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Archive for August, 2010

A New Place

On Sunday, we helped K move from a tiny studio apartment to a 2 bedroom condo she is renting! Yahoo!!  A nice step-up, closer to work, and actually for less money.    🙂

We had our truck FULL!!  Dresser, ironing board, bookcase, small end table, small drawer unit, wicker chair, a cooler with meat, and stuff including empty boxes flattened to revive to finish off the old place.

We all arrived at the new place within a minute of each other just after 10 a.m.  K found an easy parking place and we were in the alley next to her back door for unloading.   We each took 2 trips up the 2 flights of round & round stairs with loads.   I wish I had a picture or video of when the dresser came out the back and the sheet covering it came off.  She LOVES it!!  🙂

I had already had the idea of spraying the handles with black (or ?) so that is another project for this week. She would have to drive out of the city to buy spray paint.  Hassle!

for now, in the living room and after the picture, holding the TV. 🙂

Just as we had our things unloaded the moving company called at 10:30 — 2 1/2 hrs early and they were ready to come!  Ack!!  So we hustled back…

I want to shop here!!

…to her old place midst Sunday traffic (25 mins)…

passed Wrigley Field!

and got there just behind them.   11:15 a.m.  Not the plan as there were still some things to go into boxes (and lunch to be eaten!!) but not when the movers are there at the same time!

Phil and I hurriedly put the boxes together, filled them, and sealed them shut.  By then, there was at least room to stand.  Phil moved boxes from the closet/storage area to the main room and the workers kept working.  It was nice!  We figured at the end there were 5 of them doing an assembly line move.   Two moved from the apt to the elevator, the others were down at the bottom of the elevator and moving out to the truck.  Of course, she didn’t even fill half their truck!  One piece of furniture (her futon – bed) and boxes.  Boxes.  Boxes.  And 2 sewing tables.    😉

hot, exhausted, exasperated, stressed, excited, exhausted

At that we all headed back to the new place.  We arrived just a few minutes before the moving truck.  Barely enough time to catch our breath.  Phil & K had just gone to the alley to watch for them and let them up.

To stay out of the way, I put polish on her stainless steel appliances and then sat on the counter as they walked passed.  Phil helped with the screen door back & forth for them as it opens backwards for moving ease.   K was near the door directing them to either the bedroom, the sewing room, or the living room.

I'm in the living room looking into the kitchen from the opening above some counter top.

They were finished and left at 1 p.m.  – her original appointment time.   🙂

We were STARVED by now!!  We went back to her old parking garage, had lunch at Five Guys on the corner, and then returned to the old place to clean.  Always such fun… NOT!  But with 3 of us, it was fine.

I'm at the door... this was IT! plus a bathroom to the side

Finally the old was clean and it was time to tell it good-bye.  It was 3:00.  (We continued to be thankful for the moving company.  Phil thought at this point he would have lost his friends if we had brought them along instead of the moving company!)

Goodbye Apt 205....

Finally arriving "home".

Back up to the new apartment.  Yeah!!  Moved in!  Now for unpacking.

First, K & I stopped to have snacks and revive.  Phil sorted boxes.  The sewing room has a nice closet so winter clothes and fabric boxes got PACKED in the closet.  Nearly to the ceiling.  Phil likes the puzzle of fitting as much as possible into ____ (insert your space: closet, storage room, trunk, etc.).

bedroom

I worked at cycling laundry through HER OWN washer & dryer IN HER APT so that I could make the bed with clean bedding.  I washed off silverware and helped arrange kitchen cupboards.

Finally after 5:30,  I suggested clean clothes and dinner out!   Phil & K decided on a Italian family restaurant nearby that has a parking lot so no fighting for a place on the busy street.  Yummy!!  K & I shared a small pizza (pepperoni, spinach, & artichokes!) and Phil had a fish dinner that included a cupcake!!    🙂    We sat & cooled off.  We were  t i r e d.

Back at the new apartment, K got in a quick shower, I made the bed (my usual job for her moves as I know where it all goes and makes me feel motherly 😉  ), and Phil made sure there were plenty of TV channels.   😉    We had drain cleaner to pour down the tub and kitchen sink.  K made her lunch for Monday and found clothes to wear to work in the morning.   It was time. We headed home.  8:20 p.m.

