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Dining chair want

January 22, 2014

Wow, Overstock. Those of us who may never be able to afford Eames (or want something close til we can!) thank you. Sincerely.
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$142 for TWO. Such a deal.

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Check this out

January 15, 2014

Googling “decluttering” or “home organization” yields a mind-boggling number of results with very few novel concepts.

A comment on a post on Apartment Therapy had a link to a post on Zen Habits which led me to click on the author’s bio which listed his other blog.

Follow me? 馃槈

mnmlist is blowing my mind.

When you aren’t up to your eyeballs with OMGWTFSTUFF!!!!!!! you don’t need to organize. When you learn to honestly assess your needs vs. wants and be happy with enough you can quit the Googling about things you don’t need – like decluttering and organizing your home.

May seem like a big fat DUH … but if that’s your response you’re probably not thinking deeply enough.

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Weekend Update: clearing the head and the teen’s room

January 5, 2014

THANKFULLY no before pics were taken but instead of cleaning the floors and buying flowers, per The Cure, the kid’s room got gutted.

Apparently we won’t be following directions – entirely 馃槈

You may recognize more than a few things in the discard pile (like my precious and done silver vanity). But onwards and upwards!

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The huge TV, vanity, desk chair and SIX bags of trash went. The computer armoire and top bunk are slated to go. All that will be left is a twin bed, a dresser, bookshelf and W I D E open space that’ll be her own personal music studio.

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Taking the top bunk off = breathing room

We need to paint next weekend – but lots of trim and picture rails means a lot less to paint! We’ve settled on an ultra modern color palette. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

Next weekend we’ll finish her room and start ours. By the end of January our house will be much, much improved!

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Circling Back

January 3, 2014

Remember why I started this blog? Redoing my apartment, inspired by he book Apartment Therapy.

I have signed up to do the “January Cure” in our house. Three people, 1 big dog, a dirt accumulating passion, and a house that’s roughly 1,000 sq. ft. …. three years of living there means it’s time to re-evaluate, clean, organize and prepare for the next 3 years.

Assignment #1 was making a project list. There are only 3 really troublesome areas (both bedrooms and paperwork), but here’s the grand damage…

Sun Porch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Better storage

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Wash windows

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New rug

Living Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Better lighting

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repair couch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Clean gray couch

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Mantle decoration

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint side table

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Hook up DVD player (get a Blu-ray?)

Dining Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repaint chairs

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Deep clean b/w rug from Haley鈥檚 room and put under table

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Clean and reorganize built-in

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Replace overhead light

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Thin out picture rail 鈥 rethink photos

Kitchen

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Repair ceiling over sink

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Storage corner (tool boxes, files, dog food)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Aluminum behind stove

Our Bedroom

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 DECLUTTER

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New dresser

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Reading lights

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Artwork

Haley鈥檚 Room

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 DECLUTTER

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint walls

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Break up bunk bed

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Paint dresser

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 New bed linens

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Happy Chloe

May 21, 2013

Just a quick couple of pics of Chloe. She’ll be ready for her first show in June and I think she’ll do just fine 馃榾

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Sometimes you just need to ride through

April 27, 2013

The Child’s summer job is to be my groom. Today was her first training day.

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She has to retrieve horses for me…

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She needs to groom them and get them tacked up…

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She needs to cool them out (and hack Magic!)

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Then she feeds them a bucket and puts them away.

I’d say she and Magic got along famously 馃榾

Of course she won’t be riding Chloe but she’ll be doing all the rest. Chloe is getting quite good about being groomed.

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You can see your reflection in her coat! 馃槈

I didn’t lunge her at all today. She had some moments of short circuiting but you can see and feel her trying her heart out. She’s got some “bad tapes” to erase but she has moments of lovely relaxation… She seems to appreciate being given room to breathe.

I just need to ride through the hysterical moments and pretend they’re not happening…

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg9EN9N-RT0&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

The more I do that, the more she just melts into a coppery puddle of sweetness…

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=34dRa9UeEkM&feature=youtube_gdata_player]
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What a difference a day makes

April 25, 2013

Yesterday I did not have anyone to record Chloe being the biggest drama llama ever. She ran herself around on the lunge line for close to an hour, screaming her head off. We did end lovely and relaxed but drenched with sweat.

