Friday, October 5, 2018

Fun Retreat with Couples Dedicated to Family

On Saturday, September 29th, we had the privilege of welcoming 50 dedicated parenting partners to our home for an all day conference of people from Saren’s family. Saren has created an incredible curriculum which involves instructions and discussion about how to create family systems that work for  individual families! She did a fabulous of encouraging, including and inspiring those committed couples. It was a JOY to have Noah and Kristi there for the morning sessions to add their terrific ideas and good humor and to have Saydi there for the afternoon session to add her creative and honest insights and ideas to those who attended!  

Richard and I were delighted to be part of this great event and to meet so many good parents who were there to get ideas for deliberate plans to set up family systems for the future of their families. Most had pre-schoolers, elementary and middle school age children, but some had teenagers, which added a deeper dimension. In leading one of the discussion groups about setting up a family economy, I found it interesting to see that many came from parents with vastly different economic backgrounds and ways of dealing with money. Each set of parents were dedicated to taking the good things and getting rid of the bad things they learned as children to create new best practices for their own children. 

I was such a fun day!  Thank goodness for the loving and dedicated parents of the world! 

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It’s a gorgeous time to have a retreat just as the kids have gotten back in school. The scenery out our windows is spectacular, which was enjoyed by all! 

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018



Have you been searching for an idea for a gift for your parents, your grandparents or yourself for Grandparents’ Day? Just kidding. Most of you probably were totally unaware of such a “holiday.”  But it’s happening on September 9th. Who knew that it’s always the Sunday after Labor Day?  

Just a little heads up for those who would like to honor/celebrate Grandparents Day, (at the risk of self-promoting and with apologies if you have already have these books). Our grand parenting books are on sale at Amazon right now. They can be delivered to your door in two days to help you celebrate this special day. 


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To see the Grandmotheirng book click HERE.   And the Grandfathering Book is HERE.  

We did our best to honor my mother by making chokecherry jam with a couple of our grown kids and a gaggle of our grandchildren. The bushes on our property in Park City are loaded with Chokecherries so hey, free fruit! We had so much fun remembering the great old tradition of making jam in the fall with my mom.   

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Sadly, Grandparents Day is a rather obscure holiday!  It is always the Sunday following Labor Day, but who knew?  I remember the schoolchildren (with the help of their teachers) honored their grandparents with a little handmade gift for their grandparents, but as a mother, that special day often slipped by without much hoopla or sometimes with a little regret that we missed it! 

Grandparents can change the world!  What’s up with that???  

There are about 80 million grandparents in America…the biggest group on the history of the U.S. So they deserve a shout out once a year too, right?  

An organization called Generations United has been trying to do something about it! Since 2011, Generations United has spearheaded an annual campaign to encourage all generations to Do Something Grand and engage with another generation on Grandparents Day. Here is their plea: 

Grandparents and Older Adults:  We’re asking you to commit to do something grand and share your wisdom, perspectives and key civic values with young people and advocate on their behalf.

Children, Youth, and Younger Adults:  We’re asking you to commit to do something grand and connect and serve with your grandparents or older adults in your community.

We have also found a wonderful online magazine called GRAND. For a limited time you can subscribe FREE.  Check out the great ideas for grandparents HERE. The September Issue is out and includes thoughts from Paul Newman on Grandparenting as well as his marvelous legacy of giving back, as revealed by a close friend. The magazine has graciously  reviewed  both of our books and have included our column called Deciding: What Kind of Grandparent Will You Be?  Check it out!  It has so many great ideas for Grandparents! 


Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Reunion that Turned Our Hearts... 2018

Exactly forty-nine years ago last week, Richard, who prides himself on creating surprises, blindfolded me after our wedding reception in Montpelier, Idaho where I was born and raised and took me off to a “surprise place" for our honeymoon. After driving around in circles for a while to confuse me, and then driving for what seemed like forever (about 45 minutes in reality), he got me out of the car, carried me to a mystery spot, put me down and took off my blindfold. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see that I was standing in a small plot of land filled with sagebrush.

Probably visibly, not happy too about the prospect of camping on our honeymoon, Rick turned me around to see that about 50 feet away at the end of a small dirt road was the shore of Bear Lake.

