For years, the most stunning of all the horse farms, in my opinion anyway, was Irish Acres. Sprawling acreage with rolling hills and virgin oak trees, just gorgeous. Every time I drove by it, which was several times a year either going to meetings in the Tampa/St. Pete area or driving down to our annual Boca Grande vacation, I always sighed, “Oh, one day…when we win the lottery…we’ll buy Irish Acres and live happily ever after with a bunch of horses.” So how saddened was I when I drove by there last summer to see that my dream had been sold….and not only sold, but sold to a housing developer?!?! Now, the rolling hills are obscured by berms along the roadside and cut up by roads and street lights waiting for new homes. At what price, progress? Very sad.
I couldn’t resist aging these pictures. Watching the girls brought back memories of me learning to ride my bike and the series of black and white pictures my dad took of me. We lived in a big apartment complex in Miami at the time. My mom worked full time as a nurse while my dad worked odd jobs and went to school. We didn’t have much money, but I do have many good memories of that time. That’s when my dad and I grew up together. It’s funny how pictures do that for you. A memory can be lost to time, only to resurface in perfect focus when an old picture crops up to remind you. My bike was bright blue with a white seat and red, white and blue streamers coming off the handlebars. After I outgrew that bike, I got the classic “banana seat” bike, appropriately yellow. Until my parents divorced, I spent nearly a month every summer in Orange Park with my Nana and Granddaddy, and that yellow banana seat bike took me everywhere.
Most of the kids in Nana’s neighborhood were boys, so the tomboy in me grew to full fruition in those days. There was a big hill near Nana’s house and we’d fly down that hill with all we had, always with one of the gang at the bottom of the hill watching for cars. If no cars were coming, that’s when we knew we could safely keep on flying, past Maria's house, right over Capella Lane and on down to the dead end at the bottom of the hill. There was more than one occasion early on when I got the warning that a car was coming and hit my brakes in a panic, tumbling head over butt in an endo (though apparently not much has changed since I’ve been known to do that on my mountain bike these days as well). That bike took me to the creek back behind Nana’s house and down to the end of the neighborhood to the swimming hole back in the woods…forbidden territory that Nana knew nothing about (or so I thought). I’ll drive back through that neighborhood every now and then when I’m in Orange Park, and the memories of those days are so clear I can still feel the cold water of the swimming hole. I see us all…me, Ricky, Gary, Eddie, Ted, and every once in a while Maria and Sheila…climbing up that oak tree and jumping off its branches into the center of the hole, never worried about what might lie beneath, what might lie beyond, or what might face us the next day. That was childhood at its best. No worries, just fun. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
What a serendipitous find I stumbled across today! Don’t you just love the word serendipitous? It’s one of my all-time favorite words. We had our Greater Jacksonville Chi Omega Alumnae Spring Eleusinian luncheon today, so I spent the afternoon with some lovely ladies ranging from 24 to 80, and nearly half of us were Florida State Chi Omegas! Great hearing those old stories. Anywho, our Chi Omega mascot is an owl. I was looking through the Etsy treasuries this afternoon and found myself as an alternate in a FAM team treasury. FAM is Fabulous Artistic Moms, a team I joined recently. In this treasury, I also found these adorable little owl necklaces from Rebecca at TheArdentSparrow. She has lots of fun vintage-inspired pieces there, but it’s the owls that captured my heart. This one’s coming home to roost with me.
Call it magic, call it make believe, call it what you want…I’m just so glad it’s there. The Easter Bunny paid a little visit to our house Easter Sunday before we headed down to the lake. The Easter Bunny’s assistant let Easter sneak up on her, so at 7:30pm Saturday after dinner at Chowder Ted’s, she had to run to Walgreen’s and pick through the last of the available Easter candy. Since there were slim pickin’s (luckily she had a few things left over from what she bought to bring to school for their party), the Easter Bunny’s assistant had a great idea and enlisted the help of our neighborhood fairies.
See, we have fairies living in our house. They come in and out through these lovely little fairy doors that appeared one morning. Occasionally the fairies leave us little gifts, and the girls leave them something in return. For Easter, the fairies got together with the Easter Bunny to create these lovely little pendants. They were sitting next to the girls’ Easter baskets Easter morning, which the Easter Bunny had conveniently left right outside the fairies’ door downstairs near my workshop (those are the artist fairies; the musician fairies live upstairs under the piano). I’ve been bombarded by questions and suggestions from the girls as to just how exactly the fairies made these pendants.
Girls: “Mama, our fairies are so small! How did they pick up the glass?”
Mama: “Well, the Easter Bunny’s got to be pretty big to carry around the baskets. He must have helped them.”
Girls: “Yeah! I bet that’s what they did. They must have flown up to your workbench and used your supplies!”
Mama: “Well, yes, I did notice that my workbench was pretty messy when I came down here Easter morning. I think I even saw some fairy dust! These must be extra special necklaces…”
Girls: “Yes, ma’am. We’ll have to draw them a picture to thank them.”
The magic of believing is a wonderful thing. They’ve worn these necklaces every day since. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned for the big girls from those little fairies and the little girls who believe in them.
