Blog Archives

One Step at a Time

Oh So many things. Sooo many things to share. It’s been Forever.

Today, my daughter asked me for advice. Real honest, loving advice. Not eye-rolley, or snotty, but lovely – GRANTED it was how to win at Candy Crush, but hey, beggers can’t be choosers. I’ll still remember the day forever, except in a few months I will change it in my mind to something probably a bit more poetic, today I’m honest. It was Candy Crush.

candycrush

My learning with Methylation and genetics moves forward. I feel a bit at times like I’m lost in the Matrix. Deep in data with numbers and studies all around me and I forget where I am. It’s a process, but a worthy one. I can’t wait to figure it out and share with all the mommas and daddies out there searching… It’s like a fast track back to college. Chemistry and ick. But it’s a new goal when it helps your kids. So I just stick with it.

In the meanwhile, as we’ve been so diligent reducing our diet, any small infraction causes huge upset. Last week I made a roast chicken for my husbands birthday and as a “special” treat I tucked an onion inside the bird as the kids had another meal planned. We haven’t been able to cook with onion or garlic in months due to my sons sensitivity, and it felt like a special occasion. However, when we boiled said chicken for broth we forgot to remove the cursed onion. My son drank the broth last night and was sick all day today. Poor little guy.

I’m going to start researching an aggressive digestive enzyme therapy to begin to start to build tolerance to these sensitivities. We’ve had it out of our diet for over 3 months and drinking bone broth and grass fed gelatin like it’s going out of style and the sensitivity only goes stronger. The problem foods are like the “one Ring to Rule Them All” (geeky Lord of the Rings reference) where the attraction and impact only grows stronger with time.

I digress.

We are making it. Each day. I’m up more than I used to be. I’m trying to come to a calm and loving acceptance for my new way of life. It isn’t what it was before the accident, but it’s better than it has been. Perhaps I need to focus on patience for awhile.  I’m working on getting IGG blood tests for both kids to assess food sensitivities and continue to work towards understanding the mutations we have and how I can heal them nutritionally.

I haven’t lost hope. Sometimes I even still dream of Bali. You know, if I could make the flight and all of the stars aligned.

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Somedays It’s not any more exciting than one foot in front of the other. And that’s enough.

Create your Sunshine Life. One small Step at a Time. With patience.

xoxo

Perspective and Gratitude, a year later…

One year ago today, I was in a car accident. For the last 365 days my husband has tirelessly supported us in so many ways.

Gratitude Quote

He has physically held me up during the never ending dizzy spells, held my hand during a hundred appointments, and paced waiting rooms during a dozen procedures. He managed all of the little yellow bottles (and their side effects) and been my memory, my balance, my reminder of hope.

He has played several thousand games of “I Spy” and “who am I” with our kids, learned to cook gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, preservative free, and managed balancing all of the nutritional needs of our household.  At the end of a long day, he summons the energy for a walk to the park and adventure hike with the kids.  For a solid year he has done all of the laundry, cleaned the house, paid the bills, mopped the floors, bought the groceries, while I laid in bed unable to help in any manner.

He does this while working a full time job, and spending many, many nights awake supporting our insomniac and nightmare ridden children.

Even as we think that my body is healing, I’m hit with sudden and overwhelming recurrence of symptoms which makes me bitter and angry and frustrated.  But somehow deep down this amazing man finds patience and grace, even knowing this triples his workload, he has never resented it.

Thank you my love. Thank you.  This too shall pass. Nothing is permanent.  The beach is calling…20140101_134535

Methylation, Hope and New Doorways

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You know the saying “when god closes one door…he opens another”.  I’d be happy if we could just leave one closed for awhile and take a breather. I feel like I’m in back to back marathons. I haven’t even been able to sort out top from bottom in order to post… so here goes.

 

My beloved gallery has sold to wonderful to new owners.  It’s been a gradual process of letting go and sending love. I spent 7 years growing, planning, loving that little art gallery it seems like it’s embedded in my DNA.  Letting go. It’s an art. Finding out your life plan isn’t unraveling in the way you thought it would is a bit of an adjustment. I say a daily prayer for it as part of my mindfulness exercises. I think it helps.