The first words that he said when he saw my amazed/puzzled/slightly disappointed face, was, “This is our land!”  

“How could that possibly be??? We have no money?” I blurted out.

 Smugly he announced, “Your mom gave me your insurance policy and I turned it in and bought this little plot of land for $1200.

I must admit that the thought flew through my mind that we might have used that money for our imminent first year in Boston where we would be starving students at the Harvard Business School. But I was at the same time I was immediately pleased to know that we would now have a bit of my childhood in our possession forever!

In hindsight, it was one of the best decision he ever made! That little plot of land was the seed that has bloomed again and again over the next almost 50 years and grew into something beyond our wildest dreams!

Every year we become a little more grateful for our good fortune to have expanded from that little plot of land to a family compound where we now gather for reunions. Without boring you with the details of all it takes to create a successful family reunion, you be able to see what has become of that “big surprise” all those years ago. Now that our kids have families of their own, complete with creative kids who can help with the planning and execution, our reunions that started on that little plot of land many years later have exploded like fireworks and have become a world of wonder!  

The Theme of our eunion this year, created and directed by the Shumway Family was TURNING THE HEARTS! It was a wonderful celebration of our ancestors. Just four this time:  My Mom Hazel Jacobson and my Dad Roy Jacobson and Rick’s Mom Ruth Eyre and his Dad Dean Eyre 

I began to try to load the few pictures I took on this blog when I realized that Shawni had already posted all the details so beautifully with the help of her fabulous eye for beauty and her terrific camera. I immediately realized that the best thing I could do recreate what happened this year at the reunion is to send you to Shawni’s blog ( Then, on Charity’s delightful blog (dripping I found some of the same pictures but many additional ones including additional events before and after the reunion. 

For a look on Shawni’s blog at the fun we had “Turning our Hearts” click HERE . And for even more on Charity’s blog click HERE

What an enormous blessing this place has been to us!  I have to admit that it takes a lot of hard work from all of us to bring all this to pass. And it’s worth every minute and dollar spent! It is a delight to be able to spend our money with the kids instead of worrying about leaving it to them after we’re gone! The last sunset as we left the lake for the summer was packed with so many beautiful memories along with the fabulous reality that no one threw up or broke an arm this year. Icing on the cake!  


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Summer Days Were Dazzling!

Note:  For those who want to see more about my Grandmothering delights, thoughts and ideas click to my new blog HERE 

From the first blaze of a glorious Bear Lake sunset in the windows of The Lighthouse…our summer began!

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We took time out before the onslaught of filing up our place at the lake with our beloved family to join Lucy for a BBS Conference which was held in Salt Lake this year!  The complications of a rare syndrome are mind boggling!  Though much research is being done both for weight issues and blindness, it is still sobering to see how far we have to go to find some imminent help for Lucy. Many signs are hopeful but she is entering into her last year of Elementary School and is losing her sight fast. She’ll be 12 on October 1st and we adore this girl. Our hopes and prayers are with those researchers and her fabulous parents and siblings who will be her lifeline! 

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One of the workshops was on Autism, which we learned is often a part of the BBS Syndrome. Bless those who are trying to figure out how to help!  It was so terrific to have the support of all the families who now live in Utah!  The Shumways, the Loosli’s and the Provo Eyres all joined us for the family dinner! 

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                                                       There’s nothing like cousins to support a very special need! 

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                                                           Unless it’s dedicated Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. 

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            And then is was on to the exciting life at Bear Lake with pre-reunion friends, families and fun (especially with the new “tube”) 

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      One the 4th of July we had fun at the “Kids’ Rodeo” over in Paris. Home town fun at its best. See the kids lining up for the chicken chase on the right. Poor chickens! 

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   Extraordinary Sand Castles were built and a two year old Birthday Boy got his first scooter soon to be used on the streets of London! 

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This year we had the joy of having two positively adorable babies, born five days apart in April. One in New York and one in London! 

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 A short but fun little Grammie party for “The Littles” (under 5s) who are too young for Grammie Camp! 

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    With the help of their adorable older cousins who joined in the fun! 

