Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions I Will (probably not) Keep

I will not let the gas light come on in the truck (Ironhide). Also, I will not keep driving when said light does come on.

Yeah, right. 2011 will likely be the year I’m stranded on the side of the highway out of fuel.

I will stop eating Nutella out of the jar with my finger when I’m grumpy.

In 2011, I will use a spoon.

I will stop dropping into the pet store that has all the cute baby rats. I am not that strong.

Well…. Maybe just to look….

I will not judge people.

Much. Except bad drivers, bad dressers, bad parents, bad… er, ok, this one may be hard to keep…

I will grow up and stop sleeping with stuffed animals.

Except Sir Loin and the Petite Sir Loin. And the other cows when LT Fromage is gone. But all others will stay out of the bed.

I will not use duct tape as a fashion item; even though it is designed for holding things together, the things held together should not be my pants.

I will learn to bake. And while doing so, I will try very, very hard not to catch the house on fire or add a little crunch to brownies with a splintered wooden spoon.

I will lose the last….

Oh forget it. No weight loss resolutions. I’ll mess that one up before I finish this post!

I will take a picture a day for 365 Days in Pictures.

Ok, I actually plan to really really try hard to do this one. Check out my new website devoted to my year in photos.

What are your resolutions?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Active Imagination

Growing up, I had an imaginary friend; he was a horse named Acorn (But not the Black Stallion kind, more like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. He walked on two legs; the back ones of course, wore clothes and could talk, even though no one but me ever heard him). Actually, Acorn had a whole family which mirrored mine (except he was a boy with a brother, and I a little girl with a sister), they even adopted another imaginary horse at exactly the same time my family adopted a little girl! Hm. Coincidence?

Acorn and his family must have moved somewhere along the line, or stayed behind when my family packed up. I’m not sure where Acorn is now, but I hope he finds himself doing well; perhaps even settled down with a nice imaginary female version of himself raising little imaginary foals.

I count myself lucky for having such an active imagination. Creativity, being left brained, whatever it is, most of the time it’s pretty cool. Except when I’m trying to sleep.

“Count sheep” everyone tells you. Ah, well, would if I could, but I can’t. Those darn sheep take on a life of their own you see.

Sheep number one, wearing a blue blanket with a big yellow numeral prances in, easily hops the fence.

(Why on earth am I keeping my sheep in a pasture with a fence they can so easily jump? I should do something about that… Maybe if I wasn’t so busy sewing all of their numbered vests…)

Sheep numbers 2 through, oh, about 7, are all well calm and relaxing, leisurely bouncing over my wooden boundary. But then it gets a little out of control. By the time we are in the double digits, too many sheep have decided to jump at once and I’m having a difficult time keeping up. Somewhere in the teens, someone always misses the jump and then a real chaos begins as he’s trampled by a flock of rushing sheep. Everyone is out of order, of course. “Get up, number 17! Hurry! Wait, 14, 22, 37 and 41 just went by, but how many have actually escaped now? Oh dear!”

I’ve given up on counting sheep. Know what else helps you sleep? Over the counter pills. No livestock involved.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Smarty Pants

The duct tape jeans have gone into retirement. (Notice I didn’t say “the trash”…. I might have kept them, just in case… in case of what, I don’t know, but just in case.)

I finally, after months and months of searching, found new jeans. And the best part? Marked $36 (which is, sadly, much more than I like to spend on jeans. I’m a cheapwad) but were 70% off! Booyah!

Somewhere I missed out on the girly jeans I was supposed to get (haha, get it, genes/jeans… bad pun, never mind). I hate shopping for clothes. I usually end up dashing from the store sweating profusely and near tears without even actually making a purchase. No lie. Now put me in the kitchen department of any store and it takes the jaws of life to get me out, and when I do emerge, you can count on my arms being full of serving dishes, strainers, blenders and such. I even like Home Depot, sometimes I used to just hang out in there when I was bored (don’t I live a thrilling life?). But clothes shopping, no way, I’d rather kiss a moving train.

But I found some new jeans! Arizona, dark wash, flare leg size… er, I’ll keep that part a secret.

To avoid any future duct tape needs, I thought ahead and bought an extra pair! Way to think ahead, Lady Fromage (*pats self on back*)

What I really want is pajama jeans. I’ll bet they’re like wearing heaven....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Favorite Place to Stroke LT Fromage

Whoa, get your mind out of the gutter! *wink wink*

From the first time I saw it, I wanted to touch it, run my fingers through it, stroke it ever so gently. But I was too shy to ask so I just longed for it from afar.

Finally (and I really mean finally, this was well into our marriage!), I sought permission for what I’d dreamed of for so long…

“Hun, could I please touch your arm pit hair?”

He of was confused, of course, as I’m sure many of you are also, but he let me. And oh, it was glorious! Long and silky, I stroked it and stroked it.

Before he deploys, I think I’ll snip a bit off to keep for myself, so with or without him, I can indulge in running my fingers along it’s silky softness.

Now you all know my armpit hair fetish.

And you thought I was weird before....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Things I Hate: Doctor's Visits

One nice thing about the Army is the medical insurance. Yup, we're pertty well covered. But the care provided is, uhm, well...

How come I’m asked to arrive “at least 15 minutes early” to see the doctor, and then made to sit alone in a tiny, cold room (with no magazines to be seen! Thank God I brought a paperback with me!) for 55 minutes before the MD ever pops in? Fifty-five freakin’ minutes. No apology, and then I’m rushed through my visit, hardly able to voice my concerns (to which every response is simply “Take this to the lab, they’ll run blood work”) in the generous ten minutes I was allotted.

Apparently, I had a mind reading doctor today, which would explain why he was so busy; he must be quite popular! (This is not my normal doc, mind you. Mine is friendly, and must not have telepathic powers since at those visits, I’m actually questioned about my medical history, current medications, symptoms, etc. You know, the stuff that could be important, like "Yes, this runs in my family, both sides, in fact!")