My neurosurgeon has cleared me for awhile anyway. No more surgeries, the leak is most likely sealed and I’m in high pressure rebound. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m still in a lot of pain and strange and mysterious symptoms, so it’s time to (open another door) find a D.O. – here I’d be happier to just CLOSE THE DOOR on the whole situation and have a miraculous healing miracle rather than starting fresh with a new specialty … yet here we are – .  Apparently the time isn’t quite right for healing, and I need more practice in surrendering to the greater plan.(surrender is not exactly my strong point).

On a positive note… Unschooling is going beautifully. It seems as though we have all settled into a more relaxed pace. We are working together, listening to each other, and finding more time for peace and laughter in our day. What a blessing. I’m grateful each day.  I think a major part of it is not having the morning school battle (with sensory issues – getting up early, putting on clothes, eating food in a hurry just causes more pain that it could ever be worth – then doing it all again at bedtime meant we spent hours each day in battles over hurrying to complete sensory activities). The kids are eager for learning time and reading books. For me, it feels like a daily victory. Complete and utter gratitude.  I feel like the Divine really has my back on this one, and I’m reassured it’s the best direction for us, at least right now.

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And then we come to methylation. Attention: for those mom’s of challenged, special, high needs kiddos THIS IS FOR YOU!  We had a genetic test done from 23andMe.com several months ago but never really finished the analysis. After some recent flare ups for both kiddos it caused me to dig into the wild and overwhelming world of methylation and detox genetic pathways.

Let me give you a little visual example of my light reading: Now DON’T Freak out. 🙂 (learn more about methylation here)

methylation pathyways

I have to read it several times to fully assimilate all of the information (strange I know) It’s a lot. it’s a whole new vocabulary. But you know what else it is? Ladies and gentlemen, this is HOPE wrapped up in a confusing little package. This is healing. This is what it looks like for the mothers that have healed their children from ADD, Autism, and host of other nasty little words. And you may have heard that these are “incurable ” conditions. But I don’t buy it. If there are mothers out there who’s non-verbal children start to speak (after only two months of protocol), and there are people that spontaneously heal from terminal cancer – then I tell you what, it CAN be done. There is an answer for all of us. It’s just how deep down the rabbit hole we are willing to dig.

As I’ve always been described as… tenacious.. I’d go to the core of the earth, digging with only my fingernails to find a healing solution.  Hmm, maybe I need to pray about that more, release and trust and let that go.

Is anyone out there here with me?  I’m reading books and studies and starting to grasp, but I’d really love to geek out about it with someone else…  We are on a modified version of the FODMAP protocol (we can’t have nightshades or dairy, in addition to the rest of the program) currently, and it has helped some, but we can’t eat ANYTHING so the kids have actually requested the GAPS diet in an effort to regain some of our diet. Do you know about the GAPS diet?? Can you imagine a child requesting nothing but chicken broth and chicken soup round the clock?

How their little tummies hurt daily. It’s enough to drive a momma completely insane. And with that, the door to the full GAPS protocol has been cracked. Do I have it in me to step through the door into the next adventure?

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Create your sunshine Life, just keep stepping through those doors as they open and surrender to the Divine plan, regardless if the road doesn’t take you where you thought you were headed. Maybe the destination is worth the trip.

myss

Be the light, find the magic

Sooooooo, I’m nearly at the 11 month mark since the car accident. 11 months. I’ve spent the 36th year of my life on bedrest, and in hospitals, and in indescribable pain. Wow, what a journey.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons, OK that’s the understatement of the century. Each day is hard. It’s hard to wake up with a planet splitting headache and nausea, and god help me, please not the spins.  But it’s a daily reminder to Dig Deep. Deeper. Find the strength. It’s there.

The thing about chronic illness (a word I despise) or pain or whatever terminology you choose… is that there is NO SPACE for self pity. None. Every morning there is a choice, it’s called “deal with it” or “cry” and so help me, when the crying starts….it’s hard to stop.

And there are some things that I think you can only learn when you’re digging deep. Because you (from a favorite Jerry Maguire quote) “Are Incapable of Dealing with Bullshit”.

