I love this…

Purple Tulip Art Studio

I worked on this piece for a few days, layering and layering acrylic paint. After each layer I gave it a day or so for me to come back to it so I could look at it with fresh eyes. I’m glad I did. I had no forethought for what I wanted this piece to be. Intellectually, I understood the concept of how a sculptor would say, all they did was bring out of the marble or the wood what was already there.

In a way, this is what happened with this painting, but not until the next to last layer. It took a day or two for me to see it. Once, I did, all it took was black and white oil pastels to bring it out.


If you like this painting, you can get prints here.

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I’ve been practicing lately…

Often times we find ourselves on a journey we did not expect. I’m not sure how many people actually succeed in creating their life exactly the way they had envisioned it to be. All I know is, anything I have planned doesn’t turn out like I envisioned it to be.

That isn’t to say it is a bad thing. It just can be very frustrating, and most times it pushes our comfort zone. May be that is why it happens. May be we need to find ourselves a bit out of our comfort zone in order to grow and to change, so we can become more than we are.

I have found myself in such a situation. Which has made me do some soul searching, but most of all it has made me re-evaluate myself.

I’ve been doing a lot of practicing lately. I’ve been practicing positive thinking. That sometimes doesn’t go so well. It is so easy to fall back on old habits. I used to think I was a positive person, but over the past year, evaluating my life and especially myself, I have learned that isn’t necessarily true. Practicing though, is turning that around. I’ll probably be practicing positive thinking for the rest of my life.

I mention all of this because one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, other than facing cancer and the loss of my job was to break down barriers, blockages which have been in place since I was a child. One of those blockages has to do with how I feel about myself and my abilities as an artist.

Like many artist, I’m very critical of what I create. I was so critical in fact, I allowed it to interfere with even picking up a pencil and making a single mark on a page with the intent to draw something. Part of practicing positive thinking includes practicing telling myself I am an artist.

This has led me to practicing other things, one of those things is drawing. Portraiture drawing to be more precise. I was looking back through some of the pictures I posted here and realized I haven’t posted much in a while. I have my reasons for that which I’m not going to explain here. At least not at this time. I thought though I would post something to show my progress.

This first picture, I posted a while back when I first started working on learning how to draw faces. In fact, it was October 28, 2016 when I posted it. I remember being proud of myself for being able to create the drawings without a reference photo. I steered away from reference photos because it was just too hard to look at what I was able to produce and see how far off it was from the picture I was referencing.facesToday, I still don’t use reference photos very much, but occasionally I do. Tonight was one of those nights I decided to use a reference photo and this is the result:

Page 12-2 copy

It still doesn’t look like the person in the photo but I am a great deal closer to being able create something that closely resembles the person than I was last October. It also looks more realistic than my previous drawings. I’m still working on getting proportions correct. The eyes are right, which always seems to be a problem for me. I would say the eyes are the hardest for me, but that isn’t necessarily true. Just getting the whole angle, size, shape, and alignment correct is challenging. It’s getting better though.

I still have quite a ways to go before I have a life like drawing, but even I can see the improvement I’ve made since last October. That being said, I’m continuing to practice. Maybe one day I will be able to draw her and some of you may be able to recognize her.


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Selling art….

Purple Tulip Art Studio

My journey as an artist had begun with just wanting to awaken my inner artist. This journey started by simply learning to doodle by following some simple step out instructions on . This was simple enough and soon expanded into learning how to draw mandalas.

I couldn’t stop there and soon developed into a full fledged adventure into all different mediums in the art world. I learned about mixed media art which appealed to my inner artist because, and to be quite frank, I’m just not a one medium girl. Even though I had some preconceived ideas that some mediums wouldn’t get along with me very well, I was soon to discover those ideas had no foundation to stand upon.

I ventured into all sorts of mediums and found some I am falling in love with. Acrylics and watercolors are probably my top two favorites right now. I’m also…

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Rudderless and change…

I’ve been trying to figure out what to blog about. Should I write a short story? Should I write an update about what has been going on in my life? What would my followers want most? I have no idea.

I lost track of how many posts I started and never finished. Some were short stories. Some were updates on my life. Some were just meanderings of nothingness.