Mind reader or not, I was unimpressed, and a little irked that just because someone one to medical school his time is more important than a little blogger with internal bleeding. (Ok, irked was the wrong word. I was actually a blubbering baby about it as soon as I reached the lab for blood work. Thanks, girls, for cheering me up and addressing my questions, even though that wasn't your job. And thanks for the tissue, too.)

You can bet, Mind Reader, MD, when I make my follow up appointment in 7-10 days (even though my lab results are back already so it’d be cool to talk, uhm, before then, but whatevs….), it won’t be with you.

So I'll just keep bleedin' away for the next ten days, and since you wouldn't answer my questions about what I could do to ease things along, I'll keep being grumpy, 'cause I don't feel so good.

Anyone still want Government run health care?

Rant over.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recap in Pictures

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree....

Decorated with home made ornaments inspired by Country Living....

"The Cheese Nun" was opened and made me so glad.... (Thanks, LT Fromage!)

Then I opened this cow purse from "Mom" and from "Dad"

LT Fromage's stocking was overflowing with treats....
Left over turkey bones the ratinos did eat...

The dogs both got rawhides, despite being naughty....

Next year we'll save money and just give the cats all the paper....

Christmas oh-ten, you were such a good one. I hope all my readers had just as much fun!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Multiple Choice

Lack of recent posts has been due to

A) Taking a leave of absence from work to deal with my anxiety disorder

B) Hand feeding an 8 day old baby rat every 3-4 hours day and night

C) Cleaning cat pee off of the love seat

D) Screaming at the dog for unwrapping the gift “she got” for her daddy (That was FROM you, Erika, your name was in the FROM spot, not TO, D@MNITT)

E) Hanging cow Christmas lights in my cow kitchen (An early gift from LT Fromage, since he got to open one early… er, Erika opened it for him)

F) Winning the lottery

G) All of the above

H) All of the above except for F

If you answered H, you’re correct. I’m at home for a few weeks (maybe longer, if I qualify for short term disability). I wish we’d won the lotto, but alas, my recent activity has included no such luck. I’m supposed to be using this time to de-stress, however most of my time has been spent trying to undo the damages caused by our four-legged kids and playing wet-nurse to a little boy we call Florian Geyer who’s little eyes and ears aren’t even open yet. (Ok, the baby isn’t stressful. I actually kind of like all that mothering I get to do for our new little guy).

So, folks, please bear with me. I’m still around and blogging, but if I don’t post quite as often for a short bit, assume it’s because I’m re-stuffing the cats’ stocking (again) or dealing with a couple of dogs who’ve eaten every last shard of glass from a broken cake platter. Cross your fingers that I actually will manage to get some down time so I can drink some Red Thai Chi Tea (say that 5 times fast!) with LT Fromage, open some gifts (if the dogs don’t get to them first) and read a good book or two.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from us and ours in the Fromage household!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want For Christmas….

Looks like denim…. But feels like PJs! They’re Pajama Jeans!

Jeans that are pajamas? H3LL yeah! Sign me up! I like to be comfortable while looking sharp!

Am I ashamed of my desires? Perhaps slightly. But c’mon, it “Feels like sleepwear but looked too good to keep hidden under the covers”!

*Concern is on the rise that I may soon give in and purchase…a….snuggie. Someone stop me, I need an intervention!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Am My Mother’s Daughter

(image couresty of postsecret)

I strive to be even half the woman, the wife, and one day the mother that my mom is. My mom is my hero and my best friend. I haven’t yet mastered her patience or her home-made biscuits, but we’re 2 peas in a pod when it comes to interest in world religions, we’re both painfully introverted and we share a love (ehm, obsession) for Rocky Horror Picture Show (Not many people can relate when you say you’ve already watched it for the 5th time that week… on a Tuesday). She passed along much of who she is to me, and for that I’m so thankful. Except for one thing…

My mom has an aura that screams “Walk all over me! Use me! Please! Please! Take advantage of me!” My poor mom gets no respect. Like the time she was in Italy with my dad, they were the only ones in the restaurant for a late lunch. My dad was given a handsome, leather bound menu, while my mom was tossed (No lie, it was actually tossed to her) a dirty, food stained stapled stack of paper listing their food offerings. She could see a tall stack of fancy menus, but it was no surprise that they wouldn’t waste one on her!

Back home in America, when we go out to eat, the waiter or waitress will refill every empty glass except mom’s, sometimes they look right at her, turn with the half-full water pitcher and leave the table. Then there was the time the storage top on the car came open on the interstate during a family road trip, of course, the only bags that flew out were mom’s.

Just last week she tried to reach the 32nd floor of a hotel, the elevator wouldn’t move. She tried another but still wasn’t taken to her floor. Other guests rode the elevator with ease. She traveled up and down with them, never stopping on her chosen 32nd floor. She finally asked another passenger to push the button for her, and, of course, it worked then. Poor mom.

This, this is what I inherited from my mom. Not her ability to clean any stain, her charm, her vast knowledge about everything (basically), nope, I got this. A lifetime of empty drink glasses and lost luggage at the airport. When our couple’s massage appointment was “accidentally cancelled” recently, LT Fromage just sighed and said, “You defiantly are your mother’s daughter…”

Thanks, Mom.

Be sure to check out her blog, which she no longer updates, ehem, mommy dearest, but reading thru her archives is sure a lot of fun. Also, you'll notice this post is more than 4 years old... how come she didn't market her own snuggies?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Were We Thinking? Part II

Still not back to work. Eff. Headed to a doctor's appointment this afternoon; thanks for the well-wishes, all.

For now, I offer you: Candid Shots part 2, Our Wedding:

*Clearly, we didn't hire as good a photographer as my sissy did. Crap.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Were We Thinking?

I thought about calling this post “Finally! A picture taken by a professional and not that crappy phone camera! And, no vermin on her head!” but went with this instead.

Don’t you just love candid shots?

*picture from my sissy’s wedding in August.

**Cut me a break, I’m home from work today feeling no beuno, it’s after 2 and I’m still on the couch.This is all you get. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There are Always Consequences

(Photo credits not mine. D@MN I forgot to bring my camera. You get the idea…)

Last night we had to make a quick wal-mart run. Yeah. We shop at wal-mart. Don’t bother trying to tell me why it’s wrong, and I already know it’s kind of white trash, but I’m all about saving a few bucks. So sue me. No, really, don’t. Please. I haven’t saved enough bucks to make it worth your time, I promise!