Some of my most treasured lessons from my 36th year:

1. Whatever you think you absolutely “HAVE TO DO” you “cannot miss” they “cannot do it without you” – you’re wrong. You don’t. You can. They can. Truth. (Ahem mother’s out there, slow down and read it again).   The world WILL keep spinning without you. Life will go on. There is absolutely NOTHING that cannot wait.  Imagine if you will all those things that are deal breakers, that you must do for the world to keep spinning – then getting in a car accident and being stuck in bed for oh… nearly a year. Guess what? Everyone lived through it.

WorldKeepsSpinning

2. Slow Down. Like a snails pace, then slow down some more. I’m built with one speed, Fast. Multi-tasker extraordinaire. Over achiever. Always racing to the finish line. Drive fast. Cook fast. Clean fast. Shop Fast. It might be genetic.. because I’m SLOW compared to my mom!  I’ve been rushing through everything and never knew it.  Nothing slows you down like bedrest. It’s like a freakin anchor. So now I walk slowly with my 5 year old and we look at leaves and cracks in the sidewalk and bugs, without the nagging sense of hurry.  When I shop, I move slowly and enjoy the experience. When my kids talk – I stop multi tasking and I Listen. I really listen to who they are and what they think. I don’t know that I ever really did that before. Not really, with the slowness it deserves.

slowdown

3. Don’t judge. Anyone. Ever. For anything. It’s not your place. You have NO idea what they are going through. I have a whole post I can dedicate to this. But for now, trust me. When you leave your house, or get a phone call, or see something and you think “wow” and that little voice starts to judge. Just slap it. Send love to the person, double time, and a little to yourself as well.

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4. Make time to meditate, pray, and journal.  If you don’t have time, like really seriously don’t have time, then you need it most. Make it a priority as if it’s your life on the line (because it is).  I believed in the power of prayer and the goodness of meditation and even thought it was a good idea to journal. But I never actually consistently DID IT. I never made time, I just thought about it and thought that was enough. IT’S NOT.  Make 15 minutes a day for morning prayer, meditation, reflection and at least 10 minutes at bedtime. Conscious time, not lying in bed as you fall asleep. It will change your life. I promise. Feeling short of patience? Irritable? Pain? Anxiety? Isn’t it worth 20 minutes a day to try, rather than calling your doc for a prescription? Or worse, just living with it?

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5. Be the Light. Find the Magic.  Whatever you are going through, there is always someone going through more, dealing with “worse”. When you are teetering on self pity, just remember to be the light instead. Your light may shine for someone else who needs it, and that itself may give you the power to be strong.  By being the light, you also start to find the magic. And it will pop up in unexpected places if you are moving slow enough to see it.  The world is filled with love and hope and magic, but most of us are too busy rushing off to Target or judging what someone else is doing to notice.  Stop reading the tragedies and gore on the news. Take a 21 day sabbatical. Fill your world with positive affirmations, love, peace and hope. Fill your Facebook feed with people who inspire you, HIDE those with the drama.  And start looking, magic will pop up in the greatest places.

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Create your Sunshine Life, without a year of bedrest. Slow Down. Be the Light. It’s the biggest reward you may ever give yourself.  xoxo

 

~clover

Outrageously Open

ItWillStay

I just finished the most delicious new book.  Outrageous Openness, by Tosha Silver. You must stop everything and pick it up.  Audible or Reader version, either will work for this book, so download it, stop at a bookstore, whatever you must do.

outrageousopen

I attended the recent Hay House event “I Can Do It, Austin” and after many of the speakers referenced the book and the author,  I just had to put it to the top of my reading list.

Every page is like warm water running over me, soothing my soul.  It’s an interesting blend of LOA, Religion, Angels, Faith, and God.  Mostly, I embrace the Openness and wild, unending, blind faith.   I love the quote above and whisper it to myself daily when my heart starts racing, worrying, stressing, or trying to figure out the answer to every question that could be asked. I have over-thought everything for years. I’m a statistics girl, an analyzer of all potential outcomes, a weigher of pros and cons.  I vaguely remember a “me” that was wild and open and free. A girl that took roadtrips in the middle of the night, and moved to new cities without concern. I applied to jobs confidently that I had no experience for, and I met new people of all thoughts and beliefs and enjoyed debate without concern of what someone thought of my opinion.

