J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “March, 2021”

Cancel Culture Just Keeps Coming

This article is another example of how cancel culture just can’t leave well enough alone, and how it keeps coming after our history. Falsehoods about how Confederate monuments were erected during the Jim Crow period, and how they are racist, are completely wrong and inaccurate. In reality, these monuments were erected decades after the Civil War ended because it took that long for Southern groups to fund them. Monuments were erected in honor of missing and deceased ancestors, and had nothing to do with racism. In reality, the War Between the States was not about slavery. It’s shameful that certain states are doing away with their history instead of teaching it appropriately.

IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE

Upset by the Tennessee Historical Commission’s March 8 vote to remove the state Capitol’s bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, some GOP legislators are pushing to cancel appointments of all 29 commissioners on the panel — members who were mostly named by scalawag governor Bill Lee because he knew they would vote to remove Confederate monuments.

The reconstituted commission would be reduced to 12 members, and Lee would have four picks. Fellow Republicans Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton would also get four appointments each.
Senate Government Operations Committee members last week voted 5-4 to give Senate Bill 600 a “positive” recommendation, signaling support for the commission changes. Sponsored by Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, the bill says the current 29-person board’s membership would be “vacated” and replaced with the 12 new appointees.


“In our culture today, it seems there is a desire to cancel history, cancel culture, cancel narratives that are just based on fact. I think that that’s a dangerous precedent,” said Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, in supporting the overhaul.

(Nathan Bedford Forrest was not a founder of the KKK and was cleared in a Congressional hearing.)

(Article courtesy of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter, March 26, 2011 ed.)

Guest Post by Yuriy Moshes

7 Myths About Buying a House You Can Ignore

For decades, owning a home has been a part of the American dream. The process can be quite tedious and complicated as the times, regulations and conventions change. This has brought about a number of myths and misconceptions around becoming a homeowner. In this article, we’ll walk you through 7 little-known financing facts around buying a home to help you separate real estate facts from fiction. 

Myth 1 – You Shouldn’t Buy in a Seller’s Market

“Seller’s market” is a term regularly used in real estate when a low supply of homes for sale meets a high demand of buyers. Simply put, there are more buyers than homes for sale. While this can make it tougher for you to find the property of your dreams without engaging in bidding wars or paying higher than the asking price, you should think about much more than whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market when deciding to buy a home. Are mortgage rates low? Is the inventory on the market high quality? Are you getting a good deal on the property? What’s your financial situation? Don’t let a seller’s market hold you back if the time is right for you to become a homeowner.

Myth 2 – You’ll Save Money by Not Working with a Real Estate Agent

Why would you spend money on a real estate agent when you have access to homes for sale on the internet? It makes more sense to save on the agent’s commission and do it all yourself, right? Wrong. Very wrong. In reality, following this myth might cost you more in the long run. Real estate agents are skilled in negotiation, and they understand the market, so they can get you better deals. Besides, it’s their job to ensure that you get a good price on your home. Choosing to forego a real estate agent could also make sellers less likely to negotiate with you or even consider your offer in the first place. The whole process is a lot easier with an experienced agent on your side. Your agent will likely work with the real estate lawyer (though it’s not required in many states, we do recommend having an attorney review the transaction) to ensure all bases are covered. Having an agent on your side streamlines the entire process and introduces you to opportunities you might not have had otherwise. 

Myth 3 – You Need to Have 20% for Your Down Payment

This is by far one of the most popular mortgage myths out there. Sticking to a budget is great, but you don’t need to have 20% ready to put down. Years ago, you did need at least 20% before you could get approved for a mortgage, however, there are many other loan options today that don’t require that much money down, including FHA loans. Sometimes you can put down only 1% and still be approved, depending on the circumstances. 

While you don’t need 20%, we recommend putting as much down as you can, as it will help you secure lower interest rates and private mortgage insurance, as well as widen your opportunities. 

