Blogger Confessions!


Good Morning everyone, Happy Friday! As most of you know I’m still a relatively new blogger. My fellow blogging buddies can relate to this. You will have a million ideas of what to write about. Something inspiring, helpful or just informative. And the moment you sit down to write it, you have the dreaded writer’s block! Or, maybe you think of a recipe you want to share but you don’t have pictures to go with it! It’s not always easy to be a blogger. Sure some of us may have schedules of what we will write about and when. Some of us write out our posts the night before and schedule it. Some will wait until we are inspired sometime during the day to sit down and write. I confess, I am a bit of both. It just depends on the topic.

As a blogger you are really putting yourself out there to the public! You risk facing backlash from maybe a controversial topic, or maybe just someone disagreeing with your opinion. Sometimes this can lead to a great discussion, and let’s face it, part of you is just happy someone outside of your family is actually interested in what you have to say! But the other part of you has to have feelings of steel when a critique of you online stings just as much as one face to face.

Then once you actually write your post before you’re ready to press publish you re-read it at least five times. Heaven forbid you find a sentence doesn’t make sense. Or you realize after it’s out in the world you used “their” instead of “they’re”. Sometimes I will go back and read past posts I’ve written and will find a grammatical mistake I didn’t catch when I wrote it and proof read a million times. I think sometimes bloggers and writers can be our own worst critic! I guarantee in a few weeks time when I re read this I will find something I didn’t catch!

Most bloggers in the blogging community are friendly and really your biggest cheerleader! Sometimes even more so than people in your “real life”. Bloggers understand the excitement of when you get your first subscriber that isn’t a friend or family member! Or when you’re running a giveaway how much time and energy it takes to make it work! As well as when a company contacts you because they want to work with you and feel your influence and writing is what they are looking for. It’s more than just writing a little post everyday. It’s networking, connecting with others in your niche, and being very active in social media!

It can be a lot of work to have your own blog and space in the world wide web; to have a voice in this big world. But the benefits are amazing. When you find that you actually touched someones life it’s worth it. I remember when I wrote my piece on Robin Williams’ death I can’t tell you how many people in real life and online appreciated what I had to say. Or when I started running that I inspired others to give it a try! I don’t pretend to be perfect in any way, but I am happy to help others in their life and realize we are all human and make mistakes!

Being a blogger can push you out of your comfort zone and really live. Like when I wrote about the balloon fiesta last week and went up in the balloon. If I didn’t have a blog I don’t think I would have taken the risk or had the opportunity. Or when I did my 5K I don’t know if I would have actually gone and done it after my accident if I didn’t have you all to keep my promise too! Having the courage to put yourself out there online can be risky but the possibilities for your life are endless!

So, when you find someone in your life has decided to start a blog or writing in anyway I hope you understand and encourage them! It means so much just for someone to say “hey, I read today’s post and I love it!” Or if a blogger you follow maybe took a day off from writing maybe it’s because they want their writing to be the best it can be for you! Or could just be they had major writer’s block that day and give them a little break!

Are you a blogger? What do you find most difficult about it? The best?


Disney Store 40% off Costumes!

40 off hall dis

Hey everyone, I’m still feeling under the weather but I wanted to make sure you guys knew that the Disney Store is having a 40% off their costumes right now. This is a great time to get your kiddos their favorite princess or pirate gear! You can use it for Halloween night or if you’re planning a trip to Disney soon it’s a great way to save money on an outfit. Especially if you’re planning Bippity Bobbity Boutique, Pirates League or character dining! We all know that those little purchases add up in the park, so if you already come prepared it leaves more room for other souvenirs!

Don’t forget that you can get free shipping on orders of $75 or more too! I usually have to monitor how much I go to the Disney Store website because I always find a million things I want! But when you get a package from them even though you know what it is, it’s like getting a little piece of Disney magic delivered right to your door! I hope you have a magical day shopping! :)

*Don’t forget about the giveaway I have going on right now! There’s only a few days left!

