Sunday, October 5, 2008

This blog is winding down....



Anne, of Saturday's child, said it so well that I'm not even going to try and improve on it.  So go read her "last post" on AOL HERE, if you haven't already.

My favorite quote from that entry:  "it's much easier to talk about life to strangers who become friends than to lots of friends who are really strangers.  Ordinary people live extraordinary lives."

I've found this to be true about all the folks I've met on AOL, from the early days of the Christian chat rooms right down to the present day, of J-land and Blogspot.

I've already found most of my favorite J-landers in their new digs at Blogspot, and even re-discovered some that I had somehow lost track of.  So this move really isn't so sad after all.  Now if AOL really figures out a way to seamlessly move these old journals to Blogspot, I won't have a single regret about the move.

Oh, you'll find me blogging HERE from now on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Be sure to follow the journals blog, Magic Smoke.  Vish is keeping us posted on the big fade-out of AOL Journals.  I assume all J-landers are getting the emails giving us more information.  One thing I noticed is that we'd be better off if we didn't start our Blogger site until it's actually time to move... it will be better and easier if we don't already have our new blog up and going. 

Here's what I saw in Magic Smoke:  "I know a lot of you are trying out Blogger by creating blogs. So, when you create a test blog over there, call it something other than the name you want to use for your journal.

The reason I say that is because during the migration (read:copy) process, it will ask you for a blog name on Blogger into which to copy your journal. At which point you might not get the name that you wanted, because you have used it up on the test blog.

Of course, like everything in life there is a way around this, but I do not want to complicate your life any more than it is now. If you are savvy with Blogger then feel free to go and grab a name of your choice. I will show you a way to use that name to migrate your journal later."

I'm pretty sure I'll have to start a different blog, because my Blogger site has been up at going for at least two years.  I doubt very much that the entries from here could be interspersed with the Blogger entries according to date.  I may just entitle a new blog "My Country Life", and not add any new entries... just keep it there for the memories, with its content of the words from my AOL journal.

I'll be glad when this is all over.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You'll Be Fine

This morning I read Jen Lemen's blog, and she introduced me to a singer I've never heard of, singing a "children's song for grownups":  I just now realized it is perfectly fitting for those of us who have gotten a bit depressed about the sad J-land news today.

I promise you will feel better if you listen to THIS, take two aspirins, and call me in the morning.

You can also buy it as a download HERE, and you get to name your price.  How cool is that?

Just breathe. 

... and one more thing

I'm going to start checking my gmail account for email.  My addy there is mosie1944 at gmail.com (I wrote it that way to discourage bots).

Feel free to use it.  I'll be checking and reading the AOL email as long as it's here, but who knows how long that'll be.


Tags:

Life goes on

I found some pertinent information about the demise of AOL journals at Magic Smoke.  

According to that source:  "
The good news here is that AOL is working on a migration plan and most likely destination is Blogger. So, you will soon receive another email (I think scheduled to go out Oct 7th) describing the migration process."

I already have a Blogger site, and have been using it for some time; we'll see whether this forces me to make a second blog there or not.  I'm fairly sure some of the pictures (the album format, for example) won't be exported to Blogger.  But that's OK; I have all my pictures stored on my computer.  I would surely hate to lose all the thoughts I've typed out here in the past four years or so, and if only the words I've typed move to Blogger, that's fine with me. 

My opinion, and mine only, is that this is the beginning of the end for AOL.  They've struggled for a long time to make money, and been unable to compete with other forces.  I have a Yahoo email account, and also a Gmail account I've seldom used.  I'll be using those when AOL closes shop.

Readers, trust me on this:  There are lots of nice people on Blogger, and you can get to know them in the same way we've all connected right here.

I do hate to see AOL journals and FTP spaces close.  But life goes on, and we don't have to lose track of one another.  I still read the blogs of several people who left AOL for Blogger, back during the storm about ads on our journals.

You might want to set up a Bloglines account so you'll know when your favorite blogs update.  This is much superior to the AOL alert system, anyhow.  It always works, without filling your email box with a lot of stuff.

AOL journals is closing it's doors

Yep, read the banner ad at the top of this page.  October 31 AOL journals will close.  At least I have my Blogger site

If anyone knows how I can somehow save what I've written on this blog to my computer, please let me know.  I hope it isn't too complicated.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A rewarding day!

Cliff and I went off in search of some shade trees today.  We ended up at Colonial Nursery, south of Blue Springs.  I figured they'd be a little pricey for us, but surely we could afford a couple of trees.  I wanted fast-growing trees with a little size to them.

I'm impressed with the people at Colonial Nursery every time we're there:  they are so knowledgeable and helpful.

Turns out we landed right smack in the middle of a 25%-off tree sale!  We came home with two Autumn Blaze maples, and a Chanticleer Pear
tree, all of them at least ten feet tall.

We also got a start of Pampas grass.  I've always been fascinated with the stuff.  I realize that in some places it's considered an invasive weed, but I'll take my chances.

All of that for less than $100.  I love a bargain.

To make a good day even better, we'd no sooner gotten home than the propane man arrived with a boom truck and moved our tank.  So that unsightly thing is no longer ten feet away from my deck and hot tub.

As icing on the cake of a wonderful day, I checked in with my sister and she's feeling pretty darned well.  She'll see her doctor tomorrow afternoon, but I expect only good news from him

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

musings from the trailer house

My sister went home yesterday, and her son and daughter-in-law are going to stay at least for a couple of days with her.  She'll see her doctor on Tuesday. 

