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Warm Pie Happy Home

Aunt Ruthie’s Very Merry Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on December 19th, 2014

farmhouse Christmas

Welcome! Dear Sugar Pie! Happy Christmas bells are ringing at Sugar Pie Farmhouse! You know what? Life has been a little cray-cray around here! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to finish this post and for some reason life-stuff has called me away! And one day my server was down so I couldn’t even log-in! Goodness gracious! Christmas is only a week away! Thankfully, I’ve finally got it up and running and I’m so thrilled that you’re here!!

As Andy Williams’ old song goes “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”.  If you were here in person I would greet you with a warm hug, hand you a mug of hot cocoa with fluffy marshmallows on top and sit you down near the fire for a fun chat all about the blessings of Christmas. But since I can’t do that the next best thing is to welcome you with open arms via this little-o blog of mine to celebrate this glorious season!

So darlin’ go grab yourself something yummy to drink, turn on your favorite Christmas music and even light a candle to create a festive, Christmas-y ambiance! Let me show you around…

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A blanket of “snow” and frosty “icicles” drip from the mantle! This simple snowy blanket is just made from quilt batting! I cut the “icicles” along the edge, painted it with white glue and sprinkled clear glitter on top to make it glisten like frost. If you’ve followed my blog for long you may recognize my matching buckets. I use them over and over for every season. I’ll never forget, a few years back, when my hubby and I were in St. Charles, Missouri and I went into a gift shop filled with all kinds of fancy and sparkly Christmas decorations. He waited outside while I shopped and was so surprised when I walked out with these two very old and crusty galvanized buckets. “Huh!” he said, “I can’t believe out of everything in that store you chose those junky buckets!” I chuckled, “HELLO!!! I LOVE JUNK!! Trust me honey, I have big plans for these!”  to which he shook his head from side to side with a grin, kinda like Ricky did with Lucy. I am so thankful he trusts me to decorate our home! ‘Cuz that’s my thang! So see, those buckets turned out to be the perfect container for my little lighted trees!

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Noel…born is the King of Israel.

Just a little trivia for fun: This old Christmas Carol was most likely from the 18th century. The word Noel comes from the French word Noël meaning Christmas, from the Latin word natalis which translates as birthday”.

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“Vintage” mittens and jingle bells hung over the fire. I bought children’s white mittens from Walmart and soaked them in a bucket of instant coffee and hot water for a day to “age” them. After they dried, I dipped the end of the mittens in glue and glitter. They look like they’ve been kept in an attic for decades.

I love to create vignettes as I decorate and after I finish sometimes a story pops in my head. Here’s my story about these mittens, it goes like this:

The setting;

The Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. December 20, 1910

(Before you begin reading, if you want to add a little excitement to this story go open a new tab and go to Pandora.com then type in “Yo-Yo Ma” as your music category. Then come back here. Yo-Yo Ma is an amazing Cellist, I listen to this station while writing. LOVE!!” )

Since Pa took the wagon into Knoxville for a few days to get supplies, Mama thought it would be a good time to finish up the Christmas present she was making for him. With Christmas just a week away she had so much to do. So she sent her children, Henry, Andrew and Emma outside to get their wiggles out by frolicking in the snow. All buttoned and mittened-up, they giggled and squealed, throwing snowballs, playing tag, and catching snowflakes that lazily floated from the heavens onto their tongue.

After a while, the icy north wind began to blow hard with a fierce and rapid flow of thick snowfall. Inside, as mama placed the steaming skillet of browned biscuits onto the table, shutting the heavy oven door, her eyes caught a glimpse of the heavy rush of snow streaming sideways past the small kitchen window.  The yard was a white blur. How long has it been snowing like that? Panic struck her.  Flinging the front door open she dashed outside onto the porch. The raw wind was so biting it took her breath away. Her children were nowhere to be seen. She couldn’t even see ten feet in front of her. She shouted, “Henry! Andrew! Emma!”. Only the wind replied, with a forlorn, hollow whistle. Her heart dropped and her legs felt weak. They must have wandered beyond the barn and perhaps through the thicket into the woods. She shuttered at the thought. “Lord have mercy!” she wailed. In a frenzy, she grabbed the rope of the hefty dinner bell that stood tall next to the porch steps. Her long skirt whipped and snapped as the wind howled passed her. She rang the bell again and again and again, praying they would hear it and walk toward the sound. Clang. Clang. Clang. Echoing throughout the hills, it pealed the call to come home! Tears poured from her eyes, wetting strands of hair blown across her face. Her hand, frozen numb, tried to wipe them clear. She struggled to see through the blinding milky haze. “Lord please!” she pleaded, “Lead them home!” Clang. Clang. Clang. Time seemed frozen.

