Sunday, November 1, 2009


I'm back. Whew! six hours there - six hours back - but YUP! It worked! Marty (aka A Stroll Thru Life) and I kept the secret and I HAD A BALL!

My fun trip I told you about was that I drove over to Phoenix, AZ last Thursday. Sherrie (aka Country Wings in Phoenix) and Marty were hosting a luncheon tea with all of the AZ bloggers because Cindy (aka Applestone Cottage) was going to be in town from Wisconsin visiting her son and dil. Marty very graciously invited me to tag along - YAY! the California Girl! But I told her "Don't tell Cindy, and don't tell CeeKay!" (aka "Thinkin' of Home").

So mum was the word. And boy was it fun. At first I was worried that they would both look at me like "Who are you?" but I was grinning and laughing and Marty is standing right there taking a bazillion pictures. They both knew who I was pretty much right away. Oh my gosh it was so fun! I just cannot tell you how awesome it is to actually be GIVING the big hug, not just typing it, to people who you have met thru the wonderful world of blogging.

Cindy and I! YAY!!!
I hadn't even put my purse down yet and we were gabbing away.

The adorable Miss CeeKay and I. I could not stop laughing!
And I still haven't put my purse down!

Then I got a surprise when someone taps me and says "Hey Karen" and I turn around and it's Maija (aka maigirlz) . I know Maija because she attends the same Artistic Affaire events that I do and it was so fun getting to see her again. I totally forgot she lived in Phoenix!

There was much gabbing and hugging and laughing throughout the entire 3 hours we took over this poor little teahouse. There were 17 of us so you can only imagine. There wasn't nearly enough time, I told Marty that next time we can all just meet in my hotel room and then we can gab for as long as we want!

Here we are! Hard to get everyone in.

CeeKay, Marty and Linda (aka Reminisce . . .)

Look at the loot we each had at our place setting!
And not a calorie to be seen!

We had a great little lunch, exchanged gifts, had darling little goodie bags from everyone, and just talked and talked and talked and I didn't take nearly enough pictures!!! I was too busy GABBING! We need to hire a professional next time to just take all the pictures of everyone. Because we were all having just too much of a good time to think about the camera!

Me and Cindy. Oh my gosh, I feel like I've known her for forever.

We had a gift exchange.
This is one of the little boxes I put in my gift, that Marty got!

That's the rest of her loot from me in front of her.
(Why oh WHY didn't I take more pictures???)
Cindy is talking to Maija about her adorable purse!

Linda gabbing away while Laura (aka Decor to Adore) opens her gift exchange

She got the CUTEST "BOO".

CeeKay opening her gift exchange

And those are all the pictures I have, and 1/2 of them were "borrowed" from Marty!

But what a great trip . . . I so enjoyed meeting everyone - putting a face to the computer face. Marty was just a DOLL, and I cannot thank her enough for including me in this special day. And of course, getting to actually meet Cindy and CeeKay . . . well that was just the BEST!

And to top it off - I got to go to a Hobby Lobby! We don't have Hobby Lobby in CA. Oh my gosh! And  I literally timed myself. I felt like I was on the game show Supermarket Sweep, cause I said to myself "one hour Karen - that's it!" There was so much to see! I didn't even go in the Christmas area or the fabric area. They have totally different stuff from Michael's or JoAnn's. It was great. And I did good! And I kept to my time limit. At the hour mark, I literally said to myself "Do not look left or right, pretend you have blinders on and just walk straight to the checkout!" It kinda worked. I got to a big display of chargers and UGH! Had to pick up 12 of the black ones. I can't wait to use them!

I wanted to go to Cracker Barrel too, because we don't have those in CA either!!! But I knew I had a six hour drive ahead of me, so I resisted and just drove right past. I controlled my cute little red car, kept it pointed straight down the freeway and everything! sigh. Good Girl Karen.

