Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge

My dear friend Hugh (who looks great as an angel on Silver’s Tree) from Hugh’s Views and News is sponsoring his Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge again this year. Last year’s challenge was a great success!

Do you want to join in? Here is all you have to do:

From Hugh’s blog: “Here’s how you can all join in and help Angela, Macy, Toby, and I raise £250 for The Dogs Trust.”

1. Take a photo of what sits on top of your Christmas tree.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge.”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section below so that other participants can view your post.

I will donate £1 to The Dogs Trust for every Christmas Tree Topper photo that is posted here on Planet Blog up to a maximum of £250.  The challenge is open until Tuesday 5th January 2016 and I will publish a post on Twelfth Night, January 6th, showcasing everybody who participated in the challenge and letting you all know how much we all managed to raise.

Whilst I will be making the donation, please do not hesitate in making your own donation to The Dogs Trust and let me know about it by leaving details in the comments section. There’s absolutely no pressure in making a donation but please do consider joining in the fun and showing us all what sits on top of your Christmas tree.  Please click on the link The Dogs Trust to make any donations directly to The Dogs Trust.

I wanted to add that this is the first year in quite a few years that Ron and I put up our Christmas decorations. In the past, much of why we did not decorate can be attributed to not having any family around during the holidays. I missed my kids and grandkids, and it just didn’t seem like a holiday.

Something special happened to me last year. Hugh made me miss Christmas and the celebration of the holiday. Even though we are Buddhist and Christmas is a Christian holiday, there is a feeling of goodwill that comes along with the holiday trappings.

If you feel alone for the holidays, put up some decorations and relive your memories of Christmas past. Mull over what was, and what is still to be. Share in the hope and joy of what the season means. Spread that joy where ever you go. In our case, this joy has multiplied tenfold!

Thank you, Hugh, for sharing your joy of Christmas! You have truly touched our hearts! ❤

Now, on to the good stuff! The photo below is our first Colorado Christmas Tree. I have plans for next year to add some additional nature themed items from around Colorado. I want to add some “silver” ornaments too. 😉

At the top of our tree is a star that we purchased in Arizona a few years ago. It has beautiful detail and I love the southwestern vibe.

Since Hugh’s charity is for The Dogs Trust in the U.K., I wanted to include an ornament that a good friend gave us years ago when Sugar and Spice were puppies.

Anytime Sugar and Spice hear that Toby (Hugh’s dog) is on one of his posts, they jump up and down until I add a picture of them!

Sugar and Spice smiling for the camera!

Don’t forget to get the biggest tree you can and join in to help Hugh raise funds for The Dog Trust.
Here in America, you could consider making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States
or a local Humane Society in your own hometown.

Thanks for stopping in today! I loved sharing my tree with you all!

5 Sacred Symbols of Christmas and their Pagan Origins

I love how our holidays and celebrations have evolved over the years. Ali explains it to us in her post: ❤

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5 sacred symbols of Christmas and their pagan origins www.aliisaacstoryteller.com 5 sacred symbols of Christmas and their pagan origins
http://www.aliisaacstoryteller.com

It has started; the Christmas decorating. In this house, it takes a week, and finally culminates in the dressing of the tree. And year on year, the same symbols abound throughout the festive season; Santa, the reindeer, the stable and the manger, hanging up the stocking etc, to name just a few. But have you ever wondered where they came from? It might surprise you to know that they derive from some pretty ancient, pre-Christian traditions. Here are my top 5.

1. The Christmas Tree

The tree we proudly decorate and display today is an invention of the Victorian days, introduced from Germany. Prior to this, the tree which most symbolised mid-winter is most likely to have been a Holly bush.

Imagine how winter must have felt to our ancestors; harsh and bleak, a time of hardship, a struggle for…

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#Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoW – A Month of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza Quotes: ALAN GINSBERG

Welcome!  This is an open invitation to join in on my blogging event called, “Writer’s Quote Wednesday” and Ronovan Writes’ event called, “BeWoW” or “Be Writing on Wednesday.”  This is your chance to highlight your favorite author’s quotes that give inspiration to you as a writer. Do you feel like your writing is getting stale? Are you looking for inspiration to keep writing? Then you have come to right spot!

Are you ready to join in?
All you have to do is find your favorite quote. Find something that truly speaks to you. This does not have to pertain just to writing. It can be any kind of quote as long as it made an impact on you. Then, write a post and include your quote.