This sort of reflects where I am in life. I’m in a period of confusion. I’m feeling lost and alone. I’m feeling betrayed. I have had the whole range of emotions cycling through me, sometimes when I least expect it and without warning. I don’t always know why or what triggers the emotions. I am, however, learning.

What I’m feeling most of all is the feeling of being lost, or adrift, no rudder to be found. I have nothing to grasp onto to help me steer my ship.

For some, Tarot, is the tool of the devil. For others, it is just a game. For others, it is a way to divine the future. And for still others, it is a way to connect with our higher selves. I have had to try and breach the wall of judgmental thinking of Tarot being the tool of the devil. I grew up with Christianity as my foundation where just wearing clothes the church deemed provocative was sinful. Where enjoying the beauty of our bodies would send us to hell.

I couldn’t live up to their standards, so I walked away. I didn’t walk away from my beliefs, I walked away from religion which was too judgmental, confining and even condemning in their thoughts and actions.

I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be happy believing as everyone else believed. Or living like everyone else lived. I still have problems understanding why I don’t fit within those molds. The cookie cutter world so many people seem so happy to live within. I still struggle with this.

I know, the reason I feel so rudderless, is because I am embarking on a journey so different from what I have ever experienced. I find myself asking myself, “What do you want?” That is such a broad question, I try to narrow it down, so I ask, “What do I want in a relationship?” or “What do I want to do for work?” or “What do I want to do for fun?

Sometimes, I come up with answers, but mostly I come up with more questions. “What do I want in a relationship? Do I want a relationship with a man? Maybe, I just don’t want a relationship at all? Do I want to go through all the work it takes to get to know someone and then find out they aren’t the one? Do I want to have someone come into our lives and have him completely change everything? Can I have a relationship with a man and still have everything I have now?” on and on the questions go. Each topic, very much the same. Just change the word ‘relationship’ to ‘work’ and ‘man’ to ‘business or company’ and you have the same questions I ask myself about work.

Who am I kidding, no matter what happens, one element entering our lives will change it. The question is, am I willing to have this happen? If I were honest with myself the answer would be ‘no’ and ‘yes’. See what I mean? I’m rudderless. I want these things, I just don’t want things to change. But it will change. I’ve had so much change over the past three years, I’m scared to have any more changes come into my life.

Why am I afraid? Because the changes that have gone on these past three years have been devastating in so many ways. The next change that occurs has to be something uplifting, something wonderful, maybe even something beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t handle another devastating event.

So, in order to prevent this from happening, I remain rudderless. No movement, means no change. Nothing new and wonderful, means no room for it to go sour and fall apart.

I, however, cannot continue to remain rudderless. This will only work for so long before I have no other option than to make a choice, that puts the rudder back in my hand in order to steer my way into the current of the stream.

Life is a stream. It moves. It flows. Sometimes, it will become what appears to be a stagnant pool but eventually that stagnation will end. I am hoping I have restored my energies enough to withstand what is coming next. I have no option but to face it and do what is necessary.

Again, a question.. what will that be? I have no idea. I can only hope it will be something good and wonderful.

I brought up Tarot earlier. Here is an example of how I utilize Tarot. In a class I am part of, they have daily prompts to fill into the blank space left in a sentence or question. This month’s question is “What do I need to know about _____?”  Today’s prompt was “nature”. Filling in the blank space and the question becomes, “What do I need to know about nature?”

What you are meant to do, is focus on the question while shuffling a deck of your choice. Whether you use an oracle deck, tarot deck, playing card deck, or whatever, it is your choice. Once you feel like the cards are shuffled enough, you then pull a single card from the deck. You then look at the card. Study it. Ask yourself, what do you see in the card. How does this card make you feel? How does this card, or the feelings you feel when you look at the card, relate to the question?

I pulled XX Judgement, from my Tarot deck. I sometimes read the guidebook for the card I pull. I did today but it wasn’t helpful. It is best to go with your first instincts of what you thought and felt when you first looked at the card. My first thought was, “it is our nature to be judgmental”.  This then helped me to understand, that we need to be aware of whether our judgements are negative or positive. What we think and do goes out into the world. It comes back to us, sometimes more powerful. We might not consciously think about sending our thoughts out into the world. They go out there whether we want them to or not.

