Let Music fill the air

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Let's go "junkin" out west girls!

But that's not junk! Those are treasures.... great finds....... yesterdays memories and tomorrows stories!
Being that I just got home from a fabulous roadtrip that began in Ottawa and took me and one of my "besties" down through the southern states I can tell you that a roadtrip on the westcoast to Spokane, Washington is a must for the calendar. Are you in?

Follow us.......

and follow this link to find out more - http://www.thefarmchicks.com/show.

" What began as a little sale in a friend's barn in 2002, became The Farm Chicks Antiques Show with antiques, vintage objects, handmade goods, and wonderful vendors. The show, held annually on the west coast is host to approximately 150 vendors and draws visitors from across the country."

And the best part is.... we are all invited to go! Can you imagine what we might find? Vintage knockers, wire dress forms, colored glass, or some old postcards with peoples messages recorded on the back.

These girls who are hosting are truly savy. You will love their website right away. What is a Farm Chick? I quote them from thier post:

"A Farm Chick is a girl who sees the world through rose-colored glasses. She loves her family. She laughs a lot. She's farmgirl meets Fifth Avenue and with a little style, she'll change the world."


Serena herself has a blog and you can check in on her http://thefarmchicks.typepad.com

Rose colored glasses - everyone needs a pair of those.

A friend to sit and have coffee with - I bet there's a few of those there too.

I think we should buy a truck girls. Can we all chip in? Laughter, sing-songs, coffee stops, and lot's of browsing, shopping and dreaming.

Who will make the best find? The craziest find? The "oh, I wanted that" find. It could be one of you too.

Just gotta go.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Will you sign my autograph book?

What a treasure this project has become. Years ago I had a pink autograph book and I am sure it is still in a box under the house with other things I thought I should just keep forever. Somewhere in the last 3 years I picked one up and only decided to start an adult version for a kick. Every now and then I pull it out and ask interesting people I meet if they will sign it. Usually there is some simple story to go along with the signing or I just want to keep a written signature of those who were interested in the idea. I have had the airline stewardess on the way to Las Vegas sign it, and a neighbor in the seat beside me pen a little message as well as a bartender who taped the wine label in so I could find it at the liquor store another day. There is the message from someone at work, and of course notes from the blogging girls roadtrip, the man who owns a dusky little bookstore in Vancouver, and a creative note from the owner of the cupcake shoppe down on the beach in White Rock.
Well, while we were visiting CC's home in Georgia recently, there was a vintage autograph book left in a basket by the guest bed that had some very old sayings written in a time when "polite" salutations and humorous poetics were intended to charm the reader.
I want to share some of the messages that were in there......

* When you are old and cannot see, put on your specs and think of me.
* Some write for pleasure. Some write for fame. I write simply to sign my name.
* Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. ( My grandpa wrote this one in my old pink book. I remember it!)
* When memory with her golden lay unlocks the past. Remember me.
* They are fools who kiss and tell. Wisely has the poet sung. Man may hold all sorts of posts, if he'll only hold his tongue.
* In the golden chain of friendship, regard me as a link.
* To the best sardine in the box.
* Think much, speak little. May your time virtues ever shine, like blossoms on a pumpkin vine.
* When twilight draws it's curtains and pins them with a star, we will be friends forever, though you may wander far.
(Isn't that last one good. You could still write that in a letter to an old friend. Don't type it on a computer though, it's the type of note that has to be hand-written and mailed - don't you think?)

It's likely a girl thing - autograph books, but I am sure there are old ones lurking around. Be sure and read the notes if you are lucky enough to stumble on one. It will surely make you smile and maybe wonder who these folks were that penned the notes in the first place.

and that's all I have to say about that.........

There's something special about a Magpie

...................And about St. Augustine, Florida. There's a certain Southern couple, " Mr. & Mrs. Magpie" that I need to talk to y'all about.
The moment we arrived in thier seaside town of St. Augustine, We fell in love. It's an artsy town (which I always love) and boasts being the oldest city in the United States I'm told. Along with that honor comes a ton of charm and ambience that makes it a place to put on your bucket list of places to visit for sure.