Traffic is not an issue that late on a Sunday night and neither did we have troubles early on Sunday morning.  Just what we like!   We got home at 10:40 p.m.

K is happy & sleeping well! Her new place is so quiet and nice.   Lovely neighborhood and on one trip out a young couple with a toddler were coming in the building.  Across the street are single family homes.   Nice cars line the streets.   Her commute to work is now cut in half!   No parking garage to pay for every month.

A wonderful step-up and change!!  Congratulations on the new place!!   ♥

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THE Weekend Cometh

I’m working on a few finishing touches and a bit more packing/gathering of things for Miss K & her new apartment.  Both K & I felt like colds last night.  😦   Of course, all her remedies are already packed but I’m hoping a good night of sleep helped her.

Part of my work today is cutting soap.  I made 8 batches in a bit less than a week that encompassed last weekend.   With all the humdity, they aren’t even setting up very quickly.  I usually cut my big block within a day or 2 of pouring and today struggled to cut the batch I poured on 8/20.   Frustrating to me!

I am really low on inventory so they need made so they can get curing but summer soaping is tough.

In this marathon of soaping, I’ve made:

  • Red Clover Tea
  • Evening Mocha
  • Almond, Milk, & Honey
  • Beach Boys
  • Black Raspberry Vanilla
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Fairy Flowers
  • Blackberry Vanilla Musk

Four batches still need cut.    There are 4 more on the replacing inventory list of regulars to be made yet and I have a list of 5 new ones I’d like to get done.  At least not much is planned for next week!   🙂

Most of these fragrances are totally sold out.  Hence the need to soap even tho it  has been humid!  These will be ready the end of September. I move to my show in town on Monday.

There are tomatoes to pick for K and I grilled extra meat to share with her since her gas (oven & stove) won’t be turned on until Friday.    She has been able to go most nights this past week to clean.   She’ll be so happy to be moved!

Gpa came over with a few things for K.  Including a put-together small set of 3 drawers.  I could have painted it — had I had it sooner!! haha!  Phil seems to delight in the challenge of packing the truck so I’m sure we’ll get in all we plan on taking.   🙂

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Continuing with my 3-part series…..

The previous post had me taking a time-out for Wednesday supper.  I got a new burst of energy with supper and headed out with Surfer.  (Sorry to say, no dude is attached to the can….)

I applied one coat of color.  It was still daylight and I was still going so I got a second coat on the dresser.  Those drawers would wait until morning for their second coat.

I was so pleased with the results when I headed out about 7 the next morning!   I wiped off the dew and arranged them to get the bit of sun filtering through the trees.

The paint is dry and not tacky at all!!  After giving the sunshine a bit of time to warm up my work area and dry out the dressers…

I gave the drawers their second coat and gave the dresser a 3rd coat.    All the trim likes to hide areas that I miss!

(We have cement workers here for Thursday and Friday and the one with 4 teeth wandered by while I was painting in the morning.  As he approached he said, “I think you need another color.”   Ha.  Ha.  No.   And then he continued on to tell me about his kids and grandkids and he doesn’t celebrate Christmas and so I hurried and was “done” and went back in the house.   :cough: )

After lunch, I hit the spots that needed a final touch-up and declared that I was DONE!!   🙂

Ta-Da!!


Of course, getting an accurate picture of the color seemed to be a whole ‘nother story!!

I seriously could not believe how dry the paint felt!  No tackiness AT ALL!!   I just had to put a drawer in to see it.

This is still looking too blue to me on my computer.   I took the drawers inside to wait until moving day and this photo of 2 drawers seems to be the color that I see in real life.  It is teal.

K has a great shop near her that she thinks will have the perfect hardware.  If she doesn’t get that accomplished today, your Part 3 will continue to wait.  This would look great with black or chocolate or a bright handle/knob!!

And before I started all the running & painting…. we tried it and it DOES fit in the back end of my truck!!   🙂

K got preview photos late last night and she said she LOVELOVELOVES it!!  ♥

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Soon after K got home Tuesday night (she goes to the new place to clean every night this week after work… at least it is cleaned her way and to her specs…), she sent an email that she LOVES the dresser.  And she sent me the color name & number for the paint.  Love shopping Sherwin-Williams online!

