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Journal for CollieSmileJournal for CollieSmile

April 22, 2016

Hi Everybody,

Physical Therapy is going well. I\'m somewhat wobbly, but I\'m walking! This weekend, my husband and I are going to find a deserted parking lot and I will try driving again for the first time since my accident. The main concern, of course, is how flexible my right foot will be, since I\'ll need to be able to use it on the gas pedal and the brake.

I thought I\'d be back to work by now, but that hasn\'t happened yet. My daughter has to do some major "renovations" around my desk area before I can return. I guess I had better explain that.

We had just finished moving the family business to a new building the Saturday I had my accident. My daughter, being very busy, never got around to sorting through and putting away many cartons of things that got left around my desk. In addition, she tells me, my desk area has gradually evolved into a dumping ground.

She\'s been trying to clean up my desk area for the past month, but things keep getting in her way. A bunch of rush orders came in last week. Then her computer decided it was time to crash---permanently! (Thank goodness, she had back-ups of her work!) She\'s now trying to learn a brand new computer at the same time as she is trying to get lots of orders filled and out the door. I was supposed to start working again last week. That turned into this week. Now it\'s been moved to some time next week.

I have mixed emotions about this. I\'ve looked forward to going back to work. But I\'ve also loved having extra time to spend on Desktop Nexus and to create new wallpapers.
When I first joined Desktop Nexus, I wasn\'t working and I had lots of time to be on DN. Now that I\'ve gotten used to having that kind of time for DN again, it\'s hard to think of giving it up.

When Lydia is ready for me, I\'ll return to work and make a go of it. Once I get used to working again, I\'m sure I\'ll enjoy it. Our workplace is a cheerful one, and Lydia is a great boss!:)

Once I do start working again, however, I\'ll have less time for Desktop Nexus. I\'ll likely be slower at returning your PMs & Profile greetings. I\'ll do the best I can, but it will be harder to keep up. :(

One thing\'s certain for me though. Whether I\'m working or not, DN will continue to be one of my top priorities. I absolutely love it here, and that won\'t change!

CollieSmile :)

PS. It\'s hard for me to believe, but as of this Sunday, I\'ll have been a Desktop Nexus member for exactly 4 years! (Where has all of the time gone?)

DN has been a real blessing in my life. I appreciate the existence of this website. Thank you to Harry, Bonnie, Barb, and the rest of the behind the scenes people who keep DN up and running. Harry, when you created this website, you created opportunities for so many people to experience joy and fullfillment!

I am so thankful for the many fans and friends that I\'ve made here. (Who needs Facebook when you have Desktop Nexus?) I also am very happy about being able to create & upload wallpapers, as well as being able to see and appreciate the beautiful wallpapers that everyone else uploads.

What more can I say? Well... In the words of a wallpaper I uploaded after being a DN member for 4 months:


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A week ago Sunday, my husband John took me shopping. He helped me pick out a new pair of shoes. We got them because none of my other shoes would fit. I had to try several pairs before we found one that fit my right foot. It\'s somewhat swollen and will be for at least a couple of months, since it\'s still healing.

The shoes were "buy one pair, get the 2nd pair half price" so we tried getting a 2nd matching pair in my regular size. But for some reason, my left foot slid around in my normal shoe size, and did not slide around in the bigger shoe! John ended up picking out a 2nd pair of (half price) shoes for himself.

I keep the left shoe laced tied up tightly and the right shoe laced very loosely. It works out nicely. But oh...if only walking again was as easy as wearing this new pair of shoes is!

I thought it would be simple. I was looking forward to making this journal post. I figured I\'d be reporting that I was back to walking again; no more wheelchair, no more ramp in front of our house, life back to normal! Instead I find myself stuck at a confusing midway point.

On Saturday, for example, I ended up staying home from a Potluck Supper that John & I attend once a month. Up until now I was quite comfortable attending it in my wheelchair. But now that I\'m walking around the house, I didn\'t really want to go to the Potluck in the wheelchair. For months people have asked me when I\'d be walking again. What would I say, that yes, I was finally able to walk again but I\'d decided to keep on sitting in the chair?

If I had gone to the potluck without the wheelchair, I would soon have had problems with a sore foot, as well as an aching back. So I ended up telling John to go without me, and to let friends know that I\'d be back the following month. True, that decision didn\'t do much for my social life, but it did solve my dilemna for the time being.