Cliff's sister Charlene and her husband are here for the weekend.  They've spent lots of weekends here lately, and since they are our favorite guests, we're glad:  They accept us as we are, we're comfortable with them... and they're so much fun.  We no longer call the extra bedroom the "guest bedroom".  Oh no, we call it "Pat and Charlene's room".  They leave a few clothes, toothbrushes, and so forth, here.  It's their home away from home.

Their last visit, they were here getting their farmhouse ready for its new tenant.  This time a funeral brought them.  They say this will probably be their last visit for awhile, and that makes me rather sad.  I guess we'll have to go visit them in St. Louis... but they haven't bought their hot tub yet!  I don't know if I can survive without my morning soak in the hot tub.

Of course I jest, but it surely is a wonderful way to wake up, with all those jets massaging my back, legs and feet.

The chemicals drive me crazy, though.  Not that it's time-consuming, adding them; because it isn't.  But I'm always wondering if I'm doing everything right.  Some things are to be added with one pump running, some with two pumps but no aerator running, whatever that means.  Oh, and if you use the wrong chemicals it can mess up some of the workings... and that's not covered in the warranty.  Cliff says, "Don't worry about it; if we have to get it fixed, we will."

Charlene and  Pat love the hot tub and have intentions of buying one for themselves before too long.  I told them that perhaps by then, I'll know enough about these pricey chemicals to be able to advise them.

I have cinnamon roll dough rising in the kitchen.  Yesterday we had biscuits and gravy.  I cook like that when our favorite guests are in residence, but I do remind Cliff not to over-indulge.  And he listens to me pretty well. 

Life is good.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello, from the hospital

I brought my laptop with me when I came to spend some time with my sister in the hospital, figuring to play some big band music I'd put on a CD for her.  Imagine my delight when I realized I had Internet access here!  I created a station on Pandora which I named "Bing Crosby Radio" and added Glenn Miller and similar names to the roster.  As I type this, I'm hearing Bing Crosby sing "On The Sunny Side of the Street".  Maxine isn't hearing much, because she's taking a nap in the chair.

She's eating adequate meals; this morning she was able to stand at the sink and brush her teeth.  So far, so good.

So when she's taking her little naps (usually right after her dose of pain-killer) I've been educating myself on polyps.  I've learned that the procedure she had is called a laparotomy.  I've been instructed on these websites that anyone who has a family member with a history of polyps (that would be my sister) or a family history of colon cancer (one of my dad's brothers) should start having colonoscopies at age forty.  Hmmm, I'm twenty-four years late.  But as soon as we get Maxine home (four to seven days after surgery), I'm scheduling my first colonoscopy.  Once that's over, I'll schedule one for Cliff.  Our doctors have been telling us for some time we should do this, but it's taken this little adventure to really push me into action.

So, that's what's up with me and my sister.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spammed!

Am I the only person in J-land who keeps getting spam comments in my journal?  This hadn't happened in a long time, but now I keep getting what appear to be "bot" comments on old entries.  As soon as I discover what's happening, I block that user and delete all comments they've made; next day, they're back with a slightly-altered screen name.

Grrrr.

My sister's surgery

I asked for prayers and positive thoughts for my sister a few days ago.  Her surgery was this afternoon, and she seems to have come through with flying colors.  The surgery didn't last as long as we expected and there were no complications.

I still appreciate all prayers for her fast recovery and healing.  She deserves it.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

My Sidewalks

A regular reader wanted to see pictures of our sidewalks, so I rushed right outside and took a few pictures.  Keep in mind that the ugly propane tank in back will be moved (we've already asked the company to do so, and are patiently waiting) and we'll have grass in the spots where now you see pasture-grass, weeds, and/or mud.  Probably not this fall, from the look of things.  But hopefully next spring.

fact or fiction?

I received an interesting email yesterday, one of those that sent me running to Snopes.com, because it sounded like something made up by someone.  And it probably is, but right now there's no way of knowing. 

I'm sure some of you have received it also:  It states that on or about October 5, Joe Biden is going to step down from the Democratic ticket citing health reasons, and will be replaced by Hillary.  To read the thing in its entirety, click HERE.

It will be interesting to follow this one, since Snopes gives its authenticity an "undetermined" rating.  To me, this means it might possibly be true.

This has already been one of the most interesting and unique election years ever, and that would really shake up the mix!

What do you think?  Will it happen?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's a great day for a motorcycle ride

Cliff and I left home around nine this morning, thinking perhaps we might ride to Versailles and maybe say hello to some of his relatives.

Once on the road, we realized we hadn't dressed warmly enough; I had my light motorcycle jacket on without the liner, so it was pretty drafty.  Cliff had nothing over his short-sleeved shirt.  Still, we figured as the day wore on, it would warm up.

We took blacktop roads we'd never traveled before, and half the time we didn't quite know where we were.  We did know that as long as we went east and south, we'd end up close to our destination.

However, when we came out near Sedalia, we decided not to go any further away from home.  It was noon, and would have taken another hour to drive to Versailles.  And I was cold!

Sedalia has a beautiful city park we love, so we had our picnic there before turning toward home.  By the time we were on the road again, the temperature had climbed to a pleasant 75 degrees.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another one Edna sent

Edna is on dial-up, so she can't watch many of the videos people share; she can only watch those that come to her as a download.  I got this one this morning from her, and I knew it had to be on Youtube.

Sure enough, I found the clip, which is almost nine minutes long.

This little boy impresses me with his intelligence as much as with his piano-playing.  What a gift of gab the child has!


seen in email from Cliff's cousin, Edna (I claim her as my cousin, too)

Subject: Thanks        

I just want to thank all of you for your educational emails over the past year. 
Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pass-time while driving alone is picking your nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot)

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of Trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom. Yuck!

