Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Themed Herb Gardens

I've kept an herb/veggie garden in the past, but this year, because I knew I wouldn't have quite so much time to devote to it, I've decided to downsize this year ~ hoping to have a bigger garden next year, again ~ and just have a small herb garden this year.
 Wouldn't you love to 
stroll through this 
garden?
All I have this year is rosemary, sage, lavender, echinacea, cilantro, dill, oregano and chamomile. Love my herbs.
I still have some "babies" in my window ~ using plastic baggies over the starter pots as mini hot houses. But after I write this, I'm going to transplant them into my cute little herb baskets that I found at Wal Mart, and set them on my porch. I still want a strawberry pot, but none were around when/where I was looking this year.

Another idea that I LOVE is to use an old wagon wheel for herb garden sections. Isn't that cute?
I am a sucker for books on herbs, essential oils and home rememdies, so on one of my weekly visits to my favorite bulk food store a while back, I picked up a sweet little book called, "The Beauty of Herbs" by Jessica Dorfsmith. The best part: it's written from a Christian viewpoint.
Her first rule for using herbs states: "Carefully avoid New Age or witchcraft influences sometimes associated with herbs. Accept herbs for what they are: a gift from God for the benefit of man, to be properly used and never abused." Amen, sister!

So much of her philosophy and uses of herbs are very similar to mine, even some of her recipes are almost identical. Something that she writes about are "Theme Gardens." A small patch with herbs that meet specific needs ~ I've done that and it's my favorite way to plan. Another thing I want to get back to next year.

This is what Jessica has to say about them . . . 

Herbs planted in separate small gardens, each with its own theme, is gardening at its best! It's also good for the beginning herb gardener, preventing confusion between culinary and medicinal herbs . . . The following ideas are simply that: ideas! Use them as a springboard to get your imagination running. Choose herbs that do best in your climate, suit your family's medicinal needs, and please your eyes and taste buds.

TEA-TIME GARDEN ~ 

Mint                       Chamomile
Lemon balm       Catnip
Lemon thyme     Fennel
Lime and Lemon Basil          Bergamot

CULINARY HERB GARDEN ~

Chives                    Savory
Basil                       Sage
Oregano                Parsley
Cilantro                 Thyme

IMMUNE-BUILDER GARDEN ~

Echinacea            Horehound
Chamomile         Horseradish
Peppermint         Lemon Balm
Mullein                 Rosemary

These are just a few of her ideas. I'm looking forward to using some of these ideas next year.

What do you like to plant?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rosemary Biscuits with Lavender and Honey Butter


My family doesn't eat as much "regular-type" bread as we used to. These days, we eat more of my homemade Ezekiel Bread and THE Man eats my homemade Paleo Bread

BUT . . . on those days (Sundays ~ our "grace" day ~ or holidays) we like really make the yummy treat of a wheat flour bread rock! :-) 

One of my favorites is rosemary bread, biscuits or scones (which you can make with this recipe) and lavender and honey butter.
For the biscuits~

You Will Need:

~2 c. bread flour (for a light, fluffy rise)
~2 c. whole wheat OR coconut flour
~4 ts. turbiano (Suger in the Raw) OR coconut sugar
~1/2 ts. sea salt
~2 TB. baking powder
~1 ts. cream of tartar
~1-1/3 c. milk (rice milk OR almond milk works well, too)

~3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
~1 TB chopped fresh rosemary OR slightly crunched dried rosemary
~whisk
~spatula
~med-large mixing bowl
~medium mixing bowl
~cookie sheet (OR loaf pan for bread OR cast iron skillet for scones)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400* (f)
2) Using the whisk, in the med-large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients
3) In the smaller bowl, combine all the other ingredients EXCEPT the rosemary
4) In small amounts, add the wet ingredients to the dry
5) Stir in the rosemary
6) Pinch off chunks of the dough and roll to about 2" in diameter
7) Place onto cookie sheet
8) Bake 10-12 minutes 

**NOTE** You can make a small loaf of bread OR scones from this recipe, just use an 8"x3" loaf pan OR a cast iron skillet for the scones.
Lavender and Honey Butter~

You will need:

