Thrifting? Yay or Nay?

Are you a thrift store junkie? Do you roam the aisles looking for that gem that no one else saw? Today is National Secondhand Clothes Day, so I pose the question to you…do you thrift?

I love thrift stores and secondhand clothes shops. You never know what you are going to find. It’s almost like being in a bookstore to me, I can spend hours looking at all the things. I hit every area, from clothes to books to housewares. I don’t like a lot of kitsch in my home, but if I find the perfect thing for me, I will buy it.

Secondhand stores appeal to me as a writer. I get a glimpse into people’s lives by what they have bought and discarded. I don’t know the actual person who got rid of a certain item, but my head fills up with stories about why they bought an item to begin with and then why they got rid of it. (I live in the land of make believe, Mr. Rogers would be proud, lol)

When I enter a thrift store, I make a beeline to the handbag section. I am convinced that one of these days I will find, in the midst of all the junk, a designer bag that is worth a lot of money. I am not a label watcher by nature, but if a Chanel or a Prada ended up in the mix of things in the store, I am buying it. I have a knockoff black backpack with a Prada label on it that I bought at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet that I love and still carry, but I would be extremely happy to discover the real thing on a thrifting outing.

I have a friend that goes secondhand shopping on a weekly basis and posts his finds on Facebook. He is really into aloha shirts, albums…well, just about anything that catches his eye. He makes a day of it and has found some really cool things. I will have to go with him one of these days.

When I first moved to Hawaii, I was walking around exploring my neighborhood and came across Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts. It is a well-known store that I had read about in a guidebook before I moved here. I walked in and was in heaven. 1000’s of Aloha shirts plus a lot of Hawaiian memorabilia. In the back of the store, in a basket on the floor, I saw an almost brand-new Roxy backpack. It was black and the pattern on the front was perfect. I picked it up for $20. I used that thing for years. It finally faded to a greyish color and started to fall apart. I was sad to see it go.

I will always go rooting through bins and shelves whenever a thrift store comes into view. It is the thrill of the hunt that I enjoy, the finding is just the cherry on top. I might have to change my plans today and go check out a store today to celebrate the holiday.

***Question for the comments…Do you like thrift stores and secondhand stores? If you do, what is the best thing you have bought from one? If you don’t, tell me why.

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Watched Anything Good Lately?

Do you find yourself streaming the same movies and television shows you have seen a million times? I am not talking about occasionally coming across an oldie but a goodie that you decide you have to watch because you haven’t seen it forever. I am talking about going through all your streaming services looking for your favorites and just watching them.

I do this all the time. I will rewatch shows over and over again and movies…forget about it, I can’t tell you how many times I have watched “You Got Mail” and “Goodfellas” plus a thousand more. I enjoy them every time I watch them, but I started to think I needed to find something new, at least new to me.

I was on the phone with my sister yesterday, I know…big shocker there, LOL, and I was scrolling through Peacock looking in the all-movie section. There was, of course, a bunch of titles that I had no interest in whatsoever, but I came across four movies that piqued my interest and I saved them to My Stuff so I wouldn’t forget about them.

I sat down and watched one of them after our daily phone call. It was called “The Public” written by, directed by and starring Emilio Estevez. Before I even read the blurb about it, I knew I wanted to watch it, because Emilio has always been a favorite ever since I watched “The Outsiders” in 1983. It also starred Christian Slater and Alec Baldwin, so win, win and win.

I loved this movie. It is about a group of homeless who stage a peaceful protest at the Cincinnati Public Library during a brutal cold front. All the homeless shelters are full, and the library is where they spend their days, so it is the perfect choice. They tell the supervisor who they are friendly with (Emilio) they are staying and what happens after that is touching and funny. This was a perfect movie. It made me laugh, it made me think and it changed my way of thinking about the homeless. I would recommend watching it.

Next on the list to watch is “California Typewriter”. It is a documentary about celebrities who still use typewriters as a muse and about one of the last remaining typewriter repair shops in America. I love the clickety clack sound of the typewriter, but I have never been good at using one, I think I got a C in that class in high school. There are interviews with Sam Shepard and Tom Hanks. I am thinking about watching it today. You know me, I like things that are a little out of the norm and I think this might be a perfect choice.

