Portland Thorns

Few weeks ago some friends invited Lucas and Siena to go see a Portland Thorns Game.  Siena came back home that night with a plan.  Her friend mentioned she really wanted to buy one of the stuffed bear with the Thorns t-shirt, but I guess she has lots of teddy bears, and wasn’t sure if she wanted to spend her money on that.

So the next day, Siena asked secretly to her mom for one of her friend’s special teddy bears, so she could “Thorn-ize it.”  Our friend’s mom (also a friend), brought two of her special stuffies, a Thorns buff, and Siena got to work.

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She knew exactly what she wanted to do.  She is so good at that.  She has a vision and can bring it to reality.  I love watching her do that.

IMG_1457 She used an old t-shirt and cut it and sewed it to make it fit to this dog (I think it is.)

IMG_1458 She glued and sewed the Thorns logo from the buff.

IMG_1461 After much thought and some trials, this other stuffy friend got a scarf and a flag.  Siena tried to make him a t-shirt, but was harder because it is a hand puppet.  So then she tried a vest.  I think this was the best idea.

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That same day, Siena took them to her friend and I guess she was surprised and really liked them.  Now they are also ready to cheer the team.  Go Thorns! 

The sling shots

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Two Christmases ago, the kids received a sling shot each, made especially for them by our friend.  She remembered how she made them when she was growing up, and told us the stories of how her and her brothers made them, and how her mom used to get mad at them for cutting the tongue of their leather shoes, so they could make these.  She has 6 siblings, so I bet their mom did get upset!  (I wonder if they each cut the tongue of their own shoe, ruining 7 pairs, or if they cut both tongues of a pair, and so ruining just 3 pairs?  I wonder…)

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Anyway.  She made Lucas and Siena a sling shot each, and apologize in advance for any damage they might cause.  We loved all of it, and will take the consequences, I guess (I hope my kids are not reading this one.)  This time she cut leather from a glove she had.  For the elastic part, she couldn’t find a good rubber even after going to the bike shop to get a popped tired.  She says the tires are not elastic enough these days, different from heydays growing up.  So she had to get surgical tubing.  And it works perfectly!

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We liked when she told us about her stories from growing up, as much as her stories on how she was trying to make them this time, and her thinking of all the possibilities they could use these now…. here in the city, as oppose to the farm she grew up at.

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The kids took their sling shot when we went for a hike here and there, but it was way more fun in Idaho.  DSC_0038 DSC_0039

They of course, were not throwing at anything to injure.  They were rocks, rabbit and deer poop sent to the air, or to touch the water, or reach the other side of the pond.  Real testing of what it could do.

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I remember I used to have one too growing up.  I wonder how many of us used to play with one, and how many kids today have one.  It was fun to see the kids play with it and not having to worry to damage anything or anyone was a big bonus!  Our friend knows us well, I guess.   Thank you Linda!

A winter walk and some reminders

I’ve said it before, and I say it almost every day, I love where we live. And I love the rain too.  It makes where we live, the beautiful place it is.  I am glad I took my camera.

DSC_0004 We were lucky to go for a walk at a park we don’t usually go to, with a good friend and two happy dogs.

DSC_0010 DSC_0014And two happy kids.

DSC_0012 Green.

DSC_0008White. Snow. Berries.

DSC_0017 Winter sights are there, waiting for us to discover.  Dormant.

DSC_0020 Bare.

DSC_0021 Colors.  Textures. Delicate.  Subtle.

DSC_0025 DSC_0027 Brown.

DSC_0030 Shapes.  Sharp.

DSC_0032 DSC_0033 Red.

DSC_0034 Water.

DSC_0035 Black.

DSC_0036 Gray.

DSC_0037 Clouds. Rain.

DSC_0038 Orange.

DSC_0041 Yellow. Life.

DSC_0044 Levels.

DSC_0046 Open.

DSC_0047 Happiness.  Freedom.

DSC_0050 Dried.

DSC_0054Wet.

DSC_0052 New.  Alive.

DSC_0055 Space.

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Mud.

DSC_0060 Water.

DSC_0065 Work.

DSC_0066 Life.

DSC_0068 New.

DSC_0074 Air.

DSC_0076 Sky.

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DSC_0087Thankful. Friends.

 

playdate turned napkins

So we had our friend visiting one afternoon.  We had instructions of laying low, so he came with fabric and patches, and instructions to make napkins.  Love it!

DSC_0660 copy But he’d never used a sewing machine before.  So a little instruction was all it took.

DSC_0671 copyI thought he did great!

DSC_0665 copy Some help from his friend ironing the fabrics and getting them ready for him to sew.

DSC_0669 copy Folding them neatly.

DSC_0670 copy DSC_0673 copy DSC_0679 copy Set up the sets he made and decide who they were for.