It isn\'t just my still-recovering foot that\'s the problem. It\'s also that I\'ve lost a lot of muscle tone & stamina from having to sit around for so long.

I found out about that lack of stamina fairly quickly. I\'d had the plate and screws surgically removed from my foot on March 16th. On Friday, April 1st, my foot was checked and the stitches were removed. I rested over that weekend to let the foot recover. The following Monday, I had the green light to start using it again.

I started by walking slowly & gently around my house for about 15 minutes. I had no problem with the foot, except for normal soreness. But less than an hour later, the herniated disk in my lower back started reading me the riot act. The lower back pain continued for the next 4 days! Not only that, I got severe pain in my upper back as well.

I\'ve had back trouble for years... it runs in my family. I\'ve dealt with it fairly successfully by working out at a fitness center 3 times a week. As long as I go there faithfully, my back does fine. But the last time I went to the gym was October 23rd. On October 24, I was in the car accident, and haven\'t been able to go back since.

Now I\'m learning firsthand, that if one part of your body goes down, the rest of the body can start sinking also. It\'s not only my back, but also my arms. They\'ve been overworked for months now. Although they improved when I got help for them in February, they still aren\'t back to where they should be.

So a couple of days ago, I went back to my primary care doctor. She gave me a script for physical therapy. As soon as it can be cleared with insurance, I\'ll be going to PT 2 or 3 times a week. My goal is to be able to go back to my fitness club and pick up where I left off last October.

All of this is more difficult than I ever thought it would be...would anybody like a pair of shiny new shoes...? No, no, I’m just kidding!

Eventually, I\'ll pass the shoes on to my son, who has bigger feet than I do. For now, however, I’ll do my best to put these shiny new shoes to good use; walking back into the life I used to live, one step at a time.


March 8th, 2016
Kate Hatheway:
Born: April 24th, 1940
Passed: February 27, 2016

I\'m sure that many of you who read this will have your own good memories of Kate. I thought that you might enjoy reading some of mine.

When I joined DN in April of 2012, I didn\'t know much about websites like this. I didn\'t (and still don\'t) belong to any other social websites. I joined DN because someone told me that I could share my homemade wallpapers here. I knew nothing about fans, Profiles, or anything else.

Kate was one of the first 2 members to send me a Profile greeting. She used a picture of a beautiful young lady for her Avatar back then. I thought it was her picture! I felt a little bit silly when I realized it wasn\'t her...after all, I use one of my collies for my Avatar, but it isn\'t me! :P :D

About a year later she changed her Avatar to a cute little puppy\'s head. I liked the puppy Avatar, but I wished she had kept the other one. I will always remember her as that beautiful young lady who left me Profile greetings 2 or 3 times a week. She was young at heart, and that original Avatar fit her well. :)

Kate used to PM me from time to time... her subject line was usually "Miscellaneous." It was always something interesting. Once she said that she felt she wasn\'t artistic enough to join one of the Groups that I started... I think she was talking about my Homemade Abstracts Group. That really surprised me, and I told her so.

Kate was very artistic. If you want to know just how artistic she was, go through her pages of wallpapers and look at the beautiful things that she chose to upload... there are many! She had a wonderful eye for colors, designs, and delightful illustrations...here\'s just a sampling.


Beautiful Fall River in Autumn

Learning to Crawl

Mother Nature & Friends

name ginger snap

pretty kitty in pink

fantasy flowers

Beautiful Gorgeous Swan

Kate told me that she wished she could create wallpapers like I did. That made me wish that I could go to her home state of Missouri through my computer keyboard and show her how. I have no doubt whatsoever that she would soon have been creating works of great beauty. She had the eye... she only lacked a bit of hands on help to get started.

One of the last things I talked about with her was the Nursery Rhymes Group that she had started. It had gotten off to a weak start, and she was thinking about deleting it. Happily, she decided to let it keep going, and added a Storybook Character option to the group as well.

I know that Kate was active in many groups. I think that this one may have been one of her favorites though. If any of you reading this would like to join it and add some wallpapers to it, I think it would put a smile on her face. :)


Kate, I will miss you. A lot of us will miss you. You added a lot to Desktop Nexus, and we appreciate it!

