Tag Archives: autumn

New Book Release – Sharing Stories on Our Autism Journey


June is a great month. It official marks summer break from school, as well as the first day of Summer. It is also my birth month, which is why I decided to publish The Road I’ve Traveled on my birthday.

The Road I’ve Traveled is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Its official release date will be on the 19th of June.

I absolutely love the cover. The anchor represents my time in the Navy. The color blue represents my love of the ocean, as well as autism awareness.

The Road Ive Traveled

The Road I’ve Traveled is a compilation of poems and short stories Jennifer wrote during moments of her life where she felt the need to get it all out. She writes about being in the Navy during the tragedies of 9/11, having to deploy to New York where she and her shipmates stayed in New York’s harbor for three weeks, guarding the coastline in hopes of preventing any further attacks.

She writes about loss, love, heartbreak, family. You can see the fondness she had for her grandfather as she includes a heartfelt eulogy she had written moments after his passing.

She also writes about being a single mom, as well as a mom to a child who is on the autism spectrum. The journey they have endured together has been bumpy, but they continue to plow through life, learning about autism and sensory processing disorder as they go.

You can find all of my books, recently published and upcoming, under my name and my pen name, posted on my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com/books
Or, you can find them on Amazon:
For all books published under my name, Jennifer N. Adams on Amazon, click here.
For all books published under my pen name, J. Raven Wilde on Amazon, click here.
Advertisements

Alligators in Arkansas?


Spring break usually means vacation time for some, but to me, it’s time for catching up on college homework, as it does tend to pile up for us non-traditional students. It also means finishing tasks around the house that also needs my attention, such as taking my car into the shop to fix a burned out fuse, as well as having them take care of a recall. Then there’s the usual, dentist and doctor appointments that I can finally make since I have some time off. Or the opportunity to go into work early. All and all, for me, spring break just means staying busy, instead of relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere, listening to the waves crash onto shore, while I work on my tan.

But, it isn’t all work and no play, I do find some time for fun.

Yesterday, I took my daughter to the Alligator Farm in Hot Springs. She’s been begging me to take her to the zoo, yet most of the things she enjoys is out of order and under construction at our local zoo in Little Rock; the train, petting zoo, etc. Plus, they no longer have giraffes, which is my daughter’s favorite.

I had thought about taking her to Turpentine Creek, which is a wildcat sanctuary in Eureka Springs, but that’s a four hour drive (back roads and road construction) and it was supposed to rain yesterday. It was also slightly chilly, so taking her into the Ozark Mountains to walk around looking at wildcats wasn’t something she would enjoy.

The alligator farm was a relatively short visit. There wasn’t much going on, but on the positive side, it wasn’t crowded. Since alligators are cold blooded reptiles, they were being kept indoors where it’s much warmer. They have spacious yards outside, yet it is still too cold for them to be moved outdoors.

Along with the numerous amount of alligators, they also had a pair of Arctic Wolves, a mountain lion, turkeys, mallards and wood ducks, peacocks, a macaque, three lemurs, an emu, a couple of donkeys, and a handful of fallow deer, goats, and sheep.

Mini me was infatuated with the alligators, yet knew not to poke her fingers through the fence to try to pet one. Although, there was a guy holding a young alligator for visitors to pet (it had a rubber band around it’s snout so it wouldn’t snap anyone’s fingers off). Of course after I touched it’s belly, she saw that it was okay and touched it twice, which was long enough for me to snap a quick picture.

It was a fairly inexpensive trip, yet we always enjoy getting out of the house, no matter the price. I think that any young child or adult would enjoy taking a few minutes out of their weekend to visit the Alligator Farm. It’s easy to get to, plus it’s located five blocks away from downtown Hot Springs, where there is plenty of other things to see and do for couples and for families.

af1af2af10af9af6

This Week’s Photo Challenge: Orange


This week’s photo challenge is, orange; anything to do with the color orange. Orange just happens to be my favorite color. It’s bright, colorful, and is cheerful.

