The Results… page 136

Day 237 – 11/07/2020

After… well, everything, I was prepared for a win to feel anticlimactic, but not so. The screen-capture above flashed onto my monitor and I had chills head to toe and back again, called out the news to Kim, who was in the kitchen, and through the open door we heard the sound building outside: car horns, whistles, bells, somebody hitting a gong, neighbors cheering and clapping from their balconies, including us. The spontaneous eruption of joy and celebration was electrifying. The ol’ #lfk should be a happenin’ place tonight.

And now crowds are gathering in America’s cities and there’s dancing in the streets. Today feels like all happiness… the tears will come when it starts to feel real. Kim just stepped in from the balcony and said people are still honking horns out there. So yeah… pure happiness for at least one day before I stick a toe in the toxic well of NO. Today it’s all possibilities. Today it’s all YES.

Had to get it down within minutes, fresh and raw. There’ll be plenty of time to process as we go along… ūüíô

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Time, yeah… page 94

Day 185 – 09/13/2020

I fronted a smooth face to the world for a long time. But now, thanks to the power of genetics, when I look in the mirror I see all my grandmothers looking back at me, and like Nora Ephron I feel bad about my neck, so – SCREW mirrors. The never-ending decade formerly known as 2020 is aging me from the inside out in subtle but irrefutable ways, something I vowed wouldn’t happen. The joke’s on me… life and time run this show and both are brief and merciless.

One truth that’s emerging from the current chaos is that hope keeps us young and if it starts to fade to any quantifiable degree our remaining store of callow youth goes with it… and you can’t get that back. It’s the age-old story… the tree, the fruit, the serpent, the question, the opportunity… and the choice… to know. Once we see behind the curtain the world changes forever, but without truth nothing evolves upward, especially the difficult truths, the ones we try to avoid, so it all has to be faced. There are things I wish I didn’t know about my nation, my neighbors, and the world… but as all the best people are saying, “It is what it is.” Innocence has been deflowered and total adult knowledge and responsibility have landed on our doorstep. Dammit-cwap.

Perhaps I’ll achieve this venerated state of wisdom…

John said something yesterday that will stay with me. He was updating me on friends whose plans for future retirement are altogether lovely but currently almost beyond reach, and when I showed concern that time and circumstances might keep them from realizing their goals, he put it all into perspective with one profound thought… “Sometimes the planning and hoping is the payoff.” That’s so sweetly true. Once in a while when we’re hanging out on the balcony, talking about the price of cotton and how high the river might rise, Kim and I build sand castles out of ways to spend lottery money… the people we’d share with, the promises we’d keep, the possibilities that would suddenly be open to us just for having several million dollars at our disposal. Our plans are always doable and perfectly reasonable, but actually achieving them would be far more time-and-labor-intensive and less-perfect than the dreaming, we know that… so things are totally fine as they are.

We’re here for it, though, if it ever happens – we’d be just darling as bona fide millionaires.

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Reading the room… page 92

Day 183 – 09/11/2020

As I type today’s date, it all comes back… the planes, the chaos, the unimaginable death toll… the knowledge that we’re as vulnerable to sudden destruction as any nation in the world. And now we know we’re equally vulnerable to another unseen enemy, with the number of dead exceeding the 9/11 count by orders of magnitude. The aftermath of what happened to us on September 11, 2001 is ongoing, but the actual events of the day had an end. By contrast, the pandemic we’re living through carries no expiration date, no terminus, no promise of a return to life as we knew it… and it requires a psychic adjustment every morning.

There are days when “time flits, oh shit,” and others that spool out their minutes in laborious 60-second increments, everything in slow motion, a record played at the wrong speed. I daily replay my role as a barely-sentient lump while my thoughts slam around inside my skull like a trapped moth, and there are only so many ways to diffuse that kind of energy, crying being one, writing it down being another. My old go-to, reading, is there again, to a point. My powers of concentration still leave a lot to be desired, but I’ve picked a few winners lately that have improved my frame of mind.

Fausto Brizzi’s 100 DAYS OF HAPPINESS was stellar. I next tried to read Sinclair Lewis’s IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE, but it’s too close to the bone right now. I started THE LADIES AUXILIARY by Tova Mirvis, which is wonderful, put it on pause to read Michael Cohen’s DISLOYAL, a terrific choice if I’m going to read only ONE of the many accounts exploding onto the stage at the moment, and now I’m returning to THE LADIES… and I’m acknowledging the profound sense of gratitude that accompanies the return of an old friend… one of my very oldest. There’s really nothing to compare with the deep joy of opening the door to another world and falling for the characters I find there. The things we should never take for granted comprise a long list.

