Seeing Red

December 3, 2008 - One Response

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The Original Red Power Dress

The Original Red Power Dress

Red is a powerful color. It is a color that gets your attention. It is associated with seduction, romance, and now a study from the University of Rochester shows men find women wearing red more attractive.

 

 

 

The study on men measured the affects of color in assessing a woman’s attractiveness, and red won. An interesting point from the study says that the men “were unaware that the color red turns them on”.

 

Don’t ask me why research and time was allotted to this study. I am just commenting on the results because red is my favorite color.

 

Pictures of the US Senate and Congress show many women members wearing red suits. Do they get along better with their male counterparts when dressed in Red? I thought it was just a powerful color, not easily overlooked before I read this study. If men find women wearing red more attractive a conclusion can be made that they will cooperate and collaborate more with their female counterparts.

 

Case in point, when President Elect Obama and Mrs. Obama met at the White House with President Bush and Mrs. Bush, both wives were in red dresses. Conclusions can be made that if you are a woman and need to get along with men, wear red. Going to a party and don’t know many people, wear red. A social or business meeting with not your favorite people, wear red. Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Obama, and Mrs. Claus know to wear red!

Tie One On for The Giving Season

November 18, 2008 - Leave a Response

National Tie One on Day, an apron of course, is November 26, 2008. EllynAnne Geisel of Apron Memories, www.apronmemories.comsmoochie the apron, started this giving day tradition the day before Thanksgiving three years ago. She encourages embracing a “giving opportunity that has nothing to do with shopping or even getting into a car, but everything to do with our recognition of gratefulness  and our ability to give to someone in need of spiritual or physical sustenance.”

EllynAnne goes on to say “Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal and it is with in our historical linkage to share our bounty”

 

 EllynAnne has become the patron saint of the Apron.

She writes about aprons, www.apronchronicles.com, exhibits aprons, and sews and sells aprons on her web site. Her aprons have become famous with the Desperate Housewives character Bree wearing one, to the recent article in Vogue magazine.

 

When I came across the Apron Memories site I was infatuated. My very first sewing project was an apron, and I have loved them and sewing ever since. After I read about EllynAnne’s ‘Tie One On Day’, I knew I had to get the word out. Join me and other apron wearing women spreading thanks the day before Thanksgiving.

On Line Community Goes Live

November 12, 2008 - One Response

_blogging-momentmg_4110     Ever wonder what bloggers really look like from your favorite social net work sites? I am not talking about the posed picture they have next to their name, if that truly is their name, but a picture of what they look like when they are blogging. Many bloggers hit their favorite sites early in the morning or late at night, and don’t use their web cam for a reason!

 

     One of my favorite social networking sites is Women Etcetera, www.womenetcetera.com.

This site is geared for the woman over 50. It is a voice with topics on health, business, ‘Today in Herstory’, articles and of course blogs. This on line community is a wonderful group of women “embracing transitions and change”. They use their real names and write from their hearts. They are also brave enough to have a picture of themselves blogging.

 

     Like other online communities, Women Etcetera members want to meet each other in the flesh. They want to meet the other women that they now call friends. The first Women Etcetera conference was recently held in Pittsburgh, PA. It was so successful that the second full day conference will be November 15, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

If you can’t make it, check out the web site and join this wonderful virtual community.

 

 

Hot Flash Voting

November 5, 2008 - Leave a Response

A friend of mine in another state told me she votes by mail because while in the voting booth, she gets a wee bit anxious and her anxiety triggers hot flashes.

 

Here in the state of Oregon, all voting is done by mail. Don’t want to mail your ballot, drop off boxes are located at libraries.  In tallying up the ballots, many of the workers wear gloves because some of the ballots are covered with food. Some of the ballots are hard to read because of coffee stains. The ballots come out 2 weeks before the election and people are at their leisure casting their vote. This is code for they may be eating at the same time.

