It's About Me, Praises

My 54th Birthday

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Anthony and Kameko went all out to make my birthday a very special one.

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While I was banished to the bedroom, they decorated the kitchen with a banner, balloons, flowers, chocolate and mini-vodka bottles! And they presented me with a pretty lei. Kameko spent hours late into the night the night before creating a very special card that even popped out when opened.

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But more importantly, each family member, including Carl, 2 out of 3 of my children, Kameko and Avram wrote sweet, special messages that meant the world to me. And then there was Zack, who scribbled “Happy Birthday Mother. Love you, Zack” (which he then scribbled out because he apparently spelled it wrong…ha, that’s my Zack for you!).

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The card had a very funny trademark on the back…it was even better than a Hallmark!

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Unfortunately Kelly and Avram had to leave in the afternoon of my birthday. And my in-laws left early that morning for their drive up to North Carolina to visit a friend for New Year’s before returning home. So Carl, Anthony, Kameko and even Zack indulged me by watching The Greatest Showman with me for my birthday while I enjoyed some cocktails with my mini-vodka bottles. Then we ordered Chinese food for dinner and I even ate my old favorites of Shrimp Fried Rice and Beef LoMein since I’ve gone off the low-carb band wagon pretty much all month. 2019 is a fresh start!

After dinner, Anthony and Kameko had to get ready to pack up and leave in the early morning hours. With a 7am flight out of Orlando back to Hawaii, they left our house around 3:30am. Luckily, Zack offered to drive them for us. Zack was just returning home when Carl and I were getting out of bed this morning. Having young adult children sure pays off sometimes!

It was a wonderful Christmas visit with the in-laws, all of our children and their significant others. We look forward to all being together again (with even more family) in Hawaii for the wedding in just a few short months!

Cheers to 2019! 

 

 

 

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It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Tucson Visit

Carl and I just returned from a crazy, hectic weekend in Phoenix, celebrating Anthony’s college graduation and meeting our future daughter-in-law. More on that to come! But first, we were able to head down to one of our favorite places for five nights to spend some time with Aunt Sandy in her beautiful home in Tucson.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (1)

When my mom heard that we were going there before the graduation weekend, she decided to crash the party and come along with us.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (2)

We enjoyed relaxing at Aunt Sandy’s and sharing in cocktails, meals and plenty of games together.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (4)

The days were sunny and warm and the evenings were cool, perfect for sitting by the fire each night. Aunt Sandra was thrilled that Carl enjoyed building the tending the fire as much as she does.

Carl and I broke away one morning for a hike in Sabino Canyon, since our trips to Tucson wouldn’t be complete without spending time in the beautiful foothills.

12.11.18 Hiking in Sabino Canyon (10)

We tried a new hike this time, after a 70-year old man told us it was his favorite hike. It was a grueling 1/2 mile uphill climb with panoramic views at the top. At least that’s what I’m told, since I couldn’t make the last 15 minutes.

12.11.18 Hiking in Sabino Canyon (3)

It’s embarrassing to be shown up by a 70-year old.

Sitting in a lounge chair and gorging myself on popcorn at the movie theater was my reward for almost making the entire hike. We saw A Star is Born and enjoyed it.

12.11.18 A Star is Born Movie

Aunt Sandra also took us to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum…a place that we have never been to in all our years of visiting Tucson.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (1)

It was a beautiful walk (or ride) through natural Tucson gardens with exhibits with various native animals.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (4)

I’m not exactly sure how they are native animals to the desert, but we even got to pet and feed some stingrays!

We also enjoyed a lovely lunch break at the museum with these beautiful Prickly Pear cocktails.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (2)

Thanks for taking us to museum Aunt Sandra!

On our final full day, we enjoyed lunch with my uncle Larry and his wife, Judy and were able to teach them our new favorite card game, 4 Up and 4 Down.

12.12.18 Lunch and Cards with Larry and Judy (2)

It was a great visit in Tucson and I’m so glad that we got to spend time with Aunt Sandra before all the madness in Phoenix. Thank you for a lovely time Aunt Sandra. I hope that Alexa is still keeping you company in Tucson!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah – Day Two

On Friday, we walked to the Historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which has been open in it’s present form since 1912, and had a tour.

Cathedral_of_St._John_the_Baptist_-_Savannah_GA_-_panorama

St. John the Baptist Cathedral (1)

The Cathedral is one of only a few with hand-carved Stations of the Cross (as opposed to paintings or reliefs).