At some point, I started worrying more about making the right decision, than enjoying making the wrong ones.  I stopped trusting the universe to provide Divine guidance and blessings and started trying to micro-manage my life. To force decisions. To out-think everything.

Maybe all I needed was to remember to let go. Let the Bohemian Gypsy girl inside of me romp and play and trust that there are miracles all around me at all times. That I am always protected. That everything will work out for the absolute best, and I don’t have to try to make it. I just need to breathe. And Love. And trust.

Create your Sunshine Life. Be outrageously open. Trust the Universe. Romp wildly. Laugh loudly. Dance in the streets, and know it will all be ok. There are miracles all around.

LittleBlackDress

The Dreamer of Improbable Dreams

Ahhhh, I’m finally back at the keyboard. Long trip.  I try to not write until I can say something positive… like the childhood phrase “if you can’t say something nice, don’t…” it’s like it imprinted!

So.  I was having a hard time digging deep. Stopped somewhere along the road at a pitstop called Feeling Sorry For Myself.  Then I talked to a friend with a similar condition. Only worse.  We were both taken from our families for procedures. We were both alone and afraid and in pain.  But she endured a procedure that I think it would be unfair to even begin to find words to describe.   I mean, like 1000 times worse than what I went through. And you know what? she was so Strong and So Brave, she was checking in on me.

And that is just enough to pull my sorry butt out of the garbage and get back to dreaming. ~thank you~

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When nothing goes the way you think, or hope, or pray that it will. When you manifest and journal, and eat right, and meditate, and you still don’t get your way what do you do? Do you throw in the towel? Get Angry? Feel Sorry for yourself? Check out? or Do you put on your big girl pants and get back in the fight? Find your faith. Locate a tiny spark of hope hidden deep, deep, down in the dark. Ask yourself what kind of life do you want to live? What kind of person do you want to be?

I have a friend that has been in a wheelchair for 7 years. SEVEN years. Young girl. Freak accident. And you know what, she’s not bitter. She’s breaking new territory learning to walk again! My friend got a shunt this week, endured hours upon hours of torture, testing, surgery, only to find out that it’s not working. Back to square one.  And she’s holding me up. Geez.

So when you step back and put it like that. I guess it’s time to peel off the yuck. Scrub the self pity from my pores. Stand up and fight another fight.

dreamerofdreams

Doesn’t that just feel much nicer? It’s like a sigh for your soul. Yes thank you. I’d rather dream my improbable dreams laying down, than stand up and get lost in the rat race and forget the hope. Maybe this is MY reset button. Maybe great things are coming. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll look back on this experience and smile at the memory of someone I met or something I learned along the way.

In the meanwhile, I’m back to bed. Spending time on my Pinterest dream boards. Deciding exactly how big and how Improbable I should dream. It’s more fun that way.

Create your Sunshine Life.  Let yourself dream the improbable, a treasure, something you love. Go ahead. It’s ok, let loose.

misfits

Find your tribe!

powerful

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I can’t WAIT to write this morning and share good news with you all!!!  Miracles folks, they do happen every day. Hold the hope. Keep the vision!

Did I tell you I finally got an appointment with Duke University? Well, I’m pretty excited about it. But that’s not even the best part. When I scheduled my appointment they suggested I look into a FB group for CSF leakers.  Now, I’m not so into groups and committees. I was resistant, because I’m really not into being part of a group that sits around and just talks about how bad everything is, and my state of mind is delicate. I need hope, good news.  BUT I have so many unanswered questions about my condition and I have felt so ALONE in it all. Wondering, is this normal? Am I crazy? Does everyone have these symptoms? It’s one thing to have these feelings for a week or two, it’s another to have them for months.

Be still my heart. This group of lovely people is SO my Tribe. Who knew? Beautiful, beautiful people, helping each other navigate the crazy, misunderstood, wild ride that has to do with spinal fluid pressure. It’s hilarious. And lovely. Tips and tricks and nutrition advice and pain management, and … understanding. Speaking with someone that understands completely what you are going through. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. And Joy. And Hope.  This is the most supportive, loving, positive, and hopeful group.

