Author Archives: Kim Smith

AUTHOR ANNA SOLOMON REQUESTS INFORMATION ABOUT THE “REAL-LIFE” LUCY PEAR

Author Anna Solomon writes, “I meant to add: An old professor of mine who summers in Annisquam told me about this real-life Lucy Pear, and I got chills! Apparently it is her last name (not middle). I would love to be put in touch with her if anyone has contacts….”

Lucy Pear is the fictional heroine of Anna Solomon’s newest novel Leaving Lucy Pear. Copies are available at the Bookstore of Gloucester and Toad Hall Bookstore. Read more here about Leaving Lucy Pear and about Anna’s three upcoming Cape Ann author events.

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Playtime Stories at the Gloucester Stage Co Continues: New Stories and Activities

PLAYTIME STORIES EXTENDED THROUGH  AUGUST:

New Stories and Activities for GSC’s Youngest Audiences

SATURDAY, JULY 30 10AM

Rumpelstiltskin and Winnie The Pooh

And Now August Performances Starting With

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6 10 AM

The Little Prince and Madeline

AT GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY

Live Theater Performances and Activities for Young Audience Members Age 2 and Older

 

Gloucester Stage Company proudly continues Playtime Stories, an engaging combination of children’s stories, live performances and activities for ages 2 and older, on Saturday, July 30 at 10 am with Rumpelstiltskin and Winnie The Pooh at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester. Playtime Stories offers young children the unique opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. Following the performance audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops relating to the story. Each Saturday the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of members of Gloucester Stage’s apprentice company, veteran Youth Acting Workshop students and special guest narrators will perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story. Each week Playtime Stories explores different stories ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to works by local authors. Upcoming performances include:   July 30Rumpelstiltskin and Winnie The Pooh; August 6: The Little Prince and Madeline; August 13: Eric Carle Day: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? ; August 20: Guest Narrator award winning actress Dossy Peabody reads Make Way For Ducklings; Pat the Bunny and Junket Is Nice; August 27:Corduroy and Lily’s Plastic Purse. All Playtime Story performances are held at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Admission is $5. Advance reservations available. For more information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com

 

The Little Prince cover

CECROPIA MOTH CATS

Cecropia caterpillar on the move 🌻

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Beautiful caterpillar of the beautiful Cecropia moth, North America's largest species of Lepidoptera

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Don’t you love the colors of the third stage, or instar, of the Cecropia Moth caterpillar? Only about an inch and a half long in the photo, in the final fifth instar, before it pupates into a cocoon, the caterpillar will be as large as a large man’s thumb.

Cecropia moth Caterpilla mid instar. copyright Kim SmithIn its second instar in the above photo, the caterpillar resembles the developing birch flower catkins. This is an evolutionary form of mimicry against predation by birds. Cecropia Moth caterpillars eat not only the foliage of American White Birch trees, but also other species of birch trees, apple, ash, beech, elm, lilac, maple, poplar, Prunus and Ribes species, white oak, and willow.

Cecropia Moth caterpillar early instar copyright Kim SmithFirst instar Cecropia Moth Caterpillars

Thank you so much again to my friend Christine for the gift of the Cecropia moth eggs. 

WONDERFUL BUZZ ABOUT ANNA SOLOMON’S “LEAVING LUCY PEAR,” A NEW NOVEL SET ON CAPE ANN!

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At the Bookstore of Gloucester -“Leaving Lucy Pear” is a real page turner – Sharon Bo Abrams can’t put her copy down!

Chosen as a must-read book for summer 2016 by TIME Magazine, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, The Millions, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune

One night in 1917, Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing, post-WWI America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea’s hopes for her future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more when the rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising Bea’s abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy Pear, with secrets of her own.

In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America’s most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers.

For more information visit Anna Solomon’s website here. Anna has three upcoming Cape Ann events. In addition to the two posted below, she is also having a reading at the Rockport Library on August 24th.

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Praise for Leaving Lucy Pear

From the first page, I was under the spell of Anna Solomon’s emotionally engaging narrative about the devastating choices we make and the unexpected consequences they bring. This is a fine literary tapestry woven with beautiful language, complex characters, and a precise probing of human desires and demons.

SUE MONK KIDD, New York Times bestselling author of The Invention of Wings

Anna Solomon writes with a poet’s reverence for language and a novelist’s ability to keep us turning the page. Leaving Lucy Pear is a gorgeous and engrossing meditation on motherhood, womanhood, and the sacrifices we make for love.

