Farm Hands

I sometimes wish I was more handy. I wish I knew how to do things and fix things around the house. How does one learn that kind of thing? I’ve just never known.
We had been planning for the past several weekends to go up to our farm, but something or another would get in the way at the last minute. Well, this past weekend, we finally did it. We headed up at last.
I think I’ve told you before, that this farm-thing is mine and mine alone. I’ve always had a certain pull towards wide open spaces and a house in the country like Grandma’s. Not so much the case for my husband. He goes along with it, like he goes along with my cats, because he loves me. I love cats and he loves me, so he puts up with them. I love farms and he loves me, so he puts up with it.
But back to my general lack of handy-ness. Well, no. First let me tell you about the drive to our farm. It was such a pleasurable drive and I was beyond excited to finally be going. And of course, spring is a beautiful time of the year to be out and about. I couldn’t believe all the different shades of green on the trees on the passing hillsides. If someone had painted them, it would be look surreal. It was simply a perfect trip there, all four hours of it filled with singing and goofing and having fun. 

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  1. Jenny says:

    Oh Rebekah, that old house just speaks to me. I want to buy it and live there and fix it up and find all the little treasures that old houses divulge one by one. The little initials carved into the molding, the star scratched on the window, the old postcard stuck behind the closet door. Listen, if you find a school to teach basic home repair let me know and I’ll go with you. I feel the same way! You are a very interesting woman!

  2. Gary says:

    Another excellent Bloggie Rebekah…!
    I’m not handy with "everything" either, just some things, and for the rest… I found a REALLY good DIY book by Reader’s Digest, and highly recommend it.
    Awww… that Cat was a Good sign… he was waiting for you to come so he could Welcome you. Cats have facial expressions that most city folk (even "Cat Lovers") don’t read well… when a Cat squints, well that is their Smile… when their eyes are wide with pupils dialated they are ready to fight. Yes Rebekah… before he got startled, he was indeed greeting Y’all with a kitty Smile, and the twitching tail shows emotion with the Smile. He was Happy to see you.
    Y’all may have a new Friend there.
    GodSpeed Y’all…!

  3. Cindy says:

    What a nice story! There is no doubt, that nothing compares to the countryside in the spring! This past weekend my husband and I drove to Nashville, TN, from middle Georgia. I hate driving on the interstate highways – but my wonderful map reading husband was able to navigate the route all the way up and back without once going on a interstate! It was country all the way! We went up one way, and came back another, so saw so many cute towns, and beautiful scenery, mountains, lakes and streams. I know what you mean about all the different shades of green! It was so worth the little bit of extra time it took! I love your picture of the old house!

  4. Weeks go by sometimes where I look at my hands and sigh. Especially those weeks when I’m into serious artwork and crafting or projects. You never know what color paint will be stuck on my hands. Then every blue moon I say ‘enough!’ and pamper my hands back to normal. But they never stay that way. Years ago a friend of mine and I decided to take a plumbing course at a local high school when our kids were babies. I remember being terrified to use the torch and the teacher saw that and picked me to go first, the creep. I know how to cut tiles and sweat a pipe if I had to. But I still call the plumber because I’m chicken. 🙂 Have a happy weekend! ^..^ -C

  5. denise says:

    Hi Rebekah, loved your blog, i am new to Mary jane and dream of my own space in the country. I was wondering if you could suggest some areas, not far from NYC to begin looking for the future. It would have to be modest, as I also would be the only one really interested in this endeavor. Thanks, i look forward to reading more from you. fellow "farmgirl" Denise

  6. Belinda says:

    I have been reading your blog for several weeks and had begun to think…Aw, just another city girl trying to fool someone. But your story about the weekend on your farm convinced me otherwise. If you’re willing to work like that with your hands, then you’re OK. Once upon a time, I worried about the appearance of my hands,because they were work-worn and rough. Then one day my Mom took my hands in hers and said, You know, your hands look just like your Granny’s…they are honest hands. What a reward that was! I have never been ashamed on them again. The REAL life is there on the land…not in the office. Thomas Berry put into words what my heart has always felt…"In the end, it is the land that is the most sacred element of our lives."
    Blessed Be.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Rebekah: Your husband sounds like mine. He’ll entertain anything simply because he loves me. I like to THINK I can do anything, so of course I try it once. If I’ve had any moderate success, they I’m happy and I continue. But Plumbing, Electic, and Gas are not something I can even imagine..I’m more a Tile, Paint, Wallpaper…muck out the stall, kinda girl. Choose your battles, know your limits.

