OK, Which One Do You Like Better: John Deere or New Holland?

The Next Generation of New Holland AgricultureMost North Americans or maybe even non-North Americans, have heard of the John Deere brand of tractors and farm machinery. As the United States’ oldest brand of farm equipment, this would make sense. But there are other US brands, as well, many of whom were started in the 1800s similar to John Deere. One of them is the New Holland brand of agricultural machinery.

The company got its start in 1895 in New Holland, PA which is located in Lancaster County, the heart of Amish Country in Pennsylvania. According to Wikipedia, Abe Zimmerman was a mechanical genius who started the company to help the farming community around him. Over the decades, his company merged with or was bought out right by other companies such as Sperry, Ford and Fiat. Today it is an international cooperation headquartered in Turin, Italy which has won many awards for its innovation.

As you and your loved ones assemble this jigsaw puzzle entitled “120 Years – The Next Generation, New Holland Agriculture”, this would be a great opportunity to explore the history of the farming industry in the United States, especially if you have any experience with farming. You can find it and other Farming puzzles at our website.

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Which One of These Cute Playful Kittens Do You Like The Most?

Among the PeoniesKittens are such fun, playful creatures. They love to explore their world. I remember visiting someone’s house one time who had a kitten that was only a few months old. It jumped all over me, the living room furniture, me, my suitcase, me and then finally after I had had enough [especially when I was trying to sleep] it got the hint and went to play all over the kitchen and the garbage can. Ah… if only we could bottle and sell that energy and playfulness!

How do you imagine these kittens have spent their day playing in the great outdoors, in the garden especially amongst the peonies? As you and your loved ones assemble this cat jigsaw puzzle entitled Among the Peonies, it would be a great time to share memories of playful antics of some cats you know.

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Do Not Be Afraid

Do Not Be AfraidIn this touching scene, we see Jesus helping two children cross a creek. It may not be a big river, but the water is running swiftly and the children are in danger of being swept away. Jesus, who loves all children, stands on a boulder to help one of the children reach safety while the other is already safe in his arms.

The title of this jigsaw puzzle is “Do Not Be Afraid”. Where does this title come from and how do we know that it applies to this picture? While there was never a scene like this recorded in the Bible, this picture is consistent with other passages from the Bible. If you were to do an internet search for the phrase “Do Not Be Afraid” from the Bible, you would find over a hundred passages. Here are a few that I found:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you— yes, I help you— yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!” Isaiah 41:10

“…Immediately Jesus spoke to them: “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27 and John 6:20

Jesus said, “In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

And we know that Jesus, unlike many adults of his time, loved and had tender regard for children. One example is from Matthew 19:14 in which he said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  

As you and your loved ones assemble this Christian jigsaw puzzle, you can search for the other Bible verses in which Jesus has said “Do not be afraid” and discuss what this means to you.

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What do you know about “Old Glory”?

American GloryAs we go from Flag Day on June 14th and then into the Fourth of July holiday where Americans celebrate the Independence of the United States of America, you will find the phrase “Old Glory” used often. Have you ever stopped to wonder how that phrase came to be considered one of the nick-names for the flag of the USA?

According to Wikipedia and the Smithsonian’s website, the original “Old Glory” was made in 1824 for Captain Driver who sailed around the world twice with it flying on his ship. He noticed that people around the world welcomed him when they saw the flag flying. After he retired from ship life in 1937, he moved to Tennessee where during the Civil War, he had to sew it into a quilt in order to protect it from those that wanted to destroy it. When the Union army took over Nashville in 1862, he presented it to the General in charge of the Union army unit in Nashville so that it could be flown from the Capitol building. Captain Driver later gave it to one of his daughters. After his passing, she gave it to President Harding who later gave it to the Smithsonian Museum located in Washington, D.C.

Captain Driver referred to it as Old Glory because it had been with him during several times. As you and your loved ones assemble this patriotic jigsaw puzzle entitled “American Glory”, it would be a great time to discuss what symbols or items you have held on to dearly over the decades because of what they have meant to you during tough times.

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What do you know about the 48th US State?

Southwest TravelsWhen I was a child, my family and I would spend summers in the American Southwest. One state that I found very fascinating [albeit too hot during the summer months] was Arizona. It was so very different from my native Pennsylvania. As the last state from the continental USA, it was larger in geography than my home state but less populated.

Another thing that was different was that there is a such a wide variety of climates all in one state. Southern Arizona is what one generally thinks of regarding the southwest – hot desert climates and mild winters. But Northern Arizona has pine forests, mountain ranges, plateaus, deep canyons and some serious winters with a lot of snow. In fact, one year when my family was visiting, we couldn’t make it over one of the passes because we didn’t have chains on our car tires. The snow was so deep that without them, we couldn’t go forward.

One of the land forms for which this state is most known for is the Grand Canyon. According to Wikipedia, it is 227 miles long, 18 miles wide and about a mile in depth. Long before the first European viewed it in 1540, Native Americans such as the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai and Yavapai inhabited this area. The Native Americans lived inside the canyon sometimes inside the caves and sides of the canyon. It always fascinated me to see these early “apartment” dwellings.

