Tag Archives: Mindfulness



Remember how I told you recently that The Donald had given me an Easter gift of mindfulness, and I will be eternally grateful to him for it?  How life was passing me by because I was so wrapped up in #45’s 10,000 lies that they were robbing my peace and joy? In fact, I was acting like God had died and bequeathed the United States to Donald J. Trump.  It was driving me INSANE!  Well, I got set free during the Easter season. No kidding! In order to not go crazy from his highness’ unrepentant evil, I’ve cut down the news to 2 hours a day (1 hour in the a.m. and 1 hour in late afternoon) to keep me abreast of whether Armageddon has started in case I have to move to my bomb shelter and start bartering the wine from my wine cabinet for food with my neighbors. The rest of my day is spent smelling the roses—being grateful for what I have at almost 71 years old (in June) and opening up my life to new experiences.  I am currently living in awakened, grateful mindfulness while engaging in the world around me.  It’s been absolutely awesome!  I’m so cool, calm, and collected these days.  I’m so happy and full of joy!

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

It isn’t just the antics of the toddler-king that cause me great anxiety, it is the entire 24/7 news of how badly we’re treating each other as human beings that is killing my spirit (from mass shootings in schools and houses of worship to individual meanness in our homes (some old fart in my town [75 years old] shot his wife of 54 years in front of his grown kid the other day and announced to the judge that he did it because “the bitch just wouldn’t shut up”. Oy!) 

The thing that really breaks my heart is every time I read or hear about Christians blatantly selling their souls to the altar of Donald Trump (yes, I’m talking to you Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Franklin Graham), I’m crushed in spirit, and the anguish of their deception overwhelms me.  (I’ve always wondered how those that fought evil in the past were able to keep their hearts and minds from exploding when they saw the majority of Germany’s Christians applauding Hitler and carrying out his instructions to annihilate the Jews, or South African Christians trampling on the rights of Black South Africans in the name of “divine” Apartheid, or Southerners preaching from the church pulpits that slavery of the Negro and the subsequent Jim Crow Laws were warranted and justified in Jesus’ name.  How did the minority who knew that the evil swirling around them in Jesus’ name had nothing to do with Jesus maintain their sanity?

It had to be mindfulness (dwelling in the moment on gratitude, hope, beauty, and love) that kept them holding on until the TRUTH showed up and out and set the enslaved free.

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

In my new state of mindfulness this week, I discovered that my home state of Virginia is celebrating 50 years of love.  Apparently, Virginia’s Tourism Board started the campaign that “Virginia is for Lovers” some 50 years ago, which is really ironic since Virginia is the state that was sued by the interracial couple, Mr. and Mrs. Loving (I know, talk about irony!) 52 years ago to allow them to live in Virginia as a married couple which broke the miscegenation laws at the time when they won the Supreme Court case.  Because of the Lovings, John and I can live in Virginia as an interracial married couple who have been married 40 years without the local sheriff dragging us out of our home in the middle of the night and throwing us into jail.  For 50 days, the Virginia Tourism Corporation has led an active campaign around the word “love”—“50 years of love—Virginia is for Lovers.”

I almost didn’t go for my six-mile walk the other day, because I had allowed some negative criticism of some MAGA hat Christians to seep into my thinking (why are they always so obstinate and mean-spirited?).  But I reminded myself that the “new Eleanor” was a slave to mindfulness now and needed to go about her day as an instrument of God’s peace.  So I prayed the prayer I’ve made up for myself and set off on my walk:

“I have no plans today for my life—only sketches.

Reveal to me your path—where I should go, who I should meet, what I should do.

May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

Grant me courage, wisdom, grace, mercy, and above all love for those I encounter along the way.”

Halfway through my walk as I meditated on what a fabulous man I’d ended up with to journey through this life (I call him “WW”—“White and Wonderful”), I came across a giant display of the word “love” in the central area of my community.  It was a manifestation of the Virginia Tourism’s “Love” campaign throughout the state.  And I knew exactly what my mindfulness action was supposed to be that day, and I hope the Lovings were looking down on us from heaven and grinning from ear to ear.