I’ve been less than kind in my judgments over the past three years. I’ve been rather harsh in my judgments towards my doctors and the company I worked for. I want to let go of all of that and be more positive, think more positive. It isn’t always easy. In fact, for me, most times it is very difficult to think positively.

I grew up in a negative environment, therefore, I learned to be rather negative in my thoughts and outlook on life. I want to change it but not sure if I can. It is a constant struggle. Again, another feeling of being rudderless, with no direction and just letting the stream take me over the rapids and hope I don’t tip out of the boat and drown. See how negative my thoughts can be?

Nature in itself is a slowly evolving entity. It doesn’t react well to a sudden onslaught of changes. Build a city and nature recedes. Have a sudden flood and nature goes dormant. But all of these things are temporary, eventually nature, in its persistence, will slowly revive itself and grow. In the case of a city, if left without interference, nature will devour it, leaving behind a network of skeletons it will use to become stronger.

Evolution really is about nature becoming stronger. Even mutations are natures way of evolving into something more powerful. You can’t stop change. I can’t stop change. At the most, I can enter into a state of dormancy to hold off change for as long as possible, but eventually, in its persistence, change will come. Change will take over.

I have a choice, either accept it and work with it, fight it, or remain neutral and let it take me where it will.

The question is, how do you tell the difference between fighting change and working with it? There have been times where I thought for sure I was working with change but now wonder if I have been fighting against it.


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Challenges great and small…

I have been facing some interesting challenges of late. I don’t just have the challenge of trying to find a job. I have other challenges.

After being laid off my job, I was faced with having to cut back on expenses. As with most everyone, one of the larger bills is internet and cable, so I decided to cut out cable and just have the internet. I was spurred into action to do this when another company tried to win me over as a customer.

I had signed up to switch over because the new company had unlimited data for their internet solution. When my provider at the time found out I was switching they called and convinced me to stay as their customer. They did this by telling me I could reduce my plan and not worry about my data usage since they don’t charge their customers if they go over their data usage for their plan. I was reassured to not worry about it.

Since then, I have received two calls. One last month, trying to get me to switch plans due to exceeding my data usage. When I chose not to change my plan, they sent me an email with guidelines on what I could do to possibly reduce my data usage. I told them I would try but in fact, there wasn’t anything I could do.

I was called again today because they said my data usage had gone up. This is not surprising since my daughter is now doing all her school work from home and I am also taking classes, all involving a lot of video downloads. This time however when I asked what would happen if I didn’t lower my usage, I was told they may suspend my services for three days in an attempt to try and get me to comply. I told them, no problem, I’ll find another provider that has unlimited data usage. There are a few in Canada now that do provide this. In fact, the one I was going to switch to would provide it and the cost would be the same that I am now paying and being harassed about my data usage from my current provider.

Of course, when I told him I would find another provider, his response was the other providers would cost more. This is always their response and then when I find one that doesn’t cost more, then they offer me special cost reductions for a year, then we go through this all again. (yes, I’ve been through similar situations with this same company but for other reasons) My year will be up in August for this special pricing. I am sure I will find another provider and I won’t have to be bullied any more. So my work is ahead of me to research and have discussions with other internet providers.

The other challenge I am facing is trying to find my daughter an educational program that will fit her style of learning and her current situation. My daughter has missed a lot of school the first two semester due to a severe hormone imbalance that ends up with her out of school two weeks out of every four weeks. We finally transferred her to a distance education program recommended by her school counselor. However, the transition was not smooth.

The transition though quick, had problems. The work she completed in her classes in the public school was not transferred well to the new school. Her course schedule included a lot of repeating work she had already completed INCLUDING courses she learned in previous elementary grade levels. She had progressive teachers in her elementary school who included teaching modules that were in higher grade levels.

Inspiration and motivation to take the modules in her course curriculum was severely lacking. I can’t blame her. Especially when some of the modules were from her current year as well which she had completed. We sat down together and went through her science curriculum and by just looking at the titles of the modules my daughter was able to tell me all about the course and what she knew and when she had learned it and from which teacher.

