Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Button Love . . .

I've been in love with buttons my whole life. Any size, any colour, any type. This, I largely blame on my grandmother's button jar. A large mason jar that sat on top of the chest of drawers in her bedroom. It was full of buttons . . . big ones, small ones, pretty ones, plain ones. New ones . . . old ones, labouriously clipped from bits of worn out clothing , before they went into the scrap bin. 

I loved to play with the buttons in the jar. Somedays they were a pirate's golden lucre . . . a hidden treasure as I ran my small fingers through them. Other days they were just buttons, but I would lay on her bed and sort through them . . . trying to imagine what articles of clothing they had come from and who might have worn them. 

Every button had a tale to tell and a story behind it. My mother had a button jar as well . . . although her's was a metal tin that I suspect my dad had saved from work. There were about four of these in her sewing basket, each one labeled with masking tape. There was printed on each one in black marker . . . various words. Snaps, hooks and eyes, zippers, and buttons . . . I loved to play with these buttons as well. 

 There were even several still on the button cards. One card held Duck buttons . . . flat white buttons with colourful ducks imprinted on them in yellow and orange, wearing little sailor hats. Those were my favourite ones, and I longed to have them on a garment of my own . . . although in reality, by that age, I would have looked rather silly in a sweater with yellow duck buttons on it! Imagine my joy many years later when, upon having given birth to my oldest son . . . my mother presented me with the gift of a handknit sweater adorned with those same yellow duck buttons!! What a treasure 

 I have a button jar myself, although mine is a papier mache heart shaped box. In it I have tons of buttons and, like the child I once was, I still like to run my hand through it and feel their cool smoothness, trickling through my, not so small anymore, fingers. I love collecting buttons and anytime I see a packet that are unusual or colourful I am wont to buy them and add them to my collection. 

 Quite often, when I buy a blouse or a sweater, it is because of the buttons on it rather than the garment itself. I, too, clip buttons from old clothes before they are thrown away. Sometimes I use them on crafts and sometimes they come in very handy when a button is lost on something being worn . . . but mostly I just look at them, and dream about the tales they have to tell . . . where they once lived . . . and who once owned them . . . the magic stuff of a little girl's dreams. 

I am going to cut this short this morning because I actually woke up with a headache.  This blood pressure lark is getting to me a bit.  I bought a machine so that I could  monitor it at home as per the Doctor's request.  It was okay for a couple of days, but then it started really pinching my arm when it took it.  So hard, just in one spot . . .  so hard that I can feel it for hours afterwards, in fact its been a few days and I can still feel it in that one spot when I touch my arm . . .  it hurts.  I am supposed to monitor it at home and write it down a few times a day and then bring the paper in to the Doctors and he will adjust my medication again.  He added 10mg to my tablets, but it hasn't touched it.  Its still really high every time I take it.  I don't know what to do.   I am not sure if you can get larger cuffs or not.  I will have to see.

I got all my North American Cards posted yesterday, now today I will post the UK ones.  I think next year we need to put aside some pounds each month just for Christmas post.   

Oh, and I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of Pumpkin (my mother's cat) that my sister posted.  She is one who doesn't mind making herself at home, anywhere  . . . she looks quite comfy there.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

In this world some people will always throw
stones in your path.  It depends on your
what you make of them, a wall or a bridge.
~unknown     •。★★ 。* 。 


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 2 Nephi 15:1-30 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? How is there a famine of spiritual knowledge in the world? 
My Thoughts - 'Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!' 'My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge'  These verses remind me to continually learn, look to and live God's truths and standards. I don't ever need to stay feeling lost or confused or empty of knowledge. I have the scriptures and words of prophets, I can pray and I've been given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
In my scriptures next to this chapter I have written 'Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it. Right is right even if no one else is doing it.' Love this! The things of God are clear and unchanging.
There is also a quote I like from the Institute manual that goes along with verse 20. "The gap between what is popular and what is righteous is widening.  As prophesied by Isaiah, manay today "call evil good, and good evil."  Revelations from the prophets of God are NOT like offerings at the cafeteria, some to be selected and others disregarded."