I hoped today she’d come around to her senses a little quicker – and she sure did!

It's hard not to be a drama llama! Someone has to be on guard!

It’s hard not to be a drama llama! Someone has to be on alert! (I am the one on alert, Chloe – you just chill!)

Snuggles make everything better

Snuggles make everything better. Perhaps it’s ok to not be zombie patrolling all the time.

Relaxed and straight - SUCCESS!

Relaxed and straight – SUCCESS!

Chloe learned right away that it’s much nicer to just聽relax and stretch and get lots of “Good Girl!!” I have no worries about this one… in a few more rides we can actually work on real dressage work. Once we have this chillaxing thing down-pat 馃榾

And then FINALLY I got my Magic out – and of course he was lovely and sensible and just the coolest horse EVER.

Forward and into the contact - can ask for much more from a baby!

Forward and into the contact – can’t ask for much more from a baby!

And, more importantly, Magic is officially a family horse. He did not disappoint!

The 6'2" Husband looks right at home on the 15.2hh Dark Horse... :D

The 6’2″ Husband looks right at home on the 15.2h horse.

Clearly, Magic was not too concerned about The Husband’s less than centered seat 馃槈 We’ll work on that another day.

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Chloe-go-round

April 22, 2013

I’m sick but we needed to be productive and little Missy needed out of her stall

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I caught her enjoying being groomed just a little.

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Her head is just stunning…

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Not bad considering it’s a new and scary indoor…

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A little better with side reins, but she was always listening to me. Even with moments of giraffe-racecar she always whoa’ed when asked. The couple “bucks” were simply laughable. I look forward to those under saddle 馃槈

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Proof she wasn’t actually riled up! I think she was just trying to impress me with her brilliance 馃槈

Sorry Fi and Magic… mommy is sick. Carrots will have to do for today.

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Acclimating Chloe

April 22, 2013

Yesterday Chloe got a fair glimpse of what life is going to look like in her immediate future.聽

1.聽 Emily really likes to groom horses and cares not if red-headed聽mares think they don’t like it. My desire to have SHINY PONIES far outweighs grouchy faces and threats.

half a mare was curried off

half a mare was curried off

2.聽 Emily is lazy therefore prefers to ride out silliness rather than have to lug a lunge line to the arena.

(after all – they are sooo heavy 馃槈 )

all rides end like this no matter how they start

3.聽 Much of life out of the stall/pasture involves standing around while I yell at people ( 馃槈 ), take pictures, and do a variety of non-productive non-training-ish聽things. Patience and chillaxing are virtues and skills.

Magic had his first full ride under someone else – Jess!

4.聽 We always end on a good note under saddle, on the ground and afterwards with a bucket.

nom nom nom

Chloe is really incredibly sweet. She’s definitely a mare – but she’ll soon learn that she can be a ladylike mare.

The other two got baths and played with Jess and Maggie… my trusty sidekicks.

Magic’s first bath was just about as exciting as every other new thing. *Zzzzzzzzz* 馃榾

Life cereal is clearly the greatest treat in the world according to Fiona

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Bridal Chatter

April 20, 2013

Chloe has arrived. After 7 hours in the trailer she walked out like she was home.

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She is beautiful – so feminine and all Thoroughbred.

I’ll let her settle tonight. We’ll see what were working with tomorrow.

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Ah… the ole quarantine stall pic 馃槈

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Two weeks

April 18, 2013

The state of affairs summed up in one picture:

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Thank you Kitty, Hoyt, Scott and Molly… I owe you all forever…

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Ride #7 – Cavaletti!

April 18, 2013

After two very serious (not really) dressage-y rides I thought it would be fun to give Magic a peek at the other skill we need to be working on – jumping 馃榾

Thursdays are now, officially, Wife and Pony Day according to The Husband. (Have I told you how excellent he is?) Since his pony time involves leaping and cavorting with Fiona I thought introducing baby cavaletti was a good idea.

