Older than Dirt {tales from a fortieth}

Older than Dirt {tales from a fortieth}

I prefer to think of it as a celebration of twice the twentieth. Also known as, a wrinkle in time. But perhaps most commonly known as, “the fortieth” (I just realized that I can’t spell numbers worth a toot). ‘The Fortieth’ sounds so somber. So… old.  I mean seriously, my parents turned forty. And it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. My mom had a surprise party for my Dad upstairs (which I’m sure he knew about) and took a rented bus full of friends (the bus, not the friends) to Jacksonville to see the roller-skate musical Starlight Express. It wasn’t that long ago they turned forty, and it sure wasn’t that long ago we crawled down Tennessee Street for celebrating (the official) 21st birthday. Either way, today was a built-up-this-is-suppose-to-be-big fortieth (yes, I had to google the spelling– again). And as it turns out, over the hill is just an ordinary day, doing ordinary things, with extraordinary people. Which is precisely how I like it.

 

There are a few things that may be slightly different, or at least feel that way. Namely weight (6 hours of cardio a week- seriously?!), wacky hormones (sorry, Mr. Robinson), and my skin regime cost me two-fold these days (you’re welcome, Mr. Robinson). In no particular order. Of course. And really, people tend to live much longer now so 40 isn’t over anything— 50 is the new forty. Haven’t your heard? So what’s all the hoopla about anyhow?

PS- If you need me, I’ll be in the fetal position in the corner….

Sb 2017 park

 

Older than Dirt via grateful simplicity

 

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Salt air relief

Because every now and then, we all need some salt air relief. Even if it means grabbing a sweatshirt (or two) and requires the additional warmth of your favorite furry friend.

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

 

Le Kens celebrated her 11th birthday last week and has officially joined a club soccer team with her first practice having taken place tonight. With traffic, sister’s tennis match, and some minor miscommunication between her Daddy and I she was about 10 minutes late and I actually worried that she might send her heart into tachycardia. The girl likes a solid plan, well thought out time-table, and then by-golly stick to the plan. And never ever be late to practice, especially on the first day. Sorry, Kens. Blame it on your Mama. One day you may realize that this is the small stuff. Hello Pot? It’s me, Kettle.

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

 

President’s Day and we had the entire island to ourselves. One of my favorite Florida days to date.

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

What you talkin’ bout Willis?

 

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

 

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

 

Salt air relief via grateful simplicity

Spring Break and a little salt air relief is around the corner– I can feel it!

Happiest of Birthdays

Happiest of Birthdays to my all time favorite middle-child, Kenley! You are a rule following, dimple smiling, no longer little girl and so very proud of you!

 

kenley birthday

Hanleys and then Hanley

Our families have been friends for over 45 years.  Parents, us, and now– well, our  children. The third generation.

My life-long friend Mary Heather (though I much prefer the term ‘oldest’ friend) made her annual bi-coastal flight from Seattle, WA to our North FL city only this time she had not one, not two, but three children with her (one of which was an 11 week-old). God bless her! MH loves holding onto her southern roots giving her youngest daughter a proper double name (“Is Grace her middle name” will be asked the rest of Ellie Grace’s life) and getting pure pleasure out witnessing Hanley’s first mosquito bite. The fact that her family is still here, along with yours truly of course (her oldest friend) must make what seems like a horrible travel itinerary much more bearable.

Double trouble.

Hanley is 10 months younger than Raynes and outweighs him a good 20 pounds. When they came for an impromptu Tuesday night supper Claire was a little under the weather so I wasn’t able to snap any pictures of her cute little (big!) self. But if I could, I would have shot one of her hands over her ears, blocking out all sounds, after she hit her brother and MH (tries to) scold her.  The best.

 

Hanleys and then hanley via grateful simplicity

 

Luckily for her trio they got to experience some of the most beautiful Tallahassee weather we’ve had in a long time! The consistent breeze made up for the yellow pollen and I could have sat on Aunt Bunny’s back patio forever.  I hope Mary Heather flies cross-country with her cuties again soon. But we all know that 45 year family friendships don’t come around every day.

Hanleys and then hanley via grateful simplicity

Double trouble.

 

 

Hanleys and then Hanley.

The actual Hanley.

The actual Hanley.

Let's not forget Ellie Grace.

Let’s not forget Ellie Grace | 11 weeks

 

Nashville Smashville

Nashville Smashville did not disappoint.

 

When Mr. Robinson asked, “where do you want to go for your 40th? London? Hawaii?” I quickly replied, without hesitation, “Nashville!”  Boots, blue jeans, country music and yummy food and you are bound to have a knee-slapping good time. And that we did. It didn’t take long, I’d say 4 hours in, for Mr. R to announce that it was high time he owned a good pair of cowboy boots. So, when in Rome…. I helped him find the perfect pair of boots, not too round, not too pointy, not too boring, but not flashy either.

It was then that he next announced, “Now I need a good cowboy shirt.” At first I thought he might be kidding, my Miam-born husband but he was as serious as a Nashville chicken fried biscuit. So we walked upstairs, had him try on 3 9 cowboy shirts and settled on ‘the perfect cowboy shirt.’  And I do agree– every man should own a good pair of boots and shirt but I was still taken a back slightly when the following day, Mike, aka Cowboy Mike, told me (over our second fried meal of the day), “Now I need a good pair of jeans to wear with my boots.” And so, back in the store we went for the perfect pair of jeans to go with his cowboy shirt and cowboy boots.

Cowboy Mike loved Nashville- almost as much, if not more, than me. And that’s saying a lot. But of course, how could you not? It has all the makings of a relaxing getaway weekend. We tried his new boots out in a great honky tonk– an establishment truly called The Honky Tonk and the boots proved to worthy of their purchase as we had a great evening.  Not just a great evening but a relaxing and fun weekend all around. People were friendly, getting around was easy, the music was awesome and the atmosphere was cool everywhere were went. All around in our boots, of course.

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Someone may have found their happy place

 

 

 

After waiting in a line that extended down the city block, we thought Biscuit Love was worth checking out. We soon realized that two, somewhat healthy eating folks could only eat so much fried food in a given 3 day period…

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Biscuit Love as featured in Garden & Gun magazine

 

Biscuit Love-- outside..

Biscuit Love– outside line. Our Uber driver told us this was a short line so we came on a “good” day…

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

A good man who willingly poses for his camera snapping wife

 

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Firefly.  Off the beaten path, but well worth the uber.

Firefly Grille was a recommendation by a local man we met outside out downtown hotel. Off the beaten path, but well worth the uber ride it was a cool little place.

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

More extra points for him

 

Someone may have liked the Ryman as much as me.

Someone may have liked the Ryman as much as me (this was my favorite “tourist” excursion by far)

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Country Music Hall of Fame