one earthly year

 HAPPY EARTH DAY 2011 ~  NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK, NEW COMMITMENT TO BE FOREVER LOVELY!!!

you don’t need to throw something away for it to be lost forever.
take leggings. they came back, right? and i thought they only existed in Madonna’s closet or the local goodwill.  what about trash? does it truly ever go away? does it make it to the place where we never see/smell/touch it again?  what about those clothes that you toss out when they have a teeny hole, and can’t be worn in public anymore. tosstown? uh, no!  why not try to make a rag out of it? new duster? (i am firm believer in dusting, although that doesn’t mean i ACTUALLY dust).
what about making a reusable grocery bag out of your favorite frat shirt.  send me your scraps, and i’ll make a fun scarf out of your lovely patterns and out-dated garbs. what about your books?  donate them to your local library so someone else can enjoy.

and, most importantly, what about our paper and plastic waste? the glossy ads we get in the mail? garbagecantown? uh, try again. RECYCLE those amazing Tweety Bird check order forms, they do not need to take up residence in the landfill, nor in your junk drawer.

now, i am not trying to be a self-righteous person here.  i am just thinking though…if we all decided that we were going to reuse that plastic silverware that came with the taco bell “meat”y gordita meal, we are saving it from going to dumpsville.  and nobody likes dumpsville, except internet dating sites.

so, i was hoping, since this is my one year anniversary post of my little blog that is about being lovely, that we should make a better effort – to laugh and be light, and to WASTE LESS.  i am not lovely always, or forever, or even for a month or week straight.  but, then i decide that having a dance party in the family room to Beethoven IS more important than having no fun at all (read: doing dishes, and yes, eventually they get wershed), and maybe looking like a “weirdo” at work for washing and reusing my plastic utensils a few times is awesome.

i start to remember that even though there is terrible, tragic, unthinkable sadness always happening around me, i do not need to have it be ALL that i think about.  i dream of one day owning a horse (name undetermined); a black and white cow, named Patches; a bison named Faux; and three (unnamed as of yet) dogs; perhaps a rabbit and definitely some chickens, but mostly, i dream of  .  .  .  land. 

but, i won’t really OWN the land you see.  i own my dreams, but my future is not guaranteed, unless i choose to make a BETTER NOW.

the land we see, the land we love, the land from here to there….(insert patriotic flag waving here), it is NOT OURS to OWN.  we live here.  we work the land, but, my friends, we don’t get to invest it in the local credit union and earn interest.  but, we get to see things like this:

 

and being able to see things like this are a PRIVILEGE.  we won’t have this privilege forever, we won’t be seeing these colors for eternity if we throw out “useless” stuff.  we are consumers, i get that.  what i am proposing is we consume what is freely ours to see.  to touch.  to walk around and love.  are you excited about farmer’s markets?  about supporting your local town and reducing the carbons?  about helping everyone, including our beautiful planet?  walk somewhere, ride a bike, skateboard (but wear a helmet y’all), make a piece of art out of something you would’ve tossed.

when was the last time you went for a bike ride?  you felt the wind in your hair and knew that there could be no better feeling than flying along the path to wheeeeeee?

i got a beachcruiser style bike for my birthday, her name is stella, and i couldn’t be more excited to take her EVERYWHERE.  i am planning on decking her out with a mailbox, a basket, a mirror, and bell.

there is a super cool website that i’m going to try in my new town, called freecycle, found at www.freecycle.org.  try it with me, eh? 

waste less, want less, more LOVE to give and more BEAUTY to see

… so, please today, and every day ~ be forever lovely and let’s go! 

a powerful quote about our earth, and it’s care-taking: 

♥ “when the last tree has been cut down, when the last river been poisoned,  when the last fish been caught, and all the air is unsafe to breathe,  only then will we realize we cannot eat money.” ~ Cree Indian Proverb ♥

pictures taken by barbara l. francek and ryan s. lund

maybe it doesn’t…

maybe it doesn’t need to be grand.

maybe it doesn’t need flowers and sugary chocolate (that, let’s face it, is not much chocolate at all, but tastes darn go-oops, stay on point. sorry, su-su-sugar high).

