Our Crazy, Crazy, Morning…

Turkey babies (who are not so much babies anymore, but teens) needed their brooder cleaned.
So I set up a yard within the big turkey yard, put out food and water and opened them up…and they proceeded to panic and fly here, there, and everywhere whilst screaming angst filled teenaged turkey anthems of woe and abuse because the whole wide world is scary and The Food Lady was murdering them.
*sigh*

So they ran the big turkey yard (the big turkeys were still in their coop because they are too big to run with the teen turkeys who are still mid-sized and no match for a full sized hen, let alone Dingus or Oscar) while I scooped their mass of straw/feed/shit out…
With this being the stenchiest part of the job, my Kiddo went off to feed the ducks and chicks in the Little Red Shed, only to come back to tell me 10 (58) chicks had popped their door and were now wandering around the building here, there and everywhere.
*sigh*

With that, we rounded up the teenaged angst filled turkeys and put them back into the brooder…and let the big adults out because they were convinced that they were gonna starve to death.

If Oscar doesn’t eat 65.3 times a day, he will die. He is happy to regale you with tales of how I starve him and how he has died so many times for lack of food.
*sigh*

As I cleaned out the next brooder (which is a half full combo of cornish and first hatchers), Kiddo let out and fed the ducks, geeses and big chickens. Geeses are mad that I haven’t dropped every single goddamed thing to get them some weeds right fucking now…and they are happy to tell me that in no uncertain terms.

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I have not listened to them, other than to laugh and say “You’re on the list, I’ll get to you soon”.
The next brooder got lined with shavings (because I’m out of straw and I don’t have the energy to chase anyone for any quite yet) and we set out to capture 10 (58) chicks and move them to it.
1 Wheelbarrow, a dog crate, 2 women, a dog and 3 horses…
This is what it takes to move 10 (58) chicks out of the Little Red Shed to the brooder.
Well, the dog and the horses are more a hindrance than help, but that is no surprise. And then there were 10 (58) chicks in the brooder.
*sigh*

Finally, we got to the point of making sure all the feeders and waterer were topped up, collecting eggs (my turkey hens are trying to nest again and are rather put out that I keep stealing their smooth egg babies), the pools for the smaller ducks filled to warm in the sunshine for afternoon swimming and now?
Now it is finally coffee time.
While I play with money to pay the bills, buy some groceries and if all gets paid just right, maybe even a case of beer for Hubby.
*sigh*

My helper at editing earlier this week…
This is Homer J, our latest house duckling.
He was abandoned by the hen who hatched him, left for dead at night in the duck yard.
We found him and brought him inside.
Honestly, didn’t think he was going to make it.
But it’s been a week now, and he’s doing just fine.
Singing up a storm and pooping everywhere but on my desk.
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Saturday Morning Plans

Today we have a whole lot of work on the schedule.
I mean, it’s a Farm, so when don’t we?
But this weekend is the weekend where we get a lot more done in the garden.

We live on flat, bald arsed prairie.
I fell in love with the place because it was what we were needing when we were looking for a famr…but if I were to do this again?
I mighta kept looking.
We have very few trees (most we planted ourselves), we’re surrounded by grain fields (our big field is leased out to a local guy…same guy we get the bulk of our feed from), and we have the shittiest neighbour across the road (but those happen everywhere, so there’s no saying we wouldn’t have had one somewhere else).

But, we wanted out of the city, we needed somewhere close enough MCFHubby could get to work everyday, and we needed something set up for horses…so really, this was perfect.
And I do love this place.
Challenges and all.
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So, our work for today…

The biggest challenge with the garden has always been wind.
Bald. Arsed. Prairie.
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Last year, we tried something that seemed to work pretty darn good though!
We’ve had to fence the garden to keep those asshole birbs
out…because chickens, y’know what I mean?
So what we did was hang plastic aaaaaallllll around the fence, to make a makeshift hoop/greenhouse.
In essence, we created a less windy, teeny bit warmer micro climate with the plastic.
Then, what tomatoes that I didn’t forget about were planted around the edges, next to the plastic.
Well…
Said tomatoes went in super late, were almost half dead, but they rebounded and gave us enough for a few really tasty sandwiches.
And so, we decided that we needed to renew the plastic this year…since we had only jim-bob slapped it up last year and it came undone on 3 sides.

