PLEASE. . .Don't Forget to Vote!!

I know that since my blog is related to my business, that I "should" probably keep my political opinions to myself. But, politics have directly affected myself, family,friends,customers and my business. It's tough not to be concerned. Ever since Bush was put into office, it's been one thing after another for business and our economy. I had struggled with my newly opened 2nd store in Long Beach. And what happens, 9/11! So, that was pretty much the end of the Long Beach store. I know I'm not the only one out there feeling a difference in our world today. This "mess" needs to be fixed!

We have a chance to change things on Tuesday. We can all vote! I've already mailed my ballot in as have many of my friends have. We have a choice who can implement the best needed change,and mine is Barrack Obama. I watched his "info commercial" or whatever you call it on Thursday night, and it brought tears to my eyes, seriously. I know many don't feel the same way as I do. But the stories of everyday people struggling isn't some politcal hype, it's a harsh reality, it's a small example of what our lives have become. So, that is my pitch, my plea to not only vote, but to really think about "who" you are voting for. This is the first time in my life I've felt so strongly about a candidate, and this is also the first time in my life I've seen so many people struggle, including myself. Please, just make a difference a vote, okay?


Shabbytown USA is Back

As always, we've got some great new displays and antiques "just in". Freshly back from Roundtop and few other side trips, Gloria and Ted Hill have brought back some awesome treasures from this trip!

I love to see little vingettes mixed with different vintage items. It catches your eye!

Vintage bowling pins in a shabby case with sheet music rolled up inside of old bedsprings illustrates how we can incorporate different items in our homes that look really cool together.

Here's a just a small sampling of the architectural elements that Ted and Gloria have just brought back from their trip. They've also got many other great architectural pieces to choose from.

Check back soon, Creekside Cottage, Cindy & Bill Finch are also back from a buying trip. They have some great stuff to share with you!


"Equality For All "

You know, I think if I see one more commercial where little kids are acting like they are in school and being taught about gay marriage, I'll throw up! If anything shows you what's wrong with those that want you to vote "yes on 8", then those commercials should do it. Is it okay to exploit little kids in commercials, and okay for this same group of people to discriminate and take away constitutional rights and peoples civil rights? I just don't think that is right. They teach nothing about marriage in public schools. The above sign is in my front yard. Why? Basically because I believe in equality, I hate discrimination, I always have and I always will. It disturbs me that McCain and Palin both don't believe in "equality" because that is what they are saying when they say they think only a man and woman should be able to marry! I don't want my President to be a prejudiced person. I've never understood that hang up people have with gay people. My sister is gay, I have gay friends, customers, dealers and more. They are "just" people, just nice, everyday people. My daughter Brande, took a cut in pay, and took a job this past month campaigning for "No on 8". Why? Because she too believes in equality! So, please, take the time to vote here in a couple of weeks. This is an important election. Look around you right now, things are messed up. Something is wrong, and it's time for a "change"!! Please, get out there and vote!!


The "Every Other Friday" Off Thing!

There was a time that Katie and I use to hang out together on our days off, doing nothing real important but just something for a break. Seems like we've been working so much lately, that a few weeks ago we made the decision to try and go somewhere "every other Friday". This past Friday, Katie had to return something at Anthropolgie, down in Fashion Island. We drove down the coast, Riley went on the merry-go-round (was upset when it stopped), and saw the big koi pond. I always enjoy walking around Fashion Island.

After we left Fashion Island, we went over to Roger's Gardens. Their decorator had been to Country Roads buying old windows to use in their Halloween display. Above is some of the windows (minus the glass) they used in their display. We also knew their Christmas displays would be up as well, and wanted to see what they had done this year. I love how they use architectural elements in their holiday displays. The people at Roger's Gardens do such an amazing job with their displays, its always fun to see what they've come up with.

After leaving Rogers Gardens, we drove back up the coast headed towards home,and thankfully Riley caught a much needed nap in the car. We met Brande for a late lunch at Claim Jumper, who by the way have great lunch specials at good prices. As we finished lunch, Brande took Riley to see the ducks in the pond and collect huge fall leaves, as you see in the picture above outside Claim Jumper. You know, it doesn't take a lot of money to have a little "special" time off. It just depends "who" you spend the time with that makes it so special!