 

My friend thinks Oregon is on to some thing great with their vote by mail. I personally miss the excitement of voting in person. I would suffer a day full of hot flashes to go to a voting booth. I always wanted to be one of those ladies outside the voting booth who takes your ballot. They always looked like they were having fun, eating cookies and coffee and talking with each other. They would scornfully look up the precinct when people didn’t know where to vote. I was asked once with perfect scorn “you don’t know what precinct you are in?”  Oh how I wanted that job!

 

Unless I move to another State or Oregon goes back to voting in person, my life career goal is gone, obsolete. The best I can do is stand in front of a drop off box sipping coffee eating cookies and hope someone will ask me the location of the box so I can make some scornful reply! 

Passionately Pink Pumpkins for The Cure

October 30, 2008 - Leave a Response

All Pinky

All Pinky

Komen has a program for the month of October, breast cancer awareness month, for companies to join in fund raising by wearing Pink. www.passionatelypink.org. The goal is to set a date and anyone who wants to wear the Pink in support for the Cure donates at least $5.00.

 

We took this fund raising challenge on a different bent with Passionately Pink Pumpkins for the Cure. We had so many table top pumpkins from our garden that we decided to decorate them with pink boa feathers and sell them as Passionately Pink Pumpkins for the Cure. Of course we wore pink in more of a Halloween/costume theme and had pink lemonade and pink cupcakes, because what is a pink fund raiser with-out pink cake?

 

The response was great and we raised $150.00 from our afternoon efforts. Next year we are planning for bigger response, more lead time and more cupcakes. No guarantee that the garden will produce an abundance of pumpkins again, but we can adapt with Passionately Pink Potatoes for the Cure, or even Passionately Pink Parsley for the Cure. We have a year to passionately plan.

 

My lovely dress was bought at the local Goodwill for $5.95. This was hand sewn and must have been a bride’s maid dress. The puffy sleeves and the bow in the back are the tell tale signs. A friend was looking for a princess dress just like mine to wear at the request of her 2 little boys for Halloween.  I am delighted to loan it to her for the evening because I know how difficult it is to find a passionately pink taffeta dress when you need one!

Menopause Stardom

October 22, 2008 - One Response

Did you ever want to be in the movies? Who hasn’t had a bit of a fantasy to see themselves on the big screen, gorgeous backgrounds, exotic locations, costumes and make-up that make you look like a real live movie star?  Yes fantasies are great.

 

 Reality is more like in the movie Tootsie when they scream “Not too close” for the camera work in shooting Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie. This week I was able to participate in some of the fun of movie making. Hot Flash Havoc, www.hotflashhavoc.com, is the name of the film being made that I am privileged to be a part of. Since it is in documentary style, I am playing myself, a middle age menopausal woman. My naturopathic physician friend Kelly Jennings, www.urbanwellnesspdx.com, is also interviewed and filmed. Kelly treats effectively, and patiently many women with menopause and breast cancer symptoms. She is also young, smart and gorgeous! So my close up is Kelly giving me an acupuncture treatment. Yes indeed, I am the woman in repose with acupuncture needles all over her face, head and neck!

 

I was also interviewed about my story, the breast cancer/menopause/entrepreneur connection. This film has a fantastic concept; educate and entertain about the condition called Menopause. The movie is still in production and I will blog about it again, and again as the release date becomes closer and my close up for stardom nears.

Crying At Work

October 15, 2008 - One Response

 

The question is when is it acceptable to cry in the work place?

 

A friend of mine has told me she is just about menopausal and she is having emotional surges like her teenagers. She is crying more frequently, and being very short tempered. While her teenagers are quick to get over their outbursts, she still reels from her own for hours. The crying is the most troublesome and hardest to hide. How many times, does my friend tell me, can she say it’s just allergies? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying

I have been at meetings when the subject of death is addressed when one in our group has lost a husband, wife or child to disease or suicide. A collective tearing up in these circumstances is totally acceptable. I have noticed however, that many of the men remained stoic. Crying makes people feel uncomfortable, especially in my experience, men people.

 

I have seen co-workers make harsh comments to one another in meetings. Sometimes the recipient of the unkind words is stunned into silence, like a slap. Sometimes another co-worker comes to the defense and it turns into a verbal brawl. I have seen pounding on tables, throwing back chairs, standing up and shouting, throwing papers, ripping charts off walls, and getting red in the face, but I have never seen a man reduced to tears. I am not saying this is good or bad, it is just an interesting observation from my 30 years in the drenches of corporate America.

