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hard work

Aren’t they beauties?

By March 9, 2018 Peeling, We Got Logs!
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Working on the logs was really the job I signed up to do.  Yes, seriously!  This. is. the. job. I. signed. up. for.

My husband has a full-time job, so we knew that I would be having to put a ton of sweat equity into this.  Sweat equity is good!  At least I think so, and I wanted to keep rockin’ on the logs.

But there are some things that I just cannot possibly do without him, and one of those things is re-positioning the logs.  I don’t mind working hard, but some of these logs are a wee bit heavy, and a wee bit awkward.  And I respect them.  No playin’ around with these babies.  I needed his help so that we COULD in fact, keep peeling the logs that we started on.  At this point, they were positioned just too close together.

He helped me get them situated . . .

Some logs peeled~needing to roll them. Talking about what steps to take with Grandpa at the helm.

Some logs peeled~needing to roll some of them now to make room to peel more.  Here we are talking about what steps to take~~ BEFORE we get started; with Grandpa at the helm.

Grandpa got to see the good, the bad, and ugly when he was with us.  My husband and I. . . well. . . . we don’t always see eye-to-eye on every piece of every project.  Grandpa probably got an earful from him sometimes, and I know sometimes he got an earful from me~~truth be told!    But he never said a word. . . he’s good!  Just listens well!  (I need to take note.)

We had several of the logs peeled, and needed to move them. We are getting prepared to use our cant hooks to rock 'em. Cant hooks~~they rock!

You can see the peeled logs.  Here we are getting prepared to use our cant hooks to rock ’em. Cant hooks~~they rock!

Need to swap places~~he gets the 'big' end of the log.

Need to swap places~~he gets the ‘big’ end of the log.

It must be hot! and we are focused heading to the opposite ends.

It must be hot! and we are focused heading to the opposite ends.

Look at who's working here, would 'ja! Yeah, that's me~~hehe. He is probably holding it still so I can 'try' to move my end.

Look at who’s working here, would ‘ja! Yeah, that’s me~~hehe. Actually, he is probably holding it still so I can ‘try’ to move my end.

Putting the full weight of our bodies into this chore.

Putting the full weight of our bodies into this task.

This is a good shot of us trying to get a grip on the log with our cant hooks. The swinging claw gets a bite in the log, and holds it there while we use the handle to maneuver the log.

This is a good shot of us trying to get a grip on the log with our cant hooks. The swinging claw gets a bite in the log, and holds it there while we use the handle to maneuver the log.

Some of the logs didn't want to roll the way we wanted them to, so we had to wedge them; and some just needed a wedge so they wouldn't roll back on us.

Some of the logs didn’t want to roll the way we wanted them to, so we had to wedge them; and some just needed a wedge so they wouldn’t roll back on us.

You can't see it (through me), but I am holding the end of the log with a cant hook, and he is wedging it now.

You can’t see it (through me), but I am holding the end of the log with a cant hook, and he is wedging it now.

Trading off~~now look at who is not doing anything.

Trading off~~now look at who is not doing anything.

Onto the next log, and so on. . . .

Onto the next log, and so on. . . .

Now I get the job of starting again on peeling more logs.

Now I get the job of starting again on peeling more logs.

WHAT!?!  Take notice of this next picture, would ja?  My husband actually has a spud bar in his hand!  Miracles do happen.  (wink, wink)

I have proof that he helped with peeling a log. ;-)

I have proof that he helped with peeling a log. 😉

Please forgive me, but he did not peel hardly any logs.  There is no resentment here~NONE!  No really, I wanted to rock away on them.  It was something I could do while he had to sleep for work.  So, if he was working on peeling, it was just rare.  I actually like this picture of him peeling.

Notice the number '4' (up-side-down) log is not resting on the log below it. It has a bit of a bend in it, you think?

Notice the number ‘4’ (up-side-down) log is not resting on the log below it. It has a bit of a bend in it, you think?