Just In: "Annie's Annuals & Warm Glow Candles"

Our youngest sales associate, Josalyn (shown above) is happy to announce a couple of product lines that have just arrived and are once again in stock. We recently received a "large" shipment of Warm Glow candles!

Josalyn is holding one of the newer candles, the mini ones, that would make great stocking stuffers. And of course, we still have a BIG selection of the large Warm Glow candles that last a very long time and makes any home smell "delightful"! The scents are unbelieveable! Also, we have some new scents for the holidays, such as Jack Frost which is a light blue candle with sparkles. Josalyn calls it the "Princess Candle"!

As many of you know, Annie's Annuals come from a little nursery up in No. California. They aren't always the easiest plants for us to get hold of, but we did manage to get a shipment for your Fall gardens. You know Johnnye Merle's, we manage one way or another to make our customers happy! Pictured above is the black panies which were one of Grandma Johnnye's favorites.

Right now we have a good variety of Annie's in stock. And as I said earlier, these little plants are not always easy to get, so I would stop by soon for the best selection. Country Roads continues to work hard to bring you, our customers, the best of the best. As always, Josalyn and I want to "thank you" for shopping with us!


I'm Going to be a "Gramma" Again!

I love technology when it shows us "good" stuff, like the picture above,you know? Above is a photo of my new unborn grandbaby. My son Bryce and his wife Justine are going to be parents next year, in early June. I know we've got many months to wait, but I think in todays troubled times, things like this make life just a little bit better with something exciting to look forward to. I love kids, and I can't wait for my first picture of Riley holding her brand new cousin! I'm really fortunate to have such an awesome family, and that is one thing I never, ever forget.


The Wedding, Family, Friends, and the Rest!

On Saturday, the 11th, the big day had arrived for Pam and Adam to get married! And as wonderful as it was, behind the scenes there was all kinds of stuff going on. Above is Riley and Arianna with Katie & Carol. Where is Josalyn and Yesi you may wonder, our third little flower girl? Unfortunately, their car got a flat tire on the way, cell phone dead, and not a spare. They missed the entire ceremony! Here comes the bride! Pam is in the middle, Adam is waiting at the alter, and on the left is Pam's dad, Dave, and on the right is her mom's boyfriend, Dan. What I don't have a picture of was a customer that serioulsy, hunted me down, found out where the wedding was, and wanted me to take her back to the store to get her keys that she "thought" she lost in the store. This happened right when the wedding was to begin! We convinced her to wait until after the ceremony so we could proceed. I mean, does customer service apply at a wedding?
Riley almost made it down the aisle, but turned around half way. Arianna never got down the aisle either.. .we were all counting on Josalyn to lead the way. The "I Do's" were said, and I have no words to describe how I felt as I saw the smile on Pam's face! It's the same smile I remember on her face when she was five years old! Simply described as full of joy and happiness! We've ALL waited for this day for a very long time! Meanwhile, my (not sure what word to use here), customer was still standing in the back expecting us to leave the wedding and find her keys at the store! Bryce went to talk with her and I could see his frustration. So, I went over and she began to yell at me to make Bryce go away. I could fill you in with the unpleasant things she said to me, but its not worth your time or mine. She finally left, and by the way, we searched the store yesterday and her keys were no where to be found! It was time for the reception! Darcy had helped Pam plan to put her Country Roads family in the "back"! With the kids and fun we have, we didn't want to disrupt the entire reception. This is the "last" photo of the reception, and I didn't get to take pictures of the rest of the tables that were filled with Pam's Country Roads family. And thankfully, Yesi, Victor, and Josalyn arrived safely and I have no pictures of them or beautiful Josalyn in her little flower girl dress. Why. . .because my camera battery died! It was just that kind of day. As we laughed, and danced into the night, although I don't have the pictures, I have memories of a very special day that I will always remember. We are a tight little group at Country Roads, and I'm always grateful for that!


New "Works in Progress" at Country Roads

What I think makes Country Roads "the" store to keep coming back to is that we are always changing! We have such a variety of merchandise, displays, and "looks". Recently we've added some new looks to our store. First, above is Christie Repasy's new space. Nope, it's not a dealer carrying her prints, it's actually Christie herself!Along with Christie's beautiful paintings, you will also find cards, furniture, and more. These are early photos of her space as it is still a work in progress.
work in progress

Loretta Kilheffer has expanded to an additional area of the store. As you can tell, this new area is still also a "work in progress", but the above photo gives you a hint of things to come. As you know, Loretta is the former owner of Full Bloom Cottage in Brea. Watch for some fantastic linens and home decor to arrive here soon!
And a few days later, when all the work was finished, we stood back in awe!