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DSC_0682 copy DSC_0683 copyTa Da!!! A fun present I think.  I think he did a great job.

last few weeks…

The days are going by so quickly.  It seems to happened to me this time of the year.  Maybe it’s the getting ready and all the making that is happening in our home.  There’s crafting, math, reading, Norse Mythology and Vikings, writing, swim meets, baseball practices, cooking, driving and riding to and from practices, breakfasts and lunches, planning, sewing, basketball practices, knitting, cooking, spinning, leaves raking, putting the garden to sleep, sweeping, writing of this blog, playing, and of course, all the cleaning, and laundry to be folded and put away and don’t let me forget the rotting pumpkins in the porch that need to be taken to the compost.

The last few weeks…

… I’ve enjoyed the rain, hearing split splat in the roof and gutters most every day.  I do love the rain and have missed it.  I am taking it all in, and I happily see it come down.

… I was surprised to see him covered in mud for the stealth game he played in his day out in the woods.  I loved it.

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… found new music I am enjoying.  This video, and I like this one too, and have enjoyed listening to this CD I’ve had checked out from the library for so many weeks.

… noticed the sun is low and barely warming up when it comes out, but makes beautiful beautiful days indeed.DSC_0144 copy DSC_0143 copy DSC_0141 copy

… watched this video of Astronaut Scott Kelly and his first walk in space to fix the ISS.

… had planned of having someone special for dinner and all of a sudden, a phone call later, we got three more sitting next to her and us at the table and a puppy sniffing around!  A little more tomato sauce added to the sauce already cooking, and another bag of spaghetti to the pot made enough for all of us.  They were in the neighborhood, haven’t seen them in few months, it was the perfect time to re-connected and catch up with their lives, a birthday singing over the phone to a grandma we care and haven’t seen in a while either.  And they even brought us pumpkin pie and whipped cream because what is it a cold fall evening with dear friends without one?  I love an impromptu dinner party in the middle of the week!

… when everyone in the neighborhood were at work, and all the kids were in school, we were in PJ’s and running around outside barefoot.  Oh… the joys of homeschooling!

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… have enjoyed using Pandora lately.  After my find of Hey Marseilles (and those videos up above), I was suggested I’d also like Blind Pilot.  And yes! Check out this video, I love the energy, the dancing, the smiles.  Might be a good one to get me started in the morning.

… some friends went to France for 3 weeks and we got this beautiful kitchen towel to brighten our days as a present from them, and remind us of that wonderful place, across the ocean, that we keep talking about and that they enjoyed too.

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A little reminder of maybe another trip some day.  It’s a wonderful thing to dream.  And these past few days when thinking of Paris makes my heart ache a little.

… had a special guest over few weekends ago.

… enjoy the golden light coming in with a little warmth.

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… had swim practices and a swim meet.  Spending many hours in the warmth and smell of chlorine.  That I don’t want to talk bad about, because there is one person in our house that loves that smell, that smell of pool.  Maybe I should get her this t-shirt.

Found online on this website.
Found online on this website.

Maybe I should make something like this for her:

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… carved pumpkins.

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… and roasted the seeds. DSC_0027 copy

… knitted. Sewed. Painted. Knitted some more.  Sewed some more.  Holiday fairs are coming up faster than I am ready.

… baked bread. Few times. It makes our kitchen warm and smells good too, and make good presents for friends and coaches.

… loved, love so much when my little guy brings me presents like these from his walk!

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… have enjoyed them on our table with other found autumn loves.

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… ate cake and celebrated turning 45.

DSC_0436 copy DSC_0442 copy DSC_0446 copy DSC_0449 copyChocolate, almond, raspberries-cake.  So good!

… got a new cup and realized that we have another lovely (and dirty) Oregon love we use every day.  My Oregon forest mug, and my heart is in Oregon for sure.

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… on my special day, was treated with breakfast in bed, a surprise morning all together, and showered with thoughtful, beautiful presents.

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My family knows me.  New, cool, purple canning jars.  A new tea and a new mug.  A new, hole-less, super-soft cashmere sweater, a coupon book.  Chocolates delivered by a friend. My mom sent me a new notebook.  I love notebooks and notepads, and pens and paper (… and of course, yarn, and fabric too!) so she always sends me a new one for my birthday (with small squares, I prefer) and this time, a new needle holder.  Perfect!  I’m all set for a long while in everything.

… got wet.  Soaked actually, and loved it.  Gosh I do love the rain.

… enjoyed a late breakfast on my own one day, when I had a whole day to myself.  And feel lucky we have some yummy (new) jams to treat ourselves.

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… the kids with friends played in the rain, in the water, in the moments we had a torrential rain, they went to the park to play in the rain.  In shorts, barefoot, flip flops, and t-shirt. Enjoying the rain coming down, but enjoying the hot chocolate waiting for them when they came back, wet and cold.

… went for walks.