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Because of late arrivals and early departures of our families this year, all Grammie Camps had to be smashed into 24 hours just before the reunion began. Below is the youngest group (5-8). Those hours went so fast that I didn’t get pictures of the others. With the help of “The Magical Mr. Eyre” (our school extraordinary school teaching son) and The Excellent Story Teller Uncle Tal, we were able to make it happen. Thanks you guys!  (Wish I had taken more pictures)!  

It was a year for the Fine Arts!  The kids did an incredible job of identifying the 10 pieces of classical music I had sent them via Spotify. They got points for identifying the piece, an extra point for knowing the composer and an extra point for knowing something else about the piece. They were astonishing! The points were worth money and I was a poorer woman by the time they got paid. Haha!  They also each shared their favorite piece of art and they told why they liked it. Tal came to tell stories and Josh showed the wonders of the heavens through our telescope on a starry starry night at the Lighthouse along with showing them the marvels of his fancy drone and so much more!  Thanks Josh and Tal!  Couldn’t have done it without you! 


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 More on the Amazing Shumway Led Reunion entitle “Turning the Hearts” coming next! 


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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grandmothering Two New Babies in London and New York

As a Grandmother, nothing is more heavenly and exciting than welcoming new babies to their life on earth!  Launching a new book is nice but launching a new baby, now that is really something—and launching two new grand babies in one week is nothing but glorious!  

Of course the mothers did the really hard work, thanks to nine months of nurturing those babies inside, along with the accompanying worries, discomfort, mental toughness and putting their bodies through amazing contortions in order to give birth. They were both champions in doing what it took to allow those babies on opposite sides of “the pond” to emerge into their new lives on earth! 

Below are two pictures that capture the essence of the joy of the entrance of those sweet babies and their siblings. For complete pictures of the home water birth of baby boy Gabriel James at our youngest daughter Charity and and husband Ian’s flat in London and the details of the birth (and our whirlwind visits to NYC before and after) of our youngest son Eli and daughter-in-law Julie’s new little baby girl, Etta Joy was born, go to my blog at  

We’re home at last and on to the book launch. Here are the times and places for the book signings for the Grandmothering book coming up this week in anticipation of Mother’s Day.We’d love to visit with you there if you are in the area!   

1. Deseret Book in Midvale (1110 E Fort Union Blvd) on Saturday, May 5th from 12:30-2:30

2. Deseret Book in Downtown Salt Lake (45 W. South Temple) on Saturday, May 12th from 12:30-2:30.


The book is also available at Costcos in the Utah, Idaho and Arizona areas, at all Deseret Book Stores as well as Amazon.  

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                                                                         Treasured days! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I'M BACK...after Writing a New Book on Grandmothering!

I can’t believe it’s been nine months since I have posted here! I have a good excuse though. In the meantime I have written a book. Which was much harder and time consuming than I had remembered. Joyfully, that manuscript was finally sent off to the printer and it’s ready to fly! See a draft of the cover below. (On the final cover the subtitle reads “The Secrets” not “The Secret.”)  The book will be officially released on April 1, 2018 but it just popped up on Amazon today. If you’d like a copy, click on the picture or on the link at the end of the post. Hopefully it will make a nice Mother’s Day Gift for all those GRANDmothers out there who still happen to be Mothers!  :) 



Inside this cover are a multitude of ideas for grandmothers not only from me but from many wonderful friends who have been my creative mentors. Ideas include possibilities for one-on-one and groups adventures with grandkids, creating “Grammie Camps”, including in-laws, the joy of welcoming new babies, how to keep your mouth closed when necessary :), taking care of yourself, the problem of kids’ entitlement, a new way to give grandchildren grit and ideas for memorable reunions.

To go along with the book, I have created a new blog called GRANDmothering, There is a unique gift at the end of the book in the form of an appendix called “Recipes to Feed a Crowd”  that includes favorite family and friend recipes that will hopefully help with the dilemma of what to feed the kids and grandkids when they come home or gather together. The recipes from the book are loaded on the blog by category so with a click you can easily find recipes for appetizers and snacks, breads, breakfasts, salads, soups, main dishes and desserts, which will be readily accessible from any computer or device when you don’t have the book. If you know the name of recipe you can put the name of the recipe in the search bar and it will pop up. 