Huge old trees wrap themselves around vintage architecture on "walkabout" streets that have cobblestones and bricks to show you the way. The homes wear lovely colors of blue, yellow, green and pinks and thier porches are full of family collectibles. Gardens wow the creative heart with flowers and fountains, statues and signs with amusing sentiments.
Church buildings, famous hotels turned into museums and colleges make the city brag of its history. The eateries have discreet little entrances that always turned out to have great meals on the menu and often have live jazz or solo artists making you feel like it's the best afternoon you've had in days.

These blogging friends who are lovingly known as Mr. & Mrs. Magpie were so gracious. They treated us to stay a short distance from their home in a bed and breakfast which was over the top generosity for a complete stranger I figure. It had a baby grand piano in the living room and a lovely sun-porch where you could have morning coffee and catch the weather predictions on the tube. There was a sparkley pool in the yard and even a charming old pooch who sat on the front step with a smile on his face. You can hear his toenails clipping around the house and if you felt like it you could leave a message for the next travellers on a large chalkboard in one of the hallways. They even planned an incredible gathering of bloggers to celebrate my friend Claudie's birthday complete with adult goodie bags and incredible party decorations.

Mrs. Magpie is the most interesting woman and it was obvious to me that Mr. Magpie adored her. She is "a history book with legs" and a fantastic decorator and party planner. Her attention to detail spoke to me as I had a chance to tour thier home and shoot some pictures. In the upstairs bathroom she has a little wooden chair with a cross in the back rest. She has so cleverly placed it against the sunshade in front of the window which illuminates the cross. Many would miss the beauty of it. She has a far-side book tossed on the footrest which speaks of her sense of humor and a picture of the mona lisa in the upper room that is a story in itself. You see, Mrs. Magpie picked up this painting at a thrift shop. It was actually a paint by numbers that was left unfinished. She took care of that, finished the piece of art and then added some white glasses of her own to the piece to make it a total original. I loved the quirkyness of it right away. I wished I had asked if it was for sale! Her enthusiasm enveloped us. Where would we like to go, what would we like to eat, what should we do next? It was all great. Every bit of it. The walk along the waterfront in the evening to see the lights and the boats, the trip to the beach to find shells and dig our feet in the sand, our movie nite to see Alice in Wonderland where we all sat in a row with our 3-D glasses on and enjoyed Johnny Depp in his glory! The vintage hat shoppe in towne where we tried on fun dresses, hats, and old earrings. The carousel ride where we laughed like we were little kids, and the dinner evening of many appetizers and good wine was only surpassed by the live music coming out of the bar and onto the patio where we sat under the stars and shared stories. We even talked the otherwise reserved Mrs. Magpie into posing for photo's with the very colorful "Tony" who was a member of the band who had entertained us over the evening.

Days are never long enough when there is a wonderful world and endearing people to be with. Thank you and thank you again to both of you for making our visit in your town and in your company such a great experience. May your generosity return to you many times over.

Aren't memories great........

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Lunch experience at Caffe Reel - you've gotta go.

457 East Main Street
Franklin, North Carolina
ring them at - 828 369 9446

You think your at a gas station but really there is more than meets the eye. Go around the corner (but not as far as the local gun shoppe) and you'll find the entrance. You could miss this "in the know" kind of local eatery if someone didn't tell you it was the best place to have lunch with your gals. I was taken in right away when we walked through the door. The roaving camera eye didn't know what to look at first... (I apologize for that famous thing I do, where we are talking and I am truly listening - but I am looking around to make sure I don't miss a thing - or a picture) Back to my story.....Right away we receive a charming greeting and a friendly smile from the waiter/host who was dressed in "parisian black" . I spotted bouquets of fresh flowers and vintage suitcases, photographs, and even a large bees nest hanging from a branch. As he sat us I spied the cake stands with choice desserts lining the front counter and I had already checked out the funky looking chef's peeking over the stainless steel kitchen window as if wanting to know who was coming to dinner. Chalk boards are perched to entice you to try dishes with brie and crab claws and they are covered with suggestions that only serve to confuse you with so many great choices. I didn't get to meet the owner in person to sign my autograph book because he was off shopping for his bistro we were told - but we were given a copy of an article written about this wonderful place to read if we were interested. Of course I so was.