Photo credit: Marilyn Mason
Photo credit: Marilyn Mason

In keeping with the spirit of how mindful we should be for the love WW and I have been given (blessed with two children and one grandchild), we are not going to stop at the “love” sign.  We are going to go celebrate that love in Spain, Portugal, and England on a brand new cruise ship called the Celebrity Edge (I’ll also be celebrating my 71st birthday).  All of this is a month early (we were actually married in June on my birthday), but so what? I’m old—I can do just about anything I want.  For the entire time we’re traveling, we are going to ignore any and everything about Trump, his mayhem, and his minions’ chaos (no bad news will cross these eyeballs or infiltrate these ears).  Consequently, I will be taking a break from blogging and rolling from the spa to the dance floor, to the gourmet restaurants, and through the vineyards and cathedrals in each port on one of the loveliest ships I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories to tickle your funny bones and lighten your hearts about mindfulness when I return because I plan to take my journal with me.

In the meantime, wallow in mindfulness while I’m gone—it will make your day!

Celebrity Edge Poster Photo

(They say that one of the five restaurants on this ship is one where you can build your meal via hologram—hot diggedy-dog!)


WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!


Photo credit: Marilyn Mason

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on May 10, 2019 in Uncategorized


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I take back everything I’ve ever said about Donald Trump not knowing what he’s doing for the people of the United States and the image of Christ.  He’s an evil genius!  Also, I take back every disdainful thought I’ve ever had against the MAGA hats that put Trump in office and are keeping him there. Because of them, I’ve found a new lease on life, a calmer demeanor, and a deeper trust in God this Easter.  (Thank you, oh Crazy Orange One and your MAGA hat minions for my Easter present!)

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT , Cagle

My non-believing sisters and brothers, do you know what Lent is?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting,” which is to draw one closer to God by the time Easter rolls around because the resurrection of Christ from the dead is so awesome that it is every Christian’s hope that if Christ can conquer death, he can conquer every other type of evil plaguing our lives. The reason we give up things at Lent that have some control over our appetites is because we hope it will be easier to scrub off the veneer of fear and hopelessness that blinds us to the power of Christ’s resurrection help in other areas of our lives.

Well, Eureka!  The Holy Ghost gave me a revelation.  The messianic imposter in the White House had caused me to momentarily think he was indestructible, invincible, and made of Teflon (none of his sins were ever going to stick to him and bring him down), and there was absolutely nothing I could personally do about his reign and damage done to our country.  (If his Evangelical supporters are to be believed, I am not operating in God’s will by opposing the Orange One—in fact, I am a sinful little snot who will burn in Hell.)  I was full of fear (not of going to Hell, but of Trump getting away with murder, which seems so much worse than living in Hell), and that led to chronic anxiety which led to eating a gluttonous amount of chocolate-covered bon-bons washed down with buckets of mojitos (not really, but you get my point).  

I am seventy years old and counting—I cannot afford to waste any more of my days on fear and loathing.

So I had a Lenten revelation:  I need to give up Donald J. Trump, not just for Lent, but for the end of time. He is like an obnoxious, spoiled toddler who is only happy if he is absorbing all our attention every second of the day.  I no longer give him the attention he is demanding.  I have replaced thoughts about Trump with gratitude and mindfulness via meditation, and I’m letting the God of the universe fight the things I cannot control—including kicking Trump’s ass. 

I have become a mindfulness aficionado (more about this in the weeks to come).

Carrie on Pinterest

Every morning when I wake up (before I get out of bed), I thank God for what I have—not what I’ve lost. (At this age, one starts losing things, people, and memories on a daily basis as if they were pennies in a pocket full of holes.  Trust me, getting old is not for the cowardly.)  In other words, if I can still breathe, walk, see, hear, talk, and learn…it’s a good day!

Then I mediate, and the sole script of that meditation is a prayer to the God of Easter:

“I have no plans today for my life—only sketches.

Reveal to me your path—where I should go, who I should meet, what I should do.

May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

Grant me courage, wisdom, grace, mercy, and above all love for those I encounter along the way.”

It has been amazing!  No more stress, no more anxiety, and no more anger at Trump or anything else—I am as cool as an iced cucumber and I’m no longer in search of bon-bons.  (I fully believe he’s going to be flushed down the toilet of life, but I’m not worried about the if, when, how, or by whom, anymore.)  Consequently, I’ve had the most amazing encounters during the Lent season.  As you might expect, I met a Tin Man who needed a heart, a Scarecrow who needed a brain (actually this was a woman), and just recently, a Lion who needed courage.

