Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

Greetings friends,

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays! Hopefully everything is going well for everyone. Much like Thanksgiving it is a time to be thankful for the good things in life. I hope that all of your lives are full of many good things be they large or small. My family has gotten a bit smaller as of late, but that doesn’t stop us from getting together and having a great time. We know that our loved ones that have moved on are celebrating with us even if they are not on this Earthly realm. Raise a glass in memory of your loved ones this holiday season. Be thankful for the ones still here with you and be thankful for your own life.

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Recently I have been working on installing ceiling fans and ceiling lights in my house. It is something that I had little to no experience with before. Now that I have a few under my belt I have realized that they aren’t as bad as they seem. One of my uncles helped me install a garage door opener before I decided to tackle the lights and fans myself. The garage door opener was much more complicated than the lights and fans but overall still not bad. Sometimes things can seem extremely intimidating but if you can muster that little bit of courage to jump over the initial hurdle of starting a project then odds are you will find that things aren’t always as intimidating as they first appear to be. Another thing that I have realized this aspect of life in is in my writing projects. There are days when I am overwhelmed with the idea of getting the entire story out and how long it takes to flesh out an entire book; especially since I am unable to work on it full-time. However, like the other writing projects I have done I just have to keep in mind that everything starts by putting one letter in front of the other, one word in front of the other, and then full sentences are formed that eventually turn into paragraphs that make up chapters. Ceiling fans and lights are assemblies of plastic, wires, metal, etc. Books are an assembly of words. It is my observation that most things in life are a result of following certain steps. Sometimes there is no certain order to those steps and sometimes steps can be followed from a manual of sorts. Ultimately we are all taking steps towards some things and away from others. Just as a light may not shine if a wire is not correctly connected there are times when we may not feel like our life is working correctly if we have wire in the wrong place or not making a good connection. As someone that struggles with anxiety and depression I know what it is like to feel like there are some wires connected incorrectly. It isn’t easy, but I am constantly working on rewiring in order to get a stronger connection to support the constant current running through my mind. One of the most important steps literally and figuratively is to remember to shut the breaker off when working with the connections. That way no one gets hurt in the process.

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One of my Black Friday purchases was a record player. It is fantastic! I had a bunch of records with no way to play them and it is awesome to finally be able to listen to them. I can tell a difference between the sound qualities of vinyl versus other methods. Vinyl also has a nice nostalgia to it. Luckily for me the main genre I listen to is metal and most of their albums are usually available in Vinyl. A few of my recent vinyl purchases are as follows:

Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers
Robert Johnson is legendary. Ever since I first heard him I have been in love with his style of blues. I was first introduced to him through the episode of Supernatural called Crossroad Blues which told the story of the myth of Robert Johnson selling his soul for his skills. The story is fascinating. I love anything that has to do with mythology or the supernatural. It was only after discovering him that I realized how much he had influenced some of the greatest musicians of our time.
Robert Johnson

Keb’ Mo’ – Keb’ Mo’
In my opinion Keb’ Mo’ is the modern day incarnation of Robert Johnson himself.
Keb Mo

Alice in Chains – Dirt
This album is special to me. Alice in Chains is awesome overall but this album was played many times on cassette tape on road trips with my father. It was one of his favorite albums and is now one of mine. I had to get it.
alice-in-chains

Another recent discovery I made is of the coffee variety. A fellow member of the Fans of Death Wish Coffee group posted about a product called Black Blood of the Earth (BBotE). The product is made by Funranium Labs and is a bottled cold brewed coffee. They of course have a Death Wish Coffee version. It is not meant to be taken lightly. The cold brew process increases the amount of caffeine in the product. I drank mine in espresso glasses for a boost of energy in the mornings while my hot brewed coffee was cooling down. I may experiment with mixing the two as well. Since the cold brewed coffee is refrigerated it may make a nice addition to the hot brewed coffee as a way to bring the overall temperature down while adding a super shot of caffeine to the mix. The cold brew process also reduces acidity so if your teeth are easily stained or your stomach gets upset by normal coffee then cold brewed coffee might be a product worth trying if you are looking for a fix.

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Thank you,
Jake Jeffries

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