The blog will also provide new ideas that continue to pour in from successful grandmothers as well as a new place to record the delightful adventures we are continuing to have with our grandchildren. Our gaggle of grandkids  (the count is twenty nine with two more arriving in three weeks) now range in age from twenty to one.

I hope that you loyal readers of the Eyrealm blog who aren’t lost in cyberspace because I have been absent for so long, will have fun with the information which has been created for grandmothers. It would be so great if you could  direct other grandmothers you may know and love (whether they are a new grandmother or a vastly experienced grandmother) to the new blog which is found at  Take a look! You can order the book HERE.

If you get this in time, I will be at a signing for the new book at the Sugarhouse Deseret Book Store at 2274 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84106 on Saturday March 31st from 6-8 p.m. I’d love to see you there!   

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Birthday on Two Continents

The last two stops on our whirl around the world were so fun! After seeing our Hawaiian Family in Maui on the first stop and our London family in Moscow, we had such a great time with our Eyre family in Switzerland and then our Eyre family in New York City on our last lap! 

The Swiss Eyres are so lucky to have a working farm about five minutes’ walk from their home. The owners are happy to have their family enjoy it. Look at these cuties! 

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Their little daughter has taken up climbing every tree she sees and has become a little monkey! And it was such a delight to walk with her and her mom in their quiet, pastoral country town whether it was to her Kindergarten class or to her swimming lesson. 

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She also managed to ride her bike for a few seconds on her own for the first time while we were there. This was after wearing her mother out running beside her up and down this street many many times for multiple days. But the look on her face (and ours) was worth it! 

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We were also thrilled to watch this little cherub  being so brave and good at her swim lesson. She has come a long way since last summer at Bear Lake!   

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 Everywhere you look in Switzerland is breathtaking! Even the walk to the shops! 

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Anita is a fabulous cook and on the eve of my birthday, she made a scrumptious Tiramisu so we could celebrate before we left for our early morning flight. Mmmmm, makes m mouth water to think about it! 


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I must add that Tal is also a pretty amazing cook. His company sells a state-of-the-art machine that measures, stirs, cooks and completes the meal with the touch of a button. He cooked our favorite dishes in a blink! Sorry, you can only buy it in Europe! I might mention that he has a fascinating job the covers seven (or eight) countries and is also writing a book. Switzerland is positively “to die for” when it comes to scenery, but the “rules and regulations” take some getting used to! We are so proud of his abilities to not only survive, but thrive! 

I woke up on my birthday to a gorgeousl morning in Switzerland and we were swished to the airport by Tal. It was such a delight to catch up on the day-to-day life of our extraordinary Swiss family! 

About 10 hours later we arrived in New York City where it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. I got to have a once-in-a lifetime 32-hour birthday! Eli kindly picked us up in a zip car that he rented for the afternoon. When I got into the car, four-year-old Zara was there with her huge smile and darling purple glasses and about 8 big purple (my favorite color) balloons. We were so excited to see each other and she was especially excited that it was my birthday!  I must admit being just a bit tired from the flight but within minutes she had me laughing, almost hysterially because when we were snugging in the back seat she looked straight at my neck, pondered for a moment and then asked, “Why is your skin all squashed together?  Perfect for my 70th birthday! What a kick!  Every time I think of that it makes me either smile or burst out laughing. What a girl!  She says it like it is!  Gotta love that girl’s pizzaz!


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Zara adores her little brother with a deep purple (speaking of)  passion and has almost killed him with love every day of his short two years!  Her enthusiasm has moved to her toes(see below). Don’t you just those adorable purple glasses? 


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When we walked in the door of their cute NYC four story walk-up, the walls were covered with messages from children and grandchildren for my birthday! On the table were my favorite flowers (lilacs) and my favorite cookies (Levain). What a surprise and a special treat for a special birthday! 


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A tempting sight! 

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Wish you could see Eli’s extraordinary photography on the wall in the back,, but you can see all those great messages taped to the walls. Thanks everyone! 

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I love this picture. Right away Dean pulled out his favorite book!  Looks as though he’s reading it to Grandfather rather than visa versa! Oh the delight on both of heir faces! 

