Weekend Warrior #48

Weekend Warrior #48

Hello Weekend Warrior readers! This weekend was again your Thursday and Friday. Things will be getting back to normal for me soon, and I will be really glad for that. It has been a learning curve with training for the new position. Thankfully, I know a lot from my previous position, so it is not ALL new, but I am finding it drains my energy because it is still new to me.

This weekend I had a lot of goals and zero gumption. I think my seasonal depression is starting to kick in. I will be adding some more vitamin D asap. I live in Canada, and that is the one vitamin that came as a recommended one when I saw a specialist a while back. I do take multivitamins, but I think I might need a little boost. No, it is not an official diagnosis by a doctor, but it does seem to be a pattern that I have seen the last number of years. I just keep doing what I can.

The challenges help, when I get around to doing them. I feel like I am close to burning out, though, because I am just blah. I am still going through the motions, but I am capable of more. It is hard to just get the little things done, some days. When you combine the time of year, the new position at work, and the amount of things I have accomplished in the last 14 months working to build my Author platform, and writing books, keeping up with the blog, and trying new things all the time, eventually I was going to need some downtime. I think I am smack dab in the middle of my downtime season. Which is tough, because I have goals and deadlines. I have things to do that need to be done.

I am starting to wean off from all of the challenges I was doing. I need to focus on applying what I have already learned to my advantage. It is hard, though. I see the new ones starting up, and it would be so easy to lose myself in the challenges again. A part of me feels like I am going to be missing out on some important things. Another part of me is more sensibly saying to take a break. I can learn more after I have worked through all of the information I did learn already.

I did some volunteer work yesterday. I was unable to attend the event today, but I helped the Boston Terrier Rescue Canada team set up the booth for the event last night. I was only there an hour, and then I decided to get groceries. After that, it was time to pick up my husband after work and get ready to start my work week. The good news is that a friend is taking me to see Pitch Perfect 3 tomorrow night. I am really looking forward to that. My husband is not interested, so we are going to leave my car for him, and my friend and I will take his car to the movie. It is nice to have a night out on my Tuesday with a friend. Tomorrow. Your Sunday. I will be so glad when things are back to normal.

I am not holding my breath because things tend to change at work if you get used to them. If things go as they are looking, I will be back to my regular hours so that I can do the new job, and get back to Zumba very soon! I miss it, and I hope that it does work out. I am liking the fact that I can listen to my music at work again. It really helps me to stay positive. Music is my jam, people!

I had an underwhelming 2 days off. I did very little, and that means the weekend has its second win already this year! I plan to get that fixed asap. I need to feel like I am in control again.

Her name was Susan. She was my friend. She won NaNoWriMo.

Her name was Susan. She was my friend. She won NaNoWriMo.

 

My friend Susan died last week.  She was very brave and fought against cancer for as long as she could.  I decided to write out what I would like to say at her Celebration of Life Event today.  I am going to share that here, for those who could not attend to read about my friendship with Susan, and her husband, Andrew.  She was 47 years old. Here is what I had written to say, from several little pieces of notepaper, scribbled at 3 am one morning earlier in the week.

I remember feeling sad when Susan told me that she had cancer.  We weren’t the closest of friends at that time, but that changed.  I had met Susan’s husband before I met her.  I joined a gaming group as I was new to Fredericton, and needed to meet people and make friends.

 

Susan and I met later on, and we had a lot of things in common, including creativity and cats.  Oh, how Susan loved all of the kitties!  She would save as many as she could, and picked the ones that nobody else would choose.  She had a cat with one eye, and a cat that has medical issues that require frequent vet trips.  That didn’t matter because Susan loved her cats, and they loved her right back.

 

I attended a dance lesson in their backyard, once.  It was a gathering of friends, and we all participated in learning a medieval dance.  It was fun, although I would not be able to do it again without lessons.  I returned the favour by bringing Susan to a Zumba class with me.  It was after she had been diagnosed, and she did what she could.  There were chairs for her to rest in when she was tired.  I remember that she had fun, and wanted to go again.  That didn’t happen, but it was nice to share the love of dancing with Susan.

