around them. I started some from cuttings, they're rooted now and ready to come home.

Glad the doctor was able to remove the cysts so quickly, hoping the raccoon eyes heal quickly!

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CMPEARL 4/5/2011 3:25PM

    emoticon...look forward to seeing your memorial flowers blooming

Take care of those eyes and good luck with your goals...I love our 3x3 ST challenge!!! emoticon emoticon

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HOMEBUNNY 4/5/2011 9:32AM

    That was a nice way to remember your mom's birthday. I look forward to seeing pictures of the flowers. Where did you used to live in Illinois? I have lived in Illinois all of my life. Have a safe trip & an enjoyable time at your conference!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/4/2011 7:46PM

    Hope your eyes return to normal soon and your flowers blossom and fill your home with sweet scent.

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CTEMPLE 4/4/2011 5:11PM

    Oh Michelle too bad about the raccoon look for the conference, can you cover it with make up. Glad you planted the little meteoroid garden. Very sad for you.
Getting over the flu, going to work today and it's cool, what a joy!

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MEGA_MILES 4/4/2011 4:22PM

    The difference between doctors and patients is, for the patient, whatever is going on is usually a big event in their life. For the doctor, it's just another day at the office and compared to his patient last month with the who knows what, your case is pretty run of the mill.

In the mean time you have a couple black eyes.

I hope you heal fast and the cysts don't return.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 4/4/2011 3:25PM

    Great goals for the month ahead, best wishes in achieving them all. And what a sweet way to honor your mom by planting flowers.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 4/4/2011 3:06PM

    Don'tcha just love when a doc says something like "well let's just lop that sucker off" as though it's a walk in the park...? Easy enough for THEM!! :-)

Hope the eyes clear soon!

Kudos to the flowers!


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NEWLIBRARIAN 4/4/2011 12:27PM

    I like the last goal too. Big smile
Glad you found a pleasing way to commemorate your mom's bday.

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PLAINJANELLEN 4/4/2011 10:52AM

    "End the month having lost SOMETHING (preferably not my mind!)"

Now that's a goal we can all identify with.. {g}

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Countdown to Prague

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Yes, I'm going to Prague for a missions conference, leaving Thursday and returning on Sunday. I've been there once before - a beautiful city! My last trip was just after the iron curtain came down and there were lots of renovations going on. I imagine it will be even busier and more beautiful than it was back then. We won't have a lot of time between meetings and services, but it looks like our hotel is downtown and close to the sites. Certainly there'll be time to stroll the bridge and visit the city square. And I'm looking forward to good times of worship and fellowship at the conference itself.

I'll be taking the train directly from the town where I live and connecting to an express bus from Nuremberg. The price of the trip is about 1/4 of what it would cost to fly. It ends up being about the same amount of travel time, too, because I don't have to get to the airport which is an hour away. Still I expect the 4-hour bus trip from Nuremberg to be an adventure. I haven't been a big fan of bus travel since my days touring around with the opera when I first came to Germany 26 years ago.

The man who sold me my ticket suggested I think of it this way - I'm being paid 50 euros (about $65) an hour for sitting on the bus instead of the plane!

On the weight loss front - I haven't. I seem to start out the week pretty well, but my all-day Thursday course day seems to throw me off. I'll miss this week's class and the last week of the course is the 14th, so I won't have that excuse any more :)

There's an emotional reason behind the not-so-mindful eating, too. Mom's 84th birthday would have been this coming Monday. She was really into celebrating birthdays and holidays, so it's hard to have them go by without her. However, I got inspired this morning by another Sparker, KARLYNCANDOIT. She just recently lost her husband and decided to plant a garden in his honor. Here's a link to her blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

So I thought I would spruce up my balcony with a few blooms in honor of Mom who loved flowers and gardening. Petunias were a favorite of hers, but it's a little too early for them. Will see what I can find at the market today. It's going to be warm and sunny again tomorrow so that will be a fun way to spend some time tomorrow afternoon before my LSD run.

P.S. Actually, most of my runs are LSD, especially the "S" part!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 4/5/2011 11:30AM

    I hope you have a great time on your trip.