LT Fromage and I were both in sort of silly moods. This is actually normal for us, so I’m not sure why I feel the need to mention it. The crazies were probably intensified just a little by the beer he had at supper, and the glass (er, 3) of wine I had before we left.

*easily distracted this morning. bear with me*

LT Fromage insisted on pushing the cart. Usually I like to push, but he got it first (wrestled it away from me). Near the end of our list, we passed by the electronics department where LT Fromage began grazing the displays with our cart. Why? “Because I can’t do it in the car! Here there are no consequences!”

He hadn’t even finished his statement when he totally plowed over a printer and ink display!

Which I’m saddened to see doesn’t seem as funny in type as it did when it happened. But trust me, it was uh-mazing!

We laughed like kids while we scrambled to reassemble the stuff we knocked down before this overweight, waaaaay to serious wal-mart employee comes running (well, as fast as he could run. More like a brisk walk) “Is everyone ok?!” LT Fromage assured him we were fine, I was too busy laughing like a hyena to answer. “Are you sure? Do we need to file a report?”

Do tell, what would that report say?

“We were sideswiped by a gray cart, we didn’t get a plate number but it appeared
to be a male driving. They pushed us into this display and then fled the scene.
No medical assistance was necessary at the time. No property damage was
sustained (we put it all back… wrong, I’m sure, but we tried) and the cart seems
to be running fine, despite the accident”

I guess you had to be there.

Ah, I love being married.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things I Hate: Being Bald

Have I mentioned before how much I hate Mondays?

Know what else I hate? Being bald.

See that? (Look away from the rat for a second, look to the right…) A bald patch. One of many.

I don’t even know where to start here….

First of all, I’m sorry about the quality of the picture. We did finally find the digital camera connector cord thing, but I still took this with my phone. Old habits die hard I guess.

Second, I’m sorry I look like I just woke up. I did. This was taken at about 4:57AM. This is the beautiful swamp monster (er, wife) that LT Fromage gets to wake up to every morning. (No wonder he’s gone so often! Hm…)

Lastly, because I know this is what you’re most confused about, pardon the rat on my head. Ok, it’s just weird, I know. I don’t feel like I could defend myself if I tried. That’s Howie. At any given time I have at least one rodent crawling on some part of my body. (For anyone keeping count, we’re up to 7 now) As I write this post (at work), I have Ruger snuggled in my pocket. Crazy rat lady? Perhaps. If I’m not yet, I’m well on my way to earning that title. Stay tuned.

Anyway, now that we’ve cleared all that up, did you notice it? The bald spot? I have 3 more, but frankly, I think subjecting you to this one picture was enough. You can just take my word on the others.

Why can’t the hair on my legs fall off? Or my upper lip? Or my chin? Or my…. Ehm, lady parts (because God knows, I guess you all know now too, how much waxing there hurts!).

Really? When I lose weight it’s always in my boobs (and I don’t have much to spare there!) and when I lose hair, it’s from my head. So unfair. Why can’t this stuff work in my favor?

Maybe I’ll just start covering my head in rats. Like one of those coonskin hats, you know? I might get some weird looks, but at least they would distract from my balding.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Congratulations to citymouse for winning the very first Lady Fromage give away! Get in touch with me so I can get your copy of The Rebel Housewife Rules out to you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

(click her comment to visit her blog)

A consolation prize, to everyone who didn’t win: some yummy festive snacks. Some assembly required. (Pictures of the finished product can be found on this post)

Cranberry, Pistachio, Chocolate Cookies
Yummy to my tummy!

I’m actually not going to share the sugar cookie recipe I used, because it sucked. Use one you know and trust, or, go buy a roll at the grocery store. I promise it will be better than what I ended up with.

Oh so easy from here:

½ cup pistachios
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Bake, and then gobble up with a cold glass of milk!

White Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Now, you’ll have to bear with me again. I didn’t measure (This is why I cook, not bake)

Melt approximately 1 cup of white chocolate in a double boiler (Don’t have one? No biggie. Boil a small amount of water, and set another pot inside. You’re just keeping this treat off of direct heat).

Add a few crushed candy canes (I used a mortar and pestle, but a rolling pin and ziplock bag works nicely, too) and a half cup (or so...) of mini marshmallows.

Stir continually until the mix has set enough to scoop with a melon baller, shake some red sprinkles and enjoy!

Using the same theme, you can melt milk chocolate and add any of the following:

-Andes mints, sprinkle on imperials and dried mint as a finishing touch.
-Cinnamon and cyan pepper for a bit of bite!
-Orange extract (find it near the vanilla, and many more flavors are available) and zest fresh orange rind over the tops.

I also tried making eggnog truffles, but the ‘nog made them a little too sticky, more like a taffy. I would suggest skipping the liquid (unless you don't mind the mess!) and simply adding all spice to your white chocolate/marshmallow mix if you care to try them (they were pretty freakin’ dee-lish!)

Thanks to everyone who participated in the very first Lady Fromage give away! I had fun, I hope you did too, and we’ll be sure to do this again soon (And no, I don’t mean that the way a guy does after a mediocre date!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We’re all friends here, right? I feel like I can share this story with you. As you'll see, I shared much more with many I knew much less.

I get a certain area of my body waxed. I won’t tell you which area I’m talking about, but I’m sure you can use your imagination (I’ll give you a hint – it’s not my under arms).

Before I begin my story you must know that I am a cheapskate. Also, at that time in my life, I was broke, making money saving a must, not a hobby. I found an aesthetician school that would wax off my unwanted hair for, get this, twenty bucks, which was significantly less than the $80 (plus tip) I was paying elsewhere.

Of course I made an appointment right away. Duh. (Who's said that in the last 10 years?)

Normally, this sort of thing takes, oh, twenty or thirty minutes. I allowed an hour, since it would be a supervised student instead of a pro. But a little extra time was no big deal; I was saving $60+!