Below are a few pictures from my 2001 Navy Deployment, as well as a few pictures from the past few months around here in Arkansas.

Enjoy!

Church in NaplesCrete sunset

1497786_821572894549878_1746614542_n67wrenorchidmush1cats9autismspeaks1leaves 1

With Autumn Comes…


It’s already the end of the month, well, not the last day of September, but almost. I love Autumn. I love the beautiful colors in the trees. I love the cooler weather. I love football. I love wearing scarves and long sleeve shirts. But what I don’t love about the change in weather and this time of year is that everyone is passing some sort of cold or flu around.

Yesterday I took my daughter to the doctor. She had gotten up in the middle of the night throwing up. First thing I checked was if she had a fever…she didn’t. With a quick change of bed sheets and her clothes we went back to bed. There were a few close calls (almost throw up) that morning, but she insisted on going to school…seriously, I was going to let her stay home, but she threw a fit, wanting to go to school.

Upon dropping her off I told them that if she gets sick to call me, that I had to go to class, but I will pick her up in a few hours. Once we got to the doctor’s office she started throwing up. I truly feel bad when she feels bad. I calmly rub her back, hold her hair, then tell her everything is going to be okay. What I love about my little girl, is that no matter how ill she’s feeling, she always continues to keep a smiling face and keeps acting her silly self. I know she gets that from me.

Turns out she only has fluid built up in one ear and looks to be a minor ear infection…I caught it early. The fluid drainage just causes her to throw up. I am just thankful she doesn’t have the flu or something worse, though what can be worse than having the flu?

I hope everyone is doing well and stirs clear of whatever bug is going around. I’m trying my best to stay away from those around me with the sniffles. There had been a few people already leaving class early because they didn’t feel too well, nor did they look it. Lots of fluids, rest, and healthy eating.

Bryant Fall Fest 2013


This years fall fest went without any issues. The weather was warm and beautiful compared to last years rainy, windy, and cold. Though this year didn’t seem to have as many activity booth’s set up as last year. I’m hoping there will be more next year as there was a HUGE crowd that turned out.

The red and blue things that are behind me in the photo is for laser tag, which is a set up by the Timberland Paintball. They opened a new location here in Bryant, Arkansas.

Image

I had a booth set up, selling paracord bracelets and paracord keychains, as well as my children’s book Dana’s First Fish. I am happy to say that I sold quite a few books and almost all of my bracelets. I know now to make more smaller bracelets than what I had, as they are more popular with the younger kids than they are with the teenagers and adults. Quite a few people placed special orders, as well as requested that I put them up on my facebook, selling them all year around. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Image

Another thing I need to make sure I have next time is my canopy. I sat in direct sunlight, getting a nice sunburn. Actually, sunburns are not really nice at all as my chest is on fire, but you can get the meaning. I had not thought to bring sun screen, nor did I think to bring the canopy. The forecast said it was going to be cloudy. I’m not sure who typed that up, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Still, I shouldn’t have forgotten the sunscreen, right? Though there were a few clouds and quite a bit of wind in the early morning, the sky was clear and the sun was hot from about ten AM on. I also wore a short sleeved v-neck shirt, receiving a sunburn on my arms, neck, and chest; my chest being the worse. In a few days it’ll look a little like a farmers tan.

Another return to fall fest was the pumpkin bling contest. I had entered last year, as did my nephew Hunter, and my daughter. My daughter won first place last year in the children’s category and I had won second place in the adult category. This year I made a Cinderella coach, winning third place in the adult category. My daughter made a black cat, but did not place, and my nephew made a pumpkin eating zombie, coming in second place. It was a tough competition this year as there were so many pumpkins that were beautifully decorated in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Image

Cinderella’s coach

I am going to rethink next years pumpkin bling, as well as make a check list so as not to forget anything…like sunscreen and shade. I hope everybody is enjoying the first days of Autumn. Happy Monday everyone!

Its snowing!!!