  8. the hobbit says:

    New to your blog,but,not to farming.Sounds like the kind of journey I enjoy.A lesson at every turn.Reader’s Digest is good.Also helpful a how-to book with Rosie the Riverter on the cover.It’s always available at Barnes and Noble.I often turn to the web for how-to info.If the water came up when you turned the main on perhaps there was just air in the pipes from being off for so long.Can’t wait for the next trip.

  9. Sheri says:

    I think you learn how to fix things because you have no choice and have to learn! The Readers Digest book mentioned above by Gary is a good start. I have always been a student of "hands" – you can tell a lot about a person by their hands. I know in the city manicured hands are a must but oh the beauty of hands that are used in the dirt or the paint or the clay or whatever creative endeavors we dabble in. Eyes may be the windows of the soul but hands – they are the tools of the soul and all we bring to this earth. Wear your broken nails proudly – like a badge of honor.

  10. Cindy says:

    Some things aren’t as hard as you may think, however, I’ve not tackled a faucet myself…I have several handy fellas around here. You can learn alot by watching DIY programs or reading books…and they do give "classes" at places like Home Depot or Lowes.
    I hope you get to spend more time at your farm this year. John and I were both raised on farms and when we sold our home a few years back, we moved to the Hess Family farm…we love it!

  11. Heather says:

    Rebekah: First time I have read our blog, and I got a chuckle out of it. I live in a very small town in rural Iowa and live in an almost 100 year old house. We bought it as a foreclosure and then discovered that it had sat unheated with water still in the pipes for two years… You can imagine our dismay the 1st day we turned on the water and it shot all over everything. Fixed that, all is good for about 7 months and our upstairs bathtub decided to leak all the way to the basement. (it’s a 2 story house) UGH! Anyway, I keep telling myself it’s part of the charm…Right?

  12. carol branum says:

    hi rebecca,…i had to chuckle,i dont wear acrilic nails either and i own a shop,my hands look awful right now too,you need a parifin dip,and a good regular manicure,go natural for a while,with a french blog just reminded me,i need to get off this and go out to daddys and work on his sink,uguh,one time years ago i had this boyfriend that could fix anything,but he drank too much,so i broke up with him,i miss that guy,when i am in a jam,but not so much as to go call him for help,have a great day,blessed be,The Missouri Farmers Daughter,Carol Branum,Lamar MO.

  13. Tracy says:

    Good for you trying to do your own plumbing. The first thing I did in our house was put in a ceiling fan while Hubie was at work. Was he surprised when he came home. We have learned how to fix a lot of are own things as money doesn’t allow all the time for hired help. I love the part of the hands, The dirtier my hands look at the end of the day, the happier I am. My manicure I had done for a wedding lasted exactly one day. I do a lot of explaining of why my hands are a messy, I’m a hair dresser & make up artist so unkempt hands are usually unacceptable. But I think they look beautiful. They are the signs of hard work. Keep trying. Over the years you will develop all kinds of skills.

  14. Melanie says:

    This story more to me than I can tell you. Thank you!

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Creatures Great and Small

I came home with muddy shoes the other day. I mean MUDDY. Mud so thick my shoes were too heavy to wear. Mud so thick my shoes would probably never recover. I tried to get the mud off to no avail. So I put them in the garage to dry, thinking that once that once the mud dried, it might come off easier. As in…fling in all directions as I hit the bottoms of the shoes together with force. You know that routine, right? 

My husband noticed them days later, two big balls of mud sitting in the garage. When he looked more closely, he saw they were my Sketchers. So, he asked.

I told him the story. You see, I was coming home the other day from someplace or another and there, in the middle of the road, was a dog. He moved from lane to lane to avoid being struck by cars, but he obviously had no street sense or car sense. I think he might have just been dumped there because the dog seemed “dazed and confused.”