Potato Soup

Good Morning guys! I hope your week has started in a great way! I unfortunately have a cold or some kind of Upper Respiratory Infection. So I feel yucky :(. Do you all have a comfort food you turn to when you don’t feel well? Mine is my grandmother’s Potato Soup recipe. It’s easy to make, easy on the tummy and delicious. Here’s her recipe if you’d like to try it!

Potato Soup

6 Russet potatoes peeled and cut in small chunks

1 white onion diced

1 stick of butter

1 can of evaporated milk

salt and pepper to taste

1 loaf of french bread

In large stock pot put in the potatoes. Cover with water, not all the way full, about 3/4. Bring to a boil. Add onion. Cook until onions are cooked and transparent. Pour in the evaporated milk and put in the butter. Bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with slices of french bread to dip it in.

This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take long to make. Leftovers taste even better the next day!

Balloon Ride Ceremony and Giveaway!

I hope you all have enjoyed learning about our amazing Balloon Fiesta! I know I have talked about it all week and here is the final installment! I hope maybe some of you will be inspired to come visit us next year to experience it for yourself! I would love to be your tour guide and show you around our Land of Enchantment!

So yesterday I shared with you my experience of my first hot air balloon ride! Well, after your first flight your are inaugurated into the ballooning family. It’s a ceremony I remember my uncle doing many years ago and I was so honored to be included on Saturday! Usually it’s done right after the flight, but we waited so my friend Monique and I from work could do it together. She went up on Thursday.It was nice to have a friend by my side!

So the crew sets out a rug or blanket on the ground. There is a cup of champagne for both of us. Of course the crew each get a glass for themselves also (under age kids get water, you’ll see why in a minute!) Then we then listen to the pilot tell the story of the very first flight of a balloon and how ballooning and champagne came to be!

champ cere1

Then once his story is done, we are blessed with The Balloonist Prayer by the pilots and the crew:

May the winds welcome you with softness.
May the sun bless you with its warm hands.
May you fly so high and so well that God
joins you in laughter and sets you gently
back into the loving arms of Mother Earth

champ cere2Then after the prayer is said, we kneel down and we bend down to pick up the cup of champagne by our teeth. We are not supposed to use our hands, but I forgot half way through! This is where it gets fun and surprising! As we are bending down all of those cups of champagne that the crew has gets dumped on us! As well as what is left in the bottle.

champ cere3Guys, we were soaking wet! One of the crew’s little girl poured a whole bottle of water on me! It had been sitting in ice in the cooler all day! My very good friend and co worker was ornery and slowly poured his cup of champagne on mine and Monique’s head!

champ cere5

Champagne in the eye burns! I couldn’t even open my eye because every time I did more would drip into my eye! Monique and I both looked like we were constantly winking at everyone until the champagne dried! After the ceremony was complete the pilot gave us the champagne bottles that were used as well as the cork that was made to look like a little hot air balloon with the metal part. He also put a handful of grass in the bottle from the land that we went up from. It was very cool and I was very touched by the tradition. I think I’m going to write on the bottle the date I went up and keep it!

champ b

Then Monique and I wanted a picture with our amazing pilot!

champ cere 6Then most of the crew and pilots got together to take a group photo! After working together off and on all week, getting up at grumbling hours, working from literally sunup to sundown it became like a little family! Most of the crew had been working with Mark and Amanda the pilots for several years. As a newbie I felt very welcomed and can’t wait to do it again next year!

champ cere 7

It was a wonderful week and I will have memories of it that I will treasure and will last a lifetime! If you would like to look at beautiful balloons all year to tide you over till next year you’re in luck! I wouldn’t leave you all out of the fun! I am giving away TWO 2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta calenders! They are filled with beautiful pictures from the event that captures the feeling of being here!

AIBF calender

Good Luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Guess What I Did Today?

If you follow along with my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook you already know! I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing about it but hey, it’s like a holiday around these parts! I got up again bright and early (well not even bright) to head out to the Balloon Fiesta. The weather wasn’t the greatest, rainy, little wind and clouds, not good balloon flying weather. But our balloon pilot has many years of experience and decided to go up. So do you know what that means? I finally got a chance to go up in a hot air balloon!