Boy, were they happy to see me come in the door! As I signed in, this question was proposed:

“We don’t get a lot of people requesting this particular treatment…. Would you mind if we were to let a few students observe?”

My answer should have been H3LL no. But, caught off guard, I sort of, well, said yes! As long as my ______ (fill in the blank) was on display anyway, might as well make it a learning experience!

As it turns out, it’s pretty awkward for your lady bits to be discussed in detail to a room of a dozen students (oops, I gave it away!). Also, the process will take a minimum of two hours, and will hurt worse than a blow torch up your @$$. They weren’t kidding when they told me those students didn’t get much practice down there. I could tell.

Basically, I cried in pain for the longest 120 minutes of my life in front of a dozen barely-out-of-high schoolers who poked, prodded and inspected my nether region. All to save a few bucks.

Lesson learned: Sometimes, it’s worth spending the extra money. In this case, I’m pretty sure they should have paid me. Isn’t that normally how it works when you want to see someone else’s bits and pieces?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?

I’d like to share a little excerpt from The Rebel Housewife Rules (the book that you could win!), something I found especially noteworthy, since this was, as a matter of fact, a discussion (er, argument) that LT Fromage and I had early in our marriage…

From the chapter, “Happily Ever After”

The Myth: Combining two separate lives will be a snap

My new husband will be so thoughtful, so in love with me. He
won’t care when I borrow his things, like his razor. I’m always out of blades,
and I love the foaming bubbles his shaving cream makes – oh those gloriously
smooth legs! Sleeping in his dress shirt feels so good; it will keep me close to
him when he’s out of town. Somehow I never have any socks, but not to worry,
I’ll just wear his.

The Reality: His and mine don’t always make ours

After I used his shaving kit, he emerged from the bathroom looking like
a doctor had just removed shrapnel from his face. I felt bad, but I pretended
not to notice.

“Where’s my new dress shirt? I need it for an interview

“Ummm…. Is this the one?” I tried to look especially sexy as I pointed
to what I was wearing to bed.

“Vik, come on! I have no socks, no razors, no shaving cream…. I have to
be manly on a fluffy, pink, flowered couch and now I have nothing to wear to

I still do use LT Fromage’s razor (with permission. He got a new one), but I did stop borrowing his socks.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lady Fromage Give Away!

Drumroll please…
Get ready for....

The very first Lady Fromage give away!

Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss [Paperback]
by Sherri Caldwell and Vicki Todd

Here's what has to say:

“The Rebel Housewife Rules is a whole new set of rules for today’s housewives. The book contains 38 short chapters—four pages each—because that is about all that a mom can read locked in the bathroom with a three-year-old while the dog vomits outside the door.
Each chapter:

• Exposes a myth about being a housewife: "Compared to an outside career, taking care of a house and family—and myself—will be a breeze."

• Reveals the reality behind the myth: "My husband comes home to a disheveled wife, a disaster of a house, and laundry all over the stairs."

• Lays down a new rule: "Your day will never go as planned."

• And offers a rule Rx, a prescription for real domestic happiness: "Be proud of your most important accomplishments every day."

Following the often hilarious adventures and advice of Rebel Housewives Sherri Caldwell and Vicki Todd, readers learn to be themselves, get what they want, and love in new and deeper ways. Sherri and Vicki share their hard-won wisdom in this "survivors’ guide" to momhood, housecleaning, budgets, self-care, and love after kids and babies. Bottom line? Happiness is more important than passing the white-glove test.

In The Rebel Housewife Rules, the recently engaged, new brides, or long-married wives find the courage to live by the greatest housewife rule of all: "Live, Love, and Laugh, one day at a time, baby."
This book is freakin’ awesome, ladies (Sorry, any gentleman readers. This may not be up your alley). I’m lovin’ my copy and want to share one with a lucky reader, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me your favorite Holiday Tradition! (Mine is eating cold pizza on Christmas morning).

A winner will be randomly picked on Friday. Tell your friends, that is, unless you don’t want to lower your odds of winning this great little book!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tips for a Successful Christmas Party: Army Style

Having a blast at my company's Christmas party in the photo booth on Friday night
Looking just as happy in the car after the Army party. Not because we were having fun. Because it was over.
A sign in roster as you enter the party doesn’t set the vibe “this is a fun, relaxed, enjoyable get together to celebrate the holiday”. It wasn’t a guest book. Don’t try to cover it up; we all knew what it was.

Don’t assign your guests blocks of time. Invitation should not read “Your hour is from 2-3pm”. You’ve got a massive house with plenty of room to accommodate everyone, and while we sure as H3LL didn’t want to stay even a whole hour, it would have been nice to not be kicked out when “our time was up”.

Speaking of invitations; e-vites are ok for, umh, like Girls Night Out or Super Bowl Parties, but not for your formal, brigade Christmas party. Tacky cheap A$$.

You may not want kids there, and hey, that’s ok, I wouldn’t either, but wording it this way: “No kids are allowed” is a little harsh. Especially when your freakin’ rugrats/devil spawn are running around screaming the whole time.

Dress blues (The Army version of a Tux)? Get serious. We had to get all dressed up for a stupid house party (where we could only stay 1 hour) in the middle of a Saturday afternoon? I wouldn’t show up in sweats, but formal wear was a little over the top.

Special note to the Commander’s Wife: Look, I’m face blind but even I don’t make my guests wear identification. You’re just lazy, bee-ach. With your scheduling, you shouldn’t have had more than half a dozen wives there at a time anyway. Instructing the men to “find the name tag that properly identifies your spouse” isn’t polite. On the plus side, at least we weren’t referred to as “dependants” for once.

Thank God for the after party. Casual dress, real food, lots of booze, music, beer pong and stick on mustaches. We did still use name tags, but we were more creative with things like “FUCK!NG Reindeer” or “Chief Elf”. No one was required to “properly identify their spouse” and you didn’t have to leave until you wanted to (which for us, was when I started throwing up in the yard).

These tips brought to you by a bitter Army Wife, who declines to properly identify herself at this time.