Suddenly a tiny flash of red began to pierce the blizzard veil. Squinting with all of her might, it appeared to be coming closer. It was Emma’s scarlet-red knitted bonnet! “Oh!! Thank you Jesus!” she trembled. Henry, Andrew and Emma holding hands, mitten to mitten, pushing through the bitter whirlwind as mama raced to gather up her chicks and whisk them into the comfort, safety and warmth of home.

Henry, the eldest, explained they decided to play in the barn and didn’t realize the storm outside until he heard the dinner bell. He instructed his siblings to “hold hands real tight and walk to the sound of the bell!”.

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That evening after supper, Mama gathered the damp mittens. Tenderly, she kissed each one with heartfelt thanks to the Lord as she hung them from the mantle to dry above the fire. Thank you Lord, that the dear little hands that filled these mittens are safe and sound!

Calling her children to come, they knelt in front of the glowing embers. Basking in the soothing heat, she wrapped her arms around them and cuddled them close to her heart. One by one, she cupped each little plump face in her hands and looked into bright, trusting eyes. She kissed their warm foreheads, inhaling deeply, savoring their sweetness. Mama prayed aloud thanking the Lord for His goodness and for bringing her babies home, safe. Her eyes glistened as tears of overwhelming gratefulness welled up. Softly, she began to sing.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

Mama spoke gently, “You know children, when I saw the itty-bitty speck of red from Emma’s bonnet poking through the blurry-white of the swirling snow, it flooded my heart with such hope! I was so relieved! I thought, my babies are going to be alright! And when you heard the dinner bell ring, even though you couldn’t see me, you knew I was there, waiting for you. That’s just like The Lord!  Out of His great love for us, He came to this stormy world, in the midst of all it’s turmoil and chaos, to bring us hope, to rescue us and bring us safely home! Jesus is like that dinner bell, we just need to follow the sound of His voice. Even though we can’t see Him, we know He is there. His love surrounds us. The Bible tells us so”. She swallowed hard.  “He’s promised to be with us, always and forever! Darlin’s, don’t ever forget that. No matter what.”

“Yes Ma’am” Henry nodded.

“Henry” Mama commended, “you did the right thing, taking care of your brother and sister. I’m proud of you son.”

Andrew spoke up bravely, “Mama, when I heard the dinner bell, I wasn’t a-scared! I was thinkin’ how good them biscuits was gonna taste in my mouth at supper.” Mama, smiled as she ruffled his curly head.

“Emma” Mama quizzed, “Do you have anything to say?”

Four and a half year old Emma, pondered for a second, then gushed brightly, “I think red is my favorite color!” Mama confided with a knowing heart, “mine too!”.

Mama saved these mittens even after Henry, Andrew and Emma outgrew them. She saved Emma’s scarlet-red bonnet too. You see, every year, at Christmastime, Mama brings them down from the attic and hangs them from the mantle fastened to twine, interspersed with bells. It serves as a reminder and testament of God’s blessings, His grace, daily mercies, His faithfulness and eternal love. She never wants to forget that. No matter what.

