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Well folks I had my staples removed yesterday and I was so happy to get them out. The doc told me the lab report came back just as he suspected ...infected gallbladder and stones. He told me to not lift any weights for a few more weeks and not to do any abs exercises for another 4 weeks.
Here is a pic of me the anesthesiologist had knocked me out and was taking me into surgery.
I have also been on a job hunt and have accepted a job offer at the Bp Pascagoula Gas Plant in Mississippi. It is about a 4 hour drive from my house to the parking lot. So I will be taking my camper there and live in it until we find something better. I will be working a 7 on and 7 off shift. I was awarded back vacation time and will be able to start back with my retirement plan etc. Also after I accepted the job they came back and told me they were going to pay me 3400 a year more on my base! That is awesome. I would love to have a job right here at home but to find one with good pay and benefits is hard to do.
Not sure how much gardening I will be able to get in this year. I may have to take a break and see how things work out living in-between two places. Thanks for all the concern and prayers for not only my surgery but my job too. Pete
Wow, what a way to end the old year and start a new one. As most of you know I was laid off December 31, 2010. And then I had to have emergency Gallbladder surgery last Thursday….more on the gallbladder later in the blog……..
I was led to believe they were going to either transfer me to the Houston office or to Magee Miss. But as luck would have it my bosses’ boss would not approve the position at either location. His reason was it was not included in the 2011 budget for either location and he was not going to change the budgets. So at 5 PM on December 31, I put my keys and badge on my supervisor’s desk and drove out the gate.
One of the guys I work with told me of a company that has some upcoming onshore job openings so I took a little trip to Lafayette and tested. I passed the test and was offered a job but it was offshore. I was told they would transfer me onshore possibly in February or if I wanted to wait that would be fine too. They just wanted someone with my gas processing experience for the upcoming land job. They are paying $7.00 less than I was making. I told the HR lady I would wait and call them in early February and see where things stood. Their insurance cost was also high. So I continued to search for other opportunities.
I found out the old company I use to work for has an opening at a plant in Pascagoula Mississippi and I applied for the position. Since then I have been steady working all my contacts that may help me land that job. It would be great as I can continue with my benefits and hopefully be reinstated with my 4 weeks of vacation. And on top of that I know they have great insurance. I was so pleased to learn I was chosen out of 125 applications for an interview. I was told they are only looking at 10 guys and I was one of the top 2! So on Monday January 24, 2011 I will be there and I hope I can ace the behavior based interview. From what I understand I will only have to stay in Mississippi for the days I am working and should be able to commute back and forth.
Then the stomach pain hit…….wow I never felt anything like that! I thought I had the flu as my stomach was hurting and swollen…I tried to make myself vomit but just could not get any relief. I could not find any position to lie in that I was comfortable. I finally woke Dewana and told her and we decided I better go to the hospital. This was just what I needed at this time….No job and now this. Last week I had a colonoscopy done and of course I was concerned that this pain was something from that. My wife had an aunt who died as a result of a colonoscopy and so you can imagine the thoughts running through our minds. Then on the way to the hospital I was having trouble getting my breath so I began to think it was my heart! I was relieved when we arrived at the hospital after they put the electrocardiogram on my heart and all was good. They then gave me a shot of pain medicine and I was allowed some relief. After some further checking and ultrasound of my gallbladder I was told it had to come out.
Surgery went well and I was allowed to come home the next day. I was very sore for a few days and it was hard to get up from sitting or lying. Each day the pain is less and less. They told me to continue with my same diet and that I would figure out which foods did not agree with me. So far nothing has upset my stomach.
NO heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks…..I walked around in Home Depot and Lowes today and thought of all kinds of things I wanted to do but they will have to wait.
I appreciate all the prayers and concern from everyone here on GG. I received a card today from Sandy and it was very funny. I will try and put a picture of the front of the card on here.
Wish me luck with the job interview! Pete
Below is the front of the card. I will be listening for funny rings! LOL.
My 2010 in Review. I did this at the end of last year and enjoyed looking back at some of the years high lights so I thought I would do it again.
My Son who is a deputy was jumped at a party and he had to arrest several people. We had some cold weather and I was concerned about my trees. I did lose some of my plants in my flower bed. Spring fever hit me after seeing a freshly plowed field. I changed the floor boards out on my utility trailer. Seed potatoes purchased and the seed to start my own tomato plants and I purchased some MUCK boots.
