"I Say a Little Prayer For You"

As I was getting ready to write this post this morning, I couldn't come up with a title. Then I thought of the old Dionne Warwick song, "I Say a Little Prayer For You". I'm writing this post to ask for a few of those little prayers. Pictured above are two of our Country Roads family. Robin is on the left, and Christilynn is on the right. And, I have to give a "shout out" (thanks Ellen for that term) to Christilynn. She is sixty pounds lighter since that photo was taken. How you may ask, she swam it off two days a week at the YMCA till she kissed those pounds good-bye! Okay, back to my little prayer thing. Right now Christilynn is in the hospital. She is having some issues with the big "C". Her friend, Robin, just let me know. My heart and prayers go to anyone battling cancer, but this time it is really a tough one. You see, Christilynn doesn't have time to be sick, and she just happens to be one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. She has adopted three babies that were born to drug addicted mom's, and is trying to adopt her fourth. To Christilynn, she never sees the whole "color or race" thing, or ever does she pass judgement on others. That is just the way Christilynn is. She has an extremely strong faith and I know this will help her get through this little fight with the Big C! But if you get a chance put in a good word for Christilynn. She has little ones to take care of that need mommy home soon, and for myself, "I Say a Little Prayer For You"! See you soon at Country Roads!


Shamelessing Asking For Your VOTES Again!

It was so nice last year to be the winner of FoxLAs "Best Antique Store" in Orange County! And of course, we wouldn't have "won" without all of you out there voting for us. So, the time has come again to shamless ask for you to VOTE again for Country Roads! If my little "vote" link works, that should take you right to the voting page. I think many of you know not only how hard I work to give our customers an awesome shopping experiene here at Country Roads, but without our wonderful Country Roads family, none of this would be possible. We are always changing things up to give you the best of the best, along with some awesome displays as well! So, if you could just take a moment to cast your VOTE all of us here at Country Roads would greatly appreciate your efforts. We love your comments too. I have a confession to make. Last year, I printed each and every comment and saved them all. The words you wrote sincerely touched not only my heart, but my Country Roads family's heart as well! Thank you. And speaking about VOTING, you have got to go check out a blog I love to read, VodkaMom! Debbie is a kindergarden teacher, and hey, we've got to support our teachers AND she also has a wicked since of humor. So, since we are all in the "voting mode", it would be awesome if you could throw a few votes Debbie's way too! Thanks!


I LOVE These Signs

I love when the store is filled with the signs above! It is truly a nice feeling. And as you know, Country Roads would never use just a basic "sold" tag, we have to add a little bit of something extra. Below are just a few of the many things that have been selling lately!

And the best thing, when the trucks get loaded and take home their treasures. That gives us more room for some new "Eye Candy"! Stop by and see us this week-end!