There are no rules to follow.  Either create your own sayings (because after all, we are all writer’s here) or use a quote from a famous author that you find gives you inspiration.  Just make sure that credit is given for other’s work.  You can use Fotoflexer or Picmonkey, or any other program that you wish to make your own images. Click the links to go to the programs.

Fellow blogger, Sacha Black has an excellent tutorial on how to make photo-quote images. Click here to learn how to make exciting images with your own photos and how to add words.

Each Wednesday, I will post the prompt and all you have to do is take part! You have from that Wednesday until the following Monday night to post your quotes. That will give me time to do a weekly wrap up and the new quote for the following week.  On Tuesday, I will post a Weekly Recap of the past week’s quotes with links back to your blogs.

I will share your images on social media for added exposure.  Copy the badge above and include it on your own post.

Please be aware that I do NOT receive any emails from WordPress. I use the reader exclusively. Please make sure that your pingback works on my Wednesday post so that I can find you. ❤

Tag your post on your own blog as “Writer’s Quote Wednesday,” so we can find the posts in the reader. On your own blog post do a ping-back to THIS post and make sure to “like” or “comment” on everyone else’s post.  (A pingback is when you embed (or copy) the HTTP:// address of my weekly prompt into your own blog post).

Make sure to check my weekly prompt (this post) to see if your entry is there.  You can copy the HTTP:// address of your blog post and include it in the comments section of my original weekly prompt if that works better for you.

Since Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and I have joined forces he has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts, feel free to do so and link them to my post. I will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up I do each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Happy December everyone! It’s that magical, special time of year when snow glistens like diamonds and the cold nips at your nose and toes! Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza have begun or are just around the corner!
Are you ready?

We have 4 more Wednesdays in December, so let’s celebrate each Writer’s Quote Wednesday week by finding quotes from authors about Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanza.

This is a great way to get in the groove of the season and showcase some great holiday writing talent!

I realized late last week, that there were more religious celebrations in December that must be included in our Writer’s Quote Wednesday. So, this week in celebration of Hanukkah I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite poets, Alan Ginsberg.

Alan Ginsberg is and still remains quite the controversial character. “Ginsberg was a visionary Beat Poet, Buddhist, (although he was raised as a Jew), anti-war activist, gay pacifist, and a photographer,” as quoted from Allen Ginsberg.org.

The Poetry Foundation shares this about Ginsberg:

“In 1943, while studying at Columbia University, Ginsberg befriended William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as pivotal figures in the Beat Movement. Known for their unconventional views, and frequently rambunctious behavior, Ginsberg and his friends also experimented with drugs. On one occasion, Ginsberg used his college dorm room to store stolen goods acquired by an acquaintance. Faced with prosecution, Ginsberg decided to plead insanity and subsequently spent several months in a mental institution. After graduating from Columbia, Ginsberg remained in New York City and worked various jobs. In 1954, however, he moved to San Francisco, where the Beat Movement was developing through the activities of such poets as Kenneth Rexroth and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.”

“Ginsberg first came to public attention in 1956 with the publication of Howl and Other Poems. “Howl,” a long-lined poem in the tradition of Walt Whitman, is an outcry of rage and despair against a destructive, abusive society. Kevin O’Sullivan, writing in Newsmakers, deemed “Howl” “an angry, sexually explicit poem” and added that it is “considered by many to be a revolutionary event in American poetry.” The poem’s raw, honest language and its “Hebraic-Melvillian bardic breath,” as Ginsberg called it, stunned many traditional critics.”

Ginsberg’s poetry has always spoken to me. I guess I feel his pain and anguish through the rawness of his words. I know he is not for everyone, but if you have not read any of his poetry it is worthwhile to check out his writing. The following video is Ginsberg reciting his poem, Psalm III:

PLEASE HELP SILVER STAY WARM!

SHARE YOUR HANUKKAH, CHRISTMAS, OR KWANZA WRITER’S QUOTES!

IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

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Christmas Trees Around the World

Image credit: Princess Sassy Pants & Co. Facebook Page

Welcome to Christmas Trees Around the World, my first adventure in spreading peace and joy during the holiday season. I got this idea from all the great photos on Facebook that people are sharing of their Christmas trees and decorations. What fun!

Although I do not celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense, (we are Buddhist) I have put up a Christmas tree in my home here in Colorado to celebrate our first Christmas in the mountains.

I thought it would be a great way to share photos of our Christmas trees with the rest of the world and see how other people observe the holiday. Traditional or just plain fun, share your photos!

