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SongofJoy57's BlogJust the plain doings of everyday living
St. Paddy's Day 2012
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:17 pm
Sorry that I did not get here yesterday to wish everyone a great St Patrick's Day. I spent the morning cleaning out the planters of leaves and acorns. I broke back the old stems from my chrysanthemums, and will pinch them back through the end of July so they will get bushy. Then the first of August, I will allow them to bloom through the fall. One has come back pretty well, but a lot of weeds had choked out the ones in the other planter. I pulled out the weeds, and will play wait and see. If it does not come back, I will buy another one to replace it in late summer. I have enjoyed them for several years now.
Robb and I plowed up a 10 X 4 plot, and ran into a termite nest. I raked out all the weeds, and allow it to lay fallow for a few days. I have not decided what I want to plant there yet. We moved two small crepe myrtle saplings, and did some more pruning. I guess we worked about 4 hours.
Then I came in, and showered all the dirt off. I made homemade chicken salad, and served beets and 4 bean salad with it. I tried to watch tv, fell asleep, and then got up, and went to the grocery store. I made chili for supper with ground turkey breasts. We had a bowl of it, and then I cleaned up the kitchen. The day was over before I knew it, and I fell asleep again as I tried to read. I guess I should try sitting up if I plan to do any serious read or TV viewing. Good Day All!
Irish Blessings to My Gardenstewbies! ( photo / image / picture from SongofJoy57's Garden )
Last edited: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:49 pm
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Serendipity: The Spice of Life!
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:02 am
"Serendipity" Yes, that is definitely what it was! The online definition says: "the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident."
But back in 1968, I am sure Miss Delores McDaniel did not have that in mind when she doled out the punishment to her group of unruly fifth graders right as the bell rang for us to be dismissed! We were all given a poem to each memorize and recite before we could leave. "How unfair," my young mind taunted!
My stomach hurt as I enviously watched the shadow of a crow on the parchment windowshade as it winged it's way past. But after a couple of tries I got my poem under my belt, and nervously recited in front of the class, and was hastily dismissed.
On my walk home, I relished in my accomplishment, although I did not know quite what William Wordsworth was babbling about. But I kept the poem tucked back in a secret crevice of childhood memory, and in adulthood the poem spoke volumes of how Mr. Wordsworth felt, and how observant he was of human nature. As I aged it gradually became my favorite poem.
My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold
by William Wordsworth
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold ( photo / image / picture from SongofJoy57's Garden )
A Rainbow in the Sky ( photo / image / picture from SongofJoy57's Garden )
Last edited: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:49 am
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Playing Catch Up
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:42 pm
I have not blogged in a while, and decided to make an entry today, since I am off. I hope I can keep it up. I have missed everyone, and pop in and out every once in a while to read blog entries, and see what is going on with all my old stewbie friends, but I have had so many drastic changes in the last year in a half. My job at the college was eliminated, I worked for two different departments of social services, then my old position was recreated, so I came back to the college this past June. My youngest child got his own place, so I have had to adjust to an empty nest. I totaled my car during a heavy downpour of sleet and snow on March 1st,2009, and broke my wrist in 2 places,but Praise God, it mended nicely. We sign final paperwork on an old brick ranch style house we are buying, so we will be moving soon. The house needs a lot of work, but we have good neighbors, and the views are nice. It is at the foot of Baker's Mountain which is the highest peak in Catawba County. I am from further up in the real mountains, so this is as close as I can get, and still have decent employment. Today I plan to dig up some of my plants down here, and replant them up there. (The move is only three miles up the mountain.) I also hope to clean, and line some of my cupboards. I have always rented, so this is a new experience for me to have my own piece of land. I am having family over on Easter Sunday, and will bake a ham. I haven't really decided what else I am fixing. I hope everyone is having a very blessed Easter weekend. I will hush for now.
