100 Plus Reasons to Shop at Country Roads!

There are times and moments I walk through the front door of Country Roads and step inside in complete awe! I'm so blown away by all the talent that is a part of my Country Roads family. When customers ask, "is this your store", I have to remind myself that the answer is "yes" and I thank them repeatedly for their compliments. Without the wonderful family and friends that make up Country Roads, we would just be another store in Old Towne. But because we all share the same beliefs such as the importance of customers service, quality merchandise is a must, and having fun with friends and family is a given, we've been hangin' out here not for 17 years! While at work yesterday, I took a bunch of pictures so you will see what I mean, why I'm so in love with what I do! And if you haven't been in for awhile, I hope this little slide show will make you jump in your cars, bike, walk or get on plane or bus and COME SEE US! Enjoy the slides. . .
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The Time Has Come

The old running shoes have been dusted off (and they aren't as giant as they appear in the photo), the ipod has a new playlist of kick ass songs and I'm ready! You know, I've been very fortunate to have taken off about 20 pounds the past six months or so. It was something that I am very grateful for. I'm a big fan of the Biggest Loser and it was so great that this years winner was a 48 year old mom that lost almost half of her original weight! It is such a good feeling to lose weight. When I was younger I was always fighting my weight, then I discovered my bestfriend.

I love the treadmill, I always have, its my bestfriend when it comes to working out. It's in a little storage room in the garage. I got a new one right before Christmas and have had a ton of reasons for not using it, but no more. I like being in the garage where in the summer its nice and hot, I put on my headphones and listen to my favorite music, no one bugs me and the time passes so quickly. I feel better about myself when I've finished and I'm more aware of the types of food I eat.

One of my goals is that I want to be able to wave good-bye to friends & family and when my arm stops waving, I want the rest of my "skin" to stop as well! You know, in about a weeks time I will get to be a Gramma again, little Morgan Clover is due any day now. I want to be able to keep up with her and Riley. I can't wait for the moment that Riley and I teach little Morgan how to dance, and shake her little booty like we do!! If you've got little toddlers, you've got to be able to keep up with 'em!! The time has come to spend some quality time with my bestfriend, the treadmill.


My Mom Growin' Up in Texas!

This was my Grandpa Hobson Durham and his new wife Madge Dulane Durham on their wedding day in 1925. I always wondered where I got the middle name "Dulane" from. It was only a couple of years ago after my mom had died that I found out where the name came from.

Here's my mom, Johnnye Merle Durham, as a baby in Lubbock, Texas. I have been looking for this photo album for awhile now, and gee, it was just sitting on a shelf below my others all this time. None the less, I was thrilled to find it, and even more happy to find some writing on the backs of some of the pictures.

My mom was an only child and loved her Texas roots.

You know I don't ever remember seeing this picture of my mom, and my grandma before. I fell in love with it when I saw it, and of course the thing wouldn't scan right. My grandma looks so young in this photo.

I love this picture of my mom on the ranch with her daddy's hat next to her for the picture!!

I think out of all the photos so far, I'm in love with this one. It's of my Grandpa Hobson pulling my mom in a cart. What really is amazing is when I look at this picture of my mom, I have pictures of myself at about the same age and we look so much alike! I'm was really blonde, actually I still am really blonde. But when it turns into old lady white then I will finally change hair color! I never realized I got being so blonde from my mom or the resemblance is so strong between us. I think because my mom lost her own mom at such a young age, and then her dad committed suicide a couple of years later, that she never wanted to talk about her family. That and my own dad, being the character he was, thought it was something that just "shouldn't" be discussed with myself and my sister. Least us not forget we had to call his dad "Daddy Dick" and my mom's family was not to be discussed? I guess if there is anything good about the way life changes, is these days we know every damn thing about everybody. I just wish I had a few more memories of my mom telling me stories of her life in Texas. I have a few good memories but not nearly enough.

Thanks Deborah for hosting, "Fridays Favorite Family Fotos"


I Got "it" Twice!!