Here’s an example of a tree I found on Facebook from 3dfirstaid Visual Architecture Magazine

If you would like to join in, please do a ping-back to this post. A ping-back is when you copy the HTTP:// address of this blog post and place it on your own post.

All you have to do is your own post called, Christmas Trees Around the World. Share a photo of your Christmas tree and any decorations that you enjoy. Make sure to say where you live so we can see how people around the world celebrate. Link your post to mine and we are on our way!

On the winter solstice, December 22, 2015, I will do a wrap-up of all our Christmas tree photos of those that participated. Bottom line… have fun and spread Christmas joy!

Our first Christmas tree in Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Here is my Mini-Christmas village that my children and grandchildren loved setting up each year when they were home. This year, I set it up by myself. Although Sugar and Spice, my Pomeranians did cheer me on.

This is my favorite Christmas ornament. I bought this in the early 1980’s in England when I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath, UK. It was imported from behind the Berlin Wall back in the days when the wall still stood. It represents freedom to me still today.

I can’t wait to see all of your Christmas trees!

Thanks for stopping by. I sure enjoyed spending time with you!

Take Care

#Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoW – A Month of Christmas Quotes – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Welcome!  This is an open invitation to join in on my blogging event called, “Writer’s Quote Wednesday” and Ronovan Writes’ event called, “BeWoW” or “Be Writing on Wednesday.”  This is your chance to highlight your favorite author’s quotes that give inspiration to you as a writer. Do you feel like your writing is getting stale? Are you looking for inspiration to keep writing? Then you have come to right spot!

Are you ready to join in?
All you have to do is find your favorite quote. Find something that truly speaks to you. This does not have to pertain just to writing. It can be any kind of quote as long as it made an impact on you. Then, write a post and include your quote.

There are no rules to follow.  Either create your own sayings (because after all, we are all writer’s here) or use a quote from a famous author that you find gives you inspiration.  Just make sure that credit is given for other’s work.  You can use Fotoflexer or Picmonkey, or any other program that you wish to make your own images. Click the links to go to the programs.

Fellow blogger, Sacha Black has an excellent tutorial on how to make photo-quote images. Click here to learn how to make exciting images with your own photos and how to add words.

Each Wednesday, I will post the prompt and all you have to do is take part! You have from that Wednesday until the following Monday night to post your quotes. That will give me time to do a weekly wrap up and the new quote for the following week.  On Tuesday, I will post a Weekly Recap of the past week’s quotes with links back to your blogs.

I will share your images on social media for added exposure.  Copy the badge above and include it on your own post.

Please be aware that I do NOT receive any emails from WordPress any longer. I am using the reader exclusively. Please make sure that your pingback works on my Wednesday post so that I can find you. ❤

Tag your post on your own blog as “Writer’s Quote Wednesday,” so we can find the posts in the reader. On your own blog post do a ping-back to THIS post and make sure to “like” or “comment” on everyone else’s post.  (A pingback is when you embed (or copy) the HTTP:// address of my weekly prompt into your own blog post).

Make sure to check my weekly prompt (this post) to see if your entry is there.  You can copy the HTTP:// address of your blog post and include it in the comments section of my original weekly prompt if that works better for you.

Since Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and I have joined forces he has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to my post. I will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up I do each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Happy December everyone! It’s that magical, special time of year when snow glistens like diamonds and the cold nips at your nose and toes! Christmas is right around the corner! Are you ready?

This year, since we have 5 Wednesdays in December, let’s celebrate each Writer’s Quote Wednesday week by finding quotes from authors about Christmas.

This is a great way to get in the groove of the season and showcase some great holiday writing talent!

Do you remember the television show, “Little House on the Prairie?” It was one of my favorites many years ago. The stories were always touching accounts of life on the prairies in our American West. Here is a quick video that shows some of the highlights from the hit television series:

DID you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder was an author? I read every one of her books when I was growing up. I always felt such a connection to her because she was born in Wisconsin and made her way west to settle in Kansas. In my family, it was the opposite. My parents left Kansas and settled in Wisconsin! Instant connection… at least that is how I felt when I was 9 or 10 years old!

She is still one of my favorite authors of all time. How fitting then, to feature her in my first Christmas Writer’s Quote Wednesday post for 2015.