I thought if I needed to get this ready to move soon, I really needed to get going on it so went out that night to do level 1 of cleaning.  Phil had noticed a light smoke smell   😦  so I knew I could have a bit of work ahead of me.   Phil got the dresser out away from the beds and then stayed to help clean.   🙂

Upon this further investigation, we found out that the drawer fronts are plastic!! PLASTIC! Oooo-boy! Meanwhile, we washed every single speck of area with Wood Wash.  I like it and it doesn’t raise the wood with the water.  The main dresser is wood and the other sides of the drawers are wood.

to refresh your memory... BEFORE

The next morning (Wednesday) Phil said the garage didn’t smell as bad as the previous night so we had washed off some of the smell along with lots of grime.  I had already googled for ideas of removing the smell and the next easiest trick up my sleeve was vinegar.

I filled a spray bottle with straight white vinegar and sprayed every bit of surface.  Even I smelled like vinegar when I was done!  We had also moved it to the driveway into the sunshine & breeze but most said that method takes weeks.  I don’t have weeks to spare.   (tho she can move w/o a dresser, it is just nice when we are driving in there to take it.)

While that was drying I continued my work with google search, this time looking for ways to paint over plastic.  I came across this blog and decided I’d like Zinsser BIN for my project.  Not only did she say it would prime laminate (mine is more plastic than laminate) but without sanding.  Yahoo!!

Another google search, showed me that the product is carried at Home Depot.   It was just nearing 10 a.m., another batch of soap had been poured, dishes were done, one man was working and the other at class, so I was off to get supplies!

I decided I’d get the sponge roller, wood filler & putty knife, and “stuff” at Menards and then get the paint at S-W.  If I couldn’t find the Zinsser in that town, I’d head to the next town and start with Home Depot.  I was on a mission! Phil had instructions that if I wasn’t home, he could make a sandwich for dinner.  🙂   (He does like a good homemade hoagie!)

Just taking a stab… I asked the worker in the Menard’s paint dept if they had Zinsser brands.  Yes, right here.

>cue angels singing!!!<

Just the answer I was hoping he’d give me!! (but really I was doubtful!)  I paid my bill and headed out the door!! Happy!!

Next stop — paint!

At Sherwin-Williams, I grabbed the paint chip card with the correct color name on it.  Surfer.  Whoa!!! It was NOT blue as had appeared on my computer screen.   I decided to take the risk and call K at work to clarify.   The receptionist said she’d need to page K but didn’t think she was meeting with a bride so I thought that was OK.

She was.

It was still OK and we didn’t even talk 1 minute.

K said she was fine with teal so I proceeded on.

This does NOT look like the chip in the store but I know that computers don’t read color the same as real life (unless, my son told us, that I have an add-in to the tune of a few hundred dollars).

After getting the paint, I (stupidly) asked about covering the top of the dresser that has a formica type top.  I said I had the Zinsser BIN primer and she said, “NO, that won’t work!! It will melt plastic.  Is there is any gloss to the finish? (yes)  It won’t work.”

😦

I said I also had a S-W ProBlock primer and she said that was a much better choice.

I just paid $24.95 for my miracle can of BIN!!

I returned home with a diet caffeine-free pop to calm my nerves.  🙂

I googled about BIN some more.

I referenced my Coats Craft Encyclopedia.    😉  😉

I had lunch.  (Home in time to grill steaks, thankyouverymuch.)

Phil put the previously painted bookcase back together in the basement.

Molly wanted to help.

(She was trying to get to me and this just wasn’t working!  But she didn’t try backing up either.  Phil actually moved the bookcase from her as she stayed there wagging her tail for several minutes while he worked.)

Next up….

I took the plunge!  My google-searched opinion VS.  the S-W paid worker opinion.

I got all the stuff out and the men carried the dresser (I took the drawers) to the backyard for my workstation.  Phil set up planks to keep the dresser out of the {long and fast-growing} grass and a higher workstation for the drawers.  Nine drawers.   I got all the knobs off and saved in a baggie.