Loads of Love, Song
The New Homestead ( photo / image / picture from SongofJoy57's Garden )
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Apple Butter Making Time in the Mountains
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:16 pm
My Grandsons help make apple butter. ( photo / image / picture from SongofJoy57's Garden )
A few weeks ago we took the grandsons to Boone, NC to the annual apple festival. It was a beautiful day for it, and the air was fragrant with the smells of cooking apple butter, and kettle corn.
Last edited: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:17 pm
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Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Looking at Sjoerd's post on potatoes reminded me of how far I have come since I was a teenager. I was a bookworm, and hated doing ANYTHING outside. While my sister and brothers worked in the garden with my parents . . . I would stay inside cooking and cleaning.
I remember one Saturday when it was just my mama and I at home, and she enlisted me to assist her "gathering potatoes," at least that is how I heard it . . . being the halflistening and reluctant teenager that I was. She directed me to my row, while she worked on the row above me, telling me that after I finished just toss the plant to the side.
Finally we arrived at the end of our rows . . . she proudly displayed her bucket filled with little red marble shaped potatoes. I looked with dismay down into my own empty bucket stating, "Well I didn't find a one on the vines to pick." Boy . . . she was ready to wring my neck, as the only thing I had done was search the vines like I was picking tomatoes, and the lopped them off at ground level . . . tossing them to the side.
She told me that she was "fed up to the gills" with me, and sent me off into the house to wash breakfast dishes, while she went back, and dug up that whole row to find the missing potatoes.
I think about days like that when my youngest son, David, who is 19 years old now, doesn't pay a bit of attention to advice I give him . . . I turned out okay . . . so there is hope for him also.
This picture was made about 17 years ago . . .David and my Aunt Etta's first mess of potatoes grown from a few oversprouting potatoes Grandma had forgotten about under her sink. We have come along way . . . hopefully he will too!!
Last edited: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:04 pm
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St. Pete . . . March 26th through April 1st
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 pm
The daytime of life so swiftly is passing . . . .
Today is rainy and gloomy . . .
so this will be a good catch up day with my blog . . .
Highlights from vacation week in St. Petersburg, Florida included a dinner cruise on a riverboat. A couple from England had just gotten married, and we joined in celebrating their reception.
[The drinks were wonderful . . . and the dinner was so-so.
I really enjoyed going downtown for the farmer's market. It runs from March until May . . . as it is too hot to be out shopping in the morning sun after this.
Downtown St Petersburg
Lunch at the hotdog stand . . . YUM
Flowering plants for sale. . .
[Fresh Fruits and Veggies anyone???? (Too bad we were flying home . . . as our local farmer's market does not start until May!)
[Having fun in the vintage clothing section of an antique store . . . 5 stories tall . . . and full of goodies!!!!
Gangway . . .Arggggg . . . walk the plank, matey . . .
[I did buy a two volume book about Abraham Lincoln written by Carl Sandburg, a book of Irish Proverbs for Adam, my eldest son, and an 1870 almanac . . .
Notice the ship on the horizon . . .
Sunset arrives as everyone stops their activity to watch. . .
View from the tiki bar . . .
Vernon (Robb's dad) and I enjoying the warm night on the beach.
The monkey guards the beach from a coconut tree . . . complete with coconuts!!!
All in all . . . we had a nice week . . . glad to get home . . . after all, I am a North Carolina girl . . .
New & Easy Drink Recipe:
Malibu Coconut rum and pineapple juice over ice . . . YUM!
Last edited: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:10 pm
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Changing of the Guard
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:45 pm
Hope you are having a time of it! We are having a beautiful day here at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as I sit with my first cup of java, and gaze out the window. After building fires and bringing in wood about every night this old gal is ready. My pansies are still steadily bloomin, and have done me proud over the winter months...standin' there like dependable soldiers, guardin' my dooryard.
