Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Pleasant Pause


        painting: Seaside Inn by Janet Kruskamp, from allposters.com




Good Morning,

Today I noticed our local tea room, which was such a delightful place for families and church members to meet, had closed for good.  I only hope another one will be available to our community again soon.

Tea rooms are some of the most pleasant places to visit, with a different meaning and effect than any other kind of restaurant.  If you have never tried one, please go as soon as possible and you will see how the visit effects your mood for the rest of the day.  Going to a tearoom makes you feel you have been "somewhere." You never know when the tea room might not be there!  It is like a visit to another country or another time. No hurry and no worry seems to be the tea room motto. 



 If you have no tea room in town to take a guest, you might try making your home into the "somewhere" you take people for a light meal in the afternoon. Since the passing of the tea room, I have been thinking of having a couple of tea-time events this year, amd in preparation have been reading about tea rooms around the world.  These two pictures are from a place in England.


One thing I like about this kind of hospitality is preparimg ordinary ingredients to have an interesting appearance. I think it causes people to eat less hurriedly, and it is such a nice experience to share with family and good friends, in the home.  

The verdant countryside around here ought to inspire more artists, poets and tea-room advocates, but few seem inclined or able to do it, so this is where the home can be so valuable.  There can always be  an afternoon break at home where someone can enjoy this little pause and come away with a happy heart.

It would be good if every homemaker knew how to put on a simple afternoon meal of these nutritious treats, and all the children could observe it being observed often enough to imitate it. The home has to be the place where these traditions are held and continue so they are not forgotten. 

If you do not use tea, there are other pleasant drinks you may sip at a traditional tea-time, so do not let the dislike of tea prevent you from enjoying a time to sit still and exchange pleasantries with someone. You may not have a tearoom available to you but setting a tea table using the finest things you own will add something very good to the teatime experience. 

Look for a future post featuring a very simple but attractive teatime menu with recipes using commonly stocked ingredients.
"Time passed pleasantly, and nobody seemed in a hurry to move." -Jane Austen (from the book, "Emma")


Monday, March 02, 2015

Getting Started With the Day's Duties






Basket of Roses by Paul de Longpre


Are you new to being a homemaker and caretaker of the home and family? Perhaps without imposed schedules and time-cards it is hard to know how and when and where to begin your day.  Seasoned homemakers sometimes wake up not knowing where or how to start, but this problem can be a good one, because, at home, you are free to jump start your own day with your own little motivational perks.

What about:

-Getting ready for the day by dressing in fresh, clean, pressed clothing, and adding a new apron that matches your outfit.

-Wearing  a delicate scent.  I like "Vanilla Brown Sugar" from Dollar Tree. It is just enough of a scent without overwhelming.

-A hearty breakfast high in protein...poached eggs on homemade bread, with freshly squeezed orange juice. This is a good time to take any supplements you use, as taking them on an empty stomach is not so comfortable.

-Some homemakers like to do their town errands in the first half of the day while shops are open and energy is higher. A list should be kept for adding household shopping needs so you do not have to sit down and make one each day. Just keep adding to the list as you run out of things or have to find something to finish a chore or a project.  Going out at first has its advantages,  but for variety it is nice to go out "at last" when the home work is done.

-List a few things to do that are not housekeeping: a card or scrapbook page, sewing project, a package for someone, a nicely set afternoon tea tray waiting for that time.

-A little reward: a flower arrangement, a new or old publication or book you enjoy; in short, a gift to yourself to open when you are finished necessary tasks, all placed in a basket or tote of sort, which you can anticipate using at a time you decide upon

-Begin with the room closest to the front door, putting it in order and working clockwise around the house to quickly get the house looking tidy.

-Do not stress over any thing, and developed the habit of cleaning as you go. That means picking up and neatening things as you see them. An automatic clean-up mentality will prevent the necessity of a grueling cleaning day.  (You know you are developing effective habits when someone calls you a neat-nik or a clean freak.)