Wrong is seen as being right all around us these days, whereas those things which were always deemed as being right are now being seen as wrong.  God does not change.  His laws are immutable.   A dog is still a dog and a duck is still a duck.  I fear for the youth of today that are going to have to wade through this mire of confusion and misinformation to carve a decent life for themselves in the world. This is another sign that we truly are living in the latter days.

Tommorow's reading  (Day 55) - 2 Nephi 16:1-17:25 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? Why would the Lord send a prophet to a people He knew would reject the message? 


Cooking in the English Kitchen today  . . .  Deviled Chicken.  I added a curry twist. This is truly delicious and is a very simple bake.

Have a lovely Wednesday. Don't forget along the way of your day!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too! 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, December 12, 2017

Outside my window ...
Its cold and dark and icy. Winter came early.

I am thinking ...
We got to the crematorium alright yesterday afternoon. It was almost comic. Had a phone call from Peter about 15 minutes before we were due to leave.  Our Bishop couldn't get his car out of his drive so could Todd direct the service in his place.  Could I also print out about a dozen copies of this hymn he wanted singing.  No problem.  I went to print them out.  It spit out four and then stopped.  Printer was out of ink. We replaced the ink cartridges, but then the printer kept saying it was in error.  Finally got it out of error and it still wouldn't print, but it would photo copy, so we photo copied the remaining copies.  Dashed off to pick up Brenda, and we got to the Crematorium on time. Todd did well for having been thrown in last minute like that. Peter had forgotten his hearing aids so couldn't hear a thing anyone said, etc. But we gave Audrey the best send off that we could.  Then got home, sat down to do something on the computer and presto chango the printer spit out the remaining 8 copies.  Was Audrey having a laugh with us?  I dunno, but we did smile.
In the Kitchen ...
As promised what I did with the leftover roast from the other day.  Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches, but not in the normal way . . .  I used freshly baked Yorkshire Puddings instead of bread and paired them with homemade thick oven chips and veg.  AMAZEBALLS as Ariana would say.  These were fabulous!  Why did I never think of this before? 
On my "To Cook" list ... 
From Crumb, Cappucchino Biscotti.  I love Biscotti.   
Good to Know ...

I am creating ...

Blooming Poppies.  Tutorial for a Scrappy Hot Pad/Pot holder.  Love these!   
Crochet, downloadable Gingerbread Man PDF from Etsy.  Shop is called Super Cute Design Shop.  
Gingerbread Bath Bombs.  From The Pistachio Project.  
The Deco Art Blog.  Snowy Mazon Jars.  
Daisy Cottage Designs.  Japanese Flower Coasters.  Easy and quick.  You could whip up a set of these pronto as a last minute gift! 
I am Reading ...

Wonder, by R J Palacio  
'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?
WONDER is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Thoroughly enjoying this book.  THOROUGHLY.  I highly recommend! Heartwarming to say te least.

I am looking forward to ...
Ward Christmas Party on Saturday. The Children's Nativity at Church on Sunday. Carol Service on Christmas Eve, etc.

Dreaming About ...

Colour filled warm socks  . . . . 

Sweater patches  . . .

Stoneware Mugs  . . . 

Cosy reading nooks  . . .


Warm and toasty slippers to wear  . . . 

Something to watch ...  


Old Christmas Show Specials on You Tube. We watched a couple last night and they left us feeling all cosy and warm and I felt like a child again. Nice.  Nice.  Nice. No Smut. No Violence. Just Nice.

A Quote for the Day ... 

  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. 
Kindness is one of the most underrated traits in the world.
We focus so much on material things and attention,
and forget that it is kindness that brings us a fulfillment
that warms our soul. ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
~The Better Man Project  ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. `✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..  

Makes me smile ...

I have a thing for little orange kittens . . . 

Corners of my Kingdom ...

Liverpool Christmas lights  . . . 

 And that's my daybook for this week!

  ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆
  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.• ╬♥═╬╬═♥=╬╬═♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥═╬♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░  


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 2 Nephi 13:6-14:6
Question - How can you see these verses coming to pass? How do you make your home a defence against spiritual storms?  