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Just before we closed my 32 hour birthday day, Eli disappeared for a while and came back with a very special video comprised  of clips from every family of Eyrealm including Josh’s family of kids at the elementary school wishing me a happy birthday. Each family had their own clever way of making their few minutes heartfelt and exciting, fun and funny! Could there be a happier birthday present? I was blown away and charmed! 


The following day was Sunday. Julie is the new Relief Society President so she leaves early for church meetings and Eli gets those kids ready, down all those stairs and then walks at a fast clip for about twenty minutes to join her at church…on time!  Hooray for Eli! What a guy!  After church we walked to Central Park, not far from the church  and had a delicious picnic lunch. Julie had to go back to the church before we got home so this was a lovely intermission! 

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Back at home, Zara and I got serious about reading a most amazing story…..

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And Dean showed us his favorite spot in the world…the window ledge in his parent’s bedroom where he spends a lot of time watching for “Trash Trucks” his favorite thing in the work right at the moment!  If he doesn’t see one right away, he resorts to playing with his trucks on the window ledge until one comes by. 


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One of he most fun parts of being there right then was that two days after my birthday was Dean’s birthday so we got to celebrate his birthday with him too! Note the excitement of his opening his “big” present: 

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Wish you could see the joy on this little boy’s face when he saw his very own scooter!  He was already experienced rider on this thing, thanks to a neighbor who let him borrow theirs. Who knew that a two year old could scoot down the streets of New York and all through Central Park with his mom and dad yelling “slow down” as he speeds up with a great big grin on his face. He is a pro I tell you! 

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That day I was treated to a post-birthday lunch at our favorite place in Central Park…The Boat House Restaurant!  Somehow we have managed to be in NYC for my birthday for the last three years and this has become a tradition! 


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Thanks heaven for electronics for two and four year olds at a linen-clad table and a gourmet lunch!  


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I’m not sure there are more spectacular cherry blossoms in all the world, including Japan and Washington DC, than the ones in Central Park. We hit the height of the season and had the most glorious walk through the most beautiful sea of pink blossoms imaginable! 


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This awesome picture was taken on Eli’s professional camera by a friend who was with us! Joy Joy Joy! In fact all the photos with really great quality on this post came out of Eli’s camera! 

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Grandfather found his favorite thing…a duck Zabar’s around the corner from Eli and Julie's while Julie made a special birthday cake for a party with friends whose little girl was born on the same day as Dean. Is this a cute “Trash Truck” cake or what?  Dean seemed was filled with glee while his birthday buddy just wants a bite! 


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What a great way to celebrate a two-year-old’s birthday in such a dazzling place! 

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Eli always does a photo shoot of the kids on their birthdays, in this same room, on this same chair in their apartment. I”ll just share a few of at least 50 spectacular shots, starting with the ones with his “dearly beloved” sister! 

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Gotta love those knees (above). He made them “fashionable" all by himself! 


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Love this boy, named after his grandfather who died when Richard was 15. Grandpa Dean must be looking down from heaven with pure delight to see his little namesake! 


On the day we left, while Zara was at Joy School, Eli, Julie, Dean and I walked over to the astonishing Guggenheim Museum, where the building is as spectacular as the art! Art museums are one of my favorite things in the world and it’s a special treat to go with the “artsy” Eli and Julie! Dean didn’t think it was as fun as we did so Julie pushed him on home while Eli and I finished. Julie, you are a such a heroine!


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There was a huge Kandinsky exhibit….which we loved! 


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A glorious gaggle of the great Impressionists were so elegantly displayed! At then end of the tour,  Eli and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the museum's special exhibit which consisted of entering a small private room on the top floor and  sitting in a staging area with two other people, surrounded by elegant foam cones. We sat there meditating in total silence for fifteen minutes. You had to be there to appreciate it! It was incredible! 


Well all great things must come to an end and this one did as well. We left NYC for our last four-hour flight after our whirl around the world with six stops, three days each, with so many new perspectives. We  made new friends, saw sights that we had longed to see all our lives and enjoyed four of our families who are splashed across the world. Still we were ready to go back to the real world of our day-to-day work with a special appreciation for….home! 

And our last surprise?  A blizzard. Such is life!  

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