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas..

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda & Singapore and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day...

Oh, by the way.....
A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's been a decent day

Cliff and I rode the motorcycle this morning.  Oh, not very far... just to Higginsville, where we window-shopped at Kleinschmidts, bought some essentials at Orschelns's (where it's peanut days and you can stroll around the store shelling peanuts and dropping the shells on the floor), and ate at our favorite Pizza Hut.

Of course, any motorcycle trip with Cliff that takes you through a farming town involves cruising the back lot of every tractor dealer to see what sort of used tractors they've taken as trade-in.  Cliff will ask questions like, "Is that Oliver a diesel?"

Sheesh, how would I know?  I'm just glad I can tell an Oliver from a John Deere.

Granddaughter Natalie spent the afternoon here and had a ride on Blue; she's so out of practice, though, that he kept trying to take over.  Not a good thing.  I imagine part of the problem is that nobody rides him except me, so he's become somewhat a one-person horse.

I called my sister this evening to make sure her scheduled surgery is still a "go".  I'd appreciate prayers on her behalf:  she's eighty years old, and has never had any type of surgery.  In fact, she doesn't even take blood pressure meds, or any other  prescription drugs.  She has some polyps that were too difficult to remove during her last colonscopy, so they're doing the surgery to get those.  The doctor assured her that they aren't suggesting, or even thinking, that she might have cancer; they just want to get this problem area fixed so nothing becomes cancer.  Next Tuesday is the day.

But I'm sure Maxine is nervous, because I certainly would be.  I have one sister, and she is very special to me, and to everyone who knows her.

So pray for her peace of mind, and for her continued health.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I rode my horse

The weather just now is so perfect, it almost defies description.

Big, full moon in the mornings when I'm soaking in the hot tub.

Crisp air, with temperatures in the forties to start.

Blue, cloudless skies.  Highs around seventy in the afternoon.

So of course I saddled Blue yesterday after Cliff left for work.

It was a good ride.  I was amazed to see the corn has turned from green to brown, looking ready for harvest.  I had my camera, and figured I'd share the autumn landscape with my readers.

Except that the battery was dead.  The battery lasts so long on my little camera that it always comes as a surprise when it finally needs re-charging.

Just take my word for it, it's a wonderful world out there right now.



On another note, the last of our concrete was poured yesterday.  Now we can buckle down-knuckle down to living in our new spot.  Oh, there are minor things we still need to do, but those will be out-of-pocket expenses.  Things like planting grass and getting the propane tank moved to a better location.  Cliff is in the process of laying out boundaries for our yard.  Oh, and I may plant some tulips today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hummingbirds, still around

My thermometer reads 48 this morning.  As cold as it is, though, the hummingbirds still come to the feeders as soon as there's light in the east.

One of the myths about hummingbirds is that you have to bring the feeders inside or they won't migrate to Mexico for the winter, and they'll freeze.

Another myth is that they hitchhike to Mexico on the backs of geese.

For a list of hummingbird myths, go HERE.  (Some of these seemed quite ridiculous to me.)

To learn more about hummingbirds that you dreamed possible, go to Hummingbirds.net.

I had never watched these tiny creatures until this summer.  I have to say it's been a real experience, watching them drink the sugar-water and fight over it.  Just goes to show, there's always something new to experience if you keep your eyes open.

According to those websites, my little friends will likely disappear around October 15.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Klondike Park

When we headed home from St. Louis on Labor Day, Charlene and Pat thought we'd enjoy Klondike Park.  As I've mentioned before, the country south and west of St. Louis is amazing.

There was a steep trail going up to an observation area which Charlene said they'd never taken time to use.  I love going to the top of hills or mountains, just to see what lies below.  So we began our trek.

The view was fantastic.  This was one of the best thirty-minute off-the-road site I've visited.

By the way, if you google Klondike Park, you'll find it's very common for people to rock-climb (despite signs saying "no rock climbing") and fall, injuring themselves.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

My son is a genius

Check out my son's comment on the last entry.  (Woodmotorsports)

I did what he said to do.

My TV works just fine in that mode, thank you very much.

I'm not sure what we do next, but our next-door neighbor works for Dish.

I'll bet he'll know what to do.

Sheesh

I turned on our television a while ago, only to learn it has NO SOUND.  "Mute" isn't on.  It isn't a Dish problem, because the little TV in the bedroom works.

Something tells me it isn't going to be cheap to get a plasma TV worked on.

It's about two years old.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're getting a sidewalk now.



No more wet grass clippings and mud tracked into the house!  Woo-hoooo!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sorry about the lack of entries lately

After a phone call from Cliff's youngest sister and a prod (in comments) from Anne, I figured I'd better do an entry.

This summer has been so busy and so full of surprises, blogging hasn't been a priority.  A while back I looked in the archives of this journal and realized I used to be much more interesting. 

I'm happy and doing well; there just isn't that much happening that I think others would care about reading.

What I'm doing right now is reaping benefits of Cliff's youngest sister and her husband vacating the farm house where they had lived for so long; I have a new back room and plenty of stuff to store... they had lots of cabinets and shelves I can use for storing.  Oh, and they gave us a nicer bedroom suite for the guest room than the one we had.  So the grandson took the old stuff, and tomorrow we'll bring in the new.

The guy who is going to do the garage floor and our sidewalks was working here today.  With luck, he may be pouring concrete tomorrow.

See, all these things are exciting to me, but they don't make for an interesting journal entry.  But I thought I'd check in and let you know that things are going great.

Meanwhile, I'm certainly enjoying all the political stuff that has the media so upset.  Each day gets a little more interesting.  Who needs fiction when real life is this crazy?