maybe it doesn’t need a plane-writing sky-scraping gi-nourmous-ness to it.

maybe it doesn’t need a tiny little box and an expensive, shiny rock inside.

maybe it doesn’t need candles and mood lighting,

and sparkly, buzz-inducing juice.

maybe it doesn’t need lingerie

(kids, no, in fact, everyone, cover your eyes for that one).

maybe it doesn’t need ‘hello, i love you’,

fancified words that are expensive, and mushy.

maybe it doesn’t need the anti-ers.
the black one.
the day of all emotional ice cream pint after ice cream gallon days.

maybe it doesn’t need emotionally raw poems,

and romance novels

and comedies starring reese witherspoon

(no offense reese, LOVED you in Sweet Home Alabama).

maybe what the over-hyped,

over-zealousness of big-time-cuteness and lace with feathers,

red with rhinestones, and pink with envy needs is this:

an outlet.

think about it.

what other time of year are you forced to recognize this?

(except today by me?)

here is your outlet:

your life.

maybe it IS – a hug, a smile, a nudge.

maybe it IS – a gesture, a memory, a meal.

maybe it IS – seeing it differently, looking for more.

here is my message, my post

(which does not include any of above-said items):

BE.FOREVER.LOVELY.EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

and then, WHENever you feel like it, you can SHOUT … i made a DIFFERENCE in the world on my terms, my BEING LOVELY changed something for the better, and i couldn’t be more

proud.

there, and you thought i was talking about a specific day, huh?

it’s all in how you look at it.

be forever lovely.

“love people blindly.” – Barbara Lynn Francek

choices.over.voices.(rise above)

choices over voices:

of others

of doubts

of uncontrollable elements

of disbelief.

make this the day that you choose to be lovely, over the voice of simply following what everyone else is doing. 

i hope you take crooked paths and unplowed trails.

i hope you discover within yourself what is uncomfortable and go forth with it.  push yourself to be BETTER.  stretch.  like the morning of your renewal, after a long nap of complacency.

be bold young.

be bold withered.

be bold – for it is our destiny to feel adrenaline.

be like bear grylls and jump.

it is about choices…which way to turn when the map runs out of answers.  when the water is scarce, and the pain sets in, the tired takes over.  which way to navigate the stresses of the day-to-day-today.  which path is lovely, good, right – not just what makes sense for you.  think of others.

how will this path be made?  by easy choices?  not always.  by choices that please everyone, or make everyone happy or make you popular?  (valley girl voice): like, SO not totally!

these choices are small, and infinite at once.

they are whether to send that scathing email.  to remember a birthday, and go above and beyond to tell another how you are so happy they were born.  how to be kind to yourself, and stop the self-hatred.   how to know in your heart that the meaningless work is more than that.  it is work, yes.  but somehow, it builds to something bigger.  it does make a difference how you do your job.  it may not be windex-clear, but somehow, you make a difference by being where you are, and doing what you do.  doing better, makes a better difference.  BUT – only if it does not harm people.  only if it promotes peace.  only if it brings loveliness.

are you clear on your path?  are you making the choices that are walking-trekking-sending you higher and higher to that place of peace/happiness/love?  (you may say: yes you hippie, i am!)  or are you letting the tired, the stress, the vines entwine you in defeat?  at the end of the day, do you fall asleep exhausted by a hard fought day, where you struggled, where you fell, where you were easily angered?  or are you able to rest comfortably, exhausted in peace, knowing that you have no regrets how you treated others, animals, plants, the earth, most importantly – yourself?

be honest.  BE TRUTHFULLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF.

what is it about your day, one tiny choice that you can make that you will own up to that will make a difference in your path?

for me, it is time.  i need better management of my time.  i lose it dreaming/thinking/drifting, when it should be responsibly calculated.  by being late, i am showing others that i don’t value their time.  this is not true, and i must realize that.  so i work at it.  there is a struggle – every.single.day.  BUT, i work on it.  and i still muck it up…but, i don’t give up.  ever.  i will never give up this effort.

what is your choice?  what is your vine?  i would love to help.  there is a solution that may surface, that may help you.  if i can help, i want to.  leave a comment, and let me know.  i want to better this world, we can better this world.  and those voices?  they are fading to the sea. . . . . . . being replaced by better choices.  and pretty soon the only sound we will hear is that of: 

waves of lovely crashing unto here.

