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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pink, Silver and White

As the ranunculus started to show signs of fading, I trimmed their stems and gathered them up into two small arrangements. I just love, love, love the combination of the pink, silver and white on the kitchen shelves.

I also love how their centers look like the little bum of a bumble bee.

What I love most about flowers is their heavenly power to completely embrace you with their intoxicating beauty.

I left the milk glass vase arrangement on the kitchen shelf...

...and placed the mint julep arrangement on my nightstand so that I may open and close my eyes to their mesmerizing beauty.

Signs of Spring in the Herb Bed

The herb bed is springing to life thanks to the beautiful sunny and warmer weather. I am excited to see good initial growth since the herb bed was put in just last year. The herbs will be transfered to pots for the move. I posted a picture of the thyme that is looking quite good a few days ago. A few days ago I noticed good growth in the oregano and chives.OreganoOregano is one of my

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Robin of 2010

First RobinMarch 24, 2010A few days ago I spotted the first robin of 2010. That's a sure sign of nicer weather to come so now it's time to get excited. Spring is always a fun time of the year in the garden. This one will be just a little bittersweet with the upcoming move. I'm sure everything will work out well and I'll be able to report not only on this garden until we move but the new

Monday, March 29, 2010

Water, Pure and Simple

Shortly after our indoor plumbing was updated, I sent a water sample out to be tested. Although the test results were good, we felt more comfortable taking the cleanliness of our water one step further.

Our concerns were centered on the old water lines that supply our house. Despite updating our all of our property's water lines, the main line that runs to our house is old, very old. And old pipes aren't the cleanest.

So Hubby installed an under counter filter. It is plumbed into the cold supply line under the sink so now every time we get a glass of water, fill up the tea pot or steam rice...the water is filtered. Even our little Lucy will reap the benefits of cleaner water.

We opted for this model here, from Best Filters.

I like that this model allows you to have the benefits of filtered water without the visible hardware that usually goes along with it. We prefer sparse and simple in our kitchen so using an under counter filter was the perfect solution for us.

Filters are replaced once a year.


How to Make Organic Soap Using Soapwort

There are a number of great concoctions for using soapwort (Saponaria officinalis), and you can find many recipes on the web. When I was in college, my Godmother shared her recipe with me. She lived in California and kept lots of herbs on her property. She used her soapwort liquid soap solution to clean her lace tablecloths and lace curtains, much the way her mother had done before her.

Controlling Garden Insects Effectively

Yesterday I wrote about the reasons why electronic bug zappers should not be used in the yard or garden for insect control. One of the biggest problems with these devices is the do not distinguish between harmful and beneficial insects. In one evening they can easily kill 10,000 insects effectively destroying the balance in your yard. Less insects mean less insect predators giving other more

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Feminine Fix

I have one little and one big of these wicker Ikea baskets. They came with leather belt straps, which I adore. You can see the little one in our son's room below with the leather straps intact.

But the straps on the bigger basket had broken off and disappeared. I was going to find some old belts at a thrift store to replace them, but I thought up something a little more feminine instead.

I cut up some old linen and didn't bother finishing the edge. I added a few staples to hold the fabric straps in place and a couple of droopy bows to secure the lid.

I think it says french farmhouse.

By the way, that distressed wooden piece to the right of the basket? It's a little glimpse of our next big project.

Growing Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

Growing soapwort may be a very nice way for you to incorporate some eco-friendly cleaning practices into your household chores while inviting an attractive and low-maintenance plant into your herb patch. When you press this useful herb into service as a mild detergent to clean your lace tablecloths, wool and silk, it's an economical choice too.

Back before phosphates, people used this nifty

Controlling Bugs

While the weather is still cool soon it will be time to consider insect control for those pesky insects like mosquitoes and the damaging insects in the garden. In many urban residential areas folks turn to using an electric bug zapper. The premise is the insects are drawn towards the light then are electrocuted effectively serving as insect control. However, bug zappers are one of the worst


My Mom always planted ranunculus in my Grandmother's garden every spring. I always think of the them oohing and ahhing over these full feathered flowers whenever I see them.

They make me smile...them and these.