It is such a great feeling to have logs peeled.  And this was four of them out of the 26 that we received in the first load.  I was feeling confident.  We can do this.

While I was peeling logs ~~ with my little ‘mighty men’, I am sure ~~ he had something else he wanted to work on. . .

So we have a stack of plywood that was used to build the walls of our foundation. We saved them for several possible uses, and decided to use them to make the frames for building our 'wing walls'. Time for us to get into it, so my hubby can start working on those while we are a'peelin'!

We have a stack of plywood that was used to build the walls of our foundation. We saved them for several possible uses, and decided to use some of them to make the frames for building our ‘wing walls’. Time for us to get into it, so my hubby can start working on those while we are a’peelin’!

Loading them up on the truck so we can pull them around to where he can work on them. . . in the shade. Good thinking~~yes!

Loading them up on the truck so we can pull them around to where he can work on them. . . in the shade. Good thinking~~yes!

Just “Thank you LORD!” for your goodness. . . provision. . . and LOGS! ! ! !

 

 

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Peeling Logs 101

By February 24, 2018 General, Peeling, We Got Logs!

There is a method to this peeling logs, and you have to get in a groove for it to go somewhat smoothly. It also depends on how many bugs have attacked under the bark too. And it depends on how old the tree is also. The older the tree, the thicker the bark.

So, now we have 26 logs laying on our property with more on their way soon, and we need to get on the job of peeling them.

My husband works a full time job.  I knew this was going to be my job mainly.   It ended up being my sons and I working diligently to get most of these logs peeled.

I had to talk to myself.  The task seems daunting.  But I knew others had done it before me, and so when you know it has been done before, you can pretty much know you can do it too.   And so, I thought to myself, “If we average one log peeled a day, we can get this done in 26-30 days, roughly a month.”

But we had other logs coming, and I was going to get backed up for sure.   At least, maybe I needed to think about peeling more than one a day?

No matter what I had thought, life makes it so that your plans don’t work out like you think they will most times.  I have to learn to go with the flow.   It just depended on the day as to how much we would accomplish.  Some days we would be there in the heat of the day, and we would be dying.  It was so hot and humid, and the sweat bees. . . .oh my, I don’t think I got stung once, but man, they were for sure (no drama here) the pests of a lifetime.  There would be ten of them hanging around my elbow or behind my knees at one time.   Just BOTHERSOME!

Then sometimes we would just drive down to the property for the sole purpose of peeling in the cool of the evening, because even though it wasn’t cool, it was much cooler than the heat of the day……..

Anyway, the point was to get the peeling started, and work and work on it.  That is what we did.

Any boy, did I have some ‘mighty men’ helping me.  Let’s peek at this. . .

You can kind of get the idea here.

You can kind of get the idea here.

My husband had found a steel pole, and fashioned a pointed thick metal blade (which we found in the debris buried on our property~we are thinking maybe from a plow type of a machine) on the end of it, and had a maintenance guy at his work weld them together.   I thought it was kind of cool that we were able to repurpose some of the scrap metal we had found.  Anyway, these tools are called ‘spud bars’ and their sole purpose is to remove the bark from the tree.

Here they are and you can see that we had peeled off some of the bark~~it is laying on the ground nearby.

Here they are and you can see that we had peeled off some of the bark~~it is laying on the ground.

Sometimes, you could get a large swath of bark and just pull it off~~that was good, but it wasn't always easy.

Sometimes, you could get a large swath of bark and just pull it off~~that was good, but it wasn’t always easy.

We were slowly making progress. And my oldest son was helping, but sometimes he becomes the photographer, and the photographer doesn't normally (oh yeah, there are selfies) take pictures of him/herself.

We were slowly making progress on the first log. And my oldest son was helping, but sometimes he becomes the photographer, and the photographer doesn’t normally (oh yeah, there are selfies these days) take pictures of him/herself.