 

You might be wondering why I chose to wear this brightly coloured poncho today. ( I was wearing the same one that is in my profile pic here.) When I started to knit it, I was lost, and rather confused.  Knowing that Susan was an avid knitter, I approached her for help with it.  She took the time to go over the pattern, and we decided that I needed a chart.  She helped me to make the chart, and because she helped me, I have a completed poncho that she helped me to knit.  Simple, yet effective.  The perfect solution for me and that is why I am wearing it today.

 

She liked to knit socks for people.  I remember being out to buy sock yarn with her, and she was asking if the colours went together well or not.  She confided that other people didn’t always like the colour choices she made for knitting socks.  She wasn’t so fussy when it was for her own socks, they were just socks.  She had been getting feedback on other socks that she had knit for people that the yarn didn’t always match well, so she wanted to check on the colours before buying yarn if she was making socks for gifts.

 

When she found out I wanted to work on knitting, she lent me her Stitch and Bitch knitting book.  I think I kept it a little too long.  When she asked for it back, I actually went out and bought my own copy.  I never told her that.

 

I have attempted to join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events.  For those that do not know what it is, it is a worldwide movement for authors to write a whole book in November, and it is an annual event.  I tried a few times, but have decided that it is not the format for me, and I am now a Nano Cheerleader.  Susan loved to host the events for Nano, and was very proud to show me her Nacho Hat platter that was used for the Nano events.  She was a great leader in the Nano world, and people looked forward to her launch and closing parties.  Unlike myself, she was a Nano winner.  She recently gave me a book she wrote, called “Freaks in Fredericton.”  I plan to read it when I feel ready, and I guess I will have to wait to discuss it with her in another place and time.

(I added a bit here about FredNoWriMo, the local branch, and that the theme is Superhero this year.)

When Susan was needing to be more cheerful, she would often turn to Youtube. Sometimes we would sit and watch cat videos.  Other times it would be music.  She introduced me to the guy that takes tweets from Twitter and turns them into songs.  Her favourite was the one with the ukulele and he is singing, “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows.”  That is the whole song.

She also introduced me to Post Modern Jukebox.  They take current songs and cover them in different styles from different eras.

 

(This was the end of page one, and the start of page two.  I had a harder time with page two.)

One thing I learned from both Susan and Andrew, her husband,  was that it was OK to talk to them about things that were happening in my life.  I didn’t want to bother them with my issues, they seemed to be insignificant when they were dealing with her diagnosis.  We came to an understanding that it was OK to talk about things and that we would all be real when we were visiting.  In a way, it might have helped them to have something less impactful to talk about, and as friends that talked about problems together, I think it helped them, just as much as it helped me to have a place that was safe to talk about anything.  It made me realize that because they realized that what mattered to me was important, that made me, their friend, important.  What a beautiful gift of friendship to share.

 

She often expressed a hate for cancer.  I agree with her on that.  One day, when she was having a particularly difficult time finding the right words to express her thought, she accurately said that she hated her brain.  I knew exactly what she meant, but I still don’t know how to correctly respond to that comment.

 

I wanted to be a good friend to Susan, even if I knew that it would tear me up inside after she was gone.  The last thing I said to her was, “See you later.”  I hate goodbyes.I hope to be a better friend because of my friendship with you.

It surprised me when people told me after that I did very well, and that I should be a public speaker, not a writer.  In the last few months, I have also been told I should be a comedian.  I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work.  I blank out after speaking in public, so I don’t always know if it went well or not unless I ask someone after I am done.  I did read in Church when I was old enough, and they taught me the few basic skills I used today.  Pacing yourself, pausing to look at the people, and just making sure that you speak clearly into the microphone.  I did need a minute near the end, but I expected that.  I managed to do my best, and that is all I wanted to do.

It was not easy to do that today, even if it seemed like it may have been before page two.  I had to just focus on the task of reading what I had written.  Knowing another friend had given it a read before today helped, she said it was perfect.  What do you say when there are no words to express how you feel?  You think about the good times and write from the heart.  Sometimes there are no words.  I was blessed to have known her and to be able to tell her family just how important she was to me, as my friend.

