The Meaning of Christmas

Update 26 December 2018…

Dear Readers and followers, 

I am slightly saddened by the lack of interest or even free thinking people out there. Anyway, it is the day after Christmas 2018. I have, however, regained my faith in humanity. Even with the over-commercialization of the holiday, I saw many a person doing good for others and expecting not a thing in return. 

In my house, the only one to receive a gift was, you guessed it, the dog.

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I may not have had “gifts” in the form that I could open, under my tree, but I received them all through the holiday season. We went and spent Saturday with my grandmother and that side of my family. Grandma (turned 86 this past 18th) insists on cooking to make everyone happy and then some, would not sit down for more than 2 minutes, even when she handed out the gifts to the great-grands. But we spent time with her, my brother (he is awesome and knows me so well), my dad and the cousins that were there.

Then we stopped over to see a friend who didn’t even expect us to stop. (We were just 10 minutes down the road). Instead of gifts, I put a basked together (I should have taken a photo – darn) with homemade cookies, fudge, jam, banana bread, and zucchini bread, and delivered. I played throw the ball (forever down the hall) with his parents dog (they are in a nursing home now) Zoey, she is a doll. 

But my holiday gifts do not end there….. 

Christmas Eve, although it started with a visit to my Dr. (yes she was in the office) was pretty rocking awesome for this small town country girl. After the Dr., we went and spent a few hours at my mom and step dads. And I got to play with their dog, Daisy May. Wow, is she a handful, but she will tell you she loves you, so cute. (The photo here is her looking to see if anyone is looking before she jumps on the chair to steal the homemade treats (cookies) I brought for her. )

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I did receive the most beautiful jewelry box that has a music box in it from my mom. It brought tears to my eyes (even now as I write this). Once again, we put a goody basket together for them also (but they has homemade applesauce in theirs). It was nice to sit and visit without any expectations or the chaos that usually ensues on Christmas Day. 

Ah yes, the best part of the holiday, the best gift of all, came at Andy’s Parents. His son and wife brought the grand-baby over. It is amazing how happy a person can be just to get to observe from the outside the love that is there for the grand-children. He is the cutest thing. (Yes, cuter then the dogs I got to enjoy and visit with). I would put a picture of him up, but…. I have not asked permission. But the visit with everyone there was nice. It was another calm and quiet (as it can be with a 1 year old crawling all over) restful visit. 

Christmas Day, we sat and watched TV pretty much all day long after I made french toast and scrambled eggs.

Whew…. so as you can see, gifts do not have to come in shiny paper with sparkles and bows. They come in the tiny things, the small details. 

Hope your holidays were blessed,

Jennifer


Original Post:

Dear Readers and followers,

Today, I am reaching out to each and every one of you. Help me understand the meaning of Christmas or the Holiday Season. Today is Winter Solstice, some consider it a Pagan Holiday. I see the holiday season more as an over commercialization most days. The days of yore, times past, are long gone. The times of huge family and friend gatherings are over as people spend more money and spend time only with those that can do something for them (i.e. the biggest gift, the most expensive gift, etc.).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing your replies and restoring my faith in humanity. I will follow up with this post next week. Keep an eye out. 

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

~Jennifer A Adams

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Nana under the Christmas Tree being “innocent”

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Coming soon….

Here is where we are with the coming soon….

In the next few months I will be posting a series of posts that have been rolling around my head for the last few months.

  1. 2017 in Review (this may take the form of Month to Month or event by event) — let us change this to 2018 with some takes on 2017.
  2. Lessons Learned from Gardening (2017 completed, 2018 coming soon….)
  3. Lessons Learned from Writing a Masters Thesis — with tips on how to get it done (This will be in the future)
  4. Analog vs Digital. The Pros. The Cons.
  5. Future Blog/Website Goals/Plans
  6. Dear Potential Employers…. and the pitfalls of searching for employment)

 

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The Road to….

Here is a photo essay I completed in 2006. The images were all taken with film (a 35mm Canon Rebel 2000 camera) and scanned into whatever multi function printer I had at the time (the reason they are a little blurry).

The essay came to me as I was driving home from somewhere in NE Ohio and an Ozzy song was playing (yes I listen to Ozzy)… The Road to Nowhere….. But the song evoked such a response that the road led to somewhere that I was thoroughly inspired to begin a journey of photos that lasted almost a year. Once I felt I had enough, I printed them out, small size, and taped them onto my sketchbook and it all began to fall into place.

For the first time ever for the world to see…. The Road To…. A Photographic Essay by Jennifer A Adams.

The Road To Photographic Essay – Final

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Lucky 7 Studios

The Story Behind Lucky 7 Studios:

I decided it was time to do something I love and am absolutely passionate about. Start my own clothier design business. Check out Lucky 7 Studios to see what  I am talking about. I am so excited to get started. I have my first customer already — when she reaches 100$ in orders, she will receive 1% off her order. And it will follow that way for each customer up to customer 100.

Are you tired of purchasing clothes at high prices and then having to take them to be altered so they fit just the way you want? Are you tired of wanting something special made and not knowing where to go? Do you have an idea for pillows, curtains, etc…. and do not have the skills or time to make them? Well, you have found the right place to come. Quilts, Dolls, Doll Clothes & More (pricing) Design Examples and Options

Each order will receive a written (typed & emailed or faxed) agreed upon work order so there will never be any confusion over the work. If you live in the NE, East Central Ohio or NW, North Central Pennsylvania area, send an email and we can set up an appointment to talk about what you want done. If you are further away, do not worry we can work with you from a distance, across the state, across the US, across the pond, anywhere you are, I can make it work. The Standard Garment Price List is only a guide. Each customer receives an individual quote based solely on their order.