Well, I hope I don't get in trouble from Malisa, for lifting the above photo off her blog, you know she has all those warnings about not doing this or that but I did it anyway. She doesn't scare me. After all she tagged me first. Then I got it again, tagged that is, from Marcela & Clara. I usually don't do this stuff, not because I'm special and "all that", but because I always end up screwing up my links or there is some other malfunction that happens on my blog. Welcome to my world. Six things you don't know about me, well don't be hanging on the edge of your seat, cause I'm not that exciting but here goes:

1. I'm the oldest in my family, I have a younger sister who grew to be a lot bigger than me. Being a dumbass, I always picked fights with her and always got the crap kicked out of me, but it didn't stop me. I also broke my mom's foot when I was in third grade,I kicked her! But hey, she was chasing me with a belt, for starting a fight with my sister!

2. I went to college at Cal State University Fullerton, here in CA. I majored in Sociology and minored in American Studies and spent an entire summer working on an Indian reservation in the 115 degree heat outside of Yuma. I loved every minute of it!! I dropped out of school 12 units short of my BA. Why? I was living on my own, working, partying, and going to school and had to choose to let one of them go, wow, once again I was a dumbass on that choice! (dumbass is one of my favorite words, you may not have know that either)

3. I am a blonde, left handed, vegetarian Gemini! I think that explains a lot about some of my blog posts, as in I just can't help myself! Sometimes I can have a really big mouth, and at other times I can be shy and withdrawn and compliments are very difficult for me to accept, I get embarrassed. I appreciate them, I just don't like the attention.

4.I cannot stand to see animals suffer or little kids mistreated. Was a big fan of Billy Jack, "bless the beasts and the children, they have no voice they have no choice". So, I have a house full of eight rescued cats, and one rescued mentally challenged dog, "Sally the Cabana Dog".

5.I'm a music freak, totally!! If I could choose to be anything in life, it would be to be a singer with a band. Seriously, I want to be Cher or Tina Turner, look at them! I love most all music, really into Michael Franti & the Spearheads right now. Big American Idol freak! I'm in love with my ipod and splurged on really expensive Bose headphones a couple of years ago to listen to my ipod with. Something I wouldn't normally do.

6.I can't help myself when it comes to underdogs or people that need help. If I only have five bucks in my wallet I'll give it to someone that I think needs it. My kids grew up with me making them walk over to scarey people and give them money. I think "giving back" and "paying it forward" is really important in life. I will usually help someone else before I help myself. I have no respect for rich, weathly people that do nothing to help others.

So, there you go. I told you it wouldn't be too exciting but hey, I tried to play and be a good sport! Thanks for pushing me Malisa, Marcela & Clara!


Supreme Court Upholds No on Prop 8

On Friday, October 24th, 2008, Apple wrote the following. . .
"Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8."
Apple is one of the most successful corporations in our country, and they took positive steps a long time ago to recognize the right to be in love, to be married, to be recognized! Today the Supreme Court upheld the decision to ban gay marriages in California. How can the same court a year ago basically say "gay is okay" and now it was okay for only some but not for all? Thankfully, those married in that small time frame will still have their union be recognized as a legal marriage in our state, while others are denied the same right to be wed. I think everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when it comes to discrimination, hate, prejudice it just makes no sense to me. And don't even begin to tell me that the Bible say its wrong, please. How can we have an all loving God, oops, except if you are gay? I'm sorry, that is not my God.

This sign was in my front yard last year during election time, right there in my garden. I'm not gay nor is my oldest daughter Brande, not that it really matters. Brande headed up the campaign for "NO on Prop 8" here in Long Beach. We just believe in human rights, it's that simple, really. Shouldn't "love" be celebrated, without being over shadowed with clouds of hatred? There is a blog I follow, called, Mommy With a Penis(www.mommywithapenis.blogspot.com). I can't get the link to work, sorry. I'm sure if you are already not happy with what I have to say, that one probably really added to the fire. But what is so very brillant about this blog is here you have two bright successful men, in love, married, who have adopted two loving children and they are awesome parents. I just don't understand "how" you can tell them, and many others in their same situation that it is wrong to fall in love, to wish to get married, to have children, how can that be wrong? I know in my heart that "my" God doesn't believe it's wrong.