Happy birthday to my oldest granddaughter, Amber.  She was the CUTEST little baby girl I ever saw in my life, playing with Barbie and "Kim" (yeah, that was her way of saying Ken).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Family hot tub time



From left to right:  Charlene and Rena (Cliff's sisters), Pat (Charlene's husband), Me, and Cliff.

Now that's what I call making the most of a hot tub.

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I found someone in my hot tub!



Cliff's sister and her husband were here to spend the night; I was in bed asleep when they arrived, but they took advantage of the hot tub before they turned in.  This morning they climbed in again, taking their first cup of coffee with them (that's when this picture was taken).  Before long, they talked me into joining them.  Finally, we all lured Cliff into the waters.

He's amazed at how his arthritic shoulder and back loosened up and didn't hurt.  (Yes, we're aware of what to remember with his heart issues, and how to deal with the hot tub accordingly.)

I still working on the PH thing, adding a little and then a little more.  As you can probably tell in the picture, we have some foaming going on; I wasn't given any anti-foaming agent, so we'll need to pick some up.



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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Home improvement and hot tub update

Wouldn't you know, the minute we found an electrician to wire the hot tub, it started raining.  And of course, the guy couldn't work in the rain.  We were in desperate need of moisture around here; the two-and-one-quarter inches came slowly and constantly over a period of two days, so every drop soaked into the parched ground.

Both yesterday morning and today, the electrician called apologizing.  Today he said he'd be here at 8 A.M. on the first day there's no rain.  That should be tomorrow, because the sky is clearing and there's been no rain for a few hours.  At least this guy calls and checks in with us.

The only thing left to do now is the concrete:  There'll be a concrete floor in the garage and a couple of sidewalks.  By the time that's done, we'll be out of funds.

Honestly, I'm surprised at how much we've been able to do with limited means.  If there were more money, we'd do more.  But I never dreamed we'd get all this done with our home equity loan, and I'm very thankful.  The hot tub wasn't even in the budget!

Once the last dollar is spent, I'll call and lock in our interest rate at 4.99%, and it will be time to start paying the piper.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

politics

I notice many of my favorite bloggers are touting their politics.

Just in case you wondered... I'm Republican.  I won't be changing.

I'm so Republican, I voted for Nixon.  And I voted for "W" twice.

I won't try to make you change your politics.  This is America, and you can vote for whomever you choose.  If you choose to attack the morals of my candidates, however, make sure YOUR candidates are (and have always been) above reproach.

And that's as political as this journal is ever going to get.

Oh yeah, just so you know:  there are two Democrats I'd have voted for, if I had a "wayback" machine.  Both of them are considered to be miserable failures.

Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter.

Why would I have voted for them?  Because I believe they were real; I believe they were what they claimed to be.

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Record Lady... Piano Lady?

In a long-ago entry, I mourned the loss of Record Lady's website  Her name was Rose, by the way.

A friend sent a link to me this evening to a website that seems to have a lot of the music Record Lady used to have.  Only this "record lady" calls herself Nancy.

Whoever she is, if any of you out there miss Record Lady, you may want to check out the Piano Lady

A one-minute ride through west-central Missouri


motorcycle ride


Notice the lack of other traffic.  This is why I love Missouri's blacktop byways.

Old barns

I found myself taking pictures of old barns on our motorcycle travels last weekend, just because I love them.  Some of the pictures are askew: when you're going around a curve at seventy miles per hour, it's hard to keep a camera level.

Something I noticed when Rena and I made the trip north for her divorce was that from northern Iowa on into Wisconsin, hundreds of old barns are well-kept and in use.  Here in Missouri, the few old barns that remain are in some stage of decay.  But there's a beauty to be found, even in the decrepitude.

I wish I'd taken pictures of the lovely barns up north, but it didn't occur to me at the time.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend road trip

When Cliff's youngest sister and her husband lived only a few miles away, we went on lots of motorcycle rides together.  Then they moved to St. Louis, and left us with no riding buddies.  Our mailman, Floyd, has a Gold Wing, and he's always saying he and his wife will come by some weekend and we'll ride together.  But so far, that hasn't happened.  So it's just me and Cliff on "White Lightnin'" when we ride.

Once last fall we took our motorcycle to St. Louis on a trailer and rode with Charlene and Pat.  It was great fun, and we decided to go again this year, on Labor Day weekend.  Only this time, we'd ride the bike all the way.

We avoid freeways when riding the motorcycle.  The winds buffet us around, and the traffic moves so fast that when we're going seventy-five miles an hour, people pass us as though we're sitting still.  That's OK when you're in a car with seat belts and air bags around, but on a motorcycle, it makes you feel like an organ donor on your way to save someone's life.

So we take back roads where it's possible.  By necessity, though, we're forced to get on freeways at times.  We grit our teeth, pray hard, and tough it out.

We met up with Charlene and Pat in Columbia, which is midway between Kansas City and St. Louis, and our weekend of enjoyment was under way!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meet me in St. Louis!

Cliff and I headed out Saturday morning on the motorcycle.  We met his sister and her husband in Columbia, Missouri, and then we all rode together to their home in St. Louis.  We didn't go straight there, though.  We rode around through Missouri's wine country on winding, hilly roads.  We rode all day Sunday, and then Pat and Charlene accompanied us halfway back home today.  I'll share some pictures through the upcoming week.

In a three-day period, we've ridden around 800 miles.  Now that isn't much in a car, but trust me... for a couple of old fogies, it's doing pretty good on a motorcycle.