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  1. Jenny says:

    Tender heart. I worry about children the way your worry about animals. I see little ones that just look lost and I want to save them all. And they haunt me because I can’t. I suspect you might be needing some new sketchers! Hmmm…. red and pink, too early where you live for hummingbirds and butterflies … ummmmm, golly, I don’t know! Something fun for your adorable daughter perhaps?

  2. Rebecca says:

    Ahhhhh…spring…animals abound:)

  3. Marie says:

    If only more people would make time to have an important tadpole gone mosquito moment w/ their children !!!Or try to save a dog,appreciate a turkey, all things I’ve done myself !!! You will surely see life in a much warmer way than many !! Keep your heart out there !!!! A country girl who loves life !

  4. I had a feeling a twist was coming. Not sure why, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a tadpole. (Certainly didn’t see a mosquito coming though, very funny story to tell when she grows up (get to embarrass her in front of her friends 😉

  5. Gary says:

    Wonderful Bloggie Rebekah…!
    I’m a Critter Lover too, and I feed a feral Cat and a Possum who stop by often. Both of them are beneficial at geting rid of pests, and the Possum hunts snakes, so he’s my fave.
    Next time you have a "doubt" about the welfare of a Domestic Animal, you can also call the SPCA, Humane Society, or the PETA Hotline at 757-622-7382 + option 2.
    Muddy shoes… ahhh yes… I’m a Hillbilly stuckn in a swamp at present, and Mary Jane published a Great homemade shoe/boot scrubber in the Oct-Nov 2008 issue. It’s a cinch to make, and I’ll e-mail you a copy of the JPEG photo of it. When used with a spray hose it get’s ’em clean as a whistle in a couple of minutes.
    Oh… I can’t wait to hear the hanging laundry basket story…
    GodSpeed Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  6. auntpammy says:

    Awww. Love your "tadpole tale!" So sweet.

    I am an animal person as well. I have a cat that we rescued from our alley.

    As for the red stuff, looks like your spring cleaning a bit…maybe? Who knows I only know we are in for a good yarn about it all. I can hardly wait!!!

  7. Betty J. says:

    I do hope you have dumped out the water in your "sandbox." Mosquitoes carry diseases that infect horses in our area.

    I, too, also collected tadpoles when I was younger–possibly 60 or so years ago. They like pools of water and especially the quiet ones. Of course, since you did not have tadpoles, I do hope your little one finds one soon because they are such a delight as they grow legs and lose their tails.

    Betty in Pasco

  8. Aunt Jenny says:

    How funny! I wonder how many mosquitos MY girls have saved? I am an animal person too. I draw the line at snakes, and snails, but just about anything else is "save-able" for sure. They may not be able to come inside the house..but our mudroom is fair game.
    I have 3 cats. Only one is allowed inside.(Alice, a very snooty himalayan rescue cat we got as a kitten about 5 years ago) Our male cat, Pumpkin has lost his indoor rights..over and over again. He is 13 and has been with us since his kittenhood. He has a friend for outside….Fiona just showed up winter before last and made herself to home. I had her fixed after she had a litter of kittens under a tarp in our barbque area (I didn’t think she was old enough to have kittens and only 2 lived..and I really hadn’t accepted that she was our cat at that point)She is here to stay but is pumpkin’s shadow..never lets him get out of her sight. She is a big fluffy calico.
    Dogs are my favorite pets for sure (well, besides Mona..and I would have done the same thing about that cow!!) we have 3…two bassets and a mini weiner dog.
    We have a refuge meat hen, 2 bunnies and 6 baby bunnies, 2 sheep and an angora goat and alot of chickens (chicks coming too) and of course Mona the milk cow. My kids know I am a sucker for pets. If it has fur I am very likely to say yes when they ask.
    Your little girl is adorable!

  9. Karin Weaver says:

    Thank you so much for your story. I am working far from my grandchildren and this makes me miss them but at the same time puts a smile in my heart. It makes being away a little easier. THANK YOU!!!