I received my first issue of Louisiana Gardner a gift from my sister. I planted my potatoes and onions. My tomato seedlings are coming up. I took my wife to Mazen’s Mediterranean to spend my gift certificate from work. I painted my utility trailer and purchased some strawberry plants.
Spring finally arrived and I mowed my yard for the first time of the season. Pear trees blooming and the Purple Martins are checking out the houses. Kyle started working with Lake Charles P.D. My potatoes are breaking ground and my seedlings are doing well. I worked out of town for a week. Then I planted my pepper plants. Re-mulched the flower beds and cleaned them up. Realized my cumquat tree had frozen over the winter and would not come back.
Things are really blooming and looking good. Flowers everywhere and my garden is taking off. Sprayed my yard to try and rid it of some of the trash grass. The Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico creating a huge oil spill. My corn won’t come up and neither will my snap beans, having to replant them for the 3rd time. I celebrated my 50th birthday with some crawfish. I am not happy about that number but not much I can do about it.
I am looking for the person who stole my green thumb…LOL. I dug my potatoes made a wheel barrow full. We started picking cherry tomatoes and strawberries. My cucumbers are staring to vine. A/C went out in the house and had to be replaced. Noticed my tomato plants are just wilting up and dying. Those that are left are blooming but not setting any fruit. I am very discouraged. I also worked almost every day on my job this month too.
Cucumbers I have cucumbers but not any tomatoes! Purchased some tomatoes from a road side fruit stand and was shocked at the prices. My Sunflowers are huge and are blooming. Discovered I am not as young as I once was and cannot take the heat like I use to. Took my camper to Tioga for Church Camp in July.
3 days at church camp, then on to Surfside Beach in Texas for a 3 day weekend…. but not before having a blow out on my camper. 4 new tires later and on the road again. Caleb wrecks his truck for the first time. The garden is about finished.
No entries on GG but I did work a lot this month out of town.
Dewana and I took a vacation to Panama City Beach without the kids.
Caleb wrecked his truck only a short time after we fixed it actually in September. Insurance wants to cancel so looking for another company. There is a rumor that my job may soon be eliminated. I have Satsuma’s that are about ready to cut. Pecan trees loaded but pecans are not good they did not get enough rain. Dewana and I went to a Halloween party dressed as a Cop and Prisoner.
No entries on GG. I worked some more out of town and was told in fact our jobs are on the line unless something changes December 31, 2010 is our last day. Thanksgiving was good, lots to eat and just lay around the house watching some TV.
I am job hunting and getting ready for Christmas.
Hello all hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We were lazy and just laid around the house after we stuffed ourselves.
Since I last blogged I was told that unless corporate approves creating a new position at our Miss Plant I will be receiving a severance package December 31, 2010. So I have been looking for a new job. Not much around here locally and another problem is the jobs they do have all are entry level and guess what that also means entry level pay. So I am still looking. My boss has informed me that they are also considering creating a position for me in the Houston Office. I would rather go there than to Miss simply because it’s a whole lot closer to drive.
In my last blog I wrote about Caleb wrecking his truck again. Well it’s still parked in the yard. I changed insurance companies. And we put the little white car in his name. I have yet to decide if his truck is worth fixing. Some days I say yes then other days I don’t think it is worth it. Parts alone will run close to 2 thousand without paint.
Dewana and I dressed up again for Halloween and attended a party. We had a good time. Here is a picture of us in our costumes.
My pecan trees were loaded but we didn’t get the necessary rain for them to fill out. I have picked about a crawfish sack and a half but have not yet started to shell them. I hope to start this weekend. I am sure I will lose a lot of what I have picked because they are rotten in the shell. Last year I had a great crop. Lucky I still have some in the freezer. No fall garden for me. I was too busy at work and just didn’t have time. Only one of my trees produced any Satsuma’s they were very good. No lemons this year either.
I am still hitting the gym. Down about 20 pounds and feeling a lot better. I don't mind the work out it is just getting to the darn gym.
Hope everyone has a great Christmas. We are running behind this year and haven’t gotten the tree up. It’s in the living room still in the bag. LOL.