Cliff had been having problems with butt discomfort lately, any time we rode more than three hours.  We researched the problem on the Internet, and ordered a little item that totally fixed the problem.



Beads!  Wooden beads.



See?  On his seat.



They saved the day on this trip.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

hummingbirds

The hummingbirds never fail to make me smile; they're very cheap entertainment.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The garage is DONE (except for the concrete)



When the crew arrived this morning, this is how the garage looked.



All it needs now is a concrete floor and a pad out front; our neighbor will do that job before long.

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So, I have a feline fan

My longtime Internet buddy, Ora, sent me this picture in email.  It's her cat, "reading" my AOL journal.



Tags:

Our garage

Our garage would have been finished already, but the some of the sheet metal the builders received was the wrong length.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it done today.  Next week, good Lord willing, we'll have the concrete floor in it.  Cliff intends to have a concrete pad in front of it where he can wash vehicles, since the water is softened back here.

Someone commented that our garage looks like a barn:  well, it is a pole-barn type building.  Cliff had it made extra tall so that if he needed to pull some of his farm equipment in there in a pinch, it would fit... although he only plans to park our car and the motorcycle there.  He also decided to place it with the widest part facing the front, which leaves quite a bit of storage space on the right-hand side.  That is going to be MY storage space, where I'll store things like Christmas decorations.  Cliff has plenty of storage for all his goodies, and he's decided I need some of my own.  I think that's a pretty good idea.

The added-on back room is 8X10, and I'll be storing some seldom-used household items on shelving in there.  But it'll be nice to have another spot where I can put outdoor-type stuff, as well.

I simply must use some restraint, though, and not turn all my spaces into another "junk room" full of stuff I never use like I had over at the old house.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

YES!



That skinny guy you see going around back of my house is a real, live ELECTRICIAN!



See?  There's his truck.  If you live near me and want to get an electrician who will actually return your call and then show up when he is supposed to, call these guys.

He said they do lots of hot tubs; the last two he hooked up were used ones:  One leaked like crazy when the folks put water in it, and the other one only worked for two days.  And to think I was originally watching Craigslist for a bargain hot tub.

Oh, he said they'd get to it early next week.  He actually said Monday, but I'm sure he forgot about Monday being Labor Day.

Oh, and it isn't going to cost nearly as much as I was afraid it would.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stand by

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have a picture to share of a real, live electrician on these premises.  I called the guy tonight to tell him we're still expecting him, and he said he or one of his workers will be here.

I've been painting.  I hate to paint, but hey... it's the first coat.  How much damage could I do, right?

I'd love to fill you in some neighborhood goings-on, but I think I'd better keep all that to myself.  Nobody wants a lawsuit.

Oh yeah, I got a haircut today.

I was looking back into my archives from four years ago, and realized I used to keep a much more interesting journal.  Yeah, I've pretty much gone to the dogs.  Sorry about that.

We have plans for the holiday weekend.  I'm sure it'll be fun, but as I told my daughter, I like it here.  I'd rather stay home.  Dear Lord, is this really me?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

update

After calling every electrician in the yellow pages, I believe we finally have someone who will get my hot tub working, sometime next week.

The first man we called to do the job is retired, and does a bit of wiring in his spare time; he's the one who put the box on the pole so we'd have electricity to the mobile home.  He didn't return our call, and I assume he is enjoying his retirement; seems like he could have called back, though.

The second man is someone we've known for years, a local fellow named Russell.  Cliff tried to get him several times and finally got a call back.  The man has been gone all summer, camping, and recently bought a motorcycle.  He told us he'd be here to look things over last Wednesday and didn't show (must have taken off on the motorcycle).  He didn't return our phone calls afterward, either.  See, my problem here is that they don't call!

One of the electricians I picked out of the phone book was going to be here sometime yesterday.  He didn't show, and didn't call.

This morning we got a return call from a man who sounded like he meant business; he'll be here Thursday evening to give us some idea of the cost, and what will be involved.

There is one local man, Bruce, who we've used many times over the years.  Cliff really didn't want me to call him (I won't talk about why... he's a good electrician), but we were getting desperate and I knew Bruce would return our call.

Tonight he did call.  He said they're weeks behind, so they wouldn't be able to do the job for quite a while.  I told him I thought we'd found someone anyhow, but I thanked him profusely for returning the call, and explained to him the problem we've had with getting an electrician.

Somehow I think the guy we've chosen will show up on Thursday.  If he doesn't, my son-in-law knows someone we might try.

In other news, the carpenter is done.  I have a bit of painting to do in the new room, but I've already put some stuff in there out of my way, and I love it.

Life goes on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy place

There's been a slight delay in the garage-building; the guys didn't receive all the proper metal sheets, so they'll be back Thursday and be finished by Friday.  They're doing a fine job, and have been moving right along.

This morning I sat down and started calling every electrician in the local phone book.  Finally I got a real person, and he said either he or one of his men would be here sometime today to look our situation over.  Now it's 3:30 and I haven't seen anybody yet, but that's the best promise I've had so far.  We shall see.

If he doesn't show, perhaps tonight I'll get some return calls from all the messages I left in voice mail for electrical contractors this morning.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The hot tub dilemma

My hot tub is here; it's full of water, and the water has been tested so we'll know what brew of chemicals to use.  I'm not IN my hot tub, though.

We can't seem to get an electrician to come out and wire it up.  Oh, we've called two guys we know personally.  One doesn't return our calls, and the other said he'd be here to check it out Wednesday.  LAST Wednesday.  No show.

So I guess our next step is to draw an electrician out of the hat:  in other words, consult our yellow pages and local ads.  That's how we found both the garage-builder AND the carpenter who's doing all our deck work, and so far they've worked out fine.