J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN, New York Times bestselling author ofMaine and The Engagements

Leaving Lucy Pear is that rare combination of stunning language, raw emotion, and profound wisdom that catches you up and wrings you out and yet somehow leaves you fuller than when you began. In this tender new novel, Anna Solomon looks at our most fundamental relationships—between mothers, children, and lovers—with more compassion and grace that seems humanly possible.

CELESTE NG, New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You

In Anna Solomon’s marvelously textured new novel, Cape Ann in the late 1920’s thrums with the issues of the day, prohibition and the vote, the immigrant problem and labor strikes, Sacco and Vanzetti and Mother Jones. When two seemingly dissimilar women, Emma and Bea, become bound to the same child, we’re given a piercing and often profound look at motherhood, what it is and isn’t, as well as the ways suffering makes and unmakes us all, sometimes many times over. Solomon is an enormously gifted writer, and her penetrating tale will linger in your mind long after the last page has turned.

PAULA MCLAIN, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun

Leaving Lucy Pear is a mosaic of longing: a cast of characters wrestling with lives they might have led, keeping secrets that could free them, and building uncertain futures. With great empathy, Solomon transports us to an evocative and overlooked time and place in this morally complex and deeply satisfying story.

CHRISTOPHER CASTELLANI, author of All this Talk of Love

A marvel of a novel, bursting with intelligence, insight, compassion, and truth. It reminds me of books I read when young, the ones made me want to write, the sort that keep you reading through the night, unable to close the covers. Anna Solomon is an extraordinarily gifted storyteller and we are the lucky beneficiaries of her gift.

ROBIN BLACK, author of Life Drawing

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OUR BEAUTIFUL GLOUCESTER HARBOR CITY SKYLINE SUNSET IN THE STORM’S AFTERMATH

The storm swirled in late yesterday afternoon. I was on the way home from filming at Good Harbor Beach and stopped at Pirate’s Lane to watch it sweep across the Harbor. Kayaks were hurling through the air, boats racing pell mell to shore, great gusts whistling, bells clanging, and it was over before it began! The after storm glow and cloud formations were exquisite. 

Happy Summer Storm Drama! (As long as everyone is safely on shore)

Gloucester Harbor sunset -3 copyright Kim Smith

View from Plum Street

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Storm departing inner harbor #gloucesterma

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

HELLO MAMA MONARCH!

Plant and they will come!

Female Monarch depositing eggs -1 copyright Kim Smith

Alighting on the buds of our Marsh Milkweed plants, you can see in these photos that the female Monarch is curling her abdomen to the underside to deposit eggs. She will go from bud to bud and leaf to leaf ovipositing one egg at a time. A female, on average, deposits 700 eggs during her lifetime, fewer in hot, dry weather.Female Monarch depositing eggs copyright Kim Smith

Female Monarch Butterfly and Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Butterflies do not “lay” eggs; we say oviposit or deposit. And you wouldn’t describe a caterpillar as hatched, but that it has emerged or eclosed.

Grow Marsh Milkweed and Common Milkweed and you most definitely will have female Monarchs calling your garden home!Female Monarch depositing eggs -2 copyright Kim SmithIn the above photo you can see how she is contorting her abdomen to correctly position the eggs

SENSATIONAL FRENCH WINE DINNER!!!

Words won’t adequately describe how delicious was Passport’s French dinner. I had only my cell phone camera with me but I think you will get the idea. 

IMG_97271st Course ~ Superb panko crusted super fresh big eye tuna, crispy rare, with sweet and spicy sriracha glaze, and carrot snow pea slaw. My husband says it is his new favorite entree, anywhere, anytime. Served with sparkling Brut Dargent Blanc de Blanc

IMG_9730Rock shrimp in basil pesto with Danielle’s Pastaio escarole, radicchio, and cheese ravioli. U-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e! With Jean and Paul Benoit Droin Chablis.

IMG_9740Beyond amazingly delicious hard sear all natural sirloin with marchand de vin, potato gratin, and braised kale. Served with Louis Latour Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine. 

Nick DiFazio from M.S. Walker did an outstanding job selecting the accompanying wines. The three entree-sized servings were simply exquisite and, along with the blood orange sorbet for dessert, it was one of my favorite dinners I have ever experienced. Thank you Passports for the wonderfully joyful cooking. Hats off to Chefs Eric, Jeremy, and Alex!