As you are looking through the price lists and other pages associated with Lucky 7 Studios and you are not locating what you are wanting created, do not hesitate to contact me and we can work something out.

Look Book Coming Spring 2019.

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What I’ve learned about American culture….

  • American’s are vain! They are so concerned about their looks (want to keep up with American’s idea of “beauty”) they will spend any amount of money on Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and even a “magic bike” one only needs to spend 14 minutes a day.
  • They are lazy, they will order food to be delivered instead of shopping themselves or have complete meals shipped.
  • American’s are so busy (trying to keep up with everyone else) they do not even have time for each other.
  • Electronics are god! There is such a dependence on electronics (smartphones, computers, smart vehicles, game systems, etc…) People have lost touch with each other, nature, and things that were important 10 years ago.
  • Social media is good and bad. Mostly bad, some good. American’s no longer communicate in person, they put their whole life out there for all to see. It is about getting the next like, the next follower, the next this or that – it is like a drug!!!
  • It isn’t about who you are but more about what you do or don’t do…

There are more to come… If you have one to add, send me an email lucky7studios2015@gmail.com I will add to the list and be sure to give you credit.

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Lessons Learned from My First Garden

When we moved into our new home, I knew then I wanted to plant a garden the first summer we were here. The purpose of a big garden, was because I could can and provide healthy food for my family. We began laying out plans on scraps of paper here, and scraps of paper there, of what we wanted to grow and how we wanted to lay the rows. We began purchasing seeds (do not wait till time to plan to look for one specific garden vegetable/fruit you want to plant – you will NOT find it) and I was getting excited the closer and closer May came.

But first, we had to have weather to cooperate as we needed to get in and get the soil tilled. This part of the property had been an organic garden many years ago, for the previous owner. However, it had been left to grow over and return to the grass and weeds the same as the rest of the side property. But even before that, we had to buy a tiller. We researched different tillers, the prices, the length and number of tines, the motors, etc.. We finally decided on a Cub Cadet. We anticipate that it will last us many years of tilling not just the garden, but elsewhere on the property should we have the need. (Let it be known, we would rather have a small farm tractor – compact they call them – that would make the tilling twice a year go much quicker). We (ok, Andy) tills the area for the garden twice, once one direction and then once the other direction – May 14th. Between that date and May 28th, the weather was rainy and sloppy and could not get back in to finish tilling. So, on May 28th, it was tilled a final time before planting.

When it had been tilled on May 28th, we planted seeds for almost everything. We had bought the peppers and tomato plants at Green Farms. The potatoes were cut from ones that we had set aside throughout the winter for just that purpose. In other words, the ones that most people throw away because they have the start of “eyes”. Yes, those. We put them in the basement over the winter for the purpose of planting them in the garden. And they did produce. I am getting ahead of myself.

So here is what was planted:

  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Yellow-Wax beans
  • 2 different types of Green Beans
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Early Girl tomatoes
  • Big Boy tomatoes
  • Green Peppers
  • Red Peppers
  • Banana Peppers
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Burpless Beauty cucumbers
  • Pickle Barrel Hybrid cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Onions – 2 types
  • Turnips
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Pie pumpkins

June 10th we lay out the fence for the cucumbers so they grow up, instead of all over the place. Destany and Andy worked hard on this. So fast forward through June and into July. Throughout that whole-time period, we are all very busy and getting into the garden to get the weeds out is a daylong project every time we are out there. (lesson learned). One day, we were out there so long, I resembled a lobster when we went in for the night. Ah yes, let us not forget the #freerange chickens that are now still not in cages but no longer allowed to wander all over the place. They decided on my first day of canning to “cross to the other side”. We spent over 2 hours looking for them before they finally “appeared” in the neighbors’ shrubs across the street. But, anyway, I have some awesome photos of them in the garden with us throughout the summer.

Harvest started coming in the end of July. It was slow at first, and then WHAM, here everything comes at once. Day after day in the hot kitchen prepping, canning, rinse, repeat. My best friend was the box fan on the small red step stool (more like a miniature ladder) that the cats use in the winder to get on and look out the window at the birds and the chipmunks and whatever else might be passing through. I learned many a lesson from the actual process of canning: make sure you have EVERYTHING you might need BEFORE you start; including but not limited to, jars, vinegar, sugar, spices, seasonings, herbs, etc… and make sure you have LARGE enough pans to heat and/or cook what you are canning.

Final Harvest numbers….. well… it was an amazing harvest season, even though the bean plants did not produce nearly as many beans as we had hoped; however, a friend donated the last of his green bean harvest to us. There were 8 pie pumpkins, but they accidentally were left outside and froze before we could get them canned for pies. We did not have any onions at all, they need to be started like the potatoes, not from seed. The lettuce rotted early on in the year due to the rain we had at that time. It quit raining some time during the summer and we had to remember to go out and water in the morning before the sun came up. And the tomatoes, they grew and grew and grew and started to pull the cages over on themselves, so we took thick wood stakes and tried that. They grew so heavy they pulled those right no over too.

There were so many lessons learned throughout the year from this one garden. How many can you spot? Leave me a comment and tell me some of your lessons learned from your first garden or your many years of gardening.

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Welcome to a day in my life….

Ah yes, #lifeblog2017 … Keep an eye as there is plenty to come. Farm life. The final leg of my MPA candidacy as I finish my thesis and my last semester. The final stages of my teenager as she gets close to graduation next June. The creative and humorous side of my life in general. Commentary on current topics and research too. Small town USA life. volunteer life. And finally, my “trip” toward applying for my PhD. 

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