Well a lot has taken place since I blogged last. So I will hit a few highlights of some of the happenings in my little corner of the world.
My last blog I posted pics of Caleb’s wrecked truck. Well, we fixed his truck and it looked really good. But he wrecked it again about a month later. This time he did more damage than he did the last time. Now it's parked in my yard and he is driving my little white work car back and forth to school. He was not injured in the crash but there is at least one in the other vehicle who is claiming to have whip lash etc etc. My insurance company informed me they will no longer cover him and want me to sign an exclusion clause that he would not be covered should he drive any vehicle belonging to me!! So I am now shopping insurance companies. Oh his monthly insurance was only about $79 a month before his two wrecks...now it will be about 160 or so.
Since I last blogged we took a weeks vacation just my wife and I to Panama City Beach. I had rented a great little house with a swimming pool. We spent some time on the beach and really had a great time. It was nice to get away without the kids. We then came back and planned another weekend getaway just the wife and I down to New Orleans. We stayed one block from Bourbon Street at the Holiday Inn on Royal Street. It was so nice to be able to walk everywhere we wanted to go and not have to try and drive. Our next trip is to see Elton John in Lafayette Louisiana in November! I am not a huge fan of his work but my wife likes him and I had to agree seeing him is a once in a life time thing.
My job is not looking good. Rumor is that come the first of the year we may all be out of work. The expansion has been put on hold and it looks like it may be a year or two if it will happen at all. I really hate to be starting over again at 50 years old but you got to do what you got to do.
My Satsuma’s should be soon ready to cut and I have a lot of pecans in my trees but the ones I have cracked thus far did not fill out the shell. Not enough rain. I guess I should have tried to water them to help the pecans to fill out. Pecans need a good rain in September to fully develop.
It looks like we have made another year without a major storm hitting our area! I am so happy about that.
Hope all has been well with everyone here on GG. Pete.
Thought it is time to catch up on my blog. My garden is about burned up. I still have okra making and a few peppers left on the bush. I picked 12 cantaloupes the other afternoon and 6 watermelons. I have lost 3 cantaloupes and 4 watermelons thus far. The losses were due to us being away on vacation and no one around to pick them. It has been very dry and hot. Our pot plants were drying up and needed a good long drink of water when we returned from our week long vacation.
We spent 3 days at Church Camp in Tioga Louisiana and then left there to go spend some time at Surfside Beach in Texas. As soon as I pulled out of the campground and was heading to the highway I heard a tire blow out. I pulled over and walked to the camper and saw that I had two of the 4 tires with the side walls about to blow out. Lucky there was a tire place right around the corner so I called them up and was able to limp over and purchased 4 new tires. The tires blowing out then could be a blessing as I would hate to have that happen with the camper all loaded for an evacuation for a hurricane.
Any way we made the trip out to Surfside Beach Texas and fell in love with the little place. It is just a short drive West of Galveston the beach was clean other than some seaweed, the people and the weather was nice. We just hung out on the beach in our chairs and just took it easy. Our boys were with us until Sunday afternoon. They drove back home instead of staying Sunday night because Kyle had to go to work Monday.
Both Dewana and I had to go back to work on Tuesday. We didn’t want to go!
On my way home from work Wednesday Caleb called me and told me he had wrecked his truck. He was not injured and neither were the people in the other truck. Caleb ran into the rear end of another truck. He apparently was not paying attention to the traffic ahead of him and when he realized everyone was stopped it was too late…he tried to avoid hitting the truck by going into the middle turn lane but he still ended up hitting the truck. Caleb’s bumper went under the other bumper and caused the fender etc to collapse. I of course don’t have full coverage on Caleb’s old truck. It is fixable so I have started my parts list so I can get it back on the road. Several years ago Kyle dead centered a telephone pole with his truck and I fixed it myself. Looks like I will soon get really good at auto body work. LOL. Here are a few pics of his truck. And one of the campground view along with a Cajun Hibiscus.
View from our campsite.