I look at the picture above and I'm sadly reminded that this photo wasn't taken that long ago. Has history not been a lesson, have we not learned that people are people regardless of things like color or sexual preference? I know in my heart, and I believe that sooner or later gay marriage will be legal thoughout all of the United States. I'll keep that hope alive for the year 2010,this isn't over yet. And I will not lose the HOPE in my heart for my friends,for my sister and her partner, and for others that are simply "in love". There are better days ahead, there has to be! "I Have a Dream" MLK


Bloomin' Tuesdays

I just re-planted this little area two weeks ago, and I'm amazed how fast it is filling out!

As many of you know, my oldest daughter Brande, owns Johnnye Merles Gardens which sits behind Country Roads. This is where I get all my plants, and this season she has some great varities of poppys that she orders from Annie's Annuals. They are just starting to bloom.

As much as I like the red poppies, I also really like the white poppies that are starting to bloom as well.

My hollyhocks are still growing like crazy!

I've got hollyhocks all over my garden this year.

This is that weird plant, the Crown Jewel, that has been blooming. First it was pink, and now it's getting little purple flowers blooming with the pink ones. Told you it was a weird plant!

Please go visit Ms.Green Thumb Jean!

Memorial Day

I had "almost" forgotten that today was Memorial Day. Brande was working at the store this morning in the garden. We were talking about the kittens she had caught and she had to stop talking for a few minutes because in the sky vintage airplanes were flying over in formation. At Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana, they have a service each Memorial Day. Last year I remember standing in the garden with one my customers. Her mom had died a few years back and always loved Country Roads. We watched the planes together, probably both thinking about those we love and are now gone. I look up at the picture of my dad from WWII. He was proud to be a solider. And regardless of politics, or personal beliefs, today is the day to remember those that have died doing what they believed in their hearts was the right thing to do. My dream has always been to live in a world without war and violence. I'm not going to give up on that dream, nor will I forget the kids that have lost their lives way to young doing what their heart had told them to do. I hope next Memorial Day our world will be a more peaceful place to live.
"Some say I'm a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one" John Lennon

I Love Little Kids!

I had a "big" baby shower for Justine (my daughter-in-law)yesterday. Our so called showers are more like big parties, lots of people, lots of chaos, thats just the way we do things here. Below are some random pictures of random chaos!

After most everyone left, around 10pm, the balloons that were outside, came inside, and with four toddlers on a sugar high, you can see where this was going!

"should I let go"

"bless our balloons"

"can I have some MORE cake"

"more balloon blessings" (notice the balloons tied in the girls hair)



What is not pictured is when ALL the balloons went up to the ceiling, I have high open beam ceilings. Vinnie rides his bike to the liquor store to prove a point. He buys a squirt gun, fills it with water, and him and Bryce take turns shooting all the balloons down from the ceiling. It was, indeed, a fun filled day. I need a nap!


Mermaids, Dolphins and THE Baby Shower

Its time to party, the details are complete, we are just waiting for the party to begin as Justine grabs a moment to rest!

"the table is set"

"my new mermaid is in place"

"the trio of dolphins are all set"

"and the drinks are chillin"

. . .to be continued!


Please Adopt Us!

So, there is just something about Country Roads and cats giving birth there. I can't even tell you how many times over the years we've had "kitty adoptions". These two, are not even the same kitties I posted a couple of months ago. Brande spotted the trio of kittens while working in Johnnye Merle gardens today. There is another little black one she couldn't catch and the mom is out there too. I don't think they are real feral as they aren't super frightened of people. And I cannot even tell you how difficult it is for me not to take them home. They ate the cat food Brande gave them so they are big enough to be adopted. I have such a hard time with irresponsible pet owners. There is no need for these poor little kittens to have been born. I'm hoping we can find them homes, they are so sweet, look at those little faces! Then on a completely different note, this metal mermaid came home with me today. Did I need this, nope. And if you remember a few weeks ago three cement dolphins came home with me. Country Roads is filled with such awesome antiques and I bring home dolphins and mermaids. I guess I'm getting anxious for summer!


I "HAD" To Share!

