Blog Parties

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Great American Town Tour

Melissa over at Huckleberry Prairie is hosting a Great American Town Tour Party. We are suppose to take you on a tour of the town that we live in.

I'm also going to link up this post for my 2nd entry today for Outdoor Wednesday hosted by A Southern Daydreamer. If you want to see my first post about a street painting festival in Old Town Temecula, click here.

In true procrastinator fashion, I decided to join in at the last minute. Well, the last daylight minute that is. At 6pm tonight my son Brandon & I decided to drive around our city & take some photos to share with you all.

I call this, the tale of 3 cities. Let me do some explaining. I live in southern California in the City of Menifee. When we first moved here 4 years ago & bought our house, the tax records show that we live in Romoland, CA. But our mailing address was Sun City, CA (and still is). But now this area officially became a city called Menifee on 10/01/08. So technically I can say that I live in 3 cities.

Now for some boring information on where I live:

The City of Menifee is located in southwestern Riverside County approximately 30 miles southeast of the City of Riverside. We are about 90 miles north of San Diego & about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. The city encompasses approximately 50 square miles with an overall population of approximately 60,000.

The City of Menifee includes the communities of Menifee, Sun City, Quail Valley and portions of Romoland. The city is generally bordered on the north, west, and south by the Cities of Perris, Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore and Murrieta and on the southwest by the City of Wildomar. To the east and northeast, the city borders unincorporated county territory.

The area was originally inhabited by the Luiseno and Pechanga Indian Tribes, and in the 1700s, the area fell under the Spanish empire. The area was eventually annexed into the United States from Mexico in 1850 under California's statehood.

Farming activity beginning in the mid-1800s was concentrated in the Menifee area, and mining activity began in the early 1880s with the discovery of a significant quartz lode by miner Luther Menifee Wilson. Menifee derived its name from that mining operation.

Early development of the City of Menifee began with Sun City in the early 1960's as the concept of an active retirement community was envisioned by Del Webb, a major building contractor from Phoenix, Arizona. Sun City is centrally located within the City of Menifee with a mix of residential and commercial activity.

The Menifee area began to grow further in 1989 with the master-planned community of Menifee Lakes and continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in California. Quail Valley is a semi-rural residential community in the northwestern section of the city, and Romoland is a residential and commercial community located in the northeastern section of the city.

Elementary and middle school education in the City of Menifee is provided by the Menifee Union School District. High school education is provided by the Perris Union High School District. The City of Menifee is also home to Mount San Jacinto Community College, Menifee Campus which serves the Temecula, Murrieta and Menifee area.

On June 3, 2008, the residents of the communities encompassing the City of Menifee voted to incorporate into Riverside County's 26th city. The new City of Menifee was officially established on October 1, 2008.

If you haven't fallen asleep already, it's time for the photo part of our tour. First we have a photo of one of the churches in our city. Along with a huge American flag that flies over the local KFC/Taco Bell. And a C-17 airplane. March Air Reserve Base is located about 15 miles north of us. So we get these airplanes flying over our city every day.

You can click on any photo to enlarge

Next I will take you to what used to be down town Sun City. Now to live down town you have to be 55 or older. Those of us under the age of 55 have to live on the outskirts of town.

Here is the price of gas 6/30 at the local Chevron station, $2.99 a gallon. And here is the local thrift store that I love to shop at. My grocery store-Stater Brothers and finally the shopping area down town. Up until last November this was the only place we could shop locally. If we wanted to go to Walmart or a Home Depot, we had to drive about 15 minutes in any direction to find one.

More photos of down town Sun City. Seniors at the local country club playing either shuffleboard or lawn bowling. Next we have a funny swan shaped boat sitting in someones driveway. Since this is a senior community, there must be some golf courses. I wish I could have gotten a photo of one of the many golf carts that drive around town.

If we move south & east of down town Sun City we are in the area that was originally Menifee. The high school is called Paloma Valley High School. This is where my son just graduated. We also have a Junior College in town. The original Mt San Jacinto College campus is in San Jacinto, CA near Hemet. But the 2nd campus is located here in Menifee. It is small, but cute. The 2 buildings shown are at the Jr College.
Do you like to shop? Well I do. And we finally have a local shopping center. It's called Countryside Marketplace. Opened up last November. And it's only 2 miles from my house!!! I don't have to drive to another city to shop. I love this shopping center & will love it more when the TJ Maxx & Michael's opens up. At least it has a Super Target, Kohl's & Lowe's. Now if only we could get a Walmart closer than 20 minutes away, I would be in heaven.