Finally - here is what our house looked like last night.  (I apologize that it's blurry, I couldn't stand still and had no energy to set up the tripod. I didn't want a flash. ) As you can see, I have to move practically everything off the porch, because they come in such big groups, they won't fit. And they steal my pumpkins if I leave them out (WHERE ARE THEIR MOTHERS?!!!! BIG FROWN!)

Remember Miss Punkin Head? She is made up of fiberoptics.

that change color! From white to yellow to red to
purple and back again. Very CUTE! Amazing how they did that.

Needless to say - I was exhausted (why does sitting in a car driving for 6 hours wear me out?) so Mark came to my rescue and he answered the door for all the trick or treaters. Whew.

So that was my fun weekend. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. Today I get to take it all down and put up Thanksgiving. And then - I LEAVE AGAIN! I will fly away early, early Wed. morning to Michigan for a nice long visit with an old friend and be back on the 12th . . . Just in time for the Nov. 15th  Doors of Welcome, which I am HOPING AND PRAYING I can figure out Mr. Linky for! UGH!

So I gotta get my rear in gear cause I have a lot to do!!

Hugs everyone!



Shelia said...

Hi Karen! Oh, how special! I'm so glad you got to go and meet your blogging friends! I've still yet to me someone! :(
Loved the pictures and you gals look like you're having a ball!
Glad you were able so experience Hobby Lobby! I love that place.
Glad you made it home safely and your hubby answered the ding dong!
Rest up and get your rest.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Mieke said...

You had to drive 6 hours all by yourself, and back, I don't think I would make it... but it looks like it was word the effort. Meeting all these sweet ladies, looks like you all had so much fun, and letting us share in it, you're such a good girl !

Ginger said...

Hi Karen:
I am so glad you made it there and back safely. That is a lot of driving. But it sure looks like you had a great time. How fun to meet everyone!!
I've never been in a Hobby Lobby either. Wish we had something like that here.
Will you get to meet Shelley when you go to Michigan, or will you be anywhere close to where she lives?
Your halloween decor is so cute, what a shame that the kids want to steal stuff. That would really irritate me. Sweet of Mark to help you out.

Sandra said...

Omgosh, Karen! What a great idea for you to have joined the party! I bet Ceekay was so surprised! And i'm glad you went to Hobby Lobby too. I love love that place. I can spend over an hour in there easily.
Have a wonderful day.

Blondie's Journal said...


I am so happy you got to meet Cindy and the rest of the gang. We are all envious (those of us that had to stay home in Blogland!!!). Can you imagine if the restaurant knew that you were all a bunch of people that knew one another so well but had never met? I can't imagine 3 hours were enough.

I'm glad you got to go to Hobby Lobby. Cracker Barrel could break the bank so you were better off to drive past it! lol!! I was so excited when I was in the Southeast and saw Ross and Chik~fil~A...two places we don't have here.

Now, let me know what part of Michigan you are going know my other home is there!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Karen, you are all so beautiful and what a wonderful, wonderful time you all must have had!!! I'm sitting here grinning from looking at all of your fun pics!

Yea!!! :)

ceekay said...

Girl, next time you just stay with me. I have a Cracker Barrel about 3 miles away! We can go there for breakfast!! and shop til lunch!!
I tell you, Friday's fun day is one that will never be topped! I was so excited that you were there! Love you girlfriend....

Rettabug said...

This looks like just the best party ever! I was thinking about you guys, knowing that 2 of my sisters were visiting a 3rd sister in AZ at the time. I should have joined them & they all of YOU, too!

I love all the photos & getting to put names with faces. Thanks for letting the rest of us join in...sort of. LOL

♥ Rettabug

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

You're one traveling gal! I'm so glad you had so much fun. A six hour drive! Wow! Can you believe we've lived here five years and have never gotten one trick or treater?

Theresa said...

Hi Karen, Lucky you and all those lucky friends. I have made so many wonderful friends thru blogging, like you:) It would be wonderful to get together with everyone! Hobby Lobby is one of my favorites, 10 minutes from my house:) Enjoy your next trip and be safe!

Christine Edwards said...