CollieSmile/Elaine :)

PS. I am so glad to know that Kate passed away peacefully in her sleep. May she rest in peace, knowing that she brought a lot of joy to DN members like me.


February 16, 2016

Hi Everybody,

I\'m still living in my wheelchair & dealing with my fractured (but improving!) right foot. There are still a plate and a bunch of screws in my foot. I was supposed to have them removed on February 10th, but …

While I was in the hospital, I developed a blood clot. I was put on blood thinners temporarily, to take care of it. My primary care doctor insisted I had to finish the full round of b.t. medication that she\'d prescribed. The surgery could not happen while I was on them. So the removal of plate & screws got moved to mid March. I know it was for my own health & safety, but even so, my feelings about being wheelchair bound for yet another month were not exactly charitable. :(

My right foot didn’t mind at all. It had very little work to do, since I have to keep my weight off of it. It barely hurts anymore. But my arms were another story.

I spend a lot of waking hours in my wheelchair. But each time I get out of bed, go to the bathroom, move to a (rented) lift chair in my living room, or go to church or the doctor\'s, I have to use a walker. I have to haul myself onto it with arm strength only. Then I hop on my left foot and swivel around until I get to where I need to go.

My arms were getting more & more sore. It got so bad that they were constantly in pain. Everything that I tried to do hurt. I couldn\'t even type on a computer keyboard... all I could do was watch TV. I could only do that if I worked the remote control with my left hand. So my husband took me to the doctor. I was diagnosed with tendonitus, in both arms, but especially my right arm.

So for 3 weeks I had home physical therapy. It consisted mostly of moist heat, ultra sound treatments, a couple of gentle isometric arm exercises, and stopping just about all of the activities (like Desktop Nexus!) that have kept my spirits up since this accident. Not fun! But finally, my sore arms started to feel a little better.

Then last Friday, the 12th, I got some of the best news I\'ve had since I\'ve been wheelchair bound. The surgeon who mended my foot gave me permission to use the heel (only) of my right foot. This meant I didn\'t have to haul myself up totally with my arms anymore!

On Sunday, I realized that the worst pain had started to let up. Each day I’m feeling a little more better. I still have to limit my arm activity. For example, I’m having to type this journal entry a paragraph or two at a time & take breaks. But it’s a great improvement from when I could barely type a sentence at a time.

One of the main things I want to do as my arms improve is to spend more time on DN. I hope you’ll soon be “seeing me around” more often. Sometimes though, I still get surprised by some pain and I have to back off whatever I’m doing immediately.

If you contact me and I’m not able to get back to you right away, it’s probably because of my arms. Don’t worry, I’ll get back with you eventually! :D Now that I’m homebound 95 percent of the time, I appreciate you all more than ever. Take care, and God bless you all!


Elaine :)


And I\'ve made this wallpaper to prove it! :D :D :D

Christmas Eve, 2015

On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, I was in an automobile accident. It happened when a man driving in front of me stopped for a blinking yellow light. You aren\'t supposed to stop for blinking yellow lights, but to drive through them carefully. Since I wasn\'t expecting the driver to stop, I ran into him and my airbags deployed.

Although I didn\'t know it at first, my right foot got broken in 2 places. Also my knee was badly scraped and eventually became infected. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. Doctors did surgery to repair my right foot, and I also got powerful doses of antibiotics through an IV to treat my knee.

Also, my van got totaled... but I am happy and thankful that I didn\'t get totaled too! lol

I am basically wheelchair bound for at least another 8 weeks. I can\'t put any weight on my right foot, or it won\'t heal properly. When I have to get from one place to another, I use a walker, and hop on my left foot.

I actually got back from the hospital on December 11th, but I didn\'t get to use my computer until a couple of days ago. The three wallpapers I just created are the first that I\'ve been able to do for quite awhile.

I was only able to post a little bit on Desktop Nexus, using a tablet, until now. My "I\'m Back" wallpaper refers to me being back on DN and being able to do whatever I want here again. Many thanks to my husband, who got my computer into this room where I can now use it!

It is so good to be back!!! :D

Elaine :)

PS. Below are the comments that I posted on my profile from my Tablet, in case you want to read them. I know some of you already read them... as they showed up on my profile. I\'ve edited them a bit for clarity.

