Everyone Waves Hello in Kansas!

One of the things I absolutely love about living in small town America.... everyone is so friendly. When you occasionally pass another car or truck on our gravel road, the other person always has a wave or tip of the hat as they zoom by. Even the farmers in their tractors have a friendly wave. This neighborly farmer waved as I went by, and again as I was taking pictures.

The Ongoing Kitchen Renovation Saga

after ~ new kitchen faucet

before ~ old kitchen faucet

There will be more kitchen renovation pics to come. For those who don't know, we tore out the walls and ceiling completely, and Tom has put up new drywall. We still need to finish the drywall, then prime and paint the walls and ceiling, and plaster the ceiling. We'll be getting those items finished up this weekend, since he has 5 days off.

After that, a new western style ceiling fan, new countertop and hopefully a new tile backsplash (with mom's help!), and new laminate flooring. When mom comes back in early November, we're going to repaint all the cabinets and put on the new brushed nickel handles that Tom bought on Ebay.

In the meantime, it's ongoing, and it's messy! I'll be so glad when it's all done.

Kansas ain't the Sunflower State for nothin'....

one of MANY sunflower fields

a sunflower is nature's smile!

Back Porch Renovation

Note the pink blinds and curtain topper. And the ugly gray panelling. UGH.

TA-DA! Neutral paint colors for walls and cabinets with alabaster window blind. Note my colorful dog painting by Susan Rene. We also infused shots of aqua throughout the back porch -- the closet door and the fabric covering for an antique phone bench. There will be more updates to the back porch in the weeks to come, the light being the next update.

A Splash of the Caribbean in Kansas

How's this for a hot shot of color in Kansas?! The table had been abandoned and left by the previous owners. It was in pretty bad shape, so we (mom & I) decided that bright, bright colors was the way to go. The chairs were Tom's and had been repainted green several years ago (see last photo in July post); however, I thought what better color to go with red than aqua! I can't help myself, I love my bright, sunny colors. Mom painted all the outdoor furniture and didn't she do an awesome job?!

On the back porch, we infused the aqua into the new and neutral color scheme. A closet door now screams "look at me!" when you walk into the house. A small western styled hook on the aqua door reminds visitors they're in the American west, not a cottage in the caribbean. A small and rustic 3-hook wall rack from the Pottery Barn provided a spot to hang the dog collars and leads. Tom's much-treasured clock from an aunt hangs above the 3-hook rack.

Big Sur and Carmel, California

The cottage I should be living in....

Ok, perhaps not... I certainly couldn't afford it! But it definitely speaks to my heart. The cottages in Carmel are gorgeous and that's an understatement. My sister and I stayed at the Big Sur River Inn, but since the temps were quite chilly, we decided against hiking and drove the 26 miles north to Carmel for some shopping and lunch. What a great day we had!

So many interesting people in Carmel and even more interesting dogs, as this is a dog-friendly town. Check out Doris Day's Cypress Inn, one of the most dog-friendly inns I've ever seen. We ate lunch at the Casanova Restaurant... we almost didn't, but we're so glad we did! Outstanding to-die-for food and luscious ambiance in eclectic cottage decor with a long and interesting history to boot! The red house wine was absolutely delicious and oh-so-smooth on your palate. My sister asked for the name of it -- Protocolo, from Spain. I ordered a chicken dish with garlic and herbs marinated in a merlot wine sauce. Oh my, just thinking about it makes me want it again!!! Yum, yum, yum!!

Casanova Restaurant, Carmel

One of the most interesting dogs was a greyhound and border collie mix. He had the black and white longer fur of a border collie with the regal bone structure and walk of a greyhound. He was most unique and quite beautiful! There were dogs, dogs everywhere... labs were common, as were the smaller frou-frou types. Many restaurants had outdoor courtyard areas that welcomed pets, with water bowls and treats for the animals. I would love to go back someday and stay at the Cypress Inn with Trixie, it would be such fun.

The Big Sur River Inn was gorgeous and fun also, even though it was just too darned cold to sit outside in the river. We still had fun in the evening, meeting new people in the restaurant and in the morning, drinking coffee while reading our books. All in all, a lovely weekend in northern California.

On the creek at Big Sur River Inn

Sis showing off her "booty-lishus"

Family Fun in the Bay Area

After dinner at Pacific Catch, downtown San Francisco
Left to right: My brother and his little girl and wife, me, my sister and her husband

After spending a weekend with my sister in Big Sur, we met my brother and his wife at Pacific Catch in downtown San Francisco. The group you see above virtually filled this tiny little restaurant crammed between other downtown buildings. If you're a seafood fan (I'm not!), then you would love this lil restaurant and its fresh offerings. I opted for the chicken tacos, which were very tasty themselves, along with a glass of rose. Afterwards, we had a passerby take a few family pics; the family pic had the potential to grow as another passerby offered to take the pics so our current picture-taker could join the group. We contemplated the humor of the situation and allowing the "family" group to grow into a dozen or more people, as we were sending these pics to our mother, but then decided against it. We walked across the street to Starbucks and "Sweet Dish", a small candy shop with yummy chocolates and candy I've never seen since my childhood. Four dark chocolates with caramel and marshmallow were $3.15, but the melt in my mouth proved their worth. My husband agreed whole heartedly after I returned home with 3 for him.

Okay, now everyone can see my recent haircut. I hate it.... it keeps wanting to part and I usually retain bangs, so next time at the hairdresser we'll need to remedy this. It's also time to get serious about what goes into my mouth and working out. I think I've gained 15 lbs since my move to Kansas!! ACK!!!!

Follow Oz Girl's Adventures with the new Blogger "Following" Gadget!

I just added the new "Followers" feature to the right, on my sidebar, to make it easy for anyone to follow my blog. I'm going to make an effort to be more timely with my posts; I realize too much time passes in between my news! Click on "Follow my blog" to the right and keep tabs on my adventures in Kansas. With winter just around the corner, there's tons of new adventures coming.

Here's a pic of the boys this afternoon, grazing in front of the house. Side note: we're hoping to paint the house exterior before winter yet!