I wish they'd last forever.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just A Reminder of What the Growing Season Holds

TomatoesJuly 2006Just a little reminder of the upcoming growing season. Can you tell I'm gearing up for this summers's garden? Oh I am so ready! Even though we are moving I am still biting at the bit. The new garden promises to be a good one :)Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Popularity of Urban Edibles

In a recent post I discussed briefly urban gardening. Urban gardening and landscaping has always been a popular except now the focus is turning towards growing edible plants. Growing urban edibles is now becoming quite popular as folks realize they can grow a variety of flower, herbs and small vegetables in small urban spaces. Why is growing urban edibles becoming more popular?The idea of

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Marble and Alabaster Lamps

It's funny how collections can sometimes begin. You purchase something because perhaps you got a good deal, or perhaps it's just that you're in a particular mood. Then suddenly, you're out and about again and see another one of similar nature but beautifully different...and your collection begins.

The above marble lamp was the first piece of my new collection. It had been at this particular antique store for awhile and finally, when it was marked down to $36, I thought perhaps I'd give it a try. And so my collection began...

It sits on the dresser in my office and has a wonderful three way light that is able to illuminate the small room. I love its skirted detail.

With this lamp, my collection grew to two. The tag in the antique store said it was marble but it could possibly be alabaster, I can't tell. It rests on the old writing desk in the den, which required a lamp base that was small enough to sit on the folded desk top.

I love the sweet carved detail and its wonderful creamy color.

Marble and alabaster lamps can be hard to find in good shape. I see a lot of them with broken necks that have been glued back together and/or badly chipped bases. Even with damage, prices are usually between $95 to $169.

This one sits on our bedroom dresser upstairs. I like the contrast between the white marble body with the veined marble base.

This one is the latest addition to my collection. It is by far the heaviest, and the tallest. It's waiting for a lamp shade, something I'll need to drive into the city to get. It could also use a good rewire -"Joan, help!!" Or should I say, "Dan, help!"

So what collection did you stumble upon?

Pray tell.

New Desk Space

My desk is one of the things I moved around in the last week. You'll recognize the sill-sitting birds from this post. The art/craft table used to be in this same spot.

But our girl's room had a huge blank area needing to be filled with something (which I didn't show in the pictures). We decided to move the art table to their room, and utilize the school room more efficiently. The kids take turns doing a few different things on the computer (mine) during school time, so my desk works in here rather practically.

I love the bird calendar I found at Barnes and Nobles. It has the most amazing paintings. I think I need to move it up higher though, as the computer screen is competing for attention (it's interesting how perspective can change when I see a room in photos as opposed to real life).

My desk was a hand-me-down from my parents. It's an antique drafting table and I grew up BEGGING them to pass it down to me. They finally did, and I'm so grateful... it's one of my favorite things.

There are just some plain old ugly things about today's technology... ugly computer, ugly printer, ugly cords (why oh why do they make them black???). And then to top it all off, paperwork, cd's and other miscellaneous office junk just adds to the ugly. In an effort to mask it, I made some white fabric liners for our printer cart. Still ugly. But not as much. One day I'll replace our cart with a nifty piece of furniture and actually hide the printer. I love how Brooke from Velvet and Linen hid her uglies in baskets.

The industrial stool I picked up years ago at a junk shop. Lucky me that day!

So, this is where I will sit and continue to blog. ;) Thanks for all the kind comments and encouragement to keep it going. I think I will.

(oh, and that Friday Feature idea I had? Two weeks of no Feature=bad idea)

Small Gardening Water Features

All gardens whether they are traditional row gardens, raised box, container or any combination thereof really need some type of water feature. Why? Water features attract beneficial pollinators, insect eating birds and bats. They extend your growing possibilities to beautiful aquatic plants, some of which are edible. They also add to the aesthetics of the garden. Water features do not need

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let’s Party!!!!

Hey Everyone,

So you probably noticed that I have been busy parting lately!!!!!  Link parties, that is.  It is so much fun and a great way to see others blogs, get noticed, meet people and show off!!!!!  So I thought that I would let you know about some of the blog parties that I found.  If I have missed any, please let me know!!!!! I hope that this helps!!!!



