Hometown Moments & Memories 2017

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Hometown

Hometown Moments & Memories

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AN OLD-FASHIONED

Christmas


Hometown

Hometown Moments & Memories

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AN OLD-FASHIONED

Christmas


Hometown

Hometown Moments & Memories

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AN OLD-FASHIONED

Christmas


Contents Hometown Moments & Memories

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An Old- Fashioned Christmas: Who Doesn’t Want One? Upcycle Ornament Storage

Snow Globe 16 Holiday A Project For Kids

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Gifts For People Who Make Our Lives A Little Easier

Morning 10 Gift Ideas For Him 18 Christmas Apple Cinnabuns 12 Gift Ideas For Her Napkin Rings 14 Gift Ideas For Kids 20 Fresh & Fragrant Trees 22

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Shortbread Cookies

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Countdown To Christmas

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Holiday Shopping List

Old-Fashioned Eggnog German Chocolate Semi Home-Made Yule Log


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STAFF Executive Publishers HAL G. FOX & SUZANNE POLK FOX

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Creative Director DIANNE WALLER Art Director JENNIFER CABALLERO Design TRA PHAM Managing Editor SUZANNE POLK FOX Editor LIZ MCGEHEE Web NEAL BOYD

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An OldFashioned Christmas:

Who Doesn’t Want One? By Michele Robert Poche for a short glimpse back to yesteryear. And what better time to take that nostalgic journey than Christmas? Enter Hometown Moments & Memories 2017, your guide to bringing a good, old-fashioned holiday season to you and yours this special time of year.

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othing conjures up the traditional warmth and spirit of the holidays more than these timeless lyrics coined by Bobs Wells and Mel Tormé back in 1945. It was a simpler time when tablets were all made of paper, tweeting was merely the sound of happy birds and going viral meant you better get to the doctor quickly. Yes, technology is a wonderful thing. But I know I’m not alone when I say that sometimes I’d trade it all

How can you turn back the clock? Here are a few ways to get started. Decorate naturally. Put aside the overpriced decor from the home improvement store and opt for real greenery for your wreaths, centerpieces and tree. Accent these items with colorful, aromatic trimmings like pinecones, berries, cinnamon sticks, herbs and seasonal blooms. Create a popcorn-cranberry garland for your tree (details in this issue).

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Construct a paper chain countdown to Christmas. Cut red and green construction paper into 1.5 by 8 inch strips. Using tape,

loop each strip and attach in alternating colors to form a 25-link chain. Complete before December so links can be removed one by one until the big day. Display proudly.

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Welcome visitors. There was a time when people interacted with one another face to face. Smiles could be seen, laughter heard and warmth felt. This season, invite a few friends over, put on a classic holiday crooner (Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby) and enjoy some mulled cider (recipe in this issue) together.

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Remember the true meaning of Christmas. Whether or not you’re a religious person, everyone knows that Christmas is not about presents. Christmas is about family, faith and, most of all, good will toward your fellow man. Take time to remember others by giving back to those in need in your community and beyond.


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SLOW COOKER MULLED CIDER INGREDIENTS • 1 gallon apple cider • 1 piece ginger, cut into rounds • 2 large oranges, cut into rounds • 6 cinnamon sticks • 1 tablespoon cloves • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries

*If making on stovetop, simmer on low for one hour.

DIRECTIONS  Pour cider into large slow cooker.*  Add ginger and half the orange slices.  Add spices (in a tea ball or sachet, if preferred).  Cook 4 hours on low.*  Strain and serve warm. Garnish with remaining orange slices.

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HOT BEVERAGE SLEEVES FROM COFFEE SHOPS. These work wonders with larger round glass ornaments to keep them from touching.

Upcycle Ornament Storage By Suzanne Fox

DRINK HOLDERS FROM COFFEE SHOPS AND FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS. Line a box with drink holders and place precious items in each cup holder. MASON JARS. Place light strands in mason jars to keep them from tangling. CUPCAKE PAPER LINERS AND COFFEE FILTERS. Use these lined in the bottom of a box to keep glass ornaments safe.