Okay, I promise I will not take pictures of everything my soon to be grandbaby Morgan is getting. The shower isn't until Sunday, and this isn't like my first grandbaby, but I'm just as excited. Is that little pirate outfit not the cutest thing ever. Stacey, you rock! I happened to be there when Bryce and Justine opened the gift. I think I was worse than Bryce & Justine with excitement! Not only did Stacey pick out that cute little outfit above, she also gave the baby a vintage baby book! I always knew there was a reason Stacey was my friend, a heart of gold. And I promise, I will not do a post on every gift baby Morgan gets. I just had to have "my moment"!

My Grandpa Hobson

The guy on the right,that was my Grandpa. I never got to meet though, he took his own life after my Grandma (my mom's mom) had died from cancer. My mom never talked much about her folks, I think it was too painful for her. She was barely 17 when her dad died. What I've tried to put together from the past has been difficult. I find pictures of her family in Texas, but most of them are blank on the back, unlike my dad who documented everything. I did know that my Grandpa drove and oil truck in Texas and mom was brought up in Temple. The one thing I have noticed in all the photos I've found of my Grandpa, he loved animals, as you see him sitting there with his dog. The few pictures I find of him, there were usually dogs with him or cattle. The biggest regret I have is not pushing my mom to tell me more about her family before she passed away a couple of years ago. I guess it was just too painful for her to talk about. Piece by piece I'm beginning to put some of it together so my own kids and grandkids will know their roots as well, and also know why we all have so many damn pets!! We can thank Grandpa Hobson Durham for that one!

To participate: contact Deborah at cashgirl_56@yahoo.com


Respecting Differences

Almost every morning, if I have time, I like to start my day by reading blogs. One of my favorite blogs is one written by Jenny Doh. Her post this morning really got my brain in high gear and made me start thinking about two words she used, "respecting differences". If you really think about it, that is something that is very hard to do in certain areas of life. When I look at the picture above, I see a dad, giving his daughter a hug while her sister watches. Then I'm reminded that this dad is different because he is our President. But sadly, there are those that see the color of his skin, and because of skin color "choose" not to support him. I have a very hard time when it comes to "respecting difference" when it comes to being prejudiced. I am a dorky American Idol fan. I've always loved music of all kinds, and I just really get into this show! As those of you that are like me, last night was the big night, the winner of Idol was announced. It seemed that Adam had this locked down, but it turned out that Kris won, the dark horse. I always felt in the back of my mind that he may be the one to win it all, although Adam was so good. I was excited, and then I got an email from my friend Malisa. She felt that Adam may have lost because he is gay. For me, I was kind of blown away because I had never thought about that. And then sadly, I realized she may have been right! Adam is a really talented singer, and as he said in an interview this morning he thought it was nice for Idol to have someone in the top two that was a "non cookie cutter type". How do I learn to start "respecting differences" when people don't like someone because of their sexual preference? Above is Riley, with her friends, and my little baby's; Ari,Josalyn, and Azul. They are all buddies, they all play together. It doesn't matter what color their skin is, they are just little buddies, that simple. I pray that they never have to struggle with what I am struggling with now. How do I ever find a way, a means to "respecting differences" when it comes to being prejudiced?


Country Roads Eye Candy!!

Seems like the days I'm at Country Roads, I never get the time to really do our store justice with my pictures. This week-end when I'm working, I am REALLY going to make an effort to take lots of pictures to put together for a slideshow! We've got so much great stuff. I look at these pictures and think, "wow, I'm lucky to have the job that I have". I hope you enjoy them as well. I'm in love with the old store display above, seriously, totally in love!! In all my years I've never seen one like this with the bins down below. I wish I had the room and money for it to come home with me!

I also have a real love for these types of screened pie safes too.

Anymore, it's getting harder and harder to find the really good country primitives like this chimney cupboard with all original chippy paint.

I like the way the contrast shows in this picture with the simplicity of the farm table surrounded by elegant chairs.

So many times dealers "mess" with the old pieces, like replacing original old glass. I rather have the cracked glass, like this old, green painted bead board cupboard has than have someone mess with it or alter it.

I'm a sucker for architectural pieces, and this one is awesome. I prefer mine just a bit more beat up and chippy, but this is really a nice piece!

And this farm table, with a mix of colored chairs speaks for itself, awesome. I think the coolest part about Country Roads, and yes, I am bragging, but we have so much variety. I think that is what makes us stand out, a little of something for everyone!!