Myth 4 – You Need Amazing Credit to Get a Home Loan

There is so much more that goes into your mortgage approval than your credit score alone. Lenders will also look at your income and work history, your debt-to-income ratio, your assets and your down payment. In fact, there is no minimum credit score required by any lender to qualify someone for a home loan. Depending on the lender and the type of loan, you could be approved with various scores. While institutions do get to set their own credit requirements for conventional loans, government-backed loans, like FHA loans will go much lower on score requirements– the minimum score needed for FHA loans is usually around 580. 

We recommend working on your score if it’s on the lower side. The higher the score, the more options you’ll have. People with higher scores usually benefit from the following:

  • Lower interest rates
  • More mortgage/lender options
  • Lower income requirements
  • Lower down payment requirements
  • Better rates on homeowners insurance

Myth 5 – You Should Spend the Entire Amount You Qualify for on Your Home

Just because you qualify for an amount doesn’t mean you should spend that amount. Many first-time homebuyers fall into this myth. Remember that you determine your budget, not the bank. Whether you’re buying an as-is house, a luxury penthouse or a fixer-upper, there are a few key items that can help you determine how much you can afford on your home, regardless of how much the bank approves you for:

  1. Your monthly income – How much money do you bring in per month? Knowing this number will help you establish a baseline of what you can afford to pay on monthly expenses.
  2. Cash reserves – This is how much money you have to make your down payment and pay your closing costs. This can come from savings accounts, investments, etc.
  3. Expenses and debt – What expenses and debt do you already have? What do you pay monthly on those? This can include things like car notes, credit card bills, groceries, utilities, insurance, student loans, etc.

A good guideline to determine how much house you can afford is the 28/36 rule. This rule states that you spend 28% of your gross monthly income on costs related to your home and 36% on your debt (student loans, mortgages, etc). While the 28/36 rule is a great jumping-off point, be sure to take your bigger financial picture into account when deciding how much you can afford on your home.

Myth 6 – You Should Always Choose the Loan With the Lowest Interest Rate

While interest rates are a big deciding factor, pay attention to the details of your specific loans. Interest rates may start out low and increase over time. For example, adjustable rate mortgages will reset, often falling into a higher rate as time passes. On the other hand, fixed rates may have a higher interest rate at the beginning, but you can trust that they will remain at that rate and not drastically increase on you. 

To help you select the rate that makes sense for you, be sure to go over the details of your loan with a professional. They can help you understand the ins and outs of your specific loan, which will help you to make better decisions that align with your future goals. 

Myth 7 – Your Mortgage Payment Is Your Only Monthly Home-Related Expense

Of all of the real estate myths covered in this article, number 7 could get you in the biggest of pickles. This should be estimated and factored into your initial budget setting. Your mortgage will definitely not be the only home-related expense you need to plan for. You’ll need to think about utilities, HOA fees, insurance and property taxes, landscaping fees, etc. Your real estate agent can help you calculate these expenses to help you determine the budget and locations that make financial sense for you. 

Don’t forget that owning a home also means taking financial responsibility when things break. Sometimes you’ll have to replace HVAC parts, mend the roof and repair pipes. You never know when these expenses might come, so having a rainy day fund packed into your budget is a good idea. 

Owning a Home Makes Financial Sense

Which of these is a common financial benefit of home ownership? 

  • Ability to build home equity – Your home value will increase over time
  • Tax deductions – You’ll save on taxes
  • Long-term savings – Building equity allows you to set aside money for your future
  • Control over expenses – No rent spikes

The answer is all of the above are financial benefits that come with home ownership. Owning a home, while a great responsibility, can be very lucrative in the long run. With these home-buying myths busted, we hope you have a clearer understanding on the process of becoming a homeowner, so you can reap the benefits, too. Happy home hunting!

About the Author

Yuriy Moshes is the CEO of Moshes Law and attorney with broad expertise. He has two bachelor’s degrees. Being an experienced expert, he is considered one of the most in-demand specialists in the real estate law field. Apart from that, he provides free consultation for everyone who faces foreclosure problems.