Chef Richard Earl Long ( the REL in the name you see) was known to prestigiousl culinary establishments but decided to drop the pretentiousness and cook for people who appreciated good food. My favorite part of the article is where he is quoted as saying "I remember what it was like to try to raise a family and not be able to afford to take my wife out to dinner." Don't you just love the whole thing already? Waiting for your meal, you glance up at the tin ceiling and the shelves surrounding the eating area are filled with interesting memorabilia with the essence of a french flaire.

The food arrives and we stop talking. There is a lot of "mmming" going on and I have no problem eating a sandwich big enough for 2 people. Claudie wanted me to share but I knew the whole thing must be savored and taking some home was out of the question. Everybody's looked amazing and my only wish was that we had faked a birthday so we could have had cake with a candle and some parisian fellows serenading us at the table. ( oh, daydreams be gone....)

Washed the whole lovely sandwich down with a big southern "sweet tea" and we set off to check out the gun shoppe next door. In there we met some real mens men. When Claudie and I walked in, there was no mistaking that we were "out of towners".
"Inspector Lee" seemed to be the spokesperson for the shop and I'll tell you, he didn't know who he was dealin with I'm sure!

Jeanne from "backyardneighbor" and her lovely sister who really is also a backyard neighbor to her, spent a fun day tripping around quaint shops with us and we had a ball with them. Thank you so much for introducing us to your special lunch spot. It's a real keeper for your community and a real keeper in my own little black book of favorite places to go with the girls.

Bon Appetit and Au revoire ( that's all the french I know)

And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What should we do today? Meet a new friend? Or as the sign says, " Say yes to love?"

What could be better - truly. Just imagine what it would be like to fly 6 hrs across a country to see a dear old friend and then hop in a car and drive around the eastern United States for 30 days straight. Along the way you sing songs, stop for treats, laugh at funny billboards, take photographs of perfect strangers who are willing to pose and make some amazing new blogging friends along the way. That's what I just did. My path crossed with some of the most generous and kindest folks on earth. These people previously only knew my friend from "Bubblin Over", Claudie - but they invited me also into thier homes and thier lives. They fed me lovely meals and decadent deserts, left treats on my bed and put a roof over my head. They took us sight-seeing and "junking" and filled my mind with stories of history and humor from thier communities. I picked up several accents along the way, and some funny local sayings. Who does that these days? We have grown cautious of strangers and a stranger I was. But I felt so cared for and special that I can't express it in words. It was like a cascade of fabulous bed and breakfasts where every need for our comfort and our belly's was carefully considered. Let's not forget spiritually and emotionally too. So much encouragement and girlfriend sharing. The journey began in Vancouver with a flight to Ottawa and then a drive through New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina/South Carolina, Georgia, into Florida and somewhere in there we also passed through the tip of Maryland. We sailed through the Smokey Mountains and into the south, past signs that said "Suthern cookin makes you good lookin." The round trip racked up 5000 km's on Claudie's husbands truck which for my American friends is about 3100 miles. If you ever think that you don't make a difference in someone's life - I am telling you right now, You all so have in mine. My arms are not big enough to wrap around this group of people and I surely don't have enough funds to fly you all to Vancouver and reciprocate your kindness.
As I share with my friends, family and co-workers at home, they tell me how lucky I have been, how blessed I have been and that they are jealous - but in a good way. One thing I always believe is that we don't always see the domino effect of things you do for others in our lives but if I can show it to you now, we are all lined up in a row and as we fall down together - a little goodness is passed on to the next one we touch.

Thank you to my new blogging friends for making me think, and reminding me that there are not just good, but great people in our midst. I have many stories to share - and share I will - in no particular order - because I have thoughts jumping all over the place. Think of it as a Dr. Seuss adventure on fire.

The whole experience was "ONE BIG GRACIOUS PLENTY!" (thank you to Mrs. Magpie and Jeanne from Backyard Neighbor for a good laugh in the car over our lesson in "Suthern sayings".

It was all just too too much fun.
And for once I am not going to say "and that's all I have to say about that, because I just have so so much more................