Wish us luck.

I can't help but wonder, though, why people won't return calls.  After all, it's their bread and butter.  If they're just too busy, I'd accept it.  I'd simply like to know what's going on.

I sure would like to soak in my hot tub.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm HOME



Rena and I survived the divorce; this picture was taken yesterday evening, after the divorce was final.

We also survived twelve hours on the road Wednesday and another twelve on the road today.  And we're still speaking to one another.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

small world

I just realized that on the day I'm in court in Antigo, Wisconsin, with my sister-in-law, I'll be sixteen miles from one of my readers.  Seems a shame not to meet her.

About the hot tub:  I've always loved them, and when we stay in a motel that has one, that's where I hang out, unless there are kids playing in it.  One of the high spots of a vacation to Colorado was sitting on the roof of a condo in a hot tub, watching the sun come up over a mountain.

However, I would never have splurged for such a luxury.  It's just plain stupid.

I'm wondering if we'll have trouble adjusting the chemicals.  I know the cost of upkeep for them is high... for instance, if something must be repaired after the warranty is through, it isn't going to be cheap.

An unexpected problem is this:  You shouldn't use soft water in them because it damages certain parts in the tub; but water as hard as ours can be damaging also.  What we're going to try is using half and half.

As I was saying, I was not going to get a hot tub.  But Cliff wanted me to have it; he reminded me of all the toys and unnecessary things I've insisted he buy because I knew he'd be so happy to have them.

Cliff wanted me to have a hot tub.  He wanted to see me enjoying something that I never thought, in my wildest imaginings, that I'd have.

He insisted.

What's a woman to do?

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Progress :-D

Exciting things are happening:



Looking east (notice there's a window now), and....



looking west.  As you can see, there isn't much deck left now that the hot tub is here.  That's OK.  I wasn't going to entertain out there, anyhow.

The hot tub still has to be wired; the electrician is coming tomorrow to see what must be done.

Oh, and the guy who's going to erect our garage came today.  It won't be long until that project is started. 

Looks like I'm missing a lot of excitement, being gone just now.  Of course, I may be seeing a lot more excitement in Wisconsin that I'd see here!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disappearing doggie



Cliff, his sister, and I, along with the dogs, Sadie and Angel, go for a walk every morning.  Both Cliff and Rena work until midnight, but they're up by 7:30; they linger over their coffee and chat, and by 8:30, we're usually heading toward the woods.

Longtime readers may remember how I used to mention Sadie disappearing in the woods when Cliff and I walked.  Sadie has gotten much better about that now, but I still remember how distraught I was when she'd run away and be gone for the better part of an hour.  I was afraid she'd get run over, like Mandy.

Rena's dog, Angel, weighs seven pounds, and her legs are about one inch long, but she not only keeps up with us (and Sadie), but she goes on side trips into the woods from time to time.  She never comes when Rena calls her, because she's as spoiled as she is cute.   She pretty much does as she pleases.

Yesterday we saw her run into the brush on a downhill slope and kept walking.  Cliff was sure that, once Angel saw we were out of sight, she'd catch up.

That wasn't the case, and Rena finally went back to the spot where we'd last seen her, calling and calling.

No response.

I began to hear panic in Rena's voice; and to be honest, I started feeling a bit worried myself.  Cliff and I headed back to the house, still hearing Rena's plaintive "Angel, COME!  Angel, COME!"

After perhaps twenty minutes, Rena came back and got on the four-wheeler and rode it back to the pasture, because Angel loves to ride and will come running when that engine starts up.

After another twenty minutes or so, Cliff and I decided to go back and help search for the runaway.  We were concerned, because honestly I don't know how Rena would handle it right now if something happened to her dog.  And the little doxie is so small, who knows what creature might consider her to be their lunch.

We could hear the four-wheeler in the distance, and Rena desperately calling.  As we neared the wooded areas, I heard a familiar "Yap, yap, yap," in the distance.  Rena, of course, wouldn't hear it because of the four-wheeler running.

"Cliff," I exclaimed, "I hear Angel barking!"

Cliff heard nothing; after all, he's terribly hard of hearing.

"I know that's her," I  told him. "I'd know that yapping anywhere."

We went to the location where we'd last seen Angel, flagging down Rena as she went by on the four-wheeler to let her know Angel was alive and barking.

We all stood at the edge of the woods calling, and occasionally Angel would bark an answer; she didn't sound all that far away.  Her barks began to have a bit of whine in them, and we agreed she must have gotten down in one of our deep ravines and was unable to find her way out.

Our wooded areas are full of stinging nettle (itch weed) in the summer, and all of us had shorts on.  So I decided to stay and keep talking to Angel while the two of them hopped on the four-wheeler and went back to the house to get long pants on.

Angel would bark, I'd talk to her.  She'd whine, I'd encourage her.

Finally I saw that little black "hot dog" body coming up the bank, back and forth through the itch weed.  She was panting like crazy, and so glad to see me.

I saw Cliff and Rena coming back; once they were in sight I put Angel down and she went running to the four-wheeler.  A very teary-eyed Rena hugged her dog so hard, it's a wonder she could breath.

And we all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Todays progress



Yeah, it's a real ROOM now.  With a ROOF!  Next thing you know it'll have shingles and a door and window. 



That was formerly our back door; now it'll be the door leading onto our porch.



That's our new back door, what there is of it.

I had not intended to make such a big room; I simply wanted a place for our freezer, and some shelves where I could store big stuff like my pressure canner and my roaster-oven.  Oh, and a place to hang our many coats and coveralls.  Cliff insisted on making it 8 X 10, and it seems huge to me.  But I'll bet I can find a use for every square foot.