Squeezing the Most out of Your Zumba Class

Squeezing the Most out of Your Zumba Class

Accordion

The Zumba adventures continue even while there is no class for two weeks.  I have found another comparison between Zumba, my body, and a musical instrument.  First, though,  I want to take you back to my pre-Zumba university days.  Back to when I lived on campus and went out dancing quite often (who am I kidding, four nights a week) to party when I really should have been studying.  When I started university, moving away from home was a big deal, and I was in control of my life for the first time ever.  I made new friends and shared rooms with roommates.  One, in particular, comes to mind in relation to this story.  We were in different programs, and at times, there were personality conflicts.  It happens, and it is a part of growing up.

This roommate liked animals more than people and had a different taste in music than I did.  We would take turns playing our favourite music when we were in the room at the same time.  These days, that would not be a problem, because I am sure every Millenial out there has an MP3 Player of some sort with amazing headphones so the issue I ran into would not be a problem today like it was back then.  Yes, I am talking about playing music on a ghetto blaster, also known as a boom box.  Back then (yeah, I know this ages me some) we had cassette tapes, and CDs were still new.  It was a thing for us to play the music you liked for other people, and see if they liked it as much as you did.  Sometimes it was great.  Other times it was overplayed.  The worst was when you had to listen to someone else’s music that you hated because it was their turn to play their music.

Living with this roommate ALMOST ruined Bon Jovi for me.  She played it over and over and over.  My love for Bon Jovi returned after a few years, but it was iffy for quite some time.  When she decided to play a different band, I was open to hearing something new.  Oh boy, was that a short-lived bit of hope.  The other band she absolutely LOVED and wanted to play when she wasn’t playing Bon Jovi was a band called The Who.  I tolerated it the first time I listened to it, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea.

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles still haunts me when I think of it. Twitch.  There was one song that I found amusing.  Squeeze Box.  It is a funny little song that has more than one meaning.  A Squeeze Box is another name for an accordion, but if you let your mind drift a little left of center, you know what the song could be referring to if you have any sort of a gutter based imagination.  Imagine my surprise when this song popped into my head in the middle of a Zumba class!

As of yet, we have not done Zumba to Weird Al Yankovic or any of his Polka Parties. (How much fun would THAT be)?  Weird Al is the accordion player that I listen to, and I really like his music.  I love the humour in his parodies, and the fun he inserts into my day if I am listening to his music.  I digress.  The Squeeze Box reference refers once again to my chest.

You see, I am rather curvy, and just as my hips sometimes get in the way of my bowling, my “girls” get in the way at Zumba.  I crack people up whenever I think this stuff up, because then I act on it, or tell someone the joke to see if it is funny.  A few weeks ago we were reaching in front with our arms.  Sometimes I feel like my arms are really too short, like T-Rex short.  So for the instructor to see, I pretended to extend my arms longer at my sides, and then cross them in front of my stomach like she was showing us to do, holding the upper parts of my arms straight down, and just bending them to reach to the front from my elbows.  I look really funny when I am flailing my arms like that.  She laughed.  She lost track of what she was doing for a minute.

Then, in another recent class, we were doing a move that involves crossing your arms in front of you while you make your legs wobbly and move your knees to touch each other, and back apart.  I know that might not be the best description, but if you think of the funny dance when you put your hands on your knees and move your legs like that and cross your hands back and forth, it is like that, except we are standing straight up, and you are crossing your arms in front of you.  So when we do this, I hold my arms straight out and cross them back and forth, but because I have short arms, the “girls” become my Squeeze Box, just like that song implies.  I shared my accordion thought and got the desired reaction from the Zumba Crew that heard me.  Another funny analogy brought to you by me, an old roommate, and Zumba.

As the summer time hits, and we are all working out in the heat, please remember to hydrate.  And when your Zumba instructor is encouraging you to show some fire in class, remember, it is about your dance moves, even if all you really feel like doing is putting out the fire with the Zumba move I am going to call the, “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”  If you decide that you NEED to try this out, and you want to deliver it with a bigger impact, throw in the T-Rex arms.  Hilarious, until you get the ambulance bill.