And we finally have some good places to eat. And what is the number one place you want to eat if you come to California? Why In-N-Out of course. They have the best hamburgers. If you ever come to California, you must eat there. Another good place to eat is the new Red Robin restaurant. I love their fries!!! I haven't tried the new Chipotle or the Panda Express. Subway is always good too, but we already had a Subway in down town Sun City. A new restaurant called the Breakfast Club of Menifee is suppose to open up in the next month or so.
We can't forget our local heroes, the hunky firemen and police. We got our own police once we officially became a city. And we do have a local hospital. But there are rumors that you don't want to go there in an emergency. You might end up sicker or worse yet, dead. How about seeing some of the houses in our area. We have different types here depending on the area of town you live in & how old the house is. Here we have a new house in my area, a farm house & a typical California Ranch house in the countryside complete with horses (not pictured) and the typical 60's style house in down town Sun City. Did you notice no grass in the last house? Seniors don't like having to mow a lawn, so most of them have rocks instead of lawn. Which I guess is great now since we have a water shortage.

We do have a couple of apartment complexes in town & they are building a few more. I hope they don't build too many. The town I grew up in San Diego county was great until they built it up with apartments in the 70's & then everything went downhill. I don't want that to happen here. Next we have a typical California Mediterranean home, some manufactured homes and homes on the golf course. So you can see we have quite the variety of different style homes in our city.

And you can't visit southern California without seeing some palm trees.

Some more landscape photos. There are some man made lakes here in the city of Menifee. And there used to be orange groves everywhere. Now there is only a small area near the hospital. Lots of hills around us but not much grows there. So if we were to have a wild fire I'm not too worried as there isn't much to burn. And we do have some wild life. Saw this bunny tonight just up the street. And once we had a snake in our yard. We had a lovely sunset tonight.

And finally I will leave you with photos of my house. I have to warn you that our front yard needs lots of work. We have this huge willow tree that takes up most of our yard & hides the house. It grows so fast. Plus my son needs to mow the grass. We live in a Mediterranean style house. I wouldn't call it my dream home. I'd much rather live in a farm house or Victorian house. But not many of those here in southern California. So this one will do for now.

My back yard is much better. We spend all of our time back here. You can't live here without a pool as it gets hot, hot, hot in the summer. It's been in the triple digits for the past week. At least we don't get much humidity.

Well I hope that you enjoyed the tour of my current home town. If you ever get over this way, stop by & say "Hi". I'll even let you take a dip in my pool. Just bring your own towel.

Street Painting Festival in Old Town Temecula

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to a Street Painting Festival in Old Town Temecula. This was my first time seeing a street painting festival up close. I was quite impressed.

Here are some photos of some of the best ones.

Look at the detail on this face. Amazing!

This one is kind of creepy. But still good.

I love the bright colors in this one. Doesn't look like it was quite finished.

Another fishy one with bright colors.

Who doesn't love Nemo?

Could you draw this good with chalk?

A look up the street at the festival. There was a lot of fabulous artwork. I wish I could have shared them all with you. I picked the ones I liked the best & weren't halfway covered in shade. It was really hard taking photos as I couldn't see on the screen what I was actually taking a photo of.

I am more impressed with the artists. It was about 100 degrees this weekend. Can't imagine the temp on the hot black top. Most had umbrellas or canopies above them while they worked.

I had a fun time in Old Town Temecula. So much so that I went back on Sunday with my family to enjoy a 2nd time. Saturday I went with my SIL & 2 nieces.

I'm posting this for both Three or More Tuesday hosted by The Gypsy's Corner & Outdoor Wednesday hosted by A Southern Daydreamer. Be sure to visit both blogs to see this weeks participants.

I have also added a 2nd post for Outdoor Wednesday all about where I live in Menifee, CA. If you want to go on the tour & see where I live, click here. And if you want to go on the Great American Town Tour, please visit Melissa at Huckleberry Prairie to see all the tour guides.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Today's Thrifty Treasures

It's Monday and time to show off the thrifty deals we have found. Today's Thrifty Treasures is hosted by the ever so gracious Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Be sure to visit her and all the other bloggers participating this week.

We'll start off this show and tell with what I found this past weekend. On Saturday I went with my SIL & my 2 nieces down to Old Town Temecula to do a little shopping. We went to quite a few antique stores and I found this metal frog. This is my first one & I was so excited. Not sure how thrifty a price it was, as I paid $7.50 for it. You've got to remember that this part of Temecula is touristy, so the antique stores here charge more than in other parts of the county. To me, I felt like I got a good price. What do you think?

While we were in Old Town Temecula on Saturday they were also having a sidewalk art show. Where artists draw with chalk on the street & sidewalk. I'll be posting about it for Outdoor Wednesday. When I told hubby about the art show, he wanted to see for himself. So yesterday I went back down to Old Town Temecula. This time with hubby & one of our sons. While down there, I had to go into the stores I missed on Saturday.