*****

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Ok…so my “story” turned out to be a movie in my head! Heehee!  I just felt the Lord drawing it out of my heart to share with you. Perhaps you are facing a storm in your life. Sorrow or fear has gripped your heart or maybe you can’t see past the past. Jesus is ringing the dinner bell…even though you can’t see Him, He’s there. Walk to the sound of His call.  Come out of the shivering cold and into the bright, warm, presence of Jesus. He knows you best and loves you most. You are the Apple of His eye. His beloved. His treasure. Read His Word. Listen to worship music. Pray constantly. He’s right there. Don’t ever forget that. No matter what.

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“Christmas offers its wonderful message. Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for or sins. He didn’t come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety.”

-Max Lucado

“This will be a sign to you:

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:12

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The starry heavens sparkled brightly as God sent us the greatest Christmas gift ever!
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Splendor and majesty are before Him;

Strength and joy in His dwelling place.

1 Chronicles 16:27

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My sister-in-law recently blessed me with this darling vintage window. I could think of a story behind it…but maybe I should wait for another time! Hee hee!!

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My Christmas kitchen! Gearing up to do some baking here!

Who wants to lick the bowl?

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 A simple evergreen in a white mixing bowl, atop a cake stand. I love using what I already have.

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I found a couple of these Vermont Country Egg Nog bottles at a flea market and fell in love with that sweet cow’s face! I filled it with salt to make it stand out more and to support my broken tinsel tree.

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 Bucket O’ snowballs!

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My table is ready for my family to gather ’round. That’s my favorite!

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“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars

and open a jar of it every month.”

~ Harlan Miller

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Y’all might remember a few posts back, I was needing some help naming my “Mr. Cow Head”. Well, I decided she ain’t a “Mr.”! Hee hee! So many of you mentioned that it looked more like a Heifer. The more I looked at her sweet face I realized, indeed, she was a lady Cow. I absolutely loved reading all of the names y’all suggested!! I kept saying “Awww!! That’s so cute!”. It was so hard to decide! I just felt like Bessie Mae was the perfect fit! It’s a sweet southern name…and I love everything southern!  So thanks to those of y’all for pitching in!

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“Moooooo-ry Christmas!” ~Bessie Mae

I just love her! Ain’t she the cutest thang!

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Sometimes it’s the simple things that inspire me. A red bowl, rolling pin, old timey flour sifter and a fresh cut tree in a farmhouse washpan. These make my heart go pitter-patter!

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A crackling fire makes me smile!

***

“I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!”

-Buddy the Elf

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Sing a song of snowflakes flying in the air,

sing a song of sleighbells tinkling everywhere

Earth in dazzling white, sparkling in the light.

~Louise Liddell

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Christmastime is sure to find me

on a high snow-covered hill,

Where an old farmhouse is standing weather-tight and sturdy still

There the plumes of smoke ascending from the Chimneys low and wide

And are a silent invitation to the glowing fires inside.

Where the warm sweet air is laden with fragrance that combines

The pleasant smells of cookery and the spicy scent of pines.

~ Ida M. Brookshire

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I love me some red trucks with Christmas trees in the back!

DSC08738DSC08730Well, Sugar Pie, thank you so much for stopping by!

As always I sure love hearing from you!

Y’all are such a blessing!

May you have a Very Merry Christmas!

You are precious and loved!

Sugar and hugs,

Aunt Ruthie

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Warm Pie Happy Home

Thanksgiving Pie

Written by Aunt Ruthie on November 21st, 2014

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Hooray!

The winner of my give-away from my last blog post has been randomly selected!

Congratulations  to Yochannah!

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Yochannah, I know you’re really going to enjoy the little piggy cutting board, the Farm Fresh Recipes Cookbook and the gorgeous measuring spoons from Anthropology!

I want to thank all of you dear Sugar Pies who entered the giveaway for sharing such sweet and loving sentiments and for telling me what it is about Sugar Pie Farmhouse that keeps you coming back. It was such a blessing for me to read each and every one of them!! Y’all are gifted with the gift of encouragement! I’m so very thankful for you! In fact whenever I’m having a difficult day I’m going to go back and read them all again! Here was Yochannah’s sweet comment:

Yochannah

Dear Aunt Ruthie.