The camilla bush gave her brief show, and has shamelessly left her bloomers around her ankles(LOL)
And day before yesterday, I looked out at the forsythia bush (which is big as a small sedan) and it was putting on the dog. A few springs ago I remember looking out at the forsythia and right in the middle was a bright red male cardinal. Wished I would have had film in my camera that spring, but it was a vision I shall not forget, as long as I live. . .
Speaking of visions . . .the view of the sunrise shall soon depart . . . as the trees are starting to bud. They shall soon flesh out, and I will no longer be able to see the sunrise from my picture window. That . . . I will miss as Spring approaches. But Spring comes in, and winter departs . . . like the changing of the guard. After the rains we had this week . . . there is new growth coming . . . the hostas are sprouting up, and it wont be long til they will fill out . . .
The daffodils opened week before last, cousin Juli and I took my grandson, Erik, out to an old house to pick a bunch there. . .Hey! It was better than trick-or-treatin' I suppose, for after it was over, he looked up at me, and said, " Come on Mee-Maw, let's go to another house and pick some more!"
Just like Grandma and her iris in bloom. Takin' me out in her yard, and sayin', "Grandmother is plantin' these flowers for you." And Granddaddy Barnes was already out there planting small saplings just for my little brother Mike,(I know, I heard him say it to Mike!) who was toddling along beside Granddaddy, (as fast as those little short legs would allow him...) excited to be spending time with Granddaddy. (In fact, I don't know who was more excited, Granddaddy or Mike! LOL!) Some of those trees are still standing over on North Gaither Avenue, here in Catawba County! Mike reminds me more of my Granddaddy Barnes than anyone I know! I need to go and pay him a visit. I miss my time with Debbie and him. I bet Debbie has already got flowers blooming in her yard. All of my brothers and their wives have beautiful yards every year. I need to make some time.
Time...that's one thing we grandparents have that parents sometimes don't (because they sometimes are too preoccupied just figuring out how to make ends meet, or other issues.) I wonder if Erik will remember standing in that sea of yellow with his grandmother. And when I look at the Cana Lilies later in summer . . . I see Aunt Colleen, and the way those bright red flowers lined her drive, welcoming me in for a cup of coffee, and how we would sit at her dining room table, and talk. It makes me smile now to think how grownup she made me feel! She was 32, and I just thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. (Secretly, I hoped I would look that pretty when I was that old. Heck! I didn't even look that good then . . .gawky, long skinny legged teenager that I was. Dumb & forlorn too ..oblivious to the fact that the years fly, and going through the 30s is our 'prettiest' age ever, right girls?)
Then I think of bein' pregnant with Adam, and how my dear, thoughtful mama sent me orange blossoms in March, all pressed, and wrapped in waxed paper...My! how wonderful the fragrance was. A bit of sunshine in an otherwise cold hard winter. Makes me think of all the folks, way down there in Florida, and I imagine them feelin' the warmth of the same sun I am seein' through my window on this fine spring day . . .except it is closer, and warmer, and I imagine the birds are chirping wildly, as some of them prepare for their trip back to NC.
Speakin' of NC, and Mama's gift of orange blossoms . . . that was a hard winter up here in NC. Our furnace stayed torn up, and as hard as the landlord tried he could not keep it running. The heater core in our Nova was froze up, and we didn't have money for antifreeze, just 25 cent bottles of rubbin' alcohol to put in the radiator every other night. We'd bring our battery in the house, and wrap it in a towel, just to ensure that the car would start for work every day. Then to top it off, I worked beside a loadin' dock hammering dowels in wood with an lady who had hot flashes, and every 10 minutes or so she would go, and yank that door up, and announce, "I'm havin' a hot flash! She was fanning wildly, as I shivered. (Now, I can't say I would blame her LOL!) I never thawed out until Spring that year. That was my hardest winter in Life...1981.
Our time is the greatest gift we can give anyone. Get out there, and make a memory for someone you love today. We make time for the things we want to do, and excuses for the things we don't. (the first cliche!)