I’m not even going to lie, I was terrified! But I lost my chance when my uncle sold his balloon when I was younger! As well as yesterday because I didn’t get my booty out there, so I was not about to pass by this once in a lifetime chance! So while the balloon was inflating I signed my life away just in case and made sure the boys were well taken care of with my dear friend from work.

Right before we went up Mark Ibbotson, the pilot, had to go over a briefing with me, asking me a few questions and then explaining what I could and couldn’t do in the balloon. Soon, it was time to get in!

me balloon 1

There I am, can you tell I’m super nervous?!

me balloon 2Yep, it’s getting real now and I could feel my heart beating right out of my chest! I didn’t want to be an annoying passenger and let on how scared I really was!

me balloon 3

I know this isn’t the greatest picture but there we go! It was weird because on Saturday when we went, the balloon had to wait a few minutes to take off. So I had mentally prepared for the same thing! Nope, we just went today! Once we started going higher and higher Mark the pilot had asked me if I could look down and see if there were any balloons under us so if we had to we could go higher. I told him I couldn’t look down, I’m sorry!! I’m sorry to be a scaredy cat Mark! I had explained to him I had been around balloons quite a bit because of my uncle but I had never actually been in one. I said we used to go Texas and visit my uncle and his family and go chase! He asked me what my uncle’s name was by the off chance he knew him. When I told him he nearly fell out of the gondola! Apparently my uncle is the one who taught him how to fly! And when my uncle sold his balloon Air Bear, Mark bought it! In fact he still had some equipment on the Mariah from Air Bear! Once I knew that it was funny, I started to relax a lot more and enjoy the ride! My uncle was an excellent balloon pilot and took it very seriously. I could tell Mark was the same way so in some small way it was like it was meant to be that my 1st ride was with Mark.

me in mariah

And there’s our balloon! I’m in the picture kind of!

We were supposed to have a short flight because the weather wasn’t the greatest and as I said earlier there is a lot of industrial areas around the park. Meaning lots of power lines. Power lines and hot air balloons don’t mix well! In fact, we saw a balloon almost get nailed by a power line. I’m not sure if the pilot didn’t see it or wasn’t paying attention to that because he was trying to land. Luckily Mark shouted out to him in time and he was able to avoid it. But then I started getting nervous again. Mark was able to find a nice safe spot to land that other balloonists had found as well. Our chase crew hadn’t made it to us yet so a few people on another chase crew helped us land our balloon. It was a perfect landing! Mark and I started to take the balloon down and get the air out of it so when everyone else came they could start to load it back up into the bag.

me and mo

And there I am back on solid ground! This is my work buddy that took the pictures for me and watched the boys while I was up in the air! I am so so so happy I got over my fear and went! It’s definitely something you should do at least once in your lifetime!  I apologize for not having actual pictures while we were in flight but #1, I was not letting go for anything! And #2, I had to wear work gloves and I was afraid I’d drop my camera out the gondola!

Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? What did you think of it?


Walt Disney World Discounts

Good morning everyone! I have exciting discount news for you guys! If you’re planning on going to Walt Disney World soon they just released 2 discounts for the public! Of course I would be happy to help you book your trip or do a free quote! Remember, it is free to use our services!

disney discount 1

Play, Stay, Dine and Save up to $600* on a 5-night/6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights Dec. 14-20, 2014 and Jan. 5-Mar.7, 2015.

Here’s the fine print:


*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on non-discounted price for 2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child in the same room.  Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use.  Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas.

Booking Dates:
Oct. 9 – Dec. 29, 2014

Travel Dates:
Dec. 14-20, 2014 and Jan. 5-Mar.7, 2015

Booking Information and Offer Details:
o   Value Resorts:  Save up to $400
o   Moderate Resorts:  Save up to $600
o   Deluxe (including DDVR) Resorts:  Save at least $600
The Disney Dining Plan included in this offer is the same plan that’s included in the Magic Your Way Package plus Dining, which includes one Table-Service meal, one Quick-Service meal and one snack, per person per package night.  Regardless of the resort selected, the dining plan is the same.

disney discount 2

And here is the second discount! Personally as a family of 5 this one I like better!