The other challenge was, in essence, the distance education program she transferred into was nothing more than all the public school classes converted to online modules, videos, and reading materials. Very dry and boring stuff. Her assignments were the same only instead of handwritten assignments they were now typed and emailed to her teachers for grading or downloaded into a special folder for her teachers to access.

The first month to two months was fraught with issues. One assignment she turned in couldn’t be accessed by her teacher, it took three times and almost a week for her teacher to get it. Another teacher had assigned her to grade 9 math and she was supposed to be in grade 8 math. They were supposed to omit her from a portion of the modules that she had already completed from her previous school and yet looking at her curriculum it looked like she had all four semesters to complete and no idea of where to start except at the beginning. She ended up getting almost through one whole module before finding out she didn’t have to do that module.

This just added frustration upon frustration for her and her motivation ceased almost entirely. In the process, I, as her home facilitator, am supposed to monitor her progress. However, the tools to do so are completely non-existent. In order for me to see what she has done, I log onto her account, and can only look at the report where they log her grades. The only progress they show is when her grades are submitted and then the report is upgraded to show a percentage completed. I am unable to see her progress on a day-to-day level unless I’m sitting watching over her shoulder or she shows me what she has completed. Anyone having a fourteen year old will know that doesn’t happen.

Consequently, because of missed attendance and inability to keep up with her school work, she is facing the possibility of failing grade 8. Anyone who knows how smart my daughter is would be immensely shocked at this. I have been at a loss as to what to do.

Just walking by her the other day, I heard her exclaim, “Why can’t I just write my own story?” I asked her what that was all about and she said, the assignment was to write the next chapter to the book they had been assigned to read. In her opinion, the way the book had ended, there was nothing to write about for the next chapter.

I can understand her frustration. English is about learning the tools. It isn’t about whether you can continue writing a story someone else wrote. It isn’t even about whether you have the imagination to write a story. It is about learning the tools, can you put the words together to form a sentence, sentences together to form a cohesive paragraph, and then yes at least the understanding of how to formulate a story. Does it make sense. Did you leave out punctuation that can cause someone to understand the sentence, or paragraph differently from what you meant?

I agree that children should attempt to write a story, or poetry or other forms of writing because if they don’t then they will never know if it is something they would really enjoy doing. But teachers and sometimes those agencies who administer the requirements for education miss the point completely. If my daughter wants to write her own story then why not let her instead of writing a sequel to a story someone else wrote? Either one would provide the proof of my daughter’s knowledge in writing to satisfy educational requirements.

After hearing her exclamation and the frustration in her voice and body language, I realized I needed to find another solution. When she was having the issue with public school I considered home schooling and started researching it. Finding out she would not qualify for a graduate certificate if she is home schooled I spoke with her counselor about other options which is why she ended up in the distance education program.

With finally accepting that this particular distance education program isn’t a fit for her, I reconsidered home schooling and started researching it. I came across a Home Educators’ Association and found other resources which led me to other distance education programs and ultimately to SelfDesign.

SelfDesign is an education program which allows parents and students to have a say in how and what they learn. They still adhere to the education requirements and will qualify for a graduate certificate but in a much more fluid way. If it works as I hope it will and as it has been described to me, my daughter will be able to choose how she learns math, or what she will do for English and so forth. For instance, it was described to me this way, if a student loves art, then there are ways in which they can learn math through their art. Students are given an education counselor, these are certified teachers who will discuss with my daughter what she loves to do, and how she likes to learn, then with the cooperation of the student they create an education plan together and they offer resources or help her find resources she can use in her learning. They can use real life experiences as proof of her knowledge on a subject and any other various ways to provide proof of her knowledge to earn her graduate certificate.

I made the comment that this seemed so different from public school and the distance education program she was in that I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around how it would all work. I was told to throw away everything I knew about public school and the way they administer education. SelfDesign was founded in 1990, so they have been doing this for a long time. They are having more and more families enroll their children because the regular school system no longer meets the needs of their children.

I am excited about this for my daughter. She is also excited about it. It melds very well with what I have been teaching her since she was born. I have shown her how she can learn anything she wants to on her own with the right resources. Finding this school now, I feel, is a blessing and a confirmation of what I have tried to do with my daughter since day one.