I put a bit of Zinsser BIN on the inside part of a drawer.   Nothing immediate happened.  I put some on the top of the dresser.  All dried quickly, nothing rubbed off, I was in business!

Soon, I fell in LOVE with Zinsser B I N!!  ♥

It covered everything!  The detail on the drawers…. a PITA, but some swirling/scrubbing action of the paint brush got the primer worked in the details.

By the time I was finished with a coat of the primer about 3:40 p.m., I was wondering what I would prime next!  I love this stuff!!  The dresser no longer looked like plastic!!  The top no longer looked like formica!

The Zinsser BIN also blocks odors so I did the back of the dresser to seal it.  I did not do all of the inside in lieu of saving my sanity and I seriously didn’t smell anything but wood at this point.   (The Zinsser BIN smells but the lovely breeze outside kept that at bay.)

Phil thought I should keep it white.

I knew better…

I took a break (the usual sugar-free + carb-free brownie and sf ice cream) and kept with the Surfer color plan.    Had a short chat with my mom (Dad’s next step is 7 weeks of 5 days a week radiation, 30+ miles each way.) and gave her all the details of the new apt for K, and the painting job, and life in general.   I’m serious, it was a shorter chat than normal.  It was nearing supper time and she had just gotten off the phone with another sister.

first coat of primer

Six of the nine drawers have these designs.  Two on each drawer.  Twelve.

After snack – break time, I added a second coat of primer to the drawer fronts.

Soon it was time for supper….

to be continued~

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We have been hunting for a bed for Miss K this summer and the auctions have been seriously lacking!  Something happened since the time I used to go to auctions more often and they would sell bedroom SETS for $25 and now where it seems all the family KEEPS the beds!  So… I was happy that the listing for the Monday auction listed “beds”.

No doubt!  There were at least 6 full-size beds for me to chose from and several twin sets.  Yahoo!!  (The auction was from several people/estates so not the local orphanage.  😉  )

First, we had to sell through at least 10 hay racks of stuff.  Wowsers!!  On one hand, this team goes fast.  On the other hand, they go fast!  The lowest bid they took 95% of the time was $2.50.  I prefer $1.  🙂

I got a few things off the racks… a rug for K … It looks brand-new, doesn’t smell, and nothing drops out of it — $5.  It is 4′ wide so maybe 6′ long.

and a marble cheese tray/plate with glass dome for my SIL

and some cross-stitched pillowcases for a linen quilt ala Cindy Needham

and 2 old quilts

This is just a top; it isn’t quilted.  Dresden Plate pattern in (what I’d guess) are 30’s prints.  Hand stitched together and machine stitched to see-through muslin squares.  The centers don’t have their traditional appliqué circle… neither are they very alike in size and shape.   The blocks are about 14″ and there are 6 blocks x 5 blocks.

I would like to remove the “plates” from the muslin and put them on better fabric and add the centers.  Then quilt it.

This box also had a piece of either very coarse muslin or light canvas squares sewn together.  I washed it today and am considering using it for a canvas mixed media book.  It frayed a TON in the washer!!

The other quilt in the box is this Bow Tie quilt.

The blocks are 5″ and all hand pieced.  The border is added by machine and the quilt is tied with awful orange yarn.   The border wraps around for binding to the back.

I found this tag pinned on.

It seems like info about the amount of fabric for border & backing but not sure.  Bummer the tag wasn’t her name and the year she made this….

What era are these fabrics?

I love the fabric prints and this is in good condition.   I also wonder if the border was a later addition as it isn’t as nice of fabric as the blocks.  I’d like to untie this, give it new batting, and quilt it.

The fun part was that my MIL (Queen of Auctions) was there and we kept tabs on each other.  She alerted me that they had started a second “ring” on the furniture while I was busy waiting for the quilt box to be up for bids.  She offered to watch the pile I had already bought in front of me. I begged her to bid on the quilt box and she did!  They only did a bit of the furniture where I needed to watch and then moved to office furniture so I returned to check.  She was there at an empty hay rack with my box of quilts!  I was so excited to see it with her and gingerly asked how much it cost me.  $50.  I was pleased!! So much had gone really high that day and I know quilts usually bring a good price.  Course, maybe you think that is high.  I don’t and Phil was fine with it too.   🙂   MIL claimed some misc china pieces out of a box as her “pay” for “watching” my stuff.   🙂  I hope she didn’t miss something as she stood guard… ohmygoodness… I’d be in DEEP trouble if she did.   🙂

Finally they came back to furniture but started at the opposite end of the large shed from where I was.  I hustled through the crowd (playground skills return once again, Mom) and got to the bidding area just 3 items before a bed.