~homemade butter (roughly 1 lb.)
~1 TB. honey (local is best, especially if you have allergies)
~1 TB. slightly crunched/ground-up dried lavender flowers
~wooden spoon
~small mixing bowl
~air-tight container

Directions:

1) blend butter, honey and lavender flowers together
2) store in an air-tight container . . . OR . . . roll into a cylender and wrap in waxed paper, chill and then cut into slices onto a pretty plate to serve . . . OR . . . put into butter molds for pretty shapes

Enjoy!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#146~ America, God Shed His Grace on Thee

"These are the word of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of God's creation . . . You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked . . . Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here i am! I stand at the door and knock. I f anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
~Rev. 3:14, 17, 19-22

"Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a preganant women, and they will not excape.

"But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day . . . But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For god did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
~1 Thess. 5:1-5, 8-9
 
I watch the news, I listen to and partake of conversations about our culture and society, I watch the mannerisms and listen to the foul language of our culture and I grieve greatly for our once great nation. We slipped so far during the 1990's and now ~ now ~ we have fallen So far, SO quickly in the last 6 years, in particular. 

Everyone is so self-absorbed. Our culture's speech has become so rude, so foul. Values have completely flip-flopped ~ what for all time has been considered good, is bad; what for all time has been considered sacred, is considered hateful; what for all time has been written in man's soul as right and wrong, has been seared from the unsaved soul, ridiculed and maligned. 

"Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet 
and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their
own eyes
and clever in their own sight."
~Isaiah 5:20-21

They ". . . do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." 

We, as Christians, are so different. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! As this world gets darker and darker, our lights will shine brighter and brighter. THIS time is when we are to let our lights shine (Matt. 5:16). And as we shine brighter and brighter in this dark, sinful world, we will attract both the seeking and the wicked. Our light is tempored with faith, hope, love and self-control

Those who are seeking will be drawn to us because they want Who we have, they recognize that they need forgiveness for their sins and want to spend eternity with the Lord. While those who are wicked seek our distruction ~ it's already started in the Middle-East ~ just as the Lord warned us: 

"They will put you out of the synagague; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service of God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you." ~John 16:2-4(a)

These last days bring such conflicts of emotions: such happiness because the Lord is coming back soon. Such sorrow because so many we love will not go with us. Such fear because no one wants to be tortured or lose a loved one. Such certainty that our faith will be rewarded, that it will soon become sight! (Hebrews 1:1)

Stay vigilant, be strong, speak God's truth. People are dying to hear it.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#145~ All Dogs Go to Heaven? Really?

"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to thier kinds. And God saw that it was good.

"The God siad, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creature that move along the ground.'

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.

"God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increasing number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'"
~Genesis 1:24-28 [emphasis, mine]

"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchnaged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds, and animals and reptiles . . . They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator ~ Who is forever praised. Amen."
~Romans 1:22-23, 25 [emphasis, mine]
I love animals. Really LOVE animals. The only times in my life I've never had a pet, preferably a dog, has been when I lived in rentals that forbade pets. At one time in my youth, I had: 2 dogs, 1 mama cat and 5 kittens, a duck and a crow. It was a lovely menagerie.

I believe that, as Scripture plainly states, animals ~ and ALL of creation ~ is a gift to us from The Creator, God Almighty. And as gifts, they are here for our use and pleasure and, yes, in many cases, to love. BUT . . . they are NOT to be worshiped. 

People like the militant sillies in organizations such as PETA, worship the creation and they worship at the expense of their morals, their finances and in increasing number, their sanity. It seems that every news story about them is yet another expression of the futile scraping and searching of pitiable lives without Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Yes, love your pets; yes, protect animals from being abused; yes, appreciate what God has made and given us to enjoy ~ but ~ DO NOT worship them. Don't go to the rediculous, border-line insanity of American PETA DEMANDING that the oldest pub in Britan should change it's name from from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks because it offends chickens. Really? REALLY

It seems that these poor people are looking for meaning in their lives and they go to pitiable and often to deadly extremes to replace a relationship with God ~ just as Scirpture said they would ~ with created things. They are looking for significance without relationship in the One Who created them and can give them eternal significance.

In my humble opinion, human life . . . with a soul . . . made in the image of God . . . is of more importance than animals who have no soul. Even as much as I love them. If you want to work of something really important, with eternal impact, let's get Roe vs. Wade repealed.