It is my belief this will free her to grow in leaps and bounds and no longer feel restricted or confined or controlled by a governing system that in my opinion is becoming outdated. I think too it will help her build confidence and belief in herself and her abilities.

The first challenge I mentioned is really just a nagging pain in the ass type of challenge and a confirmation that corporations can’t be trusted to stand by their word. Integrity in large corporations seems to be lacking these days.

This second challenge, I feel, is a major life changing event for my daughter, as well as myself. It is my hope this will free us both up to become more than we ever expected to be.



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Waking up wasn’t so easy for her today. It wasn’t just because she hadn’t slept well. No. It wasn’t that at all.

She looked around her. It was something she did constantly, even in her sleep. It wasn’t habitual. That would indicate she had lost some control over it, but that wasn’t it at all.

What she saw eventually produced a mind numbing effect. There wasn’t anything grand about it. The space she inhabited would make any mind want to scamper into a place where the senses could no longer be acknowledged.

She welcomed the absence of thought and feeling. It was better than what had occupied her mind and senses only a few days ago. Could it have really only been two days ago? No, it couldn’t have been. It had to be far longer than that. If not a year, then at least a few months. But, the only telltale sign were the marks she left behind whenever she chose to try and open the door.

A door she knew she had stared at for hours, upon hours whenever she had finally allowed her mind to leave her. Did those hours add up to a day, or two days, or a week? There was no way of knowing. The only thing she was absolutely sure of was what she saw when she looked around her.

Looking wasn’t the only thing she did. She had to try the door again, if only to reassure her numbed mind that it was indeed closed beyond her ability to open it. Coming awake after having slept was harder than trying to open the door. For a brief instance, she would believe her situation was only temporary. Her dreams had allowed her to believe it was true. In her dreams the door would open when she turned the knob. In her dreams, she could walk out the door into a whole other world. When she woke, her brain, though numb and lifeless, would fight hard to stay within the land of her dreams.

Waking was like a stepping out of heaven and entering hell. She wondered at times if it felt anything at all how a baby would feel being forced into the bright cold world after living in a warm dark environment that provided everything it ever needed. The stark reality of it was enough to make her mind snap.

The movement of standing was harsh and brutal. After sitting or lying in the same position for hours, her body protested against any movement. Sometimes, she thought she could hear her joints and muscles scream but in reality there was no sound, only the painful firing of the neurons as she forced her limbs to straighten and hold her diminishing weight.

Her clothing hung limply upon her slight frame. A frame that once held an abundance of flesh. She had surpassed any feeling of emptiness or need her body once produced. Luckily there were no mirrors for her to witness what she had become.

The cold tile of the floor registered upon her naked feet. Every time her foot touched the floor her brain registered a slight jolt of surprise. Was it really so impossible to believe she could feel anything anymore, let alone the coolness of the tiles? Why was that so unbelievable and shocking to her mind? Was it because her mind had ceased to register how cold she really felt inside and out?

It wouldn’t be so unbelievable if there had been no more remnants of what her life used to be like. She didn’t acknowledge her past anymore, or it was a rare occasion when she did. Moments like this when she couldn’t stop her mind from examining everything around her, seeing it for what it really was.

Allowing herself to believe it, now that was a different story. She preferred to believe it was just her imagination, that this was really her dream life when she slept and her dreams were her real life. But waking always inevitably shattered the illusion she tried to weave around herself.

The coolness of the door knob barely registered as her fingers closed around it. The motion automatic to turn it. This was like a test she performed each time she woke. A test her brain devised to reinforce her captivity. Her inability to go anywhere but turn around and witness the expanse her mind conjured before her. Each time the knob didn’t turn, didn’t budge, didn’t wield the results she remembered from her dreams, she would turn a hundred and eighty degrees, like a soldier being commanded to do an about face.

For one brief second before her hand and her mind would register the refusal of the door knob to move, all her hopes and dreams would be allowed to awaken. For one split second, she would truly feel the joy, the excitement, the astounding belief that this would all be over. For that split second, she lived again in a world of never ending, unbelievable possibilities. For one split second, she wanted to dance a jig, sing a joyful song, and smile. For just one split second, she would hold the door knob, suspended in time, but only for one split second. Anything longer than that was torture. Torture for her soul.