Yes, I think of good memories, and how precious they are. Make the most of them folks, cause until we meet on the other side, that is the closest thing we have to heaven.
Well, the sun is rising high in the sky, and I've bent your ear longer than I intended to. Take care, enjoy your day, and remember I love you. Family is precious. I love my family here at Gardenstew.
Love You Dearly! SoJ
Last edited: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:14 pm
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The Praises of Spring (Two weeks early of course!)
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:35 pm
Savior crucified after
Pilate washed his hands.
Resurrection of the lamb.
I am filled with joy & gratitude.
Growth, and the promise of life everlasting!
(This is my first attempt at an acrostic poem.)
Hydrangea. Last year we had a very hard frost after spring began, and then later the drought. I had one bloom on my bush, so this year I am going to be vigilant about wrapping it if there are any hard frosts which come. (I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida on March 26th . . . so I hope nothing occurs while I am gone. Do you think it would be okay to wrap the bush in a sheet for a week?)
Iris. My Irises did not bloom either, and I feel that the drought affected them also. I pray that we continue to get rain regularly.
Camillia. She is profuse with blooms . . . and has been blooming since the weekend before we got our snow!
Moneyplant. This is a bienniel, and will actually bloom this year. I love their deep purple flowers. My maternal grandmother used their seed stalks in a vase in the fall and winter. They are so beautiful, and also have several other names including silver dollar plant, honesty, or Judas' penny.
Forsythia/Yellowbells. This is my promise bush . . . I can rely on it to tell me that spring is on her way!
Miss Violet's very first bloom. She is sitting in a window where she can catch the morning sun.
Hyacinth. My eldest son gave me this last Mother's Day. It was pink. Will it eventually turn? I guess we will have to wait and see.
Tiger Lilies. I transplanted a couple of the ones located by my backdoor. They are lovely, but their beauty is fleeting . . . only lasting for a day.
Sedum. This plant is also reliable . . . giving something year round. I love to snip the dried flower stalks, and bring in for the winter.
Columbine. I bought these seeds from a gift shop in the airport years ago when I visited Denver, Colorado for a social work conference.
Phlox. Their heady fragrance is absolutely to die for.
Daffodils. I have seen scads of them in bloom, but I live at the foot of Baker's Mountain (the tallest peak in Catawba County,) so I will have late blooming narcissium. I love to put them in a special crystal vase in a sunny window . . . once they bloom. (Maybe I will be blessed with a special Easter arrangement!)
Here I am in March 2008 . . . a mother & a grandmother remembering my mother & my grandmothers on this morning. I learned to love flowers from these sturdy women who worked diligently, raised large families of children, suffered many hardships and tragedies, and loved men who eventually found their primary adoration in the bottle. Nevermind that husbands were not always kind & loving, children were not always obedient & praiseworthy, life was not always steady & predictable. These strong women could nurture their plantings, and could always wait in eager anticipation of a glorious outcome . . . breathtakingly beautiful, the blooms & blossoms show with all their splendor.
My maternal grandmother, whose ancestors came mainly from the rugged hills of the Black Forest in Germany, and from Switzerland, loved pansies . . . their little velvety splotched faces in royal colors always brightened her porch. I remember that she hollowed a tree stump out in her yard, and even planted a patch of them in the middle of it. . .a rustic flower pot that one does not have to worry that the winds may upset it from its perch. I remember their little pansy heads bobbing in the mountain breeze in joyous approval of their earthen nest. To gently touch them was like touching a piece of velvet . . . more fragile, so it must be done just so-so . . . easy now . . came a loving warning.