And yes, it would be so lovely to get to heaven and see some of my favorite pets run up and greet me as I arrive ~ my sweet kitty Boots, our wonderful Sheltie, Hickory, 
and our current cutie, Maggie Mae ~ but it won't happen. Now, we know that there will be at least 4 horses in Heaven (Rev. 19:11), but will there be more to go around for those of us to want to to take a scenic ride around Heaven? I doubt it. These things are not mentioned in the Bible, so either they aren't there, or it will be a wonderful surprise.
I'm good with surprises, but until then, I'll love our little Maggie and any other sweet pets the Lord puts into our lives and enjoy them while I may, while letting Him give meaning to my life.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#144~ Servant Leadership


" . . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave ~ just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom from many." ~Matthew 20:26(b)-28 [Jesus speaking]


It seems that all of my life, I have been put in positions as a servant. Even in ANY leadership role I have had, I have been in the position as a servant ~ THE Man's helpmate, mother, daughter, homeschool teacher. Nearly every job outside the home I've ever had has been in some sort of servant capacity ~ sales, speaker. Some other positions were as a servant/leader ~ county homeschool coordinator, homeschool support group leader, speaker, writer, blogger, workshop instructor, worship leader. 

It seems that all of my leadership opportunities have been combined with servitude. And as a follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I find it encouraging that He would choose to gift me with those positions. 

In many ways, those positions are heavy and emotional; some of those positions consume a great deal of time and hand holding. Some of them put one is a humble position of giving of yourself, whether it be prayer, time, advice, instruction, emotional/mental stress and, at times, physically hard work. 

But in most cases, it is well worth it when the Lord lets you see fruit from your labor, whether it's a successful project or an answer to prayer. It's worth it.


I hope that the end result of any servant/leadership that I offer is that of an encourager . . . if I can do it, so can YOU. I hope that anything anyone learns from me ~ personally, through my work, through my blog, through my writing, through my workshops ~ that as a sinner saved by grace, having learned life lessons in the School of Hard Knocks ~ I hope to be considered as one who has walked along side and shared lessons learned . . . a servant/leader.


Who was a great servant/leader in your life?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><   

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Homemade Night Cream ~ for Normal to Oily Skin


If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I ~ and my whole family ~ have oily, acne-prone skin. Ick. :-( I'll tell ya, when you're 56 (as of this writing) and your face is STILL a grease ball, it gets a little old. My HUGE saving graces are my own homemade oily skin face wash and my astringent/toner. They keep my oily skin completely zit free and I RARELY stray from that path.

As for keeping my skin moist and supple, I love (love, love, LOVE) hyaluronic acid. Your skin recognizes it as something is used to make a lot of and, therefore, uses it to the max. I use this after cleansing and toning every day and night.

But I have wondered if I might need a little extra umph in the evening, so I found an interesting recipe and then ~ of course ~ you know me ~ tweaked it to, hopefully, hydrate AND help me remain acne-free.

Now . . . a word about "hydrating" vs "moisturizing." Something I learned years ago, when I worked for Clinique (before I became a free-lance make-up artist; seems like another life ago), is that American women have completely lost the meaning of hydrating and moisturizing. Somewhere along the road, we were suckered into thinking that to moisturize we HAVE to use icky, gooey, greasy creams in order to keep our skin youngish and supple.

WRONG!

What our skin really calls out for HYDRATION. The two things, in my humble opinion (and experience), that are the closest to what our skin produces, to natural hydration, are hyaluronic acid and coconut oil. 

So . . . here's what I'm thinking . . . I'm going to make my luscious, fluffy oily skin face cream and use it at night and my hyaluronic acid during the day, under my makeup. 

Anyone want to try this with me?


Here's what we will need:

~1 c. coconut oil (in it's solid state)
~1/2 ts. frankincense essential oil
~1/2 ts. tea tree ess. oil
~1/4 ts. lavender ess. oil
~3 drops thieves oil
~3 drops lemongrass ess. oil
~2 drops clove ess. oil

Directions:

1) blend together with a spoon or a blender on low (for a fluffier blend).
2) lightly apply for face and neck.