It’s snowing!! On WordPress that is. Got your attention I’m sure. No, it isn’t snowing here, its sixty one degrees and raining outside. I do wish it was snowing instead.

I’m a person that loves to enjoy each season. Spring – I love flowers and planting them. Summer – shorts and sandals and BBQ! Autumn – time for fall festivals, pumpkin decorating, and county fairs. Winter – sweaters, fuzzy socks, hot cocoa, and bundling up to go outside and play in the snow.

Image

My daughter doesn’t know what to think about the snow. Feb 2011

Being a Navy brat and then joining the Navy myself, I’ve lived on many beaches. I love the beach; building sand castle, looking for shells, snorkeling, boogie boarding, laying out in the sun, but I also enjoy a little snowfall as well.

I lived in Colorado for a few years; my first year there was a small blizzard, a few years later, another blizzard. My car was literally buried in the snow. I walked outside to take a few pictures and the snow literally went passed my waist, that’s how much snow had fallen the day before.

Image

Snowboarding in Colorado 2004

I had taken many trips with some friends to go snowboarding. We found one of the cheapest places was Loveland ski resort; it’s located right before the Eisenhower tunnel.

Snowboarding was easier than I thought it would be. The only hardest part is getting off the lift. No matter how many times I would trip and fall while getting off the chair, I got back up, laughed at myself, boarded down the side of the mountain, and came back up to do it all over again. Yeah, I’m a goofball that way. I enjoy having fun!

Image

Snowboarding with friends in Colorado 2004

Pumpkin Bling and Fall Fest



Yesterday was our Fall Fest here in Bryant, Arkansas. My daughter helped me decorate pumpkins for the Pumpkin Bling Contest. First time I’ve ever heard of Pumpkin Blinging. I had to check it out on the City of Bryant’s Facebook page to see what that meant. They really didn’t have a preference  They said we could carve, paint, or bling it out. ‘Bling it out’ only meant to decorate it with sequins, gemstones, or glitter. Something interesting, I thought. I’m only use to painting or mostly carving, but I wasn’t going to carve a pumpkin with a two year old.

With some help of a friend, who directed me to her Pinterest page, i was able to figure out a few design ideas. I bought three pumpkins, some fabric paint, gemstones, gauze (for the mummy pumpkin), and paint brushes.

Dublin helped me paint her pumpkin and even tried, unsuccessfully, to eat her paint brush. Yes, I was watching her that closely as I know her all too well. After a few hours we had three nicely decorated pumpkins; which I left on the kitchen table to dry overnight.

The next day my daughter and I got up early. My parents, who brought along my eight year old nephew, followed me over to Bishop Park. The temp was 44 degrees F and the forecast called for rain. I put Dublin in her stroller and bundled her up with two blankets, put one of my extra jackets on my nephew since his was too thin, and we walked our way up to the Fall Fest booths.

The first thing we did was dropped off our pumpkins. There were only a few entered in the contest already. Some very cute ones in the youth category. Mother’s and mine were the only ones in the Adult category and there were a few and the last category, which was business.

It was still early yet and booths were still being set up. So, we stopped at the ones that were already up and ready. Some of them had games, which my nephew played for toys or candy. I had his and my daughter’s pictures drawn. Then later my nephew learn how to make a pen in the shape of an airplane. I had one made for Dublin in the shape of a star. It was interesting just watching how it was done. The guy heated up the pen, lays the certain shape down on a wheel, gets the pen out of the heater, and has about 3 seconds (because of the cold temp outside) to shape the pen.

There were a few ‘guess how much candy is in this jar’ contests. Some booths had things for us adults to enter to win this or that. There were many booths selling all kinds of arts and crafts and handmade jewelry. Almost every booth was giving away free samples of their products and/or candy. All and all there were 112 booths.

By the time the parade was over and the Bryant Hornet Cheerleaders came over to dance and shout cheers for the crowds, it had started to sprinkle. I told my dad that now would be the time to make and exit before we got stuck with everyone leaving at the same time.