Here’s my entry for this week’s Creative Construction weekly creativity challenge. It was the actual capturing of the photo that made me “breathless”. :-)
There’s a funny story behind this picture. Sunday afternoon, I was in the back yard playing with the girlies when I spotted this little patch of, um, well….I guess they truly are weeds. But I thought they were really cool looking weeds! So I ran upstairs to get my camera, realizing I had taken the memory card out and left it in my computer. So I had to run up one more flight to my computer to get the card and then back down to the kitchen to put it back in the camera. You get a lot of exercise living in a three-story house. By this time, the girls had come in wanting a snack. So I gave them a quick snack, only just then noticing the noise coming from the backyard. I ran back downstairs, camera in hand, only to see DH on the lawnmower just about to obliterate my lovely little patch of weeds. I yelled for him to stop, frantically waving my arms, and he stopped….right on top of my lovely little patch of weeds. I asked him to back up and, thankfully, a few little soldiers remained.
DH: “Kelly, those are weeds. Why do you want to take a picture of weeds?”
Kelly: “Yes, but they are really COOL looking weeds, so get the heck out of my way.”
I had to lay down on the grass on my tummy to get this shot, but I’m rather pleased with it! Who knew weeds could be so pretty? DH even admitted that it was pretty cool. I listed it in my Etsy store here. Okay….now, I’m off to find some more weeds, er, wildflowers, on the side of the road. Appreciate the beauty around you on this Earth Day, no matter what form it comes in!
A busy weekend, indeed….we went to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Friday night, followed up by another day at the Riverside Arts Market on Saturday. My students have participated in the northside Relay for five years now, ever since my lovely arts festival assistant Whitney became one of the chairs. You can click on this photo to enlarge it, and if you look very closely you’ll be able to pick out me and the girls on the front of the “P”. Look for the two little redheads!
The Arts Market is continuing nicely. The crowds the past two weeks certainly haven’t been what they were on the first day, but I think that’s to be expected. They’ve still been great and they’ve still been supportive of the artists there with their dollars. There’s a great group of ladies in the booth next to me (lead by Peggy “The Bead Chick” Ward) and they’ve been so incredibly helpful to me since I’m there by myself all day. They are a blessing! Hope to see you there this Saturday if you are in town. I hope to have my photography there by my May dates! Check my events calendar on my website for my dates.
Fun thing about me managing the Creative Construction Weekly Creativity Challenge for Miranda now is that I get to pick the prompts! :-) Here’s my entry for this week’s “farm” prompt.On my late February jaunt to photograph my Harvey Collection series, I also came across a field of very friendly cows. When I pulled over to the side of the road near their pasture, they all immediately headed straight over to check me out, hoping for a nibble, I’m sure. But when I started photographing them, their true model side came out, and they all garnered for front and center camera space. They were quite fun to talk to! This print and a few more fun cow pictures are available in my Etsy store. Visit here for all this week's Creative Construction entries. When are you going to enter!
DH's family also has an interesting Easter egg tradition. We collect money for the “prize egg” pot. The house sits on about 50 acres of land, and the “prize egg”, a raw egg, is hidden with the rest of the eggs in the big kids search area (the “big kids” can be up to 80 years old if they care to search). Whoever finds the prize egg gets all the money in the pot, more than $100 this year. However, there is a catch! Before the prize egg finder can have the money in the pot, he has to have to prize egg broken over his head.
My Sarah was oh-so-close to finding the prize egg (okay, so DH hid the eggs this year and we might have had a little gentle pushing in the right direction), but an older kid (not even a family member but a guest, at that!) beat her to it. Unfortunately, though, Sarah was standing just a little too close when the egg was broken over his head and ended up with more of the egg on her—all over her face to be exact—than he did. Given that, I told the boy he really should share the pot with Sarah, but he wouldn’t give it up. Oh well, Sarah kept her eyes closed and cried all the way back to house as I tried to lead her through the woods to clean her up, poor thing. She really was pitifull. I think she’ll steer clear of the prize egg next year. So tell me what you did for Easter!
Featured here are my friends Elizabeth from ATatteredCanvas, Angie from BlissfulBirdDesigns, Wyanne, Nina from YouAreMySunshine, Deborah Voizin, Sarah Whitmire, Cat from DarklingWoods, Kim from AtSeaLevel, and Janice from IdeasInc. To round it out, I featured jschubertdesigns, theBeadAerie and studiorickrack who all recently featured me in their own treasuries. This was fun creating! Wish I could catch more!
I met several online friends who I hadn’t met in person before including two NFCR teammates and fellow blogger Martha Lever. Martha said she recognized me from my silly profile picture. :-) The girls were also a big hit. This picture was taken by Florida Times Union photographer Will Dickey and was one of five included in the spread in today’s paper. The girls are pleased to know they are now famous. If you are in the Jacksonville area and didn’t make it out yesterday, no worries! The Market runs every Saturday through the Saturday before Christmas. Check my events calendar on my website for my dates. For now, I’m there every Saturday in April, three Saturdays in May and three Saturdays in June. Hope to see you there!
And just quick note about Springtime Tallahassee…realized I hadn’t told ya’ll about that yet. Lots of rain and wind, but I still did well and enjoyed catching up with friends in Tallahassee who stopped by. The committee closed the show about 2:30pm when four booths on the end of my block took flight in one big gust of wind. Ah, memories of my first Springtime Tallahassee! I must have been in a very protected spot, because I stayed fairly dry and stable. Still my favorite show of the year!
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