Cajun Lady Hibiscus
I use to be able to work in the heat and it would not even bother me. When I had my lawn service I always took two shirts with me once one would get wet with sweat I would rinse it hang it up to dry and put on the dry one and just rotate them out. I would drink about a gallon of water and never look back work all day long. Since Carolyn and I have finally been put in possession of some family property I have been trying to clean it up some mow and trim branches etc. Yesterday I worked for about 4 hours and it was very hot. No breeze and I was just soaking wet with sweat. I was trimming some branches and bent over to pick them up to drag them to one of the burn piles I have started and when I lifted my head back up I got dizzy and decided that I had done enough for the day. So I don’t know when I got so old that I cannot work all day…LOL. In my mind I am still a young 25 year old but my body is not acting like one.
Well the old garden is something else. The grass has taken over and I have just let it. I have been picking a five gallon bucket every other day of cucumbers. We have been giving them away. I haven’t made ONE tomato this year other than a few patio tomatoes. My watermelons are growing and I have several cantaloupes one should be ready soon. I also have been picking quite a few bell peppers and today I broke a five gallon bucket full. I have several Sunflowers and they are tall. I have a picture to share of them with you. My fig tree is loaded and I hope we get enough rain so it will not drop the figs.
We have been watering the flowers every afternoon trying to keep them looking green. Here are a couple pics. Have a good day. Pete
Todays 6-23-10 picking.
Flowers on our back porch.
Me and the Sunflowers.
The size of the blooms. HUGE!
Well what a month May has been. I worked almost every day with only a few days off here and there. The checks have been nice but when I looked at the cell phone bill today I was ready to crawl into a shell and hibernate. That youngest son talking away to some girl out of the AT&T network and ran my bill way up! I could pay two months house notes. He doesn’t have a job other than mowing a yard or two. He has been looking but not too vigorously in my book …..But nevertheless he has put some applications in around town. He could get a job tomorrow and it would take him all summer to pay me for his phone bill. I will be looking into putting a block on his phone. I would like to cut it off but then we won’t be able to get in touch with him. Yea I am angry to say the least.
My garden…HA! I do have cucumbers and picked a bucket full today; my watermelons are running and full of blooms. I have to take a closer look to see if I have any little ones. The squash is something I don’t even eat but it is doing GREAT! My Okra is spotty but I do have enough to enjoy. My 10 stalks or so of corn is growing. I will probably pull up my 36 tomato plants and my few snap beans and put them on the burn pile. My purple hull peas and butter beans did not come up. I am doing something wrong. I may need to bring a ruler out and make sure I am not planning too deep. SOMETHING is wrong. HUM maybe it’s the new glasses…any way it has really been very frustrating for me. Up until now I had kept the grass at bay and actually had the best looking garden in that regards in years. My bell peppers are producing and I picked 3 today. I do have banana peppers that are making too.
We have been getting rain the last few days. It sure has made the grass grow and green things up. We really needed every drop we got and actually we still could use more at my house.
Next year I plan to plant my tomatoes in a different location and see if I do any better. Today on my way to work I spotted a guy selling watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers on the side of the road. Well since I am so hungry for fresh tomatoes I pulled over. It was HIGHWAY ROBBERY to say the least but I paid his high prices. I dished out 8 bucks for a watermelon and 5 bucks for 6 yes you read correctly 6 tomatoes. And they are not even very big! Oh well, so much for fresh salsa this year. Here is a picture of what $13 bucks bought for me today.
Take care, Pete the unhappy and now broke gardener!
OH well what else can go wrong.....OH yea the darn picture wont post thats what can go wrong! Tried two times to edit and repost the picture to no avail. Later
Well I am not sure what is going on. I have some blooms but no tomatoes. I am very disappointed in my garden to say the least. I have never had this problem before and I have been raising a garden for over 30 years. And my garden actually looks better as far a grass goes than it ever has before.
Here is some history on my plants. Most are Better Boy raised by me from seeds. When I first planted them I watered them with miracle grow and put down soaker hoses and came back with a layer of oak leaves around them.
When they were only about a foot tall I noticed a few bugs on some of them so I powered them lightly with 7 dust. I noticed some were blooming then.
Since then I have powered them one other time with 7 dust.
I have been watering them keeping the soil moist and have side dressed them with triple 13 one time. Now they are about 3 feet tall still have very few blooms and not a single tomato on none of the plants. I examined each one closely yesterday afternoon. I thought sure there would be tomatoes up under the foliage. But I could not find any. I started out with 36 plants but have lost about 5. Those I lost just look like they were hit with round up. Shriveled up and died.