Description: We’ve addressed popular home-buying myths to separate fact from fiction. From your down payment amount and how credit score plays into approval to budget advice, and interest rates, we’ve brought truth to the myths hindering many would-be homeowners. 

Featured Interview With The Dixie Heritage Show

Recently, I was featured on an edition of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter. This was my third interview with Dr. Edward DeVries. Dr. Ed is a wonderful person with amazing credentials. According to his newsletter, “Dr. Ed is a pastor, college president, historian, the author of over 40 books, an in-demand public speaker, and the host of three radio shows. He is an active lobbyist, tirelessly petitioning city, county, state, and federal officials on behalf of our Southern monuments and heritage. He started Dixie Heritage in March of 2015.”

Our interview started out with a discussion about the current state of things, most notably, the Covid situation, but then evolved into a conversation about my nonfiction book, Horses in Gray. Have a listen., and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Guest Post by David Tylor

Here’s another guest post that I think you will enjoy. With Spring soon approaching, it’s time to start preparing for outdoor entertaining. This article might help you get inspired!

Ultimate Guide on Painting Your Garden Furniture

Instead of replacing your old, weathered wood furniture outdoors, grit, prime, and paint the sand’s surface creates new patio furniture. It is also a good choice to work on old things in our houses and make them new. Just like furniture instead of windows replacements if paint fades, you can paint and give them new look. Don’t replace sidings if it gets fade, instead paint it. It will save your lot of expenses. 

Clean surfaces regularly with a soft product, sand the surfaces to prevent mold, and cover or store components during the winter months. With proper care, the only time you need to repaint your patio furniture is when you want to change the color. 

So when you have some wood lawn chairs with chipped paint and woodcut or shredded, it’s honestly not difficult to make them look fabulous. Repairing such furniture is much closer to carpentry and painting houses than the experienced world, for example, restoring an antique table. 

What Should You Use to Paint Your Garden Furniture?

There are many ways to handle wooden patio furniture, and your choice of finishing will depend on the type of wood and what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you have hardwood benches, the oil will moisten the wood grain to give the furniture extra protection and emphasize its natural style. The oil doesn’t change the color of the bank. It just restores him.

Lacquer adds a short protective film to the wood and better protects garden furniture from wood moisture. You require this additional protection for softwood. Varnishes are mostly transparent coatings such as oil as they enhance the natural color of the table.

The wood surface absorbs a paint-like stain that adds color to your furniture, not to change the unique patterns and textures. However, the paint remains on the wood and covers the entire body.

Prepare Your Furniture Before Painting

Before painting your wooden patio furniture, you should always clean it. Mix washing liquid and warm water in a bowl and applying the wood with a soft brush. After cleaning, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

If your furniture is older and has mold and mildew, see our article for cleaning recommendations.

After cleaning, you should examine the wood and touch any cracked or broken parts.

Remove any loose chips and add them back to the furniture with waterproof glue. You can also use a sealant to fill in gaps in the wood. Leave a little more in the aperture as the sealant will shrink until it dries. You can grind this. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface after both touches so you can’t see where the affected area is, then wipe with a damp cloth.

Tips To Paint Your Garden Furniture

Let’s hover over the points that will tell us how we can paint the furniture and how will it give a new look to our old furniture-

  • Select The Paint

Deciding which color to paint your furniture depends on several factors, including personal preference, the environment and color scheme of your garden, the topic you are looking for, and other practical considerations such as availability.

Rattan furniture is usually bold when it comes to color, striking shades of red or navy. Or could the older, faded furniture be turned into a glossy white?

By painting your rattan in this bold, traditional color, you can offset a touch of soft elegance with a smooth or patterned pillow for all weather conditions.

  • Cleaning

Before applying that first coat of paint, you need to make sure the furniture is clean. Older chunks have likely built up some soil over the years, which you will need to remove to ensure a flawless finish.