So, let me ask you, have you seen any good movies lately? They don’t have to be brand new, just new to you. There are millions of things available to watch all over the place these days and I have decided to keep trying to find new things to view. That does not mean that I still won’t sit down and watch a favorite from time to time. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is currently streaming and of course I will watch it, but I would like to see and learn new things too. In the immortal words of Jeff Spicoli, “Learning about Cuba and having some food.” Translation for me? Watching new to me movies and eating some popcorn.

***Question for the comments…What is a movie you have watched recently that you have never seen before? Would you recommend it?

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Last Days of Summer

It is two weeks until Labor Day and that means we are in the last days of summer. Did you have a great summer? What did you do? Tell me about one fun thing you did over the summer months. This is the time to start winding down and getting ready for fall and back to school.

When we were growing up this was the time to slowly start going to bed earlier, so we would be back on track when it was time for school to start. It was when we would be looking over our clothes and backpacks to see what we needed new for the year. My mom would start going over the school supply list and getting everything we needed.

When we were in Catholic School it meant a trip to the uniform store to make sure I had enough jumpers, peter pan collared shirts and sweaters. I was so happy the year I was finally old enough to switch from a jumper to a skirt…although, I did look pretty cute in a jumper, lol. And of course, the year couldn’t start until I got my new saddle shoes.

In High School I went to a private Lutheran School, so no uniforms, but we did have a dress code. That meant multiple trips to the mall to find just the right outfits so I would fit in, but still have my own style. This was the 80’s and I had to make sure I had just enough neon and rubber bracelets on to feel like me, but not too much that I got called into the office for dress code violations. Although that did happen on a weekly basis because I never wore a belt, and my shirt was always untucked. I am a rebel, lol.

But these last two weeks we always tried to fit so much summer fun in, enough to hold us over till the next year. I always tried to get my mom to let me get daily ice cream treats from the ice cream truck. It wasn’t daily, but she did let me have more than she usually did. We spent more time outside with friends and tried to squeeze everything we could out of it. It was no longer come home when the streetlights come on, our parents called us home to try to get us to bed earlier.

I wanted more grilled foods eaten outside on the backyard picnic table. I wanted to make sure I had my fill of tomato sandwiches on white bread with mayo before the good tomatoes were all gone for the summer. One last watermelon slice, one last scoop of potato salad, one last ear of corn on the cobb.

I am a girl that lives for the seasons. Every season has its own timing and traditions to go with it and I like to experience them all. Certain things are meant for certain times, and I will not rush them. To me, each season should be embraced fully. It reminds me of the line from “Dead Poets Society” when they read from Henry David Thoreau, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” I want to enjoy all the things each season is known for, and I don’t want to miss out on anything.

I have had a great summer. We have had some good food, hung out with our friends and I felt perfectly content. But that doesn’t mean I am done with summer. With two weeks left to go, I plan on hitting the beach again, having more shave ice and sitting under the stars laughing with my friends and listening to music. And because I am an adult, I don’t have to listen for my parents calling me home…I can stay up as late as I want to and not miss a thing.

***Question for the comments…What is your favorite part of summer? Tell me one thing you did this summer that you loved.

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A Trip Around Da Island

Yesterday was statehood day here in Hawaii. It celebrates the day Hawaii became the 50th state in the union. Since Neil and James were off of work for the holiday, we grabbed our friend Alissa and took off around the island for the day. How do you celebrate a random holiday?

The day started off with James and Alissa picking us up and then it was off to breakfast for some much-needed coffee. There is a great place down the street from our condo named Anna Millers. This place has been around since 1973 and when you walk in you are entering a time warp. The girls’ uniforms remind you of the swiss miss girl, but their food is incredible. After filling up on blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs (my breakfast), we set off down the road.