Today I will call the LSU Ag Center to see if they can give me any idea of what happened. What do you guys think?
I wanted to add...I have one cherry tomatoe plant growing in a flower bed near the house. It has tomatoes on it. The only real difference is that I can think of is that it was purchased at the feed store, it does not have oak leaves around it but cypress mulch, and I think I only put 7 dust on it one time. Also my cucumbers are doing well and have little ones on them. They are mulched too.
I was reading the blogs this morning and noticed that a few of you were talking about different kinds of song birds in your blogs. This got me thinking of the Red Breasted Robin that normally migrates south to my neck of the woods each winter. I only recall seeing one Robin this past winter and that is just unbelievable! We use to have Robins all over the place in the winter time. This makes me sad. I don’t know if they are becoming extinct or if for some reason they just are not migrating this far south anymore. How many did you see this year? Was the numbers more or less than previous years?
The new a/c unit was installed Friday. So the house is cool again. This air handler does not make much noise at all and it’s hard to tell when the unit is running. We are trying to balance the air throughout the house to try and avoid hot spots. The new unit has a programmable digital thermostat our old unit was a dial one. We have to set this new thermostat at a lower temp than the old dial one to obtain the same comfort. So I assume/hope that the dial thermostat was just not accurate with its temp reading. We went back with a heat pump to try and keep our utility cost down. The installer also suggested I add gable vents and if possible an a/c fan driven vent in my attic. He tells me I can get one at Lowes or Home Depot for about a hundred bucks, and that I will also notice a decrease in my electric bill if I install one. So that is added to my project list!
The vegetable garden is coming along…… s l o w l y…. My okra is about 4 to 5 inches tall, I have very little corn up, my 5 snap bean plants are making and I should be able to pick a small mess Monday. I have been picking radish, and a few strawberries, most of which never make it to the house they are eaten on the spot. My cucumbers are starting to climb the fence and have some little ones; the watermelons are starting to vine as well as the cantaloupe. I have lost about 5 tomato plants. They just wilted up. I don’t know why. I have a soaker hose around them and don’t water from the top. The rest of my plants look ok. I have some bell peppers that will be ready to pick soon too. My butter beans and purple hull peas are not up yet….they only been planted about a week.
Around my house there are lots of Day Lilies in bloom as well as my Roses and Petunias. I have attached a pic of one of the Hibiscus booms and one of my late Dad. This time of the year when you would stop at his house you better be ready for a tour of the Day Lilly beds. He would try to cross pollinate them to come up with different colors etc. This month also was his birthday. Happy Birthday Dad I sure miss you!
Have a great day everyone. Pete
Hibiscus Bloom 5/2010
Daddy sitting in his Chair.
Finally we got a small touch of rain at my house. A touch is exactly it too! Not even a half of inch fell at my house. Sure could use a lot more. Just would love it to be one of those soakers.
Yesterday I picked 3 cherry tomatoes; I wiped them and popped them in my mouth. I also picked a few strawberries and as much as I wanted to eat them I saved them for my wife. I had already gotten the first few that turned red a week ago. My cucumbers are starting to climb the fence and my water melons are starting to run. I noticed I have several bell peppers and lots of tomato blooms. I have a good stand of Okra up and the corn is slowing breaking ground. I will not replant it again so whatever comes up is what I will get. Day lilies are blooming and my roses are still producing too. My fig tree is loaded down but I need rain this month to keep it from dropping the fruit. Also June is a important water month for the pecans. If they do not receive enough water the nuts will not fill out.
I need a loan! We received 10 graduation invitations. Three are from our Nieces and Nephews so those of course need a little extra cash. And even dollar store cards have gone up. Why is my wages staying the same? LOL.
Our a/c is out in our house. Thank God we have the camper to sleep in. I have been trying to get prices together and of course everyone says what they sell is the best and then there is the issue of the tax credit. After reading up on it I have discovered that the units that are eligible for the credit cost on average $1300.00 more and have to be at least a 15-16 seer. Also the credit is non refundable so from what I have read if you owe taxes when you file your return for 2010 you can get up to 30% with a max of $1500 tax credit. So if I understand it correctly....say I owe the IRS $500.00 when I file my 2010 taxes if I have purchased a unit that allows the tax credit my tax debt would then be reduced to zero. So considering that I owed $450 or so this past year to the IRS I won’t really be getting much of a tax break at all for spending the extra money. So my head is spinning....mine is better you need this you need that.....we can do this for you...the warranty is 10 years parts including compressor 2 years labor or 1 year labor... I might just put the whole bunch of bids in a pile and draw one. Every unit the warranty is about the same 10 years. Only the labor warranty has been different. Prices so far range from $4000.00 to $7795.00.