Another "work in progress" is Jolene Cox's area. Always with a smile and one of the easiest going people I've met in a long time, Jolene is all about vintage. Yes, there is country, but there is also a whole lot more. What you won't find here is reproductions, just the real thing!

In today's economy myself, my dealers, my staff all work VERY hard to make your shopping experience not only a pleasant one, but one you remember. And I've got to brag for just a second (which is something which is never easy for me). My staff, who all know the store inside out, provides the best customer in all of Old Towne Orange! Stop by and see our new "works in progress" and if you need help in finding these areas, just ask! Our staff is there to help.


A Day Off With Riley & Katie

Today Katie and I both had off, so we decided to go see Brande's new place. She just recently rented an apartment in Old Towne Seal Beach, right across the street from the beach. I am SO jealous! Brande had to work today, and Katie & Riley hadn't seen the empty apartment yet, so we stopped by to see it. As you can tell from the photo above, Riley enjoyed all the empty space. She also told me she is looking forward to hanging out with Auntie Brande at the beach! Riley LOVES hanging out with Brande!After visiting Brande's new place, we drove down PCH to "Pa's Pumpkin Patch". This place has been around Long Beach forever. I've been waiting for today for awhile now as it is the first day it opened. I thought Riley would be more into picking out a pumkin than she was, although she did like the one she decided to choose. But something was wrong.
The reason she was so grumpy was because of the choo-choo train! Riley talks a lot but you can't always understand what she is saying. As we went to the car with her pumpkin to leave, she started crying and repeating, "choo-choo, choo-choo". We figured it out after that. We bought her a ticket for the train, and as you can see above, she was having a blast riding the choo-choo at the Pumpkin Patch with her mom. She waved, smiled, and laughed. It was magical, that is until the ride was over and she had to get off!Riley cried, and cried so why break her heart? We just got another ticket to ride the choo-choo. This time I squeezed my butt in the engine seat and Riley got to ring the bell as we circled the track, waving at mom, and smiling and laughing. I love how something so simple as a little choo-choo train can make little kids so happy. And of course, you know what happened after the ride was over. More tears,(we did think about buying more choo-choo train tickets though) but it was time to go with promises to Riley we would come back. Of course it made no difference, she still cried. She was a little happier at lunch and after we ate she visited the duck pond by Claim Jumper. As Riley stared eye to eye with the really big duck, and he looked back at her like he was thinking of taking a little "nip" of her. So we decided to call it a day before there were more tears from a duck bite! Before we left the parking lot though, Riley was fast asleep in her carseat probably dreaming of the choo-choo train, pumpkins, and the big duck!


A Sunday With My Country Roads Family

This past Sunday, our Country Roads staff and dealers threw a suprise bridal shower for Pam. We spent a couple of weeks secretly whispering who was going to bring what, and make SURE you don't let Pam know anything about it! It was nice to see she was surprised.

Pat Estrada brought her awesome mom with her, and Riley, and little Oliver, who is Dude & Marilyn's grandson, thought she was pretty special too!

I've known Pam's mom since the early days of Battered Barn, my first little store in Old Towne. She use to work in the afternoons so I could pick up my kids after school. At the time she was pregnant with Pam's sister, Andrea. Where does the time go,since Andrea will soon be 16?

Of course our "get togethers" wouldn't be complete without the Castillo family. Carol has been at the store for at least 12 years now. As you can tell, it's tough to eat when her little boy, Adrian, and Riley want to help out!

It's never easy taking a picture of four little kids together, as you can tell. From left to right is Josalyn (Yesi's little girl), Riley, Adrian (who is escaping), and Arianna (Carol's daughter). All three girls are going to be flower girls in Pam's wedding. Not sure how they are all going to get down the aisle "together", but we are counting on Josalyn to hang on to them.

The shower ended with cake, which had the name of Pam's favorite song written on it, except spelled wrong! But hey, it's a Country Roads bridal shower, and we never claim to be perfect, just family that really cares about each other and always enjoys a good party!