Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, featuring Raggedy Ann, Flo and Eddie

The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

My mom grew up during the Great Depression. I don’t know if that contributed to her depression as an adult, but she got better after menopause. She told me that when she was a child, she had to put pieces of cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes. As an adult she had a lot of shoes.

“We don’t throw away food,” was her mantra in restaurants. I remember her wrapping leftovers in a napkin and putting the bundle in her purse to take home. Did they not have “doggie bags,” in the 60s?

One of the things my mom wanted as a child was a Raggedy Ann doll. She never got it during her childhood. One year my dad got her one for Christmas. Seems like I was about 9 years old, so that would’ve been in the 60s, too. When she opened the present containing Raggedy Ann, she cried, because she had always wanted one. Maybe she got both Raggedy Ann and Andy from my dad. They both had red yarn for hair and red and white striped legs and Ann wore an apron if I recall correctly. Maybe they had red triangular noses like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

Personally, I don’t see the appeal, though my mom and I both had red hair. Mine’s still reddish, blond with a little grey blended in. I’m trying to imagine wanting a doll that badly and not getting it until you were in your 40s. Maybe they were expensive, or maybe they were just that poor and the dolls were an extravagance. When I think about all the toys I had as a child and that my grand daughter has, it makes me wonder if we had/have too much. But I’m glad my mom got her Raggedy Ann doll later in life.

I only wanted a pony as a child, and did have my own horse for a while in my twenties. Horses are a lot of work, but they gave me a little stability during a crazy time of my life. Speaking of horses, my grand dog went to the dog park and met a couple of great Danes. Leilu is a husky, so she’s big, but not as big as the Danes, named Flo and Eddie, or was it Eddie and Flo? – They were named after the leaders of the old rock and roll group, The Turtles back in the 60s?

First I’m going to share some photos of Leilu, my grand dog, with Flo and Eddie who I could not tell apart, though one is bigger than the other. Leilu looks crazy because she has blue eyes and a big smile which is real, not enhanced. She just got her stitches out from being spayed, so we didn’t have to worry about any hankypanky from the boys. She lives with her two sons who are also bigger than her, but that’s another story, or maybe it’s a yarn.

And here’s a video of the Turtles, including Flo and Eddie, from when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 singing, “Happy Together,” a song on the playlist for my wedding reception.

~~~

For more streams, yarns and rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 5, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Calling Collect, Sea Shells, and Spirals

Today’s SoCS prompt is the word, “collect.”

Back in the olden days we could make a collect call – long distance – which meant that the person receiving the call could accept or decline to pay the charges. This came in handy if you were calling from a phone booth or didn’t want to pay, or couldn’t, pay the charges. Local calls didn’t have an extra charge. If you were calling collect, you had to go through the operator who would ask the person being called: “I have a collect call from John Doe, will you accept the charges?” The person could then decide to accept the call or not. I guess some things are simpler these days, though most are more complicated.

Some things I used to collect as a child and adolescent were sea shells, rocks, records, books… I still have a lot of books, and a small collection of rabbits (not real ones) and snow globes. I also collect dust and cat hair, though that is not intentional. My mother collected angel figurines which I have inherited. Dad collected coins which I gave to my son. My x husband collected comic books. I think he cashed one in for a lot of money which was always the plan. My current husband has a lot of books, but so do I. And sea shells, I still have a lot of sea shells. And bottle caps, plastic ones, of a some day art mosaic. I probably have, oh, I don’t know, at least a couple hundred plastic bottle caps. Maybe I’ll make an mermaid, though something abstract – a spiral would be fun, too.

I like spirals and used to want a spiral staircase. Now, I think it might be too much work, and a little risky, but pretty. Fractals are cool, too. Repeated patterns, I think that’s what they are, but in a geometric design. Spirals and fractals are common in nature. Someone out there knows more than I do about their energy.

This window is somewhere in Texas:

A few of my favorite shells

Hey! I just realized that the telephone chord we used to have connected to the receiver was a spiral! In the beginning days they were only a few feet long. It was exciting when we got one that reached from the kitchen to the dining room! Who remembers talking on the phone and twisting the cord with your finger?

An old telephone from pixabay
1957: Should I accept this collect call?

You can read all about Stream of Consciousness Saturday

and find a collection of streams at the blog of our host, Linda HIll:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 29, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Crocs, Gators, and a Birthday Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roc.” We are to find a word with “roc” in it or use it as a word all by itself, and enjoy!

Crocodiles are different from alligators. We have alligators here in North Carolina. I’ve seen them at the lake and less often in the creek not far from my house. Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles. I have to admit that I researched the differences before starting this stream. I was curious! But I’m still writing in SoCS style and did a minimum of planning. I think that’s the rule.

I used to think there were no crocodiles in the US, but read that southern Florida is the only place where gators and crocs coexist. Crocs have pointier snouts. I guess I thought gator snouts were pointy because that’s how they look in the water. Crocs live in South America and Africa. I’m glad gators aren’t that aggressive, at least to people, but you have to be careful not to let small dogs or cats run around gator territory. Don’t want to think too much about that.

How about this sign?

WARNING: Beware of Alligators

Is that sign just weathered, or did the alligators come up and rub those letters so you couldn’t read them? Why would they do that? Why would I even imagine that? Too much imagination. Let’s move on.

Crocs are a brand of functional shoes. I love my crocs sandals with lots of cushioning. The first pair I had lasted at least two years. Then each pair afterward seemed to last less time. It helps if I don’t wear them to do yoga outside. Seems I need more and more cushioning under my old feet. No more going barefoot. Maybe that’s a good thing. My feet will be a little safer from crocs, gators, and snakes when I go on hikes to the creek or my urban forest.

On Tuesday we went on a birthday hike for my daughter’s 28th birthday to a nature preserve across the bridge in the next county. There were places where alligators might have been hiding. No crocs though. We did see a turtle. (It looked like a turtle, but there was no water nearby so maybe it was a tortoise?) We hiked lots of varied terrain – woods, fields, and swamp. Not many rocks though like up north in the mountains. Glad it was too early for the mosquitoes to be out in force. I’ve only seen a few, but it’s been very dry here lately. It won’t be long…. Anyway, here a few photos from my daughter’s birthday hike.