What a fantastic trip! That is so cool that you made the drive, and met up with all of these wonderful people who you visit with regularly online. Looks like you had a fabulous time. You've left me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

stefanie said...

wow, what an adventure!!! looks like you gals had sooooo much fun..good for you!!!!

Cynthia K. said...

Oh my, how wonderful you ladies were able to get together and visit even if it was only 3 hours. What a treasure of a day for you.

I looked back at some older posts and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I must say that your parent's scrapbook of his time in WWII and her waiting for him is so very touching and super special. What an amazing keepsake for you.

I signed up as your follower so I don't miss a thing....

Cynthia K. (Beauty and Blessings)

Mimi said...

So glad you made it home safely, and yes why is a simple 6 hour drive so tiring!!!! I just drove to Malibu with my daughter and grand-daughter 2 weeks ago!!!!I am so Happy though that you did drive over to attend our AZ luncheon!!!! It was so nice to meet you!!! I will get to know you better int he next few weeks, I have to do some decorating changes and get caught up on some house work, then I want so spend some time reading all you ladies that I just met blogs!!!!
So have a Blessed week

Connie said...

What fun!!!! Next time I'm going with you because you had lunch at one of my all time favorite tea houses in Phoenix...Gooseberries!!!! I loved all the photos and glad you got to meet so many of your blogger friends.

Have a good time in Michigan with Sally...tell her I said "hi!".

Love ya, Connie

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Good Morning Karen,
What a wonderful and delightful post! Thank-you again from the bottom of my heart~! Great pics too! Even if I look a little dorky (heehe). I had such a wonderful time, it just went by too fast. Girl, I knew your beautiful face the minute I laid eyes on you! What a fabulous treat! Your home looks so beautiful all decked out for Halloween. Oh, and have an awesome time in Michigan! I hope you get to the Upper Penisula, it's like a totally different world! It's like two different states in one, pictured rock national lake shore is just awe inspiring! Shelley of course will be the expert on all of that. I am so glad you got to take in a Hobby Lobby too, aren't they fun! You did good just staying an hour, I can hardly ever get out of there in less time. I love your idea of a hotel lobby or Restaurant to meet then the party can just go on and on! I will e-mail you too, I hope I haven't rambled too much, my body clock is way off right now and then we went to Daylight Savings time yesterday to boot! Love Ya, Cindy

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Karen, what a thrill it was to have you come over and to meet you. You are such a delight and just as pretty as a picture. It just made the entire lunch to have you here as a surprise. I had the greatest time and can't wait until we can do it again. Thanks so much for all of my goodies. I have been eating a ton of your "no calorie" candy that you gave me and I love everything. Thanks again for making our lunch so much more special. Hugs, Marty

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

It was such as wonderful day! Thank you so much for driving all that way. I make that drive and then some a few times a year because I was born and raised in CA and will always be a CA girl right along with you. :)

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

You are just full of surprises!!! That was wonderful you went to AZ and surprise Ceekay, etc!

I'm enjoying seeing all the pictures everyone has posted! Looks like so much fun! What a beautiful bunch of ladies!

I'm so glad everything went so well and Ceekay, etc. could make it!


Jodie LeJeune said...

Girl, you are just TOO crazy!
I could "feel" all of the fun ya'll were having...what a beautiful day!
I cannot believe you kept it a surprise and didn't tell anyone...not even me! ;)
I think I need to move to the west coast so that I can party with you girls...does anyone have an outdoor shed for rent for under $1500 a month???? ;)

everything vintage

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Karen how fun was that...and getting to meet Cindy and Ceekay I would have loved to do that...Great pjotos of all of you gals...and girl I would have been broke in half making a 13 hour trip in one day...way too much for these old bones of mine ha ha!! May you have a great and safe trip...Hope all is well on your side of the mountain my dear friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Cindy said...

Wish I had known...I'm an AZ blogger...would LOVE to have met you...Next time!

Anonymous said...

Karen-Just an exciting FYI...Hobby Lobby will be making it's way to CA soon! (I work for the corporate office!) I am excited to know that you loved HL so much!!