Dec 2, 2015 (posted from Hospital)
Hello, my fantastic fans and friends! I\'m still in the hospital. The DN website, is blocked here, but my son is visiting me & has created a bypass so I can post. Thank you so much for all of your cheering posts & get well wishes!

I\'ve been moved to the rehab unit here. Rehab going well except for trouble going up stairs. Not allowed to put any weight on my right foot. My rt. foot has a 15 lb. cast. It will be about 6 days before I can come home...I\'m thinking of you all and am looking forward to being back on Desktop Nexus again God bless you all!

Dec 11, 2015
Hi everybody! I got back from the hospital 6 hours ago. Writing this from my tablet... Am having some technical glitches. I\'ll try to write more later. I\'m sure glad to be home!

Dec 14, 2015
Hi to all of my DN friends & fans, Thank you all of you who’ve been writing me on my profile... It means a lot to me! As soon as I can, I’ll visit back! Still writing from my tablet. I\'m hoping soon I’ll be able to have my computer at our dining room table. My husband and I are tackling major problems. Our house was built in the 1940\'s. It is not wheelchair friendly! I have 2 different sized wheelchairs because the larger chair won’t fit in all of the rooms. Insurance pays for the rent of the larger wheelchair. The other one’s a free loan from our church.

Space is so limited in our house because of the chairs & other equipment I need to be home. As a result, we have to go without a Christmas tree this year. Oh well... I\'m so happy to be home from the hospital! I\'d rather be home without a tree than in the hospital with one. Now the pretty Christmas posts you leave for me are doubly appreciated! Thank you all for stopping by!

Dec 16, 2015
I don\'t have much that\'s new to report. Still limited to typing from my tablet. My husband plans to set up my computer in our dining room so I’ll have full use of it again, but it will be at least a week. He’s been so busy helping me with everything! I wish I could give him a Nobel Prize or something. He\'s the best!!!

PS thank you James, Carmen, Emma, Roger, Cherie, and so many others who’ve been dropping by. Have a great night!

Dec 17, 2015
Guess what? I’m going to an opening night showing of the new Star Wars movie, wheelchair & all! John & I are going with other family members. We got tickets before I knew I\'d be in a wheelchair. We’ll show up early so we can get proper seating. I\'m really looking forward to it!!!

Dec 20th, 2015
The new Star Wars movie was fantastic! Wheelchair seating worked out well for us. We’ll be getting the DVD when it comes out.

I\'ve been getting beautiful Christmas cards, both snail mail ones and online ones. The beauty is not only in the pictures, but in the thoughtfulness and concern written in. I am so thankful for my friends, here and elsewhere. You all make me feel rich! Thank you for caring!

Merry Christmas to all of you, my wonderful friends. I\'ll be on here a lot more often, now that I have the use of my computer again... See you around Desktop Nexus! :D


November 17, 2015

Thinking of you...and you...and you...and all of you!

Some of you are probably wondering why I haven\'t been in touch lately. Others of you know that I was in a car accident on Saturday, October 24th. A man stopped for a blinking yellow light instead of going through it cautiously, like he should have done. I hit him, my air bags deployed, and my van got totaled. My right leg didn\'t come out of it very well either.

I have had to spend a lot of time keeping my right leg elevated to prevent swelling, so I haven\'t been able to be on line very much.

I got many bruises in amazing colors. Most of those bruises are very faint now. A bad scrape on my right leg got infected also, although it\'s much improved.

What I didn\'t know until about a week ago, is that my right foot got fractured-- in 2 places. I knew that it hurt but I didn\'t know why. 2 sets of Xrays indicated a lisfranc injury of the middle of my foot. But it took a cat scan to finally show that my foot was fractured as well. They are going to put metal plates in my foot and who knows what else...

I\'m going in for surgery tomorrow morning (Wednesday Nov 18th) and I\'ll be staying in the hospital overnight. Although I have to deal with a needle phobia, and overall anxiety, I\'m pretty much resigned to all of it now. A lot of people (including many of you!) have been praying for me to get through this. It has helped a lot!

Thank you all for being my fans & friends. I really love Desktop Nexus, it is my happy place, and I appreciate you all!