Remove all grime and grime from all surfaces with a soft brush (vacuum cleaners and brushes work well). You can also use the brush cover on the vacuum cleaner to move furniture around, especially around nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach places.

Finally, use a mild soap solution of sugar and a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the entire area and let it dry completely.

  • Use an Undercoat at Your Base

By applying a primer to your furniture, you give yourself the best chance of getting the smooth and even finish you want. It can also help reduce the total amount of paint you need on each piece of furniture.

You can buy a spray primer, but you can get an equally good finish by applying a standard acrylic primer with a soft brush.

  • Which Brush Should You Use?

Is the brush right for your color? Oil paints usually have a different coat than latex paints. The brush label indicates this.

Is the brush size appropriate for your project? When painting furniture, a smaller brush may be better. Make sure it fits perfectly into your paint container.

Rollers are ideal for large flat surfaces, e.g., B. tabletop. It can also help reduce brush marks!

  • Take Care of Climate While Painting

Time is a significant factor. If your skin is sunburned and sweaty, the paint may be too hot. It will cause the paint to dry too quickly. If it’s too windy and you use spray paint, your color may dissolve before it reaches the surface. You can wait for the wind to die down or build a spray tunnel out of cardboard. Generally, a temperature of 21 ° C and a humidity of about 50% are ideal painting conditions.

Conclusion

If your garden is a small country, make a statement with bright, bold, plaid colors. Alternatively, if you prefer a natural look, complement the environment with soft, natural colors.

Whatever your taste, follow our simple guide and make your garden furniture the envy of all neighbors.

Book Blitz – The Long Road Home

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Losing the boy she loved nearly destroyed MEHAK KHANNA. But letting him in a second time can be more dangerous for her. Rishi Sehgal has left a steady stream of broken hearts in his wake and if Mehak is not careful then she may just end up becoming the next victim of his dashing charisma. But Rishi is everywhere with his charm, his wit, and that devastating smile. Now Mehak has to fight a daily battle to not fall for him again.

RISHI SEHGAL has never forgotten Mehak, the girl who broke his heart when he was very young. Thanks to her, he has his rules—no relationships, no staying the night, and no promises. But all his hard rules fly right out of the window when Mehak returns into his life. Now Rishi has to decide if he can open his heart to Mehak a second time. 

Some things, however, are written in the stars and sometimes you have to move beyond the past and choose to believe in love.

However, what destroyed their relationship the first time will once again test their love. Will they survive a second test, especially with Mehak’s life on the line? Will Rishi and Mehak learn that true love is worth fighting for?

Find out more in this tale of young love and second chances.

Book Links:
Goodreads


Book Trailer:

Meet Mehak Khanna from The Long Road Home

Calm, poised, a woman of few words and a complete introvert, MEHAK KHANNA, works as the Director of Graphic Design in QubeCore. Her corkscrew curls are a cause of dissent between her mother and her, but Mehak is done with going for hair straightening treatments ever again in life. Her one experience was a disaster which she’s happy never repeating. 

At 29, Mehak has only one aim in life which is to succeed at her job. Her work is her religion and her life is set on the right path or so she thinks, until a chance meeting at her workplace with Rishi Sehgal changes everything. He’s the first boy she ever loved and who crushed her heart so many years ago. 

But this time around being with him feels different. He seems changed and the more she meets him, the more she realizes that maybe she ought to forget and forgive.

About the Author:

Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers. So do give her a shout on

Sapna on the Web:
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Book Blitz – The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée

A scandal-averse Maharaja.
A free-spirited actress.
What do you get when you throw them together and add a fake engagement to the mix? 
Either a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster…

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Nivy Sharma knows exactly what she needs – the freedom to be herself and follow her passion. Guess what she doesn’t need? A tailor-made husband.

When her meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Nivy runs the other way. 

Right into the arms of the man who shattered her heart.

His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognise a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.

Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on forever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer vows to run the other way. As he did once before…

But, when the marriage-minded princess of Tejpur sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Nivy’s arms to propose a fake engagement.

When ‘fake’ starts to feel very real, Nivy and Veer have to decide what is important… long-held prejudices or the chance for a life with the only person they’ve ever loved.

Will this be their second chance at love or will their broken past ruin their hope for a shared future?

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Releasing 10th March! PREORDER Today!

Read an Excerpt from The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée

His Highness Veerendra Singh looked at the girl lying unconscious in his arms and his heart skipped a beat. Once, he had dreamed of just such a moment, when Nivy would swoon into his arms and he’d rescue her from a monster. He wondered if he’d stepped into a time machine and travelled backwards, because the last time he had seen that lovely face had been five years ago. Nivy had since scraped the dust of Devgarh off her heels and never looked back.

“Veer, what did you do to her?”

He looked into the accusing eyes of his sister and scowled.

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Zombie’s your dog, and if he scares someone to death, that’s your fault,” she argued.

Veer looked at the unconscious girl critically, and then he looked at his sister.

“She doesn’t look dead,” he said with a straight face.

“That’s Nivy, you dolt. I’m surprised you didn’t recognise her, considering how you watch every movie of hers from the first row.”

Veer shook his head at the utter lack of respect and wondered if he could get away with dunking her in the palace pond. Probably not, he thought regretfully. 

Sisters were a cross one had to bear with a smile, especially if one was the head of a respectable royal family. Even if he was sorely tempted to land Jessie a swift kick in the butt, he would grit his teeth and ignore the brat, for he didn’t like to distress his mother. 

Meanwhile, Nivy moaned softly, and to Veer’s horror, the sound went straight to his groin. To make matters worse, he realised where his hands had landed when she fell into his arms. The left one was directly under her breast, and the right one was on her curvy butt. He was aware of a sudden need to clench his fingers.

Veer took in a deep breath and tried to channel his thoughts into less lewd directions, but her citrusy scent invaded his senses. As he stared at Nivy, her lips parted and she moaned again. There was a tiny mole on her upper lip that simply begged for a closer inspection. 

Jessie cleared her throat.

“I don’t think she needs mouth-to-mouth,” she said, dryly.

Veer realised that he had been bending over Nivy’s prone body. Damn that trouble-making mole!

He jerked his head back, and nodded to the butler hovering discreetly.

“Munshi Ji, please bring us a chair,” he said, with a glare at his sister. 

“No, wait! You need to take her to my room,” squeaked Jessie.

Veer looked at her suspiciously. His sister had that look on her face which she got when she was up to something.

Also, why was Nivy not waking up?

As if on cue, she moaned again, and Veer gritted his teeth. He needed to drop this inviting little bundle right now, before he embarrassed himself.

“A chair will do, Jessie.”

His sister put her hands on her hips.

“And which medical university did you graduate from, Your Highness? Stop playing doctor and just carry Nivy to my room, if you please,” she snapped.

 Veer rolled his eyes.

“What’s going on, Veer? Is that Nivy? What happened to her?”

Veer stifled a groan, as he turned to his mother who had just walked out of the ballroom where she had been wooing some miserly royals into loosening their purse strings.

“Yes, that’s Nivy, Ma,” said Jessie

“And what is she doing in Veer’s arms?”

Veer opened his mouth to explain, but his pest of a sister beat him to it.

“He was just carrying her upstairs to my room.”

“You can’t expect me to carry her up three flights of stairs, Jessie. Unless you really want my spine to telescope. Is that your grand plan?”

Jessie drew in a sharp breath and stared at him in horror.

“Veer! Did you just call Nivy fat?”

An icy voice echoed her question.

“Yes. Did you?”

Veer looked down, right into a pair of furious brown eyes. Thickly lashed and luminous. But, furious.

Meet the Author:

Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.

She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible. 

The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée is Alisha’s first book.