The end of your day determines the ease of the next day: make a plan of things you want to do, get your clothes out for the next day. You can even set the table if you like.

On Pinterest while looking for pictures of ladies and tea, I found this photo.  Ladies were determined to take time for tea, and I have seen photos of them sitting in a camping area taking tea or in front of humble shacks. It looks like such a relaxing time and it is too bad this picture is not in color. 


Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Beautiful Sight


Greetings on this fine Lord's Day.  I hope you have a pleasant time and concentrate on the reason for assembling, avoiding distracting thoughts.  God bless everyone,

Lydia

The painting is by Paul de Longpre, who made what are known as "yard longs".   This one looks so fresh,like the roses are still alive. Would love to have this in my home to wake up to every day!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Sound Mind


                         (Pinterest)

As I am busy today and still have nothing to show for it (isn't that often the story of daily life at home?) I am just dropping by here to leave a scripture that I have been thinking about lately. We discussed this at home quite a bit over the years, and every time find new meanings in it. 

2Ti 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


There is always someone who thinks you are strange because you do not follow the crowd, adopt the fashions, the latest hairstyles, or seek after a career. You can be minding your own business or be sober-minded and there will be someone accusing you of being mentally unstable.  


I would not dream of calling someone "crazy" and I am astonished when someone tells someone they are mentally ill.  If you are ever the recipient of such rudeness, it might shake you a little and you start to have some doubts about yourself. The purpose of such a remark is to discourage you and shake your confidence in who you are, in your choices, in the way you live and in your  beliefs.  


Before you become too devastated by such labeling or name-calling, focus on the things that someone else is calling "insane": sewing your own clothes, dressing femininely rather than masculinely (I am speaking of ladies), cooking your food from natural ingredients, teaching and training your children, caring for your home and family, being sensible with money, content to be home, not participating in the vices of the culture, etc.  Is this what they are calling crazy?  People who cannot think rationally are unable to do these things. To call someone "mentally unstable" is just an attempt to de-stabilize them.


The reason I like this verse is because of the phrase "a sound mind." It is reassuring to read the words, "a sound mind."  If you have e-sword on your device, how about doing a New Testament word search for "sound" and "mind" and see what the Word says about them. We must judge our mental health by what God says, not by some wild accusation.


What do you think about this verse?





Friday, February 27, 2015

Already Cleaned


                                   
(Picture from Pinterest)

Good Morning Dear Ladies at Home ( or hoping to be one day!)

I am so happy you have come to visit my web-log and hope it is a pleasant experience.  


                 
As I have a big day ahead of me getting my house in order, sewing, and painting a piece of furniture, I want to start out by featuring pictures of rooms that are already clean and orderly.  I think that is one good reason for ladies to visit showrooms and tour of homes or see pictures do not show the dishes and laundry and ironing that is awaiting attention, and they give me a nice goal towards which to work. 

 The pictures today come from an online catolog called "Touch of Class."  My home is far from this classy look but the pictures are an inspiration.  Note: not everyone is inspired by this, so if you tend to be discouraged by looking at rooms that are finished, please do not read further. This post is not intended to stir up envy or wants, but to give examples.  Books with pictures of houses and furnishings can be helpful if you use the ideas and photos to give you ideas of how to use what you have to achieve the kind of atmosphere you want.  Sometimes there is an attitude that "if I cannot have that exact house with the exact decor, I do not want anything to do with it." A person who needs inspiration and ideas and refuses to seek knowledge and look at examples will still end up with no ideas.

In former days our catalogs from which we ordered our household furnishings provided pictures of orderly rooms as examples. Many of us got our ideas these catalogs even when we did not have the products.  Girls used to create scrapbooks using catalog pages or advertisement pages in magazines. It helped them formulate ideas for order and beauty in the home.

If tempted to envy anyone for their nice home, remember they probably went through a lot of work to get it that way.  Lack of personal contentment can cause envy. 

Now on to the pictures, with more musings:



           This is interesting: a fold-away table and chair set. It would be a great "extra" when you need more than one dining area. Then it can all be compactly stored and still useful. 