Oh well life must go on. I do know I will never own another heat pump! Going back to the old electric heat strips. I don’t like the blast of cold air a heat pump gives you in the winter and its junk when the temp drops below 35. I ended up running the emergency heat most of the time.
Have a good day. Pete
I may not be able to get my snap beans, corn and purple hull peas up but at least I can still grow potatoes. LOL
So I decided I better go ahead and dig my potatoes. The tops were beginning to die off and I was afraid that with my extra work load on my job that I would not have time to get them out of the ground. So I was very happy with my return this year. I planted about 10 pounds of seed potatoes and my return is probably over 100 pounds of nice red potatoes.
My corn is slowly coming up. I may have to trade Reba potatoes for corn! Today is overcast and as soon as I finish this blog I will be heading out to replant my purple hull peas and plant some butter beans. I have given up on snap beans for this year. I have about 5 snap bean plants growing. I will let them stay and plant around them. They should provide a few fresh dinners.
Yesterday was Daddies birthday. He would have been 83 had he lived. I spent most of the day yesterday mowing and trying to clean up some at some inherited property that Carolyn and I own. What a mess but I am happy with my progress. It already does not look like the same place with just some mowing and cleaning up. I think Daddy would have been happy with me yesterday.
Take care all and pray we get some rain here in S.W. Louisiana soon. Also I ask you to pray that the blow out in the Gulf can be capped soon. Our seafood industry is going to take a big hit over this and may never be the same again. Thanks Pete
Check out my potato pictures!
Bill you will have to help me get my last picture in.. I cannot get it to post I tried 2 times.... :-( Its the wheel barrow of potatoes in my April 2010 folder. Thanks Pete
Just starting to pull the plants.
My two long rows. Oh my onions are doing well too.
Now thats a load of French Frys!!!!!!!!!
Just wanted to share this poem with you all. It was one from a friend on facebook whose mother is gone on to be with the lord.
Happy Mothers day Maw-maw and Mom!If roses grow in heaven, Lord, pick a bunch for me ~ Place them in my Mother's arms & tell her they're from me ~Tell her that I love & miss her & when she turns to smile ~place a kiss upon her cheek & hold her for a while~ Because remembering her is easy ~ I do it everyday ~ There's an ache within my heart that will never go away. Happy Mother's Day in Heaven. Love and miss you bunches mom and maw-maw.
I am offering a reward for the apprehension and prosecution of the person or persons who stole my GREEN THUMB. I cannot get my green beans, purple hull peas, and corn up. I have a poor stand of okra and only 5 or 6 purple hull peas came up. This is so aggravating. I drive around and see other folk’s gardens and they have their beans up and corn already 3 feet tall. I planted 3 times and nothing. I checked and my seeds are soft and rotting away. Oh well I will replant again but this time I will use the almanac and go according to the moon and see what happens. It’s hard to do that when you work shift work like I do but I am getting desperate.
I do have some flowers blooming. And here are a couple pics of some of the crawfish we had for my birthday and my little cake.
Look at the size of the claws on those crawfish! You had to eat the claws too.
The little cake...I should not be eating cake anyway!
Day Lilies Carolyn gave me a couple years ago.
I do have little figs......
A nice Lily in bloom. I posted a picture of a yellow one like this in another blog. Red Lily from Home Depot. LOL.
Well my corn is still not up. I will replant it today or tomorrow. Cucumbers finally breaking the ground and this year I am going to try and get them to climb up a fence. Purple hull peas coming up. And some of the okra I planted is breaking the ground too. I do have okra coming up all over the garden but not where I planted..lol.
I took some pictures of some of the garden and flowers blooming in my yard. Hope you enjoy.
Hanging Basket at the back porch.
Watering the watermelons.
They made it through the winter. Many more blooms are coming.
Tomatoes, Peppers and potatoes.
Finally the cucumber fence. Hope it works out.
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