Oh, and by the way, my ghetto blaster is still working, as is my walkman.  Long live the mixed tapes and the local radio stations!  I am looking forward to my next trip to The Zumba Zone!

 

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Surprise at Zumba

A while back someone gave me a smart band to wear at Zumba Class.  I already had a pedometer, but this levels it up for me.  It also keeps track of my heart rate, which I also use now that I can.

It has been helpful to keep an eye on my heart rate.  I am able to work out a little harder because I know when I check it, the smart band will tell me if I am working my heart too hard, or not enough.

I report my steps on the Zumba page also.  When I started, I was told you can get up to 5,000 steps in a Zumba Class.  As there is a movement in the world to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day and walk your way to a healthier lifestyle, getting 50% of those steps done in an hour is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.  So if you are thinking that it is just another dance aerobics class, you are setting your standards for Zumba too low.

I average around 4,000 steps in a class.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  My goal is to have it increase to the 5,000 steps (or more).  Since I got the smart band, another member of the Zumba crew is using my pedometer in class.  She is averaging 5,300 steps a class.  I have got to say, she is definitely in the Zumba Zone.  It is absolutely possible, and realistic to aim for 5,000 steps while in a Zumba class.

What else do I love about Zumba?  The Zumba Crew, the music, dancing, and having fun!  I don’t do all the moves, I’m not always confident that I can do them all.  I am changing how much I do all the time.  Some days I push myself.  Some days just being there and going through the motions is all I can do.  But I go, and I participate, however I can.

Sometimes I have to stop and check my blood sugars.  Most of the time, they are normal.  If they are low, it means I have to drink a juice box before continuing my workout.  If they are still low after that, it means I need candy and to lower my insulin dose before the next class.

I have missed a few classes this spring because I have been sick.  Nothing serious, but I was not able to go in the last few weeks.  I look forward to going back this week.  Monday is Victoria Day so the next class will be Wednesday.  If I am feeling better, I may just push myself to hit 5,000 steps.  It is something to work towards, and when I get there, I will aim higher.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

The Internet is not Just for Evil

The Internet is not Just for Evil

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Take your chance and try something new!

I have been reflecting today as I am now actively involved in a fourth new group I found on facebook.  There are a lot of possible outcomes when one surfs the internet.  One click can lead down a dark narrow path to things you never imagined, not even in your worst nightmares.  Evil does lurk in the world, and I am certain that there is a way to twist any online search into something most people would never look for.

I have been expanding my horizons and plans for the future.  I am careful when I am online, but I choose ads on facebook if they REALLY speak to me.  That is how I found the A Bowl Full Of Lemons facebook group.  I was looking for guidance and inspiration in my household cleaning struggles.  I know how to clean, I just don’t like doing it!  So I clicked on the link, joined the group, and worked on one project.

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Pantry Shelf Project

Since then, it has been fairly organized, and I had some help to reinforce the shelves (Thanks, Dad!).  It needs some TLC this year, but I am still proud of completing this project.  The facebook group has SO many good organization ideas, before and after pics, and some amazing decorating ideas.  It is something I have worked towards this year, and so far I have been able to share my Coffee Station Complete! project.  There will be more pics coming soon from my kitchen, I promise!

I have yet to make it through the whole house with the challenge.  I am confident that this will be the year.  I shared a picture when I bought a new shelving unit for my Master Bedroom, as I am moving my craft studio out of the Guest Room and relocating it in the larger Master Bedroom.

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Craft Studio Relocation Project

The area is still “under construction”. That means I am still in the planning stages of how to reorganize my craft supplies in this room.  I have taken step two today, and purchased a second cube bookcase, with 6 squares, not 9.  I had already bought the matching plastic bins for it while they were on sale, but again, I felt I was being held back from completing this project because I didn’t have all of the pieces for it ready to go.  I still have to assemble the shelf, (and move a dresser to that side of the room to put the new shelf on top of) but I can work on that as soon as I finish my kitchen.  I have no regrets about joining this facebook group, at all.