                
Even the chairs fold for compact storage.

                 
A lady's home desk all organized and ready for correspondence.

                     
                                                 A bed already made!

Today I would like to leave a few notes of my thoughts about envy.  From my earliest days I could never understand how a woman could become envious. I was taught that when other people seem to be doing well, have a lot of things, money, achievements, success in the family, etc. it always came with added responsibilities and expenses and stresses. So, to envy someone would mean there was a possibility you would acquire some of their problems.  

Sometimes people envy those that do not have anything of value or anything obviously enviable. There are those who would envy a lady's personal life: the fact she is happy or content. Maybe she has a good life at home and is a good cook. Maybe she has talent for sewing or music or art. People envy the strangest things. Sometimes ladies have been a target of envy for no other reason other than the fact they exist!

There were things I always wanted to do or have. When I see others accomplishing things I always wanted to do, I have no envy for them. They are to be congratulated.   Now when I see something "I always wanted" it is not as interesting to me and I do not feel anxious to have it.

 Over time, a homemaker learns that acquiring one more thing is one more thing to wash, dust, find a place for, and protect.  However I do think the homemaker needs some basic things that provide a home some comfort and convenience. It is not very sympathetic to tell someone who is starting out her young life in an unfurnished home to "be happy with what you have" especially if all the rooms are bare and there is no table for dining and no couch to sit on.  There has to be a proper perspective of every situation.

Younger  ladies may be in the acquiring mode as they prepare their nests and get everything that is needed.  Older women have possibly accumulated more home things and should not be frowned on if they have more, because it did not all come at once and it is not a sign of greed or a point of envy.

Sometimes ladies who have been given gifts or win prizes are the target of envy and it shames them into giving things to envious people.  It is important not to feed envy.  The gift given to you was for you, for some reason, and no one should be shamed into giving up something just because an envious person thought it was not fair.

The Bible warns about the problem of envy. If you do a word search on your e-sword or an online Bible search, you can see all the verses with the word "envy" in them.   We should never envy but we should also not allow the envious to demoralize us or make us feel less than Christian if we have posessions. A Christian knows that he takes nothing out of this world and that posessions are for serving The Lord through care of the family and hospitality.

These days there is not much clout in the clothes, jewelry, furniture, and cars we own, for it is now possible to get it all so cheaply or second-hand and holds no "status" above others.  While it may be tempting to envy someone's nice house, you have to remember the cost of acquiring such a house, and even those who live in cheaper or free housing (such as apartment caretakers, trailer-park managers, camp maintenance personnel, live-in care-givers) it can be costly and is not always the advantage it appears to be.

A good verse to consider regarding envy, and a lesson to teach to those who are trying to avoid envy:

Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:



I would like to hear your comments on this subject.

If you think this tilting mirror might be nice to own, I would like to tell you one thing about it that is not an advantage.  I have one I acquired about 20 years ago that I had to put firmly inside a closet so it would not move. It is very easy to get your fingers pinched ( very painful, as I found out!) between the mirror and the frame.  I have opted for the over-the-door mirrors for everyday use and have put mine in a place that it cannot move. There are screws on the sides to tighten the swivel aspect but they do not stay tight.  This mirror also easily falls over.  Although I will be keeping mine,  I can't have it in a place where anyone will get hurt.

If you have been a homemaker for a good length of time and your husband is retired, why not get a new lease on life by rearranging your home and adding new curtains or acquiring a new convenience or comfort to enhance your home life?  I like to be creative and imagine my house as a bed and breakfast inn awaiting guests. I like to go outside and come back in the front door as if I am a visitor. This helps me see the house through a different mindset.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Every Day Is A Gift




Hello Dear Friends,

Today I have a few thoughts. Maybe you have something to add to them.  I appreciate your comments.

-I remember when I was much younger how sad I felt if any day was "ruined" by unpleasantness. It could have been a plan that cancelled, a recipe that did not work, some sewing  that needed to be unpicked and re-stitched.  An unexpected expense or a fickle friend could be very discouraging.  Being  able to look back is a real advantage. Now I see how the Proverbs 31 woman could "laugh at the time to come."  