 

I used to work with a woman who cried frequently at meetings. It was a tough company, we were in sales, and you were expected to exceed your sales goals to keep your job. Men were the bosses and morale was not a consideration. Over the ten years I knew this woman, she cried at meetings when she was criticized, or when she was praised. She also cried at the Christmas party, and when she had too much to drink. In short she was a crier. In the ten years we worked together she maintained her job but she was not advanced, viewed as not able to handle pressure, and not being able to negotiate with difficult people. I heard others throw around the word ‘Drama Queen’ when referring to her. I know many did not want to work with her because she was disruptive with her crying. Crying elicits a need to comfort for many people. It is difficult to concentrate on work if you are busy comforting the crying person.  It is also difficult to ignore a crying person and stay on task. Looking back, I think she may have been PMS, post pregnancy, or peri-menopausal. Her hormones may have been running amok, or it was just part of her personality. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying_(song)

 

I think we have all had moments when we tear up in frustration or hurt feelings.

Not one condition or reason can be attributed to why a woman cries at work more than a man. I think a host of reasons trigger crying, menopause or hormone changes may just be some of the mix.

 

The conclusion I have reached is that it doesn’t do any one any good including the crier to cry at work. Go to the rest room, or walk outside your building, go to your car or someplace alone. Excuse yourself. Crying appears to be in the same genre as bawdy jokes. They can make some people feel uncomfortable, and give an air of an unprofessional demeanor. Don’t let your career be jeopardized by a few tears. No crying at Work!

What is your opinion?

 

 

 

Exercising My Brain

April 22, 2014 - 2 Responses

I was in pharmaceutical sales for over 20 years. I loved it. One of the things I missed most when I left was talking about studies and clinical trials. I loved going into a doctors office and have the doctor say to me, “Did you see that *** study in New England?” All my geekiness would surface and we would have a talk about it because of course I had read the study too.

Let me tell you outside of the pharmaceutical/medical world, conversations like these just don’t happen. A clinical study data released was for me like knowing a big sale was going to start on your favorite shoes!

I love the work I do now with my company. We are successful and have been in business for 8 years but last year I was having the 7-year itch. To scratch it I enrolled in an online course to become a medical coder. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done! My brain cells were not just exercised they were put into Olympian training. For 5 months I spent 6 hours a day everyday studying.

ImageI mentioned the course was on line which I had to adapt to. I could email questions and get encouragements but I found this type of study lonely. There was reading, practice exams, workbook exams and final exams for every chapter. The exams were timed too. 2 hours was given for every chapter exam and it took me every bit of the 2 hours to complete the exams.

The intensity aside, the course was really interesting to me. A medical coder takes the diagnosis and the treatments from the doctor and translates it into codes that then can be billed to insurance and or collected for data.

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There are codes for diseases, injuries, conditions, syndromes, and for wellness. The trick and it is almost like a mystery finding the clues, is to code correctly. The correct code means anyone, a hospital doctor, you personal doctor, or your insurance can look at the codes and know exactly why you visited the ER or doctor.

I wanted to exercise my brain and challenge myself, and I achieved it. It was a very difficult course of study. The final exam to become certified was 6 hours long! I passed and I am certified. At age 60 I have learned a new skill set.

Have you ever taken a course just for the brain exercise, or for the intellectual challenge?

 

 

 

 

 

Vacationing at Friends’ or Family Homes

April 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

Summer means vacations. If you live or have a home in a desirable vacation area it is THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Do you know what I am talking about? Friends and relates may be looking to mooch or crash with you this summer.

Here are my guidelines:

  1. No more than 4 days and 3 nights total.
  2. No pets.
  3. No unknown traveling buddy that comes with.
  4. No use of a car, rentals are available.
  5. If you are taking a red eye home you will be dropped off at 9 PM. Likewise if you are taking a really early flight, there are cabs or public transportation.

