Take a look at our December newsletter!
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The Challenges of Taking the Perfect Family Photo
Every year, we take a staff photo to send out with our Christmas cards to our current and former clients. We pick a location, choose coordinated clothing, hire a photographer, and meet for the photo session, usually on a cold day in November. This year, we had our photo taken at Apple Hill Orchard. As usual, it was a painless experience and took about 20 minutes. The photographer took several shots, looked at the screen on the back of her camera, and gave us some direction — move a little closer, brush your hair back, tilt your head, put your hands in your pockets, etc. After the session, we bought some apple doughnuts and cider and headed back to the office. Even with our growing staff number, we had plenty of good shots to choose from. Easy peasy.
It got me thinking about how taking a good group photo wasn’t always so simple. Every Christmas when the kids were little, I would send a holiday greeting card to all our friends and relatives. I would go to the store and pick out a card in which I could insert a photograph. I would sign our names on each card with a gold or silver marker. For the return address, I had an embosser I would squeeze onto the flap of the envelopes. I would put a cute Christmas sticker on the back, and I always went to the post office to buy that year’s Christmas stamps. I would stay up into the wee hours handwriting the addresses on 200 or so envelopes carefully copied from my address book.
That was the easy part. The hard part was getting the perfect family photo to include with the card. Some years, John and I would be in the picture; other years, it would just be the kids. Back then, the cameras did not have screens on the back. With the kids dressed in their holiday outfits, I would direct them to look at Mommy and smile. I would take a whole roll of film on my 35 mm camera. Inevitably, the kids would misbehave and think it was hilarious to make faces or not want to stand so close together. The session usually ended with me yelling more than I meant to. If John and I were in the photo, we would set the camera up on a tripod and quickly get into place to take the shot. I then took the film down to Cord Camera to get it developed. There was no way to know if we had gotten a good picture until we picked up the photos from the store. I would flip through and, more often than not, there wouldn’t be a single photograph where everyone looked good — someone’s eyes would be closed, someone wouldn’t be looking at the camera, or someone would be making a funny face. It is a lot easier to get a great family photo these days. We can see immediately if something needs to be changed; we can use a filter to make the image more flattering, and we can edit or even photoshop the pics if we need to. When you take your family photo this year, take a moment to reminisce about Christmases past, and in the meantime, enjoy some of our family’s outtakes here in the newsletter!
– Hillary Rinehardt
A classic example of an attempt to take a holiday photo from Christmas 1997
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STEPHANIE HUNT EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT Stephanie started working at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys in 2014 as the receptionist and intake coordinator. For the last several years, Stephanie has been serving our clients as a case manager. In that role, Stephanie guides our clients through the treatment phase of the claim process and prepares the documentation needed to get the best settlement possible. Stephanie is a fierce advocate for the clients she serves! On top of all that, Stephanie always takes a leadership role in planning our community outreach and giveaways, staff parties, and team building, and she always helps to arrange the staff holiday photo.
Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Torta
Need a quick and easy appetizer to take to a holiday party? This cheese torta (fancy name for cheese ball) is a make-ahead crowd-pleaser. Serve it with crackers, toasted baguette slices, and/or vegetables.
After reading this month’s cover article, Stephanie pointed out that, in truth, sometimes it isn’t so easy to get a great firm photo. Sometimes we struggle with unpredictable Ohio weather or bad hair days. By the time the photo shoot is a wrap, we end up laughing at ourselves and getting some pretty funny blooper shots to be shared around the office our clients never see. Until now …
INGREDIENTS • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened • 1 8-oz package herbed goat cheese, softened • 1 7-oz container
• 1 8-oz jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well-drained and minced • 1/3 cup pine nuts (optional) • Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
Stephanie (far right) literally laughed out loud when she saw this photo!