(Excuse the bitterness, a little bit of Grinch is emerging, but with the obligatory attendance to that so-called party in the past, my mood should lighten in no time!)
Be sure to check in tomorrow for the very first Lady Fromage GIVE AWAY!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

After a rough few days, I’m back at work. I prefer to use my sick days when I’m feeling good; D@MN having to use them (plus vacay time! eff!) for when I feel like crap.

In my down time, I did manage to Christmas-fy the Fromage Palace. Or, at least I’m off to a good start! (ETA for the tree is Sunday!)

The stockings are hung on the balcony with care. Except there is some sharing going on. The cats are sharing a big red paw, and all 5 rattinos will find a can of oysters in their community stocking (Otherwise, we’d need a much, much longer balcony!)

The cows are ready for Christmas (Oh, by the way, the dogs ATE ALL OF MY COW COOKIES. And broke my cake display. Notice Erika has a “naughty” stocking with a piece of coal attached.)

My grandfather’s antique box is filled with “snow” covered, cinnamon scented pine cones and LT Fromage’s beer steins are even in the spirt, donning a big red Santa hat.

The doorway is draped with snowflakes and lights,

And once you reach the kitchen, red and white flowers from LT Fromage, next to my Christmas candle sticks set the table for all the yummy snacks like....

White and milk chocolate dipped candy canes and pretzels

Sugar cookies loaded with pistachios, milk chocolate and dried cranberries

Spicy chocolate; white chocolate peppermint; mint chocolate and eggnog candies and truffles piled high on the tabled (and safely removed when we’re away and the dogs are inside!).

Recipes for these goodies to follow. Also, be on the lookout for the very first Lady Fromage give away!

Remember to follow me on Twitter for up to the minute, life shattering updates like “if I hear one more Taylor Swift song I'm going to shoot myself. Just putting that out there." Or the new Question of the day; today’s being: What part of the gingerbread man do you eat first? (Gini, get your mind out of the gutter! *wink wink*)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Livin’ the Dream

Some years ago, I purchased a cow shaped cookie cutter. If you don’t know it by now, I love cows. However, I don’t love cookies as much as I do cows, at least not sugar cookies (the only ones that really hold their shape. I tried making cow chocolate chip cookies…. Fail.) But last night, my dream became reality, we finally made cow cookies (and I didn’t burn the house down in the process!)!

I rolled out the dough, cut lots of little bovines and baked away until their little toes turned golden brown. Once they cooled, we iced. I even bought black decorating icing and those fancy little tips (which didn’t fit, by the way; we ended up squirting icing into sandwich bags and cutting the corner off. Resourcefulness: just one of my many gifts.) I even went so far as to buy little pearl sprinkles for eyes. Hardcore? Maybe; but I’ve been waiting for this day for quite some time.

LT Fromage decorated his cows with red and green spots, since he was in a festive mood (er, I was hogging the black icing).

Santa’s not the only one who likes cookies and milk, so when LT Fromage finished his snack we poured some leftover milk into a cat-sized mug for Toby, who sat on the cow rug and helped finish off dad’s drink. Before we finished up, we carefully made 5 dime-sized cookies for the rats (The Ladies). The dogs didn’t get to partake in the festivities. Sorry, guys.

Giant snowflakes and tiny twinkle lights are hanging and the garland, nativity and stockings will soon emerge too. Best of all? LT Fromage suggested we go pick out our tree… THIS WEEKEND. Shocked? You should be! This comes from the man who grew up in a family who was getting their pine on Christmas-freakin’-eve! I, the polar opposite, erected my fake greenery as early as November 1st when I was a single lady. I thought this gesture was a peace offering since I slept on the couch the night before, but in fact, it’s due to his work schedule; this being the only weekend we can go unless we want to pick up a scraggly tree a few days before the holiday. Whatever the reason, we get the tree this weekend, and I can’t wait!

And finally,

I started Twittering. Yeah, they got me. Be sure to follow me (on the side bar to your right) so you can get updates on my super exciting life every time anything semi-awesome happens. C’mon, you know you want to!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Host First Thanksgiving as LT and Lady Fromage: Check!

(Unattempted as of yet, but they look quite yummy! Check them out here!)

Phew! It’s over.

We actually had a great time, and I have to mention (rub in) again how lucky LT Fromage and I are to have in laws we love, who love each other! The food was great, the company even better, and by a miracle of God (or it might have been my momma) the house was sparkling clean when everyone left!

However, the stress of so much company, more cooking than we normally do in a month, constant entertaining and 3 dead car batteries (each family experienced it at different times, his, mine and ours) spread over the week has us a little on edge now. When I say a little on edge, I mean I slept on the couch last night. (Lesson learned: When LT Fromage is burnt out, he wants to be left alone, which conflicts with my need to draw close again. Ah, the discoveries of a young marriage. See, L, we aren’t perfect all the time!)

With thanksgiving out of the way, it’s time to start prepping for the most spectacular time of the year…. Christmas!

Stay tuned for cookie recipes (It’s true, I’m going to try my hand at baking once more!), darling home d├ęcor ideas and wish lists (listen up, Santa! Or blog readers in a giving mood!) In the mean time, be sure to check out Shutterfly, where you can score 50 free personalized Holiday greeting cards, with your photo! They also offer mugs, calendars and more. LT Fromage and I are totally doing it this year. Especially since we get them for free. Free is good. It means saving more money for the mega-electric bill we’ll get in January thanks to all the lights I’ll be attaching to the house.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

D@MN it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

One night in December, after an evening of pizza, Wii and lots of drinking with our couple friends S & J (My best Non Sucky Army Wife friend), we met “Gangsta Gangst”, J’s alter ego.
We had a lot of laughs at his “gangsta name”, because J is not, in fact, a “gansta”, not even close. He wears sweaters and watches Food Network. LT Fromage also wears sweaters and we're also Food Network junkies, so the 4 of us can discuss the Iron Chefs for hours. It’s no surprise that we’ve become such good friends. Try as we might, none of us are quite gangtas, though.

I began to feel jealous, if fellow sweater-wearing, Food Networking-watching, early-bedtimer , J could have a Gangsta name, why couldn’t I? LT Fromage said he would work on it.
A few days later, driving home from a Monday night date (We try to get some good Margaritas….er, I mean Mexican food, on Mondays), it came to him. “I’ve got it!” he said, “Lady Fromage.” Of course!