Let me tell you about the most significant traveler I met along the way since the beginning of my new mindfulness journey.  The Lion.  He was a driver for a car service in New York City.  He was Asian, young, handsome, and spoke fairly good English. On his dashboard was a miniature picture of the Dalai Lama.  Our driver had shoulder-length black hair which sported a cocky backwards baseball cap that displayed the slogan:  “Let’s get fucked tonight!”  Since I had no intentions of doing anything that day but get to the airport on time and try to return home in one piece, I said, “Delta Terminal C, please,” and proceeded to get lost in conversation with my husband about our magnificent grandson and daughter who we had just spent a wonderful weekend with.  The driver seemed lost in thought but said nothing except an explosive “sigh” every minute or so which was very disruptive—each sigh was like the percussive sound of a steam engine.   (It was so unnerving that I almost yelled at him and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you?  Turn on some music if this is the best you can do for conversation!”  But this is the new and improved, mindfulness Eleanor, so I was not “quick to anger,” nor was I “quick to speak,” (plus, if the truth be told, I didn’t want my Uber rating to take a hit—it’s bad enough as it is!).

I thought the driver was frustrated with the traffic, and I made a mental note to give him a one-star rating where it says, “Driver was a good conversationalist” on the ratings form at the end of our destination.  After a long twenty minutes and about thirty Eeyore sighs later, we finally pulled up in front of our designated terminal.  As soon as I unbuckled my seat belt and hastily reached for the door, the driver turned around and said:  “If you had a friend whose wife was having an affair with his best friend, would you forgive her and try to make the marriage work for the sake of the kids (he has the kids), or would you take the kids and run?”  In the midst of a traffic jam with horns blaring, in front of an airport terminal, trying not to be late to catch a flight, my husband and I gave a broken-hearted lion a few minutes of counseling that I can only hope gave him the courage to let love win and try to save his marriage. (I’d like to think there was something about our mindfulness that encouraged him to open his Dalai Lama-loving heart to us…)

But one thing I’m certain of, ever since I let go of Trump and let God take over my mind and heart, I am encountering the most amazing human beings and having the most outlandish conversations.  I shall keep you posted.  In the meantime, if all the mess of Donald Trump and his minions gets you down or your life is one that makes you mourn and sigh, remember the God of Easter and his amazing resurrection life makes all good things possible, and in the words of one of my favorite authors:

“Everything will be all right in the end.

If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.”

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown CT, Cagle

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on April 18, 2019 in Uncategorized


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Do you know what I discovered today?  I am back home, which may come as a surprise to my readers because you thought I was home all along during my much-announced spring break.  Well . . . you see, what had happened was . . .

I started off the week with great intentions:  to commune with nature while I pulled together my garden for the season.  What could be better?  But if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you will know that in my new retirement abode, I am at war with the moles, the voles, and the deer.  Everyone told me when I moved here that I would lose that war with these creatures (my home backs up to a nature preserve), but I refused to believe them. And then the pollen swirled and landed—like an apocalyptic yellow blanket causing me to sneeze my head off every time I poked my Allegra-saturated noggin out of the house to spray some animal-go-away spray at a pesky creature.  Everything was covered in yellow dust, making me want to personally ring Mother Nature’s neck.  So several days after I announced in my blog that I was going to spend my entire spring break working outside in my yard, I threw away the garden shovel, the Mole-b-gone, the allergy meds, and the Deer FU spray and surrendered my land to its original inhabitants and their allergy dust.  (Have you ever noticed that squirrels, birds, moles, voles, and deer don’t sneeze even when they are knee deep in pollen as they devour your newly planted mole and deer resistant shrubs which have cost you hundreds of dollars?  What’s up with that?)

Garden Issues Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon Used by Permission: Dave Granlund,

I came indoors and tried to work on my third book, but I soon lost interest because I couldn’t see through the film of allergy tears streaming down my cheeks, puffy frog-eyes, and allergy snot dripping from my nose like a broken faucet.  (Apparently, pollen can still get into a hermetically sealed house—who knew?)  Blowing my nose every third word became a chore, so I figured that maybe I needed a rest from both my garden and my writing and turned to that great intellectual stimulation:  Facebook.

