Thursday, June 14, 2018

May 2018 ~ A Month of Milestones

May 2018
was certainly a month of milestones
and memories!

First of all, 
we'll start with Michelle.
Finally settling down after many travels 
with her military husband,
she decided to finish her BA.
And, thankfully, she chose beautiful 
Flagler College 
                                                                                                                                     Photo credit~Michelle

to be her alma mater!

we are all so proud of you!
You have excelled on that campus in your studies,
your internship and as event photographer!
Your imprint has been made and you are well loved there...
(I know this as a fact because whenever I was on campus, 
I heard these words over and over -
"We love your daughter!" … lol)
Your future is bright
and all who experience your teaching and talents
will forever be blessed!

we have sweet Hope.
After a number of years of homeschooling
and some time spent in the Missouri school system,
her parents, thankfully, decided to have
her finish the last three years of high school
here in St. Augustine!!!
And the rest of us were
 extremely delighted
 with that decision!
watching you grow up first from afar
and now under the same roof :)
has been a highlight of my life!
Now the rest of your life is an open book
before you with blank pages.
and fill those pages with 
while always learning along the way!
And keep your eyes on God's path 
laid out before you...
Psalm 119:105
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"

little firecracker Livia
who rocked VPK and 
who now can't wait for the next 
school year to begin.
There were no tears as this one entered the
schoolroom for the first time.
Her motto is
"Follow me!"
(I hear this a lot on my adventures with
and I believe she is going to give her
future teachers a run for their money!
Watch out, World! 
 She is already making her mark!
And, Livi,
always keep your eye out for the beauty in the world!
(even if it interrupts our photo

Flagler College has a lovely tradition...
 the graduates wear a sash during the ceremony
 and afterwards they present that sash and a Flagler pin
 to someone who has helped and influenced them along the way.
 Very moving!
A memory I will always cherish
Thank you, Michelle, for this surprise...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

An Unintentional Hiatus

An unintentional hiatus has occurred on this site.
  Over half a year of memories and celebrations and random thoughts
not documented on these pages because life just got in the way ...
in a good way!

  As a preface to this post,
I want to share a quote I came upon in December. 
I quote I believe to be so true and one I hold dear to my heart....

"We are the keepers of the
secret power of recognizing and creating celebrations among ordinary days,
and that power lasts all year. 
Everything we love about this season (Christmas)
is scattered throughout the rest of the year too -
opportunities for gathering, music, giving and gratitude. 
How many sunsets will take our breath away this next year? 
How many adventures await us? 
There's so much to look forward to. 
Let's start tomorrow with a walk on the beach!" ~Kelle Hampton 

Or start tomorrow simply with a good cup of coffee in a special mug!

Each ordinary day over the last seven months of 2017
contained a celebration of sorts:
trees clapping their hands,
stars declaring the glory of God
while giving us sweet reminders of those that have gone on before us,
ladybugs crawling on a grandchild's hand,

a dog's greeting,
a stranger's smile....
you get the gist.
Be aware. The celebrations are there.

Those months were also filled with

Birthdays celebrated

Friends and extended-family enjoyed

A brother moved to town

....and an array of other (extra)ordinary events,
each of which deserved their own post.
I may try to play catchup because
I love this blogspot to keep a little of family history documented :)

In the meantime,
as the quote says,
watch for those moments to celebrate,
gather together,
enjoy music...
(and dance like no one is watching.
That's what I have to do. Think Elaine in Seinfeld)...

Watch for opportunities
to give
be grateful for all the small and big moments
that make up your days!

Be a memory maker!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

#Lupus Warrior

May is Lupus Awareness Month 

From Christa...
💜I was diagnosed with Lupus 5 years ago and stage 4-5 Lupus Nephritis in late 2015.
I am finally ready to do my part to help raise awareness for this extremely mysterious disease.
I struggled with sharing my story for so long
I was scared of being labeled as "sick" or judged, and then I realized..


Lupus does not define me!!
A very special friend said to me
"why hide who you are?"
So...THIS is ME!...!