I also found the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Plan in the same way.  THM is a lifestyle change in how you eat food.  It is wonderful, they have more than one facebook group, actually, and I am a member of several different THM facebook groups.  I have implemented many of their guidelines into my life, and when I am on plan, I feel great!  I need to focus on staying on plan more than being off plan because I KNOW IT WORKS WHEN YOU WORK IT.  I have seen it for myself.  So I start every day trying to stay on plan.  Some days I succeed.  Others I don’t.  One of the best things about the plan is that you work it into your own life, and if you go off plan, well you just pull up your socks and get back on plan.  No worries.  I realized, when I was looking at this ad two years ago, that what I was doing was not working, so I was ready to try something different.  I am still not 100% on plan, but I am more convinced than ever that I can do it because I am.  This is another group that came along when I needed it, and I have no regrets about joining this group, either.

The third group I joined in 2016.  I was thinking about how to get my lyrics out to the world.  I had watched a motivational video, I have written about this before, and I decided it was time.  About the same time I started looking into this, I decided that I was also done waiting to write books, and I wanted to make the dream of becoming an author a reality.  While this was all being processed in my mind, another facebook group, the Ninja Writers showed up in my ads.  Well, this group has been a game changer for me.  The Ninja Writers Facebook Page has been an incredible resource.  I had no idea how to brand myself as an author, how or why to start a Blog, or what I had to do to make this all effective towards my goal of becoming an author.  I even designed my own tartan and logo for it! I have made friends that have really helped me with this blog, and spark a passion in me that I didn’t even know I had the potential for.  And if you are reading this, you know that I am blogging frequently, to develop my writing habit and expand my creative horizons.  There are no regrets for me in terms of joining this group.  Only positive strides towards making a dream into a reality.

The fourth group is a new addition.  One of my fellow Ninja Writers shared a new group page on her wall, encouraging people to check it out.  I became curious, and trusted my fellow Ninja Writer friend, and joined the group.  It is called 100 Coffees.  They have a facebook group, 100 Coffees Facebook Group and through that group, you can join their website.  It is for women entrepreneurs, and they are based on networking through the group, to meet members through coffee meetings.  This has an immense potential for people like me, trying to find their way in this online business world.  Membership is free, and eventually, there will be other options for paid subscribers, but I am in the group and hoping to make new friends, get and give support to and from members, and to learn as much as I can from my peers.  This is a great concept, and I am glad to be involved with it already.

One thing that is very important to keep in mind when you join a new group online, is to find out the rules.  The people that create these groups have their reasons, and sticking to their rules will mean you get to remain in the group, and get all the benefits of belonging.  If you choose to just join a bunch of groups to do your own thing, disregarding the rules, expect your time in that group to be limited.  The rules keep the group working together towards a common goal, and going your own way will likely result in you getting the boot.

So there you have it.  The internet is not just being used for evil.  When you are surfing, and something keeps showing up in your feed, and it is a group or a theme that resonates with you, check it out!  You might find something wonderful!  If you don’t,  leave the group and find another one that works for you and helps you in your life.  If any of the above groups peak your interest, check them out!  I am glad I did, and maybe you will be too!

 

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

I Had Sass in Zumba Class!

Surprise at Zumba

I survived another Monday and made it to another Zumba Class!  I really enjoyed the music and the workout today.  I am tired, but I earned it.  We made it to 5,000 steps today!

I knew I was feeling like I needed a good workout.  I felt a little lethargic, but I knew I needed to go.  I got ready and found my place in the Zumba Crew.

I went for it!  Since I have this new smartband, I have been keeping an eye on my steps and my heart rate.  My resting heart rate is around 65.  Well, at one point it was really pumping, I felt like it was working hard.  I checked, and it was at 146.  Exercise success!  I increased my heart rate!  I paced myself for a bit with the music and brought it down to 85.

Then the music sped up again.  I was feeling it, but not like earlier.  It was back up to 101.  I worked out hard tonight.  It was a good class.  I managed to calm down without panicking about my heart rate when it was pumping really fast.

We were near the end, and I heard a song I knew the moves for.  So I got into a groove and was told I had some sass in the class tonight.  I was just getting my Zumba on, and I guess others noticed.  It is good to be in the Zumba Zone.  It was a great finish to another Monday.  My heart rate is closer to normal now, back at 75 beats.  So I have recovered from my workout, and now I can relax.