I got that bed… headboard, footboard, and rails… plus a laundry drying rack and an ironing board.    $15  Score!!

Phil set up the beds (only using 3 sides) last night in the garage so I could get pix for K. Not sure about those spots that appeared in the picture. I'll clean these all tomorrow.

Around the corner to the outside wall… I lost some bids but that was OK… finally to the bed I really liked.  Mine!  $20.   I love this one!

These 2 will SING with some cleaning and a good ol’ wipe of Old English furniture polish.   🙂   K will chose one and I think I’ll put the other one in her/the guest room.

I was mostly done at this point but then ended up taking a dresser, 2 large mirrors, 3 UGLY table lamps all for $1 and a set of metal bed rails for $2.50.  Just in case these wood ones don’t go plus we have a queen set w/o rails also in the garage.  I also got two huge bookcases.   Time to clean and organize the sewing room!! Ack!

The dresser is non-too-lovely but functional and well made. I think some dashing white or light cream paint and some new knobs would be lovely!  Do you?

Other dressers at this sale went for $60 – $80 and they weren’t nice or antique either.  ???   I’ll take the $1 one.

As I walked away to call Phil, he appeared behind me.  I had texted him that I’d need his help but wasn’t done about 1/2 hr earlier.   I showed him all the furniture and he got the beds in my truck and put the mirrors in my back seat.  I had already filled the back seat with “stuff”.   The dresser and 2 bookcases fit in his truck.  MIL took the lamps in her car.  She is considering them since they were headed the dumpster otherwise.   At least they had really nice shades that she can use.

As we finished loading, a man asked if I wanted the bed still there that he pointed out.   Phil agreed it could go to the ministry he volunteers at that delivers furniture to needy families so we took it for that.  A third set: headboard, footboard, and rails.  I have more to clean.

All in all… I was pleased with my shopping.   Hope you liked the tour of my loot.   🙂

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This is really a combo of fabric dyeing and tshirt makeovers.  Both make me very happy!!   🙂  I showed you in June some shirts I had made over.

Nearly every time I dye fabric, JP asks if I’ve dyed him a shirt.  I saw that CVS had white tshirts for $2 each so bought one in XL to try for me.   I did a 1 layer – 3 color dyeing process (low-water immersion) using 3 pink dyes and loved the result!

So I returned to CVS and got a Medium shirt for JP and in lieu of not finding XL, got 3 shirts in size L for me.   (and K)   They are posted as 5/$10 and it took a few minutes of discussion for me to get the clerk to understand they should ring up as $2 each, not $2.50.   🙄   I won.    🙂

One day last week, I got all the supplies out and dyed the 4 shirts.  (shirts were prewashed in synthrapol)

The shirts are longer than my plastic bins so I gave them a bit more scrunch and a zigzag in the basin.  Before arranging the shirt, I gathered it by hand across from sleeve to sleeve so that any lines appearing from the dye would be vertical.   🙂

Here are the shirts after dyeing.

From the left:  fuschia – lavender – turquoise,

yellow – soft orange – dark orange,

fuschia – orange – green (turned out better than I expected!),

3 pinks (the dark area is shadow, the shirt is lighter to darker pinks but no splotchy at the bottom),

JP’s in marine, green, & bronze.

JP pulled his off the hanger and was ready to go!   🙂  He loves it!

Now to make them fit us girls nicely….

Since the nieces were interested in my tshirt makeovers, I took a few pictures during the process.  I worked on these in bits & pieces of time this past week and sometimes forgot the camera so several shirts are shown here.

Big Boxy Shirt

First I cut off the sleeves

Fold both sleeves in half and lay on top of each other with the bottom hems and center fold matching.  Lay the sleeve pattern on the shirt sleeves with the hem at the hem line (I chose the shorter version of sleeve) and the fold on the foldline of the pattern.  Cut around the pattern.  It would be easier to cut one sleeve at a time, but I prefer speed.