I love, LOVE, loooovvvveeeee cheese. LT Fromage claims that if I was an animal, I would be a mouse. (Although a good friend once suggested badger… Aw, that’s mean. Oh, and then those boys MOO’d at me, so maybe a cow, also... But I digress).

When LT Fromage is away, most of my suppers consist of an array of cheeses (I always keep a minimum 6 selections stocked in the fridge at all times), jellies and jams, crackers and breads. Pair that with a bottle, er, glass of wine and I’m in heaven. Our older cat, Garrett also loves cheese, so when LT Fromage is not home, Gare and I can be found indulging on delectable dairy products together while we watch trashy MTV reality shows. (LT Fromage does not delight in cheese to the extent that I do; he prefers meals that are slightly more… diverse and substantial. He also doesn’t enjoy trashy MTV specials. His loss)

On a recent drive home from St. Louis LT Fromage took me to The Cheese Store. This is exactly what it sounds like. That is, Heaven.

I limited myself to 5 cheeses; however I sampled each and every one in the store (some more than once) My final purchases:

*Havarti with Dill (LT Fromage's favorite)
*White Cheddar with Onion and Garlic
*Cajun Cheddar Curds
*Smoked Mozzarella Curds
*White and Orange Cheddar Curds

Other favorites:

*Goat cheese. Plain ol’ is my favorite, but it’s also delicious with herbs and other add-ins.
*Gorgonzola. I make a fab-u-lous sauce to go over steak (or Portabella mushrooms, for me), and I always buy an extra tub so I can snack on the tasty chunks while I cook.
*White Queso. Pretty dee-lish, when you get it at an authentic Mexican restaurant!
*Brie. I even named a pet rat this, once. If ever you have an opportunity to eat baked brie, try it! I promise you’ll eat every last bite!
*Swiss. One word, Fondue.
*Smoked Gouda. O.M.G…. Oh, yes, yes yes!
I’m also a sucker for- this is embarrassing – Velveeta. Sorry, I can’t help it. Heat it up with a can of Rotell, you’ll love it too.

And there you have it. The backstory of my cheesy name. Now you know, and knowing is all the power (*wink *wink, LT Fromage!).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tweeting is for the Birds

Someone help me out. I need to know, what the eff is Twitter?

If a bird, say, an African Gray parrot is involved, I’m in, but I have a feeling it’s something…. techy.

How did this happen to me? A million years ago I did contract work building websites (back when it was good old HTML coding and nothing more); after high school, I pursued a degree in graphic design, but somewhere along the way, I lost it. I can still write HTML (which is like, drawing on cave walls nowadays), but I have no idea what a 3G, or heaven forbid, a 4G phone is.

The last time I upgraded my cell phone (about 2 years ago) I was shown the Iphone, but I actually paid more for a regular old phone. A phone with buttons and no internet, a phone I knew how to use. I’m not sure how many Gs it is, but it’s green and so I’m happy with that.

Maybe for my next upgrade, I’ll get the Jitter Bug. Then this could be LT and Lady Fromage

Ok, so someone help me out. What the heck is twitter? Do I need one? More than one? What is it people “tweet” about? Is this something like a facebook status because I’m still not even facebook savy, all I can do there is plow a virtual farm. Without the crutch of updates like “I just harvested 9 plots of wheat!” I’m not sure what I’d have to say to Twitter. Probably things like “Running late, but really have to poop. Should I go ahead and go and be late, or wait until I get to work?” or “My sweater has a hole in it, but I’ll probably wear it anyway and if anyone says something I’ll just act surprised”. Most of my updates would probably read “Picking up green curry on the way home from work, yum!” and quite frankly, while that’s earth shatteringly exciting for me, all those people in cyberspace may be less than impressed.

So I ask you, readers, do any of you Twitter or Tweet? What do you say? And how many Gs must your phone possess to work this magic? (Extra love if you explain what the G is)

Reviews on the Jitter bug will also be accepted, as I’m due for a phone upgrade soon.

Many thanks,
Lady Fromage

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Paid for Services from a Woman on Craigslist

This Thanksgiving is gonna be uh-mazing.

3 years ago on this holiday LT Fromage asked my dad if he could marry me (Yeah, he’s totally such a gentleman! I’m a lucky lady, I know). I was uber nervous about that day, not because I knew he was gonna pop the question (to my dad… not me, yet. He waited until Christmas, but I’ll save that story for next month!) but because it was the first time we were introducing our parents to each other.

I had nightmares for months prior (I kid you not) about them hating each other. Most mornings I woke up when they started screaming at one another in the front yard.

That didn’t happen. Phew.

Actually, our folks loved each other!

I think we’re a pretty lucky couple. It’s hard enough to find someone you love enough to marry, a plus if you like their family, and even better if they like yours too. But for your original family and the new addition to get on so well… Well, that pretty much rocks. Jealous much? \

Sadly, our families like each other maybe a little too much.

This year LT Fromage and I are staying in the Little Apple for Turkey Day, so we planned to host one side of the family. Yes, only one side.

When it’s just LT Fromage and I in the house, it seems like a mansion with its 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. If we throw in 4 parents, 4 siblings and a brother-in-law, plus their combined 3 dogs, well, the space would close in quickly. I’m not even sure we’d have enough hot water for everyone to shower on a daily basis. We couldn’t possibly invite them all, and in small print include “Daily shower not guaranteed”. So we didn’t. We picked the side that hadn’t yet been out to visit, and asked them to keep their travel plans quiet, which they did, but then this conversation happened.

Family 1: “So we were thinking, since the kids aren’t coming back for Thanksgiving, we should get together anyway! Would you guys join us?”

Family 2: “Uhm. Thank you so much! That sounds wonderful! I’m actually not sure what we’re doing quite yet… Can I confirm later this week?”

Family 2 to Fromages:What do we tell them?!?”

What did we do? The only thing we could do, we invited everyone. All 9 of them (minus the dogs, we had to draw the line somewhere).