This morning’s dawn was wet and gray, much like yesterday’s, and PickleBall not being an option Kim’s out for a bundled-up walk. There are things I could do today… declutter my desk, reorganize the 3-basket cart next to it, sort the remaining odds & ends on the dresser… pay a bill, start a load of laundry, dump computer files… but here’s how it will likely go: I’ll sit right here for another hour writing, reading, and drinking coffee… eventually I’ll pick one thing from the list of possibilities, do it, briefly feel good about myself… and slide into The Zone again. That’s my best guess. Looking forward to the day when I shock myself with an energy burst but until then I’m glad for pages to turn…

Postscript: Kim brought me a blueberry-lemon Danish from Wheatfields’ and delivered it to my desk warm, so today’s showing definite potential. Carpe Diem, chicky.

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Summer rain… page 82

Day 150 – 08/09/2020

Crashing thunderstorms this morning and they’re hold-me-close comforting… like a big hug from the universe, not to wax too poetic. Feels just right.

I’m kicking stuff off my desktop while I watch the rain… the *keepers* always sort themselves by the end of the week:

Be like a teabag – find your strength when the heat’s on.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

True story…

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

This too.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

From a loved one… and the artist’s name is attached.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

Memory-shot on FB – Wedding Day 07/25/04

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

And the Daily Zen: To heal a wound, you need to stop touching it. Namast√©…

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Milestones… page 72

Day 135 – 07/25/2020

Got out and walked in the cool air just after six this morning and watched the neighborhood wake up – or not… pretty quiet Saturday so far, but Farmers’ Market was setting up and a few other walkers were out. Increased my distance this morning with half the pain, so I’m calling it a win.

When I was almost home, Kim zipped up on his bike on his way to PickleBall and got cheeky with me, so win-WIN. Sidewalk kisses under a shade tree are great any time, but they’re a must if it’s your 16th wedding anniversary when everything’s a celebration. My future looked like a blank slate to me when I was a little farm kid, but two things took shape as life materialized: I wanted to be happy… and to know that I, the authentic me, had made someone else happy. Feels like it’s all about winning today, of the satisfying kind.

Ms. Brain just asked “Where’s the music?” and now da boyz, Leon and Johnny, are in my head like the best friends they’re becoming. Mr. Russell’s soulful twang… and lord, lord, those pounding chord progressions… and Elton John being his inimitable self. Neither of them will ever know what their gifts to the world are giving to me, that farm girl who had no clue where she was going… but I hope in the economy of the universe they’re both richly repaid. And please don’t tell, but now the girl’s dancin’ to “Hey Ahab,” have mercy! Could just accidentally survive this whole catastrophe.

Things being what they are, we decided to let Anniversary Day plan itself and we’re right on schedule. We’ll have The Breakfast, as is only fitting, with The Best Salsa In The Known World, and then we’ll just hide and watch – the day will be good stuff. Tonight we have tickets for an outdoor cabaret being put on by friends – the audience sits in their cars and listens on an FM station, BYOB and popcorn, what could be better?

***********************************

So simple once you figure it out…

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Sunny clouds… page 70

Day 132 – 07/22/2020

I walked this morning before 7 o’clock while the air still held a hint of cool. Kept moving until my back said “Let’s go in,” and if I could just do that three more times today I’d have 10,000 steps.

Blew some of my allowance on a set of bluetooth headphones which arrived yesterday… and now I’m sitting here with Leon Russell and Elton John, tears on my cheeks, while they deliver The Union. Small mercies, children, I can hear every note and nuance. Beautiful morning…

The book I mentioned on Sunday was consumed in two days and I immediately started another, so maybe the reading logjam has been broken. I’m not me without a good book going so this feels like psychic progress.

Now here’s Leon with “When Love is Dying” and I can’t even, it’s so heart-rippingly exquisite. Ever since I realized my hearing was fading, I’ve wanted to make music sound real and right to me again, and this is the closest I’ve been in ten years. I’ve missed it like pure cold well water. And here come those plummy hair-raising chord progressions of “Never too Old to Hold Somebody” and there’s just no way not to lose it.

Healing comes to us in any way it can – any fissure or crack in the protective veneer and there it is, warm, welcome, filling whatever space we’ll give it. Books and music have done that for me since childhood and it gets weird without either one, so everything’s sunny-side-up this morning even as I type through the tears. You have to hurt good sometimes to feel better.