**This would probably make a great foot cream, too.

Let me know how you like it.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#143~ God is STILL on His Throne


"I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for My anger has turned away
from them . . . 
The way of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them."
~Hosea 14:4 and 9(b)

"'Even now,' declares the LORD, 
'return to Me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and
mourning.'
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for He is gracious and
compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and He relents from sending
calamity.'"
~Joel 2:12-13

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father . . . Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come . . . So you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." ~Matt. 24:36, 42, 44
We live in such treacherous times. Our dear nation has fallen so far SO fast, particularly in the last 6 years. Everyday, I look for the Lord's return.

This wonderful country can still, as a phoenix, rise from the ashes ~ we've done it before ~ but I think we are nearing the last days. I think we are nearing the great return of our Savior, Jesus, and His taking away of His own. 

Even though the day and hour are not known, even though God is STILL on His throne, we must be ready.
I am ready . . . are you? 

SERIOUSLY . . . ARE YOU?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Christian Women's Voice Magazine ~ May/June 2015 is Available!


Yippee Skippie! The May/June 2015 issue of Christian Women's Voice magazine is out and available for order or subscription. 
BE SURE to order yours, today.

FYI ~ my Frugal Living with Kim column is about "Castile Soap ~ How Did We Ever Live Without It?" :-)

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Natural Sources of Collagen



I am one who embraces my age. I like the saying, "Do not regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many." I also want to age a gracefully and healthily as I can, and with that in mind, I also keep in mind another saying from Hippocrates, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." 

Several years ago, I set out to be proactive in my health and that of my family. About 1-1/2 years ago, we really knuckled down and embraced a sort hybrid of the Daniel Plan and the Paleo Diet, while also watching our gluten. We have all had some moderate weight loss (I'm guessing I've lost around 25-30 lbs., as we do not own a scale, because I started 2014 in a size 20 and I am now in a 14 . . . with about 2 more sizes to go), it's been slow but steady and that's fine. And in full disclosure, we consider Sunday a "grace day," in which we can have anything we want.

One issue with losing weight as an older person is that once the skin has been stretched out, it's a little harder to be "re-absorbed" back into the body. Younger people have much better success at that. One of the reasons for this is that after about age 40, we start a somewhat dramatic loss of collagen ~ much like that dramatic loss of hyaluronic acid after age 30 ~ the 2 age-defying substances that our bodies make. Bummer.

Although I use a wonderful hyaluronic acid [HA] product on my face (the only skin care I don't make, and which it seems, we sell cheaper than Amazon :-D ), and I take an HA supplement, try to find natural ways to help my body make, or keep, collagen.
 
According to Medical News Today, "Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is regarded as the substance that holds the whole body together and can be found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons." It helps our skin and joints remain young; it helps our skin to wrinkle on a slower time-table

Some key points about collagen:
  • Around 30% of all the proteins in the human body are collagen.
  • Type I collagen fibrils are stronger than steel.
  • Collagen is most commonly found within the body in the skin, bones and connective tissues.
  • Collagen ~ along with hyalauronic acid ~ gives the skin its strength and elasticity by binding water molecules, and is also responsible for the replacement of dead skin cells.
  • Collagen production typically begins to decline after the age of 40.
  • Collagen in many supplemental products can be derived from bovine sources.
  • Controllable factors that damage the production of collagen include sunlight, smoking and high sugar consumption.
Since those of us with mature skin want to keep it firm and elastic, how can we do that without the potential side effects of prescription medications?

FOOD SOURCES:
 
Other than certain supplements, food is the best and most easily absorbed way to get your collagen: egg whites, meat, cheese, fermented soy (which is generally safe for men), cabbage, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries. 


HERBS:  
~Bilberry: stabilizes collagen in the tendons, ligaments and cartilage. 
~Hawthorn: an antioxidant that stabilizes collagen, dilates blood vessels and is also very good for the heart.
~Horsetail: contains silica the body needs to produce it's own collagen. 