A Friendship of the Heart

For some of you that have been reading my blog for awhile now, you may know how very special my friend Ruthie is to me. Last year was an extremely difficult year for her. She had a falling out with her daughter, and never returned to the home they shared in Old Towne Orange leaving all of her things behind. Eventually, her daughter Susan, shipped a few boxes to her. It was a home that Ruthie loved, a garden she tended to, and one of the things left behind, something that meant a great deal to her, was her old wooden rocking chair. Ruthie has a condo in Florida and has been there now for over a year, never returning to her home in Old Towne Orange, to Country Roads, or to all the things she once loved. Her daughter Susan sold the house (which was Susan's) and moved to Ohio. Since then Ruthie and Susan have worked on their relationship and Ruthie flew to Ohio to help Susan decorate her new home. Ruthie has this saying about "looking through the front windshield, never the rear view mirror". Thus her and Susan have never discussed many things that really need to be discussed. Recently, Ruthie got a good look in her rear view mirror when looking at pictures of Susan's home again one day. She saw that rocking chair she loved so very much. Below is a story Ruthie wrote to me about her beloved rocking chair that Susan now has in her home. A chair that Ruthie misses and just recently realized it!
This is the story of my chair.
"The year was 1995.
The place was the annual July handmade craft show at Piecemakers-Costa Mesa, Ca.
While strolling by the many booths of wonderful things, I spied this marvelous vintage chair that had been lovingly recovered with an old, soft pastel floral chenille bedspread. It was love at first sight. It was, indeed, a must have for my bedroom. In order to make room for my new love, I discovered I would have to part with something else, which I decided would have to be an old desk.
I believe that for most things you can find an answer if you look for it. After pondering this for a time, I came up with the idea that maybe, just maybe, a local antique store where I had shopped many times could be the answer. I had never had a space in an antique store but the idea appealed to me. I gathered up my nerve and off I went to Country Roads Antiques and Gardens in Old Towne Orange to inquire about my idea of selling my old desk. All I would need would be just a tiny space. Of course, Country Roads is not just any antique store--it is simply the best and in my mind the only place worthy of my desk. Please remember, I loved my new chair but I needed to give my old desk the respect it deserved so I was willing to risk rejection at Country Roads.
I was cordially greeted by the owner, Sue Jackson, and began pleading my case about my new chair and I needed a small space to sell my desk. I realize now that I must have sounded like some wacko, but she was so kind and inquired what else I had to sell. OOPS, I had not thought of that! I assured her I had a few other small things that I could add-although, truth be known, I had no idea what that would be.
She showed me a very tiny spot at the top of the stairs that I could rent. I was thrilled beyond words--never mind the roof was slanted and you almost had to bend over to get in. What a happy day -yup, there I was--a proud "dealer" at Country Roads. I was ecstatic as I made the short trip home to get my desk! I had about 30 square feet of the more than 15,000 square feet at Country Roads. But to me, it was gigantic. Little did I know that on that day I was embarking on a 12 year love affair with CR-an experience that I have concluded was and is a hallmark of my life--all because I fell in love with
a chair!
If, by chance, you were looking for me you only needed to look 3 places--my garden, CR or my chair. Yup, I sat in my chair reading by the hour, writing, making hundreds of tickets for pricing merchandise, catalog shopping for new product, planning the stores budget and sometimes just reflecting . The beautiful chenille bedspread finally wore out, the seat was sagging, and I reluctantly had it replaced with a slipcover which she was proud to wear. You take care of things you love.
For me, I have found it best as I travel the road of life, to look out of the windshield. Sometimes things occur that cause you to take a glimpse in the rear view mirror wither you want to or not. That happened to me yesterday.
My chair is now living with Susan in her new home and she looks beautiful there--just like she belongs. Why she is living there is another story. But the fleeting glance I had in the rear view mirror,as I looked at a recent photo of her, caused me to pause and reminded me of all the times we shared. I wonder what she would say-- if chairs could talk?
Just like an old friend that is gone--for one reason or another, I miss her and all that she represents to me. Do I have other chairs? Of course I do and for this I am grateful because I am aware that some people have none. None the less, she is special to me because of all the positive gifts that she has given to me in ways that changed my life".

In an email yesterday, Ruthie asked me, "how could we describe our friendship to anyone, how would they understand how important we are to each other". I told her that we have a "friendship of the heart", meaning there are certain people, friends, that have a piece of your heart and you have a piece of theirs. The cool part is you just "know" it, can't explain it, but you know how important these friendships are. Doesn't matter if there is an age gap, like mine and Ruthie's, as the heart doesn't care! For me, it's kind of funny that two of these people that I have a friendship of the heart with live far away; Ruthie in Florida and my friend Malisa in Texas! People are brought into our lives for a reason. And when you have a friendship of the heart, there is no better friend to have! And who knows, maybe Susan will happen to read this blog post and see the importance of peeking into the rear view mirror of life occasionally.


White Wednesday

Happy "White Wednesday" to all as we celebrate the fourth "White Wednesday" of our brand new year! This "White Wednesday", I'm at Country Roads visiting Tim & Lisa's area. Here are a few random shots of some of my favorite things!

And as always, I just want to thank Kathleen for making this such a fun thing to participate in. Hope all of you are enjoying our new year and the brand new beginning that we all get! Take care.


And Then the Sun Came Out

We all know by now just how much RAIN we've been having. This week-end the sun was out, and I was outside of the store, in the back in Johnnye Merle's Garden & Nursery. Thought you may like to see what I saw.

The one thing I love about the rain is when it is ALL gone and the skies are blue and the sun is smiling down on us! Although it is still chilly here, it is beautiful out. If you need a "garden fix", stop by and see us!