Do these guidelines seem strident? I am opening up my house and extending hospitality. I want family and friends to visit but I work. I run a business. Come Thursday and leave Tuesday and we can all have lots of fun. Really we can!

Of course there are exceptions. In my case, my sister has a very small footprint so she can stay longer. Some other guests, 3-4 days is the limit. A weekend is truly enough for some other guests who have large footprints.

Then there are guests who try to force their way, into your home and they are turned back. This becomes awkward but in my experience it is well worth a few minutes of awkwardness and firmness than staying 3 days holed up in your bedroom. Just saying…

So what makes a good houseguest, and what am I talking about large and small footprints? Here is how a guest can have small footprints:

1.They blend in well with your routine.

2. They give you options on what they want to do.

3. They contain their belongings to their room.

4. They help out.

5. They are appreciative of the time spent together.

 

Here are traits of big footprint guests:

1.They have a routine that you must adjust to. A good example, they run 5 miles every morning and an early start can’t occur until they get their run in.

2. They have no plans but don’t want to do any of your choices.

3. Their shoes, coats and clothes are all over the house.

4. They mistake your home for a B&B.

5. They just want to crash at your house because they can’t afford a ‘real’ vacation.

Have you turned away guests? How have your experiences been?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Know I am Old but I may be Elderly too!

March 30, 2014 - Leave a Response

The evening news reported that an ELDERLY woman was found dead in a Macy’s restroom. She died the night before and was not discovered until the next day. The reporter went on to say the name of the ELDERLY woman was being withheld to notify next of kin.  This elderly woman appeared to die from natural causes and she was 61 YEARS OLD!! 

I would report this story very differently.

1.     Omit the restroom reference. I would only say found at Macy’s.

2.     I would NEVER call a 61-year-old woman ELDERLY!
I did a very informal poll of my friends and we all agree on several points:

1. Never use the restroom at Macy’s, find a Nordstrom.

2. 61 is not ELDERLY!!
I retold this story at a birthday party of a good friend. She was turning 61. Her 3 adult children were present and although they laughed at our outrage of being called ELDERLY, they made overtones of “Not you Mom, not you Haralee”. They are really good kids.   Read the rest of this entry »

What do Pajamas and Croissants have in Common?

March 26, 2014 - Leave a Response

Almost a year ago I took the challenge to do marketing part time for a bakery and café. I have been like a kid in a candy store, well really an adult in a bakery. I feel, although it is not required, my duty to taste the products and new menu items. Did I mention this is a French inspired, high quality bakery?

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Besides the croissants, the muffins, the scones, there are the breakfast, brunch and lunch menu items that are really delicious. The breads are all outstanding. They bake 24/7 so the smell of freshly baked bread and pastries wafts through the air all day long.

Read the rest of this entry »

Who knew you can get a DISCOUNT for Healthcare?

March 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

A funny thing happened last month. I did not pay a bill for a hospital charge. I didn’t mean to be delinquent; I was waiting for an adjustment from insurance. The Hospital billing office called and wanted to know if I needed help with my bill? I asked what kind of help and then I was educated into their world of discounts.

The Hospital gave me 15% off if I gave them a credit card right on the phone. I called the Anesthesiologist’s office and they were good with offering me 15% off as well. The Surgeon’s office would only go 10% off. Total saved was close to $500.00!

I never before thought about asking health care providers for a discount. I have insurance but there still is a personal responsibility that I now know is negotiable.

With my new knowledge on negotiating discounts, I have also negotiated a better price from our Cable provider and our Phone service provider. I have found small proprietors are more apt to give a bigger discount with cash. The credit card processing fees add up. I bought a carpet shampooer and they were happy to wheel and deal for a cash price.Image

When new customers to our company call and ask for a discount, I give it to them. I have learned all one has to do is ‘ask’. At a recent trade show, I gave a bigger discount for cash purchases.

I have not negotiated in a restaurant. I don’t know how that would work. I would love to hear if some one has negotiated a discount on their meal. 