CollieSmile/Elaine : )

PS. I\'ll try to stay in touch. Puppydawg/Roger will be up on what\'s going on with me. I think. I have to check with him on that! :)

UPDATE: December 23, 2015: Well, my "Overnight" Surgery, turned out to be a Hospital Stay of 3 weeks!!! But I\'m back home now, and doing well, although I\'ll be wheelchair bound for awhile. Later today I\'ll be writing a new Journal Post about this. :)

Hi John,

I didn\'t see your answer to my Robin Journal entry until yesterday. I\'ll be so glad when they get the email notifier thing working again! I\'ve been checking my Profile and my PMs every day, but I never thought to check my journal for an answer. I went to my journal to copy and paste the robin story into a letter I was writing... and that\'s when I saw your response.

I\'m glad you got it at a good time, and that it cheered you up. :) I had a lot of fun writing it. I never knew that nonfiction could be so much fun to write! lol

Hope you are having a good day. Drop me a line anytime.

Elaine :)
Friday, July 17, 2015

I hope that you enjoy this true story, as much as I did photographing and writing it! :D

One day a robin flew into my neighborhood. He was looking for a good place to settle down and raise a family.

He landed on top of my garage.

In front of him, across the yard, he saw a brick house covered with ivy. He talked with his wife, and they decided to stay. They built a nest in the ivy, right under my kitchen window.

Soon after they finished the nest, they spotted a problem. The problem was my collie dog Katie, who came out often to play in the backyard.

Each time she went out, the robins were greatly troubled. In their opinion, Katie was way too near their nest. (Actually, Katie didn’t even know where their nest was, but I couldn’t explain that to the robins.)

The female robin spent her time hiding in the ivy and sitting on the eggs. The male robin spent his time trying everything he could do to get Katie to go away. So he swooped at her again and again...

from the next door neighbors house…

From the top of the garage…

From the backyard fence…

...and many other places as well.

None of this made sense to Katie. All she knew was that some crazy bird had started dive bombing her every time she went outside. Furthermore, he never stopped until she went back into the house!

But no matter how hard he tried to chase her away, Katie would always appear again sooner or later. This baffled him. Why didn\'t the troublesome dog give up and leave? He was very puzzled. He wondered if he was having any effect on her at all.

Actually, he was having quite an effect on Katie. She didn\'t appreciate getting pestered by him all the time. She got into the habit of looking over her shoulder a lot to see if he was coming.

Not only that, she even started having bad dreams about robin attacks.

Eventually, however, the robins started to calm down a little. Every time Katie came out, she would explore the entire back yard. She never paid any attention to the hidden robin nest.

So the male robin didn’t chase her as much as he had before. He still kept a close eye on her though.

At last the eggs hatched. The robin parents were very busy feeding their hungry babies. One of their eggs didn’t hatch, but one of the two remaining babies grew so big and had such an enormous appetite, that the robins felt like they were feeding 3 babies!

Finally, one Saturday, I saw the two babies fly! They landed on the garage roof.

They never went back to their nest. Instead, the babies flew into a neighbor’s yard. They decided to stay there. So the Robins didn’t have to worry about Katie anymore.

As for Katie, it was her turn to be puzzled. Why wasn’t she being chased and pecked at anymore? The first times that she went out after the robins left the yard, she would look carefully up and around, expecting to get attacked. It didn’t happen.

As time went on, Katie realized that the robins had left. So as things got back to normal, she started looking around...

...for other opportunities to have fun. She liked squirrels better than robins, because this time she was the one who got to do the chasing!

When Katie goes out now, she gets attentive whenever she hears a robin. I have a feeling that she might miss them, at least a little. I know I do.

June 24, 2015

I\'m just trying this out to see if Journals are working normally.

CollieSmile :)

PS. Yep, they are. :)


Hi Everybody!

I know I\'ve been MIA for awhile. The reason: I\'ve been too COLD to be active on line!

Here is a quote/explanation from the description of my most recent wallpaper, "HEAT WAVE". (If you\'ve already read the description, skip this.)