The cost of the wine dinners is 45.00 per person, which in my opinion is an extraordinarily low price considering the caliber of the food and wine. Each course is served with a VERY generous glass of perfectly paired wine, four glasses in all. IMG_9752

Nick DiFazio from M.S. Walker

FOR DAVE JEWELL AND MADDY

Time flies – Dave Jewell, Maddy, and Family, not too long ago.Dave Jewell Family-2

Dave Jewell Family-1

See Joe’s post earlier today.

MADDY JEWELL AGE 8 FIRST DAY LOBSTERING WITH OLD MAN DAVE JEWELL ABOARD THE MIGHTY F/V LADY J

PRAYERS FOR DOMINIC NICASTRO AND HIS FAMILY

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nicastro Family

Kathy Dominic Nicastro saint-peters-fiesta- Copyright Kim Smith

Dominic and Catherine Nicastro

Gloucester Daily Times

Ray Lamont

The man who for years was St. Peter’s guardian and played a central role in St. Peter’s Fiesta has passed away.

Dominic Nicastro Sr., 66, who went to work as a commercial fisherman right after graduating from Gloucester High School, died early Thursday morning at the Golden Living Center after a lengthy illness.

For decades, Nicastro played a central role in Fiesta’s salute to the patron saint of fishermen, first as one of the carriers of the St. Peter’s statue and then, from 2000 through 2015, as its primary guardian, said Joe Novello, head of St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee. Nicastro was the statue’s fifth guardian in the festival’s 89-year history, handing over the duties to Joe Orlando in 2015.

“He was a genuine man, just a very good guy,” said Novello of Nicastro on Thursday. “He was a very proud man, but he was very respected as a leader.”

Novello recalled that Nicastro eventually bought his own lobster boat, then later worked as a diesel mechanic with the Cape Ann Transportation Authority. But his heart, he said, was always with Fiesta.

“He so loved St. Peter,” said Sara Favazza, 86, whose father, Capt. Salvatore Favazza, commissioned the statue in 1927 and is among the founders of Fiesta.

Nicastro served for years as president of the St. Peter’s Club, and played a role in organizing Fiesta’s sporting events. He regularly joined his wife Catherine in attending each night of the nine-day Novena to St. Peter, Novello recalled.

SEE FULL STORY HERE

THE BABY HUEY OF FLEDGLINGS: THE COMMON TERN

Common Tern Fledgling feeding -1 copyright Kim SmithAfter spending the past eight weeks filming the sparrow-sized Piping Plovers, it was fun to unexpectedly encounter these tubby Common Tern fledglings. Although able to fly, they stood at the water’s edge, unrelentingly demanding to be fed. The adults willingly obliged.

Common Tern Fledgling feeding -6 copyright Kim SmithUnlike plovers, which can feed themselves within hours after hatching (the term is precocial), tern fledglings are altricial, meaning “requiring nourishment.” Examples of other altricial creatures are humans, dogs, and cats.

Common Tern Fledgling feeding copyright Kim SmithThe fledglings appear larger than the adults and are very well fed. Both parents feed their young. The terns are building fat reserves for the long migration to the South American tropical coasts, some traveling as far as Peru and Argentina.

Common Tern feeding copyright Kim SmithCommon Tern attacking gull copyright Kim SmithCommon Tern dive bombing gull

Although unperturbed by my presence, they sure did not like the seagulls. Any that ventured near the fledglings feeding were told in the most cheekiest of terms to buzz off–dive bombing, nipping, and nonstop loudly squawking–the intruder did not stick around for very long.

Common Tern populations are in decline, most probably because of pesticide poisoning and habitat loss.

Wingaersheek sunrise #gloucesterma ❤️

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

TREMENDOUS EVENING OF BOOKS, CONVERSATION, AND WONDERFUL DINING WITH THE NEW GLOUCESTER HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL JAMES COOK, CHEF KEN DUCKWORTH, AND THE LIT HOUSE BOOK CLUB

James Cook copyright Kim SmithJames Cook, the newly appointed Gloucester High School’s principal led a thoughtful conversation on Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby. It was a pleasure to meet Principal Cook. He has been a teacher at GHS since 1999, most recently as the head of the English Language Arts Department. Principal Cook also spent nine years coaching the boys soccer team, five years as head coach, as well as serving as the faculty advisor for the environmental club, human rights club, student newspaper, and literary and arts magazine. A fantastic win for Gloucester students and faculty in appointing Principal Cook!DSCF2384

DSCF2404If you’ve never been to a Lit House book club event, please come! The events are open to Everyone. And if like me, you sometimes don’t have time to read the book before the event, after attending you’ll be inspired to do so. And of course we have the best food of any book club, with fabulous dinners prepared by Chef Ken Duckworth.DSCF2396