The boyz are singing to me now about Shiloh…

Gone to Shiloh
For the Union
Shoulder to shoulder
Side by side
Gone to Shiloh
Hope springs eternal
When flags and bullets start to fly

The year 2020 seems to be our Shiloh and there’s nothing for it but to face it, in union, shoulder to shoulder, side by side. Hope springs eternal.

Now, let’s have some Mr. Blue Sky and bring the house up into sunshine range. “Mean Evil Woman” is the second track, how cool is that? “Don’t Bring Me Down” is #4… Ooo-oo rrrooop…. I’m going with that for the day. The calendar tells me this is HumpDay, so let’s all get over it in style. ūüíč

Photo credit: Kim Smith – Kaw River 07/21/2020

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Peace …

Best wishes for peace and joy to you and all you love throughout the holiday season and the new year…

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Whimsy…who doesn’t need some?

A¬†psych-out when¬†I start feeling weighed down by nonsense is to “brighten the corner where I are.” It’s the equivalent of Spring Cleaning without the lifting, bending, and sundry other exercise I like to refer to as work. My desk and I are good friends, so of course I ignore it and treat it like crap most of the time, but there always comes a day when¬†the windows have to be flung open and the detritus swept away. Today is that day – AGAIN – in my world, and lucky you, I love to (over)share.

We start with our big honkin’ desktop because EYEBALL FEAST EVERY TIME WE SIT DOWN HERE. You can immediately see what a crucial first step this is, besides which everything from this point hinges on it. (Gah, I always hope my readers are note takers.) Nobody else’s desktop will suffice – it must speak to me, personally, in some way, and most tell me “You are freakin’ nuts, lady” which is when I know I’ve found THE ONE.

Today’s springboard, our dominant image:

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That’s merely the start, although admittedly an auspicious one. Now that we have an arresting vista in front of us at all times, we must upload that same image as our Facebook cover picture. Done. And, since we use a sweet add-on called Facebook Purity, we get to upload¬†a background image for all of Facebook. Furthermore, since the name of today’s game is *cheer,* we’re using this one:

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Is that not an enjoyable little kick in the shorts over and over? When you spend a lot of time somewhere it’s powerful to make it yours.

Next up is our Facebook blog page, which obviously has to coordinate with the overall theme we’re developing here, and this will do quite nicely¬†as our cover photo:

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All of our Facebook pages share a background, which is working out swimmingly, as you can see. We are ON A ROLL, boys and girls. Add this same image as the header for our blog page, tweak the background, and violas!! Moving on…

What shall we do next? We have choices:

  1. Two Gmail accounts whose non-coordinating backgrounds are piteously crying “Pick me, pick me!”
  2. The big loud Twitter header, or is that just my monitor? But yeah, there’s that.
  3. And we have to go get a new Chrome Theme.

Oh, haha, I forgot, this is my page, I choose! We’re doing the Twitter header next and there’s an outstanding reason for that – IT’S GONNA BE IMAGE #1 UP THERE AGAIN! See how simple this is? See a pattern here? Give a shit?

So now we’ll tackle the whiny Gmail accounts. Okay, pay attention because this is where this stuff gets tricky.

WE’RE GOING TO USE¬†TWO OF THE SAME BACKGROUNDS WE’VE ALREADY UPLOADED. If I didn’t crack myself up I’d have no fun whatsoever. And I did try to warn you up top via words like whimsy and psych – which is like a twin or something to psycho, right?

And here’s where you get in on the fun – you get to decide which two of the three backgrounds above you want to use for your mail! You know, when you redesign it all according to what speaks to you.

Okay, all we have to do is find a new Chrome Theme and we’re set – there are a million of ’em and it’s fun. This one’s perfect and I’m happy. Cheery, even. For all the reasons.

Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 03.27.00 PM

Hope you are, too.

 

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ZEN beats PPT

 

Interesting phenomenon in progress: just as too much¬†of social media is disintegrating into a sticky morass of politics, racism, and religious conflict and I’m wondering who the hell I’ll hang with after the mud dries and the dust settles, a door opens – one of the best kinds, totally unexpected and unanticipated. Said¬†door is¬†an invitation to blog for a site whose aim¬†is to provide new platforms for current voices. Their bonafides having checked out, I’m in.

That’s three weeks ago, and my sticky news feed is increasingly¬†being populated by writing sites, blogging sites, photography sites, publishing sites, helpful friendly contact with writers of every stripe (not the porn dudes, they can’t find the trail), and it’s the best attitude adjustment I’ve happened across in months. Nobody’s been purged, blocked, unfriended, unfollowed, or hidden (recently), I’m just so busy talking with friendlies¬†in the world of words, the spunk is quite organically melting right off my page, who knew?