At first approach The Dark Horse thought, “OHMYGODITWANTSTOKILLME!!” Enter Auntie Fiona… The Husband and The Pony escorting him safely over the horse-eating pole. The second attempt involved us tripping and almost falling to our deaths (or so he thought 馃槈 ) The third attempt involved聽jumping really big!! Every attempt after looked pretty much like this…

He works for pats

He works for pats

And then we trotted… that was not as pretty, but that was probably more due to our lack of turning ability and our poorly placed cavaletti.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=M0te-IF-o9g]

Then we took a break to watch The Husband and The Pony and their shenanigans.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=uzGjC4sT8LM]

Then it was time for some cantering…

And after seeing that leg of mine I ran straight to the weights… Oy.

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=Wp8ycA9zscw]
[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=m-XWYmizUFg]

There is much hope for the right lead – and DAMNNNNNNN he’s got a nice stride! No wonder he was a little rocket at the track!

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Well then!

April 17, 2013

Ride #6 didn’t start so well. The young man was full of ‘tude. He thought jerking the reins was fun and he was wildly distracted – by his neighbor pony girlfriend, Taylor, and his favorite pasture playmate, Serengeti聽(who was schooling lovely PSG.)

It probably didn’t help that today was the first time anyone has carried a whip on him since the t-r-a-c-k. (I think I’ll spell it out from now on –聽just for fun.)

After a few too many “No! I want to go THERE!” moments, he got a tap *ahem*. Well then! That woke him up and put him back focused on me! Also – he was a freight train. 馃槢

Our ride started off less than stellar but improved rather quickly – so quickly that I thought聽what the hell – LET’S CANTER!

Got the left lead within 5 strides. First attempt to the right was cross-firing, second attempt was correct in about 8 strides. Wow. And he actually has a three-beated canter!

[youtube:youtube.com/watch?v=zxFUjtSqVvM]

Yeah… once we can reliably turn to the right we’ll be ready for the big time! 馃榾

Funny observation by Molly…聽if he were perfect every ride you’d get bored and sell him.

Doesn’t it suck when people know you SO WELL??? 馃槢

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Ride #5

April 16, 2013

image

This is just a quick pic of a reward snack… Ride #5 included CANTERING DOWN THE LANE! Calmly. Wonderfully. Like we do it every day.

*sigh*

He’s awesome.

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Weekend Update

April 15, 2013

To say this weekend was busy would be an understatement.

Friday night was date night. Just me, my husband, two friends and four thousand rowdy hockey fans. We hoped our beloved San Francisco Bulls would stay alive in the playoffs in their inaugural season… but it didn’t happen. We still had fun – and GO BULLS next year!

Next weekend I am running in my first ever race. It’s a 5k but I’m not smart and starting off with just a plain 5k – I’m going a trails challenge. Why? I have NO IDEA. I blame Janette 馃槈

So I got up bright and early for my long run. I intended to run four miles. I was positive聽that Lake Merced was 4 miles around, on the dot, if I didn’t take the short-cut bridge. Whoopsie – it was almost 5.

I survived. Barely.

I survived. Barely.

The Husband picked me up and we headed out to breakfast.

Ok - that really looks good despite all the animal inconvenience.

Ok – that really looks good despite all the animal inconvenience.

Then we met Ronda and Richard for a double-date at the driving range. We are a funsome foursome, for sure!

IMG_20130413_105250_793

After lunch I took The Husband back home so he could watch MOAR聽HOCKEYS and nap before his graveyard shift – then I headed to the barn with Jess. It’s so great – she has a great interest in learning the training part of riding and wanted to be my shadow at the barn. She’s the very best kind of sponge and I get to raise a mini-me that will allow me to take a weekend off with my family and know that my horses are under her loving guidance 馃榾

Magic continued to blow me away.