DSCF2400DSCF2390On August 21st, author Anna Solomon will be moderating a discussion on The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

During The Faraway Nearby event we briefly discussed an essay by Solonit, which included the topic about moths drinking the tears of sleeping birds. I was reminded of this famous photo of a butterfly kissing turtle tears (some butterflies also drink crocodile tears, too!). Species of butterflies and moths that drink the fluid of another creature’s eyes are actually extracting much needed salts, minerals, and proteins from the liquids. As Lepidoptera are herbivores, they look for minerals from other sources outside their diet, including mud puddles and human perspiration. Male Lepidoptera especially seek additional sodium for egg production. This behavior is known as lachryphagy.

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Julia Butterflies drinking tears of the Yellow Spotted River Turtle, western Amazon rain forest, Ecuador. Photo by Ama La Vida

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR THE ANNISQUAM VILLAGE PLAYERS “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”

These tickets sell out FAST! Here is the link to AVP’s wonderful production of Beauty and the Beast13697039_10153606620151651_9132348592407614864_n

Beauty and the Beast Cast Photo from the Horribles Parade

Join the Annisquam Village Players for a magical time as they present BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Performances run August 9-14 all at 7:30 PM

Tickets are currently available online

Starring:

NARRATOR…PAUL HOROVITZ
PRINCE…BEN FULLER
OLD BEGGAR WOMAN/ENCHANTRESS…DAPHNE PAPP
BELLE…KELLY DUFFY
MAURICE…ANDREW HANKINSON
GASTON…PETER NELSON
LEFOU…THOM SMOKER
MONSIEUR D’ARQUE…TERRY SANDS
COGSWORTH…KEITH McCARTHY
LUMIERE…WILL ROUSMANIERE
BABETTE…TS BURNHAM
MRS. POTTS…KAITI MADDOX
CHIP…CHARLIE ROUSMANIERE
MADAME DE LA GRANDE BOUCHE…STEPHANIE MOREY-BARRY
BEAST…DAVE SCANNELL
CASTLE RUG… ELIZABETH RANGER

THREE CARYATID SERVANTS…
AEDAN McCARTHY
LIAM McCARTHY
MICHAEL NEWMAN

THREE SILLY GIRLS…
CHLOE BEAULIEU
EVA-MARIE RUDLER
EMILY FRICK

GASTON’S CRONIES…
AEDAN McCARTHY
LIAM McCARTHY
SEANIA McCARTHY
MICHAEL NEWMAN
BEN FULLER
JACOB BROWN
LEVIN RUDLER
BETHANY WILLCOX
LEILANI BROWN
ADDIE PATES

WOLVES…
JACOB BROWN
LEVIN RUDLER

TOWNSPEOPLE/SERVANTS…
JOHN HENTSCHEL
JOHN MOSCAL
HEIKE BOETTCHER
EVY STEWART
MARY FLAHERTY
LIZZY HANSON
HELEN IVES
AMANDA MADDOX
MORGAN REILLY

PRINCIPAL DANCER… EMILY WHALEN

FRENCH CHILDREN/SERVANTS…
JACK ROUSMANIERE
C.C. HANSON
JEREMY ADAMSON
FLETCHER WILSON

Free Public Concert Friday Night with Peter Souza and Three Sheets to the Wind at the Meetinghouse Green

13716157_644535882360672_177242324773317550_nPeter Souza writes,

About the Series

http://gloucestermeetinghouse.org/
This is concert three in a series of nine free concerts on the Meetinghouse Green at the corner of Church and Middle Street, from July 8 to September 2, 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

The public is invited to make free-will donations to the Schooner Adventure.

The family-friendly concerts begin at 6 pm. Bring a picnic, folding chairs or blankets. In case of rain, the events will take place inside the Meetinghouse (no food or drink permitted.)

About the Music
https://www.facebook.com/threesheetstothewindgloucesterma/
Three Sheets to the Wind is an old sailing term and refers to a ship whose sheets (lines) have come loose, causing the sails to flap uncontrolled and the ship to shudder and roll (like a staggering drunk) and meander at the mercy of the elements.

Three Sheets to the Wind is also a Gloucester chantey/sea music group. Many of the crew have years of established song and sea history to offer and create a perfect storm of song and good cheer. Their vocals, harmonies and instrument skills are phenomenal, and they have a great time performing and drawing the audience into the fun.