Tools Are For Women Too! - Modern Craftswoman Monday

The DIY Showoff - The DIY Showoff Project Parade

The Girl Creative - Just Something I Whipped Up

Making The World Cuter - I Made The World Cuter Today
Skip To My Lou - Made By You Mondays
Sumo's Sweet Stuff - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Mondays
The Cottage Instincts - Make It For Monday
The Twice Remembered Cottage - Make Your Monday
The Persimmon Perch - Made It Mondays
Keeping It Simple - Motivate Me Monday
The Shades Of Pink - Room A Month
Silver Lining - Friend Makin Monday
Support Blog For Moms Of Boys - Mad Skills Monday
Mad In Crafts - Mad Skills Monday
The House In The Roses - Show Off Your Cottage Monday
It's So Very Cheri - It's So Very Creative
Sew Can Do - Craftastic Monday
Southern Hospitality - Thrifty Treasures
Night Owl Crafting - Hoo's Got Talent?
Avid Accents - Make Your Style Mondays
The Pumpkin Patch - Messy Monday
C.R.A.F.T. - Making Monday Marvelous
Fine Craft Guild

Market Mondays: Trendy Treehouse


House Of Grace - Twice Owned Tuesday  (HERE)

All Thingz Related - Anything Related

A Stroll Thru Life - Table Top Tuesdays
A Silly Little Sparrow - Toot Your Horn Tuesday
A Soft Place To Land - Do It Yourself Day
Today's Creative Blog - Get Your Craft On
My Frugal Family - Talented Tuesday
Reinvented - Trash To Treasure Tuesday

Paula Grace Designs: Timeless Tuesdays

Tip Junky - Tip Me Tuesday
Delicious Ambiguity - Tot Tuesdays
Craft Edition - Take A Look Tuesday
The Gypsy's Corner - Three Or More Tuesday
New Nostalgia - Anti-Procrastionation Tuesdays
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words - 2nd Time Around
Balancing Beauty And Bedlam - Tasty Tuesday
Creative Itch - Sew Cute Tuesday
Lucky Star Lane - Lucky Link Tuesday
The Pumpkin Patch - Transform Tuesday


Domestically Speaking - Power Of Paint
The Thrifty Home - Penny Pinching Party
Creations By Kara - Look What I Made
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday
Me And My Bucket - Show Us What You're Working On
Room To Inspire - Be Inspired
Life In The Pitts - A Little Craft Therapy
Organize And Decorate Everything - We're Organized Wednesday
My Backyard Eden - Make It Yours
Blue Cricket Designs - Show And Tell
We Are THAT Family - Works For Me Wednesday
Just A Girl - Show And Share
The Trendy Treehouse - Sharing Ideas Wednesday
Women Who Do It All - Idea Sharin Wednesday
Beyond The Picket Fence - 100 Ideas Under $100
Bargain Shopping Paradise - Bargain Brag Wednesdays
The Virginia House - We Can Do It Cheaper!
The Stories of A To Z - Ready Set Vignette
Tea Rose Home
It's so Very Cheri - Spotlight Yourself
Nikki's Nifty Knacks - Gettin' Crafty On Hump Day


Life As Lori - Get Your Craft On Thursday

The Shabby Chic Cottage - Transformation Thursday
Somewhat Simple - Strut Your Stuff
Fireflies And Jellybeans - Show Off Your Stuff
Tales Of Bloggeritaville - Thrifty Thursday
Treasures For Tots - Thursday's Treasures
House Of Hepworths - Hooking Up W/HoH
The Train To Crazy - Make It, Wear It
Seven-Thirty-Three -Weekly Round Up
Everything Etsy - I Made It
Beneath My Heart - Best DIY Projects
The Colorado Lady - Vintage Thingie Thursday
It's Sew Stinkin' Cute - Craft Thursday