Pulling with all of his might. Yes, one of my 'mighty men'.

Pulling with all of his might. Yes, one of my ‘mighty men’.

You have to contort in all different ways to try and get a bite under the bark so that you could get anything to come off.

You have to contort in all different ways to try and get a bite under the bark so that you could get anything to come off.

I'm trying here.

I’m trying here.

You will notice here that I start getting a good 'farmers' tan. Gotta love that!

You will notice here that I start getting a good ‘farmers’ tan. Gotta love that!

Something else you run up against is the 'sticky' sap as you peel, and so do you keep the gloves on or take them off?

Something else you run up against is the ‘sticky’ sap as you peel, and so do you keep the gloves on or take them off?

I can tell just by the stance he is in that he has sap all over his hands.

I can tell just by the stance he is in that he has sap all over his hands.

I don't know how long it took us, but we (I) was so happy to get even this much done. It's a start. . .

I don’t know how long it took us, but we were (I was) so happy to get even this much done. It’s a start. . .

Two proud little 'mighty men' who just helped me rock on the two logs that we have gotten a jump on.

Two proud little ‘mighty men’ who just helped me rock on the two logs that we have gotten a jump on.

Aren't the logs pretty once they are peeled?

Aren’t the logs pretty once they are peeled?

Next you get a glimpse of me NOT working on peeling logs.  All work and no fun is not good.  SOOOOO, for now. . .

AND we currently have a pool in our back yard, and I was going to enjoy it a bit between our long hard work days down at the property.

. . . we currently have a pool in our back yard, and I was going to enjoy it a bit between our long hard work days down at the property.

Yes, relaxing~~and even my toes are painted. ;-)

Yes, relaxing~~and even my toes are painted. 😉

So, back at it again.  You want a crash course in peeling logs.  Just keep working, just keep working, and repeat.

Notice the brace on my arm. Not only was I working my tail off, I had to wear this brace because I had 'tennis elbow'? ~not from playing tennis I can tell ya'.

Notice the brace on my arm. Not only was I working my tail off, I had to wear this brace because I had ‘tennis elbow’? ~not from playing tennis I can tell ya’.

Yep, it's hard!

Yep, it’s hard!

All I can say is I was getting in to my work.

All I can say is I was getting in to my work.

Taking a break to pose~~some of the logs are getting done.

Taking a break to pose~~some of the logs are getting done.

I love this shot!

I love this shot!

I wish I could say they wanted to help ‘THAT’ much!  But really, they didn’t. . . although they don’t complain.  It is funny however, when I give them a break~~we actually set the timer so that we don’t go over our set amount of time to work without a break~~they will actually go and start throwing ball, or wrestling, or some other ‘active’ activity.  You see, I wasn’t even wearing them out with all of the peeling we were doing.  It just gave them all the more energy to keep moving.

But the funny thing was. . . I would call them back to the work when our break time was over, and then they would ask, “Can I get a water?”

WHATeven!?!

In my mind I am thinking~~”I just gave you a 15 minute break, and you played the whole time, and didn’t even get a drink?  And now when I call you back, you are thinking of needing a drink?”  Okay, so it just tells me how much they love playing.    And also, how needing a drink does delay having to get back at it right away when you are called.

This mamma isn’t stupid.  That happened once.  I told them, “If I give you a break, you’d better get a drink, or you will not get one after the break is over.”  And I mean it.  I may be a ‘mean’ mom, but I love them, and I want them to learn to work diligently.  Not to play and not be ready for work when it is time for work.  So there.

They always made sure a drink was the first order of business during their break from then on out, and we were all good.

Here we are back at it.

AHHHH! And thankfully, my DH came to help us roll the logs. That is a little much for me and the guys by ourselves.

AHHHH! And thankfully, my DH came to help us roll the logs. That is a little much for me and the guys by ourselves.

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Trying to figure out how to get a bite on this log to move it.

Trying to figure out how to get a bite on this log to move it.