After that full day it’s really no surprise I was out cold by 9p 馃槈

Sunday was a slightly later start. I stopped in Vacaville and took my hand-me-down Tony Slatter聽dressage saddle (it’s brown!) to a saddle maker to be restuffed聽and repaired. I had decided I only wanted to put $300 into it – otherwise I’d just buy a used Wintec. The lovely man talked some sense into me. Spend $600 for a used Wintec聽that has 10 years in it – or put $600 into a saddle that’s got 30 years left in it. Ok – fine. I will be the proud owner of a totally rebuilt and classic BROWN saddle in 6-8 weeks. (The thought of a brown saddle on my sable brown gelding – or chestnut mare – is totally swoonable!)

After picking up Haley I went back to the barn. Molly was aghast – she said Magic’s #4 ride looked more like #45. I think I agree!

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH5WUD5X5uc]

We are actually doing straight lines! And circles! And even some leg-yielding at the walk! Oh – and STANDING QUIETLY!!

I am convinced he’s pretty聽much a super-genius super-athlete!! 馃榾

Then Jess got on – and he was totally unfazed by a change in rider. I schooled the Pones聽some聽and we all went out for a ride around the roads at the barn. You can see – he’s one of those totally crazy OTTBs – totally unsafe at any speed聽馃槈

IMG_20130414_173448_272

Who’s more laid back? The OTTB or the Paint? I think it’s a toss-up!
(I know it was NOT the pony I was on! 馃槈 )

Yes – I am 100% positive this horse – a winning race horse – is going to be the poster child for life after the track.

Also – my life is goooooooood.

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Pinch me

April 11, 2013

I must be dreaming.聽The Husband asked to go to the barn. ASKED. Well, The Pony is pretty much his favorite pet but he wanted to spend time with me – and the ponies. (SQUEEEEEEE!!!)

ANY WAY… he wanted to be sure I could get on Magic today and I felt like I still needed the option to have someone there to lunge me. He’s good that way…

Magic is pretty much the greatest green Off The Track Thoroughbred EVER. I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden a horse that so desperately wants me to be happy! He聽tries.

So, after a 5 minute twirl around on the lunge line I just got on and went. And it went wellllll.

Please keep in mind this was his second ride…

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0CAg_s4Uk&feature=youtu.be”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0CAg_s4Uk&feature=youtu.be%5D

So steering still needs some work – but “round” will not be a problem for him at all! 聽Also, at the walk to the right I thought he felt more like a drunken sailor but at the trot he was already listening to my inside leg and staying on the rail.

I was a good baby!!

I was a good baby!!

And while I was riding, The Husband and The Pony were enjoying each other’s company.

OMG they are adorable

OMG they are adorable

So after a successful ride in the outdoor arena without a lunge line or a lead, we headed out for a walk on the roads. He was perfect. We walked on the buckle and were all smiles… We were having so much fun that we got super brave and we decided to do a bit of work on the grass jumping court!

IMG_0167

The picture of relaxation – OUTSIDE!

The REAL subject of the photographer's eye ;-)

The REAL subject of the photographer’s eye 馃槈

(zoom in to see Magic being amazing)

And then the BEST part of the afternoon…. SCOTT JUMPED FIONA!!!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWVw-lSKX5o&feature=youtu.be%5D

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Sweet freedom

April 10, 2013

Magic is one happy little camper. He’s been released from quarantine and is a happy resident of the boys’ pasture.

IMG_0136

Bodie聽doing what Bodie聽loves to do: bite butts. Hopefully Magic will kick him in the face!

After a week of rain, this sun and wind is drying up the mud in short order!

I was a little worried that Magic would hate me. I stuck him in a terrible stall and made him work, after all. My fears were unwarranted – as soon as he heard me call him he knickered聽and trotted right up to me. I am going to assume that’s because he loooooooves me and not just because he’s a darling, social little horse. 馃槈

Just to reinforce that I do, indeed, love him to bits and I’m not just a big meanie who locked him in a cave – I just took him out for grooming and a bucket.

I brought Fiona out for the same and whilst admiring my gorgeous equine family it hit me…

I like big butts, and I cannot lie.

Seriously – look at those asses!

Wide Load 1 and Wide Load 2

Wide Load 1 and Wide Load 2

Dat ass! It’s made for flying over fences – high and fast!