Fabric Fun Thursday- Cheap Chic Home


Finding Fabulous - Frugalicious Friday

Trendy Treehouse - Follow Me Fridays
Remodelaholic - Remodelaholic
Fingerprints On My Fridge - Feature Yourself Friday
KOJO Design - Friday Fun Finds
Tidymom - I'm Lovin' It
Simply Designing - What I Made This Week
Home Is Where My Story Begins - Home And Family Friday
Poppies At Play - I'm A Creative Cat
Romantic Home - Show And Tell Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
That's So Cuegly - Craft Concoction
Fun To Craft - Spring Has Sprung
Chic On A Shoestring Decorating - Flaunt It Friday
Design-Aholic - VOTW
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
It's A Hodgepodge Life - It's A Hodgepodge Friday
A Few Of My Favorite Things - Favorite Things Friday
Pumkin Seed Productions - Plant A Pumkin Seed Party
LaurieAnna's Vintage Home - Rescue Crew Review
Amylouwho - Sew And Tell Fridays
The Girl Creative - New Friend Friday
Frugal And Fabulous Design

Bee Funny Friday Follow at Family and Life in Vegas
Blog Hop Friday at Chubby Cheek
Boost My Blog Friday at Design it Chic
Fabulous Fridays at Life as a Wife
Follow Friday 40 & Over at Never Growing Old
Follow Me Chickadee Fridays at The Adventures of Goober Grape & Monday Man
Follow Me Friday at Still on the Verge
Follow me Fridays at Trendy Treehouse
Following Friday at Buzzing the Day Away
Friday Blog Hop at Momma to 3 Blessings
Friday Party Hop at A Hippo with a Headband
Friendly Friday at Thanks Mail Carrier
Friendly Friday Follow at Toddler Awesome
Friendship Friday at That 22 yr old Housewife
Fun to Follow at My Wee View
Green Friendly Follow at Eco-Friendly and Frugal
It's Friday I'm Hopping at Home-Mom
New Friend Friday at Girl Creative
Playdates Friday Follow at Stash Mama
Social Parade Follow at Smart & Trendy Moms
Where's the Love Friday at Only The Curious


A Vision To Remember - Check Me Out Saturday
Funky Junk Interiors - Saturday Nite Special
My Scrappy Gifts - Scrappy Saturdays
Tatertots and Jello - Weekend Wrap Up Party
One Crafty Mommy - Super Crafty Saturday
Craft Envy - Saturday Spotlight
Along For The Ride - Saturday Is Crafty Day


I Heart Nap Time - Sundae Scoop
Under The Table And Dreaming - Sunday Showcases
Creative Jewish Mom - Craft Schooling Sunday

I hope that I see you there!!!!  Have fun!!!!

Bonnie :)

Please visit my online Shaklee site:


CrocusesMarch 19, 2010A few days ago the weather was so gorgeous I took a walk around the yards just simply enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Tucked into the corner of a rock bed we had intended removing I spotted this pretty clump of purple crocuses. They weren't there last year so the squirrels must have been busy moving a few of the bulbs around. Crocuses are one of spring's colourful

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Office Notes

I picked up an oversized cork board recently after realizing that the old one just wasn't big enough. The new one is much BIGGER. It extends about a foot past the edge of the photo. BIG.

My handy dresser is providing wonderful storage space, especially for the one billion inspiration photos that I've been tearing out of magazines for...oh, ever. But I thought a cork board would help me actually look at some of the photos I love, instead of having them sit in the drawer all the time.

The stack of antique gold frames leaning up against the wall are 'in waiting.' Waiting for me to find something perfect to put in them.

Now that I've lived with my sisal rug for awhile, I have to say that I'm quite pleased. Not only does it not show the wheel marks from the castors on my chair, but it's a tight weave so it's easy to wheel to and fro, here and there. The downside to all of these wonderful features is that it's scratchy to walk slippers are recommended.

Behind the white chair is an old lawyer's bookcase. The bookcase comes from the same Great Great Grandfather that the desk belonged to (he was a doctor and both these items were in his office). The case is not big enough to hold all of our books (I'm working on Hubby to build us a big built-in for those), so I thought I'd use it for all of my home and garden design books. Look, room to convenient.

The top case is reserved for my collection of birds nests. xo

And Away We Go...

To here...

and here...