You can see we are trying (or HE is trying) to get a good bite on it.

You can see we are trying (or HE is trying) to get a good bite on it.

We are TRYing to roll this one. 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . roll! Teamwork is all I can say.

We are TRYing to roll this one. 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . roll! Teamwork is all I can say.

Yeah, I'm not hot at all! And by the way, these tools are called 'cant hooks'. My husband loves making puns about 'cant' hooks.

Yeah, I’m not hot at all! And by the way, these tools are called ‘cant hooks’. My husband loves making puns about ‘cant’ hooks.

Good thing he got two cant hooks.

Good thing he got two cant hooks.

I love these shots of us rolling the logs.  We were trying to make room for all 26 of the logs on the racks that we had set up.  Some of the logs were  stacked on the other ones, and we had to get them all down on the rack, especially for the days when my husband could not be there.  That way, my sons and I could be peeling without my husband having to come down later to get them un-stacked.  It was quite a job.

I guess my face shows the effort I had to exert to do my part.

I guess my face shows the effort I had to exert to do my part.

I had titled this post “Peeling Logs 101”.  It’s not really like I was ‘teaching’ anyone how to peel logs, but this was more about what is involved in peeling logs.

It is kind of exciting to be getting along with this job of peeling the logs, and figuring out how peeling one log looks completely different than peeling another log.  And the fact that the logs need to be ‘organized’ to be peeled and we also have to spray them so that the bugs don’t get to them.

Not a small feat, but a doable feat.  I am not discouraged.  We just have to keep on working on it.  I am not afraid of work.

Just “Thank you LORD!” that we have logs to peel.

 

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Working on the outhouse (SOME more. . .) AND we are done!

By February 10, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General, the outhouse
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It is really nice to be getting to this point in the build of our little outhouse.  Just the fact that it is mostly square is a feat for us.  (no kidding here~) And now, all of the finishing touches along with some miscellaneous things that we are taking care of . . . while we continue to wait on our logs. . .

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.  We will need to caulk for sure.

OOPS!  We got the frame up with the screen on it~~~And then . . . . my husband put the drill through the screen on our frame after he put it up.  So SAD, too BAD!   We had to take it back home and remeasure for the screen ~because why would we even bring extra screen along since we had the frames all made up?  Right?  Oh well, there are worse things to deal with in my opinion.  Screen is EASY to fix.

But that meant we couldn’t finish up our little ole’ awning that day.

There are always plenty of other things to do though, so we closed up shop for the day, and headed home. . .     and the next day, we were starting on miscellaneous to-do list chores.

Working on mowing along the roadway to clean it up.

Working on mowing and getting it cleaned up along the roadway.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

Starting to man the fire.

There he is starting to man the fire.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooler, and he put it on under his hat.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooling rag, and he put it on under his hat.

I was having a good time with this~maybe thought it was too funny.   I was chuckling, but he did not care.  It was protecting his face from being singed, and that’s all that mattered to him.   It was getting pretty hot.  The boys and I were manning the hose (we had hooked up the hose to use the water from the little church next to us ~~ JUST IN CASE!) while he was ‘in the heat of the battle’ (pun intended).

See him swinging his head covering around there.

See him swinging his head covering around there.

side note * I kind of like this shot with our property and tree line behind him.  I seems quite private (although it is not perfectly private), but we do have some space and I appreciate that.

And we got this brush cleaned up.

And we got this brush all  cleaned up.

Oh, and we found some wild berries. . .

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of "Edmond" from Narnia~~he couldn't get enough once he tried one of the berries.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of “Edmund” from Narnia~~he couldn’t get enough once he tried one of the berries.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.  Our ‘mighty men’!

And then there was the bees nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.

And then there was the bees’ nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.  We needed to get rid of THAT!

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

Getting the inside all finished up.

Getting the inside all finished up.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the 'blue light' coming in.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the ‘blue light’ coming in.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Introducing . . .The "Blue Light Special".