Wikipedia shares:

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writer

Laura Ingalls Wilder was an American writer known for the Little House on the Prairie series of children’s novels based on her childhood in a settler family. Wikipedia

BornFebruary 7, 1867, Pepin, WI

DiedFebruary 10, 1957, Mansfield, MO

SpouseAlmanzo Wilder (m. 1885–1949)

SiblingsMary Ingalls, Carrie IngallsGrace IngallsFreddy Ingalls

ChildrenRose Wilder Lane

Per Wikipedia, here is a list of the Little House on the Prairie books:

“Little House books”

“The eight “original” Little House books, were published by Harper & Brothers with illustrations by Helen Sewell (the first three) or by Sewell and Mildred Boyle.”

SO, come on! Figure out a way to stay warm and share some Christmas Writer’s Quotes with us!

It will make you a holly jolly fellow!



It’s All a Blur

The Daily Post weekly photography challenge asks us to show something that is a blur.

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This is an image of my Florida driftwood Christmas tree with sunlight reflecting on it from between the slats of the blind that covers the window.  The sunlight has a surreal look to it, almost as if the photo is out of focus.

file-3_thumb.png   Click on this image on my blog to find more photography challenge images.

Thanks for visiting!  I can’t wait to see you again!

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday–”Consume”

Happy Holidays everyone.  I know for a fact that the word for Linda’s SoCS prompt was right on for me.  In fact, I would have to say that I over consumed!  It is my own fault.  I have a terrible sweet tooth which ends up being my downfall every time I over indulge.  The mint chocolate chip walnut cookies, and the coconut chocolate chip cookies, both my husband’s favorites really hit the spot this year… on my hips!  What can I say?  Weight Watchers is my friend. ❤

The holidays seem to allow this over consumption of food.  We give ourselves permission to enjoy that cake, or this pie, or that special drink.  I have also noticed that since we did not have any company this year (children, grandchildren, friends) we tended to focus more on splurging for our holiday feast.

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Porterhouse steak, halibut (fresh caught from the Gulf of Mexico and purchased from Joe Patty’s Famous Seafood Store), and steamed shrimp with a wonderful healthy salad made up our main course.  It was a wonderful afternoon here in Pensacola, Florida for a barbecue and we enjoyed it immensely.  We sat outside in the sun on our patio and had a few drinks.

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I enjoyed my Grey Goose “Pear” Vodka with Fresca.  This was my indulgent present from my sweet husband, Ron.  No, I did not drink all of this in one day.  Instead, I relished a couple of drinks each day.  If you ever get the chance to try this vodka, do!  It is spectacular.

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It did not take long, but there in the horse hole was our neighbor horse, begging for carrots.  I let them consume quite a few carrots because it was Christmas.  I think the smell of the barbecue really drew them.

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The cardinals and mocking birds that live in the tree line behind our house seemed to be in the mood to consume the Yaupon holly berries that were framed by the lovely blue sky of our Christmas Day.

We had a fabulous Christmas.  Low-key, quiet, and enjoyable with lots of ‘consuming’ taking place.  How was your Christmas?

Thank you for stopping by to visit.  I really enjoyed sharing our Christmas with you.

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Peace & Joy

Thank you for taking this journey with me.  Merry Christmas to everyone.  ~Colleen, from Silver Threading~

Peace and Joy

I will be taking a few days off for the holiday.  See you Saturday, December 27, 2014.

“Here’s what’s on Top of my Christmas Tree – what’s on Yours?”

Hugh, from “Hugh’s Views and News,” is doing a special blog event.  Hugh, and the sweet angel Angela on top of his Christmas tree, would like us to help him raise up to £250 for charity.  If you’d like to take up Hugh and Angela’s challenge then here’s what you need to do.  Hugh SAYS:

“1. Take a picture of what is on top of your Christmas tree.

2. Start a new blog post called “Here’s what’s on Top of my Christmas Tree – what’s on Yours?”

3. Detail in the post that you are helping Angela and Hugh raise up to £250 for charity, by showing everybody what is on top of your Christmas tree.

4. Link your post back to this post by using a Pingback so other participants can see what is on top of your Christmas tree.  Pingbacks are easy to set up and I’ve given full instructions on how to set one up further down this post.

5. If you have problems with a Pingback, then just leave a comment with a link to your post in the comments section of this post.

You can take part in this challenge anytime between now and Monday 5th January 2015.  Then, on Twelfth Night (6th January), I’ll announce which tree topper Angela has chosen as her winner before she goes back in her box to sleep until next December.  The winner, if they accept, can then write a guest post for my blog.