Of course, being fairly newlywed with no kids, we haven’t accumulated enough place settings, utensils or cookware for this situation. Solution: BYOP – Bring your own place setting. And forget sitting at the table, because it only seats 4. Hello, living room furniture! May you survive this day wearing no cranberry sauce.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my 2 families. 9 people who are stellar enough to come out early to help cook, bringing pots and pans and their own dishes and not their dogs. Above all, to be laid back enough to make this week a whole lot of fun instead of a headache.

(PS: Who wouldn’t stress about cleaning the house with all those people coming? I did myself a favor and hired a housekeeper. Best $67 I’ve ever spent on services provided by a woman I found on craigslist… Wait… That sounded really wrong…)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Duct Tape, Pork Chops and other Nifty Things

So I realize that the last few posts have been about childhood toys, cartoon characters and reality televesion. Next thing you know, I’ll be blogging about Justin Beiber. Just kidding. I won’t go that far.

But I do owe you a grown up post, filled with useful information and nifty things you can take away with you (because I’m not all-that enough to do give aways just yet).

Here you go, some free advice. Things I’ve learned and will now pass on to you, loyal readers. Now don’t say I never gave you anything!

Duct tape works well to patch pants from the inside when they begin thinning from your fat thighs rubbing together. Be aware, though, that it will soon begin sticking to said fat thighs, which is quite uncomfortable, and will need to be gently tugged away from the skin, which can be awkward in social settings. Another layer of duct tape fixes this problem, but not for long. Lesson learned: This is not a permanent solution. Buy some new jeans, thunder thighs.

I can substitute vinegar for the cleaner in my Hoover Floor Mate. It’s way cheaper and works just as well, if not better. Plus it’s green, which I feel good saying. Since I don’t actually do many “green things” It is my favorite color though, so that should count for something.

A mixture of half Red Wine Vinegar and half White Wine Vinegar can be used in place of Apple Cider Vinegar when cooking. I don’t know how it would do in the Hoover though.

Pork Chops are a very good substitute for steak, and much less expensive; even than a less than stellar cut of beef. This sounds good to me, because A) I like to save money, and B) I don’t care as much for pigs as I do cows, and will likely feel less terrible about serving them on a plate. I made some piggies for LT Fromage last week and he loved them. (Mouth watering yet? Here you go!)

Apple Ginger Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri (Who totally rocks)

pork chops, double cut, center cut, bone in
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh
lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup white
1 cup sliced (1/4-inch) yellow onions
2 cups cored and sliced (1/4-inch) Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter

In a resealable plastic bag, add the chops, apple
cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saute pan heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to almost smoking, then add pork chops, shaking off excess
marinade. Brown on both sides, then place on a sheet pan and put in the oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F.

In the same saute pan
deglaze with wine then add onions, apples and raisins and cook until apples are soft and onions are translucent. Add butter salt and pepper, to taste, and keep warm.
Remove chops from oven and add to the apple mixture. Serve hot.

Notes From Lady Fromage:

I didn’t buy bone in chops; I couldn’t find them so I got a thick cut instead.

I subbed my above mixture for the Apple Cider Vinegar because I didn’t have any.

Also, who has fresh ginger around? I used powdered instead, but not as much obviously. Those would have been some gingery pieces of pork!

I didn’t have raisins so I used dried dates (Why we have those and not raisins I don’t know…).

I used Lime Juice because we didn’t have any lemons. A citrus is a citrus.

I clearly need to restock my kitchen. Now we don't even have anymore dried dates.

Lastly, I marinated for more like 12 hours, because how can 30 minutes do anything?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite, Turn on the magical shining light!

Last week LT Fromage and I took a beginners pistol class. LT Fromage was kind enough to tell me when we arranged it “I’m sure there are things I can learn,” but of course there weren’t. I think he may have actually outshot the instructor, but I had a good time and discovered that I am actually a better one handed shooter than I am when I use both hands. Who knew? Anyway, I got to wear my pink earmuffs, shoot some paper plates and see some cows in the adjacent field and all in all we had a fun day out.

But what does this have to do with a lite-brite? (I know you’re thinking “Where the eff is she going with this story?”)

We had a mega long lunch break, and after we hit up our favorite burger place we still had an hour before class resumed. During that time LT Fromage got a hair cut while I bought yet another pair of sunglasses (our German shepherd keeps eating them) and a cow pen that moos when you push on his head.

So far, there were already multiple high points of this day:

1. Sharing a mid-week day off with LT Fromage. Extra fun because we were shooting

2. The NRA teacher was named Myron Calhoun, which is pretty much a FREAKIN’ AWESOME NAME, right? And he was totally this cute little old man with a big old stocking cap! He even wore a huge name tag, even though we were the only 2 people in his class. Too cute! I have a thing for little old men. We’ll talk about that another time.

3. Lunch at So Long, which included fried pickles and a green chili “burger” with onion rings

4. The above mentioned cow pen. Which totally makes me look like a 6 year old but who gives a D@MN (Using bad words helps me not feel like a kid. Kids can't sware.) Also I got a pink cow eraser. Score!

On our way back to class after the eternal lunch break, we stopped at this funky second hand shop. There it was: The lite-brite. (I told you it was coming)

Pretty much the coolest toy ever. Except maybe Little People. I have a deep rooted love for those, too.

I went a little crazy when I saw it. Ok, more than a little. I may have caused a bit of a scene. But, c’mon, it’s a lite-brite! Who doesn’t remember this from their childhood? I’ll tell you who. LT Fromage.

Boy, he missed out!

I probably should have bought it (It was only ten bucks!) so he could try it out; that is, if I could share it long enough for him to have a turn.

So if you’re in the mood for some lite-brite fun now, because I sure am, I found a website where you can play lite-brite for free. It's not quite the same, but at least it means I won’t be digging those little pegs out of sofa cushions.

If you’ve got an urge for Little People now, well, you’re on your own.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winnie or Drew?

So yesterday, Drew (one of the local morning show hosts on the local radio station, another one of my “friends”) described the upcoming weather as, “blustery”. A word I’m fairly certain I haven’t heard said by anyone but Winnie the Pooh.