On our way out we ran into Ronald McDonald and suddenly I was five years old again. I just had to have my picture taken with him. I was grinning so big my dimple was showing in my right cheek. We had finally made it safely to our cars just as the bottom fell. Now I don’t feel bad for making the decision for leaving when we did, as we would’ve all been soaked.

We probably spent forty minutes at Fall Fest, but we’re hoping next year the forecast will be somewhat drier. And if there’s a Pumpkin Bling Contest, I’m a bit more prepared this time. Happy October everyone!

Firefighter Down


My Grandma always reads the newspaper from front to back, every article, so nothing slips her attention. If she sees something that she knows I’m interested in, she’ll either sit it in front of my chair at the kitchen table, which is next to the high chair of course, or if I’m already in the kitchen she’ll tell me about it.

There was an article in the paper the other day about a firefighter that is fighting a battle of a different kind. A battle she and I are quite familiar with in our family. He has stage 4 colon cancer and has been fighting it for over a year now. The newspaper went on to say what a year he’s had with this cancer. The doctors have removed 75% of the tumors and he has been on chemo. He says that he plans to go back to work for the Fire Department at the end of the year.

His church had a silent auction yesterday and all the proceeds went to him. Grandma and I decided to go see what all they had. There were many craft items that caught her attention, especially this one quilt. She got to talking to the lady who handmade it herself. She had sewn bible scriptures in it and it was adorned in fall colors (my favorite colors). It was beautiful to see in person as it was the first item you would see when you walked in the room.

I pushed my daughter around the room, looking at the other items. There were several jewelry pieces, a few wreaths, a vase, photo frames with gift certificates, there was a gift certificate to a cake decorating place, many paintings, and a few other gift certificates. I bid on a Mary Kay basket I saw.  The thing about a silent auction is, you write your name and number down on a piece of paper and how much you bid. You never know who will come behind you and write their name down and place a higher bid, outbidding you.

I was surprised though when I was called the next day and told that I won my item. Not only that, but I had won the quilt my grandmother was looking at thoroughly all night. She and I had both put our names in the raffle. I’m really proud of that quilt and so is she. The lady who made the quilt was the one who dropped it off. Both Grandma and I had to tell her we loved the quilt.

She asked us if we knew the firefighter, Gavin Wright, and if that was why we were at the silent auction. Grandma said no, neither of us knew him. Both, she and I, have a place in our hearts for firefighters and always will. Grandma’s husband, my grandpa was a firefighter. He and a few others started the Bryant Fire Department. He retired from the Fire Department in 1997. I had a little hand in firefighting when I was in the Navy. I also have friends and relatives on the Fire Department. Every year around the holidays my Grandma and I make a huge container of homemade baked goodies and take over to the Fire Department. She has really appreciated their help during the time my Grandpa was sick. It makes their day to get homemade goodies when they’re at work, instead of spending the holidays with their family.

First day of Autumn


Autumn is my favorite season. My favorite colors of yellow and orange can be seen in the changing of the leaves, the pumpkins that decorate my neighbor’s front porch. The coolness in the air that makes you forget how harsh the summer was.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My sister’s place of employment sets up a booth at a Halloween event in downtown Benton, Arkansas called Spook City. The entire square block, surrounding the court house is blocked off and tables, booths, games, face painting, food carts are set up all around the square block passing out candy, coupons, toys, items of all kinds to kids of all ages that come dressed up in their costumes.

I have been doing this with my sister, Jaci, for three years now. Her son and my daughter usually have matching themed costumes. We would walk around the square, letting them collecting candy, then walk back to the booth to help one of her employees pass out candy. I usually ‘oh, how cute and aw, how adorable’ at every infant and toddler that comes our way, dressed in the cutest costumes.

This year I’m thinking of making a costume for myself and dressing up. No, I didn’t dress up the previous times that I’ve been, but now that my daughter is getting a little older, I thought I would show her Mommy’s in the spirit too.

Have a blessed weekend everyone! Happy first day of Autumn!