Thank you, Stephanie, for all you do for our clients and our team!
prepared basil pesto (or make your own)
ANNA SHAFFER Anna Shaffer, a native of Lexington, Ohio, has been serving people with developmental disabilities for over 30 years. Most of that time, her role has been as an investigator with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and a forensic interviewer for victims of crime who are developmentally disabled. If there is an unexplained injury or an allegation of abuse or neglect of an individual with a developmental disability, the case will be assigned Inspiration Corner
1. In a food processor, combine the softened cheeses or mix well by hand. 2. Line a 5-inch wide (at top) bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap into the bottom and sides of the bowl, leaving some overhang. 3. Spoon about half the cheese mixture into the bottom of the bowl and smooth with a spatula. Spoon the pesto over the cheese layer. Spread half the remaining cheese over the pesto, carefully smoothing the top. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spreading evenly. Add the remaining cheese and smooth with a spatula. 4. Tap the bowl on the counter to tamp everything down and fold the plastic wrap over the top, adding additional plastic wrap if needed to cover. Refrigerate 6–8 hours. 5. Before serving, toast the optional pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown. 6. When ready to serve, unwrap the plastic wrap from the top of the torta and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the bowl and plastic wrap. If using, press the toasted pine nuts around the bottom sides of the torta. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Place veggies, crackers, or toasted baguette slices around the torta and serve!
to Anna to investigate and often to interview the victim. We are inspired by Anna’s steadfast compassion and tenacity in getting to the bottom of some very sad and difficult situations.
The job is definitely stressful, and Anna stays grounded and centered by running and doing yoga.
Anna says she is constantly amazed and humbled by the people she serves, whom she describes as the “strongest and most courageous people” she has ever known. Anna has always told her family and coworkers, “The day I am assigned an investigation or asked to interview a victim, and I am unmoved by the tragedy of the circumstances, is the day I will retire.” To date, thankfully for the community she serves, she is nowhere close to that point!
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INSIDE THIS EDITION
1 The Challenges of Taking the Perfect Family Photo
2 Christmas Photo Outtakes 3 Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Torta
Employee Spotlight — Stephanie Hunt
Inspiration Corner — Anna Shaffer
4 10 Holiday Safety Tips
Stay Safe This Holiday Season Spending the holiday with our friends and family can bring us great joy, but dangerous mistakes and accidents are prevalent during this time of year. There’s plenty to be aware of between the cold winter weather and the hustle and bustle of decorating and last-minute shopping. If you want to have an incident-free holiday season, following these safety tips will help!
7. Don’t drink and drive. It should go without saying, but if you plan to drink during the holidays, find a designated driver. Do not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. You’re putting yourself and others at serious risk. 8. Lift heavy items properly. Only lift with your back if you have to get heavy items down from the attic or garage. Bend with your knees and use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. 9. Keep an eye on your pets. Tinsel, wires, and new holiday plants can be incredibly dangerous for your pets, even fatal. Research new plants to ensure they’re pet-friendly and remove any harmful items from their reach. 10. Dress warmly when leaving the house. You don’t want to get stuck in a snowstorm wearing light clothing. Wear sweaters and coats, and always keep an emergency kit in your car in case you get stuck somewhere. WITH THESE 10 TIPS
1. Inspect electrical decorations before plugging them in. Bare wires and loose connections can cause a fire. If you see any damage to the electrical cords for your decorations, replace them. 2. Turn off your lights and decorations when leaving the house or going to bed. You never want a fire to start, but it can become more hazardous when these items are left powered and unattended for hours. 3. Drive defensively on the road. If you’re heading to the mall or a popular holiday shopping destination, expect it to be busy and full of distracted drivers. Pay attention to the road and other drivers.
4. Make sure your gifts are age- appropriate. If you have kids in your family, buy age-appropriate presents to avoid choking, suffocation, or other dangers. 5. Salt your driveway, sidewalk, and front porch. Slips and falls are incredibly common during icy and snowy conditions. Keep your family and other visitors safe by salting your walkways whenever winter weather is anticipated. 6. Be smart with social media posts. Don’t post that you’re leaving town for a few days to visit family. You never know who will see that and make your house a target for theft or burglary.
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