Venturing further into the writing community is proving timely on a purely personal level as well – in a week when nothing at all seems to be going smoothly (an aberration for us), when there are more questions than answers, when our pitiful attempts to garner information come smack back in our faces RETURN TO SENDER every time, and both of us are entertaining morose thoughts of a worm & gopher-guts diet…whew…new friends to save the day (for me). Not that all my old friends aren’t¬†doing a bang-up job, promise.

So yeah, we’re just over here speaking of books and blogs and …

“… shoes- and ships-
And sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sae is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.‚ÄĚ

“Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.”*

…and just like that, my prickly, peevish, testy news feed is Zen AF and feels all homey and shit. Guess who took it full PPT on everybody in the first place? Should I write that down somewhere?

 

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*Jabberwocky, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

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Summer Love as always…

love-watermelon

 

the hubby of me

saves my life by riveting

the little heart holes

JSmith 6/24/2016

 

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I’m okay with real.

Summer water classes started on Tuesday so this chicky is in the swim again. It’s great exercise and a lot less dance-y than my initial¬†plunge¬†at another facility – this could work out. The instructor is easy to love and it’s all friendly funny women plus one cute shy husband. Other than¬†a few younger women we’re all approximately from the same era, including our badass sweetheart of a teacher, so there are lots of Judys, Susans, Paulas, Lindas, Nancys, et.al.

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Other commonalities – surprise, surprise – would include hearing loss, bad backs, arthritis, sucky balance, and a¬†laundry¬†list of other choices. There’s a certain comfort in knowing I’m not the only person my age who’s falling apart, but it’s¬†even sweeter to know¬†that everyone in the class, including Token Man, cares about her/himself or they wouldn’t bother showing up. I see it on all the faces – “I matter. This part of my life counts big-time. Let’s keep it evolving upward.”

Humor is how Baby-Boomers roll, because DUH, without it you stop rolling. I advise you, boys and girls, to maintain a healthy personal space between yourself and¬†humor-challenged¬†beings¬†– close interaction rarely ends well. And if you happen to be a¬†libtard “feeler” like someone I know well, you’ll haul the sand¬†from every encounter until it all finally sifts out through your sandals. Our¬†happy lil’¬†class is populated by¬†people who love¬†laughing at themselves in the good ways – how does anybody keep putting one foot in front of the other¬†without that? Yikes.

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Their sweet little downcast faces ^^^ would break your heart.

**********

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June…haikuing out all over

June arrives on time

skies still hold sun rain sleet snow

fancy bull-shitsu

JSmith 6/01/2016

 

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A day in the life…

The sun’s shining, the air’s warming, and my competent young orthopedic surgeon shook my hand twice this morning before officially kicking me out. Celebrating will happen later with Kimmers, and tomorrow I’ll start working on my own rehab follow-up at Rock Chalk Park while he’s playing PickleBall. A heinous winter has come to an end far less painfully than we’d envisioned on our way to the ER, and two of us¬†lived through it. Thank you, universe, your encouragement was highly appreciated, but throwing Maddie’s trek across the Rainbow Bridge into the mix was a nasty twist and you owe us for that.

During¬†one of our final therapy sessions, the assisting tech asked me about retirement – and moaned when I described it as feeling like we have all the time in the world. “Oh, I SO want to be retired!” She hasn’t made it past 25 yet, pretty sure, so I feel for her because time and health are the most valuable currencies in human existence and she has a long way to travel before time is truly her friend. However, I say that knowing she’d be bored, frustrated, and guilt-laden over retirement right now. Having “all the time in the world” also means we’re personally responsible for filling those hours with things that matter in some way – things that add to our usefulness in our immediate world and inspire us to get out of bed every morning. Kim has never had a problem with that – he’s Rise & Shine Guy all the way. The retired girl has worked her way up to that status, in body at least, and is now disappointed if she misses a sunrise. I might not be awake until 10am, but I’m up, dammit, and the world is mine.

Life has gradually taken on a sweet rhythm, the pace has settled into the doable, if not always the desired, and we’re uniquely suited to the lifestyle because continued accomplishment is fun and happens of its own volition, but we’re basically lazy AF and our consciences are easily assuaged by small victories.

Breakfast is an event at least four mornings a week – biggest meal of the day – and for the remaining three we bow to the reality of late-life weight gain and decreased mobility. Mostly speaking for myself – Kim is far more capable and disciplined, bless his manly self. I’m working on it – never doubt what you can do when life¬†goes right every once in a while.