Sav e these items thro ugho ut the year to protect yo ur holiday decorations.

GARMENT BAGS. Place a trouser hanger (with clips) inside of a garment bag. Use the clips to hold your wreath. Zip and store your wreath in a closet. EGG CARTONS. Line the bottom of a box with egg cartons and place smaller ornaments in each cup. Close the lid and layer another row of egg cartons.


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GIFT IDEAS

HIM By Liz McGehee

Show the men in your life how much you care by giving them something they truly want this Christmas. From the latest tech to comfy clothing, we’ve got you covered for the holidays.

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or the athletic man in your life, consider picking up an insulated, stainless steel water bottle. These trendy bottles are extremely popular right now because they keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours, come in a wide array of attractive designs, and they’re eco-friendly. Take a trip to your local athletic shop to find the perfect water bottle.

At the very least, you’ll find some much-needed stocking stuffers. For such a tiny package, Bluetooth speakers pack a powerful punch. These are great for hanging out by the pool, cleaning the car in the driveway or tinkering in the garage. Features can include water resistance, a rechargeable lithium ion battery and a built-in microphone for speakerphone or conversing with Siri and Google Now. A few brands even offer fun color options. It’s best to go to an electronic store to test out sound, weight and overall performance. Don’t be afraid to pamper

the men in your life with a pair of luxurious slippers for men. Even if he pretends like such things are beyond him, he’ll change his mind the second he feels how comfortable they are. Crafted from real suede, leather and sheep fur, ultra-masculine slippers look rugged yet remain soft and durable. If he’s not the type to treat himself, this is a great choice! Don’t be afraid to go BIG this holiday season, keeping his interests in mind of course. Even men need a little pampering once in a while. If he’s afraid to splurge on himself, this is the perfect time to step up and get him something he’ll love – or something he didn’t know he loved. Either way, we wish you happy hunting this Christmas!

If he’s afraid to splu rge on himself, this is the perfect time to step up a nd get him something he’ ll love – or maybe something he didn’t know he loved.


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for

GIFT IDEAS

HER By Liz McGehee

How do you find the perfect gift for that special woman in your life? It may take a bit of research, but she’s worth the effort. Try to think outside of the box this Christmas. Does she like cooking, gardening, creating art, travel, dogs or reading the latest best seller? If you’re having trouble deciding on a gift, show her you pay attention by creating a care package with a little bit of everything. Splurge on some bath bombs, aromatherapy candles

and bubble bath. If she’s under a ton of stress at work or doesn’t make enough time for herself, a relaxing bubble bath is just the thing. If you really want to go the extra mile, pick up some baking soda, Epsom salt, corn starch, citric acid, her favorite essential oils and food coloring to create your own from scratch. Add dried flowers to your bath bomb to make them look extra fancy. By making these at home you also ensure fresh, wholesome ingredients. Keep her healthy and happy

with a fitness band. She can keep track of her exercise habits throughout the day and even receive workout reminders. These are especially useful to busy bodies who are always on the go and put others’ needs above their own. Assess her needs before purchasing a fitness tracker. Visit a local shop to ask for recommendations and test the products. If you don’t already know her favorite book genre, snoop around her bookshelf. Once you figure that out, look around town for book deals. You’d be surprised at your local used book store selections. Thrift shops also carry current reads at a fraction of the price. You might consider crafting a bookmark out of an old photo or something meaningful to the two of you so that she will see it every time she opens up one of her new books.