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FRANNIEDID 4/5/2011 11:04AM

    It is hard to remember parents we have lost but it gets much easier. I don't think better is the right word, just easier. I miss my dad terribly after 7 years, I love the idea of a garden for your mother, that is something my mother would love. She is still with me just in TX which is a little far. We have gardened together since I was a little girl and we still talk about our gardens and what we are planting.

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CMPEARL 4/4/2011 10:19AM

    Sounds like the flowers will be a beautiful way to remember your Mom...my aunt did the same thing when my cousin lost her baby to SIDS and she has a magnificent patch of blooms in her angel garden. emoticon

Also wishing you safe and fabulous travels...having never left U.S. soil save for my honeymoon to Jamaica, I will have to live vicariously through my friends! Take care!!

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SJG1953 4/3/2011 1:23AM

    Michelle, I'm praying for a safe trip for you and also that God would be close to you and bless you through your mom's birthday. I know it's hard to be without them especially during special days and holidays. Hugs, Shirley

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CTEMPLE 4/3/2011 12:13AM

    Dear M. I hope the little balcony garden soothes the pain a bit. The hole in the soul is so big!
Have a good time in Prague and hope you have time to think about a strategy for your difficult Thursdays!

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 12:13:41 AM

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DDOORN 4/2/2011 11:07PM

    Wow...Prague! Many of my family have visited Prague...grandfather came over to the USA from Prague when he was 11.

Honor your mother through every way that makes sense to you and feels right in your heart. Love the flowers idea. But don't stop there! I'm sure there are other ways to celebrate and treasure your memories of your mother.


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    Hi Michele -- I wish you safe travels :-)

And I wish you peace as your Mom's birthday approaches. Planting flowers or doing something you would have enjoyed together is a nice way to honor her memory. It sounds like your Mom truly embraced life's celebrations.

My Mom's birthday would have been this coming Wednesday. She died one week before her 71st birthday 3 years ago.... and while I think of her and miss her every day, this "week" is always a little harder.... and so I am gentler with myself -- I am suggesting that you do the same, be gentle with yourself and allow your pace to slow down a bit.

Will be thinking of you (and your Dad).......


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CATLADY_56 4/2/2011 7:16PM

    this sounds like a really cool trip! Have fun!

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ANGORA4 4/2/2011 4:18PM

    Absolutely wonderful! Have a blessed journey. I love the idea of thinking of it as earning money while you sit on the bus! I used to take quilt squares with me to handsew on the long bus rides. I'd never take the time to do them otherwise, they took very little space, and it made the time fly by. I now have all the blocks for a quilt done, just from riding on the bus! (These trips were 5 hours each way).

I love the idea of planting flowers in memory, I picked some for mom, too!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/2/2011 12:59PM

    Have a wonderful trip. I've heard that Prague is wonderful -- I hope to see it some day.

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NEWNAC304 4/2/2011 10:59AM

    What a wonderful idea to plant flowers in your mom's memory. Have a safe trip.

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MIDORITHOMAS 4/2/2011 8:41AM

    Have a wonderful and safe trip.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

I had two terrible days of eating on Thursday and Friday. Kind of fell into a hole after turning in my term paper on Wednesday. Soooo tired and when that happens my eating tends to get out of control. Kept up my 30 minutes of daily exercise with walking, so I still managed to lose a pound.

Back to it today. Running tomorrow. Just keeping accountable!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 4/1/2011 6:06AM

    Dear Michelle I hope you're feeling better. I 'm super busy and have realised that I have a mild flu as well.
Back Soon

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VIVIANJ5 3/21/2011 7:21AM

    Hey Michelle, hang in there! Spring has finally sprung, and as usual, you have very high expectations for yourself (with school and eating and exercise and life...), so it's to be expected that there will be "less-good" days. Take deep breaths and enjoy the nicer weather! I'm assuming you're getting some of the sun and the warmer temps that we are having here in The Hague?

Take care!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/20/2011 7:21PM

    It's funny how the end of a big project can bring a sense of let down. It seems to take a while to recoup from them.

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DDOORN 3/20/2011 9:06AM

    Congrats on nailing it as quickly as you did!


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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 3/20/2011 12:02AM

    Two days, not three or four or more. Way to bring it out into the open and face the issue. Congrats on getting back on track, Michelle!