A Benefit to Being Invisible

March 4, 2014 - Leave a Response

I was waiting in line at a coffee shop this week and overheard an interesting conversation between 2 young women. I doubt if they noticed me and even when I moved when they did I was invisible to them. For a change I was happy to be a tangible ‘fly on the wall’ so I could eavesdrop on their conversation.

 

 

One of the young women was telling her friend what a hard time she was having finding a wedding dress that would show off her tattoos. This woman I observed had tats on her hands, arms, legs and chest. Not just a few but bright brilliant colors of big flowers and geometric patterns all over.

 

 

Very popular in wedding dresses is the strapless style. You can imagine why my curiosity piqued to find out why this style was not going to work for her. It seems her back tattoos, not visible in the coffee shop, are the issue. A backless dress with a strapless front is an engineering problem. How does it stay up and stay up when dancing?

 

 

Here you can visualize me shuffling next to them to hear more about this very unique situation that I am sure plagues many women. How indeed does a dress showcase as many tattoos as possible?

 

 

Would spaghetti straps really ruin the look? Would a fitted sweetheart front and V-back not be enough exposure? Image

 

 

More details were overheard easily as the milk steaming was rather loud. This woman is matching her flowers to her tattoos and is waiting for August to be able to get them in season. This was a new reason to me on picking wedding colors and date.

 

Bridesmaids’ dresses was the next subject and I was almost busted. In fact the bride to be turned around and faced me. I was almost leaning on her shoulder to overhear and pretended to have shoe problems. It must have worked because they continued talking and I was once again invisible!

 

 

I am truly showing my un-coolness and age. I thought finding a flattering style, and price the big issues in buying a wedding gown.  Guess not.

 

 

Has your invisibility been fun to you? Do you know how a backless, strapless gown could stay up? Have your heard before this tattoo exhibition problem in a wedding gown?

 

 

 

 

 

The Problem of Worry

February 26, 2014 - Leave a Response

Worry, some of us seem to do it all the time, while others are the masters of their worries. I fall somewhere in between usually. When I get into a worry patch, I really have to get a firm grip on myself and try to snap out of it! Since l believe in the power of language I take away some of the power of worry by using the word concern.

Here are some of my worries:

An early meeting or flight, I worry if my alarm will go off.

Driving off, I worry if I left something turned on.

Leaving the house with the dryer or dishwasher running I worry will the house catch fire or be flooded.

Tossing all night worried over various things and then of course worrying about not getting enough sleep because I was worrying and not sleeping!

I worry about the weather impacting my plans.

I worry that the noise I hear while not sleeping is from vandals outside my home.

I worry about my work performance.

I worry about my financials.

I worry about my family.

I worry about my friends.

I worry about my health.

I worry that I am becoming obsessed with worry!

My worries are trivial and heart felt. Most of my worries happen when I should be sleeping. I have to turn off my mind. I have to push back the worry thoughts. I tell myself I can worry only during bright daylight hours. Sometimes it works.

Sometimes worry wins and I am exhausted in the morning. Sometimes I have to drive back home and check the appliances. Sometimes a sincere worry is justified but kept in perspective. The problem with worry is there is always something to worry about.

Are there people who never worry? Do they have an inner peace or are they fooling everyone and themselves?

What worries keep you up at night or during the day? Obviously my cat is not worried!

Louie is never worried!

Louie is never worried!

My Doctor Follows Me and is a Fan

February 19, 2014 - Leave a Response

Just a mere 10 years ago I would have to call my doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. If I had a question or concern I would leave a message and wait for her call back. Now everything is handled on line. I make my appointments, I email my concerns and I sign up for the Practice’s newsletter.

 For health care professionals it is somewhat of a dream come true. Even if most patients don’t read the whole newsletter the practice can alert their patients when flu shots are available, introduce a new practitioner, and other health related events.

 Events are also a new phenomenon in the doctor/patient relationship.  Free workshops for new parents, nursing mothers, diabetics, and high blood pressure patients are normal practice.