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Gifts forKIDS By Liz McGehee

Parents put a lot of unnecessary pressure on themselves to find the right Christmas gifts. Yes, good gifts are important, but Christmas is about more than material gain. And who better than you to teach them to be kind to others, to have a sense of humor, to find their inner confidence or to spark joy at any moment regardless of possessions? You know your child best, so don’t fear Christmas this year. Here are some gift ideas to last a lifetime. [OLD KING COAL] Who can resist a good old-fashioned gag gift around Christmas? This is a chance to get creative and give them something they like. Candy coal is a popular stocking stuffer. If your child is more of a reader, pick up a copy of Lemony Snicket’s “The Lump of Coal.”

[SUGAR AND SPICE] Whether your child fancies themselves the next Gordon Ramsey or simply loves to eat, you can’t go wrong with food related gifts. A children’s cook book or cooking set, lessons with a chef or a package of homemade goodies make excellent choices. [JOY TO THE WORLD] Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Teach your children the real meaning of Christmas by giving unto to others. Let them pick out a charity and donation gift. This is a present that will last a lifetime.

[RAIN RAIN GO AWAY] Fight the winter blues with season passes to your local amusement or water park. If it’s within your budget, a trip to somewhere they’ve never been before will give them something to look forward to and get them researching in the meantime.


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Holiday Snow Globe

A Project for Kids By Suzanne Fox This is a fun project to make with kids while everyone is gathering for Christmas. Save money on gifts and have them swap snow globes for presents. An oldfashioned keepsake they will remember every year.

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SUPPLIES

 1 small jar with lid  1 small holiday figurine to fit in jar  Glitter  Water  Glycerine (a few drops) DIRECTIONS

 Glue the figurine inside the lid of the jar. Use a permanent glue for this, not something that is water soluble.  Fill the jar with 3/4 cup of water. Next place glitter and a few drops of glycerine into your jar.Too much glitter or glycerine will stick to the bottom of the jar.  Place a ring of permanent glue around the top rim of the jar. Screw lid on tightly.


GIFTS FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR LIVES

A Little Easier By Michele Robert Poche

Tis the season to be jolly, right? So why not spread a little Christmas cheer and show your gratitude to the all-too-often unsung heroes this holiday season? Financial gifts. Sometimes tipping really is the best way to say thank you, especially with helpers like postal workers, garbage collectors, doormen, landscapers, housekeepers, dog walkers and babysitters. As a general rule, $20 should be the minimum gift presented to an individual. If you’re presenting to a group, make sure no one receives less than $10$15 each. Small gifts. For those we interact with more personally, a small token of appreciation such as a picture frame, a gift certificate or other

special memento should be extended from you or your family. Teachers, tutors, lesson givers, coaches, cafeteria workers and crossing guards all fall under this category. The gift value can vary but should fall somewhere between $10 to $25 each. Home-cooked meals. Have a special group of fire fighters in your area? Recruit a few neighborhood families to prepare a full meal for the station. Assign each family a different small course (appetizers, salad, drinks, side, dessert) with two or more families handling the entrée. Coordinate

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the delivery with the house captain and be sure to include a little note from everyone. Christmas cards. When making out your holiday card list, don’t forget to include your pediatrician/doctor, your dentist and even

your veterinarian (with a picture of your pet enclosed if he’s not in the family photo). Many offices like to display all of their holiday greetings throughout their halls and doorways for all visitors to enjoy.

“When I was a boy a nd I would see sca ry things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. Y ou will always find people who a re helping.’” Fred Rogers Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

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Christmas Morning

Apple Cinnabuns

For a more festive look, add holiday sprinkles or holiday sugar on top.

DIRECTIONS

 Take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cinnamon, mix in a mason jar and use a lid with holes in it By Suzanne Fox for easy sprinkling.  On a parchment INGREDIENTS  1 can crescent roll dough lined sheet pan, roll out crescent roll  1 can apple pie filling dough. Spread a  Cinnamon sugar thin layer of apple  1 cup powdered sugar pie filling to cover  2 tablespoons melted entire sheet of butter

dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Starting with short end, roll dough while sprinkling cinnamon sugar on bottom of dough as you roll.  Once the dough is completely rolled, slice one-inch-thick rolls. Lay flat at least two inches apart.  Bake 15 to 18

minutes or until golden.  While cooling, mix powdered sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Mix until creamy.  If it is too thick, add water one teaspoon at a time. Spread or drizzle icing onto rolls depending on how thick your icing is.