So that’s the main task today.
Get that plastic back up.
Then, lay down the landscape fabric/weed barrier that we plant the tomatoes through.
That way, when Mother Nature quits setting us those frost traps…I mean seriously, I’m looking at the weather, including overnights and thinking about putting tomatoes and peppers out…and then I remember that it’s only May 15th.
Nope, not falling for it!
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But I can get 90% of the seeds in.
Pretty much everything but the beans and the corn. Though I can probably get the feed corn planted…it typically goes in earlier, but I’m not 100% sure where I’m putting that yet, so no big deal if it waits. That’s my whiskey makin’ corn. πŸ˜‰

But first, feed store run and a trip to the dump.
Hoping there might be some good stuff we can recycle from the dump.
I love “shopping” at the dump!
It really is a case of “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”.
Last few times have been pretty slim pickings.
I think that has to do with our smaller, closer dump was closed by the RM (so yay, more bloody garbage dumped
on back roads by pigs πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„) and more people have to go to the bigger dump by the nearest town.
Plus, building material prices are through the roof, so people are scrounging more and more.
But, if you don’t look when you’re there, you’ll never find anything.

Then we have to move chickens around.
This becomes a bi-weekly task in the summer.
The meaties are ready to come out of the smaller brooder in the Little Red Shed, and move to one of the brooders MCFHubby and The Kid built.
Man, them little birbs grow like mad and are little savages!
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They get so excited over food…even if you just fed them an hour previously.
But that’s how cornishX are.
Once we get them so that they have outside space/time, they settle down on eating every dang thing in sight.
And, once outside, they can eat bugs and slugs and weeds and be happy little hooting and eating machines.

And finally, if we have any energy left, there’s 3 mares who need some attention paid to their hooves.
They’re overdue for a trim, and today looks like a lovely day to work on some feet.
But, we do have to get the food production stuff done first.

And Ruby can have a nap while waiting for her turn…

Enjoy the weekend and the weather folks!
❀

Monday

Busy weekend as usual.
We now have 3 brooders!
Hubby and The Kid have been on a building spree.
Thank goodness, because the meat chickens are going to need out of the coop in the Little Red Shed very, very soon!
Those nuggets grow fast. πŸ˜‰

And then this happened too:

This time it was easier to link to the Instagram post…
That’s our 1st Hatchers, in their new little yard. πŸ™‚

Just a couple of garden stakes pushed into the ground through some stucco wire and bam! Birbs can be outside.
Scary, scary, scary at first.
But we put their food out in the yard and that was enough to convince them to hop out and check out the great outdoors.
So their well on their way to becoming free rangin’ assholes.
Just the way we like our chickens…even if I do bitch about ’em.
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And now some outside world stuff…

Our province has gone batshit crazy.
Again.
Locked down again, and they just closed schools.
I guess they’re not done destroying the small businesses who’ve had to close, yet again.
And their not done destroying the mental health of kids yet.
And screw the folks who can’t afford to stop working to be home with their kids that are too young to be left alone, because we’re “not allowed” to have people in our homes or on our property.
Listen, I get that the virus is real, but saying that one life lost is too many while destroying thousands more is flat out ridiculous.
But, I have my suspicion that the school closure is an attempt to force the shot on those who might not want their kids to get it.
I really, truly hope that I am wrong on that…really, really, really hope so…however, the timing and the fact that the school closure was announced on Mother’s Day, 2 days *after* the businesses being shut down was announced…it’s too coincidental in my books.
Especially since the time frame where the kids should be heading back after this shut down just happens to coincide with the time frame where our province is opening up eligibility to everyone 12 and over.
So, I suspect the medical discrimination is just over that hill there…and I suspect like good little citizens, the bulk of my province will happily medically discriminate against anyone who doesn’t force it into their child, lack of studies be damned.
It’s funny as fuck to me that suddenly alllllll the people who’ve chanted the mantra “my body my choice” for years are now saying the shot should be mandatory.
Huh.
Pretty sure if I had no say in your medical decisions previous to the year the world lost it’s mind, you have no say in my medical decision now. Or ever.

And isn’t it interesting how that’s the big topic now, when you run into someone?
“Oh hey, get your shot yet”
The looks I get when I say “Nope.”
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And before anyone starts with the screeching about me being an “anti-vaxer”, just don’t…
2 things I live by:
1. my body my choice
2. informed consent
That’s how it’s supposed to be.
We own our medical decisions for our meat suits, plain and simple.
If that bothers anyone, well…πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

And…
Oh and this is a big one…
Do not even dare to try the whole “if you don’t get the shot, you shouldn’t have access to health care” bullshit.
Canadian health care is not supposed to discriminate against people for their life choices and who gets cared for.
So really, take that shit and fuck off. Way the fuck off.
Besides, Hubby and I have paid into that health care system for our entire working lives, and that health care has paid for other people’s choices that we may not have agreed with, and at no fucking time have we tried to have them stripped of access to care, just because we didn’t like their life choices.