TOPICALLY~

ESSENTIAL OILS and TINCTURES~
Some essential oils are particularly good at building or supporting collagen. Essential oils are the very life oils of various plants that are steam distilled to allow us to be blessed from their potent, healing benefits. They are in such concentrated form that we only use them by drops. Some essential oils can be used directly on the skin and others need to be diluted with a carrier oil ~ such as grape seed oil, for all skin-types including oily/acne prone; jojoba and almond oils for normal/dry skin-types; olive oil for drier skin-types. You may also use your favorite unscented cream or lotion.


Using essential oils during self-massage or by your masseuse helps promote circulation through-out any trouble spots and in so doing, breaks up cellulite pockets.
Calendula is well known for its healing properties. The extract is available in creams and salves for nearly every skin condition ~ from eczema to insect bites to the boo-boo on your child's knee. Calendula is noted for is high flavonoid content that stimulates collagen production. The essential oil or tincture should be in every medicine cabinet. Just add a drop or two to your favorite skin cream to massage into your skin and stimulate your body's natural ability to rejuvenate.
Geranium possesses a many properties that protect the skin from fungus and bacteria while promoting circulation. Geranium is used to encourage the body to heal itself. Collagen stimulation increases with consistent application of geranium essential oil.

Isn't it good to know that there are different ways to do so much good for ourselves?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><
**Please see the obligatory disclaimer at the bottom of this page.**

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#143~ Are You a Christian or Just a "Believer"?


I have remarkable daughters. And for today's Word-Filled Wednesday, I want to share with you a devotion that my DD#2 shared on her Facebook.

Get ready for some SERIOUS TRUTH.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WARNING: Brutally honest post headed your way.

James 2:17-22~
"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ?
Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did."

 
 A lot of good people are going to go to hell . . . Do any of ya'll think about that at all? A lot of people who claim to believe in God are going to go to hell. When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart that means you pick up your cross and follow Him, it does not mean, "okay, I accepted Jesus into my life awesome! Now I am going to go out and get drunk, now I am going to go out and do drugs or finish off that bag of weed I have got at my house and then I will quit. I am still going to sleep around because I am lonely, I am still going to show favoritism, I am still going to distort my body and be like that fake girl on a magazine cover. But God wont mind because I am a good person right? He knows I sin?!" Yes He knows you sin and He knows you better than anyone and He sees your heart. When you come before God sitting in your seat at church or even when you go before God just at your house and your heart shows no repentance for your actions, you are putting yourself under God's wrath . . . Ya'll don't want to be there "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a living God." ~Hebrews 10:31. God is just and JUST He will be on the day that Jesus returns to get His people. Our example has always been and always should be Jesus Christ; you can ask me "well Jenna what about God's grace? I will sin everyday and I will always fall short." Yes, your right, you will sin daily; do you want to know the difference between sinning and repenting daily vs. sinning with no shame or conviction? Your heart. If you sin and ask Jesus to forgive you for it, He sees if you truly mean it. But when after you ask for forgiveness and immediately go back to your sinful ways [with no remorse], what does that say about your heart? Does that seem like a heart that is convicted to you? When you blatantly sin to please your sinful urges and desires while professing to be a Christian, you are putting yourself in danger. You cannot be like the world and serve Jesus Christ. You can't do it. We live in a world that over exaggerates grace and yet, completely ignores what rebuking and being an ambassador for Christ Jesus means. I want more brutally honest brothers in Christ, like James in my life. Don't you? Aren't you tired of "yes people" all the time? I am. James is asking in these verses, "what are you doing for the Kingdom of God?" He is pretty-much saying, "You all are sure talking the talk to get to heaven, but are you walking the walk?" Don't be a pew sitter, get up and serve your King! I would highly suggest you search your heart and think through your life style and think, "If Jesus were standing right here with me, would I be able to justify my actions?" Your heart says a lot about you; let Jesus wash it clean so that you can serve Him in the right way. James even says in 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-- and shudder."
 

Do not be a lukewarm Christian because Jesus will spit you out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). Even demons believe that He is God. Think about that for a minute: They know He is God. Never think for a second, never believe the lie that you can get into Heaven just because you are a good person. You have to serve your King. Study the word (your Bible), spread the gospel, serve others, be a light in all the darkness. And it is getting dark you guys, just turn on the news. Jesus is coming back soon, don't just be a "believer," be a follower of Jesus Christ. Repent of your sin, pick up your cross and follow Jesus.  

God Bless your day.
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