For a life without Lupus, we must first know Lupus!
Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans. Basically our immune system is confused and instead of attacking foreign invaders as it should, it attacks our own tissues and organs and mine is specifically attacking my kidneys and joints. Lupus Symptoms include:
* Achy joints
* Unexplained fever
* Swollen joints (arthritis)
* Prolonged or extreme fatigue
* Skin rash
* Ankle swelling and fluid accumulation
* Pain in the chest
* A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose
* Hair loss
* Sensitivity to the sun and/or other light
* Seizures
* Mouth or nose sores
* Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
* Dry eye
* And many, many more

Living with lupus can be extremely difficult
and everyday is unpredictable.
Each morning
I make a conscious effort to choose joy
and to be thankful for the life that I have!
I thank God, my Angel, my husband, my family, and my closest friends
for giving me a reason
to be strong and fight each day!

And more from Christa on
Lupus Awareness Day...

"Oh My heart 💜
Imagine the overwhelming feeling of emotions, love, and support
when you walk into your department
covered in purple 💜
This means more to me than I could tell each one of you,

(^^I love these people! Because they love my girl!^^)

Dear Daughter,
you are a warrior and a fighter,
and you have a lot of soldiers who've got your back!

Prayers continue for a cure,

in the
fight on!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Our Photojournalist with a Worthy Message

As we saw in the last post,
Livia has taken an interest in photography.
And, apparently, in just a very short time,
she has decided upon a genre...

the art or practice of communicating news by photographs.

It turns out Livi is concerned with our carbon footprint on the world,
she has a message to send,

and she as chosen to send that mssage...

through images!

This career started with her most
professional, barely 4-year-old-voice,
"Nana, can I use your camers?"
(I was tempted to correct her grammar, but didn't want to
stifle the moment in any way...I saw she was on a mission!)

She partnered this past weekend with help share their message...

"To satisfy appetites with healthy fare.
To build support for local farms.
To insure animals are humanely treated.
And to create a ripple effect on community,
environment and family.
We believe in the power of good food.
To make the world a better place.
One plate at a time."

I have seen that Liv has an underlying element of discovery
in her brand of photography, such as the gardener in the photo above
or the "Where is Livi?!?" in the photo below...

...and she has mastered the art of lens flare...

She ended her session with
some personal touches...

as you can see,
Christa is quite excited about Livi's message
while Lucas seems to still be on the fence.

Although she did capture him
honing his talents for his future career,

purposefully and excitedly took this shot...

Livi, "Nana's cup!"

(Sorry, Root and Pecker! I really just went there
for their tea!)

Great job, Livi!
A great message well sent!

Has National Geographic been in touch yet!?!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Future "TR" Book Classification Candidate

Just in case you thought libraries are just for books...
they are not!

This budding photographer

took advantage of the setting
and clicked away...

She has an eye for the abstract...

and architecture...

...and dabbles in portraiture

 She has yet to decide on her favorite niche,
but she has a few years for that :)

And one item on her wish list....

...a camera strap sized for her!

Livi, find a photography book in the library,
look for the books starting with a "TR...." classification.

And I wouldn't be surprised to find one on you in that aisle one day!

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Treasure from a TREASURE....Jean Marie

Today is my mom's 92nd birthday...she's celebrating in heaven!
My sister, Donna, came across this gem yesterday while she was
searching for pictures.
What a treasure, and it certainly gives you more of a glimpse
of what a "corker" my mom was.
(Corker - Irish meaning a remarkable or excellent thing or person)
She kept a diary of a two week vacation in Florida with Donna's Family
on Captiva Island  then visiting us in NE Florida.
After reading this, I wish she kept a daily dairy of her life...
so entertaining and funny she was!

And who the heck is "Dear Abby"!
The columnist?!?

Mom/Nana, you are missed always...thank you for leaving this treasure behind.