  10. Karen Lord says:

    Don’t worry about the cow incident….I would have done the same thing! There are too many who don’t take care of their animals be it cat,dog or cow and it is so heartbreaking! A friend once told me that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their pets (or livestock). If they neglect their pets what are they doing to their children or the rest of their family?
    If I had the room I would probably have my own animal managerie…for now my black lab Maggie and my chocolate lab Doc are my babies. Watch out once I finally get my 100 acres!
    I hope you and your beautiful daughter continue to save the tadpole mosquitos!
    Looking forward to the story about cinderella and the red carpet!

  11. louise fredieu says:

    Oh how i love animal lovers. And i know that you are raising your daughter to love animals too. That is such a good thing.
    I have a little story i’d like to share. One day when i was about to leave to work, i saw a dog outside our chain link fence in the backyard. He was a beautiful dog, the kind that is black and white with light blue eyes, about the size of a german shepard. He just kind of stood there watching me.
    Well, after working all day, tired and not looking forward to cooking, i opened the patio door, and, lo and behold, there was the dog again. Or was it again? Had he been there all day in the heat? I called my teenage son to walk out with me to the fence. The poor dog had gotten his leash tangled in some shrubs and couldn’t go anywhere. He watched us closely. He did not seem angry or afraid. I told my son to stay with him and talk gently to him while i drove around to where he was. Needless to say, my son was very anxious for me. I told him not to fear, that i would be very careful. When i got around to where he was, i could tell that the dog was friendly, but not too happy, and probably not feeling too well since he had been in the Texas sun all day without any water. I asked my son to go get him a bowl of water, which he did. Oh, the dog lapped up every drop. Then i gently untangled him from the brush and removed the chain. The dog ran off. I watched, very pleased that i was able to help a four legged friend. Then, to my amazement, the dog stopped, turned around and began running to me. He jumped up on me, licked my face once, and then turned and ran away. I never saw him again. Can you believe that? A polite and grateful dog! I will never forget that day. My son asked if i was afraid when the dog was running toward me. I was not afraid because i could read his posture, ear position, and tail movement. I did not think about it, i just knew it because of having been a dog person all my life. Thanks for letting me share my little story about that precious furry, four-legged friend.
    Louise Fredieu

  12. Katrina says:

    I actually think that was a dragon fly larvea. Mosquito larvea is much smaller.

  13. Darlene Rowland says:

    This isn’t exactly about the article but it just took me back to when I was young and looking for entertainment. We had hollyhocks in the backyard and my Mother showed me how to make hollyhock dolls. I was very young and I don’t remember how to make them. My daughter can’t believe we did this so I would like for her to see one. I hope you can help me.

  14. judith says:

    So many times I have clicked on this website and saw the lovely lady sitting with her toes turned in and thought, "she doesn’t look at all like a farm girl" and wondered why you were on there. Today I decided to read your blog out of curiosity of what a perfectly coiffed blond with black high heels could possibly know about the farm. There I discovered that you actually own a farm that you visit, have a daughter in private school who takes piano lessons, you helped a "dazed and confused" dog who was most likely dumped onto a country road, starving and had no water, to go into the woods to survive in the wild instead of getting plowed over by a tractor, you don’t know a mosquito from a firefly, nor do you not know that mud turns into concrete, oh and that you wear Sketchers. Being a retired court reporter and having worked in criminal courts, I would probably not post a photo of my child on a public website these days but each to his own. You do have a knack for writing. I found your post quite humorous and was glad that I had an opportunity to read it. Love visiting the MJ store in my little town. Judith

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Hundred Acre Wood

How much is enough?
That’s a tough one, isn’t it? My “wondering” for the day is a tough-y, alright.
But first. I get so many requests to link your blogs to this one and I wish I could; but that’s not a feature this “blog-ware” has. So send me your own blog links and those of your favorite blogs. I’ll post them in a very special upcoming post. I’m thinking a “contest” would be fun! What do you think? Either email me using the link at the right or leave a comment below with the blog addresses.
Now on to my wondering of the day:
How much is enough?

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  1. Betty J. says:

    Rebekah, you write so well. I always peek to see if you have written anything new and enjoy your words. Thank you for sharing about your "20-acre farm." It has to be so close to heaven that one can only imagine.