The new sleeve already hemmed and will fit the new tshirt sleeve area.

Sleeveless tshirt folded in half (still together at shoulder seams).

Place the pattern on shirt lining up center front/back foldline with pattern edge and line up the shoulder seam with the pattern.  Here is where I notice I have size L instead of XL as the corner of the sleeve barely fits on the fabric.  Other shirts had a small amount of fudge-factor in there.

(do you have suggestions of what to do with the bottom piece I cut off?  I have these lovely dyed strips now.)

The hardest part is inserting the sleeve.  I pin at the shoulder and the 2 sides and then work the sleeve into the shirt pinning as I go.  Work with the shirt on top so that when sewing, the sleeve will be against your feed dogs on the machine.

Stitch the side seams — I pin at the bottom of the shirt and at the sleeve seam.  I line up the sleeve hem by hand when I get there.   Because I use my serger (not necessary; a zig-zag is fine), I leave a long thread tail and thread it back into the seam (just at the sleeve end, not the bottom) when I’m finished.

I think the Pamela’s Patterns tips for the hem are super!  In the past, I’ve used the steam-a-seam in the 3/8″ roll.  However, it comes off the paper and I would end up having an argument with it too often. For this batch of shirts, I cut the sheets of steam-a-seam into 3/8″ strips.  Much easier!  Press (by hand) the fusible to the bottom of the shirt.   Then iron.

After applying to the whole bottom edge, pull off the paper.

Fold up the edge along the steam-a-seam and ease the fullness along the curved areas.

I hem from the right side so I’m only changing the top thread to match the shirt for each one.  (I have in a gray bobbin thread.)  I use a long & sort of narrow zig-zag for the hem.

These are just shirts for fun, not dressy ones for me so I’m not too picky!  I sure didn’t buy an odd greenish thread to match that hem!  I used what I had that was close.

Pamela’s Pattern, TShirt Makeover, also includes how to stitch down the neckline for another modification.  I never have done that and am fine with the tshirt neckline.

Here is my attempt at a finished picture but it was too breezy.

I also did an Ohio tshirt I bought on my way home in June.   Not $2 but I thought $12 for a souvenir shirt was reasonable.    🙂

Pamela’s website also offers a DVD on this.  I don’t have it so can’t vouch for how necessary it is.  I have made a zillion tshirts over the years so that thought process is fresh in my head.   Someone with the DVD will need to chime in on how they like it.    😉

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August Plantings

Phil had such great results with his fall radishes last year that he was anxious to get some in again this fall/after wheat harvest.

In the spring, the field that had radishes was very mellow to plant into, the corn germinated faster, more corn came up, and the soil tested well on the soil tests.

Here you can see the difference where the seeds were close to where manure had been knifed in, they have already grabbed onto that nitrogen and grown faster.

He did more research on cover crops and then drove to a supplier in Iowa about an hour away for seed this year.  Last year his radish seed was trucked in from Ohio.  He enjoyed talking with the farmer at the Iowa supply place and bought radish seed, peas, and oats.

The former wheat field to the south of the barn has a mix of radishes & peas that he planted August 5.  He finished it that Saturday.

The field behind his dad’s has a mix of all three and was drilled last week on Friday.  (All these pictures are from the field just south of the barn and show radishes & peas.)

The first field already has shoots a couple inches tall.  We continue with plenty of rain and heat so I’m sure the little seedlings are liking their conditions!

peas & radish close-up

Phil said the planting is to be 8# of seed per acre.   He thinks this is a bit thick.  The radishes get pretty big with a good amount of leaves.  He plants them with his drill and it is hard to get an accurate way to set it because planting radishes like this is so new.

None of this is for eating for us.  It is feeding the ground and holding onto the nitrogen for the crops to use next year.

Nina had been running hard, hence panting HARD, before we went to see the fields.  She refused to get in the back of the truck so ended up following us to the field. Here she laid down for oh… 30 seconds or so.   When we were ready to head back, Phil picked her up and put her in the back of the truck for the ride back to the house.  She loves running… just doesn’t know when to stop.

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