Introducing . . .The “Blue Light Special”.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

 

Just “Thank you LORD!” for helping us see this project through to the end.    We have a “Blue Light Special”! ! !

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the getting of some rocks. . .

By February 4, 2018 General, getting rock, The beginnings!, The Gatherings
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Here we are waiting on logs.  Our logger has been touching base with us to make sure we want these logs.  Are you kidding me?  Do we wants the pine logs that you have?

WHAT. KIND. OF. QUESTION. IS. THAT?

Loud and clear here:  WE WANT THOSE LOGS!

Yes, they are the answer to our prayers!  WE WANT THOSE LOGS!  We will not back out on you.

But, we have to wait for the logs to get here, and in the meantime, I get on Craigslist, and look for things we will need.

Here is what we need.   I found these listed on Craigslist, and I was all over them.  So, I enlisted the help of my family, and there we go to get them.  Let’s look:

What I am standing on is what was also taken from a different part of their yard that they did not want.  Nice flat rock.  But we want it for our walk-out basement wall.

What I am standing on is what was also taken from a different part of their yard that they did not want. Nice flat rock. But we want it for our walk-out basement wall.

Ready to get on it!  He got the "HEAVY" ones~

Ready to get on it! He got the “HEAVY” ones~

And our one daughter got in on helping too!  She was leveling out the load.

And our one daughter got in on helping too! She was leveling out the load.

She does well organizing things~~it was the perfect job for her.

She does well organizing things~~it was the perfect job for her.

Back and forth, back and forth.  I am carrying one in each hand, even though you can hardly see them.  LOL

Back and forth, back and forth. I am carrying one in each hand, even though you can hardly see them. LOL

One of my 'mighty men' carrying a rock about as big as he is.  ;-)

One of my ‘mighty men’ carrying a rock about as big as he is. 😉

Yeppers~~they were working hard that day.

Yeppers~~they were working hard that day.

And what made it even tougher, is that the people whose house we got these from~~they were outside with their kids in the back yard playing on the trampoline, and swingset; and here are my guys working their butts off.  It was a bit of a challenge for my fellows.  They hung in there, and got bigger muscles and a stronger character for it.  I think it will do them well in the long run.  They play a ton between working, so I don’t quite feel sorry for them.  I want them to learn the value of working hard, and what that produces.

This one was a BIT heavy!

This one was a BIT heavy!

We were getting quite the load of rocks, and we even had some in the back of the truck to boot.

We were getting quite the load of rocks, and we even had some in the back of the truck to boot.

Yes, here is a picture of that!

Yes, here is a picture of that!

I think we did quite well clearing out the pile of rocks they had.

I think we did quite well clearing out the pile of rocks they had.

Now, it may not look like a lot of weight, but it was, and as we were pulling out, and down the street our jack on the trailer started to drag and bend.  NOT. GOOD!

I quite don’t like things that happen like that.  UGHH!  We are killing the truck and the trailer now.  Yikes!  That makes me feel really concerned (worried, you might say).  We have to take care of these things we have been blessed with.  This is NOT the way to do it, I’m afraid.  Weighing our load down so that we are dragging the trailer jack is kind of freaky to me.  What to do!

We pulled over and rearranged the load to balance it differently.  It’s not that our daughter did a poor job.  It is a tough thing to know how to balance it out.  We had a long way to go, and we had to do something.  So, we did.  We balanced the load a little differently, and it worked.

However, now the jack on the trailer was bent, and that was not good.  We had to stop and get gas, and it turned out that there was a man and his truck~~his utility tool truck ~~working on some of the pumps when we got there.  My husband asked if he could use one of the tools to straighten out the jack so we could adjust something else.  (Can you tell I am very vague about what was happening at this point?  Sometimes, I just want to escape.  This was one of those times.  I just don’t handle things like this well.)  I let my husband take care of it with the help of this generous man~ and just prayed, and kept praying after whatever was done was done, and we headed home~~I mean ‘we headed to our property’ to drop the load off.  It was quite the jaunt, but we made it.  Praise the LORD!  Seriously!