I found your blog a few years back, while looking for pretty fall pictures.
I just fell in love with your “Fall Home Tour.” Left that page up for days on my computer, just looking and looking and reading and reading.
I adore the encouragement for homemakers; the vintage home making, the words on creating a happy home, the tips and encouragement for creating the life we want to live, and the decorating.
The year I found your blog, I, for the first time ever(*blush!~) decided to “create” a happier home, and “cozy nest” for my family for all. I scrubbed and cleaned and sorted; and wonder of wonders,…I decorated! I don’t have a “knack” for those kinds of things. And, I baked; yummy fall goodies. At least three times a week. My family felt loved and spoiled and that made all of it worth it. I love every minute of it!( I’ve never seen apple fritters disappear so fast in my Life! They didn’t even let them Cool!! I’d turn to let it drain on the cardboard, and there would be a proffered plate, with a big grinning face at the end of the arms holding it.)
I “forced” all the kids, ages 46(me!) to 6, to cut out and color leaves; then we added glitter or other stuff and strung ‘em and hung ‘em!
It’s been a couple of years, and they still talk about it.
This year, for the first time in my whole life, we went to a pumpkin patch.
Before I found your blog, I was sure that keeping the house “plain“- free of nick-knacks and almost any decoration, was keeping it clean and easy. That might have been somewhat true, but it was also sterile and very Un-Homey!! My kids are constantly commenting on the changes, and saying they wished we’d done it sooner!- and they are coming up with ideas on their own now!(I can see them planning for their future homes already!)

So, Dear Aunt Ruthie,- thank you. Thank you for putting your words, and pictures, and guiding how-to’s and encouragement out there on the web. Thank you for showing me I CAN bless my family; and thank you for the glow of light and warmth I see in my children’s eyes.
I love the changes in my home, and family.
Thank you, Aunt Ruthie- for being an “Aunt Ruthie” to us all.

many blessings to you and yours,
Yochannah

Thank you darlin’!

How wonderful to see

what a blessing you are to your family!

This is the goal of my blog!

To put the “sweet” back in Home Sweet Home

so our families will have love-filled memories

that they will cherish for a lifetime!! 

1940sChristmasFamilyFeast[1]Well, can you believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away! It’s that time to begin preparing for that special day and to think about all of the many blessings God has so richly given us. A long time ago I heard someone use the term “Thanks-living”, I don’t know who it was, but it rung a bell in my heart. That’s how I want to live every day, being thankful. I know for sure that is one of the keys to filling our life with joy.

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But there are those days, those disappointments and heartbreaks that happen and somehow we forget to be thankful because we are so focused on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I’ve been there, but I’ll tell you what! I know better now. When I begin to struggle with something that hurts my heart I “nip it in the bud” like Barney Fife would say! I set my mind to become proactive and intentional about guarding my heart.

Here’s what I do:

1. I renew (restore, freshen, reaffirm) my mind with God’s Word (Romans 12:2) I do this by reading His promises for strength and comfort. I also listen to sermons that remind me that Jesus is with me and with Him I have victory over any problem.

2. Count my blessings!  I look around me and take stock of all of the blessings I’ve been given for which I’m thankful for.

3. Replace any negative thinking with positive healthy thoughts (God’s Word and His goodness toward me). So I’ve made a decision not allow myself to dwell on disappointments and hurtful things people do and say. AND it’s a big “no-no” to allow myself to complain. If I start to, I “nip it!”. It is so hard, but that’s where prayer comes in, we have to ask for God’s strength to move passed difficult situations.

4. Sing praise and worship music. I’ll put on uplifting gospel music which always soothes my soul and gives me the strength to move forward and stop looking back. This is one of my favorite collections of worship music.

5. Think of someone who could use some encouragement. When we are helping others we aren’t so focused on our own worries.

That’s how I “Nip it, Nip it in the bud” I tell ya! I just don’t think we can have joy or be happy if we dwell on the negative, and live in constant complaining mode. Look what happened to the Israelites…what should have only taken them 11 days to enter the Promised Land took 40 years! They didn’t trust God and they lived in complaining mode. Joyce Meyers said “If you complain, you remain.”