We drove and listened to the radio and talked story. We stopped and took pictures (see the selfie above…I am the cheesy one in the middle, front and center) and drove some more. Then it was time to stop and swim. We went to one of our favorite spots, Malaekahana beach and bobbed around in the water for a while until I got stung on the finger by a Portuguese man o’ war. I was sitting there, minding my own business, when I felt this excruciating pain on my thumb. I looked down to see what I thought was a string…nope. I tried to get it off of me and it got my index finger as well. Let me tell you something, the pain was intense. But we got out of the water and Neil took some leaf off of a plant (not aloe), crunched it up and I rubbed it over both fingers. it took about an hour for the pain to go away. This morning I am fine.

After the swim it was time for a little lunch. Earlier in the day we had passed my favorite shrimp place, Romy’s, and Alissa was in the mood for some garlic shrimp, so we went. Neil never likes to stop when just the two of us go around the island because of the line, but after we waited yesterday, and he tasted how great it was, he said he would wait in line in the future…good news for me…Love that place. The top middle picture in the collage is the shrimp plate. What’s on top of the shrimp you ask? A ton of garlic and butter…yummy.

We wanted to stop for shave ice at another favorite place, Coconut Girls and Boys, but they were closed. This woman, Tracey, makes her own coconut cream condensed milk to go on top of the shave ice and it is heavenly. We try to stop every time we pass her stand, hopefully we will get back to it soon.

We headed back into town because Alissa had an appointment to see an apartment and we tagged along. We did have time to stop at Waiola’s Shave Ice for a quick treat. You may know the name of this place if you ever watched the “new” Hawaii 5-0. It was owned by one of the reoccurring characters. I got a small creamsicle with vanilla ice cream. It could have used a little bit more syrup, but it was really good.

After that, it was home to wash all the sand out of my hair and rest. It was a perfect day, even with the stupid man ‘o war sting. One of my favorite things is to cruise around the island. Good music on, laughing and carrying on, stopping here and there to swim and eat or even shop a little. It’s hard to get the four of us together because of schedules, but we do have a tentative date set for Veteran’s Day in November. It is always easier to grab the boys on a state holiday when they are off work than on a weekend. I hope we do exactly the same thing with 2 exceptions…we get to go to Coconut Girls and Boys, and I don’t get stung.

***Question for the comments…What do you do on those random holidays when you are off work? Do you plan to hang out with friends or do you use it as a day to stay home and relax?

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Mail Order Was the Best

Back before the days of online ordering, there was another way to order things and have them delivered without having to go to the store. It was convenient and it was fun, but the amount of paper that came through the door was insane. I am talking about the mail order catalog.

Stores would send you little booklets filled with their merchandise. You could get anything from clothing to candles to food to furniture delivered. Just like we do today, but it wasn’t done by computer. You could call in your order and pay by credit card or you could actually fill out the order slip in the back of the catalog and either put down your credit card number or actually write a check and put it in the envelope.

I loved getting catalogs in the mail. I could sit for hours with my L.L. Bean, Land’s End and Spiegel catalogs planning outfits that I never ordered. It’s funny, I was on the Neiman Marcus website yesterday looking at handbags with my sister on the phone. We were talking about handbags and then she told me what website she was on, and I hopped on too. Back in the day we would probably have fought over who got to hold the catalog.

I remember my first experiences with catalogs came from the Sears and Robuck catalog and the big Christmas Toys R Us book that came to my parents. I don’t know why, but I was fascinated with looking at the Sears book. I know why I loved the Toys R Us guide…I was circled all the things I wanted for Christmas. That early fascination just continued to grow as I got older.

The problem is when you signed up for a catalog you would be bombarded with 10 others you had never seen before. Just like businesses sell your email today, back then they sold your address. And you couldn’t just click the unsubscribe button, you had to actually call the company and tell them to knock it off. And you also ended up with multiple copies of the same fall catalog or spring issue. Like I said, there was a lot of paper coming through the door.

Today it is easier to shop from home. You look at a website, place your order with a few quick hits on the keyboard and a few days later it arrives on your doorstep. But there was something great about coming home and checking the mail and seeing a catalog in the pile. It was always the first thing looked at and it was saved to look at again and again until the next one was delivered. It was something special.