According to Drew, “blustery” apparently means “rain overnight, rain the in the morning, and snow in the afternoon.” I couldn’t reach the bear for his input from on the meaning of this cutesy word. (However, upon google image searching "whinnie the pooh blustery" this was what came up. Enjoy.)

Well, Fall, it’s been fun. Thanks for hanging around so long (no sarcasm intended here, we really did enjoy a spectacularly long fall season this year!). I enjoyed the lunches in the park, walks in the evenings and your slight chill when the window was left open at night. Thanks for the beautiful colors; however, if you could refrain from dropping those leaves all over the yard next year, I’d appreciate it. They look much better on the trees and they’re a pain in the @$$ to rake up. But that’s my only criticism.

Dear Winter, eff you. No matter how cute you try and make yourself by hiding behind charming descriptions like blustery, you still suck. Thanks to you, I’m frightened to open the heating bill, the dogs track mud all over the house and I’m soon going to be reacquainted with my ice scraper. Get lost, winter. No one likes you.

PS: I thought I’d put the snow to good use last year and let it hide all of those pesky leaves under it. Great idea from about November until March. Then I had to rake up soggy leaves. Turns out that was a bad idea. …..

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My New Bestie

A little update from yesterday: I went to the corporate HR gal with my dilemma and a half hour later sat in my boss’ office, this time joined by our office HR rep, where I got an apology, assurance that I will not lose my job and some assistance with my options (FMLA, etc.). Phew.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about some lighter stuff, shall we?

I’m a huge fan of MTV and reality shows. I think it’s because, as such an introvert. I can enjoy the “company” of the people I can “get to know” at my leisure (assuming they are on. If I had DVR this could even be better…). When I get tired of them, I can turn them off. I can say things to them that my “real” friends may not appreciate, things like “bee-ach, you look like a blimp in that! Size 4 my @$$, go back to the rack for an 8, at least!”

Come to think of it, comments like that may be why I have very few “real life” friends. Food for thought...

16 and Pregnant was my favorite show, and of course, I followed the girls through Teen Mom. I was devastated when the finale came a few weeks ago, and the promise of a new season of 16 and Pregnant didn’t fix it. I wasn’t looking forward to “getting to know” any more new girls, I liked my old friends.

Until the other night when Brooke was introduced. Girl, you are my new “best friend”.

Brooke is a junior in high school who lives in Texas with her family and a herd of goats. She’s also a race car driver (as is her family and her HUSBAND… yes, husband! She’s 16, pregnant and married!). She and HUSBAND, Cody, are planning to buy a prefabricated barn to drop on her parents’ property. To live in. I’ve never heard of living in a prefab barn, but eff yeah, this is gonna be freakin’ awesome!

Other highlights of the introduction episode included Mom’s shock at how her baby girl got knocked up. She reminded her where the condoms are kept (under the bathroom sink), and apparently instructed her on proper usage with the aid of a cucumber. Perhaps not parenting the way I plan to do it, but I sure do love gasping and grabbing LT Fromage, “Can you believe this $H!T???”

Now, it would be easy to judge my new “friend”, since she probably does fall into a category of “white trash”, but I’m not going to. Why? Because she’s a cow lover too. Every scene showed a new item of cowness. Which led me to grab LT Fromage and shriek “AAAAHHHH!!! COOOOOWWWW” every few minutes (I don’t think he likes my new friend so far, since she and I are keeping him from getting much work done).

Ok, MTV. You got me. I’ll put forth the effort to get to know these new high school moms. None of whom can understand how they could possibly have become pregnant (“We were like, totally having unprotected sex for like, ever, and never got pregnant before! WTF?”).

These young women will become a part of my life. I will resume talking to LT Fromage about people he thinks we actually know, ensuring many more confusing conversations like this:

“So Brooke and Cody are totally buying a barn to live in! A BARN! Can you believe it, baby?”

“Wait, who?”

“Booke and Cody! With baby Brody… remember?”

“Is this someone you work with? I thought her name was Amber?”

“No, silly, BROOKE! The Teen Mom!”

“Oh, Jesus…”

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

Just when you thought I couldn’t get any more redneck, I brought home 2 more rats Nina (isn’t she cute sitting on LT Fromage’s hand?) and Ruger. Yes, the latter is defiantly named after my gun. H3LL yeah. Our rodent population is now at 5.

Ruger is so tiny (can you tell?) she’s not actually weaned yet, so I’m feeding her bits of soft bread soaked in condensed milk every few hours. She’s even coming to work with me (take your rodent-daughter-to-work day?) so I can keep her fed and hydrated. Of course, she hangs out in a travel cage nestled into one of those reusable grocery bags, because I’m not sure my coworkers would be stoked to see a rat chillin’ on the reception desk….

While I’m probably in the running for Rat Mom of the Year, my employer isn’t so happy with me because I’ve had quite a few doctors’ appointments recently (You thought it was due to the rat, didn’t you?).

Now, I’m not sure if this is fair, but I’m told my job “will no longer be protected” if I keep seeing the doctor. Uhm, this kind of irks me because I’ve still got a positive balance of paid hours and I’m legitimately at the doctor for something that needs to be addressed like, now. Nothing like getting punished for taking care of one’s self, right? Eff. I’ll be visiting HR later, armed with a note from one of my doctors. Hopefully I don’t walk out with a pink slip.

So, please forgive my lack of posts on my blog and comments on yours. I’m busy trying to keep my job, juggle my multitude of visits to the hospital and keep the tummy of a little rat full. All while LT Fromage is gone again, of course.

It’s 11:30 on a Monday morning; is it too early for a bottle, er, I mean glass, of wine?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


With very little time this week to be online it’s going to be about prioritizing. What does this mean? Online shopping totally takes precedence to anything else.

In my blogging absence, enjoy eyeing my recent purchases:

Owl earrings from

Teal Satchel from Target

(Ok, lie. This wasn’t online, I got it in store because they marked it 30% off. I was supposed to wait until Christmas, but since I was having a rough day yesterday, LT Fromage decided I should go ahead and begin using my new bag! Thank you, LT Fromage!)

See you Monday!

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