It’s amazing how much it eases my soul, my anxiety levels, to hear other people experience what I do. That I’m not alone. I didn’t realize how much I needed them until I found them.  And just like that, I feel Unstoppable.  I have new determination. New friends. New goals.

Maybe it’s healing to know, that if we cannot control our health, our bodies, our minds, we can at least help others. We can lend a hand, a kind word and work together, and THAT gives us a sense of purpose.

My life has been rearranged and scrambled, somewhat like a rubix cube. I have been struggling for months to put it back together, perhaps I should just enjoy the new configuration and learn what it has to offer. Maybe the point isn’t to go back to once was, but to create something completely new. Scary. Like jumping out of a plane. (which I did only once). Look at that young face, trying to be brave.

  skydive2

It was a tiny, rickety, old and scary plane flown by a couple of young adrenaline junkies. I had to crawl out onto the wing mid air and let go.   Did you hear me? I had to crawl out of the door of a plane (while high in the air) and move my hands and feet along the wing until I got out to the end, and then let go. Imagine that a moment.

Letting go was the hard part. I remember sitting there for what seemed like hours, telling my brain, to tell my arm, to tell my hand, to tell my fingers, to just let go. But they would not.  If my younger brother (himself an adrenaline junky) hadn’t been in the plane with me I would have certainly backed out, but pride wouldn’t allow it, so at last I jumped. And look at that face. Elation.

skydive

This feels kinda like that. Telling my brain, to tell my heart, to trust and let go. Who knows where I’ll land?

Create your Sunshine Life, wherever you are with whatever life gives you. If you are alone, find your Tribe. There is magic out there, I promise. You just have to find it.

xoxo

Clover Sunshine

magic

 

Patience, Miracles and Fairy Dust

Yesterday was a good day.

It was my daughter’s 7th Birthday Party. 5 girls, a bouncy house and Frozen, add in some glitter tattoos and gluten free pizza and you have a party! Oh, and the cake. You must have a super-kali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious cake. Seven is the age of princesses and fairies and unicorns, magic and love, and glitter.

Frozen CakeOf course I went overboard, it’s what I do best!  Yes, there’s food coloring (obviously) which breaks all of my rules, and it’s gluten. But it’s a BIRTHDAY, so lately I’ve been trying to let kids be kids. However, I did find a nice local bakery who made it all from scratch without HFCS or other nasty preservatives so I found a middle road I could live with.

But at the end of the day, I had this warm burning in my chest. Elation. I accomplished something. That may be a sentence you just move past quickly. So what, we all accomplish things all the time.  I have been on bed rest for 6 months and the hardest part is the lack of satisfaction at the end of my day. Yesterday, I moved mountains.

I got my fix.  I did something beautiful. I created memories. We all survived. Yay!

(wanna hear a secret? I feel so darn good I may attempt to jailbreak this place and go to the movie Divergent today)

impatience

I think I need to get this poster size on my ceiling.  Have faith. Trust the Universe. We are here for great joy, but it often comes in unexpected packages.  Slow down, if you stop trying to control the world, you’ll see the little miracles and blessings when they come, rather than feeling frustration it wasn’t the exact way you wanted.  It’s a “retraining” process.  But a worthwhile one.

Create your Sunshine life, with patience, miracles, and a hint of fairy dust.

love affirmation

 

On Vaccinations – Bullying is not ok, let’s have a real talk

debate

I was up in the night with burning desire to write this today. In fact, I’ve been burning inside since I read the article circulating the internet: “Growing up Unvaccinated” (the link is to one blog, however it’s been published multiple places online…).  I had to pause and think, why did this upset me so? I mean, I’m really, really secure in my choice not to vaccinate. So why is this so upsetting?