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Awesome Review for A Rebel Among Us

I received the March/April 2021 edition of the Confederate Veteran. Inside was a review for my novel, A Rebel Among Us. What an exciting surprise! I sent the book to the magazine about two years ago for a review, and I finally received one. However, since the time I sent a copy of the novel for review, I acquired a new publisher for the book, Westwood Books Publishing. The novel also has a new cover. Here it is:

Because the magazine is mailed out to Sons of Confederate Veterans members, it isn’t published on a website. So I copied the review and am posting it here. Thank you, Cathy Hanford West, for your nice review! (Spoiler alert: much of the plot is revealed in this review.)

Guest Post by Diane Seka

Here’s a guest post that I thought some of you might be interested in. Over the course of my life, I’ve moved over 40 times, and I’m not even in the military! Why not have a good book to read while your moving? Ms. Seka answers that question.

Top Three Books to Read While Moving

Between hunting for a new place, evaluating the host of movers in your area before settling for a reputable local moving company, gathering packing supplies and doing the actual packing, not to mention the long list of to-do’s waiting to be ticked, it is understandable that you feel overwhelmed.

Then comes the actual moving day itself. The movers have to arrive at the scheduled time and load up belongings onto the truck, so you want to be sure everything is set and ready to go in advance.

Not to mention, if you have family or a pet owner, there is the child that needs watching over and your furry four-legged member of the family also needs to be kept out of the way.

It’s little wonder then that moving house is considered one of the top stressors in life.

At this time, anything that could distract the mind in a positive way would be welcome. That particularly goes for when we’re moving long-distance to a different part of the country.

One of the best distractions to keep the mind occupied is – no, not the wine (that can wait until we arrive at the new home) – a good read.

Even those of us who are absolutely at home with nothing to keep us occupied but our thoughts can get bored during a long-distance move. It is times like these that a good book would be most appreciated.

Now, if you’re wondering what titles would be nice to include in your list, we have a few suggestions we think would make for excellent company during the trip.

  1. On the Road (By Jack Kerouac)

Of course, what better book to pick up while you’re on the road than – welp! –  one that goes by that same name?

On the Road is a Beat Generation classic by Jack Kerouac written in 1957. The timeless travel novel relays the story of Sal (Kerouac’s main character) who lives in New York City and decides to pull up stakes to head west.

Driven by a frustration and desire to see the world, Sal makes the most of his time, making friends along the way, riding the rails and partying the night away.

With the pressures of modern life, this is a theme that may very well resonate with you. And you’ll love that Sal grows into a better, stronger and more confident individual through all his travel adventures.

  1. A Year of Living Danishly (By Helen Russell)

Dubbed “the world’s happiest country”, Hellen Russell tells the story of the time she followed her husband to Denmark after he landed a job at the Lego office in Jutland.

She spends her time freelance-writing while trying to uncover why the Danes are such a happy bunch.

She explores everything in her book – from food, to education, childcare, sexism, taxes, interior design and more – and does so while throwing a comedic twist to it, making for a poignant story that’s sure to keep you hooked.

Yes, turns out the Danes don’t have much tolerance for witches too.

What this is is an informative read that’s hilarious at the same time – self-deprecating even – that tells an intriguing story of someone trying to fit in.

Just what you need as you head out to start life in the new lands.

  1. The Alchemist (By Paulo Coelho)

Yes, we thought we would include this too. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of the most read books in recent history.

If you are an avid reader, chances are this one forms one of the pillars of your collection. And if you’re not, there’s also a chance that you’ve happened across this book.

Whichever the case, now would be as good a time as any other to immerse yourself one more time in this soul-stirring story.

It follows a young shepherd boy who journeys from Spain to Egypt. Following his heart, he understands love and the meaning of life as he also learns to go with the flow.

If you haven’t read The Alchemist yet, you’re in for a treat. Slot it right at the top of your list. It will be one of the best ways you spend your time (moving or not) and you’ll be happy you picked it up.

Happy Moving!

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