My Thoughts - Love is my answer. Love of God. Love for others. Love for self. When my priorities are placed this way around I feel more in harmony with heaven. I feel like in the world the opposite is true and that often there is no love for God.   Elder Wirthlin said "The storms of the evil one can be stopped at the very entrance of our homes." How? DO the things that come with PROMISES of protection for us, our families and our homes. I'm so grateful we've been taught by the Lord how to make our homes a refuge and sanctuary from the world. I feel like He really magnifies every effort we put forth in this. Our families matter so much to Him. 
I know putting the Lord first, being consistant in doing the 'basics' and in keeping His commandments is what protects and strengthens my family, even though we are only two. I especially feel the spirit fill our home when we listen to and sing uplifting music, watch Mormon messages, spend quality time with each other, serve together and try our best to observe the Sabbath day. But the biggest influencer I feel is how we treat each other, when we are Christlike in our actions and words and when we quickly put right our wrongs.

Tomorrow's Reading (Day 54) -  2 Nephi 15:1-30 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? How is there a famine of spiritual knowledge in the world?

Have a beautiful Tuesday.  Don't forget along the way of your day!

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And I do too! 


Monday, 11 December 2017

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard  

A few of the small and wonderful things from the past week which brought untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.   
This was from my front window yesterday morning, but even more fell throughout the day.  This meant that church was cancelled yesterday as well as the Christmas Broadcast at the chapel and Ward Munch & Mingle last evening . . .  but no worries we got to feel safe and warm and all hyggy in our little home. 
It also meant that Audrey's funeral today has been post-poned and there will be a memorial service at the chapel at a later date.  The service at the Crematorium will be going ahead as planned this afternoon however, which we will be going to.  The Crematorium is local so it shouldn't be too hard to get to it.  I  hope I am not a blubbering mess, but I probably will be.  It is hard to say goodbye to people you love, even if you know they are in a better place.

My daughter has two exchange students living with her at the moment, one from Germany and one from Italy.  Cam and Maryn are learning about German and Italian customs.  In Germany on the night of December 5th, Children put their polished boots out and Saint Nikolaus comes during the night and fills the with little treats, chocolate coins, fruit, sweeties, etc. It looks like they are enjoying this custom! 
I got to celebrate two birthdays in my heart last week. 
On the 8th of December my youngest son Bruce turned 29.  I love him very much and I miss him. We were very close for most of his growing up years. Not so much now.  I am grateful however that he is happy and has someone special in his life that he loves and who loves him back.  He is a good and decent man.  I wish that things were different, but it is what it is.  Doesn't stop me from loving him, or caring about him and his life.  A mom is always a mom no matter what.  I hope that he had a lovely day.  I am sure he did.  He has a lovely wife, and I know she would make sure of it.

My youngest daughter Amanda turned 38 on the 9th.  I love her very much and miss her also. I had always hoped that we would enjoy the close relationship with each other that I enjoy with my own mother.  Alas, not to be. Again, it is what it is, and this mother't heart is just grateful that she has a good life with a good husband who loves and supports her in all ways, two beautiful children, a decent career, etc. And she is happy.  

All most mother's want is to know that their babies
are safe, healthy and happy,and mine are.
God is good.

(mom on her 85th birthday)

Sunday calls with mom.  I actually call her twice a week now and she is okay with that.  We mostly just talk about the same things each week, and that's okay.  She doesn't leave the house much these days unless she has a medical appointment, or banking to do, and of course the weekly Saturday jaunt to WalMart. (She has been going to that same shop in all of its incarnations every Saturday for about 50 years I think.)  We mostly talk about the past because she remembers that most of all and to be honest I am just grateful that I can still talk to her at all.  I know what a blessing this is and I will take it happily. 
 To get a book published at all these days takes a minor miracle unless you know someone or are an already published author.  So having my book published has been a great blessing in my life, full stop.  This has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.  To have people wanting to buy it is another blessing.  To have them then leave positive 5* reviews is yet another blessing for me.  I will take them gladly.  It has consistently sold out of every lot they have put onto Amazon, which is good.  I think there is one left at the moment on the American site and all the others are out of stock.  I am happy that people like it.  I am working on another one which will hopefully also be published, but this one will be smaller and not so expensive.  It will also contain some of my other writings, and some crafts, art, etc. fingers crossed it will also be published.  So far as it goes at the moment, they like the concept, so we will see.