~~~

Today’s prompt is brought to you by our SoCS post, Linda Hill. You can find rules and more streams of consciousness by clicking the link below:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 22, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Balancing Growth and Rest

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: to use the word, “growth” any way we liked, and to have fun!

Personal growth was a big deal once upon a time. I’m still growing, but I want to enjoy life, too. If you’re enjoying yourself are you wasting time? I don’t think so.

My energy level fluctuates a lot. The only thing even close to predictable is that I tend to have more energy at night. David is a morning person. He gets sleepy at about 10 pm. That was a good thing when we had the five pack of dogs. I could let them out at night and he could let them out and feed them in the morning.

When I was a mom, I had to get up early. Same with work. But now, I’m RETIRED. I can do what I want, mostly. Naps are a wonderful treat. I’ve earned them. Paid my dues. Left to my own devices, I’d probably keep vampire hours. But I do my best to get up and have breakfast with David.

Lately, there are times in the afternoon that I can barely keep my eyes open. Maybe 7 hours of sleep is not enough. Fatigue seems to come from nowhere. My bloodwork is “normal.” I guess I could just go with the flow and be grateful. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL I don’t have to go to a job at a scheduled time. However, I do need a schedule to get me to write and do art, so I don’t watch too much TV. Usually the TV stays off until after noon. I have a yoga class at the senior center plus silver sneakers exercise classes at the gym about twice a week. There are times when I get really into yard work and overdo it.

I like doing yard work – clearing the pathways through my urban forest where things grow lush and thick in the summer. Actually, they’re pretty thick right now. Not a lot of flowers, though. The amaryllis that gets the most sun is done blooming. The others haven’t bloomed yet. The Hydrangea has more blooms coming than usual on the way and the lantana is just starting. I guess that’s what happens when you let the trees do their thing in the urban forest and make shade. The good thing about tree shade is that it keeps the house cooler.

I guess I’m missing the Thursday Tree Love post. Unless I got the day wrong. It’s normally on the the second and fourth Thursday, but I didn’t see it. I hope our host Parul is okay. She lives in India. Feel free to join me in sending good thoughts and prayers to Parul Thakur and India.

Hydrangea Blooming

My urban forest is only on about one quarter acre.

From my kitchen window

Some of the wildlife visitors to my urban forest include hawks, geckos, squirrels, and an abundance of birds. Yesterday I saw a rabbit which surprised me because I don’t know how it got through the fence. I think the neighbor’s dog motivated it to find a way. Anyway, it was too fast for me to get more than a glimpse. Here are some old photos of backyard wildlife:

Challenges help us grow, but we need rest and relaxation, too.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 15, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Phones of Yesteryear

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is:

“…to your left.” When you sit down to write your post, look to your left. What is the thing closest to you? Write about the memories that thing induces. Enjoy!