 8 years ago my Oncologist’s group invited their patients to a seminar highlighting what was presented at the National breast cancer conference. The first year about 150 showed up. Last week about 350 people showed up to hear the news! This is just one oncology practice!Image

 I asked my oncologist why he thought their event is growing and such a big success. His answers are:

Free Food

Free Parking

Cute or funny graphics dispersed in the power point slides

A clear synopsis of the data that is easily understandable

Cancer people crave knowledge from a reliable source

My company had an informational table at last week’s event. We were there with various support group organizations, cancer foundations, exercise groups and other specialty clothing companies. I listened to the conference and I agree with my Oncologist 100%. What’s new in the world of breast cancer? I can tell you now with authority. Social media has helped reach a group that 20 years ago used hushed tones.

Here are a few points from the Conference:

Daughters should get their baseline mammogram 10 years before their Mother/Aunt/Grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer

Start at age 40 to get a yearly mammogram

Breast Cancer prevention not only through lifestyle choices but also available through drug therapies for high-risk women

Have a risk assessment for breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence

 My doctor actually follows my company. She and my oncologist are wonderful supporters of Haralee.Com, and distribute my brochure to many of their patients.

Have you attended a health event sponsored by your health care providers?

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Coping with Snow and By Eating Home Made Marshmallows

February 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

Portland Oregon usually does not get snow. In fact I do not own a snow shovel nor do any of my neighbors. We just wait until it melts. The city shuts down and the news advises everyone to stay indoors.

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When the storm hit Thursday afternoon, I hunkered down preparing if it should turn to ice by finding flashlights, charging phones and making marshmallows that we enjoyed with hot cocoa.

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Saturday we were still enjoying marshmallows and cocoa and the winter wonderland that gripped us. During this time my husband takes out his big 4-wheel drive and uses any excuse to test the road conditions. Need some milk? He’s your man. Saturday he put chains on his rig so  there was no hill he couldn’t climb.

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Since I can’t bike in the snow I needed to get some exercise so we went on walks. I got out my 20 year old Sorrells. I bought these boots when we went to the Olympics in Lillehammer 20 years ago. Since I don’t wear them often they are in great shape. Trudging through the snow in snowy conditions while the Olympics are going on was nostalgic for me.

 

Home made Marshmallows:

Soak for 5 minutes:

2 T unflavored Gelatin

½ Cup Water

 

Cook until threads:

2 Cups Sugar

¾ Cup Water

 

Whirl all in a blender with a pinch of salt and flavor (vanilla or peppermint) and cool

 

Beat until white and fluffy and pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 pan that has

powder sugar on the bottom, let set.

 

Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

 

 

Are my Hot Flashes Gone ???

February 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

27 million women in the USA have hot flashes and night sweats. Could it be 26,999,999? My hot flashes are waning. I am alerting the media! I still get night sweats but the hot flashes, knock on wood, have not bothered me since summer.

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I am cold this winter and I don’t live in a really cold part of the country. I am wearing turtlenecks. I am wearing layers. I am wearing warm socks. I am wearing my down coat when it is not raining. In a nutshell I have become my former self. It has been 12 years since I spent a winter in heavy layers. I never thought I would see this day again!

 

Menopause gripped me like a giant bear hug with drenching night sweats and drippy hot flashes. For 12 years I have been wearing waterproof makeup because of my hot flashes. For 12 years I have worn sleeveless tops and open toe shoes year round. For 12 years I have not put on a scarf. For 12 years I rarely have worn tights.

 

Things have changed. I noticed last week the weather was in the high 30’s and I dressed in tights, wool slacks that are lined, leather shoes, turtleneck top with a sweater over it. I then put on a big down coat, a scarf, hat and gloves and headed to my car. I promptly turned my heater on high and was surprised that I wasn’t sweating!

 

There was a time not long ago that I would look at my arms and they had goose bumps but I was not registering cold. Now when watching TV I use a cozy blanket. I turn the heat up, and turn on the fireplace. I forgot how cozy the fireplace is!

 

Not to jinx myself so my hot flashes return, I still have night sweats. Yes they are not as frequent or as severe as they once were, but I still get them. I am OK with a few night sweats because I see the end game. A day when I experience no night sweats can only be a mere 2-3 years away, or so I hope!

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