Winter Room Only Offer

SAVE up to 30%* on rooms at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotels!  For stays most nights Jan. 5-Mar. 28.2015.

Here’s the fine print:

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply.  Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas and is not valid at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for suites and at other select Resorts.

Booking Dates:
Oct. 9 – Dec. 29, 2014

Travel Dates:
Jan. 5 – Mar. 28, 2015

Booking Information and Offer Details:
o   Value – 20% off*
o   Moderate – 25% off*
o   Deluxe/DDVR – 30% off
*Discount is reduced by 5 percentage points on weekends in Value and Moderate Resorts.

I will be home all day ready to book for you or answer any questions you may have! Just go to Enchanted Minnie Travel for a free quote! Remember, you normally only have to put $200 down to book a trip and it doesn’t have to be paid in full until 45 days before your trip!

Balloon Fiesta Part 3

Here is my final recap of the Balloon Fiesta! I had last left you with us trying to get to the Mariah through all of the traffic! We finally got to them and we started helping taking down the balloon. My co worker was able to grab the rope and start to pull the envelope down. He of course enlisted the help of a very strong 8 year old!

roo take down ABF

Yep that’s Riley in the back! He really truly thought he did it all by himself! He was quite proud for the rest of the day!

roo take down 2 ABF

There they are still trying to pull down the balloon.

burb balloon ABF

Here are the guys burping the balloon. They are trying to get all of the air and propane out so they can strap it up.

take down balloon ABF

There’s Riley in the action again! I think we may have a future hot air balloon pilot on our hands!

take down balloon 2 ABF

Finally, getting most of the air out of the balloon! It takes serious teamwork here!

take down balloon 3 ABF

Here’s Brandon, my husband finishing off getting the air out. After most of the air was out we had to place straps about 2 panels apart. Then we each had to take a section, pick it up, and shove it into the bag. After it was closed up we had the fun task of sitting on the bag to make sure all of the air was out! I don’t have pictures of this because my booty was needed to sit on it!

We had so much fun doing this and the boys cannot wait to do it again! My uncle was a hot air balloon pilot when I was a little girl. I have such fond memories of going to Texas and taking part of being in the crew too! I’m so happy that my own children have their own memories of doing the same. I confess that even though I have done my fair share of balloon chasing I have never actually been up in a balloon! When my uncle had his balloon I was afraid that my hair would catch on fire from the burner haha! Then being all of 5’2″, I do have a healthy fear of heights! But that is one regret I have, never going up! If I ever have the chance again I will push aside my fear and go! I hope you all enjoyed hearing about our day at the Balloon Fiesta! It’s still going on all of this week and we may try to go out again on Thursday and again Friday! That’s when the special shapes go up! If we go I’ll take a lot of pictures for you guys!

Have you ever been in a balloon? What did you think? Are you scared of heights too, how’d you manage to do the ride?

Balloon Fiesta Part 2

Well yesterday I left you with the beginning of our morning. It was a lot of hurry up and get there to wait till it was time to set up. It was pretty darn cold outside if you couldn’t tell! Even in layers the boys were complaining of their toes being frozen! The balloon that we were to set up was the Mariah and it was piloted by Mark Ibbotson from Grand Prairie, Tx. His daughter Amanda is also a pilot and her balloon is the Stardust. They were so kind to let us help. It’s not easy and you have to make sure to be careful to not damage the balloon. If you accidentally step on it you can cause a hole and damage the nylon which is not only costly to fix but can be dangerous if you’re in the air. As well as being careful around the propane and the tubing, for obvious reasons!

"Mariah" courtesy of

“Mariah” courtesy of

"Stardust" courtesy of

“Stardust” courtesy of

So the first thing we did was help get the gondola out and set it up:

getting ready ABF

We didn’t do it, but you have to hook up the lines to the propane. Then we did help put the covers on the poles that the lines run through.

Then it was time to pull out the balloon (envelope). The boys had fun with this!

boys help balloon ABF


james balloon help ABF

After it was pulled out the boys and Brandon helped keep it open while the inflator fan filled it with air.