^^Her writing corner^^
...notice the bucket at her feet. it will be mentioned in her diary :)

Saturday, 10th July left alone on a deserted island Captiva with three children no lights no gas no nothing no phone.
mother and father out looking at the scenery and enjoying all kinds of food and drinks while children go hungry it's a case for child abuse division if my cell phone worked I'd report the parents to Florida authorities?
author writer -unknown

"Things to Do on Island" continued from Saturday to Sunday-
Donna and Danny went out for breakfast..Ron and Ryan went out for lunch..Nana and Jamie stayed home..Nana finally made it to the beach and back I couldn't wait to get back to my porch.
Ron, Donna and boys just left for a boat ride to see the dolphins.
Nana stayed here to mind Jamie's "frog".
The family is treating children good today. They're afraid I was going to report them.
Called Grace for happy birthday called Jim and CJ to say Hi.

Family just left to go bike riding around the island,
Nana stayed here admiring the ocean from my screened in porch it's beautiful here.
Ron told me to wake him at
8 AM so he could take an hour ride to Publix food store as they have none on the island so he got up at 1 o'clock never made Publix.
I think they're really into this island scene Ron thinks he's Tom Hanks in "Castaway" fighting off the sharks.
I'm still minding Jamie's frog $5 an hour.

Happy Birthday to Debbie July 13th Tuesday Danny (the early bird) was up at 7am -I came out of bedroom and went on my porch all of a sudden a helicopter was flying overhead I thought it was going to crash it knocked off a load of treetops. Danny and I watched from porch -rest of family sound asleep. Sometimes I think I'm on "Gillian's Island" Ron had a nurse shark following him in the water I'm glad it wasn't a doctor shark.
Today is Debbie's birthday wish she was here we will celebrate
next Friday.
Donna and Danny going to beach to collect "seashells by the seashore". Tom Hanks still in bed (I wish)

Tuesday, July 13th
continued special edition for Deb's birthday
Donna and Danny are now on the beach collecting seashells. Danny just brought me a big bucket full of salt water so I can sit on porch and splash myself "what a life"
10:30 am Ron, Ryan and Jamie still sleeping ha ha what else is new? this island is Captiva which means they capture you and hold you hostage. hope I get out (escape)to catch my plane back home.
Ron just got up 1130 he must be hungry no breakfast in bed. Ron and Donna rented bikes and we're gone riding for one hour stopped back here had lunch and rested for their next trip around the island they think this cottage is the "dew drop inn"they all just went to pool which is right in the yard
next to our place the boys just came upstairs I am still getting my tan on my porch oops there goes Donna and Ron down to the beach to see the sunset they look like honeymooners sitting on the sand together and digging for seashells. we called Debbie earlier and sang happy birthday. watching the sunset every day never seen the sunrise. Ron Donna and Danny just left for supper out Nana Ryan and Jamie eating in and watching All-Star baseball good night I'm having July 13 published never knew I could write a book

Captiva Island Wednesday, July 14
Donna just took a bike ride to get today's paper. We have to see how the rest of the world is living. Ron Ryan and Jamie still sleeping it's
11:30 AM they missed the sunrise again. Ron had an accident last night when his inflated bed collapsed (not funny haha) I'm going to pool for a while it's 1 o' I am not going as Donna and Danny just came back.
The family was up half the night packing as they said they were leaving this morning but I think most of family didn't wake up in time (like you know who).
Donna and Danny are getting to be real Islanders always on the go.
5 o'clock we're all going out to eat all the crabs you can eat nite. ( over)

Left for Morgan's Forest to have our supper -crab nite.
The place was beautiful (if you could see what you were eating) you see it once and that's enough. I did bring most of my supper home for my lunch today no crabs, they wouldn't fit in my takeout container ha ha. I really enjoyed my night out with family- next stop "Dairy Queen"for ice cream (brought back memories from Irvington center) "Big Beautiful place on island was Jerry's food market which we stopped for Cold cuts for the families boat trip tomorrow. I had a very nice time. good night
PS I think we all have cuts on us from our crab fight nite out. The crabs were like swords.

the gangs got up early this morning (I'm so proud of Ron he made it.
Right now, they should be out looking for a spot on the island to have their brown bag lunch they wanted me to go but I'll stay on land I think they can't pick seashells where they're going. Ron is driving the boat maybe that's why I'll stay on land another ha ha. every time I see a boat go by I think it's them I'm sure they will ride by to tease me or pick me up no way will I go out on boat with Ron as he draws the sharks and dolphins around him. I'll be happy when I know they are back on land. I guess I'll call their cell phone and check on them. I think they found Gilligans Island.