"BSC" Sundays at Country Roads

Yes, the big arrow points the way, it was Sunday and time for all our "Bat Shit Crazy" customers to join us! Actually, I have to give credit where credit is due. Brande came up with the term, "Bat Shit Crazy". We have a newer customer that has just joined our group of regular "BSC" Sundays. This one may move to the top of the list. She looks at you and just blinks her eyes excessively as she "pretends" to talk to her Mother on the phone when in actuality, we don't think anyone is one the phone! She joined us yesterday, "bless her little heart". One minute I'll glance down one of the aisles from the counter, and all looks well. I don't see anyone, everything is calm, and then all hell breaks loose! It turns into hours of insanity and madness. Yesterday a woman walks up to the counter asking if we have found any glasses from two weeks ago. Being the marvelous store that excels at customer service, of course we produce the said glasses! But then, an hour later, she is frantic. She has lost her navy blue sweatshirt. How do you lose your clothes while shopping? She is damn sure it is "somewhere" in the store, you know "somewhere" in the 12,000 square feet inside Country Roads, not even counting the garden out back! We look at her eyes and we know, she has become "BSC"! There is no convincing her that we don't know where her sweatshirt is. But wait, she spots a blue "something" on a chair behind the counter and is convinced it is the said missing sweatshirt! Nope, that one happens to say "Blue Canoe" on it and belongs to Tim or Bryce. As our own mascot, and a member of the Red Hat Society, that no one quite ever catches on to, watches over us, another customer succumbs to be "BSC"! And this time Carol needs to look out because this customer who use to work at the liquor store across the street, and "supposedly" bitch slapped a dealer at a neighboring antique store, NOW has Carol's number and is totally going "BSC"! Usually, the woman is sweet and calls us all honey, and told Carol, "that's okay honey, when you have time to open the case you can help me". Sadly, Carol "forgot" and the customer went "BSC" on her! Of course the rest of us just laughed & laughed and told Carol to hide before she got one of the now famous "slaps"! Carol hides until she is gone! "All clear Carol, the "BSC" lady just left! As "Officer Bull" our other mascot keeps an eye on everyone, it's my turn. I have the "arrogant" fancy customers that visited us at closing last week! The husband hates shopping, his "BSC" wife thinks everything should be "free" and they put me through a slow, tortuous death! The lamp is $59, but you know, as she tells me, "the lamp is crooked, can you see it's crooked, what color do you really think the chain on the lamp is, can I get it cheaper, it really is crooked". I look at the "BSC" customer and tell her I can take ten percent off, but wait, the "BSC" woman's husband has a stick up his, you know what. He scolds her for wanting that piece of junk. They argue. While I wait, I beat my head several times on the counter, because the pain feels so much better than listening to the "BSC" couple argue! I didn't really beat my head on the counter, but it REALLY would have felt better. The woman now goes "BSC" on me, "will you take $50". I don't hesitate, off course I'll knock another three dollars off, hell, I'll give it to her for free if she will just LEAVE! I want to go home, it is time. Of course I will do that, anything, just let me go home! About that time, Matt (Bryce's friend) comes in from helping a customer do a carry out. "Wow, the chick in the mini van just hit a suburban, she took off, and they chased her down". Yes, a "BSC" driving a mini van does a hit and run, I can't take anymore! I want to go home. Moments earlier we had the young college girls from Chapman come in browsing. You know, the ones that had been across the street all day drinking at the bar, but hey, it was the play-offs yesterday! And actually, they were a bit loud but at least had a sense of humor, even if one wore stilettos and white socks. And to her credit, she could pull it off and looked nice, and obviously they were having much more fun than we were on our "BSC" Sunday at Country Roads! So, as I climbed into my car for my ride home, playing Madonna's "Like a Prayer" song from the "Hope for Haiti Now", over & over & over, I cranked up the volume and sang with Madge all the way home! I made a stop at my little liquor store by my house and bought the above. I paid for my purchases, and the guy thanked me, as he laughed and said, "ENJOY"! I realized then, that the "BSC" Sunday had taken control over me. I just looked at him and smiled and said, "I work retail"! And yes, thankfully "BSC" Sunday is over until next week! I knew then it was time to go home and have a Corona and orange Hostess cupcakes!


Reaching Out

Do you ever think about how something so small can make such a big difference in someone else's life, like a pair of shoes for an example? This is a picture of a beautiful 22 year old girl, Molly. Her blog, "Molly in Haiti" is worth a visit. Sadly, Molly was killed in the Haiti earthquake, doing something she loved, "giving back" by helping orphans. In her memory, there is now a drive to collect "gently used" shoes to send to Haiti in Molly's memory. Please know you can drop the shoes up at Country Roads up until February 14th. I'm sure we all have some shoes that are still in good shape, and little kids grow out of their shoes so fast, which makes this a very easy way for us all to help. There are so many little kids right now that really could use those shoes, as well as adults. So please, take the time to stop by and drop off as many shoes as you can! Below is the last post on Molly's blog, written by her family. Please go visit this blog and see how much this young girl gave back at such a young age and the see the big smiles on the little kids she reached out to. Truly beautiful. The one thing that is really good about blogging and places like facebook, is we can reach out to so many for help. I'm counting on those I know to help out if possible! And thanks to my buddy, Lisa Blanc, for posting this on her facebook page! I've known Lisa for a long time, and she IS such a very caring and giving person. She always has been! There IS strength and "help" in numbers! Come see us at Country Roads with some shoes, or donate to Molly's charity! Here are some beautiful words from Molly's family. . .