A quick google search gave me the answer to what a good heart rate during exercise is.  220 – your age= the maximum heart rate you should have to still be within a healthy range.  I still have wiggle room with that calculation, and with my weight being quite high, I do not want to max that out. Yet.

A target resting heart rate is 60-100 for the average person, and 40-60 for an athlete.  I guess I have some work to do on that also, but generally, my resting heart rate is near 60, so I am going to keep on believing that I have a strong, healthy heart, and keep on going to Zumba.  I like it, and it is good for me!  I got my heart rate up, and I had fun!  Those are 2 key points to remember when I am dragging my feet and don’t want to make the effort.  I AM WORTH THE EFFORT!  It certainly makes me feel better, and helps move the stress of the day job out of my system!

It’s all good, and when I pace myself, it is OK.  I am comfortable in my Zumba Crew and sometimes I dance to a different beat, but I am still there, and I am still dancing my way to being healthier.  Although I am tired after a really good class like this, I never want to stop!  It is a good tired, the best kind, and I had fun getting there. It is good for my heart and soul.  So I intend to keep going for as long as I can!

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Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Today is not my birthday, but someone gave me a present!

Surprise at Zumba

It is Monday.  I got up, went to work, then I went to Zumba.  I got a surprise when I was getting ready for class.

Someone anonymously had a Heartrate Monitor Smartband delivered to me before class started.  It was such a nice surprise!  When I say the Zumba Crew Rocks, I really mean it!

It didn’t turn on when I tried it on.  But I am glad I did because I had to learn how to take it off!  I took it home and plugged it into my computer.  It didn’t take too long to charge.  I have 2 days to get used to it before I can try it out in class.

I don’t know how to set the time and date on it yet, I will have to google that, I am sure.  But it is already measuring my heart rate, steps, distance and calories for me.  That is so neat!

I wear a pedometer in Zumba class, that is how I know that I had 3531 steps today.  It will be interesting to wear both in class Wednesday to see how they compare for the steps.  From what I see here, my resting heart rate is 67.  I hope that is OK.  When I exercise it will be a more important number to watch, I am sure.  The good news is that it is not capable of sending or receiving text messages, so I don’t have to take it off at work.  It is going to take some getting used to.  I will have to figure out how long the battery runs before I need to recharge it.  I am hoping there are some tips online for it, as I am interested in seeing what else it does.  I don’t know why it buzzes and vibrates, but I know it does.  That could be entertaining.

To whomever this gift is from, THANK YOU!  I need all the help and encouragement I can get in this journey to be a healthier version of myself, and it really means a lot!  I will take good care of it, and in turn, it will help me take better care of myself!  What a wonderful surprise!  😀

Beware the Winter Storm of March

Beware the Winter Storm of March

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Well, I was hoping that if I ignored all the warnings and weather alerts and people talking about it, that it wouldn’t actually happen.  Here it is, another snowstorm.  I hope everyone keeps the power on.  I hope people use common sense tomorrow when going to work or choosing to stay home.  It is really windy out there.  The snow is coming down fast, and piling up quickly.  I don’t want to have to shovel anymore!  The wind roared while I typed that last sentence.  It is loud enough that it may keep me awake through the night.

I heard they are calling for ice pellets and rain tomorrow.  Yippee Skippy.  I guess that’s what winter storms in March are made for.They are calling for 20-45cm of snow this time around.  70-90km winds.  Half the snow of the last blizzard.  Still much more than I really want to face in the morning.

I am still holding out hope they are wrong.  My husband is sure they are.  I am hoping for less snow than is being predicted, and he just told me they were wrong so frequently this winter he is getting prepared for 60 cm of snow.

All that shovelling. Again.  The Winter Snow Scoop has been living in my kitchen since the last storm.  I am glad we don’t have to dig it out this time.

I will be gladder when we can put it away until after the fall.

I have to go.  The power just blinked.  Time to find the flashlights.

It might be time to invest in snowshoes.

Stay safe and warm inside until the morning, people.  It’s a wild one!

 

 

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