Today is National Mail Order Catalog Day…I’m serious, it’s a thing. I am asking you what your favorite catalog was that you used to get in the mail. Was it Eddie Bauer? Talbots? Hickory Farms at Christmas? J.C. Penny’s? It takes me back to a simpler time; a time when getting a piece of mail with merchandise in it seemed special. Yes, I know I am drowning in nostalgia, I’m good with that. I also hope I get my Ulta Flyer in the mail today…that would be the icing on the cake.

***Question for the comments…Did you like the mail order catalogs? What was your favorite catalog to receive in the mail?

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What’s in Your bag?

Ever since I got my first bookbag I have loved bags. I love them in all shapes, sizes and colors. I have bags that barely hold my keys all the way up to being able to fit my whole life in them. I was switching out my bag the other day and I started to wonder…what do other people carry in their bags. So, I am asking you, what do you keep in your handbag or tote bag or fanny pack?

I currently have about 12 bags in various shapes and sizes, which is a low number for me. I have had a lot more than that, but I now try to live a downsized life. 12 might seem like a lot for someone trying to minimalize, but they all get used at some point based on where I am going and what my needs are.

My go to bag is still a backpack for every day. I can throw my wallet in it along with a notebook. I also find myself now carrying a portable phone charger and headphones, just in case, along with my sunglass case and my other glasses. I should be wearing glasses all the time, but I only bring them out when I need to see something far away. And of course, there is the lipstick. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, just a little eyeshadow and mascara, but I love a pop of color on the lips, so I always have one waiting to be used.

I never go by the trends when buying my bags. I want what I want and if it is not in “season” or the current fashion I don’t really care. I have always had my own style and even more so since moving to the islands. I am a casual girl who lives in shorts and slippahs (flip flops), so there really is no need for an expensive designer bag by Hermes or even Coach. Although Chanel one year did this really cool graffiti style backpack that if I could get my hands on, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I do see a trend of people going back to the fanny pack. Remember those? They clipped around the waist, and it was something I only used when going to the amusement park. We used to make fun of them if you really want to know the truth, but I don’t anymore. Here in Hawaii, I see a lot of men using them. My opinion is that they wear a lot of boardshorts that don’t have pockets in them, so it’s convenient. Some men still clip them at the waist, but I see more people wearing them over the shoulder like in the picture above. Men, let me ask you, do you carry a bag of any kind or are you just a wallet in the back pocket kind of guy?

When I people watch, which I do a lot, the first thing I look at is their bag. I wonder about their lives and what they are carrying around with them all day. I am curious by nature, which is why I am a writer, I guess. This brings me back to the question…what’s in your bag?

***Question for the comments…what kind of bag do you normally carry and what’s in it?

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Rest…Where Does it Come From?

Where do you find rest?

Is it taking a luxurious afternoon nap? Is it eating healthy, exercising and getting good night sleep? Are you sarcastically laughing at me because you don’t know when was the last time you actually rested, and you forgot what that means as you chug yet another cup of coffee or energy drink? I am here to tell you we all need to take the time to rest throughout the week and recharge. Let’s look at some definitions of rest and see what they have to say.

  1. Sleep: we all know this one and we all know we should get between 6-8 hours of it a night to function properly. I know I can survive on 4-5 hours a night with a lot of caffeine in the morning, but is that really beneficial? Nope. My best sleep is about 6-7 hours a night. I operate clear headed and at full steam when I get my proper sleep. How about you? What is your magical amount of sleep?
  2. Freedom from activity or labor: This is simple, but something that rarely happens for most…just lounging around and doing nothing. Are you on the go 24/7? Do you make sure you take some time to just sit back and relax? If not, then make the time. Read a book, play a game, curl up on the couch with a good movie or some music. Our bodies and minds were not meant to be on the go all the time, we need to recharge, or we will just stop (and not in a good way). What is one of your favorite things to do to relax?
  3. A place for resting or lodging: Do you have a special place where you go to rest? Some people have a nice comfy chair they always sit in or maybe they take a nice stroll in the neighborhood, or they like to sit on the porch with a nice beverage. If you don’t have a place like that, I suggest you find one and use it often. Take time every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, your body and mind will thank you.
  4. Peace of mind and spirit: How do you relax your mind and spirit? Do you do yoga? Do you chant? Do you pray? In the bible we read the story of creation, God made the world in 6 days and on the 7th. day…He rested!! Even God knew He needed a break from all the things He just did. How come we have such a hard time finding time to rest?