I’m sure it’s some subliminal compensation for my own fatassitude. At Kitty’s suggestion I am founding Feed the Sandbags International where big bottomed creatures of all species can gather… and聽EAT! 馃榾

I could stare at this horse all day long.

I could stare at this horse all day long.
(even if he does knock my phone in the dirt)

Can you tell that my barn life is聽very good right now? Thanks to my amazing family, my home life is even better! They have been SAINTS about not having dinner on the table and me being good for almost nothing other than offsetting some of the horse expense with a paycheck and creating laundry. So. Much. Laundry.

As good as things are, they are going to get even better… When The Husband lovingly put his foot down and told me that I was only “allowed” to ride for myself and follow my passion all kinds of good karma came rushing my way. Mostly in the form of HORSES!

In about 10 days, the equine family will grow to THREE! Eeeek! OMG! and YAY!!聽Anyone looking for a nice little dressage mare should look me up… I’ll have a beaut for sale shortly!

IMG_20130409_171722_472

The new girl.

And again… because I really can’t do it too much… THANK YOU to The Husband and to The Child for loving me and supporting me and allowing me to do this thing that makes me so incredibly happy. Without you two, I am nothing.

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Settling in to his new life

April 9, 2013

Poor little Magic’s life of leisure is officially over. He’s a working man again. I think he’ll be super happy about this when he gets out of quarantine and back into a pasture (hopefully today!) – but right now he’s got a head of steam brewing by the time I get out there to work him. Even though he’s got an abundance of energy he tries his heart out and he wants to make me happy. He figured out fast that a happy Emily means LOTS of scratchies and he’s one itchy guy!

Silly Thoroughbreds 馃榾

I think he looks smashing as a dressage horse.

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On Friday he learned to lunge and last night he learned about side reins. He was pretty tired at this point but you can see that the kid has mad potential!

Molly got some vid of our ride on Sunday and I’ll try to post that later tonight…

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Magic and Fiona… fast friends

April 6, 2013

When two very well-mannered horses meet for the first time and get to play, it’s a joy to behold! And these two PLAYED.聽They’ll be spending a lot of time together – I’m sure glad they enjoyed each other’s company. It’s a blessing to have two such well socialized horses.

Magic learned right off the bat that Fiona may be small, but she’s聽competitive. Clearly, she took the fancy racehorse to task and let him know that it takes some serious effort to out-run her 馃槈

(and AAACCCKKKK! even the big camera was foiled by the blasted fog and rain!)

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It’s Magic!

April 5, 2013

It’s official. I am now in the business of re-careering ex racehorses.

I have had the honor and the pleasure to ride just about every breed of horse under the sun – from freebies to six figure horses – and can appreciate what they all bring to the table. But there are two breeds that own my heart: Trakehners and Thoroughbreds. The Thoroughbreds take top honors.

While they may have a reputation of being crazy or too hot, they generally are not. They are finely tuned athletes that are more likely to run themselves into the ground for you than need to be pushed along. (Of course there are lazeballs exceptions!) The problem with many is that they are not allowed a transition time between the race track and their next career. Take a very young horse that is very fit and trained mostly to gallop hard – and expect them to have any semblance of sanity in an arena and you’re guaranteed to be disappointed.

Have I mentioned that I have the best friends in the world? Well, I do!

Due to an introduction by one of my most favorite horsey聽girls I have found a partner who shares my love of the ex racehorses and also wants to help transition them into second careers. She has the connections to get the horses and the lush pasture with a lovely socializing herd that will allow the horses to just chill, learn to be a horse, get all the meds out of their systems and generally learn to just be loved and get fat. Kitty and I are kindred spirits and I will be forever grateful to Molly for introducing us.

That Ol’blackmagic is our first joint venture.

Kitty tucked him away in a pasture with two lovely mares for 2 years and now he’s ready to go back to work, a fat and happy 6 year old. He has an exceptional temperament – sweet and sane – and I’m positive he’s going to make a lovely little event horse (check out the massive hip on him!) He was retired a winner and the fat little monkey he is now will be fit and ready to compete again, soon!

Sorry for the crappy pics – yet again I was too excited and distracted to bring out the big camera. D’oh!

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