Let me make one thing clear:  I hate Facebook.  So you know that I have to be pretty desperate if I start trolling that colossal waste of time.  Since FB changed its format by adding “like” options, I have to confess that I don’t have a clue how to use them or even if I want to use them, but I thought I’d give them that good ol’ college try and figure the system out.  After fiddling around with a few of Facebook’s “like” options on some of my friends’ pages, I got bored as hell and wanted to kill myself.  (How do people spend day in and day out cruising FB pages without going insane?)  I swear I left 30% of my brain cells on the Altar of Zuckerman as I tried to “connect” with “friends” and saw an eternity’s worth of pictures of “the most delicious meal I’ve eaten—ever,” the greatest vacation, the most adorable babies crawling, walking, pooping, or gurgling like every other baby in the world who has done so since the beginning of time.  AUUUGH!

Facebook Likes Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

And don’t even get me started on the news.  When my news feed began to alternate between that demon Trump’s Neanderthal antics . . .

Trump Lord of Darkness John Cole The Scranton TimesTribune

. . . or whether my vagina was going to be a matter of inspection by the toilet police the next time I walked into a North Carolina restroom, I almost lost it.

Restroom Rules Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

This was supposed to be a time of rest for me but I was so restless—so fucking bored and agitated that I was beginning to get on even Jesus’ nerves!  I mean I realized the problem was me.  My equilibrium was off.  The politics, the madness, and the chaos had sucked out my sense of well-being, and I didn’t know how to get it back until my sweet man (WW—“White and Wonderful”) came to the rescue.  (WW always comes to the rescue when I’m like this—frazzled, overwrought, and not much good to myself or anybody else.)

WW:  Hey Cutie, I know what you need—a change of scenery to foster a different mindset without any access to news or moles.

ME:  I’m intrigued.  Tell me more.

WW:  What has seven islands, monkeys, lizards, diamonds, and lots of sea and sand?  Is your passport up-to-date?  Can you say rum punch three times fast without tripping up your tongue?

ME:  Okay, I give up.  What?

WW:  A 12-day cruise to Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Barbados, Antigua, and St. Maarten.

ME:  SHUT UP!?!  When do we leave?

WW:  As soon as you can pack.  BUT . . . you have to promise me one thing:  you cannot watch any news for twelve days, and you must swear that you will retool your mind to live more in the moment.

ME:  Really, Yoda, How do I do that?

WW:   I have no idea, but we’re not getting any younger and life as we know it is slip-sliding away at a depressingly fast rate.  How about focusing on being mindful in the moment instead of stressing out about what is going to happen tomorrow or worrying about things you can’t control?  In fact, I bought you a few thousand books to consider as traveling/reading companions:  Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment and Your Life, Mindfulness in Plain English, Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace, Mindfulness: Mindfulness For Anxiety Relief—How To Use Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Meditation Exercises…, Mindfulness in Everyday Life: How to Stop Worries and Stress and Enjoy Peace and Happiness with Mindfulness and…, Wherever You Go, There You Are…

ME:  Okay, okay, I get your point.  I’ll go away with you and try and get my sanity back.  IN THE MEANTIME I’M GOING ON A CRUISE!

Celebrity Cruise Ship

CELEBRITY ECLIPSE, Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

Along with my bathing suit, my Gucci shades, my sea-sickness bands, and the latest Adele album, I packed Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go There You Are, and I began to forget all about Trump and Cruz, moles and voles, ISIS and chaos, and a Republican Party gone completely mad.  I became one with my surroundings and the world became my oyster.

Iggy the Iguana

IGGY THE IGUANA: Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

It didn’t take me long to get into my new state of mindfulness, and boy did my world open up when I started paying attention to what was in front of me and not what I feared would happen tomorrow or mourn over what had happened yesterday.  I met a little dude called Iggy the Iguana in Curacao.  He told me how much he loved a mosquito-rum cocktail and how much he hated owls and snakes.  How the world would be a much better place without either of those predators, thank you very much.  I tended to agree with him about the snakes.

Willemstads Harbour Curacao By Mtmelendez at the English language Wikipedia

Willemstads Harbour Curacao: Photo Credit by Mtmelendez at the English language, Wikipedia

Curacao took my breath away, and I considered moving there for a nano-second because they have no moles and voles. I swear it looked like what I had imagined heaven to be, but WW said he liked his mole/vole retirement space back in Virginia, and maybe I was taking this mindfulness thing a little too seriously.

Turtles for sale

WATER BOARD BUSINESSMAN: Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

I became friends with a camera-shy, water-board businessman who tried to sell me two turtles for $20 (“han crafted by me own hans, darlin’, right out of volcanic rock”), which I later discovered were made in China, sold on all seven islands, and were probably worth seventy-five cents apiece.  But in my new “zen state” I thought his scam was hysterical as I exclaimed to my husband:  “I’m being cheated by one of the locals—isn’t life simply delightful” (said no one ever!).