"As many of you know, my computer is in a poorly insulated room in our house. With the cold temperatures in full swing, I’ve been trying to go on Desktop Nexus in a room that’s usually been 55 degrees or colder. One miraculous Saturday in February, the temperature climbed to 27 degrees. When I put warm clothing on, I was actually comfortable in the room! That’s the day that I got inspired to start this wallpaper. It took me awhile to finish it because it got frigid again. I could only stand to be in that room for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a day."

So anyway, I\'ve been directly affected by the frigid temperatures that a huge part of this continent has been experiencing. Some of you are probably wondering why in the world I don\'t get my computer Out of that room. I wish I could. The problem is that we don\'t have any room for it anywhere else!

My husband and I are trying to make room, but it is slow going. We are dealing with:

1. Two married children who live in modestly sized apartments. They both plan to purchase houses eventually... but in the meantime, three rooms in our house are filled with their things.

2. We lost a lot of basement storage space (and a lot of belongings also) in a flood last summer.
A lot of the things that we were able to save from the flood, are now on our main floor taking up precious space. We are extremely hesitant to store anything in our basement anymore.

3. I admit it... the third main problem is ME. There is a certain paragraph on my profile in which I mention my cluttered closet and that I\'m looking for DN volunteers to help me clean it... Well, ummm... I almost wasn\'t kidding. Actually, I have a lot more than one cluttered area in my home...

I am a pack rat. Actually, I\'m a pack rat who is struggling to reform. But it isn\'t easy to change overnight, especially when you have years of clutter looking you in the eye. My compassionate husband and I have been sorting through & pitching a lot of it. Our goal is to make space for my computer in a much warmer room, and to put a door on the "freezer room." (When we finally manage to do that, our heat bills will probably plummet!)

Eventually these problems will be solved of course. The weird thing is that we really didn\'t know that we had serious storage problems... until the weather got crazy this year. The 100 year flood in August. The extremely harsh Winter weather. If it weren\'t for these weather events, we\'d have a lot more storage space, and a room that I could keep my computer in more easily.

So now you know exactly why I have been scarce lately. Possibly, I am the only Desktop Nexus member who can honestly say, "Why haven\'t I been around much? I blame it on the weather!

CollieSmile :)

PS. Okay, okay, so it isn\'t all the WEATHER\'s fault that I\'m dealing with clutter problems!:P :D

PPS. Unless by some miracle, we find a place to put my computer somewhere sooner, I\'ll probably be on DN only sporadically until some real Spring weather comes in. I miss all of you... and I\'m happy that today it is actually 28 degrees! For that reason, I have been able to finally get around to everybody\'s profiles! :) :) :)

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Frigid Weather & Sundogs(If you are one of my fans, you\'ve probably read this already... on your own profile) February 1, 2019I\'ve been a bit out of touch with most of you, because my back decided to go out once again. So up until now I\'ve had to limit my computer time becaus...
New Year\'s a Comin\'...December 30, 2018If you are one of my fans you\'ve probably already ready this... I\'ve posted it on many profiles already. Guess what? It is almost It\'s time to party, celebrate,and have a May you have a wonderful year! I\'m looking forward to great tim...
Almost Christmas...December 22, 2018 (Although it will be December 23rd in 15 minutes... lol)If you are a friend or a fan of mine, you\'ve probably read this... I posted it on many profiles already. Hello Everybody,Merry Christmas! So many of you have already posted wonderf...
"Dear" Neighbors, Autumn Leaves, & SnowI\'ve been wanting to do another journal entry on DN for awhile now. I\'m glad that I\'m getting the chance to do it before yet another month slips by. ***************************************************Sunday, November 11, 2018In mid October, I saw some...
Happy Halloween... :DMonday October 29th, 2018This post will be short and sweet... you\'ve probably seen it already if you are one of my fans. Happy Halloween! Don\'t eat too much candy... save a little for the trick or treaters! Elaine (If you don\'t live in America and yo...
A "Powerful" JournalThis Journal is mostly about things that happened a month ago... because between my Carpal tunnel problems and back issues I couldn\'t do much uploading or typing. I am doing better than I was, so now I\'m trying to play catch up. October 21, 2018 Sunday ...
My Wallpaper Wish List For Traffic Signals & Signs... The good news is that I have created my group... The bad news is that the Header & the Avatar have refused to show up! So I\'ve thought of a way around it for now... I made them into wallpapers!Here is the group cover image. Please enlarge it and have a ...

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