-Every day is a precious, but because of the other things going on around us, it will not always be the way we personally want it to be.  Other people and events will mess up our plans and our goals. We have to develop the attitude that although there can be nonsense going on around us, we can have peace inside of us and not lose our minds or give up. This is a fact we need to teach our children so they wont be discouraged. 

-Sometimes when you take a risk to do the right thing, it seems like every thing is against you, but it can be a test to see if you really mean what you say, or live what you believe. Yet in spite of any conflict in your day to day life, you can have peace and happiness within. 

-Housekeeping is a lot of work, and it is good to include some time to rest and refresh and dream. Include in your routine the things that need urgent attention and the things you would dearly love to do.  It is good to have that balance of duty and creativity.

-What should our reaction be to any setback, or anything that threatens our mood?  Do more of what you are doing and do it better.  It is a way of overcoming the negative. Clean and beautify the home, eliminate things, go through boxes of storage, and get back to sewing or the things you enjoy.

Look deep into the following verse and observe that there will be problems in life, but you can still have a calm assurance.

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, 
that in me ye might have peace. 
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
 but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Morning Moments


Picture: Better Homes


Greetings,

In a few moments I will begin my day of duties at home and I thought it would be nice to elaborate  to the new homemakers on how to have a good beginning:

-Bathing, fresh clothes, (that make you happy to wear)shoes (functional but attractive to you) hair and makeup before anything.  These things have the power to set your mood at optimistic for the responsibilities ahead.  If you have been unable to get started and it is now noon,  why not start with these things anyway.   You will be ready to greet someone at the door or for a sudden trip to town if necessary.  I often get ready in the morning and then am available if my husband wants me to accompany him on one of his calls.



-A list that includes things that must be done, in order of importance, and things you would like to do. The like-do-do list will motivate you to finish the must-do things.

-Going out in the morning while the businesses are open, for essential errands.  Some people do this on a weekly basis and others, when they are best prepared.  Since I share a family car, I get things ready and wait til the car is free.

-Work patiently from your list, being flexible when meals need preparing or unexpected messes need cleaning. Always go back to where you left off and eventually it will be done.

-Quiet time to sit and read or gather your thoughts, get inspired, revived.

-Stop oft for prayer, asking for help with your goals.

It is important not to give in to hopelessness or listen to negative news, for it may de-rail  your efforts and demoralize you. Life is too short not to accomplish anything. Keep on the track and keep the goal in mind as you work.  

Homemaking is a "high calling."  Press forward toward that high calling!


Painting by Fred Swan

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Serene Sunday


Photo: Magnolia Hall furniture catalog

Thanks to all of you who check in here often and leave nice comments.  This morning I am leaving a  few scriptures to help build your trust and your faith in God.

"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."  1 Timothy 4:10


Sometimes we think that our trust in God will make life just perfect for us, but we forget that this trust will make those who are hostile to the Word reproach and ridicule.  I heard a saying yesterday to the effect that, "If you are being laughed at or have pressure on you to conform to the rest of the world, you are probably doing something right."   


It is not comfortable to be considered "strange" but when you decide to take the word of God seriously it makes others think you are strange. When you give up harmful vices that damage the home, others will not think you are normal. When you try to live a good, clean life and have a nice home life, it brings on suspicion and doubt.


This verse confirms this attitude:


 "Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:" 1 Peter 4:4


In spite of the pressure others may put on ladies at home, life is mostly good and has enormous benefits.  You will be loved and remembered for your contribution at home. In the commercial and industrial work area, your picture will not remain on the wall for long after you are replaced.  But the home is deeply influenced for generations to come by the dedicated wife and mother.  So keep doing what you are doing, because in time, you will see good results.