The cultures of this state are what left the most indelible mark in my memory. There are 27 federally recognized Native American tribes in the state. The largest one is the Navajo. They are known for silversmithing, rug weaving and blackware pottery. Traditionally they lived in mud hogans. Another group is the Hopi. They are known for their basket weaving and making Kachina figurines. Traditionally they lived in mud apartment dwellings. A third large group is the Apache which has many subgroups. They are known for their creative use of rawhide and traditionally lived in either teepees, wickiups or hogans. As I write this, I am really craving some Navajo Fry Bread…yum!

For being a relatively recent state [admitted to the Union in 1912], it has been known to Europeans since 1539 [70 years before the English settled in Virginia]. It was a part of the Spanish Empire, then became a part of Mexico before it was annexed by the United States after the Mexican-American War in 1848. It was made a US territory by President Abraham Lincoln. It’s capital and largest city is Phoenix.

As you and your loved ones assemble this map jigsaw puzzle entitled Southwest Travels, it would be a great time to explore more about the culture and history of this state. Better yet, you can make some Fry Bread and plan your trip to this fascinating state!

 

 

 

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The Emblem of the Brave and True

Stars and StripesBesides Grand Old Flag, another nick-name for the US flag is The Stars and Stripes. It is also the name of the National March of the USA. Most Americans can hum the tune or at least parts of it, but did you know that the composer, John Phillips Sousa, also wrote lyrics for it when he composed it in 1897? They are not as widely known as the tune. Here they are:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

As you and your loved ones assemble this Ceaco jigsaw puzzle entitled “Stars and Stripes Pencil Flag”, it would be a great time to get out some patriotic music and hum along to the sound of Stars and Stripes Forever.

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This Land is Your Land . . .

Across the LandIn the 1940s, folk singer Woody Guthrie produced a song which later would be considered one of America’s most famous folk song. That song was “This Land is Your Land.” 20 years later, it would be reintroduced to a new generation by a new wave of famous folk singers. Here are the lyrics:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I look at this jigsaw puzzle entitled “Across the Land”, it causes me to think of and sing this famous folk song. As you and your loved ones assemble this jigsaw puzzle or other patriotic puzzles, it would be a great time to research and discuss more about Woody Guthrie and his inspiration for his song.

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Eagles and Native Americans

Spirit of the Eagle Paul CalleAt first glance, this painting by Paul Calle seems like only a nice picture of a Native American Chief, but don’t let its simplicity mislead you – Eagles are extremely important to Native American belief and culture. That is probably why the artist created the eagle to be larger in size than the chief. Something that important to their culture deserves to be showcased that large in a painting.

Depending on the tribe and clan, eagles can be considered the messengers between humans and the Creator, a “Directional Guardian”, a strong symbol of healing, protection, balance, courage and leadership. Warriors, like this chief, would wear them in their headdresses as a sign of great achievement.

As you and your loved ones assemble this Native American jigsaw puzzle entitled “Spirit of the Eagle”, it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the importance of the eagle to Native Americans. It is a fascinating topic!

 

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If You Say “Foxglove Cottage”, What Comes to Mind?

Thomas Kinkade Foxglove CottageSay the word “Cottage” and what comes to mind? Would be “quaint and romantic”? If so, then you and artist Thomas Kinkade would be in agreement. Let’s look at what Wikipedia says about cottages.

First, they are usually considered a small, simple house, which is old-fashioned in style. They were originally the four room homes used by farmers or peasants of small plots of land but by the 1800s, had become small houses or habitation without land. And originally, they were created with thatched roofs, which to modern society gives these older styles of cottages a romantic aura.

In North America, on the other hand, cottages connote “summer vacation” rather than a small home for workers. Usually, they are found near a lake or beach and can be larger than only 4 rooms. The best known example of this is in eastern Canada. With so many small lakes in places like Ontario, thousands of summer tourists love to go stay in “cottages” along the lakes.

This jigsaw puzzle, entitled “Foxglove Cottage” by Thomas Kindade is a beautiful example of a quaint pre-modern version of an English Cottage but one that is also perfect for vacationing along side of a serene lake. You and your loved ones can assemble it and  other nature, landscape and ocean puzzles this spring as you plan your summer vacation.

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Do You Know What “Light and Dark in Art” Is Called?

Thomas Kinkade always referred to himself as the painter of light. He could say this because he painted in what is known as a Chiaroscuro style. This style contrasts light with dark in significant ways to add body and volume to the scene. It also emphasizes a significant section of the painting that to which the painter wants to draw our attention. Thomas Kinkade Village LIghthouse

“The Village Lighthouse” by Thomas Kindade is a beautiful example of chiaroscuro. The horizon, waves, lights coming from the windows, foxglove and dogwood flowers and a heavenly light radiating on the houses and pathway add to the theme of the village lighthouse which lights the way of the ships at sea so that no one gets lost in the storm.

As you and your loved ones assemble this puzzle or our other Thomas Kinkade jigsaw puzzles, it would be a great opportunity to discuss the source of Light in your lives to help you all during stormy times of life.

 

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