Kim does the things I can’t do anymore, and I do the rest – it’s a division of labor that’s worked for us for almost a dozen years now, and every new day confirms that the naysayers were not only mistaken, but misguided, bless their hearts. If you know something, don’t let anyone rain on your parade – you’ll be scooping up any horseshit that falls, not them, but better than that, you’ll be reaping all the benefits. Unless the rain gods are paying your bills, their opinions aren’t worth the breath it took to blow them all over you, so walk away.

We spend hours every day writing at our computers – I spellcheck him and he edits my stuff for awkward syntax. On weekends our spa soaks are full of¬†conversations we wish we could recreate later, on a full range of topics including politics, religion, sex, marriage, friendship, theatre, all the biggies. We’re hilarious and wise, and anyone else would find us insufferable but they’ll never have that opportunity because it’s all done entirely naked; therefore, it’s snobbishly exclusive, sorry.

After trying out a lot¬†of the restaurants here we eat at home 99% of the time – it’s easier to the budget, and there is no better place anywhere than Chez Kim – at least not within said budget. Best food in town, and kinder portion sizes.

Evenings from 5pm on are balcony time on nice days, and from 5 to 6 no phones are allowed. The more friends out there with us the better, though, so if you’re on that list and within driving distance, get here – open invitation! Text first in case we’re naked.

Bedtime comes when we can’t keep our eyes open any longer…and the next morning we start the game fresh again.¬†Any anger or mini-grudge has a 24-hr. statute of limitations – say what’s on your mind and get the f*ck over it because life is ridiculously short and we started late, so there’s zero time to waste on selfishness.

Sorry so long this time, but our days end up full one way or another. I hope you’re taking notes because unless we step in front of a bus we all end up at this stage of life and it helps to know some stuff going in. You’re welcome.

 

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I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!!!

 

 

WeddingFrame

First post on my Facebook feed this morning was a Happy Anniversary wish from our son John. ¬†It’s our 11th … and both of us spaced it off completely, a first in that number of years. ¬†We are, joyfully and officially, The Old Married Couple. ¬†We’ve been cutting Hallmark short since about year five, our favorite flowers ever were the ones at our wedding, and neither of us needs chocolates, so nothing lost — it rained a bit ago and cooled off the oven that’s been raging outside our door, so we’ll probably walk the half-block to Cielito’s, our home away from home, and celebrate on their big patio with the best margaritas in town.¬†

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MarriageFrame

Eleven years ago today, we got married after the close of the morning church service, and then our pastor and friends served lunch to about 300 people.  Simple, beautiful, memorable, sweet, and fun.

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HappinessFrame

Happy.  So happy.

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GlamourShots

Our¬†glamour photo shoot — a gift from Kim for my birthday not long¬†after our wedding.

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ThisGuyFrame

Yeah.  This guy.

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JKFrame

The newlyweds today. ¬†A lot of changes can happen in eleven years’ time, but the basics stay the same, and that’s so cool.

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Feels like a HumpDay …

4:00pm. ¬†Good news and bad news so far today. ¬†Rewind to …

10:45am. ¬†Kim returns¬†from his annual cardiology exam/report full of great news — the sonogram shows no sign of muscle damage, his blood pressure read 116/63 in the office, and he is, in clinical terms, healthy as a horse. ¬†Everybody hugs and does the happy dance and the house feels warm, and safer than it did at 9:45¬†before his doctor¬†said to him “You should be around for a very long time.”

11:45am. ¬†My surgeon’s assistant calls to remind me about tomorrow morning’s appointment, which I think¬†is¬†for finishing the graft and freeing¬†my eyelid again but is simply a check-up, at which time Dr. Khan will determine how much longer the graft has to “bake.” I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.

11:46am.  A meltdown may or may not take place, after which Kim takes me to Hog Wild BBQ for a loaded baked potato bigger than my head.  Carb therapy.

2:00pm to present. ¬†Lying prone in a darkened room¬†does wonders for temporary insanity, and by darkened room I mean Facebook and WordPress. ¬†By *lying prone* I mean I’ve intentionally flat-lined for a while, and by *temporary insanity* I mean batshit crazy.

4:15pm. ¬†It’s all¬†good news, of course. ¬†A delay in ditching an irritant does not a tragedy make, the graft looks like it’s healing perfectly, and my well-worn face has not been further marred —¬†the scar is going to fade¬†beautifully¬†and who really cares!

Staying cozy tonight with Kim and Madison and feeling grateful.  Another HumpDay conquered.

humpday frame

 

 

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