Molly is no longer able to add to her blog, her body was recovered from the wreckage of the Fr. Wasson Center in Petion-Ville, Haiti following the January 12th earthquake.

Molly's family is very proud of what she has done in her 22 years on this earth and hope that you will learn from Molly's writings what drove her to leave a life full of family, friends, hot water, clean water, plentiful food and peppermint frappuccinos, to a life of cold showers, bug bites, rice and beans everyday, and hot muggy days. Its very simple, THE CHILDREN. In Haiti she found unconditional love, simple pleasures, smiles all day and a second family. And it made her smile.

If you would like to help continue Molly's dream and journey, please follow the listed link to the "Friends of the Orphans" website set up in Molly's name.

Posted by her loving and extremely sad family, both of them


Random Country Roads Stuff

This past week, as you all know, it has rained more than I can ever remember. Crazy weather, but, we had a very busy week at Country Roads, go figure! I love when I see a big truck pull up to load stuff that has been sold. For the past week, our store has had sold signs all over stuff courtesy of "Coco"! This was the beginning of loading up the truck yesterday, and eventually all of its contents will be shipped to Korea. Thanks Coco! Also, below are a few pictures from last Sunday's Flea Market at Vet's in Long Beach. Here are some of Bryce and Tim & Lisa's displays! It is always amazing how they can make an asphalt parking lot look so good!

Today as I head off to work, I have my camera ready. Our merchandise turns over so fast which means there is always something different to find at Country Roads each and every day!


An Easy Way to Help

This guy is the bomb! For me, it is so awesome to see someone like George Clooney immediately get moving with others to organize tonight's benefit concert, "Hope for Haiti Now"! I keep hearing some say we should be helping people that live "here". I'm not even sure how to respond to that when I hear it. Obviously, I don't think those that say that really understand the current situation in Haiti right now. Saying it is a tragedy is an understatement. Currently there are many organizations reaching out to help, and the Red Cross is one that is very easy to donate to. If I understand correctly, Apple's "itunes" is donating all the monies from the downloads of "Hope for Haiti Now", to Haiti. Just think about how easy that is to help give to a country the desperately needs our help. I LOVE itunes and music, so naturally I will be glued to my tv tonight. I'm anxious to download these songs for my ipod, and feel even better knowing my money will go to help those in Haiti. There is always strength in numbers, so for any of you out there that want to give just a little, here is your chance!
"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more".


What Happens When We Get "Weather"!

This picture was taken yesterday by our local newspaper, the Press Telegram. I've been reading our local newspaper since I was a kid! This is an intersection a few blocks from my house by California State University Long Beach. We've had a bit of rain this week. And here in Southern California we don't really have weather. It gets a little cold, and a little hot and some in between, but no real weather to speak of. Until this week! So what happens when we actually "have" weather? All hell breaks loose, people go a bit cuckoo but make the best of a bad situation as you can see! It rained so hard that Riley was yelling at me to make it stop as she held her ears. Then we got tornado warnings, here, of all places, what the hell? Justine got scared and came in my room with Morgan. A car actually flipped over down in Sunset Beach, a few miles from here with a couple of small boats being flipped over as well. Sadly it just missed flipping over Mr. Wonderful's boat!! Again, isn't this Southern California, we have NO weather! No burgers for lunch at Ruby's that sits on the end of the Seal Beach pier! The waves were too close to the burgers and fries, they closed it down. I think they got over 15 foot surf! The waves FLEW over the big sand berm they build each year down in Seal Beach. Brande lives across the street from here, and thankfully upstairs. They say we have a couple of more days of "real" weather here. Again, damn! I mean, I have to roll up my jeans so they don't get wet, hope my tennis shoes don't get soaked from the water. Maybe I should break out my flip flops since "surf's up"!!


White Wednesday

Happy "White Wednesday" to all! This "White Wednesday", I have not only some great photos from Country Roads, but some exciting news as well. Full Bloom Cottage as many know, has been a part of Country Roads for awhile now. Loretta is known for her elegant displays and beautiful "whites". In a few weeks, Loretta and Full Bloom Cottage will be expanding at Country Roads. She will have a "showroom" where you can now order down sofas & loveseats, pillows, bed shams, and much more. We all have a bit of work ahead of us, but soon the end result will be worth it! Here are just a few random pictures I've taken of Loretta's displays over the past year or so. Hope you enjoy them.

For many more great photos, go check out Kathleen's blog. She's got a list that has many, many talented people on it with awesome photos. Take care.