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/19/2011 8:03PM

    I can just imagine the release from stress you must have felt when that paper went in. No wonder your adrenalin left in a rush. So pleased that you lost a pound, woohoo. emoticon on getting your paper in and emoticon on recognising your body's needs.

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FRANNIEDID 3/19/2011 6:14PM

    I find that being extra tired makes me eat way more too. Hang in there, you lost a pound and exercised!!!

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CMPEARL 3/19/2011 3:04PM

    Way to lose that pound and keep the exercise going! At least you know you have that streak, and it sounds like with some rest you will bounce back to healthy eating too!
Enjoy your Saturday!!

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NEWNAC304 3/19/2011 12:11PM

    It's so easy to get off track. Good for you for getting back on track right away and congrats on losing a pound!

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JANETELIZABETH1 3/19/2011 11:11AM

    Sorry to hear that Michelle...in my experience it's almost a reaction to relief/stress, if that makes sense?
Sounds like you need some downtime, glad to hear that your resolve is back to high today!!

..1lb down is GREAT!!!

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BELTONWALKER67 3/19/2011 10:06AM

    You are doing an amazing in your journey. I, too, seek too much comfort foods when I am overly tired. We know our demons and will continue to work against them. Have a great day.

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ANGORA4 3/19/2011 9:18AM

    Good for you!
To be able to recognize that stress and/or lack of sleep sets off that whole cortisol mess, with the carb cravings, etc., is a huge issue. We can beat it when we realize what the beast is we're dealing with. And keeping up with the exercise as well. No wonder you've mastered this journey!

So great to have a project that size done and out of the way, woo hoo! And wishing you much success on the grade as well!

Comment edited on: 3/19/2011 9:19:38 AM

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Hi, Trackers - Did You Miss Me?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's been 6 weeks since I blogged here. A quick run-down: I took a two-week intensive course toward my degree in January, then took off for Florida for two weeks. While in Florida, I attended a missions conference, had another bout with bronchitis, spent a week visiting Ddad, then returned to Germany.

I hit the ground running with a busy work schedule the first week. That fortunately slacked off a bit so that I could devote some time to finishing my term paper for the course. This overlapped with starting a new course that runs seven weeks but only meets one day a week. My goal, for those who haven't heard yet, is to finish my M.Ed.Min. this year. If God grants me a financial miracle, I'll finish my last course during the week of my 60th birthday.

I've gained weight and (UGH!) even bought a pair of size 6 slacks while is was in FL because all my others, though wearable, were becoming uncomfortably tight. I hate making that kind of concession, but hey, it's about being honest with oneself and facing the music!

Today is the first day back tracking. My trackers are public and if you look today you'll see why I gained. Sweets! Comfort food! Travel and restaurant eating! Making excuses! That stops now and I'm going to become best friends with the Spark trackers again. The numbers game can be time-consuming and frustrating at times, but I know it's what works for me.

That's the Cliff notes version of the past couple of months. I'll be posting more often again, as my fourth Sparkiversary (April 21) approaches !

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVE2RUN4LIFE 3/17/2011 11:31PM

    Welcome back!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/15/2011 4:19AM

    I did miss you! I'm glad you are back. Sounds like you have been very busy and will continue to be for a while. That's awesome that you consistently track after 4 years with Sparkpeople.

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CTEMPLE 3/14/2011 10:18PM

    Great to hear from you dear M. , I'm catching up with SP.

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FRANNIEDID 3/14/2011 4:45PM

    It is hard to watch food when you are so busy, we have to just keep encouraging each other!!! Thank goodness for SP!

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HOMEBUNNY 3/14/2011 10:17AM

    Glad you are back & before you know it you will be back in the swing of things & they weight will be dropping off of you!

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NEWNAC304 3/13/2011 10:53PM

    Welcome back! I haven't been tracking like I should lately either. I'm starting fresh tomorrow.

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DDOORN 3/13/2011 8:26AM

    Yep, have been falling in and out of the Nutrition tracking...ugh!


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ANGORA4 3/12/2011 10:37PM

    Ah, yes, the dreaded trackers. So necessary if we want to figure out what went wrong. It's amazing how much comfort food you can consume, and not even realize it. Sure glad Spark has the trackers available, they illumine our eating habits as nothing else can.