She loved the birds also . . . and always got excited at the sight of a cardinal. She passed her excitement down to my mother, and she passed it on to me. My mama shooed away the blue jay, giving the cardinal and snowbirds preference to her cold biscuit crumbs. In years later, when I was an adult, she gave my sister a cardinal figurine, and a blue jay to me. I hung my head in shame, for I have always been the one with a hot temper, although I have prayed forgiveness, and have struggled to tone down in my older years. After my mother's death, I shared this as the only time my mother had really done something hurtful to me. My cousin quickly answered, "Don't you know that the blue jay is very protective over its young?" "Oh . . . I hadn't thought of that, " I answered, as I considered the death of my first son at the age of two, and how many years it took me to step back, and have faith that God would not allow tragedy to happen to the double portion . . . two more sons . . . again. Then I felt a spiritual connection to my sweet angel mama who always knew me best.
My paternal grandmother's ancestors were from Ireland. She loved her old fashioned irises . . . pale lavender in color, and the delicate fragrance, and also roses. She wrote a poem for me one time entitled, "God is in a Rose Garden More Than Anywhere I Know." In it she compared the buds to newborns, and the older blooms releasing their petals as the elderly. It was so beautiful, and I carried it for most of my childhood, until it was destroyed from wear. I wish I still had it . . . I remember her spidery handwriting, and her unique hand in spelling . . . as she gave up school at a young age, to a more noble calling to farmwork, and later marriage & childrearing.
My mother and grandmothers have passed on to heaven. As I work in my yard, I imagine them watching me from above. Whispering among themselves, the welling up of pride in their hearts, that I place utmost value in what each of them passed down through the generations by teaching me not necessarily by words, but by example . . .
The best thing to release stress is the activity of gardening.
To dig and run our bare fingers through the soil. The warmth from the morning sun wisping through the dappled shade, and warming the soil, and the damp cool soil contrasting as we go a little deeper down into the rich soil.
The seed surrenders all that it has, and all that it is to the soil and elements. We gain our strength as we imagine this capsule of life as it soaks up all the ground has to offer. I compare this act of nature to our surrender to God as we go through a crisis . . . He has provided all that He requires for us to bloom, and realize our purpose.
At the end of the day after toiling in the soil . . . moving, bending, walking, carrying, digging . . . it is so rewarding to peel off sweaty dirty clothes, and soak in a tub of water, with a cake of sweet scented soap, and look out the door at all of the hard work we have accomplished . . . the payoff is so lasting and rewarding. We are blessed again and again!
Walking through the garden in the early morning with a cup of coffee, and taking inventory of who has bloomed to reveal their glory overnight is very rewarding. The birds in their morning revelry provide the background music as we step purposefully about the land . . . shouting out the promise of beauty from decay & death . . . something to set the sights upon . . . to ease the journey . . . do you see just beyond the next ridge? Three staunch women await with open arms, and eager anticipation. I step carefully, and set my sights beyond.
Last edited: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:41 am
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Mornin' Glory!!! It is Snowing in the South . . .
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:29 am
How do people in the southern region of the United States behave when they get a little snow?
Well . . . we vere off the normal track of life. . .
Our sleep is usually broken from getting up during the night to see if the white stuff has started coming down yet . . .
and once it arrives we get out and take pictures . . . mainly because it is such a rare event for most regions . . . We just go hog wild with excitement!!!!!
There might as well be money falling out of the sky!!! That is just how excited and happy we get.
We haven't had any snow here in about two or more years . . . Can you just imagine???? It will be so good for our water table as we are in a drought, and that slow melt, and soak will be quite good for my irises which did not bloom last year. YAY!!! . . .
Now . . . I have my Christmas tree lights plugged in,
(No . . . I have not taken my tree down yet . . . some people decorate early . . . I guess this year I am undecorating late . . . lol)
and my oodles of noodles simmering hot, and waiting for me . . .
and right now in this moment (3:23 AM, to be exact) I am a kid again . . . no responsibilities . . . no worries . . . now, if I can just find some cowboys on TV I will be in my element . . . more later . . .