St. John the Baptist Cathedral (4)
It was hard to photograph due to the light pouring in the windows on either side.

The Cathedral is very reminiscent of the grand cathedrals of Europe. It was quite beautiful.

Then we walked to a few more Squares that we had missed the day before. We also came upon the infamous Pirate House, which supposedly housed pirates back in the day and is now a restaurant.

Pirate House

After that, we drove out to nearby Tybee Island to see Fort Pulaski.

Fort Pulaski (1)

We spent several hours at the Fort in the museum, getting a tour and walking the grounds on our own. It was so cool to see the shelling on the outside of the fort from the Union forces during the Civil War.

Fort Pulaski (4)

We learned that although it took 18 years to build the fort, it only took the Union troops 30 hours to breach it and cause the Confederates to surrender the fort. There are many cannon shells still lodged in the fort. This is also one of the only forts that we have ever seen with a filled moat surrounding it.

Fort Pulaski (2)

Our next stop was Wormsloe Historic site to see the beautiful moss-covered live oak drive made famous in the filming of Forrest Gump.

Run Forrest

Here is my photo taken through the gate.

Wormsloe Site (2)

Because sadly, that was as close as we could get.

Wormsloe Site (3)

We didn’t realize that it would be closed by the time we arrived. Darn it.

Wormsloe Site (1)

After another 15,000 steps (or almost 7 miles) of walking, we decided to head on home after successfully exploring Savannah and the surrounding area.

It was a fun time away and I’m glad that we spent time exploring beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah Road Trip – Day One

After some contemplation, Carl and I decided that we didn’t really feel like the 5-1/2 drive back and forth to Santa Rosa Beach, especially now that beach season has passed. So instead, we decided to make the much shorter 2-1/2 hour drive back and forth to Savannah, Georgia, a place that we have yet to visit, for a few days.

We left on Thursday morning, arriving in Savannah at around noon. Armed with a map and walking tour guide, we set out to see the 24 Historic Squares established in the middle of neighborhoods (called wards) in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Squares

It was a lovely sunny and warm-but-not-too-hot day for walking through this lovely, historic district learning about the history of the area and admiring the beautiful homes. At each square we visited, I would pull up the description and read about the history of the square, who it was named for and why they were significant and learn about historic homes surrounding the square. So many grand old homes dating back to the mid-1800’s!

At one square, all the surrounding streets were blocked off by barricades and police cars and we noticed all sorts of heavy equipment and antique props throughout the square.

Movie Set on the Square (1)

Even the cobblestone streets were covered in dirt. We quickly realized that it was being used for a movie set. When we noticed a “City Dog Pound” prop and a semi truck parked nearby with “Disney Buena Vista” on the side, we thought…what live-action film could Disney be making involving dogs?

Movie Set on the Square (3)

Since 101 Dalmatians has already been done, I quickly landed on Lady and the Tramp. Later that day, we talked to a police officer at one of the barricades and he confirmed that I was correct! It was amazing the amount of work and equipment (dozens and dozens of semi trucks parked along the area) needed to film one presumably very small scene of a movie. By the next morning, everything was loaded up and workers were scraping up and sweeping all the dirt from the streets. When you see the live-action Lady and the Tramp movie in a few years, think of us when you see the park scene with the Dog Catcher!

One of our favorite sites on our walk was the old prison.

Prison (1)

It still had some of the original iron doors intact.

Prison (2)

We also enjoyed walking around the historic Colonial Park Cemetery. It was interesting how they had stacked up the old gravestones along the outer walls, assumingly because they no longer could identify where the original gravesites were located.

Cemetary

We walked along the river front, even stopping for ice cream at Leopold’s, where ice cream has been made on site since 1919, as a reward for all of our walking.

Leopold's Ice Cream (1)

After walking back to our hotel and then finding a local pub for dinner (where I had Savannah specialties of Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp and Grits), we headed out and walked around some more at night for a few more hours.

Exploring at Night (1)

When all was said and done, we walked a total of 27,803 steps (or 12.5 miles) on Thursday!

You can believe that we crashed hard when our heads hit the pillow that night!

I’ll tell you about Day Two tomorrow.