… received a gorgeous autumn bouquet of flowers. and a caring and thoughtful card.  Thank you my dear friends.

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We are having fun and I hope you are too.  Have a beautiful beginning to your week.

pumpkin patch

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On a beautiful sunny, fall day we headed to Sauvies Island with some friends.  It was a no-school day, and we like those, so we can hang out with our friends that go to school.

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Duck racing… who would have thought it was that much fun! DSC_0039 copy DSC_0040 copy

I know… we are growing out of so many games at the pumpkin patch…

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But there’a always ways to have fun, no matter how much our visits have changed since those baby, toddler years.  Still fun. DSC_0051 copy

And even on a week day we got to go on a hay ride to the patch where the pumpkins where growing.  Sometimes farms are not fully “functioning” on week days, but this one it was! and what a treat it was.

I love hay rides.  I remember the first time I went on one, when I was in high school, as an exchange student in  Michigan.  There are no pumpkin farms in Chile, so I enjoyed all the traditions there were from friends and my host family.  Lots of memories.  And of course, all these years of living here now, and the last 13 with these two goofy kids.DSC_0055 copy DSC_0056 copy

And because it is more fun to go with friends, we did.

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Searching for the perfect pumpkin.

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Taking it all in.  The sights. The colors. The cooler weather.  This is my time of the year I love the most.

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Look at the colors!

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And of course.  A corn maze to complete our trip to the farm.

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A day to remember, for sure.

celebrating

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Last weekend we celebrated Lucas turning 10.  It is earlier than his actual birthday but we decided this year not to mix it in with Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday celebrations.

Also, we thought being earlier, we’d have a better chance to get better weather.  But just like our last celebration in mid July, middle of the summer, of the hottest and driest year ever, we got a downpour that party day.  Much needed for sure, and ending up a perfectly great celebration.  So we’ve learned to just roll with it, and have great friends that will go along with us as well.  That is something to be thankful for, for sure!  The coolest friends ever.

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Siena decorated Lucas’s cake and cupcakes, per his request.

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A baseball cake, baseball cupcakes and a sign.

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I like having the glasses marked for the day, and reusing these markers party after party has been helpful.

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Drinks in one central table.  Nettle tea, hot and cold. Kombucha, apple cider and hot chocolate.

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Hot chocolate made on the crockpot.  A very rich, very non-low fat recipe, but a special treat for a special day.  With cup holders made out of old sweaters to hold the hot jars.  And topped with marshmallows and cinnamon.  It was really good.

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Fall season with fall foods and colors.

DSC_0029 copy Apples per his request, and of course, a little caramel and chocolate drizzled on top.

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And the outside ready for the rain.  Yup.  We got the rainy day for this party as well.

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Once most of our friends had arrived we headed to the park.  Lucas’s wishes and his plans.

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Rain and all. DSC_0035 copy DSC_0038 copy

Closed pool for the season.  But the park ready for playing at any time.

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There was no need to reserve a table this time of the year.  The tables were all open actually, and also, they were all soaking wet.  As we were getting started Capture The Flag we got the hardest rain of the day.  DSC_0040 copy

Siena said laughing later that day, that she couldn’t see where she was running during this downpour.

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Everyone was soaked.  But still smiling, heard laughs from the kids running and playing, and no one complained of the rain, or being cold.  True Oregonians I must say and real troopers.  DSC_0046 copyRunning.

DSC_0054 copyWet. Soaking wet.

DSC_0058 copyPlaying. Smiling.

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After the first flag was found and played for about an hour, they moved onto Ultimate Frisbee.  Everyone still soaked, but warm from all the running they were ready for another game. DSC_0091 copy DSC_0099 copy

I love this photo because it has (almost) everyone from the party celebrating with us, and it looks like our friends there in the middle have this very large family.  Doesn’t it?

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Do you see the muddy field there? Yeah… it didn’t get any better.

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And do you see this little guy’s smile?  Still has it when he talks about his party!

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Not sure it mattered who won which game, or that it was raining and they were all muddy.  They walked back to our house to an outdoor fire going ready for them to warm up.

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The hotdogs, the hot chocolate and the rest of the food ready for them too.

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Veggies dogs and hot dogs to be roasted over the fire.

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Some of these kids were hot and bare feet, getting their wet and muddy shoes off.  And most of them tired, hungry, and ready for the fire and to sit down for a little bit and eat.

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Not sure if the best hot dog ever is a sign of my culinary doing, but rather more to do with being outside for few hours, running and playing under the rain and cooking your own food over an open fire.  But I will take the compliment if it makes it an even more memorable party.

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And then the cake.  A baseball cake, a very Lucas choice, and love it so much. Because Lucas loves baseball, because I made the cake with love thinking of him, and because Siena decorated it for him.

DSC_0209 copy DSC_0216 copyDSC_0219 copy DSC_0221 copyThe happiest kid. Ever.