So fucking remember that, when you say people who “don’t act right” should lose access to health care, ‘kay?
Everyone pays in here, everyone has access to care.
Whether you like “how they act” or not.
Simple as fuck.

And that’s enough of that.
Because I’m trying to keep that shit out of this blog, but sometimes, the frustrations ooze out…and damn if this ain’t my place, so I’ll write what I want.

But to finish it out, I’ll share a picture of Ruby from the weekend…

Being all pretty and crabby af because I woke her from her nap.
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I was *trying* to take pictures of her half buried in the straw pile, snoring her fool head off…but when she heard me open the gate she got up, hoping for treats.
Because that’s what a Fat Girl needs.
Treats.
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Have a great week folks, and don’t let the bastards grind ya down.

Rhubarb

Remember how I said I wanted to add a rhubarb plant to the Farm’s food forest?
Not because I like it (I don’t really) but because medicinally, it’s a good thing to have growing here.
There must be a reason every farm wife and baba had one or two plants growing…and I don’t think it was just for the baking! πŸ˜‰

So Hubby had found one for sale at the local hardware store, and snapped it up for me.
Then, a friend in the city messaged me to say her neighbour had one to split and if I was interested, we could get some of it. Um, yes please!

So this past Thursday, Hubby went over to her place and split this massive rhubarb plant…
What he brought home was an incredible bounty of plantable roots/crowns!

So now, where I wanted 1 or 2 plants, I have…
11!!
Plus a gallon sized bag of rhubarb in the freezer, because I pulled all the stems that were on the crowns he brought home…I’ll save that for a small batch of wine. πŸ˜‰

So I planted 2 big crowns straight into the main garden bed, put 4 smaller ones into one of the raised beds out front of the house, potted 4 for myself to add to the next garden expansion project, and potted 2 to give to another friend who was looking for some.
Plus, I still have a few smaller crowns that I plan on potting, so that if anyone else near me is looking for some, I’ll share those with them.

But I’m not complaining about having so many plants.
I’ll definitely find a use for them.
Even if it’s just making a rhubarb syrup to add to moonshine.
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And just for fun…if you look behind Ruby, way in the distance, there is a chicken…because here, chickens do whatever the hell they want. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ (I think there’s actually 2 chickens…but I’m not 100% certain…)

Darn Chickens!

I keep telling y’all about my asshole chickens.
I tell everyone that they just do whatever they want.
And they do.
It’s part of the reason our eggs taste so damn good…because our chickens go wherever they please…no matter how hard we try to keep them in their yard…
Though, one of the projects on “The List” is to re-do the chicken yard so that they actually *do* stay in there.
I have plans to expand our gardens exponentially, and the toughest part of that is keeping the asshole birds *out* of them. So eventually, we have to keep the birds in their yard…

In the meantime, they’re everywhere…

See?
Here they’re hanging out under the trailer (which happens to have hay on it), picking through the hay bits that have fallen, clucking and generally just being chickens.
This trailer is on the opposite side of the house from where their yard is…in fact this trailer is right beside the driveway, no where near the chicken yard.
But don’t tell these assholes that.
To them, the entire yard is their yard.
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So. Much. Chirping.

On Thursday I took the turners out of the incubator.
I thought it was day 19.
It was actually day 18, so I was on time instead of a day late.
Which was why I was worried when I didn’t hear chirping right away on Thursday evening.
It’s all good though, the birbs are making up for it!
Last night was almost impossible to sleep because of the chirp, chirp, chirping.
Tomorrow we’ll pull the ones that have hatched out and put them in the brooder, and start all over again.

Speaking of brooders, Hubby got one built for me.
Yay!
Check the Farm Instagram on the sidebar…
(I still haven’t figured out WP’s problem with me uploading images, so I’ll be recycling some until I do…and there’s always Instagram for current images.)
Meat birds come in 3 weeks, and when that happens, the current chicks will go into that brooder (and hopefully he’ll have the chance to build a couple more!) and we’ll go from there.