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EASY HOLIDAY

SUPPLIES: • A bag (or however many you need) of plastic shower curtain rings from the dollar store • 1/4” or 1/8” moss colored velvet ribbon • Holly sprigs from the dollar store or holly sprigs from a tree in your yard

By Suzanne Fox

DIRECTIONS  Using a hot glue gun, glue the end of the ribbon, velvet side up on inside of plastic ring. wrap the ribbon around the ring until completely covered.

NAPKIN RINGS Bring the old-fashioned look to your table with vintage, lace-trimmed linens. Top with all-white plates with a hint of color in your goblets. If you are lucky, you may have some depression glass goblets to use for this perfect occasion. These ribbon-wrapped napkin rings are the perfect addition to create the festive look.

n napkin o b b i r e s e h T sive, but n e p x e k o o l rings e and k a m o t y s a they're e ak the bank. won't bre

 Glue end of ribbon onto ring.  Cut a piece of ribbon 8” long. Glue piece of holly onto outside of ring.  Fold 8” ribbon piece in half to find the center, place the center on the inside of the ring under the holly, and tie a bow on top of the holly to secure it in place. If you want to add a piece of lace ribbon, place it under the velvet ribbon and tie both into place. Secure with glue gun if needed for extra support.


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FRESH FRAGRANT TREES By Patricia Danflous You found it. After several hours and visits to several lots, the best tree ever is scraping the ceiling of your family room. Stand back, admire your selection and take in that wonderful fragrance that says, “It’s Christmas time.” Follow these suggestions from the National Christmas Tree Association to keep your tree fresh and fragrant through the end of the year: • Position your tree in a standard,

reservoir-type stand. Fill with water to maintain freshness and minimize needle loss. • Use a stand with adequate water holding capacity. Generally, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Consider using a device that helps to maintain a constant water level in the stand. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand. • Choose a stand that fits your tree. Avoid

ur , a d m ire y o St a n d ba c k t a k e in t h a t s e le ct io n a n d g ra n c e t h a t ra w o n d e rf u l f st m a s t im e." ri h C s a y s, “It ’s

whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed. • Make a fresh cut perpendicular to the stem axis and remove about a half-inch-thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. • Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.

• Keep your tree away from major sources of heat, such as fireplaces, heaters, heat vents and direct sunlight. Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day. • Select decorative lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying out your tree. • Turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed. • Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or when the tree becomes dry, remove it from the house.

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By Suzanne Fox We like to make shortbread cookies for cut-outs rather than sugar cookies because the shortbread dough is more firm and doesn’t spread out as much during baking. Roll your dough 3/4 inch thick for tasty buttery cookies that hold their shape.

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened) • 3/4 cup powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon real vanilla, not extract • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 325 F. 2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour gradually until mixed completely. Do not over-beat or mix as the dough will not be as firm. If you accidentally over-beat, place mixed dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes so the butter can cool. 3. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface 3/4” thick. 4. Cut dough with star cookie cutter. Stars are simple to decorate and add an old-fashioned feeling. 5. Place 1” apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. 6. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden. Place on wire rack. 7. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


OLD-FASHIONED

EGGNOG By Michele Robert Poche

“Store-bought eggnog?” I hear it every year when I take the shortcut approach to the holidays. So I decided it was time for me to learn to make this decadent beverage from scratch. Join me for a glass?

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INGREDIENTS: • 4 cups milk • 5 cloves • 2½ teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 cinnamon sticks • 12 egg yolks • 1 cup sugar • 4 cups half & half • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg DIRECTIONS 1. Heat milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon on low 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in bowl until fluffy then slowly whisk in hot milk mixture. 3. Pour everything into saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Do not allow to boil. 4. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks then let cool. 5. Add half & half, remaining vanilla and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight and serve.