To my left is my phone, quietly charging, waiting for the next spam call. Or something better. I’ve recently started getting spam texts. Nothing like in the old days, when we only got an unwanted call if we listed our female names in the phone book. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I was a teenager in the 70s, we had one phone for the whole family. It hung on the kitchen wall – a yellow phone on a yellow wall. Most of my phone calls with boyfriends, including my first boyfriend who much later became my husband, took place at the kitchen table. It allowed for some privacy if you didn’t talk too loud. I remember my phone number was 347-5359. Before that, when I was a young child, we had a black phone that sat on a table. They all had rotary dials that went, click, click, click. I vaguely remember having a party line which meant sharing a phone line with someone – you had to take turns, not just with your own family members, but with the other party.

“Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”

That’s what Lily Tomlin said as Ernestine on Saturday Night Live, right? Nope. It was Laugh In.

Look what I found when I went looking for Ernestine: It’s so random, just like SoCS.

Some people didn’t even have phones when I was a teenager. But they could use phone booths. In England, don’t they call them call boxes? Has anyone seen a real phone booth lately? Where have all the phone booths gone? They could be dangerous though. Back in the sixties, or fifties, well, in the olden days, there was a thing to see how many people, usually college students, you could squeeze into a phone booth. Then there was The Matrix phone booth scene. Is the Matrix really that old?

In the 70s, we didn’t have an answering machine, voice mail, caller ID, or any of that stuff. We just had to take our chances. If someone was already talking to someone else, we got a busy signal – buzz, buzz, buzz. No personal computers, no remote controls (not in my house anyway) and only three TV channels that went off the air around midnight most nights, at least in the early 70s. But it was better than the two tin cans with a string tied between them. That never worked for me. I found out just now watching this video that it didn’t work because I didn’t have the string tight enough. Finnovation demonstrates what type of “string” works best. Bright kids!

We’re never too old to learn. Just because something doesn’t work the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t work. Sometimes we just have to keep trying different ways.