Yesterday I took care of two asshole roosters.
I had kept them back from last years hatches because of their size (big, big boys!) and because they were not showing the mean rooster traits.
I don’t mind so much if roosters are shitty with us humans *IF* they’re good to the hens.
Well, as the winter wound down, these boys started getting shittier and shittier with the girls, to the point where they were holding girls down just to hold them down, while pulling out head feathers.
I ain’t having that.
There’s way too many nice boys out there to put up with that garbage.
And so, they went to the soup pot.
No room in my poultry yard for asshole roos…
**LOTS** of room in my freezer for ’em. πŸ˜‰
It wasn’t even that there were too many boys (we had before yesterday 7 roos) because I have (even though I claim only 10 πŸ˜‰ ) at least 60 hens out there. So there’s no excuse for shitty rooster behaviour.
Welp, now the girls can be happy because the mean boys are gone…and the girls happily consumed their innards.
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Yeah, anyone who says chickens are vegetarians ain’t never seen the glee in a hen’s eye when she gets the testicle from a shitty rooster.
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I had also planned on send Oscar to Freezer Camp.

But lately he’s taken a shine to Daphne…

Booooop the snooooot!

Daphne is not impressed that this big bird has decided he’s in love with her.
She’s not impressed by his dancing, prancing and turkey songs.
Nope. Not at all.
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Us humans, however, find it funny as hell…and when Oscar is busy trying to woo Daphne he’s not fighting with Dingus.
And Dingus then spends *his* time trying to woo the turkey hens.
So it all works out just fine.
Besides, I have Narragansett turkey eggs in the big incubator…Oscar can stick around until we see exactly what hatches for us there. He might get him a flock of his own hens. Or he might go Camping.
But there’s time to wait and not be hasty about sending him to Camp.

Chicks and Chickens

I love this time of year.
Spring brings new life on the Farm, and new hope for a prosperous year ahead.

Our first round of eggs has hatched.
I initially set 80 eggs between the 2 incubators.

In the small incubator was all the blue and green eggs I was able to collect before starting.
22 colours and 2 browns.
Of those eggs, we had 20 hatch.
1 died in the shell, and the last 3 weren’t fertile.

Chicks in the small incubator…can you tell who’s going to be the trouble maker in this group?

In the big incubator I set 56 eggs.
1 was tossed due to having cracked in collection…those frozen eggs can really fool you with the cracks sealing back up when thawed.
In total, we had 24 hatch out.
5 of the unhatched were viable.
1 of those died shortly after pipping, the other 4 died in different stages of development.
The last 26 eggs weren’t fertile.

Don’t mind the phone pics…it’s too hard to use Voldemort when the chicks are still int he incubators. πŸ™‚

Overall, I’m happy with 44 little chirp chirps this round.
Considering those eggs were collected during our polar vortex cold snap that darn near snapped us all, any life coming from them is amazing and makes me happy.

Now the small incubator has 24 greens and blues in it, due to hatch in 2 weeks time, while the big one awaits the arrival of turkey eggs sometime next week. πŸ™‚

We’ll keep running the incubators until mid-summer.
Last year my last hatch finished the first week of July, and with excellent Fall weather, we were able to put all the extra roosters in the freezer. Fingers crossed for that kinda luck again!
This year though, I want to keep better track of how many roosters we butcher.
That way I know if I have to up my hatching game next year.
I will say, I am considering a 3rd incubator just for turkeys…though, I have noticed lots of folks will run chicken eggs in an incubator with turkey eggs.
I might try that. We’ll see how my turkey hens do when they start laying…if I get a lot of eggs from them, I might just spend the money for a 3rd.

The current crop of hens is happy as can be with Spring weather too.

Dust bathing…

They sure do make a mess of the lawn.
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This is just outside the gate to their yard…because heaven forbid the jerks stay in their yard and dustbath in there…oh no, that would make too much sense!
And if there’s one thing chickens ain’t got, it’s sense!
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They’re so funny…

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First Week of March

And we’re marching right along.
Heh.
See what I did there?
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I promise, I’m funnier in person.
Or, maybe I’m not.
πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

So I’ve booked 2 dozen turkey hatching eggs for the end of the month.
Why?
Uh….why not?
So I have 2 toms and 5 hens.
The hens should start laying soon…and if their shrieking songs are any indication, it will. be. soon.
But the lady I got the eggs from last year moved far, far away and chances to get eggs from her again this year dwindled…until we found out that she’s still finishing up the relocation of her family (to an amazing property in the bush, surrounded by wildlife, huge areas to forage and so much space for growing her own food…I’m teensy bit jealous. πŸ˜‰ ) so is back in the area once a week for a few more months.
So I jumped at the chance for a couple dozen eggs, since she had added new genetics last year, meaning I could hatch and run the new hatches with my current turkeys.
Hopefully, by the time we get eggs from her, my hens will have popped a few eggs out so I can add those to the incubator too.
I know the boys are dancing up a storm and there has been some turkey lovin’ goin’ on.
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We’re half way through the incubation for the first 80 chicken eggs.
So. Exciting!
I get excited about them hatching until the work of taking care of the chicks comes along.
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I’m a bit like a little kid like that.
But this is what we have to do to make sure there’s food in the freezer for next winter.
I mean holy crap, it’s not even spring and I’m already planning for winter!