Just to be  published or read at all is a HUGE blessing in my life. 
I've been practicing this art throughout this past year.  It is hard work for me because I am not a person who has ever thought very highly of myself.  But if I can at least be at peace with who and what I am and have become, then that is an inner battle won.  

I'm trying! 
Its not as hard as it looks.  In fact if you practice this often enough
it soon becomes natural.

The smell of baking Christmas Cakes.  Does anything smell better?  I dunno!  This smells pretty good.  Cake is all baked and awaiting decorating.  I want to do something a bit different this year.  I have no icing sugar or anything in the house however.  I need to get to a shop. God willing that will be possible soon. 
Christmas cards which are starting to arrive in the post.  I love them.  Mine are going out today.  I had to send the books first, and now those are all paid for and gone off, now I can send the cards, etc. that I have to send. I think next year I will set aside some money each month just for Christmas post. 
Hooray!  I now have a bus pass!  Yes, it finally came through.  It took months and months and a lot of hoop jumps, but it is now in my wallet and ready to use!  And its good until 2022, by which time, with any luck I will be the regular age of someone who is entitled to a bus bass with the Chester City Council anyways!  Thanks Sybil for all your help! 
My life is just filled to overflowing with small and simple blessings.  Each day that I open my eyes, that is a blessing . . . to be given the gift of yet an other day.  A daughter who wants to and who talks to me every day on messenger.  A husband who loves me even when I am being a huge pain in the arse.  A warm and dry house.  Food in my belly and water in my glass.  A comfortable place to sit and sleep and rest.  Friends and family.  The Gospel in my life.  My list goes on and on. Life is indeed, very, very good. 
A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

"Yesterday I was clever so I
wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so,
I am changing myself."
~unknown    •。★★ 。* 。
BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's reading - 2 Nephi 12:1-13:5
 Question -What kind of idols did Isaiah see? How can we be taught of the Lords ways and walk in His paths?  

My Thoughts - Gold, silver, horses and chariots and the work of their hands are those things which Isaiah saw in our day that we would worship. All the Lord wants is our heart, but sadly we worship so many idols which moth destroy and rust corrupts. When we live the law of consecration we look outward and not inward. We consecrate all our time and talents to build the kingdom of God. We take care of the poor and needy. It is overcoming the natural man, who wants to keep all his earnings for himself and to ignore those around us who are in need. By living the law of the fast, we learn to overcome our natural desires, and rely on the spirit for strength. We also care for the poor and needy. When we serve those in need we are only serving God. The opposite of the natural man is to become a saint. Only JESUS Christ and GOD the Father merit our worship. Anything else is false and will crumble one day. 
What stands in the way of me living the gospel all the time? Is it something I place in front of myself? In the moment do I chose something else over Heavenly Father? How do I use my time? Do I hold to beliefs about myself that are not true?  The Lord asks me to cast these things aside, humble myself, rely on Him. His ways. His paths. His law and His word. 
Tomorrow's reading (Day 53) -  2 Nephi 13:6-14:6
Question - How can you see these verses coming to pass? How do you make your home a defence against spiritual storms? 
In The English Kitchen today . . . Another Pot Roast.  This is a slightly different version, and most delicious.  Simple to do with tender, sliceable results and an easy tasty sauce for spooning over.  
I hope your week ahead is filled to abundance with small and wonderful things.  Don't forget! 
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And I do too!  



Sunday, 10 December 2017

Magic happens . . .

We've had a bit of snow these past few days. It is quite unsual this time of year, and they are saying most of the country is going to really get lambasted with it today.  I kinda hope that they are wrong about that, but that is only because it is so hard here in the UK to get around anywhere when it snows.   Snow effectively trims your sails . . . quite a bit. We are just not used to dealing with it, and Todd has not had much practice with driving in snow.