Rest is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. We need to take the time rest our bodies, minds and spirits daily. I know I need to improve how I rest. Spiritually, I find my rest in God. But so many times I do not do what I know is best for me, which is seeking Him daily. I will take an afternoon nap or just relax with some music or dumb movie…which is great, but I forget about the spiritual part. We need to rest all the parts of our being and that looks different for everyone.

I encourage you this week to look at how you rest your mind, body and spirit. Do a little check-in with yourself. Do you need to up your rest game in one or all areas? It’s okay if you do, we all tend to overlook this at times. Start slow if you haven’t rested in a while, it may take some practice, but pretty soon you will be a champ at resting and everything else will be better because of it.

***Question for the comments…How to take time to rest? What is your favorite thing to do when you know you need to slow down a bit?

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What Am I Waiting For?

I am so full of it sometimes. I help people with their own lives all the time and I am really good at it. I am actually a certified master life coach, but I have yet to start a business. What I am not good at is running my own life sometimes.

We have discussed this before, many times, about how I get myself into some rut and wallow in my own self-pity with a little depression thrown in for good measure and here I am again. The funny thing is I haven’t really been here for a while. It happened a lot before I moved to Hawaii, and I mean a lot, but only a couple of times since being here. But I felt it creeping up on me for some time and now that I have actually realized what is going on I have to ask myself…What would Gidget do?

I have always loved Gidget. Ever since I was a little girl and saw Sally Field on a rerun, I have wanted to live her life. Kinda funny for a self-proclaimed city girl, but it is true. I wanted to have the spunk she had and the adventure. I do have that to a point, I know. I go out and do a lot of things that other people wouldn’t, but I stop just before hitting the mark I want to. Life Coach heal thyself…

I guess I am bringing this up because of my Hawaii anniversary. I moved here wanting to learn how to surf and play on the beach in Waikiki, to learn how to play the ukulele…to live out my Gidget fantasy. I had the idea all formulated in my mind, but then I got scared and didn’t do it and I don’t know why. I had friends willing to teach me, but I always blamed it on my bad knees and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, my knees are bad, but only because I need to lose some weight. All the excuses are my doing and my fault. And I am finally at the point of being able to crawl out of the hole I dug for myself and get moving on the next 10 years of life in Hawaii.

So, how do you get yourself out of a rut and back on track? Take the time to think about what you wanted and why it hasn’t happened yet. Let’s take me and surfing as an example. I love the water, but maybe I am not as strong a swimmer as I used to be. Or maybe I am afraid to try because I feel my upper body strength needs work so I can actually paddle out to the lineup. Ok, these are valid points (and how I feel for real), but they can be dealt with by actually swimming more and doing surf exercises for upper body.

Get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down what is holding you back. Jot down everything, even if you think it is silly and take an honest look at each item. Then decide what you can do to overcome each objection. We can do just about anything we set out minds to; we just have to make the decision that our dreams are more powerful than out fears.

If you are in a holding pattern with something you always wanted to do, don’t let the fear continue to be in charge. I am going to start today towards my surfing dream. It is time for me to get back into healthier eating habits and working out. I am going to swim more to become stronger in that area and do yoga, so my body is more flexible when I do stand up on that first wave and ride it in…Gidget would be so proud!!!

***Question for the comments…Have you ever held back from a dream because of fear? How did you overcome it? Do you need help overcoming it now?

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Happy Anniversary to Me!!!!!

10 years ago today I got on a plane and made my way from Philadelphia to Honolulu. I never had Hawaii on my radar as a place to live. I have always been the city girl. Give me tall buildings, the roar of the traffic, a coffee shop on the corner, and some exposed brick in my apartment and I am good to go. I loved going down the shore for vacation, but as a permanent residence…never gave it a thought.