This time Thursday we will be in the land of the Bluebells... I hope to see many of you and if you can't make it this time maybe in the Fall. You'll be there in spirit...I must thank all of you who have left me comments both flattering and encouraging...I have been remiss in reading, commenting or thanking you lately as this is all consuming to get ready for.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with tons of pics for you, so sit tight...


A Gravity Fed Self Watering System

Keeping container plants sufficiently watered can be a problem especially on hot days or days you are away from home. I found this great video from a permaculture designer. The balcony garden plants water themselves, using 2,000 year old desert technology. The water travels from a rainwater collection tank through tubing to buried unglazed terra cotta wetpots via gravity then is distributed to

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pure and Good

My husband knows that one of the best ever presents for me is an Anthropologie gift certificate. Last time he blessed me with one, I was delighted to find this bottled soap dispenser.

I happened to have found it right after we installed our giant farmhouse sink. The big size of the bottle mixed with it's vintage look went perfectly with the sink. I think.

After the liquid soap it came with ran out, I refilled it with a lavender and mint dish soap. Super handy for both dishes and hands. And it smells delightful.

The bottle has the words "pure & good" embossed on the front. I just LOVE the phrase and couldn't think up anything better than that. I love the script font they chose for it too. Again... just perfect.

The soap dispenser came with a lovely fabric tag attached, and I was tempted to keep it on.

But then I thought it would take away from the whole vintage feel. Without the tag, it looks like it might have been picked up at a flea market. And that's the look I was going for.

It also comes in a smaller size, and as a set with lotion. The metal holder is adorable, don't you think? But for our kitchen, I was drawn to just the one. Bare. Pure. And good.

It's still for sale here at Anthropologie.

Top 10 Most Overlooked Herbs


Every season I take an inventory of the herb plants I want to try cultivating. This usually involves a walk around the garden to see which plants managed to overwintered well, and also an inventory of indoor refugees from last year that managed to survive the change of venue over the winter months.

Again and again, some herbs seem worth the effort that don't get nearly enough praise

Signs of Spring

March came in like a lamb this year which isn't much of a surprise given what a mild winter we had. I don't doubt that we are still in for a few days of nasty weather but those are getting less likely with March more than half over. The first day of spring was on March 20th. We've been experiencing above average temperatures with nice blue skies. The sun has been out doing it's magic so there

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Few Container Gardening Tips

Quite often urban gardeners are forced to grow in containers due to lack of ground space. The ground space may simply be non-existent as in apartment buildings or unavailable to use as in row housing, rental houses and residential areas governed by Home Owners Associations (HOA). While each container is small in comparison to a raised bed or traditional row garden it is surprising how

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Well Crap...

Pardon my language... I just talked to Teresa at Garden Antqs Vintage and she gave me the bad news on the weather to date in Texas... She was at Warrenton today setting up and it was COLD, MUDDY and WINDY.

Aaannnndddd they are predicting RAIN for the opening day of MARBURGER....

Okay now, I was totally under the impression that we had TOTALLY PAID OUR DUES IN THE WEATHER DEPARTMENT...

Last show we had rain... And I don't mean a drizzle... I mean buckets... The one before that we had wind...

Cold I can handle... I live in Florida so we get our share of heat and the cold is a break...

Come on weather people can you cut us a break...

Never fear... We are hardy stock... Even more than the postman...

We never let a little weather get between us and some good junk now...

Balcony Gardening

Yesterday I introduced the topic of urban gardening. Urban gardening presents several issues because in most cases it falls into small space gardening. In some of these cases no actual ground is available for traditional row gardening and while raised beds may be an option for some those living in apartments and row housing may not be able to use raised beds due to restrictions of the tenancy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Urban Gardening

image courtesy of The Graphic FairyWhen most people think of gardens they think of a large plot with neatly arranged rows of fruits and vegetables perhaps with a fruit tree or two. This method is known as traditional row gardening and while still popular for those with extra space, it is going by the wayside for urban gardening where other methods are proving to be more productive. High

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pooped but Pumped

Mr. Sweet Pea and I spent the entire day outside loading the trailer for Texas. I am pooped, but PUMPED because once we start loading it becomes official...


I was going to give you a sneak peek at what I'm bringing but I decided to let you wonder... I will tell you this... My booth is going to be over the top fabulous if I do say so myself. Very French Farmhouse... Very Ooo la la...