In the middle of the night it occurred to me. People are using it to Bully, guilt, and shame others into making decisions. Not by facts mind you, but by emotion. The vaccination debate is not unlike the ProChoice movement. People are strong and emotional in their decision, on both sides.  The difference (in my humble opinion) is that the abortion/adoption/choice movement is largely a spiritual debate. It’s belief system. And no matter what we’d like, for the most part, no amount of bullying or shouting or picketing is going to change someone’s belief.   However, I would hope that at this point in evolution we could teach our children to be accepting and understanding that there are many belief systems in this world.  We could choose to honor each other, or better yet, LEARN from each other. Maybe if someone has a different belief, ask them why? Not to challenge or compete or belittle, but to honestly stop and listen and put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consider their point of view.  We don’t have to change someone’s belief to match our own, but we could be understanding that everyone is entitled to their own experience on this planet.

Now I come back to vaccines. Vaccinating your child has spiritual, physical and chemical consequences. So there is plenty of room here for an educated and enlightening debate. Why can’t we do THAT? If you want to talk about why you think we should vaccinate, why not bring up statistics? Ingredients? Pros and Cons? Let’s be real folks, if you are at all educated on the debate you know that there ARE pros and cons. Your belief system helps you decide which are more important to you and your family. And that’s OK.  Why not encourage other parents to research and have educated debates? Why are we trying to shame people (on both sides of the debate mind you) into siding with us?

That is what angered me about the article. Yes, the story is filled with ridiculous holes. Most people in the “crunchy” community are in uproar. But who cares, it’s her story. What bothers me is that others latch on and act as if this is the “absolute truth” about vaccines, and use that as a reason to shame those that have chosen not to vaccinate. That’s not playing fair or kind.

What happened to kindness folks? What about learning and growing together? What about acting as a community rather than a school yard filled with bullies trying to get the other kids to take our side of the battle. Isn’t there a more appropriate way to teach our children to deal with conflict?

I read this blog post today “Growing Up Unvaccinated: Scary Potential, or Healthy Reality?”. I loved it. But that’s just me.

There is a larger lesson here folks. It’s called Compromise. Understanding. Compassion. Let’s go back to real debating. The educated kind of debate where we listen to each other and volley facts back and forth and contemplate a new outcome. Now that’s a real solution. How about instead of beating each other up and letting the drug companies take the big win, we all sit down and actually discuss the pros and cons and come up with some alternatives to the vaccination system that could work for more people? Look at the big offenders, the ingredients, the schedules, the Pros, where vaccines are really effective, where they aren’t so effective. We could come up with something that created a better world for our children instead of just shouting and throwing sand back and forth on the playground. What does that teach our children about debating? Because I’m pretty sure they will face bigger conflicts than vaccines. They may deal with the health of our planet, with energy issues, with nuclear fall out, with a million more important and controversial things. Couldn’t we take them time to start working to teach how to deal with conflict and find where we can agree and come together to solve problems?

compassion

Imagine how things would change if we all took a moment to listen with compassion to all sides of the story. Every story. Contemplate the lessons that each side has to share.

Create your Sunshine Life, with compassion for the other side.

~Clover Sunshine

Change Everything

Mobile Meditation? Awesome or Oxymoron?

patience

See, here’s the thing. I love the IDEA of meditation. Doesn’t it sound lovely? I mean, it’s up there with free massages and bubble baths.. and I have about as much time for it as I do bubble baths. Which is kind of NEVER!

But in all honesty, lately I’ve been stressed. You know when you spend more time as the “raving lunatic” mom than the sweet, patient one?  Those days when your temper is more fragile than keeping an egg yolk whole, and I tend to start yelling at something nearly as silly as breaking the yolk.

It was time for an intervention. And I remembered this App that I read about. “Headspace”. For reals. It is a free app for your cell phone with 10 minute guided meditations.  And honestly, it works better than Chardonnay! Took slightly longer than it takes to slug a glass, but I felt better afterwards. Calm. Relaxed. gathered. Patient.

I might just stick with this Meditation thing after all.

Do you Meditate? Regularly? For reals?

If you go a little nutsos, you may want to download the HeadSpace App. Amazing what can be accomplished by locking yourself in the bathroom for ten minutes with headphones and your cell phone. 🙂

Much love to you Mommas.

Create your Sunshine Life.. Today

~Clover Sunshine

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