Glad you're back safely, congrats on all the hard coursework, keep us posted on your progress!

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SJG1953 3/12/2011 10:05PM

    Michelle, I did miss your blogs. I'm sorry you've had to battle the bronchitis again. Sounds like you are seriously getting things back together though.
I believe you will be successful in reaching your goals! Love and prayers, Shirley

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FORMYDARLINGS 3/12/2011 9:01PM

    You've had a BUSY few weeks. I was delighted to hear from you again and while it is frustrating to gain, believe me I know, it is something that you can change. Put those fat ( ha ha) pants on and get out walking when you can. In no time at all you'll be giving them to someone else.



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TRYINGHARD1948 3/12/2011 8:02PM

    It's just a delight to have you back Michelle, hugs.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 3/12/2011 7:45PM

    It's definitely important to be honest with ourselves, and I'm glad you shared it with the rest of us, too. I didn't go up a jean size, but last year, I had to buy new roomier jeans. They said they were the same size, but I had to buy them because the rest I had weren't fitting comfortably. They are still my go-to pants, and I'm looking forward to donating them. Like you said, the numbers game is time-consuming and frustrating, but I just had to finally come to terms that the extra weight wasn't coming off, and something needed to be done. Now, I look it it as a daily accomplishment, to get to my goals and record faithfully. One of my goals upon reaching the first official day of Spring is to have an at least 6 day a week tracking habit, and as that time approaches, I'm at 7 days. I want it to be an entrenched habit. So, I'm there with you, Michelle, honestly recording what we're fueling (sometimes stuffing) our bodies with. Here's to both of us being able to get rid of those bigger jeans! emoticon

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VIVIANJ5 3/12/2011 12:15PM

    Good to have you back, Michelle! You've had a crazy few weeks, and having bronchitis would knock anyone back a little bit...

You've been gentle with yourself, which is the most important, and now that you're back on track, you'll start seeing progress again, I'm sure!

And thanks for the comment on MY blog; while my week hasn't been busy, it's been emotional, but I've muddled through with lots of Skype calls to my family in NY. Connecting always helps!

Take care.

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BELTONWALKER67 3/12/2011 9:57AM

    Thank you! Just the boost I needed to start tracking again! Happy Sparking.

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Right in the Middle

Sunday, January 30, 2011

...of a very busy time. I just finished a week of a course in Cross-Cultural Leadership Development and have three more days of classes ahead. Then one day to pack before I fly to Florida on Friday.

I hope y'all will hang in there with me if I don't respond to posts and such. I'm going to be on a bit of a Spark Break during the next week or so, probably just checking in to track food and exercise --- if that! Not sure if I'll be able to post much while in Florida either. Will need to play it by ear. I'll be keeping my Spark going, just need to focus on studies and travel prep!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/31/2011 10:28AM

    Florida! Lucky you! I have a couple of buddies down that way I'd love to visit sometime...one in Ocala, the other in Naples. And then there's the Withlacoochee Trail to consider cycling...! :-)


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CMPEARL 1/31/2011 10:00AM

    Safe travels...we'll be here when you have the time to be more involved emoticon

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and thanks for your well wishes to me and my dog Harry. We're both doing better today!

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SJG1953 1/31/2011 3:51AM

    Praying for traveling mercies for you my friend. Do what you need to do and take care of yourself. Blessings, Shirley

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GODLYMOM_5 1/31/2011 12:23AM

    Have a wonderful time!


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BANDMAMAPC 1/30/2011 10:30PM

    Have a wonderful trip to Florida Michelle. Soak up the sun and get a good tan. You deserve a break. emoticon emoticon

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CTEMPLE 1/30/2011 5:51PM

    Have a great trip and time with your dad!

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JANETELIZABETH1 1/30/2011 4:41PM

    Sounds like a busy time Michelle...I know you'll be looking forward to getting to Florida!!

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JANETELIZABETH1 1/30/2011 4:41PM

    Sounds like a busy time Michelle...I know you'll be looking forward to getting to Florida!!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/30/2011 2:44PM

    Have fun in Florida...wish I was there. LOL!

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NEWNAC304 1/30/2011 1:21PM

    We'll be here for you when you get back. Have a safe trip.

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