BSK balloon 1 ABF

Riley ABF

jb ABF

If you’re wondering what it looks like inside, here you go!


Once it’s fairly inflated they hook it up to the gondola. Then the burner is secured and it’s able to be cranked on to inflate the envelope all the way. After it’s filled up the gondola is turned right side up and the pilot is able to have passengers climb in.

zebra ABF

Here you can see the pilot talking to the “Zebras”. They are responsible for making sure everything is being done safely before you can take off. They also are the ones who direct the balloon traffic and tell the pilot when to go! Once they give the go ahead it’s ok to unhook the balloon to the tether it is pulled and pushed out.

go up ABF

Then when the Zebra’s give the go ahead they are off! Once they’re in the sky it was our job to gather everything up and pile into the chase vehicle. The driver drives wherever the navigator in the passenger side tells them. The navigator has a walkie talkie that he uses to talk to the pilot to find out what direction the balloon is going. Our job as the chase crew then was to sit back and enjoy the ride!

james chase ABF

joseph ABF

We didn’t have too far to go because the pilot didn’t want to stray to far from the park. In the morning briefing the pilots were told they had to go north. Well, in Albuquerque, north of the park is mostly an industrial area and hard to find open space to land. So he landed just right outside of the park. Sounds like no big deal right? Except for the traffic of spectators leaving was horrendous! The pilot had to land the balloon by himself and wait for us to come get him! Took probably 30 minutes of him just hanging out!

I’m leaving off here because I’ll tell you about getting to the pilot and the balloon tomorrow! As well as show you all a few more pictures of a few other balloons! I took a lot of pictures as you can see, and I want to make sure that you’re able to enjoy them!

What do you think? Is coming to our Balloon Fiesta on your bucket list? It’s an amazing time of year! And a great way to meet people from all over the world!

Getting To Crew For A Balloon At The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Part 1

Good Monday Morning everyone! This weekend my family had the opportunity to be apart of a chase crew for a balloon. From October 4th-October 12th our city becomes chaotic and full of visitors from all over the world. They’re here for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! This growing event has been here since 1972 when 13 balloons gathered in the local mall parking lot. Since then it has exploded to over 700 balloons and almost 600 pilots! We also have a part of town dedicated to housing the event with a field that covers 80 acres of a launching area. It is a huge deal in our town and some locals will either be die hard fans and go to every event, or we will prefer to just watch the action at home either on our balconies or on tv. I heard that Saturday morning it took over 2 hours to just get in to park! But our family didn’t have to wait in that long line! We were able to as I said be apart of the crew! I confess, I’m writing this Saturday night because I didn’t want to forget details on Monday, just an FYI :)

So our morning started out at 4:00am. Alarm went off and I was smart to have all of our stuff ready the night before. Except for Brandon not thinking about a jacket! So we were scrambling trying to find his coat! We left the house about 4:45am and made a stop at McDonalds for coffee, hot chocolate and breakfast. We met up with my friend from work at the train station close to the Balloon Park. This way we could get in with him as part of the crew and park close.

dark ABF

This was our view first thing when we made it into the park. We had to a wait a bit for the balloon pilot to finish up the briefing of the morning. This is where the pilots find out where they are supposed to fly and other things. It was a lot of standing around for a while. Our balloons were in the second wave so we had quite some time to wait.

FAmily ABFHere we are waiting around! Doesn’t Riley look just thrilled about now?

balloons inflate James ABF

Here’s James with the first wave balloons getting ready!

1st wave ABF

And the first wave is off! Sorry you guys about a lot of vertical pictures! I was still half asleep and was taking pictures on my phone and wasn’t thinking!