I will give £1 to charity for every Pingback or comment, which includes a link to a post that shows what is on top of the author’s Christmas Tree, up to a maximum of £250.  I’ll announce which charity Angela and I have chosen, along with the amount raised, in my Twelfth Night post on 6th January.

How to set up a Pingback to Hugh’s post.

1. Include and highlight the words “Angela and Hugh” in your blog post.

2. Click on the icon that looks like a piece of chain (it’s the right hand icon underneath the “add Contacts Form” on the page you write a new post.  If you hover over it with your mouse, it says “Insert/Edit link”).  A new window will then open.

3. In the URL box of the new window which has just opened, enter the web address of this post.  You can copy the address from your web browser’s window/bar and then paste it directly into the URL box.

4. In the Title box enter “Angela and Hugh’s Christmas Tree Topper Challenge”.

5. Put a tick in the box entitled “Open link in a new window/tab”.

6. Click on “Add Link”.

The Pingback will then be set up.

Please don’t have any hesitation in contacting Hugh at Hugh’s Views and News if you are having any problems setting up a Pingback, as he will be more than happy to help.

Hugh said to please feel free to reblog this post so that others can also take part and, if you like, then why not join Angela and I and set up your own challenge and raise some money for charity over this Christmas and New Year season?  You can use the same challenge as Angela and I have chosen if you like.

If you don’t have a Christmas Tree or anything on the top of your Christmas tree, then why not write a post and include a picture about the best thing that has happened to you in 2014, and link it back to this post and help me achieve my target of £250 for charity.

I’ll leave you with a few other pictures of our Christmas decorations and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Hugh, I looked around for a few trinkets to add to my Florida Driftwood Christmas Tree.  Mind you it is not large, so my pictures are of a small space:

Angel on my tree                    2014-12-19 11.20.42

Here is my angel on top of my tree and a wooden teddy bear with Ron’s and my name on it from 1991. The Koala bear was something that my Dad and Step Mother brought back from New Zealand many years ago when I was a teen (so you know it is OLD). Smile

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This is a better view of our tiny driftwood tree.  I added the shells from Pensacola Beach because my grand children picked them up for me last Christmas.

Special thanks to Hugh for sponsoring such a great event.  So get busy! WHAT’S ON TOP OF YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE?

Thanks for spending some time with me today.  I will see again!

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday Weekly Wrap-up for 12/10/14

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Welcome to the WRITER’S QUOTE WEDNESDAY Weekly Wrap-Up where our writers showcase their hard work from the previous week – and here it is.  TOMORROW, I will post the prompt for the new week starting 12/17/14.  Please do not link to this post.  Link to the new prompt on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

I love all the hard work that goes into a great challenge and we have it here!  Remember many of our participants make their own images with quotes from their favorites authors.  The encouragement and motivation are resounding through the blogosphere!  Thank you all!

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Here are last week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday contributors.  IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WRITING INSPIRATION… THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE! 

Please check out the fabulous quotes these writer’s came up with:  (Please let me know if I missed your blog – WordPress did have issues with ping-backs last week so if I missed you I apologize in advance…) If your quote was an image I grabbed it for our online gallery, if not, I did try to add your quote.   Click on the names to go to the actual quote and to visit the excellent blogs listed here.

Love, Happy Notes     “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” – Rumi“

Notes Tied on the Sagebrush     6866289877_1c6e0181d9_z  Tunnel of Light Cape Sebastian Oregon Linda Tanner with text added

My Decade Long Travels           Harold Kushner

Happy Days          “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus; and “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” ― Samuel Johnson

Lucile De Godoy          ©2014 luciledegodoy.com

Imanikingblog            Photo Credits: http://luciledegodoy.com/     

Simple Life          Eckhart Tole

Rebirth of Lisa          alice-walker-quote-flying-1

Zen and Pi          image

When My Brain Farts          wisdom-quotes-death-ends-a-life-tuesdays-with-morrie

Dandelion Fuzz          oates

Sappy As A Tree           Wenham Tea House, March 2014    

Unexpected in Common Hours          OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

K. S. Fause          faulkner_quote

Unique Art Chic          Christmas-Quote-©-Amanda-Lakey,-Unique-Art-Chic.com

Rambling On          Maya Angelou

Randoms by a Random          image

I Am Not Sick Boy          My Effect

 

Write Dorne          Photo credit: Photoride.com

 

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” – Stephen King.

Erika Kind

Thanks for popping in to see all the writing inspiration!  I can’t wait until you visit again,

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