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He opened cards and presents, and there were lots of laughter and stories… and cool drawings!  DSC_0237 copyDSC_0256 copy DSC_0267 copyDSC_0271 copyAnd one more food of course… s’mores!  You can’t have a fire without them, right?

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A beautiful and fun and rainy and muddy day.  A perfect day for our youngest one.

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Thank you for celebrating with us. We’ve got the awesomest friends. Ever.  And if you want to see a controversial play and one of the most discussed plays at our house this past week, you should watch this video and decide for yourself.  Thanks David for taping recording it!

surgery day

Thank goodness it’s not for anyone we know, not even a real person actually.

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Siena came home the other day with her friend’s doll, because he had both legs broken in his knee sockets.  I’ve never  seen these dolls, but her friend has them.  She came home and said “I have to do some surgery.” 

She came out of the art studio and said “OK, I’m done.”  And this is what she did.

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First of all, she made him a gown.  He was naked before that.

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She hot glue gun his knee sockets in place, and put splints and crutches, for the mean time.

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She sent him home with extra splints, tape, and directions to lay low for a while.  Keep the splints for a week.  Walk with crutches for 3 weeks.  Change gauze if bleeding.

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Not sure how or where she comes up with these ideas, but her creativity and the way she can make 3D things, amazes me.  Every.  Single.  Time.  She’s always been like this, since she was little.  Making boxes of any shape out of paper or card stock for something special, with no dimensions, no patterns, just out of her head.  Sculptures, houses.  Crutches with pink soft parts, splints? I love all of her creativity.

 

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And this time?  Let’s see how quickly he heels.  I’m sure he’ll be ready to play soon.

last few weeks…

Haven’t done this in a long while, but wanted to remember these past weeks at least, because it was a fun and full September.  The past few days we’ve been having fun for sure…

… we saw the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse.  I am so glad we had clear skies to witness it.  One of the 6 lunar eclipses on Super Moon since 1900? Thank you Mother Nature for letting us enjoy it.  ‘Til 2033!

… we picked our first pumpkin from the garden.  The rest we’ll do together with our neighbors because we planted a little garden in their backyard after we weeded a whole bunch of blackberries this spring.  And we planted beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and pumpkins.  They’ve said they’ve enjoyed the veggies this summer (the best tasting ones they’ve ever had!) but I think they are more excited to see the pumpkins turning orange.  We’ll do a little picking celebration together with them I think.  There are 9 pumpkins in that plant I think.  It will be fun.

… I enjoyed my day at the fiber festival.  All surrounded by colors and textures I was craving.  I think it marks the cooler, autumn season in me.  I guess what it really says autumn to me, is when we go see the salmon run. We are going in few weeks, after there is more rain for them to start their trip back up.  Can’t wait.

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… went swimming to the lake…. one more time.  Don’t know if it will be the last visit this year, to swim, but we played and swam as if it was.  It certainly feels the sun not as warm, cooler waters, a whole lot more quiet, and we still had a beautiful, fun day.

… watched Boyhood and really enjoyed it.  And from there I went to these two kids singing the main song, I really liked their version.  But also this one.  And this one is too.

… saw Mark grade papers and homework outside, still catching the last days of warmth and sunshine.  It has been a beautiful fall start for sure.

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… made jam, bread, cookies, and few new meals that can be placed in the rotation schedule (that I add when everyone enjoys it.)  Glad for that.

… was gifted a handful of beautiful acorn caps by the youngest one, from a day in the woods without me.  I love acorns, and my kids know it.  They come from trips on their own or with friends these days, with little presents like these.  Thank you.   They are a wonderful gift to bring indoors.

… we watched another movie outside in our backyard with our friends.  We were talking on how fun it’s been this year.  Our first “Walk-In” movie night was back on March 26th, our spring break.  It was cold but nice, and I really wish I’d remember what movies we’ve seen this year.  But the list goes something like this: The Sandlot (twice, once with friends and once with the whole baseball team.) The Sound of Music.  The new Annie.  The Wizard of Oz.  Princess Bride.  Mr. Bean’s Holiday.  And lastly, the new Cinderella.  (I might need to add to the list as I remember.)  For the most part in the summer we watched at least one movie a week with friends and we’ve had all enjoyed these nights so much.  So much fun!  Something we will all remember forever.

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The kids playing before the movie starts, it is as much part of movie night as it is, popcorn, snacks brought by everyone, and the movie itself.

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Catching up a little with our friends.  Always a must.  Though maybe a little too brief.

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… really enjoyed making and watching a slide show of our kids from when they were little.  All of our friends coming to these movies, have sent me photos of them since they were born, and incredibly we are able to see our kids grow up together.  There’s pictures of them  with each other since they were born!  It is such a treat and I feel so lucky and blessed to have them as friends.

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