GROS AND PETIT PITONS IN ST. LUCIA: Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

I sailed past the Gros and Petit Pitons in a sailboat in total silence, and I was humbled by the realization of the power of what a volcanic eruption can do.  According to Wikipedia, “at least 148 plant species have been recorded on Gros Piton, 97 on Petit Piton and the intervening ridge, among them eight rare tree species. The Gros Piton is home to some 27 bird species . . . three indigenous rodents, one opossum, three bats, eight reptiles and three amphibians.”

Catamarans II

CATAMARAN #5: Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

I lost count of the catamarans I went on—chillin’ with my rum punch while WW went snorkeling.  IMP. NOTE:  I don’t do water—anyone who knows me knows this is one diva who does not immerse herself in wet stuff.  In fact, one of the captains of one of the myriad catamarans I sailed on “playfully” threatened to throw me overboard to join my husband, whether I wanted to snorkel or not.  Without missing a beat, I emerged from my “mindfulness” mindset and announced to all who had ears to hear (including the angels in heaven and the fishes in the sea):  “Young man, if you toss me overboard, the next thing you will be doing is singing with Jesus because I will personally kill you.”  He bowed in homage to me, gave me two more rum punches, and I returned to my zen-like state of “being in tune with where I was.”

St. Martins

ST. MAARTEN: Photo Credit by E. Tomczyk

The Diva took a tempting stroll down diamond row in St. Maartens and almost got hooked on a cute little bracelet that was simply “to die for,” but at the last moment remembered that she had enough bling to last a lifetime, and that greed was unbecoming to her new spiritual state of just “being.”

monkey 2


Ran into Marvin Gay in St. Kitts.   He told me that he was a Vervent monkey, and he and his peeps rule that island. He said his ancestors came to St. Kitts on the slave ships from Africa in the 1600s as pets to the French.  Says his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather helped lead a Vervent monkey revolt against their owners during the local wars in 1666 between the British and the French, and that his ancestors escaped their cages and roamed the island in gangs raiding crops and causing horrendous mischief.  He said if I didn’t believe him, I should check out the diary of one Father Labat, a French Priest.  I told him I would do as he instructed if he promised not to shit on my husband’s head (he looked like he was contemplating just such an action).  When I got back to the ship, I checked out the following essay from the library which sported the following quote about Marvin Gay’s relatives:

“Their [Vervent] frolics are mischievous, their thefts dexterous. They are subtle enemies and false friends. When pursued, they fly to the mountain and laugh at their pursuers, as they are little ashamed of a defeat as a French admiral or general. In short, they are the torment of planters; they destroy whole cane pieces in a few hours and come in troops from the mountain, whose trees afford them shelter. No methods to get the better of them has yet been found out.”—Professor Frank Ervin or a member of his team at the Behavioral Science Foundation located at Estridge Estate on St. Kitts in response to a request from the St. Christopher Heritage Society

WW and Monkey


Marvin kept his word, and I maintained my mindfulness—amazed what one can learn when one is mindful.  (Who knew that iguanas and monkeys could communicate in English?)


Photo Credit:  E. Tomczyk, My Man and Me doin’ the “Mindful” thing



I am discovering that according to Jon Kabat-Zinn the lack of mindfulness “…scavenges to fill time, conspires with my mind to keep me unconscious and lulled in a fog of numbness to a certain extent. It has me unavailable to others, missing the play of the light on the table, the smells in the room, the energies of the moment.  Stillness, insight, and wisdom arise only when we can settle into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold on to or reject anything.”

All joking aside, I am trying to turn over a new leaf.  I think this mindfulness thing is what I need at this stage.  If at almost 68, I can’t settle down and smell the island flowers then I don’t know when I’m going to do so because at this point of my journey, this life is as good as it gets for me.  Of course, maybe mindfulness is just learning how to pay attention—period.



“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.”Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness helps us freeze the frame so that we can become aware of our sensations and experiences as they are, without the distorting coloration of socially conditioned responses or habitual reactions.”Henepola Gunaratana

 “When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all.”Jon Kabat-Zinn

“I’m pretty much done with mindfulness. I’m just going to start paying attention.”Gina Barreca



WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS?  Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (hardcopy and Kindle).

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized


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