Of course you can see a few special shape balloons in the air. But of course there are a few that are the boys favorite. Want a clue?

star wars w boys ABF

I fully admit I have no clue what those guys names are! But Riley seems excited, and James was surprised by the sudden photo bombing of that white dude! Are you still not sure who I’m talking about? Here’s another hint!

leia w boys ABF

Does that help? Hmmm, will the boys choose the good side or…

darth w boys ABF

Will they go to the Dark Side? It depends I suppose on if I wake them up so early again! So if you have guessed correctly, the boys favorite balloons are…

courtesy of

courtesy of

Yoda! This is a brand new special shape balloon this year! And of course:

courtesy of

courtesy of

Darth Vader! Of course I had find these pictures online since the balloon we were crewing for was behind them. So this is what we saw…

boys help balloon ABF

And on that I will continue the journey in Part 2! The next part will be of us getting to help put the balloon up! As you can already see the boys worked hard!

Have you ever been to our balloon fiesta or one somewhere else? What did you think?


Kids and Technology

kids these days

Sorry I’m a little late today guys, since it’s Thursday James hijacks my computer for school! That kid really needs his own laptop! It would make my life so much easier and I could get so much more work done! But I do question, how much is too much technology for our kids?

Do you remember when you were growing up? I do! All summer we’d be outside, our parents would tell us to not come in till the street light came on! We’d ride our bikes all over and play games. The only really exciting thing on tv we ever watched was Saturday morning cartoons and Saved By The Bell (Zack fan here!) Then when I was about 9 years old I remember Nintendo came out. I never had one but a friend of mine down the street did. We would play Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunting. I wasn’t very good at Super Mario Brothers but I shot so many cartoon ducks the guys on Duck Dynasty would be proud!

Then came the Gameboy followed by the Game Gear. (Still have my Game Gear somewhere around here!) Those were good for long car rides to distract you. Ah, but is this the point where the childhood technology shifted? Instead of playing the license plate game or singing to annoy your parents our noses were buried in little pixelated worlds.

Now my kids are begging for the newest X-Box 360 games and secretly hoping for an X-Box One. (Just so we’re clear probably never going to happen!) They begged me for iPod’s for years because someone in their class had one! I finally succumbed 2 Christmas’ ago because I found that it was an electronic leash with Tango so I could reach them if they were at grandma’s house with wifi. (My dad doesn’t always hear the phone because of his hearing loss)

Then they wanted phones. Because of course that same kid that had that damn iPod now has the latest iPhone. My husband and I swore we wouldn’t get them phones until they were driving age! Who do they need to call at their age now? Well, it turns out lots of people! My kids were in the minority for not having a phone in 4th and 5th grade. With some of the kids having divorced parents and living in 2 separate households it made it easier for them to communicate. As well as those kids who played after school sports it made it easier for the kids to get a hold of their parents when it was time to pick them up. I don’t know if you realize it’s not like pay phones are all around anymore. You can’t have a quarter to call someone who cares! Now you have to have a phone plan as well as a data plan to text someone who cares. (Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it?)

So when my husband and I decided to switch carriers we found it cost the same amount to have 4 phones on the new carrier as it did for 2 phones on the old one. We again, succumbed to the technology and let our twin boys have phones.(Just for the record to their disappointment they didn’t get iPhones) With them going of to middle school I justified it by their extra curricular activities. As well as James going to a charter school sometimes his bus ride home takes 2+hours. So it is nice to not worry where he is and when he’ll be home. But the big one that clenched it for me is you never know what is going to happen at school. More and more you hear about tragedies happening. I fully trust our school system but I’m admitting I’m over protective. If there is a problem I want my kids to be able to get a hold of me no matter what. We also don’t have a land line. So on the rare days that Joseph gets home a few minutes before I do when I’m on my way home from work I wanted him to have a way to call me.

And now that leaves me to the computer. James will need a computer for school so he can work on his assignments when he needs to. But with the gaming systems, phones, computers, internet when do the kids get to be just kids? I think it’s a delicate balancing act that we need to figure out. Having technology in our life is just the way it is now. Our kids will never know the urgency of having to get up at 6am on a Saturday to watch cartoons otherwise you were out of luck till next week. However they can still be just kids by playing tag with the neighbor kids outside. Or building a fort in your living room. They are in that stage of generations between old ways and new.

How did you deal with your children and technology? Are you able to stand your ground and wait a little longer? Or have you been able to manage the balancing act of it all?

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