And like every other year, thoughts move towards “what else can I grow”.
We have enjoyed having pigs for the summer…well, until these last ones.
Those effers were scary. 😳
And I’m not one to be scared by animals.
But watching them hunt chickens, stalk the cats and a time or two stalk Hubby, well…as much as I want pigs again, they have to be manageable for The Kid and I.
So we’re thinking potbellies.
Smaller, easier to handle, and if we get a boar and 2 sows, a renewable resource.
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We’ll try them out and see how they work for us.

LemonChicken enjoys the droppings off the hay bales.

The weather is warming up and the chickens are wandering around the yard again.
No matter how hard I try, those dang birds just won’t stay in their yard!
But they have fun picking through the bits of hay that fall all winter when we feed the Merry Mares.
And they find any voles that might be coming out into the sunshine.
Plus they steal cat food.
Because chickens is jerks.

the mares mooning me under the full moon…

The northern lights have been crazy active!
I keep trying to go out a photograph them, but I really don’t think my heart is in it.
When trying to take pictures, I don’t get to enjoy them as much.
I’ve just been enjoying my glass of whiskey and watching the lights.
In a world gone mad, it’s been a pleasure to enjoy the magic of their dancing with a fine sipping whiskey in hand and cats in my lap…
Because I can’t sit anywhere without cats in my lap. I ain’t complaining about that though…I do love a feline lap warmer. πŸ˜‰
Last night it was Max, Trouble, Xena and Coal all vying for who got to sit in my lap.
4 cats don’t fit so well, no matter how hard they try.
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My big chubby monkey…
Daphne…because she’s hard to photograph, and y’all don’t get to see enough of her. πŸ™‚

Ugh, Chickens

Brrr, what a chilly morning!
May 30th and we had frost last night.
So glad I hadn’t gotten the tomatoes in the garden yet!
Next week though…that’s gonna be the big push to get them in.

There was a little bit of worry with a couple cold night whether the turkeys and meaties would be okay.
Their house has no heat, no light, no way to add heat/light.
So we gave them fresh straw to bed down in, kept the cross breeze door closed and hoped for the best.
This morning I was met with turkey songs calling for food.
And everyone was juuuuuuust fine!
I kinda figured they would be.
Everyone is feathered out, and they’ve been off heat for a few weeks now.
But I worry.
The very last thing I want is to lose a bird because of my foul ups.
All was good though, so much singing this morning, and so much happy with the filling of the food pans.
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I finally managed to get out and take some pictures this morning.
30 days into May and I finally had the energy to use my camera.
lol
What can I say…it’s been busy, I’ve been exhausted.
That’s just life.

On my way into the pasture, I found this:

Oh look, someone(s) been hiding eggs.
This is my shocked face…but not really.

I had my hands full of the camera, so I’ll go out later and collect them.
Typically I float test to see how fresh they are.
If they’re iffy I hard boil them for the birds.
If they’re scary old, I just break ’em into a pan of grain and feed the birds.
If they test ok, we eat them.
Waste not, want not.

Today it’s sunny.
Our local dump has reopened after being closed due to SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus. πŸ™„
So this weekend is clean up of the farm yard, prep the garden, and straighten up the basement after our weekend of fun with the hot water tank last week.
Plus I have to set up with my Bro a day where he can come help Hubby replace lights down there.
When we moved in there was florescent lights there…now the ballasts are shot and they have to be replaced.
We have from our city house a set of light fixtures we were going to use there…we’ll use them here, with super bright LED bulbs, instead.

Oooooh, and the ducks!
Holy eggs in nests.
We have one broody girl sitting on a nest of 20.
We have another nest started with 12 in it so far.
And we have a horny teenaged drake who’s *loving* having 6 hens to hump.
So, fingers crossed.
Again.
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And somewhere along the way, I need to get out and pick more dandelions for wine.
I’m getting there.
Slowly, but surely.
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Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Sunny.

Some People’s Chickens πŸ™„

When your chickens are assholes and insist on hiding eggs even though it’s below 0*c and they just freeze and will never ever hatch…

Why, you asshole birds??

You end up with a cup of frozen eggs that will become scrambled eggs for those asshole chickens’ breakfast.
*sigh*
I just answered my own question of why…because them assholes love scrambled eggs.
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Like this post?
Feel free to buy me a coffee.
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