At the property, and unloaded in a nice stack waiting to be put up on the wall.  (It is the front stack of large flat rocks, not the back pile of creek rock.)

At the property, and unloaded in a nice stack waiting to be put up on the wall. (It is the front stack of large flat rocks, not the back pile of creek rock.)

WE MADE IT!

Is this of him putting the jack back on the trailer?  AHHH~~

Is this of him putting the jack back on the trailer? AHHH~~

I think that is what happened.  They actually removed the jack for the trailer so that it wouldn’t be dragging the whole time and we could make it back without damaging it anymore.

Whew!  Some things you think are going to be easy.  And they aren’t!

There is a little saying that I once spoke to my husband when I was trying to convince him to tear out a wall in our current house.  I didn’t think it could be that difficult, so I likened it to “nailing a board to a wall” ~~meaning it would be easy peasy.  Well, when we actually went to do that, it wasn’t all that easy, and it took a LOT longer than I ever thought it would take.

Now I hear, “It’s like nailin’ a board to a wall.” whenever I am suggesting we can try to do something that we have never done before.  I think he is saying that it isn’t going to be as ‘easy peasy’ as I make it out to be.

That was the case with getting this load of rocks back.  Sure, we can carry rocks to our trailer and truck bed, but what do we do when the load is too heavy?  We struggle and regroup.  “It’s like nailin’ a board to a wall.”   HAAAA!  Not really funny, but funny!  😉

There you have it.  We got the load of rocks back, and we didn’t kill the truck or the trailer.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for helping us through another one (of the situations I get us into that aren’t ‘easy peasy’)!

 

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Our “Mighty Men” ~~

By January 20, 2018 General
Those rocks get heavy!

I was texting my daughter one night back in the summer about our little guys napping (after a long hard week of working on our property helping with miscellaneous tasks), and I referred to them as our ‘mighty men. Oh, how they needed the sleep.  They had been working so hard.  And our days always were soooooo long. . .It was 11:30 one night when we were finishing dinner one nights.  Yes, you read that right.

It was so funny~~We have a swimming pool in our back yard currently.  It doesn’t get much use honestly because for most of the summer~~on any good sunny day~~we would be at the property working.  Yeah, so I would just text or mention to my neighbor to come over with her kiddos to swim.  (I hate wasting money, and at least someone could get the use of all of the chemicals that we were dumping in that big hole~~right?)  At least they could come and take advantage of it.  Well, one day we were able to get done at the property with the things we were working on, and we got home.  Our sweet neighbors were in our pool, and I told the boys they could get in the pool.

We offloaded our tools from being down at the property, and headed out there to chill and hang with the neighbors for a bit.  Well, as my boys were jumping in and out of the pool, my neighbor said to me, “Oh my gosh, I have never seen boys that age with 6-packs!”   YES, she was referring to our guys.  They are in such good shape that at ages 8 and 9 years old, they actually have ‘6-packs’.  They are in good ‘strong’ shape.

Here is why:

Finishing scraping the door for the outhouse.

Finishing scraping the door for the outhouse.

Isn't there a Tom Sawyer saying about getting someone else to do his work for him? ;-)

Isn’t there a Tom Sawyer saying about getting someone else to do his work for him? 😉

The grimace shows it all!

The grimace shows it all!

Yeah, he ended up taking it by hisself.

But,  he ended up taking it by himself.

And this is no hollow door!

And this is no hollow door!

And this was the tail end of the load of mulch they offloaded.

And this was the tail end of the load of mulch they offloaded.

 

And there is so much more. . . but, I couldn’t keep going without showing some of how our ‘mighty men’ got their 6-packs.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for giving these fellows boundless energy, and asking that they use it for your glory!

 

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