Well it is 4:45 AM, and it is still snowing to beat the band. There was nothing too good to watch on the tv, so I am in the kitchen making a pot of homemade chili beans for later in the day. I will sleep later when the excitement wears off. I know for a fact that we will not have classes today . . . (I work for a local community college.) We are supposed to get sleet and freezing rain after the snow stops.
A lot of people think that southern folks just do not know how to drive in the snow. While that may be true to a certain extent, I read that this is not entirely so. Our ground temperature is warm, so when it does snow, a very thin layer of ice forms as the snow falls. This base makes for some very treacherous driving. That plus all of the people who refuse to slow down or follow too close make it very dangerous for the rest of us.
Last edited: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:19 am
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Christmas Season 2007
Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:49 am
Right after Thanksgiving there is so much to do to prepare for Christmas, but it is still my favorite time of the year. I greet the dawn of late November,
and hit the ground running.
First on my list is to select arrangements for my parents' and little sister's graves. I try to do this as early as I can because it is very important to me,and if my time gets eaten up . . . I would rather put off something else . . .
I had to return to the store to select more flowers as I did not have quite enough. While I was there I tried to find some inexpensive baskets to paint.
I have decided to try something that I have never done before. I plan to make some Christmas baskets for my loved ones . . . and put a personal touch to
them. I ordered a basket from a well known company, and thought I would come out better just making my own. I found that baskets cannot be made for what you can buy them . . . costwise, but my baskets could be customized to suit each family . . . my brother who gardens found a Farmer's Almanac along with his goodies . . . (Here are a couple . . . I made eight different ones.)
my cousin who helps her husband roof houses found an ample bottle of shea butter with her treats . . . and I had so much fun tucking little surprises in them. And the quality and variety of the puny store bought one could not compare to the ones that I took time to make. So there is a trade-off here.
[Gwenyth Olivia- - my grandniece waving,
"Bye Auntie Nee-Nee!"
I visited each family, and delivered the baskets.
It took more time, but they were genuinely pleased, and I had a ball making Russian tea, baking cookies, shopping for discounts on things like Belgium chocolate, Swedish cookies, Scottish Shortbread (I found this at Dollar General!), French milled soap, etc. . . . We can only dream of going somewhere out of the country, and to get something that is made elsewhere is a luxury with us . . . except China maybe . . .lol! Next year I will make a mental reminder to shop all during the year for nonperishables, as not to make such a deep dent in my purse at one time.
I brought my grand-nieces and grand-nephews little gifts, and also took my aunt around to visit her great grandchildren too. I volunteered to assist with the decorating for our Christmas luncheon at work. I stood on a concrete floor for five hours making eight centerpieces, and my feet swelled up so bad that I could not attend the party. (I am still wearing tennis shoes and dearfoam boots most of the time.) At this point I am starting to feel that I may have over extended myself. (At this point . . . my tree is up, and the lights are on it . . . but it is NOT decorated.) I am also getting my Christmas cards out later than I usually do. I have done my shopping and wrapping, but that is it. Well, it is time to decorate . . .
After all . . . it is Christmas eve . . . I am told that in the days of old that is when people did their decorating. . . (I try to justify the reason this has not been accomplished.)
The grands enjoyed the gag gifts that I placed in their stockings better than anything . . . except maybe candy.
Well, with all the hoopla crammed into 4 tiny little weeks, we just had our family get together with brothers and their families on Saturday. It was fun, and good to see everyone. I got broiled tilapia (as I have gained 10 more pounds since Thanksgiving!) Here is my newest grand-niece, Alle Kate, at the restaurant:
And now here it is, mid January, and my decorations are still up. I had a little visitor at my kitchen window telling me that I need to take down the decorations and get with the program!
It startled me, as my camilia "bush" does not usually bloom until February . . . (Could we be getting an early spring??? These girls could be confused with the warmer weather that we had at the beginning of last week . . .) Look how full of buds!!!
Anyhow, here on January 14th, 2008 . . . I am wishing each and everyone of you a blessed New Year!
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