Here's a list of what you can snag from my booth...

Lots of fab concrete for the garden.

A killer Victorian wire plant stand.

Frenchy upholstered chairs in a to~die~for blue and citrus green.

Chippy crusty white furniture.

Industrial pieces with concrete tops by Mr. Sweet Pea himself.

Fabulous chandeliers.

Mirrors mirrors mirrors.

Architectural pieces.


A fab industrial kitchen rack.

Tons of smalls that will make your heart sing.

Interested? I've only scratched the surface...

Run, don't walk to booth H~14 at MARBURGER at 10 am on Saturday March 30th...

Be seein' ya!

First Farm Cut Flowers

I stopped in at the flower farm yesterday. I thought for sure they would be open by now as I could see the the bright yellow daffodils smiling so happily out in the fields. But they're still busy with their spring yard work, getting ready for opening day the first week of April.

Nevertheless, the owner greeted me with a smile (I'm a loyal customer you see) and insisted that I take a pail (I happened to bring one along) and cut as many daffodils as I'd like (I had my clippers too). As she put it, she'd rather see them enjoyed than fade away out in the fields all alone (me too).

The fields felt so quiet compared to the time when all the flowers are growing here in the summer. But seeing the eager daffodils all bright eyed and bushy tailed against the slowly awakening landscape was a a good sign that more flowers are soon to these and these.

I love the bonnet-shaped face of this variety of daffodil. And there were lots of them...lots of smiling faces basking under the soft late winter sun.

The owner of the flower farm joined me out in the fields to pick a pail of her own so I was able to get some clarification on cutting daffodil and tulip stems for arrangements.

The gooey sap of the daffodil flower contains calcium oxalate crystals. When their stems are cut, the sap starts to flow and is poisonous to other cut flowers. If you'd like to mix daffodils with other cut flowers, you should soak the fresh cut daffodil stems over night (this makes the sap stop flowing). The next day, rinse the stems under water before putting them in the vase with the other flowers.

Also, the information I was given previously on not cutting your tulip stems was false. Tulips do not have the same toxic sap as daffodils and therefore are fine to cut and arrange with other flowers.

Since I've been in a tulip craze for the past several weeks (yes, more white tulips!), I did a little more research when I got home. I found that you should always re-cut your tulip stems. Cutting the stems opens up the flowers uptake channels allowing them to take in the water they need and therefore extending its vase life. It's also suggested that you refresh or change the water daily.

By far, the most fascinating realization I unearthed during my tulip research is that unlike other flowers, tulips continue to grow after they've been cut. They also tend to grow towards sources of light, which is why tulips seem to arrange themselves (they're interior designers at heart) in the vase.

Another way of looking at it was explained by David Caras of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Center in New York City. As he put it, tulips prefer to "dance in the vase." Unlike other flowers, "they refuse to stand still."

I just love that.

Black in the Boy's Room

There's no white frilly anything in this room.
(click on the pictures to see a larger version)

I even surprised myself with all the black. And red.

Just about everything in this room came from Ikea or Target.

The beds.
The quilts.
The pillows.
The desk.
The lamps.
The nightables.
The dresser.
The basket.
The plant.
The desk containers.
The clock.
But not the cat.

And with the exception of a few antique store finds sprinkled in.

Like this vintage desk chair. Only $35. It makes the room, in my opinion.

Not only is it handsome, but useful too. My son, Gavin, does his schoolwork here every day.

I made a slipcover for the seat using an old J. Jill linen skirt I hardly ever wore.

Some fake greenery sits on the desk. For boys who would likely forget to water.

On the walls, we spaced two strips of small trim far apart, then painted in between the same color. Giant chair molding!

The other side of the room:

Another antique chair. It's not comfortable, but it sure looks pretty.

The vintage airplane paintings I found for a few dollars .

"Silly", the cat, poses in her favorite spot on Caleb's bed.

Little does she know she coordinates perfectly.

By the way, this is the space that used to be vaulted air in the living room (see previous post). The bedroom is a much better use of square footage, yes? At least boys definitely think so.

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