Reviewing her surroundings was in essence like taking inventory. A mat, pushed into the farthest corner. Upon it, a thread worn blanket, extolling its endless use. A white porcelain sink floating upon the light grey cinder block wall, next to it a cold porcelain bowl jutting out from the same cold grey cinder block wall, each with their shiny silver tubing for input and output of the sustenance called water.

There was only one other oddity. An encasement within the wall which at times provided sustenance of the somewhat solid variety. Nothing else inhabited the room, except for her. In time, even she would cease to exist in solid form. Maybe she would remain here as a ghost once her body finally released its bonds upon this existence.

This was her captivity. The world of her own creation. This is where she would live out the rest of her days. The only contact, the only proof there was a world outside of her cold cinder block room was the delivery of the almost inedible matter within the encasement in the wall. She saw and spoke to no one other than the voices residing in her head.

There was no tomorrow. There was only now. This moment. This…. This… that was right now. It was her whole existence. It was all that kept her from going insane.

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She… I call her ‘she’, because first and foremost my character is a ‘she’. I don’t want to give her a name, because ‘she’ can be any female, anywhere in life or in this world or universe.

She walked through the door, hoping for a miracle but knowing deep in her heart she was past being given any miracles. She wondered how much that attitude kept the miracles at bay.

Doors are for walking through, or so she told herself, even though she knew some people used them for keeping people out, or keeping themselves in. She had been one of each of those types of people at various points in her life. Currently, she was about finding ways to walk through them, no matter how scary she imagined it would be on the other side.

Today, at least, her fear didn’t keep her immobilized. It only marginally effected her digestive system. Thank god, nothing pushed her stressors like the last job she had and had to quit. She had lost ten pounds in just the two weeks following her training when she had started to actually do the job she was trained to do. She could never hold a job like that, not because she wasn’t smart enough but because she physically couldn’t handle the stress any more.

Two major life changes, possibly leading into a third, and she had reached her physical limit to containing and managing stress. At home, she did things she loved doing and utilized them to learn what she could about herself and to let go of the things she could not change.

Today, opening and walking through the door, was a symbolic act of where she was in life. Would this act alone bring her what she needed? Would it give her any relief to the worries and fears her life now contained? What could she do differently that would bring about a solution she was able to live with? Or was she already in that place?

That was the big question. Did she already have what she needed? Was she just making things seem worse than they really were? How could she ever know what was the truth and what was just made up in her own head?

She has always been the type of person who could see the whole range of possibilities from any given action or decision to be made. Most times, the ability, to do so, aided her in making a choice that she could live with and in some cases really feel happy about. On the rare occasion, that talent would cause her more angst than she wanted in her life.

Today was one of those days, or should she say, the past year has been one of those times. It was one of those times when the hard, the difficult, the more worrisome parts of her vision overpowered the truly wonderful possibilities.

Walking back out the door a few hours later, and nothing had changed. Well, that isn’t really true. What had changed was having to face facts. She couldn’t sit on her butt hoping someone would throw her the bone of her dreams. She would have to work for what she wanted.

She knew deep down what she wanted. She knew with all her heart. Would she be able to make it happen? Would she have the stamina required? Would she be able to open her heart and soul to the possibility and embrace it wholeheartedly? And the biggest question of them all. Would she be able to be open to embracing the challenges that would come her way as learning and growing experiences to aid her journey instead of seeing them as obstacles to make her fail or give up?

Getting into her car, looking at the gas gauge, seeing it so near empty, was so representative of where she felt she was in her life right now. It reminded her of how an optimist sees a glass as half full, and a pessimist sees a glass as half empty. She had always been the half empty type. Knowing this would not serve her, she decided it was time to change perspective. Even that seemed daunting.

In reality, there was only a small amount of room left for going down. Looking down was no longer an option. Everything she does from now on would be only done to lift her up, to see her next step as going forward upon the trail she was now blazing for herself. Well, blazing was a rather strong term, it was more like treading, leaving behind small footprints barely reflecting her passage.

She wasn’t out to change the world as everyone else knew it. She was out to change only her small significant world she lived within. That in itself was daunting enough.


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