choices over voices:

be forever lovely,

blf

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” Judy Garland  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

(pictures taken by Ryan S. Lund)

 

recipe

 

recipe for blf:

one heaping spoonful of oversensitivity

one pinch patience

one teensy, tiny dash of o.c.d.

one huge wallop of hormones

one squeeze of self-righteousness

one insanely huge hand-full of guilt for being self-righteous/not perfect

one bottle of purple, one yellow, one orange

eighty-seven ounces of humor, both with and against myself

forty-two thousand cups of love

add some curls and a friend crush on drew barrymore

sift in tons of spirituality and love for God

plus eighteen Millionmililiters of who-what-why-am-i-this-way?

and you have

a showeringhippie

recyclingfreak

rockstarwannabe

cubiclehating

natureloving

loveeveryonemediator

andwantstomakemoneydoingsomethingcreativewithherlife

middlesister

girlfriend

stepmom

friend

kid

whodoesn’tknowhowtobeagrownup

andisn’tsureshewantstofigureitout

lostbeautifullymessysoul.

 

what is your recipe?

what does your recipe need?

face to face time? yoga? volunteering? selflessness? patience? love? assurance?

if you could behold any thing or place without anything holding you back, what would you do? make? be?

THERE IS TOO MUCH GOOD, LOVE AND ADVENTURE OUT THERE NOT TO GET A LITTLE ON YOUR APRON ONCE IN A WHILE. . .

there is reason for your pain.  there is no suffering in vain. 

we each must speak our part to share the beat of others hearts. 

we need to know that what is inside us is worth our best effort.  IT IS.  there are fields of buttercups and sunflowers waiting for us beyond each hurt, enticing us to trek on, to move forward, and we must.  WE MUST.  do this trekking we must.

i am eternally chasing that kite string that will lift me beyond my fears, my doubts, and insecurities.  to view the sky as it is splendidly painted before me.  but maybe what is missing, and why my feet are so planted and molasses-y is why i need to stay here.  to make it right, to do what’s best.  to love so unconditionally that it overwhelms those around me, and they think of nothing but LOVE KINDNESS PEACE when they picture my face, or hear my voice.  that they know nothing of my tears, and pain, and sadness.  they only see the lovely sunbursts; the tangerine dreams.  that they are soaked with the turquoise waves of pure joy that i want to exude.  maybe i am just not running fast enough but strolling slowly enough to let the love expand my being so that i am one with the earth and its people and creatures that are such a essential part of my recipe.  like a human spongebob squarepants full of love. 

we will always chase the kite string, and we will always be chasing that string, and the frolic we inherently partake in, will be the best yet, as long as we remember, we are all chasing the same string, and we must be kind to each other on our journey.  always.

there is no recipe for this life, you must adjust.  make it your own.  there is no food photographer/prepper to come spray your life to unrealistic visual representations.  there will be fire alarms that go off when you burn the grilled cheese(likeme), but there will also be 4-tiered cakes of beauty and sugar frosting.  there is a timer though, for this life. don’t wait.  haste not my friends.  we are hungry for your truth – your best recipe.  tweak as necessary.  add a few, take a few away. be lovely, and you will have delicious recipes and i KNOW you will rise to perfection.

♥ ♥ ♥ quote from an aspring cook (me):

do not knead others, NEED them. ♥♥♥

before time runs out

none of us have enough of it.
we yearn for it when it is scarce.
we weep for its absence in the loss of life.
we ask for more, need more, sometimes curse its very existence.
time.
it sends us into stressful squalls and prevents us from being somewhere we want to be.
it makes us unsure of now and then.
if and when.
we wonder whether this once, this. . . .time. . . . will ever cease to amaze us with its wisdom.
time has taught.
its softer side, with love and laughter, sunshine and breezy conversations.
we have felt hurt, unnourished and overturned by its scars –
reality of said things wished unsaid.
actions unrelenting in their momentum.
we have witnessed birth, death, peace, war, and indifference.
we remain unsure of how to wrangle this “time”.
we regret to inform you that yours is up or not worthy of ours.
we insist that it goes quickly in joy, minutely in fear, and endlessly in love.
we are unsure of it ramifications until it is – out.