    Betty in Pasco

  2. Jenny says:

    Never enough kindness, compassion or love. Always too much "stuff". Never enough memory making or time with children and grandchildren. Oh gosh, and certainly never enough garden space. My daughter and I were discussing this subject yesterday and decided that IF we had a 20 acre farm (actual number) we might have enough to plant all the things we want from fruit trees down to an acre of peonies. Thanks for the thoughts and I’m going to see if I can find that book on e-bay. It is right up my alley. If you have not read the books by Gladys Taber you might enjoy those, too. Just super simple writing about a woman and her farm. Oh, and BTW, probably never, ever enough books!

  3. auntpammy says:

    Once again, you have touched my heart with your words. Thank-you so much.
    Blessings, Pam

  4. Love your stories! Enjoy that lovely 20 acres!

  5. Gary says:

    Wonderful Bloggie Rebekah…!
    Your Daughter sure has a keen artistic eye for color, and though it may seems a "little thing", great Artists create Beauty paying attention to the "little things". She is truely Blessed as it seems to be a natural ability for her, and doubly Blessed, because it is appreciated by her cool Mom.
    Strudel and Elvis are such Good Critter Companions, and I am certain they enrich Y’all’s lives. Oh… the Possums will Love the egg toss… later after Nightfall, they will clean it all up. They are Nature’s little disease free janitors, and they also eat the shells for the calcium.
    Cool book you got there… Edmund Morris won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and co-authored "Day of the Triffids" (((((((@-@))))))) go figure. He also started a publishing house, which is probably the origin of this particular book. Yes I read… a LOT… nooo "tell-a-vision"… I have my own visions, as apparently you do too.
    The "egg-dump" is indeed to be avoided, as is the company of people whose best thinking created it. Oh… about the hollow egg technique… try this:
    Leave the eggs in the carton, and take either a sharp pointed object or a small guage drill bit and put a hole in the top center of each… penetrate deep enough to break the yolk, and turn them all over and repeat… then over a bowl "kiss" the egg and blow the yolk out the opposite end… done. Color the shells, and cook the eggs.
    Thank You for the Wonderful photos, and…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  6. Linda says:

    As suggested by another commenter here, YES, you would love Gladys Tabor ! I have several of her books. It’s time again, for me to reread them. They remind me of you, your experiences, your way of writing about the experiences, your love of the country ~~ on and on. Gladys would have loved to read what you write, she would Love you magazine too (As do I !!)
    Thanks for all about the Easter eggs,your daugher, your animals, Winnie the pooh, etc, I just loved it all. Many Blessings to you and your whole family ~~~~

  7. Heather says:

    In our town we have several Easter egg "dumps" to chose from held by various churches, nursing homes, and community organizations. Some are more hyped up, offering face paintings, balloons, pictures with the Easter Bunny, etc., etc. We gave our daughters (ages 5 and 7) the choice of going to a community egg hunt or doing a family Easter egg hunt, but we would not do both. To our pleasure our girls chose to do a family egg hunt. We went out to my parents farm with my brother’s two kids and hid about 100 eggs all over the farm. It was such a blast to see 5 kids just running themselves silly trying to find all the eggs. It was truly a blessed time. My mother has Parkinson’s disease and has a hard time with large crowds. She was just beside herself, grinning from ear to ear as she observed her grandchildren having an absolute blast. Simplest truly is best.

  8. Cate Tuten says:

    I think out of all of your wonderful blogs, this is my favorite one yet! I love how your intellect and spirit glorify God and His world. I love the farm-girl in you! Thank you for loving your family, nature, Easter eggs, and shoes!, to name only a few….You are a gift to all of your readers…
    I am going to link your blog to my new one…..Blessings, Cate

  9. Angela Bailey says:

    My favorite blog (besides this one of course!) is It is very inspirational for mothering and for life in general. Great pictures too! And she recommends Mary Jane’s web-site. So what could be better than that?

  10. Kady says:

    Love your blog – especially the animal pictures. I have seven cats and one big lab-mix dog who doesn’t like cats. Doesn’t that figure? All of my kittlebugs were rescued. I hope you’ll add the link to my blog so others might visit there. I have stories, pictures, games, music, recipes, etc. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Kady from Miamisburg Ohio

  11. Carol in NC says:

    Oh my gosh. I can’t believe you found that book! I found a 1982 copy just recently and I could not put it down. I just finished it and everyone around me is sick of hearing me go on and on about it. It’s incredibly timely too. You will love this guy! Google it. You have found a treasure.

