The Dog Days Are Over!

My last post of 2011. The last day of the year with only a few hours left. Am I looking back with regrets, nope! Am I looking back with disappointment, nope! Sure, there are so many things that I wish had been different, so many things I wish I had more time to do, but, nope there are no regrets!

Why do I have no regrets? Because even in the toughest of days, in the hardest of times, I learned things. I believe that is why life puts us through difficult situations so that we learn and grow as individuals! The status quo has never, ever been acceptable for me, ever! I strive, I always strive to do my best. Sometimes times I don't succeed, but if I've given it my best shot, then I know that I have learned along the journey.  

What do I want for 2012 to bring to me? There is a song by Florence and the Machine that I love, and always play. It's called "The Dog Days Are Over"!  So, as I begin my brand new year tomorrow morning, I refuse to have any more dog days, they are all truly over. Oh, I know very well life will continue to throw its share of dog days in my direction, but nope, I'm over them, totally over them and will deal with them differently in 2012!

I wish you all a truly "Happy New Year"! Some of us wait till midnight, and toast the New Year! Me? I've got a big sale tomorrow at Country Roads tomorrow morning. I love to start my year off by working hard. So, as I get ready to fall asleep as 2011 begins to fade away and become a distant memory, I will remind myself that my dog days are over! They are done, they are finished, and I have a brand new year ahead that I truly intend to make the best ever! Happy New Year to you all!!


You Watch Them Grow!

Riley spent the day with me today. It's been a really long time since just her and I have had a day together!  Riley was cold this morning and she knows I always give her the "special" blanket to warm up in. My mom made Katie this afghan when she was a baby. I haven't been able to let it go yet, so Riley uses it all the time when she comes over to my house. 

We like to hang out in my bedroom. It's just comfortable and we spent the day doing nothing, but just talking and laughing. It is great to hear about life through the eyes of a five year old. Today Riley was into coloring and drawing pictures. It is amazing how much she has already learned since she started kindergarten.

She's a "lefty" like me, her Gramma! It makes me proud since not one of my three kids are left handed. And I understand the challenges that being left handed can present. Seriously, there are many! So Riley and I share the experience, the good and bad stuff about being left handed even if she doesn't quite understand.

She loves the beach and ocean and fish. And I love the smile on her little face as she proudly displays her jellyfish that she drew. The picture is now hanging in my office right by my computer. It makes me smile.

Riley's smile melts my heart in every possible way. I love her sense of humor now. Five year olds can be pretty funny actually. She convinced me to let her watch "Shake It Up" on the Disney channel but immediately told me that Mommy and Daddy don't let her watch it. But could she PLEASE watch it! So, I off course I let her watch it. I mean it was the Disney channel. And Katie if you read this you can't say anything to Riley because I promised I wouldn't tell!!

Oh, how I don't want Riley, or Morgan, or Bodhi to get any older. I wish I could freeze time, right now! But life goes on, and by summer I will have grandbaby number four joining my family. As I look at Riley in the above pictures, there is a song I love by Zach Gill that I love. He only made on album, although he is still a part of Jack Johnson's band. Here's the words to his song. . .

"You Watch Them Grow"

She's close to God, I'm sure of that
She sits him down, and they have a chat
She asks for sunshine, and he agrees
You see, for her, He'd do anything

She is a monkey, and I'm her tree
And now she's climbing all over me
Swinging on my vines dancing on my limbs
Her monkey sounds sound like an angel's hymns

You watch them grow, then you let them go
You watch them grow, then you let them go

She is an angel, she is an imp
She's got my big toe, and her mothers lips
She gives fishy kisses, and great big bear hugs
42 pounds of pure love
Then one day she'll be 17, feelin' too big for her home
Seems she was just only 3, oh how children they grow

You watch them grow, then you let them go
You watch them grow, then you let them go

Then one day she'll be 33, maybe with a child of her own
Seems she was just 17, oh how our children they grow
He'll ask for sunshine, and she'll agree
You see for him, she'd do anything
He is her child, the center of her world
She is the mother. . .my little girl

You watch them grow, then you let 'em go
You watch them grow, then you let 'em go

For some reason, I don't think I'll ever let Riley,  Morgan, or Bodhi go, ever!



Our customers are truly the best! We have been so busy this week, and it's still three days until our big New Year's Day sale! My intent yesterday, and all this week, was to post pictures of what is currently at Country Roads. Believe me, we have a lot of great stuff right now. I just haven't had a lot of time to share that great stuff! Here is a very small sampling of some pictures I quickly took yesterday.

I love old letters! And what I love even more than the letters is that someone took the time to save them over all of these years. And the handwriting is just beautiful! I always wonder" why" they end up for sale and no one in this person's family wanted to hang on to them. Believe me, I know why this happens, but it just makes me a bit sad that no one in the family cared enough to hang on to the letters! I hope you all have a great day. We are having some beautiful, sunny weather here in southern California. And New Year's day is supposed to be in the mid to upper 70's! The perfect day for a big sale at Country Roads!!