"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galations 6:9


Painting by Fred Swan

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Sharing






Hello Dear Ladies,

Today I am simply sharing some things around my home. Above is an African Violet I got so I could have a fresh bouquet in my home at all times.  I would love to buy the gorgeous bouquets I see in he grocery store but the thought of spending $15.00 on something that might only last a month or less, makes me recoil.  However I came home from my outing with a happy heart because Safeway has a big bucket of roses by the stem. I was complaining in a previous post that they no longer let you buy one rose. I bypassed it for the African violet. I will put bouquets in the house when I have an open house or an afternoon tea.

While in Goodwill looking for a green sweater, which I did not find, I happened upon this cup in perfect condition with no sign of wear at all and it was only $2.00.

  The name of the pattern was not on the cup. It looks like a tree blossom of some kind, such as apple,  and it was delightful to see because it was is a quiet little print that is so sweet and has such an innocent feeling. Tree blossoms are so fleeting that it is good to have them preserved in bloom.

It is a Duchess brand from England.

I know ladies and family members who like to sit a spell for tea, and although I do have a set of matching cups, I always like to serve tea in something new to people who have already used my other cups a number of times.  I notice they always reach for the new and different cup.

I found three more practically new cups, and they were only $2.00 a set.  I will reserve two to use as gifts.


This one is called Briar Rose and is made in Germany. I am very proud to have this because I have found very little china made in Germany. It also shows very little wear and tear, as you can tell by the rim on the saucer. 

There is a bud on the side of the cups that matches the saucers.

Also today the flowering  quince  was so bright. Too bad I did not find a cup with that vivid color, to match. :-)

The sunset privided some color through the bare tree limbs.

Below, I found this on Pinterest under "old trucks" and I thought: "I have one of those!"  If only I could stage a picture like this.  The only thing I ever thought of doing with the old truck was creating a flower bed in it.


Below: a recent Susan Rios painting in her Etsy Store.
If you have recently become a homemaker I hope you will take some time to add a few special things to your home so that your heart can be nourished by the beauty of things that are lovely.  Home can be a reflection of Heaven, and can influence even the most reluctant people to refinement and love.

The last pictures, below, are on lend to me by a friend, who wants me to choose one for myself that she intends to give me.  She uses special art markers on poster paper.  I cannot decide, so I might have to buy them all!  I enjoy the art.com posters I often put on my blog, but I especially like art from people I personally know.










Friday, February 20, 2015

A Peaceful Mind



The Holy Spirit teaches through Colossians 3:15 to "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts."

After presiding over the house and home for a time, a lady discovers that there are many things that go on besides housekeeping. There will be discussions contrasting good and evil, peace and chaos, alertness and neglect, neatness and sloppiness, cleanliness and filth, truth and lies, beauty and ugliness, and much, much more that contrasts what is uplifting and what is demoralizing. This is part of  the purpose of the home: to establish your own beliefs. No matter what the situation, the "rule" can be peace. Whatever the discussion, the  aim is a peaceful end, that does not compromise truth. It is unrealistic and even dangerous not to discuss these value comparisons in the home.
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pinterest


In this present age, some people have come to accept stress as a prevailing element throughout the day, interspersed with fleeting moments of peace.  In reality the opposite should be true: it is not normal for life to be persistently chaotic; instead it should be generally peaceful, interrupted by fleeting moments of stress. We see this in nature: the land is fairly stable except for occasional earthquakes. It is not a constant fire or storm in one place all the time.  The human body was also designed to have health except for occasional illness. Likewise, the spirit should not be constantly worn out with stress.

Sometimes when there has been a cutting remark or some undermining thing done to a lady at home, she will worry so much about it that the anxiety rules her mind all day long.  Each anxious thought must be consciously and determinedly replaced by the peace of God, or the stress will rule over her. Philippians 4:8 and other uplifting verses can replace these thoughts and rule your mind.

pinterest


Troubling thoughts that replay unendingly in your mind can be hard to erase, but there are things you can do that will help. Sometimes the stress of these thoughts will create indigestion or tension around the neck and shoulders.  There are easy remedies for these physical, stress-induced ailments.  Stress can rob you of sleep, and sleep is essential for your health.