  12. Rita Ball says:

    Hi Rebekah, I sure can relate to the "Easter Egg Dump", my grand daughter was involved in one from church. They stuffed 8000 plastic eggs with candy at her Wednesday night youth group and dumped them the following Saturday at the nearby elementary school field. When I dropped her off on Saturday to be the Easterbunny, I was surprised to see all those eggs just lie in the field, it looked like confetti and I had to laugh. "That’s not a hunt", I said, you could hardly walk on that field without stepping on an egg. But the kids seem to have fun. We did an Easter egg hunt at home too, that was a real hunt, we are still missing an egg, luckly a plastic one, we ate all the boiled ones. No odor.

  13. Belle says:


    Please add my blogs to the list.

    This is my blog where I make post about homesteading, ect…

    and this is a blog I use as a shop to sell cloth menstrual pads, things for baby, soap, ect….

    Thank you!

  14. LOL!!! My kitten is also called ELVIS!! After the KING himself, since I have been a big fan of his music since I was a little girl. My big brother was a BIG fan and has given me the Elvis bug, lol. SO when I got my kitty almost one year ago, naming him was very easy :0) 🙂

    I would love for you to link my blog to yours, some way or other.
    Here is my addy:

    Hugs from Marian/dutchy on MJF

  15. Joanna says:

    I love your blog!! I am new to blogging and have started mine at:
    Just telling about life and farm girl activities here in the Great North Woods. Sharing pictures and events of daily life.
    My website sell country and lodge related items and I also do custom orders too!

    Thank you for thinking of all of us and wanting to include us in an upcoming post!

  16. Karen Creel says:

    I enjoying reading your blog. We have 6 acres, and have just finished plowing our vegetable garden. Chickens are on the agenda in a couple of weeks, just need a coop built.
    Please add my blog to your site

  17. What is, each moment, as it changes, is exactly enough. Loving what is doesn’t put one in a state of apathy or stagnancy, in my mind. It is more of a state of gratitude that seems to be the ultimate spring board or quiet path, whichever, to more moments of gratitude and creation. By knowing this moment is perfect, it opens my eyes to the next beautiful step and it is always enough. Thanks for sharing your world dear. Blessings and light from Amy

  18. Melody says:

    Just wanted to leave my favorite blog spot to share with you and add to your site!

    Thanks Rebekah !

    LOVE….your blog too!!

  19. Jeanne says:

    Love Mary Jane , have subscribed and bought for friends/family. Your dughter is after your own heart and that is fantastic! love the Easter egg story.
    Two blogs I want to share are very interesting, in that they are taking housewifery to a different level. you will understand it more reading from the beginning. They are: and
    There is alot to learn at these blogs. happy reading

  20. Brenda says:

    My husband would agree 100 acres would be better, but I am very content with our 10. Hoping to get the chicken coop built this spring before starting our planting. We don’t really get to start vegetable garden until late May here in Michigan, too many frosty nights. Bought a book by Judy Pangman called Chicken Coops 45 Building Plans for Housing your Flock. I have one in mind, hoping its not too cute for husband to agree to. Never enough books, favorite magazines, flowers, grandchildren, family gatherings, I’m afraid my list could get rather long. I have a new blog site myself. Not a lot there yet, but I am having fun learning the ropes.

  21. Tracy says:

    Loved your post today. As much as I would love to even have 10 acres I can be satisfied with my 1 1/4. As long as I can play in the dirt and grow food for my family I’m happy. Would you mind linking my blog to yours? Love the pictures of the pets. Have a great day!

  22. I would love to have you link to my own blog,

    I have a recent post regarding our new venture in urban homesteading here:

    However, one of my own favorites — next to this one, of course 🙂 — is http://www.down—to—

    Thanks for considering these blogs.

  23. Ollie Scuhler says:

    Beautiful. What else can I say? Simply beautiful. Thanks for writing.

  24. Helena says:

    Hello there, Happy Easter 2010!!!

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