! Bottoms Up

To avoid risk of food poisoning, never serve a beverage made with raw eggs. For a more adult beverage, add 1½ cups brandy, rum or bourbon at step 5 or serve alongside a bottle of your preferred spirit. Add as desired.

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GERMAN CHOCOLATE SEMI HOME-MADE YULE LOG By Suzanne Fox Here’s an easy take on the traditional holiday yule log. We like to mix it up a little by combining the german chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Super rich and a great crowd pleaser, plus it’s pretty enough to use as a centerpiece.

INGREDIENTS • 1 box german chocolate cake mix • 1 jar german chocolate cake icing • 1 jar dark chocolate cake icing • 1/2 cup powdered sugar •C hoose a serving platter from one of these ideas: a wood plank, a chopping block, a square mirror, a rectangle serving dish • Add holly sprigs for garnish • Prepare cake mix as directed on box DIRECTIONS 1. Leaving one inch on each side, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 2. Prepare cake mix and spread evenly on cookie sheet. 3. Bake as directed.You may have to adjust the length of time you bake depending on your oven. 4. Stick a toothpick into the center of your cake. Remove from oven when the toothpick comes out clean. 5. While the cake is still warm, poke

holes with a toothpick then spread the german chocolate icing on the cake. 6. Let the cake cool. 7. Once the cake is cooled, start rolling from one of the short sides using the parchment paper to hold the cake and keep it from cracking. 8. Once you have finished, place the cake, seam-side down in a serving dish. 9. Making ridges to imitate bark on a tree, cover the cake with icing. 10. Make the knots on the log by using a swirling motion. If you have mini marshmallows handy, you can place one on a thin layer of icing, then cover with icing to make it look like a knot sticking out of the log. Have fun with it, every tree is different so you can’t mess this up. 11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to resemble snow. 12. Place holly sprigs around the log for garnish.


Countdown to

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CHRISTMAS 1 Start decorating!

Saturday

Sunday

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Put up your tree.

Find the perfect wreath for your front door.

Plan your holiday location with family.

String the tree with homemade garlands.

Saturday

Sunday

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Knit, crochet or sew clothing gifts with love.

After taking Santa photos, pay for the next person in line.

11 Craft a nativity scene out of twigs with the family. Saturday

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Make hot chocolate from scratch.

Go ice skating.

Wrap gifts with personalized paper.

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Build a gingerbread house.

White elephant gift exchange with friends.

Pack up your old clothes and coats for donation.

Hand out homemade cookies at a nursing home.

Sunday

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Share a kiss under the mistletoe.

Throw A Christmas Story marathon.

Learn how to make one traditional, family recipe from scratch.

Make personal and family New Year’s resolutions.

Prep thank you cards.

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Organize a family scavenger hunt.

Roast marshmallows over the fire.

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Go around in a circle and share your favorite Christmas memory.

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Discuss the true meaning of Christmas on a long walk.


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HOLIDAY Shopping List

 Spouse ______________________ ______________________  Children ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  Mother ______________________ ______________________

 Father ______________________ ______________________  Sisters ______________________ ______________________ ______________________

 Brothers ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  In-Laws ______________________ ______________________  Grandmothers ______________________ ______________________  Grandfathers ______________________ ______________________  Aunts ______________________ ______________________  Uncles ______________________ ______________________  Cousins ______________________ ______________________ ______________________


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 Nieces ______________________ ______________________  Nephews ______________________ ______________________  Friends ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  Neighbors ______________________ ______________________  Bosses ______________________ ______________________  Co-Workers ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________

 Teachers ______________________ ______________________  School Staff (cafeteria, bus, etc.) ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  Household Helpers (housekeeper, babysitter, etc.) ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  Service Workers (mailmen, garbage collectors, etc.) ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________  Clergy ______________________  Pets ______________________


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