Oh, and I finally got back in a kayak, making sure not to take my phone just to be safe. The first two photos are my son out on the lake in the mountains. The last one is a photo he took of me in my new kayak which is blue, green, and purple. These days, I take all my photos with my phone. In the 70s I never would’ve imagined taking photos with a phone that you carry in your pocket.

~~~

For more streamy streams of consciousness, and the rules, visit out host, Linda Hill, here:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 8, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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M*A*S*H

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mash. Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing I thought of was mashed potatoes which I really love if they are homemade. Then I thought Of the TV show M.A.S.H.

My dad loved M.A.S.H. and, watching it with him, I came to love it, too. Dad was in something like a MASH unit in Korea after he was wounded in the leg. It wasn’t a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, but something similar. He told me that the doctors there acted crazy just like on M.A.S.H.

Among my dad’s stash of MASH memorabilia is a hat he made to look something like Henry Blake’s hat. Henry was in charge before Col. Potter. Henry was a goofball, but he was a good guy. Here’s my dad’s hat which I don’t think I will ever be able to get rid of.

It was interesting to watch how the TV show MASH changed over the years with the characters growing deeper, yet still using humor. The show had a good mix of humor, drama, and thought provoking messages. The book was okay, but showed the characters as much more…. okay, my stream has been interrupted trying to think of the word to describe the men in the MASH book, because it was a lot more about the doctors who were somewhat lacking in integrity when it came to women more so than the TV docs. But the TV show was on CBS, so….

How many years was MASH on? Wait while I look that up… meandering down a side stream…. The show aired from 1972 to 1983. Eleven Years. I never get tired of watching MASH reruns.

Who was your favorite MASH character? It’s hard for me to pick one. Honeycutt was a nice guy. Hawkeye, was funny and had a good heart, but I have to identify with Margaret Houlihan who was the only female main character, though nurse Kelly was given more of a role over time. And Klinger, well, let’s not go there. Margaret, Hawkeye, and Radar where the only three characters who were in the whole 11 years of the show.

Here’s a scene from later in the series – as it started to mature – with Margaret and Hawkeye.

So as not to further disrupt the stream, I went back and looked for the photo of my dad in Korea. He was in an Able Medical Station around 1952. He’s the guy on the right in the first photo. Looks like he’s wearing PJs. I don’t know who the other guys are, but some must be medical staff.

* * *

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more SoCS posts and rules, visit:

Stream of Consciousness Saturday | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Forest Gump, Bullies, and a Happy Animal Video

Today’s prompt from Linda Hill:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “run.” Use it as a noun, a verb, use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

“RUN Forest, RUN!” was the first thing I thought of. I’ve watch Forest Gump how many times? At least 20, but who’s counting? It’s on tonight, and I might watch it again. Okay, I don’t really watch the whole thing every time. I’m also on the computer, or doing laundry….. but I’ll pay attention to my favorite parts, like when Forest and Jenny meet in Washington and everybody cheers when Forest in his army uniform embraces the hippie chick in the cement pond. If you want to just watch the reunion embrace, go to 3 minutes into this video:

Forest Gump is a movie about many things and has great music. In the beginning, Jenny tells Forest to run from the bullies so he doesn’t get beat up. Later, she tells him to run to save his life when he’s about to go to Vietnam, where he does run but also becomes a hero saving his buddies who don’t all make it.

Sometimes it’s good to run or avoid bullies. I admit that avoiding conflict is my default fault. Though why not avoid unnecessary conflict? Still, there are times when we need to face conflict with courage. There are times when we need to stand up for ourselves or someone else whether it’s a helpless animal, a child, or someone being harassed.

I recently read an article my friend shared on FB about what a bystander can do when witnessing harassment. (I had to type that word three times before it came out right.) The following article contains options about what a bystander can do when someone else is being harassed. It has something called the five Ds. (As an aside, there are four Ds for quitting smoking or other addictions: Distract, Delay, Drink Water, Do something else. I know it’s not that simple.)

The five Ds of intervention if we are a bystander go something like this:

Direct Intervention (after assessing for safety)

Distract by engaging the targeted person supportively

Delegate by enlisting help from a third party

Delayed response (this could also be debriefing)

Document

Okay, that’s five Ds. As you might guess, I broke out of the stream of consciousness for a brief period to go the article, but only because this is important. I can imagine being supportive of the person who is targeted easier than I can directly addressing the harasser. But I hope if I’m ever in this situation, I can be courageous and safe at the same time.

Here’s the article: SPLC on Campus: A guide to bystander intervention | Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org)

I guess Jenny’s “Run Forest, Run!” is somewhere between direct intervention and distraction.
Now I wish I’d shared the video of Forest and Jenny here, because I like to end on a happy note. Well, you can always go back and watch the end of the video again. 🙂

Or you can watch this video of happy animals playing, running, and Jumping:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules and guidelines, run on over to Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 27, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Buttercups!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “butter.”

We are not going to write about, wait, who’s we? Me and the cat? She’s not interested in writing. She just wants to cuddle since she hid most of the day yesterday in the bedroom where maybe she was trapped. I don’t know. But I don’t want to write about the first thing that popped into my head, the butter in the refrigerator and object of my cheating in my endeavors to be vegan for lent. I’d rather write about the second thing that popped into my head:

Buttercup!

Photo of buttercups my daughter, Ayla, took in the mountains

Then, I thought of Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride and found this commentary about how she is not just a typical, helpless, fairy tale princess. She is not in love with the prince. She loves to ride her horse. It made me like her more. I didn’t realize until recently that the same woman who played Princess Buttercup, played Jenny in Forest Gump. Back to the commentary.

Horses and freedom. My horse phase was more than a phase. I actually had my own horse in my twenties. I miss horses. And the beach. But there’s no reason I know of that we can’t go back to the things we love in some way or other – if it’s meant to be, we will find a way. Trust the Timing.

Spring is coming. With buttercups!

That was way more fun that writing about my awful side effects from Moderna 1 and 2. But that is over and done with, and I’m very glad. I survived, and I’m thankful for my strong immune reaction.

Buttercups! Daisies! Roses! Orchids!

Check out the orchids and other flowers blooming in time lapse from Nat Geo! They even have fairy tale like music to go with the images of Princess Bride riding her horse. That’s my stream of consciousness for this Saturday.

But wait!

I forgot all about sharing that commercial where they sing the buttercup song. Can I have three videos in one post? Let’s see! I’m not promoting the product. I just love TV commercials that use old songs like this. I’d totally be singing with her if I was in the store. It doesn’t matter that the lyrics are sorta sad. It’s got a good beat and it’s easy to sing to.

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, like rules and stuff, visit our host, Linda Hill at the link below!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)