I can remember being very excited about snow when I was a child, especially the first snow of the season.  Those big fluffy flakes falling down from the pewter sky like goosedown feathers  . . . as if the angels were having a pillow fight and the feathers were a-flying . . .

I can remember trying to catch them on my tongue . . . I thought snow had a special taste . . . 

I know it has a smell . . . like leaden skys, crisp and clean . . . like cool mountain streams, fresh and pure.  You know when its in the air.  There's a certain silence that foretells it's coming.  It is unmistakable and indescribable at the same time.

But it makes you want to dance.  And twirl.   And swirl.  It comes with special feelings and longings . . .and joys. 


It falls silently . . . it is water like the rain is water, but it has no sound.  There is no trickle, no beating against the window panes, no splatter of wet hitting pavement . . . just magical silence.  You stand at the window and watch it fall, at first just a few flakes and then . . . more and more and more and more . . . faster and faster, it speeds up until the ground which once held colour abeit it drab colour . . . begins to turn white, as the snow starts to lay.

You count the layers as they add up upon the roof of the car and the fence posts and the table on the terrace. You think of the birds, all huddled up in the hedge, their feathers puffed and fluffed, shivering to keep warm . . . while you stand at the window all toasty hygge, watching magic fall from the sky.

And so . . . you scramble through the kitchen cupboards to find something special for them . . . cookie crumbs, bits of bacon . . . suet . . . cracker crumbs . . . 

You stand in the silence . . . your feet marking the unspoilt as you crumble the crumbs on the garden floor . . . a brave robin being the only one brave enough to appear in your presence . . .  his little feet hopping here and there, creating little etchings in the snow.  You are in a magical world it seems, and you can't help but stand for just a few moments more just enjoying it . . . face tilted to the sky, whilst cold wet feathers brush your cheeks and dance upon your lashes . . .  

Your very breath dances in the air with little huffs and puffs . . . white and frosty . . . you hear the boiler kick in and a burst of cloud blows from the pipe in the wall, and all around the horizon the chimney pots puff and puff and puff, doing a dance of their own . . .  

It's not so bad after all . . . you think.  There is a special beauty in this magical interlude you think . . .  as you stamp your feet on the cocoa mat by the back door while you make your way back inside the house.  You can hear the kettle boiling and the warmth of the kitchen settles down on your shoulders where down begins to melt as if it had never been there.  One last glance out the door before you shut it, as if to assure you that it wasn't all just a dream . . . 

(¯`•.•´¯) (¯`•.•´¯)☆__ ☆
¤ ؛° ¤`•.¸.•´ ¤ ☆__☆***☆__☆...

"Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again." 
~Bill Morgan, Jr.    

Oh, I know  . . .  there is a not of negative stuff about the snow as well . . . shoveling the walkways, the drive, clearing off the car, getting about in it, etc.  I am a half glass full kind of a gal however and I don't like to dwell on that!  I do hope that the roads are manageable for Audrey's funeral tomorrow however.  Finger's crossed! We cannot miss it.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Learn to smile at every situation.
See it as an opportunity
to prove your strength and ability.
~Joe Brown  
•。★★ 。* 。


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading- 2 Nephi 10:18-11:8 
Question - In what ways can we reconcile ourselves to the will of God? How can we feel hope when all we can see is our weaknesses?
My thoughts - I like these verses - 'let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off' and 'my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance'. Remember Him and use His atonement, This is how I continually reconcile myself to God and how I find hope, so much hope!! When all I can see is my weaknesses. Because of the Saviour I have no reason to hang down my head and every reason for my soul to delight.

Also I like this part of today's reading 'we have been driven out... but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path'. When I follow the lord and the steps He reveals to me I am always moved from where I am to a better place. This is often via obstacles (the sea) which He makes to be my paths of learning, growth and becoming a better more Christlike me.
Tomorrow's Reading (Day 52) - 2 Nephi 12:1-13:5
 Question -What kind of idols did Isaiah see? How can we be taught of the Lords ways and walk in His paths? 


Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Cinnamon Applesauce Bread served with a delicious Cinnamon Honey Butter. 

Have a wonderful Sunday!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!