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It’s amazing how God’s Word can calm our heart. I love Psalm 94:19… “In the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!”. Wow! I would venture to say that all of us have anxious thoughts…things we’ve worried about…things that makes our heart hurt. But oh my darlin’s! God is here…and in the sweetest most endearing things His comforts cheer and delight our soul if we just look for them! Let’s open our eyes, smell with our nose, listen with our ears the blessings that God and placed all around us.  Let us be quick to thank Him!

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Have you ever thought of the aroma of a Thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven, or the warmth of a crackling fire or the familiar ticking of the clock at grandma’s house as one of God’s comforts that “cheer and delight our soul”? Or the words spoken with excitement “Time to eat!”…hands held around the table and grace being said…that first bite of mom’s savory stuffing and then Auntie’s creamy pumpkin pie?  Comfort. Cheer. Delight.

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How about the time spent with loved ones, good conversation shared over a hot cup of coffee and fresh baked cookies on a crisp blustery day, where  smiles and laughter warm and revive your heart?  Or cozy slippers… a cuddly hug from a child… Christmas music…  falling leaves twirling in a gust of wind as they fall from the sky. How about stopping to really take in the precious view of your family gathered around the dinner table…the smell of the furnace turning on to warm the house on early frosty mornings…these are God’s comforts to “cheer and delight your soul”. These are the things to be thankful for. Thank you Lord!

one thousand gifts If you haven’t read One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp Oh. My. Goodness! I highly recommend that you do. It ‘s the perfect time to start. To wrap your heart and mind around the concept of “Thanks-living”. It will change your life. You will find joy…the kind of joy that the Bible speaks of…”Joy unspeakable and full of Glory!” (1 Peter 1:7-9). This book will inspire you to hope again. If your heart hungers for joy, this book is a delicious feast for the soul.

 

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I think that life is a lot like pie. What we fill it with will determine how sweet and enjoyable it will be for others and ourselves. What we fill it with determines the course of our life.

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Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Our thoughts, the words that we speak, our actions and our choices are the ingredients that we stir into our heart and life. Bitterness, ungratefulness, anger, resentment,  and unforgiveness will make a sour and unhappy life. Think of it this way, we wouldn’t put rotten fruit or contaminated ingredients (ew!) into a pie we’re baking, so why would we allow detrimental, unhealthy thinking into our life? We’ve got to “nip it in the bud”! Can I get an “Amen” or a “YEE HAW”?

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When we fill our heart with the Love of God, His Word, and His will, our life will be filled with His goodness, joy, and peace. When we walk daily in thankfulness and we fully realize how much the Lord loves us and has an abundant life planned for us, it changes everything. “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” -Psalm 34:8

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

There is no law against these things!” –Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

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Following Jesus and being thankful to Him, makes for a sweeter, joyful life…but the key is, we must trust and obey His Word and walk in faith. It doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles that come our way. We will have trials because we live in a fallen world. But Jesus said ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  -John 16:33

We also have this promise to rely on;  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Just like the pumpkin pie pictured above, it had to go into a hot oven to become the thing  for which it was created to be. Something sweet and delightful to be shared graciously with others.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

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Pie. It’s comforting, yummy, heartwarming, and filled with sweet memories. The word “pie” speaks of home, hospitality, and graciousness.  The best kind of pie is filled with fresh, quality ingredients along with time, attention and love. The result is a delicious, party-in-your-mouth, slice of heaven to be shared with others. Just like a pie, life is what you put into it.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
    go into His courts with praise.
    Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

Psalm 100:4

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 I want so much for my life to become something sweet and delightful to share graciously with others. I know you want that too. So we must be intentional every day to guard our heart and to fill it with the goodness of The Lord; thankfulness, kindness, patience, faithfulness, forgiveness and love through the power of The Holy Spirit.

Thank you darlin’ for stopping by for some Thanksgiving pie!

If you’d like the recipe for the pumpkin pie above,

it’s on the back of the Libby’s canned Pumpkin  or click here.

Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Aunt Ruthie

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