In other news, at this time next week, Lord willing, Rena's divorce will be over and she and I will be heading home from Wisconsin.  She has had her plate full since she moved here with her GED school (she took her test Wednesday, but won't know how she did for about a month) and the divorce hanging over her head.  It's the not knowing that bothers a person, and she says she'll just be glad to have it over. 

I have a rather simple prayer request for those of you who pray:  Rena says she doesn't want to break down crying in court, in front of her soon-to-be ex and his girl friend.  Once it's over, she said, she doesn't care how many tears she sheds.  So, those of you who pray, if you'd just join me in asking God to hold back her tears until it's done, we'll appreciate it. 

This will be as closeup and personal as I've ever been with divorce, and I hope it's the last time.  Who knows, I might get a journal entry or two out of it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Progress on the back porch and deck



Now I can see just how large an 8 X 10 room is.  That ought to be all the storage space I need!  This shot looks toward the west.



This picture looks toward the east.   We finally found someone to erect a two-car garage soon; once that's done, we'll have the propane tank moved somewhere not so "in-your-face".

We're looking at  hot tubs, but I'm not sure just yet if I want to spend that kind of money on something I'd use, at most, fifteen minutes a day.  A hot tub sure does make my knees feel better, though.  The carpenter made the open end of the deck extra strong, just in case.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A message to Carrie (breakaway) and Nerves05

Back in June, I had two old rock magazines to get rid of, and staged a giveaway.  I was going to give both of them to the first person who commented that wanted them, which would have been Carrie (Breakaway1968).  However, after I contacted her, she felt Nerves05 ought to have them because she said her son would love to have them.

I've decided to send one magazine to each of them.

Carrie, I have your snail mail address.  Nerves05, please email me with yours.  I finally remembered to purchase manila envelopes in which to send them.

And to the first three folks who responded to my pay-it-forward entry, I'm starting to get some good ideas on what to send you, so hang in there.  I have not forgotten; I'm just a procrastinator. 

My back porch and deck are now under construction!



This was taken yesterday, looking west toward Marvin's place.  That back door will lead into an enclosed porch.  The nearest window is the living room; the other one, the kitchen.



This shot looks east.  The farthest window is my computer room; next is the living room window, and then the kitchen. 



I took this shot as we went for our walk this morning.  I'll be so glad when we can get the propane tank moved, but that can't happen until we get a garage built.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I love old barns



These lovely old structures are a dying species. 



This one, near Coffey, Missouri, is somewhat unusual.  Looks like someone has put a roof on it recently.  Maybe they'll paint it soon.



Somebody loves this one, too.

Cliff and I had not intended to go to any family reunions this year; his weekend "relaxing" times are precious, and we planned to stay home and chill out.

However, when this past weekend brought us temperatures with lows in the 60's and highs in the low 80's, we knew it was time to ride the motorcycle.  What better destination than the town, one hundred miles away, where my mom's family reunion is held?

I'll be posting more pictures of our actual ride in other entries either here or on my Blogger site.

I'm so thankful for the weather we're having; this is unheard of in Missouri, in August!

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Friday, August 8, 2008

We're rockin' around here

Our old Ford pickup gets about twelve miles per gallon, so it's a rare occasion when we use it.  We decided not to buy expensive landscape rock to put around our trailer.  We went across the river where they sell river sand and bought the simple rocks they sell, instead.  They aren't as colorful, but hey... it'll do, at only $30 a ton. 

Speaking of our pickup, the next license we buy for her will be the last.  She'll officially be a classic, and as long as we don't drive her too many miles, we won't have to renew the license.  (Who could afford to drive her far?)



Here's what we're doing with the rocks; before long there will be edging and shrubs.



The carpenter came today and drilled holes for our back porch and deck.  Monday he'll start the actual construction.



Evidently our monsoon season is over; I'm now watering the Norway Spruce trees daily.  The Lombardy Poplars are pretty much like weeds, so I don't worry about watering them.

Notice Sadie running around loose?  She's getting better at staying with me, and coming when I call.  Oh, she occasionally runs away and worries me, but those times are getting fewer and farther between.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

lyrics of a song I once wrote for my daughter

My daughter, in a journal entry, asked me to post the lyrics to a certain song.

She was about eight years old, and I was in the song-writing phase of my life, when she asked the question, "Mom, do wishing wells really work?"

I normally don't post lyrics to songs I've written over the years because people tend to see them as poems, not songs.  But I'll make an exception this time.  (Since I did actually have a publisher back then, this one is copyrighted.)

                                            WISHES

My little girl came to me;

She smiled at me and then
Said, "Mom, does a wishing well really work
When you throw a penny in?"
I started to say, "No, my dear,
These things are just pretend.
You get only what you work for;
That's what matters, in the end."

And then I looked around me
At the things that I hold dear.
I counted all my blessings
As I held back a tear,
For I never worked for all the things
That mean the world to me.
I just hoped and dreamed and wished on stars,
That's how it all came to be.

Yes, I wished for your daddy, girl,
Before we'd ever met.
I wished on stars and rainbows,
And I cannot forget
How I wished for you when you were just
A gleam in your daddy's eye...
Yes, Darling, wishes do come true,
Keep wishing till you die.


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Sunday, August 3, 2008

A meme

I swiped this from one of my Blogger buddies, Grams.

The rules: All you have to do is Google your first name with the word needs behind it and post the first 10 results. Don't forget to tag people (if you are the tagging sort)!