we know not what the time beyond this here and now is or will be.
we reap the benefits of its passing, buckling down its lessons with certainty and respect.  we relish in the absurdity of its sweeping, gathering, and unbelievable reality that it is a mystical, untouchable vaporous dimension.
we study its process, we know its place, its honored traditions.
yet – we still underestimate it.
we don’t stop to yield its beauty and –
the truth of time is this – it cannot or will not stop for anyone.
there is no price tag for it.
you can not gather its fringes and sew more of it together.
and – we waste it.
we all waste this vaporous dimension that is so fleeting.
this unearthly, untextured, ungraspable invisible thing.

what to do about this? what must we learn, lose and squander before we know how to do this “time” right? to fully comprehend the fallacy that we get to live forever?  we must do what is right. ALWAYS. even if it bruises our egos, our precious wallets, our understanding of what WE want.

we must kiss more, hug longer, smile abundantly.

we must not have regrets.

if there are words said wished unsaid, heal those wounds.  if there are actions wished un-acted, revise. 

make the choice to consciously fix the mistake, or hurt.
if there are dreams in your distance, in your path of “one day i will”,
grab a conversation with yourself or someone else,

and make that dream happen.

once you consciously choose to FULLY act,

love and LIVE in time, it will become spectacular.

lift that person up. love that person regardless. tell that someone that they are more meaningful to you than any thing, or possession. learn to envelope your time with what is going to make you HAPPY.

forgive, forget, apologize, be humbled.

laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh – till the belly of your soul is sore with joy.

yes – goof off and watch silly shows,

run through a sprinkler instead of doing chores!

remember, in the end – we get this one life, this one time to really LIVE. how is it that you are living your time? is it lovely? treat those as you would like to be treated, for we only get so much time, so embrace time as you embrace your loved ones: fully, never letting go first.

be forever lovely my friends, now and ALWAYS

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

quote from a lovely man:

“You cannot do a kindness too soon,

for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

faith

 

who do you get your wings from (besides RedBull)? is it your mom? your dog? your God? who is it that sends you the message that when you jump, you will not fall. That everything will be okay and that this will pass, and there will be peace again? there is death. there is grief. there is a loss, or struggle, or slip up. there will always be someone who has, or needs more than you or i.

we must understand that we get one chance to make this life, this upsidedownsideup daily and sometimes (seemingly) century long, adventure worth it. what makes it worth it to you? kids? spouse? gardening? family? friends? sports? job?

for me, it is my faith.
my belief in something greater.
i believe in God.

one instance when i knew He existed was in the moments before i had to read a poem i had written at a friend’s funeral in front of hundreds of peers and adults. i felt as though i would pass out or start bawling and be unable to recite it. i prayed. i asked for help to be able to read it. i walked up to the pulpit, i took a deep breath. i felt a surreal calm just as i started reading. i was not in my body. another spirit had taken over me as i read, making it impossible for me to have collapsed or cried. i finished the reading, walked to the pew, and started immediately shaking. my faith was solidified.  there are times that it has waved, but it is always there, it remains. always.

you may believe in something else.
this is not a post on Christianity or Judaism, or Muslim faith.
it is on the general, powerful, existing, ever-present FAITH that exists in human nature. in this life.
chances are whatever troubles you, faith will help:
it is just money, and you can’t take it with you.
it is just drama that will dissipate with time and understanding.
it is love that is underneath all the pain.
remember, you are loved always by those you cannot touch nor see.
they love you from afar; they faithfully love you always.

either way, love yourself through it all.
have FAITH in your ability and strength to get through whatever it is.
but i do have some advice:

find your FAITH.
i would love for all to believe as i do.
but –
we are all different, and therefore need to choose for ourselves.
what is it, that helps YOU realize that the tiny bird first leaps with FAITH out off the branch, not by chance, not reason, but by divine design?

find that reason – search for that answer.  for, if we don’t have a glorious flight in mind, why shall we even begin?

be forever lovely my friends,

barbie

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

and now a quote from a poet about faith:

♥♥ Faith ♥♥
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly.”
© Patrick Overton
The Leaning Tree, 1975

your beauty lies within what you are

your beauty lies within what you are. 

it cannot change, and will not waver.

you may not be able to touch it, but it is there.

what it is you seek shall be in you from the beginning.

and it shall be.

it shall be.

love yourself for what you have been given.

nurture those parts which need extra care,

embrace the cracks, the roots, the unknown crevices

until you cannot distinguish the cracked from the healed.

you cannot stop the beauty

from seeping through the slivers of your being.

let the sunshine through for others to soak up.

in, above, on –  your beauty will heal those who need it. 

seek it.  understand it.

the beauty is not what you seek, but acceptance.

know that we all are within

the same arm’s length of what is beautiful. 

WE are beautiful. 

YOU are beautiful. 

freckles, wrinkles, lumps and bumps.

no two beauties are alike.

THIS IS ON PURPOSE.

it is so we are always learning to accept and love one another as is –

no contracts, no editing, primping, plucking, sweating involved.

we seek outside approval to tell us that we are good. 

that we are strong.  that we have that something special.

WE ARE ALL SPECIAL.  STRONG. GOOD. 

WE ARE ALL GOOD.

no matter the bank.

no matter the enemy quip.

we are people, we are beauty.

let us celebrate our beauty together, instead of apart.

kinds words grow wings

that free us from

the desperate cliffs of

 

acceptance.

 

spread a kind word, watch it grow into others. 

if you must reach for an excuse to cut someone else down to make yourself feel better: 

you will find that the fall is much further,

the hurt much worse, for it has affected not just the other,

but you.

i am not perfect. 

nor are you.

but –

but –

the good CAN triumph.  it WILL. 

the beauty cannot help but show its colors, its kindness.

is it not easier, more fulfilling to treat someone,

some living thing with the respect, kindness and love they deserve and need?

it is.

and so it shall be.

you are the beauty.

so is your neighbor.

seek out the beauty. 

 if it is difficult, look.  really look. 

at your co-worker’s smile. 

at the wrinkled hands of your grandmother. 

at the dandelion weeds that shout summertime beauty.

remember the positive. 

you WILL feel better, more beautiful. 

surround your thoughts of beauty, love, respect. 

acceptance is beauty personified.

be kind my friends. 

beauty can be found in the most peculiar places,

we must seek it out, and always remember. . . . . . .

be forever lovely.

the power of positivity

 

you know the type.

 bubbly, energetic, always a positive attitude, half glass full, etc. i confess that that is me, 1/2 glass full, most of the time. let me also confess that i love trying to always remain upbeat – striving to be energetic about the possibilities that lie ahead.  the keyword there is: trying.

but, sometimes the glass cracks, and you just can’t figure out how to keep the water in the glass, let alone measure how much is in there.  some person cuts you off in traffic, your kid gets sick (and then you have to disinfect the bathroom at 1 a.m.), your significant other leaves their wet towel on the wooden chair, etc.  and you fume.  you fill with toxic ideas of just what you would throw on the windshield of the crazy driver.  you want to tell the puke-y tot to clean up after themselves because you have a big presentation in the morning,  and you need your beauty sleep gosh darn it.  and the towel?  how many (insert choice words) times do you have to say it?

forget that stuff.

i am here to tell you i have had cracked glass, and Waterford clarity, and positive is the way to go.  when you have a “what a great day, what a great life” kind of attitude, your life tends to fall into place positively.  and when it doesn’t?  eat some chocolate and try again.  seriously though, you all know some “negative nincompoop” that is always 1/2 glass empty.  (sorry if the word poop offends you, but everyone does it, and sorry if you are that nincompoop).

here’s the lowdown, lovely style:

we all have those days, those moments, those fragile, tragic, sad years.