Last year I wrote a blog post about how I decided to make the move here, so I won’t go into that now. You can go back and take a look at it if you want to. Today, I want to just talk about my love for Hawaii and how happy I am to be here. It really is the right place for me, God knew what he was doing when He put the thought in my head.

I was fortunate enough to have a job waiting for me at The Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki, I just needed a place to live and settle in. I remember my first morning here. I got in late on a Friday night, so I just went to sleep and woke up the next morning ready to go. I walked all around Waikiki and saw all the places I had seen on the map. I ended up in a park that was having a health fair and giving away free shave ice. I stood in line and got a small rainbow cone and made my way over to a park bench to watch the waves. I called my sister and told her I was home. She told me I was crazy; I hadn’t even been there for 24 hours. I told her it didn’t matter…I knew.

48 hours after I got on the plane I walked into Hope Chapel Waikiki and my destiny was set. I knew I wanted to get back into church. I had been away for a long time, and it was a good place to meet some nice people. I was greeted right away and introduced to some people. This was the group that has become my core, my Hawaii family. I can’t imagine not knowing these people, at the age of 42 I finally met the love of my life.

I have lived a lot of places in my life and met a lot of people. Other than my family, there have only been two sets of people that I have been close to, my youth group peeps of my teens and early twenties and my Hawaii crowd. I am a social butterfly, but normally I don’t get close, I am close to these people. I have found my place in this world, and I don’t plan on leaving. In fact, I have not been on a plane since I got here. I never felt “island fever”, so I haven’t felt the need to go anywhere, LOL.

I love this island. I love to cruise around, stop to go swim and get a shave ice after a plate lunch. I love hanging out with friends playing music and having a few beers with something to nibble on. Yes, food is a big thing here and the food is great. I am not that adventurous when it comes to trying new things, but I do have a few island favorites. Never in a million years did I think I would eat spam, but I love musubi. I eat rice for breakfast with eggs and Portuguese sausage. My all-time favorite thing is Loco Moco. It’s rice with a hamburger patty with brown gravy all over with an egg on top and a side of macaroni salad. Whenever I try a new place to eat it’s my go to.

There are so many things I could say in my love letter about Hawaii, but the post would be too long. Just know this, I sometimes look around and feel like I have been here all my life and then there are times I look around and I can’t believe I get to live in Hawaii. It is a strange combination of feeling like a long time local but with all the surprise and wonder of being a newbie. I wouldn’t have it any other way…ALOHA

Under Construction

I have decided to change things up a bit in the next few weeks. I have been writing this blog for almost a year now and I feel like I am in a rut. I know that I need to keep a certain weekly pace with the number of posts I write and the time of day I publish, but I feel like I need to shake things up a bit.

I appreciate the ones who read me faithfully and always have a like or a comment and I hope you will continue to do so; I am just ready to try a few more things to see what people like or don’t like. Your feedback will be very helpful.

I am going to try a few different themes, different days, maybe different times for publication. I need to do this to myself every so often, it keeps things interesting. I get bored easily, I admit it, and this keeps things lively. So, please be on the lookout for the notifications of when the blog gets published, don’t always look for it at its normal time.

What’s going to change? I am not quite sure. I know everyone likes a personal story and everyone likes my crazy rants about things, that will still be here, but I am going to add maybe some more flash fiction pieces and other types of articles. Maybe some how-to kind of stuff. I want to write more spiritual things; I know Jesus hasn’t always been a big hit among my readers, but I have some ideas I would like to share, so I hope you will indulge me.

If you have a topic you want to hear about, now is the time to tell me. I want to say Thank You to those who have brought me subjects in the past. I have another one from James I am currently working on and will come out this month. When I am given a topic, I feel like we are having a better conversation, instead of me just talking at you. But no worries if you don’t have a topic in mind…you know I can talk at you all day long, LOL.

That’s it for today, just a heads up as to what the next week or two will look like. I probably will not be posting 4 times a week. I think I will keep it at 3 for now, but you never know, maybe I will get into a daily groove…maybe not…stay tuned.

***Question for the comments…no real questions, just thanks for always being ready for what I dish out. But I always value your questions or comments.

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