Here we go:


1.  Donna needs a donut.  (You bet I do!)
2.  Donna needs a BFF (a best friend forever?  I have one; his name is Cliff)
3.  Donna needs two hands to keep things steady.  (It might take more.)
4.  Donna needs Bloggers' help. (Sure, do any of you have suggestions?)
5.  Donna needs the doctor.  (Duh.  I'm sixty-four.  Of course I need a doctor.)
6.  Donna needs companionship of other female Asian elephants.  (Other?  What are you insinuating?)
7.  Donna needs 12 1/8 of ribbon to make 5 bows.  (Shrugging here.)
8.  Donna needs you.  (Well sure, otherwise I wouldn't have any readers!)
9.  Donna needs to let Owen go.  (Is that one of the barn cats?  Be free, Owen!)
10.  Donna needs a baby pool.  (Not until I get a great-grandbaby.)


I'm not a "tagging" person.  Do it if you want to.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm back on my desktop

As I mentioned earlier this week, my desktop computer wouldn't access the Internet, even though the laptop was connecting. 

I was going to take my computer tower for a checkup and fix; we just hadn't gotten around to it.  And since I do have a spare computer, I wasn't in a huge hurry.

Today I remembered that when my printer wasn't working and I asked readers for help, several suggested that I unplug it and then plug it back in and reboot.  That worked great.

Sometimes the unplugging and plugging back in works for televisions, too.

So I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it with my computer.

My old motto was, "If all else fails, reboot."

My new motto is, "If rebooting doesn't work, try unplugging it for awhile.


I love it when it's that easy a fix.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I was going to go to my cabin....

My day was full of ups and downs.  After Cliff, Rena and I went for our (very wet and foggy) walk, I saddled Blue and rode for a short time... mainly out of guilt.  Poor guy, because of heat and rain and just being busy, he hasn't gotten enough attention lately.  So I spent time with him.  That was a good time.

Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to send our property insurance, I realized I needed to talk to our insurance man:  After all, we are no longer living in our old house.  We've insured the mobile home, but I figured we needed to let someone know that Cliff's sister is living in our old house.

Well, guess what?  We get to pay $150 more a year, because it isn't US living there.

After discussing a few more issues that didn't set well with me, I ended up yelling at our insurance man on the phone.  It didn't do a lot of good, but at least I got it off my chest.  We've had the same insurance (Concordia Farmer's Mutual) for thirty years and only used it once, and I get treated like trash that can't be trusted.

Trouble is, there isn't a lot of choice, since most insurance companies won't touch old houses out in the country.  Believe me, I've checked.

So I fumed and fussed for awhile and wondered if I needed to spend a night at the cabin.  Then I thought about having no air conditioning or shower.  And remembered my firepit and my porch right here at home.

Yeah.  I kept my camp-out right here. Now I'm sitting on my porch, typing on my laptop, and thinking what a wonderful home I have.

The hot dogs were extra-good because they were Nathan's hot dogs.

Thanks, Joanna, for getting me addicted to hot dogs that cost over $4 a pound.

In spite of the cost of my insurance, I can still afford them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barn swallows

Once the rain stopped today, I sat on the porch waiting for hummingbirds to show up.  I didn't have to wait long.  At one time, two showed up together.  Wow!

But another thing I noticed as I sat there was that we are overwhelmed by barn swallows!  Up at the old house, we had to tear down a mud nest or two on the front porch every year; but I had no idea how many of the little critters really lived here.

We're "out behind the barn", which is where, I imagine, many of them live and where they were born and raised.  So I did a Google search on them, thinking anything that prolific can't be a good thing.

Well, Dr. Google seems to think they can be either good or bad, usually a mix of both; sorta like us humans.  So, as I told Cliff, I guess I'll just sit back and enjoy them.

Plenty of rain (and other short stories)

At five-thirty this morning, I took a flashlight, went to the rain gauge, and saw 4 2/10 inches of rain that had fallen since last night.  Since the gauge only holds five inches, I dumped it; but it's still raining out there!

The biggest drawback of using Dish TV is that heavy rain and storms tend to leave you without television.  I've found out, however, that I can get two local channels quite nicely, with absolutely no antenna.  I turn off the dish box and pick up good signals on local ABC and CBS.  Which means I can keep informed on the weather situation.

I think it's time to take my desktop in for a checkup.  It won't connect to the Internet this morning.  I'd sort of like it to have those Microsoft updates that keep shutting it down, anyhow.  Thank goodness for my laptop.

It's good to have a spare computer.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've been watching hummingbirds

Sunday I bought a hummingbird feeder for my porch.  I had not given it a lot of thought until this evening; I went outside to sit for awhile and heard the hum of tiny wings right behind me.

I turned to look and the little creature was gone.  Sadie was on her tie-out barking at whatever it is she barks at, and I had little hope of seeing him again.  But before you know it, he was back.  He left and came back several times, but finally he took his place on the tiny perch and drank freely from the feeder.  It appears he lives in the nearest tree, because that's where he went each time he left the feeder.

Somebody pinch me; I think I've died and gone to heaven.

Our builder-guy gave us the bid on the enclosed porch and deck we're adding onto the back, and he's well under our budget.  He'll start construction next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guess who's back?

Meatloaf had been away from home for almost three months.  There are no barns or sheds on the property where he's been mooching, so we had not had any way to catch him and bring him home.  The farmer with whose cows he was staying wasn't upset at all by his presence.  "He isn't hurting anything," he said.

Friday night he called me on the phone to inform me that he had managed to trap Meatloaf in the one makeshift pen on the place, and would meet us Saturday morning to help us get him in the trailer.

Everything went well, and Meatloaf is finally home.

Welcome home, you ugly little critter.

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