About Schooner Adventure
http://schooner-adventure.org/
The Gloucester Adventure, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit maritime historic preservation and educational organization. We are the stewards of the 1926 dory-fishing Schooner Adventure. Our mission begins with restoration and preservation in perpetuity of the National Historic Landmark Schooner Adventure, one of the last surviving Grand Banks dory-fishing schooners. The Schooner Adventure is a national treasure that has resumed active sailing as an icon of the American fisheries and as a floating classroom for maritime history and environmental education programs. The Schooner will be operated at sea, primarily along the New England coast, as a living monument to Massachusetts’ fishing heritage. As such, the Schooner Adventure is important not only to Gloucester, but also to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all America.

DISTINCTIVE GARDEN DESIGNS ANNUAL ‘DAYLILY BLOOM OPEN GARDENS’

Bobbie Brooks writes:

This Fri, Sat, Sun – the 22/23/24  from 9-1

HUNDREDS OF HYBRID DAYLILIES AND THEIR COMPANIONS ARE IN PEAK BLOOM!

Bobbie collects and hybridizes these daylilies – the jewels of the summer gardens, and opens her home garden for this special event. There is a collection of over 800 hybrids with 50 hybrids her own creations, registered with AHS.

73 Langsford St, Lanesville 127, Gloucester

Yes, there are SELLING BEDS – you point, we dig! or order for a Sept pick up.

Bring a camera! Bring a friend! Bring your wallet!

LILYLADY@COMCAST.NET  for further information.

THE GOOD HARBOR BEACH PIPING PLOVER UPDATE WITH TIPS ON OBSERVING THE BIRDS

Piping Plover male and chicks copyright Kim SmithWith sadness, but not entirely unexpected, I am sorry to report that only one baby Piping Plover chick remains at Good Harbor. The good news is that the one surviving chick is doing fantastically as of this writing. Don’t worry when I write too that the Mom has left the family. She has begun to migrate southward. This is somewhat normal and I don’t think she would have left had not the chick been doing so well. Dad is minding the baby full time and he is doing a tremendous job.

A week since the Plovers hatched and it sure has been a joy to film, and wonderfully educational. I am very inspired to work on this short film and hope to have it ready for our community this summer.

Piping Plover chick copyright Kim SmithNotice the growing wing buds!

Piping Plover tiny chick copyright Kim SmithThe tiniest

A heartfelt reminder to please, please, please let’s all work together to keep the dogs off the beach. I had a terrible encounter, really frustrating and the owner and his friends very cruel. Ninety nine point nine percent of dog owners are wonderful and respectful and are rooting for the Plovers as much as are non-dog owners. The Plovers are all over the sandy beach, at the water’s edge, and down the creek. Although growing beautifully, the chick is still about the size of a cotton ball, maybe a cotton ball and a half. Up until fourteen days old, they are at their most vulnerable.

As with before, please fee free to share the photos and information on social media. The more people know about the garbage and dog owner trouble (certain dog owners that is), the more likely the chick’s chance of survival. Thank you!

Piping Plover garbage and chick copyright Kim SmithGarbage left on the beach late in the day and overnight continues to be an issue. Bring a bag with you and we can help the DPW by cleaning up after the the folks who don’t know any better. Garbage strewn on the beach attracts gulls, and they, especially Great Black-backed Gulls, eat baby Plovers. 

Piping Plover male and chick copyright Kim Smith

Piping Plovers, like many shore birds, are precocial. That means that within hours after hatching, they are ready to leave the nest and can feed themselves. They cannot however immediately regulate their body temperature and rely on Mom and Dad to warm them under their wings. Although the chick is six days old in the above photo, it still looks to Dad for warmth and protection. Examples of other precocial birds are ducks, geese, and chickens.

If you spot the baby and want to observe, I recommend staying fifteen to twenty feet away at least. Any closer and Dad has to spend a great deal of energy trying to distract you. We don’t want him to get tired out and unable to care for the baby. Also, you’ll appear less threatening if you sit or kneel while observing the chick. No sudden movements and talk quietly and the baby may come right up to you!

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A sweet dog with a very unkind owner.

Around 6pm Saturday evening, this playful dog came bounding down the water’s edge, within inches of the baby. I stood between the owner, dog, and Plovers, with cameras in hand, and cell phone unfortunately back in my bag. After a good twenty minutes of arguing he and his equally unkind friends departed. In the mean time, the Plovers were able to get away from the dog and further down the shore line.

Piping Plover male and chick -2 copyright Kim SmithDad and chick this morning Monday, the 18th, exactly one week old!

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