White Wednesday

This "White Wednesday" I took some pictures around my house. I'm not sure why, but when I got up yesterday I was just over Christmas! Part of it might be because I work retail. Anyway, I took all my Christmas down including the Christmas tree!! I was over it too.  I dragged it out the front door to the driveway. It was a big tree, but you know what it's like when you are just over something? So, my "White Wednesday" post is just stuff from my family room. I love all the old chippy paint and rusted stuff. It calls my name!!

The two pictures above are from my garden. My lillies are blooming and I always love to have fresh flowers in my house. I think my favorite thing I enjoy is to cut a single rose with some lavender and sit them in my bathrooms. There is just something about fresh cut flowers that make a house feel more like a home! Please join my friend Kathleen who does an amazing job hosting "White Wednesdays". I always enjoy her featured blogs as well. I wish you all a Happy New Year and may this new year of ours bring peace and joy to all!


The Morning After

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm "feeling" Christmas today! I'm so happy I am off and have a day to recover because I'm tired!  It was a wonderful Christmas for myself and my family and my hopes are all of you had a great Christmas as well! We are having a big sale on New Year's Day called, "I'd Rather Shop Than Watch Football" sale!! We host this sale every New Year's Day. We will open at 10am and close at 4pm. Seriously, there are some really good sales going on that you won't want to miss out on!! I thought this week, I could give you some previews on my blog of what we have in the store right now. Like this really cool vintage sign! It's huge and hard to get a clear picture because it is in front of a big window. But trust me, it is a one of a kind and at one time had lights all around it. There are places to screw the light bulbs in.  I would love to take this home with me so someone needs to buy it soon!! Besides the sign, here are a few other great thing we currently have at CR!

Right now we have a huge variety of awesome stuff! I'll be back tomorrow with a few more pictures of the "stuff". And hopefully this week you will see something that you cannot live without! Have a great day!!


Are You Ready?

Here I sit on a Friday night going through my Christmas check list to make sure I'm on schedule and have got everything done! Have I missed anything? Let me think, considering there are SO many things to think about this time of year!

The tree ended up getting decorating even though I couldn't find my ornaments! I know they are up in the loft in the garage somewhere but I HATE going up there! A quick trip last week to Target for some ornaments fixed that problem. I kind of missed the old ornaments I use every year, but hey, this was easier! I finished wrapping ALL the Christmas presents today. This is a first for me. Usually I'm up late on Christmas Eve night doing that!!

The stockings are hung on the fireplace. I did notice I forget to get Morgan a "regular" Christmas stocking this year since this isn't her first Christmas. The stockings that have Brande, Katie, and Bryce's name on them were made by my Mom. She made them for each of the kids first Christmas stocking for their first Christmas. Just looking at them still  warms my heart!

I got my Christmas present from Bryce early. So it's ready to light up my family room come Christmas morning. I'm getting excited, just like my little ones are.

My old harvest table is once again ready to serve Christmas breakfast! I've had so many holiday meals around this table. I got it out in the desert someplace for $150! The blue paint is original and it is square nailed. It seats eight and thankfully the grandkids are still small enough to pull up a chair or high chair!

I doubled checked and I do believe I have all the correct syrups for our Christmas pancake breakfast. Believe me, with this many in my family, I can't cook the pancakes fast enough!! I still enjoy it though.

And my Trader Joe lillies are just now getting ready to open. Their timing should be perfect with Christmas almost here.

The Christmas cards could use a bit organizing, but every time I walk by the pictures and notes from friends and family it makes me smile and I love looking at them. Actually, I'm probably the one that messes them up the most.

I just saw these recordable books from Hallmark.. They were sitting on my bed all day to remind me to record the stories in each of the books for Bodhi, Morgan and Riley. Hallmark should have done very well this Christmas on these books at $29.99 per book!

The lights are up on the house that Brande hung. I only blew them out once, accidently. Bryce stopped by to fix them for me. I was so bummed when I blew the fuse. Happy Bryce got them working again.

Well, I guess I am really all done preparing for the big day, except for the books, until the BIG day! Oh, I just remembered, I'm working tomorrow at Country Roads. I knew I was forgetting one little thing ;0)  It's okay, because I'm working with my family!

And while I've rambled on about everything I love about Christmas, I quickly want to mention something I saw on our Channel 7 Eyewitness News. It is a segment they are doing about "paying it forward". I guy from the news stands in a parking lot or on a street with a big sign that says, "Get $500 by Paying It Forward".  Many people just walk on by ignoring him. The segment I watch had a young woman stop and talk to the reporter. The catch is you can have the $500 if you will "pay it forward", meaning giving it to someone that really needs it. Then the news continues to follow the girl, who knew right away, who she wanted to give the money to! It was a very touching moment as I noticed a tear or two rolling down my cheek! My parents, pictured above, many years ago, always had hearts of gold when it came to giving when they could. That was a wonderful lesson about life that they taught myself and my sister! As we are out an about the next couple of days, it only takes a smile, a couple of dollars, to make a big difference in someone's life, especially during the holidays! And hey, if you still need to do some last minute shopping, Country Roads will be open tomorrow,  Christmas Eve day, from 10am to 4pm. And myself, Katie, Bryce and Matt will be there to assist you! To all of you please have a wonderful holiday week-end. And as I always say, "it's not about what's on the table to eat, but WHO is at the table.  Merry Christmas!