For one full day, try reading an appropriate, anti-stress verse from scripture each time a disturbing thought begins to run through your mind over and over.  Write it and put it in your apron pocket where you can reach for it and read it. After it remains in your memory, recite it mentally each time a negative thought begins to rule your mind.

For this one day, "tell it to Jesus."  You may find yourself praying every minute but it will bring good results to your heart. Soon prayer will be occupying your mind, and the peace of God will rule, govern and be the primary resident in  your heart.  When something "rules" your mind it occupies it, governs it.

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone
Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.



When a person loses their peace of mind, it is possible  they have given themselves over to be ruled by something else. Let us guard our minds from being controlled by those who are jealous of us or who want to control our lives in a way that is not in accordance with God's rule.

When a lady has a long-time habit of worrisome thoughts, it may take awhile to re-train her mind, so here are some instant things she can do:

-Start the homemaking day by getting ready in a professional way with clean, pressed clothing that looks good and makes her feel inspired and happy. See that hair is clean and in a feminine, flattering style, makeup suits the coloring and makes the face look smooth and healthy.  Perfume and necklaces are nice too if preferred.  I know there is a lot of mocking about the 50's women with their dresses and pearls servimg dinner at home, but it does make a difference to the countenance and feelings for some women. If you believe each day is an extraordinary gift, you will try not to approach life in a mundane way.  Besides, it is so encouraging at home when a wife or mother takes care of herself.

-Put the house in order and use bright spots of prettiness everywhere. Vases of flowers are portable, removeable and replaceable, and accessories can be repositioned in different areas to give a spark of delight here and there.  That way, there is no need to replace furniture and drapes, which is expensive. Give the home a fresh look in other ways.

-Rid yourself of things that might trigger stress such as things that never work and things that will never be used and aren't of any sentimental value.

-A tea tray set out waiting for your special time to sit and think and refresh yourself. Calming teas are lemon balm and chamomile. A web search for stress reducing foods and calm inducing nutrients will reveal foods that aid in reducing stress.

-Essential oils that balance the mind and emotions and create calm include scents like orange, lime, grapefruit and any others you prefer. Everyone has their own ideas of what works for them. Search on the web to find ways of using these "sunshine scents" in the home and personally.

-Listening to calming music and watching films that leave a good feeling with you.  

-Doing something for someone else, every day, and doing some small creative thing each day can help with stress.

-Nourish the mind by replacing the bad bacteria (a figure of speech) with good flora. Feed your emotions and your mind with stabilizing thoughts, sights, sounds, scents and activities.

-After I published this, my  DH suggested that anyone who is wrestling with discouragement from troubling thoughts due to the barbs of others, should mentally list the things they have accomplished over the years that are good, or the things they are wanting to do that build up their homelife.





Sunday, February 15, 2015

The "Wistful Fragrance of Violets"




 "Describe to me scientifically the haunting wistful fragrance of a bunch of violets." -From the film, "A Man Called Peter"

Sometimes a breeze catches the scent of the violets in spring, but the delicate aroma is more apparent when there is a cup full of the pretty blossoms. The violet has a delicate sweet scent. To make a violet perfume, do a web search for recipes.  It is hard to find violet perfumes.



Gather a handful of the blossoms and take a breath. They smell like a confection.


The Violet
by Jane Taylor
 
Down in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.
 
Yet thus it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused a sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.
 
Then let me to the valley go
This pretty flower to see;
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.
 
 
 
Violets
By L. Young Correthers
from “These Blooming Rascals”
 
Violets can be devastating
When they look up at you with faces sweet
Breathing sheer poetry into the air
Making spring and life and love complete
But they also can be exasperating
And I’ll tell you why and when and where.
Treat them too well—they run to leaf--
Neglect them—then they come to grief
But whatever you do—under the ground
They send tough rootstocks round and round
Until plants nearby are choked and bound.
Yes—violets charm with their artlessness
But underneath—they’re a perfect mess.

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