By the way I'm still making money by staying here and minding the pet again today (frog) just tried to call them but they were not available at this time. oops I think they just rode by here Up and down down, close to shore.
I waved a big beach towel with stars and stripes from the porch.
the boat was rocking I think the water is rough today couldn't find kids binoculars to check out boat, I'm pretty sure it was them the driver was really showing off  heehee.
Can't get them on my cell phone and there's a storm blowing up.
water is really rough right now.
maybe they found a better island and they forgot me and the frog.

Continued Thursday
They are definitely leaving me on this island. I know because they won't answer their cell phone. I called three times I am all right here because I have the food and drinks. I just had steak baked potato and salad for lunch and a beer. When I run out of food I can make frog soup. Sorry Jamie it's either me or your pet. There's a boat coming in closer to shore it looks like it's drifting hope they're not out of gas. this might be my last song! "Twas on the Isle of Captiva that they left me"
sorry I'm running out of ink.  love to all, mom and Nana (over)

my cell phone just rang I thought it was them family it was Jimmy he had to leave his car in hillside last night as it was flooded from rainstorm he walked home and got his car later he called from work today reception was bad so he'll call later tonight. the gangs all back from boat ride they shared their lunch with "Captain" who wants Ron to move down here and work for him giving boat rides to the tourists. He said Rons a great navigator.
we're waiting for our last sunset on Captiva Island we leave in the morning maybe we'll see the first sunrise (don't take any bets)
"good night all"

our last day here we have to get the show on the road Danny took his last walk on the beach looking for lizards Freddy the frog disappears every night but arrives back every morning the suitcases are lined up at front door it's 830 and guess what? Rons up with the roosters.
our plans are to check out from the island and head to Jacksonville and visit Jessica and Rachel. Debbie will meet us there pick me up and I'll spend the rest of time in interlachen
until I leave on a plane on Tuesday.
I better get off my butt and finish packing I'm on the porch watching the beautiful scenery.
we never did see the sunrise I was awake all night with leg cramps (bad night)

Friday night continued
we left the island of Captiva headed for Jacksonville for a barbecue at Jessica and Rachel's new house.
we didn't get to their house until 730 or
8 o'clock (six hour ride) Debbie and Christa met us there. Ron, Donna and boys left for home about 12 am.
I headed back to Debbie's -it rained
Saturday so we couldn't go to beach it rained Sunday but we decided to take a ride to beach for lunch with Debbie's gang everyone left after lunch and Debbie and me went back on the beach looking for dolphins we sat so long it was time for supper so we had foot-long hotdogs we're having mine today for lunch when Debbie gets home. we almost got arrested on beach for indecent exposure but we told the sheriff we were related to Lt Ron Reale so he let us off with a warning. he told Debbie never come to the beach again or he will give her a ticket. I was a good girl Debbie was a bad girl. when I get back home I expect to see bongo drums at Ron's house Danny and all of us had a real island concert I have to tell

^^My all time favorite..she did NOT want to leave the beach that night^^
which is why the police had to chase us off since I had my car on the beach

uncle Leo about Danny being a natural on the drums he took the house down that's why we couldn't leave our barbecue party.
we had a great time I slept half the next day oh I forgot when we were having all the giant hot dog supper Debbie saw a dolphin pass by I missed it as I had to make a "pitstop"
when I leave tomorrow the sun will be back thank goodness for the plane ride home.
Deb just came in and had half of a hotdog and left for palaka on business.
I'm looking forward to getting home to see the picture that Donna took of me and my new boyfriend Hunter better yet maybe I'll pack him up and take him home with me. I hope Debbie gets me to the plane on time I think Rachel and Jessica are going to be at the airport to see me off I'll tell them to bring my boyfriend along. had a great vacation continued- next year .2005

we adore you as much as Hunter did!
Thanks for this wonderful memory...
You constantly bring a smile to our faces!

Happy 90th Birthday!