This is what I found yesterday. This wooden folding measuring tape. I paid $4.00 for this one. I had seen them in some different stores & they had been at least $10-20. So I thought I got a good price on this.
On Saturday before going to Old Town Temecula I went to my local thrift store in my small town. I found the smaller two blue canning jars. The largest jar I found yesterday at an antique store in Temecula. I had to find a third one as we all know you have to display in odd numbers. The smallest jar I paid $3.50, the middle size jar I paid $4.50 & the largest jar that came from the antique store I paid $9.95 for. It was originally $14.95 but was marked down. So for less than $18.00 I have a set of canisters. These were my favorite finds of the weekend.

Also on Saturday at my local thrift store I found this white ironstone dinner plate. I already have 3 others I found at other thrift stores over the years. So I was happy to find a 4th. Too bad my other 3 plates aren't in such good condition, but when you use them everyday, and you live with all men, they get banged up & chipped.
Here is the mark on the back.

I also found this roll of blue & white toile wallpaper border for 50 cents at my local thrift store. Did you notice on the label that it says for European use only? I wonder why? Here is one of the scenes. I love how it has an aged effect. Not sure what I will do with this, but I'll think of something. Any ideas?
That was all I found this weekend. Now I'll show you a couple of items I have found in the last couple of weeks that I forgot to share with you. I found this hand made black & white toile table cloth at a thrift store down in my old home town. I paid $4.00 for it. This is not very big & I guess it really should be classified as more of a table runner than a table cloth. I will put it in the middle of my family room dining table. I should have taken a photo with it on it, but as usual, my table is cluttered with junk that I would rather you didn't see.

A few weeks ago I attended a wedding where they had chips, salsa & guacamole for the appetizers. They served the salsa & the guacamole in huge margarita glasses. I thought that was a great idea. Since I have a lot of parties at my house & make home made salsa, I decided I wanted to find a huge margarita glass to use for salsa as well. A couple of days after the wedding I went to my local Goodwill & found the exact size margarita glass that I was looking for. I paid $5.00 for this. More than I would like, but it was worth the price as the presentation of salsa in this would be fabulous.
At this same Goodwill I also found these Christopher Radko Christmas plates. They are salad plate size & I got four for $4.00. I already have the dinner plates that I bought from Target a few years back. I have always wanted the salad plates & kept waiting for them to go on clearance at Target after Christmas, but missed them. I was bummed. But not anymore. I got these for $1.00 a plate. Even on clearance at Target they were like $3.00 a plate.

And finally I got this small oil lamp at another local thrift store. It is only about 6 inches tall. I have a few of the regular size oil lamps, but thought this smaller one was too cute to pass up. When I asked the owner of the thrift store how much, she said $10.00. I said that was too much. She then gave it to me for $5.00 since I frequent her shop quite a bit. It sometimes pays to be a regular customer & chit chat with the owner.

So there you have Today's Thrifty Treasures. Tell me what you think of this weeks finds. Did I pay too much? Or did I find some thrifty finds.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tablescape Thursday-Summer is here

It's time for Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit her blog to see her beautiful tablescape & find the list of this weeks players.

Summer is here!!! Is it hot where you live? Here in southern California it has been on the cool side for the past month (in the low 70's). They call it June Gloom. But as of the first day of summer, the sun has decided to come out & play. And the temperature is on the rise. Today was about 85 degrees. So in celebration I have set up a table outside by the pool. But I had to wait till evening when the sea breeze kicked in to cool things off. In another few days summer will be in full swing & it won't even cool off at night. So lets enjoy the nice outdoor weather while we can.

Since I am on a spending freeze, I didn't buy anything new this week for this tablescape. Everything I've had on hand at least for the last couple of months.

I've decided to use my pink damask plates from Target. I got these on 50% clearance a few months back. But haven't shown them off until now. Don't you just love the damask pattern? These were a spring time item but I like them better for summer. Since they are melamine, they are perfect for using outdoors.

I got dinner plates, salad plates & bowls for four.
I also bought some coordinating hand towels, but I am using them as napkins for this tablescape. Two are blue damask.
And two are floral. I love these as they have such a cute pleated ruffle at the bottom.
For my flatware I am using my dark bamboo set from Ross. The green placemats came from Target.

My centerpiece is a white pitcher that came from Ross. I filled it with faux daisy flowers in pink, green & white. All came from the dollar store. Don't you just love the colors?

Maude & Harold my Target S&P shakers decided they wanted to lounge by the pool so they were more than happy to be a part of this tablescape.
The small frosted votive holders have a damask pattern on it as well. These came from Michael's last year. The blue daisy shaped candle holders came from the Dollar Tree.
I kept lighting the candles but because it was breezy they wouldn't stay lit.

Here's one votive that stayed lit just long enough for me to take a photo through the glass. The goblets came from Walmart.

Would you like to come to dinner? I hope you don't mind cooking. I'll do the dishes. We can take a dip in the pool when we are done. Just keep a watch out for Jaws or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Maybe we should just stick with the jacuzzi? For dessert we can make s'mores at the fire pit.

Thanks for visiting & let me know how hot it's been where you live. We are suppose to be in triple digits by the weekend. Summer has arrived!