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Our Worst Vacation Ever

Carl and I were blessed with the use of my Tuesday client’s beach house in the Florida panhandle, near Destin, for the third year in a row. We left on Saturday for a few days by ourselves before having our Card Club friends, Pat and Don join us on Tuesday and then Dee and Eddy join us all on Thursday. We were all excited for lots of fellowship on the beach, delicious meals and games each night, plus fishing for the guys each morning.

Saturday after arriving, unpacking and shopping for groceries, we headed to the beach with cocktails for the sunset.

As we got out of our car by the beach, we both started coughing. As we sat there, we noticed lots of dead fish and eels on the shoreline.

A quick google search told us about the dangerous Red Tide hitting the Gulf Coast…Problem #1.

We tried to return to the beach the next day but it was even worse.

We only were able to sit there without coughing by downing water nonstop. We decided to abandon the beach and go hang out by the pool.

Problem #2: the pool was closed due to mechanical issues.

Yesterday we awoke to Problem #3: Tropical Storm Michael was worsening into a Category 2 hurricane* headed right towards us (we were in area of blue dot).

When our friends all decided to stay safe at home, we decided to cut our loses and head home ourselves after about 48 hours of vacation. We are hoping to be able to reschedule next month instead.

And that my friends, officially became our worst vacation ever!

*Michael continued increasing, reaching up to a Category 4 Hurricane so we are very grateful that we decided to jump ship!

It's About Me, Praises

HAPPY 10-YEAR BLOGAVERSARY!

Can you believe that I have been blogging for 10-years?! Yes, it’s true! From August 14, 2008 until August 14, 2015 I blogged about life, homeschooling and crafting at Kristy’s Corner. In 2015, after our move to Jacksonville, I felt it was time for a fresh start so I moved to Jaxty’s Place and have been blogging here since. Most of Kristy’s Corner blog posts have been made private, with the exception of the crafting posts.

I thought it would be fun to give you some facts about my blogs in honor of my blogaversary.

  • Number of Posts:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 1,431
    • Jaxty’s Place: 257
  • Most Popular Topic:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Crafting
    • Jaxty’s Place: The Kids
  • Most Viewed Post:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Due to being published on some crafting websites and being pinned on Pinterest, these two posts have some whopping counts!

(We still have two out of three of these trees – the red one got broken during the move to JAX).

(We don’t have these any more…they got all rusty after a few years.

  • Followers:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 43
    • Jaxty’s Place: 27
  • Number of Comments:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 9.6 thousand
    • Jaxty’s Place: 1.1 thousand
  • Most Frequent Commenter: It’s actually the exact same for both blog sites!
    • #1: My mom (yay for mom!)
    • #2: My dad (yay for dad and his “nice”)
    • #3: My aunt Gale (yay for auntie)
  • Search Terms That Brought People to My Blog:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 
      • Kris Humphries parents: 1,681 times (due to a blog post I wrote about our former pastor performing the wedding ceremony between Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian…I tried to find it but couldn’t)
      • braces: 204 times (I have no idea why this drew so many searches to my blog…yes, both boys had braces and I featured some photos but geez)
      • bottle cap wind chimes: 182 times (see post above)
      • tabernacle: 147 times (due to a classic blog post I wrote about Anthony’s school project)
      • eating pizza: 145 times (ha…apparently I blogged about eating pizza a lot!)
    • Jaxty’s Place: only one search has brought somebody to my blog
      • A painting with a road going off into the sunset (ha! What the heck? I don’t think I’ve even used that phrase ever in my blog or talked about that even remotely.)

For those that are still here, reading my blog, THANK YOU! For those that have been here from the beginning…an extra special THANK YOU! For those that leave me comments, which really do make my day and help me feel connected to you, an extra, extra special THANK YOU!

I keep wondering when it will be time to stop blogging but honestly, I do it for my family and my kids and my grandkids-to-be. Each year when I create my blog book full of family photos and memories, I hope and pray that one day they all will enjoy looking through these precious memories. I think it would be so cool to read a book written about my parents and grandparents when they were a young family. So speaking of that, it’s off to create my next blog book…Volume Number 10!

 

Florida Life, It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

The Socialites

We’re famous….we made the newspaper!

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Granted, it was just the local Resident Community News but we’ll take any press we can get!

Scan2It was interesting to see the 100-year old Casa Marina Hotel and all the cool, old photos lining the hallways but the event itself was kind of lame. Mainly because there was hardly any food and what they did have was eaten in a matter of minutes. But we are always happy for a night out together checking out new places (to us) in Jacksonville. Thanks Jaguars for these fun experiences!