Friday, May 28, 2010

On the Road Again - California Backroad Adventure.

My husband and I made plans to meet family at the beach in Central California.   We had the option to make it a day trip but we decided a few days would be relaxing and more fun.  When we ventured out from our Central Valley Town, we decided to head west on Highway 58 and take a back road to the Central Coast of California.

We both grew up in a small town not far from this area which is an oil-producing region. 
While leisurely meandering over the rolling roads there is much to discover.

   As we continued on our adventure the countryside became covered with wildflowers
which gave a burst of color to the grassy hillsides.

These old barns and structures make me think of the Wild Wild West.  I can just imagine the stories they could tell.   I think I have read too many western romance books.

It fascinates me how these windmills generate water for the ranch that is out in the middle of nowhere.  There is something relaxing about watching the wind blow the blades around and around and around. 

After about the third time I asked to stop the car so I could take a picture,
my husband started to get his camera out and take pictures too.
He said "I can get a better picture than you"  That is all it took for the challenge to begin.
So let me know which one of the above windmill pictures you like best A or B.

Neither one of us knew our picture was being taken.

The rows of rustic mailboxes gives a sense of rural country.

Your imagination can only imagine what lies beyond.

We could only use our imaginations here because we had to
"Keep Out".
There is something about rusty metal signs that still capture my imagination for decorating.

Following are a few pictures we took along the way.

The weathered wood and metal gate accented with the unexpected palm trees was captivating.

Even the weeds and wildflowers were of interest.

Another windmill with the old wood fence and metal gate.

The barbed wire fence and weathered poles surrounding the fallen log has a western country feel.

An old gnarled tree and then a lone tree out in the meadow made the view captivating.

An unexpected friend we met along the way.

We knew we must be getting close to the Pacific Ocean when we came to this field of Hawaiian shirts.
You never know what you might find when you are on an adventure.

We knew the ocean would come in view before too long.

We had arrived at the Pacific Ocean.
Even though our California Backroad Adventure had ended our journey had just begun.

Watch for the next post on how this adventure inspired my decorating.

I would love to hear your comments on which picture would inspire you to decorate.
Also, don't forget to let me know which picture, A or B, is your favorite.

I included this post for the Barn Chicks Meeting in September 2010 at Brayton Homestead Interiors.

Also, you might like to check out Rock-a-billy Girl has some Bling she counts as a Barn Chick.

I just found this party and it looked fun.  I hope to be better prepared for next time.

Thanks to all for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - Patriotic Birthday

Since Tablescape Thursday is just before Memorial Weekend, I wanted to share a Patriotic Birthday for one of my Girlfriend Gadabouts, Linda.  She was born on May 31st and is known as Patriotic Grandma.

We like to celebrate birthdays by letting the birthday girl choose where she wants to go for her special celebration.

Linda chose Rosemary's Creamery which has a 50's soda fountain flair.

The patriotic tablescape fit fine with their decor.

They have cute white heart-shaped iron chairs with a blue and white checked floor.

The tablescape was set with red, white, and blue floral arrangements, patriotic napkins, and placemats that were really tea towels.  The napkins, balloons, and tea towels were from the Dollar Store.  The red, white and blue flowers were from Michael's.  I had to have some vintage so I used vintage vases for the arrangements.

We all were there except Sally came later because her Mom is in the hospital.

Their menu has some yummy soups, salads, sandwiches, and delicious desserts.

Cindi went straight to the desserts.  Peanut butter milkshake.




 Gail (me)

Our Birthday Girl, Linda.

Our waiter came to light the candles and we sang "Happy Birthday".

Caramel Sundae

Chocolate chip mint Sundae

Strawberry Sundae

Marshmallow Sundae

Of course we had to have extra fudge.  Yum!

A make-it-yourself ice cream bar would be a great idea for a summer party.
Several flavors of ice cream.
Lots of different toppings.
Add some whip cream and a cherry on top. 

I just got a picture with Sally as we were leaving and wanted to include her with Linda.

Linda is the oldest in our group of Girlfriend Gadabouts so we always tell her she is a great example to us and we want to be just like her when we grow up. lol

The Hallmark card we gave her says it all about our special friend.

Isn't it funny how some special people don't realize they're special at all?
They're thoughtful without even thinking about it,
They're always right there when you call...
 They share, not expecting a thing in return,
Yet always seem richer for giving,
Isn't it lovely how those special people can teach us so much about living!

This birthday message comes to let you know how much your kindness and 
special thoughtfulness are appreciated every day.

You are a beautiful example of Christ to all of us.
We love and value your Friendship.

Happy Birthday Linda!

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
 or click the Tablescape Thursday button on my sidebar to see more fabulous tablescapes.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - Welcome to my Pad

"Welcome to my Pad"  this tablescape theme just hoppened. 
(it is not a typo, you will see while later)

While visiting an Anthropologie store,  I just loved this runner.  
It isn't my usual find but for some reason it just spoke to me.  
Their store displays are always amazing.

The store paired the runner with an old picnic table.  The burlap texture and the bold design and colors attracted me to this table runner.

While my gadabout girlfriends, Ruth and Beverly, and I were shopping at GW, I found these large colorful bowls.  The colors fit with the colors in my runner.  I first thought they were fish but after close inspection, I knew they could be creepy crawly things, too.

 Then more creatures appeared.


 There were two colorful frogs that I welcomed to my "Pad". 
"It is Frog Parking Only
All Others will be Toad"
From item in Frog Store

 A cement  frog hopped on in when I purchased him at Ventura Swap Meet several years ago.  He has been used in the house more than in the garden.  The idea of bringing the outdoors in sure fits this tablescape.

 The broad leaf pattern on the runner inspired the centerpiece.  The cobalt shell-shaped dishes are holding battery candles to give the tablescape some ambiance. They were a Salvation Army store find.


The mixture of green leaves in this centerpiece gave a place for the frog to hide.  The blue plates used under the bowls have a subtle crisscross pattern along the edge with a white plain center.  Since the plates had France on them, I did a little research and I hope to share more info at a later time.
They were a GW find.

The green and blue bread/dessert plate was purchased at the same time. 
The Target neutral colored cloth napkin blends with anything.  I would have preferred a green and blue patterned napkin but I didn't have any so I will have an excuse to shop more.  lol  
The quirky black iron flatware pulls the black painted table into the setting.
The cobalt blue stemware was purchased at Dollar Tree.

I hope you had a hoppin' good time visiting my Pad.
It was amazing to find so many frog collections.   If you love frog collectibles, the following website has everything froggy and I mean everything....just click here.
I am going to show my youngest curious grandson, Eli, this link.  


This will be a fun summer adventure since he has had Froggy to sleep with since he was a baby.
Grammy is sad...Froggy doesn't come visit anymore.  Eli still loves Frog cookies.

No, I didn't serve frog legs for dinner.

Hop on over for more amazing tablescapes at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch. or 
click the Tablescape Thursday button on my sidebar.