BUT –

those days, those years, those moments will pass.  things will get better.  life will be lovely again.  not always, not every single moment will it be lovely, with cartoon birds chirping good morning and little woodlands animals picking your clothes for the day (but wouldn’t that rock for mondays?).  the best way to get to that lovely place where it is better, and your  favorite song seems to find you more often than not, is to breathe and share.  huh?

okay, i have never been lucky enough to grace a yoga class with my nimble, elegant, swan-like figure (okay, now laugh).  but, what i know about yoga, i like.  as far as i’ve read, you need to remain as calm and centered as possible, and you must breathe.  there are exercises that are strictly for breathing.  imagine how much easier it would be to throw that pop on the crazy driver’s window if you were centered emotionally like a yogi?  kidding about the pop.  but, very serious about the breathing.

next time you have a negative nincompoop moment, just. . . . . . . breathe.  take as many breaths as you need to feel better, to calm your thoughts, to ease your negativity.  think about how you can transform maybe not the situation or event that has happened, but how you can feel or react to it.  how can you remember to be forever lovely about whatever has transpired?

now, with the sharing.  get ready for some kumbaya stuff. 

 i would like you to all know that i am a self-confessed hippie kid (post 60’s, current day).  i do think everyone should always work out their differences, love their neighbor as they would want to be loved, and all love peace signs and butterflies.  but, as many of my family and friends have pointed out – that is not always possible.  people are different, think differently, love differently.

BUT –

we are all people.  a very smart, kind friend of mine once said that as people, we all just want to be validated and loved.  she’s right.  so what better way to validate and love those around us then by sharing all of our nincompoop-ness?  kidding, but not really. 

the best way to help ourselves remember that it is going to be alright, is to release whatever negativity we have, into the arms of those who love us.  let them know how we are feeling, talk through it, hug them tightly with the knowledge that they want the best for us.  as soon as we share what is going on in our lives, and ask for help, or just a listening ear, we find, our burdens are easier.  less stressful.  more manageable.  we might even find others share our stories, our problems, our worries.  or, and this is the best part – we may find that just by talking it through, that we may feel the negativity just dissipate.  we may get that bird-chirping, woodland creature feeling, just by letting someone else know we are having a rough go of it. 

because most of the time, the person listening on the other end, isn’t having a bad day at the same time you are, and they can help ease your pain a bit.

  validated and loved. 

 i like it. 

not being a negative nincompoop? 

always striving. 

being forever lovely

always trying my friends, hope you are as well.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

lovely quote to help with your week:

♥ “there are always flowers for those who want to see them.” Henry Matisse ♥

plant the seed, and the tree will grow . . . with help

happy earth day, one and all!

we all need the sunshine

hello!  welcome to be forever lovely!   please remember, this is a place to leave more happy than when you arrived.  i am trying to figure out how we can all be forever lovely by taking the experiences of every day, every moment, every whisper, and treating it as if we will be remembered by those moments.  to leave the people, the places and the things we encounter, more lovely than when we first discovered them.   be forever lovely.

act 1:

the trees are there to remind us.

we all start small.

we all need nurturing.

the winds, the rain.

we will develop differently than our fellow leaves.

we will survive winters. 

we will endure.

winters when our leaves should not have grown,

our buds may not have sprouted. 

where we question who we are as trees,

what our roots mean,

where are the crisp green, yellow, pink, white –

where have all our cells hidden?

where are the buds, the fragrant, magnificent buds of buttercup buds?

we grow forth.  we flourish.

we will occasionally feel the sunshine in our bark,

we will ache and sway for the sunshine

 as the ice queen depletes our sap supply

until we no longer recognize ourselves.

we grow strong.  we encourage.

then, just as suddenly as we feel helpless, unruly, unused –

at last! we hear the sweet chirps of spring. 

of new. 

of yesterday-sunshine;

years ago it seems we felt its warmth. 

we have made it into another season of peace,

fragrance,

laughing in the wind to the joke that all others know. 

we are triumphant.

there is some rain,

however –                                       

recovery; 

more buds, then sunshine.

we cherish the rain.

the trees are there to remember.

they are there to remind.

they teach us that everyone,

no matter the roots, nor size, or species,

thick, cracking, peeling, fresh, dewy bark,

no matter the essence,

that we need sunshine.

we all need the sunshine.

we all flourish better in the unabashed, freespirited, sunshine.

we all want the sunshine. 

spread the sunshine to those around you, by being forever lovely. 

always, and forever, be forever lovely. ♥

and now a quote from a lovely poet to leave your day lovely. . .

♥ happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. we are happy when we are growing – William Butler Yeats ♥

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